Tag Archives: love

Tall, Dark & Handsome Please!!!

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Add a dash of christian, preferably born-again, a hint of faithfulness and a scoop of financial stability. And oh, while at it, sprinkle good-dresser and well-articulated to garnish. Sounds familiar? Yep. These are the many requirements that ladies walk around with in their heads on the daily. Men have their list of requirements as well, reverse the aforementioned, and you have yourself a requirements list for women.

The relationship topic has been over-flogged I know, but stay with me for a bit as I explore another dimension that to me, I rarely read about. Just like any woman out there, I have qualities that I seek out in a man. As I have gotten older, those qualities have changed a lot. Whereas I might have had 10 things on that list, now I pretty much look for just one which was never there. It sprung on me by surprise because it wasn’t something I even thought of. But as my perspective on life changed with time and I got to encounter different people and places, that list of requirements morphed into this single quality.

The list changed because I realized, that is the one thing I would comfortably bring to the platform which would trickle down to other things. This got me thinking about how many people, both men and women meet the requirements of their own list? I consider myself a feminist who advocates for the equal treatment and right of both genders. By that, what a woman is seeking for in a man, she should be able to bring to the table as well and vice versa.

Speaking with a friend recently, he lamented on relationships being a give-give situation where one person is always giving while the other is always taking, and in his biased opinion, women always took. I told him about a saying I heard once which is; “You cannot give what you don’t have”. This explains why people find themselves in unpleasant “situation-ships” except for a few.

Why would anyone have as a requirement from a potential partner to be financially buoyant when they themselves are not? What gives you the confidence to go out seeking for a six pack, when you have a flat pack? Most baffling of all, why do you need him to be a born-again christian when you’ve barely seen the 4-walls of a church in months? You don’t have to match him penny for penny, prayer for prayer or six pack to six pack to request that. You at least need to be working towards that or have met half of your own requirements. Otherwise, what gives you the right to demand these qualities from someone else when you do not possess them yourself?

I have an “aunt” who advises all the time that when it comes to relationships “stick to your kind”. Half the time she is referring to sticking to your race but I would switch it to mean stick to the standards you bring. The truth is, if we observe the world keenly, you would have realized that people almost always stick to their social class when finding a life partner. Sure we have a few cases of a prince/princess dating/marrying below his rank (Kate Middleton anyone?) but those cases are few and far between.

While it makes sense for one to hold themselves in very high esteem and therefore demand high standards, at the same time, we need to give ourselves reality checks sometimes. So when next you are adding a must-have quality in a partner on your requirements list, ask yourself if you bring that quality to the table as well. If not, what are you doing to get yourself on that list because just as you have a list, so does the partner you are looking for. Do your lists match?

Have a blessed day lovely people and as always, thank you for stopping by. I appreciate the time you took to read and if you loved it, please share. And oh, share your thoughts, do you think it is appropriate to require things that you cannot give from a potential partner?

Christians Need Therapy Too!

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A few months back, I shared my experience about visiting a counselor and how it almost didn’t happen. Two reasons why it almost didn’t happen: my cultural background (Cameroonian/African) and my faith. In that post, I shared why many Africans look down on counseling/therapy because our culture doesn’t support sharing your worries or concerns with ‘strangers’ and so do Christians.

Christians believe that anyone who calls themselves Christ’s-follower, should not have need for a counselor or therapist because Christ is all you need. As a Christian, I agree that Christ is all you need to get you through life in good and bad times. But there are times when the soul is so bogged down that it needs a place of release.

I know some would argue that there are christian counseling centers, which I agree but how well are they being used. The idea of counseling is still somewhat new in Christian circles and although these counseling services exist, how many churches actually encourage their members to use them? Some churches would actually make the individual feel guilt about their intent to use counseling because to them, you should speak to one person only who is Jesus.

The teaching of seeking God’s face and going to him in prayers no matter the season in your life is a very good one that all Christians should practice. But there are times when you want to speak to another person who would provide some kind of feedback and  that’s where counseling comes in. James 5:6 says “Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working”.

For those who are not catholic and do not believe in confessing to a priest, what then is the best alternative of speaking to someone with a better understanding and even a calling to guide you as you navigate Christianity? I would think that would be counselor, but in this case let’s make it a Christian counselor. I think maybe that’s one of the meanings of that verse, to seek out a Christian counselor who would guide you.

I think at some points in our lives, we all find the need to have that one person we can confide in; that one person who would listen to us unequivocally, provide sound advice or feedback, and wouldn’t judge us for the things we share with them and who can assure discreetness with the information shared. Some are fortunate to have friends who play this role and some not very much. Sometimes, even with the presence of friends who we can trust, you just need a stranger who is completely neutral.

