I have always been the kind of person that celebrates others. I absolutely love seeing those I care about succeed in their lives. I am the friend that gets sent pictures of bags and accessories when they’ve been bought; new hairstyles and even random selfies fill up the gallery folder on my phone because my friends know how much I’m always their biggest cheerleader. I remember as I was posting a status congratulating a friend on getting her license, a voice spoke into my heart and asked ‘when will it ever be your turn to celebrate yourself?’
I wasn’t sure what that meant and I instantly dismissed it as envy for my wonderful friend. The voice seemed to turn into a consistent humming for the next few weeks that I eventually had to sit down with myself and introspect. I mean I loved my life!!! I was in my mid 20’s, I had a job at a reputable accounting firm, and I was a responsible first born. I was also a Sunday school teacher that was dearly loved by everyone in my church. My life was great!!!
Seemingly my appetite to be more was gnawing at me, digging a yearning I wasn’t sure how to fulfil. I was a bit annoyed because I didn’t care for the things others had; I loved my simple life as it was. I wasn’t sure how to start feeding this hole inside of my soul, so I started fumbling with every idea that came to mind. I thought a lot about going back to school but that didn’t feel quite like what I needed at the time. I joined 3 leadership programmes which led to 2015 being the busiest year of my life.
Then about a year ago I starting day dreaming about being a writer, even got a terrible dissatisfaction with my job all of a sudden. I started a blog and intentionally worked on growing my circle of influence, deciding not to limit myself just to people I knew from church. I pursued minds that challenged my own, and discovered inspiring young creatives that birthed new perspectives in how I understood the world.
I woke up one day and wrote this random poem titled ‘there is a foreigner in my bed.’ Because that’s how I felt, like I had become a stranger in my own life. It freaked me out and I didn’t know how to be the old me anymore. Slowly but surely, I saw myself becoming and developing into a self I really admired. I didn’t like being different or misunderstood, but every step I was taking required me to reintroduce parts of myself even to those who’ve known me my whole life.
When you have committed yourself to grow, you are not doing it for others to celebrate you, but the wild applause comes from within for every invisible baby step you take.
I’ve surprised myself so many times in the past year. I’ve been told I’ve changed (with a disgusted expression to emphasise the point). It has taken courage and strength to find my voice and realising my power to use it.
I still feel like I am fumbling sometimes but I know I’ve taken great strides for someone who’s only just started. The only difference now is that I do not fight the voice that nags me to be great and to live a life that I celebrate with pride.
Looking back I realise I had dreams and secret aspirations even then. The only difference now is that the day dreams have all been transformed into small actionable goals instead, pursuing and creating a life that is fulfilling and satisfying.
Originally created for CollegeMag
Photo By: Lutendo Malatji