I am not a dweller. When I achieve a goal, the celebration is fleeting and the next moment, my gaze is on the next goal. An almost perpetual discontent with the status quo is responsible for this pressing need to be more. That the clock is ticking, signalling the finite amount of time available to get things done is not lost on me. This ambition to be more is a product of the combination of an innate desire to fulfil my potential and die empty and inspiration from the lives of others. In recent times, I have had the nudge to be more thankful, however.
Last week, I made a post where I acknowledged that some of the things I once prayed for were now my reality. It was a spontaneous admission. It had occurred to me that I hardly spent time revelling in a moment. I would pray and work towards a goal, sometimes for an inordinate amount of time, so much so that I would be tempted to give up. And maybe sometimes, I would have given up in my mind.
And then it happens.
This thing I had prayed and vented my frustrations on the universe on account of becomes my reality, and I just move on like it wasn’t what I had always longed for. I would forget the disillusionment that threatened to send me into a state of depression and begin to demand something else from the cosmic.
As we trudge through life sometimes and bound through it at other times, we are inclined to forget how far we have come on the journey of life. How the very things that almost drowned us now appear trivial.
In my case, hindsight has revealed many of the things I considered major setbacks turned out to be in my best interest. I see how rejections forced me out of complacency and helped me on my path to greater life satisfaction. Back-to-back job losses had had me questioning my talent and capacity to add value in the workplace, but looking back now, I would not have it another way.
I had heard that everyone would at some point in their life experience a series of setbacks or turbulence. Something that would shake them and test their strength of character, and I had often wondered if and when that time would come for me. And soon enough, it did.
2016 was the year when a succession of unfortunate incidents pitched their tent with me. You name it: family troubles, career stagnation, relationship crisis, and financial challenges. I found them crippling even though I tried to put on a brave face. For the first time, I understood why people gave up on life and opted to end it all. I would stare at myself in the mirror and wonder why I was going through all these untoward circumstances.
I mean…I was Lolade. One who had always been told she was brilliant. One whose potential for greatness had never been in question; how then did I find myself in such a precarious and humbling situation? The issues I highlighted did not plague people like me. Yet, here was I, shaken, troubled, in a fix. It made no sense.
Those days were spent attacking the mission to escape the vice-like grip of my troubles. Prayers went up, supplications were made, relentless work was put in. It was a tiring time of working and watching and waiting. Sometimes I was optimistic, sometimes I was despondent, and sometimes I was numb.
But like every other life phenomenon, the phase came to an end.
Anytime I am tempted to rue my current situation, I am reminded that there was a time I would have thrown a party if I was where I am at the moment. Memories trickle in and I see just how much God has blessed me.
I am acutely aware of how I am lucky and happy to be doing what I actually love instead of when going to work was a chore; something I did only because I needed the funds to survive. The stability and peace on the homefront is a blessing I’ll never trade for the shiny things of the world; the genuine relationships that warm my heart whenever I think of them, and even the challenges I am now better equipped to face because I have been down that road before.
To see how much you have been blessed, you have to juxtapose the past with the present.
Memories are there for a reason.