When you have lived all/$ome of your fears

Forget about the fear of animals, stage flight or any of those fears that come when that particular scenario is in your face. There are other major fears that come and stay. At the beginning, it is just a few simple leaves and grass. Then the a nest is built. They take up permanent residence in your head and later the full physical structure. Whenever the key word is uttered, you freeze. It starts with; ‘I will take away, you will not see them again, If you don’t behave, I will deny you.’
Your tormentors know which ropes to pull in order to turn you into a Muppet. If it is not others, it is your own mind that imprisons you. Keeping you in its cages as long as possible until you find the way out or become captive forever.

My fears stem from 2 things; being dependent and not working hard. Some people enjoy the pleasure of being ‘breastfed’ and demanding for everything they need from other people. On the other hand, I like working for whatever I need. If I desire anything, it should come my way because I have earned it through sweat, blood, long nights and rigorous team work.
Shonda Rhimes during the TEDx talk entitled ‘My year of saying yes to everything’ asked a great question; ‘I like working more than I like being at home. What kind of person likes working more than being at home?
Well, me.”

At one point in my life, my greatest fear came to pass. I became dependent on my parents again. I was unemployed for so long. Even if the years are numbered in my head, it felt like eternity that is why you hear the word loooong. Those were the longest nights and days in my life. You see when you are working, the days fly by. One time you are in October and the next time you check the calendar its December second. You might have known that days were turning into night because at one point you had to bathe and change clothes. You would send out emails, make endless calls and write memos that are dated. You work on a timeline but still, you end up losing track of the days because you prefer working rather than staying home.

I used to think it was a sin. Which person indeed chooses working hard over family? The work gives you so much pleasure and purpose. I will not even try to justify what kinda of person this makes me. But I am glad that someone out there is like me. I have lived my fear of job loss, unemployment, dependence and losing my friends. One of those friends saw me on the road one time as she drove her red Nissan car. She pretended that she had not seen me.

Forget that crap that it makes you stronger. This reminds you that they were not your friends. You reminisce about the good old days and wish situations were reversed. No wonder I don’t see all my old friends any more. They hide in plain sight dodging my path as much as they can. Good thing the fear is gone. You can sleep easily well knowing that dependence and unemployment did not kill you despite years of fear that they will bury you. No one can use it against you anymore but the human is left with the question of who you have become. You used to think you was your fear. But now a new person emerges that you need to introduce yourself too.
That conversation goes like this;

Old YOU: ‘Is the coast clear?’
New YOU: ‘What coast?’
Old YOU: ‘You remember (starts to laugh) when you…'(Cut off)
New YOU: ‘Shut up. Don’t you know that we are not defined by our fears. That was you. Let me introduce you to the new you.
Hello. Have we met?’

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When You have Done the Worst to Each other.

I have seen numerous books written about the recipe for long and fulfilling relationships. They advocate for communication and love all year round. These sweet nothings and falling in love with the partner over and over again lack the secret ingredient. They have never added the idea of doing the worst to each other until you both realize that the relationship was meant to be. Sometimes we push away the best relationships we have ever had for the reason that they will grow stronger. You treat this person with contempt and even show signs that you don’t care if they stay or go. Most times, you are at per with this person but when he does something small, you are unforgiving and pounce on that to get rid of them. You punish in hope that they will reveal the real them that is only there for a short while. You wait and see if they will be strong enough to withstand your habits, anger and other vices.

It is the chance that you have been waiting for to give them the boot. But they don’t stay away for long that you wonder why they come back to you every time. You know in your heart that you love this person but for no particular reason, you do everything annoying, irritating and pick up a fight in hope that they will finally leave you alone. That brings me to the issue of what is the worst thing you can do to any person who tells you they love you but you feel there is something more you require from them?
But guess what? The said individual will let the dust settle down for 2 days and within that time you think it is finally down. You imagine what could have been. You think of all the places you could have travelled together. You come up with a list of things you would have done together had you allowed the relationship to even start. You attend the funeral of the relationship and tear up with grief because you know you caused all this. When the phone rings and he is not the one calling, you imagine whether he gave up on you that fast. You ask the questions; ‘Did the relationship mean nothing to him that he would not fight for it?’
‘Was I right in getting rid of him or her?’
‘Do you think we will ever be friends again even after all I have done to him?’
‘Are we broken up for real this time?’

