Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Packaging

My first real crash course in packaging was in 2012. I was in Nigeria that Christmas chilling with a friend and we decided to hit up a new bar that had just opened and was touted to be this cool and swanky spot. It was a hot afternoon and we were dressed in what I thought was appropriate hot afternoon attire - a maxi dress and casual sandals for me, and since this spot was literally down the street, I skipped the makeup. Ol' dude also kept it pretty simple in jeans and a polo shirt. I didn’t think anything of our baffups, after all it was in the afternoon and we were just going for regular ol' drinks. So that's how we landed at the spot looking very casual and unbothered, and the bouncer gave both of us once-overs and dismissively said "Sorry, only members are allowed inside". Hollup, Hollup! We had so many questions: Members? I didn’t realize one had to be a member to get into a lounge and cool off with a drink. Everything screamed BS but what could we do? The bouncer wasn't giving us any face despite all our questions so we jejely chopped our ela ojukan and carried ourselves elsewhere. But the thing peppered me small sha...like ahn ahn, a whole Mgbeke like me getting bounced? Did they not know who my father in Heaven was? Some real nonsense and ingredient.

Now the funny thing about this cool story was that my sister and some of her friends had planned to meet us at that same "member-only" bar. So when we got dismissed, I sent her a quick text, telling her not to bother going to that bar and to come and meet us at the other place instead. Darris how my sister rolled up to the spot looking fly in heels, a nice outfit, and makeup on fleek. Her friends were also looking just as nice and put together. Me sef I come shame small, like kai I no even try sha. In all their flyness, they rallied me and my boy up claiming that we should all go back to that bar since they really wanted to check it out. And while I was so skeptical that we would get another round of bouncing, we got to the door and that same bouncer who claimed members only, let all of us in just like that without any wahala at all. No hassle, no questions. I was quite amaxed.

That was how I truly learned that sometimes in order for people to take notice, you have to package yourself accordingly. Best believe that for the rest of my trip, I made sure that every time I left the house, I was looking as takeaway as possible. The fear of ela is the beginning of wisdom.
Since then, I have seen/observed how packaging has helped some people's cases. A girl/guy might not even be that fine, but the way they carry themselves and pull things together just gives them that extra oomph factor that definitely gets them noticed and opens doors for them (literally and figuratively).
You know how sometimes you see people in the airport dressed to the nines just to fly, and you're wondering why they need a full face of makeup and need to be so dressed up for a simple plane ride. Well, my family friend once got upgraded to business class on an international trip for no reason, and she swears that it was because of how she presented herself at the ticket counter. Personally, I'm all for traveling in true comfort i.e. some comfortable shoes, leggings ('cos comfy leggings are forever the truth), and a make-up free face but if some nice baffs and a beat face will get me that business class upgrade, then please show me the way so that I can comply.

I also learned so many lessons about packaging in the workplace when I transitioned from working for the Government to the non-Government sector. The former is definitely way more casual than the latter. The first few weeks at my first post-Government job, I used to look around in awe at the falshunz in the office. From my experience, I quickly learned that a lot of times, people tend to take more notice when you are well dressed. You might not even be that smart, but by the time you dazzle them with nice baffs, you have won half the battle. Whoever came up with that "dress for the job you want" idea sure was onto something.

Even with all my observations and lessons learned, I still don’t have the packaging game down pat on a consistent level. Some days I step out looking like I made some real effort, and some days I don't.  But to people are consistently on their game, I say please keep it up. I absolutely enjoy seeing well-packaged people…It just so aesthetically pleasing. I appreciate the babygirls and babyboys out there who give me some visual candy to admire with their packaging game. Keep up the good work guys, and remember…if anyone is beefing you for doing too much, just wave them off and remind them that it is better to be overpackaged than underpackaged #Mgbekewisdom.

And that is all she said.

Happy New Year folks!

