Tag Archive | Personal

So Far Have I Come…Stream of Consciousness

So far have I sojourned on this side of existence, yet most days I feel that I’m yet to begin. I feel as if the path before me is longer than the routes I have walked. As if the mountains to climb are higher with many more rivers to wade through.

So far have I come from the long-limbed, tall, awkward, bookwormish, scared, young unassuming ‘yes’ girl who internalized the pain and confusion of abuse, to the feisty, outspoken and confident mature woman that I’m today.

It’s two days to my birthday and I find that I’m always in an introspective mood several days to my birthday. I find myself reviewing things in my head and asking myself some cliched questions like ‘does life truly begin at 40?’

Well, my life’s calendar has hit 40 and heading way into the middle and these are my thoughts so far; it’s taken me 40+ years to decipher ‘who I am’ and I certainly like this human that I’m evolving into. It so happens that I didn’t find my true passion earlier than my 40’s and I oscillated from one career pursuit to the other. Now that I know what I know, I don’t have time to waste in the pursuit of things that steal my peace and waste my time.

With these years of experience, harsh reality has taught me that it’s possible to be viewed as overqualified and too old for certain job opportunities – my personal experience was a rude shock that took days to assimilate.

So far, I’ve discovered a sense of belonging to myself, to a God within me and to let go of what the world thinks and meeting its ever-changing barometers.

So far, I understand that I’m halfway to the finish line, that life and death begin together and that each day the more we are alive, the closer we are to death, thus each day has to count and my best life is now – not yesterday, not tomorrow.

For me, 40+ is just a precursor to better years of adventures to begin. So far, so good. How are you holding up so far?

Written for SoCS – so far


Counting The Words…personal

Writing, Life, Quotes, Gratitude

A hundred and sixty-five words! I bet a whole lot of these words need to be weeded out. Now I have to take the surgeon’s scalpel, the blacksmith’s hammer and the butcher’s knife to cut, shave, trim, tuck, beat this draft into shape and close the chapter.

I am thankful for having finished the first draft of my new book. It’s been a slowpoke journey writing this one. I thought that I would have it published by March, alas, balancing it along with all the other merry-go-round parts of my life has been interesting as well as hectic. I had to shelve other writing projects that I’m working on to focus on this one because it has been driving me to get it done with.

Each day, I am made more aware of the fact that the blessing of being a writer doesn’t come easy. Many days one is at loss for the right words to bring to life the thing that you want to say, yet, I found a hundred and sixty-five words and there’s more threatening to spill out.

This is not a novel, nor can it be classified as a memoir – though lots of bits and pieces of me are to be found within. However, it’s an exciting project that writing it has helped me beyond words. A book that took me full circle. In my head, I’ve got the song ‘ don’t you worry, don’t you worry child, heavens got a plan for you,’ on continuous shuffle.

I am grateful for the gift of writing.

If you wish to participate in a gratitude challenge, there are several gratitude/thankful platforms in the blogosphere that you can tune into and get your ithankful going on. I can’t express in words the enormity of Joy and fulfillment that comes from having a heart of gratitude. Please check out Maria’s blog, Colline’s blog and Bernadette’s for thankful/gratitude challenges.

© Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha

Meet Beautiful Lady Carly Sygrove

I remember the first time I read Carly’s post on her sudden loss of hearing, what caught my attention was not just her detailed writing, but her positive, humourous approach and outlook. I must say that I was intrigued. Many people when befallen with any form of hardship tend to drown themselves in the waters of woe is me, instead of seeking how to turn their situation into an experience that empowers them and inspires others.

I can’t begin to lay claims on the imagination of how such an experience would be, but through Carly’s words, I try to understand her World.

I enjoy interacting with her and I leave her corner with a lesson or the other.

Carly, Blogger, Interview

A little bit about me…

Hello. My name is Carly. I am 34 years old and I am currently living in Madrid, Spain. I am originally from a small, seaside town in Yorkshire, England called Bridlington. Bridlington is well known for fish and chips, which are usually served in gigantic portions! My parents still live there, and my mum enjoys walking on the beach and cliff tops every day.

I am an Early Years primary school teacher, and specialise in teaching 3-7-year-olds, and have been teaching for nearly 12 years. As well as England and Spain, I have also taught and lived in China and Thailand. I lived in Bangkok, Thailand for 3 years. Thailand will always have a special place in my heart.

