I am a lovey-dovey person. I love love. I love romance. Hugging the one you love, kissing them, all of that. Beautiful things, if you ask me. I am also a very fluid person, especially when it comes to emotions. This means I can get very attached to someone I like real quick, not quick as in three hours after meeting them but quick as in days or weeks after, especially if communication is heightened. If you do not want me to fall in love with you, why are you talking to me every day? I shall fall hopelessly and helplessly in love with you and you shall answer for it, you ultimate love of my eternal life!
But lately, I have been feeling averse to romantic love in an inexplicable way. At first, it was a concern and I shared it with my friend when it started. I thought it would fade away, I hoped it would. And it did but by that time, I had already made a defining decision. I wanted to take a break from relationships and just enjoy myself, my singlehood, and the streets. I had been on the streets all my life until 2021 and now that I am back on the streets, I might as well remain there for as long as possible. I have told a couple of my friends this and it feels liberating. Not in the ‘time for hoe phase Yoruba demon’ kind of liberation but the, ‘now I have left the phase of indecision and I have decided and my decision is this – my heart is on vacation’- just as Korty said.
What kind of liberation is this? The kind that makes you know that anyone you meet now is just a friend, nothing more. Does this mean you won’t meet fine people you want to date? You sure will, but you are just not ready. It’s like fasting from food. You will see sweet food around and even smell it. The temptation may be high to take a bite but because you’ve made a decision not to explore food (in this case, love), then you will wait until you are ready.
This is liberating because recently I have met very beautiful people and without any thinking, I quickly categorized them under the friends or acquaintance tab. Before now, I would not have been able to make this decision so quickly. I would probably place some people under the ‘potentials’ tab and observe what our friendship would evolve to. But because right now, the highest level anyone can get to in my life is ‘close friend,’ I find it liberating that I do not have to do the entire categorization anymore. Everyone is a friend.
This is liberating because I can now love with reckless abandon without overthinking it and this is majorly because my heart listens to my mind/brain. This is not the same for most people but then, this is not about most people. I am now in a space where I can actually explore what love feels like outside the context of romance and dating. I can now love without hoping that it would lead to something else, without having expectations of the other person or of the friendship. Friendships with the opposite sex are not a means to an end now. It is an end in itself. Trust me, this is liberating. I know this is not something everyone can do, control their emotions and their heart or hold themselves back from ‘falling’ in love or, as it always happens, into a relationship.
Some people would read this and say, “It is because you’ve not found The One. When you find The One, you will not know when you will abandon all this English. This may be true – for them. There are people who cannot hold on to decisions they make once they are confronted with challenges or obstacles. They bend. When it comes to issues like this, I am not one of these people. My heart is pretty much obedient. It listens. And I have instructed it to stay out of relationships for the foreseeable future. If that changes, I will give it new commands. That is that on love.
A new friend once told me she was currently in a phase in her life where she was trying new things. Think ‘the subtle art of not giving a fuck’ but in practice. Literally not giving a fuck about what anybody would say. Like going out more. Like making new friends outside their circles. Like wearing things they wouldn’t wear before.
I am currently in this phase myself where I am trying out new things and not giving a damn. Actually, I happen to be one of those people who do not really care much what people say about me, as long as it’s not slander. I have been this way for a long time. My earliest memory of exhibiting this trait was back in primary school when I would go to school with white socks and return with brown socks. My sisters would get pissed and scold me. I would not care. I would just walk away. Of course, this was not exactly a good thing back then but I guess those moments formed me. So I can barely relate when people say they do not want to do something because of what people will say. That is not me.
For example, last Thursday around 8 pm (after having the most annoying day ever thanks to FG), I opened the fridge at the office and saw a bottle of alcohol. White wine. White Velvet. 10.0 alcohol vol.
I had never taken alcohol before. There had never really been a reason. I just was not interested in any way. This disinterest may have been from various church teachings against drinking but I do not think it is. I think it is just me not being interested in drinking alcohol. I knew the day I got interested was the day I would drink it. No one had to tell me to do it. I am not one to be pressured into doing something I have no interest in. I knew I would not take my first sip of alcohol at a club (I don’t even go to clubs) or in a raunchy house party (I also don’t go to raunchy house parties) or in a ‘do this or drink’ game (I do not play such games). I knew it would most likely be in my room, bored and finding a bottle of wine around. That was what happened.
That Thursday was a terrible one. I got back to the office, brought out the wine, and texted my friends’ WhatsApp group. I told them I am about to drink some alcohol and needed to know if there was anything I should know (two of my friends have taken alcohol before). They gave me tips (this sounds so childish of me) and I showed them the quantity I was about to take. I am very careful when trying new things out. I am not about to start walking the streets of Ikeja with my head because I was stupid enough to drink too much of something I had never taken before. So I received expert tips and then forged ahead.
I was feeling a bit woozy after taking a few sips. Is this how strong alcohol can be or is it my amateur head thinking things up? I told my friend I was feeling woozy and he said I should just make sure I am in my room so I can sleep or something. I went to my room to sleep but I did not feel sleepy. In my woozy state, I read Nearly All The Men In Lagos Are Mad (talk about madness) and finished the book. I stopped feeling woozy after and just went ahead to watch Netflix.
I also tried out a new hairstyle. I saw this hairstyle on someone last year and I knew I was going to do it. I am always excited about trying things out with my hair. I have gone skin bald before. I just woke up and felt like scrapping everything off. I have kept afro. I have also had the regular low cut. I knew I was going to do more.
I had two hair goals this year: not to cut my hair at all, and if I would cut it, to do my dream hairstyle. I wanted to roll my hair afro style. So from January till last week, I did not cut my hair at all. I just kept growing it. I bought the biggest comb I could ever buy when the hair became too much for my regular comb. After some time, folks at work, church, and home started asking questions. Then, on Saturday, a friend was going to get his haircut and I followed him. I told the barber about my dream hair and he brought it to life. Your dreams are always valid right?
Let’s end it here.
Two things to take out of this post:
One – Love is sweet. Go for it when you are ready. In the meantime, I’ll keep your company on the streets. Come to me, baby.
Two- Do it afraid. Do it if you want to do it. Be like me. Take that alcohol when you are ready. Have that haircut. Above all, do not succumb to peer or societal pressure.
I started this post as a recap of my April but this is 1516 words and I have barely scratched the surface of all that happened to me last month so let’s just stop with these two things and move on to more love and more doings.
NB: If you are here from WhatsApp and you’re wondering why I have been away from WhatsApp, the answer is nothing. I am fine. In fact, I am having the life of my head off that space. I just need peace and quiet and I am enjoying that. If you sent me messages and I did not reply, send them as text messages if they are urgent. I will see those. I may return to WhatsApp tomorrow or next year. I have no plans to return or not to return. Pizzout!