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Friday Reflections

1.) "I rarely  meet men in real life as extraordinary as ones on film, and rarely see women on film as extraordinary as ones I know in real life." - Twitter User, @SmartAssJen

2.) Plus size fashion can't and shouldn't be ignored anymore.

3.) Questions for Cory Taylor about dying. This might sound cliche but the article gave me renewed sense of appreciation for life; a renewed disdain for pettiness and trivial issues; and a huge amount of courage to tackle life's adversities with appreciation. Because ultimately, good times and bad times still amount to good memories.

4.) The email Hilary Clinton's pastor sent to her the day after she lost the election. I have a new saying: SUNDAY IS COMING!

4.) "HBO’s Confederate takes as its premise an ugly truth that black Americans are forced to live every day: What if the Confederacy wasn’t wholly defeated? African Americans do not need science-fiction, or really any fiction, to tell them that that 'history is still with us.'" - Ta-Nehisi Coates

5.) Here is a cold feedback from an entrepreneur who left her day job to pursue her dreams.

6.) This writer explained why she hid her second pregnancy from the internet. Spoiler alert: answer is somewhat in number 7 :)

7.) What I'll say regarding number 6 is that the decision to announce your pregnancy on social media, as with other social media displays like a new boyfriend can be tricky sometimes. Ultimately though (and this sounds cliche) do what YOU like, but try not to be so paralyzed with the fear of losing a thing that you don't celebrate it at all. Even if things [say a relationship] eventually go sour; it doesn't negate the good times.

8.) I just watched Manchester by the Sea. It's a really good movie, which despite the humor and astute dialogue, I just couldn't quite get past the sadness. The emotions were almost overwhelming, and spoiler alert: it didn't leave me feeling good. But it had the most realistic ending. This is the most comprehensive review, but also features lots of spoilers.

A Summer Update and Some Rambling

A summer update and some rambling.

I follow this incredible girls' empowerment page on Instagram. It is for:

"...fly girls who defy expectations and navigate the world on their own terms. A community. A philosophy. A safe space."

Anyway I love it.

Speaking of Instagram, follow me on Instagram! When life gets in the way of long, detailed posts, I'm pretty sure I'll still be able to post snippets there.

But more to the point, this picture struck a chord in my heart.





Isn't it just true? I remember explaining to my siblings that someone I know was enthusiastically and happily stunning for the current head of the executive branch aka a former reality tv show star aka thrice married, social media-in-chief. Now ordinarily, political differences is not enough [in my opinion] to sow a discord in any relationship. But as we have seen in recent times, it's now beyond politics and partisanship; it speaks to your values and what you hold true. Now if you were a white male, I would understand [sort of] that you are just a selfish person who cares about no one else. Okay. But this person in question isn't just black like me, he is an immigrant as well. I know too well the opportunities that his being in America has provided for him and his family. I know him so much that  I know everything donald stands for works against this dude. It's like deliberately voting AGAINST your own interest. I don't get it. Not to mention, he is a Christian. So my sister suggested just screen-munching the headlines of the day to this person to show him his folly. Because pick at random any headline, and you would see that our political leaders are not doing right by us. I just said, you know what, I am done. If I have to explain to you how this administration hurts you, well then...you are a lost cause. Do what you like.

So yes I have OUTGROWN FRIENDS WHO THOSE WHO DON'T TAKE A STAND AGAINST IGNORANCE AND INJUSTICE.

I have outgrown so many things. I don't know what it is, but my tolerance for BS reduces everyday. I am still working on outgrowing shrinking myself for people who are intimidated by my intelligent and opinionated self. I still sometimes worry about being "too much". I tell myself it's humility, but it's not. So may God help me to be unapologetically me.

I also hate small talks. Ugh. So I will avoid them at all costs. Humans of NY posted this woman's story yesterday. And I kept terming it "Goals", which is something I never do. No one's life is so great that I would want mine to be an exact replica, to be honest. But there was something about her approach to life. When someone asked what exactly made her "goals" to me. I just thought, you wouldn't understand no matter how hard I explained. The joy she radiated. The attitude and disposition towards life were admirable.




I have also overgrown society telling us how to live.



I find that people haven't yet realized how completely different human beings are from one another. So they try to dictate hard and fast rules that typically exclude people that have different temperaments. One instance is aggressive networking. I don't believe very much in it [please don't be like me oooh. Network like your life depends on it.] But I'm more of the let your work speak for you type. More on this later. I also for instance don't believe in finding your passion. So I'm different, in many ways. This isn't always good news, but I'm learning to manage my individuality. Which often than not means having to not always explain life choices every time because it's...different. And yes even to friends.

