Monday, November 29, 2010

Need to Compare?

It's almost December! Around this time, I start getting worried because the year is almost over and it seems like I haven't done half of all the things I set out to achieve in January. I would hope that every month so far has been productive. Maybe some more than others. Then you think- how am I going to really make this year count before 31st of December? But ultimately, I'm thankful to God for keeping me alive, giving me a purpose, and allowing me to grow older and wiser everyday.

Have you ever felt that compared with "everyone else" around you, your own circumstances are the worst? Do you have thoughts like "all my mates have achieved this, done that, have this or have that"? I'm now exploring this phenomenum of measuring myself with another person's yard stick. Where does it come from? Is it parents, peer pressure, the society as a whole or just my own unrealistic expectations?

It's probably a mixture of all four. On one hand, it drives me to want to achieve more and more (sort of like healthy competition) to ensure that I can boast too, but on the other hand, it makes me think "What's the point? That person just had better opportunities than I have". Like when you hear of your classmate in uni who is now a millionaire, or your friend from high school now running her own fashion empire. You are happy for them of course, but you also compare yourself and you end up feeling very small.

I think it starts when we still are young. You are put in a classroom with 15 or so other 3-year olds. There you are expected to all be at the same level, grow at the same speed and learn at the same pace. If for any reason you don't keep up with the rest of the class, then there's a problem with you. This pattern continues throughout life. You want the latest toys because "everybody has one". You want to wear a certain item of clothing because "that's what all the other kids are wearing". You want to feel like you are similar to everyone. You find yourself constantly looking around and checking to see if you are ahead or behind of your peers. Then you grow up and suddenly you realise that some things are outside your control. Your career is progressing very slowly meanwhile your mates have soared far ahead. Or your mates are getting engaged, married, and launching babies while you are still single. Or your friend has just bought a new flat, while you are still renting or living at home. It all adds up to a perfect recipe for frustration.

But why do we compare? Are we all given the same opportunities? Did God give us the same talents? Do we have the same circumstances? Do we all have the same goals? Do we have the same experiences or backgrounds? No, no, no and no. We don't even have the same genes!

So I've decided, from now on, I'm not going to compare myself with anyone else. I am me. I am unique. We all have our time and purpose to fulfil on earth. My time and purpose is not dependent on other people. Only God is in full control. And only God will I give the ability to push me forward.

Have a good week and a blessed month of December!

PS: It's my sister's birthday today! Happy birthday darling! xxx

Image credit:

Friday, November 5, 2010

Achilles' Heel

Hi folks! It's been a minute on this blog. I've been doing a lot of work and writing behind the scenes, updating my JDTA blog, writing short stories for magazines and working on our fiction series blog too, so I've allowed this blog to slide a bit. But rest assured, I'm doing great! Thanks to my friends who checked on me - I appreciate you guys!

So what's going on Blogville? I can't believe it's November already! For real, when was it June? Summer is now well and truly over, the days are getting shorter while the nights are getting longer, Christmas adverts are already appearing on TV, and I've had to start taking stock of the happenings of 2010. Soon, we would be making plans to welcome 2011 and then 2012... In everything, I can't complain because I've been experiencing God's blessings and favour throughout the year.

It's been a busy time for me in the last two months. Apart from writing, I've had my family coming over, been taking driving lessons, and generally moving into a new phase of my life. I've also been catching up on my reading, as I've got so many books on my to-read list, it's unbelievable. But I still can't stop myself from buying more! In the last month, I've read The Book Thief by Markus Zusak (this was quite a strange book, very different from what I would usually pick up, but it was a very good read nonetheless), The Boy Next Door by Irene Sabatini (I quite enjoyed reading this love story woven around the politics of Zimbabwe), and  Love at Dawn by Lara Daniels (a tale of love, forgiveness and redemption which I thoroughly enjoyed reading) and I'm looking forward to a couple more before the end of the year.

