Love

The Language Of The Heart

 

But who needs a reason when the language of the heart speaks so loud?

I don’t mind that she leaves her underwear on the floor most of the time. It’s not because of some bullshit feminist mindset, it’s just that I do it all the time. And if she can clean up after my mess, why can’t I feel okay to clean up after her?

When I asked her to marry me, I knew she’d say yes. But it was equally important that the stakes were high. We’d come through nearly a decade of love, hate, distance, discovery, and self-examination. I knew I was never going to be enough for her dreams. I knew I’d had to work at myself. I also understood that she had her demons and would need my help. The reason why she was reading books on marriage lately. At least, she was trying- actively. Me? I still needed to recede into my cave to pull the strength to finally pop the question.

And I’m glad I did when I was most vulnerable.

I don’t think vulnerability is sexy. Neither is it the new cool- to be in touch with your emotions and all that media gender equality crap.

I like how real she is when she opens up to me. It freaks me out when she looks at me with those big brown eyes. It’s terrifying. Knowing that she could do anything for me. That she would turn her back on her family in a split second just for me.

That’s what terrified me when we knelt down in the room that evening.

She was going to say yes to my introverted mind. She was going to say yes to my years of baggage and loneliness. To all the times I had asked a girl out and either broken up or been broken. She was going to say yes to the future conversations that our families would use as a vent to pull skeletons from years ago.

Or not.

About the time when she was the cause of all my life failure. Or the time when she’d wanted me to move in with her and be her slave on the other end of the world.

God, I was so naïve.

But her kisses make sense now. Even though I wish (secretly) they’d be less- I understand. I understand her. I understand her need to be close- emotionally, mentally, spiritually and physically. We’d both wanted this for so long. For so many years, that having it for those first few days drained me.

But she’d wanted it more than I’d ever had.

For that, I love and respect her. I respect her need. She deserves my best. Not because she’s special and loving and cute and hardworking and prayerful and really, really kind.

But because I love her.

I don’t even know why I love her. For all these years, I’ve dated other women. I’ve kissed other women. I’ve imagined myself building a family with another. I’ve been infatuated, I’ve sprawled with desire over women more physically attractive, more sensual, more emotionally stable (include other unnecessary relationship criteria).

I’m not proud of my streak. But I’ll own it any time, any day. Because all that has made me who and what I am today- me.

I don’t know why I have chosen to spend the rest of my existence on earth with her- in my intellectual respite, I’ve computed the logic behind my decision. The answer?

Nothing.

There’s no reason why she’s the perfect fit. There’s no reason why I know I’ll have to talk about my feelings and fight and believe that we can grow and change together. There’s still no reason why I have chosen to start my family with her.

But who needs a reason when the language of the heart speaks so loud?

Originally published on our Medium Publication- Self-ish.

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The Day I didn’t Want to Talk To Anyone

The Bimbia Slave Site Captured with my LG G4

I’m scared of the direction my life has been headed in the past couple of months. I dropped out from my graduate programme. I took my first real job working with a small (but impressive) team where we’re singlehandedly sculpting the cultural landscape of the country — the potential is huge.

My poetry collection sits in this same computer unpublished. I haven’t posted anything on the internet in weeks.

Oh, and I got dumped. I could tell you about how painful it was. Or what I wish I hadn’t said or done. Or the lessons I learned or how much I would miss her. Truth is, up until recently, I thought I had ‘survived’ this. I hadn’t. I may not. In fact, given my propensity towards extreme emotional engagement without building the initial required foundation upon which most long term relationships are built, I woke up a few mornings later and sobbed.

I cry when I watch emotive movies or read texts with similar properties. I cried when I received a surprise birthday cake for the first time with my name on it.

I still consider myself cold and unemotional. I’ve trained myself to not express surprise, fear or elation unexpectedly. Dealing with subtle forms of rejection in secondary school and during my first years in the Uni gave me that skill.

That morning, I sat up and prepared to head to work, I don’t remember the exact sequence of events that led to my sobs, but I felt a deep sense of loss, like my reason for existing had been stolen. I could not find words to describe what my mind didn’t comprehend. As I struggled to make sense of it, I muttered to myself in hope that words would soothe the excruciating feeling that boiled in my abdomen. It made no sense. Yet, the tears flowed. They were hot. Enough to make me stop. Enough to let off a little of the pressure from within. I’d never cried over a breakup before.

Great. One more item off my bucket list.

I washed my face and wore the adequate thespian features. Then I left home.

Because that wasn’t the day I couldn’t talk to anyone.


