Day 11: Your current relationship. If single, discuss how single life is
Ah yes! That question that we’ve all been waiting for. Haha.
Ah yes! That question that we’ve all been waiting for. Haha.
Today I’m writing this post pretty early. But guess what, I’m still stuck in traffic going to work. Haha. it’s been raining heavily and motorists have had to slow down. A forty-minute trip has stretched for three hours. Lots of cars have broken down due to the flood. Anyway, that’s basically the update from where I am. But let’s not dwell on that. Welcome to my tea party- there’s hot choco, coffee and tea. Just perfect for the rain! Feel free to catch up on yesterday’s post.
In finding our ‘perfect’ or ‘right’ mates, most times we have checklists that give us an idea of what we want and don’t want in a mate. While the idea of having checklists is good, I think it can get shallow at times. And that’s why this post is about a different approach to finding your life partner.
Man is made up of three components – the body, the soul and the spirit. These for me are the three levels of connection one must have. Continue reading “Not Just Another Checklist”
I’ve often considered myself as being friendly. Albeit I have a strong tendency to be into my shell and be more reactive than proactive as a result of personality traits. However, once I identify someone that looks like me or acts like me, I’m more than willing to strike up a conversation! It’s no surprise my friends are pretty much like me, or I’m like them 😀
Making friends is a bit easy. Sustaining such friendships is where the problem lies. People get separated by distance, jobs, new relationships etc. Back in school, my Chancellor would say 20 friends cannot play together in the same place for 20 years. Very true! Just a couple years after school and I have friends spread all over the globe doing various things. Thanks to social media though, you can keep a track of important details.
But it’s really sad how very close friends become estranged. It’s like a garden left uncared for. The weeds of little misunderstandings and mistrust take over and all you’re left with is the memory of what once was. I’ve had so many blooming friendships end up this way. Either one party stopped working on it or both just gave up trying.
My emphasis for this post though is that moment when estranged friends try to get back together. Where do you start from? You would probably start by asking about things you knew previously. “M, how about that your red Toyota car?” “Oh, I sold it. How about your granny? I loved those chips she often made.” “Yeah, she passed away some 2 years back.” “Oh wow, sorry about your loss.” Then an awkward silence follows as you try to find what to say. “Are you still practicing Diplomacy as you wanted to?” “No, I’m into Human Resources now.” “Oh, okay” What would you probably discuss that wouldn’t sound awkward and disconnected?
Truth is, you’ll probably need some time together to catch up. Or you may fumble with awkwardness for some time till you finally accept the fate that life has changed. People change. So just move on. BTW, this isn’t really a post on human relationships and friendship. This is more of that awkwardness that goes on when you become estranged from God; when you stop reading your Bible or having personal quiet times. When you begin to skip Sunday Services and forget what days the midweek services fall on.
A relationship with God is pretty much like human relationships, it needs a lot of communication and ‘keeping in touch’. You hardly tell estranged friends about a crisis you’re going through in the present. “So I and Zac have been having issues with our relationship.” “Who’s Zac? I thought you were with Mike?” “Oh that was donkey years ago!” And you have to start going on and on about how your relationship life has evolved over the years before she can understand the current situation and try to proffer solutions. Exhaustive!
I’ve had those awkward times where I flip through my Bible unsure of where to start from. Times where I ruminate over my past sins, forgetting that He forgives sins and remembers them no more. I’m like “Err, what’s going on God? Where do I start from?” Of course, He is always there. We are the ones who pull back. Who get so busy with life that we forget to check with Him. He becomes strange to us. And of course you go back to playing catch up; trying to reconnect. Personally, I don’t really find the reconnecting process exciting. I usually say; if you leave me, don’t waltz back into my life to take the seat you were used to. You’ve gotta start all over again to know me. That’s also how I perceive my relationship with God. If I leave Him for a couple of weeks, I have to take the time to backtrack and make amends before we pick up. I have to open up about what happened; how I made mistakes (which I could have avoided if I asked Him) and so on.
Have you ever traveled away from a favorite WiFi spot and come back to see it asking for password? I mean, back then it could connect easily as long as you were there. But you left and became ‘estranged’- I find this really frustrating! 😀
So are you estranged from God? Or even from your friends and family? Do the needful. Go back and reconnect. And most importantly, don’t leave, don’t leave God. He loves you dearly and waits for you to come back. Once you reconnect, make sure you remain connected!
