Wednesday, 29 May 2019

NOTICE

Dear Reader,

I'm pleased to inform you that I have upgraded to a website. 

The creative juice is still flowing...I'm still living, still writing and keeping the memories and thoughts alive via my online journal.

Please feel free to check up on the website - iyosayi14.com

Best Regards

 - Sayi

Wednesday, 27 March 2019

CONVERSATIONS WITH MYSELF


After a long day at the office, I got down to my favourite activity just before sleep comes: scrolling through Twitter to get updates on what has been going on around the world. I use Twitter mostly as source of News and an avenue to release all the crazy going on in my head. It’s also been worthwhile as regards getting music referrals from the awesome music buddies I have come to know on the app.

Anyway, that day I was spent both physically and mentally, I needed to rant and get a few things out of my head. I tweeted something about how I keep hearing nice stories about things happening for others, but such never happens to me. Like I have to work hard for every damn thing and how I needed a break from this narrative, even if it was just once.

I deleted that tweet a minute after. I had to tell myself to shut up, literally.

You see, I let myself get lazy over the years. Even Reward Davies saw my laziness and left me alone. I can’t fault him tho, my indecisiveness must have made his head spin.

Looking back, I don’t have any regrets. I mean, on relocating back to Benin in 2014, I could easily have started a Graduate program at University of Benin and would have been done with it by now. But nah, I was damaged from working in Lagos and I needed to take time off to recover. Which I did, but I let it linger for far too long.

I was hiding under the excuse of ‘I’m not a hustler’. Don’t get me wrong, I am still strongly of the opinion that ambition is such bullshit which takes away happiness. I’ll still take contentment over ambition, but there should be a limit to this. A thin line between contentment and laziness.

Anyway, like they say, it’s never too late to make a change. No use regretting wasted time. I have already stated in my first blog post of the year that in 2019, I am going to put myself in inconveniencing situations. Those exams I have been avoiding, I would take them and I will prepare meticulously for them.

Why did I delete my tweet? Because I knew for real, luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity. I am not naïve to ignore the fact that some persons, really do have it all planned out for them, but that’s just a few of the world’s richest population. Most of us need to actually put in some level of work.

I mean, even those friends I was referring to, the ones doing Masters abroad, or those that have left for other establishments all made a move. Even Dr. Uyi who is also a believer in the ambition is bullshit movement, I know the sacrifices he made to move to NY to practice medicine. I knew I was being irresponsible, wanting those nice things to happen to me as well without putting in the work.

I know I’m very good at ranting or should I say lamenting? but to a large extent I will say I have been intentional in not losing the essence of what life is about. My mind would always go back to 2016 when I had a paradigm shift. It hit me I was just existing. I was there wishing on a star for a better life. Constantly complaining about work stress and how it was consuming me, till I woke up and knew I had to be intentional about creating my own happiness.

There comes a point where you have to suck it up, and stop whining and start living” _ Callie Torres (Greys Anatomy)

If I have been able to get it right as per my pursuit of happiness, why then am I finding it difficult to change the status quo as regards my career path?

January till date, I have been feeling stuck. Feeling like I am in a place where I no longer belong. I have had same job function for Five years plus now. God knows I desire a new path. As Makua aptly put it after reading my lamentation on Instagram, he asked “Do you like your job or you just want to experience another type of freedom?”

Here’s an excerpt from my post on Instagram –

‘My entire being currently feels stuck in a place I don’t feel I belong to. I’m still having the urge to tear it all up, burn it to the ground and start my life afresh. Cause chaos and for once know what it’s like to live with uncertainty.’

This change I strongly desire would not come from wishful thinking. I saw this tweet recently and it spoke volumes to me –

“If you want a better life, you have to be willing to pay the ‘true cost’ of a better life. Leaving behind old friends, bad habits, unhealthy ways, saving money, making new connections, e.t.c” – @Nappyb0yy

The cost I have to pay to change my narrative if I am serious about a new life path/journey is giving up my convenience. No more lazying about, I have rested and I have healed from the scars of working in Lagos. I am taking this post as me making a commitment to actually get up and do something proactive to change things.

