She Takes a Peep: Long Term Goals, Short Term Blockages
The crux of goal-setting is to cut out distractions and ensure that passing time is maximized to its fullest. What happens when life steps in and things seem not-as-direct anymore?
●25th May 2023
For several reasons, the trajectory of my life has never really been on the straight-and-narrow path despite what everyone else’s seemed to be, at least on the surface. At first, I was comfortable letting time pass by because I always envisioned my life would jump-start when I looked a certain way. Everything would make sense the moment that I became thinner. I could finally enjoy milestones, birthdays and celebrate little joys. Till then, I was comfortable being miserable and hiding myself from experiences because I did not fit the general idea of what a woman with a bright future should be. When I let go of ingrained conditioning, it became apparent that all my formative years passed me by and I was now in the stage of adulthood where people expected me to ‘have it all figured out’.
In the past, one of my long-term goals was to someday not exist. Since that just does not happen out of nowhere, I was faced with either taking a good honest look at what was in front of me or continue to exist in a delusional state about life. First, I reached a conclusion that linear ideals of goal planning and general theories on life paths was not to be my fate. When I was younger, I thought I would be a writer. I felt pressured to be a lawyer, and then a nurse, because I grew up and learned that making money from writing would not be a walk in a park. In a different life with a different upbringing, I would have had the books I wrote published in my childhood and become an overnight sensation. Or maybe I would have flopped. My very Nigerian parents also expected be to be invested in fields which would guarantee me a stable job, to which I would look after myself and then promptly get married. All these expectations became pretty much went out the window when I grew up to be a non-conventional woman.
By every standard, I present as a woman that society refuses to make space for. I am a woman who is queer, who is fat and who is not interested in hetero-normativity and the patriarchy. This means that societal expectations and set long-term goals automatically do not fit into my internal imagination of what my life would look like now. While some people have the luxury of their childhood dreams fitting seamlessly into what their modern-day life now looks like, my childhood expectations would probably be my current-day thoughts about hell on earth. For those like myself who do not fit into clear-cut, pre-determined boxes, it is important that we do not allow general societal milestones diminish our zest for life. Yes, I experience jealousy when I see people ‘settled’ at my age, but I also know that my path is different and with time, self-realization will set in. I truly am looking forward to living, breaking barriers and learning who I truly am as time goes on.