THE DAY AFTER 7/10

As I move further into my 20s, I find that I tend to feel happier the day after my birthday. The pressure to be visibly happy is reduced greatly as is the pressure to do things you’d rather never do for the sake of social media.

I’ve found that there tends to be so much pressure put on birthdays and it starts from childhood. I’m sure some of us can still remember the days of primary school when we’d share goody bags. And there was always that one person who had everything in their goody bags. So we’d go home and wonder why we didn’t have all that stuff in our goody bags and then resolve to change it up on our next birthdays. Except by then, the goalposts would have changed once again and the cycle and questions would continue, and the pressure would increase.

I don’t do well with pressure. It makes my heart race and gives me what I call pressure paralysis. It makes me feel extremely anxious like I’m back in Law School, up on stage in front of 5,000 people and I know what I’m supposed to say but the words won’t come out and I start having a panic attack.

I figured out a hack that has helped me greatly: if the pressure to do something a certain way is choking you, scrap that idea and do it another way.

My birthday was yesterday and I did nothing out of the ordinary. I had planned this birthday to the last second, I’d have 2 cakes, small chops, juice, I’d have professional pictures taken, I’d go out and turn up etc etc. And then on the week of, I noticed I had literally no energy to do anything towards that. So in the end, I did absolutely nothing. No cakes, no professional pictures, de nada.

What surprises me is the peace of mind I had yesterday. I’d bought small chops and asun for the ones who gave me life on Friday and I’d praised the One who made it worth living on the day of and there was no one and nothing for whom I had to pretend anything for. So relaxing.

It’s the day after my birthday today and what started out as a thank you post has now become an op-ed. 😊
Getting back to the purpose of this post, I’d like to say a HUGE thank you to my village. The people who stand by me every day, every time. My brothers, Olayinka, Ayomide, Joy, Fifi, Mobi, Tomi, Rukayat, Yanmife, Nedoux, Bisola, my cousins, my uncles, my aunties etc etc etc.

I’M SO GRATEFUL I GET TO DO LIFE WITH YOU ALL!

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Happy Thursday Week 15

ONE
In my new church, something I wholly admire are the welfare programs they regularly hold. From clothes, to education and food, everything is covered by the welfare department. And every once in a while, we have the health challenges of a member brought to the attention of the church for contributions to be made if for instance the person cannot afford the cost.
Last week Sunday, in the church, the case of someone who’d been involved in an accident where his kidneys and bladder were affected was brought to the attention of the congregation.They’d fundraised for him before but ongoing medical and miscellaneous costs had halved the money. A spot had been found for him to have surgery but they needed N600,000.00 in addition to the half left, to pay the doctor who was to perform the surgery.
Donation boxes were about to be passed. But while I was debating with myself as to how much to donate, someone donated all of it. All N600,000.00 (Six Hundred Thousand naira (only!) of it.
To be honest, I was happy and so relieved as well. My mind attaches to the oddest things, and I know, that if the donation had run for about 2 weeks, I might have done something I’d regret later, like given away all my savings again. But lucky for all parties, I didn’t have to. Just say a prayer for that person, please. It was such an uplifted moment in the church when his/her donation was announced.May God bless you whomever and wherever you are. May He cause His face to shine upon you and heal you and give you peace.

TWO

Last week Friday was the 22nd anniversary of my first birthday. That’s my over complicated way of saying I turned 23.

 No you can’t have any cake, I ate it all. But if I see any comments asking for *cake, be rest assured that I will ask for my birthday present in return. Quid pro quo, nay?

I didn’t post the birthday list thing like I did last year, because I realized at the #Blassion event, that I really don’t like people knowing all that much about me when I don’t know all that much about them. So, peace out. If inclined, please leave a birthday blessing for me in the comments. Thank you.

*Cake- Not excluding food, drinks, ice cream, all the lacha lacha associated with birthdays. It was last week. It’s been eaten, digested and err…

THREE

Story story….

So, I love eating abacha. Mad love it. It ranks among my top fave foods in fact. But after one super disastrous attempt making abacha for myself some years back, I started buying it. 

My dad would tell me on the regs, “Uju, buy this thing and make it at home. You can’t trust the process of the cooking of food vendors” and I’ll be like “It’s not like anyone has died from eating abacha outside. Even if I purge, maximum 2 days, and I’ll be a-ok.” (Not quite so specific but, you get the gist).

Until 5 people died from eating abacha. As it happens, I was in the car with my dad when they announced a cholera outbreak had killed 5 human beings. 5! All of whom had eaten abacha. 

I thank God my stupid pride did not cause my name to appear in the list of dead people. Thank God for me if you would, please?

