Uncategorized

Hannah Montana and the Blueberry Cake

Tonight, I have dinstincly felt two emotions; excitement and anger.

Excitement

One of the highest levels of excitement I’ve ever felt was way back in Junior secondary school. I had just spent the summer holiday in my rich aunts house and I was resuming with the coolest thing ever. A few weeks to resumption, my aunt had taken me, my brother and her 3 kids to China town in Lagos and she had asked us to pick what we wanted for the new school year. While my cousins and brother picked cool shoes and cute pyjamas, I had my eyes glued on one thing; a trolley bag with images of Hannah Montana splattered across it. You see Hannah Montana was a huge part of my childhood, I watched her every school break I had (spent in my aunt’s house) and I was always singing the theme song “Best of both worlds” to anyone who cared or didn’t care to listen. So when I saw that big, purple, shiny trolley bag sitting on the shelf, I knew that I had found true love. I remember that the bag cost about 7 thousand Naira which is a shit load of money to spend on a bag pack in 2009 but my aunt had got it regardless because that was only thing I had picked up from the store.

The night before school resumed, I couldn’t sleep. My sister didn’t understand why I kept staring at my new school bag in the dim light of the kerosene lantern that my mother had placed in our room. I felt the excitement in my bones; I couldn’t wait to show my friends and my enemies what i had just acquired. My bag’s got wheels baby! The next day at school was going to be glorious! I could feel it! And I was fucking excited!

I felt excitement like that tonight. The kind that possesses your body and robs it of fatigue or sleep. I’ve been working on an event for months and now that the event is 5 days away, I can feel my heart racing and the adrenaline is more that any drug can give me. Today I overworked myself by sending dozens of emails and calls to ensure the attendance of everyone I had invited. I visualized and planned the event from the starting minute to the finishing minute and when I was done, i moaned from the pleasure all that organisation and planning gave me.

Anger

Tonight I walked behind a person that I care about. I wonder if he saw me but the answer to that remains irrelevant. I walked slowly behind him, trying not to trod too heavily or breathe too loudly lest he turns around and discovers me. I watched him walk with his usual but unusual gait; head a little bent to one side, shoulders slightly rounded and a knock knee that I’d never noticed before. As I watched him walk, I remembered the Blueberry cake he got for me a while ago and I smiled; not because I’d particularly liked the cake but because I had particularly liked the gesture. It was his second time getting me cake. I don’t like cake (except chocolate) but I’d eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner if it came from him.

My smile was cut short when he took a left turn; still oblivious of my creepy self behind him. I don’t know where he was headed. Frankly I don’t care. As soon as he disappeared out of my sight, I remembered that a short while ago, my Blueberry saviour had dumped our friendship for no apparent reason. Then I became angry.

I promise I wasn’t always angry; I’m not that cool. First I was sad I’d lost a friend. Then I was ashamed to tell my other friends. Then I was confused. And now, I’m just angry. Angry that people get hurt by the people they love. If love is the greatest healer and people are getting hurt by their loved ones, doesn’t that mess up the equation? Keep the answer to yourself, I’m too angry to care.

Just kidding! I took a walk to cool off my anger at the world and my Blueberry saviour. It worked. I think.

Many of us struggle with conflicting emotions of the future and the present. I’m excited for my event on Saturday but at the same time, I’m pissed off at someone. The million dollar question is, do I focus on my present anger? Or do I focus on my excitement for the future? Not worth a million dollar? No? Okay. But I can apply this method of questioning to lots of other scenarios in my life. Should I focus on my fear of the future? Or do I just focus on this steaming bowl of spaghetti that is giving me so much joy? Should I focus on the anxiety that I feel about tomorrow’s presentation? Or do I focus on how peaceful I feel at the moment listening to Taylor Swift?

I’m always torn, between keeping my focus on what’s coming and keeping my focus on what is.

Is it possible to manage both emotions at the same time? Or must one give for the other?

If you leave a comment, it would make me happy…

Xoxo.

