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  • Writer's pictureChef Nii

Homemade Lemonade




Chalè! I can’t write oh!!! I can’t write! Since I have been back from Ghana it’s been a struggling something. I haven’t been able to write anything, not even a dot. God…is it because of all the waakye I ate? Or the plantain? Wait! Did Papa’s Pizza report me to you?? “Taste it! Love it! Taste it! Love it! It’s Papa’s Papa’s Papa’s Pizza!!!!” I am sorry I couldn’t help myself… But if I get that pizza… Focus Nii!!! Focus! Yes! Yes! I can’t write oh!!!


I have put out posts this year, at least 5 of them, each of them bordering along the same lines, I wrote those posts in Ghana you know. I left for Ghana all excited about going on holiday, but plans changed as soon as I landed. I literally walked into an unforeseen assignment, this unexplainable urgency to create as much content as I could. I must say I didn’t even blink, with rest mode deactivated, we reached out for the work mode switch and pulled down with full force, moving at incredible speed, picking up momentum as we went along. This paid off because I came back with a six month buffer for all my platforms. Gods’ mercy because...I tell you!!!


Not being able to write means I am literally keeping everything bottled up inside, and I know that is not good. I have come to the understanding that to be able to handle more you need to let go of some. So this present predicament is definitely not good, so today we must write. With honesty being the best policy, let me start off by stating that this wouldn’t be the first time I have picked up my laptop, since the big bird dropped me off at the Big Ben, did you get what I did there? ... No? ... ok. But, yet once again, just like the so many other occurrences which, has become my reality right now ... words have eluded me, this year I haven’t been able to write anything, NOTHING!


I remember having a conversation with, let’s call her Ashikai, about my posts, worried about how sad they were. I remember telling her “I don’t know why but all my posts are just sad, the previous season was more upbeat, funky fresh! But this!!!”, and I remember her saying, “Nii you can’t help it if that is how you honestly feel, its ok to go through all the emotions, just allow yourself to go through the process. Just keep writing as truthfully as you can”. Around that time Bontle put up a post that spoke to that exact situation which I must confess I stole, it said:


We are not meant to be happy all the time. We are meant to experience every emotion fully and deeply and embrace both pleasure and pain so we can truly grow. Think about it, sunshine all the time will make a desert.” #brokentopeace (Maribel Cintron).


A lot has been going on, A LOT! Which in reality should make good content, but my coping mechanism has always been to withdraw. So, in my mind it is not happening, I am just looking on from the outside at somebody else’s experience. Now I believe my previous posts though sad were necessary, talking about those things enabled me to let go of things that I had carried for so long and created enough room to be able to harbor everything that is going on right now.


I am going to stop blubbering and try, I am going to try and start this conversation. I need to as this is beyond me and there probably is somebody waiting to hear this. I can’t keep holding on to somebody’s lifeline. But I am going to do this my way! The only way I know how to, focusing on the good.

Despite all that has and is going on, there have been glimmers of hope too you know, good occurrences, rainbows that can easily be overlooked. But my way is to focus on the good, so despite all that didn’t happen, let me talk about something quite significant that did happen which was so unexpected! Basically, I can smile again!



A long time ago life threw me a lemon, but when life throws you lemons what do you do... Well, what do you expect me to do? “Except to pick up those lemons and throw them at others so they can also feel my pain!” I mean, that can only be the right thing to do, or?? Ok! Ok!!! I have changed, more like I am changing, I mean I do pick up those lemons, at least, I have stopped throwing them, ok some, I have stopped throwing some of them, we will get there, baby steps.


These lemons ... curve balls, unexpected...surprising...disruptive somethings, that life keeps throwing at us, expecting us to be quick with our reflexes and responses, else you get hit in the face leaving some damage. Now me, with my slow reflexes and delayed responses, let’s just say I get smacked in the face, a lot, leaving me with all these...scars.


I am walking up these flight of stairs, running that faithful day in my mind over and over again. An unforgettable curve ball thrown at the age of six is the reason why I will forever remember this very walk up these flight of stairs.


Today it ends...hopefully, the final chapter of this ... lets say heavy story, and another begins, “The lack of expectation mitigates disappointment” is the reason why I can but only hope. I take out my phone, turn on my camera and look at the repercussions of that curve ball, two innocent children frolicking, precipitating in a casualty, that put enmity between us ... a mirror and me. The next time this camera comes on, things will definitely be different, I can but only hope.



The moments finally here, 18 years of piggy backing, and we are finally here. I am trying to put my phone away but once again, I am struggling. Which has become a norm now, a repercussion of passion turned into tragedy, another curve ball thrown, a day that will stay with me forever, for life has never been the same. My love for fish taken away from me, for what holds it together lost its course, entering into my bloodstream resulting in two unforgettable experiences.


Going under the knife, to come back with no feeling in my arm. Then to be sent back, only to return to with some feeling, loads of questions and most importantly, the fear of not being able to cook again... With rehabilitation, well let’s just say I may never be able to properly hold a chop stick again... if only you knew. There are a lot of things I have to relearn for my finger is bent on holding on to the past, refusing to let go, and to look straight on, ahead. So I am looking at my finger now, curved and I can but only...Smile


“Why don’t you Smile?” The question is “Could I ever? For that meant being vulnerable, exposing an insecurity I have kept neatly hidden away, on most days, until I realized my path was in front of the camera, and smiling was going to be a constant. I guess after a while, the words that are said, the laughter, the comments that are made and posted no longer bother you, well maybe not as much anymore. And after all you have mastered the art of pulling of a mean look, and acting indifferent, pretending your bad teeth don’t bother you.



I get called into the examination room, as I am prepped I get emotional. Finally!!! Finally its all over!” Today it ends, no more pretending, the beginning of a new era. The procedure begins and its painful, but all that’s going through my mind is, “It’s going to be worth it! “the past can stay in the past.” I repeat these words to myself, over and over again, my crutch.


It’s all done now, my face is on fire, I can’t feel my mouth, I run my tongue over my teeth and...my God! They hand me a mirror, I lift it up to my face and … smile. Well at least I try to, my teeth! Finally I can...smile.


My emotions...hidden, I say my thank you’s and walk out the door, these people don’t know me like that! And walk towards my Uber. I approach the steps, descending and then I can’t keep it in anymore. I break down. Finally I get to drop this ball, finally....


I can’t stop smiling in my camera, it must be tired of me already. But, I was washing my face today and couldn’t help but smile into the mirror ... again. Then I catch glimpse of my curved finger, then the many scars from moments in time. Then it hits me ... trophies


“Scars” in reality are “Trophies”; reminders of unique yet unforgettable stories from experiences past, some still ongoing. Stories of triumph, stories of growth, stories of victory! Trophies that shouldn’t weigh us down, or hinder us, but trophies that remind us of what we are capable of, of how much we have overcome, of how strong we are. “YOU ARE STRONG!!!”


So when you see me ask me about my trophies and I will recount my triumphant stories.


Chale, until the cock crows again, keep enjoying your kelewele against your pure water.


The Sun,

Sunshine

And Sunflowers





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