Sunday, January 25, 2015

My Time in Nigeria

A reader had asked me to describe my time in Nigeria and what it was like and if I would or wouldn't move back and why or why not? So I shall do my best to recall my time and feelings then.

For those who don't know, the summer of 2009, I think I had what felt like the closest I would ever be to a nervous breakdown. I had just had enough of everything, most especially my job which I hated and was not even in a field that I wanted to be in. I looked around and realized if I didn't do something, I would end up so unhappy and still in this situation in another 5 years. So I did the typical thing most Nigerians who hit a wall in America do - quit my job, packed up my stuff, put it in storage and went to spend 3 months in Nigeria. And so it began.

I have to say that, that summer ranks as one of the best, if not the best summer of my life. It was the one time I had minimal responsibility and was able to let loose. I had a job for the summer at a startup telecommunications company (that is now defunct) and did the commute from the mainland to the island everyday, most times driving. That was a pain.

The biggest adjustment for me in Nigeria was the mentality. I just couldn't get with the program and I always felt like a fish out of water. I am sure if I had stayed longer maybe I would have gotten with the program? but man I wouldn't want to. I always think Nigeria changes you for the worse. Most people were so self centered and so materialistic and so concerned about appearances. An excerpt from a blog entry I posted back then:

I don't know what I was expecting when I came to do my little stint in Nigeria but I thought getting used to missing my little yankee comforts would be the biggest thing. But I decided, the biggest thing for me is getting used to the mentality. See, back in Yankee one of my pet peeves is when a fellow Nigerian tells me "You are so americanized"(wtf does that even mean?) but over here I think I can understand that statement. It could be because I am in Lagos but it seems everyone has that "one up you" mentality ie it feels like everyone wants to pull one over on you. I know its hard out here and everyone is a hustler but it's like humanity has dissapeared.Everyone is in competition with each other and not in a healthy way, in a materialistic way. lol, the sense of humor is also quite different, so you could find yourself laughing by yourself sometimes unless you have a fellow returnee with you. Nigeria still rocks tho!"

I still agree with the above (except for the Nigeria still rocks part). To combat this, I have to confess i hung out mostly with fellow returnees. I have to say that it is true that "Ain't no party like a Lagos party". I had a good time while I was there. Networking was like a 24/7 job, everywhere you go, you are trying to make a connection and there really are a lot of ambitious people. Speaking of that. It's amazing how there are ambitious people but at the same time there are the people who don't think outside the box in the office place. They just stay within the box and do as they are told. I found this frustrating. Dating or should I say attention from the opposite sex is never an issue in Nigeria. Now the quality? A whole different issue. I remember a guy who was on my case and it wasn't till I got back I realized he was a father of 3. 

So all this was 6 years ago. I always feel my time there doesn't make me equipped to give an objective opinion because I had a end date, it was a short period of time and it was a reprieve from my real life. Back then, I couldn't wait to come back right after graduation and live in Nigeria. But I had to look at it with realistic eyes. Would I move back now? Never say never but it isn't a preference right now. As many opportunities and things people say there are I still don't think Nigeria is for everyone and it is not for me right now.

For one, I think it would be too much pressure for me. I feel like living in Naij takes a daily amount of time to put up or keep up appearances and yes I am aware you can avoid that but I think it gets to you eventually. I don't want a life like that. At this age, I would like to be able to live in my own truth and not feel some type of way about it on a daily basis.

The Healthcare system - this is a big aspect in my life and I would like to live somewhere where I think I can trust the system. With everything going on with my mom and also thinking that this system killed my aunt. I have a special amount of resentment for Nigeria for this. To me, it represents a lot of things so wrong with our country and it infuriates me.

The simple things - the things that really should be simple become such a huge task and add stress to your life. simple things like customer service, justice system, things that should have structure that a nation with so many intelligent people should have but lacks is very frustrating. Everything is so expensive but necessary. You have to buy gas for gen. You have to pay shitload for internet that may or may not work. Human beings just generally not using common sense.

I always say the three things that could move me back are: family/dire circumstances, bad ass job with shitload of money and if I marry someone who wants to move back. Addressing #2, that's kinda standard. for all the cries of there's money to be paid, I think only a select few are fortunate. In my circle, most are trying to stay afloat and there's no millions being thrown at them. The jobs aren't just sitting a barrel waiting to be picked. If you have rich ass parents with a home, a car and a backup waiting for you. why not? You at least have a safety net while you pursue what you are looking for. I don't have that luxury so #2 would have to be given for me to even consider.

In summary, can i live in Nigeria? Yup. Do I want to? Nah not right now. I don't have a fondness in my heart for the country at the moment and it's just not for me right now. Maybe in another 10 years I could have a different story, afterall 5 years ago I was ready to move.

Sorry this is long but I hope I answered your question Anonymous Reader. If you have any more specific questions, I will be happy to answer them. I was there summer of 2009, so you can go back to those posts maybe I wrote some things there you would like to read.

How about for you guys out there, would you move back? For those that moved back, would you want to move back overseas or you love Nigeria?

