Uncategorized

A Tribute To My Late Night Walks.

In those moments, it doesn’t matter how often my feet touch the ground or if they do at all. It’s a communion with the universe, a dance with the darkness, an intercourse with the moon.

The one where I walked with a stranger…

I walked past him in the middle of the night. I heard him call out to me but I had earphones in my ears, so I pretended not to have heard. Fat chance! He walked up to me still, a big smile on his face

“Hi, I’m Paul”

“I’m Anastasia” I said, pretending to be startled.

“I saw you walk past and you look really beautiful. Do you mind if I walk with you”

“But you don’t even know where I’m going” I protested

“Does it matter?” he asked with a mischievous grin

We walked the walk and talked the most part of it. He was a graduate of a school in the north here for a visit. He was leaving the next day and insisted that it was fate that made us meet….

Talking to Paul was fun. At the end of the walk, we exchanged numbers and resolved to keep in touch

The next day, Paul called. He had lost his sister that day to a road traffic accident and just wanted to let me know. I sent my condolences to him and my prayers to God.

…………………………………………………….

The one where we touched the wall

It was his ritual.

Was it weird? Yes!

Was I down for it? Also yes!

It was our second time taking a walk and we were less nervous being around each other. We walked the path and joked about our exes.

There was a special wall he insisted we touch and I obliged. Sometimes I like to feel adventurous…spoiler alert, I’m not. Sometimes I like to imagine that touching the wall that day created a “butterfly effect” or somehow made the world a better place. Sometimes I think like a sheep and I know it.

The wall marked the boundary between the hospital environment and the outside world. There was a security post which usually had 2 night guards. Tonight, there was only one guard and he lay asleep on the floor close to the wall which made our mission more risky. We began to tiptoe, trying hard not to make a sound. He whispered something funny…a little laugh escaped my lips. Dammit! My hand flew to my mouth, drowning out any sound.

Slowly and steadily, we reached the wall, touched it and made our retreat.

“How do you feel?” he asked with his eyes fixed intently on mine.

“Great” I said with a shy smile.

I felt warm inside.

We got to a T-shirt junction and I wanted to tell him that it was goodluck to kiss at a T-Junction.

I didn’t.

We haven’t spoken in a long time.

…………………………………………………….

The one where it was darker than usual

“If you forget to invite me to your wedding, I’ll kill you”

“Deal” he’d said with a straight face.

This one felt good. It felt really good. We set off at 1am and didn’t get back till 3am.

All the lights in the hospital were off and it was darker than usual.

I pointed out my favorite trees to him and he told me about how he met his girlfriend.

By 3am, we were back in the hostel. In front of my block, he bent over and hugged me with his cologne lingering on my dress.

“Have a goodnight” he said

I did.

……………………………………………………

The one where I met a doctor

“You’re really hot and I want to be your friend” he’d said

It was really cold and I wasn’t looking for any new friends.

He’d stopped his car by the road and came down to have a chat with me. He was a doctor there in the hospital and he asked that we go get a drink at a bar close-by. I wasn’t down for a drink or even a conversation so I made excuses to continue my walk.

“What genre of music are you listening to?” he asked, spotting the blue light of my headset

“Indie rock” I replied.

The confusion on his face made my night.

……………………………………………………..

The one where I walked alone

This was a night when I sought pain. I wished for a car to hit me, or a stone to trip me… Anything to cause me physical pain. Let’s face it, it’s easier to tell people you’re sad because you sprained your ankle, than to explain to them that you have no reason for crying. The psychiatrist explained this to me once, but I don’t remember what he called it.

To my surprise, that night was perfect. The cars avoided me, the wind dried my tears and the trees even cooed a soft tune as if singing to the beat of my feet. By the time I arrived back in the hostel, I was numb and tired. Nothing mattered. I just needed to sleep.

It sucks to admit to myself that sometimes, life can just as simple as taking a walk. It ends where it began. Nature birthed us and when we die, nature shall receive us. Sometimes we’re alone, sometimes we’re not and these different people we meet spur different emotions in us.

No, there is no lesson to be learnt from touching a wall, conversing with a stranger, looking at trees in the middle of the night, etcetera and honestly, I have no justification for writing this post. But my mum always told me “When you have a story, tell it”.

