Hi there! I’m Ronke Raji, a Beauty & Lifestyle Influencer/ Youtuber.

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Ronke Raji

THE POWER OF BELIEVING IN YOURSELF

It all began when I attended primary school in Nigeria; my parents immersed me in the arts, sciences, and pretty much everything available, to assist me in finding out what I really liked. Surprisingly for me, I really enjoyed dancing, painting, and drawing. My earliest memories were of me painting and drawing, I can remember so vividly drawing in a specific history class, truly delighted and enjoying what I was creating. 

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From then on, my new found passion for the arts followed me into high school where the true self development began. For as long as I can remember, I was continuously throwing myself into the sciences, telling people I wanted to become a pediatrician, without a real knowledge of what it truly meant to be one. I constantly lied to myself, thinking the sciences was the avenue I was called for, simply because my true passion for the arts frightened me. I questioned its value, profitability, and the reality of bringing the dream to life. As my academic experiences continued, I realized I did not care for the standard educational curriculum…I would not pay attention, and not listening, moreover, I only did participated because I needed to pass. 

Following high school, I attended a community college, where I spent two semesters basically coasting through what is life. My journey of discovering myself continued into my time spent at Liberty University, where again, I applied and was accepted as a pre-med Major furthermore involving myself in the sciences. But the truth is, as I observed my pre-med classmates and peers, I began to realize the distinction between me and them. They were studious, and hardworking, whereas I was really playful, always coming into class with different creative looks (makeup and fashion), honestly just not interested in the content of the classroom. 

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After a year, at Liberty U. in Virginia, I decided it was time to come back home (Maryland) where I eventually attended UMBC. Funny enough, reflecting back at God’s ordained work, I was accepted into UMBC the same semester I got into Liberty, but I did not see it, so when I was accepted into UMBC again, I realized this was the path God had called for me from the on set. Upon attending UMBC, I told my mom I wanted to apply to the art program there, of which she supported me wholeheartedly because honestly she was tired of seeing me bouncing back and forth within passions, and desired for me to become established in what I wanted. So, I put my art program application together however, I never applied! Take a guess at what stopped me….Fear. I doubted my ability to get chosen before even giving myself a chance thinking to myself what is the gain in this? I often wish I would have negated that thought, not to say I would have become an artist, but to have allowed my college self the opportunity to have some form of creative outlet that could have opened my mind. 

 

All in all, I decided to become a psychology major because of my love for children; I loved being around them and babysitting them. So I thought to myself I can eventually do child psychology because of my love for mental health and children, so why not? Years later, I graduated with my bachelors in psychology degree. Again, along these years, I was still kidding myself being hell bent on psychology thinking it’ll be where I develop my career to the point a friend of mine and I sat down to plan out our career and planned to become clinical psychologists because of their level of income. It was in that moment that I knew this false dream of mine was not coming to life. I truly had a different vision for myself in my mind. During my college years I lived a different life; I loved thrifting, dressing fashionably, and taking photos which all stemmed from my deep desire to create and love of mine. 

 

Nevertheless, after college, I was shaken by the real world. My internship at Kennedy Krueger where I worked with children with disabilities, eventually became my full time job. At work, I would always doodle on pieces of paper during my free time and I remember the pain I felt as I doodled, questioning if I would ever authentically plunge myself into something I truly wanted to do. So I decided to take some art classes, where for the first time in my entire college career, I received a 4.0, and passed all my classes. But then came one day, I was sitting in Banji’s car crying to him about my desire to do the arts and his response was: “this art, what if it’s not what you’re supposed to do?” And I remember thinking to myself at that moment, “no this guy has to go” lol, “you’re negativity I do not need in my life”. However, that was when the switch went off. That moment changed my life, making me think outside of the box — realizing that art is versatile; it’s makeup, photography, fashion. I was so focused on drawing, painting, visual arts that I boxed myself in thinking there was not much I could arts. 

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Due to my long developing love for photography from young when I was blessed with my first camera, when Instagram came around, I took off. I really loved taking photos, and sharing with my Instagram feed. At this time, I also experienced plenty of back and forth regarding the professional field, and when I decided to stop working in totality, I experienced happiness and relief. So during my last couple of jobs, I constantly practiced makeup, which at the time prompted Banji to encourage me apply to work at MAC. Here comes the fear again, causing me to question “who am I to work there?”, thinking I’m was not qualified enough. Nonetheless, I applied and God truly embarrassed me because I got the job at both MAC & Sephora, entering a space where I could literally pick one over the other. I ended up working at MAC because of my love for their company and aesthetics. 

After a while of working at MAC, I left the job and eventually travelled to Nigeria. Coming back from Nigeria, I had learned so much that when I arrived back, I decided it was time to work harder. I posted more often, tried more looks, posted more on YouTube in turn getting more views, following on Instagram (from 70,000 to 100,000), all the way to more collaborations with major brands. 

From there on, I realized I had all this power within me to do what I wanted to do. And to be honest, this is just the beginning of the story of which I’m very passionate to tell. Aside from getting married, and having a child, essentially I’m at a space where I’ve completed my first phase of life; where I’ve always seen myself with a family, being a stay at home mom, watching my children as I generate income. Now it’s time for me to achieve more, and conquer more territory. 

I say all of this to motivate you all to: CHASE YOUR DREAMS and DO NOT BE SCARED. At the end of the day, no matter where you are, the journey might seem long but be patient with yourself. My journey has been over seven year span on Instagram, with plenty of painful and happy moments yet, at the same time getting to a space where I can believe in myself, take a chance with myself no matter what anybody says. The journey has not always been smooth, there were times in my life I felt like I could not create nor press forward with my passions but I pushed forward and kept going because of my focus on the bigger picture…and YOU CAN TO. 

 

I hope you all really enjoyed this blog post! Make sure to leave a comment below. Let me know what pivotal part of your life was it that you knew you’d have to believe in yourself!

 

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