Lotus

“One sun salutation a day…

…keeps the bad thoughts away” — I don’t know why, but I like to say that a lot. I’m not sure I believe it. It’s probably one of those things you repeat over and over until it becomes true so you can say you carved out a cure for yourself; a placebo, of sorts. But of course it doesn’t work. I can do as many downward-facing dogs, standing forward/backward bends and cobras as I want; if I have a bad thought, it’s not going to leave until it’s ready.

What are my bad thoughts about? Oh, the usual — I think I’m ugly, unsuccessful, unloved, and underachieved. I have no drive, no goals, I lack passion, I’m unable to adequately communicate my emotions/thoughts, I’m stupid and I lack initiative. I’m lonely, alone, un-understood, exploited, stupid, sick, desperate, pathetic, and a disappointment. I’d say I’m a fraud, but those people do those things on purpose, I have no purpose. So I’m basically just a blob of nothingness stuck in a general state of meh.

I have good days when I don’t feel anything, great days when I feel good things, and bad days when I feel most of those things. On good days, I listen to music, talk to people, laugh, think of what to eat and sleep. On great days, I listen to music, talk to people, laugh, think of what to eat and sleep. On bad days, I listen to music, talk to people…yeah, you get the idea. I like routine. It’s provides me with some sort of stability that comforts me. Not serious routine, though (I, for the life of me, cannot wake up at the same time everyday). Just little stuff like passing the same route everyday, or planning my day and sticking to it; anything that makes me feel “safe.” I do not like impromptu.

The one picture I have

I try not to get angry. I don’t know how that works, but I really try. Because no matter, what happens, I’m going to tell myself it’s my fault, and that’s another downward spiral. “You weren’t assertive enough,” “You’ve made yourself so much of a pushover and now, they feel entitled.” And then when I react, it turns to, “You just gave them control over your emotions” (I do not know where I got that from), “How stupid do you feel now?” blah blah blah. Basically, every angry moment is a na me fuck up moment that rapidly moves on to a why I dey always fuck up moment. So I try to cultivate as much chill as possible. My mother thinks I have patience straight from the gods. I think it’s all the years I’ve spent as a last born. Wait, there are headstrong last borns. I’m actually a passive piece of shit.

I think it’s great that I think my family loves me regardless of the fact that they kinda have to. I draw strength from that. I draw strength from the fact that I have people who genuinely look out for me without expecting some form of payment. More like without me thinking they’re expecting some form of payment. Okay, well, I do…but it’s not one of my strongest fears. I don’t trust people. I don’t trust that they are true. And when they try to convince me that they are, I dismiss it by telling myself they think/believe they are, but they aren’t. Paranoia is all I’ve got left. So maybe I’m “protecting” myself in the stupidest way…I was going to say “but it works,” but I’m not sure that it does, so I’m going to say, but it could be worse.

I’m nice/kind to people (hahahahahahaha! I swear!!). I do this because it gives me something to hold on to when I have my dark moments. So I could be lying in bed just thinking about how I’m really nothing, and how I should just off myself and save myself stress plus nobody would notice, and all of that nonsense. Then I start to count the people I’ve done nice things for. I know they said to count your blessings, but I’m not sure I like that idea (we might talk about this later, but I doubt that) so I count the lives I’ve impacted instead. The smiles I’ve brought out of people, the lives I’ve made easier, the comfort/assistance I’ve provided (honestly, if you’re reading this and can’t imagine me playing these roles, fuck you, I try). I used to do this thing where I’d try to make someone my friend, call them to see how they were doing and nonsense. That didn’t last though; it made me feel desperate and a tad pathetic. Now, I just pray for people.

