When I was a kid I used to hate how small I was. I would imagine how I would look when I grew up and added weight, because then people would stop making such a big deal about it. Everyone knew that high school is where people blew up like inflated balloons almost overnight, so I waited till high school for my chance at becoming a balloon. Every time we closed school I would go back home and instead of the expected, “Gai umekua mkumbwa!” (“Gosh you’ve grown so big!”) for me it was the opposite, “ kwani hukuli!?” “You don’t eat!?”. Some would even resort to asking my mother if there was something wrong. Then they would circle my extremely tiny wrist with their hands and exclaim at how my hand would disappear in their grip. Sometimes it gave me anxiety to lift my bony hand to answer questions in class because all I would think of is this stick figure hand popping out of the mass of ‘normal sized’ hands becoming the focus of attention. Well high school came and went and to much of everyone’s disappointment, I was as close to becoming a balloon as a chicken can become a dog.
The theory changed and everyone began to say it would happen in campus, and soon it actually became more of a joke to expect me to have grown every time I went back home. My grandmother nearly had a stroke when she had I was 23 and for the first time she asked my mother in the most sincere and concerned tone I have ever heard come from her mouth,” is everything ok, she is so small.” She spoke in my mother tongue which gave the words a strength that English would never conquer even on her best day. Surprisingly though, I dint care. It was so interesting the level to which I dint care about her statement, I had to bite my tongue literally just to stop myself from laughing.
See over the years I have come to learn that whether I gain weight and become the ‘normal’ weight or not, people will still find something about me they feel they urgent need to fix as though that will stop world hunger or something. It’s as if my gaining weight will somehow end all their worries and I will have finally become normal. But like a lot of things about me, am not normal, well not in the way people want me to be. I laugh just a little too loud, I always use analogies that only make sense to me, I have a strange way of finding humor in the most tragic of situations which scares me a bit, I live more in my own bubble than in reality and I have a strange affection for animals and see them as friends. And people think my weight is the big issue, bwahahaha I laugh at them. I laugh because my weight proved to me more than anything else in life, the more things change the more they stay the same. So instead I laugh and enjoy how my weight defies age, stereotypes and the obvious lack of interest at the large amounts of food I pile on my plate. I love myself just as I am. And before the thought is cemented in your mind, no this post is not so that people stop asking why am so small. It’s so that we can have something to talk about, wonder together and finally after no satisfactory answer comes up, we can laugh about it together.
Till next time