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Tis The Season

Christmas is just a little over two weeks away, can you believe it? It seems like it was January just yesterday and here we are, about to usher baby Jesus into the world yet again. I mean, ‘where did the time in fact go?’ right? Well, musings of another time because today, it’s all about the season at hand.

I’ve always been a HUGE Christmas fan since my childhood and I especially look forward to it as an adult because I live thousands of miles from my family. So not only does it bring back beautiful holiday memories but it keeps me in a perpetual state of joy. It is the one season where no matter what storms may be brewing, the sight of clustered mini lights literally puts a smile on my face.

Some say they have they lost their Christmas spirit because it has become a big commercial holiday, which is true. But if we focus on the commercialization of holidays, it will make it hard for anyone to celebrate anything since practically every holiday these days has been commercialized.

 That’s where traditions come in which is what I miss most about Christmas. It was always an elaborate affair growing up starting with Christmas music from November till Christmas day. Our favorite was the Christmas album by Boney M. which was constantly replayed. It was the first thing we would do when we woke up, turn the stereo on and sometimes my siblings and I would goof around to the music.Then in December, we would put up a tree which my dad usually harvested from around the neighborhood; mostly it was a pine tree and rarely a fir. I always decorated the tree with a few siblings helping and I remember throwing a tantrum one year when my dad wouldn’t get us tree, saying we were older; so it shouldn’t matter.

Then a week before Christmas, we would make all the pastries we could afford to make in large quantities to last through New Year Day. These were used as snacks and also to entertain guests. Some of the pastries included a traditional snack from my country called Chin-Chin made with lots of flour, butter and eggs; banana and yogurt cake. On the eve of, we would prepare an assortment of soups and meats. We made sure to finish in good time for my siblings to make the Christmas eve mass.

After mass, we would stay up late watching the neighborhood bustle with people and various activities. On Christmas day, my mum and I would go to early morning mass and return by 10 am to prepare the accompaniments for the soups made the night before. By 2pm, my cousins, aunties and uncles are home in time for lunch and we would eat as one big happy family.

Of course being that it’s a commercial day too, we contribute our quota with my siblings and parents going to different clubs later in the day. I was always the home-buddy and stayed home with my older sister who was disabled, watching a string of movies I had rented for the occasion and spicing it up with random dance sessions.

We sound like a Hallmark movie right? At least, an African version but the point is, Christmas is quite an event in my family. I am not so sure it would be as enjoyable as when we were kids because I can’t stand some of my extended family members now and it’ll be hard to fake it during such a happy time. So while I do miss my family most during this season, I think I love the memory of what used to be more.

I cannot wait to start a new tradition with ‘my own’ family sometime in the future which would definitely include putting up the tree in October and only taking it down on Valentines day. 🙂 Driving around the most festive neighborhoods to admire the lights and especially a trip to some Christmas village and attending a tree lightning. But mostly, sharing the joy that Christmas brings with the ones I love. Do you have any Christmas traditions with your family or are you starting new traditions? Please share. As always, thanks for stopping by and don’t forget to subscribe. 🙂


Music IS …

I switched from the static/regular radio station in my car last week in search of something new and exciting. Then I stumbled on FM 105.3, little did I know the happiness that lay in wait for me. Almost every song that came on was a beat to jam to. With the volume at humanly- unsafe decibels, I found myself seriously ‘drive-dancing’ with the biggest smile on my face and wondering how I didn’t possibly know of the treasure trove in music that is Latin music.

I can tell you already that J.Balvin is on every remix and that half of the songs you’d hear on 105.3 are by either J.Balvin, Ozuna, Bad Bunny and Maluma. Every other artist is a treat as the aforementioned are in heavy rotation. It probably doesn’t help that most of them sound very similar but who cares – clearly I don’t. One of the treats was a song by CNCO called Bailemos. The song was concluding when I got in the car and the chorus got me hooked but didn’t have enough time to Shazam the song.

And so it is that I went in search for it yesterday by playing a hot Latin mix that popped up on my feed after several failed attempts listening to songs I thought were Bailemos. When I tell you I have been in music heaven all day, it’s an understatement. I caught myself off-guard too, grooving to the awesome sounds at work. Then Sebastian Yatra’s Ya No Tieno Novio came on and I lost my collective cool.

That SONG. I don’t know that I can properly articulate what that song does to me. First off, Spanish is a very sexy language. Then picture yourself, on a pristine bed out in open nature, under the most perfect of weathers, the sun beautifully accentuating your skin as you take in all of that vitamin D. The waves splashing off in a distance and from nowhere, Sebastian starts whispering the words of ‘Ya No Tieno Novio’ in your ears. Oh God, I don’t want to wake up.

