When I first got to Lagos, I used to laugh a lot.

I laughed like a crazy person almost at every instance. I laughed. It was one thing I had going for me. Boy, did I laugh. In fact, typing it now I’m laughing. Everything was funny to me. The bus conductors were so adorable. The fact that I was jumping buses was amusing. I was street. Wow. Who woulda thunk? I’m a Lagos babe making her way in this life without her mum and Dad. Just thuggin, lol.

Fast forward to about 6 years later, I’m irritated by the conductors, the guy with the body odour in the bus is making me wanna puke. I’m late, and there’s traffic. I just got back from Abuja where there is no traffic ever. I’m going to a job that pays well, but I know is not for my future. The waiting period between my now and the future is annoying. I just failed an exam, and I usually don’t fail. I’ve known a lot of boys (No, not in the biblical sense, focus). I’ve almost gotten kidnapped. None of these is related. I’m just not in the mood.

On my way to work this morning though, this woman makes a joke in the bus. This unknowing, illiterate woman, makes jest of the conductor and you can tell she’s having fun. She laughs so hard at him, such that he starts to laugh himself. I sense myself laughing, try to keep it together at first, but then I just burst into laughter. And then I laugh harder. In this moment, I remember. I remember the me that used to laugh in every bus. I remember the me that called my friend the first time I jumped into a moving bus, so excited to tell her I was street now. The me that used to say hi with a big smile and meant it. That me used to give hugs a lot. That me believed in having friends without strings attached. That me worked in StyleMania with a bunch of bullies that were the loves of my life. People say I’m happy now, but if they knew the me then, they wouldn’t believe it. I was so full of hope. I was going to conquer the world.

On days like this, when I laugh genuinely, I remember that me. I remember that though I’m not old now, I was young once. I remember that I used to laugh, and the memory of this makes me laugh. I remember.

But these days are not so bad, sometimes I laugh. I’m not as naive anymore, and I see the world in a broader view now. The world is still a bright place. Behind that laughter was a lost girl, and Jesus healed that. The moment between the future and now is still annoying, but the thought of the future keeps me sane.

I’m grateful for times like this, when I genuinely laugh. I hope you have those times too, and I hope they’re frequent.

-Bimpe