Even if I don’t succeed, or things do not work out as wished for, I will be at peace knowing I did put in effort. That I made an attempt and I worked towards not just one, but two paths I am interested in pursuing.

For now I am a bit confused as to which I truly desire but nothing’s lost. I will chase all nevertheless and when it comes to the bridge of deciding which to go for, I will cross it.

Peep this lyrics from my current favourite song -

You got to get up
You got to get up and make a move
‘Cause the world will never see you until you do
No, they don’t really care what you’re going through
So you got to show them, baby
‘Cause everybody’s got their own damn problem
So everybody’s trying to find their way
And day by day is the struggle
In this world you know you have to hustle
Just know that you are not alone
You don’t always have to be strong all by yourself
I said, it’s okay to ask for help”
-          Like you by Tatiana Manaois

“I don’t know how some people can just accept what life gives them and be okay with that. I don’t care if I have to struggle and go through the pain as long as it’s building the life I see fit for myself, I’ll take it.” – Luis Garcia

It’s really quite simple though, if you dream about a certain life, you gotta work towards making it a reality. Enough with the day dreaming and get to work! This post is mostly for me, first as a commitment and also to serve as a reminder I can fall back to just incase I derail and lose focus. Also, I want to believe this can also help someone make a stand to kick laziness to the curb and actively work towards that life envisaged.

I sincerely hope that a year from now, I’ll read this piece and I’ll smile with pride because it would all be worth it.

“Be intentional, you can’t afford to continuously let life happen to you. Figure out what you want and all the small steps required for you to get there.” - @glory_osei

Tuesday, 26 February 2019

MUSIC REVIEW - MY TOP ALBUMS OF 2018


I spent a better part of the month going through about 40 albums released in 2018. As with previous years, my list usually comprises top 10 albums but this time around, after reviewing and shortlisting 21 albums, I couldn’t but end the list with Top 12 albums.

I need to make it clear about the criteria I used. I draw my list strictly from personal preference and experience with music. This list is made up of albums I could relate to, those that saw me through dark times, those that broke me and yet put me together still, albums with lyrical depth and obvious themes.

These albums gave me life in 2018. Take note of the worthy mention category, those albums are just as good as the Top 12.

12.  Dan + Shay by Dan + Shay
       Genre - Country


This self-titled album is the third effort from Country music duo – Dan Smyers and Shay Mooney. It’s my favourite country music album of 2018. The album has a feel good dreamy flow that makes you think of the one who holds your heart. When listening to the album, I always picture myself on a road trip with the windows down, the air blasting into my face and the album playing at top volume while my mind travels through memories made with that special one.


Favourite Tracks – Speechless, Tequila, What keeps you up at night

11. Origins by Imagine Dragons
       Genre – Electropop


I will always compare any new Imagine Dragon’s album to their debut album which was and still is a masterpiece. Sadly, none of their follow up albums has been able to meet same level of excellence. Origins feels like a continuation of their previous LP – Evolve, though in itself, Origin boasts of some memorable songs. I’ll say the band did well on this album, though it’s a typical Imagine Dragon sound, nothing new per say. Songs like Boomerang and Stuck hit home ‘cus this album came out at a time when I was struggling with moving on from a broken relationship.

Favourite Tracks – Stuck, Bad Liar, Boomerang, Birds

10. Bastian Baker by Bastian Baker
       Genre – Country, Pop


I discovered Bastian Baker last year when I took a risk in downloading his fourth album. I was drawn by the album art and it was worth the data consumed. I remember the shiver that went down my spine when I heard Time.  I sent the track - You Should Call Home to Kareem, this was his response – “I practically stood still in the office after listening to this”.

Favourite Tracks Time, You Should Call Home, Another Day

9. Camila by Camila Cabello
    Genre – Pop


I remember wondering how 2018 was going to be music wise, then Camila dropped her debut solo album fresh off her split from Fifth Harmony. The album started the year for me and gave  a promise that the year was indeed going to be a good year for music. This was a good pop vocal album well deserving of its Grammy nomination for that category.

