‘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 get that nagging feeling off… 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 statistic of unemployed youths in Nigeria.
My realization only came when I had finished writing about it and couldn’t bring myself to hit publish. I felt so vulnerable. It was a level of vulnerability I wasn’t willing to share with anyone.
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.