Number 27

Adaobi Osakwe
3 min readNov 8, 2022

I have never been a drinker but tonight, there will be wine.

woman hand holding a wine glass

I am within an inch of scratching out my eyeballs because I am neck-deep in bugs, but I need my eyes. I like my eyes. I think they are kind eyes. I wish they were an interesting shade of blue or grey, and I hope they give off the mysterious vibe I want them to. You know? — the calm, cool girl that looks at you from under her eyelids. The one that keeps all her feelings in check with an almost invisible smile on her lips as if she is privy to all your dirty little secrets, but I am none of those things. I am not cool. I am not calm. I wear my heart on a sleeve, but I do love secrets.

I used to keep journals, If I looked hard enough, I would probably find one. When I turned 13, I wrote, “Dear diary, I have finally become a teenager”. It is Number 27, and I guess some things never change. 27 is such a weird age to be. I don’t think anybody sits and thinks to themselves, “…When I am 27…”, that is why it is not the age I would have chosen to feel grown-up in, but I feel very grown-up. More than I have ever felt in my life. More than that time when I was 4, and I fell and broke my hand or the time when I was 9 that I had to take care of my siblings and make sure that everyone was well behaved till our parents came home or the time when I was 14 and liked a boy on 2go or the time when I was 15 that my parents dropped me off at the university and I had to live with other people. More grown-up than when I was 19 in NYSC camp wearing those hideous khaki pants, or 25 when I was certain that I had met the love of my life or 26 when I took my first solo trip.

Someone said something last month that could be interpreted to mean that I am old and God knows, I almost threw hands. I am still adjusting to the fact that I am now officially in “my late twenties”, and for the life of me, I don’t know how or when it happened.

I also didn’t know when I started to love everything about myself. I have a beautiful smile but an ugly laugh. It is almost comical, and I can’t even see myself. I see it in pictures and videos sometimes and I cannot believe that something that starts out so beautiful could end up in such a glorious monstrosity.

I used to pride myself on being one of the three people with flat tummy in Nigeria until a few years ago, I noticed, wait for it, a pouch! It has gotten bigger since then, and while I am working tirelessly at the gym to get rid of it, it still stares me in the face every morning.

I am such a horrible dancer. I cannot get my body to follow the rhythm, it has a mind of its own. It is so bad that I think everyone should experience it at least once before they die.

I am a worrier. I have a whole pre-cry routine. Before something terrible happens, give me a chance to cry about it.

I can be selfish. I tend to want to talk about myself in most situations.

I am kind. I will always be kind.

I get angry at seemingly small petty things but not that much angry at the “bigger” things.

My relationship with God is not great right now, but I am trying to fix it.

It is ok for people not to like me. I am not ice cream.

27 is a good age to realise that I love the person that I am and that I will choose myself every day.

It is my birthday today and I wanted to be the first to wish me a Happy birthday. So, “Happy birthday Dear Ada, I love you and I cannot wait to see what you do next.”