I’m wrapping up this post while listening to ‘Walk me home’ by p!nk and even though I don’t know when my walk(s) in life would end, I hope I never stop telling stories about the incredible humans I’ve met along the way.

Xoxo

PS: Can we skip over the part where I’ve been away for 3 months? I broke my own heart and needed time to heal.

Advertisements
Uncategorized

In Memory Of… 

/in/

expressing a period of time during which an event happens or a situation remains the case.

I loved being a child. Didn’t you? In retrospect, it’s probably the most peaceful and satisfying my life has ever been. It’s not that my childhood was filled with glorious adventures and escapades but rather that I lived in the moment, not worrying about my future or past. I simply lived. 

Some people argue that childhood was a scam because we were shielded from the reality of the world we live in. We believed that a spider bite could turn us into superheroes,  we believed the moon was following our car at night and our biggest failure was wearing socks that didn’t match. Suddenly we grew older and realized that superheroes don’t exist, the moon doesn’t move an inch and people aren’t as happy as in the cartoons. 

But while some people see childhood as a facade of the harsh realities, I chose to see it as one last supper. Think of it this way; life was probably like

“There will come a time when you’d be responsible for your own life and when you’ll be faced with realities like death, hunger and so on. But before then, here’s one last opportunity to believe in zombies”.

And we were all like

“Gee thanks! You’re so thoughtful!”

Now that I’m grown(quite) and faced with harsh realities, all I’ve got left from my childhood, just like everyone else, are memories that mostly put a smile on my face. 

/memory/

Something remembered from the past. 

I remember Rachel.We were both about 11 years old when we met. She was beautiful, like a child. A small head and a small body to go with that. She had a voice like a Grammy nominated chipmunk and she was the lead singer in her church which was coincidentally located at the ground floor apartment of the building I lived in. We saw each other everyday; if it was not in school, it was in my compound as I walked past her church during their service or during the weekend when I walked all the way to her street to buy Akara and pap from Mama Amaka.  

We became friends, partially because of proximity and partially because we were intrigued by each other. I was tall, she was short. In my house we ate potatoes for breakfast, in her house, she ate puff puff and tea. Her mum let her visit and have visitors, my mum did not (or maybe I had no friends, I can’t recollect). We were complete opposites and yet so perfect. 

She dragged me a little out of my comfort zone and it was pretty awesome. For example, she coaxed me on my birthday ( December 29) to come out of the house to throw knockouts. She also convinced me one time to buy artificial nails which I never fixed. She even made us pluck that pinkish apple-like fruit from a roadside tree and eat to our fill( it’s delicious! Why don’t they sell it around? And what’s it called??)

But my favorite memory with Rachel was getting into trouble with my brother and my mother. 

Let me explain. 

We were both in JSS2 and used to walk back from school together; she would get home first,  while I continued down the road alone to my house.  School finished by 3.30 and I was typically expected at home no later than 4pm and most times I stuck to the schedule. 

It was a brilliant Monday afternoon and my brother who was home from the University expected me to be home at the usual time. But that day, I had taken the bull by its horns and followed Rachel home after much persuasion. She cooked noodles for me and we talked about everything from boys to mean teachers. Her elder sister who was just as friendly joined the conversation and it was one hell of an evening! 

By the time,  I picked up my bag to go, it was 6pm. I got home by a few minutes past 6 and after taking one look at my brother’s face,  I knew I had fucked up. 

Long story short, on failing to provide a reasonable answer to the question “Where have you been? “, my brother whooped me and reported the incident to my mother when she got back from work. When my mum asked me what I was doing for 2 hours, I panicked and said

“I stopped to admire the tree on the other street and I got carried away”. I know. I’m an idiot. 

Of course my mum thought I was possessed and for the next one week, drowned me in anointing oil and prayed to God to remove any spirit that was tying me to a tree. 

I told Rachel everything that happened and we had a good laugh about it. 

/of/

Expressing the relationship between a part and a whole. 

Memories are a part of our whole lives. Just as Rachel has and will always be a part of my life. 

After JSS3, my family moved out of that area and I haven’t seen Rachel in at least 7 years. 

