NOTE: This is just a quick reminder before we progress into the story that the story was shared by TOVIA. They’re her own words which have been edited to inspire others.
I’ve always marveled at motivational quotes; the positive energy emitted and calmness involved. I know that life is not a bed of roses so I couldn’t for the life of me, understand how these people (motivational speakers) managed to be positive and come to a place of peace. Always speaking like somehow they’ve managed to transcend beyond the human realm containing every worry of life.
The way and manner in which they speak is as if they’re living in a different world. A world where things are “just fine”. Whereas in my own little world in which I was living, everything wasn’t “just fine”.
What I had been going through was much more mental than physical. My mind became my own personal battlefield. A battlefield where I was losing the fight. Going down so hard and not wanting anyone to know. I masked the bruises with smiles and made everyone think I was happy when I was really dying within.
I was deep in an identity crisis, I had no idea who I was or where I was heading. Notwithstanding, I’ve always had a passion for music but I was always discouraged and told that the path wasn’t the right one to go. It became so frustrating because there were a lot of people around me who were achieving so much and doing so great for themselves.
Meanwhile, all that was happening on my own end was people who’d keep asking me when I was going to start giving my life some meaning. It hurt a lot hearing those words. I’ve always been very sensitive to criticism and honestly, I kept receiving a lot of it. I know constructive criticism is great and all but what I felt I kept receiving was more like destructive criticism.
And even though I had a passion for music, it somehow didn’t just feel right or click to do. It became more and more depressing probably because I didn’t even have a clue where to start from. Talk more of where I was headed.
So just like arrows, the words people spoke to me felt as though they could pierce my very soul.
Some nights, I would cry myself to sleep. I’d lie to myself that I was okay, wake up the next day and repeat the same depressing cycle. There were some days I didn’t even want to wake up but I guess God keeping me alive was a sign that something good would happen.
It was so difficult to acknowledge that there was actually a ray of hope. A so called light at the end of the tunnel. Probably even greener grass somewhere on the other side. But I held on tightly to only God knows how slim that hope rope was. Amidst the wallowing in my mental state of self-worthlessness and wishing it all away, I just wanted something to hold on to.
Something that would make my life more meaningful. I wanted to find that one thing that I could use to push myself forward and rub my success in the faces of the people who made me feel like I couldn’t. I sought purpose and I almost completely gave up.
It could be said that I almost completely let my insecurities and self-doubt pull me down to the point of no return. But on a certain day, it hit me. I can barely even call it a hit. It was more or less like a brush on my shoulder. I could’ve honestly even missed it.
On a faithful day where I taught my 4 year old cousin how to write the numbers 1 through 100 in less than 20 minutes. It was honestly so fascinating. I had even baffled my own self. After then, it was like a flame lit up in me. I didn’t want it gone or mistakenly put out like a candle flame that could easily be swayed and put out if tried enough.
What I did realize was that teaching children was something I loved to do. But what I loved more were the words I was exposed to playing with. I mean if you’ve ever taught a child you’d understand the difficulty it takes to pass a message across that would be completely understood.
But the words flowed effortlessly and almost endlessly out of me. It wasn’t too long after that I discovered that there could actually be a writer inside me. And that writer hasn’t really been given the chance to express herself. It all came together more perfectly when I read Jeremiah 32:39; that verse made me understand that God has already written out a plan for me.
A single purpose, one I have been running after for so long, “to fulfill my life”. Meaning I could fulfill all my dreams despite what others said. As long as I do it to honour Him.
I gained even more clarity when I saw the scripture Jeremiah 29:11 which says that “The thoughts which the Lord have for me are of good and not of evil to give me an expected end”. It made me so happy to not feel like a failure but know that I am full of worth and potential.
For the first time in a long while, I felt so much calm and peace. I could finally relate to the transcending beyond the human realm which motivational speakers actually achieved.
I no longer had to cry myself to sleep. The long months of self-condemnation were over because I had finally found what I had been seeking for. It felt so amazing and awesome. Finally felt so relieved and like I could actually take in a deep breath.
I know I still have a long way to go in fulfilling my dreams but I am so glad I got to discover them (I’m still uncovering them). I’m so thankful I didn’t totally give up on them.
I’m going to apologize in advance because I’m going to now be one of those cliché motivational speakers but with a different twist. It is absolutely normal to not know where you’re going. To be confused about who you really are or to not even know your purpose or what you want to do.
Let me first begin with the bad news. It isn’t going to be easy to discover it in one go, it’s not going to be a piece of cake. But the good news is, you will eventually get there just keep the faith and keep going.
Don’t let yourself burn out just yet. Sometimes we’re delayed just so we can be strengthened enough when we start becoming accomplished. This is the story of my journey to discovery. I hope one day I also get to hear of yours.