Ashake's Journey - Irin Ashake

It’s 2021 y’aIl!

Happy New year guys! It’s a fresh year and I’m glad, positive and very excited. So much so I thought we should hit the ground running immediately, no dilly-dallying this year.

Ashake and Owoade’s Journey

I love starting a fresh year with a post to jolt us into action – an encouraging post. I have titled this Ashake’s journey because the inspiration came from a Yoruba proverb my younger sister and I are very fond of;

Irin Ashake yato si ti Owoade, Ashake nwa oko lo, Owoade nlo si ode orun

Yoruba Proverb

I’ll try to translate it the best I can, ‘Ashake’s journey is different from Owoade’s journey, Ashake is on a search for love, Owoade is in pursuit of the kingdom of heaven. This proverb struck my sister and me so much that we would often refer to it in appropriate circumstances. ‘ Hmmm, Irin Ashake’ one of us would mutter and we’ll both laugh. Anyone following our conversation would have no idea what it meant except they were familiar with the proverb.

Different journeys, different paths

When I think about the number of people there are on earth, I can’t help but marvel at how we all have a different purpose for our existence. How can we be so many yet we all have a different purpose, different assignment! Even identical twins who share the same womb come with a different purpose.

It is discovering ‘our purpose’ that helps us reach our destiny.

Ashake's Journey - Irin Ashake

In our journey through life, we easily forget this important point as we often compare ourselves with others. Comparison could sometimes propel us to do and achieve more, but more often, it could go the other way, Depression! It could make us think less of ourselves and develop a feeling of worthlessness and helplessness so much that we sink deeper and deeper into depression.

This is why we need to always remind ourselves that we are all here for a different purpose, our journeys are different, destinations also different so don’t walk another persons’ walk or talk another person’s talk. A fridge’s purpose is to cool while a microwave heats, both are of importance in any household. The microwave can’t decide to take the job of a fridge cause it seems way cooler! Ridiculous right? Well, that’s how it looks when we try to walk in someone else’s shoes.

Ashake's Journey - Irin Ashake

Another scenario –

You’re driving home, there’s a lot of traffic ahead and your exit is still a few miles away. Would you because of tiredness and restlessness take an earlier exit because the road there is free? You can see motorists zooming off – happily leaving you in the traffic jam, but you’re not sure it’ll lead to your destination…

I’m sure most of us will answer ‘no’! However, when it comes to life choices, this is exactly what some of us do. A friend is doing so well at a particular career or business and we quickly want to jump ship, ‘maybe that will work for me’ we would think. Or you beat yourself down at how well others are doing and waste a ridiculous amount of time feeling sorry for yourself. You end up immersing yourself so much in thinking of what you don’t have that there’s no power left to focus and keep pushing.

Greener Grass – Tend your garden

My dad has a very lush garden. Twice every day, you will hear his sprinklers twirling away in different sections of the garden wetting the grass. Dad would go round after his breakfast and sometimes later in the evening to inspect his garden. He would remove dead leaves, check the trees and grass and ensure that the plants are growing properly. I told him how I always look forward to coming home to see his beautiful garden and my brother joked that Dad’s garden gets more care and attention than anybody in the house 😄.

Passersby or guests often admire it, some would probably wonder why their own garden is not as lush and green without thinking about the time, effort and dedication Dad puts into his garden.

Ashake's Journey - Irin Ashake
Moi inspecting Dad’s garden with him

My point is, this year a lot more effort should be put into tending our garden. This effort could mean taking training courses, reading more, practising more etc. We can only get better when we keep developing ourselves. There’s something in everybody, we only have to reach deep to find it. Finding it (purpose), as awesome as that is, is only just the beginning. Then comes the building, tending and nurturing of what we have in order to achieve greatness and fulfilment (destiny).

The grass is only greener on the other side because either it is artificial grass 😛 or, someone nurtured it. Sometimes things are not always how it seems (illusion), or, it is just what it is – a result of hard work, discipline and commitment. It is, therefore, better to focus on ourselves and our aspirations. Comparisons just steals joy and could be a setback.


So while Ashake is out to find herself a man 😉, Owoade is on a pilgrimage! Their journeys couldn’t be any more different! Your journey is different from your friend’s journey, different from your brother’s journey, your journey is different! Owoade could eventually get to the stage where he/she wants love too, we reach milestones at different times and each person’s journey has different hurdles as well as different rewards.

You have a different destination, I know it’s hard not to take a glance at the next person, but it is important that we don’t dwell on their achievements. Learn from it, applaud them but don’t lose focus on your own journey. May we all make it to our destinations successfully.

Remember that most of the nuggets shared in books and pep talks are from people’s life experiences. Create yours, who knows you might have a book in you from your experience 😉. Focus on your purpose, just keep moving – a rolling stone gathers no moss, (today must be proverbs day 😉).

Have a brilliant year guys 🙏.

Aunty Lulu

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