Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas

As a child, i always spent Christmas with my family. At first, it was just me, my Dad and Mum. We had the whole Santa Claus, Christmas Tree and present deal. I believed so much in Santa. So much that i would wait in anticipation at night as i waited for his footsteps to sound as he placed my presents. I guess he was always quiet because i never heard him come. Yet, the presents were always there. As the years flew by, the traditions changed. My obnoxious siblings that i love to death were born. It wasn't about me any longer. The new squad didn't understand the whole Santa deal, and they thwarted the tree... so the way we celebrated had to change. It wasn't just the three of us as i had come to know, but i had to struggle with the four of us (the birth of my brother) and then the five of us (the birth of my sister). I know i had always wanted siblings, and yet, i just never thought of the consequences of having two other beings that were as demanding as I was. It turned into a deal of going to the Village to celebrate with the extended family. It became not Merry Christmas, but Happy Christmas. And, when you said that, they shoved some Naira bills into your little palms... I had discovered a whole new world... GoodBye Santa, Presents and Tree... Hello Money! I reveled in it, i would run into Aunts and Uncles arms and say Happy Christmas, I would say it to cousins, i would say it to my siblings (of course my siblings would never give me!). It wasn't just the money, it then evolved into a whole sense of belonging, co-dependency. I liked the shouts and scoldings from Aunts who would insist you didn't greet them, i loved the fact that i was teased because i couldn't handle the firewood... I loved the fact that no one would order me around because everyone thought i would break in half... i hated it at the time, but inside it was this feeling of family that developed. It was this same feeling that made me begin to wonder at how i would ever become an adult. I would always look in wonder at my older aunts and uncles that would travel alone, or at my parents when they would leave the house without one of us. As children, we were never allowed to go anywhere alone. I always had my siblings on my tail (imagine me at age sixteen when i was supposed to be getting my runs set and my siblings following my tail... i secretly blame them for affecting my teenage life... LOL). I would be so worried seeing people go out alone. I would run through my head the several things that could go wrong with them - they could be stolen, get lost and then i would never see them again. And yet, they always came back. It was so bad that when my mum would be coming back late from school, i would wait for her outside our pharmacy. I always expected to see her around 6 O'clock, and once the time struck and she would be no where in sight, i would sit and wait... my siblings would join me (probably because they just wanted to flock around me) and we would sing while we waited (we definitely looked like a bunch of sad kids). And once we saw her car in sight, we would jump up and run to her... she always had mints or candy (i have an incurable sweet tooth!). I knew they would always come back, and yet, i was just never sure how one would be able to do it alone. How would you travel long distances alone? Wouldn't you be lonely? Wouldn't you be scared? How would you spend holidays alone? Wouldn't you go crazy with want and need of companionship? How could you do that after being in a family like mine where the siblings never left you alone and your parents were always teasing you? How would you survive?
This Christmas, i didn't go home to my family. Its not the first i have spent away from my family, but, it is the first that i have learnt how my parents did it, how my Uncles and Aunts all were able to go out and come back safely. It is the first that i have spent not feeling lonely. They all had their traditions, they built it over time. I learnt that i have to do the same. Build my own traditions. This is the first Christmas i went to Church while away from my family. I never went my Freshman and Sophomore years because i was scared of facing people and their families. I was scared of people asking me where my family was. And so, i just refused to face them. I forgot that people don't get born with families, neither do they die with families (You are born alone, and you die alone). I forgot that being in misery wouldn't be what they would want for me. I forgot that they had shown me so so much love so that I would be able to translate that love for myself whenever i would be on my own or start with my own family. And so with that, I have decided to start my own traditions. Every Christmas hence forth that i don't spend with my family, I vow to be in the midst of people - the wonderful friends that God has provided to be in my life. I vow to get myself a present (something i really want!). I vow to get myself a tree and decorate it (when i get my apartment, not this small college thing they claim to be an apartment!) I vow to be happy and at peace not ruminating on past glories of being with family and friends i can't be with. No condition is permanent. If i spend my present, crying that the now sucks because i remember the past good times, then i will miss out on making beautiful past memories to remind myself of in the not so far away great future. Beautiful days are coming, be it with the people I love or not and I am planning to make them count by God's Grace.
And so i leave you with this - Have a very Merry Christmas, full of cheer and love because the greatest work of Love has already been fulfilled in our lives. Remain blessed in His Name.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


When am cold at night,
there is no blanket,
just the still air,
fresh... chilly,
it bites and pines at me.

