Flight or Fight: Growing Through The Cracks

The way to get through life is to count your blessings but there are times  when you feel that there aren’t any to count. There are moments when you feel like your life is useless and you haven’t achieved anything that makes your life all a bit more meaningful. Have you ever felt like this? Well I know this has certainly been the case for me far too many times. There are days when I feel like I have nothing to be thankful or blessed about. Where is the blessing in losing loved ones? That’s right! There is no blessing in that-none whatsoever. Having these negative thoughts made me so bitter and pessimistic; to the point where I actually started  believing there was no hope left. “This isn’t the way to move forward”, I kept saying to myself once I came to the realisation that my emotions were getting the best of me. There is no way I can be negative and happy at the same time it’s one or the other, but certainly not both.

Granted, losing my parents was a painful and still is, however the experience was also a humbling experience. Their deaths changed my whole outlook on life; allowing me to truly realise what’s important: my friends, family, and my mental health. I have a tendency at times to ignore what’s going on in my head and keep telling myself that ‘I’m fine’. In actual truth I’m far from fine, I have my moments of sadness but I try not to let them consume me to the point they disturb my positive energy. Being positive isn’t about crying less or a guarantee there won’t be bad days, it’s more of a choice (emphasis on the word choice) to purposely grow through the cracks despite the hardship. I have personally made the choice to grow through my pain and be positive no matter how hard it is (and it will definitely be hard).

I see positivity as choice between fighting or flying. Both are a matter of acknowledging your negative emotions that has you torn on the inside.  When you choose to fly, you’re letting these feelings of pain and endless sadness consume you to the point where you don’t even attempt to address them. What you’re essentially doing is letting these feelings ‘fly away’, instead of fighting the good fight. Choosing to fight is simply about confronting these emotions and controlling them rather than letting them control you. It’s an active choice to find ways to positively overcome these negative thoughts.This is all easier said than done, because I’ve been through times where I’ve let my emotions ‘fly away’ or get the better of me. The feeling of defeat and loneliness  led me to think life was no longer worth living. I felt like a massive failure, I didn’t want to push through the cracks (hardship) or even be positive as I didn’t see the point. The pain felt so deep that I didn’t see any way of overcoming it. In these moments I felt like giving up on everything.

 

It isn’t always easy to fight and combat negative emotions but a part of me knew that fighting them (mentally) was the right thing to do. I’m trying to live positively and choose to not live in a perpetual state of mourning. I want to grow through the pain,the sadness, and the hardship.I can’t change or erase my experiences as much as they have affected me, but I choose to live implicitly without fear.

Jermaine Omoregie. 21.09.16

 

 

 

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“Pain Is My Microphone”

Dad is gone, Mum is gone,and Grandad is also gone. How many losses can one take until they reach breaking point? I ask myself this question all the time and wonder whether this is all a test from God. I’m convinced that it is, that is the only sane and somewhat logical explanation I can attribute to all this bereavement. I have been hit so hard with the death (consecutively) of my Mum and Dad that I can’t weep anymore for anyone else as there is only so much loss I can take.

‘I am doing fine’ is often the blanket response I deploy when people, who have heard what I’ve been through, ask me how I am or how I am coping with it all. There are days where I don’t feel like being expressive about my true feelings, so on those days that response just prevents me from engaging in a heart-to-heart conversation. I am not always like this, I just have my days when the pain just hits me harder so I don’t feel like talking to anyone. A lot of the time I’m told: “with time you will heal”. This is so generic and somewhat unnecessary at times. I almost hate hearing it now because it’s not true as I personally feel that you learn to adjust with time rather than heal. On the other hand some people say it because they don’t know what to say, which is understandable. I don’t lash out when people say this because it’s not easy trying to console someone who has been through ‘hell’ in such a short space of time.

There are days when my pain gets deeper, and days where I feel like it’s completely gone. I’m grateful for these days because it’s part of the grieving process. In a weird way I enjoy the pain because it urges me to use it for something positive. As, author and pastor, Levi Lusko put it: “Pain is my microphone”. I have been reading this book Through The Eyes Of A Lion,  which looks at how one man (Levi Lusko) deals with unexpected death of his (five year old) daughter, and the ways in which he uses the pain it brought to minister to the world and give encouragement.

