By – Lois Peters
This year has been a journey for me; Journey to what? Well I cant categorically say this or that so my Oga at the top will not comman say another thing. But mostly I can say that it has been a journey that stretched me; stretched me beyond my comfort zones.
My experiences this year can be defined as a roller coaster seeing that it was a mixture of sweet bitter experiences that toughened and made me who I am today. At least, thats what my friend Eze always said to me, the experiences of yesterday even the ones of your formative years, had a contributory effect to who you are today.
One thing about life and experiences is that most times you hear something happen to some people, you never really have an understanding of what it means perhaps because you havent experienced it before now or because it hasnt really happened to someone close to you. This used to be me until 2017 came along.
I remember some years back when my friend had a miscarriage in her first pregnancy, and had a still birth in her second and third pregnancy. As if being around her during the course of her gestation period was not enough suffering from her numerous mood swings, body biting and annoying commands, now I had to face her pains, encourage and comfort her in an experience I have never had. What was I going to say to her that would suffice was the question that raced through my mind. So I stuck to saying, dearie, its well, I understand how you feel and how difficult it is for you, I understand, just know that we will come out of this. Now she asked me a question that forever changed me, she asked, Lois have you experienced this before? How can you possibly say that you understand what Im going through when you havent been where I am now?
Your experience translates into understanding and gives you certain level of awareness about a subject matter!
This right here was what I learnt from her question. I cant possibly say I understood her plight if I hadnt gone through it.
Have you ever felt the same way? When you hear that something happened to another person, you are surprised but you will never understand and feel it like the person who is going through it felt or is feeling. So Ive heard from Nollywood how it is that people from nowhere just have kidney issue and before you know it, theres need for kidney transplant and how it consumes all the money in the house and how the person eventually dies from the experience after all t efforts. I experienced this, this year but lets say the eventual turn of events for my family was different, miraculous. This year, I have had to face a litany of wars that was not beans at all. From having my elder and only brother suffer what they call rich peoples sickness, kidney failure that gulped all the money in the family having burrowed deep into all our pockets to the extent that we sought for assistance from people. A sickness that almost stole my brothers life that his survival was called the hand of God in the matter. He survived without a kidney transplant or any surgery whatsoever. During this period, I learnt the hard part of motherhood as I saw my mom spend countless nights in a mosquito ridden environment; she hardly slept, ate or even had her bathe. She was so determined that she wouldnt lose this one again having lost four children in the past, what would have been said to her if she did? I saw her cry ceaselessly and literarily slimmed down from inside out, it was tough for me to joggle a very demanding job (we needed the money) and also the run arounds of buying drugs and assisting at the same time. And lose an uncle at the same time from same kidney issue was just This is to say the least, word wouldnt suffice to paint the horrible experience of the time in words but like I said earlier, you wouldnt understand my pain cause just maybe, you havent gone through it.
Round 2 was being robbed inside keke. The first experience wasnt really hurting only that I had to stay without a phone for a while. The second situation was annoying, as I didnt see it coming. You know those plans we always have in our minds of what we will do when we are faced with certain scenarios of robbery? My dear, most times, because of the surprise effect of the robbery, you will be too shocked to even remember you had a plan not to talk of executing it. That was my case the second time. The third time was depressing because I fought but still lost my phone with a sustained injury from a hard blow to my nose. As if that was not enough, I finally forgot my Techno Camon 9 inside keke on my way to work. I was literarily devastated. But the you would not understand my pain unless you know that since my brothers illness, i have become the bread winner of my family and have utility bills to pay for both myself in Owerri and my family in Umuahia. And that alongside my brothers recovery drugs and checkups, my father is dealing with high blood sugar level that he needs drugs consistently to level down. Or is it the fact that their feeding was dependent on me as well as mine and the people that live with me and other unforeseen things that come up? To say the least and like I said, words will not be enough to express really how these seemingly experience hit me and destabilized me.
There were times I lost my mind. There were times I went crazy and bemoaned in depression for the weight of what was on my shoulders and being a lady who made a decision in earlier in life not to soil my reputation all because of money as most girls do, it was triple hard and tempting but I had to prove my convictions and stand for my principles.
That day of reckoning always comes. The time where you convictions are being proven by situations and circumstances, you must prove your convictions as long as youre in this part of the divide. One thing kept me going, God and his word, you sure cant go wrong with this.
However, I wouldnt also say I have not had it good sometime this year. At least, someone gifted me with a great phone Techno CX which I guard with my life now. At least my brother didnt die. At least I didnt get stabbed from the robbery in keke like my colleague was. At least I didnt lose my mind, a lot have. At least my father is still alive, my mom, my sis and her kids. And most of all, Im alive and still pushing with more vigor than ever. So Im very grateful to God.
Having gone through 2017, I can boldly say that I have become more marture, I have learnt to be fearless no matter the situation, I have learnt that if you would get something, you must work for it and that there is nothing you cannot possibly achieve if you set your mind to it. And challenges will come definitely, if it hasnt, wait for it for it will definitely come. When it comes, embrace it, for through the exercise of your will and strength against it as if in a fight, pulls our a part of you you never knew was there and gets you ready for the next level. For challenges are the test that gets you ready for your next level.
Finally, when life throws you a lemon, gather them and make a lemonade, sip it down while taking a selfie and be thankful.
To your success, I take a bow!