You will be too much for some people. Too loud, too soft, too this and too that. But you will always be perfect for the people who need you. Ever noticed how you cannot please the whole world. Sometimes you can’t even please those you love or care about or want to impress. Sometimes we get to suppress our emotions or pretend to be what we are not just to fit in. But how long will you keep shrinking yourself just to make someone more comfortable.

Now I’m not talking about bad habits or wrong values which might have been acquired over the years. I totally understand bad habits have to be discarded but I have never understood the need to conform to society’s sense of right or wrong. Why can’t I wear all black; who says it means I’m mourning or projecting depression? Please tell me why I can’t laugh out loud in public because I am a woman. Why can’t I express anger (within reasonable bounds)?. Why do I have to wear a suit to work? Because society perceives suits as the look of one who’s responsible.

We’ve become so timid. We have literally lost our identity as a people. We are like sheep. I’m quite sure when the bible said be like the sheep it didn’t mean we had to be literally dumb. We no longer have words of our own. We are spoon fed propaganda which we spread like it was self-inspired. The path was laid down for us; the blue collared dream of going to school, get good grades, serve your country, get a job and climb the corporate ladder. We mocked those who tried to break out. We labelled them touts, renegades, stubborn, possessed, child of the world. Timidity became the poster child for responsibility. Docility was hailed as the star child, children were shut up. Alas, we are grown now and we literally cannot think for ourselves. No my dear, someone forgot to tell you, you can’t be broken unless you let your self be broken.

In the words of Emeli Sande,

“You’ve got the words to change a nation but you’re biting your tongue; you’ve spent a lifetime stuck in silence afraid you’ll say something wrong. If no one ever hears it, how we gonna learn your song”.

I’m tired of the fear of saying something wrong. I’m tired of the fear of hurting your feelings. I’m tired of trying to respect grey hairs and not saying the truth. The truth is there are days when you can speak with honey dripping from your lips but there are some days when our tongues must be weapons of corrections, feelings be damned. This is not a call to insubordination or mutiny, rather it’s a call to break the boundaries that life, society, people have placed in front of you; stand up, find your voice and blast it. Be yourself, love yourself and quit shrinking.


Written by Anu & Inspired by ijeoma Umebinyuo

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