“I get most things that I set my mind to.”
The first time that I said this to my uncle, I hadn’t said it with the expectant accompanying boast tone. I had said it in a low voice, low because it was burdened with the vulnerability of opening up to anyone.
I had found it interesting at first, welcome even, that I could put my mind to anything today, and go about it immediately and set it properly in motion.
You see, my father told us folktales, a lot, laced with proverbs, because proverbs are the oil with which words are eaten. One of them, was that “A hunter who goes to the forest and shoots and brings home a lot of animals, would soon have a house infested with maggots.”
The less dramatic summary of this, is that a person should not bite more than they could chew. And so there I was one day, multi-creative, multi-dimensioned, multi-potentialite, it was beautiful, I had so many natural and acquired skills. It was beautiful, I repeat, but it was heavy, tiring, I felt pulled from all angles and often trying to figure out which of these jealous attachments deserved my attention at any given time.
The good thing, was that I was ready, always, to go to the drawing board. I am good now, mostly.
“Find the LCM”.
I didn’t like mathematics, so you are safe if you are like me. I speak of a figurative LCM. And here, my LCM across my ventures, was my recurrent emotion – MPA ‘middle point anxiety’. I coined this because they say that to solve a problem you must start by calling it by it’s name.
I excelled at the beginning of whatever I started, and then the attention would come, and I would flip.In the easiest way I can describe it, let me find this cement seller example.
If you were selling bags of cement, and you had to sell 30 bags in a day, you were happy. Then you prayed to sell more, worked hard to sell more, and then the very next day, someone comes and says to you, that they were a construction firm and needed you to supply 2000 bags of cement, daily. The anxiety would hit you, and whisper in your ears that you had never sold 2000 bags of cement and so therefore you couldn’t sell it. But there was your cement buyer in your front, wondering why you didn’t want to sell him a mere 2000 bags from all the thousands of cement bags he could see behind you.
That was it.
You understood progression, but you were afraid of leaps and bounds.
“Please, we await your response to our email, ma’am.”
So here I am, typing responses to progression that has not come again in footsteps that I did not envisage.
Eventually, I know that my bit is to do my bit, and the rest will fall in place, and I will not, should not, stand in it’s way.
I had hoped for excuses from my end, a headache, for blinding cramps, for a loss of internet access, for clashing schedules, and the universe refused.So I defeated my MPA, again, and then I thought to scribble about it here.
There is actually no huge scenario here, I do not have a multi-million naira contract coming, nothing superfluous -just me and my everyday work of/and art.
How do you brave it?
How do you look your anxiety in the eye and tell it to go and return another day?
Nobody knows it all, we all don’t know what we are doing -half the time.
So if you learn nothing, learn this.
And when gold is placed in your hands, you are right to wonder if you deserve it, but if you have even remotely worked for it, you are right in taking what you deserve that comes to you.
Achalugo Chioma Ezekobe.