Broken Hums can still make Magic.

 

Happy New Year People, I like to say that my year begins in my birth month so it feels just right that my first post is published today.

You know that feeling of wanting to hold on to something even though it is not quite healthy, well that is somewhat how 2017 was for me.

Don’t me wrong, 2017 was not a bad year; there were very high points, but I had some gut wrenching lows as well.

I ended 2017 not sure of what I wanted to do with myself or where I was heading, and it’s not like I have it all figured out now (as much as I wish I did)

I knew something was terribly wrong but I did not know how to phrase it was until I listened Shonda Rhimes giving a ted talk and Eureka, I realized that “my hum was broken”.

One would have thought that, realizing that there was a problem meant that I could proceed to solving it right. Well that was what I thought too. Instead, I became really heartbroken and distressed when I realized that something was broken inside me, don’t get me wrong, I was never of the opinion that I was perfect but I at least thought I had things figured out to an extent.

I started to doubt and question anything and everything, nothing made sense anymore, and during that time, unfortunately I had people who told me directly that even my writing (which I love to do by the way) was crappy. Actually, someone said to me that my writing was cold and detached; another person told me that writing was not for me. You see as much as I love to have my work criticised, I was dealing with so much then that all I wanted was some encouragement.

Even though we are only a month into this year I feel like I have had a lot of time to sieve through things and even though I do not have it, all figured out yet here is what I know:

  1. No one person is enough to bring you down except you allow them to (Trust me it’s easier for me to write this than to actually put it into practice)
  2. It is okay to cry no matter what anyone says
  3. It is okay not to have it together at all times as long as you remember that not having it together is not a permanent feeling
  4. Leaves, Branches and Roots: People are either leaves, branches or roots in your life. Figure out who is who so you don’t mess up your tree (p.s I learnt this from Madea)
  5. Love is a beautiful gift: No matter how much you try, you cannot force your love on anyone regardless of how beautiful it is. Heck even God did not force his love on us. In the same vein, you cannot force someone to love you. It is futile and extremely painful.
  6. No matter how much someone believes in you, believe in yourself more so that when they choose to stop believing you will still be alright.
  7. You can find God in everything, if you can’t find Him in a particular place or situation at any point in time….pull your shoes and flee
  8. Make every second count.
  9. Watch out for big things that come in big packages: Never underestimate little beginnings, every mustard tree grew from a tiny seed
  10. Live, Love and Live some more: Whatever you do not stop living, loving and living some more.

Here is to making magic even with our broken hums in 2018.

 

Advertisements

About Three Months

About three months ago one of our statesmen made us popular for the wrong reasons…all is forgotten now and we are waiting for the release of his next single.

About three months ago the internet went berserk because a young lady did a normal thing, in fact a reputable institution made her an ambassador…the things we use for PR (change)

About three months ago one of our artistes bought reality dogs and another posed with the wrong cash.

About three months ago they said our president was recuperating…I am beginning to think recuperate has a new meaning now.

About three months ago some teenage girls were raped by their classmates and the school claimed it was a normal thing.

About three months ago Evans was a normal man, a benevolent man and a friend of many

About three months ago Federal government thought they had Saraki where they wanted him now he is a “free man”

About three months ago El Rufai asked Dogara about the national budget and their salaries as statesmen…we are still waiting for Dogara’s response

Three months from now what should we expect.. bloodshed from the North because they want some people out..

Killings from the east because there is a need for revenge

About three months from now how many more bomb blasts should we expect from Maiduguri,
How many more chibok girls will suddenly surface
How many more Evans should we expect to see
Will our President still be recuperating

About three months from now…

Snip and Snap

I have a new prayer point… Anyone or anything who will not allow us to move forward, May they be snipped away like tattered edges of clothes…

I know a man who once fled a town he governed in a female attire, he contested again for the same seat in the same state and he won the election. Now he wants to be our president.
Don’t you think he deserves to be snipped away?

We have found a new thing to argue about, our President addressed the Nation in one of our local dialects, we have found a new reason to go to war. We use our social media pages as our swords and guns and we break down what little unity we seemed to have garnered over the past months. Isn’t it time we begin to snip away everything that we have entangled ourselves with in the name of liberation.

Like a man with a head full of cobwebs, our leaders are clueless about how to move us forward as a nation…do we not need to look for a means to …snip them away.

I am tired of talking about policemen who think it’s their birthright to collect money from drivers…in fact one of them told a driver…”Don’t you know, that you are delaying your passengers. Pay me on time”. Not like the drivers are any better imagine a situation where the front seat is more expensive than other seats in the same vehicle..
I say it’s time for us to snip and snap away anyone who will not “let us be great as a nation”.

