To me at 23

A letter to my 23 year old self

Relax. Pause. Don’t put so much pressure on yourself. Your friend just landed a career making gig. Your other friend started a business and you can already see the profit accumulating. You look at yourself and feel like you don’t even know what you want to do with the next five minutes of your life, let alone the next five years. You’re anxious. You’re feeling like time is running out. You feel like you’re getting left behind. Well, relax, pause and don’t put so much pressure on yourself.

Remember the picture of the iceberg. You see the white tip sticking out of the water and it looks like a small floating piece of ice, and yet beneath the water is a huge boulder so big that you can’t see where it begins or ends. This is a metaphor for the friends you are comparing yourself with. You see only the surface. If you go deeper, you will find that there is a lot more to what you see. There is luck, there is privilege, there is circumstance and there is sacrifice. The same is true for you. You have been through a lot that only you know about and yet when people see you they only know the little you are willing to show them.

The truth is that you cannot compare your journey to that being travelled by another person. You are made to be strictly unique. Even if you had a twin, a carbon copy, you would not be the same. Your beauty is in your difference. So, allow yourself to breathe and do not compare yourself to anyone else. You’re only racing against yourself. When you reach your finish line, you will be the only one who can account for the journey.

So, make it count. How? Slow down. Take stock. Appreciate your blessings. Think about what you really want. Decide. Plan. Don’t be afraid to wait. Stillness speaks volumes. Allow yourself to listen. There are lessons to be learned here. Try move at someone else’s pace and you could learn the hard way. Take it easy on yourself for a bit. Life will test you when the time comes. Be prepared.

The best is yet to come. Keep the faith and work on your routine. It will all make sense soon.



Recycle me

​I have been hurt many times by a woman

And yet it is not women that I fear when I walk through the city streets in the middle of the night to withdraw my money

It is not women that make my heart jump up and down as I wait for those notes to spit from the machine

It is men.

Men who look like me

Men who walk like me and talk like me and smell like me

It is my reflection that terrorises me in a land where I am supposedly free

And if I fear my own, what happens when a woman is in the same situation? 

A free woman in her own land cannot walk where she wants to when she wants to

Because, just like me

She fears becoming a victim to men who look like me

Can I blame her when she looks at me and feels that I resemble the men she fears?

I cannot.

For in truth

I fear them too.