Welcoming Routine…// Jobhunting Woes…

So it appears I am back again.

I have been incapable of blogging consistently, and I cannot tell you why. My iPhone is probably tired of the many, many blog post ideas I keep penciling in, my journal ablaze with titles unending, yet…

…Nothing. Absolute zero, zilch, nada, has made its way onto this here blog. I think about blogging and I feel tired almost immediately. Sometimes I can even see myself sitting in front of my laptop and letting words escape my fingers – I can see the words dancing around, forming prose in my head. Do they materialize?

Of course not.

In between getting a new job (hello adulthood and crazy UK taxation), adapting to a somewhat corporate environment, learning to drive (and not being too awful at it hallelujah!), and bathing in castor oil with hopes of becoming Rapunzel by August, life has been moving at a steady, banal, almost mundane way. Wake up. Go to work. Come home. Eat dinner. Watch Game of Thrones. Read Bible. Talk to The Dude. Pray. Sleep. Repeat.

I never thought I would welcome such routine until I was out of steady work for a couple of months. It was the weirdest thing ever. At first it was amazing. I had all the time in the world to find my true calling. To chase my dreams. I sewed, knitted everything and anything, read voraciously, perfected my make up skills and slept professionally. It was the dream for about a month. I stopped knitting because I had made all I wanted to make, waking up to sew didn’t really appeal to me any longer, and even my books irritated me (if you know me you know this is a big deal). Having nothing to do wasn’t fun when the whole world around you was buzzing with daily schedules and rotas. The routine I scorned and complained about became the very thing I craved. I wanted to have a reason to wake up at six am and inhale copious amounts of coffee in order to brace the day because I stayed up watching back to back episodes of Soul Food like the emotionally stable human I am. I wanted to leave the confines of my bed for something other than Sweet n Salt popcorn for once.

Second month into unemployment. I am restless. Annoyed that every job I applied to replied that whilst competent, unfortunately you have not been successful this time around.

Honestly, job applications are so emotionally draining.They want the body of your first cat, the toenail of your current dog, and the tongue of the fly you just swatted in the kitchen. I don’t understand why they require so much. I just don’t.

Fast forward five months later, and I am back in steady employment. During my first week back at work, a patient comes in complaining about something or the other, and I cannot help but smile (inwardly, of course). I’ve missed this. The normalcy of whiny customers, the early mornings, the coffee, oh the coffee, and the realization that despite it all; routine, albeit loathsome, can be a beautiful thing sometimes (Because I will probably forget about this feeling once I feel stuck in a rut and abhor routine then. Haaa. Life). 

So. To anyone who either  just started looking for work or who has been doing the application thang for a while now, my little piece of advice is: Keep on looking. Don’t let rejection(s) intimidate you or make you second guess just how good you will be for that position that you want. Apply for jobs you don’t even think you will remotely get; I did and I still cannot understand how or why they decided to pick little ol’ me. Just go for it. Put in the work. Be proactive. The job won’t come to you, so you have to put yourself out there and believe in your awesome, honey. You can do this!!!

Advertisements

“Do NOT Touch My Hair”// The Natural Hair debacle…

It’s 2015, and we’re still taking the self love and appreciation thing seriously. We’re still obsessing (rightfully so, I must add) over our God given curls. I’m loving the natural revolution and influx of Afro appreciation within the black community, because it took us such a long while to get here. 

Sidebar: I feel I must make this clear really early on that my support of the natural movement does not equal disdain for non-naturals. I strongly believe in autonomy and expression. Simply put, I am not one to judge you for doing you, boo boo. For me, the natural hair movement symbolises a freedom to express myself and feel equally as beautiful as my weaved up, relaxed counterparts, whilst rocking a big ass, kinky ‘fro. 

So yeah. Yay to 4a,b,z,q hair. We’re making Afro hair normal again, and retrieving our big ol’ Black Panther ‘Angela Davis’ ‘fros from the 70s dress up cupboard and rocking them with as much vivacity as the 70s woman. I love it. I’m so here for it.

What I’m not really here for though, is the whole “Touch my hair and Die” phenomenon we apparently hold dear within the natural (actually, make that the entire black) community. It is a taboo for people to see our hair, be fascinated by its haloed appearance and resistance to all laws of gravity, and wonder what it feels like. Are we being too harsh on the novices who are just being introduced to our curls and naps after years of hiding them under weaves and wigs and are interested in what our real hair looks and feels like? Now, i’m only posing a question because frankly, I don’t see the big deal in people touching my hair (and scalp haaa!). In fact, I sort of love people playing with my hair. It’s one of the reasons I loathe weaves – I recoil at the thought of not having at least my scalp within [easily] accessible reach. It really freaks me out. 

