Love Waits

Love Waits

For all the things people say about Love, I think the most pressing, which is often neglected, is that love waits. Love, when you sight the gold spot, waits, and perseveres. I don’t see so much perseverance these days when it comes to the different expressions of love that have marked our generation.

Marriages fail these days because, among other things, love acts fast. Sibling rivalries reach new heights because love chooses to act fast.

I am a man, who has been in “love” at different stages of my life and with different people, and I can say that for the different expressions of love I had at different times, the ones that failed were the ones where I was not patient enough.

When my main love expression was keeping you company through the night while you rambled about your dreams, I was not patient enough to realise that on some nights, you just wanted to be on your own.

For another, when it was dragging you to night reading sessions so you’d prepare for your exams, I was not patient enough to realise that it was cool for you to decide to take some other guy to keep you company for the night. I had slowly seen it as an entitlement.

When it was buying you gifts and some of the things that made you happy, I was not patient enough to wait while you went through your happiness phase. My patience wore out once I didn’t see the happiness return.

When you wanted to feel like a gold fish, I was not patient enough to realise all the sensations my presence and body brought was not enough. I made magic with my body, I thought that was enough. I wasn’t patient to see you come out of that phase.

As I sit to think about love, I see a very anecdote with Music. The perception that alternative music is reserved for only the intellectuals, that you can’t listen to Mumford and Sons, The Lumineers, and make a good meaning of their craft without the commensurate intellectual sagacity required is laughable but believed by many to be accurate.

The same people believe love is not for children, they believe you have to be emotionally ready and capable to handle the rigours of love. They make love seem like a man mountain, only to be surmounted by 10,000 hours of gym work through a lifetime. But even the strongest of them all, buckle at the slightest nudging that love brings.

Love is for everyone – young and old. The qualities that make love stand the test of time, have nothing to do with age. They have everything to do with the presence of mind. For I have found out that love, values the presence of mind given to it. When the mind is absent, love withdraws. Love demands absolute commitment and presence.

I have particularly noticed that whenever I feel like I have discovered a gem, I am always prepared to wait no matter how long. Waiting doesn’t seem like a burden anymore because love happened. It is also same for others who have been in love.

Love waits, not just for three months, not 24, not 48. Sometimes an eternity, other times infinity. They mean one and the same.

Stay True!

Miracle Roch.

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God’s Plan

I’ve lived for over two decades on earth. I’m chasing my third decade. I’ve seen quite a few things, yet for the thousands I have seen, there are a million yet to be seen. Do you ever sit down and think about Preachers who have been on the pulpit for over 30 years doing this “thing” every week? I just did the maths, a preacher who has been on the pulpit for 30 years must have preached no less than 1,500 sermons within that period, that’s over 46,000 minutes of sermons at an average of 30 minutes per sermon. That’s over 30 days of continuous preaching non-stop!

Where am I going with this? Hold on. I have literally been in congregations where the experienced preacher suddenly experiences a light bulb moment or shares an exciting message which he says he just discovered from the scripture. Admittedly, I always get carried along in the euphoria, but lately I have been thinking. If a Preacher who has devoted most of his life to studying the Word and preaching every week still sees something he didn’t know before, even after 30 years, that tells me something.

It tells me that life isn’t exhaustive. Shows me that life isn’t best enjoyed when you have the whole world around you, strengthens my belief that life is best lived with each day, and then the next and then some. That life is best lived when you view your time here as an accumulation of days; taking each day as it comes because when push comes to shove, my two decades of living goes down the drain if I don’t learn the lesson waiting around the next day.

This is why I get petrified every morning and strengthened at the same time. Petrified, because I am not so sure I’m making the best use of my days, nevertheless strengthened by how far God has taken me. Strengthened because I know life is a script, and once God takes the wheel of your life, you know he’s doing great things in the background for you. Which is why you must be careful not to impede God’s plan for your life (cue the Aubrey Graham reference).

So it doesn’t matter if they have been wishing a million and one bad things on you, doesn’t matter if they are starting trouble with you, just keep calm and do you stuff, because it’s all part of the script! Don’t be too concerned about the people who make no effort to love you or stay in your life, don’t sneak up on Instagram and feel bad because they didn’t invite you to that party popping on their story. Learn to live per day, the things that are yours will come the next day if it doesn’t come today.

