Wednesday, 28 March 2018

Never Say Never

I remember when I got the call that I was going to be posted to Lagos. I had been privileged to get a heads up a day before receiving the official letter. I went silent on my side of the line for a minute as I tried to process the information. After I hung up, my mind went into overdrive

"But my whole life is in Abuja..."
"Chai so I'll enter Lagos struggle" 
"What church would I even go to?"
"Oh my gosh, my children" (i.e. Children's church)
"OMG, Lagos men... Yoruba demon headquarters... I'm never going to get married"
"Oooh I can finally explore Lagos culture"
"Whoooop I get to live alone"
"Wait... how am I going to move my stuff?"
"Ugh, my car... how will I move round Lagos?
"Oooh maybe this is how I get a new car"
You get the point. I was going through the motions for the rest of the day, happy one second sad the next. I was like a broken thermometer, going all over the place. By the time I got to church that evening, the sad thoughts had won the battle and I couldn't even concentrate in church. I was so heavy in my spirit that I couldn't hide my distaste during testimonies. I couldn't even praise and worship properly. Eventually, I got a grip on myself and whispered "God please speak to me".

Instantly Pastor got up on stage and began to encourage us. It was like God had sent her to speak directly to me. I walked into the auditorium sad and downcast but walked out all smiles and encouraged. Don't tell me God doesn't speak, He does. The question is, are you listening?

So here I am, about to embark on a whole new adventure in a new city but I'll tell you the catch, God has a sense of humour. I said I'll never work in civil service, gbadam! God dropped a job in one of the prestigious government agencies in my lap. It was such a smooth process that I know it had to be God. Interestingly I had applied for this one and another one I really wanted at the same time. I actually applied for this grudgingly as I really wanted the other one in an international development agency.

I said I'll never live in Lagos and even if I got a job offer, no matter how much I was offered, I would turn it down. Gbam! God moves me to Lagos.

So now I'm here sitting down and thinking of all the "I'll never..." I've uttered in my life because it seems as though God is having a laugh.

Anyways, people have had various reactions to my move but I realise that it's not what they say that matters but what I say. And trust me, I've heard some of the most discouraging and negative things from people close to me. In fact one of my friends said this to me when I told her where I'd be staying

"Ahhhh that's Yoruba demons' headquarters oh. That's where married men who are committed to cheating keep a flat"
Siggghhhh. I mean I know she was only cautioning me but all it did was plant a seed of fear. It might be true or not but one of the things I walked out of church with that evening was, you will have what you say. So sure, people have had bad experiences in Lagos and I can keep shut and accept their account or I can open my mouth and declare what I want in line with scripture. I choose the latter. Here's to a wonderful Lagos experience. Yoruba demons HQ or not, I can assure you that my love life will not be taking a blow.

Who knows? This may result in a Lagos Diary series on the blog and revive my writing.


PS: I've already moved to Lagos, this post is some days old LOL 

Monday, 29 January 2018

Getting Even

I had a funny encounter in Children's Church yesterday when I found myself separating two young boys in a physical fight (I teach class 6&7 btw). When I asked what had happened, one of them said the other had stepped on his shoes, which her in his defence were pretty cool shoes. Anyways when I asked the other why he had reacted that way, he said
"My mummy said I should beat anyone that steps on me"
I was torn between horror and amusement. Of course I corrected him on the godly way to react and made them hug it out but it reminded me so much of a similar encounter between my sister and my aunt. One of our neighbours who was her friend had punched my sister, so she ran home crying and met my aunt who retorted "ehen what happened to your hand?". My sister then went back and punched her too, resulting in neighbour-girl losing a tooth. So much for tough love eh? LMAO

Ps amusing as this all is or not, let's be careful what we teach kids in their formative years. Less we breed mannerless humans with no proper conduct of themselves.


Thursday, 25 January 2018

All That Jazz

I don't go to Hilton (Transcorp) except I have a reason mainly for two reasons;

  1. The perverts and
  2. The perverts
Yes. It is almost impossible to be female and go to Transcorp without some father trying to hit on you and get your number. So except I have a reason to be there, I won't aimlessly go to Transcorp. Yet I found myself there tonight, for a good reason of course. The U.S. Embassy was having a Jazz Concert in collaboration with Play Network which I had been looking forward to cause I hadn't been to a Jazz event in about 4 years.

