2019 Review: Memorials and Traditions

God loves memorials and tradition. Most of the direct instruction he gave the Israelites in the Bible was for them to celebrate and remember major events that had happened. When he introduced himself, he made reference to being the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, he loves some history God. Jesus also continued in that light by showing his disciples some events he wanted them to annually remember.

Following in line with the things close to God’s heart, I have decided to write and publish this after so many deliberations. For over 8 years, I have always written an end of the year review, it’s one of the traditions that has stayed with me since I started this blog in 2011. For some reason, I’m not a sucker for traditions, I actually detest traditions and always looking for something new. But when I got a wind of the pattern in the Bible as to how God treats tradition, here I am.

2019 was a good year. Since 2015 till now, my years have been exponentially getting better. 2019 did not feel exponential, it felt progressive maybe because 2018 was a stupendously great year. Or so I felt, until I actually crunched the numbers for 2019 and saw that I did grow exponentially as well, but why did I not feel like it? I improved across all areas, conquered new heights in multiple folds but it did not feel exponential. Perhaps this was because I had raised my own bar, or is this what DJ Khaled called “suffering from success”? I did suffer from success, wins that were huge became “small wins” for me, I had begun to slowly underrate some of my achievements but thank God for data and records. I have since come around to my full senses and remain super grateful for how God has been so kind with me.

2019 was a part of a long road trip, the part where you stop to have some food and walk around before you continue on the journey. I had so many good moments, I met the best people in my life, I probably met more new people in 2019 than I did ever and some of them will become mainstays in my life for a long while. If you read any of my previous reviews, you’d know that the years always have specific lessons for me and it feels like 2019 had multiple for me and they were thoroughly important lessons I needed to learn; lessons about life and love.

I am struggling to write this review because for some reason, I’m not able to shake off or mentally separate 2018 from 2019. Like Jesus said, a man’s life does not consist of the abundance of things he possess so I’m usually very keen when I review moments not to make them about possessions but rather focus on the intangibles and I spent a great deal of time this year on my intangibles, the things people did not see or could not make sense of. Thank you for sharing 2019 with me as much as I let you and thank you for understanding. I’m not promising that the situation will change in 2020 but we’d never know.

There goes your review.  You can read the previous reviews for 2018, 2017, 2016, here.

Stay True!

Miracle Roch.

 

Unleashed – A Birthday Panegyric

I haven’t had the chance to reflect on my birthday in depth. It’s been a whirlwind period for me filled with only highs and no lows and I couldn’t be happier. This is the first time in three years that I’d be away from anything work related for this long. Staying away from work, and not having to worry about something or someone that needs to be saved or need my help has allowed me time to think about myself and the evolution I have undergone. I couldn’t stay this long without writing so I’ve written this panegyric of myself in one take. Of course, like all other panegyrics, it could appear like I’m being too full of myself, depending on the lens you read this from, and then maybe appear like I’m being too hard on myself. But it doesn’t matter, enjoy this one take piece, forgive the errors as I’m still on vacation and not functioning at optimal capacity also seeing as I’ll definitely follow this up with a part two when I’m back in my stride.

Few months ago, I wrote an an article about how people shouldn’t cry for me when I die because I may not necessarily come across as being nice, so many people reached out to me to counter that statement. They kept reiterating the things I’d done for them and how I was literally the nicest person out there, and while it felt nice to hear all these things, they just don’t get it because that’s not how I’d define niceness. The things I define as niceness is what the world frowns on sometimes, like getting into random DMs and offering to have lunch and coffee with a total stranger because somehow I know that’s the little break they need from their life (did I hear you scream “how will you, a stranger, know what they need best”?). Or is it the people who always tell me they envy my life, how unbothered and unfazed I am and how I’m always happy (this is true) without stress (this is not).

I live a very honest life, I mean if this were during the heydays of online dating where you had to pretend to be composed during the first date with your online match, I’d probably fail all the time because I wouldn’t wait until the second date to crack my chicken bone in your presence, nor would I wait for the third date before I ask the waiter if I could have some more sweet and sour sauce. I’d do all those things on the first date because by the 17th date, I’d still be doing them unabashed and unashamed. This way, I’m under no pressure at all to pretend to be who I’m not to impress you by changing who I am. When people ask me what my secret to always being happy is, this really is it! I always tell them this is it — my originality no matter how awkward it is, I always own what’s mine unashamed! It looks so banal that it is almost unbelievable, but I wish I had a deeper answer.

