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 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.

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!

Seasons

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.

Happiness is a Journey

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

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.

Sweet Imperfections

It was on a day like this one I found my biggest flaw and even finding it was a flaw in itself.

How can a flaw be so hard to find? It’s a flaw, it should be glaring! But it wasn’t. We’d combed through all the little imperfections and considered them not big enough till we’d found this.

In truth, “we” didn’t find this, you did, and it took at least thirty minutes of talking and arguing and practically negotiating before I came down to it.

I’m sorry.

See what I just realized? For every time I said my biggest fear was failure or oblivion, I lied.

I cannot fail; that’s as much a positive declaration as it is an assurance, plus, what’s oblivion anyway? If I do not fail (and I cannot), I’d have enough scribbles flying around for centuries – soon enough.

My biggest fear is being vulnerable. To let you see me for me, no defences, no shields, bare and uncovered. That you can see how I really feel without me having the first hand privilege of rewriting the way you see it, so I have the upper hand.

I don’t know what is scarier than that.

In my defense, to shield me from this great fear of mine, I’ve carved and painted this picture of me, that is so pretty, so perfect. And it’s all you see. It’s fed to you over and again, till it reached the greatest heights and now it’s a yoke on our necks.

I’m sorry.

I’m sorry I only show you my strengths and not my weaknesses and now what you see is this tower of strength who has it figured out, not the confused 20 something year old I really am.

And how I’m so body conscious, it’s all we live and breathe! I never tell you about how long it took for me to actually be comfortable in my own skin, or how I ensure everything fits snug around the waist because it is my confidence booster, or how I’m actually lying when I say I’m “lowkey” insecure about the shape of my head and my bom. It’s not lowkey.

Most of all, I’m sorry I always come out as Miss Goody-two-shoes, who’s always happy and has a planned out existence.

I would always talk about how Jesus is the best way to solve every issue, and how if you talked to Him, you’d feel all the difference but I’d never tell you about the days I feel so gone, I can’t mutter a line to Him or make it to church for weeks, even when I know it’s all I need.

I’d gracefully let you see my plans book and the lists outlined with timelines but hide when I have to tear the page out and rewrite it because I NEVER meet any timelines I set for myself.

I’m the perfect goof with the wise chatter, the endless chuckles and chuckle-worthy retorts; just so you never see my woes or the pain around the edges of these eyes that know tears oh-so-often.

Every time I tell you we are on the same ship and you grunt in disbelief, I’ll tear off another guarded layer in hope that one day, some day, I’d be one with my fear – vulnerable, open – and you’d see through all of this, see me as I really am, with all my imperfections bubbling up, and then we’d sit in the warmth that only a fusion of our sweet imperfections can bring.

I hope you see it.