It never gets old. It creeps up on you every other day.
It is said to begin at conception and ends when you are 6 feet under.
Despite it all, the struggle is real.
You somehow managed to drag yourself out of bed just in time to be at your scheduled task, meeting or appointment. You sigh out loud and put your best foot forward and do what needs to be done and all is well…for a while.
Just then, someone comes along, says hello and some niceties. As you cheer up being around them, they say something that makes you clump up inside.
“By the way, you look STRESSED. What’s up?”
Oh heavens! There are some questions that need a whole day and lots more, if one expects a conclusive answer.
Naturally, we revert to the same old response…I’m fine, no worries. Traffic jams, economy ni mbaya, politics and the ensuing shenanigans na kuhustle tu. Oh! and the weather. This automatically come up as plausible responses. Soon after you get back to your comfortable shell and life drags on bila mbbbbbrrrrrrcha.
The same cycle spins over and over and you can’t tell one day from the next, neither can you pick out a great day from the past days or months or years.
Well, that was then.
I broke my silence just the other day and I let my loved ones know that all was not well with me. I was done going through the motions and I let it all out. I also left the city for the weekend and had a sit down with my beloved Mum. She did her part and was there for me as I spilled it all.
Soon after, my sigh of relief was freeing and I knew I wasn’t going back to my stifling cocoon again.
I was trying to eat an elephant with one large bite.
It was time to consume it, one small bite at a time.
There are motivational videos, clips, pictures everywhere you look. Everyone looks to have it made and you keep questioning your every move with each passing second, wondering what could be wrong with you. This isn’t going to change anytime soon. That’s human nature. Deal with it.
(PS: Your mind will never cease to give you reasons why things are not working out your way. It has a list and checks it twice.)
I choose to embrace my discomfort and deal with it pragmatically and with support; not alone.
Definitely, not alone.
Lobsters are soft, mushy animals that live inside a rigid shell, a shell that doesn’t grow, that doesn’t expand. But if the shell doesn’t expand, then how does the lobster grow, you might wonder. Well… as the lobster grows inside its shell, it starts feeling increasingly confined by the very shell that was designed to keep it safe, comfortable. It starts feeling under pressure – literally.
In a bid to relieve the pressure and to facilitate further growth, the lobster finds itself a rock to retreat under, casts off its old, familiar, confining shell and produces a new one.
As the lobster outgrows this new shell, it again feels pressured, retreats back under a rock, casts off its shell and produces a new one. Over a lifetime, the lobster repeats this cycle numerous times. Rabbi Dr Abraham Twerski.
“The stimulus for the lobster to be able to grow is that it feels uncomfortable.”
It may take time for me to grow into my new “shell” but I am loving the new shift in perspective and the endless possibilities, however small, that I get to experience and embrace.
Get uncomfortable and reach out to someone close. Be willing to be vulnerable and the end result is much better than wallowing in self-pity or being stuck in a rut.
Therefore, going forward, if you see a text or a phone call or email from me; asking you to tag along with me for an event or if I ask for ideas on something (or someone) do give feedback or tag along, for I am not going forward alone.
I need you, you need me and I am here for you. So if I asked you right now;
“What’s up? Sema nisikie”
Let me know. I will pause and listen, really listen. I promise.
We will look for and find a “rock” to retreat under, cast off our old, familiar, confining shell and produce a new, spacious one.