Ever since I saw the movie Troy, I've been fascinated with the main characters in the story, especially Achilles. He was the great hero of the Trojan War and apparently when he was a baby his mother dipped him into a river which made him invincible except for his heel. According to Greek mythology, Achilles grew to become a great warrior and no one could stop him until Paris, a prince of Troy managed to shoot an arrow into his heel. Thus the phrase "Achilles heel" came to mean a weakness or flaw that can lead to a person's downfall in spite of his overall strength. 

This story makes me think that we all have a weakness that can potentially lead to our downfall if we don't deal with it. I can think of many great men who have been destroyed by their lack of self-control when it comes to women. Some people have ended up in prison because of their greed for money. Some people have committed atrocious acts because of anger. And the list goes on. It may seem like it's not a big deal, and just overlook a small flaw in ourselves, but we do need to be careful. I know that I have my weaknesses too, and I have to constantly ask God for grace to overcome them. It can be all too easy to let one thing get out of hand, until we lose control and succumb to negative desires.

If you are struggling with some temptations or something that goes against your principles, please don't ignore it or hope it would go away by itself. You have to take steps to make sure you don't fall. For example, if you know your married boss at work is showing inappropriate interest in you, it would certainly not be wise to go on a dinner date with him. Do what you can to remove yourself from such sticky situations! One little slip of judgement could be all it takes, and before you know it, you are involved in an affair.

Oh well, that's enough sermonising for now, lol. Do head over to our series blog for some news on the In My Dreams It Was Simpler Story and the latest installment. Yours truly is writing this week and I promise it will be a worthy read! 

Make sure you have a very relaxing weekend!


Sunday, October 3, 2010

University of Life

Sometime ago I pondered about this modern world of ours. Something is really wrong. There is a break down of society as a whole. We read of shootings and stabbings daily in the newspapers. We hear of gangs of youths carrying knives and guns to defend themselves with. We hear of marriages breaking up everyday - divorce rates are soaring and people are choosing not to get married anyway. We hear that stress at work is a major killer and cause of many serious diseases. We see the picture of the ideal family unit broken almost beyond repair. We see people sacrificing everything in the pursuit of happiness that just seems to elude them. Why is it so? I think it is mostly because we have placed the emphasis on the wrong things.

From the moment we are born, we are thrust into a society that places so much importance in education and defines us by success in our careers. How? We'll take the life of this typical child. From the day he is born, his parents bought him the best 'educational toys' that aim to give him a headstart in learning skills. His parents do all they can to enroll him in the best nursery school where he is to learn basic skills in speech, reading and writing. After that, he goes on to primary school where he is taught a wide range of subjects to give him a knowledge base that will be useful in future. Fast forward to three years of secondary school and then he is expected to make certain choices in his subjects that will start to define his future career. By the time he is finished with secondary school, success means achieving a place at university to study a degree. This degree will be his ticket to a life-long career. He may need to continually update his qualifications for example, getting a Masters qualification, taking some examinations etc. Success is measured by his job and how much he earns. Assuming he finished education at 24, he spends the next 40-odd years of his life working 9 - 5, Monday to Friday to earn a living. If the UK government have their way, he would be working until he is in his 70s before he can retire and claim a pension. But is that all?

Now I think education is a good thing. I think every child on this planet should be given an equal chance to succeed with a certain level of education. But I find it worrying that we place so much importance on just that - education and career. Is there not more to life than acquiring a degree? Would having a brilliant career make everyone's life fulfilled?

I read something in 'My Daily Bread' a while back. A survey was conducted about what people would want to reflect on in their final moments on this earth. What would they look back on and count as achievements? Strings of degrees? An impressive CV? Hefty bank accounts? List of awards and certificates? No. The main response people gave was they they would want their loved ones around them when they were on their death-bed. Furthermore, the biggest regret expressed wasn't "I wish I had spent more time at work". It was "I wish I had spent more time with my family". Family and loved ones always took priority over education and achievements.

