Mountains and Valleys

I have finally decided to come here and fess (this should tell you how reading Little Women all week and watching the movie, has had an effect on me). I have carried enough and since writing helps me unpack, I’m doing just that. 

This has been a gloomy week, which makes little sense because I had the most wonderful Easter weekend. I’d planned to go home and enjoy plenty of introverting since the whole family was travelling upcountry. Needless to say, my plans backfired beautifully. Don’t you like it when God wrecks your plans and trades them for lovelier ones? 

Friday turned out to be my turn to enjoy being daddy’s girl. Went to town with him and had quite the shopping spree then late lunch at some Resort. He told me to call my little sister (not biological) to come join us and her classmate who he has a spot for since her accident. That man has such a big heart! Went to pick my friend for a sleepover and had fun ‘shopping’ in her house (that’s what true friends do, Lol). 

Saturday was mostly cooking for guests and the compliments are always worth the effort. Then ended up in town again, this time round having a girls’ day out with mum. This time round I got more than I expected from the shopping including a pretty high-low dress that had my dad voicing his concerns since he believes I’ve grown so fat that the poor dress wasn’t fitting (smh).

Sunday in church gave me plenty to meditate on and friends to reconnect with. Went for an Easter concert in town since I’d promised little sister that I’d go. Oh the praise and worship was everything my spirit craved! Decided to go for coffee which we thought was unwise since we both had limited cash. Goodness, the surprises God pulls! Someone came and paid for our mochas and cakes in advance! 

I travelled back the next day with my heart very full. I’d been more than loved on and God took me from one amazing experience to another and another. I’d received more than I’d ever imagined.

So why was it hard to have all the wonderful memories overshadow everything else? Monday evening had me battling depression alongside a misbehaving body. Later I realised the link between the condition disturbing my digestive system and depression. 

From then, things haven’t been too different. Ennui at work, long hours that made a point to move even slower, heavy downpours and dull weather that seemed to reflect my internal state and feeling completely alone. 

I didn’t go to work today; I have my misbehaving body to thank for that. Which means I’ve been in bed all day and have had all sorts of thoughts. Feelings of despair have been the thing this week. Eventually told God how I felt I wasn’t worth entrusting the gifts or talents He’s given. Wasn’t worth giving a family since I can barely keep my own house. Wasn’t worthy of love. Basically feeling like I wasn’t worth the things I hoped for.

It’s been a lot to handle and I’m not bearing it all too well. I should be drawing especially close to God right now but I’ve been lost in books and social media because I feel like I don’t even have the discipline to be intentional with God like I should. He’s been very nice and constantly present so all I’ve been doing is conversations with Him while nicely tucked in bed. 

I’m not sure how the next days will turn but I am not perturbed. Valleys precede mountains and dark days don’t last. Sorrow may last for the night but joy sure comes in the morning. So yes, this not-so-little woman will keep keeping on.

Brush Strokes of Reality

I am a dreamer, that I am. It is my gift, it sure is my undoing as well. I build things where none exist. I paint pictures that eyes don’t see. I find beauty where it can’t be spotted. I add glamour to the most ordinary things. Sounds enviable, right? Not really.

See my problem is that all this sips into my perception of people. I view potential; not reality. It’s a good thing you’d argue, well so would I. I get a sneak preview of their lives and proceed to create a whole movie directed by yours truly. I already piece up their character and decide on who they are. The ones who relish the benefits of this are the ones whose lives I romanticised.

I get excited about the picture I painted and enjoy interacting with them based on my own notions. I interpret their words and actions through the lenses I’d selected. This I hadn’t realised its magnitude up till yesterevening when I (against all common sense), called my ex.

I don’t know what I expected. Perhaps curt conversations or an unanswered call. The exact opposite met me. Cheery tones, questions on where I’d been and queries on whether my visa expired since the only reason I ignored his last text should have been because I was out of the country for long. Plenty of catch up, jokes here and there plus having to explain why I was refusing to go pick his car from wherever he left it because I was taking risks with the motorbike rides I do (I love those ones too much to quit).

