In Memory of 2015

It's that time of the year again! I am happy to be doing this, because this means I we survived. For the past two weeks, I have played the same song every morning while taking a shower; I have slept at the same time, and woken up at the same time. I have done the exact same thing each morning because I thrive on routine. I don't like spontaneity; I have to have planned everything ahead of time. I think that's what most of 2015 was for me: routine.  Usually, when starting this sort of reflective post, the pessimist in me (or perhaps, just human nature in general) wants to proceed with the negative. However, it took me a while to come up with those. Don't get me wrong, this year wasn't all rosy and/or filled with sunshine. There were patches of dark clouds and some rains. The best part however was that after every dark night, came morning.

"The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning."

For many around the world, 2015 was a painful year: terrorist attacks surged, hate crimes and civil unrests persisted, and economies plummeted. To say that it was a tumultuous year worldwide, would be a very great understatement. But I found peace within me, for the most part. Even when I would first become anxious and/or nervous, it usually ended with a manner of peace I didn't understand.

"And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

The year generally started well, and I settled comfortably into my routine. To be honest, in retrospect, it seems like a pretty uneventful year for me. I feel like I didn't do anything groundbreaking or earth-shattering. I didn't live more intentionally, and I was very lackadaisical. In my defense, I did write an awful lot of exams, and was constantly getting burnt out from all the work I had to do.  Consequently, I wasn't as creative, and I got too comfortable.

2015 was the year I got my Master's, which I think is a pretty big deal. Although, getting that sort of degree makes you have to ponder more on the trajectory of your life. I am not too worried about that. I have learned over the years, but more so this year that having all the answers is overrated. Life will unfold anyway, and you would only have been overly anxious. Besides, as Dr. Zack Addy in the show Bones proves, relying on logic too much can be very destructive. So yes, have a plan, but be flexible. 2015 was also the manifestation or shall I say proof that I should learn to trust my intuition/guts more and less of what is right before me. Life really can change for anybody at any second; I saw this both directly and indirectly. 2015 was the year I had a deeper understanding of God surpassing even our imaginations.

"Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us."

Through everything that went down in 2015, and they were more mind battles than anything else, God did see me through them ALL. The best part is being alive, hale and hearty; and not just alone, but every single person I love and care about as well. That's a miracle I do not take likely. I took better care of my heath this year. By no means am I saying that's why I have perfect health. Far from it, that's all God. Perhaps, I took charge is a better phrase. I was really committed to being disciplined (in every facets of my life) this year, and projected that on exercising and trying to consume only things beneficial to me. This was no real big deal, just a conscious decision to be more active; I stopped taking elevators, walked more etc. l threw all that out of the window this holiday season though.

I still feel like I need a better understanding of God's love and I am incredibly happy to have spent the last days of 2015 studying in-depth God's love and how little we know of it. We tend to handle things on our own, and forget there's an eternal being with a selfless love for us. Ah, I am not sure how exactly 2016 will go. I am slightly anxious, which is contradictory since I just spent the last few sentences talking about an unfathomable love on my side. But I really am positive, confident even that 2016 will be amazing.

To those who found this year challenging; those who mourned; the people who failed woefully; those who tried so hard and struggled so hard, yet have nothing to show for it; those who demonstrated faith, unwavering faith, yet had their prayers unanswered; the people who felt like if there is a God, he probably hates them; those who don't even know who God is; The ones that spent every minute of 2015 in hospitals; those who cried themselves to bed every night; I hope you find joy, peace, and laughter in the coming year.

"When the LORD restored the fortunes of Zion, we were like those who dreamed."

I don't agree with cynics who are peevish when they see others make resolutions or declare a new year a new slate or whatever other maxim rocks your boat. I don't have a resolution...yet(yes, a lot can change in hours) but I have goals.  Indeed, the year may be new, but if you do not change anything or renew your mind, it will be like years past. After all, you can't be doing the same thing and expect a change. I plan to continue minding my business, but be a little more caring and tolerant of others. Again, like I write every year, I want to be more intentional in living. Everyday this year (or most days) I woke really thanking God for the miracle of waking every morning. I think we tend to take such things for granted too much. I plan on seeing the absolute best in others even when they act otherwise.

With all that being said, BRING IT ON 2016, my faith remains unwavering!
My favorite selfie partner and I

"May our barns be filled with crops of every kind. May the flocks in our fields multiply by the thousands, even tens of thousands, and may our oxen be loaded down with produce. May there be no enemy breaking through our walls, no going into captivity, no cries of alarm in our town squares."

Happy New Year people!


Merry Christmas

In my last post, I briefly described God's perfect love. Hopefully I'll get to elaborate in future posts just how magnificent and sometimes incomprehensible God's love for us is. I mean, we can't have such amazing love and be going around acting like nobodies, when our God is the king of heaven AND earth, right? Right.

Christmas is upon us. In the midst of merriment, and gift unwrapping, and all the gisting, and catching up with old friends, let's not forget the real reason we have a holiday: Christ's birth. A central message is love. Some other people have adopted cynicism, either as a defense mechanism, a way to deal, or just to seem unconventional. Look, Christmas IS a big deal. If Christ was not born, I wouldn't have salvation. So there is so much to celebrate. Yea, 'tis the season to be jolly! Be merry, laugh hard, eat, and forgive people who have hurt you. That is the point anyway. I hate to trivialize people's problems, but if unfortunately, there is a problem; I am sorry, but I also know it could be worse.

Anyway, the crux of this post is to wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas. May the joy, peace, and love of this season dwell permanently in your life. In the new year, may you always have a reason to smile, laugh, and be merry. May every waking day bring forth a new testimony.

Have a wonderful holiday season, and if you can, spread the love to people who need it the most in any way you can; those who can not afford to have an enjoyable Christmas.

Merry Christmas, people!



A Perfect Love

"And may you have the power to understand, as all God's people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God." Ephesians 3 :18-19

I once heard Whoopie Goldberg say if anyone ever tells her she completes them, she will flee. You know, romantic style;

"You complete me."

I'd run too. If I complete you, what's left for me? I am a self-confessed selfish person. I'm not entirely sure love  comes as easily for me as I presume it does for others. So, I would definitely have second thoughts if a person told me I "complete" them. More so, because I have now realized that it is possible to give so much of yourself to someone else that you have nothing left for you.  The other time, I tweeted that vows with the sentence "I can't live without you" make no sense to me. Why can't you live without a person? "I CAN live without you, but I don't ever want to." That makes sense. Although the last few sentences may sound cold, heartless and a tad unromantic, they are absolute truths. No one is indispensable; everyone is replaceable. You and I. For the purpose of this post, I'm mostly talking about romantic (& sexual) love except of course when I mention God's love.

Do you recognize a common thread/pattern in the last paragraph? We* tend to look for love in all the wrong places. We tend to seek wholeness, completeness, and perfection in human beings who are just as fallible as we are. We then turn around to despise them when they fail or are unable to give what we sought, which they really were incapable of giving anyway. Don't get me wrong; I'm the chief advocate of setting high standards. However, while setting these standards, you need a jolt of reality to remind you that no matter how kind, loyal, faithful, sexy, intelligent, maybe even rich this person is, they would never EVER complete you. They are incapable of giving you a fullness of life. Sure, they can and probably will make you happy, but they can't make your life complete, or give you a fullness of life. I mean if a human being is capable of that, their own life must be pure perfection, which is certainly impossible.

There's a love enough to complete you though; a perfect love. God's love for us is indescribable, so I wouldn't bother using words to convey its depth or width. What I'll say though is that may we indeed be blessed with the ability to understand God's love. Understanding God's love to some extent will make you confident and rid you of insecurities that make you seem like a mad woman. Instead of driving yourself crazy about whether a guy loves you or not, or whether he's cheating, or why he's not giving you enough attention and the other shenanigans that go on in 21st century relationships, if you understand the reach of God's love, you wouldn't care about any of that. You wouldn't because you have all the love you need. You understand who you are in God. You understand that you are to die for, and then you begin to not care what some other person thinks, or how they act. After all, can you think of a better love than giving your only son that some folks may have eternal life? Understanding and receiving God's love is the ultimate guide to a better self esteem. Remembering that God loves you and thinks you are special will absolutely change your life.