By focusing on my present and living my life to the fullest, I’m leaving no stones unturned for the future. Sometimes, this comes out a bit too much for people, I’m always two seconds ahead (which may seem impatient and forward), a mitochondrion always looking for the next available person beside me to transfer that happiness to. Like that one time when I was on vacation on New Year, and I was wishing random strangers on the street a happy new year, or the other time I walked into a lounge and just started introducing myself to everyone I saw there. So much energy, so much joy, so much magnanimity that I’m always looking for who to share it with and it gets even difficult because my career as a Strategy Consultant also puts me in this same mode seeing as I’m always advising or putting together some strategy for others (hence no distinction between my life and work). One of the things I plan to do is to try so hard to create this distinction because sometimes humans don’t need help, they just want to be sinking and that is totally fine. I’m still trying to come to terms with this reality, because then you stop overthinking and stop trying to offer help “which may seem intrusive especially when not asked for”. Speaking of things people potentially intrusive; my excitement and energy! I’m always in my constant cloud nine state that I wonder how people cope with me. I’m sure they find that intrusive most times but don’t want to tell me because then again, they know the world needs more happiness than nought.

I also plan to take a full one year off work soon and just learn to live without trying to help save the world or help the next door neighbour, and believe that the world will be fine without me. Oh! I am also not perfect, I do think I have lots of flaws especially around controlling my energy and excitement levels. The battle I always have with this is that dichotomy between honesty and control. Do I just be fully honest about who I am unleashing all my elements or do I control the release? The battle being that sometimes, I tell myself that controlling them would be dishonest as it doesn’t show the true extent of my pizzazz. While I keep pondering over that, I know that whatever flaws I may have, will eventually sort itself out because if I remain honest about them and always listen to feedback, the help/improvement I need will eventually come.

Stay True!

Miracle Roch.

Stardom

Written for my boyhood memories.

To Kenneth Opara, Olumide and Taye. Thank you for all those times when we used to walk back home from school when the driver wasn’t around to pick me. Thanks Taye for that time when you nearly got kidnapped, or were we just being paranoid as kids? Well, it doesn’t matter because the school called us out in the Assembly Ground and termed us heroes for running to get help for our kidnapped friend (who was later found mysteriously wandering down the street).

That was not my first taste of stardom. The first time was when I had memorized a couple verses of the book of Proverbs and I won the competition in church. My parents were so proud.

Actually, that was not the first time neither, the first time must have been taking the First position in Nursery school. Or being so in tune with the news that as a 3 year old, I knew who the Governor of the State was. Was that why I was always entitled to a piece of turkey and 50cl orobo Pepsi? Stardom must have been the time when I went all the way to Mushin for the State Bible competition and came second (missed First because I forgot a few verses from the sixth chapter of Ephesians (after memorizing and reciting the first five books). It was strange because I felt like I had lost, but everyone else was proud.

Actually, stardom was squaring up against the Grade 6 lads in a school debate competition. I won, nothing special about that, except I was a young Grade 4 lad. Now that’s what you call an upset.

Maybe Stardom was being selected to represent the school in a Peak Milk Essay writing competition because the teachers felt my writing was impeccable.

Stardom probably was been given the mic to preach to the whole church on Children’s day and been lauded for being so confident and assertive.

Stardom was…no it wasn’t.

Truth, stardom was Fatima. Fatima must have been what stardom felt like. Stardom must have been me crying in class in third grade while everyone laughed and stayed away, everyone except Fatima, who offered me biscuits to stop crying.

Dorcas always sat behind me and made us believe the “D” in “Glucose D” was named after her. But she never offered me or anyone some of that Glucose. We didn’t like her as a result, not that I would have collected it, because I was trained not to receive edibles from random people. But Fatima was not random. She was the only one who had the keys to my heart. Fatima felt a sense of duty to always tell me her next moves, I still remember the whispers like yesterday. Fatima coming to meet me in front of the school gate while I stood with Olumide, Kenneth and Taye. Her whisper so soothing as she placed one hand on my shoulder and the other round my ears to protect her whispers. “I am just going round the corner”, she said. Assuring me that she was never going away, she was still around. If only we knew.

Fatima was stardom, but I never saw her again after 3rd Grade. I don’t remember her surname, I still have vague images of her round face with tiny lips. For my boyhood, Fatima was stardom, even if it lasted for only a three months period.

