Time check 6.34pm in Accra, Ghana. Pretty much every one of my colleagues has left for home and I sit here, somewhat immobile. It feels weird. I’m not paralyzed or anything of the sort, I just paused from work for a moment and realized how weird it feels to be sitting still and not necessarily doing anything. Even if it’s just for a moment. There’s a bevy of activity right outside, and the long march of Accra’s evening traffic which I am not looking forward to in the least bit. And yet, here I (still) sit. While the traffic builds and the darkness grows, and most likely, the clouds gather. When did stillness get so uncomfortable? Like there’s always something one should be doing, saying, thinking…
I went to Cape Coast with some classmates over the Republic Day holiday weekend, and it’s funny how the silence and space (emptiness) which I disliked during my high school days were exactly what drew me to the Central region. Space, nature, time (unchecked). Sigh. Funny how that’s now the luxury when it used to be in much abundance. Even then, with time and space within grips, I felt almost guilty to be taking that time “off”. When there’s so much to do? Most days I feel fatigued. Not just physically and/or emotionally, but with information. It’s information overload these days and that makes finding the core/essence even harder. So much rubbish out there, all for us to sieve through. The question is, do we even know how to? I’m just free-writing here so no need to go looking for any subliminal messages. (And why is it even my business who’s a-searching for subliminal messages or not?)
Anyway, I needed to write. It’s been almost 3 months (cringe) and I recently read somewhere that the important thing is not to write/act/sing/whatever you enjoy doing/are passionate about just when you feel inspired, but also – and maybe more importantly – when there’s nothing really egging you on. The state of affairs in Ghana can drain the very wind outta your sail. But keep pushing we must. If only the best birds sang, it would be a very silent forest. Time check 6.54pm in Accra, Ghana. Checking out and joining the march home.
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.