Posted in Little Steps

Renovation 101

The day is September 28th, 2017. The time is 8:03am. I feel rather strange today. Well, lately I’ve been feeling strange.

Today is the day I have started to let go of some garbage that are rather old and I have continued to hold on to. Maybe I am starting to grow old or I am having a crisis. I don’t know. I started with destroying my wedding planner. I created that in 2014. It was created at a time in my life when I was incredibly lonely, so starting it gave me joy. It filled my lonely days. I could finally dream of something although very unrealistic. Oh, you should have seen it. Very grandiose in planning. Obviously I wasn’t planning to get the money off my potential husband, I am all for 50/50 splitting of wedding costs. I think it was grandiose majorly because I was trying to fit things into my parents and my immediate society’s way and at the same time have a perfect wedding. Now, I don’t just care about society. I believe a compromise will have to be made by my parents. A wedding is just a day, not even a day, a couple of hours at months. What really matters is the marriage which is forever.

Everyday I had new ideas, I put them down there. I had notes on it. I had a beautiful book dedicated to it. Here’s a plot twist, getting married is the least of things on my agenda. How time changes.

In my process of deleting old garbage, I found something I wrote down a couple of months ago that I got from the internet. It seemed rather useless at the time. It seemed like all those crap that motivational speakers say to enrich themselves. It’s weird I have it right. I’m surprised myself that I am in possession of it. I have always felt that everyone is in control of motivating yourself. You are your own motivation and the earlier you realise it, the better.

Well back to the motivational article I found. I finally had a read through of it today, and it isn’t half bad. Too bad I had already begun the process before I read it. Well the title is “Steps to Discovering Yourself”. Grab a pillow and be prepared to sleep…

Steps to Discovering Yourself

Culled from the internet

How to Find Yourself

Wake your consciousness: write down your life’s timeline and distinguish your thoughts from others’. Start with a clean slate and organize your world.

Give yourself some alone time;seek out a passion, and find a mentor.

Change your perspective and let go of negative thoughts.

Question yourself, then act on your newfound knowledge.

Part One of Four:
Waking Your Conscious

1
Create your own life timeline.
Write down all of your major goals that you feel you have achieved and want to achieve. In turn, write down the events in your life that have already happened and that have shaped or affected you. When life brings problems or misfortunes it shapes our belief system and makes us think differently, but it also makes us us. These things you list are organically you, not a simple reflection of society.

• This isn’t an exercise in wallowing. It’s about clarification and identification of issues. These issues might be keeping you from reaching your present potential and letting your true self blossom.

• Spend a little time clarifying the past in your timeline. A timeline is an incredibly objective method for marking down past occurrences in your life that you consider to be major. You can look at them as formation blocks and as changing experiences along your timeline without imbuing them with too much emotion (as would occur within a diary account). As if writing a résumé, keep it simple, real, and condensed to the major effects or lessons learned from each past incident.

• When analyzing negative past experiences, focus on what you learned from them. Everyone has these blips in their timeline, but exaggerating or ignoring them won’t help you. Instead, recognize that these experiences shaped you.

2
Distinguish your thoughts from the thoughts of others.
For most people (it’s more common than you may think) life is pretty easy to go through while on autopilot; we practically get handed a road map for how reality “works.” Go to school, get a job, get married, think this, that, and the other, and boom — hope you had a good time. And that’s all well and good — it gets the job done certainly — but it doesn’t allow room for you. So sit down with yourself. At the end of the timeline, come up with a few beliefs of yours that aren’t based on logic, but are based on what you’ve been told. We all have them. Now, what do you actually think?

• Society has a very covert way of handing us the “misfits”, condemning the “losers”, idolizing the “beautiful”, alienating the “strange.” But here’s a heads up: These describing words have no basis in reality. How do you feel about the world around you? Think about what you believe to be good and bad — not what anyone else has told you.

• Feel free to think more concretely. Do you actually agree with your parents’ political or religious affiliations? Is having a career really the most important thing to you? Do think, black glasses really make you feel “cooler?” If the answer is no, great! There’s absolutely zero problems with not molding yourself to pre-existing norms. Now all you have to do is unlearn and then relearn. Only this time, relearn based on your gut.

3
Start relying on yourself.
Confidence and reliance are at the heart of finding yourself. If you don’t have a solid sense of self-worth, you’ll listen to what others have to say all the time and to be swayed by their insistence on what is appropriate. Learn to believe in yourself and trust your own feelings. Then, you’ll come up with a structure to base your new sense of self on. Remember, be patient with yourself and confident in your abilities. Everything will come with time.

• If you have been victimized in the past, confront these issues. They’re not going to go away on their own. They might be coloring your approach to daily life, causing you to live up to other people’s expectations instead of your own.

• Start trusting your own judgment and decision-making processes, mistakes and all. We all make mistakes, but through mistakes we find ourselves growing, learning, and reaching our real selves.

• Start taking responsibility for budgeting, household matters, and planning about the future. People who lack a sense of self tend to disregard the “details” of life with a carefree attitude, believing that things will all sort themselves out. But things don’t always sort themselves out. Taking responsibility pulls you back from the precipice and lets you be self-reliant and self-determined, no longer carried along by the waves of fate.

4
Prepare to begin again with a clean slate.
Develop your own moral conduct and practice sticking to it. Start by overcoming bad habits.

• Stop smoking, over-eating, and abusive drinking. These are examples of lapses or habits that will prevent you from functioning at your peak. They also let you “off the hook” by sidestepping the analysis of why you use these crutches instead of finding better ways to brighten your life.

