The sky, as the clock stood at 12:20 AM, central African time, was somewhat navy. Beautifully dark. Crystal. And I should tell you that it had been so from the morning – without a trace of clouds.
The feel of the wind was just a mixture of warm and cool.
Warm enough to wear short-sleeved shirts and shorts, but cool to a point you that would not break a sweat.
And what was I doing?
Sitting in the verandah, reading, smoking a joint, thinking, inspired, sad, happy, proud, wanting to write my heart out. Confused about where I currently find myself. A bit angry about it all, too.
What are my prospects, really?
“You are extremely talented!” Although faint, a voice inside my heart said. “Puh-lease! Stop with the stay-positive-no-matter-what nonsense!” Another rudely interjected. Emotionally, I am being pulled in all sorts of directions. It is strenuous. And exciting, I suppose, for the unknown keeps one on one’s toes.
The trees rustled after a sharp wind howled and passed. A car, visible from the spaces between neighbouring houses, hurtled past. Its exhaust sound fading farther away with each microsecond.
I do a lot of thinking around myself. Whether it be concerning my professional growth; writing better every day, speaking more eloquently each day, matters around my gifts and how I am using them. Or, whether it concerns my working on myself as a person; inching closer to being a better man with each passing day.
So, such quiet moments allow me to do exactly that.
Life is indeed beautiful. I thought. As I looked at it through the sky. But, looking inward revealed hurt, worry and helplessness. Emotional conflict. That is, I have recently learnt, what fascinates me most – the need to pull from opposite directions and make sense of different emotions, ideas and feelings.
The ultimate goal, of course, is to synchronise the external and the internal, and have total peace.
I have long begun the process of working on being better in every way I can, mostly when it comes to my mind, thoughts, emotions, values, and leveraging all that internal work in order to impact the world outside of me. Creating happiness and success from the inside; instead of looking for things outside of me to bring about my happiness.
Here is an example. Consider the act of realising the need to bolster your self esteem and then working on it; you’ll often find that by doing that internal work, you invariably create change externally (how the world perceives and receives you, for instance). This fascinates me to no end: what you feel and tell yourself, the outside world can sense. Thus, when you are comfortable in your own skin, we can feel it too while interacting with you.
I can liken this process then to building an emotional foundation that serves to hold together and aloft everything else about me, everything else I want to do, things I want to achieve, things I am good at, whatever I come across and learn, my human relationships and the memories that result from all my actions in my life.
Contentment, then, remains an emotional asset I am fervently chasing. Hence I am not afraid to spend considerable amounts of time alone, mulling over even thoughts that make me uncomfortable. Wrestling with them. I always come out a better person on the other end.
The time, ticking along in tandem with my thoughts, now nestled at 12:28 AM.