We were not completely shut out of each others lives as we unfailingly wish each other a happy birthday on facebook every year with lots of emojis. 

It’s not that I was afraid of making new memories with Rachel but for what it’s worth, I already had the most sacred memories with her and just knowing that she was there,  on another side of the country was enough for me. 

Memories are truly a part of our lives and that’s what I love the most about being a child. Having so many great memories stored up in your head to put a smile on your face as you get through the tough adult times. Sure you make new memories as young adults but that helps you get through life as an old adult. Okay that’s nonsense! I love childhood because of the memories I created. Do you? 

PS: Rachel died in December 2018 following a road traffic accident. This post is dedicated to her sweet soul which I’m certain is resting in heavenly peace. 

Xoxo

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

Uncategorized

A Trip To Brain Tumor

Imagine the world suddenly becomes infested with zombies. 

They are everywhere and it’s difficult to avoid them. Everyone is being eaten alive by these horrible creatures; men, women and even children. It’s a terrible situation and you’re scared for your life. 

The government releases a message saying that there is a safe house somewhere in the city open to people. A place that protects you from the attacks of these zombies. A haven. 

You have two options. Struggle to get to that safe house or remain where you are. If you make the journey to the safe house,  there’s no guarantee you would  get there safely. You could die on the way. But at the same time, there’s also a chance you’ll make it there alive. If you remain where you are, it’s for sure you’re going to die. What would you do? 

It sucks that there are zombies and there’s nothing anybody can do about it immediately. But in the mean time, making it to that safe house is the safest and most reasonable decision anybody can make and it’ll be foolish to remain in your house simply because “you might die on the way”.

Let’s get back to the real world. 

Brain tumor exists and infact, the world is under an attack. It’s the cause of 2% of all cancer deaths yearly and it’s worse than a zombie attack because it comes silently like a thief in the night. 

Unlike a zombie that you can recognize from its abnormal look and desperate cry for attention, a brain tumor can be hard to recognize. It is a mass that occurs in the brain. It is deadly for the simple reason that it is not supposed to be there. A classical example of being at the wrong place at the wrong time( there is no right time). 

A brain tumor could be malignant (which means cancerous)  or benign (which means non-cancerous) . It is also classified into primary and secondary brain tumor. A primary brain tumor originates in the brain and is usually benign. A secondary brain tumor is a tumor with an origin somewhere other than the brain and is usually malignant. This means that a person who has breast cancer could have a secondary brain tumor as a result. Scary. 

There are a wide range of signs and symptoms of a brain tumor depending on the type, size and location of the tumor. However, common symptoms include

  • Persistent headaches that are worse in the morning 
  • vomiting
  • blurred vision or double vision
  • confusion
  • seizures (especially in adults)
  • weakness of a limb or part of the face
  • a change in mental functioning
  • clumsiness
  • memory loss
  • difficulty writing or reading
  • changes in the ability to hear, taste, or smell
  • decreased alertness, which may include drowsiness and loss of consciousness
  • difficulty swallowing
  • dizziness or vertigo
  • eye problems, such as drooping eyelids and unequal pupils
  • uncontrollable movements
  • hand tremors
  • loss of balance
  • loss of bladder or bowel control
  • numbness or tingling on one side of the body
  • trouble speaking or understanding what others are saying
  • changes in mood, personality, emotions, and behavior
  • difficulty walking
  • muscle weakness in the face, arm, or leg

Remember the journey to the safe house that common sense forces you to make during the zombie attack? Well that journey is a trip to your doctor to report any signs of a brain tumor. Early detection and intervention is not a guarantee that a person would survive a brain tumor, but non-detection and non-intervention is an almost absolute guarantee that a person would not survive (almost because I believe in miracles. Do you?) 
A trip to the doctor opens the door for new developments. Many tests such as a skull X-ray, a CT scan, an MRI, a biopsy and so on will be done all in a bid to answer the following questions. Where is the location of this tumor? What is the size of the tumor? How fast is it growing? What type of tumor is it?  What body functions is it impinging on? What is the best approach to treatment? Can it be completely removed? What are the risks involved in removing this tumor?

