the woman i have become….

I look back at the tiny little person me that I used to be , n I can’t help but smile. As a child, fear used to be my driving force, the fear of failure, the fear of disappointing my folks, the fear of failing my teachers… the timidity prevented me from enjoying the little pleasures of this world, I doubt if I ever did a thing out of sheer randomness. Every little action had to be turned over in my head and weighed a dozen times to determine whether it was worth trying out. Fear was like that silent cold cemetery air that one is afraid of breathing, lest you inhale death itself. It hovered all around my being, holding me close like a jealous lover… refusing to let go. Sometimes I yearned to be as random and cheerful as my fellow kids, but I figured this was my fate, I was not destined to be like them. A simple decision would take me ages to make, all possibilities had to be considered, I could not afford to take chances with ,my life, I could not afford to flirt with failure…. And so I sailed on through my young life, branded a weirdo, a success furbished out of my near-paranoid fear. Teenage life caught up and suddenly, the desire to be like ‘them’ became overwhelming, I wanted to get rid of that fear…surely life wasn’t designed to be this stressful, I would convince myself. I followed the crowd blindly, trying to be different, trying to jilt my lifelong lover…in the depths of my soul I hated myself for  not remaining true, for erasing my personality, this wasn’t anything close to who I really was. But I wanted to prove fear wrong, that I could succeed without it…unfortunately for me, it had the last laugh. My little empire came crashing down and I was thrown into the arms of failure, that which I had been running away from my entire life… n I struggled to get out of those perilous arms, how I wished my old lover would take me back, that the passion that existed could be reignited…sadly, only tiny embers could be lit, and I managed to succeed. But what good is success if it isn’t to the levels that you desired and wanted. For some time, I walked around with a sense of emptiness, disappointed in what I had made out of my life. I knew what to do but I was reluctant, blinded by the foolishness of trying to prove my old lover wrong; driven by my stubbornness. With the freedom that came with adulthood, I convinced myself that I could get away with being spontaneous, that I did not have to waste my precious time making wise decisions; pondering my every move with the agility of a bomb detonator. Others had done it before, and they lived a happy life, didn’t they. And yet again, I set out on a path of self destruction; trying to run away from my inner self. Pretending that the actions of others did not matter to me, that I too could do them and my conscience would not be affected; like an onion I begun peeling away the layers of my personality that mattered to me… n an empty shell is what remained, a molested conscience, confusion…a raped soul. this was a far cry from the person I was destined to be, surely, a daughter of the African soil could not be swallowed by the currents of failure and a wasted life. I had to swallow my pride fast, like that classical prodigal son; I embarked on a shameful journey back to my old lover, my true love. This time, I was careful not to remember the way back, all bridges had to be burned, and there was no turning back….well, fortunately for me; I got accepted…and that passion now burns more fiercely than before. This is who I am, no one can change that fact, never again will I compromise my principles nor pretend that something is right if I do not think it is. I am different, I have to think of the consequences of my actions, I dare not batter my conscience again. Once was enough, mistakes were made, the past is gone, the future awaits … and a bright one at that if this love of fear persists within me. The fear of failure will drive me to the horizon, where my destiny lays…this is who I am, daughter of my mother, a mother that shone amongst her fellow women, a strong woman that dared to bring change to her society, however little it seemed. Yes, I smile at the woman I have become; that timidity is still there, it is what defines me. I am my father’s daughter, a daughter of the land, a woman that will fight and stand for her principles rights and principles. Yes, I smile at the woman that I have become…a true daughter of the soil

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