Paint your options
How would your teenager see you?
If I were a teenager, how will I see myself? How will I comprehend my actions? I remember when I was a teenager, I use to envy and wish I was a grown up. In fact, there were some older ones I wished I was like, and I vowed to be like them, or at least have the kind of life they have, when I grow up. So I started out by acting like them. I started talking big, saying things meant for only older ones; like asking an elderly man if his day went well? Like I actually knew what hustles he went throughout the day. It became terrible because, I was no longer behaving like my age, and my peers were beginning to bore me.
Surprisingly, while being a teenager, I grew mentally into an adult, and I did not find those adults interesting anymore. I wanted more! I started wishing for the impossible. I wanted to be like the adults I watched on TV, and read in the newspapers. Life became more interesting wishing for my imaginations, and knowingly working towards it. At a very young age, I said to myself; I am going to learn how to read big novels in an undertone.
I did learn how to read very big novels in an undertone when I was still in primary school, and that made me understand why many adults behaved the way they did. So, I worked on my emotional wellbeing and as I grew up, I applied. When I got into my twenties, most of all the friends I had were talking about getting married and having children. I remember vividly saying; I would want to get married in my late twenties, like 28/29. And when asked why? I would gladly say: I do not believe in early marriage.
What did I know about marriage at that age, you might ask. I knew a whole lot what tribulations in marriage meant, because I had educated myself on that. So, I knew i needed to be very mature to decide the kind of tribulation I wanted, I could handle, and who I could endure it with. Then with time I also learned that some tribulations could be turned into joy; when you make the available desirable.
At a point I wanted to be great. So I started out sorting for great things to be part of. But, a little time went by when my perspective changed. I did not want to be great anymore, I wanted to do great things. Believe me, there is a difference. I wanted to help people, to give back to a society that hasn't given me anything yet. I just wanted to make a difference from what surrounded me then. At that point, I knew I could help the victimized and I would be thanked for it.
Women in general are largely victimized. In fact, we are even victimized for speaking out! We are told to shut up and keep quiet. We are told to respect a man even though he disrespects us. We are told to lose your dignity to a man for us to be women. And I say to myself, I am a female, a woman. I do not need to be under a man, and bear his children for me to become a woman! You don't own me and my status just because you are a man. I am a woman, and I stand on my own, for myself and by myself.
I needed a voice, so I fought to be heard through writing. And that is how my big dream of becoming a writer materialised.
I look at myself now and I ask; how would a teenager see me now? Am I up to date in his/her mental mind? Even if I am not, am I still a ladder she/he must climb to wake up the dead in the sky? How do my teenager see me? That is; how would my younger self of thirteen years old rate the older me now? I beg to write on.
When I was younger
Love is everything
Love is not enough
You need to love yourself first
I want to be you
I want to be me
I need to be who I desire to be
I love stories
I love my stories
I am a story
How will the younger me see me?
You are the most strongest woman I have ever come in close contact with. There is something about you that is so spiritual. It is your soul! It is so pure with passion for good and justice, that you are never late to tell yourself you did wrong, when you actually did. Evil naturally runs away from you, that I wonder why you would ever have a reason to cry.
I fear your strength and I admire it at the same time. I can never be you, even though you tell everyone younger than you; that they would be better than you when they grow up. You have chosen the hardest path, and you have done so fearlessly. What courage you have for a woman who is fatherless, and seem without a physical helper. I look at you and I see greatness. A few women are like you. You are one of those that a man will be known by your name. A name you have built over the years with tears, pains, heartbreaks, spiritual attacks and physical ones. A name that has passed through the fire with a flare for what is right. You have become weak to speak for the weak. You have become poor to stand with the poor. You have become loveless to be there for the rejected. You have become a laughing stock to gain the approval of the depressed: they see your struggles and they are encouraged.
A world without you in it, would still be complete to the arrogant, but not for the downtrodden. When you love, you love with your head. When you are hurt, you cry with your heart. When you are suffering, you suffer in silence. And when you win, you win like a queen: like it has always belonged to you.
I just hope, you know that you have chosen the best path. You are indeed a raw Jade stone. You had to pass through the fire, for you to be refined and turn out this great. If I were thirteen, I will be afraid to walk this path you have chosen. But then it has become more obvious to me, that this path was not chosen by you; it was given to you. It is your heritage.
Are you ready to answer?
When grace calls, are you ready to answer? Are you building yourself for this inspirational journey? It is never about your educational background, or social standing, or family inheritance or wealth. It is about you! What is inside you, that you have brought out and trained without charge. It is the priceless you! It is the you that you were, when you were eleven! That you that hated it so much when your older siblings beat the younger one unjustly. It is that you that wondered why male children were so favored that females? It is that you that ask why our mothers were told to keep quiet every time. It is that you that united girls and made them stand out. It is that you that fought a bully by understanding him/her. And when you grew up, you expanded that deep seated love for humanity by fighting and speaking up for rape victims, molested children, and women experiencing domestic violence along any sort of oppression.
Are you ready to be ridiculed, and not afraid to be different? Are you sure you can adapt? To trust your instincts and read atmospheric behaviors? Are you sure you are ready to distrust yourself, and learn the hard way? Are you ready to take risks? To get out of your comfort zone? Are you ready to belittle big tasks and handle them like it's nothing. Are you ready to laugh when your heart is in pain? Are you ready to succumb pain and dine with it till it turns to joy? If you are ready, then you must be ready to be hated by the majority, envied by all your friends, hated by your sibling and be a disappointment to yourself.
If I can, you can too. It's not just in you, it is you. Embrace Grace.
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© 2019 Jade George Anibor