Thank You: Now, and Always 

Standard

No amount of words can ever be enough to express my gratitude to all the awe-mazing people in my life, but here goes…

THANK YOU:

To God, I’m amazed at how far you have brought me…that I’m even alive after all the risks I took and times I didn’t send you. It is to your credit that I say: I. A.M. A MIRACLE. Baba, no one like YOU, thank you for your boundless love! 

To my mother, book (s) go full if I start to talk tori. You are the best-est-est!

Ehnehn… to all those people that take time out of their busy e-schedule to read my long posts on Instagram and Facebook, and even enter Okada to my blog post (s), eseun o jere!

To all those who double tap on my pictures out of habit – without looking (you don’t know how much I understand 😂 @agboolafaithmoyosore’s post some time ago reminded me of this. True tawk babe!)

To those who tag me in memes, I need more people like you in 2018 abeg. 😀

To all the slay mamas and papas (there are slay Papas too na, not so?), slay on, 2018 awaits youuu!

To the amazing writers on here and everywhere, you guys are the sauce mehn! Keep honing your art.

To ALL my friends; those that showed me love like a true family, those that have seen my brokenness and endured my rants and melancholic states, those I can never form for, those that have lent me a hand even when they weren’t so strong themselves, those whose friendship seemed coincidental, the Master Orchestrator was at work oo, and to those that always bring smiles to my face when I think of them – like now.

To #ParishYouthChurch, for all the LOVE. Honestly, I kent just deal!

To strangers who have been kind to me, God bless you. 

To everyone who has misunderstood me at one point or the other, may 2018 be better for us.

To all the great men and women that I’ve been opportuned to cross paths with this year, your greatness has rubbed off. 

To people that…well, ‘we just stopped talking’, even I, don’t hunderstand.

To school, that place will SHAKE YOU UP, but the good experiences and memories are sort of…a compensation. Abi?

To Dare, I wish I could have had one last beautiful memory with you before you ceased to breathe. 

To prayer, nothing works better.

To books, music and movies – the real deal.

To 2017, for kickstarting my journey to becoming. 

And…to you reading this lenghty stuff, thanks a whole lot!

Advertisements

Soliloquy 

Standard

Who do you call, when you’ve tried, and gotten tired of voicing out, because no one lends you an ear?

When all the salty water flows like a spring from your eyes, and dries up, leaving behind traces of sadness, which brand of make-up will be best for a disguise?

When you know something in your soul has died, how do you live?

What do you do, when you attempt to bring your thoughts to life in words – because that is how you manage to stay sane- but they end up in the bin, shredded beyond coherence?

Where do you go, when the four cardinals of your room have become your fortress, a world of your own?

What do you do when the person you could swear was your “friend,” turns out to be your biggest fiend?

How do you survive, when the only sunlight you get is the weak ray of hope that kisses your face when you flutter your eyelashes open in the morning – so weak that it fails to melt the frosty despair in your heart?

How do you explain that the lamp in the night sky has become a stable companion to the nocturnal being you have become, and the only other face you see for weeks is yours; looking back at you in the mirror, unsmiling?

What do you do, when the last time your lips spread in a smile was with an emoji and your most used vocabulary is “fine”?

What do you do when you can’t explain to people how you feel? You want to, but somewhere along the way, you lost the zeal…

What do you do when you don’t know what to do? When you’ve known more loss than love and you don’t know how long you can keep on acting tough?

What do you do when you can’t take it anymore, like an overstuffed chicken heading for the oven, take off?

