On mangoes and cheating spouses…

I love fruits, I really do. My favorite fruit has to be grapes, especially when they are frozen. I can write an entire post about my love for grapes. Udara is a close second (I don’t know the English name for it.) The number three spot goes to…You guessed it!!! Mangoes. Particularly the sherri and German species.

I have bought my fruits from the same woman for as long as I can remember and I truly consider her a friend. When I saw her in February after years away from home, she gave me a bagful of fruits and we spent a good thirty minutes catching up; I digress. You’re probably wondering what mangoes have to do with cheating spouses, here goes:

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So unfortunately, Udara season is over *insert tears of anguish* but the silver lining is that after udara goes, mango resumes LOL so it’s almost a win win situation for me. This afternoon on my way from Church, I had my smile in place and I headed to my favourite fruit stall. After our usual banter, I looked at her wares but the mangoes weren’t calling my name. They didn’t look ripe and they weren’t just appealing. I was still rummaging around, trying to find some good ones when I looked at the stall next to hers and saw the most beautiful, perfectly yellow, succulent sherri mangoes. I was so torn. I didn’t want to hurt her feelings by buying from her neighbour but I also wanted the ripe mangoes from the next stall.

I managed to stifle my longing for the luscious mangoes, bought a few unappealing mangoes from my friend and went on home. Let’s compare our spouses to those mangoes shall we? I recently watched a show where people who have cheated on their spouses were interviewed and they gave their reasons for cheating. Majority of them cheated because their partners weren’t as appealing as they used to be or because the magic simply wasn’t there anymore. Those excuses are lame mehn! If the magic is fading, make new magic, rekindle the flames or whatever! Stay with the wife/husband you promised to love till death did you both part!

I guess my point is if I could walk away from those delicious mangoes, you can walk away from temptation!

Everyone must choose one of two pains: The pain of discipline or the pain of regret.”-Jim Rohn

Be A Unicorn! 

Sometime ago, I made a batch of cupcakes. I followed the recipe to the letter, and so I had lofty expectations and I expected them to turn out perfect. To my dismay, they turned out wrong. Some of them looked lopsided, others were still a bit runny. The truth of the matter is that out of a batch of eight, only one came out decent. I was a little salty that the other seven chose to go awry, but I was super proud of the one that turned out right. 

Thinking about it now, I should have been proud of all them. They had the same amount of ingredients, they were in the same pan and they baked for the same amount of time. But Sometimes, being different is not a terrible thing. We all started out the same way, cells that latched on to each other and did not let go; but when the time came to be born, we came differently; the point being that we came nevertheless. Via surgery or natural birth we got here and we got here with our own unique set of personalities. 

It’s hard and almost impossible to own your flaws or what others see as your shortcomings, but it is deeply comforting to know that those things that some people loathe about you, others will love. So be like my seven cupcakes, be your own version of okay. Love your freckles, your stretchies, your vulnerability, your whatever it is that makes you somewhat different ; be a unicorn! Be magical, be different, be you. Don’t apologize for your uniqueness, it is not your job to make being around you easy for anyone or to make anyone like you; those who will, will like you regardless. 

Conventional is not for me. I like things that are uniquely Flo. I like being different.”  Florence Griffith 

When I Can’t Sleep…

Insomnia and I, we get along quite well unfortunately. Some nights are easy, I just fall into bed and I am off and most likely won’t wake up till dawn; but some nights like tonight, my eyes stay wide awake, as bright as the sun. Sleep becomes a distant memory and I toss and turn till there’s nothing left of the sheets. 

Tonight is one of those nights. I’m vaguely grateful for my blog app and that I can share my thoughts without assembling my laptop. So it’s me and my phone, sitting at the balcony, reveling in the silence; sweet merciful silence. The generators are off thankfully; no blaring horns, no noise; just peace…

What do you do when you can’t sleep? It’s way too hot for me to consider making a cup of tea. I tried the white noise on my phone and my mum said it sounded like witchcraft! Does witchcraft have a sound??? So it’s me and my phone and my thoughts and the candy bar I found under my pillow.

So today, Mr. E brushed me aside for his mistress soccer. I don’t think there’s anything he loves more, sigh…and he didn’t say goodnight(yes,shade!) maybe if he were up, atleast this insomnia would have fierce competition. Back to reality, my mum has summoned me away from the balcony. “Please come inside and lock my doors for me!!! The days are evil!” I’m very grateful for the darkness that keeps her from seeing just how much I rolled my eyes. 

This room is hot. I forgot to charge my phone. Oh! Nepa or Phcn or whatever your name is, please have a heart and give us light. Me too I’ll do shakara tomorrow, shebi you love your soccer; I will find something to love ni. I need a spa day and a manipedi asap!. What will I do to my hair? To cut it again and color, or no? 

Those are all the thoughts running through my tired mind. I need to break up with insomnia, it’s becoming a very toxic relationship.