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

2016: My Year in Review

I started out the year in Aberdeen, Scotland. In my usual tradition, I went to church with my sister and enjoyed bringing in the new year with the good Lord Jesus. I don't know if I've mentioned this, but I have always spent my new year's eves in church. I don't even really go to church during the year (don't let my mom see this), but it's just a mental thing where I feel like I haven't started the year right if I don't start it off in church.

As the new year kicked off, I spent the first few months of it in a relationship that gave me "anxiety". He wasn't a terrible guy but we definitely weren't right for each other, and I initially heaved a sigh of relief when he dumped me we broke it off early-ish in the year.
Besides the uncertainty of my relationship, my job was another thing giving me stress. I felt over-worked and under-appreciated, my new boss got on my nerves, and in general, I was just really over it.

In June, I went to Nigeria for 2 weeks after a 4 year hiatus. I can say that entire trip was my happiest moment in 2016. I truly felt peace and happiness at being back home and away from the "chillaligans". Besides my Portharcourt home base, I went to Abuja to visit family, and went to Lagos for a wedding. As my first Lagos wedding, it was definitely a lot of fun. The turnup was real and unparalleled...now I truly believe it when people say "ain't no party like a Lagos party".

I came back from my Naija vacation refreshed and ready to take on the world. I felt great and a lot of people said that I looked like I lost weight, I said "who me? I swallowed eba almost every day but I'll definitely take it". My skin was refreshed, my post-Naija glow was on fleek, and I was unbothered and rolling in post-vacation bliss...till work resumed getting on my nerves, AND I ran into my ex on two separate instances with 2 different wimmens and I was like whaaat? He moved on that quick??
This led to a series of episodes over the following months where I sat and over-analyzed the entire relationship:
"Well he was a good man, so where did I go wrong?"
"He said he was simple. Sheesh so I can't even keep a simple man happy?"
"Where did I miss the plot?"
"Why does he look so alive when he's with that particular girl that I always see him with. I don't think he was ever that alive with me"
and etc, etc.

To be honest, the analysis hasn't stopped. I have since seen him out and about living his baby boy life and I'm still writing a bunch of research papers in my head but trying to push through it.

Actually, let me just say that the remaining half of 2016 has had me in some sort of a 32.75/33yr life crisis.

I remember a few weeks before I turned 33, I sent a teary message to my sister telling her how I felt like 33 was around the corner and I wasn't dominating any single thing in my life. Not my relationships (obviously), not my friendships (because I suddenly became more self-aware and started questioning some things), not my career, not my purpose/passion, not my goals, not nada, zip, zilch.

Work got crazier, I realized that I was definitely not appreciated in my environment and I was starting to feel drained and truly miserable.
My friend died in August, and I still feel like it's been one bad dream.
And in general, I lost my zest/zeal for a lot of things that used to ginger me.

But it wasn't all gloom and doom. Some good/interesting things happened this year:

1. I passed the Project Management Professional (PMP) exam.

2. I checked off a bunch of things on my DC to-do list. I realized I've lived in the DC/MD/VA area for 15 years and hadn't been to a bunch of museums and sights. So I set out to do some of that this summer and I did great!

3. After whining to a friend about how my ex had moved on so fast, she suggested I join Tinder, and so I did...and deleted my account after one month. But it was an interesting experience overall, and I went on one date! I have absolutely no plans of reactivating my account in the near future, but to any curious minds, I'll say give it a shot. At the very least, it's a good ego booster.

4. I did some travel besides my Naija trip - Puerto Rico for my friend's birthday, and Atlanta for Christmas.

5. I got a new job! And 2 months in, I really like my new client and can say that at the moment, I feel happy going to work. My work schedule is also so much more stable and less stressful.

6. My mom and sister came to visit me twice this year. I always love and appreciate time with both of them. My mom spent 7 weeks for her second visit, and when she left I really missed her. Such a far cry from the days when I thought 3 weeks was overkill, Hehe.

So yep, definitely some pretty good highlights in the year.