Letters to You

Standard

Dear you,

You drive me crazy such that I can’t seem to get you off the wheels. The speed at which we’re going is quite tempting, exhilarating and maddening.  “Enjoy the ride” you say to me with lips ever so inviting, but I’m familiar with this road on which we journey; it starts off at a fast and promising pace, but the end is always abrupt and saddening. The best option for me now is to jump out through the window of caution while it’s still open. I’ve seen it happen in movies and the actors seem to turn out alright, all I need do is harden my heart. I can do it, I will do it – jump. Yes, it’ll hurt, but I’d rather hurt a little now, than continue with you on this reckless trip and die with a broken heart in a messy wreck of feelings. I will not let you convince me otherwise, no, I will not even look into your eyes; your tongue is full of spice and your eyes full of lies. You’ve trained yourself in the art of driving through those before me. In your heart lies books of tricks and safety measures – not love. That’s why in every wreckage you’re the one who manages to come out ‘unharmed’. 

No! I won’t let you ruin me; love can go to hell for all I care, but I won’t be going with it.

Girl With Soul: Memory Lane 

Standard

A MEMOIR 

I took a walk down memory lane; I tried moving step by step, careful not to jump too much over some painful parts lying in my path. I crawled and paused here and there to recollect the foggy bits. Still, I couldn’t tread those terribly dark paths etched deep in my subconscious.

I walked past the numerous houses I used to live in, gazed fondly at my childhood; that time I learnt to ride a bicycle, when we used to play tinko-tinko, sandali li, suwe and other games whose origin we never questioned. And didn’t I hear some children playing those same games downstairs the other day?

 I saw that of all the games, I didn’t like mummy and daddy – it contributed in stripping off the garment called innocence of me. I saw a young girl that became secretive; seeing things she shouldn’t, talking only when necessary, observing people and actions in ways her mates couldn’t and venturing into strange, sometimes exciting places (physical and mental) she dared not be caught in. She wanted to understand what made people tick, and someone, anyone to understand the deep soul in her small frame, but they also couldn’t or wouldn’t?

I saw my friends – some of which ‘life has happened to,’ those I’ve lost contact with, those I hardly talk to now or are ‘just there’ – and my heart grew heavy at the prospect of how those friendships would have blossomed had we (I and mother) not moved too frequently. But then again, who knew with life?

I saw the secrets piling up like shit in a pit laterine. I saw ‘uncle’ calling me into his room, I saw him touching and probing… I saw the fondness in mother’s eyes when she spoke of him. I saw myself not quite comprehending, but intuitively knew it was something bad that you’re not supposed to tell people. 

Instead, I watched mother work so hard on all kinds of jobs just for me to get the needful – food, shelter, clothes and ah… love. 

New terms had me like: new school bag? Check. New sandals? Check. Sparkling socks and uniform? Double check. Lunch and pocket money? Check. Complete books? Check. Good grades? Check.

Then I saw the envy and the how-does-her-mother-do-it? stare from friends, neighbours, well-wishers and haters. 

They saw it all on a superficial level, but I saw my mother’s struggles; how she held her head high through the stigma and scorn, how she sobbed silently at night, how she begged me to study hard and not end up like her (oh… how hard I studied), how she would place her palm on my forehead and pray for me with all her heart while I pretended to be asleep, how there was (and is) no-one like her – my friend, sister (if you look at the not-so-wide age gap), my comforter, my hero and my everything. 

 “You are blessed, you are highly favoured, no evil shall befall you…” Didn’t they say a mother’s prayer was highly potent? It is and will ever be.

I saw the sceptre resting on me to be what my mother couldn’t be, achieve what she couldn’t and shame those who said she’d fail.

Yes… Yes… I’m trying, but how come I can’t call her “mum” or “mummy” now? Please, let’s hold that thought with the question mark…

Then I saw them – two more people like ‘uncle’ – satisfying their adolescent urges with my 9 year old body. An addition to the towering pile of shitty secrets.

Again, I saw an ‘aunty’ directing my hands… heard her saying “touch me here not there”. I saw myself watching her eyes roll back in pleasure. Atleast, she wasn’t like the ‘uncles’ but they were all the same – another shit in the already shitty pile of secrets.

