When I was in secondary school, I felt that life in the university would be great. I thought of having my own adventures as I waltz through lectures and all the fascinating activities I heard characterised campus existence. I was wrong. The rigours of registration and the demands of classes, assignments and exams soon began to drown me. And then I started waiting for graduation as though that was when fulfilment would finally find me. I postponed my happiness.
Last week, it occurred me how I was almost falling back into the cycle again. Waiting for a certain time when all challenges will be over, I was depriving myself of enjoying the beauties of the moment. This habit of constantly looking for perfect moments to unwind gives me a false sense of seriousness while hurting my wellbeing.
True, the battle is not over. But when breath is held for too long, it becomes fatal.
To exhale, I am being consistent with my gratitude journal. So, instead of recounting all that went wrong in a day, I find a way to list all the things that happened right. For a test result that ruined my countenance for an entire day, I was grateful that it was only 10 percent of my continuous assessment and also that the previous test scores were good enough to cover the loss. I was also grateful that I had a friend to talk to. And although my appetite was poor, I was grateful for the kindness of a classmate who paid for my lunch. Surprisingly, my journal had seven entries for a supposedly bad day.
I am also learning to genuinely enjoy the company of my friends; to throw my head back in reckless laughter and not let thoughts of our flaws hold me back. This kind of thing does not come easily with me but I keep at it. In talking about issues, we demystify many things we thought were complex. As we share our laughter, we lighten our burdens and breathe out toxins that clog our minds.
As long as we are alive, we keep facing challenges. However, we can make efforts to enjoy the world around us while life lasts. Exhale.