Learning To Exit

Little by little, I am unlearning tardiness, having seen how much 'African-timing' has stalled my individual progress. But over time, I have come to know that showing up punctually is not the only skill to be learnt in mastering time; there is a gift of tact that comes with knowing when to round-off; of making a graceful exit in ones daily encounters. 

Sometimes I take for granted that sixth sense, that inner perception that announces to me quietly that a matter has come to an end. It tells me when I have outstayed my welcome; It whispers to me that this love is going unrequited; it comes with this  knowing that dawns on me that I have just arrived in a place where I haven't been invited.

It's the sixth sense that tells me to end the call and quit yammering on the phone because I have lost the audience of the other person at the end of the line. It tells me   when the joke is over-flogged.

But at times some of us are so full of "faith" that we keep pressing, hoping to effect a change and in our faithful pursuit, we make a fool of ourselves.

I have come to know that there is a sheer line between doggedness and desperation; between the persistence of faith and the acts of foolishness. Sometimes I get drunk on my own sense of self-acceptance that I assume  that I would never suffer rejection. But I learn daily that not everyone would find me beautiful; not everyone would find me clever or fun to be with (and obviously their opinion doesn't count).

I have learnt  that desperation makes a puny out of you; that punctuality in arrival isn't enough.  There's a beauty in wrapping up tactfully, in closing a chapter without tearing the pages of the book; of walking away from that door that has chosen not to open and saving your knuckles the perpetual pain of knocking. There's a grace in slipping away quietly, without dramas, without creating scenes.

Arriving on time is beautiful but learning to exit is even more graceful.

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