So believe me when I say I'm taking my advice  in cutting out that and those not beneficial to my mind, soul, and body.

Well, that was a long update, wasn't it?

Oh, and just because I haven't posted on this blog in August (SMH), I also want to wish my parents well here as well.



They celebrated 30 years of marriage at the beginning of August and that was awesome. People complain about what a bad rap marriage gets these days, so I like to shout out to my parents a lot so people can see that a good, long-lasting marriage is possible with the grace of God.


Love,

I


On Taking Care of Your Mental Health and Avoiding Depression

A [social media] acquaintance of my brother is going through a very rough phase of depression and suicidal thoughts, which then brought about our discussion of mental health and depression. Certain matters came up and then I decided to blog about it. Mental health is VERY important. Do not take it lightly. More so, since the current rate of suicides among young folks is becoming alarming. Anyway, here goes a list of things that can help with your mental health:

1.) Seek Help. First things first. If you have physical pains, say in your stomach or your head, you would go to the doctor or find some way to address it, right? Well the same goes for your mental health. You need to seek help somehow. Once you have constant depressive episodes and/or thoughts of suicide, it is imperative to seek help. Talk to someone: maybe family, a trusted friend, or seek the help of a professional. Some people spent a chunk of their adult years in school studying and learning this stuff. They have been trained to help you; to evaluate your lifestyle to determine causes of and kinds of depression; and if necessary prescribe medication for you. Therapists/counselors are everywhere. Use their services. And if you can't afford it, then another suggestion is to look to religious leaders. You don't even have to believe. What we say in my church is "you can belong before you believe". Just seek help somehow if what you're experiencing is too much for you to handle. If you are worried about the stigma (and thankfully people are less critical these days), but you don't have to tell everyone you are going to a therapist. Your therapist would also be bound by ethics to not reveal it to anyone.



2a.) Guard your heart. This is crucial. Everyone is woke these days and that's a good thing. The problem is an overload of information. So on a regular day on social media, people are hashtagging something, or protesting something, or crying about famine and human trafficking, or insulting donald, or racism or colorism, or bigotry. SOMETHING is always happening. Now if you are very sensitive, it's bound to affect you somehow. The helplessness in all of it alone can send you into a spiral of depression. The bitterness and vitriol. The anger. It can be exhausting and overwhelming. TUNE out. Yes, unfollow. Unsubscribe. Do what you can to protect yourself. Now at first, you will feel guilty about that because these activists and woke people are doing the Lord's work by crying out against injustice. But you also need to look out for you.

"Being woke is not an excuse to walk in lovelessness"- Preston Perry

There is only so much you can do. Also you can  NOT change the world. I don't care who you are; nobody can.  So unfollow and get yourself some peace. I'm not saying be quiet about injustice. I'm saying move at your own pace. Protest and resist your own way. The very interesting fact about the world we live in is despite everything going on, this is the most peaceful the world has been in most of history. Yes. Our ancestors were worse than us.  If you feel helpless, then volunteer in your local community. Or just give [no matter how little] to a local charity doing what tugs your heart the most. You'd be surprised how much that can help.

2b) Based on 2a above, study your triggers. How does it start? What is that thing that constantly makes you downcast, and brings heaviness to your heart? Does sexual violence bother you. Then maybe don't watch Game of Thrones. Maybe don't watch Law and Order SVU. Maybe the thought of slavery angers you so much, you can almost feel the anger physically. Then don't follow the producers that have decided to create a new show based on an alternate world where slavery still exists. I did not make that up. I digress. There are lighthearted options. Modern Family, How I Met Your Mother etc. would make you laugh so hard, you'd forget all of life's problems. Whatever you do, guard your heart FIERCELY.  Make sure you maintain your atmosphere.

3.) Try not to always live in your feelings. Your feelings don't own you. You own them. You will often feel sad, discouraged, angry... Don't dwell on them. Don't succumb to them. Speak what's real unto your life. Speak what God has said unto your life. Talk to your soul, to yourself.
Speak faith. Speak love. Speak assurance. Most especially, remind yourself of God's goodness and greatness. You will be constantly tempted to drown in your pool of emotions. Try to resist that temptation. I'm not so naive as to think everyone is a Christian. So even if you are not a Christian, you can still speak positivity into your life. Scientific research has proven how much that works. This obviously does not come easily. But so many things in life don't, and so far you have managed to achieve some of them despite the terrible odds. I'm a cynic by nature and a little bit of a pessimist myself. But I'm also a Christian. A while ago, I had to pick which one to surrender to. You guessed right. I chose to believe Jesus.