I’m not a pastor nor am I trying to be, but I do feel that my pain can be used as a microphone to speak to those who are hurting, those who have nobody to turn to, and those who are suffering in silence. I want to grab this mic and speak loud, and just let it all out. It is easy to keep things in, but speaking about your deepest thoughts and telling the world about your pain is so hard. There have been times where I’ve felt like caging my feelings and shutting people out because loss of this magnitude is too much to bear.  I felt that telling people about my losses would make them feel sorry for me because it is so sad to lose your loved ones one after the other.

The past few months haven’t been easy and each day is a battle, but I have come to the realisation that I can’t control or stop God from taking loved ones away from me. I wish could so badly! The only thing I can do is control how I think and the energy I emit to the world. My pain will be constructive rather than destructive because I have this desire to use it to help others who have experienced my pain, or simply those who are suffering due to bad experiences which may not be from bereavement. I don’t know what lies ahead in the coming days,months or even years, but I’m trying to feed my mind with positive thoughts and believe that there is still hope for a brighter future amid all this darkness.

 

Jermaine Omoregie. 23.08.16.

 

Rainy Days

It’s crazy how 2015 has flown by so quickly and quite scary too. The time,  where some start with the whole: ‘new year .. new me’ and making resolutions for the upcoming year, is almost upon us. I have never really been one to make resolutions or vowed to be a new person once a new year approaches.  The beginning and end of the year shouldn’t be about exercising a ‘ new you’ it should merely be about reflection and thinking of ways you can improve, if not, achieve those targets you set for yourself within that year. Well that’s certainly how  I look at it.

At the start of this year I got a pen and paper and wrote down a list of things I wanted to achieve by the end of the year. There were about 10 objectives  I set for myself, but I was only focused on one in particular: being able to have better money management. This isn’t to say that the other nine objectives weren’t important, but I just felt that this in particular was what I needed to work on the most. I have never been good at saving and spending money wisely. I have always lived by this notion that so long as I am working then it is okay to spend how I wish and not save. Well I have certainly discovered that this was absolute nonsense and the wrong way to think.

Around the end of October last year I was made redundant from my former job, and whilst I was happy about this because I wanted to leave that job, but it made me realise why it’s crucial to save money. Normally when you have a  job you save because anything can happen and we all know that in this day and age absolute job stability is a myth. Despite knowing this I still didn’t take my own advice, but instead spent how I wanted to and didn’t worry because the twentieth of every month was  pay day. How silly can one person be? So when I finally left that job I wasn’t really worried as I wanted to leave and  had also secured another job, which was scheduled to start in January. I thought to myself, at the time, ‘It’s only two months away … It won’t be that bad’, unbeknownst to me it was.

I hadn’t saved much from this job and my new job wasn’t starting in about two months, so I felt that it would be easy to grind, as two months didn’t seem that far away. I soon realised that I couldn’t, as  I had received a call from my  recruitment consultant informing me that the job would now commence in March due to some issues the company were having. To cut a long story short, it was at that very moment I knew I was screwed because there was no way I could financially survive, with the little I had saved, until March.

I was so pissed off and angry,but I only had myself to blame and anger wasn’t going to solve anything. Then it hit me! I realised that I needed to get practical.  I had begun to apply for jobs, desperately seeking anything that would have at least given me some form of cash flow until March. I had secured a few interviews which, unfortunately, followed with very little success and with the same old cliches: ‘we’ve hired someone with more experience’, but that didn’t bother me much, because it’s the nature of job interviews; you win some and you lose some.My concern was over the fact that I practically had little money to sustain me through my period of unemployment. This was constantly on my mind, I knew something had to be done and quickly too. I (with great reluctancy at first) signed on for Job Seekers Allowance at the Job Centre, which didn’t entirely solve the problem but, the £114.00 going into my bank account fortnightly, was a start.

Every week I would have to talk to a careers advisor and tell her what it was I wanted to do with myself career wise, which in return she would offer advice on the necessary steps to take and the sort of jobs I should be looking at. This was a nice gesture and all and my advisor probably had my best interest at heart but I just felt it was a waste of time. Which was probably cheeky of me to think because that money was helping me get by.

