My girl child

To my darling bud of May,

Today has been set aside to celebrate the girl child across the world so I thought why not write you my very own girl child a note. When I first found out I was pregnant, I remember hoping with all my heart for a boy and until the sonographer said “congratulations it’s a girl,” I held unto that hope fiercely. I had nothing against the girl child, however, being a woman I had terrible premonitions of what the future would like for you, for us as a mother-daughter team. 

See I never really understood myself as a pre-teen or teenager and if I am completely honest I still haven’t figured out everything about myself. I had visions of screaming matches, temper tantrums, pink powder explosions and dark moods vibrating off the walls. I guess the common rhetoric’s across the world hasn’t done much to calm my frayed nerves with respect to raising a girl child in today’s society.

They say it’s a mans world and my darling I must say they are not far from the truth, but who’s truth is that really? God made the world, placing male and female side by side to govern it. I guess when he told Adam to identify and name the animals, Adam decided to go one step further to name the earth calling it -Man’s world. I have no doubt he stood atop some precipice holding a branch from an oak tree while he made this life changing declaration.

I wonder what Eve was doing during this monumentus occasion? Perhaps sitting in the tree listening to the serpent mock Adam, reminding her that with the sway of her hips , the toss of her hair and puckered lips she could get Adam to do as she pleased. Sadly, she probably never considered the lengths to which her male offspring would take that declaration or how the sway of hips would end up biting her female offspring on the butt  literally. 

So is it really a man’s world? I think I will let you come to your own conclusion as you learn more about the world. However, as you observe this world I hope to show you the beauty that lies within it, but also the pain that attempts to overshadow that beauty. I hope to show you that whatever label they slap on the world, with a little hope, a little contentment, a  heart full of prayers and a sturdy cheerleading squad (ME !!!) you can make your little niche as peaceful and wholesome as one possibly can.

They say vehemently back home in Nigeria that a woman is nothing without a man. To a given extent they have started to question that line of thought, you can’t imagine how grateful I am for that slight change. But has it really changed? If the man treats the woman right as he ought they say “the woman is NOTHING without a good man” but if he treats her wrong they say “the woman is not-a-thing with a bad man”, or “the woman is nothing with a bad man”. What do they mean by all this, again I will let you decipher the meaning. 

In line with the above thoughts my daughter, I hope to show you that a woman is SOMETHING, something, some-times-a-thing, depending on how she sees herself, and how those around see her. If I don’t give you anything else my lovely child, I hope through your formative years to give you an inner voice that speaks calming and loving through corrections, and applauses alike. This I hope will draw you closer to your inner self, a self capable of shutting out the different precedents barked at the woman depending on where she finds herself. A peaceful voice that leaves no doubt in your mind that you are SOMETHING, and that sometimes in other to precipitate change it’s okay to be ‘something’ but that it is never ever okay to let yourself or anyone else make you feel like a ‘thing’.

Finally they declare strongly in the United Kingdom that the woman is equal to man. This sounds ways better than what we have back home, but is it really better? From my understanding this places the sum total of a woman’s worth subject to how the man values himself. Why isn’t she worth something simply based on what she is worth. Is man the zenith of perfection? The entire definition of success? Please do not misunderstand me my darling child, I am not here to preach heresy but the way I see it, Man IS, Woman IS, because God IS. If we are in his image then the only person I should desire to look like or be ‘equal’ to in potential, in right to advocate a better life for myself should be God. Once again I emphasize that I do not preach heresy, but if I must strive to attain any freedom, any height it must be to live the best godly life that I am capable of living regardless of who’s beside me.

So my darling child on this day when we celebrate the girl child I want you to know without a doubt that I will walk through the tantrums with you, I will supply the powder for the pink powder explosions and the permanent ink for colouring in the dark moods whenever they show up, if they show up. I was scared at the start but with each day I become bolder as my love for you grows. Bolder and hopefully wiser to face all our tomorrows regardless of what it throws up before us. 

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The story that is us.