Now if this is true, how come we still have this dysfunctional world? How come we spend the vast majority of our lives either in education or working endlessly pursuing material wealth? How come you can go to university to study virtually any subject in academics or research but there is no university that teaches us about the real-life challenges we face? You can study to become a Financial Analyst but who teaches you how to cope with the grief of losing of a loved one? You can study to become a doctor but where do you study to become a good husband or wife? I can graduate with a Bcs in Mathematics but where can I get a degree in Good Parenting Skills? Those are the things that really challenge us as individuals and no amount of education can help.

If I could change the world, I would shake up the current set-up. I would not be happy in a world where the majority of hours in the week,  is all but committed to working, working, working. A world where the main driving force is money, money, money. When do we have time to actually live? When do we have time to grow and learn to become better people? Why won't we have a society that is crumbling?

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Faith vs Common Sense

"Faith is believing when common sense tells you not to." ~ George Seaton

For a while I've been pondering on faith, and its implications for the way I live my life every day. Sometimes when I'm at a crossroads and I need to make a decision, I often have a dilemma. Should I go with common sense or should I walk by faith? Do I go with my instincts? Should I make a list of pros and cons and use pure common sense to make a decision? Should I weigh all the options and go with the most "logical" conclusion? Should the way forward be the most "reasonable" one?

However, as a Christian who has decided to make God the CEO of my life, I've sometimes had to step back and wait for a different direction. The bible says: "Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen". The bible also says "Trust in the LORD with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding."

There are many examples of God asking His people in the bible to make decisions that totally make no sense. God called Abraham to leave all that he knew, his father's house and go to a strange land. God told Noah to build an ark when there was no sea or river around him. God told Gideon to go to war with only 300 men when they were facing an enemy army of over 100,000 soldiers. Each time, it required true faith to for each of these people to override their common sense and obey God.

Still, it can be really scary when common sense clashes with what you believe God is telling you to do. If God says: quit your job and become a full-time missionary in some remote village, what immediately comes to mind? Questions and doubts of course. Like: how will I survive without a regular income? What about my career? Will I be safe there without my family and friends around me? Etc.

Even the strongest amongst us wrestles with doubt sometimes. It's normal, it's natural, it's part of being human. But from my little experience, I'll say that in the end, common sense has its place but faith triumphs over it. As long as your faith is in God and what He has called you to do, you cannot go wrong.

  • Common sense relies on your own limited abilities. Faith relies on God's unlimited ability.
  • Common sense stops when things get rough. Faith keeps going when common sense is exhausted.
  • Common sense says you should play it safe. Faith challenges us to step beyond our comfort zone
  • Faith says one failure does not mean the end. Common sense says you should give up if it doesn't work the first time.
  • Common sense limits you to only what you know. Faith empowers you to stretch your imagination.

Thanks for reading!


Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Five Years

Last weekend, hubby and I celebrated our fifth wedding anniversary. I honestly can't believe it's been five years already since I donned a white dress, walked down the aisle and said my vows. I can also honestly say that it's been the most awesome decision I've ever made.

Looking back now, I can't imagine how different my life would have been if i hadn't gotten married in 2005. Sometimes I try to visualise myself in a different setting, maybe living in a different place, doing a different job and so on. No matter what, I still choose my life now any day. My life now makes complete sense because God arranged it that way. So I've got a lot of things to thank God for, everyday. Sometimes I'm short of words to express how grateful I am when I think about His blessings towards me.

Hey so I've been married for just over 1825 days! In practical terms, it probably means I've cooked over 2000 meals and done more than 1000 washing machine loads of laundry. In that time, we've moved house three times and changed cars four times. We've been on nine holidays together, watched more than 300 movies together, laughed over a million and one things together. We've both made career changes, wrestled with our faith sometimes, made mistakes, but come out stronger. We've enjoyed the good days and learned from the rough patches. We've dealt with each other's flaws and learnt to appreciate each other's strengths. It's been a journey of discovery about myself and about him. I'm wiser now, than I was five years ago, and that's a good thing!