*I'm mostly talking from the female point of view.

Friday Reflections

1.)  Done.

2.) Can I just say how absolutely amazing Being Mary Jane has been this season? Good stuff.

3.) M said I'm acting Like Cristina Yang. Now, Yang is my favorite character ever, but I don't EVER want to be compared with her. In a sense, it's a compliment (to me) but M meant it in relation to caring about career more than anything else. Er no.

4.) I certainly care about my career (means a lot to me), but I also want kids, husband, and those things.

5.) I like Marissa Mayer a lot, but she really turns me off these days. I have heard that her leadership style is questionable. Putting that aside, this thing where she takes two minutes off after giving birth and jumps right back to work rubs me off the wrong way.

6.) Jill Scott's Jahraymecofasola is a jam and a half!

7.) I'm in season 9 of Friends, and I can count on one hand the amount of Blacks that have appeared on all nine seasons. I mean it's a funny show, but not that much of a big deal it has been made out to be. Too predictable and quite a lot of lazy storytelling as far as I'm concerned.

8.) #StayMadAbby

9.) Dear Justice Scalia, excellence has nothing to do with the color of your skin.

P.S: This was already written by Friday but I just forgot to post it.

A Lesson in Love by the Zuckerbergs

You know how the other day here, I was mentioning the Zuckerbergs' generosity? Little did I know more was coming. Well, they welcomed their child earlier this week, and pledged 99% of their Facebook profits to "humanity". Now the technicalities of this gesture may be somewhat complex, but go through his feed here where he explains everything. It's so sad that people are now so cynic, that there have been rumors that he did the whole thing out of a "savior complex" or "selfishly". Some said he did it to avoid tax, others were just furious he made the Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative an LLC and not a charity organization. Again, technicalities. However, he and his wife were incredibly smart to do that, because as an LLC, they now have a flexibility (a luxury charity organizations cannot afford) to invest in and donate wherever they wish. The author of this article described it BEST, when he said Zuckerberg is a genius and you would expect that he wouldn't just want to change the world in a trite way of giving money to some charities, but by actually changing the world, literally. Oh, and it will be TAXED. Mark has spent a lot of time explaining his intentions all week; time he could have spent with little Max. Tsk tsk. Can you imagine? We live in such a world where people dare to question what you do with your money or HOW you do what you do. The sheer hubris. Anyway, find below, a post by me originally posted on Bellanaija in which I talk about the Zuckerbergs' love and generosity.
Random picture of Mark Zuckerberg's dog.

When my brother first told me Mark Zuckerberg and his wife had not only welcomed a child, but also pledged 99% of their profit from Facebook to "humanity", I didn't fully grasp the magnitude of their action. Hours later however, and after reading the note to their child myself, I was filled with deep inspiration and immense awe of their sacrifice and commitment to making the world a better place. I tried but couldn't understand that type of generosity. More so because I am from a country where people are obsessed with accumulating wealth for themselves. In itself, wanting money and more money is not a terrible thing, somewhat selfish maybe, but not terrible. However, I feel like we owe it to ourselves and to our unborn generations to make the world a better place in whatever ways we can.

I remember months ago, a Nigerian celeb mentioned that anyone living in Lagos and has only one stream of income is "not serious". That statement was very unsettling for me, because the person assumed that everyone's ultimately goal is to have much more money than they know what to do with. It's not that desiring gazillions is bad too, it's that I am positive that world powers like Zuckerberg were/are not motivated by money. I don't think that a desire to be the richest person is what makes people that rich. I think that it's an absolute, unshaken passion for what they do and how they do it.

The more I pondered on this famous generosity, the more I fell into a deep retrospection and self-assessment. I thought, if I, an unashamed Christian were to ever be that rich or even as a regular Jane, with the amount of compassion I proclaim, could I EVER give out so selflessly to those in need? I think that theirs is a lesson in love, mercy, compassion, humility, and simplicity for the rest of us. If we want to practice the love we preach, we should do so committedly. Love is not completely ignoring those in dire need and amassing material (and extravagant) possessions we have no need for.  Remember that you can have all the faith in the world, thump the bible all you care, or even speak in tongues, you still are nothing without love.

Of course, everyone does not and would not have billions to give out. But that should not reduce your commitment to ridding the world of hate and making this world a better inhabitance. It starts with you and I. It starts with stopping the cowardly act of bullying people under the cloak of anonymity. It means genuinely caring for the poor and needy of our society. If you have WAY extra money than you know what to do with, okay then, invest in someone's education. Is there always a beggar on your way to work, how about you give them a little something for food? It really is in the little acts. These are just examples by the way, do what you can; however you wish too. Just don't occupy the world like it's just you in it. I don't know about you, but I want my unborn children, niece(s), nephew(s) to live in a much better world than this. We really can spread love if we ATTEMPT it. Oh, and for the love of God, we need to remember and understand that not everyone wants to be stupendously rich. Not everyone needs a "side hustle".


Happy Thanksgiving + A Little Chit Chat

I have been seeing many people in Nigeria and everywhere else celebrating Thanksgiving. I have also seen others complain about such people copying traditions from the West. I am not too bogged down (and you shouldn't be too) about people copying an attitude of gratitude. It's Thanksgiving after all. Who does not have a reason to be thankful? So yeah, I get that. However, I really wish that instead of Nigerians copying EVERYTHING, why not cherish and celebrate our own traditions? Such that the whole world knows and recognizes us for these customs and traditions. It wouldn't be so hurtful if Nigeria was not actually a country RICH with beautiful culture and tradition. It is so vast and diverse, you would wonder why Nigerians abandon all of their uniqueness only to copy some other nations'. Speaking of copying, can we also try not copy the bad with the good? Thanks. I am not surprised though. This is a country where people take immense pride in being unable to speak their local languages. Such a confusing phenomenon. We take all the pain to learn  foreign languages like French, Spanish, German, maybe even Chinese (and boy are these languages tough), but we selectively OPT to not understand local languages spoken around us 24/7. I understand that Yoruba, Igbo and co may not give you an edge on the job market, but for the most part, learning these languages is actually painless for the folks in Nigeria.

Take me for example. I grew up speaking English to my parents and siblings (I still speak English to them). I went to a school where our Principals reinforced the importance of Queens English. Pffttt, vernacular was frowned upon anyway. Somehow though, without EVER consciously learning, I can communicate EFFECTIVELY in my local dialect, Yoruba. While I did not speak much of it as a child, I heard it in church; I heard my parents speak it to each other; I heard my aunties and uncles speak it; I heard the local pepper grinder speak it; I heard my mother negotiate in it with the local butcher; and so on and so forth. It was therefore painless and easy. French, on the other hand. Goodness gracious. I have been at it (on and off) for over a year now. Maybe I'll say my name and ask some flimsy question, like where the restaurant is. For the most part, it's been tough. It is therefore really surprising that people in Nigeria would rather the difficult languages than the easy ones. Enough patriotism for the day.

What am I thankful for?

It's an incredibly long list. I am thankful for salvation. That despite my shortcomings, God found it worthy to bestow upon me his AMAZING grace. Can you imagine if it was about us and our handiwork? I saw a picture TD Jakes posted with Don Lemon. Apparently, Don Lemon had gone to his church. Now we all know Don Lemon is gay. Can you believe that people, "Christians" were angry with TD Jakes for letting a "sinner" like Don Lemon into his church. People were like "oh he's gay. How could you Bishop? You even took a PICTURE with him? What is a gay man doing in church?" AHHH. Who the heck do you think you are to say who can or cannot go before God? HA! Who are we Christians and what monsters are we becoming? You really think you are worth it all, huh? That you are the big deal? Ok oooh.

I am also thankful for family. You knew this was coming though. Haha. God has colored my life with the most amazing people, and I can't believe how blessed I am to call them family. I think that my social media accounts must be irritating to people on birthdays of my loved ones, because I don't hesitate to scream their amazing-ness from the rooftops. Haha. So forgive me for being "extra", I just feel an immense sense of gratitude always to know that although life may suck sometimes, I have got the best people to go through life with.

