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2020, 27, Her Version of Events, letters, life lessons, Reflections,

8th June 2020

Hello Grandpa, 

I didn’t cry today. I didn’t get sad when I talked about you with mummy or uncle Niyi and, to be honest, I almost forgot the anniversary all together. I remembered after my morning ritual of scrolling through Instagram. 

Let me explain Instagram to you really quickly because it became a thing after you left: it is an application where you can share photos with captions, kind of like how you posted photos on Facebook but this is more addictive. You can be rest assured I would have opened an account for you. 

As I scrolled, I noticed the date in the caption of one of my photos and it hit me that you have been gone 8 years today. I dwelled so much on the passing of time this year that it crippled me and prevented me from moving forward, but you helped me snap out it. 

I remembered a line from your journals. It was an entry for your 50th birthday, the year you retired as a lecturer. You wrote that you would rather spend your days doing the things that brought you joy and in that moment of remembering you, remembering your words, it was easy to realise what I needed to do to keep living, to fill my life with love and happiness and that the passage of time is really out of my control and what matters is what I do with the time I have left. 

For the first time since you left, I believe I have made peace with your leaving. I no longer have the wrenching pain in the pit of my stomach when I celebrate my accomplishments or special occasions. I have come to accept that you are a part of who I am and because I am present in all my moments, you are present too. 

Coming into this place of acceptance doesn’t mean I will stop having conversations with you,  sending you updates in letters or dreaming you up in a crowd but, I believe it is one of the many inevitable things about grief: it starts out all consuming and, for a while, it is the only sound you hear, the only thing you feel at the core of your being but gradually you start to recover, the consuming sound becomes a hum, something you can live with that doesn’t cause you to break down. 

You have become a part of me in this manner. I see you in the things I do everyday, I remember you in the mannerisms of people around me, in my approach to a particular problem and this brings so much light into my life. 

I am glad I didn’t cry today. I am glad I think of you now with a smile on my face. Missing you forever.



25, letters,

Letters To My Children II

Dear Children,

I have a long list of things I want you to learn when you get here, like learn to speak Yoruba, French and Spanish, learn to play a musical instrument or two. Love literature, music and art the way I do.
I learnt how to play the piano for three years in primary school, I really liked my teacher but sharing practice time with my siblings was annoying.

My piano teacher in secondary school on the other hand was not that great, he told me during  my first lesson that my hands are too small to play the piano because they would not spread out enough, he proceeded to sleep about 10 minutes into the lesson.

I gave up learning to play the  piano after that. I regret taking the man’s words to heart. Recently I have been considering starting my lessons again.
I don’t want you to ever think there is nothing you can’t do, I want you to understand that you can break new grounds and do the impossible. I want you to be better than me! But I am managing my expectations, because I understand that what I dream for you may not be your dreams and I will have to support you regardless.

I will have to help you find you path and not guide you to the one I have selected for you and this isn’t an easy task because I will watch you be completely dependent on me for everything, watch you learn to walk and talk, be inquisitive about everything and watch you grow and not need me so much with every passing year.

Expect we will have conversations when I think you are making a mistake or throwing away your life by making impulsive decisions, neither of us will like this but we will both be better for it.
All these will be harder because every time you leave home I will want to curl up in one of your suitcases and come along to keep you safe, I know this is slightly irrational because God will always keep you safe, but this doesn’t stop me from thinking it’s my 24hr/ 7days a week job to protect you.  
I am teaching myself to manage my careful thought out plans for your live, I am learning that what I dream for you will probably not what you will dream for yourself.
I am telling myself every day that this is okay.

With All My Love; Mama.

Letter To My 23 Years Old Self By Onomesan Oyo

Dear 23 year old self,

I write with the sincerest apologies that I haven’t given you much to work with. I am exhausted as it is and I do not have the courage to go on. I hope that you will forgive me for giving up but you would soon come to realize as I have that this life is not easy. There are times where I think of leaving it all but I do not have that kind of bravery to take something that didn’t start of my own power in the first place. I hope you would have the courage to live out the dreams that I couldn’t, I want you to know that I tried, I put in work and also completely put my trust in Him that gave me the life. I am truly exhausted with no strength to carry on but I hope that you would be everything that I hoped you would be.

