My best definition of social media is people on the left, people on the right, and technology in the middle. It is the democratization of information and content, the convenience and equal opportunity to share and connect with others, and the fulfillment of “the world is a global village” prophecy.

For some, social media is a magic wand to be wielded as they please, whether positively or negatively. It is at the heart of discussions around the world, from boardrooms to houses of parliament, marketplaces to bedrooms. It is alternate reality for some, and a mask to hide behind to perpetuate falsehood, bully, or exact vengeance against others.

Social media is many things, and does many things for many people. It is the voice of the common man, the route to recourse for offended customers and the immediate audience for the citizen journalist. Depending on where you are, local and international case studies abound of people deploying their networks to bring about a desired action or reaction. Social capital has a new field of play, and the rise and rise of influencers is ignored at the peril of the social media manager or strategist.

Credit: hr-gazette.com

Credit: hr-gazette.com

In Nigeria, the advent of social media broke and is still breaking many ceilings as far as communication across board is concerned but especially as it affects power. As a people we’re traditionally wired to follow or submit to constituted authority, whether in the home, in our communities, at school, at work or via our various religions; our embracing digital however disrupted all of that. The proliferation of media has provided access to global thinking, cultures, new streams of thought on the one hand, and courage for expression of existing streams of thought on the other. Questions have arisen where people weren’t questioning actions or inactions before, and those already questioning became equipped to be even louder and more visible with these questions. We are tasking government and public officials in a manner that was simply unthinkable before.

Love, relationships, and marriages have also had their share of disruption thanks to an audience constantly in need of a good ‘awww-worthy’ moment. Public displays of affection are no longer public enough if they’re not broadcast to friends, family, enemies, and complete strangers. We’re here for those moments though, egging on lovers to push the boundaries of rationality in expressing just how much they love their partner.

On the flip side, the pressure to claim that significant other and shield them from potential competitors or replacements is real, and there are studies that say social media has bred a new level of paranoia and mistrust in relationships. From sliding into private messages (also known as Direct Messages on Twitter and Instagram), to the curse of the misinterpreted emoji left as a comment, to spats that end in publishing nudes that were exchanged in times of peace, even to pedophiles grooming and then abusing teenagers (and thankfully getting their comeuppance), there’s just as much evil as there’s good online.

A little while ago, poverty porn was an issue, with international organizations attempting to clutch at our hearts (and purse) strings by depicting suffering across Africa. I was always embarrassed to watch those calls for help, especially when there would be three in a row (in whatever order); one to raise money to provide water for an African child, another to adopt a pet tiger, and another to stop cruelty to dogs. I was never comfortable with them, probably will never be.

Say hello however to Poverty Porn 2:0, the new version enabled by social media. We are in the age of philanthropy that must be broadcast to the world. And so without recourse to the dignity of the human beings in question (adults and children alike), people feel it is acceptable to film and broadcast their acts of charity. It is arguable that the publications inspire others to do good but is that really why we do it?

What is social media to you? How has it changed your life from the first social network you subscribed to?

Whenever I hear the word ‘galaxy’, my mind strays to somewhat unfamiliar terms like asteroids, comets, intergalactic activity etc., and to better known terms like stars, planets, rotation and revolution, etc.

I wonder which of the stories we have heard or learned are true, if there was indeed a big bang (and sometimes how big it was), or if God created all we know and can see as the Bible tells us, starting with “Let there be light.” (Obviously I know God is true)

I also think of things like Unidentified Flying Objects (UFOs), and allow myself a stretch of imagination as to their origin and final destination. Are the movies we’ve watched expressions of creativity, or do they really exist? Is there really life elsewhere? Do they look like we do? What do they feed on, burgers, fries, or healthy greens? What systems of governments are in place, and have they graduated to Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) from Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) like we did?

I allow myself to ask all these questions, maybe even search the web for any new knowledge. It would be nice to know an alternate universe existed devoid of the pollution we have in ours, one without wars, hunger, poverty, climate change, and terrorism.

So far that’s what they’ve stopped at though, questions.

PS: This piece was in response to a question, “write 150 words on the topic – Galaxy”

Hope is a currency more valuable than the dollar, more desirable than the pound, and yet the most easily dispersed, if you’re in prison.

