Finding You


Failure does something to you. It breaks you. Especially if it has happened more than once. And for some, just once is enough. Failure will, whether or not you realize it, make you lose faith in yourself and your abilities. You’ll start to trust less and less in what you’re capable of. You’ll start to feel like people can no longer see you for who you really are. They only see the mistakes you’ve made and the failures you can no longer erase. You feel judged even when no one is particularly looking at you. The way that people treat you changes. You don’t want to be pitied or scorned or looked down on but somehow these are the only ways people know how to respond.
You failed.
It stings. It unnerves you. And that’s when it all starts. You start to forget who you are. It becomes difficult to convince yourself that you can succeed at anything you set your mind to. You continue down this road over a period of time and you keep failing at different things; your relationships, your choices, your goals. Soon enough you’re wondering if it’s all worth the effort. You’ve failed at so many different things that you start to call yourself a failure. You define yourself by all the things you couldn’t accomplish and wallow in your grief. “I’m a failure,” you tell yourself. Eventually you lose focus entirely. You can’t remember who you used to be before you failed. You’ve lost sight of your dreams and you can no longer find joy in little victories, because a part of your brain has been conditioned to wait for the disappointment, like a wild cat preying on a deer. Your failure awaits. And surely, not long after, it’s there again. You sink deeper, you die a little more.

Soon enough you forget who you are. Nothing motivates you long enough. Nothing interests you. You’re become bored. You’ve come to accept your fate as something you can’t change. So you start to settle. You settle for a life that’s less than what you’d hoped for. You settle for a relationship you don’t need to put too much work into. You settle for a job that allows you limit your creativity. You settle for friends like you who have settled for you. You settle for the failure.
Who are you now? What have you become? When did your heart stop beating?
Your strength isn’t only in the things you can do. It is in what you choose to do. It is in choosing to get up when you fall, it is in choosing to keep at it when you fail, it is in choosing to do better when the first few tries don’t work, it is in choosing to put in more effort, in choosing to hope against hope. Your strength is in your choices.
You didn’t disappear, you merely forgot who you are. You let the grief blind you from seeing your true potentials. But you’ve been in there the whole time. You just can’t remember. So let me remind you.

You are as authentic as the day before your fall, and more so because you choose to stand. Your goals are as achievable as the day you conceived them. Your plans are still feasible. Your hands are still skillful and your mind can still secrete creative juices. You didn’t lose your divinity. You only forgot for a moment that you were divine so you dropped your crown. Your failure doesn’t define anything about you. It is your choices that do.
It doesn’t matter if the rest of the world doesn’t see you for who you really are, it matters that you see yourself. The most important words you will ever hear are those that you tell yourself. So find yourself in the things that really matter, in the things you love, in the tiny details that count. Finish that book. Take that trip. Dump that jerk. Work that job. Run that mile. Find your peace. Live.


Universal Attraction


The law of attraction states that whatever you pay attention to will eventually come to you. I’m not an ardent believer of this school of thought but I do not completely disagree with it either. It is true that we are not always responsible for the events that have played out in our lives, but you can agree with me on some level that by earnestly desiring something, you get it. Sometimes, by working towards it and some other times by just having it drop onto your laps. It’s a relatable ideology. For instance:

When I was young, I wanted to meet boys. Good bad boys who knew just what to do and say to sweep me off my feet. I wanted to date them and have them fall for me like I fell for them. I wanted to change them, to be the heroine in their story. I wanted to grow old with them. When I got a little older, I met good bad boys. They fell for me like I fell for them. They knew what to do and say to sweep me off my feet. I tried to change them. I was both a heroine and a villain. I’m not old yet but they’re not with me anymore. 

Truth is, I got what I wished for. I didn’t have to go looking for them, they sort of just found me. It was almost like  the universe was responding to my deepest desires. I’m not sure if it always works like this, but just in case it does;

Dear Universe, 

Now I’m a lot older and I finally realise, I don’t want a good bad boy. I don’t want a boy who knows what to do and say to sweep me off my feet. I look forward to meeting a man. A man who knows discipline and respect. A man who knows what to do and say to make a woman feel loved and appreciated. A man I wouldn’t have to change. 

