Wednesday, May 29, 2013

My Summer of Living.

I am a daydreamer. I think I got that from my dad. I can spend hours lying down and imagining a life where I'm a shop owner, an archaeologist, a critically acclaimed writer. I imagine myself in Turkey, in Oman, in Portland, Sydney, Paris, Morocco. I imagine myself cliff-diving, skuba-diving. I imagine myself as an adventurous woman.

Someone once told me that I think too much. He said "people who think don't DO anything".

He's kind of right. I spend more time thinking of an amazing life than living one.

That ends now people.

My dad was so busy working that he didn't leave Nigeria the last 20+ years of his life. I respect his hustle but it makes me sad that my father, who had been to countries in five out of seven continents when he was younger, got so caught up in work. He'll never get to take my mom to the small town outside of Vienna that he lived in when he was a young man. We're never going to take that trip to Dubai I talked about obsessively when he was sick, thinking sheer will would keep him alive.

I'm so done with daydreaming. I'm not rich but I have a job that pays well enough and allows me to work anywhere with wifi. I'm not married, I don't have kids, I don't have any responsibilities that require me to stay anywhere.

I'm out.

I declare the next few months, the "summer of living". I am going to do as much as I can while I'm visiting family and friends in the states. I'm going to see some new things, meet some new people. And when I get back, I intend to continue doing so.

 It is so easy to get caught up in the details required to run our lives. Those lives of ours are short. Death is inevitable. There's nothing any of us can do about it. But If we're going to die tomorrow, shouldn't our bucket lists be shorter?

Monday, May 13, 2013

Fitting in is Overrated.

Yesterday was Mother's Day. I made raw carrot cake (recipe coming up) and we ate that with corn on the cob and ewedu soup because we are weirdos. Then we watched The Proposal for the 100th time because Mom loves Sandra Bullock. It was a very chill day.

My mom is the best. She has the biggest heart and is open and always lends a helping hand. She also worries. She could win a medal for worrying.

My mom said the sweetest/saddest thing to me while we were chatting about her and my dad. She said she was scared for me because I'm a fish out of water and while she loves that I'm with her in Nigeria, she feels like I'm never going to make friends. If I don't have friends, I'll never meet new people. If I don't meet new people, I'll never date. If I never date, I'll never have a boyfriend, never get married, never have kids and BINGO!

It always comes back to kids for my mom.

Anyway, I was touched. I know she's worried about me but I do have friends. And I personally like being a fish out of water. I'm used to it. When I'm in the states, I'm the African girl. When I'm in Nigeria, I'm the American girl. I can't change how I'm perceived and I learned a long time ago not to sweat it.

I'm not going to lie. I miss my siblings. I miss my friends. I miss America. I miss fast internet. I miss Whole Foods. God, I MISS TV.

I miss constantly.

At the same time, I get paid really well to do what I love full-time. I'm working on my first book. I'm traveling to places I've dreamed of going to for years. I get to spend time with my family here and learn about a culture that has shaped every aspect of my life.

My point is, fitting in is overrated. So is being comfortable. I would much rather be different, push myself, step outside the proverbial box and live in as many different ways as possible. I lived in the states for most of my life. It's scary living somewhere else. It's scary being surrounded by people who think so differently.

In this case, scary is good. Try scary and see what happens.

JMO: Masturbation Could Save Nigeria.

I posted a status update on my Facebook during church yesterday. Just because... well I don't really know.

I'm usually not one to post every thought running through my mind but yesterday, I reacted to a situation that exasperated me and I shared these thoughts:

Today's sermon is about the evils of masturbation.

I knew I should have stayed home today.

I, of course, know how polarizing a comment like that is. Sex is private and talking about it openly makes people uncomfortable. On top of that, half of my friends on Facebook are Nigerian and the other half are American. Without generalizing too much, I've noticed that my Nigerian friends tend to be much more conservative than my American friends.

Anyway, I posted a status about masturbation. Comments weren't negative and mostly ranged from a neutral "interesting" to a to fist-bumping "walk out".

I did, however, receive some phone calls and messages laughingly chiding me and flat-out asking me to explain myself and my stance on "self-love".

Since I have a blog, why not share my thoughts with the three of you who still read it?

I think masturbation is a) healthy b) no one's business c) something the church and other religious institutions should not demonize, especially to youths.

I think it's unrealistic to tell a bunch of horny teenagers not to masturbate.

I think it's dangerous to preach "abstinence or hell".

I think teaching "masturbation is evil" is why you have people having sex that don't know how to use condoms.

I think teaching "masturbation is evil" is why STDs and unwanted pregnancies are so prevalent in Nigeria and other parts of the world.

I think having someone tell you "masturbation is evil and leads you to have sexual desires and this causes women to dress provocatively and in turn get harassed, men to cheat on their wives with the maid, people to have sex with animals" (paraphrasing but these are all points the pastor made) is not only dangerous but on another level of stupid.

I think that teaching "masturbation is evil" leads to all types of issues in life and a general discomfort with one's body.

I think that sexual desires are healthy and normal as human beings.

When I'm a mother, I'd rather my kids masturbate to take care of their urges than have them have sex before they're ready.

Those are my thoughts. What are yours?

Life in Pics: Ipetu House


Ipetu Ile April 2013.

2013 MET Gala Punk: Chaos to Couture. Beauty Looks We Loved

Hey guys! Some of you know I'm obsessed (click here) with the Met Gala. I usually write a post on this site listing which looks I loved and why but I decided to write a beauty related post for Style House Files this year.

Click here if you want to check it out.

I may still write a "Met Gala 2013 Favorite Looks" post.

Photo from

Losing Daddy. One year later.

I wrote this on the one year anniversary of my dad's death but I didn't post it. Here it is:

It's been a year since he died. I've been thinking about this day for a while now. What was it going to be like when my family and I reached that point in our journey? How would we feel?

Well the day is here. I don't know how everyone is feeling. I know I'm a bit surprised. I'm surprised by the normalcy of today. I originally planned to spend the 10th of May at home, allowing myself to cry if I wanted to, stay in bed, sleep, whatever. I was going to allow myself to be sad.

Well I ended up having to run an errand that could not be held off till Monday. I was really annoyed at first. Then a friend sent me a funny message. I replied. I smiled. I sent out messages to other people and before I knew it I was going about my business and the day went by.


I felt a momentary pang of guilt that I was okay today. Then I mentally shook myself. My dad was a lot of things but he was not frivolous. If I went through with my original plan, he would have told me to get up and shower. He would have said people who stay home don't make money. He would have asked how being lazy was honoring him.

This last year was really hard. I love my mom but it's been an adjustment living with her, finding the balance between being a daughter and a friend. What I've learned is time doesn't make the grief of losing a loved one easier. We just get better at coping. We get stronger. We change out of necessity for the sake of our sanity. We realize we live in a world where prayers go unanswered. We realize we are not special, that there is a plan bigger than our wants. We get up in the morning and go about the business of living. We may be a little less happy. We see our lives for what they really are, fleeting, but we get to have lives and that is a gift. We appreciate that more because we know.

I'm different now. It's not good nor is it bad. I still don't know why things happened the way they did but I can honestly write that I accept that I will never understand.


 I love my dad and I pray to God that I am making him proud.