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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?

 IMG_8295.PNG

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

 


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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.


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Encouragement, musings, thoughts

Sometimes, Life comes at you fast…..

Something happened.  Sometime last month, I realised that I’m a happy person again.  Yes again. When that realisation hit me, I literally stopped what I was doing and sat on my bed and cried a little. Happy tears of cos. Then I tweeted this and did a little jig because it was true. IMG_2978

I AM HAPPY.

 
What am I talking about? Stay with me!

2014 was a rubbish year; from the very first day of it. I hated it. I rang in the year wondering what my then boyfriend was doing or rather who he was doing, seeing as I’d just recently found out he had been cheating.  It got worse! During the year, I was dealing with a breakdown of a relationship and a friendship, I was having a difficult time at my job that ultimately led to me resigning, i didn’t know what direction I was headed with my PHD interest, nothing was working and I was struggling to stay afloat physically/spiritually/mentally/financially and with everything which made me daily question everything I thought I knew about myself, people and life in general. I was angry.

I was angry at God, I was revolting in my heart, I felt helpless and I couldn’t even pray. Heck i didn’t know how to pray with such anger in my heart. All I did was sleep, watch TV, eat and more sleep. Inevitably, I ballooned and that led to even more depressive behaviour.  Everything sucked donkey balls and I was a shadow of myself.  I felt like there was no area of my life I could point to and say I was winning at. I was angry at the world, angry at myself, angry at everything and I’d lash out at the slightest provocation and then after the moment has passed, the ensuing guilt will make me feel even more crappy. I didn’t know what to do and I didn’t know how to stop this free fall. I truly felt helpless.
During that time, my aura was toxic and my pheromones were way off and it reflected even in my interactions with total strangers. I felt like even total strangers on the streets treated me harshly; I’d leave most conversations/interactions feeling quite sad & defeated, so I cut off from people and basically stayed in my house. Sometimes I’d find that I’ve been in my room for about a week at a stretch without communicating with any one. I felt like because of this toxic aura, anyone who came around me got sucked in inevitably. I was spreading toxicity like glitter and Christmas cheer. Ha ha. My mum was worried and expressed her concerns every chance; she said she was afraid of how much anger I had inside me and she wasn’t sure what was causing it.  It upset me even more. Call it the mum factor but she could see that I was crying for help, she just didn’t know how to help. Here’s the kicker, in all this time, I’d get on social media and be all happy & glitter bombs and witty 140s… smh. I was obsessed with coming across as strong and okay and intact and perfect; hated being seen as weak or downtrodden. Now, while I’m all of those things, I realize now that it is important to let things fall apart if they’re going to, so you can deal and heal.

It was truly a shitty year. 2014. I was happy to say goodbye.

1 January 2015 met me sitting with my mother in her bedroom watching a crossover service on TV, during which she prayed for me, for us, for the year and I sat there with my heart full because suddenly here was a chance at a restart; the possibility of starting afresh, brand new. I knew in that moment that I was in the right place and everything was going to be okay.

Now I know that some people are on that ~ don’t wait till it’s a new year to start afresh ~tip. They scoff at new year resolutions and make those of us who believe in them seem foolish. But I’ll tell you this, there is nothing like the promise and possibility that a New Year holds & brings. NOTHING!!! Personally, I always come into a new year with an expectant heart; and I know that one has to take concerted steps in the year to achieve those resolutions but don’t act like the New Year doesn’t inspire restarts. And restart I did.

Previously, I wasn’t on the best of terms with some of my extended family members, and about 2 weeks into my January fast, I just woke up one day, topped up my phone and rang them to apologise for the part I may have played in whatever problems we had. I rang my old boss from my former job too and we had a conversation that still makes me cry just thinking about it now. It was so liberating. Looking back now, it’s not to say that there weren’t things happening that legitimately warranted my anger but now I see how different certain things could have played out if my reactions at the time and in the moment had been a tad different. That single act of apologizing alone took so much weight off my shoulders, I forgave myself and it felt good.

I wish I could tell you a colorful story of how one day the clouds just parted and a white dove dropped from heaven on my shoulders and I heard a voice saying this is my beloved S in whom I am well pleased. But No! None of that!  I went through it daily, the motions ~ days of feeling like an underachiever, unloved, unappreciated, unheard, misunderstood, hurt, confused etc., not just about work and relationship woes but also from my family & friends. During this time, self-doubt and a broken spirit became very familiar. I felt every emotion. I felt every pain. I hurt in places I didn’t even know existed. It was overwhelming and intense and very painful…………….. AND THEN IT WAS’NT.

How so? I don’t know. I cannot tell you. I just know that after a while, I stopped needing help[wine] to sleep, I’d wake up and actually get out of bed and sometimes fake a smile; it just generally got easier. What’s funny is that I didn’t even realise I was unravelling until it went full cycle. This further made me realise that sometimes what you think you feel, however strong, is very different from reality. The chains you’re bounded by are sometimes wholly mental.

chained donkey
So what changed? Walahi me I don’t know. I just know that sometime last month, I said OMG in this moment right now, I’m so happy AND I MEANT IT and relief washed over me and I cried tears of joy because it had been a long time since I said that, let alone mean it.

Is everything perfect today? Absolutely not! But guess what changed? My attitude! And the best part? It’s showing! It’s obvious to other people. My sister randomly said to me last week when she visited – you’ve become so much nicer, it’s like this your exercising is making you a happy person. I just laughed and said nothing but the point wasn’t lost on me at all. Sure, exercising releases the happy juice – endorphins – but I knew it wasn’t just that. Something bigger had taken place. A shift.  I finally got my groove back and the universe is taking notice and equilibrium has been restored. 2015 definitely looks like the kick ass year and i’m here for it!
If you’re reading this and going through your own dark patch, I want you to know that you’ll pull through and you’ll be better for it. I promise you. But you can’t force/hurry the process.
Big hugs.

Cheers xx

S.


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