While picking up medicine from my neighborhood pharmacy, I’m informed -by the Pharmacist- that my name means “Made of Gold” in Hindi. I pause, I haven’t heard this one before. Truth is the years have taken their toll on me and I have not felt anywhere near that sentiment in years. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve felt special, just never “Made of Gold”. So, -Who are the people in your neighborhood? – the Sesame Street song starts playing in my head. The Pharmacist made my day. He made me feel special.
In Lunda -my native Zambian language- my name means “To Write”. Ironic really that I ended up fulfilling that prophecy. Humanity shares similar words across the planet, Google my name, and it gets hits all sorts of hits. I’m not sure if what the Pharmacist said is true, but I’m taking him at his word. I have needed prescription medication for hypertension for a while and it’s inevitable that I developed a relationship with him. The average hypertensive person is stereotyped as overweight, with a terrible diet, I am neither of these. In fact, I live in a predominantly organic-food eating home, and prior to a year ago, exercised regularly. Truth is -according to the doctor- my malady is hereditary and stress related.
The stress part is easy enough for me to understand, I’m a constant worrier, who tends to like to think he can fix things, that sometimes can’t be fixed. I over-work and I’m unable to establish boundaries around a healthy life-work balance. Coupled with whatever post-traumatic issues my parents passed down, it’s no wonder I pop pills. So how do I get from this to balance? Purposeful and deliberate self-healing. I need to treat my body like it’s my job. I’m not getting any younger and things I could do quite easily, are a little harder. Everything now requires a little more purposefulness and awareness, even our relationships.
Today I purposed myself to have lunch with a friend that I have treated like an acquaintance for years. We have always spoken about getting together and a few days ago I asked him to break bread with me, and so we sat in Pei Wei and made conversation. It made me realize that my walk has been a lonely one, void of true connection. Friends often serve the role of reminding you about the special things about you. I have been told by many just how they appreciate me and so it’s a bit of a puzzle as to why I still suffer from the pangs of loneliness. I am not alone; many men are living in emotional isolation. We have to unload the stress, create the right balance between achievement and fulfillment, and fill our souls just as hard as we work to fill our bank accounts.
So when the Pharmacist said “Made of Gold,” I connected. Yes, I am. I need to remember that.