Your Love Was Tame

Photo Credit: StockProject1

The calls were the first sign that our fire was going out

Calls of convenience

Like a chore, a bore, a dull activity needed to be done

How did it come to this?

From our endless talks about nothing and everything

Now all we have is the rare and awkward exchange on twitter, on Facebook

Now, all you’re good for is blog fodder

I caress your face and walk with you down the halls of memory, just to write about you.

You came, saw what you wanted, not what was there, and you left

I wish I could hate you but I can’t

I wish I could hate you, it’d be so much easier

Hate is a very simple emotion. It’s straightforward

But this… what I feel now does it even have a name?

My stupid brain is at it again, laying the blame on the only person who’ll listen – me

I should have run after you, sometimes I tell myself this

Broken down the doors as the picture of tomorrow I’d built in my head of us together went up in flames

My call logs say different.

They tell me I did – I fought, I waited, I prayed

You still left

You left me with only time to take care of my aching heart

Now I realise, leaving was for the best

Now I realise, your love was lukewarm

I wanted to say I’d rise again like the phoenix

But did we ever burn bright? Are there even ashes for me to be reborn?

You did this to us

I’m done carrying your scars

You used to be part of me. But no more

Now I’m whole again

I’m whole

 

5 Things I’m Grateful for at 32

This will probably be one of those long ass articles I’m prone to write once in 5 months. So you know the drill

Introvert. I spend a lot of time thinking, reflecting, having conversations with myself and replaying conversations with others. During my trips down memory lane, I rarely venture beyond a few weeks out.

It’s my birthday in a few hours though. And so, the “reflect on the past 5-10 years of your life” elves have been visiting.

This year, I looked back and saw so many reasons to be grateful. I crossed the big 3-0 a while ago and since I’m not in the “Have I achieved all I set out to achieve by 30?” camp because let’s face it, all I thought about before age 30 were comic books, videogames, Jesus and girls. Come to think of it, not much has changed. Anyways…

So this week, I made a few trips back in time. I recalled a lot of conversations I had with myself that were inspired by articles I had read. These were the years before I became a writer.

Let me give that some context.

It was 2011, and yours truly was studying web design and AutoCAD at NIIT in Ikeja. I was pretty enamored with the writing life as at then and would stalk my favorite authors online – reading not just their books but their op-eds, their blogs, their interviews, everything. I guess I was looking for the secret to the successful writing life (there’s none, stop believing those bullshit articles cos many of us worked hard and got lucky).

Anyways, so I spend an inordinate amount of time, especially on my trips to and from NIIT, reading tons of materials online. Then I came across an article by Stephen King, a particular statement in it would touch my heart till today.

Talent is getting published and getting paid. Did you write something for someone? Did they send you a check? If you cashed the check and it didn’t bounce, and if you then paid the light bill with the money, I consider you talented.

I wrote that quote straight from memory (I think it’s 90% accurate). The statement meant the world to me back then. It still does. Here’s the most recent version of the article I could find, if you’re interested.

I’m grateful today that, despite being told repeatedly by a former boss to abandon my desire to be a writer cos I’d starve, despite several false starts, after years of doing pro bono work for NGOs, today, I’m a writer who pays the light bill.

Second thing I’m grateful for. I recently discovered a truth about myself. A sad one.

Somehow I’d come under the illusion that everyone else’s happiness supercedes mine.  I’m grateful for my good friend, Chi, who confronted me and helped me realise this.I don’t know how it got there but there it was, staring me in the face.

Some symptoms were: When people are horrible to me, I rarely confront them. I’d prefer to just withdraw and simmer in pain. Pain passes, wounds heal, better not to cause a fuss over hurt feelings or bruised egos. On the off-chance I do confront the perpetrator, I end up feeling guilty when they apologise. I feel bad I’ve made someone feel bad for something they did so I end up making an excuse right there for them and telling them it was all my fault. Toxic, I know.

I dont share my personal issues with the important people in my life. I can write an epistle about sweet nothings but when it comes to sharing the important stuffs – struggles, fears, hopes, desires, pains – nah, lock up! This has been a problem in many of my relationships and friendships. The reason is the same, guilt follows talking about that kind of stuff. In my head somehow, to rant is to be weak. And to be weak is to be a crappy partner or friend.

I could go on, but I’ll stop here.

So, I’m grateful for the opportunity to be finally self aware about these things and to begin the journey to recovery. Having been stuck in the horrible loop for three decades, it’s not going to be easy to fix but it will be done.

Which brings me to my next point. It’s 2-in-1.

I haven’t talked or written about my depression for a long time, either on the blog or in real life. For good reason, I’ve been doing really well, especially with avoiding triggers and embracing routines that curb the loop. But late last year, something happened that nearly dragged me back under.

