Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Scribed: The Deepest Cut

365 days times a lifetime got us here.
The times evolved and rolled into one another, and time spoke of essence and conversations. Water fountains, lame vocals, palpitating hearts, first sloppy kiss, dirty, gritty, sensual, erotic and sexual, trudging through snow...a beating heart, a heart beat.

Then the cut, It felt like a little girl staring at her first blood without the beauty of a teardrop. My lips are set in firm lines..., This was a deep one!

Deep was not Jessica or I think it was Olamide...I am blurring the lines dude,
It was not banging on the wooden panel, dialing insanity or staring at your pill-laced eyes
Despite the everlasting hole in me, it was not your bloodline staring right through me.
My most sacred place pulsates..., deep was not your first penetration.

We loved! We held hands! We loved dude! We turned the city green and angry! We loved!

Deep was not my sick-bed, an invitation denied...
I thought I heard it kick...simply a thought

In my dearth, I dialed because we loved!
That was when Verizon trembled and fingers remained cold..., that was the deeper cut!
It really did feel like a little girl staring at her first blood without the beauty of a teardrop. My lips are set in firm lines..., no more tears here!
However, that moment both tainted and healed the deepest cut

[Photo Credit]

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Twenty Years From Today...

"“Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed in the things you did not do than the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”"

Author: –Mark Twain

I am in my late 20's, and I am realizing that the above quote is true for me. I regret the things I never got to do, because I was fearful or had no money or time to do it. I have let myself become a professional student without the benefits of living a full life while at it. I have not done the things I have always wanted to do. I have not been to the places I have always wanted to go. I have not loved people the way I want to. I have lived in fear. I have lived holding back. I have lived afraid. I have lived with out the adventures I intensely crave. I have lived little, loved little and danced little. I am on the quest to change that...

My excuses were no money, no time, too old, too young, not appropriate, not lady-like, too tired, not approved by my parents. The older I get, the more I fight the desire to be approved by my parents with all my choices.  However, I own the fault. I let my fear, their fear and my need for their approval hold me back. The fault is all mine. It is now my choice to get up and do what I have always wanted to do. Make my own mistake and learn from it. One day at a time. 

I recenty made two lists. 
A bucket list and a 31 before 30 list. 

I am about to start attacking these goals...one day at a time. I am not ready to display my list, but I will be sharing each accomplishment as I cross it off. My focus is on my 31 before 30 list as I have a few years before I turn 30. If I have the opportunity to do something on my bucket list (which I will keep adding to) I will do it and also share.

I know when I lay on my death bed, I want to answer yes to these five questions...

1. Did I live a life that honored and glorified God?
2. Did I love my family, friends and the random person next door or in the next cubicle totally and sincerely?
3. Did I commit to a life of helping, serving and giving?
4. Did I live out my purpose in terms of professionally or career wise?
5. Did I enjoy my life and do all the things I want to do...did i live fearlessly...taking life by its horn and riding? Did I?

NUMBER 5 is bugging me today, and I need to be able to answer yes to that question.

Beloved, You are Loved Absolutely! 


Friday, September 23, 2011

WHO IS DANIEL?



I call him Daniel; the homeless man who sits across from The George Washington University Hospital at Foggy Bottom Station in Washington D.C. I had walked by him many mornings for several months before I noticed him. I see him each morning shivering in the cold, but I never did see him. November…December…January…February…, he sat in the cold with his dried shriveled hands holding out a cup, and I passed him by swaying daintily in my trendy black boots. Somewhere in my sub-conscious, I knew his was a hard life to live. I despised walking in the cold, but could not fathom the reality of sitting in the harsh winter weather for hours and days wrapped in a blanket. However, I walked by immersed in the intensity of my joblessness, and how the opportunity presented to me at my old job to perform odd tasks was a blessing. Each morning, I got off the train, walked by Daniel to my old job and exchanged my skills, time, and talent for money.

My heart is not consistently broken or compassionate towards the poor. I feel the occasional sadness that arises when it is positioned right smack in my face, but every second after, the memory fades. I shed tears at the stories of orphans rescued through adoption or stories of God’s provision in extremely dire situations. However, I always go back to my life and my issues. I have never stopped to ask “Who is Daniel?” I have never wondered at the circumstances that brought him to the train station. I am yet to ask if these circumstances were his foolish choices or ones brought about by simply living in this society. I never ask. Somewhere deep down in the crevices of my mind, I made a conclusion that his was one of foolish choices made by a Black man. I assigned him three prison terms plus a caseload of no education. In my mind, he was a gang-banger in his prime and a street dawg who probably wore his pants on his knees.

