DONT BE TOO OLD TO BE A CHILD.

On Sunday, while listening to the word of God, a pretty little girl walked passed me. She didn’t care who was looking at her or who wasn’t. She didn’t care about how she was walking or if she was distracting anybody lol. She probably just wanted to go meet her mum or go ease herself (I know not).

The point of what I am writing is some grownups have forgotten how to be children. They have forgotten how to relax and let go and just enjoy life. They are carrying so many burdens that it weighs them down terribly. They have forgotten how to play and laugh and smile genuinely. They have forgotten how to want something. They have forgotten how to live and enjoy. Well, I consider this very sad.

As much as we have to work to eat, we have to work to get money and as life is, it will present challenges on a day to day basis. But don’t be too old or too serious to become a child once in a while. Don’t be too weighed down to share a joke and laugh.

Be a child once in a while, the innoncence, the purity, the joy, the happiness, the true laughter. Embrace all of it.

Point is, remember once in a while to be a child.

Afoma.

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The Valedictorian Speech

See me in this picture? I was at my graduation ceremony, so so year (Dont worry, its not so far back lol). Well, I don’t know if you all can tell but I was really pissed, I could have exploded into a million bits there because of how angry I was. I was in no celebratory mood. I knew this was going to happen so I initially didn’t want to be in attendance. J obviously changed my mind lol.

So you know how at every ceremony like this, there are rewards for academic excellence and the like. I am intelligent and I know this and at that particular school, we had quite a number of hot brains so you can imagine how tough the competition was. The competition is always stiff lol. Well, term examinations and then mock examinations and the Senior School Exam. In all of these, I had splendid results but someone was always at the top of it all no matter how hard we tried. It alternated a bit maybe but well it was there. We all knew who was going to be valedictorian and as friends we were happy for her. The percentage difference wasn’t wide to show that we were all up to the task. Well I received no single award on that day and at some point, I was willing to be called up for “most well behaved student”. I was willing to settle for that or anything. It was so annoying, so sad and devastating. I was so angry that day. Angry at myself because I felt I could have done more. I think majority of the anger was channelled to me and minority was channelled to stupid thoughts lol.

Well, I was so angry that I failed to cherish the small successes along the way that led me up to that point. I was so angry that I forgot to celebrate the reason I was in that room in the first place. I felt so embarrassed, I thought if I was to feel happy then I would have been stupid. I was so angry I didn’t take so much pictures as I had wished and I didn’t get a do over ceremony lol. At that point, I just wanted to leave and feel sorry for myself. Poor me.

Trust me that feeling of being called out as the overall best is the best feeling of all. I felt that in junior secondary school downwards and as those classes seems irrelevant when compared to the senior classes, it meant a whole lot to be recognized as the best. That feeling is awesome. The feeling of winning in such a stiff competition of equally bright candidates is superb. And as someone that has felt it, I could understand why I was so hurt.

So you should also trust me when I say, there is more to that feeling. Trust me when I say that feeling isn’t everything (again its pretty awesome and I would always work to remain the best at everything). I would always do my best, put my best foot forward and work my ass off! So Im in no way saying that its okay to let someone else keep outshining you. This life is to shine, be outshined and reshine lol.
There is more to that feeling. Celebrate the little successes on your journey and celebrate every step up that ladder. I have learnt this. Im a medical student and I celebrate myself every single day. Moving from one level to the next is worth the celebration, passing an exam is worth the celebration. I had a 51 in an anatomy exam once, 50 being the pass mark. This is nowhere near where I want to be( I have made significant progress since then), but I was happy I passed. I wasn’t comfortable at 51, I knew I could do more so I went on and did more but I still celebrated myself. ‘Like so, next level?’

I was going through my gallery and I saw this picture and I decided to drop this here. Hope it blesses someone. Don’t forget to celebrate yourself and be thankful to God. Each time you aren’t satisfied, go back and re strategise and don’t ever settle for less. Don’t stop till you reach your goal, till you feel fulfilled, not till everyone else thinks you are fulfilled but till YOU feel fulfilled.

