Saturday, September 29, 2012

The God In Small Things

[Photograph taken by me in Washington DC circa Spring 2012]

These days, I find so much pleasure in the smallest things. Running by the beach and drinking in the lights from yachts, streetlights and neighboring cities. Sitting in a café and swimming in my thoughts while sipping tea. Saturday afternoons in museums. An email from a friend just to say hello and I miss you.

These small joys were the things I daydreamed about in law school. I would go to Starbucks with my huge books and stare with longing at the people who just came in to read a book, sip a latte and catch up with a friend. “Free-time” was a luxury that had to be carefully scheduled between 12-hour days and weekends spent in the library.

My continuum then? Emails. Classes. Meetings. Internships. 100’s of pages of assigned reading/per night. Mixers. Twitter vents. Red bulls. Photocopies. Schmoozing. Applications. Panels. Dirty chai’s. Elections. Acne. Papers. Finals. Deadlines. Breakdowns. Stop. Pause. Repeat...

I lost so much of myself and of my joy in the process. Writing wasn’t fun anymore. My first semester of law school, my professor told me my writing was too poetic and too nuanced, then proceeded to give me one of the lowest grades in the class. Not one to accept defeat, I purged the soul out of my writing and learned to write like a lawyer: logically, concisely and straight to the point. By the end of the year, I had one of the highest grades in my legal writing class and made the cut to be on a legal journal. And thus began the process of proving myself to myself. President of this, co-chair of that…founder of I was always living on a wing and a prayer (one metro stop away from chaos).

After years of being a human-doing, I promised myself that when law school and the bar exams were over, I would take a few months off to be a human-being again. I kept my promise to myself, and I’m back in the land where this blog started: the land of “bonjours!” and baguettes.

My continuum now? French verbs. Grapes. Long walks. The Beautiful and the Damned. Café Au Lait. Miles Davis. Vanilla Tea. Necole Bitchie. Travel. Writing. Les Devoirs. Skype. Brain vomit. Avocados. Jillian Michaels DVDs (oh abs where art thou?). Deep Breaths. Red lipstick. Kem’s Intimacy Albums. More writing. Prayer. Laughter. Stevie Wonder. Kindle. White sheets. Madeleines. Tears. Paulo Coelho. TD Jakes. Soul searching. Sleep. Stop. Pause. Repeat…

I’m finding God, joy, and the me I thought I lost-- in small things.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

The Four Stages of Grief Or Finding Your Way To Que Sera Sera

Stage 1: Denial:

You don’t care. Or so you say. Bbm profile? Deleted. Facebook page? Gone. He is dead to you-digitally, at least. You rant about the idiot to your friends and they tell you they don’t know what you saw in him in the first place. With high heels on your feet and your fatal drink in your hand, you toast to independence and echo the faithful “good riddance to bad rubbish.” Even the DJ must have gotten the memo because he throws Beyonce’s ‘Single Ladies’ into his mix. This is a sign: You don’t need that fool/ punk/ player/ douche-bag. Moving on.

Stage 2: The Undoing:

Friday night’s debauchery turns Saturday morning’s grief. It hits you. You miss having him hold you. You miss having someone to tell the minute details of your life. You wonder what’s wrong with you. What did you do wrong? You ask how you have allowed a man make you feel this powerless. You cry enough rivers to satisfy Justin Timberlake. You fall apart on the hard wood floor of your apartment. Your mirror and make-up brush are witnesses to your swollen eyes and bruised spirit. No one can see you this way: One. Hot. Mess. You’re the one who usually has ish together. No, this grief is between you, your God, and your chocolate bar.

Stage 3: The Peace & Pieces:

You are fighting urges to call him. Maybe you overreacted. Maybe he was telling the truth. Maybe you’re just not patient enough. This is like kicking a bad habit complete with the shakes. But you turn off your phone, clasp your hands in prayer, and Amen your way to temporary sanity. You write a list of every bitch ass move he made. You read enough feminist poems and self-help books to make you an expert: PhD in Getting Over Jerks And Looking Fabulous While Doing It. You become the accidental work-a-holic. That research paper gets done. The closet finally gets organized-by color and fabric. And when all else fails, you go to bed and hope that your heart will feel better in the morning.

Stage 4: The Letting Go:

You’ve forgiven his flaws and accepted your own. You’ve remembered the beauty of Insha Allah. This is the letting go and letting God part. You’ve returned to your first love and free therapy: writing. You’ve found the silver lining: he at least inspired good poetry. Suddenly, a familiar song: one that takes you to your childhood and happy times. You remember the sunshine that existed before him. You remember the sunshine that will exist after him. You notice the hottie across the room staring at you. You acknowledge him and continue to type furiously. Today it’s just about you, your latte, and one exquisite moment of epiphany.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Lessons Learned From Almost Loving You

When I met you, I thought you were the one. I thought our name had been carved in sun. I craved the music of your voice, the symphony of our hands intertwined. You and me would become this we…this powerful force of poetry, politics, music, light and laughter.

There was a sweetness in this…in us. Your good morning’s fueled 10,000 summers. Your goodnights lulled me to a sleep drunk with calm and easy. Tomorrows spent with you couldn’t come sooner… today’s spent with you were too short. You spoke of happily ever after’s. I almost believed you. I almost loved you.

But there were the subtle changes…the subtle ways you showed me who you are, but I refused to believe you. The showing up late. The not showing up at all. The excuses. I don’t know which excuses were worse--the ones you gave or the ones I made. The blatant disregard for my time, and person. But I wanted to believe the best about you-even when warned not too. They told me you were all charm no substance. But, I held on to this thing between us because I believed in our beauty and possibility. I believed in you…And because, hey- bad boy’s have their appeal.

