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DON’T BOX ME IN #opesays

This is for you, if, like me, you have never felt good enough and though you’ve stretched all your life, you have never reached that bar that others have set for you. It may be your parents ,siblings ,friends, or even strangers. They poured you into their mould and you didn’t fit, they weighed you on a balance and you were found wanting. You just didn’t belong.

They try to box you in but you are a perfect circle, triangle or even a star. You just don’t fit. Maybe like me, you’ve never been good enough, no matter how much you try. For instance, in my first year in the University, I was determined to continue with my stellar academic achievements. I made my first GCE result while I was still in SS1, and A’s were not wanting. I was also the Head prefect (girl) of my school. So naturally, I was downcast after I found out that my first semester result in the university was a GP of 4.19.

My friends cheered me up and made me realize that it might not be the first class result I had hoped for but it was a good result by all standards and I could do better the coming semester. My bubble bust however after I told my mother the result.”Couldn’t you do better? At least your mates got a first class”. Needless to say, the rebel in me was born that day. After all, no one had  ever acknowledged my past results that were great. No matter how hard I tried, I wasn’t just good enough.

It could just be the fact that you’re different that rubs them the wrong way. It may be the way you dress, your tattoo or your hairstyle that rattles them. Maybe they have said that you’re too quiet, nerdy or chatty. It may be that you were not as ‘brilliant’ as the other children in the family or they didn’t approve  the career you chose for yourself. Whatever it was, they poured you into a mould, you didn’t fit and you were found wanting.

Good news is, no two human beings were created to be the same or achieve the same things. The fact that you deviated from the norm is not a crime. Who wrote the rules? Who said you must conform?  This means that you don’t have to fit into anyone’s mould or let them ‘create’ you. You are free to give your personality full expression. They may get to you sometimes or even alienate you because you are different and you don’t meet up. Hard as this might be, do not let this get to you.

People are always afraid of what they do not know, what they do not understand, the unfamiliar or the different and that invariably turns into hate.(This has been the major cause of tribal wars and religious hatred throughout history).People only hate that which they see in others and which they want to be, but cannot achieve. A friend and I drifted apart for some years and then started to talk again recently, especially about the past. He said to me (in his exact words), “You know you used to be so independent and self-willed. I used to hate that about you. Now I know better and the same qualities I hated in you are the same things I now admire.”I was surprised, I didn’t even know he felt that way about me.

No man who ever blended with the crowd has ever achieved anything great. He has to beat out his own path, and stand out to achieve anything worthwhile.”Stand for what you believe in even if it means standing alone”-Unknown. Be true to yourself because there’s only one you. Colour our world with your difference for we all can’t be the same. That’s boring art. Be real, be you, stand out and go succeed. Peace.

Opemipo Adebanjo

@opesays on Twitter

This is a weekly column that runs every Friday. It is called #opesays. Join me to talk about issues that matter from motivation to love to politics to religion to life itself.

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