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Category Archives: Inspirational

Accountability Isn’t Chocolate

Accountability Isn’t Chocolate

I have struggled with inordinate affections for chocolate for some time now. Chocolate isn’t good for me. I could write a long list of the reasons why but time and time again I’d smell its tantalizing scent and gaze upon its well chiselled angles and I’d lose my will and resolve.

It got really bad and I had to tell one of my friends about it. Babe out of love still allowed me indulge a little bit yet she’d give her fair share of warnings to fulfil all righteousness.

Chocolate was giving me drama and yet like a parasite I couldn’t shake it off. One day I looked at myself in the mirror and I couldn’t recognize the person on the other side. She had become needy, jumpy, desperate for a sweet treat, tolerating rubbish just for a moment of sweet sublime. I didn’t like her. I didn’t admire her.

Chocolate definitely didn’t deserve such human adoration or reliance so I got myself a confessor. I picked carefully this time. Found a no nonsense health junky who thought chocolate was the devil! He was brutal, blunt and bold. He spelt it out to me in plain English, sucked out the romance and left me with a toothache. I couldn’t fault him because deep down I knew he was telling the truth. I decided to do better, no candy could hold me down. I started my 12 steps out of chocolate addiction. I was determined. Baby steps I said. I saw remarkable improvements in a short time. Alas it made me cocky.

I began to look disrespectfully at the miniature chocolate bars, eyeing them with disdain. Wondering how I ever let them get the best of me. I was wiser, smarter, too amazing for such filth. I pitied the lesser humans who hadn’t been able to shake off chocolate. I imagined my life free of all encumberances and couldn’t wait to be pronounced fully cured…

I bought some chocolate the other day. Naah don’t worry, I’m good. It was for my niece. I chuckled at a chocolate commercial, naah don’t worry I’m good, the commercial was really good. Last night I dreamed of chocolate. Naah don’t worry, it was a lingering memory but today I saw a really nice pic of a chocolate bar. The one that makes you want to prance into a candy store and I put it up for the world to see and gbam!, into my life with much aplomb came my two accountability partners. We are watching you they said. I blushed with embarrassment and tried to make jest of it. Naah don’t worry I’m fine. The joke was lost on them. Not a smile, their shoulders still stiff. You promised you wouldn’t embrace the darkness again they said. I remembered my promise. I didn’t want to embrace the dark, richness that often turned sour in my mouth but then I saw where I was, standing very close to the precipice. I was on the edge and I didn’t even know it. The familiar had crept up on me and almost entrapped my emotions the same way it had before. I hadn’t slain my dragons, I had merely chained them and they had somehow lured me beyond the safety of the chains and into their den. I needed the reminder, I desperately needed the wake up call. I wasn’t cured, I was in remission from an addiction that still lurked in the shadows. I looked at my friends with tears in my eyes, my accountability partners. Not all heroes wear capes…#grateful

 
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Posted by on February 4, 2019 in Inspirational

 

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Indifference…

Indifference…

A powerful but understated emotion.

 
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Posted by on October 21, 2018 in Inspirational

 

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The Little Finger Phenomenon

GOT-Littlefinger-betrays-Ned

Have you ever sensed that a person may not be all they seem to be? That behind the smile lies a lurking darkness that you can’t quite figure out?

Have you ever felt your instincts kick you in the guts every time a certain person assures you of their loyalty or friendship but you try hard to ignore the ill-feeling?

Have you ever felt like someone you trusted could stick a knife in your back if given the opportunity or would bring you down in a heartbeat if they had the chance?

Have you ever felt a persistent unease around a certain person, the kind of unease that only grows the moment you start divulging classified info or things too personal to share with someone who truly doesn’t have your back?

Don’t suppress the flight or fight emotion, the outcome could be deadly!

