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#BN2015Epilogues: Lilian Grew Up




Happy new year to all our readers! As promised, we are continuing the 2015 Epilogues due to the volume of responses we got. We’d like to thank every one who sent an entry, and if you sent your story before the 15th of December 2015, you will see it published on BellaNaija.

If you’re reading this and wondering, ‘What on earth is the series about?’ please catch up HERE.


It’s 11pm in Atlanta. In an hour’s time my phone would be flooded with Happy New year texts and well wishes…or not, because I never respond to this stuff anyways and I expect my well-wishers to have gotten the hint by now…or not. My aunt decided we were going to attend a Redeem church for the Passover prayers. A sense of nostalgia hits me as soon as we walk in, there shall be a lot of beremole-ing and komole-ing tonight. Not the somber praise-worship I’ve had to sit through since my arrival in the US. I wiggle my buttocks to the talking drum as I walk in to the church premises, not caring, not minding, and just savoring the moment as it comes to me. I don’t stop until I hear the pastor start the countdown to the New Year. 10, 9, 8… very much like the Times square except I’m not hanging on to the love of my life expecting to be swept up in a kiss when the clock strikes twelve. 7. As a matter of fact there is no love of live, no bae. American boys are blind since they cannot see and appreciate all of this. 6. Another opportunity to plan a new year resolution filled with weight loss goals that will never be achieved will be here in 5. Can all my struggles of jumping the bus and trekking around Nashville just end. This new year should give me a car even if the model is two thousand. 4. defs going to be boring new year; no friends around, no knock out to disturb the neighborhood with. 3,2, Can I just sleep in all day today especially since my hair isn’t new year. 1…. Shouts of joy and thunderous applause drown my train of thoughts. Well, hello 2015 please be good to me

2015 was the year I grew up… in every sense of the word. I remember my birthday story as though it was just yesterday. I had woken up with the sudden feeling that the weight of the world was upon my shoulders ….literally. Expenses I didn’t know I had, problems that had to be solved, worries I never knew existed all began to hit me from different angles. The need to be serious with school, the importance of graduating on time, the need to find a job, the importance of getting a car, the need to start husband searching, the importance of saving for future kids, even more hauntingly the fact that I was getting old and ultimately death was going to be inevitable. These revelations, they came on the 4th of August 2015, the morning I turned 20. They say maturity, the act of growing up is a gradual process that constantly happens as one ages…mine took a minute, literally.

Jan 1st 2015(00; 00) – August 3rd 2015(23:59) – Prematurity
People usually start the year with a new year’s resolution, I didn’t have one. My top priority was just to have a car and go back to school looking fine as hell. Looking back now, I can’t say that worked out. The need to excel in school had always been of extreme importance but aside that, there was the occasional day dreams, long hours wasted gushing over some crush, inability to accept change, extreme gullibility.

August 4th 2015 (00:00) till date– Maturity
Truth be told there were warning signs. The fact that prior to this day I had neither shown any enthusiasm nor made any plans towards my birthday celebration was a major one because I always celebrate my birthdays. It doesn’t necessarily have to be anything big, just a living room get together or an outing with friends. Once, when I was younger, my mum decided to scrap the celebration because she taught I was getting spoilt, I still had it anyways; a group of friends, some music and a garri cake that was very poorly made. The nail hit right hard on the head, however, when I woke up that morning not even realizing that I was a year older. Things just felt different for sure. The noise from my cousin’s room now seemed childish, the dirty plates in the sink more appalling and my usual conviction to leave them there for the owner to wash now seemed petty. I got my answer when my phone started bursting with birthday wishes. I got it every day from then when I noticed how I instinctively began to do things differently from before.

When I took care of things that needed to be taken care of around the house without being asked to. When I went out of my way to show love to the people I cared for just so I could see them smile. When I chose silence over speaking sometimes, because I realized it was the wiser thing to do. When I voiced my feelings rather than keep spite and malice, because I knew it was easier to sleep that way. When I let go of judgmental dispositions because I learnt that even I might have my own faults. When I let go of dependency and learnt to be self-sufficient because, at this age I should be able to cater for myself. When I learnt to trust without being gullible, but also be wise without expecting the worst from people. When I learnt that the survival of relationships, formal or informal, takes work, understanding and an ability to compromise wisely. When I saw the advantages of little drops of water making a mighty ocean or the importance of starting young, in ones endeavors. When I came to fully appreciate the value of true friendships and the love of family. When I learnt to respect and fear God…literally knowing that he takes care of his own…I grew up.
2015 didn’t start easy, as a matter of fact it’s been my toughest year yet, but it has left me with a lot which I’m eternal grateful for. Friendships bloomed, family bonds strengthened, a friend made, growth, determination. God’s reminder of support and most importantly hope. Let’s just say I’m in a happy place right now.

Photo Credit: Dreamstime


  1. D

    January 14, 2016 at 2:10 pm

    All I can say is Wow!!!

  2. D

    January 14, 2016 at 2:23 pm

    Beautifully written. Here’s to growing up….

  3. pearl

    January 14, 2016 at 10:08 pm

    Wooooow u shud do something worthwhile with dis wonderful writing skill of urs. It’s really commendable

  4. Jo!

    January 15, 2016 at 7:25 am

    Just 20 & you’re giving yourself pressure like this?
    Take it easy luv, I swear, you’ll look back in 5 years and laugh at how you felt
    All the best in 2016

  5. Lilian Ogbuefi

    January 15, 2016 at 7:04 pm

    Lol, thank you guys. I’m usually very grateful when people commend my writing. Thank you Jo for your kind words as well. You’re right, its never the best option to give in to pressure.

  6. B

    January 16, 2016 at 5:41 pm

    ? here’s to growing up. Really lovely piece

  7. Eustace

    January 16, 2016 at 10:42 pm

    Comparing this with the writing skill I used to know…I can only see one thing…MATURITY. And, she was still so good back then sef… She got better…she grew!

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