Also, is anyone willing to make me a large container of abacha? I saw one woman selling some on my way to court yesterday and but for God…

FOUR
So one dude called me yesterday. He knew I was a lawyer. He asked if my “lawyering” extended to supply contracts. 

Sure, I replied and then he started giving me some very detailed instructions. Now, I was at the Ministry of Lands when I got that call and while I could hear him, I couldn’t be sure I’d remember, so I asked him to please send a text explaining exactly what he wanted me to do. 

He sent the text, giving me the number of someone to inquire about something from. 

Now, major red flags:

1. He said he knew me. I did not know HIM.

2. Why can’t you inquire about something by yourself? This was not something only a lawyer could ask. It was a basic transaction. Buyer and seller. What is my business?

3. What is my business? I make sure not to assume the worst about people right off the bat because that won’t get me far. But come on! I may be slow, but I’m certainly not stupid. You ask me to represent you, tell me someone will call me to give me money, you need me to inquire about something for you, something you can inquire for yourself. And I felt weird.

So I reverted to the lawyering failsafe; if you want me to represent you, you and I need to draft a contract which you will sign (I’d have insisted on seeing some identification as well), authorizing me to act on your behalf for a set fee. 

If I’d had any doubts that I was persecuting an innocent man, they ended when he swiftly said that he and I couldn’t do business if that was the prerequisite. 

Money is great, honestly. But I’m not about to entangle myself in something illegal or get scammed cos I don’t have patience. No. Everything good will come. At the right time. And it won’t make me feel weird. 

And to buttress my rationalizations, I got another, above board opportunity that same afternoon. 

Yay God!

FIVE

Although NYSC is not over for me as yet, I’m leaving my boss tomorrow!

I’m not going to go into details (yet), but I will tell you that I am so excited to be leaving and at the same time, super sad. 

But I’m leaving my boss tomorrow! 

Thank you God. For a successful completion. Because it will be successful. I did not steal, did not cheat, I was above board in everything I did. And I can’t wait to pack all my stuff and go buy shawarma. 

Thank God for me peoples! Praise God for me.

*

Author’s Note- I’m sorry if this offends anyone’s sensibilities, but what the heck is wrong with Trump? What? 

And Bubu, I get that you have laser vision for stamping out corruption and while the DSS’ actions are legal, why now? And, what are you trying to distract us from?

*

Birthday Edition Wattpad Recommendations

😉

Laura Jardine’s books- The Mechanic’s New Girl especially and all the others too. Really short books. I beg you, na beg I dey beg una, make una no read any book by this author anywhere people go dey look una. 

She funny well well. You go laugh. For me it’s not a problem, laughter is an integral part of my personality. I’m quirky, happy and lovable. That’s my “brand”, those are my characteristics. 

Take me Home- Blissom. Wow. This book was insanely good, I forced my eyes open all night to finish reading it. Wow!

Cell Phone Swap- Lindsay Summers/donotmicrowave.

 I’m making a sandwich. Two funny books at the edges and a serious one as the middle. This book is so funny, I crilaughed. It’s funny but it addresses some serious issues. I really, really, really can’t recommend this book enough.

*

Birthday Article Recommendations 😉 (yes I know I’m milking it. Don’t be jelly *tongue in*)

http://chynanu.wordpress.com/2016/01/09/fear-will-always-fade/ – Evergreen.

http://www.sabinews.com/no-i-not-suffering-child-tope-owolabi/- Precisely.

http://brittneyamoses.com/i-dont-know-what-to-read-in-the-bible/- So simple, it’s thought provoking.

The February Angels and other super short stories

Sooo it’s been a while. How is everyone doing?

I recently wrote two guest posts – here and here. If you can, please check them out. The blog owners would appreciate insightful comments, as would I.

Back to the subject of the instant post- February is a special month. All the more special in my family (My mom’s birthday falls on this month – February 10th. I would really appreciate if no one asked me where the cake(s) is/are. That question is a serious pet peeve of mine). February, from record, is also the month I feel the strongest urges to cut my hair.

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I wanted to live with it for a week before I showed y'all.

As opposed to before:

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About 2 weeks back I was in bed, I’d just loosened and washed and moisturized the hair when a sudden longing for short hair almost doubled me over.
I’ve always had long hair. Even when I cut it in 2014, it grew back super fast. For example-
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I know it seems strange, that any girl wants short hair but I’m not just any girl. And while other people look for hair that falls to their hips, I look for hair that can barely stand (I sounded like a bully, shebi?).

Anyway, last time I went to a salon and told the woman to snip off about 21 inches from my hair which I later took home, not because I was afraid or anything but because I wanted to touch it and realize it was my hair (I’ll explain this a lot more, a lot later).

