Exes Diaries -Dodged a Bullet

stray-bullet-stockI was laying in bed pretending to be asleep when a terse knock on the door startled me out of my sham. My nerves instantly rammed up inside me, arousing a buffet of emotions within. I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect but if the note I found stuck under my door was anything to go by, then this stranger shouldn’t be any harm.

I got up, paced slowly towards the door and heaving one last time, I opened it.

In the doorway stood a tall dark chocolate specimen of a man, his smile spoke of a confidence that commanded the moment. He seemed to be one of those who paid attention to their grooming with a clean shaven face and well manicured fingers which drummed on the door pane. His gregarious mien was so captivating that I found myself smiling sheepishly.

“I see you got my note…Stacy”

“I take it you are James? James Asong” I replied, to which he nodded.

He was a distant admirer who wanted more. He knew everything about me and hinted at that knowledge in the note he left. I normally would have been wary of him and considered him a potential stalker but his words were so beautifully written that they tugged at my heartstrings. I can’t quite tell which endeared me to him more, his fine command of the Queen’s language or his beautiful penmanship.

It was 7 pm when he showed up. We ended up chatting till the early hours of the morning. He was very easy to talk to and listened so intently. It was almost a cliche from a romantic movie because he knew what to say, when to say it and the right emotion to lace it with. I fell for his charms that night and missed class that morning, sleeping the night away at daytime in his arms.

As time went on, we grew closer. We had both agreed to practice celibacy, so we found other ways to be intimate and spend time together without breaking the rule. I experienced many firsts with him like my first kiss, first boyfriend et al. He tolerated my excesses and indulged my sensitivities. It was like being in a drunken stupor without all the alcohol. We complemented each other perfectly in more ways than one; physically, emotionally, positively and then negatively.

I learned a lot about myself; who I am in a relationship, who I could be, what I could and could not do and the extremes I was willing to go for my partner like stealing from my father just because he said so. The once self-confident, no-nonsense and assertive person I was once was slowly going into obscurity. My existence gradually seemed to be tied to his and I became dysfunctional in his absence, spending the rest of my time obsessing about his return. My grades began to suffer, my friendships started to fizzle out and the frequency of my visits to our home reduced.

I had become a shadow of myself being with James so much that I didn’t see the picture glaring at me with evidence. How he accepted celibacy without objecting, never attempting to need me sexually or even desire me. His need for money every time he visited and he always seemed to have some major project he was working on. The countless exams he wrote but never actually passing. I missed all that, yet it was all there.

After a year of dating, the honeymoon looked like it was finally coming to a close and the veil that covered my eyes was being lifted to smell the coffee, and smell I did. That was when I found that he had another girl on the side. It was for her he made me steal from my father, it was because of her that it was easy to be celibate and the reason why he always had to go away for those mysterious exams. It was because of another woman. And it was his darling cousin who let me in on the secret – unintentionally.

I was a bitter soul for two weeks following the revelation. How could I have fallen so far and so deep that I almost lost myself, my humanity. Doing the things I could have only imagined in nightmares, losing myself to him and becoming innocuous to the society around me. Indeed, not all that glitters is gold; otherwise how do I explain meeting a charming and alluring man only to be in love with his monster. I was never really mad at his cheating, it saved me a bundle of regret and I am grateful to the other Ms. I would never know which one of us was the mistress but this I know for sure, if I didn’t get out when I did, you wouldn’t be reading this. I dodged a major bullet with James.

 

 

 

 

 

Exes Diaries – What Would Have Been?

 

pink-sky-wallpaperI was admiring him looking at me, staring so piercingly as his placid breaths warmed the air between us. His big hazel eyes lit his entire face, his soft lips parted ways to reveal perfectly white teeth. That smile fluttered my belly and I immediately felt a gush rushing through me, brightening my countenance which spurred an involuntary reciprocity. His soft palms were caressing my hands in rhythmic motion, drumming up emotions in me I wasn’t sure I wanted to feel. If he had intentions of gingering me up for a big finale in a few minutes, then he was well on his way to it if I didn’t jolt myself back to my senses soon.

I pulled my hand from under his and stood up briskly. I didn’t want him seeing how flushed he had made me or notice how quickly my heartbeat was rising as I sauntered slowly over to the couch.

‘Did I do something wrong?” he uttered in a confused tone.