Every question answered draws the medical team one step closer to effectively managing this condition. Most times, the treatment of a brain tumor involves a surgical procedure to remove the tumor and if it is malignant, chemotherapy and radiotherapy are prescribed. 

Anybody can have a brain tumor, although

The Male sex,

Older people,

People with a family history of brain tumor, 

People who have had exposure to radiation and 

People with a history of head injury

Are more predisposed to having a brain tumor. 

In a nutshell, 

  • Report any signs and symptoms to your doctor. 


  • No one is safe. 


  • While spiritual intervention is not frowned upon, it cannot replace the role of medical intervention 


  • Having a surgery is not equivalent to death 


  • There have been many successful cases of the removal of brain tumor, even in Nigeria. 


  • A brain tumor is not the end of the world. 


  • Early detection is key. 

Join the brain tumor awareness walk coming up on the 3rd of November 2018 in the University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan and lend a voice to creating more awareness for this menace. 

For more information about brain tumor, kindly visit https://www.cancer.net/cancer-types/brain-tumor 

Feel free to ask any questions in the comments below and I’ll be happy to answer them. Contribute to this cause by sharing this article with family and friends. Follow me on all social media @prettydiferent and help make a wider impact. 

#greyforhope

#walktosave

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

Uncategorized

15 Things I Absolutely Love

This is a love post! 

We are all a little predictable. Don’t believe me? Here’s 3 things I know you love; your mum, your phone and your privacy. I know these because they appear to be ‘normal’ things that we are obliged to love based on our nature as humans. But what about those things that are your “guilty pleasures” or  things that are peculiar to your nature as (input your name). Here is a list of ten things I absolutely love in this world; if we have similar love interests, it’s nice to meet you! Regardless, I want you to make your own list in the comment box below. 
1.Dry Jokes 

2.Midnight Yoga

3.Eye contact with a person I admire

4.Indomie and bread (and the look on your face right now) 

5.Salted popcorn

6.Long walks in the night 

7.Handbags (you have no idea!) 

8.Watching a person sleep 

9.Wriggling my toes

10. Warm and long hugs

11. Country music 

12. Midnight twitter 

13.The smell of freshly laundered clothes.

14. A proud Man 

15. Silence

Please comment! Please subscribe! I love you! Xoxo

 

 
 

Book Review, Books, Life lessons, lifestyle, Relationships, Uncategorized

The Subtle Art Of Not Giving  A Fuck; Book Review. 

Book: The Subtle Art Of Not Giving A Fuck. 

Author: Mark Manson. 

Introduction.

34 year old American blogger and entrepreneur, Mark Manson uses experience, plain honesty and profanity to create a best selling self help book. You’ll probably never see another author with such a raw style of writing. From the title of the book, I’m sure you can already imagine the raw, yet awfully pleasant content it holds. This book however is not a recipe for extreme nonchalant and carefree behavior like the name might suggest,  it is however a recipe for getting the best out of life by using our fucks wisely. 

” You’re going to die one day. And in the short amount of time between here and there,  you have a limited amount of fucks to give. And if you go around giving a fuck about everything and everyone without conscious thought or choice,  well then you’re going to get fucked. 

When you give a fuck about everyone and everything  you will feel that you’re perpetually entitled to be comfortable and happy at all times,  that everything is supposed to be just exactly the fucking way you want it to be. This is a sickness”.


Major Theme

LIFE

Lesson number one. Life is not a bed of roses. Never has been,  never will be. 

Sometimes life sucks and the healthiest thing you can do is to admit it. 

 This book is a guide to living a happy life and the writer makes it clear what contributes to a happy life

The key to a good life is not giving a fuck about more. It’s giving a fuck about less… About only what is true and immediate and important. 

The writer also expresses anger at the modern culture of believing that one should be happy at all times. 

Our culture today is obsessively focused on unrealistically positive expectations. Be happier. Be healthier. Be sexier… Fly your helicopter to your wonderfully fulfilling job where you spend your days doing incredibly meaningful work that’s likely to save the planet one day

He believes that this is a tool of the social media and modern psychology that feeds on our lack and makes us believe that if we so much as feel anything other than happy, then we are not worthy.

