The Next Chapter

It’s my birthday month and when I am blessed to see that day, I don’t want to invest precious time worrying or asking silly little questions.
Of course questions are good when put in perspective, but I won’t be asking sad ‘why me’ questions. Matter of fact, I don’t have those questions to ask anyway.
I will rather be figuring out more ways to be an even better human being.

If you’re my age or whatever age you are, did it come too quickly? Have you ever taken the time to evaluate how you used that time? Well, I invite you to do a life audit with me. Don’t wait till 31st December.

Take it as a feedback by you for you. You can be your own shrink. It’s about time you pat your self on the back or chest or make amends. More importantly an audit will give you the confidence to step into the “next chapter”.

There were things I wanted to do. Oh! lots of things…

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In hindsight, I am glad I didn’t do some of them. I remember clearly saying how I wanted to get my Master’s degree by 25 and start my own business before 30. I have done both and happy I did.
I still have the energy, drive and ambition to still do some others. All I need is life , continuous health and the Big man up there watching over me 🙂
Do I have regrets? Yes, just one, that I haven’t seen as much of the world as I will have hoped. I know some people will find this odd, but I spent a lot of time in my 20s in London trying to reconnect with my parents and getting an education. These of course are very important things, but I could have done both if I had prioritised well and not spent a fortune on seemingly important things then. Things I will cringe to own now or even worse don’t even remember owning now.
To be fair , at least two of those years turned out to be possibly the best years of my life , forming friendships that have lasted till this day.
I am grateful for those years , a huge part of who I am now is the relationships I formed along the way, the people I had to cut off from my life, the really tough times I had to endure and the choices I make daily.

I have been taking care of my self since age 11 and I have come to discover, that though I am pretty disciplined, I am very much a free spirit and like to set my own rules. I don’t conform. More importantly I have never found the need to be popular amongst my peers. I don’t compete in that kind of contest. It’s a total waste of time.
My non-conformity also led to a “rebellious” streak that has served me quite well. My purposeful rebellion comes from knowing what I want to do with my life and living my life just the way I want it. Is it selfish? I doubt that, but only time will tell.

Like most parents, mine had “big ideas/plans” for my future and if I had followed my parents plan , I will have done well. Undoubtedly, I will have possibly made more money than I probably do now, but I will have been miserable.

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My dad had specific plans for my life. He had me at age 26 and wanted me to get married same age as he did , after I had gone to Oxford , gone to Chile to volunteer and learn Spanish ,then Japan to study for another Masters degree as well as the language ,then to Harvard for an MBA and then work in Investment Banking with Goldman Sachs.

Mum, wanted me to be a nurse or a lawyer and when there was so sign of that happening, she suggested IT and made her disappointment clear when I decided to study Tourism. She doesn’t remember all that now. 🙂
Only time again will tell the kind of parent I will be.
I will always remember dad saying ,“whatever you want to do, make sure you are the best” . I agree totally. Its a tough call, but doable and I try to raise my standards all the time, something people will find difficult to handle in their dealings with me.

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I feel like I have a second chance and these are some of the lessons I have learnt so far and try to live by:
· That it is important to find out who you want to be early in life and at least try being that person.
· Choose who you listen and don’t listen to, because you can learn a lot from their failures and successes.
· By all means listen to other people’s thoughts, opinions and perspectives, but never let them choose for you. It is okay to “rebel” and choose your own path.
· I have learnt to pack my own “parachute ” and to be very resourceful. If you also took care of yourself at age 11, you will have no choice than to be independent and resourceful.
· If you’re married, please communicate your needs to the person you are in the marriage with, not just your friends or family. It’s okay to have someone listen to you, but I think your partner has a right to know how you feel, what you want and how they can help.Then again, who am I to advise on marriage when I haven’t been married before? I can only speculate my ideals.
· Single girls are not always a threat. Were you a threat, when you were a single woman?
· If you’re single, enjoy it, there is nothing wrong being single. I enjoy mine and every now and then its fun to be “introduced” . Introductions are okay as the parties introduced will figure things out on their own . What I dislike though is when “friends” think they are doing you a favour and try to “fix” you up, dare I say , with unsuitable men, men they will never choose themselves if they have to do it all over again.

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They play cupid and think “time is running out”. I am not broken and the wrong man won’t “fix me up”. The wrong man will just destroy my soul. I have dated enough good , bad , terrible and ugly men to know what I want and don’t want.
· Being single can be a consciously deliberate choice , that requires no explanations to others. Since when did getting to know yourself before the right person came along  became a waste of time? Your biological clock might be “ticking”, but getting desperate is disastrous and the more you worry, the more stressful you will be and the less chances you will have to conceive if you’re unhappy or stressed when the time comes. Research has proven this.
· Not every man who says “I love you ” is worthy of your love. Do you love them too? If not release them.Let them go if you REALLY believe in love. I have “released” people and I bet they are grateful now that I did. I am glad I got released too. 😉
I know people who loosely say “I love you” in my part of the world without having the faintest idea what it means to love. They “love” you on their terms and will not negotiate . It’s so bad , it’s ridiculous.

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· God always has a better idea for you. Concentrate on what you have and be grateful for them. Stop focusing on the things you don’t have
· You have a child or children because you want to, not because people think you should. You don’t have kids for people.
· Be deliberate about your life and choices. Going with the flow can be a myth. Have goals and dreams, but know the cost of your dreams. What price will you pay for your dreams? Make sure you ask yourself that.
· I used to think I could help everyone, but I am not God. I am also learning it is okay to take and not just give all the time.
· Much as I am loyal and kind to a fault, and will forgive easily , I have no worries disconnecting disloyal people from my life.
· It will hurt sometimes, and although the idea of forever is great, not all friendships are forever, we evolve and want different things at some point.
· No one wants to hang out with a depressed soul, it is exhausting and if you are always down, the world will make sure they walk all over you. Get back up!
· Self-confidence is really sexy, so is a smile. It has nothing to do with the clothes you wear. If you feel awful when those clothes are off then work on your self esteem.

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· Don’t compare yourself to anyone else. Admire them, but don’t compare.
· Please lets not judge people. You don’t always know the whole story.
. It pays to be patient sometimes. Just know when to choose your battles.
· Live, because you could be gone too soon.

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10 thoughts on “The Next Chapter

  1. Edem this just gave me chills.. Awesome piece. I can’t imagine how much I would have missed if I didn’t know you. You are such a breathe of fresh air to read about 😉

    1. Oh! Phyllis. Thank you so much. I feel blessed to know you. It’s taken 20years for us to do it properly and even that we are still peeling it out like onions and figuring it out daily.
      Let’s just look out for each other. Hugs

  2. this blog got me in deep thoughts, it engaged me emotionally, and then got me laughing out loud too, especially the ” with unsuitable men, men they will never choose themselves. . . .. ” part. Such a great read,i just bookmarked it !!!!

  3. Great piece. Without a doubt , my best motivational piece in many year. Thank you for sharing a piece of your life and experiences.
    Philip

  4. Fantastic piece Edem! you have so much in you. It was worth reading this blog, every opportunity to read something from you is such an inspiration!

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