Seasons

‘To every thing there is a season’

Last year, at the end of March, the company I had worked with for 2 and half years packed up and left – so to speak. If I’m being totally honest, I’d say it was a bittersweet experience. My optimistic side was excited for the break it brought – the quick guilt-free holiday of having no work waiting, heck, I was ecstatic. However, my rational side – which is my true self, by the way – had this crazy ticking sense of urgency like; ‘you have things to do, a life to build, a world to take over, you don’t need no break’…

I had seen it coming, so, I had put my things in order. Cash in hand, check. Cash in bank, check. Unreachable cash so I don’t become poor just in case, check. Next job to slide into, not quite check.

I felt like this break was an opportunity to actually figure out what I wanted and go for it. It was a much needed break to think about me in context of my short and long term goals before executing. I’d always felt like every time I saw a post or a tweet about “Doing what you love and never having to work a day in your life”, it was life trying to tell me I was on the wrong job and for the life of me, I wanted to out of that nagging feeling… so this was a good thing, yes? Yes.

Here’s the part optimism usually shuts out; we’re all WIPs figuring stuff out as we go along and pausing for an indefinite amount of time to “figure it out” is like digging deeper into the hole of our unknown. I can only say this in hindsight.

I spent my first month trying to get the one job I wanted and flunking it, then trying to learn of myself and what I really wanted by spending a lot of alone time while reading The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren – great book by the way. I wasn’t keeping up with reading a chapter a day as expected because I was sleeping a lot – all the sleep I had lost in those years of working – so it was only by the end of the second month that I fully realized that I had come to fit perfectly into the statistics of unemployed youths in Nigeria. My realization came when I finished writing about it but couldn’t bring myself to publish it because it made me feel vulnerable and I wasn’t willing to share that vulnerability with anyone outside of my family.

seasons

The months came and went, one after another, and I was counting them in days. I remember where I was on Day 100 and how I sat out there like; ‘wait, what happened to my life? How did I “hit rock bottom”?’

But, this is life. Or it was life, and “rock-bottom” was where I found the strength to start over, my seemingly silent resilience, peace and most importantly, myself. It was in that place I started to see me as the person that I was outside of the things I had or had acquired. I understood that everyday is really a good day to start over and learned all over again to introduce myself as me – Konko, not what I did or what I was proficient in. I recognized the value of having a support system and the ability to put my own problems aside and be there for people in the same crazy situation. Heck, I even realized that not every one comes up with a ground breaking idea or becomes an entrepreneur when they are unemployed!

I’d seen this post while scrolling through Instagram today, and the extent to which I could relate made me write all of this. I had an epiphany that perhaps if I had know this last year, I would have approached my life at the time differently? Or maybe it was all part of the process?

Nonetheless, I’m grateful for seasons that come with growth, because in those 6 long months of pruning; I learned patience, discernment, trust and humility. I learned – again – that we are on different journeys, creating our individual stories, therefore, our lives are not measures for anyone else’s and their lives will never be measures for ours.

That time I got tired

I’m the restless kind. The type of people who do one thing, get so high by it, give it everything, then get bored, so bored; it’s like depletion and then want something bigger. I’m that type.

I’ve probably gotten tired more than a dozen times in this year. Bored of many different things. But, this time, I was so tired I was nagging, sulking and hating. It is a bad place. Such a bad place.

So, I went back to reading.

I’m the reading kind. The type of people who feel like when shit hits the fan, there’s someone else who’s gone through it and has written something about the experience and how they dealt with it. I’m that type.

I do this all the time. Sometimes it’s Job, or it’s Paul or maybe Joseph. Other times, it’s a self help book, and then more often than not, it’s a blog I stalk. There are some people who write so well I want to live in their houses and watch how they type out such awesome stuff. Some of these people make me feel like they are my kindred spirit. Others, inspire the hell out of me, I just sit and say “I want to be like you when I grow up” inwardly. Only problem now is I’m grown already.

So, I chose James. James Altucher.

I’m the probing kind. The type of people who dig and know so much about people but always look aloof like they know nothing. It’s really an interesting thing. I’m that type.

I stumbled on James four years ago. I was serving in Bayelsa, getting a hang of broadcasting. I was in that place where I was so into it, I knew I was going to get bored in a little. I thought I could find a new thing to get me going that I’d incorporate somehow. I realized I was into getting people’s stories, knowing what they were about, how they moved from here to there, what made them tick, how they made certain choices, figuring them out… so, because I’m the reading kind, I started to look for people who did that sorta stuff, and I stumbled on him somewhere in the mix. I had read so many random things back then, I couldn’t get over him.

The thing about James is, he writes on a lot of different stuff and somehow intertwines it to his life with such fearless honesty. It’s everything. Plus , he’s had (and written about ) so many down times – with random humor thrown in – it’s hard to not want it.

So, I chose him.

I’m the bookmarking kind. The type of people who read something so legit, they want to keep it for their next generation to read too. Sometimes, I bookmark stuff ’cause I read it too fast and didn’t mull over it like I wanted to. Other times, because I’d need to jot stuff out later. I’m that type.

So, that time I got tired, I needed help. Not the talking to ease things out type; the stable daily conscious effort that leads to an all round change type. I went back to my bookmarks to find this post I’d loved and kept because I hadn’t mulled over it or jotted stuff. Then, I wrote down the take outs in my notepad, set up alarms and reminders in my calendar. Made a real pact to work it out.

