Last weekend, I went to New Orleans for this not-so-little-one's high school graduation. Vlogged about it on my Youtube channel. Such an effortlessly good time. I may or may not have wept quietly in the bathroom before my flight back to Texas. I'll never tell! #thugnation
Through the magic of editing, you won't see my melancholy breaks in speech or whole minutes lamenting the end of the weekend. I was surprised at how difficult it was to film this vlog without sighing heavily or shedding a Thug Tear. Our families have been friends for about 15 years. We've laughed together, eaten together, and spent late nights choreographing Destiny's Child dances. I missed that atmosphere.
Without them and the general "Kenyan Community" in our respective cities, I wouldn't know what it's like to have an extended family.
As a child of the Diaspora, I never grew up with 90% of the people on my family tree. I've seen my extended family three times: age 4, 9, and 14.
I will be 24 in a few months.
"They" say cousins are your first best friends. I didn't have that. The whole "Black people family turn up function" you see in the movies? Twas a dream, sis. There are a few cousins, aunts, and uncles who live in the U.S., and for their presence in my life I am vigorously appreciative, but it's no secret -- our families are fragmented.
In certain circumstances, from joyful to painful, this distance can be unbearable. I admire my Parental Units for that sacrifice. The magic of social media allows me to communicate with my cousins, now in their 20's and 30's. We can never make up for lost time, but we'll work with what we have.
To all my "Uncles" and "Aunties" who've encouraged me and slipped me a couple chapos for the road - I love you. We often joke that all our mama's friends are called aunties, but seriously -- for some of us that's all we have in less than a 8,000 mile radius...
Anyways whatever I'm feelings feelings so whatever I'm done with this *puts on armor again*
All I'm trying to say is that I spent Saturday swinging on a swing I swang on when I was like 10 and nibbling samples from the nyama choma situation and talking to my "Uncle" about anything and everything and I was 100% content in that moment. That's all.
Holla if you hear me, Internet Cousins:
(I wrote about this emotional phenomenon for Rise Africa two years ago. Read if you'd like.)