Two days ago, I killed someone. Or at least, I tried to.
No, it wasn’t Cupid(Laughing)I’m not writing this from jail..lol..as a matter of fact, Im freer now than I’ve been in a long while.
Okay, I’ll start at the beginning. As always, I’ll ask you to be patient-It will be worth it 😉
A friend needed a favor-she called me Friday last week and asked me to pick up a certificate at the National Hospital for her(She had lived and worked here but had relocated recently,and couldn’t travel back to Abuja just yet). There wasn’t much she required of me-she gave me all the information I needed, and I was to present these at the clinic come Tuesday, and then pick up the certificate.
I agonized all weekend. Would I get lost getting to National Hospital in my car?(Yes, I’m horrible. I had gotten lost once picking up my sister from Apo. In my defense though, it was night, and those roads are really confusing. Don’t ask)Would I get there early enough? Will I get it? I’ll probably spend the whole day there, knowing that this certificate was something that was supposed to be personally collected, I thought. So, I planned to take a book.
Would I be asked to come back the next day? Should I dress casually or..?
Suffice it to say that by the time Tuesday came, I was a mass of nerves. I had worked myself up to this point. So, while I looked calm and collected on the outside, I was as worn and fragile as an old papyrus sheet on the inside.
On getting to the hospital-without being kidnapped by aliens or my car turning into a character from The transformers, I proceeded to the clinic.
It took me less than an hour to get this document, signed, sealed and delivered.
In total-consciously and subconsciously, I had spent nothing less than twenty hours worrying about something that I got done in less than an hour.
You may think me a little extreme, but I assure you, its the pure and undiluted truth- Im a person who has made a large majority(in my opinion anyways) of decisions based on fear. As an aside, I was a preemie, and my mother told me that as a little baby, I used to ‘forget to breathe’. Lol. She used to have to spank my little bottom so I was jolted back into remembering to breathe to live. Hehe. Apparently, I’ve been running scared from life from the very beginning. Lol.
Its something I now know to be called ‘sleep apnea’ though, and is common among preemies.
I went to medical school because I was afraid to disappoint and incur the perceived wrath of The Parents. The Daddy,especially. (Uppercase letters, for emphasis.)Ironic isn’t it? People usually think studying medicine arises from courage and a desire to help others. I do want to help others, and I will(I’m a doctor now, thankfully). But I assure you that the primary reason was the fear of disappointing my parents.
This same fear kept me through-and It was rough, I must tell you. Sometimes I wondered what else I would’ve been if not a doctor-but the fear of being anything else completely kept me from even thinking those ‘evil, riotous’ thoughts through. I could’ve found some other things that I would’ve been good at, but I must’ve killed them all even before they took root-my fear was that absolute.
I’ve been in bad, hurtful relationships because I was afraid to be alone. And I’m sure that we can all relate to how fear destroys relationships-jealousy, suspicion, mistrust.
Even though I’d decided for a long time that I wanted to chop off my hair and start growing it from scratch, It took me a long time to actually get it done-partly because I wanted to do proper research on how to wear my natural hair, but partly also because I was scared what my father would think, what my boyfriend(at the time) would think, what everyone would think.
In the end, I chopped it off,they all thought whatever they wanted to think-mostly bad. Didn’t matter-I was happy, and free. Im sixteen months natural today, by the way. Woop Woop! It has NOT been easy, at ALL. But I’ve never regretted it. She is beautiful, she is healthy, she is nappy, and I love her absolutely :p Read here to find out how much.
As long as I remember, Fear has been a faithful companion. My first response to anything new is a ‘No’, or ‘I can’t’. Not because I don’t want to help, but because, I have succeeded in honing the art of being fearful into a sell-worthy skill. With amazing alacrity, I can, within seconds, convince myself of why I should not do something because I know, without a doubt, that I will fail. Successfully destroying its prospects in my head before I even commence. I’ve been afraid to compete at anything- because I have always convinced myself of the futility of trying if I wasn’t sure I would win(as if anyone knows for sure..lol) You may ask if I’ve been living under a rock-If I haven’t watched any movies about fear, or seen people best their demons in real life. But movies..are movies..or so I told myself.
Fear. He lived, breathed and existed in my thoughts, in my dreams, in whatever form that caught his fancy. He reminded me of his faithful presence-in the persistent thoughts of not being good enough, of never measuring up because I could never be good at anything, of always falling short of the mark-reminding me of my past errors and failures and re-iterating that, indeed, I’m really not that awesome. He constantly forced me into Inertia– the ‘what-if’s’ drown out logic and reason whenever I try to start something new,so I don’t bother . Besides, if I do start, would I be able to follow through?
He takes another form called Laziness-he reminds me that since I’m still going to fall short of the mark, there is no need to put in that much effort. He also comes in waves of Anger-I’ve found myself to be quick to anger in the past because things didn’t go the way I expected them to, and I was fearful of the outcome of that.
I’ve been known to be fearful of the outcome of almost everything-whether or not I was sufficiently prepared.
Sometimes, he is insidious- making sure I would concentrate on just how much I don’t do right, instead of remembering my finer points. Other times, he is a roar in my ears, in my head, making sure I hear nothing else and listen to no other voice but his. I became so used to him that I would just usually stand-or, kneel, helpless before his power-a power I fed by constantly yielding.
Indeed, his hold on me was that potent.
My friend does not know it, but on Tuesday, I had to fight the familiar feeling of inertia that Fear brings. I had to fight the little waves of panic in my heart thinking about what lay ahead of me(this was something I’d never done before, which is why fear wanted to convince me,as usual, that I would fail).
But I learnt something about fear.
He is nothing more than a feeling. And all feelings can and should be brought under subjection. We should control our feelings-not the other way around.
He is afraid of action.
He is afraid of calm and calculated thinking.
He is afraid of confidence.
He is afraid of cold, hard facts.
He literally slinks away, like the weasel he is, in the face of laughter, positivity, and hope.
And there is no room for him in the face of Love-I love(d) my friend too much to disappoint her.
I had come full circle, it seems.
Knowledge, they say, makes a man unfit to be a slave. And Love gives a person courage.
I had all these in my arsenal-after fighting the initial wave of inertia.
And when I was done, I realized, as people always do, that fear has got nothing on me. Zilch. Nada. I’ve been his slave too long.
As if I don’t serve a God who has conquered ALL things. Ha! In yo’ face! Msscchheeewwww.
*Little drops of bliss*
Move aside, fear.