Yet, YOU are there,
covering me,
laying over me,
protecting me,
being my immeasurable blanket.

I found SOMEONE.

When am sad,
feel like i have no one,
it hurts,
because am scared,
that there really is no one.

Yet, YOU are there,
being with me,
standing next to me,
providing people,
to be someone.

I found SOMEONE.

When am sick,
sick with the things
i long for...
for him,
for them,
for you...

Yet, YOU are there,
comforting me,
telling me that
YOU can be all i need,
more than enough.

I found SOMEONE.

I had been searching you know,
looking all over, in different places,
at different times,
in all the wrong things,
in all the wrong someones...

Yet, YOU were there the whole time,
staring me in the face the whole time,
waiting for me the whole time,
to accept your call...
can't believe i took so long.

I found SOMEONE.

The beautiful thing now,
is that i find you everywhere i look,
i imagine YOUR face,
every now and then,
thinking of how long its going to take,
thinking of the walk i must
continue till I get to see YOU
that one day....

Yet, YOU still cheer me on,
telling me to keep holding on,
till we get there...
YOU convince me that every face
i stumble on is a reflection of YOU,
so i try to see you in every someone...

I will keep trying...
till i finally see you...

I see YOU.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Late Bloomer.

All the flowers,
purple, yellow, red, pink, white and green...
they all blossomed one after another
Some silently, some loudly...
Some late.

She was late.
She was lilac
She was late.
She was a mix.

They laughed,
because she didn't know
the world was full of evil men.
They laughed,
because she didn't know
that fantasies were...

Fantasies had been seen
by the others as futile.
The red decided to mix
with white.
The green mixed with
They all mixed and mixed
and laughed as she kept

She kept on
in the fantasy,
hoping that her
color would shade in soon.

She was late.
She was lilac
She was late.
She was a mix.

And when she became full,
full she became,
oozing out shades of deep
luscious lilac...
Then the fantasies left.
All she had left,
was the luscious lilac
that was going to
fade-out with time.

She was late.
She was lilac
She was late.
She was a mix.

Monday, December 14, 2009

14 Sparse Nothings on December 14, 2009.

- I had my first all nighter last night. You'd think that after 3.5 years of college i would have gotten used to that by now. Spent my time getting excited and thinking about my Java class project and sweet nothings of a boy that lives >5,000 miles away...

- I thought it was weird that my college's commons building says "Happy Non-denominational holidays". It made me laugh - we are truly in a secular melting pot. Its a good thing, we have somehow learnt to all get along...

- There was a Christmas tree decoration thing going on outside the University Center... i happened to know the DJ. He asked me if i was going home to Naija. I replied in the negative. I am sad that am not going home, and yet am happy because i will be going to URBANA (its a non-denominational Univerisity campus fellowship happening in St. Louis, MO... YAY!!!)...

- My Supervisor, who is the PostDoc in the research lab i work in, corrected my semester report paper for my Independent Study. I feel slow when being corrected... yet i know i don't know everything and i need correction inorder to learn and grow...

- I decided to work on being a better observer and listener.. wish me luck... I love being oblivious and doing more of the talking than listening... it'll be hard...

- I need to figure out what is wrong with my tic-tac-toe program... the x is definitely cheating the o and i could get points taken off for a program that cheats _^_ ...

- I need to study for 4 finals at the same time as they are consecutive and stop blogging...

- I will start crying if my phylogenetic tree doesn't come back...

- Yay!!! Somehow one part of my tic-tac-toe program fixed itself... it now tells that a game is a tie.. instead of having a definite winner every single time which is statistically impossible.... progress is coming then....

- "I want your love, and your lover's revenge... me n u could write a bad romance" - Lady Gaga

- I reject it.... school will not kill me... Omo I need to reconsider this "The sky is not my limit but my takeoff thing"...

