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 have a fascination with unusual pens, whether their unusualness is color related, the place I got it from or the shape. I have a pen shaped like a toy car. And basically everything most people lose often, I have a tendency to keep for ages. Bobby pins; I’ve had my current pair for 3 years. Hair bands, nail cutters, hair decorations, there are some in my room that my mom has threatened to toss out. They’ve been with me for a long long long while. Think 11 years and above.
The point, a colleague of mine received a green pen from a customer and after a while, she forgot it at home. Now I had a green pen too. So we were hanging out after work and she mentioned that I’d taken her green pen. Lol. I then fully explained all the differences between my green pen and her green pen and then I ended with the statement, “Don’t test me oh, I’ve kept one pen for 6 years before.” I had indeed, from age 12 – 18 only ending once my pen bag was filched, probably because of the N1000 I’d taken to keeping there. But as a lesson to everyone who has a pen similar to mine, “do not test me oh, I’ve kept pens for 6 years” and not for lack of usage too. 😊👏👏 I’m clapping for myself.
DiCS personality testing
So in one of my bank’s training sessions, the facilitator had a breakdown of this personality test and she explained that dominant personality types are drivers, result oriented people who don’t particularly care if they hurt your feelings, how they look etc etc. I know some dominant people. Influential people are the kind who care, who’ll take the time to explain why while making you feel like the choice is completely yours but you’d definitely want to do as they say because you see the benefits. And then she explained C and S. Cautious/conscientious (prone to reading everything before signing or agreeing (I’ve read the terms and conditions of quite a few online agreements, think 60 pages of small print), have unbreakable, sometimes unreasonable routines, conscientious people really really don’t want problems and they look for lots of ways to not get in trouble; and Steadiness. I was listening to the personality traits she described and I was like, Uju, this is so you. And then she said, everyone has little bits of all these personalities but the difference is the ones they exhibit constantly. Imagine someone being a C and an S in one body. Basically me. Chai. Chim o. I almost burst into nervous laughter. I’m a bloody hero guys. I’m a super hero. I’ll sign autographs for you as long as you feed me for an entire day day. And I eat, a lot. 😊
P. S- I have absolutely no idea why the I is always in non capital. I completely forgot what the opposite of capital letters is. I just remembered, it is Small letters.
John Oliver- Last week tonight
Please take some time out to watch this show. It’s crazy funny and very very informative. See,
This is my rule, ignore it
I wrote on a previous post, that I’d stop reading blog posts if the blogger didn’t reply comments I’d left on their posts. So here’s an amendment and an apology; shit happens. I realize that lots of people have commitments to more than just me and I’m cool with that. I don’t like it at all. But if I like a blog and leave a comment and I’m not replied to, I’m cool. It’s very peaceful not caring too much about crap like that.
Jevinik Place: A review
Went out with a friend today. I suggested Jevinik and he agreed. I had to be at work by 7am and we were to meet by 2. So I was quite hungry by then. Remember, I like food and Jevinik is known for its huge portions.
I ordered Abacha and my friend ordered pounded yam and vegetable soup. And then I ordered Nkwobi to go.
Things to note, you had to order your sides separately. Basically, my friend had to order goat meat separately. My Abacha was good. I had to answer questions about Abacha and what it was and by the time I was done, I was exhausted. Also, my abacha came with zero “encouragement”, zero “motivation”. I had to pick out my friend’s dry fish and munch. I didn’t know you had to order sides separately.
P.s: I didn’t know I was going to do this review until halfway through my food. So there are no full pictures. Sorry.
Then there was the bottle of water we did not ask for which the waiter gave us. A confused order perhaps. But still. I’d ordered the abacha as a starter but in the end, it was starter, main course and dessert. I have a tendency to overestimate my appetite. Adaeze can tell you. We had fresh juice, as the waiter called it. He did not make a distinction as to what the fruit was but, come close 😳 it was pineapple juice with lots of foam. You’re welcome. The prices were fair, except I just noticed that the price of the goat meat was more than the price of the soup. Lol.
Everything considered, including the 10 minute power outage, I give the place a 3.5/5 star rating.
P. S- Thank you so much dear for being the kind of person whose food I can grab and chew without shame. Thank you for the long ass walking tour and everything else.
