How Failure Can Consume You: PART 1

I feel that this topic is very broad so I am going to do a series on it. For the next couple of blog posts I will be writing about failure, what it means to different people, how it happened to me, how to possibly deal with it and what to be careful about when faced with certain circumstances. Failure may possibly be the leading cause of many suicides. It is at that moment when a person realises that they have failed too dismally to turn their lives around that they just decide to end it. I shall therefore start with my story of how I was consumed by failure. When I talk about being consumed I need you all to know that I know what I am talking about. So here goes…

 

If you look up synonyms for the word “consume” some of the words that will come up include; devour, swallow or gobble up. These words are just right for what I’m about to say. When you eat, you swallow food and it becomes a part of you. It is broken up and some of it goes into your bloodstream. Your body gets rid of whatever it does not need but when that food comes out it looks or smells nothing like the food that was swallowed. So, what does all this have to do with failure, you may be wondering. Well, we are discussing how failure can devour you, how it can swallow you and take the best parts of you and then simply excretes whatever is left of you. The you that comes out of it will look nothing like the you that was swallowed up.

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I remember the moment that I was devoured. I had been flirting with failure for a couple of months, the way a silly person would dance in front of lion and somehow think they won’t be eaten. I was in third year of law school and had failed a number of courses the previous semester. This meant that I could only take a certain number of new courses while I repeated the ones I had failed. In our third year of law we had to do what they called moot court. It was sort of like a class presentation but we would have to present assigned cases and the lecturer would sit in as the judge. Moot was a big deal. It was what we waited for from first year because they made it look and feel real, sometimes they even invited real judges. People would buy new suits and invite friends and family to witness them be “real lawyers” for a day. We got to choose which course we wanted to present in and we chose a partner that we wanted to team up with. I had a limited number of courses to choose from since I was only doing a few courses that semester so my options were limited to one course to moot in that a lot of people found difficult and wanted to avoid. That meant no one actually wanted to team up with me because they would have to do their presentation on difficult topics. That, coupled with my having failed some courses the previous semester meant that they doubted my abilities and did not want to risk failing. My best friend at the time teamed up with a girl that I didn’t even know she spoke to. I didn’t blame or begrudge her. Moot was too important for her to take any chances with me. Everyone’s name was on a public notice board and you would go and write your partner’s name next to yours. The space next to my name remained blank for a very long time and it was up there for everyone to see. One day a girl I sometimes said hi to told me that she had no partner so we could team up if I wanted. My heart was no longer in it. I had lost my friend, I had been publicly shamed by not being picked and I had no clue how to approach the assignment we had to present on. While other teams met daily for preparations we only met once. She did not want to moot with me because I would weigh her down but she had been forced by circumstances. I knew that and it made me hate the whole thing even more. I bought a very sleek suit and got my hair nicely done. Finally, the day came.

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I said I had failed courses before but that did not devour me. Failing courses was normal. They day of the moot court was the day of my devouring. My partner was one of those chin up, chest out, always alert type of chicks who spoke really fast and always seemed to know a lot. I was the exact opposite. I had not invited anyone, she and the other people who would be opposing counsel had invited half of the university. Each speaker was supposed to speak for 15 minutes. I spoke for less than 5 when the “judge” stopped me and asked me a question. I had not expected that. Just balancing my body to stay up had been a mission on its own and I had just enough strength to read through my presentation. I had no strength for questions or interruptions. So I asked to discuss with my partner as we were allowed to do. She couldn’t even speak to me, she seemed like she was about to burst at the seams I think with anger or impatience or something. All I know is that I was upsetting her with what I was doing. She just scribbled something on a piece of paper. I could not read what she had written because my stomach was turning and I was experiencing serious vertigo. All the energy I had I used to suppress throwing up on her so I just sat there until they called my name to speak again. I could not get up. I just rested my head on the desk and my partner jumped up and did the rest of the presentation on her own. That was it. That was the moment I was devoured. I sank. I literally felt that the earth opening up and there was a bottomless pit in which I was sinking and I was no longer in that room. I can’t tell you how the rest of the session went because I don’t know. I just remember seeing my partner’s friends hugging her and congratulating her and showering her with admiration. Every time I passed groups of people they would stop in their loud chattering and just stare. The worst ones were the ones who stared with pity in their eyes. I had become that girl. The one you see in the movies in some bizarrely embarrassing or uncomfortable situation and you just dismiss it because its fiction. But this was real. I was living it. I had failed the presentation, the course, myself, my family, you name it. And all this in front of many people that I would have to see every day after. I can’t tell you how the next couple of months went. They were all a blur, even now my mind has completely blocked it out. I just know that after being devoured the best parts of me were taken and I was excreted in a state of no law degree, no friends, no confidence, no real desire to go on… I was not the same person that went in. I had transformed into a person that even strangers stopped on the street to ask me if I was ok. Judging by the length of this post and the fact that I still have a lot to write about how I feel I am going to just go on and write a book someday.