Counseling does not take away from your time with God or does not negate your relationship with Him. If anything, it should strengthen it because after speaking with a counselor, they often times advice, motivate and encourage the ‘counselee’. In the case that it is a Christian counselor, they seek out Christian methods to help you deal with that situation. It might just be recommending biblical passages that were unknown to you, or a biblical based group where you get support from each other or better still, provide ways to better live as a Christian with regards to that particular concern.

Our families and friends each have roles they play in our lives; some are fortunate to have those they can turn to when seeking for counsel and guidance, others not so much. For those ones I suggest trying counseling or therapy. Seek out a Christian-focused counselor or therapist who is credible and who has testimonials. Because sometimes, we need physical interaction, communication, reassurance that no matter the turmoil that is brewing within, God would calm it all down. So don’t be afraid to see one or seek one and feel no guilt for doing so. The important thing is that you get the help you need before it is too late.  Sometimes, it takes a counselor to reassure us of that TRUTH.

 

Exes Diaries – Moving On.

emoticons-sadI hate when I have to keep revisiting a painful experience and this one is not fiction. Not that the others have been but just trying to let you how real and excruciating that time was for me. I am in better place now to talk about it without feeling guilt or pain over it and that is thanks to counseling.

In attempt to not completely revisit the issue but still talk about it, here are the links where I shared the story. It is quite lengthy but a good read albeit that it is on such a sensitive topic.

As always, thank you for stopping by and taking the time to read.

My Very Own Bill Cosby. Part 1

My Very Own Bill Cosby. Part 2.

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

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.

 

 

How Soon Is Too Soon When Grieving?

How soon is too soon when it comes to moving on after a loss? Is there a designated time frame for grief? what is considered “moving on too soon?” How long is the grieving period and who determines it? Do you ever stop grieving?

So it’s been a little over a month since God called my older sister but I couldn’t make it home (home is in Cameroon – Central Africa) for the burial because of a few reasons, some which I could have controlled and others not so much. I tried to be a part of the event as much as I could and my parents did their best etching the ceremony with every detail for me to grasps.

Everyone who attended agreed as I had mentioned in my tribute post for her that she was indeed an angel. The sign for them was the fact that, rain which had been pouring nonstop for a month ceased for three days straight, allowing for a smooth flow of affairs including her return into the soil from which she was made.

A part of me refused to accept her death when I just found out, which is the reason why some of my friends still don’t know I lost my sister. After talking with my parents at length, reminiscing on her beautiful existence albeit troubled, we all agreed that she was finally resting. She had suffered enough and God had decided it was time she rested from the struggle. With that new understanding, we acceded to see it as a celebration of her life instead of a life lost.

Acknowledging this did not negate her absence from us, neither did it mean we didn’t grieve her because the fact remains that she is no longer here with us. So in the days since her passing, I have had to pause in the midst of “happenings” to remind myself that I am grieving.Sometimes I fear that people will think I moved on too quickly or that I don’t look like someone who lost a loved one barely 5 weeks ago.

I had planned a mini-vacation with my best friend before the tragedy struck two weeks prior. We ended up going for the trip anyways at the scheduled time but I couldn’t stop feeling guilty while we were away. My aunt and uncle looked at me askew when I mentioned the trip but I made nothing of it until now. I have been trying to get back to the blog too and have had few topics to write on but It never felt right for me to just come here and continue writing on random topics without addressing the issue.

It seems I put these pressures on myself right? But they are not unfounded given the society we live in now. Too often, people are quick to pass judgements on how people should live their lives including how one should grieve but do not realize that people grieve differently. While some do better constantly reflecting and withdrawing from society after such a loss, others immerse themselves in and get lost in it. It is all about a finding the coping mechanism that works best for you and that something worked for you, doesn’t necessarily mean it will work for someone else.

Until you wear the shoes, you will never know exactly where it pinches most. So before you ask me to come down from my horse as no one has made me the spokesperson for the aggrieved, you should know I was one of the outsiders who criticized people about either their method of grieving or “moving on” too quickly.

Two truths prevail here which are; life continues whether we accept it or not and secondly; in my view, we never really stop grieving. The best way to honor my sister I have found, is to live a better life that she would be proud of and that means carrying on with life. Also, I don’t think I will ever stop missing her because she was a huge part of my life. I will just learn to deal with the void better. Whereas crying was instantaneous when I thought of her; now, pangs of pain, of longing, of sadness rip me inside and it is at such times I have to remind myself that she is resting with God, with her maker and creator.

When next you see a picture of that woman/man on social media smiling or simply living their life after a loss, do not be quick to judge because that might just be their way of dealing with the loss. There is no set period for grieving and there is definitely nothing as moving on too quickly. We never stop grieving either, we get use to it but the void remains.

To all those grieving the loss of a dear loved one, may God console you and yours in only the way that He can and may you find understanding, solace and comfort in His arms, believing that your dearly departed has returned to the Creator. Be blessed.