It doesn’t matter if someone was an important part of your life the previous day, when you wake up and notice they have disappeared, don’t get distraught, look forward to your day with optimism because what’s yours will surely come. God’s plan.

I never ever struggle for anything in my life. Girls, money, job, house, material things, love, etc. I have never ever made any elaborate plan to get any of those things. I have always believed in waiting your turn, what’s your will always come. This strategy has worked for me and keeps working. I believe that if I ever need to do something to show you that I’m worth something, then it’s not mine. Why? God’s Plan.

We came here as a result of that plan, we will leave when that plan says we will. That plan gives us the option of choosing how we react to things that get thrown our way (because the lets it), it’s only right that we explore the gamut of that control. Rather than worry about how to change a scripted event, why not channel all that energy into how you react to that event.

You are not a failure, there is nothing wrong with you. You are perfectly alright. The fact that people didn’t want to hang with you yesterday doesn’t mean no one will hang with you tomorrow. We all make fun at the throwback images of the very people we adore today, we laugh it off, forgetting that we wouldn’t have associated with them when they looked this hideous. But now, we all adore them. That’s how life is; the promise of tomorrow is greater than the event of yesterday. Hold on to that promise, you know why? God’s plan.

 

Stay True!

Miracle Roch.

What’s in a Name?

Why do we have people who are so eager to appear smart rather than concentrate on being actually smart. Samuel Langhorne Clemens remains one of my all time favorite people not the least because he was always shrouded in mystery, well sort of, not even because he was versatile and sauntered across the Arts to the Sciences. Of all the crazy Samuel stories I have read, it is always the ones where he looked like a homeless man or the ones where he was unrecognizable that strike deep cords within. Well, just in case you were wondering who the heck Samuel was, you probably know him better as Mark Twain.

How can you be as smart as Mark Twain and make no effort to disturb the world with all that brilliance. How do you get to write brilliant novels like Adventures of Tom Sawyer and not even think of adding your name? Who thinks of hiding their identity when on the cusp of something great? It’s so difficult to align with this paradigm especially in an age where we are all so crazy about our names.

Meet the best among the lot and they tell you how they are not interested in money but rather in making a good name for themselves. The irony is that, for most people like that who make it a point to show that they chose good name over silver, they immediately contradict themselves by quoting the phrase from the Holy Book – a good name is worth more than riches.

I’ve been thinking about Mark Twain lately, of course he was sometimes erratic, but that is not my focus. My focus is rather on the prevailing culture of his dispensation where most people cared less about their name, people like Curie and Nobel went against common sense and rationale while pursuing success, you would think that their pursuit of success was for their own gain, but no way, they died, worse still is that they knew they were at the risk of death. These guys didn’t care about themselves, they were more focused on contributing their quota to humanity before leaving.

It was never about them, unlike this modern generation where “making a name” is about us. What really changed? All through history, the examples staring at us all did things differently, the people who do things the way we go about them now never ended well; people like Hitler, Stalin, Napoleon, all had a woeful end. These people cared too much about themselves and how much power they could wield. It’s shocking that the people we gloat about in history never wanted the fame nor relevance, they just wanted to contribute their quota and leave.

William II Gates didn’t think of becoming the richest man in the world when he started Microsoft, the young man just wanted people to have access to this wonderful thing that he had discovered, Mandela didn’t even want to be President when he left his law firm to fight the Apartheid rule, I could go on and on. These are the people history present to us, why are we not treading in their footsteps?

We run the risk of leading a generation with no intent for the larger society, a selfish and aloof generation. This world will become less beautiful then. The more people focus on actually getting the substance and not concerned about how the rest of the world viewed them, we would actually become better humans. In this social media age, it’s become increasingly difficult to keep your acts to yourself, you feel abnormal if you don’t share your sumptuous food with the internet, you feel like the world is flying beyond your reach if you stay away from social media so you become lost in the conscious of social media that you fall adrift of the certainty of your reality staring you in the face.

