Moving On

Photo Credit: SecretsofaGoodGirl

How a person treats you is a reflection of them, not youthings you tell yourself when going through the aftermaths of a breakup.

Why do they call it moving on? Like it’s a feel-good thing.

Moving on doesn’t feel good. It hurts.

It’s like deciding to go on a diet. Or quitting soda drinks cold turkey.

It sucks at first, and the only bright spot is the logic part of your brain telling you you’re doing the right thing. In time, that voice will get louder. And easier to believe.

And one day, you would have moved on.

But not today. Today, you’re still moving on.

And it feels awful.

It is admitting you made a mistake, a poor decision. It’s admitting you lived with this mistake either oblivious or too stubborn to admit it.

You should have known. The signs were there.

When her words didn’t change but her actions did. You should have known.

She kept saying I love you but she stopped calling. You should have known.

She stopped caring. And then she stopped talking. You should have known.

Finally, you pull the plug, and the dejection overwhelms you.

This you knew. Anticipated.

It didn’t stop you feeling like your heart had been run over by a steam train.

I let you in where no one has been before. You went in and awakened places in me that I never thought I had, then left me when I’d come to depend on youthoughts that keep you crying into your sheets at night.

So yes, moving on sucks. But staying put would suck even more.

So dont.

Photo Credit: SecretsofaGoodGirl

It’s my little sister’s birthday

Itunu Taiwo GlowingScenes

Today is my sister’s birthday.

It took me all day to write this post in my head. The problem is that two months ago, this girl took to her blog to finish me with praise of the highest kind.

She made me feel like the best thing that has ever happened to mankind. The post was full of mush and gush and every other nice sentiment I can think of. And contrary to (a troubling) popular belief, I’m actually a soft guy who likes such things likes blatant expressions of adoration, no matter how corny.

Anyways, back to the matter at hand. Writing something about my junior sis.

The earliest memory I have about my sis is walking her to school (we attended the same primary school). The reason why I remember this is probably because it was our daily ritual, walking to school which was about a 30 minute walk from our home in Akoka.

I didn’t realise it then, but a huge part of my life would be wrapped up in my relationship with this small girl.

The next memory I have that involves my little sis is a particular argument I had with one of my friends. I don’t remember what the argument was about but it must have been pretty serious, (as serious as an argument between 8-10 year olds can be). I remember this girl standing right beside me and supporting every single point I made, even when I drew facts right out of thin air. When I laughed she laughed, when I raised my voice, she was my backup. We usually won those arguments. Nobody was a match for our tag team.

More than two decades later, this babe still does the same for me everyday of my life.

I remember us spending hours playing with the Sony Walkman, singing and recording our shrill kid voices as we sang the songs from Sound of Music. And then she’d let me adlib the really tricky parts and I’d ruin the song by overdoing it and she’d laugh till her eyes teared up.

Side Note: D-Re-Mi will never be the same again. I always hear her voice in my head whenever I hear the song.

That’s a tradition we’re yet to break. We still mess around with songs. God help you if it’s your song we decide to cover next. God help you. It’s good to know there’s someone I can goof off with and let my screwball side run wild. And I am one goofy person.

My sister thinks I’m the funniest person in the world.

Some of the most important memories of my life have her in them. Time will not allow me to narrate all the times we ganged up against mom and dad (mom especially) and just bullied them till we had our way.

Or the times we spent doing bible study. Whenever my sister is confused about something, she’d come to me to ask. As if I’m a rhema machine. I should probably have been charging you money for all those consultation sessions.

Today, with all the great people she reads and follows on the internet – John Piper, John and Lisa Bevere, Francine Rivers etc, it’s a mystery to me WHY she still come to me to ask questions. I honestly don’t know. But I’m glad to know she still thinks my thoughts are worth hearing.

But that’s my little sister.

My little amazing sister! She’s so smart. And pretty. And funny. And patient. Whenever she writes, she sets the pages on fire. If anyone’s going to make it as a writer, it’s her.

She’s passionate. And focused. I don’t know how she churns out 2000 word episodic stories every week. But somehow she manages even with a fulltime MSc program.

I don’t know how soft and tender hearted people can be so resilient and strong, but my sister pulls it off effortlessly.

Gadget freak. Cute dresser. Troublemaker. Yam lover. Perpetual fine girl. Confidant.

And best friend of my childhood.

Itunu Taiwo, when you read this, I want you to know , you are cherished. There are no words to convey your importance in my life.

I wish you a very Happy Birthday today.

Mid-September Roundup

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Hello

I’ve not been around here as much as I used to. I know. So, I figured I’ll be posting some things I work on at the office. I write about technology and startups for a living (for now) and a lot of what I come across is quite interesting. That’s what the roundup is about. Links to some of the interesting things happening at work and in Africa. I’m playing around with a Weekly/Monthly Writer Roundup as well but that depends on how well this goes.

By the way, thanks for sharing my last post, Love is like an Old VW Beetle, especially on Facebook. You guys rock. Site traffic was encouraging this week.

