Posted in Relationships

I’m worth it..

You don’t ever have to feel guilty about removing toxic people from your life… You don’t have to make room for people who cause you pain… It’s one thing if a person owns up to their behaviour and makes an effort to change… But if a person disregards your feelings…they need to go. – Danielle Koepke.

Hi guys,

So, today I really just want to carry on from my last post. In my last post, I talked about friendship, what it meant to me and my road to figuring out when and how to walk away from a friendship. There were a lot of questions left unanswered in that post. However, I feel like I finally have an answer to one of the questions; “how do you know when to walk away from a friendship?”

I find it very difficult to walk away from a friendship for different reasons. A lot of them surround the fact that I might have been friends with the person for a long time. So, there is a lot of history. Another problem I have with walking away is just the simple act of caring. Obviously, having been friends with this person, I care about them. So, what usually happens is; they do something wrong, I get upset, they apologise, I forgive and generally forget and we’re back to being good friends again. But then it happens again, and again, and again…..

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This time, I wanted things to be different because I was tired of the constant upset. I needed things to be different and I guess that was my reason behind the last post. It was while replying to a comment on the last post that a lightbulb went off in my head. The comment said “Knowing what you want in a friend or expect from a friend should make the decision easier”. I read the comment and thought ‘I already know what I want in a friend, so why isn’t the decision easier?’ This was when it hit me.

The decision was never going to be easy. Especially if it is someone that you truly care about, someone you have shared plenty memories with. It’s never going to be easy to cut them off. However, what makes it a little bit easier is recognising your worth and realising that you deserve to be treated better. No one deserves to be treated badly. A good friend lifts you up, they don’t put you down. You’re not a doormat and you shouldn’t let anyone treat you like one. It is possible to forgive from a distance, care from a distance. A distance far enough for their actions not to have an impact on you.

It is in realising this, that I made the decision to keep a good distance. I’m not angry, and I’m not holding a grudge. I just know that I’m worth being treated better, so I’m going to take myself out of the situation.

Till next time

-A

Posted in Relationships

What does friendship mean to YOU?

“The truth is, everyone is going to hurt you. You just got to find the ones worth suffering for.” – Bob Marley.

Do you ever feel like some people do not know the meaning of friendship?
When does someone go from being an acquaintance to being a friend? Or do we just not have acquaintances anymore?
When you call someone a friend, what does that actually mean? What does it mean to you and what does it mean to them?
How do you measure your closeness to a friend? What are the different degrees of friendship and what do they mean to you?
What would you expect from a friend that is supposed to be close to you? and what would you do for a friend that is close to you?
How do you know when to walk away from a friendship and how would you go about it?

As usual, these thoughts came about from a conversation that I was having with a friend; in the comment section of a Facebook meme. These are questions I have never had to ask myself. However, I found myself thinking about these the other day.

I see a lot of friendships that honestly just leave me feeling perplexed. The other day, a girl was talking about her friend. Her best friend. The things she said to me about her left me gobsmacked. I just did not understand! How can you call someone your best friend, only to turn around and insult her behind her back. To me, it comes across as though you don’t like them. So why are you friends with them?

For me, the word ‘friendship’ carries a lot of weight. It is not a term that I use loosely. In my opinion, a friend is someone who TRIES their very best to be there for you through good and the bad times. I say ‘tries’ because sometimes they are not able to be there, not because they choose not to, but because sometimes life gets in the way. Obviously, the depth of a friendship depends on the the degree of friendship. You expect different things from different people based on how close you are to them.

A friendship is a relationship. Like every relationship, it can only work if both parties are pulling their weight.
I think for any friendship to work, both parties need to be aware of what the other person wants or expect from the friendship. When I consider someone a close friend, I would expect them to be there for me, as I would for them. I don’t know about you but this is what I consider to be friendship. Recently, I was in a situation in which I felt a close friend was not there for me. Not because they couldn’t be there, but because they chose not to. As the person is a close friend, it really hurt. Just to be clear, I’m not writing this to give out to her or to air dirty laundry. However, this situation brought about a few questions.

