“People are Work!” Tell me about it.

Once upon a time, I used to hassle friends about not keeping in touch.. until I found myself in their shoes.

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In a time that is desperate to cater to your every need/want/demand on the spot and deliver electronically or right where you are, it’s too easy to live in a bubble.

Yes, I live in a bubble sometimes most of the time. I like that I get consumed by work because it takes my mind off a whole lot of things and causes me to use my time judiciously.

But at the end of the day, when I swipe down from the top of my phone screen, I see how the world and my circles have passed by in the how many hours I’ve been happily submerged in something that requires very little socialising effort from me.

At work, I don’t have to go out of my way much to socialise. The people I’d engage in the process of socialising would often come there to the office and even sit in my front, making conversation and social engagement effortless.

Now, if all my social engagements took this format, I’d be the most social person I know 😀! But that’s not the case 🙄. In fact, I not only have to drag my ass out of bed when I’d rather hog my bed all day, but also have to get my groggy self in the shower, brush for almost 30 minutes, dress up half awake, fully wake up to do my makeup, try to justify why I’m neglecting my bed for another person 🤦🏾‍♀️. The stress is just too much.

Now, let me tell you the real stress. This is my own stress, at least. I live in Lagos, Nigeria. I don’t drive, I don’t Uber myself everywhere because I don’t live inside Central Bank of Nigeria’s vault. I try as much as possible to not go out during the day (08:00 and 20:00) so I don’t get into the lethal Lagos sun.

Even though I go out really early to work and I beat the sun to getting to work, I end up around really stinky people (I have overly sensitive olfactory organs) and I have phobia for unsolicited body contact, which is practically inevitable in Nigerian public transport. I’m always irritated by the bus drivers stopping everywhere (including inside potholes) to pick up even ghost passengers.

I leave work when the sun has long gone to bed so heat isn’t usually my cup of tea when I’m going home. But you see, waiting sometimes forever at my first connecting bus stop for a bus to come, only for it to be so already cramped that I have to squeeze myself in the middle of potentially smelly people is a death wish in itself. Most of the time, going home means hopping on four or five vehicles to get from my office to my house.

When I get home? 🧠💀. Literally. I’m so knackered I’m more likely to fall asleep inside my plate of food, if I even remember to eat. Lagos commute is ever draining for me. Drains my energy and will to load me with tiredness that’s beyond me. I hardly ever remember to return calls when I commute or even messages 😩! I always get people telling me, “You just forgot me”, “You didn’t even check up on me”, “Hello stranger”. I sincerely believe that that tiredness that overtakes me when I get home is uncanny.

Sometimes, I chastise myself and sit up on my bed at night, telling myself I’m going to call this person now or send them a message just to let them know that they’re on my mind. I wake up the next morning to see I didn’t charge my phone through the night.. then regretfully realising that I didn’t go through with the previous night’s plan, hence forgetting to plug my phone in overnight 🤦🏾‍♀️.

Then it’s morning and my phone is sometimes going off the hook with messages from people and I’m just cringing at not being able to message them back to say, “Hey, I’m engaged rn. Leave a message.” But then, if I message every single one of them back — you know how engrossing chatting can get 🙄 — I’ll end up getting distracted from my deliverables for the day.

The sad part is, this is my reality and all that stress is part of my life. I recently saw a Twitter post shared on Instagram where someone attested that “Adult friendships are hard. Everyone is busy and life happens”. But he also dropped a wisdom nugget which I’ve mentally adopted for a while now: texting people when you’re thinking of them and how it goes a long way. Like I said, it’s still a “mental” process for me 🙊. I’m learning.

Unless you have special circumstances that don’t afford you the opportunity to say no to that stress, at the end of the day, it’s left to you 🤷🏾‍♀️. But the reality is that so long as the person or people you’re going through all of that social stress for is/are worth it, that should be enough peace for us busy folks 🌝. Don’t waste your precious time on those whodon’t actually matter.

