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I turned 28 two months ago. Usually, I’d write a blogpost to commemorate but I wasn’t in the right place mentally at the time. 

I am now. What does 28 mean to me? It’s a question I’ve struggled with but also a question that’s very easy. 28 is familiar, like an old sweater. Like I’ve spent all my life waiting to be 28. Like I was born to be 28. I’ve never felt this way about any other age. Does this make sense?

Physical identity meant a great deal to me when I was 28 years old. I had almost the same kind of relationship with my mirror that many of my contemporaries had with their analysts. Don DeLillo, Americana

28 is…

The age of  “unlearning”.  The age of courage. Of being able to unpack the baggage, the myths, the cliches, the “home training”. They were useful…once. When we were younger and life was easier with a playbook, a rulebook. But life’s so much complicated. And it’s so much work to be likable. And how do I know I’m doing it right, sef?

28 is checking my stereotypes and prejudices and privileges.  28 is the wonder I feel when I give the benefit of doubt and realize someone I thought a stock character is actually so much more interesting.

28 is understanding my parents again. Recognizing their flaws and my blamelessness. And forgiving them still. Forgiving them because they knew not what they did. Forgiving them because I might still make those mistakes with my own children. 28 is understanding that my parents believed everything they told me, even if all those “truths” now prove to be false. It was their truth. What’s mine?

28 is eyebrows that will never be on fleek and the impatience to sit still for a manicure.

28 is recognizing the imposter syndrome in others. 28 is subduing mine. 

28 is finding my happiness in myself and in things I have control over. 28 is realizing I can’t influence some circumstances or other people’s behavior but I can influence my response. Still. 28 is  saying to my darlings, “You make me happy”. Because “I choose to respond positively to your actions and be happy” isn’t quite as romantic. Plus, it’s a weird thing to say.

28 is worry. About the economy. About society. And 28 is hope. And optimism. And furiously making plans through the night, scribbling, typing, hoping. We can do this. We can fix it.

28 is strength and self-awareness. 28 is feeling like I’ve earned my seat at the table and the right to speak. 28 is choosing whether or not to exercise that right. 

I rather like 28. 😊 What’s your favorite age? 
P.s. if you haven’t read it already, I have a story up for voting. If you like it, just click the πŸ‘πŸ½ button. The button doesn’t always work so you might have to try a few times. Thanks!

P.p.s. I’m doing NaNoWriMo, guys. It’s this thing where you commit to writing 1667 words of your novel every day in November. The goal is 50000 words at the end of the month. And yes, I’m utterly depressed about how far behind I am because I’m not writing all the words I should but yes, I love that I’m writing everyday and not being a wimp. Yay. *waves banner*


  1. Tonwa Anthony says

    Happy belated birthday πŸ™‚
    I’ve forgotten what it’s like to be 28 although I’ve been told recently that I could pass for 27 (weird). Anyhoo, my favourite age is 25 – quarter of a century. All the best with the NanoWriMo – you can do it!

  2. Intoxyka O says

    I’ve tried NaNoWriMo TWICE!!!! And every time, I never get to finish it.I hope you reach the deadline.

    My favourite age was 23. I had just graduated from Unilag and I felt the world was at my feet. I had energy for days and everyone I worked with could testify; nothing could bring me down.

    The drive isn’t as strong. Maybe because 30 is in the horizon and I feel I haven’t achieved as much as I hoped. But then, I look at my family….. and I feel like I can do so much more again.

    How’s the baby? Give him a kiss for me.

    • Lol! This is my 3rd NaNoWrimo. I liked 23 too. It was the age of independence.
      30 is a cool age too. To be honest, I feel I’ll have the jitters too and the whole quarter life crisis. Lol. Oh well…
      The baby is great! He’s crawling and scattering the whole house! πŸ˜€

  3. skillzmetro says

    This was a good read Jenny , enjoyed every bit of it I must say.. For me 30 is my favorite because that’s when you reflect on life and see how far you’ve come and what your future aspirations hold for youπŸ‘ŒπŸ»πŸ‘ŒπŸ»

  4. I think 21 was my perfect age.. The age when my dad finally accepted that I was an adult.. Hahahaha… I turned 25 about three months ago and I feel like I’m on a journey, it’s an interestingly unpredictable one though, so just may be, I’ll also have my 28 stories when I get to there.

  5. Mitchell Awah says

    Happy belated birthday Osemhen. It’s good that you feel this way about your age. For me no age really stands out right now. I have a good feeling about 28 though. My next birthday is 27 and it’s pretty soon so that’s out of it. I feel like by 28 I’ll feel like I have my life under control. For the most part. Well we’ll see. Kisses to the baby 😘

  6. Candi Leveridge says

    I just found your blog and I think I found it at a time when I need it the most. I turned 28 in December and all I thought was ‘I’m getting old.’ I read this piece and now I’m looking at 28 in a whole new light. Thank you. I’ve also resolved to finding my place, gain self actualization and strengthen my faith. Your piece on what to sacrifice for Lent and praying helped tremendously. Thank you so very much for this blog.

    P.S. Happy belated birthday and congratulations on your baby and marriage (?? Too late?? ) Haha <3 Love from Jamaica!

    • Hello, Candi! Thank you for stopping by. I love being 28! It feels so empowering. I’ll say it again; I feel like I’ve waited my whole life to be 28.
      Thanks for the congratulations πŸ™‚ It’s never too late.
      Do stop by again. Love from Naija!

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