Category Archives: touching story

When they tell you No.

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“My First ‘No’: I’ve been waiting 14 years to share this story. Please take the time to read.

At 31 years of age, today marks the completion of:
1. Four years of a medical magnet school
2. Four years as a Neuroscience Major (B.S.)
3. Four years of Medical School (M.D.)
4. Five years of Orthopedic Surgery Residency
5. One year of Fellowship in Hand and Upper Extremity Surgery

That is 18 years of training, 14 years post high school. It is interesting as a child when you tell someone you want to be a doctor when you grow up…they believe and encourage you. Mostly because it is so far in the future and no normal human would even think of crushing a child’s dream. But the closer you get to accomplishing your dreams, the easier it is for people to discourage you and marginalize your goals.

In elementary school, I was the little girl who wanted to be a doctor, it was cute. Middle school I excelled, scored high and when I told teachers I wanted to be a doctor, they were all for it. High school, I was in a medical magnet school, took AP classes and it was a no brainer. I said I wanted to be a doctor, the response was always positive.

Along this path I entered college at the University of Miami, the best school in Florida. I was accepted to the Neuroscience program. The real journey was about to begin. With this journey would come many people, teachers, advisors, professors who would tell me that I could not and would not make it to M.D. Up until college, the idea of becoming a doctor was entertained and encouraged. Like I said earlier, as a little Black child it’s only perceived as a dream, not as a journey that will actually manifest.

The road to me obtaining an M.D. and later becoming an Orthopaedic Hand Surgeon was riddled with ‘No’. But last week, after a long day of surgery, I sat back and reflected on the first time I heard ‘I don’t think you can make it,’ or in simpler terms, when I heard my first ‘No.’

My first ‘No’ came my freshman year of college. I completed my first semester and had to meet with my freshman advisor. I met with Dr. Victoria Noriega, a beautiful intelligent woman that as a freshman I looked up to. I reviewed my grades with her. I had a B in biology, the rest were A’s. I’ll never forget when she told me I would not get into medical school. My grades were not high enough. She then proceeded to say, minorities do better in health related psychology fields. This was my first semester of college. She was the first person to tell me, I couldn’t make it to M.D., but she wouldn’t be the last.

Imagine, at 17, if I had listened to this advice from my advisor. The resulting cascade:
1. Never going to medical school to obtain my M.D.
2. If I did not move to Atlanta to attend medical school, I would never have met my pastor Michael L. McCrimmon , who ultimately introduced me to my husband Correll Bilbrew.
3. I would never have completed 5 years of Orthopedic Surgery and become the second African American from the oldest Orthopedic Training program in Texas.
4. I would not be graduating today as the first African American Female Hand and Upper Extremity Fellow at The University of Florida.

I’ve heard many No’s. I would not get into medical school. I should not be a surgeon because then, ‘I couldn’t get manicures and my hands would be constantly dry from scrubbing my hands from surgery’ (real comment from a medical school professor). I was told, ‘I fit better as a Family Practice physician’, because I don’t have the demeanor of a physician. I was told when scrubbed in to a surgery with an Orthopaedic Surgeon during the time I was applying to residency that ‘I would never get into an orthopedic residency; he would never vote for me to get in.’

You see, there are many No’s along my journey. I can honestly say not once did any No deter me. It literally went in one ear, out the other and in the garbage can. It never stopped my grind and that is why 14 years after that incident I’m graduating.

Be careful when you tell someone No. Today I have at least a dozen minorities I am mentoring to also become an orthopedic surgeon. How sad would it be if I heeded that first No. Imagine if instead of no, I heard ‘how can I help you get there.’ The closer you get to accomplishing your dreams, the easier it is for people to discourage you and marginalize your goals. Keep Striving.” ~ Dr. Lattisha L. Bilbrew, Orthopedic Hand and Upper Extremity Surgeon.

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SHAKE IT OFF.