I pictured myself doing everything with this song: cooking my favorite meal to it while skipping around in the kitchen, walking the beach with a special someone rubbing each other to its beat, jumping around in skimpy pajama shorts after a long day of work which I actually did 🙂 and finally, allowing bodies and music to be one in rhythm. AH. I would have probably killed the replay button today if that were possible.I cannot believe how fashionably late I am to the Latin music party but Hey , I’m here.

I hope Sebastian knows what a gem he created. If it were up to me, this song should belong to the world music hall of fame.  I might be exaggerating right? I mean I’m no music critic but that’s where I was driving this article to. What qualifies as good music? I think that should be left to the individual to decide based on how they connect to the song, the words, the rhythm. Being that music is a form of art and art is subjective, everyone gets to decide what is good music to them. 

Personally, I consider myself a true citizen of the world with regards to music because I have a vast taste ranging from Zouk, pop, traditional music from my country, jazz, classical music and now you can add Latin music with all of its genres to that repertoire and a host of others. And music I think has just one language – I listen to Latin music with excitement just as I listen to  Nigerian songs in Yoruba or those from my country with dialects I barely understand.  Music for me IS Happiness; I always find myself with the biggest smile on my face, freer with no care and I’m usually a better dancer sitting.  Everyone ever. 🙂 Music does fill my heart in ways I can’t quite explain and for the next couple of days Latin music would have me on cloud 9.

Please share, what is your go to ”Ya No Tieno Novio” song? The one song that puts in every kind of mood. As always, thanks for stopping by and for your listening pleasure, I present to you ‘Ya No Tieno Novio’ By Sebastian Yatra. Thank me later. 🙂








2018 In Review

Hello there!

This is probably going to be one of my worse written pieces ever as I’m fighting the drought of motivation I’ve experienced all year to do an early review of my 2018.

For the first time in a long time, i have had a good year. Not best and not bad either but good. And for that I’m very thankful.

For a pretty drawn-out month, January was actually good. It kicked the year off on a good note since that’s when I got to be permanent in the job I had started the year prior. My anxiety about getting back in the job market without very marketable experience was put to rest. Got in the groove of things, familiarizing myself with work and planning the rest of the year out. If only… Ha!

February came to an end even before it started. Still enjoyed getting acquainted at work and got busy with the arrival of my favorite nephew. It was quite an experience witnessing child birth. Seeing my sister go through the pain, solidified my ‘no -children’ stance which was quickly erased when I saw my nephew’s gorgeous and mesmerizing face. I became a pseudo parent.

March flowed along but almost turned me into a zombie with the many sleepless nights that come with a new baby. It was frustrating at night but by morning, all was forgotten with one look at my nephew’s precious face. While I loved having my sister with me and my nephew, I was damn near ready to go back to regular programming and couldn’t wait for April.

April: Work was fine. Numbers were good and work quality was excellent. Sister and family went back to their residence and FREEDOM at last. I had barely two months to move out and no place secured yet. Cue the maddening yet exciting apartment hunt.

In May, we resumed the stress levels and even rammed it up. Time was ticking on my lease and when I thought nothing else could get worse, got in two accidents within two weeks of each other. The second worse than the first which totaled my car and had me in a rental for a month and half. Never been that terrified in my adult life but thankful to God that it wasn’t worse.

June: In the middle of all the chaos, was able to find a place in time to move. Started working towards that promotion at work and hoped it would happen sooner than later. The crisis situation in my home country still ongoing but thankful for my families’ safety and protection.

July was very uneventful outside of getting a new car I absolutely love. Just thankful to be alive, my family’s continued safety and for the many prospects of growth ahead.

August began with a tiny bit of good news, some stride. Certified Trainer at Work. I became a weekend regular at TJ Maxx and Homegoods looking for rare interior finds. My tiny apartment was coming together.

September: Birthday month. For the first time in a few years, I looked forward to my birthday. There was nothing fancy planned and I disabled all social media notifications so no one would send me unsolicited wishes. It was a quiet day, worked but reminisced afterwards and was thankful for the journey thus far. Interviewed for the promotion and got it.  Yay.

October baby. Started the new role. A lot learning and my cozy apartment gradually coming together.  Put up my tree by the second week and have been happier since. A girl is in love. 🙂

November to remember. Taking stock of the year so far and realizing how very fortunate this year has been. No major illness for me or anyone in my family. New addition to the family and new successes. Siblings graduating, others finding work and promotions. My parents are healthy and we all maintain good communication. Work has been amazing – learning still and scouting for new opportunities.

December: It’s Christmas, my ABSOLUTE favorite time of the year. YAY. Looking forward to all the gatherings with friends, all the food and laughter that will be shared. Looking to close the year out on a good professional note and being mightily thankful for what a good year this has been.