I visited Kuje Medium Security Prison on Friday the 22nd of April 2016, my first time ever in a prison, home and/or abroad. I had heard of prison visits by charities and fellows given to philanthropy in the past, but a chance meeting with Big Mo of Wazobia FM and I was off to ‘The Committee’ to tell them we needed to contribute towards the visit.

The trip to the prison was moved a few times due to high security alerts issued by the authorities, and the calibre of people housed in the prison and at some point I lost hope that the visit would happen. But, on Wednesday I was informed that we had received the all-clear and Friday was the day.

Thanks to monies graciously approved by The Committee, I drove to the assembly point, back seat full of toiletries – toothpaste, petroleum jelly, bathing soap, washing soap, dettol, sanitary towels, and bleach – and I had to change into something totally hiding my figure. Yep, I had been warned that the less *insert a word of your choosing* females look when they visit prisons, the less excitable the men will get.

image

Me, in my sister’s maternity kaftan!

And then we set off to Kuje, which is a right turn off the stretch from the city to the airport, and transforms from urban to underdeveloped with each kilometre. Unfortunately, there is a stark difference between state capitals and satellite towns around them; stark differences in what we present to outsiders, and what we really are.

The entire drive, my mind was racing, almost crashing into itself with all the emotions I was feeling and the stories of prison visits I’d heard. Would they pee on me, would anyone be really injured? Would they be hungry, angry or just stoic? I tried to distract myself with music, with very little success.

As we turned onto the dirt road leading to the prison, the butterflies in my belly doubled, trying to keep up with the increasing military presence we encountered. I was reminded of the absolute power of celebrity and the media (read as radio) when we were stopped at one of the checkpoints and told to go somewhere far to park. Then Big Mo introduced himself and it was magical how all the soldiers started hailing him. Fist bumps, laughs, the once tense mood melted into camaraderie because the soldiers matched a face with a voice they listened to maybe everyday.

We got into the prison reception, and the ladies were taken into a room to be searched. I’ve been body searched on three continents and I tell you, none have been as embarrassing and almost invasive as this search. The body search in America comes close, but these guys take the cake abeg.

We were led to a courtyard where there were at least 100 inmates sitting under canopies and laughing as one of us cracked jokes. And there was more laughter, raucous laughter as comedians thrilled the inmates. It got better, there were comedians drawn from the inmates themselves. Hilarity!

Beyond the laughter though, I was bawling like a baby at different points. One of them? One of the comedians was told he could only do one joke. He finished it, and when the mic was going to be taken from him, he said he’d been locked up for 8 years and he didn’t know when next he’d hold a microphone. Cue my wiping my eyes furiously.

When each performer finished, he would give out a tube of toothpaste, a bar of soap, or any of the little household items we had. The joy on their faces as they received the items, the look of longing on the faces of their peers, cue my wiping my eyes furiously.

Sometimes it was easy to forget we were actually amongst inmates. The thunderous laughter, hailing their own performers or ours, and the clapping would have been great joy to a politician at a rally. Each time an official asked them to move back, or sit down though? I remembered, all over again.

I wondered what crimes they might have committed to get there, wondered about their friends and family and if they were missed, if some of them had families waiting for them to get out, or if they had moved on. I was told of people who were locked up (for years) because they couldn’t afford bail of N5000.

A pastor from House on The Rock The Refuge gave a brief exhortation, and he led us in the song ‘Everything written about you is great’ by Steve Crown before that. Watching the prisoners standing, waving their hands in worship? Kai. Pastor TJ preached hope, courage, and Jesus being able to turn their lives around.

We danced too, even me! The performers all danced with the inmates, the prison officials danced with themselves, and then us females (two of us) were asked to come out to dance. Took all of me not to cry all over again as they hailed us to the ‘stage’; couldn’t manage beyond shuffling from side to side.

And it was a teary Chioma who gave soaps and toothpaste to the inmates, including one really old, frail man as afternoon turned to evening and we had to leave.

I was turning everything we’d experienced in my mind as we walked to the reception to be processed out. Only to see prison officials whipping one really rough-looking man so quickly it seemed like every step I took coincided with a swish of the whip. I started begging the official to stop, tears flying down my face. One of the officials told me not to waste tears on the man; apparently he’d been released from this prison after spending four years for raping a female; he had just been arrested, caught in the act of raping a four-year old boy. Yes. A four-year old. A boy.

