Brush Your Shoulders Off

Memba Ben By Memba Ben, 16th Sep 2017 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Personal Experiences

Sometimes we find ourselves in situations where we face so many issues that even the smallest molehill looks like Mount Everest. It's important we take a step back and see them for what they are.

"Get that dirt off your shoulder" - Jay-Z

I’d been recently going through a tough time when I was informed of a family gathering and with it being family, there was no way I could dodge it so I pushed all my troubles to the back of my mind and soldiered on with the gathering in mind.

The day came and while it was good to see everyone and hear that they were doing well in their lives, it was also a bittersweet experience because as earlier mentioned; I was knee deep in my own issues.

Needless to say, it didn’t make for a particularly pleasant time and the combination of the two gave birth to some truly absurd thoughts.

I randomly noticed that my siblings and parents were looking lively, as if they had something in their lives which gave them happiness and purpose whereas I was looking far beyond my years (partly due to the stress I faced and my youthful exploits).

My eldest sister is thirty four and has two kids but she’s aging elegantly, to the point where people are blown away as to how fantastic she looks. My second eldest sister who is thirty, recently gave birth to a stud of a baby, but you wouldn’t be able to tell that any of that just by looking at her. The same could apply to my third sister who is twenty-nine and looks as if she’s in her early twenties. My brother, who’s lived a similar lifestyle to me, hasn’t even felt the slightest tough from Father Time. Hell, even my old man, at the age of sixty-three, looks like he’s in his early fifties whereas people always mistake me as someone in his thirties.

I’m not proud of it but I was envious of them. They looked carefree and content whereas my old looking ass was tired from all the dread and worry I routinely faced. My emotions went from sadness, to jealousy to anger.

Was this my fate?
Is this how the rest of my life is going to be?
This sum ol' bullshit…

I think that noticing such useless things combined with my earlier mentioned issues got me irrationally angry to the point where I was visibly gloomy, which somewhat affected the festivities. I sat there, silent and moody as all hell; waiting for the perfect opportunity to bring up my grievances while my siblings and father were catching up and such. The moment came when my old man took a break to go get a quick smoke, to which I stalked him outside.

As he was busy exhaling the drag he took, I pounced on him and aired my gripes, pointing out how everyone else looked fantastic compared to me and how come I got a raw deal but before my rant was over, he just burst out in laughter (probably due to the absurdity of the whole situation) and coolly replied:

Is that what’s got you so worked up? Your life must be good for you to have to worry about such things…

With those two sentences, my old man brought my runaway train of irrationality to a halt. I stood there, mouth wide open with a blank look on my face like an idiot (which to be fair, I am). I had no clever comeback or smart retort and without missing a beat, my old man took one final drag of his cigarette, exhaled in an exasperated manner (probably due to my idiocy) and walked off.

It then dawned on me just how stupid I looked. I mean, here was my old man who’s probably seen, been through and done more things than I could ever imagine. My siblings have all probably had their own issues to face and there I was; complaining about the most insignificant thing.

My old man’s words really brought some perspective that I’m not the first or last person to face adversity and we’ll all have to go through it time and again like a rite of passage.

I guess sometimes, we find ourselves at points in life where because we are so close to the situation; we are bombarded by tough times and when we get a reprieve, we still look at said reprieves in a negative manner. To add to that, watching other people seemingly flourish while you stagnate in your own issues probably makes things look worse than what they really are. Like the tides, the good and bad times come and go and with each interaction with the bad, it leaves us more and more jaded about life as a whole. What’s important is to not sweat the small stuff. You’ve already faced bigger challenges, the small stuff don’t deserve your attention.

To paraphrase Jay-Z, brush that shit off your shoulders like a pimp and take a step back to see it for what it is (a small issue) and breeze past it.


Adversity, Facing Personal Challenges, Personal Experience

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author avatar Memba Ben
A fan's view on the business of football.

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