Favourite Tracks Never be the same, Consequences, Something’s gotta give

8. Bridges by Josh Groban
    Genre – Classical crossover

This album couldn’t have come at a much better time. I discovered the song Granted when I was dealing with a bit of quarter life crisis. I decided to get the full album and it was a blessing to me. I remember that time I almost cried listening to Bridge over troubled water (Simon and Garfunkel cover), not because of pain I was dealing with but because one of my best pals was going through so much and there really wasn’t anything I could do to ease the ache. If you are looking for up-lifting music, you should get this album.

Favourite Tracks – Granted, Bridge over troubled water, River, Bigger than us

7. Burn the Ships – For King & Country
    Genre – Gospel Pop


What I love about this album is that it’s not your typical gospel album, but still it delivers messages that enriches the soul. The theme of the album focuses on moving on from the past. Forgetting your past and fighting on. One of my favourite lyrics on the album goes ‘Step into a new day, we can rise up from the dust and walk away, we can dance upon our heartache, so light a match, leave the past, burn the ships and don’t look back’.

Favourite Tracks – Burn the ships, Fight on fighter, Control, Pioneers

6. Only Love – Jordan Smith
    Genre – Pop


I got to know Jordan Smith from his The Voice Blind audition, where he blew everyone away with his rendition of Sia’s Chandelier. He eventually went on to win the show. Smith’s vocals on this album is fire. The lyrical content is excellent and impressively, he co-wrote six of the twelve tracks on the album. The album track opener – Please and the closing track – Sleeve are sure to get your emotions stirred up. Only love is another stand out on the album, his vocals are sure to give you goose bumps. The vocal runs on Feel good is another exciting highlight on the album.

Favourite Tracks – Sleeve, Please, Find yourself with me, Only love

5. The Greatest Showman OST by Various Artists
    Genre – R&B, Pop


The album was released early December 2017, but only gained traction early 2018 and went on to be amongst the top selling albums of 2018 (pure sales). Well, I’m also grouping this album with the re-released Reimagined version that had A-list artists cover all tracks on the album. Kelly Clarkson’s cover of Never enough is such a delight. Sadly, a wrong artist was chosen to cover This is me. A Christina Aguilera or Demi Lovato would have done the song justice than Kesha.

Favourite Tracks – This is me, Never enough, Rewrite the stars

4. Bad Together by Rozzi
    Genre – R&B, Pop


I love it when the message on an album is very clear and the songs have a flow, such that it tells a story. Bad together is one album that delivers perfectly on this. It tells the story of a relationship, from the start, through the bad times to the end of the relationship. This album was released after my break up. Having something I could relate to gave me comfort. My favourite track, Uphill battle felt like I was staring into a mirror the first time I heard it. Two things you can’t ignore on this album are Rozzi’s song writing prowess and her vocal talent.


Favourite Tracks – Uphill battle, Lose us, Bad together, 66 Days

3. A Star is Born OST – Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper
    Genre – Country, Pop, Rock, Folk


I played this album a thousand times, fell in love with it a hundred times over before I even watched the movie. This album is a masterpiece and one of the best Original Soundtrack Albums out there. The stand out song on the album - Shallow has won an Oscar, a Golden globe and two Grammy awards.
The only downside I’ll say is the addition of the dialogues from the movie to the album.
  Favourite Tracks – Shallow, Heal Me, Before I cry

2. Look up Child by Lauren Daigle
    Genre – Gospel


This album saved me. I found rescue and peace from this album during one of my most trying times of 2018. Going through tough/dark and looking for something to motivate you to keep going on, to not give up on yourself? This is the album for you. One thing that also stands out on this album is the song arrangement. The message on each track flows perfectly into the next, taking you to the next level of strength. I love how the songs go from you realizing you can’t do it on your own, to acknowledging Him as anchor and then the final surrender. The album is a journey to safety.


