I always say unfortunately for me I’m an eternal optimist. Why unfortunately? Because I never take my own advice. I can tell a person about all the reasons they can and then forget those words myself when the time comes around.
Is it that easy to just give up? I think so or else why would so many people do it? Or rather not do it as the case may be? Either way, I find myself drawing constantly on my internal reserves, trying to flush out the crap that fills my head everyday from what other people think I should or shouldn’t do.
Isn’t it strange how people tell you what you should do sometimes without actually telling you? By maybe just even withholding something from someone, is enough to show that you want them to do something in order for them to get what you have that they want. What is that called? Manipulation, is it? Ah! I’m straying but what I’m getting at is, well, I’ll tell you the story I heard which reminded me of some words that I heard a long time ago but never considered seriously.
Her name is Tererai Trent. Do you know her? She is a woman of great courage and living proof of the girl effect. She was told that she couldn’t go to school simply because she was a girl, she learned from her brothers text books anyway. She was married off at eleven (11) and beaten by her husband when she said she wanted an education, she strived for it anyway. She lived in a place where everyone told her no, but she said maybe, and wrote down her dreams anyway.
Now, I’m not even going to try to compare my circumstances to the immense troubles that this woman experienced to fulfill her dreams, please, it doesn’t compare, I however intend to learn from her. And the first thing that came back to me was that saying I heard long ago, ‘when you hit bottom, the only place left to go, is up.’
If you don’t know her full story, find it and take it in. This woman didn’t hit bottom, she seemed to be born there! In a world where there was little or no opportunity to fulfill the kinds of goals she aspired to, especially for a young girl. Somehow though, she looked over the bare, vastness of her home and her dream of ‘maybe’ became a ‘yes! This can be possible’. Her world was dark but she saw the light beyond it and focused, determined to get to it despite the odds, and somehow, she found her way, with five children and an abusive husband, she moved to the USA in 1998 and a decade later, earned her Ph.D.
She has since returned to Africa to help children there, especially girls, to fulfill the dreams they have for themselves. How did she do it? I do like to believe, she looked up, saw the light, and considered well, ‘can’t get any worse, the only place left to go in up from here.’ And most importantly, she started to climb, and she kept going until she reached the top. Oh, if only I can remember that when I need to! Ah, well.
Remember, critics may lie, so don’t take them too seriously.
Written by – Travesaou
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