At one of my old workplaces there was a woman who was always hanging around me and her words and body language showed she was interested in a more meaningful friendship but I couldn’t shake off the niggling doubts I had deep down. We became acquaintances and as time went by I learned to block out the unease. One day she comes to report a close colleague to me and said a lot of horrible things about the person trying to get a response out of me. As I opened my mouth to speak I saw her hand working very deftly on her phone and my instincts start screaming ‘DANGER’. Of course, she wasn’t looking at me cos her eyes were fixated on whatever she was doing. I leaned over the table and saw her activating the voice recorder. She looked up suddenly and caught my eye and the guilt in her eyes finally cleared every doubt I had ever had. I asked her why on earth she would want to record one part of a private discussion without my consent especially about such a sensitive topic. I walked her out of my office and the charade ended that instant.

What if she had succeeded? She would have messed up my reputation and my friendship with the other colleague without roping she and her inciteful comments in. Sometimes we never actually realise the reason for the uneasiness with certain people. However, it’s safe to say that if your head keeps telling you to be careful and you don’t have a history of paranoia, you should take it seriously.

I call it the ‘Little Finger Phenomenon’. Little Finger in the Game of Thrones Series was my most hated villain because he seemed so helpful and charming and was able to gain the trust of unsuspecting people only to advance his selfish ambitions without caring who he hurt or who he ruined. He did get his comeuppance but at what cost?

Jealousy, ambition, competitiveness, hate, obsession and bitterness are some of the emotions that can trigger your instincts about another person. The negative energy is often hard to ignore by the subconscious mind. So people, today I am asking you to screw the dictates of polite society by not accommodating anyone who constantly makes you uneasy. Keep a more than respectful distance and let your words be few because ultimately you are better safe than sorry!

Have a good day Chutzpah fam,

xoxo

 
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Posted by on July 9, 2018 in Inspirational

 

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The Argument against Gossip

Gossip is therapeutic. I am a grownass woman and I can attest to this fact!

Talking about your grievances against someone to a neutral sympathetic ear makes you feel instantly better.

We justify it by saying we are only confiding in a friend who understands; or airing our views to one who wouldn’t blow it out of proportion. We shy away from the word back-biting seeing it as an unkind synonym.

‘I am not a confrontational person’, we say.

‘I am passive aggressive’, we seek to justify.

‘He/She would never accept the fault was theirs’, we argue.

‘It may lead to a big fight and an end to a friendship you still need’, we silently agitate.

So we say nothing. We talk about our grievances to all and sundry except the aggressor; not realizing that we are creating a monster. A person who feels they do no wrong and goes through life unchecked.

We unknowingly groom a self-righteous fiend and then one day it goes too far and you blow the lid off your pent up emotions and say more than you should about every damn issue that has ever bothered you and the other person is taken aback believing his small misdemeanor led to a torrential outpouring of negative emotion. We overreact like a pressure cooker in its prime. Many friendships do not survive that, even well-meaning ones.

So is gossip really therapeutic? Maybe in the short run but facing your issues with the one you call friend is an investment in your future.

You know you deserve better so if there’s someone out there who you call a friend, who has done things to you that make you choke up with unspoken emotion every time you think of them, man up and tell that person exactly how you feel. Cut out the insults and assumptions and say it as you see and feel it. It won’t be pretty but your friendship will come out stronger and if you have to kiss the friendship goodbye then consider it self-preservation. Nobody is indispensable!

Rise above gossip. Don’t say it to them till you have said it to him/her. #hardbutworthatry

Matthew 18:15 KJV;

‘Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.’

I wish for you friends that stick closer than brothers…

Have a great day Chutzpah fam,

Xoxo

 
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Posted by on April 29, 2018 in Inspirational

 

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Finding yourself!

One day when I was tired of being down trodden and tossed about by the ill winds of life, I gazed upon my reflection and finally saw myself for who I really was…

A Queen!

Dear Woman,

Queens do not hustle.

They do not worry.

They cannot beg.

Queens never doubt their identity.

They do not bend to the whims of others.

They are strong even in adversity.

Queens are not helpless.

They lead.

They have no fear of tomorrow.

Queens know their worth.

They expect the best every time.

They never fail.

