Wouldn’t it be so powerful if you fell in love with yourself so deeply that you would do just about anything if you knew it would make you happy? We always look to current celebrities and famous figures in our global society as our beacons of inspiration.
“I want to be the next Michelle Obama, Mohammed Ali, Kim Kardashian.”
While a role model may encourage us to pursue the same aspiration, they shouldn’t allow us to simply mimic their actions. Wouldn’t you rather want to say, “I want to be me, a better me?”
I want to be me, a better me?
Never would I have thought that in six years time, six years later from what I like to call the ‘Great Depression’, I’d be standing in front of a large audience, having the confidence and capability to address them without stuttering or mixing my words or sentences.
I looked at these young girls as I spoke to them, thinking to myself, I once sat in the very same position as they did. High school, the classic phenomenon, taking its hold on my mind. Listening intently to the girl who held my same leadership position and wondering, would that ever be me? Would I have that influence and power to be a role model to another little girl who felt lost, or discouraged?
I started high school in 2012. In a fresh and crisp full number one uniform, a vaseline smeared face for that long lasting grin, but a certain fear set in my eyes. Timid and shy was simply an understatement. Coming from a rather disappointing junior school experience, I had a lot of self doubt in myself, whether it was in my sports, academics, confidence or leadership potential.
Being a monitor/Prefect had always been a goal of mine, and when i was still in junior school, I never made it. I cried that night after they’d announced the new monitors, wondering what it is that I did wrong? What could I have done better? My mom saw it too, and tried to tell me that being a monitor wasn’t everything, and that there was still high school to redeem myself. But in that moment, it meant everything to me. I was the only one in my entire friend group that hadn’t made it. I felt like such a failure and loser.
It wasn’t an easy junior school ‘senior year’ for me at all. I had such a strong love for field hockey, but I missed the team trials and got put in to the second team, because that’s where I’d been placed the previous year. I’d watch online videos and practice at home, and even when I got to our scheduled practice, I’d pull out a few of my tricks at practices but still nothing. I just hated the school so much, I just wanted my parents to move me, far away, because I’d disappointed myself so much.
Moving away was highly unlikely. I think because of my lack of confidence or social skills as well, I never had the guts to actually stand up and voice my problem. But after scrolling through Pinterest and finding the quote;
A comfort zone is a beautiful place, but nothing ever grows there.
I knew I had to make a change.
I made a guideline ‘bucket list’ to help me grow in high school and make a fresh new start. It started off initially as a gag. Something that I thought would be silly to do, some goals I thought were achievable and some I thought were far fetched.
– Passing my O levels with 9A’s
– Making the team for hockey
– Becoming a Prefect
– Holding one of the executive titles as a prefect
The last two were my unattainable goals.
Something to ease my way into this new society. I think my biggest fear was judgement. That the friends, who I’d walked into high school with, would think of it negatively. But sometimes, growing into a new phase is better, even if it means growing out of your old friendships.
Upon walking through those gates, I became a firm believer in starting off with a good impression, positive attitude and a constant drive to achieve my goals. I told myself I’d be focused on my academics, I’d make team trials for hockey and wouldn’t let anything stand in my way of being in the first team. That I’d be friendly and inviting, and talk and engage with all of the new girls I’d soon meet.
Believe it or not, It actually worked.
In my academics, after spending two years in the second stream I was promoted to the first class and along with the pressure of this competitive environment, I passed my O levels and my AS levels earlier this year.
With field hockey, I made the team, which was categorized into different age groups. And finally in my fourth year, I, as well as a few other girls from our junior teams were promoted to our school’s 1st team and travelled with them to South Africa for a tournament. I made national level for it. I was shell shocked to say the least.
In terms of confidence, I immediately tried to build a relationship with most of the girls in my year group. And to this day, still remain as tight knit. This allowed me to also improve my communication skills and find a passion for public speaking, which led me to being elected as the Toastmasters’ Society President. I had the opportunity to travel to America for two weeks for a leadership conference and gain so many new incites and confidence and friends.
And finally, I was made a prefect, but even more so, given the executive role of Deputy Head Girl, which is what I am currently holding at my high school right now.
Sometimes when I sit down in my room and reflect, and think back on all those nights I cried over fallen friendships, failed tests, and everything else, I wonder if that was me, or if it ever was me. But I’m thankful for the tears and hardships. Because of it, I never take anything for granted, and always push for greatness. My friends and family say I have this spark or glint in my eye once I’ve set my mind to something, and when they see it, they foresee great things happening. My little juniors think I’m cool, and funny and a true leader. I never thought I would ever be that girl to someone.
I am stronger because I had to be. I am smarter because of my mistakes. I am happier because of the sadness I’ve known, and now wiser because I’ve learned.
So, to my sisters reading this, high school and every other obstacle you may face, is scary. But as a strong young woman in training, look a challenge dead in the eye and give it a wink. If you are insecure guess what? The rest of the world is too. Do not underestimate yourself or overestimate competition. You are better than you think.
Every stage, or pinnacle in our life is like beginning again, only as a blank canvas. Waiting for the artist to paint, shape and create something beautiful.
So the question you should ask yourself is;
what message do you want your masterpiece to tell?