Life Lessons: Excerpts from Folu’s Diary

by Foluke Okekunjo

Life Lessons Learned

Going down memory lane, I can recollect that I I had a bad sight as a primary school pupil. I hid it from my parents till I got to high school. In my first year in the high school, my sight deteriorated so much that I could barely see anything on the board except I moved very close. We were over sixty in a large classroom with chairs and tables arranged columns. I was taller than my classmates (still tall though) so my seat was at the back of the class.

I had no choice than to copy from my seat partner(s). When they wrote rubbish, I copied just the same. The fear of using glasses made me quiet about my eyes. My teachers were not in the know about it too. Migraine became a constant thing and I always looked forward to free periods when I could relax because my brain and ears became the most active organs of my body.

Can you guess what happened at the end of that session?! Your guess is as good as mine. Naturally, I have been a highflyer all along but I was shocked! I never expected it because my eyes failed me a lot of times. During mid-term assessments, I’ll squint my eyes and still copy the wrongly. My notes were very rough, full of errors and I never wrote on the lines. For anyone who saw my notebook, such person would think that the writer was just learning how to write.

What am I driving at exactly? YOUR DEFECT(S) SHOULD NEVER BE YOUR FOCUS. I knew something wasn’t right with my eyes, yet I understood that I had to be up and doing in class. I knew I had to leverage on other parts of my body that could help me out. Many young people are busy complaining about who they are not and their ‘not-good-enoughs’ which may never improve. In fact, they may not become good if you don’t make deliberate efforts at overcoming them. You can’t change the class of degree you graduated with, you can’t change the fact that you are tall and thick (just like me…I hope you aren’t laughing).

So what do you do? ACCEPT WHO YOU ARE OR WHAT YOU HAVE. Acceptance is key. Yes I know I am black, yes I know I have this disfiguring birth mark, yes I know I am not where I ought to be, yes I know I am not outspoken. These and many others could have played out in your thoughts or actions. It’s time to BAR THOSE THOUGHTS AND ASSUMPTIONS. Just like a tree loses its leaves during the dry season, it’s time to shed those thoughts because a new season is at hand for you.

Another helpful step, DON’T SIT ON IT, leverage your limitations or your strengths. It’s possible to leverage your limitations. I once read a story of young man who stuttered yet he defied all odds to become a renowned radio football commentator in the US. Of course, it took a process. You can start too. I’m sure you’ve read about Adetutu, a Nigerian model gaining International recognition even with her tribal marks. She was rejected too but she refused to give up.

Guess what time it is. It’s HEAL O’ CLOCK. A time to come to terms with who God has made you to be. A time to be deliberate about your life and the decisions you make. Remember, your limits are God’s limits and your utmost is his desire for you. Reach out for Gold and you will have it.

God bless you!

Foluke Okekunjo is a Microbiologist by training,full of life, she loves baking and writing

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