Celebrate Life

I sincerely didn’t plan this post. I was at the beautiful Ilaji resorts three weeks ago for a training retreat. I remember watching big brother Naija while editing the blog post to follow “Entrepreneurship” on my first night. The post was good to go, but for two weeks, I couldn’t bring myself to publish, and I didn’t understand the whys and wherefores, so I became so restless in my spirit. A few days ago, I came across the phrase “celebrate life,” and it jogged my memory; in fact, it was that eureka moment for me.

Happy Aunty Chador

If you read when life throws you melons, I stated there that I am shy to visit the lingerie shop, but there is this woman who makes it less awkward for me. The very first time I patronized her, she knew I was shy but still teased me so much because she could relate. Even though I ended up buying a perfect one and a nonsense one, I couldn’t get mad at her because she’s a marvel. She oozed happiness and wore this full Islamic regalia with so much pride; goggle said it is called “chador,” but many folks here call it “eha.”

I was at my home town last month and needed to get brassiere, so I decided to pay her a visit before going back to base. I got to the market and couldn’t locate her shop; let me add here that the only reason I recognized her shop before was by dint of her “conspicuous chador” always outside her store as her shop was not so big. I decided to dial her number to no avail, but thankfully, I saved her contact with her shop number, so I started to look for “J171”.

I got there to meet a lady on t-shirt and denim who introduced herself as the shop owner, and I became bemused, no amount of keto or slimming tea could have made “happy aunty chador” come down like this abi does weight loss now affect height too ni? I didn’t know her name, so I tried to describe her with all the adjectives I could amass, but the new lady didn’t seem to get me, thank God for one mama outside who asked to see the contact number I saved then she heaved and sighed and heaved again. She told me happy aunty chador had died since February during child labor, and I stood there like I had just seen a ghost. I sincerely didn’t cry, but I wish I did; maybe I would’ve felt a lot better.

Baba repairer, where are you sir?

A few days later, I got back to base with orders that were due for the following week, and my sewing machine had been acting up before I travelled, so I made a mental note to call baba repairer once I got back. I rang Baba, but surprisingly a female voice answered, and when I told her who I wanted to speak to, she told me “wrong number” and ended the call. I was completely confounded because I had contacted Baba on that line countless times in fact Baba specifically gave me that line as his “hotline.”

I decided to go to Baba’s house since I knew the place, and there was no other way to reach him. I wasn’t ready for any other repairer to touch my machine because Baba proved himself to be a guru. I remember the fateful day I met Baba; he rode into my house in his Bajaj motorcycle with the cutest smile ever; palms patched from toil, his shirt and baggy trousers have obviously seen better days, and his grey hair reminded me of Solomon’s words in Proverbs 20:29.

I remember how Baba finished up in record time, and I was a tad bit disappointed that Baba had 419ed me because my other repairers spent more time dealing with the machine. I paid Baba, and we said our thank yous and goodbyes only for me to get on the machine and voila! A miracle had happened! I literally sang “come and see American wonder” as I salsaed and discoed and combined both. Hehehe. I was intensely happy because my machine had never felt so alive.

I got to Baba’s house that afternoon and met Baba’s wife; I greeted her and told her I wanted to see Baba. She coldly replied that Baba had travelled. I inquired when he would be back and if she could give me his new contact. She pointed to a grave in front of the house and told me in Yoruba that Baba is the one there. Asides uttering “Jesus,” I couldn’t even bring myself to say anything else. I don’t think I remembered to utter the customary condolence thingy. The curious me would have asked what happened, but I quietly left with an abrupt feeling of melancholia. Happy aunty chador is dead. Baba, with the cute smile and magic fingers, is dead too.

Then they all came rushing in as if fighting for space In my brain. All the RIPs that I had seen on Facebook and WhatsApp status this year, all the death stories I read on Instablog, the death tolls by coronavirus across the world, and the most recent sad story of the CEO of Ninety5 Bespoke; Oladipo Tomide, who had an accident and lost his life because doctors were on strike at the time. I am a very emotional person, so if I tell you I didn’t cry seeing all these, I lie. I have cried like it’s a torrential rain. I remember a day I dropped the drapes in my room and cried till my eyes sent me a leave notice that there were no more tears for cry again. Actually, I cry to feel better, so no biggie about the tears.

Oh, death, where is thy sting?

I have had enough near-death experiences that have made me appreciate life, but August sent me a huge reminder that life is a gift. I fell ill thrice in August, and each time I reminisce, I just laugh. I remember calling an aunt late in the night to join her faith with mine because I was dying. Lol. The third time was something else. I came back from Ilaji resorts with an intense earache, so a pharmacist friend got me drugs and eardrop. Of course, I knew otalgia was a thing, and the sense of hearing was equally important to other senses in the body but what I did not know was that an earache could keep me up at night and not make me eat. I couldn’t speak well or hear properly with my right ear, in fact, I had to put my phone on speaker to answer calls, and I had to tell people to reiterate at times. It was like that “Saburi no network” woman in Yoruba movies. I couldn’t chew at all, and I could only take liquids for days.

