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Susan J-Enyenihi: Love Your Life And Not Someone Else’s



During one of my visits to the mall, something interesting happened. While waiting on the queue to pay for items I had bought, I watched as two young women, likely to be in their late twenties talked about an acquaintance. Actually, I eavesdropped. Okay, it’s not what you think, they spoke loudly and I could not help but listen to their conversation. I reasoned that the envy which laced their words was a human character in its own right and the gist was worth listening to. As a ‘seasoned listener’, I endeavoured not to turn around and look at them. It would have been a foolish move because my ‘na wa for una’ look would have stopped them from speaking any further. So like a spy, my back faced them but my ears listened attentively.

They chatted with reckless abandon, that if everyone in the store had been quiet for a second, their conversation would have been clearly heard above the music which played softly in the background. As I listened to their conversation, I thought for a second that I might know the lady they were talking about. They described her as one who always had her act together and was always on fleek. According to them, the said lady had appeared on the social scene with much gusto and in possession of a ‘tear rubber’ car. My ears and not my mouth said ‘eh eh’!

The two ladies who participated in the discussion acknowledged that they envied their acquaintance and her sense of style. They imagined how interesting her life must be. Now this made me smile, and like déjà vu, it felt the lady was yours truly.

Throwback to few years ago, a loved one was on admission in a government-owned hospital after various visits to different private hospitals. In fact, ‘we’ had not just visited these privately-owned hospitals but had slept in them for weeks. After months of prayers and counsel from doctors, family and friends ‘we’ settled for a government-owned hospital and prayed to God for mercy.

To cut a long story short, fast forward to one particular week where the effects of sleeping in hospitals and running errands were taking its toll on me, I decided to treat myself to something special. What other than a good night rest! Oh yes!
Thursday night came and I resolved to forget every trouble and the looming challenges ahead and just SLEEP. A family member agreed that I needed it and for that day, she decided to hold fort.

Friday morning arrived and boy, was I energised to dress up and resume running errands. Life had given me the unexpected and I was ready to handle the trauma of hospital runs and caring for a loved one. I felt alive, sleep is indeed GOOD o. I carefully picked my outfit for the day and of course glam shoes. It was the first time in a very very long time that I actually got the chance to choose my clothes, myself. The months before, I only wore what was brought to the hospital by anyone whose turn it was to bring me something from home. By the time, I was done dressing up, I knew I looked amazing.

With Jesus’ grace, I catwalked into the banking hall that fateful day to carry out some transactions. Unfortunately, I had some issues with my transactions and had to reach out to the customer care officer who greeted me with a contemptuous smile. I assumed that everybody had their bad days so I let it go. Life was hard already. As I waited to get the issue resolved, I overhead the same customer officer tell her colleague in a local language she felt I did not understand to help that ‘one that is always forming rich woman’.

Her comment made me smile. My outfit was doing just what I wanted it to do. i.e. hiding my pain and discomfort. If only she knew what I was going through at that moment. If only she knew that I had become a regular face at that particular bank not because I had business transactions but I needed to urgently pay hospital bills regularly and I was hopeful that the big money in my savings account will be just enough. If only she knew that I was very hungry that morning and the only thing that kept me standing was the grace of God. If only she knew that I secretly prayed for a miracle breakfast. If only she knew that every time I came to that bank, I asked God to shut the mouth of the devourer. Preach it, Sister!

Her comments did not hurt me. In fact it taught me a lesson. I imagined that the customer service officer assumed that I had a glamorous life at that time. If only she knew.

I wondered what the lady, who was the center of discussion, here in the mall, was going through but yet she was envied by some of her peers. What if she relocated to town to start a new life, away from a troubled past? What if she has had her own fair share of life troubles? What did she do for a living to allow her afford the luxuries of life?

Some people are known to handle their problems very well and privately too. While others in a bid to show that they have ‘arrived’, live a life that is not worthy of reference.

I reasoned that If only these two young ladies were grateful for and content with what they have, they will enjoy life more.

Finally, it was my turn to pay for my items at the cash till. I was itching to finally have a glimpse of both ladies and as I turned to leave the store, I gave them my ‘na wa 4 una’ look. They looked at me in shock, probably thinking that I knew the subject of their hot discussion.

Mission accomplished. I walked out of the store feeling grateful .This time, I was not paying hospital bills. I was doing what I enjoyed, buying shoes!

Photo Credit: Dreamstime | Kadettmann

Susan Johnson-Enyenihi is a marketing communications professional. Call her,a self-proclaimed shoe addict and a happiness enthusiast. She believes in ‘doing the do’ and ‘living life’.


  1. ifunaya

    August 26, 2015 at 9:18 pm

    Gbam!!! dis is real nd a lot of pple av put demselves in trouble cos of dis, not being content with wat u have. na so me sef dey envy one girl like dat cos she dresses like she is d next big thing in town, wen I finally got to know her she borrows like crazy nd she is really struggling to train herself, no rest of mind always bothered abt who she owes money or so. one thing av learnt in life no matter how rich, pretty, or good u think anyone is, he or she has got demons dey are fighting buh we all hide it well, so just be content nd happy nd most importantly grateful cos no one can have it all

  2. Fasholaslover

    August 26, 2015 at 9:22 pm

    The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. As the youngest of three daughters, l always had/have lovely clothes and so it happened that l was the subject of gossip. All shades of gossip. The good, the bad and the ugly. From “I love how she dresses, I’m sure she spends all her salary on clothes, to there must be a man somewhere. If only they know. With two older sistas, l am never out of clothes – very good hand me downs, plus the ones l steal from their wardrobe etc.

    Human beings are just insatiable. The same way simpletons here on BN tap into everything glossy irrespective of the stories/pain behind the glossiness.