For Fatima.

Once yours,

Miracle Roch.

Becoming a Monster

No one sets out to be a monster from day one nor to turn into a monster by day 10. We don’t really plan to turn out bad.

The change happens slowly, not like magic, it’s never sudden. It starts gradually and then grows on. Once you are unable to detect the loopholes that allow the change creep in from the start, it’s always hard. It’s like Cancer, you only find out when the damage has already been done.

He doesn’t leave the house expecting to cheat on his wife. It starts by hanging out innocently with friends in a bar and even when the Lady in red comes along, he doesn’t intend to cheat on his wife. So, with an innocent mind, he hugs her. Still no ill intent. Then it cascades from there and when it happens, it has no idea. But here’s the thing, it doesn’t just stop there. Once you get sucked in, you’re in. So in a bid to cover his tracks, he goes to the Lady in fuchsia pink this time around and then over time he becomes a monster, a serial cheater. It’s so easy to forget that it all started with an innocent hug.

When your friends convince you to escort them to Alhaji’s house and “take” his empty tires to sell, they convince you that it’s not stealing. They tell you Alhaji has too many tyres that he doesn’t need them so you get sucked in. Tyres today, kidnapping tomorrow, notorious armed robber the next. It’s so easy to forget that it started with you just escorting your friends to Alhaji’s house.

You don’t set out to be a woman beater. He made you angry the first time and you walked away but she did not stop shouting. So you convince yourself not to walk away the next time. The next day, you come with the intentions of talking things through, very commendable. But then she shoves you and in a bid to react you slap her, the whole world pauses and you apologize, calling it a mistake. She forgives you, but the next day, you don’t stop at a slap, you pummel her like Mike Tyson would Evander Holyfield. These days you don’t even feel remorseful about it. You are proud of your heroics and now see it as a legitimate way to shut her up. It’s so hard to relate what you have become to the remorseful lad from that first day.

You came into politics to effect change, you were so passionate but then your first initiative did not pass through because you refused to bribe the Permanent secretary. After three failed initiatives and nothing to show for your time in office to decide to succumb, you give the Perm. Sec a bribe and the initiative is a huge success and lauded by everyone. By the next year, Perm Sec didn’t even need ask, you anticipated and dropped huge sums, then you discovered a loophole that meant you could also allocate more money to Perm Sec and then share the money with him. You have become so ingrained that you now feel obliged to take a cut from every public money that passes through you. Perm Sec is retired but that hasn’t stopped you. It’s so easy to blame the Perm Sec for putting you in this state, but can you relate any of this to the passion you started with? All started with you not saying no for the fourth time.

And that’s the template to becoming a Monster. Congratulations, you made it into the League of Monsters.

Stay True!

Miracle Roch

The True Value of a Nigerian Life

What does it mean to be Nigerian? What is the Nigerian dream? As more of the best Nigerian minds continue to despise their country and seek greener pastures outside its shores, it’s time to get introspective and ask if being Nigerian is a blessing. Are you better off being born in Nigeria than say Ghana or Rwanda?

What is a Nigerian life worth? The life of an African Giant, borrowing the words of a famous Coachella rebel. Statistically, this type of thing is measured by GDP per capita, which is the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of a Nation divided by the population of that country. GDP measures the total output of a country, so you can see why dividing total output by population, even if unevenly skewed, gives you an idea of how rich the citizens of that country are.

Let me add the caveat that I have a problem with using the GDP per Capita as a measure of the wealth of citizens because for very small countries with vast amount of natural resources like Oil, their GDP per capital numbers would be astronomically high, but this rarely translates into economic growth for its citizens given that the Oil would most likely be drilled by foreign companies who would pay royalties to the Government who, seeing as this is Africa, would most likely siphon most of that money into offshore accounts and personal pockets. Proponents of this metric however say that indirectly, a higher GDP always translates to better lives for citizens, this is true if you were dealing with countries not riddled with bad governance and crippling theft like we have in Africa.

Back to Nigeria, according to stats, a Nigerian would be the 13th richest person if all Africans were lined up in hall. That’s because Nigeria’s GDP per capita is ranked 13th (so much for being the richest African economy but this is offset by being the most populous Country as well, so way too many zeros to divide by). The stats say a Nigerian life is worth $1,968 (roughly N700,000). Let’s hold on on how laughable this figure is in a country where minimum wage is $50 (recently increased to $83). This presumes that in a year, a basic Nigerian would have earned (or accrue a GMV) of about N700,000. You’re laughing, I’m not.

