Blogging, Life, Life lessons, lifestyle

Articles I Never Posted…. Until Now

Let me be real with you. Sometimes, I doubt myself! 

Even at things that I’m clearly good at such as writing and farting; sometimes I still think to myself “you’re doing this wrong”. 

Over the past few months, I’ve been doing a lot of writing but have been too scared to complete or post them. They usually start out as a brilliant topic with a captivating story but somewhere along the way,  I convince myself that the piece is not good enough to go live so I abandon them like grains at the bottom of a cereal box. 

Today I’m holding nothing back. 

First, I tried to tell you about Prisca 

In junior secondary school, I had a friend named Prisca. Prisca was older than the average JSS3 student. She was short, plump and liked to sag her school skirt because it made her butt shake. She liked me and that made me feel good because getting friends as an oily skinned, homely child with bad hair was tough. Prisca got temporary tattoos on her thighs every week and told me “they help me make money”. I never asked how. She owned a smart phone which contained porn and repeatedly told me to stop being so bookish. She was the one friend that my parents could never know I had. After junior secondary school,my family moved across the state so I had to change school and the only way to keep in touch was via phone calls and ‘facebook’. I loved this girl and the food she got me every break time for 2 years,  but when she handed me that piece of paper bearing her phone number while saying ‘call me as soon as you get a phone,  I knew that would be the last of her pimpled face and chirpy voice that I’d see or hear.

Then I tried to tell you about my fascination with groundnut 

When I was ten years old,  my elder brother convinced me that groundnut was made by roasting beans on medium heat. I was doubtful but he laid a strong argument by telling me that you could divide a bean seed into two equal halves just as you could divide a groundnut. He further explained that the brown things that the women roasted in the streets looked exactly like bean seeds, so it had to be the same thing. We set out to prepare this delicacy for ourselves and on a day when all the adults in the house were not around, we snuck into the kitchen and took out the frying pan. Then we grabbed handfuls of beans and tossed it in the pan which we placed on the stove. Seconds turned to minutes and the bean seeds turned to black seeds. Still no groundnut. Forget the Great Wall of China, this was the biggest wonder of the world to me. Why didn’t the beans turn to groundnuts? What did we do wrong? Was it because we couldn’t get dry sand? Was that part of the ingredients? This occupied my mind for months and everytime I held a piece of groundnut I would  wonder how it came to be. About 6 months later, I eventually got the courage to ask the woman who sold groundnuts on my street how she made them and she explained to me that groundnut seeds were completely different from bean seeds even though they had the same colour. It finally made sense!

Finally, I tried to answer a very important question “Is The World Getting Better?”

 I recently watched a speech given by Trevor Noah, who is also my best friend(Ha ha!! I’m kidding! Or am I?). The topic he spoke on was the question “is the world getting better?” He said that although majority of the people in the world believed that the world was getting worse, he believed that the world was getting better because we have access to information that make us think the world is getting worse. Confusing huh? Let me explain. We see horrible things in the news; deaths, poverty,  insecurity, terrorism and so on. These information make us believe that the world is getting worse but Trevor insists that having access to such information is proof that we world is getting better because the world has always been bad but now, at least we know it. 

I was so intrigued by his perspective that I decided to dig a little bit into the world statistics. I was extremely shocked to read that based on the figures, the world was actually becoming a better place! Poverty was reducing, healthcare was improving and majority of the world population had better access to education. So why did a lot of people believe that the world was going down the drain? I guess the media! For reporting mostly bad news… But isn’t that their job? To report bad things so we could avoid them in the future? Or maybe we’re to blame! For feeding off negative news and forming opinions based on them! I was so confused. 

So I took my confusion to a wise friend and she changed the entire narrative. She said “The world isn’t getting better because soon enough we won’t have a world to live in”. She opined that although the world was doing better at stuff like education, technology, poverty and so on,  we were constantly destroying our planet with things like; deforestation, poaching, non-renewable energy and non-biodegradable materials. I had to agree with her. 

I still live with my confusion. Is the world getting better? On one hand it is. On this other hand it’s not. Truthfully, I don’t know the answer to the question.

While creating a wordpress profile, I described myself with these words

I want to make the world a better place, one blog post at a time. 

Writing about Prisca, Groundnut or Trevor Noah and not publishing those posts defeats my goal. So even though, I’m not proud of incomplete stories and inconclusive arguments, I posted these today so that I could at least say I tried. Reading this post(or collection of posts) may or may not make you have a better day,  it may not contribute to world peace or gender equality but it has made me a better and happier person. Thanks for watching me try! Byeeeeeeeeee

Xoxo. 

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Life, Life lessons

About Having A Bad Day

I asked my friend, Tim to tell me about one of his worst days ever and here’s what he said. 

He was in his last days of  junior secondary school and like every other kid, frequently broke the rules. This time around though, he was breaking a big rule; climbing/ playing around with the tree. 

Tim had a friend named Shola and Shola was pretty much Judas in a child’s body. As teenage boys whose idea of fun was dangerous fun and dangerous fun alone,  Tim, tied Shola up on the tree,  both of them giggling the whole time.. Tim then proceeded to pull Shola off the tree(i have no idea how this is supposed to be fun) and Shola landed quite heavily on the ground sustaining bruises here and there. 

It gets better. 

Shola began to cry relentlessly and threatened to report Tim to his parents(Tim’s parents) who also happened to be the proprietors of the school.  Tim begged and begged but Shola would have none of it  and ran straight to the staff room to tell on his “friend”.

Shola reported Tim to his dad and his dad got furious! 

“How dare you Tim!!” his dad yelled repeatedly. 

All that yelling resulted in some serious whooping on Tim’s bare ass… Bare body infact. He was made to lie on the floor for the rest of the day while his mates played on the field. 

Towards the end of the day, he was released; he wore his clothes, wiped his eyes and joined his classmates. 

It gets even better 

Immediate they saw him,  Tim’s classmates (except Shola) all ran towards him and began to comfort him telling him how wicked Shola was and how they all felt bad he had to get punished that way. 

