Manny & the Brain – 20.03.18

One of those internal conversations..


Gets into a maruwa (tricycle) at night, going home from work..

Brain: Manuella, stop laughing for no reason, like an idiot ☹️.
Me: Leave me alone 😂🙄.
Brain: You do realise that you’re the only passenger in the maruwa, no 😥? And it’s an open vehicle; anyone can see you laughing with no one beside you 😶.
Me: Fine 🙄.
Brain: Lord, help me out here, please 😓☹️.

Me: You know you luhhhhhhhhhh me 😻😂.
Brain: 😐😐.

I do have a lot of apologising to do, I know 🙈🙊. I’ve been MIA without notice and I haven’t put anything up in what now feels like forever 🙈.

I don’t know from where I got the idea that I need to have a full-bodied (intro, body and conclusion) and lengthy write-up before I publish a post 😕. Beause I have loads of this kind of posts just sitting around!

Anyhoo, I’ve got more crazies than I can contain, and I’d love to share them with you 😻 (no, I’m not really lovestruck. I was just caught up in the moment 👀).

So, what I’m saying is that I should be doing more of these kinds of random (unplanned) posts 🌝.

Watches the conductor sat beside me as he brushes his fingers past all the good 100 naira notes and hands me my change. One look at it and I hand it right back for him to change it. Me: O de wa owo to ti yani yakuya, o de gbe fun mi 🙄. O ti ri arindin 😒. (And he looked for money that was horrendously mutilated, and he gave it to me 🙄. He has seen a dunce 😒.)
Brain: 😂😂.
Me: It’s not funny o. Stop laughing 🙄.
Brain: 😂😂😂😂🤣🤣🤣🤣.
Me: 🙄😐😂😂😂😂. Oh, Lord!

Ze End!

Comparison: What Lies Behind that State of Mind?

We all have, at least, that one shoe we want to wear, but belongs to someone else

I’m one of those, who are ever ready to tell you how you shouldn’t compare yourself to others because y’all are on a different journey and all those cliché stuff we all say at some point. It’s not that I don’t believe that statement. It’s a fact: we are on different and distinctively customised journeys. There’s no valid basis for comparison.

There are more reasons why I tell myself not to compare myself or my life circumstances to others, no matter how capriciously justifiable it may seem.

I tell myself: Each of us has a different arrangement with God and with destiny. That this person has it all together in one solid piece now doesn’t mean that it’ll be so in the next how many years. That you can’t seem to strike that fortune just yet doesn’t mean that you won’t ever. Your timelines are different, so work with what you have in front of you. Sometimes, I even take it a step further: What you see now and you desire is small in comparison to what is to come for you. Be patient, Manuella. God is not sleeping.

Now, these are only a few of the pep talks I give myself when I catch myself, more often, having finished comparing myself to someone else, or right when I start that train of thought.

But today, I’m having a different talk with myself. I couldn’t even make out what my precise sentiments were ☹️.

One minute, I was like, Awww! Look at these people, so happy and jolly! But they didn’t even invite me ☹️. So I reminded myself: 🙄 Just look at you! Aren’t you the one that goes to lengths just to make yourself unavailable in their social circles? You built an entire city around your fortress, and then built a fortress around the city! So what are you complaining about? Meanwhile, you wouldn’t have been able to attend! You were at work, after all 🙄.

So I snapped out of my self-centered thought. I think I do this quite often.

I was then forced to examine the way I felt initially; how somewhat entitled I felt. I also had to examine how I felt after the reflection on how I had a significant part to play. Initially, I felt like, Why was I on my own? Why doesn’t anyone invite me to any of these things? Why doesn’t anyone remember I exist? Why don’t I get called out?

The honest truth is that these people are people that I would not have wanted to see because they would be looking to catch up on things that I don’t consider their business anymore. Another thing is that they’d want to rebuild friendships that I was only too happy to let go of once upon a time, and am not particularly optimistic about rekindling. You’d be amazed the lengths I go to stay hidden from and invisible to some people, especially people from a part of my past I wasn’t too enthusiastic about 🙈.

