WHEN BEING JUDGEMENTAL FEELS CATHARTIC

I have not touched this blog in a couple of days (contrary to the target I set myself) and I have been vacillating between guilt and exasperation – mentally kicking myself for laziness and berating my easily distracted mind. I have also realised that I am such a looooong way from being the next Chimamanda if I continue like this, but then I digress.

A part of me feels the weekends allocated to me every work week are meant to be an opportunity to take stock and make plans. Sure a lot of people do this but for a natural procrastinator (ie. ones who would win this at an Olympic event), these two days are filled with a desire or dare I say desperation to fill in the hours wasted away between Monday to Friday.

Hours spent focussing on the non-important and not urgent. (Some May think looking up words in the dictionary and marvelling at their usage and pronunciation is non-important, but hey, I did say I was a procrastinator). I can become caught up in the most mundane activity and spend a goodly amount of time on whatever unimportant think I have laid upon myself to do. ( many a times, this is usually linked to reading).

As it were after tossing and turning this weekend, I spent the last hours of the day browsing through a motivational website and promising myself and the Universe that I would work on being a less judgemental and more loving person. I promised to look past my past and current prejudices about people and search for the good in them – big mistake!

I got side tracked by someone I met – a lady who seemed like she grew up amongst savages – an uneducated mess of a human being. My being judgemental stemmed from the fact that the lady in question had passed through the University but seemed to make uninformed comments about human beings, about science, about life in general. It seemed weird that with all the wisdom and knowledge (not to mention Google) available in the world, some people refuse to use the information available to them to say positive things or take decisions for the better or educate others rightly.

Why would you spend time (not to mention resources) going back and forth to school, debating with peers, reading books, being challenged by teachers and lecturers, being tested and taking exams to come out and speak like a person who has absolutely no sense at all?

In the midst of my being constantly distracted by books and in seeking knowledge, I look at those around me who do not have the “luxury” of being inquisitive or who lack the desire (or will) to do so and my spirit smiles.

I may be loopy and distracted but I am grateful and my spirit rejoices that, I can – it shows that my brain actually works and is thinking and can use all the information (relevant and irrelevant) that it absorbs daily.

Grateful.

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OF DEATH AND OTHER RAMBLINGS (1)

I think a lot about death. I seem to harbor a morbid ( and decidedly un-Nigerian) fascination for it and all it portends. The afterlife and thoughts about it keep the gears in my head shifting while rolling the wheels of my imagination. From a young age I have always had the peculiar idea, that I, (for some strange reason) would die young.

I am in my late thirties now and still the idea refuses to budge from my head. Will my death be by illness? By accident? Old age? Murder? Or will I slip away one night in my sleep. Over and over, scenarios play in my very fertile imagination such that I sometimes wonder if the Grimm Reaper himself – escorted by his henchmen will not come over and say ” Basta, Fati!!! Enough already! Would you please wait till I actually come pick you myself? Sheesh!!!”.

Yesterday (almost a full week after I actually began this thread) I read a blog by a friend who happens to be a like-minded thinker. She too was left contemplating life and death at the funeral of her aunt and came to the resolution that she did not want any flowery eulogies at her death and would appreciate if people would be more honest and told her EXACTLY what they felt about her NOW rather than after she passed.

This sent me on a whole new trajectory … What if there was an after life (or an “after death”) where I could float around as a ghost at my funeral. Would I smile and brush back a ghostly tear (or two), reminisce and wish I were back with the living? Or would I curse, roll my big eyes and vow to haunt some people for eternity? ( or at least till I get pulled by “the light”).

My father S.D. passed away a year and eight months ago. Many times, I still refer to him in the first person as if he is still present. Still handing out sage advice to his kids and still making us laugh. His passing was devastating but I think I (and the rest of my siblings) handled it pretty well. Dad was a good man and loved by many so I am sure he’s in a better place (eating pounded yam with the angels and watching comedy series).

For today, I am not dead, though I know I am dying – same as any other living being.

As I take each breath without feeling any odd twinges, with everyday I drive or am driven in a car without crashing, for every meteorite in the galaxy that has decided not to crash upon my head, I’m grateful. Grateful for the opportunity and hopeful that I will squeeze every bit of joy from this life without regrets.

When I leave, my ghost will throw up the “forever rock” 3- finger salute or the 2-fingered peace sign and say ” cowabunga – it’s been real folks”!

THE SACRED DUTY OF CHILD REARING

I recently had a long discussion via BBM with an old friend of mine on the perils of child rearing. We are both parents with two kids apiece, both sexes – the only difference being that mine are a couple of years older. My friend was a bit worried about his daughter being a little shy and he wondered how long the shyness would manifest and whether or not it was something he needed to begin worrying about (or at least paying more attention to).

Whilst resting my thumbs from our chat, I got thinking about the oh so many things the 20th Century parent has to worry about. new dangers lurking In this world of instant gratification, new technology, camera phones, wifi, Skype, FaceTime, over exposed toddlers and teens, violence, video games, drugs, over sexualisation, deviant behaviour, extreme body modification, indecent dressing, rudeness, arrogance, varying addictions, the economy, government, the environment… I could go on but to put it in a nutshell, it’s “the seven deadly sins, but on speed and with access to new technology.

Today there was a report in the paper of a young woman who tried to steal over a million dollars in cash and got caught. I wondered what her mother would say. I thought about what her father would do. I imagined how her siblings, friends and relatives would react to the news that someone they loved was being accused of being a common thief.

I look at myself and realise I am a product of grace – my mothers firm hand combined with my fathers kindness and rationality. I wonder where myself and my siblings would be without my folks. I pray that to be a new improved version of my folks because looking at the world today, I definitely require “new technology” to raise kids who will turn out halfway decent with all the pressure and challenges in today’s world.

WHEN EXISTING JUST ISN’T ENOUGH

So today, I’m sitting in the office wondering what I have done with my life and wondering how on earth, I got to this place. This place, being the office where I have worked for the last 13 years out of which I truly enjoyed only 2.

Everyday, I wake up with a sense of discontentment and a yearning for something new. ‘How hard would it be to pack up and leave’ I hear you ask – apparently, not as easy as it it is my dreams. I have various profile pictures on my phone with varying motivational quotes: ” If you don’t like where you are, move. You are not a tree”. I also have ” You need to learn to walk out the door when love is no longer being served”. I know my illness – it is how to heal myself that I am finding difficult.

Where do I go from here? What do I do? What am I qualified to do? Daily I see profiles of young people making a living from their dreams and in following their dreams, they find fame and fortune. Why aren’t I more like them? It’s strange because in my late teens and twenties, I was ABSOLUTELY sure of who I was and where I was headed… What happened along the line? Does aging and becoming an adult kill the dreams you have? What is the next step? Do the people around me truly have their shit together or is it all bull? Is there life on the planet outside me?

As I work, I fear that someone will tap me on the shoulder and reveal the fraud that I am and show how I am so, NOT a part of the work environment I have been ‘building’ a career in for the last 13 years. The dislike for my job is a a bile- inducing taste at the back of my throat, ever present and I fear it will one day consume me.

Where do I go from here? How do I leave this cage I have built for myself and start doing me?

I feel the walls closing in…