Be humble!

Johnson Ayomide, in house contributor at Safespace takes us through a crash course on humility, changing the world and fighting battles in your 20s.

Today, I’ll be taking you through a crash course on humility. I’m not your best tutor on the subject, I know. I’m notoriously overconfident. But I’ve learnt me a few lessons that I believe might be very useful.

Yada-yada-yada – you all are possibly familiar with a story I’ve repeated ever so often, one that changed my life. I think this story did a better job at changing my life than APC’s attempts at changing Nigeria.

Here’s a link to previous weekend letters where I told the story. Thank you.

The aftermath of that story was that – in January 2021, I felt useless and purposeless. I had nothing in my life to do asides safe space. But really, I love to look at the bigger picture. Imagine God as a fancy cameraman, we’re all just directed to pose. Some poses may make little sense but you gotta trust that he’s got a perfect idea of what he wants you to turn out to be.

Something I’ve learnt is that – our markers for success are often subjective and in most cases, disappointing.

What’s the definition of a “good life” in your 20s – a well paying job? Maybe a moderate car? The ability to flex in Lagos Island at least once a month or if you stay in London like I do now, a trip to tourist attractions like twice a month? If you’re in a relationship – your babe is your plus one on these trips. Isn’t it? If you aren’t – you have between like 509 people you’re in talking stage with, to chose from. Isn’t it?

Just money. Outing. Vibes. Pictures. Sex. More sex. Then the wait at that time of the month for someone’s period to come.

But what about a privilege to change the world? This is not some Martin-Luther-King-yada-yada-Mahatma-Gandhi-I-have-a-dream-long-speech; like what happens if life starts for a new born crying baby and the reason it got better for the child was based off things you had done in your lifetime?

Fink about it.

That’s what I believe safe space represents for me, For all of us. After I lost out on my offer in London, it was hard to be back in Nigeria and simply hate life and feel useless.

I remember for the longest time, I was dedicated to safe space. I was working from home so it felt like a routine that’ll never end; like one of those scenes from sci-fi movies where you’re the only one locked up in a house, which is the only house in the world, and you do the same thing over and over till you you know, die or get rescued.

I got rescued. A friend suggested I go to my old workplace – Eh? Of all places? In her wisdom and beauty, we discussed how leaving the house will give me a sense of purpose.

So yeah, I was back at a workplace I last worked two years earlier in 2019. To put in context, I had become the guy who simply “referred” people to take up jobs there. I was in every way “bigger” than that role. My monthly allowance from my family was even 33% more than the salary.

It remember resuming and telling them to just have me “part time” and possibly unpaid. The money was “trash”, I would prefer working for safe space on Tuesdays and Thursdays in my home and I would only just simply resume part time at the workplace.

After about a month of working for no pay and coming into work whenever I wished, I got a certain vibe that felt like an instruction to work full time. If y’all don’t believe in God, that’s cool. But I feel that was God.

The true dilemma came when one day, one of the top guys at the workplace summoned me and told me they have a policy where they compulsorily pay interns.

I’m like wha????

So I either choose between coming on ALL days of the week and get paid or I just stay in my uncle’s house at Ojodu Berger.

I stayed. My friend advised I stayed.

The next set of events was reward for that humble decision to earn an amount that could barely even fund my transport and feeding if I wasn’t getting a ride to and fro.

What happened next?

The company proved very instrumental in my visa application for a course in the UK. I also got a paid virtual internship in New York with some multinational organisation that partners with the company.

In some life battles, we conquer when we stoop. Better than stooping, know when to stoop. Cheers!

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