“I’m thankful for stability” – Saratu #31days 31writers

Posted: December 6, 2013 in A post a day
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Day 6, and the whole world is paused at the death of the icon Nelson Mandela; I drew up a list of ten things you should know about the legend earlier today. My heart weeps, because there is no one waiting in the wings to take his place. Africa is littered with leaders who have buried their umbilical cords under their Presidential lodgings and so must die there. Sad. Shame.

We celebrate Madiba today (and forever), and today I also celebrate my friend Saratu!!

What I am most grateful for: Stability

My name is Saratu. I am a Nigerian and I work in civil society.

The year began suspended in the air, and ended with feet on the ground. At the start of the New Year, the non-profit I moved to Abuja to work for had just lost funding. I packed for home in Lagos with the largest of my suitcases, downloaded my e-ticket and confirmation number onto my iPad, preparing to be gone for months. I was weary at the thought of looking for work again, just a year after I had secured employment. I had begun to rue an opportunity I had turned down a few weeks before at another non-profit that was smaller than the one that I worked for then. The year loomed ahead, like a Transylvania mansion with dark tinted windows and no sign of who or what was inside. January felt much longer than just a few weeks.

In retrospect, I can see that this instability was a running feature of my year. I did get called back for some contract work for two-weeks at a time, and had no idea what I would be doing at the end of each month. For this I went back to Abuja in February, and tried not to worry too much about the fact that rent would soon be due in an apartment that was cheap but afforded me little privacy. A man who I was hoping to work for at some point made aggressive and unwanted sexual advances at me in his office at two o’clock in the afternoon when I went for an appointment; this was to happen two more times with two other men within the space of a few months. There were so many times this year that I felt unsafe and unsure of my future and my worth. I have thought often of how easy it was for me to no on all three occasions, and what opportunities I passed up each time. There was one thing that I knew for a fact, however: I am incredibly lucky for the privilege to afford my principles and morality.

Mercifully, the uncertainty did not last as long as I feared. I did get another job, and the first day fell on my birthday in June. I did not renew my rent at my old apartment; instead I moved to an apartment down the road from my new office that was bigger, in a better location, and wholly mine. Before I moved, though, I stayed at friends’ houses for about six weeks while the estate managers completed their renovations. To think that all these people were new friends who I knew for no more than a year makes them all the more incredible. Half the year had gone before I felt the ground beneath my feet had stopped shifting.

Stability, I feel duty-bound to add, is never permanent, and I am not even desirous to make it so. Happiness and sadness are also not permanent feelings. It is important to acknowledge the value of progress and the heat that moves us, to anticipate the next level in which we will find ourselves. But today, I write unashamedly in praise of the peace and quiet, that beautiful moment of silence when all the generators in your neighborhood have been turned off. I will move again, perhaps even soon, but there is nothing better than looking around and seeing that nothing is missing, that everything is just as it should be.

I’m well!!

Notice what formed the background? This is an incredible picture!!

Notice what formed the background? This is an incredible picture!!

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Comments
  1. Thank you for pointing out the background of the picture. I would have missed out on something so lovely.

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  2. Thankful for Saratu’s remarkable story!…from top to finish, it sorta resonated. Beautiful,rich in wisdom piece!
    Bless her heart now&always!

    And yes, that picture is dope! 🙂

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  3. Francesca says:

    Wow! Saratu’s story is beautiful and inspiring. Good to read that head always rises above water, even when it doesn’t seem likely. And the collage behind? Genius! I thought it was a painting.

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  4. E' says:

    There was one thing that I knew for a fact, however: I am incredibly lucky for the privilege to afford my principles and morality…
    That line did it for me….
    Then this line too
    Stability, I feel duty-bound to add, is never permanent, and I am not even desirous to make it so. 
    Too true. Especially when one is connected to the Solid Rock
    My BEST guest post ever.
    Even though I don’t get the collage behind her sha.
    She sounds like a tres amazing person and I love that she featured on Madiba’s day

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    • My dear!!! Saratu’s post resonated with me like I wrote it!! I felt that way for most of the writers but Saratu hit home… Sometimes when we judge people, we forget that (and this doesn’t excuse any wrongdoing) that their circumstances (which we have been privileged to live above), kind of necessitated those actions.

      Had to take on a smart, well-read, quiet and thoughtful person for Madiba’s day na, trust me!
      Thank you Saratu!

      Like

  5. E' says:

    Oh wow
    Just saw it.
    Totally awesome background.
    Thot she was in a tye and dye shop oooo
    Looool
    Brilliant

    Like

  6. […] “I’m thankful for stability” – Saratu #31days 31writers […]

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