Posted in Bits and Pieces

The Alchemist

I came across this poem a while ago. I didn’t realise then what it meant. I didn’t realise that I would experience what the writer of the poem meant. I couldn’t relate properly to what the poet was feeling. Now I realise it’s meaning. Now I know the poet’s experience. Now, I can relate to the poet’s feelings. And now, it has become my favourite poem.

“I am a sculptor, a molder of form.

In every moment I shape an idol.

But then, in front of you, I melt them down

I can rouse a hundred forms

and fill them with spirit,

but when I look into your face,

I want to throw them in the fire.

My souls spills into yours and is blended.

Because my soul has absorbed your fragrance,

I cherish it.

Every drop of blood I spill

informs the earth,

I merge with my Beloved

when I participate in love.

In this house of mud and water,

my heart has fallen to ruins.

Enter this house, my Love, or let me leave.”

 

 The Divani Shamsi Tabriz, XXXIV

~ By Rumi

Hello you,

Yes you.

I’m talking to you.

You like to open everyone’s book, and when you do suceed in opening it, you don’t take responsibility for what happens after opening that book.

You just think everyone likes their books opened. You think everyone’s books should be opened. You never take into consideration how their closed books was their last line of defence. So if you break that down, don’t just fling them away like trash and move on to the next closed book.

Advertisements
Posted in Bits and Pieces

A Letter to You

Use of strong and explicit language, please proceed at your own risk.

Dear phenomenal douche bag person,

I think I’ve had it up to here (insert my head with a hand pointed at my neck) with your bullshit.

I wrote this just for you. You know how my brain goes into hibernation if I were to wait for a conversation, and how it just locks itself when a conversation comes up and I do not have the password.

I knew something was up and you couldn’t just talk about it. Okay if you can’t talk about it, it’s okay to say something is up but I can’t talk about it. Remember I even asked you some days ago, what is up, that you’ve become weird, withdrawn. And you gave a crass answer.

You know I’m awake most nights. It’s weird but I know when you’re actually sleeping deeply and when you never leave the stage 1 in the sleep cycle.

You might not have been turning like I usually do when I’m restless but I knew something was disturbing you.

And I freaking tried to ask. That’s what is pissing me off more. Not that I didn’t notice, I asked you. Not once, not twice. Remember when I said you’re like me last year.

There were times I wanted to reach out at night when your back was turned but I stopped myself always worried that you’ll get angry. That’s the reason I always slept at the edge of my pillow closer to you.

I’m just wondering when we became reduced to this. Hiding what we’re suffering. There were so many things I wanted to tell you but I kept mute because you had become so absorbed in self-pity. I knew you were “suffering” in quote but you didn’t even talk about it. You didn’t even give a chance to talk about it. Coming in to sleep late, obviously sleeping in the mornings when I leave and when I return, avoiding me like a plague. You might not have known that you were avoiding me, but you fucking did. On the other hand maybe you were purposely avoiding me.

It really hurt. It did.

Okay. I think I got the parts that my brain would have locked up on me out. To be continued…

Kind Regards,

Alia, the weirdo.

Dear word press readers, I apologise for the strong language used. Sometimes, it is needful to use strong language.

Posted in Bits and Pieces

My Apologies

I am sorry. I watch the light get dimmer from your eyes everyday. I watch the curved smile I’ve come to love fade slowly from your lips. It pains me that I cannot do anything about it. I can only say I am sorry.

I know you keep saying it was your decision. But I really am sorry. Unfortunately I am filled with regret and can’t let it go. I know I am now walking in tiptoes around you. I am unsure of what to say or what to do. You don’t laugh so loud and heartily anymore.

You remind me of me last year. You’ve become closed off. You answer “I am fine” to everything and really it’s either you’re lying to me or I don’t know you very well and you really are a broody individual.

You are not a disappointment. I really just want you to know that. It’s my fault. I didn’t think of the pains the future will bring before I tried to take you out from your comfort zone. If I was to turn back time I wouldn’t let you do it again. I am sorry you’re not feeding well. I am sorry your temper is growing shorter every day. I am sorry you long for home. It’s all my fault that you are not with them right now. I know these are just words to you. But I really mean them. I wish I could be braver to say all this in person without stumbling or falling over. Maybe I will. No, I won’t. I’m afraid if I say it you will feel that I’m treating you like an egg. So this will just be what it is. Another forgotten note on my diary.

Now I know the reason for this moodiness runs deeper than this recent turn of events. But at least if the present was good, you wouldn’t have felt the gloomy future this badly

I miss you.

