Ireoluwa by Adetutu Adedoyin

 

IREOLUWA

Hey little grown-up one,

Before I begin, please tell me they call you by your rightful name? I mean the one I know you by; the one I would probably call you before I think of any other one you were given. My heart aches because I think the answer is negative. It doesn’t exactly matter as long as they know who bears whichever of your names they have chosen to call you. okay okay! I am getting distracted

Almost all my life, you have followed me. I didn’t realise until you came out of the shadow. From St. Clare’s Nursery and Primary School, to All Saints’ College and then to Gray’s International College. I am very glad that you didn’t follow me to Bowen or else, my shortcomings would have been made known to you. I don’t know if I would have been able to live with that. Maybe on a better note, you would have realised how much of a human I am. I almost forgot! We also went to the same church where you stalked me some more.

To be honest, before I began writing these words I had the perfect words for you. I was going to give you little life tips on how I have been surviving or on how you could go through life. for some reason, I must have thought I could make it as a life coach I will be blunt with you; don’t be too much in a hurry to grow up. Enjoy the weather, take pictures (a lot), drink water and monitor your growth. Also, cherish it. You would miss this phase in later years.

The first time ever you mentioned it in the comment section of one of my Facebook posts or maybe it was a direct message, I had replied in the shallowest manner ever. A long awn and other few kind words. I had a lot of things I should have told you as a sister. Things I felt you needed to know, because along the line I felt responsible for you.

On life; it is what it is. In the words of Travis Greene at the beginning of his song, ‘While I’m Waiting’, “I was just thinking about God and how in so many seasons, he requires our patience and that ain’t cool, right? Because everything in this world is fast… don’t let the driver take too long or we are about to lose our mind… There is no chill, because we are always in a rush. You know with God, sometimes he requires of us just to wait on Him and it’s cool to wait on Him because he is faithful. It ain’t like waiting on someone who don’t have a track record of perfection. God’s resume is good enough for us to wait on Him. While we are waiting, we are getting stronger and the Bible says they that wait on the Lord shall have their strength renewed

Sometimes, you would need to stop in your tracks and just evaluate. The first person on Instagram to ever believe in me was a woman named Gemma Tutu. I was first fascinated by the fact that I knew a person who has the same name as me. I can never forget the words of hers that struck my heart and got stuck in it. I can’t forget because I screen shot it. I was so impressed and inspired to do better for myself that I posted it November 4, 2016. It read;

Every day, take a walk through
The garden of your heart
Deweed and start sowing seeds of truth,
Faith, hope and love
Keep it pure from litter and vandals.
Anger, envy, hate and strife.
For your heart dictates your words
And directs the course of your life.

And now, I direct these words to you because I know it would be of great help to you as it has been to me.

You will lack motivation and inspiration. Forget about them, they are only temporary (this is not to say that they aren’t useful. They are also driving forces). Work on good habits; they are the ones that will get you where you need to go. I read somewhere that habits make a man. Habits form who you would end up being; what do you ingest? What do you spew out? What occupies your mind? Do your actions during your time alone match the ones you show forth when the world is watching? Be consistent.

In past time and present, I have learnt about strength in all its glory from you and a few things that I read up when you decide to share on WhatsApp status. I need you to know that you can never fix a man or a woman as the case may be. You could however be an agent for the fixing of whatever might be broken; take it to the manufacturer. Who better to fix something broken than the one who made it? Take the person to God. ♬take it to the Lord in prayer.

On love in life; in the words of Reminisce in ‘Ponmile’, “Ìfé o kìn se àgìdì, be ni ko gba àgìdì”

Love is not stubborn or forceful. I am sure you remember quite well what 1 Corinthians 13 says about it. I also need you to have it at the back of your mind that people hurt, not love. Knowing that someone looks up to me makes me want to be more responsible than I ever allowed myself to be. You come first, regardless of what is said to you or what is done to you. Remember that no one can give what they don’t possess. You wouldn’t always get the good things you deserve, just because you dish it out. Know when to walk away. Know when to say stop and know when to say no. God’s love alone is unconditional; yours has boundaries and it’s only with God you can overlook things. It’s only with God that mountains can become plain. Know when to turn back and run. 

On friendship; there are always benefits attached to it. You decide what sort of benefits you want. Don’t let anyone lie to you that wanting a type of friendship that imbibes positivity into you as much as you do into the other person involved is being self-centered. I was told yesterday night that a peace given by Jesus isn’t meant to be protected but enjoyed. I agreed, but little does the person know that demons are constantly out to steal our joy from us; deprive us of things that have been freely given. I didn’t need to educate him; I chose sleep instead.

It brings me great joy today to write out these words for you. I appreciate how high you have elevated me and I would not fail to mention that at this point in my life I don’t feel like I am deserving of it. I guess I try my best. I have taken my time to write these words of appreciation and also of admonition, because we rise by raising others. You have pushed me up and it’s my duty to pull you up so we could see things together on the same level. You will lose and you will win, but make sure every loss is a win.

Smile! Drink water! Glow! Live don’t just breathe! Impact!

Don’t forget Philippians 4:8 – all you need to go through most if not all situations in life.

P.S.: I hope I get an autographed copy of your book some day or get a special invite to sit in the front row of the show you might be hosting or impacting at. Tell your mum I miss her and how she always came through with sexy jollof rice and dodo and those uplifting Kenny K’ore songs that played on our way to school that one time.

I hope IreOluwa that in few years from now still, God still upholds me to be the lamp to light your paths through life till you can stand on your own.


Written by Adedoyin, Adedoyin .O, Senior Literary Editor