• This step may take some major rehabilitation for some individuals but putting it into the too-hard basket won’t make it go away. Remember, you can’t drive your life forward if you are always gazing through your rear-view mirror!

5
Organize your world.
You may find that having all your other affairs in order will help expedite the process to grabbing a firm hold on your identity. So clean your room. Do your homework. Resolve that fight with that friend. Getting everything else out of the way will clear up the path to “me” time.

• We all have excuses for why we’re not growing in the direction we want to be growing — it could be money, school, a job, a relationship, you name it, someone’s used it. If you’re a busy bee, take strides to clear your schedule so you can sit down and tackle this thing head on. If it’s always priority #2, it’ll never get done.

Part Two of Four:
Conquering Your World

1

Immerse yourself in solitude. Give yourself some time and space to get away from the expectations, the conversations, the noise, the media, and the pressure. 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.

• Every person needs time alone, whether they’re introverted or extroverted, single or in a relationship, young or old. Solitude is time for rejuvenation and self-talk, for utter peace and for realizing that purposeful “loneliness” is not a bad place to be but rather, a liberating part of your overall existence.

If you are a creative person, you may find that alone-time will help stoke your creativity. While it’s nice to collaborate with other people sometimes, it’s hard to be truly creative when you’re always surrounded by other people. Step back and tap into your creativity.

2
Seek out a passion.
When you believe in something or see beauty in something, you should do it no matter what anyone else thinks. If you have found something that is worthy of your best efforts, sacrifice, and tears, then you have found the most important pursuit of your life. Often, that pursuit can lead you to something ultimately fulfilling.

• The key here is to realize that it doesn’t matter what it is. It could be preventing child hunger or it could be painting. There is no scale when it comes to passion. You either feel it or you don’t; none is better than any other. When you find something that zaps you out of bed in the morning, cling onto it. You’ll only bloom from there.

3
Find a mentor.
Though ultimately soul-searching can only be done by you and it’s only you that determines what you need, having a mentor will be an incredible resource when you hit those unavoidable bumps in the road. Seek out someone you trust who has a definite sense of self. How did they do it?

• Let them know the process you’re starting to undertake. Stress that you know it’s your journey, but would love to use their strength as a guide. Take a look at them as objectively as you can. What seems to ground them, making them who they are? How did they find that? How do they stay true to themselves?

• A support system is key to any self-improvement tactic. Not a lot of people will understand what you’re going through and will brush off your broaching the topic as a flash-in-the-pan moodiness. Use this mentor as a sounding board, too, for what you come up against. The outlet will surely come in handy.

4
Sort out your career path.
If you’re meandering all over the place looking for the right “fit”, chances are that you’re not happy inside. You could be using the job-changing as an excuse for not fully realizing your true potential. Find yourself by really taking an interest in what you love to do. If money weren’t an issue, what would you spend your days doing? What way can you monetize this activity/skill?

• Spend some time free-associating. Think about what you like and don’t like; think beyond those things to other ideas that simply pop into your mind while you’re associating. Keep a record of these things. Then, come back to the career question and look at the free associations. What type of career seems to gel most with the things that excited, moved, and really energized you from the free-association exercise? As Alain de Botton says, this exercise is about looking for “beeps of joy” amid the cacophony of must-do’s, shoulds, and expectations.[1]

• Bear in mind, however, that work may not be where your “calling” is. If that’s the case, you’ll need to work out a work-life balance that lets you pursue your “true self” more outside of the workplace, even if this means more hours and less income. It is all possible, especially if it’s in the pursuit of finding and sustaining your true sense of self.

Part Three of Four:
Changing Your Perspective

1
Let go of the need to be loved by all.
Accept that some people will think poorly of you no matter what you do. It’s important to forget about what everyone else thinks because you cannot please everyone. And while you might not want to disappoint the people close to you, they should want you to be happy. As long as you continue to exist just to fulfill other people’s ideas of who you should be, you’ll never know who you really are. This thought is aptly summed up by Raymond Hull: “He who trims himself to suit everyone will soon whittle himself away.”

• Realize that some people will become jealous, afraid, or overwhelmed when a person changes their usual habits and grows more mature and self-loving (others will love it). It’s a threat to the relationship you’ve always had, and it forces them to take a cold, hard look at themselves, which they may not want to do. Give these people space and compassion; they may come around in time. If they don’t, leave them be. You don’t need them to be you.
2
Abandon the negative.
Although it sounds abstract, it’s not difficult. Make a conscious effort to minimize judging — others, objects, and yourself. This is for two reasons: 1) Positivity is nourishing and can usher in a sense of happiness which being “lost” masks, and 2) Opening your mind to new experiences and new people (that you previously wrote off) will show you a whole new world that may be better than the one you knew before — one where you can find your corner of the sky, your castle on a cloud, your niche in this crazy world.

• Try to do something every day that you would’ve brushed off as “weird,” “illogical,” or just plain “uncomfortable”. Getting out of your zone will not only teach you something, but it will force you to get to know you — what you’re capable of, what you like, what you definitely don’t like, and what you were previously missing.

