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BellaNaijarian Agnes Keke Shares A Few Life Lessons On Her 33rd Birthday

BellaNaija.com

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This is not the big 30, so why this photoshoot now?

At age 30 I was too timid and ashamed of who I was. I didn’t think I had the achievements to celebrate that age. As a Nigerian Igbo woman at 30, I had no husband, no car, no afesona, no home of my own; what really was I celebrating?

It has taken me three years… three whole years of joy, pain, tears, fights, loss, courage and zeal to realise that the most important things in life are not those things which need validation from people, but the very little thing that we take for granted.

I have learnt a few things and I feel I am qualified to share.

Who am I? Knowing the answer to this question began my journey to self. I started by striking out everything I am not. There is nothing to be ashamed of. It is what I have decided to stand for. I want to be identified by these virtues and traits. This is the essence of who I really am.

I am not my mistakes. Trust me, I have loads of those; but my mistakes do not define me. The lessons may shape some decisions to be made in the future, but it neither reduces who I am nor become ME.

I pray for a better job opportunities, health etc. There is more to life than being Mrs Oluwajomiloju.

The years have also taught me to treasure family and friends that have become family. Never take their love for granted. It may seem like a lot of encroachment on your space, but their absence will most definitely create a void that nothing can fill.

Emotionally, I have always acted like a strong woman. Why not? I saddled myself with responsibilities very early. No regrets there, but I didn’t live. I got caught up in the school of thought that a strong woman was one who didn’t get emotional about anything, but remained analytical and focused.

Over the years I have learnt that it is okay to be emotional. It is okay to cry at silly things like a movie. It is okay to cry at weddings (one of the stupid reasons I stopped attending weddings.) It is okay to laugh at yourself. It is okay to be silly and childish; it is okay to live life with your heart on your sleeves even when you have scars from being open.

Finally, don’t hide your scars. These scars they are doors of healing. Deal with what has happened to you, then show your scar; you may just be that story needed to save a life.

Since I turned 25 I have dreaded my birthdays. I would be thankful to God, but be skeptical about the prayers and wishes. I could predict everyone’s prayer and it always ended with “This is the last year you will be single in Jesus’ name”

My loud resounding amen has actually reduced with the years, but the prayer has not stopped.

Now I laugh at the prayers.

If I had an opportunity to advise a younger me, what would it be:

1. Love like you have never been hurt. Do not let the past hold you back from exploring your future.

2. Decide today if you want to live for God or just explore the world. It is your choice to make. Whatever choice you make, do it diligently.

3. It is never too late to start again, to pursue your dreams or to discover self. Start the journey, embrace you and don’t ever believe that the path you have chosen isn’t relevant.

4. Laugh. Laugh at yourself. Laugh at life; laugh, even when you feel like crying. Laugh, keep laughing and before long you would truly find something beautiful and funny to laugh at.

5. You can be whatever you want to be. You are your own limitation. Age should not slow you down. It is just a number, explore, resign, reapply, reinvent yourself.

Today, I celebrate life. I do not have all the things I mentioned at the beginning (actually, almost didn’t want to write because there is no great testimony by all standards)  but I have that which all the money in the world will and cannot buy. I have life, family and friends and above all I have me and God.

Happy Birthday to the woman I am today and I look forward to the great woman I am being formed to be.
***

Photo Credit: @Easyjoystudio
Hair: @enchantia.looks
Make Up Artist : @mubobloomz
Personal stylist: @mytsparkles

33 Comments

  1. Tunbititi

    May 27, 2018 at 5:21 pm

    Woww. I like your story. And I commend your courage to share your testimony. Happy Birthday girl. You and your dresses are so beautiful.

  2. Adeola

    May 27, 2018 at 7:05 pm

    Beautiful!!!

  3. star

    May 27, 2018 at 7:47 pm

    Am happy your happy being single. Singleness is not a curse or bad place, its a time to discover yourself well enough to be ready to merge meaningfully into peoples lives,its a time to evolve and define your place in the society. For this reason God has withheld one from the next phase wish is marriage. Until single women get comfortable with this period in their lives, they can never experience fufillment in their marriage. My sis enjoy it while it last because when you get married you would wish you spent more time with yourself, this is because in marriage you have to always put your family first and carry them along any where you go physicaly or mentally which can be very demanding but wonderful . Age is just a number when we talk about life and love. Hmmm and when that true love comes OMG you will be drunk in love because it came at the right time. Trust me you will be sooooooo glad you WAITED . Focus on taking over the world and let that lucky guy spot your beautiful self. Your a special woman.

