Conversation · feelings · Self-Care

Note to Selves

It’s our birthday.

Have no idea who I’m referring to? Don’t worry about that. I’m referring to all you other 22 versions of me, also celebrating your birthday today. You’re probably surprised to find out we made it to 24, and some of you are wondering how we managed to get this far.

Well, that’s beside the point. I felt I had to write to each of you. Pour out my heart about some things. Things you probably need to know. It might be a bit too late, but it’s better than never. I mean, hopefully we still have a whole lifetime ahead of us.

4 year old me.

You’re definitely the cutest of us all. I wish I was as bold and bubbly as you are. So happy and content with life. Not having a care in the world. I’m grateful for the things I’ve learnt over the years, but I wish I was as ignorant about a lot of things as you are, because it was truly bliss. I wish I felt as beautiful about myself as you do. You think you’re an amazing person, and the confidence you exude is really admirable to look at.

I wish you wouldn’t take it for granted whenever your mother tells you what a smart girl you are. How you grasp everything in school so effortlessly. You have two great best friends, and other close friends as well, whose parents also happen to be close to yours. You’ll be moving  to another town soon, and I was hoping you’d know at that age how to keep holding on to all those beautiful relationships, despite the distance.

9 year old me.

I wish you would be more curious about a lot more things. I wish you would be less complacent and realize that your grades getting worse means you’ll have to try a little harder. And I wish you were more attentive in class — or at least I hope you’ve realized at this point that you have a really short attention span. Maybe I’m being too hard on you. But I can’t blame myself. I’m like this because it most likely started from you.

One thing I’ve noticed about you though. You’ve grown more timid. Your friends are growing and you’re not sure whether to sink deeper into your shell or try to come out of it. I wish you knew how to capitalize on your creative side at this age. You’d be able to express yourself a whole lot better that way. But hey, you still have amazing friends, and a family that understands you and tries to help you, and I think you’re a very lucky girl.

13 year old me.

You’ve grown a whole lot. The timidity has definitely developed a lot more, but so has your body. I see you have acne now, and you wear glasses. You’ve grown more insecure about everything, and I wish you wouldn’t call yourself ugly whenever you look at yourself in the mirror. You’ve started comparing yourself to a lot of the people your age, and it hurts to see how inferior you feel to everyone else. I wish you would stop feeling like everybody hates you or doesn’t like you because of your personality — that’s what your mind keeps telling you, but trust me, everyone is too busy dealing with their own adolescence to even have time to think about hating you. Also, stop trying to change yourself so you can fit in, because it looks like too much work. In my opinion, the only thing you need to change now is how timid you are, and learn to be able to speak up or voice out as and when you need to. But when people tell you about how different your personality is from theirs, I wish it would stop sounding like an insult in your ears.

There’s also anxiety — for exams, now that boarding school is almost here, and how you’re going to cope. You’re afraid you’re going to get picked on because of how timid you are. Take things one day at a time, that’s going to be the least of your worries when you get there.

16 year old me.

I’m really glad to see you’ve learnt how to make friends all on your own — you’re actually forming conversation without anyone having to force you to. You’ve made a couple of new friends over the past year, but you’ve finally realized friendships can get complicated, haven’t you? I see you blaming yourself whenever anything goes wrong, and apologizing even when you know you’re right. It’s good to try, but most times I wish you would stop trying so hard. You’re still bent on getting everyone’s acceptance, so you need to know now that, trying to get everyone to like you is impossible, and also pointless. Learn to move on from situations you can’t control. Stop trying so hard to tolerate all the people bringing bad energy into your life. It’s easier said than done, but you’ll eventually learn how to do it. But don’t let go of all your friendships — there are a lot of people who are willing to help you grow, and who’ll be there for you when you least expect it.

I hate to spoil the experience for you though, but you eventually stop caring about a lot of things you’re currently bothering your head about. It might feel strange to you when it happens, but that’s actually where a lot of the growth starts. It’s where you start trying to live for yourself and not for anyone else.

Also, I’m happy to see how creative you’re getting. It’s interesting the kinds of things extreme boredom can bring out of a person.

19 year old me.