PART 3
Question yourself.
Ask yourself difficult and far-reaching questions, and record your answers. Beyond your time spent in solitude, it’s easy for these purposeful thoughts to slip to the back of your mind and be forgotten. If you have them written down, then every time you reflect, you can review your notes and take it a step further, instead of answering the same questions all over again. Keep them in a notebook that’s easy to access and update; it will be a source of sustenance for you, by which you can continue to measure your growth through life. Here are some to get you started:

• “If I had all the resources in the world — if I didn’t need to make money — what would I be doing with my life and why?” Perhaps you’d be painting, or writing, or farming, or exploring the Amazon rain forest. Don’t hold back.

• “What do I want to look back on in my life and say that I never regretted?” Would you regret never having traveled abroad? Would you regret never having asked that person out, even if it meant risking rejection? Would you regret not spending enough time with your family when you could? Would you regret keeping your unique view of society to yourself by not sharing with friends? Did I conform/stick out beyond the level I’d have like to? This question can be really difficult.

• “If I had to choose three words to describe the kind of person I’d love to be, what would those words be?” Adventurous? Accepting towards few? Open? Honest? Hilarious? Optimistic? Unreliable? Don’t be afraid to choose words that are considered negative because that proves you’re a real person, and not a lopsided combination of parts other people want to be known for.

• Sometimes the traits that you don’t like become useful in emergency situations — like being bossy. Sometimes they are valuable to the job you’re meant to perform — like being nitpicky.

• If you do have a truly negative trait, acknowledging it openly can give you the motivation to work on redirecting that energy to something positive. Try channelling that bad habit and into a hobby. Don’t wash your clothes much? Try camping — maybe you’ll like it. Even something like pole dancing could be your golden ticket! Know you’re lazy with certain tasks? Maybe you can lead yourself to find another task that hardly ever bores you.

• “Who am I?” This question is not static. It should be one you continue to ask yourself throughout your life. A healthy person continues to reinvent themselves throughout their life. By asking this question regularly, it updates your understanding of who you are and how you change. Instead of answering who you think you ought to be, keep it focused on who you actually are, because in all likelihood that’s a very good answer, warts and all.

Part Four of Four:
Settling In for Good

1
Act upon — and use — your newly discovered knowledge.
Pick up those watercolors. Write a short story. Plan a trip to Mombasa. Have dinner with a family member. Start cracking jokes. Open up. Tell the truth. Whatever it is that you’ve decided you want to be or do, start being and doing it now.

• You may shake your head and come up with excuses such as “no time,” “no money,” “family responsibilities,” etc. Instead of using these as excuses, start planning around the hurdles in your life. You can free up time, find money, and get a break from duties if you make time how to plan and find the courage to ask for these things.

• Sometimes, the real you is too afraid to face the practicalities because it’d mean facing up to what you’ve limited yourself by. Start planning what you really want to do and investigating what needs to be done to get you to that point instead of flinging excuses at them, stopping the goals and dreams dead in their tracks.
2
Be ready for dead ends.
Finding yourself is a journey, not a destination. A lot of it is trial and error. That’s the price you pay in return for the satisfaction you receive: More often than not, you hit a bump in the road, and sometimes you fall flat on your face. Be prepared to understand and accept that this is a part of the process, and commit to getting right back up and starting over.

• It’s not going to be easy — it never has been for anybody — but if you learn to see that as a chance to prove how much you want to find yourself, then you’ll find fulfillment and security in your pursuit. When you know yourself, most people will respect you more and treat you kindly. Best of all, your light will shine on both you and others, making them (and you) feel even more certain about your sense of self.

3
Serve others.
Mahatma Gandhi once said that “the best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” Being introspective without reaching out to others can cause you to navel-gaze and shut yourself off from others. Service to other people and to the community is the ultimate way to find purpose and a sense of your place in the world.

• When you see how hard life can be for those in greater need than you, it’s often a wake-up call that puts your own worries, concerns, and issues into perspective. It helps you to see what you do have, and the opportunities you’ve been able to seize through life. That can fuel a great sense of self because suddenly everything can fall into place for you and you realize what matters most. Try it. You’ll like it.

Advertisements
Posted in State of Mind

How To Incite Murder – Episode 1

Please give me a few minutes while I cuss out my neighbours….

So we share a generator; it is the responsibility of all to care for that generator. We get petrol for it, oil for it etc. These buffoons had collectively decided that I should be the designated petrol buyer. I wouldn’t mind as much if they made other efforts concerning this particular generator of ours.

Sometime this week I decided to ignore them. I didn’t buy petrol, didn’t lift a finger for three days. Oh you can be sure they got the drift and went to get petrol.

Fast forward till today. I switch on the generator by 7:30pm and see that the petrol is not gonna last up to three hours. I switch it on anyway, I mean they are closer to it, I am sure they can put it off when the time comes. I mean, I trust them to.

Approximately at a couple of minutes past 10pm I presume, the generator began to make a sound showing that petrol is exhausted. I was already asleep, so obviously I didn’t know what was going on.

These big-headed, self-rigteous douche bags did not move a muscle at the noise. Luckily, somewhere in my dream, I heard the sound, so I jumped out of my dream and ran all the way downstairs like a woman, crazed to turn it off.

I do not know how long it had been going on for before I turned it off, because it was already at it’s dying stage to turn off automatically by the time I reached it.

And then, I heard it, the lot of them cackling like abandoned peacocks in the Serengeti.

So these fools were all awake?

So these fools heard this and did absolutely nothing?

So these fools, five of them, made me almost fall down the stairs?

Even I, was asleep and heard the generator noise in my sleep. I was having a good dream… yeah, that kind of dream.

And this daft children were all laughing and chatting, less than five feet away from the generator.