It is where I gained self-confidence; where I met some of my favourite people; where I was able to travel to beautiful islands and other countries in South East Asia; where I discovered my love for Thai food and massage; and most importantly, where I met my wonderful boyfriend.

I love spending time with my sister and her boyfriend who live in England and visit them whenever I have the opportunity. Their home feels like my second home, and we always have lots of lovely times together; eating, drinking and exploring the city where they live. I also love travelling, walking in the countryside, getting lost in Madrid, my friends, my family, going out for breakfast, taking photos, listening to music, storytelling podcasts, baking, running, drinking wine, and eating spicy food. I don’t like people who are unkind, rude or selfish; anchovies; hard boiled eggs; loud sirens; having my photo taken; wasps; and cockroaches. I am trying to be more mindful in everyday life and to take the time to enjoy moments of happiness.

Bits About My Blog

Seven months ago I experienced sudden sensorineural hearing loss in my left ear. There was no accident or known infection or virus that caused my hearing loss. There was nothing inside my ear blocking the sound. It was not a gradual deterioration. My hearing just disappeared. I began writing my blog nearly 4 months after I lost my hearing. I initially hoped it would be a way of informing my friends and family about my progress in dealing with my hearing loss.

However, it has turned into much more than I had hoped or expected.  Blogging has become a way of documenting my experiences and a tool to help me make sense of my feelings. I have met so many people in the blogging world, all with different stories to tell. I have also been able to connect with others who have experienced different types of hearing loss.

It is so comforting to connect with others who are facing similar issues and difficulties to me and to read about how they deal with these challenges. Although I originally wanted my blog to be a way of informing friends and family of my situation, I actually haven’t yet told my friends on Facebook about my blog; although some of them are aware of my hearing loss. I want to be a bit more up to date with things. I am still a few months behind on documenting my story. Also, it’s quite nice having this secret WordPress community/life that is separate from my real life. My most viewed posts seem to be the ones where I move away from my story and talk about how the hearing loss affects my life, and also when I talk about the new challenges I am facing. Here are a few of my most viewed posts:   

Silly Deaf Moments


Who would have thought that losing your hearing could be so noisy?


The first time… Part 2: being brave and feeling proud


Warning signs?


Keeping Motivated

There is still so much of my story to write. I am still very much motivated to write my story, as I am enjoying writing and I also find it therapeutic. Every time I write a post about part of my journey, I feel like I can almost let that part go from my immediate thoughts; knowing that I will never forget it as it is documented forever. I have lots of notes for upcoming posts.

After consultations with specialists and also after having different experiences with unilateral hearing, I come home and scribble down lots of ideas for future posts. When I am feeling in a writing mood, I look at my notes and write the next instalment of my blog. The most challenging thing for me is getting readers to follow me. I am aware that writing about hearing loss isn’t the most glamourous subject. If I had chosen to write a blog about baking, travel or fashion, perhaps I’d find it much easier to get followers. But hearing loss is what I am passionate about. I not only want to be able to connect with others in similar situations, but also with people with other stories to tell. My readers and the blogs that I follow keep me going.

I am amazed at how much support I have been given from fellow bloggers and every comment and ‘like’ means so much to me. I have fallen in love with the blogging world, and think that it is wonderful to be able to share my story. My blog will be something that I have created, that will always be available for other to see.

A Word For Others

If you have a subject that you are passionate about, and would like to meet more similar minded people, by all means, blogging is a great way to share your story and meet lots of great people along the way. There is so much inspiration to be found in the blogging world; stories of happiness, fun, drama, sadness, strength, creativity are all out there. Blogging does take time and a certain degree of dedication. You will need to invest time to write regular posts, and also to read others posts and share your comments.

Carly and Boyfriend, Interview

Me and My Boyfriend at Christmas Market in London.

A day in the life of me

Since losing my hearing, I have been signed off work; as I would find it difficult to work with a class of 4-year-olds at the moment. A usual working day would have involved getting up at 7 am. Then I used to travel on two metros, and then walk for 15 mins to get to work. Then I would have a busy day teaching, often followed by meetings or lesson and classroom preparation.

Usually, I would get home around 6 pm, sometimes later. Since I have been off work, life has slowed down. My boyfriend leaves the house to go to work, around 8.45am. Every morning we have a chat before he leaves, and then I get up and start my day. I do general house tasks such as emptying the dishwasher, washing clothes, tidying up etc.