When I think back and really reflect on the situation, I must say it’s embarrassing.They say experience is the hardest  teacher but teaches you the most valuable lesson (well I think that’s how the saying goes anyway lol), regardless of how the saying goes or whether that is an actual saying, I most certainly learned a lot and why it’s important to save for a rainy day even if you have a good, well paying and ‘secure’ job.

I will never go through such an experience again because I’ve figured out a way to manage my income better so that  I can prepare for hard times and the scary possibility of unemployment however long the spell may last for. We should never let money control us but it is safe to say (well as my aunt always says)  that cash is king when managed properly and when possessed in abundance when faced with unemployment or lack of a substantial income.

 

 

 

 

 

Is Materialism The Route To Happiness?

“Money can’t buy you happiness” … “Well I would drown my sorrows in a Range RoverHaven’t we heard all that before? I’m not going to just spend the next 20-30 mins telling you that Money isn’t everything and how we as individuals shouldn’t admire nice things. If I did then I would be completely talking nonsense. I personally like nice things, there is something great about walking into the shop and trying on that really nice jacket that looks fantastic on you, even if its £100. Yeah that’s right! I do like to spend money on nice things even if they are a bit pricey, I don’t see a problem with that because I like what I am buying and know that I won’t return it anytime soon.

Okay I could waffle on about what I like to buy and all that jazz, but I will choose another day to bore you (ha ha  … I’m joking). As stated earlier: “Money can’t buy you Happiness”, which is true to an extent, but it depends on what you class as ‘Happiness’, so some might believe that it does. Others might think that such a statement is total rubbish. So you see it’s all about our individual perception. There are days I picture myself driving around London in a Lamborghini or going on a big shopping spree down Knightsbridge. For now such are wishful thoughts, but I do hope to someday. I don’t think it’s wrong for people to want nice things, the only problem that I have is when we start to allow these things to consume us, to the extent we value them more than others. I will be adopting the same train of thought similar to my last post (Diamonds and Gold), as there are some similar points that need to be addressed.

When I was younger (like 16 or 17 or so) I used to always get excited when it came to Birthdays and Christmas, all I was concerned about was what present I was going to get. Admittedly when I was younger I was quite spoilt and used to sulk a lot when I didn’t get what I wanted –life of typical brat ay!. There was one birthday in particular when I actually started to think different: On my 15th birthday I remember waking up that morning in high spirits, as anyone would be on their birthday. I was excited because I had got a Nintendo Gamecube, which at the time was newest console. Later on in the day a few friends came over and we were all taking turns to play, but I wasn’t happy even though I got what I wanted. My mum had travelled that day too, so I kind of felt upset after a while because I  felt that I didn’t really get to celebrate with her properly. At that time I didn’t fully understand why I was getting so upset, it’s not like she was travelling for months it was just a week holiday!

It was only until I got older I started to fully comprehend the reason for this sadness. Presents are nice and all but nothing beats time spent with loved ones and those you value highly. These days I’m more content with spending time with my pals and just having a good time. I feel that it’s a waste of time constantly being fixated on materialistic goods.  It’s perfectly okay to want a new pair of shoes or a nice bag from Zara. But why must these things consume us? It’s not quite easy to fathom, some of us just like good things. When you’re younger I guess it’s okay to love materialistic things, because you probably don’t know any better. But as you get older you really start to understand what’s important.

There was a point when I was completely obsessed with footwear. I would always want the latest trainers without fail- I had a sense of pride when I wore the newest pair of trainers in the shops. My friends always used to hail me for having such a neat footwear collection. I felt like the man! Now I hardly buy trainers, I’m not really fussed anymore, there are far more pressing matters on my mind.

How do you live your life? Do your materialistic possessions consume you? More importantly what’s your perspective on life? I want to travel around the world and learn about different cultures. I yearn one day to start a family of my own. The way I see life now is much more different, mental stimulation and growth are way more important to me than materialistic possessions.

Treat yourself to that bag you saw the other day in the shops, those pair of loafers you spotted when you were out and about in Oxford Circus. And once in a while buy something for your missus, brother, wife, husband and so on, they will appreciate the spontaneity.  Life will feel good when we buy things to create meaning and love, rather than constantly trying to ‘Keep up with the Joneses’.