You know that this time you did the worst. You called his mother something-that even your mother would never be referred to. You bruised his ego so many times by telling him how you found someone better. You call him the worst names possible in hope that he leaves you before you hurt him. The whole point is you have done the worst to each other, that the only thing left is to kiss and say goodbye. What kind of person stays around when you have pushed him
away and made it clear you are happy being in a relationship with you?

But after 2 days, when you think he will never talk to you again, you see his name on your phone screen calling you. You have mixed reactions why he is calling. He might have been plotting revenge to hurt you more than what you did to him. But you pick the call.
Him: Hi?
You: Hello?
Him: I was about to sleep then I realized that I had not said goodnight to you.
Some people are just saints or waiting for the opportune moment to pull the rag from under your feet. This disarming chat gets you in only one direction. That even if you push people away, the ones who are meant to stay, will come back and show you what you will be missing if they ever left.
So the recipe for any relationship is push them until they hate you. If the love triumphs over the hate and pain, you have nothing left but love. There will be nothing left you can do to hurt eachother once the worst has passed. But you cannot help thinking that one day, it would be something small that will make him disappear forever and you will forever be in transit hoping that he will be on the next flight to you because he always does.

Writing Heals

Jack Hart: “Writing is thinking. That’s all there is to it. Simple as it is, it still works wonders.”

Often whenever I feel down or vulnerable, I find myself writing. As the words flow on the page, I find my body healing emotionally. Whatever is bothering me at the time seems to float away slowly by slowly until I reach the point where I am asking myself ‘What the heck was I feeling burdened? Why was this issue controlling me?’ Then I realise I had given the issue the power to take over my life. But writing helps me to get back in control. Put the issue in print, evaluate it and let it be if there is no solution at the time.
Most times the things that weigh down on our souls have solutions. If the solutions cannot be found, it is better we throw away the key to these issues. Keeping them around has devasting effect. It is like an ache, itch or heavy item on our shoulders.

I use writing as a friend. I visualise while I note down. I look at what is really bothering me about it. Do I feel hurt, used, neglected or violated? I look at the angle whether I should have done things differently and I realize at that time I had no choice. Whichever route I would have taken, I would still be in the same spot. It brings me back to that quote; God gives us 3 tests. If we fail it at the beginning, he brings it back in another form until we learn to recognize it and pass it with 90 percent or more. No wonder experience is the best teacher.
Sometimes I am the one who gets myself in that detour and there are consequences. In one of Paulo Coelho’s books, he writes and I will paraphrase;
‘When we stay in one place for a long time and we refuse to move to the next destination, the guardian angel will forcefully remove us.’

My sins have always stemmed from getting comfortable when I knew I was not meant to stay. Comfort gives this false security and energy that everything is well. When the foundation is shaken, that is when you realise all along it was built with sand. Here is my vow for today, I will be writing as often as possible because; reading and writing are my friends who have been with me for so long. Most times I rely on reading and forget that writing brings all that is hiding in the memory; good or bad to manifest. I don’t even need to speak. Let writing be my mouth piece. Whatever I have put in print will now be my voice.

Often whenever I feel down or vulnerable, I find myself writing. As the words flow on the page, I find my body healing emotionally. Whatever is bothering me at the time seems to float away slowly by slowly until I reach the point where I am asking myself ‘What the heck was I feeling burdened? Why was this issue controlling me?’ Then I realise I had given the issue the power to take over my life. But writing helps me to get back in control. Put the issue in print, evaluate it and let it be if there is no solution at the time.
Most times the things that weigh down on our souls have solutions. If the solutions cannot be found, it is better we throw away the key to these issues. Keeping them around has devasting effect. It is like an ache, itch or heavy item on our shoulders.