I usually have morning TV shows playing in the background whilst I’m pottering around. Often during the day I will catch up on any blogs that I’ve been meaning to read or reply to any comments on my blog. I also have 2 or 3 appointments a week at the moment with various specialists regarding my hearing loss. I still feel guilty for being off work, even though I know it’s not my fault. But am also aware that I should appreciate the time I do have away from work. So I try to make time to do something I enjoy every day, such as going for a walk in Madrid or baking something. In the evenings my boyfriend cooks for us and then we enjoy watching a TV series together or a film.

Carly, Blogger, Interview

Me and My sister in Geneva during Summer

In The Near Future

I will eventually share my blog on Facebook with my wider circle of friends. I would like to have my blog featured on some ‘hearing loss’ websites. I have contacted quite a few websites, but haven’t yet been taken up on my offer,  but will continue trying. I also hope to continue to gain more followers, so that I can share my journey with others. I was a guest writer for MakeItUltraPsychology (https://makeitultrapsychology.wordpress.com/ ) who were very kind to publish my post: Finding Strength Through Adversity: https://wordpress.com/read/blogs/106156040/posts/13749

I’d happily be a guest writer for other blogs. Maybe one day I could turn my experiences into a book!

Thank you some much Jacqueline for giving me space on your blog. I really appreciate it J.


Barbed Thorns…personal

Image result for Christs thorns

Life’s not all peaches and cream
many have barbed thorns
silent groans
priceless tears.



For the day’s that I feel lost and my heart laden with so much burden, Lord, I give thanks. Forgive me for making you too small in my eyes.’

On days that depression hits me out of the blues, I don’t fight it. I welcome it inside. I give it a seat to hear what it’s got to say with a box of tissue in hand and I cry with her when she moves me with her tales.

I make her a strong cup of tea, or coffee, sometimes even some soup and remind her of the many things that are good about her life. I remind her that she should never put her God in a box, but allow He who began the good works in her to continue because He is faithful to the end.

I remind her of her journey and path to emotional freedom and mindfulness. I remind her of her talents and the burgeoning future before her eyes’.

I stoke her hope and remind her to keep her candle shining because the flickers of its light sends out good vibes and helps her to find her way in the dark

I remind her of her resilience, her unwavering positivity, and can-do spirit. I remind her that she’s resourceful, a source of light, the love of many people’s lives and I have her laughing in no time.

I gently show her the door and ask her to roam free. I ask her to go into the light and shine as bright as she can. I tell her that she’s welcome to visit anytime she feels lonely, but I’m quite sure that she knows she’s not alone because I see her light steps as she sprints down the street and her laughter rings in my heart.

This is me talking to one of my other selves.

You are not alone, Quote

If you wish to participate in a gratitude challenge, there are several gratitude/thankful platforms in the blogosphere that you can tune into and get your ithankful going on. I can’t express in words the enormity of Joy and fulfillment that comes from having a heart of gratitude. Please check out Maria’s blog, Colline’s blog and Bernadette’s for thankful/gratitude challenges.


Every Little Step I Take – personal

Life, Gratitude, Higher Calling, Goals, Aspirations

The ring tone of the mobile cut into my reflection. I was just coming to the end of my evening walk. Answering the unknown number, her sweet Indian accented voice carried through and in a voice that I will place at 26 years, she chirpily informed me, Ms. Jacqueline, blah, blah, yadda, yadda… unfortunately, due to our employment policy, we can’t offer you the coveted position of events Manager since you are above 35 and too antiquated in my 4o’s (okay, I added this bit about antiquated).

Well, that gave me pause for mere minutes as I trudged up the bridge in front of me but the greatest emotion that I realized was that of relief that flooded me. An odd emotion I must say. I’ll analyze it later.

Let me give you a brief background. This is the latest venture in my attempt to find full-time gainful employment. One of the greatest challenges of being an accompanying spouse or should I say spice is the ‘not having a defined career and dependency on your spouse for periods of time that might cause discomfort.’

You could spend the better part of the time/if not all the time spent abroad searching for something suitable in the form of employment and yes, you learn frugality to the last letter y.

Except when one is up and pushing like I have to do each day – searching for freelance opportunities that come far and few in-between or occupying myself with things that enlarge my scope in the pursuit of my dreams to be a successful writer – one would probably end up a frustrated, emotional bag of chocolate cookie eating monster.