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Like falling into a bottomless pit being devoured by failure can be an endless process. One that your surroundings, people and your memory never forget. The story does not end here. Part 2 of this series is going to speak about the consequences and the depression phase of failing. Don’t miss it…

If you feel like you have come to end of your rope and you just can’t go on anymore. Speak to someone who cares and you will be surprised at how there are so many reasons for you to get up each morning. Fill in the form below and find someone to vent to, to laugh or cry with, for absolutely free.

Nothing ever goes right in your life? 3 Things to keep in mind!

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So, you cannot remember the last time someone said congratulations to you. For anything, however small. The few times in your life that you do remember someone saying that was when they were throwing you a bone for something small you had achieved. Something you were not really proud of, and the congratulations almost felt like insults. People congratulating you for something they would not really want for themselves. Something they are not envious for, they are just happy that at least for once something not negative has happened in your life. No one uses you as an example when people are talking about people who turned out great, or who are on the road to somewhere amazing. No one comes to you for advice because you have not done anything they’d like to emulate.

Any of this sounds familiar? That feeling of knowing that if you hang your clothes out it will will most likely rain, because it’s you. Traffic lights turn red when they see you. An exam that people have been writing for years and were passing easily suddenly gets changed in your stream and becomes harder. The one product that has just become your favorite gets discontinued. I could probably write a thick volume of scenarios of how things go wrong in your life. And you know it’s not because you are a negative person or you are depressed, it’s because it’s the reality of your life.  Here are a few things you should keep in mind:

  1. Sh*t Happens

ImageLife, like seasons of the year will not always be sunny (even for that friend who just bought a Ferrari and never seems to gain any weight). Life is not picking on you. You have to accept the rainy days just the way you accept the sunny ones. And like the seasons in a year, you don’t have a choice, bad days are going to come and you have to learn to expect that they will so that you are not overwhelmed. I am not saying be all paranoid and always the other shoe to drop but just know that bad things have happened before and they will happen again and again until you die. The best you can do is take precaution so that you can prevent some of them from happening and you can cushion the blow for those you cannot prevent.

 2. You can’t fix or control it all

ImageDon’t drive yourself crazy trying to dot all the “i”s and crossing all the “t”s in your life. There are some realities that will never change that you need to accept and change your perception of. Your height, looks to some extent, family, race will never change. You have the parents you have and are born the race you are and that’s your portion in this life. Find ways to make the most of your realities. Know what you can and cannot change, have realistic expectations of yourself and of like and you won’t spend most of your time trying to do the impossible. Not everything will fall into place at the same time in life. Be happy with what’s right now.

3. If you are not dead yet, it’s not over yet.

ImageThis is not a “you cannot do anything” lecture. I have accepted that there are certain things that I will not be able to do and I am fine with that.  If what you are doing is not working out see what you can shift and keep going. If it’s not working out for you as a goal keeper try being a striker or defender or something, but… don’t leave the game. Because what else are you going to do? spend the next 50 years or so sitting on the sidelines, watching other people live their lives while you wait for your death? One thing I know is that life can be very long. I know they say life is short but if you are miserable a day is like eternity. Fight till the end. I cannot guarantee that you will get what you are fighting for but I can guarantee that the fight is more worthwhile than throwing in the towel.

So relax because LIFE GOES ON and so should you!!! 

 

 

The World Rewards “Bad” Girls

I put the word bad in quotes because the definition varies with people and times and for me I am at a loss of ideas on what the hell a good or bad girl is supposed to be. This here is not a sermon, if it was I would have titled it “God rewards good girls”. I truly believe that God does reward good people but this is about what the world rewards. I went to a boarding school where we were told by the matron to write down names of all the girls who were in relationships when we were 13. Being in a relationship at that time in my school meant getting a “sleep tight” note after the evening study and having “your man” walk you half way to the hostels, or as far as prefects would not see that you were being walked to the hostels. It would also mean getting a chocolate from home whenever your boyfriend went home or sent someone who was going home. Most of all, it meant getting a musical birthday or valentine’s card that you would rub in your friends’ faces and stick it to the wall whenever you knew the matron would not see it. If you got a kiss (this usually happened after Saturday function behind the dining hall where there were no lights) you would have an audience that would gossip about you for weeks and weeks to come and if the matron knew about this you would be punished. So all the bad girls were given some sort of manual activity to do as punishment for being “bad”. The worst and filthiest at the time were those who went as far as having their breasts fondled over their uniforms, those who filthiest of the filth.

