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Life, musings, Opinion, Randomness, thoughts

The art of diplomacy

“Truth without love is brutality, and love without truth is hypocrisy.”
Warren W. Wiersbe

Diplomacy: 1) The tact or skill in dealing with and handling people and managing negotiations

                              so that there is little or no ill will and no offense.

2) Approving skill in ​dealing with people without offending or upsetting them; used in a

positive way to show that you have a good opinion of something or someone

Synonyms: Tact. Subtlety. Finesse. Expedience.

Antonyms: Rudeness. Bad Manners.  Impoliteness. Ignorance.

I remember seeing a quote that read – “Diplomacy is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a manner that they actually look forward to the trip” – LOL. It basically is the ability to say the nastiest thing, in the nicest way.

images

One of my most obvious character/personality traits is that I am a very blunt person.  So much that it comes across in just a matter of minutes upon meeting me and it can either endear the newbie to me or completely turn them off, hardly in-between.  Now that’s not to say I’m walking around guns blazing looking for who to tell share scathing words with, it just means I don’t take the time to sugarcoat/rephrase what I mean to say in any conversation.

images (3)I can’t consciously tell you when I became that way but I know that I always hated when in interacting with people, I’d play blind/obtuse about something and  those people will in turn think me a fool for it, so I switched and now it’s the only way I know how to be. I tell MY truth as I see it, I never sugarcoat anything, I do not know how to pretend and I completely wear my emotions/thoughts on my face. Being this way translates into my dealings with people and in any situation, you can count on my real talk. I truly am an ALL OR NOTHING person so between that and being true to my TAUREAN/BULL personality, it’s a hard mix. I have opinions and I’m not afraid to share/stand by them. Strong opinions.

“People who keep their feelings to themselves tend not to know, after a while, what their feelings are.”
Paul Berman

But I look at it as me being straightforward & honest & a person with integrity [if you will] and in this world full of hypocrites and ass-kissers,  it has actually become something I take a lot of pride in – telling my truth the way I see it. HOWEVER, over time, one of the most consistent/recurring feedback/[constructive] criticism I’ve gotten from within my circle is that I lack diplomacy & tact and that I can sometimes come across as harsh.

HORROR!

Obviously, as expected, I don’t like to hear this but as the saying goes… once=happenstance, twice =coincidence and thrice… well! My dad used to say everybody else cannot be the problem, everybody else can’t be wrong – per recurring issues. And I agree. As much as I hate to admit it, it’s time to step back to re-evaluate for real. Why am I coming across this way, even though I mean well? Why am I always having to regret/be sad about an interaction that was not meant to be regrettable? Let me also point out that I try to never offer unsolicited advice as I hate it myself, it’s usually a situation of – you asked, I answered –  so I genuinely wonder why anyone ever comes to me expecting I’ll rosy it up, I’m just not the one. Also, usually by the time I snap and say something harsh, I most likely have tried many times to say it nicely/sweetly but it probably didn’t register so can I really be faulted when it becomes a tad spicier? And because people have selective memories, they conveniently forget all the times I tried to be sensitive but failed. Humans…sigh.

The truth is that I do care how I come across but also on the other hand, I can’t help thinking – are people just refusing to be accountable/responsible when they’d rather hang on to the delivery and ignore the actual point? I’m not a bullshitter. A spade is not a cutlass. I don’t have patience for people who blatantly refuse to acknowledge/deal with reality because I am the complete opposite way. If there’s an issue, I approach it head on and I think it’s cowardly to make like an ostrich and hide your head in the face of a problem. And yes, I understand that everyone isn’t the same but in that exact vein shouldn’t people then at least understand why my approach is the way it is? And I’m not one of those people who can’t take what I dish. I’m a big girl, I can handle it. So when someone tells me something I don’t want to hear, I still hear it anyway. I take it in and internalize it until I’m ready to do something about.  It’s not that hard.

I believe everyone needs that one person in their life who doesn’t sugarcoat shit, there’s a place/need for it; consider it my service to humanity LOL. I kid! But think about it, if all you have are ballons & rainbow type people around you, do you not need a balance in the equation?

However, as I’ve been told repeatedly, there is always a better way to approach stuff. ALWAYS! And judging by the guilt I tend to feel once I realize I’ve hurt someone’s feelings, I agree that perhaps my approach/delivery can be better. Infact,  if I’m being completely honest, even I tend to get defensive when I get this diplomacy criticism so it sort of sheds some understanding on how people must feel when I approach them a certain way, it’s hard not to take it that way. Nobody wants to feel like they’re being attacked, especially not from a friend/loved one; so perhaps tough love [however well-meaning] can come across as an attack and maybe that’s where the fundamental disconnect lies. Sigh.images (2)

To be honest, at this point, I don’t even know if I’ll ever learn this better way of being because I’ve been consciously working on it for so many years now and STILL get people telling me I was harsh in my delivery; so I don’t know if I’m making any progress but I do know that I’m willing to try [HARDER]. Sometimes I want to ask to be taken as I am but then what about self-improvement? If this is something that’s really a problem with me then I simply cannot ignore it [anymore]. However, I don’t think  it’s fair to aggravate someone and then turn around and ask them to be sensitive in their response to you. Still, I want to be better at this so tell me…. how can I actively practice tact and diplomacy in my everyday life and interactions?  I’m tired of being the wicked witch of Worchester…. Because I usually mean well. I really do.

