About a year and a half ago, it rained so hard that the front of my school was flooded with water. I gauged it to be about 12 inches above the ground. This wasn’t unusual but this was the first time I actually had to cross it. Now, I saw my school mates hitching rides in cars and paying the bike drivers to carry them across. But why would I enter a stranger’s car or pay anyone money to cross such a short length of water (because it was literally like 11 feet from my school). I mean, I could cross it. What was in it? It was water. Greenish-black, garbage-filled water but still just water all the same. And I was wearing trousers so at least, I would have no direct contact with it. I was set to go. I would cross this water on my own without asking for help or spending a kobo. And I would get to the end unscathed.
Sometime towards the end of last year, I was scrolling through my pinterest, my all-time favourite app and I came across this beautiful paper turtle and as always when I come across beautiful things, I was possessed by this very deep longing. It’s like when you’re watching a romantic movie and you just wish you were in the heroine’s place. It’s like suddenly being aware of a gaping hole in my life, the hole that’s supposed to fill whenever we express our creativity. At those points, all the creativity that I’ve stiffled under the routine of med school comes to the surface and threatens to spill over. Often, it does spillover, as tears. Silly, I know.
Today, I’m thinking about life, my life. Past, Present, Future. I’m thinking a lot about my future. Yesterday, a friend of mine told me about a seminar she attended where the speaker said to write a letter to yourself 15 years into the future. That thought fixated on my mind. What will I be like in 15 years? Will I have left behind my sometimes childish and naïve optimism? Will I have finally donned that cape of cynicism that this world is constantly trying to throw over me? Will I have grown into myself, into my dreams? Will I have made some of my dreams reality and still be chasing more? Or will I have left those ‘impossible’ dreams behind for good and faced monotonous reality? Who will I be? Where will I be?
The love test…this was a phrase repeated to me by two friends who were talking to me about God late Friday night. They said a GB of other things but my mind kept focusing on this phrase.
What does this mean? What is love anyways? We hear it all the time in churches, mosques; it’s in the Bible, the Quran and probably every religious book out there but do we actually understand it. I thought I understood it until I got thinking on Friday. It seems I had been living by an outdated version of love. I thought It was easy to love. I mean I love my friends. That’s easy. Hardly worth testing. However, showing love to people you don’t even like is…not so easy. This is what the love test is all about.
They are ordinary opportunities to show extra-ordinary love. Extra-ordinary because it is about as easy as eating custard (or your equivalent of the worst food ever).
You robbed my peace.
You stole my sanity.
You burgled my identity.
You shuffled my life.
You’ve done enough, I think.
I cast you out this minute.
Out of my life, I rebuke you.
Out of my mind, I banish you.
Out of my heart, I expel you.
Leave me be.
Let my heart be free.
Let this torment be done.
Let these wounds finally heal.
We all know what anger is, we’ve all felt it in its different forms, whether it is mild irritation or full blown rage.
Our bodies’ normal threshold for anger is very low and amounts higher than the threshold are toxic. Based on approach towards anger, I classify people into two categories.
So it’s been months now since I talked about the life-defining exam I was set to take. Well, that exam was over several weeks ago. Why didn’t I post anything?
Well, on one hand, I found myself bogged down by laziness. Which made it very easy to slip into former habits. These days, I wake up, eat, walk around my house aimlessly in my jammies, watch t.v, get bored of TV, walk around aimlessly again, have a belated bath, read a few chapters of a novel, walk around aimlessly, eat, bicker with my sister then stare at the ceiling until I fall asleep.
As one would guess, I’m out of this galaxy bored.
Another reason I couldn’t write anything post-able, even when I was bored enough to jump off my balcony was that I was going through a significant change.
I love change. In fact I thrive on it and all things have to change eventually. But in between the old conditions and the new conditions, there is always this in between period where you’re still trying to figure out your new circumstances, where you’re still trying to adjust to the change. You’re trying to forget the old routine and get used to the new ones. In this sort-of-transition phase, it’s easy to become adrift, to not know who you are anymore.
Yeah, this is where I am, where I’ve been.
So many things have happened in the last 7 weeks. Lost some friends, gained some friends, reconnected with old friends and bickered with new enemies.
To top it all off, I’m moving dorms.