I wasn’t surprised the album won a Grammy for Best Contemporary Christian Music Album and the stand out song on the album – You say won Best Contemporary Christian Music Performance/song.

Favourite Tracks – You say, Everything I need, Love like this, Rescue

1. Only human by Calum Scott
    Genre – R&B, mid-tempo Pop


Ever since I heard Calum’s cover of Robyn’s Dancing on my own, I was on the lookout for his debut album. His album was much more than what I wanted it to be. This is an album of love and well…it was kinda the unofficial OST of my relationship in 2018 (sadly that’s over now).
My mind always go back to good times when everything was rosy anytime I hear You are the reason and Hotel Room.  Maybe I chose this as my best album of 2018 because of my sentimental attachment to it or well, maybe because Calum Scott has that voice that carries so much emotions you can almost feel them listening to him.
  Favourite Tracks – You are the reason, Dancing on my own, Hotel room, Not dark yet

  BONUS

  Birthplace by Novo Amor
  Genre – Indie


Ever since I got this album, it has been my new go to album whenever I need to get lost in a trance. The album takes me to a place where I feel like I’m floating with nothing bugging my mind.  Birthplace has same calming effect on me like Coldplay’s Ghost stories album.

   Favourite Tracks – Sleepless, Anniversary, Repeat Until Death

WORTHY MENTIONS OF 2018
1.      Simisola by Simi
I have overplayed this album so much Simi should be begging me for water to drink. One of the best albums out of Nigeria in 2018. The lyrics, track arrangement, production and of course Simi’s unique vocals makes for a complete work of art.
2.      Sex & Cigarettes by Toni Braxton

The Best traditional R&B album of 2018 hands down!
3.      3 (The Purple Album) by Lukas Graham

This band forever gets us reminiscing on our growing up phase. Love someone is definitely a standout song on the album and one of my best songs of 2018.
4.      Forbidden by Todrick Hall

This visual album is pure art. Everything about the juxtaposition of society in expressing his message about forbidden love is pure talent.

5.      Ready (EP) by Ruel


I wish this was a full length album so we can be blessed with more of Ruel’s awesomeness.

DISAPPOINTMENTS OF 2018
1.        Everything is love by The Carters

By every standard ‘Everything is love’ is a good Hip hop album, but like Uche said, how can two greats come together to deliver such an average album. I mean its Beyonce and Jay Z who have given us magic in the past like Crazy in Love, Déjà vu, Bonnie and Clyde, Upgrade u, Welcome to Hollywood and Drunk in love. I have always imagined their joint album would be explosive with several top Billboard Hot 100 hits. *sigh
2.        Electric Light by James Bay

This is not the James Bay I fell in love with. I get he wanted to try another sound but sadly it didn’t work out well.
3.        Glory Sound Prep by Jon Bellion

It feels like blasphemy having Jon Bellion on the list of Disappointing albums but damn, this album was a hot mess!
4.        Cage to Rattle by Daughtry

Should I take this as a bad break up between Daughtry and Myself? I mean, their last two albums have not been all that, but this one was the final nail on the coffin. I actually forgot they released an album last year till I was making a list of albums I downloaded in 2018. Such a forgettable album.

Tuesday, 22 January 2019

ABOUT 30 (GROWING PAINS)


PS – this is a long post.

I began 2018 saying I wasn’t ready to be 30 years old. As the year progressed, I forgot about that ‘cus I had to step up to the challenges life kept throwing my way. If asked to describe 2018 in one word, it would be ‘Growth’. 2018 had me fighting for survival; it was either I hardened up or I crashed out.
Life has a way of maturing someone. It breaks you and moulds you into a stronger version of yourself. The growth process is never really pretty. You go through the fire but you come out stronger.

Some persons might be shocked after reading this ‘cus I mean, from all the travel pictures, the seemingly happy smiles, everything looked all so perfect. Like Odafi said after I let him in on some of the stuff that plagued me last year, he said ‘funny how from afar people think your life is perfect and have everything going for you’.

