Thursday, October 31, 2013

This Isn't Going To Work Because I Don't Like You

You know when you meet someone and at first it's all good? 

You like the way he looks, he's funny, he gets your funny. He's smart, he's got dimples. Then as you're getting to know the person via BBWhatMessengerChat, you realize you guys just don't gel?

Sure, he's not a raging homophobe (true story), or into beastiality (sigh... true story). Those are obvious deal breakers, right? 


Maybe he says something you find incredibly annoying (like "that's wassup" in an un-ironic way) or has John Mayer as his profile pic on Facebook (true story and as confusing as ever). Maybe he's a "drill baby drill" kind of guy while you're a granola muncher. Maybe he calls you "sweet baby love" (ew).

The question is, does one overlook the annoying but not awful habit? Does not overlooking said habit make someone a picky bitch?

These are the questions I have to ask myself now. Because my age and ringless fingers are alarming my relatives.

While I'm sure single men of a certain age get hounded as well, being a single woman in her twenties in Nigeria is akin to being an alcoholic. Get ready for conversations to start with "I'm worried about you", prayer circles in your honor and interventions (fo' real).

Nevermind that you graduated with honors, are the youngest exec at the company you work for, just climbed Mt. Kilamanjo. You have not wedded so you have not been bedded (because we're all virgins until our wedding night, right ladies) so you have not shot a baby out of your vagina.

It ALWAYS comes back to babies.

Long story short, I am being introduced to every man with a pulse that is Yoruba (my family's a bunch of tribalists).

I was set up on a blind date by my mother and uncle. It was awkward. It was the worst. A pap smear would have been preferable. The prospect of another blind date is enough to make the pickiest girl reconsider some old prospects, John Mayer profile pic and all. 

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

When Being Kind Is Not Okay

I went to a high school that had signouts (think slam books meet yearbooks).

In my signout, almost everyone who wrote in it commented on how nice I was. They encouraged me to never change, remain "sweet and kind".

Kindness was my identifier. I happily claimed it and still do.

So don't take my recent post encouraging everyone to be a 'selfish asshole' as a war on human decency. I think the best decision I make every day is to be kind.

I'm about that 'love thy neighbor as thyself' life.

It's just that... recently I've begun to realize that being nice all the time is one of my biggest flaws.

I recently found myself in a situation where I had to say 'no' to someone. It doesn't matter who it was for, what it was, how I said it. Those are details. What's interesting is what happened later.

I was depressed. I'm talking a loss of appetite, lack of motivation to do anything, fatigue, a general funky mood.

It wasn't that I was sad I said 'no'. I'm confident that I did the right thing. It's the fact that I put myself in a position where I was not the 'nice one' that's bothering me so much. I, Juwon Ajayi, was not accommodating.

The thought that saying 'no' meant there was a person out there that may not like me really upset me.

That's just not okay.

I love the saying "don't mistake my kindness for weakness". I've used it a lot in the past. But seeking the approval of others is weak. Bending backwards so people are pleased with you is weak. Inconveniencing yourself so that people are always happy with you is just stupid.

I'm writing these words and I'm still struggling to understand that it's okay for me to say no. I don't have to win "Miss Congeniality". I don't have to be liked by everyone.

Why is it so important for people, especially women, to seek the approval of others? Were we just raised to be docile and amicable?

It kills me that I am so invested in others' opinions of me. I wish that weren't the case. It is something I am actively going to work on.

If you willingly allow people to walk all over you, then tell yourself "it's the Christian thing to do", are you really living an admirable life?

Thursday, October 24, 2013

An Argument For Being A Selfish Asshole

So I read this post (click here) by Jillian Harris.

She makes some great points on why being single doesn't suck. I'm here to vouch for point No.5

For the first time in my life, I went on vacation.  I've travelled a lot with my family and by myself. When I lived in the states, I flew to Nigeria a lot to visit my folks. Now that I live in Nigeria, I've travelled to the states twice.

Those trips don't count.

There was a trip to LA a few years ago to visit one of my best friends (click here). While I had a blast, that trip doesn't really count either since I was too broke to do much.

This is the first time I've had enough money to save. It's the first time I saved with the sole intention of spending it on myself. It was awesome.