They never fall.

Queens sleep easy.

They are beautiful within and without.

They do not seek validation.

They are not afraid to stand alone.

Queens are set apart from the crowd.

They are relevant and significant.

They are favored and recognized.

Their very presence wields influence.

They are confident and self-assured.

They are queens regardless of location or circumstance.

It doesn’t matter if your present reality speaks another story for David was anointed King long before he ascended the throne!

A daughter of a King becomes a Queen.

You are the daughter of the King of Kings.

Step into your destiny and forget about the logistics. You are a force to be reckoned with but until you step into the shoes that are rightfully yours, the odds will remain against you.

You are a Queen. Believe and Become!

 
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Posted by on March 6, 2018 in Inspirational

 

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How to make waiting count 

How to make waiting count 

Everyone has someone or something they are waiting for;

…A meaningful relationship 

…Marriage

…Children 

…A job

…A financial breakthrough

…A business opportunity

…Freedom

…Or just some good news

The list is endless…

We all have that one thing we are waiting for and waiting is not the most pleasant experience. Sometimes it can seem endless and in a few cases we lose patience and shelve our need in the box labelled unattainable and makedo with a more realistic albeit less satisfactory alternative.

So how do we make waiting count? (Since the wait is almost inevitable.)

1. Focus on what you already have.

There is so much negativity in the world that if you only stopped for a second to appreciate what you already have, you would be filled with such gratitude.

https://youtu.be/Eyfa1yR8tx0

2. Don’t miss the lesson to be learned

Waiting teaches us valuable lessons. Write a list of things you have learned about yourself and others since you started the wait. Waiting may have revealed toxic relationships in your life or strengths you didn’t know you had or just shown you how resilient or ingenious you can be. Don’t look down on these life lessons. 

3. Waiting gives us a unique story that can encourage someone else.

You can’t give good advice unless you have walked in that person’s shoes. So what better way to make waiting count than to encourage someone else who is waiting for the same reason, to keep going. A lot of people are not as strong as you are and encouraging someone else will give you an extra boost of positive energy. 

4. Work on yourself while you wait.

Are you waiting for a husband? Work on the rough edges, your perceived weaknesses and eliminating your emotional baggage so that when he does come around he meets you whole. Are you waiting for something else, read about qualities, attributes, qualifications and mindsets needed to accomodate the thing or person you are waiting for. Success is when opportunity (what you are waiting for) meets preparation (what you need to be doing while waiting).

5. Use the waiting time to strike off all the other things on your to-do list.

Sometimes the things we are waiting so earnestly for could change our lives irreversibly for the better and maybe for the worse. A new baby may make getting that postgraduate degree more complicated so why don’t you get it now. A husband may put a dampener on your dreams to travel the world so why don’t you do that now instead of wallowing?

Waiting makes the want or need more memorable and appreciated when it is finally in our grasp. It’s so easy to take for granted the things we didn’t wait or labour for. Don’t waste your waiting time, it’s the right time to do a lot of things. Life is a continuum, there are no pauses or vacuums. Make each day count so that when your expectations become a reality they won’t be brought into an otherwise futile existence. 

Have a great day Chutzpah fam,

Xoxo

 
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Posted by on December 13, 2017 in Inspirational

 

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Time Doesn’t Heal Wrong

Time Doesn’t Heal Wrong

When Bishop David Oyedepo said these words during Shiloh 2017, a lightbulb went off in my head. Truer words had never been said.

Time heals lots of things…a broken heart, an injured knee, the hurt from your past but as awesome as time is, it doesn’t heal wrong. Love may cover wrong but only RIGHT heals wrong!

Are you currently working a job you have no business doing simply because you want to make ends meet? No matter how long a writer paints, unless he has a gift for both expressions of art, his destiny would remain untapped and unfulfilled till he retraces his steps. Yes I do believe in destiny.

A man who kills another man doesn’t become less guilty because twenty years have passed and his crime is still undetected nor a side chick who pushed another woman out of her home.