- I have been slowing down recently... One of my numerous mottos is to; "Strive for Perfection." Oooopsss while not forgetting that i am not superwoman!

- "Money slow to enter... Money quick to go... Money slow to enter... Where Money dey go... i dunno... i dunno..." - M.I (Story of my Life!!!)

- You should watch 'Gintama', its the coolest anime... so random and funny... makes me realize that life is beautiful even with the randomest of things... Watch it!!! Don't worry its not cheezy... my heart is too weak to take in those stuff nowadays... LOL

Saturday, December 12, 2009

In the Morning...

"In the morning you'll be alright,
in the morning, the sun is gonna shine
in the morning, no clouds in the sky
When there is dark in your life,
Just wait for daylight." - In the Morning by Mary Mary

I used to listen to this song day-in and day-out, never really contemplating its meaning... i mean the words were as straight-forward as they could be. I would always see the morning sky while listening and thinking about how fresh l always felt in the morning. That was back then, i was like fifteen, sixteen... you know when all there was to life was listening to songs on your discman and talking about that one boy or one girl you were bent on dissing. Fast forward a few years later, and mornings weren't so great. I don't know when or how it started, but just somehow my mornings were not waking up with a fresh face or happiness inside. It was more of waking up in the wee hours to run across campus to get to my "quarter-time" job. It wasn't even the waking up that hurt, sometimes, it was waking up in this little room that is supposedly worth $7000 a year on a bed more uncomfortable than the one your grandmother sleeps on, across from another Oyibo girl that is annoying as hell. It was all good, keeping it in all the time. Keeping in the fact that i despised that all it took was four steps to be in someone else's bed space, keeping in the fact that i was scared that i was seventeen and working a job, doing an internship, being a student government leader and doing my best at school. I thought it was good, that i was fine... not until i locked myself in my room one day when my roommate had gone out and i had sneaked away from my friends. It just all came rushing out. I cried and cried. I held my heart and felt the innumerous clutches as they came one after the other like a water fall. I was surprised that i was keeping so much in, i was surprised that i had been keeping in the way i felt on the down low. That one night turned into regular nights. I would wait till i heard my roommate fall asleep before i slowly let the tears trickle down. I would hold my pillow tight until i couldn't hold on no more. And in the morning, it didn't get better. I would feel horrible. I would lay in bed waiting for my alarm to go off... going over in my head all the stuff i had to do. I would wear a long face making it more like a permanent look and tell people that i was okay. I wouldn't get back to my room till midnight and resume my crying and the next morning drag myself out again.

The tears stopped after a while. I had to cry my final one one day and tell myself that i couldn't go on wasting my tear ducts when all the people i loved were just far away, and not dead. Then something harder happened. It wasn't tears anymore. It was more of pangs of discouragement. Instead of tears, i would lay awake in the morning and plot the lying e-mails i would send to my professors and boss on why i couldn't come to class. I would then plot how i would raise up the money to buy my air ticket and transport all my stuff home... i had my savings, and if i sold some of my god forsaken text books, it would surely raise a fortune. I would convince my dad that i was much better having arguments with him in his house than being 5000 miles away from him where we couldn't argue profitably. I plotted. And then i cried. I would cry some more. And then finally get out of bed and put on a smile to face my day.

It took me a while to realize that i wasn't the only one having bad mornings. It took me a while to realize that life is just crappy like that. There are days when you wake up feeling crabby and they are days you wake up feeling like a freshly minted dollar bill. I wanted to always feel like that newly printed bill. I wanted to always wake up feeling like the bomb. Who was i kidding? I remember my sophomore year, trying to play super woman - i was working, taking 17 credits of science classes, working 6 hours in a professors lab and being a senator in my school SGA. It wasn't a matter of wanting to just do everything. It was that i wanted to do everything perfectly. I did bad in one of my computer science class projects. I was shaking when i saw the grade. I kept thinking: "I am doing it all... its supposed to all work right... why is this happening?" I went to my advisor and when i walked in, as soon as she called my name, i broke into tears. I kept thinking to myself: "Ooo shit... ooo shit why are you crying infront of her? Why are you crying infront of her? You gat this... you are superwoman... you gat this..." I had been texting my dad that i was having a bad day. He then called me and said the opposite of what i was thinking: "You are not superwoman... its okay to slow down and breathe..." It made sense... it still does. Needless to say, i dropped that class and moved on. I still over do it though, but in strides remembering that wanting to be great means having to fight this crappy thing called life.