Bless up.

Afoma.

THE JOURNEY TO EASTER

During lent, we read passages on the crucifixion and death of Our Lord Jesus Christ. The journey He took and the roles of different people in this journey and most times after reading these passages, we feel bad. We might even feel just a little bit of the pain He felt or we might cry a whole lot or we feel gratitude for this act of love.

Today, I want us to place ourselves in the journey. By this I mean replace key people in the story with ourselves and answer the questions.

Judas Iscariot, do we betray people? Do we betray ourselves? Do we betray Jesus?
Peter, who cut the guards ear, are we quick to protect what we believe in?
The chief priests and Pharisees, how do we act when we see someone doing good or when we see someone flourishing? Are we filled with envy or are we grateful to God for them?
Pilate, do we trade upholding the truth and standing on the side of God for power, respect and honour that we get from fellow human beings?

Peter, who denied Jesus, do we deny Jesus? Do we deny people their due rights? Do we deny workers their due pay? Do we deny the less privileged?
Mary the Mother of Jesus and the disciple whom Jesus loved who stood till the very end, where will we be when Jesus comes, would we have fallen?
Mary of Magdala, who wiped the bloody face of Jesus, do we offer help to people in need? Do we show compassion or are we less concerned?

Jesus Christ, the Master who took up the cross despite knowing what it would entail, do we carry our cross?
Jesus Christ, who fell down three times and got up three times, do we get up after we fall or do we remain down there?

Let us ponder on these everyday and not just during lent.

Have you heard the good news, the tomb is empty, JESUS LIVES!
HAPPY EASTER FROM ALL OF US AT INSPIRED PENS. Let us celebrate Jesus, the risen Lord.
He got up for you and I.

JUST DO IT

This morning, I wasn’t even in the mood to do anything. I got up in those weird moods. I felt angry and I was just in a mood basically. So I was basically dragging my feet to do everything. I have to make my bed every morning. It is just something I have to do. Thank you mummyyy! Lol. Due to the mood, I looked at the bed, hissed and walked out. I wasn’t in the mood for no making bed. Then, the bed sheet would be pulling out at one end, I was in no mood. Lol. So, I just concluded to do it after church.

Fast forward to after mass, I was in a better mood obviously. I mean after going to meet with the Lord of Lords, you gats lighten up o. I walk into my room and my smile turns into a frown. I totally forgot about the bed. Now I’m standing in front of an undone bed and its annoying lol. I now regret that decision I made early in the morning and I still have to make the bed!
What’s the point? Don’t make decisions you know that you would regret later. I know I know. There are those days, days you won’t feel like doing nothing. Days you feel like just laying under your covers. Days you don’t feel like seeing no light. And that is perfectly fine. What is not fine is letting that define all the events of your day or letting that mood throw you totally off balance. Think about what you should be doing at that time, think of how much you would regret in the next few hours that you didn’t do what you were supposed to do.
Get up, thank God for the new day and move. Regret stings a lot. Some people would say it is easy to talk. It is easy to say get up and we don’t understand all the stress and blah. True! Very true! I can only talk, the decision is yours to make. Make sure to make the right decision of moving! Do what you have to do when you have to do it so you don’t walk in with a smile and end up with a frown. I mean you would still have to fix the mess. So anything that is within your control to do, just do. So, basically, don’t procrastinate. Just do it! Have a blessed week.
AFOMA.

Join the queue.

So I am standing in the cafeteria, waiting for my turn on the queue to pick my food up. This means as you enter, you go to the back and join the queue. At least, thats how it should be. Queues are meant to be followed and you should wait your turn.