Generational Consent

This generation of change
This generation of shifting posts
Where maybe can be seen as yes.
This generation where consent has become an assumption.
Where the married have no voice as long as violence is not involved.
I am your husband, you will do as I say even if you do not feel like it.
Where lovemaking has turned into a conquest between the predator and it’s prey
Where a little bit of violence is acceptable when you can call it fancy names
Where Christian grey is a fifty shades character because of his bank account where otherwise he would have been an unsub on criminal minds…
This generation that says no really means yes
This generation where there is no hard and fast rule
This generation of shifting posts….

My sick Country

My country is sick, oh sorry I mean the head of my country is sick or does it mean the same thing.

“You just want to embarrass me and you know I am a staff.

Oga this one no be embarrassment I no know say you be staff na
That conversation was between a pot-bellied police officer and a bus driver. It was early in the morning, I was on my way to work. For a minute I thought about waiting to see where the conversation will lead to but,I decided against it. I had a few minutes to catch up on sleep (yes I ‘ll pick sleep over food any day) I yawned as I thought about where the concept of “a staff” came from. When they are in the bus what do they do? Protect the bus or just sleep off and enjoy the free ride? oh yes tbe drivers won’t have to pay the touts. How are they contributing their quota to healing my country?
My country is sick

(Queue at a bank)

Is there anyone at your back

I don’t know

Are you the last person?

I am not the last person o, I will never be the last person in Jesus name.

I looked at the man and shook my head. 

You see I am not against religion, but the idea that we turn everything into a spiritual conflict is appalling. 

We are quick to attribute everything to spirituality and then we forget to play our part and expect “miracles”
My country is sick

(Bus Driver and passengers) Wo’le pelu 50 naira change o, Iyana ipaja waso, waso iyana ipaja, 200, 500 ma wole o. 

The driver was yelling, he was both the driver and conductor. He moved closer and we realized he was drunk. He was not even walking straight, he was drooling saliva from a corner of his mouth. Someone said this guy is seriously drunk. Another person laughed, another smiled, but no one got out of the bus. 

We got to the last stop and a woman exclaimed Oluwaseun o.

I kept wondering why didn’t we get down and take another bus, why did we take a chance on a bus driver who was obviously drunk. What if there was an accident. Who would have taken the blame?
My country is sick

I have been going to Motorways consistently for about a month now and every time I get there, there is always smoke coming from the dump site in Ojota, what if there is an asthmatic patient without an inhaler? Why can’t this burning be done in the night? Why can’t the dump site be moved? Who will take responsibility of anybody who has casualties from inhaling the smoke.
My country is sick, and we know it, but you see that is not the sad part. The sad part is that I am not sure my country is ready for healing

INGRATITUDE….GRATITUDE PT 2

Thursday

I still cannot find the money. My boss says to keep looking for it. I am upset, why did I forget to drop the money? Why can’t I seem to catch a break. It’s not like I am even enjoying the job. I need a plan, I need a way out. I need to be doing what I want. It just seems really difficult to take that big step.

There is no light, considering the fact that I pay for maintenance monthly (My house hunting experience is another story). I am so upset with this Landlord. When I think I about people like him I wish I was a part of X-MEN or something.

 

Friday

I woke up half wishing that I won’t be called in to work today. I don’t feel like getting up from the bed but I have so much to do today. I need to go apologize to a friend (I am hoping that goes well). I remembered that I need to wash too. I really just feel like lying in bed all day. My head hurts, I am not sure why…. Now I know I have not been sleeping well.

I met with my friend (I think it went okay, I am praying it did) this week has just been…. Someone told me I am not spontaneous (what does that even mean? Is that supposed to be a compliment?)

Okay, the day is finally winding down, I am right in the middle of the road and snap… my slippers just cut. Oh dear, I removed the second leg, I really cannot be bothered. I started walking barefoot, people are staring. After about three minutes I found somewhere to buy a pair of flip-flops (I am wondering why they are so expensive).

There is no light at home, my phone battery is low. I have to cook and I hate doing that without light.

Sigh… can I just sleep off already.

 

Saturday

Finally this week is almost over. I hope today goes well, Saturdays are usually very dry and sometimes I end up thinking and worrying more than I want to.

Few hours later and I am running late for a dinner party….the party is over, it ended pretty late so now I have to take a cab ( I did not budget for this)

 

.

.

.

.

.

.

Thursday

I found out that one of my mentors checked out my blog and he actually dropped a comment. Maybe I am not as bad as I thought. I had to terminate someone’s appointment today. I kept thinking and I realize I actually should be grateful that I have a job, what if I was out job hunting… I may not be where I want to be but I am not where I used to be.

 

Friday

I spoke with an old friend today and he told me that he thinks I am a strong woman… every time someone says that to me, I smile and I say you have no idea the tears I shed and how scared I am most times. I realize now though that the strength is not mine. His strength is truly made perfect in my weakness.

