Lessons from the Little Robe

So lately, my youngest sister and I have been spending a lot of time together. During our teenaged years, we weren’t close but I’ve come to really appreciate our growing closeness. As I get older, I realize that family truly means a lot.

Enough with the sappy-ness. Here are a few lessons I’ve picked up from the younger “Robe”, my bighead-in-crime.

Lesson #1:

Don’t take yourself too seriously. Wind down. Be silly! Be sillier! If you feel like singing at the top of your lungs to some of your favorite lyrics, do it! Let down your hair and just embrace your silly inner child. Don’t hold back because the crowd is watching. They are all awaiting a similar permission to be free. As we Jamaicans would say “be fool fool and nuh watch nuh face.”

Lesson #2:

Be unapologetically you. Sometimes I spend a lot of time time trying to fit into the image that people have of me. To my mother, I’m the responsible daughter who factors her family’s needs into all decisions. To my coworkers, I’m the one who always delivers, sometimes at the expense of myself. To my friends, I’m the one with the advice who seems to always have it together.

Honestly, being all that all the time is exhausting. One of the things I’ve come to recognize is that despite putting your all to meet others expectations, you will still end up not meeting all. On top of that, people will forget all the great stuff you have accomplished, the moment they think you slipped up.

The best strategy then is to live for you. Be you! Live for your expectations! Anything else is just pure madness.

Lesson #3:

Use the brakes. This one will always be a joke between us. My first driving lesson, I took a corner and panicked when I realized there was a car on the curb that I couldn’t bypass quickly enough. My sister kept yelling “Brake! Brake!” as the car connected with the one on the curb. Over time, I’ve come to utilize the warning “brake” in my daily life.

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Je Ne Regrette Rien! (I Don’t Regret Anything!)


I sat at my desk working while listening music and the strangest thing happened! James Blunt’s You’re Beautiful started playing and immediately I had a flashback concerning my ex that left me with the hugest grin on my face.

It was two weeks before my 18th birthday at 2am. We were up on the phone again after I had weaseled him into staying up, for the third night in a row. I still can’t believe how he always yielded to me. This time, he was the one asking me to do something. He wanted me to sing him something before we headed to bed. I refused as a plan formulated in my head. The next morning, as I headed off to school, I called him and sang him a rendition of “You’re Beautiful.”

In the early stages of the last few years, my brain focused on the ugly aspects of my past relationship. I was hurt and angry and so, my heart focused on all the reasons he was the enemy. I forgot our good times and the lessons these experiences taught me. Here are a few lessons these better moments taught me:

  1. He gave me my first impromptu driving lesson although, I didn’t get far before he started yelling at me to turn the wheel correctly and I yelled back. That was my first and last lesson from him but it taught me the importance of helping your partner in anyway you can. This means that you should always be open to teaching your partner because neither will know everything.
  2. The first time we met, he tried to flirt with me but called me the wrong name. I ignored him. Later in the day, being the tomboy I was, I climbed up to a cliff only to realize that I couldn’t get down by myself. He ended up being the one to lift me down. That bit of kindness opened my mind to him. This taught me the importance of being careful of how you treat people. You never know when you will need their help.
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What Do You Need?

One of my most favorite Bible scriptures (St. Luke 18:35-43) tells the story of the blind man who learnt that Jesus was passing by. His blindness didn’t stop him because this man had a need and whilst he was somewhat hindered, he opened his mouth and cried out to Jesus for mercy. I find this act interesting because I can just imagine how packed the crowd was! After all, the amount of people who followed Jesus could be compared to the number of fleas and ticks on wild dogs. Can you just imagine the level of noise he would have to make to be heard?!

Yet he was heard by the people who tried to hush him. This only caused him to cry with more vigour. Eventually, he got Jesus’ attention. Before he knew it, he was brought before Jesus! All because of his persistence, he now had an audience with the king! Totally amazing!

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Be a Mosquito!

I know having read my title, you must be buzzing with curiosity and thinking what a strange command. I would have thought the request strange too, until last week when my sister, brother and I went driving in an area close to the mountains. It was in the evening and nothing would have been strange about it except one thing. The area was populated with mosquitoes!

As we hit the region, my sister started complaining about being bitten. I thought I was safe! At the time, I happened to be wearing a long sleeve top and a long skirt. Imagine my surprise when I felt the mosquitoes biting me in my arm through my blouse! I was so annoyed that I swatted and killed it. Within minutes another took it place! Before the evening was out I had become a professional mosquito killer and a very annoyed young woman.

The next morning, something occurred that made me realise something. I discovered a mosquito in my room. Much to my dismay as I turned off my fan I could hear the annoying bugger flying about. Then he struck! I felt when he landed on my arm and I struck, he flew off and I ended up smacking myself! This occurred thrice and each time I missed! I can just imagine how he laughed as he flew off. On the fourth attempt, he bit me and I was left bested by a mosquito.

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Life is like kneading dumplings

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I can still remember the first time I had to knead dumplings. My mom had left for work and having kneaded the flour, she left it for my sister and I to make and cook. After almost 7 hours in a pot sweating, the dough was too soft to manipulate and our dumplings came out so misshapen not even I wanted to eat them.

Over the years, I’ve found life and the numerous experiences faced to be very much like that first dumpling-kneading experience. Whether it’s because I added too much water, or I left the dough to sweat, or I just didn’t know how to shape it, the dumplings just didn’t come out right. Similarly, sometimes we put in too much or too little effort, or we waited too long and missed our chance or we didn’t heed the voice of God or our elders and our experiences and lives just end up totally wrong.

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You are who you are because of yesterday.

 

A few weeks ago, God dropped this thought into my spirit “you are who you are because of yesterday”. I wrote the thought down in my phone and left it there. Last night as I was browsing through the phone, I came upon the thought. This time, I asked, ” God, how do you want me to expound on this thought?” As I was about to fall asleep, Job came to mind, so tonight I will be talking about Job.

You know Job, the man who God was really proud of but allowed the devil to test his faith. I can’t even how imagine how Job felt as one by one he got news of his various misfortunes. Children killed. Cattle and possessions stolen. House destroyed. Misfortune after misfortune, all in ONE DAY. And if that wasn’t bad enough, his health went, then his wife and finally, his friends.

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