I turn 25 today. Yay! To me. I’m having mixed feelings about it though. On one hand, I’ve achieved a lot at this age, and at the other end, I’m not where I imagined I’d be at this age.
I mean, I wrote my finals and became a doctor at 24. I’m healthy and never had to be admitted in the hospital. I have a great family. I’m a wonderful sister to my siblings and an awesome aunt to my niece’s. But that about where the achievements end. Maybe there are more, but they don’t readily come to mind.
Then, there are the other reasons. I’m 25 and I’ve never been in a relationship. I figured I’ll be in a committed relationship at this age. But here am I, single My life so far, hasn’t been fun. I’ve always been the girl who obeyed the rules and walked the straight line. And now, I’m starting to recognise the things I lost on the way. No adventures, no relationships, no risks taken. To give you a glimpse of what I mean, I went on my first date this year. At 24 years. That’s how “bad” the situation is/was.
Maybe I’m just a girl ranting about her life and being ungrateful for what she has. Whatever it may be. I’m still thankful I’ve gotten this far in life. So here’s me wishing myself “A very Happy Birthday” And cheers to a better and bigger tomorrow.
Christmas has always being my favourite time of the year: the excitement, the songs, the palpable joy on people’s faces, families coming together to celebrate, the food and drinks, and so much more.
This year, as Christmas drew nearer, I realised I wasn’t excited about it as I used to be. Maybe it’s because I was constantly at work at this month and I didn’t get to hear the Christmas songs in town and see the preparations as I had previously. Or maybe because I was going to be working on Christmas day. But whatever the reason may be, I wasn’t looking forward to Christmas.
2 days to Christmas, I decided to rewatch one of my favourite childhood animations, “The Polar Express”, Its a Christmas animation about a young boy who was getting to age where christmas wasn’t as alluring as it used to be. He unexpectedly gets a ticket aboard a train called the polar express which makes yearly trips around Christmas picking up little children to go see Santa Claus physically. At the end of the movie, the boy gets back his belief about Christmas.
I honestly can’t remember what lead me to do so. But afterwards, I was glad I did. It gave me a glimpse of how I looked forwards to Christmas in the past. Even when my Christmas turned out to be ordinary. So I decided to go download christmas songs and listen to them as I worked. A few hours later, the Christmas cheer was coming back to me.
The profound lesson this left me with is, if I can’t find the cheer and joy around me, I’ll go create mine. So go create yours. Find your joy and soak it up.
So, This is me wishing you guys a Merry Christmas. Have fun today. Eat and drink and be merry. And don’t forget, Jesus is the reason for the reason. Cheers.
My fear is deep, As deep as the unsearched portions of the pacific.
My anxiety is wide, As wide as the North is from the south.
They are my constant friends, Invisible shadows drawing me into the darkness, Luring me with promises of a changeless milieu, And I follow diligently, For they’re companions I’ve come to love, Even though they’re bad for me.
On Saturday afternoon, I opened my WhatsApp app to read my messages and I read one that left me feeling cold, hollow and numb for a while. A classmate of mine in the University, Ab as he was popularly called, had died some few hours earlier.
One never really gets used to receiving the news of the death of a friend, acquaintance or relative. He wasn’t the first person to die from my class, but his seems to be the most painful for me. He died after struggling for his life in the hospital following a thermal burn. For 3 months he had battled with breathing problems, anaemia, dehydration, weakness, and more. We all thought he was getting better, alas not.
With Abs death, I’m left with the bitter taste of regret, of not knowing him more. Maybe I should have tried harder to know him better, because he really was a nice person. He had a lot more life to live. A lot more firsts to experience and more impact to make on the world. He was on his way to the becoming a medical doctor, just a semester more and he’d have the prefix “Doctor” added to his name forever.
For some, death moves them to introspection, asking if they’re really living their lives, for others it reminds them of the shortness of life and moves them to love others with a fiercer love. For me, it’s reminds me that one day, death will come knocking on my door, and when he comes, will I be ready? It’s not that I’m particularly attached to this life, because I’m honestly not. But I don’t want to reach the end of my life with a lot of “what ifs” and not a lot of “I’m glads”.
I hope it is true that a man can die and yet not only live in others but give them life, and not only life, but that great consciousness of life.
I was moved to ask this question, then what was the purpose of it all? If it meant he and others wouldn’t enjoy the fruit of his and their labours. As others mourned for him, I got to see snippets of his life I hadn’t known about beforehand. He loved God a lot and was a passionate advocate for living ones life to the fullest and involving God in all we do. Coming to this realization added a bit of salve to an open wound. Knowing that while he was alive, he lived his life with little worries and complains. He was a naturally funny person and his laughter and comedy will be solely missed.
All life will come to an end one day, but the journey between here and there is what matters
At moments such as this, I’m reminded of the futility of life in general. All life will come to an end one day, but the journey between here and there is what matters: The impact we make on the world, the smiles we left on people’s faces, the sunshine we added to a dull life, and the little light we gave to illuminate someone else’s way in life. I’m glad he understood this while alive.
Dr Abraham Adakole Otokwula was laid to rest at his home town in Benue State Nigeria on Saturday, the 27th day of June 2020. Right now all one can do is pray for God’s comfort to saturate his family and the people he left behind. Comfort for his dear mother, sister, brother, niece, and friends.
