Third Week in da T


Tamale's Artsy Road Signs

Tamale’s Artsy Road Signs

Today marks three weeks in Tamale for me and boy has it been an awkward thirteen days of September.

I start my service tomorrow and I do not look forward to it.

I still don’t have my own place to just hang, yet. I’m still working on that. I’ve got some pretty cool offers compared to Accra but the locals here tell me those are kinda up the tier so I’m still digging around and maybe, just maybe, I’m being cheap.

But hey, things are expensive now, you’ll do about anything to cut costs too I hope.

I’ve made some friends. The newest and possibly the closest or rather, most likable, is an imposing Christian fanatic.

The irony.

Work! Now work, I think I should be fired. I’m constantly being hit with the brutal truth that I can only thrive in a laissez-faire work environment where there isn’t so much pressure and I’m allowed some creative space. Either that or I need a dedicated shrink to pry me outta the overwhelming web of insignificance I keep wandering off into.

My mind is so muddled I can barely think. I can hardly get my thoughts together or get my ass up out of the bare, hot, single-room dwelling I’m currently bunking in. I’m so out of my zone I hardly get online, only managing a few WhatsApp messages at a time to inquire about stuff.

I have been unable to track what’s happening in the world, follow up on stuff that matter to me, heck, I haven’t even been able to push my boy Worlasi’s upcoming tape, do post Chale Wote stuff, check on akolabone, check on ACCRA[dot]ALT nor update Squid Magazine.

I think the lack of mundane stuff like a table and chair is 70% to blame. Like, there is no chair where I am and it really gets to me.

But not anymore.

Furniture or none, my short bout of techno depression is over although I must say, I’ve been on SnapChat a number of times which is interesting considering it is usually the last place I am whether I’m on or off my metaphobe steez and also how airtel treats me here sometimes (I’ve been trying to post since noon).

I can’t wait to get my ass back on IG and FB.

Oh boy.

I resumed work on a story that should have ended sometime in August and I’m positive about myself once again. I believe I’m on track; for what I can’t say exactly. I’m expecting a computer by Tuesday so the pain of my loss at least should be eased.

Tamale from here on should be fun.

Fingers crossed.

 

Unworthy Regrets


This is a link someone shared on Facebook that I just had to post on here. The original article is here

For many years I worked in palliative care. My patients were those who had gone home to die. Some incredibly special times were shared. I was with them for the last three to twelve weeks of their lives. People grow a lot when they are faced with their own mortality.

I learnt never to underestimate someone’s capacity for growth. Some changes were phenomenal. Each experienced a variety of emotions, as expected, denial, fear, anger, remorse, more denial and eventually acceptance. Every single patient found their peace before they departed though, every one of them.

When questioned about any regrets they had or anything they would do differently, common themes surfaced again and again. Here are the most common five:

 

1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.

This was the most common regret of all. When people realize that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Most people had not honoured even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made.

It is very important to try and honour at least some of your dreams along the way. From the moment that you lose your health, it is too late. Health brings a freedom very few realise, until they no longer have it.

2. I wish I didn’t work so hard.

This came from every male patient that I nursed. They missed their children’s youth and their partner’s companionship. Women also spoke of this regret. But as most were from an older generation, many of the female patients had not been breadwinners. All of the men I nursed deeply regretted spending so much of their lives on the treadmill of a work existence.

By simplifying your lifestyle and making conscious choices along the way, it is possible to not need the income that you think you do. And by creating more space in your life, you become happier and more open to new opportunities, ones more suited to your new lifestyle.

3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.


Many people suppressed their feelings in order to keep peace with others. As a result, they settled for a mediocre existence and never became who they were truly capable of becoming. Many developed illnesses relating to the bitterness and resentment they carried as a result.

We cannot control the reactions of others. However, although people may initially react when you change the way you are by speaking honestly, in the end it raises the relationship to a whole new and healthier level. Either that or it releases the unhealthy relationship from your life. Either way,you win.


4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.

Often they would not truly realise the full benefits of old friends until their dying weeks and it was not always possible to track them down. Many had become so caught up in their own lives that they had let golden friendships slip by over the years. There were many deep regrets about not giving friendships the time and effort that they deserved. Everyone misses their friends when they are dying.

It is common for anyone in a busy lifestyle to let friendships slip. But when you are faced with your approaching death, the physical details of life fall away. People do want to get their financial affairs in order if possible. But it is not money or status that holds the true importance for them. They want to get things in order more for the benefit of those they love. Usually though, they are too ill and weary to ever manage this task. It is all comes down to love and relationships in the end. That is all that remains in the final weeks, love and relationships.

5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.

This is a surprisingly common one. Many did not realise until the end that happiness is a choice. They had stayed stuck in old patterns and habits. The so-called ‘comfort’ of familiarity overflowed into their emotions, as well as their physical lives. Fear of change had them pretending to others, and to their selves, that they were content. When deep within, they longed to laugh properly and have silliness in their life again. When you are on your deathbed, what others think of you is a long way from your mind. How wonderful to be able to let go and smile again, long before you are dying.

Life is a choice. It is YOUR life. Choose consciously, choose wisely, choose honestly. Choose happiness

 

Pawns


Struggling to fit into a stratum called swag

Little Johnny sure hoped he looked bad

Bad as can be

For once he wanted to be the fad

His ‘bestie’ Kojo, reminded him he already had

More than an awesome life

Contrasted with those living sad

Warped out of his selfish and narcistic reverie

Kojo as a friend, Little Johnny was just glad

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