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.