Musings: Be careful what you wish for.

This morning, as I sit reading through old posts and musings on my blog, I stumble upon an old note– one of my all-time favourites, ego, which i had written for a boy I was very much taken by. I had met him through a friends friend, and it had been easy to love him. He was laid back, humorous, out-of-the-box, giving so much and yet giving nothing; so there he was ‘getting to know me’ daily, early morning messages, nice compliments and the works but he wasn’t saying anything! I was frustrated, I was mad at him. I would write stories about him, wish for him like a child wished for teeth, but nothing!

Soon, I started to give him attitude, and wish him away. My mantra was, and still is, “it is okay to want to take your time with deciding whether or not you want to be with me; but do me a favour! Make your contemplations from a distance. I do not want you standing in my face, all dotsy and datsy. Pick a lane and stay there.” It didn’t take too long from there on to blank him out. But i kept on writing those stories. And if I ever underestimated the power of writing, it soon blew up in my face, in a billion tinny pieces…

A couple years down the line, we became an item and I was elated, swollen to burst level! I was like FINALLY! I thought it was it, you know? A worry here, a flaw there, but isn’t that what humans are made of? Soon, days wound into months and we made a terrible split: battered hearts, wailing eyes, bitter words and “maybe we shouldn’t haves”. And it is sad and crazy thinking about it now! How the hell could I have wished for something so bad only to wish it away down the line?

It is on days like this, in moments such as this that I find wisdom in the saying: be careful what you wish for, you just might get it. Sometimes, things don’t work the way we want them to, and I am beginning to learn that maybe, just maybe, life is working for us rather than against us. These days, when I see fine boys that I am crushing on who can’t find the humour to crush back, I am learning to hold myself back and thank the Universe rather than try to make that person see how awesome I am. Of course I am sugar, but I am not made for every ones cup of tea.

I am stepping into the other half of this year with so much awareness of my kind and brutal flaws, the heartbreaks that defy journaling which I have carried endlessly through the years, the memories of laughing days shared, the knowledge of bad decisions taken and golden chances unused. But I also step into the latter half of the year with an avalanche of forgiveness– for myself, for every mistake and every grudge, every hurt and everyday I thought I wasn’t enough; for the boys that stirred my feelings, knowingly or unknowingly, without hopes of nurturing them. And for everyday that I forgot my worth, and every other day that that knowledge will evade me in the future.

I am growing and there is a lesson at every turn. Let’s take notes, shall we?!

© The Short Black Girl, 2017.

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I search for you.

I search for you between the merging of lips
Where breaths collide
And souls meet
I search for you in the linking of arms
Amongst the songs sang
About love and tainted hearts
I search for you
Behind the sound of my laughter
And I search for you
Beneath the surface of my smile
Oh, I search for you
Behind the lid of my eyes
Within the weight of my tears
I swear, I search
But you are fading
And I lay, breaking.

__

“There are plenty of ways to die. But only love can kill you and keep you alive to feel it.”

-Leo Christopher 

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©The Short Black Girl, 2016.

Shannon Alder: On Choices.

You chose.
You chose.
You chose.

You chose to give away your love.
You chose to have a broken heart.
You chose to give up.
You chose to hang on.

You chose to react.
You chose to feel insecure.
You chose to feel anger.
You chose to fight back.
You chose to have hope.

You chose to be naïve.
You chose to ignore your intuition.
You chose to ignore advice.
You chose to look the other way.
You chose to not listen.
You chose to be stuck in the past.

You chose your perspective.
You chose to blame.
You chose to be right.
You chose your pride.
You chose your games.
You chose your ego.
You chose your paranoia.
You chose to compete.
You chose your enemies.
You chose your consequences.

You chose.

However, you are not alone. Generations of women in your family have chosen. Women around the world have chosen. We all have chosen at one time in our lives. We stand behind you now screaming:

Choose to let go.
Choose dignity.
Choose to forgive yourself.
Choose to forgive others.
Choose to see your value.
Choose to show the world you’re not a victim.
Choose to make us proud.

– Shannon L. Alder

**

You had just got back from work, tired and exhausted; and there she was looking like a long lost memory, a cold forgotten side dish. So you sat both of you down: yourself and Tara, your niece. Your slim bony stern look mirrored her tear-stained chubby face. She had been like that for a long time: moody and petulant- because of a boy! It was time for real talk. It was time for girl talk. So you began,

“For how long?”

