Notes from a journey
By Brendah Jermaine Hansen
Growing up in Uganda Africa, everything seemed normal. As a young girl raised with
a bunch of other kids all from different cultures and clans, they were all happy and they didn't
seem to have anything bothering them. But as for me, I had that emptiness in me that was so
deep that sometimes I didn't know how I should deal with it. I had to sit back sometimes to think
and ask myself these questions am I normal? Or, do I have a problem? When I didn't come up
with an answer I cried over and over again and when I came to America, I thought maybe the
feeling of emptiness would disappear, but there it still continued to haunt me.
I hated myself and I started having thoughts that were directing me to live in the woods,
or in the mountains. I have spent years searching for something but had no idea as to what
exactly I was looking for. I was so confused and I became increasingly absent minded. As a
result of that I got so depressed. And then fast forward to my high school life. I met lots of
people that sort of eased that emptiness, but as I eventually lost most of them, the feeling again
came back to me but this time it was aggressive so I started to seriously pray and at the same
time asked God to explain what exactly was going on with me.
So one night I went to bed and I had a dream and in that dream there were two people
standing facing each other and they both saw the same things about each other it was like seeing
twins. Only they weren't twins. They both busted out in one accord saying that “You're close to
finding me just keep up with the search” and they both disappeared. That’s when I woke up from
the dream and I realized that somehow I here am searching for myself. I started telling people
about it. Some laughed, some ignored me and the rest didn't understand at all or they showed me
that they understood, yet they did the opposite.
After my high school graduation, I had this feeling that I somehow needed to prepare
and go search for me or in other words go find myself. Surprisingly, the journey began earlier
than I had expected. A lot happened to cause this journey to happen even faster. Tough things
that I am still processing. Things that caused me to move all the way across the country to New
Jersey. Months turned into a year, and finally, I found me. The magic of it is that I met a girl
named Mary who is a bit older than me. It is, a moment and a person I have been looking for all
this time that changed my life.
Mary told me her story and I was blown away because we share almost everything in
common. I looked at her and I started crying because she is that person I have been looking for
all this long. And when I told her my side of the story, she even sobbed more than I did because
we both couldn't really believe that we lived the same life. Mary and I are from Uganda. Both
our biological moms shared the same names, back in their day, in Uganda. Both our moms loved
this one song which had their name in it the song is called, “Nkuba nkukube.” We love to do
same things. Our parents died same disease. We both from the same leopard clan and tribe. Both
our biological dads had the same behaviors like they both loved alcohol plus women. Mary has
three brothers and she’s the only girl. Mary was more favored by her dad.
As for me, I have seven brothers and four sisters. I am the youngest in the girls and I
was favored by my dad as well because he told me once that I am more mature than the rest of
my siblings. Mary and I both were half raised by same people at the same orphanage, but we
were there at different times. It will take me years to finish amassing what Mary and I have in
common. Mary keeps saying to me something was missing in her life and that something is me.
And that made me realize that it was me and Mary in that dream I had a long time ago. Once I
hugged her that emptiness that was in me was filled and to this day I don’t have it anymore it is
long way gone.