5 Things I Finally Realize 2015 Has Been Trying To Tell Me
Sometimes, things are said repeatedly and even then, we still don’t hear them.
2015 was both a good and bad year for me…I know, and it isn’t even over yet. I just want it to roll over and be gone already. As is want of this time of year, there’s metric tonnes of lessons twenty fifteen purportedly brought along with it pouring through the streets of the internet so that when I take stock of my life and look over all the events of the year; opportunities I let slip outta my hands and the ones I seized and worked magic with, to the despicable people I let go and the ones I finally realized should never be farther away than my arm’s length to all of that other stuff, the putting away of certain ideology and taking up of new ones, the growth, the amazingly talented people/upwardly mobile outfits I was opportune to work with/intern for, the hobnobbing in places with people I didn’t believe I’d ever be able to achieve at this stage of my life, the great food (and booze) that tickled my palate, here’s what I’m comfortable sharing…
1. I was right — the gym really isn’t for everyone. When last year the significant other gifted me a gym membership card and finally made me work out months after, I fell so terribly ill I honestly thought I will never make it out the same person — because dying was never an option. Low blood pressure, a raging, high nighttime fever and the worst ever general body weakness I have ever known my entire life (someone mentioned me being too frail to carry a pregnancy to full term, lol) were some of the symptoms that plagued my body for days on end. And I swore that I will never hit the gym again — a promise to myself I unfailingly kept. Fast forward to the last quarter of this year when I found running — or I should say running found me, after many years of berating runners I know personally for not enjoying their lives to the fullest saying things along the lines of things never being that ‘deep’. I don’t even know what that’s supposed to mean now. Before running chose me, never had a physical activity made me shame my perceived commitment issues. Now, I look forward to hitting the pavement every single morning. Of course, that doesn’t work from my parents’ home — the fear of ritual killers, kidnappers, robbers waylaying me on the road and using me to gain access into the house is rampant around these parts. It is after all Lagos, you know, and their concerns are not totally unfounded here. It does sound cliche, but I’m just so happy running I actually look forward to it, shin splits and sprouting corns aside. Not to mention it makes for quality me time to properly listen to and analyze song lyrics, clear my head on certain issues and maybe even think of witty things I should have said during an already ended fight with all the people I care enough to fight with. There’s no pressure really, unlike every other thing in my life it seems, since I only have to worry about myself— but I dig crop tops now if I can share. Crop tops on me, that is. My midriff area is great. Come summer, it will be “Hello chocolaty toned abs!”
2. No two people will love you the same way. Interpersonal relationships mean different things to different people.
When a dear friend of mine got hitched earlier this year, her younger sister cried — tears of the I-know-this-is-probably-going-to-ruin-my-makeup-but-I-can’t-help-it, uncontrollable kind. And for a split second that saw me loose my “baddest goon ne’lowa” stance, I thought it was really sweet. Heck, even now, when I stumble upon the picture(s) online, it tends to tug at my heart strings for short periods of time and I find a sad smile play along the corners of my mouth till I remember that I need to keep a’scrolling. I remember asking my youngest sister if she will cry at my wedding shortly after that. A simple no would have sufficed but instead she chose to laugh rudely in my face. I got the same response from her immediate elder sister albeit more subdued. Still, this doesn’t jar my belief that they both shall weep, scratch that, wail, when I decide it is time to join myself to a man. And till then, I act like I don’t give a two shit flying fuck.
Pardon my french.
Yesterday, I arrived home just in time for the very short holidays. I hadn’t seen my sisters in a couple of months and while it’s a given that we are not poster children for families that indulge in public displays of affection and warm hugs and kisses, I was certainly aware of the love I felt as I watched one of my sisters (the diva one) take out my luggage from the car and carry it up into our shared room and the other rush into the kitchen to serve me fresh fish pepper soup she had whipped up specially for me and then we proceeded to spend the rest of the evening just catching up with each others lives, battle for the remote control and steal all the coolest apps from our devices. There was no crying of any sort and I really wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.
And again, for the umpteenth time, I learned that you can’t teach people how to express their love. Everybody has their own way and methods of doing just that. Somehow in twenty fifteen, I always seemed to forget that. This year, I almost always expected the people who claimed to love me to treat me in a certain way or form. It was just a few notches short of me writing a rule book on how to and how not to love Temitope. And all of a sudden, I want to reach out and group hug everyone I tried to guilt into buying me Loubs for my birthday this year. I promise to commit harder into my savings for next year and finally just buy the darn thing.
3. When you write “God and I need to get serious” in your diary at the start of the year, there’s an actual part you play, a small quota of work you put in to bring it into fruition. God will not come down and make it happen. The end.
4. Maybe the creamy crack is not entirely an enemy or a device of sorts, or propaganda even used by the white supremacists to make us beautiful, dark-skinned, nappy haired girls feel any lesser of ourselves. Maybe it is just a cheaper, alternative method to maintaining our kinky 4c tresses.
I am in love with my hair. I am a proud naturalista. I am one of the biggest users of the #shrinkageisdope all over cyberspace. If I was ever invited to a natural hair event, Instagram knows who would be bringing delicious, freshly baked black forest cake. Over two years ago when I did my big chop, I’ve worn my mane like a badge of honor since then. Two years plus is a long time for hair to grow and now I have a long, full and thick mesh for hair that no one even knows about since it is always nicely tucked away within braids or scrunching ever so tightly to my scalp like its life depended on it. My responsibilities have tripled in this time and my hair is paying for it.
After toying with the idea of getting a perm for a few months that has witnessed serious hair breakage, I think a relaxer might be the way to go. I’m only trying to find good within the said ‘bad’. It’s not a done deal yet but it is certainly receiving serious consideration. One can still have long, healthy and good looking relaxed hair, yes?
5. Living for the now is a true blessing but living for tomorrow holds promises of lasting legacies and every decision made today affects the choices one has tomorrow.
This year gifted me the most precious and beautiful mulatto god-daughter. Being a god mother is more than just providing the child with its first kiddies’ Bible and fancy pencils and crayola and a diary when they begin the first grade, it also means you claiming responsibility for the child should God forbid, something awful happened to his/her parents. I fully understand this and happily said yes without a gun raised to my head or being under any influence. And I am not reneging on that.
So, so long twenty fifteen. You did bring a lot of memories with you I’d forever cherish and others I’d act never even happened.