4.) This too will pass. My favorite. To be completely fair, there are some tough life situations that won't actually pass, but can be managed. However, MANY things including but not limited to [romantic] heartbreaks ALWAYS pass. Please and please and please, do not give any human so much power over you that their breaking up with you harms your mental health. I promise you, no human being is worth that much. You will be fine. There are literally millions of human beings; you will find another love.

Finally, God isn't afraid of our feelings so go ahead and tell Him how you feel. Also try to take care of your body. The physical can sometimes help the emotional. Eat well, exercise, avoid stress if you can. Immerse yourself in a community of solid friendships and relationships.  Like I always say we have an extraordinary amount of resilience in us, and we are built to weather through storms and survive. We will be okay.

Love,

I

P.S: here are helpful things to do when the waiting period seems like it's going to last forever.

Friday Reflections

1.) Please read this on why judging the poor is faulty logically. If you read carefully, you will also learn how one can do everything right but still get it wrong.

2.) When you hate political drama, but also love it. Lol. American politics is devolving. I guess we have to praise the Democrats and three Republicans who were able to save lives by voting no on repealing Obamacare

3.) Summer is really not going as planned but I'm still thankful. Plus remember this advice on what to do when things don't go as planned?

4.) I shared on Instagram that I watched this and  learnt a whole lot about the will of God. I learnt how sometimes the will of God doesn't look "pleasant". In fact the wilderness you are in might be the will of God.

5.) Follow me on Instagram. I have always wanted a space on social media to share short inspirational and motivational messages, so I created one.

6.) I can't believe (just kidding, I actually can) the president of these United States went on National T.V to encourage brutality against "gang member". Wow.

7.) American like to believe they are superior to everybody else. This is a lie. Even the very institutions that has always prevented from sinking low is now being threatened.

8.) People love a sob story, and more than anything, people love being the "savior".

9.) I am fit fam until I get a hold of Haagen Dazs.

10.) Another phase is over.

11.) Do you think guys sometimes propose because the relationship got boring and they needed something interesting/worthy of hype? I do.


Friday Reflections

1.) An open letter to clergy who prayed with Trump.

2.) A girl and a woman 58 years apart talk about life.

3.)  So did a man and a boy 57 years apart. Quite interesting.

4.) People who are trying and working hard to change the world don't spend all their time talking and tweeting about it, they just do.

5.) My girl, Mindy  Kaling is pregnant with her first child!!!

6.) Can you imagine your close friend being pregnant and you don't know who the father of her child is though? I mean, that's basically not friendship haha

7.) Did you see this practical advice on what to do while you are waiting for that big thing?

8.) Ugh I'm so sorry about Chester Bennington. I really didn't know him that well, but lots of people were very bugged down by it.

9.) Depression is very complex and multifaceted. BUT it can be dealt with. I really hope and pray people struggling can find something, someone to life them from the pit-hole.

10.) Even I don't have an explanation, but I know an answer: Jesus, the calm in the storm.

On Practical Things To Do When The Waiting Period Seems To Last Forever

Hello people!

*Try to flip hair*

*Realize that hair is too kinky and crack neck in the process*

Re do.

Hello people!

*pats hair*

That's better.

Hahaha

Seriously now. I think I should have done this a little bit earlier. But actually, it's the right time. I suppose many graduates are home now; doing the waiting game. Waiting to hear back from places you applied to. Or maybe not graduates; maybe just regular people. Maybe things are not going as you planned, which is 99% of the time in life. Seriously, the earlier everyone accepts that life rarely goes as planned, the better for everyone. So yes, you had planned the perfect summer, you had planned the perfect year, indeed you had planned the perfect life, but it's not working. Or nothing is happening right now. What do you do while you wait? How do you maximize the time? Here are a couple of suggestions.



1.) Pray: when I say pray, I don't necessarily mean badger God for that exact plan/thing you envisaged. That's not exactly a bad thing. But the essence of prayer here is to learn to relinquish your plans for God's plans. A lot of times our fixation on perfection and our own plans prevents us from noticing progress or even enjoying the present. This is what praying and seeking God helps you do. Also it helps with peace of mind and an ability to trust God. So spend time with God, getting to know more about God, listening to preachers who share God's word, and learning to have a discerning spirit, which of course you would need further down the line.


