Not sure who invented the phrase ‘down and out’ but I can totally imagine what it means. I get it, I really do. That feeling that all is lost. The empty feeling of internal vacuum. Yes, the wheel is turning but the hamster is definitely dead. The feeling of seeing the world go on around you and you’re just not invited to the party.
Being Nigerian (a fiercely proud one at that), there’s a term called ‘Lagos money’. ‘Owo Eko’ in local parlance refers to living the Lagos high life. Mooring your boat at an exclusive club close to Ozumba Mbaniwe in Victoria Island, having a pool party on top of a roof in Lekki or watching your friend participate in charity golf tourney in Ikeja. It’s one thing not to have Lagos Money but I tell you, what you don’t want is to be stuck in Ilesha at the back of a local forex shop with the ever present risk of Armed Robbers or transporting farm produce in Birin-Kebbi for 1770 naira per day while you watch others do the Lagos thing. That sucks, trust me! And can those silly Lagos boys rub it in or what? Awon omo wobe!
Anyway, my point is this; the valley experience doesn’t feel brilliant in anyway. I’ve been to churches over and over and heard people talk about the beauty of adversity. “It builds your spiritual muscles”, “It helps you discover yourself”, “God gives his biggest battles to his toughest generals” bla bla. Leave me alone abeg, if that’s the deal, leave me as a colonel! Ok, I’ll admit there’re lessons to be learnt but my point is there is no pleasant feeling in the experience at all.
Brings me to the point of this piece, you can bounce back! Bouncebackability is a word coined by Ian Dowie, the then Crystal Palace manager. Referring to getting back to winning ways after his team had gone through a tough spell. There could be a thousand ways to go about bouncing back and I don’t think I know all but one I know is resilience. Keeping your eye on the goal. Jesus did it when He was going to get killed and so should you when life wraps them sharp flesh tearing whips around you with venom. Don’t give up though it’s the easiest thing to do. Very easy to do actually.
A brilliant example in resilience is getting married. I don’t have a miniature clue what the premarital era is like from a chic’s point of view neither do I give a toss actually. However, from a guy’s point, it’s being crazy about this girl who can do and get away with anything because you want to marry her. Do you tell her the food has 28 and half kilos of ground-pepper, heck no! Do you tell her she needs glasses when she steps on your toes with her igunnu-masquerade-like heeled-shoes, of course you don’t. What do you do, you smile and say “It’s ok sunshine” even though the pepper is doing a Usain Bolt across your brain compartments and your leg is hurting like mad. Why do you smile? Because you want to marry her. Get it? You play Jesus when He ‘for the joy set before Him’ endured the hardship. You go through it all for what you want.
What you want is what you want. Keep at it till you get it. Or you die. Whichever comes first but giving up is not an option.
If that Lagos girl went from selling bread to Lagos money, I’m pretty sure you can do it from whatever dead end job you’re on. Despite the horrible cousin-of-Satan boss or work colleague. Keep going. Use whatever tools you have.
Oh, and talking about tools, there’s one I use. I call Him God. That, however is another story altogether. The gist for now is keep going. Don’t stop till you get there. Access your inner Bouncebackability.