I miss talking to you.

I miss your deep sighs and the way your brows furrow when you are worried about something.

I miss the stupid jokes we laughed at.

I miss the perverse thoughts we almost always had.

I miss holding your hands. Yeah as ironic as it sounds. But holding your hands and feeling the warmth and harshness of your palm reminded me that you were still alive and that there was hope.

Maybe you were right. Maybe I shouldn’t have tried to change fate. Maybe being closer geographically is really a bad thing. Or maybe some of my bad luck had rubbed off on you. I am sorry.

Dear Readers,

I was finally brave. I showed this to its owner. I think life is too short to keep things hidden.

Love,

Alia.

Posted in Bits and Pieces

Joys of Motherhood

I want everyone right now, to stand up and put their hands together for all the females in the world. I mean who bleeds for five days and not die.

Well hello ladies and gentlemen, this is me yet again. So I have been thinking a lot about mother recently. I kept mentioning her in almost everything I did. So earlier this year (pardon me, this post is quite belated), I had the opportunity to have another read of “The Joys of Motherhood” by our very own Buchi Emecheta (May her soul rest in peace).

I never completely understood this book and the message it was trying to pass across until when I had a second read. I think about my mother whenever I remember Nnu Ego. You see just like Nnu Ego, mother gave up a rather promising career to take care of our home. I think that was right around the time she just had me.

In this book you see, for those who haven’t read it yet, the plot reveals and celebrates the pleasures derived from an African woman fulfilling African “family responsibilities” in child bearing, mothering, and nurturing. However, there is a plot twist to this rather beautiful African tradition, the book additionally highlights how the ‘joys of motherhood’ also include anxiety, depression, and pain.

So back to mother, yes. A couple of months ago, I helped her reconnect with her former colleague and friend after more than two decades of being separated. Her friend was doing very well professionally. I saw it then; the unhappiness mother had so carefully masked under the achievements of her children, the wanton dreams left unfulfilled, the longing to time travel back to the past to change her decisions and most of all the regret. Maybe I am overthinking a little bit, but in the past I had always wondered if mother was truly happy. I believe I made reference of this for my mother’s day post.

Maybe the reason she acted the way she did was because she was anxious. She wanted us to succeed where she didn’t. I mean, mother was all smiles when she reconnected with her friend. I didn’t believe it was possible for my mother to be that excited and free and happy. I make a habit of observing the littlest of things about my family and I had never seen her this happy before. The strange thing is; she was both happy and sad. She kept telling me of how close their friendship was back then and also how her friend is working at the organisation they both had dreams.

It made me wonder if motherhood is really worth it. I guess it will be nice to have kids. I really do love children and want to have a few. But is it really worth me being unhappy for the rest of my life? Is my having a family going to make me force the “best” I couldn’t get for my children?

Am I willing to sacrifice my career and happiness for family? Everyone says it’s the right thing to do. So that your kids can have a semblance of a close relationship with you. I don’t think so. I mean if I could turn back time, I wish mother hadn’t stopped working. Personally, I feel the reason she gave up work isn’t fulfilled in my life at least. She afterall still feels disappointed in me and I still feel guilty about not living up to her expectations.

I need to stop feeling guilty and figure out what I want to do with my life or should I say what I want from my life. Well that’s a story for another day.

Ciao.

Posted in Bits and Pieces

Jung, Briggs and Myers

So I was bored and decided to take the Briggs-Myers personality test. For the first time, I think the results are rather spot on so I decided to share. It is a rather long read. Goodluck.

INFJ
Introverted (34%)
iNtuitive (50%)
Feeling (16%)
Judging (41%)

INFJs are distinguished by both their complexity of character and the unusual range and depth of their talents. Strongly humanitarian in outlook, INFJs tend to be idealists, and because of their J preference for closure and completion, they are generally "doers" as well as dreamers.

This rare combination of vision and practicality often results in INFJs taking a disproportionate amount of responsibility in the various causes to which so many of them seem to be drawn.

INFJs are deeply concerned about their relations with individuals as well as the state of humanity at large. They are, in fact, sometimes mistaken for extroverts because they appear so outgoing and are so genuinely interested in people — a product of the Feeling function they most readily show to the world. On the contrary, INFJs are true introverts, who can only be emotionally intimate and fulfilled with a chosen few from among their long-term friends, family, or obvious "soul mates." While instinctively courting the personal and organizational demands continually made upon them by others, at intervals INFJs will suddenly withdraw into themselves, sometimes shutting out even their intimates. This apparent paradox is a necessary escape valve for them, providing both time to rebuild their depleted resources and a filter to prevent the emotional overload to which they are so susceptible as inherent "givers." As a pattern of behavior, it is perhaps the most confusing aspect of the enigmatic INFJ character to outsiders, and hence the most often misunderstood — particularly by those who have little experience with this rare type.

