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FIFTEEN

If I got on the time warp, I’ll visit my Fifteen (15) year’s old self

…I remember her so clearly.

She was a perfect combustion of innocence and pride.

She was a walking library. Carrying the world. Or what she thought the world was.

Fifteen.

It was the year of fluttery heart and broken hearts. It was the year of lipsticks and lovers

….the year where she was a slave to those emotions.

The ones that steals your innocence and changes your path.

 

If I visited her, I’ll tell her to listen. She may not. But I’ll knock down those walls.

Patiently. Lovingly.

Singing weapons into her heart.

I’ll tell her that she is a perfect combustion. And the boys need not trace her body, before she believes it.

I’ll tell her that on the day she roared into the world, the one who designed her

set her free. And she needs not be caged, to the lies spoken by a dark world.

*****

If I got on the time warp.  I’ll visit my 15 years old self.

…for He had that smile. The one that got the prettiest girl to stare.

He was a walking library. Carrying the world. Or what he thought the world was.

Fifteen. The year of gangs and masturbation after a night of porn.

The year of becoming… a boy metamorphosing into a man.

The year of being trapped to those emotions.

The ones that steals your innocence and changes your path.

 

If I sat with him, I’ll tell him to listen. I hope he does. I know he will.

I’ll tell him to not be afraid, to stick with good and his books. His peers may laugh, and may call him names. But it’s that warrior’s heart that will carry him far into life.

I’ll tell him that on the day he roared into the world, the one who designed her, set her free. And he needs not be part of those, caging him and her to a standard that is oh so false.

*****

If I saw him and her, I’ll tell them that, with every New Year , we will no longer be fifteen. One day, we will be fifty, laughing with our kids.

They are now fifteen.

And so today, as we chase fun in the sunlight,

I hope we draw from our fountain of youth,

chasing God and building unbending legacies .

Lending love to a broken world.

For one day, when grey hair comes, and we can’t see the sun,

We know we did all we did to shine the ONE.

 

If I sat with him and her,

I’ll say, be foolish.

I’ll say be foolish.

And be led in the wisdom of the One whose wisdom has no age.

-ijeoma unegbu

 *****

Wrote the poem above after I asked a couple of my friends what they would tell their 15 years old self if they could go back in time.

Some of the common responses I got were:

  • Love God. At that age, the one big thing in your heart should be God. To live is Christ. You are never too young to live a Godly life. It’s worth it… (Ecclesiastes 12)
  • Study hard. Focus on your education. Yes, the girl or guy may be alluring right now, but it’s not worth it, right now. So, focus on your education.
  • Be careful of what is shaping your life. That music or movie or magazine or friend…can influence you positively or negatively. Walk with the wise.
  • Find a good mentor…and know who you are and whose you are
  • Go to a great school
  • Be fearless. Be bold
  • Be foolish, and never be afraid to let wisdom guard you.

I’m grateful for the people I met along my life journey that influenced my life for good. I’ve been having this thought… ‘What if you gave back the light or joy or wisdom that was given you?’

What if we shared that wisdom or kindness or love with that child (even if they are strangers) and they leave that path that may lead to robbery, prostitution or drug dealing?

The Bible says, ‘train up a child in the way they should go’…Parents have the primary responsibility for training their children. But you and I can pitch in as well…’It takes a village to train a child’.

I pray that God enlarges our coast, capacities and reach so that we can mentor kids especially in places like Oshodi, Ajegunle or even Mushin.

What if our little positive interactions with them can change their lives for the better?

****

What was ‘15’ like for you? I’m grateful that with every new year and age, we keep being better. Cheers to the past. We don’t live there anymore, but we needed it to be the best version of ourselves today.

Thank God for growth!

Your turn, ‘If you could go back in time to talk to your 15 years old self, what will you tell him or her?’

*****

Thanks for reading.

Much joy,

xx

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