When I finally switched it off and did the changeover routines, they all came to the window to ask me a stupid question with a tiny patronising voice that would not even arouse an oyster.

“What’s the problem?”

Like the lot of them had never had a generator in their homes before and didn’t know how it sounded when petrol finished.

Oh help me Jesus!

Strange Lingua

*generator – a device that has been saving Nigerian’s lives since the 20th century. Found in almost every space that has a roof and people inside. Including homes, shops, salons, roadside umbrella stands etc.

Posted in State of Mind

CHOICES

Goodmorning.

Happy new month!

Happy Sallah!!

I think it would have been less of a bad omen if I was to start the month of September with positive, uplifting posts. However, this is one of those posts where I just write for the sake of expressing my feelings. Nothing special to see here today.

I didn’t think it was possible to have people around you and yet feel lonely, till this period that is. I am actually quite lonely. I feel like something is missing from my life. A spark of some sorts. A certain happiness that shows even if everything is going wrong. A comforting touch that just feels right. A kind of calm that can only come from deep within. Yeah, I know. Now I am just trying to avoid saying what I really should say.

I can’t, you see. I have too much ego plus there’s that fear of something else. Rejection. I don’t think I can cope with all that so the next best alternative for me to that is to choose my best friend, loneliness.

Well back to the point of today’s story. I have been thinking, long and hard about what I want out of my rather short time on earth. I thought I had a plan about the future. It was a rather grand plan. I wouldn’t call it impossible to achieve but it certainly is a really grand plan. But someone got me thinking; if I do somehow achieve that plan, if I am able to do that, what next? What will I now do for my remainder years on earth?

Obviously, I had no answer. You know since I was little, I had built all my dreams, hopes and aspirations around money, wealth and everything financial prosperity. I wanted to be very wealthy. I cannot begin to explain why it is important for me to be wealthy because it really is laughable. So I just recently discovered that every passion I had, every plan I had ever construed, every unfounded dream all had one thing in common. In them, was me daydreaming about being wealthy, well-known, rich, fearless, authoritarian, kick-ass… I have run out of adjectives to describe my picture in my daydreams.

So now I have to start thinking afresh. I have to start rethinking my choices. To be sincere I am not sure where to start from. I look around and I see the people I love the most already have concrete plans for the future with backups as well. I am trying not to feel inferior to them but it really isn’t working out well. There’s one thing I know however, I want to be happy. Whatever it is that I choose to do, I want it to be free from popular opinion. I want it to be something I’m doing for myself irrespective of how others see it. I want it to be free from parental choices. I hope it can be free from parental choices.

On a lighter note, I am back in the beautiful city where I am sure Yellow fever originated from (Lagos) with its blinding shade of yellow on every side. Do you know the irony of the post I put on about it a few months ago, a couple of days after putting that post on, I discovered to my astonishment that the house I was going to live in for the next one year had its walls painted bright yellow. Fate sure has a strange way of playing with someone’s feelings. Remind me never to criticise anything in the future.

Posted in State of Mind

Entry 70 – 15/08/2017

9:34pm. I got into my flat not too long ago. I am completely and utterly fagged out from work. I’ve just worked for twelve straight hours without break. Not even a lunch break. My brain has gone on a temporary recession. My body is crying for mercy and my knee is killing me. Yes, I know. I do need to get it checked out. I dislocated my knee bone last week and I have not been to the hospital to check it out. Every step is a struggle and guess what? I have to climb loads of steps at work. Today in particular involved running up and down those steps. And of course, the daily dose of sexual harassment was taken; promptly at that as well. So my knee is worse than it was this morning. I have made a mental note to go get it x-rayed tomorrow before it leads to something else.

Oh yes, what was I saying. Sorry I’m a bit chatty today. It’s 9:34pm. I’m tired out from work. I curse my country, my work place and the peanuts I am being paid. I curse it all. I hadn’t had a meal all day. Not even breakfast. Only a few snacks I have taken. So, I am a bit grumpy. And then this message comes into my phone; from my protégé. If you’re a good and faithful follower, you will remember her from the post of March the 8th.

“I spent most of my day today thinking about my beloved.

I looked at how I’ve managed with this trip all by myself, from the onset with little or no help from people and I owe it all to her. Some will say its common sense but I learnt to be independent from her. I learnt to rely on nobody and expect the worst from people so that every act of theirs exceeds my expectation.

And when I look at how far I’ve come, I hear you say ‘well done, my daughter, you have learnt well'”.

I think I am good for something after all. *blushes severely* I lied. I know I am good for something. This her message to me spoke to my mind differently. I am not yet where I want but I am getting there. And curse as I may my work place. Stressed as I may be everyday for peanuts pay, it is unavoidably the starting point to where I am going. So I am back to my favourite Eminem’s lyric:

Hush little baby don’t you cry, everything is gonna be alright,

Stiffen that upper lip up, little lady, I told ya

Daddy’s​ gonna hold you for tonight

I know momma’s not here, and you don’t know why

I can feel how you feel inside

It might seem a little crazy, little baby

But I promise

Everything’s gonna be alright… “

Thank you OLA, you mean a lot to me. And you made my day today.

Posted in Little Steps

Chicken Nugget

“Life is not about your perfection, it is the moments you lived being the real you without fear or favour”

I came across this quote this morning as I was going through my social media. It hit very close to home. In my previous posts, I have complained and whined about my heritage, my ancestry and all that. And how I wish I could change it so I could be born in a different family.

All my life I have done basically everything that always ends with “will my parents be happy about this?”