Now I’m caught between sitting and waiting or going to look for him myself. 

The Women


The other day, I went to the market to make my hair. It was like every other day when I go to make my hair. I buy what I need and I find someone to fix it in for me. So on this market day, it was exactly the same. But something happened to me, something a little different. For the fist time in all my years of visiting the market, I saw them. I’d never noticed them before but I saw them that day. 

Here’s what I mean. On this particular day, there was a woman with her child sitting next to me. She’s a hair dresser too, but she was more concerned for her baby boy than her job or anything else for that matter. I’ve never seen a Nigerian mother smother her child with love before. Nigerian mothers are known for discipline, manipulation, love, patience and anger issues. But here was a woman who wouldn’t even let her child play because she wanted to hold him all the time. She fed him every thirty minutes or carried him on her back. He was old enough to crawl and move around on his own, but she wouldn’t let him. He’d squirm and try to get away from her grip but she won’t let go. He’d even scream and cry but she’d rather force her breast into his mouth than put him down for a minute. It was incredible. A lot of the older women there yelled at her to put him down and focus on her work. The boy wanted to play but she wouldn’t have it. The other women advised, chided, insisted and eventually got angry at her. 

“Let the child be. He needs to stay on his own.” One said. 

“It’s as if you don’t want this boy to grow up.” Another chipped in. 

“Ah ah! Stop giving him breast, he’s already old enough.” This one was angry

“Bring him to me let me help you hold him.” One offered. 

But when they noticed the woman wasn’t responding, they started talking loudly to each other instead. 

“This girl is stubborn. Until that child will grow up and become spoilt” 

“I don’t understand what’s wrong with her. Will she die if she drops him?” 

“Please, please I can’t kill myself. It’s her business. Let her do what she wants. I’m tired” 
I was annoyed too. Eventually she put the child to sleep with her breast in his mouth. I rolled my eyes. What was wrong with her? But then I thought about it for a minute. The baby boy was obviously her first child. It was easy to tell because even when other kids who played around came close she’d shush them away saying “Leave my son alone”. She took pride in saying those words – “my son”. So I thought; what if it took a while to conceive him? What if the pregnancy was difficult? What if the labour pains were excruciating? Oh but it all paid off because on her bosom lay her beautiful son. A minute didn’t go by that she didn’t smile at him and cradle him to her chest. She held on to him like her life depends on it, which I’m guessing it does. What if he was all she had to live for? 

That was when I looked around and observed the other women. They all had stories too. Stories no one else knew about. Of pain and hurt, of miracles and victories. Their lives seemed so simple. I wanted to judge them for judging the woman but I realised it wasn’t their fault. Sometimes, after we’ve overcome storms and had our own victories and breakthroughs, we tend to forget that miracles and victories are not so easy to come by. 

So I didn’t mind that the woman smothered her son or that the other women judged her for it. I was happy to have finally noticed them. Because their stories will never be told and world will probably never know they existed. But I do. I saw them. 

The Ache



When you hurt how do you express?

Do you grieve deeply?

Do you stay numb?

Do you accept it as fate?

Do you refuse to face reality?

How does your heart feel?

Does it beat so fast you want to collapse?

Does it beat so deeply you feel the blood gush into your heart and out?

Does your mind start to play tricks on you?

Does your brain cease function?

Does the world go silent or does it seem chaotic?

Do your legs go weak?

Do they stay rooted to the spot?

Does your entire body shiver with disbelief?

How do you absorb the ache?

Is it as physical as it is mental?

How do you snap out of it?

Do you ever snap out of it?