To some people, the people on the queue are very ‘stupid’ so they look for who they know on the line that is in the front and just enter the queue from there. And I am like, hellloooo!!! This thing drives me crazyyyyyy. Do not jump the queue. Join the queue and wait your turn for goodness sake. We formed a queue, we are not stupid but for orderliness sake. Then after forming the queue, some lousy individuals just walk in and penetrate themselves! I don’t know but it makes me so pissed off.

Everyone, including me, is guilty of this, done unconsciously or consciously. Decisions are personal. I have made the decision to go to the very back of the queue and wait my turn no matter how long the queue is. It is not stupidity and it’s not me proving anything to anybody but it is doing what is right while everybody does the wrong thing. So do the right things even when nobody is watching. Do the right thing even if it looks completely stupid.

Please follow rules as they are laid down. Don’t jump the queue. Wait for your turn! This applies to life as well. When it’s your turn, it’s your turn. No one can ‘bounce’ you. No one can dismiss you. You have waited and now it’s your turn. But don’t cheat people out of theirs to get yours because you would get cheated too. So wait, good things come to those who wait. Let us stop being in a hurry. It doesn’t yield much.

Wait your turn, don’t jump the queue. God bless you. 

AFOMA.

OBSERVATIONS OF A SILLY CHURCH GIRL PART 2

So last week, y’all read from Queen Natalia about distractions at church. Like she said, we attend two churches, one in the estate we live in and our family church. Trust me, the distraction at the family church is way more! Likeee nooo, can y’all just let me listen to the word of God?

It starts from the entrance. So the Reverend Father is entering and we are all trying to sing the hymn and just prepare ourselves to hear from God, then I look sideways and see someone struggling to walk, like fam if you can’t wear heels, why wear them? Sometimes, I silently pray that she falls. I’m not mean! That’s one distraction because I am basically following her legs till she gets to the altar.
Okay, I bring myself back and focus. Time to read from the bible and the lector is just up there murdering the words and inside of me is screaming for him to stop and instead of listening because I cant, I am just wondering.
We move through the readings, and we are seated for the homily and then here

comes the early ones, the ones that are most punctual, the early birds. Nno! I know emergencies can come up but every Sunday? It’s like some people have emergencies every Sunday. Oya sharply enter na, they are taking their time! No, this can’t be legal! Lol. And I am just there following every single one them till they sit down.

Then the children! Some never keep quiet! They are crying without stopping to breathe in. How do they do it? Poor me, I am looking from mother to child, like would one of you do something.

At the end of church, I come out claiming I went to church. But throughout, I wasn’t even minding my business but how can I? Tell me.
I now have to make a conscious effort to remain focused in church. Working so far! Please remain focused in church lol. Have a blessed week fam,
Afoma!

OBSERVATIONS/DISTRACTIONS OF A SILLY CHURCH GIRL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So I was in Church earlier today supposedly absorbing the word of God but nooooooo I was so distracted🤦🏽‍♀🤦🏽‍♀. I am a Catholic and I attend two Catholic churches. One in my estate for days of convenience and my actual family church. The one is my estate is literally a distraction trap for me. Every time I go there, it takes divine strength to concentrate…Lol! And that is where I went to today. So I decided to share my distractions with you all. Isn’t that wonderful?😁😁😁 Literally another story time😁😁😁

First on the list of my many distractions is dressing o! Oh my goodness! You need to see the array. There are the ones that forget that they are going to church and dress like they are going to a club. Quite frankly, they are club worthy clothes. I am like youdonmeanit! Why don’t you just come naked as you were born?🙄 A lady sat in front of me yeah wearing this shape defining dress. Her back was on full display and the dress was so low cut that I started evaluating the science behind the possibility of wearing a bra with a dress like this. Few minutes after sitting down, she stood up and walla her whole bra, everything o was out on display. I was just observing the whole movement. I think as she stepped out, someone must have told her because when she came back, she had pushed everything back to the appropriate quarters. Then there are the people that wear the shortest dresses. Short is even an understatement. I am literally awestruck each time one of them passes. Like this is a church o! Aren’t we supposed to be modest even if it is a tiny bit? Like no one has to tell you what you are wearing is too short, you know it is my dear. In another corner, we have the ladies that wear the most transparent things with weird coloured underwear. At this juncture I am tempted to stop them and just ask why? Why? But no I love to mind my small business.😉😁 In a different zone, we have men that will wear fine blazer and be looking sweet😋 from afar till you see the length of the trouser. I am sorry did material finish in the market? I have never been able to understand this jumping trousers fashion. Please somebody, anybody, enlighten me on the purpose🙏🏽. I would appreciate the lesson…..lol. Oh! And let me not forget the ones that sag to church. You sag on the streets and inside church as well. Okay o! Wehdone!👍🏽👍🏽