Diamonds and Gold

gold-bar-diamonds“Show me who your friends are and I will tell you who you are”... I remember hearing that line from a few movies that I have watched. I think one of them was Mean Girls (don’t judge me lol) but I can’t quite remember the other films I had heard it from. Never mind though, I am sure it will come back to me at some point. The people we call our ‘friends’, believe it or not have a way of shaping our lives – for better or for worse. I know it sounds a bit extreme putting it like that, but when you really think about it, it’s true to an extent. If we hang around the same type of people long enough eventually we start to be like them, behave like them and probably even start talking like them. As I said that could be a good thing if they motivate you and are genuinely good people. This is good, because it’s always a nice feeling knowing you have friends who have your best interest at heart and want to see you do well in life. Yeah this may sound so cliché, but there’s some truth in it right? This year so far has been a roller coaster for me, the death of my father – earlier on in the year – really hit me hard, but it was the company of my friends that helped me manage the pain.

Being amongst friends really helped take my mind off things and just numb the pain. The pain never goes away you just learn to manage it I guess. But my friends did make realise and reassured me that I had their support, they were very understanding. I appreciated this a lot because it was a difficult time for me yet they tried their best to be there for me, no matter how difficult it may have been. When you go through tough times in life it’s your friends – and family of course! – that get you through the hardship, in those times more than ever you just learn to value them even more. Do we always have to go through tough times to realise that we have great friends? No we don’t, we can also learn to appreciate our friends in times where we don’t have a care in the world or aren’t stressed with the dramas of life. The littlest of things can generally make you truly appreciate your friends. Anything from playing  Fifa 14 to sitting on the settee and having endless banter amongst ourselves about the hilariously funny performances on X-Factor, are enough to make me truly realise that I have great friends. Reason being; you can’t just have a few jokes and relax with anyone, the people you do that with are the people you respect and trust.

TRUST is very important and it is one of the many things that build strong friendships and easily break them too. Your ‘circle of friends’ are generally the people that are there for you,help you in times of struggle and help you regain your positive spark when lost. We as individuals also need to help our friends during their times of struggle and hardship. Friends are like DIAMONDS and GOLD, their precious, rare and (most times) hard to come by. I’m sounding cliché again aren’t I? Well I am sorry, I cant help it!, it’s the only analogy that I feel best describes the fundamentals of friendship. So be it! you going to have to just take my word for it. So if you know you have your DIAMONDS and GOLD, then great! I am genuinely pleased for you because it’s always a nice – great in fact! – feeling knowing that there are people you can put your complete trust in. If you don’t, this is also great! As you now have the opportunity to really evaluate who you call your ‘friends’.

You may be fond of these so called ‘friends’, may get along and sometimes generally have similar interests. In the grand scheme of things having ‘friends’ that you have a laugh with, is meaningless if they aren’t elevating, pushing or supporting you to be the best version of yourself. If you feel like that it’s okay! You just need to remember that there is nothing wrong with ‘cutting people off’, who do nothing for you. Yeah they may be upset, angry and grow some resentment towards you. At the end of the day that’s fine – and part of life. You cant be friends with everybody because not everyone is going to genuinely care about your goals or well-being enough to be deemed as a ‘true friend’. I can honestly say that I can count the amount of true friends that I have in my life on each finger on both hands. In my 23 years of life I have realised when it comes to friendships it’s always about quality and not quantity. It can be hard removing the people who you regard as clutter out of your life – I have done it myself over the years, but at times it is something that just has to be done.

As Greek Philosopher, Aristotle beautifully put it: “A friend to all is a friend to none”.

In my opinion that has to be one of the most self-explanatory and elegant quotes I have ever read. Today take a moment and just reflect and ask yourself these things when evaluating your ‘friends’:

What type of company do I keep?

Do they empower me?

Do they Support me?

Do they make me feel mentally enriched?

