On Sunday, the 19th of September, I had one of the best birthdays I could never forget, I’ve just been too busy to post about it.
Yes, cake wasn’t in its plethora and there certainly was no special outing but I won’t lie to you, I learnt a lot from that day. It so happens that messages sometimes beats physical gifts (emphasis on “sometimes”).
You see, two years ago, on my birthday, I and my friend, Dixon, went to a surprise birthday gathering to celebrate the president of the Umuahia Literary Society (ULS). I mean, it was beautiful; the gifts, the two beautiful cakes and especially, the testimonies from the members of the society who were present. During the celebration, I became depressed and sat one side while still maintaining my faux smile. That was supposed to be my birthday too and yet I didn’t receive a single birthday present that day and certainly no surprise visit from friends. I felt unwanted and unvalued. Dixon, being one of my closest friends realized how glum I was and sat beside me to dish out his very tough love which helped to an extent in helping me feel better.
Last year was the worst. I was so depressed that it made me so isolated from the rest of the family. For almost a week after my birthday, I wouldn’t speak to anyone in my house. I just sat in my room all alone with my phone as my best companion, leaving my parents and siblings worried. I think I later told my mum how I felt so insignificant to my siblings and to every other person around hence the reason for my silence but really, I knew it was way beyond that. I felt insignificant to myself.
This year, things changed. On my birthday, the messages I received from friends and loved ones really melted my heart. The love was just too much. Like I said, there was no special outing, particularly because it was on a Sunday and I had gone to Church earlier. It was literally like last year, but, I felt the love deeply this time.
That night, I had to do some serious reflecting on what exactly was different between this birthday, last year’s and two years ago; why exactly did I feel more loved? And then, God showed me; I LOVED MYSELF MORE.
One of the things I always had an issue with while growing up was having a high esteem for myself. That alone was the root cause of most internal problems & character manifestations in my life. I always felt weird and absurd amongst people. Many things that are attributed to the regular Nigerian young boys are mostly not my kind of things and in the various schools I’ve attended in my life, I’ve been called out for them hence my seclusion from most social activities.
Now don’t get me wrong, I eventually learnt to enjoy being alone most of the time; some of my amazing ideas started coming to me mostly when I was alone. The issue was that I spent too much time alone that solitude became my safe haven and when I had issues I needed to discuss with someone, I could tell no one. You know that saying that an idle mind is the devil’s workshop, I’m a witness to that. Unconsciously, I let the devil claim and turn my mind into an emotional mess.
It was only after my episode last year that I actually started looking up at myself. I consciously made the effort to be more positive and thanks to my spiritual leader, I started loving myself more than before. I began to care less about what people thought about me, how backward I was compared to my mates who I felt were farther ahead, how less accomplished I felt I was still etc. I had to start appreciating the little I had that eventually turned to so much in my new eyes.
Now the truth is, because I looked down on myself, I couldn’t give myself a chance to notice those that really esteemed me though they were staring me right in the face. I let my low self-esteem blind my eyes to what I had & should be grateful for. Unknowingly, I was indirectly giving people an image of myself they should see.
But when I started feeling more positive, things changed. The internal positivity came out that then manifested on the outside. I guess what I’m trying to say is that it helps to feel good about yourself and the little you think have. Always know that God loves you.
Thanks to all of you that sent your love on my special day, I know it’s been a long time coming, but as they say, better late than never. I love you all deeply.