I've worn mosquitto repellent from the ages of eight to seventeen.
Every morning, I would open a small, plastic packet of mosquitto repellent, and smother the lotion all over one arm. When I was younger, I could get away with using two packets, but eventually, I had to use seven to eight packets to cover my skin. The process was so tedious that I would put it on a four minute timer. I believed that the faster I could do it, the less of a nuisance it would be. By the time I was done, I patted my skin to feel the stickiness of the lotion. I wondered whether the humidity would allow the repellent to absorb into my skin. For a second, I pictured myself in a mosquito net onesie battling every unfriendly insect in the Congolese rainforest. However, it was just another day in eight grade, and I would have to do this for four more years.
"This is so annoying Mom," I complained.
"You have four more years of this. I think you should get used to it," she replied.
"Nature is so cruel....."
"You know what happens when you don't put mosquito repellent...Your school is a jungle."
"My school is not a jungle. It was constructed on a terrain of a jungle....This repellent doesn't get absorbed, and it's so sticky. How is this going to last through the humidity? "
"Just accept it for what it is. No point getting American repellent. It does not work here. You will have to use a lot more."
The solution to everything had become acceptance. Acceptance that some solutions may not always be easy to adapt to, but may be neccessary for your wellbeing. Therefore, accept everything for what it is, and difficult situations will frustrate you less.
At school, I watched others apply American repellent and still get bitten by insects. I remember suggesting to buy local brands, because at the time, I believed that Congolese mosquitos and other insects had different and stronger biting strategies compared to American ones. However, no one took my word for it.
After three years, a friend asked me, "Dude, why do you never get bitten?"
I replied, "Dude, buy Congolese mosquitto repellent."
"Does it have this strong perfume?"
"Ya, but it definitely fades away after an hour or so."
"Do you have to put a lot?"
"Yes, a lot! But, beware of driver ants. Sometimes they sting. I know, because I got stung twice. "