Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Emotional Intelligence...Or the lack thereof of it

...in Nigerian households.

A few days ago I came across a few tweets (by @fantabender) that spoke about the lack of an emotional climate in Nigerian homes. He mentioned how the lack of it can screw you up in so many ways and we have to hold our parents accountable for how they treat us. "Nothing is gained from the mentality that they are beyond critique"

Now these tweets caught my interest because not too long ago I had tweeted something akin to that - well more about how Nigerian parents don't realize how much they contribute to our "fucked-upness" (because we all are in some way or the other) and I had also had a conversation with my cousin about it.

First off, Emotional Intelligence is defined as:

the ability of individuals to recognize their own and other people's emotions, to discriminate between different feelings and label them appropriately, and to use emotional information to guide thinking and behavior.

For most Nigerian households, something you might find common is the motto "we just don't talk about it". It's amazing the number of unspoken topics that Naija parents just don't talk about, you are just supposed to know, deal and figure it out or pray it away. It's like important things crucial to growing up are taboo to talk about. We were told stuff much more than we were talked to. Let's not even talk about if a mental issue is involved.

A certain area as a woman I have always wondered about is in the case of marriage. Any Naija girl "of age" knows the pressure they receive to be married. We also know many a story of the generation before us and it's not always a pretty picture and most stayed due to not having options and no financial independence among many things but when it comes to their kids, it's like they just skip all the opportunities to pass down a lesson and keep pushing for marriage. Even when they do give advice sometimes it's head scratch worthy (e.g all men cheat, as long as he's not beating you it's fine etc) Talking about the guys, I remember some time when Naija guys were talking about how many of them had hugged their dad or said "I love you" to each other and they weren't many.

Now, don't get me wrong I don't 100% blame them for their actions because that's all they know and learned from their own parents. Just because they don't say it, doesn't mean they don't love you. Naija parents see providing you with the basics and some as love. Paying your school fees is love. Which is all well and good but some form of recognition of issues and actually communicating about them goes a long way.

The repercussions of repression, in any area of life is pretty long term. A lot of people form habits in their love lives and base some life doctrines on stuff they absorbed from their parents and adopted as normal because it is all they know and it's pretty damn hard to shake off a practice when you are older. I acknowledge that parenting is hard and I am sure they do try their best but I hope our generation tries to turn it around and make an effort to be aware of their children's behaviors, create a safe space where the kids feel comfortable talking to mom and dad and generally a healthy space that allows for full development.

P.S My worry for our generation is actually more in the area of empathy. We seem to be so selfish and don't know how to relate to people who have different experiences from what we know and I am hoping this isn't passed down because that's a gateway to intolerance but maybe I am overthinking it.

Ok so disclaimers:

  • My post does not apply to all Naija parents and to everyone and if it doesn't just read and thanks for reading
  • I think you can be close to your parents and still have areas where they were lacking in emotional intelligence. I was close to my mom but I can acknowledge there were just certain things that were no go areas and we just went right along with life.
  • Confess if you said "well, me I don't have fuckedupness o"

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

PowerBall Mania

Did you play? Everytime I think about it, I am like that is a shit load of money, what do you even do with that much? How do we even know we aren't being 419'd? If you ever came into that amount of money do you have an idea what you would do with it? I'd like to know.

Have a good rest of the week.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Happy New Year

Happy New Year folks. Hope everyone had a good holiday and is ready to go back to the real world in the new year. If you are reading this then that means you made it into the year and that's something to be thankful for. I just got back from Nigeria yesterday. Man, no matter how many times I do it, that flight is such a long flight sha. I was so glad to be home.

People are usually so up in arms about people making New Year resolutions and such and I don't know why. There is a reason we have markers such as birthdays and anniversaries, if people choose to reset or be better in the New Year, I don't see what the problem is. I am still on the fence about New Year resolutions because if nothing else I have learned that life is what happens while making plans and you say you wanna do this and that and you get swept into something completely different but at the same time it doesn't hurt to have goals.

I don't want to say 2015 was a terrible year but it was more like it's low's were very low but I did do a lot of traveling (and finally made status on my airline. woohoo!!) and got to spend more time with my brother than I ever have which was good. Someone asked me on New Year's day how I felt about the New Year and I said "resigned". That's exactly how I feel. Every new year, I tend to feel hopeful and eventually get so crushed when the disappointments roll in so coming into this new year I had a good share of trepidation because who knows what comes with this new year? 

