Initially, I had thought that at some stage of my earlier cultural life, my journey towards cultural diversity had been dormant for a while. But when I think about it now, this was never the case. In more recent years of my adult life, I have been quite active in enriching and empowering myself. Before that, before I proactively began my subconscious journey towards being a culturally diverse woman, I had still surreptitiously been on that growth path. Let us begin right from the very beginning.
From the earliest possible age when toddlers are able to begin learning and adapting to their cognitive thinking abilities, my mother read me stories. And because she was such an endearing story teller, I loved every word I heard come from her mouth, even if I did not understand them at the time. By the time I had reached school-going age, my mother and father would pump me with books, even when the occasion did not warrant this. I could have been branded a spoilt child, but, in actual fact, I became a gifted young girl.
This helped me immeasurably at school. Not only would I finish regularly at the top of my class, my teachers would gush with pride and joy at my innate love for books and learning. Inadvertently, I could also have been branded as a teacher’s pet. But this was nothing of the sort. I loved my school books more than anything else. This may also go some way towards explaining why I did not have too many girlfriends at my tender age. Those that were my friends, invariably had similar interests.
Most of the other girls were more interested in their dolls and began to take a premature interest in boys. But my reading matters helped me to create vivid lives for my own dolls, so much so that they all had boyfriends of their own. I was too shy anyway. That did not matter too much. By the time I reached high school, I was so engrossed in my scholastic activities that I did not have much time for boys anyway. So, unintentionally, perhaps unwittingly, I was what one could call a late bloomer.
Initially clumsy where matters of the heart were concerned, I soon learned how to adapt to new horizons of possibilities. I could engage with young men as my equals. This was during my first years at university. Most of my friendships, male or female, were influenced by our intellect rather than base human emotions and physical desires. So, I could stay out of trouble for a lot longer than I chose. By the time I had earned my degree in Languages and Literature, my hunger grew.
Thankfully my final results were high enough to enroll me in an Honors program of my choice. I chose to continue with languages and literature. My interests weren’t selfish either. I decided that I wanted to share my love for all things bookish. So, I became a teacher. I am now teaching young men and women, not much younger than myself, the same things that I began my higher learning courses with. Let me close this post with a slight correction. I am not a teacher. More to the point, I am a facilitator. Learn to love what you do.