Over the years I’ve learnt to manage on what we can afford and sometimes squeeze out a bit for some side attractions but not having a strong earning power (yet) has stunted some things that I seek to do for myself.

If truth be told, my major interest for seeking this job is to earn in order to fund some self-development life-coaching programs that I want to attend and to save up to return to school next year without burdening my husband whose plate is full right now.

In my head, I was already trying to see how I would fit the job around my life that’s surprisingly full without a 9-5 job and was feeling somewhat stressed at the thought. Now, this explains my odd sense of relief when they informed me that they would rather seek a person with perkier body parts than mine, irrespective of the wealth of experience that I have to bring on board.

As a matter of fact, instead of feeling disappointed or upset about the rejection, last night I felt a deep sense of inexplicable peace and understanding. A quiet voice came to me with the verse of Jeremiah 29:11 saying:

‘For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’

By the time I went to sleep last night, I was all excited and grateful. I have no idea what lies before me, but I know deep inside me that God’s plans over my life are exceedingly bountiful.

I woke up this morning and quickly checked my emails. A notification I saw simply made me burst into tears and laughter. Tears at my foolishness and human sense of worry. Laughter at the beautiful surprise.

Gift and Gratitude

A voice said to me, go back to the work that you are doing. Go back and finish the book that has been dropped in your heart to write. It’s a book on ‘finding wisdom and purpose.’

The interesting thing is that I never had a plan to write such a book. I have novels that I am working on, but ever since the instruction to write this book came to me late last year, it has not allowed me much sleep and has taken precedence over the novels. I am several days behind due to neglecting it during my trip, but all things being equal, it will be ready by March.

All that I can say is that even when things are not looking the way we want them in our human eyes, keep your eye’s looking up. Be grateful for the much that you’ve been given, for out of it shall abundance flow.

To the sister who gave me this surprising gift, may your circle of blessings never run dry. May laughter fill your mouth and may praise remain your portion.


If you wish to participate in a gratitude challenge, there are several gratitude/thankful platforms in the blogosphere that you can tune into and get your ithankful going on. I can’t express in words the enormity of Joy and fulfillment that comes from having a heart of gratitude. Please check out Maria’s blog, Colline’s blog and Bernadette’s for thankful/gratitude challenges.

This is what love looks like.

Yesterday, my young son spent some quiet time scribbling in a corner and every time I passed by him he hid his work. I thought that he was drawing one of his lovely artworks (he’s gifted and draws pretty well) and didn’t bother him.

To my delight, he presented me with a nicely wrapped parcel – he had raided my bathroom and wrapped some of my bottles of bath gel and scented candle along with his sweet card.

What can I say? Just that my heart is filled with joy and thankfulness for this child of mine. He’s always sensitive to others. Always seeks ways in his little capacity to make everyone around him happy – even outside our home. He’s just an awesome blessing.

Loving child, love, handmade card, this is what love looks like

what love looks like, handmade card

loving card, handmade card, what love looks like

Tomorrow is Pregnant…


Trying to blog on my phone is a trying affair, to say the least. I haven’t sat down for more than a few minutes since I got to Lagos because I’ve got a lot to cover in just a few days. Lots of family and friends to see, laughter and gossip to catch up on.

I can’t believe how the days are flying past. I just boarded the plane how many hours ago on Sunday and now it’s Wednesday with only two more days to spend here.

I feel happy that I came and yet sad at the same time. Lagos is still my Lasgidi, though it seems as if things have been at a stand still with the poor government that has done its’ best to keep its people in poverty.

The wonderful thing about this place is the resilience of its’ people. The larger than life attitude towards life that they possess.

I am thankful for this opportunity to visit home once again. For family and good friends. For an epileptic light and internet service, bumpy, dusty roads 😉 it’s all good.

It is said that no one knows what tomorrow will bring and according to my people, we say that ‘tomorrow is pregnant and also backing a baby.’

Therefore, be wholly thankful for today that you have with you. There’s always something to be thankful for.


If you wish to participate in a gratitude challenge, there are several gratitude/thankful platforms in the blogosphere that you can tune into and get your ithankful going on. I can’t express in words the enormity of Joy and fulfillment that comes from having a heart of gratitude. Please check out Maria’s blog, Colline’s blog and Bernadette’s for thankful/gratitude challenges.