What If?

I am always ranting about individuality and uniqueness. I know there are some universal laws, but for the most part, I believe different things work for different people. That's why although I love learning from other people's experiences, I understand that my own path in life to success (whatever I may define success as) is UNIQUE. You should glean from other people's life experiences but be conscious about your own uniqueness. Giving these facts, you would agree with me that  trite messages and talks about hard work, hustling, breaking barriers etc. might not be equally significant for everybody. I mean, of course you should work hard and aim for the best IF, and only IF that's what YOU want. I stumbled on this brilliant article talking about life expectations versus personal ambitions/expectations/goals. I thought about just pasting the whole thing here, because every single word was GOLD. But, no. Instead, I will quote the particular sentences that struck a chord in my heart and maybe add my two cents.

"What if I all I want is a small, slow, simple life? What if I am most happy in the space of in between. Where calm lives. What if I am mediocre and choose to be at peace with that?"

Seriously, what if? Maybe you don't want a side hustle. Or you don't want to ever own a jet. What if you don't even want to be the best at what you do. What if you really are just okay with being satisfied and being okay. Perhaps you don't care about the four-hours-a-night-sleep type of life. Maybe you want divide your time into your many passions, rather then neck deep in one thing. It's okay to be you. It's okay to not want more. Your choices are valid. Sometimes many people aren't necessarily hardworking or passionate, they are just greedy.

"What if I never really amount to anything when I grow up – beyond mom and sister and wife. But these people in my primary circle of impact know they are loved and that I would choose them again, given the choice. Can this be enough?" 

If we are being honest, everyone will not be great. Yeah you heard that right. Everyone will not be a Linda Ikeji who bought a 500 million Naira house. You might try to live that same path; you will end up frustrated, angry, and just plain depressed. Because you are trying HARD to be who/what you are not. Shonda Rhimes in her memoir, Year of Yes mentioned how she never dreamed of becoming a TV Writer. She just wanted to be a Toni Morrison, which sucks because there is already a Toni Morrison. Rhimes would eventually become the Queen of TV and of course meet the famous Toni Morrison. Guess what Morrison wanted to talk about throughout dinner: Grey's Anatomy. Don't try to be anybody else; focus on being you.

"What if I never build an orphanage in Africa but send bags of groceries to people here and there and support a couple of kids through sponsorship. What if I just offer the small gifts I have to the world and let that be enough."

Again, everyone will not be Malala or Dr. King or Malcom X. That's valid too.

"What if I am not cut out for the frantic pace of this society and cannot even begin to keep up. And see so many others with what appears to be boundless energy and stamina but know that I need tons of solitude and calm, an abundance of rest, and swaths of unscheduled time in order to be healthy. Body, Spirit, Soul healthy. Am I enough?"

PREACH!!!!!! Look, this one spoke to me so much, because it perfectly described who I am. I need UNSCHEDULED TIME. I need time to just stare into nothing and let my mind wander. I need time to mindlessly watch TV.  I need SPACE. I need these things if I am ever going to be healthy. I am not a hustler by nature. Does that mean that I am mediocre? Absolutely not.

"What if I am too religious for some and not spiritual enough for others. Non-evangelistic. Not bold enough. Yet willing to share in quiet ways, in genuine relationship, my deeply rooted faith. And my doubts and insecurities. This will have to be enough."

If you read through the entire list on her blog, there's no way you wouldn't identify with at least one of all she wrote. But then I began to wonder. How? Why? Does it even make sense for one person to be brazen, determined, fierce, fearless, sanguine, audacious, and then another is quiet, timid, reserved, demure? Of course it does. One time I was furious that I was very upset by something that didn't affect me in anyway. I thought, why do I bother so much? But then it occurred to me that God made me this way. He put together all my quirks, foibles, perfections, to form a whole me. I am fearfully and wonderfully made.

"You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother's womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb." Psalms 139:13-15

So you see, I am perfect just the way I am. And so are you.

"No, don't say that. Who are you, a mere human being, to argue with God? Should the thing that was created say to the one who created it, 'Why have you made me like this?' When a potter makes jars out of clay, doesn't he have a right to use the same lump of clay to make one jar for decoration and another to throw garbage into?" Romans 9: 20-21

It's so easy to wonder why we were made a particular way, instead of embracing who we are. The presence of the Internet, which makes us seem closer than we actually are magnifies the need to compare our lives with others. And when you do this, you will certainly fall into a very deep dark hole. You will only come out of this hole when you evaluate your life: ask yourself what makes you tick, what gives you the greatest joy and satisfaction, what makes you come alive, what do you want? Answer these questions, and ignore HOW others go about their own lives or HOW others ask you to live your own life. That way your focus is on you.

