Just Because It’s A Race Doesn’t Mean I Can’t Catch My Breath

Introduction – My Crazy Thirties

Ever since I turned 30 I feel I have moved from walking on the streets of life with my chalewote (Ghanaian term for flip flops) and moved onto life’s treadmill of which I keep falling off.

I am a husband, father, employee, boss, rapper, poet, entrepreneur and pastor trying to balance or should I say juggle the many hats I wear while keeping my head shiny and my beard looking as neat as possible.

These roles are pretty new to me and though I have been rapping and performing poetry for a while, it has become quite the challenge alongside my other duties and passions. Writing is harder and memorizing and practicing performance difficult because between work and telling a boy to stop crying, the comas do not pause long enough for rehearsals let alone a haiku.

One minute I am jogging on the treadmill and next I am running towards pain instead of getting off the bloody machine. Why? Because I am keeping up appearances. Making an attempt or doing what everyone is doing because………

That’s the new normal!

Well, I AM TIRED!

Enough Is Enough

I am not the son of krypton and neither a super hero in the Marvel universe. Even they are met with situations that cause them to reconsider how they approach their fight.

Paul and Hondred Percent are the same and that often puts me in situations where I am doing things like others and not how Paul should be doing things. We are each different and go about things differently. We tend to forget that sometimes and feel that’s a one size fits all solution to things.

Keeping Up With Social Media

To be more specific, as an artist I have struggled in maintaining a social media presence. I am glad I uninstalled Snapchat because I couldn’t get my head around it’s purpose other than taking cute silly pics with my kids.

My audience hangs out on social media, thus in making a difference, it is a platform I can’t ignore.

That being said. Keeping up with social media is a rat race and there is a tendency to do stuff because the world is doing it or because it will bring about interaction such as likes, follows and comments. There is also a sort of sacrifice you give in the form of selfies, posts, videos etc to show you are relevant.

I tried to do this some years back by trying to write a blog post everyday. It was a good challenge and brought out the writer in me but got me forcing creativity and its natural flow.

I made several plans and executed but never got that post to stick on the wall.

Sometime last year my son destroyed my phone and forced a creative hibernation on my life which was much needed.

Catching My Breath

With a smart phone out of my life I was forced to take a breather.

I had been pushing and looking hard for a way to maintain a social media presence that I never considered the alternative of rest.

“What is rest going to do? What we need is to try something new”. This was my thought process and boy was I wrong.

The treadmill put me on this path of “don’t quit, get up and try again”, and frustrated the poetry in my life. I was not happy and stress was building as my pillow each night I slept. Not only because of my social media presence but other things of which I refused to get off the treadmill about.

I did not want to stop running. The world is running so I too must run without asking why? Or pausing to understand the why?

I believe I am not alone in this running on the treadmill saga of a problem. Because we enter the gym of life with the treadmill already turned on we forget that it has an off switch, that we can slow it down or get off and that seems like weird choices because the whole gym of life has others just running on treadmills in their nice outfits with earphones going faster but to where and for what, it’s not really clear.

I don’t know why the world is running but my running is not helping me reach my cause so I am stopping to catch my breath.

Alright Stop! Collaborate & Listen

Stopping didn’t mean I had quit. It just meant I was figuring out the best way of continuing. Sometimes this could take months and years. In this space I let God reveal what my truth is and how I can exist without faking it.

In the great words of Vanilla Ice in the hit song “Ice Ice Baby”, you have to stop, get in tune with your self, environment and God and listen to what all are telling you.

We’re 90% Done – Conclusion

It’s not easy and I am still figuring out this journey of life. I am however running on my own terms and want to make a difference to those around me. I want to share my struggles and successes with the world and help them in becoming the best person they can be.

I believe this is possible only with Jesus. You may agree or disagree and that’s okay. I believe that if you are truly seeking truth you will meet Him.