I was hoping I would know what exactly to say to you once it got to your turn. I know how overwhelmed you are now with a whole different set of emotions. You’re more on your own now that you’ve ever been before, trying to be dependent and make sane decisions. School is kicking your ass, and every single day you ask yourself whether that’s where you actually belong. Your mind keeps racing, and you’re always thinking and overthinking. You’re almost a full adult, but you definitely don’t feel like one. There’s so many things you can’t do, and so much you feel you don’t know. On some days the sadness is so deep you’ll just want to put yourself out of your own misery and end it once and for all.

I wish I could tell you the feelings of inadequacy stop eventually. I wish I could assure you that you don’t get any more suicidal thoughts. That your sadness doesn’t escalate to the point where you start crying every time you have to vent to someone. And that you’re able to go for therapy and your mind stops being so chaotic. But those would all be lies. I wish I could tell you it gets better. But it actually gets a lot worse…before it gets better.

I wish I could tell you you’ll have no regrets. But you’ll have a lot of them. Good thing is, you learn from them. You definitely don’t stop blaming yourself for them though. Maybe one day we’ll figure out how that works.

I’m glad I reached out to you. Didn’t think I needed to before, but when the usual wave of sadness and doubt hit earlier this year, I was on Google trying to find out whether it was normal for an adult to feel so afraid. That’s when I found out the part of me that was afraid was the younger, equally fearful part of me that needed to be heard and reassured.

Before the 24th version of us starts to experience the world, I needed to make sure we acknowledged each other’s existence, and recognized our fears. We might not be able to control the experiences of the versions ahead of us, but we’ll definitely be here for each other if any of us feels afraid or alone. The future will only continue to write itself out, and all we can do is try to live through the rest of it.

feelings · Happiness · Self-Care

The Road to “Happiness”

Today, I took a good look at myself in a mirror, and for the first time in a while, I was a 100% convinced I looked beautiful in my own eyes.

It felt so good, that moment. It was almost like I was content with every single thing going on in life then. I wasn’t being insecure. I wasn’t overthinking. I was just living in the moment.

There are a lot of things I’ve come to learn this year. One of them is that if there’s a particular place you’re trying to get to in order to be happy, you must, by some means, be able to find an amount of happiness in your current state, while you go through the process. Because if you don’t, the fact that you’re not where you want to be yet will make you miserable every day.

As an overthinker, it’s hard for me to live in the moment. Too many things bug me at a time, and I’m always thinking too much about how to deal with something ahead of time. When too many things don’t go the way I plan them to, that just makes it even worse.

During the last few months of this year, I’ve been forced to learn how to let go. I’ve lost a number of battles. I’ve been crying more, laughing less, and I haven’t even had the freedom to indulge a lot in activities that serve as coping mechanisms for me. For a long while now I’ve been yearning to be in a particular place I didn’t think I needed to be in, and even though I’ve been hoping to get there soon, it looks like I might still have to wait a little bit longer. Until then, I continue to feel the need to distract myself and compartmentalize my emotions until I reach the point where I can say I’ve properly dealt with them.

As I go, I make a list of things which give me even the slightest bit of contentment, and I hold on to them for as long as I can. Here’s a list of things nobody asked for that always manage to put me in my happy place:

  • My Hobbies: A major reason why I end up dedicating a lot of my time to the things I do, like crocheting or photography, is because the process serves as a distraction. Also, doing something new and seeing good end results temporarily gives me the mindset that I can achieve anything I want to, and it puts me in a place where I feel like I have the power and control over my life that I want.
  • Comfort Items: So far some foods are the only comfort items I know of, and I have a pillow that works to an extent too. I’ve been meaning to invest in plushies sooner or later in life to figure out if those work as well.
  • Aesthetically-Pleasing Pictures: VSCO, Pinterest, and occasionally, Instagram, are the apps that can keep me online for the longest time when it comes to these. My Instagram and Pinterest feed have been curated to show me pictures that I’d like to see, and I get to see a whole lot of those every day.
  • Animals: Especially furries. I find myself gravitating more towards dogs and ducks now. If I had the chance I’d have a couple of my own as pets just to make myself happy. Just hand me all of that unconditional love dogs have to give.
  • Self-Care: Setting aside days to actively practise self-care boosts my self-confidence so much that I rarely ever postpone self-care days. There’s something about making an effort to make yourself feel and look better that makes your body and mind sense that there’s someone who actually cares about their existence.
  • Music: Not that this hasn’t always been part of the list. The only difference is that now I’m being less selective about what music I listen to and how it affects my mood. Of course, I’m trying to keep myself happy on the long run, but I’ve stopped trying to block out the sad music because it helps me acknowledge the other emotions that exist. They’re not wrong to exist, but it’s probably not healthy to pretend they don’t.
  • Memes: Because who doesn’t get happy when they see memes?

