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Only started immersing myself into meditating a couple of weeks ago, previously I’d just dabble into it and lose interest. I felt it was all about staying in one position or just listening to sounds to calm you down. My mindset about it from the jump was just uninformed …. Couple months down the line I find myself in a YouTube rabbit hole getting information about what it was, why people did it and how it could be helpful in reducing stress. Now I’m drawn in and i find myself actually trying out some of the techniques…

What i can tell you i have picked from the little time i have had with it is self-awareness.. Basically identification, reflection and you come to a resolution within yourself. I realized i never really took the time to be still and actually look at things one at a time which is something i believe not all of us actually do. I’m not talking of being quiet cos you’re hungry or broke or cos your generator is off and the whole estate is asleep lol. i mean actually pick things apart in your crowded head one at a time…… My headspace was overwhelmed more or less.. It was hard for me to focus on just one particular thing. This is when a close friend told me about personal journals and putting things down being an avenue to not just vent but critically access my thoughts and make conscious decisions.

In your head, it’s just a thought but the moment you put it down it then becomes an idea, a solution, it really could be anything. Just don’t let it get lost in your head. (I came up with that ☺️ I’d like to think, but life’s so funny someone else somewhere has said the exact same thing probably) — No idea is original

That being said, i had time to really look at myself and ask: “Olu wagwan?, where are you? This isn’t you”. This took me back to a conversation i had with one of my G’s Desayo about me not even recognizing myself anymore, just operating in the physical and having no absolute control of life, not knowing my purpose, what made me happy, my expectations.. Basically been living like a zombie for the longest, just getting through each day as it comes, not really paying attention to self….

Let’s rewind the tape to late 2019. I’m in an extremely bad place mentally, unhappy, feeling unfulfilled basically having an existential crisis lol but “Boys don’t cry” (KB — Boys dont cry reference). Meanwhile I still have to turn up at work act like I wasn’t irritated or like I wanted to be there….the year’s coming to an end I’m in low spirits.. Spoke to a close friend and basically realized “boo- hoo Dexter, stop whining like a baby” i wasn’t the only one going through all that life shit. alright so I make up my mind to be in better spirit, I run around Nigerian Immigration, get my passport patterned and I’m planning a trip for 2020 to go chill with my brothers…

The infamous 2020 arrives, I’m starting it on a good note, going church again, having a good time, smiling and all that stuff happy people do lol.. at this point in time I’m free of all my vices, no smoking, very limited alcohol, I’d go out to treat myself, my consumption of water is up to 3 liters daily, I’m feeling really good and blessed .. boom boom all that good stuff, thinking about my flight to Canada and how I’m hugging my bros at the airport… COVID-19 came in March and said “Yo! My nigga, my bro, my chargie, relax. You’re doing too much”

So its Lockdown, everyone is Still getting used to working from home, Rona wasn’t too serious.. There’s a market close to my estate so i wasn’t stressed about food, just drive down, get some groceries and pattern something nice for myself.. After a couple of weeks of this, I’m back with my demons, questioning what the hell my purpose was again.. Work has slowed down, business slowing the fuck down too and I just felt stuck again.. Then I turned to my trusty vice: Marijuana…

Let’s go back a bit to 2019 again …. I had an experience with weed and I just said to myself “Olu, this weed thing is absolute crap, it’s not for you” .My introduction to marijuana was an entirely different experience, i was with my friends, we smoked real good shit back then, i mean you’d feel the euphoria, you’re seeing colors, hearing music better, having better conversations especially for an introverted person like myself.. Anyway it’s 2019. I am not getting that same experience from indulging anymore.. Instead it makes me irritated, paranoid and I overthink, i felt it was the strain i was getting cos it honestly felt like everyone was selling cheese.. you’d be high and just feel so head and body heavy, pretty much useless and subconsciously I was getting used to the feeling of just being numb and keeping it pushing… well I had a really bad high, I mean really bad high, you know them “God I won’t do this again high?”….I’m looking at myself in the mirror like: okay Olu you’ve smoked this pack now abi? How do you feel? Look at yourself, are you happy? loooool 😂 ..Look i felt so cheated first (20k for this crap?) then i felt shame and disappointment and decided not to do it anymore. I consciously flushed the rest of my pack, threw out my gold weed grinder, roller and any other paraphernalia. I experienced dependency, withdrawal and sobriety and i became resolute to not indulge going forward and i did stay away from it for a realyyy long time because i moved my focus to work and other business ventures so i did not really have the time to indulge.