I almost got hit by a car this night, Imagine if a drunk driver was on top speed when my slippers cut right in the middle of the road.

 

Saturday & Sunday

Wow… it has been a really long and eventful week… in a couple of hours I will be a year older. The past year has been amazing, I have had a lot of downs…but more importantly I have had more ups… I have gained strength, I have found peace, I have found love, I have found hope and I am confident that the New Year is going to be much better.

P.s refer to previous post for a complete picture.

INGRATITUDE….. GRATITUDE

Usually I am very composed when I want to put up a post, but today I found myself really struggling. I remember that one of the reasons why I started this blog was to project life the way I see it and hopefully people can learn from my mistakes and experiences.

I started out this week with the intention to do a seven-day blog of gratitude. I wanted to count my blessings and express how grateful I am, but it is just Wednesday and this week is turning out to be….

Monday

It started like any other day, my writing was a bit slow and I was silently complaining about that, until about 5:45pm when I got the news. My emotions had gotten the better of me and I had put someone in trouble, I could not believe it. Why was this happening? Why now?

I tried to understand it but I could not, I sadly could not do anything to fix it. I broke down in tears as if the tears could turn time backwards, but nothing happened. I kept dreaming and wishing myself to go back to the past and fix things but nothing changed.

Tuesday

I got to the office wearing a gloomy look, I barely slept through the night and I was feeling slightly feverish. I had not stopped thinking about the events of yesterday. I tried to ignore it by burying myself in work, it worked for a bit but then I started drifting into sad thoughts again.

I tried playing my favorite game but I kept making the wrong moves. That person I put in trouble could not get over it and I can understand that, I feel so bad but sadly feeling bad won’t change anything.

Wednesday

I remember that I needed to give my boss some money that had been handed over to me. I got to the office and searched my entire drawer, I could not believe it. The money was missing, gone… poof. Just like that.

How could this happen, I can’t handle any more bad news, not this week, not this month, not this year. I broke down again. Why would anyone steal from me? Why did he/she think it was okay to take what was not theirs?

So much for wanting to give thanks this week right?…

.

.

.

.

.

.

 

 

Monday

I am grateful for the gift of writing, someone asked me a couple of weeks back to send a sample of my poems and short stories and I did, but I was not sure of what to expect. After all I am not a professional writer.

She responded last week saying that she wanted to meet with me, so today I go see her and she asked if I would be interested in an exhibition… I was like ehm… “But I have never done this before”, she smiled and said well “then it will be your first time”. I could not believe it, is this how people just get opportunities? An exhibition!!! Just like that. You see even if I did not get a call back from her, I am still grateful for this gift of writing. Trust me it is a gift. I told someone once that I have no idea the places that my mind goes to string words together. I am not there yet but stay with me guys I am headed somewhere.

Tuesday

I am grateful for life. Today on my way home I heard about a pregnant woman who died because her driver was trying to avoid policemen. He swung his hand and headed skidded right off the bridge. She died…like she lost her life, and her unborn child. I thought about this and one more time I am here to say thank you.

You see the past two years have been very dramatic for me, towards the end of last year I had another health scare and trust me when I tell you that I was really scared. I realize now though, that I have His blood flowing in me and so no contrary thing can thrive within me. I am unapologetically His and because of that no “health scare or health reality” can hold me bound.

Wednesday

It’s the third day of the week and today I am grateful for love. Yes I am grateful for love in all its forms…Family, friends, heartstring… everything.

I realized this morning that every time I thought of giving up, he put one person(s) there to hold my hand, lift me up or even sit with me when I am down.

What will I possibly do without you guys…?

Thank you for sticking with me, even though I am one of the toughest human beings to love.

So you see, I can either focus on the first scenario or the second one… (They are all true incidents) or I can decide to be grateful despite the negative scenarios.

P.s. Look out for Thursday to Sunday (I am hoping they will have only positive scenarios but if not I still intend to be grateful)

pietrina

Photo credits …Bernard Kalu… check out his IG handle kabenny_

An alternate response to “Jolene”

I have always adored Dolly Parton from an early age. Apart from being a huge fan of country music, I find something about her endearing.

Last week I was listening to one of my favorite acapella group (Pentatonix) and I found out they had done a song with Dolly Parton… Needless to say it’s been on repeat since last week.

I have always loved the song Jolene, I thought it was a funny yet intriguing song, but after listening to it continuously for over a week, the writer in me started to imagine an alternate response to Jolene.

Even though the idea to write this came almost immediately I couldn’t figure out a title for the piece, I wanted to be careful enough to leave the originality of the song.

I hope I did that.