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Rejections and criticism are things we can never avoid, as long as we exist and interact with people on daily basis. It even becomes more excruciating when the people we least expect leave us out in the cold and expect us to get warm by ourselves. The question is what would you do, when you found yourself in demoralizing situation and the people who you thought might help you walked away when you needed them the most?
There was a ship that fell in to a deep dry well, the owner panicked for a while seeking for how to rescue the sheep, but there seems to be no way. People walked around the well for days hoping they could come up with a rational plan, but to no avail. The people concluded the only way to solve the problem is to condemn the well; the sheep looked up to them, as it watched it fate being decided, it has two options, it is either it await its death patiently, or hope on miracle. The sheep looked at some of its friend that it has helped in the past if they could just come up with a plan to rescue it, but they make no effort.
The people decided to seal up the well with the sheep inside it, by pouring loads of sand in the well, the sheep watched in anticipation for its doom. They began to pour the loads of sand sequentially, but something dramatic happened, the more they pour the sand, the more the ship shakes off the sand and climb on it, the more they pour the sand, the more the sheep give way to the sand to land in the well, so it could elevates it, it continue for hours, only for the sheep to get to the top most part of the well and jump out, and that was how the sheep survived what was meant to end its life.
I think of life’s situation as the deep dry well, those circumstances that you never bargained for, the betrayal, agony, loss of loved ones, financial turmoil and life tragedies you thought would have drowned your existence. While the sheep is us, you know sometimes is easy to think some circumstances of life will take our life, it becomes much more devastating when the people we thought would be there for us didn’t even try a bit to extend a helping hand. Here’s the fact, the problems are real, but the truth is, if you could look beyond the problems, and see life from another perspective, what you thought was your doom day becomes the greatest blessing you will forever be grateful for.
So i press upon you today, when it appears as if you’re at the edge of your life, see them as the dry well, and the challenges as the sand that is going to uplift you to your next level, the dry well is not meant to bury you, but to hide you for a while then lift you to your victory, so that when you come out, you come out refined and more determined.

YOU CREATE YOUR OWN LIMITS

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Animal trainers understand the psychology of the mind, training animals is more mental than physical. When an elephant is small and they want it to be trained, they tie its leg firmly to a tree. The elephant struggles to pull the tree just to get away but can’t. After many weeks of failed effort, it resigns to its fate.
Years later when the elephant grows larger in size and strength, strong enough to uproot the tree, guess what happens? It does nothing about it. The elephant has been so used to failing that it doesn’t try anymore.
The point is, there is nothing like limitation, the only limitation we know exists in our minds. Limitations are more mental than physical. When you think of limitations, you create them. Have you ever been so scared to try something new, because all the odds appear to be against you? Yet immediately you summon the courage to face it, you realize that what you feared was nothing but a mirage, and you become so proud of yourself, at the same time so ashamed of those times you wasted thinking about what never even existed. Motivational speaker Walter Bond asserted “Get off your BUT, because all BUT stinks”. That’s exactly how it is – all those limitations are mental torture, they keep you longer than you want to, and cost you more than you could afford. Jim Rohn once said “Try anything as quick as possible, if you succeed you become happy, if it doesn’t work out you find out quicker”, so it’s a win-win situation for you.
Whenever I think of limitations I feel it has a lot to do with fear and self-doubt, you’re powerful beyond measure. In the words of Marianne Deborah Williamson,
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light not our darkness that most frighten us.
We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented,
and fabulous? Actually who are you not to be? You are a child of God.
You playng small does not serve the world.
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people
will not feel insecure around you.
We are all meant to shine, as children do.
We were born to make manifest the glory of God,
That is within us, it is not just some of us,
It is in everyone and as we let our own light shine,
We unconsciously give others permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically
Liberates others.
This is how powerful we are, words can’t even describe the magnitude we possess as human beings. We are created to conquer challenges; we are not created for defeat. With all the energy you can gather, the momentum you can possess, with your innate gift and ability, fight your limitations by taking actions despite how you feel or see.

