In 2017, I was at a vulnerable group meeting (similitude of an Alcoholic Anonymous meeting) and as we went round, each introducing him/herself and sharing something about the pain/experiences that had brought us to such meeting, I caught myself utter a statement as I shared of myself. That was not the first time for me to utter such words; they were very much words that I say to make myself feel good about my life and my journey. But that was the first time it truly felt wrong to say those words. I had said, “I am a good girl who has led a pretty good and right life.”
Looking back at my life and my growth, I have hardly dissuaded from plans/schedules. I was obedient to almost all instructions on where to go, who to associate with, faith, love and basically everything/anything that was presented to me as what a right life should be. If I ever disobeyed in any way, it was not something out of proportion. I was never that kid who erred so bad that I would have to employ relatives to come and beg for me to be pardoned. I did not have it in me to be that disobedient. As a matter of fact, I was too grateful to have been taken care of by my Dear Mum (foster Mum) and felt fortunate that my Dad paid my school fees to ever considered been disobedient.
If I didn’t like a plan and I needed it changed, I prayed to God to touch my Dad and my Dear mum’s heart. I was a good kid. This also meant that I held on to some rights that I thought I deserve, because I am a good kid. For instance, in my plans and because I thought I did everything right, I am supposed to be done having kids by now. I “should” be married to a wonderful guy already with two beautiful babies and a passionate career, by now. Because I was a good kid. That was the reward I expected. And while I was opening up, with my eyes glazed with tears trying very hard not to lose control, I uttered the statement. Because I did not even know what to do with my life, at the time. But it felt so wrong to say.
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Because saying it meant that I had concluded that the result of living an “ordered” life was a clear path. Saying it also meant that I had made myself believed that I was entitled to all those things, just because ……………… Saying it also connotes that I had consciously/unconsciously judged anyone/everyone who seemed to have it all together without having to be much of a “good” kid like me. Saying it also made me realise that I was still so stereotypical, something that I had tried really hard not to be. It made me know for sure that my mind was not as open as I had thought. Now that I think about it, I could only see that I, just like the elder brother of the prodigal son in the Bible felt disgusted at the sight of a feast for someone who had challenged the father’s authority whereas he remained loyal. And this realization leaves a bad taste in my mouth. I was self – righteous.
It meant that as much as I say that I am my own person, I was still comparing myself and my journey to someone else’ progress. I was still held back in my thought and mindset just because I was consciously/unconsciously still bitter about someone else’ achievement while I take the time to throw myself a pity party. It meant that I had taken the society’s definition of what I should have achieved at my age to heart and I could not see anything else outside it as something that mattered. Well, what a shame.
So, I decided to fix my thought that day and every day after that, so that I will not remain a victim of my own mindset. I took my joy into my own hands and decided it might seemed as though I had not already gotten my reward for been a “good” kid, but that wouldn’t keep my head down. I would rather enjoy the feasts God keep throwing me even if I felt like I am not on the table that I want; I am going to stay grateful for an opportunity of a feast at THE table, at least. It wouldn’t make me a judge over anyone’s life and shouldn’t make me compare my life to someone else,’ but rather to keep pushing for the life that I want while I stay joyful.
Why am I writing this now when it happened 2 years ago? Well, I became AWARE of my age yesterday (seriously, I always have to remind myself cos I cannot relate with the numbers) and I wanted to utter the same statement again. While I have achieved a lot more than I had achieved two years ago, I am still not where I want (a part of me wanted to type, “should”) to be, hence, my trip down memory lane and me almost organizing a pity party. Putting it here sets it in stone. This is my reminder for when else I feel this way, then I can pick myself up and feel the joy. I hope it would be your reminder also.
My name is Moyinoluwa Okunloye, still not married and extremely at peace and full of joy.
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