I couldn’t do anything on my own. I had to ask permission first. So I went around asking permission from everyone before doing what I wanted to do. In school, I couldn’t go out to pee without asking permission from my teacher; “Please sir, may I go out?” Then he will ask why I wanted to go out. Usually, I would tell the truth but mostly I had to lie so I could be granted the permission to step out to do the things I desire.
I’m a man now and I would expect to live my life without asking permissions from people. I should be able to live freely as far as what I do brings me joy and hurt no one. I should go out when I want to and I should love who I want to love without answering to anyone but that hasn’t been the case.
I’ve asked a lot of permissions when I was young and have developed the mindset that I still need people’s permission to do what I want to. I need approval from friends, colleagues, bosses, and everyone before I could take a step. I haven’t truly been free. So today, I’m taking my freedom back. I’m asking no one for permission but rather give myself the permission to do these…
#1. To Make Mistakes
I make blog posts with a lot of grammatical mistakes. Not that I don’t care. I care about my message and the clarity of it. But usually, some mistakes find their way through the final drafts. Mostly, some kind friends identify those mistakes and draw my attention to it. I’m grateful to them. I can’t get it all right all the time. I can’t live a life of perfection. I’ll err. I will spell most of the words wrong, but if you understood what I wanted to say, then I’m not sorry. I’m only a man. I’m full of mistakes. I’m not proud. I only try to own my mistakes. They are mine. I promise I’ll improve but I can’t promise I’ll never make mistakes. When I die, I’ll die with my many mistakes and the world can smile. For they won’t get to read my mistakes again.
“It’s not intentional. If I saw it, I would have picked it. I didn’t see your call coming.” And she asked the ultimate question, “so why didn’t you call back?” Well, I didn’t call back because I didn’t want to. It’s a permission I give myself; not to pick all calls and not to call back all the numbers that called me. Some conversations are not worth it. They only provide the opportunity to gossip about people. People are nice. People are ugly sometimes but gossiping about them doesn’t change a thing. All calls that invite me to talk bad about others, I’ll miss it. Calls that wouldn’t bring peace to my life and nudge me an inch closer to knowledge, I’m sorry, I’ll miss it. And I will owe no explanation to anyone.
#3. To Sleep More
Working hard means sleeping less. All success stories I’ve read have someone who stayed awake and worked through the night while others were sleeping. Most successful people proudly tell us “You don’t have to be friends with your bed if you want to be successful.” Sleeping is associated with lazy people. But I want to sleep more. I want at least 8 hours of sleep each day and sometimes want to go 10 hours. It’s the only way I know to function well. I write better after I’ve had a good night sleep. I get a clearer mind to make clearer decisions. I feel healthy because I give my body the needed rest. Those who can stay up all night and still have a good life the day afterward, you’re the lucky ones but I can also say you are the stressed ones. Give what’s due to your body and your body will reciprocate by giving you good health to walk the mile.
#4. To Play More
I was out with a beautiful friend of mine last night. At the table waiting for the waitress to serve our food, she caught me playing with the ketchup bottle. Almost in a loud tone, she said; “Nesta you are too fidgety! You are like a child that has to be monitored whenever you are out.” It’s true, I’m a child. But who isn’t? We didn’t actually grow up. We only succeeded in burying the child within us and occasionally, the child wants to come out to play. I listen to the child in me. I give him the permission to do the things he used to do when time hadn’t stolen my innocence. I love to play. It takes my mind off the troubles of adulthood and gives me the chance to be that child I was. My heart becomes lighter after a good loud laughter. So I don’t want to apologize for being a child sometimes. It’s a permission I give myself.
#5. To Accept My Fate
I sat in a bus with a man whose left leg was amputated. He told me his story and since that day I learned to accept what happens to me with grace and not anger. He said, “Certain situations will change your name but it’s alright, accept it.” This led me on to read more about one’s fate and came across the Latin phrase “Amor fati” which literally means “Love of fate.” Amor fati teaches total acceptance of the events and situations that happen in one’s life. Life has a way of going where we didn’t anticipate and usually we have no control or can’t do anything about it. In that situation, you’re admonished to accept them as necessary and opportunity for growth and a new beginning. Don’t fight it. You become miserable and pained the more you fight your fate. Love it and use it for your future growth.
#6. Not To Remember
I failed a lot of subjects in school because I didn’t remember a lot of things the teacher taught. I tried to keep them there, but I ended up forgetting everything. They called me names so I vowed to remember everything. It turned out, it’s good not to remember everything. I don’t remember the things I did when I was crawling. I don’t remember when and where I had my first kiss, and that’s ok. These things don’t make my life any better. They only clog the important space in my brain and block the most important things from staying in there. I give myself the permission not to remember things that have no meaning to my growth. I don’t have to remember your mobile number. I don’t have to remember your voice on the phone just because it makes you feel important. I don’t have to remember your name just because I was in the nursery school with you. I remember my employers haven’t increased my salary for over three years now. That’s very important.
#7. To Be Curious
Curiosity killed the cat, they say, but I believe the cat died happily knowing its curiosity had been satisfied. There’s no joy in not knowing and we can only know when we are curious enough to investigate. An apple fell on the head of a certain man (I don’t remember the name) sitting under an apple tree. He got curious and discovered gravity. All major inventions in history came out of curiosity and I don’t want to keep quiet until my why is answered. Sometimes my curiosity might lead me to where it hurts. That’s alright. I will learn not to go there again. A child plays with a knife and get’s cut. He then learns the use of a knife out of his hurt. If I might know more than the average person, I would have to allow my curiosity to lead me there.
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