Do you have a moment please? I would like ten minutes of your time, if you do not mind. I understand that you are currently preparing for your regional debate finals, and so I will be brief. You leave for Warri in five days, so you have enough time to prepare.
You do not recognise me, because we have not met prior to this day. I am not surprised by the bewildered look on your face, as I know you do not necessarily like people, although your natural exuberance makes you seem like you do. Before you conclude that I am a psychic, and withdraw from me as you do anything else that vaguely attempts to decipher you, know that you cannot escape me. I am a bearer of good news, and I know just as much about you, as you do yourself.
I am your nineteen-year-old self
(well twenty shortly, but hey-ho). I seem nothing like what you imagined? That’s okay, we will talk about what I am sometime in the future.
Is that mist I see forming in your eyes? Are you emotional already? It has barely been a minute. SMH. I remember what it felt like to be you. In fact, I would cry too, but my facebeat is too peng for that. You do not understand my last sentence? Apologies, this is the language of social media, and in the coming years, you will find yourself using these slangs from time to time.
My love, brace yourself hunty! Your debate will go smoothly and you will emerge regional winner, alongside your teammates. You will be asked to speak at the social gathering after the event, and you will pass around your 2go username to more people that night, than the entire year combined. Free your mind of the immediate worry and let me tell you what your next few years will be like.
You will write a lot more than you currently do in the coming years, so I will advise that you buy a diary. Your current crush – the one you keep stealing glances to, the one who walks by your classroom corridor each day, and makes your friends tease you in ways that make you uncomfortable – will leave shortly. You need to channel your energy to your studies when this happens.
You should not bother about fitting in with the popular girls in school, half of them will cease to be your friends in the coming years, and occasionally you will find them trailing in the comment section of your social media pages. Pick up your bag and let us walk a little further, let me tell you the more interesting things.
I know this may seem hard to believe, but you will leave home shortly to a land far away from home. This will be sudden and you must prepare yourself for it. Any moment from now, Anyaogu will make a life changing comment about your academics, and you should take this comment, grate it, soak it in oil and rub it on your skin each day.
When you are sixteen, you will sit in the front of an English Literature classroom, mumbling the answer to a question to yourself. The class will fall silent, and you will find your voice, and speak up. That day will mark a change in your academic life, and birth a new love for language and writing within you. You will own a blog. LOL. I know, it’s funny, I laughed too.
Moving away from home will change you in ways you cannot imagine, and you must be ready to stand your ground. I know you are a crybaby, and love to bask in solitude most of the time, but this will have to change. You will learn that sometimes, you have to meet people halfway there, and this means reducing the number of excuses you make, and stepping out of your comfort zone. You will learn that communication is key for human relationships to survive. You will learn that you can actually do more than what you limit yourself to.
I see you have your lab coat in your left hand, and a little birdie tells me you have a chemistry class shortly; I won’t be long. What I am about to say next will shock you, but you will understand when the time comes:
You will have an opportunity to study Medicine, but you will turn this down. I’m afraid, but this is true. I know what you’re thinking, what else could I possibly be? That is all I have ever wanted to be.
Well, que sera sera. What will be, will be.
Your gifts will place you before kings, so do not take it to heart that day students are not allowed to be prefects in FGC. You will be bigger things. You must make the most of every opportunity, and stretch yourself beyond your current perception – you will be used to entertain, to create, to motivate, to investigate and most of all to educate. And this is where you heart shall remain.
You will make new friends, and meet people from varying nationalities- you should work on your open mindedness. Look around you and look carefully; your current friends will be your friends for a longtime, and I must say you have been blessed with great friends. I am sure you know those who will stay for you, and those that stay for the idea of you. You must take this into cognisance, but remain civil.
I love you so much.
Before I go, here is a list of things you should do. I know you dislike chores, but think of these as little stepping stones to where you want to be:
– you should work on your time management, as this will come in handy later.
– you should eat all the Gala you can now, because very soon, you will only see it once or twice a year, and by then, you will develop a kind of aversion to things like it.,
– you should have the decency to make some notes for goodness sake! WASSCE examinations are around the corner, and a photographic memory can only do so much without extra revision. Listen to Anyaogu.
– you should be more considerate of people, as this will save you a lot of arguments in the near future.
– you should continuously strengthen your remaining with God, as you will need all the strength you can get.
– you should let Sally have your earring, and stop swerving her Mr Biggs meatpie.
– you should stop worrying about what these seniors in FGC think of you, you will barely remember their faces in a few years.
You will feel genuine, intense and beautiful emotions in the future, and so you can sulk all you want now. You will meet people who will bring out the best in you, people who will love and support you unconditionally. You will realise that “everything you need to be contented is right here, right in this moment, and you can have it when you understand that all that matters is right here”. You will learn that quote from Jhene Aiko, and her album will play the night before every examination you take in the next four years.
P-square will release more songs, and you will change your mind about using ‘Beautiful Onyinye’ for your wedding. Oh, they will also split too. Duncan Mighty will make some of the maddest rhyme schemes in his new songs; he will rhyme “oil spillage” with “Freedom College”, “yam porridge” and “Tiwa Savage”. I know, me sef I no fit shout.
My, my, my. Look at the clock! It’s time to go back towards the admin block.
I will leave you now, because I do not want to say anything else – I’d rather you experienced the rest.
Say hi to Hephzibah and Deborah for me. Tell them thank you. Tell them that your twenty-year-old self cannot thank them enough. I will say hi to the rest on your behalf, most of whom you are yet to meet. I cannot wait for you to meet my sisters – the ones that make friendship synonymous with family.
Oh, lest I forget, you will drink coffee. Several times. Forget this ‘I don’t drink coffee’ thing, deadlines will have you shooketh! Oops, that too. You will use words like shooketh.
Run along now, beautiful one and do not be afraid to fall and get back up. I am sure 25 and 30 will have a lot more to say to you, but until then,
16 says “Read for your WASSCE”
17 says “ Sometimes, you are the problem”.
18 says “ In the tiny memories, you still exist and are loved”.
19 says “ Last last, you go dey alright“.
I love you, and please, write me back at your earliest convenience.
Your older, not much smarter but definitely wiser self,
What would you say to your 15-year-old self? Please share below, as I’d love to know 💕