You saw her lips begin to move from the other side but you shunned her quickly. You knew her, you knew she had the magic words. Just one word, and you’d have been flicking right down her path: a very interesting yet damaging path, acqueiscing with her. You continued,

“For how long will you keep being miserable over the past? How long will you let him keep hurting you even in his absence? Even when he has moved on to happier things in the Universe? When will you start being kind to yourself?”

“It is not my fault that he still affects me. I sleep and he is there. I wake up and he is there. In the living memories and the unwritten stories, he is there. In every voice, and on every piece of art, his allure is present. In the eyes of every joyous couple, and the brilliant dilemmic voice of the ones that speak of heartbreak… he is there. And I know you know what I mean, because you loved Derek too. Do you not miss it? Do you not miss him? How can you move on like it never happened? Like he never lived? How can you be so disloyal?!”

It was funny how the tables had turned so quickly, but you were not surprised. You were well aware of the magic of her conniving mind.

“I feel it. I miss it. But that’s that, I have moved on. Moving on does not mean I never loved, it means I fancy saving what can be saved and just that: the future. You have not moved on; not because he affects you, but because you let him affect you. It is a thing of choice, honey. People come and people go; and that’s really what life is about– the comings and goings. But we move on, life moves on. There’ll come many more surprises, and many more loves, and many more joys, and many more heartbreaks… and you don’t want to find out in the near future, that having grown the courage to spare your heart for love again, you do not have any more tears to spare for the impending heartbreak. It will be a shame! You will be mad at yourself. I will be mad at you. We will be mad at us.”

“Must we? Must we break? If we must, I don’t want to love again.”

“Darling, to love is to hurt and be hurt.”

“To hurt is to tear, and break, and bleed and die. I don’t want to hurt. I don’t want to be hurt.”

“No. No honey, to hurt is to learn what worked and what didn’t. To hurt is to be stronger. Plus, we can’t always choose who we hurt; because we only have the power to hurt those that have had enough courage to invest some emotion in us. That is not your war to fight or win. It is nobody’s fight.”

“What do you want me to do?”

“Be kind to yourself, for a start. Be kind to us.”

“How?”

“Move on. Be happy. You’re happy, I am happy.”

“But you’re happy.” she retorts, little blue eyes melting into something like the grace of a shiny star.

“But I can be happier…” you cajole her.

“What do I do?”

“Think about what you are thinking about every time and only think those thoughts that make you smile.”

“Even if they are thoughts of him?” she asks; hope lacing her every word.

You hesitate because you are scared for her, and you want her to heal very fast and be herself again. But there’s no shortcut to matters of the heart. Is there? “If it makes you smile, it makes me smile too.”

She smiled then, and you almost did not recognise her. And then you hugged it out for a few seconds, after which you both retired to bed. She, with a killer smile: you, with eyes housing tears waiting to be shed. You lied. You had not moved on. You had not quite got over him. You still cried every night even years after Derek left. Because like a child, you still wished he would barge in the way he barged out. You remembered your conversation with Tara and you felt wrong. You had just advised someone to do, in one night, what you took five years to do: move on. And in fact, the nights bear testament that you are still not moving on… but hey, it is a choice, your choice. No?

**

A conversation with my dear friend Kingsley sort of inspired this post. He had once told me: “get a paper and write these words down, and place the paper in the most conspicuous place”. The words, which he said– the same ones I wrote down and used in this post are: “always think about what you are thinking about. If it’s a good thing, continue; if it is not, pause and reset your thoughts.”

Thank you for those words, Kingsley. 🙂 ❤

____

© The Short Black Girl, 2016.

Dear God, I need a Miracle.

I met Teso five years ago. I was in my first year in the university, when he was a finalist. It was a rare meeting. I had gone to the cafeteria that day to meet another finalist for some information I needed, when I saw him. That was the first time we met, and the beginning of something beautiful. The most memorable 10 minutes of my life.

‘Hi.’ I greeted them both absently. All I had in mind was Dr. Kadiri’s number.

‘Hey Dayo, what’s good?!’ Temitope greeted, on seeing me.

‘Everything’ I smiled. ‘Um Temi, do you have Dr Kadiris number?’

‘Which Kadiri? My supervisor?’

‘Yeah, that one.’ I responded, hoping dearly that he did.

