Under Construction

Guest Writer: Wemi Opakunle

When I first saw my current apartment, I thought it was absolutely perfect for me. I had been living in a smaller space for some time and although comfortable, it was time to move forward. Within a few weeks, I was settled into my new place but then the challenges began. My building started going through some extensive renovations with walls being demolished and pipes being ripped out. My bathroom was the biggest victim. It was left with giant holes covered with temporary paper and would not be closed up until all the work in the building was done and an inspector gave the ok to do so. This meant I had to live in a less than perfect environment.

In my mind, the frustration was endless. ‘This isn’t what I signed up for,’ I thought. Everyday was met with some new drama of workers coming in and out of my space and leaving things in less than desirable conditions. One day, as I walked outside of my building, I caught a glimpse of the pipes that were ripped out. They had completely disintegrated into a shell of what they once were. Covered with rust and dirt, I wondered what would have happened if they had never been changed. I thought of a pipe bursting or some other unwanted calamity. I then thought back to the first day that I walked into that apartment. Everything looked perfect. The space had been recently renovated, the paint had barely dried when I saw it. There was absolutely no indication of the rotting pipes behind those walls.

This got me thinking about the facade that we put on as human beings –either knowingly or unknowingly. We go around looking like everything is perfect yet many of us need to go through some extensive renovations. With faces plastered with makeup and clothes that cost a fortune, we look like a million bucks on the outside. What’s going on inside however, is a totally different issue. Some of us have parts that are rotting at an alarming speed and need to be ripped out and replaced asap. For some of us, the work has already begun whether we like it or not. It’s not easy to go through something this huge. It is uncomfortable, painful and most times unbearably frustrating. I’m here to tell you to hold on and keep doing the work. Push through and allow the debris and cobwebs to be cleared out no matter how long it takes. Allow the Universe to break down the barriers, let It fix any leaks and most importantly, say yes to the necessary replacements. Take strength in the fact that the finished product will not only leave you in a much better place, it will surpass your expectations of who you thought you could be.

I recently walked by an open wall in my building and got a sneak peek of the new pipes that were installed. They looked strong, sturdy and able to weather the next few decades. I remember asking God for many years to give me a perfect new place. Looking at those new pipes made me realize that he not only answered my prayers, he also went above and beyond by putting the required finishing touches on his work.