Continue being you.


Friday Reflections

1.) Since when did LinkedIn become a dating site?

2.) I'm currently discussing with my brother about how elitist Nigerians can be; people try so hard sometimes just to prove how better than other people they are.

3.) If the case was reversed, and current third world countries were actually first world countries, how welcoming of immigrants would they be?

4.) Do they pay folks to be mean on Internet?

5.) I took a very long hiatus from social media. On coming back, I immediately started thinking about taking another. I love social media a lot, but the people...the people. Sigh. Too much junk/toxic; my life felt so serene these past few weeks.

6.) I think it's really tacky to fall in love with your roommate (or flatmate as my European friends call it). I am not judging though.

7.) The Currys are so cute/adorable/totally amazing. Watch his MVP acceptance speech about his family. There's absolute nothing like a solid foundation built on God. What a beautiful family.

8.) Don't you just hate when you say you don't like something (food, place, movie etc.) and someone responds, "But you haven't even tried it."

A Quiet Revolution

Most people know of the Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego faith, and their supernatural trust. But for those who don't, here's a quick recap: they had been exiled from their homeland to Babylon. And Nebudchadnezzar, the (then) king of Babylon built a gigantic (90 feet high and 90 feet wide) gold statue, which he insisted that everyone had to bow down to at the sound of a trumpet. The failure to do so would result in a fiery consequence, literally. Now, these trumpet sounded, and these gentlemen refused to bow down. Somehow the king caught wind of this and gave them a second chance. They responded by saying they just couldn't do it, and further added that should he (the king) still decide to throw them into a burning furnace, their God was capable of delivering them. But even if their God wouldn't deliver them, they still wouldn't bow down. Now, that's an unshakable, resolute, defiant faith and trust. That's admirable. These were men of very strong convictions: earlier on they had refused to be defiled by the king's food. Although these men were in a strange land, they had made up their minds to not conform or completely ignore everything they were raised with. Again, admirable.

While these men were heroic, to say the least; while their faith in God is admirable and a lesson for everyone; what's just as important was their quiet revolution. See, these men could have rained criticisms on the king. They could have blasted all the leaders and told them to go to blazes. They could have listed the laws of Moses from now till eternity. Heck, they could have reminded the king that he and his entire subjects were going straight to HELL. They could have chided the other jews who ignored their convictions and cowered in fear of the bully aka the king. But they chose not to. They chose instead for a quiet revolution. Indeed, sometimes the loudest voice in the room is most stupid voice. Sometimes wisdom is highly paramount in getting your message across. Sometimes the most quiet person isn't the weakest.

They made their points without fighting, without vile and/or hatred. It was simple; they stated their principles and convictions, and left it at that. Although they were ready to die for these convictions, they didn't turn hostile, or violent, or make noise, or start hashtags, or start social media wars. In fact, they didn't say anything about the act of bowing down to gods being bad (even though it was). They just laid out their principles and beliefs.

Isn't that unlike the world we currently live in?

People are so unnerved about the slightest thing. Forgetting that sometimes, you have to lose a battle to win the war. Sometimes, a quiet revolution is prudent. Sometimes hostility and loud destructive protests are not the solution. It's like we have now become disturbingly predictable. So much that to incite a certain kind of response, certain people know exactly what to say. They know exactly how to rile us, how to get us angry and talking, thereby giving them the attention they crave for. They know to say Christianity/religion is illogical, or there is no God, and on cue, we start to rant in rage. We start to desperately try to prove there is a God. As if the almighty needs a bunch of homo sapiens to fight for him. These people know how to make money off slandering a particular race or people, or color, or tribe, or religion. They know we always listen, AND respond to the vile coming out of their mouths.

Don't get me wrong, I love when people fight for what they believe in. I am very opinionated, and I HATE injustice. So trust me, if there's a budding hashtag somewhere making raves, I WILL add my two cents. I can't stand neutral people. I believe everyone should have convictions even if they are against popular opinion. I also believe that in a case of injustice, if you are quiet, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. Those are facts.