    • Smh

      August 28, 2015 at 12:29 am

      And who exactly do you think you are to refer to people as simpletons? Hypocrite! You are the issue in the topic being discussed..

  3. house of Zino

    August 26, 2015 at 9:27 pm

    Love this….lol

  4. BIMS

    August 26, 2015 at 9:54 pm

    Hmmm, this hit me so hard. Love this article.

  5. Nuella

    August 26, 2015 at 10:26 pm

    I love this post….!
    + You’re funny..

  6. Iris

    August 26, 2015 at 11:03 pm

    Your article made me smile. I know that when your troubles are big, other people’s petty nonsense will not get to you but for me there are limits. Knowing me, on a bad day that customer service rep would have had to call her manager. I work in customer service so things like rude cashiers and tellers drive me up the wall. Without the client, you have no job. It is a concept that apparently cannot be grasped in Nigeria. I hope things went well with your friend / relative.

  7. livehappilytoday

    August 27, 2015 at 12:26 am

    Great article.

  8. Neverland

    August 27, 2015 at 6:23 am

    Lol.My life since high school…I don’t regret it cos I’d rather look happy than forlorn no matter what’s going on with me.

  9. Chayoma

    August 27, 2015 at 6:31 am

    Love yourself, you’re all you’ve got. Rich article, Susan.

  10. With the Wind

    August 27, 2015 at 8:30 am

    When you look at your life and try to measure how far you’ve gone, how much you’ve achieved, how’d you do it? lol! Funny how a lot of us compare ourselves to our peers to find out! (Look what Ann has, and I’m still here, my mates are in so so place, and look at me) If we can come to a realisation that each and every human, with the gift of life should aim, focus and strive to build their OWN life, we wouldn’t know what a heaven we might end up creating! The perfect illustration of life : The aim is to build. It’s like a house. You have to build your own house, by your own self. Sometimes we get carried away by what a lovely painting someone added to their walls, how beautiful the gates are, how majestic! But we don’t have the slightest idea what’s in the house, if there’s anything, that is! When we get carried away to such extents, we even forget what we have, what’s right in front of us, what materials we already have, to build ours.

  11. fabulicious

    August 27, 2015 at 8:58 am

    Thank you for this article. Human beings for you. These days we have perfected the art of “tapping” Tapping into every rubbish we see disguised as a wondrous sight. Thank you to my dear mum for speaking sense into my head the very first day i opened my mouth as a teenager to say I tap into something someone has. Now that statement feels so cringe worthy to me.

  12. blueberry

    August 27, 2015 at 9:28 am

    Preach honey. That is why the likes of facebook and instagram can attract the wrong attention. Plus nobody seems to appreciate how far they have come by God’s grace. Comparing ourselves with what others have (according to what they posted on the gram and fbk) is the norm. If we cannot get what they have, we throw shade on them.


    August 27, 2015 at 9:29 am

    Comparison is the thief of joy. I hope your relative got better? that part of the article piqued my interest, I know sometimes the caregivers suffer even more than the patients themselves. I pray I never find myself in that (or either) position, I don’t think I’m strong enough.

  14. shoelovertoo

    August 27, 2015 at 9:42 am

    Beautiful!!! Very well written. You made so much sense with not too many words.

  15. willz

    August 27, 2015 at 10:06 am

    Thank you for this beautiful piece.I cant help but say am guilty.jst this morning, I logged into fbk nd saw birthday pix of my one time bestie, safe to say she works wit a bank now nd I jst cldnt help but feel a tad bit sad because we both graduated and served at the same time and somehow, am still trusting God for a good job.Plus we knw how pple love associating with those that are doing well nd will jst treat u like you have nothing to offer but again, am very confident that something good is coming my way soonest and I will def have a story to tell.Disolving d pity party right away!!!

  16. Bisi

    August 27, 2015 at 10:30 am

    @ Willz You have to honestly believe in yourself. Greater things ahead. Be Patient. You will get the best.

  17. Fabulous B

    August 27, 2015 at 10:49 am

    It’s normal I guess. Remembering how people think my life is so good bcos of how happy and well put together I look every time they see me, makes me smile right now. I’ve been that way since I was born (my mom made know this). She said I won’t cry when she leaves me with her younger sister (my aunt) till she and dad comes back from work. I just remembered now that whenever my dad flogs the hell out of me, I won’t scream like other kids, our neighbours never heard me ; I think that annoys my dad back then and makes him to flog me more LOL few minutes after the flogging, I will go on errands and smile to the whole world.
    Enough said jare. I believe we are to look beyond our sufferings and all and hope for better. Make people smile atleast. When people react in a certain way, it makes me realise we’re different and everyone can’t hold it all in. There is frustration in this part of our world. My people get frustrated everyday. Nigerians are tough people.
    The funny part is when one out of the people that talked about you behind you, comes forth to tell you all LMAO. And I usually tell this person that is normal to be talked about (whether good or bad). LOL see story o.
    Lovely Write :-). Keep it up

  18. Tkum

    August 27, 2015 at 11:10 am

    the writer’s bio tho..lool….abeg explain ‘doing the do” and ‘living life’ mbok

  19. Tobi

    August 27, 2015 at 11:26 am

    Nice article….but society also agitate some of us….for example our parents compare our grades to our fellow classmates….they also compare us to people that are married and those with kids…it’s really bad……that’s why I don’t blame most people doing this….but still it’s a must read for every Nigerian youth….God bless you with this article………henceforth I will start to appreciate every moment ….the good things in life are free…and guys remember there is someone out there that wants to be in your position…….GOd is love and stay blessed

  20. Jay

    August 27, 2015 at 4:16 pm

    Thank God we don’t look like what we’ve been/are going through!!!

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