Yesterday was my birthday! (Yea I accept cyber hugs too so feel free to send as many as possible). As per my yearly tradition, a few days before my birthday, I take some time out to reflect. This inevitably rouses past hurts, pain and on the bright side, amazing times I have had, with friends family and everyone close to me. During these reflections, I reflect on the lessons I have learnt in the past year, past five years…or whatever time frame I can still recollect. Many of these lessons were learnt the hard way and some were learnt under lighthearted circumstances or from the experiences of others. These lessons played a big part in shaping who I am and I feel the need to share some of them
- The Determination Lesson: I never knew how determined I was until I found myself at an Afrikaans university. Lectures were offered in Afrikaans, some lecture notes were in Afrikaans and really, everyone spoke or at least understood sufficient Afrikaans to get around. I had never heard of Afrikaans and was not in any way aware of the university’s language policy at the time I registered. I had two choices- to leave, wait a year and start somewhere else, or to imbibe the culture, learn a bit of the language and just keep my eye on the ball. I was depressed for the first few months but I am glad today that I stuck it out and studied at one of the most prestigious universities on the continent.
- If it’s not broken, don’t fix it! Like seriously, this lesson should be taught in university, especially for people like me that are always trying to ‘improve’ things that already work efficiently! I started using a certain brand of skin products on my face; they worked perfectly; I had no outbreak of acne, no weird blemishes, my skin was just fine! I walked into the drug store two months ago and noticed a new range of products that promised even and smooth skin. I figured, why not use both products and enhance my skin’s appearance- colossal disaster are the only words with which I can describe the results. Oh dear! I had pimples the size of shotput! I crawled back to my first product range, tongue-tied, hat-in-hand and completely remorseful for not trusting enough. Yeah…in case you’re wondering what the hell this skin jargon is about, think of how it applies to your relationships!!! For some reason, people become hungry for more once they start dating; many men suddenly feel the need to add an extra ‘booty’ to the equation while some women feel the need to start demanding things they know their partner is incapable of providing. Stop trying to fix something that already works!
- Stoop to Conquer: Ooooh….I still remember how enthralled I was at the age of 12 by this amazing story by Oliver Goldsmith. Fast forward, years later, I realized the lighthearted story that made me giggle as a child had an important lesson for me too! There are times when you are faced with difficult situations fueled by difficult people who simply consider themselves way too important, when in actual fact, they are battling low self-esteem; taking such people on head-on might spell catastrophe for you especially of that person happens to be of a more senior position. seriously, it’s like a game of poker where people bluff and suddenly shock the other players with a good hand. Stop showing all your cards; stop making noises about how you intend to ‘deal’ with someone for making life difficult. Stoop to conquer difficult people! Play their game, make it seem like they have you where they want you. It’s not stupidity, it’s playing smart! Like a friend once said to me…”the best way to control people is to make them think they are in control”.
- No one is more special: I grew up with the thought I had to be self-sacrificial in everything; that wouldn’t have been a bad thing if I knew where to draw the line! Oh no! Naive me took that habit straight into my relationships; he’s more special, I should treat him better. One day, I was reading a post online about God creating woman in the presence of an angel and I simply broke down! Where on earth is it heard of that a princess treats her suitors better than she treats herself? That of course was partly due to my low self-esteem at the time but also due to the mentality I had that some beings are superior, hence they are more special. Forget that now! Seriously, no one is more special than me. I wake up every morning wondering….I went to bed and God sent an angel to watch over me all night! That’s how special I am! I have an army of angels watching over me! When I’m down, I get a hug from my heavenly father, I get favours in places where I am unknown! Why should I drag myself through the mud for the ill company of any man….It may sound selfish but really, no one is more special than me!
- Life is happening to EVERYONE! You know as teenagers, we tend to be caught in a personal fable..”no one understands what I’m going through” are the statements we utter when our high school boyfriend decided to date the most popular girl in school. *yawn* grow up and you’ll realize there are many more important things in life!
- No matter how much you bend, don’t break! Life can test you! Life has sure tested me in many ways; there were times when I asked myself…”what on earth am I doing here?” “What’s next?” “Where do I go from here?” I bent…I cried (believe me…a good cry can put things in a whole new perspective) but i refused to be broken! After crying, I woke up the next day more determined than ever to find a way out of my mess! I left home when I was barely sixteen to continue studies in South Africa; if you have been away from home, your family and your friends as a child to start somewhere else, you’ll testify that there are many things mummy and daddy’s protection can’t shield you from. I struggled to find a job after my college education and I spent months crying over it. Everywhere I looked, the jobs were either taken or they had specifications only aliens could have- must be able to speak 21 different languages, have green skin and be able to whistle through the nose- they were that ridiculous! But one day I woke up and realized….
- God has already provided a way out! You know, God is just amazing! He created each of us differently with unique specifications- everything you need to make it in life, God has already put it within you. You simply need to find it! I’m still sequencing the unique DNA within me but after struggling with job hunting for a considerable amount of time, I remembered he gave me the ‘writer’s gene’. I have been writing since I was 11- short cheesy stories and even attempted a book which I put on Amazon (It’s not cheesy; I made a good effort with it. It’s called the narrow path by Demi Fayemiwo; you can buy it on amazon). Anyway, I advertised myself as a freelance write and well, oh well, what do you know…got paid for using my talent! God has already made a way out for you. The requirements are inside you. It’s something you are uniquely coded for!