Hope you’re all holding it together during this season of multiple pandemics. It’s obvious that the year has a lot it wants to detox itself off this year. Still, if you’re reading this, I’m glad you are safe and healthy. That’s a commodity, these days.
I have been advised and roped into something that I have been taking a look at for the last week. A chance at doing something a bit more consistent over the course of the month, both for the website’s sake and I guess, some personal growth. You can get the hint in the hashtag I put in the title.
#WinterABC2020, hosted by the wonderful @Afrobloggers, is a chance for African bloggers to stand out and express themselves fully and truly. I am African (Nigerian by birth) and I blog. I guess, in however small a way, this applies to me to.
So, for the next 22 days, I’m going to attempt to perform some written magic, delving a bit more into who I am, what I do and the way I experience the world, based on a few choice topics chosen by the hosts of this current event.
So, without further ado and in line with topic 1-of-22 simply titled ”, here goes;
I am three times self-published author, going under the pen-name of I. Ogunbase. Which is formed really by the initials of my first name and my last name. It took a while for me to decide on it because of marketability but I eventually came to the conclusion that my identity is tied to my name and I don’t want to hide behind a false one just so that my books will be more appealing.
I’m Nigerian (birthed and lived in for 14 years) and British (for the later half of my current life). I love writing, I love gaming. I love God. And it is my hope that I can be consistent in the next 22 days.
That’s my pledge, really.
Some topics might be tweaked to better fit the site but I’ll talk more about that in tomorrows hashtag post ;). Until then, have a great day.
You know… It has been a while since my last blog post and honestly, I shouldn’t be writing in the mood that I’m in. But, writing in an emotional state tends to be the best state in which I can make words make sense.
I need words to make sense.
2020 was and is supposed to be a different year. A different way of thinking, new moves, new life and the promise of something completely out of this world. Something I’ve been chasing since she said yes to me over the phone when I told her I’d like to date her.
The dream of a new house and a new car. A few books out under my name and some upwards movement with my life and that of those around me. Colleagues had plans in place, I had weddings to attend and one to plan even. There was a positive trend to the year.
And then. Covid-19.
Covid. Flipping. 19.
And all the heavy lifting that had been put in place from the months before… All the sweat and tears and frustration and stress of trying to pull everything together into a cohesive picture suddenly goes out of the window. The monsters and the burden that had been discarded down were suddenly back up as the scramble re-began and trying to pull it all together.
I mean, it’s not everyday that one sits to fight and survive a pandemic, even if the death stat is about 5% of total cases. 5.3% to be pedantic, really.
Still, the wedding is most likely going to be postponed. The vendors are back into negotiating stages. The house process is postponed. Stress levels are rising. Everyone is working from home and all of this…
All of this = Little Picture.
It’s the extent of the things that I can control, even if the control itself is nothing more than an illusion. A brilliant and sweet illusion but the faux control is still enough to give off the right amount of dopamine that is just grand.
And then, there’s the big picture.
A global pandemic.
Who knew all the years of watching disaster movies would end in us experiencing one? Real-life imitating fiction and we’re living in it in real-time. Right to the tip-top second.
The coronavirus, Covid-19, is spreading like a bad rash on a hot day and we’re barely keeping it back. The hospitals are overflowing with patients, everyone and their moms are getting sick and the unfortunate souls with outstanding health conditions are being forced to come to terms with what it means to contract the virus.
Countries are struggling to contain the spread, entire cities are trying to survive. Face masks are low in supply, the economy is having one heck of a wild ride and the sneaking suspicion that things will be a lot different when the virus has completed its cycle assuming, of course, that it completes its cycle.
Conspiracy theorists are filling the airwaves with half-truths and misinformation, looking for something or someone to blame. 5G is the current culprit as people attribute the technology to being capable of causing difficulty in breathing. I mean, I’m a tech guy but for all my research, I haven’t seen anything to attribute it to such.
Still, the false belief that it was 5G that kickstarted the virus has made its way on WhatsApp and Facebook and you know what happens after that.
Italy and Spain are battling the worst of it. USA is barely doing appropriate testing, along with their cousin, UK. The middle east is doing their best to sort out lock-downs while Africa (as a whole continent) is trucking on because (a) there’s a false belief that we’re immune and (b) we don’t have the testing facilities to prove otherwise.*
*Well as far as I know…
Nonetheless, I guess one of the best things to come out of this is the awareness of just how much the nurses and doctors all work to keep everyone else safe and sane. When this tale is over, I hope people remember them to forever be the heroes that they’ve shown themselves to be. More importantly, I pray that they will be able to be whole again when it’s all done.
All in all. Covid-19 has us by the privates and it’s squeezing tight.
The Big Picture.
So, here I am… angry and frustrated at how my plans for the year have more or less been tanked. And feeling guilty because in the face of the problems I’m looking at, I’m intentionally ignoring the bigger issue of what the world is experiencing.
And even with the knowledge… Even with the realisation that nothing matters until Covid-19 is sorted out and a vaccine is found, I still can’t help but feel like the year has robbed me of what I had been looking forward to for years now.