Tim couldn’t take it anymore. He burst into an embarrassing flood of tears and could only stop crying after a few hours. 

Tim describes this day as one of his worst days ever. 

Everyone has bad days. 

Even the people who never miss a day of posting glam instagram pictures, sometimes post from a bathtub surrounded by their own tears. 

Everyone has bad days. 

Days when the stars don’t align and the universe seems to be against you. 

I remember having a bad day too. In my case however,  nothing happened.

Yup! That was the problem. Nothing happened. 

It was a completely uneventful day, I couldn’t achieve anything I set out to achieve that day and at the end, I felt like a complete waste of space.

So if you tell me you had a bad day because something bad happened to you and if you tell me you had a bad day because nothing happened to you, I can relate to both and your feelings are very valid. 

There are a couple of things I could recommend for when you’re having a bad day. Some of them,  I’ve tried and others I have not. For example I find that reading poems makes my day a little better than it was. Experts also recommend calling an old friend or faking a smile. 

But let’s be real. 

There are bad days and there are bad days. And the bad days I’m writing about are those days where you even lack the conscious effort to make yourself feel better. Where a forced smile is too much of a burden and the idea of reading poetry makes you wanna puke. 

Here’s an unpopular advice…. Or maybe it’s popular, let’s pretend it isn’t 

Some days there’s absolutely nothing you can do but wait for the day to end and hope you have better luck the next day.

I know it doesn’t sound like a lot of good advice but it’s tested and trusted. 

The one thing that makes a bad day better is  having positive people around. People who say things like “Pele dear” or “If you need anything let me know”.

People who understand that you’re having a bad day and who don’t think you’re crazy when you say things like “I don’t know why I’m sad”.  When you have these people around, you can go to bed at the end of a terrible day, knowing that when you wake, there’s a world of positivity waiting out there for you. 

But sometimes you don’t. Sometimes you’re alone. Sometimes the people around don’t get you or are too busy with their own problems. Sometimes it’s just you and a horrible day. I get it. 

Because right now,  I’m having a terrible day and the one thing that’s keeping me going is the understanding that if I can survive today, I can survive a lot more days. 

So wait for the day to end. 

Go to bed. 

Get some sleep. 

You’re a survivor. 

You deserve it! 

Xoxo

Please subscribe and leave a comment. Tell me about your worst days and how you survived it!!

Life, Life lessons

A Slice Of Positivity 

Her skill with the knife was so slick, she could perform at a circus. 

You could call me frustrated. Why wouldn’t I be? A man had walked behind me for 5 solid minutes yelling “Rat Poison” at the top of his voice. It’s either he thought I was a rat killer by profession or I looked like I had a lot of rats at home so I would make a good customer for his “otapiapia”. I wasn’t smiling. 

It was a sunny Saturday afternoon and I’d made a quick trip to the market to get vegetables to make soup… I needed 500 Naira worth of Ugwu and waterleaf so I knew I had to get to the heart of the market. Freeing myself from the rat poison seller and finding my way to the center of the market,  a woman in a bright red tee-shirt standing in front of a tray called out to me “Fine girl come and buy Ugwu”…

There was something about her… 

I looked at her scanty tray and asked “Do you have up to 500 Naira?” she laughed and said “I get pass that one” pointing her finger to a small bag of vegetables behind her… I told her to cut up the vegetables and watched her get to work. Scratch that,  I watched her. 

Tee-shirt had a permanent smile on her face that revealed dimples. Her baby boy was strapped on her back with a faded wrapper. He appeared to be sleeping. The sun was hot and his scalp shone in reflection. She plucked the vegetables and began slicing them into thin slices while calling out to other passers-by. 

She glanced at me and asked how I was doing. I politely replied that I was fine wishing she would just leave me alone. She launched into a fascinating story of an elderly woman who had tried to steal some waterleaf from her that afternoon. She seemed very amused at her own story and laughed at intervals. She concluded her story with

“They say Wetin elders dey see, small pikin no dey see am. But the one wey she do, I see am”. By this time I was laughing along with her.

She continued chopping the vegetables,  greeting random people that passed by, calling out for more customers and cooing at her baby who had woken up in tears. I was starting to feel completely at ease around this woman and so was Pikachu. 

Yes, I call her Pikachu; the strange woman who also waited to buy vegetables. She wore a bright yellow dress and topped it with a badly tied gele. Her skin was charcoal black contrasting with her chalk white teeth. She was beautiful and reminded me of my favorite character in Pokemon, Pikachu. 

Pikachu got so comfortable just standing there that she began to eat anything she could lay her hands on. No kidding! First she had coconuts from a hawker, then she had plantain chips that appeared from her bag and when that was over, she yelled at the hawker across the road with a shrill voice 

Paw Paw!! Paw Paw!!”

Tee-shirt chopped.

Pikachu munched. 

I watched. 

The both began gisting  about the best way to cook edikaikong soup and Pikachu began helping Tee-shirt  with my vegetables , removing the rotten parts and hard branches. I watched on. 

Finally,  my vegetables were ready in two black nylons and I promptly paid Tee-shirt ,  sad to leave her warm presence. I heard Pikachu say 

“Oya cut 50 Naira own for me”

I was shocked to realize that Pikachu had spent about 20 minutes waiting around to buy vegetables worth 50 Naira when there were tons of other sellers with the exact same vegetable. 

I thought about it  as I went on to buy a bowl of garri and check out some second hand sneakers. 

By the time I left the market, I was smiling like a happy fool. 

I realized that both me and Pikachu were drawn to Tee-shirt because to us, she was a ray of sunshine,  a slice of positivity that called out cheerfully to passersby even under a hot sun with an underpaying job. 

I could never be Tee-shirt. I could never earn a living by standing under the sun and chopping vegetables with a smile on my face. I could never make a joke out of someone stealing from me. I could never be Tee-shirt. Although I’m learning to never say never. 

