Sunrise & Clarity


Dear Diary,

2019 has been a year full of ups and downs, you can’t imagine how excited I was to be spending Christmas in the village for the first time ever… I looked forward to the good weather and beautiful scenery, but most especially a chance to unwind and reflect on the year ending with little or no connection to the outside world as there is barely any mobile connection here.

Seeing as Nigerian roads are not built with comfort in mind, I count it a blessing to still have my head screwed on right as I sit to write this entry, your girl could not even catch a decent nap on the way here, but trust me I did nap.

I can’t seem to think of a more perfect way for me to have spent my Christmas, the year that I’ve had has been eventful, my mental health took its biggest hits this year so I was very much in need of such a quiet close, and I am especially grateful for it.

Christmas didn’t feel like Christmas at all but that’s only because it was nothing like I’ve ever experienced before. Christmas for me is characterized by so much work in the kitchen and serving food; a wonderful delight that I honestly and truly dread. This year however, Christmas meant really long peaceful sleep, breakfast in bed on most days, taking walks with family along the rocky- dusty paths of the village, and eating wild fruits.

I met a lot of family members that I don’t really know, I guess that’s why no one gave me the staple – you’re now fat – African greeting. This is one of the little things I’m grateful for this Christmas, however what I’m most grateful for was the opportunity to sort through my mind and my heart as this year comes to a close and as I step into a new year.

 A change of scenery sure comes with a change of perspective, having the leisure to note the intricate patterns of mud huts, thatched roofs and the delicate way the sunset hits wild plants has a way of drawing your attention to the beauty in the little things we so easily overlook. This beauty that not only exists in the quiet of the village but also the hustle and bustle of our everyday lives within and without; for me some of this beauty is found in the communities I’m a part of and the beautiful support systems that surround me, I absolutely love the fact that I don’t have to do life alone.

 In recent time I’ve found myself worrying a lot around the big ‘what next’ question, this is one of the things I hoped to tackle during this break, I planned to drive out of the village and back into real life with at least most of the answers to the questions that have me tossing and turning in my bed… and while I’m back home now without the slightest clue, I realize that that in itself is not such a bad thing.

A very big chunk of the anxiety I battle is tied to lose ends and uncertainties, this is a problem because life is in fact full of uncertainties, I’m almost always between a rock and hard place. During my time away I read a book by Oprah Winfrey titled ‘What I know for sure’, this is my most special read this year, the message is simple and timely, bringing the important things back to focus; I think that’s what the season of Christmas does anyway.

I’m just 22 years old, there’s a lot that I don’t know… about life, about myself, about the world, and about my future, but there are things I know for sure. I know for sure that sunsets and sunrises make me very happy. I know for sure that my belief in Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection secured my salvation.  I know for sure that my family will always love and have my best interests at heart; even if their version of it is not always the same as mine. I know for sure that I have my own ‘tribe’ of friends who love me as deeply as I love them. I know for sure that my intentions are right and will always birth the right consequences if I stay focused on that path. I know for sure that the people in my life will never watch me walk into a ditch without trying to stop or pull me out.

So yes, I’m back home and I still don’t have all the answers but from this Christmas I’ve decided to no longer focus on all the uncertainties, I’d rather focus on the things I know for sure. My only resolution for the year 2020 is to live life fully; I know for sure that my journey begins with a choice to get up, step out, and live fully.

Like the words from one of my most favorite songs; from now on when I get the chance to sit it out or dance, I have decided to dance.

Yours truly,

Oiza Alonge.

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