Thursday, August 7, 2014

you're allowed to feel all the feels you want to feel

why aren't women allowed to be bitter? sometimes bitter is what you should be feeling.
i find that women are constantly under watch by the emotion police. especially nigerian women. you cannot talk about something your ex did to you without being labelled bitter. you cannot talk about your experiences without some idiot coming out and calling you bitter, telling you that if you'd moved on that you wouldn't still be talking about it.

you also probably shouldn't be around people who ask you how long a friendship/relationship lasted and then use your answer to estimate what you should or should not be feeling. trying to undermine your experiences with the amount of time that person was in your life. no matter how small a time you spent with someone, it doesn't change the fact that love - either romantic or platonic love - changes you in some small or really ridiculously huge way. it doesn't change the fact that this person was in your life for a certain amount of time, it doesn't matter that y'all knew it would end, it doesn't matter that y'all thought it'd last forever, it doesn't matter what the intentions were.
but when love ends, you're allowed to mourn, you're allowed to feel what you're feeling.
if bitter is what you're feeling, you're allowed to be bitter. don't let anyone bully you into pretending that you're not feeling anything. feel what you want to feel. you don't owe anyone any explanation or justification for your feels. feel it and then move on.

also, people need to realise that what you felt when something happened to you doesn't necessary mean that someone else should feel that same way. this is something i struggle with too. i find that sometimes i get over things quite easily, i gangsta through my feelings and move on but i need to realise that just because that is how i process things doesn't mean that that is how someone else should process their feels. let people feel what they are feeling, don't tell them what they should be feeling instead.

you don't always have to be the bigger person, the do-what-is-right person. this right here is something i struggle with sometimes in my life. i find that sometimes i do things because i know it is the right thing to do, not necessarily because i want to do them. this person did this? cut them off. this person said that? let them go. i never allow myself to feel what i'm feeling and accept that i'm human and others are human and sometimes people mess up and sometimes i'm allowed to mess up, and i'm allowed to feel what i feel and sometimes i should do what i want to do not what someone else wants me to feel or act how i think someone else wants me to act. sometimes, i wake up and wonder if i had just gone with what i was feeling if things would be different, instead of going with what i know i should do. i also struggle with advising my friends. i'm working on letting my friends know that they're allowed to do what they want to do, feel what they want to feel. i might think that it's stupid and i might think why don't you just get over it? but i never want anyone to wake up 5 years later and think - maybe if i had made that phone call, maybe if i had reached out. i never want anyone to stifle their emotions in this bid to be the one who moves on the fastest and wake up years later to realise that they have all these issues because they never learnt to feel their emotions and that in a bid to move on so quickly they ended up not resolving why something ended and why they no longer feel the need to feel what they felt.

here ends my rant of the day.
did not proofread.


Thursday, July 17, 2014

Baked eggs [Stay]

"The truth is this:
My love for you is the only empire
I will ever build.

When it falls,
as all empires do,
my career in empire building will be over."
Mindy Nettifee, “This is the Nonsense of Love”
4 eggs
green onions
red onions
3 table spoons of oil
minced garlic
bell peppers

i miss you most when i'm making baked eggs on a perfectly sunny saturday morning while swinging back beer and dancing around my kitchen to Taylor Swift. It hits me in between dicing the onions and convincing myself to use less oil that you are not mine anymore. That i have lost and shed all the skin that you once touched and bore your tongue into. that life has moved on without you. i am not sad anymore. i am not depressed anymore. but the poems all lie. missing someone hits you in between the most mundane tasks.  it happens when you're hands deep in eggs and suddenly the beating eggs sound like the way your heart shivered and stopped the first time he dared reach for you.
I don't know why you left. you found my scars beautiful, worth exploring, you found the possibilities of me endless and then you didn't. isn't that how all love stories end?

cut your green onions, bell peppers, red onions
pour your oil in to your sauce pan
put in your cut red onions when oil is hot, let it fry till translucent
put in tons of minced garlic, bell peppers and green onions, and let it fry for a bit
put in all the spices you're comfortable with (salt, stock cubes, paprika, all spice,ginger powder)
let it simmer for a little bit, then take it off the fire.

