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Frank Selasie

Manifest Destiny

Manifest Destiny

It was the year 2019, and many realizations and stark discoveries of myself threatened to drown me; among those already listed comes another that still dances about my mind to this day, till this very moment in fact, and so I write.

 This particular realization came upon me quite suddenly dressed in garments of utter detachment; I couldn't say that life itself had begun to bore me, it was more of the shock of knowing that I was no longer happy and also being burdened with the knowledge that I had once been. 

Somewhere between my hedonistic past and my wounded present, I had lost sight of even the desire to make the bloody effort. 

When I returned to Babylon, I did so with the knowledge that I was no longer happy drowning in champagne and being the head priestess of whatever Ghanaian spirit the greek god Dionysus retired with. I mention this particular god to give an accurate picture of what my life was like in Ghana; in that land, I am both a princess and an incredibly accidental socialite. These two things can be considered quite dangerous to be in such a sybarite environment. Dionysus left his lands when his people turned to the god of Abraham and came to settle himself in the region of Ghana. He takes many forms, but enjoyment is his pedigree, and we have certainly always had a significant amount of it.

It was overwhelming.

For the four years I settled there, every Christmas, the real season of ritualistic overindulgence, this feeling of suffocation would harass the very fiber of my being. I saw past the tipping point of hedonism, I watched minds and bodies become gluttonous on scraps of enjoyment, I saw beauty transform into danger in an instant, I saw moments of glory and friendships burn away from the acid of Class A narcotics. 

It is such a heartbreaking thing to watch the bonds that tether two like hearts together dissolve in a vat of cocaine. Out of all the nightlife narcotic proverbial pleasures that exist, I can say with complete certainty that cocaine is my least favorite. 

I can even say that I loathe it.

It has this horrible habit of turning otherwise lovely people into complete bastards and inhibits the very best of sex. Ghana has endured the unfortunate ordeal of becoming a drug trafficking country, being placed as it is geographically has enabled it to stand as a go-between for all manner of illegal substance trying to find it's way to Europe and beyond.

We are still wearing the clothes of colonization in a myriad of different ways. 

The last Christmas in Ghana, where I actually left my house for social activities, was an experience I will never forget and have avowed always to learn from. I saw human bodies stampede in unison towards a 10-foot iron gate, almost pushing it off its very expensively reinforced hinges in the pursuit of enjoyment. They were like a hoard of zombies clamoring to enter an already filled to the brim establishment for an overpriced and uncomfortable experience. Lives were being threatened and ending in the pursuit of this madness.

It was in those moments that I truly accepted that Bacchus had married a Ghanaian spirit and had procreated in the soil of my forefathers. That type of desperation for intoxication that can be produced in the human psyche is a power I know he possesses and revels in. Hedonism has two sides to it in its entirety. What was happening in Ghana could be compared to Dorian Gray and his portrait. Immortality and beauty as a veneer for deranged sickness and sacrifice. 

And I was lost in it.

And possessing the self-awareness that I am blessed with encouraged no other option asides from fleeing.

So I fled back to Babylon as I am apt to when the West African way of life distracts and destroys. It was here in my silence, in my quietness, and my stillness that I came upon the discovery that I hadn't the faintest idea as to what to do with my life.

I hadn't the faintest idea as to what I wanted to do with my life.

I had no real dreams that could spring to mind when asked the ever so standard question; "So what are your dreams?"

I had nothing to offer such an inquiry. I had the guiding light of wanting to die happily, but that never felt sufficient enough for such a substantial question. 

This discovery gave birth to the most severe of misery within me because I just could not see life as anything else but worth living, but it didn't feel like I was living; it only felt as though I was just there.

Things happened to me, and I adapted. Trauma danced with me, and we learned to tango. I didn't have a singular or stable direction in which I was going; I was simply reacting to and trying on the many projections I had been assaulted with since it was discovered I was worth something interesting in front of a camera at the age of seventeen. 

The first projection I danced with was that of a model, at seventeen, I had met a visionary genius who saw a reflection of his power within me, he put me in front of a camera. He trained me as though I was joining some form of a militia. This man changed the direction of my life, or rather, he solidified a path because he had taken me under his wing I was already meeting all manner of the 1% of Ghana in the earliest years of my adult life, being hailed a socialite was unavoidable. I was quite good at being charming, and so it was a role I enjoyed.

Outside of Ghana, I remained an affecting force, inspiring, and contributing to most of the art that was being created around me. This isn't something I say haughtily; it is instead the summary of field data given to me by all the minds that I have met in my travels.

In the plainness of my existence, I have been a muse to many. 

And as I lived as such, affecting as I did, it never occurred to me that one of the reasons I had perhaps traveled so far and so often was because I was searching for my inspiration. The light of inspiring so many made the darkness in my existence quite apparent. 

I discovered my constant state of dreamlessness. The only inclination of an aspiration I beheld was simply to be happy. 

To be quite honest, it felt as though I was a teenager all over again, in the office of a guidance counselor, and being asked: "So what do you want to do with your life?". A feeling and question that I considered utterly ridiculous to be hosting as I neared thirty. But then that is the truth of aging, isn't it? You're experiencing things that have never come before; your body is changing in ways it never did; you're being born anew in every regenerative moment of your cellular existence. 

But then the ever-present conditioning of the world and society at large has given you the false sense that you should in essence "have it all together" by now, which is something that is earnestly quite difficult to do when one is being born again in every waking moment of one's existence. 

For goodness sake, what exactly is "it" and what does it have to do with "together"? 

In my stillness, I remembered my vastness, and I acknowledged the damages that false expectations had inflicted upon me. I looked too much outside of myself to make sense of what was within; I remained in a cycle of merely reacting to the world as opposed to actively affecting it.

As I tallied my accomplishments in the years prior, I was saddened to note that almost all of them were born from some form of trauma being rendered upon me. The one thing I was most proud of, the birth of my dalliance with the creation of fashion, came from the loss of all of my earthly possessions. I was stricken.

But even as I write this, I admonish myself for being so saddened at logical displays of strength.  But that admonishment isn't genuinely valid when my actual desire was life without the necessity of such shows. I was tired of the fight; if it all, I was tired of the need to overcome proverbial enemies. I knew above all else that there was more to life, I knew because I had once lived it.

I knew how to make champagne out of the sourest of lemons, but now I simply wanted the champagne. 

So a new desire began to form, a new yearning of sorts, a longing for a novel type of aspiration and passion.

I want to know what I want and to be passionate for it and about it, being as good as I am at almost everything I put my mind to has proved a disability in the midst of this existential crisis.

Because I can be brilliant at everything but remain without true passion for it and life cannot be truly worth living without a desire of some kind, and in knowing this, I finally put my mind to searching for mine. 

A genuine passion that makes me glow with accomplishment, a real love for the world, and myself to behold. 

It's a wonder being the oldest one has ever been, and yet feeling the youngest, all this growth has given me is the clarity to see that I am still a big ass baby.

I believe I just learned how to walk, and so now I'm trying my hand at running. 

And at some point in of my life,

I will fly.

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