Friday, December 30, 2016

2016: Year in Review

Can you guys believe we have just one more day left in the year? I am totally stealing Original Mgbeke's format in doing my review so here we go.

 I feel like I remember January 1st like it was yesterday. I brought in the New Year in church because my brother made us go to midnight mass. It was so long and we did praise and worship for so long till midnight struck and we all wished each other a happy new year. But it was nice as my brother and I used the time and for the first time kinda talked about losing our mom. Bringing in the new year at church is not the norm for me, probably because majority of the time I am on a plane back to the States from Nigeria. Although, I am not one that believes where you start your new year determines how your year will be (with how shitty my years have been, maybe there is something to it, eh?)

It's always easy to base the whole year on how it ended because if it was good you forget the bad in the earlier months and vice versa. I am not really sure how to rate my year because for the better part of it my health made me its bitch and I was doing rounds making friends with all kinds of doctors and that in itself was a pain in the ass. So when I think of my year that is what I remember.

The first half of the year started out decently, I was determined in everything including my health and fitness. Was eating clean and working out like i had a gun to my head all mostly towards the goal of the highlight of my year which was my brother's wedding. I was gonna do momma-sister of the groom and I wasn't going to let my momma down. I never say this but boy did I slay. Guys, your girl looked good. It was an awesome day. We weren't sure how we were going to make it work financially but we did and everything went perfectly.

Some good things that happened this year:

  • Found a gym/trainer I genuinely love and makes me enjoy working out. We have a lot of fun and its a great community
  • My brother's wedding. Everything coming together.
  • My awesome, super duper friends who continue to be the constant bright spots in my life through the many storms. Those of you who read, please know I love and appreciate una die. Thank you for everything.
  • My family. Who just makes everything better.
  • My surgeon. Whoosh. After my Dr washed her hands off me and said my case don pass her power, she referred me to a specialist who I am so grateful for. I had to have major surgery in the summer that in the wrong hands would have been a different story. This man is so kind and thorough (no joke, I wait like 3hr+ just to see him) and I am glad my body was in his hands. Thankful I made it through that.
  • My Aunty and I have our moments but she came through for me during recuperation when I couldn't do anything for myself. She was patient with me and we made it through the weeks without an argument and I feel our relationship took a turn from there, which is a big deal if you know our history.
  • My job. I am grateful to still have a job that provided me with benefits and were so understanding because Lord know the amount of time I took off this year, not everyone would have been that understanding,
  • Did some traveling this year which is always fun for me. Hit up Atlanta twice, Houston, New Orleans, Naija twice, London and Puerto Rico
  • I had a goal to read 20 books and I did 28! That's a big deal to me hehe
  • My cousin's wedding. I always forget what having family around is like but when I am around them, I just want to soak them all in because it feels really nice.
  • Christmas. After a dismal thanksgiving, I was expecting to have a lowkey Christmas but things switched up last minute and I got to spend it with family and (see above) it was really great.
Those are some of the highlights that I can remember at the moment. Looking into 2017, I am once again going to try to be a better person and be proactive about this change. The best friend suggested a thankful challenge that we are going to do. I will be making a vision board and visualizing all the things that I would like to see in the upcoming year. 

Life can be hard but we can only do what we can to trudge through and be as happy as we can. This time last year, I remember breaking down to my friend and telling her that I was terrified about 2016 because who knows what it holds and I can't take it anymore. But I won't do that for 2017 and enter it with fear. I will enter calm as I can be and hope for the best because for everything I thought would destroy me, I am still here so what is the point in worrying?

I am wishing you all a fantastic new year and hoping it comes with everything you wish yourself for you and your loved ones. May God be with us all and continue to guide and protect us. Amen. See you on the other side!!!

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Friday Randoms

Well, I guess I did have one more post before Christmas and I am here. I can't tell you guys how much I have been looking forward to this break. I am totally just burnt out and ready to chill. I had all the plans to bum and tv per usual but plans changed and looks like I will be headed out of town. This is my first Christmas without my brother in like forever. He told me the other day that he can't believe I am not home and he had got so used to having me around every Christmas. He also added that this should never happen again. God willing it shan't. Is shan't a word? It always sounds wrong. Okay, let's random.

The people who do break ups to make ups, how do they count how long they have been together?

"Good friends hear the unspoken words"

While beauty is subjective and everyone has their own tastes, I feel like there's this thing Americans do where they latch on to a dark skinned celeb and over praise and (what feels like) oversell her beauty. I get the angle that the standard of beauty is one way so it is a way of promoting diverse beauty standards. But it almost feels like overcompensation of some sorts

On more than one occasion, I have heard a lot of people say wedding planning brought out the worst in the bride (hmm, why only the bride?) and in some cases led to a breakup. Was thinking about that. Is that an accurate statement or was the person's behavior always there and it was just a situation that showed it more. Or am I saying the same thing here?

This might not make sense but there is some kind of sadness for people who die in October, November and December. Kind of like a "ughh almost made it" (to the next year)

Why do we place so much emphasis on January? Actually, I know the answer to that. Markers are always a helpful thing for humans but certain aspects like oh 2016 sucks let it go. Time doesn't necessarily keep bad things away. Life keeps on going.