As long as we walk the wrong path, our comeuppance awaits us regardless of how slowly the clock is ticking. Many people have been sidelined because they went off track and felt too much time had passed and a whole lot of water under the bridge and it was just too late to get back on track.

This principle applies to all aspects of life- your career, your relationship, your marriage, your life decisions etc. It’s never too late to steer yourself back to the right path. It’s the only path to fulfilment but it takes courage to admit that you are on the wrong path and more courage to take a step in the right direction. Only the right direction leads to the path of greatness and self-fulfilment so get going now, even if you are already old and grey.

Be brave!

Have a great Sunday Chutzpah fam,

Xoxo

 
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Posted by on December 10, 2017 in Inspirational

 

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10 personal lessons 5 years of marriage have taught me (10)

The last lesson in this series, certainly not the least and definitely not the last I learned in 5 years because there are countless more lessons that have been learned and are still being learned. Marriage is a lifelong work in progress and with each passing day we glean a little more wisdom.

So drumroll please……

10.  Be open to learn from others even amidst criticism. 

Marriage is like school, there will always be people who have been married longer than you have and people that have less mileage than you have in the marriage school. You can learn valuable lessons from anyone and everyone and learn disastrous ones likewise. People especially Nigerians are always ready to give advice (usually unsolicited) at the drop of a hat. 

Don’t be aversed to listening but be careful about what you internalise.

Better to ask questions than die in silence or assume everyone is walking with the same thorn in their side…

Since I got married, I have learned tons of new things. I could write a book about my now impressive and still expanding knowledge base. From learning how to make my life easier in the kitchen (powdered beans for moimoi, tinned palm fruit for Banga soup) to learning and perfecting dishes from various tribes (ofada, edikainkong, black soup) even lessons in the bedroom (the things the karma sutra forgot to teach you)….There’s so much to learn and tons to unlearn but you have gotta remember that Google is the ONLY knowledge base that provides 100% solicited, unbiased advice without any form of criticism or judgement! Humans won’t be that kind or tactful in their delivery. I have had people complain about wicked in-laws who criticized everything they did when said in-laws were just offering unsolicited advice apparently from a place of love. Realise that in marriage advice will not always be sugar coated, a lot of it may damn well bruise your ego but if you are willing to learn one day you will attain advice- giver status. Don’t be so fast to throw every advise giver into the haters box and nail the lid shut! 

The first time I had to make banga soup from scratch for the in-laws, it was the joint effort of Google, my mum (via telephone), the Holy spirit and my humble self. Hubby is used to me taking my phone into the kitchen and performing magic especially for the meals that are gracing our tables for the very first time and he is always impressed at the outcome (so never be ashamed to solicit help). By the next time, I’m now a don and fishing out recipes to women who need them and that’s life basically. Don’t get ticked off when someone or anyone offers you advice about how to do something better. Yes there would be a lot of toxic, unsolicited and frankly useless advice from people who constantly criticise because they themselves need personal validation but keep a cool head let them talk and then you do what is in your heart to do. 

If the question is too personal or embarrassing, just ask Google. There’s nothing new under the sun. 

After five years of being married I have realised that you are never too old in the business to unlearn something or learn something new and that advice can be from a woman who isn’t married, one who has been married for only a few months or one who has been married for over 30 years. 

Give an ear but don’t give your heart till you are sure it’s good advice!

Have a lovely Saturday chutzpah fam,

A new series begins tomorrow!

xoxo

 
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Posted by on July 22, 2017 in Inspirational

 

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10 personal lessons 5 years of marriage have taught me (9)

Already on the 9th lesson! Time really does fly. Thanks so much for the feedback. The love and support have been so amazing. I was a tad afraid when I started this series because it’s very personal and as Nigerian women we are encouraged to never talk about our marriages. One or two well meaning people have expressed some concern about how deep, honest and ‘raw’ these posts have been but if they give someone insight and maybe save a marriage or two from mayhem then it’s worth every bit of honesty and time invested into it. 