This time, I took the family clippers, located a barber and told him to shave the hair. I didn’t bother to take it home. Yes, I completely realize that some people are terrified of their hair being used for sacrificial purposes but if I believe that there is no enchantment against Obianuju and no divination against her or her family (Numbers 23:23), would it not be a big blow to my professed faith if I indulge in that kind of silly thinking? After I got the hair shaved, I bought akara and buns from a roadside vendor and went to my house to eat it there.

I had to have a shower because there was hair all over my clothes, my neck and my face. And I washed the hair with my friend’s black soap scrub and a conditioner the next day.

If I was a different kind of woman, I would create a Mohawk using gel. But I’m not. And I’m excited to just leave the hair be for as long as possible. So far, reactions to the hair have been mixed, my mom thinks it looks great, my dad reserved comment, my colleague almost cried.

It helps that I’m madly in love with my hair as it is. What do you think?

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MOULTING/ECDYSIS (12TH OF FEBRUARY)

The picture immediately above is from earlier today. I woke up in a foul mood. I usually talk myself out of bad mood days but I hadn’t been in a bad mood for a while and I decided to leave myself alone.
So many things went wrong and with each terrible thing I felt a little better. I know it is supposed to be the other way around, I couldn’t explain it to you if I tried.
Today, I registered my SIM again. I first registered it when it wasn’t mandatory, I think about 4 years ago. Recently, they contacted me that I needed to update my registration (register again). I went to register. The computer went off when I was through and I had to start all over again. When I was leaving, I gave the person who was registering me a huge grin.
I had to walk a long distance to get a bus. I got to the office really late, I fell victim to a pickpocket, I went to a police station and was treated in turns to rudeness, sycophancy, a request to “know me better” by an extremely disrespectful policeman and finally a request for a bribe, I went to 3 different banks, one answered me with moderate speed, the other at high speed and the last at snail pace. On my way back home, I got the coveted spot in the bus after the previous occupant left, next to the driver but with a stool separating us and a window and door on my side. The stool was empty. One person had to cross the road to enter the bus. Instead of moving to the unoccupied seat or politely asking me to, she refused to leave my seat and had the effrontery to tell me I was disturbing her. I retorted. With time though, I eventually moved to the stool (sometimes I detest my conscience). On the second leg of the journey, the scarcity of buses going in my direction caused greedy drivers and conductors to double the fare. When I found one that was normal fare, I entered only for the conductor to claim it was the doubled fare. Eventually though, it was reduced to the original.
In other words, it’s been a good day all in all.

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This is NOT my childhood

On the post I submitted to Ada(ezenwa), after the introduction where she thoroughly dissected my matter and made me laugh seriously, after the first paragraph, she made a note that my childhood soundtrack should be Michael Jackson’s “Childhood”.
Biko, mba! (Please, no!)

You see, this is the danger of a single story, a single perspective and now, I will paint another picture for you.

My parents love me. They loved me. I’m a daddy’s girl through and through. We were, still are a very tight knit unit. Decisions affecting the whole family are taken by the whole family. We jointly took the decision to stop hiring domestic help. We jointly took the decision to fire the driver.

I remember a lot of restaurants and fast food places. I remember that although I hated and still do hate boiled eggs, I’d ask for scotch eggs so I could eat the “scotch” part of it. Someone else unfailingly ate the egg part. I remember a lot of people in our house. Quite often, they numbered more than we did. Once we had 15 people living in the house. It was beautiful chaos.

I remember never being afraid to talk. The girl I am now is the girl I remember. The February angels brought my voice back and my laughter from where it went to hide.

I remember my big sister (my cousin) and my little sister (another cousin). I remember the time my uncle gave me a huge pack of Toblerones. He gave my brother some as well but this one he gave specifically to me. I went to hide it in a place I knew no one would find it. The next day I came back from school and they had halved my stash. Halved it!

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I remember Super story and the first time my baby brother took his first steps. I didn’t finish that episode. I remember Passions and making the decision to stop watching it. Diego and Paloma (When you were mine/ Cuando Seas Mia – very addictive something).

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I remember wrestling matches, between me, my brothers, their friends. I remember tears, and laying on a mat looking at the sunset.

I remember love, and laughter. Family and friends.
I remember home.
I remember me.

This is my childhood. The one I accept.

Glossary
“Conductor”- a person who sorts out change for the trip, opens the door, insults people who don’t get down fast enough. Can be extremely nice. Can be extremely mean.

Article Recommendation:
http://eclectictope.com/2015/10/09/are-you-pregnant-for-your-pastor/. It’s all shades of amazing.