I have always been meditating on these questions and truly try to apply to my life and my friendships. It most certainly has worked because I don’t even think I would be writing this post with such optimism if it weren’t for my friends constantly believing in me and encouraging me to be the champion that I am … LOL what can I say I guess I just love myself too much (I’m just joking but I am sure you catch my drift)

When your done thinking about these questions and you say to yourself: “Yes they do!”, then continue to cherish and hold on to those DIAMONDS and GOLD you class as friends. If you answer is “No”, then take that step and choose to surround yourself with people who are going to help and make you become that wonderful person you were destined to be.

Time Is of The Essence

There Is No Time Like The Present

There Is No Time Like The Present

When you think about the concept of Time, what springs to mind? Some might say that it’s precious, equivalent to money, the list goes on. We all perceive time in different ways, but most of us can agree that it is precious. What we choose to focus our time on is extremely important as it can arguably affect our lives whether it’s good or bad

As noted earlier many will agree that our time is precious and how we use it is equally important. Have you ever had a moment where you buy something and afterwards you think to yourself; “Why did I waste my money on that”. We as individuals should have a similar attitude towards ‘Time’ . Your time is your time and it shouldn’t be wasted on anyone or anything that doesn’t benefit you. The last things you want to be saying to yourself is “I wish I had never …” or “If only I…” . Living with regret can be so painful and annoying at times because in hindsight you realise what you should have done and even how to do it, but sadly you will never get the chance to because you are unable to go back in time.

In that eventuality you may not be able to go back in time, but you can make a decision to start using your time in a way that will ensure you never have to be faced with such regrets ever again. ” Just as money should be spent wisely, so should ‘Time’ “ , spend your time on things that uplift and make you happy. If you feel that you are currently in a position where you aren’t using your time effectively, you don’t have to be so hard on yourself. Don’t go through life thinking that there is some sort of manual you have to follow, or a set date where you have to do things by. Never feel that time is running out (although it will run out eventually), but there is always time to change the course of your life and pursue happiness.

As I said feeling regret is normal, and yes it can be annoying, but the most important thing about regrets is that we can use it to control how we move forward from situations. Constantly worrying about what you should have done better in a situation is not going to help you tackle it. The only thing that will help you through it is what you are going to do better next time, in the event that it occurs again. Choose to spend your time in ways that benefits your life and on things that your future self will thank you for later on in your life. You may not be able to go back in time but you can always look ahead and take control of your time to fulfill your happiness. As the saying goes: “There is no point crying over spilt milk”, so spend less time worrying about your shortcomings and look ahead and think of all the possible ways you can live a great life with the time you have.

Life is a Beautiful Struggle

Trust your Journey

Trust your Journey

At times do you ever feel that you’re carrying the world on your shoulders? You want to achieve your set goals so badly, please your family, friends, prove doubters wrong, but then you realise that you’re placing too much pressure on yourself. Admittedly, this has been the case for me. I have had many days where I have felt so exhausted because I am worrying too much, trying to please family, friends and make them proud of me, just so they don’t think I’m a failure. But then I asked myself: “Why am I stressing myself like this?”, I could never really understand why, but I just felt like I needed to… “It’s All or Nothing”“Failure is not an Option”, those were the only justifiable answers I kept saying to myself over and over again in my head. Even so, failure should never be an option, but then I realised that I cant keep using that as an excuse to stress myself out and worry excessively.

It’s very easy to give yourself a million reasons as to why you need to achieve your desired goal, which is good as it can motivate you, but it can also be an hindrance, because you have giving yourself so much reasons why you need to succeed to the point where you feel that failure can never happen. Well it can happen and it isn’t a bad thing, in some respects failure is needed for personal growth.  So don’t be so hard on yourself,realise that there are going to be setbacks along the way and understand that it’s part of your journey. Most of all don’t feel you have to please everyone. Your Journey should only fulfill you, making sure others are happy along the way shouldn’t be a prerequisite, friends and family will support you regardless.

Learn to trust your journey and continue to work hard to achieve your goals and aspirations, nothing comes easy in this life, but having persistence and dedication will always make your journey worthwhile. You can never be a failure for trying, it just simply means that you’re working hard to achieve what you set out to do. Do not worry or stress just keep working hard and have faith in your abilities. Yes!, it’s easier said than done but when you really think about it worrying never does you any favours.

When you fight for your dreams, secondary voices in your head are gone.