On the other hand, I dislike unnecessary conflict and hate. I don't like when we respond to hatred with more hatred; makes no sense. But even more, I am definite that a good warrior knows when to retreat. I say warrior because I am aware that silence isn't always the best answer; you have to speak out in rage, sometimes. It is indeed a war, sometimes.  But like Yoruba people say if a warrior just keeps on fighting without ever retreating, chances are that the warrior would  perish with the war.

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego did not just win the battle against Nebudchadnezzar, they won the war. Because of their quiet revolution; because of their principles and convictions; the king made a decree that no one in the land should dare say anything against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. Because of these three men and their actions, people came to know their God. That, right there is victory.

So the next time you're fighting for a cause, remember that a quiet revolution may be just as efficient as a loud (or hostile) one.



Friday Reflections

1.) No one person represents an entire group of persons; race, religion, culture, country, tribe, gender. No matter how similar we or our experiences may be, our perceptions differ because of our unique individuality.

2.) What will you do if your ex's Mom walks into your house to ask you to forgive her son?

3.) I think Bones might be the best show on earth hahaha---it's amazing.

4.) Some folks think they are determined, tenacious etc. No, they are just greedy—they want everything.

5.) Two to three freaking feet of snow. Major record-breaking, historic snow storm :-(

6.) Yeah, I should have spent time enjoying the weather in December, instead of worrying about global warming.

7.) "Biology is ridiculous and has refused to catch: 15 year old girls can have children very easily, but 40 year old women constantly struggle with fertility. I have never seen a 15 year old capable of being a good Mom"-- Whitney Cummings.

8.) Women actually expire, literally. Lol

9.) Why do people give their children ridiculous names?

10.) What if humans didn't have the technology and insight to predict terrible weathers such as snow storms? Such that we would be going about our normal lives, and all of a sudden a blizzard appears: it'd be a disaster.

11.) Even with all the technology, this snow storm is being called a "matter of life and death". Whew.

Being Skinny In the 21st Century

Maybe I'm being histrionic and skinny isn't exactly the perfect description for my body type. Perhaps slim might be more apropos. Anyway, you know how we live in a world where to uplift a particular group of people, some people believe you have to put down others. For instance; to make dark people feel better about themselves, people utter statements like "Oh she's only yellow, she's not so pretty." or "Oh, she bleached" about lighter-skinned people; To make people with just a little education feel better, they say "You don't even need education anymore these days."; and so on and so forth. In this case, to make fat people feel better, skinny people have to take the punch. It's all good though, cos we are already used to it. Below are some of the sometimes extremely stupid, sometimes nice, and other times un-sensitive comments a twenty-first century skinny person would have heard at least once in their lifetime.

First, when people find out you exercise in some form, they look at you like you're insane. "You're sooooo skinny, what weight are you trying to lose again?" "Better don't disappear oh" Okay, cherie. Then when you say again that you really don't believe in hectic insane workout plans, these same people look at you like you're still mad. "Do you think skinny equals healthy. Better exercise to keep your heart healthy."

Then there are the really brutally honest ones who look at you in awe (or horror, depending on who they are) and ask "How on earth do you find your size? You're so skinny."

Let's not forget food. Let's assume you're out eating, and you mistakenly order a salad, or God bless you and you order a small portion, or you really want to HEAR it and you don't finish your meal. "HA! No wonder you are skinny. EAT UP. C'mon. EAT UP. I feel like throwing some burgers at you." I made a mistake of telling someone recently that I don't take soda. It was like the apocalypse: "WHY?! You need it. No wonder you are skinny and all bones."

There's the other side to this of course; if you're skinny and you eat junk food. That's a terrible combination. I feel like people really really despise this sort of people. "I feel sorry for you. You think cos you're thin, you can get away with eating nonsense." "Wait till you start having kids."

Then there are the guys. The guys. Ha.

"I like my women thick." Cherie, get yourself a thick woman then, just leave me out of it. Gracias.

There are also women like me, who have taken it upon themselves to remind us that, "Bones are for dogs. Real men like flesh on their women." "Skinny bitch."

Then there are friends and family who when they check in on you, exclaim: "Ah! you are still skinny."

In all fairness, it doesn't always hurt. Sometimes, you take it in good strides and move on. Other times, it's slightly irritating especially since you dare not call a fat person what they really are—fat, without it being called a body shaming. I just think the concept of "body shaming" should be all encompassing. It shouldn't hurt more because you weigh more, you know.

