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Who Are You?

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“Why do you keep calling yourself a princess? Are you wishing you are the Princess of Wales or what? Why don’t you stop deceiving yourself and stop calling yourself a princess?”.

That was what my primary school class mate; Daniel said to me to which my then 11 years old self answered; “I am my daddy’s precious princess”.

Yes, I am my daddy’s princess, every night after reading a bed time story to me, he would always say: “Remember you are my princess and there is nothing you cannot do if you work hard and smart for it. You are the hand work of God, your name is inscribed in the palm of his hands, so do not limit yourself…there is nothing too hard for you.”

So on that fateful day when I went out with my dad and saw him; a guy dressed in complete military uniform standing close to me with shoes so polished that I could see the reflection of my face on it and his poise was so firm and strong, I told my father right there and then that I want to be in the military. He looked at me with a smirk on his face and said; “but you are just 11 years old which is way too young to join the military” but when I insisted and he understood my mind was made up, he said; well, unless you will join the military school I was elated and screamed…YES, anything to wear the uniform.

That was the beginning of my journey in Air Force Girls Military school. It was a boarding school and as part of the “welcome military training”, I was not allowed to write or see my parents or relatives till the end of the semester.

My dad got everything for me in pink which was my favorite color; a lovely pink pair of slippers, school bag and bucket but most importantly, my bed sheet and blanket which was also pink was specially embroidered; Daddy’s Princess. I felt so royal.

On my first night in school, I felt homesick. I missed my Dad so much that I held tight to my blanket and imagined he was there beside me reading a bed time story. Little did I know, that night would be my last night using my beloved embroidered bed sheet and blanket.

The next day, I returned to the hostel after classes to find out that my special embroidered bed sheet and blanket was replaced with a “dead-looking” bed-sheet and blanket. I looked around my room to see if it was anywhere in sight and that was when I caught it on the bed of one of the seniors at the other end of the room.

Boiling with rage, I didn’t even care to think that it was a seniors’ corner, I walked straight to her and demanded for my bed sheet. She looked me straight in the eye, came close to where I was and helped my face to a resounding slap that left my ears deaf and ringing for the next few seconds. She told me to frog jump out of her sight immediately and that was when it occurred to me what it meant to be in a military school. I was in a jungle left to take care of myself and there was no daddy to come to my aid…Just me.

I looked at myself, I did not even own a slipper any longer, I had to wear my canvas shoes in place of the slipper. I scrubbed a bathroom I don’t even use; not with a mop stick but with my knees, because it was for the seniors.

After I was done with the bathroom and toilet that day, I wore my canvas to the back of the hostel under the leaking tank where other juniors were having their bath. As I looked up at the leaking tank just as the water dropped on the bodies of other junior student, I screamed; Daaadddddd!!!! Where are you?  See how your Princess has to shower! An uncontrolled outburst ensued; tears kept pouring from my eyeballs. I tried to wipe it out with my hands but in the midst of it all, one of the things my dad told me kept echoing in my head; “there is nothing you can’t do because you name is inscribed in the palm of God’s hands, don’t ever give up just because you find yourself in an unpalatable situation”.

With that I decided to let go of the self-pity and get into the school system instead of wanting to be pitied. I wore my canvas as a slipper and used whatever bucket was available for me assuring myself that all this would end once I became a senior.

By the end of the term I could not wait to see my parents. When I saw them from a distance, I shouted “mummy, daddy”. I saw them look at my direction but then in a funny twist, I saw the shock on their faces.

As I got close to them and hugged them, my dad pulled me back and could not believe I was his daughter. His once chubby daughter was as thin as a skeleton with cheek bones protruding out my neck to the extent that he nearly hadn’t recognized me. Out of reflex, he remarked; “I am pulling you out of this school immediately, my princess cannot become this thin”. I countered him; “No dad, remember what you always told me about not giving up because of a difficult situation? I am going to graduate from this school, besides I have to enjoy what it means to be a senior student.

**

What do you tell yourself when faced with challenges?

Do you know that what you tell yourself matters a lot because it goes a long way to determine the outcome of the situation?

If you tell yourself, you cannot do it then you will not be able to do it.

In my book Release Your Mind, I  stated that; “Negative self-talk is any inner dialogue you have with yourself that will limit your ability to believe in yourself and your own abilities.” Negative self-talk will prevent you from reaching your potential and diminishes your ability to make positive changes. The way to refrain from negative self-talk is to recognize when you are doing it, then rethink those negative words and change them into positive and helpful ones.

Some example of negative self-talk includes words like: I am not worth it. There is no use.  I am not enough.  People will not like me.  My opinion does not matter. I cannot do it. Whenever your thoughts are leaning toward any negative thought, rethink those thoughts and replace them with positive and encouraging ones. Choose to entertain thoughts that will empower you towards your vision and can lead you from a fixed mind-set to a growth mind-set Also, what do we tell our children and loved ones about themselves? Do we out of anger shout at them and throw abusive words on them? It is necessary to know that once children hear you say some words often, soon enough they will believe it. So instead, let us tell them how great they are because that would also help shape them into the most adaptable humans. Sow seeds on greatness in yourself and water it daily, soon enough, it would blossom into the most formidable tree capable of withstanding even the most adverse scenarios.
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