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

 

 

 

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Timi Yeseibo and livelytwist.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

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40 thoughts on “Did We Do Any Learning? [5]

  1. “There is strength in vulnerability and weakness in machismo”

    This resonated Ifeoluwa 🙂 It’s a lesson I learned this year too. A difficult one though. And I honestly don’t know how you try to be a writer lol, you’re one of my favourites.

    @Tomi,
    I’m adopting this oxymoron of yours today. Wandering purposefully…if anything the journey itself is a lesson. Thank you

    @AJ,
    So sorry for your loss. Your words resonates and I pray you continue to find the comfort you need.

    “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”

    Liked by 2 people

    1. See, people like Uju are the ones that make me think I’ll write a Great Nigerian Book someday (is there anything like that?) with this ‘favorite’ talk.

      I’m glad this resonated with you. Now, you said you learnt the same lessons I did; do women have to learn that machismo is week too? 🙂 Don’t mind me.It’s always good to see your comments–anywhere. Thanks for putting this here.

      Like

  2. 2014 is the year that I went out on my own
    Challaneged the status quo and fought everything that tried to hold me down
    As the year ends, I am still fighting but choosing to depend on the Holy Ghost
    as I become all that God has for me and continue to live in His will.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The theme that tied all three lessons together for me . . . is JOURNEY. Which brought to mind this quote:

    “A good traveler has no set plans and is not intent on arriving.” ~ Lao Tzu

    And this one:

    May we stay resolved to each breath,
    each act, each moment being enjoyed,
    and may thanks be given,
    regardless of the setbacks.

    ~ Jim O’Connor (Issue 13, HERON DANCE)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks for sharing Nancy, I see it now 🙂

      ” . . . and may thanks be given,
      regardless of the setbacks.”

      That’s what makes my journey worthwhile.
      I’m enjoying the glimpses that each writer gives into their journey.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Very thoughtful posts, Tami. I’d go further than Churchill, however. Life never unfolds as a mathematical equation. Each moment is precious, and different. Loss teaches us some our greatest lessons. And yes, wisdom comes through experience. Writing helps us understand what we have learned, and pass it on. As for wandering— there are reasons why I call my blog Wandering through Time and Place. –Curt

    Liked by 3 people

    1. “Writing helps us understand what we have learned . . . ” I like this. It reminds me of Einstein’s quote- If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.

      “. . . there are reasons why I call my blog Wandering through Time and Place.” I read this with a big smile XD

      Thanks for distilling big ideas into nuggets, Curt.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Aj,

    Thanks for sharing glimpses of a traumatic and emotional period in your life. Oftentimes, in the midst of the hustle and bustle, we forget to share a hug, a touch or a kind word and we miss out on opportunities to create beautiful memories that live on long after we are gone.
    Thanks for this timely reminder to create memories and maximize our moments.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Tomi, your posts resonates with me so much because I have often felt like I was wandering with no particular destination in sight.
    In such times, It does help to know that in the grand scheme of things all is not lost and there is indeed a plan and a purpose. Armed with that knowledge even when we wander, we can “wander without losing stride nor sight”. Well spoken!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Hi Ife,

    Thanks for your post. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it.
    Just for the records, You do not need to try to be a writer, you just are….and a good one at that! I enjoy reading your blog posts and the fact that you write so well + you share the same first and middle name with my lovely son (Ife Emmanuel) have me be your fan for life!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you Tamkara for reading and enjoying this post, and for the many times you’ve gone through my blog. You’re right, “trying to be a writer” sounds silly. People just write or they don’t. Thank you for the reminder.

      It’s good to hear that I share names with your lovely son, but as a proper Yoruba boy, I’ll have to ask when you’ll ‘san owo oruko’ (pay for using my names) 🙂

      Thank you once again for the kind words. You just got a new fan for life too.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. “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.”

    Resonated with this piece. With failure comes a humbling realization that one is not superman or Doctor X after all. We need people. I daresay, we need failure, too.

    Tomi, your piece fully resonated with me because for four years now, in addition to failing many times and being humbled by it, I have been wandering albeit purposefully. I still like to think I am wandering, only that that it more purposeful and more reassuring of the fact that the earlier wanderings were not without purpose after all. (I caught the rhyme in peace and beans by the way 🙂 )

    “Being alike meant we were always a few sharp words away from spontaneous combustion, something we managed to avoid for the greater part.”

    “The one lingering regret from that summer of grief remains the tenseness that characterised the final few months.”

    Avoiding combustion is one great display of true love and devout companionship. What we do with time now–how we engage with the seconds it hands us each successive time–will tell the quality of memories we commune with later.

    I am sorry for your loss AJ but know that your words have touched others deeply.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. “…that the earlier wanderings were not without purpose after all”: it is a joyful thing, isn’t it? progress helps you appreciate and accept past difficulties. Haha about the rhyme, it wasn’t intentional, perhaps I am a better poet than I thought.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. AJ, I’m deeply sorry for your loss, and the summer of grief- the regret about more memories to savour. Your words haunt me.

    I feel you. In my post, Before I Die, I wrote (among other things), that before I die, I want to “Let the people I love know that I love them. I do not want them to waste even a day questioning my love.”

    Perhaps, I should revisit the other side as well; before they die, I want them to know . . .
    As you pointed out, it’s about maximising the moments.

    I saw this quote somewhere, “It is not that life is too short, but that we take too long to begin,” and I add, “We take too much for granted.”

    Was sharing this cathartic in any way?

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Tomi, you are not alone, I wandered this year, kai! Sometimes I would walk out to sea, as far as the pier permitted, look at the sky and wonder what I was doing ‘here.’ 🙂

    You have put in words what I have been unable to articulate; I wandered, but without losing stride or sight. I wandered, but not too far from peace and joy. So that now, at the end of the year, I feel content not lost.

    You sound as though you’re in a strong place and I’m happy for you. How will you know that you’ve stopped wandering?

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Hi Ife, I admire your vulnerability. Kudos to you for leaving safe behind! I’m glad that your writing connected us.

    My default answer to the question, how are you, is the one most people want to hear, should in fact hear, need to hear, “I’m good.” I’m so grateful for the people to whom I can say, “My life is really messed up right now.”

    “You claim to possess wisdom without enrolling in the school of suffering. Who is your teacher?” I’m laughing, but I’ve experienced the truth in your dad’s words.

    Are you going to continue, ‘trying’ to become a writer?

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you for having me here Timi. Reading my post again makes me realise how funny the phrase “trying to be a writer” looks. But hey, it is what it is. I just tried. And sure, I’ll continue to try for years to come.

      It was great having livelytwist as part of my journey this year, and for that, I’m grateful to you.

      Like

      1. I don’t think “2014 is the year I tried to be a writer” sounds funny. I think it reveals how you left ‘safe’ behind. I admire you taking a leap, (I suppose your academic training has nothing to do with writing), and reaching for the thing in your heart. To me, it also shows your humanity- the uncertainty that tries to drown us as we reach for something new, different, unfamiliar. As I said, it reveals your vulnerability, and it spoke powerfully to me. I wouldn’t even suggest you rewrite it. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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