Taking Stock: May 2016

I first read a “Taking Stock” post by Valerie of Cateyes and Carrots. After snooping around the blogosphere, I eventually found the originator of the Taking Stock Posts, Pip at Meet Me At Mikes. I thought it was a pretty rad way of reflecting on the month and looking at all the things that have happened so far and, in this case, a way to reintroduce myself to this blog. Here goes.

Making: different clothes and outfits. I get this mad rush of inspiration occasionally and I cannot afford to let it pass me by without going HAM. 

Cooking: Not very much. Because, leftovers and laziness. 

Drinking: Not enough water. Sucks for me. 

Reading: Girls At War by Chinua Achebe and Africa39.

Wanting: to recreate my personal space asap. 

Looking: forward to Ramadan. Lord knows this girl needs a serious Iman boost. 

Playing: phones games a whole lot less. 

Deciding: to shut out every form of negativity. 

Wishing: the fuel price hike would be reversed and the economy would get better soon. 

Enjoying: the time and good health I have been blessed with. I’m constantly reminded about how this is a gift from Allah I need to use to the fullest. 

Waiting: for change. 

Liking: cute children videos on the Internet. Brightens up my day. 

Wondering: why airport announcers tend to sound nasal. 

Loving: the woman I am becoming, in and out.

Disliking: wall geckos. Eek. 

Buying: Lots of oils. I love trying out new oils but my all time go to has to be coconut oil. 

Watching: People. People watching can be fun sometimes. It beats pressing your phone every time in my opinion. 

Hoping: that I get to finish my reading challenge for the year. I don’t want to buy new books if I can’t finish the ones I have.

Marveling: at how resilient Nigerians can be. 

Needing: to get my workout game in check. 

Smelling: like coconut oil mostly. 

Wearing: more high waist skirts. Very flattering, in my opinion. Lol. 

Knowing: that protecting my space is key to my peace of mind.

Believing: that everything will work out well in the end. 

Preparing: for joy. 

Thinking: about new recipes. 

Bookmarking:  This. I’m looking to add chia seeds in my diet. Does anyone have tips?

Giggling: at old Top Gear episodes. 

More alike than different

For as long as I can remember, I have always hated political talk shows. People come and sit at a round table and rant about how bad the country is and how terrible our leaders are. At the end of the day everybody goes home to bed. Things rarely ever do change as a result of these dialogues. I used to wonder what the point of all those heated arguments was. Years later and we are still here.

Now however it’s worse. People talk more, and very unintelligently too. Give the average Nigerian youth a phone or laptop and internet access and voila, another Socrates is born. The trend now is that once disaster strikes, everyone goes online to rant. We do not even have anything sensible to bring to the table anymore. Now most people don’t think. They spit tribalistic and religious invectives not caring who they are talking to or who they might be hurting. God bless the internet and its promise of anonymity.

French philosopher Alexis de Tocqueville said “In democracy we get the government we deserve”.

There is a similar Hadith but I don’t want to quote it wrongly. We get what we deserve. We are an uncaring lot so why complain when your leaders turn away from our misfortunes and act nonchalant? But this generation must be really messed up to have to deal with this.

Another bomb blast hit the nation on the 1st of May. People have been falling dead like flies. Over 200 innocent girls still missing. Yet, we still have the nerve to talk about our religious and tribal differences. This is what is wrong with us. When a man dies, how do you tell his tribe or his religion? I can tell you first hand that I have seen a lot of dead bodies and apart from when race can obviously be distinguished, you can not tell the readily difference between a Yoruba or an Igbo person when they are lying dead on that table. Or can you somehow tell when you see them on the news? Our organs are pretty much the same. Our blood runs red. Muslims, Christians, whatever. All of us. We are more alike than different.

You don’t care because you think your people are not dying. Your Christian brothers are safe. Your villages have not yet been burnt down. The sad truth is we are all Nigerians. We are the same people. It could be anybody. When would we learn that people are good or bad irrespective of race, tribe or religion? We are more alike than different.

What hurts the most is how these awful incidences are becoming small talk for the average Nigerian. We talk about it in the manner we talk about work or traffic, like something that does not really matter much. At the end of the day, it boils down to, “May God help us all.”

How about for once we start with us? How about we do more and talk less? How about we care just a little bit more? Be more conscious, of ourselves and our environments? Be a tad braver. How about we try to be nicer, more upright, more caring, open-minded individuals? How about for once you give someone something based on merit and not because he comes from your mother’s village? How about we stand up for what is right?

I have seen people lord their position and power over others. Why do we complain when the government does the same to us? Why don’t you try to be better at your job and not treat it with levity because you work for the government. What if for once we have more respect for public property? Quit being mean to your employees. Quit being a bigot. How about we stand up and actually vote this time around? Vote for someone you think might do the job and not just because he is your kinsman.

How about we think more? Care more? Do more?

Maybe if we are lucky, we would get the leaders we want.

You want things to change? Change you. It starts with us.

“…Indeed, Allah will not change the condition of a people until they change what is in themselves.”

– Surat Ar-Ra`d verse 11

Scaredy Cat

“If you weren’t afraid of anything, what would you do?”

I think the first question to begin with is, “what am I afraid of?”

The first thing that comes to mind is failure. I am afraid of failing. Failing at life. What does that even mean, some people might ask? I’m afraid of not living. Not living the life I want to live. Not running free because society thinks that I should follow certain rules or have a specific role. “Be a wife, be a mum”, they say. What if I fail at that too? Well, no one explains that part.

I’m afraid of not living. Of just existing. Surviving. Well, I’ve come to realise that sometimes, to truly live, you need money. Loads of it. I have smelled the air and the grass here, felt the sun at the nape of my neck, tasted the rain at the tip of my tongue, but I want more. I’m afraid of not getting more. And I always want more.

 
They keep telling me to be still, but I can’t keep still. There are too many feelings inside me, too much fear. And a lot more keeps getting instilled by other people. They say I should calm down and that life isn’t the way I think it is. How do they know what I think life is? How do they know what I really want?

 
If I wasn’t afraid of anything, I’d travel somewhere, anywhere. I’d go and smell the air somewhere else. I’d go and dance in the rain somewhere else. Go and experience God somewhere else. I’d go and study in different places, most likely places that I would never dare to dream about. Places that I have to pay a lot of money to go to school. I’d study whatever I want to, just because I want to, because I won’t be afraid that anyone would tell me I’m being unreasonable and unrealistic.

So what the hell does fear have to do with anything?  I don’t think fear is such a bad thing, most times. Fear can keep you from acting stupid. But when it is the fear of never getting the things you want, what do you do with that?

Maybe If I wasn’t so afraid, I’d take what I have. I’d take the air here, the schools here, the zoos here, my life here. Maybe I’d be angry again. Angry that I am not doing what I want to do, how I want to. Then fear would set in again. Fear that I might face depression again. Fear that I might hate it here. Fear that I might feel like it’s not enough. Fear that I might be restless again.

I think that’s my problem. Restlessness. I don’t want to be stuck in this senseless matrix of life.

Do you know what I would really do if I was not afraid? Especially if I was sure that I would not fail?

 

Rob a bank.