Wueh! What a week! 🙆🏽♀️
See, I am Kenyan, and when I say ‘wueh’ its a more intense version of ‘phew’. The latter is basically a sigh but my Kenyan version explains my week much better. I swear, if I could go back 7 days and redo this week, I would handle it much better. But wishes aren’t horses and whatnot 🙄
I started my week in a foul mood. I remember leaving home on Sunday, literally just waiting for the alarm to sound to signify my departure and racing out like I was suffocating. I could have stayed. I didn’t have much to do in the city but I was feeling suffocated and I needed to breathe. I’d wanted to leave the minute I walked in. It had nothing to do with home. It had everything to do with me.
I’ve been in this ‘I’m okay, I’m over it’ space for a minute now. In fact, this circles back to 2017. I remember it like it was yesterday. I remember the 8th day of that month so vividly; from the meal, I ate to the scent I had on. I haven’t lived very long, but so far it takes the lead as my worst day ever. Most importantly, I remember the rest of that month and the occurrences that would lead to a suicide attempt a couple of months afterward.
The Annual Youth Conference was coming up. It was just a few days after a terrible season of my life, one I consider my greatest failure. I was the committee treasurer. My job description was to receive money, keep it and disburse it when the need arose. I had no business running errands, going grocery shopping in the market till late in the night, booking accommodation and hiring sleeping items, ensuring every youth had a place to lay their head till I missed one myself. Heck, I had no business walking home at 1 am because the dormitories were full and I had been too preoccupied with work to pack an overnight bag. But I needed a win so desperately
I have a fear of failure. I’ve had this fear ever since I was a little girl. My parents, bless their hearts, put this pressure on us to succeed. See, when your parents grow up in real poverty, poverty that I dare say stinks, they do everything in their power to ensure you don’t have to live that way. Their dreams become your dreams. You either succeed or you succeed. Failure is not a vocabulary they recognize at all. Don’t get me wrong, that fear has propelled me to get to where I am and sometimes I think it helped but it has also been a curse.
I dread failure. When the 8th of December happened, I realized there was nothing I could do about it. So I decided to channel all my energy toward the Youth Conference. I gave it my all. I mean, every waking hour was spent pushing myself, going above and beyond to make it a success. I remember missing a lot of the sessions, simply because I was busy doing the planning outside. Suffice it to say, it turned out to be the best Youth Conference ever held but yours truly was broken and dying behind the perfectionist, success mask I had on.
I had just gone through a life-changing event. In a span of a month, I had lost my paternal grandmother and as if that wasn’t enough, I had hit a snag in attaining my childhood dream. These were reasons for any sane person to take a step back and mourn their losses before getting back on track. Not your favorite blogger. I just desperately wanted to win. I wanted to prove to myself, but mostly everyone else, that I was not a failure. At least not at everything. So I immersed myself in the planning process and decided to make it a one-man show. I succeeded but it wasn’t enough bandaid for my wounds
Looking back, and even more this week, I should have taken a step back to go back to the drawing board and let myself mourn the losses before rerouting and trying again. I should have known that failure isn’t supposed to be demonized, it’s meant to be a stepping stone to the next level. The self-reflection process after a loss or a failure is designed intentionally to equip one with better tools to combat the issue again. With failure, you at least have an upper hand for the next time you try because you already know what went wrong so your goal is to get it right
This week I’ve been resetting. This reset came in the worst way possible because I had to burn some bridges to realize I needed a reset. I was utterly overwhelmed as the week was coming to an end last week. I was acting fine and in charge but deep down I knew I needed a reset. The issue was how I was going to hit that button when I’d just taken on another project as a way to keep myself from a period of mourning and subsequent self-reflection. The result was I bled on people who didn’t cut me. I bled on people who didn’t deserve my sore attitude and foul mood.
It’s taken me five whole days, sitting with myself and not going anywhere, to realize that I replayed 2017 to a tee. Only this time the project I took on was not a 3day Youth Conference, it was a whole Youth Ministry revitalization project plus the launch of a Media Department in church. This time it’s different because the results will take time and failure is a vital part of the intended success of both these things. This time, young lives depend on my ability to pick myself up and reroute in a way that favors me, first and foremost, and them.
I walked away from a whole relationship barely a month ago. I had no business jumping onto these projects to distract myself from acknowledging the pain and feeling like a failure at love. These projects were necessary but not with the intention that I had. I needed to mourn the breakup. I needed to acknowledge that as strong as I believe I am, I am also human. I needed to accept that I had loved and lost and that was okay. I didn’t. I went out in search of something to fill my desperate need for success. Alas! Here I am, laying on my bed trying to deal with my emotions right now so that I can be sane enough to get back to serving God.
Do you know how exhausting it is to allow yourself to break down when all you have ever known is strength, even where your strength is depleted? God, it is tough! So, yeah, when I say ‘wueh, what a week!’ I mean exactly that. It’s been five days, and I’m still trying to allow myself to feel and heal. I will take more days if I need to.
If the Psalmist is anything to go by, ‘Mourning may last for a night, but joy comes in the morning.’ May the day break 🙏