I’m not writing this to tell you to face your daily hustle or challenge with a smile. Heck no! To an extent,  I believe positivity can be overrated because sometimes the world expects you to bear your sorrow with a smile. So no! This is not about being positive.

This is an appreciation for a certain kind of people. The people who manage to radiate a special kind of sunshine. The chatty people who don’t take a hint and keep talking till you smile. The people who greet you even when they know you won’t answer. The salesmen who smile at you. Tee-shirt. 

Not all heroes wear capes and to the heroes who are a constant source of positivity

I appreciate you!

Xoxo

If you like this post,  there’s only one way to let me know; like, comment and subscribe!!! 

Life, Life lessons, lifestyle, Uncategorized

Building Legos 

In the rare moment that I wasn’t looking for inspiration, inspiration found me. 

Sometimes, I don’t get enough air. And on the evening of new year’s eve,  I wasn’t getting enough air. So I stepped out of my house and found an abandoned table in the compound to perch on. The evening breeze was cool and a welcome relief from the hellish heat inside. To avoid looking idle, I brought out my phone and began watching stand up comedy videos of Trevor Noah. Soon, I was lost in his funny jokes and smart dimples. 

I was so busy laughing that I didn’t notice when a group of children gathered untop  another table next to mine. Something lightly scratched my arm and I paused my video to take a look. Then I saw them. 

There were 3 children and they appeared to be around 7 years old. The 4th was a teenager of about 14 who looked completely uninterested in their affairs but stayed with them as if to prevent them from hurting themselves. They had a bag of legos beside them and they appeared to be building something. 

One untop of another, untop of another. That’s how you do it. 

I smiled at them. 

They looked at me,  the way a person would look at a stone. 

I said hi

They kept on building 

I soon lost interest in their affairs and continued my rendezvous with Trevor. 10 minutes later, after Trevor had bowed off the stage, I unplugged my earphones and turned to give the children my full attention. 

Little drops of water make a mighty ocean. Or does it? 

They had built about 5 blocks of something. I say something because I have no idea what it was. It looked pretty cool, like an amateur architectural design. I picked up one block and took a picture, admiring the blend of colors. 

In 10 minutes, they had used up all their legos and formed about 8 pieces of the block pictured above. Now, they were just staring. I stared too. Not at them but at their pieces. I reached out to take yet another picture but one of them got really protective and snatched the block from me. 

Understanding that I had overstayed my welcome, I stood up to leave.

It was the best lesson I could take into the new year and if you haven’t figured out the lesson yet,  here it is. 

It’s not always about making a mighty ocean. Small pools of water can be just as beautiful

 

Very often,  we fall into the temptation of assuming that our lives should always lead up to one masterpiece. For example, a person’s masterpiece could be to be a doctor and live in a beautiful home with a wife and 3 children. This is a beautiful dream and there’s nothing wrong with working hard towards achieving this dream. But before building up that masterpiece, how about other pieces that could be just as beautiful… For example, learning skills such as learning to play the piano,  starting a small business, joining a charity etcetera. 

Every child wants to build a masterpiece. Even at the beach, they attempt to build the most beautiful sand castle anyone has ever seen. They attempt to build Legos into monsters or cars so they can squeal in sheer delight and show off to their friends. But let’s face it, masterpieces don’t happen overnight and you can’t have a masterpiece without a piece. 

I’m almost done studying my dream course which is physiotherapy and ideally my masterpiece involves being a world class physiotherapist. I get a lot of advice saying “just focus on your school work so you can graduate and start earning good money” but I refuse to take that advice. I refuse to just remain “focused on my masterpiece” and here’s why

1. Our masterpiece most times won’t provide us with all the knowledge and experience we wish to posess.

At the age of 14, I joined my secondary school debate club and started mastering the art of public speaking. It was a great experience and led me to become the best speaker at the national debate competition for all secondary schools held in Abuja. By 16, I gained admission into the University of Ibadan and joined the literary and debating society;  it’s been an intense journey where I’m still learning about the art of public speaking, conversations, interviews etcetera. Here’s one thing you should know; Physiotherapy would have never taught me that. 

2. “Other pieces”, sometimes help us realize what we really want out of life. 

Lily Singh is an Indian Canadian YouTube star. She studied psychology in the University and in her final year, she uploaded a video on YouTube to “try things out”. She eventually realized that that was what she wanted to do with her life. Fast forward to today,  she was named the highest paid Youtuber by Vogue magazine in 2016, currently has over 13 million subscribers on YouTube and is a UNICEF global ambassador. Point taken. 

3. Building “other pieces” build character that would be useful in handling our masterpiece. 

I don’t know how to explain this. But taking a cue from the little children,  if you can’t build a small block of Legos, there’s no way you can build a giant block. 

I recently started learning the Italian language and by recently I mean two years ago.. Its another “piece” that seems far off the physiotherapy profession but imagine there’s a ground breaking physiotherapy skill that is being developed and the only place to learn it is in the faraway country of Italy…. Far stretch? Okay. 

I passed by the table on my way out on the 2nd of January, 2019 and the little children were back at the table. This time they had broken down their little blocks. 

Sometimes our pieces fail and that’s okay

Once upon a time, I bought a sewing machine and was convinced I was going to be a successful tailor. I was wrong and that’s okay. 

They appeared to be building bigger blocks with the Legos. I couldn’t wait to see how it would turn out but I knew that whatever they built would be worth their time. 

As I passed by, I smiled at them.

They smiled back.

Xoxo. 

Health, Life, Life lessons, lifestyle, Uncategorized, yoga

Everyone Has Nice Teeth

First of all… 

Okay now that I’ve shamelessly showed off my teeth, let’s talk! 

The first time I ever got a teeth compliment was in secondary school. My friend Sarah and I were walking back to class during lunch break, hands filled with the snacks we were set to devour. Out of the blues, she turned to me and said “When you smile,  you bare your whole teeth and they’re so beautiful!”

