Hi, my name is Iyanuoluwa Adebiyi. You can call me Iyanu (pronounced e-YAH-noo). I’m a lawyer, writer and performance poet, also a rookie videographer and video editor. I am so many things you’d get to know with time, but the first thing I’d like to say in this blog is thank you for creating space for me to share my heart with you.
Let me tell you a secret. When I was a kid, I used to daydream about becoming a beauty queen. Before the crowning, an imaginary interviewer would ask me a question.
“If you had to spend three days in the desert and you could only take 3 things with you for survival, what would they be?”
“I’ll take a jar, a pen and paper.” The interviewer would pause with skepticism, before asking me why and I’d say;
“I believe there is always water in the desert. The problem is that people don’t search for it but I will and while I’m searching, I’ll leave signs on the way, so others can find water where I found it too.”
As foolish and illogical as my childhood fantasy answer may seem, I see it as the best illustration for my life’s purpose, because in my journey through the ups and downs of life, writing is how I place signposts of hope towards salvation and healing.
Sharing my work has never been easy. In 2014 when I caught the first glimpse of what words can do and started to write on Facebook, I had to shut my eyes tightly, grit my teeth, force my trembling hands to post it.
Posting my writing has always felt like a strange kind of falling, but in doing that I have found that there is always someone willing to catch me, whether by sending in an encouraging me-too or a kind “I feel that too.”
This journey has changed my life. This process has molded, is still molding me. And the hardest part is having to birth all these words from long stretches of clanging silence. A silence that wrestles with me every day.
This is why I waited so long to start this blog, spent years dreaming, but never having confidence to take the leap, because I kept on wondering whether I am enough, whether I am worthy of this, whether I could commit to writing consistently with or without reward.
Confidence is a powerful trait. It will get you so many good things, but I have never been a confident person. It is courage that I thrive in. To be afraid and still do it. To dread the destination and keep on walking. This is why it has always been hard for me to share my work; In a crowd, I prefer to keep quiet, to hold my peace or my war to my side, to hide my light and my life, not because I want to protect it, but because I fear it.
Starting this blog is a way for me to dig into another layer of the fear and tell it, “you do not control me anymore.” This feels like holding a lion’s mouth apart and breaking its jaw. This feels like singing in the belly of a shark. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not here to save the world, I’m just an ordinary blinking star who has found strength in letting my imperfect light shine.
I had to trudge through a million miles of self-doubt and uncertainty to get here – this place where, I am willing to surrender to the yearning and the call even if it means to stumble and fall in plain sight of everyone, even if it means to fail, to start over and over again until I get it right.
This place is terrifying and beautiful at the same time. My soul is dripping with gratefulness. And even now I am still travelling through, it is the highest blessing to walk this walk with you. Yes, you. I intend to hold hands. I intend to put one hand on your shoulder, one hand on the left side of your chest and whisper, “I can still feel a beat, friend. There is hope.”
I hope you will not flinch when I strip, because that is what I intend to do; walk this walk with you as intimately and as honestly as I can. I am committed to encouraging and inspiring you to look past the dark sky and count the stars. I want to share, with you, words that revive and refresh me in my own trying, dying or happy times. I want you to share with me too – your life’s story, things that help you breathe, how you found or are finding water in the desert and what that means for you.
So, I will be here every week connecting, holding space for you to come in and know that you belong to something soft and genuine, here to support you through my writing: short stories, tutorials and how-to posts, life lessons, affirmations, prayers, parables, poems. To explore what it means to be a lawyer and a poet navigating through life as a Nigerian female millennial. To inspire you to something greater. To firmly believe what the tiny sunshine is telling you; that your dreams are valid, that you are magic, fireworks, good enough for your own love, powerful beyond measure.
You’ll hear from me soon, but in the meantime, here is a list of things you could do:
- Post a comment to introduce yourself to me.
- Get acquainted with the website, view the pages and get to know more about me.
- Follow my blog if you’re a blogger or have a WordPress account.
- Subscribe to my newsletter so you don’t miss a thing.
- Send me feedback on what works, what doesn’t, what gave you a hard time, what didn’t.
- Share this post.
Catch you next week!
Remember, brightest lights shine in darkest night, gifted hands carry the heaviest weight.
Stay open. Keep walking. There’s water in the desert.