ONE DAY OR DAY ONE?

A Journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

Lao Tzu

A lot of people get tired of hearing motivational speakers. They think the whole motivation talk is just thrash.
It’s not about hearing motivational talk only. If you only listen to motivational talk from morning till night, seven days a week, four weeks a month or the whole year, you’ll remain where you are. That bad habit, you’ll still have it. That thing you want to do achieve, you’ll never achieve it. Those better grades you want, you can never get them. At this point you’re probably saying “God forbid! What’s wrong with this one? Why is she cursing me?” I’m not cursing you, calm down.
As long as you’re where you are, not doing anything, not making any effort, not putting in any work; you’re going to remain where you don’t want to be and you’ll never be where you want to be.

The thing about motivation is this: It’s a driving force that promotes action. Let’s look at it carefully; it says a driving force that promotes action. It didn’t just say motivation is action neither did it say motivation is end result. It’s a prompting, it’s a drive. Motivational speakers or motivational quotes ignite a fire in you. You feel it burning, you’re all geared up, ready to launch out into making a change, you’re fully charged. You feel alive, you feel more powerful than ever before, you see every problem as solvable, and you see yourself as a conqueror. You even envision yourself on a horse in full armor wielding a sword with one hand while the other is holding the reins of the horse charging forward into battle. You slay your enemies from left to right as they charge at you until the whole ground is covered with your enemies and you raise your sword in victory. You’re elated. You’re happy; a desire is burning hard in you. That feeling is great, it’s amazing but what do you do with it? Even right now you’re all charged up, I feel you breathing harder and I see your chest raised. You’re holding your breath because you’re trying to see where I’m going with this. You either just let out the breath you were holding or you just rolled your eyes. Okay, now you just rolled you eyes and now you’re probably smiling and thinking “this girl is crazy.”

The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.

Chinese proverb

This is where I’m going with this, sir/ma: You’re the one who completes that motivation. You hear the motivational talk but you need to put it into action. You have to do the work. You have the fire but the fire isn’t enough, you have to take a step. Don’t just listen to the motivational talk from a motivational speaker or from anyone at all or even from yourself (we all talk sense to ourselves don’t we?) and remain there or say “I’ll start something later.” Take a step at that particular time, make that phone call, pick up that book to read, go online for ideas on how to start that business, acquire that new skill. You, yes, you that is shouting “fit fam” up and down, why haven’t you started exercising? You see that piece of writing you’ve always wanted to write? Write it! What about the one you already started writing? Complete it! What are you waiting for, later? Don’t wait for later! The fire will burn out. That fire that is in full force will die out and there will be no trace of it being there in the first place if you delay one second more!

Do something that takes you a step away from where you are and a step closer to where you want to be.

So what’s it going to be as we approach the new month? Will you keep saying “One day” or will you actually start that thing and say “Day one?”

Have a lovely day, I’ll leave you with the screenshot below:

Don’t forget to leave a comment, the comment section is all yours. ❤❤

Silver over Diamond?

The sun shines, the moon also shines. They shine at their own time, neither of them stops the other from shining.

All my life, I’ve never done well as far as my parents are concerned. It’s either “You didn’t do it well” or “You did it well but…”

I’ve had to grow up studying hard not because I want to be the best alone but because my parents would kill me if I’m not the best.

“The person that carried first, does he have two heads?” My father would ask.

“Don’t mind her it’s only to be eating food that she knows,” my mother would say.

I remember one time in JSS2, two people came first. We both had 85%.

“You see what I’m always saying? If and only if you had gotten 40 instead of 39 in that your Social Studies, you would have been one mark ahead of the other person and would have been first alone.” Those were the words of my mother for days.

I came first but all they cared about was that I could have had more than 85% so I’d be first alone.

I’ve had to grow up listening to “Mr Ade’s daughter is very respectful, very intelligent blah blah…”

Hi, my name is Hannah. I love my parents but sometimes I need a break from them.

