Thursday, 21 July 2016

THE 27TH YEAR: “THE DASH BETWEEN THE YEARS”




Wisdom is not a product of schooling but the life-long experience to achieve it—Albert Einstein


My friend Julie Trembley Gildon made this last year
At the very beginning of my 26th year (my #26thBirthday), I wrote this note to self: “On a day like this, back in the day (1989), she smiled when I cried. These 26 years are such a gift; I wish to go grey.I have learned very beautiful things; I have made mistakes, I have learned from them. I have loved; and I will continue to love. I am ready to learn, re-learn and unlearn. Life isn’t about finding shelter in the storm. It’s about learning to dance in the rain. Truth be spoken; good judgment comes from experience. Embrace the magic of life. Discover everything you can.Learn lessons. Connect with your purpose. Giveback. Here; in my world. Most of the things talked about happen in the real world just that they go through the weird filter thing. My candid advice, never blind to the horrors of life; the pettiness of human beings. Their greed and resentment. Experience, and not age breeds maturity. I always like new beginnings. There is always a freshness and anticipation of what’s in the unknown, the chance to a clean start. But then again, new beginnings imply old endings. Borrowing the words of my model, Nelson Mandela: excerpt from a long walk to freedom: “I am fundamentally an optimist. Whether that comes from nature or nurture, I cannot say. Part of being optimistic is keeping one’s head towards the sun, one’s feet moving forward

For the 27th year, the vow is a very big and ‘scary’ dream: I want to be Africa’s best young writer, make History. Yes “I can”, with and by the guidance of the Lord and the right people in my corner.    
   
Good things have happened and very terrible things too, but as a matter-of-factly, in all these things, I have learned invaluable lessons—lessons that no other person’s life experience would ever teach me.From the loss of our father; doubling my orphan status, calling it quits with Shane’s mother and most importantly; re-strategizing, which I am doing right now: I finally said Yes and I want to live each day from now believing that in the 27thyear, a breakthrough is coming. As the year ended( December 2015), while I was at church(Watoto,Kasanga) for Prayers, I was given a sticker that had the beautiful words from Psalms 65: 11(NIV), reading: “You crown the year with bounty and your carts over flow with abundance”.—this became my scriptural verse for the year and still is.8 years ago (shortly two years after mum’s sudden passing on), I wrote to Natalie Grant; one of my favorite female gospel musicians, telling her how music inspired me; that was after I had fallen in love with her songs, Hurricane and Held. Natalie, a very down-to-earth woman responded and she recommended me yet another one, in better hands, I still wake up and listen to it whenever I am feeling lowly. These words from the song are my still my source of strength:
“It’s hard to stand
On shifting sand
In the shadows of the night
You can’t be free
If you don’t reach for help
And you can’t love
If you don’t love yourself
But there is hope when my faith runs out…
Cause I’m in better hands, now”

A recap of the 26th year I just ended:

ALONG THE WAY, I ALMOST MARRIED; FOR THE WRONG REASON(S).
Marriage is one of the things we should be very careful about—as I have often read, ‘be careful when choosing your prison-mate’, the person you vow to spend the rest of your life with. The beauty about love and dating is that you know when things have gone ripe over the bend; and certainly if you are a keeper, that becomes the opportune moment to work it out. For my story, I resorted to scripture and other self-help books on how to keep a struggling relationship in shape, it almost killed me: I paid my dues, the beauty of it, I will know next time I want to stumble.

The last two years of fatherhood and the other bonus one year earlier offered me a test—how much would I stretch myself to playing a hero.It turns out, at some point you have to stand tall and say enough, I did just that: my biggest lesson, ‘you have to learn to walk away from the table where love is no longer being served’. I would wake up each morning and pick up my scriptural love masterpiece, the Love Dare, and I would read something for the day, every day. I did that for one year and six months when I was made to feel the miserablest dog.I remember eight years ago, as a literature student, we did a play titled the School for Scandal—of the lead characters, Lady Teazle and Peter Teazle are presented by Richard Brinsley Sheridan as the direct equivalent of a frayed couple in the present day world: ‘where conversation is only through their crosses and Vexations’; as Peter Teazle laments in one of the scenes: “when I had just married her; she made the happiest man but now she has made me the ‘miserablest’ dog”. 

