A Timeline of My Life By: Olawunmi Akinlemibola

Introduction

I was born on February 23, 1999 in Ile-Oluji, Ondo, Nigeria to Titilayo Akinlemibola and Temitayo Akinlemibola. When I was younger I had many aunts and uncles taking care of me. When I turned before my third birthday my parent emigrated from Nigeria to the United States. When we came my mom, my dad, and I had to live with my uncle until my dad could find a job that payed well enough that we could make it on our own. I have two sisters and no brothers.

Age 0-10

Trust vs Mistrust

My mom and a big array of aunts, uncles, and cousins were with me during this period of time. My dad was away doing something in Indonesia and so I didn't see him a lot when I still an infant. If he did come back he would try to play with me but I didn't really know who he was so I would either cry or reach for my mom. My first word was said when I was 7 months old and I took my first steps when I was ten months old.

Autonomy vs Shame

When I turned 2, I went around the house and I basically drew on everything. My dad was around me and my mom a lot more often. They had their traditional wedding wedding in 2001 but I don't even remember it. My grandfather on my mothers side also died during this year and my mom was really sad for a long period of time. By this time I didn't want to sleep with my mom anymore so I got my own room. I only had to sleep alone for 2 months because before when turned three my parents and I immigrated to the United States. We moved to Takoma park and lived with my uncle until my mom and dad had saved enough money to move out on their own.

Initiative vs Guilt

When I was 4 my parents bought me a toy car that kids could get into and "drive". It was my favorite toy and I used it everyday because I felt like I was an adult every time I was in it. I made friends with the kids next door and I often invited them over so that we could all play with the car. I went to kindergarten at 5 and I had a best friend whose name was Michelle. When I was 6 my parents finally moved away from takoma park and we moved into lanham. Not long after my first sister was born and I named her Michelle (middle name).

Industry vsInfriority

In lanham I started first grade in Gaywood elementary school. I made friends like Gianna and Alysa (who are still my friends today). Pretty soon I was recruited to be in the talented and gifted program. I had my first boyfriend in first grade. We had a fake wedding complete with a candy ring on the playground during recess. My parents where always asking me about my homework and I would sometimes try and say I didn't have nay or I would do the homework at school so I wouldn't have anything to do at home. When I turned 8 my parents, my sister and I moved to Gaithursburg and my second sister was born. Only two years later we came back to Lanham.

Age 10-20

Industry vs Inferiority, Identity vs Role confusion

My parents discovered a predominantly African church around the time that I was 10 and my mom took my sisters and me there every Sunday. My mom was always a religious person and would invite me and my sisters for prayers frequently but that was first time that she exposed me to Christianity in a church setting. I quickly became skeptical and it wasn't long before I realized that I didn't truly believe in the bible or anything that it said. I went through an "emo" stage but that barely lasted for a month. In the 7th grade I skipped school half of the time and I tried weed once but I decided that it really wasn't anything special. In the 8th grade, I was pretty much done with trying different thing and I thought I had figured out most of my beliefs.

In the middle of 8th grade my parents lied to me and said my sisters and I were taking a vacation to Nigeria but then they said that we were staying after we got there. They shipped me off to a boarding school in the middle of nowhere and that was when I really experienced culture shock. The students all wore ties and suits as a uniform and they were all religious. It was mandatory to go to church on Sundays. I stood out even though I wasn't attempting to because of the way and talked and generally because I wasn't shy about dissenting. I don't think I ever hated school as much as I did when I was over there. The system was more about brute memorization instead of understanding.

I came back to the United States the summer before tenth grade and in November of tenth grade I met my significant other. Right now I've finished applying to all the colleges I want to apply to and I am waiting for the school year to be over. In 2017 I will be starting as a freshman at Amherst University in Massachusetts. I major in Biology, Concentrate in Neuroscience, and get certified to work as a surgical technician all with the hopes of one day becoming a Neurosurgeon. In my first year of college my boyfriend leaves me because he has found someone that better suits him. I don't have time to cry or be sad because the academic pressure and parties leave me too exhausted.

Age 20-30

intimacy vs isolation

During my junior year at Amherst I meet a past graduate who is 4 years older named Theo. We hit it off immediately and soon we're going out together. The next year I graduate from Amherst and decide to go to Johns Hopkins Medical school. Even though I'm only 24 and have yet to graduate from Medical school my parents are already putting pressure on me to get married and have babies. Instead I decide to introduce Theo to them and it doesn't go well. They insist that I marry someone from my local government instead of an American. While I'm suffering in medical school Theo is already working on becoming a career diplomat. During my last year of medical school, Theo convinces me to come with him to Sweden on his first assignment instead of completing my internship and residencies.