I am trying to make something of my life and I hope that you would continue in the race, a lot of us want to make a positive change in the world, something that would rock the very fabric of our humanity but most of us don’t how, we have the tools but we lack the technical expertise to carpe diem the day. Each day I wake up with the burning desire that today would be the day that I have been praying for. I need you to follow up with that because in a few hours I would no longer have a guest pass in the affairs that guide my life. I wouldn’t dare pride myself as being very wise but I would leave you with some essential tips to live by:
  • If at first attempt it doesn’t work out, try again, again and again.
  • Getting to the reality of the idea of the you hidden in your head would not be easy but embrace the process.
  • People are going to try to tell you what you can or cannot do, Do always what you want because at the end of the day you are the only one the mirror reflects.
  • The world is waiting for the greatness that you are regardless of where you are right now
  •  In the very wise words of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Dare to take…The world is yours to take so why not.
  • As always do you, it never gets better than that

Cheers to the life we aspire to smile
Yours Sincerely,

My 22 year old self

25, letters,

Letters To July II

Random Photo From Graduation 

Dear Muyiwa,

I sat across from you at a fast food restaurant, I had the first bite of my fried rice and declared it horrible and a waste of my money, you said your donuts wasn’t any better. I struggled through my rice while you managed to eat half of your first donut which you quickly washed down with coke. I asked when you started drinking coke, you said you weren’t sure when, but you are trying to stop taking it.
How the tables have turned, I remember when I was a ‘coke addict’, I used to smuggle it into campus (hope you remember our campus had a strict policy against caffeine) in old yoghurt drink containers. Every now and again you will bring me a bottle and lecture me on how it was bad for my health. I stopped taking coke about a year ago and now I am the one giving you lectures on the ‘evils of coke’. This makes me think of how different we are from when we first met a few years ago, different yes, but the same people in so many ways.
On the day we met we had an argument about the dress code of our university, I was of the opinion that the formal dress code prepared us for life after university and you believed that it stifled creativity, that people were not given the opportunity to express themselves through their clothes. It is ironic that you pay attention to the details on your outfit and you read GQ Magazine to keep up to date with male fashion trends while I long for a job where I can express myself through my clothes and not be confined to a set of rules. Maybe we rubbed off on each other. In swapping opinions we questioned our stand on life ideas and we became true to ourselves in the process.
You have to remember the first poem we wrote together, it was about stars, the moon and the activities that happen in the comfort of the night. That was a first for me, I had never written with anyone before let alone taken my writing seriously. I really enjoyed the process of writing with you that we had a short-lived blog where we shared poems we wrote together.
That day, while we nursed our horrible meals, I had my first honest conversation in months. That was easy because there is no judgement, no reservations, I can be unapologetic about all the crazy things that go on in my head. It isn’t one-way traffic where I dump all my crazy and you just listen, you share too. It is honest exchange of burdens, this is one of the many reasons our friendship is important to me.
We don’t get to see or talk often, because I am horrible at texting and you live two hours’ drive away, so I look forward to the rear occasion when our paths cross and we can talk and share a horrible meal.

P.S I am looking forward to us writing again.

25, letters,

Letters To My Husband – Lists And Expectations

Dear Husband,
A few months ago, I tore up the list I made for you; the list included all the thing I hoped you would be, it was a huge relief for me because then I don’t have to feel like I was settling whenever I liked someone that didn’t check every box of my well thought out list.
I replaced my list of more than 20 items with just two items I think are of utmost importance, I will be sharing those two things with you but first,a few things I have learnt.
One, God is preparing me for you and our children, with the lessons learnt in the most unusual ways, I am not great at asking for help when it comes to house chores, I have a system and I don’t like when it is altered,  a few weeks ago I felt the unusual desire to ask for help when I was working in the house, I learnt that my system may not always be the best approach and working with another person cuts my work in half, this is making me more open to others suggestions and less stuck up in my ways. I believe this is a vital tool that will keep me from feeling overwhelmed in our marriage.
I am seasonal cook, this means that I don’t enjoy cooking day to day, I love cooking only when I feel like, but I am learning to enjoy it on days when I don’t want to cook, learning to find joy in the process of preparing a meal, I am yet to fall in love with the process, I still had bananas and mangoes for dinner last night, but I believe in the not so distant future I will have a workable relationship with cooking, you should bear in mind that there are days when you will have to make meals.  
What made tearing up my list easier was the realisation, that God is teaching me how to be a wife and  that you are also receiving your own lessons because this isn’t a one way traffic. This was a calm reassurance that God has my back regardless of all the uncertainty that lead to me making the list.
So back to the two things that are currently on my list. Firstly that you are willing to grow in God with me, there is so much of God to be explored, so much to learn, unlearn and build from. It is really important for me that you desire to do this, so on days when I am not thirsty enough you will remind me to thirst and I will also do the same for you.
Secondly that we help each other with the things God calls us to do, the things we need to do together and those we need to do individually. That we make each other’s ‘’purpose walk’’ easier, that neither of us becomes a hindrance to the other.
I believe when we make God our focus, all the items on our individually made up list, (I know you have your own list) will fall into place, you should know that I am going to make you read poetry to me and if you can play the guitar it wouldn’t hurt.  I am looking forward to meeting you, but not before the time is right