A DECADE AWAY

“Whoever said that loss gets easier with time was a liar. Here’s what really happens: The spaces between the times you miss them grow longer. Then, when you do remember to miss them again, it’s still with a stabbing pain to the heart. And you have guilt. Guilt because it’s been too long since you missed them last.”

“I was tired of well-meaning folks, telling me it was time I got over being heartbroken. When somebody tells you that, a little bell ought to ding in your mind. Some people don’t know grief from garlic grits. There are some things a body ain’t meant to get over. No, I’m not suggesting you wallow in sorrow, or let it drag on; no I am just saying it never really goes away. A death in the family is like having a pile of rocks dumped in your front yard. Every day you walk out and see those rocks. They’re sharp and ugly and heavy. You just learn to live around them the best way you can. Some people plant moss or ivy; some leave it be. Some folks take the rocks one by one, and build a wall.”

87,655 hours. That’s how long it has been since I saw my dad alive.

3652 days. That’s how many days I relive the horrors of that night, something I probably will until I stop breathing.

23/08/2005. That’s the day I changed. For better or worse? I have no idea. I can’t even remember who I was before then. It all seems like a dream. When I try to remember the pre-2005 years, I have a hard time picturing how I really was. It all seems like I’m seeing someone else’s memories.

Back to that night, how to describe it. I have never told anybody what really happened that night. The official story was He died of cardiac arrest, but that’s just what it is – Official. To understand how horrible that night was for me, one would need to know how close I was to him. And how much I looked up to him, I used to think my dad would live forever. Okay, maybe I didn’t think it like that but I just didn’t believe death would come knocking soon, I thought he would live into his 90s, maybe 100s but I got a reality blow that night – Things end and death represents the finality of all ends.

Crazy thing is, I couldn’t really cry. I was too numb and unable to think. I walked up to the car where he sat limp and lifeless in the front passenger seat held only by my elder brother who sat in the back seat. I kept thinking he would wake up and play an April fool’s joke on us but this was August and I was the only fool. I had never felt such despair and hopelessness before, I just wanted to wake up and discover it had all been a bad dream. And I slept and woke up but it wasn’t a dream, daddy wasn’t at home and he wouldn’t be coming back ever again. How was I supposed to move on? I had no idea. Even writing this, I see that I can’t ever move on. You can’t ever move on when there is finality to the loss of a loved one. You just find a way to live around the loss.

So what changed in me? I learnt to deflect attention from me, I couldn’t let anyone see how badly I was suffering, I got wittier, withdrew, learnt to put a smile on my face even when there a class-5 storm inside of me, I learnt to pretend that everything was alright. Sometimes, I failed and the pain leaks out but for the past 10 years, I have been doing a pretty good job, I plan to. I just don’t want to be saved. It’s like the pain has become my own identity, it’s the only way I know I can still feel. Every emotion or feeling I have had since then has been built on that pain. Hate, Joy, love, sadness, happiness, anger. The pain became the very foundation of which I am, add the other pains I have accumulated over the years and deep inside me, something only I can see is a big ball of pain which makes up the core of who I am. So saving me form the pain will feel like who I am is being erased and re-written at a core level. Who wants that?

I couldn’t sleep last night; I went to bed by 10pm, woke up around midnight and lay in bed with my eyes open for till the sky cleared. The following week after the 23rd of August, for the past 5 years has been my week of pain, it is the only time in the year where I let go and allow the pain consume me. I become a total mess, I stay in bed all day, lazy to get up and eat or do anything, I cry and think and cry and think and repeat until I feel drained. I never wake up with a dry pillow. I’ve come to embrace and dread it at the same time. And this year may be worse; I’ve never been in a relationship during these periods until now. And it has been the happiest I have ever been in 10 years, I smile for real but before I could tell my girlfriend about it, she hit me with the “She needs space (In her words; lots and lots of space)”, I have no idea where that came from and the only meaning I gave to it was that I was choking her and being overbearing. So I don’t think she will be there for me and listen to me when I feel like rambling, I don’t even know if I want to tell her anymore (I eventually may), but in the meantime, my hurt is double and I don’t know if I will come out of this with my mind in one piece. So I am, or am not, looking forward to going through hell alone.

