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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Here’s What I’ll be Doing in 2017

2017-roadmap

2017 – An overview

I’ll try to make this as short as I can

I’m a Christian and my life goal is to become like Christ. That means I want to be a loving, accommodating, patient and wise human being. That’s my definition of an awesome human being.

I also believe that’s the highest aspiration of being. I may not look like it yet but I’m definitely going to keep trying till I do.

So in 2017, I want to pray more

Prayer centers me. I don’t know about others but I don’t make major decisions in my life without praying. Prayer works but that’s not really all there is to prayer. It’s not a Joker card. For me, it’s a simple way of leaning on something and someone who has become real to me over the years.

I say this because 2017, I’ll be making a lot of big decisions. Tough ones. And these will have ripple effects on those closest to me. So pray I shall.

In 2017, I’m going to learn French

I’m a communication professional, at least that’s what my certificate says. If that’s the case, it’s good to be able to communicate in different languages. I believe it creates an opportunity for you to interact with a whole different set of people, the ones who have been excluded from my cultural bubble for a long time.

The plan is to be able to speak the language and hold average conversations in 4 months and be able to write fluidly in it in 6 months. I’ll be taking note of my journey to achieving this so if I’m successful, anyone can follow suit and become proficient in the language also, probably in less time.

benefits-of-learning-french

I’ll have French on the brain in a few months

In 2017, I’m going to obsess over teaching techniques and learning behaviour

Let me explain.

If I want to learn about something, I have to obsess over it. That’s the way I got to learn about Fiction and Copywriting, modding the Android OS, video games and computer technology. Obsessing over these things has profited me eventually in life so it’s kinda how I do things.

Why Study techniques? Well, I’ve been teaching teenagers in sunday school for a while and I noticed that a lot of young kids especially the ones who attend public school struggle to keep up with their mates in private schools. That wasn’t a surprise. But I also noticed a lot of the private students still struggle with reading and making proper sentences or even expressing themselves.

This seems to be a general problem especially with kids from lower middle class families and below. And I want to do something about it.

Researching (obsessing over) teaching techniques and learning behaviour is the first step. Once I understand the best way to help these kids, I can start the next step which is to either join initiatives aimed at educating children or start one.

Who knows? The fun will be in the journey.

If you do run into any articles, research papers or real world programs that you think would interest me, please do not hesitate to send them my way. There’s only so much ground I can cover alone. Thanks.

Listen more and talk less

When you talk, you are only repeating what you already know. But if you listen, you may learn something new.” ― Dalai Lama

Last year, I made a decision to stuff my mouth, avoid arguments and listen more. This year I’ll be doing it again.

No matter how sure you are about your point, there’s usually another angle to the story. Sometimes, when interacting with people, it’s not about who’s right or wrong, even though they may have wrong beliefs and value systems. It’s more about understanding where the other party is coming from.

It takes understanding to stop yourself from arguing and instead, walk over to the other person’s side of the river and see his point.

I must confess, it was hard. It’s like the universe was waiting for me to make that decision and then decided to punish me. Especially on social media. Lots and lots of opinions, many of them rooted in ignorance, misinformation or just plain stupidity.

But listen I did. I kept myself from engaging even though sometimes I slipped into old habits. On a scale of 100, I’d score myself 90%.

But I noticed something, even my own opinions, some of which I’ve held on to for years have evolved. Because I have another point of view, another side to the story, it’s easier to empathise. A wider frame of reference makes your views and opinions richer and void of myopia. It’s also easier to reason the way the other person is reasoning and help plug holes in their logic.

It’s not foolproof. Some people will still not listen to reason. But at the end of the day, I have grown. It was such a rewarding experience that I am going to do it again in 2017.

all-ears

I’m all ears

Build Buffrspace

I work at a startup called Buffrspace and we facilitate workspace sharing. That’s a fancy way of saying we help people find and book office spaces online. It’s a seamless experience and offices are accessible ondemand. If you’re a freelancer, starting up your own business, run a training program or you just need a place to run your side gigs during the weekends,  Buffrspace has every kind of workspace imaginable. And it’s all available ondemand. It’s pretty cool if I say so myself.

I’ll be building it with a kickass team and my head is already bursting with hundreds of ideas on how to build the brand.