Due in part to the unique perspective produced by this alternation between detachment and involvement in the lives of the people around them, INFJs may well have the clearest insights of all the types into the motivations of others, for good and for evil. The most important contributing factor to this uncanny gift, however, are the empathic abilities often found in Fs, which seem to be especially heightened in the INFJ type (possibly by the dominance of the introverted N function).

This empathy can serve as a classic example of the two-edged nature of certain INFJ talents, as it can be strong enough to cause discomfort or pain in negative or stressful situations. More explicit inner conflicts are also not uncommon in INFJs; it is possible to speculate that the causes for some of these may lie in the specific combinations of preferences which define this complex type. For instance, there can sometimes be a "tug-of-war" between NF vision and idealism and the J practicality that urges compromise for the sake of achieving the highest priority goals. And the I and J combination, while perhaps enhancing self-awareness, may make it difficult for INFJs to articulate their deepest and most convoluted feelings.

Usually self-expression comes more easily to INFJs on paper, as they tend to have strong writing skills. Since in addition they often possess a strong personal charisma, INFJs are generally well-suited to the "inspirational" professions such as teaching (especially in higher education) and religious leadership. Psychology and counseling are other obvious choices, but overall, INFJs can be exceptionally difficult to pigeonhole by their career paths. Perhaps the best example of this occurs in the technical fields. Many INFJs perceive themselves at a disadvantage when dealing with the mystique and formality of "hard logic", and in academic terms this may cause a tendency to gravitate towards the liberal arts rather than the sciences. However, the significant minority of INFJs who do pursue studies and careers in the latter areas tend to be as successful as their T counterparts, as it is *iNtuition* — the dominant function for the INFJ type — which governs the ability to understand abstract theory and implement it creatively.

In their own way, INFJs are just as much "systems builders" as are INTJs; the difference lies in that most INFJ "systems" are founded on human beings and human values, rather than information and technology. Their systems may for these reasons be conceptually "blurrier" than analogous NT ones, harder to measure in strict numerical terms, and easier to take for granted — yet it is these same underlying reasons which make the resulting contributions to society so vital and profound.

Beneath the quiet exterior, INFJs hold deep convictions about the weightier matters of life.Those who are activists – INFJs gravitate toward such a role – are there for the cause, not for personal glory or political power.
INFJs are champions of the oppressed and downtrodden.They often are found in the wake of an emergency, rescuing those who are in acute distress.INFJs may fantasize about getting revenge on those who victimize the defenseless.The concept of 'poetic justice' is appealing to the INFJ.

Accurately suspicious about others' motives, INFJs are not easily led.These are the people that you can rarely fool any of the time.Though affable and sympathetic to most, INFJs are selective about their friends. Such a friendship is a symbiotic bond that transcends mere words.
INFJs have a knack for fluency in language and facility in communication. In addition, nonverbal sensitivity enables the INFJ to know and be known by others intimately.

Writing, counseling, public service and even politics are areas where INFJs frequently find their niche.

Functional Analysis Of The INFJ
Based on Jung’s framework of cognitive functions;

Introverted iNtuition
Introverted intuitives, INFJs enjoy a greater clarity of perception of inner, unconscious processes than all but their INTJ cousins. Just as SP types commune with the object and "live in the here and now" of the physical world, INFJs readily grasp the hidden psychological stimuli behind the more observable dynamics of behavior and affect. Their amazing ability to deduce the inner workings of the mind, will and emotions of others gives INFJs their reputation as prophets and seers. Unlike the confining, routinizing nature of introverted sensing, introverted intuition frees this type to act insightfully and spontaneously as unique solutions arise on an event by event basis.

Extraverted Feeling
Extraverted feeling, the auxiliary deciding function, expresses a range of emotion and opinions of, for and about people. INFJs, like many other FJ types, find themselves caught between the desire to express their wealth of feelings and moral conclusions about the actions and attitudes of others, and the awareness of the consequences of unbridled candor. Some vent the attending emotions in private, to trusted allies. Such confidants are chosen with care, for INFJs are well aware of the treachery that can reside in the hearts of mortals. This particular combination of introverted intuition and extraverted feeling provides INFJs with the raw material from which perceptive counselors are shaped.