Essentially, the things we see in others and wish for are sometimes not ours because we block them from coming our way (which we will never remember when we’re indicting ourselves for being unfortunate). Some other times, we forget that people have things they struggle with, which are blessings we effortlessly enjoy, and whose “blessing” status we don’t even recognise because we’ve never had to seek those things. These people whose shoes we so badly wish to wear have sores for decades under their feet, but we only see the Zanotti and Louboutin shoes and whatever else we see on their feet.

But what is worse is how all this comparison makes us feel about ourselves, whether or not we realise it. I may not be able to list them all, but there’s nothing positive about the way it makes us feel. Among others, comparison makes us feel unfortunate, victimised, ill-fated. We may, we may not be. But I believe that I’m not any of those things.

So, when next we ask ourselves, Why does this person have everything I want?, we should remember to ask ourselves, What if all the things I enjoy are the very things s/he lacks? What if I’m not ready for it yet? What if it isn’t all it’s made out to be? Life is not fair, as you know. We can’t exchange our good health, riches, perfect sight, working limbs and co. for someone else’s (whatever it is), neither can we always have what we want.

Just know that in due time, what’s meant to be yours will be yours, with all the effort and appropriate attitude. So, do what you can while you can.

One Weird/ Typical/ Whatever Night Going Home..

What goes on in your mind when you’re just watching life go by?

What kind of blogpost title is that even 🙄?

Abeg! Na you sabi 😒! Let me start my tale.

So this was the state of my mind going home one night..

While the driver of the yellow bus (danfo) was waiting at a bus stop to see if luck would be on his side and passengers would board, I spotted one woman walking by on the sidewalk. She has a very nice bum bum. Come, I don’t say “bum bum”; she has a nice bum, a nice ass. I hope she’s pregnant; that tummy is too big to be an ordinary pot. She’s got a very nice bum tho. I like it.

Some minutes later, another woman was innocently walking on the side of the road. Ah, that woman has a nice bum. It’s very nice.

Since the driver was speeding like a demon (to my delight), I decided to help him check his back and his side. I should even help him check his back. That thing (his mirror) is not working.

I was writing and looked up, only to see a lot of people boarding the bus. These must be church people. Let me put my phone in one corner before they start to shine their eyes inside my phone. But I’m sitting by the window and that’s how those useless possessed animals roaming the road will come and snatch someone’s phone inside this hold up. Come sef, the one that is making loud phone call behind me and talking into my available ear 🙄. Nonsense and rubbish 😒. But I don’t want to put my earphone in that ear 😩.

The smell of shit snapped me out of my monologue. I looked up to see a LAWMA (waste management) truck on the other side of the road 😩. H’o my goodneizz! Come, why are there so many people on the road these days 🙄.

From the moment those church people boarded the bus, I kept turning to my side to look at the guy that sat beside me when they boarded. I hope he’s not looking at my phone. I mean, he shouldn’t be able to see what I’m writing unless he’s got microscopic eyes 😕. And why does he keep smiling? What’s so funny 😕. After the last look I took at him, Ewo! He’s not smiling! His mouth is just positioned like that, with his teeth trying to say hi. Shoo! Nawa o!

After praying for a red bus (you see, you’ve gotta love them if you’re not a fan of sluggishness) and waiting at my connecting bus stop for one for less than five minutes, a white (coaster) bus turned up. Ijora, Ijora! Eii! This one is going to Costain 😕. So I got on it. After all, it’s the same price as the red one. And it’s normally not slow.

I kept looking back and saw a red bus halting to a stop right behind the bus I was in. And the bus I was in was already starting to move ☹️. That’s how I’ll come down now, only for that red bus to be going to Yaba-Oyingbo 😕. Let me just stay on this one and hope it moves fast, instead of risking it and waiting for Lord knows how long before a Kpangroof-Onipanu-Ojuelegba-Stadium-Barrack-Costain one comes along ☹️.

