Have you ever had one of those moments when you realized no one in the world is living a perfect life?
A few days ago, I was confused about whether or not to rent an apartment or to live with my parents. Then I went on to post a question on Quora (as you do in these situations apparently) to see what random strangers thought about my situation. Should I rent an apartment or stay at home?
One lady, in particular, gave me a rather eye-opening answer: She said, “If you stay at home, you’ll have to deal with family drama every day. But if you rent, you’ll also have to work long hours every day to afford the rent. So you’ll just be exchanging one hell for another.“
Would you look at that? Isn’t that just so true about so many situations in life?
I was lucky enough to be able to go to the United States a few months ago, and I know a lot of my fellow Africans would see that as a dream come true. But the weirdest thing happened while I was there: I started hating the place. I hated America (Sorry America).
I know, I know. You’re probably asking, “Why in the world would anyone one hate the Land of the Free?!” Well, that’s because up to that point, I looked at America like a paradise. With all the movies and the Disney shows I had watched, I thought America was the place where everybody lived in perfect happiness.
And when I got there, it turned out, that because the people in America lived such luxurious lives (compared to most Africans that is), many of them don’t understand the idea of struggling through life. So I couldn’t connect with them. Although America is rich and polished, it’s very likely that people like me will feel lonely and homesick when they go there because they will not be able to connect with the Americans that, relatively speaking, were born with silver spoons in their mouths.
I’m used to struggling through daily life. Sometimes the fridge is full of goodies, but sometimes we go weeks having only a loaf of brown bread in there. And that’s not weird that’s just the normal struggle that people go through on my side of the world. I’m used to seeing people hustling through life all around me.
But in America, people find these struggles strange. They can only pity them, not empathize. They can’t relate to me, and I can’t relate to them. I mean, I once tried to tell this girl I met there about the times my father just couldn’t afford to buy electricity for the house and we had to use candles for light, and she looked at me like, “Huh?”
In Africa, we struggle, but our pain is what brings us closer together. We might not have many luxuries, but we have each other. We have community and togetherness, even though we’re poor.
So when you move from Africa to America, you aren’t moving from hell to heaven, you’re moving from one hell to another.
We always wish to be living other people’s lives. If you’re like me, and you grew up without a biological mother, you might think, “Oh how nice it must be to have your mother with you.” But a lot of people have their mothers and are still not happy because their mothers abuse them or don’t let them do what they want in life.
I remember the was a girl who told me she thought her mother was the devil. So their house was the house of the devil? Hell?
Nobody in the world is living a perfect life. They have their hell and you have yours. I think it’s best to try and turn your own hell into heaven, rather than wishing you lived in someone else’s hell.
Cheers to life!
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