The Cycle of Freedom
I am not old. Or at least I refuse to believe that I am. But neither am I young, I have made peace with that. It’s funny though, just last year I wanted to be older and now I am not too sure.
For as long as I can remember, I wanted to be older. And now that I am, I am not too sure that that’s what I want.
For the longest time, I have been the youngest person in the room. And being a last born, I mean that literally. Age is one of those things, the ones that people say don’t matter and yet always come up in a conversation.
Almost like freedom. The upside to being a last born, among the many because believe me when I say that there are many upsides, is not having to have the ‘being in hostel while at university’ fight because your older siblings already had that fight and one of them won it along the way.
It doesn’t hit you until you get your own keys for the first time. Not keys to open the gate to your parents’ house on one of the few times that your 6pm curfew is extended to midnight, because you have to attend a cousin’s graduation party but your own keys. I am talking about keys that you can make a copy for your bestie or your bae because it’s YOUR place.
And in that moment you imagine that you’ll never miss another Wikidi in your life because the world can simply NOT go on without you being a part of it. Also the fact that you can have a Pana hotdog as and when you please is an added bonus, because sometimes one is simply not in the mood for sweet potatoes and ground nuts with mukene.
Because you are free. You can almost see your hair flying in the wind and your feet in sand in water, because you envision beaches at your beckoning in your version of freedom.
You imagine that you’ll be able to go to the beach as and when you please, because pictures at the beach always look heavenly. You imagine that the distance from Kampala to Entebbe means jerk shit when you are staying in a hostel, because since you have your keys and can come and go as you please, the traffic on Entebbe road has nothing on you.
But then after a while it hits you that even though you have your own hostel room keys, there will be days when you don’t have money to go to the beach, or blessers to sponsor the trip or psyche to go to the beach to begin with, and you will realize that having keys to your own room in a hostel is simply a small piece of the puzzle.
That having the freedom to do something doesn’t guarantee doing it, in the grand scheme of things. And that freedom is never truly absolute.