Twenty was heavy. In fact, when I think of 20, a philosophical skeleton comes to mind. My main aim was finding myself and creating a structure for my ideals. In short it was the essence part of my “Existence precedes essence.”I even had a whole manifesto 🙂 https://shanicewritingforhim.wordpress.com/2015/03/08/20s-manifesto/.I think this season was essential. At the end of my exploration and definition season, I had three words: Feminism, Christianity, Africanism and Chocoholism, these would form my philosophical skeleton into which I would grow. What followed were inadequacies and adequacies, inadequacies when I did not feel like I was filling out the skeleton right and agdequacies when I felt like I was filling them out well well.
However, on my 21st birthday I felt enough.I did not feel like I was in a hurry to tick an item on the list or fill out a part of this philosophical skeleton, you know, like to say something about Women’s day or write a blog post about the street harassers or to give updates about this chocolate factory dream… I felt grace not legalism and this is largely because I am blessed to be surrounded by people who love and value me for my intrinsic nature. As in I could be the shittiest person on the planet but they would still love me. I felt like the very things that I have been celebrated for were simply bonuses. On my birthday I was celebrated for simply being 21 and me inspite of all my short-comings or successes and this was so freeing. Grace is freeing.
” Woman. I do not say my because you are not property. I say woman not to degrade you to a mere word but to tell you of the power, the pride, the complexity that is you. Realise I do not call you African Woman nor mama Africa. For yes you are a Mama, yes you are African but that puts you under the pressure of representing those labels for everyone else. That also can still fall under woman.”
I think this sweet note from a dear friend puts my 21st year feeling in perspective.
Now enjoy the photos of what was the happiest day of my 2016.
And like all Nigerian movies end 🙂 To God Be The Glory!