S T O R Y T I M E
Haha! Oya it’s story time😂. So sometime last month I was in a gathering of people that I usually get together with to get things done. One babe kept staring at me (so much that I started feeling uncomfortable).
After staring for a while, she asked “How do you cope?” One of the guys with us said “With what?” but before she even answered, I already knew she was talking about my big breasts. Then she goes:
“It cannot be me oo ehn! I will die! I will just die! Never.” .
I did not know how to feel. Your baby girl just walked away because this is not the first time this particular girl has made this kind of comment. Sometimes she’ll see me and start shouting “Haa! Haa! You are trying.” Almost. Every. Single. Time.
I just smile or ignore…because it doesn’t matter. I can’t be worrying my head for anybody talk less of someone who doesn’t have enough filter in her mouth to matter to me. Soon enough, she’ll get used to idea or find a way to cope 🤷🏽♀. Either ways I’ll be here doing me.
I’ve run into this girl a few more times after this. Some of those times, she still made her snarky comments and as usual, I ignored 🙄. She hasn’t made any comment again the last few times we’ve seen each other. Looks like she finally got used to the idea of me…and even if she hasn’t, she will someday. She doesn’t have a choice 😂😂😂.
Moral of the story: Do you. The world will adjust.
Second moral of the story: it’s not always necessary to say what you’re thinking. Sometimes just shut up🙄
Okay bye 👋😁. Thanks for reading. Now subscribe 👌
Much love 😍
Your tiny eyed storyteller
One Year Post-Convocation.
Hey Fresh Graduate,
It’s a year already. One whole year after graduating university. And it’s nothing like I thought it would be. I thought I would be living the ideal post-graduate life but right now, it’s the exact opposite. What a shocker!
I’m supposed to be doing my masters in jand right now with oyinbo friends and posting cute pictures of me with clear skin. After all, the ultimate skin care routine is iPhone X or Google pixel+ abroad weather. You wonder what the exact opposite of that is? Well, let me explain.
Right now, I’m standing under the sun on a queue at Ikeja Local Government in NIGERIA. I can feel the sun burning my skin and calling upon breakouts and hyper pigmentation. I don’t think this guy in front of me has washed his khaki since we’ve been given but I have to smile and make conversation with him because he’s my plug to finish my monthly clearance on time. What clearance you ask? Ohh its NYSC clearance. Yeah. I’m hustling for clearance while my friends are on the Whatsapp group asking when they will pay us allowee for the previous clearance we did.
So not only am I not abroad, my skin is breaking out, my friends are not oyinbo in any way lol and I’m typing this on a Tecno phone. I really thought I’d have everything figured out exactly as I planned. I thought it’ll be just one straight direct path with loads of money in my account and me living the dream. What went wrong?
What went wrong? I asked myself this for so long before I realized the answer. Nothing. Absolutely nothing. Maybe things did not go exactly as planned. But they definitely did not go wrong. I think when you leave school, you just expect so much out of life that when it doesn’t happen, you start to feel like a failure.
Things are actually not as bad as my inner critic makes them sound. Most of my post graduate plans are on track (maybe not as fast as I thought). I’m doing what I love and I’m making the best out of life. I just want you to know despite all of these that it will be a bumpy ride.
A lot of things would change and as a result, you as a person might change too. Change is a good thing. Provided it is positive change. I’ll be sharing a few things I have observed and that I have learnt on this one -year change journey. I’m still learning a lot too but I hope they help you in making the best decisions in the years to come.
- Have a plan. Life is always better with a plan.
It’s important…very important to plan. Your plans might not end up being exactly what happens but imagine how bad it’ll be if you don’t even have a plan at all.
- Don’t rush yourself
Despite what you think, you’ll probably still remain in your father’s house for a bit no matter how much you start making immediately. You may not get a car immediately. You may not “blow” immediately. Your account balance may not be what you have in mind right now. Don’t rush yourself. Don’t give into pressure from seeing other people make it faster than you. Remember we all have different ideas of success but the ultimate one is fulfilling YOUR own purpose.
- You are prepared but never really prepared
Yeah. That doesn’t seem to make a lot of sense but I don’t know how else to say it. Life would throw things at you, things that you never expected, things that you never really prepared for. Don’t ever sit and think oh no I’m not prepared for this. You are prepared. You’ve been preparing for this moment all along. It’s time to use everything that you’ve learnt to make the best of the situation.
- Pay attention to yourself.
In school, you probably had friends, or at least roommates or course mates who were looking out for you or would at least notice if something was off with you or stop you when you’re going too far. You’re in the outside world now. Everyone is looking out for themselves. You have to pay attention to yourself. In school, you could starve yourself of sleep for 2 weeks reading for exams and then rejuvenate after exams. There is no rejuvenation time anymore. Don’t overwork yourself to the point of fatigue. Pay attention to your health. Eat properly. Exercise if you have the chance. Just stay healthy. Sometimes, you’ll need to take time for yourself. Do it.
