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Monthly Archives: July 2013

30…ish and Single (Still)

 The idea for this post was initiated by an article I read through Facebook. It was posted by a friend (Hello Diana, if you read this. Miss you much). Click here (Marianne Power) to check it out; it’s an interesting read (At less to me) and inspired me to start this series to explore my own experiences as a single girl.

Firstly, I am going to start by giving more insight to my chosen title. Even though I am not yet 30 (Sighs Heavily), I figured out, respecting the law of average (or is it approximation?), **30…ish** is closer to the truth than **20…ish** (though I most certainly would prefer the latter). Alright so I am almost 30 and single (Maybe I should say ‘still single’) as my society would most certainly regard it.

Over the last couple of years (say two to three years), the fact I am still single has become more and more of an issue, especially among my friends (I am sure they mean well). It has become increasingly a concern that I am close to the dreaded mark of 30 and still a single girl. I am not sure if it’s entirely a cultural thing, but I know for certain that being Nigerian, a deeply cultural environment, where girls my age should be married with at least a kid, doesn’t really help my ‘plight’. You get more ‘mothers’ (women of my mother’s generation) praying that ‘God sends you a husband soon’ (Again, with the best intention at heart). Your conversations with friends are centered on the presence or absence of a man in your life, with questions like,  ‘So have you met someone?’ or ‘Is there anyone interesting in your life just now?’. Never mind that you just spoke to them last week and they asked exactly the same question. Even though it is not out-rightly said, without a doubt, everyone is concerned about you (Emphasis again, with the best intention at heart).

Nevertheless, you are constantly reminded of the state of your marital status (As if you need any reminder) and before you know it, you begin to dwell on it yourself, worrying that there is something wrong somewhere. ‘Are you doing enough?’, ‘Are you socializing enough?’ Maybe it would be easier if you could just carry a sign that says ‘Single and Searching’ or ‘Want a wife? Look there’. Unfortunately (or maybe I should say fortunately) that would just make you seem crazy.

So yes, like I said, I have decided to start this series titled  ’30…ish and Single (Still)’. Its going to be about my own singlehood; my constantly changing attitude about it, my worries and, even humorous and not so humorous opinions and experiences in this regard. So please stay tuned…

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Posted by on July 17, 2013 in 30…ish and Single (Still)

 

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Interlude 3 – Yem’s Obsession

I haven’t written anything about my family’s next generation in a while, so I decided to do a short (Yes, I said short and I know how to do short) excerpt on my nephew, Yem, who unfortunately isn’t feeling too well at the moment.

Yem has this obsession with housekeeping (Its ridiculous). Actually, he has an obsession with almost everything like I said in my previous note (interlude 1), but this by far is the most ridiculous. Saying housekeeping is putting it nicely; the appropriate thing to say would be he has an obsession with brooms and dirt-packers. All you have to do is pick up a broom and automatically, he wants one; ever mind that he makes more mess than cleaning up, plus he gets in the way of you actually cleaning up. Never mind also, the brooms are all bigger than him. There really has to be something unhealthy about this and I am sure that’s why no one makes toy brooms and dirt-packers.

I just remember something rather funny; you know the way kids pick up your phone and make a pretend call on the phone; Yem does that too. The other day he picked up someone’s phone in the house and made a pretend call to his mum. Of all things, my adorable nephew could ask for; he chose a broom – ‘Mummy buy broom for me’ (hahahaha). I swear this is so weird and unhealthy.

What can I say; he is just two (Turned two this month), so he would probably outgrow it or become an asset to mum and wife in future; helping with housekeeping. 

 

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A BEAUTIFUL WORLD OF DO-OVERS

I was playing a game on my phone a couple of days ago. I made some wrong moves and as a result, got stuck (Never claimed to be a genius). Beautifully, the game gave me an opportunity to restart it and need I say, I got to the finish line. However, this got me thinking about how beautiful the world would be if like my game, we could get a do-over on anything we wanted.

