Almost every year around this time, there is that one person who will ask me: what from last year will you take with you into the new year? How I have viewed this question is, “what lesson(s) did you learn in the past year?” After the year I’ve had, it is no surprise that my response did not come easy. I have had many valuable lessons, some good, others painful, and a whole other mix in between – a lifetime of lessons in one single year. However, the one I have had to repeatedly learn is the value of trusting in “the process” and letting things flow. This is not a new lesson, but because I’m as stubborn as they come, I find myself having to relearn it time and again.
When I look back at my life, I realise that with time, things always slot themselves in their rightful places – without force, without intimidation. There are plenty of times where one could feel like the world is about to collapse and bury them alive, and one could let themselves be crippled by the fear and panic that comes with uncertainty. I am one of these people… a victim to my own thoughts and perfectionism. But fortunately, and needless to say, we come out of these situations almost scratch-free, only with valuable lessons about ourselves, others, and life itself.
This past year, I have been gobsmacked by the goodness of others. I have had close friends throw themselves in the deep end to steer me safely to shore. And so with their help, and with painful patience, things have slowly worked themselves out. How could I have done it on my own? How could I have ever thought I could do life on my own? Silly me.
What I have experienced has served as a firm reminder that indeed umntu ngumntu ngabantu – meaning, ‘a person is a person because of others.’ None of us are an island; really the trick is to open ourselves up, even on the backdrop of disappointment, betrayal, and in some instances, pride. Even that mentor whose brain you’ve been wanting to pick, all it takes is to reach out with an email, a call, or a personal introduction at that networking event.
With the pressures that come with building oneself up, I wish to always remember to ask for help, and to allow others the opportunity to help when they can. Vulnerability may seem like a weakness, but that couldn’t be any further from the truth, because no woman or man is an island. Trust in the goodness of others. Let pride go and let love flow.