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

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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, 👋🏾!

Nigerians Are Such Interesting and Delightful People

The Nigerian life is one in a lifetime

My word 😩! I once swore this would never be me; I never imagined myself being so busy that I couldn’t write for the purpose of sharing 🙈. Oh, yes, I journal, still 🌝. But even that is suffering small small 😩. 

So.. I’ve had this particular post in draft mode for over a month now.. 👀. Actually, I suddenly feel the need to go on a writing spree.. Like I should just pack a small bag and jet off to maybe Seychelles 🤔. Oh, who am I kidding 😩!

Anyhoo, Nigerians.. ☹️😓😪🙄. Indeed, all those emoji apply when I think about my citizenship 😩. This country is full of life. Literally. If you want to experience life as a concept or you want a phenomenal life, just come here and subject yourself to every kind of experience there is. Forget your status, your culture, your dos and don’ts, your preconceptions, everything; come as a new, empty canvas. 

Where else do you go to an office early in the morning and you almost can’t hear yourself over a local-language radio station blasting throughout the room? Then, you stand midway through to an adjacent office, and you can hear a completely different radio station playing in the adjacent office. Both radios are battling for airspace and earspace.. in an office 😂!

Nigeria!

Have you ever been in a bus where the driver honestly and clearly believes that James Bond has a career in Nigeria? The driver drives as if he’s on an empty F1 track, when the already undersized road is congested 😐. And when the bigger brothers of the road come up beside him, his rascality or confidence – or whatever drives his thinking – causes him to play a mindless game of eeny-meeny-miny-moe with the lives of those in the bus 😐.

Nigerians!

Have you ever tried to demand customer service in Nigeria? I’ll let that sink in, if you’re a true Nigerian 😆😂. See, customer service is a fairy-tale in Nigeria. The workers here treat customers as if they are the ones begrudgingly paying for the service being offered to the customers. Service attendants can be so rude and cold; customers immediately get the vibe that they’re bothering the attendants with their requests 🙄. If you don’t look like you can pay extra for their time, it’s very likely that your request will be treated as pestering.

Nigerians!

Can you imagine – except if you’ve been in such a situation – being in a bus where the front passenger door flies ajar every few minutes, as if to register its own space on the road. 😐 Oh, Lord! 😂 I’ve even lost count of how many times this has happened in a bus that I’ve been in. For the love of public transport 🙄!

Nigeria!

Have you ever seen where state and national service buildings look like the remnants of an apocalypse 😐? The best part? They’re not out of service; they’re still very much “functioning”. If you look closely enough, you’ll see shapes in human form travelling within the floors of the building 😐. These services are often “emergency services”; headquarters of “emergency services”. If you drive around the Lagos State secretariat.. 🤦🏾‍♀️. Now, if you go in.. 💀.

Nigeria!

I will end there, before my eyes get stuck up there. 

Until you see me again 😩 let’s hope it’s not next year.. buh-bye 🙋🏾!

Self-Discovery: Ever Heard of “The Spirit-Controlled Temperament”?

At some point in our lives, we make life-changing discoveries. This is mine.

If you were to wake me up and ask what my best book is, I’d say The Spirit-Controlled Temperament. It’s a life-changing book by Tim LaHaye. 

Wait o. All I’m doing here is sharing a bit of my journey of self discovery. 🙄 Don’t go and be looking for “So… what’s the moral of the story?”

Ok. So, what makes this book so fascinating? It helped me understand why I can come across as a grouch and sometimes embody a resentful, hard-driving, in short, Curtis Payne from House of Payne. It also made sense of why an unemotional and largely insensitive Curtis Payne can express so much concern for his loved ones, and be so concerned with social issues and others’ welfare. 

I don’t know if you like learning about yourself, but I do. Because even I surprise myself, at times. 

So, let’s dig in. 😁

Like I’ve said in one of my previous posts, I’m a choleric-melancholic, by nature. I’ll first break down the blend so you can understand why an undiluted combination of both can be lethal. 


Choleric

Oh, this is only in relation to me – for obvious reasons aka it’s my blog and I’m obviously using myself as a case study 🙄. I definitely won’t be telling you all my choleric and melancholy traits; just the ones that I find striking. 🙃

Ok. Stereotypically, a choleric is “hot, quick, active, practical, and strong-willed …. He is often self-sufficient and very independent. He tends to be decisive and opinionated, finding it easy to make decisions for himself as well as for others … By nature Cholerics have a serious emotional deficiency …. Choleric women may cry only when facing the most desperate circumstances.” 👀 (The Spirit-Filled Temperament, Tim LaHaye).

Here’s a screenshot:


🙊🤐

Now, my melancholy side.. 👀  


Melancholy

Tim LaHaye says the melancholy “… is perhaps the most dependable of all the temperaments, for his perfectionist tendencies do not permit him to be a shirker .…” In short, let me add a screenshot.

 
I’m not even going to bother to gloat 😏. 

Now, over to two key weaknesses 😩: “No one is more critical than the Melancholy. With unrealistic expectations of others, they cannot happily accept less than the very best.”


The Blend – ChlorMel

For those who don’t know, a temperament blend is the combination of an individual’s two temperaments; primary and secondary.

Hmmm.. The blend of my primary (choleric ) and my secondary (melancholy) is hypothetically the blackest sheep of the temperament blends. The “😧👎🏾”seem to be more than the “😀👍🏾” for the ChlorMels 😩. ChlorMels who are as natural and raw as them come… let me just grab one or more screenshots 🙈. #WeThankGodForTheHolySpirit!

 
I’m not apt to be a dictator 🙄. Hate? I don’t know about that 😕. Love? 🤷🏾😂 Oh, please! Yes, of course! 😁

 
👀🙈 Too. True.!

