One morning, I was waiting and got bored. I loaded up my camera, switched the lights off and lit a candle. I wanted to practice my photography and I had read about using aperture and shutter speeds to control the depth of field for a photograph and I was curious. As I took photos of the candle and tried to blur the background, I wanted to see how the image of the candle looked from above on my table. This is what I got
It’s not a spectacular photo. It’s too dark, the table is a mess and it just seems off. I tried to prefect this particular image of my table because I wanted a picture of my table but I couldn’t do it. I sat back down, scrolled through the images again and stopped on the above picture again. I then realized that the image was basically a sum of my 2014.
Dark, messy, a small awkward light guiding me through. An unbalanced conundrum
A silly little Buzzfeed article said my 23rd year would be my worst. They were not wrong.
I started this year with the feeling of failure looming over me. I moved back to Lagos after finishing my Masters and a lot of people wondered why I didn’t stay back in NY. I honestly couldn’t find a job. No one wanted me. No one wanted to deal with a student visa or invest in a girl whose CPT only lasted a year. They said they would rather hire a citizen without a master’s degree than a foreigner with one.
I came home, saying I wanted to come home, develop the media landscape and make a difference. LOL. I came home because I failed. I failed in NY and Lagos was the only place left. My parents were disappointed in me, asking me why I couldn’t just get a job at a fast food place or work under the table. In hindsight, my pride didn’t allow me take those jobs. I wanted to be a writer not a waitress. Maybe I would be saying a different story if I took those waitressing jobs. Maybe
Living at home with my parents is a story on its own. I love them but we have never really lived together. I’ve always been in school so this was the first time I ever lived with them. It was hard. I got a magazine job that required me to attend and cover events and they struggled with it. Events would not start until 10 and interviews had to be done and secured. Explaining to your parents that your job requires you to stay out sometimes after midnight is hard. Especially if your parents don’t even like your job in the first place. We are still struggling with it and my curfew has been changed to ‘well, sha be home soon’.
I worked for a magazine called HELLO! Nigeria and this is the first time I will ever put into writing the a little bit of the BS they put me through. I don’t want to speak ill of them because it was not my co-workers or ex-bosses fault for what went down. I’m just going to give this advice to every young creative out there – if you work somewhere and they don’t pay your salary on time or don’t even pay you at all for three/four months and the give you excuses all the time, GET OUT AND LEAVE. Loyalty to the organization is all fine and dandy but loyalty will not fuel your car or give you food to eat. I work in PR now and I never knew I would find myself in a PR agency. It’s different and it’s a learning experience that I am enjoying. As a creative, stepping out of your comfort zone is necessary. You never know what you might find outside.
My depression came back and it all started by a unique mix of heartbreak and my diagnosis (coming to that in a sec). I had a boyfriend who I thought was my last bustop and I thought I was his as well. Looking back, I still wonder if I made it all up or if I was living some elaborate dream. We would talk about all the things serious couples talked about. We were discussing marriage, how many kids we would have, retirement homes and finances. He showed me his medical papers and test results for STDS, blood type and other necessary details for choosing a life partner. He wanted to get his Master’s in the UK and I was willing to go with him and get another degree. I thought he was the one. The very last one who didn’t care about my issues and looked past my flaws.
And then one day, he disappeared. No calls, texts, DMs, nothing. He just packed up and left my life. No closure, no explanations. Just gone.
If you look at the upper right corner of the picture, you will see a white packet with the pills that have now come to define my life. I found out this year I had PCOS; Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome which is caused by my hormones being out of sync. Because of this, I have subfertility aka having babies is harder for me and I don’t ovulate like a normal girl (I once had a 4 periods in a year). I have to shave my chin and mustache every two weeks cos of excess hair. I am subjected to popping artificial hormones every day and it is the worst. I become a moody, horny, emotional and sad girl. My mother taunting me and saying I am incomplete doesn’t make things better. I have always loved children and I imagined my future was going to be filled with a lot of them. This is basically the plot of a bad Yoruba movie where the girl can’t have kids and the husband’s family brings in another girl for him to marry but instead of me using my eggs for money rituals, my eggs are simply underformed and can form cysts that can kill me.
Yeah. Got a little dark and heavy there.
My laptop and camera got stolen from my bag in October. All my work from undergrad, graduate school, my both jobs and my blog were gone. My camera, my main point of my life and the main accessory to my blog was gone. I felt like God was telling to me quit blogging; that this was a divine sign that I was shit and I should just leave while I can. I stopped for a bit. I looked at the blog and prayed and asked God for another sign. No sign came and I honestly couldn’t see myself not blogging.
For a majority of the year, I was in a daze. I was dead inside. I would go to events, smile, network, take pictures but I was dead. I forced myself to smile, forced myself to work, and forced myself to literally move. I couldn’t feel anymore. I just wanted to lay in bed and just … be. Depression can warp your sense of reality. Everything seems like it’s either trying to hurt you. Voices in my head wouldn’t stop reminding me of how useless, shitty, dumb and a waste of space I was. They haven’t stopped. I have just learnt to live with them and block them out with music and friendship. I have to thank Edwin for being there for me, and allowing me to vent and talk. He’s been nothing but supportive and loving to me. He basically helped me through this year and is probably the reason I survived.
So yeah. 2014. Messy. Awkward. Depressing. With a little candle of hope in the corner for 2015.