Whenever I decide to write, I spend a little time in thought to set me off. I pick a thought out of the maelstrom of ideas swirling through my mind daily and let the words fall as they should. The easiest ball to set rolling, however, is that which stems from either recent experiences or unfinished thoughts and conversations.
I, however, find myself needing to vent today, just get a few things off my chest that are causing havoc upstairs here. It’s not because of a lack of topics, though – I mean, I did take the famed Mr. Kwashie’s tailored suit out this weekend and I believe my social status appreciated by at least 35-54% at that beautiful wedding *wink* *wink*; I was in Accra and couldn’t say hi to all the people I was supposed to meet up with because I was busy (for which I’ll be apologizing profusely over the next few weeks to months, I’m sure); and then I discovered the joys of night travel on a bus between Sunyani and Accra (as long as you don’t have the middle backseat and a man next to you doesn’t politely ask that you allow his 7-year old to lie on a cloth in front of y’all so she can sleep…! Yes, that’s another typically Ghanaian long story…!)
All that was interesting and all, but my mind’s consumed now with something I came back to meet when I got home to Sunyani. I’d thought that the only mess I’d come to meet would be the inch or so of dust on the car I parked outside, instead I came to meet quite the disappointment when I got back to work the very same day.
This is not what I expected at all for my 2016, but it’s here now. And I’m still reeling, really.
But because at heart I’m equal parts Artist and Scientist, my brain decided to subtly remind me of the Stages of Grief just before I slipped into Anger, affording me the opportunity to look at the whole situation in a somewhat disconnected manner from another angle.
Swiss psychiatrist Elisabeth Kübler-Ross in 1969 wrote of a model of dealing with grief that described 5 stages one passed through in coming to terms with bereavement. These stages have been extrapolated to other states and causes of grief – not just death or dying – in popular circles ever since and though there have been a number of challenges to it, in essence I’m willing to bet that even you can categorise your manner of dealing with your last great Downer in terms of these stages. She spoke of Denial –> Anger –> Bargaining –> Depression –> Acceptance, but later added that it did not necessarily present in such a linear manner in all cases, progressing from one stage to the next.
When I was confronted with the Disappointment, I didn’t spend as much time in Denial because fighting a fact has never seemed like a viable option to me generally. I guess I’ve been doomed blessed with the ability to decide not to rage against the facts of life for too long, especially when I cannot change them.
The Anger though has been the problem. You see, when you put effort and money and prayer into achieving a goal and you believe it’s a done deal, only for the goalpost to be shifted at the last minute, it’s fair cause for some amount of righteous fury…in my opinion. I think I’m still angry that I didn’t focus on other things other people were getting and make my decisions, instead of sticking to my guns and pressing forward in hopes of a goal that’s now been snatched away…seemingly.
I’m starting to try rationalizing my way out of this state of Upset: I’m young and smart, I can start all over again; I have other maybe even better options – but I’m mostly pissed over the Time I’ve wasted.
It’s getting to be quite the spiral down into doom & gloom…until I’m suddenly reminded of someone else who worked for 7 years in hope of gaining his love, only to have the goalpost switched at the last minute! Jacob did extra time of 7 more years until he attained Rachel’s hand in marriage. If he’d gotten pissed off and flipped his uncle Laban the bird before stalking back to his father’s house +/- Leah, what would have happened to the great House of Israel when the famine came and they had no Joseph in Egypt…?
I’m led to believe that this is part of Someone’s plan for me. Someone is aware of this setback. And if that Someone is in on this (as I believe He is because I kept him in the loop of it all from the beginning), I’m going to be cool with this. Maybe not all at once though, but soon…
I’m encouraged that when things don’t go your way, when the chips don’t fall how you’d have wanted them to, when things break instead of bounce, when the doors are slammed in your face instead of swinging wide, when those great expectations are not met after all, giving it all to Him makes ALL the difference.