Life: Look No Further.
Well, you’re awfully quiet tonight. What’s on your mind? Anything in particular you’d like to discuss? You can take the first round, express your thoughts. I’ll go second. No pressure. Unload how your cards differ from what you can use and how you would yet work with it. Like those signs at the gas station, this is a “safe place”. Well then, would you like to share? oh, well, that’s alright, I understand. Whenever you’re ready. In the meantime I guess I’d share and when you’re ready, you share. Yeah? Awesome.
In a few days, I have to write about what kind of year I’ve had and I don’t know what kind of year I’ve had. I mean, I can know but I’d rather think about it at the last minute. Just before people on TV shout Happy New Year, I plan to unravel my truths as they are made known to me. I won’t remember this year, I mean I remember it pretty vividly, especially in this moment. Sitting here, somehow writing yet contemplating what to eat for dinner and how I don’t want to go get or make dinner. I know, my conundrum is something to laugh about. I remember this moment pretty vividly, right now as it’s happening but you know in the grand skim of things, I would not remember this year. Just as I don’t remember 2013 or 2003. So when the time comes, before midnight of New Year’, I will sit, stand, kneel or crawl as long as I can get out my perspective of what year I’ve had before I take on the spiky crown of next year.
I have a good life. No, don’t roll your eyes. I know it can be tiring when a person continuously yap about how much of a good life, they have. I mean, no one cares to hear me yap. I know. I thought of Jay-Z yesterday. He talks about how people criticize him for talking about arts, expensive arts but that’s the life he’s now living. A portion of his Billion is in fact in Painting and the such. And how he can only talk about what’s true to him — speak his truth, talk about what he knows. Yes, I thought of Jay-Z yesterday as I thought of myself. I talk about how good life is because: first, that’s where I am in life and what I know right now but also because I am puzzled with the amount of strength? it takes to enjoy a good life. And, in addition, eventually, in the future when I’m overwhelmed by life activities with raising a bunch of kids and sustaining a family, I can look at these moments, well read about them and fantasize how freeing it would be to just run away — for a day or two or a month — you know, like I can now.
Let me put it in perspective. Everything I prayed for in my teens, I have today. Well, except the Range Rover but I like what I drive and would rather pay cash for a new Range, should I or rather, when I eventually get one. But in all seriousness, all the serious things, the things of worth, things absolutely necessary for a good life, God has answered all of my prayers. God doesn’t have to do anything else for me till I die and I’m still good on the blessings He’s blessed me with. Are you understanding?
So, I’m like the guy at the Olympics. While others are running marathons, and some people are over there for swimming competitions. A portion weightlifting. Some playing Archery or Volley Ball. I’m that guy who’s also in the Olympics, only my sport is The Sitting Still sport. Yes, I know. Imagine that. All I have to do, in my imaginary Olympics of life, is to sit still with a bunch of other competitors. The longer you sit still, the better you are and the closer you are to “winning”.
However, I am incredibly intrigued by the Olympic people participating in active sports. The grinders. Those are my people, my crowd, I think. People I’ve associated with all my life. In fact, when the imaginary volley ball from the imaginary Olympics falls closer to me, I almost stand up to throw the ball back to them but remember once you stand up, it’s over. Try again, maybe in four years.
It’s incredibly tough to sit still, that is, stay in the same station in life — and enjoy something, some place, enjoyable.
I know in part why I struggle. I’m coming from a go get it, I don’t want to ever suffer again, so I will sacrifice today for tomorrow’s enjoyment. I’m coming from that mentality and reaching here, my tomorrow, and it dawns on me that I can’t find a switch to go from move out of my way and watch me get it, to, Oh! I got it. Wait, I got it?
This is nothing new, I mean, at this point. I’ve had a “good life” for sometime but it keeps getting better. Oh my God. or maybe easier is what I mean.
I mean, this year is the easiest year I’ve had. I have the best “job”. I know. I’m being humble. Wait a second, let me tell you! I’ll try not to tell you every single thing about me but believe me when I tell you, a better job than what I got is rare to come by, if it even exists — I’m sure it does.
I can eat what I want, when I want. I can go where I want, when I want. Some would say, you’re probably bored, engage in activities, well I’ve had so many injuries this year I lost count. That’s mostly because I work out almost every day, play three different sports 4 days a week or more, I run and I hike — all in one week. Repeat the next week. +1 or -1 one event. So I’m quite active. My last injury, the doctor told me to stop playing sports. Well, stop working out period really and take a long break from sports. In a sense, wait a minute, in a sense it’s the same message. SIT STILL STEPHEN. DO NOTHING.
Wait, you can go anywhere in the world? well, yeah so can the next person. I mean anywhere I’d be allowed to enter, that is. So what is your problem? what are you complaining about? I don’t have a problem and I’m not complaining maybe that’s the problem I’m complaining about. What?
I spend. Boy, I spend like I’m trying to prove a point but I have no point to prove. I simply buy what I want and clearly, to make sure the alarms by the door does not go off, I have to pay so I pay, just like everyone else.
I’ll stop here. But you catch my drift. I am where humans aspire to be, I know. I aspire to be here too but I haven’t yet found a way to continuously enjoy where I am without the temptation to give it all up “to get better” — which is a fallacy because stay still leads me to better. The mind is a tricky thing.
I have good thoughts alllllllll the time. Remember this? So yeah, of course I have “good thoughts” and make good plans all the time. But only time reveals the camouflaged good thoughts and the hasty back peddling mistakes.
Let me ask you. If you could go study for your Masters and pay in cash, no financial worries while you’re in school. You focus, graduate, get a much better paying job, would you consider that a good thought?
