Tales By Midnight #4 – This Life no Balance
After the story I shared last Friday, you would think that I have my life all together and have things all figured out.
Today’s story would convince you that I don’t.
Today I want to tell you about how I almost sold my destiny for food.
Hold your laughter please. E still dey pain me.
When we talk about the story of Esau and Jacob, we are quick to judge Esau and say things like “how can you sell your birthright because of ordinary porridge?”
But wait till hunger is wiring you and the sweet smell of hot jollof invades your senses.
Tell me if your common sense won’t take a short vacation.
This is the thing about judgements. It is easy to pass them out until it is in you in that situation.
But I won’t go into that. No digressing today.
Back to my story.
So this particular day had been a long one.
I can’t honestly remember if it was in my first or second year in the university but these details are inconsequential to the point of the story so I’ll leave that out.
If you know Ghana then you’re familiar with how hot it usually is. On this particular day, it was steaming hot. The kind of hot that makes your skin crawl.
There is this stall at the gate of the school where they sold the most delicious fried yam. (I still dream about this yam sometimes)
It was usually sold with ‘shito’ and chicken or kebab or sausages, depending on your preference.
I had trekked the whole of Kumasi that day so my legs were aching and I was tired.
I got to the stall to buy fried yam but there was no chicken.
It pained me but I hadn’t eaten all day so I bought the fried yam anyway. I grudgingly added a stick of gizzard to the side just so it didn’t feel empty.
I did bought it like that because even though I would have preffered more, I was too tired to cook anything. So I used my last money to buy this fried yam because why not?
My goal was simple. Get to my room, settle down, and devour this meal.
However, on getting to my room, I heard gist.
They were sharing free food somewhere. It was what we used to call a ‘drink up’ then.
Which is essentially a party people usually threw in their rooms where they invite a few friends and provide a lot of drinks and chops.
This party in question was supposed to be packed with food.
Jollof rice, Asun, Cake, Peppered chicken, Salad, even pasta.
At this point, my ‘long throat‘ was rising. My yam suddenly didn’t seem appetizing anymore.
I wanted better food.
It had been such a long day and I was tired.
So I made a decision I still regret to this day.
Accompany them to the venue, get my food, transfer it to a take away pack then come back to my room and balance in front of a movie to conquer my acquisition.
But this life no balance and plans always enter the gutter
So we contributed towards a cab and headed for the venue..
I generally dislike crowds and there were quite a handful of people there so I was for the most part weary of all the pleasantries.
I had only one focus – the food.
But it was nowhere to be seen.
Patience is a virtue and somehow, I seemed to have a lot of it that night.
So I waited.
Waited through irrelevant conversations and inappropriate passes.
Waited through music that was giving me headache and forced smiles.
The food to me was worth the wait.
After what seemed to be a long arduous hour, the food showed.
It was a whole buffet.
Definitely worth the wait so I got excited. I wasn’t the only one excited.
People were moving towards the table like a swarm of bees to raw honey.
I told myself I would not lose my home training because of food.
So I waited my turn.
But my turn never came.
I nearly cried.
After waiting for one hour? I could not believe it.
As they passed a piece of cake to me in consolation, I stared at it in regret.
Who sent me message?
In annoyance, I dropped the cake and walked out.
But it gets worse.
On getting out, I slipped my hands in my pocket and came up empty.
Remember how I said I used my last money to buy fried yam? Yeah I definitely did not think that through because here I was stranded in the middle of nowhere with no money to get me home.
My phone was off as well because somewhere in the middle of all of this, my battery had died.
At this point, I am almost in tears because not only am I exhausted, but my tummy is singing.
You know the kind of hunger that provokes a headache and blurs your vision.
Yeah, this is the type I had.
I was hungry to stupor.
So hungry that I made the difficult decision to walk home.
“There is fried yam in my room” I said to myself.
Half bread is better than none.
I walked so fast, it was as though I was practically running.
It took me another 40mins to get home safely. My legs were throbbing, my head ringing. I was in internal chaos.
I get to my room and collapse on my bed in fatigue.
Roaming my hands round my bed, I reach for my fried yam.
But it’s nowhere to be found.
This is when I lose my cool.
“Who took my fried yam?”
Turns out my roommate ate it because she thought i didn’t want it anymore.
Ladies and Gentlemen, this is how I slept on an empty stomach that night.
I cried tears of shame and regret as I realized what I lost in hopes of what I could have gained.
I share this story with you today to tell you something profound.
Sometimes, we chase after the things we want, ignoring what we have.
Your dreams are valid.
Your hopes and desires are amazing.
The money you wish to have is not a bad thing.
But don’t get too busy chasing what you want that you lose sight of what you have.
Contentment is in the now.
It is in being satisfied with what is available to you right now.
It is saying “If all I have now is all I ever have, I’ll be okay”
This is the mindset I want you to have.
That you treat today with the sincerity and awareness that it demands.
That you cherish what you have now and guard your heart jealously.
This is how we curb “long throat”
If Esau had waited just a bit to cook the game he hunted, he wouldn’t have sold his birthright.
If I had not been tempted by Hot jollof rice in the place of my hunger, I wouldn’t have slept hungry.
If you would stop selling yourself short for temporary pleasures, you will prevent tears and regrets that shouldn’t have been there.
See, this life no balance.
But it pays to face your front.
Don’t throw away your present realities for the hope of a tomorrow that might never come.
I know it’s chooking your throat and entering your eye but contentment is what made the saviour and creator of the entire universe satisfied to walk the earth as a mere carpenter.
A bird in hand is better than two in the bush.
I hope you remember this everytime you think of this my story.