Your Formative Years

Someone once told me, the biggest mistake you can ever make is to think you should have your life figured out already. Well, I asked, shouldn’t I have my life figured out already? I mean there should at least be a plan or a motion set in place that l can follow, I am not asking for too much, I just need the direction, the bigger picture of what I am supposed to be doing so l know my foot is set on the right path (*deep sigh*). I know at some point, you have had similar thoughts. The culture and society we live in does not help as it constantly comes up with pressure points, comparisons and yardsticks for success. Am l here to blame the society? No. The society can only influence me if l allow it. I have a mantra which states; I ALLOW WHAT I ALLOW.  However, when l was much younger, l was also of the school of thought that if you are not famous, have a business brand, work in a fast paced level company, or earn a large amount of money by the time you are 30 years of age, you are a failure. All my anxiety and desires to succeed were birthed, and nurtured on this very wrong, and negative mindset.

Now, I am convinced that if I am not careful, I will keep chasing the wind only to discover I have found nothing but vapor. This I know from the lives and lessons l have taken from the many others who have gone ahead of me. Am l saying l do not want you to pursue dreams and goals? No, I am saying, take account of what is happening, and realise that you do not have anything to prove to anyone, not even yourself by pursuing success at all costs, and by any means necessary be it good or evil. Your formative years are your golden years as they make, break, tear, teach, and open you up to the greatness that has been residing in you all along.

A famous musician once quoted: I searched for myself in all places and platforms, only to discover all l ever searched for was residing in me all along.

Your formative years are the years where your journey goes on the unexpected detours of delay, denial, anxiety, self-esteem, and identity crises to name but a few, and you wonder if anything you are doing makes sense. By the way, there are no age limits to formative years. Some might argue, you need to get it right in your thirties so you can be celebrated in your forties, I bet this is what we all want but l have grown to understand my race is in no way similar to yours, so to each man his own predestined journey.

Life is a rat race, a fight to the finish, a stadium full of relays with no spectators. Quite a number of people feel like the World is watching them, so there is the pressure to prove a point. Honey, there is nothing to prove. It is a wrong, and misleading mindset to chase after success because you want to prove to people you are not a failure. Why chase success by any means necessary when you could learn to run your race at your own pace, learning, and growing as you go through your formative years.

These years will make the core of you, shape your views, and most importantly make you realise when you reach a sustainable pace in your journey that every mile mattered, every experience counted, and now you are here. It is a new year, and as you can see everywhere, some are already smashing their goals, and that might look completely different for you, do not let it bother or intimidate you, run your race; these are your formative years. Work hard and enjoy the race because the only price you will have at the end of life are the memories of all the encounters and experiences you’ve had on your journey. If no one is celebrating you because they can’t see the big break yet, celebrate yourself regardless. These years are your formative years, take it easy with yourself, breathe in the moments, run it with pride and believe in yourself.

One day soon, you will look back, and realise that every mile mattered.