Wednesday, 25 October 2017

My Painting Experience

I would be lying if I say I've been in a good place emotionally for some time now. It's a mess. Anyways I decided to not let negative emotions get the best of me, so I've decided to dedicate the year 25 to a year of trying new things. Did I mention that I turned 25 in August? Well yes I did. And well, 25 is...... 25

Before I digress, I'm trying to channel my emotions and energy into different experiences. Yesterday I tried my hand at painting and I think it went well. Honestly, I didn't think it was all that but when I put it up on my snapchat and Insta story I got such good responses that I feel so encouraged. I might keep it up, mainly for therapeutic purposes. Yesterday was an emotional rollercoaster typa day but while painting, I didn't for once think about any of the things going wrong in my life. I actually felt at peace. 

I was painting at a friend's house and his friends were around, they would come over from time to time to check what I was doing and pass some comments like, 
"I don't understand, what are you painting"
"oh but it doesn't look anything like the picture"

And it really didn't look like what I was trying to recreate but everything goes in art, no? LOL. However, at the end of it, they liked it and complimented the work and it struck something in me. When painting, no one can really tell what the artist is doing till he's done and then it makes sense. And it's the same with life, which is also a canvass and God, the painter. The process sometimes doesn't make sense and it may sometime look like it's all over the place but when He's done, and you step back, you see that even the blunders you made, he turned into an artwork. That epiphany comforted me, I don't understand the process at the moment and I don't know where I'm heading but if there's anything I know, God only creates masterpieces. Who would have thought that a simple painting session would lead to a sermon in my head? LOL. God really does speak to us. 

I'm definitely going to try painting more cause it's relaxing. However, I'm looking for another experience to go for. Any suggestions? Ps I really do want to learn how to bake or to do a culinary course, cause in my head I want to be a chef (I blame Food Channel). Actually I'm many things in my head, perhaps I should try them all LOL. I always liked the idea of painting and drinking a glass of wine, even though I got the painting part right, I missed out on the wine. Maybe next time. Who's trying to pay for me to go to culinary school? 

Compliment or Insult?

In the past three weeks, I've been on the receiving end of what I cannot term a compliment or an insult. Let me mention two;

In church, three weeks ago, after serving in children's church I walked to the store to get a bottle of water. While walking out of the shop, a man stops me and our conversation goes thus

Him: Are you from planet earth?
Me: (already put off from the lame pick up line) what?
Him: Are you from this our planet?
Me: (dryly) Is there anyone who isn't? (bear in mind I'm exhausted from running after three year olds and trying to get them to not kill each other. The parents are saved not the kids)
Him: I mean your beauty is just out of this world (me: rolls eyes internally) that's why I'm asking
Me: (putting on my fakest smile) oh thank you

Stop there, nooooo, he continues to speak
Him: You are very beautiful. It's normal when light skinned women are this beautiful but you rarely see dark skinned women that are this beautiful. You know what I mean?

No! I do not know what you mean you uncultured swine! I just smiled politely and walked away, thanking God all the time for salvation and also the 3 year olds that wore me out. Because I had half the mind to tell him off and not in the nicest way. It just so happened that I saw him the next week in church and he called out my name. I put on my onlooking face and walked past him.

2nd scenario, I had a lengthy conversation with a guy who I met sometime last year at a book launch party, who's been trying to get me out on a date for a year lol. Well he complained that he's been trying to get my attention and I haven't given him face. Guilty. Anyways, one day after work I drove home and saw him in front of my house with my neighbour, who happens to be his friend. It so happened that I was going to be visiting an IDP camp the next day and we talked about it and other things. Next day I wake up to this message:

"There's more to you than I would have guessed... I was actually impressed with our conversation yesterday"

MEANING?!!!!!! What the hell does that mean? That because I'm beautiful, I have no substance?! Or I look like a cupcake cutie? Again I refrained from giving him the response he deserved and said a mere 'thanks'. Am I overreacting at the two scenarios? I think the hell not! First of all, I am sick and tired of men thinking that just because you've got a little more melanin, you can't be beautiful. Heck, I never knew being dark skinned was an issue till I moved back to Nigeria in 2015 and realised that a lot of people didn't look like their throwback pictures. And not because we didn't have high quality camera phones then. It was because society now told us that the dark skin we were born in didn't fit in with its description of beautiful, so women took to bleaching creams. Shame. Nonetheless, I love my dark skin, never had a problem with it so if you do, that is your personal problem. However, if you come round me and try to downplay my beauty because I'm not light skinned, you will catch these hands, salvation or not.