Happiness may be a hard thing to find, but the little things that keep you happy when you’re in a bad place are worth holding on to. They might not bring the long-lasting happiness you’re searching for, but they’ll be able to help you keep your head up.

Uncategorized

OD’d On Solitude

I like to be alone. A lot. Every time I have people who keep asking me why I “like to walk alone all the time” or “where all my friends are” or whether I “even have any friends at all”. It used to get to me a lot at first. Now I’m more or less accepting of the fact that I’m usually alone because I enjoy being that way. I’m a lot less defensive whenever I hear anyone point it out (although it’s pretty obvious). Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy being in the company of the people I get along with well. But then that’s the thing — there’s quite a handful of people I’m compatible with in that sense. And there’s only so much energy I have to be able to be sociable, even with a few people.

Maybe there’s everything wrong with being alone, like everyone else says. I did my own evaluation, to figure out whatever pros would justify me wanting to be alone, and whatever cons would be likely to make me change my mind eventually.

Pros:

  1. Maximum productivity: Whatever ideas I might have seem to flow a lot better when I’m left to my own thoughts. Being alone also keeps me less distracted (once you exclude my access to the internet and social media, and any likely sleepiness) and pretty much increases my work output.
  2. Less talking: When I’m around people I’m comfortable talking to, best believe I’m gonna talk a lot. I’m happy when me and my friends have things in common we love to talk about, but a lot of times, me talking a lot leads to either oversharing, gossiping, or saying something inappropriate. These three form a huge fraction of why I still have a lot of regrets in life. So while I learn how and when to be able to say things, it helps when I don’t have the chance to say too much at all.
  3. Learning to enjoy my own company: The relationship experts say before you learn to enjoy someone else’s company, you should be get used to being by yourself first. Maybe so you don’t become overly needy or clingy, or so if things don’t go so well and you have to be alone again, you’re able to adjust more quickly. I guess it applies outside relationships with everything else as well.
  4. Recharging my social batteries: Even if it’s at a place where I don’t have to involve myself in anything at all, I tend to get exhausted (physically and emotionally) when I’m surrounded by people. And my energy gets zapped 10 times faster when I have to interact with people physically than it does when I do on my phone. The time I have to myself is enough for me to refuel.
  5. A lot more freedom/comfort: I’m a lot less anxious and self-conscious when I’m on my own (as everyone else probably is).
  6. I’m not disturbing anyone else: None of that losing concentration/disrupting someone else’s concentration with whatever volume your music/movie is on, or fighting over how high or low the fan is, or whether the lights should be on or off. I don’t disturb anyone else, and I’m not being disturbed by anyone else.
  7. It’s a great escape when there’s too much drama: Whenever there’s too much going on for me to handle, I’m able to run away to my safe space. Some people say me doing that is running away from my problems, which apparently I always do. Knowing how unstable I can be, and how easy it is for me to have a breakdown or lose my temper, I’d say I would rather run away from my problems than try to confront them while I’m obviously not well-equipped.

Cons:

  1. It gets hard to readjust: On the long run, I’ve observed craving being in my own space for so long has made it harder for me to get out of my comfort zone and adjust to stuff anyone else is used to. It’s becomes more difficult for me to want to compromise, and I understand it’s not necessarily a bad thing for me to think solely about my own personal interest once in a while. But I’m a lot more petty than I used to be. And I’ll admit, most of the time, it’s pretty unnecessary. Per my own assessment, it’s one of my worst traits when it comes to having roommates.
  2. I end up becoming too distant: Me wanting to be alone takes away whatever little enthusiasm I would use for small talk. Worst case scenario, every reply I would be giving at that point would be one or two-worded, and I’d be walking away slowly as we’re speaking. It makes me feel terrible when I realise I do it even with people I would normally be able to spend endless hours talking to.
  3. I’m alone when depression/self-hate sets in: When depression or self-hate get triggered for all the reasons I still don’t know of, all I end up doing is wallow in hours or days of sadness and self-pity. I rarely ever reach out, and until someone I know happens to come around and make me forget about it, the feeling just lingers.
  4. On some occasions, it genuinely gets lonely: Again, with reference to self-hate, the pessimistic voice in my head keeps re-echoing comments from people who assume I’m always alone or have no friends, and makes me begin to wonder whether they’re right. Also, staying on social media for longer hours and seeing all the pictures with people and their closest friends/significant others makes you wonder why you’re the only one sitting alone in your room eating kelewele. You’d be surprised how much it gets to you even though you’re the very person fighting so hard to get to be alone in the first place.

