It’s been an impossibly long year and sometimes I can’t believe it.
For a year laced with tumultuous lessons and strange assignments, I have of course been sobered by ignorance and the humility that comes with starting new stuff.
I have been writing this essay since October, it is the 15th of November, in the early hours of the morning and I’m still unsure if I want certain parts of me here. LOL
When it is your birthday, you want to think about the next year and wonder if the year you have lived has made sense. You want to pause.
For me, I am trying to answer the questions; “What have I learnt?” “What has happened to me?” Can I remember them?”
I remember a lot.
I remember that I am incredibly lucky to be surrounded by the love of family and friends.
To have someone whisper “I am tired” to, to enjoy the endless voice notes of warm hearts trying to be present. To be given the grace and space to make mistakes. To be accommodated while you are trying to stand.
I can imagine my Mum saying “shh, it is not luck, it is grace” Yes Mum, anything you say.
It is a beautifully imperfect world, so I have also been hit by an overwhelming weight of tiredness for months, I have questioned my path and I have been close to throwing in the towel. I have believed, stopped believing and believed again.
I have cried and I had to deal with an unexpected feeling of depression that came with doing lonely work. I have stopped writing and have started again.
I am thankful for friends that pop in “how are you?” and then give me a bucket of laugher that I reach to. A downpour of shelter.
When I am having a bad day, I remember that I have all the time I need to believe again, in this beautifully flawed world
It is such a blessing and curse to reflect and pause.
What have I learnt?
To be patient
One day as I laid on my bed, I had a defining moment where I realized I wanted to change some things instantly. I recalled my days of frustration, sickness, worry and I was desperately tired.
This is normal, I mean. You get to a phase in your life, and you realize, “I don’t think I want this; I want something else” It is not strange, even for me but at that moment, I was restless, incredibly impatient and I wanted to do something.
When my father spoke to me about patience, I pinched myself hard because I had goofed.
I was in a hurry and was being silly.
I was at a phase where I was learning new stuff, thrown into strange worries and assignments, I was tired of course but it wasn’t enough to a take a leap without proper assessment. It wasn’t enough for me to think of giving up.
Where did my resilience go?
Wherever was patience?
I truly believe in trusting the process, so I caught myself here and carefully hung that attitude.
I have learnt to trust that things will unfold even if I cannot see it yet.
I have so many goals, yes and I get weighed down thinking on them sometimes. However, I believe that if I am only focused on destinations, I am going to miss all the beautiful lessons and experiences along the way.
Have I fully learnt this? Not totally. But I am somewhere.
Life is such a journey (oh I sound 40 now)
I believe in new year resolutions, though I like to pretend I don’t care for them; I think the reason is because I am always writing them.
As the day ends, I am scribbling in my notes my resolutions for the next day. As Friday sets in, I give the weekend its share of resolutions.
So, when we herald a new year, I am already resolving in my heart what I should do. I am a lover and maker of lists, schedules, timetables, so there goes.
When I welcomed 2022, I stumbled upon an article. It was a personal list of a kind, written by the great Woody Guthrie. It was tender and honest.
I took a mental note of some of them.
1. Work more and better.
2. Work by a schedule
3. Wash teeth if any
No 19 however became my goal for the year, and I am satisfied that it is what I have done
19. Keep hoping machine running
I have held on to this. I know that everything has not gone as planned and that there has been moments of confusion and storms.
It is the same for most people but as I told a friend, “Hope may die, but on my soil, it is alive”
I have gone ahead to forgive myself easily, to refuse to wait and wait. To accept that there are detours but that the process shapes me.
I have believed ultimately in the best and worried less about perfection.
It is a perfect promise and prayer to myself that I would keep that machine running.
Everyone has been a little lost. Everyone wants to believe in something. I believe in a God that has forgiven me and in a faith that liberates.
I have been ashamed to speak on how rocky this supposedly straight forward faith has been for me. I have felt so differently, and it has been difficult at a particular time to pray.
How do I learn to dance again?
I’m grateful for community, for a place that I could feel some life again. I am grateful for friends.
I am grateful that I have started to utter the words I have been so afraid to speak, I am thankful that I can forgive myself and feel light again.
I am grateful for the realization that I was never condemned that in fact, I am incredibly loved.
I welcome a new year with a heart full and bubbling with gratitude.
Thank you, Eniola; you are right — this is like any other day.
PS: In case you were wondering what to get for my birthday
1. I love money.