Tag Archives: Fears

Why???


Marie Abanga
Needs perpectives and retrospectives

Why do you do the things you do?

Hello e-world and hope we all start off another week with gusto.

Today, I want to use 3 instances to reflect on why I do somethings I do. I am writing this post because some incidents in life have left me so full of contemplation or reflections on the why I do them in the first place. I am chosing 3 of them I think and hope we can relate with or just get us to think about our own instance.

  1. Cleaning up especially at others homes

I love cleaning up. You can read this post I wrote about that. When I visit someone, if I feel comfortable being there, I’ll very often end up in the kitchen offering to help. My task of choice is doing the dishes. And no not staking in a dishwasher which I near got so offended having to use in Belgium, I mean using my hands and dipping stuffs in water and greasing them clean. My next offer, is cleaning bathrooms. One weekend, I was at a friend’s and I felt the urge to clean the bathroom. That’s not my first time doing so, and well maybe sadly, each time I do it not even a thank you is said. That day a ‘selfish’ thought crossed my mind: ‘Why do it when no one cares anyway?’ … But then I calmed myself down, do it for the love of you and for the fact that you’ll be using the bathroom or clean dishes yourself anyway… In my home, there’s an artwork on which it is written: IN OUR HOME CLEANLINESS IS NEXT TO GODLINESS . I am happy living that mantra wherever I feel comfortable, appreciation or not!

        2.  Writing

I love reading and writing, have loved these from childhood. When 4 years ago I realized I could be an Indie Author, I skipped for it. For me, it was all about carrying a passion to another bigger platform. That has brought me so much joy, I keep writing both for publishing, on my blog and in my journals at home. Income for my writings is sincerely not measured by royalties but by the therapeutic wind blowing through my brain as I type. Secondly, when I get any feedback from someone who has been touched in anyway by what I write or have written, I am so fulfilled. I still don’t know how to read or understand wordpress statistics neither am I interested. I don’t compare my blog progress by likes, comments and views or clicks etc – really I’ll be deceiving myself if I wanted to take on monitoring those.  My love of writting even extends to doing book reviews regardless of if I get any on my own books. I mean I wish I could afford to be a professional book reviewer. Of the 25 reviews I have left on the amazon, 17 have been found to be useful. What Grace oh my! The same with reading, I read for the love of me, it’s a mental stimulation technique and ain’t that the best way of knowledge acquisition? That is why I follow so many blogs and read many of them, leaving comments on posts I am moved by. It musn’t and is the least reciprocal but I am ok with that. I don’t think I follow all who follow me anyway !

        3. Being & Stayinh positive

I recall insisting to my mum that all what I’ve been through in life I see as experiences and not hurts, mistakes and … I had quickly come to realize that to keep striving in life, I was better off being positive than not. Gladly, one way I discovered to be and stay positive is to deal with my emotions and process whatever I have been through sooner than later. I do those by writing and reading most especially. There are sure some situations which will take much longer to deal with and process, but the secret I have discovered is staying positive that that too shall come to pass. Being positive for me also means reaching out as soon as I can. I follow my instinct and reach out – more times than not, the support has been trememendous. A few weeks ago, I reached out by email to 5 or so blogging friends and they were each in their own capacity so supportive. Being positive for me is abovr all a guarantee of mental and emotional wellbeing. Even my physical wellbeing is assured if I know I am trying my best and some days workout and watching what I eat,  may be not as good as others. I have never measured the raison d’etre of my optimism by ‘material achievements’ or whatever is considered as ‘success’. I decided in January to keep a Gratitude Journal and each evening I write down at least 5 things am grateful for. That way, I lay me down to sleep with positive thoughts and actually keep track during the day only of such incidents. This morning for example, not panicking when I thought I was late fills me with gratitude and am positive I can thrive in that domain too.

And these dear e-world are some special instance which help me to realize the big WHY I do the things I do. I think getting to that point is a good thing and so maybe my post will help some of you start your own reflections too; or well just know you ain’t alone in your struggles to understanding why???

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Learning to Face My Fears Part 2!


This is part two of the series I started last friday and which I explained were those of my dear friend Ashley Rose

If you missed out on part one you could refresh here: When I am done with her series, I will share just one of mine, for now let’s read on, like, comment and share:

Facing fears can be a very difficult thing to do. I was diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder four years ago. With having an anxiety disorder, I have dealt with being afraid of going over bridges. When I was 8 years old, I went on a school field trip to the beach. While the bus was crossing over a bridge, a huge boat went under the bridge causing the bridge to open up so the big boat could make its way through. At the time I was panicked because I did not exactly understand what was happening. My teacher saw that everyone was scared, but was delayed in explaining the situation. I still get scared when I cross over bridges, but I have been able to lessen the panic significantly.

Watched video of bridge: I forced myself to watch a video of someone driving over one of the longest bridges in the United States. Watching the video was not as bad as I expected. My stomach turned a little in the beginning of the video, but I finished feeling very strong about facing bridges.

Drove over a small bridge: Usually when I go to the beach, I am with a family member or a friend who will drive over the bridge for me or coax me through it. I decided to face my very own fear and drive over the bridge in Savannah, Georgia which leads to Tybee Island. The bridge is very high and it is the one that we went over when I was eight years old. I finally drove it all by myself and it was the scariest thing I could imagine at the time. I was so nervous and held my breath. I was really scared because there was a big boat getting close to passing under the bridge and I was scared the boat would come busting through the bridge and my car would fall into the Savannah River and I would be gone forever. Of course, everything went smoothly going over and coming back.