So there I am, all dressed up and walking from the car to the building when a young lady stops me and asks if we could be best friends for the night (uhm...) cause her friend stood her up and she didn't want to be alone. At this point, the gravels and my heels aren't being quite friendly so I didn't stop to process her request. We hadn't taken two steps past security before we were accosted by this large man offering us a "prize", which he claimed we had to follow him to get. Someone's father, Someone's husband. *Sigh* Unfortunately, I couldn't walk any faster as I didn't want to slip on the tiles and be the next internet sensation on instablog9ja or Linda Ikeji so I played mute and allowed my "best friend" to endure the conversation with him. We had to fake collect his number and promise to text him for him to let us go *intense eye roll*

It wasn't till we got away that I got a good look at my new best friends and realised that I may have befriended a questionable character. This I based on the questionable conversation that followed after we got away from him. *Double sigh* I just needed to get to my table and sit, which we did thankfully after I did my fair rounds of saying hi to familiar faces at the event. I thought I was gonna relax and listen to some soothing jazz but who did I see as I took my seat?

Drum roll

My ex boyfriend......


There's a reason why I don't like to go to Transcorp.

Tuesday, 16 January 2018

When Friends Become Strangers

Source: Ravishly

I'm currently reading 'Don't Settle for Safe' by Sarah Jakes Robert, who I'm fangirling so bad. Everytime I get a pop-up notification of a new sermon from her on the podcast app, it's like Christmas morning to me. I just connect so well with her, I can't explain it.

So here I am this evening, nursing a cold (from going running in the morning without dressing properly) and reading the chapter on 'Frienemies' when I stumble on these words that hit home,

"It's imperative to remember that just because someone was with you through a hard time doesn't mean he or she will be with you for a long time. One of the hardest parts of growing up is learning to let people go"
Only one person came to mind as I read those words, so I underlined them and wrote her name beside it. Let me back track a little, friendships mean a lot to me because there was a time when I didn't connect with my family so I turned my friends to my family. Of course because I was putting a lot of unvoiced expectations on them, I tended to get disappointed. I could never separate disney friendships from reality. I was the friend who but BFF jewellery and mugs, and believe me if the mug broke, I took it as a sign. I was intense like that hahaha. However, in my pruning and stretching season, this was something I got to work on and I'm still working on it.

Back to said friend, we met during my Masters and hit it off. We got along so well she became my new best friend and it was so convenient that we were in the same department in Uni. I bared my soul to her and told her things that I had never told other people. We made the cutest memories that have flooded my iPhoto memory. When we moved back to Nigeria, we remained close till something happened between another friend of ours and I. She took sides and started to give me attitude and that hurt. What hurt more was that the other friend and I made up but she and I never did. Then one day I woke up and realised she had blocked me on every platform. I was shocked and now I partly understand how people feel when they are blocked so I'm cautious with by block option these days LOL. It's been almost two years but I still wonder why. That break-up hurt more than some of my actual relationship break-ups because I valued our friendship so much. She was there with me through one of my hardest break up and through Masters, which was tough for both of us. So when I read those words, she really was the first to come to mind.

In retrospect, I feel like she was there for a season not for a lifetime. I don't harbour any negative emotions towards her and sometimes I do forget about her existence, probably because I mentally blocked her out. However, from time to time, I wonder how she is and why we stopped being friends. It's funny how Abuja is small but I haven't even bumped into her in about two years. What happens when friends become strangers?  

Monday, 15 January 2018

A Girl Called Ashley

My fave picture of Ashley and I 

Sometimes life sends you a gift in the form of a person, that you vibe with so well regardless of how long you've known them. That's Ashley for me, one of my best friends. She isn't the oldest friend I have but she's the closest to my heart. I remember the first time we met in Coventry, it was for a mutual friend's 90s party and we hit it off instantly...

Anyways, remember my last post about feeling lonely? So Ash calls me out of the blue to go on a date. Technically she's my boyfriend, even her boyfriend has said so, so it isn't that this was the first date we were going for but it was the timeliness of the date that warmed my heart. Not that I had told her or anyone about how I was feeling, and I can almost assure you that she doesn't read my blog but we went out for dinner at Pow yesterday.