‘Sure!’

‘Please let me have it.’ I let out a sigh of relief. ‘I lost his number with my phone last week, and we need to get in touch with him regarding the assignment he gave us.’

‘Are you the class rep ni?’

‘Yes’ I hissed out. ‘Wish I wasn’t sef!’

‘Eya, pele.’ Temitope enthused mockingly.

‘It’s a good thing, you know? Never wish against good things.’ That was the first thing he said to me that day. Beyond his words, and his impeccable diction, I loved his voice.
I smiled at him.

‘I am Teslim Sobowale, Teso for short.’ He winked as he offered his hand for a shake. I took it shyly, and told him my name.

That was how it started.

From a casual friend, to school father, to very good friend, to best friend, until he eventually asked me out on his convocation day. Though the whole school had thought us to be in a relationship long before that day, hearing him profess his love, and ask me to be his girl made all the difference in the world. I loved him, and I was sure he loved me too, so I accepted.

Teso was patient, caring, forgiving, understanding, and very loving. I liked all but one thing about him. He liked girls a lot. Everytime we fought, it was either because I caught him feeling too comfortable with another girl, or because he had another girl on his display picture, or something else! Don’t blame me, you shouldn’t. Because if you see my Teso, you’ll understand he’s worth keeping to oneself. After flimsy break- ups which I initiated because of my trust issues, I came to accept him for who he is because if he didn’t love me truly, he wouldn’t keep coming back each time I shut the door. He taught me a lot of things about life. He helped me see things from a clearer and more matured perspective. Each time I became scared of my abilities, he’d cheer me up and remind me he was expecting nothing but the best from me.

We would quarrel, and fight; then make up with kisses and bowls of ice cream. He was a best friend, a brother and a lover. A patient one at that.

We shared similar views, thoughts, and ideas; but had a different taste in music, and fashion. I loved blues, he loved anything else but blues; he would say life was sad enough without them. I was an hijabite, and I hated make- up, but he would cajole me to tie a simple scarf and spare my face a powder once in a while. He would assure me that I am beautiful without all of the make- up in the world, but he just needed to see a different side of me on special occasions. I would laugh. I loved simple, he loved sophisticated, but we loved each other enough to compromise when we had to. I remember how each time he shopped for me, he would get me something knee-length, maybe a gown, or a skirt; and some fine stilettos to go with it. He would say my legs are too beautiful to hide from the world. He was charming, and highly humorous.

In short, we dated throughout my stay in school, and all through till after my youth service. People thought it funny, how we would date for five years without being engaged. Really, it was funny to me too, but we thought it better that way. We both knew we had the chance to butt out before things got any more serious. For all we knew, marriage was a tad big deal!
A few months after my youth service, he secured a job for me in his dad’s company. A few months after that, we decided to get married. It was a big step for both of us, but we knew it was what we wanted, so we went for it!

In preparation for our wedding, my parents made it compulsory for both of us to conduct certain clinical tests to confirm our genotype, HIV status and all of those. We never thought it necessary, actually, we never even gave it a thought. On getting the results, it was confirmed that we were both AS patients. Once my parents heard, that was the end! They cancelled our engagement, and forbade me to continue seeing Teso. They even asked me to resign from his fathers company if need be. Their minds are made up already, and they won’t even listen to me.

You see, both my parents are AS patients too. We used to be five- our parents and three kids- but we lost our eldest sister to Sickle Cell Anaemia some years back. Till date, mum and dad won’t stop blaming each other for bringing such misfortune to the family. They would say, if they had listened to their parents when they warned them not to get married because of the impending dangers of an ‘AS- AS’ marriage, such would not have happened. It was a difficult time for all of us when Sister Funmi died, but love and God’s grace kept us strong together. I understand their fears, but this is not fair!

Dear God, I don’t need a sign. It’s obvious Teso is the one for me. All I need is a miracle, to make us work…


Yes! I believe we’ve all been at that point in our lives where we’ve ‘LIKED’ that one person who LIKED us too, but we just couldn’t bring ourselves to take things a notch higher. I have been there before, a couple of times maybe, and I know how it hurts to deny yourself that one thing that COULD HAVE made you happier. But I guess we’ve all just got to let some things fly, because even when we know what we want, we just have to do what has to be done.

**

© The Short Black Girl, 2014.