I’ve often heard women say that men they are dating “know the deal” and know they’re not allowed to touch their hair. There are many memes and comedy sketches citing the black woman’s fury at having her weave stroked for me to remain clueless about the etiquette of black hair. My first ever weave was in 2013, so I blame that for my lack of awareness on the matter from a young age. Anyways, now I know, and I’m very confused. Why are we so enraged at the thought of someone touching our hair? It really boggles my mind.

I grew up in the heart of the British countryside where black people were an extremely rare commodity. SO rare, that we would stop to say hello at the supermarket if we encountered a new face. Needless to say, my white friends were more than inquisitive about my hair and its ability to remain in one position. They had never seen it before, so naturally, they wanted to touch it. They wanted to dissect every inch of its science to find out why it was able to hold a braid without elastic bands. The questions did get annoying at one point, because every new friend I made asked the same thing, but I understood their fascination. 

photo cred: The Huffington Post

When I went natural, I got the same thing. The bigger the thing got, the longer the stares, the greater the fascination. Whether we like it or not, our hair is a statement. A big, “notice me cuz my hair is big and fly and I know it too” statement. I love it. You better respect the fro, peoples. People would ask me if my hair was real, how I got it to stay like that and if they could feel it. Now, in some ways, I understand that having strangers cruising their hands (which you have no clue where they have been) through your hair might be a tad creepy. I have never experienced this, and this may be due to sheer British modesty – we look, internally comment and move on. Perhaps this is the reason for my confusion. Those who touch my hair often politely ask, and are really surprised when they feel how soft and curly it is. In my way, I have educated them on black hair. They understand that although it is firm, it is also really soft. On close inspection, they see that my hair is a mass of tight coils rather than “matted wool”, as it is often described in Literature. It is my way of dispelling the notion that our hair is thick, tough, unmanageable, and unacceptable, because I can see the ignorance being lifted from their eyes after my Lesson In Black Hair 101.

But this is just me. I think it is sort of nice that people want to touch my hair. I welcome it even. Perhaps if a random stranger on the bus was to yank my hair under the guise of fascination, I would be getting into my best Taekwondo position ready for a showdown. I’m just questioning this common idea is all, and throwing a curve ball (or perhaps not) your way.

I’d like to know what you think about this! My bias may be due to the fact that I love people playing with my hair, so I’m looking forward to being challenged on this. I just want to know if having people touch our hair is really, that deep is all!

xxx

Childhood Memories// Nigerian Hairdressers…

Photo credit: Tumblr

Childhood memories. Scalp tingling from sulfur 8. Market hair dresser asking Iya Sule or Mummy Tomi selling plastics and rubber slippers next door to please save her a plate of rice, whilst parting my hair with the sharpest cutting comb you ever did see.

“Darleen, keep your head still or your hair will not be fine”. After what seems like hours of feeling quick hands assemble my thick mane into ‘Suku’ or ‘Patewo’, or once, in a moment of spontaneity, ‘Police Cap’, I am done. Finally. I can sit however I want, my face no longer forced to stare into the darkness of aunty Tope’s thighs and await my mother’s arrival.

I usually hear my mum before I see her. She’s about three stalls down, pricing meat and buying spinach. Or tatase and rodo. I get my things ready – my comb, my sulfur 8, and my colouring book, say thank you again to Aunty Tope, and hope there’s hot boli and epa waiting for me in the car on the way home.


How often can one apologise for being a no show? Please say always?

Thanks. It has been a few months, and once again, I ask for forgiveness for my continued inconsistency. Life has just been well, life. All I can say (for now) is that I truly understand the saying which calls “the idle mind the devil’s workshop”, because I’ve been thinking (and believing) some mighty awful things about myself lately. I’m glad to say that I’m coming out of it, and I’m far better than I have been, but as we all know, the insecurity battle is a lifelong one filled with not so good days one must dispel aggressively through positive affirmations and prayer. Well, for me at least.

Anyhoos, I’ve been perusing the tumblr very often of late (oh the joys of micro blogging – it’s so quick, and the visuals you find on there are just amazing!), and this image sparked the mini story above. I remember those days of enduring combs and blow dryers like it was yesterday. Having really thick hair did nothing to help my already gruesome situation. My hair would break numerous combs, hairdressers would forever tell my mum to make her life easier by relaxing my hair. She ended up succumbing, thus giving rise to sleek, broken, thinning hair from the tender age of ten (not really tender I guess, I know of some people who were getting relaxers  from as young as two so… hmm).

But at least combs could go through my hair unharmed, so I guess it resulted in a positive outcome of some sort?

Glad to be back on this here space, and welcoming everyone who’s just joined! Thank you all so much for the support and kind words, it feels so good to be appreciated!

Seyi

The Mini Series// ‘What had happened was’….