©Mfon Etuk, 2016
I remember the day as though it was yesterday- but it’s already five years down the line. To be specific, it was in the year 2011. I was standing in front of her hostel in O.A.U wearing my favorite red Tees and ripped jeans. I had informed her the day before of my proposed visit but she tersely warned me not to bother. I went ahead anyway because I wanted to resolve the unending conflicts between us. I picked up my phone which was already beeping a warning red light because my battery was low and called her. My ears ached from her outburst “I thought I asked you not to come over? What the hell what are you doing here?” she hung up immediately and refused to pick my calls. I looked up at the pink drapes that lined the window of her room. She was on the 5th floor and I couldn’t risk taking the stairs without confirming her presence. I called her sister and she immediately hung up when she heard my name.
That was the second time I would visit her while in school. The first was a little bit weird because it was our first meeting ever since we started dating a few months ago. I was shy and so was she. We sat under a tree and ate the snacks and yoghurt she bought. I was smiling like a little schoolboy the whole time. Don’t blame me, I was in love.
She finally came out after leaving me to the mercies of the cold harmattan wind for some forty-five minutes.
“What do you want?” She asked with a stone hard face. “You’ve just a few minutes and as you can see I was making my hair before you came.”
That’s when I noticed her puffy hair tied in a red scarf. She still looked beautiful with her oily face and half-done hair.
“Can we at least sit down?” I asked while gesturing to the same tree we had sat the first day we met. Then, the flowers were lush and red but now, the harmattan breeze had shriveled their lushness and all that was left was a skeleton of what was once a beautiful tree. Just like our love.
“No” she curtly replied.
At that point, I didn’t know what else to say. All the words I had previously rehearsed grew wings and flew away at the sight of her cold countenance. I fumbled with words that didn’t seem to make any sense. I have no idea how she had such a hold on me.
“We can make it work” I finally said.
“Don’t you get it? We are not compatible”
I shifted my weight from one foot to another while looking at those brown eyes that held no warmth as they used to. Who had she become? The song ‘You’re not the girl I used to know’ by Darey began to play in my mind.
In about ten minutes, she said she wanted to leave and I pleaded, “Would you at least walk me down to where I will get a bike?” This, she vehemently refused and turned her back to me.
Without a doubt, I knew it was really over.
We were not always like this. We used to be best of friends. I still remember how we would stay up every night talking on MTN extra cool for long hours. Such days of bliss! The fun didn’t last so long as she got admitted to the ivy league university and little things I did began to irritate her. We would quibble and quarrel consistently until we grew apart.
Why do relationships get sour after ‘I love you’ is involved? Why do things that meant nothing when we were just friends become objects of irritation as soon as we start dating?
The ride from her hostel to the school gate was short. I remember shedding a few tears. I don’t know if it was because of the official break-up or because of the cold breeze, either way, I shed tears. I was sad because I gave it my best. I did everything humanly possible. I went the extra mile to make it work and used my last money to pay her the visit but it all ended with four words; ‘we are not compatible’.
That faithful day marked the day she died to me. I slowly got over her afterwards and have since moved on with my life. Her mum is still my good friend and we talk nonetheless. While her sister refers to me as ‘the guy without a dull moment’ because of how bubbly I was around them and her younger brother calls me Chief Owonikoko because of my baritone voice. I will never forget the memories she left, but as for Mimi- she is dead to me.
Written by Emar Ogar.
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Have you ever felt so empty? Like no matter how much money you’ve got in the bank, no matter how awesome that partner is in your relationship, no matter how much time you put into that job you love, no matter how stocked your wardrobe is- you still feel empty. Some may be in denial, but I’ve got my hands raised and I’m sure some honest people do as well. So really, why do we feel ‘incomplete’ even when we are surrounded by the pleasures of life? Oh wait, you may not be surrounded by the good pleasures of life yet- you are still pushing. Just maybe that new job will make you complete. Or maybe, just maybe if you find your soulmate you will be complete. Or maybe if you had gotten parental love as a kid you would be complete. Some others would be like; ‘M, just send me a million dollars and I will be complete!’