To celebrate, we had a photoshoot - cos looking at our wedding album a few months ago I realised it was so out of date! Then I organised a surprise party for hubby (it was also his birthday) and he fell right into it! lol, he swore to retaliate though, which I don't really mind. It was fun planning the party, making calls and sending texts right under his nose and he didn't suspect a thing! I guess he trusts me! I'm grateful for our friends that came (one of them is a blogger) and kept it a secret from him.

In everything, I'm grateful to God and so looking forward to the next 5, 10, 15 and more years of happy marriage!


Friday, June 4, 2010

New Month and Updates

Hi everyone! Welcome to the month of June! Sheesh, I can't believe I didn't update this blog for over a month. That's not because I didn't have anything to say, but I've just been so busy! Where do I even start from now? May was quite an eventful month, even though I feel like it flew by and I couldn't slow it down long enough to finish doing all I had planned.

On a personal note, I'm thankful I had a good month, I have many many reasons to be grateful to God. He remains faithful, the only One in my life that has never and would never let me down. I'm grateful for another year added to my life, and the many joys I have enjoyed. I'm grateful for my family and friends, for my health and for peace of mind. I'm grateful for provision and protection, for God's mercies, favour and guidance. I'm grateful for answered prayers, and even pending ones.

In other news:

I've started working on a new novel. My previous WIP manuscript has gone up in smoke. While it was a painful decision to throw it away, I have had time to reflect on it and I reckon, no knowledge is wasted. I've learnt a lot while writing it and I dare say, that my writing has improved. I may return to it much later in the future, but I would have to do so much work to edit it, that I fear it may not be worth the trouble.

Myself and some of my fellow writers (of the In My Dreams It was Simpler series) were interviewed for The Mantle. It was a fun experience, and we were thrilled to be approached by Shaun Randol, the Senior Editor to do a joint interview. You can read the two parts of the interview by clicking the links below:

The Mantle Interview (Part 1)
The Mantle Interview (Part 2)

I've got a feature in this month's edition of Reconnect Africa Magazine, also based on the series book. It turned out really interesting, so do check it out here:

Feature on ReConnect Africa

And finally, our group blog In My Dreams It Was Simpler has been nominated in three categories for the 2010 Nigerian Blog Awards! If you haven't already, head over to the Nigerian Blog Awards link right now to vote for us! We are in the Best Group or Collaborative Blog, Best Writing or Book Blog, and the Nigerian Blog of the Year categories. We are up against some tough competition, but it's great that we got recognised for our work! Do pop over there now to cast your vote. For us, of course. LOL

Have a lovely weekend and a blessed month!


Friday, April 30, 2010

Bald Head and My Birthday

I think I'm going to shave off all my hair and rock a bald head for a while - like Nnena here.

I've been toying with the idea since last month and I've been 50-50 about it, but after today, I'm more like 90-10 in favour of shaving my hair off. All the stress, required care and work necessary to maintain long, healthy black hair is getting too much. Maybe I'm lazy, but I would rather take convenience over stress any day. I mean, I've practically stopped doing any physical shopping since I could buy things online. You name it, clothes, books, shoes, gifts, gadgets, even my weekly grocery shopping, I get them delivered to my doorstep. The last time I had to go shopping with a friend, I got bored and impatient after twenty minutes. Life is too short - I could be doing better things with my time, instead of trawling the shops, bumping into people who just stop walking randomly, loaded with heavy bags, dealing with long queues at the tills and over-helpful staff in the changing rooms.

Anyway so what brought this on? This morning, I went to the salon to have my hair put in short, kinky twists, my favourite hairstyle. By the time I left the salon, I was tired, poorer, and grumpy with a sore neck. I'm sure my blood pressure would have gone up a notch or two as well. First of all, the stylist was trying to convince me to have a weave instead. I was like "What? Are you the one that will dictate the style I want to do?". To cut a long story short, we started the hair. We hadn't gone far when we had another row because she tried to run a blazing hot blow-dryer through my hair. Then she stopped my hair halfway and started someone else's. When I had enough I got up and was about to leave, when the manager pleaded with me to be patient. Let's just say it wasn't a pleasant experience and I was so fed-up by the time they finally finished my hair, that I never want to do it again. Well, not for a year or two anyway.

