Since she passed away almost two years ago, I have wondered how much of her life experiences she never talked about. Sometimes I feel like asking her a question but I can’t, she is gone.
When you deliberately do things to hurt other people, you are also hurting yourself. With every mean word and action you put out there, you strip yourself of inner peace and positive energy.
I have spent most of my life trying so hard to meet these expectations but I have not been successful at all of them. I am now more accepting of the fact that my life is moving and flourishing at its own destined pace. Here are some short, straight and sweet lessons I have learned along the way!
For this post I am going to focus on one of the major depression triggers in Nigeria, which is – difficult life circumstances. If you live in Nigeria, you should not be surprised that many people are at the risk of depression due to continuing life difficulties – unemployment, injustice, insecurity, abuse, poverty, poor support, inability to meet social/cultural/religious expectations etc.
My mother passed on 17 months ago aged 63 years. One day I am going to write about her life and her death, but not today. Today, I write about the overwhelming pain of loss I felt and still feel. Today, I write about this thing called grief.
We all expect to have reached some milestones by certain ages – have educational qualifications, build a career, get married, have children, start a business, own properties, make loads of money, follow passions etc. Like many people, I have spent my twenties and thirties chasing these things. Some I have achieved, others I have not achieved yet.
I told them I will encourage you and tell you not to give up, that good things will come your way too. But, they said they have already told you that and you don’t want to hear it. So I thought, I should tell you something else then, some brutal truths about life that you probably have not been prepared for;
If you are alive, you have a contribution to make to this world; you have a meaningful reason for being here. It is a divine assignment given to you so you can bring some light and healing to the world. It is God’s gift to the world sent through you; your job is to deliver it.
This year I have met many young people who are in financial difficulties; they are working hard and trying their best to get better life opportunities. They are not complacent, they not irresponsible, they are not folding their arms waiting for something to happen, but things just aren’t adding up for them yet. They are so weary and tired of not having enough to meet their needs, and not being able to achieve their bigger dreams.
I understand these things they say, and I know they mean well. Yes, I have “moved on”, I am going about my normal activities and pursuing my goals for the future, but after all is said and done, the pain is still there. One minute I feel like I am over it, but then the next minute I am sobbing, and shaking and struggling to breathe. Sometimes I push it away all day, but then it comes rushing back at the dead of the night.
No matter how hard I work and pray, there are some things that will never be, or may not be how and when I want them… but I know that peace is always available even in the toughest of times, if I choose to be still, I will find it…
Of the ones who slayed and the ones who got slain, of the ones who walk through life heads up and the ones who crawl with fingers fastened on the patched hard soil, of the ones who started early and bloomed early, and the ones who started early but bloomed late, of the ones living their dreams and the ones who will never get the happiness they truly deserve.
Pain became a part of me. Along with it came a heavy downpour of period blood. Stained cloths, stained seats, stained sheets – I left blood everywhere I went… I knew the fibroids had grown; I would lie on my back and touch one of them bulging right through…
Their plan was to be childless, it seemed they had talked about it before they got married and they were both cool with it. One day, while they were watching a football game, he told her he wanted children…….. Some weeks before, while I was stuck in bed recovering from a major surgery (I am going to write about this in my next post), I had presented my list of ‘whys’ to God, I was not praying about them, I was just asking “WHY?”
In 2004, I started a monthly email series to my friends, their friends and basically every woman who had an email address I could grab and add to my mailing list.
After I wrote the first one, I read it over and over and I still wasn’t confident it was good enough. So, I sent it to my friend, Akin, to help me have a look at it and give me a feedback.
When we had a chat on yahoo messenger, he said my piece was good, but he was concerned about my closing remark. Below my email I had put something along this line “Please, note that this is not a feminist initiative.” It was written in bold red letters.
“Why did you write that?” he asked. I said, “Because I didn’t want people to think this is a feminist thing.”
He didn’t think there was anything wrong in being a feminist, so he struggled to see my point. He later sent me some links to some articles on feminism and told me I needed to understand what feminism is all about.
It didn’t take me too long to figure out what he meant –