You know those people you tell your problems to and they make it seem like what you’re going through isn’t enough of an issue? Instead they make statements demeaning your ‘mountain’, drawing attention to either themselves or something/someone else. Let me give an instance – it’s a fine evening and you decide to take a walk. You bump into a friend/acquaintance/toaster/frenemy (you get my drift) and the following conversation ensues:
Friend/acquaintance/toaster/frenemy: Hello you. Been a while. How are you?
You: Hiiiiiiiiiii. I’m weeellllll. Just recovering from malaria. How you dey?
Friend/acquaintance/toaster/frenemy: Ahn…just malaria? My dog just died. He was suffering from cancer, diabetes and worms.
You: Errmm…ok…eh yah. Sorry oh.
Friend/acquaintance/toaster/frenemy: This one you’re walking alone today. What of that your fiiiiiine boyfriend/girlfriend I’m always seeing you with.
You: *sad face* We broke up oh. Long story.
Friend/acquaintance/toaster/frenemy: Ahn…is that why your face is like this? When Boko Haram is going haywire in the North, you’re sad because of common heartbreak. Hian!
You: *blank face*
Yeah, those types of people. Those ones who make you feel like the ‘bigger’ problems of the world are more relevant than yours; that because there’s crisis in Syria, you shouldn’t be sad about the job or friendship that you lost. Stay away from such people. You don’t need that type of negativity in your life. It is not in anyone’s place to say that another persons’s worries aren’t attention-worthy enough. If what you’re going through is burdensome for you, own it! Yes! Own your problem! Don’t deny it’s existence nor wish it away. It’s highly likely the problem may linger, so… get acquainted. More importantly, find out what lessons can be learned from what you’re facing. It may not be a ‘big’ problem by another individual’s standards, but hey, it’s your problem. You’re the one wearing the shoes and you know exactly where said shoes pinch. Don’t allow anyone to make you feel bad for feeling bad while feeling the bad feeling that you’re feeling (I dare you to tell me that what I said there makes no sense. Go on…I dare you…*now looking around with vicious glint in eye*).
Yes, you have other things going for you. Yes, it could’ve been worse and there’s still so much to be thankful for. But you know what? It’s OK to have a moment or two to wallow in your pain and mourn the loss of something that was important to you. It may not have been important to someone else but it meant everything to you. It’s OK to not be strong ALL. THE. TIME. No one is saying you should come and go and kill yourself dead on top thinking of the problem but if you need to cry, cry. If you need to vent or rant, by all means knock yourself out; just make sure whoever you’re ranting to is actually interested.
Now let me make this very clear – I am in no way endorsing romanticising our issues. I once knew a girl whose default setting, especially when criticised, was to announce to all who cared and didn’t care to listen, the one thousand and one things wrong with her life. She would cry and throw tantrums and it got her the pity she so clearly craved. Personally, I saw all that drama as a crutch to get away with bad behavior. On one particular occasion, said girl made a mistake and was corrected. As expected, a scene from a Nollywood movie started to unfold.
‘Ooooohhh!!!’ she wailed. ‘Woe is me! Woe is me! My eye is too big! My nose is too red! Can’t you people see I’m going through a looooot?!’
(Well, not literally what she said, but you get the picture… I hope…)
When the chaos had settled, a friend and I began speaking with her, telling her what she had done was out of line and that she couldn’t keep using the trials she faced as an excuse to reject correction. We let her know that everyone present had challenges they faced and issues they hoped would get better. She looked around the room incredulously and the next words out of her mouth, in one kain sassy, scornful way were ‘Which problems now?’ As in, you know, eez like her problems were award winning and ours deserved no attention. What a wow. That’s how I knew – we had a problem ‘romanticiser’ in the houuusssee people! Call the Popo!! OK don’t call…or call them but if they answer, O.Y.O…
Anyway, back to the case. No matter how much of a ‘Terminator’ you are, there will always be that occurrence that throws you off course and stretches your limit beyond what you can ever imagine. We know you’re strong and brave and you don’t need nobody but sometimes superheroes cry…and that’s OK. Even Jesus wept. Just make sure that your tears don’t stop you from kicking butt. So cry, dry your eyes, apply an ice pack and some makeup (that’s for the ladies, except you’re Bobri***) and then inhale…exhale…Now, go and be awesome!
Peace, Kisses and Double Stuf Oreos,