Let it all out. Vent. Have you done this? Yes? Good. Now suck it up. Whatever is left, suck it up and be a man. Take the tears, the anger, the fear, all that pain that remains and let it drive you. Let it be your fuel, burn it up. This is the way to come out of this winning and believe me, I know. I have stood where you now stand, walked the path that brought you here and gone on from there. I can say that I know exactly how you feel, young one, and I can promise you that you’ll be alright. It will get better, it just might get worse first, but in the end, it will all be fine. I am presently still discovering this, but I know it with a certainty.
How old are you now? Eleven? Yes, that’s right, eleven. I was eleven too when my mother died. I thought I would never get over it. It felt like I would never leave that cemetary, like I was buried there too. But life happens. The clock keeps ticking, time does not stand still, life carries on… at least, until death puts pause to it. And so I moved on, as you must.
Ola, hear what I am saying, and hear what I am not. I am saying move on, grow up, live life, but I am by no means saying you should forget. Remember your mother’s dreams for you and your siblings. Remember the blessing she was, to you and the people around her. Remember the very essence of her existence and imbibe it, adapt it. This is what she will have you do. You see, little one, this way, she may live still… through you.
A few other lessons you need to learn.
Follow your heart You’ll be told you’re smart enough to be whatever or whoever you want to be and then told what you can’t be? Homie, find that thing you love doing and make like Nike, Just Do It!
Make it work Make sure that while you’re at it, it works for you. Being artistic and an artist is no excuse for laziness or under-achievement. You have responsibiliies, don’t expect anyone to carry them for you.
Be yourself Peer pressure is tough to resist now, isn’t it? Well, it gets worse. Stand for what you believe in, but only if deep down, you know it’s right. Never back down, no matter what they call you or if they ridicule you.
Learn Everyday presents a learning opportunity, grab it. You’ll make mistakes along the way but learn from those too. But one lesson I want you to learn early is:
“Experience is the best teacher, but who said it had to be YOUR experience”
Be observant and learn from the mistakes and successes of others around you. That is wisdom.
Share. Be an Example You have learn and will learn many more lessons in this school called Life. Share them. You learnt them from someone didn’t you? Reciprocate then. Don’t, however, try to force them down anyone’s throats. If they’re not willing, they won’t receive, no matter how much they need to.
I would share more but these are the really important nuggets you need now. The rest you’ll learn along the way, of this I’m sure.
Finally, just in case you doubt any of these and think that maybe, just maybe, I don’t understand or know how you feel. Here’s the assurance that I do.
I am you. Only fifteen years older.
I can assure you that you will be proud of the person you have become. But then, there’s never room for gloating, only room for improvement. Great improvement at that. So don’t ever rest on your oars, or get comfortable when you’re ahead, press on. No matter how good or great you become or have become, you can be better. You can always be better.
So wipe those tears, chin up! Now get up and walk into your destiny. It is better here. It shall be better still.