A former colleague and I had agreed to meet over drinks the other day and for some reason, he didn’t turn up (not like I was waiting for him – I had gone off to High Wycombe to see some other friends and was only too glad he did not call to remind me of our initial plans). Anyway, he later sent me this text:
“Hey. I’m too scared to call you right now because I know you’ll be very angry; especially since you are coming from Nigeria …”
The text was longer than that. But that is where I stopped reading. What did he mean “…especially since you are just coming from Nigeria…”? So in my most defensive mood, I hit the call button on my phone in the hope of obtaining an explanation of some sort. And boy did he truly sound scared!
Apparently, I had lost the approachable, friendly and posh ambience I once had and had taken on the aggressiveness and crudeness peculiar to life in a developing country like this great nation of mine, Nigeria, without my knowing it.
I remember a relative once commenting I had changed a few months into living with her. “You no longer tidy up and help around with the chores like you once did” she said. Naturally, my immediate reaction was to draw out my swords, AK 47 and co in my defense. I hadn’t changed. The chores were becoming unbearable. There was just too much to do than cute me could cope with. It was every other thing but me.
When that relationship ended; it was not my fault. He was the one that had changed. I had suddenly become less interesting and he’d rather sit and watch 11 Arsenal players chasing after some dumb ball; screaming and shouting with those friends of his like immature beings. Thank goodness it’s over – if only for that reason (the lie I told myself). And he had the nerve to say I had changed!!
It was not my fault Bee and I were not talking as frequently or were not as close as we once were. It was her fault – entirely. She was the one who decided to move thousands of miles away from the neighbourhood we’d grown up in and come to love so much. She now had new friends that she shared her moments with. Moments meant to be shared with me. All I had to settle for were wall posts, images and profile updates on fb. Did she really expect me to ‘follow’ her twits?? And then she says I have stopped caring about her – how I have changed!
What is wrong with everybody?! It’s not my fault! It is not me!!!!!!
Really it’s never us, is it? It is much easier to point fingers than accept blame.
If someone commented on our physical appearance, we would, without hesitation look for a mirror or the closest reflective surface to check it out and adjust appropriately. Oh, how we dab layers upon layers of foundation, loose/compact powder, concealer (or whatever they are called these days) to hide that pimple, acne, rash etc capable of ruining our perfect/‘acceptable’ physical appearance but fail to make relevant adjustments to errors in our characters when pointed out.
Maybe if I had spent time with him like when we started dating and given him the attention he so much craved things might have worked out better. To be sincere, his friends were not so bad. Watching a game or 2 with him might have helped resolve those issues.
Yes, I miss Bee and didn’t want her to travel (at least not so far away). Maybe mentioning it would have made a difference. It would cost me nothing to download Skype and have conversations with her – ignoring the time difference as she means so much to me. Her twits are just hilarious; ‘following’ her will be fun. And her pictures on fb are actually therapeutic – it’s comforting to see how quickly she’s settled in. Commenting would cost me nothing. At least we’d still be in touch, some how.
I have now come up with a list of areas to work on (getting back to posh tops it all) and rather than pause to adjust my hair, powder, lipstick etc at every reflective surface, mirrors remind me of my target character and the need to consciously make attempts to improve rather than blame the world for my errors.
That’s my definition of true beauty; a lovely heart – exuding the most Wonderful of all characters.
My own two cents (or kobo, if you like). What do you think?