The Exclusiveness Of One.

I thought I was the only one in the world until about four years ago. Why? Because I noticed early in life that only I had access to my point of view, and that made me feel special. Think of it this way: The world and its content only existed in my mind’s version of it. I had discovered my vantage point and had assumed that the only picture of life that existed was the one portrayed through my lens. This was a powerful weapon to wield.

As a child (truthfully, until recently), I would extract myself from my surroundings and watch other people peopling like a god would watch over her subjects. I closed my mind to the possibility that there was another angle to this life thing. And since I was the only one with the angle, it meant that I called all the shots. I wasted no time in concluding that beyond me, nothing truly mattered because all the thoughts were all the pain I knew was that which I could feel and all my laughs came from my own belly.

Nothing could stop me. I had that admirable cockiness that you’d expect from the sole custodian of life’s exclusive view. I was the superior, being laden with the task of thinking, seeing, and feeling for all, and I was boundlessly bold about it. I was sure of myself and the world had to know.

It had been in front of my face the whole time but it took me forever to see that I had been thinking like a person with blurry vision who finds herself staring at people because in her head “If I can’t see them, then they can’t see me.”

Shet.

I was privy to only the things I could experience so I automatically assumed that there was nothing more to be experienced. Gin Rummy’s words to Riley on Boondocks hit home hard: “The absence of evidence is not the evidence of absence.” There was much more to this life thing than my one exclusive view could accommodate.

In truth, life is kinda like the internet. No single person can succinctly picture the internet because all that exists in our mind is only our impression – one of the billion versions of it. Each person’s impression is made up of what they are able to view through their accounts and pages. The irony is that most of us don’t realize that when we talk about or picture the internet, we are thinking of our own singular impressions of it. The sum of the singular versions of the internet that exist exclusively in our individual minds is what contributes to the full picture of what the internet actually is. MAD.

I wish I got this bit early in life too. I wish I got it early enough that that exclusiveness of one wasn’t exclusive to me alone.

Now, do I revere the exclusiveness of my one view? Yes. But also, I’m aware that every other person shares this same exclusiveness. And maybe like the internet, life needs us to appreciate the presence of all the other views to gain a true picture.

Chisom Okoye

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