My sister and mum tripled their calls to check up because they were scared for surgery or partial deafness. Lol. I won’t even lie, me sef was scared. I did the abominable googling of symptoms, and goggle emphatically explained to me how an earache could cause death and also threw so many medical jargon in my face. Little wonder the nurse told me my blood pressure was 140/100. They said it was due to lack of sleep, but me I know google had a huge hand in it. Do not google your symptoms, folks. Do not!

Have you ever thought about what will happen if you die today?

Well, I have, and I can boldly tell you it will be ephemeral. There would be lots of social media updates from friends and strangers who famz the dead (yeah, that’s a thing now especially if the deceased has cute pictures); people I mattered to will weep and wail and gnash their teeth. Epistles, epistles, and more epistles that would make biblical brother Paul green with envy. But would I be able to read them and awww? Friends, relatives, church members, colleagues, acquaintances, and a host of others will gather at my graveside to bid their last farewell amidst tears. I can’t believe my eyes just let out a tear right now; I really need to stop. lol
Well, the bottom line is people will definitely move on. Trust me, you aren’t oxygen, and they would live fine without you, so what’s the point? Live your life to the fullest while you still can, death is inevitable. I don’t want my funeral to be a “celebration of life uncelebrated,” and I reckon you don’t want that too.

If there is anything these past weeks have taught me, it is living life to the fullest. By this, I do not mean the “operation smashing your goals and becoming a multimillionaire at 30 0r 40”. Of course, it’s wonderful to make money and smash your goals, but the greater goal is to be happy; Genuine, intense, enormous happiness. Sometimes we get so caught up pursuing our dreams that happiness becomes a luxury. Do not get me wrong; I am also a team #toolatetobenobody #dieempty; aunty Remi Owadokun inspires me every day, and I am grateful for the gift of her. Likewise, I also know that my happiness ranks highest on this scale of preference, so I constantly remind myself that I choose happiness above all else. What do you choose?

Do you know if you’re 27 years old, you have spent 10,129 days on planet earth? Heavens above! I can recount how I spent yesterday or the day before but imagine you asked how I spent day 6600th? I’m sure there were days I was all gloomy and sad, days I got angry at the slightest provocation, days I hurt someone else or hung on to past mistakes. Now, imagine, if you were to ask how I spent a day, and I could boldly say, I spent it being happy. Isn’t that super? Well, I can’t guarantee how many thousands of days I have left, but I have resolved to make the most of it.

Make happiness your lifestyle

Do whatever makes you happy. Quit that job, get that degree, eat that craving, help someone in need, create a bucket list if you care for one, take that trip, write that book, buy that shoe, birth those dreams, woo that boy or girl (winks) pretend every day is your birthday and do whatever the heck makes you happy. Be grateful for the seemingly small things, make out time for the things and people you love, and spoil yourself silly. I’m a born again Christian, so I believe in my heavenly mansion of pearly gates and golden streets, but I aint so sure there’s Domino’s or Amala or hot Kpuff Kpuffs in heaven. My darling, enjoy your life. There’s better in heaven, though.

While I was highlighting this blog post, I was prepared to throw the Latin word “carpe diem” (seize the day) and the aphorism YOLO everywhere, but I got a better idea of telling a parable of the area I currently live. The power supply is as unstable as unstable can ever be, so whenever the light comes on, we all spring to action. I blend my pepper, charge my gadgets, iron if need be, and pump water if no one else hasn’t because PHCN is so unpredictable. I decided to apply this to my daily living, and it has been pure bliss for me; you should too. Stop whining or complaining, banish negativity, and screw that hydra-headed demon called “depression.” Celebrate that you are alive every day. I hope you know every human has a finite number of heartbeats, be like Neil Armstrong, and do not waste any of yours.

I cherish you

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  1. To be very honest, this is the way I live my life. One day at a time. I have this “eyan lè kú any time” attitude. But guess what, this just reignited that passion in me as I haven’t had my regular thought in about 4 days now.

    Like Jim Reeves sang, this world is not my home, I’m just passing through!!

    Thank you for this.

  2. Yeah right, while engaging in the hustle and bustle of life, we get caught up in what will be, forgetting what has been, capitalize on our weaknesses, forgetting our strengths! Only and only if we can see through the lens of how others see us, pray to be, and live like we do, just maybe we would appreciate ourselves more and key into that happiness and never be sad for a minute!

    But isn’t it just what it is! human life is insatiable and we just want to be more but here is that REMINDER one more time to take it one day at a time and while aspiring to be better, we should extend love and ignite the💡in others!

    Thank you mojola, this piece just brought back that part of me that has slowly been dying for about a week! We sure need more of this in times to come; A subtle reminder perfectly scribbled!

    1. This!!!

      Eunice, your comment brought me goosebumps and I am so glad this post struck a chord with you.
      Cheers to taking it, one day at a time.
      I cherish you ❤

  3. Wow! Thanks for making me realize that i should be so busy loving my life that i have no time for hate, regrets, or fear. Nice piece sis😎

  4. Hmm.
    Life is just a phase,enjoy it while it last,God has a reason for keeping us alive,so we need to appreciate that gift by enjoying the splendour of the moment.

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