what to do when you come from a burning house.

and snippets of being lonely.

I didn’t want this week to pass without sending a letter. So here you go. Don’t ask me why I didn’t write last week; I don’t even know.

Regularly Scheduled Programming

I saw something on TikTok. It was a collection of images from different sources. This was one of those images -

As someone from a burning house, it’s disorienting to come out and realise that while your world was on fire, the whole world was not. The heat that you feel on your skin is only felt by you and by no one else. When I have adverse reactions to somewhat mundane things, it makes me feel stupid that I’m the only one having such a bad reaction to something that’s innocuous. But that was my reality, and even though I am working hard on undoing that reality, that truth still remains.

I cracked my shoulders before I started this letter; side note - for a 22-year-old, I have too many cricks and cracks in my joints, and after cracking, it felt like a weight had quite literally lifted from my shoulders. I didn’t realise that this weight was there until it was gone.

I figure that’s how it is with life (and my depressive episodes); you’re too busy fighting for your life, trying to take one step after the other before you realise that you’re existing and not living. It’s like people who have lived in Lagos their whole life leaving the city and realising that Nigeria does not smell like piss and car exhaust and traffic is not a death sentence. Anyhow, any time wey you wake na your morning.

You don’t realise that you’ve been fighting for so long until you get the opportunity to rest. And that rest is so addictive; you crave, and you fight for each moment of peace - life doesn’t allow a lot of those moments if we’re going to be honest. But once you get to the point where you have tasted peace and ease, you do not want to go back. And you shouldn’t have to. You shouldn’t have to struggle through life with clogged nostrils and a racing heartbeat.

On Life.

I did a thing. An absolutely terrifying but overdue thing. It’s kind of weird doing this thing but it’s made me feel more at peace than anything I’ve done.

It’s pretty easy to say stuff like “do it regardless of your fear.” and while that is supposed to be encouraging, most people - including me - have forgotten how powerful fear is. How it holds you back from doing even the most mundane things because your mind cannot conceptualise the thought of things going well. It’s ridiculous. But it happens.

Do it afraid anyways. Take one step today and another tomorrow. I quote FDR a little too much, but ‘Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the assessment that something else is more important than fear.’ And there are things more important to me than fear.

At least, that’s how I’m going to live my life. According to my wife, “In this house, we rest, not give up.”

Life is hard sha. The 20s are harder. I have no idea why. There’s so much to do and so many different ways to live that you get confused. Being in my 20s reminds me of being in my teens; confused, angry and wondering what the hell I’m doing. I just have better skin while I do it.

Shameless plug time:

My friend Tolu launched her community magazine Mamere today. Mamere is a magazine that focuses on the often-overlooked community of Nigerian single mothers. In a society where single mothers are shamed and insulted, Tolu is giving a voice to the people that Nigerian society has told to shut up. I’m proud of her and proud to know her. Her first interview was with Sarah and, well, I’ll let you read it yourself.

On Books.

I read Chimeka Garricks’s Tomorrow Died Yesterday. I’ve had that book on my to-be-read list for a while, but I was holding out for a paperback version. I forgot I was a broke kid who didn’t have money to buy the book. Reading the epub was certainly something. It’s amazing how much our lives intertwine with people, people we love, people we don’t, people we meet on the street. Our lives are a combination of who we are and the interactions we have with the people we meet. It’s interesting. I have read two of Chimeka’s books, and he might be clear amafred.

On Music.

If you follow me on any social media platform, you’d know that I love BTS. A lot. The members have been going on compulsory military service. It’s a thing that they do in Korea; if you watch K-Drama, it’s been talked about a lot. For entertainers, you’re allowed to push going to the military till 28, which is the last age of going. It’s like NYSC but in the Army. You have to have a really really good reason to not go.

Anyways, the BTS members have been going one by one for military service, and it’s been… something. As much as I understand why they have to go, there’s still the fear that something may happen to them during their service. But they asked us to trust them, and so I will.

Because of the enlistment, I’ve been listening to a lot of old BTS songs. One of my old faves is Whalien 52. It draws inspiration from the 52 Blue, dubbed the loneliest whale in the world. The 52 Hertz whale is possibly the only whale in the world that emits sonic calls at that frequency, making it unable to communicate with other whales.

BTS’s song Whalien 52 talks about loneliness from the perspective of a celebrity who might be surrounded by so many people but still feels alone. Whalien 52 is a favourite because it doesn’t focus on the ‘other people’ part of loneliness; it’s more on the innate feeling of emptiness. I feel you’d understand better if you listen to it.


Possibly my favourite section of every letter I send. Here’s the Lemonade in all the lemons that life has thrown at me.

My friend Josephine sent me a message containing plenty music related websites that I will not share because I like to gatekeep. Some of these websites make playlists based on songs and artists. I’ve found some really really good songs via the playlist I made for Paris Paloma’s labour.

Have friends that care about your music health.

Drink water. Eat shawarma. And have a good week.

With lots of love and hopefully none of the confusion,