About a week ago, I shared with my thesis advisor that I have two ongoing manuscripts; a collection of romantic comedy poems and a nonfiction book centered on grief. He asked why I chose the first over the latter for my graduate thesis. Beyond the apparent reason that poetry comes easier, there are responsibilities I am ignoring, that the nonfiction collection would need to thrive. Over the past two years, the responsibility of being a writer, choosing one’s words intentionally and carefully has become unignorable.
For over a year, I have been trying to write a nonfiction piece about my decision to be non-feminist. Of course, I divert – this isn’t what the post is about; however, despite having written many versions of that piece, I have struggled to find contentment in what someone else might believe my words convey or “my intent.” Being in an MFA program, words now matter more than before. In conversations with friends, I often say, “This isn’t the perfect word to describe this but think of it as…” because there is something about using words with precision and truth that makes a difference in whatever is communicated. The alarming consciousness of how words can convince, manipulate, or change people and things is a heavy burden.
The Side of Vegas You don’t Often Hear About – A Travel Series
Growing up in a middle-class household in Nigeria, traveling to a different state or country for holidays wasn’t a thing. A holiday meant going to another relative’s house, and while I considered that luxury, I dreaded returning to school and answering the question, “What did you do this holiday?” Not because my holiday wasn’t fun but because there was unspoken anxiety in sitting among my classmates at the high-end primary and junior high schools I attended and hearing them brag about their trips to Lagos, London, or some fancy place in the world. I also dreaded writing essays about my holidays for the English Language class.
For eight years after relocating to the United States, I never took a flight to travel anywhere else. No, this isn’t something I am proud of, and many friends and family members often teased me about traveling. I only went to a few states nearby where trains and buses could go. I wasn’t afraid of flying; I just wasn’t delighted and excited to travel as a young adult following the context of holidays and vacationing, I grew up knowing or saw others around me pursuing.
Yes, all the eye-opening puns are intended!
Today, I lined up Simbi, See, Saw, Prof, my four old glasses (yes, I named them), and the last-born to do a photoshoot, as you can see in the first picture.
The first time I realized that I couldn’t see well was the spring semester, February of 2016, during Biology 21 class. As a natural high achiever and ITK (for those who don’t know, this means I-Too-Know), I always sat in front of the class to see the board and obviously so my professor could see the student who deserves an A+. I remember the shock and panic that ran through my body when I looked at the board and the letters were blurry. I squinted, and still, the letters remained blurry. I stopped taking notes for that class and said “Maybe my eyes are tired. Next time, I will sit at a different angle to see how this goes.” The next few days, I soon realized I couldn’t see well in my other four classes. This same Biology class was where I got my first B grade throughout my undergraduate education. I cried!