December is the month of sweet endings, it comes with fabulous holidays, a feeling of cheer and great expectations for the new year. It is also a time to clean out your closet, pack up shop, walk away and most importantly eliminate toxic people from your life so that you start the new year on a clean slate.
It seems that every Christmas for the past three years I have been doing just that!
My first Christmas, I eliminated a toxic landlord from my life. Dude had told me he was a ‘witch’ and had been monitoring my husband and I and was gonna show us his power was superior to ours (Abegiii Jesus power SUPER POWER!) – among other crazy stuff he said. Now if I lived in Chicago, i’d scoff at that and probably hook him up with a shrink but I live in Nigeria, Benin city for that matter (Did I hear someone say haaaa?!!!) anyway we prayed and started house hunting with a passion and in a week we had found this lovely house in an estate that made me feel like I was still living in Las gidi ;-).
Fast forward one year and another toxic situation was crying out for an eviction! My job had hit rock bottom. I had lost my enthusiasm for the boring routine and was daydreaming about having the sort of job that I didn’t dread going to everyday. You know that job that actually pays the bills, boosts your career aspirations and still gives you enough free time to spend doing extra curricular activities in addition to an awesome work environment (Did I hear someone say amen?) Well most of us only dream about jobs like that and my present job was far from it and just when I was half heartedly considering becoming a housewife, a new job came up; one I had applied for ages ago and voila the toxic situation got the boot!
Now this Christmas I wondered what detox I was gonna have as I eyed every unsavory person and situation in my life like a kid waiting for a miracle and then just this morning I sacked my driver. I had been managing the reckless driving, constant insubordination and manhandling of my vehicle for months till it had gotten to a point where I didn’t even consider it a foreign stressor anymore. His presence in my life had been registered in the box in my head labeled ‘necessary evils’ but last night he took it too far and when I fired him this morning I felt such a whoosh of relief that I was quite amazed at the sort of burden his exit from my life had lifted.
So how about you? What sort of toxicity are you managing? Here’s a list of toxic people and situations trending this christmas:
- A relationship that doesn’t bring you joy anymore.
Is your boyfriend a cheat or have you been dating for so long and yet the relationship seems to be going nowhere? Do you have this feeling of discontent when you think about the person you are dating? Are you only with this person because you are afraid of being alone?
A friendship that is putting a strain on you.
Do you know deep down that this friend doesn’t have your back? Are you investing so much in this friendship and not getting anything out of it? Are you still friends with this person because you guys have been friends for years or the person did you some good years ago? How about the present?
A job that you have lost enthusiasm for. Is your job getting you where you hoped you would be career wise? Have you been passed over for a promotion or a raise countless times? Do you have job fulfillment? Is this what you always dreamed you would do? Is the work environment conducive for you? Is your company about to go under but you are scared of jumping ship despite all the signs? Is your boss horrible to work with?
A hired help that does more harm than good.
After watching the Ugandan maid beat up that toddler or hearing about the Abuja maid who strangled a 3 year old because the parents wouldn’t let her travel home for Christmas or the keke driver who sold a woman’s three kids to ritualists in Warri for 5 million naira or my very own driver who drove my car into a ditch because I couldn’t give him money for his house rent, one needs to be very careful about the people who work for you. Once your instincts tell you to cut them loose do so at once, delay may cost you more than you ever bargained for.
5. A situation that you have been bearing for a long while.
I know Nigerians are great at suffering and smiling but sometimes all one needs is a little push to change a lifelong difficult situation. How long will you keep managing? How long will you keep depriving yourself of the happiness you deserve? Till death? (God forbid)
Even if your trouble didn’t fall into numbers 1-4 above, 5 is definitely all encompassing. Aren’t you tired of the toxicity in your life? Isn’t it time you said ‘ENOUGH‘?
You can’t continue being a pawn in life’s circumstances. Waiting for ‘fate’ to smile at you or for something to finally happen. You need to do something! If you are not happy about any aspect of your life it is your duty to fix it. Nobody is gonna do anything about it for you. Life na per head and it’s too damn short to live it managing situations or people you had no business with in the first place. What’s the worst that could happen? We just allow the fear of the unknown keep us in shackles all year long. I know a friend who at 30 is quitting her very lucrative bank job and wants to go back to school just so she can pursue her dream- her actual dream not the second hand dream constant hustle makes you settle for. I admire her a lot and this coming 2015 I have decided that it would be a year of many leaps of faith however small. It’s time to release the greatness in you and the first step is to eliminate toxic people from your life. Anyone that robs you of your joy and peace has got to go!
Who’s with me???
Season’s greetings chutzpah fam,