2:45A.M, I woke up startled. There was total silence except for the occasional ticking of the clock; It was pitch dark but for the shaft of moonlight that made it through the gaps between the closed curtains. For a moment, I didn’t know who or where I was.
Looking around for something to jolt my memory, I spotted the white wooden door and smiled. It all came rushing back; I was in a guest room in my brother’s house – on a much awaited vacation, far away from home.
Picking myself off the bed, I made my way to the restroom and back but not without bumping into a few things in the dark. My host clearly didn’t leave his generator on all night despite the power outage, I thought, but I was too excited to complain as I reached for my phone to go through the planned activities on my notepad app – I couldn’t wait.
Seeing the word “Houston” sprawled all over my notes seemed to trigger something in my brain and i shrieked in disbelief as I reached for the wall to flip the light switch and voila, there was light!
I couldn’t believe it!!! This would make a mockery of any comedy show. How could I travel for thousands of miles over seas and oceans only to arrive at a different destination still wearing my Nigerian “thinking cap”? I knew I was in Houston but somewhere in my subconscious mind, instead of checking to see if someone had turned off the light, I simply associated the darkness with the frequent power outage I was used to in my home country – Nigeria. I really couldn’t believe myself!
After consuming enough sugar at breakfast, I summoned the courage to tell my family about the mishap. I wonder if telling them was a wise thing because it very quickly became the family joke of the century, one that I’m sure my unborn children will hear about.
I somehow outlived the embarrassment and managed to enjoy the rest of my vacation but not without a few more embarrassing situations which I won’t tell you about.
Strapped in my seat on my flight back home, I remembered this ridiculous incident again and couldn’t stop laughing whilst making a mental note of how important it is to adjust to new circumstances and this made me think of “dressing for the season”.
Seasons can vary significantly and each season requires some changes in lifestyle or clothing depending on the part of the world you live in.
Certain seasons (such as winter) are accompanied with harsh weather conditions which require some adjustments and extra clothing for us to survive but when these seasons change, so do our clothes.
In the same vein, it’s possible for us find ourselves in unfavourable circumstances such as being in abusive relationships, working for oppressive bosses, drowning in debt or dealing with a heartbreak. In order to survive, we adopt coping mechanisms such as holding back our expressions and thoughts, second-guessing ourselves and burying significant parts of our personalities to enable us cope with that season.
After some time, our subconscious minds accept our coping methods as normal such that we do them even without thinking much like how how I responded to darkness as power outage.
It’s possible that in one or more areas of our lives, our seasons have changed but we are stuck with habits and coping mechanisms from an old season. It’s not any fault of ours, it’s how our brains are wired – to protect us. But maybe our brains are still protecting us from situations that have long changed so we are partially dressed in clothes from an old season, in a new season of life.
We sometimes hold on to these mental clothes subconsciously like I did, or consciously out of fear.
Maybe we now have new jobs with supportive bosses or new relationships but still can’t express ourselves for fear of being put down. Maybe we still hurry back home everyday from fear though the abusive partner is gone. Maybe we sustain lifestyle patterns that keep us from meeting new people because of a heartbreak even though the pain is long gone.
It’s time to make a deliberate effort to clean out our mental wardrobes and get rid of clothes that keep us from making the best of a new season. It’s time to get rid of our negative expectations and insecurities so we don’t lose great opportunities. It’s time to let our guard down, completely losing the coping mechanisms of the old season.
It’s time to hope again, believe in ourselves again and give life another shot. It’s time to be consciously clothed for this season with confidence, new expectations and goals; it’s time to get “Dressed for the Season”.