Have a blessed week.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

What would you do?

As heard on the radio:

So this lady meets a guy at the coffee shop. They hit it off, go on a date. Date goes well and it becomes a full fledged relationship. She says the relationship is going well and it is the best sex she has ever had. She does notice that every month he seems to have new moves during sex but thinks nothing of it and shrugs it off.

One fine weekend she is chilling at his crib looking for what to watch and is going through the on demand menu and notices that in his pay per view listings there's a long list of gay porn that has been ordered. She is surprised but also doesn't know what to do and doesn't bring it up with him.

Now what would you do? shouldn't be the question I should ask because any healthy relationship the assumption is she would ask him wassup. My real question for you guys is, would it bother you if you found out your man had a thing for gay (male on male) porn? Would it be a deal breaker?

As for me, yep I think it would bother me as for dealbreaker, I am not sure but if it is going to bother me, I guess that counts as a deal breaker, huh? I asked this question on twitter and got different responses. While some (female) seem to think same way some women enjoy gay porn and it doesn't make them gay, so also it applies for men. While men responded saying no straight man would say they enjoy gay porn.

This made me delve deeper. Some years back, during the whole Frank Ocean coming out deal, I had asked a friend if she would be okay dating and potentially marrying a man who says that he has been with a man or two back in the day. She said yea she would be okay with it and love isn't defined by who you have sex with. I mean, I hear her but it was hard for me to believe especially from a Nigerian woman. Americans don't really care about stuff like that or so they say.

I stumbled upon that "My husband is not gay" show and watched an episode and I was just shaking my head. These women with men who are attracted to men also but do not identify as gay or bisexual are trying to explain to someone how nope their husbands aren't gay while being so defensive. One even said her husband is more attracted to men than women. There is a dinner scene where they are talking about it and one of the husbands even said you know how you see people and are tempted that he looks but doesn't do anything about it. But that he just doesn't do it to men but also women. That she should only be concerned if it enters the danger level. Then added, women rarely enter the danger zone...err wha?

You could just see it in the woman's eyes that she was bothered by it. I noticed this is the same look women on shows like Sister Wives or Polyamorous have in their eyes. Like, I don't get why in a bid to be progressive or maybe the desire to be loved? people would lie to themselves and be unhappy ultimately. I think human beings are inherently selfish and would like to feel they belong completely to someone. I mean, we struggle with it when we date someone of the same sexual orientation talkless of worrying about another gender or another party in the relationship.

I can accept that maybe because it is not for me, I could be looking at it with different eyes but i'll just say I am yet to meet or watch anyone who seemed truly convinced that being with someone or having a relationship with "progressive"/out the box ideologies such as the above mentioned are completely happy with it. There's just usually one person in the couple that seems not okay.

What say ye?

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Friday Randoms

Gosh. This.week.dragged. Or was it just me. I don't even know if I had jet lag because I am sleeping like I usually would but I am just so tired. It's probably this miserable weather. I am experiencing my first real winter and we had our first real snowfall on Monday. I knew I had arrived when I was scraping snow off my car. I need to get one of those car starter things because it is COLD. Every day I wake up and I just want to burrow further under the covers and stay there but man must pay bills. Thank God it is finally Friday because biko the struggle is real. Hope everyone is easing into the new year well. Speaking of easing in, I just remembered a tweet I read today where the person said 'so far so good with this celibacy thing in 2015'...umm, it's just been 8 days out of 356 days. Aite, let's random

I can totally see how when one partner dies the other is not long for this world. I mean imagine living your life and establishing a routine with someone for over 40 years. And just like that the person is gone. What do you do to yourself? I see my Uncle being so listless and I truly feel for him.

For everything that women go through physically from painful periods to pregnancy to labor, the answer from men whenever they are asked to do a vasectomy should always be yes.

If whenever you are with a person they are always glued to their phone but when you are away they never seem to be by their phone, should you take it to mean you are boring? :(

Speaking of, I have a friend who never takes any calls on his birthday. Now he doesn't turn off the phone, he just hides it or puts it somewhere he can't see so he doesn't deal with birthday greetings. Like i told him drama queen much?

Guys, I am so fascinated by my 600lb life. Like for one, how do you get to 600+lbs? I do understand it's much deeper and a psychological thing but man it's crazy. There was a marathon going on and I sat my ass just watching each episode. Watching them struggle to walk, breathe and just really take SO MUCH more pleasure in food than we do. Riveting stuff.

90 day fiance is another interesting show. Save for one or two, all the couples are doomed anyways. There's a couple there where he is 38 and she is 23 and I am sure I have mentioned it before. Age gaps like that leave me scratching my head. Even if they don't know it, there's such a lifetime in that age group. Do you know how much more a person that's 21/22/23 is yet to go through/experience? Ah well to each their own.

I don't think saying 'bless you" after you sneeze is a thing in Nigeria. During my time there, i'd sneeze and wait and crickets.

A friend asked me if cheating is a deal breaker for me and I was surprised when I had to pause. I really don't know. I have always said in marriage maybe not and will depend on the situation but with dating it would be. I am still not sure but I think that's still the case.