I totally can understand people who don't like my pessimism but unfortunately in the cases it apply, it is how I feel. But I think I would rather be honest with my emotions than faking the funk and dying inside.

Speaking of which, unawareness and a lack of introspection is an epidemic in our generation

How or why do people work out with regular bras?

When I was in college, me and a friend went to a group of friends' (all guys) home and one of the guys cooked. We all ate and stacked our dishes in the sink and went back to the living room to chill. Not long after, he called us aside and gave us a speech on how we never know who is watching and how the right thing to do would have been to wash the dishes. I acknowledged the convo and went back to the living room. My friend went into the kitchen and began doing dishes. Fast forward many many years later, guess which two people are married with kids and guess who is single? These things on social media ain't bants people. Do the needful and get chose o. Don't be left behind!

Speaking to a friend earlier in the week who just had a baby. Asked her how mommyhood is and she said "Crazy hard. I don't recommend it" (not sure if it makes a difference that she is not Nigerian). Anyways another convo with another friend (Nigerian) and she tells me how she does not particularly want kids. I ask why and she says "honestly, I am lazy and I don't like 24/7 work". I feel like we are conditioned to just have kids because it is the thing to do.

Situation: Man has a one night stand with a woman. Next morning woman says she is trans and got a vagina 10 years ago. An argument ensues. Man says woman is obligated to tell him that. She says why? I am a woman, you enjoyed the sex. If you see me as a woman what about it makes you feel some type of way? Also, you don't see me being mad that you did not tell me about your past and bad things you have done. Are you obligated to tell me that? See before this, I was full on that you should always have full disclosure but this made me think. I think if you stil have a penis then definitely should tell but if you don't why should you. I would love to hear your opinion on this.

Well my lovely people. That's all I have for you today. Do me a solid and visit for some entertainment content, including the best shows I watched in 2016. Have a lovely blessed Christmas and wishing you and your loved ones all of God's blessings and smiles. Merry Christmas!!

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Being Human

Being a human being is so tough. Navigating relationships, trying to be kind, trying to be a better person. I wake up every day trying and hoping to be a better person but I feel I fall short more often than not. Every time people hear some part of my life story, I get a "you're so strong" and I get so uncomfortable because I don't think I am at all.

You know how people say tough situations and things that happen in life shouldn't consume you and you should rise above it and think positive and hope for better days yada yada. I am not one of those people. I will admittedly say that I am one of those people who has let life experiences consume me and I am not quite sure how to get out of that hole. I have a lot of trepidation, not a lot of hope and a (un)healthy dose of skepticism. What's so strong about that?

I am also not one of those people who state their flaws with pride and thinks this is it, you should just deal. I am not proud to be that person. In fact, I want to be one of the "God is good", "God is forever faithful", "He's always looking out for me" people. I would love to have that feeling of being free and hopeful and trusting and just having an easy breezy life but I feel like every time I resolve to do so, life gives be some big fat yimu like "you wish".

The biggest thing I struggle with is that feeling of feeling stuck. Based on stories/tweets/what have you, it would appear that a lot of us feel that way but on the flip there just seems to be a lot more people who are also flourishing. All around me, I see people progressing in jobs, love, family, life and just doing big things and it always makes me question my standing in life. Will I ever catch up?

This is why people warn about the dangers of comparison. It can take you down a terrible wormhole. My brother tries to remind me that everyone has a different path and things can change in a heart beat. And of course he is right. Part of my goals for next year is to find a way to make peace and celebrate the victories of others and be patient, content and be gracious with whatever the hell is going on in my own life. Afterall, in the end we all die, eh?

I am not sure if I will post by Christmas but just in case a very merry merry Christmas to you all! Hope you have a fantastic one with your loved ones and I will catch you maybe next year? haha.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Life on the White Side

As a black person, when you spend a significant amount of time with white people especially in a social setting, it doesn't take long to see that they live a completely different life than we do and also live life by a completely different set of rules than we do. I'll give you a few examples.

Ex. 1: This first one might just be an american thing or maybe even just an animal lover thing but exchanging notes on dog sitting and talking about paying almost $100 a night for doggy hotels? ewo, my money (and brain) no reach o.

Ex. 2: Girl is having a baby and her in-laws moved closer  as per first grand child and all but explicitly let her know that they aren't here for babysitting duties. If they are in a bind or an emergency of course they will be there but other than that they are done with their child rearing duties and would like to have fun in their old age.

Ex. 3: Girl is dating someone new. The person is one of her ex's best friends but she doesn't care and neither does he. She asks me what I think, I answer with my African brainwash that it's messy and nke wa nke wa. She asks other white girl and she's like I don't see anything wrong with it. You are happy and you are both single. My husband dated my best friend. I swiveled so fast (because as long as I'd known her it was new info to me). I am like your best friend? - yup, was she okay with it? - nope is she still your best friend? - nope. But she didn't care and many years later they are married with a kid and life goes on.

I pondered over these examples and wondered if we as Africans have been so brain washed and have grown up just following rules that we don't even know why, while yt folks are just living their best lives by establishing boundaries and pursuing their happiness full throttle. I am not saying that we don't have rules and cultures that are beneficial to us but we do a lot of things out of duty and stay repressed with resentment. Most Nigerians I know would never go after someone their friend even talked to but for these women it's all game. 

So what do you think? Are we holding ourselves back?