I am thankful for all my friends, tehehe. I love them to pieces. Maybe I don't show it enough to them, but I am glad to have them in my life and to be in theirs.

I am thankful for my life and the entire journey so far, and what is to come. I am thankful for social media, for good people, for brownies, red velvet, and for Haagen Dazs. I am thankful for....look the list is endless. Today might be about gratitude, but it also is about eating and celebrating, which is exactly what I am off to do!

Now, life may not be perfect for you (to tell you the truth, it's perfect for no one) or this thanksgiving is just a reminder of everything that sucks. I'm sorry about that, but I also know only a few things gladden the heart more than counting your blessings.

Have a peaceful, safe, and blessed thanksgiving!



Friday Reflections

1.) Why have the richest Muslim countries not taken in any Syrian refugee?

2.) Charlie Sheen has slept with TWO HUNDRED women post diagnosis. TWO HUNDRED!

3.) You guys are taking the sexual liberation thing a little too far.

4.) Oh Vera, I loved her post on why she and her husband, Igwe decided to have a baby.

5.) How CNN is able to flog ONE issue for several hours is beyond me. Goodness gracious, every night since the Paris attack, that's all they talk about; for long stretch of hours.

6.)Well, at least I get two hours of the Don Lemon Tonight show. hehe. Love the dude and his work ethics.

7.) Look, do not let these bloody-gutless-cowards aka terrorists fool you into fear or submission. Mark Zuckerberg, in a post the other day mentioned how despite all the crazy things going on in the world, we are really at our safest at any point in history.

8.) Yup! Lowest murders, terrors etc.

9.) Meanwhile, Zuckerberg and his wife...each time I log on to Facebook, I feel like they're giving away another 50 million DOLLARS. I just keep wondering how much they have left lol if they keep giving it all away. Then I remember Luke 6:38.

10.) “He who deliberates fully before taking a step will spend his entire life on one leg.” --A Chinese proverb I learnt from Vera's blog.

11.) I LOVE the Internet. woohoooo *screaming from the rooftops*

12.)  Yesterday, I learnt an important distinction between "calling" and "purpose".

13.) Although I have a lot of stuff to work on, I'm ignoring them ALL tonight and just taking a break to catch up on all the missed episodes of my shows. Should be fun :-))))

14.) Why is everyone so angry about Shonda Rhimes not wanting to get married? It's her choice. If you want to marry, go ahead. If you don't, good for you too.

15.) Some folks just want to feel validated because they got married. Okay boo, your choices are valid too.

16) Whenever you want to lose hope in humanity, just visit the comment section of a HONY post. No other place or situation have I seen people share in the joys and pains of complete strangers. Let that be a reminder that for the most part, there are good people in this world. Brandon Stanton; changing the picture at a time :-)

Sunday Funday

Bringing some cheer and good vibes your way, especially with everything going on around the world. May the souls of everyone we have lost to terrorism and insurgency rest in perfect peace.

later that night
I held an atlas in my lap
ran my fingers across the
whole world
and whispered
where does it hurt?

it answered
–Warsan Shire


Friday Reflections: #PrayforParis

1.) I just read the breaking news on Paris. What is wrong with the world? Does anyone know

2.) My heart is so broken...I can't comprehend how people become so despicable.

3.) Please do NOT judge an entire religion because of a handful of insane people.

4.) Oh yeah, I asked something on Twitter this evening before the crazy attacks: When we hide pregnancies but put the child all over social media, how does it really work? Do witches only harm fetuses and not children?

5.) Someone needs to answer that.

6.) Uncertainties :-(

7.) Well...well, God has got me. And you too :-)

8.) I don't want to get jaded.

For Colored Girls Who Considered Suicide

One night last summer, I was flipping channels at about 11pm because I really did not want to sleep. I stumbled on the movie "Being Mary Jane" and watched all the way till the end. That same night, I went on to complete the entire first season (made after the movie was a success) on Netflix and that was how it became one of the many shows I now watch. Honestly, it was not an absolutely fantastic show. I watched it because I found it very intriguing to see another phase of the challenges of colored black women (I don't like the term "colored"). This particular black woman is a very successful cable news anchor whose personal life is messy as hell. Messy doesn't quite cut it: from her distasteful choice in men; to her somewhat dysfunctional family; to just how she lives her life in general. To think that it is indeed the reality of some black women; to be so desperate for love as to beg a man to impregnate you. Shudders. It really is intriguing. For one, the show takes on very important social issues that other shows would not dare: "The Ugly Black Woman" concept; teen pregnancy; affirmative action; fertility among older black women; corporate America and it's messiness; race and racism; and oh the shenanigans of black men.

Anyway, the third season premiered two weeks ago, and it has really picked up. But that's not why we are here. Season two ended with us finding out that Mary Jane's (the main character) bipolar best friend who suffers from depression once had oral sex with Mary Jane's on-and-off boyfriend. Mary Jane accidentally heard this because the said guy butt-dialed her while he and the best friend were talking about it. Madam best friend had gone to his house because she wanted them to confess to Mary Jane. Mary Jane hears this and gets distracted from driving, runs the red light and wound up disfigured in the hospital. Talk about drama. Not only is Mary Jane facing a potential law suit (Her alcohol level was high, although she was not drunk. It didn't help that she had a history of hiding booze at her office), she is also facing the loss of her job. Oh, how do you report the news with a disfigured face? And oh, the lady she hit is also extorting her. Did I hear you say MESSY?

What do you think happened between bestie and Mary Jane? You guessed right. Bestie tried everything to appease to Mary Jane (MJ), but she was having none of it. One night, Mary Jane's brother brought bestie over to her house just so they could talk. Oh did I mention bestie once attempted to take her life in season one? Yeah, bestie is very fragile—emotionally and mentally. I guess that's why the brother just had to interfere. It did not end well that night though, Mary Jane got really mean and said nasty things to her.

Episode 3 of season 3 begins with bestie eating her last supper. Yes, she took her life. It was the most devastating thing ever. Watching it was even physically painful. I was like "how did I get here?" I thought this was just one raggedy, ratchet show that I watched for fun and used to kill time while twisting out my hair or washing it. How has this become so intense? BUT it was a very beautifully written episode. We got to see who bestie really was and how impossible it was for her to live with all that guilt and PAIN. This gentleman described the episode best, when he said:

"The last episode could stand on its own as an exercise in how to handle a show with that many emotions packed into it. It was flawless. It was moving. It was compelling television. It was the moment, to me, where I feel like Being Mary Jane decided to go for it. They decided to take their show to a new level. It's not just a show that's good for BET. It's a good show, period. These folks want to be taken seriously. They made an already good show one that looks like they're hoping for some recognition."

Bestie's life was really a culmination of  "loneliness, isolation and pain that she'd endured through her life." We would find out that bestie was sexually abused by her stepdad from age 9 to 16; she travelled to Kenya to find herself; she volunteered as a mentor at Boys and Girls club; she was Buddhist, Methodist, Catholic, AME (she was open to all religions); and in the words of Mary Jane, "she literally brought life into the world." She was a successful gynecologist, she had a brilliant career, and what on the surface might have looked like the ideal life. Deep down however, she was a wreck.

I love especially how Kara (second bestie) was educating the others and by extension the viewers on suicide. I also love how drama queen, MJ's Mom thought they were to blame for bestie's suicide, because really that's what anyone would have thought: that they were responsible for the death because of how they all treated her in the aftermath of her betrayal of MJ. The truth though is, bestie was sick and that's just it. Unfortunate, but the reality of things. It was really nobody's fault. It was painful to watch though; seeing her eat the last meal; just watching the whole suicide thing play out was excruciatingly painful and emotionally grueling. For a second, I thought what if while eating that meal and before staring at her naked self and gulping down all that wine and pills, she just reached out to ANYONE at all?