Write more

Goes without saying. If I plan to stay away from hunger and homelessness, I need to get better as a writer. To do that will require writing even more than I already do.

I also need to start committing time weekly to working on my short stories. So, I guess a fitting subtopic to this is:

Get a short story published in an international publication.

Yes I can! lol

Exercise

Sitting and staring at a screen all day isn’t healthy at all. I already have a morning routine which I abandoned for some reason last year. I’m going to revive it, tweak it a bit and get with the program. Which leads to my next point…

Run the marathon

And finish it this time. Read the previous post for context.

Fall in love

Finally, I have a feeling 2017 is when I’ll finally find love. And this time, love will stay. Hallelujah! Can’t say more than that cos I don’t want to jinx it but I sure got that feeling.

Who knows what this new year holds for us? Whatever curveballs it throws, I’m ready. Are you?

Onward!

2016 in Review

2016-in-retrospect_header

Whew! What a year, right?

Thank God it’s finally over.

It’s time to go over all the important things that happened during the year.

First things first, I ran the marathon

img_20160206_075633607_hdr

Why so serious, bros?

img_20160206_134917743 Let me put that in context. I ran the marathon with no preparation whatsoever. The decision was made in the middle of an exchange with a friend on Facebook. And the next thing I knew, I was buying sneakers and mentally psyching myself up for the marathon.

I didn’t finish though. I started the run alone but I picked up a running partner along the way – Smith. We did almost 10km together before his calves gave way and he had to sit down. I decided to stay with him and we walked the rest of the way till he got to where he could get a bus.

I probably should have left him when he got the muscle pull and continued with my run but I just didn’t feel right about leaving him there. By the time I got to the 37km mark, the marathon was over.

Next year, I’ll run it again.

Selfie Maestro

img_20161022_124210 img_20161022_123829 img_20160930_134413 img_20160525_102408 img_20160514_111458 img_20160423_122720

I took a lot of selfies this year. Apart from the fact that I use selfies to bookmark events, I didn’t take many pictures growing up. So, this may be a subconscious way of making up for that. I don’t know. I’m not a shrink. Whatever.

Globetrotter

I travelled this year more than I’ve traveled in years. When I was in school, traveling was a part of a part of the curriculum. I went to Ghana, Ondo and Abeokuta. Since then, I’ve been living in Lagos comfortably. This year, I went to Ibadan and Ondo state. It’s not much if you’re an actual global nomad, but it was a big deal to me. All the stress of packing your bags, meeting new people, treading that really really bad road with all the potholes, the money you spend for transport…

I don’t know how y’all do it, those of you who travel a lot but you have my utmost respect.

Career Rocket

December 2015, I quit my job at TechCabal. And just took time off anything work. January, I got a part time gig as a tech writer.

Eventually, in May, I joined Buffrspace as Head of Communications. It was scary at first but I have the best boss in the whole world. Everything you need in an oga – discipline, inspiration, focus – he has in spades. I’ve settled comfortably into the role and I’m pumped for what lies ahead. Here’s to doing great things in 2017.

Love

I’m developing a really storied love life. If I could describe it, I’d say it’s like a sinusoidal wave with very high highs and extremely low lows.You start to wonder how much a heart can take before it gets fed up and gives up. Hearts get broken and mended. With each cycle of the wave, I get wiser and smarter.

The decision to spend the rest of your life with someone is a big deal. Like the popular song goes, Only fools rush into such a thing.

Gratitude

I’m grateful for work. I’m grateful for being able to do something I love doing. And getting paid to do it. I’m grateful I get to work remotely a few days a week. I’m grateful to have a strong support system around me – my mom, my sis, my boss, my pastor and my friends.

I’m grateful for this blog. I’m grateful to have a palette to spread my thoughts out and piece them back together. I’m grateful for everyone who has spent time reading some of those thoughts here on this blog. Believe it or not, seeing these posts get read and even shared does a lot to encourage a writer.

Thank you.

Next post? What I’ll be doing in 2017.

Backspace – A Short Story

backspace

Hello again.

Twice in one month, right? Well, it’s Christmas. Season of giving et al.