- Consciously stay close to God
It’s easy to just let your relationship with God slip. Back in school, you could pray for hours non-stop with no distraction on your mind. Now, you’d probably be using up more of your hours in Lagos traffic than praying. My school particularly created an enabling environment for my relationship with God (Shout out to Covenant University lol) but you get out here and realize it’s all different. Now, you have to really want it by yourself and put it in the effort, surrounding yourself with people that can aid your growth and you can be accountable to.
- Keeping in touch/ relationship requires effort
Recently, I had to make a list of people and condition myself to reach out to these people at least once a week or two weeks. When I say relationships, I mean friendship, dating, whatever. If you value any relationship then you have to make the effort to keep it because life happens. You get swamped and forget to reach out. The other person gets swamped too and forgets and y’all just drift apart. Keep in touch with your people. Be ready for the extra effort required and make it work.
- Many things are hard without connect. Build/keep your network
I won’t lie to you. You need connect outchea. You need it for literally everything. The networks you built during school would be one of your most valuable assets now that you are out. Don’t misuse it. Don’t cut it off. Keep building and growing it. You need your connect!
- You may not enter your exact career or dream job or dream salary straight up.
Like I said, don’t rush yourself. You may have to go through other unplanned things before you get to your destination. Don’t freak out. It’s okay.
- Be conscious
Life outside school is very very different. You have to be more conscious about those your roll with. In school, it’s easier to spot people that have the same values and path as you do. It’s a different ball game out here. Be more careful and conscious so you don’t get mixed up with the wrong things. Be conscious of the energy you allow into your space
SometimesMany times you won’t feel like you have it together.
And that’s okay. It’s a feeling. Keep implementing your plans and working toward your goals.
- Don’t stop learning
Yes, you’re done with school but please do not be done with learning. You have to keep at it if you want to stay relevant.
- You might face rejection a lot
Read post on Will The Rejection Ever End? for how to handle it.
- Most importantly, love yourself and your life.
Things would happen to bring you down. Remember why you are here in the first place. Give no room for depression. Love your life and appreciate it as much as you can.
Alrighttt. That’s most of what I got for now. If you’re a graduate, share your own lessons so far with me in the comments section. Ciao.
Ohh and before I forget,
Your tiny eyed storyteller.
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I’ve received my own fair share of advice in my time and many of them have been helpful. In the same vein however, many of them can classify as the worst advice you could ever give to anyone and SHOULD NOT be taken as they are.
Most times, people can advise you because they just want to sound motivational or they can end up giving you advice based totally on situations they have been in and not considering your own context or maybe they just really have nothing to say. Either ways, it is important that you are able to discern between good and bad advice and know which ones you need to tweak before taking them into cognizance.
- Fake it till you make it.
LOL! That’s all I can say. In some scenarios, this may be good advice that would only work if you are trying to correct something that is holding you back from achieving. For instance, if you are trying to be more confident in connecting with people, acting confident and doing things that project confidence can help you build your confidence. However, if you’re faking it prove something to other people or to prove your worth then this is totally bad advice. You would end up putting so much effort into faking it that you won’t even have the resources to become it at the end of the day.
- It’s not far. You can trek it.
This is usually the worst and most evil advice. If anyone tells you this, please confirm that it is actually trekking distance before you set out. If not, you will end up trekking from one city to another.
- Education/A good grade is not important so far you have skill and talent.
While it is possible to make it without education or good grades, it is important to aspire for and work towards it. Even with the best skills, education would open doors for you in places that your skills cannot and it would help you to develop those skills even more.
- Be like ‘so and so person’.
It is okay to have role models with certain traits you admire and want to take after. However, patterning your whole life after someone else is a waste of time and energy. Rather use this energy to be the best version of yourself that you can be.
- Be Yourself.
I always think this is silly when people say this to me because in actual fact, it really is not possible to be anything other than yourself. Even if you try to be another person, you are still yourself. Also, people are now so quick to use this as an excuse for bad behavior. They say things like “That’s me!” or “That’s just who I am”. So I think what whoever says this to you is really trying to say is BE THE BEST VERSION OF YOURSELF. Keep striving to be best version of you that you can be. Simple.
- Never say never.
Random person: Tomi, let’s jump off this cliff!
Yes! I said never. And there are a million other things I would say “never” to. You actually have choices in this life and there are some to which you must say NEVER. If someone tells you this, they are probably trying to give you hope about something. What they should be saying to you is that there is always hope and nothing is impossible.
- Don’t cry over spilled milk.