In all honesty though, the world we live in tends to be more forgiving nicer to thin people people than they are to fat people.

Ultimately however, the most important thing is that a person looks in the mirror and likes what he/she sees.

Why Do We Get Very Emotionally Attached To T.V Shows?

Perhaps I should change the title to speak for myself only. I have a strong feeling I am not alone in this though. You know the emotional stages of binge watching BuzzFeed described here, I am currently experiencing them now with the show Bones. I am at stage 16, and actually getting worried I'll soon complete the show. So why? There has to be a reason it's all you're thinking about, right? A reason why you're legitimately concerned about the characters. A reason why you're having playbacks of your favorite scenes in your head. A reason why you're trying to link certain instances to your real life. A reason why your mood has now become largely dependent on happenings in your show. A reason why you have actual sombre mornings after spending the night before binge-watching, and realizing it will all be over soon.

Don't worry you are not alone. I am not a psychologist, but I am certain it's no big deal and will pass soon. It mostly speaks to the brilliance of the writers. I watched ten seasons of the show Friends, and didn't even flinch when I was done. So kudos to writers who have the innate ability to suck their audience in. They have efficiently created a world in which you have somehow made yourself a part of. It means the characters are very relatable, and it may also mean that the show is your escape from real life. Therefore, you are completely consumed by it. In some ways, after watching about 5 episodes of a show at a go, they become a part of your life. Oh and don't forget; we watch a character developed over the course of ten years in one week or one month. That's intense even for hardcore people. So there it is.

Fear not however, for it will pass...after you find another good show. Also, take breaks from watching and do other things you like to do. Read. Write. Surf the internet. Have actual human discussions/interactions with friends and/or family. Meditate. Pray. Sleep. Then continue binge watching. If it helps, this show you're taking so personally is nothing but a job to the individuals playing the characters. Although, I remember Sandra Oh saying she needed therapy in order to let go of the character she played on Grey's Anatomy. But for the most part, it really is just a job for majority of them.


Everything I said earlier is bullocks and something is actually wrong with you that is causing you to be abnormally attached to a T.V show.

Anyway, Bones is really good. I can't believe I'll be done soon. It's really interesting how much I love it now considering my sister practically begged me to watch it haha. Knowing me, I will probably watch and re-watch and re-watch. So I am not too bothered. It is also still running, but I wouldn't want to be catching up every week and will just wait till an entire season is done. If you can't already tell, my addiction to Bones inspired this post. haha

Go on and continue to binge-watch.



Meeting The President

I wrote this last year when President Buhari visited the U.S. I think it was July (or June?). I only just had the time to fine-tune and edit for the blog. Enjoy.
When I first heard of a meet and greet with the president, I was excited and enthusiastic about meeting the president. I was one of the millions of Nigerians rooting desperately for change. Many of us were tired of the endless bureaucracy, and senseless chaos ingrained in every fabric of the Nigerian society. We were tired of the venality of elected leaders and those in government.  We were tired of the inefficacy of the entire system, and how much a of a menace chaos and corruption have become. We wanted to get rid of obsequious, ingratiating people that surrounded the leadership, instead of astute, qualified people.

All the enthusiasm was fast met with utter disappointment however, when I arrived at the Nigerian embassy and met chaos and different clusters of people at different corners, standing outside, with no one being allowed to enter. Worse, nobody was saying anything, and nobody knew exactly what was going on. As far as we knew, we were being deliberately left under the blazing, scorching ninety-something degree sun to wither. I didn’t understand how a process, that should be so straightforward could be so tortuous. After all, all I wanted to do was see the president, I thought. To describe the sight before me as disorganized would be putting it mildly.

One man, clad in his purple buba, sokoto and fila was angry that despite being from Canada, and moving to “this land” (I wonder what land he meant) for 50 years, a Caucasian man dared to talk to him in that manner.  All this Caucasian did was ask him to move back. He wouldn’t budge. Instead, he screamed for about twenty minutes, nonstop, reiterating his status in the land. Another woman had no invitation, but kept screaming she was “press” and should be let inside. Others took to pushing and squeezing. Majority just cut the non-existent queues. The rest of us stood, staring at the sight before us and listened to security men scream “OBEY ORDERS. OBEY ORDERS.” What order, though?  Everything going on reminded me of home. It looked like home. It was home.