4d93c-oops_girl_by_cartoon_eric-d66zz4r

I never thought I’d get here. Not because I floated on clouds and walked with God perpetually (maybe if I read my Bible more or prayed more, I wouldn’t  be engaging in this err… hmm… Is there a ‘saved’ way of explaining sex? ‘Engaging in a torrid, sensual tangle’ sounds wayyyy Mills & Boon,grrr…), but because I had values. I was brought up to hold my virginity as precious, as something to be shared in the sanctity of marriage, because sex was the most beautiful expression of love. I think one of my aunties said that to me when I was sixteen.

Yeah. Turns out I’ve expressed my love now about three times.

I would really like to say it just happened, but I’d be telling a lie. I knew what I was doing. Sam didn’t just happen to be at mine when Shola, my unwavering virgin soul sista house mate with all her good intentions and amazing chaperoning skills was away for the weekend (most times I wanted to strangle her. In true Christian sister fashion, we decided never to lock our doors when respective partners were visiting, to be accountable to each other whenever the goings got tough and our loins burnt with passion. Whatever. She would knock and ask for a comb WHEN HER HAIR WAS IN BRAIDS just so she could check up on me. She would bring us tea without asking whether we wanted some, and linger around talking about the dishwasher needing servicing and the concierge asking her out on yet another date and promising her unconditional love. It was sweet of her to take her role so seriously, but so, so annoying).

Maybe in some ways, some small ways, it did just happen. Sam was not meant to spend the night, oh no sir not once in our two years had he slept over thank you very much. We were only going to have dinner. We weren’t pubescent teenagers (or rabbits), we could control ourselves. We talked and talked about our decision to meet at my house without Shola looming the corridors with tea and baked goods, coming to the conclusion that we could do this, because Shola wasn’t always going to be there, and we needed to stop putting so much importance on the issue of fornication (Like, who comes up with these words? Fornication. *shivers* I remember hearing it when I was younger and members of the choir (it always seemed to be the choir, mind) were suspended because they fornicated. I feared the word from that day, vowing never to be associated with such. Haha, who’s laughing now eh?) because focusing on it makes it more important than it is, and there’s more to us than our sexual desires, and blah, blah, blah.

Yeah.

Perhaps a large part of me was sure we could be in such close quarters without compromising ourselves. Perhaps I made myself believe that if we could have lasted for two years doing nothing but kissing and holding hands, then we could control our baser desires, sit through one measly dinner and come out victorious.

The little part of me that was tired of being sensible, tired of pretending her mind didn’t fall prey to unsavoury thoughts more often than Rihanna changed hairstyles and so unbearably curious, woke up that Friday morning, excited at the prospects of an intimate dinner with her lovely Sam and put on her most (and only) decadent lingerie set in all its lacy glory with claims of self empowerment and appreciation to counteract the niggling voices: ‘are you sure THIS is the right day to wear such?’  and ‘you had better behave yourself and get back into your mismatched Primark underwear’ , cooked the best chicken and seafood pasta for dinner, and ended up getting herself laid.

*

“Babe, I’m so sorry, we shouldn’t have… I shouldn’t have… I honestly didn’t think anything would happen, we’ve been so good…” Sam starts saying soon after we untangle ourselves from each other. Sometime toward the end, guilt rears its familiar, ugly head, weaving intricate images of our shameful encounter. I sit on the edge of the sofa speechless, barely holding on to the last shreds of my Christian virtues and so vulnerable to the hollowness I feel about what just happened here. A part of me feels a rush of excitement and… maturity, I think. I had always associated sex with older people in hazy, wedded bliss, yet something about this moment made me feel… Woman. As though my body had just been awoken. Or something. I was different, I was loved, cherished even, by this man, so terrified of our sinful act and unhinged by my silence that he could do nothing but bury his face in his hands defeatedly.

“Babe, please stop saying sorry, I’m sorry too, we were both here and… did what we did”, I mumble after what seems like hours. I think I feel numb, yes. Numb. And empty. What we, I, held so dearly all my life was gone. Gone, in a matter of minutes.

“Let’s pray”, I say. I don’t really want to pray at this moment though. I want to dissect every moment before the moment. I want to remember just how sincere Sam was when he said he loved me and always would. I want to remember only the feelings of elation and sheer joy I felt for being with Sam that way. I don’t want to think about this, this  unfair and archaic idea that what we just shared is considered sin. I’m confused. I cannot understand why this is sinful, but the guilt I feel let’s me know just how low I rank in the Christian ladder right about now. Why is it so bad? No one explains plainly why we shouldn’t do it. All they say is blood covenant this, and soul tie that, and frankly, I don’t get half of that JesusSpeak. I mean, if I love Sam, a soul tie surely cannot hurt. Isn’t that the point? Blood covenant? O…Kay… Urm why is that affecting me?

Oh, I don’t know.