The second thing on my list is MAKEUP!!!! I have finally come to realise that some people have terrible family members that will let their mums, sisters and aunties leave the house looking like masquerades..lol! Ladies, you know it is not every colour that looks perfect on you or every style of make up, right? We actually need to look for what suits us best and not just put on some funny looking stuff because other people are doing it. You do not have to draw on your eyebrows if you do not know how to. It is okay not to be perfect. You can ask someone to teach you or watch tutorials on YouTube. But please let us stop with the scary makeup. Let us try to stick to things that complement our skins. We are all different with different face structures. Just because Nkechi can wear sharp pink lipstick does not mean Onyeka can slay with same.

Another branch of my distraction is the late comers. This is a very important area for me. Growing up, I have never understood why people come late for anything especially to church. Do you know the funny thing? They will come late and still be the ones to drag seat with you. What were they doing when you woke up early, came to church and sat on a pleasant seat of your choice?🤔🤔🤔 I do not take for granted the fact that emergencies do come up but there are certain perpetual late comers. There is no emergency or anything, they are just late. For me, it is kind of sad because you miss certain important aspects of the ceremony.

Then how many of you guys have noticed that mothers have a particular way of dancing? Every time it is time for women thanksgiving, I always have a good laugh mahn! There is just a way they all move and really have fun in that moment. It is sweet!😁😁

Oh and today was also the day all the characters in my head decided to have a meeting. They just seemed to be catching up. Every time I tried to concentrate, one new character came alive🤦🏽‍♀. What a trap?

My very personal distraction is the this hot hot guy in choir. Oh my goodness!! I do not have enough words to use to describe him. Where I sit gives me a pleasant view of the choir. Every time, I finally have a solemn moment, my guy will stand up to do something. You already know that the solemn moment is all over yo! Why he got to be that fine??? He is another trap!

At this point, you are possibly wondering what time I had to listen in church. Well I am an excellent multitasking machine. In the midst of my numerous distractions, I learnt something o! The readings and homily of the day was centred on trust in God for you are as good as cursed if you put your trust in your fellow man. Sooooooo I urge you all to always remember where your strength cometh from. It is not from earthly beings but from the Almighty God. You see I was not completely useless after all😁😁😁😁

I have put a few of my distractions up there and I honestly cannot remember the rest now. Let me know if you ever get distracted in church and by what😏 This should be fun.

Till the next post, Stay Blessed!!!!

Queen NATALIA.

LOSING MYSELF🙈🙈🤦🏽‍♀🤷🏽‍♀

Hello lovelies!!!! I am really happy to be here again. I have been away for so long and I do not have a valid excuse. I am so sorry.

The truth is I have been through some self imposed sad times in the last couple of months. I have just been in this frame of mind where I have felt like I was not good enough for anyone or anything. Well it is story time so I am going to tell you why and what I am doing differently now.