So my nights are going to be the worst, and my days are going to be lifeless. Imagine having someone in your life and not being able to tell them what you are going through because they seem to not want to care. If you can imagine it, well, you have my support too.

But Life goes on. And we just have to keep putting one foot in front of the other, even though we have no idea where the dark road leads.

ON MOVING ON AND LETTING GO

WRITTEN BY A FRIEND

State Of Nothingness: Mentally occupied with nothing.

When you feel completely down and useless and cannot place your hand on the reason why. My friend said it happens once in a life time, but can we go back to when it began, was it really love at first sight. To be honest, it was more like fan at first sight, but over time it grew and became what it is today. So the question is why can’t others be like that, why can’t I grow in love with them. I have heard rebound is the ideal way to start, but this is not starting, I have been at this point countless times, I am beginning to accept that the issue is me, I must be doing something wrong, and this is certain because I am doing something. Next thing is to do nothing, absolutely nothing.

No joy is derived from doing something, you only hurt because an effort was made, nothing more. I can look back and see similar traits, countless break-ups in between, trying to please and be pleased, essential effort on trying to be happy and calm, at this same time encouraging yourself that happiness is often overrated and should not be taken with so much seriousness.

Then you ask yourself was he the best life had to offer, or were you his best, the latter is more preferred as it means in the future when you meet, you will be glad and say like the song “I was the best you never had” but if it’s the first it would be a sad case of regret as other guys that come after will never surpass him and you ultimately made the wrong decision. Listening to the last conversation you realize it was for the best, you rather not have any than to be treated like a beggar, when you are a Queen in your own right. You don’t want a guy that will spit on you and you begin to apologize for not opening your mouth. You would rather be home chilling directing energy to other things asides the other side of your bed, It’s funny how the opposite sex completes you, but a deeper revelation of how the Nuns survive maybe a better guide. One thing I must always take with me is to NEVER REGRET MY ACTIONS but LEARN FROM THEM, as difficult as it may sound is the only way you walk down with your heads high and not a suicidal note filled with depression.

A friend’s feedback:

Abso-freaking-lutely!!

If you feel you’re doing something wrong… I agree you don’t do anything at all. Love will find you and when it does, you’ll then be able to put the bits together. You will get a perfect explanation of why things were the way they were.  And the answer is “the good and the supposedly better were giving way for the BEST! Like every other aspects of life and the things we crave, it requires prayer.

God will save the best for the last. xoxo

NM.

KNOWING WHEN IT’S REAL

“When I, like/am attracted/have feelings for, someone, I go out of my way to show them and let them know that I do.” That’s what a friend told me when I was on the phone with her the other night. She was talking about her crushes past and past, about how she always goes the extra mile to show and tell them how she felt. And then I tried to tell her how I also show that I like someone but I couldn’t say anything, because I have never thought about it at all. I thought my methods were the same as hers and everybody else. Then I realized that all I always did that for everybody, those I had feelings for and even those that I’m just trying to bang. I tried to find that what I did or said that made me realize that I had feelings for someone and it was genuine and not those manipulative stunts I pull.

I am not normal. I know everybody says this about themselves because they have this train of thought that normal is boring. But normal isn’t boring, normal is comfortable. But I don’t mean it that way. Psychologically, I am far from normal. The things that makes most people tick seem to be skewed when it comes to me. I am moved by the unusual of things, I notice the same things about people form a very different and weird perspective. For a Nigerian, I listen to the most unusual of songs (folk music with artists like Birdy, Nina Nesbitt, Damien Rice, Gabrielle Aplin and Christina Novelli). I have been told that I like thinking left more times than I can count.

When thinking about what I did or said differently to let a girl know that I have feelings for her and that those feelings were real, two things were obvious; either I put it in words or I did it with actions. But after running through a mental list of every girl in my life, I realized that I did either one of those two things for everyone that I wanted to bang or date. Saying it or acting it was never a clear indicator of how I felt for someone.

