Hello everyone! It’s been a while since we had a series and we’re particularly excited by this one: Conversations. Conducted by the wonderful Moyin (@thatmoyin) writer and all-round lovely human, this series of interviews of brilliant, inspiring women is the perfect companion for a cup of coffee and notepad, because, gems. There’s strength, there’s beauty, there’s grit and there’s just sheer revelry in womanhood that we know you will thoroughly savor. Today, Moyin introduces the series with the premise behind it  and a few delicious tidbits of what’s to come. Dig in. 

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There is nothing I love more than conversations. They are the fuel of life, the way inwhich connections are born. They fuel relationships, encourage learning and change opinions. A good conversation is like nothing else, at the end of it, you feel like you’ve got to know a person more, got to know yourself more and learned something about this world we live in. A good conversation does for the mind what a cool glass of water at the end of a long trek in the Lagos sun does to you. It refreshes you. Sometimes, conversations fill you with hope, they show there’s something worth fighting for in this world we live in. Sometimes by talking a situation through, you find a solution.

Conversations are vital.

The thing is that there are some people I want to have conversations with that I don’t have personal relationships with. I find them really fascinating and want to learn loads of stuff from them but you know- I don’t have a relationship with them. This is where interviews come in. I am fascinated by great interviews. A good interview leaves you feeling like you know the person personally. I particularly love it when the interviewer is able to reach across whatever the interviewee’s walls might be and help them tell a story they wouldn’t normally tell. I love those little glimpses into people’s lives you get with really great interviews.

I have an amazing tribe of women in my life (no offence to the men). The funny thing is some of the people I call my tribe I have never had conversations with. But they are my tribe, they are my network. I learn from them, talk to them, argue with them, share stuff with them. I cannot tell you how much I’ve learned. But, like everyone else, I barely have time to breathe, talk more of chat to them as often as I would like. One of the things that hurts me is that I have so many awesome people in my life and I don’t get a chance to have conversations with them.

Anyway, the other day I thought I could combine all these loves of mine into one single thing and that is what you are about to read. I have asked my tribe of women some of the questions I’ve always wanted to ask them. I have read their answers and been moved, laughed and thought deeply about some of the things they have to say. I hope that these interviews do the same for you.

Here’s an excerpt. These are all answers to the question ‘What would you say to the teenage you?’

‘P: Hey, cool cat! Don’t stop jumping out of windows.

A: Life is not a pass through… you’ll always encounter setbacks so never give up on your dreams. 

C: Live a little. Learn to be vulnerable, it won’t kill you. You will be better for the relationships you forge at this point in your life. They will help you deal with the mindfuck that is growing up. Nothing is ever that bleak. Nothing will kill you or destroy you. As long as you have breath in your body, be fearless. Go after the things you want and the life you want to lead single-mindedly. There is no honour in half-arsing things so as not to upset the apple cart. Speak up.

K: Enjoy the process. Relax. Calm down. This is not a sprint. Breathe. Explore. Experiment. Notice things. Notice people. Give of yourself. Be generous with your heart. Laugh. Allow yourself be young. Have fun. This is not a competition. Follow your heart. You’ll be alright. More than alright. Forgive; first yourself, then others. Friendships are important too.

S: It’s okay, don’t be afraid, you can do it, speak up. They don’t have to like you.

T: Dream bigger, work harder. Nobody is going to hand you success.

M: Not everyone feels this way. Talk to someone. Make the effort with your friends, they will be there for you when no one else can. Get your head out of the books sometimes- there’s more to life than academics. Your body is fine, enjoy it, it will change so much in the next couple of years.

There you have it. There will be about 8-12 conversations (including mine) in this series.

You’ll get two a day for the next few days. Please read and continue the conversation- either in the comments or on Twitter: @thatmoyin. I’d also love to encourage you to ask the people in your lives these questions. You never know what you’ll learn. 

See you tomorrow.