Let’s try another. What if you could throw your hands in the air, go sit on your bum for the next twenty years or forever (with any luck), have people call you sir, wash your car, clean your house, cook your food, while you play tennis at the country club and no one to answer to, would that be tempting? Well I “retired” in 2019 and 2020 and despised having absolutely nothing to do, maybe despised is a strong word, so yeah, despised. I met that one girl in 2019, I remember now, we got talking, I thought her cute, she stared so much we just had to talk but then she asked me “so what do you do for work?”, you know a sensible question to size up what kind of suffering our future children would be exposed to and I said “nothing”. Oh her face still makes me smile, she didn’t say much of another word. That was the end of the interaction.
She misunderstand. Anyways, this is not about my romance. Let’s continue.
But then, I could go to any US city and experience life there — wait, I live in one of the best cities in the US and I don’t want to leave, couldn’t I just stay?
Maybe I should move to the city center, heart of the city, be by everything I engage in, no traffic. Maybe I should stay here instead, no noise, no concerns, why leave a place of peace? So am I going or am I staying? the mirror stares back at me as I stare back in silence.
Jeez, you’re knowing too much about me, I should try again to stop here.
It’s thoughts like these, “you have good, wait is this better?, want this instead?” all day long, give or take a day in between — where I ponder the harassing question of “what else can you become?”
Actually, I think you just helped me answer it. What else can I become? I can become more still.
Drop mic and walk off stage.
I can become more monk, though I don’t know how I can go about it yet. But, a good aspiration to launch for. People who care about me give me ideas that I cannot relate to. When you ask a person who’s hungry about what they think about, they’d tell you about food. Well, sometimes, like most times, it doesn’t apply. Some say chase bigger dreams. “You’re not dreaming big enough”. And I smile as I think — such rat race mentality, what if I don’t want to chase anything? is that all there is to life? to accomplish one thing, kiss the cup you just won then run off to accomplish another? Wait, who am I to talk — if the alternative to my argument is to sit still, why then am I puzzled about the absurdity, weirdness and un-relatable concept of just sitting still and enjoying what already is?
This is not your problem, I know. But it’s my turn to unburden, and I’m almost done. It’s not a “problem” per se, it’s more of a question, no?.
You know, my parents think of my well being. My dad say — sit still and smile. Eat, sleep, eat, and sleep. There’s nothing out there that you’re missing out on. That’s great but. . .
My mom say look around you, you have what people want and you are trying to run from it? isn’t it time for you to marry? if you don’t have problems, she’ll give you something to worry about. Abeg, let’s talk about something else. That’s great but. . .
I’m talking a lot this evening, wow, on a semi empty stomach too. Maybe I’m ready to write about my year end experience after all.
Do you know the toughest thing to do is to do nothing? read this. I pray my senses return before I impulsively make a move and when I do make a move, I hope to God it would be the right move, like the moves He’s made available to me thus far. All Glory to God.
Do you know there was a time I worked three jobs plus was a young father — one could say I did four jobs then. I worked full time, closed by 5p. Drive 25mins to the restaurant, change clothes while driving — yes on the highway, my first ticket ever, I was driving 91 on a 60. I’ll get to the second job, the restaurant, I already had tables because my shift starts at 5p but I get there at 5.30p, so I hurry, leave corporate verbiage in the car, jump into waiter mode, go serve tables, sometimes close (last server who cleans and mops) that means I’m there till 10.30p, then I pick up my daughter from babysitter, she’s already sleep, then I find or cook dinner, then eat, then sleep, then drive Uber. oh, and I had a night life as well.
Wow, the incredible rebound of youth, all these without coffee or intoxication. I don’t have that life anymore. I don’t miss it either. I’m chill, very chill with my sun glasses on, cracking up at any story you tell me, that’s my life now. With my bottle water, don’t forget the bottle water.
There was also that time in my early years when I went to a new city to find employment and had no money to book a place to spend the night, my God. I remember going to the homeless shelter, my parents would marvel if they knew this story, I never told them. The attendant tells me the shelter is filled. I did not find employment, but I found my way back to the Greyhound bus station, Thank God for Greyhound, and went back to my city on the overnight commute. I was poor then but smart. I haven’t been in a greyhound for so many years now. I’d rather fly. Haha, alright I’ll stop but honestly, no long drives for me. Wait, let me put my humility heart, hat, back on.
Some would say give to others!! God blesses you to bless others. I don’t say nothing, I probably smile and tell them “you’re correct”. But I’ll tell you. You see, I’m one of the most generous people you’d ever meet. You might not know but the few around me knows and I know too, because I see other people. Yes, I don’t write checks or send money to the TV hotline but I do everything short of that. I don’t talk about it because it’s nothing to talk about, I don’t give for applause, I don’t give for you to know, I simply give. Just as I breathe, I give, no big deal. I don’t go about telling people I just took a breath either.
Oh I really should stop. I’m confessing a bunch tonight, completely honest and oversharing. Let me drink water, catch my breath.
Would you like to take the floor? Your turn, unburden. What’s life like for you?
Oh, what becomes of me? I have no idea. I know its’ a Faith problem, I dug out that much. But I have faith, no? I thought I did. Remember this quote? You can’t forget: “Faith without works is dead but a lot of works’ triggered by a lack of faith” and I am itching to engage in a lot of works!
I do know, J Altucher taught me after you reduce, then you reduce some more. I shaved off all my hair yesterday, I didn’t really know why I was doing it, I just “obeyed”? but it might have to do with the “going Monk” that hasn’t entirely made it to my conscious side. Oh, there I go again, talking about my situation. It’s your turn. I’m all ears.
You have my undivided attention.