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16 Reasons to Be thankful for 2016 (despite the bloopers)

It’s so easy to look back on 2016 and call it your worst year yet. We got neck deep into an economic recession, pay checks got pay cuts while market prices soared and a bunch of people lost a lot to ponzi schemes…I’m sure far worse things happened (disease, death, heartbreak, betrayal etc) but instead of focusing on the nasty, I choose to be grateful for 2016 and usher in 2017 with a heart of gratitude. So here are 16 things to be grateful for as we draw the curtains on 2016!

1. You are alive

A lovely woman I know, lost her life a couple of weeks ago and just three months to her wedding. She was killed by a disgruntled steward (may her gentle soul RIP) :-(. So many have died this year. There are mass killings happening in Kaduna, we all should be grateful for life, I know I am.

2. You are healthy

I work with HIV patients at the teaching hospital and every day I interact with dozens of very sick people. It just makes you appreciate good health.

3. You have a job

So many people got laid off this year, so many others couldn’t find employment. If you have a job, no matter how crappy you think it is, you need to be thankful!

4. You traveled from point A to B without getting robbed, kidnapped or maimed.

We all did some form of traveling this year and despite the news we heard about car accidents, plane crashes, kidnaps and robberies we arrived our destinations safe and sound every time.

5. Despite the economy, we had some spare change for data, turn ups and junk food.

It might not seem like a lot but more than half of Nigeria’s population live on less than a dollar a day so by many standards you are considered upper class.

6. You didn’t pay lastma or FRSC exorbitant sums of money this year.

It’s something to be thankful for, if you doubt it just ask someone who got caught!

7. You had light albeit interrupted

Some people did not have power supply for the 12months in 2016 and some of them live in Lekki!

8. You got paid a salary even if it was delayed or incomplete

So many Nigerians in both the public and private sector didn’t get paid their salaries for months on end and are not even sure if or when the arrears will be paid.

9. You didn’t break up with your significant other this year

So many relationships, marriages, partnerships and friendships went awry this year. If yours is still intact and thriving you had better be thankful.

10. You didn’t invest all you had in a ponzi scheme

Yes you may have lost a big chunk of your savings but aren’t you glad you didn’t invest your house rent, school fees or business capital into the ponzi scheme? Be thankful that you didn’t lose more than you did.

11. You didn’t break the internet

So many people broke the internet this year and 97% of them did so for the wrong reasons so isn’t it enough to be thankful that your nude pic didn’t leak online, you weren’t arrested for theft or fraud and naijagistlive had no tea on you this year? 

12. You met your deadlines

Think about all the crazy deadlines you had this year especially the ones that seemed virtually impossible to achieve but they are now in the past and they didn’t break you so that’s another reason to be thankful. 

13. You didn’t bury a loved one 

So many people had their heart’s broken this year because they had to bury a father, brother, mother, sister, grandparent,  spouse, relative, friend or significant other. If you were spared such misery you have to be thankful.

14. Even with the dollar skyrocketing, you still paid your bills

You watched the dollar fly way beyond your reach but it didn’t stop you from paying your bills, going on trips and shopping online so that’s another reason to be thankful.

15. You got some of the things you wished and prayed for in 2016

Yes I know all your needs weren’t met but some were and that’s enough reason to be thankful because at the start of 2016 you had zero guarantees that you’d get some of those things but you did!

16. You have hope

Despite the economic recession, despite the hardship and tribulations you still have hope and that’s a reason to be thankful because there are some who are hopeless and despondent and they are the most miserable of all.

So you see 2016 wasn’t as bad as you thought it was…2017 will be an awesome year for us all in Jesus name…Amen

Counting down to the new year…

I moved my blog back to WordPress for several reasons that I won’t bore you with (just in case you were wondering about the URL change). I really want to blog more in 2017 so fingers crossed (won’t make any promises tonight). Have a great evening chutzpah FAM and thanks for not giving up on me…

Xoxo

:*

 
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Posted by on December 29, 2016 in Inspirational

 

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10 lessons from Toke Makinwa’s book ‘On Becoming’

I recently got around to reading Toke’s mini autobiography after all the buzz it created online and for someone who was Toke’s roommate in year 1 (newest hall, unilag), I initially wasn’t keen on reading it because I thought I had Toke all figured out. 
I had been roommates with her when she was living a wanton, majorly carefree life and coming from a sheltered home, Toke was to me the embodiment of the bad UNILAG girls I’d heard so much about. Through the years, that impression was reinforced every time her name came up regardless of whether it was for good or evil.