This is basically saying don’t cry or be sad over what you cannot change. I think an important part of emotional strength is letting out your feelings from time to time. Suppressing your emotions can lead to unexpected outbursts later on. So, it is okay to cry or be sad over spilled milk. The important thing is not to cry over spilled milk for too long. Get up, go to the grocery store and buy another carton of milk!
- A shortcut is always a wrong cut.
Honestly, I just think that not everything in life has to be so hard. There are things you can spend less time and energy on and still get the same result. For example, you can make use of networks that you have to get some things done and save time/resources to do other things. A shorter process does not ALWAYS mean you are doing things the wrong way. I think whoever giving you this advice is just trying to say that you should be honest in your dealings and follow due process, not that you should not do things in a shorter, faster way if you have the opportunity.
- Never stop fighting for what you believe in.
Haha! I imagine this is the kind of advice that Hitler had because I don’t want to believe that some time in all those years, he did not realize that he was doing something wrong. Sometimes you realize that what you believe in is wrong or false. It is stupid to keep fighting at this point. You become a zealot instead of hero. While fighting for what you believe in, be open-minded to other people’s opinions and to realizations that you might be on the wrong path.
- Always speak your mind.
If you were raised by African parents, then you probably already know that this is bad advice. Sometimes just shut up and listen. Wisdom is profitable to direct.
- Forget about the past.
First off, I don’t think it is possible to just develop selective amnesia over some things that you have been through. Also, is forgetting really the goal? I think we should actually acknowledge mistakes that we have made so that we can work on them to do better. What you should really be told is not to obsess over the past. Let it go. You might not forget but don’t hang on to it obsessively such that it prevents you from taking greater strides. Rather, use it to make better decisions in the future.
- The only person you can trust is yourself.
Bad advice. Very bad advice. No man is an island. It is okay to be critical of people and their intentions at first. This is how you are able to choose people you think that you can actually trust. Even at this, some people will still break that trust. That however, does not mean that you should not trust anybody at all. Human beings are essentially social beings. We thrive on social interaction. You would need to relate on a trust level with business partners, friends, or spouses if you do decide to get married. You can’t be very successful in these relationships if you have that mindset that the only person you can trust is yourself.
- Live each day like it is your last.
I’m sure we’ve all heard this before. I think it makes zero sense. If it were my last day, I would clear out my bank account and go on a shopping spree. I would eat every single unhealthy thing I’ve ever avoided. I would probably even go and look for people’s trouble and literally put myself in harm’s way. If I lived everyday like it is my last, I would go broke in a week. There is a reason why planning is important. There are days ahead and we need to live and plan towards them.
- Time heals everything.
This is another advice that probably comes with good intention but makes no sense. The person is probably just trying to console you over something. Imagine you get a flat tyre and you take this advice that time heals everything. Do you leave your car or bike and wait for time to fix it? You would literally wait forever. You get your tools and you change the tyre or you call a professional to do it. Time does not heal everything. It is what you do in that time that matters.
- Opposites attract.
I only know this to be true for the north and south poles of magnets. In life relationships like business or marriage, it is important for you and you partner to have similar basic values and principles. It is okay to be different in some ways. You can complement each other. However, having totally different values, principles etc would eventually lead to conflict. A fundamentally honest person cannot be comfortable doing business with someone that does not value integrity. You have to be similar on the core. Interests, skills etc can be different and complement each other.
- Follow your passion and the money will come.
“Follow your passion” can be good advice but you cannot guarantee that the money will come. Being passionate about something does not mean you’ll make a lot of money from it. If you keep expecting some big payday, you might eventually get frustrated. Follow your passion but keep in mind that you may have to do other things to make money. Follow your passion because you love doing it and because your happiness is important. YOU CANNOT GUARANTEE THAT MONEY WILL COME!
- Be confident.
This is the most hilarious one ever. “Be confident”. You think my lack of confidence is because I was telling myself “Be nervous. Be a coward.” Of course, I’m trying to be confident. The advice you should be giving me is what to do to feel, be or look more confident. Telling someone to be confident is just funny advice honestly.
- Don’t care what anybody thinks.
Imagine walking into a corporate job interview in a bikini and ratchet make up. Everybody is thinking “Err…a hooker seems to have lost her way.” But of course, you don’t care what anybody thinks. Then they call on security to escort you away from your dream job. Lol! You should care what people think sometimes. Let your inner critic out sometimes. The real advice here is not to become attached to people’s approval. Don’t develop approval mentality such that you can no longer think for yourself or make decisions without obsessing over whether you would be accepted or approved of by other people.
- Be the best at whatever you do.
It is not possible to be the best at EVERYTHING you do. Some things are done just for fun. Striving for competition in these things would just take all the fun away and if you take this advice to heart, you would always be sad anytime someone beats you. It’s better to say “put in your best in everything you do.” That way, even if you don’t emerge the best, you are at peace and satisfied with yourself knowing that you put in your best.
- Final piece of bad advice: Don’t share this post.
