The Rollercoasters of Life

I remember as a child and my biggest test of my endurance would be writing my exams and waiting the couple of weeks or so for the results to come out. After a while, it wasn't even that nail-biting. After coming in the first ten most of primary school, you kind of begin to take it for granted that you will always excel.

And somehow, that has been true in most cases for me. I got one of the top scores in the common entrance exams and got admited to the best school in town, I got the highest score in my state to get into science school for my senior secondary, I was among the top three results in WAEC in my school and I got admission the same year. I was also the best graduating student from my department in university.

It wasn't all rosy though. Yes, I passed JAMB, but I didn't make the cut-off for my first choice which was to study medicine. I may have passed top of my class to graduate university, but I did not make First Class. It took me four years after graduating - after waiting for a scholarship that never came - to get a "good job". And another two years before I could begin my master's programme.

All these taught me endurance, faith, hope, finding joy in the little things, and contentment, and I learned.

Nothing however prepares you for the depths that the roller-coaster of life can get to sometimes. When you think you've seen it all, you find that you can go lower. At this point, I have chosen not to get lost in the depths of my failed infertility treatments, but to learn from them.

Going in, I was all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, only to be met with this reality. The health care providers try to be cheerful and positive, they really do, but sometimes the doctor is busy and comes across as treating everyone like cars an assembly line. There are those days the nurses don't call when they should, or keep you on hold for 30 mins when they do. You visit the doctor and come back with unanswered questions. After reading the resulting websites that you search on Google, you are even more confused.

And then the bad news start coming one after the other. And they are not anyone's fault, so the ground is swept out from under your feet and you're looking into the chasm.

They take you by surprise, the bad news, punching you so hard in the tummy that you can't help but curl into a ball and wrap your arms tightly around yourself. The only thing you can do is to take your time and rock with the pain until it passes.

But the pain passes, thank God. And before you know it, you find that you can flex the endurance muscles you've been building most of your life, and you've actually added some new ones. So you get up slowly, and you brush the pity party off your shoulder.

Atala has this saying that helps me. He says that happiness is reality minus expectation. What he means is, by how much is what you get different from what you expected? I tend to remind myself of the worst that could happen when I really want something and it is not in my control. And once I know what that is, I begin early to prepare my mind for it.

And the knowledge is also there that as long as life remains, so does hope, faith, contentment, and other blessings to take joy in.