Don’t be caught up in the race the world is running. It’s okay to stop and catch your breath. Don’t worry if others keep running. The race is not to the swift nor the battle to the strong. Pause and reflect on the journey ahead. Ask for help and let truth help in finding the best way to continue running.

Keep it ONE HONDRED!

I Got My Period!

Girl: I got my period!
Guy: (thinking) THANK GOD!
The above is a perfect example describing the term, “breathe a sigh of relief”.
If you slept with a girl unprotected and she complains about a late period and later tells you that it came, you will understand the relief being described.
If a picture says a thousand words then the feature image by artist Ray Styles, says five thousand for sure. 
Unfortunately it’s something that is rarely discussed. Our culture is partly to blame for it. Parents and family rarely discuss sex with their children and it sometimes leads to them getting into situations that could have been avoided.
Today I want to take a brief look at what guys go through in this situation when at university and encourage all to discuss this more in order for the youth not to repeat the mistakes of our past.
Majority of what I am going to share is from a Whatsapp discussion about the feature image. Guys behavior in this situation is funny when viewed from the perspective that the girl’s period eventually came.
Instead of you studying in school, you are chopping girls.
When your sex partner speaks of period lateness and you had unprotected sex, boys can’t think straight.  
Stress be what! 😂😂😂😂
You lose appetite, can’t focus on studies, travel back in time to perform analytics on whether your little yous suddenly became faster than Usain Bolt. 
Some go forward in time and ask thought provoking questions such as:

  1. How much are diapers?
  2. Am I ready to be a father?
  3. What will I do if she is actually pregnant?

Some become religious and are looking for a miracle so bad that the “we’re not interested” attitude when student evangelists came over evolves into reception and a new born again status.
And they PRAY!
So if a university male student tells you he is stressed and it’s evident and he keeps praying, chances are he is in period camp.
(Period camp….that’s a nice way to describe what guys feel)
Most guys enter a “God save me and I will never have sex again” contract. The lies God hears, I wonder whether He laughs or views it as a lesson in disguise.
The icing on the cake is that the girl in question often doesn’t freak out the way the guy freaks out. This apparently depends on how you look at it. Internally girls freak out. They also freak out in the physical to their besties. In the presence of guys however they often play it cool and this drives guys NUTS!
So why can’t students just use protection and save themselves from this wahala (stress)? 

Condoms and a quote to emphasize what is precious
Condoms and a quote
 
That is a million dollar question. Is the education on contraceptives enough? Are youth these days pressured into being stupid?
The best thing is to abstain. I however would not put myself in a pot calling the kettle black situation and pretend that is the only solution. I repeat, it’s the best thing to do, not from a Christian standpoint but from EVERY standpoint.
If however you decide to delve into promiscuity, use protection. Yes, love without glove feels good and blah blah blah but let’s play a little game I learned in economics called opportunity cost. 
What’s the opportunity cost of you having unprotected sex?

  1. You could produce a baby ( don’t act you ain’t fertile)
  2. You can contract an STD (Sexualy Transmitted Disease).
  3. You can contract AIDS (I know it’s an STD but it deserves its own bullet point)
  4. The stress – I can’t quantify it but it’s a LOT.
  5. Cultural and societal embarrassment if you are a student and a baby is on the way.

The benefit of unprotected sex is the feeling and that as most ladies will tell you is not always guaranteed. So why risk it for some guy or girl you just met or your partner.
NEWS FLASH: a good portion of university relationships seldom make it to marriage so why fight against statistics. 
Conclusion
We need to discuss this more with others. Not only our peers but the younger ones as well. Society today is bombarded with enticement from all angles. 
The internet, social media and instant messaging escalates the importance we as adults need to place on educating the youth.
The problem is young people think they know. However letting them know of the close calls you had can be a turn around for them. A line after all needs to be drawn somewhere.
What has been your experience with late periods or period camp?
Will you discuss this with youth you know?
Let’s be real about this issue and keep it One Hondred!
A big thank you to Ray Styles for allowing me to use his image in this article and using his art to start a conversation.