HopeTiti Olajide Cole
” We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope” (Martin Luther King Jr).
It’s 5:39am and I lay in bed with a myriad of thoughts going through my mind. I remember when I got the first diagnosis and was ‘advised’ to completely stay off carbs for 3 months. I mean 3 whole months without all the food I considered ‘real food’! Anyone who knew my eating habit would tell you, I’m African through-through😂(okele major (solid food)) where my meals are concerned. Even when I visit my family outside Nigeria, they make Nija meals, including amala & gbegiri for me🤣.
This reminds me of a funny incident which occured years back. I had to choose a meal alongside 2 friends (one from Bangladesh and the other from the US). When the first friend placed an order for chicken, I asked her what with and she replied just chicken. The other person requested the same. I was left wondering how chicken could be a meal and I told them as much. I went further to explain to them that in Africa, we order chicken as protein alongside rice, pasta, to name a few ‘main’ food types or as snack-like meals like chicken suya and stuff. We shared a laugh, but of course I ordered mine with mashed potatoes (They had no rice. Imagine no rice!). The other day, I decided to test their theory and ordered a chicken meal and finally understood why they told me it was a ‘full meal’, come see as chicken full plate! I couldn’t even eat half of it and felt like I could burst!
Nija mentality sha! All these so-called ‘upbringing practices ‘ of not giving children more than 2 pieces of meat at most at mealtimes so they don’t get spoilt, stuffing us with plenty amala, eba, rice and other carbs! Abeg, what culinary school did our parents go to that oriented that? Or was it passed down to them also?
Do hit the comment section and let’s hear of any ‘food or other funny upbringing incident’ you might have had.
To continue my ‘tory’, I dropped all carbs as I had to do it for the heart. I won’t bore you with what constituted my meals for those 3 months. Needless to say I received unsolicited pitying looks from everyone at home whenever they see me eating and lost so much weight I looked malnourished, I guess I was! (Lost body fat except the lower tummy baby fat, the one thing I really wanted to be rid of!). Before I started though it felt like I wouldn’t be able to do it, everything seemed bleak, with chest pain, the cardio and all the other stuff. I took my cardiologist’s advice though, taking it one day at a time, never losing sight of what I stood to gain if I saw it through.
I understand Nija is enough to raise blood pressure, but one thing we can’t lose sight of is hope. Is it any wonder
Nigerians troop to churches, mosques and other religious places? They search for hope in those places! Without hope we are lost (Mahmoud Darwin). Lewis B. Smedes puts it more succinctly, ” Hope is to our spirits what oxygen is to our lungs. Lose hope and you die. They may not bury you for a while, but without hope you are dead inside. The only way to face the future is to fly straight into it on the wings of hope. Hope is the energy of the soul. Hope is the power of tomorrow”.
So, irrespective of what we’ve got going on (believe me each of us has a lot going on in our lives, relationships, families, work and other life stressors), let’s not lose sight of hope. The one who had a breakdown previously could end up becoming a global leader of industry to reckon with. And if inching closer to your twilight like me (😁), not to worry, Morgan Freeman was 50 years old when he got his big break🤪.
So guys, let’s keep hope alive and live life to the fullest (excuse my french😄), we only got one shot at it!