January, In Retrospect

january-time

From my window, the strains of a fight enter my room. I have never enjoyed boxing, the punches too violent for me to stomach. I do not look out of my window, but I know the fight will not take place when I hear, “Do you know who I am? Hold me! Hold me before I slap this idiot! I say do you know who I am?” The ruckus dies shortly, and I smile. They say the time to quit is before you wish you had.

I have heard it said that time is faster in retrospect than in the present. Not for me, not in January. My January ran like a cheetah in the Serengeti, fast and focused. Projects that involved what I love, making sense of words, made me think of quitting something else I enjoy, making sense of words—blogging. As my days turned to nights, and nights, days, I thought I would surely arrive Sunday with empty hands, no blog post to show. January seemed like a good time to quit.

In Lagos, there is a choreography to a fight you do not want, your true intent masked by halting forward motion. The aggressive advance to your opponent’s eyeballs, the flexing of arms, legs too; and most importantly, the words that shrivel your opponent’s courage and makes him, and you back down; words, more effective than punches.

I had promised myself that in January, I would do my best writing. The promise, a noble thing, naively made at the cusp of a new year, looked undoable just a few days into the year. Work overwhelmed me. I had put my heart and soul into writing Love is a Beautiful Thing, for which, I received praise, and I thought, if I quit now, I will be quitting while I am still ahead.

Few people want to brawl on the street, tearing shirtsleeves and rolling in the ground, mixing sweat with dust and grass. Or else, why throw words in the air, heightening tension, for a boxing match that is not pay-per-view? Why not just fight? 

I fantasized about quitting blogging last year. I had not anticipated the upheaval that moving would bring to my routine and the loss of my support group—people like me, who wow over language and the chemistry of words. But then, ideas would come. Starting a series or surprising myself with beautiful prose would mesmerize and energize me, reminding me that writing is my core. In January, my notes—observations about people and places hastily scribbled on my phone—rescued me. From them, I crafted the stories you read.

I realize now that the fight that did not take place had only one voice. Why was the other man silent? Is that what cowards do to end a fight? What if the crowd had not mediated with, e don do, abeg, e don do? Maybe he was sizing up the aggressor to determine the cost of peace. I should have looked out of my window.

I saw a quote that said: if you get tired rest, don’t quit. January was busy; a blessing in an economy where some people can only siddon look. Someone remarked after reading one of my blog posts that writers lead the most interesting lives. We do not. We have just learned to make sense of words. I am glad I did not quit. Come quick, February.

———————————-

E don do, abeg, e don do – an appeal to stop
Siddon look –  do nothing, in this context, because of the recession

———————————

© Timi Yeseibo 2017

Photo credit: https://pixabay.com/en/time-past-watches-timepiece-1897986/

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.

 

Advertisements

43 thoughts on “January, In Retrospect

  1. ” reminding me that writing is my core” apt!

    “Someone remarked after reading one of my blog posts that writers lead the most interesting lives. We do not. We have just learned to make sense of words”
    ☺thanks for not quitting.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. ” I saw a quote that said: if you get tired rest, don’t
    quit”

    Thank you for sharing this quote, I found what I needed!

    Your writing doesn’t just inspire me, it gives me hope that I can do it!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. “Few people want to brawl on the street, tearing shirtsleeves and rolling in the ground, mixing sweat with dust and grass. Or else, why throw words in the air, heightening tension, for a boxing match that is not pay-per-view? Why not just fight?”

    Those words above made me laughed.

    By the way I am thankful you didn’t quit because you don’t know how much I get inspired and encouraged by your writing gift and mesmerizing word play apart from the part that your posts inspire me to be a better writer. I always look forward to reading your post too even though i may not be consistent in doing so but I always come around

    Thanks so much for sharing your struggle. #respect

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I too had thought of quitting. Started blogging September last year. When I run out of topics to write, the blank pages are convincing me to quit. But everytime I decided to, someone would comment on my blog on how I inspired them, or how my post helped them, or tells me to keep on writing. Well I guess, writers help co-writers. They change each others worlds through motivating each other. Quitting is not an option, so just keep on writing. 😊😊😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your encouragement. It helps me persevere.
      All our writing journeys are similar in some respects. I’m glad to hear that others have encouraged you at times when you wanted to quit. Yes, let’s hang in there. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. “Or else, why throw words in the air, heightening tension, for a boxing match that is not pay-per-view? Why not just fight? ”

    This made me laugh! 😀 Typical move in Lagos street brawls hehehe. I call it psychological warfare.

    Thanks for not quitting the blog; it’s always something to look forward to. Every sunday by 2pm I check my mail, thinking “Has Timi published her yet?”

