It was a lovely Saturday afternoon on a summer vacation in the late 90’s… Lol, it feels good that I can say that! We were in Lagos on our annual holiday. My uncle took my cousins, sister and me to Ikoyi Club. We joined my cousin when she went in for a swim! I mean, who actually needs to know how to swim, right? The pool was packed! My cousin was a rather good swimmer. She swam off to the deep end, flapping her wings and enjoying herself! My sister, Ore and I, thought, ‘hmm, why get squashed with all these other kids? If our cousin could swim, we could too!’ With no inhibition, Ore and I flapped, kicked, paddled, and at the very least, swam our way to the ‘freer side’ AKA deep end!
When we got there, we noticed that our feet were no longer touching the ground! AH (insert Nigerian screams)!! In the midst of all the excitement, no one seemed to have seen two little girls struggling! When Ore would manage to stick her head out to scream out for our cousin, or the life guard, I would drag her down! In my mind, I thought, ‘if I go down, baby girl, you’re coming with me!’ lol! Oh the selfishness!
Finally! After what felt like forever and some miniature swimming, we were seen! It really wasn’t that long because parents were everywhere, but it felt like forever! When we got out, Ore was mad at me! ‘Why’d you keep pulling me down?! Don’t you know if help had come, we both would have been saved!’ As the stubborn child that I was, I must have given a half-baked sorry and still held on to the thought of going down together!
As you can see, we both survived that ordeal! It’s now a top story in our memory book. Ore went ahead and learned how to swim, but me – oh, don’t worry. I learned math, and I know where to place my 5’8 frame in the pool!
This funny story from my childhood is prevalent today… People like to see others in the same situation as the one they’re in, especially if it is not a good one. Think about support groups. People generally want to be around people who can understand the frustrations they’re going through, etc.
One particular aspect of my life stands out to me as I think of this. I live far from work, so I drive an hour (against traffic) one-way to work. I drive almost 500 miles EVERY week – it is painful. When I meet someone and they have a 10-minute commute, I feel like taking their car and telling them to walk or bike to work! Haha! But when I meet someone who has a 1 hour or more commute, it makes me so happy! Lol, this is true life, although harmless in this case, many more things could stream from this basis example.
A good friend of mine, Sade became an Anesthesiologist at the age of 23! You read that right. By all means, she earned the right to buy/ spend as she pleases. When she would get an expensive item, a friend of hers, Tide would make her feel like she was wasting her resources, in a very bad way. It got to the point that Sade started going out of her way to hide certain things from Tide. The kick comes in, when a few months later, Tide goes and gets the exact same thing she gave Sade hell about… and does this uncountable times. How does one rationalize that? Is that a case of keeping up with the Joneses? Jealousy? Or simply not wanting your friend to have what you cannot easily afford? Let’s think on this.
We have to take a close look at our circles. Who do we have around? Are they people who stand by you, or try to tear you down? Or people who would try to convince us to drink excessively and smoke, so they have company? Are they people that would discourage you from pursuing your engineering degree, because they did something less challenging? Are they people who you have to caution yourself around? Are they people that try to help you count your coins? Take a deep look… If your ‘loved ones’ fall under this category, you have to gradually rid yourselves of them. They can, and they will in many cases, stand in the way of your blessings! Pick your inner circle wisely. Make sure you have people full of encouragement, but would also keep you in check by telling the truth in a loving way. These type of people are invaluable, and hard to come by. When you meet them, don’t let your pride make you chase them away. Proverbs 4:23 Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.
Please leave a comment on a time where you have felt pulled down by a trusted person. Please remember to share this post, and subscribe to the blog. Posts will be up every Thursdays at 9am EST! I look forward to reading your comments!