“No…No, you didn’t do anything. I …”   I what? I needed to choose my next words carefully so I didn’t hurt him any further than he already seemed to be.

Tyler was my course mate who happened to be in the same group project with me during my freshman year at the university. He told me after one of our group meets that he liked how smart I was and would like to study together.Whether intentionally or unintentionally, we started spending too much time together, we would either be at a group session or in some corner studying.

Somehow, it must have gotten lost on him that we were just course mates because he would offer to walk with me to school and always happened to have lunch right were I did, and so we would end up eating together.

He could have been a good 5’7” and then some.He didn’t work out but he had the body of a soccer athlete and perfect brown skin. His finely chiseled features and hazel eyes completed and established him as a reputable hunk. His self-confidence was alluring and often spoke for him even before he could open his mouth. In spite of himself, he was always soft spoken, kind and warm with everyone around him.

I wondered how we even got to this point. What did he really like about me? All I had going was being one of the smart ones. I mean I was beautiful, but I wasn’t your typical drop-dead-gorgeous-kind-of girl and many of them openly lusted after him. Why didn’t he go for…

“You what? …Stacy?” His alarmed voice jarred me out of la-la land.

“I… I like you very much Tyler..”

“But…”

“But I am not sure that I am ready for a relationship yet. I would very much like to remain friends though”

He slumped forward, dropping his head in his hands as he did.

I could feel him hurting from where I sat and I hated that I was the source of his pain. I could only imagine how disappointed he must have been hearing me say those words especially since it took him an entire semester to let me know he had feelings for me. We had become really close friends before the dinner with a mission to woo me.

He respected my decision and agreed to remain friends. He was cordial too the entire time he walked me back to my hostel, cradling my hand with his. I did feel special and I enjoyed every moment of that dinner I spent with him. He was a really sweet guy and it took me these many years later to realize how fragile he was; which could be the reason why he ignored me the next day when he saw me on campus. It wasn’t because he didn’t want to be friends anymore, but I see it now. How could he? How could anyone remain friends with someone they were strongly attracted to and yet know they couldn’t have them.

I never really had any concrete reasons for not dating him those years ago; maybe it was my own insecurity of not feeling pretty enough or maybe I truly wasn’t ready albeit that I was nineteen. Now I would never really know what could have been with Tyler.

 

 

 

Happiness!!!

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He slipped out of his father’s snug embrace
And skidded softly to the splashing water
His tiny feet waddling across the asphalt like a penguin
Standing unbalanced; he poked a finger in the spout of water

The rush of excitement sent him reeling back into his father’s arms
But curiosity would drag him out again to repeat his actions
The wonderment in running away from the ‘chasing’ water
The enthusiasm of being whisked into his father’s arms

He giggled so loud it revealed a spotty mouth of teeth
His hazel eyes shun brightly in the sun and
His perfectly brown skin tanned to a sun-kissed bronze

My heart fluttered and my ovaries somersaulted to a gymnastic routine
I felt my cheeks stretching to reveal a broad smile
Tears streamed down my face and I wipe them off surprised
Why was I crying? What was happening with me?

In that moment, I realized as I watched this little person
That I was feeling something I had not felt in a long time
Sometimes it came in tiny packages like an innocent child enjoying his childhood
I was looking at Happiness personified.

Don’t Call Me Mrs …

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I was perusing my favorite African website when I came across an article about a group of powerful women coming together to inspire fellow women. One of the women was described as the ‘wife of a comedian’ while the rest were described by their professional achievements. I noticed that the prefix attached to the other women were Ms while the comedian’s wife’s was Mrs.A little digging revealed that she was an accomplished professional in her field, but all that was ignored for the title of a comedian’s wife.

It got me thinking about the many times that Amal Clooney has been referred to as just the wife of George Clooney. Before she became George’s wife, she was first Amal Alamuddin, the lawyer, activist and author. Before George, she litigated high profile cases and clients like Julian Asange, the state of Cambodia, Enron and Koffi Anan to name a few.

I thought this issue would be more systemic to the African society where men have always been considered superior to women but I was unpleasantly surprised to see women labelled like that here too, in the West. As an African, I grew up in a society where although I was fortunate to have parents who valued education and encouraged me to be my best, the society constantly reminded me that I was secondary to a man. As such, it was a norm to see women be introduced by the men they were married to and not their professional achievements.

