Selah 2017: Life Lately

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It is nearing 6 months into 2017. Wow!

I thought it would be best if I just reflect on how the year is going in terms of my word of the year, SELAH- pause and praise. You can read all about it HERE.

When I was choosing this word, I wanted something that would reflect how I wanted to live, how I wanted my life to be. A life full of gratitude, smallness, intentionality and simpleness. I’m here to inform you, I have done the exact opposite the last 6 months.

I am covetting more and more things as I have began to actively engage in instagram more, I am doing something everyday of the week, my feelings are out of control, I am spending unnecessarily, I am saying yes to everything, I feel a lot of guilt and anxiety and a lot instability.

I came into this year thinking that having a word instead of a list of goals will make accomplishing it or living it easy. Plus, I didn’t pick a word that would require a lot of me, like ADVENTURE, or so I thought, but SELAH is requiring a lot out of me. Pausing for me has meant unlearning a lot of things, which is ridiculously difficult for me because I’ve been one way for so long. I’m still struggling internally with many things, so to be grateful and having a praiseful posture is hardly coming by. I simply cannot do it. It is so hard for me to find gratitude in my life and it is spilling into to areas I very much cherish. I’m learning that an ungrateful heart ruins good things or things that can potentially be good.

To conclude this post, I have NOT been pausing and most importantly praising. Lets see how the next few months go.

If you made a New Year’s resolutions, how is it going?

Exit West by Moshin Hamid

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image from google images

synopsis 

In a country teetering on the brink of civil war, two young people meet—sensual, fiercely independent Nadia and gentle, restrained Saeed. They embark on a furtive love affair and are soon cloistered in a premature intimacy by the unrest roiling their city. When it explodes, turning familiar streets into a patchwork of checkpoints and bomb blasts, they begin to hear whisper …more

My thoughts

This book was a bit underwhelming for me, mainly because I expected the intensity I got from Guapa in this book. I guess this is a reminder that not all books about Arabia (in both books, no specific country was named, but Arabia is kind of inferred) have the same story.

Exit West started out interestingly enough but dulled towards the end. The author in the beginning allowed readers to get to know Saeed and Nadia but still left a few things out that I was hoping to discover about them later, but it never happened. The author in the beginning of the book also seem to invest in their relationship, but again, just left it alone. I was interested in their love story.

I also wish the “door” would have been explained more, I was aware of what “the door” was, but I would have loved to know what actually went into the process, how the migration was till they reached their final destination.

Everything was just presented on a surface level, for example, the lives of refugees in a different country, or Nadia’s decision to wear a hijab but still engage in sex and drugs. For me personally, I think if an author is going to “go there,” they should go all the way. Meaning if you are going to touch on a serious important subject then you should completely explore it. I didn’t feel that Moshin Hamid did that.

Reading the book reviews, I felt that people had strong feelings and connection with this book that I didn’t feel. I’m not sure why I didn’t connect. It just seem so unsettling, well kind of like the life of Nadia, Saeed and other refugees running away from their homeland because of turmoil. I wasn’t too fond of how Moshin foreshadows the end of the story very early on in the book, like, why should I continue to read it if you JUST told me what the end is going to be.

What I do hope for for this book is that many people in the West read it just so they know how it feels like to be a refugee in a foreign country. I think it is important for readers to know that there are people who want to have a very normal life, like Nadia and Saeed that just wanted to go to cafes and sneak around to be together, just normal stuff. But are unable to because of a war torn country and are forced to grow up quickly. It shows how war and surviving can make people miss out on things that most of us take for granted.

Success is not a solo act

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For as long as I can remember, I’ve done everything by myself, for myself. I was one or I am one of those people who would rather go a day without eating than to ask a friend or family to borrow a few dollars. I’m not sure what my true motives were, but I always said to myself, ” I don’t want to burden other people, because they may have their own issues going on.” While a true statement, the fact is that, I thought I didn’t need help from others. I thought I had to be silent about my problems because people may rejoice over them.

Growing up I learned to keep my problems to myself. I learned not to share my troubles and to keep my short comings to myself. I was told outright and I learned mostly from peoples reaction to other peoples failures. I noticed that people really tried hard to hide their flaws and God forbid, if that flaw was exposed, that person was ridiculed.

A few anecdotes 

  •  A lady gave birth to a child with down syndrome, for a while she wouldn’t take the kid out. When she finally did, people trashed talked HER for giving birth to a child like that. 
  • Another was, when a lady’s husband cheated on her but of course she tried to hide it, when it was out in public she was ridiculed.
  • Just going back to my primary school in Ghana, final results were posted in public and woe unto the person who came in last place. He or she would be called out in front of the whole school and the students will be ordered to “boo” the person. 

The truth

When I was younger, I thought nothing of these issues, all it reminded me off was to protect myself and not share my failures or downfalls.

Recently, I’v been learning about sharing. One thing my current pastor says a lot and preach a lot about is community. He always says,

You can’t do life on your own

This is the truth. Life isn’t meant to be done alone. We all need support systems, my friends have been pumping this into my head all weekend. You need to tell people you are struggling with finding employment, they may not be able to hand you a job but they’ll know to make connections when opportunities come up. You need to tell people how you’re feeling, they may not be able to fix the problem but they can tell you that you are not alone or simply be a listening ear.

Another one of my issues with seeking help was, I thought help had to look a certain way and come from certain people. But another truth is that,

support may not look like how we imagine

So, we have to be open to how support shows up in our life and embrace it when it does show up.

Tell me about your support system? How do you show up for people in your life?