I use writing as a friend. I visualise while I note down. I look at what is really bothering me about it. Do I feel hurt, used, neglected or violated? I look at the angle whether I should have done things differently and I realize at that time I had no choice. Whichever route I would have taken, I would still be in the same spot. It brings me back to that quote; God gives us 3 tests. If we fail it at the beginning, he brings it back in another form until we learn to recognize it and pass it with 90 percent or more. No wonder experience is the best teacher.
Sometimes I am the one who gets myself in that detour and there are consequences. In one of Paulo Coelho’s books, he writes;
we stay in one place for a long time and we are supposed to our next destination, the guardian angel will forcefully remove us.

My sins have always stemed from getting comfortable when I knew I was not meant to stay. Comfort gives this false security and energy that everything is well. When the foundation is shaken, that is when you realise all along it was built with sand. Here is my vow for today, I will be writing as often as possible because; reading and writing are my friends who have been with me for so long. Most times I rely on reading and forget that writing brings all that is hiding in the memory; good or bad to manifest. I don’t even need to speak. Let writing be my mouth piece. Whatever I have put in print will now be my voice.

Memorizing VS Power-point

Within the year, I have had the privilege of enriching young minds with the knowledge I have acquired over the years. Sometimes you don’t know how much information you have in your memory. It’s not until someone asks you a question about something and your reply lasts 30 minutes or more. That is how much ones and zeros you have stored in your memory. About the young people, I call them that even though their age group is not far from mine. This reminds me of the time the second year students used to call us juniors. They would ‘sing’ my junior, our juniors like we belonged to a different school yet we were just months apart according to the university calendar. When they left and we were now the seniors, we carried on the tradition and called those newbies juniors. It lasted a while because most of them were taller than their seniors. Talk about people who spoil tradition.

Back to enriching young minds and carrying out my duty as a good citizen. The opportunity came knocking at my door, I took it not for them, don’t be fooled but for me. My mind was wasting away and I could feel the cobwebs developing every single day. My main recourse was to learn and unlearn what I had already obtained from my university years.
When I told one of my friends, he was happy. He said; ‘It doesn’t matter how much enumeration you are getting. Use this time to learn and upgrade your brain.’
‘I once had an opportunity like this. It shaped me to be the man I am today. Most people would frown when it comes to teaching but it will help you and your CV to grow.’
He went on and on how it is a noble profession that requires you to use all your senses, physique, patience and brain on a daily basis even when you feel that you are worn out.

I had already made up my mind that I will take it up. My only dilemma was how do I go about teaching? What method was I at liberty to apply? I remembered my professor at the postgraduate level who used to walk into class with no papers or books. He had the admiration of the almost the entire campus because his notes were always ready in his ‘computer chip’. He would introduce the topic, talk about it for 10 minutes then tell us to take down the notes which he formulated in his brain. Funny thing about all this is, when we looked at the previous students’ notes, they were the same as the ones we had. He had memorized the notes to that extent that each batch of students would have the same replica. They called the professor ‘computer’ behind his back. I bet that type of skill came with years of experience. I was not about to memorize everything in one night. I chose the later, Power point presentation- PPT.

The Ppt worked well within the first weeks. I added words, graphics, images and links were all included in the presentation. As time went by, I felt that I should be beyond the presentations of power-point. I was teaching different things each day but my mind had to be ready to retain most of the information without employing the aid of the laptop.

Memorizing is not as easy as everyone thinks. When you sit down and decide that you are going to memorize all the data you will be using, you have already applied pressure to your physique and the brain. You task your brain to acquire, retain and reuse the data later. When you are done going through the topic at hand and task it to ‘say out loud’ the information, you realise that along the way, you were distracted and lost a link that could get you from point A to B. But you don’t give up. You try until the last moment when the class is only 7minutes away. Surprisingly all you need are the topics, guiding factors and examples for you to have a successful tutoring without opening books, computers or papers. You keep practicing until you become like professor Guru. Perfection comes to those who are willing to put in the hard work and energy night after night because you need to store, walk and breathe that data until it is part of you.

