“The end of a thing is better than its beginning”, and for that I celebrate the end of my 23rd year as much as I celebrate and welcome my new age 24. I believe I have learnt the most amount of lessons and grown most so far this past year and I am glad to share a few with you.
- Life is a gift, be grateful for every breath; Life is truly a gift, and so is every next breath you take in. The fact that not everyone will get to take the next breath, is reason enough to be thankful. I get ungrateful at times and wallow in my problems and life insecurities, but the truth is where there is life, there is hope for change and growth. So in place of worrying and comparisons, stay thankful and joyful.
- I am the only ‘me’ this world will ever have; I think I realised there will ever only be one me at 23. I have come to realise that every one has a unique purpose and essence they are to bring to the world, and looking at what the next person is doing wouldn’t bring me any closer to finding out or living out mine. So while I appreciate others, I have learnt to focus on me too and have learnt to spend time with God and alone to figure out who I really am; first in God and then to myself and the world.
- Appreciate family and the friendships in your life; We only have one life, one family, appreciate them. In as much as I love my space and get crazy annoyed at my family members at times ad even my friends, I always have that voice at the back of my mind reminding me to keep my eyes on the bigger picture. Not everyone has loved ones or amazing friends, so if you’ve been gifted with them, stay thankful.
- Humility; Humility has come to be a mantra for me. I feel like, without it, I am nothing. No matter how far I go and no matter how much I accomplish, if my heart feels proud and high, then I am not in the right place before God, and that is all that really matters. Growing in humility, makes you genuinely love and value people, life and growth.
- Patience; All things will fall into place in time. My friend always tells me ‘you can worry for Africa’, LOL (she knows herself), and that’s right. I am a thinker and that translates to worry at times, without even realising it. This past year, i felt as if God kept reminding me to worry less and do more trusting. I mean, as the Bible says, can we add even an hour to our day, with all the worry. So I have learnt and STILL learning to worry less, trust God’s process and wait because all things fall into place at the right time.
- Consistency yields results: Consistency is EVERYTHING! I cant say that enough. No matter how great an idea is or how good you are at what you do, if you aren’t consistent, that tree will wilt. You’ve got to keep watering to see any fruits eventually. This is an area I am still definitely working on and I know it has to reflect in every area of my life, not just one. In my relationships and friendships, at work, health and fitness and most importantly, in my relationship with God
- Stay responsible for your life and actions: Growing up will teach you that you cant rely on anyone. Even if your parents are millionaires, you have to learn to build your own foundation. No matter ow much we are loved by others, they can never be us and they also have a life to live. Failure to lay your own foundation, will only eventually make you a burden and I know know one like’s unnecessary burdens. Also, take responsibility in little things. Be it your health or your time with God or relationships. No one can make you lose weight! You can get a tone of advice, but you alone can step on a treadmill for yourself. That is life for you.
- Financial management. This was definitely one of my biggest areas of growth at 23! And if you are close, you know this already. I guess it just hit me more that I cant always also for money for everything and at a point, you gain respect from your parents when you show them you can handle things and even help around the house financially. Pick up a business if you can, you will be surprised the amount of profit you’ll make from the smallest of things. Not business savvy, save money coming in and invest. You don’t always have to get the newest sneakers in town.
- Authenticity; This is a big one! I have learnt that if I am not true to myself, I cannot be true or real with anyone else, no matter how much I love them, or vice versa. More so, anything built on falsehood wouldn’t last, no matter how desirable. Coming to this realisation has made me lay emphasis on authenticity, first, within myself, in my relationship with God and then with those around me. Staying authentic will definitely require you putting in work on the inside; do some soul searching. Remember, you can’t truly give what you don’t have (May last for a while though, but the truth will surface in some way); and when you have it, no one can take it away from you (confidence).
- Learn from others, and listen, no one knows it all: I learn more everyday that no one is an island, no matter how well read and exposed you are, not even Einstein. Guess its just God’s doing to foster humility and relationships amongst us. So stay humble and always keep an open heart and mind.
- Make excuses for others; Yes, make excuses. I have found myself over this past year of mine, being misjudged every now and then and during times like that, it broke my heart that no one could speak up for me or make excuses, so I have made it a point to wear the shoes of others before giving my point of view. And even when you’ve worn that shoe, still know that you can never feel the hurt or discomfort as them.
- Work hard and smart. This may be a cliche of cliches but its too true. Its possible to run a thousand miles in the wrong direction! Work hard with persistence and passion, but take life one day at a time. Be strategic with your decisions and always look at the long-term. Know who you are, know your values and stay true to the. Above all, I will advice to put God at the fore-front of all, I have tried it and live by it and it always works.
So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.