Are you caught up in the chase? I’m talking of the exhausting efforts daily invested into certain aspirations only to reap worthless applauses and approvals. I have discovered that we often don’t care much about how certain achievements will add value to us and improve the quality of our lives and output but how people’s reactions to our achievements will make us feel.
Ambition is good. Measurable growth is a sign of life and we may as well be considered dead in the absence of certain advancements. Nevertheless, most times, not only do our ambitions come from an unhealthy place, we also have a wrong scale for measuring “better”. Rather than being inspired by the desire for self enhancement, productivity, internal satisfaction or something noble as adding significant value to the society, we simply react to the comparisons we make of ourselves with others. This is why a motive check for every desire is essential. We must not always only be sure of What We Want but also Why We Want What We Want and Why We Want What We Want When We Want it. When I randomly ask my friends why they want, perhaps, a car or a particular job or a vacation or to get married, the answer I get usually has to do with wanting to conform to certain societal standards or fit in a particular societal class. Fitting in is ok but it’s not good enough.
Let me share a silly experience I had while growing up. My life kicked off pretty fast so I was usually the youngest or occasionally one of the youngest in my class and among my peers; a feat that came with numerous side-effects. Apart from the fact that I had to constantly outwit bullies with an uncivil tongue and a nasty attitude which usually got me into more trouble, at some point I also had to inwardly struggle with my self-esteem especially during my pre-puberty years.
I attended a same-sex boarding school for six formative years of my life so my peers grew before my eyes. By the time we were in JSS3 or so, my friends were experiencing puberty and as their bodies changed so did their school supplies and the topic of their conversations. Their knowledge of body-science had become practical. They started wearing bras, talked about their monthly period and cramps but for the most part I felt bad because I had nothing experiential to share yet. I queried myself; Why am I not there? Why is my body not changing that fast? Why am I slow? In reality, there was nothing wrong with me. I was simply not in that season of life yet and there weren’t enough promotions in the world to rush nature’s process. But I lacked that basic understanding.
I remember getting so frustrated at one point that I had to pretend that I ran out of my supply so I collected some sanitary pads from one of my friends who, though teased the idea that I was menstruating at that time, indulged me. Insane, right? But I see this same insanity reincarnate itself with grandeur! I faked it then with my friend by getting a pad from her, what are you faking it with to the world around you? A friend’s car? Clothes bought on credit? Photos taken at false locations? Splurgings you are not financially prepared for only so you can get some attention from strangers online?
In my opinion, the social media could be an accursed thing when you begin to pay too much attention to what you see and read. Many people’s anxieties feed off false impressions created in the media and for some, the simplest way to maintain sanity is to take a break from the social media. You’ll crush your spirit if you give attention to and compete with the image people project of themselves online. And if your anxiety is fueled by your company, change them. Your friends are to inspire and walk with you through process not pressurise you into competition.
One of my favorite speakers once said “Life is in phases, men in sizes”, so enjoy this present phase of your life as you look forward to the next. I tell young girls that they have the rest of their lives to mature and do old people’s stuff so there is no need to rush. For example, you have the rest of your life to live with a man, why cohabit when you are not married? You have the rest of your life to enjoy legit God-approved sex with a faithful partner when you’re married, why experiment carelessly and put yourself at the risk of STDs, an unplanned pregnancy and well, hell?
Since everything good will come, it’s pointless and harmful to skip process. As long as you focus on increasing your worth and the quality of your output, you’ll get there- whatever there means to you.
Know that due process is required for sustainable growth and like my body then, you have the potential for the growth you desire. You just have to be sure that you don’t force a premature manifestation else you may find it difficult to maintain. Compete only with yourself, ensuring that you are better than you were yesterday and celebrate the process to progress. In due season God will happen to you and if you’re running late, He’ll give you speed to catch up with and overtake time. Push yourself only for the right reasons and learn to hold your peace.
Everything good will come, do not be too exhausted to enjoy it.
I love you #Shewrites