Life is a learning curve. I don’t have a favorite perfume, favorite food or favorite vacation destination. My reason is very simple, I haven’t experienced much to conclude on favorites. I constantly seek different perspectives, different views, different stories just because I realize there is one more thing out there that I can learn.
Every relationship is a waste of time. Whether platonic or romantic. Relationships take time, energy and a demand for your attention and resources. I’ve learned to examine the benefits I stand to gain from any type of relationship I get into. Now the word ‘benefit’ can be reduced to mean material. Unfortunately no. Have a conversation with yourself and ask and answer certain questions. Does the person make you feel good in terms of uplifting and supporting your dreams or essence as a person? Do they make you feel needed? Are you learning anything from them? Do they constantly put you down? Do they believe in your potential or capability? Do they always come through for you when you need them? Are you happy to hear from them or do you feel the need to make an excuse not to talk to them? These questions and answers are endless. Basically, just make sure you are not in a relationship that drains you of happiness (however you define it) because there is no point in being in a place you don’t want to especially when it takes away from you. I try to not to be afraid to let go because I’ve also learned that so many good people out there want other good people like you so do not be paralyzed by the thought that you won’t find anyone better. You will.
I believe in reciprocation. I think that if a person values you, there are certain things you wouldn’t even have to ask or beg for. If they are generous to you be generous in return. If they seem to be busy, be busy too. Relationship dynamics can be funny, but know that the other person needs you as much as you need them. That in addition to the fact that life’s demands can make all of us lose out on touching base with good people, however in all of this, train yourself to forgive, give without always expecting and be accepting of people’s flaws. Pick up on signs that inform you of red flags and do not ignore them. Ultimately, people treat us the way we allow them to.
I’ve seen people drop out of Ph.D. programs, people rebrand ordinary plantain chips that were previously in clear plastic bags, people sell straw hats and people sit on their couches and make money. Whatever your definition of ‘success’ is, work at it and keep in mind that consistency can make all the difference. These days a lot of people seem to be doing the same thing. MUA, PHOTOGRAPHY, LIFESTYLE/FASHION BLOGGING, YOU NAME IT. Only difference is consistency.
We live to eat; We do not eat to live – Unknown
I think money comes and goes. I won’t be a hoarder because there’s no way my hefty bank account can literally save me if something were to happen to me.You know what that something is. I’m not about to overstate it. Relatively, money can buy medical aid but not life itself. And this point is debatable. Yet, there’s an extent to which money can go. I do not place value on money and brands and ‘success’ defined by money. I try not to let money ruin my relationships also. I recognize that money is a vehicle that can help build relationships, but at the same time, it should not be the defining element of a relationship. Use money to show people you care about them, but do not let them see you as a money dispensing machine. Allow people to show kindness to you, but be sure not to become a taker.
I think failure can give us a renewed sense of determination and zeal. It is not always negative.
Everyone who has your interest at heart is friend. I think a lot of us have to revisit the word ‘acquaintance’ for some people in our lives because not everyone deserves the word ‘friend’.
On Giving (not just money)
I went out to the movies with my cousin and gave my last to tickets for us. I knew I had nothing left on my cards but I knew my good deed was going to bring something good my way and if it didn’t, well yolo so it’s ok to see that movie and be broke. Days after that, I got money I did not expect in any way back!
Give your time, energy, and other aspects of you if you can, want to and if it works for you. Sometimes it may be uncomfortable but I learned that we do not get blessed for ourselves only.
On Independence of mind
Ultimately, every man is the master of his fate. I wish people could start to realize that modesty or bending for others is dependent on the willpower we all have. I grew up being apologetic. In a society in which assertiveness equaled arrogance, one always had to be sorry for everything. Sorry for being too beautiful or smart or lucky. Sorry for having a good job or having a nice car. Sorry for demanding your rights or calling someone out on their nonsense. A typical response from a Ghanaian you complimented would be ‘hmmm oh thank you ooo, I’m learning from you’ or ‘hmmm, really? I didn’t even know’. Sometimes this sorry attitude was conveniently shifted onto religion where everything had to be by God’s grace. Of course, God is the core of our excellence however, there’s no denying he is sometimes put into the equation to prevent the onlooker from having the eternal impression that the other is living a little too large or a little too happy. Putting God in there shifts the blame of happiness and since God can’t be judged or attacked or questioned, we go free of scrutiny.
I also realized that this modesty or nature of being apologetic prevented me and many Ghanaians from saying or doing what we really wanted for fear of being judged. We care about every single little thing society has to say. If I wear this they’ll say that, if I say this it may sound like that and make me look like this. The fear even trickled into my writing because I was afraid people would think a certain way of me if I was too open in my writings but thank God for the independence of mind and thought. Be you, let them say.
Finally, I fell in love all over again with my friend from high school when I saw her snap and messaged her and said ‘Akosua you look beautiful!’ Her response was ‘I know!’