Life,love and other four letter words

If You’re Reading This …

8

I just want to be happy in this life

We should all be happy in this life

It’s easy to die Pam

I always wonder how people walk into the ocean just to die

It’s easy

You stand far from shore, you see the clapping waves that remind you of your mind’s current state

It’s scary,  but after a while it looks peacefully. Just peaceful, like it’s calling you to be at peace.

We should all be happy in this life Pam

We go to ocean to find peace, but not everyone comes back alive

Death comes in different forms and so does peace

May our peace not be in the bosom of death

– beach thoughts that turned into texts and became a poem (August 2017)

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How To Make (S@#T) Lemonade.

This is  a very cliché post.

Lol.

1

A very upside down post too.

So I was going through old pictures to pick a new desktop background and I stumbled on pictures I took  last year at Venice Beach with my cousin. At the same time I had a thought going through my head that I was going to discuss with a friend. Starting afresh or being far from what is familiar can be very scary. Is very scary actually. We know this for a fact, but still it doesn’t prepare you for it.

The changes that have happened in my life I honestly did not see coming. Enjoyable and heart wrenching changes that we have come to appreciate regardless. At this current point in my life, I’m trying out new things. I’m meeting new people. I’m feeling hurt from being detached from certain things and people that I’ve gotten used to. I’m letting myself feel things that I would not allow usually. I’m pushing myself out of my comfort zone, slowly.  I’m accepting me the way me is. It’s not a ‘new year, new me’ thing . It wasn’t planned. No.  Another example of “when life gives you lemons, you make lemonade”. Now there are some positivity in this.  But being the person that I am, I still stop mid way and ask myself  “Are you really sure this is how you make lemonade?” , but after the doubt what’s the worst that can happen? My lemonade will taste like s@#t but hey *shrugs* we tried didn’t we.

None of my choices in life will be perfect. I’ll make some mistakes more than once (already tested and proven). My emotions will be everywhere sometimes. Bottled up anger will spill open. And just when things seem to going on fine, a memory will resurfaced, be it enjoyable or heart wrenching  that might still bring up the question ” Are you sure you’re getting this right?” “Do you even have a damn clue?” . But we’ll  adjust just like we have being doing.

Either way enjoy life. Travel. Accept yourselves. Make mistakes. Be confused or feel lost. Keep adding gold stars to your Achievement Board. Be open minded. Fall in love. Fall on concrete ground too.

LA

So here’s to lemons and making lemonade. Whether we put a 9yr old girl out of business or choke on our own poison.

 

Red

My mother would always warn me

“Don’t drink that without blowing”. I took a sip and burnt my tongue

“Don’t play with matches”. I didn’t listen, it burnt my fingers

“Don’t touch the iron”. I chose not to listen, it burnt my skin

“Don’t listen to these boys”. Did I listen? They set a fire in my heart and watched it burn

“Don’t let them touch you”. And as always I didn’t listen and they left burn scars on my thighs

I’m full of scars, I never learn from my mistakes

Fire only burns, nne ge nti, listen

In whatever form, enjoyable or heart wrenching

Fire will always burn

Corper Shun!

So about a month ago I travelled to Kaduna for NYSC Orientation Camp. I joked about Kaduna, I was expecting Nassarawa, somewhere in my mind was a voice that said “You might just end up in Enugu.

Now the four choices that were given to me were Nassarawa, Kaduna, Enugu and Rivers. The two weeks after registration I always joked that all my friends that had Kaduna that we would end up there. But in secret I would tell my other friend “Something tells me I’m going to the North . I just feel it”

So Friday morning I woke up to messages on the group chat. We had been posted! I refused to check mine out of fear. Most of my friends from my ‘squad’ got Lagos while one got Taraba. I had none of that as a choice. So I called my life line Pelumi , “I’m going to Kaduna o”

“Kaduna *laugh* wait let me check mine” she hung up

Few minutes she calls me back ,” You can call me Halimaaaaaa. Nassarawa here I come! My guyyyyyyy, we move!!!!”

Here I was sitting in my 4 years old niece’s Dora themed room, all down and she took my mood from 0 to 100. Immediately my Snap said ‘Adventure Time😎’

But I can honestly tell you I was not ready for the adventure I was going to get.

