Wednesday, 8 September 2010

On the road to perfection..

Male/female/in-between, everyone inclusive; we all seek to be the most perfect version/s of ourselves that we can muster up in any and every way possible. In all facets of life we all seek to present the most streamline, close-as-possible to perfect copy we can. Looks, careers, partners, achievements, friends....or to put that in a more accurate, albeit, less concise manner, the "company" we choose to keep. Our reputations, the things we own, our "p", our "swag"...whatever you wish to call it.
We are in a constant process of engineering, re-engineering, constructing, demolishing, "putting out there", taking back or should I say viciously stamping out things we feel we should be known for and things we wish never ever to be associated with us/our pasts (respectively). I was going to be crass and label all these activities "bullshit" and generally be my normal judgmental self lol....what can I say, it comes easily to me maybe because I know what I am and how that differs from what I would imagine to be the most perfect print-out of myself. Lol forgive my metaphors that remind you of being in an office btw.... bear with me, my mind is consumed by work-related things, I cannot shake it off!!!
Back to my perfect-talk, I could just stop generalising right now and say "I do this and I do that, shame on me, I'm a bad person and a freak.... but I'm not going to be that big-headed and think that I am the only one out there who wants to be the best version of themselves that they can be, the only one who wants to fulfill whatever expectations and hopes their loved ones and families have for them....I can't be the only one who sometimes feels like their best might have let them down just a little bit that one time..... (and those other times too). I thank God that is true though, I get happy when I see someone genuinely being hard on themselves for something that they tried and didn't do as well as they thought they would, because it makes me feel like I'm not alone in that feeling....I could have been better but I didn't quite make it... but I know next time I get the chance, I will grab it with both hands (have you seen my arms?) and I am not letting it go without a full-on struggle.
Now, you see what happens when I personalize what I'm talking about? lol....I get scary. But really though, it all depends on the reasoning behind the 'wanting to be perfect' I mean not all forms of being hard on yourself make me feel warm and fuzzy inside, damn sometimes, I get the chills listening to a person going on about how they could have got something or done something (notice how in both cases, the word "something" can be replaced with the word "someone") if only they had twisted this lie a little bit more than they already did.... sometimes I marvel at the lengths we go to to obscure the real picture of what we are. I mean yesterday I just thought back to something I saw some days ago (yes, sometimes it takes me days or even weeks (literally) to think about things) and I was like wow! I mean, you live with someone (you are a girl and the someone is a boy) and they do not know that you have facial hair and hairy legs??? Come on...I mean no one should go around shouting I have a 'tache and beard or my legs are bla bla bla because we all know if he had seen you that way and by "that way" I mean not perfect the first time he met you, you may not be living together now. But still, I mean is it a bit extreme or is it me that everytime you need to do a little bit of grooming, you would have to run somewhere and hide to pluck your facial hair out of your chin, neck, wherever else?
Well to be honest if people were not so shallow, we wouldn't have to be so extreme about things and by "people" I mean guys. A guy can swear he loves you and you are beautiful, but just ask him one time honestly honestly does he prefer your face with or without make-up or your hair with or without extensions and if he is honest, his answer will probably be along the "I like the more enhanced you" line. So really, its just a matter of give and take, not saying families and loved ones are always hard on each other, but most of the kids I went to school with who used to get suicidal over missing out on two marks in a test or whatever would always do that because either:(a) their older sibling always got full marks
(b) their mummy/daddy would beat them
(c) their lesson teacher would beat them
(d) they were really crying out of relief but just pretending so they could feel smart and act like they were not happy they got okay/good marks. Idiots.
One time I did cry over a mark I got though, it was French and it was in SS1 or 2, I don't know what made me so angry, I mean I used the French class mainly as art class or catching-up time. The French teacher's trousers are something I will never-in-my-life forget I mean I stared at those things so much, almost ten years after, I remember every detail, and please you cannot concentrate so much on an item of clothing or anything in so much detail and expect to be listening to the words coming out of the wearer's mouth. So yeah I think I got like 48 percent and I just needed to get a pass so at least I wouldn't have any "red biro" in my little report book thingy....ah well I saw it and I cried hot tears because all I wanted for once was my new page in the book to be written in all blue ink, so as my mum opened it, she would involuntarily scan and then at the end of her first glance at my continuous assessment results, she would look up with a smile before she looked back down at it to read the comments and then at the end of the ordeal she would put it down and tell me I did a good job, but I should work harder at Maths.
But yeah, it just seems like a little bit of self-expectation is healthy, I don't know if that is already an established term, but what I mean by it is expectations we set ourselves for ourselves. Things we want to do as impeccably as we can so we can look back and say "yes, I did that", "that was all me", and "no, no-one will ever know why it makes me so happy/proud that I did that". Because anything we do to please other people will please those people for a minute or two and it is forgotten, it is in our nature we will forget and if we don't forget, we will pick holes and criticise and be cynical about it. That's just how it is.
So yeah...... no worries if your best wasn't the best that one time, there is still something else, another time, the next time even for you to do just what you want to do, the way you want to do it.....and I bet the next time you get a shot at doing it, the memory of how you felt when you did it imperfectly will be the best teacher for this opportunity.
When we accept that perfection is a long, long, looooong-ass way off, we tend to do things the best way we can and that my friends, is as close to perfect as we can possibly get.

