Love Me While You Have Me

I’ve always wondered what my eulogy would be like.

Morbid? I suppose, but still, I wonder what would be said of me.

She was funny?
She was smart?
She was a phenomenal friend?
I didn’t know her but I admired her?

I also wonder if I’d actually be aware of what would be said or written about me because then I’d be a spirit, right? And I don’t know if the spirits of the dead have any knowledge of the things that go on in the lives of the ones they leave behind (enlighten me if you have any idea, please). That’s why when I read certain eulogies, beautifully written pieces extolling a loved one who passes away, I wonder if the deceased knew how the bereaved felt about them while they still lived. I wonder if the deceased knew how loved they were, how important they were to the bereaved because the thing is: what’s the point in you telling me how you cared about me when I’m no longer alive to hear you say it? And then you’re filled with guilt and regret over things that should have been done and said but never were, as life, and all the hassle it sometimes brings, made you forget none of us will live forever. Continue reading “Love Me While You Have Me”

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This Is Not My Real Face

I look wicked.

That was my first thought as the makeup artist handed me a mirror to inspect the work she had done so far. She had completed only my brows but I could already see similarities between Cruella De Vil and me.

 

Cruella De Vil

Image Source

I voiced my thoughts to her and not only did she argue in support of her work, saying my brows looked perfect, she also kept insisting that it was the norm for eyebrows to look like an exaggerated, overturned tick.

Yes. The almighty Nike brows.

“Madam, I look wicked,” I said again, a horrified expression on my reflection in the mirror I held.

“Aunty, it’s not bad,” she said emphatically.

I didn’t know what to say. At that point, my face and I were unsure of what to do, though two things flowed through my mind.

Do I tell her to stop and find another solution?

Do I tell her to carry on with the hopes that I won’t end up looking like a horror movie afterwards?

I chose the latter, though I strongly considered the former but the reason I was getting my makeup done in the first place was for my friend’s 30th birthday dinner, which was starting in less than 45 minutes. I certainly didn’t have the time (nor the tools, which I had left at home since the plan was to go straight to the restaurant from the makeup studio) to tell her to stop. There was another makeup artist there whose work was satisfactory, however, she was occupied with getting my friend, the celebrant’s makeup done. Continue reading “This Is Not My Real Face”

That Time I Was Mistaken for a Prostitute…Twice in One Morning

It was a typical frigid harmattan morning in Abuja. The day was still waiting to break so it was dark when the cab driver pulled up in front of a plaza in Wuse II, which was to be the takeoff point of my friends and I. Our friend was getting married in Delta State, you see, so a number of us were to travel together with a hired minibus.

It seemed I was the first one to arrive but before I realised this, I had seen two women standing a few yards away from the gate of the plaza, just before the car stopped.

“Those may be my friends,” I remember saying to the driver.

“Ah, Aunty…” he replied with obvious cautiousness, “you sure? Those babes, na ashana them be o…”

Ehn? Ashana ke

Prostitutes?

I looked at them again, noticing they didn’t have the typical ‘look’ prostitutes are depicted to have.

“Sister,” he said hesitantly, “you sure say this place good so? Call your friend, make we know where she dey.

I took my phone out of my handbag and proceeded to do so. I don’t remember if she picked up or not or if her number was unreachable. I just know I was still stuck in a dire situation after all said and done.

Make I carry my bag from boot,” I told him, my heart slowly beginning to fill with apprehension.

We both got out of the car after he popped the lever to open the boot. He took out my suitcase and handed it to me.

You no want make I wait?” he asked again. “Make day break small…”

I thought hard about it. It was dark and lonely and if he left, apart from those women, it would be just me. Also, it seemed the gate of the plaza was locked, so the option of me waiting inside was ruled out. I desperately wanted him to wait with me but I knew that would require me paying for his extra time. I had no spare cash on me, save for my cab fare. My plan had been to use the ATM as soon as I could find one. Preferably in daylight.

So I turned down his offer to wait with me.

“OK,” he said finally as I gave him his money. “Happy Christmas.”

He drove away while I rolled my suitcase, deciding to wait at the gate of the plaza, whose security lights were thankfully switched on.

So there I was, a thousand and one things running through my head, my pashmina wrapped tightly around me—whether it was to ward off the cold or my fears is open for debate. I hadn’t been waiting for too long when a black sleek sedan pulled up in front of the two women who had been there earlier. I watched them walk to the car, one leaning through the front passenger window. There was a brief exchange before the girls walked away from the car, back to their previous position. The car drove away from them…and pulled up right in front of me.

I froze.

Aye mi. Continue reading “That Time I Was Mistaken for a Prostitute…Twice in One Morning”

New Year, New Pressures: My Thoughts and Opinions

From as far back as the first week of December (2017), I’d been pondering over what my first post of 2018 would be.