I liked you assiduously for two months and 3 days. Head spinning/spaced out/face grinning kind of like. But here’s the suicide haiku to whatever existed between us:

The burden of we/
I can no longer carry/
On the back of me

Ashe. I can no longer swallow your indifference-or my pride. Allow me to paraphrase the colored girls who moved towards their own rainbows:

My love is too whole
Too complex
Too pure
Too Paris magic
Too 1999
Too Sade soulful
Lauryn Hill educated
Boys II Men passionate

To be thrown back in my face.

So take your life back, minus me, and what that equals=a loss. Take my forgiveness...unsolicited, yes..but given nonetheless.

And I am free…

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Singing the Blog Blues

I’m usually the one grabbing change by the horns and riding it at full throttle. I love change, and I’m an advocate for it. But one change that hit’s me hard every now on then, is the change in my beloved second home, Blogville.
I miss the excitement of hitting the refresh button hoping to find an update from one of my favorite bloggers. There was an amazing variety and depth as well as the challenge that came along with it-as not-so-long ago as last year.

I miss The Last King of Scotland: a fellow music lover who always got my weekend on to a good grove with his TGIF’s (Thank God it’s Friday’s) posts. I miss Naapali with the constant mythology lurking around in everything he wrote. His was always brilliant, and causing you to pause and think-if only for a minute. I miss the ever lively Bobby Taylor, who always cracked me up with her stories from back in the day or the hubby and pikin. I miss Naija Fine Boy and Babaalaye who could both make any not-so-great day end with a fit of laughter. I miss Omosewa who got me hooked on wedding websites and then left me high and dry (if I catch you eh!). I will forever miss LondonBuki, who reminded us of the importance of life and gratitude, as she made us privy to her mother’s fight for her life. And of course, I miss my blog bff, Zephi, both honest and funny…she reminds me of a day in blogville when we felt we knew each other, just through our words.

There are the people who are still here, but not really, and I miss them too. I miss Carl who seems to have been usurped by Angel Mourinho…his wit was evident even through his comments which I relished. And there is my soul twin, the Overwhelmed one who wrote Mummy Sunday’s and Life in a Song’s (bring her back babe). Yet, I cannot deny that maybe, I belong to this group in some ways…

Blogville has gotten much younger, and some times I can’t relate. I think the vice-versa is true in this scenario as well. My sister (who now blogs) said to me “Men your blog has too much grammar. It’s too serious and political for me. I feel like I have to open any time I read your posts.” LOL! That being said, I’m still here, and I won’t be going anywhere soon. It’s just a fit of the blues…

There are so many blogs (old and new)that keep me running back for more, and blogville is like family to me. I’m constantly inspired by people like The Headmistress and Bella Naija who have been here for ages, and continue to be relevant and to take blogging to new heights. The proverbial constant wind of change will always exist, and this one I will embrace, even if it sweeps me kicking and screaming.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Almost Famous

I'm a celebrity y'all! Well almost...
Check out my interview with the fabulous Standtall here

*Photograph used is from Deola Sagoe's Ready-to-Wear collection*

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Dear Daddy,

I wanted to whisper that first “I made it” in your ears. I made plans to write this last week when for the first time, my heart finally made sense of the light my eyes caught at that exit sign labelled ‘graduation’. But I got caught up in hysteria of family flying in from all over, final papers to turn in, and exams to study for and well...I choked on guilt.

Sometimes, I cannot help but feel that in some ways, I have betrayed you or at least your memory. I can’t fight the fact that you have become a forgotten memory... a half finished phrase remembered only amidst questions that I ask myself like “who will teach my brother to become a man?”, as I help him knot his tie and smack him for putting his feet in my high heels. And then there are the random moments when fluid memories of you flow through my when I’m driving home and hear a Kenny G song from that Breathless album you loved. Most of the times though, I regret the fact that I do not remember you . . . that I made peace with your parting way to quickly and freely . . . that the fragments left of you in my spirit are images of sickness and vomit, of frailness and hairlessness.

I wake up some mornings wondering if some parts of me will forever be lost with
the parts of you I buried...

But last week, I received a graduation gift that I will forever cherish. A college friend of yours gave me pictures of you in your judo uniform from your martial arts days. And for the first time in a long time, I remembered you. I remembered you strong. Remembered you proud and beaming at PTA meetings and prize giving days. It made me hope that God parted the clouds and allowed you to see me walk across the stage at your Alma mater and receive my B.A. - Summa Cum Laude. But most of all, I hope you saw all of your friends who came for my graduation-from Abuja to Atlanta and from Dallas to D.C. As much as I would like to pretend that they all came for me, I know that most of them came because they felt they owed it to you and because in one way or another, you had touched their lives. Someone told me last week, “your father always told me I would make it...even when I didn’t believe it.”

As the future curves before me like a question mark, forcing me to make important decisions (like deciding between going to law School in D.C. or N.Y.?!); I hope that at the end of the day, I can become half of the person you were. Just like you, I want to be known and remembered as kind, forgiving and focused. Maybe even revolutionary.

Until then, I wanted to send a ray of sunshine your way and let you know-I MADE IT.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

He loves me, He loves me not.

He loves me.
He loves me not.
He hit me.
He begged me.
Black eye.
New Bracelet.
Swollen lip.
New ride.
He loves me.
He loves me. Not...