Anyway, here goes:

Borrow Money Online, Pay back Anytime

I worked on an interview with one of the startups disrupting the credit facilities in Nigeria – Aella Credit. The interview was with one of the founders. They’ve been able to come up with a way to lend out money using Biometric Verification Numbers (BVN). And it’s all done online. Who knew Nigerians loved borrowing money so much? The company’s had a 300% growth rate and no defaulters so far.

Red Devil News in Pidgin

I discovered a Manchester United Twitter handle that tweets out commentary and Red Devil news, all in pidgin english. And iIt’s done really well. Couldn’t stop laughing at some of the captions. Perfect for Friday binge reading. I curated some of my favorites here.

Ghanaian App Starter Pack

I had to dive into Ghanaian news sites, interviews and what not just to get this article right. At one point, I started reading about power outages in the country. Turns out, I have a perfectionist side when it comes to my writing. Guess they were right; when you write, you discover yourself.

That’s it for now. Enjoy yourself. Take #longwalks and try some #stargazing this weekend. It’ll be fun.

Photo Credit: Orangeadnan via Compfight cc

Love is like an old VW Beetle

3am. It’s late. I’m tired. I should be sleeping. But my muse keeps odd hours. What’s a writer to do?

Today, I’m talking about love.

Wait, come back!

I promise to TRY to be brief.

Comfy? Good. Here goes….

Love means different things to a lot of people. Personally, I like to think of love like this:

beetle

Whenever I see the original Volkswagen Beetle, a lot of memories flood my heart. You see, my dad’s first car was a Beetle.

I remember the days when my dad would drive me and my sister to school on rainy days. It could cross any type of road and get you to your destination. That old Beetle took us on several 3 hour trips to the village and we never had a flat tire.

Love is rugged.

This beetle also required patience. The car isn’t particularly a runner. I can’t remember it ever doing above 80km/hr at any time. So our trips were usually longer than normal. But it just made the journey sweeter because I would fall asleep to the sound of my parents talking and those conversations somehow played out in my dreams. I can’t tell you how good that felt.

I remember my dad used to drive my mom to the market at Mile 12 and wait for hours in the Beetle, reading the dailies while she hunted for affordable groceries. That was my dad at his most patient. He never did that in his second car.

Love is patient.

The Beetle is like a souvenir of the best years of my parent’s marriage. My folks had the best marriage in the world, at least until my dad made enough money and got a new car. It seems strange but I can’t think of any time my folks were happy in the new car.

I remember the door bolts were weak and it took quite an effort to make the locks click in place. I would climb into the passenger seat , jam the door but my dad would tell me it wasn’t locked.

“Open it again and jam it.” He’d say. Meanwhile, this was a Beetle. There were no fancy red indicators or beeping sounds to warn you when the door wasn’t properly locked. Years of experience had helped him recognise the sound of the locks clicking in place. I remember before I hit my two digit years, I would drop my bag and use both hands to swing-jam the door just to make it lock.

Love takes time.

I remember this car needed warming every day. My dad had a routine. He’d warm it first thing in the morning, check the oil and wash the body and tires. Every.single.day.

But some days, the Beetle would not start despite the routine care. And then, I and the neighbours’ kids would eagerly help him push-start the car. It was such a big win whenever the car growled to life as we strained against it with our little arms.

Love takes work.

If my parents didn’t separate, this would be their 33 year anniversary. But they did. Immediately the old Beetle was traded for a new car, that was the beginning of the end.

Forever the old VW Beetle will have a special place in my heart.

What made this car special, and what makes love special, is its ruggedness. Its simple minded ability to keep going regardless of the situation.

Whenever I think of love, the real kind, I always fall back to this definition – the old Beetle kind.

Stubborn, dependable, rugged. Not perfect, maybe not a looker but, if I’m looking for a ride on the longest journey of my life, I wouldn’t think twice about hopping in the VW Beetle.

I feel the same way about love.

It must be with stargazing and longwalks, though. 😀

Writing Competition: Flash Fiction Contest

logo-Museum FoundacionCan you tell a story in a hundred (100) words or less? Even if you can’t, you should still give this a try.

The competition first prize is $20,000 for the best short story. All entries will be evaluated by an international jury of great prestige, and the finalist’s stories will be published. A maximum of two stories per person of no more than 100 words each, should be submitted from the following link:

http://www.museodelapalabra.com/en/short-tales-contest/4-edition/participation-form

The César Egido Serrano Foundation is the non-profit Foundation convener of this initiative, and whose objective is to use words and therefore dialogue as a tool of understanding between different cultures and religions.

I’ve already submitted my entry. I’m recommending the contest to you (what are friends for?). If you do win, I also get a $1,000 prize for recommending you. So please, when prompted, enter the following identification code in the registration form:

27696

In case you need tips on writing great flash fiction, here’s a great resource:

http://howtothinksideways.com/shop/free-three-week-flash-fiction-class/

Last year, the César Egido Serrano Foundation were the prize best equipped by word of the world, and it is under study by Guinness World Records. The Museo de la Palabra is a heritage site of the Fundación César Egido Serrano, it is located in Quero, Toledo (Spain), on the first route of Don Quixote.

Have fun!