i don't know why you came back but at dinner i couldn't stop watching your mouth, the way it broke into nervous laughter, and the way it said my name like it belonged there, tucked in between the pearly gates of your tongue. you reached for me in a barely furnished apartment with your breath tinged with the beer you had been downing all night and you tasted like pain. Body shamed and caving with such desperation, kisses dropping upon the small towns and cities of this map of a body that you've colonised and left, time and time again.
is there a word for the crumbling of a body into submission? is there a word for the colour of red on dark skin? is there a word for two souls disappearing into each other? for 9 months worth of longing taken out on bodies too weak and yet too eager to love? is there a word for being too young to make your body into a mantra for passion?
on days like this, it looks like love. while our bodies are tangled and gasping for air, our hearts turn down the volumes of all the things we've done wrong, of all the ways this is a disaster, of all the ways we will eventually destroy each other. i am not a safe pick, someone should have told you that, i have been patched on and fixed, callouses and bones and flesh and little heart and i am guaranteed to come undone.

preheat your oven to 400 degrees
pour your vegetables into a baking pan you already coated with butter or a non stick spray
beat your eggs
pour your eggs over your vegetables
let it bake till the eggs are done.
sprinkle a little parsley or basil on top

what i know of losing yourself in someone is this-
you will learn to enjoy the pain-
he doesn't mean to make you cry, he was just never taught how to stay
you will not recognise you in the mirror anymore
you will learn to peel off the sadness on days it surfaces unexpectedly
you will look up 9 months later while baking eggs and miss them
and suddenly, you won't know what to do with your hands.


Thursday, June 12, 2014

To a friend, after a heartbreak

“I mean you ask me 

not to fall in love with you 

and then you go write poems
with your tongue 
and draw constellations 

in my freckles.”
Clementine Von Radics

When you tell him that you love him and he hesitates.
Do not make excuses for him. Do not rationalize why he doesn't love you like you do. Do not quote reasons why men can't express their feelings. When he tells you you're too good for him, believe him. When he says that he doesn't want to hurt you, nod. Don't cry. Let him say his piece. Stare at the mole on his face. If you concentrate hard enough your eyes won't betray you. When he says he doesn't want to be with you anymore, nod, walk him to the door, when he asks if you're alright, nod again. When he kisses you goodnight in places where the sun cannot see, let him. Savour it. This is going to be the last time his tongue will sing praises about the beauty you are.
When he finally leaves, collapse on your bed and cry, my friend. Because a love ending, even a one sided love, is reason enough to empty out your soul and weep.

I want to write you something that will heal you and make you forget but you have to go through the mechanics of break up. First you cry, then you call, then you bargain with God, then with him, maybe try fasting, Ramadan is on the way maybe give that a go?
Then your pride will kick in and you will delete his number and block him and just hold him in your memories where the only things you'll remember are the good days - not the day he yelled at you and made you feel unworthy. 
And the rejection will hurt most of all because you're beautiful and giving and amazing and how could he not want you? How could he not want to read the end of this gorgeous piece of literature you are?

Art is subjective, my friend and also he's obviously an idiot. But you are too woman for him. Too giving and loving and too filled with dreams of the future and ambition. You are worthy beyond words to be loved but not by a boy. Not by someone you have to make better, not by a boy who wants to put you through the ringer and then stands on your battered heart to call himself a man.
You deserve to be loved by a flawed man who is willing to compromise and stay and work at it and love you as much as he possibly can.

So cry and cry and cry and then move on to something worthy. Better things will come. Better people will come. And you will be better for it.

So, when you wake up in the middle of the night with an urge to call him, go back to sleep, don't let this undeserving boy be the moon to your ocean tides.


