Celebrating During A Pandemic

by Jide Okonjo 3 months ago in happiness

Are we allowed to?

Celebrating During A Pandemic

Are we allowed to?

If I could pick a song that best describes the year I'm having, it would be Hard Place by H.E.R not for any other reason other than the chorus. Not in the way you might think.

This year for most of the world has been absolute hell. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused so much stress and uncertainty. People are losing their jobs left and right, things are HARD. On top of that, we've had to deal with the constant killings of black people in America, the rape of young women in Nigeria, the general injustices all around the world. 2020 to a lot of people is "CANCELLED".

Yet, amidst all of the chaos, I'm truly having the BEST - YEAR - OF - MY - LIFE. Especially financially.

I know! Put him on the electric chair. I know.

It's so hard for me to even say it out loud and that's what's crazy to me. Typing this, I'm like...should I even post this? Read the room Jide! But then at the same time, I want to shout it from the rooftop. I've had really shitty years but this time around, my dreams are coming true, I'm having a fantastic year.

One of my major prayers has been to become a full-time writer and this year, 2 things happened to me. 1.) I got an amazing book deal, and 2.) my revenue from Vocal shot up EXPONENTIALLY!

I am now at the time of this publication a full-time writer! This is an answer to years and years of prayer.

Yet, I don't feel comfortable posting the news on my social media or telling people who I comforted just three weeks ago after losing their jobs how great my year is.

♪♪ What if nothing ever will change? ♪♪

This is a line from Hard Place and these lyrics hold such a different meaning to me now.

What if the cure for COVID-19 is never found? What if the people who lost their jobs never find another, or don't find another until a long time from now? What if nothing changes in the foreseeable future?

When will it be okay for me to share good news without feeling like 90% of the people I tell would be more jealous of me than happy?

♪♪ I'm caught between your love and a hard place. ♪♪

"Your love" being the love from my God. The love from Vocal. The love from my publisher. The love from all the good things happening to me.

And a hard place being the world we're in right now.

♪♪ Oh I wish there was a right way ♪♪

Tell me about it H.E.R. Do I just throw caution to the wind and announce the good things that are happening to me?

Some would argue that the people who wouldn't be happy for me now are the same people who wouldn't be happy for me regardless. I don't think that's true for everyone. I know for a fact that when I was very poor and struggling, it was a lot harder for me to feel 100% happy for other people's success, even my closest friends. Not because I wasn't happy for them because I genuinely was, these are people I'd seen hustle and finally their dreams came true. It was more about me and the realization that my dreams weren't coming true.

I know Lizzo famously sang When I'm shining, everybody's gonna shine, but what happens when you're not the one shining?

I get how people feel.

So do I just throw their plights to the wind and post my good news anyway?

Wait, I just thought about Lady Gaga. I know it seems off topic but follow me here: how did she feel?

She was supposed to release her album Chromatica earlier in the year but then COVID-19 struck and forced her to push the album back to May 29 which was around the time George Floyd was killed. In fact, May 29 was smack in the middle of the global outcry against Floyd's death.

I remember on that day people dragged her for uploading a video to her Instagram story. In the story, she was dancing to a song from the album titled "Free Woman". The general consensus to that video was READ THE ROOM GAGA!

♪♪ Oh I wish there was a right way ♪♪


I don't know what the answer to my question is. I wish I could end this piece with a guideline on how to celebrate during a pandemic or any kind of hard time really.

But I can't answer that. Because I'm still figuring it out.

Either way, I've never been more happy and as weird as that is to say, it's the truth. And the one thing I know I can do is be honest with myself.

Wow. I'm legitimately caught between Love and a Hard Place.

Call me H.E.R! 😂🤣

P.S: You should listen to Hard Place. It's a really beautiful song.

Jide Okonjo
Jide Okonjo
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Jide Okonjo

Nigerian boy telling ridiculous, crazy, true, funny, insane stories about Nigeria and the world at large. If Vocal is the voice for all people, then consider me a voice for Nigeria.

See all posts by Jide Okonjo