By Ado Aminu
The phone rang for the eighth time, and that was all I could stand, so I pulled it away from my ear before it could inform me that “the person you are calling is busy, please call after sometime.” I ended the ongoing call and switched to Twitter; that ever-dependable social app, in which no matter the depth of your personal sorrow, you can bury yourself in the zest of other human beings.
@Morleyxoxo is having a good time dragging some unfortunate believing soul, which I consider excellent fodder to distract from the saddening reality that I am as alone in this world as I came into it; clutching nothing in my balled baby’s hands but a ton of dread for this strange world.
It is my birthday again, and nothing prepared me for the loneliness that an absence of calls or texts from my nearest and dearest would wreak on my heart. The weather mirrored my brand of forlornness; sunny yet shrouded in a bath of cloudiness. I was happy, for many reasons. I was sad, for nearly as many, if not equally as many reasons.
I had listened twice to a voice note from a lover wishing me a happy birthday. Twice, because any more listen would have tipped me into a crying fit. Read for the fourth time a message from my greatest benefactor; th de love of my life, and the inspiration that drives me every time I am drained of the desire to go on. Neither endeavor helped to quell the sorrow I felt for the simple fact that the people I deemed ‘important’ did not consider my 27th birthday worthy of celebration, and if they did, they did not consider that letting me know that they did is the best way to show this consideration.
I remember going through this same ordeal at 21, then again at 25, and now once more at 27. The versions of me then had assured me that this will pass as the years go by and I come more into the person I am meant to be. But the road to 30 is as clear as a desert path in high noon, and it does not appear that I will get over my desire for approval any time soon.
It helps to know that I am not alone in this perennial pain. Perhaps in time, we will band together to help one another to heal. In the meantime, I say cheers to that and pray that others are faring better than I am. The fluffiness of the tissue I use to wipe away my tears is comforting. And I guess that has to do, for now.
Joy, Inc. is a teaching and media company mainstreaming the research and evidence on human flourishing and positive emotions to transform the culture and build a new generation of Africans focused on the greatest happiness for the greatest many.