Have you watched The Greatest Showman?
It’s one of the best (if not the best) musical of our time starring Hugh Jackman (THE Wolverine), Zendaya (one of my woman crushes *insert heart eyes*) and Zac Efron (no comment). My favourite song in the musical (technically, it is dependent on the season) is ‘From Now On’ which is at the end when he realizes what is truly important [to him]: [his] Family. He had chased the crowds and lost it all. He’d hit rock bottom; that kind of cleared his eyes for a moment to see how far he’d fallen. He’d changed so much from the person he truly was.
When I was growing up, I had a solid group of friends. We had each others’ backs. Though we teased each other and sometimes[most times], fought about a lot of things, after all was said and done, we were there for each other. We were a family. Due to circumstances beyond our control, we had to part ways at a point. Years later, when I got my first heartbreak and cried in a public space, I moved on. There are real ones out there, I thought. I still believe it, and ever so often, I meet them in different shapes. forms and colours.
I don’t really think I am a people-pleaser, however, there exists a very vital part of my life that hates to let people down or cause a ruckus anywhere. Unfortunately, this part was somehow linked to how I saw myself. So when people felt uncomfortable around me or offended by the things I did or said, I took it personally. This didn’t just bruise my ego, it did proper damage to my idea of my self-worth. I knew I needed to take their words and actions with a pinch of salt, however, I couldn’t help but torture myself with all these negative thoughts about… everything, anyway. I was driving myself nuts.
Today, I can say to the glory of God that when someone is offended by my actions or inactions, I take a moment to evaluate where it is coming from. This evaluation exercise is very important. I ask myself questions regarding the cause of the offense. Why are they offended? Is it because of what I did/said, or what they thought it meant? Then when I decide on what to do, I ask myself, is this because of a genuine conviction or am I just trying to be ‘nice’? Most importantly, am I compromising who I am for this?
Now, I know that change is good. We can’t expect to stay the same forever. But the point is, we can’t lose our core values, just to please people or so they don’t think we are weird. We are weird anyway, whether or not people think it. So why stress ourselves to be something we’re not when we can channel that same energy into bettering who actually are, and live to the fullest of our God-given potential?
When I started writing, I didn’t consider how gratifying it would be to watch my stats go up. Without realising it, I’d started tweaking my pieces so they became more ‘likeable’. I didn’t want to lose the numbers. Sigh. You know what happened? I burned out. I couldn’t keep up with it all. Writing has always been something I did [somewhat] effortlessly. It was my escape from reality while still keeping in touch with my reality. One day, I stopped in the middle of writing and wondered why I was seeking an escape from what was supposed to be an escape? How did I get here?
After trying so hard to pour out of a cup that didn’t even exist for me in the first place, God said, “Take a break. A month.” I was excited. I was going to use this break to think up ideas (and ways in which I don’t run out of them again!) That period went by so fast. I barely wrote an idea down and the time was up. I began dreading the return. Whenever I thought about writing, I felt… suffocated. The day that realisation hit me, I felt deeply heartbroken.
From now on, these eyes will not be blinded by the lights!From Now On (in The Greatest Showman)
Like Hugh/ P. T Barnum, I made my way back [home]. Unlike him, my home is God. He is the source of my strength, my inspiration… my everything. He is the only Voice that is of consequence in my life. Everyone else is either an echo of His voice [in my life], or a distraction [from His Voice].
This time, I am not allowing my fears of what people might say or think of me affect my writing. I am a multi-faceted being inspired by a myriad of things; and I would be doing a great disservice to myself – and to you (wherever you are) – if I hold myself back or try to stifle parts of myself I think might be a bit… much for you.
I literally just typed “Sorry” and then cleared it. I am not sorry that my love for God is perhaps my biggest source of inspiration. I am not sorry that I make a lot of music and movie references (even though I don’t even know a lot of them). I may not fit in any box I ever design for myself… And that’s okay. I am still figuring out what exactly being ‘me’ means.
I know who I am listening to. I may get sidetracked sometimes, but thank God for God. He is always there to guide me home.
Who are you listening to? Why do they matter?
Nana Agyeiwaa Nyameba
P. S. Today is my mother’s birthday (and my aunt’s one-year death anniversary). If it is not too much to ask, could you say a simple prayer for my family? God bless you 💜