I saw this tweet sometime last year – “I think the hardest part about adulting is that the show must always go on. You could be going through the roughest patches, in the basement of rock bottom with no sign of light, but you must still show up and act your part and be good at it.” –@SenzyM

That was me a number of times last year. I bet if any of my colleagues knew half of what I dealt with they’ll be stunned. At first the year started with me learning to not let random unplanned expenses bother me. I wrote about it when it became overwhelming.

I can deal with me being the one going through pain, but when it’s a family member or close friend, where all I can do is watch and hope for the best, that’s the worst. That kills me faster than anything and that was what led me to my lowest point in 2018.

I remember running to the office to find safety that Saturday. It always seems like once I step into the office, I step into another world. Pascal called just after I got feedback from home that things had stabilized. I was relieved, but my strength was gone, I was mentally drained. He led me to the Catholic Church opposite my office where I learnt first-hand the beauty and serenity that comes from sitting in an empty church. Oh, the peace it brings upon troubled hearts.

This was ending April/beginning of May and I was already tired of 2018. My major prayer point then was that God should end the storms and make everything stop. I remember sometime in May/June I had two family members hospitalized at the same time. Still, not one day did I let it show at work. The only time someone would have suspected, was when I couldn’t stay for my Branch Manager’s send forth. I had to be at the hospital, but I think my colleagues took it as my normal anti-social ways.
****

The other half of the year seemed to be much better and easier on me…It felt like I could finally breathe. Though one or two issues here and there, but I had learnt to leave it all to God. Things became calm till well, life decided to give me a lesson on relationships.

September was our first year anniversary. I had for once completed a year in a relationship, but little did I know it was to be the end of us. I have always said I am not a relationship person. It took me unlearning a lot, dealing with so much, compromising so much of me, all for what? To have my trust broken. We always see the cracks and signs, but we stay, telling ourselves things will get better, but do they really?

If I have no trust for you, then we’ve got nothing. That’s my deal breaker. What I went through has made me even more scared of marriage. I kept asking myself so if we had gotten married, that’s how I would not have been able to break free? Seeing as I don’t have divorce amongst my options.

Ever heard of the term gas lighting? I hadn’t till it was done to me. It took me months to recover, to heal, forgive and get back to being friends. I struggled with moving on, we tried to get back together three or four times till we realised for real, it would never really be the same again. Moreover, some fundamental issues we have always dealt with would never be fixed. “There’s no use trying when the pieces don’t fit anymore” - James Morrison.

For the first time in my life, I had to deal with academic failure for real. I had a professional exam, which during the course of the year I failed a paper twice. Even though I knew it’s mostly due to me underestimating the course initially and then not following through with my reading plans for the resit examination, my head still tried to mess with me. I kept thinking maybe I am no longer good academically. My world stood still for a minute when I saw the result that I had failed the paper the second time.

And then December came. After smiling all through November thinking I had finally found a peaceful ending to 2018, everything came crashing down. I remember coming across the book (When God doesn’t make sense) that helped me years ago through difficult times. My mind told me to read it, but I moved away from the book, thinking to myself that I am not going to read it before I subconsciously prepare myself for trouble. Boy, if only I had known trouble truly was coming for real and I needed to prepare myself.

I mentioned earlier how the office feels like a safe haven from my woes, but now the same office turned to my war zone. December was nothing close to what I had hoped or prayed for.

I had the second worst experience of my entire career last December. I cried…oh I cried twice self. I broke, my heart bled, my head spun…but still I knew I had to show up and keep the work going. I was smiling to customers but inside I was dying. “Smiling but we close to tears” – The Script.

I had met my target for the 2018 by October and was basically cruising to year end. But first week of December, I was the only one left in my team as two of my team members were on maternity leave, my boss also started his annual leave. December that normally used to be free, with low transactions turned out to be the busiest month of the year. Not just because it was only me, but really there were so many transactions from various customers. Even the customers tried to empathize with me, but the work had to go on.