Grace and love, me.x

Monday, 31 May 2010

....Times They Are a-Changing

Sometimes it just gets too much.. come on! I wonder how we all manage, I mean those of us who actually have real important things to do, not including time spent sitting on the computer and chatting rubbish like....mmm now but actual important stuff to do with studies, work, family and real-life generally.

Now, I find I have less time to sit around and be a bum, when did that happen?!!! I remember those endless days spent sitting and thinking about what I'd be like as a grown up, thinking about when I could go out without asking permission, now, sometimes all I want is for someone else to be in charge, so that if I'm late, or I mess up and forget to do something, or I do something and it doesn't go as planned, I can shrug and say it wasn't my fault. It wasn't me. She told me to do it.

Now if its not studying for an exam its writing an endless paper, if its not that then its endless errands and filling endless forms and interviews. Sigh. As I go on about this, the word "endless" keeps coming up and its funny... when I decided to visit my dear old notepad on the internet, I wanted to write about how time flies. Things sure seem long, till they come to an abrupt end, that is. No matter how slowly events unfold, how much warning we have, how many times we've been made aware and reminded that nothing lasts forever, things just go on forever --when they are actually happening. So much so, that we actually totally forget that noooooo condition, no matter how real and everlasting it seems at that moment is permanent. Whether good or bad, short or long....unnervingly brief or painfully drawn out, time (on the whole) is nothing but fleeting.

Its positively crazy, the way everything does come to an end, that's not just a tired cliche, not just some thing that you hear and should discard from all thoughts and contemplation. I know if I have this at the back of my mind all the time, a lot of things would be different. You know the difference between those people who have had a near-death experience and those of us- normal folk with no such experiences. We normal folk find it ever- sooooo easy to find faults in everything, get exasperated and say how bored we are, flare up over the most trivial of things, keep bitter malice for ages because we don't think twice about it.... and well, to be fair, there's no real reason to.... or so it seems.

On the other hand, those who (literally) have had the shock of their lives, and feel lucky to be here, have you ever seen how they walk down the road singing and doing a little jig to whatever they are listening to on their ipods, they will dance at any given opportunity, laugh like they are crazy over the most inappropriate jokes because they find them genuinely hilarious and can't be bothered to hold it in, they tell you without hesitation when you annoy them because they can't be bothered to harbour anything and burden their minds with that rubbish, they just appreciate and express more, and they do what they damn-well like.

I don't want the life-threatening experience ohhhhh, but Lord do I want the calmness and serenity that these people have, the self-acceptance and the mindfulness to do everything that needs to be done with a smile on my face, no time for whining or bitching because all that does is slow me down and break my focus. With age comes maturity, with maturity comes responsibility, the times they are a-changing and there's not a lot of it to waste, but there is a lot to be done, a lot we have to make happen while we are here, we might as well do them time for time-wasting. Time-wasting and time-wating activities are the devillllll...ok I'll calm down and take a breather.

THAT IS ALL for now. Off to the shops, hope they haven't closed, bank holiday, I'm sure the lazy buggers will want to rush home, I've got to rush rush rush.

Sunday, 9 May 2010


Looking back on lazy days..

As with everyone else, at every stage in life I find myself in, its always a case of, wow, I'm -- years old now, I'm so big/grown up/young (that's the order in which I referred to my stages of development at the respective stages). Before I got "big" i.e. 10 years of age my life revolved around walking to and from school (accompanied of course, very much to my dislike *grrr*) , reading books, re-reading them, reading the labels of anything and everything in the house and trying on whatever outfits and accessories I could get my hands on. At that stage I already felt like I was old enough to do stuff and go out on my own and I wanted to travel on my own to places like Egypt and cartoon-land lol sigh. If i could talk to my pre-10 self, I would tell her:

Don't be scared of the dark, enjoy your books, and the lady has to take you to school and pick you up in the afternoon, stop getting so angry about things you cannot control.