So there we were, two fierce young loveable women (uh huh) being grown ups, discussing grown up topics lol and me being my usual melodramatic self with all the drama going on in my life. Then the bible verse of the day (YouVersion app) pops up on her phone. Guess what it is
"Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ" Galatians 6:2
It just so happen that it was in the middle of pouring my heart out to her that the verse popped up on the screen. Ain't life funny? It just felt like I was being reminded that I was not alone and of course, I had someone to talk to about everything. I think it's important to have that friend that you can pour your heart out to without the fear of vulnerability or being judged. Everyone needs somebody. And it felt good being reminded that I had someone who made the effort to give me a listening ear, just cause she felt I needed to be treated. Also, for someone whose love language is Quality Time, I was happy having my love tank be refilled and not only that, she put her phone aside the whole time to give me her undivided attention (the attention whore in me was definitely having a field time LOL).

Jokes aside, who's your somebody? Are you that somebody to someone? When last did you make time out for a friend from your busy schedule? Love languages aren't only for lovers, fill up your friends' tank too.

Ps. Who loves Pow? Their sushi is amazing, then again they are the only ones with sushi that I know of and tried in Abuja.

Friday, 29 December 2017

The Ugly Green Eyed Monster

I’m the excited friend, I’m the one who screams her lungs out at your good news. Actually shriek is a better way of saying that, cause it’s more high pitched and could cause momentary deafness. I’m the friend you usually call to share your news with because my genuine excitement would motivate you. I didn’t crown myself that friend, the people around me put that label on me. All along I thought I was just rejoicing with a friend but they said I was the kind of friend they would call with their news first because of the reaction they knew it would get out of me. And hearing that made me happy, knowing that they knew I wouldn’t hold any bitter feelings towards their progress in life. 

So tell me, how did I find myself unconsciously making room for the green eyed monster aka envy recently? And what's funny is, jealousy sometimes creeps up on you without you realizing so. It starts with a sense of entitlement, like what about me Lord? Why isn't that my news? I do everything right.... I recently found that all of my friends were in successful relationships and most likely getting married in the coming months and I felt alone. ALL of my friends and I kid you not are in a relationship and moving on, and it made me feel lonely. It wasn’t that I was pining for a relationship, I just wanted my friends. They were either always on dates or on a call. I felt lonely because I felt like I was being deserted for their significant other. I remember this one day when I just needed a friend and everyone I called was busy. I genuinely felt deserted and I may or may not have shed a tear. But thank God for Jesus (cue hymn “What A Friend We Have in Jesus”). I’m realizing more and more to take my emotionally needy ass to Jesus and less to humans. 

Anyways, back to the green eyed monster. Because I missed the companionship of my friends, it bred room for a little resentment and jealousy of their new found loves. Especially a friend of mine who I had gifted date coupons to because her love life had suffered a major hit. When I gave her those coupons, I had no ulterior motive, it was genuinely because I wanted to be there for her so she wouldn't feel a love vacuum in her life. But it wasn’t till I went through a rough emotional patch (not related to a man -_-) that I realized that maybe I need a date coupon to be redeemed so I could have someone to pour out my heart to. She found a man and she never redeemed the coupons and really that’s where the jealousy came in. I didn’t feel needed, I felt like just cause she had a new man, she didn’t need me as friend to be her “pseudo-boyfriend”. And it sucked. I’ll be honest with you it was a terrible place to be in. There was so much on my mind but all my friends seemed so happy that I didn't want to burden them with what was wrong. I would be with this group of friends and still feel lonely because I had no one to talk to about it. 

How could I, the genuinely excited friend, be seen as struggling with a little bit of jealousy? That was weakness, and it couldn’t be shown. So I struggled till I believe the Holy Spirit pointed out that “you my lovely seem to be dealing with the ugly spirit of jealousy”. It’s amazing what a simple prayer can do and admitting the problem. Anyways, I’ve dealt with it Prayer-wise and here I am sharing this little problem that I had because I know, it just can’t be me who has found themselves battling the green eyed monster at some point in their life. Anyone care to share how they dealt with jealousy? 

Ps it is true what they say, misery loves company. Not that I want everyone to be single with me oh.

Pps it is also true that the first step to healing is admitting you have a problem. Had I continued in denial of this green eyed monster, I would never have been able to admit that there was a problem and the Holy Spirit won’t have been able to help me. Sorry, non spiritual folks. 

Wednesday, 25 October 2017

My Painting Experience

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

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

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

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

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

Compliment or Insult?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, 21 August 2017

Letter to My Husband 3

Dear Future Husband, 

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

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

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

Your wife who wants to be seen...

Saturday, 19 August 2017

World Humanitarian Day

Happy World Humanitarian Day!!!

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

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