  4. Olamide Kazeem-Yusuf

    May 27, 2018 at 8:03 pm

    Wishing you the very best in all your endeavors, happier new returns of the year, cheers

  5. Chioma U

    May 27, 2018 at 8:06 pm

    Beautiful on the inside just like she is on the outside. A real joy and blessing to people around her. Clown of life with a beautiful smile. Happy Birthday Agnes

  6. Threshold

    May 27, 2018 at 9:06 pm

    This is indeed inspiring. thanks for this piece

  7. Grey

    May 27, 2018 at 9:16 pm

    I admire your courage, and I pray God grants your heart desires, Happy Birthday Agnes.

  8. UFest

    May 27, 2018 at 9:48 pm

    At 33, you age so gracefully and look amazingly beautiful Thanks for the write up and especially the 5 Nuggets shared; Live to Love, Put God First, Its never too late, Enjoy life and Be all you can be…You indeed inspire many with your story and many more with hope for a better tomorrow. So, “Learn from yesterday, live for today and hope for tomorrow”. Stand strong and be bold as a lion, “It is well with you”, Shalom Shalom.

  9. Oluwafeyisetan

    May 27, 2018 at 10:18 pm

    Wow i’m so proud of u!And thanks for sharing. Cheers to many more years.

  10. Nisola

    May 27, 2018 at 10:56 pm

    Happy birthday sister, God bless you. You have been a great inspiration, keep impacting lives.

  11. Emmanuel

    May 27, 2018 at 11:51 pm

    It’s a blessing you’re sharing this. Thanks for giving us a glimpse of your mind and experiences. You were vulnerable enough to share but confident enough in who you are to be as open as you were. My most hilarious line was the prayers at 25 cos I know I pray it for you at every birthday… Lol. My most retrospective line was the family and friends who have turned to family. We all need them cos of the void we feel when they are not there. God bless you woman of God and happy birthday again.

  12. Deep

    May 28, 2018 at 12:46 am

    Reading this brought tears to my eye. I will be 31 on Tuesday and unlike my previous birthdays, I’ve decided to count my blessings and not wallow in self pity. Everything will happen when they are meant to be;fulfilling career, great husband and every good things my heart desires.

  13. John

    May 28, 2018 at 7:12 am

    All I read are just a bunch of self delusional justification … justification ..depressed justification.

    My dear ..stop writing long epistle ..There is a still a hole in your heart . I can smell your desperation from miles away.

    I bet you if you had married at 25 …you wont be here writing a long justification article.

    It us your type that will finally get engage to a young fuck boy (that has no job)and you will start jubilating and writing pepper them article like your counterpart did the other day.

    Tell them to cool down ( they won’t listen).

    Forming strong and independent and making all kind of stupid mistakes..once they clock 30( now used and dumped) they won’t let anyone have rest on why they are so happy being single and that marriage is not an achievement.

    Tomorrow, if someone managed to propose. ..their tune and writing style will change.

    Ps..
    Looking at feminists who say marriage is not an achievement, you will think they are founders and CEO’s of multinational companies.. .not knowing they are still living with their parents or shared apartments looking for men they will use as poverty alleviation scheme.

    Give me a break

    • John is a goat!

      May 28, 2018 at 10:14 am

      Dear John, repeat after me; “I am a ? goat”, “I deserve the award of donkey of the year”, “I don’t have a ? brain, it’s actually jello in between my ears” ….”I am a broke, unemploymed, frustrated middle aged man living with his parents who takes his anger out on women because I am often rejected by the ladies I approach”. “I am as lame as they come” …..go on…. repete s’il vous plait.

      Now before u fix your crooked fingers to type more rubbish on this thread again; remember you will have daughters some day, and there’s something about those table darling, they always turn around. #sociopath!

    • Uberhaute Looks

      May 28, 2018 at 10:22 am

      Clickbait.

    • Elle

      May 28, 2018 at 10:42 am

      You are forever hounding female articles. This your obsession shows all is not well at all and YOU indeed have a massive hole in your heart. May you find healing.

    • Ify

      May 28, 2018 at 11:27 am

      Who did this to you John?
      Sending love and light your way.

    • Vicky

      May 28, 2018 at 11:29 am

      Wow! I can’t believe you read this article and came up with this. Why are you so mean? What happened to you?