What do you do when you cannot fall asleep???

Dear 3am, we have got to stop meeting this way; I’d much rather sleep with you.”- Anonymous 

29 going on 60…

My birthday is always the one day of the year where I have no worries, the one day where there isn’t any cloud in the sky. It usually kicks off with the generic message that my bank sends me to tell me how much I mean to them blah blah blah, then the calls and the messages and the status updates and the everything. Some of the messages are well thought out and deeply personal and might even make me cry, others are impersonal and to the point, and somehow I already know that the next time I will speak to or hear from such people will be on their own birthday or next year on mine again. I usually don’t get any gifts (yes, shade to all my friends and family) but I honestly don’t mind because the heartfelt prayers and the love soothes my soul way more than material things would.

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So on March 17th, I turned 29. It wasn’t a cloud free day but I didn’t mind. My sister dragged me out for drinks and I got to see my niece so it was a day very well spent. But the thing about birthdays is that they have a way of waking you up! On every birthday since I turned 20, there is always one part of the day where it suddenly hits me that this is a whole new year, one step closer to the grave, one year further away from youth. I end up thinking of the things I have achieved and even more about the things I have not achieved and usually I come to terms with my life as it is but this year was different.

29 is a very awkward age for me, it feels like I am standing on the precipice of something that I don’t quite know. A year away from 30, the last year that I can officially say that I am in my late twenties and this year, the birthday reflections did not wait to hit me at a random time of day; they hit me as soon as I opened my eyes. All I could think about was all that I haven’t done. The husband I haven’t married, the babies I haven’t had, the places I haven’t seen, the feelings I haven’t felt, the book I haven’t written, the car I haven’t driven, It went on and on and on. Typically, the tears came and they came hot and fast and rolled down my cheeks in rapid succession. Ordinarily I would have let them. I would have cried myself into puffy eyes and a blocked nose and a raging headache but this time, this time was different. I got up, cleaned my eyes and played my favorite playlist. I did my makeup, treated myself to a special breakfast, went for a job interview, saw my dearest friends,  rocked my niece to sleep, and went out for drinks and I must say that it was a beautiful, somewhat cry free day.

Whats the point of this post you ask? The point is that I have grown up some. I have finally learned to consciously count my blessings and not my sorrows, to be grateful for what I do have, rather that pinning for what I have lost or I am yet to have. I Finally learned to ditch the tears because listen the eyes are the first to age; and my eyes are my best feature sooooo I better catch up on my carrots and cucumbers and glasses of water rather than crying and always rubbing at my eyes. Plus I already have eye bags, why enlarge them further?

I am only 29, but sometimes I feel like I am 60 and that is my fault, because really what is stopping me from being happy go lucky? Life is for the living, and you are only as old as you want to be. Last year, I shared 28 lessons I learned from turning 28 but this year I have just one; find some time to find yourself. Don’t be like me, so caught up in other people that you forget yourself, we only have one life, and there are no dress rehearsals or do overs. Choose yourself, it’s time!.

“You’ll learn, as you get older, that rules are made to be broken. Be bold enough to live life on your terms, and never, ever apologize for it. Go against the grain, refuse to conform, take the road less traveled instead of the well-beaten path. Laugh in the face of adversity, and leap before you look. Dance as though EVERYBODY is watching. March to the beat of your own drummer. And stubbornly refuse to fit in.”
Mandy Hale, The Single Woman: Life, Love, and a Dash of Sass

We ain’t never gettin’ older!…” The Chainsmokers

Hello From The Other Side!…

Hello from the other side, literally! I am sitting in my old room, on my old bed writing this heartfelt post. A lot has happened since the last time I was here. The most monumental of them being that I moved back home for now; well, not really, I live in Nigeria once again. *mentally inserts “for now”* it took a lot to move my life around, to pack three years of my life into three suitcases but I did it! Amidst all the conflicting opinions and all the emotions and everything, I can sincerely say that I am glad to be home, there truly isn’t any place like home and all the minor inconveniences seem like a small price to pay.

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February 21st 4:35 pm, my flight touched down in Lagos. I had been staring at the window as soon as I was able to see the trees and houses gradually start to appear, and as they grew from tiny specs to fully formed images, it was all I could do not to cry. I promptly forgot all the tediousness that came with twelve straight hours of flying, the TERRIBLE food and three slices of fruit that Delta Airline served us, LOL. I forgot my snoring, drooling seatmate who by the way wasn’t so bad when he wasn’t snoring like a freight truck. I peeled myself away from the window, hastily removed my socks and my jacket, stashed my book, my scarf and my passport in my hand bag and mentally prepared myself for landing. Boom! We landed and as is the norm on almost every Nigerian flight, there was hearty applause for the pilot in gratitude for the smooth landing and loud sighs of relief, followed by copious choruses of “thank you Jesus”. I was oblivious to all of that, I only had one mission, get my suitcase and head to immigration, oh! And pee, as I hadn’t peed in fourteen hours and then some. (Don’t ask why)

