The Girl I was And The Woman I’ve Become

The other day while going through some things in my old room, my mum found my SS3 year book and sent it to me. I had a good laugh going through it. My name was misspelt, and the nostalgia was through the roof. I took photos of some of the pages and sent them to secondary school friends I still talk to, and we had a good laugh about things we experienced together back then. I also posted some on my Instagram stories and got my online friends laughing and sharing reactions as well. It was a fun trip down memory lane.

After all the jokes and giggles, the main thing that stood out to me was my graduate sign out message, which was:

“Focus on the ‘Big Picture,’ don’t get distracted by the little things, concentrate on what you came here for. Have fun and study hard.”

When I shared it with a friend of mine, she mentioned how the quote is still so relevant today and I agree. Beyond the need to advise those coming after me in school back then, the quote is also needed for our journey through life in general. Concentrate on what you came to life for; which is your purpose, and don’t get distracted by little things that don’t matter in the grand scheme of things.

What are those little things that tend to get you distracted? For me, it’s mainly imposter syndrome, feeling unqualified and incompetent despite being able to accomplish most of the things I’ve set my mind to, to the glory of God, of course. However, sometimes I can’t help but feel like I’m not doing enough, and that need for more, perfectionism stops me from celebrating my current achievements, a bad habit I’ve changed over the years. You must celebrate yourself, you have to celebrate your life; life is too short not to.

I didn’t know what my “big picture” was while writing that quote, but I knew the person I needed to be to make it happen when I eventually found out what it was. Going through life, I haven’t always known who I’d grow up to be in terms of a career or profession because growing up, I understood that there are so many ways to get to one destination, and everyone’s journey is different. So many people go to school to become doctors, lawyers, engineers, but somewhere along the line there tends to be a realisation of their passion and true purpose in life and that’s where the shift happens. Then you see those lawyers or doctors becoming actors, musicians, or creators of the next invention to solve a common problem the human race has had for years or bring it closer to home, a difficult situation in their community or neighbourhood. My parents were a clear example of this, and I’m truly grateful to them and God for that.

I haven’t always known what I’d grow up to be, but I’ve always known the kind of woman I wanted to become. Someone who has a close relationship with God, who is kind to others and treats others with love, empathy and respect. A well-behaved child who makes her parents proud, a problem solver and someone who sparks joy for others. Along the line, after watching my mum, aunties, and older cousins, noticing their fashion choices, and falling in love with clothes, I knew I had to do something that involved clothes and dressing up. The “big picture” I had discovered for myself was in fashion and style, so there was a shift. A realisation of my passion in life, which later morphed into a major pivot from studying accounting and finance to pursuing a career in fashion. So, now I knew the kind of woman I wanted to become, and I knew what she would do for a living, so my journey to the fashion industry began. But that’s a story for another day.

What I’ve now realised, looking back at how that 15-year-old girl felt about who she was becoming, is that I’ve made my younger self proud, and the same goes for my present self, who is also proud that a younger me was able to write something that would still be so relevant today, even to me as an adult. I’m learning to focus on my goals, live a life that I love with the people that I love and try not to sweat the small stuff. Yes, those times will come when I’m plagued with anxiety, imposter syndrome, the fear of failure, comparison, self-doubt or negative people and environmental factors, but you know what? I’ve kept it going in spite of all that, and future me is proud that I’ve fought the good fight to keep going and growing into the woman I’ve always wanted to be.

Ms. Eki Ogunbor has been appointed Lifestyle Editor at Large of THEWILL DOWNTOWN.
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Eki Ogunbor has a Vogue Fashion Certificate from Conde Nast College of Fashion & Design and also attended Central Saint Martins, London College of Fashion and the University of Kent. Eki headed the Design Operations at a top Nigerian womenswear fashion brand before developing her own brand, KISARA. She is the Editor-At-Large at THEWILL DOWNTOWN.

Ms. Eki Ogunbor has been appointed Lifestyle Editor at Large of THEWILL DOWNTOWN.

About Author / Eki Ogunbor

Eki Ogunbor has a Vogue Fashion Certificate from Conde Nast College of Fashion & Design and also attended Central Saint Martins, London College of Fashion and the University of Kent. Eki headed the Design Operations at a top Nigerian womenswear fashion brand before developing her own brand, KISARA. She is the Editor-At-Large at THEWILL DOWNTOWN.

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