Introverted Thinking
The INFJ's thinking is introverted, turned toward the subject. Perhaps it is when the INFJ's thinking function is operative that they are most aloof. A comrade might surmise that such detachment signals a disillusionment, that she has also been found lacking by the sardonic eye of this one who plumbs the depths of the human spirit. Experience suggests that such distancing is merely an indication that the seer is hard at work and focusing energy into this less efficient tertiary function.

Extraverted Sensing
INFJs are twice blessed with clarity of vision, both internal and external. Just as they possess inner vision which is drawn to the forms of the unconscious, they also have external sensing perception which readily takes hold of worldly objects. Sensing, however, is the weakest of the INFJ's arsenal and the most vulnerable. INFJs, like their fellow intuitives, may be so absorbed in intuitive perceiving that they become oblivious to physical reality. The INFJ under stress may fall prey to various forms of immediate gratification. Awareness of extraverted sensing is probably the source of the "SP wannabe" side of INFJs. Many yearn to live spontaneously; it's not uncommon for INFJ actors to take on an SP (often ESTP) role."

(by Joe Butt and Marina Margaret Heiss – published under licensing)

Acronyms

*SP – Sensing/Perceiving
*ST – Sensing/Thinking
*SF – Sensing/Feeling

Posted in Bits and Pieces

Twenty-Five


Back when I was seventeen, 25, the silver age, meant a lot to me. I wrote out a long list of what I wanted to accomplish by that age. Looking back at that list now, it is completely unrealistic. I wonder who gave the advice “always dream high and your expectations shall come to you.” Anyway, back then, my small teenage untainted mind thought the world and adulthood was a nice experience. How wrong I was. 
The only thing achievable on that list is that age 25 was the age at which I had hoped to have passed my bar exam after graduation from my then dream law school, University of Boston. To think that now this dream is nearly dead is unimaginable. How time changes!

To me, age 25 means something different.  So today, I would re-write that list and come check back in a couple of years to see how far I have come. A higher bar has been set by me of things to have achieved or done, on or before I hit 25. I would share a couple with you.

At 25, I am getting laser surgery on my eyes. That is, if some sort of miracle hasn’t happened before then.

By 25, my company should be up and running and should have marked its two year anniversary.

By 25, I should be living independently of my parents and paying my bills myself.

By 25, I should have acquired a few material possessions in the form of landed properties. Yes, feel free to call me high-minded.

By 25, I should be financially stable and therefore begin preparations to adopt a child. 

By 25, I should have acquired enough books big enough to start a library. If you love me, feel free to sow a seed in my life.

By 25, I should have outgrown this journal. Oops! Did I just write that! Ignore!! Just kidding. Ha ha…

By 25, I should have accomplished at least half of what is on my bucket list. Time waits for no man. Here’s my bucket list also. Feel free to sow another seed by helping me accomplish some.
Bucket List:

1. Master the art of rifle shooting

2. Master archery

3. Go skydiving

4. Enter Okada in Nigeria ☑️ 03/05/2017

5. Go camping in a caravan ☑️01/09/2016

6. Go on rides in a theme park☑️03/09/2016

7. Visit an African Safari

8. Go dogwalking in the woods ☑️ 30/09/2016

9. Go camping in a tent☑️01/09/2016

10. Learn how to ice skate

11. Attend an Olympics

12. Learn a form of martial arts

13. Go on the Nevis Swing at Queenstown, New Zealand.

14. Climb an overhead bridge on a busy expressway in Nigeria. ☑️ 03/05/2017

15. Go hiking in the Grand Canyon or Macchu Picchu

16. Go by road to Abuja ☑️ 01/05/2017

17. Go by road to Lagos ☑️ 22/05/2017

18. Attend one Coachella Festival

19. Attend an opera sesh at Vienna and Sydney Opera House

20. Visit all islands and cities on my list.

21. Play a bingo game ☑️04/09/2016

22. Ride big ass scary rides ☑️03/09/2016

23. Eat in Hell’s Kitchen

24. Start up LDD

25. Cycle on the streets of Amsterdam with someone.

26. Be in a drag racing competition

27. Visit Ogbunike cave, Obudu mountain, Owu falls, Arinta falls, Agbokim falls, Kajuru Castle.

By 25, I hope to have made my parents proud. Maybe not in the way they would have preferred, but in my own way.

By 25, I should be emotionally stable.

By 25, I should have learned at least two Nigerian languages and two foreign languages.

By 25, I should have undergone laser treatment for my scars.

By 25, I should have gotten another degree. This time around, in something of my choosing.