With the first girlfriend, it was words. With the second, it was words and actions. With the third, it was words, with the fourth, it was also words. And for every girl I crushed on that I never dated, it was just words. I realized that I never really had romantic/affectionate feelings for any of them, with the second being an exception and then those feelings were because of my mind wanting to feel and not really me feeling. It wasn’t real and raw. The realization was both horrifying and liberating. It was horrifying because it means that before this year, I have only ever had real feelings for one girl. It was liberating because it afforded the opportunity to be self-aware of my emotions and mind and to know when something could be real. I won’t tell you who the girl is, but if she ever reads this post, she’ll know.

How do I know when what I feel is real? How would you know when I am real?

Whenever I tell a girl I have feelings for her, it is just to recognize the fact that I am attracted to her and nothing else. It really doesn’t mean anything. But the way I let a girl know that I have feelings for her and that I mean those feelings that they are real is, I let my guard down. I let myself be vulnerable. I open myself up to be possibility of being hurt, I lay myself bare. This sounds tricky I know. But it finds a way to show in my actions, what I say and how I choose to say it. Even the girl for whom I did let my guard down never noticed this.

It really isn’t rocket science. Only I know when I have let my guard down and you if you are perceptive enough. My constant state of mind is the typical guy’s own when he lets his guard down. So my natural disposition is like my guard is down which can be pretty deceiving. So if you know me, you should be able to figure out when my guard is down if ever I let it down for you.

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

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

Day 14: To Whom It May Concern – LETTER TO AN EX

 

I am sorry we broke up. Really, I am.

Because you were wonderful, maybe even the best I have ever had. Why wouldn’t you be? That’s what drew me to you. But while you were wonderful in your own unique ways, I guess I just wasn’t enough or should I say; the distance was too much. I know 6 months is a very long time without seeing the person you loved. I could endure that but what I didn’t realize was that you couldn’t. You were fragile and I was trying too hard to build you up.

Looking back, I think the fragility was what endeared me to you. Our friends called us the perfect couple; they can’t even believe that we are no longer together. I can, not because I was a cynic and thought you would leave me but because like everything else in life; people always leave, it doesn’t matter whether they want to or not. In the end, they leave.

Up till this day, I still don’t get the real reason why you left; I don’t believe the story about the text. Or maybe I know the real reason and I just don’t want to say it out loud because I like the image of you that I have in my mind and that is the only good thing I have.

I still love you, I can never stop loving you (believe me, I have tried). And even if I find someone else, what I will feel for them will never be as much as what I will always feel for you. It doesn’t matter whether that someone has better qualities than you, there was a way in which you complimented me and made us fit that I don’t think anybody else can ever match. You gave me the best one year of my life and for that I am forever grateful.

I AM TRYING TO FORGET YOU BUT I AM ALSO WAITING FOR YOU TO COME BACK.

Day 13: Serially Found – LOST BUT RETRIEVED

This is a part 2 of the post Serially Lost – If Only

“Everyone suffers at least one bad betrayal in their lifetime.
It’s what unites us.
The trick is not to let it destroy your trust in others when that happens.
Don’t let them take that from you.”
Sherrilyn Kenyon

I never thought that I’ll find it again. I had given it to people and they had misused it in the most disrespectful way possible. Yet, whenever the next person came and asked for it, I would give it to them, and then they would do the same thing that others before them had done.

After a while, I started doubting myself, I lost hope in everybody and everything. There was no meaning anymore all because I couldn’t find it in me.

My Trust was gone, betrayed by the very people I had given it to. I cursed myself for ever thinking that the next person would be different from the rest.

So when this person came to me demanding, subtly, that I give it to her, I wondered how I would give something that I no longer have. But it helped that she gave me hers even when I didn’t ask for it and I knew not what to do with it. She gave hers to me and helped me find mine. It wasn’t easy and I almost gave up because of the fear that it would get disrespected again.

It’s been almost 2 years now, and I have to say that I do not regret finding it again and giving ti to her because she has not let me down.