Little wonder that when the news first broke that she was having marital issues I kept thinking karma, karma, karma! Well if the truth be told, bad is a relative term and after reading her story I had a rethink about the woman I thought I had all figured out. Really until you have walked in a person’s shoes, you cannot ever judge said person regardless of their colorful past. Maybe we give karma too much credit! 

Toke is a strong woman, not because she didn’t make a ton of mistakes and not even because she went through the worst psychological trauma any child can endure but because even when her life was going all shades of wrong, she found strength in God and that strength gave her the will to finally move on, the grace to rise above her past and present and wisdom to spin the biggest sob story ever into a money making investment during a recession! Toke may never make it to my hero hall of fame but I have an unswerving respect for her. Her story could have happened to absolutely anyone regardless of what they did or didn’t do to deserve it. I know so many women who couldn’t rise above a husband who had betrayed them or some other life tragedy. From suicide to revenge, from bitterness to chronic sickness; many of these women could never find the strength to climb out of the murky waters that they had been unceremoniously thrown into. Breaking the silence is always a great place to start…

So without further ado, here are ten things I learned from reading Toke’s book:

  1. No one is really bad, they are just broken and many times the product of their past, don’t be so quick to judge. Let he who has no sin cast the first stone…

  2. Don’t ever manage a boyfriend, a lousy boyfriend makes an even lousier husband, your case won’t be the exception.

  3. If he breaks your heart the second time, don’t look back- just leave for good. The sting of betrayal is far worse than the prick of a heartbreak but the former only becomes apparent after you have vested too much time and emotion into the relationship. Get out while you are still ahead.

  4. You can never run out of ‘second’ chances. Even the bible says a righteous man falls seven times (and how many of us can actually call ourselves righteous) and yet rises up again. No matter how messed up your past is, your future can be unbelievably bright if you let God in.

  5. Get a support system that’s foolproof. You don’t need a million friends or fam. Two or three people that would always have your back no matter what and would always give you the truth instead of telling you what you want to hear, people you can trust with your life, your drama and your kids. Find them and keep them close!

  6. A counsellor should not be a last resort, if the problem is big enough to give you sleepless nights and you love the person enough to wanna stay, seek help. You both may have deep rooted psychological issues that will keep ruining things till you tackle them. Hurting people hurt others and more importantly broken people attract brokenness. Get the root problem fixed.

  7. God is close to the broken hearted and He doesn’t give two hoots about your past or what you did or didn’t do to deserve it. When you have no where else to turn, no place to hide, no one to run to, go to Him. He is always waiting with open arms.

  8. If you ignore the signs you won’t like your final destination. There are always signs. If you keep making excuses for him/her then you already deserve to be treated better. That is a sign! A broken relationship is better than a broken marriage. People have clung to the devil they know instead of trusting there was an angel out there that they were yet to meet and the devil dragged them to hell. Take a leap of faith.

  9. Anyone or circumstance that makes you feel less about yourself or eats away at your self confidence is toxic. Love doesn’t live there, the sooner you realize you deserve better the sooner you can start your journey to freedom. It’s difficult but doable. 

  10. A person chooses to cheat. There is no such thing as he/she was pushed or tempted due to the inadequacies of his/her partner. It’s a personal decision. Yes I agree that some factors can make rationalizing the sin of infidelity easier but still it’s your sin. God will not hold you less accountable because you had a bad marriage or relationship. And for the men, if you never discussed the possibility of having a second wife with your partner BEFORE marriage- regardless of perceived tribal or religious norms- then it’s still wrong. Marrying your side chick or concubine doesn’t erase the sin of infidelity! If you are going to alter your partner’s life forever, she deserves a say in it before she commits to you. Speak up!