And then men that think you can't be beauty and brains, I will slap you with my two degrees, five diplomas and every other certificate I've acquired and will acquire. It shouldn't surprise you that there is more to me. What did you base that on? My social media? First of all, you don't know me... And if you're going to pass silly comments like that, please know that you have no chance with me. As such, I have mentally shut down on trying-to-get-a-date-with-you-for-1-year guy. Bye Felicia.

This was just a rant that I needed to get out of my head so I can focus on other things.

Monday, 21 August 2017

Letter to My Husband 3

Dear Future Husband, 

This would be the third letter I'd write to you in the span of a month. You must really be on my mind or close by lol. It's 5:41 a.m and I have one question on my mind; are you a man that sees me?

You see I want to be seen by you. I want you to see the potential in me. I want you to see the places that God is taking me but also the places I've been. I want you to see right through my bullshit because I put defensive walls up sometimes. And I may act out, but can you still see my vulnerability? Can you see my fragility and at the same time my strength? Can you see my worth? Do you see the crown on my head because I'm royalty baby. Can you see that I belong to the King of kings?  Cause if you can see that, you wouldn't treat me just any kind of way. I want you to also see the future with me, to see the kind of life that we would live and the kind of people we would become. 

So I ask again, are you a man that sees? Are you a man with a vision? Because as much as I want to be loved by you, I want to be seen by you. 

Your wife who wants to be seen...

Saturday, 19 August 2017

World Humanitarian Day

Happy World Humanitarian Day!!!

If you've been following me for a while or know me personally, you know that I see myself as a humanitarian at heart. And so, it was only natural that I did an event to honour this day, even though it was so last minute. You really don't want to know the story. I had procrastinated for so long on organising an event and eventually got my act together at 10a.m yesterday. Needless to say, for an impromptu event, I am glad at the turn out and how it went.

It was a roundtable discussion on the humanitarian issues in the North East and individuals who worked in organisations in that field were in attendance. Some of the organisations there were Abuja Global Shapers Community, Oxfam, Victims Support Fund, Stand to End Rape, Arm the Child NGO, the Presidential Committee on North East Initiative, The Presidency, Leadership Newspaper among others. And I'm so glad that I did this because I walked away more informed than I walked in. It was truly inspiring hearing these people talk about what they've seen, what is being done and their intellectual opinions on the crisis. Some of the issues that were raised are:
  • The lack of pyschosocial support to people in the North east
  • The failure of the Federal Government in learning from the mistakes of the Biafran War humanitarian crisis
  • The need for better media coverage and less underrepresentation by the media
  • Addressing the Almajiri system in the North and the vulnerability of children to extremist ideas and misinterpretation of the Quran 
  • Having organisations that more proactive about their interventions and going beyond IDP camps in to the North East to affected communities
  • The lack of interest amongst average Nigerians due to unbelief, poor media representation or tribal division 
  • The need to disarm children from negative mindsets and arm them with education 
  • Addressing the motive of why children of insurgency/war want to become soldiers in the future etc
Through this event, I'm inspired to continue the dialogue and can't wait to organise the next one. Anyways, did anyone else observe World Humanitarian Day?
"Do your little bit of good where you are. It's those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world." Desmond Tutu

Sunday, 6 August 2017

Through The Years

I always say that I once asked God to help me forget and He did. I have a very selective memory and cannot for the life of me remember a lot of things. I hear stories of things I've done in the past and I'm amused because I genuinely cannot remember... I'm always sure to let people know that I have a short memory so they don't take it personally when I don't remember a lot of things.

However now, I think I want to remember. I'm tired of not remembering a lot of things.

Tonight I sat on the floor and went through my old journals. I've always kept a journal for as long as over a decade and I'm so grateful that I have. Flipping through my journals today, I was forced to walk down several memory lanes that my brain had conveniently forgotten. But I was also grateful because I saw how I've grown over the years.