Before that incident, I had never paid much attention to my teeth. I performed the required responsibility of washing them at least once a day but that was all. After the incident, my teeth story took a different turn and I began to pay more attention to my pearly whites. I stood in front of the mirror more often because I realized that I really did have beautiful teeth, sometimes I cleaned my teeth with lime and baking soda(never heard of this? Crawl out of that rock please!), I began to use “whitening” toothpastes and at some point I never took soda without a straw because I didn’t want to stain my teeth. 

I grew older and got to the University and my teeth /smile/ laughter became a conversation piece. It was often times the first thing strangers noticed about me and we usually picked up the conversation from there. I became so confident knowing that I could be arrested for a crime and after an hour -long court session, the judge would say

“Look you’re a very bad person and you’re guilty of this crime but you have really nice teeth so I’ll let you off this time!”

Everyone has nice teeth! 

Maybe not teeth, but everyone has that one thing about their physical appearance that they are extremely confident about. It could be legs, abs, beards, skin, dimples ;any physical attribute. We all have it and we never get tired of hearing these compliments such that we are prepared to go out of our way (like I do with my teeth) to make this attribute even better. 

But then I realized very recently that this does not just apply to only physical attributes! I’ll explain 

I’ve been writing since junior secondary school. I started with poems scribbled down in my jotter. Then in senior secondary school, I mastered the art of writing essays and acquired a ton of accolades for it. I entered the University and I began to write speeches and deliver them… Still fueled by my accolades and compliments, I took it all a step further and started this blog in 2018 to share this creative skill with you.

Writing to me is like a set of beautiful teeth. Everyone compliments it and I will go to great lengths to improve it. 

What is your set of beautiful teeth? 

Everyone has a skill. Or is called Talent? Or Gift? Whatever you call it! And like Joel Osteen said, its not about having a big skill but about improving your skill. Maybe if we focused on that one little  thing we’re so sure we’re good at, it’d be easier to make decisions and plans for the future. 

Perhaps you’re getting the feeling that writing is the only thing I do apart from my everyday school routine but you’re wrong. There’s public speaking, yoga, modelling, MCing and at some point I even owned a sewing machine. But it’s easier to make decisions and set priorities because I’ve identified my beautiful teeth. And even though I still engage in these other activities, they eventually revolve around writing.

I’m in no position to give you advice. I’m neither rich nor famous, not even a published writer. It’s 4 am and my head hurts and I still have to be up by 8am but before I go to bed I really wanted to tell you to find your beautiful teeth and never stop polishing them. 

Maybe it’s because despite the craziness of my life, whenever I write a blog post and hit the “publish” button,  I feel happy. Maybe happiness comes with a side effect of ‘posts like this’. Maybe. But I want you to be happy too. 

Find your beautiful teeth. And polish the fuck out of them! 

Xoxo

Life, Life lessons, psychology

3 Important Concepts You Should Know Before Leaving 2018.

Hi, I’m Anastasia. I like to gather random knowledge from the internet and every once in a while, I come across really fascinating stuffs. 

I specially handpicked these 3 concepts to tell you about today because I feel that most of us at some point have actually experienced them or been subject to them. Perhaps this post would give more meaning to little bits of your life that have gone unexplained for so long. Enough chitchat, let’s get down to business. 

1. Schadenfreude. 

The experience of pleasure, joy, or self-satisfaction that comes from learning of or witnessing the troubles, failures, or humiliation of another.

I first heard this word while watching Boston legal. The legendary Alan Shore was defending a woman who had been accused of killing her much older millionaire husband. There was no evidence to prove that she did it but at the same time, there was no evidence to prove that she didn’t do it. The entire city was against her because she had a cold demeanor, was cheating on her dead husband and didn’t even shed a tear when she found out he was dead. In his closing before the jury,  Alan Shore introduced the term,  explaining that it’s the feeling of pleasure we get from experiencing other people suffer and that scientists have recently been able to capture the electric activity in our brains at these moments. Then he pointed out that there was no evidence proving that his client committed the crime but because she’s a young gold digger who didn’t love her dead husband, she was an easy suspect. He places the jury on the spot by concluding that if they convicted his client, it was not because they had proof beyond reasonable doubt but because of the pleasure of seeing her suffer (Schadenfreude).

I discussed this with a few people and we all agreed that at some point,  we have experienced momentary pleasure at the suffering of others. It doesn’t matter if the person deserved it or not,  they suffered and for a moment, we were happy about it. 

Schadenfreude is driven by one of 3 emotions; Aggression, rivalry or justice. It is commoner in children but adults have their fair share of the emotion. 

2. The Halo Effect.   



 This is a fancy way of saying

Beautiful People are more likely to be successful. 

A while ago,  I had a discussion with a friend about appearance and he told me that there was a theory of some sort that proved that beautiful people are more likely to succeed. It seemed incredible at that time and I decided to do my own research. Well,  turns out,  it’s not a theory or even a rule, it’s a consequence of The Halo Effect. 

In very simple terms the halo effect suggests that we make positive judgement and assumptions about a person based on one positive attribute. This is like that figure of speech that involves using a part to represent a whole. Synedoche I think? No? Okay. 

So for example, if I think a person is funny, I’m more likely to assume that the person is also kind and hospitable. 

This effect has a whole lot to do with appearance because most times,  we form our first impression based on how a person looks. So basically, beautiful people are assumed to be kinder, more hardworking, more successful and happier than other people. 

A study was carried out where subjects had to rate 3 different people based on their pictures. One was beautiful. The other was average looking. And the third was not beautiful. The subjects all thought that the beautiful person was happier, funnier, nicer and even more successful than the others. 

The consequence of this is that beautiful people get trusted more than people who are not. They get jobs easily than people who are not. They don’t need to put in as much work to get as much appreciation.  It’s crazy. 

The effect took it’s name from the concept of a halo which is a ring of light that surrounds the head of angels. The light falls over their entire being causing them to appear ‘angelic’. The single positive attribute of a person (Eg beauty) acts like a halo and spreads light over the rest of the persons character. 