You know how they say that the relationship between Nigerian parents and children thrives better from a distance? Well I’m starting to believe that because the days I go away for camp I usually miss them a lot and they call me everyday and tell me nice things but as soon as I’m back, oh no I want to go back to where I’m coming from.

The irony of all this is the fact that my parents love me and would actually do anything for me and whenever they shout or talk to me they want to produce a better version of me but then they don’t know that their words do more harm than good to me and in the long run, my self esteem. I mean haven’t you ever second guessed yourself?

I’m trying my best and I obviously do not want to be compared to Mr Ade’s daughter. Whenever I hear “Mr. Ade’s daughter,” trust me I shut off. I stop listening to what they are saying and start counting imaginary stars. I only come back to earth and start hearing their voice again when they scream my name and ask “Is it not you I’m talking to?” Then I just say I’m sorry and leave.

There’s comparison and there’s comparison.

The comparison we’re talking of kills, to be honest and it’s frustrating. It’s like doing everything well and your efforts are not being seen by your parents because they are too busy looking at Mr. Ade’s “perfect” daughter. You are probably wondering why perfect is in quotes, the truth is she isn’t even that perfect. Sometimes I feel like if they want to compare me, I should probably be compared to another person that I look up to and admire not somebody that I’m better than. Okay calm down this isn’t pride it’s the truth.

I know this girl they’re talking of and she’s not all that, she’s good but she isn’t all that. But all I hear is how smart she is, how amazing she is.

It’s like someone having diamond but constantly looking outside and longing for silver. Who would have diamond and pick silver? Probably someone who doesn’t know the worth of diamond.

Well yeah, there I said it!

Most times I pray that I don’t compare my future children or anyone around me to anybody but trust me I already have the traits in me because last week, it was my sister’s inter house sports and she came third in the 100m race and she was so happy. All I could say to her was

“You’re happy you came third? The person that came first has two heads abi?”

Immediately the words came out of my mouth, I put both hands over my mouth to stop more words from coming out and my heart fell because as soon as I said those words, the smile on her face faded and her face that was joyful a few seconds earlier, lost color and she looked really sad like she was about to cry.

I was pissed at myself for days because I realised that I was doing the exact same thing that I keep complaining my parents do.

Whatever happened to “Do unto others as you want others to do to you?”

When I thought about it later, I found out it’s easier said than done but I also realised that there are nicer ways to tell somebody to do better.

I mean as she came with the third position prize, I could have told her congratulations and gone ahead to give her a big hug and tell her “You did good and you’re going to be better” or even told her “That’s my girl, next year you’re getting the first position, I know you can do it.”

I felt bad for days and eventually apologised to my little sister and I told her to never let anyone undermine her efforts and to never undermine anyone’s effort.

As much as we complain that our parents aren’t doing well, let’s remember that they love us, they want the best for us and even though they may not tell us all the time, trust me they’re proud of us.

Come on you must have heard your parents tell each other or even their friends how proud of you they are when they think you’re not listening.

I think they feel if they tell us how proud of us they are everytime, we’d stop pushing to do more and be comfortable where we are. They are not entirely wrong but they aren’t entirely right either.

So every time you feel bad that they don’t appreciate what you’re doing but only complain, look on the bright side and know that they have good intentions.

And remember our generation holds the baton right now, it’s our turn to run. So how well will we run?

The comment session is all yours, don’t leave it blank.

Enemy

A man’s enemies will be members of his own household. Matt 10:36 (NIV)

Chioma, make sure you come home early from school, the streets are not safe” Mummy always said.

“Chioma, don’t follow boys oo they will spoil your life” sounds funny but mummy always said so.

” Chioma, don’t talk to strangers oo, this Nigeria has turned to another thing” mummy always told me.

“Be a good girl” Daddy always chirped in.

But what they never told me was that the enemy could be in the household

I grew up knowing to avoid strangers because in my mummy’s voice ” the heart of man is desperately wicked”.

I was never allowed into my neighbours house because my parents didn’t want to take chances so I always stayed at home with my uncle( you know that family friend that you grow up with who isn’t exactly related to you or he’s maybe a distant cousin but has earned the title Brother or Uncle?)

