My Snippets From ÌTÀN (Stories That Matter)

Greetings friend/2nd connection/human who happened to stumble upon this post one way or another.

I recently attended a 3-day online seminar on YOU, well not you per say but it was about YOU (you best refer to the publicity picture for better understanding) and it featured upcoming men of impact in the Nigerian youth space; Ibidapo Fashina, Emmanuel Faith and Adeoluwa Olowookere, each had a day to themselves and elaborated on the topics–personal branding, LinkedIn optimization and securing deals with brands, respectively.

I gained quite a number of things from the talk and since I need an avenue to practise my writing with, I figured why not kill two birds with one stone by sharing my penned thoughts.

DISCLAIMER: I'll be elaborating on each speakers' points (quotes stated) with my personal experiences. Therefore, none of the elaborations were made by the speakers themselves, but are my words of understanding in line with the lessons they shared.

Anyway now that we've got the intro out of the way, ladies and gents, without further ado I bring you, YOU...

DAY ONE

The three things needed for a journey; a driver/passengers, a map and a destination, infact the latter is undoubtedly the most important part of the trip.

Imagine waking your parents up early in the morning with rants of ''Daddy, mummy, I want to travel,''

''Travel where?'' they ask, still groggy from being awoken so abruptly,

''I don't know, I sha want to travel.''

We all know Nigerian parents would either beat the nonsense 'calls from village people' out of you or deem it a perfect excuse to send you out on an adventure to buying the house essentials from Central Market.

As ludicrous as that short tale might seem (yes, that's all it was–a tale *sweats profusely), many of us in the younger generation are unknowingly on a constant ''I want to blow'' or ''It won't be long till I make it'' playlist, but my sister, make it in what exactly? You get a notification of how P.Morgan got endorsed on tiktok after garnering a million plus views from doing a backflip and you decide tiktok is the way to go, a few hours later you hear your childhood friend just got a scholarship in the abroad after inspiring many people with his heartfelt story on how they knew no light for 10 years until after his solar powered invention and you decide to change tactics by enrolling in MIT courses and dismantling your daddy's toaster (*cues coffin dance crew music).

There are a million other examples I could cite on how goals and decisions start to mirror wind-wipers during a heavy rain shower.

But what I really got from Ibidapo's quote in particular, is that a journey without a destination is a recipe for disaster and a sure fire way to waste time, money and fuel (if you consider it in the literal sense, I mean vehicles don't run on air) and as easy as it is to get distracted by the successes of other people's journeys (especially now that social media is the number 1 outlet for lockdown boredom), you need to learn to always do YOU; set YOUR goals–break them into chunks to monitor your progress, have (and follow) your map–learn and unlearn from the different twists and turns you encounter, and own your journey till the very end!

DAY TWO

We all know that one person who bothers on a steady with ''like, share and comment'' posts but somehow always goes ghost when it's our turn to ask for that same favour (if no one is coming to mind, chances are it's the human you see in the mirror).

As satisfying as it feels to have 500k followers with just 30 following and how you treasure the likes you give and guard your social media post space like a newborn babe.

You have to come to the realization that the world doesn't revolve around you, kindness has no cons and lending a supportive hand every now and then has done more good than harm (consider all the Barney movies and Disney shows you grew up with).

So next time you're scrolling through your feed and find something inspiring or meaningful, let the person at the other end be aware that someone was moved by their post. Emmanuel's words helped me understand that the sky is large for everyone to soar and supporting someone else's success won't ever dampen yours.

DAY THREE

A truckload of crime novels, steady supply of Pepsi and a comfortable reading spot; these are a few things that make my day. Plugging out from the online world and unwinding with fictional characters in made-up universes has always somehow been more appealing to me.

Frankly, I'm a social media wallflower.

As awesome as this post might seem (don't you dare roll your eyes), I'm not very good at online conversations, the Yoruba proverb oju l'oro wa (words are spoken with the eyes) resonates very well with me. But the thing is I'd like to add value not only to my community but the world around me as well, however, with a nonexistent Instagram account, a dormant twitter page, an inactive WhatsApp line and a figmental YouTube channel, chances of that ever happening is pretty much 10 raised to the power of a negative 1000 (ask Siri the answer and you'll get my point). So while most people excel in the online space, I'm more in tune with one-on-one contact, however Olowookere's quote let me understand how vital adaptability is in the growth process.

This reminds me of an experience I had in my adolescent years; I placed some yam tubers in the dimly lit pantry one evening. The room was quite small and had a miniature window close to the ceiling as an outlet for dust and inlet for sunlight and fresh air. It was a Thursday and my family and I were preparing for a weekend trip to visit some relatives in Lagos. Upon arriving back home on Monday morning, I scurried to the store to get some yam (asaro was a serious craving at the moment) and to my utmost bewilderment, a green stem had sprouted from one of the tubers, meandered its way around the many pots, pans and items in the room and pushed its stem out the blinded window through a tiny hole in the mosquito net. The sight was absolutely stunning, think Jack and the beans stalk kind of stunning, so much so that little me decided to let the tuber be (too bad for the other yams though, anyway here comes the motivational speech).

In life, hardly are we ever presented with situations and conditions we’re content with–the classes you enrolled in might require you to wake up as early as 7am, or perhaps you just got a lot of nasty feedback on an article you were super confident in, whatever the case may be, when all else fails remember to be that yam tuber; grow despite not being in your preferred environment, twist your stems around every obstacle you face, inspire a little girl to not want to eat you, see the light at the end of every tunnel and flourish within it (you know I just might become a youTUBER after this, I’m sorry I just had to let that pun out).

BONUS

Yeah, yeah, I know I said I was going to emphasize on three lessons but well on the bright side this is more like a bonus tip, something all three speakers made mention of during the course of their presentations and something that just couldn't go undiscussed–CONSISTENCY.

Petit à petit l’oiseau fait son nid (little by little the bird builds its nest, that’s right, I got a little bit of François up my sleeve, not like I googled French proverbs or something). Anyway, my bonus take-home is that consistency is the currency for growth (that sounds like Master Ugwe levels deep).

Think about it, every brand/influencer/celebrity–everyone you're currently following or looking up to right now–be it on your LinkedIn profile or twitter page or Instagram account...started out as a nobody. What made them truly stand out was their consistency!–Consistency in showing up, consistency in involving themselves in what they stand for, consistency in building themselves, consistency in letting you, me, their community, society, world, KNOW THAT THEY MEAN BUSINESS.

So you claim to be a creative writer? Well consistently write creatively and let us know about it.

You say you're an environmental health enthusiast? Well enlighten us constantly on the subject.

It all starts with knowing where your destination is, and being intentionally consistent about getting there!

***

My final words; if for some reason your eyes got fatigued with the many words used, or my style of writing (don’t worry, I forgive you), this bit is the summary of all I typed up there.

Let's embark on a journey into the future. We skip to five years from now; you've made it, your networks, connections, habits, everything has finally paid off, so much so that you have a page on Wikipedia! You open the page and scroll down to read your bio–what does it say? Write down the first thing that pops in your head and promise yourself you'll make that dream come true, promise the world that you'll share your story that matters, promise that I will hear the story about YOU.

To me words are outlets for our deepest thoughts, feelings and ideas. I intend on utilising them with creativity by making knowledge fun to gain :)