Did We Do Any Learning? [5]

learning & living

The human story does not always unfold like a mathematical calculation on the principle that two and two make four. Sometimes in life they make five or minus three; and sometimes the blackboard topples down in the middle of the sum and leaves the class in disorder and the pedagogue with a black eye.  
– Winston Churchill –

 

I Tried to be a Writer

2014 is the year I tried to be a writer and most of the things that happened to me—both good and bad—are centred on this.

Failure or rejection can teach lessons that take a lifetime of success to imbibe. When I was younger, my Dad often said, “Iya o je o, o wipe o gbon; tani tisa re?” (You claim to possess wisdom without enrolling in the school of suffering. Who is your teacher?).  I scoffed at the statement’s cynicism, but now I know better.

So, the correct answer to “How are you?” is not “fine”. It is a long rambling confession to the people we love and trust, opening our hearts and hoping they’ll listen, even if they don’t have answers. There is strength in vulnerability and weakness in machismo. I became versed in the manual on being broke and having to depend on people, not only for money, but also for encouragement and advice.

2014 is the year I left safe behind. I look at the wonderful people I met and the little I’ve achieved. It would have been impossible if I had not tried to be a writer.

Ifemmanuel @ IfeOluwa’s Rambles

 

Wandering Purposefully

I have created an oxymoron: to wander purposefully. In many intervals of my life, I have often felt lost and out of place like a chicken in a lion’s pride. This year however, I made a non-committal resolution (not a fan of New Year resolutions), to take charge of my life. I thought changing academic paths would bring me peace, but life is a pot of burnt beans.

Compounding my default setting of feeling lost was the feeling that I was losing myself. I started to experience small bouts of anger and bitterness that seldom translated to fisting the wall of my bathroom and ranting expletives in my thoughts. I did however have some great winning moments this year. In those winning moments, I learnt that many people are wandering too, behind a desk job, a pulpit, a graduation gown, etc, and that it was okay to wander.

For the first time in a while, I feel as though I am on the, or perhaps, a right track. Maybe I am not lost after all; maybe I am just wandering, wandering purposefully. This is what I have learnt this year, that I can wander without losing stride or sight.

Not all those who wander are lost. –  J.R.R Tolkien

Tomi Olugbemi @ I Write to Escape

 

Savouring Memories

If I had to distil my year into one sentence, it would be that seminal Dickens’ opening in A Tale of Two Cities, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness.”

Of my ups and downs, losing H was the lowest of the lows. Looking back, the surprise was not that it happened but that it happened so fast, once the downturn kicked in and things began to unravel. The one lingering regret from that summer of grief remains the tenseness that characterised the final few months.

Being alike meant we were always a few sharp words away from spontaneous combustion, something we managed to avoid for the greater part. The pressure began to tell when she began to sense that the sand in her hourglass was running out, and fast. We had our biggest flare up in a long time.

We made up eventually, thankfully—that would have been far too great a burden to carry for the rest of my life—but the thought that we could have made more memories to savour, is one I haven’t quite shaken off.

Life’s lessons are neither bleeding obvious nor palatable. All we possess for sure are the moments that we share with our friends and loved ones. The challenge is to enjoy and maximise the moments, not putting off the kind word, the lingering touch, or the act of kindness we know they deserve.

AJ @ A Geek’s Life

 

 

 

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