After I passed the great 10 years of age mark, I first of all changed schools just before I got into secondary school, so yeah, new school, new uniform, new friends, no more walking to school, being escorted by an armed officer (pretty cool) couldn't complain, rather, this new form of being ushered to school was very much embraced lol. Not for any other reason than, it was cool to have someone bring me lunch every afternoon from Mr. Biggs loool and wait till I was done to take me home. I made new friends, immediately went into the more chilled and laid back class (the other class had this mean lady who used to either threaten or beat you, I don't know which but I thanked my God the girls in the chilled-out class rushed me into theirs on my first day). I'm sure Mrs B. wasn't that bad, actually I found out she was cool later on and maybe the lovely girls with smiley faces were the ones I should have been scared of but yeah, it was all good. And to you, the stupid bespectacled prefect or head girl who came to attack me on my first day and told me in the bitchiest way possible that my shoes were the wrong colour (little Bunmi thinks: you dead dog, my new school shoes are being purchased as we speak hissss with your freaky legs) I still see you around, and I will never forgive you for doing that, butt-face. If I could talk to myself at the beginning of what was a very lively and utterly heartbreaking (at the time) period, I would tell myself:

Don't feel bad for anything you cannot help, whether it's winning every dancing competition at every party, whether it is "coming between" two best friends whose hobbies are already to bitch about each other to you till they run out of breath, they are not friends anyway. Don't feel weird that you don't like the heart throb of the class, he isn't that special, and you are not strange for not liking him, its okay to prefer the more quiet and cute boys, they are more special anyway. Oh and one last thing, only slap when its necessary and babygirl, if you are going to slap, SLAP HARDER!

Okay so leaving my new friends, time to go to secondary school, there was a big fight and we never spoke again *sigh* but before then, I cultivated the habit of organising how-do-i-say.... social events lolol, mine was the first party that boys and girls danced properly, like no dancing competition and all that crap, and then in the first days of secondary school, a big group of us just sort of gelled and became what was known as *the bubblers*, we had some extra friends who maybe were not friends with all but only some of us, but yeah we were one big happy family. I'm not going to go into this stage too much apart from saying that we as a group were accused of everything from lesbianism to cultism and carrying out devilish rituals lol, at the time it was quite stressful but looking back it is hilarious at the thought of someone accusing me and my 11 year old friends of being gangsters, prostitutes and cultists :D looool oh my. I would tell my innocent fun-loving pre-teen self:

Continue to have all the fun you want, continue to show that gossip and lies are for people who have nothing good going on in their lives and do not give that stupid "school mother" half or even any of your pocket money EVER, to some people, the truth is not normal. Oh and sitting on a girl's laps doesn't make you a lesbian.....relax, that teacher is a maniac (apparently her daughter used to smell/pee on the bed/was a kleptomaniac) you get the picture.

Too much nostalgia for one sitting.....*sigh*

Friday, 23 April 2010

Get familiar...

Nigerian music yesterday lost a diamond in the rough....a diamond nevertheless... DaGrin aka Lyrical Were aka C.E.O the Chief Executive Omoita. The artist who changed Yoruba rap for most people... it was a love affair cut short in those first days, that stage of crazy, hot infatuation for the newly budding naija music fans and for the old die-hard fans alike. Whichever group you fall in, I'm sure you'll agree, you could not help but love him because he flowed seamlessly and made you dance sometimes, made you nod your head, made you laugh sometimes and made you marvel at the way he tied Yoruba and hip-hop so well and made it sometimes sound like it couldn't possibly be all Yoruba or most of the time, just him. Like no one we had heard before. I remember a friend of mine saying after listening to track 3. on the C.E.O album Pon Pon Pon- that he sounds somewhat like a 50 Cent fan (putting it lightly)....I did/do not know how he meant this but I took it to mean that DaGrin had successfully taken Yoruba rap and made it into world-class hip-hop... (well I always do that when people give their opinions on Nigerian songs and music in general).
I take such comments and break them down, he might have meant it sounded like a copy, but the fact that that was all he could say, he did not have any complaints on the flow, he still nodded his head in time to the song and all the others on the album (which I had constantly on repeat last year). That in itself made me happy, and proud of DaGrin, he actually was quite amazing.

But now he's gone, no lamentations, no questions, he's gone. And that is all we will hear from him...all the music DaGrin was destined to make has been made and that is all....that is actually what gets me the most. The fact that he was a young man, a talented one at that, with family and friends and fans and people who he did not know and who did not know him personally are all just extra facts which break my heart more and more when I think about it. But that is all, that's it. God called on him and he's left.

What we (non-family, non-friends) have left of him is his music, his albums his videos and just generally all he put out and was involved in. Now, on twitter last night, it was disturbing to me that about 3 out of 5 comments concerning Dagrin read "I loved kondo", "kondo was my song last holiday" like dudes, how can I take you seriously if you so readily and openly grieve an artist whose album had back to back works of art and the most noisy but (very danceable) track is the one mentioned again and again. I know I am extreme and maybe coarse, but I do not believe you should dramatise a death so much because to me it just makes it common and quickly forgotten. That is why when people die, they don't say a minute of screaming and convulsing but a minute of *silence*. It is respect.