But long story short, solitude has become a drug, and if I had to make a choice, I’d choose being in my own space any day. It always feels more liberating for me. And also, you get all the kelewele to yourself.

Self-Care · Self-Harm · Suicide

Dealing With Baggage

Trigger Warning // Self-Harm and Suicide

Since September of 2017, I’ve had a post about suicide sitting in my drafts, uncompleted. Mostly because I don’t know how exactly to continue or end it. I have a hard time finding words to describe the things I feel, so no matter how hard I try to get it done, I just end up abandoning it. If I’m lucky enough, I’ll be able to finish with this post without abandoning it too.

Leaving a lot of things unfinished is pretty much what I always do, when I think about it. I’ll decide to try my hands on something I’ve been wanting to do, and the moment I get a little distracted or I take a look at it and think it’s not going to end well, I abandon it until I have enough motivation to get it done again. Heck, the only thing keeping me from submitting school work unfinished is my fear of school and more bad grades. And I think it’s this “get-it-done-later” attitude that has kept me from making sure I deal with a lot of things I’m supposed to have dealt with earlier.

In SHS, I had a fight with a friend (well, I had a lot of fights, but this particular one was what’s important). Eventually, after we reconciled, she brought up the fact that I kept ghosting instead of dealing with the problem face to face with her. She said it looked like I was too afraid to deal with my problems, so then, I just ended up running away from them. And I didn’t even try to disagree with her, because I knew it was the truth. I’m very afraid of confrontations. I could be mad at someone and have the whole speech played out in my head, but as soon as it’s face to face, I cower and abort mission. I keep everything bottled up, and I hardly ever vent out as much as I should.

And it’s only so much build-up that later makes it obvious that your container is about to spill over.

University was the first point in my life I began to contemplate suicide. And sometimes the feeling was unprovoked. One morning I woke up and had to call my mother crying, because nothing had happened, but I felt so low I had the sudden urge to slit my wrists. And getting to the end of my second year, I had a lot of breakdowns. I couldn’t even talk about some things without stopping to cry. That was probably when I acknowledged the fact that I might need professional help, because I thought I might go crazy. I told a couple of my friends, and they referred me to a couple of people. Ironically, I didn’t even bother trying to get an appointment, or even call them on the phone, and before I knew it, school was over and we were going home. I thought I could make up for it during the vacation by meeting with someone else at home, but I was intercepted with a couple more problems I had to deal with before I could try dealing with myself.

All it did was get worse.

September of 2017 is the time when I was pretty much in my worst place. I would cry 3-5 times every day. By myself. When my friends were around. In front of my family. Even on three occasions in front of lecturers. It got so bad I had to leave class just to go back to my room and cry because it all felt so heavy. I don’t know whether you’ve cried so hard that you felt like you wanted to cry some more, but your tear storage was all dried up. And you were so weak, you didn’t have the strength to force even the sad emotions to show up. One day I’d cried so much and I had become so weak that when I was walking back to my room, it was the wind carrying me. I wasn’t thinking. I knew the route, so I was just walking subconsciously. And I got a bridge.

And oh God, how I wanted to jump.

I don’t know how I managed to push those thoughts away. I was probably afraid. But I knew because I’d thought about suicide before, those thoughts would just keep coming, and they would keep getting louder. I was directed to a counselor after I spoke to someone, but all the counselor did was talk about my most recent issues, instead of helping me get to the root of everything that was bothering me. Even after I tried to draw his attention, it was still the same. So I stopped meeting him, and kept lying to the one who referred me that I still was. After this, I resorted to pretending to be happy until the happiness became a reality. And I kept a lot of things to myself. It wasn’t easy, but I had to move on.

