Thoughts on Old Age

I admit, I am such a baby boy. I am too soft and kind hearted. I don’t understand how some people do the stuff they do, I can’t even hurt a fly with my hands; I let my Insecticide do the job. Recently, I’ve craved spending time with very old people, I just enjoy watching them talk and move. Whenever I see one in a BRT standing, I quickly give up my seat and watch them seat, if I see anyone on the streets carrying something heavy, I quickly offer to help. No I’m not trying to be a good boy, I just love coming closer to them, even if words aren’t exchanged. There’s something about their aura that heightens my humaneness.

Image result for world's oldest person

World’s Oldest Woman; Misao Okawa | Credit: Daily Mail

 

Most times I try to wonder what goes through their minds as they navigate through their day. How different is the world now from what it used to be forty years ago. Do they wish they did something different? When I look at their wrinkled faces, I try to imagine the spotless beauty that covered this face during their youth. When I see them frantically holding on to pillars for support, I try to reimagine the swagger with which they moved around in their pomposity.

I’ve noticed quite a whole lot of striking similarities between old people. One of them is that, nothing seems to matter anymore, none of the things we hurriedly worry about. An old man once insisted I gave him the broom to sweep, I didn’t understand why at such old age you would want to bend down and sweep. It got me thinking; as young humans, we demand so much respect, we want to feel important and respected, but these guys have seen it all and they realise all that counts for nothing.

Old people also don’t like to admit they are old. Isn’t it funny? Because as young people, we try so hard to convince people that we are old enough, we never want to revel in the innocence and exuberance of our youth. We always want to speak like King Solomon and dress like Benjamin Button, just so we’d convince people that we aren’t young. But here’s an old man frantically trying to do things to convince those who care to listen that they’ve still got fire in their bones.

Old age is exciting, little wonder most of them tell you they have no regrets. It’s a blessing to live long. I can bet there’s no way they would have lived this long if all they did was regret the decisions they took or didn’t take years ago. Another crazy juxtaposition because we young people are so fond of living in regrets. You cry everyday about the actions you didn’t take that you end up missing out on the present opportunity starring you in the face all because you’ve got your eyes still fixated on the past. No one moves forward with their gaze behind. No one.

Old people smile a lot when they see us young people strut our stuff. I haven’t been able to ask them what fuels that smile. I like to see that smile as an approval; an approval to enjoy life and make all the mistakes you possibly can while you are young. An approval that no matter how careful you are, you still need to fail a little so you can succeed plenty.

Old people understand the power of words. Once they send a “God bless you my son” your way, they nudge you to say “Amen”. They understand how powerful words are. Another wonder about old age is if there’s a knowledge bank where old people just go to freely to access nuggets. I haven’t met an old man who didn’t have some real truths to spill. Is it something that comes from experience?

When next you see an old person, take a pause, if you notice, they are never in a hurry, so where are you always rushing to? There’s really never a missed opportunity that doesn’t come back. Take a pause and appreciate the beauty of old age, bask in the euphoria of your youth and visualise yourself one day with grey hairs and weak bones and an ever cheerful smile. Take time to appreciate the soothing air and landscape around you for in less than no time, they would be your greatest companions.

What are you currently doing to ensure your old age is blissful? Old age really is the annuity returns you get from your investments as a youth. Have you started investing towards your old age?

 

Stay True!

Miracle Roch.

Happily Ever After

Happily Ever After

There’s this daily prompt thing by WordPress where they give you topic suggestions. I decided to have a look at it today and this topic suggestion got me interested. This was just top of my head, fictionalized of course. I tried to find a real Muse, but couldn’t.