That being said one of the goals I have for myself this year is to build back hope in my life. As I currently stand, I don't think I possess much hope in me which I guess isn't a good thing. So, I will attempt to work on it and hope (hehe) it works its way somehow, back into my life.

I am also going to learn not to sweat the small stuff. Accept that people will always be people and it is not the end of the world. As we get faced with hurdles, we keep pushing on.

Happy New Year all. Stay blessed.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Friday Randoms

Hi guys, another friday is upon us and quite frankly we should just celebrate Christmas because I am pretty sure if you blink Christmas will be upon us the way the year flew by. It's been such a stressful year for me that I don't know if I want the year to just be gone or if I am scared of what the new year will bring. I am struggling to keep my eyes open as I type this. Old age is real. I am so wiped out. Is it just me or is anyone else mentally checked out of work? Like the spirit is willing especially since I have a lot to tie up before I go on vacation but man, the brain is not willing at all at all. Anyways, let's random.

I really dislike when people say life is not hard and we make it hard. Just because we have food in our bellies and roofs over our head doesn't mean some people aren't dealt an unfair hand and life is hard for them.

The whole rape debacle on twitter just reminded me that e be like say our generation lacks kindness and empathy.

I read an article from a self help writer who said that if you have had the same goals for a long time and you still haven't achieved it, then chances are high that you might not even want this goal you think you want. Do you agree or disagree?

Some people have the randomest deaths. Do you ever wonder how you will die? Would you rather it be sudden or gradual?

The biggest gift I would like to give my daughter is high self esteem. I also wonder what plays a bigger part in having self esteem. Is it enough to just reinforce it and tell them they are awesome and beautiful and smart? or do external forces have more of an impact once they start to have experiences in the real world.

I have these overwhelming moments where I really miss my mom. I still have a strong urge to see a medium and think it will make me feel better if contact is made ( I don't even think I care if I am being lied to). If they say anything close, I am so desperate I'd probably latch on to it. But...my cousin says mediums are of dark/evil spirits or rather are not of God, so I should stay away :(

I have always heard of how big boobs hurt the back, how come we never hear of big butts hurting the back. I was told that it's below the spine so might not have an effect.

Someone had said if people were truly honest about their "how they met" stories or the true story of the roads that led to marriage that it wouldn't be pretty. And it's true. Most people give the neatly tied in a bow story and I wonder why that it is. Not saying it has to be all bad and sordid etc but we all know relationships comes with its own struggles, so a little dent or chink here won't ruin the story - at least to me.

Me being me, I asked said person to tell me her story and I really appreciated it. It wasn't a fairytale and I still find it cute. The couple ended up married even though she wouldn't say she was in love with him, so I asked "did you ever fall in love with him?, if so when?"

Her response:

"Eventually, not butterfly in the stomach, weak knees kind of love, but I know this is my person. Within our first year of marriage. I fell in love with who he was\is, his qualities. Like loving someone because of how much they love you"

I liked that. Remember people. Sometimes what you want is not what you need.

There was a tweet that said stuff about girls having 27 best friends and I have seen comments over the years where people say different friends serve different purposes (Michif has a recent post on this kinda) and I can see that but I just don't get how that serves as a reason to have 5000 best friends. I don't think all friends have to be best friends. I also think your true best friends or close friends can be "everything". I guess the disconnect is assuming that every friend because you are cool is a best or closest friend. They can just be friend.

I was talking to someone talking about a female and she made a comment about some girl isn't a threat because she is not her man's type and he'd rather go gay than get with her etc and my first thought was a lot of women probably feel this way but I don't subscribe to that "not his type" thinking. Women don't see attractiveness the way men do and often miss road and a big mistake women make is they always think when a man steps out its hinged on looks.

Well, that's all I have for you guys tonight. Please, take a stop at www.taynement.com. I have a feeling that this is probably going to be my last post for the year. In case I am right, have a wonderful Christmas and may God be with you and yours. Thank you for still reading my little ramblings over the years. Merry Christmas :)




Wednesday, December 2, 2015

The thing about rape

If you are on twitter, you would have seen the uproar and outrage that went on about rape and sexual assault and we got to see just how far we have to go for a lot of people to understand just how widespread this situation is and its lingering effects. You'd be surprised how many women have a story to tell and are carrying this to their graves.