The Fillers that Fill Our Lives

I should be writing this as a poem but it ends up being one of those stories that I want to remember for it’s headline. Often times, when we don’t know what to do or unsure of our next move, we fill our lives with recreational activities or habits that eventually become part and parcel of our lives. We experiment with recreational drugs. We unconsciously invite people who are not even supposed to be in our lives and that is the time we pick up a cigarette, learn the different wines, beers and liquor to fill our lazy days as we wait out the storm. The consequences for such a threefold; addiction, temporary adjustment or try and fail at the first attempt.

In television production, we have a similar term called fillers. Fillers are meant to entertain and grab the attention of the audience right away that is why most fillers are short comedies, Laugh Out Loud scenarios that ease the eyes of the viewer into the next program. When it comes to real life, the scenario is modified. The fillers we place in our lives are meant to ensure the hours on the clock run faster and we should not even remember what happened. Forget about the movie ‘Hang-over 1,2 and 3, was there a third Hang Over? Too many Hang Overs spoiled the franchise. By the way, movies are good fillers but do not include porno in it, otherwise you become one of those people who think you have to apply the tactics used in the scenes in real life. Go for things that are fun and complimentary to your schedules.

My thoughts today are geared towards making the real life fillers work for us. How do you ensure that the habits, work and activities that we pick up work for our good?

Good fillers:- Voluntary work, checking up on long lost friends, unlearn, exercise for your health, write and publish articles.

Don’t forget the value of meditation, learn to control the in and out of your head situation. Enjoy the good food cooked or presented to you. Solve those puzzles you have kept in the corner, redecorate and take long walks on the beach. I often wonder why they say long walks on the beach yet the forest could do the same for me. My favourite; reading and updating my home library. That is the time I remember a book, I read half way. It was not even boring but it’s time had not yet come.

Bad:- Starting ‘wars’ and breakups with people who would be with you through thick and thin. Bankrupting others emotionally and financially. Misleading those who are on the right track because you cannot find your thing. Draining would-be friends. Enjoying other people’s misery is okay if you are watching reality shows and other Television programmes that will make you say; ‘they deserved what was coming’. Other fillers like drugs, alcohol, sex might be bad depending on your culture and traditions especially if enjoyed in excess. I have been to some parts of Asia where you need to hide your one bottle of beer and sex talk is not entertained. Yet on other continents, you might as well tell it as it is.

Make your fillers work you not against your future self.

 

When men leave you to sort out their wives

Whenever I am writing any article, sometimes I am conscious of what such writing will do to the people I am writing about, other times… I can’t help it. I will publish the information even when it will cost me one relationship or another because the people who know me will not question why I have chosen to write such. They will enjoy the articles and maybe learn a thing or two about life. Someone I met along the way said something that I will never forget; ‘If you can not keep your secrets, how do expect another person too.’

The material I use for the article comes from society. I don’t spill my friends’ innermost feelings here but If I do, it is intentional because I have to tell it as it is. Most times I write and publish the information within the day. Other times I will wait for the heart to let me know whether I should go ahead. If it feels we should go ahead after a night’s sleep, then you will see the stories coming to life on this platform. I always hope they would be perceptive if at all they ever see what I have written about them.

The story at hand is about the relationships I have had with most people. My relationships are always longer. I consider myself the lucky one that friends would stick around me for that long. Through the shit and thin. It is not always cakes, ice cream, and international cuisines. Sometimes we disagree on so many small things, maybe I should emphasize SMALL; how much we should pay for the rides, whether we were overcharged or not. Other times they tend to be in your business and not finding the right words to build you. The upside is they make everything rosy and perfect in their imperfectness.