Overall, it wasn't a bad year, but it wasn't a great year either. It was just aight. But I'm definitely thankful for the small mercies, for good health, for my new job, and for life cos mennn here today, gone tomorrow...it's crazy.

In the spirit of living life as best as possible, my goal for 2017 is to wake up. In all my reflecting of 2016 and even 2015, I realized that I have been sleeping. Even my mom commented on how I lost my spark and wasn't the usual dorra that she was used to seeing. So I need to wake my ass up and start living my life.

In a nutshell, that was my 2016. How was yours?

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

How to Meet a Man 101: Slide up in his DMs

I have this male friend who has the best intentions in offering suggestions to get me snatched up and off the dating market. Some of his "award winning" advice that I have gotten in the past included tidbits like "Wear more bodycon dresses and form fitting stuff so that men can see your shape, you know we are visual creatures", "Attend more events and don't worry about the other women who may be your competition, package yourself well and present yourself like a winner", "Switch up your hair and style often, keep men guessing" etc etc. I have received all of his advice with nothing but amusement as I generally find them quite hilarious. Like bro I know you mean well but nope, nope, nope.

Now recently in a bid to get me married off soon so that he can come and turn-up at my 2017 wedding (Please don't forget to use the hashtag #Mgbekeandthemanyettobelocated2017), my dear friend has suggested that I broaden my horizon and look into social media as a tool for meeting men. In fact, to quote him directly... "Try some of these social media ways, people seem to be connecting through those mediums these days. You just have to diversify your portfolio and adapt to the new ways of finding niggas". Oooh but I had a very good response for him, because if anyone is looking for a diversified social media presence (or absence), I think I have my bases covered: 
  •  There's a Facebook account that I log into every 2 months or so to do my amebo and bounce.
  • There's a Twitter account that has lain kinda dormant in the recent past but I'm doing much better now (I think)
  • There's a Pinterest that I don't check
  • There's an abandoned Tumblr
  • I don't have a real IG account. But I be knowing.
So I laid out my "impressive" presence on social media, and said "I am on social media but I still haven't gotten chose so your point exactly?" and the rest of the conversation went like this: 

My friend (henceforth referred to as Him): Facebook is old news. Instagram is the place to be.
Me: Udonmeanit. How so?
Him: With an active IG account, you can make headway in meeting somebody. But you also have to get out of your comfort zone and message guys too.
Me: Wait, what? Like you want me to slide up in random nig's DMs?
Him: Yeah, what's wrong with that? Isn't that how Nkechi found her new man?
Me: Oookay. Not happening bruv. I'm not that thirsty.
Him: You are approaching this the wrong way. Messaging doesnt mean you are desperate. It's just a conversation starter and you can access the person from there.
Me: Abeg this your advice get as e be o.
Him: Na just simple conversation starter. Keep it light and see if it grows.
Me: I'm just cracking up over here at this ridiculous advice. Message ko, message ni.
Him: Don't dismiss it. You gotta get outside your comfort zone and do something different.
Me: Don't hold your breath on this one.

(End of conversation).
And in my usual fashion, I was nothing short of amused. Like Hollup! Did this man just advise me to go start DM'ing random nigs from out of nowhere? Choi, this is what happens when you are 33 and don't have no prospects in sight. Good Lawdt! 
Guys just imagine scenario naaa...one fine boy will post a picture of clear blue skies and I will creep up in the DMs like "lovely blue sky innit?". Is it from there that we will launch our forever after because ham so confuse. Real hilarity y'all. 
But I also found it extra amusing that the advice had shifted from "attending events" to "using social media" to meet men. What is next? "Go to the village in Nigeria and find you an Okonkwo?" I'm sure this one is coming next because these days everything is fair game.