As I read, I saw the girl who tried to victimise her way out of every thing, struggled with friendships in high school and sought attention from all the wrong sources.

I saw the girl who jumped from one bad relationship to another. I'm glad I saw this because I noticed a pattern, which I'm taking to the Lord in prayer.

I saw the girl who wrote a letter to God daily and shared her fears, frustrations and hopes for the future.

I saw a poem that my late cousin wrote to me that made me break down on my bedroom floor. God bless your soul Barka, you're terribly missed.

I never want to stop journaling and I hope that I pass my journals down to my daughter one day so she sees how her mum came of age. I find that it's important to write things down, I have even this blog as a journal. I read some posts and can't believe I wrote them or what inspired them. All in all, I'm grateful for these reminders of how I've grown and what I've been through. 

Thursday, 25 May 2017

Lost in the Pages

What happens when you go through a life changing situation? Do you let the pain absorb you and then move on or shove it off like it never happened?

I'll tell you what I did, I lost myself in the pages of a book because that's what I've always done. I've found myself go numb one too many times and picked up a book to escape the reality...

And what a good escape it's always been, being able to get your mind off everything that's going wrong in your life and focus on a story that ends in 420 pages...

And so I read... and the more I get wrapped in the story of another person's life, the further I run from dealing with the issue at hand. Some may find relief in the bottom of a tequila bottle but for me, I found relief in the pages of a book. The problem with that is, maybe I've lost touch with reality like I've been accused of one too many times. I've forgotten what's real and what isn't because I've found myself engulfed in the mirage of a perfectly written story of a 16 year old who found true love so young or a woman who got to travel the world and learn about herself in each city. And the problem with that is, it makes you think that you can to, till you stare out the window and the scorching sun of Abuja yanks you back to reality...

What can I say? I'm just a dreamer who keeps being hit with the harshness of reality

Does anyone else get lost in the pages of a book as a coping mechanism?

Friday, 5 May 2017

The End or Not?

As I sit here staring at my screen wondering what to write, I can't help but wonder if an era has come to an end without my realising so...

Something that has been a part of me for the past 7 years, have I truly lost my interest in writing or is it still there? Something that I was once identified with, is it truly the end?

Days pass and I don't even remember that I have a blog and I wonder why?

It's not that I don't have anything to say because life continues to remain a rollercoaster for me so what changed? Did I find a new outlet, No... I didn't...

I miss it though, I miss writing but I don't know how to anymore, so again I ask, is it the end of an era?

I wonder what else is dying without my realisation. I used to have a voice, when did I stop using it? Why am I not using it anymore?

I used to be passionate about humanitarian work but I can't show you one project I've undertaken in the past 12 months. What happened to that?

I once saw a tweet that said "your salary is a bribe to forget your dreams", is that what happened to me? Did I let my dreams die without my consent or did I forget how to live life along the way?

Saturday, 14 January 2017

How's your 2017 Going?

Happy New Year lovely readers! This message is 14 days late, bear with me, adulting makes you forget a lot of things sometimes. I do hope your new year is going great, mine is. I'm pumped about all this year has to offer cause I'm gonna be demanding some pretty big things from the universe. A wise man once said
"you get out of the world what you demand from it"
So watch me demand some grand things and get them, you better key in.  Anyways funny story, the other day I was at the gym getting my sweat on. Yes I gym now, got serious about my fitness from the second week of December and I've got a 3-month gym membership tying my ass to that commitment. So back to the story, here I was this fateful afternoon when work hadn't resumed, going at it on the treadmill. It's just me and about 5/6 other men, I lost count. I'm running and psyching myself in my mind cause I've done 8 minutes straight without stopping (this is progress to me, don't laugh) and then I feel something coming loose on my chest. I look down and lo and behold my sports bra zip has gone down (the zip is in front). I'm like God no in my head, this cannot be happening. Not only am I the only girl in the gym, I'm running on the flipping treadmill! I am bosomly blessed so you can imagine that this is not a good combination! I start pleading with God and the universe like God please, this cannot be how my porn story starts, help me! Bear in mind I still have 7 minutes to go cause I was warming up for 15 minutes before my personal trainer was going to come train with me for my fitness goal. I'm slightly panicking now, how do I stop without drawing attention to myself? Thankfully I was wearing a t-shirt over my sports bra or boy oh boy would this story be different. Anyways I switch from running to power walking with exaggerated arm movements to hide the fact that my sports bra has gone loose and my nunga nungas are having a field time on my chest now.