My biggest hindrance to making up the final judgment was my son. I could sit back and imagine a life where he would have to live in a world that robbed him of the love from his parents that he deserved. One day, I shared with a trusted friend and she told me: “Grace, you don’t have to worry about your son while abusing yourself. At times you have to do what will make your kid grow up in a world free from the fights of the parents. You are still a strong, handsome and talented young man; you can put yourself together again”. That was mid-year (2015); letting go just didn’t seem that easy thinking there would be a change, unfortunately; that never happened to say the least.

September 2015, I was reading some of Shonda Rhimes’ scripts and I came across some of her book reviews on Amazon for, A YEAR OF YES, basically a book that smacks one awake to doing the thing you fear the most. I couldn’t get it in the book stores around and neither did I purchase from Amazon but I kept reading snippets about saying YES. By December, I was so close to what I needed to do for the New Year in my life. I determined to say YES before my 27th birthday if nothing better showed up in this relationship: I am glad I took a step of faith and courage and I Pray that the Lord blesses all us whatever roads we traverse.

It’s tough to let it go when a kid is involved, especially if you have done everything in your might to love that kid unconditionally. For Shane’s case, I hang in a little longer(a be. This could have pushed my misery longer but it’s been a win-win: it gave me the chance to be in his life and gave me invaluable life-lessons about parenting, for that I am glad I stayed. I have thought through what I will tell this innocent man when he asks about it in future and I finally found it.


with my little Pince,Shane Abaho Jr at 10 months of age
Dearest son,
You are the one person I have ever loved the most. The one person I will always love, unconditionally. You are my blood and definitely an heir to the throne I will have as your father. About me and your mother staying apart, that’s the best decision we could ever make for you. As you grow up into a man; as the years go by, you will learn the wisdom of age: “at times we have to hurt in order to heal”. I love you and will try to do everything I can for you as long as I live.
Love, Dad”.

Pressure from the village folks can at times be ailing and misleading: Once you have a kid, its proof positive that you have a ‘wife’; in the case where you haven’t adopted one. The village folks will be the very best when it comes to the ‘feel-good’, how is your ‘wife’? Certainly, you can’t decline, by virtue of the kid and you say she is well. I have lived through that for two years(every time I visited they asked) and now I have to address a new me; sorry we couldn’t move ahead, but I bet she is okay.See,breaking up is not something easy, especially if a kid is involved as I earlier said.

Honesty in the age of Social media will haunt you: If you have shared a picture(s) with your kid’s mother and tried to do the best keeping the dirty laundry inside the closet(singing praise and all that stuff), it comes back to you—which is okay though. I could face the same issue with my lady friends who often asked, “How is your wife?” I could slide it off and say, “I am not married yet girl, just on the road to it”. Certainly; all they can do, most of them is quip back, “liar, you are married”. That would mark the beginning of the end of the conversation, it is so wrong to want to force a status on anyone. The thing about Life though is that you just have to live your life in the most authentic self and leave it upon the world to judge it, whether ruthlessly or with kindness, in the end; there comes a point when you have to stop crossing oceans for people who wouldn’t even jump puddles for you: personal happiness is key. 

In the end, my appreciation to everyone who has been kind to us knows no bounds. Those who have been kind to me, especially after the ‘heart-wrenching break up’, though liberating: more especially, those that check in on me each day to know how I am I am holding up—telling me how fortunate I am, it is such reminders that keep me steadfast and on track for the beautiful life ahead. I race toward God and pray that even when there are no easier answers, I will stay put for it always seems impossible until it is done. In the words of Kitt Weagant: “our desire to grow, to make Peace for ourselves….to know we have counted in the lives of others, is healthy and necessary to our existence
Grace Abaho Sris an INDEPENDENT BLOGGER: “PERSONAL STORY, an excerpt from my book: “GREATNESS IS NOT A GIVEN” (WiP)”

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