Just wanted to upload a short, short story (that’s not a typo) I entered into a competition some years ago. It got longlisted. But it didn’t make the shortlist. When you read it, you’ll probably see why. LOL.

The story is along my genre – science fiction.

Enjoy.

…………………………………………………………………………………………..

I checked my wristwatch, making sure for the hundredth time that I’d configured it properly.

Then I leapt off the balcony of my apartment, 30 stories up. A one-way, express ride to the bottom.

Despite myself, I felt giddiness tear through my body. I was falling, flying, free at last.

I’d read so much about this moment, the fear that grips the heart just before jumping, the engulfing helplessness as your body swims through the air like an eel in the savanna river, the exhilaration of racing to your own death.

Maybe it’s the perverse rush of adrenaline, but every book I’d read about this was right. At the moment you take off go, everything becomes clear. You think straight. Your memory works right.

And I was gaining speed.

Thoughts ran through my mind like a train trying to make up for lost time.

I thought of my wife and the first time I saw her, smiling her disarming smile. She was singing at the karaoke bar with her friends, so full of life, and showing off the firmest legs I’d ever seen.

Athlete legs.

I thought of how similar the mix of emotions coursing through me are to the ones that pusled through my veins when I approached and offered to buy her and her friends a drink.

I remembered our first hug, first kiss, the first time I knew I loved her, and the first time I told her; the way she feigned shock and said nothing. I remember the glee I felt finding the “I love you too” note she’d slipped into my pocket later that night.

I remembered watching her walk down the aisle towards me, firm short steps, her smile still as captivating as ever. Our hearts were saying the same thing that day – you’re my soulmate.

I was shooting through the air now, and the train wasn’t letting up.

The memories came in flashes now. I saw us having our first fight. I saw the fights get worse.

I saw the first time I hit her; the first time I hit too hard. I felt the shame that coursed through me when she returned home from the hospital, limping.

It’s my fault she’ll never run again. I’m the villain in her fairytale.

In a few minutes, I’ll hit the ground and make a mess, my brains will probably make the front page of the PM news.

I don’t care.

Every brochure on timejumping you’ll ever read never tells you what the final seconds of your life will be like.

My account is probably the first on record. So you’re lucky to be reading this.

Just before hitting the ground, I felt myself getting sucked out of my body into my wristwatch. For a moment, I was in two places.

There was my body, still in free fall. On the other hand, I was watching said body falling. I was literally zipping along beside my own body like a synchronized diver in the wristwatch.

I even saw my body plunge facefirst into the walkway at breakneck speed.

I was right, my body did make a mess. I was in the wristwatch though, if that makes any sense, and it just zipped through the floor like it was made of water.

The next thing I knew, I was on a bed, couldn’t move. And I was also naked – I could feel a draught all over my nether-regions.

I could also hear voices. Robots. Cool, so I didn’t have to be embarrassed. Not like I wasn’t comfortable naked. I had one big reason to be confident. Let’s not get into that.

“What time is entered on his watch?”

“2010/02/25.”

“You want to wager what bad decision this one made to want to timejump?”

“No. You aware I lost the last two bets? It seems I don’t come preprogrammed with the aptitude for this.”

“You should get an upgrade. My new firmware comes with one. Anyway, Client is ready. Prepare to reload him into time stream. “

The next thing I felt before everything went black was the feeling of being churned and then spread thin.

………………………….

25 Febraury, 2010.

Lara was celebrating, having the time of her life. Her ten months of training had finally paid off – a slot on the track team and a shot at the gold at the Commonwealth Games in April. She was rocking out with her friends on the karaoke mini-stage, singing her heart out.

They belted out song after song till the customers in the bar started giving them the dirty look.

Finally, the girls made their way to their table. Bottles of wine and plates of food covered the table. Lara gave the waiter a puzzled look.

“Courtesy of the Oga at the bar,” he said pointing.

A handsome young man, weary with twice his life memories sat at the bar, smiling. Then he raised his glass.

Lara and friends mirrored him with their glasses as well.

Lara looked at the table again. It was filled with all her favorites – down to the color of the serviettes.

She looked at the man again. He smiled at her. Then he got up and walked away, not looking back.

“Who’s that guy?”

“I don’t know. But I have this weird feeling I’m supposed to.”

[END]