I left.

PS: A very big thank you to Big Mo, Chuks D General, Willy Willy (all of Wazobia FM and who have organised these prison visits for a number of years), all the comedians and entertainment guys who came along on this visit. You guys are awesome.

So it’s my Pastor’s birthday today, whoop! Pastor Sunday Ogidigbo is the golden age of 39, and he decided to share with us 39 principles he’s learned through 20 years of following Jesus, 19 years of preaching the word, and 5 years of pastoring full-time.

Ready for it? You better be!
39 things that equal wisdom for daily living.
1. Be planted in the word of God; listen to it, apply it, abide by and be guided by the word. Let His word lighten your path and guide your steps.
2. Be prayerful, not because you feel like it but because you ought to. Pray in the spirit, in your understanding, in season and out of season.

3. Be addicted to fellowship. As long as the iron is in the fire the fire will be in the iron. When you stay connected to God in the place of fellowship you remain on fire for Him. Executive Christianity will profit you nothing.

4. Fast often. It must be part of your lifestyle, at least once a week. Fasting is a spiritual catalyst.

5. Join a service unit, be useful in the house of God.

6. Join a smaller fellowship unit in the church.

7. Read books. Develop the gift and passions inside you.

8. Surround yourself with Godly friends. Any friend who isn’t helping you grow is destroying you; if you’re not changing them they’re changing you.

9. Have faith in God. Flood your heart with materials that will build your faith.

10. Read biographies whether they be men of God, politicians, sportsmen, social activists.

11. Be a giver… Giving is the proof that you’ve conquered greed. Give as you have, to God to your parents, to the needy, and with the right attitude.

12. Find a mentor. In the multitude of counsel there is wisdom; follow people who are headed in the same direction you want to go. Be accountable to them, submit to them.

13. Be holy. Holiness is the quality that validates our ‘sonship’.

14. Be a soul winner. Be a public Christian. If you are ashamed of Him He will be ashamed of you.

15. Be generous. The liberal soul will be made fat.

16. Be a person of integrity and honour. Be true to God, to men, and to yourself. Don’t make promises you won’t keep. Let your words be bankable.

17. Honour all men. Treat elders like your parents, accord them the respect they are due. Fear God, honour the King, love the brotherhood.*Don’t ever conclude on a Christian, you don’t know what God has in store for them.
18. Be contented. Learn to enjoy the things that you have.

19. Be supernatural. Don’t operate based on the things you hear, see, read.

20. Be humble. Humility engraces and enthrones. God gives supernatural support to the humble.

21. Work hard, work smart. Work to learn before you work to earn.

22. Learn to understand people. Be tactful, political, and diplomatic.

23. Be hospitable, allow people to eat your food and drink. Accommodate strangers.

24. Dream big. Visions are free, get yours. Money is too small to be a dream.

25. Be purposeful

26. Live your life on information and revelation.

27. Meditate on the word. Meditation is to your spirit what digestion is to the body.

28. Attitude is everything. The only disability in life is a bad attitude.

29. Love is the greatest. Love will always guarantee victory regardless of what life throws at you.

30. Be friendly. Try. Celebrate the successes of others. People never forget how you make them feel.

31. Be simple. Simple is hard but powerful and effective. Be brief.

32. If you have nothing to say, keep quiet. Train your mind so your mouth talks wisdom. A foolish man who talks less will be seen as wise.

33. Fear God. A fool says in his heart that there’s no God.

34. Don’t live on impulse. Let principles guide your life so it has a sense of direction.

35. Be gentle. Blue flames burn hotter, empty barrels make the most noise.

36. Self control.

37. Control your appetite, especially for food, sex, and sleep. A man who cannot control these three cannot be a vessel into God to be used by him.

38. Family is important. After God comes your spouse and children.

39. Hold no grudge, begrudge no man.

Happy birthday pastor Sunday! Thank you for yielding yourself to God and HIs great work, and for constantly dividing the word of truth with such simplicity. God bless you today and everyday!

So I bought a mop recently… needed to get a new one for my bathroom.

