2015 – WITH LOVE (OR NOT)

It is good to have an end to journey towards,
but it is the journey that matters most in the end”
Ernest Hemingway

“A goal is not always meant to be reached,
it often simply serves as something to aim at”
Bruce Lee

First post of the year, not counting the review because that was supposed to be published last year. I have no idea why I haven’t written anything this year, even though there have been a ton of things to write about; form the postponed upcoming general elections, to celebrity acting like kids (Amber Rose and the Kardashian Clan) to day one niggas turning on each other (Wizkid and Skales), to more important and relevant issues like Oil Prices, Irrational killings around the world, and my own life.

I guess I wanted to start off this year with some good news, and it seems like that news is being delayed getting here. So I’ll just paint a story so far;

  • I went for an interview and was offered a job as an IT administrator. The job encompassed Social Media Management, Web Content Manager, System Administrator and Graphic Design. But I turned it down because the pay wasn’t acceptable. I would have taken the job because it gave e the opportunity to grow and learn more as an aspiring web developer but the pay wasn’t good enough.
  • I realized that I may not read as much books this year as I would love to. Most of the books I will be reading will be Computer books. No fiction or personal development book all through.
  • I finally read “The Fault in our Stars”. I always wanted to read the book but I never could read it for long without getting bored or going into deep thought over some gems that were dropped and then time would fly. I watched the movie barely a month after it was released and I have to say, the movie has nothing on the book. The book screamed pain right from page one. It changed my outlook and perspective on terminal illnesses and the people who go through them.

All in all; the year hasn’t really taken off for me as I am kind of waiting for the news that I want to hear. Also, here are some things that I want to accomplish this year;

  • Efficiently plan how I spend my time so as not to waste it on short-term nonprofitable things
  • Become extremely good and proficient in HTML, CSS & JavaScript such that I can code a website from scratch with full frontend functionality without relying heavily on frameworks and pre-coded functions.
  • Also be far ahead I my journey to learn backend web development starting with maybe Ruby or PHP.
  • Have a minimum account balance of 1 million naira and hopefully have moved out on my own.
  • Read at least 20 non-computer books with whatever free time I have.
  • Meet more people even if I have to go out more often.

Expect a few posts soon.

2014 RETROSPECTING

“We pass through the present with our eyes blindfolded.
We are permitted merely to sense and guess at what we are actually experiencing.
Only later when the cloth is untied can we glance at the past
and find out what we have experienced and what meaning it has.”
Milan Kundera, Laughable Loves

 

I can’t say 2014 was a bad year for me neither can I call it a good year. But it was better than the previous year.

2013 was and is always going to be the worst year of my life, the ultimate lowest that I can ever get; the proverbial “rock-bottom”. I gave much away and I got nothing back, ended up losing everything. I ended up Clinical Depressed (without the Low Self-Esteem bit). I lost the ability to trust, to hope, to even care about anything anymore. I was in a very dark place, still am but it is getting better. It made me question the point of our existence; why are we really here on earth? Were we created just so we can spend all of our lives trying to get to a better place when we die? Were we created just so we could worship & praise a God who felt lonely and had to create us and then when we went wrong, He banished us and now we have to find our way back, a journey that takes the rest of our lives? WHAT IS THE POINT?

I stayed indoors 20 hours a day, I withdrew from friends & family, I subconsciously created a thick wall around my emotions & mind, making me seem like a robot most days just going through the motions; fake smiles, no pleasure in most things. I wanted to die; the only thing stopping me was the pain of dying slow. I was empty inside.

That was how I started 2014; hopeless & majorly depressed even though no one around me knew what was going on. No light at the end of the tunnel, there wasn’t even an end in the tunnel.