Advertisements
Uncategorized

Prostitution; A Way Out of Poverty

I was asked to give a 3 minute speech on the above topic at the literary and debate club in my hall. Here’s what I said

There are a few topics that could make my mother lose her appetite; pornography, homosexuality, prostitution. My mother represents the typical Nigerian or if I’m being ambitious, the typical African.
You see, the typical African is shielded by morals and values that seemingly keep us safe and sex in its entirety is one topic that we must protect ourselves from. “Don’t have sex if you’re not married”, “Don’t have sex on tape”, “Don’t have sex with the same gender” and even though statistically, sex sells, “dont you dare sell it”.

But ignoring prostitution as a legitimate source of livelihood can be compared to pinching your nose at the smell of a fart. You keep out the foul smell but at the same time, you keep out the oxygen.

Nigeria currently has 86.9 million people living in extreme poverty according to the world poverty clock and to fully understand that, imagine that all extremely poor people in nigeria were to form a new country. That new country, “The federal republic of extremely poor Nigerians” would still have more citizens than the United kingdom!

Thankfully, in 2018, the Borgen Project in line with the Sustainable development goal 1 highlighted 10 ways that countries can get out of poverty and one of them is to develop entrepreneurship.

Ladies and Gentlemen, a prostitute is an entrepreneur.

According to investopedia, an entrepreneur is an Individual who creates a business, bears the risks of the business and enjoys the rewards of the business. A prostitute creates a business out of selling sex, bears the risk of sexually transmitted infections and enjoys the monetary rewards of the business. In fact, pulse ng reported on the 13th of december, 2018 that an average female roadside prostitute in lagos earns 10 thousand naira every night which totals 200 thousand naira every month if she takes the weekends off.

So let’s rephrase. “Prostitution; a way out of poverty” is equal to “Entrepreneurship; a way out of poverty” and that makes sense!

Now here’s the part where we are cutting off the oxygen. Even though the BBC on the 14th of April, 2014 reported that the economy of the United Kingdom received a 3 billion Euro boost from prostitution alone and that Italy, through the legalisation of prostitution, improved her economy by 18 percent, it appears the Nigerian Government has developed quite a different equation for prostitution. They recognize that half the population live in extreme poverty. They recognize that prostitution can be a source of income. They recognize that every individual has autonomy over their body. But! Will arrest you if you have sex in exchange for money. So the equation is basically one plus one plus one is equal to photosynthesis. It makes no sense!

The Nigerian Government needs policies that enforces 3 things. One. To switch from using the word “prostitution” which connotes something vile and criminal, to “sex work” which recognizes that sex work is in fact work. Two, the legalisation of sex work. Three, the imposition of taxes on sex workers to improve the country’s revenue.

There are a few topics that could make me lose my appetite. Criminalization of sex work, discrimination of sex workers, poverty. I represent the average person sitting here today and if I’m being ambitious, I represent the future.

Xoxo

Uncategorized

A Few Mistakes I’ve Made

The bright yellow stain on my formerly sparkly uniform was proof that I had fucked up.

I was 6 or 7 years old when our class teacher asked us to come with crayons and water colour for art class. You remember water colour? You had to wet the brush (with water or spit…the teacher didn’t really give a shit) before dabbing it on the dried cake of colour to paint anything. It was supposed to be a fun class and I was particularly excited for that day.

On the appointed day, I arrived early in school brandishing a pack of crayons and a palette of water colour. I was putting away my bag in the locker when I saw my friends; Emmanuella and Immaculata. Every school has those kids who are richer than the average kids and have nicer thing. Pink trolley school bags, flowery lunch boxes, nicer school shoes and even (excuse my pettiness) fresher skin. Yup, these twin girls who were also my friends were those kids in school. Somehow, when the teacher had asked us to come with Water colour, they had taken it a step further and came with “Poster colour”. You remember poster colour? Each colour came fluid in it’s own little bottle and it was the boogiest shit my 6 or 7 year old self had ever seen.