Will we ever live happily ever after?We’ve fought too many fights for a beginning as tender as ours

There’s no denying you bring out the creativity in me

The relief from your lips can’t compare to the Falls at Lake Victoria
In my head we are done

I don’t see a future with our vast differences

But I also didn’t see Donald Trump winning

Unlike the Election, I’d be happy to be proved wrong

We bicker too much, even without talking

Only human to wonder the hell that will be let loose

When we get deep thronged into our bodies on a regular

But I also said the explosive Kimye wouldn’t last six months

I really want us to work forever

Like banish our demons and glow

But the facts are not in our favour and the projections are dim

Well, they were in Hillary’s but we know how that ended

I don’t like how you give others priority more than me

Nor how you waste your time on people you have no business with

I hate that you are not firm in your decisions

I’m bewildered at how you live life without intelligence

More shocked at how beautiful you are

How your smile radiates better than the sun

How you do these so effortlessly

And still call yourself ordinary

This is probably a lost cause

‘Cause you are so set in your ways

You wouldn’t bat an eyelid for a change

But I’d still give it one last shot

And another one.

And yet another shot

I’d hold on to any slight chance for us to live

Happily ever after.

 

Stay True!

Miracle Roch

My Visit to a Yoruba Village Church

First thing to note was that church was designated to start by 7.30am, we got there by 7.45am and there was no body there except an old woman and her son. They were cleaning the chairs.

The church was a shocker to me, nothing similar to the plush environs I’d become used to in Lekki churches. There was no window, no plastered wall, no elevated alter. Just some old rickety rusty plastic chairs and some local drums, no microphone or speaker, no lights, no plush decorations, just the sand filled building not more than 15m in width and 40m in length with a zinc over our heads.

Apparently, the church was still under construction. The gist was that they erected that structure in less than two months, which is impressive given the location and demography of the church.

By 8am, one person joined us, we were five in number now. Church started with prayers said in Yoruba. I didn’t understand one bit of what was uttered. By this time the pastor came in with his family, when I looked outside to the entrance, I was shocked at how his family of five had fit onto the one motorcycle he drove in. It was also unusual for me seeing a Pastor stride in late to service.

I was seated in front because I came rather early, so I was quite shocked at one point to look back and see the whole church filled up. There were not more than 30 chairs in church, I think over 20 was filled up by my estimate.

I was the only one in church who didn’t understand Yoruba, the Pastor was kind enough to realise and called a young boy from the congregation to interpret in English for me while he spoke. The young boy tried so hard, you could literally see him struggle as he tried to mumble the right words in English for me. I was secretly hoping someone would put him out of his misery. The pastor noticed on more than one occasion and tried to help him out, it wasn’t any better, he too got stuck and ended up in Yoruba in less than no time.

The pastor had given what he termed “Morning Tonic”, apparently it’s part of their Sunday programme. He spoke about the Red Sea and how God performed a Miracle using Moses. He also didn’t miss the opportunity to congregation by saying there was a Miracle in church today (obviously referring to me). He told me to stand up on more than one occasion while he gave an example, he was elated to see me attend his church. After he spoke, there was an offering, I gave. Only for the usher who must have been shocked at the denomination I dropped, to come meet me and ask me how much change I wanted, I scoffed, and told her I didn’t need any change. Immediately the Pastor heard me say that, he mumbled somethings in Yoruba which I made out to be “Praise God for this blessing”. On the different occasions when an offering call was made, I gave the highest denomination, so you expect he doled out more personal blessings on my behalf.

There were many funny and strange moments. During Sunday School, the moderator’s phone rang while he was teaching in front of the church, I was shocked to see him pick the call in front of the congregation. He was smiling and exchanging pleasantries with his caller. They had spoken for quite some time before the Pastor said something in Yoruba which I guess was “end the call and continue”. I was amazed that no one found this strange except me. One time during his sermon, a woman made to leave, he called her back and told her to give her offering before leaving.

There were so many funny stories during the different sermons. I counted three different sermons. One time the Sunday school moderator told the church about a young boy who could bypass DSTv subscriptions and make people watch DSTv for free without paying, and he lauded it as an example of using your God given talent and the whole church screamed in affirmation. That was funny to me, I didn’t know when I started laughing out loud. Or the time when the Pastor narrated how he lent money to a church member who refused to pay him pack and the whole church hissed in dismay at the borrower who I guess was definitely not in church.