I am one of those naturally impulsive indivduals (I don’t mean that in a good way, even though it has its advantages). As a child, I remember  on many occasions, crossing the road without looking and it wasn’t because I didn’t know to look both ways (Either, I saw myself as invincible or just felt like putting the fate theory to test). Consequence of that was getting hit by a car ( literally); luckily, it wasn’t too serious. Suffice to say, that was an exercise I gave up on and personally learnt a life lesson I intend to enforce with my children – ‘Always look both ways before crossing’ (hahahaha).

I remember many years later, reading something that said that one of the signs of  adulthood is being able to handle the effects (good or bad) of one’s choices. Over the years, I have tried to adapt this into my thinking and how I handle issues, especially the ones resulting from the choices I make (Little wonder why the saying didn’t just emphasize that being an adult is making right decisions, in the first place; it sure would have come in handy). So yes, over the years I’ve had course to remember this saying, especially when I am dealing with the consequences of a bad choice (Which I shamelessly admit are many). Even though I have imbibed this saying and totally own my life errors (Mostly, because it emphasizes the fallible nature of the human self); I can’t but still dream how wonderful it would be if I could erase some of these experiences and choices, and have a complete do-over; off the top of my head and within two minute, I can count ten things I would like a repeat on. Not necessary all bad things but in retrospect, less than perfect choices.

I am almost certain I don’t stand alone in this thought , I am sure even Mother Teresa (in her life time) could do with it. I guess what I am trying to say is that one doesn’t have to be as  impulsive as I am and it doesn’t necessarily have to be big decisions; maybe just tiny decisions like having sent that not-so-nice text in the heat of the anger or being so nasty to that person who mistakenly stepped on you and ruined your shoes. Bottom line, most times we cannot tell what the effects of a choice would be before-hand, thus, there are certainly some things we could do with a do-over, having now seen the effects, which are less than okay or the consequences, which are greater than anticipated.

On the other hand, I have been repeatedly told (Not sure by whom, maybe myself **winks**), Perfection is boring. The ability to make mistakes, pick yourself up, learn and move on, makes life interesting, educative and fun.

Personally,  the upside of mistakes is that it puts life in perspective; reminding me that I am created in a human form and most definitely, need God to excel at this thing called Life. So to end this post, I am going to quote a couple of lines from a prayer I wrote a while back. Click here ‘Prayer of the Soul’ if you want to see the full version. Have a great week Y’all.

‘ God I pray for the wisdom …

To realise that I am created in human form

And as such come with weakness

To let your strength be perfected in my weakness

To remember that I cannot see what my future holds

And as such let you help me live my present based on your knowledge of my future’.

 
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Posted by on July 15, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Love on my mind…

Love is one of my favourite topics ever and like my girl crush – Chimamanda, once said, ‘I love Love’,  I think love is one of the most beautiful and complex feelings ever (And yes I admit, I do see a lot of things as complex and maybe even love complexities **winks**). However, this time, I think more people would agree with me, than not.

The idea for this post was motivated by a question asked in a television programme I watched (Don’t ask which, it’s a guilty pleasure **covers eyes**). The question ‘how do you define true love?’ was thrown at a couple of people. The question itself alongside the similarities and differences in answers, got me thinking about how I define true love. I believe that people interpret love or in this case, true love, based on their experiences and exposure (immediate or literary) and this makes its definition very subjective. Personally, I believe that understanding love is just as complex as understanding human nature itself. Just as the latter (human nature) is constantly evolving, our definition of love is constantly changing; again based on our experiences and exposure (God knows my definition has repeatedly changed over the years and is probably still changing). Just when you think you have a final answer; it shows you another piece of the puzzle that makes you reassess your previous thoughts and perception (I guess this is an indirect way of saying that I am reserving my right to possibly alter whatever I say regarding this topic, at a later date).

Okay now that is out of the way, I suppose the next logical question is ‘How do I define true love?’…ummm, let’s see; I will say that my definition of true love is based on my experiences (personal and observed) as well as ideal. In one word, Love is ‘giving’. It is giving time, care, support, material things etc. Love may have attributes like kindness, acceptance, patience, encouragement etc, however, I do not see ‘giving’ as another attribute of love but a definition of love itself. Classic examples would be a God’s perfect love for us and a mother’s love for her child; these expressions of love are marked by a constant need to give.