How many let downs is one willing to take? or should I say is one able to take?
At what point do you recognise whether its worth it or not?
Are the good times worth the bad times? Because no relationship is perfect.
How do you walk away?

I guess what I’m trying to figure out is what friendship truly means for me and whether or not I need to walk away.

Till next time

-A

Posted in Culture, Empowerment, Relationships

Stop being so ‘Westernised’.

I am often referred to as being ‘too westernised’. I have lost my Nigerian roots and therefore need to reacquaint myself with my roots and culture.

Generally, statements like this wouldn’t bother me. However, in this particular case, it did. The last time I was referred to as being westernised was during a discussion about marriage. Basically, I had complained about the lack of consideration that I sometimes noticed in Nigerian marriages and I was making it clear that I was not going to stand for it. I gave a clear example of how husbands inevitably treat their wives as slaves. I’m not saying all Nigerian men do it, but it is definitely something that the culture encourages. The woman’s job is to keep the home and the man’s job is to bring money into the home. And this is taken as the norm regardless of what the situation is.

This might have worked in our parent’s age, when the man worked and the women were housewives or as I like to call it now, ‘domestic engineers’. But in these times, when both the man and woman work or the woman is the breadwinner, are we still suppose to stick to the old mantra? The response I got back should not have surprised me, but it did. It surprised and angered me. To summarise it, I was told that I needed to go read about women in the past and study how they lived their lives. A woman’s role was to take care of the house and her husband and she should be happy doing it regardless of the situation.

I’m sorry, but no. I want to make it clear that I have no problem taking care of our home. I have absolutely no problem taking care of my man either. In fact, it will give me great pleasure doing it. However, I don’t see how asking for your partner’s consideration is westernised. It isn’t just my home, it is OUR home. In a situation where the man isn’t working, he still expects her to come home after work to make pounded yam and efo for him. The efo is in the fridge, processed pounded yam is there, why can’t he boil water and make food for himself or even better, for the both of them. Why does she have to come home and do all that? It is acceptable for him to sit in the house and do nothing all day, and still, wait for his wife to come home and wait on him. Because he is the head of the house. Lies. That’s not marriage. It’s slavery and I’m not interested.

I don’t understand how a person can claim to love another person, while putting them in constant discomfort. If a person truly cares about you, they should want to make things easier for you, not more difficult. And sometimes making things easier, isn’t about giving me money to cook. Sometimes, it is about picking up the hoover and hoovering. Sometimes, it is about cooking a meal because I am wrecked. Sometimes, it is about cleaning the bathroom. Sometimes, it is about attending to the crying baby, rather than passing the child to me (why can’t you change the nappy? it takes two to tango!). Sometimes, it is about letting me sleep in on a Saturday morning. I don’t care what culture says, times have changed.

Sometimes our roles in the home changes. When it does, what worked before might not work as well anymore. Sometimes, couples need to go back to the drawing board and find something else that works for everyone. I don’t see this happening in a lot of Nigerian marriages. I see a lot of unhappy and tired women. For me, it is a problem. One that I am not willing to get myself into.

Till next time

-A

Posted in Relationships

SOMETIMES WE FORGET..

Sometimes we lose sight of the important things in life. When something goes wrong, we forget all the positive things we have going for us and dwell on the negative. Only when we are reminded, do we learn to appreciate all that we have going for us.

Life is so short. This is a saying that we hear a lot of the time. But it doesn’t really hit you until you are forced into a situation in which you learn the value that is, life. One only has to watch the news or go on any social media to be reminded of the hell some people are living everyday. We hear of the heartbreaking stories, see horrible photographs, and we feel sorry for them. We might like it, share it, pray for the people involved, have a conversation about it, talk about how sad it is and how lucky we are that we are not in their position. BUT do we really think about it? And for how long?

Recently, I experienced what it felt like to lose a loved one. Up until the moment the incident happened, things were quite shaky between us. I mean, for at least four weeks before the incident, we had gone from being best of friends to almost enemies. We both felt that the other person didn’t care. Conversations were painful between the both of us. There was so much anger and hurt. I felt I had lost a friend and confidant.