Toke I hope the release of this book, brings you a new lease on life, a breath of fresh air, closure and more importantly sets you on the path God created for you. You cannot have gone through fire only for you to turn your back on God when things start getting really good, resist compromise! Let this experience be your epiphany, your starting point for a fuller and better life and not just a well thought out business decision. I wish you all the best, and to everyone who thinks she deserved what she got due to karma or her poor choices or because she ignored the signs, take a chill pill, I was team karma too (and was quite vocal about it) but I realized that ‘nobody holy pass’ and we all have someone or something that is our ultimate weakness. It’s by His mercies alone that we are not consumed lest anyone should boast.

Have a great night Chutzpah fam,

Xoxo

 
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Posted by on December 7, 2016 in Relationships

 

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10 Reasons Why Many Women Cheat!

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Are you a good girl who has never cheated? Or a bad girl who doesn’t want to screw up this new relationship? Or may be you are a man who is worried his woman is going to cheat or a guy who has been cheated on and wants to know why it happened or maybe you are just curious…

This post is definitely for you!

Before we begin here are 3 facts:
1. Women cheat!
2. Women are not always emotionally involved when they cheat (a guy made that up to soothe his bruised ego)
3. Any woman can cheat!

Here are 10 reasons why a woman would cheat on you!
(in no particular order)

1) Boredom

She is bored with you or the relationship and she craves excitement. The thrill she once felt isn’t there any more and all that’s left is a routine and she literally feels like she is going to die of boredom if someone doesn’t rescue her. Too bad that someone isn’t you!

2) Financial desperation

She needs money really desperately, more than you can afford or are willing to give. It doesn’t matter if it is for a life or death situation or just for a new iphone, the fact is she needs the money and is going to get it any which way!

3) Peer pressure

The guy has gotten to her friends either physically or the idea of him appeals to them more than the idea of you so the friends who she always listens to are the very ones urging her to explore this dangerous but exciting option.

4) Emotional starvation

She is craving love, attention, security and time and she is getting barely enough for one human to survive on from you so she’s quite vulnerable and will jump at any one ready to feed her emotional hunger.


5) Sexual frustration

She is sexually frustrated either because you do not satisfy her or you cannot satisfy her. When was the last time she had a real orgasm? (not the fake ones women are famous for dishing out to soothe your fragile ego). When was the last time you cared about pleasing her in the bedroom or asked her how you could please her?

A woman should never walk around horny, unloved or insecure! 


6) Loneliness

A woman in a relationship can still be lonely. Are you always traveling or always leaving her by herself for long periods of time? Even when you are in the same house, do you spend more time in front of the TV or on your phone or laptop or in a separate room? A lonely woman will crave companionship and all it takes is one sneaky fellow who knows exactly how to deliver!


7) Career advancement

It’s a cutthroat world we live in and some women are ready to do anything it takes to get ahead. Of course a woman wouldn’t need to sleep around to advance her career if the men didn’t give her that option or even insist on it but your woman may be about to cheat simply because she loves her career too much to quit or settle for mediocrity.


8) Blackmail

Is she being blackmailed? Many men use sex as a cheap blackmail trick for an erring woman. Cheating on you may be an easier option than facing the consequences and in a twisted way she just might believe she is doing it to protect you or the relationship.


9) Lack of closure

Is she still hung up on her ex? Did he break her heart so bad and then leave without an explanation? Lack of closure usually comes to haunt many women years after they have supposedly moved on. A lot of women don’t even realize they are still carrying a torch for an ex till he comes around and starts making the moves on them.

10) Okafor’s law

Okafor’s law states that if you have been involved with a guy over a period of time in the past even if it was only a fling and the guy did a great job in the bedroom and out of it (but mostly in), he can always get you back in the sack with him with minimal effort regardless of whether you are now in a new relationship or happy or have moved on or are still mad at him or married or now in a convent!!! Now you see why this can be a worrisome problem where your lady is concerned. She may not even set out to cheat but just knowing that some guy out there can wield Okafor’s law over her and win is enough to rob you of some decent sleep!

