SODIUM CHLORIDE (NaCl)

If we got a dollar for anytime someone said: “oh you’re cute”, we’d be billionaires. (It may be a bit of an exaggeration but you get the drift). One thing l have realised is that our friends often assume we are alike and hence the reason why we have been together for a while. Although there is an element of truth, we are quite different.

If you’re thinking we’re two peas in a pod, then please think again. We’re far from that. To be honest, if we were to have a similarity test, it would probably fall somewhere below 50%. 

My life is the real version of l know people but l don’t have a lot of friends. I have just a handful of friends and for people who are not as close l can come across as, let me use some of their words: stuck up, intimidating and reserved.

When we first met, I was actually one of the people who saw her as those words she just stated above. I was helping her out with her role as a delegate journalist for a Model UN Conference and thinking about it, she gave off the “let’s just get this work done with and go our separate ways” vibe. The stark contrast in our personalities came into play right from the start but we managed to put out some great work.

I would say I am an ambivert. I like my space. l mean I love my space but also love to hang out with friends and family. I can be quite the tease and the clown 🤡 amidst them. 

I don’t know how she understands the word ambivert but to the best of my knowledge, it’s not a perfect balance. The introvert in her has the upper hand. When it comes to meeting people, she doesn’t want to come out of her shell unless she already knows them. 

When it comes to our relationship though, it’s not a secret at all, everyone, including our parents are in the know. But let’s say I am the private one. I would prefer putting us up on my status occasionally because a good number of people who have my number are friends so l can deal with the comments that come up with putting ourselves out there. However on other social media platforms, l often refrain because my reserved nature rares its head. I am overwhelmed with comments, l am unsure what to say as a response. l literally feel like a child who has been sent to a new school. Abeiku is the exact opposite. He is what l describe as a people person. He would easily strike a conversation with others, offer help when you need it and would show us off anywhere, literally anywhere😂.

She’s actually right about me showing her off everywhere. It usually takes me five minutes in a room for everyone present to know that there’s someone in my life called Pearl.

So although, l do not mind expressing himself about us, l am more laid back with social media with regards to us.

At the core for both of us, is definitely not to be advocates for picture perfect relationships that look great on social media but privately filled with dysfunction.

You know how people scream “Goals 😍” at literally every cute picture of a couple online these days. That’s not the aim. To reach whatever goal there is, there’s a lot of work to be done. It may seem the importance of building a relationship, while balancing contrasting personalities is something which cannot be overemphasized. Through our communication daily, we find out new things and ideas we do not share the same views on. The most important part of that process is ensuring that we can live with such differences. We know about the whole toilet seat up or down, or the toothpaste from the bottom or middle thing, but sometimes, it may go deeper than that to certain values and for us, even though there are a lot of things we disagree on, the core values we are not willing to compromise are actually similar so that helps a lot. 

We live each day at a time, with no pressure. We don’t have a need to save face to please anyone. So how come we have made it this far despite our differences? First things first Jesus at the centre in us individually, then in our relationship. And also you know how people say opposites attract like beans and Gari (okay this is me saying my cravings out loud).

No one uses Gari and Beans as a reference for that but we’ll just let it slide. Oh yeah that’s one other difference. I’m the funnier one. 😂

These differences however have not always placed us on a smooth road . There have been instances at the beginning where Abeiku would like me to come hang out with his friends and l would ward it off , for fear that i might not fit in or they would assume (assumptions another deadly weapon) l was stealing their time with their buddy.

There was one time, I had her join me to meet friends at Zen Gardens. For the entire duration of that meet up, she looked like she wanted the ground to open up and swallow her up. I could count the number of words she said that day on one hand.

There have also been instances  where l would be struggling with something and instead of sharing, l would subconsciously shut him out because l did not want to bother him.

It really irked me. Felt like getting home after a long day and ringing the bell while people were home but purposely refusing to answer. It used to be quite frustrating too because I sometimes wondered if I was the reason for what she was going through and so shutting me out completely was also kinda unfair but with time we talked about it and worked on meeting halfway and sharing whatever we were going through with each other.

If there is one thing l have learned from Abei, it is communicating effectively. Let me paint a picture of a typical scenario. I was working with an international team on a project. l put in a lot of work that spanned months, and at the last minute, l could not join the team for the final event because of a challenge beyond my control.  I am not even going to “front”. I was heartbroken. So let’s go back to the day l had the news.  l texted Abei that this was the situation & immediately he is calling on video call. I end it and tell him l am not a great person to have a conversation with at the moment. He says no problem he just wants to call and listen.So he calls and asks how l feel. I am barely 3 sentences in explaining and l burst out crying. He waits till l am all done. He then asks that we pray. He does, then encourages me and says okay what are the next possible steps to take. This project sincerely took a toll on me , so to start from the scratch was exhausting to think about, but God came through not as l expected but He did. I would share an excerpt of a message from a colleague l had to report to.

Since we’ve got all that out of the way now, on a lighter note, she supports Arsenal. The last time she celebrated winning a major trophy like the Champions League was never. Unless I count as a trophy; then that was a few years ago. I’m a fan of the best team in London. The Pride of London. 

So if you’re wondering why i would go through with this, there is something that Jackie Hill Perry says that best summarizes it: Although social media platforms can  provide a false sense of intimacy, there is a redemptive aspect to showing a fraction of your life , for others to see themselves in and hopefully God through.

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