(circa August 2016)
I think I’m going crazy.
There are only five days left before I go to the United States. Before I leave the perpetual mist of Limuru and the smoldering, dripping greens of home. Before I’m alone in the dank Nairobi airport and the tears die down as my conscious withdraws into instincts accumulated throughout my lifetime. Gate number. Passport. Security. Laptop out. Oh god, why don’t I have socks on? Find someone pleasant to talk to. Maybe not. Is that man over there looking at me? I wonder if he likes my dress. Or my face. Sit down. Be still. Dear knees, please resist being sore for as long as possible. No food. Eyes hurt. Tough.
I’m confused. I don’t know what it will feel like to finally walk off the final plane into the baggage claim of Louis Armstrong Airport. To see Daniel Maqueda and Kate Dearman again, so soon. To step into the hot, muggy air of New Orleans with many cars that drive on the right side of the road with big skyscrapers and people who look like me. The world will be inverse again, and I’ll be invisible in a sea of girls like me as inner battles slowly pull my mind apart. Whole Foods. Nice cars. Brand names. Beautiful women. How do I compare to them? I’ll think as I sit in the car. Wasn’t I just here? Where am I and what happened to me?
I’m going crazy.
The truth is that my mind combusting, even as I write. It’s like I’m already on that trans-Atlantic plane ride. I’m dead during the day as a gloomy void of energy possesses me. I skip yet another workout, for better or worse during recovery. It’s okay, tomorrow. Tomorrow comes. I try to workout, but I look down and I see flesh where flesh was once gone. I give up. I feel heavy. I look to the past, and see many glorious laps around the track that are now vacant. Empty lots. The failure of someone who isn’t who I am now.
Sleeping has been difficult. I lay in bed and suddenly all the dead energy catches on fire. Dense, saturated gasoline, trickled over my very sanity, sparks and roars into a conquest of racing thought, all in one night.
I burn as I incessantly plan workouts that I’ll do over my gap year. I am mesmerized by Izabel Goulart’s Instagram account, and rapidly alter my extensive utopia of exercise plans to include her workouts. For the thousandth time, I’m an architect rewriting the blueprint for a creation of sacred geometric proportions, solving the riddle of human happiness. The Black Swan workout – yes please. Where’s my old marathon plan that I drew up in the heat of recovery? Time to make a second edition. I won’t starve myself this time. I just want a BMI of 17.3 and 17% body fat. No – I just want to be happy.
I try to start off my plans with the mantra “This is purely for my mind and nothing else.” But I know it’s not true. All my plans are schemes of sacrifice to my own hubris, a poisonous love for perfection. I am a tragic hero.
These intentions quickly turn into frantic diagrams, outlines, lists, and tables written in my best cursive handwriting. Offerings of my sanity. Perfect lines that I beseech to magically transform me into someone worthy of self-love once again. Prophesies that I only wish could be fulfilled. Broken religion. The only words I know that tap into deep anger and hurt. Narcotics to give ephemeral relief. These pathetic exercise plans overjoy one part of me and make the other part of me groan under the weight of my past world.
Two sets of instinct are possessing me: gate numbers and exercise planning. Both are founded on uncertain hopes and veiled outcomes. Both are cruel games in my mind, quadrants of desire laced with deja-vu.
If I continue this way, I’ll be heart-broken when I do step off of planes. Whatever dreams I have will die and I’ll never perceive the radiance that abounds in my life. I’ll still be lost in the realm of sleepless nights and airplane seats.
I’m not on the plane yet. I have five days left.
But I think I’m going crazy.