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Friday Reflections

1.) How God messed up this atheist's happy life.


2.) April Kepner's formidable strength is admirable. Honestly, Sarah Drew has been FIRE this season; it is incredibly sad to see her go.

3.) What I love about Kepner is how unlike TV's "baddest" women she is: not assertive or aggressive, but still filled with immense strength. That's something we can all relate to.

4.) I feel like often times tv shows and movies portray strong women and feminists as this formidable, assertive women who go for what they want, when they want it...whereas in real life many of us display our strength piece by piece and quietly (but not always successfully) fight for what we believe. Many of us actually doubt ourselves a lot, yet we are still quietly resilient.

5.) This profile on Chimamanda Adichie will make you love her even more.

6.) Read this to get a better understanding of the opioid and other drug addiction in Nigeria. Also big ups to BuzzFeed and that reporter for that stellar reporting; fantastic job!

7.) More women are speaking at Graduation ceremonies than ever before.

An Update and Some Life Lessons

I found this very old post I wrote on my phone while visiting Chicago in April(!) for a conference. And I thought to finally share it. I also put some notes in parentheses to reflect my comments from reading about my state of mind just merely two months ago. Enjoy!

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I visited Chicago for the first time!! But I weirdly didn't take pictures which makes no real sense lol. That place is cold and I understand winter has refused to leave everywhere, but the cold was especially troubling or shall I say the wind? I was also just recovering from being ill so it just was not the best trip. (Note: I was so sick in April; everyday I can eat and walk now is a testimony for me)

But I enjoyed it nonetheless! I went to present my work and that was mega successful and quite encouraging too.

Found this random and only picture I took with my friend, Barbara


P.S: I am writing this mile high and the lady beside me has her gaze fixated in the sky. I don't get people's obsession with window seats or the clouds. It's very interesting to me. Anyway, she's otherwise been a good passenger so no biggie. 

Today's life lesson (this sounded so pretentious but humor me please) is that we mostly only need one. Yes, one admission, one job acceptance, one spouse (except you are an ojukokoro), one car... of course, there are things in life that we require more than one for. But usually, one is enough. I say this because many times we apply for something and get many NOs or everyone but you is getting married, it is very easy to be discouraged or heartbroken about very many rejections. But before you give up hope, remember that eventually you can only attend a school at a time/marry one person at a time/insert whatever else here; your yes will come. Sometimes, it won't (you know, I'm always pragmatic). And it will be hard at first and you might never find out why you didn't get it, but you will be okay. 

The life I'm living now, there was a time I dreamed of if. And gosh it's so easy to forget that we have some of the things we wanted desperately. I know it is irritating to read someone else recount their blessings sometimes, (side eye at hashtag blessed folks) because I know life can be hard but if you think deeply, you would agree that God answers prayers. 

Anyway, this was supposed to be just a little encouragement for anyone reading to hang in there. Recently, medical doctors on Instagram did a "behind the square" challenge, during which many of them posted their real life struggles that might have otherwise not been obvious because we put out best selves out there and Instagram is the mother devil. So most people talked about how they were rejected from their dream schools/residency programs (whew I can write books on rejection) and other cool stuff like that. But one of my favorites, Lauren said,  look this life she has as a Harvard trained dermatologist, married to another Harvard trained doctor with 3 of the cutest kids on Instagram is her wildest dreams come true. And that while others' problems were being rejected from schools, hers was survival. Coming from the background she did (siblings in jail, uncles being gunned down), she never even thought she would make it out alive, much less get into Harvard medical school. So everything else, every new day she gets with her babies is a bonus.

Selah.

I hate to trivialize anyone's problems but damn if that doesn't get you thinking; about the hundreds of people definitely better than you but who never made it. I started to think, I know I'm not the best. Chiillllle, I'm GOOD but I'm not here because I'm the best. I'm here because grace found me. Somehow, I was lucky to be born into the family I have. You know, merely lucky and blessed to have parents who cared enough to invest in me; lucky enough to attend the schools I did; lucky enough to live in a free (albeit somewhat problematic) country with tremendous opportunities; lucky enough to have a tribe of great people supporting me and rejoicing when I win and encouraging me when I lose; lucky enough to have found God. 

