Your twenties are supposed to be a mess, apparently.

I, in fact, did not know this.

Regularly Scheduled Programming

It’s the end of the month; I am nothing if not persistent, so Happy New Year! Let me start this by saying that this wasn’t supposed to be the letter I was supposed to send - that one is hidden in my Google Docs titled the first ILL letter of 2023.

Technical difficulties resulted in that letter not being sent; by technical difficulties, I mean the beehiiv editor clashing with my Grammarly editor and messing up the structure of my letter. Speaking of, we’re on beehiiv now! Screw Elon for shutting down Revue.

When I wrote the OG version of this letter, I said that I had discovered that this acronym of Ink, Love and Life was ILL and I was making it my entire personality. Yes, I am corny like that. 

I’m not going to lie; I had high hopes for this year - I still have high hopes for this year. It started out great! New job (if you’ve been following this for a while, you’d know that I was looking for one), an absolutely fantastic Eko Anime Fest 2.0 (we were featured on France 24 AND TVC!), and what I thought was a handle on my mental and emotional state. Then I came back to school.

For a bit of context, I hate school. I like to think I’m pretty smart, I have prizes from kindergarten till SS3 to prove it. I can’t pinpoint exactly when I lost my zeal for school and academic validation but I lost it and I can’t get it back. I don’t even want it back. Every day that I am in school drains my soul in a way that I cannot explain. It’s the “why” on my lips when I wake up in the morning and the “please don’t let me wake up” when I go to sleep. My brain doesn’t like it here, and my soul doesn’t too, so both of them rebel. And I waste valuable time that I could be using to learn, trying to wrangle them into submission. 9 out of 10, they win the fight. That’s probably why I’ve had three breakdowns in two weeks.

In my last one, I was doom-scrolling on TikTok and came across this picture.

It’s settled my soul a bit. I’m a mess, but who isn’t in their 20s? Very few people have it together, and I am part of the majority that don’t. That’s reassuring. I talk to my friends who are approaching their 30s, and they tell me the same thing - “Don’t be in a hurry to put your life in order; it’ll fall apart anyways.” I’ve seen that sentiment repeated by people in their 30s, 40s and 50s. At what point does it start making sense? Or maybe it doesn’t? Maybe it doesn’t.

As much as there’s no time, there’s still a lot of time to experiment. I cut my hair off during one of my breakdowns last year, and it’s not bothering me as much as it was because, at the end of the day, it’s just hair. It’ll grow back. If it doesn’t, I’ll wear a wig. There’s time to have my plans fall apart in front of me because that’s what life does. 

On Life.

I think I covered the summary in the earlier section. I have a new job that I absolutely love. I have coworkers I like. I’m back in a soul-draining place. I’m getting my new creative mojo back, I think. I reconnected with an old friend, and despite the fact we’re ridiculously busy at this point in our lives, it’s nice to talk to her again.

Oh, and I have a crush on someone. Don’t let anyone tell you crushes aren’t fun; they’re a LOT of fun. It’s nice to feel this way for someone again. Will it go somewhere? I don’t know. I hope it does. If it doesn’t, well, at least I tried. 

I’m supposed to be reading for a test at the time of writing this letter, but this tweet stays with me more and more;

You can be happy even when you’re not where you want to be. Happiness is not a holiday destination you get to after you’ve saved all your hard work and put capitalism coins in the vending machine of life. But, e easy to talk, implementing is all the harder.

On Books

I just finished Eloghosa Osunde's Vagabonds. There's something Tatafo says in this book, "something shifts in you as you read my words," and I relate so fucking hard. There’s something about the way Eloghosa uses words that reaches into you and twists something hard. When you’re done reading, you can’t go back to the way you were before. Or maybe it’s just me.

This essay is as close to holy grail as we’re going to get. 

On Music.

I know Princess Diana is proud of her child, Ice Spice. Her debut EP has been playing on repeat. I’m not a rap girl, except it’s coming from an artist I already fuck with *cough* BTS *cough* but Ice Spice intrigues me. 

Because I talked about Twenties in this letter, it’d be unfair not to put RM’s archives of his twenties in this;


This year's Lemonade definitely has to be seeing my siblings after months in Lagos on vacation. The vacation was fun but being at home and sleeping in my own bed was definitely more fun. Also, I feel the need to say that my friends are the best. The absolute best. 

This letter is sponsored by Duolingo and failing mental health. Go get your PVCs.