Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Bye Bye 2014

Wow Can you believe the year is over? It's day 365 of 365 and truly it does feel like January 1st was just yesterday. I remember this day last year, I was on a road trip with some other ladies for my friend's wedding. I was a bridesmaid for the first time and emotions were on a high. And now another year is about to roll in. Truly blessed.

2014 was a good year, although I catch myself saying it was bad sometimes, I must admit it was a good year when I look back. God kept me through this year not because I'm just another pretty face to the world but because He's not done with me yet and my best day are ahead of me. I completed my Masters with a splendid result despite all the unmotivated days and frustrating days. I went to camp and came back, praise Jesus. I had three holidays this year to three beautiful destinations, really grateful for that. I experienced love, pain and growth this year. Long story short, I can't count my blessings and I know there are more to come.

I learnt a lot and I'm hoping not to make the same mistakes twice. I've planned and dreamed for 2015 so here's really praying that my 2015 is 15 times better than this year was. I wish you all a prosperous and wonderful new year ahead and I can't wait to share the joys and lessons of 2015 with you. I love you all so much, Thank you to all those who read my blog, comment, share on twitter and actually follow up in real life on my personal issues. You're the real MVP. God bless you all.


Don't Be Bored in 2015

While reading different blogs online, came across this post on 52 fun things to in 2015. How amazing, that's a fun activity per week. Although I'm not committing to trying one every week, I would try to do at least half of the activities on this list. Seems like a pretty good way to make sure you don't get stuck in a rut come 2015.

  1. Write a handwritten note and post it to someone you haven't been in touch with in a while.
  2. Make someone a birthday cake or celebration cake.
  3. Volunteer for the day, a local day shelter, home for the elderly or at a soup kitchen for the homeless.
  4. Take a bus or train to town, village or city that you've never visited. Just go to the station and get on the next one that comes in.
  5. Learn meditation, yoga, pilates or something new that you've never tried before.
  6. Make a scrapbook, print out photographs, emails and attach keepsakes.
  7. Go to an outdoor weekend festivals and sleep under the stars.
  8. Learn to play a musical instrument.
  9. Spend a whole day in bed, watching movies, reading books and snuggling with a loved one. 
  10. Look up your family tree and find out what you can learn about your ancestors.
  11. Sign up for a local community class, learn something new and meet other people who live in your area at the same time. 
  12. Forgive someone who has hurt you. And maybe let them know. 
  13. Plant seeds and grow something in a window box or in the garden. If possible start a small vegetable garden.
  14. Compliment a stranger, it will possibly make their day.
  15. Read an old classic. Choose one that has always caught your attention and be patient if you don't get into it immediately. 
  16. Start your own or join a book club.
  17. Go to a museum, the cinema or a restaurant alone. Enjoy your own company.
  18. Bake cookies and share them at work, when visiting friends or give them to a neighbour that might be living on their own. 
  19. Make your own birthday, anniversary, valentine or celebration cards.
  20. Go mountain climbing, hiking or a long forest walk.
  21. Eat lunch outside, pack a picnic in a hamper, sit by the lake, the sea, go to a local park or lay out a blanket in the garden.
  22. Roller skate. Hire or buy a pair and have fun while toning up.
  23. Let someone else order for you in a restaurant. Or cook something you will never normally try. 
  24. Call somebody you haven't spoken to in a while and make plans to visit. 
  25. For a period of time, a week, a month or all year, only shop locally. Purchase free-range, ethical and fair-trade goods, buy from independent retailers, at farmer's markets and give hand crafted creations as presents. 
  26. Invent your own cocktail, purchase your favourite ingredients and try out something new. Adorn it with umbrellas, fancy stirrers and edible glitter. 
  27. Play a board game with friends or family. Scrabble, monopoly or trivial pursuit sadly get forgotten due to technology. They are timeless classics and a great way to spend quality time together. 
  28. Swap the car for a bike for the day. So much more can be absorbed when cycling. 
  29. Attend an open mic night. Great entertainment and can be a perfect way to meet new people too. 
  30. Donate to charity, whether it's clothes you no longer wear, blankets to the local dog shelter or a sack of carrots to donkeys in india.
  31. Make homemade bread. It's very simple and completely delicious. 
  32. Switch off all phones, laptops and technology devices. Find different ways to communicate with those close to us and spend quality time with yourself or with others. 
  33. Have a major clear out. Declutter, if it's not pretty, useful or it hasn't been used in the last 6 months, be ruthless, let it go.
  34. Write out a will, might be morbid to think about it but it will give you great peace of mind. 
  35. Take all old books and magazine to a local waiting room for others to read. Write a note in the front of the book and leave in a public place for others to take on and enjoy and they can do the same when they've finished.
  36. Take you camera with you for a whole day. And capture anything and everything that catches your interest. 
  37. Attend a food or wine tasting festival. Most cities hold these events and they are usually free to attend. 
  38. Hold a mini movie festival at home. Invite your best friends, tell them to bring a movie they love and spend a whole afternoon and evening together curled up chatting, eating and drinking and sharing old favourites. 
  39. Organise a clean up with neighbours. Choose a particular hotspot that has turned into an eyesore and get a few people involved to help out.
  40. Get a few friends together and take a ball to the park. Play soccer, rounders, cricket or basketball and ask everyone to bring something to add to a small picnic afterwards. 
  41. Make your own soup- nothing tastes better. Especially if you add your homemade bread. 
  42. Learn a new language, especially if it's of a country you plan to visit. 
  43. Go for a swim (if you don't already). Or try a brand new water based activity, water/jet skiing, surfing, canoeing, sailing, kayaking. 
  44. Skip! it's free, burns a heap of calories and can be done anywhere.
  45. Take a road trip. 
  46. Camp out- choose a time when the weather is good, take a barbeque set and sleeping bags and a portable radio. Relax with nature and leave technology behind. 
  47. Read the community newsletter. Find out what's going on locally and get involved. 
  48. Try a new look- choose a new hairstyle or try wearing clothes that you like but would normally never wear. 
  49. Write a list of everything you appreciate. Sometimes things can go unnoticed and it's a great way of becoming more aware and then passing on the gratitude. 
  50. Watch a sunset, sunrise or both. Find a spot with a good view and settle down with a friend or loved one and enjoy. 
  51. Write down your life plan. It doesn't have to be specific or even achievable. Just a guide for all the things you would like to do and then you can tick and cross off the ones you want to work towards. 
  52. Take time out to let those around you know they are loved. Call up, write letters, visit and send the message out strong and clear to those that are most important to you. 
*Phew* Typing that almost took it out on me. Wanna make this fun? Write 1-52 on tiny pieces of paper, fold them up, put in a jar and shake it up. Whenever you feel like doing something fun you can pick a number at random and look up what it says then do it. I know some activities are geographically/culturally limited but they can be swapped with alternatives. Just get creative on your own. Looking forward to actually doing some of this... :D

Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Personal Dilemma

So I came across this quote that Karreuche posted once on her instagram, following her on and off relationship with Chris Brown and it struck a cord with me. Perhaps because I can relate but I need to ask your opinion and I'll really appreciate if you leave a comment with your thoughts on this.

"The more chances you give someone the less respect they will start to have for you. They'll begin to ignore the standards that you've set because they'll know another chance will always be given. They're not afraid to lose you because they know no matter what you won't walk away. They get comfortable with depending on your forgiveness. Never let a person get comfortable disrespecting you"

Well we all know how the story ended (or the current chapter it's at). She's back with him but it doesn't change the authenticity of the message right?

If a person has hurt you more than once and you keep taking them back, does that mean they are taking advantage of you and does it mean you're losing respect, not just from them but from yourself as well?

It's easier to judge from the outside until you find yourself caught up in a dilemma like this. And if truly, they are disrespecting you, how do you walk away? I don't trust my judgement these days, which is why I feel like I need to put this out there...

Monday, 29 December 2014

10 Things I Plan To Start Doing in 2015

This post was originally meant to be '10 Things I Plan to Stop Doing in 2015' but when I couldn't come up with two things I wanted to stop doing, I had to go the other way. It could either mean my life is boring or I'm successfully free of bad habits and I'd rather go with the second option, hehehe. Anyways this is a twist to New Years' Resolution, so here's my list.

