Contributed by Femi Managwu
So, you're about fourteen and in Year 9 now. You have figured out secondary school (kind of), you have stable and steady friends around you - some of which I can say are still with you years and years from now, and you are doing well in school. In summary, for a teenager, things are looking up for you. Apart from the ongoing issue you have and the soon to be the fact that sadly, you have a hurdle coming your way.
The hurdle in question? You are about to move out of your first home, the place you called your haven, the place that brought you years and years of comfort and solitude. It hits you, mum, and Chris hard and nothing could have prepared you for the journey all of you are about to endure. This forces you into your new relationship with the council. Say it with me now “COUNCIL”. They are going to put you in some places and you are going to see some things but I want you to remember something. There is going to be one phrase that you are going to grow into that will essentially be your mantra in all aspects that may look to be an obstacle or slight worry in your life: "it’s going to be okay". I know it sounds extremely cheesy and you hate cheese like that but it’s true. No matter what you see and where you move to, (and you are going to move a lot), eventually you will see everything is going to work out okay.
Aside from housing situations, that issue I was speaking of hits you and hurts you in a way that just will not leave you alone like it always has and will annoyingly continue to do so in the years to come. It is persistent, aggravating, and makes you question yourself consistently. The subject matter: your dad. Every day, it might not be every second or minute of the day, but every day he is with you despite the fact you have not met the man. It is a shitty feeling and one you are not quick to open up about because you like to suffer in silence. People cannot see when you are hurting and you are good at that – so good you are a pro sometimes. But you start to trust in some real ones that you consider family in the future and they help alleviate some of what you are feeling. The confusion and hurt still remain and to be honest it will for a while, but talking about it with your close friends helps you greatly.
At this stage in school, you are trying to figure yourself out and constantly you are comparing yourself to those with their dad present to try and decipher why you were slighted and what you could have possibly done wrong. The answer to that is nothing. You have done nothing to warrant this and whilst you may not believe me now, you will be stronger in a few years and see it for yourself. You are not responsible for the actions of others. But again, it’s going to be okay.
Eight years from now you take steps to meet the man. You have no clue as to where it will lead you and not even I can tell you that. Just know you become brave enough to make the first move when it comes to you and him and that everyone that means anything and everything to you are proud of the leap you take. It’s scary but worth it.
You have a lot of shit coming in your direction but you find your own way of dealing with it. Of course, it involves you letting go but for that to happen you have to come to terms with what is bothering you; which you don’t. However, in time you will and it helps relieve all the congestion in your head and you will start to feel lighter and begin to feel happier. You are always finding yourself lost and that does not go away but instead becomes easier to deal with. This comes in hand with the more you discover about yourself. What you like and what you don’t like, what you can tolerate, your levels of patience, and what genuinely makes you happy. That part is a bit harder to figure out as it cannot be reduced to one singular thing, person or place, but rather a culmination of all three. You will see what I mean later.
Femi you are so much more than any one thing about you and you are loved in the process.
Remember that and keep the faith in the journey ahead of you. You make it.
A bigger and still learning Fems.