Inspired by having read ‘What I Know For Sure’ by Oprah Winfrey, I have decided to share a few things that I know for sure centered around Friendships, Gratitude, Confidence and Faith.
That ‘Gayle and Oprah’ type of friendship
I have always wanted the ‘Gayle and Oprah’ type of friendships and I have had some equally great friendships. Some friends have stayed throughout most of my life, some friendships are less than a year old and yet I feel close to these friends and there are some friendships where we do not talk any more.
I am grateful for the lessons learnt from past friendships. They have made me realize the type of friendships I need. I seek the friendships that ring true to the quote;
‘Show me your friends and I’ll show you your future’
These are the type of friends who inspire me, encourage me to go for my dreams, are genuinely happy for me, know how to have a good time and are not afraid to say it like it is even when I am not receptive to hearing the truth. I am blessed to have such friendships for I have also had toxic friends. We were not adding value to each other’s lives. It is refreshing to grasp the importance of friendships and be deliberate about choosing my friends carefully.
I am a homebody. I make sure that I have a lot of time for myself and I love it! ‘It’s important for me to carve out a private space. A refuge. A safe house’, Oprah says. I feel a lot more refreshed after my weekends knowing that I have clarity of mind around what I need to do to get the week going and that I have tied up any loose ends in my personal life.
The biggest lesson though, has been to find the right balance and not close the gate to my life. No man is an Island. There is a sweet spot somewhere in between being in solitude and socialising as I expand my circle.
Cutting people off
We all have that one friend we genuinely enjoy being around because they are fun and to an extent add value to our lives. However, there is that one nagging issue about them that is a borderline deal breaker. You keep telling yourself that if they do it one more time, you are going to snap and this, could really be it. So, you warn them about it. They promise it will never happen again but all they have done is paid you lip service. I was in a similar situation recently with someone I would have proclaimed my ‘Friend for life’. It took one action from them and some reasoning on my part to decide that enough was enough.
The fact is, if someone claims to care about you but continues to do the very same things that hurt you, they don’t care about you. People will not change simply because you want them to. All emotions aside, this is logical. In ‘What I Know For Sure’, Oprah talks about a few messed-up relationships she was in a few years ago. Gayle would listen to each woeful tale about Oprah being stood up, lied to and done wrong. Gayle without judgement said something profound I hope we all get to hear at some point in the relationships we should not be involved in. She said, ‘He’s just chipping away at your spirit. One day I hope he chips deep enough for you to see who you really are-someone who deserves to be happy’.
This applies to all types of relationships. It sometimes takes getting hurt so bad to finally realize that we are better off cutting some people off. You have to stop being unfair to yourself. #choosehappiness #moveon
I recently saw a quote on twitter that goes:
‘One of the biggest keys to surviving your 20’s is learning how to move on. Move on from jobs, old friends, lovers and bad situations’.
Everyone’s journey is different. Stay in your lane.
In this current era of social media, we are exposed to each other’s lives that we assume there is nothing more to know about people. My social media mantra is ‘share the good times’. I hardly ever share the bad times because I know that not everyone who is my ’friend’ or follower is really my friend. If they really are close they will know the full details of my life. I would like to assume that a lot of people prescribe to the same rationale. Then, why are we so hung up with the lives we see on social media? Can we acknowledge that behind every post about someone’s wedding engagement, new job post or recent trip to Dubai is a deeper story about how they got there? It probably was not easy and yet, we look at our own lives and wish it could be any rosier. It’s easy to forget that other people are also looking at our own lives with envy. Be true to yourself and all things shall work out for your good.
We must let go of the life we have planned…to accept the one that is waiting for us-Joseph Campbell
I recently went through a vision board I had made when I was 19, just entering University. I just had to laugh at some of the plans I had for my life. I was going to study in the Sciences then study Medicine and in all of this, get married at 25 and have two kids by 29 because I wanted to be a ‘young and cool’ mother. The only thing that has been realized from that is me having the BSc degree. A part of me wonders how life would have turned out if I had perhaps gone down the medical route. That is something I had control over but chose not to pursue. Getting married is another story (I could write a whole blog on this). At times there are too many variables beyond our control and stressing about such gets in the way of preparing for what is waiting for us. It is good to plan your life but be clear on what you plan for and whether you have the means to make it a reality. Just do not overthink it.
This brings me to a quote in ‘What I Know For sure’,’ ‘Sometimes we get so focused on the difficulty of our climb that we lose sight of being grateful for simply having a mountain to climb’. Life can never be too hard to handle. You are more than capable of turning a gloomy day into the best day ever. If that is too hard to grasp, I urge you to occasionally write down what you are grateful for. The list will always be endless and that should be enough to make you smile.
…Part 2 coming soon…
By Lee Nyenyezi
Lee is a Supply Chain professional in the FMCG industry. Not satisfied with being confined to her day job, Lee is always reading something different. The development of women and Africa are what fuel her passion. She would one day love to have dinner with Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and pick her brain on so many issues.