Today, I stumbled on a link on my Facebook timeline about quotes from five African writers. One was from my favourite writer, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. It was even more profound for me because I had just watched Half a Yellow Sun, the movie and I totally relate with her quote:
“Ask questions. Never pretend to know what you don’t know, otherwise you will never learn. Read books. Do things properly. Do not write formal emails in text language where ‘you’ is one letter of the alphabet. Don’t be fake. You are more interesting as you truly are. Don’t measure yourself using another person’s yardstick. Be curious about the world. Be kind. Don’t be quick to judge, think carefully about things before you pass judgment. Try and learn something new every day. Don’t decide not to try something because you are afraid you will fail. Every successful person has failed at something. Think of it like this: you might fall down but if you fall down you can stand up and try again.”
This quote just spoke to me on all levels.
For instance, I ask so many questions, not merely because I am a journalist but because I am super curious.
At times, to save face, I have pretended to know what I don’t only to resort to asking questions both to the people who know the information as well as on Google.
I read books. I love African fiction…and non-fiction, let us just say I love any African book/read.
I strive on doing things properly that I end up bordering extreme, painful perfection and when I fail I suffer from too much self-criticism.
I am a sucker for formality…I am a ‘grammar Nazi’. I have stopped talking to some peeps because of spelling mistakes. Sorry, but I can’t. But as Chimamanda says, think carefully about things before you pass judgment. I am learning this.
Oh, honestly, I have more times compared myself to other people’s yardstick. I have not asked myself how they got to be as good as I know them. Instead, I have squeezed and strained myself to read like other people’s stories. Something which I am now realizing is a total waste of energy, I loose myself in the process and I end up like a copy…a fake copy.
I am moving away from this. A step at a time and celebrating Me. Eunice for who I am.
Those who know me, know that I am a ball of optimism and excitement. But, lately, I have been on a slippery slope. I have received countless rejection emails. Masters applications. Fellowship applications. So so many that, when I see them, I pain a little and hit BIN. These rejections have clouded all the other great things happening in my life and in my work. But, to read Chimamanda say, think of it like this: you might fall down but if you fall down you can stand up and try again.
I am hopeful. I am very hopeful that I need to keep at it. Maybe you too are going through something similar. Or you were here a while back, or…you may find yourself here…stand up and try again.
And lastly…As if sent out to speak to me, a friend, Kevin Sanya, put up an update. Part of it read:
“God is in complete control, He’s brought me through in the past and I know He’ll bring me through again. I’mma keep pressing forward knowing that my due season is on its way. I will take the limits off God and make room in my own thinking for the new things God wants to do.
Friends, this is my prayer for you too. God is getting everything lined up for you, it’s your due season, its God’s appointed time; keep praying, keep believing, keep doing your very best! You are much closer than you think; the most difficult time is right before your victory!”
Thinking of trying again? Check out these sites for writing ideas/opportunities.