HOPELESS THEN HOPEFUL

An image with a splash of green paint on the wall which has 'Never Lose Hope' written on it

“Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.”- Helen Keller

Hi hi lovelies, the Queen is back. It’s been an awfully long break but I’m making a full comeback in a few weeks, however, after having celebrated my final year week some days back, I remembered I had promised on my Instagram page sometime last year to share my journey to my finals. This is for everyone especially those who just graduated high school and those who have been awaiting admission into the university for over a year now.

Okay, let’s get started.

Right from my kindergarten days, I was always considered a bright little girl who was the pride of her parents, then the abuse happened ( see MY UNVEILING OF CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE) and I became a totally different person. For my sake and security, my parents deemed it fit to send me as far away from trouble as possible hence, I found myself in a government boarding school in a rural area with little development but I grew to love the environment particularly for its serenity.

I was a broken, shy and timid girl at this point but somehow I was able to mask it so well by being one of the best students in my class. A couple of months to my O’Level exams, I decided I wanted to write my exams in a different school (No it wasn’t exactly a ‘miracle center’ , LOL). I can’t remember exactly why I did this but I guess I wasn’t so confident in myself. The exams came and passed, results were later released but my Mathematics was a mess. I wasn’t exactly surprised though. I have never really had the head for numbers (I mean science students how do Y’all do it?). Anyway, I had an ordinary pass in Mathematics, that’s equivalent to failing with the new grading system and I hoped that my other result would look better or that my mathematics would at least be better so I could combine both results but the result was released and Mathematics was a stern looking F9.

That same year, I had written Jamb and had scored a little over 230. I had applied for Law (I wasn’t even sure what I wanted to study but this was my father’s choice and it sat well with me) at the University of Abuja but I didn’t get in. I got very angry at everything and everyone. The next year, I was asked to write Jamb again but I blatantly refused. I was hopeful that my name would at least be among the last batch to be released but unfortunately, it wasn’t. I was distraught. My hopes of going to the University immediately I left high school had been dashed. I was frustrated for being at home all day doing nothing except for house chores that further increased my anger and frustration. Later that year, my parents convinced me to take external exams to enable me to make up my result just in case which I did.

That year passed, and the next year I began tutorials to write JAMB again, this time around I was convinced my result was going to be way above 250, I was sure, certain even. I knew what I wrote but to amazement, the results were released and I had 178, what? Why me? I cried from the Cyber Café all the way home. I was sure there had been a mix up somewhere, that couldn’t have been my result. I was sure. I wanted to contest it but my Dad asked me to let it slide and try out for Polytechnics. I had given up for real this time. What was going on? That wasn’t the agreement I had with my Father upstairs.

I gave up eventually and tried to bury myself in activities in the church. Little did I know that while I was getting angry and frustrated, God was doing his thing in the background orchestrating and making sure lines fell for me in pleasant places. Above all, I was being prepared to receive and handle a package that I had no idea was coming my way.

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One faithful Saturday, I had a ladies event to attend and our venue was at the house of an amazing woman. For some strange reason, I was the first person to arrive the venue. On getting there, this amazing woman (which is what I have chosen to call her) tried making me feel relaxed. I was really tensed up, I guess I couldn’t hide it. She asked me my name and a few other personal information which I told her. She further asked where I was schooling and I told her I was still trying to gain admission. On hearing this she became mad in her spirit and asked me for my Dad’s number. She immediately called him, spoke to him briefly and in the course of doing that she told my Dad that the devil was always trying to attack firstborn children and that she was speaking from personal experience. She added that my Dad should look out for Private Universities I could get into and that she would take full responsibility for the bills. That must have been one of the happiest days of my life. I was going to the University – a private Uni. at that. At this point, it became apparent to me that I was loved. Plans were made and I was admitted to a private University to go through Diploma. I reluctantly accepted the offer. I was better than sitting at home doing nothing. Although all didn’t go as planned because the enemy has a way of attacking everything good, my Dad decided I was going to go to school come what may.

About two months before resuming school, I was faced with my past and it took me back to a place I never wanted to be in emotionally and psychologically again. I was back to being that broken, shy and timid teenage girl but I was determined to let myself out of that prison. The first big step I took was contesting for the Miss Fresher Pageant. I wanted to try out something different. It wasn’t exactly about winning for me it was for the fun, experience and for getting away from the shadows.

“Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all.”- Dale Carnegie

On winning the pageant, people automatically put me in a box ‘how I should walk, talk, laugh, what I should and shouldn’t wear, eat and where I should or shouldn’t eat. This was me trying to break free and own myself for the first time society decided to rear its head in the form of people’s opinions. However, for the first time, I decided to be my own version of a beauty queen, not dictated by anyone and the only things I decided to watch were my mind and words.

A little while later, I had a falling out with my supposed bestie, had roommate issues and so many dramas that happened at the time that almost led me to be depressed but somehow I survived. Struggling to pay fees and feeding was a hassle, change of clothing or even as little as buying toiletries was a drag but I survived. I became an outcast in my good ol’ community of friends. I mean nothing was working out but you see? amidst all that madness, I held on to hope. Hope that I was going to meet better people that would be a blessing and see me same way, hope that I was going to find myself in the chaos, hope that I wasn’t going to lose my mind… Hope. It will amaze you to hear that my best ever results academically was at the time when it felt like the entire world was against me and I was the only one for me.

I have learned, or should I say I’m learning to live life a day at a time. I am learning not to worry about the things I can’t handle. Like Shania Twain sang ‘Today is your day, you can win, today is your day to begin, don’t give up here, don’t you quit, the moment is now this is it…’ Don’t stop being hopeful, the narrative can get better, just don’t throw in the towel.

Until next time, keep challenging the narrative.

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