Oh no, not again.
I hate that sound. It goes off at 5.30am every week day, and even though it’s a jazz tune,
my favorite, it totally gets on my nerves at this time of the morning. I got out of bed
sluggishly, said my morning prayers, and walked lazily to my mirror to recite the chant that
had become part of my morning ritual.
“My name is Abisola Johnson, I’m twenty eight years old. I’m beautiful, smart and priceless.
I love God, my family and my friends. I’m a project consultant, and I love my job. I’m in
love with an investment banker, and I hope he marries me. My mission today is to put a
smile on someone’s face.”
Four years ago, I started this ritual. I’d gotten so swamped with my job at the time, that I
needed to remind myself every morning who I was and what was going on in my life.
Today was one of those days! I’m on a team that is managing a really big project for a
multinational and we had a meeting with the stakeholders. Guess who got there late? As if
being forty five minutes late wasn’t bad enough, I walked in, my $300 Gucci shoes sounding
like hammers hitting through a wall! I think my skirt was a little too short, or else why
would everyone be staring at my legs? My intention was to come off as a confident young
professional but I felt like a street girl that couldn’t keep to time. All that was missing was
The meeting lasted two hours, and I was the first to disappear. I couldn’t handle a chat
with my boss. I hurried back to my office to prepare a report for him, and with the help of
Google, my Oxford dictionary and this wonderful brain, I came up with something fantastic.
It was definitely good enough to make my boss forgive my morning drama.
That done, I hurried to the private orphanage where I do some volunteer work, it was
my turn to show up there and make the kids feel loved. I planned to stay for only twenty
minutes before I dashed back to work, but the excitement of the kids stole my heart. I
was trying to force some cereal down a baby’s throat when my phone beeped. It was Tunji
(my investment banker), and the SMS said “lunch was good, thank you”. I raised my free
hand to my head – I’d totally forgotten that we’d agreed to meet at our favorite restaurant
for lunch at 2pm. I looked up at the clock, it was past 4. I raced out of the orphanage like
my hair was on fire, headed straight to his office to apologize, and was told that he was in
a meeting. After calling 500 times and sending 100 messages (I’m exaggerating) with no
response, I gave up and headed back to work…Lagos traffic!
There was no escaping my long-overdue query. I went straight to my boss’ office and
without asking where I had been or why I was late for an important meeting earlier, he
complimented my report. I sighed, my magic report had worked! At least I thought it had
until I got to my desk, logged on to my computer and was greeted by a well-worded query.
I smiled, I didn’t know where to start. I looked at my watch. 6pm. I shut down, packed my
things and hoped my job would be mine tomorrow.
I headed to my dad’s house, I hadn’t seen him in two weeks. It’s tough having divorced
parents and trying to stay in both their lives. But that’s a story for another day.
Its 11pm, Tunji is still mad at me, and my query is still waiting for an answer, but I’m going
to bed now. I’ll be up at 5.30am tomorrow, reminding myself that “I’m Abisola Johnson…”