there’s no road that ain’t a hard road to travel on

i broke my 52 week challenge already!  well here’s some more junk from my mind brain.  i’m off for 4 days from thursday and my goal is to put some serious fiction into type….

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baggy clothes.  sour face.  cloudy behind the eyes.  it could be malaria or the weird sense of impending doom.

it is tuesday and i keep thinking it is wednesday, the wrong way to get the dates wrong.  especially before the upcoming 4 day holiday weekend.

i was going to write about how i do everything the hard way, using sam roberts’ lyrics for a title.  thoughts about doing ‘too much’ in high school and deviating from the norm to choosing uni over braces and any modicum of financial stability to putting myself in situations where i am forced to make difficult choices.  the choices are based on the rock and hard place i put myself between.

any way i put it together i think i sound like an asshole.

it is not easy to be strong all the time and there are moments where i am aware that i fuck up, seemingly beyond repair.  while i’ve never been diagnosed with depression or anxiety, i’m sure they are present in my psyche.

i have unreasonable predictive thoughts about how things will happen. a friend once referred to this phenomenon as a ‘stab in the dark susan’ complex; an idea that has stuck with me for more than 10 years.  a great deal of my thoughts will have come from adversity i have faced and could be largely the opposite of the reality i am unable to see.  i can spend an entire day in a snit and have great difficulty crawling out of wherever it is that i have put myself.

i am constantly questioning my behaviour and actions, perhaps to the point of fault.  i was raised to be aware that i am not special; that there will always be people better and worse off than i am at any given point in time.  there will be smarter people, faster people and there will also be those who face difficulties i cannot even dream of while i complain about trivia.

with that i am aware that i don’t take good enough care of myself much of the time.  i have started to consider how to be constructive with my blues, rather than drinking until i can no longer feel feelings.  i started this blog and have a number of ideas for novels, 3 or 4 so far.  i am writing in my journal nearly every day, compiling snippits of plot, setting and characters for later use.  i guess i have never really properly acknowledged the benefits of writing things down on my attitude and approach.

it has taken a long time but i am looking at changing my perspective.  living in nigeria has both harmed me and helped me in that regard.

i have been harmed by a number of scenarios which would never be acceptable in canada and i won’t bore you with the details.  i have said to a number of people that i ‘did not sign up for this’ and they have told me, rightly so, that of course i signed up.  i chose to live abroad.  i chose to put myself in this position.  i recall saying to a close friend before coming here that i was too mouthy and it was possible nigeria would help me tone my shit down.  i should have been careful what i wished for!  it has created the strange monster i have become.

on the other hand, i have seen west africans ‘get on with’ things that would cause an average canadian to crawl on the floor into the foetal position… things like loss of an immediate family member, being a victim of armed robbery, not being paid for months on end despite working for the government and many more horrendous things to experience on any given day here.  these experiences of others have caused me to be more empathetic to others and to recognise that i have a great deal of things in my life which warrant being thankful.

i am learning slowly and the 30s are helping me in a way the teens and 20s never did.  this time i am really trying to be realistic and make necessary changes i know will help me in the long run.

we are all fighting a battle.  sometimes a bit of perspective can turn things on their head and snap us back into reality.  it is not all about me or you.  it is about the greater good of just trying to be nicer and less judgemental.  it is an every day struggle for me and it is worth the regular effort.

my hope is that i will look back at how resilient all of this mixed experience has made me.  and i will think kindly of nigerians and nigeria, despite all of the bad press the country gets.

whatever battle you’re flighting, i’m sure you’re doing the best you can with the given circumstances.  i suppose my point is that we need to be kind to ourselves and each other.

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