This past summer, i was stuck with only my phone and the little data i savaged from my laptop because the 3-year old thing thought it was cool to die on its owner when she is in the middle of a new city with no one she knows. I had a couple of Mary Mary's old albums on there. That was when "In the Morning" came on again. OOO happy day! You know its like when you are crossing the street and you suddenly have an epiphany and you break into a run... well i didn't do that, but it was like the scales had just fallen off my eyes. I had spent so much time being down forgetting that no condition is permanent. Yes, it is hard. That is life - its a bitch! But the beautiful thing about it is that the greatest ones play her to the core and finish triumphantly. I couldn't believe that i had forgotten that it was the Maker of the Universe that was holding me in his hands and i didn't have to face it all alone. I felt bad for my tear glands... so much work on tears for nothing.... lol.

Not that i wake up feeling like a billion dollar baby every morning now! There are mornings that i still wake up and plot on selling my mac to buy my plane ticket home... lol. Yet those are the days i cherish the most because i know that as soon as i push through all this bullshit and make it through... its gonna be raining men... i am going to make it... am going to succeed and weather the storms that life brings my way by HIS grace. So if you are out there and you are going through some ish... just remember that you are not alone! Hold in there, fight through because we are going to be popping the champagne bottle in celebration at the end of the finish line...

Au revoir!

Friday, December 11, 2009

So Far...

It is the beginning of finals season here at UMBC and the so so ways of staring at monitor screens hoping they spit out the semester reports, the so so ways of staring at your text book and cursing engineers for not figuring out a way to make a micro chip insertable into your head so that you wouldn't have to study have resumed. I spent my afternoon next to my Tamil friend A. in her laboratory. While she was busy immunostaining testis cells from Drosophilia Melanogaster (sperm cells from fruit flies), i was in and out of writing a semester paper on larval stomaotpods (vicious shrimp looking marine creatures). I know completely nerdy - perks of my college - you sound like you do hard stuff... Anyways in between doing our "stuff" and wishing the work would get up and get done itself, we started talking on just how far we had come from freshmen year. It took me back those to those days as a freshman here...

I had just spent the past thirteen years in Kano, Nigeria after my parents and I left from Georgia, U.S. I was seventeen with an excited, ambitious and (happy to admit it!) close-minded view on life. I was going to prevail through it all, slaughter any discouragements that came my way, speed high to any mountain i had to climb through and crush all the temptations. I was happy to go through life the way i was until i met these crazy folks.

N: N. is the first of the first friends i made here. I still remember the first day i met her. I remember thinking to myself: "What a hot chic!" She has those hazel nut eyes, and hair and smooth skin. I still remember thinking she didn't know where she was from because she kept repeating the name of her country and since no one had heard of it, i just assumed she made it up. She is one of those people that makes you want to just sit back and enjoy life. I remember when she fell in love with the series "Charmed". She would hurriedly come back to her room after classes and watch it till daybreak. She finished it in two weeks. I remember being amazed that someone would blip through a tv series because he/she was into it. She taught me how to stay awake. I would never be able to stay up past 10p.m. Before i knew it, i was playing dress up with a Surinamese girl and an Indian girl - A. at 4a.m instead of dreaming of zoborodo.

A. - She is the second friend i made at here. I met her through N. I remember seeing and her and thinking: "What a mean girl!" She had this snobby look on her face. She still has it, but its because she had earned it... lol. We were in the same Intro Chemistry class so we would go to class together... when she could make it. I remember that my first tears of homesickness were with her. I don't know how it happened, but somehow i was talking about how everyone get to go home on the weekends and i don't (I wanted nothing more than fried plantains, fried rice, pap... just name it all). I started to cry. That was when i knew that i missed home. She is this person that makes you want to stay motivated, she would always be on top of her game - either at a club meeting, in a Professor's lab or at a class discussion. She made me want to fight through school for all its worth. I loved to just sit and chill with her and J. They are the competitive ones, always talking about medical school and who would be an attending first and would get ahead in life before the other.