Yet, the sun only waxed stronger. It shone in annoyance at a group of Nigerians gathered to pay homage to their president. I was beginning to get frustrated when someone beckoned to those of us with my type of invitation to form a queue. Apparently, there had been different kinds of invitations, and with everyone laying claim to the president (rightfully so?) and wanting to walk into the premises, it was only right they shut the entrance entirely. Except as with everything Nigerian, no one thought to explain to us why a program supposed to end by 7PM had not begun by 7:15PM. Finally, I squeezed myself inside, literally, passed through security, and just when I was about to heave a sigh of relief, I realized I had only just crossed the first hurdle and still had one more. After tossing us back and forth for a while, I gained entrance into the main venue. Relieved to be away from the sun, and hoping to rest my feet that had been in my pair of  4 inches wedges all day, I found empty chairs that were taken. They were occupied with books and purses and bottles and everything else, but actual human beings. Yet, several others also without seats were told by stoned-face people that, “people are there”. Someone finally took pity and let me sit. Many others had to stand. The frown on my face soon gave way for a smile when I saw my president walk in, he too, looking exhausted.  As soon as he came in, there was a beautiful rendition of the national anthem. And so, our town hall meeting finally began.

The president was welcomed gracefully by Mo Abudu, and soon took the make-shift podium to address the Nigeria youths—Although when I took a brief glance around the room, I saw faces that looked very advanced in years. But then again, isn’t everyone a youth these days? Some special guests were each given twelve seconds to briefly introduce themselves and state their wish for Nigeria. The young man beside me must have thought everyone would be made to give the twelve second speech, because I saw him quickly Google “What’s my wish for my country?” Do you really have to ask Google what you wish your own country? I wondered. A young man spoke about wishing Nigeria was more welcoming to youths in the diaspora.

Finally, the president began to talk. First he thanked us all for coming from far and wide. He wished the people who said their wishes “Good Luck”, which made the whole room guffaw. More importantly however, the president spoke on consistency and steadfastness. He urged we Nigerian youths to try to be persistent, tenacious, and committed to whatever we lay our hands on. Citing his own struggle and journey to becoming the president of the most populous black nation, the president stated he was glad he never gave up. After a first attempt in 2003, up till 2015 when he won the historic election, the president is glad to be finally president, and thankful to God, technology, and the willpower of a people determined to see their votes count. Therefore, he said, whatever you pursue, be steadfast and consistent.

“I hope you read our manifesto, and I hope you hold us responsible in the next four years.” The president charged young Nigerians in the room. It is no news that Nigeria has suffered decades of egregious corruption that ate deep into her very core.  During his speech, President Buhari took us back  to his time as Minister of Petroleum, and the accountability the office was tasked with. Alas, transparency and accountability are not two words that describe our current petroleum sector. Rejoice though, because in the president’s words, “we are starting all over.” That we may now be used to such banal expressions like corruption and vested interests does not make any of them right. He also spoke on a matter very dear to my heart, education. He emphasized his commitment to education and promised that his government would invest in education, because he understands the significance of an educated populace.  “We will live to our promises. To those of your friends who couldn’t make it here, please tell them your president is fit to continue.” The president concluded amidst laughter.

I know there are apathetic Nigerians: those whom even if the sky were literally falling in the nation would say nothing or do nothing about it. They have become complacent and can only try to maneuver their way through a wrong system. For such people I say, “Just because you do not take interest in politics does not mean politics won’t take interest in you.” For the rest of us, it is not enough to be disaffected; rather we should practice and live what we preach. If we demand good governance, we better be good citizens. While our president may be fit to continue, lets endeavor to make our nation governable. Let’s never forget that we as a people would always get the leader we deserve.

I am very grateful to Ebony Life TV for the incredible opportunity and for taking the initiative to put together this meeting.

Friday Reflections

1.) Happy new year!

2.) Although I can be a cynic myself, I tend to find them really annoying these days.

3.) I think forgiveness is a really difficult and complex concept.

4.) Bones is quite an exceptional show, much better than Friends. Although I am not sure there is any basis of comparison, given how completely their genres are.

5.) Do you know there are job positions that require incumbents to be able to speak Portuguese, Spanish, German, and Arabic. I think that's extremely ridiculous.

6.) I un-followed this girl on Instagram recently. Everything she posted was always about money, getting more money, being a "boss bitch" etc. There has to be more to life than that, no?

7.) This year I am really watching out for time wasters.

8.) I'm really hoping to devote a lot of time to my blog this year: design, posts, etc.