Drove over a huge bridge: So I moved to Long Beach, California for a year to face fears and get different scenery from my home state of Georgia. I had to go to San Pedro to see a client one day and I tried my best to avoid going over the super big green Vincent Thomas Bridge, but it was inevitable. It was terrifying because the people around me were driving so reckless like they were on the set of “2 Fast and 2 Furious.” They were too fast and I was too furious. The bridge felt like it was a hundred miles long and it never ended. There was a lot of traffic and the lights were stop and go. The bridge looks old so I was worried it was going to fall any minute, but somehow I made it back home safe and sound.

I have continued to drive over bridges, not because I want to, but because I want to get to other states and places. I continue to face my fears head on and pray the entire way. My fear of bridges may seem a bit irrational, but it is very real to me. Slowly and surely, I hope to continue on my journey and face the fears that have paralyzed me for too long.

 

My Memoir writing journey!


I was recently asked by an e-friend of mine, to be a guest on her blog and share ‘some’ from my memoir writing journey. I copy paste the post in its entirety because there ain’t a re-blog option on her blog.

Drum rolls for my guest Marie Abanga

I’m so pleased to introduce my guest Marie Abanga, author of My Unconventional Loves: My Hurts, My Adulteries, My Redemption, a book written in a voice so raw and open it almost takes my breath away. Here she  tells how she created her book almost in complete secrecy because of what she calls her “embarrassing and shameful revelations.” Please welcome Marie. I am so glad she persevered and successfully completed her memoir project.

My Memoir Writing Journey
by Marie Abanga

MarieHi there, my name is Marie Abanga, author of the memoir My Unconventional Loves: My Hurts, My Adulteries, My Redemption. I was so happy when one of my favorite authors, Madeline Sharples, offered to host me on her blog. She asked me to do a post on my memoir writing journey for other beginners like myself.

I sort of knew what memoirs were and had read several. But I had not come across one with such embarrassing and shameful revelations like I included in mine. There may be worse ones out there, but the authors are more prone to bring out their ‘victim hood’ than otherwise. Sure, I did that too but to a very limited extent – I focused on my story, my mess. This is what I think appealed to me most, that I write my story and just that. I decided to write it as honestly as possible.

To use or not to use characters

To begin with, please understand something about my context. In the part of the world I come from, precisely Cameroon, you DON’T write such ‘crap,’ and if you have to, don’t use your name. It is one of those ‘taboos.’ It was therefore no wonder that when my sister got wind of my project, she quickly advised I use characters. Of course, I had already decided to use ‘nick names’ for all but myself because I wanted to be known as that ‘shameless’ woman who ‘successfully’ lived ‘parallel lives.’ Using ‘characters or nick-names,’ saved or spared me some embarrassment, but revealing myself, got me some embarrassment too.

Coming out of the closet

I don’t think coming out of the closet should be reserved only to LGBT. I mean, writing a memoir of any kind is a revelation by itself. You reveal yourself to yourself and to the world. You reveal your family sort off and you reveal other ‘stuff,’ which may directly or indirectly concern or probe others. Actually for me, writing and publishing my memoir was a big therapy for my near ‘nervous breakdown.’ I needed to see myself on paper, in no-nonsense words and in all the different feelings I experienced as I wrote what I had so far lived.

Writing in hiding

To be candid, what I wrote was even very powerful and embarrassing to myself. I dreaded what would have happened had my mother or someone else stumbled upon it. I dared not write on paper, and this had disadvantages. I then also didn’t know as much about the writing and social networks and resource websites for writers of my genre. I was scared and yet determined. I wrote my chapters at midnight when all were asleep or at 3 am before starting my 4 am workouts. I tried to password the file and give it a weird name. Publishing while still in Cameroon was out of the question. I actually hid that file away for almost two years until I found myself in Belgium and discovered CreateSpace.

What I have learnt

There is no point ‘writing your memoir in hiding.’ There are lots of websites, workshops, and nice people out there prepared to help and guide or even reassure you as you embark on that ‘tedious journey.’ After ‘opening up’ and reading several other more poignant memoirs (though none from a Cameroonian or even an African author so far), I have come to realize and accept the fact that my story is not the worst ever. I have also come to benefit fully from the ‘largess’ of that ‘courageous endeavor.’ Indeed, as I keep telling people, my writing is my therapy and message and so is my memoir.

Thank you Madeline Sharples for writing your soulful memoir. Special gratitude also to some authors like Linda Joy Myers, Sherrey Meyer, Joyce Meyer, Iyanla Vanzaart, Ellen Johnson and of course Maya Angelou for sharing your stories and much more. I am forever inspired and motivated by strong women like you.

Marie’s bio:
Marie Abanga describes herself as: “A dynamic and passionate woman, mother of three boys, lawyer, activist, mental health advocate and feminist.” She is a native of Cameroon in Africa and currently lives in Brussels, Belgium. She is enrolled at the Brussels School of International Studies as an LL.M candidate for international law with international relations. She also works as the Regional Manager Africa for the Women In Parliament Global Forum. Marie was a pioneer community champion for the UN Women Knowledge Gateway for Women’s Economic Empowerment and has been spotlighted by various feminine magazines, including Women’s Lead and the Girls Globe. Fluent in English and French her native languages, she speaks pidgin English and tries to understand Italian and Swahili. In addition to her memoir, Marie keeps two blogs: her award-winning http://marieabanga.com andhttp://myeverydaypersonal.blogspot.be/. She is making strides into the social network world, keeps numerous journals including one for her first son, and has a second memoir in the ‘conception’ stage.