The conversation with my friend also had me thinking about how a lot of us offer the default advice about meeting men in the typical places - weddings, parties, online but hey, they exist in other random places too. I met my ex on the train - my normal commute to and from work. I met another guy that I dated in a parking lot - an unexpected meeting place. I met one other guy that I dated at a festival, to be more specific, while waiting in the suya line, etc etc. Dudes can be located anywhere but the weddings, events, and now the DMs are the more obvious choices for suggestion (which to some extent makes sense I guess).  
Anyway sha, advice on attending more weddings and events I can stomach. DMs is a "boy you tripping" and like I told my friend...DM ko, DM ni. Abeg that one pass my power o.

And that is all she said.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

For Petty People Who Do Not Know How To Let Things Go

This one is for us.

I’m one of those people who considers herself to be pretty self-aware.  I know my strengths and I know my weaknesses in equal amounts.  I try not to live in denial about who I am and will gladly tout both my strengths and weaknesses if asked.
In that token, I have to acknowledge/confess that one of my biggest weaknesses is my petty, unforgiving, I will hold a grudge and remember your matter nature.  Back in the day it was called “keeping malice”, haha.

For some reason, when I was younger I lived in self-deception thinking that I was quick to forgive. All lies. I think that as I grew older, I started to realize that although I was cool or had supposedly moved past old hurts from my “enemies” (as I secretly think of them as), I still was not over whatever it was that they did. For instance, for the longest time,  I held a slight grudge against an ex for breaking up with me 2 days before my  birthday AND not buying me the red Blackberry that I was supposed to get for my birthday gift. Hellooooo, Blackberrys were the rage then and I was supposed to be part of the cool kids club but it wasn’t even about the gift, it was more about the principle.
Who breaks up with someone right before their birthday??? Needless to say, It’s been well over many years and we “moved past it” but I haven’t completely forgotten his matter. I’m going to remember to point him out to my kids in 15 years and say “You see that uncle over there? He pissed me off in 19 gbogboro and I haven’t forgotten so don’t greet him and don’t play with his kids!” *chuckles*...I keed, I keed.

In the same token, I think I hold grudges against 90% of the men in my past. Ironically, we never even had crazy bitter endings and if I currently relate with any (which is rare ‘cos I generally believe that exes = Ex-communication), then we are at least cordial. But none of them should expect me to save them if we were combating world hunger and I had an extra piece of bread *evil laugh*
If I have to be honest, I will admit that I secretly or not so secretly hold these grudges because for the most part they were the ones to do the rejecting in one form or the other, and another major weakness that I have is my pride/ego. Like ehnnn, you want to reject a whole ME??? Do you know who I am?? But that's another post for another day...

Speaking of ex-communication, this totally works for petty people like me. I remember one of my coworkers crying about some dude who had wronged her and I was like wellll I hope you’ve blocked him off every form of social media, deleted his number, and if possible deleted his existence from his life…and she said nope. I was confused, as for me this would so be the default thing to do. Delete, delete, delete.  I used to date this other guy who was every thoughtful and did nice things like make a CD of “our songs” (how cute), and some other kain nice gifts. When things abruptly ended, I broke the CD and tossed all his gifts in the trash. I want absolutely no reminders of you sir. Now be gone while I try to move on. And best believe he will definitely not get a piece of bread if he was dying and I had the last
Disclaimer: If na expensive gift i.e. phone, bag, shoes….honey, you can remind me anytime!

Men and their matters aside, my “I remember your matter” attitude is generally equal opportunity to the sexes.  A friend of a friend pissed me off in 2004, we got into a screaming match, and now it’s 2016 and I still don’t like her ass based on that incident. I doubt I ever will.

I’m sure most of us have experienced those friends who have coded certain things that happened in their lives – new job, engagement, baby on the way etc. I’ve definitely made a mental note of all those types of people and have oh so pettily planned that when my own celebration comes in any shape or form, I will treat their misbehavior. Oh, you waited 6 months to tell me that you were having a baby? Best believe that when it’s my turn, you won’t even hear PIM from me until a friend of a friend tells you about the baby’s christening (you won’t even hear about that from me sef).  My general mantra is = treat people as they treat you, and if you have to, go above and beyond in showing them pepper.