Okay, rant over. On to more beautiful gist:

It's the Bank Holiday weekend! And it's my birthday! Yep, that's right - I'm going to be a year older by the time I come back to update this blog. Usually I try to do something to celebrate, but this year I haven't made any plans. We tried to get tickets to see a show in the West End, but we left it too late, and all the good ones were sold out! So I guess it will be a quiet one at home. Hubby is even threatening to use the extra day off to study so I may just sleep through the day. lol

However, if anyone wants to throw me a surprise party or send me presents or buy me a birthday cake, then I won't say no. You will be more than welcome!

Have a great weekend blogville!

PS: Before you go, check out our latest installment on the series blog HERE

And check out my poem, published on Femme Lounge HERE


Monday, April 19, 2010

Social Issues: Domestic Staff

If you follow TTEC on Solomosydelle's blog, you may have come across some of the recent posts on "Househelps and Sexual Abuse" which have been featured lately. I found those posts quite worrying, and they got me thinking about the way the vast majority of middle and upper class Nigerians treat their domestic staff - people like housemaids, gatemen,/security men, drivers, gardeners and so on. The other day, I was discussing the issue with some friends and we all agreed that, in general, they were treated in an appalling way.

From what I've observed, they are treated like second-class citizens in the homes where they work. They often don't share the same living quarters with the rest of the family. Or they are given the worst spaces possible. They use a different set of utensils to eat, for some reason. They are given cast-offs of the children's clothes to wear.

Then they are spoken to in awful ways. Sometimes I would visit a friend and she would be speaking with me nicely and politely, and then turn around to use a harsh and intimidating tone on her housemaid, and call her abusive names. I don't understand it. Sure you can use a stern tone when you are giving instructions to an employee but is there a need for the constant stream of abuse? Would any of us take that kind of attitude from our managers at the office?

Which brings me to my next point. Domestic staff have little or no employment rights. They don't have regular working hours, due to the nature of their work. But then they also don't have any benefits. They don't have holidays, they don't get days off, they don't have anything called a social life. They don't get sick days off or sick pay. Sometimes they don't go to school and can't learn any skill while they are working for their masters. I'm sure none of us professional ladies would ever imagine working for a company that didn't give us any time off or holidays, or allow us any social life. We would protest, but we give the same treatment to our own employees. I have even heard women complaining bitterly when it's Christmas time, and their maid wants to take a couple of weeks off to go and visit her family. It's like, she's not human right? She doesn't need time off to go and see her family. Never mind that madam has taken time off from her own job so that she can enjoy her own Christmas holiday.

Furthermore, the physical violence towards them is just... I don't know. Women who won't raise a hand to strike their own children seem to see no qualms in beating their maids to a pulp at the slightest offence. For some reason, the maid always deserves a beating whenever she makes a mistakes, whereas their children do worse things, but they don't get beaten. Why? What makes it different? Would any of us tolerate physical abuse at work? Why do we think it is okay to hit our domestic staff?

The funny thing is that these mistreatments are not limited to any type of woman. I have witnessed women from all spheres of life mistreating their domestic staff. Even women who should know better, like pastor's wives, lawyers or human right's activists. We can speak out against so many injustices in the world, but for some reason, we seem to turn a blind eye to the ones we do right under our nose.

We can argue that we can't trust them, they are rogues, thieves and what not. But for the amount of money they are paid, and the useful service they provide to us, most of our domestic staff don't get treated well. So of course, they don't have much of an incentive to behave properly.

Has anyone tried to put themselves in their maid's shoes? You are taken away from your family and sent to the city to work for a strange family. You could be scared, lonely and homesick, but you have to put all those emotions aside and get on with it. Then you have to endure working from sunrise to sunset every single day of the week. If you are really lucky you will end up working for a nice family that will treat you well. But the majority are treated harshly by everyone in the family - from the madam, to the oga, to the children. And you dare not complain. In fact, who will you complain to? Who will believe you, if you say your madam is mistreating you, or your oga is making sexual advances towards you? The best you can do is to run away. But where does that leave you? Out of a job, broke and lost in a big city.