It is only when we begin to focus on the collective rather than the individual, that people like Samuel Clemens outlive their time on earth. Or Mark Twain, as you know him.

Stay True!

Miracle Roch.

Prostitution is a Noble Profession

Suddenly, I don’t view prostitutes as evil beings. Prostitution has been around right from the early days of creation, as the Bible records. I don’t see how it has survived through dispensations and millenniums if it’s really as bad as people make it seem. We don’t even vilify fraudsters, armed robbers, rapists as much as we vilify prostitutes, which is really a shame considering that prostitution is even constitutional and legal in some countries.

Prostitutes offer you a service for a fee. Nothing ignoble about that. In the same way a Doctor or Comedian charges you for a service, prostitutes also satisfy your cravings, you want sex, you want girls to accompany you and keep you entertained while you’re out at that party, and here are some good girls offering you all that pleasure for a fee, why do you all vilify them? According to the Atlas Penguin, sex occurs over 120 million times daily, that’s 10 million people per hour or 166,666 people per minute.

There’d be no prostitutes if we had men who had the ability to control their sexual cravings. But I don’t hear any of you bashing the men who pick up these prostitutes, may be because the women are easier targets to pick on? Why don’t we have male prostitutes? Is it right to assume that if we had more male prostitutes who stand on the road also, then prostitution will probably be viewed with a better lens? We seem to downplay businesses where females have the upper hand. Why aren’t there male prostitutes, I ask again.

Recently, I’ve been thinking about the girls who stand on the road, anytime I drive pass the beautiful girls in Lekki Phase 1, or the less-aesthetics ones along Law School VI, my mind begins to wander, these girls actually fulfil a need. I begin to imagine what it must feel like to be with a prostitute who’s in there for business while you’re in it for pleasure. I begin to feel sorry for the girls who indulge in pleasurable activity but do not feel an ounce of pleasure because, to them, it’s just business. I cringe at the thought of what money can do to the human soul, money can make neurons go dead. We were taught in Biology class that some hormones get excited when erected, they told us stuff about how something happens in the brain, I wish I could go back in time to ask my Biology teacher why Prostitutes are immune to this supposed unstoppable force of nature, do their brains and hormones function differently? Because they don’t seem to adorn that sensational feeling too, or they do a great deal hiding it. (Hey, I haven’t been with a prostitute before, but I do plan to, whenever I decide to start having pre-marital sex (which is never, by the way).)

I am a Business Analyst, I advise businesses daily, if someone came to me and requested a Business Plan to start a Sex-offering based business, I’d gladly give that person a 30% discount to produce one. Businesses like prostitution that share a nexus with natural forces of nature aren’t easy to deal with. Trying to focus on business while your body battles with natural chemical reactions is a great deal. Yet these females have mastered the art of negating pleasure to focus on business and they do it so well and for so cheap. In Lagos Nigeria, you can get a prostitute for as low as $2. No other business will give you a service for less than 1% margin – one percent because you cannot really quantify sex and add a figure to it. How do you begin to quantify the value of the sex you receive in naira and kobo?

It takes a great deal to stand in public and offer sex for money, especially in a society like Nigeria’s where people look down on prostitutes, the girls who still persevere have a great deal of gut and courage. They have my respect any day. They are selling a service, just like every other person does for money. When you give your employer five days in a week, don’t you think you’re selling yourself for money too? When you wake up early to run a business in exchange for money, what do you think you’re doing? It’s even hypocritical because most of the people who criticise prostitutes have pre-marital sex. If we wanted to stick to the right things, would you be able to remain sane and control your cravings if it weren’t for these prostitutes? Oh! Please look inward.

If I wasn’t celibate, if I was into pre-marital sex and all, I’d totally love the idea of transacting with a prostitute – a healthy clean one of course. I mean, even the Bible, which is usually the basis for staying away from pre-marital sex has precedence where money makes an atonement for you, people sacrificed animals in exchange for their wrong doings, people usually dropped their expensive jewellery to appease their God back then. It can be argued that when you pay a prostitute for sex, you’ve paid your way out of sin. Judah slept with a prostitute in the Bible and paid with his signal of authority or something, I can’t remember how that story panned out, but I don’t think it cost him anything, other than the foolishness of paying so much for sex in those days when it was really cheap to get laid. It’s fine if you do not want to transact with them because of health and safety issues, that’s totally fine but don’t villify them or the people who patronise them.