Most importantly, I’d like to say thank you to WordPress for this wonderful platform that allows me express even my silliest of thoughts and for your readership, I’m immensely grateful. That as sporadic as my writing has been this year, I still somehow managed to have one reader at the very least. I write because I love the art, knowing I’m no where near good at it but that you stop by and take time to read my ramblings on screen mean a lot to me. I sure hope you had an uber amazing year as well and close out on an even higher note. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year ahead to you and yours.

THANK YOU. 🙂

Balloons

The “Come-Back”

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You haven’t seen your high school class mates in 10 years, then suddenly you get the chance to meet them again and the thought of the reunion sets your anxiety wheels spinning. You start pondering things like  ‘Will they like me like?’,  ‘ Will they welcome me in the fold?’ ‘What if I don’t fit in’ or worse ‘What if they don’t like what I have to say”. Very soon, your own thoughts become overwhelming that you decide against attending. By so doing, you’ve judged your class mates in the same harsh way you feared you’d be judged and withdrew their BOD card.

That has been me in the last few weeks. I have missed writing so much which is the one thing that gives me —well, confidence. But even more than missing writing, I have dreaded the “come-back”. Scared that the few people who used to read no longer care. That my blog has been forgotten. Scared of starting over. I realized I  was being overtly critical and just needed to take the leap to jump back out there. After all, I do have a lot to say. In the few months since I stopped writing, so much has happened that even if no one read, it would serve as much needed therapy for me.

2017 was an ok year, not my best but not bad by any standards. I finally graduated (Yay)  and got a job 4 months later, although not quite in my field. Then my pregnant sister who was having a difficult pregnancy visited almost immediately after I started work, that was fun. Literally. Then came 2018. Work has been good, got in 2 accidents within 2 weeks and I’m moving apartments in a few days to finally be on my own again. (Whoop whoop).

Yeah, A. LOT. HAS. HAPPENED. I am hoping to finally settle in, in my own life ( if you can belief that. Ha!) and hopefully get my grove back. (haha Stella)

I look forward to getting back to my blog and I am excited to share these stories. I want to say thank you first to all those who follow this blog, I have never taken you for granted and I marvel that you actually want to read what I have to say. Thank you for coming back and I cannot wait to get to back in the flow. Say, how are you feeling today? 🙂

The Wait!

stock-photo-d-human-waiting-with-alarm-clock-111105164So you finally graduated and you are wondering why the job isn’t forth coming? Or you thought you had your life all planned out; graduated by 22,  got a job on the verge of 23 and 2 promotions later, you are ready to “settle” down at 26 but the partner is nowhere to be found. Better still, you got the job and have been working extra hard, more than anyone else in the office for that promotion you deserve but at last, it goes to someone else. What do you do? What do you do when all that you are praying and working for is eluding you and you seem to be in a hollow with everyone and everything else passing you by?

I call that hollow the Waiting Period and I have become all too acquainted with it recently. It seems the harder you try, the more your efforts fall by the wayside. You begin to feel resentful and frustrated. You get easily irritated and emotions that were so far removed from you, start sipping into your heart like jealousy and envy. You wonder why things are so rosy and easy for others yet, difficult and burdensome for you. (By the way, it is perfectly normal to feel that way, what is abnormal is how you react to those feelings).

By nature, I am a very impatient person (praying I get better). So you can only imagine how frustrating it has been experiencing this wait period. The pressure was getting to me and I found myself going through all the motions. So I went to the only place I know to seek relief and counsel. So on Saturday I visited the priest of my church and disclosing all that I was feeling, he reminded me of God’s love. That when things don’t work out, it could usually be one of three answer (not yet, no and yes). And being the Omnipresent God that He is and having better plans for us to prosper, He knows ultimately what is best for us. So when things don’t work out like we thought they should’ve, we need to pause and be thankful even in disappointment. He told me to be diligent in the wait, have faith, hope and continue praying.

The fact that these things haven’t happened yet doesn’t mean that they won’t. It’s only a matter of time before that one job is a yes, that God-ordained partner strolls into your life or that promotion drops in your laps. The most important thing is that you stay seeking and remain open to those new experiences that would be coming through. The vessel needs to be ready when God is ready to use it and that’s what we should all be doing while we wait.

Whatever you are believing and waiting on God for, be diligent, resilient and hopeful. Because it is in how diligent we are in the wait that God would be diligent in providing that which we wait for. No matter how frustrating the wait is, tell yourself, your better days are still ahead of you.God has got you and before you know it, it would be all history. Have an amazing day lovelies and as always, thank you for stopping by.