I hope we can all start making some small changes to the way we treat our maids. It may just be a small change we make everyday, but it would make a whole world of difference to someone. I would like to imagine a world where housemaids can point to the time they spent with their madams and say that those years were one of the best times of their lives.

Food for thought.

Anyways, have a great week ahead!


Friday, April 2, 2010

Happy Easter

Happy new month! I hope you had a good month in March, and are looking forward to bigger and better things in April. I honestly don't know where the time went! It was like I blinked and March flew past me. Somebody please tell April to slow down and not fly by so fast... by the way, did anyone get sucked into an April Fool's prank?

This week, I've learnt to be thankful for electricity. Last Monday, there was a power cut in our area that lasted for over 14 hours. It was so unusual for that to happen, we didn't have any back-up in the house! Our place operates on electricity so I couldn't cook, do the laundry, or heat the house. We had to go and get a torch light and batteries in the evening. It was such a relief when the power came back on!

I've finished reading Love in Paradise by Lara Daniels,  Egg-Larva-Pupa-Woman by Ogo Akubue-Ogbata (which the writers both kindly sent to me) and In Dependence by Sarah Ladipo Manyika (which broke my heart). I'm now reading The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini. Loving them all, and I promise to review them later. 

The Easter weekend is upon us! I'm looking forward to a relaxing time with hubby, we might visit a couple of family and friends, generally eat more than usual, and reflect on the reason why we celebrate the season. I'm thankful that Jesus came to earth to die for us, and I'm so glad that He accomplished His mission on earth, and He redeemed us. I've been very good so far, I haven't indulged in Easter eggs (yet). But we'll see!

Before you go:

Read about our Amazon Book Launch, courtesy of The Bookaholic. And if you need convincing, check out an excerpt of our book In My Dreams It Was Simpler on The New Black Magazine HERE

Don't forget to check out our blog tomorrow for a new installment - right HERE, make sure you don't miss it for anything.

Wish you all a lovely Easter weekend!


Thursday, March 18, 2010

Books on My Desk

My books arrived from Amazon! So I've now got six books on my desk to devour. I've already started reading "In Dependence" by Sarah Ladipo Manyika. I might do a review of it when I'm done.

Apart from reading, I've been getting back into the swing of writing again. I've had to abandon my book manuscript for now. I hope to start working on another one very soon. Will keep you all posted.

And finally: I want to apologise to you guys for the closure of our "In My Dreams It Was Simpler" series blog. One of our writers was indisposed, and we were also making some changes to the story. Thanks for being patient with us! The blog has reopened now, and the series would be updated tomorrow so do check it out!

Have a lovely weekend ahead!


Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Books Books Books!

This might sound kinda sad, but I'm so excited because I've just bought some books! Lol, I love reading, and now that I'm a writer it's become part of my job to read. My book shelf is now groaning under the weight of stuff, but that won't make me stop buying books! I've been eyeing so many books for a while, my Amazon wish-list has been calling my name, so I just decided to go ahead and treat myself this month.

I bought:

Blonde Roots by Bernardine Evaristo

On Black Sisters' Street by Chika Unigwe

I Do Not Come to You by Chance by Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

In Dependence by Sarah Ladipo Manyika

And finally: In My Dreams It Was Simpler

 (Yep, I bought a copy of our own book! It's for research purposes, lol)

I can't wait for all of them to arrive in the post! I'm eager to bury my head in crisp pages of literature... transporting me to places far away... introducing me to new people... bliss...

I think I'm sorted for the next month or so, but knowing me, I might just buy a few more sooner!

PS: Check out my interview on The Bookaholic Blog! (better late than never)

Enjoy the rest of your week!


