Tonight, I have dinstincly felt two emotions; excitement and anger.
One of the highest levels of excitement I’ve ever felt was way back in Junior secondary school. I had just spent the summer holiday in my rich aunts house and I was resuming with the coolest thing ever. A few weeks to resumption, my aunt had taken me, my brother and her 3 kids to China town in Lagos and she had asked us to pick what we wanted for the new school year. While my cousins and brother picked cool shoes and cute pyjamas, I had my eyes glued on one thing; a trolley bag with images of Hannah Montana splattered across it. You see Hannah Montana was a huge part of my childhood, I watched her every school break I had (spent in my aunt’s house) and I was always singing the theme song “Best of both worlds” to anyone who cared or didn’t care to listen. So when I saw that big, purple, shiny trolley bag sitting on the shelf, I knew that I had found true love. I remember that the bag cost about 7 thousand Naira which is a shit load of money to spend on a bag pack in 2009 but my aunt had got it regardless because that was only thing I had picked up from the store.
The night before school resumed, I couldn’t sleep. My sister didn’t understand why I kept staring at my new school bag in the dim light of the kerosene lantern that my mother had placed in our room. I felt the excitement in my bones; I couldn’t wait to show my friends and my enemies what i had just acquired. My bag’s got wheels baby! The next day at school was going to be glorious! I could feel it! And I was fucking excited!
I felt excitement like that tonight. The kind that possesses your body and robs it of fatigue or sleep. I’ve been working on an event for months and now that the event is 5 days away, I can feel my heart racing and the adrenaline is more that any drug can give me. Today I overworked myself by sending dozens of emails and calls to ensure the attendance of everyone I had invited. I visualized and planned the event from the starting minute to the finishing minute and when I was done, i moaned from the pleasure all that organisation and planning gave me.
Tonight I walked behind a person that I care about. I wonder if he saw me but the answer to that remains irrelevant. I walked slowly behind him, trying not to trod too heavily or breathe too loudly lest he turns around and discovers me. I watched him walk with his usual but unusual gait; head a little bent to one side, shoulders slightly rounded and a knock knee that I’d never noticed before. As I watched him walk, I remembered the Blueberry cake he got for me a while ago and I smiled; not because I’d particularly liked the cake but because I had particularly liked the gesture. It was his second time getting me cake. I don’t like cake (except chocolate) but I’d eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner if it came from him.
My smile was cut short when he took a left turn; still oblivious of my creepy self behind him. I don’t know where he was headed. Frankly I don’t care. As soon as he disappeared out of my sight, I remembered that a short while ago, my Blueberry saviour had dumped our friendship for no apparent reason. Then I became angry.
I promise I wasn’t always angry; I’m not that cool. First I was sad I’d lost a friend. Then I was ashamed to tell my other friends. Then I was confused. And now, I’m just angry. Angry that people get hurt by the people they love. If love is the greatest healer and people are getting hurt by their loved ones, doesn’t that mess up the equation? Keep the answer to yourself, I’m too angry to care.
Just kidding! I took a walk to cool off my anger at the world and my Blueberry saviour. It worked. I think.
Many of us struggle with conflicting emotions of the future and the present. I’m excited for my event on Saturday but at the same time, I’m pissed off at someone. The million dollar question is, do I focus on my present anger? Or do I focus on my excitement for the future? Not worth a million dollar? No? Okay. But I can apply this method of questioning to lots of other scenarios in my life. Should I focus on my fear of the future? Or do I just focus on this steaming bowl of spaghetti that is giving me so much joy? Should I focus on the anxiety that I feel about tomorrow’s presentation? Or do I focus on how peaceful I feel at the moment listening to Taylor Swift?
I’m always torn, between keeping my focus on what’s coming and keeping my focus on what is.
Is it possible to manage both emotions at the same time? Or must one give for the other?
If you leave a comment, it would make me happy…