L is for Likoma
- A is for Acknowledgment
- B is for Beneficient
- C is for Choice
- D is for Duh!
- E is for Efficient
- F is for Fail
- G is for Generosity
- H is for Health
- I is for Indecision
- J is for Jealousy
- K is for Kin
- L is for Likoma
- M is for Momentum
- N is for Naive
- O is for Overwhelmed
- P is for Proverb
- Q is for Quick
- R is for Respect
- S is for Smile
- T is for Trust
- U is for Useful
- V is for Virus
- W is for Whisper
- X is for Xanadu
- Y is for Yellow
- Z is for Zebra
- A to Z Wrap Up
Likoma Island in Lake Malawi off the coast of Mozambique is nothing special. Except when it is.
I can hardly describe it better than what I wrote on the About page over at Likoma.com (the WordPress design shop I work for).
Likoma Island /lee-koh-ma/ is a small island in Lake Malawi in East Africa, not too far off the coast of Mozambique.
No running water, no electricity, no mosquitoes, no malaria. Take the boat on Tuesday nights.
That about covered the advertising campaign for the island–scribbled on a slip of paper thumb-tacked to a guesthouse message board in Nkhata Bay. It was Monday, we left the next night. My then-girlfriend-now-wife spent either ten days or ten years on the island, it’s difficult to measure. It’s where our lives together began.
Somehow, it’s where I’m from. Maybe it’s just where I belong.
If doctors someday find a way to pull from your DNA who you really are, they’ll see that this is who I am.
The dust-on-the-tongue, back-of-a-pickup-truck, can’t-call-me-lost-because-I-don’t-have-a-destination, buy-your-lunch-out-of-the-basket-on-the-woman’s-head kind of guy. That’s what the doctors will find. They’ll probably revoke my passport and hand me a one-way ticket to some third-world country. Maybe a bus ticket–or a voucher for the back of a long-bed truck (as if they accepted vouchers … ). I’ll take it.
Is that who I am or who I was? Are you who you were or who you are? When does it switch? Or does it? Are you a blended cocktail of you then and you now? How much do we change?
I suppose you’d want to be that recipe that took the good from then and the good from now and turned on the Vitamix: blended you of the present. What about the future? Can you shape who you will become? I think you can, to some degree. It’s a choice, it’s your choice. It’s up to no one but you.
I don’t want to lose the Likoma in me. It’s an important part of my being. I want to be the guy who appreciates where he is when he’s there, savors the flavor of sweet mango, and crumbles when his little boy reaches for his hand. What does that mean? What do I have to do? Where’s the manual?
Priorities. Perspective. Perseverance.
Those three words keep me who I am. It’s my choice based on my priorities. It’s “good” or “bad” based on where I’m standing. I can make anything happen if I keep at it.
It’s up to me. It’s up to you. Are we up for it?