Blogging · writing challenge

Sweet tooth…

Complimentary dessert – oh my waist line 😉

My Achilles heel in this life is my sweet tooth. I am that girl that will be seated near the dessert avenue at a buffet listening to the cakes and whisper sweet nothings to me. I love cakes especially moist chocolate cakes, cheese cakes, red velvet etc. To be honest, I love them all and I am yet to meet a cake that didn’t get along with me.

For my birthday, I would probably order up a cake that offers something in these three flavours mentioned above. My absolute love for sweet things and the need to balance it for my health and weight sake, I stopped baking at home as often as I used to, because I always ended up eating half of the cake and giving family members a little slice here and there to fulfill all righteousness.

Blogging · Dubai · WordPress

The power of communication…

For the fact that I currently live in the UAE and the official language of communication here is Arabic lanaguage, I wish that I can speak this language fluently to ease communication and understanding in spaces where the language is being spoken.

Photo by Adam Sabljakoviu0107 on Pexels.com

Asides from my native language and the local parlance back in Nigeria, I am also bilingual (English/French), but a whole lot of people over here barely understand or speak English or French, so, at times it is a struggle for one to explain themselves properly due to the communication barrier. Of course, one must never lose sight of the fact that for them, English/French are borrowed languages and not their mother language. There are also many who communicate effectively as well in either language and somehow we manage to get by.

I truly wish that I had applied myself more in acquiring a good command of Arabic language as it would be an advantage in many ways. I admire people who can speak multiple languages and maybe, this is a gentle reminder for me to make the necessary attempt and stop finding irrelevant excuses.

Parenting · Personal story · Writing

Not simply a tune…

I know that bloganuary is over, but I have every intention to finish the outstanding writing prompts that I missed out on. I fell into a mental funk which came unannounced and that caused some derailing on my part. However, I will not allow a depressive state to dictate my life. The need to rise above adversity keeps me going.

So many songs and the poems that I wrote speak to me, but a song that speaks to me so deeply is ‘we thank thee by Jim Reeves. It is not just a song but a wake up call and a prayer that my dad played on our Grundig every morning in our house throughout my growing up years. For me, this songs brings back countless strong emotions and takes me back home to when my dad was still alive, the smell of my mothers cooking, the morning routines and bustle getting ready to go to school, to go to church etc.

It embodies the wholesomeness of my family, of laughter and joy, of tears, of meals shared and plans for the future. It takes me back to my dad before Cancer, of the gentle rays of the early morning sun peeping in through the living room windows, of neighbours voices floating in through the windows, of Sunday Jollof rice and meat.

In this song, there’s so much stored for me. It became etched into the blueprint of my life from a tender age and I will love it till the day that I die.

Family · Love · writing challenge

A little bit of love…

Love

“I love you.” This sweet sentiment is often flippantly said to our loved ones: our spouses/partners, children, siblings, cousins, parents, aunts, and uncles. Although we may love our loved ones, but do we ask ourselves this pertinent question “Do they know that I love them and do I show them how much how I love them?” We toss around this heartwarming saying all the time because it is so easy to say, but oftentimes, we forget that words do not mean anything without backing it with action. 

So how do I show love? Well it depends on what kind of love we are talking about and who is at the receiving end of this love. If it is agape or familial love, I strive to express such love to those in my life and the people that I encounter daily. This could be by paying them a compliment, listening actively to what they have to say, giving a hug when necessary, sending or having a meal together, sharing/buying a gift, sending an uplifting message, praying for them or with them, spending quality time with them, having a good time together, appreciating them etc.

The love that I feel for my children covers a large scope and encompasses things such as teaching them life skills, supporting their interests and aspirations, putting food on the table, providing a welcoming home and for their needs, giving them the enabling environment to grow and be themselves, protecting them from external dangers, counselling and handholding, making endless sacrifices, being interested in what they are doing, apologizing to them when I am wrong and being willing to change, being available 24/7 for them and much more..

For my husband and life partner, it is an all encompassing love and I endeavour to demonstrate the 5 languages of love to him on a regular basis- using words of affirmation, spending quality time together, serving each other, buying him gifts, physical touch and showing of affection (I am touchy-feely kind of person) and he reciprocates. Our union of 23 years has passed through several tests of time and like any other couple we do have our ups and downs. It is most certainly not always sunshine, kisses and rainbows, but those down moments have served in strengthening our understanding and love for each other.

On a final note, displaying your love for your family can provide an active meaning to those three words ‘ I love you.’ It is best to show your love to your family so they will not have to question if you love them or not. 