It started with little small pats on the back, after all he was my uncle. It gradually became tight hugs, tight hugs turned into my ass being slapped,  ass being slapped became boner hanging in my face and me being told to touch it.

“Mama come na, come let me carry you” that was the national anthem”

He would carry me make me sit on his lap and he’d dry hump me and I always felt something poking me in the butt.

It became him putting his hands in my pants searching for whatever it was he was looking for.

Severally he dry humped me even while standing. He’d push me to the wall and press me against it while having a great time dry humping me.

Now this was a member of my household. 

Who was I told to avoid? Strangers right? 

Well I avoided strangers.

Uncle Great finally left our house. I was 8.

I hear you heaving  a sigh of relief.

Let’s move up memory lane a bit to when I was 13.

There’s an uncle in my local church, who all the children always flocked around. His name is Uncle Delight.

After service, we would all run to greet him because he’s super friendly.

Gradually his hugs began to linger. He’d make remarks like ” Ah ah Chioma! You’re already a big girl oo”. And all I did was smile. 

One time, I greeted him as usual and gave him a hug (side hug). I wanted to pull away but his hand remained firm on my shoulders and we started to walk. Next thing I felt the hand going down my back and he felt me up my butt. Then he released his grip on me.

Ask me what I did?

I did nothing, absolutely nothing.

I walked away from him and I was enraged. To be sincere as soon as he squeezed my butt I became weak, so many thoughts were running through my head.

“Why did he do that?”

“Was it a mistake?”

“He probably didn’t mean to do, his hand slipped”

Silly as all of it sounds, yes, that’s what was running through my mind while I walked with him.

And as soon as I left him all that came to me was anger .

It was now that I thought of all the many ways I could have hit him.

I could have slapped his face

I could have kicked him

I could have knocked him ( he wasn’t exactly tall)

I could have…

I could have…

My thoughts changed from I could have to why didn’t I?

Why didn’t I slap him( a dirty slap)

Why didn’t I knock him

Why didn’t I this why didn’t I that.

I thought “oh well if he tries it again I’ll do all that”.

You know how they say easier said than done? That was my situation because another thing he carried me up against my will  squeezed me against himself and rested those same hands on my butt and all I did was nothing!

Again he left and the regrets started. I could have done this… why didn’t I do this?

I feel your rage at this point and I hear the question you keep screaming ” why didn’t I report” “why didn’t i say any thing? “

All the times I was in such a situation it was like I was paralysed and my brain and thoughts froze. 

I couldn’t think straight.

It’s easy to say of it na me “I for give am dirty slap”

“I would have kicked his balls”

Once again easier said than done.

It’s easy to say but in reality hard to do.

Remember my Mummy told me to avoid strangers?

I avoided strangers but this was a member of my church, a prayer warrior and the one who spoke in tongues.

Does he count as a stranger?

Anyways I stopped greeting him because it starts with little things until it gradually becomes something else.

Again I feel your rage.

I felt little every single time I thought about it, I felt it was my fault that Uncle Great and Uncle Delight touched me anyhow.

All that going through my head was I was a bad child.

Remember none of them told me to not tell anyone. I was just afraid and never told anyone so imagine someone who has been told to not tell anyone or she would die!

They made me blame myself,  they made me feel little, they made me helpless, they made me hate myself.

I never told mummy, I never told Daddy because I thought they would beat me up or rebuke me saying I’m lying.

Another reason I didn’t speak up was because I was helping Uncle Great and Uncle Delight save face.

You do not owe anybody that has molested you your silence. Don’t try to help them save face.

Please speak up and do not hold back.

Report as soon as you can.

YOU ARE NOT THE ENEMY!!!

YOUR RAPIST AND MOLESTER IS THE ENEMY.

If you keep quiet, they won’t be stopped and they may not have gone far with you but they’ll continue and go far with others.

Today, I still find it hard for my body to relax at just anybody’s touch. 