I wonder if I have covered it all. I will add more to the list as I remember them. 



P.S Dear Diary, I am sorry for leaving you alone in this dark cold internet space for two weeks. You kept me sane through tough times and now I have become “busy”, I have become those kind of lovers you hated. I would never do it again. 

Posted in Bits and Pieces

Aftermath


…the hustle continues

Day 1

I wanted to take a much needed one week break from writing, from the world, from responsibilities etc. But unfortunately, the environment is not letting me.

I visited my PPA today. I was posted to a resort. Apparently one of the most beautiful places in my city of national service. I have mixed feelings about today. On one hand, I am scared of rejection. On the other hand, I am stoked to start working with them and enjoy the benefits that come with working there.

As I sit in the spacious, well decorated, chilly lounge waiting to see the General Manager who is ultimately the decider of my fate, my mind flashes back on a few things. The first being how faithful God has been. I picked this state to serve in based on my own selfish interests. I didn’t even consider if it is where God wants me to be. I didn’t consider family and friends. But yet, He has made a way for me; throughout my stay in camp, my first hours after leaving camp, even up to getting transport to move around my city. I really don’t deserve this majorly because I have drifted far from Him in recent times. I was angry at Him for a long time because I was “forced” out of my preferred comfort zone into a land of utter despair. It is true what the Bible says; “all things work together for good.” It is also true what man says; “good things come to those who wait.”

Secondly, the owner of my PPA stole my idea. This is what I wanted to do when I get wealthy. Create a family friendly environment for building broken relationships. I will still go ahead with my plan. Who knows what the future will look like.

11:23am, we were asked to come back at 10am the next day. My anxiety increases as I reluctantly agree. I went on to have my lunch before I die of hunger.

8:33pm Bad news again. Two more people I know are dead. One from a car accident and another from diabetes. I am tired of sad news. I have only been away for three weeks and three people I know are dead. What is all this happening to me? I thought 2016 was terrible but this year is looking worse. 



Day 2

I woke up intermittently through the night in my usual fashion. At 6am my alarm went off and I set about my daily business.

Today is the day hopefully. The day my fate will be decided by the powers that be. The day when I will either be accepted by my dream workplace or thrown to the streets.

After waiting for four hours I finally get through to see the General Manager. And yes I was accepted there for my one year national service. Unfortunately, the pay is meagre and there is no accommodation given. And so the hustle begins. The good thing about my PPA is that I get to meet important personalities. So far I have met three contacts so high up in government, and I haven’t even resumed work. Maybe I will get to see the Vice President of Nigeria one day.

Nigeria is a mess. So chaotic, so disorderly. That is my thought as I am running around reporting myself for duty to my local government. We were not given any direction on where to go. The government literally just threw us out to the hungry lions for devouring. At least if there was an incentive in the form of money, I wouldn’t mind much. I can see my allawee draining slowly as I pay each bike rider from point A to B. I am tired. 

Posted in Bits and Pieces

How Do I want to Be Loved? (Epilogue)

I think I am sad.

I don’t know if the use of this adjective is enough to express how I feel at this particular moment. I’m saddened by the fact that you don’t know me. No one does. I thought at least that you knew what I was capable of regarding this matter. You always render stellar examples of strong, wilful and struggling people. 

You of all people should know how strong I can be. Or maybe I have just been kidding myself that you knew me all along. But today is not just the day. I thought you would know. I get sick too you know. Amidst the strength I feign during the dislocations, fevers, grief, bathroom falls etc. I get sick too. And it’s worse with the insomnia. 

The headaches are more frequent I don’t know why. I have tried to explain the insomnia before but you didn’t listen, you attributed it to another thing. You really like that a lot, don’t you? Attributing one thing to another, hating to see or hear the truth. I don’t know if you’re afraid, stubborn or you just don’t care. I just wished you knew me the way I know you.

You haven’t noticed that the light that used to shine so brightly before has significantly dimmed. You haven’t noticed the never ending tired eyes and pale lips. You haven’t noticed the infrequent talks and lack of a proper conversation. You haven’t noticed the frequent siestas. You haven’t noticed the gradual social withdrawal. You haven’t noticed the lacklustre attitude.

Oh right, you have noticed them. But you have attributed it to laziness. I mean what else can I expect afterall. I have grown so lazy and laidback. I am not a challenge anymore. I should be ashamed of myself, my mates are hustling and making names and here I am getting backlashed for trying to advice younger people to avoid making the mistakes I made. 

