When the sun sets, it naturally reminds me not only of the end of a day, but the promise of a new dawn and I love them. Back in my home country Nigeria, we used to have very gorgeous sunsets especially where we lived, which was nice sleepy town located around the hills of Enugu.
However, living in these parts, it gets too hot in this horizon of the UAE that most times, I find myself running away from the sun instead of running towards the sunset.
Occasionally, I have stumbled across a lovely sunset here, unfortunately, I don’t think that I have ever managed to capture a great photograph of it.
The best that I have seen so far was around Jumeirah beach, close to the Burj Al Arab and it was truly beautiful.
Who knows, hopefully I’ll get to see another truly remarkable one before I venture away from these parts.
p.s. I finally concluded the bloganuary. So slowly but surely and I have enjoyed it immensely. I has helped me reignite the need to write/blog more frequently. Hope to see you around.
I can bet my last dollar or should I say dirham that I am the only person still writing Bloganuary prompts. Anyways, it’s the way things are and I have been balancing many nuts per se. Do I wish I had stuck to the prompts judiciously during the last week? Yes, I do, but unfortunately, I didn’t and I won’t beat myself over the head for it knowing all that I have been handling lately.
The thought of writing an autobiography has never been too far from my mind, though I still had to process the prompt. The need to write my autobiography is borne out of a survivors need tell their story and though it is a project that I plan to tackle during the sunset days of my life, hopefully many many more years ahead (who knows) maybe, it is time to chalk it down on the drawing board.
When reflecting on how I would title the chapters of my autobiography, I think it will be broken down in 3 main chunks – not cast in stone of course, but my thoughts twirl around:
I have been on a continuous learning journey and have learned a couple of new things recently. As a matter of fact, it has been a conscious choice to ensure that I keep learning and improving myself day by day.
Late last year, I started a TikTok account and had to learn how to use the app, how to create posts which are different from my usual blog posts and how to grow my account. I have also been taking an intensive Business Analyst course, and learning stuff like how to use Visio, Figma, Jira confluence, creating functional and non-functional requires, user case story, swim lane etc. It hasn’t been a cheap or easy venture, but I know that it will yield sufficient dividends in the long run.
In-between that, I have taken a life-coaching course, teaching myself how to create a book cover and do all the necessary works to publish my 3rd poetry book myself without outsourcing it – because I want to use it as a learning opportunity. It is painstakingly slow since I have to learn a whole lot of stuff by scratch, but I have come to realize that it is not always about rushing to reach the finishing line but to enjoy the process getting there.
I feel far more alive when I am learning new things and viewing things from a broader perspective. I sincerely believe that every day, it is imperative to push ourselves to learn something new and that for as long as one is alive, we should be life-long learners.
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.
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.
“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.
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.
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.
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.
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.