Would I share some of my greatest lessons from 2017?

Would I share how I think we can all make the most of 2018 or share with you my goals?

Would I come at you with a typical-ish motivational post, telling you the beginning of the year is an opportunity to start all over, a chance to rewrite your life, etc., etc.?

I definitely knew my post would have no ‘new year, new me’ mantra (because a new year, does not a new person make).

I have a few opinions on the drama that comes with a new year, though. I shall share two of them with you.

 

Flower vase and diary

 

1st of January is Just Another Day

The 1st of January is usually a day that gets people excited. The most obvious reason is that it represents the beginning of a new chapter, a new phase, fresh hope. A chance to redo things, right wrongs…and all that good stuff. Unfortunately, because it is preceded by the 31st Of December, a figurative ‘end’, it’s also a reminder of goals that are yet to be. It’s a reminder of hopes and dreams that haven’t come to pass.

We’ve reached the end of another year and I’m still not married.

We’ve reached the end of another year and still no babies.

We’ve reached the end of another year and still no promotion at work.

We’ve reached the end of another year and I’m still waiting for admission into the university. Continue reading “New Year, New Pressures: My Thoughts and Opinions”

Christmas Greetings to You, You…and You

So…Nigeria is in quite the hot mess right about now.

*insert pregnant pause*

And, I know too many of us are feeling the heat. However, I’m not writing to lament as I’m sure you don’t need to look too far to see and hear others doing so—on social media, from people around you and even the things you’re most likely experiencing yourself. Continue reading “Christmas Greetings to You, You…and You”

No One ‘Youer’ Than You

You know how sometimes you’re crazy about something—you think it’s the best thing ever (after Phyno, of course), but someone else sees it as average? The reverse may be the case, where you think ‘mehhh’ of something someone else thinks the world of. The Mercedes G-Wagen, for instance—heavy-duty luxury vehicle with specs fit for a king. Some people would rob a bank to acquire it, but guess what? I hate that car! I think it’s so ugly.

 

Orange Mercedes Benz g-wagen

 

In contrast, I love, love, loooove Indian cuisine. From the flavours of the dishes to the aroma of curry, I think it’s just to die for. I don’t believe anyone cooks basmati rice like they do. Please don’t even get me started on naan bread.

Heaven.

However, as much as I love Indian food, I know it’s an acquired taste for a number of people.

Now, imagine the G-Wagen and Indian cuisine are human beings. Imagine they are you and me. That I’m not so keen on the G-Wagen doesn’t mean a different person wouldn’t go gaga over it. My lack of appreciation of the car will never take away the love certain people have for it; the same way someone else’s dislike for Indian cuisine doesn’t make it any less appealing to me. I love it just the way it is, strong flavours and all.

 

Indian curry cuisine platter

 

Have you ever found yourself wanting someone’s love, attention or friendship to the point where you feel the need to pretend to be something you’re not? Well…stop. No matter how amazing you are, not everyone will like or accept you…and guess what? That’s OK. Continue reading “No One ‘Youer’ Than You”

Another Typical ‘Blog-versary’ Post: Oma’s Serendipity is 1!!

It was almost 9 p.m. The date: 07/11/16. I had just published my ‘official’ first blog post. Official because, though I’d created the blog almost two weeks before its actual public ‘launch’, only three people knew of its existence. I’d wanted to test a few themes and get a bit acquainted with WordPress before publishing ‘proper’ posts and spreading the word.

I had initially planned on publishing earlier that day and the post I’d had in mind was Life is but a Journey but my friend/editor delayed in informing me that she had sent back the edited work. That delay ended up being an advantage as the idea for that first post began to form in my head. Do you know, that post turned out to be my favourite for a while? Well…until I wrote What Pastor Kayode Said.

Anyway, there I was, iPad in hands that shook violently as I attempted to take a screenshot of that first blog post to share on Instagram. I took the screenshot, cropped the picture, went on Instagram to upload…and froze completely. My heart pounded wildly and my breathing actually began to feel laboured.

A voice in my head kept saying, “You don’t have to tell anyone about this, you know? Nobody knows about it yet so you still have a chance to just delete what you’ve published and go about your life like nothing ever happened.”

I considered doing that for a moment. Less than a handful of people actually knew and if they’d asked why I didn’t go through with the blog, I could have easily come up with a random excuse. There was certainly nothing they could have done about it.

Well…*grins broadly*…I believe this post you’re reading is a testament to the fact that I didn’t listen to the negative voices in my head because amidst the uncertainty and fear was also a savage determination.

Alas, Oma’s Serendipity has made it to a year! Whooooop!!