J. - He is the third friend i made here. I met him through N. too. I remember seeing him and thinking: "What a strange fellow!." He was eating Chinese food and watching anime in the common study lounge on our residence hall floor with the lights off. He introduced us to Chinese food. for me, it was the closest i had to Nigerian food. I had to make do with that because i hated the food on campus. I hated their grits, i hated their fries, i hated their pizza and burgers. Needless to say i think we all ended up spending up to $500 on Chinese food that semester. Ordering was a daily activity. In fact, it was so bad the restaurant we usually ordered knew us by phone numbers. He is one of those people that make you wish you could just analyze everything. To him, everything has to make sense or he won't go with it. I remember being so mad at him and A. for sleeping though Intro Chem at 10 in the morning. We would have all had a sleep over the night before. I would wake up to their snoring bodies and leave off to class. When i would get back at 2p.m, they would still be in bed. I would be in rage. Why would kids sleep so much? That is one thing that defines him and D. - sleep.

D. - She is the fifth friend i met here. I meet her in Intro to Biology my second semester. I remember seeing her and thinking: "What a bully!" She would always be in army camouflage trousers, blouse and even skirts. Meen i always had it in mind to be out of her way because i thought she was going to beat me. Little did i know she would end up being one of my personal persons. She is one of those people that defies all stereotypes. You meet her and think:"O yeah - African - okay nothing much. Met those ones before." Not until she starts uncovering the leaves, one by one. I had this habit of stalking people i wanted to know. So once i knew what hall she lived in, i would randomly show up at her window since she lived on the first floor. If she wasn't napping (which she claims recharges her batteries), she would be playing a game (I thought girls grew out of that once they stopped hanging out with their brothers), or she would be watching anime (I thought only Asian kids were into that - sorry J.). Like i said earlier, she is one of those peeps that defies expectations. She makes you want to keep on. She is probably one of the few people that i know that has had shit happen in their lives and they still look up. I think that was what drew me to her - her perseverance.

O. - She is the fourth friend i met here. I met her through N. too. I remember seeing her and being blank. She is one of those few people that i didn't get a sense of. She was so quiet when i started getting to know her. But meeen as in she would push us to the side like no joke. You would make plans with her and she wouldn't show up. At first, i used to be upset. You shouldn't have to make so many plans and have the person flake out on you. Then i realized that she didn't like the hassle of the bus. None of us had cars at the time, so we would all take the school bus to the mall or to downtown Baltimore. She is one of those people that makes you wish you were princess. She acts like one. She would spare no change in taking care of herself. She made me want to love myself. I used to think that it was all about the inside. I still think it is. But she made me realize that although the inside matters, its the outside the world see first, and judges you by. So you need to ensure the outside is good just as much as you lay emphasis on the inside.

It has been four years since and we are still here. Not the same though. A lot of us have changed, going though so much transformation that a look in the time sieve back at who we used to be would make us either weep in pain or cry in joy. Either way, we are still here. I once read somewhere that the people in your life right now are here because they are worth it and the ones that fell along the wayside don't matter. They are some of the people, in fact they are the beginning of the long list of wonderful people i have met, that have changed the way i think, act and speak. Yes, i still want to thread mountain tops, and fight ogres and beat up temptuous storms, yet i have realized that i don't have to it alone because just somehow they taught me that one isn't meant to sail through life's storms alone.


You see there is a problem I have,
One that I can’t get rid of,
One that I can’t solve

It seeps through my soul,
Clenches through my heart,
Makes my legs shake uncontrollably,
Gets my heart to beat faster than a tigress after her prow,
And the speed of an eagle after its bait

I thought of getting it checked out you know,
Thought about calling in the hotlines about my risk,
Thought about talking to someone about it

But no matter whom I talked to it didn’t get better,
No matter what I described, it didn’t go away

I heard your laugh and it all stopped.

It wasn’t just the sound,
Like smooth caramel that dribbles delicately
Across carefully scooped vanilla ice-cream,
It wasn’t just like a housewife’s orgasm after years
Of depravity

You see there is a problem I have,
One that I can’t get rid of,
One that I can’t solve

It’s You.