Most Nigerians would tell you they don’t feel their life is worth almost $2,000. Mothers sell their babies for as low as $100 and even less, people commit heinous crimes for as little as $50, these people don’t think their life is worth anything more. This great disparity between what the Economists say and what the average Nigerian says is largely down to how poor and corrupt our Government is at the expense of the Nigerian life and not necessarily because the Economists are far off in their estimates. Even if we were to stick with the stats, is a Nigerian life worth that much? I sincerely doubt it because the power brokers do nothing to show that a Nigerian life is the 13th most expensive in Africa.

If you place Nigeria close to its peers, like the Graph above shows, they are no where near their contemporaries. Nigeria’s GDP figures just do not make sense, and that’s saying something given that most Nigerians already think this figure does not represent their current state. The much heralded benefits of macroeconomic growth that Economists like to tout has not happened in Nigeria yet, our Healthcare remains one of the poorest, road accidents are still high, police brutality and crackdown keeps rising. The supposed dividends of high GDP remains elusive.

As a Nigerian, it’s tough looking at the Graph above, I have carefully selected the comparable Countries for good measure. A Nigerian life is supposedly worth 2x a Beninese but the Government of Benin Republic treats her citizens like they are worth 10x that of a Nigerian life. In Benin Republic, motorcycles have their separate lanes to reduce the risk of accidents on the main road, where having to share the road with cars could prove fatal. Trucks carrying containers out of the Port in Cotonou are well bound to reduce the risk human accidents. Remember, a Beninese is only worth about $800.

Compare this to Nigeria where trucks carrying containers out of ports are not well bound and regularly kill Nigerians and this has happened more than once, with no sufficient response from the Government. Remember, a Nigerian life is worth about $2,000. The action of the Nigerian Government towards the Nigerian people, if anything, is an indication that the Nigerian life is worth close to zero. Rwanda has become a beacon for how to deal with conflict resolution, Nigerians flock to Rwanda during the holiday season because RwandaAir (their National Carrier) offer discounted flight options, the Government issues Visa on Arrival and they have natural parks and well maintained tourist attractions, they even have a spot on Arsenal’s Jersey. Yes, the English football club. How much is a Rwanda life worth you ask? $748 or almost 3x a Nigerian life. Is that a heavy sigh you just heaved? It reverberates round Nigeria, if that makes you feel any better.

Little wonder, the current generation of Nigerians leaving the country are the ones who were promised the “future” but have grown to the realization of being governed by the very people who ruled their parents. Our best brains are leaving, the very best of them across key sectors and professions meant to herald the next phase of Economic growth. The services sector makes up more than 52% of Nigeria’s GDP, guess where those who are currently leaving the country come from? You guessed right, the Services sector. No Nation can become successful if it continues to pay zero attention to its future. The Countries embracing these smart young Nigerians understand the need to secure the future while Nigeria’s Government continue to despise its future with wanton killings orchestrated by the Nation’s Police Force.

The drivers of the Services sector — power, infrastructure and security — remain poorly addressed. Just the other day, a British Aid worker was kidnapped and killed in the North, next, it was a young man killed by the Police. Everyday, there’s sad news infiltrating our polity.

Where are the people meant to protect and govern us, you ask? They are jostling for juicy positions in both the Executive and legislative arms of Government.

Remember, a Nigerian life is worth almost $2,000 or N700,000 if you please.

Stay True.

Miracle Roch.

Hasan Minhaj — Goodluck Charm

Disclaimer: Very Satirical

I am a good luck charm. Once I get deep into your life, I get on a personal development overdrive and weighed down by the thought of my presence not adding value. I didn’t actually notice this until recently when I started analyzing. I always want to make other people better especially those I’m super close with that I end up not paying attention to the other mundane things that they want to do.

I’m like Batman in my relationships, always doing something good, always going the extra mile and rejecting all the help the other person offers because I “don’t want to stress”. I used to help one of my exes with her assignment, I’d tell her to go to sleep while I stayed up doing some term paper and project stuff for her. Was always worried about her strength not being diminished and wanted her to live the baby girl life that I did not pay attention to her other needs which at the time I considered trivial. Like wanting to play truth or dare with me, bringing up something she saw on Twitter about the Kardashians, I always batted those things away as not being intellectual. Like who the hell has time for truth or dare when there’s a being and the world to change. Haha.