Last month, someone on twitter interviewed me for her dissertation. She said she’d come across my writing on the web and her work focused on black writers living on the continent. Another amazing writer said I was quite a talent. I felt important. This is not to say that I have a bad case of low self-esteem.

Because I do have a mild case of it.

I don’t think I am particularly handsome. It is for this reason that I feel very nervous in front of anyone’s camera.

I don’t think I am a good writer. I sometimes fear that I may die and never accomplish my dreams. Of course, you will tell me it is probably a legitimate fear that everyone has. Honey, I get you, but I am not everyone.

I am me. I’m scared.

I feel like a fraud. I try hard to hide it behind jokes, and smart talk ( boy, do I steal from books). Which is why it takes me a long time to trust anyone to open up and really get them to enter my world.

(Fun fact, you ( yes you reading this) probably know more about me from reading me on the internet that most people in my immediate surroundings. That’s how much of me I am able to hide from everyone around me)

On the other side of this deep fear of disappointing my inner self, I also have a sense of things I can do that no one else could. I play with words in ways that never seizes to amaze people around me. I speak two languages and I ( sort of sing). I am also sort of funny — when I’m not depressed.

As you can see.

I am very much in touch with the things I don’t like: I find it hard to do work that is algorithmic. I thrive with creative tasks. However, I have recently observed that even heuristic tasks if given constraints, offset my juices and literally- believe me when I tell you- render me totally incapable of making coherent sentences.

Yesterday, during a workshop, I had to create a story from a theme I absolutely hated. I think my brain died for the next half of the session. My ideas mortified instantaneously.

But, it wasn’t because I was scared of dying alone, unfulfilled and without dreams that I decided not to talk to anyone. I was because I had had enough and I was exhausted. For the first time in months, I’d reached the trough of my mild depression and I decided I didn’t want to do anything. Except this.


When I woke up that morning, everything was the same; the car horns through my window, the sun’s sly smile pouring through. My eyelids were heavy, but my stomach too.

“I could read a few pages before I go up there”, I thought to myself as I grabbed the Samsung tablet on the table.

A journey to the loo wiped the thoughts of another dive at the warm covers. It was my special moment with myself. While I did my business, I flipped to my ebook app, ‘Born Standing Up’ was open.

As much as I’d never paid attention to Steve Martin’s work as an entertainer, I noticed that his writing gave me insights into his life that would never leave me. I quietly continued my not so challenging multitasking ordeal.

8.15am

I knew because my phone alarm started ringing as soon as I got into the room. Steve was saying something about Nina Lawrence and her change of name. But I knew I couldn’t afford another sluggish read.

8.30am.

Fifteen minutes couldn’t have gone this fast. I knew something wasn’t right that morning the moment I started freezing during my workout. I wasn’t unlike the rushing antelopes away from forest fire deep in the country. Or the birds leaving the island before the volcano.

Even when I took the cab, my head moved with difficulty. My smile felt plastic. I could hear my voice. Even I didn’t believe my destination when I told the driver.

In a sudden rush, I wrote an email to my best friend in over 11 years. The network was shitty but I was grateful for Gmail’s HTML version . I told her what I was going to do. I know what I wrote in the email, but I couldn’t believe I was going to do it. When my phone rang and I saw my superior calling, I silenced the device and turned the screen face down.

I wasn’t in control anymore. That was when he told me what we were going to do that afternoon.
End of part one.


Tchassa Kamga lives in Buea, Cameroon. This part of the country hasn’t had internet in over two months. So, he’s had to travel a long distance to post this. He’s learning the intricacies of curating events and documenting them at the fine dining restaurant and cultural hub- IYA Buea. He has three episodes on his podcast . He also takes blatant pictures on Instagram.

He co-writes with C. Befoune on this publication — Self-ish . Their goal is to share the lessons they’ve learnt from multiple sources in the domains of Self-improvement, Content Creation and Human Relationships.

You can easily get him on Twitter.

My first ever #spoken word trial is on SoundCloud!

 

1-zi9bczftg5cojqxhgstq6qWhen I read this text in March, I felt like I had to give it life. Even if I didn’t have the technical skills required, I couldn’t help it.
And even when I did, I let it sit in my computer for all this while, gathering digital dust. I feel the time has come for me to let the world know what I can do and to judge me for it.

This is just the beginning. I would love to get your feedback and suggestions.

It is in French. But do not worry, I have another one prepared in English- a text another wonderful Ghanaian blogger wrote.

They are the words of a mother, saying goodbye to her child. Probably because she ( the mother) will be taken away because of the war.