After a pep talk from my older cousin, my father freaking out that I was going to the North and my mother telling me “You can’t wear what you wear in Lagos o , cover your body, wear jalamias” . I was ready to go to Kaduna, I thought. Here I was seated at the airport on Wednesday after I had missed my flight on Tuesday and a flight for 2 pm left Lagos by 9:30 pm. We got to the Kaduna International Airport by 10:30 something, there I met Jumoke ( name later to be changed to Jummy Baby) and Steph. Luckily for us Steph had a drive waiting so we all tagged along. After driving on the express for another 1hr and some mintues we got to the camp. They looked at us like ‘at this time , from where, why’ but we weren’t the only ones. By the time we got mattresses and rooms I looked at my phone, the time was few minutes after 12.

After 4 mornings of waking up by 4/4:30 , walking half way to Mammy to get hot water, shivering on the parade ground, always wearing a cap that gave me a headache, ‘the sounding of the biggle’ , going to bed on a mattress that wasn’t more than 6 inches thick… And after my first 5 hours SAED Lecture. I. Was. Tired. Frustrated. Wanted to Just Go Home.

I was ready to redeploy. I was going to redeploy. That night I was literally about to cry just like my father said I would. Then my cousin calls me and we have a lengthy conversation. My mum calls while in transit. Another friend calls and says “Don’t die on me, you better bring yourself back to Lagos in one piece” . After almost crying and not which surprised me, I decided to enjoy camp as much as I could.

I made friends with anyone who was willing to be friendly. Decided to be involved in activities. I joined the parade, I ran relay which we lost (obviouslyyyyyyyyyy 🙄) . Then Man O War. Standing in front of the obstacle I shook my head like “Hell naaahh” but eventually I did the whole thing.

Most of all I enjoyed every conversation I had in camp. From talking about Igbo politics to the geography of the North, to photography, to relationships, to getting someone to translate to someone else that she was beautiful, to talking about life with 18years Emeka who’s going to be an engineer . I started to enjoy camp that I didn’t want to redeploy anymore.

At Kaduna I saw a shooting star. There we were at the parade ground, morning cold, not listening to what was being said, gloves hands holding hands without gloves and above us goes a shooting star.

If there’s one thing Kaduna camp blessed me with its amazing sunsets

By three days to the end of camp I honestly prayed my redeployment would not work out but it did. Coming back to Lagos and having things change for me the way I never expected had me longing to go back to Kaduna. But remembering the Man O War instruction ” Do not look down. Slowly , slowly. If you feel the rope shaking , breathe continue to take breaths ”

Funny how not being in Kaduna right now and definitely not being on a rope, that instruction is very applicable.

Kaduna gave me memories I will forever hold dear. Taught me to find beauty in the simplest of things.

Kaduna was a blessing that came disguised.

3:45am

To be restless at night

Burdened with conversations that never happened, that need to happen

The urge to say “I’m sorry”

To ask “At any point did I mean anything”

To hear “I did not mean to hurt you”

Just for peace of mind

To lay down and not be haunted

A void that might never be filled , weight that we would continue to carry

Words are light but heavy, in the heart and in my mouth

The House My Grandfather Built

22 Umunogo, Enugu
The door reminds me of the house my grandfather built
Both my parents are from Anambra State and they both grew up in Enugu. No they meet each other as kids so this is not a childhood love story. In a way it could be a childhood love story, it could be one of my childhood love stories on how I fell in love with Enugu .

In the house my grandfather built is where I spent a handful of my summers growing up. I didn’t know how many flats where in one big building but I knew one or two families were from our hometown . In this house there was no Enid Blyton but Mabel Segun. I would read and after I was done I would pass it down to my cousin. Sometimes he could like to claim that he was the same age as me. I would remind him that he could only say this on this birthday and if he dared I would remind him the next day which was my birthday that he wasn’t anymore. He would look at me and smile “nwanne m”.

It is in this same house that my uncle would make us memorize Psalm 91 and recite it to him a week later, each person going into the room while others would wait outside the door hoping not to forget when it was their turn.
I remember pouring cold water on our heads in between memorizing because it felt too hot. My Aunty looked at us , laughed and shook her head with her facial expression a mixture of amusement and pity.