My sister, Francesca, Wumi, and another friend say I shower like an elephant, leaving puddles (and oceans) anywhere I shower. Whatever!! Jesus loves me like that! *shakes off the criticism*

Anyway, so the mop in my bathroom which I’d use to wipe the little drops of water that might occasionally get on the floor when I shower (notice I’m choosing my words V-E-R-Y carefully) seemed a bit old and not as enthusiastic at cleaning like it was when we first got it.

So, to the market I went, to get me a new mop. And I got one, for N500 (not bad abi? If you think I was had just keep it to yourself biko) and I was excited to try it out. I did, and it soaked up the water like a piece of bread dunked in tea (I hope you left that behaviour in your childhood by the way). Whoop!! My new mop is everything! I love it!

Made me think a bit though, and those thoughts are the essence of this post.

When we make friends or get into new relationships, new marriages, new jobs, whatever ‘new thing’ you can fit into this bracket, we’re like my mop. Soaking up everything – promises, joys, memories, everything, including the unhappy moments. And we take it in stride, drying out and coming back the very next time/day (not saying I need to mop my floor every time I shower, SMH) without batting an eyelash.

As we go/grow/progress, sometimes it feels like we can’t take ‘it’ (whatever negative you want to fit in here) as smoothly as we would normally. And so resentment starts to set in, simply cos we don’t absorb (read as wipe the floor as quickly or as thoroughly) as we used to.

Obviously we cannot change marriages (except of course there’s violence of any kind then you have me solidly behind you asking you to save yourself) and some relationships need work instead of changes (again read earlier caveat).

That said, sometimes it’s time for a change.Change is good (obviously not the *unprintable* we’re dealing with now… sigh). A good old dunk in the trash of the old, and the entrance of new life, new experiences; a new mop.

Like mine, and I’m loving it.

PS: I don’t like shower curtains so please don’t advise me to get one.:)

ADVANCE WARNING: This is going to be a bit all over the place, like my mind is at the moment. Ready? Cool.

Have you ever been lied to? From the so-called little lies where you say you’re on the way but you’re just about to jump into the shower, to the yes you’ll buy one but you know you can’t afford it and you were just trying to save face, to the fibs told to save yourself from trouble, on to the intentional half-truths or outright falsehood that rips hearts and minds apart.

Before we all jump on our sanctimonious horses with tales of the evildoers around us, have we lied to others too? It’s easy for everyone to talk about how they’ve been hurt or wronged, but do we remember we might have wronged others too? Hope this explains that this post is as much for me as it is for you.

So I’ve just found out a friend has been lying to me for a bit, and I’m gutted, and on a number of levels too. First because I’m not innocent and there’s that bit about coming to equity with clean hands (I think it should be changed to a clean heart though). Second because sometimes I’m as trusting as a child who’s told to go inside the room to get her slippers so she can go out with mommy. Even though I know I’ll get left at home (again), I still trust that this time it won’t happen. But it does, and I’m crushed all over again.

Away from me, there’s the lie by omission which involves leaving out facts so that a different narrative other than the truth or true representation of things is formed. It is also refusing/neglecting/deciding to leave existing misconceptions as they are.

Exaggerations are also lies. So you have nine pencils yet you say you have 300. Do you have pencils? Yes. Do you have 300 though? Sigh. In the same vein, under representation is the family of falsehood too. Very simply, you say you have 9 pencils, but you really have 300. Why lie?

What other forms of lies do you know of? Which ones are you guilty of? Are you a habitual, compulsive, or pathological liar? Is it as natural as the air you breathe? Do you feel bad about it? Trying to stop or slow down on them?

I found this poem by Isaac Watts here, thought it was apt.

O ’tis a lovely thing for youth
To early walk in wisdom’s way;
To fear a lie, to speak the truth,
That we may trust to all they say!

But liars we can never trust,
Even when they say what is true.
And he who does one fault at first
And lies to hide it, makes it two.

Have we not known, nor heard, nor read
How God does hate deceit and wrong?
How Ananias was struck dead,
Caught with a lie upon his tongue?

So did his wife Sapphira die,
When she came in, and grew so bold
As to confirm that wicked lie,
Which just before her husband told.

The Lord delights in them that speak
The words of truth; but every liar
Must have his portion in the lake
That burns with brimstone and with fire.

