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Mac – RIP

A Picture.

I met Mac on a sullen, dreary and foggy Saturday. It was unplanned and unexpected. When I walked into the wide grey-painted building with a shiny roof, I had no idea what lay ahead of me that day.

I had woken up rather expectant after several correspondences from a representative who had assured me no matter what my situation was, they could accommodate my means. For good measure, I had sent over every detail I thought would be important for this transaction, to which she reassured I had nothing to worry about. So I knew no matter what the events, I was coming home with something new. Old but new.

I had succeeded in convincing my cousin to join me on this adventure as this was the very first time I would engage in a deed of this nature. I was a rookie and didn’t understand why my cousin and I had been in there for almost 3 hours but where no were near accomplishing our goal. The paper work was endless – one questionnaire after another, the questions seemed ridiculous and the number of references required – outrageous. It’s not like I was signing up for the FBI or CIA and needed all this vetting. I was only trying buy a car. Heck, I wasn’t even in a Maserati or McLaren dealership, it was a USED CAR sales center.

After five grueling hours of torture which included informing pretty much my entire contact list that I was buying a car because they were my reference, it was time to go check out the sea of cars on the lot. I had no idea what I wanted or what kind of car even appealed to me but once I stepped out, there it was, staring at me and calling my name – a shiny silver Jeep Liberty.

I circled the car; caressing it’s body and feeling every line and curve about it. I hopped in and sat at the wheel, smoothing my hands over the steering wheel over and over as I looked around the rest of the car. It was very clean for a used 2003 car and had only 63k miles on it. What a good previous owner. Instantly, I aspired to be like them albeit the fact that I had no idea who this previous owner was. My cousin and I went for a test drive and we both agreed, it sounded good. We returned and finalized all the necessary agreement. He was coming home with me.

On my way home, I thought about a befitting name for him. I smiled at the thought of Trip. He was my first car, a 1999 Mazda Protege I had sold a few weeks prior. He was named after one of my favorite actors Mathew McConaughey’s character in ‘Failure to Launch’. Me and Trip had been through it all; road trips, naps, lunches, dinners, spent a few nights together and got in minor scuffs. He was my ride or die – until he literally started dying on me on every other drive. It was time for a change.

After a few discussions on the ride home, we both agreed on Mac – short for the “Mc” in McConaughey. I said a prayer and asked God to bless all future endeavors with Mac. It was three years of pure car bliss, he broke down just twice in those 3years and they were all fixed under warranty. With Mac, there were even more adventures than with Trip – there were interstate road trips, I modeled the previous owner and cut back on eating in the car to reduce it getting soiled, we had therapy huddles and mad jam sessions, he even had spa days. Boy was he spoiled.

Then two weeks after I paid off the loan on him, it happened.

The night sky was dark with barely visible stars unless you were using a space telescope and the sun peering glumly from where it was setting some 30 minutes earlier. The clouds hovered above, thundering and threatening buckets of rain as opposed to the measly droplets of the afternoon. It was 9:30pm on a gloomy summer Saturday night to cap off a pretty uneventful day.

I sluggishly came to a stop at the red light and as we waited, ‘Love You Die’ by Patoranking boomed through the speakers and my body succumbed to the rhythm. Mac blasted the song to his loudest decibel while I contorted to it as best as the space would let me. The opposing roadway lights were changing, so I got ready to take off any minute, still in sync with Mac.

The light changed green and slowly, I proceeded through the intersection. We had the right of way, ‘Go’ on green straight through on either side; turning signals on ‘RED’. I saw IT barrelling towards me midway, thinking to myself, “surely, it would slow down” but it didn’t. Panic washed over me, my eyes widened beyond their muscle strength wondering if it this was actually happening. There was barely anytime for reaction amid the loud CRASH.

“Ma’am are you ok?” “Ma’am get out of the car”

I heard distorted and frantic voices. Someone helped me out of the car to the side of the road and informed me of the 911 call he’d made. They all circled me, asking if I was ok and thanking God it wasn’t as bad as it sounded.

As bad! Mac! Anguish, sadness and anger seized me at once when I stood up to peak at him after parting the crowd. He was twisted and crumbled and missing parts. This was not my Mac. We had had a life together – for three years. But this is where it all ended – on this Marietta Street on May 20th, 2018. I would see him one last time at a Marietta tow yard, looking disheveled, gnarled and abandoned. I was hurting, especially since I had just paid him off. I fully owned him and nobody could ever try to take him away from me. I had not even received the title yet.

Such is life I guess. We had a good run, I said my goodbyes and told him how glad I was of the time we had together.

So Long Buddy. You’d always be my second favorite car. RIP Mac.

Featured post

Happy New Year!

Hope your 2019 kicked off to an amazing start already. Did you make a resolution(s)? If so, have you started out on any of them yet?

This year unlike last year, I decided against resolutions but instead made goals I’d be working towards. I know, resolutions are somewhat goals you say, but I think the difference with both is with the former, you are committing to begin a process or a journey while with the latter, you’re committing to reach the destination.

