Hhmm… this is the deep breath I just took as my fingers hit the keyboard.
29 was bonkers!
Like roads leading to the my hometown in the Akuapim mountains, 29 meandered in the mountains as it appeased my worries with its beauty. A few pleasurable moments I nervously recall and enough heart dropping jiffies that stand out like a Black Trump supporter.
I look back in my mind’s wardrobe where I stored away many things for future cleansing – and all I feel is gratefulness. All I see is sweat. All I hear is chimes of nothingness announcing the completion of goals. All I smell is smiles of 30 as it takes the bacon from 29.
Why don’t we see what 29 had to say…
Conversation #1: Nafi
She was my everything in Senegal. She was my army, my pillow, my laughter, my weapon, my trumpet.
We did not say goodbye when I left Senegal. In the Wolof culture, you don’t say bye, per se. You shake hands with your left as a way of saying, “we will meet again.”
After our handshake and hugs she began to cry as she walked away into her restaurant. I called her from behind, “Nafi… Nafi… Don’t cry, we will meet again.”
I jinxed it.
29 took Nafi away like an eagle swooping low for grab the oblivious fish – who on all
accounts known to it, has a longer time to swim, to live.
Nafi’s death did not surprise, shock or shake me to the core. It annihilated me.
The most throbbing part of her death was I still did not get to say goodbye. I was waiting for her as she waited for me. We both waited and unfortunately her alarm rang and she was gone!
In my distress, 29 whispered some thoughts…
29 said death is excruciatingly peaceful. The excruciating part you can read here. But the peace in death comes when you accept that your love, your best friend, your first thought, is now where they need to be. Not suffering. It is when you understand that they have moved from form to formless, another state of living and they are with you always.
Don’t be mistaken, after the acceptance you still want to see and touch them. You wish they stayed a little longer or sent a dove to tell you to come fast, call now!
But sometimes they urgently need to be elsewhere and a quick note is all they can leave you. You don’t have to accept it or agree with it, but you have to respect it.
So, there I was, on the bathroom floor with my eye hallowed in my skull. Nothing made sense anymore. It was there 29 went ahead to annoyingly remind me that we don’t always get what we want, but many a times, death or other monumental occurrences transpire to remind us of the a few important things in life: spending quality time with people, forgiving others and ourselves, being nice, being thoughtful, and lastly contributing to a positive cause NOW, IN REAL TIME. We don’t have too much time. Waiting is a fatal drug.
29 closed the death chapter with this: you never move on from the loss of your loved one, you learn to cope with their absence.
And though I still cry for Nafi, I am thankful I got to meet such a force. She was my celestial being sent to protect me in Senegal.
Conversation #2: Wealth
In 29 I skillfully danced between three jobs. I did so out of the understanding that to get to the financial wellness I desire I must do what I’ve never done but isn’t unheard of. Plus, seven months of unemployment bills was leisurely waiting for me.
29 said, everyone has a type of financial wellness mindset and lifestyle. Some are healthier than others but make no mistake of associating appearance with wealth. Period.
For seven months I was unemployed. I was on food stamps and unemployment benefits. Nowhere wanted to hire me. Nothing I did and did not do worked. I was at a place in my 29 years I never knew existed till it happened.
As I waited in my dire unemployment phase, I planned my future finances. Yep! I planned and prepared for money I did not have but knew I will secure. Faith! I wrote down things I will not want repeated and actions I will cultivate and maintain. I listened to podcasts, asked people for financial advice and observed the employed and better off. I searched for a free financial coach and like a lioness who had found its prey, I laid silently in wait. I prepped for the harvest even when the field was dry. And when the rains finally came…HA! When the rain finally came…HM! Let’s say if the land had a mouth to speak it would’ve begged me to slow down!
With that ambition, I surpassed all my financial saving goals. I worked so hard, my financial coach Tedi Tzinares reminded me several times that I was out of the woods and should simple put the car in cruise and keep practicing the foundations of building wealth: living below my income, saving more than I did the previous month, and paying off debt. That was easy to do but hard to practice. When you have a fleshed-out memory of what it feels like to have nothing, you are always on your mettle even when you have more than enough.
29 taught me this about money/wealth: respect and be disciplined in the grind; honour up, down, all around and celebrate the little achievements in real time.
Conversation #3: Relationships – or lack thereof
Ha! This is a favourite topic of mine because I have struggled with it since I started to understand, how that is portrayed and makes us feel.
There were specific relationships 29 needed me to diagnose, treat, operate or permanently remove. What 29 did was savage. 29 locked my heart away till I unapologetically and heartlessly dealt with these relationships.
The part 29 dumbfounded me was the liberty I basked in afterwards. My God! Evidence below:
I bathed in my triumphed of finally moving on, saying and doing what I should have said and done years ago. 29 explained to me that a relationship is not considered one if it is one sided. As much as I wanted to be with/there for these individuals; as much as I called them (best) friend or wanted more, if it's not reciprocated in a positive manner which debunks any doubt of where I stand in their lives, I must take several seats, be at peace with it and not hold them accountable for their inability, or choice to not reciprocate or stay.
Bruh! That part was tough for 29 to teach me but my God did. I. learn!!
Conversation #4: There is a God
I believe in Jesus Christ. And He spoils me with so much love I sometimes ask Him to slow down. I can’t handle it ^_^
My relationship with Jesus grew in 29 and all I feel is love. I wake up in love, I smile from love, I act in love (most of the time. Let’s be real I have human tendencies). I do this easily because I am loved properly by Jesus thus, I am able to reciprocate without guilt and in understanding.
As 29 came with many health issues, one of which I am to undergo surgery for in January 2020, I remain cheerful and accepting of the post-surgery outcome(s).
I comfort myself by saying, someone has it worse and wishes they could take my problems to escape the magnitude of theirs, and that is true. It is not to belittle the severity of the challenges I or they face; but to say, there is a peace you feel when Jesus takes over. You just chill and walk in confidence that everything – good or challenging – works in your good and for the greater honour of His name. This I believe.
I've never been this open yet ready.
2020 will be a milestone. Ready or not, I am coming in a few hours!
Next Door: Chicago's one and only free financial coaching hub:
Like what you read? Check out more posts here
Want to support a Black makeup line? Click here for Pat McGrath: