Tag Archives: relationships

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.

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?

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.

 

 

 

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.