I ask Sam to pray. He mumbles a dozen more apologies to God and myself, gives me an awkward hug, and says we should try getting some sleep. Yeah, of course Sam, sleep is definitely on my priority list right now.  I want to stay with him, curled beside him on the sofa, but of course Christian etiquette still demands that we sleep separately – so off to bed I go, frustrated, guilty, confused and so unbelievably angry at this stupid, unfounded ‘no sex before marriage‘ rule.


And FINALLY, we have the second part of the series. I knew the route I wanted this next part to take, but every time I tried writing it, it felt so… wrong, I guess. Anyhoos, thank God for inspiration and direction! 

The lady in question still has no name, but I think I like the sense of anonymity our lady is beginning to have, haha. She’s able to voice her confusion and frustration at the lack of pragmatic pre- marital sex teachings that simply say “just don’t do it because God says so”, and is really trying to understand how what she and Sam have shared could be considered sin. Is she allowed to have these thoughts? Are they unfounded, like she expresses, simply a way to excuse what she KNEW was unacceptable all along? I’d really love to know!

Welcoming the new// Goodbye 2014!…

First things first,

Happy New Year! Hope the holidays have been good to you all and Santa brought you nice gifts. Santa didn’t visit my household this year. He must have got the memo that I was over six years old. What a bummer.

I love the start of the year for many reasons. All that inspiration to be a better version of oneself, the goal setting (mine is always, always weight related, what a female), the sheer happiness the holiday season brings – it all makes me happy.

That is, until work resumes and I realise that winter really respects no one, most especially pedestrians. Since I have yet to be entrusted to drive unaccompanied by at least four people my driving instructor (who most certainly regrets the task he accepted by now given my utter inadequacy), I fall under that pedestrian category. Ergo, I am forever freezing.

‘Tis a sad, sad thing I tell you.

Anyhoos. 2014 was a good year in many, many ways. Whilst reflecting on my year, I came across this journal entry early on in the year which made me smile, and I thought I would share it on here. It is rather long, but really encapsulates my thoughts on the year altogether. So if you get to the end of this post, you deserve something. Maybe a chocolate bar. Or a hug.

Here goes;

Sunday, 9th March, 2014

Dear Self,

Remember that your parents love you sooo very much. They may not have said it as often as you would have liked them to growing up, but you can see now just how much they love you. Never lose sight of that.

Remember also dear self, that you don’t need an audience to elicit change. You are enough. You can make a change. Not because you are better than anyone, or richer, or more knowledgeable. No, you have a lot to offer the world, Oluwaseyi. Your dreams are valid; necessary.

It’s alright that you’re twenty three, in a job you don’t particularly enjoy, still hoping that your situation changes soon. It’s alright that you don’t really know what direction or route your life is going to take. It’s alright that sometimes, you have fears and doubts about the future of your career. It should inspire you to seek your ‘destiny’, hone your skills and find your passion. Search for it earnestly, your passion. Don’t let the whirlwind that is life make you forget that you will forever feel that emptiness and uselessness if you don’t keep trying to find that ‘thing’ that excites your pacemaker (Even if it is being a starved writer on the streets of Pimlico (?)).

Stop sweating the small stuff. Just stop it. Move on with life. You’ll get over whatever it is.

This is certainly the most important one. When life is overwhelming, when work is stressful, DO. NOT. FORGET. GOD. Remember. Always remain grounded. Try to remember that you were in a place which was perpetually dark. Where you were insignificant, and your spirit was damn near destroyed. Somehow, you pulled through. You overcame. It’s still hard sometimes, and you’re a bit screwed up because of it, but you’re still here, still okay. Always remember that this narrow escape from insanity was not by chance. You owe that to the big guy up there. Please, if you forget everything, never forget how God has always come through for you.

Finally, Oluwaseyi*, always remember that you can achieve ANYTHING. Whatever you set your mind to is yours. You’ve been blessed beyond measure by a God who, in his infinite love, wants to keep blessing you. Use that to your advantage, USE IT!


 I completely forgot I wrote this and revisiting it made me so emotional. It is said that the power of the written word often goes unnoticed because we try so hard to write in a particular way and with a particular voice other than our own, but I guess I wasn’t trying to be ‘Miss Writer Extraordinaire’ when I wrote this – it all just flew from mind to pen to notebook. So glad I took journalling more serious last year than I’ve ever done, and excited about documenting 2015’s experiences! So here’s to more writing (more carefree writing, that is), more experiencing, and an even greater year than the last!

“This was more than a hiatus!” // South Africa ’14

Aloha! Bonjour! Hello!

I guess Sawubona! ( the Zulu word for ‘hello’) would be far more appropriate than all the former, seeing as I was far far away in the land of warriors and a culture so rich I could do nothing else but marvel –

This dialogue will go on for ages without me actually telling you where I was, if I don’t cut my self short. The reason for my long, really really long absence was South Africa. I was in South Africa for three months. Volunteering with the charity Tearfund, partnering with local communities to help reduce the vulnerability of children within the area.To say it changed my life would be so cliché, but also the truest way I could express my feelings. I find myself at a complete loss for words when people ask me how it was, because it became home far quicker than I realised. Despite being so far away from all that I had come to consider home, from family and friends, from the familiar (e.g the London Underground, the hustle and bustle and swift-footedness of people), something about South Africa arrested me right from the first week I was there and stayed with me all through my sojourn.

