Dealing With The Feeling of "Being Left Behind" Just In Time For 2017.
Two days more and 2016 will be no more. Incredible isn't? 365 days have just gone by like that and a look back can either make you depressed, elated, disappointed or confident of days ahead. These are emotions that will arise depending on whether you were able to accomplish some set goals from the beginning of the year or failed to.
I have always regarded myself as being late and delayed in life. No, not late in attending events an activity that I have prided myself of not being guilty of. Rather, late in achieving goals I have set for myself, late in going through some phases of life. This realization came to me some years ago and I couldn’t but ponder on what this meant. Were the elements of life against my progression? Was I making the wrong decisions which were leading me to unknown, difficult and strange paths? Did the people in my life wrongly determine where I should be? Or perhaps, life was playing a delaying trick with me? These are the sort of negative thoughts that have plagued me at one point in time or the other. Negative thoughts but nevertheless ones which i was able to overcome through some drastic and strong determinant actions.
I finished secondary school with not good enough grades to enter the University; my Pure Science electives weren’t that great. That’s what happens when your Dad wants you to become a Doctor because most of his friends were Doctors. Several GSE exams later still in Science, I said no more. I was going to switch to Business and no one was going to stop me. By now most of my colleagues were in the University. Switching wasn’t as easy as I thought, as I had to take on Accounting, Economics, Business Management, etc. My Mom suggested going to Accra Poly DBS in Accounting then. What a sham that was! The Accounting rocked me! The teacher taught as though we already knew Accounting so all I saw were stars in class. I created mental blocks and told myself that Accounting was too hard. So I blasted that with my negative mindset and got out with a D. My undoing gone and done me in and I realized it. I didn’t give up and decided to write those same subjects this time in SSCE remedial and guess what I had straight A’s. Finally, University here I come. My mates had finished and they already had started in their entry-level jobs. I was 24 when I started the University. Oh did I mention I wrote SAT as well? What exams haven’t I written? That was an attempt to get me into University of Connecticut on a partial scholarship. My SAT results were pretty good! But life stepped in and I was bounced my US visa. Even with an i20 document.
I wanted to start building my resume early so I filled my vacation time with internships at Barclays Bank. By the time I was done with college my resume was quite rich with almost 8 months worth internships and working experience in the banking industry. Barclays loved me but I was tired of the monotony. So I moved on into the oil industry.
I felt I was late in travelling abroad. Most friends I knew were going on holidays in London and the States and yet I had a passport proudly displaying visa denied stamps. Bouncing be what!😅 I had tried three times whilst in school to go to the UK yet somehow the consul felt I wouldn’t come back to Ghana and continue my education. You know that brown envelope you get when going to pick up your passport from the embassy? The minute you get one, you know it's definitely not good news. My Mom said to stop applying and that God in His mysterious ways would bring me a Visa when I least expected it. I relented and decided to wait on God. After a few months in the oil industry, God made a way for me to go for training in Dubai. My first international trip was a Business Class one and in Dubai! After that came trips to the UK and USA. I never got bounced again. 😁
I felt I was late in getting married because society didn’t forget to let me know of this fact. One uncle of mine in ‘jest’ reminded me that my ‘Sell By” date was almost expiring. An old woman in the family suggested to my Mom one time that I should just get pregnant with someone’s husband and he will take care of me 🙄😒. Pressure!
My friends were getting hitched and I was dwelling in doubtful relationships with men who weren’t sure of what they wanted in a woman or which woman to choose from. It took me one trip to a resort far outside the city to reflect on my life and understand what I wanted in life, where I currently was and what I wanted in a man to cause a turnaround. I added loads of prayer of course. I realized how foolish I had been in the past relationships. The love which I thought I was in, was merely lust which had blinded me to so many things. I rededicated my life to Christ, made some spiritual changes and refocused on me. I worked on me for me. I had to make certain decisions which cost me some relationships. Would that decision lead to me being late in getting married? Yes. But sometimes you had to open your eyes to the truth. When you are dating someone who isn’t loyal, shows signs of unfaithfulness, don’t act desperate and cling on him. There will be a another man or woman who values you who will come along.
I picked up forgotten passions and interests and had a blast whilst at it. Many men saw this glow about me which drew them like a horny moth to a flame. But I saw through their pretentious nature and desire to ‘get a quick taste’. Aben wo ha, bra na b3 di 😂. Men who later realize the mistake they made with you and new men who have fooled around for so long and see an opportunity with you. I said yes to one man who knew I was the one different from the others. I am married now and sometimes, I actually believe that had I said yes to certain men in the past things wouldn’t have worked out. I took time to learn more about marriage; read books by the late Myles Munroe who spoke practical relationship sense to me, attended personal development seminars and increased my participation in Singles events at church.
Are these enough to make you have a perfect marriage? No. They help but you have to do your part and make your marriage work the way you want it to. I later realized that had I rushed into accepting some enticing marriage proposal some years ago, I wouldn’t have survived. Indeed marriage they say is work. Prep yourself up for 2017 if you desire to get married. Marriage isn't a destination, its another step into a new phase of life.
Why all this plenty talk? Well, because the year is almost ended and you may feel like you didn’t get what you prayed for and you are late in attaining a goal you may have set for yourself this year. Or you may be feeling left behind as you watched many of your friends getting married; your plans to travel never came to pass; your plans of going back to school didn’t become a reality; your dream of starting a business never manifested.
It’s a scary place to be, I know. I have been there. That space of ‘why me’ is not a comfortable place to be in and you would rather be in a environment of thanking God for the answer to your prayers. You may have taken the step which everyone encouraged you to to start a business of some sort and yet you have nothing to show for it. This isnt your time to give up.
Many have gone on the same path as you have and they also trudged through the mud, fought giants and killed trolls on the way and made it to their destination.
As the year ends, get ready to make some drastic changes in your life. There are no shortcuts in this life. Shortcuts are only carefully disguised treacherous paths leading to more woe and destruction. They look easy, promising a quick fix yet with regrettable consequences. That feeling of being 'left behind' has to be dealt with to move forward into getting things right for 2017. It wont be a one day job for that I can assure you. I particularly find these incredible tips by MichaelHyatt on achieving goals for 2017 very useful as a guide for getting back on track in 2017.
Remember that life isn't a race neither is it to the swift. You aren't less of who you are just because you didn't the expectations of society or your own personal goals. Every day is a new opportunity to start anew. Disappointments will come but how you deal with them is what will propel you either forward or backwards.
Are you ready for 2017?