According to the author of this text, it is the image you see that prompted her to write that piece. That she felt connected to the baby.

Credits:
Text: Anne Marie Befoune ( www.twitter.com/befoune) Tu Ne Te Souviendra pas…click to read.
Background Audio: Phenakist – Wasting-my-young-years_instrumental

If you read this, my erstwhile love…

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

I found joy in the silence of your kiss-the one you took away.
I found peace in your touch-the one I won’t miss.

I searched my memory for the agony of my loss-your loss.
When our song came on SoundCloud, it spoke fondly to the rivers of my eyes.
I talk to myself now. Just like I used to before you came.
The song is no longer sad, I must admit. You were a fond color.

A hue of sorts.
A friend…of sorts.
My friend.

Were you?
Were you mine?
Were you my friend?

I no longer call. But you stopped first-my loss.
I know I wasn’t wrong this time, you were- our loss?

There is desire in the sheets we shared.
No. Not for you.

A longing…of sorts.
Sometimes I squeeze.
Sometimes I wash.

Last night, I made love to myself: A cup of milk, a movie, a laugh alone.
It featured our favorite actor- I won’t hate him.
I tried. But I like him more than I loved you.

Did you?
Did you love?
Did you love me?

I look forward to never seeing you again.
I might smile when I do. Do not be alarmed, it’s my evil plan.

I would hatch a scheme to watch you crawl.
Seize your light and make you fall.

I do not hate you.
Hate is soft.
Hate is weak.
Hate is handicap.

You disgust me.

I will not forget you.
Or your bedroom hymns.

I will not forget the promises I made the day we met.
Nor the rage you left when you sent that text.
I will not forget you, my erstwhile soul mate.
And you should not forget that I loved you.
That I knew your soul and your desires.
The goals you craved and the prize you deserved.

I will not forget the reasons why you smiled.
Or how you blinked when embarrassed behind those balls of wonder I loved to kiss.
Yes, those…I will miss.
Yes, you’re right. I won’t miss.

If you read this, my erstwhile love, I will like to thank you for bringing me closer to myself.
For teaching me what I cannot stand and the desires I cannot condone.

I must thank you for letting me try to be human.
It’s a hard job. One I love taking weekends off for.
Remember: I meant every kiss.
And on this letter, I mean every hiss.

For your own good, let’s never meet again.
You might not recognize the monster you trained.

She Owns Me #Poetry

I’ve written books with my eyes.
In my tales, you run me.
I am your formata- share of source and being.
Springs of sadness reek panic when you leave my side.
Mountains crash, Pompeii burns anew.
It’s the neoslavery you inflict deep, within.

You’re a curse. My curse.
You suave, savage witch,
Your fingers dipping my entrails; laying my essence bare.
I hate how my mind adores your savagery.
How your smile becomes my drug,
I am addicted, to your words, your touch, your mind bogging aura.
Who are you?

Why are you?
What do you want with my heart?
Why did you choose me to lay me to waste away from your waist, after an ethereal…taste?
Conquered and alone, I long for a graceful whif of your presence.
An innocent “I love you” whispered in my mind, changed everything.
Subdued. Imbued. Amused…by your ease, a regal feast of tact.

You own me, my love.
And there is nothing I can do about it.

The Alter Boy Who Panicked #Poetry

Not long ago, in a church yonder,
A suave neighbor swept Martha.
I was there, I watched from the altar.
The Mass went on, and me, being a server, couldn’t falter.

They giggled and wiggled during the sermon.
The itch in my throat grew strong.
An attempt to clear felt wrong.
Even the priest seemed worried. It showed in his stare, long.

Mother had warned me of love come fast.
In the age of twitter”, she said, “these things do not last”.
I could feel her eyes on my skull as I stared into the crowd aghast.

The burden of loss is never a light one.
To ponder alone at the time all was fun.
When I thought my Martha was my only one.
Even against my mother’s wishes, I’d promised her we’d run.

When mass ended. I rushed to clear my robe.
The crowd moved slow-a well played joke.
I found Martha crossing the road with the bloke.
I screamed and cursed at the heavenly poke.

Now, here’s the real joke, that was Martha’s long gone cousin who just came back from four years out of the country.

She was so excited she literally burned all her home including the pantry.

When I found out, I rushed in tears and reached her home panting.

She took me into her arms and said those words I needed to hear: It’s okay boo boo, I am not angry.

I remember her touch.

As well as her kind gaze and warm smile.
They way she gleamed and held her head high.
She left her hand in mine.
Confident that the world wouldn’t mind.
Especially, when we went out to dine.

Fortunately, that time is now behind.

