Nah, joy.

Jum Owookade
3 min readJan 2, 2022

Hey, friend.

Now if you’ve read any of my letters, you know it’s a struggle to be consistent in writing and even dually as hard to get out the pieces about myself. But it’s day one of the new year and while I’m not committing to writing every day, I am committing myself to choose joy. So I’ll write about that.

That being said, this piece has probably been my most anticipated one; I don’t know if there’s a piece I’ve wrestled to get out as much as this. Over the last four years, it’s taken several different iterations with different titles: Peter Pan., Joy Boy. (twice) and even be free. (check out those drafts on IG)

The correlation each of those titles have is that I believe I’m marked by a contagious and provoking expression of joy and freedom. It’s why when I watched Robert Williams play Peter Pan all those years ago, I was glued to the screen as this middle-aged man returned back to his true self: youthful, vibrant, imaginative and alive.

It’s why I challenge myself to do cartwheels as frequently as I can the older I get. There’s just always been something about “growing up” that didn’t sit right with me. Now, thanks to Twitter or TikTok, I’ve come to understand that I might have the ‘Peter Pan syndrome.’ Here’s the ‘nicest’ definition from Urban Dictionary.

Bleh, I guess I identify with some of this, okay most of it. But trust, I’m not hiding from kids and a family. I think for me, it’s to enjoy the living and pursue joy at every angle possible. I think it’s why most folks are drawn to me. I tend to — or at least try to — waltz with a carefree and relaxed attitude while encouraging others to reach for the sky to make their dreams happen.

So, yeah, I’m Peter Pan. I’ve called myself that since I was about 10. I’m also Joy Boy, just a carrier of freedom, hope, joy and peace, who’s adamant about sharing these with everyone around me.

Now, on day one of 2022, I have all the excitement and anticipation in the world. I, like most of you reading, wants a fresh start at eating right, going to the gym, building relationships, all that GOOD stuff we write down and put on our vision boards. But most importantly, I just want to do what I’ve been writing about. Walk in joy and freedom, and encourage others to do the same.

The second half of 2021 was a beautiful one for me and maybe capped off my best year of life. I traveled, I got my Masters in the field I’d been pursuing for nearly a decade, I got a job at literally the number one company in my field and I saw so many of my friends and family win. I’m grateful to God that I didn’t just survive as I did in 2020, but I actually lived.

I’m believing 2022 will be filled with a lot more of that alongside a lot more risk-taking and loving the people around me (and far). But I know, just like 2021 had, there are challenges, obstacles and more to come. In the face of all these, when it makes sense to be angry, sad, depressed or defeated or to regress and cower, I want to instead say, ‘Nah, joy.’

I want to commit to that more so than committing to new resolutions, goals and challenges. I just want to be able to count everything as joy.

Happy New Year. Believing this year is filled with all love, more life, more peace, closeness to God and pure joy for you.



P.S. I got it done, man. After 4 years, whew.

P.S.S. Heads up, the first risk I know I’m taking is moving across the country and starting a new life in L.A., so cheers to that. Registry coming soon if you might be interested in helping out with that.



Jum Owookade

These letters are probably a compilation of a variety of focuses. I’m a Sports Writer who loves God, comics, and storytelling.