A few years ago, an old classmate invited me to a pitch of hers. Her team was called ‘MALT’, and I’m a sucker for stuff that sticks like this.
It meant ‘More action less talk.’
Yet, something so beautiful has become something that haunts me, many years after. I became addicted to “doing”, fanatic about action over talk.
I have become a lot more quiet on social media, Facebook memories remind me of the time I used to post above five times daily.
What has happened? Where went my voice?
Nothing but good old cups of Malt, and no, not the drink, the addiction of doing.
Two years ago, I wanted to complete my first novella -Boys on Jumping Trousers, and my first stage play -Mr.Brother, both made Long, short lists and runner up awards. I was overjoyed, but something paid the prize.
You see, I had announced a social media hiatus across my platforms, and became selectively available on Whatsapp, it was for good.
But I woke up on the day that should have been my return and I didn’t feel like strawberry yorghurt and sunshine. I toyed with the idea that it was okay to ditch it for good.
Then a DM came in, a girl who had been years below me at the University of Lagos. She was asking if I was alright, telling me she missed my posts, captions, stories and smile and how they kept her going. I had no idea, she never engaged.
This isn’t me wondering when some blessings would come upon me, this is me asking divine help, asking the angel of balance to never depart from my side.
Balance is key.
And I learnt this after another hiatus.
Achievement is addictive.
I told myself that the reason why I had taken years to finish any work of fiction was because I wrote when I felt like, and that shutting out the world was the way to go.
So I brought out the novel that had taken me two years plus to write, and told the novel ‘we gonna die on the line!’. I shut the world out again, but this time I didn’t feel like taking permission, it’s social media, life would go on without you.
I became a mess.
I left tons of unreplied dms’. People had babies I didn’t visit, people celebrated birthdays I didn’t go, I missed weddings, people would send messages on Whatsapp, I would either not open or leave them on read.
“I would finish soon, and I would explain.” I consoled myself and quietened my guilt.
I went on a trip to Ghana with my friend, in my defence, she is a handful! If not for our kids, she would have driven me nuts with going out and vacation activities. But I hardly slept, I was forever typing, I felt absent from that holiday.
It would be over soon, I reminded myself.
Until the messages came in, through others, people telling people to tell me that I had grown distant. Some were said nicely, some weren’t, because I actually was still obviously alive so I had to be ignoring them on purpose.
I was even on a filmset, so I had to be doing fine, infact, maybe I was becoming an amateur snobbish celebrity. Yet, I hugged my laptop everywhere, going back to type in between every ‘Cut!’, typing rewrites and working notes from my editor.
In all of these, I stuck to what drove me, I wanted to throw in the work, I was tired of saying ‘I am writing a book’, or a script, I wanted nothing more than to show my book to the world and my film.
Remember what I said about addiction, I threw away my Christmas for a short film. The story is not for this post.
Am I tired? No, if anything, I am breaking my rule of action before talking to announce that this blog will now have a YouTube channel. Hehehehe, maybe it took so long because I wanted to certain about the core of my message, and I found it. The clue is all over this post and my recent tweets.
The morning after.
Not like literal mornings yo!
Like when you have slaved away at the farm, who is home when you get back?
Sadly, sometimes, not even you.
You do not recognise the stranger, you do not recognise the tired person.
Yet, the work is done.
I have begun my apology trek, walking my way back into the hearts of friends, family, and hoping that it is warm enough and they do not leave me out in the cold, because still its love and love alone I feel for them.
Maybe I dust my humor and wit back for Facebook, Instagram?
So in the end, you want to be a creative? Something gotta give, yes, it’s lonely sometimes.
Can we find balance? What do you think?