The opposite of the halo effect is called the horn effect where we assume negative assumptions based on a simple trait . The devil’s horn? Get it? It reminds me of a joke commonly said that the ugliest person in the room becomes the suspect when the air smells foul. 

3. The door way effect. 

Let me explain this with 3 simple questions 

“What was I saying again?”

“Why did I open the fridge?”

“Why did I come to this room?”

I see your eyeballs getting bigger! You can relate? Yes? Splendid! That makes two of us. 

So the door way effect is simply the theory that it is difficult for us to remember things when we change environments. 

But contrary to what you might think, this ‘environment’ involves the physical environment as well as the mental environment. 

Here’s how it works. Tasks are divided into levels that our brain understands. For a example,  a woman asks 3 builders what they’re doing. One says “I’m laying bricks atop one another “, the other says “I’m building a wall”, the third says “I’m building a cathedral”. All the same thing but at different levels. 

Sometimes,  these tasks become routine and our brain doesn’t focus on the tiny details of these tasks. But when the need arises to focus on a tiny detail, that is to switch levels( physical and mental environment), our memory becomes difficult. 

For example, the bigger picture is to have a productive day. In order to do that, you need to clear your room and in order to do that, you need to take your tea cup to the kitchen  sink. So your brain switches levels to focus on the tiny detail of taking the cup to the kitchen(change in mental environment). But the moment you enter the kitchen (change in physical environment), you forget why you were there! Your memory becomes difficult. So you walk back to the room and look down at your hands. Voila! You see the tea cup and you remember! 

The same thing happens when we forget what we want to say. For example, the bigger picture is to tell a joke so your brain prepares the joke you want to say (mental environment),  then you get everybody’s attention and begin speaking (physical environment) causing your brain to switch levels and Bam! You forget! How embarrassing! 

You may conclude that our brains simply doesn’t like to switch levels but science reveals that switching levels can also juggle one’s memory. That is why you may walk into a room and remember all the events that happened ten years ago. How wonderful! 


There we have it. The three concepts you should know before the new year arrives. Did you find them interesting? Have you experienced them before? What new concept would you like me to know? Please leave a comment in the box below! 

Xoxo. 

Life, Life lessons

The Story Of Andrew

His name was Andrew. Well not really but that’s what I choose to call him. 

The first time I ever saw him was on a hot Monday afternoon. I was quite a frightful picture to behold with a sweaty face,  palms,  feet…. My bad…. Sweaty everything  and a growling stomach. I was standing on the queue to buy food beside my friend Sade who was seriously considering the pros and cons of buying beans with fried rice. I observed him for a hot minute, he was sitting down with his head bent over his food in adorable concentration. He looked about 6feet with skin like melted chocolate,  jet black hair and incredibly pink lips. 
I nudged Sade out of her dilemma and said 

Don’t look yet but there’s a cute guy seating behind me”.

Of course she looked! She didn’t just look,  she gasped and I could see her mischievous eyes grow wider than saucers as she spotted him. 

Yup” I said simply,  giving her a small smile and turning to the girls who had been waiting to take my order. 

It was not love at first sight. It was never love at all. But rather an appreciation for his looks and as I’d come to know later, his charming boyish persona. 

The second time I ever saw him, I was walking home from school and he stopped me and said

“Are you Anastasia?”

“Yes” I replied. 

“I’m Andrew. I watched you speak the other day. You were phenomenal”

“Thanks” I replied with a small smile, eager to be on my way. 

He understood my body language and stepped out of my way. 

The third time I ever saw him,  I was getting food once again,  this time with less sweat. He had just finished buying his food and he quietly told the woman behind the counter that he was paying for me. He didn’t just pay despite my firm protest, but left his change. The woman behind the counter tried to encourage me to have it but I politely refused and told her to cover his next meal at that place. Money wasted, I know. Don’t tell me about it. 

The fourth time I ever saw him, I don’t even remember what I was doing or where I was going but he appeared in front of me with that smile. 

“May I get your number?”

“Sure” I said. 

The fifth time I ever saw him was over texts…..(you can see a person through whatsapp texts right?)  His text came in the evening when I was settling in with a bowl of spaghetti and a good film. 

Him:  Hi…

Me:  Hi… 

Him:  This is Andrew

Me:  Hello Andrew 

Him:  How are you doing? 

Me:  I’m great thanks 

Him:  Tell me about yourself 

Me:  I can’t really think of anything worth telling 

Him:  Do you watch football 

Me:  No I don’t 

Him:  Well I think it’s very attractive when a lady watches football 

Me:  That’s too bad

Him:  Will you take a walk with me? 

Me:  Yeah

Him:  See you in 20 minutes? 

Me:  See ya

It was a long walk. 2hours or more. It was a lovely walk. We talked about my hobbies and his taste in music. We listened to Sia’s songs from the 90s and critiqued drakes album. We laughed a lot and the night breeze carried the sound. Then he said

“I’ve always admired you”

“Thanks” I said 

“Will you date me” he said, stopping to stare into my eyes

“No” I said,  returning the stare

“why not? “

“Because I’m not interested in dating you”

He winced and said “Alright then”.

We walked back in silence and I knew things would never be the same. 

That was the last time I ever spoke to him. Or even saw him. Partly because I got busy with exams and partly because 

Out of mind, out of sight

Many months later,  I still hadn’t seen or heard from him. It was very unusual to not at least run into him. 

Few weeks ago,  I stopped a friend and asked

“You’re classmates with Andrew right?”

“Yes I am” he replied. 

“I haven’t seen him in a long time and that’s strange. I just want to be sure he’s doing okay”

“He’s not. He suffered a mental illness and was in the hospital for a long time. But he’s no longer there and nobody knows where he is now”.

My mind ran extreme lengths that day. I was torn between sympathy and apathy. Sympathy because nobody deserves a mental illness and apathy because I didn’t know him too well. 

I couldn’t stop asking myself. 

“if i knew this would happen, would i have been nicer? Kinder perhaps? Spoken to him more?”