The story that is us, is the story

of delicate tendrils stretching through red soil.

The gods foretold its future,

‘cursed is the seed left un-watered 

beneath the haze of golden rays.

For though it carries the future,

it shall wither like

the cracks on the heels of a sojourner in the desert.

The story that is us, is a story

of angry tears beating down viciously on a smile.

The gods declare 

it is a rainbow 

hope in the midst

of opposing yet interlinked natural events.

Tomorrow shall yet come,

as surely as the tortoise has a home in its shell.

The story that is us, is a story

of shoots reaching out to golden rays

beckoning for a hug.

Chanting  ‘I know not when nor how

but one day I shall spread my branches high to the heavens

and my roots down to squash hades.

The gods are bemused,

for the story that is us

is not theirs to write but for the future to unravel.

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As thy self …

I got to the bus stop minutes ahead of the bus, did my regular inventory:

Ticket ……..  X

Purse ………  X

Shopping bag …… X

Phone ….. X

Everything was in place, ready to board the bus. There’s only two of us waiting for the bus, which reduces any likelihood of having to stand for the journey. The bus pulls up right on time and my fellow passenger courteously indicates that I should board first. I confidently place my prepaid ticket on the scanner and it’s not long before reality sinks in; my ticket has expired. I reach into my purse only to discover I didn’t have enough change to pay the fare. Oh well, turns out I hadn’t done the most important inventory after all, have I? Turning to disembark from the bus, I hear the other passenger calling me back and without much ado my fare is paid.  I felt the tears start to pool in my eyes.

I could say the passenger paid my fares for several different reasons

  1. He had excess money
  2. He took pit on my bump
  3. He wanted to show he wasn’t racist (I know right, how much more political can the mind get?)
  4. Or simply it was a kind act sent my way, a reminder that the universe still had atoms of agape love floating through the stratosphere.

One could also wonder why I would get on the bus without a valid ticket or cash in my purse:

  1. Baby brain (yeap a reliable get out of jail free card)
  2. I was hoping for a miracle.( I hope for one every morning anyways)
  3. Or I thought my week long ticket would run from Tuesday to Tuesday rather than Tuesday to Monday (having only bought this for the first time). And I don’t carry extra cash because I  keep looking for random things to buy. 

Thankfully I didn’t repeat the same mistake again on my way home, however I made a different one. As a student I am entitled to a discount on my fares, but I need my identity card to get this discount. I guess you know by now how that went today, I didn’t have my ID card at hand so no discount for me. Having paid my fare, I sat down for a short reflective ride home.

I wondered how trivial life issues can be and how we sometimes derive false value and identity from the things we have and the circumstances that surround us. I could view everything that happened to me today as a serious turn of misfortune and sad occurrences in my life. I could overlook the kind act in the morning by thinking of how it should not be happening to someone like me at this stage of my life. I should have a car, I should, I should ….. 

In life our self image is revolved around three things

I am ….. who we are and whose we are. Our strengths, our weaknesses.

I have ….. what resources we have:  family, friends, money, property etc never devalue anything.

I can …. how we pull things together to help us.

But we must never anchor who we are on what we have or what we can pull together. Our core should be based on the ‘I AM’. Every other thing is subject to change and depreciation. A friend who carries you at 20 (both mentally and physically) might not be available to carry you at 60/80 for several different reasons (death, old age, falling apart, distance etc). Isn’t it amazing how the ‘I AM’ controls how you relate with the I have and I can components. You can’t receive or give what you’re not.

Love thy neighbour as thy self.

You will value your neighbour as you value your self.

I will be back …..

20170711_110003.jpgMy new car spied on my way home.

 

 

 

(RIP) Here lies …. a bundle of reactions.

As the last child it’s often impossible to escape the shadows cast by your siblings. Your name becomes obscure as many refer to you as XYZ’s little sister. The chances of people remembering your name are not very high, this is not necessarily because they don’t know it or forget it, rather they have fallen into the habit of seeing your elder ones before they see you, thus their names (your elder ones) come to mind first. I found the spoken and sometimes unspoken expectation to have me mirror the ideals, behaviours and traits of my siblings the most frustrating aspect of this shadowing effect.

