In case you don’t already know I’m the baby of the house😃 but sadly I’ve outgrown the title seeing as I am now a super big aunt to my cute little nieces and nephews, so I no longer get the “smally of the house” treatment anymore,😔 sobs. I have very fond memories of growing up with my brothers. I was and I still am greatly influenced by them, their aspirations, love for music, and the genre of music they liked, it’s like a family kinda thing, yeaaaa I’m bragging. I grew up on boy bands like Westlife, Backstreet Boys, Michael learns to rock, Boys to Men, and a host of others too. Did I forget to mention some country music, thanks to my brother (he knows himself..lol). At some point, I even dreamt of becoming a singer, Haha.
I remember back then he’d play country music and the next thing he calls out to me and says “come and listen to good music, not all this noise you’re always making”. So that’s how I got to know some good old country music. One of my favorites is “Coat of many colors” by Dolly Parton, at that time it was just a cool song but later when I actually listened to the words, it sorta meant more to me. I loved it, even more, when I found out it was a true story of Dolly and her background. I am tempted to put the lyrics of the song here but that will make this post too lengthy, so yea, go ask Google.
Dolly sang of a time when her mom made her a coat from a box of rags, and her mom told her the story of Joseph in the bible while making it. She hurried off to school with her colored coat. I’m sure she walked into her classroom with her shoulders held high ready to show off her coat, I imagine how surprised she must have been when the children began to mock her and make silly jokes about her coat. You would expect that her excitement would take a downhill, cos mine would have jumped right out the window, lol. But that wasn’t the case because little Dolly wasn’t having any of it.
In Nigerian humored way we would say she changed it for her classmates, she turned their scorn and mockery by telling her own story in her own way, she changed the narrative, she was no longer the little girl from a poor home who wore patched clothes or wore shoes with holes in them or was wearing a multi-colored coat made from rags but she was the confident girl who knew that she had her mother’s love and blessings, she also knew that she didn’t need to have everything to be happy and nothing else mattered as much. I bet most of the kids if not all who laughed at her went home to demand a coat like hers from their parents.
I feel like I can really relate to this. I’ll tell you a story if you promise not to laugh…promise? Heck! I know you will, you’re very disloyal..lol. So I’ll just tell my story anyway. When I was in secondary school, a troublesome classmate told me that I had Bugs bunny teeth (yea the cartoon bugs bunny) and that was it fam!, this marked the end of my laughing freely,😃 I always had to cover my mouth whenever I wanted to laugh, this went on for a while; until someone else told me to learn to smile freely and the fact that it made me prettier. It’s interesting, one situation, two contrasting opinions. This actually was the beginning of my journey to learning how to shake off irrelevant comments.
Now, what would happen if we had little Dolly’s courage to shake off people’s negative opinions and criticisms. To chase those dreams in our hearts, love where/who we are regardless of what other people’s opinions might be. Sometimes, we happen to be the very ones saying these things to ourselves. It’s really important that we learn to accept who we are while still trying to be a better version of ourselves. It wouldn’t hurt to have people who encourage us to grow and let only these kinds of people into our space. When we learn to tell our unique stories, we start to silence the voice of the naysayers, because, at the end of the day, the people who matter to us won’t bat an eyelid, and the people who don’t matter can make all the fuss they want to because we won’t be bothered.
P.S I think the bugs bunny kind of teeth are the absolute cutest😃😉