In this journey of pettiness, I’ve had a lot of well-meaning people advise me to “be the bigger person” and “just let it go. And I just want to say that I don’t think people realize the true and legit struggle that it is for a petty person like me to be the bigger person and let things go. Whaat? Impossicant! I want to plan how to deal with my offender’s f-up. I want to fantasize about their downfall. When I'm truly in that zone, I have absolutely no desire to embrace maturity and let things go.
In my opinion sef, maturity and calm is so overrated and doesn’t get people very far anyway. Why do you think crazy, bitchy people stay winning in life? Hmm hmm.

Aniwoos, I can’t say that I’m working on this character flaw of mine, cos the truth is that I’m not. I think I was born petty and will die petty and it is what it is. To people who can truly live life without bearing grudges and remembering people’s matter, I doff my hat to una o. That’s definitely an admirable trait in this world that we live in.

And that is all she said.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

How to Deal with Life’s Pressures: Cook Them in Your Internal Pressure Cooker

One of the huge complexes that I had when I was a bit younger was the amount of time that I spent in College compared to my peers. To provide context, I got into Community College in September 2001, and graduated from a 4-year institution in May 2007. So that was about 6 years vs. the standard 4-year college career.
I started out with most of my “mates and juniors” and it was all good till they started graduating one by one…some as early as 2 years before me. Then it hit me like ahh my mates have left me behind, and I’m still here dulling. It also didn’t help that I would run into folks at random events and they would ask questions like “ah ah, you haven’t graduated yet?” or “when are you graduating?” and finally when I did graduate, a couple of people definitely told me “Congratulations. It was about damn time”. 

As with most other pressures in life, there was that societal aspect which contributed to the pressure of feeling like I needed to be done with school ASAP. There was always that well-meaning aunt/uncle here and there who would ask “Sooo when is Mgbeke graduating?” And in turn, my parents were always anxiously asking/commenting… “Soooo when are you graduating?”, “Is this your last semester?”, “I ran into Nkechi’s mom, and she said that Nkechi just graduated and got a job with Bill Gates”. Eeyah, I can’t blame them sha. I’m sure they must have indeed felt some type of way because their friends’ kids were graduating and going onto big things like shiny new jobs and/or advanced degrees while I seemed to be stagnant in my perpetual college student status.

I would go to events and people would ask “what do you do?” and I felt embarrassed to say that I was still in school when other people were giving more interesting responses like “I just got a job at so and so company” or “I’m getting a Masters degree in this field”. Everyone just seemed so mature and accomplished and I felt very much inadequate and insecure in my regular college kid status.

In retrospect, I don’t know why I made such a big deal about spending an extra 2 years in school. I don’t know why I didn’t just enjoy the moment as opposed to tacking on 18 credit hours most semesters and paying for summer classes because I was so pressed to be done with college. Till today I still regret not taking advantage of study abroad opportunities, and not doing more in general with my college experience because I was so focused on G-day aka Graduation day. 

Well…I’ve been out of college for almost 9 years and I still ask myself: what was all this hype to rush out of school and get a degree for? Besides the perks of getting a real salary and not being a broke college student anymore, the post-college transition into the “Real world” is generally quite overrated. 
To be honest, I might have thought that getting that much coveted Bachelor’s degree next to my name and graduating onto to the real world would solve everything and fix all my insecurities. But nope, cos apparently nobody told me about the next pressure which was the one about getting a “good job” compared to my peers in my industry…*sigh*

As I quickly learned, graduating from college was just a minute piece in one of the pressures in life. There are so many other “graduations” in life where other people seem to be progressing to the next stage and unfortunately, some others seem to be behind in the race. The most commonly discussed one among the young wimmens of my generation is marriage. But as I learned from finally obtaining that Bachelors degree (i.e. having one wasn’t the answer to everything), I’ve also come to realize that contrary to popular belief, graduating to the level of “Mrs” is not going to solve all your problems ‘cos there are more pressures awaiting you down the line.

