Someone recently posted this great quote on Twitter, and it had me contemplating why I created this outlet. Why do I write? This is a question I ask myself constantly and I guess the simple answer is that I love it. That's why this is my fourth blog. In the past, I used passion and purpose interchangeably. I assumed that the things I was passionate about, in this case, writing, would come naturally and freely without prompt, and would easily translate to my purpose. All I needed to do was put pen to paper (or in this case, digital pencil to Word), say a prayer and unleash the flow, right? Afterall, someone who is passionate about health and wellness is usually knowledgeable about the new dietary fads and fitness apps, up-to-date on the latest research and perhaps even plays with recipes (ahem, my sister).
However, I have come to realize that writing is a gift and a tool by which I can facilitate my purpose. Passion (or according to the quote, inspiration) fuels consistency and purpose forces habit. Writing is the avenue by which I can do what I am passionate about: giving power and agency to my voice; to the African voice and changing the discussion of how the African continent and her citizens are represented.
When I think about the things I partake in without much effort or prodding, they're telling. I read lots of journal and news articles, scour the Internet for interesting business ventures and entrepreneurial activities taking place in Africa (Cameroon, mostly) and learn, learn, LEARN about other cultures through history books and documentaries. I think of things to share with friends and social media followers that I think will help to expand the current views they may hold of Africa. I love to learn and feel excited to share that garnered knowledge with others who may be interested or - and I mean this in the best way possible - ignorant.
Writing has always come naturally to me. Growing up, I always had a book in one hand, and my journal in the other. In college, for a year or two, I pursued the editorial magazine route, speaking with folks who ran their own blogs and magazines and even landing an interview with Glamour (highlight!). But something happened along the way. I started to compare myself with others and my confidence waned. I felt a little pressure to follow the traditional career routes and instead focused on law school or public policy as the logical next step.
I took some detours along the way, most I am trying not to regret, and found that they brought me little fulfillment and did not allow me to express my sometimes independent spirit. I’m not great at speaking - my tongue trips on words - but I am better at storytelling and letting my fingers do the explaining. So here we are again. Now that I have discovered and accepted my purpose, it is now my mission to refine it and master it. Passion can only get you so far; discipline, consistency and purpose are key in reaching your destiny. Learn yourself to be your best self.