Sub themes

Values

There are a handful of common values that create really poor problems for people. 1.pleasure. 2.Material success. 3.Always being right 4. Staying positive 

The writer talks about good and bad values and explains how all our actions and reactions are based on our value system. He also differentiates between good and bad values stating that good values are reality based, socially constructive and controllable. 

Pain

Pain is an important part of a success story. It’s safe to say that the author agrees with the maxim that says NO PAIN NO GAIN. The writers tone suggests that to live a pain-free life is to have no life at all. 

The avoidance of suffering is a form of suffering. The avoidance of struggle is a struggle. Hiding what is shameful is itself a form of shame. 

The writer also believes that happiness comes from pain/Struggle. It is through  the process of overcoming our challenges and struggles that we experience joy. 

One day, in retrospect, the years of struggle will strike you as the most beautiful. 


Death
.

Confronting the reality of our own mortality is important because it obliterates all the crappy, fragile,  superficial values in life. 

You know how when people come so close to death, they begin to appreciate life and all its beauty? The writer narrates how he intentionally came close to death by climbing on a cliff and when asked how he felt when he descended,  he replied “I feel very alive”.

We’re all going to die. No one’s going to escape it. And the sooner we accept the fragility of our lives, we would have less time for bad and unnecessary values. 

10 Important Nuggets from The Book.

1. Not giving a fuck does not mean being indifferent;  it means been comfortable with being different. 

2. To not give a fuck about adversity,  you must first give a fuck about something more important than adversity. 

3.The pursuit of positive things is in itself a negative thing. The acceptance of negative things is in itself a positive thing. Go figure. 

4.If you have to round up people who have suffered a tragic loss or battled a medical condition or generally suffered something terrible,  you’d be rounding up everyone. There’s nothing unique about your problems. 

5. Choose your struggle. Nobody has it all. 

6. Pain is part of the process. It is important to feel it. To deny it is to deny our own potential. 
7. We are defined by what we chose to reject. And if we reject nothing,  we essentially have no identity. 

8. We don’t always control what happens to us. But we always control how we interpret what happens to us as well as how we respond. 

9.You’re very fortunate if you started from the bottom because things can only get better. Even if things go bad,  you’ll only end up where you started, so why not try?

10. Evil people never believe that they are evil. Rather they believe everyone else is evil. 


Personal Review. 

First of all,  shout out to my friend Ottah Osondu for recommending this book and giving it to me with the exact words ‘This is one of the most influential books in my life”. Having read the book, I can say that it’s the same for me too. In my opinion, here are 9 type of people who must read this book. 

1. The self victimizer who thinks they have all the problems in the world. 

2. The grandiose who think they have no problems

3. Those who are afraid of dying

4. The person with a low self esteem

5. Those who want to be successful 

6. Those who DON’T want to be successful 

8. Any person who loves a good book 

9. Anyone with a sense of humor 

I hope you get my point,  but just in case you didn’t .EVERYBODY SHOULD READ THIS BOOK! And when you’re done reading, how about you close your eyes and thank the creator for a mind like Mark’s. I did. 

My favorite part of the book is where he sheds light on what he terms the “Victimhood Chic”. It is a situation where every single person in the world feels like they are being oppressed in some way (see article ‘Depressed is the new cool ‘). Through racism, cultural appropriation, sexism, body shaming, homophobia, religion, animal rights… The list is endless. 

This attitude, perpetuated by the internet and social media, allows us to avoid responsibility by blaming others. You don’t like a textbook because you think it’s racist? The school is to blame for how you feel and you’re being victimized . You don’t like the lyrics of a song, the artist is to blame for offending you. A month ago, a young lady shot 3 people at YouTube building because she wasn’t getting enough views on her channel and “YouTube was to blame”.The writer points out that while people might be blamed for things that happen to you, you and only you are responsible for how you perceive it and how you react. 

Mark points out that the problem with the victimhood chic is that it sucks attention away from the actual victims; after all everyone is claiming to have a problem. Besides conflict is the side dish of living in a liberal society. 

Part of living in a democratic and free society is that we all have to deal with views and people we don’t necessarily like. 

