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Hello <<First Name>>,

How are you doing?

I almost talked myself out of sending this because wow October, just wawu! I decided to still send it though because I hope to build  this into the kind of space where i can be real with you (and vice versa). That said, today's letter is heavy from all my offloading. Therefore, depending on how you are doingfeel free to save it for later or get a soothing drink and spiral with me. Sawa, let's sip ☕️

I've been having this out of body experience, watching myself living. I can literally see my self ebbing through the different phases of life; thriving and striving, sick and well, happy and sad, purposeful and purposeless, apathy and loads of feelings... and then sometimes I experience both extremes at the same time. This feeling makes me mostly tired not like physically but like existentially. It feels like all of existence has been in this looong meeting that God just needs to call off. I wish I could just snap out of it but I think it is also a kind of sober reckoning of what it means to be passing by in this universe. I am letting it play out but when it gets grim I dance... It would be good to know how you deal if or when you feel like this.
Here are some tunes I've been dancing to from Ratinoi's
(my very own personal DJ) 
Music Playlist 
Otherwise(as I move regardless😂), It's the 6th week of school already and it is hectic but I am also having the time of my life. It's every day decolonising, resisting, problematising, reimagining... and I am there for all of it. I know at some point I will need to reflect on how this translates in reality but for now I am being in the moment. As opposed to the unease I was feeling last newsletter, I feel sure that I am where I need to be.

The fam is well. The baby is the most adorable and squishy being and he's got four teeth now (yes, you will be getting monthly teeth updates🙃). Namu, our second last born, turned a whole 10 years🎉. Time does fly because I can remember holding her as a new born all through the school holiday of 2010. Dad also turned a year older, it was a big deal - you'll see why in the last lesson. Even as I wonder about its relevance, I continue to be grateful for the gift that is life.
Now for the lessons from this murky month...

1. This world ain't it.

As a child I thought we were inherently good. Growing up took care of that and I learnt to appreciate our complexities. I still held that most of us were "good"-leaning though. But from what has been on the news (which is not news) from Nigeria to Namibia to Congo to Guinea to Cameroon... I think that we are inherently evil. And as I have been studying Genesis this month, I realise none of these is new. We've been murdering, colonising, lying, raping, stealing...for ages! Maybe that's why I have been feeling all this Thanos energy like God just needs to do the snap because this? this ain't it!

2. Change will come at great cost

Since I am not Thanos and I will keep staying here; I know I need to try to change the parts I don't like or that don't like me. However, I think until this month I had not fully fathomed the amount of energy, time, effort, resources even lives it takes for actual change to occur - for systems to be destroyed and replaced by more robust just ones. I usually just give enough to remain comfortable and cover up the guilt with needing to protect my peace. But there's too much at stake and it is becoming even more evident that my reposting and donating whatever's left of my pocket money alone won't cut it. My efforts need to be more concerted, consistent and persistent. I also need to be more critical of my positionality and complicity in maintaining these systems even as I find ways to use the power they give me more constructively. Still figuring it out but in thinking about the different ways I can make change lessons from the 'Knock Down the House' documentary on Netflix as well as this Web of Institutionalisation tool from my Gender Planning class have been inspiring me.

3. You can learn anything.

We got Namu a set of roller skates as her 10th birthday gift. She fell down flat the first time she tried them but she did not let that stop her. Given the rate at which she is learning, I think she will be skating effortlessly by the end of the year. I noticed that the more I grow the more I let the fear of failing hold me back from learning. Yet all the new things that I have been learning, relearning and unlearning through my Master's is showing me just how agile and powerful my mind is. Therefore, I am learning to let go of the fear and know that I can learn anything I decide to. What are you letting yourself learn?

4. Self-care should not be a luxury.

Last year when I was doing my Honours, I made self-care a luxury. t always felt like I had to choose between succeeding and being well. I would feel guilty for resting and punished whenever I tried to take care of myself. By the end of it I needed a gap year to recuperate. Now that I am more aware of how badly this can go, I am determined to do it differently this time. I am planning ahead, sleeping enough, eating well,  enforcing boundaries, making time for things that make me happy (like writing this letter to you☺️) and so on. It's hard but you're welcome to keep me accountable✨. Also I really felt it when Dominique, a character from the best series I watched in October -  Grand Army, was explaining how self-care is a luxury for so many when it should not be.  

5. Literally allocate time.

I do this thing where I allocate time for things in my mind. This could work but the issue is that in my mind time is infinite. This is how I end up committing to a million things that I think I can do. Even worse, when I am procrastinating I can't even tell because it just means it has been pushed to a later date in my mind. Luckily, I learnt that this will not work if I am to do this Master's and content creation thing well. Therefore, I am getting in the habit of allocating literal time slots for anything I want and need to do. The next hurdle is actually following my allocations but so far so good. 

6. Plans are just that.

I was in the process of updating my physical planner when I saw all the unfulfilled plans on it. I got so angry that I ripped it off my wall and threw it in the trash. Maybe I did go a bit too far because now I miss having a physical planner. But this year has taught me to see my plans more as possibilities  than as certainties. I am finally internalising the lesson my gogo has been trying to teach me every time she gets cross when I say I will do something without adding God-willing at the end of the sentence. Truly, people may plan all kinds of things, but the LORD's will is going to be done (Proverbs 19:21).

7. Don't take anything for granted. 

Nothing's guaranteed therefore do not take anything for granted. My dad was involved in an accident on his birthday week. It was a miracle how he survived it. The whole experience made me realise all the things I had taken for granted up to that point: safe journeys, shared meals, physical presence, body movement, health, breath, life... I was starkly reminded of how unpredictable life is. I am now more aware of all of life's gifts including life itself and I aim to be more grateful for as much as I can no matter the situation. Alex Elle has a gratitude newsletter going out every day this month, that is helping me do that. Here's the link if you wanna join.
And that's it for this month. I hope November will be  gentler. 
As always, I look forward to hearing from you!
Light & Goodness,
P.S: If this was your first, feel free to catch up on Issue#1, Issue#2 & Issue#3!
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