“Tact is the knack of making a point without making an enemy.”
Isaac Newton

Interestingly, I have been toying with the idea of a PHD in the field of Arbitration, Conflict & Dispute Resolution and Diplomacy for the longest. So when I get this “you lack tact” feedback, I wonder if I’m on a rollercoaster ride to nowhere. Epp me  plix *tears*

Suggestions are welcome but don’t be harsh with it 😀

S.


10 Comments

Life, musings, Opinion, Randomness, thoughts

What Makes You Loveable??

WHAT MAKES YOU LOVEABLE?

I read an article on Bellanaija yesterday that posed the above question and I just couldn’t stop thinking about it. As expected, the ensuing comments ranged from the hilarious to the downright confusing but I found it all very interesting. As I went about my day, the question kept ringing in my head and it just wouldn’t go away, I thought about it so much that it got me a bit irritated with myself. Why? It worried me that I couldn’t answer the question immediately; that I couldn’t count on my fingers the reasons why I think I am loveable; that I had to think about it first. Did that mean that maybe I am un-loveable? Shock Horror!

It was particularly disturbing because while I had to think about it seriously before I could come up with reasons, I’m pretty sure if the tables were turned and I was being asked what I thought made me UNLOVEABLE, I would have answered very easily. Isn’t that a little sad? It basically means that I know and I’m more in touch with my flaws better than I am with my sweet spots, No? That without much thought I can recite my flaws/unloveable traits but I have to think before naming my loveable traits. Quite worrisome! And I am not alone, judging from the comments on the original article.

In general, I think most people [myself included] tend to be very critical of themselves viz-a-viz their actions/choices and less kind about this criticism. This is possibly why when you’re asked what makes you loveable, you’d mull over it first but if you’re asked the opposite, you’d answer without missing a beat. It doesn’t help that people would sooner pick others apart and chastise than be loving & kind; people will tell you everything that is wrong with you before acknowledging what’s right.

People tell you so many times [not necessarily in words] why they think you’re un-loveable. They tell you by how they talk to/with you, the words they use when talking about you, in the way they treat you etc. And because you are human, you internalize it all to the dangerous point, but, on the flip side, you also have people who tell you and show you in so many ways that they truly love you but for some reason we tend not to internalize and hold on to those as much as we would the bad. Why? Glutton for punishment? Think about it; for every – ignored text/cancelled plans/harsh words, there are also the – hey/have you eaten/are you okay etc but for some reason, we tend to allow the former dominate our thoughts and we amplify it to the point where it seems like there aren’t enough of the latter happening. Someone needs a mindset renewal.

I love you doesn’t always come out in those exact words. Did you hear any of the above today? 

I know you’re probably thinking – but I just love ABC for no reason. Nigerians even say things like “I don’t know but our blood just jam, my spirit and her/him spirit just jam” LOL. But I think there’s definitely more and you’re being naïve if you think people who love you just do. Beyond the physical, I think love is tied to the purpose you serve in a person’s life; that unique quality/element that you bring that nobody else has/can bring [even in a family relationship/dynamic]. And so based off that, doesn’t it follow to ask yourself – what will happen when you no longer can serve that purpose or bring that element? Will they still be there? Is that truly love? Is love even love? Perhaps there should be synonyms used in the stead?

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I’m rambling! But I know something for sure – that I love different people for different reasons, so it can’t be farfetched to think it’s the same way for other people in terms of them loving me – my sister loves me for reasons completely different from the love of say a friend.

So what makes me loveable? I think my answer is better categorized thus:

  • My Mother – Because I’m her child, her first born, her first fruit. I also think I’ve been a good daughter to her – dependable, responsible, hardworking and a good example to my siblings. I am big on family and it reflects in my daily decisions; I’d break my back for my family to be okay and I’d do it with a smile on my face. My mother says about me – “I never have to worry about you, I know you can survive anything/anywhere and you’ll take care of everything” and it makes me soar. Even though she and I butt-heads a lot, I know she secretly admires my strong will, my convictions and never-say-die attitude. She thinks the world of me and believes that I know everything and because of that, I make sure I never fall short.
  • My Siblings – Because I make shit happen. Even when I didn’t live in Nigeria, I still was on speed dial and I always came through. I anticipate their needs before the topic even comes up and they can sleep easy knowing Beezy got it! I am dependable. I make EVERY decision in my life with them in consideration and have been known to fight with my parents on their behalves. Don’t get me wrong, I can be a major pain in their asses and we fight but they apologise quick because none of them can go a day without needing me for something #FactsOnly LOL. But beyond these, I think my siblings have a lot of respect for me as a person, I try to set a good example and try not to be hypocritical/holy holy about real issues. It’s nerve-racking the amount of pressure I usually am under with them but I do my best and their appreciation makes it all worthwhile.
  • My Babies – Aunty Beezy, the fountain of Icecream, popcorn, indomie, Disney till late, trips and a generally fun time. This love is very cheap. LOL
  • My Friends – Because… Confidant, real talk, endless phone calls & instant messages, bitching sessions, fuck that nigga sessions, united in our love for ratchet shows, stay up all night and listen to each other’s fears/frustrations/problems/joys/dreams, makeup/fashion tips etc. I also tell my friends the truth as I see it, I don’t sugarcoat it [not because I want to hurt them but I tell my truth how I tell it and they’ve all come to appreciate that about me]; they’ll never have to worry about me telling their business. I am fiercely loyal, honest, protective, reliable and an all-round asset. You want me in your corner, trust me. I have been blessed with amazing friends.
  • Men – [There really isn’t any other way of writing this without it sounding like a #BrilliantAd but toh]. I am a beautiful girl no doubt but I’d like to think the men in my life all stayed longer for reasons beyond just my looks. I’m book & street smart, educated, cultured, know my different forks, can hold my own, fun/versatile, intelligent, can carry a conversation about pretty much anything, have a mind of my own, a fantastic cook etc. I’m a giver, I’m not a cheater, I’m not dodgy, I’m straightforward and pride myself for my integrity. In addition, as much as I can be civil & friendly, I am also VERY MUCH a pain in the ass [to keep things interesting], a mini witch if you will. LOL. I kid! [not]. Me in love will cater to my man, bend over backwards to keep him happy, always looking for what I can do to make his life easier. I’m still friendly with all my Exes [except for one] because long after the fluff is gone, I’m still someone they can be real with. I’m a baddie okay! I say so! Who am I kidding? They love me because….Huge Hansel & Gretel and I laugh at their dry jokes 😀