Oh, my first interpreter was finally put out of his misery by the time the Pastor was ready for his sermon. He called another young chap from the congregation, I liked this one. He was smart enough to not try interpreting sentence for sentence, he gave me summaries. He didn’t try too hard. That was smart of him. I gave him a tip after service, I also gave the first interpreter a tip too. They both went through stress, stood in front of a 30 man congregation which looked like a big deal to them, the least I could do was offer them a tip.

Did I forget the mention the incessant tears that regularly interrupted service? The kids always took turns to cry, and there was this semi-nude kid who ran round the church. For some reason I think he was the Pastor’s child, he kept running to him during the sermon.

There were four different offerings in church, and according to my interpreter, the Pastor was admonishing the church not to get tired of giving at the fourth time. I was more than happy to give during the different occasions because I was actually enjoying myself. The prayer section as you’d expect with a village church was filled with so many “kill your enemies” line and my Interpreter was caught up in the hype most times leaving me to make out what the prayer point was myself. I spoke in tongues almost all through, I guess I was equally covered.

This church was makeshift but her members were definitely ready. The Pastor talked about how he was eager to finish the church before his impending transfer came. He talked about how they needed nothing less than five hundred thousand naira to tile the whole church and how he was envisaging an even bigger land. I loved his enthusiasm especially after hearing the story of how they built that church up to this level. This is real ministry, I mean, it’s not his personal house, it’s the Lord’s house, but he was going about it like his personal business. I liked that about him.

The members were cheerful and happy. They were content too. They all tried to give during their offerings during the different occasions, they even gave their tithes too. They were friendly with me too – the stranger. Someone was eager to give me the English version of their hymn book when it was time, another volunteered to give me their Sunday school manual, they never missed an opportunity to throw a smile. I had to give the little kid beside me some money to drop into the offering pan, he was so happy to drop it in.

After service, I noticed church members both old and young packing sand from outside and filling the alter area inside the church. I defied my post clothes and joined them in packing sand and filling up the alter area. They were all shocked and resisted my efforts but I wasn’t having it. I was so impressed at how everyone was determined to build their church, I joined and enjoyed it. The passion showed by members was heart-warming. I sowed a seed to support the building of the church, it was so awesome being amongst these people and seeing their undiluted love for God translated into action. Apologies for not showing you guys pictures, I had a flat battery. There was no light in the whole village!

I spoke with my second interpreter after church, and I found out he was preparing to write JAMB, when I asked him if he was reading, he told me he wasn’t because he was learning how to make Almacos or something like that at a nearby shop hence he had no time. I encouraged him to make out time. He took my number, I hope he gives me a call sometime; I’d be more than willing to help!

Stay True!

Miracle Roch

The Principle of Digging

Image Source: thelibrary.org

Image Source: thelibrary.org


I have been so busy lately; however, neglecting this blog because of how busy I have been lately will be purely cruel to the beautiful soul that is this blog. Most of the opportunities I have gotten came because of this blog, and this is what I want to talk about today. A principle I have termed “The Principle of Digging”.

I was never sure of how good I was as a writer, five years ago when I mused starting a blog, it wasn’t because I was a good writer, and it wasn’t even because people pushed me to open one. I will share that story with you. Circa five years ago, I used to spend most of my time on the internet reading other people’s blogs, at some point back then, I had read every single post ever posted on naijastories.com, I was that deep into reading stuff on the internet.

I became awed at some of the awesome things I read and kept wondering how a human could craft such gold. Then I began to ask myself; if a human like you wrote this, there’s no way you can’t write stuff like this, and considering the fact that I had enough ammunition (back then, I read a book every two weeks), I felt I could give it a try.

For most people, that is where they stop; “feeling like trying”, but they never ever get to try. I mulled over starting this blog, but I never doubted myself one bit. I knew once I carved my own niche and defined my parameters, I will be same from the executioner. I also knew about the Principle of Digging

The Principle of Digging states that “so long as you keep digging, the wells shall eventually burst albeit it after a long time”.

I knew that so long as I kept trying to write and post, I will eventually come good. If you scroll through my archives to my first set of posts, you’d see how brutally honest I was with my thoughts without trying to mince words; that was me in my niche. Look through, I’d never gone more than two months at a stretch without posting something, because I knew I couldn’t afford to lose momentum. The more I kept posting, the better I would become albeit after a long time.