I know I started this post joking, but it really is a serious matter. I don't think MJ has any fault at all. No matter how depressed bestie was, fact is she still HURT her friend and MJ was right to be angry. People have so much pain and hurt in them, sometimes there's only so much anyone can do to help them. Except perhaps to just be there. If you're the one hurting, please ask for help and receive it when people offer. You can never do it alone. No one can or should. So for everyone who has ever considered suicide, I hope you'll reach out to someone who can listen. I hope you'll find joy again. I hope you'll remember that you're never alone. I hope you find peace. I know that while no one may ever understand you, God does. Who better to talk to anyway, than he who formed you in your mother's womb? Talk to God or have someone help you talk to him.

Remember, in the end, everything WILL be okay.

Also, remember to "Make sure that you tell everyone that you love that you will love them no matter how ugly their truth is. You’ll still love ’em.”



Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Won't Stop Talking

I read many phenomenal books within the past few months. One of them is the focus of this post. Mostly because of how personal it is. The book, "Quiet:The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking." was read in my book club last month. Reading it was so eye-opening for me, and honestly quite reassuring. Especially for a textbook introvert like me. Reading this book was very instrumental for me. To be honest, for quite a while I envied gregarious people; those people who never have  a hard time fitting in; they are the lives of any party. With just one sentence, they can have an entire room erupt in a guffaw. And then you have people like me; those of us who live in our heads.

"Why can't I be like that?" "Why can't I fit in or make friends as easily?" I always thought.

I had thought my greatest strengths were my biggest weaknesses. Thank you, Susan Cain.

This book was very explanatory. It mentioned different kinds of introverts (and extroverts) because everyone seems to mix them up. Everyone thinks ALL introverts are shy and timid, and while those may be traits of an introverts, not all introverts are shy and timid.

I have always been very introverted. I was the kids with no friends in the neighborhood, or in church, or even in class. I literally played by myself. I have always had a shell I carry around, and I have watched as the world treated introverts like second class citizens. Not necessarily intentionally. But in a world that subscribes "putting yourself out there"; in a world that prescribes networking for success, it is hard for naturally introverted people. I come alive in my own space, I don't like crowds or loud music...and more surprisingly, I don't really enjoy talking in public (at least not all the time). Surprising, because if someone were to judge me from my social media account or perhaps this blog for instance, such a person would think I was a big talker. The only thing weirder is that my family and close friends might not subscribe to this introvert label I have given myself, because I can be really loud and talkative. But believe me, I am more introverted than extroverted. In Myers-Briggs personality indicator, I repeatedly got INFJ which I have heard is the rarest personality type.

I saw a picture of Facebook's headquarters and their open-desk work style, with everyone in a big space and everyone seeing each other working; no cubicles, or offices, or cover of any sort. My skin was crawling and I shuddered at working at such an environment. But that's the reality. Should I be required to work in such an environment, I would not have a choice. I am just an introvert trying to maneuver an extroverted world. More than half of the jobs out there require you to be assertive, gregarious, loud, fun, a "people's person". Myself and many other introverts on the other hand; we would rather devote all that time and energy to close friends and family, we tend to dislike conflict,  we HATE small talk, and would rather write than talk. For the most part, it's not that I completely dread meetings and parties (sometimes I do), but after a little while I always want to be home under my covers watching my favorite show or reading a good book. I always need to recharge if I have to deal with too many people or events. Cain mentioned examples of famous academics and regular Joes who use bathroom stalls at events or parties to recharge. Guilty. Lol.

While discussing the book at our book club, someone mentioned the part of the book that touched on introverts and sensitivity. She always taught she was weird because of how affected she was by unfortunate happenings. I quickly seconded that she was not alone. I am the person who is downcast because of a problem happening halfway around the world to people I don't know a hoot about. I get bothered even by poignant episodes of my favorite shows, because I convince myself that it happens to people in real life. Susan Cain dealt with all these in her book. She explained some of these idiosyncrasies both scientifically and culturally. She dealt with nature vs nuture and the roles they play in the development of a child. That is, am I introverted because of my amygdala, my frontal cortex or am I introverted because of how I was raised? The book was very eye-opening.

What was most interesting however is that although she praises introverts as thinkers, with a natural prowess of concentration, persistence, insight, and sensitivity, she didn't glorify introverts as the miracle workers of the world. Rather she advocates that we be understood and valued for who we are.  She also does not say to ignore public speaking or socializing or any other thing introverts may find tedious just because. She says to do what we have to do if it is necessary in achieving certain goals we set for ourselves. She recommends getting help if needed, but to never forget our core or treat it as inferior. She also does a great a job of balancing both traits, of explaining that none is superior to the other. So it was not a book solely for introverts, because it launched us into the world of extroverts too albeit in relation to introverts.  Of course, she talked of the blending of both traits perhaps through marriage, friendships, or at work.

In the final chapter, she mentions what I think is my new favorite quote:

"Love is essential; gregariousness is optional"

I don't know that henceforth I will walk around head high, or be boisterous, or even be more outgoing. However, I know now that it is okay to not be outgoing, or gregarious, or "fun to be with" is ok to be who I am and who God made me to be.

Susan Cain herself was a  former wall street corporate lawyer who described her time at Wall Street as being in "foreign land". Haha See her TED talk here:



Alex Karev: The Underdog

If you don't know how much I love Grey's Anatomy, you don't know me. Point blank. Not only have I reveled in watching each episode live, I have gone back to re watch old episodes more times than I can admit. It's my feel good show, except half the time you're bawling in tears through the emotional roller coaster my girl Shonda Rhimes puts us through. It is actually an emotionally grueling show: from watching our beloved patients die; to seeing our favorite doctors die in plane crashes; to seeing another doctor literally get hit by a bus; to seeing another (my personal favorite) leave the hospital; and more recently, seeing our very own McDreamy die. The plots are so poignant that the episode after McDreamy's death inspired me to write this post on mourning, which by the way garnered so much attention, I almost started to feel like an impostor. I mean, it was birthed from a fictional story (Ok, and some true life ones too).

Friday Reflections

1.) "What is more hormonal than a man who can't keep it in his damn pants?" Mellie said of her cheating husband on Scandal.

2.) I'm so proud of all the great Nigerian shows out there now. Original and fresh content.

3.) Olivia Pope is giving up everything she has worked for all her life for a married man. Sometimes I don't understand Shonda Rhimes's brand of feminism.

4.) The other time Bailey deliberately offered Grey a terrible salary (MUCH lower than that of her male counterparts) offer under the guise of "I expected her to speak up" and later said, "This is what feminism looks like."

5.) There are some guys that think they can live life as recklessly as possible as long as they have a "praying wife." Okay boo.

6.) I don't understand how everyone is so mesmerized by this Adele's new song. Her voice is powerful but the song is certainly not a breathtaking, soul-wrenching fad it has been made out to be.

7.) "None of us is making it out of here alive."

8.)  Days go by so ridiculously fast these day.

9.) A random anonymous coward insulted a Naija "celeb because of his thick igbo accent.

10.) How are people so confused? First, you insult the ones with British/American accent, and then you insult the one with the indigenous accent. Check yo self hunnay.

Fake it Till You Become It

I have been feeling completely exhausted in recent times. Not necessarily physically; more like burnt out; overwhelmed; just tired. But the one thing I have refused to do is give up. I don't even complain (that much) about it. Once in a while, I chip it in conversations with my siblings and friends about how tired I am, but I have refused to stop or give up. I just keep doing.  I have a restless mind, so I tend to dream a lot. Sometimes the dreams feel so real that I'd have to wake up. In between one of such dreams, I woke up last night and then it occurred to me; how can I be tired when the bible says those that hope/wait upon the Lord renew their strength? Eureka.

 "But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint."- Isaiah 40:31

So although I run or work walk as much as I need to, I will never be weary or tired or burnt out. Instead my strength will be renewed. Look, I understand how devil would want to keep people from reading the word. There are too many truths there for children of God. It's like a treasury, but if you never open it, you'd never find it. I went back to sleep, but woke up earlier than normal, feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. I don't want to be histrionic and say I had a vision, haha, but I know I feel like I am just getting started.