To lose someone isn’t necessarily losing someone to death. We lose people in different ways. A person does not have to pass away for you to feel their loss. My friend didn’t pass away and I cannot thank God enough for that. He gave me a second chance to fix things and slapped some sense into me. With everything, going on with my friend, I forgot what was truly important. We had a fight. Yes, it was a big fight and I was hurting really badly. But how important was this fight in the grand scheme of things?

I remember that throughout the incident, all I prayed for was good health. Nothing else mattered. It did not matter that until she fell ill, we didn’t say a word to each other. Until she fell ill, awkwardness filled the air in the room that we both resided in. Until she fell ill, I wanted to be away from her. Until she fell ill… I just wanted her to be fine and I would have done anything to get her back to the person that she was.

I’m still hurting, maybe a little more than before. I’m not over the fact that I almost lost someone so close to me. But on the scale of important things, my feelings are not nearly as important as the relationship I had with my friend. We’re probably still going to argue over the whole situation and that is completely alright. As long as we both realise what is really important; that life is extremely short. I got a second chance, this time. I am extremely grateful for it. Next time, I might not. Next time, you might not.

Remember what is important.

Till next time

-A

Posted in Empowerment, Relationships

Life is all about COMPROMISE.

Life is all about COMPROMISE.

Do you hear this a lot? I know I do.

Now, I completely agree with this statement. We have to compromise on certain things. This is most definitely more significant when there is someone else involved, like in a relationship. No two people are the same, people do things differently, they think differently. So, of course you’d need to have some kind of understanding or compromise to make certain things work.

HOWEVER, there are some things that I personally wouldn’t compromise on.

What bothers me is when someone tells me what I need to compromise on. When I think of the word ‘compromise’, I think of the small things. People say you can compromise on the small things but don’t compromise on the big things, like your beliefs, morals blah blah blah. But who decides what’s big and what is small? I feel like what you choose to compromise on should be down to you. You alone know what you can or cannot deal with, so only you should be able to decide what is up for compromise. What is small to one person, could be big to another and vice versa.

For instance, there are some things I cannot personally compromise on. However, some people would see it as no big deal. Quick example, I CANNOT deal with dirt, mess and everything related to it. I’m not a clean freak, but I know for a fact that I wouldn’t be able to live with a guy who is messy/dirty. This is a personal thing. I have lived in messy houses and it was hell! This is something I absolutely cannot compromise on. If the guy is willing to change, then I might think about it. BUT if not, it would be one of those ‘no go areas’ for me. Now, majority of people reading this would probably roll their eyes, or think I’m making a big deal out of nothing. That’s completely fine, roll away. They’re probably thinking ‘If she had no choice, she would have to deal with’. Yes, If I had no choice I would have to deal with. I dealt with it for a couple of months, because I had no choice, but was I happy? NO. So, why make a choice or compromise that will make me unhappy? After 23 years on earth, I think I know myself well enough to be able to take informed decisions on MY life.

Relationships are hard enough to keep. Adding unnecessary stress to it does not help. So, before you get into one, think of the compromise that you are going to have to make and decide whether it is something that you can live and be happy with. It’s one thing to be able to live with it, it is another to be happy to live with it.

Till next time

-A

Posted in Culture, Empowerment, Relationships

Where is he?

do not choose the lesser life.

do you hear me.

do you hear me.

choose the life that is. yours.

the life that is seducing your lungs.

that is dripping down your chin.

-Nayyirah Waheed

Let’s talk about the Idea of Nigerian parents, not all, but most expecting you to get married as soon as you’ve graduated. It seems that they assume that with your graduation certificate comes a marriage license.

Now, if that is what YOU want for YOURSELF, and YOU have found a man that YOU are happy to live with for the rest of your life, then so be it. However, if you don’t have a man or you don’t necessarily want to get married straight out of college, this could be a problem.

As Nigerians, we get the “extra parents”. The community where everyone thinks they are your parents. Every person assumes they have the right to talk to you anyhow they deem fit because ‘they care for you and would say the same thing to their daughter’. So, even when your parents aren’t pushing you to get married ASAP, you have the aunties and the uncles at mosque/church asking about it. And if you’re lucky, you have the aunties that are really close to you pestering you to find a man and even telling you which mosques has more men. Every text or call you get is assumed to be from this ‘husband’ to be. You hear a lot of ‘You’re finished uni, what are you waiting for?!’, ‘See, your friend is married now, what are you waiting for?!’.