I really wanted to escape the canopy effect my siblings had on my life and the opportunity to do so came in the form of university choices. I chose a school many miles from home and although my elder brother had attended the same school he had graduated long enough to dispel all shadowing effects on my life. Physically distancing myself from this phenomenon refereed to as shadowing, to a certain extent did me a world of good. It helped me find myself, to test the strength and bases of my belief, but it also highlighted how intrinsic the values and personality traits I had tried to escape were a part of me.

Perhaps one of the many lessons of growing older is the gradual realization that we are a large picture comprising of different puzzle pieces. Puzzle pieces shaped by our varied life experiences, human and cosmic encounters. The best part of the puzzle lies in the fact that different pieces can be moved around to fit the edges of our life or form the core of who we are. Secondly we can afford through due diligence to eliminate and replace certain pieces as we please, however unlike a cardboard puzzle there will always be an imprint of that  piece in our memory. 

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Memory, emotions, the mind … I suppose that’s what makes us different from the people who have shaped our lives. This ideology is supported by Karl Rogers and Erickson’s ideologies on human growth and development. Yes we are a sum of everything that happens to and around us, this might be considered by some as our true self’s. However, perhaps our true self’s doesn’t stop at this level but goes further to how we interpret those events and what we do with that interpretation.

If the saying that “we have only 10 percent control over  what happens to us and 90 percent control over how we react” is true, would  it be  safe to assume that people who live in self denial haven’t embraced their true selves? How about those who live life trying to anticipate the moves of others, basing every action or thought on the anticipated moves of another? Are they cautious, manipulative or untrue to self? 

When we anticipate people’s moves and act accordingly aren’t we short changing ourselves from learning who they really are? More importantly aren’t we short changing ourselves, as only life experiences can truly expose the foundations our true ourselves. I am by no means advocating a careless lifestyle or a rude personality. I just find myself wondering if such a cautious life isn’t a limiting and unrealistic one. I question the validity and dependability of principles lived by being a bundle of reaction to for everyone around you.

Isn’t that what we become when everything we do is foreshadowed by our anticipated or pre- planned outcomes. We consistently respond not in the way we really want to but in the way that ensures we have absolute control of the 10 percent which really belongs to others. Sadly I think in doing that we give over control of the 90 percent without knowing.  We hedge ourselves into a corner which never spreads out into a large square, rather like a column we wrap ourselves round in people’s reaction until we become invisible. Often times when that environment becomes stifling we burst open like a house hit by a tornado.

Don’t know about you but I wouldn’t want to be everything to all men, as each man desires sometime different from everyone each time. I rather be something to some people and accept that I might never be anything to some others. Would it be better to die a bundle of reactions or a bundle of actions?

To a fair maiden at court.

Where loyalty means naught,

gossip runs amok the corridors of gentry.

‘Tis wisdom to fold the tongue within

lest a knife they find beneath your breast at morn.

Alas not a soul will be held to ransom

for this ghastly deed; for it is the way of the gentry,

is it not?

To kill in the shades of darkness

 for the sake of a ale come ‘morrows eve.

Oh fair maiden ’tis the truth I speak

say not to one ’tis such that ails me.

What help is a Samaritan to a Jew

or a Jew to a Samaritan

if the oath of humanity is not revered by both.

‘Do unto another … as you will them do unto you’

Tis not help they seek to offer my beloved

but a morsel of fat they hope to gain

an offering to grease the sizzling pans of gossip.

For to truly help another

the sands on their heels must not be ignored

nor the scars on their backs.

From this they have been shaped

From this they must shape the future

guided with dignity

and not the arms of a narcissistic saviour.

Oh fair maiden heed my advice

Stay far from the morsel of gossip

it breeds you nothing but a soul fattened with maggots.