LET IT GO

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Acquiring things is good, sustenance is lovely, but sometimes security comes in letting go of the things you thought your life is dependent on. A man was driving a convertible car on a mountainous road at top speed. He made a sharp turn, and the car began heading down a gully of about 100 feet; luckily for him the roof of the car was open, so he dived out of the car and managed to hold on to a tree branch, his legs were dangling, while panting heavily as he watched his car nose dive in to the gully. He was running out of strength and scrambling for air. Out of desperation he screamed out for help repeatedly, inching closer to giving up, as it seemed there was no help coming from anywhere. All of a sudden, the clouds began to gather, and a voice proceeded out of the clouds with a rumble “son, I will help you, but on one condition – let go of the branch you’re holding on to”. He paused for a minute, and continued to scream, “someone else, please help!”
I pondered on this story for a while and I realized, sometimes in life, in as much as sustenance and certainties are good, the things we hold on to, are the things stopping us from achieving what we truly want in life.
Faith requires you to lose what you see in order to gain the better things you don’t see, and that’s hard for so many people. They don’t trust God, let alone trust themselves. This singular habit can be a hindrance to so many things in life. One of the men I love so much, Les Brown, once said “Jump down, and develop your wings downward”. Everybody you’ve seen in life started out not knowing how it was going to end; they may have the full picture, but are definitely uncertain of the whole process. They just take steps and watch the journey unfold to their favour. Providence has a way of meeting your needs, if you can be faithful and committed. Late Dr. Myles Munroe asserted, though paraphrased, “God is committed to seeing you succeed, if you’re willing and committed, because his reputation is on the line”.
I am assuring you today, LET IT GO. That relationship with that person that has been molesting you, but you’re scared of losing because he has a little role he is playing in your life, LET IT GO. There is always someone better.
Go and rule your world.

WHAT LIES BEHIND THE DOOR?

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One of the most demoralizing thing to ever happen to people is the fear of the unknown, human beings naturally run from discomfort and uncertainty. While the irony is at the other side of the uncertainty, bears our greatest reward.
I read a story the other day of a soldier that was caught by a group of rebels; he was locked in a dark room for some days, and the commander of the rebels order to bring him out, which they did. The commander told the soldier he has two options, it is either he walks away behind that door in front of them, but there is no guarantee of what is behind the door, or he stays and he die by execution. The soldier paused for a minute, looked at the door once again and asked the commander what is behind the door, the commander told him he doesn’t know. After much contemplation the soldier told the commander of the rebels he preferred to be executed, rather than going through the stress, since they are going to kill him anyway.
He was executed. Out of curiosity; one of the rebels asked the commander, what lies behind the door? The commander shook his head in gloom and told them “FREEDOM” they were all amazed and cold at the same time.
The story got me thinking, that has been how so many of us have been living our life out of the fear of the unknown. That idea you’ve been scared to lunch, that person you’ve been scared to call, the education you’ve given up on. Why don’t you just give it another trial? The beauty about the unknown is, it is always less intimidating than we thought. Whenever you are about to take an action that has to do with your future, and it seems you rather settle for what you’re sure of rather than lunching in to something that is better, always remember what lies behind that door is “FREEDOM”

STUPIDITY

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#STUPIDITY.
Yes you read it correctly, it wasn’t a typo.
This article is going to be a little long, obviously it’s for interested people.

