african · Personal

When Life Gives You Lemons…

Every so often we find ourselves in situations beyond our control.  Be it out of a job, financial instability, or even having a relationship abruptly end. Having a job but not feeling fulfilled in your role, having difficulties in University – struggling to keep your grades up, having to re-do a year… it could even be struggling to find somewhere to live.

In those instances, it can be all too easy to want to throw the towel in and give up.

These things happen.

You may start to wonder what your purpose is when facing these situations, why did it have to happen to you. Life was finally going the way you wanted it to, and now this has happened.

I remember when I was in England, just graduated and looking for a place to live. My contract was due to end in June and I had to find a place for the summer – preferably longer.  I was also looking for a job at the same time (some of you know how hard that is for international students, with all the restrictions that have been put in place.) Wahala na people country.  I was on my own, no close family or relatives nearby. No matter how hard I looked, and tried, I couldn’t secure a new place to live either because; the prices were way out of my budget, or everything was already taken. I was running out of time, and fast. It was hard and I wanted to give in, give up but where would I go?

Having moved on from that situation, my brother and I were talking recently and he sent me a piece he had written a couple of years ago (yes, it seems as though writing runs in the family). It was a raw piece, covering difficulties we all face at one point or another in our lives. However, he also highlighted how blessed we are and how often we tend to take “little” things like food, clothing, and shelter for granted.


Here is a small list of my top 6 things to do when facing a difficult situation, and just about ready to throw in the towel.

  • Focus on your blessings. Like I said before, it can become very easy to feel defeated and want to give up. However, you have to appreciate the positives.
    You’re alive! That’s important isn’t it? You also have a place to live (if you’re still living with your parents probably rent free too!) food to eat and clothes. These also feature on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.
  • Write about the good things that happen to you regularly. Reading them over can lift your spirits when you’re feeling down.
  • Speak to a friend or family member that you trust. Opening up to someone else, can have a massive influence on your mental health. You don’t need to keep it all bottled in and are guaranteed to feel lighter after sharing your feelings with someone else. Also, two heads are better than one. They may be able to think of a solution you may not have thought of yourself.
  • Do what makes you happy. This can be anything from going for a run, to watching your favourite movie, wearing your favourite top or even eating your favourite food.
  • PRAY. You know God got you. You better shine like the child of God you are.
  • Talk to yourself. Not like that. I know you’re not a lunatic. What I do mean is giving yourself pep talks. You are you. There is only one YOU. You are capable of doing anything you put your mind to. This is only a minor setback.

Your present situation is not your final destination. It is only a pit stop. Sometimes, you’ll feel like crying, go ahead and do it. You will feel better when you’re not holding it all in. But, you have to dust yourself off and keep going.


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