When you are a girl, and you live in Lagos, and you are me, you do not get a lot of quiet moments, and here is why. You hurry to wake up, hurry to say your morning devotions and hurry to the kitchen. This is because good manners found you since the day you were born. Plus, you know there is never anything like too tired to do the house chores. So, you hurry with the house chores and hurry to prepare for work and hurry to get to work and hurry to get through work and hurry to get back home. Then you hurry to get to bed and you hurry to get out of bed the next day. This is Lagos. It is the norm.
Why the hurry?
You have hurried through the first phase of your life, and you must hurry through this next phase too lest it passes you by, un-achieving. You hurry to acquire more degrees and hurry to be a responsible adult. Then you work the job, grab a side hustle, chase another certificate and wait to be wed. That is the biology of the life you live in.
Weeks down the line, or maybe only days down, you start to feel a kind of weariness that words cannot explain to the pharmacist down the street. Because the weariness wears your bones comfortably, caresses your insides, invades your private corners as though it is a long-lost relative in whose hands you forgot the key to your sanctity.
You know it is not Malaria, and you know it isn’t Typhoid. You know what it is not, but you do not know what it is. It feels like emptiness and it is so full. So, you speculate – maybe it is the work deadlines hanging you to dry. Or maybe it is the many other outside-work commitments that you fear you will fail to meet, or maybe it is because you do not have a man in your life to return to after a long hurried day and they tell you that you are still young but you know it won’t take long for the narrative to change.
Whatever it is, you hurry to the restroom and break down from the weight of the nothingness inside you.
Then the tears begin…
You mourn, loud and clear, for the stretching numbness that has since taken over your body. You mourn for the emptiness in the conversations you now have with friends and relatives. And for the good jokes that no longer reach you because your heart is growing cold. You mourn because this is not you.
But There’s Also Hope
So, you close your eyes and place a hand on your chest. You feel the doom-doom-doom of your pumping heart, and you smile and cry at the same time. And instantly, you know you will be fine. So long as you find the moments to re-connect with your core, you know that you will be fine even in a world as mad and hurried and ironically beautiful as this one that you find yourself in.