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Lessons Learnt as I Inch Closer to the 4th Floor

Today, I inch closer to the 4th floor than the third.

There’s been lots to celebrate this past year.

There’s been lots of loss this past year.

There’s been several lows and several highs and many in-betweens.

Looking back, I guess there’s been a number of lessons learnt. I share them below:

1. Regret is overrated. 

The only usefulness it serves is to make us conscious of the fact that we now know better. But if you think about that, you’ll realise that it is precisely because of the thing you regret that you now know better. So…

2. Family vs Friends is a zero-some game: 

If you ever find yourself wondering whether to prioritize family over friends or vice versa, then question your understanding of both. True friendship, IS family. The only difference is that you get to have a say about one and none in the other.

3. Children are underrated terrorists: 

One day you think you know everything you need to know, the next you are wondering if you knew anything at all, especially this thing called love. And before you know it, your heart is bursting with a kind of love that makes you ready to die in an instant, if only to see her cute little smile. Then she laughs, and all you want to do is live. Then she cries and your entire world stops. They are terrorists these little ones. The good kind.

4. Life is uniquely singular: 

First, you go through decades of formal education being pitted against your classmates. Then another phase comparing one’s achievements to your peers, wondering where yours stake up in the hierarchy called societal expectations. At some point, if you are lucky, you get to realise that the only people whose scores really count are not keeping any. And those who are, are doing it for themselves, not you. Oh, the joy of breaking free and living for you!

5. God is not a Christian! 

Archbishop Tutu was on to something here. I am a Christian because I follow Christ. But Christ is far more than His human form. He is the God He was before He became Man. And so, I am learning not to let my faith blind me from the fact that we are all God’s children. And that I have no more right to call Him Father than those I most despise. I’m learning to let my faith inspire me towards love and good deeds, not judgement and resentment.

6. By all means debate, engage and have an opinion. 

But always remember that sometimes… disengaging and accepting that disagreement is ok IS ok. Doing this, rather than hating people is self-care.

7. Love and Relationships are not accidental. 

They require a huge investment of time, learning, unlearning and a commitment to grow. True love involves not mere feelings, but a perpetual renewal of curiosity about those we care for. And a realisation that the journey is as important as the destination.

8. Self-love is the beginning of selflessness: 

Start with loving yourself a little more. Putting yourself first a little more. Pampering yourself a little more. As you do, you will find yourself more able to do these things for others around you.

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Written by Ganzi Isharaza (1)

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