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Opinions of Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Columnist: Ama Duncan

Why I went back to my first love

This story is definitely not about my childhood sweetheart, although I would love to share that confusing story with you sometime. No, this is about my other love.

As a young girl, I loved to read and I would read anything I laid my hands on: romance, mystery, history, P&P Newspapers (I wonder if we still have those), just about any book or magazine available to a small town girl. A number of times in school, I actually had my books seized because I was caught reading (usually a Sweet Valley High book) while lessons were ongoing. Some adults I met even told me that I had to be a lawyer because I never got tired of reading. No, I never did!

Until one day when I became a busy woman. Soon, I became a busy career woman. Then a busy married career woman. Shortly after, a busy married career woman with two kids. Then a busy married career woman with two kids trying to get her master’s degree. Almost immediately after, a busy married career woman with two kids trying to get her masters and do 'kpakpakpa' business. Surely, I would not have time for reading right? Those were my excuses and I defended them with vigor.

Well, I finally finished my MBA in Human Resources Management but everything else remained the same except for one thing; I was tired of being broke all the time. I yearned for financial independence. I became tired of cringing with fear and disappointment every time someone asked me for financial help and I knew I could not help. This really made me sad and miserable. I just did not know what to do to gain financial independence. I mean, it was not as if I owed people or anything, I just wanted to be able to have money I had earned in order to spend how I wanted aside from my normal motherly/wifely responsibilities.

One day, my daughter who was then 6 years picked up a book which had been lying around the house for well over two years. I asked her to get another book more suited to her age but she insisted on reading this other book. I decided to let her. We were on our way out so while I started the car I asked her 'so what did you learn from the book?'

She replied ever-so-nonchalantly 'well, the book said poor people work for money while rich people let their money work for them'. My leg slummed the break as a light bulb went 'click' in my head upon hearing those words.

But of course; this was exactly why I was not rich! I kept working for money instead of letting money work for me! So I had been doing it wrong all this time? I wondered how I could miss this simple truth. I mean the book 'Rich Dad, Poor Dad' had been lying in my house for over two years? So why did I not read it? In fact, why on earth did I ever stop reading in the first place? How could I ignore the fact that successful people invested in reading?

With these words of wisdom coming from the innocent lips of a 6-year old who had no idea how her words affected me, I vowed to start reading again. I realized that if I was ever going to be successful at achieving financial independence, I had to go back to my first love- reading. And oh, I fell right back in love effortlessly as if I had never left.

I would love to tell you that I am richer now but no I am not. However you know what, with each book, article, Dave Ramsey or Ted video I watch I move a step closer to my dream. Hopefully someday soon, I will be rich but until then I will read! And guess what, I am still a married career woman with two kids and three budding businesses. Yet, now I find time to read and even write (my second love) occasionally because I am simply in love. Love does move mountains. Recently, I told a friend that these days I feel sad when I get sleepy because I don't want to stop reading. She looked at me incredulouslysaying 'I don't understand why you read when you can watch The Wendy Williams Show!' Haha I guess we all have what makes us tick.

My fabulous sisters and brothers, for anything we dream of doing we can find a thousand and one excuses not to but if we are passionate enough about it then we have no excuse at all.

Indeed where there is a will, there is a way!