That last was a last minute decision. I was always going to move but I had been putting it off for months. My current dorm room used to be a home away from home for me, a place where I can be me, express my weirdness and super annoying qualities. Now, I can barely breathe in there. The air is always so tense nowadays. I guess that’s what happens when 6 girls are crammed into one place. There are definitely going to be some issues. And because we’re girls, we just walk around the giant elephant in the room and pretend like nothing’s wrong. I can’t handle that. So I figured since everything else in my life was changing, why not just take it all the way and just move.
Since I’ve been in this transition period, I’ve found myself increasingly angry and irritated which means I find myself writing for long periods, venting. Unfortunately, none of what I write is any good and I always delete it. It’s just my therapy.
Well, at this point, I’ve kind of just accepted that if life informed us of every curveball it was going to throw our way, then the game won’t be worth playing. Change can never be prevented or even managed. The best we can do is to just roll with it.
What I learned these past weeks.
I’ve learned that when what used to be your life begins to fall to pieces around you, it helps to cling to the constants in your life.
For me, those would be the loving annoyingness of my family (yes, my siblings will always be there to bicker with), the Friends that did survive the change (and those would be my true friends), the comfort of cold ice cream on a hot day (or a cold day, or a windy day, or a stormy day- who cares, it’s ice cream!), the magic of a beautifully told story and so much more.
These are my constants and over the past weeks, I’ve learnt to appreciate them more, especially my family and those friends that stuck around (you’d be surprised how many would turn to bitches without a reason). Oh, and ice cream too!!!
It’s also helpful to project your spirits outwards. Rather than constantly thinking about how unfair life is to you, focus on doing something nice for someone else. Maybe lend a listening ear to a struggling friend or encourage sick strangers in the hospital. Whatever it is, it will help distract from your own problems and when you get back to thinking about you, you’d see that your problems aren’t even that big.
I don’t know how many of you are going through major changes like break-ups, divorce, breaking families. But don’t get too wrapped up in how bad you have it. Don’t feel sorry for yourself. I know it’s easier said than done but try. Cling to your constants and project your spirits outward, rather that inwards.
It’s not the end of the world, I promise.
New Year’s Eve
Bear with me. I know it’s a little late but I wrote this yesterday.
What’s New Year’s Eve about? It’s about celebrating, being happy, anticipating the New Year, yada, yada, yada…Actually, it’s really about being grateful. This year was awesome, if only because it breezed by quickly for me. It had its hills and Valleys but I have so much to be grateful for.
This year, I began Med school for reals and I’m so grateful for the opportunity because if not for God carrying me on his shoulders, well…I rather not think about it (It’s that bad!). This year, I made friends with people which I didn’t think I could stand and I learnt not to judge people too harshly. This year, my family finally got a dog, a ferocious- but lovable- brown bull dog crossbreed called Murphy. This year, I started this blog which, if you know me (the Master Procrastinator), you’d know was a huge step out of my comfort zone. This year, I was touched by God so many times I can’t even count.
So, you see, I’ve got so many reasons to be grateful but even if I didn’t, even if none of this happened and I was actually a blind hermit living in one of those forbidden forest we watch on African magic, I would still be grateful, if only to be alive. Everyone should be grateful. Regardless of whatever bad junk happened to you, you have to put all that regret aside for now. There’ll be time enough for that. But for now, just stand up wherever you are and shout a big THANK YOU to whatever/whoever you believe in.
*takes deep breath* and… THANK YOU, LORD IN HEAVEN. THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!
Now, the time for regrets…*cue sad music*
Okay, 2015 was a long time. 365 days. What did you do wrong? What did you screw up? What do you wish to do over?
For me, the clumsy, awkward weirdo, there are so so so many moments that I want to do over, and so many things I wish I did better.
I really should’ve exercised more and really, I intended to but I got lazy… which brings me to the next one…
Laziness. I got so lazy this year that I let everything slack. My relationships, my health and fitness. My schoolwork and this especially is a real concern because I used to be really dedicated but I let myself down.
I’m sure they’re tons more but these are most glaring.
What about you? What do you wish you did more of? Visit family? Made more friends? Get that 6-pack you’ve always been dreaming about?
What do you wish you did less of? Eating all those chocolates (you know yourselves)? Watching all those movies when you really should’ve been studying (again, you know yourselves)?
