Au Revoir Deux Mille Quinze| Goodbye 2015

Brethren, we have come to the end of another year, and the world collectively asks “where did the year go?” Has it really been 365 days since we prepared to usher in 2015?  Time flies past so fast that I lose track of things: was the world cup this year or last year? Time has been a blur since 2005. I am grateful for this year, and for the grace to see a new year in this mad mad world we live in.

I have always wanted to spend New Year’s Eve in a slinky shiny dress, dancing into the new year, counting down, maybe even beginning the year with a new year’s kiss. This year was supposed to be the year that happened, but it is looking mighty unlikely. I am deathly afraid of being in a crowded place on New Year’s Eve (thanks ISIS). Everyone says I am being unreasonably paranoid, but I think my paranoia is very well founded thank you very much. I really just want to stay in my room, but some friends and I are going to see the fireworks. The New Year has never been a momentous occasion for me, I take it as just another day. No resolutions, no new year new me.

While pondering about where 2015 went, it dawned on me that I have learned a lot in this year. Rather than draw up some resolutions for 2016, I have collected some of the lessons from this year. These lessons are mine and may not be unanimously accepted, and that’s okay. Here we go:

Green tea is the truth. My sisters in bloat, get you some.

Greek yoghurt is pretty awesome too.

Work on your flaws and shortcomings, rather than just bemoan them and allow yourself to feel terrible.

Realise that some flaws aren’t flaws at all, they just feel that way because we think other people see them that way. Most likely they don’t. Either way it doesn’t matter. Life must be lived.

Focus on the destination and not the journey.

 I have discovered in life that there are ways of getting almost anywhere you want to go, if you really want to go: 

Langston Hughes

When ordering lamb chops, rare will get you a live lamb, medium will get you bloody meat, well done will get you charcoal. Medium well is the way to go (for me anyway).

Happiness and sadness are not independent of each other; they go hand in hand, to accept happiness is to accept the possibility of sadness. Bad things will happen, so will good things. There will be high highs, and killer lows. You are not being punished or rewarded for anything, it is just the flow of life. Celebrate your highs, grieve your lows and realise that life will go on.

It is terribly important to have a passion, to have something that excites us. Otherwise we find ourselves waddling aimlessly through life, wondering just what the point of all this is. How to go about finding a passion is beyond me at this point, I hope to find out in the new year.

It is perfectly possible for one to live without animal milk or sugar. I have not even purchased sugar in ages, and I cannot imagine going back to it.

It is also possible to cook with a tiny bit of oil, or not at all. We Nigerians would deep fry water if possible, so I was astounded to find out that all that oil was not really necessary.

Still on oil, add a little to pancake/crepe batter. That way, there will be no need to grease the pan and the pancakes won’t stick.

Sometimes good things do not come in the end, and good people live and die in wretchedness. Do good things because you want to, not because you want to be rewarded for them.

The world is screwed up. We are all just waiting our turn now, hoping it will pass us by.

Loneliness is horrible, not matter how introverted one is. “I enjoy my own company” can slowly turn into depressing loneliness. Don’t be ashamed to admit that you are weary of the isolation. Be proactive. Get some friends. Enjoy the company of good people. Laugh. Play games. Have fun. It does not have to be at a club or involve heavy drinking, just let good conversation and laughter soothe your soul.

Daddy Issues are more prevalent than we think. Normal, regular, seemingly well adjusted women (and men) have them. It was surreal to realise just how many people are affected by their parents’ decisions, actions and behaviours. We swear to do better, to be better parents, but I feel most of us will fall into the same pattern. Parents are humans too, imperfect, and full of faults; be gentle with them.

Stop coveting the lives you see on social media. Stop it. Lots of the people behind the picture are going through real shit. Wishing you had someone’s life because her eyebrows looked on fleek in a picture is daft. Do not drive yourself into depression comparing your “boring” life to the fabulous life of your favourite blogger. People are going through real shit. A nice picture does not mean a person’s life is great and stress-free.  I do not think that internet personalities are hypocrites for presenting their lives as flawless, it is not their responsibility to help you out by showcasing their flaws. They are human as well, and may not be comfortable exposing certain imperfections just so that you don’t feel insecure.  Make the best out of your own life.

You do not know everything. No matter how sure you are of your stance, take a minute to actually listen to the dissenting opinions. Argue to learn, not just to shove your opinions down everyone’s throats.