I made the decision to move back to Lagos after 3 years of shuffling between Benin & Abuja. This was the year I was going to use to pick up the pieces of myself. First step was getting a job, something to get me out of the house and around people each day, even though I had no idea who was going to hire a graduate without his certificate seeing as I refused to go back and collect it. The first five months were a blur; I found myself in a desultory relationship which I was able to get out of before the year ran out. I got a job in June and the only time I was ever home were the weekends. It didn’t help me deal with my problems but it did help to distract me enough times. I was finally able to get over the betrayal & an Ex. Writing about how I still felt towards her on my blog enabled me to face the feelings and find a way to do away with it. I had no one to talk to who would listen, I couldn’t afford a shrink and I couldn’t let anyone see how broken I was. I did the next best thing I knew how to and that was write, I poured it all out. Now I am over her, I am still broken, still in that tunnel with no end in sight but I have been able to create my own bright spot no matter how dim it gets sometimes and it keeps me from stumbling with every step I take.

2014 was about recovery for me and while I haven’t gotten there yet, I am moving towards it. Looking back, I can say it was a year of learning; I learned discipline. I learned more patience. I learned diligence. I learned that the wounds never really heal, you just learn to live around it. I learned tolerance. I learned to let go. I learned to make the most out of any given situation. I learned that in the end, all you really have is yourself.

There wasn’t any really standout moment for me because it wasn’t a year to make something; it was a year dedicated to picking myself up and finding my feet on the ground.

2015 is a year of structured focus. Planning and disciplined follow-through. A year to try to connect more with people, even if I am never able to genuinely trust another again.

2014 made me realize that despite how strong I came across to people, I am broken and need saving. And I tried to save myself but each time; I seemed to sink deeper into the darkness. I have given up on that but it doesn’t mean I stop living. There may be nothing in this world worth living for right now, so I just have to do is live; not for anybody nor for myself.

This is me. Broken, Lost, Dark. Just learning to live with it

TOP FICTION BOOKS I READ THIS YEAR

I didn’t read a lot of non-fiction this year; I didn’t even read that many books this year. I drifted. So I’m just going to put up my top 5 books for this year, all fiction.

In no particular order;

5. JUMPER: EXO by Stephen Gould

DOWNLOAD

Exo_ A Novel (Jumper) - Steven Gould

THE FAULT IN OUR STARS by John Green

DOWNLOAD

The Fault in our Stars

PERCY JACKSON’S THE HEROES OF OLYMPUS: BLOOD OF OLYMPUS by Rick Riordan

DOWNLOAD

The Blood of Olympus

THE YOUNG ELITES by Marie Lu

DOWNLOAD

The Young Elites

A WALK TO REMEMBER by Nicholas Sparks

DOWNLOAD

A Walk to Remember

I’m sorry I can’t write a little about each book because my mind is on overload right now so I included a download link for each book. The books are in epub format so I recommend these readers.

WINDOWS: Calibre
ANDROID: Aldiko Book Reader
BLACKBERRY: Yreader

I will be putting up my 2014 review before next week runs out.

ROCKED MY PLAYLIST – 2014

Earlier, I did personal top 5 albums for 2014. Now I am doing a rundown of songs that rocked my playlist this year. It was a year of more music and less books for me this year. I discovered new artists, fell in love with old ones and loved some even more. I can say each of these songs averaged a lot of plays simply because I was always hitting the repeat button whenever they came on, so enjoy.

 

 

HIP-HOP

 

Drunk in Love – Beyonce ft Jay-Z
On the Run II – Jay-Z ft Beyonce
Young Forever – Jay-Z ft Mr. Hudson
Coming Home – Diddy Dirty Money ft Skylar Grey
Welcome to Hell – Bad Meets Evil
Hold on, We going home – Drake ft Majid Jordan
Can’t forget about you – Nas ft Chrisette Michelle
One Mic – Nas
The Devil is a Lie – Rick Ross ft Jay- Z
Headlights – Eminem ft Nate Reuss
Kick, Push – Lupe Fiasco
SLR (Super Lupe Rap) – Lupe Fiasco
Young, Wild & Free – Wiz Khalifa ft Snoop Dogg & Bruno Mars
Worst Behavior – Drake