For The Shame of Living

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Have you found yourself wanting something so badly yet not going after it just because? Or you want to try something new but there’s that small voice asking you “what will people think?”. Better still, you find yourself shying away from the very things you love doing or things that make you happy for no reason? Well, it’s not just because or for no reason, you just might have not identified it yet but it’s called SHAME.

This dawned on me a few days ago. Like I have documented here severally, my weight has always been a sore spot long before I started sharing the struggles from behind a screen. I have tried, failed and continue trying to lose the weight (which I hope it’s a battle where I’d come out swinging) but it never really stopped me from living my life. Or so I thought.

I had never been the paparazzi-picture-loving-kinda-girl from a young age but I was never coy of them either. Until 2 years ago when I stopped taking pictures unwittingly, and when I did, I never posted them to any social site. I had consciously decided to work on losing weight but not on hiding myself through the process until a few weeks ago when I posted my first pictures in 2 years. Only to realize a few days later that shame played a role.

Subconsciously, a tiny voice decided that I was too big to share pictures of myself, what would my friends say when they saw me? what would my parents think? I had let everyone down, not myself but everyone else. This attitude had seeped into my writing sometimes because coming from the cultural background that I do, writers are lazy people and they are broke. I debated for a long time whether or not to share my articles on my social media handles. If I thought the topic was controversial for my followers who are mostly of the same cultural heritage like myself, I didn’t share it and vice versa.

Whether I intentionally thought these through or not, they were affecting my life. I stopped living and went on making any and every excuse possible, most times school was the culprit. Having graduated now, I can’t use that as an excuse anymore. In a few months I would be 30 years old and I want to get there living my life unashamedly.

If you find yourself in the same spot as me, then just like me, you should know it is never too late and get ready to start living your best life. I am an advocate of “live and let live” and I pride myself a pretty open-minded gal for an African, precisely Cameroonian. And at almost 30, I have better things to worry about than what people think of me especially when their opinions are insignificant. My happiness is important and part of it is doing what I love regardless of acceptance, of differing opinions or dissenting views.

We are all clay in the Potter’s hands, that means we are still being molded. I hear it all the time but it never clicked for me until last month – to leave intentionally. For me it means not just coasting along anymore, stop going through the motions and think through all my actions. Part of that is living my truth; while I work on my weight, the reality is this is me right now. This is who is in-front of me and I have to love her before anybody else would, show her off and treat her to moments that make her feel cherished, loved and appreciated. This body too is the temple of God, it is a work in progress and I have no idea when the maker would be done with it.

Stop the shame of living your truth, of being in the way of your own happiness and caring so much what people would say. Live intentionally in the moment and trust the master sculptor to perfect what is good and right in your life. As I wait for Him to finish this master piece, I would be enjoying every moment given me – intentionally. Have a wonderful weekend Lovelies.

Of These I Dream Of You…

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I know every line on your face; the permanent wrinkles on your forehead stressed from past unrequited love, the dent in your cheeks when you are amused and the crease in your chin when you laugh too hard. I like that these lines are my secret window into your soul; revealing your angst when you’re trying to be calm, unveiling your passion when you’re trying to be brave and showing your tenderness when you’re trying to be tough. I know all the lines in your face because I have dreamt it up more times than I can remember. It’s not only the face, it’s your being and the experiences that sum-up the man you are. Of these I dream of you.

That our meeting would be an epic comedic scene that even Jim Carrey couldn’t conceptualize if he tried to. And whether it’s in public or private, you would have eyes for no one else but me because in that moment, you’d be too entranced by my aura and vying for my attention desperately. Some wooing dates later and we would be an official pair, caught up in our own love story – an extraordinary love affair.

I dream of every moment spent with you being an adventure; that even though we are celibate, we’re comfortable exploring the subject. How you make me feel like the only girl in the world with your piercing glare and how even in the silence, you are one with my soul.

I have dreamed of the fights too and boy do they terrify me. That I would loose the one best thing that has happened to me in a while because of a loud mouth that must always blab everything that comes to it. How the need to assert my independence makes you proud yet frustrated. That all these years later, I never learned how not to pick my nose and how you hate that I am really not as confident as I’d like people to think.

I would dream of you choosing us over and over again when we seem to be at the end of our road. How you’d embrace my family and make it yours, and how you’d be the friend that my friends don’t talk to often but when they do, you had never left. That every tear shed braises your heart to reaffirm to you why you’d try hard to never see them again.

And I dream that home would be anyplace we are together, that you’d cherish my random dancing spurts and tolerate my temporary insanities. That when my weight retreats me into a cocoon, you’d know just how to bring me out. And I’d love how despite these, you’d love me aggressively. I dream that you’d come to appreciate my over vivid imaginations sometimes, because as you can already tell, I live in my head a lot. These are the things I dream of you.