So if I have God and I have them and I have good health, everything will be fine. I know, I know: what if you don't have good enough parents or tribe? Find them. It doesn't have to be blood relatives. Be that person for others and then before you know it you already have your own tribe. Whatever you do, relax. It will be okay. Remember to keep doing and moving; even when you get rejected, in the end, you will probably get one. And don't we mostly just need one? Trust God. Laugh. And be happy. After all, you are alive.

Love,

I

Friday Reflections

1.) Behold, another article/interview of Ellen Pompeo on how to own your shit.

2.) The Emir of Kano (and former Central Bank Governor) on being a modernist (and traditionalist), a polygamist, and Nigeria's governance


3.) If someone told me that I would learn one of the greatest lessons in faith on Grey's Anatomy, I would have said, not possible! But it happened, season 14 episode 17 did it; it taught me so much about faith. So darn much.

4.) I think the thing that has been consistent in Grey's is its theme that "no matter how dark it gets, the sun will rise again."

5.) And gosh April Kepner, as played by Sarah Drew is a brilliant character. I should write one of these for that character especially since Drew is leaving.

6.) This Meek Mill's situation is quite sad.

7.) Lol. I have had this list for so long  (without posting), that Meek Mill has now been released from prison. ha.

8.) What fullness is...on getting weight reduction surgery. The struggle, Lord Jesus. Can I just say this is why it's sometimes insensitive to comment on people's weight or other things like skin issues, you never know what the person is going through.

9.) This old post with interview of eye witnesses reminiscing (one year later) about the 2017 Oscar night fiasco, where La La Land was announced as the winner instead of Moonlight. Two things: first, people in Hollywood are very, very self-absorbed. Granted, it was an awkward night, but reading that article you'd think a war broke out that day or someone died. Gosh.

10.) Second, that's what happens when people like the Pwc accountant are more about all the hype than the job. And there are people like that in EVERY field: they care more about making lots of empty noises on social media about their jobs that actually doing their jobs or working. It irritates me.

11.) Speaking of the job over the hype, check out this badass woman building technology for women's health issues. I just love when people who are actually changing the world are doing it so quietly without all the hype or plenty noise or without an over-bloated ego.

12.) This article on 6 things the author thought she would do before 30, but definitely won't is quite satisfying and honestly, freeing. I especially love the points on diet and buying a house.

ON THE POWER OF WORSHIP PLUS A PLAYLIST PT.3

I forgot I had a blog. No, really, I forgot. Too much is happening: good and bad, and that's life and now I don't even worry as much about these things. But two things reminded me of my blog today. One was just my need and want for bringing out the creative side in me. I miss when I could call myself a writer or someone who wrote. Anyway, so as summer draws near (summer is actually here, cos we basically skipped spring and dove right into summer with what the weather is saying out), I want to be more creative: which basically, for me means writing! So I want to write more, which means blog more. Yay.

Second, I shared a song on IG stories today. My brother usually sends us (my sister and I) gentle reminders in form of various things to remind us of God's love, when we complain about all of our first world problems and how life (and people *ahem*) has been cruel to us. One of such things was a song and it became especially important  and apt yesterday as I recovered from all the overwhelming emotions of a significant part of my professional life (an exam I took). Relief. Fear. Anxiety. Joy. Angst. Regret. Hope. Everything in full force. But then I remembered this song! I was like I gotta share this: this can help others out there so I shared on IG stories, but that's rather temporary so I remembered my blog and here we are.

Before I continue, here is part one, part two, and somewhat of a part two point five of this playlist. Okay so the song is "While I'm Waiting" by Travis Greene. What a beautiful song, huh?!

While I'm waiting
I'm getting stronger
My faith is rising
And I will run on
While I'm waiting
I'm lifting up on wings as Eagles
I believe, I will trust in you.

What my eyes can't see
oh..I still believe
Everything that was spoken to me
There is no word that will come back void
I will trust the report of the Lord
God is not a man that he should lie
Every need he will supply
I will wait, I will not be moved

Waiting is hard for anyone. But you can wait and panic, or you can wait and NOT be moved. The latter option also comes with a lot of peace of mind. Meanwhile, it's truly best to think back and reflect on how God has come through for you in the past. Tried and tested method to keep faith. Because truly, for me it's often in my weakness that he shows his strength. Also my bible study/small group met yesterday and I think it was my best meetings yet. It was truly a good reminder of why God doesn't want us doing life/Christianity alone. There is something beautiful about being together and sharing life's struggles with people who love God and love you. It was quite an awesome meeting of strong, smart women who love God and life. I'm so glad I dragged myself out of bed and to yesterday's meeting. I was really fulfilled and encouraged. So yeah, beyond church, find a small group to meet with!!!