IMG_5172[1]

So much went on during my time there that if I were to explain just exactly what we did on a daily basis, this post would never end. From planning community days to helping out at an HIV clinic, to teaching ten year olds Christmas carols and dancing with zero to five year olds at crèche, I did everything and more than I expected I would whilst out there. Going was a way of escaping the pressures of life and expectations at home and forging a better idea of where I wanted my life to go next for well, almost forever. I wanted to go away to make a difference in the world, yes, but also to make a difference in my life. To learn to live fearlessly. To be confident of my place in the world. To chase my dreams, or something. To find something, despite having no clue what that ‘thing’ was.

IMG_5338[1]

Writing this is hard, because I still do not know how exactly to explain what a phenomenal experience this was. The love I felt from people I had only known a short while was overwhelming. The sheer beauty of our surroundings made me appreciate God in ways I had never been able to before – there was all this land, all green and beautiful, these never ending valleys around us that you could do nothing but marvel at its untouched beauty. There were my kids at school, in torn shorts and ill – fitting uniforms with the brightest smiles you ever did see and dreams that made your heart smile. There were babies. Babies who smiled when you tickled them, and children who you hugged fiercely because that would be the only time they felt any semblance of affection shown towards them. There were friendly faces, housekeepers who became friends and chefs who became ‘aunties’. There was laughter, like we had spent the entirety of our lives together and were bonded by more than friendship.

IMG_5445[1]   IMG_5407[1]

In South Africa I found love – made friends from different parts of my own country that I was completely clueless about. I learned to sew like a pro (that is a major lie. Not a pro, but maybe a semi almost pro. If that makes any sense), learned some Zulu (which I am forgetting quite quickly, much to my dismay), rediscovered my love of knitting and crochet. Most importantly though, I learned to appreciate my awesome; that which makes me unique and special before God’s eyes. I know, I went away to help others supposedly less fortunate than myself but they ended up teaching me all the lessons. Weird or what?

IMG_5816[1]

Here’s to South Africa ’14. You have etched indelible marks on my heart forever.

The Mini Series// “Totally Screwed”…

And just like that, once again, I feel like a fluke.

Like a total hypocrite. Failure. The worst sinner in the world. Okay maybe not the WHOLE world, because although we learnt ages ago in Sunday School that there were no such things as small and big sins, murdering and torturing a baby must belong to a category of some sort. Because that, in my books, is a MAJOR SIN.

This is what I usually do when I feel guilty. It usually begins with a crippling sense of dread and disappointment in myself and my apparent lack of discipline or self control. It’s literally a few hours of “ohmyGod you said the last time was THE last time and… oops, girl you failed AGAIN, you colossal failure!”. Somehow, I manage to get over the fact that I have indeed, sinned again for the umpteenth time, and begin to look for ways to make myself feel better. Hence the categorization of sins thing.

I guess I should get right to the point and tell you exactly what it is I’ve done to make me feel this way.

The thing is, to most people, this is not a thing. It is natural. Just a way of life. Chemistry. Feral instinct, or whatever it is called. To me however, the Christian, the one who got baptised at fifteen and gave a speech so heart wrenching about love and acceptance that made the head pastor of our church so determined to see that I was enrolled in Bible College as soon as I was able, it is the worst thing I could ever deal with.

I might as well just come right out and say it: I slept with Sam.

I still cannot believe it. I mean, of course I can believe it has happened, because well, I was there when all these feelings or whatever were coursing through my body and making me say and do things (oh good God) that a good Christian girl has no business doing or feeling, at least not before marriage.

OHMYGOD I AM SUCH A SINNER.

What am I going to do? This keeps happening, I keep saying the last time IS THE LAST time, but that was three times ago and here I am again, laying here in his room after reassuring myself that this time I would be good, would stand my ground, be firm and look all disinterested because heck, I am a Christian girl, and nice abs don’t get us weak at the knees like these mere non-Spirit filled women ruled by their carnal desires. We proclaim that our “bodies are temples of The Most High”, that we are not beings who are  ruled by the flesh but by the Spirit, and go about our day. It is that simple. 

But see, Sam just knows what to say. Or how to tickle me when we’re watching a movie that makes me giggle like a stupid sixteen year old (I used to smirk at such girls in school. Like, get a grip, he’s only stealing your pencil, not taking you to Paris for goodness sake). I can faintly hear my voice go up by two octaves, he’s tickling me and of course, I’m loving the attention because hey, who doesn’t love it when another saved “brother” who is very, very attractive and possesses the same body as Usher in the Confessions video (I wasn’t always “saved”, and even if I was, who hasn’t seen that video?) is devoting his time to hear you shriek like a banshee? Of course tickling is only code for “soon to begin kissing”, which I know, but by the time I’ve succumbed to tickling, it is only right that I should let myself be kissed also. And then that turns into whatever else and before you know it, we’re back at square one again.

