This year has been a rigmarole of emotions. A dark one, but along the way there have been beams of light popping up to light up my path.
The year started out good but soon became turbulent. One moment, I was on vacation with my family creating the most splendid memories and the next, I was robbed. My possessions carted away by a bunch of armed nincompoops, pictures, memories and my work all gone. I struggled but you see, I am a girl loved by God.
This lent, I learned to remain still, I had peace. I had never spent so much time studying and praying like I did during this period, I didn’t even know it was possible. But I would spend hours and sometimes it was not even the ground shaking prayers, but simple heartfelt words to him, I learnt to talk, to listen and pray for others.
I was sick, a lot. Asthma, we all thought I had outgrown came back and it came with vengeance. I cut my hair as the headaches became terrible, my dad was worried and my mum, that woman is just heaven’s gift to me. I started losing a lot of weight, the migraine meds were making me forgetful and confused. There was a time at an interview, I was asked the title of my undergraduate project and I couldn’t say it. I knew it, I know I did but somehow, I just couldn’t form the words. It was bad and I stopped praying. See, how quickly I forgot that He wouldn’t give me a burden too heavy to bear.
July 29, 2016.
“It feels like I am in the middle of the sea with no dry land in sight. I forget what I know, what I have learnt, what I believe, let go of my anchor and just drift away”.
NYSC was over, I needed to figure out what was next, and the truth was I really didn’t know, the inertia became overwhelming, and suddenly from nowhere, no warning, it was my twenty second birthday. I was afraid of not being enough, not doing enough, I was afraid I would die and the world will not know.
September 2, 2016.
“If I had the words, I will write about my body, our love-hate circle, how some days, all I see is a huge mess and so many things that are wrong. So I struggle for perfection, a picture of vanity. I prim and prep up this flesh, earth, dust. Other times, I rise to an awakening, to love every curve and edge, the rolls, the bones. I am beautiful, I know. My God is beautiful”.
After I cut my hair, I didn’t care about the change in my physical appearance, I just wanted the headaches gone. But somehow, the comments started rolling in; “Nawa o, you are bold o! you look beautiful, I think you should wear wigs, or maybe more makeup and bigger earrings. When will you grow out your hair again”. All I just wanted to say was: ‘It’s my hair, my head’! At first the comments meant nothing until I started spending more time in front of the mirror, oh well!
Brexit, Trump and recession happened, still I got to travel to the obodo oyinbo sponsored by my father for a master’s degree. See, I told you I am a girl loved by God. So, this is what everybody tells you, ‘Nigerians go there, and top their class, I’m sure you will too. Go and make us proud’. Well, this is what nobody tells you; University of Abuja is a shitty school, so the six years studying biology is almost a waste, and you will struggle to fit in, let alone stand out amongst some of the smartest people who are up to date with biological research. So the insecurity set in and for the first time in my life, I actually began to doubt myself academically. The thing about doubt, it’s like a virus, first attaching to you and then it enters your mind, releases its DNA into yours and forces you to make copies and replicate. I doubted myself, doubted if I was good enough to be here, wondered if I chose the right course.
But this verse:
“Then Daniel distinguished himself above the governors and satraps, because an excellent spirit is in him and the king gave thought to setting him over the whole realm.” (Daniel 6.3).
And this verse:
“For God hath not given you the spirit of fear but of power, love and sound mind.” (2 Timothy 1.7).
This year, I lost a friendship I held on tightly to. I was reminded boldly that sometimes people come into your life just for a season and there is nothing wrong in packing up and leaving. I remain grateful for the few ones who stay, despite my skoin skoin. They stay. I’m not sure how I would have made it through the toughest points of these year, without these people and so even though I back out and crawl into hibernation, It is comforting to know that some people will be here through the deafening silence and for the long haul.
I am starting to like this certain somebody, and I think I have that fluttering butterfly feeling and whenever I see his calls, everything lights up. I don’t know if this is good or bad, if it will go beyond this or not, but let’s see where 2017 takes us.
I still have terrible headaches and some days my body doesn’t feel like mine but I am alive today, my family is well, my friends are great, and I am learning to find happiness in the little things. Like how my head assumes its own motion when Phyno’s connect is playing or how I just really love kolewerk. I am in a weird place with God now but this is the assurance: He has forgiven me before I could ever forgive myself, and if I fall, he will pick me up, if I fall again, he will pick me up for his grace is always greater than my weaknesses.
Olamide is a work in progress and maybe that’s all she will ever be.
Here’s to an amazing 2017 to look forward to, girl. God bless.