This piece is an example of what happens when you begin to look at things from a different perspective, without being biased by religion, tradition or geography. I have so much more to say, it’s like I’ve discovered a gold mine. I will stop here, at least for now.

 

Stay True!

Miracle Roch.

2017 Review: Flourish and Grow

2017: Flourish and Grow. I Did Both.

When I got into 2017, God told me this was going to be a year of flourishing like the palm tree and growing like the Cedars of Lebanon. I heard him clearly and was so convinced that this year was going to be a great year for me.

I’m here to tell you that God told no lies. I flourished this year in all aspects. Had more than I’ve ever had before this year, really grew in all aspects. I surpassed all my 2016 achievements and milestones twice. Everything was really double double. As I reflect on the coming year, it time for my customary year review and I’m really filled with gratitude.

I’m trying to pick out the negatives from this year and there’s really none. I can’t pick any, except the fact that I still didn’t get serious with the gym yet again.

One thing I did notice well though was how God was always getting me out of difficult situations and taking the distractions out of my life. It sure looked like something was hell bent on making sure I didn’t go into the new year with some people and some things. I didn’t even have to do anything, all those things left my life just the same way they came.

And it really made sense. I’d talk about how the two things God told me at the beginning of the year played out – Flourishing like the Palm Tree and Growing like the Cedars of Lebanon. Before I continue, let me also remind you that God is very serious when it comes to times. The Sons of Issachar understood the times, little wonder they were left in charge of strategy for the Israelites. You can’t be strategic if you don’t understand the times in which God is playing over your life. God doesn’t joke with seasons and time, as you enter a new year, I can bet you that God is speaking, you got to listen.

Flourishing like the Palm Tree

The Palm Tree is a beautiful tree in its stride especially with those lush green leaves. The palm tree is a strong tree with root deeply rooted to the ground. You can’t just uproot a palm tree like that. The palm tree is known to be a harbinger of productivity, there are countless products that can be gotten from the palm tree and they are all economically viable. Palm Oil, Rafter sheets, Palm Kernel, Feed, Wood, etc. So when I think of the palm tree, I think productivity. This year has really been a productive year for me, I grew and got more for little. I also multiplied the works of my hands. I made more this year than the previous two years put together. I was not stressed this year at all, that’s one trait about flourishing, its naturally and easy going, like I can’t believe this year is ending already. It was so smooth all through, there was no hiccup. God came through before I appeared on many scenes.

Growing like the Cedars of Lebanon

The Cedars of Lebanon are known to be stout expansive strong trees, more like the Acacia. One of the attributes of the Cedar tree – particularly those found in the nigh regions of Lebanon – is the diameter of the tree. It can get really wide as it grows. So once I think of the Cedar, I think of growth, expansion, enlarged capabilities, but there’s also a downside with growth and expansion; things get demolished and knocked down. As I grew, I realised people who weren’t playing a role to my growth, people who were going to slow me down or hold me back were being knocked out of my picture, and like I mentioned earlier, I happened without my knowledge. I remember times this year when I got uncomfortable with things and I tried to fight that feeling, I didn’t know it was my being reacting to the expansion going on within. Some of the things I couldn’t do before, I was doing. I became more magnanimous. This year I crossed a lot of things off my bucket list, so many things I hadn’t done before or couldn’t do, God brought them my way. God gave me those things on a platter. Cedars don’t care about obstacles when they grow, they just grow. I really grew like those Lebanon trees.

I can’t wait for 2018. Like the year hasn’t even ended and God has already started working. He’s been dropping pointers, and all I can see is greatness. Thing is, I was not even deserving of all the things that came my way this year, like no way. But God showed that he really does show mercy and compassion on whomever he chooses. He has chosen me again for 2018, how can I not be happy?

Thank you for sharing the year with me, I hope you had a great year like me too. Looking forward to the new year with great optimism.

Stay True!