- There’s the pressure to have kids. For some, as soon as you’ve said your “I dos”, the womb watchers emerge from the woodworks. Heck, I’ve been to weddings where in the speeches/prayers, comments like “we can’t wait to celebrate in 9 months” have been not-so casually thrown in. 
Even if one is blessed/lucky to have a child, there is that pressure to add more to the breed. I know someone who had a child and was trying to conceive for 3+ years. And she definitely felt the pressure because a lot of her friends who had also conceived their first-born kiddies around the same time that she did, had already moved on and were well into their Baby #2s.

- And even in having kids, there’s that “I’ve had 3 girls but my husband really wants a boy” type of pressure. This definitely still exists, 2016 or not. Again, I know somebody who felt this weight on her shoulders but we praise the Good Lord, she finally bore a baby boy for her Igbo husband.

- There’s the pressure of metamorphosing into a “yummy mummy” soon after childbirth. My people, these new moms these days are not shining teeth o with their #Teamsnapback and tinz. I’m sure some of them definitely feel that pressure to fit into their size 6 pants well ahead of schedule. They will be saying to themselves “Ah ah, if Nikky can do it, why can’t I?”. The tension dikwa very real.
Shoot I don’t blame them jare, these yummy mummies are even tensioning me with my never-had-kids self. I saw one mom of 4 wearing a croptop the other day and I said ehn? #ThatcouldbemebutItoolikepoundedyam

It truly doesn’t end…

Marriage aside, there are other graduations taking place. Your mates are buying houses, but you are still apartment living. Your mates have discovered their passions and know what they want to do with their lives, but you are still in limbo trying to figure it out. Your mates are managers and supervisors, but you are yet to supervise a cockroach. Your mates in your industry all seem to have great jobs and are making 7 figures and you’re still floundering in the same position. Sidebar: Man, Linkedin can definitely serve as a source of tension o. Some days I just be browsing profiles like wow, everyone else on Planet Earth seems to have it together with a high-flying career, 3 Masters degrees, and must be making like 7 figures with that really impressive resume. And I’m just like winging it and BS-ing on this job and wondering whether I’m underpaid.

Life is indeed a revolving cycle of pressures. It’s always one thing or the other. Ever wonder why some of our parents pressure us so much over somethings? Cos even they feel the pressure compared to their mates. Their friends’ children seem to be graduating to new levels, while their children seem to remain stagnant in the same position. But after my college experience and dealing with that pressure plus the other ones that came after it, I have learned that the best way to deal with pressure is to cook it and try not to let it consume me. Worrying about what I can’t control (if indeed I can’t control it) doesn’t help much.

No matter the specific pressures that each of us is dealing with, my prayer for us all is that all that we desire will come to us in Jesus name…but in the meantime, keep cooking those pressures and don’t let them cook you.

And that is all she said. 

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Own Your Blessings

The other day on Twitter, I was scrolling through my timeline and read a tweet from someone who opined that when people make statements such as “I’m blessed”, it comes off like such people think they are better than everyone else, which is offensive.  According to the Tweeter, a statement like “I’m fortunate” would be more appropriate than declaring how blessed you are.
I read it, thought to myself “na wa o” and jejely waka’ed on my merry way.
Later on in the day, I hopped back onto my timeline and of course, there was a whole discussion on blessings, being blessed, being lucky, being fortunate and all that shabang.