Age 30-40

Intimacy vs Isolation

On my 30th Birthday, Theo decides that after 11 years of being together we should get married. Instead of an actual engagement ring we get tattooed rings. We get married in court instead of throwing a big wedding because it's would be obvious if only his family showed up. We travel across much of Europe because he's always getting posted somewhere every year and we never really get a chance to settle down and create a family of our own. Theo thinks that we should have children but I'm opposed to idea and instead I suggest adopting kids. The process of adoption turns out to be long and strenuous and our constant movement makes us unfit to be adoptive parents. While I used to love travelling across Europe and the rest of the world, I realize that I'm lonely since I don't have anyone aside from Theo who is always working. I decide to take a Job as a newspaper editor in France for an English Newspaper and I become happier because I form great relationships with my coworkers.

Age 40-50

generativity vs stagnation

On our 10 year anniversary, Theo is working so I decide to go out with one of my female co-workers to dinner. At the dinner I see Theo there with another women and quickly realize that he has been having an affair. Later that night he reveals to me that he has two kids with the other women and they've been having an affair for seven years. I promptly file for a divorce and receive $350,000 in compensation as well as half of his salary for one year. I call my mother to tell her what happened but she says "I told you so" because she never wanted me to marry him. I realize that I haven't achieved the goals that I had for my life and that at this stage I have more years behind me than I do ahead of me.

Age 50-60

Generativity vs Stagnation

Because I no longer need to move around and have no interest in travelling the world anymore, I decide to adopt a set of twins and settle down in Iceland. I name the girl Sasha and the boy Elias. I dedicate my life to taking care of my babies and I'm painfully aware of how much older I am than most first time mothers. My little sisters bring their children who are already in college to visit and play with Sasha and Elias often, and the Icelandic community is loving so they grow up in a great environment. When the kids have to go to school for the first time, I cry because I hate to see them go. The teachers see that Elias has a talent for the arts so I decide to buy him paint sets and canvases as well as enroll him in extra art classes. Sasha on the other hand is more of a technology geek so I enroll her in a robotics program. Although my children bring me joy, I can't help but feel like I need to impact the world in a much bigger way.

Age 60-70

Generativity vs Stagnation,Integrity vs despairAs

Sasha and Elias enter high school and grow more independent, I decide to shift my focus elsewhere. I gain funding from the Icelandic government to create a non-profit corporation dedicated to helping women in developing countries gain easy access to contraception. My corporation starts of with few volunteers and is in danger of failing when suddenly Tojan and Endo-pharmacueticals decide to become partners. The corporation grows and expands to serve more than twenty six different countries and is changing the lives of girls around the world. After the corporation gains extreme popularity, Theo rediscovers my contact information and decides to get in touch with me. I readily forgive him for all he did because without his actions, I would not be where I am today.

Age 70-80

Integrity vs Despair

Sasha and Elias graduate from college and Elias pursues his career as an aspiring artist while Sasha becomes a mechanical engineer. I'm extremely excited that Sasha has had her first child with Sam, the guy she's been dating since she was 17. She gets married just 2 years later and I get to do the honor of walking her down the aisle. Elias is finally starting to take dating seriously and is looking for me for advice on how to court women. I decide that it's time to create a will and I make sure to include my future grand children and my nieces and nephews are on it. Theo and I meet up frequently to reminisce on our lives and reflect on all we did right.

Age 80-90

Integrity vs Despair

At this age I hand over my corporation to Elias and Sasha because I'm too old to run the corporation effectively. Theo's new lover, a woman in her 30's decides she wants to meet me so I set up a meeting between the two of us at a local restaurant. All she talks about is the fact that Theo bores her with stories from our glory days. I don't realize that she has slipped poison into my drink until I get sick a couple of days later and go to the doctor. The doctor informs me that the poison has did significant damage to my heart and may only have a couple more years to live. I look back on my life and I'm pleased with everything I did. At 87 my mobility has become limited and I'm sitting or moving around via a wheelchair. When I turn 88 I become too sick to stay at home and have to stay in a Hospital. The doctor determines that I don't have a long time to live and so Sasha decides I should live with her and her children for the rest of my days. I die less than two weeks after my 89th birthday when I go to sleep and never wake up.

A letter to those to come

Life never takes you in the direction that you hope, instead it circumvents your hopes and desires and instead provides you with those things that will fulfill you. To my children, the only people that are as elevated in my heart as you are, are your children. Adopting you has been my proudest achievement in life. Now that I'm gone, I expect you to use all that I've taught you in this life to take care of yourselves. Remember that love is stronger than hate and that people will judge you on your actions not your intentions. Remember that it is your duty to take care of others in the same way that I have taken care of you but never forget to take care of yourselves.

Credits:

Created with images by djedjenny - "baby foot child" • weinstock - "dummy pacifier baby" • Neville Wootton Photography - "204 - Day 12 Inle Lake - An Intha girl with traditional headdress at the floating market." • Tax Credits - "College" • Willian_Ferreira_Soares - "Love" • TheAndrasBarta - "world europe map" • Alex Bellink - "HEARTBREAK" • kangheungbo - "baby twins 100 days photo" • jarmoluk - "document agreement documents" • Olichel - "graduation grads cap" • ronhvass - "tulip dried plant"

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