August Anxiety

How can I move so much and feel so stuck?

Work so hard and afford so little?

Do so much and change nothing?

Talk so much and make no connections?

Laugh so hard and feel so empty?

Try so hard and achieve nothing?

Painfully heading for a future I’m so uncertain about.

Another month is here and I’m no closer to figuring out what I want.

Community Service

I often get the feeling that I’ve been called into this world to do community service.

Yes, community service!

By this, I don’t mean the type you get for doing crime and being let off lightly. On the contrary, it’s believing that your main purpose on this planet is to serve your community and help members within your community.

And no, I don’t mean politics.

The community might range from very small units of society such as your family to bigger groups – countries and continents. We could say that community is basically anything greater than one.

The acts of service to be provided to the community are within a greatly expansive horizon; they could be anything from encouraging and supporting the little kid who stops by your shop, so that he’s inspired to be the best he can, to smiling cheerfully at the traffic warden or street cleaner so that they know they’re valued or just the random words of affirmation and affection to a loved one (or anyone) so they remember that they’re loved.

Life is already tough enough for everyone; whether it is those looking for where the next meal will come from, or you wondering if you’ll ever be half the man you had set out to be, or wondering how long you could carry on with a job you absolutely hate but need the salary or barely staying put in a marriage you’ve seemingly lost all appetite for.  I could go on but life is tough indeed. Seeing how tough life is, I believe we all as community servants are sent by God to support each other on this planet of His.

A few years ago, I adopted a personal mantra for my life’s dealings. “whatever helps her/his confidence”. How I arrived at this is an interesting story which will be discussed another time.

“Whatever helps her/his confidence” – in my opinion, confidence is the main currency for survival. Whether it be in the form of an improved self-belief/assurance in ones potential to succeed or trust that the universe will be fair on you, or a feeling of being good and not needing to be extra, confidence is key.

Now I’m not a motivational speaker so I’m not here to give you some feel good nuggets, but we really could be happier and better if we were more confident in ourselves. It will go on to affect our decision making and choices and just help us live better lives overall.

We all need a renewed sense of mindfulness. I’ve not mastered it all but I think it’s important to consider this in our dealings.

So I’ll end by saying these:

  1. Why not get involved community service today?
  2. Why not be the energizer within your circle?

 

Do You Want It All?

The concept of having it all has been sold as the dream! Enjoy all life has to offer with the great career/own venture, nicely balanced with a supportive partner and a few kids as the perfect cherry on top. Then manage it all like a G!

The idea of having it all often leaves a feeling of failing. The sense that success is only complete when all the pieces to the puzzle are in place; “What is a great career with no one to share it with?” my aunt would often say, and then the partner comes but judging eyes point to the imperfection because a crying baby is missing in the mix (some will go as far as saying this is not enough till there are multiple offspring)…where does it stop? well it doesn’t.

The misconception here is a one size fits all approach. I often find people that “have it all” but are still miserable. Some even resent the very things we call “having it all” and derive no form of joy from it.

Ruby recently shared an article on the top 5 regrets dying people typically had, thinking about them I feel this is often the case when we live by other people’s idea of “having it all”. I am very guilty of this so I make a conscious effort to reaffirm to myself it is okay to want to have it all in my own way. It’s okay not to aspire to a managerial level because it doesn’t fit into your ideal life, it’s okay not to want marriage because for you it is more constraining than liberating, it’s okay not to want kids because you don’t see that in the life you want and no one has to understand it – it’s YOUR life (life is short as it is, why spend it miserable?) It’s okay to think you subscribe to the world’s idea of having it all then finding out it’s not really what you want. Define what it means to have it all for your own self but while you think about that ponder on this regret list:

  1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
  2. I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.
  3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.
  4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
  5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.

– Brownie Ware

“Overbothered”

In the previous post, Cece talked about people being too wrapped up in themselves to care about other people’s problems. While I mostly agree with this, I’ve found that in Nigeria people become quickly bothered if said problem is “gist”.