So without further ado, here’s the 9th lesson 5 years of marriage have taught me. 

9. Don’t sacrifice your dreams on the altar of marriage. 

A long time ago, when I was still a las gidi belle getting wedding proposals upandan a man asked me to marry him. He was cute, comfortable and seemed genuine but he said something that was a serious dealbreaker for me. He didn’t want me to be a doctor after we were married. He would get me a nice boutique somewhere posh and I would spend the rest of my days selling fine fine clothes to women and men. I had done a double take back then. After 6 years + X in medical school, I would end up treating fashion emergencies instead of real people just to satisfy his whims? Naaaaaah!

Ask yourself these questions; What are your personal goals? Are you still in line with them days/months/years after marriage? 

Don’t ever lose yourself! It’s so easy to. You had dreams before you got married. 

I had lots of dreams, get an MPH, do a residency program, become a Consultant….amongst others and my husband has encouraged me to achieve each and every dream even when I wanted to give them up because of prevailing circumstances. It’s the exact same thing I do for him. You are not allowed to narrow your qualifications to the single but obvious one of being somebody’s spouse or mom, because one day the kids will be out of the house and hubby will be busy doing whatever it is he has always done and you are gonna look at yourself in the mirror and remember the little girl who wanted to be a pilot! 

If your dreams are important to you, put them on the table when marriage is being discussed. They should not be unexpectedly thrown at a spouse months into the marriage when he suggests you be a stay at home mom. Many women have come to resent their husbands because they gave it all up for him to be great and he (human that he is), didn’t show the right amount of eternal gratitude!

Marriage is a lifelong journey and personal satisfaction and fulfilment are as important as marital fulfilment. I’d rather be part of a power couple than only be the vehicle on whose back my man rose to greatness. Don’t get me wrong, I would be that vehicle if he needed me to be (all day, any day) but it would be a more fulfilling sacrifice if I knew that he was as committed to my success as I was to his. Marriage is a partnership and two can do so much more together than one could possibly achieve. 

Some women have their wings clipped by the men they marry and they have to put a lid on their dreams for various reasons but even with that, old dreams can be replaced with new ones, as long as we are alive we should never stop dreaming. On the flip side, some women ‘retire’ as soon as they bag a husband. They give themselves a pat on the back, hang up their ambition boots and say to themselves, it’s now time to enjoy the life of my head… That is okay if settling down with a good man was all you ever wanted for yourself but the thing is, some men can’t deal with this and they begin to compare their wives to the women they meet every day in the corporate world and when the wives constantly fall short, the men become discontent. Woman know thy man and know thy marriage. If your man respects an ambitious and goal driven woman please dust your qualifications and go wow him! 

In a nutshell, it’s so easy to sacrifice your dreams on the altar of marriage but ask yourself this; ‘Will you be happy and fulfilled in 30 years time if all you have accomplished were mother and wife?’ If the answer is NO then you need to bring out those dusty dreams and start really living! 

There is greatness in you…

Have a lovely evening Chutzpah fam,

TGIF

Xoxo

 
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Posted by on July 21, 2017 in Inspirational

 

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10 personal lessons 5 years of marriage have taught me (8)

The eighth lesson I learned from 5 years of marriage is one that dwells on one of the commonest reasons for divorce worldwide- Money! 

So without further ado here it is;

8. Your finances require an ongoing balance for there to be peace and contentment. The saver versus spender principle!

To manage your finances properly you need to be Ying and Yang- not two Yings or two Yangs. You are allowed to swap roles as the occasion arises but always opposites. 

When I got married, hubby and I had the after-wedding financial discussion which was a follow up of the before marriage talk on the same subject. 

As a woman, I had two options. I could choose to make my money entirely mine and then his money would be ‘ours’ or I could choose to contribute towards the upkeep of the house as I saw fit (without forced compulsion or emotional blackmail). 