So there you have it! The 10 most probable reasons why women cheat, each reason just as important and valid as the next. So the next time you want to take your woman or your relationship for granted, remember that any woman can cheat regardless of how much she loves you or how long you have been together or how many shared assets (including children) that you have, just like any man can cheat! She only chooses not to- so make the choice not to cheat one she would want to make every day. Treat her right!

Xoxo

 
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Posted by on September 28, 2016 in Relationships

 

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10 Signs That He Is Not Ready For Marriage!

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Are you dating or about to date this hunk of a man and you are already choosing asoebi colors and dreaming of your dream wedding with yours truly? Slow your role babe, this seeming 10 yards of husband material may not be ready for marriage at all. It’s akin to making a baby king because he is next in line to the throne. A good man regardless of his background or assets needs to mature to the point where he personally wants to make the commitment to marry. This is regardless of his age or successes and forcing or cajoling him prematurely would only lead to disaster. So here are 10 signs that bobo is not going to be ready to get hitched any time soon and even if he says he is, you’d best be advised to give him small space to grow some!

1) He has just enough money to comfortably take care of one!

Every guy has a dream, a lifestyle he always wanted to live and if he is living the dream don’t immediately assume he is ready to get married. 200k a month is good money for a single guy, average money for a couple and barely enough for a family with kids. It’s all about perception (and number of mouths to feed)!

2) He wants to settle when he is a certain age (which is years away)

If he wants to marry at 35, nothing is going to change that. Not you, his new car, his posh apartment or the money in his bank account. Not even his parents could make him change his mind. Going into a relationship believing you can make him change his life goals is selfish and foolhardy and trust me if he does change his mind, you will get the memo!

3) He is a flirt

A guy who flirts, genuinely enjoys women and is definitely not ready to commit to one. Forcing him to settle down is like taking a kid to a candy store and forcing him to pick only one candy. It takes serious discipline and nine out of ten guys are labelled cheats and Yoruba demons by women who were trying to force monogamy out of a man who was only out to have fun. A man who is ready to settle down will most likely have had his fill and be much calmer.

4) He has no plan for his life

If your guy is barely holding his job together, has no future plans to speak of and is more concerned with clubbing, football, get rich quick schemes and fun in general, don’t fret- just know he isn’t ready. Trying to force him to grow up so you can quickly be his Mrs would most likely backfire. Every one matures at their own pace. He is doing alright by his standards and should be left alone to figure life out at his own pace.

5) He seeks constant validation from friends and family

The opinion of his family and close friends are the only voices in his head and they guide his every move. This dude is not his own man yet, he has absolute faith in the opinions of those nearest and dearest to him to the point that he is oblivious to subtle manipulations and subjects you to the will and whims of others irrespective of what you want.

6) He has odd ideals about marriage

Marriage has no handbook, every couple finds out what works for them and then create their own customised handbook. If he is rigid about his ideals and they are odd to say the least, he probably has a lot to learn about life and marriage and you should most likely sit this one out. So if you are a 21st century woman and he says stuff like a woman must not talk when her man is talking or she has to give the head of the family all her income every month or he never wants a house help and at the same time doesn’t believe men should ever help out around the house (even if the woman has a full time job), don’t succumb to a heated argument because your words won’t sway him instead he’d be judging you and cutting each yard of wife material away from you so just take a chill pill and leave him to figure things out in solitude.

7) All his friends are not married

If none of his friends are married, getting him to be the first to commit may be hard if it isn’t initiated by him. Men usually begin to think of settling down when one of their close friends or close male relatives takes the lead.

8) He still lives with his family (parents, sibling or other relative)

This is not absolute, but most men who are yet to get their first apartment (which is usually christened the bachelor pad and then thoroughly baptised) are far from ready to settle down. Unlike many women who dream that the first house they’d live in after their parent’s would be their matrimonial home, men dream of a seriously pimped out bachelor pad before the more sensible matrimonial home.

