The Portrait Of…

…An eighty-year-old in the body of a sixteen-year-old – Ibukun.

“Part 5: The Words”

Although I am an old soul my sources of inspiration are most certainly not limited to those of fellow eighty-year-old souls. I seek inspiration from everywhere – any person, country or generation.


There are a number of things that have inspired my lifestyle choices from books to experiences to quotes; I am very eclectic in that sense. That being said, Plato’s account of Socrates, “I know that I know nothing,” has most greatly impacted my mindset in relation to learning as I am able to find a sense of serenity in the fact that there is nothing in this world that I currently or ever will know completely. The Socratic Paradox brings with it a sense of peace due to my acute awareness that I am generally not the smartest person in the room because it diminishes the anxiety I felt about having to act as such. In the least self-deprecating sense, I am not the brightest bulb in the box but I most certainly do have other talents which were, and continue to be, disregarded when I felt the need to fit into the role of the most intelligent person in the room. Simply put, that mold, if made to fit anyone, was certainly not made for me and the Socratic Paradox has allowed me to accept this notion.

Along with bringing about a sense of confidence in my role, or lack thereof, within intellectual spaces the account also inspires a sense of confidence that generally everyone is experiencing the same uncertainty (give or take a few IQ points). It makes me feel a little bit less idiotic when I ask a Stupid™ question because I understand that there has been and will point in everyone’s timeline where they too have asked a dumb or seemingly obvious question; moreover, they survived the embarrassment of asking. This thought makes me feel a little bit less alone.

That being said, it does not allow me to become complacent or comfortable in my ignorance. It encourages me to continue my pursuit of enlightenment and knowledge from all parts of the world and from any point in history. Further, it motivates me to do so with grace as knowing that I know nothing greatly promotes humility because there have been and most certainly will be times where I know absolutely nothing about a topic – avoidance of cockiness now may spare me some severe humiliation later on.


One of my queens, Maya Angelou, has encouraged me to attempt leave as positive of an impression on people as possible through her very famous words, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Her iconic words leave me with a desire to always treat people, regardless of what walk of life they may be from, the best way I know how to. Moreover, it encourages me to improve people’s experience of life as long as I may have an impact on it, not necessarily just their day.

Along with inspiring me to treat people wonderfully, Maya Angelou’s words encourage frequent, necessary analysis of my relationships along with the discontinuation of toxic ones as although I may not always remember what the people in my life may say to/ about me (due to my horrible memory), I most certainly recall the emotion they evoke within me. In the past, it has been very easy for me to choose to remain in relationships due to the need to uphold a duration or because I felt that I needed the other person for validation (or vice versa); however, Angelou reminds me that it is okay to cut ties with someone if they make you feel lesser than. Toxic relationships aren’t necessary under any circumstance and this quote really solidifies that notion for me when I may stray from it.


Although I seek artistic inspiration from every aspect of life and death, the book Little Bee (which I still will not shut up about), film Ruby Sparks and poet Olivia Gatwood have most greatly inspired the content of my pieces. They, and pieces of the sort, all worked together to inspire me to write about the undesirable, difficult parts of the human existence without being prestigious or pedantic. That may come off as a bit harsh but I’ve never really found great inspiration in important pieces of literature that tried very hard to be important pieces of literature as opposed to just being good literature. Olivia Gatwood’s poems, Ruby Sparks and Little Bee all had the commonality that they were not written, seemingly, to be inspiring, earth-shattering, revolutionary pieces but rather were well-composed pieces first and their importance in my eyes quickly followed. That is the type of work I want to put into the world. What I create never has to be an important piece to anyone but me – this mindset has taken a lot of pressure off of the process of creating and has allowed me to love my writing for what it is.

So, that’s me – for the time being, until I have another evolution or something of that nature. I really love change.

((C.S Lewis is a marvellous author (from what I’ve heard from my enthusiastic fan of a father) and his sayings have helped and healed me in my personal and spiritual life. ♥))




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6 thoughts on “The Portrait Of…

  1. Dear Ibukun,

    I loved that I was able to get to know you a little better through this piece. I knew you loved Maya Angelou and Little Bee, but I never really understood what drew you to the poets and books you gravitate towards. So, thank you for this. One idea that I really appreciated was your realization that art to you doesn’t necessarily have to be art to everyone else, that the work you put out can be bred from your heart, soul, and emotions – and that may not resonate with everyone who reads it. But, for those who do read and understand, it will be a beautiful experience.

    The style of your writing is so personalized and intriguing to read – I can almost hear you speaking the words to me as if we were having a conversation. This does work for most of the piece, but your diction choices are becoming more elevated which can sometimes clash with the casual style of your writing. For example, you used the word “stupid” before going into an extremely articulate piece, where you wrote sentences like “Further, it motivates me to do so with grace as knowing that I know nothing greatly promotes humility..”. So my advice would be to maybe just be more aware of word choices as your writing and vocabulary progresses.

    All in all, this was such a pleasure to read. I love reading everything you write, and I can’t wait to read more.