Before this, I had only ever done one book review on The Joys of Motherhood and I’d put off doing a review on any book that wasn’t fiction even though I read non-fiction more. I was scared of how you all would react to it and I doubted I could do a good one. Then Mark Manson came along and confronted me with this

The real question is what are you choosing to give a fuck about? 

I advise you keep reading. 

In the last chapter of this book lies the most therapeutic and logical paragraph ever written and in the spirit of the weekend, I’d let you have it .

You are great. Already. Whether you realize it or not.Whether anybody else realized or not. And it’s not because you launched an iPhone App or finished school a year early or bought yourself a sweet as boat.  These things don’t define greatness. You are already great because in the face of endless confusion and certain death,  you continue to choose what to give a fuck about and what not to. This mere fact. This simple optioning  for your own values in life,  already makes you beautiful,  already makes you successful and already makes you loved. Even if you don’t realize it. Even if you’re sleeping in a gutter and starving. You are going to die and that is because you too were fortunate enough to have lived. 

 Have you read the book? Do you agree with the Writers perspective? Can you hook me up on a coffee date with Mark? Let me know in the comments below. Xoxo

Uncategorized

The Joys of Motherhood; Book Review. 

Title-  The Joys of Motherhood 

Author- Buchi Emecheta 

Publisher- Heinemann

Genre- Fiction/Women’s Literature 
Introduction

The late Buchi Emecheta, a Lagos born Nigerian spun a tale around a village girl named “Nnu Ego” whose children gave her life and ultimately, death. The story also bears a strong feminist message. 

Plot Summary. 

Nnu Ego is the love child of Chief Nwokocha Agbadi and his beautiful yet arrogant mistress, Ona.

People said that Nwokocha Agbadi spent all his life on this earth courting his Ona.

Since her mother passed away during her birth, Nnu Ego is raised up in her father’s compound in the village of Ibuza as his only daughter where she is surrounded by family, wealth and love. 

Fair skinned, plump and beautiful, Nnu Ego was soon married off to Amatokwu, an Ibuza man for whom she fails to bear any children.  Facing humiliation and shame,  she is forced to return to her father’s house where she is soon sent off to Lagos to be the wife of Naife Owulum, an Ibuza man working for an European couple. 

In the decades to come, Nnu Ego learns to live with a man she doesn’t love, carries 7 pregnancies, and experiences the joys and pains of motherhood! 

MAJOR THEME
The 224 page novel sums up to one word “Motherhood”.

Motherhood maketh a woman.

  A woman without child for her husband was a failed woman.

The dedication of the book reads simply 

To all Mothers

The first chapter reads The Mother and the last, The canonised mother. 

The author emphasized that motherhood was a slavery to the needs of one’s child. Nnu Ego often meditated on this plight. 

“I am a prisoner in my own flesh. Is it such an enviable position? The men make it look as if we must aspire for our children or die”


SUB THEMES. 
1.Feminism. 

“It would be really something for a woman to be able to earn some money monthly like a man…who made the laws that we should not hope in our daughters?Until we change all this, it is still a man’s world which women will always help to build” Nnu Ego said looking into the distance. 

After years of struggling to take care of her home on an inconsistent income from her husband, Nnu Ego admits that females should be empowered and perhaps earn a living.  This is somewhat confusing because when asked about her own daughters, she says 

“The most important thing is for them to get good husbands “.

Adaku,  the second wife was the first to speak on and take action geared towards female empowerment. Her actions and decision to fend for herself and her children without the help of any man were perceived as ‘Rebellion’ by the people of Ibuza. 

I will spend the money I have in giving the girls a good start in life. I will see that they get enrolled in good schools….they will have to take their own chances in this world”. 

2. Colonialism.

“Dr Meers peered over the paper, smiled mischievously and answered ‘Goodnight Baboon”.

The book is set in the colonial era when the white man still ruled Nigeria. 

The few easterners who came to Lagos usually found employment  working as manual labourers such as washer men and cooks for the white man. 

The book also reflects on the World War II. Naife was forcefully recruited to fight in the war against the Germans.

3. Sex. 

“He came deceptively gently and so unprepared was she for the passionate thrust which followed that she screamed”.

Sex is an important aspect of human life and the author agrees with that. The only problem however, was that the men held the staff in that department. Their wives/mistress were obliged to answer to their every sexual whim. Nwokocha Agbadi, few days after escaping death, had loud sex with his mistress Ona, in the presence of his family members. 