This might not seem like a big problem if you’re a person that doesn’t really read much into what people say. Like my friend says, just laugh and nod. I tried that, it didn’t really work for me. My laugh and nod were followed by a ‘Why are you laughing, you’re not getting any younger’. If you’re like my friend and it isn’t one bit of a bother to you, then kudos to you. Keep doing what you are doing. However, if you’re the opposite, then this post is for you.

It is so easy to convince yourself you are ready for something because everyone around you is telling you that you should be. But try to take a step out of it all and listen to yourself. Think about what you want. Please do not let people put PRESSURE on you. Everybody has their own path and things will happen at the best time. Do not let people rush you into something you’re not ready for. There is absolutely no need to rush, it will happen when it happens. Do not let them make you feel bad because you haven’t found the one yet. Life is not a race. It’s much better to take the time to find the right guy than to end up with a guy you’re not sure about or unhappy with.

‘women don’t have time, do what you’re going to do quick’

Lies! Take your time! Marriage is not something you rush into or should rush into. And it most definitely isn’t something you can rush out of. It is a life contract! Think about it! Remember that the people that are pushing aren’t the ones that are going into the marriage. It’s your life and whatever happens in it is your cross to bear. Our parents put pressure on us without realising they are doing it. It is up to us to try to withstand that pressure and focus on what we want.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with not having a man, yet. Don’t beat yourself up because you don’t have anyone to bring home yet. Don’t allow them to make you feel bad over something that you have no power over. Focus on being the best person that you can be and the right man will find you when the time is right. Take the time to work on yourself. Know what you want and do not compromise on the important things. Be patient with yourself. I truly believe that things will happen at the right time.

My advice is to stay true to what you want and stay true to yourself. At the end of the day, it is your life and you should do what makes you happy. And whatever you do, make sure you do not settle. When you do make the decision to get married, make sure that it is your decision, not someone else’s.

Till next time

– A

Posted in Relationships

This post is NOT about a blender.

Hello, It’s meeee!

A life without a blender is a life not lived – Amexa

This past week has been extremely busy for me, both at work and at home.

I moved to a new place last weekend. Anyone who has moved house will be able to understand exactly how hectic it is. The most annoying part is that you don’t realise what you need until you need it. For example, I was all ready to do some cooking, when I realised that the blender available in the house was tiiiiiiiny. I ended up trying to use this miniature blender to cook my basic stew. It took me much longer than it should have AND it was lumpy :(. I was determined not to go through that mess again. My week was busy, so I didn’t get time to go to the shops. I decided to leave it till the weekend. On Saturday, I was all ready to get my blender. I was on a mission. I was going to buy my blender, and cook my stew. But NAH! I got to the shop, and they told me they wouldn’t have the particular one I wanted until the next day, Like really? After all that. The next day, I went back in and I picked up my blender. I have to say that I have never appreciated a blender as much as I do now. I cooked my stew in a short period of time and it was without lumps. We thank God.

Contrary to what you may be thinking, this post is not about a blender!

As I said earlier, I moved house last week. A couple of hours after I got into the new place, not one, but two people had mentioned that they had noticed a change in me. A good change. They basically said that I was a moody cow, and now I’m not. Thanks for the abuse guys, y’all are too kind! Anyways, their comments got me thinking. They were right, not about being a moody cow, but about the fact that I was a little different. I was still the same person, but I was happier. The only thing that had changed was my environment, but it impacted greatly on my happiness. Moving from an uncomfortable situation to a comfortable one, would have an impact on anybody. Environment in this sense doesn’t just refer to the place that you live. Your environment is anything that you surround yourself with. This includes, friends that you keep, places you visit, discussions that you have, people you talk to, words that you speak, words that are spoken to you. It is important that whatever you choose to surround yourself with impacts you positively, and not otherwise. If it does not have a positive impact, then it gats to go.