It all started from law school. For our dedicated readers, you would have noticed that I wrote a bit more at the beginning of law school. I had little experiences to share with you all and then it all ceased. Well this is why, I became a Group Leader!!!!😭😭😭😭 It was such a tough time for me. I had the sweetest group members but they were few compared to the ones that were designed to frustrate me out of existence. All my life I have been used to being the very best at everything I did. You know I got accolades (nothing serious o). I loved leadership but here I was losing myself. No matter how hard I tried, I just couldn’t get the whole group to the perfection I wanted. There were sleepless nights of perfecting the work and a lot of tears. Eventually I did what I ought not to have done- I gave up on the goal. I gave up on pushing to be the best. I gave up on trying too hard. Very few people appreciated my efforts anyway. They would tell me “ask Y”. His group always gets it right. I stopped being the ” Y”. It seemed like my whole being was shattered and it had a spiral effect on every part of my life. I stopped writing or doing anything. I did not even know what I wanted to do anymore. I tried writing a few times and my skill set seemed very rough. I always concluded that it was not good enough to put out there.

Fast forward to after law school, it was time for NYSC. For the first time in my life I wanted to melt away. I did not want to speak to anybody. I did not want to help anybody. I did not want a position. I wanted to go unnoticed and unheard. I was convinced I wasn’t good enough. So for three weeks in camp, I was the diluted version of myself. I am never at the back in class or anywhere but in camp I was always at the back and totally unbothered about what was going on.

Then bar II results came out. I got a 2:1. Initially, I thought I could not make a 1st because of how other duties had drained my reading time. However, so many people believed in me. They were so sure I would make a 1st and that propelled me to work for it and believe it was possible. When I resumed at the law office I was posted to, one of the lawyers was certain I would make a 1st. Imagine the pressure I was feeling! I really wanted a first in undergrad but again I missed it. I thought a first from law school would be lovely. I refused to be stressed about the delay in releasing the result. I was certain of what it was going to be and boom it was a 2:1. A 2:1!!!! I cried and cried and silly me, I interpreted it to mean I wasn’t good enough for a first as well. Twice I tried to get it and twice I failed. I slipped into subtle depression. I did not really care about the ceremony. I was disappointed in myself and with every passing day I lost a tiny bit of my self esteem. Until I felt completely lost. Current status report: It dawned on me that not everybody passed you know. So, I have taken a different route of gratitude. Every time, I am reminded 161 people made a first. It makes me shiver with disappointment but then again, a lot more than that failed. So, GRATITUDE IT IS. Eventually, I will get over it.

Oh and recently, you would never guess what happened. I decided to order a dress for my birthday. It was a really pretty dress butttttttttttt when it arrived, I almost died. In fact, I mentally collapsed. Like why?????? To make things worse, my birthday is a Monday so that is a boring work day. My friends and I had planned to have dinner the Saturday after. Then, something possessed them to prank me and tell me they cannot make it. I had a bad dress and friends cancelling on me. I am definitely not worthy of celebrating my birthday as well. Well, eventually I found out it was a prank and I ordered another dress. Yayy!!!!! Problem solved yes? Noooo!!! INEC decided to postpone the election to the Saturday designated for the dinner. Well I guess this dinner was not meant to happen. You can see how I have taken every little thing going on as evidence of my unworthiness and that is all wrong! It is a very dangerous path to take because disappointments are abound in life and it should not be a parameter for who you are.

So this is me as bare as ever. I have gone from the girl that was super active in secondary school to a girl comfortable in a tiny little shell because I let little bits of life cage me.  I started thinking, what spell has been cast upon me? What is wrong with me? Where has my self motivation gone? Why do I feel less than who I am?

Honestly, I am not there yet but I realised I had to push myself out of this bubble. I am what I believe I am. I have spent such a long time telling myself that I am not good enough. I believed it and started acting accordingly😔😔 but that is not true anymore.

I know there are people out there that feel less and suffer from depression. I am here to tell you that you gat this ❤ All you need is to change your mindset about yourself. Love yourself. Speak positively to and about yourself. Recently, I have started guarding my peace of mind with everything I have got. I cannot have low self esteem issues and have humans add to the stress🤦🏽‍♀ Hell to the no! If you have been like me, telling yourself you are not good enough, well I got word for you. YOU ARE SO DAMN WORTH IT AND YOU CAN BE ANYTHING YOU WANT TO BE MY DARLING. YOU ARE GREATNESS PERSONIFIED!

