Merry Christmas: Jumoke


There’s no lesson that I learned this year, that I hadn’t learnt before. I learnt nothing new. I began applying instead.

There’s no place I went this year that I shouldn’t have, no matter how dark the path was. There couldn’t have been, no matter what it looked like. I was merely following God’s steps.

I refuse to crown 2017 the year of slay like I pronounced on the first day. It was the forgiving year instead.

Forgiveness for my face that attempted to leave its regular Malteasers state for a Ferrero Roche one.

Forgiveness for the colleagues who spent their time scheming for themselves and against me, moving me inter-department, but unknowingly making me the cynosure.

Forgiveness for the friends who didn’t want to share in my good news. I don’t wonder anymore if people will be as happy for me as I always am for them. My joy remained.

Forgiveness for all the hearts I’ve held and stalled to squash, hands I reluctantly cradled.

You see, neither forgiveness nor victory is a day’s job or a simple walk. Like Jill Andrews sang, rust or gold, you decide what you see and what you hold. And I suppose I had been deciding daily, yearly, because there was no prelude for an unexpected gift, at least not here..

Because after a long, undulating sojourn, I returned to a message from a place I barely knew and didn’t acknowledge. It was a box being offered to me, no ribbons nor sparkles. Thank heavens the god prevailed over the hit-it-hard-throw-it-out devil in me. I received and opened it. And unlike all the other times before, it was a treasure. Like India Arie sang, my beautiful surprise came to be mine.

And so I ambled unceremoniously and left that spot on my bedroom floor, between in and out – where I’m neither coming nor going, where my heart goes to die after suddenly coming alive, where my tears go to fall when my hands can no longer hold them, where my love first roosts and finally chooses to come back home – for the one on his side, where my stillness stills and ceaselessness shifts, where my pain lessens and my gains surfaces.

So I spent the year sitting in the ache, whatever they may be, watching the waters fall, wherever they are from. I’m not on the floor and I’m not running anymore.

My tears aren’t falling to the parched ground anymore, they’re falling on hands and where they can’t be caught, there’s some gymnastics to flick them away.

For me. Me!

In spite of everything and everyone I have been, in spite of every place I carry, every story I bear, forgiveness came for me. All the takes I missed, all the stakes that wasted gave me this.

And there’s nothing else that happened this year that marks deeper than this; not the times I had a near standing ovation by my top bosses, not the spectacular accolades from my clients, not the days spent drugged, in limbo, at the hospital, not the days I had less than N500 to spend all week; Finally, home found me when I stopped looking..

And now, on Christmas, a stranger is sending food to me. Indeed, there’s nothing I want that isn’t at home. And this what ‘merry’ is.

And maybe this is what slaying 2017 is.

Wishing you peace at Christmas, in the midst of your storms and wantlessness, in spite of all you lack.



To brave the dark clouds in spite of its falling rains till I reach the pot of gold at the end of the ensuing rainbow


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