Thursday, February 25, 2010

I'm Human

I'm Human

If you pinch me, I will react
If you annoy me, I will get angry
If you hurt me, I will cry
If you cut me, I will bleed
After all, I'm only human.

I try to be a better person everyday
Sometimes it's easy, sometimes it's hard
Sometimes I get it right
Sometimes I get it wrong
But it's okay because,
After all, I'm only human

I make mistakes, I have my flaws
I'm not perfect, I'm not pristine
I'm not a robot or a machine
I have emotions that I express
And that's perfectly fine,
Because I'm only human

I'm not an angel, I'm not God
I get tired and irritable
I have moments of strengths
But also moments of weakness
I cannot see the future
I cannot promise not to fail
After all, I'm only human

I will fall, but I will rise
I will do my best once again
I will admit when I'm wrong
I will say sorry when I offend
But this I know for sure
I am only human

(c) FG

Thursday, February 18, 2010

I Hear Voices

No, I'm not mad.

When I got the rejection letter from the publisher I submitted my novel to last year, I decided to put the manuscript away for a while so that I could get some distance and hopefully clarity on it. I haven't looked at the work since December. Now I'm hearing my characters whispering to me, asking me why I abandoned them for so long. They want me to come and clear up the twists I've left in their lives. One of my protagonists especially, is asking for a slight change in his life. I'm considering it.

Weird, huh? Most fiction writers would know what I'm talking about. It's funny having your own made-up characters come alive and start taking over your sub-conscious. Weird and a bit scary. Anyhow, I love my job, so I'm not complaining. I just wish they would let me do it on my own terms... okay, okay, I've got to go and finish re-writing that chapter...

Take care folks!

PS: Before you go, check out my interview on Femme Lounge

PPS: Our series blog will be updated tomorrow! Make sure you check it out!


Saturday, February 13, 2010

Love Poem

My Far Away Love

Every morning starts beautifully
with the sound of your sweet voice from a phone call.
It's second best to actually embracing you in my arms,
under the covers that protect us from the chill that lies outside.
Your melodic wake-up laughter over the phone is second best
to the overwhelming smile I see in the morning,
when I hold you in my arms
after having spent another wonderful night with you.
Your "I Love You"s over the phone
always make me smile and hold the phone tighter,
second best to looking into your eyes with those words,
and being able to deeply kiss you afterwards,
sending a chilling warmth throughout our bodies.
But with you... you are my #1.
The closest person in the world to me.
With you, there is no second best.
There is no one close to even being "second" or "best".
I hold you, alone, in the most intimate place in my heart.
It's a place where I can feel you, still close, when you're far away.
Where I can close my eyes, and hear your voice,
listen to your laugh, and feel your "I Love You"s.
So please, keep calling me in the morning.
Cause second to your kisses,
theres no better alarm clock than your personalized ring.
No better way to begin the day than with you.

- Patrick Flores -

It's Valentine's weekend, but my val is miles away and this poem expresses how I feel (I'm no poet, so I didn't write it!). I'm missing him and I can't wait for him to come back home. Happy Valentine's Day to all the couples out there, do something special, but remember to keep your love alive every single day!


Thursday, January 28, 2010

Imagine Me

I woke up and this Kirk Franklin song was playing over and over in my mind. It got me thinking about the time in my life when I was very timid, shy and insecure person, struggling with low self esteem. I remember those feelings of "not being good enough", "not being pretty enough" and so on clearly. I have vowed that the one thing I will make sure I do when I have children of my own is to instill healthy self-esteem and self-confidence into them from a young age.

If there is anyone who has never had to deal with low self esteem, there are no words to accurately describe the feelings. It's like a huge cloud hanging over you, darkening everything in your mind. It's like a voice whispering in your head constantly - saying that you are not important, you don't matter, you will never be good enough, you can't do anything good, so why bother? It's the critic in your mind that measures you against everyone else and tells you that you fall far short. It's not believing in yourself or your own talents and abilities. It's like a hopeless despair that you don't deserve anything good, so even when good things happen to you, you are questioning them or thinking they cannot last. It's blaming yourself for everything that goes wrong in your life. It's hating yourself and wishing you could be someone else - anyone just as long as it's not you. It's looking up to someone else to define who are and what you can be. It's settling for less because you don't believe you deserve more. It's not knowing your value and worth.

