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Meeting Me - By Nana Oye Odame

I bumped into myself the other day
I said sorry and almost walked on
But there was something strikingly familiar
That made me wonder where I knew this stranger

So I turned back to call her
And there she stood wearing this wistful smile
“You didn’t even recognize me did you?”
The sadness in her voice was almost painful to hear

“I’m sorry but who are you?” I asked
She shook her head but answered all the same
I am she who you see when into a mirror you look
Tis sad you do not know me for I am you

“My image you mean? That’s what I see in a mirror”
“Nay – I am more than just the image you see in a mirror
I am what you should have been working on
Instead of your image, how others see you

I am your personality, the entirety of your emotions
Your thoughts, beliefs, emotions and perceptions
I am the part of you that cries, that feels
I am the you you do not know
I am thin even though your flesh is not
I have been starved of attention for so long
Whilst you worked on what others see
Your face, you weight and your hair

I have suffered neglect at your hand
Yea, you do not even know me
You shut me down when I tell you
What I want, what’s good for you

“Oh! You are the one always talking to me in my head”
“I wouldn’t always have to talk if you listened some of the time”
“See, I knew that guy was bad for us
But you just had to make us find out for real

I am the you that suffers
When you make those disastrous choices you are so good at
I am the you who tells you
You deserve so much better than you give you

I am going to be with you for a long long time
And we could work so well together
Why don’t you take some time off
So you get to know me?

Man, know thyself it has been said
So I took some time off, looked inside me
And I learnt so much about this stranger
The wonderful person called me

I learnt what makes her tick, what makes her laugh
What makes her mad, what makes her cry
I learnt exactly how strong she can be
And what is just too much for her

I think sometimes we neglect ourselves
Too busy worrying about our looks and how others see us
Forgetting that they will all go and we’ll still be
So the sooner we get used to us, the better

Know you, man, know thyself
Accept thyself and love you for you
For how others see you, value you
Is a direct function of how you see yourself
And how can you expect others to know you and love you
When you do not know yourself
And how do you get what you want in life when you don’t know what that is?

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