Well folks, here are my thoughts…

1. For one, nobody should have a say in how the next man feels about his life. As much as even I am guilty of rolling my eyes at people who constantly want to hammer my eardrums with declarations of “I’m so blessed”, “Blessed and highly favored” (mainly because I'm like oya na, let us hear word), I can’t take their blessedness away from them. If they feel that they have God's favor, then who am I to disagree? If they feel blessed, then Glorayyyy! I sure won’t be the one to pour sand in their garri or be mad that this person has declared his/her life’s blessings. I’ve also never felt that such people are better than me, so me thinks that if you are feeling some type of way because Jane your neighbor said she is blessed then na you sabi. In fact like someone put it during the discussion, "If you feel offended because someone said that he/she is blessed, then that one don pass their paygrade. Take your issue up with the God that blessed them". #KpomKwem

2. Situations are constantly changing. People don’t have it all together and wonderful 24/7/365 so if someone is currently enjoying what they deem to be the goodness of God in their lives and declare themselves blessed as a result, why should his neighbor who has been praying for the same thing be offended, or feel inferior? I encourage confidence even in spirituality. I also encourage the acceptance that not everyone was born on the same day, so comparisons do us no good.
Yes, you and someone might have been competing for the same job, he got hired and you didn’t. If he thinks he is blessed, you should also have the mentality that you are just as blessed. Maybe your own blessings might be in a much more prominent and higher paying position than the one that you got rejected for. Or maybe your own blessings will be in an entirely different path than what you anticipated. But regardless, be happy for the person and don’t feel “offended” because he has boldly declared his blessings…after all, there is probably something in life that you are be blessed with, and somebody else is praying for. That’s life for you.

3. Let’s address the plane crash/fatal accident example that I keep seeing in reference to blessings i.e. “Does surviving a fatal crash/accident mean that you’re more blessed than the others who didn’t make it?”…My answer is: I doubt it. I mean… look at the instances of all his servants who have died in such scenarios e.g. Dr. Myles Munroe, Pastor Bimbo Akintola etc. I’m sure that they were indeed very much blessed by God. But His ways are very mysterious.
As I recall, there have been conversations around the perceived insensitivity of people coming out to declare their blessings amidst such tragedies. But when you think about it? Can you blame them?
I think that if I just survived a fiery crash, my first and immediate reaction would be to thank God for blessing me with another chance to live. If this offends a family member of someone who hypothetically doesn't survive, that would not be my intention but would be out of my control. I would consider myself blessed to see another day, and because I believe in a higher power, I would attribute my survival to God's mercy and blessings and not “I sat at the back of the aircraft” or some other type of rationalization for why I survived. Does the fact that I would consider myself blessed in such a scenario, mean that I think I am better than someone who didn't survive? Not at all.
In a more recent example, a lot of people have been dealing with the aftermath of the Bristow Helicopters crash and the unfortunate death of what seemed to be a very promising and nice young man. I noticed that after the crash and the co-pilot’s passing, some people were tweeting things along the lines of “Thank God for blessing me with another day”. Should that offend anybody? I hope not. Like I said above, I believe that life and the opportunity to see a new day, are blessings. Every morning when I wake up, I say "thank you Lord for blessing me with the chance to see a new day", so its not today that I will start to censor my thanks in a bid to please anybody.

4. Last but not least, the power of positive confession and gratitude. This is something that sooooo many people talk about so it must mean something right? If your parents are the most awesome and always provide for you, shey you will always sing their praises and declare how blessed you are to have such parents. Such is the same for people who always hit us with the “I’m so blessed”. Again, I definitely roll my eyes at these people for not letting me hear word. But it is their reality, and if that is their way of expressing gratitude then alrighty then. Maybe that is why they seem to be so blessed sef. Baba God don see how they keep hailing them and continues to send more blessings their way. Who knows…

That concludes my musings for the day. I’m no bible thumper but c’mon we can’t entirely police ourselves in order to be politically correct and please everybody. If you feel blessed and want to let the world know, then please do so. The highest you will get is an eye roll here or there, but it’s cool…an eye roll never killed anybody.

