Choose Joy

Choose Joy

It’s been so long since I was able to actually collect my thoughts and put them into writing. I have been struggling with anxiety for a while, worrying about things within and outside of my control and just basically trying to figure this life out.

I was excitedly counting down to 2021 because I hoped and believed that 2021 will reset things and actually make them make sense for me. But unfortunately, that even seems out of reach now but I am choosing to stay optimistic. Is it hard? Yes!

So, how are you?

Things have been really crazy this past few weeks, so I want you to actually think about it and admit to yourself how you truly feel. It’s okay to feel sad, tired, crazy, angry or even depressed- all these emotions are valid. I have felt all of them at certain points these past few days. Writing has always been therapeutic for me and this is a way for me to come to terms with my emotions while cheering us all on. If you live in Nigeria, you must have lived the ENDSARS campaign one way or the other and if you live outside of Nigeria, then you may have heard of it.

Frankly speaking, it was one of the most exhausting 2weeks of my life, which started off ‘hopeful’ and culminated in an unforeseen spate of senseless violence and loss of lives. The question everyone is asking is, what next? What next for us as Nigerians? What next for us as youths? What next where a government which has a responsibility to protect us has decided that we are worth less than animals and should be silenced for exercising one of our fundamental rights.

Some days I wish there was a reset button that we can all just press and all the events of the past 2weeks would vanish. But then, I think about it again and realise that it really won’t make any difference because we will all be back to a time when the popular Special Anti-Robbery Squad Unit (SARS) felt it was okay to profile and harass us at will. It would mean that the sacrifices of the past 2weeks were in vain. It would mean that the deaths never mattered. So for me, rather than wish it all away, I am trying to figure out how to live through it all.

It’s okay to cry, vent and wail. When I heard the news of the massacre, I did just that. Crying makes me feel better but there was this pain in my heart that wouldn’t let up no matter how hard I tried. The more I cried, the more I hurt. I spent the past week trying to numb myself from the pain by using work as a clutch. It was the only way for me to feel sane because it was all too much for me.

This morning, I got a newsletter that reminded me that despite it all, I have the power to choose joy and peace. It doesn’t mean that I am less affected by all the happenings but I need to be deliberate about my mental and emotional health. The events of the past few days have scarred a large number of us and rightly so, but at the same time we need to prioritize not just our physical health but also our mental health. So let’s all be deliberate about choosing joy as we start a new week.

We will definitely leave this year stronger!

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