I took a walk down memory lane on my quest to impact my community and every young person that I come into contact with. I believe that every human being has a purpose to play and needs others to guide them. I have decided to bring out the best in every person that I come into contact with. I know we all have times when we want to give up, but when we are encouraged it lights a path for us and make us want to continue. These are some of the golden moments we encounter when things seem murky, and suddenly we find someone who believes in us and from nowhere shines the torch for us to see.
I have always asked, who shines the torch for me to see! Who brings the golden moments in my life when I feel burned out and defeated? When am defeated by my own self-doubt and let downs from others? I don’t have to lose sight that on this path that I have taken there are lots of people who will flash the red light, saying clearly I should mind my own business! Some people may not see the reasons why I want to give a thorough education on abortion and its pros and cons. Some even misunderstand me and presume I am promoting abortion. I laugh and ask, are we giving a comprehensive reproductive health education or we are doing a selective one! There is nothing wrong sharing and giving out information. There are times I fight within myself, I tell myself I don’t have what it takes etc but another voice nudges me on.
I know some people called it quits because they could not stand the heat of the adversaries, they ran away because they did not want their names to go down because of culture, religion and some beliefs. Others thought they were not supposed to come out of the societal box because they were too daring or outspoken because of a change they wanted to bring, but the opposition in them and outside was too much for them to carry. Others thought it better they survive than get stressed out with their plans to bring a change. They bowed out due to frustrations by opposers who do not want the status quo to change in their community. Others did not know what to do. But to the strong willed, we will not be disturbed by anything. We see opposers as trivial. The amount of satisfaction we get from positively impacting on our community with information and knowledge cannot be measured against the work of opposers and detractors!
In my crazy way to impact my world, I said to myself the road will be murky and tough as a change maker, there will be misunderstanding and criticism, there will be self-doubt and might even want to give up. Oh yes, I must create my own rhythm and dance to it. I told myself that I need self-care, even as I have decided to shine the torch for others, what about me? Who will shine the torch for me? I need to design my own, borne out of my experience and the experience of others! To reflect me and what will suit my environment. In turbulent times, when I feel burned out, wrung dry and need to recharge, I look down memory lane at some of the women who are making impacts in their communities. I look at their style and their confidence even when people are misunderstanding them. I look at them and tell myself to curve out my own style to suit my situation. I must carve out that space that I can survive even when the trusted flee, and I feel like almost giving up. I must carve out my style to suit me without having to copy anybody elses. I have to carve out something that will work for me and urge me on. I decided not to let anything bother me, whether or not it’s a mistake, mistakes are part of life to shape us and develop our character to make us better. I started to read quotes for confirmation and inspiration every morning. I borrowed the popular quote do your best and leave the rest to God. I exercise whenever I am stressed out. When I am at work and I feel my ideas have been almost defeated I go into the washroom and say some positive affirmations for myself. I visit the pages of other women to read more about them. This also inspires me on. My first weapon is prayer, it simply calms me down, whenever I believe there is a supreme God who has my back.
Truly, I need self-care, I cannot give up when I face false criticism from anyone, even from within the community where I want to create change. I can’t give up when I hear criticism from fellow women. I can’t give up when my own ideas are not following the norm and out of tune. I can’t give up when I fall flat on my face with my own ideas. No, I must march on, because this is what shapes me. I can’t be bothered by everything, if I call myself a change maker. I have to carry my own torch at times. I have to carry my own sunshine to dance to the rhythm and make merry even on a rainy day. I may feel beaten at times, my focus and ideas and initiatives may be getting me nowhere. I cannot run away but I can dance to my own rhythm even in murky situations, because my own sunshine will do the trick for me!
I want to create a space in my community and country where likeminded young women can come together, share their struggles and express themselves and get encouragements from other sister change makers. It will always be good to share their similar stories and offer encouragements wherever need be. I believe when we get a like-minded sister to shine the torch for us, we see better. When they laugh with us we laugh best and the laughter comes back to us anytime we find ourselves in similar situations. When they cry with us, the tears dry up faster because it shows that they are in solidarity. And when they criticize us we know they are correcting us, to bring out the best in us with no malice. That will be the best self-care I will need and the best ever to be available to me. This is because self-care is a necessary luggage that I will need in my journey as a change maker.