Now sometimes we have all the strength in the world, but still feel like we are not good enough. I know. I have been there. Particularly less confident people or quiet people (I am still editing & refining my post on introverts) in this loud world; you would often feel less smart than your loud and talkative counterparts. You would feel like you don't have much to offer. As a matter of fact, you do. Keep telling yourself you can, and one day you'll believe it. I did not always think I was beautiful. In secondary school (high school), I used to see the more endowed girls and think, I'd never be that pretty. I was (still am) skinny, I had thick natural hair (that my mama just wouldn't let me perm) and I was flat as hell (front and back) lmao. But for some reason, my Dad started to call me his "beautiful daughter"; in emails, in text messages, phone calls, even on Facebook. I don't know how or when, but I started to believe him. I KNOW as a matter of fact that I am beautiful. I don't care what anyone else thinks. My heavenly father and earthly parents think I am to die for and that's what matters. Guess who chopped off her relaxed hair for natural hair? Me. Guess who is comfortable in her own skin? ME. I would leave home without make up or accessories and not give a hoot. Same thing goes for smartness. My Mom used to always say, "It's you Ifeoluwa; I know you're capable" Whenever I did less than she expected, she used to complain not because it wasn't good enough, but because it was not good enough FOR ME.  I started to believe her. Now I don't go around thinking I'm Einstein. But I am somewhat confident about my intellectual prowess. Ok truth be told, that still needs lots of work Lol. I was (am) lucky, I have great cheerleaders and people who fiercely believe in me enough to encourage me. You might not have such people around, so be that person for yourself.

Bottom line, convince yourself you are great. Remind yourself everyday of how great you are. Pretend to be great. Fake being great till you actually become it. You still don't believe me? Watch Princeton trained social psychologist, Amy Cuddy tell you then.

Go on and conquer.


Be Attractive And Seasoned With Salt

"...Live wisely among those who are not believers, and make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be gracious and attractive so that you will have the right response for everyone."- Colossians 4:5-6 NLT

In place of "attractive", NIV uses "seasoned with salt". The great commission of Christ is to "go and make disciples of all teach them to obey all the commands God gave us..." For the less brazen ones (like most of us) who don't have the courage to walk around literally hitting a gong and preaching the good news, we say our lifestyles will do the work. But can they? Or rather, do they? Are you seasoned with salt or are you  salty? And you know what I mean by salty. Are you a different person in church, and a completely different person out of church? Do you speak in all manner of tongues in the privacy of your room, but then step out of your room and rain curses on the next person who overtakes you on the highway, or the person who borrowed your money and has refused to pay? I remember Heather Lindsey gave an example recently of her conversation with a customer service representative. She explained how she kept calm even when she was very disappointed with the services being offered. Only for the representative to ask if she was THE Heather and then went ahead to say how much Heather has blessed her. That could have been a completely different story. Take this from someone who has lashed out on a representative before.

I understand. I have been there. I am impatient by nature and can get antsy pretty fast, so I know  that if a person is that calm, they deserve to be commended. The truth is that many people no longer read the bible, and the closest they can get to the bible is through you. By seeing how you live your life, the things you say (on social media too), how you act and react in situations. The bible says to make the most of every opportunity to represent Christ, to be his ambassador. An ambassador acts as a representative of his country, or a promoter of an activity. That's exactly what we should be for Christ.

Let every conversation be gracious and attractive. Conversations bring one thing to mind for me, social media, particularly Twitter. There is a new fad to be aggressive towards Christians on Twitter. I think it sounds cool to say Christians can't reason and that's why they serve a God they can't see or whatever else Madam Sugabelly and co have said about Christians. That's not fine. Of course not. But that's no reason to get agitated. It's worrisome to see Christians so bothered by what she or anybody else says that they begin to say awful things to her in the process of defending Christianity. There is no reason to be defensive or to even fight for God. That's not your battle. God does not need you fighting for God. Instead tell a person about the good works God has done in your life, and how you could not imagine not knowing him. You see, for me, it's way more than a religion. It's a loving relationship, it's a way of life. Explain that to people. There are some however, who care less about what you have to say, and more about being pugnacious. They are only about getting into an embittered argument. You need to know how to see through that BS and walk AWAY. Whatever you do, be gracious, be magnanimous towards everybody. If you go to a great restaurant for instance, and are eager to have others taste that deliciousness. Do you go about fighting people into accepting that the restaurant is THE restaurant? Do you become aggressively defensive? Of course not. You persuade them to try it out, and if they still refuse, you keep it cool and keep moving. Life is too short abeg.

Remember again, it is not your battle, but the Lord's.

Keep calm, and be attractive.



I don't like how idle and empty my blog has been. At the same time, I am so swamped that I don't have the time to fine-tune posts sitting in my draft. A tag is the easiest thing to do right now, especially while taking a break from work to watch the Democratic Presidential Debate. In another post, I'll explain my excitement about the elections and my enthusiasm generally about politics. Ok, Enjoy!

Friday Reflections

1.) I should have been  science-oriented or a science student. In my next life, I better be one.

2.) Dr. Ben Carson. Why?

3.) You know, the way black folks are killing other black folks makes me wonder if even we ourselves believe that our lives matter.

4.) In the President's backyard, you can literally get a bullet in your skull just by walking around or sitting in front of your apartment, or getting off a cab. I read about shootings and murder in D.C, and I was shocked.

5.) The darkest hour is just before the dawn.

6.) Even if you've been doing something for donkey years, when you're about to be done, it starts to seem insurmountable.

7.) How do you tackle envy?

8.) I sense a social media hiatus in my not so distant future.

9.) I am thankful for healing.

The Gift of Siblings

Pending the absence of any post here, and until I have the time to type anything worthwhile here, I found this incredibly beautiful post on siblings by Frank Bruni on NYtimes and decided to share here. There are a couple more I think I'll share. Enjoy.

Relationship Goals?

I like 2Face a lot. I also respect him. He is not just very talented; he’s also very hard-working. Of the many Nigerian artistes (and there are MANY), I think he’s one of the very few who actually sings songs with great content that also become hits. I mean, to have been in a game for about 20 years and still be as relevant, that’s not an easy feat. On top of all that, I have heard how extremely humble he is. So yes, I respect him a lot. Annie Idibia: I don’t know very much about. For a very long time, I didn’t know she was actually an actor, I thought she was just “2Face’s wife.” Basically, I am indifferent about her.

Friday Reflections.

1.) I broke my Twitter hiatus to comment on a blog post by Eziaha on motherhood. I thought it was refreshing and just had to make some comments on it.

2.)  God came through for me this week. He always does, but this week was beautiful :-) I am overjoyed.

3.) I am learning to find inspiration in other people's strengths.

4.) Two people I know have recently thought me through their actions that no matter how dark it gets, the sun will surely rise again.

5.) One is a young widow I follow (indirectly) on Instagram. The tremendous strength she has displayed since the passing of her husband has been remarkable. She is learning to move on in the face of the impossible, and is finding her feet again as a Gynecology and Obstetrics Resident.

6.) Priscilla Shirer absolutely rocks. What a great preacher! Check her out on YouTube or in her most recent feature film, WAR ROOM!

7.)  Mozzie of White Collar is so funny! I could listen to him for days. I don't know who is more sassy, Mozzie or Cristina Yang of Grey's. Either way, both are my favorite characters ever.

8.) I am tired of all the BS that goes on in Scandal. However, on September 24, I will be one of the most eager viewers. #TGIT people!

9.) TGIT (Grey's Anatomy, Scandal, How To Get Away With Murder), Modern Family, Empire, Being Mary Jane, Wendy Williams Show... this fall is about to be a blast. I'm almost tempted to get a new TV.

The List

Upon the realization that I have not read a non-academic book in a  while, I came up with a new challenge for myself; a list of books to read before the end of 2015. I am also being motivated by the fact that I might loose access to a consortium of library in some months. Eekkk. While I have been able to keep my mind busy by constantly reading things from all over the internet, I haven't really read a book for leisure in a while. I prefer like biographies so this list consists mainly of biographies, memoirs, autobiographies and things like that. You're more than welcome to join me. In no particular order, they are:

1.) I am Malala by Malala Yousafzai.

