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 Throwback Birthday

I may not have access to the internet by the time it’s 12am, August 30, 2015. Which is why I’m posting this now. Things like this make me thank God for Mark Zuckerberg’s which aims to stream down internet from space to underdeveloped countries in Africa and other continents. When you see the giant stride Mark is making, it makes you wonder about your own life. That young man is already a billionaire, yet rather than rest on his laurels and watch the income flow, he’s still out there trying to make a difference in other ways that he can. It really tells you that it’s not always about the money, at some point the money makes less sense and you begin to look at the list of lives you’ve impacted on rather than Forbes’ list. That is surely a lesson to be learnt.

If you go through the archives of this blog, you’d notice a regular occurrence, since 2011 when this blog went live till now, there’s always been a birthday post whenever it’s my birthday. A closer look at all these posts will show a similar theme, the ever increasing need to get better. But this year is going to be different, rather than mumble and muse about what I should do and what I shouldn’t do, I have decided to rather look back with a grateful heart of thanksgiving to God for all he has done for me.

I have recounted my childhood so many times on this blog, I’m not prepared to go through the motions and rigours again but there really is plenty to be thankful for. But before we continue, I must confess that I truly feel like a winner; I’ve finally created a Gmail account after almost two years of “network error” messages, and having to deal with the rubbish Yahoo! spills sometimes. Although I must confess, Yahoo! has definitely become better, is this due to Marissa Mayer? I don’t know.

For one, this is the first birthday post I will be posting as a graduate. I have just finished my final exam from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. And you can’t fault me when it comes to prestigious schools, I’ve been opportune to go through some of the best; my high school was the prestigious Federal Government College Enugu, of course as is the case with prestige, we have produced many governors, senators, and men of substance. I started out my primary education at Citizens. If you followed the trends of the ‘90s well enough in Ikorodu, Lagos, you’ll agree with me that Citizens was the bomb. So I’ve been through the very best at all tiers. A round of applause, if that comes with any prize. Yeah it does, the thing with prestige is that it attracts prestige too, so there’s the chance of meeting up with great minds (like people have done with me; I’m a great mind!)

I had to retype the last two sentences; this is due to the absurd weak nature of my laptop battery. It went off immediately electrical power was gone. The fact that I could remember almost verbatim what I had written is also a stroke of genius. I deserve some credit for that. The auto-save function of Microsoft Word 2010 is abysmal, if it were Word 2013; it would have recovered everything I had typed. So which is the better form of genius? The ability to remember (as I have done) or the ability to ensure you need not remember (as Bill Gates & co. have done with Office 15’s auto-save feature)? Think about your answer carefully, therein lies the recipe for your success and I mean it.

Since I’ve delved into technology, let’s flow. The last time I wrote a birthday post (exactly a year ago), I had a fully functional 750GB HP 2000 laptop, a Blackberry smartphone, lots of money, and all the other good stuff. Just 12 months later, I have no hard disk, no laptop (just the empty casing to stare at me), no phone (not even an un-smart one), barely no money and almost no good stuff. I’ve lost every digital file. I then begin to wonder, has progress been made at all?
Back then, I lived virtually my whole life on the internet, how have I been able to cope without first hand access to the internet? A stroke of genius! It must be.

Looking back, that experience certainly made me better off. It turned me into a man-mountain. It gave me lots of time to do me-stuffs, ample opportunities to relax and think straight.
I finished reading all Malcolm Gladwell’s books with my favourite being David and Goliath (which influenced one of my previous posts; “Underdogs or just Dogs”). I must confess that most of my paradigm during this past one year was shaped by the philosophy portrayed by Malcolm in his books, and I don’t regret it one bit.

I’m here sitting on my scattered bed, with my diary on one corner, my NKJV Bible on another end with my notepad besides it. At the opposite end is my little detachable dell stereo speaker and a reading lamp. I just took another look at my bed and I’m wondering why my notepad is closer to my bible than it is to my diary. And I’ve just picked up a lesson from there, what I write, what should shape my thinking is what God’s word says and not what I think (which is what I write in my diary).
So it’s been one year of mainly no internet, no phone, no laptop, none of those things that supposedly makes life tick and yet my life ticked. I’ve found happiness despite having no temple run to keep my mind engaged, I’ve not suffered depression despite not having a laptop to watch movies with, and my dexterity with the keyboard is still high grade despite not having to frequently type as I would have wanted.

But it has also been one year of God’s goodness. God has just been so good! Saved me from reckless situations, shown me mercy and just been too good to me. This one year without internet and some of the supposed basic necessities of life has only made me seen that the one basic necessity is just the Presence of God working out all that stuff in your life.
I’m thankful for those God has brought my way. I’m surrounded by wonderful people, people that are ready to take all the shit I constantly throw at them and still love me nonetheless. For all those in my life, thank you for hanging around despite my weird manoeuvres. I really do love you all.

We look forward to the next 365 days with renewed vigour and hope that will be fully functioning in Nigeria so that yours truly can also enjoy this good act of philanthropy.

Stay True!

Miracle Roch.