The reason I chose this state for my national service is to be far away from home, far from people my parents know and far away from obligations. I was so happy my request for this state was granted. A day to my travel, a shocker came up, my parents knew people where I was going to. I thought to myself “what on earth is this?”. A place so local and remote, still my parents always manage to have a control tower set up there. I officially gave up on “running away” from home.

I decided to just start being me and damn the consequences. I have pretended my whole life. Perhaps it’s time people see me for what I really am. I can’t say that I’ve totally stopped caring about their feelings, but I am getting there.

I have gained weight. I might look tired from my day’s job but at least I look healthy and I’m happy. You might not understand why I am sharing this testimony if you didn’t know me from last year. I was borderline anorexic.

The funny thing is I do not even know the real me. I have pretended so much that I have lost touch with me. I guess it is time for a joy ride to find out.

Happy Sunday folks.

This post is so named because I actually want to eat chicken nuggets from Macy’s right this moment.

Posted in State of Mind

You Left Us (The End)

Today is the day. The final day. The day your loved ones will get to see you for the last time. 

I woke up abruptly this morning aunty at around 3am. I don’t know why I woke up. It certainly wasn’t for midnight toilet visits. I looked at my phone and the date read as twenty-first of July. It sounded familiar in my head. But I wasn’t sure what was going on today. I ransacked my brain and finally determined that today was no one’s birthday. I gave up and went back to sleep.

At about a little over 8am, I checked my phone again while at work to be sure I wasn’t missing anything. You see it was bugging my mind that I was forgetting something important. And there I saw it, the reminder for your funeral service.

I am not able to attend your funeral and I didn’t attempt to ask for permission from work. I am sure I would have gotten it. I don’t just want to let you down one last time. I feel like I have done enough. Maybe I am chicken-hearted. Maybe I am not brave. But I cannot see your husband yet. I cannot see you lying there in that cold, hard, beautifully decorated wood, dead. I cannot see your shrunken body. I cannot watch your child call out mummy during the funeral procession. I cannot hear them sing “fading away, like the stars of the morning”.

I am afraid I will let out too much tears. So I prefer to just throw myself into work.
Work was stressful today aunty. I worked like a robot just to keep my mind occupied. I worked until my body started aching me. I feel nauseous and feverish and still it didn’t work. I closed at 5:15pm only to get back to the thoughts I thought I had escaped from.

Has it only been a month and three weeks since your passing? I still feel it you know, like it was last week. Time and time again my mind flashes back. Wondering how your son is doing? Wondering how your husband is doing? Oh aunty, you are so selfish! You couldn’t just hold on a bit? I know you were in so much pain but really couldn’t you just hold on? Do you have any idea what your husband looks like now? I fear he might follow suit. It was only six years of marriage of which the past one year was a nightmare. He loved you. I know he did. I mean who will not love you. 

I’m sorry aunty. I didn’t mean to shout at you. I’m transferring aggression now, yeah. 
Your desk at father’s office; it was empty the last time I went there. Please come back and sit there. I miss you. I miss hearing your voice. I miss your smile. I miss the brown coat you always wore. When I am passing by your house, I wouldn’t occasionally bump into you again. Maybe I should have made an attempt to go. Maybe I should have just braved it all. Maybe I should have been stronger instead of crying salty tears in my room alone.

The thought of a heavenly miracle then gave me hope even when I knew that scientifically you were nearing the end. I guess now it appears that I just wanted to hold on to something. 

The sun has set.

The curtain has been drawn.

A chapter of life is closed.

The grave has been filled up with sand.

The slab has been set.

Here lies the body of a woman who I loved and was loved by everyone else. 
Adieu aunty!

Posted in State of Mind

I’m Yours

“Every fear hides a wish” – David Mamet

Tomorrow cannot be Monday. Tomorrow cannot be Monday. Tomorrow cannot be Monday. I only just started my weekend. Now I know exactly how all those workers feel when they make memes about Mondays and weekends. I always thought it was a bit too exaggerated. I mean I did final year of course and had no problem with Mondays. Absolutely none. Everyday was the same to me. 

In final year I was striving for something I wanted. A personal goal. But at work, you’re striving to achieve someone else’s goal. I mean since I am not the owner of the company so it’s not my goal. I am just coming to work and fulfilling my duties just to get paid. 
I wonder if I will feel like this all through my working life till I reach retirement age. Perhaps when I have my own company, I might start to look forward to Mondays again.
I am so bored right now. I don’t even know why I am writing. I am pretty sure this will be my most incoherent and uninteresting post yet. 

Today is unlike any day I have had for the past two months. Usually my day is so jam-packed with activities that keep me so busy that by the time I am done, all I have to do is fall asleep till the next day. Today is different. I did all I could possibly do with my free time yesterday. How silly of me. I should have left some chores for today.

So I go to church and come around noon. I already have a pre-cooked meal so I just warm it up, I dry the washed dishes, watch a movie and I check the time, it is still 2pm. I watch another movie and time suddenly has decided to stand still. I am out of what to do. I don’t look forward to going back to work tomorrow but I also do not want to be idle. I try to read a book, I drop it. Pick up another one, I drop that one too. Now I properly understand why listlessness is defined as having or showing little interest or no interest in anything. I do not even want to write anymore. Since I am out of things to do, I have decided to do something risky. I decide to post a sample of an imagination my very perverted brain churned up. 

