I remember bursting into tears as I watched live stream footage of Zimbabwean rain into the city streets celebrating what is now known as our nation’s second independence. I had to use the word rain because it was a downpour of elation, relief and just pure disbelief! I, like, many other Zimbabweans both at home and in the diaspora were tired. Tired of making a plan, trying to make a plan and thinking of making a plan. When I boarded my connecting flight back home in Washington DC, everyone who noticed my Zimbabwean passport looked at me with that “finally/ we are so excited for you and your people" look. There was no greater time or feeling of being Zimbabwean than the weeks after 2nd Independence! As we were approaching Addis Ababa, the lady sitting in the same aisle as I was woke up and asked me for some chewing gum. When I told her I was from Zimbabwe and going back home she was so excited it looked like she was about to leap out from her seat and hug me!
Beneath the excitement, hope and anticipation for a brighter 263 was anxiety, uncertainty and a million what next questions and scenarios building up in my mind! I did a quick survey with millenials based at home and abroad, and it made me realize how many of us are anxious about the future. Anxious about our future.
What role do we or can we play? Will we make it? Will we finally move out of our parents homes and become home and land owners? Will I even make it? We are a generation whose parents talk about how at our age they were happily married with 4 children, a home, car and savings! Anxiety and mental health is a real thing affecting all generations but as an African millennial trying to make it in these “ step up, go big or go home” streets, personal reinvention has been my saving grace. Proverbs 16: 27 - 29 has been my guiding light. It says: “ Idle hands are the devil’s workshop; idle lips are his mouthpiece.28 An evil man sows strife; gossip separates the best of friends.29 Wickedness loves company—and leads others into sin”.
I believe to be successful in anything, personal reinvention or otherwise, you need to have your mind centred on progressive things. You need to be speaking life to your situations, or at least seeking life in your situations. Lastly, you can only grow meaningfully if you are in the right environment conducive for your growth. The company you keep and entertain determine how far you will go and grow.
Though my journey is still ongoing, I have learnt to exclude certain people from my life plans and experiences. I have stopped seeking the counsel of people who like to give constructive criticism but haven’t constructed anything. Most importantly, I am constantly reminded that there is more to my life and journey than me. I have a generation which shall rise after me that needs me to stop getting in my way or the way of others and pave the way.
Personal reinvention is not always easy but it is personal and no one can do it for you nor with you. As you either begin or press on in your quest and journey with personal reinvention, may Matthew 6: 25 - 34 be with you.
Do not worry
25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? 28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
As you take each day as it comes, allow yourself to feel and experience everything in the present. The longer you dwell on what should and could have, the more energy and life you sap out of yourself. Not everyday will be productive, some days are for reflection and rest. Love yourself enough to allow your growth and transition to happen as organically as possible.
May the Lord bless you and keep you!
It has been such a blessing taking over ReinventedToday.com
Yours in excellence,