Miracle Roch.

Are You Intentional?

 

When I buzzed Konko during an odd hour in the day, she must have been shocked. However, while Konko remains a sweetheart, she still has a terrible phone habit, she can frustrate you at odd times when you need her to respond. I thought putting her “read receipt” back on was going to solve this dilemma, apparently it has only gotten worse. I fondly call her Ancestor, but that day, I was in no mood for that after she took ages to respond, and in her typical fashion, spent half of the time apologizing. Big head. I love her still though.

The main reason why I buzzed Konko at such an odd hour was because I wanted her to send a copy of a piece she had written sometime last year. It was a post about Coffee and something like that. That post was one of the best things to happen to me last year (along with her, of course), it addressed some of the things my heart had warmed up to ever since. I turned a paragraph from that post into a picture and put it up everywhere, it was even my wallpaper. The post has a therapeutic effect on me, it’s been my go-to for times I needed some sorta bump.

I’d been going through something recently that warranted a second look at that post and some of the message it carried. I read it again, and it sent shivers down my spine, just as it had done one year ago. You see, Konko is one of the best writers I know, and good writing is like art, it gets better with time – more valuable and enriching. Every single time I read that post, I always think of asking her if she adorned my mind while writing it, those words were straight from my heart. Short, less than 300 words but deep. The crux of that post talks about being intentional. Nothing is more important to me than humans that are intentional about everything they do, people who do stuff just to while away time irk me. I don’t get the concept of not putting your heart into anything you do, no matter how trivial.

I’ve decided to share this wonderful piece by Konko with you. Do Enjoy!

If we are having coffee, we’d be seated at the far end of the coffee shop, just by the windows, and we’d stare out appreciating nature and passersby for the moment.

Then suddenly, I’d turn and look at you and ask you the most mundane question I can come up with, because, that is the thing. The most important questions are the often the hardest to ask.

So, I venture; “What makes you happy?”

And you look at me, wondering where that came from. 

Then you say: “Everything”.

You think it’s an easy get away from me probing deeper but it’s exactly the kind of response I wanted because it’s not about you at this moment, it’s about me. And my unspoken feelings, unsaid fears, untaken risks, unattained goals and the deep desire to talk about them!

So when you say; “Everything” all I see is this big opportunity to finally let it all out and I grab it before it goes away. 

I start speaking almost breathlessly before my tirade leaves me.

“These are the biggest issues with all of us. Our inability to actually sit still and think deep and look inwards and find the real things. Everything cannot make you happy. It’s absolutely impossible!

To be happy is to be deliberate. To look and to find the things that bring the feeling. You have to be intentional. You have to find it. And it means everything to me when I find people who are actively looking for these things. Being intentional means everything to me. So, are you intentional?”

And you look at me afraid and uncertain about responding because you see the trap in this and you know just where I’m headed.

I give you that sultry smile, and ask again.

“Are you intentional?”

I hope you enjoyed it like I did.

Stay True!

Kalief Browder: Lessons on Patriarchy

When TIME’s mini-series about Kalief Browder and how he was unjustly jailed for nearly three years for a crime he didn’t commit.

That docu-series was very emotional, especially getting to see Kalief Browder commit suicide. For people who didn’t know about the Browder story prior, the episode where he committed suicide was heart-breaking.

Personally, I was captivated by the whole story. I’d read about the Browder case, and got intrigued when then President Obama mentioned his name in an op-ed to reform the American Prison System. However, the TIME docu-series helped me see another side of the Browder story that otherwise would have been hidden – the role his family played through all of this.

There were so many things I connected with on a personal level throughout this story. I was reminded of the love inherent in mothers, when I saw how Mrs. Browder never missed a day in court for her son. That woman loved her son and went through lengths. You can imagine the agony she must have gone through when she lost her son. No one should ever go through that sort of pain. Mrs Browder died during the course of the docu-series. That was another ebbing point for me. The fact that two people lost their lives on a crime that was probably non-existent. Terrible!