I got a job this year and for the first three months, I had such serious impostor syndrome, I literally sang “Ancestors, hear my plea” every morning as I rolled my mat — it really didn’t help that someone was mean to me at work. I still don’t think I’m good enough (I was going to quit at a point, just so I could stay at home and watch The Amazing World of Gumball), but I kinda feel better now. I wake up in the morning and I’m not miserable; I’m Courtney Barnett going all “what exciting things will happen today…” Obviously, I’m not doing this adulting well (at all), but my mother once told me life’s a scam, and we all end up fumbling through. She was 56 then (58 now) so I’m guessing knows a thing or two on the subject. I somehow understood what she was saying. When I was younger, I thought my handwriting would get better with age. It didn’t, but I’m grateful I can write straight on plain, un-ruled paper.

I protect my personal space. They say home is where your heart is, I say home is where I rest my head. Like, really rest my head. It’s the silence that welcomes me with a hug after a long day of peopling. I really do not joke with it. It’s an extension of me — nothing. So I really want that fucking nothing. No tension, no drama, repressed feelings or memories, no noise (I realize I’m describing a place with nobody but myself, but that’s not exactly what I mean). My mother’s home is in her head. She’s Jesus in the storm. I think it’s all that green tea. She just goes to a place in her head and forgets everything else. I wish I could do that. Then I won’t do stupid shit like move from Abuja to Lagos, to live on my own and buy my own food. Or move from the office apartment back home, to spend a nice part of my day being in traffic. I think these things build character. Lol. I’m stupid. My mother says to always think about where you’re running to, and not what you’re running from. Who says I’m running?

Mother enjoying a cup of tea

Fears… I have a few of those. I’m afraid for the children I’ll have. I’m scared I don’t want children…I’m scared I can’t have children. I don’t know which I fear the most. I think I’m more afraid of not being able to conceive. I’m scared I’m never going to wake up; that it’ll always be like this and I’ll forever be in a general state of meh. I’m scared I’m going to let my family down. I’m scared I’m too used to the wrong way of doing things, such that if the right way comes along, I’d fuck it up. I’m scared I’m going to wake up and realize I made a ton of irremediable bad decisions while on autopilot (Fird is at her stupidest when she’s on autopilot. Just ask 2016). One way I handle fear is by pretending it doesn’t exist. Learned that from when I was younger and terrified of the dark (this is a wrong example, because the monsters weren’t real, so me pretending they didn’t exist actually made sense). Most times, when I get high, all my fears come rushing in. So I’ll be lying in bed (I spend a shit ton of time in bed) terrified of some future while waiting for my trip to end. Why do I do stupid shit like that?

I listen to music. It used to be a lot, but now, not anymore. I don’t think I’ve learnt any song this year. I told someone it’s cos I spend most of my time with my coworkers and they play their music on loudspeakers, so I don’t really have time for my own music. I don’t know if that’s true. But hey, I got Banks’ and Bon Iver’s albums. Music soothes me…purges me. Something of a cathartic sturvs. Florence Welch is for my lungs, confusion and optimism. Banks is for my fucked up love life. Bon Iver and Sufjan Stevens for when I want to wallow. French for Rabbits for when I want to lie still, and Stromae for I don’t know what the hell for. I have one-off songs like Uncle Kracker’s Drift Away, Staind’s Fade, The Avett Brothers’ Head Full of Dreams, Road Full of Promise, and Keane’s Stop For A Minute.

So that’s what? Comfort, patience, strength, something to hold on to, a place for my head, and a way to let it all out. I tell people I’m a spiritual person, but this really isn’t a good time for me. It’s probably one of my on-again off-agains, but this one is taking so long, I’m wondering if it’ll ever end. And I need it to. My spirituality is my anchor. It’s what grounds me and I really need it back. I don’t know where it went, and I don’t know how to get it back. Okay, I know. I just don’t want to have to think hard.

I’m tired a lot. My mother says it’s because I don’t eat. I have to agree with her. I can’t remember when I stopped eating. I used to eat a lot as a kid (my eldest sister used to call me abolonjeku — even made a song) now, I eat once a day and take meds if I feel I’m not eating well enough. Life comes at you quick, doesn’t it?

Somehow, I can’t shake the feeling this post is really about my mother.

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