Image description: The title of this piece "fragments (or otherwise titled: Goodbye: A letter to my home, high school but primarily to me)" over a red gradient background.

Art + words: Adele Lukusa

Image Description: The title of this piece "fragments (or otherwise titled: Goodbye: A letter to my home, high school but primarily to me)" over a green gradient background. Underneath the title, a block of text reads: “words aren’t piecing together as they usually do. my brain is a mess of nostalgia, fear, and incertitude. here are the fragments.”



Image Description: In a circle with the word home written repeatedly around it is a picture of a tabled filled with food constantly seen at Congolese get-togethers, such as beniets, shishkabobs, des ├ępinards, etc.  Underneath, a box with this caption reads: “Nothing will be able to mimic the smell of my mom cooking pondu or the sound of my younger siblings playing together. The comfort I feel being in my room by myself or with my sister (who I share my room with) I doubt I will feel anytime soon.”


At the end of August, I will be living in Toronto, an hour and a half (if we count traffic - and there’s always traffic) away from home. And it still hasn’t set in. I don’t know if it will. I don’t know if I’ll ever see this city as my home or if it’ll just be pitstop. Although I’m extremely scared, I’m also very excited to see what life is like on my own and if I can learn to call a new place home.


Image Description: A drawing of schoolkids and a teacher at a chalkboard with the title "high school" inscribed on the side. A box underneath the art reads: “High school, I didn’t like you. You weren’t like the romcoms glamorize you or how the indie movies dramatize you. You were terrible but not that terrible. Stereotypical but not that stereotypical. Funny and loud and depressing and lonely yet oddly ordinary and normal.”


High school, you felt like my uniform white polo; tight at the collar, shrunken, so stuffy and stifling, but a constant. Although tons of terrible things happened there, good things did too. Many have impacted the person I am and the person I will be. I wonder if I’ll always feel this way about high school.


Image Description: A black and white picture of me (Adele) near 5 years old, an indescribable look on my face. Next to the picture, in a bubble, it reads: “I feel as if I’ve grown, but not in the way I’ve wanted to. I kind of feel like it’s been a circle? Things have changed - life, me, my friends - but they also haven’t. I still suffer from mental illnesses, still at a weird place with my friends and still rather reserved. But 7th grade me and newly graduated me are in two completely different head spaces. And I’ve learned so much.”

I’ve finally realized that I deserve better. That I’m allowed to take up space. That I should feel free to live as myself unapologetically. That friendships are based on mutual trust and love. That my opinions are worth the listen. That my body and mind are worth taking care of. That self-love is hard but important. And although I’ve realized it, it’s been hard practicing these realizations, I’m glad I’ve learned them because it’s the only way I’ll figure out how to be the person I want to be.