    I’m guessing you moved back home? I hope you find another set of ‘ground support’ soon.

    P.S. I’m sorry about that other stuff. Should explain via mail but my inbox and digging addys aren’t on the best of terms. November was a crazy month mentally/psychologically and in retrospect I think my best option would have been to take an extended ‘rest’ rather than getting committed. My apologies.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. True, Lagos street brawls have that psychological warfare element of a real boxing match … without the fight 🙂

      It’s heartwarming to know you look forward to reading Livelytwist on Sundays, thanks. Your encouragement goes a long long way.

      P.s. no worries. An idea may come up for something else in future. I hope you feel rested now?

      Liked by 1 person

  6. In Lagos, there is a choreography to a fight you do not want, your true intent masked by halting forward motion. The aggressive advance to your opponent’s eyeballs, the flexing of arms, legs too; and most importantly, the words that shrivel your opponent’s courage and makes him, and you back down; words, more effective than punches.

    Paragraphs like this are why you shouldn’t stop.

    I’ll try to remember “if you get tired rest, don’t quit” as I try to return to my blog in the coming weeks. Thank you for good writing Timi, and for staying so we can continue to enjoy a Sunday dose of it. Let’s hope good ground support makes themselves known soon in Nigeria.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Ife. I’m looking forward to you returning to your blog; don’t quit 🙂
      But even when you’re not there, it’s nice to catch up on articles you’ve written for other publications.

      I hope my wheels stop spinning a bit to enable me investigate and take advantage of the literary scene in Lagos. Although support has usually come from everyday people who enjoy reading.
      Thanks for your online and ground support, I appreciate it so.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Sublime piece Timi. You, quite Ke? In your dreams. January has got me yearning for the place between idle and your Serengeti cheetahs lunch time? I never seem to have found it! Happy new year.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Really inspiring! I’m glad you didn’t quit- I seem to have fallen into a blogging hiatus that I’m still debating whether to come back from- it’s inspiring to dip back in and see how much your work and your blog continue to grow.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. “As my days turned to nights, and nights, days, I thought I would surely arrive Sunday with empty hands, no blog post to show”.

    This is me almost every time. In anxiety of the “what if” syndrome. What if I don’t have any blog post. I like the way your words form. They are soothing. This last week, I gave in to the “what if” syndrome, didn’t publish a blog post. I’ll try “resting” & not “quitting” Cheers to February. Cheers to you Timi.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. You’re in luck. February is days away. I’m actually not looking forward to Feb. It sounds like your Jan.

    My favorite from you, My January ran like a cheetah in the Serengeti, fast and focused.”

    😀

    Happy writing.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. “If you get tired rest, don’t quit.” I loved this, Timi. If we quit, what’s left?
    This lovely post brought to mind Jackson Browne’s song, The Pretender.”

    I’m going to rent myself a house
    In the shade of the freeway
    I’m going to pack my lunch in the morning
    And go to work each day
    And when the evening rolls around
    I’ll go on home and lay my body down
    And when the morning light comes streaming in
    I’ll get up and do it again
    Amen
    Say it again
    Amen

    Liked by 2 people

    1. “And when the morning light comes streaming in
      I’ll get up and do it again”

      They say that many times persistence, doing it again one more time, is the key that unlocks success. Thanks for sharing the lyrics to the song.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Having explored previous life incarnations and permutations, I am delighted that it’s . . . A Writer’s Life For Me!

    There’s nothing quite like the freedom of thinking, researching, and writing about topics that call out: Pick me! Pick me!

    When it’s time to choose a topic, I feel a bit like a kid in a candy store, a bumblebee in a field of daisies, or a pirate opening a treasure chest . . . giddy with delight at all the sights, sounds, tastes, textures, and aromas of life . . . and the glorious words we will use to describe them.

    * There is only one trait that marks the writer. He is always watching. It’s a kind of trick of the mind and he is born with it. ~ Morley Callahan

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am also delighted that’s it’s a writer’s life for you! 🙂

      The quote you shared resonates with me. I’m not always conscious that I’m observing life, until it’s time to write and real life scenes play out in my head.

      I also think you can train yourself to watch, if it doesn’t come naturally …

      Liked by 1 person

  13. I like the phrase ‘ if you get tired rest, don’t quit’. Just a simple phrase but it’s a good philosophy for life. Especially when you make up your mind to do certain things and other things creep in to steal the time you have for this thing the tendency is to just throw in the towel and give up after trying several times and not meeting up. But if we tell ourselves sometimes it’s ok to rest or take a break and come back to what we purposed to do when our lives are less crowded I wonder if we would do the things we wanted to do better.

    Liked by 3 people

The conversation never stops, please join . . .

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s