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Longidi A Letter To My Younger Self

Dear beautiful little one,

In this picture you were a year old. You looked like you are full of frowns but I know you just don’t like too much of a crowd. I’m sure you don’t know any one the people at your birthday party that were not your siblings.

Ije as a baby

Ije as a baby

Ije as a baby - party

Ije as a baby – party

Ije as a baby - swing

Ije as a baby – swing

Ten years later you will move to a land afar, a strange place it would seem. And it would take you two decades to get used to the new foreign land and its ways and custom. You will make mistakes, oh you will make mistakes. But none of them should you wish to change. It makes you into the quirky, unique woman you are today.

During your teenage years, you would be so unsure of yourself. Not quite British, no longer authentically Nigerian. You don’t belong anywhere. You don’t really fit in anywhere. As painful as this time may seem, feeling alone and unable to connect to the other kids – it will pass.

They may call you names. They may call you naive. But be thankful for your aloof, detached self as this kept you away from all the dangerous teenage antics that was rife in your school and neighbourhood. Be thankful that you enjoyed your own company and kept to yourself.

You will try to grow out of ‘detached persona’ it in your early twenties, but you’d really begin to act like you belong in your late twenties.

And by the time you hit thirty. Life’s a peach in terms of identity and culture. You can truly understand and join in with the British culture, but you stand firmly as a Nigerian. A strong, positively happy Igbo woman.

I wish for you to keep your smile and never let your light dim.

Until me speak again,

Your older self,

xoxo

Ije

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