Probably not. But it was worth torturing myself over. 

it’s been a little over 4 months since I last saw or heard from. I say a little prayer every now and then for his recovery and sometimes, like now, I think about him. 

Few weeks ago, I wrote about uncertainties. Today, I’m writing to prove that life really is uncertain. Maybe if we realize that anything could happen to the people around us, we’d be kinder if only to be a part of the ‘good memories’ they’d have as I hope I feature in Andrew’s ‘good memories’.

Maybe our actions really do count. Maybe they really don’t. I really don’t know but here’s a prayer I do know. 

Dear Lord, Give me the serenity to accept the things I can’t change. The Courage to change the things I can. And the wisdom to know the difference. 

So help us God. 

Xoxo

Please leave a comment!!! 

Life, Life lessons, lifestyle, psychology

Uncertainties and Disappointments 

Uncertainty is one of the most important things that feature in our lives and as much as we try to, we never get used to it. 

How do you get used to the fact that this could be my last blog post ever? Or how do you get used to the fact that the person you call the love of your life today could be a complete stranger tomorrow? Or that a person seemingly sane could become an inmate of a mental institute? We never get used to it. 

I was about 9 years old when I learned about uncertainties and disappointments.  I had just had some issues applying for a federal college and as a result, I had to wait for a few months before I could gain admission into any school. During this period,  I spent most of my days home alone. All my siblings were away in school and I was left with my mum and dad.  They both left the house for work as early as 5am in the morning and didn’t get back till the night time. 

My routine was simple. I would wake when they were leaving and start reading any book I could lay my hands on. When the day broke, I made breakfast for myself and continued reading. I only took breaks from my books to use the toilet and fix a meal for myself. When it was 6pm, I would tidy the house and wait for my mum to arrive. She was usually the first to arrive and always came back between  7pm and 7.15 pm. 

Days turned to weeks and my mum stuck to this pattern. Everyday, once the clock struck 7pm, I would listen patiently for her footsteps on the stairs and surely before the clock struck 7.15pm, she would be knocking on the door. It was our little ritual and I absolutely loved it.

Then the day came. A normal Monday evening. It was 7pm and I was waiting for my lover’s footsteps like every other day but this time, I didn’t hear them. The clock struck 7.16 and I was already hyperventilating. It was getting dark and my fear of darkness was not helping. By 8pm, I was frantic with tears blinding and choking me. I imagined all things terrible that could have happened to her and wondered what would become of us.. Of me.. 
By 8.30pm, my mother knocked on the door in her usual cheerful self. She took one look at my face and frantically asked me what the problem was. After I managed to narrate my fear to her without sounding stupid,  she laughed sweetly and said “I’m sorry, I went to see your aunt and she wouldn’t stop talking. That’s why I’m home late” . 

Okay. Good thing is, she was safe. My fears were allayed. Bad thing is, I was sad and hurt and disappointed. Don’t ask me for a justification for my disappointment because my 9 year old self was not bothered about being reasonable but was merely dissapointed that my mum had broken our little ritual. 

It should have hit me at that point. But it didn’t. I was still convinced that if we take every tiny detail into consideration or that if we can find the pattern, we can, to an extent, predict the events of our life. For example, considering the fact that I was a star student throughout primary school and junior secondary school, I didn’t expect to be anything less than 3rd position in my first term in senior secondary school. I ‘expected’ that with my natural intelligence, coupled with reading and extra lessons, I would emerge top of my class. So when my results came at the end of the term with 5th position boldly written on it,  once again,  I was dissapointed. Dissapointed in myself and in my “intelligence”.

It should have hit me at this point. But still, it didn’t. I still believed that to an extent, life and the people in it were predictable. At least the sun rose every morning and set every evening. That should count for something. So I went about my daily life, constantly expecting. If I prepared hard for a competition, I expected to win. If I showed respect to someone, I expected respect in return. If I loved a person, I expected love in return. If I ate well and exercised daily,  I expected to be healthy. Expectations. Expectations. Expectations. 

Then on an uneventful evening, a person casually said to me. That if I lowered my expectations of life and people,i was bound to get less dissapointed. At that moment, it sounded like a good punchline so I tweeted it without thinking about it. 

And today. At this moment. I’m thinking about it. I’m sitting down in a crowded bank and the woman beside me smells like raw fish. My friend is on a long queue and I’m trying my best to breathe while holding my breath. At this moment, I’m thinking about it….

That the reason why it’s important to lower your expectations of life and people is because of uncertainties. The fact that you never truly know what could happen the next second is the reason why you shouldn’t have any expectations. It’s not about assuming the worst of every situation. It’s about not assuming at all. 

If I hadn’t expected my mum to stick to our ritual, I would not have been dissapointed. if I didn’t expect to automatically come top of my class, I wouldn’t have been disappointed. and so on and so forth. So on the surface it seems like a simple math formular. 

Expectations = Disappointment  when Uncertainty is constant. 

But here’s the plot twist; the fish smell has been replaced by the cologne of a young handsome man but unfortunately, my friend is done at the counter so I’m leaving the bank now. Now here’s the plot question… 

Is it humanly possible to have zero expectations? 

Isn’t there at least a minimum level of character you expect from friends and family? Don’t you expect your life to turn out a certain way? Here’s a sentence… 

I’m expecting a visitor by noon

If I lived a life of zero expectations, what would that sentence become? 

???????????

Do you see how hard this shit is? 

If the said visitor doesn’t show up, I’m going to be unavoidably dissapointed because let’s face it, I really was ‘expecting’ that human to show up

So in the comfort of my bed,  I’ve spent the past few hours surfing the internet and trying to figure out how a person can have zero expectations. How I can train my mind into understanding that no-one, not even life, owes me anything and how I can live my life with less expectations and less disappointments.

There is no ‘how’

After drowning myself in millions of articles, I’ve realized that there is no “how?”. You either have expectations or you don’t. 

It’s like a person asking “How do I smile?”. You either smile or you don’t smile. There’s no “how?”.