 

P.S I did not put any J.Cole because his album came out late and while it was good, it didn’t  get enough time to rock my playlist

 

NON HIP-HOP (POP/ROCK/INDIE/)

 
No Angel – Birdy
Not About Angels – Birdy
Wings – Birdy
Heart of Gold – Birdy
Words as Weapons – Birdy
A Moment like This – Kelly Clarkson
Behind These Hazel Eyes – Kelly Clarkson
Hear Me – Kelly Clarkson
Addicted – Kelly Clarkson
Wrapped in Red – Kelly Clarkson
Down – Jason Walker
Shouldn’t Be a Good in Good-Bye – Jason Walker
I’ll let you go – Jason Walker
Wait – M83
The Hardest part – Nina Nesbitt
Lay Me Down – Sam Smith
I’m not the Only One – Sam Smith
Thinking out Loud –  Ed Sheeran
Lego House – Ed Sheeran
I See Fire – Ed Sheeran
Unfair – Kate Voegele
I won’t Disagree – Kate Voegele
Cannonball – Lea Michele
Human – Christina Perri
My Immortal – Evanescence
Ain’t it Fun – Paramore
Hurt You –  Babyface & Toni Braxton
Leave the pieces – The Wreckers
Turning Tables – Adele
Let Her Go – Passenger
 

MY TOP 5(6) ALBUMS OF THE YEAR

Today, I am putting up my top 5 albums of the year. I am only going to do so for albums released in 2013/2014. Yes, I am adding 2013 because some albums were just too good that I listened to it into this year and they were better than some 2014 albums.

Before I put it up, I would like to say that I grew up a hardcore hip-hop fanboy.  Jay Z, Nas, Dr Dre, Public Enemy, Rakim, Ice cube, The Eastsidaz, Outkast, T.I, Drake, and co; I didn’t even want to listen to pop and rock albums. Well, 3 albums changed my mind; Kelly Clarkson’s “Break Away (still my best album ever)”, Miley Cyrus’ ‘Can’t be Tamed” and Kate Voegele “A Fine Mess”. Since then, I’ve always been open to given pop & rock artist a chance to woo me over and some of them have succeeded. I was recently organizing my phone’s playlist and I realized that I have more pop/rock than hip-hop songs, a ratio of about 5:1. So these are my albums of the year which I will try to rank;

  1. ED SHEERAN – X (stylized Multiply)

released June 20, 2014ed sheeran x

I still maintain that Ed Sheeran looks like a dork, and I don’t mean that as a bad thing, I am only stating it matter of fact. That being said X was a good album for me, maybe not better than + but since 2014 was not used to discover new music, I have to pick this. It had good melodious songs like Sing (with Pharell Williams) and I’m a mess.

Rating: ♠♠♠
Fav Song(s); Thinking out Loud, I’m a Mess

  1. BEYONCE – BEYONCE

Beyonce - Beyoncereleased December 13, 2013.

The first 2013 album to be on my list, mainly because it was released 18 days before the year ended so it fell into 2014 for me. I remember the day this album came out, I was on twitter that morning and all everyone was talking about was Beyonce this, Beyonce that. It was as if Queen Bey (this is the only time you will ever hear me call her that) dropped a nuclear bomb on U.S soil which is what she did, figuratively speaking. What made it talked about globally was that there was no single released before the album, she didn’t try to force any song down our ears. She just dropped the whole shit once like, “here, take your pick”

Rating:  ♠♠♠¤

Fav song(s): Drunk in Love ft Jay Z, XO,  Flawless (I know I’m a guy but the hook is just so damn catchy “I woke up like this!!!!!!!!!!!”