I guess it worked.

My avoidance behaviour has taken me pretty far. Deleting social media when I felt it was making me too upset. Staying away from things and people who were “bad vibes”. Shutting up and walking away (and staying away) from people that made me upset. Trying to create this “safe space” atmosphere in my bedroom so once I come back after a bad day, everything gets better. It was practically self care for me. Plus my suicidal thoughts were nowhere at all to be found in the past two and a half years.

Up until two days ago, I didn’t think they were still lurking around, waiting for the right trigger to set them off again.

I had a fight. It was totally unrelated to any of the things that I’d been experiencing in the past. But after about a minute of me being alone with my thoughts, I fell to my knees and started to cry. Not because my fight reminded me of any of my problems or insecurities. Because for the past couple of months, I’d gotten upset a lot but I had been keeping everything I felt bottled up, just like I used to do before. Everything seemed to be happening all over again. I was crying so much I got weak, but I was still sad so the tears kept coming. It wasn’t until I heard my suicidal thoughts reappear loud and clear in my head, that I realized I really hadn’t dealt with any of my baggage. The urge was so strong, but I knew I couldn’t do it. But I was still in pain, and I needed to get rid of it.

Whenever I watched movies involving self-harm, I would wonder how people would be so ridiculous to intentionally cause pain to themselves. So I was pretty confused when I found myself looking for something sharp around my room to test that theory out. I took a pair of scissors and I tried. I couldn’t cut myself. The pain of the blade touching my skin was already painful enough, and I didn’t think I was ready so see any blood at that point. So I just continuously scratched myself — on the arm, and later under my thigh — wincing in pain until I forgot the initial reason why I was crying. When I was done I sat up, took a look at the scratch marks I had caused, and wondered how exactly things had gotten that far. It was like a post-self-harm clarity I had gotten all of a sudden.

My avoidance behaviour had brought me far. But no matter how well I managed to wave my issues off like they didn’t exist, they would always be lurking around waiting for the right opportunity to haunt me again.

I was hoping this post wouldn’t have to be this long. I wish I didn’t have to share this much just to make a point. All I know now is leaving my issues on standby without making sure I dealt with them hasn’t helped me so much. I don’t even have as much baggage as other people I know, but carrying it feels like torture. I’ll probably do what I should’ve done a long time ago, and find a way to deal with it once and for all. And if you’re breaking your back trying to carry something too heavy for you to be carrying alone, maybe you should do same as soon as you can. I’m no expert on how exactly you should do do that. It’s also pretty hard trying to come out with stuff like that when all people are going to do is ignore you for looking like an attention-seeker. But finding out what helps and undergoing the gruesome therapy sessions would most likely leave you better off than you would’ve been not trying to find out at all.

feelings · feels

sad.

Sad.

I feel sad.

A lot of things actually.

Except depressed.

But mostly sad.

.

Sad.

Sad that a lot of people are not happy. Are not satisfied. Would do anything to hurt anyone else, as long as it pleases them in the end. Are searching so hard for a never-ending source of happiness and gratification, but come up with nothing, and end up feeling even more empty on the inside.

Mad.

Mad that so many think it’s okay to be selfish at the expense of others. That people think being extremely rude is so cool. That plans never seem to go as expected ever, and that every great expectation keeps getting flushed down the drain. That nobody ever really understands what’s on my heart — that they just pretend to, which proves them all just fake. That at times when I didn’t know what was good for me, and others did, I was left to wallow in my ignorance and figure it out, way too late.

Bad.

Bad that I’ve been so ignorant for so long. That this ignorance has ended up hurting more people than myself, on the long run. That I’ve been so judgemental, simply because I thought I knew the truth, but was barely even aware of half of it. That I have been too blind to acknowledge a lot of things I probably should have, and only do when it’s way too late.

Scared.

Scared that history will just keep repeating itself. That no matter how hard I push, I’m just going to keep hitting a brick wall, same way I always have. That I might not be good or determined enough to pull off everything I want to, even though I’m well aware I am. Scared of rejection. Scared of disappointments. Scared I’ll raise my hopes too high for everything. Scared that the ending I get to this story won’t be good enough for me

Glad.