So we’re back in 2020 (Wear your mask please lol) Corona is here, I’m feeling depressed and hey i go get some weed, i mean we we’re going to be locked up for God Knows how long and i really couldn’t be bothered about any financial implications cos “there wasn’t” lol so i buy myself half an ounce💨, just home “Enjoying”. At this point i knew how to pace myself, it was still cheese type of loud they sold a year later (smh) but i knew my dosage. I’d take just enough to make sure i can’t think of what’s going on in my head.. I’d do all that, fuck up my sleep pattern because no office to go to.. Up all night video gaming and micro dosing on some wack ass loud pack and just pretty much keeping it moving.

Like i said i knew myself so i never overdid it, i was always still on point for my office duties, zoom meetings, relationships with some real friends and family so i didn’t see what i was doing as self-destructive in anyway. To me, I’m just a regular Nigerian guy handling stress how i know so yeah? i mean it’s not cocaine yeah? lmfao! I basically maintain that pace for 2020, I’d toke on occasions on and off. It got so damn boring and at some point i didn’t even smoke unless I was out with a friend that smokes and more times na woman smh.

2020’s moving on, i discovered cooking wasn’t hard and all you had to do was follow instructions. i mean, just copy what you see them do in the video. it’s not rocket science.. So I’m getting more into the cooking, stopped the smoking entirely, started a small business selling some food since people weren’t buying shoes.. S/O my friends that believed in my cooking osah, oge, uffs, Ebube, Temilola, Seun placed a whole ass order for her office. ❤️ love you guys lol.. I’m doing all that I’m in better spirits, I’ve zeroed travelling out of my plans, I’m enjoying work a bit more, “selling food”, “Moving them packs” lmfao the irony! Normalcy you’d think? lol yeah right.

The month is October and the theme is #ENDSARS, everyone was tired, people dying left and right at this point no loud so i am very sober, receptive and i have more time to actually process how i feel, listennnn I’m flung into another depressive fit! When i say depressive fit I’m not eating, sleeping right, I’m extremely angry at Nigeria angry at everything.. normally id go to work physically like 3 times a week because there was some stability and cases of covid dropped but at this point i had gotten to my limit.. i mean, i work for the State Government and i know for a fact they did not give #ENDSARS the attention and care a responsible Government should, I’m thinking to myself why am i in this bloody country, why am i even alive? I mean, can the world just end already.. That was my mood most of October, i completely went off grid.. no socials cos i couldn’t process what was going on not just in Naij, but in the world, at this point I’ve also lost a distant relative to Covid, My friends mom is in the hospital really sick, I’m reminiscing about when my dad was sick having sleepless nights, fully turned to a prayer warrior “God! Nothing must happen to my guys mumsy o”.. Everything just shit! So really my head was pretty much done in.. You’d speak to me, comment on my cooking and have no clue cos Boys don’t cry lol… (Seriously listen to that song, its dope)

So let’s fast forward to November, still in low spirits then i get a mail from the Head of Service, it’s a memo mandating all staff to get a compulsory COVID-19 test, so like I’m scared but not scared cos i knew for a fact people at work had it but i had no symptoms plus i had already stopped going like i said earlier so i felt i was good.. Went and did that “not so expensive” test and i get a call the next day with my result saying it was positive.. At this point all my anger and frustration just faded away. In my head I’m like how tf is this happening 2020 was taking a pissssssssss.. Anyway, more Debbie downer and depressive moments but I’m using all my drugs doing the necessary in preparations for my second covid test which came out Negative 😅

I was in the midst of just trying not to be angry at myself, at Nigeria, at life in general then i search on YouTube how to reduce stress that’s when i found myself in a Rabbit hole of meditation and all it entails like i said earlier.. I’m getting familiar with little tools just to help me relax like breathing exercises, Apps like Headspace, Mindfulness app and all that (Not a paid promo).. So at this point i am meditating on and off and i did see a little change in perspective, emotions, and things i thought about leaned more in a positive direction…. weeks down the line I’m doing it for longer periods and feeling a lot better about life, I’m doing all this without telling anyone, just experimenting, having fun with it.

