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Reflections

2020, 27, Her Version of Events, letters, life lessons, Reflections,

8th June 2020

Hello Grandpa, 

I didn’t cry today. I didn’t get sad when I talked about you with mummy or uncle Niyi and, to be honest, I almost forgot the anniversary all together. I remembered after my morning ritual of scrolling through Instagram. 

Let me explain Instagram to you really quickly because it became a thing after you left: it is an application where you can share photos with captions, kind of like how you posted photos on Facebook but this is more addictive. You can be rest assured I would have opened an account for you. 

As I scrolled, I noticed the date in the caption of one of my photos and it hit me that you have been gone 8 years today. I dwelled so much on the passing of time this year that it crippled me and prevented me from moving forward, but you helped me snap out it. 

I remembered a line from your journals. It was an entry for your 50th birthday, the year you retired as a lecturer. You wrote that you would rather spend your days doing the things that brought you joy and in that moment of remembering you, remembering your words, it was easy to realise what I needed to do to keep living, to fill my life with love and happiness and that the passage of time is really out of my control and what matters is what I do with the time I have left. 

For the first time since you left, I believe I have made peace with your leaving. I no longer have the wrenching pain in the pit of my stomach when I celebrate my accomplishments or special occasions. I have come to accept that you are a part of who I am and because I am present in all my moments, you are present too. 

Coming into this place of acceptance doesn’t mean I will stop having conversations with you,  sending you updates in letters or dreaming you up in a crowd but, I believe it is one of the many inevitable things about grief: it starts out all consuming and, for a while, it is the only sound you hear, the only thing you feel at the core of your being but gradually you start to recover, the consuming sound becomes a hum, something you can live with that doesn’t cause you to break down. 

You have become a part of me in this manner. I see you in the things I do everyday, I remember you in the mannerisms of people around me, in my approach to a particular problem and this brings so much light into my life. 

I am glad I didn’t cry today. I am glad I think of you now with a smile on my face. Missing you forever.

Love. 

AraOre.  

2020, 27, Her Version of Events, Reflections,

What Happens Next

I fear that we won’t change after this, that the clear flaws in the ways we choose to live, in how we think about others, that became pronounced in the last few weeks will become lost to our eyes when this ends.

Or will it end?

The earth is resting, it is in a state of non-movement, a state it hasn’t experienced in the last 50 years. It is finding ways to repair and recenter itself. The earth is on leave if you will, maybe a sabbatical at this point, because it hasn’t, in recent history, gone on a pause like it is on at this moment. 

What if this doesn’t end?

Then all our beautiful constructs will die, like the stock markets, the paper monies we carefully keep away in banks, our precious portfolios: from rainy day funds, to school funds to company reserves. Our beautiful terms of liquidity. Insolvency will never be looked at the same way. 

Will we construct differently?

Our track record doesn’t show a people that grow. What it points to is a people that place self above all. We are self-preserving; constantly placing our individual needs above others to the detriment of the earth and its other occupants. 

In the end 

My biggest fear is we will keep moving like nothing changed, we will go back to living just the same. We can’t even band together in this time of crisis. We are stealing resources from one another, we are still building wealth, we are still looking for how this misery favours our individual agendas. 

Will there ever be an alignment? 

My hope is in love, in the utmost display of it that I have seen in the health workers unwavering at the front lines of this, the children who go out of their way to put a smile on their neighbours faces, the adults that are giving their time and energy to preparing meals, making deliveries and providing us with the essentials for life and living.

We may never become a better people, we may never grow and see that a lot of things are more important than our carefully constructed product timelines and sales seasons. We may never see our employees as individuals, just numbers on a sheet. 

But my hope rests still in love, in the acts of kindness that we show to ourselves and that some day, love will find a way to win. 

2020, 27, Reflections,

January Blues

I have consumed a lot of material about what people want to achieve in the new year and how they intend to achieve these things. I know I should just type ‘new year resolutions’ but I have always hated the phrase, the pressure that comes with it and the January blues that many of these ‘resolutions’ don’t make it past. 

I had the most insightful conversation with my friends this afternoon, one of them shared about reading a woman’s post on goal setting after a personal retreat with God in which she proposed treating our goals as commitments. This expounded in my heart, I had finally found the right definition and explanation for ‘new year resolutions’. 

I love that at the start of November my mind goes to reflection. I start putting together things I achieved in the year, the things I didn’t and understanding the excuses that I gave myself for not achieving them. This activity transcends into December.

What follows in December is I buy a journal for the new year, to write about the things that I will be taking with me into the new year, the things I set out to achieve that I might not complete or even do at all and new things. What I love about the end of the year is the opportunity to reflect, to take a look at what is working and what needs to be cut out. 

In my reflective state, I wrote a document highlighting the following areas that most of our lives revolve around; 

  1. Spirituality 
  2. Finance 
  3. Personal Development 
  4. Career Development 
  5. Relationships

For these five areas I asked myself what I was doing right, what I was doing wrong, what I should be doing better, and built my 2020 commitments around my answers to the questions. 

What I have learnt about this process was summed up in one word this afternoon: ‘commitment’. My list of things to achieve, or goals (whatever you may choose to call it), is a commitment to do better, to take important steps that will lead me down the path of the future I have envisioned for myself, to build a future for myself. 

I wrote my final ‘commitment list’ on January 1st and talked over the list with my Accountability Partner with my sister tribe. This is the first time I am deliberately building accountability into this process and having people who will pull me up when I am down, call me out when I am slacking and get me going. 

A Commitment List is something I understand and can get behind. It is also something I look forward to working with and through this year. 

In the spirit of accountability, I will share the three things I am committing to it when it come to The Over Thinker Community.

  1. To publish at least three blog posts every month. 
  2. To write at least two book reviews for the Instagram account every month and post more photos (I don’t want to put a number to the photographs, let’s play it by the ear). 
  3. To release Series 2 and Series 3 of the podcast before the end of the year. 

Do share what you are committing to in 2020 in the comments and again, I wish you a  Happy New Year!!!