In my opinion, women often feel the need to prepare for life as a wife and mother once they reach their 20s. I can't tell you how many variations of this statement I've heard over the years "you should learn how to make ogbono soup so when you get married your husband will be pleased" and "you need to change *** because men like women that ***".

We're expected to get serious, start looking, start planning, stop playing, start dressing a certain way, attract the nice guy, the right guy, the rich guy.

I'm here to challenge ladies not to do any of that stuff.

If you're in your late twenties and unattached like me, I beg you to think about what that means. You. Are. Free.

You may not be a baller but you have a job, right? Sure, there are bills to pay and family stuff to help out with but besides that, your money is yours. Go on a trip! Go and get something for yourself! Treat yo self!

I went on vacation and I let myself spend money on things I wanted: the gondola ride at the Venetian in Vegas and the nice hotel room in Dubai. I bought the shoes I've been obsessing about for months... and a few more pairs just because I liked them. I did all this without feeling guilty. I work hard for what I make and I don't see men my age conflicted over how they spend their money because of  the families they don't have yet.

It dawned on me a while ago that while I may not be able to do selfish things like this forever, I can now and I deserve to so I should.

I want to have kids one day and  eventually, I'll need to save for a house and start planning for a family of my own.

But that time has not come.

So instead of moping about "being alone", be alone, happily.

I plan to. In Antigua. And London. And Canada too if I can wing it.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Tuesday, October 22, 2013


I read an awesome and way too short Lainey interview (click here) a while back and in it, she answered Madonna when asked who her idol was growing up.

That got me to thinking: who was my idol when I was a kid/pre-teen?

I couldn't think of anyone, guys.

Ask me who my crush was back then and Leonardo DiCaprio comes to mind immediately (preferably as Romeo but I was an equal opportunity Leophile).

Back then I never really had posters up in my room or obsessed over getting my hair to look exactly like a certain star's or anything like that. I blame this on the absence of cable television in our house.

I also think I was much more interested in characters than the people playing them when I was a child.

For example, if I was asked which fictional heroines I looked up to when I was younger I could immediately tell you: Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Hands down. No competition. At all.

Ask me what I thought of Sarah Michelle Gellar and I wouldn't have much to say on that front because I just didn't care.

Am I alone in this? Who did you guys look up to growing up?

I sometimes wonder how social media is going to affect kids and the idol culture. I think our society's fascination with celebrity has heightened to the point where people are more interested in Nina Dobrev than they are in Elena Gilbert.

Speaking of idols, Lainey aka "my everything", posted a birthday shout-out after I wrote her an email like the giant fan-girl I am. 

I guess we never grow out of it, huh?

I requested pics of some of my favorite pop culture heroines and she obliged. She also wrote some really nice things that made my day. Check it out here.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Best. Summer. EVER.

Okay, I know summer has been over for a few months now and we're fist-deep in Fall right now.

Is anyone really surprised that it's taken me this long to update? I am the worst blogger on the planet, possibly the universe.

But I'm back now and that's all that matters. So much has happened since I last posted, I don't even know where to start.

I traveled. A lot. I visited family in Connecticut, New York and Orlando. I went on a girls trip to Las Vegas. On our way back to Nigeria, Mom and I spent an epic day in Dubai.

It's been great so far.

I got back to Nigeria in July and I realized how screwed I was. My summer vacation was over but I wasn't ready to say goodbye to airports and different time zones.

I had the traveling bug.

My inner-explorer had awakened and I was nowhere near done seeing and experiencing the world around me. So I went to Abuja to visit one of my best friends. And earlier this month, I went to Antigua to visit another one of my best friends.

It's been an amazing 6 months and I am so grateful that I had the opportunity to see what I've seen. Now I'm back in Nigeria for a while which is nice. I missed my mom and the routine of my life as a settler. The nomad lifestyle is fun but if you're an unfocused hot mess like me, it can be hard to get stuff done without the lists and rituals. It's also really easy to go broke fast when you're buying plane tickets all the time.

I would be lying if I said I was completely done with cool trips to different places. I am mentally planning a trip to Europe next summer. I just haven't figured out how this is going to happen without me robbing a bank.

I'm home now, still working on the book that I can't really talk about and something else that I can't talk about yet.

There are a lot of changes going on right now which is scary but that's been the story of my life for a while.

I'mma just go with it.