Perhaps we should try this principle at the crack of dawn today. There’s no asking “how do I have zero expectations?”. Wake up and have zero expectations and we’ll see if it’s possible and best of all, effective. 

Did I end this post too abruptly? Do you feel dissapointed? Remember what we just talked about?

PS. This is not my last blog post ❤ I love you too much to stop. 
PS: Happy world children’s day 

PS(i swear this is the last one): please drop a comment below and follow me on all social media @prettydiferent 

Xoxo

Life, Life lessons, lifestyle, Uncategorized

A Short Post About The Butterfly Effect  

I stood in the examination room of the surgical outpatient section of the University College hospital, Ibadan, shifting my weight from one foot to another while trying to focus on what the consultant was saying. I was very interested in the patient’s condition as it involved a damage to the spinal cord but at the same time I was also thinking of my next meal. 

“Ma’am I need you to lie on the plinth”

The deep sonorous voice of the consultant jolted me back from spaghetti land. He wanted to properly examine the sensory abilities of the patient and instructed her to lie on the bed-like platform called a plinth. All the students, including myself,  turned towards the plinth and struggled to get a good position to view the process. However the consultant noticed that the plinth was bare with no linen covering it and got furious.

In a bit to salvage the situation and noticing that there was a sheet hanging over the edge of the plinth, I reached out with my bare hands to lift this. 

“No that has been used. Put it down and call the nurse to bring a fresh linen” The consultant retorted. 

I dropped it immediately, not thinking twice and waited for the nurse. 

15 minutes later, the nurse walked in, bringing along a fresh set of bed coverings and made an entire ceremony of laying it smoother than a hotel bed. When she was done, she paused to admire her work and looked around her. 

She caught sight of the used bed sheet and to my horrified eyes, reached inside her pockets,  withdrew a pair of gloves, wore them and picked up the sheets. 

It was at this moment I knew I had fucked up. 

Okay. Take a deep breadth. You can handle this situation. All you have to do is wash your hands and everything will be okay. 

Then it hit me. In 15 minutes,  I’d brushed my hair from my face. I’d rubbed my nose. I’d pressed my phone, written down in my jotter and even tapped my colleague on the shoulder. 

I began to imagine the worst. I imagined the worst possible microorganisms that could have been present on the linen. I tried to recollect the nurse’s body language while she picked it up….. Did she wear the gloves out of caution or did she seem certain of a spill?.. Did the sheets appear wet? 

After washing my hands, I began to pray. No not pray. I began to torture myself with possible complications that could arise from touching the spill of a patient. 

 I imagined that this exposure would lead me to develop a terminal illness that would eventually lead to my death. That I would lay on my death bed and wish I hadn’t touched the sheets. Not likely,  but tell that to my brain. 

Half an hour later,  I was fine. Well not completely, but at least I didn’t think I was gonna die. I had reassured myself that it was merely hospital protocols and washing my hands would correct all the damage. 

I remembered that a while ago I had read about something called the butterfly effect. 

This effect explains that major events in the world (especially concerning the weather) could be caused by something as little as the flap of butterfly wings. Maybe not directly….. But a sequel of events.. For example

The flap of a butterfly’s wings will cause a car driver to get distracted and result in a road traffic accident. 

Okay let’s try something more complicated. 

In the movie, big little lies. Madeline sprained her ankle. Jane rushed to help her and they instantly became friends. Madeline introduced Jane to her best friend Celeste. Turns out their kids all go to the same school. Jane’s son is accused of hurting a girl at school, causing Madeline to defend her against the girls mother. Turns out it’s really Celeste’s son that was the bully and Celeste’s abusive husband is the man who raped Jane many years ago and is the father of her son. Celeste’s husband realizes there’s no escape for him and attempts to kill his wife, he is pushed down the stairs by Madeline’s ex husband’s new wife. He dies. 

A man dies because Madeline sprained her ankle. 

Mind blowing. Literally. 

This implies that small activities in our lives eventually build up to major events that define us…. 

My knowledge of this has been both a blessing and a curse. 

It has been a blessing because I can factor in little things that I know adds up to my self development. For example, I know that in working out frequently, I contribute to my general well-being and reduce the risk of most diseases. I also know that in setting goals for myself everyday and attempting to accomplish them, I contribute to being more productive and successful. 

Like I said, a blessing. 

I recently suffered two major losses while doing one of the things I love the most; public speaking. At the end of both debates my mind began the self destructive process of wondering what little thing I’d done that led to the butterfly effect of failure. I traced my entire journey to the first time I heard the topic I was to debate on…. I asked myself… Was I distracted? Did I have little time to prepare for this? Was it because I used this word and not that word? Did I pick the wrong outfit? Did I smile too little. For every loss, I am somehow convinced that it didn’t just happen and I was an active reason why things didn’t work out well. 

Like I said,  a curse.  

Now the question remains “What do I do with my knowledge of the butterfly effect?”

Do I live my life,  taking each tiny event as they come, completely independent of other events? 
Do I live my life like a sequel, knowing that even the smallest events lead up to the biggest events? 

Or do I just publish this post hoping that you my lovely reader have an answer to my questions? 

How do you live your life? Would you tell me? 

PS: Apologies if I ruined a great movie for you❤❤

Don’t leave without dropping a comment and subscribing! 

Xoxo

Life, Life lessons, lifestyle

My First Experience Of Acting.

How does one go from designated chef to hall of fame actress? 

I have a friend named Tee. Over the years, our relationship has become such that if I ever needed to hide a dead body, his name tops the list of my emergency contacts.

So it was no surprise when he called me sometime last year and said “I need you to cook for a couple of people this weekend”. Turns out his brother was just starting out in the movie industry and was going to shoot a short Christian film somewhere on the outskirts of Ibadan. He needed me to cook for members of the crew on Friday night and the whole of Saturday. The offer came with an undisclosed pay and I had no problem with the arrangement as I had scheduled nothing else that weekend. 