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At home we had girls in the neighbourhood whose faces had been seen once or twice in a night club in town. No one says what time they were there or what they were doing but they were bad bad girls for showing their faces in a nightclub! Then there were those that wore skirts that were above the knees or in some communities, girls who wore pants. Those were also bad. How dare a woman show her thighs to the public, abomination!!! Now bad has taken on a new meaning. The angels are the ones who show only their thighs because present day bad girls are showing waaay more than that. You are showing your thighs? Only your thighs arg, so what? You have no sex tape, you haven’t made the news because you slept with someone you shouldn’t have and you wore something a lot of people wouldn’t? If you answered no to all these you are not a bad girl. Being bad no longer means you will end up in the hall of shame anymore no. The “bolder” you are in your “bad girl” stunts the more rewards you get. I absolutely salute these girls because after making sex tapes, taking nude pictures for public consumption and all the rest of it, their “social graph” is going up, more Facebook likes, more fans and more fame.

They told us when we were going up that bad things happen to people who do “bad things”. Were we lied to? Personally I salute these girls because they gave in to their impulses or whatever drove them and did exactly what they wanted and all turned out well for them in fact, they are better off now partly because they threw caution to the wind and did exactly what they wanted to do. The sex tape trend seems to be growing and I never thought it would spread to Africa. But if a girl wants to get some and film it, why the hell not? And who says they cannot have a life after that? Kim Kardashian, Paris Hilton, Kendra Wilkinson and more recently African has caught on the trend with Pokello Nare (Big Brother Africa 2013), only to mention a few. Some of these women were catapulted to fame by these sex tapes, others were somewhat known for this or that reason but once the world saw “all” of them they obviously wanted to know more about these people. This has resulted in people gaining hundreds of thousands of fans and followers and some people even call them role models. Arguments have been brought forward that some of them are actually “good” girls who were just having intimate moments with their boyfriends then guys were douchebags and “leaked” the tapes. Well if you didn’t learn from the first or second stories of tapes being leaked you are obviously filming for the public because tapes do go public eventually. That is just my opinion.

Anyway the morale of all this is, life is not mathematical. Doing the morally unthinkable does not always mean you will necessarily get a slap on the wrist from life. Also being good does not guarantee a life of joy and fruitfulness. I haven’t come up with the suggestion to what then we should do, maybe in my next post. It’s a crazy world we live in. You can wait for that one guy all your life and he can turn out to be a cheat who will give you diseases and send you to an early grave. Or you can go wild and be the village bicycle (available for all who want a ride) and wind up happily married with a lovely family and an awesome bank account. Others have done everything by the book and they got awesome rewards. Also there are some who landed in jail because they shot a sex tape or they did these crazy things and ended up in deep sh*t. Who knows how it’s all going to turn out. I have to leave you with some deep words of advice so I guess I can say is, however you choose to live your life, ENJOY IT!!! YOLO 🙂

 

10 Things Married People Should Know about Their Single friends

 

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  •       Your kids are cute but I don’t always want to see pics of them or hear about what new noises they can now make and what time they eat, sleep, poop…. Same goes for your  wedding pics, I enjoyed your wedding and no one is happier for you than I am but keep the pics to a minimum in my inbox or the tags on Facebook. It was the happiest day of your life, not mine.
  •       I don’t always need you to introduce me to your spouse’s single friends or your single cousins. The absence of a ring on my finger does not mean failure to get a date on my own. I might not even want to meet anyone right now.
  •       You do not always have to add “s/he’s single you know” whenever you talk about me. My status is not a business that you have to help me advertise.
  • Don’t ask me for advice about your marriage or kids and when I tell you what I think you just go, “I don’t expect you to understand, you will see for yourself one day.” Why not wait for that one day to ask me if you think I’m inexperienced now?
  • Don’t confuse me, do you or do you not want me to tell you if I see your spouse cheating or if they hit on me?

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  •       Don’t  ask when I’m also going to get married. It will happen when it happens. Firstly don’t assume that everyone wants what you have and secondly I just don’t know, I haven’t been to the future and back.
  •       If I tell you that I don’t actually want to get married, believe me. Don’t assume it’s a coping mechanism because it’s just not happening and I’m trying to convince myself that I don’t want it. Not everybody is crying themselves to sleep wishing they had what you have. Yes, even the bundles of joy are not everybody’s cup of tea.
  •       It’s cute when you and your spouse are always together but sometimes when I ask for a heart to heart, don’t always say “we” are on our way. Sometimes I just want to talk to my friend not the whole package.
  • Know when to go on and on about your marital bliss. Don’t wait for me to finish the story about how I was stood up for a date to tell me how your life feels like the sweetest dream right now with your spouse and kids.
  • You are my friend. I am ALWAYS happy for you, even if I don’t squeal  with joy when your kid gets their first tooth. I just may be preoccupied with my own issues or I just might not relate. I mean, I know it’s a joyous occasion but I may not shed a tear the way a parent would.