It is my birthday in 2 days time and I figured this is the best time to step out and start afresh with a renewed spirit. So 🥂🥂🥂🥂🥂🥂🥂🥂to you all and most importantly, to the woman I am turning out to be. I am not even ready for myself yet😁😁😁😁😁😁😁

Stay Blessed!

Queen NATALIA

About 2 weeks ago, I got to the library. I picked a spot to read. I had a lot to read and cover and the mere thought of it zapped all of my energy. I was tired in advance. After about 5-10 minutes of agonizing on how much workload I had, I decided it was best to get on with it. I had to start somewhere. And so, I started reading.

Barely 20 minutes after I’d started, a friend of mine (my coursemate) rushed to where I was seated with panic written all over his face. He put the paper in his hands in front of me and he said,

“Guy, have you seen these questions? Them maaaaad”

I looked through the questions and I got really irritated. Oh yes, I can tell you for a fact that the questions were ‘mad’, I was irritated because of the fact that my friend who brought these questions could answer all of it without blinking and yet for whatever reason, he was having a panic attack and he wanted me to have one to.

I think my reaction to his panic was spurned out of that irritation. And so, I said
“So? Wetin ” mad” there? If you jack am, e no dey hard joorh. Abeg carry this your negative vibe commot joorh”
Translation: so? What is “mad” there? If you read well, there’s nothing there. Please take your negative vibe away.

Somehow, in an unexplainable way, (I was surprised at my own reaction, quite honestly) my reaction seemed to give this heaven sent confidence😂.

This little incident reminded me of Wizkid and skepta’s song “bad energy stay far away”

This is life. Challenges will come. A life without challenges is one not lived. What matters is how you handle these challenges. Do you handle them with positivity or negativity?

Look, there’s only little or nothing being negative will fetch you. Well, if you count misery and sorrow as something, then you’d get a lot from being negative.

As hard as things may be or seem, be positive. Tell yourself things will turn out for the best. Believe it and work towards it and they will most likely turn out for the best.
Whether its that doctor’s report, or the tough math question, or the difficult lecturer, don’t go around carrying a long face like the world is on your shoulders. Smile and be positive. Things always turn out better when you do just that……

Tomi.

Happy New Year!

Hello everyone,
First off, happy new year!!! This is my first write up in 2019! Cheers to that! God takes all the glory of course.
So last night, we had our crossover service in my church. I always look forward to this special service because of all the joy and excitement of singing and dancing into the new year. Well, as with other editions of the service, this year was no different. We ushered in the new year with a lot of joy expressed in our singing and dancing.

After all of that, my pastor led us into praying and declaring good things into the new year which I did with the whole of my heart. The phrase,
“2019 is my year” wasn’t farfetched in the course of the prayer. But then, I remember in 2018, when this same service was held, we also declared that “2018 is our year”.

The thing is, some people that claimed 2018 as their year and are still claiming 2019 as their year too have not experienced any change between the times they declared this.

What I’m trying to drive at is that, so many people prophesy good things into the new year but at the end of the year, its almost like they never prayed for anything good. While I’m all for total reliance and dependence on God, these people fail miserably in doing their part. They do not work the work, they only pray the prayers. Failure to do one’s part leaves the equation hanging hence amounting all of the prayers into nothing.

God is not a magician. He will only bless the work of your hands. If there is no work, then what there for God to bless? In 2019, I’m charging us to set goals and work towards them. Do what needs to be done. Work hard. Let God see your hard work. Don’t just pray and then go to bed without doing your part. God will hold His end of the bargain so long you do what you’re supposed to do.

With this, I am left with no doubt that 2019 will indeed be your year.

Wonderful year ahead people!

Tomi.