I’ve been gazing at my graduation pictures for some time, the fixation a bit unnerving. I have been in my thoughts, bathed in the depths of its spectra, thinking of the best words to put together—thinking of how best I can embody my thoughts and emotions with words—but the words have failed me.
And that is weird given, the fact that writing and talking is all I have been doing pretty much my entire life. So, I reckoned it is the overflow of emotions that had seized my words, rendering me speechless. Maybe I can’t—might not be able to put together exactly how I feel or what I have to say but this is a “little something”.
“Let your dreams be bigger than your fears, your actions louder than your words, and your faith stronger than your feelings.”
This journey began with a dream. Growing up as a kid in a home where certain dreams were far from my reach, too rich to seem possible, all I did was dream. Being entrenched in a certain train of thoughts that limited the evolution of my foresight, all I had was my dreams. When all I was taught was to look upon the stars, wish upon them, marvel at their magnificence, and never to reach for them, I dared to dream. At that very young age, I made a mental note to go for a swing on the stars.
Regardless of where I was coming from, I made up my mind not to relent…not when a lot was at stake if I did. I just couldn’t do anything else but fight for the dream I yearned to make a reality. I had come to understand that dreams inject life into everything we do. You can use your dreams to inspire yourself, to mould your life, and do what makes you come alive. Our dreams become a compass, guiding us to a path among countless possibilities. Our decisions, in effect, are shaped by our dreams. I knew I had the roadmap when I dared to dream.
Fear is a catalyst for failure.
It hasn’t been easy. I knew it wasn’t going to be easy, yet, I wasn’t prepared for the weight of it. I thought I was ready until my first year at the University began.
The emotional and psychological ditch was a journey in and of itself. When I began, there were times I had the feeling that I wasn’t ready. My head was filled with doubts. I felt I wasn’t good enough. I felt I wasn’t deserving of the chance to be in a University when only one or two people in my family could boast of such. I was a first-generation university student and that was a lot for me. Don’t get me wrong. It meant a lot to me but it was a lot to handle. I felt unprepared to the point where I considered quitting because there was no purpose in attempting. There was no one readily available to cheer me on. I felt the most alone, lost. That was the tipping point.
The voice that urged me to give it all up was at its loudest whenever I reached a roadblock. And these roadblocks were many. I cannot put a lot of them out here but those who are close to me know what I speak of.
Nonetheless, through it all, one lesson I learned was that: No one else is going to fight for your dreams. It is your sole responsibility. Your parents, friends, or anyone else might only feel excited for you. But they can’t fight for you. They won’t fight for you. You have to take charge and head into battle, ready to win or at least die trying. You need a vision for your dream and the courage to follow the path, to withstand the fight.
Whenever I felt like quitting, I reminded myself why I started. There were times I came head-on with failure in various aspects of this journey but I taught myself to walk with my head held up high because I was still fighting, I was still trying. You only fail when you stop trying. As long as I was ready to fight on, I didn’t see the setbacks as a failure.
To tell you the truth, your dreams can come true if you are persistent, patient, and have a positive mindset. Others may think your enthusiasm is ridiculous, and they will tell you so, but if you get behind it wholeheartedly, the universe will conspire to make it happen.
I knew I made the discovery for my dreams alone and it was up to me to make them a reality. I made the decision right there and then that nothing was going to stop me—not even me. I wasn’t going to let everything I had fought so hard for, everything that gave my life meaning, go to waste because I was terrified of what would happen if I failed.
I am only but a human.
“No mountain is too high to climb, if only we can lose sight of its height and press on.”Uwagbae Nosa Lucky
I am a firm believer of the quote above but I do not wish to think on any day that I am immortal or a superhuman. I am of flesh and blood, and sometimes the most fragile being I have ever met. Yes, I break. I give up and I lose faith. Just like every other human.
All these happened more than once. Depression, self-doubt and what have you have been consistent in my journey to this point. Juggling between two or more startups, trying to add value to me, trying to make ends meet and enduring the apprehensions of my academic life, combatting severe migraine attacks, etc. added to the burden. Creating a balance between all I did and academics had its disadvantages too. I fought to be part of the top students in my class—a feat I seemingly achieved. Yet, I found myself at the dark end of the tunnel more than I could keep account of. Frankly, how I survived most of them still skips me.
Nonetheless, I strived to find myself. When I set out to chase my dreams, I didn’t know finding myself would be pivotal to my journey. But you need to know who you are, what you are capable of—what you can do or cannot do—to maximise your chances of making your dreams a reality.
Limiting ideas, or misleading attitudes about ourselves, hold the majority of us back. You may push on and find the person you truly are by learning to recognize and let go of any limiting ideas that are preventing you from being the optimum version of yourself.
Throughout the four-year journey, I managed to become a Published Author; got four different books published.
I became a Screenwriter, Film director and producer. One of my most notable works is the TAKEN Campus Series, a project I Co-Produced, directed and serve as the Head Writer—writing the majority of the episodes for both the first and second seasons.
Again, I became the Founder and C.E.O of Ontherise Media Africa, makers of Campus360 Gh (Campus360gh.com)—a university-based media group that is run on a volunteer basis by students who have an interest in journalism and writing. These students are given the needed training to practice journalism and writing.
And also the Founder and President of Earnest Writes Hub—the makers of earnestwriteshub.com, Invincible Quill Mag, Earnest Writes and Earnest Writes Community. The focus of this company is to be the bridge between young writers and the publishing world.
I started two side businesses—Alpha’s Closet, a men’s wear online shop and Alpha’s Writing Consult, a writing Agency.
I worked on becoming an editor, proofreader, blogger, motivational speaker, student journalist, entrepreneur among other things.
I hosted several programs both on radio and on stage, I was invited to places (that I never thought I would be invited to) to share a bit of the knowledge I have on issues that I am passionate about. I volunteered on a lot of projects to give back to society. I mentored several people in the fields I relate well with. I got my works featured on both international and local platforms. I became a student leader at some point.
Bottom line, I stayed relevant in adding value to myself. I worked within my dreams, tried to be the best version of myself.
As Eleanor Roosevelt said, The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams. I worked to find myself, to find what works best for me. I worked to believe in the beauty of my dreams.
Others have seen what is and asked why. I have seen what could be and asked why not.” ~Pablo Picasso
Despite the aforementioned, I haven’t got it all figured out. Truth is, I am now getting started. I haven’t accomplished all. No! I have barely accomplished half of it. I still have a lot to learn, a lot of growing to do. But I believe I have gained enough knowledge to feel confident in my sharing of it.
Many people are notorious for telling new graduates: Real life starts now. There is truth in that, however unsettling it might be. The whole idea of facing “real life, now” is too much to handle. Nonetheless, just like a traveller, I know I am on an uncertain journey (pretty much everyone is). I don’t know where I’m going, but I’m on my way. Though rough the road ahead might be, I am certain of one thing—I am ready to fight like the fighter that I am, have always been.
And oh, I promise to update you all as I move ahead in this journey.
To say I came this far on this journey on my own would be to stand against an ideal I so much believe in. No man is an island of himself.
First, there is God, who has been my rock and has never left my side. I know and believe of miracles because I have Him.
Also, I am here today because of the many incredible people I met on my way. I speak of what I speak of now because some people made sure I could talk, made sure I knew the right words to use. People picked me up from the ground when I stumbled and fell so many times. On days I locked myself up to cry, some people smashed through the door and made sure I cried no more. I appreciate all of you (though I don’t want to mention names because it is a tall list—from my family way to my mentees).
All I can say is that thank you so much for your support throughout the years! I could not have made it this far without you all of you.