I helped the other one apply for jobs, fixed up her CV and then opened a blog for her because I felt she was such an amazing writer, I think she still is. She uses that blog till today I can bet, I hope she remembers how it all came about. I imagine her being happily married in the near future with a wonderful family and while they are having this family moment, her son goes “Mommy, your blog has been around for a long time, how did it start? I’m thinking of starting one mummy”. Yoooo! You can hear my spirit picking that question through space and going all “Yas! I stay inspiring my exes and their generations forever” haha. Then I helped the other one print Labels for her business because I wanted to encourage her to start, I felt she was way too scared of failing, I just wanted her to start the business, I was going to provide all the security and help she’d need I thought. I imagine her business booming now and the first set of labels almost running out and her sitting down thinking of how to make more and she’d probably go, “OMG Miracle actually did this for me, such a sweet boy. Why didn’t we last long, I know he’s fine now sha *scrambles for my phone number*.

I always help people and now my help game has gone international! I have helped Hasan Minhaj get onto TIME’s 100 Most Influential People list of 2019 *drumroll, haters gonna hate*. I didn’t even know who Hasan Minhaj was until a few days ago when I came across a clip from Ellen Degeneres’ show and this Indian looking guy was talking about how people mis pronounce his name. I’m like, who’s the guy on Ellen? I googled his name and find out he used to be on The Daily Show. First I’m shocked because I binge on Trevor Noah and the Daily Show and never came across this guy, at least I know Roy Wood Jr, but never seen this guy. So I google this guy and look him up on Netflix. Watch a couple Patriot Act episodes and then his Netflix Standup Special, Homecoming King which inspired this post and the whole reminiscing about the exes. Boyyyyy! I spent hours watching everything with Hasan’s name attached to it on YouTube, well, everything except the an hour and a half long Time Talk video (seriously The Times, almost two hours. Smh). Hasan is super talented! One day later, Hasan gets announced as one of the people on TIME’s 100 list. Boy, I don’t care what you say but that was all me. All me, my good luck charm at work again across seven seas and oceans.

Hasan’s standup was so funny and him talking about his high school love interest and how their parents didn’t let them get together because he was Indian and she was American struck a cord with me. It was profound because the same girl ended up marrying an Indian after like 10 years. And I started thinking about how many relationships must have ended because of some flimsy excuse, if only they were patient, if only they bade their time well, too many exes would still be lovebirds now. But that shouldn’t distract you from the good luck charm I bring into my relationships, always good to leave some positive legacy even if all the other things don’t go well. Haha.

Stay True!

Miracle Roch.

When I Die

People won’t say nice things about me and that’s fine.

Once in a while, I come across sad stories online about some good folk who has just died. People eulogize the dead and reminisce on the good memories they had and my favorite – how the world has lost a real gem. I get emotional when I come across some of these eulogies as I believe no good young person should die. It’s always disheartening coming across tales like this.

I think about what sort of legacy I’d live behind when I die. I actually don’t believe in leaving a legacy, I believe in living for the now and doing good without trying to attach your name to it. I don’t think about death, it’s one of those things I believe no one except God can control, so why lose sleep over what you can’t control. The only person I worry about in the event of death is for my mother, how will that woman cope with her only child dying in his prime? That must be such a tragic tale that no one should ever go through. It’s not something to talk about. But what happens when I actually do die whether now or in my old age?

When I die, I don’t think people will say nice things about me. As much as I like to think of myself as a nice person, I don’t think many people share that view. I’m a very direct and honest person, that doesn’t win you many fans. At first glance, people take a strong liking to me, and then the experience flows and you see how staunch and strong this guy is, those who linger for long and scratch beneath the surface also get to see the wonderful honest heart I possess. But very few people go beneath the surface, I don’t let too many people in.

So when I die, people won’t recall nice things about me. I wonder what would go through minds seeing as everyone is somewhat obligated to say only nice things about dead people. The one thing everyone would say is that I was very smart. I imagine those who want to be diplomatic will stick to my being very smart and tall, they’d steer clear from the personal stories. Some others may call me proud and arrogant while others may call it confidence. I wonder what the hearts that I may have broken inadvertently will say, good riddance or missed chance – serves him right? What about those who I never checked up on and they mistook it for my being nonchalant and uncaring? The missed calls I never returned, the messages I never replied to, the meetings and hangouts I missed. I really do wonder. Which brings me to the question, do I actually have enemies? I know I have people who envy me in private, but smile with me publicly, I don’t know who they are, can’t be bothered thinking about them. But full blown enemies? I don’t think I do have them.