 

You see? It’s not all bad 😏. Tim actually says our strengths and weaknesses are kind of balanced on the scale… I don’t know how accurate that is 👀. 

Left to me, I would be unbothered about improving some of those weaknesses because they’re just mentally convenient for me. I would think to myself, Why would they think I’m too fussy? 🙄 Can’t they see that it could be better? On what planet does this arrangement even look attractive? 🙄.

Then there’s the part about speaking my mind, whether or not the other person wants to hear it. I would think sometimes, Why should I have to go through the stress of finding a nicer way to say that this design is ancient and obsolete and a waste of time and resources? Why can’t I just tell him that he looks like a frog when he smiles? 🙄

🙈🙈

What Next?

See, the way this book is written, the strengths are discussed before the weaknesses. I like to have my bad news/ reports first, then the good ones. But the book makes it clear that those weaknesses are part of our being; they don’t make us less human. 

I’ve learned to embrace my strengths and deal with my weaknesses 😏. The key to overcoming weaknesses is to first identify and acknowledge their existence, then find effective ways of doing something about them. They can be worked upon. I don’t know who you go to for help with things that are possibly beyond you, but I go to God. And so does Tim. 

The most fantastic feature about this book for me is that it gives me an insight into why and how I can retune my weaknesses into strengths with the help of the Holy Spirit. In all my years of ignorantly being indifferent about my choleric emotional deficiency, I would occasionally feel the need to find a solution. I didn’t find any. My complete solution isn’t here yet, though. And I don’t know if it will ever be complete. But I’m learning to tone down the self-sufficiency (Zechariah 4:6) and look to God to help me practise 1 Cor. 13 and Gal. 5:22-24 effectively 😌. 

I mean, it’s amazing that as a naturally hostile and resentful choleric, I’m incapable of holding a grudge or treating people accordingly, based on the wrongs I know they’ve done. Once a few hours have gone by, I find it impossible to program my attitude towards them to match their offence. 

Like I said though, I’m still in the testing stages; part of my revisions are to temper my melancholy “realism” with optimism so I don’t emote pessimism. More so, I’ve come to appreciate the relationships I have – oh, wait! I’m not laying down my life for any friend, as it says about melancholies in the screenshot up there 😐. As much as I have bitter complaints about life, I have no interest in sleeping in a coffin any time soon. Even my best friends already know that I love them 😂. 

Furthermore, learning to hold those choleric comments in is also a thing because, as a matter of fact, I don’t want someone else to say to me the things I sometimes say to others in my mind – except there’s an existent mutual agreement on 100% undiluted honesty (my way). I know words can be very hurtful so I try to isolate myself and keep quiet when I know my sarcasm or “razor-sharp, active tongue” – as Tim puts is – is about to go into overdrive. 

Life is interesting, though. What is stereotypically termed as your own temperament weakness may be a strength to someone else, and could cause them to appreciate that attribute in you, especially when you manifest it. One man’s meat is another man’s poison 😏. I’m not talking about a sarcastic or caustic tongue 🙄.

Anyhoo, I’m still a work in progress 😌. Got a long way to go with *some* missing fruits of the Spirit 😩. But God is faithful 😅. 

Until you see me again, ✌🏾 I ♥️ you! Or do I? 🤔🙄

Credit Alert: X Megawatts of Explosive Anger Transmission

Don’t offload volcanoes of your anger on others; it actually burns.

Did you know that when you get angry and you go about your regular activities, there’s greater room for error, and for things to fall apart?

Did you also know that when in your anger, you talk to others, you are likely to say or do something to someone that will harm that person’s morale and/or whatever relationship you have with the person?

Most people relate these scenarios to romantic relationships. I think we’ve heard enough of those warnings. This one is for the casual, work and other non-romantic relationships that you probably don’t think of, or are indifferent about. 

I’ve witnessed people who have a good thing going with people they’re associated with, ruin it because of their anger. There’s nothing laudable about ruining someone else’s mood or day with your anger, especially when it’s explosive. 

If one person of event pissed you off, there’s absolutely no reason to transfer your anger on other people around you. 

Some people can take other people’s heat; some react by doing nothing and ignoring the agitated person, others retaliate by dishing it back fire for fire. Others cannot handle that heat; they cower and become sullen in disposition. Someone might have just found light at the end of a seemingly endless tunnel, and you just come yelling at the top of your voice, finding faults with things that aren’t necessarily faulty or worthy of fault-finding. In case you didn’t know, it’s nearly impossible that you’ve not just thrown darkness over that newfound light. 

Imaginably so, it’s a very selfish thing to ruin other people’s moods because you’ve just had your bubble burst and you’re exploding with red. A lot of us who are naturally short-tempered typically have a hard time controlling our quick-to-rise anger. One thing that works – for me, at least – is to quietly find a quiet space and either vent out or relax until we actually cool off. Walking about and engaging people and activities is a surefire way to transfer anger or frustration. 

Some of us offload a volcano on others when we’re angry and wonder why they’re not talking to us, they’re afraid of us, avoiding us or offended by our attempts to engage them. It is my opinion that if you think much of a person or the relationship you have with them, you will not have a go at them in your moment of anger. If anything, seeing them soothes your anger. So, if you’re offloading your temper on people that are supposedly important to you for whatever reason, you’re doing something wrong. You need to put a lid on your temper and how you handle it. 

Don’t take your anger, aggression or frustration out on others. It’s distasteful; it’s immature, actually; it’s destructive in ways beyond your understanding and imagination; it’s deplorable. I don’t see the remedy or mitigation in transferring the heat of your temper on others, when you can avoid it in the first place. All you have to do is keep your mouth sealed – since it’s the vent for your temper – and isolate yourself until you cool off. 

Until you see me again, ✌🏾 I ♥️ you!