Tag Archives: Opportunity

When you give up

“Are you a quitter? When things get tough you just give up?” Those words rang in my head for a very long time. I wasn’t a quitter, or at least that’s what I thought. I always worked hard to make things work. I had the African parent spirit in me, “We’re doing this for the kids” kind of mentality. I barely wrote people off despite numerous signs and always found that tiny reason to believe. It was all good and I didn’t feel like I needed to quit anyway. We had a few rough patches but who doesn’t go through a bumpy section in their life? 

“Hey, how are you? How’ve you been?” I asked over the phone. “Hey, I’ve been great, can’t complain. Just decided to come and catch some drinks with a few friends,” she replied with a cool breeze blowing behind her and inaudible chit chats. A voice from the background just belted out, “Who are you talking to? Hang up! You can call them later.” I was taken aback but I didn’t say a word. “I’ll call you later, okay?” I can still play that tone in my head and at that point in time, I wanted to talk but the only words that came out of my mouth were, “No worries. It’s cool.” It bothered me but I had to make it work, right? The truth is no, I did not have to even make an effort to make it work. I had the right to just get on my high horse and walk away but I chose to stay. 

I stayed because I believed there was something I was building. I could see the light but unfortunately, we were facing different sides of the same tunnel. She had her eyes on where she came from, I had my eyes on where we were going. It took me a while before I could muster enough courage to pack my bags and go. It was a very difficult decision to make but it had to be made. I was becoming toxic. I believe in doing good and expecting nothing in return. But there are situations where that doesn’t apply. Like in a relationship. It can’t be one way traffic. There’s compromise. At your place of work. You give so that you get. 

The frustration of giving something your all and not getting takes a toll even on the strongest of spirits and I know mine is barely crawling out of weakness. People have made it seem like giving up is a thing only weak people do and that is a very dangerous path to chart. The strong give up and not for lack of trying. But you have to be strong enough to know what’s working and what’s not working. Giving up gives you an opportunity to see something from a different lens. You find another way to approach the same monster. And I had chosen to give up. Not for lack of trying but because my efforts to make a castle were tearing down the brains behind the project and there was no blueprint anyone could borrow. 

I chose to live and find my own happiness. Put myself first and rediscover the joy of living. In the process of finding myself, I met a soul that was pure yet crusted in fear, hurt and pain. From the smile, you could tell she knew what happiness was, had experienced it and still had some of it left. From her eyes you could tell she was broken and found it hard to trust again. But still from the same eyes I could see she had hope, strength and a lot of empathy. As I got to know her, I started to appreciate my situation even more. I had it all. And I was happy on my own just living and nobody expecting much from me. But her? She had a world on her shoulders but still found the strength to smile, be present for others and even take a back seat when she clearly needed to be on the driver’s seat. 

She was beautiful, in and out. Her smile, eyes, beautiful fingers, her even skin tone, her hypnotic laugh, her mesmeric scent and her intelligence. She could switch from literature to pop culture in a jiffy and you couldn’t tell she had seen the best of both worlds. I couldn’t and still can’t put my finger around what made her so appealing to me. Maybe it’s the fact that she had this tough exterior but just underneath it was this gentle soul that wanted nothing more than to be happy and live in a happy place. She had gone through a lot by the time I met her and further blows hit her along the way but one thing remained constant, her will to live. She was the kind of strength we struggled to attain but couldn’t because we were too busy being afraid. Being cautious that what if this happens? Or that occurs? How will it affect my life? 

From her I slowly started to learn the joy of living life with the ability to take some risks. We lose and gain and as much as the loss in most cases outweighs the gains, we push on. We try to get the best out of our situations. Sometimes the kiss that turned the toad into a prince will turn you into a toad but the idea that your happiness may lie in the most unusual place shouldn’t stop you from going after it. I had my moments in 2018 and in giving up, I started living. I met a person who may never know the impact they had on my life, and I may never have the words to explain it but I know it. 

The biggest pain was being there for someone but not being present. I’ve watched a couple of episodes on surviving R Kelly and I couldn’t help but think of the kids going through the same but the issue never gets highlighted because it’s not someone famous that did it. These kids grow to adulthood with the stigma and have to carry it around for the rest of their lives without necessarily knowing how to address it. Knowing a person who went through the same, I felt powerless because there’s only so much either I or they could do. It’s a constant cancer that can only be maintained hoping that the malignancy can be dormant. Have you ever tried throwing a feather over a distance? That’s how diffficult it is for people who have undergone childhood trauma to get over it and just move on. It takes time, patience, courage, glitches along the way, pain, hurt, reliving the memories. It takes a toll but as a society, we need to do better. Sweeping this issue under the rug because “it’s not in our culture” or “it happens” should never be an excuse. 

