It’s my birthday today, 24 years old. I’m a big big girl now o. Haha.
I wonder where I’m headed with this piece, but that’s the beauty of life isn’t it, the uncertainty. The fact that you can set out to be a medical doctor and end up a full time blogger is what makes life so intriguing…to me.
I love birthdays a lot, my friends birthdays, birthdays in my family, a strangers birthday, any birthday really. Give me a reason to celebrate and I’ll definitely show up. I love the unexpected calls from old friends you haven’t spoken to in years, family peering into the video call saying ‘hello, can you hear me?’.
I love waking up to the smell of jollof rice, chicken and dodo wafting through my home in the wee hours of the morning from my mums kitchen. I relish listening to the story of my birth even though I’ve heard it a million times already, I anticipate hearing my grandma pray for me and call me ‘Abike-Ade’; the girl they gave birth to to pamper. I love the gifts, partying with my friends till day breaks.
Here’s some advice for everyone, provided by a girl who is not really qualified to dole out advice to anyone.
I’m going to drop 23 random things from the last 23 years;
1. Disregard to the phrase “respect your elders ‘ a lot, elders don’t automatically deserve your respect. Respect should be earned and given based on actions and personality, not on how many days a person has been on the earth. Tbh, some of the biggest assholes I know are older than me.
2. Nothing, absolutely nothing is worth your sanity, peace or joy. No partner, friend, job, employer, acquaintance… nothing. Sometimes the best decision you can make is to leave, leave the broken glass on the floor and walk away
3. Makeup is highly overrated
4. You will stare at your reflection in the mirror trying to change your body so you can look more ‘appealing’. You’ll cry and make a poker face in front of that mirror because change is difficult and complex and it doesn’t seem feasible. You will stand there and hate yourself, and then you will hate yourself for hating yourself. You will be late to the event you were getting ready for. This will happen more than once.
5. You’re the bad guy sometimes
6. Being performative is dead, live a life that brings you joy and is true and authentic to you. Don’t be afraid to mess up, to make big and small mistakes, but please baby try to avoid screw ups where you’re at risk
7. You’ll have a friend that needs your support and attention a lot. You’ll be there for her with wine and empathy and and plenty pep talks every time she makes terrible decisions in her love life (a lot ). She will rant and talk and talk and you will listen. You will give her advice that she will disregard . She won’t ask how you’re doing. She will figure out her life, and she will start ignoring your calls and texts.
8. The biggest asset you have and you shouldn’t change is yourself, don’t get caught up chasing the next high, you’re the common denominator in all situations
9. Dating people who don’t shake all tables for you is pointless, dating people who don’t prioritize you, treat you like you don’t matter is a waste, take a udemy course, take a walk, eat wings instead. Just don’t hurt yourself like that
10. Value yourself. Honor yourself. Love yourself. Even when you screw up. Love the girl sitting on the bathroom floor at 3am crying to God to please heal her heart. Love the girl who grinds day and night to pursue her dreams
11. There’s no need to say oh when I travel, when I have a partner, when I’m wealthier, when I lose some weight I’ll do… That ‘when’ is right now, you’re bomb just as you are. . You don’t need to wait to enjoy your journey. You don’t need to wait to go after what others may laugh at you for.
12. Wear that bikini… please
13. Don’t hurt the people who love you, get help and support, seek therapy. Don’t become who hurt you, don’t have a lot of sex searching for a little love. All the love you’ll ever need is in you already
14. Status is dumb. Status is empty, dead and monotonous. Status is a cold bedded partner. What matters is how much you give and allow yourself experience love- from you, from your friends, your family, your passions, your life, your partner.
15. Your journey is unique and special to you and just you, you can’t compare yourself to others, practice gratitude where you are right now. Every minute you spend comparing yourself to somebody else in your career path or area of passion is a moment you have wasted that you could have spent becoming better at doing whatever it is you need to do to get where you want to be. Different people, different journeys. Honor yours.
16. When you bring your demons, your nightmares, your struggles, your fears and your anxieties out into the light it’s less scarier and you find community and safety
17. You will love and love the wrong person. He will drain you of ambition, of self worth, of confidence, of joy. It will take an unbearable amount of time (and vodka) to recover.
18. Men, who are two weeks out of a five year relationship or an eight year marriage, are not the best candidates for a serious relationship or even to casually date. They’ll bleed all over you and leave you high and dry. Trust me, you need this reminder and some things will just take you longer to learn(you have a coconut head)
19. Google and YouTube are incredible allies, before you pay for that course… try them
20. Humans are non linear. You can and are allowed to be multidimensional, you can love the corporate world and still wear drag at night- two truths can coexist. Don’t let yourself be boxed in by society.
21. Romanticize your life, every single thing about yourself. Daydream about all the things you want and immerse in it. Take yourself to nice places, be kind and loving to yourself. Let your eyes sparkle like a little child
22. Being single is actually fun, fulfilling and liberating they lied when they said it wasn’t. Although, sometimes you want to talk about your day badly but there’s no one so you binge watch series till you sleep off. Have fun on dates, laugh a lot, let your life be filled with joy and laughter. Don’t tight the world to your chest
23. Mhmm you’ll stay in the wrong jobs for too long even when you know it’s time to leave. You will give yourself ted talks about your grit and ability to get through the day which you will deliver from the safety of a locked bathroom stall. You will be mistreated and undervalued but you will hang onto your job for as long as you can mostly because you’re scared, insecure and unsure.
Pettiness, grudges, jealousy, resentment, nasty thoughts. Begone, I say! *blows powder* I want to go out soft and kind, a truly loving and compassionate being. I can live with leaving behind books not written, not traveling to certain places, friendships I’ve let fail, potential I’ve not tapped into. But I don’t want to leave behind a mess, a garbage bin full of negativity that might fester and drift into the cloud of ugliness that already circles our world.
You will look back on the time you’ve wasted, and you will realize that with all the hours you’ve spent obsessing over your body or obsessing over some boy or obsessing over some shit that doesn’t matter, you could have become a multilingual neurosurgeon and tech guru, hell you could even be the president of America. You might have written one dozen novels. You could have travel places.
I’ve decided to go back to school to study psychology after having my first degree in International relations and diplomacy and working in branding and digital media for the last 5 years. I’ve wanted this for years, I’ve prayed for this. Excited for this journey and where it takes me, happy to live the life I do and give myself the grace to try!
For 24, I want to be happier, make an impact, be self assured, sharp, laugh way more and stay quided.
Cheers to 24!!!
Happy birthday Yommie 🎊
Stay happy and se jeje,