#Letter: Tubes and Bras
Yes, only family can call us Uzo. I have been given a once in a lifetime opportunity and time is short, so I’ll be quick about it.
You’re 15 now. Life is good. Just recently, you got a boyfriend. Your first. Elesha. See you smiling already at the mention of his name. Wake up fool! But even better, you just recently entered Senior Secondary School. You have discovered 2go, you find you have an amazing sense of humor. New amazing Friends. Crushes, but Best of all, You’re getting breasts! Yes! Sweet breasts! Finally, you leave tubes for bras. Spoiler Alert! they won’t last. All of it.
Not your relationship, not even most of the new friends you made,(Except Josi, Jezreel, the rest are fleeting presence) not the fact that you discovered flirting and you’re damn good at it too! Not even the breasts. You will weep. But you will be fine.
I see you now, happy. Life’s good. You’re on your bed writing in that makeshift diary and telling it about your crush on Senior Semiu (which I still find odd) and how your boyfriend makes you happy. But like I said, you don’t know it yet so life’s good.
You will be plugged into depression. You will go months without speaking to your best friend and it will almost kill you. The loneliness, you know that lyric “Ever been alone in a room full of friends?” That was you. You will struggle with insecurities, awkwardness, fear, self worth and wait, it gets worse. Your relationship won’t be happy too and this shocks you, afterall everyone around you have boyfriends seemily so in love with them. You will wonder as you even do now, why relationships have always failed you. When it leaves, you’ll never imagine giving your heart out again but spoiler alert! You did, again, again and again. Your love life is sad. Let’s avoid it, shall we?.
Smile. It gets better. You discover writing. I can say with a certainty that that was one of the greatest gifts of your life, along with giving your life to Christ(not church, you’ve never missed a day of church in your life, Godforbid Mama catches you sleeping on Sunday) Glee, and Friendship that stood the test of time. Because really, that’s all that matters. Things that stand the test of time.
You learn to be alone. In your head, in your heart and, this took time but, physically too.
A lot of bad things will happen and you’ll be numb to it all, like when the center of your existence died. You never told anyone. You just lived life numbly. This is good. That you have a heart and strength that carries weight. You won’t cry even during the funeral. You will find yourself crying years after, heart wrenching, soaking tears that leave you exhausted after and you never speak about the very reason you break inside. You still cry today. Even after getting more fathers, sons. No one can be like the original.
You will battle with never being enough, you will be cheated on, lied to, hurt, you will still not find love like you want, need. But you’re not rushing either, you will discover that the Best takes time.
You will seek to be heard, listened to; infact it plagues you, it’s why you avoid crowds, conversations. Fear you won’t be noticed but writing will help you. Help you be you.
You will discover books. No, not the romance novels you steal from each other’s bed in secondary school (but how fun that was!) You will discover stories that transform you but also leave you hungry. Hungry for more and that will be a good thing, Because it means you won’t settle for less than the best in your life. But also a bad thing, because current situations tend to choke it. But it’s a battle you fight daily.
You will want it ALL, the things you read about, see, think. After all, if they didn’t exist, nobody would document them. You will want to experience life in its fullness. Do everything you can do, skydive, watch a sunset; no not ibadan sunset. Kiss in an elevator, have someone crazy about you, ride a horse, scream on top of the Empire State Building, ride the wind, twerk officially but you have no ass, be a musician, organize concerts, own a library like a house, you want to be a stripper, a Reverend sister, a preacher, a business mogul, a yoga instructor, a sportsman. It’s all so chaotic but it’s all so intensely beautiful. It’s all a work in progress.
Don’t seek to be listened to. It would lead you to wrong relationships thinking you’re being listened to while they just like hearing you do all the talking. It took time, but I learnt it.
You’re such a beautiful person. Even if no one sees it, never forget it.
Your pain will motivate you.
Never lose your cool, never raise your voice
Learn to walk away immediately
And this lingering thing you do, please stop it.
Your good heart will pay off in the end. Trust it. Trust God.
Oh, avoid the cold too.
No matter the pressure, be yourself. My original baby.
Spoiler alert! You got into Law at OAU, That you weren’t mentally prepared for.
You love celebrities like Simi, Adesua, MoAbudu, Chimamanda and you secretly want to be Pablo Escabor
Your latest slang is PROPHESY.
You spend days, doing karaoke alone in your room and it’s beautiful.
You get so emotional and then so hardhead.
Oh, great news! The issues you always have with cramps, they get better now. At least, most of the time.
Know this though. 20 year old me is in a good place now. I wish I could tell you more pitholes you could have avoided, emotional condoms you could have used, when to have walked away . Times you should have been silent but I guess if these things hadn’t happened you wouldn’t be the full whole meal you are now.
I have to go now, I see Ire coming to beg for garri in the distance. She’ll make you laugh that one, effortlessly. Everyday. And incase you’re wondering Yes, Firetunsola is there in the future. And you added some of the best people too. Life’s good. You’re grateful for friends and we’re always proud of us. Now look up. And face the world chin up, smile on your face,eyes that never lose focus, head that always remembers, hands that give and feets that hurry. I love you Uzo.
Till we meet again.
Sent in by Nwani Faith