I haven’t achieved anything afterall. I am not fit to talk. Perhaps if we could set back time to exactly this day last year, my decisions would have been different and maybe I think I will look qualified in your eyes to be bequeathed such honour. Of course you’re not gods, so I can’t expect you to know. I am sorry for the wrong accusation.

I think you set out tonight to dampen my spirit or should I say tempt my spirit. I made a decision, you didn’t ask why. You didn’t ask how. You didn’t care to know and just like that you annulled that decision. I tried to reason with you but you made it clear that your decision was final. How do you expect me to be reasonable in this case? How do you think I will be obedient? You only care about yourself and what you think is “best” for me. You don’t know what I want. You never did know.

You know what is sad about all this; at the end of everything, at the end of the emotional rollercoaster, somehow you manage to use those puppy dog eyes to guilt-trip me. I begin then to feel bad for lashing out or hating you for one split second. I’m human afterall you see. I have a heart.

Posted in Bits and Pieces

The Visible Ghost (Part 3)

Manager: I gave the staff complaint forms to fill and a majority of them said they had a problem with you. That they were worried about you. So because of that in addition to the incident of the other day, we’re having an early probationary session for you.

Me: (I was bewildered at this point) Okay. What is the problem they have with me?

Manager: You don’t treat the clients with respect. You don’t ask questions. We gave you three days to shadow an older employee. You should have learned everything then.

Me: I’ve been working here for two months. And I have been trying my best. Going over and beyond. I finish later than my shift. I’ve nearly missed my bus on a couple of occasions. And when I was shadowing the employee and asking questions, it got me into trouble. Apparently I wasn’t supposed to ask too many questions. I’m supposed to learn as I go and now you’re telling me that I don’t ask questions?

Manager: Okay forget about that. What about the allegation that you do not treat the clients with respect. You push the clients away, you tell your personal life to the clients.


Me: *speechless*


Manager
: Alia, I’m talking to you. What can you say in your defence about that. The purpose of this meeting is to see if you can continue to work with us or not. Do you need any chaperone with you. Anyone who can offer you moral support.

Me: No, it’s fine. I have never treated anyone unfairly. This clients mean the world to me. You may not understand but they give me something to look forward to each day.

Manager: I employed you because of your passion Alia. But there’s nothing I can do when I see all this. I didn’t know you were this kind of person. I did the training with you and I liked you. So what have you got to say in all this…

Me: I’m quitting. Now. I don’t think I can be able to work for someone who jumps into conclusions without investigating an issue personally. Yes I know I made a couple of mistakes, but did I ever repeat them? And talking about my personal life. Haaa!! That’s laughable. I never talk about myself. Never.

I picked up my release form, dried my eyes and left. In retrospect, I blame myself. I shouldn’t have quit. I should have held on a little longer. I should have defended myself properly. I know those things weren’t true and yet I couldn’t form my thoughts into sentences. I would have been a shitty lawyer.

So dear manager, I know there is no chance of you seeing this but if by chance in the future you do;



I do apologise for not saying anything in my defence back then as I was in too much of a shock to speak and also because I don’t think I would have been able to continue to work knowing that I worked in a place where the reviews are one-sided and mostly relying on the fact that the members of staff giving the reviews have been in the business a long time. You said that other support workers said they were worried about me. Did they specify the issues they were worried about And if so, is there any proof that such issues actually are true are actually potent enough to conclude that I’m disrespectful to the residents.

I treat all SU’s with more respect than most other support workers there do. Not because I am obligated to do so but because of my personal experiences which I mentioned in the interview and I would never abuse or disregard any of them. Do you know how much it broke my heart when anyone self-harmed. I accept that my intentions were misread or maybe people didn’t understand me and I take the blame for not communicating well.



I worked sundays. Something I was not supposed to do. But because I believe in teamwork and there was no one else, I agreed to do it. I had to walk for 45 minutes that particular sunday just to make it in time. I picked this job knowingly, I knew the hours, I knew the pay was significantly smaller than what I would have had if I had gone on the path of my degree so money was never my motivation. The fact that someone took something so little as me requesting a sick-leave and turned it into “Alia is having a problem with the rota” is extremely disappointing. Sometimes I wish there were security cameras and voiceovers that recorded what went on at work.



About that incident, you said it yourself during training that we wouldn’t do everything right and that staff can meet afterwards to review what you didn’t do right. It was panic or should I say adrenaline because it was my first time experiencing an incident of that nature. What I did was something I would do for a loved one because everything happened so fast. I was trying to move the table, chairs and the box away to cause minimal injury. I meant her no harm and it was really sad for me to see that the team leader said I was “manhandling” the client. To think that she would see me as such a person is disgusting.