The Firsts


752c5977510a6ae994bb92e83a41771dAs we get older, we realise that we do not have many ‘firsts’ left. You’ve probably already had your first kiss, first crush, first love, first heartbreak, first F, first fight, first husband, first tattoo, etc etc. Some of the firsts do not apply to everyone though. I personally wouldn’t want a first husband but I quite fancy the idea of a first tattoo. But asides that, I’ve pretty much had all my firsts. It’s starting to dawn on me that I’m not a child anymore. Children would look at me and call me ‘aunty’ because in their perspective, I deserve to be called that. I’ve outgrown childish habits and thoughts. I can well be considered an adult now. The only thing left to put a stamp on it would be if I started paying my bills. I’m ‘grown ass’. Ripe for marriage. Able to have children. Should be able to keep a home. But I don’t want to get there so quickly just yet. I feel like I’m losing my joie de vivre too soon.
My grandma once told me to do what everyone else my age is doing. Wear makeup, grow my hair long, hang out a lot, watch a ton of movies. Because somehow someday life happens and you may not get the chance to do those things anymore. I think I’ve had my fair share of youthful exuberance. I’ve partied, kissed, travelled, fancied the idea of eloping, dyed my hair, given my friends bad advice, received bad advice. What’s left? What else are people my age doing? I’m out of firsts. We’re young and that’s directly proportional to living in the moment. Until we feel we’ve outgrown it and society decides its time we start to take responsibility for our actions. But I’m at that weird phase where I’m not young enough to do stupid things, because I’d have to face the consequences, and I’m not old enough to ‘settle’ just yet.
But come to think of it, every phase of life should be an adventure; a first. We take responsibility but we don’t give up on life entirely. I want to experience many more firsts and I’d probably have to create them for myself but I hope that when I finally do settle, I’d have someone who would want to experience firsts with me too.

There’s Something New Under The Sun


The sun has seen all there is to earth. She’s watched the earth from when it was born to here and now. She’s seen its beauty and darkness. She’s kept a close eye on its people. She’s seen us wander in fruition. She’s seen us fight for love and faith. She’s watched us put to birth. She saw when Edison discovered light. She listened to Darwin explain our evolution. She’s seen our glory and downfall. Nothing amazes her anymore.
Everything that is or is to come has already been. Man creates within the limit of what he can imagine. And our imaginations are products of what we’ve seen and heard, what we’ve touched and tasted. So nothing is in itself new. Everything is, more or less, a progeny of something that has been created in the past. So even when times change, they still remain a shadow of what has already been. Things minds have already conceived. The sun has seen it all. So what’s left to do? What else is there to discover? What thoughts are left to decipher? 

The sun may have seen it all but she hasn’t seen it from you. She hasn’t heard the story through your lips. She hasn’t seen the world through your lenses. She hasn’t read the book through your strokes of ink. She hasn’t put to birth through your womb. She hasn’t seen the colours through your brushes. She hasn’t heard the notes through your voice. She hasn’t seen your imaginations.
We are all similar in thought and comprehension but we are yet to discover the depth of what really lies within us. The human mind has the ability to produce thoughts beyond mediocre comprehension. But you have to be willing to dig deep enough. You cannot afford the luxury of laziness. The sun doesn’t know you. You are new under the sun. So let the world experience your hues, let it listen to the beat of your own heart. Let the sun discover you.d6b3ccdd1618d4197d0e27d582de1613.jpg

With Age comes not only Wisdom but Madness


david-stewart-photography-33“With age comes not only Wisdom but madness, and by madness I don’t mean literal madness, the kind that makes you run naked on the streets, no, I mean an unconscious kind of madness. The kind that everyone acquires at some point and expects other people to understand and accept. We’re all born sane and unique but somewhere along the line we settle for false impressions of ourselves, definitions society has made us accept, believing that by doing so the world would take us a little more seriously. We mask our uniqueness with fake delusions of what we call ‘reality’. Somehow, in masks we are more comfortable because the world can’t see who we really are. We simply show what is defined as acceptable and leave our true identities hidden. That’s how we begin to lose our sanity. Because we stay hidden so long the real us starts to fade. We conform to our masks and soon forget what our original feels like. So that even at old age, we’re still struggling to find bits and pieces of ourselves, the ‘selves’ that should have been on display the whole time. Only to realise that the uniqueness is faded and we’re left with silly masks we don’t understand anymore but expect everyone else to.”

Don’t let society trick you into believing you’re not all that, because you are. Your weirdness is what makes you who you are. No matter how rare it is. People are most afraid of what they do not understand so they’ll try to convince you you’re’ odd’ if you’re not ‘normal’. Embrace your weirdness, your abilities, your talents, your dreams. These things make you. Hold on to whatever you find happiness in. Make it your home and build it up. And when your masterpiece is finished, sit down quietly, sip your tea and watch people come to you.