I do this dance everyday. It’s impossible to sleep without going through the motions of this dance. Today I have refused to give in. But how can I not? It’s my lullaby. My brain is messed up I know that. But for my sanity and the peace of everyone I have to do this dance. They say insomnia causes irritability. I do not want to resort to benzodiazepines therefore this is my own form of sedative. I daydream it, and then I gradually fall asleep.




I close my eyes, this time we are at our house by the sea side. I hear the sound of the waves crashing over the shore. Breeze drifts in through the door kept ajar. You lounge against the door propped open, regarding me intensely. I squirm on the sofa, rather uncomfortable at the attention. Your sculpted lips twitch then, into a careless smile. 



For a brief second, I imagined bringing that chiseled jaw of yours down on mine and crushing my lips against yours. Only that you wouldn’t let me do that. Or rather I was currently immobile as you had me sprawled apart and bound to the sofa. I was yours to command. I sighed longingly and deeply then.

Of course, from the arrogant curve of your lips, you knew exactly what I was thinking. 


“Oh Alia…

You never learn do you. You can only sigh when I want you to.”


Your eyes blaze like the biblical furnace that I have heard stories of, and I feel your hunger as your eyes roams freely from my bosom and my desire tightens across my belly. 


In three short strides, you covered the distance between us. 



My gaze lingers at your folded sleeves, unbuttoned collar and loose tie, admiring the rippled rail-like tracks on your arm and imagining what it would feel like to unfasten the rest of your buttons and pull you free of them. They are only just blocking my view of course. I realised then, that I was staring. 



I heard a low growl and you sank into the sofa, your teeth nipping at my ears slowly and torturously. Your arms coiled around my waist, tightening possessively as you cradled my back. Your lips zigzagged it’s way from my ears to the tip of my nose, back to my eyelids. I moaned. I needed to feel your lips on mine now.


He tasted of lemon, gin and reckless abandon, and my lips parted instinctively as his tongue slid into my mouth. His kiss was forceful and I found myself slipping under his control, my body moulding against his as I quake under the heat of our embrace.

His tongue flicked against my teeth repeatedly, almost lazily, and my mouth opens wider, welcoming him in. 


He accepted, his tongue briefly skimmed around mine as if afraid to go any further, then he thrust his tongue deeper, drawing mine into his mouth and capturing it with a languid suction. My knees buckled at the reaction, he steadied me and pressed me closer, his body bracing me. His hand slipped from my waist to the small of my back. The intimacy of the gesture spurred my action and my fingers tangled into his curly hair as I held on to the kiss, certain I would fade to nothing without feeling his body crushed against mine.

The windows adrift brought in cold air, my already hardened nipples stiffened in response.

Okay… I think I can’t afford to go any further. When I am brave enough again, I will let you folks know.
Peace!!

Posted in State of Mind

Friday 7th July, 2017

Firstly, there are so many things I hate; of which being taken for granted is chief amongst them. And that seems to be coming around a lot this week. 

This was my original intention for this post. To cuss and fuss and moan until I have exhausted all the anger in me. Well that is not going to happen this time around. I am just going to say something short. I am thoroughly and totally exhausted. I have had a particularly stressful day today at work and this week in general has been exhausting. So please dear Lord, if you indeed love those whom you have created, do not send some more temptation my way because they wouldn’t know what hit them. Thank you for answers to my prayers. Amen.

Secondly, I am at that point in 2017 where I desperately need a time machine. Only, if I could turn back time to 2013 in particular. There are a lot of things I could have avoided that would have prevented the mess I find myself in called life in 2017. You see my actions and inactions are having a side effect on those I love. Everyone says I would have been a different person if I hadn’t taken those steps back in 2013 which brought me here now. While this might be true, at least I would have been able to sleep soundly. I would have been able to live my life without a guilty conscience. 

But since I cannot perform that invention so quickly. All I have is a refrain from one of my favourite musicians to hold on to;


“Hush little baby don’t you cry, everything is gonna be alright, 

Stiffen that upper lip up, little lady, I told ya

Daddy’s​ gonna hold you for tonight

I know momma’s not here, and you don’t know why

I can feel how you feel inside

It might seem a little crazy, little baby

But I promise

Everything’s gonna be alright…”


Please someone should be nice and send me an ice-cream. Sugar popcorn as well too. I have no idea where to get a proper cheap ice-cream in this Abeokuta.

Posted in State of Mind

You Left Us

I had known you all my life. You had been one of father’s dedicated employees. I don’t know how but you became more than just a face I knew among the other faces. I didn’t get to see you as often as I liked as I became older because of societal commitments but the few times I did, we always had a good laugh. I remember your voice. You always said: “this girl you have not changed”.

When I was told you were ill and I got told of the symptoms. I knew it wasn’t gonna be easy. I didn’t just know how bad it was going to get. On my first sunday back, I was able to see you, at least you hadn’t lost your smile then. But you had lost a lot of weight. You were about the same size that I was. You always talked of losing weight but I didn’t want you to lose it this way. I’m sure you already knew didn’t you? That’s why you kept saying you’ll slim down and come and collect all my clothes.

The day before I went to see you for the last time. I heard stories that made my heart bleed for you. I knew they were true but I refused to believe them. I couldn’t understand how you could suffer so much. That night I tried calling someone, anyone that I could talk to. Because I was slowly losing my mind. No one was available as at then. It was as if all the stars were laughing at my expense. The next morning, very early I got up and I went to see you at the clinic. I don’t know if I had just made a big mistake. I didn’t want to remember you that way. You were the big, ever smiling, bubbly aunty who teased me all the time. 
You didn’t look like that. That wasn’t you. I know that often family and friends of a terminally ill patient often hang on to the last thread of hope. But looking at you, I knew that it was gonna be the last time I was going to see you. I looked at you and I knew that you knew. You started crying almost as if you thought the same thing. I can never forget the last thing you said to me “my sister has come to see me”.