2.) Helen Keller: The Story of my Life by Helen Keller.

3.) Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank.

4.) Bossypants by Tina Fey.

5.) A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers.

6.) Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me by Mindy Kaling.

7.) Why Not Me by Mindy Kaling. Read excerpts here.

8.) Hard Choices by Hilary Clinton (I already started this but dropped it, it was too much like school work Lol)

9.) The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch

10.) To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee (I know. I know. How have I not read this??? But I really have not lol).

11.) Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson

I honestly do not know what business I have making a long list of books to read as the next few months might be the busiest of the entire year for me. Whatever though. I will read these books. That, I know. So,

Here's to broadening our horizons and inspiring our minds through reading.



Some Words To Remember In College

I was skimming through a Youtube Video about things to know before heading to the University. I had thought about writing a post like that, especially for my sister, but she's not a freshman and I forgot about it. On seeing this video though, I remembered again and thought, why not? More so because many schools resumed this week. Ok so the Youtube-er mentioned a phrase, "Nonsense boys and nonsense girls" to describe certain people we all know: on Twitter such guys are called fuckboys. I will start my list with them.

1.) Don't you ever let anyone take you for granted. See, there are some guys (posing as boyfriends) out there who are looking for slaves, not girlfriends. They will want you to cook for them, do their laundry, wash their dishes, and in fact do their homework. Flee. As a matter of principle (I have recently decided), if I am not married to you, I don't owe you anything.  Don't turn your life over—move to a different city, refuse a job, change apartments—for a man (or woman) you are not married to. This came the easiest for me in college because if you know me well, you'll know I am somewhat lazy (and of course a little bit selfish). Plus I don't enjoy cooking. I cook because I have to eat. So freshmen, beware of those immature, childish, lust some of you will mistake for love. Dare I say, don't waste your time looking for love on college campuses, especially not in your first year. I personally don't know anyone married to their college sweethearts. In this old poll by Osemhen of Eureka Naija, majority wished they had not dated in college.

2.)  Freedom (and independence) is overrated. I understand many of you have been living with your parents since you were conceived in the womb. You have yearned for that time when you have no one to answer to. You can't wait to finally have your privacy, and be alone. No. Now more than ever, you need to be accountable. You really are not yet free. You will eventually have so much freedom in the nearest future however, that you will wonder what to do with it. You will eventually wish for the time your parents decided everything for you. So savor the moment, and remember, always be accountable. I don't ever go anywhere without letting at least one person know; my siblings, my friends, or even my parents. I am not necessarily seeking permission from them, I am using them to keep myself in check.

3.) Peer Pressure. This one is real in every facet of life. There will be some people who have taken freedom a little bit too far, and are extremely glad to be away from home. They will hop from party to party to party. They will drink like cows, and flirt with every and anything. They will keep late nights and forget the real purpose they are in the University. The worst is, they will want to drag you with them. Stand your ground and remember to have your own principles. Don't do something just because some one else is doing it. I remember in our last year of  secondary school (high school), everyone was bailing* out for one party or the other. And I could have too, because ALL my friends did. I did not though, and it's not because I was a good girl (I wasn't bad either), it was only because I did not want to. Had I gone, it would have been because everyone was leaving and I wanted to be cool too. Being cool is overrated. Learn how to say NO. There are some things that stick with you in college and they stick forever lol. The aristo** girls of those days will always be aristo girls forever. It doesn't matter if they are now tongue-lashing, spirit-casting born again christians. Once a runz babe, forever one in the eyes of everybody. So, take heed.

4.) Be selfish. Yes, I said it. You are there for you. You can be as selfish as you deem fit. It comes back down to number three. If someone needs something, and it will affect you negatively, don't do it. You don't have to make any sacrifices for anybody. This is probably one of the few times you can be as selfish as you want to be.

5.) Your Studies. I have a feeling I will be wasting my time here. The truth is no matter how you explain the importance of education and excellence to freshmen, I don't think they will ever get it. Excuse my cynicism, but your grades might define you forever. If you are a trust fund baby or the next big entrepreneur, feel free to skip number five. But please believe me when I say STUDY HARD. Go in hard, LEARN DESPERATELY. READ. Broaden your horizon. Use your library. Don't miss any class. Whatever you do, just make sure you finish excellently and try to be well rounded. I find people who say they have no single regret in life pretentious. I regret that I didn't finish better. I am not the smartest person in the world, but I can now confidently say I had a lot of untapped potential as a college student and could have done a lot more better in school. So please, find a study method that works for you, and stick to it.

6.) Suck up to your Professors. I don't know why but just do it if you can. (I find this excruciatingly hard). Many of them want you to stroke their egos. If you school in Nigeria, please skip this or follow the advice at your own risk.

7.) Make Friends. It's just always wise to have someone on your side. For me, I already had very good friends from high school. But I made some more in college, especially two very amazing ladies in my class. In retrospect, it would have been nice to have had friends in my class earlier. Refer to my post on friendship for more on this. Remember, "There's no subordinate friendship. You are either on equal terms or no friendship." If it's not working, pack your bag and leave.

8.) Financial Responsibility. I understand that many freshmen still depend on Daddy and Mommy. That's good. However, it'll be prudent to begin to learn the basics of financial responsibility and budgeting. Try to save, and be more responsible with spending. If you can cook, and have the time to do so, it'll help you save a lot. If not, sorry. Lol. I never ever cooked in college (except for noodles) and I wasn't always broke, I did alright. So, you can definitely manage.

9.) Eating Healthy. Don't buy and eat junk every time. If you will buy food, buy real food. You don't need to become calorie obsessed or eat only quinoa and oats (which by the way tastes like death sentence) to be healthy. Protein, carbohydrate, vitamins, water...and you'll be fine. Just don't live on soda and chips. I used to be a coke (the drink, not cocaine) addict*** in college and while I didn't become obese, I didn't think it was wise. I also walked a lot, so walk instead of cabbing and use the stairs instead of the elevator when you can.

10.) Spirituality. Oh this was good for me. My campus fellowship strengthened my faith a lot. I am still glad I joined that fellowship. Please don't throw all the values your parents raised you with inside the thrash can. Stick with those values and develop yourself spiritually. Be in tune with God, and seek him everyday. Especially for those flying thousands of miles away from home; I get  that you will be tempted to conform, but I also know that you can choose instead to renew your mind daily.

11.) Learn how to write. I don't care if you are learning how to build robots or how to cure cancer, LEARN how to write. Maybe not technicalities, probably just verb-noun/subject-verb agreements and proper grammar. But learn how to write. Even if you're going to cure cancer, you  will need to write a grant proposal. Even if you are a tech entrepreneur, you will need to shoot emails to investors. Remember that Formal Letter writing you were taught in high school, you will need it in real life.

12) Loneliness. The first few nights are the hardest. Even after spending six years in boarding school, and four years away in college, I still miss home sometimes. Technology has made things easier though. Call, Skype your family. Please don't do anything stupid because of loneliness. It will pass. Start your favorite show all over again (This is my favorite thing to do), watch movies, go on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, before you know it, your boredom has passed, and it's time to study.

13.) Finally, remember to live. While going overboard is not prudent, remember that time is fleeting and have a little fun. Join debating clubs, learn a new language, run, play soccer, read novels, write novels...whatever, just live. Because once you finish school and join the labor market, (I hear things are tough out there lol) there will hardly be any time to do those things.

I'll end with my mother's favorite quote, "As you lay your bed, so you will lay on it."

Go on and conquer!



*to leave boarding school without permission.
**girls who sleep with much older men (or any man even) for money.
*** I first wrote "coke addict". On a second read I thought, HOL UP, what is going on here? Ha ha

Friday Reflections

1.) Does it happen that when you're really happy sometimes, you begin to wonder if there's an impending doom? No? Me neither.

2.) I started my day by going through HumansofNy's documentary of Pakistan. I started by fighting back tears, and ended bawling.

3.) I can never be grateful enough for technology. It expands your worldview and perception in no small ways. Oh my God! God is awesomely awesome, beyonds words can describe.

4.) I missed my friend E, so much.