I gotta tell you those were the longest 7 minutes of my life plus the extra 2 minutes to 'cool down' post run. Plus to get to the changing room, I had to walk past the boys in the weight area, goodness that was another uncomfortable struggle but I got through it *phew* Needless to say, my year was off to a great funny start....

I wish you all an eventful 2017!


Sunday, 4 December 2016

My Thoughts on Toke's On Becoming

Yesterday I picked up Toke Makinwa's 'On Becoming' and found it hard to drop, not because it's the best written book out there but for its compelling nature. I literally had to force myself because I had to be up at 5am to get ready for thanksgiving service today. At first when I saw that she had published a book, it didn't strike a cord with me, didn't even give it a second thought till my last book club meeting last Sunday. A member suggested it as our next read and I asked why, she gave her reasons and immediately my curiousity was peaked. 

A friend sent me her copy and I eventually started last night instead of going for Jamrock. My heart went out to her and I couldn't understand all the negativity that was going her way over the book, I guess we all respond differently. Two things come to mind when I think of this book, Maya Angelou's quote

"When people show you who they are, believe them the first time"
The second is "I didn't know my own strength" by Whitney Houston. First heard it on Being Mary Jane (my spirit animal) and fell in love with the song. So here goes my opinion of Toke's book.

Woman to woman, it would be hypocritical of me to insult her for going back to Maje every single time he came running. There are too may of us that stayed when we should have left because we shared our hearts with someone who never deserved it in the first place. In a group of 10 women, there would probably be one or two who have found themselves in a dysfunctional relationship, I had mine for 2 years but someone may not have had theirs. Did I wish she got out sooner? Of course, she gave that man 12 good years of her life and he hurt her so much. 

Were the signs there? oh yes, clearly. And this is where she has been attacked a lot with people saying she brought it upon herself but you know what, until you find yourself in that position you can't be sure of what your reaction would be. If you had told me I would have been a mumu for Beau and done half the things I did for him, I would have slapped you for thinking I was an insecure girl but I did it and I lost myself in the process but it made me stronger. After all, what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. For a romantic like Toke, I believe she loved him with all she had and so walking away from this man she had given her heart and body to was not going to be the easiest decision. Though some of you don't like to hear this part, I'm going to say it nonetheless. When sex is involved, a soul tie is created and this was the first man she had sex with and I can tell you from experience that it makes it all the more harder to leave that person. 

When she wrote,
"In Nigeria, it is almost a taboo to speak of the ills in your marriage. Everyone wears a smile to hide the pain. Sharing is a sign of weakness, and the people you share with might very well abuse the information or take advantage of you"
My heart broke a little. Isn't that the sad truth? There are too many unhappy people walking these streets with you and I who feel they can't talk about the pain they are going through especially with our parents. Yet Toke did a brave thing to pen her story and I hear people shaming her for it, even if it was for capital gain, how that one concern you? Don't you realise that her story is a sad reality? You may be strong at walking away and not taking nonsense from the opposite sex but best believe there are women out there who make excuses everyday and take in more than is necessary. Please don't fault them for that, it is your job and responsibility especially as a child of God to watch out for them. The Bible says, Love covers a multitude of sin (1 Peter 4:8). And it also warns us not to take pride in our own strengths less we fall into temptation (1 Cor. 10:12). While your weakness might not be a man/woman, watch yourself because something exists out there that pushes your mumu button. 
"It's easy to be smart and sensible - objective - with other people's troubles. But what advice could I give myself now?"
Truth be told, I was shocked that Toke found herself in a mess like this, seeing as she was a relationship expert whose vlogs I had once enjoyed but the truth is, it's easier to solve other people's problems than your own. 