Glad that a lot of people are discovering themselves. What they love to do. What makes them happy. Who makes them happy. That through the struggle, people still find ways to thrive. That even when there’s no one, people still figure out how to make themselves happy. That after finding happiness, people still feel the need to spread that warmth into this cold, cold world we live in.

But mostly, sad.

Sad that there’s still this gaping hole left inside my heart, that never seems to be able to close up completely. And no matter how much help I get, there’s always going to be a reason for this little dark cloud to keep looming over my head. It’s a normal phenomenon, I guess. But I’ll never be able to get used to feeling this way, that’s for sure.

Uncategorized

Pet Peeves: Obviously Not A Doggo

Haven’t posted anything in what seems like years but has obviously just been months. Not that I don’t have anything I want to write about. You’d be surprised at the number of posts I have just sitting and collecting dust in my drafts. But it’s been hard, being able to organize all my thoughts, and also finding tangible enough words to be able to express those thoughts as clearly as possible.

Lately, I’ve observed I get mad more often and more spontaneously than usual (menses, maybe?), and most of the things that make me mad, in my defense, are pretty justifiable. Funny thing is I’m able to let go of a lot of big things, but the very little insignificant things continue to offend me on a daily. Do I understand why? No. Would be able to deal with most of them eventually? Maybe. But in the meantime, here’s what’s most likely gonna be an incomplete list of things that annoy me. Things that just get under my skin and force it to crawl. Things that are pretty much too subtle to be noticed by anyone else.

Ladies and Gentlemen, in no particular order of importance, my great list of pet peeves.

