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.

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Day 3: Writing Habit – THANKS FOR THE MEMORIES

Celebrate three songs that are significant to you. Let the emotions and memories connected to this song carry you. I could celebrate 20 songs that evoke emotions and memories within me but I am going to try and pick the 3 that has the most significant memories behind it. I will be putting down a list of the songs that have significance with me; as far back as I can remember;

Simple Plan – Welcome to my life
Kate Voegele – Unfair
Jay Z – Forever Young
Kanye West – Through the Wire
Jay Z – History
Imagine Dragons – Demons
Bette Midler – P.S I love You
The Pogues – Love you till the End
Christina Perri – Human
Jason Walker _ Everybody Lies
A Great Big World – Say Something
Kelly Clarkson – Because of You
Lil Wayne ft Bruno Mars – Mirror on the Wall

The reason why I picked these songs was because the lyrics are something that I can relate to; when I hear them I feel like they are the words I should be telling someone or myself. But the most significant memory right now is my one year relationship with Hera (let’s call her that, since she always said she was my queen). So the three songs are the ones relate to a memory in that relationship albeit in different phases.

The Pogues – Love you Till the End
This was like the anthem of my relationship with her. And P.S I love You fans know what I was talking about. This song played in the beginning when holly (Hilary Swank) and Gerry (Gerald Butler) were fighting. Even after the fight, they couldn’t stay mad at each other till the next morning. You can’t go wrong with this song. And I picked it because this was the only film I watched with her and the song stuck. After that day, every text I sent her ended with “P.S I love You”. Anytime I hear the song, my mind goes back to that day, when we watched the film. It was the only time I ever shed a tear in her presence.

A Great Big World ft Christina Aguilera – Say Something
Hera broke up with me because of a questionable text that she got on her phone, but I don’t think that was the real reason. I believe it was a result of the distance between us at the time, we where about 300 miles of bad roads apart and only talked on the phone and chatted. Around the time we broke up, I was going through a very deep and the longest depression spell I had ever been through, 7 months. So I was a little distant, the calls and text were few and between. This song came out in September of 2013, 4 months after we broke up and whenever, I hear it, and it’s like a summary of everything she was trying to tell me during my dark period which I never told her about. It felt like if I had only said something, maybe it would be different right now.


Kelly Clarkson – Because of You
Because of you, I never stray too far from the sidewalk; I learn to play on the same side so I don’t get hurt. Yup, the nature of the breakup and the few events after made it hard for me to ever fully trust anybody ever again. And it’s because of her. I can confidently say that I no longer open up to anyone because “PEOPLE ALWAYS LEAVE”

Other songs which almost made this top 3 are Lil Wayne ft Bruno Mars – Mirror on the wall (The chorus is all I listen to) which became m anthem during my dark period and Christina Perri – Human ( just read the lyrics) which are full of words I wish I had told her.

So there you have it.

DAY 2: Room With A View – DREAM OF A DYING SUMMER

A place belongs forever to whoever claims it hardest,
remembers it most obsessively, wrenches it from itself,
shapes it, renders it, loves it so radically that he remakes it in his own image.
Joan Didion

I step towards the teleportation device with a big load of curious nervousness, because I do not decide what place I get transported to. Or maybe I do, but it isn’t a subconscious decision, the teleportation device was created to read and enter the deepest recesses of one’s mind and transport them that place they wish to be above all. I pause before the door, and think about all the possible places I could end up; my friend’s room in the housing estate where I spent most nights during my second and third years of school, or my room in my grandmother’s house where I went whenever I wanted solitude and wanted to feel disconnected from the world, or maybe my favorite hideout in boarding school, or another friend’s place in the Housing Quarters for Doctors during my final year of school, or maybe I will be transported to the top of my house where I normally spent most evenings when I wasn’t working and wanted to be alone and read a good book or listen to music.

The point is all these places hold personal memories for me so I couldn’t be sure of where I would end up.

*cue opera music, drum roll and white noise and normal teleportation business (if you know what I mean)*

THE ROOM (OR PLACE WHICHEVER YOU CHOOSE TO CALL IT)
I open my eyes after a brief moment of feeling imbalance. And I have to say that I am surprised to see where I am. It’s a small square room measuring not more than 12×15’ with a door and window on one side and small windows on the other side. The walls are painted blue and white, and designed in a brick pattern with the blue forming the bricks and the white for the outer edges. There is a blue carpet on the floor and a mattress lying to one side of the room. Near the window on one side is a 14” TV and a mini-fridge. The room is bare with a table an chair making up the rest of the furnishing. I am standing in my friend’s sublet at the back of one of the houses in the Doctor’s Quarters. This is where me and my closest friends used to hang and drink and smoke (before I quit) and insult ourselves and just chill.

