I made it a goal to learn something new every day, and I have committed to continuing this goal. I had learned things that brought me joy, sadness, disgust, bewilderment; so many emotions I discovered when I took the step to leave my comfort zone. I always hear that ignorance is bliss, but I always say that it is dangerous. How is it blissful to not feed your mind and continue living without the knowledge that is produced daily for us. The world is rapidly growing, how can people not want to be apart of that community. It is not wrong to learn; you were designed to function that way. There is a shift from learning for physical survival to mental survival. Take the time to acquire a new piece of information to grow your mind; you’ll be glad you did.
At some point in our lives, we have all felt sad. Sadness is an essential part of our lives because it reminds us of the need to be humble and offers a reference point for happy aspects of our lives. With sadness being an essential part of our lives, when does it become a problem? To me, it becomes a problem when the sadness lingers to the point where you lose interest in daily activities and leaving your bed becomes a physical battle.
I experienced this feeling growing up, but I never felt comfortable talking about it. I didn’t know how to start or who to speak to about the issue. I wanted to talk about it, but I feared being shunned or told to pray vigorously about it. I am a firm believer in prayers, but prayers without action wouldn’t benefit me, and I felt so lost. I also feared speaking out because expressing emotions wasn’t a common practice, so I didn’t want to be classed as an outsider.
I realised later that this trait, of not talking, was due to a coping mechanism brought about by the effects of slavery and colonialism. Before, I just thought it was reasonable to hold on to my feelings and let is damage me. I figured it was best to suppress it. That didn’t work because now as I get older, I saw my character developing from coping mechanisms based on my experiences. I thought about too many “what ifs” and hoped my life had gravitated differently. I’m now working on ensuring that my feelings are dealt with properly to prevent subsequent effects.
When talking to others about my experiences, I realised that others shared similar situations but are also afraid to speak about it. I’m so baffled that an issue so prevalent is not openly discussed. I believe it is crucial to remove the stigma related to sadness and depression. With May designated as Mental Health Awareness month, individuals are working to ensure this is normalised.
Our minds crave familiarity; it requires more energy to obtain new information, and thus it is considered unfavourable. When absorbing new experiences, the brain has to forge new pathways to store the memory. During this time, our minds are experiencing information overload and trying hard to make sense of this new “normal.” For those who are surrounded by family, you are lucky to have a constant reminder to help you adjust. For those with jobs, you have an opportunity to occupy yourself during this change. These times are so uncertain, but I believe we are resilient. There have been times where mass populations have encountered wounds and have eventually healed. We will not go back to our old existence, but we will find a way to coexist naturally again.