Waking Dreams – Unmasked, is all about storytelling and photography, which are the two love of my life. I started my blog because I wanted a space where I could call my own, and share what I care about with others – a public-private universe, with me as the lord and general overseer of my virtual turf.
The day I set my blog up was surreal, I really didn’t believe I did it afterward. You can call it a spur of the moment thing, even though it had been on my mind for a very long time.
Let me take you down memory lane…it’s a long story.
That was why my first blog post was Chasing Happiness – I averted a breakdown.
Being an introvert, I prioritize my personal space to recharge and stay sane. All of my woes were fashioned into my next post, To Be Perfect. Because I was struggling to find my identity amid all the chaos, and having my personal space reduced to nothing was not helping matters.
The world was changing, I was changing; moreover, it was happening too fast. Maybe some people kept a level head during the whole ordeal, but sadly I wasn’t one of them. I don’t know about you reading this, but I do hope that the year 2020 didn’t unravel you and put you back together like broken ceramics. If that was the case, I pray that you’ll find the strength to blossom, likewise grow to become the best version of yourself.
Fast forward, I wrote A Penny for Your Truth, because my thoughts were as disorganized as ever. I had plans laid out for the year 2020 – photography was one of the things I was going to dive into head, torso, and limbs all together – it felt like a race against time.
Before I could get orientated with this new world – post-pandemic – it was the second quarter of the year 2020. Things weren’t so great, but I learned how to appreciate what it meant to have people around you that genuinely look out for you; like family, a lover, old/new friends, neighbors, and just random strangers.
The world is full of good people, and you see them manifest even when all hope seems lost. We saw it repeatedly on the news, the internet, and for me, it was everywhere when I bothered to look.
Sometimes ‘seek and ye shall find’ is spot on – Hallelujah! There was a lot of strength in that realization. It put me in a good place, and I wrote Addiction, which is all about how much our devices and the internet were taking up a major part of our lives – like, comments, and sharing are what a good number of us are about (please feel free to do all of that for my posts😉). It was to show how we are all connected in time and space. How despite social distancing we could still be together-apart. I can’t overemphasize how lucky I was to have amazing people that helped me and believed in me absolutely.
I started my blog because I wanted a space where I could call my own, and share what I care about with others – a public-private universe, with me as the lord and general overseer of my virtual turf.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t only the pandemic that was rocking the world. Events were happening simultaneously that shed light on topics that were hitherto considered sensitive.
In Nigeria and all over Africa, the issue of Women’s and Girls’ rights came tumbling in like waves. Rape was one of the major issues (unfortunately it still is). Remember that I said that I was not my usual self. I was a far cry from my usual, unaffected by anything (can’t touch this), self-possessed self. I got caught up in a whirlpool of resentment which led to writing Irony: The reality of the Girl Child.
There was a campaign in Nigeria – #JusticeforUwa in May. It was a public outcry for a young girl named Uwa who was a victim of rape and murder. The people wanted the arrest and conviction of her rapists and killers. It was a reminder of a virus deadlier than the Covid 19 called Human Wickedness – I really think that sums up all the madness we see displayed regularly. I was sad, and angry because I believe that if people placed a higher value on human lives, the world would be less hellish. What’s more, Black Lives Matter cut across all our screens and people became aware that indeed we needed to do things differently. The Meeting was one of my first writings years ago. I pulled from my archives, I wasn’t keen on writing something new at that time, so I took a break. I had a major setback when I wrote the first part of Healing (if you’ve read it then you know how dramatic it was).
Fortune smiled on me, because around the same time I started reading Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire) by George R. R. Martin, and light bloomed in the underground cavern that was my existence. There’s nothing that can be compared to a good book.
Not long after, the lockdown was lifted, Hooray! I was able to get on with some of my severely revised plans. I got a spring back in my step. It was really awesome to be alive. This was a fine period that I can always look back on and be grateful for the intermission because something was coming, something consistent with the prevalent theme for the year 2020 – something terrible.
A toast to July 2020 – may we always find relief from all the troubles that beset us.
Honestly, the world was still in shambles with the rising number of infection and death tolls, failing economies, and incompetent governments, and the worst was yet to come for us.
I wished to stop writing, really, but everything was coming out effortlessly. Wow! It was two hours of typing and almost a thousand words. I broke the record people. Apparently, I was getting good at this Type A Lot of business. (I hope you are still with me).
Maybe it was a premonition or call it precognition, but before the new crisis unfolded I was itching to travel. It was on my mind all the time. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t like the stress of shuffling bags or sitting for long hours in a cramped seat – I made it mandatory to always travel lite. I also don’t like the feeling of displacement that I get when I get up and leave a place, especially if it is a place I’ve come to like. Nevertheless, the promise of a change of scenery gets me going all the time. So, I wrote Places because I wanted to hit the road and chase the sun. I remember always bullying my way to the window seat so that I could look out, take the occasional picture, and resist the temptation to stick my head out, and let my tongue hang like a dog.