Look at me now, I have made money and gotten connections as a result of the crappy things I post on this blog. Who would have thought that five years ago when I started this blog, I would become better today considering I was no Wole Soyinka incarnate?

You can then begin to imagine the numerous things in your life you’ve passed on because you didn’t feel up to it, or because you felt you needed to practice more? I didn’t need practice, my practice was on this blog (the posts are there for you to see), I was proud of my mistakes.

When I decided to change states and become independent, I didn’t get a hang of it, had no clue what my tomorrow was going to look like. But I knew life obeyed the Principle of Digging, I knew so long as I kept getting at it, I’d eventually come good. It has also kept me at work, so many times I get disappointed at myself for the quality of work I produce, but I don’t get worried or discouraged at all, I know so long as I keep getting at it, I will eventually come through, it would only take time.

Looking back at my life, I laugh now seeing how frightened I became at the Goliath of those days (they always took different forms those days), I remember going to bed most nights terrified about what the next day would bring, but I knew I’d come good if I keep getting at it.

Look at me now…I’m better off. Start digging, it definitely won’t be easy but the wells shall eventually burst.

Stay True!

– Miracle Roch

Inadequaphobia

The first time I came across the word “inadequate” was in my Primary 5. I still vividly remember the events surrounding that epiphany. I had been preparing for the final round of my school debate – I had made it to the final round and was due to face the other guy in Primary 6. I always won – as a result of my good preparations.
Oh! As I typed that, I just remembered the one time when I came second at the state level, but it wasn’t due to my performance. It was due to my composure, the thing is, as I made my way to the stage that day, my shorts tore at the back, in a bid to hide it, I couldn’t move around freely and it cost me my fluency and ultimately the State
Debating title. I felt so bad at losing, I never thought I’d have experienced things worse than the feeling I felt
that day. I was barely 9 years old then.

So as I prepared for that final debate the night before. I had gone to my older cousin to show him the points I had, waiting to be unleashed the next day. I think the topic of the debate was “Doctors and Teachers, who was more important to Nation Building”, something like that. I can’t exactly remember which side of the debate I was on, I’ve been struggling to remember, keeps eluding me. My elder cousin came back late at night, so it meant I slept off already before he could make his corrections.

I woke up the next morning to see he had made some edits on my point. He said so many things but the one that stuck was this – he said there were too many “lack of…” in my points. All my points started with “Lack of”, and so he changed some of them to “Inadequate”. I remember asking him what “inadequate” meant with all curiosity and tension. I mean, the debate was that morning, and you’d expect me to be jittery over using a word I hadn’t come across before. He carefully explained the word “inadequate” to me, I think I was satisfied with his definition because I remember using it throughout that debate. Of course, as you’d expect; I won! I had won the primary six guy – my senior! I think I still remember the guy’s name, of course I won’t write it here!

That was my introduction to the word Inadequate. It has lived me with ever since. I have grown to hate that word. For what it stands for, I hate being inadequate. I never ever want to come across as being inadequate and as a result, it has reduced my circle. Rather than appear inadequate, I’d retreat to my shell.

What inspired this post? In some quarters, I’m perceived as proud. I’ve always been befuddled by this tag, because the real me is nowhere near being proud. Like I’m the most down to earth guy you’d ever meet – wait let me finish before you counter that. But in trying to hide my inadequacy, I had sent the wrong vibes unintentionally.

A common example is when I don’t return people’s calls, they’d tag me proud. When I don’t reply your messages; you’d tag me proud. But I wish I could tell you the real reason behind me ignoring you. I fear that my replies won’t be appreciated, I fear that my calls won’t be the best phone call you’ve answered in a while, so rather than call and show my inadequacy, I was better off staying put. I fear that my messages won’t get your maximum attention, I fear that you’d classify them amongst the others. I hate being classified alongside the chasing pack.
Ladies and gentlemen, my name is Miracle Roch and I suffer from Inadequaphobia – the fear of appearing inadequate.