Prior to this, my last bout of depression was in 2014. Since then, life’s been pretty awesome, (cos let’s face it, a day without depressive clouds is an awesome day, for those who know). But last year, a shitty boss and a broken heart nearly brought the clouds back in my life. I’m glad to say they never fully formed. I, Ibukun, looked the dragon in the face, flipped it the finger and walked away.

No more depression!

And so, I’m grateful for my support system. My amazing family – supportive, patient, my number one cheerleading squad, every win for me is celebrated with dancing and prayers and lots of food. They’re the best support system every writer should have (seriously fam, I’m considering packaging you and putting you up on Amazon :)).

Also grateful for my friends  – Gosh! I have the weirdest, nerdiest, craziest, funniest and loving collection of friends ever. They call, they visit, some actually write letters (imagine that!), they send memes, tweet random silly things at me, or even randomly plan mini vacations with me.

Honestly, God blessed me with friends and I know it.

Finally, I’m grateful to be punching in another year on the calendar tomorrow. There might be no party, but there will definitely be dancing and cake. Loads of it.

Here’s a random picture of me looking (and being) happy. That’s Olumo Rock in the background

Before you go, remember to send cake.

Thanks for reading!

Trusting the Process

Trust.

I’ve never understood how something so powerful, so pivotal, could be so fragile.

I don’t understand it but I’m thankful.

As a writer, you have to trust your writing process.

There are days I feel like a fraud. I wake up thinking, “Aha, this is the day everyone finds out just how much of a hack you are. The gig is up. You’ll try to write today and nothing but thrash will come out of your pen.”

Every day, I wake up with this thought. The thought isn’t an “in-your-face, yelling and screaming” thought. It’s more like a persistent irritating sound that you’ve relegated to the back of your mind when you’re deep in work.

This thought stays with me all morning till I sit at a desk to write. When it’s time to start punching out words, there’s this sudden moment I feel like running away from the computer, just run away and not come back.

“There’s nothing left to write. You’re done. You’ve finally met a blank page you couldn’t conquer.”

The only thing keeping me at that desk is Trust. I trust my process. (I also usually have Sade Adu playing in the background which helps but we’ll get to that eventually).

Every writer should have a process, especially if like me, you experience strong episodes of self doubt and impostor syndrome.

I remember that scene from Leap Year (pretty forgettable movie but this scene stuck). The guy said, when your house is on fire, what you love most is what you grab before running out.

Battling impostor syndrome is a bit like that. Every morning, as my internal world crumbles or goes up in flames, I stroll out of the house, with trust intact. Trust in my process.

As long as I can get to the table with my process, it will eventually turn out okay. I’ll show up, deliver and walk away.

The gig isn’t over yet, my con is still intact. Live to write another day. Till the next day. Then you get to do it all again.

Trust the process.

Photo Credit: Strategic Monk

Woman is human #IWD2017

You may not know her struggles, her pain, her fears, her worries. You may not know because she refuses to tell you. She’s been thought to be weak so telling you would make you think less of her, she fears.

She wears her scars well and hides them when she needs to.

But by God, you will surely feel her passion and see her fire. If you dare close your eyes, she will burn them off.

She’s been lied to for ages that she’s less than, that she’s not worthy, that she ought to know her place

But no more.

Light has come and now she knows – there’s no “place”. She will stand where everyone stands cos she’s you and me. She’s human.

She’ll embrace her dreams and chase them.

You’ll call her fiery and hot but it wont be because of what she’s wearing or the curves of her body. It will be because of her soul, the strength of her mind and the depth of her heart. It will be because of her tenacity as she chases her dreams, the way everyone does.

When she runs, when she yells, when she cries, when she sits in your office, when she speaks to you, remember:

Woman is human.

Happy International Women’s Day 2017

Being Single

LOL. What it usually feels like being single

Every Wanderer isn't Lost

If you’re not dating anybody.
Obviously, you’re single.

If you’ve dealt with pain and learnt how to master it on your own.
You are single.

If you’ve seen/heard Exes getting married with a wry smile on your face.
You are single.

If you stand in front of the mirror singing love songs to yourself.
You are single.

If you sing Timberlake’s, Mirror with no imaginary person in the mirror.
You are single.

If you’ve gone on girls night out a zillion times.
You are single.

If you’re still angry about hurts, pains and harm done to you.
You are bitterly single.

If your married friends are worried about you and your parents are silently watching & praying for you.
You are single.

If you’ve learnt to swing the loneliness ball positively.
You are single.

If like me, you’ve not dated in a year or more.
You are single.

PS: If…

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