9) He is focused on some other non-marriage priority

Men are single-minded unlike women who can multitask so if your man is focused on his career or his job or his business or maybe just making money or some other priority like getting a degree, no matter how you hint, push or cajole he will stay focused and eventually see you as a distraction that he needs to cut loose from. If you can’t wait for him, keep it moving!

10) He is about to relocate

A man who is about to leave the country either for work, school or permanent residence is not going to be looking for anything serious before he leaves. He wouldn’t want anyone tying him down or putting undue pressure on him and would be excited about the possibility of meeting an exotic woman abroad so a man who is about to relocate, no matter how appealing he may be would most likely not be looking to settle down till he has settled in his new abode.

Of course it wouldn’t be real life if there weren’t exceptions to all of these warning signs. Sometimes a guy may just surprise you but babe, better to err on the side of caution so that you don’t get your hopes dashed to pieces by a good man who just wasn’t ready to settle.

Have a great night Chutzpah fam,
xoxo

 
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Posted by on September 23, 2016 in Manology

 

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The Wiser

Someone once told me that the worst sort of misfortune is to fail to learn from your own experience after failing to learn from the experiences of others leading to an infinite cycle of mistakes because you refused to learn. Sounds awful but you’d be amazed how common it is. 
If you have any doubts, look around you; the young girl who seems so well put together but keeps picking the Yoruba demons, married men on the prowl, serial monogamists, violent, insecure or yahoo boys as mates. Her whole dating history can be summed up into the caption for the movie ‘Edge of tomorrow’: Live.Die.Repeat.

Or how about the guy who jumps from one bad decision to another, fueled by the incessant ill- advice of no good friends or petty jealousy and rivalry or ego trips that turn up empty. First it was the pyramid scheme that would give him 1million from 1 thousand if only he recruited 9 other people (seemed easy enough) and then the forex deals that went sour and then the real estate deals that weren’t pure. Losing more money than he earns gotta be tough but is he the wiser?

Before you start judging, look inward. We all have that one thing that has become our live.die.repeat.

LIVE

Like any addiction we feel alive when we embark on a new misadventure. We believe that this time it will be different; that this situation is somehow different from the last or we are somehow more justified or have learned a bit more to be able to handle it this time.

And yet we…

DIE

Every single time we get crushed, the destructive pathway hurts a little more. The nightmarish déjà vu staring you in the face. They say only a mad man does the same thing the exact same way every effing time but expects a different result. So why does your anger seem to always get you into messed up situations? Why do your decisions lead to destruction? Why do you lose your cool? Why do you still chook head when you know how the story ends? The failed relationship, the lost finances, the broken friendships, the anarchy, the personal failures…

You know you die but like a moth to a flame you just can’t resist so you…

REPEAT

And then you swear you have learned your lesson till the next time the exact scenario plays out and then you fall on your face claiming that to err is human and it’s the way you were created and no one’s perfect and blah blah blah justifying your actions instead of making a conscious effort to learn from them and ditch the destructive behavior for good.

I am guilty, you probably are too!

Faults, addictions, character flaws and weaknesses should not get the better of you! Be the wiser, it is possible, regardless of how tempting delving in is. Remember that sometimes when you die, you really die. Choose to live!

Have a great day,

Xoxo

 
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Posted by on September 20, 2016 in Inspirational

 

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Natural Hair Karma!

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I haven’t written a memoir in a while.

I’ll be the first to admit that. Well I got married (stale gist) and a lot of well meaning people were fast to point out that MizChutzpah would have to put a lid on her memoirs since no well meaning married woman should ever be caught talking about her personal life on social media!

Well I’m not sure they were referring to tales about my unruly hair oh cos if they were- biko thou judge and jury no vex, but this tale must be told!

……………………………………………………………………….

You already know my hair is one kain, read here if you have forgotten: this my hair sef

Anyway thanks to relaxers and good weaves I had been managing my hair jejerly and a lot of people even gave me pretty nice compliments because the hair upon all its shakara cleans up real nice on good hair days! And then the advent of the natural hair journey movement changed my life!
I’ll admit that in the early days I was like lailai ti lailai, I am team relaxer for life (who doesn’t like sleek straight oyinbo looking hair?) and the way some of the girls were wearing the hair like class captain badge sef and not even packing it properly just put me off.

