Remember the overwhelming sense of responsibility and expectation you felt when you moved out of home to join uni?

The excitement of being self-dependent? The desire to set a glowing example for your siblings? The confusion of seeing mum cry when she saw you off to campus for the first time? Dad’s nonchalance which implied it wasn’t as big a deal as everyone else made it out to be? What a crybaby!

But look at you now. All grown up with a bun in the oven!

I’ll tell you this for certain, nothing I (nor anyone else) can say will adequately prepare you for what lies ahead. No amount of Chicken Soup or Youtube hours will sufficiently pre-empt the rollercoaster you’re about to get on.  Just like you had to craft a way around the stone-age roommates and lousy food in campus, so will you have to navigate this next turn in the constantly unravelling adventure that is your life experience.

There will be fights over what name(s) to give the newborn and whose turn it is to change his diaper. There will be tormented nights and blissful mornings when you will simultaneously want to never lay your eyes on him again without letting him out of your sight for a second.

Bringing forth life will alter your understanding of living from one that is guided by other people’s standards to one that is driven by the sincerity of your own hopes and aspirations. And increasingly, those you hold for your seed.

In the months to come, you will become aware of a lot within yourself. You will encounter a renewed drive to realise that clichéd potential you always felt lurking inside you but never felt capable of matching up to. Suddenly the world will seem like an open sea presenting nothing other than opportunities that challenge and events that inspire you to venture beyond your comfort zone. You will wonder why you never saw things this way before. I’ll tell you why, because you never gave yourself reason to.

You never set out to do things your way because you always sought affirmation from those in whose eyes and lips you looked to for validation. You never tried too hard because you were too afraid to fail. You never did because, well, you just weren’t told to. You were always afraid of what dad would think and how mum would feel or what it would mean for your siblings. You never considered what it meant to you. See what you did for you, did for them.

But before you get yourself all fired up, realize that there will be moments when the uncertainty will all but drown you. In the thickest of times, you will crave the reassurance of those you hold dearest. Worry not, for you will need not look any further than within you to find it.

Learn to trust your instincts and consult your better judgement. Stand by your sense of purpose and count on your character to steer you when you feel lost. Indulge your ambition with the confidence of how far it has brought you. Hold yourself accountable because only then can you present a true and balanced account to others for counsel. Live for new beginnings. They will constantly refresh you. Trust me, I know.

Boni M.


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