    Love Always,

    1. Dearest Alysha,

      Thank you so much for taking time out of your day to read and further comment on my blog – that means a lot. I am so glad that you enjoyed the blog and I will be sure to take what you said into consideration. Coming from such an admirable writer, your words of wisdom mean quite a bit. It proves a tad bit difficult to be aware of when my vocabulary is inconsistent and I never want to sound overly pretentious but at times that is just what works best in the context of what I am writing or saying. Regardless, I will be sure to keep an eye out for that whilst proof reading my pieces in order to improve!

      Thanks again for reading and commenting.


  2. Dear Ibukun,

    First of all, being a rather organized person myself, I adore the three categories that you’ve split your thoughts into. Starting with “Mindset”, I find the brutal honesty in which you admit to not being afraid of asking Stupid™ questions very humbling, the way that you describe the fear and failure, that everyone as a collective shares, is not something I’ve entirely thought about until now. In addition, the words “there is nothing in this world that I currently or ever will know completely” were wise beyond my years. Personally, I am terrified with the unknown, I think that my heart craves to one day uncover every mystery of the universe, it is just a matter of time – however my mind knows that I will be a ghost walking this Earth if I tried to do that – but reading this and seeing you able to come to terms with this fact SHOOK me up! Talk about a change of mindset. Next, your “Personality” – “to leave as positive of an impression on people as possible”. This section of your blog really warmed my heart. To see that there are still beautiful people in this somewhat hideous world like you, people that still wish to leave others with a smile on their face while also bettering themselves by cutting out toxic people, brings a whole lot of hope for me. It’s people like you that I wish the world was made of. In your “Artistic” section, I felt so connected to the pieces you were referencing to even though I have never read them – I can say that Little Bee is definitely on my reading list now. “What I create never has to be an important piece to anyone but me”. This far into your blog, I am not surprised to, yet again, find another snippet of wonderful wisdom. I feel as if this should be blasted into the ears of the cocky and ignorant – many people don’t realize this and instead seek the approval of everyone around them but there is no process and innovation if we all look to others for approval! In every word, I could feel a bit of your “vibe”, “aurora” whatever you want to call it, intertwined within and I truly love writers that throw themselves into their writing – not literally, but maybe so? Anyhow, this was amazingly done, bravo!!

    Personally, and this really is personal opinion, I believe that if you had found three different images to represent what you were saying in each section, that would give it a fluidity and sort of a more interconnections within them all. Not only that, but visuals are always fun!

    Way to go girl!!!


    1. Dear Judy,

      Thanks so much for reading and commenting and commenting on my blog! Time is precious, so thanks for choosing to use it here <3. I am so glad that you were able o find some "wisdom" in my piece, I hope that someday I, too, will find some wisdom in my pieces. Further, your note about more images makes complete sense to me. I greatly appreciated the use of images in your piece and will be sure to emulate that beautiful style into my future pieces of this nature.

      Thanks again for reading and commenting.


      P.S. I am such a fake fan for not commenting on your blog, I love you and your work all the same, I promise. <3

  3. Dear Ibukun,

    This was a joy to read. Your vibrancy and humour shone through, which I really appreciate. Those of us (or maybe just me) with short attention spans NEED little gold nuggets scattered through a piece, and you definitely scattered ‘em. Reading this also gave me a new appreciation and respect for you. Granted, I always had mad respect for you, but this really reinforced it. You seem genuinely humble, unhypocritical, and self-aware. I complete relate to the anxiety of feeling like I have something to prove, and reading your blog was a good reminder to keep myself in check. I also appreciate how you acknowledge your desire to continue learning, while not allowing your knowledge to give you a superiority complex. Your quest for knowledge never stops because you have the wisdom to recognise you have not reached the ceiling of knowledge. In fact, for lifelong learners, there is no ceiling.

    One line in your blog really spoke to me, “ it encourages me to improve people’s experience of life”. I respect the commitment this attitude represents, and the genuine compassion it reflects. Not many people are even interested enough to stick around long enough to change a life.

    As far as an improvement to your blog, I agree with Alysha. Your style of writing seems to be waging a sort of battle between a confident, strong voice, and a more unsure, passive voice. Both have their place, and these little sideline quips can often add humour. However, I do feel that, in some instances, they detracted from your otherwise flawless voice. Then again, I did enjoy some of the contrast they provided, and it lent your blog a conversational quality.

    All-in-all, your blog inspired me to seek out more personalized meaning in the words I read. I can see that texts have shaped your views for the better, and I hope I can imitate your ability to internalize others’ wisdom.

    P.s. Your presentation SLAYED. I LOVED the video SO much.

    1. Dearest Lauryn,

      Your comment was such a joy to read! You’re so sweet and I appreciate all of your kind words (maybe some overly flattering,eh?). I am so grateful for your compliments to my character as those are the most inspiring compliments to get. Also, I am very happy that you were able to find some truth and/or sense of wisdom in my blog. 🙂

      To comment on your comment I appreciated the fact that you stated, “In fact, for lifelong learners, there is no ceiling.” This is honestly going to be a new addition to my mantra, so thank you!

      Further, I greatly appreciated your feed back! I’ll be sure to continue working on voice through my writing and ensuring it is intentional and consistent. Once again, you are far too kind! “…otherwise flawless voice,” you’re really fueling my ego, Lauryn!

      Once again, thank you so so much for being willing to take the time to read and comment on my blog! After reading your blog and conversing with you it is really an honour to have someone as wonderful as you are giving me input.


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