I’m becoming the doing kind. The type of people who write stuff down and get stuff done. I’m – becoming – that type.

P.S.: While I was wrapping this up, my friend pops in to talk about something she’d just found – Miracle morning routine. I did a quick search on it and find James already has a post up on it. I love James. Love.

Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it – Charles R. Swindoll

Happiness is a Journey

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It’s physical, like a continuous stroll

You’re on this never ending stroll with yourself, your thoughts, your mind

And with each stride you have to constantly find something to delight you; on the pathway, from your memory, from somewhere

Even when it’s not there

 

The stroll can sometimes be uppity and you break into a run

The air in your face, your body releasing endorphins in gorgeous amounts

And with each release you know your day will be bubbly, just because

Even when you don’t feel like it

 

Other times you’re just so weak

You’re crawling, tears streaming down, baring your soul to Him

And with every gasp; you’re asking for your light to brighten up, for your joy to fill up again

Even when it feels so far off

 

Happiness is a journey, it’s like a continuous stroll

You’re on this never ending stroll with yourself, your thoughts, your mind

And with each stride you have to constantly find something to delight you; on the pathway, from your memory, from somewhere

Even when it’s not there.

Of Salvation

I’d said I’d write today, for no genuine reason, just because I haven’t in a while. I hadn’t even considered what I’d write about till now.

I’m on the last bus home and the oh-so-familiar line everyone who buses in Lagos knows, pops in just before the bus even starts moving.

“Praise the Lord”

I am a Christian (oh! I fall every now and then, but the Lord loves me so hard!) and I cannot overemphasize how there is all the difference when you trust and believe in Jesus. I want to tell the world about this relationship and get people to come experience the goodness, but somehow, these preachings never ever resonate with me.

Here is why;

We need to move from telling people to come to Jesus because of the existence of hell. Motivation to accept Jesus should never be of the fear of hell. Like jeez! It makes me cringe everytime. Hell is real, yes, but it’s not a good enough reason.

People need to be told of love and sacrifice and how a “man” came only to die for them, even before their being and how he loves them so unconditionally!

If that’s not good enough reason, I don’t know what is.

Stages of Desperation

Every time I want something, something I cannot readily reach in my resources to get, something that my getting depends on someone else’s feelings or emotions or mood or choice, I have these mini panic attacks in phases.

I. Hate. It.

Say for example, I wanted to get an A in a particular course (for some highly unnecessary reason in retrospect, and this was always the case when I was in school), I’d calculate how many marks I needed to hit the grade, then I’d look at the questions and choose the ones I knew I could attempt exceptionally well and then I’d give it my best shot.

But, as with everything else in life, my best shot being a best shot is still dependent on someone’s state of existence. If he just had the perfect date with his girlfriend, all the letters in my paper would be singing a melodious song to his ears; I get that damned A!

However, if it was a bad date or an itch he can’t reach to scratch, or even worse, his lunch was not palatable; the plausibility of getting that A starts to shake like this. Like that.

So then – amongst many other things that I pray for – I’d need to pray that my script gets into the marker’s hands when he’s in high spirits and of cheerful character. I have to go further and pray for every one he comes in contact with, that they make him extra happy.

I. Do. Not. Like. This.

It was a lot easier to deal with these panic attacks and disappointment as a student, as a mini-adult, trying damn hard to be a real adult, it’s different. It’s hard. It shakes the foundations of all the good things your parents told you growing up!

“You’re smart. You’re bright. Everyone who comes in contact with you would want you! You write so well. Your dreams are big, they’ll take you places…”

– Yes mom, so why didn’t I get a chance?! –

After a few rejections, my mind – of its own accord – started to build easier ways to deal with it.

I. Hate. It.

Try.
First, I take a chance. While I’m at it, I’m like; no harm in trying. I get called or not, it’s not a big deal. It could work out, you never know till you try. Tra la la. *lowkey noting the day to expect a response*

Stay Positive.
*One week to the day to get a response*
Don’t think about it, you’ll get called, you’ll get in. Remember, you’re smart, you talk intelligently, you write well! What’s not to love? You’ll get it. Stay positive. Trust God. If you don’t get in, no biggie, God has better plans! But, but, God, I’d like to get it…get called…

Negotiate.
*Three days to the day to get a response *
God see, I know I’ve been forming low key, but you know I need to get this. It’s in sync with my aspirations. It’s a chance to do this and that. I promise I’d use it to help other people. I wouldn’t waste the opportunity. Oh please let it be your will too. Hay God, I really want this *mini weeping*.

Fart.

*One day to the day to get a response*

My stomach is on auto pilot. It’s rumbling a lot and I’m not even sure why. Suddenly, I’m farting a lot – airy odorless farts. I say I ate something. I know it’s anxiety 🙁

Resolute.
*Hours to the response*
God if you’ll give it to me, it’s mine, if you won’t, I know it’s not your will. I’ll understand. *weeps a little more than expected*

*Response time comes, passes, I don’t get an acceptance email or a courtesy sorry email! They just leave me hanging like this. Like that!*

I. Just. Can’t.

I’ve started farting.

Again.