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Daily bread

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……….give us this day our daily bread

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some have food, but cannot eat

some can eat, but have no food.

We found food and we can eat

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Once was a time, when daily bread was a major need

from eras marked by; boars roasted over open fires,

fruits picked fresh from forest floors

broths made in pans enough to feed a neighbourhood.

To new one’s filed with; fancy dishes vibrant with colours

fruits grown in air filled with who knows what

meals that leave your tongue tingly with pleasure

but bellies hollow with churning walls.

What then was the essence of daily bread?

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Man has indeed come a very long way

from meeting basic needs to creating greedy vacuums

Man has indeed come a long way

from conquering the wild to conquering his neighbour

Man has travelled far…..

very far from the person he was or sort to become to the person he despised.

In the search of daily bread

steal not the flour for todays child.

Lazy, confused or maladjusted…. just not depressed.

A dark cloud hanging over me.

A heavy cloak sloping the angles of my shoulder.

A weight I can’t lift regardless of my hours in the mental gym.

That’s how depression feels to me and it’s a dark a place to be in. I think everyone suffers from a bout of depression at some point in life. How long and intense the bout  is will differ for each person. I think my first memory of something akin to depression was at the monthly visit from nasty Aunty Flo and her mumbling child cousin red. I never had  any major physical pain at that time of the month, but I experienced huge emotional upsets. One minute I was happy, the next I was quite irritable and very sensitive to tactile sensation.

I craved my own personal space. I became a lot more solemn and for a young person who was already drawn into herself that was not a good place to be. It made me uncomfortable to be around and left me feeling guilt over how I snapped at people during those times. At first  the guilt made me apologetic to the point of self-depreciation but with time it emboldened me to shut people out of my life who couldn’t be patient or demanded too much to be around. I guess because I didn’t have any physical pain it took me a while to come to terms with these monthly mood swings who’s side effects lingered almost to the start of another cycle.

Regardless of my several short-term encounters with mood swings and depression nothing prepared me for the descent into the black hole when I moved to the UK. I have always thought of myself as an adventurous person; a -jump-into the pond head first kind of girl. I guess in the past it had always paid off such that I never really sat back to think of the ways I could have done better or eliminated more risk and stress factors. And it was such reassurance that emboldened and perhaps exaggerated my expectations beyond realistic limits.

Please watch the video.

First there was the drastic change in weather, I felt like someone had moved the walls of the sauna and fitted a freezer in without telling me.  So there’s me sitting all comfy and relaxed in my towel, but when I try to move I find my butt frozen stiff on the chair. For some people the weather change was a welcome reprieve but for a girl who rarely, if ever had the air-condition on a hot sunny day in Nigeria it was hell literally. I know right why bother moving, didn’t I know about the weather? Well yes I did, but that’s were my unrealistic expectation streaks start to show in my perfect armour of confidence.

The situation only got worse with the increasing expectations of marriage, motherhood, an unclear career path and a poor support system. I couldn’t think straight or clearly. I just wanted ‘to be’, a state of existence that allows you hold your breath until the storm ebbs. Life however rarely gives you the space to just ‘be’, it goes on. Through all this I have learnt certain things:

  • Depression isn’t anyone’s identity; how it makes you feel or act isn’t you. In the same way you aren’t the flu, you are not depression.
  • Acknowledging that you’re depressed won’t make you less black, less stronger than your ancestors who got traded as slaves or more selfish than your neighbour who lays her life down daily for everyone.
  • Battling daily or occasionally with depression doesn’t disappoint God, just as praying and working everyday for a better future doesn’t make Him think of us as ingrates.
  • Depression puts a sad twist to normal life occurrences, it blows normal conflicts and everyday mishaps out of proportion. Making us run away from dealing with them, procrastinating and hoping it goes away.
  • It drains us of physical and mental energy. You literally feel drab. Feeling tired and stressed are open pathways for depression. Rest when you need it.