Be kind to yourself.

Choose to be happy, whenever possible. The older we get, the more happiness becomes something we have to choose, rather than something that just happens to us. It will be hard, but whenever possible, choose happiness.

Edges are a privilege, not a right. Slap some edge control on them and go out and live your life.

Chew slowly, savour the food.

Do not mock a pain you haven’t endured.

Stop underestimating yourself and overestimating the abilities of others.

Forget safety. Live where you fear to live.

You live and you learn. Yaassss hunny.

I hope that this new year brings with it lots of love, happiness, laughter, passions, and fulfilled dreams. Ahhhhh copious amounts of laughter, yes!

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Merry Christmas!

It does not feel like Christmas

Ugh. I am not in the mood for Christmas

Comments like these and variations thereof are said every year. It never feels like Christmas. I am usually one of those complaining about I have not caught the Christmas spirit, but this year was somewhat of an exception.

I spent this Christmas with friends and it was bliss. We cooked, exchanged  presents, played games, watched films and laughed a whole lot.

I think the reason some of us don’t get excited about Christmas  is because we don’t feel the same way we did when we were children. As a child, Christmas was awesome and there was a grand preparation towards it. We would go shopping for our Christmas dresses and shoes, and we would make our “Christmas hair” as we called it. The Christmas feeling set in about a week before and it was all so wondrous. As children we had little worries; we didn’t have to think about bills, or exams in January or work deadlines. We were also exempt from chores, so we just woke up, put on our beautiful new dresses and waited for the food to be ready.

Perhaps because I have been away at school for the past few Christmasses, Christmas has become just another day. I don’t get my hair done for Christmas, and I don’t buy Christmas clothes. I don’t even put up Christmas decorations. One memorable Christmas was spent alone in my room, eating pizza and watching The Cosby Show (Loved it).

In my family, we don’t exchange presents on Christmas day. We just go to Church, cook, eat and entertain guests. But this year, my friends and I decided to do Secret Santa and it was super!

Even though we had a swell time, it still didn’t feel like Christmas. I realise now that maybe we are holding on to a past feeling, and judging all Christmasses by that feeling we had as Children. Maybe it is time to let it go and develop a new Christmas feeling.

I hope you all had a good Christmas. Happy new year in advance!

Love in a time of Pancakes.

At last my greatest creation is complete.

Let me introduce you to my pride and joy, made with the cheapest self raising flour I could find, an egg, almond milk, salt and honey.

 

Don’t ask me why my pancake stack is wearing an egg hat, just go with it.

 

So nice, and fluffy!

😍

 

I have recently swapped soy milk for almond milk. Not long after I left the diary world a little while back and found succor in soy milk, I started hearing about how soy milk had links to cancer and death and hellfire. After ignoring these warnings, I decided to find an alternative. Hazelnut milk is alright but it is not great. I tried out almond milk, first with cereal and that was good. The deciding moment came when I made these babies. I was a bit worried they wouldn’t be good but oh baby they were fantastic.

Sayonara El Soya.

A bald-faced lie.

Do not marry a bearded man.

I am of the opinion that a beard is to a man, what makeup is to a woman. Just as makeup can help improve a person’s appearance, sometimes drastically, a beard can do the same for a man.

There has been a surge in the appreciation for bearded men, if you are on twitter, you will definitely have noticed it. A man with a lush, well groomed beard is lusted after, more brownie points if the beard has specks of grey in it. Oooh la la.

But before you go ahead and put a ring on that bearded man who you are sure the gods created specially for you, ask yourself: am I in love with a man or a beard?

It is a very important question you see, even more important than when men question if a woman is still cute under the layers of war paint. You think you have found your soulmate, and you foolishly stay in a relationship with him for years, without ever seeing his bald face. He hasn’t taken the same chances. On your first date, he took you deep sea diving and you thought he was being adventurous. Nope, he just wanted the salt water to wash off your makeup so he could see your bare face.

But you did not do the same. You never surprised him with a trip to the barber’s shop for a shave. You never loving applied Veet to his face as he slept. Rather you let yourself be carried away by the allure of the hair sprouting from his face and the countless #relationship goals your pictures received. He proposed and you ecstatically said yes. Finally you were going to marry the beard man of your dreams. Then the wedding day comes, and you walk down the aisle excited and happy as hell. Your happiness quickly turns to confusion: who is that stranger at the end of the aisle? You see, your beloved decided to shave off his beard for this special day, and now you realise you fell in love with a beard. It is too late to back out now, or is it? The priest asks if there are any objections and your arm shoots up of its own accord. You mutter an apology, hike up your dress and run for the hills.

