One of the choices I'm always faced with as a storyteller is choosing what kind of stories to tell, especially when you know the characters in your story are reading the same. But I must tell them after all.
Today, I'd like to tell you a few stories around what I titled "it is okay to quit" as a form of self care. It is only in the midst of a dilemma that we know our true willpower.
May 2013, I met a very enthusiastic and dedicated young man, Jude but I always called him J. J belonged to a certain christian group which he had served faithfully with every iota of talent in him. During one of our encounters, he revealed to me that he feels drained and thinks that he is giving out too much but no value whatsoever was added on to him.
"I serve this people with everything I have. I don't even get enough time to meet up with other businesses that generate me income. And the pastor's wife always tells me how unserious I am about God's work, whenever I missed a church program. Yet no one bothered to know how I foot my bills and upkeep. Reny, I feel drained" he complained with a heavy sigh
Just when I was about to give my view point, he added
"Many times, I've felt like leaving the place or taking a break from there. But the pastor will threaten to curse me should I leave. And this has left me in total confusion"
And I told him softly but firmly
"J, it is okay to quit. At some point, you just have to give deaf ears to those threats and walk away especially when you feel drained. It's okay to take a break and 're-evaluate your worth and input"
Just like my friend J, at one time or the other, we've been caught between two and a decision to quit that which is sucking virtue out of us is a difficult one, if not to say impossible to take. But if you as much as place some value on yourself, you would know that quitting relationships or things that seem toxic is tthat self care exercise you must take from time to time. Your peace and sanity should come forehand.
I remember lending a huge some of money to Obi, a then good friend of mine. When payment time came, it became a throes. Every effort to retrieve my money failed and Obi made no efforts whatsoever to refund me. Whenever I asked, I'll get the same excuses and pleas.
"Gimme some time, I'm gathering the money. Things are difficult for me"
This is money I'd worked hard to earn and I'd a plan to effect with it. I became furious and even tried to threaten Obi by involving the police. His reponse was rather nerve breaking
"I know I owe you but even if you go to the police, you have no prove of my debt. I've told you that I'm still gathering your money. You better wait. But don't put me pressure"
It was from one flimsy excuse to another and months went by but I didn't receive a penny. Every effort I put in trying to recover my money only led me in to spending more as his denial to pay back became even more glaring.
He stopped taking my calls and blocked me from reaching him on phone. If I've to board a taxi each time I had to ask him for my money, I wouldn't spend not less than 2000xaf per move. I felt used and drained I realised Obi is just one of those people who no sense of consequence and remorse. Continuously running after him for that which is duly mine, only gave him the satisfaction of sseeing me worked up and exhausted. The good I did had turned in to a torn, piercing and robbing me of strength.
I decided to forget about the money and continue with my hustle. It was a hard decision but I'd to move on. My life did not depend on the money. And ever since I made that decesion to let it go, life has been a lot airier. As for Obi, what he is becoming, is a story for another day. I have not died because of the money I gave out. I've spent much more than I've worked for.
It was a cold Friday morning, I didn't report at work that day. And so, I strolled down an "achombo" house( in Cameroon, achombo is local restaurant where puff puff and beans is fried and sold on the spot) to demolish some hot puff puff and beans . I had not eaten same for a couple of months. Right there while making a choice of the hottest and most crunchy puff puff, a hand tapped me from the back. On turning, right there was J, we had lost touch for almost two years. What happened? it is another story. He looked much happier and fresher.
"Thank you so much Reny for the encouraging words you always spoke to me. I finally left that church. Though it was with a lot of struggle. The man threatened to curse me . But I could not bear it no more. I was feeling drained the more. But now, it is like I found myself anew. I've been energized and most importantly, I'm very much alive. I don't look cursed" J reiterated with a wink.
The mistake we make often times is to think that some people or something have been tied to our lives forever. But you must know that God did not irrevocably tie your life to any human being or thing. Life and it's occurrences are designed per seasons.
There is a season to plant, a season for harvest, a season to mourn and to rejoice. A season to live and another to die. There is a time to embrace, hold on to but there is also a time to let go or quit. There is nothing wrong in quitting.
Quit that thing that bewilders you. Quit that relationship that robs you of your true value. Quit that job or habit that drains you of valuable energy.
Until you quit some things , you might not know your true strength or value. You will never know what awaits you on the other side until you quit the side that is becoming toxic to your life. How people treat you reveals how much value they've placed on you. But only you can almost accurately tell your true value. So, once you realise that, you are being treated below your value line or being drained of the little you have, take a step backwards and rethink. I know how difficult it might seem to quit one thing for another you might be totally ignorant of. But until you quit some things or people, you might never embrace or come in to contact with your true essence. Before you get killed or lose yourself, quit first. #Storytelling #Advocacy #MindShift #FuelChange