What pained me more is not that you died. What pained me is that you suffered a lot before you died. Wouldn’t it have been better if you died as a child? Wouldn’t it have been better if you even died when it was just a stage one? But no, you had to live and suffer up until you got to the worst part of stage four. Did God really have to keep you this long just for you to suffer and die? 
What do you want me to say to your son now when he’s older. The only memories he’s gonna have is of a hospital room, the constant blood loss and transfusion, your broken bones, the smells, the lesions and your intermittent cry for a pain relief.
I thought God forgives. I know you had rough teen years but why did He have to make it come back and bite you in the ass. After everything you did. After all your years of service. Even to get married was a struggle and when you finally did, to have that one child was a struggle. Hadn’t you suffered enough already. I would think that He wouldn’t punish you further. 

Remember you said you wanted my clothes and shoes. You were supposed to get well and come and wear them. Remember we were supposed to see when you got back from treatment. Why didn’t you get well? Why? 

I’m sorry I never to got to buy you at least the nice present you always wanted before you died.

I’m sorry that you had to go through so much pain and suffering.

I’m sorry for not coming to see you everyday. I was selfish. I didn’t want the image of your sick, bedridden and emaciated self in my memory. I only chose to remember what I wanted to remember. 

I’m sorry that there was no money to have sent you for treatment earlier. Perhaps it would have reduced your pain a little.

I’m sorry that most of the money was used on my education. If I didn’t want expensive things, there would have still been money.

I’m sorry that you didn’t get to see your miracle child grow. 

I’m sorry that we never had a picture together.

I’m sorry for making my faith waver when it did.

I’m sorry for hoping for the worst even before you died.

I’m sorry that I wasn’t prayerful enough.
I’m sorry I can’t even grieve properly now because I am doing some stupid training.

I’m sorry dear aunty. I truly am. Would you forgive me? Please say yes. Should I offer you a bribe? Please forgive me aunty. I promise to find a means to take care of your son as I would do my own child. I promise that I would never let him suffer. I heard that where you are now is a better place. I want to believe so too. I know you’re no longer suffering and that your smile is back. But aunty, it’s hard. It’s just so hard for me to let you go. I’m selfish for wanting you to come back right? Okay then, enjoy. I hope to able to see you again one day.

Posted in State of Mind

Dear Karma

It is said that in complex systems, cause and effect are often distant in time and space. If applied to life as we know it, Karma is the bridge that connects time and space; it adjusts effect to cause. So Dear Karma, you are indispensable. I am grateful for the opportunity you gave; to witness you thwack those who were long overdue. 

However, Dear Karma, I have a list of people you missed;

The heartless boys who wiped out a family with just a grinding stone.

The citizens who have resorted to oil bunkery as a means of gaining wealth.

The Rivers state government; for seeing air pollution on the rise and turning a blind eye.

The law upholders who decided that it’s humane to sentence eleven and twelve year olds to death for manslaughter.

The man who thinks it’s okay to swindle his inept business partner who struggles just as much as he does.

The woman who thrives on others misfortune and unhappiness and goes around causing mayhem.

The police officer who “accidentally discharged” a gun on a man who was the breadwinner of his family because of chump change.

The university tutor who failed a medical student because she looks young and can afford to delay for one more year.

The child predator who thinks it is his right to sexually abuse a twelve year old girl because her parents are insouciant.

The thugs who raped a bride while her groom watched on the night of her marriage consummation.

The sexual predators who feel it is funny to rape a lady in broad daylight and in a public place only because no one can stop them or do anything about it.


Dear Karma, I have a list of people you have unjustly treated;

The man by the roadside; I see you, you make your bed on cement and blocks.

The woman at the junction; Your clothes are fashioned out of bean bags and leaf tendrils.

The girl barely out of her toddler stage of life by the street corner; with a crate of sachet water under the scorching sun.

The boy with the boots and barrow; nails deep into the grime hoping for some sort of lost treasure mistakenly tossed out.

The teenager at the hospital; pregnant with twins who would never have a father or a grandfather because she was disowned.

The father with seven children; who cannot appreciate a gift given to him by his child because he doesn’t deserve it. He has failed them afterall.

The family of eight; living in a 50m square foot room. With a cloth tied on a string as an excuse for a changing room.

The little boy, barely five years of age with a large basin of vegetables balanced on his little head missing school so that he can help his widowed mother with the farm.

The girl who is afraid of marriage, people and the world at large because daily she watches her father sink deeper into the quicksand called life and marriage.

The boy born autistic in an African community, he didn’t even have a fighting chance before he was labelled a witch and abandoned.

The young girl with a dream of ruling the world forced into a child marriage with a man thrice her age.



Dear Karma, what did they do?

 
Is your half brother Nemesis poisoning you with his evil dispensation too?

Why would you let a righteous man curse out loud?

Why would you let a woman who has suffered so much in her marriage continue to suffer? I know it’s for better for worse but when is it ever going to get better?

Why would you let an intelligent student’s hope of furthering her education get sour and then thrown in the garbage by those long overdue for retribution?

Why would you let that young doctor get so frustrated enough to commit suicide?