*cue atilogwu beat*
*vigorously shaking body to the beat*
*imaginary backflip*

Phew! Continue reading “Another Typical ‘Blog-versary’ Post: Oma’s Serendipity is 1!!”

Prose || Easy Like Sunday Morning?

Hammock with pillow

 

Kachi was going to be late to church…again. She was always wary of Sundays and it was simply because her twins, her beautiful and intelligent but terribly mischievous four-year old daughters, always made the day such a chore. If someone wasn’t spilling milk on her dress, someone was refusing to brush her teeth, a shoe from a pair couldn’t be found or someone was smearing Ruby Woo on someone’s forehead. Those children clearly didn’t know the current cost of MAC lipsticks!

She always wondered why getting them ready on school days was usually such a breeze compared to Sunday mornings, which were, without question…nightmarish. She really was not a fan of Sundays and today was no different. Unfortunately, Nze, her husband, was away on a business trip for the weekend—not like his presence would’ve made any difference. He was even more hopeless than she was when it came to taming their girls. Those two had him wrapped around their tiny fingers.

That morning, she was at the dining area of their open-plan living room, her daughter Adaora seated before her on a low plastic stool as she redid the twists in her hair. The girl had decided to test the efficiency of a fork as a comb because her sister, Adaeze, who was the more mischievous of the two, had told her she could. The other twin in question watched a cartoon whose name Kachi didn’t know, while her mother fixed her sister’s hair.

“Benedicta,” Kachi called her live-in maid.

“Ma?” her maid replied from the kitchen before coming to her. The girl’s face permanently had the look of someone who was expectant—wide eyes, raised eyebrows and pursed lips.

“Please start putting the things in the car. I’ll soon be done with this madam’s hair.”

“OK ma.”

“Take the key,” Kachi told her, pointing to the car key on the dining table. “Don’t forget the cake. It’s on the microwave.”

“Yes ma,” Benedicta replied as she picked up the key.

At the sound of the word ‘cake’, Adaeze came alive. She turned around to look at her mother. Continue reading “Prose || Easy Like Sunday Morning?”

The Cycle of Competence

I once worked as a Customer Service Representative in the Call Centre of an insurance company. Every batch of new recruits was assigned a trainer and ours was a gorgeous man called Neil. I had the biggest crush on him, which was surprising as I’d never thought I could ever find myself attracted to the vanilla brothers. I’m more of a ‘the darker the berry, the sweeter the juice’ kinda gal. Bonus if he’s team #beardgang.

*creepy eyebrow wiggle*

So, naturally, it came as a shock when I found myself attracted to a beardless Caucasian. But Neil was lovely. He was highly intelligent and so cheeky…he was also very married, so the crush died a very natural death once I found out because, well…we don’t roll like that in these streets. No siree. However, I still admired his intellect and even though it’s been years since we worked together, there were things I learned from him as my trainer which have stuck, lessons which I apply till today. In this post, I’ll be sharing one of such—something called ‘The Cycle of Competence’.

Note: I actually believed I came up with that title until I did some research. Alas, the Cycle of Competence (also called the Conscious Competence Ladder) is a concept that has been in existence from as far back as the seventies. It was developed by someone named Noel Burch, an employee of Gordon Training International. Hm! Ah well…

 

The Cycle of Competence 

Cycle of competence oma's serendipity

 

The cycle of competence pertains to the mental progress of a person from a level of incompetence to that of competence. It occurs in four stages—unconscious incompetence, conscious incompetence, conscious competence and finally, unconscious competence.

Sounds like lyrics from a complicated rap song? Not to worry. Imma break it down.

 

Unconscious Incompetence

This is a stage of being unaware of your depth of lack of knowledge of a thing. Have you ever watched someone do something from afar and scoff, ‘that’s child’s play!’ even when you’ve never done it before or even attempted to? Then you try it and realise it’s not as straightforward as you’d initially thought? Yup! Unconscious incompetence. Continue reading “The Cycle of Competence”

Victim Mentality: 12 Reasons to Hate It and How to Overcome It

I was wary as I walked into her living room. We hadn’t exactly been on friendly terms for the past few days as a result of the shabby way she had been treating my friends and I. We’d noticed and began to withdraw. I guess she, in turn, had sensed our withdrawal, because she requested to speak to me about the situation and I consented. I sat on her couch and waited for her to speak.

I listened to her narrate stories of being abused as a child and the more she spoke, the clearer it became that she was attempting to tie her unfortunate experience to the things she did to us. I sincerely didn’t see what her being abused as a child had to do with the way she’d treated us and told her as much. I also told her I felt she had turned her experience into a crutch, thinking she could act however she felt towards people and blame it on her being abused, hoping she’d be excused for her attitude. Continue reading “Victim Mentality: 12 Reasons to Hate It and How to Overcome It”