October was a month of re-connecting and spending quality time with loved ones. And in particular, I am truly grateful to be surrounded by amazing friends. Two moments stood out when I started writing this post that I wanted to share with you all. I was spending time with a friend from Sixth form who I hadn’t seen in almost a year, and whilst we were chatting she said to me,
“If I had a daughter, I would want her to be like you.”
I was stunned because Lord knows I am a flawed human being – one who doesn’t even know if she wants children at the moment – and to hear that from her meant so much. This is a friend that I remember being so livid, (angry doesn’t capture it) when I told her I would be studying Accounting and Finance. Strangely enough, it’s a memory that I have always held dear because her anger that day was because she wanted good for me and wanted me to make the right choices. Spending time with her reminded me of a hadith from the Prophet PBUH,
“None of you will believe until you love for your brother what you love for yourself.”
The second story happened earlier in the month. One of my friends sent a message to me on Whatsapp and I looked at it and thought, “X knows I’m not interested in this. Why would she send it to me?” But after the listening to the voice note that accompanied the message, I was just in complete gratitude to have someone in my life who went out of their way to mentor me and give me advice because they wanted me to succeed.
In Nigeria, we have an adage that goes:
“What an old woman sees sitting down, a young woman cannot see standing up”.
In other words, benefit from other people’s wisdom.
These and many more incidents this month got me thinking about the women (both in real life and virtually) that I am surrounded by. It would be easy to say that I am where I am in life or who I am solely because of my own efforts but that would be untrue.
I have always had and currently have a community of women raising me.
Women who believed in me before I ever believed in myself. Who affirmed me and not only told me about my potential but also nurtured me and took me under their wings. I have encountered women whose kindness and compassion have shaped my attitude towards life.
Women who inspire me just by the virtue of their existence and have shown me through their actions that the world is my oyster.
I have been blessed with women in the form of friends who have given me the space to just be. The space to be seen, understood and heard. Friends who have held me up when I needed it and built me up. From them, I have learnt about love and purpose.
There are women in my life who have held a mirror to me.
Women who I have found myself reflected in. Buried myself in their words. And I have been inspired by them to do better and be better.
There’s a community of women around you doing just that. Building you up.
My journey would not have been the same without you all. So I say thank you and I can only hope to be able to give to others in the ways you have given to me.