I have never asked “Who is Daniel?” and I am still yet to ask “Who is Daniel?”

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

ABSU Rapists and Victim...My Kinsmen?




I am Nigerian, a country where sex crimes are seldom talked about or in most cases...they are swept under the rug. I am Nigerian, a country where your neighbor's house-boys and your house-maids touch your kids inappropriately. They are also your children's first teachers in the act of oral sex. Yes, I am Nigerian; I am of a country where Uncle Eric touches you in the wrong places and walks free. A country, where husbands beat their wives without repercussion, and where the shame of rape is exclusively the victim’s and hardly ever reported. I am Naija, a country shipping its women to Europe as sex trafficking victims.

I am Nigerian, a kinswoman to the ABSU 5.

I am not here to berate Nigeria, neither am I writing to focus on the good. I am also aware that all countries have the evils I mentioned above. However, like I said, I am Nigerian simply observing the evils and pointing it out.

I did not see the video of the five alleged Abia State University students raping a woman for an hour, but reading about the news sickens me. I do not understand evil, and I could never comprehend how people can blatantly hurt others and laugh it off. The depth of the human heart decay blows my mind. There are so many versions to the story, and I will not be relaying any one version to you. All that matters is five men raped a woman, video-taped it and put it out for the world to see. That is enough information to make you cringe. It is also reported by many online sources that the authorities at the university and in Abia State either denounced the event or conducted a shabby 48 hours investigation. The investigation ended in the authorities declaring that the evil was not committed by students at the university or in the state. This is apparently a laughable conclusion for many who have watched the video or heard an audio. If you are Nigerian, you know trusting your authorities is number one on your "Do not do" list. Maybe if it was the state governor’s daughter in the video, maybe the investigation would have been longer, thorough and result oriented. I am sick of authorities in Nigeria acting like they do not owe the people their service. The walk on the people, steal money and walk free, Case in point...Babaginda.  The ABSU 5 should not be allowed to get away with their crime.

I am further appalled by people's comment online and on twitter. Nothing justifies rape...Nothing justifies rape...Nothing justifies rape.  If you ever believe that rape can be justified, you are sick.  If you, your sister, your niece, your mother, your cousin or your wife has ever been sexually assaulted on any level, you are much aware that nothing justifies rape.

I am tired of some men, especially those, raised in cultures like mine justifying the oppression of women. Women are not commodities. They are not properties. They are not child bearing machines. They are not maids. Women are not possessions to meet your needs. They are also not created to be violated and assaulted. I am sick of the judgment placed on women who choose a difference course than you deem them worthy of. What the heck did the victim in this video say or do to justify raping her? And to teach her a lesson she will never forget, you saved your ego and manhood by employing four other able-bodied men to teach her a lesson. A lesson I can assure you she will never forget. I pray she heals. So now the deed is done, she is raped and violated. It does not change the fact that your manhood is dead. For every woman you rape, I believe you lose an essential and important part of you. For every act of force on a woman most sacred physical part, a curse is rained upon you. One you cannot escape, save God.

I am also shocked by the women who believe she deserved it. It is like Chris Brown and Rihanna rewind.  Women should never be on the side of a rapist, especially against a woman they have never met or heard about. Most people online and on twitter do not know this woman or her story, but are quick to blame her for her tragedy.  It is a tragic. I cannot begin to comprehend what if feels like to be touched inappropriately or raped by a man you trust or who is supposed to be protecting you or by someone you do not know. I am sure it carries the same feeling of shame and pain. Every time you hear of another victim, you cringe and relive that experience all over again. You are right there in the room you innocently walked into as an 8 year old girl or a 24 year old woman. You may never forget the feeling of shame, angst and guilt. You might say to yourself “maybe if I had stayed upstairs instead of coming down the stairs,” or “maybe if I had gone with my friends instead of staying home to read a book.” Many times, the lines are blurred, but you have sworn that this will never happen to you again or to the ones you love or the random lady who lives next door.

I believe the experience of a rape victim is made worst by others who blame her and hurl insult at her. The experience is not made better by comments like “Rape is surprise sex” or “Just forget about it, and move on with your life”

ABSU 5 cannot walk freely. For each one of the 5 who walks free, there is a woman in pain. For each one of the 5 who falls in love later in life and has kids, there is a woman wondering when men would stop hurting and start protecting. For one of the 5 who graduates from ABSU and proceeds to practice law, there is a victim who desires justice. For each free-swinging rapist, there is a victim dead and hopeless.