Anyways, I watched a documentary called "India's Daughter" that focuses on how a 20 year old med student in India was gang raped by 6 men on a bus and eventually died. Guys, it was so horrific. They sodomised this girl with a rod so bad that her intestines were pulled out. The surgeon didnt know how to rearrange her.

They interviewed the rapists (which included a 17 year old minor), their parents, a wife of one of the rapists (who blamed the girl) and the defense lawyers. One of the rapists had no remorse and said if she was a good girl she wouldn't have been out at 9pm. A defense lawyer said if he ever caught his daughter engaging in premarital sex he would personally take her to a field in front of everyone and burn her. I can't even quote all the many nonsense that was spewed. Oh and the documentary wasnt allowed to air in India. At the end of the documentary, some facts about rape and sexual assaault was shared, which is what I wanted to share with you:

Australia: 35% of women have been sexually assaulted. Only 15% reported to the police
Canada: Over 1 in 3 women has been sexually assaulted. Only 6% reported to the police
Democratic Republic of Congo: More than 400,000 women are raped each year
Denmark: Only 1 in 5 rapes results in conviction
Egypt: 96% of women have suffered genital mutilation
Ethiopia: 60% of women have been subjected to sexual violence
France: 1 in 10 women are victims of domestic violence
Nigeria: 10 out of 36 states have laws that allow husbands to use physical force against their wives
South Africa: A woman is raped every 26 seconds
Sri Lanka: An average rape case takes 6 to 12 years to be resolved
United Kingdom: 33% of girls between 13-17 have experienced sexual violence
USA: 17.7 million women have been raped

Friday, November 20, 2015

Friday Randoms

Howdy Ho peoples. How are you? Hope you are doing well. As for me, I am very tired and I am so glad it is Friday. I just got back from vacation and catching up to the real world just tired me out. You know, sometimes I think vacations are a scam. You are supposed to go and be all rejuvenated but one day back into the real world and everything is all wiped out. But I think I am extra tired because it was multiple destinations and just before I left I had traveled for work and basically came home and swapped suitcases. So I haven't had the time to catch my breath. My poor babies are suffering and by poor babies I mean my tv shows. I have been trying so hard to catch up and with all the new releases, I am so behind! *sobs*. How about this global warming fall we are having I don't know whether to be scared or be happy. Anyways, let me get to random-ing.

When Mark Wahlberg hosted the Pope's visit to Philly, there was a moment where he told the Pope that he gives God all the credit for all the blessings in his life. Which I get. But then my first thought was of Ted the movie  and Entourage and how raunchy/offensive they were but they made him money, do you consider that from God?

I can't imagine what first time sex is like for a gay man. Then again, I just learned that there are some tops who have never been bottoms so have never received. How do they establish their positions when they first meet? What if it is like a one night stand? How do they discuss and establish who is getting it?

I still don't understand how there are Nigerians in America who were raised in Nigeria who don't care about genotypes.

I couldn't remember if I had randomed about this before or tweeted about it but just like you can identify those with new money, you can also identify those who are new *insert what applies* . I think they could also be considered like late bloomers who are doing things at a much later time but feel the need for it to be publicly known.

Who was the first person to go skydiving? Like, by jove you know what? I am going to fly way up high into the sky and jump down to the ground. Whee!!! :/

Someone described the loss of a parent as like losing the last/only person that would ever truly love you for who you are. So apt.

If I was ever given one wish in the world, it would be complete and utter trust in God and believing that he will take care of me.

Do you personally know a social climber?

Watching a show and the lady said that she doesn't like the process of opening up and trusting and getting to know people which is why she always goes back to exes. Made sense.

Am I a bad black person because I don't get offended by some of these outrages? I felt no anger because Asis Ansari or Mindy Kaling don't date white people on their show. Welp!

