Away from the machine, my head would be abuzz with ideas and thoughts I need to pencil down, but the moment I click the on’’ button, on my laptop, everything evaporates into thin air. And I am left wondering what it was I wanted to write about in the first place. And that was how the circle will repeat itself repeatedly.
A midlife crisis comes in very untold and unexpected way (at least, that’s what I was told it was). You have no control over how and when it comes
The only thing you have control over is ensuring you live through and emerge better. IN living through my midlife crisis, I came to understand that there is something pain does to me, it makes me look inwards, it makes me trust and listen to myself the most because as it turns out, almost everyone else is a unreliable. I am my own best friend and supporter. I am my own cheerleader and most reliable person.What is my pain? What drives me? Nothing except for the fact that all my life, I have always drawn from an empty cup. God gave me a large cup which had absolutely nothing in it when it began to get depleted. I gave and gave and gave from this emptiness until the edges of the cup began to crack. But even then I continued to give, and because it was an empty cup that was all cracked up, what I was giving out was of no value.
And instead of looking into myself to fill my cup, I was looking unto others to fill it for me when in actual truth, they are either too busy filling theirs or they also had nothing to give because their cups are also empty.
Realizing this made me go back into myself to find ways and means through which I can fill up to enable me find that balance that’s been missing.I searched myself, I looked deep into my heart asking how I can give myself that value, how I can fill myself and stop that feeling of gnawing of emptiness and despair, low self esteem and lack of accomplishment.
I have since realized that money and material things do not fill me; therefore, for the first time in my life, I faced my truth square in the face and dared to do something different.I took up swimming and horse ridding, two things I have always had passion for since I was a child, passions that I never outgrew.
I threw myself into it wholeheartedly, that before long I was riding with the Emir of Zazzau’s entourage at the bi-annual traditional durbar, before I eventually moved to Abuja after which I could not find a or horse place to ride.
And immediately I landed in Abuja, I got a swim coach and proceeded with swimming lessons. These two activities give me the most ecstatic feeling of joy and satisfaction; made me convinced that I made the best decision ever; to follow my childhood passion. And boy did I enjoy doing them!
I stumbled unto sapphire scents and fell in love with the brand simply because it is 100% oil based; what I later came to learn is called ‘attar’. I decided to market the product out of admiration for it and the curator.
So when Sapphire Scents announced a photo shoot competition for the face of sapphire scents 2018, I though, what if I participated? What if I dolled myself up and pose for the camera?It seemed ridiculous at first, I mean I am a 42-year-old divorced northern woman who has never had a foundation rubbed on her face nor posed for a photograph other than to snap a passport photo.; and I am thinking of participating in a photo shoot competition alongside delectable young twenty first century models!!!!!
But then, I though again, why not? I am a middle aged divorced Northern woman who is trying hard to fix the broken pieces of her life and forge on. I am trying to make meaning of what has gone and give life to what is to come. I know the price I paid for being divorced, and I know it is the reason many women are stuck in unhealthy marriages. And those that had to leave or were sent away by the spouses gets stigmatized.
Being a divorcee in Northern Nigeria and the whole of Nigeria as a whole, is something akin to a taboo or a sacrilege. Women are looked upon with disregard and so much disdain; sometimes even her own family ostracize her.
For the Northern Nigerian woman, its tough being married but being divorced is tougher. But above it all, I chose to give thanks because the end justifies the means for me. Being divorced is the best thing that has happened to me, the best decision I ever made. Because now, I can concentrate on filling my cup, healing from all the hurt, building and pulling myself up and being the very best me that I can be.
When I remember that a lot of my sisters are out there dying in silence, stuck in unhealthy marriages, enduring and managing with stagnating relationships that aren’t going anywhere, my heart bleeds.
So, I thought that I may as well participate to give hope and the motivation to all women out there who are stuck in unhealthy circumstances and relationships to change their lives for the better. For indeed, the only person you can change in a relationship is yourself. You cannot change a person who does not want to change for change comes from within. And our circumstances will not change while we keep doing the same thing repeatedly; we have to do something different.
I dusted my wardrobe and decided none of my regular outfits are fit for a photo shoot competition; with the help of my Daughter and cousins, we went costume hunting, traditional body scrub, henna design, all the works. Phew!
More than to win the competition, I wanted to send a message. To Nigerian women, and of course even the men, to take charge of their lives and do something meaningful with it no matter how old they may be. For them to know that it is never too late to begin again, start afresh and build something better. It is never too late to create something positive, and it is never too late to give your life meaning. Do the things you love, dream, aspire, pursue projects, set goals, achieve them and set another one (After all that is all what life is about).
And also to create the picture of the proud Nigerian showcasing a world class brand to the world;
And to extend the hand of hospitality for which Northern Nigeria is known for, to other parts of Nigeria and to the world.
The photos came out so beautifully well, to such an extent that my Daughter and cousins got so confident about me winning the competition. I shared in their enthusiasm even though I knew deep inside me that the possibilities were very slim.
But compete I did, and even though I did not win the competition, competing for the face of sapphire scents remains one of the high moments of my life.
Because it constitutes a great part of my renaissance; my journey to self discovery.
This is an excerpt from the manuscript of my autobiography that is still being written and was first published in September 2018 on dladyofmysteries.blogspot.com .