Thursday 8 December 2016

10 years without you...

Dear Bisola,

    I cannot believe that yesterday has been ten years since you left us. I still remember how I felt on learning that you weren't going to be here anymore. I was in my room in Nixon court in Leicester when Dad called me to to abruptly break it to me. In fact, I always remember the day you left as the 10th because you had been buried a few days before they made the call.

I always wished I got a chance to say a proper goodbye. Our last conversation was a regular one other than the fact that you had been a bit ill. I remember you telling me that Arif had started driving and had taken the car around the hospital and you were all excited and scared at the same time. Regular conversation, no inclination that it would be our last.

I also remember the last time we spent time together. It has made me believe firmly that nothing happens by accident. For some reason, the boys were not able to come to the U.S for the summer holidays. Only you and I spent that time together, in New York, Maryland and then London. It was the longest time we had spent together, just the two of us. I don't remember all the details except us laughing at our Uncle Shola and asking which kind of uncle is this that is so playful? I remember us bumping to Nelly Furtado's song Mysterious Girl in his car and loving it. He would then switch it to Sunny Ade or Wasiu and we would squeal in frustration at him acting "old". It was the summer we put to bed the debate about who was taller as you already towered over me. Nothing changed in this respect as the boys are both taller and I never grew beyond that height even after all the beans I ate! We literally had no worries in the world. I don't remember feeling so free since that summer.

Your departure leaped me into adulthood much sooner than I could have imagined. I realise now that you never truly get over loosing someone that you love. Or maybe ten years is too soon to get over it. I will let you know if I am over it in another 10 years if I am still here. Every time I see people your age it makes me sad at all the things you could have achieved. Your friend Lola is getting married this month and I know it is not easy for Mum to help organise it (especially as she wants me to be married already too, but that is a story for another day!). I randomly burst into tears sometimes when I see someone that looks like you, or reminds me of you in the most fleeting way. I especially feel a hole when I see sisters, because that is a gap that no one can ever fill in my life.

But all in all, I think your departure has made me more eager to live my life in the most fulfilled way possible. I try to be a good person, to have fun, to smile and enjoy each moment. I appreciate everyday my loved ones are alive and healthy. This year has been rough for me emotionally but the good news is that I get to meet the Queen of England for my work with Sickle cell! I will send her your regards!

I miss you my darling sister. I pray for you my dear Bisola. I love you. 

Friday 19 February 2016

28 things I learnt about myself turning 28!

Growing old is so underrated! We spend so much time worshipping youth and I wonder why because I love growing old. Yes it has its challenges, but so does being young. I've always sort of been that person that likes the age I'm in at each moment. Yes I get nostalgic about the carefreeness and lack of responsibility that I now lack, but certainly not to the extent of wishing I was younger. Maybe when I hit my 30s I will feel differently. 

The best part of growing old for me, other than the fact that I truly didn't think I would live this long, is introspection. I'm a lot more self aware and the older I get, the happier I am with who I'm becoming. I know what I like, and I know what I do not like, although some things swing in between both quite rapidly!
So here are 28 things I've learnt/reinforced over the last year about myself and life in general:

  1. My mother is my greatest gift. She's my friend, cheerleader, biggest fan, motivator, health, financial, fashion and life adviser. I talk to her everyday and find that I'm becoming a better person by listening to her. Mothers really do know best. 
  2. I've finally discovered my passion. I always thought it was writing, which I still love, but it requires more self-motivation than I can garner consistently. Working with SCAF, raising awareness about sickle cell and helping SC warriors gives me purpose in life. 
  3. I'm consistent in my inconsistency. 
  4. I've learnt that people can carry their insecurities for so long that it permanently alters their personality. Accepting this is the key to loving the most flawed people. It's helped me love my dad more. 
  5. It's so important to let people grow and fight their own battles in life. No matter what decisions you hope people will take, don't encourage them to take them based on your preferences or principles. Just support them in theirs. Air your reservations no doubt, but aim to be their cheerleader and not their coach. I've learned this watching my brothers grow into men. 
  6. Check in on old friends. The ones you used to be 5 and 6 with but now lives on the other side of the world or who lives in the same town but you are both too busy "adulting". Send a message or heck give them a call. Yes a 10 minute call won't kill you. And you might just make their day or vice versa. 
  7. Your body is the vehicle of your life. Take care of yourself because at this age, no one else (except mother maybe) can care for you as well. Take care of your health, hair, skin, teeth etc Stay active and eat well. 
  8. No person is all bad. I try not to focus on others' flaws. Good people are capable of bad things and bad people are capable of wonderful things. 
  9. Ask a lot of questions. I learn so much from listening. Anything I'm saying, I already know, so listening is learning. 
  10. Travelling/Exploring is the best way to broaden your mind. Moving to Lagos has taught me so much, I cannot even begin to quantify. 
  11. Adapt. Feel free to moan about change like we all do, but adapt quickly. Best way to thrive. One day you're driving a new car, next day you don't have a car at all. Getting fired last year taught me alot about how important it is to adapt gracefully to every situation you're handed. 
  12. Drink lots of water. 
  13. Twitter is for disgruntled, intelligent, animated and disillusioned people like myself and I love it! 
  14. The best part about having money is the freedom it brings. Being broke leaves you with no choice, you always go with the smallest, slowest and cheapest option. 
  15. But there's no amount of money that can buy you peace of mind and happiness. I learnt that from my old boss. 
  16. You never get over loosing someone you love. You just live with it but that part of your heart is permanently broken. I still miss my sister everyday. 
  17. People can change. They just have to want to bad enough. And some cheerleading helps. 
  18. People can also change for the worse.  But never sit around for someone to change. It's the most frustrating thing. 
  19. I love music, movies and art. 
  20. And I love food! A lot! 
  21. I'm learning to enjoy my own company. I'm still learning though. I much prefer being with people a lot more than I like being alone. With this I'm also learning to be self reliant. 
  22. It's good to talk to God about little things too. Not just job and health issues but like 'God, I hope that Mango jacket goes on Sale'. Mum taught me that nothing is too small to ask direction for. 
  23. Sleep is essential. Watching two of my friends struggle with various types of insomnia has opened my eyes to how easy it is to take for granted something someone else is so desperately praying for. 
  24. Loving someone is the easy part. Staying committed is the difficult bit. Fighting the flight instinct is something I struggle with because I have a restless spirit. 
  25. Patience pays off sometimes. Patience doesn't pay off other times. Telling when to go from the first to the second, or vice versa in my case, is something I'm still learning. 
  26. My maternal instincts are starting to kick in! Never thought the day would come when I would say I'm looking forward to having my own kids. Can't wait to ridicule them with silly outfits and forced dancing purely for my entertainment!
  27. I'm also not averse to settling down with one man anymore. I like my man now so hopefully I don't give up. 
  28. Stay away from things that bring you negative energy or the ugly sides of you. I left Instagram last year because I found it was making me envious of peoples' real or imagined successes, holidays, promotions, marriage, babies etc! I've never been an envious person and since this was bringing it out of me, I ran. Do the same in every aspect of your life. Only ++++++++ surround me! 

Looking forward to next year Insha Allah so I can hopefully have learned/reinforced 29 more things! 

Miss B!