In this week's edition of my singledom, I was given advice to stop wearing my glasses out and wear makeup more :( #foreveralone

Going through Sabirah's comments in her Thursday tidbits and a commenter mentioned how she knows deep down she doesn't want to get married and felt relief at the break up of her relationship and I thought that was really honest of her. I always admire when Nigerians are honest about their stances on things. Same person asked the question "Do people ever believe you when you tell them who you are?" and I thought that was so true. People stay fixated on their ideology of you or what they want you to be.

Anyways that's all I have for you folks. Please help a sister out and visit www.taynement.com.  I hope you all have a pleasant and wonderful thanksgiving. Be sure to find at least one thing to be grateful for and hope you will be around people you love. Have a wonderful weekend and be safe.


Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Thy Will Be Done

I am pretty sure that at some point, I have blogged or wondered what the point of prayer is when at the end of the day, it all depends on the will of God.

Let me backtrack a little. Something I have also said before is that I don't believe that being a positive, happy go lucky person guarantees or brings you good things. It just means you can handle things better and it's also just a better attitude to have in this tough world we live in.

I was in a discussion where people vehemently disagreed with me on this and said when you pray hard and think positively about something and believe it then it comes to pass. Which is all great and dandy but I've thought about it and whatever hope there was in me believing it, it was dashed when my mom passed away. I don't think I believed anything harder or was so sure about someone pulling through. So that's where I stand and I kinda don't like feeling guilty or made to feel guilty for having that stance.

Anyways, it brings me to the point where people always end things with at the end of the day let the will of God be done. I can roll with that. I also roll with not understanding what the cotdamn big picture is but He knows better, abi? The long and short of my story is it took me some time to get to this place. I now accept his will is ultimately what matters. It was funny that while going back and forth in my mind I came across a lot of bible meditations and verses that talked about accepting the will of God.

And then the crux of it, when I was thinking of what to post...sometimes when I think or miss my mom, I go through my old emails and read emails we sent to each other because we emailed a lot and what did I run into yesterday but this...coincidence, huh? I can just hear preaching to me and me saying "yes mommy, i've heard" Love you momma.

Here's what I came across from her:

Finding God's Will
By Elaine Creasman

As I have been facing a difficult challenge lately, I find myself crying out to God, "What should I do?" Which way to go seems unclear. I want to do what's right, but every choice seems to have its drawbacks.
Slipping into negative emotions and negative thinking makes things even murkier.
"Please show me Your will and Your way," I have prayed.
What God has done is to reveal to me the next step to take. He doesn't show me the complete picture of where He's leading me and how He will bring me to the other side.
The key is to believe He will show me His will, and He will carry me through this just as He has brought me through every other trial in my life.
Discovering God's will is tied in to being still. The Word says,
"Be still and know that I am God" Psalm 46:10 ESV.
When I forget that He is God or fail to act that way, I try to plow ahead doing whatever comes to mind. That makes matters worse.
When I embrace fully what my Sunday School teacher has been repeating lately, "He is God, and I am not," I can trust Him to lead me.
When going through hard times, being still before the Lord to discover His will can seem impossible. It's especially challenging when the enemy is bombarding my mind with thoughts that bring on moments or multiple moments of doubt, fear, and unbelief.
One of the reasons it can be rough discovering God's will in difficult times is that I ask myself, "How can this thing that's happening to me possibly be God's will?" and "How can a loving God allow this?"
The faith side of me says, "God does allow bad things, but He brings good out of them—if I submit to Him and trust Him with the outcome."
I confess that too often I try to stay in control and straighten out a difficult situation or a heart-tearing relationship conflict on my own. That doesn't work.
I notice when I try to do it on my own, love does not lead the way.
One thing I've become ever more certain of is this: "Love is always God's will and God's way." If I'm unwilling to love, this shows that I have not been fully set free. I'm moving back into bondage.
When I love even though others have hurt me, God is present and working. The other person may not change in every way I desire, but God changes my heart to become more like His. That's what trials are for—to transform me into the image of Christ. Changing me is God's will.
As I've been submitting to Him with an attitude of, "Lord, do what You need to do in me to make me more like You," the hardness in my heart is melting away. I'm embracing what Jesus said,
"Not my will, but Yours be done." Luke 22:42 ESV
There is great joy in discovering God's will. There is even greater joy when I'm willing to embrace it and live it. I'm excited to see what God has in store in the days, weeks, and months ahead. He is so good.
Have a great week guys.