Looking at the above reasons and categorizations, I noticed that the reoccurring theme for me is – dependability, reliability, integrity and generosity [with everything] – My word truly is my batter and interestingly enough, these are the exact traits I look out for in others and the reason I love the people I love; I just don’t do well with flaky/dodgy/shady/unreliable people. Super Important!

I have to say though, judging by how long it took me to think these through and my inability to readily answer the question [plus based on the comments on the original article], it’s fair to conclude that – What Makes You Loveable – is a tough question to answer; if you’re being completely honest.

So let me ask you guys – if you know me [and love me], why don’t you tell me what made me loveable to you?       Also, what do you think Makes YOU Loveable?

Quick Pointer: No it’s NOT JUST your beauty/handsome, nor your money and certainly not just your fancy. Think about it terms of what distinguishes you from the next person [in your loved ones life]; the intangible but unarguably irreplaceable stuff that only you can bring.

YOU ARE LOVED.

NB: Aren’t #MidnightKaraoke Sessions the best? Enjoy! Fancy myself a Mariah Carey haha

 


27 Comments

musings, Opinion, Randomness, thoughts

Blurred Lines

A quote…. A plea…. An advice…..

“Treat women the way you would like to be treated

          the way you would like your sister/mother/wife to be treated 

**Emphasis on the second line highlighted boldly**

Awwwww.  How kind and thoughtful and sweet. Right?  Well…. I see that quote all the time, I see the sentiment shared in so many different ways by both men and women and while it’s an honorable and sweet sentiment, I find the underlying implications are worrisome.

I thought to myself, hang on! So basically, to get one human being to treat another with some decency, kindness and compassion, we have to have appealed to their sense of family? That essentially, there are people who in their dealings with others can only be decent if they see the person they’re dealing with [in this case, women] as their family member? I have to say “what if I were your sister/mother/wife and someone was treating me this way” before I can access & unlock the kind/decent/compassionate side of a man’s brain? So on the flip side, if a person[man] can’t picture me as his sister/wife/mother then good luck trying to get him to NOT treat me like shit? Wow! If we were to reach then it follows that as a woman, how you will be treated has nothing to do with much – not your conduct/interaction/aura – but heavily dependent on if the other person has a mother/sister/wife [and they have a cordial relationship at the very least] and can picture you from that point of reference?

That is so fucked up!!

How then can we access this special reservoir of this unique brand of gender-relative  courtesy, kindness and compassion from the people who don’t have good relationships with their mothers/wives/sisters? What can we say to them? Such people have no benchmark in the first place, so who will be their reference point in their interactions with me? Or the ones who simply don’t have the ability to stretch their imaginations that far? Say for example, a man beats his wife and/or insults the crap out of his sisters & mother on the regular [they exist] then comes to the workplace and slaps his female colleague; based on the above sentiment, can you really fault him? Isn’t he in essence treating his colleague as he would his wife/mother/sisters? What about those guys that we see on the news who shoot/stone/behead women [and children] in those extremist religious places.  Do you really think they give a shit about whether that could be their mother/wife/sister? Haven’t we even seen scenarios where its family members instigating and leading these killings for all kinds of fucked up reasons?  If they had any respect for people’s right to life and existence [which is usually the crux], we won’t even be having this conversation.  If being a decent person in your interaction with others is going to be based on appealing to people’s sense of family ties then we must also appreciate the fact that people’s interactions with their sisters/wives/mothers vary greatly. Right? It goes beyond that. IT SHOULD! IT HAS TO! The focus should be to teach people to respect EVERY human on account of their HUMANNESS; nothing more.

I think that these types of sentiments and reasoning for what constitutes [im]proper behavior and expectations is the sister-root from whence other unhealthy facets stem. You hear stuff like “we are both from Imo state”, “na my Muslim/Christian sister/brother”, “we are from the same village”; which is all fine and dandy but what about the other persons who don’t fall under any of these umbrellas, what then? Are they fair game for shitty treatment and bad behaviour? Like when an ex told me he was pressured because the girl he had been cheating on me with was from the same state as him; as though my state of origin had suddenly changed from when we first met.

