Hello and welcome to ‘A PIECE OF PEACE’, your weekly dose of motivation and inspiration. This week is shaping up to be quite an interesting one. Over the weekend, I got a call from one of my girls who was going through the proverbial African parent drama of what she should do with her life. Here is the dilemma:
My friend passionately wants to be a fashion designer. She has spent the best part of 5 years which is equal to a life time in my eyes looking at patterns, designs, runway looks and even drawing up her own sketches which I think look absolutely amazing. She is however from a family where over achievement is what everyone strives for and simply getting an A in an exam without the beautiful star next to it (A*) is just not good enough. “I mean do you know how many other children get A’s in exams? How can my own daughter be part of the A students? There should be a higher category and she should be the only one in that league,” according to her dad. The family is well accomplished. The mother is a chartered accountant working with one of the top four consultancies in the world with a six-figure salary to match. The dad is an industrialist coming from an ancestry of industrialists (what I like to call ‘old money’). Her grandfather made his first million when he was 21 in the property boom in the UK when it was still fashionable to wear Swarovski encrusted name belt buckles (thinking of which I used to have one with Regina written on it, that was the coolest belt ever…I wonder if I can bring that fashion trend back). Today my friend is at a crossroads. She is a qualified lawyer from a top UK institution and has just landed a high paying job with a law firm in the UK.
This is not her passion. She lives to design. The conversation came up once with her dad and that was all the time it needed. Once! “No daughter of mine will be a seamstress!” is what the dad concluded.
So my friend called me, asking what I think she should do. My advice was quite simple. Always do what you are passionate about. We live in a world where everyone is a commentator on what is best for our lives. I completely agree that parents should structure a child’s upbringing and provide them with the best possible options to be successful in life. But I think a lot of parents push their dreams and expectations unfairly on the lives of their children. In a society dictated by opinion polls and social media likes, there is already difficulty in being who we really are without the pressures from families, loved ones and friends.
Like my dear friend who is being pressured to live a life, which she passionately does not want, due to family pressures and expectations, there are several others who feel lost and stuck in a world they are not happy with. It is a sad situation to be in and like my friend I empathize with anyone currently reading this who can relate. You only have one shot at achieving what God wants for your life. It is your responsibility alone to fight for your future. Your truest potential lies in your untapped passion. There is something only you can do that nobody else can and once we tap into that gift, you will find that everything else just lines up for a destiny you never thought possible.
As teacher I have witnessed several children with a lot of promise and enthusiasm for what the future holds, give up along the way because society told them they were not good enough and they should stop dreaming and focus on more realistic life goals. I called my friend and asked her, if she only had 24 hours to live, what would she want to spend that time doing? Sitting in a law firm rummaging through legal precedents, injunctions and court cases or sitting behind a sewing machine getting ready to create one of the most amazing wedding dresses the world has ever seen. You decide! No one can decide for you. And until that decision is made, you will always live a life of regret and misery. Take a leap of faith today faith builders and do the unthinkable- Decide to live your life on your own terms and not the life others want for you and it will surprise you how far you will go. And always remember to be yourself, because everyone else is taken.