Need I go on? It's awful, awful awful, and I know this because I went through it. And my heart goes out to anyone who is struggling with these issues. A lot of problems we face in our lives and relationships can be traced to these issues. Why do some women stay with abusive partners? Because they don't think they deserve better. Why do some people give up on their dreams? Because they don't believe they have what it takes to succeed.

I can't but be very thankful to God everyday for bringing me out of that twisted way of thinking about myself. Every time I remember, I say "Thank You God because I am not who I used to be some years ago". It wasn't easy but I am sooooo glad that I have gotten over that negative way of thinking about myself - who I am, whose I am and what I am capable of. And I could only have changed my mindset with God's Word and God's help. I have blogged about this in an older post here but I just felt like someone needed to read this today.

God's word says that He is our Father. He knew you before you we were born. You are a unique individual, created in God's image and likeness. He formed you in your mother's womb. He saw you and declared that you are very good. He is with you every single day. His thoughts towards you are thoughts of good, not of evil. He loves you with an unconditional love that nothing can take away. He loves you so much that He sent His son to die for you because - guess what? You are worth it! You are so valuable to God that even the hairs on your head are numbered. He has invested His time, gifts and talents in you, so you don't need to compare yourself with anyone else. He has kept you and preserved your life thus far, and He has great plans for you.

The voice telling you negative things about yourself is the enemy. You can choose not to believe it. Instead fill your mind with the positive words of love and affirmation that God has spoken concerning you. With time, you will start to believe in what God has said about you. Don't let low self-esteem hold you down any longer. Start believing in yourself and your worth!

Be blessed!


Thursday, January 14, 2010

Book Launch, Interview and the Weather

Hey peeps! It's only the second week of the year and already so much is going on. I've been buried under a load of work and stuff, but also snowed in because of the cold snap the UK has been experiencing in the last two weeks. I find the UK media response to the snow quite amusing. It has been frontpage and headline news for days. They have dedicated so much airtime to covering every single tiny detail of "the big freeze". You would think there are other more important issues to talk about. You would expect that they know it is winter and it snows in winter, so they should just get on with it. But for some reason, the British make a big deal out of it, and it's almost as if the whole country grinds to a halt. Schools close, offices close, the trains don't work, airports close, flights are grounded, the postman doesn't go out, people panic-buy food, etc etc.

For me, it has been fun to look out of my window every day and see the snow. I've only been out in it twice, and I didn't enjoy it at all. I don't like the cold. So while I thank God for snow, I also thank God for the safety and comfort of a warm house. Here's a pic I took of my neighbour's garden:

Recently I've been following the news on TV and online about the Haiti earthquake. It's so sad to hear about so many lives lost, people in desperate situations, without food or shelter. If you are able to donate please go to Disaster Emergency Committee or World Vision and give something to help the victims of this natural disaster.

In other news - We are launching our blog series book tomorrow! We've compiled the story into a book, which I assure you is a really great read. It's available both in paperback and as an ebook, so you can choose whichever format works for you. We would really appreciate your support, so pop over HERE to get your copy! The first ten people to buy a copy tomorrow will get a nice discount. I got my proof copy some days ago and I had fun reading and admiring it. I couldn't believe it was actually real:

I've also got an interview (my first!) with Belinda Otas - check it out! I guess I have now completely removed the mask of anonymity. Ms NoLimit said I should not not be shy, so there you go! If you see me on the tube, come and say hi!

Enjoy the weekend ahead! xx

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Week One

Just checking in to say:

Happy New Year!

I'm planning, writing and working on many things at the moment, but all will be revealed soon. Got to get cracking on those goals for the new year. Time doesn't wait - can you believe on week in 2010 is gone already!

Wish everyone a wonderful year 2010! May all your dreams come true.
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