That’s what the year 2013 was supposed to be about. About building strong foundations and creating roots and becoming some level headed, suburbia loving woman with a stable relationship and sticking to a job like GROWN UPS are usually expected to do. In my mid-twenties, even I had begun to expect so much more from myself that I probably usually would. Or maybe I’m just a confused overachiever.
Anyway, this year taught me a huge lesson. MY GOD!! Do you know I actually thought that I was so in touch with life that I knew almost everything? Well, 2013 said SCREW YOU AND ALL YOUR PLANS OYIN, I’M GONNA TEACH YOU A LESSON YOU WILL NEVER FORGET!
I moved to Abuja in January because I was looking for roots, a foundation, space, a less dramatic life and keeping a promise I made to myself and my lover. Yup, I just packed my load AND MOVED. I didn’t have 300k when I did it. Hell, I think I had just about 100k, no housing and a sketchy plan. Smartest thing I did was keep my job.
In Abuja, Everything seemed to be on track until March. March Came like a big hurricane shaking huge coconut trees in my “home”. In March, my lover and I started our drama AGAIN! Our friends and families were getting tired of the drama. I thought we were too but I really don’t think that we were. We were hurting each other in ways that only someone who knows you completely can hurt you and it just steadily got worse. He wasn’t talking. I wasn’t listening. Everybody was trying to give advice and we were being so stubborn. After agreeing that we needed to make very extreme moves, Victor had an accident. No, not the kind where an okada runs into you and you have a few broken bones.
No, he had an accident. The type that had me running into an ICU at 6am to face a man trapped in a mangled body. Almost every bone was broken, skull fracture, brain bleed… the works. And then it all became clear. I mean all the stubbornness and madness had led to what? Him being at the wrong place at the wrong time because he was trying to run away from me and all the drama. We were in the hospital for 2 whole months. Brain surgery, jaw surgery, resetting bones, so many reconstructive surgeries, Changing sheets, teaching him to stand and walk and trying to handle all sorts of depression I had only read about before. When I think about March 2013, I don’t want to get into cars. I don’t want to move. I don’t want to take Victor for granted ever again. I want to just lie in bed and hold all the people I love with me and never let them go anywhere. The paranoia skyrocketed.
Still in March, My brother started having issues with clearing school and it seemed like everything was getting too much. I was going crazy, sleeping on hospital floors, waking up at 4am to work (cuz yes, I was still working), taking care of Victor and my brothers, AND just basically trying to be a person. It was the worst!
May came and after all that gore, we could go home. May taught me two very clarifying things:
1. See these Christians that act like they are really supporting you and praying for you, watch out for what they say about the “sinners”. That’s how you know if Christianity really runs in their veins. Yes, a very deceitful “Christian worker friend” taught me this lesson.
2. You can only take advice from people who really know you. Forget all that jazz about objective assessment. If the person does not know you, the person can only see from HIS point of view.
A few months down the line, and a whole lot of therapy later, I’d learnt so much about handling myself better, people better, what Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) really really is and I’d begun to feel old! Oh well…. Things were going so well again. Victor was healing faster than anyone expected. The doctors were shocked. They’d said he’d need at least 18 months before he could be himself again. It’s been about 6 months since he had his brain surgery. YOU SHOULD SEE MY BABY NOW!!!! GOD IS AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!
Things of course got better and we were better. I was listening more. I don’t think I’ll ever be totally drama free but he’s more patient so it’s perfect. And we are getting married. Maybe I won’t choke and run away screaming in fear.
In October, we lost one of our best friends in an accident. We were living in a real life horror movie. It brought March back, it brought all those long hospital days back. And somehow we wished for that. We were wishing for therapy and madness and pain, instead of standing over a coffin and wondering what life is about, WHY these things were happening. I have so many questions still. So many questions.
In that moment, I realized that I wanted to come HOME. To my mother. To my brothers. To my friends. Yes, against my very objective desire for Lagos not to be home, IT IS. The smelly, dirty, headache causing Lagos felt like Home and I had to come back and start all over. I was done with Abuja…at least in the meantime. And maybe, just maybe, I’d be able to put down roots, build foundations. Be a better friend to the people who ALWAYS swat my madness away like a pesky fly, and I’d be less dramatic. Maybe.
With my new amazing job (Yes, I got a new amazing job), and marriage plans and my brothers doing so well now, Right now it feels like I’m on the right track. I STILL don’t particularly have an apartment (YES, THIS IS AN AD FOR WHOEVER WANTS TO GIVE ME A HOUSE AT AN AFFORDABLE PRICE) AND I’m still learning to be a better person TO MYSELF. To my friends. To my Family. To my Lover. To People.
This year, I realized that Oyin cannot make everything go the way she wants it to go. She can’t plan everything, then sulk and misbehave when things don’t go her way. She can be dependent and independent at the same time without compromising her stand. And that PRIDE GOES BEFORE A FRIGGING RIDICULOUS FALL. God does things on his own terms.
AND I’M WAYYYY STRONGER THAN I LOOK.