Sam is being such a male about the whole thing. “Babe, oh no, I can’t believe we’re here again, I’m sorry, I’m so so sorry but we just have to pray and move on and not let this determine our salvation” –

It’s the same story every time. We do it, we pray, he feels surprisingly calm about the entire thing like we haven’t just done the worst thing in the history of Things Christians Should Not Do Before Marriage and he’s ready for the next adventure. How does he do it? I’m sitting on the rumpled bed, feeling like the World’s Worst Christian ever, and he’s dressed, ready to leave the house like nothing happened? 

How did I get here? How did I become this girl? Why can’t I stop? I really want to, but really, this pull, this force of attraction, this bond, is strange. It just keeps pulling me back and I can’t help myself. I lose all sense of rational thought when I think about us like that. 

I really hate to admit it, but I cannot keep lying to myself any more; I like sex. I really, really like sex.

I am a Christian girl, and I am torn. Guilt – stricken, because I hate that I like sex so much, but not disciplined enough to stop doing it. 

OHMYGOD I AM SO SCREWED. 


And welcome to the first of a little somethin’ I’ve been trying my hand at.  I’m still unsure of what to title it, the protagonist doesn’t really even have a name yet, but do bear with me, early days and all! Trying to write/formulate a sort of mini story series. It was a project I mulled over for a while and debated whether or not to attempt embarking upon, but then again, the point of starting this blog was to improve and expand my writing skills. Hope you enjoy it? I’d like to hear your thoughts! 

Consistency, shmonsistency…

image

So here I am, dreadful Sunday afternoon that it is here in London, hurriedly navigating the structured chaos that is the London Underground (with ease, might I add – this has not always been the case mind), when I come across a stationery shop. Instinctively I walk in, because hey, who ever passes up the chance for new stationery?

I walk in excitedly, because shops full of notebooks and pens really make me giddy, defeatedly accepting that I will purchase YET another notebook (welcome home, my little ruled floral friend) , when I remember my journal. My lovely journal, which I vowed to write in daily, is well, lying on my bedroom floor, its pages waiting expectantly for tales of my fabulous life of… Err… Fabulousity, of course, with a last incoherent “OHMYGOD I’M A PHARMACIST” scrawled across a page sometime last week.

Such creative journalling, non?

Sometime during this quick realisation that I was a) scarily obsessed with paper goods and b) not journalling as I promised to at the start of the year, I remember yet another project I have left at a standstill. The BLOG!

I cannot even begin to explain this hiatus. Originally, it was necessary to you know, pass my exam (I did! I passed it guys, it still doesn’t feel real that my days of nighttime studying are behind me, hello nighttime couch potato-ing!), then that was over, and I said I was “resting”, but honestly? I was just being lazy and inconsistent.  With everything.

So, before I continue rambling, this is me bidding farewell to inconsistency, and saying HELLO, HOPE YOU HAVEN’T FORGOTTEN I EXIST, I’m still here, with more tales of cats and stuff for you, please give me another chance at redemption! *falls melodramatically at feet of virtual audience*

Yeah. So truce? I promise I will be better. Got a short story on its way, so see you in the next post!

Xxx

Miss NoLongerALazyCat

The Short Story// Working Girl…

*Beeeeeeeep*

Seven thirty am. That’s the alarm going off. I wake up – no – not really, just well enough to hit the snooze button.

*Beeeeep!!!*

Crap. Seven thirty five. This cannot be happening so quickly. Surely five minutes was not that short? Okay. So I wake up momentarily, contemplate waking up now, as it means I have enough time to get ready, have coffee and  take my twists from the night before out and do the fluffy thing I’ve seen the girls with-two-years-of-hair-growth-vitamin-taking-bra strap-length-hair-having-naturalistas on YouTube do. Incidentally, I also have been growing my hair for two years. Except, where the majority of these YouTube fraudsters ladies have bra strap length hair and longer, I have collar bone length hair. But that is a topic for another time.

*Zzzzzz – Beeeeeeeep!*


Seven forty five am? Already? This cannot be happening. Work starts at eight thirty, and I need coffee before I start because I need to be awake and alert to smile and converse in a manner which is acceptable when explaining the architectural designs of their extravagant homes to the rich and richer clients at Collingwoods & Co. Without coffee before ten thirty, I am a psychedelic mess of a human. My vocabulary is reduced to a few “mm hmms” and “uh huhs” amidst other sentences which, mind, are not decipherable by humanity in the slightest.

