Hello, hi. Welcome back guys.
Firstly, I hope you all had a blessed Easter with your family and friends. For some of you, the four-day weekend is a well deserved break from revision. I know we’ve hit that exam period once again and for my final year students, this is the final push before graduation. The final month of revision stress before heading out into the rest of your lives – not to add pressure or anything. For those of you stressing, you’ve got this! I wrote a post last year about dealing with stress and understanding that you are more than just the grades you achieve on an exam (find that – here). Check that out if you feel a spark in your spirit and want some motivation.
Moving on from this long introduction, today’s topic is random. It really just hit me while I was walking along and minding my business, but I’m going to run with it.
Being an only child.
Growing up, people always sounded horrified when I said I was an only child. Like they were sorry I had been put through such a traumatic and deprived childhood. The assumption was that I was always lonely, had no friends and had just me and a squad of imaginary friends to chill with. It used to really make me feel trash, like I was missing out on this big family experience with big dinners that everyone else seemed to be doing. I used to also hate when people called me spoilt. That I was this little princess that was used to getting everything I wanted and I could talk to my mum anyhow.
I’m much older now, and feel like I should educate you all about life as an only child. First and foremost, I’m definitely spoilt. I own that lifestyle and I’m not ashamed. My mum is my true partner in crime and we frequently do up travel buddies around the globe (cheeky plug of my where she goes series – here) and majority of the time when I’m travelling, it’s with her. I’m not a very demanding child so I’m not out here asking for this AirPod flex and for her to fund my frequent nails upkeep. I got coints, but she definitely treats me!
This culture of shaming people for having parents that do stuff like that needs to die, but that’s a conversation for another day. Additionally, I’m a black child first and foremost, African to be precise. Therefore, talking to my mum anyhow is still a no go, even at my current 20 years of age. I remember one time I was running small jokes with my mum and she must have said something to which I replied “are you mad?”. My life flashed before my eyes that day and I remembered my place very quickly. Disrespect is still very much a no go in my household.
Another thing, I didn’t have one lonely, deprived childhood. I grew up surrounded by family and friends around in abundance. I had neighbours to chill with and a consistently lit squad to explore London after school with. I’d also like to note that I like my own space! Not everyone that is alone is lonely – a word, a concept. Some people genuinely enjoy their own company sometimes and I’ve always been like that. Dash me a library card, a couple of hours and I was set for a while. Jacqueline Wilson, Suzanne Collins and unfortunately Stephanie Meyers (we all read those twilight books, no one should try and act brand new) made up my teen years, and dashing me one of their books was truly good enough for me.
Though of course, being an only child comes with its own downsides. I’m never going to have my own biological nieces and nephews which isn’t fun. The kids my friends have are still mine though, so they do need to quicken up the pace with that one. I’ve also definitely had some quiet Christmas’ where it’s just mum and I, and though I enjoy spending the day in PJs with her watching Nollywood movies, cooking together and opening presents; a big American style family reunion for Christmas would be nice. That’s why I’d prefer Christmas in Sierra Leone over the UK any day. All the family is there and the vibes are fantastic and merry.
I’m also the last of my own surname. Being that I’m not a man, I’ll probably lose my last name when I get married (I say probably because I’m still deciding about that one, but that’s also a topic for another day). I don’t have a traditional African last name anyway so it’s not the meaning and heritage I’m worried about losing, but more so that basic family connection at its core. Regardless of family ties, the one thing that is a constant is your last name and being able to keep that in the world through generations I guess is a way of leaving your mark in the world. I’ll leave my mark through other ways though, so we good on this side.
In conclusion! I’m not burning or suffering from being an only child. All of you with big families can rest soundly knowing that us only children? We good. Of course, there are times a cheeky sibling or just a big family in general would be nice but as I’ve said I’m constantly surrounded by love from those around me, so I rarely feel lonely. Again, I’m good on this side.
with all my love,