This fear has helped me overcome challenges, make no mistake about that. For one, it has made me consciously strive to become better, just so I’d not appear inadequate and as a result, I’ve come to learn a whole lot of stuff.
It’s not a bad phobia to have. I mean, I still return some calls and reply some messages, only when I’m sure of maximum attention, or some other time, because your opinion doesn’t matter to me. The challenge with this kind of phobia is that I cannot stress myself too much; so I’m always retreating to my shell or not giving a hoot about what people say in some cases. This is probably the greatest fear I have, I mean, times when I should suffer from what people term “depression” in this part of the world, I have found myself frantically searching for knowledge. I’d rather be miserable than not know anything. Times when I’d be faced with a challenge, I’d find myself trying to bulk up mentally, because I love my knowledge bank so much more than anything.

I always want to know stuff, I always want to read, and most importantly, I never ever care about impressing people, because the more they see me as ordinary, the lesser the shoe size I have to fill hence nothing to NOT feel adequate about. Thanks to Inadequaphobia.

Stay True!

Miracle Roch.

Birthday Post: New Wine; Old Wineskin.

A birthday post is a tradition as old as this blog.

Every year, I turn into a recluse in the weeks that precede August 30. All my life, this date has always fallen during the holiday period. School has never been in session. In high school, people would be splashed with water, beaten and thrown up in the air on their birthday, it always seemed fun. I felt unfortunate that my birthday always came during the holiday season, you know, back then, having water splashed over you was the deal.

So it meant I’d always have enough free time on my birthday to do stuff I wanted. It’s a sign of progress and growth that my birthday this year will have me seated on my desk at the office working. I’m done with the school life. Just look at me, a twenty-two year old working class who lives alone fully independent in a city over 500km away from the one where I spent most of my years.

This birthday is not special, it’s like all the other ones, but I have really grown as a person. I have become realer with my veracities and stronger against my fears. I took daunting decisions this year. I made the bold step to leave my comfort zone and move to another state without having any backup plan. It worked out well for me.

On the premise of this new level of independence, I will share some of my struggles with you as I come to terms with a new 365. Yes, I have some struggles; I’m no superman. If anything, independence helped me realize that.
I am not as nice as I’ve always thought myself to be. This is a very difficult admission to make because I’d always pride myself as being one of the nicest guys you’d ever meet. I mean, I don’t smoke, drink, sleep around, break hearts, use vulgar words, do evil, commit crime, and all the other ill stereotypes we’ve gotten accustomed to.

This year, I was a major recipient of unusual niceness from several people. The kind of favours I got this year from people made me realize how far away I was from reality. So many of the things people did for me this year, I wouldn’t have done the same if the roles were reversed, and I’d have valid reasons. On further probing, I’d have probably helped them too but not without dithering and considerations.

I am not nice, and I am pained. Following due process doesn’t always translate to being nice. Being a Christian boy isn’t all you need to be nice, there are elements of human interactions where I’ve been found wanting, for all my ramble about working hard, I still don’t give my all when it comes to work. I don’t even know how to sap myself completely. I am not nice.

It makes me question all those who have been nice to me. Why spend all that effort on someone who doesn’t deserve it? Well, I got my answer; when you’re being nice, you don’t worry about the qualification of the receiver at all. I will spend more time on this moving forward.

I was celibate all through the year. I have never been under as much pressure as I was this year to have sex. I still don’t understand why I was born in this generation – a generation that flagrantly seeks to do the exact opposite of the law. Letting people know you’re celibate doesn’t actually keep them away from you, it brings them closer, which is odd. But I get the reasoning, humans want you to go down with them.

Very few people want you to succeed even if they don’t. The human nature is malicious by default, so don’t blame them. Which is why you must learn to appreciate those who genuinely care about you. I stayed away from every form of negativity this year, I didn’t even have to think about it before getting an earpiece. When there was no one to
encourage me, I plugged in my earpiece and found encouragement in songs and words.

I have become a stronger character, without fear or timidity. The secret? Positive words. You need to always stay encouraged. I haven’t done badly for myself. There’s still more to be done of course.