I once got into it with some royally stupid security guys at the entrance of an eatery/clubhouse and after calling me every name in the book, one of them goes – “I just dey leave you because you fit be my sister” – LOL. If this is how you act towards a person who “fit be your sister” then I shudder at how you’d treat the one wey NO fit be your sister. I soon realized that when Nigerians say stuff along these lines, they’ve already been hella disrespectful and are just trying to wrap it up with some faux sense of nicety and/or are just being a typical Nigerian by bringing up stuff that has absolutely nothing to do with the situation at hand.  It means nothing. Hogwash. Don’t think for a second that based off that flouncy sentiment, that person will hesitate to do you dirty if the opportunity presented itself.

Come to think of it, I don’t think I have ever seen/heard anybody advising women to treat men as they would their brothers/husbands/fathers. And why not?  Women can be mean too, women can be badly behaved too so why not? Abi the menfolk don’t need gender-relative sensitivity and kindness? I daresay that the former advice in itself, as honorable and well-meaning as it is also has a colorful sprinkling of sexism but I’m not going to get into that right now.

The quote rubs me a certain way especially because, I remember dating a guy who was so big on family; infact, his sister & mother are his life and it was adorable; except it didn’t stop him from cheating on me repeatedly, didn’t stop him from lying every chance he could [and even using his family member’s as a crutch for more lies], didn’t stop him from being an all-round dodgy and shitty boyfriend even though he wouldn’t want any of that for his mother or sister. So what then?

The point I’m trying to make here is, why don’t we just forget the gender and advice human beings to treat other human beings decently? You know, from one human to another and cut out this “e fit be your mama/sister/wife” bullshit.  It’s not helping anybody and it does nothing to curb people’s propensity to be vile because frankly, if you treating people decently is based on anything other than the simple/most important reason – THAT THEY ARE HUMANS, JUST LIKE YOU – then there’s a fundamental problem with your socialization process. I think that while I appreciate the sentiment and see how well-meaning it’s usually intended, I’d rather live in a world where people are taught to treat others well because….. Human.

It’s tough being a woman, even tougher being a woman in Nigeria. So while I’m looking for a guy to escort me into some premises because “prostitute until proven otherwise”, I’d appreciate it better if society implored people to treat me with common courtesy and decency simply for being human, just like the next person.

Election Weekend

This one time, in a silly & careless but totally necessary move, I left a place I shouldn’t have been at in the first place and walked by myself on a lone, dark and quiet street until I found and got into a random cab back home at 4am [all the while praying to Jesus and promising to never be so foolish]. Now if you know me, you know that was totally uncharacteristic and in hindsight, very stupid – I would never get into a random cab at night by myself and I’d never be caught dead on a lone dark street by myself let alone at 4am [nothing good happens outside at 4am]but I had to. This happened almost a year ago and even as I type this, I can’t help but wonder how inconsequential and low a person must think of you to not even bother checking if you at least got home safe, knowing fully well you were out in the dark by yourself at 4am on their account. It basically says, you can be dead and your bits chopped in a bag folded in a cab’s trunk for all I care [yes, I’m dramatic and I imagine the worst]. You’re going to teach a person like that common courtesy and decency by that quote up there? Good luck to you!!

Oh and my apologies to the boy I once told in anger that somebody will treat his sister worse than he’s treated me. What can I say?….. I’m a hypocrite. Nothing will happen to your sister okay 😀

Oh btw, I am currently obsessed with this picture of Ms.Cookie….

So much that I made it my screensaver…..

To unlock my phone, I have to slide my finger right across her boobies 😀

Air kisses to all of you :* :* :*

S.


14 Comments

Happy,, Music, Randomness, Travel

My music and me 

 Music is life!!!

Image result for music quotesI’m a huge lover of music. I play music when I’m just chilling at home, when I’m having a bad day, when I’m happy, when I’m in the bath/loo, when I’m in a car…every place! Every day! My music reflects/affects my mood and I honestly can’t imagine a world without music. It’ll be Drab and Gray and Sad and nobody will be able to cope. I want no parts. Music is so powerful that you don’t need to understand the language/words to be moved – remember Julia Robert’s first time at the opera in Pretty Woman? Powerful.

I believe that a person’s taste in music says a lot about them and I’ve definitely bonded with/unplugged from people on account of music. Once, I fell for a boy because [amongst other things], he used to make me these amazing sleep playlists every week and he introduced me to music that I would never have found by myself; special place in my heart.  Infact, now that I think of it, boys have been using music to toast for a while, I remember this boy in secondary school who would make me mix –tapes , yea, actual CASSETTE TAPES

I did tell you guys last week that I’ve been in a bit of a funk and while I’m not exactly peaches and rainbows yet, I am a lot better now than I was when I wrote that post, thank God. During this period, I’ve not been sleeping well; infact, my sleep pattern is so rubbish that I feel sorry for myself when I’ll need to recalibrate. Like yesterday [today actually], I went to bed at about  4:40am and it’s been this way for a while now. Sigh.

Anyways, since I couldn’t sleep, I decided to play music. I didn’t make a playlist; I just let my player do its thing randomly. As expected, I have all kinds of music/genres in my library, ALL KINDS and each one represents a vivid memory in my mind. It occurred to me some time ago that with every song I’ve ever liked, I have a distinct memory attached to it. I can tell you exactly where I was/what I was doing/who I was with etc when I first heard it or at least, when it first registered in my mind that I liked it. Every single one has a backstory. Yup! So I decided to make it even more fun by playing a little game – for every song that came on, I’d write about the memory I associate to the song. Here goes….

