The year was 2000 and I had just started lower six as a skinny sixteen year old. I stood at the window of the 6th floor within the premises that my grandfather rented for his accountancy business. I stared down at the people walking up and down the streets; “To what end is all this activity?” I asked myself. Almost immediately, I awakened from my deep thoughts and for the first time realised something about myself; I am a deep thinker and analyser. I have never forgotten that moment, it still remains etched in my memory as a moment of realisation.
From my observations, I have found that from the early teens and sometimes earlier, we have an idea of our strengths and passions. Guardians however pay little attention to these choosing the safer and worn out path whose results are sure. We eventually settle into mundane careers that we do not enjoy, after all “I need to put food on the table and feed my family”. The feelings of discontentment and dread are pushed right at the back of our minds as we tell ourselves “I’ve gotta do what I gotta do”. Some of us turn to religion in order to cope with a career that we dislike so much; “Lord give me the strength to go through this job because I know that in due time I shall reap the rewards Amen!”. Some of us do not even remember our passions and interests because we have blocked them out for so long. What we know is that we are fathers, mothers, husbands, wives, adults and we work for this organisation, end of story.
I was that person. Unhappy for so long because I was stuck in a career that I did not enjoy. Worse still, being introverted meant that I hardly fitted in with my co workers. I prayed for strength to get through the day, pushed my nagging dreams aside and did what I had to do to put food on the table. Apart from my day job, I sold clothes at some point, perfume, movies, hair e.t.c. for extra income and always wound up broke or in debt with no reasonable or sustainable profit. It was a crazy cycle of indulging in all the things that I WAS NOT. I later went into thought… “What am I good at and enjoy?” I found that I enjoy addressing or teaching people and my information is mostly derived from my own life experiences. I found that I enjoy dressing up and make-up artistry. I am a creative and an artist, I love writing, enjoy a good read and possess sharp analytical skills. I find the experience of interacting with young people and opening their minds to the endless possibilities in this life immensely rewarding. I traced back to my Primary School days and found that these traits started manifesting from as far back as then. I thought about that poignant day that I stood at the window of my grandfather’s premises analysing people that walked by… “This is whom I have always been” I thought.
I made the decision to begin to practise my strengths and in the past twelve months have written modules used to teach and train others. Many a bride continue to look attractive on their big day through my make-up artistry skills. I link up with people that have true and honest hearts for others and have met with a lot of youth. I fund-raise within my generous community, hold workshops, interact with other creatives and write for blogs and websites. The colour has begun to return to my cheeks and my confidence levels are much higher. To myself have I become true and I am fulfilled and happier for it!
Am I still finding my way? Yes! Am I at a place where I am financially stable? Not yet, yet encouraged by the community that is increasingly understanding and supporting my vision. Am I working towards total self sustenance through my passions and interests? Yes!
In my experience so far, I have found this to be true “Know who you really are and to yourself be true” We are all on a chase of happiness and when you are true to who you are, you draw closer to the seemingly elusive happiness.
“Storytelling is good for your health, because as social beings we need to make meaning for our lives though narrative. We need to be heard. And to do so in a culture that often prefers our silences means being bold enough to speak our stories, and vulnerable enough to ask others to witness them. This is a pathway to wholeness and healing” – Dr Tererai Trent “The Awakened Woman”