Before anyone comes at me for making it a religious matter (why anyone would think to separate the spiritual from the physical is a totally different matter for another day), here’s a little reminder about the golden rule. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Simple.

Before you tell that next untruth, think about how you would feel if someone said it to you. I’m going to do that too.

So my Pastor has been teaching about giving, and because I’m a good person (he he he), I’ve been reproducing my notes on here for you good people of God. There’s another dimension or teaching on understanding giving here (you’re welcome).

Ready? Quick prayer: Dear Lord, may these letters bring light to our hearts and life to our hands. May we be blessed and divinely guided by reason of your word we’re sharing here today. Amen.

Ok, let’s go for it!
An offering is something precious given to God as part of worship; consistent with the worship of God is the giving of an offering. In Genesis 4, we learn that offerings predated tithes (Genesis 14)
Six elements of an offering

1. The gift, the thing that is brought.

2. The giver, just as important as the gift brought.

3. The receiver. There are two people involved in receiving the offering; the church, and God.

4. The offer. You can give an offering without offering it because ‘the offer’ is of the mind. Ananias and Sapphira brought an offering but it wasn’t offered.

5. The acceptance or the rejection. The receiver reserves the right to accept or reject the offering.

6. The blessing. Every time an offering is offered and it is accepted, there is a blessing.
*It is better to give to the poor than to give to your pastor. Matthew 25: 34-46
Ten thoughts about offerings

1. There are different types of offerings. Worship offerings (typically given at church services), project offerings (Moses collected this from the Israelites when they were building the temple), charity offerings, prophet offerings, partnership, first fruit, etc.
*Every time God calls for a seed, it’s because there’s a harvest ahead.

2. Offerings can either be free willed or commanded.

Don’t give emotionally, don’t ever feel pressured to commit yourself to an offering or pledge you’ve not been led to commit to by God.
3. The first person to bring an offering in the Bible was Cain, but that offering was rejected.

Genesis 3.
4. The second person to bring an offering was Abel, and it was accepted. So Cain was the first to ‘bring’, but Abel was the first to ‘give’.

*Cain’s offering was rejected not because it was grains and fruits and Abel’s was animals, but because it wasn’t his best.
5. There are two components in every gift; the material component which is seen, and the honour component which ascends to God.
*The weight of the offering is not in the material component but in the honour; it’s the heart from which the gift is brought.
6. The heart, attitude, character, and motive of the offering is just as important as the offering brought. Where the heart is malicious, angry, or impure, the offering is lost. Genesis 4:4-7.

Matthew 5:23-24
*Your destiny should be too important for malice.
The most important gift is our hearts and souls to Christ, it is only then we have as it were accounts where our offerings are recorded.
7. The offering is a spiritual seed, the soil is the heart of the giver. Joy fertilises our seed (reason why we’re told to give cheerfully).
8. God is the ultimate recipient of all the gifts we give.
9. Humans are involved in the receipt of any offering, whether it is to the poor, our parents, in church, wherever. Offerings are not only given in church.
10. 2 Corinthians 9:7 Bring what you’ve purposed in your heart.
Plan your giving, and give your best (within your means). Don’t treat God like a conductor.
Be prompt in your giving.
Pay your vows. Better not to vow than to vow and not pay. Ecclesiastes 5: 4-6

I hope this blessed you, and I pray you have a fabulous week!

So last night I watched this gorgeous movie called The Intern starring Robert De Niro (Ben) and Anne Hathaway (Jules), is centered around Jules leading an internet fashion company and having Ben as one of the interns. That’s all I’ll say don’t worry; it’s a really gorgeous movie and I want you to see it for yourself!

Apart from making me tear up a few times (don’t worry I’ve been known to cry cos the sun is shining beautifully, lol), the movie reminded me of the differences between older, distinguished people, and this generation. And distinguished here doesn’t mean wealth. It means class, graces, and the general decent traits that make/made people ladies and gentlemen in every sense of those words.

For instance, one of my best friends from university is called Ekene. Her dad, should be well over 80 now is one of the most distinguished people I know. While we were in school, anytime I went to her house he would extend his hand, look me in the face and ask me “how do you do?” Crisp, clean English. A straight back, no slouching (even for his age), very in tune with current affairs, such a well of knowledge. Bless him!