You know I learnt from what I see those at work practicing. The “mistakes” I supposedly made, I made them because I saw older members of staff doing same thing so I thought it was the norm. I think the issue here was that no one sees the good, all they look for are the little errors a first timer commits.

Did you not find it weird that most of these incidents came from one particular person and have been slightly blown over.
I do apologise for letting you down. Going forward everything I’ve learned will be taken into my next work place. In conclusion, I want other members of staff to think back to the first time they started this line of job ever. How perfect were they?

I thank you a lot for giving me the opportunity to experience life first hand. You’re a brilliant manager. I hope you fulfil all the plans you have.


Kind Regards,

Alia

Dear Readers, thanks for keeping up. I appreciate it. There’s a plot twist however to this story. My ex-colleagues who complained about me were laid off when their atrocities were discovered. And ultimately that branch of the company is closing down in a couple of months. Karma is a powerful woman, isn’t she?

Posted in Bits and Pieces

The Visible Ghost (Part 2)


There is something gratifying about having bread and cold malt in the middle of the night when the weather is hot. So where did I stop? Right yes. 

I always had a bit of a chuckle when people always said;

“Alia I know you. You are smart. One of the smartest women in our generation”


“You’re very sharp, so much so that I envy you”


“You’re very passionate, talented and hardworking and if you should channel this passion to something my dear, you’ll be a pro”

I’m sure if you’re following this story now you’ll want to withdraw your statements.

I wanted to study law. Not because I wanted to help people or anything. It was the money and the fame that attracted me. It was always about the money. That is why I elected to study it in the US. Lawyers in US are pretty much comfortable. 

I had always wanted to be this strong, independent, kick- ass woman. And being a lawyer would have given me that opportunity. 

Anyway, that ship has sailed. Now it’s all about business is it not? Now I want to be a kick-ass CEO, this time around my orientation has changed slightly. It’s not just all about the money and fame. I’ve added a new one. Family development. Some of my plans for the future involves creating an avenue for family bonding and building up broken family walls. It’s quite an unrealistic plan for the current state of my country’s economy. I will perhaps be able to make some of the nice words people have said about me become truths.

Am I a better person now? Perhaps. But there are days, days like this one, when I just want to plunge back into the deep waters. So I slipped into solitariness again by mistake. I faintly remembered when I started having anxiety and when I became socially awkward. I also remembered my first post-graduate job.

I didn’t quit my first job voluntarily. I more or less had no option. It was quit or be sacked. So, this was my first ever job. I loved it. It was the closest to psychology that I could ever get to. I wanted to do some short courses on child psychology to improve myself and probably to get to do psychology that I had liked.

The fact that I got the job was a miracle itself. I had zero experience in learning disabilities and disorders. I was employed because of my passion according to my manager. They usually needed at least 2 years of experience. Anyway, I attended training and all, passed in flying colours. Then I started, the usual me is usually quiet in a new place. But I just had a name change then and vowed that it was going to be a new beginning, therefore I would not be the old me you know.

So, I was actively involved. Team work and all. Read files on all the clients extensively. Maybe a tad too zealously. Did extensive research work. I was on a six month probationary period which was done for new employees.

I was proud of the job although it was quite stressful. Fourteen hours on your feet with only a 10 minute sit down for dinner. Until the day an incident happened, one of my very first and I panicked when I was not supposed to. My team leader then wrote a less than derogatory report about that incident. 

I was invited by the manager into her office.


To be continued…

Posted in Bits and Pieces

The Visible Ghost (Part 1)

Solitude. Solitude is like having a really hot shower in Siberia during the winter. You would never want to leave. There might be responsibilities beckoning on you on the outside but you don’t just want to step out of that warmth. 

Quite often, I like to give myself some time and space to get away from the expectations, the conversations, the noise, the pressure, humans. I do what I do best, I lock myself up in the room and wouldn’t talk to anyone save the occasional non personal chats. I wouldn’t see the sunshine or feel the breeze or just enjoy nature for five days straight. My shopping was done online, both groceries and toiletries. On days when I wasn’t able to shop for groceries, I fed on yoghurt, three times a day. 

The thing about solitude is that slowly you begin to sink into depression without meaning to. You begin to recall past things which will in no way contribute to your future. I continued that way and with time my relationships began to suffer. Picking up calls became a nuisance in my life as I had to sit through at least thirty minutes of forced smiles and mirthless laughter. Ultimately, I stopped picking up calls after a while. Responding to calls and messages became an issue of my mood that particular day. And you know what, I was proud of it. I replied my missed calls when I felt like.



