A Difference a Year Makes

Today’s post is a little different. Instead of writing about my current life, I want to take a post to write about my former one.

As a child, I had the privilege and opportunity to grow up around “old folks.” I have always been a bit of an old person on the inside. I have never felt as young and carefree and reckless as other young people around me. I also grew up around my older brother, grandmother, and an aunt who was older than my mom.

I had a wonderful childhood, hanging around with my own old soul and the old souls around me. I also learned a lot and heard lots of “old folks” sayings like:

  1. “Where there’s a will, there’s a way”
  2. “Time heals all wounds”
  3. “There’s always somebody out there that has it worse than you”
  4. “If the Lord say the same”

And so forth, you get the idea.

I chose those four “old folks” sayings to write about today because as I sit here, clicking through photos from a year or more ago, those stand out to me.

  1. Where there’s a will, there’s a way

I am currently just trying to figure out what to do with my life, given all of the changes I have made to it. My job, pets, location, car, marital status, health status, hair thickness, body fat percentage (and even my eyebrows) have all changed in less than a year. Even though I don’t like to admit it, it’s been rough. But as the old folks say, where there’s a will, there’s a way. I don’t have much will left in me, but there’s still some fight in there some where, and fighting me will find a way.

2. Time heals all wounds

All the wounds that I think change has given me will eventually heal over. Right now, they sometimes feel like gaping, gushing wounds, with instead of blood pouring out of me, I am watching my sanity slip past my fingers. I am holding on to the wound, but it seems like nothing is helping. But, I have faith that time is the ultimate change agent. Given time, anything, everything, anybody, and everybody changes. Time is a healer even when we resist the healing.

3. There’s always somebody out there that has it worse than you

This one is SO OBVIOUS living in Lagos. In a way, it is fortunate to have spent my most tumultuous time in life (so far) in Lagos. All I have to do is go outside or even look out the window to be reminded of my good fortune. I have always been a grateful and thankful person (growing up with “old people” blessed me with that trait), but it is even more apparent when living in a place like Lagos.

4. If the Lord says the same

I used to chuckle inside when I heard this one. Old people would say it when they said they’d do something or be somewhere. For example, “I’ll see you next Sunday, if the Lord says the same.” This saying is a way to acknowledge the very, very, very little control you have over your life. This saying acknowledges all the freak accidents, the sudden heart attacks, the uncertainties, the hidden health issues, the surprise heartbreaks, and the unexpected sadness. All of those things that can, and eventually will, stop you and break you. Sometimes you may be stopped forever, other times, you may have the fortune to stop and be able to start again. Sometimes you have some control; other times you don’t. As I have gotten older, or should I say, as I have been blessed to live this long, I have grown to have a new appreciation for this saying. Some of the things I thought I’d have by now, they did not come to fruition. Some of them will never come. And regardless if you’re religious or not, believe in this God or that God, well, sometimes, the Lord just does NOT say the same. The universe does not say the same. The forces of life disagree with your expectations and you have to make adjustments.

I won’t end on some unrealistically happy note because I am a pragmatic person. I know that all stories don’t really work out for the better. I know that all stories don’t have happy endings. But regardless of how my story progresses from now, and no matter where the story HAPPENS (in Lagos or elsewhere in the world), I am thankful to even have a year ago to look back on. Lots of folks can’t say that.

To the girl taking the selfie a year ago, enjoy the calm before the storm. To the girl writing this right now, learn from the storm. And to the girl reading this a year from now, and I hope you are, if the Lord says the same, remember: keep using your will to find your way.

Until tomorrow, my friends…


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