A challenge has had everyone all excited over the internet active. The #1oyearsagochallenge. I recall memories of myself during that time…
Ten years ago, I had freshly turned 11 and was in Form 2 at a new school in Douala, Cameroon. I was childish and naive beyond any limits that could possibly exist. I did not take that long to blend in because I had friends in that school and had come in with my twin sister and also my best friend at the time. I am also quite sociable and down to earth so that really helped in making new friends.
Back then, I was very competitive. A character which I believe my father instilled in me and I still have till date. From a young age, I knew that only the best will have a voice. Only the best would be able to lead and have impact. I still believe this. I would compare my grades with the top 5 students. I wanted to know what the highest marks were and I made sure I always asked all my friends and bench mates their test scores. My dad would ask them at home when I reported my test scores too. I was always among the top 15 and took most often 12th or 13th position. I really wanted to be among the top 5 students but looking back now, I understand why this never happened in this class. If only I would stop arguing with my tutors. If only I would focus more on those reading modules such as history, and english literature. I loved numbers (and I still do) but in order to be in that top 5, English Literature, History, Geography mattered too
Ten years ago, I discovered my commercial acumen and entrepreneurial spirit. My first business was to sell chewing gum in school. I would get this gum every time my parents or any family member would travel and sell abroad and bring it as gift to me. I also had an aunty who worked at the biggest sweet and chocolate factory in the country, and so we always had some at home. I loved the little extra coins I would get from it. Little did I know that it wo
Ten years ago, I started to build my character. Although I was very much playful due to immaturity and being the youngest among my classmates, I was also very strong headed. My NOs were NOs and vice versa. I was extremely orderly and liked everything to be in place. I always got into arguments and fights with my siblings because someone sat on my bed that I had freshly made. Or someone wore my dress, used my towel, wore my sock … Really typical things you see in every other family. Now I laugh at how intolerant I was of minor things …
Ten years ago, I dreamt anything that my parents wanted me to dream of. I was thinking of becoming a medical doctor like my father wanted my twin sister and myself to become. I do not really think I was given freedom of choice to think about something else haha. May be if I did, I was not confident enough to say it and stand by it. Not ten years ago but definitely now.
Ten years ago, I was not on social media. I joined the year after starting with Facebook but it was very much monitored by my older brother. I did not have a phone either and if any friend wanted to contact me, I would give them my mum’s number. It never really bothered me to be honest. What will I have used the phone for to start off with? I was still a child in love with Disney Channel. I would distract myself with swimming and tennis lessons in the summer. Please what was iPhone? MacBook? Social Media?
Ten years ago, I had a secret crush. I fought with myself to delete those feelings before anyone would find out. But I think it had become obvious to my classmates. Probably the way I was acting around him. I got teased with this at school but I always denied it publicly. Haha I let the crushing die because there was nothing such as “shooting a shot” back then.
Ten years ago, social status mattered to me. I believed that those who went out for parties back then were cool kids. To be fair, attending parties, and hosting parties frequently what was used as criteria for “cool”, and “popular”. To go to “Gourmandise”, “ABZ” (popular bakeries) and pool parties at hotels was a thing back then. In fact, people were even cooler if they had attention from guys already or were dating their crushes. Big lol. I thank God for my parents for killing my aspirations of becoming “cool”. Definitely never made it out of the gate aside one party which I begged my mum to let me go to for over a month with a curfew that was even before the actual party started. You’ve guessed right, I was a “gates child”. What are you going out for. Social status was also defined by what someone would eat at the school’s canteen, or what car will pick one up after school. As i write this, I am laughing so hard because of how my perception has evolved. These things do not matter to me at all.
Ten years ago, I had a secret admirer. He would write me love letters every time I left my school desk for any reason. I never really got to know who that was till date. I never told anyone except my best friend at the time who knew about it. I was so scared of my twin sister finding out or just anyone else. I was embarrassed lol. I tried to personally find out who this person was but eventually gave up.
Ten years ago, I did not really take God seriously. Not that I refused to have him in my life, but I did not understand who God is. I heard about him so much and had a lot of questions which I did not really explore. I just knew what was good and what was bad nothing more. It was not deep at all then. I did not try to know Him more. I was just comfortable with the fact that there is an Almighty God.
Ten years ago, I would have never imagined that I will be where I am today, and have what I have today. By this, I mean the strong intellectual baggage that I have accumulated, the leadership potential that I have developed, the entrepreneurial spirit I keep developing… Above all the fighting spirit, strength and maturity I have gained.
My perspective has changed tremendously in ten years. Now I think a lot and everyday about changing the world, about the impact I have around me, about being a great leader, about being a great entrepreneur. I think about my intended professional career. I spend my time brainstorming business ideas, discussing issues we face in this century to note down some solutions, networking and developing my skills through skills training sessions. I try to get hands on every single opportunity to gain experiences. This young woman has held positions of responsibility. This young woman has started a business. This young woman was travelled to gain exposure to different cultures and markets. This young woman in intellectually curious and loves learning new things. This woman is a risk taker and loves adventure. This woman is building herself.
Who were you ten years ago?