5.) I looked forward to this week so much, and now it's technically over.

6.) My sister moves to on-campus housing for the first time tomorrow. I am not nervous, but I think she is. If she is, she's doing a marvelous job at masking it.

7.) I am actually very  happy at this moment, I am so thankful for that. I owe it to God and to being with family.

8.) The monster that shot those journalist on live TV; I am mad, excruciatingly mad that some people are trying to excuse him, because he had a "tough" life. What BS!

9.) May the souls of the dearly departed rest in peace, and may American leaders rise to the challenge and bring about the change (desperately needed) in gun controls.

On Friendships

A couple of weeks ago, my sister completed a six weeks rigorous summer program and I went to pick her up. As we were about to leave, one of the friends she made there rushed down to her room to bid her goodbye. Within a couple of minutes, about two others trickled down. They hugged, said nice things to each other, and promised to keep in touch. It was an emotional goodbye. Somewhere in the background, I stared in complete surprise and with a little bit of envy.

I felt pangs of jealousy.

Let me explain.  Making friends has never been so easy for me. I have never been that person to make real friends in such a short period of time. I could stay years in a place and not make a single friend. How then, was my sister able to make such good friends in just six weeks? I don't know if she noticed how I kept asking her if she had known any of them prior to the program.

"No." She said.

"But how come you guys are already so close?" I asked, still insisting on how impossible I thought it was.

"We did everything together everyday for six weeks. That's a lot of time." She rationalized.

Well. I thought to myself.

Don't get me wrong. I have great friends. Some of which I have known since either of us hit puberty. In fact about 95 percent of my very good friends, I have known for over thirteen years. While I may suck at making friends, I absolutely rock at keeping them. That I know. But as amazing as these girls are, it's also great to make new friends. I mean, everyone should make new friends at some point. Especially because we are all getting very busy with being adults. There was a time I used to be bothered if a friend had not checked on me in a while, now I just suck it up and remind myself how busy we all are. Yet, although solitude is absolutely great, loneliness is bad for the soul.

Everyday of my life, I thank God that my siblings are my friends. It's even more amazing because, being my siblings, I can be absolutely vulnerable with them. I anticipate my brother's many voice notes (ha ha. We are the worst with voice-notes). I am so grateful for them.

More so, upon the realization of the difficulty that comes (for me) with making friends. So to already have friends that have the same DNA as me, is something I am more than grateful for. The only thing I hate more than my lack-of-friend-making-skill is when people blame it on my introverted nature.

Ife, you too go out more. Put yourself out there.

Argh I hate that statement. Please if you know me, and I know you and you're reading this, don't say it to me. Thank you.  The only thing worse than that is:

Go to an African church.

(Hello Mommy!)

Africans outside Africa are the absolute worst!!! Sorry not sorry. Urgh. There is always an unspoken rule for competition among us. And while I want to make new friends, I detest shitty and complicated relationships. Believe me, I have had my fair share of drama in friendships (Hello Q.C lmao) and I don't want any of that. I learnt EARLY that if it is not real friendship, it is not worth it. Unconsciously, or perhaps consciously, I have dropped many "friends" for that reason. Let's make each other laugh, let's learn together, let's grow together, let's keep each other company. Other than that, I don't want anyone that stabs me in the back. I also don't like forced friendships. That's why all these plastic relationships I see on the Instagram makes me chuckle. Bleh.

But yeah, I cherish great friendships, and I know if my friends were not all thousands of miles away from me, perhaps I wouldn't see the need for new friendships. I know I'm not the best person to talk about making friends, because I don't make efforts. Moreover, I am weirdly VERY comfortable with my own company. But the more I try, the more I realize how different I am from a lot of people. I was out the other day with a group of friends. It sucked. I spent the whole time explaining to my brother on What's App how much the outing sucked. How could people be that pretentious? I didn't understand. They were laughing at stupid jokes, telling each other blatant lies, and ordering overly expensive meals. I couldn't get it.

I remember the Meet and Greet with Nigeria's president last month at the Nigerian embassy. I was slightly excited about going because I thought, oh at least I'd be able to meet people. Fail. People just clustered in tiny circles, and did everything short of putting a physical barricade, to stop anyone from joining those circles. Lawl.

So while making friends is a GOOD idea, don't you ever force what's not there. My Dad once told my sister and I :

"There's no subordinate friendship. You are either on equal terms or no friendship."

Listen, truer words were never said. If you bend your back, people will ride against it. If you, because of a need for friendship, do ALL the work in that relationship, you do yourself a disservice. No matter the amount of love you show some people, they will never reciprocate. They will give every excuse possible, but will not change. Don't do that to yourself. It is either mutual, or non-existent. Don't try too hard. Don't attach yourself to everybody, it makes you look somehow, and familiarity always breeds contempt by the way.

Friendship is great, amazing. Some people have this great circle of friendship that is worth being envied, some others just don't.  I really wish it came more easily for me, but when I think of the above paragraph, I comfort myself and remind myself of how much I love my company. I think it's why I emphasize on the need to either marry my best friend or make my spouse my best friend. Because this life is a lonely ride, so I would need a true partner. One that is indeed a partner in every sense of the word.

Here's to great friendships!

May we experience amazing and phenomenal friendships and relationships!



Friday Reflections

1.) I am sitting alone in my apartment and speaking to myself in a Liberian accent. No, I don't know any Liberian.

2.) Have you ever failed?

3.) Many people underestimate me. I think it can be a strength.

4.) I am so tired...exhausted.

5.) So thanks to La Bella Imperfezione, I found this wonderful PIECE ABOUT MARRIAGE.

6.) That piece is the truth. I often wonder, how are we expected to share our personal space with one person forever?! Ah.

7.) I caught up via Skype with my longtime/childhood friend, B this past week. It was great!

8.) Oh yeah, I wrote something on friendship. I have just been too lazy to edit and post.

9.) I actually found an old notebook while moving recently. I used to write a LOT in it when I had just finished college four years ago, and did not know what to do with my life. LOL.

10.) When I have the time, I will refine them and post them here. That way they will be online forever! You know, I could misplace the book. I can't misplace the internet though.

11.) Car troubles. Pfft.

Doing While Waiting

Every christian I know—and even many non-christians—struggle with finding that one thing; perhaps God's purpose for us, or just finding that thing that makes our hearts giddy, or finding the perfect career. And that's okay. That's wise, to be honest. Personally, I have been struggling too. The greatest battles are indeed fought in the mind. I have wondered over the years what my true passion is, I have sought to know what God created me for. I have tossed and turned on many a nights. I have been restless and I have felt lost too many times. I have looked on with a little bit of envy at people so certain about their true calling, and wondered why I just could not have a light bulb moment, or maybe a flashing light from above, while I stood in vast waters and listened to an angel give me a list of my calling. More recently,  I have also had to make decisions, and again felt saddled with a responsibility of making important choices.

You know what recently occurred to me though, we are doing it wrongly. Yes, we are. We think God's purpose is something that looks like a list of duties for one lifetime. When God's purpose unfolds over the course of a lifetime. God created us to glorify his name and to spread the good news of his name. Your service to God is beyond, way beyond a special calling or duty, your service to God is in allowing yourself, allowing your life to "unfold as you connect with Jesus". Your service to God is loving your parents. Your service to God is loving your spouse the way Christ loves the church. Your service to God is to Love God undoubtedly through your neighbor, through your friend, and yes, through your enemy. Tricia Goyer said God's will is not following specific tasks, God's will is knowing his heart and stepping out to serve as you feel him leading you at the moment. She said it was way beyond marching orders, but rather staying connected to God.

Now, what about my job? What about my career? What am I supposed to do? Those are valid questions too, and that's the major reason for this post. I am not going to ask you to make a list of the things that excite you, or a list of your passion (believe me, even I wonder what the heck my passion is!). Not that those don't matter, they sure do.  But Matthew 25 (beginning from verse 14) taught me something. The parable of the talents, which was one of Christ's way of explaining the kingdom of heaven. It was also another proof that God does care what we do with our lives while on earth. The man in the parable was traveling to a far away country and he gave talents (golds/silver) to each servant according to his ability. Note that, each was bestowed with talents according to his ability. God will never give you more than you can handle.