I’m that most endangered species if you listen to Nigerian comedians. I am a cheap girl.
Let me expound:
1. In all my life, I’ve never asked anyone but family to buy me recharge card/airtime/credit. The one family member I have asked, was in jest because he used to work in a Telecommunication Network Company.
2. I’m considerate- Whenever I’m on a date/outing, I’ll ask the person whether they can afford the items on the menu. (Which is incredibly silly in retrospect because THEY brought me there).
3. I keep my promises, no matter how long- Once a couple of years back, I made my cousin a promise. He’d send me a document he had already prepared, I’d take him out for pizza. That was 2 years back. This year, he was in Lagos, near Law School. So we talked, I came over, we went out, I got pizza, we shared an ice cream and when we got back in the car, he excitedly told the driver; “She paid!”
4. I’m nice- I give presents to people. People I barely know. People I’ve known for years.
5. I’m cheap- Case in point, someone offends me grievously, returns after a bit, asks me what I want. What do I ask for? Gala/Shortbread. *facepalm*
In summation, I’m a mugu. Here’s why-
1. While I don’t ask people to buy, send or give me credit, several people, usually guys do ask me. And I comply. Others use my phone to browse, call and text. So not only am I giving credit, I’m paying for other people’s calls and texts.
2. I keep my promises but often no one keeps their promises to me. So often I’ve made deals with people- I’ll do this for you/help you with this and you’ll take me out. I remember about 60 such promises. And only 2 follow throughs.
3. This one is funny. Apart from my friends no one reciprocates. Eventually, I instituted a follow up rule, you don’t give me a present on my birthday, don’t expect me to give you one on yours.
4. A recognition of your willingness to accept any and everything spurs people to give you the stupidest birthday presents ever. I’ll just leave it at that.
This year, I’m turning a new leaf. Someone called me cheap early last week. And I no longer am. In fact, here’s a list of not- so- cheap
things I want and fully intend to get this year.
1. Various fabrics: Dry lace, Cord Lace, Plain Ankara- Grey, Brown, PEACH, orange, red, yellow, indigo, blue, etc, Patterned Ankara- I fell in love with one black, white and red patterned one in the window of the DaViva stall at ICM. All (DaViva) patterns welcome, Brocade, George Material and this:
2. Books- Emilie Richards, Terry Bagshawe, Terry Macmillan, Richard North Patterson, Amy Gail Hansen, Francine Rivers, Karen Kingsbury etc. African novels, African- Christian novels. Americanah by Chimamanda Adichie (yes I know I carry last), any and everything by Lola Shoneyin and Umari Ayim, Sixty percent of a True story (Osisiye Tafa), These Words Expose Us (The Naked Convos Anthology) etc.
3. A full CARTON of McVities Shortbread.
4. A full CARTON of Farmfresh yoghurt.
5. A laptop; must be an Ultrabook. Current favourites-
6. A private jet.
7. $10 million given to charities such as The Destiny Trust, Slum2School, Stand to End Rape, The Nigerian Police Force’s account for the renovation of their Barracks (if/when they choose to open it)
8. $10 million dollars in my personal account.
9. Share Certificates (1000 shares in SEPLAT and Nestlé respectively), for a start.
10. About N1million naira in my Dealdey wallet (yes I know I’m addicted :|:?:evil::oops: but still ;))
11. A show or 10 at Terrakulture.
12. World Peace.
This is not a joke. I’m serious.
10 SIT UPS A DAY WILL DO ABSOLUTELY NOTHING FOR YOUR WAIST
I have a big stomach. This is not a confession. I don’t have body image hangups. Other people have them for me.
Recently though, I’ve been seriously considering getting waistbeads(jigida) and making or buying a crop top. P.S- if you’re going to tell me how waistbeads are evil, please state a personal experience, not that of a friend thrice removed. Thank you.
As these will highlight my waist and my motto of comfort over fashion does not extend to letting people see my big stomach exposed, I needed to tone up.
Once, (May 27th) I followed my mother to work and from there I went to CSR-in-Action. When I returned, in the midst of chewing small chops,
and pizza (not pictured), a lively discussion sprung up about health and fitness matters.
