One of the things that keeps my inbox full other than work-related items is the overload of emails from young women with stars in their eyes and a wild imagination saying “can I see you, I need you to mentor me etc.” Sadly, reading through the email or hand-written note, I can tell that the young lady has a certain perception on how her life will turn out if only she could “tap” into my fountain. Life doesn’t work like that.
This past week has been particularly difficult with the requests almost hitting “stalker” levels. It’s tough to write a personal letter 100 times, hundred different ways to people who have a mental block about what can and cannot be, so let me write it once and let’s hope it’s read hundred times. This is my “I wish I knew…” essay, something to unclog the fog that seems to hang over our lives and stops us from getting on with it or constantly looking for an external source to fuel our lives:
How I wish someone had told me to stop worrying so much about what other people think and be who you want to be, not who you think your peers expect you to be.
How I wish someone had told me to embrace my weirdness—I wish I had known earlier that the fact that I was “strange” would be the ticket to my success one day. I finally did and look at me now. If I had followed that crazy path, I know where the crowd sits and I don’t like it.
How I wish someone had told me by the time I was 18 to learn to forgive and move along. The grudge holding, misery-in-crowds and bitterness will only weigh you down.
How I wish someone had told me by the time I was 25 to be tolerant towards mean people. What you don’t realise is how unkind their life is. Their spirit has been broken and they’ve learned the hard way how to protect themselves dishing out lots of venom and hate.
How I wish — before I met Monica Kanari six years ago — that someone had told me that you need to be kind to yourself. As a young lady you waste too much energy berating yourself in front of the mirror. Society has fed you a warped perception of beauty; don’t let its definition convince you that you fall short of everyone else’s expectations.
How I wish someone had talked to me candidly about love rather than let me inhale and ingest everything the romance novels and movies told me. In your twenties young lady, you’re going to fall in love several times. People come into your life for a reason and a season. Each one will teach you a valuable lesson in love that will prepare you for the one you truly want to be with. Take it all in stride. Every breakup is not the end of the world.
How I wish someone had told me I don’t have to have it all figured out all the time. Part of the beauty of life is seeing how it unfolds before you as you go. Even those of us who seem to have it figured out are watching it unfold a day at a time — we’ve simply learnt to take a day at a time and work with what the world throws at us. So please go easy on yourself and know that it’s okay not to know what’s going to happen.
Even as I conclude this page for today, I wish someone had told me 10 years ago that I was going to have a beautiful life filled with love and fulfillment and amazing growth. It wasn’t going to follow any known script, but then again, what does?
Young lady, rather than looking and seeking ways to outsource your life and your future, get up, say a morning prayer, then up on with it. Life is wonderful when you live it your way. Be blessed. Stay awake and stay open. Be awesome.