"All the signs had been there, like a neon at night. But I prayed them away and convinced myself that every last argument, every humiliation, every betrayal would be the last one. One hurdle and we'd get the happiness we deserved."
Sound familiar? Like an addict making excuses for that bad habit they can't seem to break but every woman has a breaking point. I'm glad it's over for her, at least I pray it is. But don't keep making excuses for that man who isn't inconveniencing himself for you like you are.

"Nigerian women have mastered the game of shame. Society shames us, the media shames us, our families shame us, and then we go ahead to heap whatever shame is left on ourselves"
Don't suffer in silence, reach out to someone trustworthy and look out for your mental well being. I appreciate Toke baring it all and writing her story, like her friend said, sharing her story will liberate a lot of women out there. It truly is a reality for some but I pray they find the strength to break free. Jesus did not die for you for another son of Adam to be tormenting you in this already heard life. And may this be a caution to the rest of us thinking of getting married not to ignore the signs we ask God to show us. God doesn't shout, if He speaks, make sure you're paying attention. He's not going to come and physically remove you from a physically/emotionally abusive relationship, it's up to you to make that decision for yourself. And no matter how hard it may seem, just take the first step and walk away and everyday after that put one foot in front of the other and keep moving on. One day you'd look back and realise you've come so far and surely God would be there every step of the way. 

One more thing, all men are not scum, some are but not all. May God deliver us from the ones who want to help the devil start his tormenting work on earth. If you ever get the book, read Chapter 11, it's powerful, even if it's the only chapter you read. 

I really loved the quotes that began every chapter and for that I'm getting a personal copy for myself LOL.

I'f leave on this last note as this is already a lengthy read,

"Self-love is important. Love yourself enough to put you first"

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Open Letter to Weight Monitoring Spirits

Dear Weight Watchers/Nigerians, 

First of all "You've added weight" is not a form of greeting. Secondly, we have mirrors, we bath ourselves everyday and cloth our bodies ourselves, if we've added weight, trust me, we know. Finally, if your "weight comment" is not positive, then shove it in between a patty so I can eat it. 

Why this rant? I've been getting a lot of comments on my weight, which I haven't noticed, except that my ass is getting bigger (thank you Jesus! If you're a friend you'll understand my obsession with having a bigger butt lol). Anyways, these days it's a salutation from people before hello and I just roll my eyes. Sometimes I play it off if we are cool, other times I ignore it. But really, what do you want me to do with your "you're getting/you've gotten fatter" comment? Since it came out of your mouth, please tell me, of what value is your comment? I don't go around commening on people's weight so why feel the need to do so on mine or anyone's for that matter?

Here's a sample preggo snap

If you're on my snapchat, then you must know that I'm fond of putting up my pregnant "food baby" picture and video when I've overfed. In my head it's a talent and probably what I would do if I were in a beauty pageant contest and it also gives me an idea of what I would look like when I'm pregnant. And if I do say so myself, I'm gonna have a cute ass bump! Anyway, back to the matter. It fascinates a lot of my friends that I can push my tummy out that much to look 3/4 months pregnant. So last weekend in Jos, after overfeeding my fine ass, I put up one and this guy took it upon his honourable self to comment about my body. He goes "you need to do something about your body, you're looking like a potato now" First of all, boy please! Have you seen me naked? Ain't nothing potato about this. Then it doesn't stop there, he goes "you used to have Eiffel Tour legs, now you have Statue of Liberty legs", what the hell does that even mean? Where is the sense in that comment? And I'm not even close to this negro for him to be spewing out this. You people need to help me thank God for salvation and the companionship of the Holy Spirit because the response I wanted to give him ehn, chai....

All I'm trying to say is, stop being a monitoring spirit on my body weight and I speak for some when I say, your comment is really of no value. You know how we were taught "if you have nothing nice to say, then don't say anything" when we were growing up? Apply that here. And watch what you say to people, if someone is struggling with their self confidence, you're only going to destroy it further. Thankfully, my identity is fully rooted in Christ, so I draw my confidence and value from what He has to say and not another human being. However, not everyone has come to that realisation, so please keep your weight comment to yourself except you're coming from a place of genuine concern for the person's health. And even with that, there are rules and guidelines that you should abide by. Having said that, I have come to the end of my rant. Thanks for your kind consideration.

Yours Truly,