I am glad to see that despite all of the above, people are not letting this atrocity go. Nigerians are not shutting up to the authorities. Nigerians at home and in the diaspora are standing up and speaking up for one person.
So, yes, I am Nigerian, a country where the people are demanding justice for ABSU rape victim. I was raised Nigerian, a country where the youths have taken to the internet streets asking for justice. If nothing else happens, then at least everyone in Nigeria and on the Internet must know that these men are rapists. A country where celebrities and every-day people are not shutting up until these men are caught and dumped in prison. I am Naija, a country where culture is slowly changing, but it is changing. Our men are standing up and our women are denoucing sex crimes. 

I am Nigerian, a kinswoman to the ABSU victim.

[Photo Credit]

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Scribed: Baby Boy




I heard the cry of a new baby.

Seven loud booms erupted from the village square indicating the birth of a baby boy. My heart sank yet again. The new mother, Moyin, is probably engulfed in the celebration of the other mothers as they dance around her birth-bed.

She is blessed.

Her first child is a human god...a baby boy. The father should be outside the door beaming with pride. The news of a baby boy makes a day of interrupted hunting bearable. Men are not allowed in the room during delivery. They say it allows the spirit of fertility reside comfortably in the room and keep the mother's womb open for another child if she so desires. The spirit of fertility is not a fan of grown men, they say. The ancient also tells us that any man who walks into a delivery room, albeit accidentally, is rendered impotent for life.

I am banned from birth beds. I am considered a man. In the eyes of my people, I am a man. Seven years of marriage and the gods have refused to enlarge my womb with the presence of a baby boy. I am the shame of my family, and my husband's family sneers at me. The people scorn me.

But, the gods do know how to sustain a broken heart with a gift that gives giving. My husband stands by me, sticks up for me and loves me.

"Only the gods give children. We perform the act that opens up the door for them to step up. If they do not, I am sure they have a reason."

How he ignites my heart with love! The way he looks at me tells me I am the beauty he longs to behold for the rest of his life. I am contented in the way he looks at me; however, how long will his smitten eyes stay on me? Can my beauty and his love last long enough until death separates us or would my barren womb eventually turn his love sour? Am I willing to wait for that day to dawn upon us?

The shuffle of the women's' feet as they walk pass my hut broke me away from my haze. Their shadows hurried quickly by. Silence fell as they walked pass my hut. A silence so dead, I felt my belly jump. I am the reason for their silence; Talking about me on a day like this kills the womb.
 

Friday, September 16, 2011

Day 9: How Important I Think Education Is...

The politically correct answer is education is very important.
My elder sister once said "It is one of the biggest legacy my parents will leave us."
Education is very important. It is like the next best thing to making a realistic fairly good living...
However, I really wonder about the hype of education, the student loans (at least here in the States) and the time wasted growing skills that you might never use...

I do know I am knowledgeable about a lot of topics I personally have no interest in, because I got a good education. I can keep up with diverse conversations, because I have been going to school all my life and I learned a lot of things. I do wonder if watching TV and my avid desire for reading, traveling and meeting people makes me make knowledgeable or maybe I can fake confidence until I can talk it. lol

But, you bet I will be making sure all my children go to school and get a good education regardless if the talent they have needs no education to be groomed. lol


[About 30 Days Challenge]
[Photo Credit]

Monday, September 12, 2011

In Limbo...

I am in a place where I am tired of life as it is. Limbo is a frustrating place to be and I am there.Everything feels like it is up in the air, and I am not sure how it is going to fall.

I find myself constantly saying "I am ready, Lord."
I am just not sure what actions to take to get there. You know the saying "If you do not like the way your life is going..change it." It is so easy when you know what to change and how to change it.

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.

I have that restless feeling...I am itching for something new something different something adventurous something adrenaline provoking...

Saturday, September 3, 2011

So Long Insecurity!


Most people have described me as Confident. Enthusiastic. Energetic.Outgoing. Passionate. Brave. Sassy.  Rebellious. Adventurous. Funny....

These are the adjectives that does describe my personality, however the attributes most people never encounter with me are defined by my insecurities. You may never have known that I am scared of failure. I am equally scared of success. I run from harsh criticisms. I question if I am still beautiful. . I have commitment-phobia. I do not want to be alone for the rest of my life. I sometimes wish I did not have an accent. I want to walk the path less traveled, but question If I have the stamina. I hate comparing myself to anyone, but I find myself doing just that. The list is endless.