THE MEMORY
But that is not the memory that holds me whenever I think of the room. The memory is her, the girl I dated at one time and still love, Kayla. Whenever I think of the room, I see a small cute baby face with the most beautifully pointed nose and a smile that could either melt our heart or annoy you in the most endearing way possible. I hear a soft laugh that makes you think there is nothing wrong with the world. I think of her and I immediately get the same feeling I got as I did in herpresence, carefree, like there was nothing to be worried about in the world. The world could have ended when I was with her and I wouldn’t even blink because I was with someone who made it all worthy. I remember  sitting on the single bed and she sitting inside of my legs with her resting against me. I contemplate why she would refuse a pillow and choose to rest on me while we watched a movie, P.S I Love You. It was the most romantic thing I ever did with her and the one thing that my mind won’t ever let me forget.

But this time, I am alone in the room and the rooms feel smaller, like they had a life of their own and were closing up around me. I walk towards the window and look outside at the mango tree in front of the sublet. The tree was a source of fruit that I and my my friends climbed and plucked its fruits and ate. But this time, leaves are brown even though it’s been raining lately. Everything everywhere is dying, even the iron burglary has started rusting. It feels like the world around me is dying and the sun that normally lights it up has gone out. I no longer have her, and I don’t know if I ever will or want to.

I hear a beeping sound and look at my watch and realize that my time is up and I am to be transported back to the teleportation device. After the normal feeling of drowsiness and imbalance the beeping sound still continues and I am annoyed because I do not want to open my eyes. I will myself to be transported to that place where m memory of her is the strongest; even though I know she won’t be there I didn’t want to open my eyes. The beeping increases, drowning all other sounds until I decide to shut off the alarm and reset the device to take me back and let me have one more hour.

But as I open my eyes, I realize I am lying on my bed and the first rays of dawn are streaming in through the window of my room. I can still hear the beeping sound and look for I only to see my bedside alarm read the numbers 06:30AM and I realize that it was all a dream

Day 1: Unlocking The Mind – CALM IS THE NEW BORING?

This is the first assignment for the #Writing101 series for the month of September and I am supposed to just write for 20 minutes without any internal editor redacting some of what I want to say. I may fail in that regards but I have to give it my best. So here goes;

“You are too calm”

That was what my girlfriend said to me yesterday. Calm is a good thing but what she meant is that I was boring, which I know I am not. She just wanted me to be more spontaneous. Well, I have been spontaneous sometime in my past and I decided that was not the way for me.

Now this is not the first time that I have heard this type of statement used to describe me;

“You are calm, even under pressure. You never let people know what you are thinking except what you tell them.” – Ex-Girlfriend

“You are more logical that emotional” – A one-time crush

“You are someone who processes something very thoroughly before he says anything” – My future Brother-in-law

“You are too calm” – Current Girlfriend

I am going to stop here for now and let you process this before I go on.

Done yet? Okay, moving on.

What all this statements point to is that I am controlled by logic almost all the time that even when I show emotion, it feels like I am just showing the emotion that I logical allow. That is another way of saying that I am sociopathic, without the killing.

The truth is although they are right in their assessments of me, they are wrong in their formation of that assessment. My ex-girlfriend used to complain that I never let her in, one-time crush said that I never talk about myself, current girlfriend says that I listen more than I talk.

I wasn’t built that way. I used to be this shy loud nerdy scruffy dude who was awkward with conversations. But after losing my dad, my best friend and almost losing my own life to pneumonia once. I just changed, I can’t explain how or when it started but I knew that I became more aware of the people around me, my environment, and even my sub-conscious. I found myself looking at things in the most objective way possible, from every perspective. I found myself overextending to always see the bigger picture of the big picture. I realized that talking too much wasn’t cool. I found myself grooming myself to be extremely observant while making it all seems effortless.

And the result is a guy who is optimistic yet always prepares for the worst. A dreamer but always realistic. Calling things as they are and thinking too much that if feels like my mind will just explode. Somedays, it’s fun and other days it’s not fun.

I learnt to be strong by never letting anyone know what I’m really feeling and never saying what people wanted to hear but always saying what was appropriate for a particular outcome.

My ex-girlfriend once accused me of manipulating people including her friends and my response was that people wanted to be manipulated on a sub-conscious level.

Time up. So I have to stop here. Maybe I can continue this next time