Another part of the story that struck me, and which probably inspired this piece was how Mr. Browder resurfaced at the end of the series claiming rights to a son he abandoned. I was livid. Here’s the thing; Mr. Browder abandoned Mrs Browder and her 5 kids for over two decades. Mrs Browder had to raise those kids alone with Mr Browder practically being non-existent. Mr. Browder played no role in Kalief’s life, didn’t even deserve a mention. So imagine the agony when Mr. Browder showed up in court demanding a share of the compensation Mrs. Browder had been in court for.

Like how do you show up from nowhere and start mourning a child you did not care for all because of money. That was the most screwed up thing ever. This man had no shame, was standing in front of cameras talking about how his son is dead and the state deserves to pay and bla bla bla. Like no one even knew this man existed all through the 6 episodes until the last one where he showed up. His only reason for showing up was money. Nothing else. He wasn’t even talking to Mrs. Browder.

Mrs Browder eventually lost her house, lost everything in this fight, gave her all, was in court all day, and here was a man coming up from nowhere to reap where he did not sow. Stories like this make me livid, maybe it’s time to reconsider patriarchy.

This part of the story really struck a chord within me because I could relate on a deep and personal level. I know what it means to have a non-existent father in your life, I can’t begin to imagine what my reaction would be if he were to show up uninvited trying to use me as his claim to fame. Like that isn’t right on so many levels. Why is it so difficult for men to take responsibility for their actions? Women are made to do all the hard work and reap very little off their sweat. It’ bs time to review patriarchy in today’s society and how it is wired against the women who work their socks off to achieve something in life. Why is it so easy for the men and hard for the women at the same basic stuff? This can’t be a good precedent for the generations unborn.

Even the Bible doesn’t go easy on men who fail to live up to their responsibilities, branding them infidels! Why have we then decided to go easy on the men and find a way of blaming women for everything that goes wrong. I don’t get it.

I really hope we soon get to a society where men live up to their name and responsibilities both in words and actions.

Stay True!

Miracle Roch.

Close Encounters of the Roch-Kind

Few years ago, I read a book by Jesse Duplantis – read the book and listened to his sermon on the same title – the title was “Close Encounters of the God-kind”. He detailed and chronicled the experience he had on his numerous visits to Heaven. You see, Jesse is a willy old charismatic preacher so you can bet that I enjoyed listening to the sermon more than I enjoyed reading the book.

However, something struck me during that period – I was highly impressed with how he recreated the divine scenarios he had experienced and also how he related those experiences to seemingly mundane and trivial everyday life experience here on earth.

Before Jesse, I never really paid attention to stories of people who went to Heaven only to come back and try to coerce people out of fear to live for God, it doesn’t work that way, but I was drawn to Jesse’s version of events and led to believe them, simply because there was a lesson in there for me!

I want to follow Jesse’s example in talking about the various encounters I’ve had in the last couple of months. You see I’ve met different people under different scenarios, and I’d try to relate some of these encounters to a general allusion.

I look back at my life and see how far God has brought, and I see how every new phase of growth in my life has been distinguished by the kind of interactions I indulge in. I have never been one to have numerous friends. You know, I still don’t know how people do it. I’m not your guy for the long term or after party. I am still trying to come to terms with the concept of sharing your life with people, it got me really worried at some point until I had an epiphany – people will fulfil their mandate in your life with or without your help.

The people who are meant to stay in your life do not need your help – you play no part in orchestrating it. The people who leave, left for the same reason, they had played their part, and their business was done. No sentiments. I look back at the people in my life right now and I don’t think I’ve played any conscious part in them staying. I’d more likely give you more reasons to leave rather than stay.

I wish people would stop whining about their interactions with people. What I have come to understand is that people are in your life for a reason and season – it is your duty to find out what their role is while they remain, not your duty to make them stay. People who would stay will stay, those leaving, will. You’d hate yourself if you ever had to lower your standards or give up your comfort just to prolong the exit of a bystander in your life, you’d be worse off.

The things we go through in life aren’t meant to be reproduced in a soap opera, there are lessons in even the mundane things we experience. If you don’t figure out what the lesson(s) is, you’d keep running round circles. What are the current encounters you’ve had in recent times? Can you point out the inherent lessons that were for you? Jesse Duplantis wrote a whole book from encounters, can you even write half a book on the encounters you’ve had in a life time?

