There’s a pile of journals on the bottom shelf of my wardrobe. Some bright pink with flowers and polka dots, some with bible verses and others plain but all filled with thoughts and doodles. They all remind me of the Oluwaseeto that wrote everything down, from the crush in Regis house, to the Biology question I missed, to the number of meat pies I’d be getting for nightcap on Monday night.
Then, writing it down was enough or at least it seemed enough. By journaling, whatever was worrying me felt distant, almost like I had power over it. But life started getting more complicated, and I just stopped writing. I don’t think I know when exactly I stopped but I did.
Now look, here I am.
Writing won’t make today’s problems go away, far from that, but I’m hoping that by sharing some part of what is running through my head, I can give myself permission to function again- not go back to normal, because something is broken, but just function.
I’m a Zombie
Waking, eating, not eating, waiting until the next headache as an alarm to eat again.
Rain sounds to sleep. Leaving the lights on to chase the nightmares away, turning them off again because you don't want your house to be attacked. Back to Archer, it’s another night of no sleep.
Why do I get to sleep? Why do I get to wake up again? I could be next.
Ah yes, the occasional panic attacks.
Can’t cry. Not that there are no tears but I’m scared that the dam won’t close again. So I just walk around, opening slack, smiling at the phone, occasionally replying messages and am I Nigerian if I don’t crack a few jokes?
Why was I born here? Why did I come back home? Why did they vote him in? Why does she think telling me people have it worse is a good consolation? Does shouting at me to snap out of it work? Why are the killers still walking around free? Is God really hearing me?
Side note: Curses don’t work, Karma is a sissy. That’s the only way it makes sense
I’ve cried all the tears, I’ve prayed, I’ve worshipped, I’ve encouraged others (how does an empty well keep giving?). I’ve argued, I’ve watched the news, I’m fed up.
I don’t want to live outside Nigeria, I’ve tried. I want to be able to move around as I wish, that’s my Nigerian dream. Why can’t the universe just align?
They told us not to try, that they already did.
Did we listen? Now our brothers and sisters are dead. Was it worth their lives? Is it worth the tears? The nightmares? Disobeying parents to go for protests? The rescheduled meetings? The delayed projects?
I don’t know.
Now, some of us are gone. Do I deserve to be here? Every smile feels like a betrayal. Every second feels like borrowed time. What am I doing? Why am I still here?
I don’t think I’m here yet, but I’m hopeful.
Maybe one day it will be worth it. Not maybe, it has to be. We’ve come too far to stop.
I’ve learned a lot about a lot.
I’ve learned a lot about myself, I didn’t think protesting would ever be my thing, yet here I am. Still can’t believe I did that.
I’ve learned a lot about Nigeria. I don’t know why I never cared much for history, but I promise you I’m different now.
At the end of this rainbow, the one thing I know is that nothing will ever be the same for me. I’m aware, I’m informed and in it for the long haul (hopefully).
Nigeria has to be better because no matter what, it’s home.
Nothing can ever come close.
I’m very interested in helping out with voter education for the grassroots. I have about 2/3 hours a week to spare for design-related tasks. Find me at firstname.lastname@example.org