Life Update| May 2020

How are you? This is the most asked question in the world and more often than not, our answer is always a lie. My answer to every “how are you” question is a default “I’m good” because I know most people don’t expect otherwise. Nowadays, people don’t stop at “how are you”, “hope you’re staying safe” always comes next. I’m really looking forward to a time when I don’t get asked this question too.

I started the month of May with a burst of energy. I felt like I had gotten the hang of working from home while blogging, reading, and taking care of myself. However, as the days went by, I moved slower until I crashed. I got over working from home and got tired of my current lifestyle. I just wanted to have the option of choosing to do something or go somewhere even though I’m not an outgoing person.

Nonetheless, I showed up to work every day, I published eleven posts on the blog, I read two books, I caught up with my favourite tv-shows, I listened to quite a number of podcasts centered around faith and spirituality, I took two courses on LinkedIn Learning, I created content for Instagram at home, and I finally sent out a newsletter.

The days went by fast and I was low-key thankful for all the weekends and public holidays that came my way. The coronavirus pandemic, on the other hand, was still very much on my mind like the ex you think about but don’t like to talk about. The number of cases in Nigeria has not reduced and people are going about their normal lives; partying, celebrating, and not social distancing. I understand that people are tired but it’s also better to be safe than sorry. Most people still don’t believe that the virus exists, and it seems like we’re now all on our own.

I bade Ramadan goodbye in the last week of May. This year’s Eid-el-Fitr was the first one in a long time that we didn’t go out for breakfast or brunch after Eid prayers. It was really weird to pray the Eid prayer at home but we still made sure we celebrated the end of Ramadan. We got dressed up in our abayas and ordered a feast.

Right before the month ended, we got another reminder in the United States that the colour of our skin is still a burden. I live in a black-dominated country where I’ve never felt unsafe because I’m black but I’ve had my fair share of feeling unwelcome or out of place when I travel. I can’t even begin to compare that to how black people who live permanently in the US feel. I welcomed the protests, in fact, I am happy George Floyd’s murder got international attention but the looting that followed is unnecessary and things have spiraled out of control.

Meanwhile in Nigeria, a 22-year-old undergrad in Benin was brutally attacked, raped, and murdered while reading in a Church. As if that wasn’t enough bad news, two policemen shot a 16-year-old girl in Lagos, and 11 men raped a 12-year-old child in Jigawa, and not one out of these 11 men stopped to think that what they were doing was wrong. I can never get past this.

I bet you’re curious to know how I’m doing right? Well, I’m tired……but I’m surviving. Insecure has been keeping me entertained, work keeps me preoccupied, Ramadan kept me sane before it ended, cooking makes me happy, and exercising keeps me recharged. Staying positive in the middle of all this chaos is the only way to catch up with life and all the hurdles it throws at us.

Here’s hoping the month of June brings peace, joy, and love our way.

Mariam Shittu

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