  • Bad customer service. I keep telling people that if it was up to me, I’d brainwash everyone else to stop using the services to anyone who tends to be rude or behave terribly towards their customers on a regular. Unless I’m really desperate, there are a couple of stores I never buy from — even if it means walking a much longer distance just to get the exact same thing — because of rudeness, indifference, inability to handle or package items properly enough, lack of sanitation, or anything else related.
  • People slowing down or standing at a doorway or a walkway, in the way of everyone else who’s also trying to pass. I’ve had women yell at me in the marketplace a couple of times because I happened to be walking too slow. Me getting in their way wasn’t intentional, but I’ve eventually come to understand why it made them so mad, and I can relate with them. Lots of people really don’t make the effort to be aware of their surroundings and make allowance for everyone else. I get that you’re lovebirds or a group of friends gisting and catching up before you split and go to your rooms, but some of us are trying to get somewhere too. What’s worse is when students who board the school shuttles don’t shift and move inwards so that the 100 and something students who are also trying to get into the bus can get a place to stand as well. Selfishness in its least conspicuous form, if you ask me.
  • People who chew with. Their. Mouths. Open. No offense, dad. But why? Why?
  • Litter. Tbh I’m still learning not to be messy in my own personal space, but once others are involved too, and there’s litter lying around, the dormant neat freak in me suddenly arises and begins to pick around like mad.
  • People who endlessly make fun of other people’s ‘insufficiencies’. And this is coming from someone who has pretty much felt insufficient her whole life. Sigh.
  • “You dawg me oh”. ‘Nuff said.
  • People who like to complain about every single thing. Unless your complaints happen to be fixing whatever it is you don’t like.
  • Spitting. Spitting everywhere. *Buzz Lightyear meme*
  • Moments when people sneeze without covering their mouths and propel all those droplets across the whole room. Ew. I don’t want to smell it, let alone catch whatever it is you’re coming down with.
  • People who spell ‘no’ in Twi as ‘nu’. If you tried pronouncing it as you were spelling it and you spoke even the most basic Twi, that spelling would probably be enough to make you cringe.
  • When people who refuse to prepare adequately enough for themselves end up interfering with my plans more often than not. Even when it happens to be as small as ‘I’m going to get food. What do you want?’ ‘I don’t know oo.’ And all that indecision ends up delaying the one who knew what she wanted to eat two days before by about thirty minutes, if not more.
  • People who chew gum ‘ta, ta, ta’. You don’t get it? Just fink abawd id.
  • People who come with the fake innocent smiles and the long intros before they hesitantly ask for a favour. I know some people take it personally when you come to them for help after you haven’t been in touch with them for a very long time. But for me, I wouldn’t mind if you just went straight to the point, without adding all of those insincere ‘hi’s’ and ‘It’s been long’s”. Better to know you’re just coming to me for my help rather than pretending to care and then flushing it all down the toilet with the apparent reason.
  • People who love to gloat with all their heart, way long after you’ve accepted and acknowledged the fact that you were wrong and they were right. Okay, Mr. Know-It-All. Miss I-Know-How-To-Do-Everything-Right-The-First-Time. Sister I’ve-Never-Done-A-Single-Wrong-My-Whole-Life. Come cast the first stone at me and let everyone else follow, since you’ve lived life with a straight record of perfection without any mistakes.
  • Unnecessarily loud noise, especially if it’s in other people’s personal space. Sometimes it can even be embarrassing, talking to someone and having them talk loud enough to distribute all of your personal business out there.
  • People who pretend to know EVERYTHING. They don’t just know, apparently; they’re experts, Even worse, they try to force all that ‘knowledge’ into you at a go. Please. We live in an era where consent exists.
  • Trying to impose or force me to do/like something I don’t do/like, or trying to make me feel guilty for choosing not to do/like what everyone else does/likes. “How can you not like listening to this music?” “How have you not watched this movie before?” “Ah so you don’t like eating this food? Why?” “You’ve never heard of that place before? Are you even in Ghana?” These are traits I see more in people on Twitter than all the other people I know personally. I accept the fact that, yes, I don’t put myself out there much to learn about what’s going on around me, and I mostly just sit in my personal bubble and learn about things passively. But it’s very very annoying when you come at me (and others, I assume) making it look like I’m the most naïve person, or the one enjoying life the least, just because your preference isn’t mine. If you’re suggesting, fine, but if you’re imposing, I’m not interested.
  • Questioning my preferences or my ways, just because they aren’t yours. Here again, Twitter people. You see someone who likes to eat a particular kind of food, and just because you’ve never tried it before, you go ahead and use the “You’re capable of committing murder” line on them. I’m holding most of my words back for this particular category cause it annoys me so much that I get pissed even when it’s being done to other people. “Oh, so why are you so quiet? That’s not good.” “So you why do you like to walk all the time? Don’t you have money for a car?” “Soakings at this time? Are you broke already?” “You’re always walking alone with those earpieces on. Don’t you have any friends?” Pretty much anyone can be quick to use all those cheesy “be different “, “be yourself ” quotes but they can’t seem to be able to handle it when they see people putting it into practice.
  • Putting r’s where r’s don’t exist, because you think that’s all a foreign accent is made up of. This is actually more hilarious than it is a peeve😂. It only gets annoying for me if someone is trying to show off with a fake American accent and this trait begins to manifest itself.
  • Stuffs. Make-ups. Foodstuffs. All dat.
  • Cutting queues without a good enough excuse. You’re not better than me who has been standing here waiting too, whether it was two hours or five minutes. Periodt.
  • Taking my stuff without permission, not returning my stuff to me on time without saying anything, or bringing something of mine back in a worse state than I gave it to you in. In a nutshell, you probably shouldn’t be touching my stuff plix.

I think this would be a pretty good place to conclude my list of pet peeves. I know without a doubt that I’m not the only person on the face of this earth who gets offended by the aforementioned, and if any more happen to come to mind, I might just mess around and continue with phase two. Besides all of these on the list, I guess I’m just a pretty tolerable person, who’s learning to fall in love with other new and different things. There’s a lot more on my love list than on my hate list. Including doggos. Especially doggos. As a matter of fact, if my future husband is reading this, you should probably propose with a doggo instead of a ring, if not both. 🙂

Haiku · Poetry

I Coo, You Coo, Let’s Do Haiku

 

I just wanna run.

Just go somewhere far away;

Far away from here.

 

Do something crazy.

Live my life outside the box.

This box called Normal.

 

So much there to see.

So much there to discover.

More to uncover.

 

Maybe I could learn,

Where the sun tucks in to sleep,

Where it yawns to rise.

 

Where the moon’s arms are.

How it tilts the earth to cause

The sea’s tides to rise.

 

How the waves are formed.

To push wooden boats so far,

Without drowning them.

 

How the winged beasts float.

How they drift through the clear blue

Currents of the sky.

