by Eyiamoni Ipeji
This one goes out to the monsters who wear their pants when they sit at home. To the people with purpose and drive. To those who know who they are, who know what they want. To the only people that were ever allowed to be better than us. To the people with two heads who followed all the rules. Teach me your song.
They say nineteen is too young to be going through an existential crisis. Because, after all, what do you know? What life have you lived? You are so young. The world is your oyster. I want to believe this, truly I do. But I have lived. In the thousands of pages of books I’ve read. In the thousands of verses of songs I’ve heard. I have known grief, and bliss and terrible despair, and I know enough to know that I do not know who I am.
This one goes out to the monsters who pour the cereal before the milk, strong enough to take bold risks. To those who are confident in the future, who have no fear of soggy cornflakes, who welcome little mistakes. Teach me your song.
I find that nineteen is a year for discovery, for realisation, too young to be truly trusted, too old to accept youth as an excuse. Nineteen, where you leave behind the title teenager, where soda becomes vodka, Where your mommy becomes mum, and she comes to you now for solutions, where you should be thinking of your future, nineteen, where every decision is like playing doctor- one wrong move and the future dies.
This one goes out to all the people who made the right choice. To the people who have colour coded pencil cases. To the people who use “Fascinating” in actual conversation. To those who wear socks with sandals. Who talk about actual politics instead of “Game of Thrones”; To those who wear their hands in the air in sleepy classrooms, and GPAs the same number as my fingers. Teach me your song.
They say to find what you love and be the best at doing it. I say to find what you love is to know who you are.
This is a shout out the monsters that live under my bed. Who take it in turns to remind me to dream when I am deep in my shallow dreams. This is a shout out to the voices in my head on twenty-minute alarm cycles reminding me to “GET UP!!!!” “GO TO WORK!!!”
You are the real MVPs, my true motivation.
This one goes out to the monsters that wear white pants in the rain, to the people with purple highlights and orange lipstick. To the people with experiences and outrageous stories, who know who they are, is someone who’s finding who they are.
You are who we think we are before we find who we are.
This one goes out to the classroom heroes, those who were good at school and also cool. To the heroes who took one for the team, showed us what it is to waste youth. To those who pretended to be kind, to be wise, to have so much talent, to know who they were.
This one goes out to me, at the edge of twenty, looking back at nineteen, reading epic stories of people I inspired, staring at the empty page that is my story. I am the example, the one-time story you use to scare your kids, the heroine in the stories that start with the words “you don’t want to end up like her”.
This one goes out to all the Heroes who quit too late, left behind the stories that they never reread. This is your prologue, it’s never too late.
Eyiamoni Apeji is a 19-year-old student of Media and Communication in her 3rd year at Pan Atlantic University. She is a creative writer and poet and was the Editor (and features writer) of her College Magazine (Atlantic Noise) in June 2016. She has an interest in advertising and marketing and has recently completed an internship programme with the Digital Marketing Agency, Sponge Limited.