“Take some time each day to go for a long walk and think. Plant yourself on a park bench and look. Take a long, thoughtful road trip. Whatever you do, move away from anything that distracts you from contemplating your life and where you want it to go. In solitude, you should feel independent and self-sufficient, not lonely, needy or afraid.”

Well that is what they said. So I did exactly that. I began to move away from “distractions” slowly at first and with time I increased the tempo. I started out with acquaintances, then friends, then family etc. Everytime I saw a call I would begin to question why the caller is calling. I most especially rejected calls that I know will start along the lines of “How are you?” “What are you up to?” “How is life?” I am weird right. In reality, those questions are fair questions. They are a compulsory part of oral communication. But I hated them.

I had neighbours, yes, I didn’t communicate with them either. I stopped going into the shared kitchen after a while just so that there will be no reason to have a chit-chat with them. I drew plans, lots of them. I was so used to things always falling out for me that I made a lot of contingency plans. And not to my greatest surprise, all of them failed. 

So how did I end the relationship with solitude… I haven’t. I just let the relationship drift apart. I am a liar. I never did work hard to achieve those plans. I lied to everyone that I was trying my best. 

I wasn’t job hunting. I started several job applications and never completed them. Not because I couldn’t or because I wasn’t qualified but because I was scared shitless of progressing to the next stage of job applications. I was scared of interviews; skype, face to face, phone etc. I always fumbled. I never knew what to say. I knew that I had a lot to offer but I couldn’t for the life of me say it. My heart always skipped beats, I stuttered out my words, my palms were sweaty. Funny enough, a stranger looking at me would think I was very poised, confident, calm. I gave off that vibe. I didn’t shake physically, my face was usually stoic and expressionless. But I was really dying inside. 

The sadder part was that prior to those interviews, I always practiced and practiced speaking out loud in my room, I was very thorough, covered the length and breadth of possible questions. I am a pretender. I was giving out advice on job seeking I couldn’t take for myself to people. And at the end I couldn’t prove to anyone that really I would have excelled at that job. It was so bad that I failed a simple MS Excel test. Now, if you know me, you would know that I am good in all things IT. So how would I fail one of the most basic things in Excel. 



To be continued….

Posted in Bits and Pieces

How Do I Want To Be Loved? (Main Body)

Story, Story, Story….

So I was talking with someone today and just in passing he said, “I think it’s better for someone to love you the way you want to be loved and not how they think you should be loved”. Not exactly in those words though. It got me thinking. I’ve been deliberately “single” all my life.

I had always thought it was because I had a problem with sharing and intimacy but now I just realised that it is because I have never asked myself “how do I want to be loved?” I always knew what I wanted and who I wanted but I had never thought about how I wanted to be loved.

And I began to ponder. How will someone love me the way I want to be loved if I haven’t first asked myself this question to really know how it is I want to be loved? How can someone possibly love me the way I want to be loved if I don’t first love myself how I want to be loved?

After some serious, and I mean serious thinking. I have only come up with a few ways I want to be loved.

1. I want to be accepted for who I am; a headstrong, spirited, spontaneous, outspoken, idealistic and sarcastic individual who builds walls so high and pushes everyone away when I need them most.

2. I want to be loved with respect and affection.

3. I want to be loved for the messy and quite a handful of sparks I have in me.

4. I want to be loved freely, without judgement or expectation. God knows I am physically sick of expectations.

5. I want to be loved by my partner showing an interest in my life and allowing me also show an interest in his. I mean communication is a major key.

6. I want to be loved by little acts of service; trying to anticipate what I need and want. It makes a massive difference.

7. I do not like my birthday forgotten. I’ve not had really pleasant birthdays so a few memorable birthdays would be nice.

8. I am not particular about going on dates in fancy restaurants. I love restaurants yes, I also love food. But it really doesn’t matter to me where the date is going to be. As long as we’re together.

9. I want to be trusted to make the right decision on matters. If you feel I’m going the wrong way, either you let me make a mistake or show me the right way non-judgementally and without coercion.

Now I’ve got a few more to add which I can’t publicly discuss. But these are the basic things I guess. As humans we all want to love and be loved. Love is something I never took seriously till late last year. I didn’t know I was capable of receiving love in diverse ways and manners. To me before, it was just a word in the dictionary that got used a lot. Perhaps if I had answered how do I want to be loved earlier, I would have been more attuned to receiving and giving love.
And that is the end of my story!!!