It’s 8.28pm in Melbourne. 30th of September 2016. A lot has happened since my last post on the blog, so I thought I’d share an update. First and foremost, I’m alive. :-)
Thanks for checking in, sending emails, WhatsApp messages and Facebook inboxes. To say, I have an army of individuals who genuinely care for my well being is an understatement. I’m blessed by you. Being this vulnerable with my readers on the blog, let alone my family and close friends has been outside of my comfort zone. I’m an introvert and oftentimes I prefer the company of my own thoughts. But this month has been a lesson in vulnerability.
No really, thanks for being so honest and real with me. I’m still reading and responding to your warmth and sunshine. I’m inspired by your stories and by the conversations we’ve had across screens. Your comments have been like high fives, hugs, winks, giggles, tears, cuddles, prayers.
I’ve felt your struggles and mused on them as I’ve gone about my week. I’m super humbled by how human we all are, how easily we all hurt but most importantly how interconnected and similar our experiences are. It’s profoundly beautiful to have experienced such humility, openness, community and healing on the blog, each one encouraged by the tale of the other.
And now here I am.
Learning, growing, blossoming. Restructuring. Here I am.
Here’s what I’ve been learning:
1. Loss is universally human.
I’ve received over 100 direct messages from people just like me who’ve been through or are going through tumultous times. As I’ve empathised with each one of you, I’ve felt the warm assurance that to be human is to be prone to human-ness. We hurt those around us with our words and actions and we too are hurt by others. People hurt people. Such is the nature of human interaction. But above all, I’m learning to understand what grace looks like and extend it to those who’ve let me down and hope that those who I've let down would extend some my way as well.
2. Vulnerability strips us of our accolades and reveals our true sense of self.
I’m learning to listen to what life wants me to learn at this point in my life. When we go through tough times, you know, when we’re no longer that smart student or star athlete, troubles humble us. Just like a storm cleanses the earth, so do the storms of life shake our very foundations. After the storms of life have passed, what aspect of our lives will remain standing? What do we cling to? What defines us? Who are we, really, who are we? How do we get by? Once our foundations are revealed, we know full well what we need to strengthen and fortify in our inner person. Storms allow us to re-estabilsh our foundations. Storms allow us to build anew.
3. Being human opens us up to the strength of the human bond across continents.
This goes without saying. My readers come from across the world and from a variety of age groups and nationalities. However, oftentimes the demarcations used to segregate humanity sometimes do more harm than good. Loss strips us of our "categories" and reveals our human connection. And needless to say, the connection we’ve established is nothing short of powerful. Thanks for your words of encouragement and support. Thanks for hearing me out. Thanks for your affirmation and for allowing me to be part of your life too.
4. Old friendships are still friendships.
Okay so my old friends from primary school still silently read the blog ei? Hihi! Hey boo! Thanks for showing up strong and mighty for me. I had some really really really old friends spring to action with messages of encouragement. Thanks for your love, thanks for remembering me. My friendship circles are very diverse, because I’ve gathered friends from all the countries I’ve lived in and so while the distance doesn't allow us to always keep in touch, its good to know y’all still got my back!
5. Take time to be brutally honest with yourself.
If ever there was a time I’ve had to be in touch with my feelings 100%, its now. I'm making time to audit my habits and patterns and be brutally honest with myself. I’m naturally an introspective, self-reflective person and I do enjoy self-auditing. But this has been a pop-quiz in self-knowledge. I’m still feeling though. All the waves of emotions that life offers us. Happiness, laughter, fatigue, confusion. I’m still feeling. I’m still working through. But everyday I'm discovering new bits about myself.
6. Eat healthy and exercise.
So #CravingHealth just reached an all time high! I’ve been spending lots of time working on my physical health. Over the past few months, I’ve allowed things to slip. I’ve allowed stress and unhealthy behavioural patterns to seep into my way of being. I’m learning to declutter my mental space. Exercise and healthy eating have really gone a long way in giving me a sense of balance.
7. Find spiritual rejuvenation.
Sing hymns, sit by a river, ride a bike in the sun. Find your light, find your spirit, find your energy, find GOD. Outside of our spirituality, life feels meaningless. There’s a lot of wisdom and direction for life in spirituality. I always say that there are principles by which life abides, whether or not you believe in GOD and many of these values are found when we take time to nurture and seek our spirituality. I’m seeking revelation and redirection.
8. Keep going, keep hustling!
One of the principles of loss in many traditional African societies is that the bereaved must come out of hiding and re-engage with the world after a stated period of recovery. Taking time to heal is paramount to growth but re-engagement thereafter is also crucial to our health and well-being. I’ve felt like throwing in the towel and moving to an island in the Indian Ocean and pretending I don’t exist. I’ll be brutally honest, I have! But I’m choosing to re-engage. I LOVE blogging, so I’ve been working on content and wanting to continue to share of myself with my readers as well as with my family and friends.
Look the bottom line is this: I’m still here. I’m still growing. I’m still trying to figure out life and all it’s ups and downs. And if you’re here too, we’re winning.
Thanks for coming over to check up on me here on the blog.
How's September 2016 been for you?
Sending you LOTS of Love and Sunshine,