I hope we all can seek solace in the fact that he is in a better place now, he is not suffering, he is with the God he often praised and thanked and gave glory to in his songs. It is well.

Also I also *reeeeealllyyy* hope what we take away from this loss is the fact that our music is ours, if we do not love it, no one will come and love it for us. We should not need the BBC to show us the quality of artistry we have in our country for us to be prompted to openly declare we love it enough to BUY it or listen to it.

Support others like DaGrin, the people who put our country and our culture into musical notes and onto our screens, they make it what we shake our booties to, what we lie back and breathe to, sometimes what we drive and sing along to and if you are like me, WHAT YOU DANCE TILL YOU CAN DANCE NO MORE TO (all in the confines of you sitting room, kitchen, bathroom and in front of any and every mirror). Maybe even what we make love to and what we sing in the shower, we should love it regardless, because it is good. Art is not limited but who knows what might happen today or tomorrow, lets appreciate what we have RIGHT NOW because we are not sure of any other time but now.

RIP DaGrin.

Monday, 19 April 2010

Where do we draw the line? Shabby but happy.

Where do we draw the line between the outside world and our internal being? I often wonder why I let things get to me the way they do and to the extent to which they do. Ever since I can remember, I have been a people's person and more or less very easy to get along with. On the flip side, I am extremely easy to sadden, annoy or generally just get cross and I am very perceptive to the feelings of others... this means that if a person just happens to let one snide remark or a sarcastic or cruel statement get past their lips, heck even an evil thought (to me) sometimes and I find myself closing them off, I can get angry or sad (mostly angry), not because of what someone has said but what I know they are feeling and why ( I may be wrong, but I like to think I'm right all the time :~) they are feeling sarcastic, mean, hurtful or just plain annoying at that point in time.

Being able to maintain that line between my own feelings and those of the outside factors is something I want desperately to be able to do. Being a warm person, someone people immediately feel they can relate to no matter how different you may be from them is something which is priceless, not having to consciously feel the need to hammer down any barriers to become friendly with people is invaluable because sometimes that awkward "please can we be friends" stage is just cringeworthy. Being "nice" is all well and good but what good does it do when all you project to others is: "I am trying my best to be nice so that hopefully, we can be friends and tell each other our secrets and have slumber parties and dress the same and grow up and be each others bridesmaids and god-parents to each others babies....eventually, hopefully"

That's right.... its really really cringeworthy and pretty damn scary too. No one wants to be trapped into friendship or love because they have no choice! I know I certainly don't and whenever I do get the feeling that I am being slowly hooked and reeled in to such situations, I cannot help it but my natural response is to run for the hills. Because anything remotely phony scares me witless. I cannot be at ease with a person, when I cannot read past a fixed plastic smile and eyes that are eerily watching every move I make undoubtedly for future stories to be told or maybe to be recorded somewhere in our "friendship file" in the person's "friendship cabinet" in their brain.

My views I know may come across as extreme but I am convinced some of us feel the need to act this way in order to be liked, or in order to put forward the "best version of themselves" that they can muster up. I guess some of us are just more ambitious than others. I say that because, I for one know I am not, can not and certainly will not EVER be anything even close to perfect. I have known that forever and I am very okay with the thought of just being shabby old me. In fact I love my shabby self, and I like other people who are shabby like me, people who are at ease with their own unique version of shabbiness- and these people's happiness with their shabbiness shines through and acts like a magnet to me. I cannot help but be attracted to these shabby souls like myself because I feel that we are different but on the inside, we are more similar than we are different. I am comfortable with being friendly and open with such people because inside me, I know that they probably do not hate me for being at ease with myself.

The other kind who do all the right things, say the right things, act like they are your guardian angels (even though you probably just met them less than two weeks ago) and constantly reassure you of their undying friendship and the quality of friendship you and them share are the ones who unfortunately just make me sometimes wish I could stop that dreaded *line* which eventually morphs into a 60 ft wall made of cast iron and which sometimes I would love to but cannot even attempt to break down and start again. Because these "perfect" friends are the ones who you find out tell your secrets for fun, they are the ones who let the hurtful comments slip out before they can help themselves, they are the ones who make it clear to you their insecurities and the things they would love you to be sensitive about but they steam roll through your feelings about the most sore topics they know you feel the most sensitive about, just so they can see your reaction, they love to see you at your weakest so they can for once feel bigger and better than you...

Do not despise the shabby ones for being at ease with their shabby selves, work on you first, and in return maybe others will truly love you... better still you just might love you too.

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Young man.

Today, nothing will consciously be taken for granted.... antithetical or what. I'm sure he thinks so too...