Many years ago, I was sitting on an aeroplane for the very first time in my entire life. It was a flight from Lagos, Nigeria to Accra, Ghana. I was going to visit my father alone for the very first time. Up until that moment, I had always travelled by road with my mother and siblings whenever we decided on spending the holidays in Ghana. The road trips were sometimes strenuous and took minimum 12 hours, so you can imagine the joy in my heart and the smile on my face when I got to know that the flight was only going to last for 45 minutes before I get to see my father.
Before we were instructed to switch off our electronic devices, I quickly captured the moment with a selfie showing off a peace sign at the camera. I was excited about the 45-Minute experience inside a gigantic electronic flying bird in the sky. But some few minutes after the plane took off, the trouble started, the peaceful flying plane started to shake and vibrate, people were shouting in various tongues. It was announced that we were experiencing turbulence. I held on tightly to the armrest of my seat as my life slowly flashed by before my eyes. I still cannot phantom how I did not scream my lungs out. I was strangely calm as I started to ask for forgiveness of all my sins and was repeating my last prayers like a hundred times.
As if, the current situation was not terrible enough, it was announced that the plane was having some issues with the landing. A lot of hours was spent trying to land the plane. But I am grateful that I was able to laugh about the horrific experience with my father who had been waiting for hours at the airport to pick me up.
Internalizing this experience made me truly realize how short life could be, it made me realize how fast it could all be over, how one minute everything is fine and rosy and the next minute, the plane could be burning and in ruins with a slim chance of surviving the crash. This made me appreciate life and the little things that I have. It helped me to see how valuable the little hugs could be, the coffee breaks, the walks, the chit chats, the short and long text messages and most importantly the time spent with loved ones. It is helping me to learn how not to be scared of things I cannot control, how to hand the things that are beyond my power and capacity over to the one who has all the power in the universe.
Going through this journey of self-improvement, I have been privileged to speak with and learn from some amazing people. One thing I have been able to reflect on and understand more, is how life is not a bed of roses it could be a bed of thorns which keeps pricking you but do you just give up and accept the fate? No – I am learning to use a cutlass to get rid of the thorns. Another thing I have learnt from the various conversations is never to allow failure or disappointment stop me from reaching for my goals. Failure and other troubles of life could be a mighty wave that could shake me and even cause my boat to capsize, but that is not the end of my journey. No matter how difficult it might be, I have to ensure that I do not drown. I have to keep on swimming till I get to my destination, I have to turn the boat over and keep paddling, pick up the pieces and start afresh while ignoring the threats from the sharks and other dangerous creatures of the deep blue sea.
Sometimes life shakes you up just to bring you out of hibernation, to bring the best out of you, to help you change your course hopefully towards the right direction.
Honestly, it could be very difficult to go through or even to recover from the tornado of life. But that is one of the times and points in life that a support system could be very important. It could be your family, friends, mentor and/or people you trust with various aspects of your life. It could be books, podcasts, music, videos or even motivational or inspirational quotes or post on social media. Over the years, my personal number one source of dependable support has been God and His reassuring words in the Bible. Find the dependable support system that works best for you and kindly be a good support system to someone else.
Sometimes life shakes us up, but we are strong, we are resilient and we are capable of surviving and coming out of the storm even in better shape and form than ever before.
This episode of MIRROR TALK is inspired by my very first air travel and the experience of a terrible turbulence. Sometimes life shakes us up just to wake us up. Kindly LISTEN here:
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