Hey 2023, Here is a toast to all we could become !
This is my first blog post for quite some time now and I can’t even begin to imagine how I have fared without putting something out here. New years always come with various forms of reviews, appraises and God abeg (X10). I mean, when I look at the goals I set out for the year and all I have planned to achieve by the end of the year, well, God abeg one more time.
But before we move into 2023 fully, I would want to thank 2022 for being one of my best years as a full grown adult. My favorite memories of her are baked in the sweltering heats of Abuja, this slow-burning Gomorrah. In one, our bodies are wrapped around each other, discovering the various ways a body can move from being a distant, discrete point in an infinite universe to becoming a coordinate for your comfort. The smell of her perfume is still strong in my nostrils, her heartbeats are still loud beneath my ears.
In another, I am impulsively picking up her arm and spinning us both into a dance. I had most of her activities under control. She was always laughing, tender, and soft. We looked out over the rest of the world from a high point and in that moment, we were perfect and free. Kings of our own destinies.
I do remember that one time we made a promise to always be honest with each other, To say whatever we wanted without wondering what it would sound like, because both our thoughts had the tendency to spill out of our fingers like thread spilling out of an unruly ball of yarn. I am afraid I broke that promise too many times. Sometimes, I tell myself that I have never lied to you, and never intend to; but is there a lie bigger than a broken promise? Anything uglier than a disregarded vow?
We were both gentle lovers until I somehow stopped being responsible to you, and you so brutally responded. You became hard in all the wrong places and soft in even wronger places. I am just a child but you forced me to sleep with a stone for a pillow. I don’t deny the fact that I too have been hard and soft and wrong but i could not help and I wonder if all your actions have been more of a punishment than a lesson.
Regardless, I love that we always set aside our differences, our past and learn to forgive each other. I love the quietness you brought at the end, you somehow observed that quietness is a way I give and receive and acknowledge Love. A stranger smiling at me unprovoked. The squeeze at the end of a hug. The peace I find in prayer and worship. Me, in front of a mirror talking deeply to my self, all dark skin, wide smile and my gorgeous looking bones. The words of people who love me, who have seen me in all my ugly and all my beautiful and so agree that I am worthy. Worthy of acceptance, of trust, of a warm, pure embrace. Of love, even when I don’t know how to love and care for myself.
I love how sometimes, you hold my own hand like a teacher with a little child and you point at the bruises and say: look where you hurt yourself, look where they hurt you. Look where you lied, look where they lied; Look where the flowers turned ugly; Look where you died.
I love how you stopped me from building fences in front of every scar, how you made me learn from the wound and taught me how the weapon made the cut.
I love how you stopped me from forging my spine into a steel blade and prevented me from hurting others like I’ve been hurt, cause you would rather have me be human than a weapon, be quiet than furious, be soft than rage. I am grateful to you for all the wisdom you shared with me, it was least than I excepted from a 365 day affair.
So the past one week, I have had time to stop and pray. To think and plan, To walk slowly and be quiet. I sit on the fence (literally, for once) and watch the world be; watch myself be. In those moments, I, alongside all the universe, am at once gripped both by motion and stillness. I listen. I notice. I laugh, I cry, I make notes, I prepare my self for my new date.
Hey 2023, Here is a toast to all we could become !
Let it be sunlight and laughter that is not burdened with pockets of grief. Let it be how to be awake without the memory of sleep coating my tongue like ash. Let it be the right thing in the right place. Let the right place be the place where life forgets that it is a waiting room. Let it be kind. Let it be kind. Speaking of kindness, I’ve never really known how to be kind to myself, but perhaps with you I would have to start being kinder to myself. Although I would also appreciate it if you are also kind to me, if you bury me softly, I can learn the things you want me to learn way faster.
I know that you know how much I love to be in love, but I have chosen not to be a part of this madness of my age, I have refused to drink this watered-down beer people serve to each other in the name of love, attempting to pass off water as wine, and I keep returning the cups to the owners. Here you go, I will not be swallowing your own insufficiencies. Personally, I will not let anyone redefine love for me in the language of their own brokenness. I will not redefine myself in the language of another’s brokenness. Sometimes, I am tempted to lose faith in a love that can hold me wholly, hold me eternally. I am tempted to take what they are giving. But then, I look around me and remember. There is wine. I have tasted it, and there is wine.
For once, I am not under the weight of becoming, as much as I want certainties, I still want to be hopeful, as much as I want clarity, I want the burdens of solving a puzzle. As much as I want to be bold and defined, I still want the beauty of being timid and naïve. And somehow I know I can find all these in ‘23, so once again here is a toast to all we could become, here is to building meaningful relationships with people and the discipline to keep it and not abuse it; here is to consistency, to stability, to growth and to life
He yo, since you got to this point, here is a new year present. It is a playlist made for my holiday trips. Enjoy !