I remember my nickname.
She’d laugh at my sneer, knowing I’d go insane.
She’d pick on me when no one looked,
Only to make that face I’d hate to imitate.
Our kiss? She’d initiate.
Long, tender, nuzzle free meal I’d gleefully partake.

Alas, that time is in my wake.

I remember our goodbyes.
Her sad scream and dark eyes.
Long texts and fake fights.
The stakes were high.
I still hear echoes of her curses in the middle of the night.

The black hole in my soul, sucking, had never seemed so bright.

Do you prefer being single or being in a relationship?

cute-cuddly-toy-cartoon-costume

Someone asked this on Quora and me being the self professed advocate of the lonely life, I answered.


I am a 26 year old straight Cameroonian male who has had his heart broken.

And broken hearts.

I have had short (two weeks), very short (three days), and month long ( 6 months) relationships.

I’ve dated at least 5 women. I don’t keep tabs. It was a painful time I prefer to not remember.

Some, were exhilarating.

One month ago, I made the conscious decision to be single .

In my relatively short existence, I never thought I would ever be comfortable with being out of a relationship.

With that in mind, my answer would be biased. Infact, if I were you, I would not read this given my inexperience and lack of facts to back my claims. I speak for myself, hoping you will gain something.


On Being In A Relationship

I love the feeling that spreads through my body when a woman who cares about me touches me. I love the affection, the intimacy and all the perks of being together- living together, sharing inside jokes, feeding each other and being children again without a care in the world. I am a sucker for “love”.

Or at least, that is what I thought love was.

I have come to understand that it takes more than the happy moments to build a lasting, equally rewarding relationship with anyone. Whether it is a friend, lover or parent. It takes a lot of energy and commitment. And most people who are in a happy relationship may not not seem happy to you.

That is the difference between making a choice to work on a relationship and thinking that relationships work like “magic”.

The amount of effort required to communicate, to compromise, to fight our natural selfishness is one that needs a daily practice.

I think anyone who has been in a serious relationship can tell you about the dark times and what it takes to overcome them.

That said, the reason why I am not in a relationship is this:

I became self-aware enough to accept that I was not ready to invest the amount of energy required. That at this point in my life, I would like to focus all my energy on being creative ( blogging, gaining skills, podcasting etc) and building a business around my interests.

It is sad that I took this long and hurt so many people to accept this basic truth.

But I am happy I did.


On Being Single

I love writing. Especially poetry. I love thinking too. Which means that I tend to spend a lot of time by myself. Where I come from, and from my experience, I find it hard to getalone time when I am in a relationship.

Plus, there are the messages , the phone calls, and the commitments. I suck at being in a relationship. I had just never audited myself and made the decision to lay off that part of my life.

I don’t drink alcohol ( well, maybe once in a month or so), I don’t smoke, I don’t do drugs.I don’t gamble. I am not a stud- which means all I have is my sour humor that may or may not attract females ( remember I said you shouldn’t read?)

This means a lot of my free time is spent on reading, writing and meeting people. I run a podcast which takes time to record and edit . I was only able to start this podcast when I became single. And I looove sharing my thoughts.

I get braingasms from the comment section- literally.

However, I get lonely too. Sometimes I want a hug, a kiss or…more… 🙂

But then, I believe you can’t eat your relationship and have it. I chose to stay alone for a purpose. And I am fulfilling that purpose.

We may not have the same purpose, or thought pattern. And that is fine. I made the call. You should make yours.

I get moments of weakness when I see that someone is attracted to me, or when I get attracted to another person. And that we could get together.

Then, I remember who I really am and the kind of person I become in a relationship.


So, which is better? Being single? Or being with someone?

That, my friend, will depend on you, your environment and your DNA.

But know this:

  1. Your thoughts, goals and dreams will change. I know mine have and they will.
  2. Same for people you get in a relationship with.
  3. Communication is vital to maintain a relationship.
  4. Self-awareness will lead you to make choices which correspond with your DNA. ( Yes, I totally ripped this off from Gary Vaynerchuk [1])
  5. You will usually get what you deserve. Usually.

Of course, life has a way of being itself. But if everyday , if you so choose, you get better at knowing who you are and choosing yourself and the path you want to walk, you might end-up enjoying this funny thing called life.

I wish you all the best.

Remember that the most important relationship,is the one with yourself.

Footnotes

[1] GaryVaynerchuk.com – Family 1st! but after that, Businessman- a dude that Loves the hustle, people & the @nyjets – @vaynermedia. Tasted wine for years online!

Now you know why I left.