    • Yemakin

      May 28, 2018 at 11:30 am

      You are entitled to your opinion, you alone can give yourself [email protected] John .

    • Mr.A

      May 28, 2018 at 11:45 am

      It’s amazing that BN allows comments like this from John, yet they’ll moderate comments that question their friends and paymasters(government officials and business people with questionable sources of income). I wish your blog well Uche Pedro, but with this kind of censoring your blog will be history in the next 2 years.

    • LA chic

      May 30, 2018 at 5:17 pm

      John you represent the unfortunate but growing percentage of useless men who think that shaming an unmarried women detracts from her power. Karma is a b**ch and she knows all ya addresses. Man what have you used your so called manhood to achieve, you better fear God. If you have nothing positive to say stfu.

  14. Emmanuel

    May 28, 2018 at 8:22 am

    Wow… awesome word woman of God. Thank you for these words. My most hilarious line was the prayers you receive every year from the age of 25 mostly because I am guilty of praying same for you every year. My most reflective line was friends who have turned to family and the void you experience when they are unavailable. Thanks for Women OutPour. Thanks for being a fellow comrade in raising altars of worship to our Father. You shall never know the value of your impact until when you sit with Jesus and He shows you your scorecard but from this terrestrial plane, I can say you do well. More anointing, more favour, more opportunities to showcase our Father and more of His blessings I pray for you. Keep being in tune and aligned with the Spirit of God. From thence you can never go wrong…

  15. Akeni Adebukola

    May 28, 2018 at 9:18 am

    God bless you so much sis sharing this depth. God bless you

  16. X-factor

    May 28, 2018 at 10:17 am

    Wow!
    This is sure one of the most inspiring articles I have read in my life. God bless you. Happy Birthday
    Be confident of this….EVERYTHING GOOD WILL COME !

  17. Abilove

    May 28, 2018 at 10:38 am

    Hmmmmm. Always inspiring, though I have my reserves about you, but I still love you all the same. You’re truly a testimony and I’m particularly encouraged by your life. Especially how you win people over, I’m always thrilled by it. Pastor Agnes, I respect the woman you’re becoming. Keep loving, keep giving and keep living. Great love.

    I must add that I shared the feeling you had when I also turned 30. I told my friends don’t tell anyone I’m 30. Lol. But I’m grateful we are not our age, but what God wants us to be, ……for when the Lord will return the Captivity of Zion, we shall be like them that dream.

  18. Funmi Ani

    May 28, 2018 at 11:07 am

    Your story is highly inspiration. You just gave alot of women out there hope! Thanks Agnes, you’re a champion!

  19. Yemakin

    May 28, 2018 at 11:32 am

    I sincerely appreciate this write up, so inspiring and encouraging. I am so certain it is not only for a soul but countless souls. God bless you ma.

  20. Beam

    May 28, 2018 at 12:38 pm

    You are so beautiful when have so much love for life and yourself, it is difficult not to attract great company to yourself, and sooner rather than later, find one of them worthy of your hand in marriage if you so desire…

    Happy Birthday Agnes! I also love that you are so self-aware to be able to share all these without inhibitions, keep rising above common men!

  21. Lara Tadese

    May 28, 2018 at 2:26 pm

    You are a great writer lady! We get carried away by things we are not and forget to be grateful for things we are. Great lessons..Happy Birthday Orekelewa..Love you Baby

  22. Feyisayo Alli-Balogun

    May 28, 2018 at 10:25 pm

    Wow,dis is inspiring,i love ur courage i felt almost like dat wen i was 30,but my dad was God sent that gave me courage and hope and am grateful to God,thank God for the woman you are today,happy birthday. Love more blessing upon you.

  23. Lisa

    May 29, 2018 at 4:47 am

    @Mr A, I don’t know about ‘history’ or what will happen in the next two years, but I do know it’s already boring as f**k.

  24. Lucy Eke

    June 13, 2018 at 8:22 pm

    This is so wonderful Agie, I always thank God for the opportunity i had in working with you. You are always full of life and vibes. I wish you a wonderful birthday and more prosperous years ahead. Keep rocking Girl!

  25. Demi Taiwo

    July 14, 2018 at 6:22 pm

    Oh Mine! I love this. You are amazing!
    I think one of the greatest lessons of all is to embrace our selfs, our journey and the beauties God has put around us( friends, family, level of knowledge) on the journey to becoming better versions.

    I am so happy that I know you. Trust me! One of my greatest work boodies!

    #Sternght #confidence #Purpose

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