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I took a deep breath and listened to the old bleat of my heart; I am, I am, I am.

This is my favorite rendition of a quote I love so much because we live to reinterpret ourselves using poetic license.

2018 has been a series of panics interspersed with calmness.

I learnt to sleep better which is a big victory for me because for most of my life, I have lived between consuming as much content as I can to hide from facing my reality and lacking sleep. I like to believe by learning to purposely make conscious lifestyle adoptions in how I sleep, it has played a major role in knowing that the only limits to me pursuing anything are the ones I set for myself.

I have noticeably gained weight so slowly but surely my plans to voluptuousness are bearing fruition. My relationship with my body has always felt like a silent battle. I welcome the aesthetics it presents while rejecting the feel of reality. It is getting better. I am glad.

My academic and career life dealt me a tough blow, as for the first time since I can remember, I am not at the same pace as my peers. Watching my mates complete their doctorate and perform their convocation hit me harder than I thought it would. But somewhere between that envy and anger, I am motivated to make more realistic and honest plans for what I want my future to be. I will always love research so maybe later, I might engage more in my scientific career.

I hope to develop my writing portfolio and work with as much opportunities as I can to produce great literary content across the creative space that motivate and advocates for celebrating literature and culture. I will keep writing, send out samples of my work and continue studying how to become a better writer.

My year had loads of laughs and bouts of pain. There still exists this hesitancy in my family interactions but I genuinely love my siblings (Efe, Fure and Ejiro) till infinity. Proud of their lives’ trajectories and being witness to their simultaneous awesomeness and wahala.

I am forever grateful for the wonderful friends I am blessed with. My eternal tribe (Ehi, Aishat, Isioma, Ella, Sidey, Ewoma and Nnedi) and all those unnamed who occupy spaces that allow me breathe, shine and watch their lives thrive beyond expectations and despite hindrances. It will always be a gift. Plus all the bail outs and advice and gists have literally saved me beyond count.

To the ones lost (Itohan and Papa Anene) and the ones welcomed (TyTy, Nora, Timileyin, Odufa, Alexis, Aaron, Roberta-Mary, Lanre) love and light always.

I am learning to be more specific in stating my needs, caving to my desires and pursuing my ambitions. Met a great number of people and Enugu became more fun. I like the work I’m doing with Centre for Memories and Enugu Literary Society. Did some hiking, learned to argue better courtesy of The Thinker’s Pub and became friends with more cool and generous people especially Mr Ken, my co-aged immortal and The Eru family (Ejiro & Jabor).

For the first time, I sent out a writing sample, didn’t get accepted but I am very proud of taking that public step. Even doing this feels like catharsis for me so thanks to Oluwatosin for suggesting this even if he is a dramatic goat that loves my babies, Ian and Kafka.

Read and studied a lot of contemporary African writers, listened and absorbed from the female experiences of those gone and present, and it has been beyond worthwhile. Literature stays saving me.

Still here, still reading, still getting traumatized courtesy of life, shondaland and the literati, still laughing and learning, still a gorgeous and broke goat who needs to chatter less and listen more.

Here’s hoping next year, brings even more delights.

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