The sun shines, the moon also shines. They shine at their own time, neither of them stops the other from shining.
All my life, I’ve never done well as far as my parents are concerned. It’s either “You didn’t do it well” or “You did it well but…”
I’ve had to grow up studying hard not because I want to be the best alone but because my parents would kill me if I’m not the best.
“The person that carried first, does he have two heads?” My father would ask.
“Don’t mind her it’s only to be eating food that she knows,” my mother would say.
I remember one time in JSS2, two people came first. We both had 85%.
“You see what I’m always saying? If and only if you had gotten 40 instead of 39 in that your Social Studies, you would have been one mark ahead of the other person and would have been first alone.” Those were the words of my mother for days.
I came first but all they cared about was that I could have had more than 85% so I’d be first alone.
I’ve had to grow up listening to “Mr Ade’s daughter is very respectful, very intelligent blah blah…”
Hi, my name is Hannah. I love my parents but sometimes I need a break from them.
You know how they say that the relationship between Nigerian parents and children thrives better from a distance? Well I’m starting to believe that because the days I go away for camp I usually miss them a lot and they call me everyday and tell me nice things but as soon as I’m back, oh no I want to go back to where I’m coming from.
The irony of all this is the fact that my parents love me and would actually do anything for me and whenever they shout or talk to me they want to produce a better version of me but then they don’t know that their words do more harm than good to me and in the long run, my self esteem. I mean haven’t you ever second guessed yourself?
I’m trying my best and I obviously do not want to be compared to Mr Ade’s daughter. Whenever I hear “Mr. Ade’s daughter,” trust me I shut off. I stop listening to what they are saying and start counting imaginary stars. I only come back to earth and start hearing their voice again when they scream my name and ask “Is it not you I’m talking to?” Then I just say I’m sorry and leave.
There’s comparison and there’s comparison.
The comparison we’re talking of kills, to be honest and it’s frustrating. It’s like doing everything well and your efforts are not being seen by your parents because they are too busy looking at Mr. Ade’s “perfect” daughter. You are probably wondering why perfect is in quotes, the truth is she isn’t even that perfect. Sometimes I feel like if they want to compare me, I should probably be compared to another person that I look up to and admire not somebody that I’m better than. Okay calm down this isn’t pride it’s the truth.
I know this girl they’re talking of and she’s not all that, she’s good but she isn’t all that. But all I hear is how smart she is, how amazing she is.
It’s like someone having diamond but constantly looking outside and longing for silver. Who would have diamond and pick silver? Probably someone who doesn’t know the worth of diamond.
Well yeah, there I said it!
Most times I pray that I don’t compare my future children or anyone around me to anybody but trust me I already have the traits in me because last week, it was my sister’s inter house sports and she came third in the 100m race and she was so happy. All I could say to her was
“You’re happy you came third? The person that came first has two heads abi?”
Immediately the words came out of my mouth, I put both hands over my mouth to stop more words from coming out and my heart fell because as soon as I said those words, the smile on her face faded and her face that was joyful a few seconds earlier, lost color and she looked really sad like she was about to cry.
I was pissed at myself for days because I realised that I was doing the exact same thing that I keep complaining my parents do.
Whatever happened to “Do unto others as you want others to do to you?”
When I thought about it later, I found out it’s easier said than done but I also realised that there are nicer ways to tell somebody to do better.
I mean as she came with the third position prize, I could have told her congratulations and gone ahead to give her a big hug and tell her “You did good and you’re going to be better” or even told her “That’s my girl, next year you’re getting the first position, I know you can do it.”
I felt bad for days and eventually apologised to my little sister and I told her to never let anyone undermine her efforts and to never undermine anyone’s effort.
As much as we complain that our parents aren’t doing well, let’s remember that they love us, they want the best for us and even though they may not tell us all the time, trust me they’re proud of us.
Come on you must have heard your parents tell each other or even their friends how proud of you they are when they think you’re not listening.
I think they feel if they tell us how proud of us they are everytime, we’d stop pushing to do more and be comfortable where we are. They are not entirely wrong but they aren’t entirely right either.
So every time you feel bad that they don’t appreciate what you’re doing but only complain, look on the bright side and know that they have good intentions.
And remember our generation holds the baton right now, it’s our turn to run. So how well will we run?
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