22, Ghanaian, LLB

Last update
2020-10-16 09:31:43

    “I just feel like I should be doing better.  I’m nowhere near retirement.  I’m working two jobs: I’m a licensed tour guide, and I make videos for businesses.  But even that’s not enough, so recently I’ve started working for the census.  I don’t want to run down the census: it’s fine, it’s great, it’s important work.  But I’m ashamed of it.  Because I’m sixty-five years old, I’m a college graduate, and I’m supposed to be done by now.  I’m supposed to be coasting.  But I’m not even close.  I feel like I still don’t even have a grip on the basics: how to make a living, how to keep my house in order, how to take care of myself.  And it feels shameful.  I feel not grown up.  Like I should have learned all of this so long ago.  And I’m afraid people will think it’s pathetic.  Worse than that.  They’ll think I’m incapable.  So I’ve been keeping a lot hidden.  I haven’t even told my colleagues about the census.  And that’s one thing I’m trying to work on— not keeping things hidden.  Because I know this shame isn’t healthy.  It isn’t right.  I’m luckier than 99 percent of people.  I’ve been sober for 39 years.  I have the greatest wife of 32 years.  I don’t have any crippling debt.  I’m doing OK.  I shouldn’t have to hide my situation.  And being more open has helped.  Because once I start telling people, and I see they’re not judging me, and that they’re still loving me, the shame tends to disappear.”

    “If I’m away too long, he’ll come find me.  Even if I’m just upstairs watching my program on television, he’ll wander up to see what I’m doing.  And we’re always holding hands.  Even if we’re just sitting on the train or the bus, he’ll always find some way to touch me.  Just to let me know he’s right there.  That he got me.  He might not even notice that he’s doing it.  But I always do.”