Then came the fights on social media, name calling and what not became the order of the day. The naturalistas trying to make everyone feel like they betrayed their forefathers simply because they put relaxer in their hair! I would just sip my tea like Kermit and buy my Dr. Miracle while enjoying the debate on Bellanaija! I couldn’t imagine having to struggle with a comb every single day for the rest of my adult life. I had it all figured out truly until I stumbled into this whole no relaxer movement pretty much by accident!

I had bought my relaxer (it’s still sitting on my drawer) but couldn’t find the time to go to the salon (not a DIY freak abeg). After I was forced to remove my weave (when hubby is almost going to kick you out of the bed because the weave is starting to smell), I contemplated what to do with the dew hair. One morning I packed it to work as best as I could, hoping I’d breeze in and breeze out before anyone really took notice though truth be told for some reason I was feeling myself that day (the hair was fine sha) and got some natural hair compliments (odd) though one babe told me to go and relax the hair sharply. Anyway I kept putting it off till it became a thing somewhat (thanks to wigs, they are the real MVP).

Fast forward a couple of months and there I was, bored on a Saturday night in March 2016 and watching youtube videos when I stumbled on a DIY big chop video (shey I told you I wasn’t a DIY person). Anyway my hands got all itchy and I knew I was about to do something stupid, I left hubby in the sitting room and like a naughty child went in to play with my toys (toys being a sharp pair of scissors, my hair being led like a sheep to the slaughter and my mirror) and chop, chop, chop I went, feeling like Edward Scissorshands and somehow deriving some morbid satisfaction from seeing my hair fall to the ground. I walked quietly to the sitting room to confess my sins and reverend father was not pleased! His first reaction was a horrified expression while he was gathering the memento to utter his first words. Feeling cocky I gave him the scissors to finish the job since the middle of my hair looked like a rat had had a field day there. Being the supportive man he is, he quietly added barber to his cv and tried not to say the words he so badly wanted to say. I wore a hair band to church the next morning and I absolutely hated my hair. I won’t lie I sat on the toilet seat after church and cried my eyes out till it was time to make lunch. Nothing eats at your self-confidence like having hair that can’t pack!

Fast forward a couple of months, a million trial and errors and endless wigs not to mention the fortune spent on hair products half of which I couldn’t or wouldn’t use and my hair and its hunger for hair products had become a standing joke in the house. The hair had grown to a point where it could be joined with plenty attachment to make a base for weaves and I was living my life almost the same way as before the big chop (team weaves and braids), to me it was not a movement, I had nothing to prove. I wanted to feel beautiful and whatever helped me achieve that was my business alone! I’d like to give a shout out at this point to closures, whoever invented them should just come and collect her award because my hair was too short and natchy to peek out from a weave so that really wasn’t an option! Anyway since I was playing for both teams, I knew one day karma would catch up with me (it kuku has and I didn’t die so I shall continue this hair bigamy unrepentantly forever)!

