Another spanking new year, in good health and good spirits. Aren’t we blessed? I know I am, I mean, 2017 was one of my most memorable years and it couldn’t possibly have ended on a better note than it did. My gratitude was and still is at an all-time high. Plus, I get to blog again, even though nobody was stopping me. Nobody but me, that is.
After I got the blog back up and running in October, I couldn’t bring myself to write anything. There was so much I was feeling and experiencing and I wanted to share, but I just couldn’t. There were times I would come online and stare at the blog and slink away again after a few minutes, but here I am, writing and conquering unknown fears and stuff. Heehah!
A few years ago, I was in church during a praise concert. Praise concerts basically feature more dancing and singing than the other things that happen in a church service. This one was a really big deal, everybody shaking for the Lord and stuff. I even left my seat for another seat closer to the drums because I really wanted to dig it. There was this woman who sat beside me, completely unfazed by all the loud music and frenzied gyrations. She just sat there staring blankly into space totally unaffected by the happenings around her. Initially, I thought she only needed a few minutes to boot properly, as the service started really early. As someone who is not a morning person, I could relate. But everytime my gyrating hips hit her, I was made aware of this unsmiling quiet woman.
After some time, I couldn’t look away anymore. I tapped her. Is everything okay? She turned to look unseeingly at me, and then she turned away in silence. I tapped her again. You’re not dancing, are you okay? Her responding nods said, leave me abeg. Not in the mood. But it was difficult to concentrate on my gyrating beside such an obviously unhappy woman. I guess it was also difficult for her to be unhappy in the face of so much joy, because after some time, she walked out of the church. And gbeborun somebody that I am, I followed her. She sat on a pavement outside and held her bowed head. I saw her heaving shoulders and knew she was crying even before I got to her. I sat on the pavement and put my arms around her, saying nothing. She was too sad to bother who it was that held her, didn’t even raise her head. She just sat there weeping, and I couldn’t even ask why.
About ten minutes or so later, she wiped her face with her scarf and told me thank you. and we walked back to our seats. I went back to gyrating, albeit with less gusto than before, and she stood this time. Didn’t gyrate, just swayed from left to right in tune with the drums. I tried not to be aware of her the whole time, but I failed. Liver no gree me ask what the problem was, and I never saw her again after that service.
Today, for some very obscure reason, I remembered this woman today. I wondered if she’s happier now. I wondered if life was kinder to her, even though I will never know what the source of her sadness was that day. In the years between then and now, life first showed me pepper, then was very kind to me. I just know, that it makes life more meaningful, when you share another’s burden. You change, somehow, inside, when you’re the reason for another’s smile, or the end of their tears. Or maybe just the person who listens to others, no questions asked.
For someone who used to take almost everything in her life for granted, I think the two biggest gifts that suffering gave me were gratitude and empathy. Gratitude not because I think I have it better than anyone else, because I know for a fact that I don’t, but I understand that life itself is a gift. And empathy because I think it’s the door to divinity. As I grow older, all I want to do with myself is be comfortable in my own skin, comfortable enough to evolve into the best version of myself as contained in God’s blueprint, and help people do and be the same, one person at a time. If I had new year resolutions, they would be predicated upon these two. I have a birthday coming in a couple weeks. These are some of the thoughts that swim around in my head almost all the time.
How was 2017 for you? Still believe in resolutions? Do you have any? Share with me, please. And while you’re at it, be great.