The Royal Wedding 😻: My Thoughts & What Changes?

People are talking about the “beginning of change”. What change?

Since my faithful Suits days, I’ve been a fan of Rachel Zane and Meghan Markle. Since I first saw Prince Harry’s charming smile, and his full ginger head in comparison to brother William’s *coughs* balding *coughs* head 🙊, I’ve loved him, his not-your-regular-waves-and-smiles royal self, and his humanitarian efforts!

The first time I saw the news of Harry and Meghan seriously dating, I was like 😧!! How did that even happen?? They aren’t from vastly different worlds, seeing how they’re both celebrities in their rights. But how did they even meet???? I was stunned more than I can tell.

Fast forward to when they decided to announce that they’d be getting married. I was like, back up. Continue reading “The Royal Wedding 😻: My Thoughts & What Changes?”

Why Do We Blindly Feel the Need to “Match Up”?

You really don’t need to recalibrate your life every time *they* change something up..

I don’t know if it applies to every single one of us, or some people are actually fortunate enough to never have felt the need or urge to match up someone else’s standards — or society’s standards.

Me, you normally wouldn’t find me trying to match or beat someone else’s game because I thrive on being weird and odd 🙊. But that’s not to say that I have never felt that urge to push myself to be on par with someone else.

Once, I so badly wanted to show my fellow everyone that something from my book of designs could become a reality that I engaged the services of a tailor that made me question my friend’s life choices, since she recommended the tailor. The outfit was so horrid, I had to saw through the bottom with a pair of scissors and hand stitch the hem back in 😩. Ended up wearing a really short dress (thankfully, covered in a black chiffon overlay) that could barely contain my small chest to a formal dinner 😓.

However, what I have an issue with (I’m talking from personal, very recent and now seemingly indefinite experiences) is matching up with someone’s standards, without evaluating certain things.

Why are they doing what they’re doing? Why are they doing it in that way? What are they getting out of it? Is that their lifestyle? Is it convenient for them? Is it a temporary thing or is that their life, in reality?

There are so many questions we don’t ask before jumping to the conclusion that someone is “doing more” than us, therefore, we need to meet up or be at par.

I’ve noticed from my experience of people trying to “match up” with me, that they unconsciously empower me to control their lives. Seriously, when you subject your lifestyle and life choices to other people’s standards, and to match their life choices or lifestyles, you are empowering them to control and govern how you live your life.

I’ve watched people whom I just started getting to know go from complaining about having to do certain things to start doing those very same things just because they found out those are the things that I happen to be doing. And these same people would’ve sworn that they absolutely could not do those things because of how inconvenient it would be for them. But get one thing: they never asked me why I do those things, and ever so frequently and naturally.

Why do we blindly follow in others footsteps?

If they have a child today, whether you’re ready or not, you decide to have one just because “s/he’s having a child”. If they decide to take up residence at the new estate in the city, you decide your house needs an indefinite break from you while you cosy up in one in that new estate. If they decide to start sleeping for 3/4 hours, you decide that you’re sleeping too much! If they decide to buy a new car, you don’t even listen to your account’s wails before you throw a mental party for your new car 😀!

With every step they take in living their lives, you’re trying to hop onto the same step without considering what you’re doing, if it’s right for you and if it’s necessary!

Who is this “they” that you’ve unconsciously given so much ascendancy in your life that they unwittingly dictate your life? Oh, wait. That’s even assuming they haven’t noticed that you’re reshaping your lifestyle and life choices to match theirs 😮 and maybe even deliberately making some adjustments!

Don’t compete with anyone, try to match up with anyone, inconvenience yourself or recalibrate your life just to “meet up” to anyone’s standards or lifestyle, especially if your motive is simply to “be like them”, or “do what they’re doing”. You both lead two separate, distinctive and unimaginably customised lives. They (both lives) were not made to be photocopies.

Do you 🤗♥️!

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.

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 😘!