About the karma incidence…

It was my birthday and I needed to renew my passport. The day before, I had put my hair in twists so that it would have a nice curl by the morning (thanks to youtube I had become a natural hair stylist guru of sorts plus the hair had grown plenty oh). Unfortunately my forestry reserve of hair was having the birthday blues and refused to be tamed so I put a hair band around it and left it looking the way natural hair looks when we don’t comb it (it’s still a style) and feeling the urban chic, I waltzed on cloud 9 to the immigration office. There was a short queue for the data capture and the woman in front of me caused quite a scene with her gorimapa ‘Amber Rose’ inspired blonde hair/head and when they refused to take her pic with her head looking like that, she had to beg random strangers for their wigs till an older woman obliged. If you have never borrowed a stranger’s wig, without a mirror or comb and had your picture taken the very next second for a passport that you would have for 5 years and a pic that would contribute to your luck at the visa office, then you cannot fully understand this woman’s ill-fortune. People found it so ludicrous they could barely contain their mirth. I won’t lie, I probably chuckled a little bit because really what if the wig had lice? (Mi o wa ku). Anyway that’s how it was my turn oh and I got up feeling fly and sat at the photo booth only to hear the worst words ever said to me: “Madam hoff ya scarf, no scarf fo pazzpot”. First of all WTF, second it’s a hair band, third WTF….sigh….why me? On my birthday of all days? How would I explain this cave woman passport photo? Anyway I could see from the impatient look in the man’s eyes that he wasn’t joking and he couldn’t be bought or swayed so I jejerly ‘hoff’ the thing and allowed my wild mane go free. I couldn’t even get myself to look at the picture on the screen. I looked like ‘I woke up like this’ but not flawless like Beyonce, more like the ‘I didn’t comb my hair before bed taadaa’ kinda look. #villageheadmaster #rugged #africangeh #villagebelle. I probably died a thousand times (the kind of death that your yeye lungs continue to collect air like they cannot sense the dire situation).

Anyway please don’t ask to see my passport and if you work in a visa office and happen to come across a hair with a face , I would like to just put it out there that I wasn’t trying to make a statement, the hair just refused to behave that day…here’s a toast to the next 5 years rocking my fro in my international passport! #karmaisunkind

Have a lovely night Chutzpah fam,
And next time you think you are having a bad day, look at your well coiffed hair in your passport photograph and thank Jesus!
xoxo
🙂

 
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Posted by on September 12, 2016 in Memoirs

 

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The Ideal Friend

You only need one!

A friend that sticketh closer than a brother and a brother is born for adversity but in these cut throat times…

Having a real friend is a rarity many long for but can’t afford, they are too busy chasing dreams to grow potential friendships and instead make do with frenemies- well not the absolute bad kind, just the kind that are happy for you and with you till you start to outshine them.

The truth is the world talks about frenemies like they are the worst but they seem to be just a mirror image of the friends they keep. Jealousy laced with a tinge of envy has become a hustle garland people wear with pride, it dictates their drive for success and their level of satisfaction and contentment in life in comparison with the next dude in their circle of influence. In fact many a frenemy have been the sure push behind a man’s success story (the Lord keep my enemies alive so they can witness my victory syndrome).

It’s all a great arrangement till you actually need a friend- one you can trust with your life, one you can do business with without ever getting screwed, one you can ask to care for your family after you are gone, one you can share your deepest, darkest secrets with, one you’d mutually take a bullet for, one you can laugh with, cry with, be brutally honest with and take real advice from because you know they have your back no matter what! Some people are lucky and their spouse becomes that friend, others are luckier and they are gifted with such friendships (na only Baba God fit give this one oh- because human beings are innately flawed and he knows what flawed souls work best in sync) but how do you get that sort of friend- the BFF who still cracks you up in your 70s and would still fight your battle for you even if it’s with a wobbly cane and hoarse curses?

Here’s how…

1) Be honest about the friendships in your life. 

Draw a list of all your ‘friends’ and then put them in 3 groups; 

the frenemies (they’ve pricked you with pocket knives enough times for you to know they’d stab you with a kitchen knife if they ever got the chance);

then the real friends (usually one or two- they won’t be perfect but you can count the times they’ve taken a bullet for you or gotten you out of hell- it’s not enough for them to sit with you and give great advice cos talk is cheap);

and then the acquaintances (it doesn’t matter how often you guys hang out- they are the ones who the world thinks are your friends cos they are in all your facebook and Instagram pics but you know exactly where you stand with them and don’t even want them knowing your business so there’s always a façade and lots of coverups when they are around). This last group is different from the frenemies because your frenemies have access to your heart and your personal business these people only have access to your good days and great occasions!

Now to the second…

2) Be honest about what you want out of a friendship

Everybody wants different things from a friendship. Most people need the 3 groups of friends to satisfy 3 different longings. The frenemies to push you to be better (some healthy or unhealthy competition), the real friends to share your burdens and the acquaintances to have fun with (because all work and no play…). A friend can function as 2 and 3 or 1 and 3 but 1 and 2 always cancel out each other and if a 2 acts like 1, the 2 becomes a 1!