In the midst of this, I happened to mention that I was okay with my body but I was looking for a foolproof way to tone my stomach. Then my mom’s colleague said, “That’s easy, do 10 sit-ups a day”
I considered this for a long while. I had my reservations because:
1. I had done sit-ups many times before and it had absolutely no results.
2. The thought of doing sit-ups can be prohibitive to doing more.
3. I was lazy.
At that time- my lower waist straddled 34/35 inches and my upper waist was 32/33/34 inches.
One day, I just did it. I also interspersed it with various types of planks:
, lunges, burpees,
skipping and this special exercise:
I excitedly checked my waist afterwards. Same thing. I was quite discouraged. Then I remembered how many shortcuts I’d taken. 4 burpees today, none for a fortnight, 10 lunges today, none for 3 days.
I decided I was doing too much. So I focused on doing 10 sit-ups a day, increasing them in odd numbered increments on the daily. That was late July/early August.
I measured my waist a week later- lower waist- 33 inches. It spurred me to continue. I’m currently on 49 crunches and this is my waist-
So I guess she was right. 10 sit-ups, crunches, burpees, push – ups, planks etc will improve whatever body part you want it to, if you do it CONSISTENTLY.
As for the crop top and jigida, I plan to make and get them when I have a waistline, upper and lower of clearly defined abs. 🙂
Also, remember to DRINK WATER after exercising. I. CANNOT. STRESS. THIS. ENOUGH.
MY SEWING ABILITIES OR LACK THEREOF
I’m a really lazy sewist. Truly. Last year, I decided to start sewing. I asked for recommendations on good tailors who could teach me and I found one. He specialised in making suits (really good ones and quite cheap too). He and I spoke, agreed on a price, he gave me a contract to sign one of the terms of which was that I’d show up at 8AM and leave at 8PM and some other terms I found disagreeable. I cancelled those out, made certain adjustments, signed them, paid an initial deposit of a certain sum then we started. That was September 2014. I went regularly in September and October. Irregularly in November and not at all in December (there were way too many rough drivers and it seemed they all meant to hit me).
In January, my parents told me to chill and face my books. February, March and April, I was facing book.
10th of May I called him. He told me that his mother had died and he was going to bury her. In June he was burying her.
July, he was still burying her.
27th of July, I went over to his shop. He’d been back for a month 😐
I decided not to sweat it. And lessons resumed in earnest. He gave me instructions for the cutting and sewing of native trousers over the phone (my idea) and I made this:
The problems were multifarious. The waist was too large, the sides not fitted, the trouser too short. It reluctantly brought to my knowledge an issue I would have loved to continue avoiding. IT IS EXTREMELY DIFFICULT, NEARLY IMPOSSIBLE TO LEARN SEWING REMOTELY.
And I hated going to his shop. Truly. I had my reasons too:
1. He was busy. Incredibly so. Some days I’d go to his shop, sit down and watch and he would sew clothes and take orders for more sewing jobs all day and I’d return home after a long day of doing absolutely nothing.
2. While I was doing nothing or was seen to be doing absolutely nothing, I became an object of curiosity to people. Men. One followed me from a nearby bank. I think he thought I would go home, another used to come into the shop specifically to ask for my number. I received a marriage proposal. From a Hausa yam seller. I do not kid.
3. I’m just better suited to learning online. By the way, there’s this Facebook group- Valisimo Fashions Sew for Fun. It’s awesome and I’ve learned so much from there.
Eventually though, I made a 3 step plan-
1. Create a budget for going there and for sewing supplies.
2. Be busy. Or appear to be busy. It will discourage conversation. If it doesn’t, use this face to squelch the conversation-
3. Make sure you learn something every day.
It worked enough for me to to relearn how to make the native trouser. See:
There will be more detail on my sewing adventures in later posts.
BLOGGER RECOGNITION AWARD
So I was recently given another award. This one was given me by the awesome LafayetteAngel. Of the many rules, the only one I intend to keep is the acknowledgement one. I hope you don’t take that the wrong way dear.
She has been one of my most regular subscribers, not only does she comment and share, she links to pretty much all my articles. SHE IS AMAZING! The award is great but it is made all the more awesome because you gave it to me. Thank you honey!