We have this need to insert ourselves into situations and make it about us. Asides that, I’ve noticed that people get a sense of entitlement to every area of your life once you open up the smallest window of imperfection or insecurity. They pry and probe and ask and ask, and by the end of it you find yourself in a place where you’re defending yourself or justifying all your actions; rather than talking to someone who is genuinely trying to help.

More and more I’m getting to a comfortable place where I do not feel the need to explain away all my actions, or seek the approval or acceptance of every friend and acquaintance.

I say, own up to your mistakes, apologise when you can and after you’ve done all that, make peace with situations and focus on growing.

People form opinions really quickly, and its rare to change them. The only change you can really make is on yourself by trying to be better.

Realities of Adulthood

I remember being a child and looking up to the cool aunties and uncles and thinking I can’t wait to be an adult. They always seemed so independent, looked so put together, could do whatever they wanted and most importantly had a lot of money. Now I’m an adult and I feel so betrayed. Nobody told me it was gonna be so hard. No one gave me a list of things I should look out for like:

1. Being smart at school has almost nothing to do with you “making it” in real life.
2. Being independent ain’t all that when life drops a bomb on you and you have to figure out how to resolve the damn problem.
3. You definitely can’t do whatever you want, if anything there’s a whole bunch more expectations you have to meet (don’t get me started on this one..lol).
4. The money is nothing when you have a shitload of bills to pay.
5. There is no happily ever after, you’re not gonna meet someone who just gets you and is perfect for you blah blah blah. You make do with what you have and try not to kill each other.

There’s a whole bunch more, trust me I could go on for forever. But I wish someone had at least given me an inkling that it wasn’t all that. Maybe I would have stopped trying so hard to be an adult and just enjoyed my childhood while I had it….yeah right.

My Larva Story

 

About a week ago….

I was 30cm in soil
Can’t remember if it was soil or rotten wood
It was moist and hot

All I did was hit the shell from within
I hoped the egg would crack
Couldn’t suffer such punishment any longer
I heard the voices of other larvae from their prison shells

We all wanted the same things
To break out and be free
Free to crawl and one day fly

Suddenly I was free from the prison
My eyes were blinded by the brightness of the light around me
I wasn’t warned about it
My neck was almost blown off, they said it was the evening wind

Then I realized this was only the beginning
I was out of the soil or rotten wood
I crawled freely
Not underground but freely to be trod upon

Oh what dangers in this freedom
Just when I was about giving up
I was told I had less than three weeks to become a butterfly

And then I had new worries

Will I be a beautiful butterfly?
Would humans really love me if I started to fly?
What about the brightness and the wind?
Will I get to find flowers with sweet nectar?
What will I look forward to this time?

For now, I’m a larva
Maybe I’ll someday become a butterfly
I’m a larva
I’ll enjoy this stage of my life

Outgrowing Relationships

A friend once mentioned she had outgrown certain friendships. She went into a spiel of the sort of people she was keen on engaging but I had stopped listening; with no mention of names I felt hurt “this must be somewhat directed at me” I thought. I found it belittling. How could someone I held with such great esteem think I wasn’t good enough? Again she hadn’t even mentioned my name! Looking back now I see it was my own complexes making me feel little; the truth is next to her I already saw myself smaller before she said anything. This was in my late teens/early 20s.

Fast forward to my late 20s; I found myself feeling the exact way. Now it wasn’t about A friend it was about MOST! I suddenly felt the very few friends I was on similar wavelengths with were in another town. Scratch that. Other countries! Miles away! Am I suffering from the same superiority complex that gave my friend the audacity to outgrow (maybe) me? I don’t know.

I had three main issues:

  1. I was engaging in fruitless conversations.
  2. I was learning nothing from most of my friends.
  3. I felt like my friends were stuck in a loop repeating old mistakes.

I felt more and more stagnant in my growth and these words came to mind:

“You’re The Average Of The Five People You Spend The Most Time With” – Jim Rohn

This really got me thinking about making new friends, but how do I even go about that??? Can’t exactly go back to Uni and have a do-over?

So you tell me, do I need to drop my “high shoulders”? Or is it actually time for a revamp?