That guy you met last week; you guys are buddies now, but to what end? What role is he playing in your life? Quit letting bystanders take centre stage in your life, quit incurring losses all because you want to have people in your life. I’ve studied people who know so many people – it came effortlessly, on its own. Life is not LinkedIn where you can wake up one morning and set up a connections target for the day to increase your connections. In the real-life version, you don’t increase your connections by tapping the button. Rather, you increase your connections by staying true to yourself. I remember when we were derided in high school for not being promiscuous, they kept trying to make up believe that we would be disadvantaged in the real world when it came to choosing partners as we had not been well versed in the art of “toasting”. That’s a big lie, the things that are meant to come your way in life come not because you went after it, but because you stayed true to form and it was easy to locate you! Stay true to form, do not be distorted because you want to fit in. Any success you get from otherwise, will only be short-term.

Stay True!

Miracle Roch.

Crying in Two Years

For the first time in two years; I cried and shed a tear.

In between these two years, I have tried to shed a tear, I’d come across situations that warranted a tear but they just wouldn’t come out. My heart was too restful and chilled to become tensed about any situation. I was beginning to get worried that I was becoming too hard, lacking emotion and empathy. People had begun to describe me as “too serious”, and I was slowly developing a reputation both at work and within the neighbourhood as the “no nonsense guy”.

You know, most people thought I was proud, they assumed my lack of visible empathy to pride. I’d become so straight to the point that I didn’t mind whose ox was being gored, I said it just as it was without sugarcoating how I felt. My only saving grace was that, I never had a bad feeling towards anyone, my heart was chilled and at peace, so even in those fiery moments when my emotions poured out; the love was visible.

Several nights I lay on my bed deep in intimate thoughts with God, trying to remember how far He’s brought me and my family, I’d feel really grateful and broken, but the tears just wouldn’t come, I’d always ask God to “break me”, and at the same time hear him telling my Spirit to “let it flow”, I’d hear him saying the ball was in my court yet I was hapless.

I felt that block, I knew there was something in my heart that was stopping me from tearing up, I couldn’t exactly pinpoint what it was, but there was something, felt like a block or a lock, saying “man, que sera sera”, I couldn’t care any less. It saved me a lot of stress, I had no expectations from people – I didn’t expect anything from people, I took everything that came my way at face value, and it felt good. I was living large.

But that morning; I cried. I sobbed profusely. I couldn’t exactly point to why, but the tears were profuse; in the early hours of the morning. I tried desperately to stop, the more I tried to be rational about it, the more tears strolled down my cheeks.

Those tears made me realise the transformation I had undergone in two years. Two years ago – the last time I cried – I was in a bad place, I’d felt let down by several things and people so I cried a lot. I didn’t understand why a honest guy like me would become a victim; I’d managed to conjure up a “me against the world” scenario all up in my head, and then in my usual defiant manner, I woke up one morning and told myself I was going to shake it off, turn a new leaf and pretend like none of that happened. I put myself on autopilot, superman like. For two years, I’d blocked off my emotions without knowing it, all the love I showed was ephemeral, nothing deep. I’d developed a thick skin without even realising.

Funny how an act of unreciprocated selflessness broke me – I had been the recipient of selflessness and I was disappointed at myself for lacking the ability to reciprocate, it was then it dawned on me – Man, what happened to you? When did you become so cold? This isn’t you, can never be you, how do you always end up so blessed even without doing anything extraordinary; how? You see, I’m really blessed to have the right set of people in my life. I don’t have many friends, I’m not even sure I’d be able to fill up a 100-seater hall with people who genuinely look out for me, but the very few people in my life have been worth the while. They have been tailored made to meet different needs at various points in my life.

So that morning, I thought about how people remain in my life even when I make no effort sometimes to keep them, and I thought about how they go the extra mile for me, I see how genuinely “in love” they are with my life and the realization sets in. In between these two years, my life has been transformed by an overwhelming outpour of undeserved love from different shades, I’d only begun to realise. These things broke me, love was an expensive ideal for me growing up, growing up, it felt like something you had to earn, something you had to give up something to get in return. As I grow older and see expressions of undeserved love, I become even more motivated to extend that trait by becoming a channel of love to my immediate society and also shed a few more tears. Enough of being that superman, it doesn’t hurt to show a soft side, no harm in being called “soft”, no harm in being jeered for not being “masculine” enough.

