I’m supposed to meet a friend this afternoon but I told her I have to do my writing first. I have promised myself that I will write for 21 days straight, about whatever it is that comes to mind, not caring about what other people will say, whether people will like it or not. I will just write. For 21 days straight, around the same time each day because I read somewhere that it takes 21 days to form a new habit. I need to make this writing thing a habit of mine, a part of my day because if I succumb to procrastination and fear again, I will never get anywhere. And my friend was so gracious about it, she told me I should take my time because she supports my writing.
For the whole week that I’ve been writing, I have come to realise that we all have gifts. Every one of us. It doesn’t have to be grand. You could be making glass vases and feel that it’s what you are born to do. Or you could sell candies to kids and feel accomplished at the end of the day when you close shop. It doesn’t matter. Just as long as you can feel that it comes naturally to you and you feel satisfied at the end of the day when you get to do it. That when you do it, time becomes a warped thing that you forget and when you look up to check the time, you realised that a few hours has gone by and it still felt like it was just five minutes. Each one of us has a gift, I believe that. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be here on Earth if you didn’t have one. I heard a pastor once say that we are not accidents. We are meant to be here. You have to be called by your name to be here, you cannot just sneak into the Earth. You didn’t sneak into a backdoor and disappear into the walls. You were called and you were given a gift that only you could do well because this will be your contribution to society, and ultimately to mankind. That when you do it, you do it so effortlessly and it makes you feel alive.
It took me a long time to realise this because I didn’t want people to think I’m unreachable. Ever since I was little I felt like I was disassociated from the herd. I’m at the opposite side of the glass window looking in while the others are all inside. When people find out that I write, they are somewhat in awe and they immediately conclude I’m smart. But I’m not smart, I have learned that in college, and trust me, there are still so many things that I don’t know. I just happen to know how to play with words and lay down ideas on paper so beautifully so that people will appreciate them and ponder about them. That is why all my life, until now, I have downplayed who I am just to be accepted, to belong. I have downplayed who I am so that friends and ex-boyfriends won’t be intimidated. And we all know there will always be the jealous types. In mind, these people just haven’t discovered their gift yet that’s why they hate it when they see others living with it.
Sometimes I just stay quiet and let others do the talking because I don’t want the centre stage, I want none of that, I just want to be just like everybody else. But now that I’m at this point in my life where I feel like I still haven’t done something, which is publishing my debut novel. I avoid saying it out loud because I’m afraid that I won’t be able to achieve it. That I will be accountable to other people when they realise that I’m all talk but no action.
I have dimmed my shine for so long and stayed in the shadow all this time that now that I’m being eaten up by wasted time, I feel like it’s time for me to honour my truth. Never mind if people would feel intimidated, or jealous, or hateful. I have always been a square peg in a round hole and I’m okay with that now. Years before, I was all about self-love and putting yourself first but the truth is I’ve always been a fraud. I was never living up to my truth because I wanted people to like me and not treat me any differently.
Sometimes I want to be like those dumb girls whose only care in the world is to look pretty on Instagram or Facebook. Just put on a pile of make up, inject myself with all the glutathione in the world and alter my appearance (maybe have a nose job?). Show off my cleavage and come hither stare. Nowadays, people don’t really care if you have talent, or if you are essentially a good person, all they care about is if you look good because the main goal today is to snatch a trophy and parade them in front of their friends and call it life goals. It is all about the quintessential trophy girlfriend or wife. But I couldn’t be that, that’s not who I am. And why would you want to be with someone as superficial as that?
This gift that I have and who I am is all I’ll ever have. And I’m going to stay true to it. I won’t dim my shine anymore, if it puts me on fire, so be it. I’ll be ripped into smithereens but at least I know I have stayed true to who I am. This gift, I realised, is the gift that keeps on giving. Even if I keep giving it away to other people, I will never feel empty, on the contrary, I always feel refuelled. I hope each one of us finds our gift. It doesn’t have to be grand, but there’s nothing wrong if it is. You don’t need to find the cure for AIDS, but it would be fantastic if you did. You don’t have to be the best in it because other people will have the same gift as you but they will never be like you. It doesn’t matter if you’re not good at it yet, you get there. Just as long as you keep on doing it and you love it.