I was reading A Dance With Dragons, the fifth and last released book of the series, A Song of Ice and Fire. It was mayhem. Overall, it was a spectacular read for me, though I was very late to the party – not unusual. I also had free time and I tried to put it into use. My perspective about life was undergoing a tremendous transformation, it felt as if I was shedding skin (well, all that upbeat vibes I was feeling didn’t last for long). I had gotten started on Healing 2, and I was really looking forward to the end. The flow of my writing was good, much like this one.
Soon it was August, and life continued. There was a certain night, a couple of days into the new month of September, I was walking home and the moon was bright. If you had been there, you’d have thought you could stretch your hand and pluck it from the skies. I didn’t want to get home in a hurry so I took my sweet time, mindful that it wasn’t safe to stay out late all by myself. When I eventually got into the house, I wrote A Catwalk to Remember, because I wanted to remember another time. Those days in the past when the streets were relatively safe. I had my friends with me and we would walk home under a moonlit sky talking about everything and nothing. (I hope they still remember it too, wherever they are.)
I believe that was the last time I put up a post in 2020. It wasn’t how I planned it. There were still several pieces I was working on but I was overwhelmed by the events that suddenly took place towards the end of the year.
October dawned with a fever to set things right and clear the path for a better tomorrow. Youths in my country had started to open their eyes to the reality of a government that did not have their interests at heart. It was a system bent on curbing creativity and development in every aspect of our lives. Compared to the pace of youth development in other countries, the youths here in Nigeria are forced to live out their lives struggling to make the system work for them at every turn. It’s the established status quo. In fact, many of us have embraced the culture of corruption, lies, and greed that the older generation has fed us, and if we are not careful to come out from it, we’ll do the same for generations to come. Several events led to our agitation for freedom from oppression.
#EndSars #EndPoliceBrutality was a communal cry for help – It was revolutionary in a way. At first, the movement was another thing to be labeled under the usual suspect – youthful exuberance – a nuisance caused by young people bored out of their minds. As if we weren’t within our rights to make demands, as if we weren’t protesting for our lives. Seeing that the government was not only appalled by our behavior, they had the gall to be downright condescending. Some adults supported the cause, while others shamed the youth. Well, we all know how that ended. We’ll never forget the Lekki Massacre and the length to which the government tried to cover it up. We will always remember the lives that were lost.
I don’t know about you reading this, but I do hope that last year didn’t unravel you and put you back together like broken ceramics. If that was the case, I pray that you’ll find the strength to blossom, likewise grow to become the best version of yourself.
Let’s take a breather from all the doom and gloom, shall we?
2020 was magnificent – it would go down in history as a year where the entire world battled for survival – and you and I were a part of it. We came out with a lot of new experiences. The kids and grandkids are going to get a firsthand, if not the slightly exaggerated version from yours truly – I lived through a pandemic, what say you? I’ll be the crazy old lady with her wild stories, always trying to knock some sense into miscreants (a true dog/cat mom). Looking back, I made some careless decisions, almost lost a person that’s very dear to me, missed some remarkable opportunities, and let things spin out of control. I don’t think I am the same person I was before. There is still so much I can do. So much I can achieve. I have my strengths and my weaknesses and know how to appreciate myself and my growth. As an introvert, I’m not so burdened with how much withdrawn I can get (sorry guys that I keep canceling plans). I know that I have to put more effort into my relationships. The year 2022 was crappy but it was also revealing.
Here’s a list of some of the memorable events in 2020:
• WW3 scare – Irani vs the United States of America
• Climate disruption – Australian Bushfires, Locust swarms (Africa), technically a lot of burning.
• Prince Harry and Meghan Markle gave the royal family the boot
• Brexit eventually happened.
• Covid – 19 pandemic – The world virus trimmed the population.
• Netflix revamped entertainment. (Ps who wants to share their password with me?)
• Rumors of Kim Jong Un’s death (Schrödinger’s Kim)
• Global stock markets plummet.
• Alien invasion (I think there’s a UFO sighting every year and 2020 wasn’t left out)
• Everything was made into a cake – my gag reflex was tried to its limit.
• Trump’s impeachment.
• Black Lives Matter.
• End Sars Protests – Lekki Massacre.
Well, 2021 is a new year and I am hoping for progress. Yes! People. So far, so good, my gratitude journal has been looking up. It’s only been a couple of months, trust me I’m not yet in a ‘better place’, but I’m getting there and I wish the same for you too. Thank you for being here. I would like to say that you are the reason why I continue writing and I need this outlet just as much as I need to share my stories with you. This purge was definitely needed, cleansing of mind, body, and soul. I hope to do a lot more freelance writing and reach out to a wider audience.
A big lesson I have learned is, life is unpredictable. Go for whatever it is your heart desires – I started to read as much as I want about things that align with my interests. Love, friendship, and family, should be appreciated. Find your tribe and own it. Always pray, keep your faith strong, and believe in yourself. Take care of your mind, body, and soul – guys I can’t overemphasize this. You may not get it right away, but keep pushing it. Just remember that you are worth it.
Thank you for sticking with me until the end.
Happy belated New Year,