Ah! the blast of humid, hot air that greets you as soon as you get off the aircraft, never disappoints. Nor does the instant itching and sense of mild disgust at the state of the airport, but all that though was tempered with the thought that in a few short hours my niece would be in my arms and the delicious eforiro and white rice my sister made for me specially would be in my belle. So who cared if the airport was as hot as hell? Or that the stench from the nearby toilets made my eyes water? Of that it took forever to find my luggage? Or that my mum was late to pick me up? All was forgotten as soon as I walked into my sister’s home and I saw my niece! Dear Lord is she gorgeous??? Shes the cutest little thing and I still cannot believe my tiny sister made a chunky baby like her, God is awesome! Really.

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So I am back home my people, and its almost like I never left. And all the preferential treatments I had been enjoying such as specially made meals, running the generator all night and making my brothers run all my errands are officially over because my “IJGB Status”- (I Just Got Back) has since expired and its back to jumping buses and fanning myself to sleep. Wouldn’t trade it for the intense loneliness in America though, never!

God knows I missed you guys but I am back now, for real! It was my birthday a few weeks ago and I just might do a post on that later.

“it don’t matter where we go, we always find our way back home…”- Andy Grammer

“Nothing is better than going home to family and eating good food and relaxing.”- Irina Shayk

 

Like A Carousel…

When we lose a loved one,

The grief is unthinkable…

We make vows and resolve to always keep in touch…

We write lengthy trubutes filled with

Tears and sad emojis.

But like it always does, life goes on.

Another day, another struggle.

And all our vows and resolve to keep in touch,

Slowly fade away,left behind in the struggle.

The struggle to pay bills, to manage life

And family, and career. 

The struggle to stay alive, period.

And the cycle continues…till someone else dies…

Life is like a carousel.

I never stops. Up and down it goes.

Whether or not you’re ready,

Whether or not you want it to, it never stops.

Life is like a carousel.

You cannot make it stop,

You cannot get off,

Until you have to.

Until you get to your stop…

-Adaugo 2017

Tell Me…

If you are a writer, there is nothing as daunting as a blinking cursor. Nothing as taunting as that little black line, blinking away daring you to write but you have no words so you just sit there and stare, stare at it until you slam your laptop close in frustration. There is nothing as frustrating as reaching for your phone because you thought you heard a beep only to find that it was a phantom beep; no one sent you a message, no one is calling.  Your mind is playing tricks on you because you want your phone to beep, you want a call or text or something! nothing as painful as scrolling through your timeline, seeing your friends celebrating milestones, and achieving great things. There is nothing quite like sucking it up, repressing that surge of envy and typing them a congratulatory message…

“So and so asked me out and I don’t want to date any of them, I don’t have the time to date because I am trying to…” it’s painful to hear because you cannot relate but you smile anyway. The only man that has spoken to you in months is the doorman at your apartment, asking you if you had a good day and telling you that you have mail. Tell me what is worse than seeing your plans unravel, adjusting and resizing your dreams because they just won’t work out like you hope they would. Does it get lonelier that screaming in the shower and standing there till the hot water runs out and you are forced to get out of the tub?

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A lonely street…photo Credit: Me

What bigger lie is there than “I am fine”? Even when everything inside of you aches, when uncertainty and doubts and insecurities have pitched tents in your head, but you smile anyway because it is easier to say “I’m fine” than to try and explain why you cry yourself to sleep every night. What hurts more when your friends fail to support you and be there for you when you need them the most? Or when you stop confiding in them altogether because your problems are starting to sound depressing even to you? So the bottle of henney you stashed away in your room becomes your best friend and you spend hours and hours on social media because it feels good to watch funny videos and to read about other people’s misfortune for a change…

Your social media presence is quite strong, your posts and pictures are carefully selected, and well picked out and the likes are pouring in by the numbers. But then you make the mistake of  giving  yourself the false belief that if people don’t like you in real life, at least they like your pictures and status updates. Tell me what is more ignorant than saying “Oh, He/She is fine, I saw their status update and pictures the other day” don’t you know that people are not all they seem to post? We often lie to ourselves, especially we Africans that everything is alright, that all is well. Nobody takes mental health seriously and if you say you want to see a shrink or seek psychiatric help, you are instantly labelled crazy.

This probably wasn’t a happy post to read was it? But it’s real, and if we tell ourselves the truth, we have all found ourselves in one or more of the aforementioned situations. Lend a listening ear, a hug, your time or whatever it is you can if you sense that the people you love might need it. Do something!

This is real, I am one to talk; I should know.

Every man has his secret sorrows which the world knows not; and often times we call a man cold when he is only sad.”― Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

You say you’re ‘depressed’ – all I see is resilience. You are allowed to feel messed up and inside out. It doesn’t mean you’re defective – it just means you’re human.”― David Mitchell