Several times, people made resolutions only to abandon them by the end of January and never revisit again until the following year. I’m so guilty. The start-pause-quit cycle gets frustrating and people tend to give-up altogether. With a goal, it’s an end point in mind and so you allow yourself to work out the plan as you go knowing what the final destination is within those 12months.

Regardless of what you decided, goals or resolutions, remember to stop and enjoy the happiness in the moment. I’m currently obsessed with ‘Il est ou le bonheur by Christophe Mae’ which is a french song and the basic message of the song is this: we spend our lives going through the motions, meeting people, getting angry and waiting for a particular moment or thing or person to make us happy. Before we know, we are old and grey and wondering what happened? Why didn’t we get happy or why didn’t happiness show up and only realize, it was there the entire time. In your HEART.

So no matter what you set out to do 2019 whether it be goals or resolutions, as cliche as it sounds, do make a point to stop and smell the roses. Because we get so caught up in trivialities that we forget to feel our hearts, to allow the joy in there radiate to the outside. So in the big and small moments, regardless of what is going on around you, remember to feel and fill your hearts with happiness.

Here’s to an amazing year ahead, I’m so pumped, I can feel it my heart. This year will be aHmazing. πŸ™‚

Happy New Year and as always, thank you for stopping by. For your listening pleasure, Christophe Mae.

Cold Wishes

Ever found yourself in the midst of a crowd yet completely removed from that environment? Or someone speaking to you, you hear them but just not listening because you’re in far away land – in your mind.

This is pretty much me 70% of the day, – maybe 80, I don’t know. Anyways, I live in my head a lot. I’m not sure if that’s a writer thing but it’s an escape I’ve become a master of. Before writing this, I was twiddling my thumbs, pondering what I could write about, then found myself in la la land.

As usual, I daydream about the oddest things that might never happen; I find myself in the worst predicaments and always manage to wriggle myself out of them brilliantly, I re-enact past events I wish I’d react differently to, travel to the most exotic places but most of all, meet the most amazing people on planet earth.

I know this is not peculiar to just me, though I’d admit, I probably do so more than the average human. Daydreams I think are usually tiny inklings of our deepest desires, wishes. The things we want but can’t have, the people we desire but can’t have for one reason or the other and the life we see in others that we secretly envy.

Hence the saying, “if wishes were horses, everyone would ride”. We can’t always get those things we wish because the harsh truth is, sometimes no matter the amount of work, some dreams are just unattainable due to some other factors that play a role. It varies from person. It doesn’t mean we should stop dreaming, keep the dream and hope alive, you never know, those cold wishes you make in your heart and mind might just become actualized reality.

Thanks for stopping by always. I appreciate your readership. Please feel free to share in the comments and use the share button.

5 Budget-Friendly Ways to Enjoy the Christmas Season

You already know how much I love Christmas and as I mentioned in “Tis The Season” article here https://howiamfeelingtoday.wordpress.com/2018/12/13/1413/, it’s all about the traditions and the little things. So I put together a very short list to help you get into the season if you haven’t yet or enjoy the season on a very cheap budget πŸ™‚ Here it goes:

1.Enjoy a free light show – the holidays always usher in a ton of fun activities like light shows around attractions or museums which can costs a pretty penny. You can still enjoy all the light show you want without spending too much. Driving around neighborhoods to observe different decorations is a great way to enjoy the light show for free and the kids especially would love it.

2. Watch Christmas movies – Enjoy nonstop Christmas movies on channels like Hallmark, LifeTime and FreeForm. These are some the cheesiest movies you’ll ever see but they guarantee an endless feel-good vibe as well. Might be a bit too dreamy but hey, it’s Christmas and plenty of dreaming is recommended. πŸ™‚

3. Listen to Christmas music – Christmas music definitely sets the mood for the season. So tune into your favorite radio station, most of them usually start playing Christmas music till Christmas day. Or while you’re doing a chore, let the music carry you along. It adds the spring to your step and gives you a feeling of floating on a cloud.

4. Indulge in Christmas snacks – If you are like me and have a bad case of sweet tooth, then of all seasons, this is the time to indulge in all the Christmas cookies, fruit cakes, egg-nog but especially the variety of chocolates. The smooth texture of a chocolate melting in your mouth will definitely take you someplace ethereal.

5. Be with people you love – Finally, more than anything, surround yourself with people you love. When you’re with people you genuinely care about,it doesn’t matter what activity you’re engaged in because spending that time together not only creates memories, but they they bring you joy, happiness. And that is as free as it gets.

This list is no where near exhaustive, so please share any more simple budget-friendly ways to enjoy the holiday season. As always, thanks for stopping by and please don’t forget to subscribe.

Tis The Season

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. πŸ™‚ 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. πŸ™‚

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 πŸ™‚ 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.Β  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.Β 

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 toΒ  Nigerian songs in Yoruba or those from my country with dialects I barely understand.Β  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.Β  Everyone ever. πŸ™‚ 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. πŸ™‚

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.Β  Yay.

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

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.