I saw us ( mother and I) in the night, sleeping in locked shop spaces, churches, anywhere we could lay out heavy heads, sometimes even open spaces. I saw the pain in mother’s eyes, I  felt her heart beating with guilt at the harshness I was being exposed to (what of the other exposures tucked away in the secret folds of my chest?). I saw the kind gestures people showed us, I just wished we could have a normal home for once.

Would you then blame me for becoming the kid who went to friends’ houses and delayed her return home, because she dreaded going back to nothing? Hated not knowing what ‘home’ felt like? All I wanted was the perfect scenes I saw in those homes; father, mother, children, aunts, grandmas, grandpas, etc ( and maybe one or two good uncles). I craved the warmth, the camaraderie of a close-knitted family, the normalcy of it all in contrast to my chaotic life.

How terribly wrong I was about perfect scenes; the things I wanted, made them weary. The people I envied, envied me. They too had shitty piles of personal and family secrets merged with dissatisfaction. Once again, I had to resume looking deep into people, actions and things – some things in life are not as cracked up as they appear to be. 



Wow wow wow! You made it here, thank you for reading. I am kind of testing the waters, and my story will be continued based on the feedbacks I get from you lovely readers.

Kindy leave your comments and do tell me if you’d buy it at a small price if I made it into a book. You can connect with me on Instagram @girlwith_soul

Much love.

The Negative Attitude of Women Towards Other Women

Standard

Hiii!🙋

 It’s a beautiful day here in Lagos, another opportunity for us to be and do better. 

Well… something’s been bugging me though. What❔ 

This: the negative  attitude of women towards other women. 

Even the males  have noticed this not-so-appealing  part of us; this friction between females and how we perceive each other. 

Image credit: Google

Why do we suddenly become so competitive  (directly and indirectly), condescending, undermining of each other and give in to pointless comparisons and squabbles, once we feel threatened by another? Why?

I mean, life’s already tough on us, not necessarily because of our gender, but for the fact that the best life isn’t easy (let me hastily add that it’s worth it though). So, why do we make it harder for each other? 

Image credit: Pinterest

We know fully, how complex our make-up is, PMS & menstruation ( trust me, a whole lot of psychological and biological stuff goes on with and in us during this period), society’s  expectation of us, the succeeding-in-a-man’s-world craze, etc yet, we still beef  ourselves over silly things. I don’t gerrit! 😑

Image credit: Pinterest

Relationships

It baffles and irritates me when I hear things like females fighting over who snatched whose boyfriend/husband, or so and so have not been beefing each other because of a guy. I always say this: 

I can’t get physical, beef or hate on my fellow female because of a male. It’s lame and undignifying, really.

Just because you’ve fought and embarrassed yourself doesn’t mean he’ll love you more, or even proves your love for him (and vice versa for the males).

I’ve seen cases where the male in question doesn’t even send the females and ends up with someone else entirely.

Also, dear married women, not every single woman is out to steal your husband, stop hating! 

Let’s change the mindset that we are all rivals.

Career/workplace:

So what if your colleague is smarter, better, prettier, brainuer,  more successful, and whatever yardstick of comparison makes us insecure, irrationally competitive and sometimes, downright hostile? 

Work on yourself, support other women, say no to the gossips and damaging talk, compliment genuinely, work hard, empower yourself and other women. ✌

Image credit: Pinterest

I’ve researched on this issue (trust me 😉), and there’s a particular article I came across on Huff post, that I just had to cull and share to summarise this whole topic. Here goes…

In a world of squirrels, she might as well have been the squirrel who collected more nuts than you. You might even try to steal her nuts. Or tell the other squirrels how she came about those nuts in a suspicious way. Either way, this squirrel is perceived to have more resources than you, even if some of those nuts are spoiled. Then again, how would you know what kind of nuts she has? All you can see is her pile of nuts. And that’s all that matters. Perhaps you should take notes from this fabulous squirrel, maybe even do laps around the tree to get that squirrel’s thighs. Perhaps you should kill the fabulous squirrel. You just don’t know what to do!

