LIFE OF A TEENAGE GIRL- NAOMI
Naomi is one of the most wonderful amongst the students I have because of the peculiarity in her nature. When I first took her on for tutoring, she’s absolutely not the most brilliant I’ve ever seen yet never the dullest but there’s one word that was never printed on the life dictionary of this my precious student, that is, courage! Beside the fact that she was so scared, she thinks she’ll mess up her academics and disappoint lots of people. Self-confidence was another thing she thinks is reserved for the angels or may be specially chosen ones like her two siblings who she thinks have no fear and are better off. I kept wondering what to do reach out to her but truth be told, I practically had no idea. Until I gradually began to unfold and understand who she is, that’s when I started to think of what to do differently to help her because one of the greatest mistake a teacher or parent can make is to think of all the students or children to be the same and try to apply same method of tutoring or nurturing to them all.
It was very funny how I got to have the brightest light into Naomi’s personality. She was asked to write a poem and when I read it, I noticed that she’d personified herself in the poem and she bared herself in words she wouldn’t have ordinarily thought were describing her. I was thrilled by the way and manner she lived herself inside out on paper and I realized the beauty of her mind.
Here, read Naomi’s poem;
I’m standing here, can you see me? No, you can’t
I am invincible to the eyes of the world, the land and the seas
I sit here quietly, shhhh! Not making any sound
I am like a statue of steel, skeleton of iron
Covered with clay and coated with brass
Beautiful to behold, not talking just looking
My heart is beating; can you feel it?
Like that of a prey fleeing for its dare life
From the chase by a cheetah on its fours
I am like the voice crying out in the silence
When you shout with pride, all I do is fear
Wishing I can stand so tall up and match up
It’s like I am trapped in my own world
How will I ever get out of this wall they or I built?
Everyone’s in the real world of theirs
But here I am in the corner as a side-kick
Locked up in my very own thoughts and mind
I guess that’s my life and who really I am
But I don’t know what to do nor way to take
There’s not that much time yet, I need a break
Everything’s closing in on me, so I have to run
Only that there’s no place willing to take me
Life’s so strange and weird. Funny, if you ask me
One second you’re like a child learning to walk
The next, it’s already time to fly and even to soar
But every time I try to fly, I fall
I don’t know why, I have no clue
But this time I will fly and achieve
It wouldn’t matter how many times I’d fallen
Even to the bruises I will pay no attention
My wings I’ll renew, broken ones I shall mend
Because not this time, not this time will I fall.
I believe. Yes! I believe!
Just like every other teenager, I see the battle of life that ravages my dearest’s heart. It is such a battle that every adult had once fought too but it’s unfortunate that this generation is having this battle close to its peak and in another dimension not in their favour. Then I wonder what the yet unborn generation will have to scale through! Like my Naomi, most teenagers think no one understands them or knows what their yearnings actually are because they are so preoccupied and more than a million questions in their heart shout for answers.
Formative years in a man’s life are his childhood years but the teen years are the decisive years. They decide who they want to be, life they’ll choose to live and how they want to live it. This is why it’s very important that parents/guidance don’t lose touch on their child at these critical years. Teenagers will be tempted to overrule the counsel of their parent in favor of their friend’s or outsider’s advice but this will be no issue if they have trusted their parent much enough. The onus of trust falls mostly on the parents based on the manner they have handled the affairs of their teenagers. Some parents can’t even beat their chest to say categorically who their teenager is, in terms of the personality, temperament, abilities etc and these are most times the silent part of the teenager’s life that cries loudest; who am I or nobody knows me!
Well, after a while, Naomi gradually found her feet. She’s finally ready to fly and soar like an eagle, trusting that even when she seem falling, there’s an invisible hand of her Maker ever ready to lift her up; and with her understanding and caring parent, she can achieve anything.
What a privilege and grace I’ve found being used in shaping a life!