"I know God won't give me anything I can't handle. I just wish he didn't trust me so much." - Mother Teresa.

Now, something else struck a chord in that chapter.  As soon as the man gave talents/gold/silver to the three servants, NIV version says the servants who received five and two golds respectively went at once to put the money to work. Take not of the phrase went at once.

See, they did not sit down and brood. They didn't wake up every night wondering, what does my master want me to do with these talents eh? They got to work immediately. The third servant did nothing. Absolutely nothing. He did not even make attempt. So what should happen while you're waiting for God to tell you what to do, or while you're waiting to figure out what you want, DO. Keep doing. Just keep working. Go at once, and work with what you have. Learn a trade, get a job, work your butt off at that job, go to school, teach others, what ever, just DO. Be restless. Like I told my friend M, while doing, you may not find exactly what you want, but best believe you WILL find what you do not want. At least that way one thing is checked off the list of what you don't want.

That passage was a jolt back to reality for me. I had spent days brooding too. I had been restless, and I had ignored my sister when she said "why don't you just sleep over it instead of trying to figure everything NOW." But I am naturally impatient, so all that fell on deaf ears. My parents had cheered me on, but I refused to believe them and instead just sulked, because I "wasn't sure what next". Reading those verses though, I got back up and started to DO.

You will never ever have it figured out at once, that's definite. If you could, who would want such a boring life anyway? haha. While you are waiting to figure it out however, remember to keep doing. Remember to be restless. Go on and conquer.


Friday Reflections

1.) "American children are growing up with no faith, no moral values, and no sense of right and wrong (because everything is good and okay now), and their understanding of a hero is Bruce Jenner. Meanwhile, the enemy lurks and plots against us." Vera NAILED it here

2.) "Everybody is winging it, some just do it more confidently."

3.) Thankful for my momma bear, poppa bear, brother bear, and sissy poo. They are my biggest cheerleaders, even when I consistently doubt myself.

4.) The first Republican presidential candidates' debate was yesterday and I enjoyed watching it. It's just, it's hard to convince people that Trump is not an undercover Democrat paid to sabotage the Republicans.

5.) I honestly have no idea how there are people who don't find politics interesting.

6.) Everything good will come.

7.) Will we ever fully understand the complex relationship between faith, hope, and the will of God?

8.) Doing while waiting.

9.) I just started watching Being Mary Jane; I want to be so irritated at that character, but then I realize that she is a representation of many black women. That breaks my heart so badly.

10.) May we never be so desperate that we beg a man—we’re not married to—to have his baby. Amen.

11.) "Very often...the outspoken women are painted as angry and bitter spirits. The outspoken men are praised as revolutionaries and heroes." -- Solange Knowles.

Musings From...

...the top of the potter's wheel. Hahaha. That's the beginning of one of my favorite bloggers, Inthe...'s bio. I wish she was more regular with blogging though, but alas, life has to happen. Her posts always hit the right spot, and they have been a blessing to me. I kid you not, every post is phenomenal. Okay, this is not an encomium for Inthe.., although she really is amazing.

I am about to really ramble, if you can't already tell. This post is a mash up of rants at several points in the past  few weeks (about three to four weeks). I think I'll make this a thing, where I am thinking something, put it in my draft, and put it all together as a post. They will be extremely random sha. Not every time planned and well orchestrated post, sometimes ramble and spontaneity.

I find many Nigerian parents hypocritical. Like a TON of them are in very unhappy marriages, yet they keep bugging young women to get married. I don't understand that logic at all. It's like going into a hole, seeing how dark it is and then from that hole be calling out to your kids to find another hole to enter. Makes sense? I am not saying all Nigerian marriages are awful, but a huge percentage stay put in dead and lifeless marriages. At least, oyinbo, they divorce. I am fiercely Christian (as you might have been able to tell from past blog posts) but I almost believe in divorce. I can't explain. Ok fine, I don't Lol. I used to though, then S told me to stop. She told me to remove the possibility from my mind, that if one saw it as an option, it would be hard to persevere. But do I want to persevere though? Or endure? I want to ENJOY marriage not endure. I also feel like the option of divorce does not put unnecessary pressure on you. Ya dig?

Anyhoo, divorce ain't good. Moving on. I was gossiping with my Mom recently about a family friend and how the woman did not want her child to marry from a particular tribe. I mean, I know it's a thing with Naija parents, but really kini big deal? That's how my Mom too was giving list. I was like CHILL, you Naija parents, are you the ones marrying the person or your child? I was arguing so much with my Mom, she must have thought I have an oyinbo boyfriend. Lmao. Meanwhile, I just LOVE to play devil's advocate sometimes. Of course I know I am more comfortable marrying a Nigerian, and would marry one. However, above all, I usually just advice people to marry a good person. Honestly.

Enough marriage talk. I am currently typing from a hotel room, where I am attending a conference and it's bliss. I am also suffering from a terrible allergic reaction and its CRAZY. Arghh, my legs itch like mad. I almost went crazy earlier today. But I will be alright by the power of Jesus's name. Amen. I used to be so cryptic, but along the line I started to loosen up. But I think I wanna go back to being cryptic. Too many people are taking me for granted. I want that to stop. My Mom says if I frown too much, I won't find husband (we're back to marriage talk lmao).

I always wonder if I'll ever stop blogging. I have now been blogging for two years.  Of course I'm not a Blogger, if you know what I mean. I do enjoy writing though, and my stats are okay: people read. However, I wonder, to what end? Maybe one day I'll be in a bad mood and just stop. No need for story.

Sandra Bland. Sigh. These people might frustrate you to give up your quest for social justice. I was so sad when I heard the news. There are despicable people out there. UGH. However, I am uncomfortable with people insisting she could not have taken her life because they knew her. Mental health is beyond the understanding of many people. Instead of seeking to understand, they just make ignorant comments. The fact that she was all smiles and giddy, or the fact that she had a new job does not mean she was NOT depressed or going through something worse. Haven't we all at one point put up a face and act all giddy when inside is dark and twisty?  I have. Plenty times. I have legit cried on an escalator, stepped off and flashed my brightest smile. So while I empathize with her family, I can't say without a doubt that she did not actually kill herself. Unfortunately.

At one point or the other in our lives, we most likely would go through an insurmountable problem, which we think we can never come out of.  Sometimes, hard as this problem may be, others may perceive it as inconsequential and wonder why you're complaining so much. Truth is, only you knows where the shoe pinches. Personally, it sometimes is the tiniest things that bother me the most. But I have learnt and I am still learning to trust God. A lot of times, we completely forget how sovereign and powerful God is. We completely go through the storm alone, when we could have turned to God to calm the storm for you. I don't know what you're going through, but have you at least taken a second to talk to God about it? I am striving to make it a habit of turning to God as soon as a problem hits me instead of what we typically do--turn to God AFTER we have found no other way out of the hellhole. God shouldn't be the last option you turn to when you have run out of options. In fact, he's the only option there is.

I want to challenge you to seek God genuinely everyday of our lives. It's hard to see the manifestation of his work though if we can't trust him enough. Some people are like me; they KNOW as a matter of fact that God is capable of whatever (just bring it on), but they just don't think he'd do it for them. The best way to conquer this is to think of the times he has come through for you in the past. Yes, the reality of things states that everything is bleak. I hear you. However, there are several examples in the bible of how God defied the 'natural norm' to establish his glory. As far as I know he's still the same God. Therefore, before you table the matter on social media, or with friends, or family, how about to table it to the most sovereign God?

"Just because something doesn't work in your life doesn't mean you're under a satanic attack"- TD Jakes

Ok enough yarns.

P.S: when I use colloquial terms that  some might not understand (most of my readers are in the U.S of A) I try to translate it below, but I am really lazy tonight. Please bear with me.

P.P.S: if you read to the end, you're the real MVP. Sending some kisses your way.

P.P.P.S: I typed as I was thinking (on different days), so I did not mean for it to look this disjointed; that was sort of the idea though.