I have had the privilege of such a relationship with my friend Amber. We went to the same high school together and among all the people I met, we hit it off right away. As such, the relationship continued into our adulthood. It was special. I was there before she met her husband. Even before they went further with the marriage, she indicated her fears for the future. She had the vision to travel as much as possible but settling down would change all this.

Later on, the husband started discouraging her not to hang out with me. In his words; ‘I was a bad influence on her.’ Most times when people say such things, I don’t take them personally because I know that they mean ‘I can easily influence their wives or partner not to side with them.’ I also need them to take the partner’s side and not use me as an excuse for not making the relationships work. I have seen people who will bring you in the loop and say; ‘It’s my friend so and so who said I should not marry you. Or My friends say you are not good enough for me.’ And all this time I am wondering why the person is not self-reliant and is willing to acknowledge it is their decision for leaving this person. Shame on you people.

Now, about my friend Amber; she used to laugh and shine while our friendship lasted. I consider myself good company. I knew her because we had been friends for a long time. The husband also took his time to understand her…I guess. They had the notion that once a man and woman get together, other people should not exist. They become an entity and the rest of the humanity was in oblivion. That is how I was subtracted from this relationship. It was okay for me because I knew they deserved to work on their relationship minus the advice from me. Sometimes girlfriends do not give the best advice for friends for fear of losing them. So you say whatever pleases them at the time.

7  years down the road the woman is not happy because her life is rotating around the man. When he is busy at work and with other people, she is busy waiting for him. Her life is her husband. She does not have time with girlfriends while the man goes out with his peers. There is no ‘me time’or dates with girlfriends. Her life gets into a routine of hubby, children, and work. The routine gives her time to see the habits and traits that the husband picked up along the way. She is unhappy. What she did not realize is that the man was good for her but other relationships compliment the marriage. 2 people living in their own world will eventually get bored and start craving. She has started for more and  I am wondering where all this will end.

When is the right for your bad habits to come out?

It is a long story but I will go for the shorter version. It is your daily story but featuring the rest of humanity. We all have those annoying habits; some people pick their noses in public, others chew loudly with their mouth open, some men don’t know where to stop with their dirty talk while others have attained a degree in nagging. Some habits become characters. You cannot differentiate the person from their habits. It reaches a point when you don’t remember their names but know them by farts, loud mouth, sloppy, slug, egg ball or slutty.

Most people behave so well especially around others at the beginning. Only 2 percent will leave their manners at home at the first encounter. Those are the ones we will hate right away or befriend if their character is beneficial for our growth. The sequence is you are nicest, nicer and nice as the days go by. Then the goodness disappears. If someone remains good to you through the encounters you keep. Beware of the vampires that want to feed on you and pretend to be nicer. You can easily spot them in the crowd. I imagine them with blood spilling from the corner of their mouth, unfriendly unless if they need something from you…blood and love. (Reminder, I watched the Twilight one, two and three).

There is nothing wrong with being nice all the time except for the shock of understanding that someone you once held in high esteem, suddenly goes berserk. Guess what? I am the kind who will be documenting every scene where someone goes insane. It is the most interesting part of humanity that you get to see the real person. No filters or any effect. I will watch and use the information for my study. At the end, I will imagine what my insanity episode would be like. It will most probably be a combination of Chelsea Handler and Kevin Hart. By the way, If I was to invite anyone to my dinner table, those two had better be there.

My question for the day is simple; When is the right time for all your bad habits to come out? The place does not matter in this case. Bad habits do not wait for no man and right time. That is why they are called bad habits because they will be exhibited at the least expected time. They are inborn and need a triggering device or word. I have at times been human enough to understand my bad habits and kept them in check. What I consider bad habits are sometimes things that give me pleasure. Like; when I am around my people, I will scream, joke, laugh like there is no tomorrow and call each other names that are synonymous with our personalities. My friends tolerate my habits and the feeling is mutual. I don’t need a moral for this story, it is already somewhere in the middle or end. Read it.