By Eunice Aber

Today I caught myself in the middle of a thought

None about me and all about her

She had it all. She had done it all

There was no coin she hadn’t turned

No soil she hadn’t touched

And all I wanted was a little piece of her glory.

I idolized her in a way that became suspicious

Mixed with envy; the drive to be like her was self-destructing.

I thought,

If only I had parents like hers,

who could mold me into anything I wanted to be

If only I had been given opportunities like hers,

which knocked and opened the doors rather than waited to be searched

If only I had grown up in her time,

when everything was all so easy,

If only.

If only.

My obsession became a blame game

Everything had failed me.

I had failed myself

I wondered why I just didn’t make perfect decisions like she did,

That could land me in a good place like she was in.

I wondered why my mind just didn’t think so fast and so on point,

So I could grab opportunity as it came.

I thought and thought and thought of a way to be like her,

I thought until I lost myself.

Until I could not recognize the face I saw in the mirror.

I was alien to myself.

A failure in every sense of the word,

A good for nothing,

I had my chances and I just didn’t know how they slipped through my fingers.

She had hers and she grabbed them tenfold.

She was my measure of success and achievement,

And boy, had I failed miserably!

But today as I thought of other ways of being like her,

My bathroom witnessing my agony,

And the walls of my room pleading with me to stop trying so hard…

To not be myself.

Today, I was caught in my own thoughts,

Of how I was killing myself to be like someone,

And never being who I was born to be.

To my awful realisation,

I found I was heading down a road that had nothing for me

For the first time I saw that I could never be like her

No matter how much I tried

I just was not meant or born to be like her

She was good

But no, she wasn’t meant to be my measure of achievement

I wasn’t doing half as good,

Yet !

But no one said my journey was over.

Today, I reminded myself that success has many routes

And not one arrival time.


I wrote this when it finally dawned on me that I was trying too hard to be like the successful women I knew. I wanted my story to be like theirs. Somehow I believed if I took the same paths they took, I would reach where they were.

Little did I know that I was never born to be like them. Yes, I could succeed. But not like them. And not in their time. I would fulfill my goals in life. But not by doing what others did.

If they succeeded because they started businesses, that’s beautiful. But that might not be my calling. My calling might be in the employment sector.

If they succeeded because fate somehow smiled on them and they were always at the right place at the right time. And even though it was not fate but the result of their hard work, well and good.

Whatever the matter, I have learned today that my journey to success needn’t be the same as others. And neither should my arrival destination or timing be the same.

This is in no way an excuse for failure. But a recipe for finding yourself and succeeding as you do that.

And to those that have made it, find a way of always reminding the younger ones that they have a lot to learn from your journey, but in no way should they think it is the only way.

Women have succeeded in all spheres of life; Family, Work place, Business, Politics, Humanitarian Endeavours, Science, Technology, Literature, Drama name them all.

And guess what! There are still many other avenues for exploring our talents and abilities and succeeding while doing it.