One year ago I was on @Forakin’s blog!

Ok, let’s start from the fact that I don’t know the exact day Akin Akintayo (@Forakin) started blogging, and he featured me on his blog on the 1st of this year; I just know his 10th anniversary month was December, so I’m starting this month with that post!

He did such a gracious introduction for me on his blog that day, I blushed till I turned purple. Lol. The original link is here.

By the way, happy eleventh blogging anniversary Akin!

Taken outside @hillsongLondon on the 22nd of December 2013! There's me, @Forakin, @Detola, and @Aninoritse from left to right! Credit: @MrNonsoObi

Taken outside @HillsongLondon on the 22nd of December 2013! There’s me, @Forakin, @Detola, and @Aninoritse from left to right! Credit: @MrNonsoObi

Here’s what I handed in, titled ’10 things I’ve learned in 10 years’.

10 years of blogging? Wow. Means Akin started blogging when I was…never mind. I’m in my 5th year, and totally looking forward to my 10th – wonder how it feels, to have stuck with this for a whole decade.

When Akin asked me to write for his 10th anniversary as a blogger, I was excited for him, honored to have been considered, and then I became stumped because I couldn’t agree within myself on a topic. Somehow I started thinking about stuff I’ve been up to, and voila! What you have below.

Everyday in the last 10 years I have groomed myself, eaten a meal or two (or three or four or none – depending on the diet or religious circumstance). Everyday for all of those years I have had a nap during the day or at night, or not at all, dependent on the severity of the insomnia.

Everyday I have tried to improve myself a little bit, reading a paper or book, watching a talk/sermon/presentation; I have met and exchanged experiences with people, in the quest to sharpen iron with iron. Never mind that while some people rubbed me till I was splitting hairs, others were soaked planks of old wood each day I tried.

In the last 10 years I have loved. Not really 10 years though, 9 is a bit closer to the truth (shame on you if you feel you are a step closer to uncovering my age). I have loved and been loved, burned, and been burned, even scarred in one instance.

In the last 10 years I have owned three dogs: German Shepherd – Sir B, Italian Shepherd – Izzie, and Alsatian – Waffles. Losing all three of them at different times has made me appreciate animals, and convinced me that I won’t get another pet until I’m 100% convinced I won’t have to entrust their care to the hands of another.

In the last ten years I have learned ten things I want to share

  1. Procrastination is the thief of time. And friendships, and ultimately, success.
  2. If you work at something hard enough, you will either succeed or you’ll satisfy yourself that there is nothing there for you.
  3. Half justice is just as bad as injustice. Maybe even worse. Same thing as one half of any story.
  4. You are addressed the way you dress. And paid as you price yourself.
  5. 10 friends will not play together for 10 years.
  6. I love cooking, reading, sleeping. There are 10 other things before watching TV.
  7. Garbage in, garbage out applies to everything, including your body, your work, relationship, etc.
  8. Music is underrated. It is spiritual, magical; sometimes it works as a panacea.
  9. It’s ok to be selfish. Do stuff for yourself every now and then.
  10. You are your biggest fan, except you have my mom, and then she’s your biggest fan!

I’m thankful I know you Akin; you’re a perfect gentleman. And I hope that I’m on your blog again when you hit twenty; simply means you can’t ever stop writing! Congratulations dear, well done!

Hugs,

The Fairy GodSister.

#31Days31Writers: Yama says you (yes you) look absolutely stunning!

I’m so excited! It’s the 1st of July, and officially the start of the #31Days31Writers – mid year edition! Why am I super excited? Well, so I’ve been all over the place this past month, and by the 26th I wasn’t sure I would still be able  to pull this off. But, here we are, and I’ve got such a spread of voices from around the world I’m mega excited!

We start with my friend Yama! Yama was our designate driver the night we went from The Hague to Amsterdam to see the Red Light District; he’s a fantastic, super brilliant guy, and it’s my privilege to start the month with a voice from Afghanistan!

 

Hi there,

First of let me start by saying: You look absolutely stunning today!

My name is Yama Akbari. Born in Afghanistan, living in The Netherlands. Student and business owner.

What I’ve learned in the past 6 months is that life is so incredibly difficult to plan. I’m not much of a planner anyway, I usually take things as they come. But I decided that needed to change a little (a part of growing up maybe…). Didn’t really pan out the way I wanted. I planned to focus more on my studies, but ended up working way more than studying. Was really planning on staying single, instead got to know someone I really could not let go of. This made me wonder: Why do I suck so badly at planning my life? I came to the conclusion that life is pretty much ‘unplannable’ for the most part when I started thinking about ‘planning’ on a larger scale.

