DAY 2: WRITE SOMETHING THAT SOMEONE TOLD YOU ABOUT YOURSELF THAT YOU NEVER FORGOT.
This is proving to be a difficult topic to write on. I’m taking a trip down memory lane and finding out that I have forgotten many things that I had been told about myself at some point; the good things and the bad things. I remembered one unsavoury experience I had, a statement I carried with me for years and never forgot, so I’ll share that.
“There’s no other thing good about you. You’re only book-smart“.
These words plagued my mind for most of my secondary school years. It was the morning of a school day; I, a boarding student, was doing my morning duty of cleaning a part of the bathrooms. It was my second year in secondary school. This SS3 girl walked in while I was hurriedly cleaning one bathroom as the clock was ticking, assembly time was close (it’s funny how I still remember her name).
I cannot remember the turn of events scene for scene, it may have involved her displeasure with the results of my cleaning job, leading her to say those words to me as she turned around to leave. Her voice was ever so casual, yet with this stern undertone. I continued cleaning after she left, and soon I was done and I hurriedly wore my shoes and ran downstairs to go to class. I think I cried in the bathroom stalls that morning.
Being eleven years old and in a new environment and trying to understand your place in the world, you’re very impressionable and sensitive. I was already struggling with personal insecurities at the time and those words made a huge dent in my self-esteem. They replayed over and over in my thoughts, and I started to believe them.
Looking back now, I feel that God must have been so sad seeing His daughter have such a distorted view of herself. It affected my ability to make friends, because why would anyone want to be friends with me, I assumed. It affected my social interactions. I just thought that my identity was in reading and passing exams well, and nothing else.
But thank God for His grace, His truth and redeeming love. It took years of learning and unlearning, but now I can proudly say that I don’t believe those words anymore. My identity does not lie in high grades, it lies in Christ.
We may not be able to control the weather, or the ticking of the clock, but we can certainly take control of the words we allow to roll out of our tongues or through our keypads. Words can build up, words can also tear down. Which would you rather do?
Day 2: Check.