It started as something innocent,
A fence to keep the predators away from the beauty within.
As people passed along it, they couldn’t help but take a piece with them,
A memento to remember this rare encounter,
Time passed, and the fence changed,
A bit of reinforcement here and there,
More wood to make it less accessible,
A bit of concrete to make it stronger,
Till it became an ominous hedge,
That hid the radiance within,
Leaving a lonely wilting flower left asking
“how did it get all wrong?”
Take my Hand and draw me close,
Let’s go on an adventure through far and ancient lands,
We’ll go to the peak of Kilimanjaro, marvelling at how peaceful the World is from above,
We’ll race each other through the Meadow, the fragrance transporting us across time and space, melting reality around us,
We’ll swim in the Indian Ocean and bask in the sunlight, collecting Seashells and building Castles,
We’ll drive through cities, eating spicy foods and getting drunk on Wine and Happiness,
Dancing to a tune heard by our ears only,
We will get to see the lost city of Heracleion and the hanging gardens of Babylon,
After all, “time is but a man made convention” I say, and we have a box full of it.
We’ll tuck the memories made, sweet and sour, in a corner of our hearts,
Lasting a lifetime and more.
Two hears destined to be together for eternity,
Finding each other over and over again,
Can you not hear it calling out?
The sound of destiny yearning for an answer,
The Echo of our love from lifetime past.
The year so far has been a fascinating one. Better by far than the previous year, and filled with lessons. Including those I enjoyed learning and others that were painful to experience.
One of such lessons. Which looking back now wish I didn’t have to experience to learn was this “you cannot force someone to love you back”.
A few years ago, I discovered that I had wrongly assumed for a long time that love was something that could be chased and earned. I would hang around guys I had a crush on, spend a long time talking on the phone with them, buy gifts for them, and do so much more, With hopes that eventually, they’ll begin to see me in a different light; the same way I regarded them. As some would have guessed by now, it didn’t end up all too well for me. The experience left me with scares, painful memories, and a heart unwilling to fall in love again. So when my friends and those around me talked about how love was a wonderful experience, filled with tender moments and joyful memories, I wondered what they were talking about as my experiences had been totally different.
Upon further deliberation on the matter, I realized that the idea I had about love had been totally wrong. I believed that love could be earned, bought or coerced from someone. So far, I had been trying to earn the love of these guys. I had tried to buy their love and conform to an image that was pleasing to their sight, In hopes that they’ll begin to feel what I felt for them.
Donald Miller said, “love cannot be earned, it can only be given. And it can only be exchanged by people who are completely true to each other”.
To love someone is a Choice, and not to love is also a choice, a valid one at that. Taking a cue from God, we see that he loved us while we were yet sinners and he sent his Son, Jesus christ to die on the cross. We didn’t have to do anything to qualify to receive this love. It is open to everyone. Therefore, if our father in heaven can love us this way, who are we as his children and humans to try and buy, force, or coerce someone to love us in return? The most we can do is to place ourselves in a position that’ll get us to be noticed by the other party. Other than that, the choice to love give us his/her love in return is a personal one.
We deserve a love that’s freely given. Love that is not chased, coerced or given with conditions attached to it. You and I deserve to be loved wholly,fully, with our imperfections (with room for growth). Without any fear of rejection and judgment.
In conclusion, though this lesson was a hard one to learn, I’m glad I had the opportunity to do so. I’ll be waiting patiently and gladly for this great gift (hopefully, it’ll be soon enough).
We’ve all heard someone say, or have once said it ourselves “I wish I could go to a new place and start a fresh”.
The idea of the possibility of a fresh start gives people a sense of relief. It makes us hold on to the hope that past wrongs can be erased, painful memories forgotten, and our old selves can be exchanged for something new.
In other words, being offered a blank slate, to start a fresh.
I’ve been a victim of this too; The desire for a blank slate; To go to a new place where no one knows me, where I’m free from the shackles and chains of projected expectations from family and friends. I see myself putting on a new personality, free to have crazy fun and generally have a great time.
The dictionary defines satisfaction as“the fulfillment or gratification of a desire, need, or appetite.” It defines contentment as “satisfied with things as they are.”
It all comes down to Contentment and Satisfaction. Similar words but different too.
With satisfaction, there’s this great need to accumulate more. More money, more houses, more jobs, more titles attached to our names, etcetera. Unhappy with our lot.
With contentment, we’re OK with what we’ve been offered in life. Choosing happiness irrespective of Our circumstances
I liken it to a child who was given a gift of a bicycle on his birthday but wasn’t happy with what he had as he compared his bicycle to a play station that was given to a class mate some few months back.
The secret is to be content with what we have but not satisfied with where we are in life. To be satisfied with where you are in life is to stop setting goals, and dreaming, it’s to not want to grow.
Maybe if we were all content, we wouldn’t wish for a fresh slate.
Why don’t you make the changes you’ve always wanted to make in your life today? Why don’t you pick up that dream and pin in to your to-do list today, tomorrow or this year? You don’t have to wait for the perfect time or opportunity. If not, that dream will always be a dream, and nothing more. Starting a blog was one of those dreams. I always had excuses for why I hadn’t started one yet- time, content, gadgets, etc. I’m glad I decided to pin it to my to-do list today for this year.
Thank you for starting this journey with me. I hope we make awesome memories and accomplish great things together .