I’ve found myself questioning a lot of things about life. About my expectations of it, other people’s expectations of me, and “society’s” expectations of us all. There is no clear cut recipe for living “a deeply fulfilling and “successful” life”. And I don’t think there should be either, otherwise the levels of diversity we have in our thoughts, beliefs, mannerisms, physique and so on would be greatly undermined. In all its complexities, I think life is a befitting tribute to just how awesome The Creator is. One constant about life is change. There’s always an opening act; the final minutes to the curtain call. There’s always those last tense seconds to make the home run and win the trophy. There’s always that final hour right before the dawn. There’s always something going on. Thing is, we don’t ever really know what that thing is. And even when we think we do, it turns out we’re probably only aware on a one-dimensional plane. I’ve given up trying to guess what life will serve up. Unlike a buffet table where you can be assured that at the very least, you will be able to take a sip of water and be comfortable in indulging in it, life offers no such guarantees.
But does the lack of a guarantee mean one should cower in fear of the unknown or in fear itself, under one’s covers or rest in the bosom of one’s mother(land)? I’ll leave you to answer that question for yourself. Personally, the answer is no. I have accepted that change will always be a constant in my life experience. Sometimes I welcome it, other times I resist and then eventually accept it, most times, I don’t even realize its happening. It just creeps upon me and leaves me wondering, what in heaven’s name just happened? But life is life, and all you can do is follow its course. To not do so will be death in its essence. Now as to how you choose to define the course of life is up to you. It could be lined with hope, with a trust in the divine, with a scrupulous tendency towards seeing what is and ignoring what (seems) is not. With or without the challenges, ultimately, your perspective on your life is what counts. As tends to be the case, our past experiences influence – mind you, not determine – our path in life. One thing has held true in my life is to always follow whatever I am passionate about in any given moment. Believe me, I have a lot of passions, but there are some that always stick out at certain times, and ironically, they usually lead to the numerous other experiences or opportunities I crave. I try to live my life by Maxwell Ehrmann’s Desiderata, and more especially, this verse:
Be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
Maybe all this is is mere musings on a bolt bus. Or maybe it’s really gonna make some sense to me at some later date when I need clarity (or confusion?). Chais pas. But I guess we already ascertained that. We never really know, do we? About this. thing. called. LIFE.
Yours in Life,
Jemila Abdulai is the creative director, editor and founder of the award-winning website Circumspecte.com. A media and international development professional and economist by training, she combines her business, communications and project management expertise with her strong passion for Africa. Besides writing and reading, she enjoys travel, global cuisine, movies, and good design.