After spending over three months without access to the internet, I can comfortably tell you that my life went on normally — sort of. I found out — among other things — the following:
1. My fear of failure easily leads me through a cycle : despair, then mild depression, then the search for the easiest exit.
In secondary school ( and even during my undergraduate years), I could do “mini-quits” — where I’d disappear from school from a couple of weeks, totally immerse myself in whatever new interest I’d had, then return for exams or catch-up with notes from my classmates.
Eh, good times.
Because I was smart enough to pass tests and major exams, no one noticed the momentary world I’d need to swathe myself through my moments of resistance.
This had always worked for me. Then I became productively accountable to another human — I got a job. What I found out with an employer ( who actually cares about you) is that you can’t climb into a self pity and stay home without showing up for work. You can’t carry a sad mane around the office and expect smiles and pats on the back. You can’t deliver sub-par work and expect cakes. Accountability demands and upgrade in dealing with self-inflicted despair. Which leads me to…
2. When you have people who expect much from you, you tend to do much.
“No expectations, no disappointment”– the popular maxim goes( I hope it’s not as popular as my brain thinks it is). This holds true for expectations in others — if you don’t expect much from anyone, you hardly get disappointed with anything that happens. You know, because you didn’t exactly root for or against his/her ability to achieve anything. This, my friend, is safe.
My boss expects a tonne from me. So do the members of my new family aka colleagues. I was navel gazing and licking my broken heart ( yep, doing it for the nth time), forgetting to see how much they’d invested in me. I almost irreversibly let them down.
The fact that you’re reading this means I didn’t. And that I have learnt more important things about love, life, work, family and friendships. Things like…
Real friends get worried when you quit too easily. They’re not afraid to tell you in your face.
Real friends don’t sugarcoat your laziness. They don’t make it a mean joke either.
Real mentors don’t babysit you. They show you the way. You have to walk it.
Weak ties are powerful. They could pay for your airplane ticket. But you’ll never know if you stay depressed in your room.
Business plans are important. Learn how to write one. It could save your life. Or fund it.
Same for life plans. “If you don’t know where goal post is, where do you shoot?” ( Somebody said that. I don’t remember who. 🙂 )
Resistance is real. Acknowledge it. Respect it. But do what you must.
You are responsible for how you handle your emotions.
I now practice mindful meditation- I label my thoughts: “useless”, “useful”. I’ve stopped draining with replays of “useless” conversations in my mind.
If you think you don’t have friends, maybe you’re right. But maybe you aren’t a friend either.
We all have 24 hours. You get to pick your family, gain weak ties and garner identity capital. It’s important to learn how to let go, how to be honest with ourselves.
Guilty as charged. 80% of previous paragraph comes from Dr. Meg Jay.
I have always rushed over my issues by writing every itty bitty tiny things that happens to me. Now I know better: everything takes time. Heartbreaks. Disappointment. Loss.
Because we see our neighbours smiles and carry on doesn’t mean all is well.
It’s better to stay on the road to recovery than to rush (with the mind) to the end. The whiplash may be lethal.
And love yourself. You’re worthy.
Tchassa Kamga lives in Buea, Cameroon. This part of the country just got its internet reinstated! Previously, he’s had to travel a long distance to post. However, this was written in his pyjamas. At home. Under myopic influence.
He’s learning the intricacies of curating events and documenting them at the fine dining restaurant and cultural hub- IYA Buea. He has three episodes on his podcast . He also takes blatant pictures on Instagram.
He co-writes with C. Befoune on this publication — Self-ish . Their goal is to share the lessons they’ve learnt from multiple sources in the domains of Self-improvement, Content Creation and Human Relationships.