I chose the latter. Why wouldn’t I? I grew up in a house where both parents didn’t hold back financially where meeting family needs were concerned and hubby grew up in similar settings. The next hurdle we had to cross however, was who would be the spender versus who would be the saver. It may sound like a no-brainer but it’s actually important. This ying yang theory like I like to call it, came about because I had heard stories of couples who spent everything they had from paycheck to paycheck and were always stranded during emergencies. I had also heard of couples who invested every thing they had in the name of being prudent and were still stranded during emergencies. So we needed to create a balance, not a rigid one- but one that could be modified as the need arose

So I chose to be the saver. I’d always loved saving anyway and hubby believed more in investing than just keeping your money wallowing in the bank for meager profit. He would cover the running costs (spender) and I would save up so we had some money kept aside for projects and emergencies. It wasn’t absolute because neither of us was expected to put in our all into the saver versus spender agreement since it was only logical that we would also have individual personal needs, entertainment included. 

There have been times when hubby was the saver and I was the spender but hardly a time when we were both on the same side of the divide. This has worked for us till date but this can only work when you understand and trust your partner and no one feels like they are being taken advantage of. It’s not a perfect arrangement but as long as you are willing to sit and talk things over when a hurdle arises, you and your monies will be just fine!

The way couples handle their finances vary from family to family and are a product of personal character and upbringing. 

If you grew up in a home where your father did absolutely everything then you are more likely to lean towards that design however it is only fair that your husband knows that’s the deal before he signs up. One of my friends argues that men don’t want to be helped that it makes them lazy and bruises their egos so she is against giving unsolicited help. She has a point because we have seen women who gave their financial ‘all’ to their men and the men rather than appreciating it gave their extra to sidechicks and spent the rest on expensive clothing, toys and trips while the women couldn’t even afford a decent outfit and were worse for wear. There have also been women who by helping their men ended up spoiling them, so a once ambitious man after losing his source of income relegated his position as bread winner to his wife in favor of watching TV and playing video games. Every marriage is unique, you need to know the kind of man you married and therefore deduce the sort of help he would require. If giving your man your money will not make him a man you would respect in the long run then keep your money but save it towards something worthwhile and unselfish that you both would look at and smile. 

You also need to make sure that as a working woman you have some money kept aside for your personal upkeep apart from the one you pool into the family expenses. Clothes, shoes, hair, entertainment, vacations etc. These are important to us women and women who have given their all and left nothing for themselves begun to feel drained, unappreciated and cheated in the long run #truestory. You even end up putting undue pressure on your man because you can’t buy the stuff you want even though women who earn less than you can easily afford them, because you are giving your all to your home and so you expect your hubby to fill in the gap and buy you those things but he figures that since you had the money to buy them and didn’t, you probably don’t need or want them and there you are secretly sighing with dissatisfaction. Abeg who send you message? He can’t read your mind. Communication is key! Make sacrifices but also be vocal about the things you want and need. You are a working woman and entitled to them. You may not get them immediately because of other pressing needs but the fact that you have mentioned them makes getting them a reality in the foreseeable future. 

People always ask me about joint accounts and whether I believe in them. What I’ll say is do whatever works for you both. Hubby and I do not have a joint account but we are very open with our finances so it makes no difference. If a joint account will make it easier to save, by all means do so and if it isn’t an official joint account just one person’s account being used by both of you, let the person who doesn’t keep the ATM card be the one who gets the alerts on his/her phone so there’s accountability. I have heard stories of people emptying their joint accounts secretly to buy something frivolous only for the partner to find out a long time afterwards smack in the middle of a financial emergency. 

Finally if you have doubts, concerns or issues about the way money is being handled in the family don’t stomach them. If you are not working and hence do not feel like you have a legitimate voice, find a tactful and gentle way to be heard or a clever way to save up if the issue has to do with spending habits (usually the most common issue). Finances often wreak havoc in a home but trust and openness are the only way to get money to work for you. 

– Spend

– Save

– Invest

These three are key!

Be the ying to his yang…

Have a lovely afternoon chutzpah fam,

Xoxo

 
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Posted by on July 20, 2017 in Inspirational

 

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