Iya Ayo is a petty trader. She sells yams, palm oil, plantains and onions. Her kiosk is by the side of an untarred road, and she displays her goods on old tires. I have known her for about a year now and we sort of have a relationship. She’s more than the onion seller to me, and I’m more than a customer to her. She has three young children and stays out with them no matter how sunny it is, just to make sure that she makes sales. I know her to be enterprising, she’s constantly looking for more ways to make money and recently I’ve realized that her stock is growing. So why am I telling you about her?
Not long ago, I observed that she was pregnant and I said to her, “Oh! You’re pregnant!” she replied with a smirk and told me that she was even almost due. According to her, it was a mistake. “O ti pe lara mi ki nto mo,” she said. This means, “I had been pregnant for a while before I knew it.” I didn’t ask her how she eventually found out about it, but it struck me that she didn’t know that she was pregnant for months.
I ponder a lot as you’ve probably deduced, I think about what people tell me, what I hear others say and what I see. So when she told me that, I realized that just as she was pregnant and didn’t know it, so many of us go through life completely unaware of our potentials. We go to work, eat, sleep, get married, have children (or not), buy cars and build houses. But how many of us know the gifts within us that are just waiting to spring forth if we let them?
I assume that Iya Ayo found out that she was pregnant when her period ceased. And like her, you might experience a cessation in your life that forces you to realize that you’re pregnant with something. For me, it was relocating and not getting the kind of job that would accommodate my responsibility as a mother, being broke and forced to think about what I really wanted out of life. Do you find yourself in such a situation, where everything is just static and you feel stagnant? Then maybe you need to do some introspection today.
In her ignorance, Iya Ayo could have exerted herself and lost the baby. She probably would have blamed herself for not knowing and carried the guilt for the rest of her life. Too many times, I’ve heard of people who are regretful in their old age, because they didn’t pursue the dreams in their hearts. They got sidetracked by parenting, relationships, hustling and the circumstances of life.
Iya Ayo is carrying a girl, that’s what the scan revealed. It could have been a boy, it could have been twins, triplets, quadruplets…? The bottom line is, she had to step out and discover what it was, so now she’s prepared. She’ll buy clothes and shoes for a girl child. She’ll probably buy the earrings for the child’s ear piercing at birth, she’ll think of a feminine name and she’ll prepare to be the mother to yet another girl. Her preparations would be different if it’s a boy, or a multiple pregnancy for that matter. So what am I getting at? We all need to find out what our gifts are, so that we can be adequately prepared to give them the utmost expression. You might need to take a class, do some personal study, join an association, or explore a new business idea.
Let me clarify this please. When I say discover your gifts and be prepared for them, this does not necessarily mean that you should be an entrepreneur. It might mean crossing over to a different department at work and finding fulfillment in a new job role that allows you to use and explore your gifts.
So I ask you today, do you know if you’re pregnant and what you’re pregnant with?