A quote I found on an old friend's blog got me thinking.
Pride is the graveyard of leaders
Insecurity is the psych-ward.

It got me thinking about purpose and direction. I am particularly stuck on insecurity being the psych-ward for leaders. In my life and in the lives of many others I have encountered, it is the place we all settle. A place of insecurity and inferiority complex. Our minds are handicapped by fear and insecurities. I look back over the trajectory of my life, and I see the instances where I have held back. I am aware of the many times I refuse to move, because I felt I was not good enough, beautiful enough,  strong enough or smart enough. Choosing a purpose in life or finding direction can sometimes be obstructed by fears and insecurities. Everyone has insecurities about something; for some it is a tiny part of life, and for others it occupies a huge portion of daily living.  Insecurities occupy a tiny part of my life in some areas, and I am overwhelmed by them in other areas of my life.

And then it occurred to me that I am stuck in a place that will wreck me if I do not stand up and move. Who exactly am I trying to please? God or man? When do these insecurities rear their heads, and what exactly is going on here? It occurred to be that my insecurities become visible when I am trying to be someone else, but me. They come awake when I am doing or seeking something God does not intend for me. They come alive for the wrong reasons, when I am in the wrong places and seeking after the wrong things. I remember an instance last year when I was living in DC. I was on the train to work, and I suddenly began to question exactly how and if I was physically beautiful. Crazy thing is I know I am beautiful, but here I was questioning the very truth of me. I stopped to retraced my steps, and I realized that this thought process emerged when I walked into the train and not just admired, but coveted another lady's eyes. Insecurities for me usually starts with wanting or desiring something that I am not called to do, be or have.

It also occurred to me that many of things I have insecurities about are the things that I get compliments for when I do them in my own unique way. They are the things I love to do. I enjoy writing, but I question my writing when I try to write like someone else or compare their writing to mine.  I love to dance, I enjoy getting the job done, meeting people, being different when I speak and in how I look. However, I get insecure when I begin to compare the way I say "Minnesota" to the way you say "Minnesota." I have been told by countless supervisors that I have strong work ethics. I have been told that my hair is beautiful and others wished they have the guts to wear their hair natural. I have been told that "I wish I have the confidence you have each day to get up in front of a crowd and speak clearly and with confidence." I have been told that I am an excellent writer, and it is one phrase that shows up in every recommendation letter I have written on my behalf. I have been affirmed by God on several occasions about my attraction to Black, White, Asian men, and that all He expects from me is to marry from HIS HOME, but I question what others would say. I have led several groups, supervised over 12 people and have been recommended for several leadership positions. I have been told by two different supervisors that I was their best interviewee and I have always being hired. I can dance up a storm and I know it.

Therefore, I question the reality of my insecurities and the power I let it have over me. I wonder what exactly is the truth. Do we walk away from the very things that we are good at and called to, because the devil makes us believe we are no good at it. Or do we stay stagnant, because he places a different good before us and makes us questions our own good? It is the question I try to answer each time I am confronted by an insecurity in the privacy of my home or when sitting among friends.

My biggest insecurity in this season is regarding my writing. I am so scared I will fail at it, but I am constantly strengthen by two scriptures

So do not fear, for I am with you;
Do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. (Isaiah 41:10)


I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; 
I will counsel you with my eye upon you. (Psalm 32:8)

I might have dealt with insecurities growing up, but I was not aware of alot of 'em until I turned 25. Whadaheck? I thought I would get more confident in my skin as I aged not the other way round.However, awareness has brought about the desire to fight them especially in my thoughts before they become my personal perceived reality. I constantly pay attention to what I am thinking, and when it gets negative especially when I am tired or hungry...I stab it with the Word of God, some positive thoughts and postive self-talk.

I decided I will not spend my life believing things about myself that are not true...that is not a joyful life. I tell ya!

Beloved..., You are Loved Absolutely!




[Photo Credit]

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Day 8: What I Ate Today!

I have been slacking on getting you to know me. A 30 days challenge is turning into months...lol. To be fair, I did mention that it might take me a while to get through 30 days. Bear with me.
  • Ewa Goyin (Mashed Beans) with tomatoes stew, fried plantains and sauteed turkey.
  • Banana Split Candy
  • Moin Moin (Bean Cake) and Garri (Dried Powdered Cassava)
  • Three Bottled Water
  • One Bottle of Malt Drink
It was a beans day.
I spend most of the day writing, and when I do that, I forget to take breaks to eat. It was a blessing I got two meals in.

[About 30 Days Challenge]
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