They blame it on my short skirt,
I blame it on their short sight,
They stared at me looking for perfection,
In my politeness, scratch that,
Without a speck of shame,
I asked they look the other direction,
I mean, my flaws make me perfect,
They describe my journey,
Stepping on thorns, crushing roses in my hands,
The beauty of life’s taints.
©Rioba.

Her scars spoke of the journeys covered by her soul.

Blinking, as the rays of light hit her eyes through the window, she grasped her pounding head in her hands as she tried to remember why she was in this position. Her clothes, where were they? Naked at 11am, cliché. Thank God she was in her cubicle, but the door, it was wide open. Suddenly, it all came back to her, flooding her mind with silhouette shadows of moments of consciousness, the drinks, dancing to her favorite jams, designated driver or is it escort, the long walk home, moments of blackness… Then there was that, at some point he was on top of her, at least that’s what she pictured in her mind. Her bed, wet, stained. She did not want to utter the taboo word;

My secrets were ours until you decided to spread word

God forbid anyone found out her dirty secret. They would all say the same thing, you brought it upon you, who told you to stay up past your curfew? While hitting the shower attempting to remove all traces of filth that clouded her mind, she made a resolve. No more recklessness, but the damage was already done, her heart slowly shattered into a million pieces, fragile invisible glass cut through her lungs, she felt she could not breathe… Things would never be the same, she was slowly going down a steep road, on a fast lane, with no brakes. She wasn’t even in her mid-20’s, yet what seemed like her midlife crisis journey had begun.

Behind every smile, are unshed tears that threaten to break free from captivity.

You think it starts at 30, when everyone is pressuring you to get married, every aunt suddenly has a blondie boy from the hood who she thinks will make a good husband for you. They say it’s a shame they need to cover.

You think it happens when you find out he who promised you a happy ever after is chasing every skirt in town and now you have to find a way to explain to the kids why daddy needs to sleep in the holiday home till you figure out what to do with the tainted picture that once seemed perfect.

Let’s not mention that moment when everyone depends on you to be a bread winner yet you cannot secure a job for more than five seconds into the interview. Damn, adulthood can really be messed up.

That feeling of freedom.

Cut the chase around the term or the age limit and focus on the real meaning of a midlife crisis- that point when life picks you up by your feet, picks you upside down, shakes you so hard you get dizzy, and lets you tumble back to the ground headfast when you think it’s all just about to be over.

In my desire to quench my thirst, I flooded my soul.

When does it really happen? When you realize one amongst the streams of men you let access the honey pot was a carrier and now you are a victim, or was it at 18 when you realized your hotshot rich boyfriend whom you are carrying for, was actually the gardener’s son who used the memsahib’s car to run errands on occasion. How sweet it felt to be driven around in a BMW series. You pictured your life travelling across the world, spending his non-existent money on meaningless purchases just to prove you had made it. Dreams, dreams suck at times. Or is it at that point when your mentor or friend or family member becomes your molester and you can’t do nothing about it.

What we do.

Don’t shame me, I made a mistake, correct me

The morality of the society is characterized by rumours, bullying, back stabbing, hate and death. We often contribute to the crises revolving around people’s lives; being the carriers of a rumour, adding just a sprinkle of salt and passing it on, rejoicing at their downfall, taking advantage of others in their weaknesses, the list is endless. It is unfortunate how we find joy in bringing others down- “serves him right”, we often say. We fail to see that the best we could do is support a falling life and be the hero that saved the day someday. A crisis can disorient a once planned journey, it can make your life lose meaning and if not strong enough, suicide often seems to be the best solution to walk away from the pain. And it is very often that we drive the victim to the last straw that makes them breathe their last.

Hold my hand before I drown.

Let us learn instead to hold his hand, or wipe her tears, building one another is more beneficial than striving to make others miserable.

What to do.

Find the one thing that calms your tides

Am not saying I have the answers to walking away from a situation that feels like a midlife crisis, but taking back control of your life is important. It is not easy, but it begins with getting out of self-pity, or wallowing in misery over spilt milk and giving yourself that pep talk that you always thought was silly. Whenever I am in a hitch, I look into the mirror and tell myself ‘hey girl, you are strong, you’ve gone through worse, what makes you think you cant get through this?”

Is it ink that saves you from their sneers

Find a hobby, something to keep you busy, is it church? the gym? Swimming? whatever it is that give your life meaning, pump all the adrenaline and aggression into it and let the anger out. Cry if you must, because the moment you open the water falls, they often work magic in realizing the toxicity you hold within you.

Find the sweet spot in the dark coffee

Also, have a confidant at such moments, I know real people are not easy to find, but you always have that one person that holds your hand through thick and thin, (Salut Nduts haha) share with them, ask for a way out, its not always about knowing it all, sometimes the solution to a crisis begins with sharing it.
 

Happiness too, is a decision we often fail to choose.

Last but not least, just like the waves in the sea, there are moments when the tides are calm, but at times they rage so much destroying everything in their path. Such is life, there are moments of calm, there are moments of rough tides, no matter what happens though, the calm always comes back at some point. The question is, how long are you going to wait to walk out of the binds that hold you to the cage of sorrow, and take charge of the possible that seems impossible.

Giving a new meaning to your midlife crisis

8 replies
  1. Ngaira
    Ngaira says:

    It’s a very good thought and a motivation to many… You have talked of all the things that are certain to happen on a girl’s life and also how to handle them… Emotions are not easy to handle and neither are they easy to share.. make sure all girls from the age of 15-no defined age get this to help them deal with life situations

    Reply
  2. Shadie
    Shadie says:

    Such an inspiring piece… Am touched especially to know that sometimes the solution to a crisis begins with sharing it.

    Reply
  3. Brunner Kibali
    Brunner Kibali says:

    Amazing, every time I read your article, I get lost in the vastness of its sincerity and reason. Great read

    Reply
  4. Zach_honger
    Zach_honger says:

    Cuzo it’s my 1st time reading your article…i love the poem at the beginning and the way you use words.
    Oh and the pictures, great. Especially the one the lady is on that tree 😁😁..i’m into photography…..ufike mbali ms.ryoba 👍👍

    Reply

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