So I stayed put and spent Lord knows how many minutes looking back and stretching my neck to see if that red bus was catching up yet. Good. I’m not even sure it was going to Costain. But this one (that I’m in) that is doing sme sme and driving as if the engine will die if he dares to move fast nko 😩. H’o my goodneizz!

Minutes and some little traffic later, I looked back again. The red bus wasn’t even in sight (it was far behind). Yass 💃🏾🙌🏾! But this one needs to move else we’ll sleep on the road today 😫.

A few minutes later..

Nooooooooooooooo 😫😭. I said it! That red bus will eventually pass us 😢. With the way these ones are moving as if they were told that their destiny is somewhere in between where they picked me up from and where they’re going 😒. Won ma ma rin b’igbin (they’ll be moving like snails) 😒. Nonsense and rubbish. That red bus had better be going to Yaba-Oyingbo 😫.

A few minutes to my destination’s bus stop, the bus stopped at a stop and was starting to spend more than a few seconds there. Let’s be going 😩😫! Which kind of alakoba is this one gan 🙄!

After Lord knows how math minutes in total of whimpering here and there, I got to my penultimate stop; the one from which I get to my house 😪.

Funny story, this is me every other day 🙊.

Alright my lovelies! See you again soon 😘! If you’re seeing this, thank you for reading 😁!

A very excited Manuella. xx

What Are You Refusing to Come to Terms With?

We all have demons we battle with denial and procrastination, and end up handing them the baton to catch up with our happiness

Facing something squarely requires courage and faith, among other things.

Inner voice: Manuella, listen to me.
*blocks ears*
Inner voice: 😐
Me: I know what you want to say and I don’t want to hear it.
Inner voice: Well, I’m only telling you because I want you to get comfortable with the idea. And I want you to stop fighting it.
Me: God, why do I have to listen to this? 😭
Inner voice: Manuella, it’s your imminent reality; you can’t keep fighting it and running away from it. You can’t see it yet, and you don’t even want to because of fear!
Me: 🤦🏾‍♀️😢

Very vague, right? I know. The topic to which this conversation applies to — thankfully, no longer on a daily basis — is one that’s mortally personal to me 🙈. I don’t know if the conversation sounds familiar to you; if you’ve ever had to battle an inner voice with your own unbelief, denial and avoidance of something you sense is imminent. If you got a chance, you’d probably delay that part of the future.

For some people, it’s detaching yourself from someone or something or a process you know is toxic for you. For others, it’s having to make a really big decision that has a significant impact on your life or on others’ lives. For some others, it’s bursting your own bubble, knowing that you’ve got your head in the clouds when you ought to apply self-honesty and practicality to your situation. It could be anything! Whatever it is, you’re simply running away from it. We have that in common, stranger.

Your catalyst may be fear, it may be your rejection of the imminent, it could be anything else.

Your mind independently and uncontrollably meditates on it, only awaking your consciousness when you find yourself reflexively engaging the meditation.

What are we refusing to come to terms with? Because the farther we run away from it, the longer the distance we have to walk back to face it squarely and deal with it.

Conventions: Social or “You”?

We do live in a world that constantly tries to play “doll” with our lives

Some of the older generation — and those who yield to everything they say because they don’t want to get on the former’s bad side — would say that I have wrong or lopsided ambitions or outlooks on life. And when I try to sell them a minute in my lenses, they say I’m stubborn.

Nah. They’ve got it all wrong 😏. I’m just not a fan of social conventions, [conclusive] generalisations and stereotypes. More importantly, I’m just convinced and clearly confident and comfortable in my beliefs and values, even if I’m the only one in my pool.