I am really not doing a good job at this legacy thing. I struggle to see the nice things people will say about me and I don’t feel bad about it. Actually, I have grown to not expect any niceties from people, I get surprised when people occasionally say nice things about me apart from the now boring “he’s so smart”. My originality and affinity for honest living and doing what makes you happy must have hit home.

When I die, you don’t have to say nice things about me. If you must talk, talk about the really maverick things I did, the things that made me standout and made you take note of the new kid on the block. Don’t say I was nice, I’m rarely nice. Even the nice things I do, I do them in private that recipients rarely know its coming from me, so when you say I’m nice, you’re really just telling a lie. You can say I’m helpful but not nice.

What will people say about me when I die? Not many nice things and that’s alright.

Stay True!

Miracle Roch.

2018 Review: Endless

This year has been my best year yet. During the last day of 2017, I was feeling super grateful for the wonderful year I’ve had, I felt 2017 was so good that it would take something special to top it. I had spent the last few weeks of the year praying and listening to what God had in store for me in the coming year. I hadn’t heard anything and I was prepared to wait for as a long as possible.

I finally heard God on the last day of the year, as I prayed into 2018, the word came. It was so clear I couldn’t miss it but I was also scared because I couldn’t fathom how it was going to happen. God shattered all my expectations and gave me more than I could have imagined. If you thought 2017 was amazing, hen you haven’t heard about my 2018. I have no single complaint from the year.

I’ve come to appreciate time and seasons, God deals with us separately according to our level of readiness and willingness. There’s no competition in life, the only person you’re competitions with is yourself. The sooner you realize this, the better for you.

I did so many things for the year time this year and attained so many heights. But in doing that, I realized something importanter. Life is ephemeral for the large parts, if you rely on the things around life to give you happiness then you are in for disappointment. The things I used to think led to a good life, I got them all and then realized everything I needed for a good life, I had them all along.

Peace of mind is all you need, never compromise your peace of mind for any materialistic craving. All the things you desire won’t give you peace of mind, peace is a state of being you need to attain within yourself. Stay away from things that will chop at your peace. When people desire the good things of life, they assume the materials things they seek would automatically fill in the void in the lives but even the most successful persons end up discarding their wealth in pursuit of something more fulfilling. We hear time and time again how the rich folks give up their wealth and pursue philanthropy or something really trivial, my theory is that once you really get all the good things in life, you then realize that all you ever needed to fill the vacuum in your life has always been with you.

You also need the love that God offers. A song says “God feels the depths of our hearts and still loves us the same”. It’s really heartwarming to know that someone loves you the same despite seeing the schemings of your heart and it’s very dark thoughts. It’s something that has not been lost on me, I’m always reminded of God’s love towards me and this year, it was more prominent.

I look forward to 2019 as God maps out his plan for my life. It’s surely an endless supply of life and security as I march on.

Stay True!

Miracle Roch.

Don’t Chase Time

I haven’t put up a post on here in a while, well in a little over a month. But I have been writing short pieces and putting them up on social media. I started these little thrust pieces where I’d dwell on one theme during a particular period.

Lately, I’ve been writing short pieces on chasing love and time. These pieces have been figments of my imagination but so many people have been relating with them. That has to be one of the good things about writing, the fact that you can create an alternate story and still find a place for your phantasms in the real world.

I also have a couple of incomplete drafts in my folder about stories I’d been wanting to put up. I have an almost finished article on happiness and why we should all do the things that make us happy irrespective of consensus opinion, but that post will come up some other day. Maybe, I’d post that during the end of the year when people get into really sober reflective moods as they measure their progress for the year. I’d also begun a post that was to act as a follow up to this post where I chronicled my intentions to start fighting for things. My efforts have been laughable thus far so I’m waiting to get sufficient sample size before I write down my conclusions.

However, today I want to talk about something different and I will make this piece short (circa 500 words) because I haven’t ruminated on this piece for a long time like the others. I just literally opened my Mac and started typing and so far I haven’t had a break.

I love football, I love watching Arsenal play, and whenever we score, you can bet my roars will bring the whole house down. Now, if I get that excited when we win, imagine what I’d look like when we lose (and recently, we’d been losing a lot before the new coach came in). Don’t imagine anymore, I’ll tell you for free. I can be an emotional wreck when we lose, taking out my frustration on whoever comes next.

