In the early ’90s, Noami my mother made perhaps the biggest mistake of her life – by becoming pregnant at just 17 which unfortunately coincided with her final year in High School.
Children are an integral part of life, but from where she came from, having them outside wedlock was a taboo; it was seen as a curse and a sign of improper upbringing.
Before accepting to bear the stigmatization and social tantrums that followed, she faced what she had always described as the greatest decision of her life – to keep the baby.
As a teenager, my mom confessed to me that she was very scared at that point.
She had heard stories of complications after an abortion often leading to loss of the womb, stories of girls who didn’t survive the ordeal and died by
over-bleeding and so many other scary stories that did keep a teenage black girl awake most nights.
So the thought of getting rid of me wasn’t all that static.
But in all, I guess her greatest fear bordered on morality and the fate of the innocent baby she was carrying.
It was within her power then to dispose of me, but she held on to me to the point of walking out of chances to live a better teenage life.
Her greatest heartbreak wasn’t the rejection from her friends or the shame her family faced, she said, but from my father – her classmate.
She lost everything, but she didn’t lose hope of the miracle growing inside of her.
To make sure I survived and the odd jobs she did to provide for me at that point would break your heart. Well, that’s another story for some other time.
I’ll tell it someday to encourage many.
But then, let’s face the lessons you can learn from my mom’s attitude to life.
Lessons For Women:
1. You Are Not Defined By Mistakes But By The Courage To Learn From It.
It is natural for human beings to sulk and often look for whom to blame when hit by travesties.
But, blame has gotten nearly all her warriors nowhere.
What you should do instead is, to admit that whatever mistake you’ve made, has already been made.
Are there lessons I can learn from them?
What is the way forward?
The truth is this, you owe it to yourself to live beyond people’s expectations of you and it doesn’t matter what has happened – your dreams are still valid.
2. It Is Your Story, You Need To Own It.
Sometime in the past, when I was still a teenager, I was out playing football with kids outside the neighbourhood and mistakenly hit someone.
As with the rules, I got fouled.
I made to help the guy up, but he brushed my calls off while cursing under his breath, ‘bastard’.
I heard him clearly, and with the mist forming loosely on my eyes, I ran home and cried.
I can’t remember how many times, I was taunted with that particular word, but I did remember telling myself to outgrow its effects.
This started when I began owning my story bit by bit.
You can start today by owning your story, believing in your unique personality and shutting the world of negativity out of your life.
No one will love you more than yourself.
3. Learn To Let Go, Humans Will Always BE Human.
Let me ask:
Your worst betrayal in life came from who?
Your most trusted friend or someone you consider an enemy?
For most of my mum’s teenage life, she dreaded the mention of my dad’s name.
I figured out, he must have hurt her so much.
And it was true.
When you make such mistakes and get rejected by the person you least expect, it breaks the tiniest shred of love left in you.
But then, never lose your uniqueness to the throes of life.
Situations are not meant to change your personality but enhance your outlook on the world.
Learn to let go of people, things and situations that don’t add anything to you.
For what’s worth, humans will always be humans.
We don’t change, our priorities do.
4. Be The Leader. Take Charge.
You can’t expect to change when you can’t move.
You need to realize this, you are in charge of your life. No one is.
The earlier you start taking responsibility for your life, the better you will become. You must be the leader to lead. And if you can’t lead yourself, how can you survive?
Take charge of every situation you find yourself in, stop the blame games and if a mountain stands, by the way, walk around it.
Don’t just sit there waiting for someone to bail you out.
Wrapping Up: The evidence of my mum years ago can be seen today in me. Most times, the pictures might not be clear but don’t ever give up on yourself.
I am celebrating my mother and other amazing single mum out there who battled through storms to give us what we have today.
I celebrate YOU with ATTITUDE.