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Picture of Tonisha Tagoe

Tonisha Tagoe

We are all pioneers

The journey of life is one we are thrown into kicking and screaming, most of us woefully ill-equipped and ill-advised yet the strong manage to find a way. The brave. No matter what they tell us; the words of friends, family, politicians, activists, bloggers and YouTubers, they will never truly understand or appreciate the volatile experiment that is life.

We are creatures of nuance and incredible individuality beneath this mask of conformity glued to our faces by the binding words of those who told us how to live. But why do we so mindlessly accept the word of our so-called ‘betters’ or ‘elders’ as gospel? Is it to avoid a long-awaited confrontation about the efficacy of guidance given by someone who likely means well, but can never understand the intricate web of ideas, experiences and dreams that another human being has? Confront them! They do not know you. Not truly.

Ultimately, we are all pioneers on this brief, fiery and beautiful experience called life. There are many maps that guide one down the beaten path, to experiences documented a thousand-fold through ancient texts of the pioneers of yesterday. Today, we suffer the eternal, digital history books of Facebook and Instagram where cowards post their experiences in locations where millions of others have been before and did the exact same thing.

What about the road chosen by few? The brave? The road where our parents told us danger awaits? We know better now. Only nonconformity and the unknown awaited us down that dusty path, not always dangerous men and women. To be human means to be daring, passionate and to take risks that might result in complete failure or worse, but we do not give up when struck down. And if we do fail? Then we do so knowing that we did not follow the algorithm enforced by the many.

Coddled is the Western mind into a framework of mediocrity and depression; a mould masterfully forged by old men in suits who think their draconian ways are somehow the ideal way to live one’s life. It’s 2020, the perceptions of others can no longer bind you in the chains of expectations. We must drop the weight and lift anchor, to set sail to new horizons and experiences, and tell ourselves, “Yes! I am going to do it!”

Life is too short to rely on the guidance of those who dared not tread from the safest passage. I refuse to be anything but a pioneer of my own life, no matter what direction it may take or what blessing or curse it may impart on me. I am my own woman and I will always take the leap of faith. If I don’t, I risk becoming another sullen face destined for the endless 6am commute in a soul-crushing office that threatens to rob me of my youth and passions. No, not this woman.

We are all explorers. All darers. We have it in us! We can all be pioneers.

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