Now imagine that you are the beautiful squirrel with the pile of nuts. Now you’re getting a little anxious. Now you feel like you should give some away to diminish the danger or perhaps alternatively guard your nuts more fiercely. You just don’t know what to do! But why should you give away your nuts? They didn’t climb that tree to yank them from the branches. Perhaps they don’t have your scampering ability. Perhaps the tree liked you better. Either way, they’re your damn nuts, you shouldn’t have to make excuses.

Now if nuts represent success or self-worth in the human world we’ve been trying to create (you know the one with ‘gender equality’?) there should be nuts for everyone, and we shouldn’t have to get them from men, so to speak. Even though we know they have them!

What we really need, is to stop fighting with each other over the nuts. Instead, we should all collectively attack the tree together.

Bottom line: As women, we need to stop fighting over the scraps that are left to us by those in power. Jealousy over looks is only a symptom of everything else we still do not have, one of which is the ability to shed beauty and body image as all-powerful dictators in our lives.

It is so easy to forget who the real enemies are, and thus we cannibalize ourselves on the way to what we hope is a better life, even if only in the form of vicious shit-talking to alleviate our fleeting anger at what ‘Miss Thang’ represents to us in the world. She is not the one to blame, unless of course she really did something horrible to you. But then you might ask yourself, Was she horrible to me because… of this exact issue we’re talking about? Is she fearfully scrambling for beauty commodity in herself and projecting it outward? Like the rest of us are grappling with in some form every day?

On the flip side, having perceived good looks can drag a woman down in ways that are similarly unfair and unearned, namely when other women do their best to sabotage her progress, her job, her advancement, and her happiness based on jealousy of her collective resources or perceived ability to acquire *nuts* as it were.

When women can finally relegate beauty to a fun life expression, rather than a prerequisite of success, it might be safe to say that we will see less tension between our sisters. I would like to think that when women occupy enough power positions in every sphere, we will no longer question where our real worth lies, at which point we might see an end of the extreme jealousy trend between women as we know it.

So let’s pretend that when we as a gendered group achieve more consistent success equaling men, we will treat each other differently indeed. Imagine that we will even help each other more. We can even start now, as it would surely support the cause if women helped other women advance for a change. Or at the very least, we can try our best to disparage upon each other less (tempting as it is). Because one fine day, beauty will not be our unwitting default scapegoat for why we aren’t successful or happy.

To some degree, there may always be a form of tension between everybody, women and men, with or without the commodity of beauty playing a role. But I think we all can agree that the world would still be a much better place, even if fraught with endless problems to resolve, if women were nicer to each other.

By Juliette Fretté

https://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/1914374

Choose which team you want to be part of:

Team ‘hating on‘ OR ‘rooting for‘ ??

Let me know your thoughts in the comment section. ☺

I Love…

Standard

  1. Listening to music:   Especially when I find myself in one of those long annoying queues and on long trips. Ha! I remember when I travelled to Enugu from Lagos. That was a veeeery long trip. So, I get my earphones plugged in and enjoy the🎵
  2. Reading: I give my mum credit for this one. She imbibed the reading  culture into me from childhood.📖
  3. Knitting: this is one hobby that calms me and helps me unleash my creativity. Plus it’s really not hard once you get the hang of it and watch YouTube tutorials.
  4. Writing: Pen and paper kind of writing, you know… putting down thoughts and ideas as they come (sometimes, even if it’s just to admire my handwriting 😁). I express myself better in writing, and it helps me make sense of my feelings and stay sane sometimes. Watch out for my book o.😉
  5. Research: both on and offline on everything and topic under the sun. I am very inquisitive, so I 🔎 out answers. I still have an interest in Psychology even though I couldn’t study it at uni. 
  6. Taking walks:         Evenings please! Hey, I’m not old or anything, this girl just likes to clear her head, enjoy nature and the little things of life that we tend to overlook. ☺
  7. Taking pictures of, and watching sunrise and sunsets: I have a some streaks of photography freakiness, lol. 😜 🌄🌅
  8. Being by myself/enjoying my own company: once in a while, I like to go out alone or just basically enjoy “me time” so I can organize my thoughts/life and reflect away from the bustle of life and people’s expectations of you. Besides, social gatherings and small talk wear me out real fast. Funny thing is I actually don’t consider myself a complete introvert. Maybe ambivert…🤔
  9.  Drawing: Ah… don’t underestimate me man. When I’m in the mood, I can pull off some nice stuff.😊
  10. People-watching: Yassss! Especially if I’m in a busy place. 👀 I don’t mean what staring rudely or… say, looking around restlessly in a reception when you’re waiting for your turn with someone e.g a doctor or business related visits, and you’re just bored stiff. I mean intentional observation of people and happenings around you. Sometimes, I wonder “where are all these people hurrying to?” I try to imagine what their lives are like and stuff like that, then I get inspired to write a poem or something. Not all the time though.