Do what keeps your heart at peace, do what keeps you vulnerable, only then would the tears flow.

Stay True!

Miracle Roch.

The Passion of Roch

I will be vulnerable in this post, hence its brevity. Please also forgive my wordplay of Mel Gibson’s movie as the title of this post. You see, I’m not really a big fan of Mel Gibson as a person, but it’s very hard to ignore the ingenuity and quality he puts through his work.

Passion is a word bandied around every now and then when someone tries to give a psyching speech or motivational talk. They talk about how important passion is and how applying passion to what you do can easily set you apart; they quickly go to the success stories and mention a few people who were “passionate” in their endeavours, if only we could see through the lens. If only…

You see, the thing about passion is that it can prove equally as dangerous as it can be useful once it’s misdirected. It’s the reverse for public opinion; public opinions are best when they are negative, because it brings the true best out of you.

When I was in school, I was a smart chap. In Junior Class, I always came out tops or amongst the best, with little effort. So, I grew up thinking I didn’t need do too much to come out tops in class – I paid attention to my position instead of my overall average. So, while 70% was enough to come out tops in Junior class, it was really poor because people in other Junior Classes were coming out tops with an average of over 90%. Well, I wasn’t bothered because I didn’t feel threatened.

When I got into Senior Class, we had a reshuffle, so I now had a different set of classmates; the struggle caught up with me. I didn’t put in extra effort because I had been used to coming out tops without working so hard, I struggled. When the first results came out, I had my lowest result ever; the same average that was enough for me in Junior Class set me back. It was really tough, by the time I got a hang of myself, it was almost late.

That was my first experience with being unequally yoked, being around people who didn’t challenge me. This is why I don’t have so many friends, people ask me from time to time, how I survive in an urban environment with very little friends, and the truth is, I am yet to see someone, anyone, who can match my passion in all things – both serious and trivial things. I apply passion to things I’m involved in, even if they don’t make sense.

Anyways, after a long while I got into College, and the same thing almost happened, except this time, it was not exactly academic but in other facets; I found myself around people that did not really challenge me, I didn’t have to do too much to remain a notch above anybody else, so I grew up over the years with the mindset that I didn’t need do so much to stay above everyone else, and it didn’t help either that some of the people I looked up to lacked content, so I had to resort to feeling good with their commendations and all.

By the time I changed environments, I struggled for a long while to come to terms with my new-found reality. The accolades I had become accustomed to for doing even the most mundane things were nowhere to be found. I doubted myself, I asked myself if I’ve been all that people said I was. Funny how a rough six months came really close to damaging over a decade’s worth of mental reputation and worth.

So, what had happened was that I had move on to a better environment, with more enlightened and knowledgeable people, and these guys didn’t see this “extraordinary” things I did (which won be accolades before) as a big deal. The first thing my instincts did was to recount my history and try to make them see that this was really special.

See, I’m a strong character, and one of the things you get with strong characters is that we can be very insistent, even against glaring odds. It also helped with my confidence too, because I have never been one to rely on public opinion for confidence, I’ve always felt not too many people like me out there. Hence, it helps me build a wall of confidence and parameters (not perimeter) controlled wholly by me.

But the one mistake I made was to rely on public opinion as it had to do with the output of my work, I stopped listening to my innate parameters to judge the quality of my output and it affected me gravely. I stopped putting in all the hard work and it slowly caught up with me. But here’s the thing, I am a special being. I’ve been all that since I was born, but here’s another thing, no one cares about what you’ve been, they want to see what you can deliver in the now – in the present.

Quit living in your past glory mentally, it’s one thing to say you are looking forward to new challenges but mentally you’re still stuck in the past. I started this post by talking about passion, but passion takes 100 percent, so you had better make sure you’ve been fixated on the right thing before applying all that passion.

Stay True!

Miracle Roch.