I learned to change with the tide and not remain focused on the past because everyone else has moved on and so must Ngoma….It took a long time for me to see it but I realized that people that I have known for ages were changing in the dynamics of our friendships or relationships but I remained the same because for some reason I held on to past memories that defined our connections. I know we all change but I was naïve to hold on to things that were not important to others because the tides had changed and I remained in the realm of the past and my ‘former self’. This change not only applied to my personal life but my professional life as well because of the relationship factor in both scenarios. During my trials, I re-discovered myself and re-invented myself by changing with the tide and embarking on a new journey in search of new adventures and new experiences that will define my ‘new self’ which is a fabulous upgrade of my ‘former self’. Don’t get me wrong, I still have relationships that are important to me but now my rule is simple – if I am not on your ‘Top 5’ list, then you will not be on my ‘Top 5’ list; if I am not on your priority list, then you will not be on my priority list.
I truly love and enjoy my ‘new self’ because for the first time in a long time I am focusing on what is important in my life. In the past, I always put others before me because of the ‘Xena Warrior Princess’ in me that wants to save the world, which often led to some inconveniences beyond my control. I still love helping people and making a difference in the world but now I choose wisely and sow my seeds where I know it will be accepted, appreciated and cherished. Life is too short to waste a second on people or situations that are not worthy of my time or sweat. Also, I find myself not bothered about events that would ordinarily upset me or cause me to worry because they are not on my priority list. There is a saying in my culture which reads –“ị nwere ike ghara ilo onye ọ bụla si Panadol maka ha” which means – ‘you cannot swallow anybody’s panadol for them’ – which means that you are not responsible for anybody’s headache or trying to cure their headache. So rather than focus on individual issues, my ‘new self’ is channeling my focus on changing world issues that concerns my Black community such as Autism, racism, sexism, immigration policies, empowerment of Black women, men and youth, marginalization, poverty, education, inequality, health, unemployment, housing and mortality. These issues are important to me, I study them, I write about them, I speak about them and I am dedicated to making a difference in my community.
The peace that changing with the tide brings is priceless because I am relieved of the burden of my ‘former self’. I would say that I find it quite funny, that there are people who are not adjusting well to my ‘new self’ because I no longer give them the attention or reaction they have been used to in the past. Seriously folks, so you are allowed to change and you expect to me to stay the same? It may have taken me a while but I finally understand the dynamics of changing and re-inventing oneself. It is liberating and exciting because it is a second chance to do things all over again; giving me the ability to look out for the pit falls to avoid making the same mistakes again. Fool me once; you will not get a second chance to fool me again. Case in point, I am very cautious about making new friends or making decisions that do not align with my beliefs or intuition. I know what I want in a friendship or relationship and I will not settle for mediocrity and I understand this is reciprocal for other people as well. I no longer have blind loyalty for anyone because I am invested in my relationship and spiritual maturity with God. Importantly, my husband and children come first before any decisions I make personally or professionally. Evidently, my trials challenged me emotionally and spiritually and this built character in me that has shown me another side of me that I did not know existed. If I survived that traumatic experience, I know that I am ready for the challenges ahead and my ‘new self’ is not afraid to go to battle because I am a warrior and failure or defeat are not options.
So if you are going through a storm or challenge in your life right now, do not be afraid to change with the tide, re-invent yourself and find peace because change is good to improve your spiritual and emotional being. I found peace and these days my priorities are simple – God first, my family and me, my passion, my goals and my dedication to changing the world……………