It is in this house that we would sneak out on Sunday mornings by 7:30 to attend a church service that started by 6. It was simple. Wake up, wash your face, change then escape. We would walk close to the walls of the house so as not to be seen by any relative who happened to look out the window. When returning by 8:30, we would decide on a topic that we ‘had been taught’ in Sunday School. It was better than the 9am Sunday school that finished by 3

In this same house, my Aunty would make us translate all our game songs from English to Igbo. “Na’asu Igbo, speak Igbo . And in order to be sure, she would stand there and supervise us. Imagine jumping and translating ‘Humpty dumpty, stop, every body stop’ to Igbo. I remember telling my mother’s younger sister that the Igbo the children next door spoke was funny. She laughed, “ha na’asu Awka, they’re speaking the Awka dialect

It is here that I would learn that roasted plantain isn’t just a snack, it’s a meal. Plantain with palm oil, ugba, with bits of fish and kpomo was a meal. And a good one. On some days it was abacha with fried fish and uziza. I remember one summer I went from a 48 to a 51. Sometimes my cousins and I would gather enough money to buy Pepsi and biscuits. There was some joy in dipping Coaster biscuits in a cup of Pepsi.

I visited Enugu again few months ago , after many years. The house had a new paint. The people who lived there most certainly didn’t recognize me , I didn’t spend enough time for them to be told “That is Oge, nwa Chinweoke ba nyi, our Chinweoke’s daughter”. My cousin tried to claim he was the same age as me and I gave him a side look and he smiled “nwanne m” . He has just a year left to get his engineering degree. Uncle Obiora still has the shop downstairs. The small red canopy that served as a Catholic Church opposite the house has been replaced by a wall .
My uncle has moved but brings his children back now and then.
My mother’s younger sister has her own children and lives in Maryland. The other day on the phone she asked me “Can you still say Psalm 91 by heart?” . It was my turn to laugh.
I can’t pronounce Igbo words in my mother’s dialect neither do I know how many flats are in this big building.
I stood on the same balcony that we used to listen to catechism from, with my cousin beside me. Just like the generation before me, my children will stand on this balcony. They would translate their game songs from English to Igbo.
The door is still the same and I can’t recite Psalm 91 by heart.

Travel Chronicles

I met a boy once.
His name was Alex.
Okay I didn't necessarily meet that boy named Alex , I sat two seats and an aisle away from a boy named Alex.

So I sat two seats and an aisle away from a boy named Alex on a flight from Los Angeles to Paris. No I don't go on fancy vacations because I can't afford it, Paris was a stop over. I know his name is Alex because I heard him introduce himself to the lady who sat next to him. Alex wore glasses and had a stripped cardigan on which matched his socks. Both stripped but different colours. Alex had light brown hair with streaks of blonde. And also a beautiful smile. He was super nice to the old lady who sat beside him. Not technically beside beside because there was an empty chair between them. From the conversation, Alex talked about how beautiful Tahiti had been when he visited. I just listened and stole glances when I could because the lady besides me wasn't much of a conversationalist. I mean I smiled and said hi but didn't get a response. I met Alex's glance twice or thrice, I can't really remember. I'm sure he won't remember the girl in a grey cardigan with blue twists. And there's a greater possibility that he was just looking over my head or pass me.
We would never find out.
So I took got off that plane with my hand luggage and an unrealistic funny short story on how I fell in love on a 12 hours flight. I would tell this story to my friend while at the airport and almost miss my flight back to Lagos.

Months later I would be reminded of Alex when I sat next to a girl at the airport in Ethiopia waiting on our connecting flight. No I don't go on fancy vacations because I can't afford it, Ethiopia was a stop over too. She had a 3b/c afro which I thought was beautiful and I couldn't stop admiring her piercings. We shared a smile and confusion on whether the next flight boarding was ours or not. While sitting there , I noticed she had a bag of things, looked like souvenirs to me from where she had visited.
I would stand next to this same girl at LAX waiting to pick up our luggage. While I waited for my two boxes which of course one was filled with food stuffs ( a Nigerian that travels without food stuffs is that a Nigerian?) , she picked up her over sized camp bag and left. I stared at the fully grown tree tattooed on her ankle, silently wishing her good luck with whatever growth she had or wanted in life.
I should have asked her for her name.

