Posted by Peter Orwa, Junior
I started this blog not really for people to read, but as a form of release to cope with a campus life that demanded interaction and heavy socialization. Probably that’s why I don’t post as much, or don’t feel the need to. That’s because I’m a freelancer; I have my own hours and prescribe my own social activity. The INFP dream, right? Well yeah, until I took a trip I woke up every morning dreading; a trip that would require me to spend 24 hours with strangers (okay not strangers but people I don’t know very well). 3 people is usually my limit; anything over that my brain goes into hyper-drive – collecting data signals from people, noticing what they’re responding to and how… I don’t even plan to analyse people it just happens. Like don’t ask me why, I’ve been that way for as long as I could start describing things with actual words. The eyes that see all with ears that hear everything; I used to think it was a gift. I won’t say it’s not because it has its perks, but that’s a story for another day.
There’s only one other time I’ve felt this overwhelming urge to write; and that was my Japan trip. Looks like travel really does ‘push’ me to write, among other things. I still find it amazing, what a trip ‘away from it all’ can do for you, or to you. As in there’s taking time off, and there’s really taking time off. Looks like I really needed that; it’s almost like a pipe unclogged somewhere in my mind that let out all sorts of things; some things I never even knew were there. So this is my attempt to ‘let it all out’, amidst a receding emotional hangover, lest the deadly INFP spirals ensue. Forgive the incoherence.
I am a dreamer. My imagination runs WILD. Imagine my disappointment when I discovered that nearly everything I ever thought up could never live up to what I see in my mind. And so with time I developed a [coping?] habit of ‘toning down the fairy tales’ to guard against disappointment, which leads to frustration, which can lead to unwarranted depression. BUT. How often do you form a picture of something, in your mind, or someone, and the reality of it trumps it? Got me questioning my level of creativity – lol. How is it possible to have the ‘proverbial fairy tale’ image, particularly of a person, totally match up to the person in reality? Have I been given a license to dream again without restrictions?
Okay the imagination is reactivated now, but that doesn’t change the fact that it is indeed crazy, and crazy being relative means you don’t really know how to ‘let people in’ on what’s going on up there. People all around making jokes and striking up convos, and I’m just there thinking of what would be appropriate. Particularly in the presence of a queen. And then when you finally find a piece of that crazy worth sharing you want to let it out, but you have to choose the words that you don’t stutter with; aaand by the time that’s done you’ve thought so much that you start second-guessing whether it’s worth sharing.
But you see, this dam has been building up for quite a while now. There’s SO FREAKING MUCH to give; loyalty, love, potatoes, care. I have been here before; I opened the spillways just a bit. Yeah like that could happen. INFPs are all in when it comes to giving, to a fault. And the ending is never pretty. It’s ghastly. At one point I was to just board it up completely, till I saw what happens when you aren’t afraid to try. Is this me willing to open the gates? Yes.. No.. I don’t know. What I know is that I’m not afraid anymore.
Well, sitting in a vehicle all looking in the same direction is easy, but then you reach your destination and suddenly you are very aware of your every move. How you’re walking, sitting posture, eating, drinking water. A part of me thinks I’ve been behind cameras for far too long, but another part of me remembers being the poster child of the middle child stereotype. I mean what are the chances that you are the middle child when you count your siblings from your own mum (2nd in 3) AND counting your siblings from your 2 step moms (7th in 13)? The photos I am in are countable; not all of it intentional by the way.. I remember once people went for a party and forgot I was around (huh). I wouldn’t describe myself as a loner; more like a social ninja.
We were in Kitale, my comfort zone was in Timbuktu. Way out there. And just like in Japan, my brain just opened up; like another level just got unlocked with all these new possibilities and thought processes. At one point I was buzzing so much I had to withdraw a little just to recollect myself. It seemed mundane but these are the inner workings no one else could see.
And even amidst all the jubilation, the mental drain from just being around people; I had something I’ve not heard in quite a while. Clarity. Because I was thinking without interruption. Because I had to think everything through, from conversation lines to what to laugh at (huh?)
This isn’t a lamentation. This is a beautiful realization, that the reason I haven’t experienced anything new in the last two years is because I haven’t ‘experienced anything new’. Started out as something I was doing to help out a good friend; turns out I’m the one who got the help I much needed. Help I didn’t even know I needed.
It’s fascinating what your brain can do, when set in a different environment, surrounded by animated camaraderie, in the presence of royalty and no safety net to fall back on.
So, is this what it feels like to be alive again?
Looks like I’m done running.