  1. ASA – BED OF STONE

released August 25, 2014Asa - Bed of Stones

The only Nigeria artist whose songs are on my phone (I think so), PC and all devices that I own; the only Nigerian artist that I can listen to without my brain feeling like It’s splitting in 2 with all their kicks and snares and bass drums. The album is melodious and even has a few catchy songs like “Satan be Gone”, songs that all the mushy people out there can relate to; like “How did love find me?” and extremely conscious music like ‘Bed of Stone”. This would have been my album of the year if I had not listened to or downloaded the next 3 artist on my list.

Rating: ♠♠♠♠
Fav Song(s): Bed of Stones, The One That Never Comes, Grateful.

  1. J.COLE – 2014 FOREST HILLS DRIVE

released December 9 , 2014.J.Cole - 2014 FHD

This is probably my most relatable hip-hop album since Jay Z’s “The Black Album”. I almost didn’t get this album as I wanted to wait till next year, and honestly, it would have been my only regret of 2014 if I had waited. Right from the first full track, January 28th to the “Love Yourz”, I felt like I was the story teller, like I could actually see the world through his eyes. In a way, it was what he wanted. This kind of rap, story-telling, is becoming rarer as the years go by with so many artists conforming trying to appropraite hiphop culture. Anybody could actually find some piece of relatable perspective in the album.

Rating: ♠♠♠♠
Fav Song(s): January 28th, G.O.M.D, A Tale of Two Citiez, Adolescence.

NOTE: THE NUMBER ONE SPOT IS SHARED AS YOU SHALL SEE

1A. BIRDY – FIRE WITHIN
released September 16, 2013.Birdy - Fire Within

My best/greatest Indie folk artist of all time (sorry Kate Voegele and Ed Sheeran) and she is only 18 with just 2 albums to her name. Yet I love her beyond words. That voice, damn, with the instrumentals backing her up especially the keyboard (the way she strings together the keys in some of her ballads). There are no words to describe this album. No words.

Rating: ♠♠♠♠♠
Fav Song(s): Wings, No Angel (Best Song ever) , All you never Say, Heart of Gold, Standing In The Way of The Light, Strange Birds.

 

1B. SAM SMITH – IN THE LONELY HOUR
released May 26, 2014.Sam Smith - In the Lonely Hour

I was in a relationship for most of the year (single now, ladies take note) but most times it felt like I was alone in that relationship. And this album helped me get through that time. The songs were just so powerful that you could feel the raw emotion dripping from the words, like you could also feel Sam’s pain as you listen along. This is an album of unrequited love and that alone makes it my album of the year. But whether your love is being given back or not, this album will move you.

Rating: ♠♠♠♠♠
Fav Song(s): Lay Me Down, Stay with Me, I’m Not The Only One. La La La, Latch, Not in That Way, Make It To Me

2014 SAID……………….

This is a list of my Top Quotes of the Year 2014.

Some were gotten from books that I read while some were gotten from Tv or I just stumbled across it somewhere and can’t remember. I picked these ones because I felt that i could, on some level, relate to them.

“I guess by now I should know enough about loss to
realize that you never really stop missing someone.
You just learn to live around
the huge gaping hole of their absence.”
Alyson Noel

“Chaos was the law of nature;Order was the dream of man.”
Henry Adams

To get the rainbow, you have to endure the rain
The Fault in our Stars

There’s no such thing as a final score,
only the next one
White Collar

A broken heart is a broken heart,
to take a measure is cruelty
Scandal

The day the phrase “love is not enough” hits you
is the day you should strive to make it work not walk away.”
@Sirkastiq

 

No matter how expensive the shoe, it still pinches when it doesn’t fit
Steve Gould – Exo

“If you spend your life sparing people’s feelings
and feeding their vanity,
you get so you can’t distinguish what should be respected in them.”
Anonymous

“Be true to yourself.
That’s something everyone says and no one means.
No one wants you to be yourself.
They want you to be the version of yourself that they like.”
Anonymous

The truth is what we determine it to be.
And it lies not in the facts, but in the telling.
State of Affairs