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life lessons

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.



2020, Dare to Dream, Her Version of Events, life lessons,

Ore’s Reasons To Stay Alive

I recently read ‘Reasons To Stay Alive’ by Matt Haig and it got me thinking about all the reasons I have to stay alive and I decided to write them all down. Please be gentle with me and do leave a reason or two of yours in the comments. 

Things I Want To Keep Experiencing 

  1. Live worship sessions: From singing off-key during my private worship sessions, to singing with my friends and gathering to singing at church events, I always love and look forward to every worship experience.  
  2. Time with my family: Listening to my brother and sister’s endless banter on who is finer, my dad constantly reminding me I am the shortest child and my mum laughing in the background echoing that all her children are beautifully made. I live for these moments, the reassurance of love I feel in them and the knowing that I have a tribe of people looking out for me. 
  3. Conversations with my Uncle: Here is the weird thing, my almost 60-year-old uncle is one of my best friends. I appreciate our safe space, where we can talk about everything from work to self-created boy drama. He listens, gives his opinion and I always walk away with a course of action. 
  4. Written Word: From novels, poetry and essays to hand written letters P.S. I don’t receive enough hand written letters. Please feel free to send me one.
  5. Dairy-Free Ice Cream/Products: I love ice cream but it always upsets my stomach. Dairy-free ice cream provides me the opportunity to indulge with reckless abandon. 
  6. Sun rise and sun set: I know it is cliché but I love how beautiful the sky looks and the routine of the sun’s rising and setting, two constants regardless of whatever is going right or wrong. 
  7. Walking: I love walking and listening to loud music or having a conversation with anyone that I have successfully dragged on a walk with me. 
  8. Conversations with my friends: I am grateful for the important connections I have made over the course of my life and the safe spaces created from these connections; spaces where I can be myself, share my dark humour and sometimes, find answers to my questions about life. 
  9. Total Woman Conference: My friend and I run a ministry for women. We have a yearly conference and, year on year, it is always the most beautiful experience with the Lord and the ladies who attend. Definitely one of my highest points every year. 

Things I am Yet to Experience 

  1. Falling in love: I know, I should have experienced this by now but, it is what it is. That said, I don’t believe I have ever taken the plunge and let myself go in the knowing of another person and getting known by them in return. 
  2. Traveling: I have this dream that I will wake up one day and buy myself a round trip ticket, hop on a plane and experience food from diverse cultures all over the globe 
  3. Read my bible cover to cover. 
  4. My first book signing event. 
  5. TamTam, Kunte, Kiite, Forekems’ (my cousins) graduation from university and just the opportunity of watching them grow and find their place in life. 
  6. Graduate from a PhD program. 
  7. Share my faith; talk to someone about why I believe in God, His love and truth in bible. 

This list is really important to me because I spent most of my 20s feeling very hopeless; questioning why I was here in the first place. Many, many months were dark and it has been a journey of walking through scriptures and filling my life with a lot of love. 

It feels really good to be able to dream again, to have hope and even have a list of reasons I need to be here and things I’m looking forward to to share.

My biggest take away is that there is always light, some of us just have to search a little harder for it.