Image result for music quotes

*WARNING: THIS POST IS VERY SHORT*

I Miss You [Beyonce]  – First time I heard this song, I was visiting my friend Shola and we were just gisting in her room when it came on on her ipod dock. Coincidentally, I was going through a breakup at the time and so it got me in my feelings so much that I cried like somebody beat me; and because I enjoy torturing myself, I went and downloaded it immediately. I came back to Abuja armed with the perfect heartbreak song; I’d sit by myself everyday, play it on repeat and cry myself to sleep for like 6 months ha ha… It’s still one of my favourite Beyonce songs and I still get emotional when I listen to it.

You Know I’m No Good [Amy Winehouse] – This song takes me right back to the balcony of my undergraduate apartment on the 7th floor of Desa Palma, Malaysia. It was my first taste at actual freedom in my very own apartment all by myself. LISTEN…. YOU COULDN’T TELL ME NOTHING!! I’d play Amy on ignorant levels and dare my neighbours to knock on my door with complaints. I’d stand on the balcony, drink in hand, people watching and feeling like THIS IS THE LIFE! Good times! It was on one of those balcony days that I watched as the boy I liked who had just stood me up earlier for dinner came to drop off another girl while ignoring my calls – [cue Me and Mr. Jones: what kind of fuckery are you?] I’m sad she died, her death felt for me like it was someone I knew personally and when you actually think about it, how much more personal does it get than Amy’s music?

How To Save A Life [The Fray] – One phrase: Greys Anatomy! Season 2 : Izzie & Denny’s love story, Denny surviving surgery..ah! My heart was so tight; I thought I’d pass out. Since then, the song has been featured twice more on the show in Season 7 and very recently, on the episode WHERE SHONDA RHIMES LOST HER DAMN MIND AND KILLED DEREK OFF THE SHOW.  Expectedly, since getting featured on Greys; the song reached quadruple platinum status [if that exists], beyond successful. It also became the theme song for season 3 of the show and the cast even recreated it. I always say how much of a great gift idea it is if someone gave me the entire compilation of the all the music ever played on Greys Anatomy from season 1 till date, awesome source for finding new music.  Oh and remember on Season 8 of American idol when the song was played after Danny Gokey’s audition for his wife who had just passed away from heart complications.  *sweaty eyes*

Chasing Pavements [Adele]

should I give up or should I just keep chasing pavements, even if it leads no where?….”

I was on vacation cooped up in my hotel room, cosy in bed [BY MYSELF] and I turn on the TV and on comes the most striking British voice I’ve heard in a minute, I sat up immediately, logged on to youtube and began a journey into what has become an amazing love story with my baby girl Adele.  This chic just stands there, in a huge tent of a black dress, no gimmicks, no dancers, no flashing lights, no psychedelic discos, just a voice…. I dare you to watch the live performance of – Someone like you – at the Brits and not wipe your eyes. Such presence! Besides the amazing music she makes, I love how unapologetic she is about  herself and I love that she cusses and swears like a sailor and she cackles like no self-respecting lady should but it’s so adorable and real and it tickles.

    

She comes across as real and relatable and totally awesome, I wanna be besties with her. And that delicious British accent that comes through so clearly even in her music…..I especially love her because she took a bad situation and turned it into multiple millions of dollars, wiping out all awards while at it and giving the Ex a big fat middle finger! She wins for you, she wins for me, she wins for any girl who ever got her heart broken but only sat in a corner, ate ice-cream, cried and got fat[ter]. Ha ha.

Breathe [Blu Cantrell ft. Sean Paul] – OMG!!! Major throwback no?! First time I heard this song was from watching the video on Channel O … ancient of days 😀 Where is Blu Cantrell? Listen! I rocked this song well, I’d be singing aloud like…

“you say you love me, say you love me but you’re never there for me….Then comes the drama some other girl is claiming she’s going out with you… All we do is make up, then break up… When love hurts, it won’t work….”

You can tell I’ve always been a lover girl sha ha ha. Everything was so shiny in that video. I’m glad the fashunz has changed since then.

How’s A Man Supposed To Change [Blue] – This entire album is still one of my faves. I got the CD off of a friend and played it so much that by the time I managed to return it, she refused to collect it because it had over scratched and I had to buy her a new one. It was in this song I found out that some superstitious oyibo people believe that if you break a mirror, you’d be cursed with seven years of badluck; just as the ones that believe that if you don’t make eye contact while clinking glasses during a toast, you’d be cursed with 7 years of bad sex. Better don’t take the chance. LOL

Crossroads [Bone Thugs N Harmony]

                                      “and we pray and we pray and we pray…everyday everyday everyday everyday                                                                                           See you tha crossroads so you won’t be lonely”

OMG! BCC Mkar Estate, Gboko. The video for this song gave me nightmares for months. And it didn’t help that my family friend who was a super fan and introduced me to it died shortly after. Horror. Nowadays, when I’m badly in need of Ogbono soup raps, I make do with Twista; if for nothing, I’m sure that I won’t have any nightmares.

Music and Me [Nate Dogg] – I love this man. I love this song. I don’t know what else to say. RIP.

