Beyond Regularity, Towards Disparity
Ghana has been a beautiful country. Ever since my birth, I have fallen in love with this place every single day. It’s this place that gave me wings, and the courage to explore things beyond my reach. It’s this amazing country that let me aspire and achieve, despite limitations along my way.
I am the only girl among five siblings born to my wonderful parents, who have put education above everything. Preschool, high school, and university have been part of my journey. I have always been privileged to have everything I have ever wanted, and if not, I have been always taught to earn it for myself. For every limitation and obstacle, I have been encouraged to break the barriers in every little way I could.
Never too big, not too small—I have sailed on a journey of my own. Every chance I got, I escaped to the nearest getaway I could. And oh, these little escapes! They are a story to tell. Public transportation here, mostly buses, are one hell of a ride. Rash and jerky, it’s always scared the life out of me. But I must admit, the journey is always worth the pain. The adventure, the thrill…it’s something that lets my heart beat. And I dream of taking so many journeys, inscribing my travelogues all over, letting people know that the world is mine as much as theirs.
I have been an introvert all my life, and I could never form deeper connections with anyone. I did not have many friends, and I could never go beyond academics. I traveled whenever I could, with a limited budget and whatever options available. All of this let me explore everything beyond the regular life I felt I’d been expected to live. Though I have had limited interactions with people, I am always looking forward to meeting new people, exploring their experiences through their stories, and writing my own.
It’s not really that I am limited by anything in particular. I also have supportive parents, and the privilege of being educated in a developing country. But there is a regularity that’s imposed upon students like me—the vicious cycle of getting a good education in order to get a job. There is the struggle to survive, which is a limitation that’s not seen as one.
It’s a popular perception that getting settled and being privileged means having a reputable degree and a well-paying job. But where are the privileges of letting things go and exploring the seas and cliffs, of chasing my happiness, of being a curious human and taking the steps I deem fit to take, regardless of what other people might think I should do?
I am a happy person most of the time. The opportunities that have come my way are ones I take seriously. I am pursuing my undergraduate degree in computer engineering in a respected institute here in Ghana. All of this is great—it offers me a secure future, and possibly good pay in the future. I am also looking forward to applying for higher studies at Ivy League universities.
I am already proud of who I am and who I’m trying to be. It’s just that I want the chance to have other experiences. I want to be able to tell powerful stories in my old age, offering insights and experiences I picked up over my life and across the world. I want to be someone who goes beyond my academic degrees and high-profile jobs. I want more than a supposedly settled and privileged life after college.
Barriers and stereotypes are not just excessively oppressive rules against one’s being; they also bind us to a sense of predictability. But I wish to break these “rules” with my curiosity and courage to explore. I am extremely ambitious about living life on my own terms.
I, Floxy Narteh, refuse to be just a regular being. I, Floxy Narteh, accept myself as my own chief in control who chooses to live life my way, to be an explorer and much more. I, Floxy Narteh, embrace my happiness beyond the regular smile. I, Floxy Narteh, promise to be Floxy Narteh.