Anyway, I was staring at the wonder called poster colour and had just opened the bottle of yellow when the assembly bell rang. You remember Assembly Bell??the shrill godforsaken sound that reminded you that for the next 6 to 7 hours, you were under the mercy of teachers or whatever other demons were roaming the land. Yeah! That shit rang!And in true Anastasia fashion, I panicked! It was like being seen naked, you’re doing absolutely no wrong by being naked, but still… you panic. The bottle tilted and fresh yellow liquid paint spilled over my hands. The bell rang again and in true fashion, I did the dumbest thing!I dropped the whole kit, wiped my hands over my dress and raced to the assembly ground.

It was a monday and that meant inspection of every pupil’s uniform. Long story short, I didn’t pass the inspection and this earned me 3 hot strokes of cane on my skinny ass and a side eye from the teacher that screamed “You disgust me”. Okay Mr Phillips, you disgust me too.

Another mistake I remember making had my elder brother as a sweet accomplice. We were messing around in the kitchen and had decided to make Eba for lunch. There was Ogbono soup in the fridge and all we had to do was make the Eba. Fun fact, neither I nor my brother had ever made it before but you see I’m capricorn and I’d rather die than admit that I can’t do something as fickle as making Eba. So we began.

We boiled water in a kettle till the steam began to escape, then we drew out a very large bowl and a spatula. Next, we poured all the boiling water into the bowl ( it was a lot of water) and started scooping cups of dry yellow garri into the bowl. We had scooped at least 10 small cups of garri into the bowl before all the water was completely used up. I’ll save you the stress, the end result was harder than cement and neither I nor my brother had enough strength to turn the cementy mass into the soft eba we set out to make.

We decided to get rid of our failure because God forbids my mother ever finds out I wasted her food. So we tied the rock hard eba into a nylon and did the unthinkable!!! We opened a window of our 3rd floor apartment and simply dropped the stash. Like you only see in the movies, it landed on a body part (based on reports, head) of the old woman who lived on the ground floor. She screamed.

First she screamed, then she started crying, then she started shouting and she wrapped it up with heavy curses. My brother and I kept silent the whole time even though a small crowd had gathered downstairs to investigate. The woman said that whoever was responsible would never be happy in life. Sometimes I think she’s right. Sometimes I drink beer and forget I ever had a childhood.

Another mistake I’ve made is falling in love. Yeah, the name of this blog is a scam; turns out I’m no different from anybody else. I fell in love and the love gripped my heart so hard, it left it cracked. I was 19 years old when I met the man of my dreams (laughs in nightmares) and I was convinced that someday i was going to marry him in a beautiful backless lace dress that would leave twitter buzzing for days. Two months into the relationship, he told me that he cared more about *insert pretty smart young lady* than he cared about me. You know what I did??I went ahead and dated him for 12 more months! I must admit, it’s exhausting playing “Fizbo the clown” without a costume.

After 14 months, our sweet sweet love came to an end and just like everyone says after a relationship…I hope he’s doing okay. You see I don’t believe that a broken heart ever heals completely (I’ve been wrong about a lot of things in life but who’s counting) and sometimes when the stress and loneliness kicks in, I’m reminded that I still bear the cracks on my heart. Other days, I put too much pepper in my indomie and nothing else matters.

Here’s the part where I become a basic chick ; I AM NOT MY MISTAKES. And I know you know this already but let’s have this conversation one more time. I am not that girl who thinks it’s okay to wipe her dirty hands on her dress or drop 2kg worth of badly prepared eba from the third floor or even the girl who willingly stays where she’s not wanted. But in those moments, I was driven by emotions (Panic, fear and love) and I’m learning that my emotions are valid. This has been a terrifying learning experience because the idea that it’s okay for me to feel angry, sad or anxious and act based on these feelings blows my mind.

This knowledge is important for three reasons. One, it makes it easier for us to forgive ourselves for the mistakes we have made. Two, it makes it easier to forgive others. Three, it makes us less afraid of making mistakes.

We feel and sometimes, we act based on these feelings. Most times, the results are undesirable and fucks shit up for us and the people around us. It sucks and I definitely do not encourage mistakes but perhaps knowing that by virtue of being humans(who feel), we’re bound to make mistakes makes it a tad better to deal with. No? Okay.

Leave a comment

Xoxo

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.

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