A letter to Marissa will do this morning … — Sandister Tei(@SandisterTei) October 28, 2012
This letter was meant for October 28. I am late but, better late than never.
Two weeks ago was BarCamp Tema. I had a good time. I came back home learned. Chemphe, a speaker had some strong points to make about talents which atrophy for the lack of use. I knew he was talking to me. I got up today and said, “I have to write to Marissa.” I “rummaged” through my drafts and I had 35 letters waiting to be sent to you . I haven’t done well. I settled for this quick one about going out there, growing and claiming new territories.
So Marissa some time back my personal Bible study with UCB Word for Today had me reading about a Dr. Robert Schuller whose hobby is raising Koi fish.
Asked why some grow big while others stay small, he replied, ‘If a koi fish lives in a small tank it will never grow longer than two or three inches. In a larger pond they can grow up to ten inches long, in ponds the size of mine they’ll get to be eighteen inches long-but if they live in a huge lake where they can swim and stretch, they can grow up to three feet long. The size of the pond determines the size of the fish.
Get that? The size of the damn pond, determines the size of the damn fish.
This comparison is for all of us who like to play it safe.
Some weeks ago someone contacted me with a job opportunity outside Accra. Momma knew and when she asked me about it, I told her I didn’t want it. She wanted me to go get it because it was within my scope of interest, I get to work in a multinational organisation and so on. But I had excuses which now sound “not serious” and weak. Mum looked at me like I was crazy and asked (in Twi), “Is that how you plan on living the rest of your life?”
You see for genuine health reasons I hate mental strain or things or people that push me to it. Life has been one safe endeavour and relationship after the other. I like to call it doing what I want but it’s becoming more of cowardice and stagnancy. But life has always made it such that a step outside my comfort zone always earned me a worthwhile achievement and more confidence… A new honorary badge on my uniform.
I know, if you’ve been living safe not because of any tangible reason but fear, the love of comfort and other flimsy reasons, I tell you, you start to get hungry at some point. You seem cool to others but you know in your heart that you can be better and you get restless. When you are on the way to becoming better that’s different. You are a working progress. But when you are marking time because you are busy staying safe; staying safe from rejection, heartbreak, failure or whatever, then there’s a problem.
You know Marissa someone wanted to make a radio show out of the letters I write to you. But I said to myself, “Oh I don’t write that regularly and so there wouldn’t be consistent content.” I didn’t want to disappoint anybody. I never went to get the demo done. But Marissa I could have rather made it a point to now challenge myself to write more and then grab that deal. I didn’t even think it through.
I look at people, my friend Akwasi is role model. He left Accra out of his comfort zone to pursue agriculture and he is doing real things out there. He did it for himself and his dreams. He had insecurities though. It is such people who do big things and end up saving the world. Dad is one hell of a safe player too. I remember advising him some few weeks ago about launching his dreams, going hard or going home. I guess I have to now remove the log from my own eyes and leave his speck alone.
I gotta bounce now. I have a social media meeting. I promise I will write again this week. Remind me. No joke.
To sign off, I recap: big Koi don’t play it safe. Big Koi are not found in fish tanks. They are in the lakes rolling with other big Koi. They may be afraid being in the wild but they are there. They stay and swim it out and grow. I want to be big Koi.