It is better that you found out this way. Imagine he hadn’t shaved his beard and you had gone ahead with the marriage. Then ten years and three children down the line, he decides he wants a new look. You come back home to a stranger in your bed and your stomach drops. But it is too late to back out now, so you accept your fate and spend the rest of your life trapped in a beardless marriage.

All this could have been avoided if on the first date, as he brought out a pack of face wipes, you brought out a razor.

 

Surfing the web.

I came across this article on the problems beautiful people face. We beautiful people do go through a lot. Haha.

This clip of Nina Simone talking about her regret

Nina Simone on what freedom really is

Teyana Taylor gave birth to her daughter in a lovely way.

Little girl mistakes an elderly bearded man for Santa Claus and bless his heart, he plays along.

Lonely recently widowed man seeks company on Christmas day 😢

NFL player tweets Star Wars spoiler. Le Horreur! (You might want to avoid this if you haven’t seen the film)

Speaking of Star Wars, how cute is baby Zuckerberg?

First time I saw a television advert for personalised marshmallows, I thought “How ridiculous”. Then I found out the company is owned by Kate Middleton’s brother and I thought “how ridiculous”.

What mildly interesting things have you come across lately?

 

 

I did not die.

Do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not there. I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning’s hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry;
I am not there. I did not die.

What happened, Miss Simone?

I adore Nina Simone, I have done so since I heard I Put a Spell on You. I remember going on the first of my Nina binges, soothing my soul with her sound, her voice, and her words.

When Netflix released What Happened, Miss Simone? , I of course had to see it. I finally watched it and it tugged at every one of my heartstrings, nearly tore me to pieces. I was aware that Ms. Simone had some problems, I knew she was bipolar. But I had no idea of just how unhappy and miserable her life was.

The documentary starts out with a clip of Nina at a concert. Though the audience is pleased to see her, clapping and whooping, Nina seems to be out of it. She pauses dramatically and stares into nothingness. The audience cautiously applauds once more, unsure of what is going on. I could feel the audience’s nervousness and I watched nervously as well, wondering what was going to happen. Eventually her voice comes through the mic: “Hello”, to which an audience member replies “Hi, we are ready!” She laughs and I laugh too.

We are then taken back to the beginning, to Tyron North Carolina, where little Eunice Waymon dreamt of becoming America’s first black classical pianist. Nina herself tells her story; through interviews and excerpts from her diary. Her daughter Lisa, ex husband Andy, and friends also shed light on her life.

Nina tells us how she had little intention of becoming a jazz or blues singer or of being in showbiz at all; all she wanted was to become America’s first black classical pianist. After getting rejected from a music school because of her colour, she had to start playing in bars, and Eunice became Nina.

Nina found unexpected success with her song I love you Porgy and that set off her career. She met her husband, had a daughter and life was great, until it wasn’t. Her husband who retired from the police force to manage her worked her too hard, and she began to resent him for that. He was also a bully and an abuser.

The documentary details Nina’s participation in the Civil rights movement, and in doing so shows us a bit of that era. I cannot explain how it felt to be taken back to that era, to see the suffering and the battle for respect. It was surreal to see such talented intellectual Black people together in one place; Langston Hughes, James Baldwin, Lorraine Hansberry, Sidney Poitier, Harry Belafonte, Sammy Davis Jr, Malcolm X, and of course Martin Luther King. Dr. King’s death is covered as well, and it was just heartbreaking. Believe me when I say I was in all my feelings throughout this documentary.

Her downward spiral, and her mental health issues are touched upon in this documentary. Her journal entries were so heart-wrenching. It was sad to see just how depressed Nina was, and how little happiness she got from life. But by God, Nina was a powerful woman. There is a scene in which she talks about her joy in living in Liberia and her voice got louder and louder and it was amazing.

The last bit of this interview was included in the documentary and it got me choked up.

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Liz Garbus did a great job with this documentary, and I am happy it was made.

I’ll tell you what freedom is to me; no fear. I mean, really no fear

Rest in Peace Nina Simone.