Sometimes, I stick out like a full lemon in the middle of a red velvet cake. I’m just not-your-ordinary-girl like that 🙃. Oh, please, this is not a conclusive generalisation 😂. In some instances, you just might find me seeming to follow social convention 👀. Here’s the deal: sometimes, I do; sometimes, I just happen to do be doing “me”, which is incidentally the norm by social convention.

For instance, I don’t believe that life should have a certain timeline with chronologically identical events, and that it’s how everybody’s life should go. Nah, B. That’s balls.

On the other hand, I do want to wait until I’m married to have kids; I simply don’t want to raise my kids with the risk of an absentee and/or uncommitted father, neither do I want to raise a family without a man I’ve got locked down (on all fronts) 😏. Boo, we in this together; ain’t no one going nowhere 😂! Jokes apart though, for me, marriage and family necessitate a greater sense of indefinite commitment to one person and eventually, a group of people.

Those are the rules. That’s what we practice. It’s been like that for centuries.” Weirdest thing!!!! I took a break to watch Zee World (My Lost Home) 🙊 and I heard those words from Bridge (I don’t even know if that’s how his name is spelled 😂!). I just spent how many minutes reading through the info for the next week to see if his name was anywhere there, so I could dob the spelling 🙊🙈. Whatever (in Shabd’s voice 👀)!

Back to the matter. What in the world is “those are the rules”?? Who set them? Where are they set in stone?? What century do you live in?? Who dictates to you how you should live?? Society or you?? Or maybe me.. 😏😂.

You’ve probably heard it a million times, but there’s absolutely no valid reason out there why you should live your life following rules (so long as they’re not legally binding) that “someone” “somewhere” impliedly or explicitly set, if you’re not convinced in your heart that it’s a suitable way of life for you.

You came to this world alone; you’ll leave alone. Don’t let anyone map your life out for you. If it’s not God doing that, then it should be you. Not me, not Gandhi, not Shakespeare, not your whoever, most certainly not people you don’t know from Adam! Do you!

I’m hungry ☹️. Baiiii 🙋🏾‍♀️✌🏾!!!!

Wait, 🙊 I’m going to start a software engineering/development blog within the next couple of months 💃🏾. If you’re a fellow programmer/developer, it finna be lit 🔥🔥!!!! I take detailed ass notes for days!!!!

One Tuesday Morning..

When public transport that never works in your favour particularly targets you on a work morning

After waiting 20-something minutes at the bus stop for a red bus, my colleague whom I was sure must have left already gradually appeared in the distance. He had come to join me in the wait.

Some few minutes later, after internally contemplating taking a yellow bus (danfo) and ready to jump on the one that had just stopped in my front, my colleague snapped me out of my deliberation and flagged down a red bus. Yes! 💃🏾💃🏾 A red bus finally turned up 😭! Ketu-Ojota-Mile12-Sabo-Koodu-GRA! 😻😻
The b
-more–>Ojota. Not a single moment of regret 😌.

Cross the overhead bridge to the other side and get on a connecting bus. No trouble. I do this everyday, no? Surely, God won’t let anyone spoil my joy this morning.

So I got on an unfortunately snail-ish connecting bus and a few minutes in: O ga o 🙄! Eleyi na ma tun bole ni Radio 😒 (So this one too will get off at Radio). After stopping at pretty much every bus stop on that seemingly infinite Kudirat Abiola road, the man who gently sat in my front got the glare of life from behind when he said he was going to stop at the first bus stop on the next road.

From that point on, people got off at nearly every stop 😩.. until I heard a funny sound with different volumes and turned back to see my colleague swiftly move across the seat, away from the window. Have you heard when a pump is being played with and someone keeps letting air out and blocking the hose in short, quick successions? That was the sound. The bus gradually slowed down and, lo and behold, the tyre had gone flat 🙆🏾. Completely flat 😐.

What?! Me that has been complaining about the speed and about all the people getting off at all the bus stops since! The tyre now decides to go flat 😐🙄! Which time am I not going to get to work late like this, o Lord 😫! Why, oh why 😭?