The car issue lingered on my mind long after the phone call. Not because of the excitement of enjoying the convenience, but because of how I’d interpreted that offer. It’s not the first time he’s said that. First one was while we were dating and he was out at war arguing with me over my love for night walks or meetings that had me out after darkness set in. I still refused. But it had me feeling very cared for and protected.

Then a different thought struck me. What if it wasn’t care and concern but a bait guys throw to get girls hooked? Cognitive dissonance. Hmm, he can’t be like that, can he? I knew a different person. But wait again, we never made it past the honeymoon stage of relationships. We broke up before the period for masks falling arrived. How sure was I that everything hadn’t been staged managed perfectly? Cognitive dissonance again. Fantasy crumbles.

I suddenly got on this train of thoughts that led me right to the root issue: I get clouded by potential while seeing people. I began reflecting on my interaction with various people and saw how I’d clothed them with strokes from my brush as I painted the picture of who I thought they were, vis-a-vis who they really are.

Reality sucks I must say. But reality becomes the necessary foundation before we can build anything. Friendships strain under crazy expectations. Relationships disintegrate slowly as lenses fantasy lenses weaken and the picture gets clearer. So here’s to throwing away all the brushes, lenses and movie scripts. Director no more.

Hello… Goodbye

​Hi, 

How’re you? That’s how normal letters begin, right? But oh well, what’s normal about this? Who still does such letters these days? But we both know I love defying status quo.

Maybe I should begin by my summary; there was a line, it was crossed. This is me trying to trace that line. When it was crossed, I can’t quite recall. Perhaps it was at the very beginning. Maybe buns, eggs and vulnerability were the perfect recipe for disaster. Maybe hands held lead to places further than ought to have been wandered. Perchance honesty was a tonic which slowly sipped intoxicated. Long conversations have a way of peering into souls that maybe should have remained hidden.

Broken is beautiful. Broken captivates. Broken has a way of spurring one to fight past those sharp edges not minding bleeding in the process. Broken mayhap was my undoing. 

You’re an enigma. I was to text you that today. Mystery fascinates. Bit by bit, it drew. Those dark sheers keeping the world out beckoned. Adventure is a drug. I ventured to see. Mystery couldn’t remain unsolved. 

Well I should have known better. Sometimes dark sheers hide holes that are easy to fall into. Climbing out was a process. Each time I got to the edge or even made it past the sheers; something would come up and remind me that I wasn’t too far from that pit. Suddenly the ground underneath would become slippery and before I knew it, I’d be right back at the pit. This back and forth, sigh… something needs to give.

If I have to lay this at the altar in order to save what’s left, then so be it. Sometimes it’s necessary to risk losing something to keep from damaging it further. 
I’m probably not as strong as I always assumed. Sometimes all it takes is intertwined hands crossing a road to reveal that. This is hard but some conversations can’t be left unspoken. 

Just in case you were wondering, the light on stage isn’t what draws. It’s the backstage where masks are loosened a bit. The place where few get to see becomes the most intriguing. 
Broken vessels almost bare to see. Broken is beautiful. A heart imperfect but somehow pours itself out to people. Sonship that inspires. Prayers that are sincere. Honesty. Eyes that are exposed to imperfection but don’t turn away in an instant. A heart that loves God. A worshipper who doesn’t always see it.

Vulnerability exposes wounds. Wounds require healing. How this healing happens, I’m not certain. What I know is that unrequited affections wound deeper; reciprocated ones heal. And sometimes, shutting out the wound heals effectively too.

Whether this is goodbye or hello, time will tell. When all is said and done; thank you. For helping me learn how cocoons are not permanent dwelling places. For inspiring greater honesty. For reminding me what loving people as God asks, is like. For introducing me to people who lavished me with that love. For being used to spark my creativity in ways I hadn’t imagined. For the gift of friendship. For simply being you.