Must. Tell. Boss. That. I. Have. Condition. Where. Doctor. Advices. I. Am. Not. Fit. To. Work. Before. Ten o’ clock.

Of course this is a lie, and I have no conditions other than my uninhibited affection for sleep and absolute disapproval of mornings. And if I did actually go to interviews with this obviously barmy tale, I will never be able to afford the Maserati   Granturismo I have wanted since I saw it in a magazine when I was fifteen, or finally fulfil my dreams of living in a cottage by the riverside in New Orleans.

* * *

It is now eight o’clock, and behold, I am just leaving the comfort of my bed and its promises of love and sweet dreams of my darling Theophilus DeBarge who lives by the bayou and comes from a line of wealthy Southern money –

Oops. Definitely too late to do the youtube-y hair thing now, as time is ticking away and there are no clothes on my body, and I’m still searching frantically for something presentable to wear. This is not good. Definitely not going to get any coffee at this rate.

Yes!

Among the pile of clothes strewn across the bed (clothes pulled out from the wardrobe I constantly have to arrange due to my regular frantic searchings), I find a shirt fit for the days festivities, grab the nearest trousers to me, a cardigan which, on normal days I would never pair with these trousers, but alas. Frantic Search Tuesday has reduced me to committing such fashion blunders, and it cannot be helped, BECAUSE IT IS NOW eight fifteen, and I have to leave the house in five minutes. I grab my purse, bag, bag of sweets on the bedside table, as a sugar hit may hold me till I can sneak away and inhale some caffeine, and ohh! a scarf! Surely this silky wonder can hide my twists away from the public if I tied it and made a pretty bow at the front, like a good southern woman capable of attracting Theophilus DeBarge in all his Southern glory would? I go with the scarf. I must look somewhat presentable, I presume, if not for anything else but the pretty scarf with abstract designs of pastel pink and purple adorning my not-to-be-seen-in-public twists of horror.

By the time I actually leave the house, it is eight twenty two. This leaves me with only six minutes to walk to work and get there in time to look in the mirror to see if I have managed to venture out into the world looking less like ET and more like – I don’t know – the average human. There was no time for make up, but then again, that stopped being a part of my morning routine after the first week of work, with the exception of my ever trusty strawberry lip gloss which I am never without. I am not expecting to look into the mirror at work and see the reflection before me however. What is meant to make me look like Anna Mae from New Orleans only highlights the bunches of twists atop my head, making them look like little mountain peaks. My shirt is creased from being flung around in my room, and I have, as such are the woes that befall me on a regular basis, managed to pick the trousers I wore last Thursday to the work welcome party which I spilt mango juice on whilst talking to Dave from the IT department, a moment I vowed never to remember as I happen to feature in many similar predicaments, that I have to choose which are of more importance to remember.

My only options at this point are to either (hoping no one saw me come in), walk back out and call in with a lame excuse about needing to take Rhett Butler (my Yorkshire Terrier and trusty confidante) to the vet for the fourth time this month, or faint right there in the women’s toilets and hope someone comes in soon after and alerts the entire floor. In the end, I decide to do the right thing and go into the boardroom and sit as quickly as possible, so that no one, especially Abercrombie & Fitch model  who I do not believe for one minute is an architect of any sort, notices my mango juice trousers and crumpled shirt. This is my window of opportunity. I may just be able to steam past Liz, who occupies the office adjacent to mine, wave and point towards the boardroom to notify her that I have a meeting to rush off to so she does not come out for a “quick chat” that will last thirty minutes. I set off from the toilets now, folder in hand, ready to slide into that chair that will hide my trousers, focusing intently and solely on my destination when –

BANG!

I collide, face first, with a male chest. A very hard male chest for that matter, I think subconsciously. My folder and its contents are all over the floor in different directions, and Hard Male Chest Owner is holding my arms to make sure I’m steady on my feet before he lets go of me. Not surprisingly, Hard Male Chest Owner is also in possession of Hard Toned Arms, which is hard not notice because they are wrapped around my spindly contenders. This is obviously not my day. Not that I usually step out of the house looking like Joan Collins during her Dynasty days or anything, but with some make up on and trousers without juice stains and my hair looking somewhat presentable, I make for an okay looking twenty something year old. Unlike the Wizard of Oz that I look like today, at this moment, whilst being held by Hard Male Chest Owner who I bet, because I have been cursed with the worst luck in the universe, belongs to Abercrombie Architect.

Which is why, when he finally lets go of my arms and I am steady enough to stand and look at him to say thank you, I am not surprised to be staring into the cool blue eyes of Abercrombie Architect himself.


It’s been forever! Do forgive me for the lack of posts, but as my introduction may or may not have mentioned, I am currently knee deep in revision for my professional exams that I’m having to neglect this little space o’ paradise of mine. Hope you enjoy the short story. I wrote it a couple of years ago on a whim, and as per usual, no one really read it. So here it is, hope you all find this as funny as I did conjuring up the characters!

