A year ago, I woke up to the most to watch the sunrise over the hills of another African city.
On a solo vacation that I’d been so excited to plan, all I felt was sadness.
I felt utterly alone and unsure of what it all meant.
Oh, it was also my mum’s 40-day memorial. After 22 birthdays, she wasn’t with me anymore.
The sadness has been around for a long time, even before the grief came. Crushing me, draining the will to live from my body.
A year later, who’d have thought I’d actually be happy to be here?
I’m not a sweet young 21 anymore, losing your youth is terrifying after all.
I’m no longer the youngest, brightest mind in the room.
I’m still not sure what I want to do with my life, what career I should be building, and what city I should be fleeing to, seeing as I’m Nigerian.
I haven’t met my person, and I inch closer to being a 30 something year old spinster.
So many things on my life to-do list sit unchecked. How ever will I make the Forbes 30 Under 30 list now?
There’s a lot that’s missing, there’s a bit to freak out about and spiral into a Gen Z quarter-life crisis.
But I’m so fucking excited.
I’ve spent the year in therapy working through the anxiety and depression that have plagued me since I was in my teens.
Even on the days when I wake up sad, I breathe a sigh of relief knowing that negative emotions are completely valid too. Gone is the thought of unaliving myself.
While I’m confused about my “what next?”, there’s a sense of trust I have in myself that whatever decision I make will not be an utter disaster.
Maybe it’s my developing prefrontal cortex (another win for aging).
Maybe my therapists are miracle workers.
Perhaps, it’s just a culmination of all the lessons I’ve learned and the resilience I’ve built.
Or all the love that I have, all the love I’m finally letting in.
I suspect it’s all of these things.
I don’t have a deep musing a life lesson today.
Only that I’m okay.
It turns out, the light isn’t at the end of the tunnel – it’s right inside it. It just takes some of us a little longer to find the switch.