Here are the original lyrics:

Jolene”

Jolene, Jolene, Jolene, Jolene
I’m begging of you please don’t take my man
Jolene, Jolene, Jolene, Jolene
Please don’t take him just because you can

Your beauty is beyond compare
With flaming locks of auburn hair
With ivory skin and eyes of emerald green

Your smile is like a breath of spring
Your voice is soft like summer rain
And I cannot compete with you, Jolene

He talks about you in his sleep
There’s nothing I can do to keep
From crying when he calls your name, Jolene

And I can easily understand
How you could easily take my man
But you don’t know what he means to me, Jolene

Jolene, Jolene, Jolene, Jolene
I’m begging of you please don’t take my man
Jolene, Jolene, Jolene, Jolene
Please don’t take him just because you can

You could have your choice of men
But I could never love again
He’s the only one for me, Jolene

I had to have this talk with you
My happiness depends on you
And whatever you decide to do, Jolene

Jolene, Jolene, Jolene, Jolene
I’m begging of you please don’t take my man
Jolene, Jolene, Jolene, Jolene
Please don’t take him even though you can

Jolene, Jolene

And here is my alternate response:

I remember complimenting your beauty the first time I saw you. I could not stop staring at you for the first ten minutes Jolene
When you talk the whole world stops to listen to you. It’s as though honey drips from your mouth. The twinkle in the eyes of your audience reveals how satisfied they are with you Jolene

So when he first started to call out your name in his sleep I thought he was just smitten by your intelligence. Until I realized it was much deeper. How do I compete with something unconscious? 
But you see Jolene I am not even interested in competing.

I figured it all out, if I have satisfied him with all I can…given him I possibly can, then why should I have to fight with you over him Jolene.

Don’t get it wrong Jolene, he means the whole world to me. You see he was the first one I ever truly loved, and even though I have pledged my forever to him, if he has decided to go with the honey dripping from your lips and other parts then maybe I am better off saving my love for another
So you see I am not begging you Jolene, it will be giving you too much power if I decide to do that.
Even though I have come to realize that you have led many to unknown paths with your swaying hips and caramel skin. I will say no word to him…experience they say is the best teacher.

If you think I will not survive this then both of you are mistaken…
I used to think my happiness depends on you leaving him, but now I know better. I have found true happiness in myself. So whatever you decide to do Jolene I am still better off
Jolene, Jolene

If you have not listened to the remix of the song with Pentatonix, please do so and let me know.

One more thing guys…I am trying to get more followers and visitors for my blog…so if you have enjoyed any post at all..please share the link…

Much love.

“Boda Kola”

​She woke up even before the first cockcrow, it was a mixture of nervousness and excitement. Mama had told her the night before that she was going to finally begin hawking today. 

She had dropped out of school few months back, Baba’s last medical admission took away the chances of her ever going back to see her friends in Modu High School, but she was happy to be able to help Mama with taking care of everyone in the house including Papa who was not even of so much help when he was able-bodied.

Her thoughts strayed briefly to the first time she saw Papa beating Mama and demanding all the money she made that day, she could not understand what was going on, Papa was staggering strangely and his speech was slurred. He had a strange twinkle in his eye as she stood watching from the window. She ran away just as Papa turned towards the window, but this morning she was not going to allow the thought of Papa get into her head. A part of her was strangely happy that Papa was now bedridden, it meant Mama no longer needed to hide the bruises from Iya Salewa the over-friendly neighbour, and most importantly it meant Mama could spend her money wisely.

She splashed water on her face and joined Mama where she was picking out the oranges for her tray. She had gone with Salewa several times but this was the first time she was going on her own. Mama hugged her and said “don’t worry this is only for a short time”. Abeke didn’t seem to mind at all it was a chance to prove that she could help Mama.

That was two months ago, she watched as “Boda Kola” called Funke to come and sell oranges to him in his room at the back of the only 3-storey building on Kosoko street. She desperately wished she could call out to Funke, but Salewa pinched her and said “let her learn the way we did”. She still remembers how sore she was after “Boda Kola” forcefully collected more than the oranges on her tray, sadly she was wearing the same white blouse she wore today. 

She had told Mama that a nice old lady gave her the fat wad of cash when Mama asked, at least Funke will get the fat wad too. She will be fine eventually, she turned to follow Salewa who was heading into Maroko street to target the public school children, as Abeke tried to pick up her pace, she felt the sudden urge to expel the Ogi and Akara she had this morning. 

This was the third time this was happening this week alone. She mentioned it to Salewa who had given her a nasty tasting concoction to drink, she explained that the same thing happened to her after she first sold her “oranges” to “Boda Kola”. 

That was two weeks ago though, maybe I should tell Mama Abeke thought.

Pietrina 2016

Photo credit @Urkelace