It doesn’t matter how big or mundane it is. Think about them. Regret them. Be mad about them so that you can leave them behind because in a couple of minutes, it will be 2016. A New Year, A New beginning. A blank page. A Do-over.
New Year’s Day…
Gosh, I’m so psyched that I got so excited over just typing the date.
Okay, I’m back to normal…well, as normal as I can get. So I’m not usually excited about New Year’s Day. Actually, I’m not usually excited period. I’m a very unexcitable person. Last year, if it weren’t for the fireworks, I probably wouldn’t have known it was a new year. I don’t do resolutions, countdowns, nothing. This year’s different. This year, I’m all in, resolutions and everything and I’m so excited. I decided that resolutions are a good idea because they’re goals for the year and naturally, I feel best when I’m working towards something, if not I feel adrift. And my favourite part is at the end when I have all the boxes in my check list ticked.
So I have a lot of resolutions (there’s just so much room for improvement in my life- no surprise there!) and not petty ones like I managed to make last year (e.g. quit biting my nails, which by the way, I haven’t). This year, I’ve made real resolutions. Some of them are personal but some, I can share.
1. Exercise more. I know what you’re thinking and though, I’m not what you would call slim, neither do I weigh a ton so get that image of Fat Amy out of your head. It’s mostly about keeping healthy and fit. I’m not a health nut but I have too many dreams to die before I’m 70 and especially of something as unexciting as obesity or High B.P. Do you have any bad habits endangering your health? Think about dropping them. Think about it, if you die young, you’ll never get to see the day Nigeria joins the First world countries (don’t roll your eyes; it will happen).
2. Eat less and eat healthy. So I’m what you might call a stress eater, except I’m worse. I eat when I’m stressed. I eat when I’m tired. I eat when I’m emotional. I eat when I’m bored. Basically, I eat a lot. Mostly small things like cheese balls, gum, sweets, chips and a lot of other junk. So now, I’m re-stocking my fridge and filling it with stuff like carrots, paw-paw, watermelons (Eck! God help me!). I’m also looking up recipes for tasty but healthy food (apparently, those exist).
3. Do more for school. I think this should go without saying. I’ve been lazy with my schoolwork and I need to get back on the track. Before, I was just strolling at the side-lines. Now, am doing warm-ups and stretches and preparing to get back into the race. I’ve got my final exams coming up in a few weeks and I have to pack nearly a year’s worth of knowledge in my tiny skull. It seems impossible, I know but I’m not cowed. I find that breaking humungous goals into smaller tasks makes it seem less daunting. Kind of like how it’s easier to move several pebbles a little at a time that a huge mountain all at once.
4. Carpe Diem. This is a Latin phrase I learnt from ‘Phineas and Ferb’. The English translation is ‘Sieze the day’. See, so many days last year, I spent in aimless wandering, doing nothing. Some days, I even stayed in bed throughout. Not anymore. I’m gonna occupy myself with school and anything else. Even during the holidays, there are a million and one skills out there. I could learn a new language (actually, I intend to). I could learn to play an instrument. I could visit somewhere new. And even on those days when I revert to instinctual nature and want to stay in bed with a novel, I’ll take my book to the beach or to the park. I could even just drag a chair out onto a balcony. At least I can see the sun.
5. Write more. Last year, my writing rate has slacked, not that it was ever anything spectacular, because I’ve been so busy. I wanted to remedy that by joining ‘A-story-a-day’ group. I would get a virtual sticker and put it up on the blog to inspire me. But, I don’t think I’ll have the time for a commitment like that. So, instead, I’m gonna do ‘A-story-as-frequently-as-I-can’. Hmm…I wonder if they make stickers for that.
So, these are some of my resolutions. I’ve got tots more but I don’t want to bore you with any more. I’ve tortured you enough. Yes, they’re a lot but I think that’s the point of a new year, a new page in your story.
For my analogy of life, go to about page.
So, back to the New Year. This means a new bunch of pages in the story of my life. And I’m gonna make sure it’s one helluva story.
What about you? Any cool resolutions? Share please. I think that’s sufficient payback after I bore you with all of mine. But if you really want to make me suffer, like my post and share with your friends.
HAPPY NEW YEAR ALL!!!