These transactions sadly were not the type to bring in money, but rather were rapidly depleting my portfolio. I was helplessly watching all I had worked for all year fade away. I was working my ass off, but trying to ignore I had a mandate to transfer half of my balance sheet to another bank. That was basically me kissing my promotion goodbye. I remember on time, I was walking up the stairs after resolving some issues, going back to my desk to meet more irate customers. I stopped on the stairs to catch my breath, and then a tear dropped, just one tear. I wiped it off and told myself I had to keep going, I was going to get my work done and sort my exploding head out that weekend.

The weird thing was, that preceding weekend I complained to Odafi about how I wasn’t at peace because I kept having anxiety about something going wrong at the office.

At weekend, my team member, Eme called to cheer me up. While we spoke I knew there was no need holding it in anymore. I had to let it out, else I would not be able to face the coming week and its pressure. So I broke, and I let the tears fall. I dropped the phone and cried my heart out. I processed my pain and made peace with whatever was going to happen.

I waited for December 31st to come. I needed to feel free, to survive that financial year and have the pressure stop so I can take a deep breath. The last two weeks of December were not stable. One minute things were looking bright, the next minute everything seemed to be falling apart. Well, thankfully the year ended on a very good note and lines fell in pleasant places for me.

****
I thought I’d be happier but I still wasn’t. I was numb. Dead inside from all the pain and madness I had gone through. I felt relieved and grateful things ended well but yet I still felt undone. Life really did a big one on me, took so much from me to survive December and now I’m left hanging by a thread with my soul bruised.

I have been undergoing an online training at the office titled ‘Finding your best’. I have learnt so much on mindfulness, control and being calm in tough situations, focusing on things within my control and working to be in the present more often. One of the tutors said something important, she said even after mastering the act of control, it doesn’t mean you will stop being human, that there won’t be disappointments or frustration situations. What matters is how you handle it.

It’s almost like there is no aspect of my life that I wasn’t stretched on in 2018. Looking back it feels like 29yrs was a training year, prepping me and building me into an adult. Yes, age is just a number, but we can’t deny that the 30yrs means so much. It feels like a major turning point, a major milestone in life that ushers one into the path of who you truly are and what the rest of your life is likely going to be about. It’s almost as if, the teen years and twenties are your years of testing the waters, figuring out who you are and who you want to be. Stepping into the big 30, feels like now the true life race has started.

I had to fill a form at the hospital recently. There was a column for age, I absent mindedly wrote 30years. The moment I did, I had to take a pause, ‘cus seeing it in ink made me realise it was real. To be honest, I forget at times I am now 30 years old. I mean, this young looking chap is 30? I don’t even feel it.  But it is, and seeing it in ink made me feel the weight of it all. This is me, this is a new decade, the realization that I am now heading towards forty. Whew!

I had to change my ringtone recently. I realised that whenever my phone rang, I always feel a bit tensed. The ringtone brought back bad memories of the pain I went through in December. My phone was always ringing constantly, and 90% of the calls were customers calling with one issue or the other. If I even hear that song I used as ringtone then, there is a good chance the horrible memories of December 2018 will come flooding back. Sadly, that was one of my favourite Daughtry songs.

I deactivated my social media accounts. I needed to shut out the noise and needless distractions. Focus on myself and heal completely from 2018. This post was supposed to have been written and posted by 31st December. But I was too torn apart to bring myself to write. I told myself I wasn’t going to pressure myself or rush the healing process. I needed to relax and I found myself sleeping a lot. I realized it was not only my mind that needed healing, my body too needed it.

I am tagging it my path to self-rediscovery. I need an adventure to cleanse the bitter taste of life from my soul. Something exploratory, like hiking or camping for days in a remote location where I’d be cut off from city life. A trip that’ll afford me the opportunity to dig deep within me, push my body beyond limits, have a sweet time with nature and rejuvenate my soul, excite myself back to life.

One thing I learnt from the online training is that to build confidence, you have to expose yourself to tough and uncomfortable conditions. That’s the only way one can grow. I have decided that those things I have been running from, telling myself I am protecting myself, I have decided to go for them. Life happened to me last year and placed me in uncomfortable situations which I had to grow through but this time, I am going to intentionally challenge myself.

