By Adedayo Onabade
I remember the days of no cares, and how all that mattered was to play and bask in the joy of childhood. The sand we cooked during our “Mummy and Daddy” drama using old, rusty Milo tins, pretending to eat afterwards was all we knew. We didn’t really eat them though, we just placed the sandy mix on our chin, right beneath our lips, and munched on absolutely nothing. Now I know those things are crazy, but that’s the whole point of this article.
I, for one, did a lot of mischievous things – like speak to my white-turned-brown Abidec teddy, chiding it for some serious misconduct I can’t remember anymore. Many times, out of boredom and long-throat, I’d take a generous scoop of Peak milk and lodge it in the hollow beneath my tongue, savouring the thick, creamy goodness, and no one would be the wiser. Please, don’t show my parents this.
Or was it when I would take a pinch of my mother’s washing powder to form lather for that bubble blower I cherished so much. This was a regular for me, till the day I was pouring the detergent and NEPA took light.. Let’s just say dark corridors and unfinished business are not friends…You don’t want to know what happened when she found out.
I remember my teenage self plagued with naivete, bored of adolescence and eagerly looking forward to adulthood and independence. Now that we’re here, it’s obvious why there’s no heads-up. Seriously, nothing prepares you for adulting.
These are pleasant memories, let’s not even get started on the not-so-fancy ones.
Dear reader, these may sound like a repertoire of history and all that’s in the past. But that is exactly what growth is about. Without a past or a present, there can be no future.
Without the experiences of many yesterdays long gone, how do we have hope for countless tomorrows to come?
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Growing is absolutely one of the biggest miracles in the universe. So, in retrospect, looking back, there’s much to be thankful for. The first thing has to be that I don’t snoop around to be mischievous again…I now do it with my chest and my funds.
Honestly though, the first thing that I appreciate about the process of growth is that it comes with new perspectives. It’s like I’ve begun to see the world through a new vista. And because new perspectives help us see beyond the limits of where we’re coming from, I’ve become more accepting and tolerant. On the flip side, I also know what I won’t accept.
Secondly, growth has laden me a new set of values. Because I continue to advance in how I see myself and relate with the world around me, I’m picking up new value systems that can improve my life as a whole and enhance the quality of my beliefs.
Third but not terminal, with growth comes more knowledge and ability. Like the venerated poet, Maya Angelou said, “Do the best you can till you know better, then when you know better, do better.” I’ve seen myself go from clueless to having a sense of clarity. From a question as simple as “Why do I choose to express myself the way I do?” or “Why did I react that way?” to something as weighty as “What is my central purpose in life?” Growth brought sense of understanding for the whys and hows of life for me.
Of course, finding the answers to these sort of questions prompt the need to be equipped for the responsibilities that come with those answers. Kit me up please, the journey is just starting.
Last year, when I wrote this piece on seeking validation, I didn’t quite know what it’d be like to be here now – being secure in the choices that have led up to this moment. But now, I’m looking forward to future possibilities of what is to happen as I continue to grow.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Hello! I’m ‘Dayo Onabade, an habitual daydreamer, an avid reader, and unrepentant scribbler. I am an ardent believer in feminism minus men-bashing; and I think Jollof Rice is overrated. #DODO is Bae. I share my thoughts on Instagram at @the_aphorist_