I have been blessed with older friends (and I think I’ve written about this before) who always challenge me to do/be better; whether it is the way I speak (even my pronunciations), the way I write, etiquette, etc. I don’t know… I feel like I can’t really articulate this thought so I’ll move on. Can I just say though that this post is more about the things I’ve seen that I don’t really see anymore, and less about bashing men or my generation? Yeah? Good.

Anyway, halfway through the movie, I took a break (who does that), and started tweeting. Here are a few things I said.

 

That’s it. Any other old souls out there? Anyone still have eyes out for these things?

Hey you!

Hope you had a good week… Mine was great. Could have been better, maybe I would have done some things differently, but I have no regrets. I went to Lagos for a meeting and got back into Abuja the next day, and as always I’m grateful for traveling mercies. Very grateful.

Beyond sharing ideas and knowledge for a company I sit on the board of at the meeting, it was a time of great learning and reflection, and that’s what this post is about.

Where do you learn? Are you one of those professional, it must be in a class/board room setting, with set objectives and goals type of people? And that’s fine, we’re all wired differently. Or, are you one of those ‘we see life lessons in the sun, moon and stars’ kind of people who pick tips and tricks from everything?

I think I’m becoming more of the latter, while fully retaining the former part of me that does very well with formal learning situations. I have a friend, Adebola Williams, Co-Founder of Red Media Africa who makes me feel like I should have a Moleskine and a pen whenever I’m around him. It’s in the little things he does; the way he greets people, how he manages to make people (even strangers) feel noticed and special, the natural thought about optics and how things will be perceived or not, how he thinks so quickly about everything before it’s done, I could go on and on and on.

I have another friend, Francesca, who believes there’s a lesson in everything, and therefore will never let me give in to dreary situations, who always looks for the silver lining even in pitch darkness, who has a positive outlook on life that will put motivational speakers to shame. And so from her I learn to put my melancholic bits under control.

Errr, it’s just occurred to me that mentioning some and not mentioning others might start a fight (lol) so let’s generalize for the rest of this please.

There are a number of them of who send me things to read because they know these pieces will be useful to me, who push me with questions like “what new thing have you learned today, what book have you read, what’s new with you (that has nothing to do with boys or fashion, lol), etc.”  There are some who will tease me endlessly when I mispronounce a word, one who has tapped my head even (sigh), but who push me to continuously ‘upgrade’ my knowledge.

Do you have those kinds of people? Don’t have to do exactly what my friends do (like hit my head) but I think everyone should have someone (or some people) who are ‘devoted’ to their improvement, and we should be that for others too. Only fair abi?

Now, to my crush. Whoosh! I’m so in love! It’s the twinkle in their eye as they talk about rising from adversity and uncertainty to becoming (Francesca’s favorite word and I know she’s going to have my head on a platter for this, lol). It’s the calculated defiance, the refusal to be boxed in, hindered by limitations that were hitherto acceptable by everyone else. It’s their being able to stand in the face of grief and loss, and still be so awesome my heart is leaping within my chest just because I’m typing about them.

My new crush is Dame Stephanie Shirley. She’s only got space for one ‘crusher’, my honorable self so please, move back! The Telegraph said of her “If there is a constant thread running through the life of Dame Stephanie Shirley it is the refusal to let difficulty and disaster stand in her way”.

Such an inspiration! Big thank you to Tolu for sending the link to her TedTalk to me. I am a good person so I’m sharing it with you. I took out two things (actually I took out a lot of things but here are two I tweeted).

Screenshot 2016-03-12 08.53.58

And these below, are her keys to success. She says there are only two.

Screenshot 2016-03-12 08.54.08

She’s incredible. She has so far given away over £100million to both the development of technology (including being the Founding Donor to the Oxford Internet Institute) and especially to research around autism and management of people who are autistic. Why she gives away that much? She said, “The fact that I almost died in the Holocaust means that I’m motivated to make sure that each day is worth living, that my life was worth saving. I do it because of my personal history; I need to justify the fact that my life was saved.”

I have now found a much longer video which I will watch as soon as I can get some free time from my nephew, which is an hour-long speech she made at Gresham College which traces her life growing up, coming to the United Kingdom via Kindertransport, her career and breaking several glass ceilings, her son and his autism, etc. It’s like her biography, only in the flesh. Excited, and I haven’t even watched it yet!