One time, I had a friend who swore never to talk to me any time Arsenal lost, I didn’t think it was such a big deal until I started one of those my routine introspections and I figured I needed to get a better hang on my emotions especially when it has to do with things I’m passionate about like people, Christ, football, technology, strategy, etc.

I have realized that at the forefront of our quest as individuals for “better” is time. We always slip into the subconscious realm where all we are told is that there is no time, so you rush into decisions and actions because you are trying to beat time. I’d since come to learn that if you can control your reaction to time, you can almost control all the other facets of your life. You are not running out of time, no one is chasing you and that’s what I want you to learn from this short post today.

Stay True!

Miracle Roch.

The Fight For My Life

When Fabrice Muamba, a footballer, slumped in the middle of the pitch during a football match, his Bolton teammates feared the worst. They had seen medics attend to him on the football pitch. Many people believed Muamba wasn’t going to make it after his heart attack, even the medics present talked about how difficult his condition was, they said he had to fight for his life. Muamba lived because he fought so hard not to give up – even when his heart had given up on him.

When medics say people “fought” for their lives, they mean it literally. People who fight must find the strength to breath over and over again; they have to suck it in for as long as they can and hold on to life. As I turn another year on earth, it is fitting that I look back at my life and ask if I have fought dearly for the very breath I exhale today, fitting to look at the fights or non-events that had occurred because of my aversion to fighting. Have I fought for my life?

Looking back at situations that would have required me fighting dearly for my life, the situations that kept me on the edge between mortality and beyond, what was my instinctive reaction? When faced with daunting challenges that require resilience and grit, do I throw in the towel or do I keep fighting – like Fabrice did in the face of death?

One time I was air-bound and was suffering from Ear Barotrauma, it was so severe and intense that a full bottle of water and multiple sweets and swallowing later couldn’t stop it. I’d tried the Vulvasa Maneuver yet it wouldn’t stop. At some point, I stopped hearing totally and the flight attendants were worried. When it became so intense, I stopped trying to fightback. I basically sat back on my seat and imagined what the worst would be? Going deaf? People have done that and lived. I will survive. What about dying? Oh well, if now is the time, so be it. I literally gave up fighting. I stopped trying to do anything to solve my problem. I just let fate decide (more on this later) what my end would be. By thinking about the worst-case scenario, I was preparing myself for the end so whatever it was wasn’t going to take me by storm.

I strongly detest anything that threatens the balance of my inner peace. I’d rather give in than let whatever it is distort my equilibrium. I have lost count of the human relationships, opportunities and possessions I’ve lost because I wasn’t willing to fight, because once that relationship threatened to distort my inner peace, my instinctive reaction was to run. If I was ready to give up my own life to preserve my inner peace, nothing else was worth it. I always let fate decide what the outcome of my dealings would be. I always try not to influence these outcomes by anything peculiar to me.

It is against this backdrop that I remain ever grateful to the powers that be, albeit unforeseen, who have tried so hard despite my negligence to preserve my Being. I look back at my disposition about life and it’s not so hard to see where it all began.

Tales abound of how as a fetus I gave problems all through pregnancy. Looking back, it sure feels like something did not want me on this earth. Perhaps I was the last Airbender or the Seeker. Whatever it was, something must have wanted me not to make an entrance and in keeping with my style, I obliged. I made no efforts to come out of the womb when it was time, I had stayed in there for eleven months going to twelve months and yet no sign of movement. It looked like I was happy to just stay in there rather than distort my inner equilibrium. Even when I came out, it was not out of my own volition, I was forced out and was heading to the floor until a nurse clad in white held me with her gown. As usual, an “Angel” had appeared to save the day.

The events surrounding my birth has been mirrored in all the major events that have surrounded me. As I approach a new year, my most successful year yet, it’s so clear that no matter what I do – and I say this strongly, because the life I live now, I do not deserve – the powers that be appear to always back me, it appears they have me destined towards the very best things in life, even I can’t stop that journey.

Muamba is alive because he fought, according to the medics at least (Muamba himself alludes his survival to God). I am alive despite having given up my fights, because the powers that be keep fighting for me unconditionally.

Happy Birthday Ihemrochi, as you live another gracefully given year, may the powers that be keep fighting for you even against your own will.

Stay True!