Enoma Osakue
About Author
May 8, 2020

Going Slowly

I have been meaning to share an update all year. 2020 started off with a bang and in a bid to maintain some healthy sense of priorities, I bumped my goals related to content creation. In short, there was a personal transition, a family health crisis, and —what felt like suddenly, a global public health crisis.

the pace I wanted for my life... could not overpower the friction life presented. I would need to go slowly

There is so... much... friction. It was late January when I had to reckon with the fact that the pace I wanted for my life, business, and dreams this year could not overpower the friction life presented. I would need to go slowly.

That revelation took me back to the first time I heard Jena Lee Nardella speak. She shared with the audience that, "In Kenya, they say pole pole, or slowly by slowly. In Zambia, they say panono panono, brick by brick."

The change we desire to bring to life or the battles we fight are not always sprints. Even if we’re really motivated, even when we’re filled with hope, we may only make a dent. Still, "do not be discouraged when things take longer than we expect."

Nardella also shares "I had a really amazing mentor who basically told me that hope is not passive wishing. It’s an active exercise. For me, the greatest maturing of my own story was choosing to stay with it even when the idealism faded..."

Read "What do you do when your idealism crumbles?"

And I’m still only talking about February.

Despite the fact that I already worked from home and had been working for myself for a few months, my life was still upended by the world plunging into a global crisis. I was just getting back into a rhythm of leaving home and engaging with friends recreationally. I had all these goals for staying physically active. There were even conversations about laying the groundwork for a new venture. That was halted.

The world isn't "taking a break." To be clear, our word is in crisis. The mental and emotional weight of grief, stress, and uncertainty are real. I found my usual indicators of good mental health in need of a tune up. My daily routines begged for attention. Reading Annabel Oak's reflections on self-care and how she's been adjusting helped me understand just how normal that was.

Read "Taking it Slow and the Gift of Time"

I made a choice in the beginning of the year to choose hope and to get comfortable going slowly. In a weird way, I'm grateful for the head-start on slowing things down. When another wave hits and throws me for a loop, I take a deep breath.

  • A friend speaking out about injustice gets shut down... deep breath.
  • A potential client goes with another contractor... deep breath.
  • A family member contracts coronavirus... deep breath.
  • An unexpected large bill... deep breath.
  • Another unarmed black person is killed... Deep. Breath.

Lately I’ve found it helpful to reflect on the first portion of The Serenity Prayer:

God grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change;
Courage to change the things I can;
And wisdom to know the difference.
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