Certain things helped me through those days, I went back to the things I simply loved doing and things that brought me comfort. I needed to grow my confidence, to find my inner strength and trust there was a future out there for me. One were I could trust my judgement again and my inner voice. It’s a daily task to keep the black dog away, but slowly I know it can be done. Never be afraid of criticism or negative words, will they hurt? Most definitely, but make sure you have a support network that helps you sieve through things objectively. Ask questions and be willing to move ahead. More than anything else stay true to your inner self and never wish anyone ill as it only spirals inwards eventually.

Please watch the video.

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Easter’s hope

20160927_190919On a night like this,

beneath clouds of white concrete

a cradle of motionless stars;

I sit and ponder,

the mystery of a king

trading his life for a starry eyed wonderer.

What would he have said

of this wooden jungle grounded in concrete,

mini-cages holding lives

he wills the gift of freedom,

healing rooms that cure the coffin

but not the bone.

Aye! I ask myself,

what would he have thought,

of boxes that look within but see not the person,

of mirrors that speak the truth

in syllabus that only the deaf comprehend.

Of little value is the spring dew

to the flesh of a spirit languishing from thirst.

On a night as such,

beneath white concrete clouds

I ask myself

of what use are stars

if they lead us nowhere in the dark.

If ….

If all the knives in the house were bread knives

with what would we butter our toast.

If all the knives in the house were matches

with what would we cut out vegetables.

If all the knives were the same

what a grace-less act it would be enjoy a simple meal

and a horrendous ordeal to chop the wood with a table knife.

If you and I were the same,

of what use is the day and night?

All for nought would be the

strings of silence played by the mid-night breeze.

All for nought the

chorus of birds at the command of a rising sun.


A hearty welcome to all new followers, viewers and faithful virtual friends, you gladden my heart. On this quest were many cry ‘abandon this infatuation’ I sincerely appreciate all those who haven’t dissented.

Happy Easter.

When stupid starts to define you

Definition of stupid: 

  • lacking intelligence or common sense.
  • slow of mind.
  • given to unintelligent decisions or acts.
  • acting in an unintelligent or careless manner.
  •  lacking intelligence or reason.

We make certain risky choices because we don’t know better, sometimes we pick the easier choice because we lack patient or  the will power to forge ahead. On rare occasions we make a choice simply because we are overwhelmed  or confused by the wealth of information available to us. like a soiled nappy trails a baby, our choices shadow our steps into the future.

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There are other times when our life choices seem stupid to others, it just doesn’t make sense to them. Labels are quickly brandished without caution, overtime this idea of who you’re presumed to be is affirmed in their minds by the fact that one never departs from one’s ideology.

In an age were rapid answers, rapid friendships, rapid gratification, rapid growth, rapid, rapid, rapid anything is considered the norm; an age were aggression or garrulousness are synonyms for assertive, and gossip is considered keeping abreast of things; one must not be afraid to be stupid. 

We frown at Trumps ideas but in the same vein we pull down another to achieve our aims, after all we want it now don’t we? We vent our frustration for not getting things exactly the way we want it on another by boxing others off and labelling them, perhaps a reflection of the same labels firmly sewn unto the hems of our heart, brains and minds in extra large sizes. Life on the fast lane is bound to have casualties and it might as well be them. It has absolutely nothing to do with your speeding gauge and ignorance of the other road users.

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In an age where everyone wants to belong, same huge eyebrows (waxed, trimmed and pencilled in within an inch of it’s original life), same shoes, same clothes, same pout, same laughter and even lashes. It’s okay to be stupid if stupid means you stay true to you. It doesn’t mean blind loyalty to your flaws, No. In the same way one doesn’t wash out a stain with the hope of bleaching the entire fabric or wash a dirty dish with the hope of rinsing the decoration/design off, we must treat our flaws.

It’s okay to be stupid, in a world where up is down and fair is subject to who wins the stakes. It’s okay to be stupid in a world where everyone stands for everything like footballers defending the goalpost against a penalty except when the ball comes everyone finds a good corner to hide.

It’s okay to be stupid, I suspect it’s the new synonym for individuality.