Unfortunately, there might be some things that we can’t change. While you’re waiting for that to change, focus on the things that you can change. Focus on the other positives in your life. Friends are definitely something you can change. It took me a while to accept this. Sometimes, you keep people in your life because you want to be a good friend, because you feel guilty. You feel bad because you guys have been friends for so and so amount of years. Or because your mum and their mum are besties.  Nah! Go find your own bestie. When it comes to your personal well being, you have to be selfish. You have to love yourself enough to get rid of toxic people. If a situation or a certain person adds nothing but negative vibes to your life, they need to go. Life is too short.

Remember that “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with” – Jim Rohn

Yes, Happiness comes from within. However, the environment that you surround yourself with can affect that happiness. Think about your friends, think about how they speak to you. Do they encourage you or discourage you? How do you feel when you are surrounded by them? Do you feel like they help you to reach your full potential? Are they always moaning about one thing or the other? Have you actually gained anything from them or have they gained from you? Do they want the best for you, even if it means you will be doing better than them?

I saw this quote today on Instagram and I thought it made perfect sense

“Create safe spaces for yourself. Wrap yourself in goodness and warmth and love. Stay surrounded by people who are genuine— think twice if you can’t trust them with your heart. You are allowed to protect your peace. Be mindful and aware of all energy that you allow into your life” – Alex elle

Till next time

-A

Posted in Relationships

SOMETIMES, CHANGE IS GOOD

Yesterday, TWO of my wisdom teeth were removed. I wasn’t going to write about it as I knew I’d only be whining. However, my trip to get my teeth removed helped me realise a couple of things. Firstly, I realised that I would have to give up my beloved chicken for a couple of days (Sad momentsL). Secondly, I became aware of the fact that my relationship with my mum had changed considerably.

Mum and I had decided to drive up to Cork for my dental appointment, as we didn’t think getting the bus after getting your teeth pulled out would be much fun. While we drove up, mum asked me again what I planned to do after college. In the past, we had talked about my plan to definitely move to England, but when it came to talking about a masters programme, I had always found a way to change the subject. This time, I couldn’t avoid it as I was stuck in a car with her for the next two hours. So, I told her what my plans were. “I’m not pushed to go into another couple of years of study, blah blah blah… and I definitely do not want to go into clinical psychology.” I made sure not to look at her as I said it, as I was worried her facial expression might change my mind. She was silent for a split moment and then she asked what my reasons were, and I explained. She basically then said to do what makes me happy (within reason, of course) and “Life is too short.” The relief I felt in that moment is indescribable. As much as I wanted to do what was best for me, I really didn’t want to let her down. So, her seal of approval was somewhat important.

In that moment, I realised how much my relationship with my mum had changed drastically and I couldn’t help but smile. Our relationship had grown from just a mother-daughter relationship, to a friendship that I have come to cherish. She now talks to me as an adult and requests my opinions on both important, and unimportant matters. I realised that I didn’t have a reason to be worried about telling her about my plans. I just needed to open up to her and let her be a friend; let her be there for me. That’s all she ever wanted, anyway. My mum used to always say “My children are my best friends.” But I never truly believed it until yesterday.

Looking back, I remember when we knocked heads over everything. There is one situation I will never forget. My mum and I had just had another one of our arguments when a guest came in and literally said ‘Are you guys fighting?’ My mum and I were sitting on different sides of the living room and were saying nothing to each other, but the guest could sense the iciness between us (that’s how bad it was). Nowadays, you’ll generally find my mum in my room, filling me in on her day and asking about mine, generally gossiping. Sometimes, I actually have to kick her out because I have so much to do. When I’m studying, she brings me a cup of tea, which is basically her excuse to have ‘the chats’before I kick her out again. When she asks about college, she says ‘So, what are we going to do next year?’ We have come a long way. I’m now able to hold a conversation without using the words ‘you’re ruining my life’ and she is now able to actively listen to what I have to say. It’s quite amazing to see the growth in our relationship over the years. She’s my confidant. We still have our arguments because no relationship is perfect. However, these days they are mostly about her stealing my perfumes. I thank God for this growth and I am very happy to say that my mum is one of my best friends.

Till next time

-A