March catfished me y’all! She told me things in February, yaani! She said we were going to explore all of Nairobi’s restaurants for my birthdays (there are 31 birthdays in a 25th birthmonth – it is just science!) then visit New York for the first time then say a proper goodbye to Johannesburg all while graduating then wrap it all up with a friendcation of a lifetime in Cape Town! And I believed her! I was prepped – calling March a festival and all! But DOLOLO! Okay to be fair the first week was fantastic! It was like when the date chooses a great restaurant for the meet up to get all your hopes up; but then you arrive and you meet the human and you are like nope! Unfortunately, I couldn’t leave this date – none of us could😪. So that is how I sat through the 60 days of March and made the best of it! Thankfully there were lots of silver linings so let’s get to it!
I turned 25! And I could not have planned a better birthday weekend! Sheila hosted a beautiful house party on Friday night! Then mummy and Vayo, planned a wonderful family lunch party at home. It was such a love-filled day and the highlight was when we had our own versions of red table talk (women communing is my favourite thing in the world!). And then on Sunday I participated in the Beyond Zero 10km run with women I love and admire – the most adult way I have ever spent my birthday. It was a great way to commemorate the International Women’s Day too! I also got so many gifts that are so me – statement jewellery, heartfelt messages, afro-centric accessories, journals, cute scenty things, a resort and spa experience (aki! this mother of mine🥰), books, chocolate, prayers and so many other expressions of love. Yaani! I was loved and celebrated into “I don’t know-ness” and I am just grateful. Thank you God! Thank you Mummy and Daddy! Thank you family and friends! May all the love and joy you gave to me be returned to you in full—pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap!
I got to spend time with my sisters. Actually, the longest time we have ever spent together! With schools closed, I took up the task of helping them with virtual learning with much enthusiasm. Going as far as asking them to call me Principal Odogwu😂! We had so much fun from cooking to baking to tiktoking to singing to assembly to playing to bible study to learning to simply working in the same room. But we also had some tough moments as I endeavoured to impart important values and processes (read bedtime, less screen time, leisure reading and banning tiktok). All in all, I feel this experience has made (and is making) our relationship stronger and I am grateful.
I am grateful that I got to spend so much more time with family (both physically and virtually). When I was writing my gap year intentions this was at the top of the list, quarantine meant I got to have more of it than planned. At first we were bonding over planning my graduation, designing dresses and beadwork, then that got postponed. Now I am loving sharing space with them. From my baby brother who is the most adorable little human I have ever seen to sacred meal times to series and movie nights with my mummy to unreasonably competitive basketball matches! Aaaah! Just joy!
Before social distancing I went on dates with friends. Our Speakerbox session with Pauline and cake and pie with Mwabae were definite highlights! I am finding that spending time with my friends is keeping me grounded and easing the transition back home. I am really looking forward to having more of them once all this is over. Until then I aim to get on as many calls as I can.
I thank God for giving me the will power to practise self care. Usually such uncertain times would throw me into an anxiety spiral which would manifest as over-eating and series bingeing. Instead, I find myself gravitating towards healthier practices and even enjoying them! For example, I have used my Youversion bible app more this season than I ever have. It is also becoming easier to get onto the treadmill for my morning run. I am also making time for stillness through meditation. Lastly, I finished my book of the month, Black Widow Society (such a thrill!).
I am so happy that I maintained unmatched consistency with my Instagram page and blogging. At the end of February I sat with my career coach, Angie (she is amazing), and she helped me create an action plan. Before the meeting my gap year felt overwhelming but breaking down my goals into small practical steps has made a big difference! The structure created by virtue of being Principal Odogwu😊 has also helped me become more productive.
Art and social media. I saw a post which stated that after this we ought to take the arts (after healthcare) a lot more seriously. Art is making this time so much more worthwhile. I live on stories, music, memes and watching all those challenges! Then there is social media which is helping with staying in touch with loved ones. Movies and series too! Currently watching: Grace & Frankie with mummy and The Crown on my own. My March favourites have to be Queen Sono and Self Made. Virtual school closes on Friday and I have so much lined up for the Easter holiday!
I learnt how to ride a bicycle. This was one of my 2020 goals! It took me long enough but I am now ready for when we break up with cars and start cycling everywhere. I am far from perfect but I will get there, especially with the help of my great teachers! The best thing about finally balancing on a bike is the feeling of triumph over other non-related things! I feel like I can do anything! It is amazing!
I am making no plans for April because I have learnt how fast those can crumble. However, I aim to stay the course as far as my gap year goes and to make the most of every day. Praying for healing for all those affected by the virus and for good health for all of us. May the worst of this storm pass quickly.