I still remember exactly how this previous year started. It was 3am on the first of January, two thousand and seventeen. I was sitting outside with a couple of childhood friends I hadn’t seen in over six years for some, cracking jokes, catching up, pranking each other. I remembered thinking, what a way to start the year. Maybe this year will be good for something after all. You see I had just returned home and everything felt strange to me. There was a certain sense of alienation mostly stemming from the fact that my ideology had changed a lot from those I used to know before.
Fast forward 6:30am that morning, I finally tried to catch some sleep after being up all night. By 8am I was woken up. My parents were taking an unprecedented road trip to a city about three to four hours away and I was hereby in charge of kitchen duty. Everyone needed to be fed in time for church that morning. We were six that were at home minus the two drivers, two escorts and my parents who also needed food. The house was scattered (courtesy of the previous night), my head was consistently being hammered by some little devils I’m sure driving little nails in. Well, everyone got fed, house got cleaned and voila! We were in time for church only to get there and be told that church was delayed for another two hours. By then, I think I already knew that 2017 was going to be a whirlwind. I was right. I lost a lot of things, gained a lot of things as well, travelled to new places, got new scars, experienced new things…
Now it is 2018, and I have a feeling that I’m also going to remember exactly how this year started at the end of it. For this year, I have decided to live my life without a plan. A couple of you who know me will be wondering about now how I plan to pull it off. To be sincere, I do not know. I have always lived my life by the book; well in this case, by my phone notes and diary. I almost cannot do anything, even something as simple as having a conversation with someone without planning. My mother is sitting by her phone right now waiting for me to send her my plan as usual. She will be disappointed.
Here’s an excerpt of a post a dear somebody wrote. I learned from it… I hope you do too.
“If I would imprint anything on you this year, I’ll beg that you love yourself.
No, not the superficial poor excuse for love we are used to. That inkling subconscious feeling that makes you remember you need an extra shirt or a new pair of shoes, or the one that makes you give yourself a treat, because well, you think you deserve it.
But that’s not love, that’s being nice to yourself. Niceties isn’t love.
And no, I’m not talking of the half baked oratory that comes from the lips of a thirsty lover in ecstasy who takes the next window out after the high of a drunk filled love.
I’m talking of the kind of love that is intense, that is consciously nerve cracking intense.
And maybe if you loved yourself a fraction of what love should be, you’ll understand that you are your longest commitment. You always will be.
You’ll know that you have to pick your fights.
Not everyone/everything deserves the unsheathing of your sword.
Keep your strength, the right battles always comes along.
If you loved yourself, you will realize toxicity from far and keep it away from you.
Everyone isn’t a keeper. People take the next door out if storm comes, for they only know how to dance in the sun.
We are defined by the love we give and the love we take away.
We are influenced by the people we choose to love and choose not to.
There are people who can’t help but be toxic.
And toxicity is like a perfume, you tend to pick some, when someone close to you keeps wearing it.
And darling, if you loved yourself with a fraction of what love means, you’ll keep toxicity away from you.
And maybe if you love yourself, you’ll know what it is to have peace of mind.
And you’ll never let anyone/ anything threaten it.
You’ll know your worth and realized you have paid every ounce for it.
Not everything deserves your time. Don’t let them lie to you, that the violence takes it by force.
Perseverance isn’t always cute. Sometimes it shows stupidity more than bravery.
There are doors that would never open no matter how much you knock, know when to cut losses and let go.
Know when to accept something isn’t meant for you.
Until you love yourself, you’ll never be able to give out love.
And any love you receive, you’ll suck it dry and exhaust it.
I’ll tell you to pursue your passion and what tugs at your heartstrings at 1am.
But if you love yourself, you’d know that already.
Because only in passion do we find absolute fulfillment.
And if the love you have for yourself transcends the subconscious to the conscious, you’ll begin to make good health and lifestyle choices.
Begin to cut down on some excesses.
Maybe you’ll realize being called a “chimney” or a “brewery” isn’t titles the dialysis room remembers.
And you’ll stop being in situationship that masks as relationships.
One sided events that brings you as the sole pillar without which the whole relationship falls like a pack of cards.
The day you don’t make a move, the same day the relationship dies a death.
If you loved yourself with a fraction of how intense love is, you’ll realize you deserve better than that.
Maybe if you loved yourself you’ll realize 2018 didn’t come with a reset manual that automatically makes every thing go away.
It’s still a Monday, like any other Monday.
And the difference lies in the choices you make.
So, if I’ll tell you anything this year, I’ll tell you to love yourself.”
Happy New Year… Let’s see what 2018 has to offer us.