2.) Shut down social media and build your mental strength: This varies. Social media is fun. But it also can be very, very toxic. All hail the mother devil, Instagram. While you are going through a tough time, it's not especially the ideal time to watch people pretend to be living their best lives on social media. So you might need time away to clear your head. You might also need time away to keep you from bouts of envy. I mean, imagine just breaking up with the love of your life only to see everyone getting engaged or those gorgeous but flamboyant pregnancy shoots. Yeah, no. Or imagine being jobless and then logging on to see your old schoolmates bag the job of YOUR dreams, and seeing them travel the world. It's never easy, even for the best of us. At that moment, we are never logical enough to think that everyone puts their best foot forward on social media, and the pictures you see are only snapshots and peeks into perhaps, otherwise turbulent lives. That being said, it's important to become mentally strong, because you will need it in life. So learn to stop comparing your life with others; learn to stop throwing a pity party for yourself; learn to understand that sometimes things are bad, other times they are good. Indeed people's lives may be as perfect as they portray and no matter how much you convince yourself its all a facade, it really isn't. So until you learn true contentment, just stay off social media. Or keep it, and build your mental strength.

3.) Journal: maybe it sounds mushy mushy, but it helps. It helps you to think. It helps you glean from God/holyspirit/introspectiveness on what is next and how you want to move forward. You would also be able to look back and see how far God has brought you. And best of all, it's therapeutic to describe exactly how you feel. Knowing how you feel also helps with dealing with it.

4.)Open your eyes to see what lessons God has for you: this is sort of a piggyback to the last point. But every season/situation/problem most likely has a lesson for you in it. Sometimes they are not very glaring, but there are lessons. Is it a test in patience? Or in preparation? Or in hard-work? Or to get you ready for a completely different phase of life?

5.) Learn/Explore/Do something different: we all have that one thing we have always wanted to do or learn. Do it now. I'm not going to give some silly, elitist advice like travel the world or work for free or go skydiving. No. If you can't afford it, don't bother your head. But there are things you can do: learn a language? read a book? learn to code? re-read a book? write a book? learn graphic design? Maybe that concept you were taught but never really grasped because were too busy? Well, there is time now. YouTube is filled with [free] resources. The internet is filled with tons of resources. Allow for fun too; yes binge watch your favorite shows or do whatever your definition of fun is.

6.) Create a new vision: Unfortunately, it would be a lie if I said everything always works out perfectly. It doesn't. Sometimes your biggest plans fail. Sometimes you will not get that job, sorry. But is that the end? No. Re group. Someone asked TD Jakes how to continue life/cope after her divorce, because she felt like her life was over. His response was profound:

"What makes you feel like you have lost your life is that you have lost what you had in mind for your life. Which means you need a  new vision for yourself; one that does not include someone that no longer chooses to be a part of your life."

I feel like you can apply this to almost anything. Create a new vision, a new dream, something completely different if the prior plan has failed. Things and plans and even people fail. That's okay too.

One last thing is to learn to live beyond your feelings. Please, this can't be overemphasized. We can't be consumed by our feelings all the time; it's so fleeting. Our feelings should have no control over us. I have to write an entire thing on this. The root of most problems is dwelling in our feelings AND letting it conquer us. Anyway, I digress.

This is way longer than I thought, but I hope it helps someone out there going through a waiting period that seems to be lasting forever. This, too shall pass. It usually always does.


Love,

I

Friday Reflections

1.)This Hell Not Mine: On Moving from Nigeria to America.

2.) See this outstanding and profound essay on the place of dance in the midst of pain, depression, and powerlessness.

3.) I'm constantly learning and re-learning to be my own person.

4.) Contentment or complacency?

5.) On the power of prayer especially in tough seasons.

6.) Stop searching for your passion. "You don't follow your passion, your passion follows you."

7.) How is it that we (as human beings) can hammer on for years about a tragedy or misfortune, but are conspicuously quiet about triumphs? Quite interesting.

8.) This "sliding into DMs" business. Please slide out of my DMs and back to your lane.

9.) Nigerian [young] women are getting increasingly progressive, whereas the [young] men have refused to leave the 18th century.

10.) First responders are real-life, everyday heroes. I just watched Sully :)

11.) "The dating pool becomes much smaller when you refuse to compromise on misogyny & bigotry." This is a real tragedy. And what stinks is how prevalent misogyny is even among VERY well educated guys; I just don't get it.

12.) I can't believe it's 10 years since we finished from QC (my secondary/high school). For all of its problems, that school gave me the gift of lifelong friends and countless memories.