I am grateful for French air hostesses who mispronounce your surname but escort you to board your almost missed flight.
I am grateful for different stop overs that make me feel like a seasoned traveller even though I have only two stamps from two different countries on my passport.
I am grateful for friends that keep you company with the aid of airport WiFi.
I should start collecting souvenirs , even from stop overs.
I should have taken a picture of that beautiful sunrise I saw from an airport window.
I should tell strangers that they are beautiful.
I should ask for names.
So I am grateful for Alex and the girl with the tree tattoo on her ankle.
It feels good to write again.

– for Alex and the girl with the tree tattoo on her ankle.

Rants 101

Yesterday I had a conversation with a friend about a brick that hit me early that morning. Yes a brick from nowhere did hit me. I was making a lil salad mix for work because I had the urge to eat healthy ( unless Big Treat stops making those Sponge Cakes I’m never going to survive a diet)


Yes that was the brick.

Yes I doubt myself a lot. I think about things going wrong and not the way I plan. I use to be 17 going 18 and worried about how I haven’t achieved anything. Now I’m 19 going 20 and still worried that I had no clue about life and living on my own.

This is me I’m too far from perfect. I haven’t even started the journey

I hardly leave my house so please don’t make plans with me. If you have and the response was positive I’m sorry you bought a lie because I will flee .I forget to eat sometimes but when I remember I take my time to eat like a fool

No my skin isn’t flawless. I’ve got a palm tree plantation on my face. We produce wonderful dirty oil.

Yes my nose has got Jackson 5 nostrils. I’ll like to think I’ve got hot sauce in my bag swagggg

When I see something I want I don’t own it. Because we have this thing we do in my society, it’s called conform I think.

Yes I like to read about serial killers. I find books about crime, FBI agents and serial killers really exciting.

No I don’t ever get relationships right because I’m not #Goals , I don’t know how to ‘fight  for what you love’ . I ain’t doing that shit, nahhhh fam 😒.  Anyone who leaves gives me a little ‘constructive criticism’

“You’re too uptight”

“You’re not exciting”

“You’re not sensitive”

“Do you feel at all”

“You’re not romantic”

“I don’t know what it is with you, is it pride or what”

I remember telling my friend that I’m probably going to be that friend who has been single since like forever but continues to serve face in every goddamn group picture (does were the exact words). When I’m on a high, I’m on a high high but when I’m on a low I could go lower than rock bottom. I cry myself to sleep and end the day. I cry myself to start a day. During a class, church service, mid way during a conversation or when you wake up in morning; these emotions can hit you anytime. But I would not come over and sit and tell you how much I’m hurting over a box of tissues.

I would proudly say I fallen in love. Possibility.

I would proudly say I’ve suffered heart break *puts hand on forehand and sighs dramatically*

In case I forgot to mention *clears throat* I am the queen of drama 👸🏾. You have never come across a drama queen more dramatic than I am. I actually feel Mad Hatter in Alice in Wonderland is my cartoon spirit animal

Just today I have had someone give me a lecture about knowing what ‘type of husband ‘ I want. Just mins ago another person dropped a wedding card on my desk. Every morning during devotion my mother ‘commits’ my future husband into the hands of  God. Even though I did mention to her one time that I’m not sure I was going to get married.

All I can say at this point in my life is I’m learning to accept myself as who I am. Accepting myself as someone who doesn’t have this puzzle figured out. This time I’m not giving myself a time frame to figure it out or to heal. I’m learning not to hurry myself so that I don’t trip. I’m learning that forgiveness, genuine forgiveness does a lot to your soul and  surprisingly gives you this peace that is unexplainable sometimes.

I’m learning to reveal my truth but guard me.

