A Few Mistakes I’ve Made

The bright yellow stain on my formerly sparkly uniform was proof that I had fucked up.

I was 6 or 7 years old when our class teacher asked us to come with crayons and water colour for art class. You remember water colour? You had to wet the brush (with water or spit…the teacher didn’t really give a shit) before dabbing it on the dried cake of colour to paint anything. It was supposed to be a fun class and I was particularly excited for that day.

On the appointed day, I arrived early in school brandishing a pack of crayons and a palette of water colour. I was putting away my bag in the locker when I saw my friends; Emmanuella and Immaculata. Every school has those kids who are richer than the average kids and have nicer thing. Pink trolley school bags, flowery lunch boxes, nicer school shoes and even (excuse my pettiness) fresher skin. Yup, these twin girls who were also my friends were those kids in school. Somehow, when the teacher had asked us to come with Water colour, they had taken it a step further and came with “Poster colour”. You remember poster colour? Each colour came fluid in it’s own little bottle and it was the boogiest shit my 6 or 7 year old self had ever seen.

Anyway, I was staring at the wonder called poster colour and had just opened the bottle of yellow when the assembly bell rang. You remember Assembly Bell??the shrill godforsaken sound that reminded you that for the next 6 to 7 hours, you were under the mercy of teachers or whatever other demons were roaming the land. Yeah! That shit rang!And in true Anastasia fashion, I panicked! It was like being seen naked, you’re doing absolutely no wrong by being naked, but still… you panic. The bottle tilted and fresh yellow liquid paint spilled over my hands. The bell rang again and in true fashion, I did the dumbest thing!I dropped the whole kit, wiped my hands over my dress and raced to the assembly ground.

It was a monday and that meant inspection of every pupil’s uniform. Long story short, I didn’t pass the inspection and this earned me 3 hot strokes of cane on my skinny ass and a side eye from the teacher that screamed “You disgust me”. Okay Mr Phillips, you disgust me too.

Another mistake I remember making had my elder brother as a sweet accomplice. We were messing around in the kitchen and had decided to make Eba for lunch. There was Ogbono soup in the fridge and all we had to do was make the Eba. Fun fact, neither I nor my brother had ever made it before but you see I’m capricorn and I’d rather die than admit that I can’t do something as fickle as making Eba. So we began.

We boiled water in a kettle till the steam began to escape, then we drew out a very large bowl and a spatula. Next, we poured all the boiling water into the bowl ( it was a lot of water) and started scooping cups of dry yellow garri into the bowl. We had scooped at least 10 small cups of garri into the bowl before all the water was completely used up. I’ll save you the stress, the end result was harder than cement and neither I nor my brother had enough strength to turn the cementy mass into the soft eba we set out to make.

We decided to get rid of our failure because God forbids my mother ever finds out I wasted her food. So we tied the rock hard eba into a nylon and did the unthinkable!!! We opened a window of our 3rd floor apartment and simply dropped the stash. Like you only see in the movies, it landed on a body part (based on reports, head) of the old woman who lived on the ground floor. She screamed.

First she screamed, then she started crying, then she started shouting and she wrapped it up with heavy curses. My brother and I kept silent the whole time even though a small crowd had gathered downstairs to investigate. The woman said that whoever was responsible would never be happy in life. Sometimes I think she’s right. Sometimes I drink beer and forget I ever had a childhood.

Another mistake I’ve made is falling in love. Yeah, the name of this blog is a scam; turns out I’m no different from anybody else. I fell in love and the love gripped my heart so hard, it left it cracked. I was 19 years old when I met the man of my dreams (laughs in nightmares) and I was convinced that someday i was going to marry him in a beautiful backless lace dress that would leave twitter buzzing for days. Two months into the relationship, he told me that he cared more about *insert pretty smart young lady* than he cared about me. You know what I did??I went ahead and dated him for 12 more months! I must admit, it’s exhausting playing “Fizbo the clown” without a costume.

After 14 months, our sweet sweet love came to an end and just like everyone says after a relationship…I hope he’s doing okay. You see I don’t believe that a broken heart ever heals completely (I’ve been wrong about a lot of things in life but who’s counting) and sometimes when the stress and loneliness kicks in, I’m reminded that I still bear the cracks on my heart. Other days, I put too much pepper in my indomie and nothing else matters.

Here’s the part where I become a basic chick ; I AM NOT MY MISTAKES. And I know you know this already but let’s have this conversation one more time. I am not that girl who thinks it’s okay to wipe her dirty hands on her dress or drop 2kg worth of badly prepared eba from the third floor or even the girl who willingly stays where she’s not wanted. But in those moments, I was driven by emotions (Panic, fear and love) and I’m learning that my emotions are valid. This has been a terrifying learning experience because the idea that it’s okay for me to feel angry, sad or anxious and act based on these feelings blows my mind.

This knowledge is important for three reasons. One, it makes it easier for us to forgive ourselves for the mistakes we have made. Two, it makes it easier to forgive others. Three, it makes us less afraid of making mistakes.

We feel and sometimes, we act based on these feelings. Most times, the results are undesirable and fucks shit up for us and the people around us. It sucks and I definitely do not encourage mistakes but perhaps knowing that by virtue of being humans(who feel), we’re bound to make mistakes makes it a tad better to deal with. No? Okay.

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14 thoughts on “A Few Mistakes I’ve Made”

  1. Thanks for making my weekend. I read this post the first time, then I realized it was worth more than the minutes I spent reading it, so I went back to read it two more times.

    Okay… I’m about to sound like a basic chick but we’re really not our mistakes.

    Liked by 1 person

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