For example, who could ever ‘plan’ the following: a kid born in Kabul in 1990, wanting to leave for the gym on the 30th of June 2014 (should have been studying for his exams, shame on him) would remember; promising a very inspiring Nigerian girl he met at a conference in The Hague, to write a few words for her blog. Crazy right? But kind of beautiful at the same time. Imagine the string of events that had to take place before this moment. Unfortunately, a lot of those events weren’t as joyful as this one, which leads to the second thing I learned in the past 6 months: Andre 3000’s fashion sense isn’t the only thing that’s spot on, his cryptic life lessons are as well. On the Outkast song ‘Ms. Jackson’ he sings: ‘you can plan a pretty picnic but you can’t predict the weather’. I finally got it Andre, you keep on spitting mad truth and dressing dapper as hell!

That brings me to what I’m looking forward to for the second half of this year .. Not really easy to say after all of that ‘life is crazy and unpredictable’ stuff. I am actually thinking about what I’m looking forward to while writing this sentence and I’m realizing that it’s such a blessing that I’m not sure what to look forward to (huge smile on my face right now). All those unplanned moments of joy; that feeling of relief when everything turns out well after a moment of uncertainty, an unexpected phone call from an old friend, coming home and getting served your favorite meal, being the best at something very random and useless, witnessing a cute moment between two lovers, stumbling upon a family of ducks swimming in a pond (I’m running out of ideas..), seeing an old lady feeding those ducks and making sure the weakest one gets as much as the rest. All I’m planning and looking forward to (apart from studying and working, duh) is actually enjoying and appreciating all those little unexpected moments of joy.

I urge you to do so as well. Even if it’s something very unexpected and random. Let’s say: a guy from halfway across the world, at the start of his post on this blog, complimenting you that you look stunning without even knowing what you look like …

 

Yama.

Screenshot 2014-06-30 23.43.40

“People change and so do you” – Ewoma gives us home truths! #31days31writers

Frank is another person I have never met, but we had probably exchanged a few tweets before the Sunday I threw open the challenge for people to join my #31days31writers project. He said yes, and when I was editing his entry, I was grateful for the good sense to welcome submissions from people I ‘technically’ didn’t know!

His lessons from this year resonate with me so much I had to convince myself this was someone else’s story, not mine. Say hello to Ewoma, and the 18th day of this project!

So 2013 gradually grinds to a halt and with it comes the experiences, lessons and the many stories that we will tell. I am one of the lucky few picked by the Fairy GodSister to tell my tale so I’ll just share; I’m not good with stories but I can share my lessons!

Oh, the introduction! I am Ewoma Frank Uruemurie, a Nigerian and I own a small business. I am a football lover, a fan of Manchester United; I  a social media addict and I am always seeking out new information.

I have gleaned a lot these past few months, permit me to number them as I share:

  1. When you feel disappointed by the things going on around you, just take a break and see your life from the outside, you will be amazed how quickly things will turn around.
  2. Trust your dreams, don’t be afraid to try new things, to take bold steps. Never allow fear deter you from exploring the possibilities in your life.
  3. Family is everything. They will sing your praise and will not be afraid to tell you the truth even when you don’t want to hear. Stay true to your family, you will always need them.
  4. You will fall a few times but don’t give up, keep pushing and slowly but surely you will get there no matter how long it takes. Your flaws do not define you.
  5. People change and so do you, so don’t always expect people to fit into your plans. Accept people for what they are not what you want them to be.

Sometimes it was really hard for me especially as I was trying to set up my firm but as I kept moving these lessons came alive for me and trust me, learning has not been easy but facing my fears head on helped me survive falls. So there you have it, those would be my five major lessons for 2013.

What am I most grateful for?

I could be Captain Obvious and say I am grateful for a lot of things so I’ll just say I am most grateful for FAMILY. Without the support that they bring it would have really been a hard year for me. I spent the first five months of the year in the Northern part of Nigeria with the whole Boko Haram crisis but their words, prayers and endless encouragement pulled me through. I  came back home and there was the business to set up and the whole fear of the unknown but still my family was there every step of the way so definitely I am grateful for them.

If there was one thing I could do differently in 2013 then it would be to TRUST MY DREAMS and the coming year will be so much better! I wish you the best of 2014!

By the way, I am on Twitter as @IamEwoma.

Uruemurie

Thank you for writing in Ewoma!!