When I was a kid, one of the first lessons I learnt from experience and on my own was that something would always go wrong. I didn’t have to read a motivational book or the sayings of an old man, I just figured it out before I learnt the pronunciation of “bouquet”.
In that tiny little mind of mine, whenever I was very happy or everything was working out well, I’d tell myself, “Calm down girl, it’s coming”.
It was always a pattern, a painful one. Soon after I get my dreamed 90% grade in school, I’d break my mother’s mirror. Or after getting a thousand naira dash from an uncle, I’d eventually misplace my new earrings. It was a pattern: good – bad – good – good – bad – bad – good.
At first I was angry, especially at God. Growing up in a Christian family, I understood God controlled everything and he decides whether I burn at death or live in his beautiful paradise. I couldn’t hate him of course, who wants to burn for longer than they lived on earth? But I could be angry.
Why the hell did you make me break those eggs? Why didn’t you stop them from falling? If you parted the red sea, you could definitely save my eggs and spare me my mother’s wrath!!!
I think the annoying part was not being able to decide not to like God or believe in him, because you’d go to hell fire under the ground. So I’d swallow the anger, praise and thank him for the good because I had to go to heaven.
Back to the patterns. I think the beautiful part was knowing it wasn’t forever. Staring at the broken vase and knowing after the punishment, something good was coming. Soon, it won’t matter anymore, even if it took months or years.
I learnt to live through the bad moments, the disappointments and the frustration even as a kid (of course misplacing your school fees in primary school might not be as bad as losing all your investments now, but pain is pain and disappointment is disappointment). I didn’t expect ultimate happiness, or ultimate sadness. It was a pattern: good – bad – good – good – bad – bad – good.
Growing up, I forgot this. From praying really hard and attending churches that promised unending joy, I believed I deserved unending happiness and good. Thus when the bad came, it hit me harder. I had prayed really hard, believed really hard, hoped really hard.
So I’d hate life, fate and time. Life for not being fair, fate for not letting me decide and time for not going backwards.
But like Bakar says, the breeze blows where it wants. I’d relearn the lesson and expect the pattern. My prayers might never always be answered, but God always gives peace and the good is always next
Thing is, there are moments the bad looks like it can never end. How does the pain of carrying over a course end soon? Or getting pregnant in school and disappointing your parents? Or even worse, being kicked out of school?
You realize even the pattern isn’t fair. The bad looks like it’s outweighing all the good you’ve ever had in your life and you just want to hurt someone or something in return for all the hurt you have to deal with. It might have been your fault or maybe not, it’s still not fair. Why must things go wrong, you deserve happiness
I’m not old but what I know is
It’s okay, not to be okay
It’s okay, to be angry and frustrated
It’s okay, to cry
It’s okay, when things go wrong
But it’s not okay to forget that it’d eventually be okay. The good would eventually be next, it is a pattern: good – bad – good – good – bad – bad – good.
It’s okay, okay?
For Bakar, my friend with the beautiful heart. I don’t know anyone who lives as much as you do. I hope the breeze takes you to the top with ease, and life let’s you continue to live.