Monday, April 14, 2014

a letter to myself, 6 months ago

You should see yourself this evening. nothing has ever looked better, in your bed, surrounded by pizzas and slinging back a bottle of beer. yes, you acquired the taste. you've settled into its bitter taste and managed to find the sweet in it. you're in your panties and bra in your furniture less apartment laughing hysterically about something you just saw on twitter. your alone has settled into you. you've remastered the act of being alone and now it feels like you're friends with yourself again.
it's spring again and your allergies are not as bad as they were last year and you're reading again and spring feels so good and your legs are out to play again.
it's probably 3am where you are and you're sad again, and you're crying again and you feel like you're never going to be happy again and you miss yourself and you miss the person who left.
love did not come how you expected and it did not stay how you expected. you built an empire in between the shoulders of winter but of course it must fall like all empires do. the summer came around with graduations and job searches and depression and all its southern sun and melted your empires.
i wish you could have seen you today - content, happy, maybe then you would have cried less, danced in your underwear more, enjoyed the drinking instead of using it as a form of escape. i wish you didn't have to turn to the sleeping pills to lure yourself into constant oblivion. i wish you hadn't forgotten how to love yourself when someone else offered to carry that burden. you should have known that no one could love you in the tentative and vain way you were accustomed to. you loved all of you out and ended up empty.
the world is starting to make sense all over again. you're going out more and traveling more and complaining about work and laughing with friends and having inappropriate sexual conversations with girls who helped pull you out of your loneliness. and you're loving the way your skin is finally hugging itself and your mirror tells you you're beautiful over and over again till you start to believe it again and you're having brunch and drinking red wine after midnight with girls who like to hold you and love you and tell you that you're too damn fabulous to be this lost.

this is all to say that
you've found you again
you're living again
and i'm so proud of you.


Friday, March 28, 2014

Fiery Reds

I square danced on your grave tonight.

I remember the first time i saw you. 
You stared at me through out that night without saying a word to me. You spoke to my friends and never directed any of your questions towards me. 
You were so dark and the whites of your teeth when you burst into unexpected laughter always came as a surprise. You had the weirdest eyes, and sometimes i'd forget that i wasn't supposed to be looking into them. 

I went to your wake keeping with lips your tongue once whispered to

I didn't go to your wake. I couldn't go. 
I sat around an hour away and counted reasons why i shouldn't go - 
you didn't belong to me anymore, 
the moments between the corners of september and may were locked away forever, 
i never belonged to you, 
you were terrifying in the way you wanted me, 
i was selfish in the way i didn't want you.

I haven’t cried yet.

you left and a text message announcing your leaving was all i had, and not even from you. i couldn't stop crying for a week. i gave myself a week to mourn you. you wouldn't have liked all the crying, you hated people being sad around you. 
You thought you could fix the world...
You thought you could fix me if you tried hard enough, if you begged hard enough, You thought you could mold me back into happiness if I'd just let you try but your hands were full of sin, young man.

bon voyage, mon chéri homme français

I hope you have a quarter for the boat man.


Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Everything i know about heartbreak, I learnt from Houston.

"i won't glorify or romanticise
for me it was a kind of death
and i was forced to keep living"
   - Warsan Shire

You should fall in love in Houston, definitely not forever, but at least once. Houston will enthusiastically and expensively romance you with all its oil money and terrible traffic and never ending roads and suburbs and streets. There are never ending hidden alley ways where you can park at 2 in the morning and awkwardly reach for your lover in between arguments and lies and more lies and kiss already swollen lips until you find the truth in them. But you have to do it right, you have to fall in love with a man who will dance for you in the middle of the street under street lights right in the middle of the city's center and tell you stories of the military and love and soldiers who weren't always soldiers. it's difficult to determine what to do with this much sadness and pain, this city is drenched in it, it will slowly seep into you and the man who dances for you under the stars. the man who has a laughter that sounds like musical notes suspended on oceans that dragged you away from everything that looks like you and wants you.

You should fall in love in Houston with a man who loves the idea of you. Who wants you to shrink for him, to talk less, argue less, be less you, be smaller, fit in his palm. A man who wants you learn his language and paints the tones into your skin every night. Shut up more, listen to him more, you don't always have to have an opinion and you try. you try to be less aggressive, you try the submissive thing, you read proverbs 31 over and over and over again until you can quote the words in your head as you count to 10 and bite your tongue. you become familiar with the way your blood taste on tongues that have been bitten for so long. you wake up one day and find yourself shriveled, and unrecognizable but you love him so you stay and you fast and you beg God and you wonder what you're going to do if he leaves. Begging becomes your way of life, you spend hours in tears begging him to stay. you rationalise why you stay, why you deserve the pain, you think of all the ways he's convinced you that you're not worthy and you believe them and you tried didn't you?

