There is a flatness which I did not realize had been attributed to me until I started writing almost two years ago.
I did not know that people viewed me as a one-dimensional mythical creature who is only capable of walking, breathing and sleeping.
When I tell people that I am a writer, I get interested looks a lot of times, but I also get blank looks.
I also get wary and suspicious looks.
Now, I don’t expect everyone I meet to be ecstatic about the fact that I am a writer, but I don’t understand why it makes people so uncomfortable.
‘I hope you’re not a feminist?’ A male acquaintance of mine asked me recently when he mentioned my writing. He sounded so worried.
I raised my eyebrows in surprise (which was pointless-this was a phone conversation) and I explained to him that 1. Yes, I am a feminist. 2. He probably is also a feminist. 3. I defined feminism in simple terms to him.
It was a weird way to end an otherwise pleasant conversation.
Imagine if I had to explain that aside from self-expression, writing is a form of self-care for me?
(Nah, that would have been too much. Mental health issues are alluded to in Nigeria, but talking about them? No, too awkward-it means you’re not praying enough).
The fact that I write should be about my interest in creativity and self-expression, shouldn’t it? Can I simply be a woman who has depth and a personality without being met with lack of understanding or judgement?
Like the kids would say, can I live?
I am genuinely excited when people tell me about their passions and talents which were otherwise hidden to me. Who says that we as humans should be one-dimensional?
For as long as we are alive, we can be whatever we want to be, and as many things as we want to be.
It has never been my style to walk around with the assumption that others are annoyed that I have figured out that I am great at writing, since they are yet to figure out where their own passions lie.
I really don’t have time for that. I am basically trying to get through each day and figure out how to complete the stories in my head.
I have been writing intermittently for years, and I’ve been writing consistently on classicallyivy for almost two years.
I am a writer because writing is something I want to do, something I have to do, something that makes me happy.
(It keeps me sane).
Let your passion (writing, singing, baking, anything, really) keep making you happy. A few people will support you-and that is more than enough.
I am a woman, a writer and a human being with more depth than my handbag when I’m looking for chewing gum.
Thanks for reading.