“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” – Bernard M. Baruch
I recently discovered I live in a world where society, family and friends want to impose their personal ideas of what is right and should make you happy. You can hardly choose your own path and the things you want if it doesn’t conform to traditional standards. I question everything I do not feel like doing. I don’t even have to dislike it. Once I don’t feel like it and God doesn’t mandate it, here comes my freewill.
In my thoughts: Why do people think I am strong minded? I feel weak sometimes. How am I savage because I tend to express my mind to people mostly without filter. Why do I find it so hard to stick to rules, principles and “this is how it’s done”? Why do I remember so much that has happened in my life since I was about 3 years old in startling details? Why didn’t this translate to me being a first class student instead of a 2:1? Does everyone think as much as I do? Why do I think it’s OK to start writing my thoughts and sharing them? Why am I so transparent? Why don’t I take things as seriously as others do sometimes? Why don’t I care much for people’s approval? (I think I know the answer to that) And why the heck am I up at almost 3 a.m. writing this? When I could just holler at friends like Lani who would probably be awake too or at least sleeping with an eye open.
I heard when you truly don’t care what anyone thinks of you, you have gotten dangerously close to something called “Freedom”. I have always believed I don’t care about people’s opinion and thoughts about me but I realized I care sometimes. It seems like I keep convincing myself that I am there but I watch out for my natural reactions ultimately.
I went to lunch alone and an ex colleague walked in to the restaurant and asked to sit with me. I always thought she was pretty and well put together. I had ordered chicken and chips and usually I just get down to it with my fingers. Unconsciously I couldn’t because I didn’t want her to think I was uncouth, like oh she doesn’t know how to use a cutlery set? After I was done using the fork on the chips, I had to handle the chicken with my fingers. I couldn’t wrap my head around why it mattered to me what she thought. Because she came from a wealthy background? Was I trying to belong?
To myself: Her thoughts about you are not going to shift a particle in the air. I know when to be respectful or proper, not because I think some ex colleague could have expectations of me, what if she didn’t even care?
I have seen people purchase high end things not because they really like it or it provides better comfort but because they are bound by the feeling that people around them would appreciate them more or show some respect. I have had this feeling a few times but I don’t think I have actually succumbed to it because I don’t own any designer things yet. I can’t phantom saving up to buy one hand bag. I tried it once but after loads of back and forth with my mind, I concluded I really just wanted the brand not the fact that it was cute even though it was cute, they were loads and loads of other cute quality hand bags that weren’t going to break my bank account, so to what end did I want it so bad?.
To myself: I have to wait to buy such when shedding that amount would be light wait to my bank account. No one’s impression of what I can afford would add or remove a dime from me. The kind of people material possession attract are fake people.
I am very transparent, I talk too much, gossip too and share my thoughts and experiences a lot. I have been told that I share experiences that should go to the grave with me. Why? Because telling people will bring about some judgement on me? Because they can gossip about it? Because people might look down on me? They might disassociate? I have penned down a few thoughts and had my friend post them on her blog as anonymous because I don’t want anyone thinking my imagination could run that wild or I am a tortured soul. I get more response on those kinds of articles than the ones I feel comfortable attaching my name to. I wrote a piece on loyalty and my secondary school came in to play at the beginning. I struggled to put it out at first because I didn’t want people to think I went to a school where flogging was embraced or that I had suffered from it when I can just maintain my “ajebutter” look and have everyone think I had it easy.
To myself: When has my gossip or people’s gossip about me changed a thing in my life or their lives. Everyone who wants to laugh or make jest can just go ahead, my air supply is still going to be steady, my food and water isn’t going to run out, and the one’s close to me are going to know the truth, my bank account isn’t going to get debited, no one will catch a disease neither does gist bring about death.
When it comes to decisions that affect me for a life time e.g. marriage, career, personal interests, I take full control, without a question. I take advice though and if it’s not beneficial to me in particular, I leave it. Excuse me, I still can’t understand when a friend says “I can’t marry him, he’s Yoruba. My parents won’t agree” he has to be a catholic Igbo man from Anambra State”. When it comes to the smaller things that don’t have long term effects, why can’t I do what I want when no one is going to die? People have asked me, what if your parents don’t like it. The questions are, how are my personal choices going to affect their daily lives or the ones around me? Are they physically going to be ok or not from my decision? (No broken arm or leg? OK) Is a disease or an epidemic going to start? Personally, I have not seen how my mother’s choice of husband affected her parents life because they did not live with my dad, neither has any of my uncle or aunties choices affected our nuclear family
To myself: Do what makes you happy first, anyone hurt from your personal decisions that don’t affect their day to day lives or take bread away from their table will get over it. The only being to consider is God.
I have been told no one will attend my wedding by a few people because I only attend a few
To myself: Those are the few people I would like to be present at mine but I really only need my groom and the officiating minister. No need to keep up appearances at multiple weddings.
I turned 29 this year and sometimes when men approach me and ask how old I am, once in a blue moon, I find some insecurity kick which is so silly! Is he going to think I am old? Are they going to associate being 29 and single as automatically desperate and looking for any ring? Especially in this environment
To myself: anyone who has the slightest problem with my age is not for me and I have not taken a liking to as many as 5 boys on earth. I always have at least 5 more problems with anyone who has one problem with me. So bleep out.
Reverencing God has been a part of my life since I knew myself, thanks to my parents but I never really talked about it as much to my friends as much as I talk about myself and other stuff because I mainly don’t want people thinking I’m too religious and a fanatic but a lot happened in the last year and I want to talk about God sometimes but I still back down. I want to kneel in church during worship sometimes but I still get shy. Will anyone who has seen me in a club before think I am pretending? Would I seem too holy ? Because I still sin consciously and unconsciously but I am trying
To myself: How can I be shy to kneel to the author and finisher of my life and faith. Anyone who doesn’t want to listen or isn’t interested or uncomfortable has an option to walk away.
I feel like I am growing into someone people can’t handle, some friends have asked me why I just want to be a rebel. Phew, no! I just want to live a life I am comfortable with. I hope the day my spirit leaves my body, I can look back and say I pleased God first and then myself. It’s exciting and scary at the same time knowing I am getting closer or at least I think I am getting closer for now. I want to be able to go hard for the things I am passionate about and not give room for what’s popular opinion just because it’s popular opinion.
Am I alone?