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Breaking Down The Bricks: There’s A Huge World Out There, You Know?

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Often, I go down memory lane and take myself back to my high school days in my country of birth, Nigeria. In those days, dad would wake me up to go prepare for school, my mum would make sure I ate breakfast, dad would drop me off at school in the morning and he would pick me up at the same spot, at end of the day. I go down memory lane from a current stage of major (not total :)) independence.

My adjustment to independence was shocking to me. As a child, I was greatly pampered by my parents, both of whom I am ever grateful for, but they did not fail to discipline me when I erred. They deliberately made me totally dependent on them and they enjoyed it. Thus, the rate at which I adjusted to independence was and sometimes still is a shocker to me.

I moved to Calgary from Nigeria in 2011 at age 14 to seek university education. I was left with two of my elder siblings, who were now highly independent and working for the government of Canada. After about two months, I decided that I could not keep idle till it was time to get into university by the next year. So, I searched for volunteer opportunities and I finally became a volunteer with the South Calgary Youth Council. There, I was dialoguing with people who possessed a much different culture from mine. They were Canadian. I was just Nigerian not Nigerian-Canadian or so I would introduce myself to people. I started using the bus like a pro. I used to be driven in a car everywhere just a few months ago!

I currently live and school in Ottawa where I have added a few more job experiences to my resume and self-esteem. I am still a volunteer community worker, now an entrepreneur, and also, I am the newly minted Lifestyle Editor for Afri-Culture (an online publication focused on the Ottawa region).

It has hit me now, that the will to fulfill my dreams sedated my self- consciousness, feelings and doubts, and moved me out of my comfort zone and opened me to the world out there, to the people beyond my short-sightedness. I could not do it alone. I am ever thankful to my sister, Ebele Mogo, who continually encourages me to get out of my comfort zone. I actually learnt the phrase – ‘comfort zone’ from her. Then, my parents, friends and other inspiring people that I have met and some I have not met but I have read about or watched.

Today, I encourage you to break off the bricks that surround you. Move out of your comfort zone and find happiness in being uniquely you.

My questions for you: Can you remember who/what made you move out of your comfort zone and how did you find the adjustment?

Love,

Chiamaka Mogo.

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