Children deserve to grow in a loving environment and allowed to be children. Show them love and raise them with virtue. The same will be reciprocated in adulthood. We cannot decry a toxic society when we partake and enable the development of the same. We need to do better. Better for ourselves. Better for others. Better for prosperity. Give up those toxic traits and learn new ones. It may be tough but it’s worth it. I have never had new year resolutions and this year is no different. I will continue living life with the hope that I spread a cheer, smile or give a ray of hope to someone who is going through a tough time. That is enough joy for me. Be better. 

Catching up

They say the best things in life are free, but so are the worst. I’ve been offline for a while and I’ve seen darker days but not being able to write because I wasn’t motivated was one of the hardest things for me. I love writing and it may not be the best or interesting but it’s one of the ways I self-regulate.

In this period I’ve gone through changes and not just physically. The biggest adjustment other than starting a new job (Yeah, I move around) is that I’m pregnant. I know, it was a roller coaster of emotions for me when I found out as well, but just like Mary and other virgins before us, I accept this great responsibility. Well, I’m not like pregnant pregnant, my stomach has just outgrown my body. I look like a broken condom, free on the upper part, tight on the lower end.

Starting a new job just like any other new experience had its ups and downs. When I joined the organization (It’s a professional place), I had this serious feel around me. I had carried my Samuel L. Jackson to this place. I only smiled when hot tea was served and burned someone’s tongue or got outside the gate. But all that has changed now and I’ve met some really nice fellows, some nicer than others of course. And I’m on a diet as well.

In this period I’ve also realized fear can be a good thing or a bad thing. In my case, it’s an almost bad thing. One of the hardest things in life is being unable to achieve anything because of the fear of what if? The whole world can believe in you but if you don’t, it doesn’t count for anything. It simply means you lost a fight you were refereeing.

I can comfortably write about this because on more than one occasion, I’ve missed out on something big because of fear. Not that I was afraid of my capabilities. The fear stemmed from the fear of rejection. Fear of failure. How do I get back from failing? Do I just forget that someone said no when in all honesty I was the best?

The answer is yes! You get back up and move on. You can’t be afraid to achieve because of an obstacle. If Eve didn’t put the fear of the unknown to the side and take a bite of that apple, you wouldn’t have all these great experiences. In an ideal world where Eve said no, like all girls should to free drinks from strangers at the club, we would all be happy an overpopulated the earth.

But whether you believe in religion or not, is not the discussion here. It is about living in the moment and appreciating every experience you have. The bad ones are not supposed to be looked at as lessons only. You’re free to sulk and be down because something went south. Emotion has no logical explanation and you don’t need to justify it to anyone.

Enjoy the great moments. Don’t dwell to long on either of these situations though and forget to live. Your primary goal in life is to live. How you live it is up to you. Find something that you love to do, even if it’s a person and do that. Have you ever heard of the phrase life is too short? Well, it is very short. One minute you’re being given boobs for free, the next you need to convince someone why you’re the right person to show it to.

And that is life. An opportunity lost is not the end of things. I’d like to use people like Lincoln as examples but you don’t want to exercise power over people in the free world do you? You probably just want to sit back in some exotic location, spend time travelling, learning new things and creating memories. And that’s what you should do. We live too cautiously only to die. And for what? To enjoy retirement? I am guilty of working and forgetting the little pleasures in life. I still run out of money at the end or close to the end of the month and I have no stories to tell. That’s not how I should live.

I don’t want to regret. Think of what could’ve been. I want to ask a girl out on a date. Something out of the normal. Drink ourselves silly and uber home because I’m responsible and still don’t own a car. Life is an adventure and you are the Zach Galifianakis of it. Nobody has rehearsed for anything life has up it’s dirty, rugged sleeves. Feel free to try out new things and if they don’t work out, try something else.

Live without hating and spewing negative energy. You are not a dragon or a cat. Live and love. And it’s okay not to love as well, but hating people takes too much energy away from you. It’s however, allowed to hate the fact that Liverpool fans laugh at Arsenal, yet they don’t know how it feels like to see a Merseyside club lift the Premier League trophy. And kindly note, the current Premier League system started in 1992.

So as you welcome a new month and plan what you’re going to do next year at the same time, do something today as well. It won’t hurt. And get yourself something to drink.