I Want You [Ceelo Green] –  I was aboard an Emirates flight enroute England when I first heard this song. I pretty much spent the rest of the flight with it on repeat and 5 years later, it’s still my song. Let me just say clearly that nothing about Ceelo Green’s physical looks inspires any type of pink dreams for me but on account of the lyrics of this song, I wished he was my lover and had written this song for me. This song is an ode from a man who’s tired of the party scene/fast life and ready to dedicate his life to this …. Ladies, has a man ever thanked the Lord for you?

                                                 “Ooooh …one rarely finds a lady, who happens to be three times the lady…                                                                           God is good, he took his time when he designed you baby, that’s why I want you….                                                                            And, oh I’ll even quit my job, loving you, I’ll make it my job…                                                                                                            Thank you Lord, thank you Lord, this is it my God!”

Don’t Turn The Lights On [Chromeo] – I found Chromeo sometime in 2011 from the comments section of Miafarradaily’s blog and I haven’t looked back since. I recently found a song they did with Solange called  -Lost On My Way Home – Imagine the epicness. Just go to YouTube and watch every Chromeo song you can find. You’re welcome.

Shorty Got Her Eyes On Me [Donnell Jones] – My uncle Dennis. He loves this song so much and transferred the love to me, never mind that the lyrics were far too colorful for my teenage self to be singing them so confidently. What is it about some of these RnB artists that somehow makes their raunchy lyrics sound like Sunday school hymns? He needs to drop something new though, with his 3 hits having ass.

Heaven [Emeli Sande] – Buchanan Station, Glasgow 2012. I was visiting friends and while waiting to be picked, this song came on. Instant hit! I bought the album off Itunes as soon after; it’s one of the few albums I’ve actually ever purchased off Itunes.  Nowadays I remember her as one of my Ex’s favourite artist, ergo, not so fun.

Hurricane [Eric Benet] – It was many years ago, on a cold windy night. I was listening to Nike Coker’s show on Coolfm [via my Nokia 3230]. It was a request show and someone called in to request this song and that was it. I called in and re-requested for it but they said they couldn’t play it twice in such short interval and since there was no spotify/easy internet then,I was stuck. But once I got access, I downloaded it immediately. It’s such a sad yet hopeful song, he’d written it about the period of his sex addiction and resulting divorce from Halle Berry. I love this song and the message it captures – sometimes things will get crazy chaotic before they become calm and that very calm is  embedded in the chaos.

                                       “A hurricane, a hurricane is sometimes the only way to wash away the pain….                                                                    A hurricane, a hurricane is sometimes the only thing that brings you back again”

AS [George Micheal ft. Mary J. Blige]

“As around the sun the earth knows she’s revolving… And the rosebuds know to bloom in early May.. Just as hate knows love’s a cure, you can rest your mind assured, that i’ll be loving you always….”

How comforting! It reminds me of my dad.

Daddy’s Home [Usher] – I want a husband just so I can play this song [from our surround sound home system] when I see his car pull up the driveway. He’ll get into the house and I’ll be standing by the bedroom door like – hey daddy – muahahhahahahaa. SideBar: Why is Usher so hot?

Magician [Ice Prince ft Gyptian] – I LOVE THIS SONG!! It was a cold night in liverpool; I was sitting in my room listening to Gidilounge and waiting for my heater to get toasty . No fucks were given on this track in terms of being politically correct – you drop bomb like a Pakistan – and that’s exactly why it rocks. Still one of my faves from Ice Prince.

A Long Walk [Jill Scott] – I found this song after seeing the video for – Getting In The Way – on Channel O; I figured whoever she is, there’s definitely more where that came from. And I was right. Jill Scott is a whoooooooooooooooooooooole lotta woman and I’m here for it all.

Stutter [Joe ft. Mystikal] – If you know me, you know I love Mystikal. I mean, what’s not to love about a rapper who cares about my wellbeing?  – “shake your ass, but watch yourself” – why thank you! I’ll be careful. I still remember the orange car on the dusty lone road and Mystikal losing his mind, I was entertained.

The High Road [Joss Stone] – One my all-time favourite singers. Her voice is sonorous and rich and doesn’t sound like its coming out of a white chic at all. She’s amazing. I have actual original copies of Joss Stone CDs, what does that tell you? I heard this song for the first time at an apple store in Liverpool One where I’d gone to replace my ipad screen. I struck up conversation with one of the store guys, a wide eyed Italian boy all the time wowing about how I couldn’t believe there was a Joss Stone song I didn’t know…being all cute. He took my number and proceeded to text me asking where I lived and whether he could stop by mine after his shift for drinks? I’m like sure we can do drinks but definitely not in my house; So damn forward. He never texted me again.  Black or white, men are men – looking to score with the most minimal effort. FOH!

Tired [Kelly Price] – In the land of hurt/heartbroken/angry music, Kelly Price is the Mayor. She makes great angry music but on this song, she’s not angry, she’s tired and you can actually feel her tiredness come through clearly. I found this song after a breakup. Yea yea… what’s new?   

Battle Scars [Lupe Fiasco ft. Guy Sabastian] – It’s almost 2am, I’m in my bed but obviously not asleep when my friend Hauwa buzzes me thus – have you heard this song? – I go no and she replies – look for it. And I did. And henceforth, I take music recommendations from Hauwa very seriously. It’s on my workout playlist, I kick ass to it many times a week. 

One [U2 ft Mary J. Blige] – Miss Mary finished work on this song okay? She took the bridge and chewed it and spat it out and dared anybody to come have a go and nobody did. What?!!!! I heard it for the first time on a documentary about U2 and frankly I don’t understand why because they should be ashamed to say this song is theirs, Mary owned it. 