I went to visit a friend of mine few months ago, our interesting gist was interrupted by the presence of this supposed friend of hers, another guy. He sat in between us perplexed, gulping his fanta at an uncontrollable speed to calm his nerves, but that wasn’t helping either, he kept on hissing and shaking his head at sporadic interval. The more I was trying to ignore him, the more my curiosity got the best of me. So I lean towards him. Hey bro! What seems to be the problem I asked, as if he has been waiting for me to come to his rescue, that was how he started narrating his stories, like one of those things that happen in those nollywood movies, if you still watch them. He mumbled a lot of things, but the ones that got my attention the most was, “Bross my life don end” he said, I thought to myself, but you were still breathing, that must be some sort of a paradox, but I didn’t want to some across as an insensitive rascal, so I asked him what might have happened. “My long time ever faithful girlfriend broke up with me” oh that? Who girlfriend help sef? I asked further what led to the brake up in the first place, he said “he was an artiste, a popular musician” really but I don’t know you, I said in audibly. “I mean am so popular in school all the girls love me, they throw themselves at me, so I sleep with girls a lot in school, on top of that, am in to drugs against my wish. You know, the life of a celebrity, so I couldn’t handle the fame” I sat in awed, struck by his stupidity, but obviously he didn’t noticed, he thought I was so concerned about his dilemma that I was speechless.
Here are the reasons why I’m sharing this story.
(1) for the fact that you have to tell me you’re a celebrity means you’re not even that popular
(2) you introduced yourself as a musician yet I lived on the same street with you, and I haven’t even by chanced listen to your music, that shows you still have a long way to go.
(4) school popularity is not popularity, is just a platform for you to show your credibility and build your fan base, yet you flop that at the first chance you’re given to prove yourself by getting in to drugs and sleeping with any mannequin that you come across in a skirt, that shows you can’t handle greatness.
(5) My heart breaks when I hear such appalling stories of how girls have lost their sense of dignity, lacking purpose, direction and self worth by throwing themselves at any Jack that handles the mic and stands in front of camera even if he lacks every sense of credibility. Well I guess that’s the only way those girls could gain validation since they have nothing concrete to live for.
(6)These are some of the reasons why most people can NEVER and will NEVER be great, life will test you with little things and see how well you do in it, before bigger and better opportunity comes your way, and once you flop that chance, it only shows that’s the level you merit in life, and you can’t seems to rise above such level of success, which in fact is not even a success, is just a preparatory ground, to show your innate potential.
My advice goes to Every one out there, who has some kind of talent, please don’t trade it for a momentary fun, immediate gratification, for bunch of fake acceptance and peer pressure.
No wonder someone once said, “This is a generation where they don’t know where they’re going, but they’re willing to do whatever it takes to get there.

The Become and the Become NOT

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Beside the craftly constructed street,

neatly spread with  dark and shinning Coltar,

which the masses has turned to a jagged edged and potholes.

Who’s purpose has been abused by hawkers of fruits and recharge cards.

Oga buy my own na,

e fresh, e ripe e good.

Such as the mallam ready to convince you against your wish with his wrongly constructed grammer, but who cares,

Man must wack.

Kai oga, I get am for charger,

iPhone and Samsung.

I moved towards the pedestrian bridge. al£could barely noticed it, 

Covered with church posters,

different pose and postures like the Instagram selfie pics.

One would think the size of the posters determined the size of the anointing.

You could notice has each faces of the pastors, prophets, bishop and apostles respectively,

struggled to get noticed amidst the trampling crowd of the posters.

Under that bridge I see our beloveth brothers.

Our brothers who has taken ownership of the street and the bust stops.

Our brothers who will accord more respect than the recognized government officers,

I see our brothers the agberos.

Red eyes, bruised faces Worned out shoes.

Dark skin that could pass for kiwi advert.

Dirty shirts and stinking odor that could send you to your heels.

Berger wuse.

Shadow for front,

Shadow for back.

Come with your change o.

I see the kind of people I don’t want to become.

Looking to the other lane, I see construction workers.

Working their heart out to make a penny that could hardy last them for a day.

Working blood and sweat for the money they’ll in turn use for marijuana and narcotics.

Then again I see the kind of people I don’t want to become.

As I looked closely i saw a man of about 60 years or maybe more.

Struggle to lift the metal pole to his co worker.

It pirecd my heart as I wonder how did he missed it.

What was he doing in his youths.

Again I saw a man I don’t want to become.

Theses memories sent me to my kneels

Heads bowed. Eyes closed, as I ran to my maker in prayers telling him all the things I don’t want to become.

Then I hear a voice from heaven, son what and who did you want to become?

That was when it hit me.

I thought of magdiba.

Who fought for the freedom of the black race.

