A dear friend of mine had the heartbreak train come through her stop. It’s tough when you have to get over someone and its never easy. It breaks my heart when people close to me are in pain because I usually don’t know what to do to fix it. I’ve learned a trick though that worked miraculously well for me. In my situation, I had over five years of emotional clutter to deal with.
It’s interesting how I thought to do it really. Initially I didn’t even think it would work. My emotions were riding high and turbulent, almost unbearable really. Enough was enough, no more getting led around emotionally. I laid back on my bed and put the covers over my head. With my arms crossed over my chest I breathed slowly. Some people might say I induced self-hypnosis. Who knows, I’m not particularly knowledgeable in that sort of thing. I closed my eyes and further slowed down my breaths and relaxed my body as much as I could. In this state, my mind was focused completely internally. There I imagined a hall. All the walls were white with doors that had labels. As I walked slowly through the hall I brushed my fingers along the wall. It grounded me and added more detail to what my mind was creating. I ignored the doors till I got toward the end of the hall. Facing me was a door like all the others. It was the same in every-way except for the nameplate on it. Without realizing, my hand reached for the name. My fingers traced the grooves as my lips mouthed along. What a strong name… One I thought I would call out for the remainder of my days.
Sighing I straightened to focus on the matter at hand. I opened the door and stepped over the threshold. Inside was as austere as our relationship had been. Rich dark wood floor stretched from the door to large floor-to-ceiling bay windows. The walls and ceiling were white and so were the bookshelves that lined the immediate walls to the right and left of me. Everywhere was filled with things that made up the knick-knacks of our time together. There were books ranging from how to become self-made and wealthy to guidebooks for different cities in the US and abroad. I picked up an ear worn guide emblazoned “The Big Apple”. In the middle was a bookmark on a page about the W bar and Lounge. I smiled wistfully and put the guide back. The walls that weren’t covered in bookshelves had large frames containing pictures and artwork. A small desk by the bay windows held a MacBook Air and pieces of paper were scattered around it. My hands clenched. Surprised I looked down and saw huge black trash bags. It was time to get to work.
It took a long time to clear that room. The large bay windows were my escape and answer. They were windows to other opportunities and brighter paths. With some jiggling around the hinges I was able to open them outward. The four large panels opened wide. There was no ground in that view, just an endless sky and sunlight. The warmth gave me strength. Through those windows I threw everything I gathered. The trash bags seemed to appear at need. Soon the room was cleared. The walls , shelves and desk were empty. My work didn’t end there though. 5 years had built up a lot of dust and dirt. The same way the trash bags had appeared so did a mop and bucket of lightly soapy water. I mopped and scrubbed with a small brush. On my hands and knees I meticulously scoured the ground for any missed spots. I have never cleaned that extensively in my life. When the room was as pristine as I felt was possible, I left. Closing the door, I touched the nameplate once again. This time I pried it off the door. With this final act, my heart was completely at peace. Walking back down the hallway the only other nameplate caught my eye. That room would have to wait for another day…
When I opened my eyes over an hour had passed. I was amazed. However not as amazed as when I realized that I felt absolutely at peace and my mind was light and happy. It was crazy how effective this method was in helping me move on. Instead of a prolonged weepy affair, I was over it in a blink of an eye in comparison to what had been a Five-year entanglement.
Would this work for other people? I’m not sure. However, if nothing else is working… just saying… sips mint tea
I’m told that the first six months in Nigeria are the hardest. After that things are supposed to get easier. My first Sunday here I went to church. Going to service is ingrained in who I am. I wake up automatically at 5am and start my morning preparations. This particular day it was only my Uncle, the housegirl, and myself that were around. As usual I got up read my daily bible reading, prayed, and got ready for church. Then I sat in the living room… and waited… and waited. After some time my eyes began to droop and I laid my head back against the couch. I think that’s when it finally hit me that I was very far from home. At home the house would be bustling with energy and church songs sang by my mum and siblings strumming the air. The kitchen would be full of everyone putting together his or her own special Sunday morning breakfast. Now, in a country distantly my own and far away from my family, that bustling of life was absent. The quiet clatter of the housegirl in the kitchen only made the silence even more pronounced.
I don’t remember much about service that day. Other than there was a lot of fan fare and posh-ness pushed about. I dimly realized this must be a mega-church by naija standards. Excess could be seen everywhere from women dripping with jewels, men wearing pounds in tailored suits, and the polished shininess of the head pastor himself. What I do remember was Truth. Truth was a young woman I met after service. She was roughly my age and with deep set eyes that inspected and discarded summarily at first glance. It wasn’t her eyes that stayed with me all this time but her words. She seemed to spot my new baby smell instantly. After offering a bit of general advice about island life she said,
“In this place you must protect your happiness. That is the only way you’ll be able to live”
Protect my happiness… for days this circled me. I felt as if she had impressed her words on my aura.
It wouldn’t be long before I understood what she meant.
I’ve come to the acceptance that I may never love a man the way I would’ve at my fresh-faced early 20s. Then a lack of experience and a doe eyed countenance made me susceptible to too many fantasies. A few years ago I passed through a painful relationship that left me feeling lacking in so many ways. My sense of self seemed to have hid away somewhere deep inside huddled and alone, covered in festering wounds. Never did the thought of warming up again to someone else even seem possible. Then the unexpected happened and I fell and clichéd-ly tripped into a chasm… I wish to put no names to. Though a close and wishful cousin of mines would call it love. All I’m willing to agree to is that I was pulled inexplicably into an emotional roller coaster. In the end, as usual I was left picking up the pieces of a heart I never knew had so much left in it.
Last night as I joined a girlfriend at a mutual friend’s house party, all these thoughts came to me. Our mutual friend, an old college mate of mine, looked at me with overly warm affection in his eyes. Affection that I’d known existed many years ago in Uni but had ignored for strictly academic pursuits. Now a desire to focus on academia was no longer what blocked his attentions. I looked back at him acknowledging his feelings yet sorry for them. Distantly I knew I found him attractive in the age old way women find strong masculine lines and broad shoulders comforting and right. However, once again his timing was wrong. Now there was not even a shard of emotional potential left. I’d thrown even the dust from the broken shards away. In spite of this, I smiled gently and returned his hugs happily. Having no desire for more but genuinely happy to see an old colleague. With light steps I joined my girlfriend on the dance floor and swayed and jived till we were all laughs and brighter thoughts sparkled the darker ones away.
It is 2014 and once again I have not written in ages. Before you hiss… hear me out! I had a plan seriously. I’ve been writing quietly in word till a time I felt comfortable to restart my blog. I want to become a consistent blogger with a real following. Pray for me folks. The experiences I had in Nigeria as well as a lot of things I’ve thought about have all been saved.
Why you ask?
Well for several reasons. One, I hated being hosted by WordPress. I felt like my writing was being blasphemed by their random adverts. They never asked for permission nor did they let me choose what kind of ad could be displayed. Two, while going through what I went through in Nigeria I didn’t feel it was the time to take on my blog again. I hardly had consistency in my own life let alone time to blog nor internet to blog with (smh). Three, I wasn’t comfortable having a live blog that could expose certain people around me at the time. Now time has passed and I am entering a period of clarity and a need for reflection. As a result… I apologize in advance if some people may become offended by my writings and detailing of certain events. However, I will not retract anything since I’ve decided to continue as honestly as I started this blog years ago.