Humans are really creative, aren’t we? We try to stuff different things in that empty space just so we feel complete. My focal point would be in the place of relationships. In Africa, and I’m sure some other cultures, once a lady is in her 20s, the question ‘when are you getting married?’ becomes as frequent as ‘how are you?’. Before long, she becomes self-aware of her ‘incompleteness’. As a matter of fact, women who have attained high levels career wise are not exempted from the incompleteness that comes with not having a man. I think that’s absolutely crazy and sad of course!
Some people say stuffs like ‘my second half’ implying a feeling of being half and incomplete. I’m not excluded from this wrong thinking. I have been in the school of thought that singleness equates loneliness. This school of thought is crippling. It leads to single people hopping in and out of relationships just to avoid the space of loneliness. Been there, done that.
But I’ve come to the realization that you’ve got to win at being single to win at being with someone. How do you intend to deal with other people when you can’t even stand being by yourself for a period of time? When you don’t even know yourself? I know I may be striking some unfriendly chords here, but please stay with me. Personally, I’ve learnt how to get a little more deliberate and to savour the period of singleness. Paul said the unmarried get more time to do God’s work (1 Cor 7:34). And that’s true. You’re not worried about much when you’re single. You get to seek God and chase after His purpose for you. If you haven’t gotten anything from my thoughts here, remember singleness doesn’t equate loneliness. Not when you have God.
Recently I came to the knowledge of truth which I would like each and every one of you to come to. That truth is summed up in this verse:
So you also are complete through your union with Christ, who is the head over every ruler and authority. Col 2:10
You are not complete in your partner, in your money, in your career, in your expansive wardrobe, talents or hobbies- you are complete in God. Only God can give the completeness we so desire. Please I’d advise you not to jump into relationships if you haven’t discovered yourself in God from a state of singleness. This doesn’t mean you can’t find yourself in God while in a relationship. But this is to emphasize the importance of the single days. Maximize those days. Find your identity in God and be complete in Him.
Marriage isn’t the coming together of two half individuals but two complete individuals. You are complete in Him. And when you are complete in Him, you won’t have to start draining your partner for a completeness he/she can’t give you. Think about why those past relationships didn’t work- maybe you expected them to give what they never had! I definitely can’t exhaust this in one post. Hopefully there would be a sequel. Thank you for reading!
***Guess what? We now have over 11,000 hits!!!! Thank God!!! Thank you all for your support and encouragement. You guys are the best! ❤ ❤
©Mfon Etuk, 2016
I’m finally finding peace,
Accepting this great stage of my life,
Nobody to keep thinking of,
Nobody to try and please,
Nobody to have a strife..
No one ever wants to be lonely,
Everytime the cold hands of loneliness grabbed me,
To another wrong guy I ran to for warmth,
Just to end up feeling more cold and alone than before..
Am tired of going through the same cycle,
Like a menstrual cycle,
So regular, I know when it would happen next,
He says hi and I say nice,
And soon my heart is turned to ice..
It always happens the same way,
Like am letting the same movie play,
I ‘think’ I like him,
My emptiness says go for him,
Soon I feel its not working,
I want out…everytime!
Why do I always want the red card?
My life feels like a House of cards,
Why do I start what I will end,
Leaving hearts that are hard to mend..
Finally shut the door to my heart,
But the window is still open,
People call me the serial heartbreaker,
I see me silently waiting for the next victim to walk in,
To break his very heart with my blood stained hands,
And coldstone heart..
No that’s not me,
That’s not who He’s said I am,
Why believe the lies,
Its time to break the ties,
Turning to see the one with nail pierced hands,
Waiting for me with open arms,
It seems He’s been waiting for a long time,
There are cobwebs on the seat He’s been sitting on..
That’s probably my life,
The true love I’ve avoided,
Looking for solace when He’s got a palace,
Having my heart torn apart while for me He got torn apart,
Am back home Lord,
Wrap me with your love,
Begin to stitch my broken heart,
I know I unwrapped the last three or four bandages even before the wounds healed,
I need to take a breath, give me an inhaler..
I’ve finally found peace in the Prince of peace,
The one true love that wraps me like a warm blanket in winter,
Not lonely and broken,
But complete with words left unspoken
Mfon Etuk, 2014.