Over the weekend, one of my nearest and dearest friend’s Banke got married and boy did we turn up? We did, with no inhibitions whatsoever. I featured Banke as my first guest writer in April when I took a break from blogging. Click here to see her beautiful piece if you haven’t.
Apart from the fact that it was my first wedding party this year, it was also my first Lagos party in a really long time. Now if you know Lagos, you know that they don’t play. There truly ain’t no party like a Lagos party. I can hardly eat at parties, but I ate puff puff without decorum, because puff puff is my weakness. Thankfully there was another friend Lummy with same weakness and so we both threw shame out the window. When parties don’t have puff puff as a starter I honestly think the organisers are jokers but I digress.
Besides being my friend’s wedding, it did feel like a welcome party of sorts for me. I have recently just moved to Lagos and it was beautiful to have many known people under the same roof, grooving to sir Shina Peters, and taking way to many selfies. I realised that I hadn’t seen some people in all of the years that I have left University and it reminded me how much life can actually happen within a short period of time. Five, six, seven, ten years can literally just go by but because of social media it doesn’t feel that long. Only when you see your former hostel mate who now has a daughter going on 5 or a classmate who is actually now a boss in her office with subordinates ringing her phone every minute or another who is doing something completely different from what he studied in school do you realise that life has happened some way or another. Whether it has happened the way you all envisioned it is another matter entirely.
It did occur to me to remember to take every step of the way through life with people seriously because one way or another no matter how far we all get flung we are a sum total of all these people we have once known and schooled with, eaten from pots with, shared a tiny bunk bed with, lived with and copied assignments from. They are the ones who can tell our story accurately, our history, they can say it back to us when we forget. They are the ones who can tell our children for us that their behaviour is unacceptable but not strange because we all once did the exact same stupid things and so there is no need to do it again. They are familiar with the steps that we took or did not take.
It also occurred to me to constantly remember that social media can be a huge fancy wall, especially instagram. You keep seeing all the pretty stuff all up on instagram that you can’t get behind partly because it’s too pretty you can’t even tell it’s a wall or because it looks too perfect you are more inclined to be fascinated than see that it is a wall, a defence, a guard. Life is good to everyone on instagram I have observed. We are either all turning up or killing it or winning at this thing called life. But it is not always so. Sometimes, we are winning at life on instagram because we have lost at everything in real life and instagram is the only way to salvage what’s left.
So while we are at liking photos and having a good sometimes inspirational and aspirational feel about them, let’s remember to be present, both for ourselves and for those who have been with us through our journey. To ask if all is well, how business is going, how they are coping with the daily traffic, how they are coping being a single parent, if they need company, if they’ll like to hangout or see a movie, if it’s ok to call them. If you can carpool to save cost on fuel. Anything that makes you a part of, rather than a familiar stranger.
I nearly got teary when I saw the number of people who came and held it down for my friend on Saturday. See, life will always happen. New cars will be bought and become old. New jobs will be gotten that take people farther away, new life will be born, new houses built. But in the end through all of it, as important as all of those are, we are all we’ve truly got. There is no us without our complete story.
NOTE; Today happens to be Banke’s birthday. Double celebration I know. Please send her good thoughts in the comments. Thanks.