  1. I plan to start visiting the Dentist every quarter. Yes I've avoided the dentist like a plague because I was a regular customer as a child. I hated milk and I'm sure that's what affected my dentition, I had about ten teeth pulled out growing up. Not cool, I tell you.
  2. I plan to exercise more and regularly. I may look fit and slim but that's just God's mercy oh. The day He lifts it off, you will see my true weight with all the food I consume. Anyhoo, exercising isn't for weight maintenance on my part, it's to stay healthy and in good shape. I can't climb stairs without panting, even if it's just four stairs *covers face in shame*
  3. I plan to be more loving with my words. So don't be scared if I shower you in compliments and encouragements. I plan to build people up with my words and not tear them down. Not that I did that in the past *side eye*
  4. I plan to start watching news again. Yes I stopped as I couldn't take all the bad and heartbreaking news anymore. However, if my heart can't take it I shall retrieve back into my cave.
  5. I plan to call my friends more and visit often. That means calling a random friend every week to check up on them (might do more than one but for now let's stick to that number)
  6. I plan to read at least one book a month and learn a new word every week. Self improvement is key. Although I'm already an avid reader, I want to really commit to it. And so, I will start a 'Book Club' on the blog to discuss a book every month, kinda like a review.
  7. I plan to save more and spend wisely. I'll be keeping a financial diary, where unlike before where I purchased every shoe, bag and dress that caught my eye, I'll be more frivolous. It's time to save up for the future. If I want something bad, I'll discipline myself to write it down and save up if I still want it after 2 weeks (that's gonna be hard x_x). I also have a certain amount of money I want to have saved up in my savings account
  8. I plan to take more pictures in 2015 especially time capsules. My camera already has dust piling on it and it's not just the harmattan x_x. Might start a photo diary on the blog but let's see how that goes.
  9. I plan to give more, more of my time, my resources and my love.
  10. Finally, I plan to write more, try my hands at different things. I used to love creative writing and writing short stories, I haven't written that in a while so I'm going to get back on that.
So there you have it, ten realistic goals I've set for myself in 2015. To make sure I stick to them, I have a reminder on my calendar for April 30th, August 31st (my birthday) and December 31st to check my progress. How about you? Set any particular goals, wanna share some?

Friday, 26 December 2014

Gone Girl

He tells me how much he misses the girl in the picture, I miss her too but it's a constant reminder with him like I'm the only one who's changed in this relationship.

I miss the old him too, I miss the man I fell in love with, the one who made me laugh all the time not the one who drives me mad now. I miss the man whose presence alone sent a shivering feeling down my spine and made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. I miss the man who I could tell everything to and spend forever in bed with.

I miss the man I fell in love with.

Now I think maybe we bought into a false idea of who we really were. I don't recognise him anymore than I recognise myself. But if I'm a monster now, I'm his beautiful creation. With every lie, pain and broken promise, I plunged deeper into this darker uglier version of myself.

He robbed me of my personality and created this monster.

He misses the girl in that picture and maybe that's just what I should leave him with, a memory.....

Saturday, 13 December 2014

How I Feel About You

That's how I feel
I'm tired of all the fighting and the lying and the pain
I'm tired of walking on eggshells around you
I'm tired of hating you

I'm confused as to how we got here
Confused on if this is really true love
Or if it's an illusion I subconsciously set up
To avoid the truth

I feel lost
I feel lost in this relationship
Like I don't know my place
But worse, I feel lost in the world
Cause I don't know my place in it anymore

I'm worried that I put in so much energy into this
Two years is a long time
And I'm worried that at the end of it
I may not have anything to show for it

I think Bey sums this one pretty well in her song
With the same title
Because I gave you all of me
But you still had to hurt me
And even though I took you back, I wouldn't deny the resentment

A good portion of my life is spent unhappy now
And you seem to be the cause of it
You used to bring so much joy to my life
And now, my heart doesn't even skip a beat when I see you

Because I don't recognise you
You're the perfect stranger to me
You're still the same but you're totally different
I don't recognise me either
Where's the happy Me?
The me who dreamed and had visions for her life?
Now I spend so much time and energy fighting with you
And nursing my wounds
I stare in the mirror but a stranger stares back
What happened to us?

I feel sooo much towards you
The one thing I don't feel towards you is Love
And what good is a relationship if there's no love in it anymore?