Your immediate reaction when somebody speaks up shouldn’t be :

“Why didn’t you say anything?”

Neither should it be “Are you sure?”

Trust me the struggle is real.

Trust no one.

Parents make sure your children love, trust and respect you so that they can talk to you and share anything.Don’t make them afraid of you.

If you’ve ever been molested no matter how little it may seem, no matter who may have done it, my heart goes out to you.

Do not blame yourself and sincerely I pray that you find peace within you and you heal up completely.

#saynotorape

#WhyIDidn’tReport

#Thisisreal

#everygirlhasastorytotell

#tellyourstory

…throw off the bowlines…

To: The one my heart beats for. 

Night after night I lay on the floor of my room thinking about you and hoping we were more than we are. Tear after tear drops until a rhythm of steady tears is formed

Splat! splat! the tears roll down my face, my heart burns from longing and sadness, you are all that I want. 

Tears ought to soothe me but the more I cry the tighter my chest is and the more I long for you. Call me silly, but this is just one of my down moments. I want to do so many things with you, visit so many places but it all remains as a figment of my imagination. 

My body still shudders at just the thought of your touch. In times past, I hissed whenever I heard or read things like this but now its happening to me and I cannot help but feel this way. Come to me my love, see me in the light that I wish to be seen.

A part of me thinks you’re holding back because you know I deserve the best but you do not deem yourself the best yet for me. My thoughts continue to race and my imagination will forever run wild except you hearken to me

Sometimes I think it is my fault for not hearkening to the warning:

“I adjure you oh daughters of Jerusalem that you stir not up nor awaken love until it please”

I feel responsible but believe me I see you as blind. You love me and care about me, you see me as perfect and you desire me, what then is holding you back?

I hope everyday that you’d call me and tell me sweet nothings or you’d text me and wow me. A part of me still hopes that you’d show up at my place of abode and sweep me off my feet. Another part of me longs to get rid of these feelings so that the tears and pain can finally come to an end.

Everybody wants me but the one I want doesn’t exactly want me. 

But alas, I’ll sleep and wake up tomorrow and I’d better for just a while until the longing comes again.

Signed: Your secret lover.

Just as I put the pen down and proceed to close the book, my younger sister walks in and sits on the bed. She notices the notebook and she looks up at me, we exchange looks and both knew what was on the other’s mind. She beats me to it and picks up the book standing from the bed, and hurriedly makes for the door. 

“Come back here” I scream.

“Mummy, Jumoke is writing love letter to a boy”.

“Oh no this girl has killed me” I exclaim while praying and clinging to the tiniest possibility that my mother didn’t hear her but knowing fully well her voice was loud enough to be heard.

“She’s writing what?” I hear my mother scream back, and all I can think of is the beating I’ll receive with omorogun which seems to be my mother’s favourite in dishing out punishment.

“Jumoke!”

“Jumoke!”

“Y-y-yes mummyyy” I stammer because sudden fear grips me. This is all my sister’s doing, she’s a pain in the ass. She thinks snitching makes her mummy’s favourite(so far it’s been working).

“Kini itumo yi?” She asks as I reach the sitting room where she’s seated holding the book in her hand while my snitch of a sister sits like a loyal dog beside her.

“I was just writing ma”.

“Nooo you were singing, I don’t know you’re writing. Let me break it down for you. What nonsense is this you’re writing? Ehn Olajumoke answer me”. At this point I know there’s no escaping it because my mother never calls me by my full name except I’m in trouble or I have done well and it is quite obvious which side I belong right now. All I think of is what every child thinks when their parents are pissed at them:

“My own has finish, it’s today that they will finally kill me”.

“Is it not you I’m talking to?”

“Mummy, please it’s not what you think”

“Oh I see, so now I’m so foolish that I’m not getting my thoughts right? Kneel down there!”.

“I’m sorry ma, that’s not what I meant” I say as I kneel.

“You want to bring shame on this family abi? At this your small age you’re writing love letter to a boy?. You’re a disgrace! The black sheep of this family! It’s like you’ve forgotten whose daughter you are abi?” At this point I’m receiving slap after slap on my face and my head and it gradually graduates to her picking up her slippers and hitting me severally with it.