By Your Side [Sade] – This song takes me back to Makurdi, those NTA color bars and connecting raindrops on window louvers;  which is weird because it’s not this actual song that NTA used to play, it was –Sweetest Taboo – but it just tells you how the brain makes these associations and connections. Sade is bae with her huge opon. Bae.

Step by Step [Whitney Houston] – I don’t know if I have a favourite Whitney song, but if I do then this one is the permanent second. I want to say it my fave but…. The video is so playful and happy and upbeat and Whitney’s shoulder dance is the best okay? Its one of those songs I grew up hearing around the house a lot, both my parents are huge Whitney fans and they passed it down to me. I accept.

Novacane [Frank Ocean] – Hmmmmnnn.…. A cute boy, ridiculous flirting, a train ride to Manchester, many drinks and…. plays till fade.

At this point, my vision started getting blurry so I had to stop…. And finally get that sleep.

What do you think about my music?


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Dating, Encouragement, Life, musings, Opinion, Randomness

Much Ado About Apologies

I’ve been sick as puppy for the past 4 days nursing malaria and flu [and aunty flo thought it was the funnest time to join the party too] so it’s been one hell of a sick cocktail. I’m not the type of person who lays in bed and acts like I’m about to die when I’m ill plus I hardly fall sick, so when I actually lay in bed, you know it really got to me. So in-between the malaria hallucinations, the uncountable rolls of tissue and nose blowing, the fluctuating temperature and inability to sleep in certain positions, I started getting stir crazy wondering where I could just go and sit and watch people and nobody will side eye me for blowing my nose every second? No where! So I did the next best thing to cheer myself up – made myself some lemon+ginger+honey tea and watched my favourite movie of all time – PRETTY WOMAN. And then it started raining… perfect weather!

If you know me, you know this is it. I can recite the entire lines in Pretty Woman from start to finish. It is my all-time favourite movie in the whole world and I can watch it every day. I think the world of Julia Roberts and her magical-musical-beautiful-widest-toothiest-MostSincereSounding-belly laugh. And I’m not alone because a quick trip to google will show you that the “Julia Roberts laugh” is actually a thing and it has quite the following. People wey sabi better thing!

Just listen to this!

Cute Story: Did you know the infamous necklace scene wasn’t actually planned? Apparently, Julia wasn’t feeling well during filming and so to make her laugh, Richard shut the case and her reaction was so perfect, they decided to keep it in the movie. Awww 🙂

Anyways, so I’m watching Vivian Ward steal Edward Lewis’ heart one belly laugh at a time and I’m laughing rather loudly from my couch when the movie gets to this part I’m not very giddy about – the fight scene after the polo event. If you haven’t seen Pretty Woman and therefore don’t know what I’m talking about, I’m sorry but I can’t believe you. Anyone who reads this blog should have watched that movie at least 10 times [I’ll add this to my header]; but I’m feeling generous right now so I’ll recap a bit. Here goes – Edward takes Vivian to this Polo event during which due to the incessant heckling from his evil stocky short lawyer friend [whose name is Stuckey… OMG I just clocked this. How Fitting!!!] he reveals that Vivian is indeed a prostitute. Expectedly, Stuckey proceeds to troll Vivian with this information and even propositions her and it all leads to Vivian and Edward getting into their first major fight. Big! Huge! [catch the plug?]

download (3)

Like I mentioned, I’ve watched this movie more times than I can count but for the first time something struck me that I hadn’t noticed before about this scene. You know how you can  listen to a song one million times but depending on where you are mentally or what you’re going through in that particular time in your life, one part of the song suddenly resonates on a level you’ve never experienced before? There! That’s exactly what happened yesterday.

Watch this!

Vivian: You hurt me

Edward: Yes

Vivian: Don’t do it again

Edward:  Nods and blinks in affirmative.

That’s all.

Listen people! When you’ve hurt someone and they come out with it to you, just the singular act of accepting and acknowledging their hurt/feelings is enough to diffuse the situation. When someone tells you you’ve hurt them, they’re hoping that you understand how your actions/inactions affected them; that’s not the time to start arguing about your thought process or how you see things [you can do this at a later time] but in that moment, just acknowledge their hurt and genuinely mean it.  You literally cripple and weaken them and only a difficult/crazy person will continue with fire after that. As in the movie, see how fired up Vivian had been, she packed her things and was ready to leave; but after that apology, she turned and went back into the suite and that marked the beginning of a deeper more genuine relationship for them.

Now if you’ve watched the movie, you know very well that Edward didn’t mean to belittle/hurt Vivian when he exasperatedly announced to Stuckey that Vivian was a prostitute. He was caught off guard and truly hadn’t envisaged answering questions about them or even being public with their relationship; plus, he was jealous when he saw her talking to David Morse[from the company they were looking to take over] but none of this mattered. When she said “you hurt me”, his only response was “yes”. Nothing more, just YES. In that moment, he prioritized her feelings. It didn’t matter what the facts were, it didn’t matter what his argument could have been, it didn’t matter the what/how/when/where; all that mattered was that she felt some type of way and he recognized that and was sorry. Simple! THIS IS HOW YOU DO AN APOLOGY. None of you, all of the aggrieved.

This to me is what constitutes a sincere and heartfelt apology.

