Dear 18 year old Daisy,

Hey girlie, how is teenage life treating you so far?

I found myself missing you this morning – your untamed spirit and your ability to move without worry. There is nothing that was beyond your reach and the greatest of all, is the intense passion with which you took up the things you loved – your energy and devotion was threatening.

But I do not know why I miss you because it is as if no time has passed between you and I. Little has changed and perhaps the only difference I can so confidently speak about is the fact that while you are a determined first year university student with the whole world open before you, I am a 24 year old young professional, still with the world open before me. So you see, we can easily pull down any barriers that we would have created based on age and have a chat like buddies.

I am here to speak to you about love. Not in the quintessential way of warning you about heartbreaks or men who cheat because Daisy, you have not been there yet. Most times, you do not get it. And it is worse because at 18 and in the university, you are supposed to be grown enough to understand the kind of attraction between men and women. In any case, mummy and daddy are not around so you are footloose. But fancy free? Not sure.

Here is the thing, you are grounded and you know what you want in life and, truth is, I would not have needed to even write you this letter at all. But that voice of doubt within you is what I want to clear. On the one hand, you believe that you are fine just the way you are and there is no rush for love. The other side of you, the very small part of you that tries to conform, is however worried that there is something wrong with you and more than once, you have thought about seeing a therapist.

This is my message to you today: you are fine. Clear the doubts. The only responsibility that you have is being the best version of yourself.

I can’t say that at 24, I have everything mapped out in this regard. I am still trying to figure out this love thing. And yes, like you, I am yet to fall in love. I have had moments where I have thought that I have finally fallen in love but that didn’t last. I had the option of acting up and pretending that I was in love but that just became exhausting. Plus at 24, my opinions about what is important to me are quite solid.

I have accepted the person that I am and estimated that my love probably comes in the best-friend manual. I do not aspire to a Hollywood kind of love anymore because I have since accepted that I was not built that way. And this has made me rest.

So yes, the summary is, you are fine and a most charming 18 year old. Many people love you for your charming nature. Please do not give that up for a fit into a box.

Hopelessly in love with you,

Daisy Nandeche Okoti, 24.


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