I’m off now, have tons of work to get through this morning.

Have a brilliant Saturday (and weekend), and never stop learning.

Hello everyone!

So I’m  having a look at my drafts, and apparently I started trying to write this post in 2014! Sigh! I can be so bad sometimes… Lol! And this was March 2014 o, not even the end of the year! Sigh.

At the time, I noticed a strand of grey hair and if I remember correctly, I was both amused and panicked! I remember thinking, it’s all over, I’m old! Lol! Forgetting that at some point in this my short existence I was so in love with patches of grey, and one of my friends actually dyed her hair white! Loved it but didn’t think it would suit me so I never tried it.

Anyway, with the realisation of aging (lol) come a few other things that I must either take note of or suffer the consequences, and I thought I’d share some of them with you today, and maybe you can share how your bodies have changed as you grow older if you’ve been looking out like me:)

Do we do that? Cool!

Acid Reflux has become a thing! Normally I could eat whenever, wherever, whatever and not think about it. I had my first episode of acid reflux in 2014, and while I’m very sure it’s not because I started inching towards 30, I’m sure something about my metabolism and general digestion has changed. By 2015 I had to start carrying a bit of medication around for it, but the biggest help for me has been watching what/when I eat, and avoiding positions (like lying down to eat, lol) that trigger it. So I’m doing ok.

Milk. I know, we’re still on food. So, I grew up on milk, like my parents didn’t spare that at all. I remember being sick as a child and mom mixing malt and milk for me to drink morning, afternoon, and night. Yum! The gorgeous thickness of that drink is a memory that will never go away, and unfortunately remain only a memory. These days, my belly says no to milk. Like, not a maybe or just a little bit, it says no. I disobey that at my own peril. Sigh. I don’t want to grow up!

Sleep. I actually had insomnia between 2012 and 2014, and I remember years before surviving a full week with less than 16 hours sleep (in total) and not feeling anything. Lol, I remember the period in Greenhithe when I couldn’t sleep for like 3 days straight, and my boyfriend at the time got a little weary with my phoning him in the middle of the night to gist because I was awake. Lol! These days though? First two days not sleeping ok might be alright, but anything after that and Chioma the Grump comes out to play. And we don’t like Chioma the Grump…

Confidence. There’s a quiet confidence that comes with facing things you’ve faced before, and most of the things that we go through now we’ve either gone through before, heard/read of someone who’s been in similar circumstances, etc. My point? We’re at the point where ‘there’s nothing new under the sun’ starts to hold proper meaning, and that brings a certain ‘been there done that’ kind of confidence. At least it does that for me.

Decisions. You’re responsible for the decisions you make. Good, bad, with rewards or consequences. You, alone. Gone are the days when you can blame the sun, moon, stars, friends, and even chickens for the wrong steps you take, the foolish moves you make, etc. Not happening any more Boo, everyone (including yourself) is a little less forgiving of the ‘passing the buck’ game.

Friends. I’ve gotten a firm handle of my buddies, best mate(s), friends, acquaintances, and the monitoring spirits. Lol! I said I wasn’t going to but hey, what’s a blog post without some good candour? We all have those friends who are close enough to monitor our progress without contributing more than snarky comments that might sound funny but are actually nasty when  you think of them later. Take a minute, think about it. You have those ones too? We all do! On the other hand I’ve figured out the buddies who can ride through a storm together, the ones who will help you hide a body (figuratively o), who will uphold you with prayer, amen to great friendships and working to keep them in the face of whatever disagreement or provocation!

God is everything. When I was younger and heard things like He’s everything, it didn’t hold as much meaning as it does now, how much I’ve learned about God that shows me I know nothing! Walking with God, stumbling, letting Him hold my hands and lead me has been one of my most defining changes; knowing that Someone so big and great and mighty and awesome loves this little person (me) so fiercely is everything. And that love isn’t conditional, just like I love my niece and nephew fiercely even when they offend me. God is everything.

That’s a few of the things that have changed for me, either regarding perspective or physically. What’s changed for you?

PS: Must do a giveaway soon, haven’t done one since 2014. Sigh. You this Chioma sef.