Another thing that can make an apology extraordinary is the awareness that you have to let people come full circle on their terms. What do I mean? See when you apologise for a wrong and the person isn’t ready to accept it yet, you have to back off and let them stew and then maybe try again at another time and hope that by then they’d have come around. This is of course based on the assumption that the relationship is still important to you and you still want them in your life. There are times when people apologise for a wrong and when the wronged person rejects the apology, the wrongdoer gets mad and starts saying things like – “but I apologized, what else do you want me to do?”. In that moment, you’ve made the apology become about yourself and not the wronged person. Let people come around on their terms; chances are, that way, the emotions have fully being dealt with and there’s no residue hurt lingering to pose a threat at a later time.

One of my best male friends is someone I swore I’d never ever speak to. We had a rough patch in 2010 and he reached out to me almost immediately and apologised but I wasn’t hearing it and we pretty much existed like that until 3 years later I log on facebook on a random day and see that someone we both knew from uni had passed away. He says he saw I’d commented on the post and decided to send me a friend request which I accepted almost immediately and it wasn’t long before we were back to abusing each other everyday on whatsapp [that’s our love language]. He’s truly one of my favourite people, he makes me laugh till my sides hurt and I can be myself with him and not worry. Best guy! I had missed him too but chances are, if he had tried to talk to me sooner than he did, I still wouldn’t have listened. See, nothing about our fight/circumstance/story had changed, it was just that time had passed so I was in a better place mentally and thus ready to let it go, it was all me. I needed to get to the point where I was willing to squash it, on my terms and I’m just glad he was still willing as well. Because, let’s face it, there are times when you’re finally ready to squash the beef but the other person has completely moved on and that will suck but it’s a chance we must take. There’s no other way around it.

I’ve also been on the other side of the spectrum where it was me who was desperate for my apology to be heard/acknowledged/accepted and the person just wasn’t ready. This person didn’t even tell me what I did wrong, they just slowly X’d me out of their life and by the time I realized what was happening, I was already completely on the outside by myself and it hurt me so much because I would never have done that to them. In that moment, I could have taken my righteous indignation and rode off into the  horizon but I didn’t. I put myself in that person’s shoes and tried to understand where they were coming from ALL BY MYSELF as they wouldn’t even talk to me.  I sent messages, texts, emails, called our mutual friends, pleaded, solicited in every way I could even to an embarrassing point just to be heard because that’s just the person I am. I want to be able to look back at every interaction with anyone who ever mattered to me and know that I did everything within my power to right a perceived wrongdoing, because…..hyper-active conscience. It didn’t work. We still don’t speak but it’s not because of me as I soon realized the entire charade of anger was a facade at assuaging a guilty conscience that had nothing to do with me.

Once, I unknowingly hurt a friend and she stopped picking my calls, I was so worried and made all attempts to speak with her; when we eventually talked, I apologized and further asked that going forward, if we ever have a problem, she should please just talk to me about it like an adult. A few months go by and she stops picking my calls again…. We haven’t spoken since then and it’s been almost 2 years. I was done!! Done because I knew that if I reached out to her YET AGAIN to try and figure out what was wrong YET AGAIN, then that was going to become the dynamic of our relationship set in stone; where she’s always on one while i’m always the one scurrying around to figure out what it was and I just can’t live like that. Adults should address issues like adult. If I’m not speaking to you and it doesn’t bother you and you’re not speaking to me and it doesn’t bother me then I think we both know what that means for our relationship/friendship. I feel like the sheer effort I or anyone puts into trying to understand why/when someone is mad at them [especially when that person wont say why] is indicative of the fact that they  care; because trust me, there are people who don’t speak to me and I feel like I should write them a thank you note like – don’t ever stop! Don’t ever start. Ha ha.

I personally prefer for people to be forthright with me when I’ve upset/wronged them. Just tell me! But I’m a hypocrite because I don’t always tell people when they’ve upset me [at least not immediately]. I would eventually do so at some point but I always stew first [partly because it never ends well when I speak in anger]. So I know what it can be like; waiting for people to come around can be tough but like I said, if the relationship is important, you’d figure it out. And wait.

Another type of apology I personally detest is when people say – “I’m sorry you feel that way”. I feel like its insincere and it just doesn’t show me that the person understands or accepts the part they played in hurting me, but they’re apologizing anyways for how I may have understood their actions. In other words – I’m not sorry for what I did, I’m sorry for how you understood/interpreted it. I remember I once discussed this with a friend and he explained that when he uses that line, he’s actually acknowledging their feelings and that I’m too hung up on semantics. Lol. Maybe I am, maybe it’s true but till date, “I’m sorry you feel that way” just doesn’t ring as a sincere apology to me.

Remember though that sometimes, people don’t always set out meaning to offend/upset us, but because we are all human, shit happens so let’s try to cut each other slack. The litmus test is in the effort put into making it right. There’s probably one person/situation some of us have held on to and are waiting for an apology about….. let it go. Sometimes, you have to be okay with an apology that never came/will never come. But if it ever comes, it’ll just be a pleasant surprise. Don’t wait on it.

What do you think constitutes a sincere apology?

PS: I’m feeling a lot better, malaria has subsided considerably, I’ve only gone through one tissue roll today and my nose doesn’t feel so sore anymore. But I’m so bored, one of you should find a way to cheer me up….. movie/cheesecake ha ha 😀

La’ers xx

S.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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