The real issue begins when you blur these lines or worse put the wrong person in the wrong group. You need to be honest about what you want out of a friendship so that you don’t go telling your deepest woes to an acquaintance (TMI- awkward!) or to a frenemy (ammunition- dangerous!) A person doesn’t get upgraded to 2 because they have been in your life for years (perhaps waiting to strike) or because they held your hand through one crisis (did you get your degree after just one exam?). You need to take time to study their personality, how they feel about you and their concept of loyalty and their spoken and unspoken words not to mention their actions! The next time you want to reach out to a friend, you need to ask yourself what you desire at that moment- some excitement, some competition-driven motivation or a real friend and let it guide your call out.

3) Be honest about where you stand with each person.

Unrequited friendship is just as bad as unrequited love. Does your boo have a boo? If you are her number 3 and she is your number 2 then you are both out of sync and that friendship will not be satisfying. 

Don’t mistake a person who is genuinely nice and honest and helpful to everybody for your own personal person!

That’s why nice people always have tons of friends but they alone know who their friends really are. So if you are always sharing life issues with her and she’s so helpful and such a great listener but you don’t know jack about her or well the stuff about her that really matters, she isn’t your friend. She is your counselor, doctor or life coach at best! 

Not being honest about where you stand with people leads to disappointments and heart break and dramatic feelings of betrayal which you wouldn’t have been feeling if you only opened your eyes. 

4) Be honest about who you are.

Would you be friends with you?

I’ve noticed that a lot of people who are insincere, backstabbers, foul-mouthed, competitive, unfeeling (the bad character list is quite long) are the ones who are the loneliest, who crave more meaningful friendships and who have totally lost hope in the sincerity of a good friendship (“I don’t have friends that are girls, too much drama!” And the guys? “You know guys only want one thing!”)

Some people have developed these traits as a defense mechanism for all the stuff they have seen or gone through (kill or be killed), others are really good people deep down but never let anyone see the good because of all the emotional baggage it’s buried under but you must understand that actions and reactions are equal and opposite! 

Some people also see an overly friendly person as either suspicious (even the bible asks you to suspect a neighbor that loudly greets you early in the morning) or having too many friends so they don’t want to increase your body count. Sanguines tend to have a lot of acquaintances since they are easily the life of the party but very few meaningful friendships and as a result get very lonely!

Also some people are overly jealous and clingy and stifle their friendships but I think this again is mostly a myth. Unless you are a sociopath, a real friend would not consider you jealous or clingy because your friendship would be as much of a priority to them as it is to you however if your friend sees you only as a number 1 or 3,  she could have you committed!

If you are in need of a real friend, check yourself are you friend material? 

5) Be honest about the friendships you have ignored.

Nothing like a post like this to open your eyes and make you realize that you’ve spent too much time watering and nurturing the weeds instead of tending your garden! No friendship even the strongest ones will thrive without love and attention. Look at that list again, if you were unable to put down any name in the real friend group (2) then you need to draw up another list of people who could be potential friends (based on surprising acts of kindness, their total devotion to you even when you don’t give back or some other positive action- forget words) and beside their names write down why exactly you didn’t nurture that friendship. If the reason is a valid one, strike their names off the list (not all that glitters is gold) but if your busy schedule or laziness or your sense of entitlement is the reason why you you haven’t nurtured that friendship then get your garden tools and do some work! If the friendship was made in heaven, it won’t be too late.

Real friends make life so much more beautiful but even pretty gardens have weeds. If your real friend has hurt you and you cannot seem to trust him or her anymore, demote the person to number 1 or 3 and move on. You’ll find it easier to let go of the unforgiveness when you don’t have to pretend that the friendship is something it isn’t. Some friendships last for only a season, others for a life time but I can assure you that when one door closes the good Lord always opens another. 

Have a lovely day Chutzpah fam,

Xoxo

 
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Posted by on September 7, 2016 in Life

 

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