Find Your Way Back

Dear Krystal,

I miss you. You were fearless and bright. Just how a comet would be if we could translate the cosmic language of the stars. Burning bright and hot because we don’t burn forever.

I don’t recognize this tealight I’ve become—trembling at the slightest whisper. Drowning in the wax, the sludge of my regrets, suppressed desires, and buried dreams.

 

We used to dream. We were flat broke, dealing with single motherhood, but, boy, did we dream! Impossible dreams of travel and love, wealth and glorious sex. A decade later, I can’t say that we’re happy. 

 

I have elaborate fantasies of disappearing into the mid-morning quiet. Wouldn’t that be the best time for a work-from-home mum to vanish? 

 

Nobody will look for me at 10.43 am on a Wednesday. I’ll leave my phone behind, withdraw all the cash I have, pack a small bag and go to the Coast or Ethiopia. Reinvent myself.

 

But I couldn’t do that to my kids. Sometimes I think they supernovad into my life to tether me here. Otherwise, I would’ve flung myself off orbit long ago. 

 

It’s not all doom and gloom, however.

 

I married the man of my dreams, a god among men. Those clay feet that I couldn’t for the life of me see when we were dating came crashing through in the first month of marriage, trampling my heart to dust. 

 

You shouldn’t believe the advertising and never hand over the reins of your dreams to anyone. Brutus and Judas were right at the heart, the WhatsApp admins, if you will.

 

What’s most dangerous about motherhood isn’t the disheartening, saggy tits-belly-ass musketeers. It’s that you willingly and joyously forget who you are, pour yourself into your unwitting offspring until the entirety of you is Mama Nani.

 

There’s a series called Mushishi where one entity the protagonist fought could turn a mother’s body (tissues, blood, and all) into milk for her baby. The babies flourished while their mothers wasted away. It’s fiction, right?

 

If we could meet, I would tell you

  1. Hang onto yourself tenaciously. You love music and shiny beautiful things, dancing, and ridiculous choke-on-spit laughter, books and long drives, hard work, and winning.
  2. Work harder and smarter on those dreams. 
  3. Don’t get derailed by men promising the moon so they can trap your magic, yet all along they reflected your own light. 
  4. Have all the glorious sex you can because, my God, marriage is coming and there are no lakes in the Sahara.
  5. Bootstrap travel because jumping on a bus with one kid is possible, but the logistics boggle the mind with three kids and a husband in tow.
  6. Say it! The decade of no fucks left is coming (your 30s) but it will be difficult to break out of the habit of fence-sitting and people-pleasing.
  7. Make a plan. A big one and many small ones. Flying by the seat of your pants is only cute in the movies and will leave you unprotected.
  8. Make better friends but give them grace. They’re as human as you and sometimes they also just want to flee.

 

Hey me, I’m slightly teary but cheerful because you reminded me of the river that runs steady deep down. It’s not gentle or whimsical. It roars and crashes like the White Nile, simultaneously deadly and life-giving. I’ll find my way back to it.

 

Sincerely,

You.

 

BIO

Krystal Midega is a writer who wants to do life sans regret.

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