“M-m-mummy please it’s just a piece of writing” I manage to say as the tears start to form.

“Piece of writing my foot!, you’re writing love letter and you’re here telling me it’s just writing. Mi ki n se omode ooo ; I was not born yesterday. A mango tree does not and can never produce a pineapple fruit. Who did I offend? That they have cursed my child so that she doesn’t have good morals” As a drama queen that my mother is, she has at this point dropped the slippers and is raising her hands to the heavens and occasionally slamming then together and is repeatedly beating her chest and then her thighs and throwing the hands back up again lamenting and pretending( hell yeah she’s pretending!)to weep.

“Shola, go and get me the omorogun.I will teach your sister a lesson today” she says to my sister. She turns back to me ” what do you know about love? So you don’t sleep at night abi?  You’re thinking of a useless boy. Now I know why you don’t wake up early to do house chores and I’m going to correct that your head today”

My snitch of a sister returns with the “head setter” and hands it over to my mother.

She raises it up and…

“Jumoke!”

“Jumoke!”

“Olajumokeee!”

I jolt out of my day dream and return to the present at the mention of my name, from the way it was pronounced it seems like I had been called severally prior to the last one that I heard.

” where’s your mind? Eh? Jumoke!” Mr Adeshina asks me.

“I’m sorry sir, I got lost in thought”.

“Well I asked a simple question and you obviously didn’t hear me but it’s okay I was simply asking if you’d be available tomorrow for the drama practice”.

“I’m so sorry sir, yes I will”.

” Good” he says to me, and to the rest of the class “Make sure you do your assignments and submit first thing tomorrow. Have a great day”.

“You too, sir” We chorus.

Mr Adeshina is my literature teacher, he’s super friendly and a great teacher. Earlier today before I got lost in thought, he was telling us about the importance of writing.

“Sometimes the pain we feel is too hard to say out loud so it’s easier to write it down. I know I have amazing writers in this room. So whenever you have a thought put it down. Also, be creative, write poems or stories from time to time; it may be real or just fiction but be creative in all you do…”

It was at this point that I drifted away to day-dream land(call me the sister of Alice in Wonderland).

You see all the creativity he’s talking about? It can never be appreciated in my house, it will most likely end up with my mother assuming things and jumping- no not jumping, diving head long into conclusions. Anything one writes, is seen as most likely to be real and happens to be taken literally. 

A lot of people are out there and for fear of the outcome of things never actually venture into anything. Great minds pregnant with so many beautiful ideas but the thought of ” It might not end well” kills it all.

But, it’s better to try and fail than to not try. Someone once said: “The only people who never tumble are those who never mount”.

So I’m taking a leap of faith and bringing out all the creativity in me. I will no longer be afraid of the outcome of things, I’ll just do them. 

I pack up my books and proceed to leave the classroom with my mind made up and just as I reach the door, I remember a quote I read up last week written by Mark Twain :

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did. So, throw off the bowlines…”

I smile and say to myself “Don’t worry Jumoke it won’t end up with omo rogun”.

Translation: (Yoruba to English)

  • Omorogun – locally crafted wood used on making meals.
  • Kini itumo yi – what is the meaning of this.
  • Mi ki n se omode – I’m not a baby.

Genesis

Thanks for joining me.

This is the beginning(Genesis) of something great and I’m glad you’re a part of it.

I’ll leave you with six out of my over 1 billion favourite quotes and I hope they inspire you.

  • Knowledge is like a garden, if not cultivated it cannot be harvested.
  • Be intentional to add value to every person you meet everyday.
  • Be sure to taste your words before you spit them out.
  • A person’s words can be life-giving water; words of true wisdom are as refreshing as a bubbling brook. (proverbs 18:4).
  • Opinion aren’t facts. Stop worrying about what people think of you.
  • A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle.

Cheers to being part of something great.

Thanks for stopping by.

Have a lovely day💚💚💚