The same society instigates that single women have nothing else to offer other than being attached to someone. African women often times are not encouraged to live their full potential or to aim high because what’s the point, she is going to end up somebody’s wife anyways. To the African woman’s credit, we are not sitting around and waiting for the men to come wife us up anymore; we are getting out there and getting things done for ourselves, our communities and our families.

Then you do all that, break all those barriers and overcome all the hurdles only for all your accomplishments to be reduced to the title of someone’s wife? Don’t get me wrong, marriage in itself is an accomplishment to be lauded but my opinion is, professional achievements should supersede that especially when in a function made possible by those achievements. The comedian’s wife wasn’t invited to that gathering simply because of who she was married to, it was because of what she had done in her industry which was banking.

I have never heard George Clooney be described otherwise, always only just as an actor. My point is, you never hear a man being introduced by who he is married to no matter how high-profile the woman is( well, except of course Casper Smart who we only know by his affiliation to J.Lo) but women are more than half of the time introduced by their significant others. Why? I feel this is sending a negative message to young women, African women more so which has created this ‘supposed rift’ between married women and single women.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with aspiring to be a ‘Mrs’ even if that is all one aspires to but other women shouldn’t be made to feel incomplete because they aspire to so much more than that title. Some married women feel they are better than their single counterparts just because of that title and society insinuates that the single one has a miserable life because she doesn’t have ‘Mrs’ preceding her name. And if she has worked really hard to attain certain heights professionally and desires marriage as well, then it is just as good. It ticks me then when all she becomes recognized by, is by who she married to when there is so much more to her.

Being African, my view is very unpopular especially among Africans because again, we are taught to yearn for marriage very early on and most of all. I am thankful for my parents particularly because they broke the norm and taught my siblings and I that we could be so much more than some man’s wife. And I want nothing more than to explore my every potential and achieve my dreams. In addition to that, I would want to be with a great man who loves me in my entirety but not be defined by my connection with him. Because if after all I have worked hard for and especially when it matters and I don’t get broached by those accomplishments, then please don’t call me Mrs. It is just another title.

An African In Session.

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I talked about finding one’s self in the last post (still in the search), but that’s not the only thing I have been up to these last weeks. If you have been following my blog, then you should know that I lost my older sister in the summer of last year. Recently, I have not been able to stop thinking about her and it almost feels as though I am grieving anew. You should also by now that I have been struggling with my weight since before the inception of this blog. So between finding myself, battling with my never-ending weight issues and grieving for my sister, I was becoming depressed.

I remember two days in row last month when I lost interest in everything; even in my studies which I believed was the one thing I would never loose interest in. To the point of not studying enough for an upcoming test that week and sitting for that test knowing full well I wasn’t prepared. Needless to say I flunked in magnanimous proportions on that test; proportions that have never been associated with me before. Yet, I “didn’t give ” a flying fish.

Not caring whether I failed an exam or not really scared me. I had read that loosing interest in the things that one cared a lot for in the past were tell-tale signs of imminent depression. Knowing that it could lead to something dangerous if not addressed sooner, I emboldened myself and made an appointment to see a counselor at school. You might ask why embolden?

For starters, if you missed it on my about page, then you should know I am Cameroonian from Central Africa. As per my culture, talking to ‘shrinks’ is absolutely unacceptable. Africans ‘believe’ that we don’t need to be sharing our problems with random strangers and if there’s anything to talk about, then a family meeting would be just fine to take care of that. I’d be honest that I did ascribe to these ideologies at some point, but living in America these many years later, I have a different perspective. I understand the importance of having that neutral person to open up to, who wouldn’t judge you and who is just listening to you pour your heart out. I think it is a really beautiful thing which is one of the reasons I started writing too and have not revealed my identity yet. Because I believe there’s some power that anonymity provides and allows you to speak from the heart unlike when you are familiar with your audience.

Despite all this knowledge, I had to talk myself into keeping the appointment because a part of me still thought it odd to talk to a complete stranger about my feelings. So I had to convince myself that fulfilling this was very important and so it was that I found myself face to face with a counselor.

After basic introductions, we both sat down across from each other and he asked me why I felt the need to see a counselor. A few minutes passed between us before either one said anything. Then he repeated himself and I blurted out an awkward laugh. Thankfully, he was very gracious to recognize that my nerves were getting the better part me. More time lapsed before I could muster the courage to talk and speak freely.