Someone advised you to keep this post to yourself and not share? BAD ADVICE. Ditch it! Share as many times as you can. Hahaha!
Sigh! This was a long post. Finally done. Thank you for reading to the end. Tell me. What is the worst advice you have ever gotten? Comment section open! Stay consistent and keep challenging the status quo.
Your tiny eyed story teller.
We sincerely regret…
We are sorry but…
We regret to inform you…
We appreciate your interest but…
What do these lines have in common? All popular openings to rejection letters. You would know if you have received enough in your time. I have, and to be honest, rejection hurts. Whether small or large-scale rejection. It just hurts more than you even expect it to. I mean you start to wonder what you did wrong and why you are not good enough and many many things. You begin to second-guess yourself and your capabilities.
I read that the worst damage done to ourselves through rejection is usually self-inflicted because at the time when your self-esteem is really low, you go ahead and bash it some more in your head. Human beings’ natural response to rejection is to become self-critical and begin to second guess yourself and ask all these questions. It is indeed unhealthy but we’ve all done it at some point or the other when we faced rejection be it from a job you really wanted, a girl you really liked, a collaboration you really wanted etc.
The most annoying kind of rejection for me is when they say they’ll get back to you but they never do. Nigerian companies and brands are very good at this one. They just leave you expectant and waiting till you finally realize and accept that you have been rejected. Apparently, people hate this kind of rejection even more.
Let’s just accept that rejection is super hurtful. I even saw somewhere that it triggers the same brain pathways that are activated when we experience physical pain. Imagine that for a second!
After wallowing in self-pity the last time I got rejected and beating myself up over how I could have done things differently, I just decided I didn’t want to do that anymore. I was set out to find new and better ways of coping with rejection because I realized that whether I liked it or not, I would still probably have to face a lot more of it in this life. I could not afford to subject myself to the “rejection torture” every single time so I immersed myself in trying to build what I call “rejection resilience”. I am not there yet of course. But here are some of the things I have been doing that have really helped me with handling rejection.
I acknowledge my emotions. Yes, this! One time I tried to convince myself that it did not bother me and I did not care. “They can shove it up their ass for all I care” I said. But the fact that I was even talking this way was proof that I actually did care and I was hurt. After some time, I just exploded with all the emotions I was feeling. Top of which was anger. If you don’t handle rejection well, you’ll just become an angry person. People that are truly strong mentally don’t try to ignore or suppress their emotions. You gotta face it head on if you’re feeling sad or disappointed. You have to face it to get over it.
Be kind to yourself. No self-criticism. When I get rejected, I usually say really mean things to myself. I feel really small and stupid and I tell myself that. I criticize myself so much inside literally breaking my own spirit. My inner critic is loudest after a rejection. This is literally me rating myself one star.
But honestly, that is the wrong way to handle it. Be kind to yourself. Say kind words to yourself. Spoil yourself a little even, but not to the point of self-pity. Tell yourself that you are good enough. Re-affirm yourself and your purpose.
Have a good support system. It helps to have people that you can trust to be there for you and help you gain perspective at times like this. Sometimes, I read bible verses that help me to gain perspective or listen to sermons that address things like this. It also helps to make social connections. We are essentially social beings so we need to be reminded that we are loved and appreciated so spend time with your friends or family.
Remind yourself of your self-worth and that you are pushing boundaries. Remind yourself of what you have to offer instead of your flaws. You can even write it down. You are worth more than you think. I personally remind myself that if I was worth enough for Jesus to die for me, then I’m worth more than I think. If you got rejected then it means you actually stepped out of your comfort zone. You took the risk of getting rejected. It means you are living your life to the fullest. You can’t know that you are actually putting yourself out there and out of your comfort zone if you don’t get some form of rejection once in a while.
Don’t let it define you. If you have been rejected, don’t take it as a pass to stop trying. Don’t give up because of one rejection. Put yourself out there again. Don’t build your goal around this rejection. In fact, let it push you to do even better and reach for even greater. If a company turns you down, don’t give up and say you’ll never get a job. Or if a girl turns you down, don’t say that means marriage is not for you. It just means that company or that girl is not for you at that time. Don’t let their opinion build your own image of yourself. You are better and worth far more than one person’s opinion.
Learn from it. Turn every rejection into an avenue for improvement and growth. Ask yourself what you could have done better and work on doing better.
Let’s just know that rejection happens and it is not always easy. In fact, it is never easy but we would always have to face it at some point. I remind myself of what I’m worth and people that love and appreciate me and I’m reminded that even if nobody does, Jesus loves me and that is all that really matters. Get back that confidence you need to keep going and try again. Keep going for gold. Hit the finish line. You are worth it!
Your tiny-eyed story teller.
Hey, what kind of rejection hurts you the most? Let’s talk about it. Drop a comment.