And that is all she said.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Bleachers Gonna Bleach

I’ve always wondered why people get so up in arms about bleaching, bleachers, and the whole “chillaligans” (in my Joseline Hernandez voice). Case in point… As long as I’ve been aware of the oh-so popular Toke Makinwa, I’ve also been much aware of the fact that she supposedly bleached her skin.  I mean, if Toke bleached skin in 1999, it’s 2015 and people will still not allow the girl to rest.
You see a post like “Toke stuns in new photoshoot” and one Ajayi will come and comment “ehnn, why is she hiding those dark knuckles?”, or “Toke at a charity event” and someone will say “She’s so fake with her over-bleached self”.  Me I just be observing  like make una free the girl abeg. She bleached and so what? Did it affect your own melanin or the lack of it? Let’s move all move onto other topics. Her yellow is here to stay. Shoot if you ask me sef, I think that if people are going to go the bleaching route then they need to even hit up Toke for her strategy. Her own bleaching job seems to be well executed. No coke and Fanta behavior per the pictures that I have observed of her.
But seriously sha, you go fear Naija people aka the Bleaching Police. Someone cannot come and be forming yellow and fresh without one other person coming at them with allegations of bleaching. I’ve read so many comments on blogs where the conversation would go like this:

Commenter 1:  Ehnn, isn’t this the same Mary that was so dark in Uni? Na wa oooo, awon bleachers, God is watching una o *insert judgmental rant*
Commenter 2: That’s a big fat lie. Mary has always been light skinned and she obviously lives in London now, so duhh the air there makes people’s complexions fresher.
Commenter 3: Tahhh, she bleached jare. Look at her knees and knuckles (apparently the quickest way to spot a bleacher is be peeping the knuckles)
Commenter 4: I’m light skinned and have dark knuckles and I’ve never touched a bottle of Jik in my life. You guys need to stop jumping to such conclusions, it’s ridiculous!

*debate ensues*
Me in the cut: *facepalm*
Side bar: Do people get as much in arms about other body modifications i.e. breast implants and such? I wonder.
I definitely will not drink Panadol ontop of what someone else chooses to his/her skin? You are an adult and you understand the potential repercussions abi? Okay, go ahead and do what makes you happy. The thing wey you dey chop no dey make me mess. My only plea to #TeamJik is, abeg do the job well and don’t assault us with eyesore color-blocking skin behavior. I dey beg una.
In the same vein, I’m not mad at people like Dencia who have chosen to profit from the bleaching/skin lightening industry with her Whitenicious line. That’s her hustle so she should go ahead and make that money. I know that she gets a lot of flack for brazenly promoting that line, but much as a lot of sanctimonious individuals choose to insult and criticize her, it seems that she is still doing very well in the business. Despite all said and done, the “Laiskin” industry seems to be trending, and a lot of folks want a piece of the action.
Now, if we drill down to the reasons for why people bleach…I think that a commonly stated assumption is that people who bleach are insecure. And they could very well be… who knows. Or they might be a Caitlyn Jenner* and claim that they’ve always felt like they were meant to be light skinned but were born in a dark skinned person’s body .  Again, who knows.
Everyone indeed has their reasons. Some may indeed be borne out of wanting be more attractive to the opposite sex i.e. “I want to be more attractive to men, because most men I meet say that they prefer a light skinned woman”, or some just might think that light is right, and they never want to be wrong.  Na only them sabi and in the end, despite all the outrage that some people express over in the matter, in the end, bleachers still gonna bleach and I won’t waste valuable Panadol ontop of their headache.
*On that Caitlyn Jenner matter, someone had a tweet that was the WORD during the whole uproar about Bruce/Caitlyn’s gender change. She asked why everyone was so accepting on Caitlyn, but would be the first to slang and haul all types of insults at people who bleach. So so true.
So, like I said…going forward I don’t want to hear any pim, pam, pom about the likes of Toke and co, ‘cos when it comes down to it, all na the same modification of self.
In the end, if you are comfortable with your skin color and not about that bleaching life then that’s truly what’s up. If you want to bleach for whatever reasons known to you, do you (be sure to research the implications and remember to keep it as flawless as possible #Saynotocokeandfanta). Like the boy Meek Mill said, "I aint judging though, they aint on trial", so no judgment from me. I have bigger fish to fry than worry my pretty head over what someone else chooses to do with his/her body.
And that is all she said.