I wrote, deleted, rewrote, and again deleted so many drafts for my first post. I’m not exactly sure why I did that. I think it was primarily because if I did finish writing my first blog post, I would have to actually publish it and put it out there and that would be the first step of me putting my thoughts out for people to see. Basically, this girl was terribly afraid (and a little bit frustrated).
I don’t think I can recall a time, in my entire 22 years of existing, during which I was not afraid. I was afraid of the dark as a child, afraid of imaginary monsters I swore I could see (as a result of the Nigerian horror movies I would insist on watching), afraid of attending new schools, afraid of making new friends, afraid of letting myself fall in love, afraid of standing up for myself and even more recently, I was afraid of creating this blog that I happen to be writing for. I could go on and on about my endless list of sometimes unnecessary fears, but I think you get the point: my life has been plagued by fear for as long as I can remember.
I don’t understand how and why I let fear control me for so long. It got so bad to the point that I actually believed I was incapable of doing so many things–even though a lot of people believed in me. I was settling for a life of mediocrity in everything that I did; school, romantic relationships, familial relationships, friendships, and worst of all, my relationship with God. This went on for so long that I lost interest in a lot of the things I normally loved to do and unsuprisingly, I became deeply unhappy.
Don’t get me wrong, I understand that fear is a perfectly normal emotion we feel and a lot of times, it does save us from some bad situations. The problem that I have with it is when it stops someone from living his or her life to its full potential. I know you’ve all heard this before, but it is crucial to not let your life be controlled by fear. In my experience, when you’re about to try something new or embark on a different adventure, the fear you feel is not meant to stop you from doing that new thing but is rather a sign that you SHOULD do it.
It’s okay to be apprehensive when you’re about to graduate from high school or college and you aren’t really sure what your next move is going to be, it’s okay to worry when you have to move to a different city (or maybe country) for that new job that you’ve been praying for, it’s okay to be skeptical about that new person who’s come into your life trying to love you, it’s okay to be afraid because you are entering into a new season in your life. Things won’t always work out the way you want them to, and to be honest, that’s perfectly okay.
I think a major problem that we have in this generation, myself included, is that we feel that we have to have everything figured out once we hit our 20’s. That way of thinking, is both a blessing and a curse. While it does encourage us to work hard and achieve a lot, I’ve noticed we spend so much time comparing ourselves to other people that we forget to live in the moment and enjoy the little things or we are afraid to try new things because we feel they don’t exactly fit into 5-year or 10-year plans.
Lord knows I’m still a work in progress. Sometimes, I feel I haven’t made any meaningful improvements towards a better version of myself because I am also guilty of comparing where I am in life to where my most of my mates are. Then there are days when I sit and reflect on some of the minor changes that I have made in my life that have yielded positive results for me. I’m doing things that I normally wouldn’t do, things that might seem insignificant to other people but that’s honestly their business. I’m on my own journey, they are on their journey, and you’re on yours too. Don’t let yourself be discouraged by using someone else’s life as a yardstick to measure your successes.
A lot of people will criticize your choices, your friends won’t always support your business(es), you’ll have to drop some people along the way to get closer to where you need to be, people (including some “friends”) will laugh at your struggles behind your back, you will meet numerous negative Nancy’s along the way, but none of these things should stop you. Keep going. It’s better to take chances and discover who you truly are rather than live a life full of regret. As we have stepped into the year 2020, remember that every year is filled with endless opportunities, new experiences, new friendships and relationships, and this year is no different.
If you had a wonderful 2019, that’s awesome! If you had a rubbish 2019 filled with many disappointments and failures, don’t let that stop you from picking yourself up and trying again. Apply for that internship, talk to God even though you feel unworthy, take that job that you really want even though it’s far away from all you’ve ever known, call your loved ones regularly, text that person you’re really into, apply to that college/university, start that youtube channel or blog that you’ve always wanted, cut off that friend that constantly speaks negativity into your life. Don’t be afraid of what lies ahead. Fear is really just the heart reminding you what truly matters.