It was one of the most freeing experiences I have had in a long time and I wondered why I hadn’t done it sooner. It felt good sitting there , pouring my heart out to an unassuming person and for them to encourage me to talk about the feelings that I was even oblivious to these weeks. Things I thought I had forgotten reared their ugly heads again and things I didn’t even know existed where just lying in a corner waiting for the ‘right’ time to surface.  The session lasted for an hour and by the end, I must have cried a river because my face was all puffed up from the constant streaming of tears and my nose was blocked.

He suggested I return for a follow-up session and again I was hesitant. Going back would mean I have a fully manifested problem which needed fixing, which would mean I needed fixing, which would mean I am broken. But I don’t believe I am broken, let alone that I needed fixing. It took a bit of convincing on his part for me to agree on a second session. I understood from him that the ‘stigma’ about therapy isn’t reserved to Africans only but even to some western folks whose issue with it is the ‘fixing’.

I know Christians might say well, you have God to talk to, to which I say God in the scriptures encourages us to confess our sins to one another. The act of confessing things to someone else in itself is a form of counseling. And I know of a lot of Christians who could really use some counseling in their life but are either ashamed to go for it or are being to hard on themselves for their faith not being enough. (this deserves it’s own post in entirety.) It has little do to with your faith and more about your mind-frame. Your mind might be attacking itself and making it hard for you to accept the grace that your faith provides and this is where a counselor is very helpful.

What are your views on attending counseling? If for, have you been and what was your experience like and if against, why? As always, thank you for stopping by and I love you for it.

Have a sunny peachy day.

 

 

‘Finding Me’

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I have read a good number of stories of successful people and how they came about their successes. More often than not, they stumbled on something, researched the topic and worked at it . For others ,they simply discovered their passion and zeroed in on it and for others it was just “finding themselves”.

This is the bane of this article. Recently, I have found myself wanting. Wanting more , to do more and to be more . I have been looking for myself and I must say this is one of the most tasking journey I have ever embarked on so far. How do you look for something that isn’t lost, for something that you might not find however hard you look? How do you stay
motivated to keep looking for the unknown ?

Success means differently to different people. My definition of success may not be similar to yours but I think we can all agree that the underlining factor to it is finding what speaks to your heart and doing it.

For a long time I thought it was writing, I taught myself the habit of reading books at a young age and somehow along the line, I fell into writing which led me to creating this blog. I’d admit that one of my moments of excitement still come after publishing an article. I love that feeling of seeing my work out there, because somehow I feel I am contributing however little to someone’s life who cared enough to read.

I had thought writing was my passion and a part of me still feels that way. If writing is the “thing” that I am looking for right now, then how did I loose it to begin with? Why and how did I get to losing it in the first place? I am constantly being bombarded by ideas for articles but for some reason I can’t bring myself to write. I recognize the potential within myself to be even better than I am now, but how is that supposed to happen if I don’t write often?

What if writing wasn’t really my passion and I forced myself into it ? Well,that’s what some of these successful people would tell you,to keep working at it ,which I did for a while until the well dried up (well of motivation to keep writing, not ideas) and had nothing more to give. If I establish that writing is not my passion, where does that leave me? Back to searching, and what would I be looking for exactly? How would I know when I find it that I have indeed found myself, my calling,the “thing” that has kept me restless this entire time. How do you know?

This is the one time in my life when I am not ashamed to say I envy my friends who have ‘found’ themselves and are thriving in it. I know one could suggest “well, what about my career switch? The epiphany? Wasn’t it what I was looking for?” To that I say, I am more than grateful to God for leading me on this new path. I am enjoying every bit of what I am taught so far and I cannot wait to translate that in the field.

I need something outside of my career though. Everyone says these days to have a ‘side hustle’. I have taught myself countless things so far. The beginning is always exciting and down the line, everything fizzles out. My understanding therefore of the “thing” is that which I dabble in, teach myself and the excitement would never leave me. I hope for my own sake that I find it soon because this could be an exhausting journey especially as the ‘thing’ is not so obvious.

Have you ever contemplated with this notion of ‘finding yourself’?. If so, what did you find and was it what you were expecting to find?

As always, thank you for stopping by.  I love you for it and have a peachy day.