How many of you think cheating is inevitable?

So you know those situations where a guy breaks it off with you abruptly and people say it is because they were scared of things being so good. Is that really a thing or yet another bunch of bs?

I don't like tea. Somehow that is hard to accept. I mean I drink the thing but it's just not my first preference it is always a chore. Yet, everytime i say this, people always try to change my mind. Try this or try that or no way. i don't like tea. Suck it!

I wonder who the first person was to blend fruit and make a smoothie.

Maybe I am a salty bitch but everytime I see this 'choose happiness" thing it irks me. Na so dem dey choose? Don't get me wrong, having a positive attitude is always the best way to go. If we could choose our emotions so easily why won't anyone choose happiness? Maybe strive to have a positive attitude or do your best to not let the negatives weigh you down sound better to me than choose happiness. It is easy to say choose happiness from the comfort of a roof over our heads, a car, food and money for extra frivolities but tell that to the kid of a war torn country who has lost their parent, has no food and lives in fear or the indian woman gang raped by many men. I will now open mouth as they forage for food to say "Choose happiness". Mbanu.

"History is that certainty produced at the point where the imperfections of memory meet the inadequacies of documentation"

I watched Donnie Wahlberg and Jenny McCarthy's wedding on tv and maybe na Hollywood fooling us but there was sooo much love between them. It's so cute to see when a man loves a woman that deeply and also her child.

Alright gang. I have run my mouth too much today. Have a wonderful weekend. Be safe, stay warm and stay blessed.

I was originally going to post Jennifer Lawrence's song but I heard this song when I watched Donnie and Jennie's wedding. His mom has 9 children and she danced to this song with her son's for every wedding of theirs. I really liked the lyrics.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy New Year/Year End Review

Hi guys, Happy New Year to you and if you are reading this better be grateful to be alive and to see this because with the number of deaths I heard about in 2014, it truly is a blessing to see this new year. I got back in from Nigeria yesterday and was supposed to do my year in review but I had a harrowing journey that took me on 4 countries in different continents and totally took the strength out of me and i was barely able to hold myself up. All I can say is waka to the airline industry.

Anyways, every end of the year, for the last few years, I feel somewhat embarrassed when I am not gushing about how great the year was and blah blah especially since I see people saying how God was good to them and it was a great year and this year will be even better etc. I think I feel embarrassed because I begin to think it's my fault that I did not have a good year cuz I can't possibly figure out why I can't gush about my year.

2014 was a tough year. It started out well and I was so full and determined to be as optimistic as I can but then it took a fast nose dive. The most notable was losing my Aunt to cancer and dealing with my mom's cancer spreading. But if my cousin who lost her mom and had a number of unfortunate events happen to her can send me a message saying that in all things we should still be grateful to God, then who am i to wallow? So instead of focusing on the negatives I will recount my blessings of 2014.

  • I got a promotion at work and got a better position in our corporate office and got to move out of Texas to the East Coast. It's been a positive experience and who would have thunk that my job is the most stable thing in my life at the moment. I am thankful to have an understanding boss who has allowed me to spend time than anticipated in Nigeria caring for my mom. She even gave me a christmas card with a massage gift card telling me to take care of myself.
  • My health wasn't at topmost level but compared to the horror of last year it was sooo much better and I am truly grateful to have had a pseudo low key year of good health.
  • My brother and his girlfriend finally got engaged (finally because 8 years of dating. they started dating young). She's a really good person and we all like her and she makes him happy. My brother is my heartbeat so the whole process was very exciting. It was nice being there for it and involving my mom and a bright spot for our family.
  • Thankful for all the good music and good tv shows that kept me company in 2014 and helped serve as distractions in tough times.
  • Grateful for strength to deal with things as they show up in life and not giving yp no matter how many times I felt like it.
  • My biggest blessing this year was support and love from my friends. I don't think I can ever express my gratitude for how people rallied to help me financially to help with my mom's bills. Especially my college friends, some of who I have not spoken to in some time. I was truly touched by it. Not only financially but prayer wise and offering words of comfort and just checking up. I definitely did not  take that for granted and this was a huge huge blessing for me in 2014.
Those are a few of the highlights. For the upcoming year, I want to be a better person and expect great things in my life. I plan to work on stressing less and reducing my anxiety and realize that some things are out of my hands so it is best to just surrender to God and hope for the best. I want to continue my line of thinking that not everyone is meant to be in your life and that is okay. A big thing I do want to work on is to stop comparing my journey to everyone else especially when I do not know the behind the scenes. I plan to learn to focus on my own lane and work on improving it instead of wasting time wondering why it is not like xyz's. 

I hope for a wonderful year and I will continue to try to be optimistic and wait for "joy to cometh". I wish you and yours a wonderful year. A year of fulfillment, contentment and happiness. May we all experience the joy of the Lord and continue to see his hands in our life even if it is in the littlest of places and may we always be grateful.

Here's to a wonderful year. HAPPY NEW YEAR!