Strange(r) Tales

​Today I’ve had the most incredible experiences with people I haven’t personally met or hadn’t known at all. Each of them dented my life significantly.
I was enjoying a nice lazy Saturday when the first encounter happened. I received news of her death and it completely broke me! I couldn’t stop crying. I had too many questions for God. This lady was an icon of hope for thousands if not millions of people. Her battle with stage 4 cancer and her faith in God through it all had spread unimaginable hope. I couldn’t get why. My own health battles had been enough and I had been encouraged by her recovery. I had never met her personally but her death wrecked me.
In the midst of my tears and heartache, the second person reached out. I can’t even remember when we became ‘friends’ on Facebook but I’ve known him there for quite long. I’m still in awe of how God worked. I had a very fruitful conversation with him and God used him both to teach and remind me of several lessons. By the time we were done, I was in complete peace; not just comforted but led right back to where God had wanted me. 
Immediately after that conversation, I had to leave for a sleepover. I decided to take a long walk instead of using a more direct public transport option. Armed with my earphones, I started out really well. By the time I was getting to the second song, I met this kinda old lady. I said hi to her as I was passing her, just out of politeness and because I love saying hi to strangers. 
Little did I know that it was the genesis of a conversation that would take me through my entire walk. She began by talking to me in a dialect I love but know little of. Eventually I had to admit that I wasn’t getting everything. Lady told me tales of God’s faithfulness the entire way! Two random people and somehow we found so many things in common. I was greatly encouraged and my faith challenged. 
Let’s just say I’m in awe of God and how He works. It’s unbelievable how He used 3 completely unexpected people who I barely knew, to break me then build me and leave me better than I was. Evidently there’s nothing He can’t do and no one He can’t use. That He’d do all this leaves me overwhelmed by His goodness and love.

My Goodbye (again)

Staring at the phone and part of me wants to enjoy the conversation but the other part of me knows I’ve been here one too many times. It’s not like it will end any better. I’ll be excited for some time; of course conversations with you are worth having, but at what price will I keep doing this? I’m done.

I know I said that last time. Said it yesterday when I was telling myself I’m done for good. Said it every time I deleted your number. Goodness, I even lost count of the number of times I deleted that number of yours! Erased too many messages; wiped off any evidence of conversations with you. Even call logs so that I wouldn’t retrieve your number when I got tempted to call.

Then all it would take is one phone call or a single message. Excitement would flood in at the thought of meaningful conversation. I’d tell myself that I’d actually missed talking to you. Well, of course conversation has always been my Achilles’ heel. Words somehow get to me easily. I should have known better. Come to think of it; hasn’t that been the genesis of every situationship I can remember?

But this time round, I’m determined to walk away. My heart won’t like it but I know what’s best for it and this isn’t. I can’t keep setting myself up for disappointment. Can’t allow my heart to take any more punches. It doesn’t matter what this is; my emotions are done with the roller-coaster rides. I can’t keep enjoying the thrill of taking my heart out on the cliff hoping to fly only to crash into the valley. I can’t deal with anticipointment one more time.

Don’t worry, this isn’t your fault; well maybe like 25%. This was me staring at a fire and being overly confident thinking the flames wouldn’t touch me. This was me on one one of those thrill seeking adventures and venturing further than I ought to. This was me having seen warning signs but trying to see how far I’d go before getting caught. I saw you taking measures to stop me from harming myself. I saw you sober and avoiding anything that would encourage me. I saw your wisdom in trying to not do or say things that would give me wrong impressions; false hopes. I saw all that but I think I was addicted to pain and had missed that high.

We all grow up at some point. We all have our breaking points. We all know when enough is enough. This is where I am. Ready to give up instant gratification and cheap thrills. Ready to move to places where I’ll be appreciated and loved. Ready to trade my brokenness for wholeness no matter how much pain that will inflict initially. Ready to surrender expectations and dreams for reality.

This is me saying goodbye again; and hopefully never to return.

Eyes on 97

It’s lunchtime and I am hardly excited about it. Not because I’m not hungry but because I’ve been dealing with this persistent nausea all day. Who knew something seemingly small can cause this much trouble? I’ve been trying my usual remedy and it’s not helping much; I can’t even remember the number of pellets of menthol gum I’ve chewed so far (Wrigley’s should hire me as their brand ambassador).