I thought of adeboye.

oyedepo.

Ashimolowo.

I thought of Obama.

These are men who didn’t resigned to fate.

They endlessly and tirelessly purusue a dream they believed in.

I thought of micheal Faraday the inventor of electricity.

I thought of chinue achibe.

The great writer.

I thought of Winston Churchill

The man who never surrendered to Hitler.

These are men I’ll like to become.

The question is, who would you become?

Thank you.

A TASTE OF THE REAL THING.

A TASTE

Fast cars, beautiful mansion,

A befitting landscape.

My beautiful wife planting a welcoming kiss on my cheek, with her arms wrapped around my neck every time I return from work.

Coming home to an irresistible delicious dinner,

Taking a bite at the meal and discussing how my day was.

The Kids running around the parlour.

Leaning on my chest is my lovely wife who slept off while telling me what went wrong when I was away from home.

This was my ideal kind of home that I have always dreamt of, and then I met Christy.

Christy was our landlord’s daughter, she is  fond of wearing skimpy skirts, excessively tight leggings and tank tops,  half her body size but managed to squeeze herself into it and revealing her dangerous curves, leaving any man with a working brain drooling with saliva with the urge to touch. I’ve tried to fight back the urge of not yielding to this false feeling that always made my knees quiver and resonating anytime I see Christy. Today I decided to take a leap of fate; walk up to her, just to have a taste of what the real thing feels like, since I’m tired of playing with those images in my head.

We clicked, she consent to my request and we had sex. Not knowing to me that I was signing away my freedom, dreams and goals. Months later she came to me that she was pregnant, and no one should know about this except the two of us. I quickly called my friend in medical school who prescribed a drug for me. Little did I know that her pregnancy was way passed abortion stage, to worsen it all I gave her an overdose of the drug. The next time I saw her, I was standing beside her grave with cuffs left to bare the consequence of her death

We are faced with temptation every day but I think most often than none, we willingly make ourselves vulnerable to it, till we are caught in the net of its sensation, neck deep in its ocean and drowned beyond rescue.

Never lean on your pride, because when you’re caught in its riptide it takes an extra grace to be free of the plight. I’m saying this because if I have another opportunity I’m ready to do things right.

MEET ROGER CRAWFORD.


Is easy for us to blame our circumstances; problems; misfortunes; misery and failures on our parental upbringing, nature and environment. Some will even go to the saddening length of blaming God. The truth of the matter is all of these are nothing but excuses.
I remember talking to someone I respect so much, whenever he ask me why I haven’t done a particular task, suddenly I’ll swing in to this defensive mode, and start giving seemingly worthy reasons why I didn’t get it done. He instantly cut me off and he was like “Hey Solomon! What you just said now is called what”? I responded excuses. “Exactly excuses, that’s what they’re called he said” with such a disappointed look.
Roger Crawford was a Loyola Mary-mount university tennis player. He became a professional tennis player certified by the United States professional Tennis Association, before he became a public speaker, an author of three books:

Think again,

How high can you climb?

playing from the heart.

He is a business consultant, traveling around the countries, working for fortune 500 companies.
Roger Crawford was born with a disease called Ectrodactlysim . He has no palms both left and right, and his left leg was shorter than the other leg, having only three toes. It was then cut off left to limp on one leg when he was five. There were hypotheses by medical professionals, professing that he can never have a normal life. This was enough for anybody to give up on life and feel defeated, but that wasn’t the case of this man.
“One of the things my parent taught me was never to feel sorry for myself he said, my father always told me, you’re as handicapped as you want to be” he was taught a life of independence. As you can see today, he is living a life that defiled medical ideology, a life that breaks the shackles of circumstances.
What are you going through now, that made you feel like all hope is gone? Helpless and dejected, I don’t think your case is as worse as Roger’s? Even if it is, he did it. You can too. Don’t let people organize a pity party for you; you’re an epitome of greatness. Stand up, try again, don’t let you circumstances weigh you down; you’re stronger than you think.