That's it. Happy to be back (or not). I do have some things typed out that I could publish if I feel like haha. Otherwise, here's to a blessed May!


Love,

I

An Engagement and My Mile High Pet Peeves

On to today's gist.

I recently made the shortest trip ever to witness one of my oldest friends get engaged. By oldest, I don't mean age; I mean one of the people I've known the longest.

our other friend and I actually did this! 

Now, unlike literally every other millennial out there, I, daughter of my esteemed parents and the most high God, do NOT like traveling. It disrupts my normal. My body fights it. I'm not able to eat and so much is outside my control. The only other thing I dislike more than traveling is flying. And the only think I dislike more than flying is flying on teeny weeny planes. I traveled to Toronto in Canada, which I jokingly refer to as a local flight because the flight is less than an hour. This meant it was a teeny weeny plane.

Anyway, while my reasons for disliking flying vary (such as my trust issues) one of the major reasons is you—yes, you human beings. Homo sapiens. Co-travelers. People suck. Sorry ha. My most recent trip was the perfect reminder that there are all kinds of people on a plane. Let's do a run down shall we?

The stubborn ones:
These stubborn people are the ones who just choose to disobey simple instructions. They break lines; they want to board before their group boards. And they extend this nonsensical behavior to the plane. Why can't you JUST TURN YOUR PHONE OFF when asked to? Why must you wait for the air hostesses to come over to specially remind you? So those two seconds can't be forfeited huh? The woman beside me was telling someone how much she loved them. I was thinking dude, this plane will land before my sister returns to her room from her kitchen (my sister's joke about my trip haha). So put off the darn phone and let's take off. Or the ones that defy the seatbelt sign. UGH. I don't think she eventually turned off her phone till we took off. You think you are cool; no, you are silly.

the city from above, just as we were landing

First time travelers:
Bless all of our souls, because we were all first time travelers at some point. No one was born with travel experience. But not everyone was an annoying first time traveler. We all hate turbulence. What we don't like is when first time travelers scream about how it's their first time flying and don't want to die. And they wail and scream and make the entire turbulence worse. I'm not going to act brand new and pretend the turbulence on my way back wasn't unnerving, it totally was. But man, close your eyes and pray to God or something. Please don't yell and cry and scream. Thank you.


Kids (not toddlers here; I mean teenagers):
These ones are just point blank obnoxious.  On my way to Toronto, a bunch of kids (about 4 of them or so) sat behind me. From the beginning of the one hour and twenty minutes journey till the end, they did not shut up for one second. They were literally screaming in the name of having conversations. They were incredibly chatty and it was the most inconvenient since I was trying to work. At some point, I felt like turning back and sealing their lips shut with scotch tape. But I did not.

Selfish people:
Who are we kidding? All of the above are a subset of this one. And I feel like this just encapsulates everything. Selfish people are obnoxious; they take your seat; take all of the overhead space; push their seats so backwards, it hurts your legs; spill things all over; yell for no reason either at co-passengers or over the phone. They are selfish.

Despite all these, flying is truly amazing. Honestly. Yeah it sucks but its just such a huge reminder that God is awesome. I mean those clouds😍

And the speed with which a plane moves? Only God could have blessed us (human beings) with the aptitude and wisdom to create such a thing.


All that being said, congrats M! I can't believe it. Little us from Emotan dorm 12 (in QC!) are now grown enough to get married and/or start families. God is good.

Love,

I

Friday Reflectons

1.) This video on the perils of big data sent a chill down my spine because it is very plausible and it's something we don't pay enough attention to. And as someone who works with lots of data in a field where they are obsessed with data more than contextual analysis, it's even more worrisome.

2.) See some of the cruel lies parents told their kids to get them to behave. Hahahaha. It's funny because I can't remember my parents telling me any such lies. They were very frank with me, as in, listen if you don't study and pass, your life will probably suck lmao. Or get in there now and make your bed.

3.) I feel quite bad for saying this & will prolly regret it, but isn't it laughable to say Kepner is a character representative of devout Christians? *chuckles*

4.) And no, her recent crisis of faith is not the reason for previous line; we all have had a crisis of faith.

5.) Seriously though, we need representation in form of characters who love God fiercely, and yet are fallible, and are incredibly smart, but still unapologetic about God and life.