If I remember others, I’ll update this post. ✌

Hey, share yours with me. What do YOU enjoy doing?? Which one of mine can you relate to or you think is weird?

Problem & Solution Palava

Standard

This is not fictitious, it happened two weeks ago.

*******

 

“Ah! Biodun*…! Biodun ooo! Biodun…my pikin… No! No! ooh…ehwo! Oh my daughter! My child! Neighbours abeg come o! Biodun abeg..!”

The time was few minutes past 5 (P.M), and I had just gotten home after a stressful 5 hours journey from Benin to Lagos, so I decided to take a shower. It was in this state that the above heart-wrenching wails wafted to my ears. I realised that it was coming from my neighbour whose sick fourteen year-old daughter was almost giving up the ghost. A child she has nurtured since infancy dying before her eyes, and she could do nothing about it, nothing! If there is a prayer I know mothers (parents generally) pray with all their hearts, it’s for their children never to die before them.

On hearing the cries, my mother’s adrenaline level shot up and she ran out of our house to that of the neighbour’s.
Trust typical Nigerian neighbours; they all dashed out of their houses to feed their eyes on the pitiful scene. Most stood aloof with arms akimbo, watching. Only one joined my mother and after some time, the poor child was miraculously revived to the boundless joy of her mother, just like the story of Jesus and the dead girl in the Bible. It was such a beautiful moment; a moment where you understand that the line between life and death is very thin.
I was confused, and later learnt that “the girl was gone”, but for the mercies of God. My mother had prayed with every ounce of strength and faith she could muster for the young girl to be revived. Ever since, she has been recuperating at a snail’s pace, but atleast she’s alive, thank God.

Now, here’s what irked me about the whole incident:
Apparently, Biodun’s mother had been going from one witch doctor, healer, spiritualist, and prayer houses to the other in search of a solution to the mysterious illness, and large amounts of money had been extorted from her and in some cases ridiculous requests like goats, etc were made. Still, the child in question gradually became a bag of bones as her health kept deteriorating. A widow, singlehandedly training three children allowing herself to be duped and deceived all in the search of a solution in this 21st century when hospitals are advancing in their methods.  It makes me marvel at the extent to which people can go just to achieve their aim (even evil ones), sometimes even in ignorance. I’m not saying she had evil motives though.  She probably thought if evil forces were at work in her daughter’s life, then evil go jam evil!

Here’s what people don’t understand: the devil doesn’t run run a charity organization. All solutions that come through that means will be gravely paid for, be it now or much later in life.

Even if the child had been ‘healed’ through any of the mediums, ofcourse it would only be temporary to keep the poor woman enslaved, dependent and further extorted from perhaps till the child will die.
Yes, life’s challenges can be frustrating but think of the future when making certain decisions; do not jump from frying pan to fire in your quest for ‘solutions’. God still answers prayers.

 

P.S: * not real name