Opinion

Normalising into the New Normals

By Amarachukwu Okpunobi

When things does not go the way we had expected, we most times become disappointed and angry over situations we cannot control. Other times we become excited over the beauty it has come to create in our lives and probably in our minds too.

For me, it was a mixed feeling during my primary school days. I was graduating from the nursery class into the basic classes, precisely basic one. I was feeled with excitement especially during our graduation day. Being one of those awarded with the best results, I kept the smiles on my face even before the photographer would ask for a smile to capture. When I had gotten exhausted for the day, I still had to wear the smiles. So the curve kept going on the high scale and joy was all over me. My father said he was going to kill a  chicken and the head given to me after it was cooked. I do not remember having the head but I remember that I cried for the head of the chicken later, which wasn’t given to me. I think I am going to remind my father of this someday, but that’s by the way.

For basic one, one had to sow new uniform, new stationaries, new pair of sandals at least, and new school bag. I was little so I had to continue with my sandals, and  school bag but with the exception of new stationaries and uniform. It really feels good to write on a fresh page especially for a new class. You get really angry at yourself if you had made a mistake on that fresh page. The ego that comes to you on the day of entering basic one is second to none, as you  sit to look at the nursery class as a junior class, obviously trying to put it behind you that you were once in that class.

Of all the new things that were bought for me, I didn’t like my school uniform. I don’t know who’s fault it was, my mother’s who took me to the tailor’s shop or the tailor who measured me wrongly or probably my teachers who had suggested to my mother to make it that way. One thing I was sure of then was that my uniform was very very big on me in width and in length. It was so obvious because I became the topic of almost every discussion in my class. Whatever gave me courage to put on such uniform to school is what I am yet to understand.

I consoled my pitiable self with the words of my mother, “don’t mind them, you will grow to fit your uniform some day”.

It became a normal life for me in basic one to wear an oversized uniform but it never stopped me from being and doing the best I could do in my academics.

In my primary five, the said uniform wasn’t my size anymore. Guess what, I grew and got normalised wearing an oversize uniform and it became my size.

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I encountered the same phase of life again in my secondary school. I had a new uniform in ss1, of course the senior girls put on skirts and long sleeve shirts while the junior classes put on gown and short sleeve shirt. My new skirt fitted perfectly on my little curves, flattened stomach and straight legs. I was happy this time, it wasn’t an oversized uniform. Nobody had to giggle at me or mock me for wearing an overesized uniform. If they  had laughed at me, I don’t know and I didn’t seem to care then because no one needed to tell me that I was beautiful on my new uniform.

A year later, in SS2, the said skirt began getting tight on me. It needed an adjustment. My mother initially refused me sowing new skirt because she had warned that I was going to outgrow my uniform since it was to my size then, but then who in my age would want an oversized skirt for a uniform. There was need to be proud of my physique, my mother never understood this. I wanted to look good on my developing hips and more feminine.

After much plea, my mother agreed that I was going to make a new skirt. This time it was going to be an oversized one. Without much argument, I subscribed to her decisions, of course at that time, I had no other option. Few days later I had an oversized skirt again.

Initially, I was skeptical  wearing it. I knew my classmates, they were going to laugh the hell out of me. But I had to wear it. The first day I wore that skirt to school, my classmates weren’t the only ones that laughed but my junior students and teachers too. Then, my junior students referred to me as that senior that like to wear oversized skirt. My auditory nerves soon got acquainted to hearing such phrases as a description of me

I kept my fingers crossed because my mother said I was going to grow into the size of my new skirt.

The laughter only lasted for few days and it became a normal sight to see me in an oversized skirt. Again, it didn’t pull me back in my academics.

Eventually, I grew to fit my skirt in SS3. At the end, I normalised into wearing a new and oversized skirt and at the same time got myself fame in school.

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Shits are going to happen in life, it’s a certainty. It is normal to move from the normal state of life to the abnormal state of life. But it is abnormal to remain in an abnormal state of life. Life gives us opportunities to outgrow abnormalities and live in the normal. It’s needless and time wasting getting stucked in the abnormal phase of life when you can actually outgrow it.

If you had believed that life will always offer all that you wished for the way you want them, press the delete button and get them erased in your mind. You need to outgrow that belief and get acquainted with the normal and seemingly abnormal part of life

Most times, it’s hard and seems impossible probably because it will take a longer time to outgrow or work yourself out of the abnormal phase than it was to get into it. Then you need a friend, family, sister, brother, uncle, aunt and mother like my beloved mother. It took  the tailor few days to make an oversized uniform for me but it took me five years to grow to the size of that same uniform in primary school, at the end, it became my size. My mother never for one day mocked me for wearing an oversized uniform. She solely believed in me, she was optimistic that I was going to grow to the size and of course I did.

You may not need thousands of people to help you outgrow these abnormalities, a single soul who understands and believes in you is enough. If you don’t have that person, there is need to find him or her. Whether God or human or better still yourself, you just need to find that person that will lift your shoulders as you walk down the road to normalise in the new normals of life.

POEM

MY CHRISTIAN NEIGHBOUR

 

He is Christ-like in all except character

He breaths as often as he says his prayers

The moon meets and leaves him praying at night

The sun guides him to church daily with its light

Holiness directs his smiles and words

Minutes hear him call Jesus “My Saviour and Lord”

 

But behind the doors of public eyes

He is a saint you dare not try

His heart is chilling cold and so strong

And his memory for revenge serves quite long

He is the light that feeds surroundings with shadows

His deeds are the perfect hell windows

Unleashing of his anger is devil’s disgust

He is the public Angel business associates can’t trust

He is the lead voice for celestial choir

And enjoys the meditation s of Holy Friars

 

But he is just a human, weakened by flawed fronts

He is my neighbour,  striving to overcome his faults

And I am his neighbour,  graced with same nature

Together let’s strive continuously to return as God’s ideal creatures.

 

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