There are two things we are given in equal measure: the twenty-four hours we have in a day and the amount of individuality we all possess.
Regardless of our backgrounds, job titles, and circumstances:
If adulthood has taught us anything, it’s that we cannot predict who will be there for a lifetime. The very person we trust will be there forever, becomes nothing but a memory Facebook won’t let us forget.
Deep down, I always knew I would live in America. As a three year-old, I was strikingly drawn to the brownstone row-homes and strange accents in Sesame Street. In my childhood play, I would create a world in which many of the characters had Southern drawls. The earliest vacation I remember was a family road trip across the States in 1992. It was an incredible time of laughter and discovery. I had traveled elsewhere before, but it was the first time I would truly take in the environment around me. Everything seemed so big in comparison to London. Big roads, big trucks, big houses, big portions. We would cite moments from that trip for the rest of our lives. From then the seed was sown. There was a big America, with big opportunity and I felt I belonged there.
Recently I was told that someone close to me had given birth to her firstborn. In many African cultures, there is a delay between the birth of a child and the announcement of its name. Often during the period, grandparents, siblings, aunties and uncles (even long lost family members) weigh in on the name of a child. It is then shared to extended family, and friends by way of a naming ceremony, celebrating the arrival of the newborn.
My parents were very intentional with naming me, and I have found that names are either prescriptive or descriptive. I have certainly had enough experiences that require faith, and my name reminds me to look beyond my circumstances and hope in things I cannot see. One of my middle names is “Ayodele”. In Yoruba, this means “joy has come home”, and in my late twenties and early thirties, “joy” has been something that I have found myself craving more than anything.
We all have a unique personal relationship with the word “weight.” For some, it may cast a memory of the stubborn fat around one’s midsection that never disappeared after 27. For others, it may relate to the training, resistance, and conditioning of your physical body - that desire to handle more, lift more and push more. The word “weight” may also represent the heavy load that is felt emotionally, spiritually, or mentally, and walks with us in our daily lives. Regardless of how we frame weight, there is always something we are trying to do with it, knowing full well that it is not sustainable to leave it exactly the way it is.