Thursday, 11 December 2014

I Love/Hate This House

I love this house
It holds memories precious to me
People have passed through this house, touched in one way or the other
It has been full with people
And it has been an empty nest at some point
Lives were made here and some lost
These four walls hold a story that can't be rewritten or erased
And as much as I love this house
If given the opportunity,
I would tear it down to its foundation
Brick by brick
I hate this house with the same passion I love it with
I've suffered pain and loss in this house
I've wondered if it was really a home at some point
This very house once led me into my dark depressive years
I got lost and saved in this house
Although I left this house and didn't come back for a long time
I can't deny that it was a bitter sweet feeling returning,
I often pondered how true the saying
"There's no place like home" was
Because the thought of this alone was enough to depress me
Don't get me wrong,
There are memories as deep as the foundation of this house,
beautiful warm memories
But there are also hearts that have been shattered across the walls that hold this house together
My heart is one of them
And so I've found myself in love hate relationship with this house
I love this house
But I hate this house too

Sunday, 7 December 2014

When Is It Going To Look Like Christmas?

I love Christmas, admittedly I'm still a six year old on the inside and considering I've spent the past couple of years in London, I've been spoilt with the idea of 'White Christmas'. So you can imagine by disappointment when I finally got out (after being on bed rest this past week) and it doesn't look like Christmas in Abuja. How heartbreaking. Where are the christmas trees and lightenings and joyous attitude? It's just dusty and bleak. What a reality shocker for me.

I'm disappointed that this town looks just the same, not even christmas lights. I mean what do I expect when a whole capital city can't even have common street lights, talk more of christmas lights. How heartbreaking. When I'm in power, I'm going to make a big fuss out of the holidays, just to give people something to be happy about. If not for the adults, then for the kids at least. And please don't come at me with that "maybe it's too soon" excuse. It's never too early for Christmas! However, I do hope they put up decorations by next week.

To console myself, I've decided to decorate the christmas tree tomorrow just to put myself in the christmas mood. Might make a little tradition out of it, sing along to christmas tunes and wear christmas colours all through December. (Although now that I think about it, not sure how many red, green and gold outfits I own) Oh that means no fuzzy embarrassing christmas sweaters this year. NOOOOOO! Someone please buy me a ticket to London :(

If you're feeling like me, I'll suggest stocking up on Christmas movies, watching every Christmas Glee episode and listening to Christmas songs. You can also pull out the Christmas tree like me and decorate away. Let's not kill the Christmas spirit.

Ps. I pray I'm rich enough to make sure my kids always get a white christmas. Since my village has been destroyed by Boko Haram, I might make London my new village :D

Monday, 1 December 2014

Smile December

Happy new month beautiful darlings (hopefully not talking to myself here). It's a new month and the beginning of the end of 2014. How marvellous isn't it? That we all started this year and we are here to witness the end. To all the loved ones we've lost this year, may their souls rest in peace. 

For some, December is a cheerful month with the holidays around the corner. You can't deny we all love Christmas and the spirit it brings plus the message. Sadly for others, it is just another weary month. A month to worry about all the debts they've incurred or are about to incur. All the expenses in the name of the holidays. For some it's a frustrating month while for another set of people it's another period to be reminded of their loneliness and what's going on wrong in their lives. Many lives are also lost this period and so instead of celebrating some are left to mourn. 

Last year, we did the Random Acts of Kindness challenge but this year I want to propose the Smile Challenge. It's so simple, it's almost impossible to not participate. It wouldn't take a dime from you, not your time nor your energy. All it involves is wearing a smile all day from December 1st to 31st. I've noticed that Nigeria is a place filled with scowling, frustrated people and I've gotten more positive reactions from people when I smile than with my physical appearance or status. It's such a refreshing thing for them, when I smile and I'm polite and courteous. Isn't it sad that a smile and politeness is like gold in our country? So why don't we all push to smile more together. Greet that guard or cleaner with a smile. Smile at the clerk regardless of your status or whether you've been on the queue for two hours. You don't know their personal struggle and a smile could just about be the best thing that has happened to them in a while. 

And you'll be surprised that your gift of a smile will go a long way than that of material goods. Here's a little passage from "How to Win Friends and Influence People" to summarise my point,

"Your smile is a messenger of your good will. Your smile brightens the lives of all who see it. To someone who has seen dozen people frown, scowl or turn their faces away, your smile is like the sun breaking through the clouds. Especially when that someone is under pressure from his bosses, his customers, his teachers or parents or children, a smile can help him realise that all is not hopeless- that there is joy in the world."* -Dale Carnegie

Let's smile and change someone's mood :)