It has been forever since I came here to write anything… And to be honest, I’m kinda sad it has taken me that long especially after the whole “I’m going to write more” posts. Nonetheless, I guess I should still be happy I’m here.
To start with, I have been writing… I have been writing a lot more than I thought I would ever write in my life, to be completely honest with you. I have been a redditor (term for person who has a Reddit account) for a while but I joined a subreddit (site within Reddit) dedicated to writing and I’ve been using it to practice and hone the craft.
As a result, I ended up creating a subreddit of mine, where I posted the story responses to the prompts put up on the site. And that spurned out a lot of good things for me.
With all that happening, I was fortunate to befriend a lot of writers in the community who helped me get better with their feedback and criticisms and it all led to the following;
I finished and won at NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) for the first time in my life.
The novel I wrote for NaNo was a novel that spawned out from a prompt on the WritingPrompts subreddit
Said novel is complete and currently in the editing process.
Also, wrote a few stories which were well received by the community enough for me to kickstart my own Subreddit.
And now I have some serialised stories which get posted on a weekly basis for people to read.
There are no words to really express how my writing over the last few months has transformed into something completely different and how the journey has taken me so far. It’s exciting and I can’t wait to do more.
Secondly, if you’ve been here long enough, then you’ve surely seen my back and forth writings about life and what not. Life has been pretty awesome. Turns out I needed to grow some and change my outlook on certain things in my life, and my unwillingness to do so made me experience or rather, deal with my emotions immaturely.
PS: I don’t mean that everything’s fixed or great, but everything’s good and I am content.
Lastly, my girlfriend is awesome, but that’s a different post on its own.
All in all, I’m happy to be back. I’m not going to make the promise of “I’ll write more here” and all that like I did last year, but I will try and be here a lot more than I have been last year.
If anything, I will be cross-posting the serials here also, under the serials tab so that you amazing people here can also read along with everyone else on my subreddit.
The moment drowns out the noises,
Even as the colours fade to from the background.
You’re just left in the cold darkness
Staring into space,
Your heartbeat keeping you company.
It’s louder than usual.
Forcefully going through the motions of life,
That you’re out of breath from the reality of it.
Your lungs are working overtime to compensate.
There isn’t enough oxygen through your nostrils,
So you open your mouth for assistance.
You hear a faraway sound say
“You’ll be alright”
But as if on cue,
Your heart ups the ante and calls the bluff.
Your fingers wrap tightly around the first thing it can grip,
Your eyes get wider and colour comes rushing back into view.
Everything shines with a glare that mocks you with the opposite statement. “You’re not going to be alright”
You shut your eyes to blind yourself to the accusations.
You ululate in your mind to block the echoes reinforcing the statement.
It’s like you’ve been dropped in the ocean.
So you sink to the deepest parts,
Your arms flailing in slow motion as you attempt to swim to the top.
But you’re failing.
The darkness has come to claim you.
Then you feel a warmth,
A light breaking through the fog of cloud numbing your external senses.
It pulls you up,
Slowly as you escape the maw of the beast about to consume you.
You hear a voice, calm and soothing.
It repeats one word that widens your nostrils and calms your nerves.
Your body complies as if on command,
And your heart relents its force on your veins.
The world returns into focus.
So you breathe. Slowly, as you try to regain control of yourself.
Responsibility is as light as a feather,
The spring in your step propelling you further till you fly,
It becomes the wings on your back,
Lifting you past the clouds till you’re up on high…
It is the cool shades you wear when you step into a function,
It draws the eyes of admiration on you.
It blots out the stars till you’re the only star shining.
The brightness lighting up the dark sky so intensely,
It only made sense for everyone else to shield their eyes.
Responsibility is the twinkle in your eye.
The confidence in your actions that make everyone want to stand behind you.
The winning smile that lets you past the doors that once kept you.
It is the strength you never knew you had or wanted,
Equipped to lift the burden of others.
It is the hope of tomorrow,
The sunrise on another day.
The assurance that you are in a better place than you once were.
It is freedom.
And it makes you cry.
Tears of joy, yes,
But not without merit.
After all those years of waiting, you’ve finally gotten here,
And it is everything you’ve wanted.
Responsibility is heavy.
It drags you off the edge of a cliff,
And lets you hit the waters with no mask.
So you gasp for air but the lack thereof doesn’t kill you.
You just suspend in viscous space,
As the liquid sears your lungs and makes you cry out for relief.
It is the bags beneath your eyes because you haven’t been sleeping.
How can you?
When it is knocking on your walls,
Questioning every decision you’ve made and
berating you for the ones you didn’t make.
So it renames you as “Negligent”
“You thought you had the right stuff but you don’t” It says.
Responsibility is a duty.
It commands. Never requests.
It punishes when you fail to reach the criteria it sets before you,
Even if the rule-book to your actions have been hidden from you.
It demands the entirety of your being,
Gifting you a burden that you can’t give to anyone else.
It gives you the option to ignore it,
Of which it incrues an interesting amount of interest on it.
So that when you return,
You will find your responsibility ripe with profits that you really don’t want.
Responsibility is not kind.
It is not cruel nor is it wicked.
It doesn’t love you and won’t give itself to hate.