Wrestling With Death: Coming Out of the Dungeon

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Article by: Stephen Kimani

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Catch up with part one of the Wrestling with Death series here.

I’m in a dungeon, a cold dark pit. I feel lost like I am deep in the woods, and the wolves of desperation and despair are circling me. They are closing in. If I do not do something, I’ll be stuck in this dungeon. With the cold and mud, I may need defibrillators to shock me back to life.

I have been trying to find a shred of light in this tunnel, to help me find my way out. But the more I stay here, the more I get used to it. I justify it with convictions that underserve my dream. I never knew such was the path to complacency. Now, I can’t find the ladder to climb out of my pit of darkness. I fear that I’ll wake up one day ten years down the line, and realise that I have veered so far off track that I cannot retrace my steps.

At a certain point, I was focused, energetic and motivated. I woke up every morning knowing exactly what to do and why I was doing it. I was creating the biggest company anyone has ever thought of. In my small bedsitter, I would wake up at 3 am and do some transcription work to take care of the bills. Then, I’d spend the entire day developing the Living the DREAM philosophy.

This was two years ago when I was living. I was going at my dream with everything I had, and I made some impact. What my partners and I were doing then was amateur. None of us had prior experience in building a company, let alone a company whose product is information and education. But, it was our dream. It still is. So, we gave it a shot.

Only a few individuals get to live their dream. I always wanted to be one of them. At that particular time, I lived it. I was on a clear ladder to my heaven. It was happening. I was drawing near. But I lost my faith and my energy. I became exhausted.

I took it easy one day. One day turned into a week. One week turned into a month. Now, I sit at my desk, two years later, and I cannot state my goals. I think long and hard. What are my three-year goals? What are my one-year goals? I can’t see them.

When you look at me on the outside, things appear good. My friends and family know that life is doing me well. But I’m afraid of what happens tomorrow because the life I’m living today was built on yesterday’s foundation. These are the fruits of the effort and focus I poured in when I was on a roll.

I don’t know how tomorrow will be for me. I know no one does, but at least, when you know you have prepared for your winter, you are at peace. I’m not. I’m already feeling the cold, and it’s not even tomorrow yet.

I have learnt so far that the difference between a dream and reality is like heaven and earth. And until it is accomplished, it remains a dream, still as far as the heavens. Thus, just like the spiritual pursuit of heavenly life, it is even more difficult to manifest my dream on earth.

The only thing I look forward to now is writing these articles. They are how I process my distraught life and get a feel of my pulse. It is there but very far. Which is why I need a life. I need a goal. I need to redevelop my big picture, to update my dream. Yet somehow, it is overwhelming. I cannot wrap my head around it. It is still hidden in the depths of my dungeon.

Every time I ask myself what my three-year goal is, I’m reminded of the dungeon I am in. But from the life lessons I have picked so far, I should take it a step at a time when in such a place. Pick a direction, pick a goal. Pick something to aim at. It might not be the best goal or best choice. Either way, pick one.

So, I have started moving, one step at a time with manageable goals. I am happy with myself because at least I have gotten around to this second article. I know it is not a book, but I have reached a goal. And I have been creating and following a routine for the last two weeks. Keeping that routine is my lifeline. Achieving minute goals is how I stay sane and alive.

I might not have the full image of what I’m building. And I know that can be disappointing and demotivating, making my efforts feel as if they are in vain. However, I know that what I’m building will not be complete without the brick I’m laying today. So I will keep laying these bricks day by day, and maybe soon, I will get a glimpse of sunlight.

Maybe as I keep on with my tiny goals and habits, I will get to a corner where I can see at least three years ahead. But for now, I keep pushing to get out of this muddy, dark, and cold dungeon.

Also Read: Wrestling With Death: The Day I Realised I Was Dying


Wrestling With Death is a four-part series (running every Friday) by Stephen Kimani, drawing from his internal fights with the self, in the throes of trying to recapture momentum and stay afloat. 

Read part three of the series here.