You should fall in love in Houston with a man who doesn't know how to stay. He will leave. that's all he knows how to do. You should spend your time in bed crying. let no one tell you different. crying is exactly what you should be doing. Some days the pain feels like it's never going to end, but you should wake up and walk to your favourite brunch place and sit there alone and read "Winter's Tale", over and over and over again till you know all the nooks and crannies of New York city without ever having been there. You should call him and beg some more, you should write him emails and poems until you've run out of things to say and then one day, stop calling him. stop writing him poems that he'll never get to see. stop writing chapters about him when you're only but one sentence in his book. dance naked in your bathroom more, smile silently to yourself at dirty jokes. you should giggle more often because you like to and he's no longer there to tell you that giggling is for immature young girls. you're immature and young and sad but giggle anyway because you want to and because there's no one here to tell you that you can't. Laugh in the dark at how beautiful and amazing and fucking worthy you are.

You should acknowledge that you probably did some things you shouldn't have in this love story, you should read it over and over again till you recognise those things and try to be better. then fall in love again with a man who thinks you're worthy of his love and do better, be better, be worthy.


Friday, October 25, 2013

Enjoy your twenties: A Plea

I think everyone should enjoy their twenties. this is the golden age. you're going to learn more in your twenties than any other decade in your life. i have learnt more in this second year of this decade than i have learnt my entire life. my views have been shaped and changed and shaped and changed again, i've gone through experiences that i never thought i'd go through, i've loved, i've cried more in my twenties than my entire years on earth and this is frankly not an exaggeration.

but that's the best thing about your twenties. you're old enough to be taken seriously, to be considered an adult, to drink, but you're also young enough for your mistakes to be forgiven, to be given a get out of jail free card. you're young enough to love and fail and get up again and throw yourself right back into love, you're young enough to be rejected and to reject, to give your heart and have it rejected, but you're still young enough to heal from the callouses that your heart will inflict on you.

you should have fun in your twenties, you should dance in the rain and get drunk and dance with strangers at a bar at one in the morning and kiss that cute boy across the hall from you because you want to, you should go bar hopping because soon you'll be fourty and you'll be that old woman in the club that you and your friends sneer at now.

you should stay indoors and drink your corona and get drunk within the corners of your bed and read books that will take you to nigeria and accra and take a walk through italy and france and through the streets of london. you should make that recipe in that cook book that you bought swearing you'd cook through it once you got your own place and your own money.

you should fall in love. lots of times or not at all or once. when you get your heartbroken you should ball up in bed and cry and feel your heart literally break and cry and cry and cry and drink and pray and drink and call him a million times and beg and cry and repeat until you feel better, until you can get up and make breakfast and order yourself flowers even though you hate them, until you delete his number and smile at your friends and fall into the arms of another, until you can get up and travel to that city that he kept promising he'd take you to that he never did, until you can get up and finally join the rest of the world.

you should go to brunch. all the time. brunch is the new breakfast. everyone is doing it. why eat at 9 when you can eat at 11 or 12 and call it brunch? plus it's acceptable to drink during brunch, i know!! you should totally brunch.

you should find something you like and make a dedicated hobby out of it. you should find something you hate and make money from it. if you find something you like that you can make money from...well, you're one of the lucky ones and you should stick to it. it's your twenties, you don't have kids, work hard. get up in the morning and work hard, kiss all the arse you have to, meet all the people you have to. work hard. stay on that grind and save! save! save! save for the days when you've had enough of that shitty job and just want to quit. save for the unexpected events. practice your poker face every morning before you leave for work. smile often. complain when you need to. i don't care that there are hungry kids in africa...well, i do but this is not a suffering olympics, complain if it'll make you feel better then shut up and figure out a way to make it all better.

there will never be a decade like this one. there will never be a decade with this many opportunities and this many love stories. there will never be a decade like your twenties. so please, please make the best of it and above all, enjoy it and learn and learn and toss down a shot every chance you get, you'll need it.