Originally posted on 27 March
Today I got up in the morning and heard what sounded like a crack in my back. I immediately lay flat and waited.
I have had a long month so I mentally dismissed it as a result of the work load.
A couple of hours later H called me and shared some not-so-good news. I told her that phone call was my cue to get up and face the day. I got up. A few minutes into my morning routine, the first person I was meant to meet cancelled. I wasn’t sure whether to be mad or happy. I decided to take it as a sign. I would get up in the afternoon for my errands. Back to bed I went.
As if the universe read my mind, the skies opened generously shortly after this decision.
I covered my head to ‘sleep.’
I generally don’t sleep much. I can’t nap unless I have been drugged. I can however,close my eyes and pretend to nap.
It wasn’t always like this.
I am an active person and when I don’t have anything to do, I get restless. When I have too much to do, I am in my zone but doesn’t mean I don’t get anxious.
By the time an event comes, I have lived it in my dreams, awake,half-awake and asleep.
I realised that the only way I can truly rest is when I leave the city, better still when I am out of the country all together-preferably without a good connection-phone and internet.
This lack of rest eventually catches up. You can’t fool the mind or body for too long. When the fatigue sets in,certain systems begin to crash,slowly. Sometimes, it comes as a single blow.
Most of the time I can sense it. In most cases, I manage the symptoms as they arise; other times I keep going because I know; There is no one having sleepless nights about how to make it all work. I do my best knowing that if this fails, I will only have myself to blame.
The truth is, I thought by now, things would be easier. 5 years is a long time to hustle day and night. It is a long time to still be going through certain routines you thought would be long gone. It is a long time to always get so near and later realise how far you are. This doesn’t mean I do not value the wins. I truly do.
The truth is,it could take 5 more years, decades even to get to that place where I can comfortably sleep,take long vacations and still know that everything is under control.
Maybe it won’t even get easier at all and I will just get better at dealing.
What I want to share with you is that it is difficult, in an inexplicable way.
Blood, sweat and tears-that’s not an expression, it is REAL.
When ‘they’ say nothing worth having comes easy. It is true. Of course there will be some ‘easy’ wins along the way but overall it is not for the faint hearted.
This applies to starting anything really, a business, a relationship, a family.
However, some responsibilities consume you more than others.
True leadership is taxing. It is cold. It eats you up. It wears you out and tosses you out in the wilderness to fend for yourself.
What people want to see and share is the success story and I think that’s awesome;I just wish more people were truly honest about how they got there,what they went through, what they sacrificed;what they would do differently given the chance.
Sometimes it is so gruelling you want to quit and go to a new city and start over-
Many times you will even forget to eat, or remember but still find that food is tasteless because your mind is wandering constantly-
You will get so tired that you can’t rest and the exhaustion will seep into your emotional and spiritual life; it will affect your thoughts and productivity
Often you will be alone, so alone that you will hit rock bottom;you’ll cross the line to depression and even consider taking your own life-
Your loved ones will not always be there, they will not always understand,they will fall short of being enough. They might even be the cause of your pain from time to time-
Sometimes, you will be envious of others who seem to have it easy-
You will not bother to determine if they are just better actors-
During tough days you may consider dropping the dream to take the easy route
You will weigh your other options
You will receive a lot of crappy advice,some of it dispensed with a lot of love
You will encounter naysayers often
You will lose friends
You will face betrayal
You will be misunderstood
You will second guess and ‘tenth guess’ yourself
You will need to be your own cheerleader,more times than you can imagine
You may drown in self pity once in a while
It will probably not end well
You will cry
And cry some more
Even if you aren’t a ‘crier’-
You may find other ways to deal
This will probably soothe some of the pain, mostly psychologically anyway
But your reality will still be waiting when you are done.
You might become hard
You will still be fragile.
You will need to feel EVERYTHING and allow yourself to.
Embrace ALL pain.
It is fuel for learning,for growing, for inspiration,even for healing, as ironic as it sounds.
“Every man dies but not every man truly lives”.
Your struggle,your pain all because you want to do more than just exist, you want to live.
Do that, severely.