Why would you let those young men who had a potentially bright future die at the hands of those lawless men and women who decide that jungle justice is an appropriate thing?
Dear Karma, please do as you see fit speedily.

Posted in State of Mind

Excusé Moi?

What is the deal with parents?

I do not know if this is a characteristic of all parents or if it’s just particular to Africa. 

Why do they feel the need to control every aspect of your life irrespective of your age?

Why do they feel like their opinions actually matter?

Why do they feel like their decisions should be the standing constitution of the house. Now I understand the house is owned by them but I only feel it’s reasonable to respect every other member of the house irrespective of their ages.

So I am from a very religious home. Actually religious doesn’t cut it. It’s borderline extremism. To make matters worse, my parents are high ranking pillars in the church community.

Growing up, there were a lot of laws we had to keep up with. And you had to practice all of them or face the wrath and disappointment of your parents. It would have been better to just have a book and put them all in like the Nigerian Constitution. 

One of such laws happened to have something to do with watching movies on “the devil’s box”. We were not allowed to put on the TV without appropriate permission. And if my parents were away or travelled, we couldn’t switch it on no matter how long they are away for. Now the “devil’s box” wasn’t considered sinful but it wasn’t considered holy either. 

So as kids, my older siblings usually buy the DVD’s and then we secretly watch them when my parents were away. It wasn’t anything bad. They were just movies under the action genre. Mild violence scenes, had almost no sexual explicit content, I even dare say it was educational to some extent. And for all those days, my parents never asked if the TV was switched on. I guess they must have had implicit faith in us. 

Now, there were a few movies that my parents approved of and let us watch. A certain day, my parents were out for a couple of hours and they gave the nanny money to go get a new movie. Usually in the days of cassettes and tapes, you buy a movie, go home, try it on to see if it works or needs an exchange.

On that fateful day, we did exactly that. It worked, so we switched the TV off. My parents came home and then asked if we switched on the TV. I was a truthful child back then and being truthful cost me some hours of recreation time.

After that incident, you best believe that I learned how to lie. It saves you from a lot of stress.

Fast-forward to today, a somewhat similar thing happens. We gather around watching a late night TV show and having our dinner. 

My father raises hell, threatens to break the TV, speaks about the carnality involved in watching TV after returning from church. I tried to be patient and understand it from his point of view but it really wasn’t making sense. As old as I am? Okay forget me, as old as the people I am watching with are? You want to control them too because it’s your house? You really want to take away the one thing that brings the family together? The one thing we all share in common. Go ahead then. I dare you.

I am not that obedient, naive child anymore. I have grown. I do not want to defy you, so please do not force me to. I hate to be rebellious. I am not a TV freak, but sharing a common ground with my family is a scarce commodity. So I’m gonna seize this available opportunity.

I truly am sorry. 

I am sorry I don’t care what you think. This is what I feel like doing this exact moment.

I am sorry but I like to be preoccupied with my phone or TV while having my dinner.

I am sorry father, not today. I haven’t got time for that. Now please excuse me while I go back and eat my fish.

Posted in State of Mind

Do I Believe In Horoscope?

Today is well, unusual for two reasons. Firstly, I am trying to decide if this is actually a throwback post or a contemporary one. I wrote this post in October 2016 but never got the chance to put it up. 

Secondly, I feel quite content today. It’s a great day after all.

I have never been much interested in the balance that people say exist between the universe, your birth dates and lifestyle. My birth star describes me as hardworking, highly motivated, focused, has a lot of patience, self-reliant amongst other things. Earth as we know it is a funny place. If I could find the creator of the lifestyle associated with each birth month, I will like to ask him or her on what basis this theory was founded. Because my life is somehow the complete opposite of what is expected of those under the Taurus sign. 

I find myself drifting far from the word “motivation”. I feel like I am on the titanic and just like Jack was, I am trapped in a room handcuffed to an iron pole. I’m very confused at the moment, and I don’t know what is confusing me. Okay that may be a slight untruth. I do know. I haven’t just been able to collect my muddled feelings in one big box. Let’s give it a try shall we?



Family or Friends?

By family I mean those whose bloodlines I share. Family lasts forever they said. Family is not an important thing, it’s everything they said. But what happens when your friends have inadvertently become your family? What happens when your friends give you something your family couldn’t provide. Now don’t get me wrong, I love my siblings, I would remove the clothes off my back and offer it to them if necessary. But I think family is overrated some of the time. I feel this way because I have never made a big decision in my life that didn’t involve an extravagant thought process; “what will my family think?”, “will they just criticise me like every other time?” “Will they try to stop me?” Etc. Now I am about to make a big decision yet again, I find my friends yet againencouraging me to and my family encouraging me not to. Will there be anytime where I make choices without considering family ties and bloodlines and reputation?



Relationships

I am utterly confused. Is it possible to like two people at the same time? And each receiving love with equal fervour. Okay I’m probably a bit foolish because both are actually far away. Realistically speaking, I shouldn’t even be considering any of them. The more I think about it, the more the likelihood of any working out decreases. There is too much work and effort I’ll have to put in to be in a relationship with any. Relationships always involve some form of sacrifice I know, but is that sacrifice actually worth it? Would it be worth it in the end? Yes, maybe I just overthink things a lot. Okay, I will shut my mouth now but if things change in the future I just might let you know.

On the bright side, Taurus born are ardent members of the sarcastic squad. Taurus born are friends who offer good advice, I guess there’s finally some truth to the analysis. Or not…