Smoke, carrying the unmistakable smell of cannabis drifted into my bedroom window. It was emanating from my neighbour’s house. I was lying on my bed in the hot Kilifi morning, with questions heavy on mind. I did not know whether the day would end at all. Or if it would end it all.
It was the first day of March. As the new month dawned, I faced the biggest set of questions I have ever had to. I was on the brink of something that I still cannot wholly understand to this very day. I was turning 27, because it was my birthday. On that day that holds the deepest and darkest place in my young life, I had to ask myself questions that I never thought I would ever have to answer. The existential crisis I had was at its lowest ebb. My depression was at its deepest point, and my anxiety attack was at its worst. Am not going to claim I was staring inside an abyss.
I know for sure I was inside that abyss.
And I never really thought I would climb out. For climb out, I did not wish.
The events that led to that low point were not spontaneous, they were a culmination of years of missteps, bad choices, and the ignorance of youth and inexperience. Am still in my youth, just in case I have not made it clear enough.
But I felt as though all the poor choices, bad judgment calls, and terrible options that I had ever made came calling that day.
That wave almost carried me away. Swept me off my feet if you will.
Somehow, the prayers from my mother and grandmother – who always pray for me – opened a door somewhere and light flooded my house; literally. Because I also opened my kitchen door. With that light came a determination that I had never had before.
On that dark and hot day, I decided to rectify the mistakes and missteps I had accumulated over the years.
To make changes. Drastic and painful changes in my life.
I gave myself thirty six months to do whatever would be necessary.
And if that time should lapse and any of the missteps has not been addressed.
If such time should come (I vowed to myself), and I still find myself struggling with an existential crisis, then I would gladly do what I could not do on that first day of March.
Today, four months after that turning point, I have made great progress in three of the ten points of action I set on that day. The biggest by far is having a number of reasons to wake up in the morning. With each new day, the reasons grow stronger. One of those reasons has a killer smile, and a husky voice. The other will be turning seven before the year ends. The last of the reasons is largely fuelled by my newly acquired sense of indifference – I figure life will always happen whether I like it or not. So I only try to control my reactions to phenomena rather than the occurrence of phenomena.
I have been able to realize that it is okay to not know.
It is okay to feel pressured, and lost and depressed.
And it is okay to cry from time to time when life, in its course, knocks you down and throws mud in your face.
The important thing, I have realized, is to know when to stop crying and to continue living.
For the next thirty two months, I look forward to being more in touch with my feelings.
I look forward to loving more, and caring more, and laughing more.
But I realize that with love comes hurt, with care comes disappointment, and with laughter comes pain. So I take the good with the bad.
And I give myself a lot more credit for the little that I achieve.
I recognize every little victory, and celebrate them.
I also address my issues with a lot more sobriety.
But if those thirty two months don’t get me to where I hope to be, then I will smile and pat myself on the back and say “We tried.” Because, from now on, I will look forward to taking the good with the bad.
As at now, all I can do is simply head down life’s awesome highway to the next two and three quarter years with a different sense of sobriety.
What will thirty six months change?
How will those three years be?
I do not know.
And am somehow okay with that. I can only control how I react to the changes and challenges that I will face. Am a little bit stronger. And I know I will grow stronger with every passing month. Because God Loves Big Boys.