Tonight I realized that my baby sister knows more about me than I do. She called me tonight after getting into it with our parents. It’s not an irregular occurrence, that’s for sure. She’s 14 and in high school. When I was 14, it was the beginning of trying to get the hell out of there. You see, my parents love us. But they both have horrible tempers. What they don’t realize is that they armed my sister and I with horrible tempers of our own. One of those ‘do as I say, not as I do’ situations. But when it’s all you’ve ever known, how do you know what else to do? And when you’re being punished for acting the only way you’ve been taught, where do you go? Who can you talk to? What struck me about tonight, was when I told my sister that she had to try to focus on the positive things our parents provide us. There are

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A version of myself

I was looking through my photos today, clearing up space on my phone; deleting things like screenshots of maps and silly texts, accidental finger shots, you know, the garbage that needs to be purged every once in a while. As I was scrolling through, my photographs from Ouagadougou struck a chord of nostalgia. I slowed down, and looked more carefully. While I’ve loved almost every place I’ve travelled, and certainly wished more than once that I could return to any given place, this was different. I realized, as I was looking through the photographs of the dirt roads through the cracked windshield of my taximan Madi’s car, that while yes, I missed the place, I also missed the version of myself that I was during that short time. One thing about travelling such a long distance for an extended period of time utterly and completely alone is that very likely, something will shift. Without all of the usual expectations, routines

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