Leaving you was the best thing that ever happened to me. I don’t mean this in a “happy” way. More of in an I-should-have-done-this-a-long-time-ago tone. We had a good time together. A great time.

The fact that I am writing this expresses how much the last couple of months meant a great deal to me. You took care of me. You really did. You were a mother, friend, and a lover. You looked at me like I was the only thing that mattered.

You made me believe that I could be loved. Not that I don’t have friends and family who love me, but, I had never imagined the effect the touch of someone who isn’t your blood could have on one’s mood.

Do you remember the time when I was sick and had to stay home all day? When you cooked in the neighbor’s house and brought for me? We stayed home all day and you dabbed my forehead with a wet towel.

Only my mother had ever done that for me. Loving you was the only thing I wanted at the time.

At the time.

At the time, I was struggling with who I wanted to be and the kind of life I wanted. As well as the type of people I would be willing to let into my life.

Time moves fast, doesn’t it? Only a few months ago, we filled memory cards with selfies. We made the neighbors jealous.

Even I was jealous of us sometimes.

“Where have you been all my life?” I’d sometimes wonder.

At the time.

At the time, I refused to acknowledge that I was not ready to be your friend. That I did not trust you. And that the series of events that led to our last conversation were simply a domino effect that lined up nicely from the very first evening we met.

Do you remember that evening? Do you remember our subsequent conversations? And the trail of crumbs on the internet? Do you remember how offhand I was and how everything seemed so…okay?

IT was fun, wasn’t it?

At the time.

At the time, I wasn’t the same person writing this. I am free, now. I can tell you that I don’t need you. Not in a “you’re useless” way. But in an I-am-not-emotionally-available way.

I hurt your feelings. And I want you to hate me. In the same light, I want you to move on fast enough to be able to spread the happiness I used to hear in your giggle.

You are more than you believe. Yes, you cannot stand alone you’d say. I think you’re wrong. However, I cannot change what you believe. But if you focus on how weak and inadequate you are, nothing will ever happen. Nothing.

I thought you were the missing rib. The soul mate I would make my life with. At the time.

Today, I see the world through a prism of honesty. No, I don’t walk around being honest with people. More about being honest with myself and the things I want. The things I need and the things I am good at. The habits I must kill and what I am willing to sacrifice.

Sweetheart, I am willing to sacrifice you. And I mean this in a very selfish way. Not morbid. Selfish.

I care about myself and my well-being. And one thing I have come to accept is that when I go against everyone to make sure I am happy, somehow, everyone goes through the stage of disparaging my choices to finally coming around.

At the time, I was scared of disappointing my parents and everyone else who believed in me. Even you.

At the time.

Today there is only one thing I fear: having to regret my life on the day I die.

If losing you now is the price to pay to living a life I can be responsible for, then, sweetheart, now you know why I left.

If I had to be honest with myself.

If I had to be honest with myself, I’d tell you about the time when you broke my heart and made me miserable. I would tell you how much you scarred me and how I have searched for you in every woman ever since.

If I had to be honest with myself, I’d tell you about my greatest regret which is: not starting on my path early enough. That I should have taken the reins of my circumstances firmly.

If I had to be honest with myself, I would tell you about the friends I have now. The ones who believe in me and who make me more scared of failing them than of failing me. They are my family now.

If I had to be honest with myself, I would tell you that I miss the time when I used to play video games with my brother. When we had no care in the world except the sound of mother’s vehicle.

If I had to be honest with myself, I would tell you that I am not ready for any emotional engagement. That the scarring was just a way to the truth which is this: I am not ready.

If I had to be honest with myself, I would tell you how much I love my family now. How important it is to me that they are happy.

If I had to be honest with myself, I would tell you how restless I really am. Naturally. And how I struggled to get my degree even though I could very easily have aced it.

If I had to be honest with you, I’d tell you that I hate school. That I cannot sit for long and that I easily get bored.

If I had to be honest with you, I would tell you that writing is the only thing that keeps me sane. That it is an addiction I am proud of. And ,as well, the most difficult thing for me.

If I had to be honest with you, I’d tell you that I’d either end-up marrying a writer, programmer or a psychologist. And that the latter makes more sense in foresight.

If I had to be honest with you, I would tell you that I find it hard to keep a conversation with anyone who is not cultured and well read. Not someone who reads the news. No. But someone who has a vast knowledge of the kind of stuff your lecturer considers distractions.

If I had to be honest with you, I’d tell you all these and much more.

But then, I don’t have to be honest with you.

Why?

No reason. I just choose not to. Yeah, I be da kine man.