So I dragged my 17 year old little brother Kennedy with me to IKEA. We walked around the showcase rooms "ooh"ing and "aah"ing till we came across a big white one.
"This one is big. It has space so it can fit alllllll (yes he dragged it out) your dresses. It's strong so it'll last. Its exactly what you need", Kennedy said matter-of-factly.
So, I bought it. What we didn't consider when we picked up the parts was how tedious it'll be to assemble something as big and strong as this wardrobe.
But we embarked on its assembly, in faith. Manual, nails, electric drill and hammer in hand, we began to build.
Three hours later, we had successfully put together the basic structure, albeit the back and the front. Or so we thought. The manual advised to place the back first, before the front. Kennedy didn't think it mattered. But I insisted we followed the manual.
So, we carried the back cardboard and attempted to place it as instructed. As we held it down to nail it down to where it was supposed to fit, it fell. We tried again, and it fell. And again, but it fell. It kept falling just before we could nail it down. For an hour we tried to fit the back. And over and over again, it fell. Even when it stayed, it was crooked. It just didn't seem to fit no matter how hard we tried.
Kennedy was getting frustrated. So was I.
"Ral but I've told you that its better we put the front first. This isn't working!" He said for the fifth time with a face that looked like it needed wrinkle cream.
"Kennedy, we are sticking to the manual so stop suggesting that and stop frowning". I said in my "big sis is talking" voice.
He didn't say anything while he tried to obediently fake a frustration-free face.
I felt bad for being rude when he was helping me. So, I continued.
"KK (as we fondly call him), go get something to eat. I'll call you after I finish with the back since its making you so upset. Ndo (sorry)".
He nodded and headed downstairs to the kitchen as I acquainted myself with the electric drill. I mustered every strength in me and held up the back cardboard to the half-structured closet. I rested my knees on the cardboard and held the cardboard down into place. It was crooked and it resisted but I forcibly drilled nails into the cardboard. It stayed in place.
It was crooked, yet it was in place.
It didn't look like it fit, but I figured "it works".
It didn't seem how the creators intended it to be, but that didn't matter to me, I just needed to pass this stage.
Thirty minutes later, I called Kennedy. It was finally the part he was looking forward to- putting in the front. We stood the closet up and attempted to place in the front.
Then we realized. It was all wrong. In the beginning, we had misunderstood instructions and had switched two vital parts so now the front couldn't fit either. That was why the back didn't fit. That's why it was crooked.
We had spent 5 hours putting something together, the wrong way. To fix it we'd have to dismantle everything and start building from scratch. We'd have to rebuild the basic foundation for the closet to stand. When the back didn't fit, I should've known. I should've taken the hint, yet I tried to make it work, just because I was in a hurry to get done with that stage.
As I stopped to take it all in, I realized the inspiration hidden in this unfortunate situation. My extra wardrobe was teaching me a lesson. It was teaching me that quick fixes never hold up in the long run. That's what happens many times in life.....in relationships. Even when the signs that it doesn't fit are glaring in our face, we hold it down and do what it takes to make "do". Even when its keeps falling apart, we keep forcibly putting it together. We often fail to reassess the foundations. We don't want to blame foundation because blaming foundation is more painful. And its more painful because it requires tearing down and rebuilding.
The process....its excruciating...realizing that you've spent so much time building something crooked. Even when we realize after we put it together that it doesn't look the way God the creator intended it to be, we convince ourselves it will work. Its only after we've ignored all the signs and attempted to live in false happiness, that we realize that nothing can stand on false foundation....that if something vital doesn't fit, it won't work....that if the back is crooked, the front won't hold.
Kennedy and I after considering quitting and paying someone to dismantle and rebuild it, decided we weren't quitters. We took a 15 minute break and returned to work. We dismantled the wardrobe taking time to remove every nail I hammered into the wood. Then we rebuilt it the right way...this time being careful at every step to follow instructions.
Amazingly, this time, when we placed the back cardboard, it stayed. It fit. We didn't need to hammer multiple nails into it for it to stand. This time, the front also fit like it was intended to. This time, my wardrobe stood comfortably, on its foundation...the one built carefully.
At midnight, Kennedy and I high-fived each other. The mission was accomplished. More so, we went to bed wiser than we were that morning.
|How the creators intended it to look|
|How it looked upon completion :-)|
|Then I added handles|
|Kennedy & I :-)|