Is this the life I dream of at twenty-two? I can’t remember. But I know I’m in my perfect place. God has been gracious, I have a job I honestly like doing and I have the right people in my life. Every single thing that’s happening with me right now was orchestrated by God which gives me huge confidence. It also explains why I approach important matters with dull complacency.

I can’t honestly be killing myself over the details of my life when it’s been so evident that God has been working out things for my good. I know what’s ahead of me is better than my wildest imaginations which is why I’ve stopped drawing up plans and goals, because for every single time I did that this year, God showed up with a much better plan midway. So instead, step by step, little by little, I will keep growing just the way God wants me to.

I’m super excited as I grow older!

Stay True!

Miracle Roch.

Unbroken? Don’t Touch

The average price of a toothpaste in Nigeria is $1 (at bank rate of course). I pay so much attention to my mouth and its constituents, I don’t even know why, probably because I hate bad breath. Like if I was going for a meeting with a client worth a million dollars and your breath was stinking; I’d gladly forfeit that money. So I try so much to make sure my mouth is clean, I think that’s the part of my body that gulps so much money from me followed by my armpit of course.

My teeth has been awesome over the years, I’ve gotten compliments from all and sundry about how white my teeth are (are instead of “is” sounds so weird, but English says it’s correct), and how awesome my dentition is. Basically stuff like that. I mean, I use a mouthwash, I brush twice everyday (it’s like a religion, I never ever fail to do this, one time I fell asleep after a long day, I woke up by 12 in the middle of the night and unconsciously headed straight to the bathroom to brush my teeth). So I expect my teeth to be cool of course.

There’s this international toothpaste brand that keeps making brilliant ads on TV, I’d seen them for so long and somehow, they’d managed to convince me that their toothpaste was superior. Remember the average price of a toothpaste is $1, well these guys sell theirs for $3. I didn’t even mind, I bought it. Anything to make my already awesome teeth better! After using the first one, I didn’t see any difference, in fact, I think my teeth became worse. My teeth became rather sensitive to extremely cold things (unlike before), my teeth just became uncomfortable, and it was awful. But because I believe so much in their adverts, I decided to blame myself. I felt it was because I had gone for the wrong “flavor” (not exactly flavor but you understand what I mean, I ran out of adjectives), so I decided to buy another variant (oh! That’s the word I was looking for). It didn’t get better, the final straw that broke the camel’s back was the third variant I bought, they called it ”Gentle Whitening”, that stuff darkened my teeth instead of whitening it. Like what the hell? What did I get myself into? It’s been frustrating.

That’s the tale that has led me to this post. If it’s not broken; don’t fix it. I know there’s that constant natural desire to be better and stuff, but be careful what you wish for. My teeth was awesome, in perfect state, but I fell for a brilliant TV ad, now see where it has led me to. Quality sometimes can be disguised. Yeah, I said that. And funny enough, it doesn’t require quality to spot quality most times. It requires a simple survey.
After my horrible experience with these $3 toothpaste guys, I decided to do a simple twitter search about them (google is too mainstream), and I realized almost everyone had a complaint or two about them. Like people were experiencing the same problems I was; I must confess, that made me feel better. I wasn’t the only gullible one who fell for their trick at least. But imagine I did this survey before buying them, I would have avoided the whole brouhaha at first. Now I see why modern day Einsteins twisted the old maxim that “experience is the best teacher”. You know they now say “someone else’s experiences is the best teacher…don’t let it happen to you first”. I added the last part. But it makes perfect sense now.

Only a fool will jump from frying pan to fire just to show that he can jump.

Remember when we had just GPRS on our mobile phones? You know life was pretty much sane back then, with our “G”, we could do whatever we wanted, Facebook, Goal, Wapking, Waptrick, Sefan, and all the other stupid things we did on the internet back then with no complaints whatsoever. But just like my toothpaste story, someone somewhere came across a Nikola Tesla or Edison theory that said we could do more on the internet with double GPRS and decided to take the theory serious. Thanks to some crazy Billionaires who like that kinda stuff, the dude got funding and went into research, the result? The 2G internet was born. That guy ruined our lives! From 2G to 3G and now we’re at 4G (hey, in Africa of course, I know some of my American readers will quickly point out that they’ve got 4.5 or 5g over there, allow us shine in peace with our 4G at least).