“Agbadi’s senior wife, Agunwa, became ill that very night… A few had noticed that it was bad for her morale to hear her husband giving pleasure to another woman in the same courtyard where she slept”.

4. Marriage. 

A man was respected when he “brought home a wife”.  He acquired more wives according to his wealth and family status. He also inherited his brothers wives in the event of the latter’s death and was free to produce children with them. 

“My senior wife cannot go to sleep. You must learn to accept your pleasures quietly,  my new wife Adaku. Your senior wife is like a white lady; She does not want noise”.

Intra-tribal marriage is the most popular form of marriage illustrated in the book. A plot twist however, is introduced when one of the daughters of Nnu Ego refuses the husband her father chose for her and insists instead on marrying from the ‘Yoruba’ tribe. 

5.Poverty. 

What a tragedy this is! Arriving Lagos, Nnu Ego was welcomed into the world of poverty and leaving after 3 decades, she was bade farewell by this same monster. She almost lost her son Osiaju to malnutrition and once, goaded by Adaku, rebelled against her husband for not providing enough money for food. 

In any event, Nnu Ego had nothing to give Oshia but the Kpokpo garri from the day before… He had had enough of Kpokpo garri. He had had it yesterday and the day before that. 

6. Tradition.

The book portrays a variety of rich eastern Nigerian traditions such as the consultation of one’s “chi”, polygamy, marriage ceremonies and rich burial traditions. 

Personal Review. 

I love this book. Read it three times and went over it a fourth while reviewing. Buchi Emecheta is blessed with the ability to tell a story simply! Short sentences,  descriptive yet simple words with a fat slice of humor. My favorite excerpt from the book remains 

He bought a piece of Kolanut which he chewed thoughtfully on the way, like a goat.

Rating
9/10

I must warn you;  This book will break you, so don’t be surprised if you find yourself over thinking, sniffing and producing little drops of water in your eyes. It is almost impossible to read this book without becoming overwhelmed with a deep feeling of pity for Nnu Ego. However, I would recommend it in a heartbeat because ‘The joys of Motherhood’ is Buchi Emecheta’s timeless gift to the world; don’t be left out! 

Have you read the book? If yes,  tell me your experience in the comment box below. If no,  would you love to read it based on my review? Let me know in the comments below. Xoxo.

Life lessons, lifestyle, Relationships

Selfies And Men. 

She smiled.

She pouted. 

She even did a thing with her legs and I almost reminded her that it was a selfie, not a cover shoot for Vogue. 

My frustration was perhaps borne from being late for class and still being forced to wait for her while she took a selfie. Or maybe because I knew she wouldn’t like any of the pictures  eventually. Why? Let’s just say she’s hard on her Self… Sorry, Selfies. 

Meet my friend Olivia. 

Olivia  is a young woman who loves to take selfies. 

She however has a hard time selecting her favorite picture. 

Regardless of how many times we tell her the pictures are great, she only goes with her own selection.

But when she makes a selection , it is worth every second spent. 

Men are just like selfies! 

You should have a hard time selecting “the one”  and should never settle for one simply because your friends think he’s “good for you”. But when you make a selection, he’ll be worth every second spent! 

THE SELFIES YOU DELETE. 

These are the men who come but do not stay in your life. It’s not that you hate the person in the selfie,  but it’s just not right for you and your state of mind at that moment. Perhaps you made a pout and are convinced you look funny but there’s nothing wrong with a pout and would make another girl look and feel great. 

THE SELFIE YOU KEEP. 

Remember the happiness and satisfaction  you feel when you finally get that one perfect selfie?You change your display pictures and post it on instagram while waiting for the likes and compliments to start rolling in. Sometimes you throw in a little filter to make it more “perfect”. Well, this is the man you finally choose to love. He makes you happy and you are proud to show him off to friends and family.  He may not be perfect but with filters of love and respect, you two can make things work. 


Blessed are those who pick the right selfies for they shall inherit the kingdom of happiness and satisfaction! 

Please like, comment and subscribe to my blog for updates on new post. Have a great weekend! Xoxo