So I donned a black blouse and some good old fashioned boot cut jeans. I packed an extra cream colored shirt, a cardigan and some toiletries in my cute brown tote bag and took a bike to our agreed location to meet the rest of the crew.

Perhaps it’s true that sometimes we dress the worst for our best moments and the best for our worst moments. 

The crew consisted of one make up artist called Cynthia, 3 photographers Tee included, Tee’s brother and a young man called Paul. 

We fit comfortably into two minivans and set off on an unusually far journey. Sitting there, in a minivan, in the middle of the night with a bunch of strangers made me realize how much trust I had in Tee. Or maybe I’m just reckless. 

Let it be known that while my mates attended late night parties and got drunk, I took weird field trips with strangers in the middle of the night . Same difference. 

By 10pm,  we got to a 3 bedroom flat in a painfully new area on the outskirts of Ibadan. By painfully new, I mean that all buildings including ours were freshly plastered and the iron gates still had a factory smell. I made spaghetti with smoked catfish that night and engaged in friendly conversations with the other two photographers who were also students. 

Cynthia and I got a room with a big bed,  the three photographers got another room,  while Tee’s brother and Paul got the masters bedroom. Paul requested that since we would be shooting a Christian movie, we should all endeavor to play only gospel music on the sound system. 

It’s easy to come out of your comfort zone. The difficulty comes in remaining outside that comfort. 

The sun rose and so did we. Paul and Tee’s brother left to get the ‘rest of the crew’ while I made fried plantains and eggs for breakfast. We messed around with the cameras and enjoyed the guilty pleasure of playing non gospel music on the sound system. 

Turns out the ‘rest of the crew’was a young short bald man with the confidence of an Oscar award recipient. There was a little boy too who was extremely restless. 

On second thought, children are always restless. I need to chill. 

The set up for the movie began and I disappeared into the kitchen to prepare jollof rice for lunch. 

Things happened really fast. 

Their voices were getting louder.

Footsteps. 

Tee appeared in the kitchen with a smile on his face. 

He looked like a lizard. 

“What’s happening? ” I asked. 

He said nothing but continued smiling. 

A smiling lizard. 

Paul appeared in the kitchen with a worried look on his face. 

He looked like a cockroach. 

“Have you ever acted before?” he asked. 

“No” I replied. 

A worried cockroach.

“We really need you to take up a role in this movie. It’s not a big deal,  just about 3 scenes. The lady who was supposed to take the part bailed on us”. He said maintaining a frightening eye contact with me. 

 I just wanted to cook. Is that too much to ask? 

 I said yes. Not because I wanted to become the next Genevieve but because at that moment; between the smiling lizard and the worried cockroach, I could feel how much it meant to them. 

It’s so difficult to please ourselves. Yet so easy to please others. 

I was to be the wife of the bald man and the mother of the young boy. We were to  happily married and reflect this happiness. But how does one fake chemistry with a stranger with zero appeal to me? He stood at least 4 inches beneath me and was way too bossy for anyone’s liking. The little boy was cute but didn’t exactly make my ovaries itch. And I know that I also didn’t make anyone feel like a husband or a son. It was a beautiful mess. I felt sorry for Paul. 

At some point,  we become like pawns on the chessboard of life. We live for a greater purpose that we neither know nor appreciate. But still, we live. 

The first scene showed a happy family at morning devotion. All I had to do was say “Amen”, hand my husband his briefcase and instruct my son to be a good boy. After about 100 takes, we had the shot. No big deal. 

The second scene was a robbery scene. The Armed robbers barged into the house, trailing my husband with toy guns and making away with many thousands of Naira. All I had to do was fake some tears and say “please don’t hurt us” or something like that. After about two hundred takes, we had the shot. No big deal. 

It was dark already and although Paul insisted that I stay the night so we could wrap up the final scene the following day, I refused. I had lost interest in acting and socializing and just wanted return to my life of solitude. I made Paul drive me home, well half way… and I promised to meet them the next day for the hospital scene. 

Spoiler alert,  the robbers had shot my son and he was rushed to the hospital. It was an ugly mess. I felt sorry for myself. 

I slept in my bed that night, not that it was any consolation. The next morning I was torn between continuing what I’d started and disappointing Paul. However, by 9am I said fuck it and took a bike to our agreed point of rendezvous. 

Consistency can either be a virtue or a curse. For me, it’s both. 

We drove to the make shift hospital(which was actually a primary school) and began setting up. 

All I  had to do was act disturbed while my husband prayed to God for a miracle.God heard his prayers and the doctor announced the recovery of my son. Yayy…..after about three hundred takes,  we had the shot. No big deal. 

Two days later, I got a credit alert that could settle my data subscription for a month. Three days later,  the movie was released on YouTube and everyone was excited. 

Except me. 

I never watched the movie. 

I never shared the link or promoted the movie. 

I never spoke of that experience 

And as much as i tried to deny it, I knew I didn’t give it my best and for that reason,  I was ashamed. 

For my actions, I am ashamed. 

So I write this post to admonish myself 

That I am not perfect, never have been and never will be. 

That a constant pursuit of perfection is itself a sickness. 

That one cannot be good at all things. And that’s okay. 

That I was wrong to not watch and share the movie despite knowing how much it meant to Paul. 

That anything worth doing is worth doing well. And maybe if I’d given it my best, I wouldn’t feel this way.

That maybe if I’d given it my best, I’d still feel this way. But that’s okay too. 

That for my actions, or lack of actions, I am sincerely sorry. 

And if this write-up ever makes it to my blog, here’s what I promise 

To watch “IN ONE DAY” a short Christian film about the unpredictability of life and the unending power of God and maybe if I’m bold enough, to share the link with my contacts. 

And if you make it to the end of this post. Here’s what you should do. 

Reconcile with the things,events  or people in your life that you’re ashamed of or embarrassed about. 

Because at the end of the day, life’s too short to live in shame and regret

What things have you done that you’re not necessarily proud of? Tell me all about it in the comment box below!

Xoxo