I mean, faster internet shouldn’t be a bad thing yeah? But it is! That’s because you pretty much can’t do anything with G or 2G. I know this because the network reception in my house room (room because once I stand in front of my door or walk around my compound, I get good reception, but on my bed, my table, my toilet; pretty bad reception. As a matter of fact, to publish this post on the internet, I’d have to go stand in front of my door). Note that when I say bad reception I mean 2G. It’s crazy how I can’t open a web page with 2G, not even Facebook. Like freaking Facebook that required just G to open back in the day! This is treacherous! I’m furious! Why is this so? This will take us back to my toothpaste story. So when Facebook saw that there was now 3G, it decided to do some crazy stupid stuff behind the scene that meant 2G couldn’t open Facebook pages anymore.

Now this is what progress does to you, it gives you an illusion of something better. So Zuckerberg sees 3G, and rants in his garage about how the introduction of 3G means, Facebook can now stream live videos, post pictures without compressing it (remember when they used to do that?), and all the other stuff and boom! They added all those features and a little more. But in adding those features, they made Facebook heavier. This explains why my miserable 2G can’t open Facebook pages. It also explains why my teeth has become miserable. The $3 toothpaste guys probably added some chemical benzene-ethanoate-fluoride-chloro-II-methane compound bullshit which my teeth was unfamiliar too and it had messed up my teeth.

Were we not all happy when I was using the normal $1 toothpaste? Why are we now unhappy? Some guy decided to conduct an experiment and came up with that disaster of a toothpaste that has now become my nemesis. Don’t get me wrong, research is good. But research shouldn’t be done at the expense of efficiency. The fact that those guys at Volkswagen keep researching and bringing out new car models every year doesn’t mean my great grandfather’s 1969 Volkswagen Beetle can’t move. You should have brought out your 3G without making my 2G less efficient. And for this, I bear a grudge.

Stay True!

Miracle Roch.

The In-Betweens

Life is a journey, or so we are told. But I don’t believe life is a journey. I mean, I had to check my dictionary for what the Englishman defines as a journey, and it’s pretty straightforward. A Journey is an act of travelling from one place to the other. My problem with taking this popular definition of life is that is neglects a very important part of life; the in-betweens.

I don’t mean that other “in-between” people use to demarcate life and death; in-between life and death, as they refer to it. I mean the “in-between of life, mostly found between “li” and “fe”.

The in-betweens are those numerous minuscule details that serenade your whole life and actually do the damage (or good) without ever taking credit for it. Your in-betweens churned you out the way you are right now.

I am grateful for my in-betweens, mainly because it’s made me who I am. We all go through various in-betweens daily, and I feel so bad because, they appear so irrelevant to even spring up to mind.

As you go through life, don’t be in a hurry. Savor the in-between. Don’t be too focused on the future that you end up missing out on the present. Once I wrote about having tasted both sides of the coin and how that adventure helped me realized which side of the coin was better. I thought I got a better understanding because I was on “the other side”, but with the benefit of hindsight, I realized I only landed on the “in-between”! Even coins have their in-betweens.

Most times, when you actually feel you’ve flipped the coin, what you actually did was tilt it upwards. You landed on the in-between. The in-between gives you a better view. I make bold to say the “in-between” is the best view; it doesn’t make a fuss, it just goes on about the job and gets it done.

Your ability to sideline the efficacy of your in-betweens is the reason why you keep running from pillar to post looking for refuge, it’s the same reason why you keep falling into different arms looking for protections and spend every resource you’ve got materials because you’re looking for satisfaction. The satisfaction, security and protection you require are all within you – disguised as your in-betweens. Quit looking in the wrong place.

No time is ever wasted, what you actually call “time wasted” was a precious stop over at the “in-betweens”, enjoy the experience and embrace it wholly.

Stay True!

Miracle Roch.