Now I believe that this need to give (the presence or absence of it) is the truest test of whether or not you love someone (at less, it is for me). I can easily tell how I feel for someone by my impulsiveness and desire to want to give to that person. Do I walk into a store, see something nice and immediately think that would look great on my sister or my mum or a friend, and just want to get it? Do I see some silly gift like a packet of cookies and think, ‘oh! my nephews or man would like that’, even though they are not with me? Do I want to give time to my relationship with my family (even though they drive me crazy half of the time)? Of course there are occasional breathers otherwise daggers will probably start flying (That ‘s suppose to be funny, just in case you missed the punch line), but if my sister needed my time or money to do something important, even though I hated it, I would give it (probably complain half of the time but definitely give it nevertheless). In my opinion, this is love: constant giving.

I do not undermine the fact that relationships, especially romantic relationships are not as straight forward. I do acknowledge that other factors come into play like trust, acceptance and commitment etc, but at the same time, I still believe that if it is a relationship built on love, it should be more about what you want to give and less of what you want to take. The next question then becomes ‘if this is true and I keep giving, what happens if the giving is one-sided? Doesn’t that make the situation less than okay?’

My response: ‘Yes, it does and basically you have asked what if I love this person and the person doesn’t love me back?’  I emphatically believe that giving is the very nature of Love itself; when/if someone loves you, they give you. Not just material stuff but time, care, attention etc, because they want to make you happier (Notice I said happier and not, happy). That’s why it is imperative that you choose to be with someone who loves you right back; someone who wants you right back. If people enter into relationships, not just because they love someone but also because that person loves them in return, then it should be a relationship were both parties keep giving and as such, are more focused on making the other happier. Half of the problem solved.

So to re-echo my salient point: In my definition, True love can be defined as a continuous and selfless need to give.

To end this post, I am going to put out some random thoughtful and nice love quotes. There are quite many, I just couldn’t resist….

 

‘Love is that condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own’.

‘Even in the most infertile of all lands, a seed of love always grows’.

‘One of the best feelings in a world is when you hug someone you love, and they hug you back even tighter’.

‘The opposite of Love is not hate, it’s indifference’.

‘Sometimes it’s a form of love just to talk to somebody that you have nothing in common with and still be fascinated by their presence’.

‘How much love inside a friend? Depends how much you give ’em’.

‘The more one judges, the less one loves’.

‘Every time you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing’. 

LOVE IS THE SOURCE OF STRENGTH :’ Love is being happy for the other person when they are happy, Being sad for the person when they are sad, Being together in good times, And being together in bad times. 

             

LOVE IS THE SOURCE OF UNITY: ‘Love is an understanding so complete that you feel as if you are a part of the other person, Accepting the other person just the way they are, And not trying to change them to be something else.   

LOVE IS THE SOURCE OF SUCCESS: ‘Love is the freedom to pursue your own desires while sharing your experiences with the other person, The growth of one individual alongside of and together with the growth of another individual. 

LOVE IS THE SOURCE OF THE FUTURE: ‘Love is the excitement of planning things together, The excitement of doing things together’.

        

LOVE IS THE SOURCE OF REALITY: ‘Love is being honest with yourself at all times, Being honest with the other person at all times, Telling, listening, respecting the truth, And never pretending. 

  

LOVE IS THE SOURCE OF PASSION‘Love is the fury of the storm, The calm in the rainbow. 

  
LOVE IS THE SOURCE OF SHARING: ‘Love is giving and taking in a daily situation, Being patient with each other’s needs and desires.

LOVE IS THE SOURCE OF SECURITY: ‘Love is knowing that the other person will always be with you regardless of what happens, Missing the other person when they are away but remaining near in heart at all times.

       

‘LOVE IS . . . THE SOURCE OF LIFE!’ 

 
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Posted by on July 5, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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