Philosophy of Life · WordPress · writing challenge

About Time…

One lie that I have always told myself and even started to believe to a large extent is that age is just a number and in the mind and that it’s never too late to become what we want to become. The lie that there’s time to pursue our dreams sometime in the future. Yes, indeed we can still pursue certain aspirations during the sunsetting days of our lives, but we should never forget the mere fact that not only are we are not in charge of time, but also, certain dreams require better state of physical health which sadly deteriorates as one ages.

I guess this lie is to serve as comfort in the face of the fact that I am yet to accomplish a lot of things that I desire to. It serves as a motivator so that I don’t feel disappointed in myself for not living the life of my dreams. The thought that tomorrow will bring better fortune and opportunity to pursue those things that I am truly passionate about holds hope in it and serves as a soothing balm.

The truth is that I have spent the better part of my life so far trying to survive and stay alive by doing what is necessary to provide the basic needs of life. Now that I know better, I have been working at ensuring that each day, a piece of my time is spent doing something about the things that make me feel more alive.

Putting everything away for tomorrow is futile because in reality, the future is today and that illusive future that we await for will never come if we do nothing with the present time. All we are truly given is the present moment that we are experiencing and how we use it matters most. This is one of the driving reasons behind the name that I chose for my TikTok and YouTube pages ‘Beyond Existing‘ to remind myself that each day must be spent fully living in the present, savouring the moments that life brings, pushing past the edge of survival and mere existence.

Blogging · Personal story · WordPress · writing challenge

Drama Queen…

From my early years in life I loved performing for an audience, either as being a part of a dance group, drama group, debate team or modelling. These are the things that I have a natural flair for and as such, my dream job oscillated from wanting to be a newscaster, a writer cum journalist, to being an actress or a runway model – my mind never conceived anything else beyond these interests. Unfortunately, back then at home, these professions were not seen as lucrative and sadly, was perceived as a profession held only by wayward women.

In Nigeria in the 80’s, 90’s we had a few notable female newscasters and journalists who spoke impeccable English while broadcasting the National news and I used to admire them a lot and also imitated them from time to time. As I grew old enough to take part in school dramas and the likes, I grabbed the opportunities that came my way to be on stage and even fancied pursuing Theatre arts or Communication Arts but my mother was not for it at all for valid reasons. At that time, the acting/movie industry in Nigeria was still at its fledgling stage and she believed that I would become a starving actress, besides the fact that there were unsavoury stories of women having to sell themselves short to get a role in any movie.

In my university days, I modelled part-time for small fashion houses, calendars and advertorials to augment my pocket money and last took part in a fashion show in 2018. I guess if bigger opportunities had come my way, who knows, maybe I would have embraced them. These interests of mine were not considered as serious professions and were looked down on back in the days, but with each generation, as the time changes, societal views change as well.

During my growing up years, in most Nigerian homes, they were coveted professions that parents chose for their children, Doctor, Pharmacist, Engineer, Lawyer and maybe nurse or teacher for those who are unable to fit into the other ‘chosen professions.’ I ended up studying Law since my language proficiency was considered excellent and my mama felt that my oratory skills would serve better in the law court. To cut a long story short, I have never been in a courtroom nor worked as a lawyer. My career path has vacillated over the years, however, these days, I find that my writing and speaking skills are being used more and more especially nowadays that we have social platforms that offers us the opportunity the embrace our latent skills.

Who knows, one day I may still venture down on the runway strutting my matronly stuff or on the stage acting my heart out, though I spend more time these days writing and teaching others.

Check me out on TikTok
Lifestyle · Reading · Writing

Never played favourites…

@beyondexisting.j

Born a crime Trevor Noah #reading #hobby #trevornoah #Ilovereading #books #fypシ゚viral #passion #favouritethings #bookreview #bookrecommendations Trevor Noah’s book is a gritty, hilarious and poignant memoir that shares his experiences growing up in a racially charged Apartheid South Africa. A delightful read that evoked every emotion in me.#CapCut

♬ Commando – Mavokali

I find such questions like ‘who is your favourite author and why‘ truly mundane and it almost seems as if eclectic, voracious readers like me are strange. I had to give this a hard thought and sadly came up short in choosing a favourite fiction, non-fiction author or writer.

Again like colors’, it makes me wonder why I can’t simply be simple in my choices and just pick a name. I usually don’t sit on the fence when it comes to voicing my opinion even if it is a dissenting thought and I can be a bit too straightforward in saying what I think or feel.