I started looking around to see what alternatives were nearby, since I was now only two stops away from my destination’s bus stop. The conductor took us to the nearest bus stop — which was thankfully a few feet in front — and got a bus to carry us all.

Until I got to my stop, I was thinking about how the conductor of the bus we were now in dared not ask us for money 🙄. After we had paid 100 naira for the entire journey, that one will now ask us to pay 50 naira again 🙄. Nonsense and rubbish. As if we were the ones who deflated the tyre. Mschew.

So I heard my bus stop and I said “O wa”. I got down and kept a steady side eye in case I heard “Owo da?” 🙄. Money ko! Na me say make tyre buss for road? Or una no sabi una sef 😒.

Whew! I looked at the time; 08:05. 😮😃 chei!! I cannot believe it!! God, thank you o!

Next stop: the entrance of the office estate gate. Bikes waiting: 0 😲. Maruwas ready to go: loading ☹️. 😢😭😫🤦🏾‍♀️ Manuella, give up. Last last, you’ll be 10 minutes late.

Whew! That’s it for now guys 😁. Thanks for reading 😘!

Returning to Naija – One Year On..

The weather has simply refused to accommodate my skin

It’s been an exact year since I returned to Naija from the UK. My body is still not used to the Nigerian heat 😐. Within minutes or a few feet of even hurriedly walking, I sweat as if I’d just finished a one-hour hellishly intensive gym session.

I carried hand fans (notice the plural there) around — and supplemented those with a face towel — in my first few months back. I used to religiously use the sunscreen spray I bought in surplus when I was coming back. This is a year later and I’m still carrying the same hand fan I used to carry. In fact, I’ve had to re-tack the straws around the poor thing. 

I’ve added another fan to my collection to replace the one that got lost one full-handed, scorching late afternoon in November 2016. I’m still thinking of buying another one of those foldable fans — I don’t know what they’re called.

When the power goes out, I mentally start panicking because I know my face is about to start melting, whether or not I have makeup on 😫. Sometimes, the power doesn’t even need to go out. The air con just needs to be running on a low current and my face will start oozing oil 😢. I spend the most part of my days at work and visibly in air con. But before noon, my face is so oily I look as if I’ve been in the kitchen all morning 🙄.

Travelling to and from work and everywhere in between and outside is an oil and sweat bath 😩. Before I get halfway to work, my forehead is so oily. I’m constantly and now unconsciously wiping away at my cheeks and nose, trying to dull the shine 😭!

I hate powders and padding my face with all sorts. My daily makeup routine doesn’t go beyond my signature eyebrows, my eyeliner and my mascara, which is even occasional. So to start worrying about layering my face all in the name of controlling the oilfest is a headache I wouldn’t even wish on my enemies 😫.

Interestingly though, foundation was a part of my signature look while I was in uni and I think that was the norm for about two years. The closest I had to an oily face was 7/8 pm, when I’d done my face up since 7 am. But here, 😩 h’o my goodneizz!! If my face doesn’t look like a greased frying pan, it’s not me 😢.

Itches? 🙋🏾 My body is just too familiar with the feeling 😩! When I’m out, or wherever even and power is out, ☹️ I could start itching if it feels stuffy. It’s like power outage is signal for my facial pores and neck pores to start oozing with liquid 😩. When I go around with my hand fan, even while standing on the road waiting for a bus, or on a bike, those around joke about my being hot, but they just don’t know! So I just laugh with them.

Do you know what makes all this particularly so for me? My body overheats, always. Literally. Those who know me and get into long hugs with me will tell you that my body is always literally hot. Burning. Strangers think I’m ill, those who know me say “this your warm body” 🙃. Imagine carrying a hot water bottle to your face in this Nigerian heat 😫!

That’s just the weather and the atmosphere and their incompatibility with my facial skin and my body.

The rest is story for another, no, other days 😏. 

Till you see my taillights again, 👋🏾!