Bitterness

For all the things I do wrong in life (they are a whole lot by the way), for all the deadlines I miss, for all the tasks left unticked, how have I managed to survive in this life with all the horrible things I’ve done (and keep doing)? I must really say that I have become the proverbial cat with nine lives.

Despite my irregularities, I do have a few “sacrosants”. Allow me share them with you…

1. Bitterness is worse than anger. Worse because it is suppressed and internal. What kills a man? The things that emanate and reside on the inside. Where does bitterness dwell? Yeah, inside!

2. Bitterness is deadlier than hatred. Hatred is noisy, bitterness is always on stealth. The things that take down a man never announce their intentions, it’s always the empty vessels that make the loudest noise. Noise isn’t something that can be attributed to effectiveness.

3. One of the ways I survive is by viewing bitterness as a baggage. I can’t harbour bitterness not even in its purest form (it doesn’t have a purest form though). That way, nothing eats me up from within.

4. It’s easy to say stuff like: “do away with bitterness”, “don’t let that stuff dwell in you” and things like that but the deal is in implementation. So what did I do?

5. I found substitutes. I founds things that drive away bitterness in me. One of such things is food. Let me reiterate that bitterness doesn’t just appear on the scene like Thor. It starts with a bad mood, degenerates to sadness and maintains its metamorphosis. So once I sight a bad mood lurking from afar, I immediately look for something to munch. With each munch, the feeling gets eroded.

6. Negative vibes breed bitterness. And people bring about negative vibes. So I let people off the hook. When I see someone doesn’t want my progress or feels we are in some sort of competition, I withdraw immediately. I don’t have strength. If it would mean reducing my circle to the barest minimum (there is no minimum though, you can be a circle of one), so long as I push all that negativity faraway. Bingo! OMG, you have no idea how toxic people can be, you don’t need all that toxicity.

7. In the Bible, the story is told of how a young David chased evil spirits away from Saul just by singing. Don’t under estimate the power of music, which is why you must be careful what you listen to. Music has the power to overwhelm, listen to the right ones, and your spirit will be lifted.

8. Sleep. Sometimes, all the theories in the world won’t be able to help you, so what do you do? Sleep, when you wake up, you’d be better.

Stay True!

Miracle Roch.

Dear Marie

Dear Marie,

I am writing you after such a long time because I’ve been a total mess from the last time.

I haven’t been able to gather my pieces together ever since. Like they keep proving difficult the farther I go, is there some Rubik’s Cube joke going on here that I don’t know?

I know you are doing so well, I just don’t understand how you manage to pull off all the exceptionalities you pull off. You say I took after you, but our lives are on two extremes that I feel that statement is delusional.

I’m writing you because I need someone to talk to, someone to hit, hug, kiss and caress. Just about anything to reduce the weight of this humongous burden on my shoulders.

I don’t even know how to keep a home, I wonder what will become of the kids by the time they are grown. Will they ever be like our Prime Minister Modi? I have no idea Marie, how do I ensure they grow to become exceptional – like you.

I wish I had listened to you earlier on before I started this journey. I’ve become so lonely. No new friends, the old ones are gone. Only the scavengers remain. This wasn’t the life you promised me.

Ree, you once told me to be positive, you said the happier I was, the brighter my future. I’m in the future now, and all those years of smiling sheepishly hasn’t done me any good. What way is there?

I don’t want to be like John Pierpont, I don’t want to wait anymore. I fear my strength slowly fading away. I fear I may no longer hold on when it’s all gone.

I even realised my most prized asset – humility, is all gone. I’m too proud now Marie, I can’t even say “please” anymore. The more I remain stoic, the more I worry for the future of the kids. Will they ever have someone to call “dad”? This whole brouhaha has turned me into my worst nightmare. I am slowly becoming that person I told people to steer away from.

I may bear the thought of living out a wrecked life, but I will not be able to bear the thought of dumping the kids on the path to wretchedness. I won’t.

Marie, I am slowly dying. Help me before it’s too late. You let all this happen in the first place. Fix it, Marie, fix it.

Yours,

Tayna.

Tayna, a single mom, wrote from Calcutta.