6.) Ooohh just remembered one (RE number 2). I hated vegetable stew (efo riro) as a child, so my mom and brother told me if I ate it, I would be strong enough to beat my brother in a fight. loool.

7.) One of my fave bloggers is back, I think.

8.) Articles like this remind me that I still don't [fully] understand some aspects of American culture. The article is quite poignant and incredibly fascinating. As far as I know though, the typical Nigerian parent wants their child to be exponentially greater than them in EVERY aspect. So they do everything to better your life without ever spoiling or over indulging you.

9.) A quiet exodus: why blacks are leaving white evangelical churches.

10.)  Watch Charlize Therone and David Oyelowo teach each other Afrikaans and Yoruba, respectively.

11.) BRB, I'm watching Wonder Woman

International Women's Day 2018

Happy International Women's Day!

See here and here and here for my previous thoughts from previous years.

I don't have that much to say this year, other than there is still so much work to do. And we can't take our foot off the gas pedal now. This is also actually people's lives, so it's more than just being woke for the sake of it. Yes, you say all the right things, but check your biases. More than sharing stuff on social media, how are you making a difference in the lives of women around you? Are you creating a safe space? Investing in women's work? Respecting women? Contributing to opportunities for women? Supporting charities that help girls across the world?

This year's theme is "press for progress".  I especially love it because it gives women agency...it is a call to action so we can accelerate gender parity and equality. We should look out for one another and speak out. We should also learn to see women as more than just wives or daughters or moms. We are first of all, human beings! We are saying no to discrimination; to inequality; to sexual harassment and assault of all forms; we are demanding better.

Look, when you benefit from oppression, you become threatened by every possibility of it being dismantled. Men wrote the laws, they led the countries, they had the better jobs, only them voted for years. So of course our society is constructed to benefit them. Our society has been designed to benefit one half over the others. It will and must stop.

If you still think all this is unnecessary, it's because you are lazy. You are too lazy to do your research. It's that simple. If you don't understand how and why gender equality is important, your parents might have wasted their money on your education. If you retort to stupid statements implying education is what has made some of us radical with feminism; you are probably correct.


So I'm convinced if you are still ignorant, it's willful ignorance. You have chosen not to know. You have chosen a side: the side of injustice. And please, I hope we know that it's beyond such trite things as cooking or who pays for dates. It's much more. It is literally life and death. If you are one of those who think it's the white man's thing and foreign to our culture. As a matter of fact, it is not. Colonialism is what made our culture so patriarchal. Yoruba, for instance, is not a gendered language.  There is no special pronoun for women or men. I recently told my brother this and he was quite pleasantly surprised to learn that. Aba women, in the 30s led a fierce riot against fiscal oppression and burdensome taxation and WON. Three women started it. And don't get me started with Funlayo Ransome-Kuti.  I want to end #IWD2018 this year with an old caption from someone's Instagram.

"...it's not rocket science, it's not open heart surgery; feminism is a very very simple concept and for the people who have refused to utilize Google. Feminism is simply the advocacy of women's rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men. It's not about cooking, who pays on dates, who takes whose name. Those are simply aspects of a general wider movement, and not the root philosophy. Do you believe women should have the same political, social, and economic right as men? Then you're a feminist, kpom kwem.

If you believe in the subjugation of women, you are forever canceled. If you believe women are property, away with you. If you can find any justification for why women should be beaten by their partners, you are a monster. If you believe women should conform to a certain standard of behavior that is not expected of men, you are not intelligent. If you use 'slay queen' as an insult, you are razz. If you cannot respect a woman's sexual agency, you need to be locked up for public safety. If you think that the average man is superior to the average woman solely because of his gender then you need to return your parents school feed.

And finally, if you are a woman or man, but especially a woman, and you ever utter the words "I am not a feminist" we can never be friends and we can not relate. Because feminism is not a choice, it is not an option; it is and has been, an absolute necessity for the survival of the female gender. Therefore, if you are anti-feminism, you are anti-woman, and you are my enemy. 'Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters' Matthew 12 :30 " - Adaku Ufere.

So much for not having much to say haha. But yeah that quote covers it ALL. I could very well have said the exact words.

Also, yesterday was my birthday. Another year around the sun. I wrote on social media that I love the confidence that comes with growing older. And that's all I will say about that haha since this post is already long.

Love,

I