MY LIFE, MY WORDS
Everyone has a story to tell. We all have at some point in time wished we could air our experiences. But the question remains: Is there someone out there, who is really interested in listening to the one who has not been made, one who is not a celebrity, though full of potentials but still fighting the battle of survival? My middle name is Oluwatobi and I will be taking you on a smooth ride of my life experience.
Growing up was not much of a fun for me. I never had the opportunity to do things most children did. Going to the beach, malls were out of my league. Life became meaningful to me when my family relocated to another environment. I became more accountable for the things I did. Being an intelligent, honest and respectful girl, I earned the respect and trust of both young and old. Blessed with very good oratory skills, people enjoyed conversing with me. I was often referred to as a counselor by my mates, a very good listener by older mates. To be honest, I do not know how it usually happen but somehow, I always have a solution to any issue brought before me. I became a lantern that sees into other people’s darkness but could barely light up its own space.
How can I not have at least one person I can appear to as weak and not always be the strong shelter and solace that people look up to? How can I be happy for people and not with myself? The worst thing that can happen to you is not to be able to help yourself. I am smart but not too fortunate in terms of abundance of possessions and so life became competition. I had to earn whatever I need whether material, position or even attention. I could remember vividly my very good friend. Her life was opposite. She was beautiful, also intelligent, lovable and was from not wealthy but very comfortable home. She practically gets whatever she wanted without having to compete for it or earn it. We were very good friends, we loved each other, she tells me so many things and viceversa. All the while, she saw me as this strong person because I was full of life but she never knew I had a weakness I was struggling with and sometimes wished I could appear weak in front of her. To her, I was a best friend. She would tell me how her Dad got her so many things, how boys would crave for her attention and of course happy for her, I would wonder why my case was different. My belief:”life was a competition” made me have standards which was to always be among the top three wherever I found myself. I always did not stop until I’ve achieved that standard. With this, many want to be my friends and be associated with me because of who I am and not what I am. Despite this, it still did not dawn on me that what I had was intangible resources and not the tangible ones I craved for.
So all the while I struggled with low self esteem and my friend although she did not know made matters worse. I died within daily. I envied girls who didn’t measure up to me in excellence but had people flock around them still. I wished I was them not knowing they wished they were me. “Different strokes for different folks”. I lived on for years like that. How I broke free completely from low self esteem was a miracle, a deal breaker. Actually, I had attended a seminar and the whole message was “You are unique just the way you are”. Getting back home, I told myself “Oluwatobi, you are God’s best creature”. I never stopped saying beautiful things about myself. When anyone says anything to make me feel bad, I tell the person, “that’s your own opinion”. I built a strong wall around my heart and decided what would and would not get there. Gradually, I started discovering my uniqueness, my eyes began to open to more strengths and with time, I took an inner selfie of myself. It was at this time I understood why everyone had weaknesses and strengths and their importance. I got to know that while our strengths are there to make, build and announce us, our weaknesses are there to remind us that we are humans. I realised that the best abilities of a man is discovered in his most fragile state. It made me appreciate my intangible resources.
I had always thought that it is only talking I could do since I am a very good orator, I never knew I could write as well. Now my writeups have announced me even more. I am now a proud educator, writer and an executive role model. When your motivation comes from within and not from people, then you would not want to feel less of yourself.
So here’s the point:
Life is a free gift of nature and everyone is created for a specific purpose with an allocation to fulfil that purpose.
We all have strengths and weaknesses which is what reminds us that we are are humans and are far from being perfect.
Breaking free from low self esteem starts with accepting and loving yourself for who you are regardless of what you may be now. The moment you realise that you are an express image of God (the best of your kind), you will be free from low self esteem. You will understand and realise that low self esteem was never part of the plan of your life, it just crept in because you did not know who you are.
So please do me a favour, look inward and find that special thing about you. Develop it to turn your world around because you are different, you are special and you are great.
Abigael Ibikunle is a lover of people and life.. Anything and everything can trigger her writing. She is a passionate Teacher, enjoys Public Speaking and Writing is her sense of expression. She can be reached via: firstname.lastname@example.org