Till next time,

MissCrazyCatLady

[Phenomenally, Phenomenal]// I too, am running from modesty…

Yes, I have. When I look at an old photo or a clip from my calypso days, I think it’s amazing what I have done. And I know it’s not my doing, so I don’t have to be modest about it. Modesty is a learned affectation. It’s no good. Humility is great, because humility says, “There was someone before me. I’m following in somebody’s footsteps.”

 

“I don’t know what arrogance means,” she said.  “You see, I have no patience with modesty. Modesty is a learned adaptation. It’s stuck on like decals.  As soon as life slams a modest person against the wall, that modesty will fall off faster than a G-string will fall off a stripper.

“Whenever I’m around some who is modest, I think, ‘run like hell and all of fire,’” she said. “You don’t want modesty, you want humility. Humility comes from inside out. It says someone was here before me and I’m here because I’ve been paid for. I have something to do and I will do that because I’m paying for someone else who has yet to come.”

Maya Angelou,in an interview with Oprah

What I know about Maya Angelou does not amount to much. My brief obsession with African American Literature during my A levels led me more to the likes of Alice Walker, Zora Neale Hurston and James Baldwin, and of course, the infamous Phenomenal Woman poem by Dr Angelou. I heard about I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, but my interest [sadly] was not piqued enough to read the book. I remember watching Poetic Justice, and making a mental note to read at least ONE of her books, but somehow, I didn’t. It’s sad that I only feel the need to revisit her works now, after news of her passing, but ahh well, better late than never eh?

Anyhoos, whilst feeling a certain type of way (similar to the way I felt after hearing about Uncle Mike’s [commonly referred to as MJ] passing – I listened to MJ songs everyday for a whole week) I came across an interview of Dr Angelou by Oprah, and these particular excerpts made me rethink my notions of modesty and humility, and why she deemed one different from the other. To me, modesty has always equalled humility. I thought it impossible to be humble without being modest and vice versa. I never thought of modesty as a bad thing. After several moments of simultaneously disagreeing and agreeing with her idea of modesty being more synonymous with hypocrisy than humility, I finally came to an understanding. I caught her drift, if I may be colloquial. More so, I agreed with said drift. All I did was search myself and look back on times when I was being modest. And by golly, it seems I have modesty down pat. In certain areas anyway. Some may disagree with my love for crop tops and call that immodest, but hey, that’s another topic for another blog post.

So yeah. I know how to DO modesty. Well, I’m just no good at receiving compliments, so I downplay my talents and gifts and take the focus away from myself, because, I don’t know! Really, you could tell me my nails are pretty, and even when I know I find them amazing – over-the-top-bananas – because- the-lady-at-the-nail-shop-managed-not-to-make-one-nail-crooked, I just mumble some incoherent nothings about them not being all that, or say “really? Oh they’re not that fantastic but thanks!”  – I mean, who does that?

Me, apparently. But did you catch MY subtle drift in that little scenario? I KNOW my nails are pretty. I think they’re awesome. Yet, when someone compliments them, I go all “it’s not that deep” on them? I mean, would it be seen as arrogance if I just admitted to the fact that I like my nails (which was why I did them in the first place, hello?), say a nice, genuine thank you, and you know, end it there, feeling appreciated and err… less nerdy than I always do? Apparently not my style. Which was why after reading what Dr Angelou had to say (it doesn’t feel right calling her anything but ‘Dr’. Or ‘Mrs’. Blame it on my incurable politeness – see, no modesty there!),  I totally re-evaluated my thoughts on modesty, arrogance and humility. And Google agrees with me, it seems –  “being relatively moderate, limited, or small”  (And we ALL know Google is never wrong)

!!!!!!!!!

No, no, no. Small? LIMITED? Where amongst such words is room for EXCELLENCE and ACHIEVEMENT?

Err… That’s right, nowhere. None. Zilch. Zero.

SO THE POINT OF THIS LONG DISCOURSE IS THIS: You got something you’re good at? Don’t fall prey to faux – humility which really tells you to shut up and live a life of smallness and moderacy. Embrace it. Really. It’s not considered arrogant to have self worth. Unless you really are Kanye West an obnoxious and pompous person, because in that case, this post is not for you, and you need a fat plate of humble pie!

Special thanks to Dr Angelou for continuing to inspire and provoke thought, even in passing. It may have taken me this long to discover her genius, but I am so glad I have unearthed such greatness.

P.S: I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings is now added to my [already long] list of summer reads. Yayy!


I want to know what you all think. Is modesty just a ploy to keep up seemingly humble appearances rather than support humility? Do you disagree? I’m really quite interested in reading your thoughts! 

 Till next time (which may be later, rather than sooner, seeing as my FINAL exam in the world looms),

Seyi

xxx