Not to lie about what I feel not even to myself. Not to force things, let them come naturally. I haven’t gotten all figured out.I still doubt me. But I’m learning

Young, Famous and Alone in Paris

The other day I was talking to some of my friends about the dreams they once had. Some till had it, others Plan B. Then a friend asked me “You still have your dream of going to Paris?” And I said I didn’t know, what will I do in Paris. And we laughed. I can dream big. I could dream for half of the world honey
When I was 9 I was going to write books, like that was what I wanted to do with my life. I remember my cousin telling me “You can’t just be a writer. I’m going to be a doctor and I can write books. Any body can write books”, then I decided I had to look for something real to go with writing. At 12 I would be scouted one fine day and be famous, grace cat walks in Paris, New York. I was going to be like the newer version of Kimora. I really did consider plastic surgery, like a nose job and probably a lighter skin tone. That was until I saw how nose jobs were done on Dr 90210 then the plan changed. By 13 I was going to be one of the best things that ever had to Hip Pop, I was going to be on a song with Nicki Minaj and almost get a Grammy off that shit * Drake voice*. When I look at the ‘verses’ I wrote at 13, I can’t help but laugh. I watched music channels all day, never missed an episode of 106 & Park. I bought albums of my favourite rappers ( okay only Nicki, Drake and Eminem, the rest I downloaded one or two songs). I remember almost crying that my mum should get me a Nicki tape and she looked at me and was laughing. I had Pink Friday playing every time we were in the car, still I grew up. 14 came along and my modelling ‘career’ still hadn’t taken off so I decided if I can’t model the cloths, I could design them. The designer dream lasted for a very long time. I was going to have a villa in Italy, inherit a small island, own a private jet. At some point, I toyed with the idea of being an OAP with BEAT FM, I would own a magazine, I would have a nail polish line maybe make up, be a stylist, be a motivational speaker, work for United Nations, designing jewelry did cross my mind at some point. Even a tour of Europe. At some point I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life. It’s so funny now when I think about these things. Like my mind was everywhere. If this doesn’t happen maybe this will.
These dreams kept me going some how, to me life hadn’t lost it’s spark entirely. When things weren’t going very well, I would just retire back to ‘polishing’ my dreams to perfection. They were too good to happen. I knew it, but that didn’t stop me. I dream so big, I scare myself sometimes. But I am happy most of those dreams didn’t happen if not I would have lost lots of things. Lots of things that Paris can’t replace. I probably won’t have the memories I have. I won’t be able to go to the movies with my friends like people do, I won’t be there when my friends need some to talk to because I would be at some fashion show or be having some recording session.I won’t be there at my god-daughter’s baptism. I won’t be there to tell my little cousins to come down from the chair or to give me back my phone. Christmas might be spent in a hotel room consoling myself with a big diamond and not with my family (cousins, aunties, uncles,mother’s cousins, relatives of relatives) where half the day is spent cooking, the other half eating.
Some people don’t understand when you voice out certain dreams. Normally they would laugh, in front of you and behind you. And I’m like okay you had a good laugh now, I’m happy I was of good use now can we drop it. Noooooo, some people like to cover their lack of ambition by laughing at others, but anything that lets them sleep at night. It is hard to hold on to something really close when you desperately want to share it with someone, the hurtful part is when the one person you expect to listen and sigh with you throws their head back and laughs. Its painful but you put up a good front, you also laugh at your own dreams and start to doubt yourself in private. And no matter how well you guys get along, things will never be the same anymore. Its funny when you no longer have those dreams, then you can laugh about them. But when you really believe in them, someone making fun of you isn’t so fun. I have had people laugh at my dreams, had people talk me out of my dreams, had people tell me flat “you would never get there” “it won’t last” “you wish”, but a girl has to live.
So maybe Paris didn’t happen, but I still dream just that this time it’s a little teeny bitty closer to reality.  A clothing line isn’t so bad. I could still have a short term career as an OAP, a late night show perhaps. I have come to the conclusion that I’m probably not what Hip Pop wants and I’m at peace with it. Sometimes I’m still not sure what I want any more, or what to dream about. But I still want to be a motivational speaker, some things are just inbuilt. If or not United Nations wants me I’m fine. I’m still going to write, side career or not. And instead of Paris,maybe Italy could happen.
I’ll be young, not famous and definitely not alone in Italy.