I love reading and when I was pretty young, I stuck with my Enid Blyton’s and my teenage years were spent reading uncountable numbers of Harlequins, Mill & Boons, Hadley Chase, Tom Clancy, Mark Twain, Ernest Hemingway and many more.

My reading tastes has been generally diversified and having taken an in-depth look at why this might be so, I have arrived at the conclusion that it is because I like multiple things, I see the world from multiple perspective, that I am a pluralist and many things are good and not just a singular thing.

I also see that liking different things will ultimately improves my social life and that’s fine not to fit into a mould clustering around any particular taste. Liking multiple things makes me, me.

Without trying to sound proud, I think that a wide taste in reading is a sign of intelligence, of intellectual curiosity, open mindedness, and a willingness to absorb new ideas.

Sometimes, I find that though a lot of people can be extremely intelligent but have very closed minds but the love of all kinds of literary genres implies the love of creativity, of actively seeking out new approaches and ideas and the ability to appreciate different paradigms.

Blogging · This Is My Life · WordPress · writing challenge

My living space in the concrete jungle…

At present, I live in a flat in a block of apartment – a skyscraper – here in Dubai and I can pinpoint a dozen things or more that irritate me about it, though I have adjusted and learnt to make do.

Given that I grew up in a spacious bungalow spread out on its own compound with a large balcony and that through the years I have lived in either a duplex, townhouse or condo which usually comes with more living space, an apartment can be a squeeze.

My biggest hang-up is that there’s insufficient space to express myself and to set up my personal workspace, which kind of impacts on my ability to create the ambience that I want my workspace to have, to get into the zone and to focus on what I am doing. I love being surrounded by nature and growing plants/herbs, unfortunately, the heat of the Middle-East and lack of sufficient space does not make it conducive to go as green as I would love. Anyhow, I have indoor plants scattered around the house.

There is one central AC control which means that it is difficult to regulate the temperature in different parts of the house, so if it’s cold, it’s cold everywhere and vice-versa.

The AC ducts also brings in aromas/whiffs of our neighbours cooking or the smell of burning incense and a lot of times this happens in the middle of the night and being a light sleeper, heavy smells of garlic, fried onions, curry, spices, incense or what have you simply wakes me and keeps me up at night.

It is not all negative to say the least and over the years of living here, I have managed to create a cozy home for me and my family, but I do look forward to a time in the near future when I will leave the concrete jungle and return to something more spacious, private and surrounded by nature.

You can find me on TikTok

Blogging · WordPress · writing challenge

Kaleidoscope…

This is one of those topics that irks me. I guess I’m part of that percentage of humans who don’t have a favourite colour and simply finds something to love in every colour.

It used to bother me a whole lot when I was younger and gave me such angst that among my friends I seemed to be the only one who was undecided about her favourite colour, therefore, I was the odd one out. I struggled to choose which colour best defined my personality and being a part of society where you are required to choose and to fit it in, it can be odd at times when you are so undecided about something as simple as colour.

It took maturity to make me understand that it is absolutely okay not to have one specific colour that defines my personality and since I find that my moods, the place that I am going to, the occasion in question, how I want to be perceived etc. determines how I dress, I simply follow my feelings and wear whatever I feel like at that point in time.

I love all colours, bold, subtle, plain, splashy, in all shades and hues and I the arty side of me has learnt how to work colours to complement me.

Blogging · Life · Lifestyle · writing challenge

A state of equilibrium…

In all sincerity, I can’t recollect any specific day so far that I can count on as the happiest day of my life. On my wedding day, I think I was a bit anxious about my guests having a good time and hoping that the wedding ceremony goes as well as planned to classify it as my happiest day. In retrospect, if I had to redo my wedding, I would do things a whole differently and have less crowd.

I have come to see happiness as a state of mind that persists in one’s life based on several factors such as being present and finding peace and joy in the moments that we have and not a temporary product of a specific event. As such, I work consistently to maintain as much level of contentment, fulfilment, joy and satisfaction as I possibly can by eliminating negativity and negative energy, by staying positive and doing those things that bring me that sense of happiness.

I have experienced great moments of joy when I gave birth to my babies, a sense of fulfillment when I published my books and beautiful memories of sublime moments with family and friends but there’s no singular day in life that I can pinpoint as the happiest day in my life. It is still non-existent, but who knows, maybe sometime soon in the near future such a day will come.

@beyondexisting.j

Feel good. Joy in small things. #fyp #positivevibes #bejoyful #butterfly #friday beyondexisting.j #fp

♬ Calm Down – Rema