It’s 2021, a new year, I’ve come into it Covid free and with new habits… I’ve just completed a mindfulness meditation session and i have come to the realization that i had seriously lost myself, i had let the “Angry Nigerian Environment” condition me into this unhappy, always stressed and paranoid person but i promise you can’t tell all that though my social media posts. I’m fugazi lol , i mean i didn’t know the last time i felt genuinely happy. let’s take it back to 2016 before i lost my dad, that was the last time i remembered and I’m like “damn” aint life a just a giant pot of beans?? I was happy happy happy, this was before Desayo left naij, i had just gotten a job, i was feeling sooo high off life… all my guys taking the next step, travelling out everything just Fettuccini Alfredo and cheese with a glass of henny on ice you know… so I’m in a loop of identification, reflection and resolution. Now i know i need to get back to my essence, do the things that make me happy or get an extent of resolution from writing all this down… Imagine going through all that bullshit and not having a moment to pause and actually take it in… just living life zombie mode… nah, that’s not me anymore. These days I’m mindful of the energy around me, i speak to people that make me happy and want to speak to me, no more forced conversations. Get with it, or get lost.. I have definitely had down moments like losing colleagues at work to covid but i have somehow found ways to deal with it like not to dwelling on the negative and focusing my thoughts on what i want to manifest. Rest in peace to all the lost souls… at this point i am somewhat numb to death. I feel like it’s bound to happen… death knows no names or age, you dig? You 6ft dig? Haha 😅. I like morbid shit. I’m twisted 🤷🏽‍♂️

These days, I’m up by 6am work or not i don’t care! I’m up! i have a very good 15min steam inhalation session, clear out my airways, make myself feel alright then put my phone away and i meditate for at least 10 minutes.. take in what I’m grateful for, positive affirmations, i listen to some calm music too if i feel like being fully immersed and i have a cold ass shower to feel lit, a little prayer doesn’t hurt too if you’re a religious person. Basically i am in a better space mentally and am trying to find the “olu i miss so much”. Let’s wrap this up in the next paragraph pls, I’m hungry at this point.

I have written all that not to draw out a moral lesson or to tell anybody to stop smoking. nahh, smoke your smoke, i still do irregularly with people i love.. i did it cos it’s a step after reflection. It should be a personal Journal for my own consumption but I just feel someone else I know is going through a hard time. Also, I’m learning not to leave things in my head and just let it out.. Hoping for the best out of life for myself and you reading this.. For me, Meditation got me here, for someone else, Religion or even a near death experience might bring them to the same self-awareness and hopefully we all pull positives from this. This is just after a couple of weeks and i can’t wait to get back to the feeling of being high off life, it shouldn’t be just an expression, it can be a reality if you truly put your mind and effort to it. Don’t let Nigeria steal your joy please. This is the beginning of a journey, and i have decided to believe in it. Going in with not too high expectations but hoping for a fruitful experience.. All this just after one 27 min session. The only way i can describe it is an “Experience” .You might meditate and be thinking about Eba, that’s your wrap of swallow really. I’m not saying this applies and works for everybody, No. This is my experience and i really feel there’s a lot more there i just have not tapped into it and i will in due time. Practice

I lied about that being the last paragraph lol… This one right here yeah is for my bros! Desayo, Yomi, Nova, Scott O’money!, Tusic, Obey, sadiq, Lanre, Fash, Tolu, even Santi! Lola, Fola, Bukola…you knowww the mandem and my babies can’t name them all, I love and miss you guys. Unknowingly to us, our presence around each other was a very solid support system. just being able to see and hang out with people who care about you and you care about, just seeing them do their thing goes a long ass way, isolation would be an understatement to describe the past few months and Covid is making sure it is amplified.. Alas, these Covid times… Wishing you all the best, stay safe and protected and i am hoping to have some more mindful experiences and hopefully have the same inspiration to write as i really and truly feel resolve after this full stop.

Love, Light & Positive Vibrations

Midè 🪶