Have you ever had your heart beat so violently inside your rip cage as if threatening to jump out and take your very own life?
This is my story. It is one fraught with twists and turns nothing akin to what would drive ones heart to the extent of taking the very life it sustains. I’ve always been one to take the road that Robert Frost described as the one less travelled by.
Two roads diverged in a wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one travele, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
I have to confess though that often I spend so much time trying to figure out which of the two roads is the one less travelled by than actually travelling it. I believe when it comes to thinking out of the box, that I really don’t keep such boxes. Mine is a mind that seeks to traverse grounds never trodden.
But you see, my mind’s escapades have not come at no cost. Like the story about the free Israelites spending decades dithering in the wilderness and not reaching their promised Canaan as soon as they should have, I’ve had dues to pay as a result of my approach to life.
I realise though, it isn’t only my successes in life that will make me a better person. Those pebbles that people were supposed to someday point to as the ones that eventually sucked the stubborn life out of me, may indeed be the ones to elevate me to reach the heights I long for. So for that reason my time report features no hours dedicated to babysitting regrets.
So this is the story of my life. I have interests spanning philosophy, mathematics, economics, music and even literature. I must confess the last two seem to cloud all the others. My love for fine music is second only to my penchant for writing some really thought provoking pieces when I do get the rather elusive inspiration.
I can be jamming to the sounds of Andeas Vollenweider’s harp, but at other times Earl Klugh, Black Coffee and Zakes Bantwini just provide much better company. Admittedly my patience has let me down in my efforts to learning how to play a musical instrument. I actually do sing along to some of the music, and believe me; you’d wonder why it is that I chose consulting instead.
When it comes to books, I keep referring to George Orwell’s Animal Farm as one the finest pieces of literature one ever could lay their hands on. I’ve read and re-read it a few times. I just think it’s stuff of genius. I’ve also enjoyed Chenua Achebe’s books, and I think Zakes Mda is really hilarious.
So if I’m not sampling music or reading a good book what will I be doing? You most probably will find me on the soccer pitch on a Saturday afternoon doing my thing. This means I’m not entirely ignorant when I shout out instructions from the comfort of my couch.
You can also find me at church. And this is where I draw much of my inspiration. My faith in God sustains me.
One question I still do ask myself is this: With the benefit of hindsight, would I do things differently? Another question then follows naturally from that, could I have the benefit of hindsight and remain the same person? Then the economics student in me comes to life, ceteris paribus, I certainly would tweak a few things. But then I realise that it is a combination of the successes and downfalls I’ve had that continue to shape my character. And would I trade that for anything else? I doubt it!
One of the greatest men to have walked this planet earth in my opinion, Martin Luther King JR, said something quite profound: “Faith is taking the first step even when you can’t see the whole staircase.” During load shedding, it takes quite a leap of faith to go onto the staircase and find the torch in your own house but I suppose it would take even greater faith to go find that torch when you’re visiting. And mine has been a journey spent visiting. I have had to take great leaps of faith and will hopefully eventually get to the torch. After all, just as King would again quip and this is an idea I’ve held onto for a number of years: “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”
You see, the stance you take in life comes naturally with its own repercussions. You know what they say about being in the kitchen. I mean when in a bathroom…especially a public one, you can’t call the bomb squad if you should hear what genuinely sounds like the nuclear bombs that brought down Hiroshima and Nagasaki …even if you inhale fumes of what you’d be convinced is a weapon of mass destruction.
So mine has been a life where I have learnt that when I’m at the Mountain top I need to pray for my time in the valley too, and that ladies and gentlemen has made a world of difference.
To borrow again from Robert Frost,
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence;
Two roads diverged, and I –
Took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.