Losing “everything” was the most interesting thing that ever happened to me.
Of course I can only say that in hindsight. In the moment, it felt more like that very sad, very depressing song that you somehow can’t stop listening to. You know, like anything by Adele.
It didn’t happen all at once.
First, it was the awesome Public Relations internship that didn’t turn into a job like I had expected. Then the break-up. Then the haircut that didn’t look as funky on me as it did on Kaone Kario. Then the failed attempt at starting up my own business.
That still wasn’t everything though.
The “everything” was the angst that built up and the fights that ensued — the biggest one being with my mother. As we all know, when you’re African and you get into trouble, the entire clan hears about it. Also the neighbors and the church congregation.
So there I was, feeling unpretty, unsuccessful and unwanted; spending my days pretending to be okay and skillfully deflecting all those how are you’s from well-meaning friends because who wants to admit that they are currently failing at life?
I still fully expected a solution to appear out of thin air, like we all do.
What I got next was this soreness in my breast, and a lump to go with it. The first time I felt it was on my birthday, no less. Of course I knew without a doubt that it was cancer. I didn’t need to go to the doctors for a check-up. When your life has been steadily going downhill for a year, you don’t waste time being optimistic or trying to solve things. You accept the worst.
I had reached a point where death was a welcome thought. It felt like a way out; the ultimate solution and I didn’t even have to lift a finger. All I had to do was wait!
You’d think I would sink into a depression then, but the opposite happened. I got this calmness within that just couldn’t be disturbed. Nothing mattered anymore. It was all temporary and I didn’t have to be bothered by it.
I was in “Kanye shrug” mode.
I felt liberated from life and all the expectations and responsibilities that come with it. I could do whatever I wanted. I was unafraid, untouchable.
That is when my life truly begun.
I got into the habit of only spending my time on the things that interest and/or bring me joy. No more trying to impress the world or fit in. I started to focus on myself and my happiness, on my own terms.
This isn’t a sad blog about living out my last days though. I’m not dying. What I had wasn’t cancer.
This is a blog about living out my best days. I currently have a job that I love, with enough time left over to pursue my dreams and whims. The cherry on top is that I retained (some of) that fearlessness that I had before, and it has made a world of difference for me.
I know now that I have it within me to create the life that I want, because I have literally managed to bring myself this far by the sheer power of will.
And so I made this blog for the dreamers. The ones who like me, have a vision for themselves that is so big, it’s scary. The ones who desire greatness but haven’t got a clue how they will achieve it. The ones who know that there is more to life than just waiting to die.
I hope that by sharing my experiences with you – the good and the bad alike, you will see that you too can achieve everything that you desire. That fire within you is all the fuel that you need and if you nurture it, it will help you turn your dreams into reality.
Be bold, be brave, be you.