Til Death Do Us Part; Or One Of Us Gets Bored

” I want a lot of things in my man but if there are few things that make a difference, it should be time to me, its the most important thing. My nigga MUST have my time. I want a man who can woo me often, a man who appreciates me, the one who makes me proud coz I like being envied, Lool. A man who makes me feel lucky, A good charmer who can make me laugh. A good listener and a man I can depend on…”
Don’t we all want that? I was talking with a good friend when she started to type and that was what I saw. At first I was like “I’m typing all these things?” Then I told myself “I gotta save this. Use it.” We all know relationships end in two ways; marriage or break up. If yours got to marriage , Congratulations!!! If it didn’t, better luck next time. For a very weird reason I decided to ask to my friends what their take on relationships are, what they thought about relationships

“I think having a relationship is beautiful, uno being happy, in love & not being able to go a single day without speaking to or seeing you bf/gf”  “If there’s no trust then it’s shit”   “Well relationships are nice. I’ll like to be in an honest one. Just the two of us enjoying each other’s company. Its usually nice to know someone understands you”
“I love it. But I’m a long term person. And the boy has to be responsible”
“Relationships are shit”
“I think relationships have to do with what you want not what the person wants. You have to be certain its what you want. And… you have to decide what your goal is”
“They’re nice with a good person, complicated thou. A good heart, wonderful  mind and not too hard to understand”
A whole lot goes into relationships. It’s not just someone who’s good looking, who you can go out with or take selfies with to show the whole world, changing your last name on social networks without a marriage certificate, someone to listen to ALL your problems; take your problems to God, for he cares for you.  Or the one that really annoys me changing statuses; “I wish he was here with me, you know who you are” ” My love, you know who you are”.  He does not know biko. Ahn ahn. Some want what they see on TV or read in Harlequin books so bad that they forget the major things. Just like a friend said, you have to have goals. It’s not business its a relationship, we remember. Can you imagine yourself with this person in 2/3 years? Or let’s see what happens. To what lenght will you go to keep this person? Is it healthy for you? Oh yes you have to think about yourself . If after a long time of being together will one wrong overshadow all the good and you’ll call it quits? Yes? And you want to get married and stay married one day? Ji si ike, well done. Some girls ( yes we’re mostly the ones at fault in this area) don’t even say what they want. Then when he ‘breaks your heart’ you would call the PPC, Pity Party Congress. Emergency meeting. Did they carry you to his house? Did they carry you to his room? When you didn’t set boundaries how would he know.
Trust is another thing. I feel at the beginning there’s loads of trust, because its new the thrill of a possible long term relationship. But with time it starts to wear out then some get stuck in a relationship where the other person wants to know when you slept, who you saw today, why you didn’t return a message/call, where you went. And its tiring.. very. People need their space, plants need air, water, sunlight and space to grow. Just like a relationship would need trust, patience and space to grow.
Some people go into relationships with good intentions. Really they do. Not all boys are dogs. Not all girls are hoes. I don’t say all boys are dogs because I know a lot that if with the right girl they would treat her with respect. Not all girls are hoes, I’m a girl and I’m not a hoe. Yes some people are just plain mean. They give up the trust and affection of a good person by doing really stupid things that won’t even last! It can be tiring but instead of telling the whole of twitterverse or updating pms ( please some of us are tired of seeing your whole life not only in pictures but in statuses ehn) talk to whoever is ‘breaking your heart’ ‘ doesn’t deserve you’ whoever you’re ‘done with’.
 Give /giv/ verb, noun
hand/provide| sth to sb | ~sb sth to hand sth to sb so that they can look at it, use it or keep it for a time
(! slang) (Nig) what you gain from a relationship
Yes to some ‘na gives’ and its true in some cases. They want nothing deep. We are here – we are done that’s all. But some on the other hand ‘no be gives’, its real. So please lets not categorize all relationships with just one aim; gives. All no be gives this guy!
So to the ones in relationships THAT are working out we say carry on, I want to be like you when I grow up. The single sisters, your ‘XO’ ,your ‘Ceiling’ shall come. To the ones with cheating and lying partners, you deserve better we all agree.The ones who are ‘married’ without a badass rock on your finger… you know who you are.
Just saying