Stay True To Yourself

Following The Crowd May Seem Easier, But Staying True To Yourself Is the Only Way To Find True Happiness

At the end of the day, you only live life for yourself.

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There's a common piece of advice that most Nigerian parents give to their children around the time they are getting ready to leave home for college. It says: "Do not forget the home you come from and the child who you are."

This advice was given to us so we could always remember why we were going to college and to not lose sight of who we really are while we're there. Like every other Nigerian child, my parents gave me this advice while I was heading away for college, and I held this in my heart for a while...until I found myself in certain situations that distracted me and made me lose sight of myself.

Sometimes, we tend to follow the crowd because we are afraid that other people will judge us for being different. We want to follow the crowd so that we can fit in and be accepted.

I know I have fallen victim to this and I know how easy it is to just fall into line with everyone else, to judge others for being different, and maybe even humiliating them for it too.

But how do you know who you are when you are just like the others? How will you know what your dreams and aspirations are if you are focused on the distractions happening around you? Just like it is easy for us to just follow the crowd, it is easy for us to fail to listen to our hearts and what they're telling us.

In our bid to follow the things around us and feel a part of it all, it is possible to instantly forget the main thing we want for ourselves. We have friends or parents telling us about the kind of life they think we should have, and we don't want to disappoint anyone so you slowly start to lose the most important thing: the dreams you have for yourself.

I know that it is so easy to forget what we want for ourselves, but just remember to not lose sight of yourself in the process. At the end of the day, you are living your life for yourself, not anyone else, and your happiness is the only thing that matters.

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The Truth About Young Marriage

Different doesn't mean wrong.
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When I was a kid, I had an exact picture in my mind of what my life was going to look like. I was definitely not the kind of girl who would get married young, before the age of 25, at least.

And let me tell you, I was just as judgmental as that sentence sounds.

I could not wrap my head around people making life-long commitments before they even had an established life. It’s not my fault that I thought this way, because the majority opinion about young marriage in today’s society is not a supportive one. Over the years, it has become the norm to put off marriage until you have an education and an established career. Basically, this means you put off marriage until you learn how to be an adult, instead of using marriage as a foundation to launch into adulthood.

When young couples get married, people will assume that you are having a baby, and they will say that you’re throwing your life away — it’s inevitable.

It’s safe to say that my perspective changed once I signed my marriage certificate at the age of 18. Although marriage is not always easy and getting married at such a young age definitely sets you up for some extra challenges, there is something to be said about entering into marriage and adulthood at the same time.

SEE ALSO: Finding A Husband In College

Getting married young does not mean giving up your dreams. It means having someone dream your dreams with you. When you get lost along the way, and your dreams and goals seem out of reach, it’s having someone there to point you in the right direction and show you the way back. Despite what people are going to tell you, it definitely doesn’t mean that you are going to miss out on all the experiences life has to offer. It simply means that you get to share all of these great adventures with the person you love most in the world.

And trust me, there is nothing better than that. It doesn’t mean that you are already grown up, it means that you have someone to grow with.

You have someone to stick with you through anything from college classes and changing bodies to negative bank account balances.

You have someone to sit on your used furniture with and talk about what you want to do and who you want to be someday.

Then, when someday comes, you get to look back on all of that and realize what a blessing it is to watch someone grow. Even after just one year of marriage, I look back and I am incredibly proud of my husband. I’m proud of the person he has become, and I’m proud of what we have accomplished together. I can’t wait to see what the rest of our lives have in store for us.

“You can drive at 16, go to war at 18, drink at 21, and retire at 65. So who can say what age you have to be to find your one true love?" — One Tree Hill
Cover Image Credit: Sara Donnelli Photography

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If Shonda Can Do A Year Of Yes, Then So Can I

Yes.

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A few years ago, Shonda Rimes decided to do a year of saying yes, after her sister told her she says "No" to everything. It ended up changing her life.

So, I've decided to embark on my own year of yes.

Sure, it may be easy to say yes to everything when you're a millionaire with a bunch of record-setting televisions shows, but the rest of us can do it too.

Say yes to treating yourself.

Say yes to taking care of yourself.

Say yes to saying no, don't stretch yourself too thin.

Say yes to new opportunities

The year of yes is about taking better care of yourself.

My year of yes starts right now.

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