One thing I know that helped me a lot last year to keep sane and maintain balance was my passion/hobbies – photography, music, traveling, writing and reading. I have since learnt that even though we live in a commercialised society, it is important for one to carve out time for those experiences that gives us restorative flow. Even though I am not making money from my passions (for now), they are serving an important purpose of keeping me balanced and energized.

Life may seem overwhelming for the now, but I am already on my recovery path. It feels like 2019 has not yet started for me, like I still have a lot of sadness and pain from 2018 I have to do away with. I’m thankful for friends who I can talk to when it’s really so overwhelming and it feels like my head is going to explode. Then my mind starts drifting to that unhealthy place where all I think of is how it would have been better if I wasn’t born. I want to make everything stop, even if just for a minute so I can breathe, clear my head, sort things out but time and life waits for no one.

“And I’m wishing we could slow it down
But time keeps running faster than it used to
I can’t get used to faster…it keeps going faster
Than I want it to…than I’m used to
Faster…it keeps going faster”
-          Bastian Baker (Time)

It feels as if I have been fighting my whole life, struggling to survive so many demons that keep changing faces as I grow older. The dark days have different looks but yet the sunken feeling is all so familiar. Maybe someday I’d win the war, but deep down I fear that one day my mind may finally break and I’d have to end it all, but on the bright side I guess I’d finally find some peace.

But for now, while I still have the power to fight, to hope for sunny days and rainbows… I’ll focus on recovering from all that 2018 did to me. I’ll try to fix myself while hoping and praying 2019 will be nicer to me and the 30s also will go easy on me as well.

Psalm 61:2 – ‘from the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I.’                                                                     
****

UPDATE – I got better.


I wrote this post while I was feeling low, I was crashing and I knew I needed to let it out. I took three days off work, took a road trip to Lagos, attended my close pal’s wedding, saw close friends who I could talk with, then went to the beach to have some me time. The trip was therapeutic. Listening to music, allowing the fresh air blow into my face (sometimes window down is way better then AC while driving). The ocean healed me. I allowed the water wash over my feet as I sat on the sand allowing the waves threaten to sweep me into the ocean. 


When the night began to fall I had to retreat but continued my moment of solitude gazing into the sea, processing everything and clearing the clutter from my head. I finally had a moment to breathe. I left there fully aware I was whole.

I came back to Benin City feeling alive and ready to take on 2019. It feels like my year just began, everything feels so much easier, like all I can see is sunshine. The dark phase is over and I’m optimistic about the year, hopefully 2019 would be much nicer and easier on me. I’m still looking forward to that adventure filled trip, somewhere remote that’ll give me an extended time with nature, something out of my routine that will give me a thrilling experience and excite me back to existence 100%.

If only we had facilities in Nigeria where one could check into when life feels overwhelming, a place different from our routine with professionals who can design a recovery program, but well, we have to make do with what we have. 
I’m glad that over the years I have come to understand myself and know when to stop, when to take a deep breath, shut out the world and follow through with my recovery path to rejuvenate myself. 

Yes, it gets heavy and really dark, and most times I hate I am wired this way but it is what it is and I have to deal with it. I’m thankful for the support system I have found in few good friends, even though most don’t get it, but having them there to listen has been enough.

One thing though, not every low feeling is depression. I get we are only beginning to create awareness about mental health in Nigeria, but then sadness and feeling of being burnt out/overwhelmed with life should not be mistaken for depression. I get they are very similar, but from the little knowledge I have about this, I think it’s important they are not confused with each other in order for proper care to be given in managing each.

Right now, I’m thankful for my recovery, I feel healthy and better and much lighter upstairs. At least I know when I smile and laugh now, I no longer go silent afterwards feeling hollow or feeling like a fraud that I’m smiling/laughing when within me I don’t feel alright. Right now I laugh and smile peacefully and it feels pleasant and genuine.

I pray this lasts and doesn’t fade away so soon…