I’m having one of those I’m-completely-fed-up-being-sick moments. Sick and tired of dealing with similar issues day in day out. If you’ve been in a similar predicament then you know how tiring it is to be stuck with something for a long time when you can’t completely get rid of it. And no, I’m not talking about pregnancy; though maybe pregnant ladies can relate.

These are the kind of days I gather enough questions to ask God and it flows over from the health drama to everything else. That’s how I found myself having a conversation with Him on why my life isn’t as straight forward and easier to figure like many people. It doesn’t help that I have absolutely no clue what I’ll be doing in about 5 months after I’m done working here.

I have all these varied ideas and passions and plans, but can’t seem to figure how to merge them just yet or where to begin. This mostly leaves me feeling overwhelmed by how much I aspire to do vis-a-vis the little I’ve actually attempted. Then I crawl back into my shell and wallow in feelings of failure. When I try to crawl back, I’m reminded of how old I am yet I’m still in a position that people 2-4 years younger than be, ought to be in. I don’t even bother comparing myself with my peers ’cause that would be depressing.

My one consolation and greatest hope is that I am right where He knew I’d be and going through things He allowed in His wisdom. The best part about knowing that the One working behind the scenes in everything is Someone who loves you insanely, is the realisation that He has a pretty good reason, has my best interests at heart and is working everything for my good.

For example, I may have all these ambitious plans that seem too far fetched or scattered, and it feels unfair that I have to have a harder time than most people figuring it all out; but boy am I glad to know the amount of growth that will happen as a result!

All the health drama has taught me how to slow down and appreciate life. What started by turning me into a constant complainer ’cause I always had health problems daily; eventually taught me how to be grateful for the 97 things that are not wrong when 3 bad ones taunt me. I have learnt grace. Learnt how to empathise with people a lot more. Learnt how to appreciate problem-free days. Learnt how to be keen on detecting if someone wasn’t okay.Most of all, I have learnt resilience and how to keep moving when beaten down or worn.

So yes, I’d still easily trade off this malfunctioning digestive system just to get rid of this nausea, but in the meantime, I’ll keep living and keep trying to enjoy the rest of the day. I’ll take my eyes off the 3 and focus on 97.

The Whirlwind… Part 1

The past weekend was a whirlwind of activity and emotions! I am not even sure I have recovered… and by weekend I mean some 24 hours or so of it. All I’d expected was a road trip out of town as we went for a thanksgiving party for my friend, Missy, who just got admitted to the Bar.

For most of the journey heading there, we were engrossed in conversation and laughter. Managed to get some time to talk with God. Had this feeling which gave me chills about us crashing and kept seeing all the ways we’d possibly get into that accident.

Then my fears came true; well not for us though but a vehicle that rammed straight into a truck right next to us. I remember that bang so clearly and the way my heart almost stopped. Rushing out of our car to go check on the people who were there. Panic mode. Praying with some ladies who were in shock and crying. Trying to see how we could help. Seeing a guy I was sure would not make it out with his lower limbs, being taken out with his legs intact.

We had to leave soon after because we were very late for the event and we had the girl everyone was waiting for. I was left feeling a bit confused: wanting to absorb what just occurred but distracted by the urgency of our getting to the destination. Car we were in stalled just before we got to Missy’s home. Another one came for us and the celebrations began.

There was too much to soak in at that event. The importance of family and community. The centrality of God and prayer. The beauty of our life journeys. After speeches that had me meditating on so much, we found ourselves distracted by selfies and photo shoots.

Three of us girls retreated to Missy’s room. In between girl talk and being on phone chatting, my dad called. Then casually, Miss Kay asks if I know a certain guy she’s chatting with. I smile and can’t believe it. I tell her to say hi and figure he should break the news to her. He does. She’s baffled to say the least. Just then I remember my dad mentioned he was in the kitchen with a certain guy as he called me: the guy is her ex! So here she was chatting with my ex, M, while I’d been on phone with my dad who was cooking late lunch with her ex. I mean, how weird can life get!!!

That evening had us do plenty of reminiscing and discussing stories about us and guys who’d featured in our lives. I was really glad to have gotten M’s number because I owed him an apology and had been looking for him for months.