 

How the metal birds

Use their advanced mechanics

To float the same way.

 

How gravity works,

To make animals and man

Attached to the soil.

 

How the fish can breathe.

Water rushing through their gills,

Making them weightless.

 

How the human race,

Is able to coexist

With their differences.

 

Then while I’m at it,

I’ll learn all the other things,

That are there to learn.

 

How to be happy.

How to live with no regrets;

To be wild and free.

 

To be well-to-do,

While doing the things I love.

Making things balance.

 

How to give out, too.

First, love without guarantee.

Then, reciprocate.

 

How to fall in love.

How to feel for someone like

I feel for no one.

 

Learn how to wake up,

Surrounded by so much love;

Endless affection.

 

How to be stared at,

Like I was the only one

Left to love on earth.

 

Before I get there,

I will learn to find myself,

And get to know me.

 

What my purpose is,

All that it is I enjoy

Doing by myself.

 

Before others come,

I’ll learn to enjoy dwelling

In this solitude.

 

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Christianity · God · Love

Where Did The Love Go?

Talking down on those who don’t sin the way you do, because you assume their sin is more likely to merit eternal damnation than yours. Gladly ushering in the men with the three-piece suits and black shiny shoes, but making the not-so-fancily-dressed feel embarrassed that they showed up in church in the first place. Grudgingly showing love and affection to our fellow man only if and when we’re aware we’re being watched or put in a position where we’re ‘obligated’ to. Bringing out all your ‘holiness’ and fake emotions from your pocket once you enter the church building, and putting it right back in when you’re sure you’ve left.

Christians. What have we become?

One Sunday evening last year, I happened to be at a church program at a church situated deep inside a market/Muslim community in Kumasi. I was with a choir ministering, and afterwards, I had to wait for it to end because I had to watch over a girl’s valuables. A man sitting a few rows in front of me, I realized was staring in my direction for an uncomfortably long thirty seconds. A couple of minutes later, one of the guys (I guessed was part of the organizers) stood behind him, and what I assumed was one of those playful punches that guys like to give themselves, turned out to be a very loud (and maybe very painful) slap on his neck. The man who was slapped suddenly stood up, startled, and the man who slapped proceeded to send him out of the building, followed by two other men behind him. And all this went on while the program was still ongoing. It all looked very embarrassing, if you ask me.

Maybe, they were right to have sent him out. He could’ve been a notorious troublemaker in that area. He might’ve been a thief. Probably, he was even  psycho. But per my own judgement, apart from the uncomfortable stares I was getting from him, this man really hadn’t done anything to deserve being sent out in such a hostile manner, let alone be slapped out of his senses. I wouldn’t blame him if he decided not to want anything to do with church or Christianity as at that point. Because oddly enough, those most likely wouldn’t have been the first ‘Christians’ to have ever treated him that way.

‘#WWJD’, ‘#WWJD’, but do we really take the time to forget about the hashtag and think about WJWD? Went for dinner in the homes of the corrupt. Defended a fornicator. Remained friends with the very man who denied him three times. Prayed to God for the very people who hated him and plotted his death. How have we made him our standard, then, and yet still indirectly look down on the way of life that he lived?

If you ask me, all the world is looking for now is people who can genuinely show the unconditional love of Christ. Not ‘mouth-mouth’ Christians. The same kind of Christ-like love you see people from other/no religions portray that makes you wonder why it is they flourish. It’s all love. You can’t incorporate all those biblical rules in your life without crowning it all with genuine love — for God, and for others. (1 Cor. 13:13)

“I have looked at you

In millions of ways and I

Have loved you in each.”

– unknown

Explore · Sight-Seeing · Tours

The ‘School Hasn’t Been Re-opened So I’ll Probably Roam’ Tour

“I gotta find an excuse to get out this house. Every day I keep lying to myself that I’d use most of the hours each day to catch up with school work, but end up wasting it without replacing it with anything relatively productive. Man, this ain’t it.” 

It was after I finally decided that yes, I was gonna go explore a city I’d grown only slightly accustomed to, that I started to wonder what exactly there was to even see. I googled, and found a video of a man, probably living outside of Ghana, who recommended (and mispronounced the names of) places that tourists could visit in Ghana. Then I also did a little research on a couple of places some people told me they’d been to before. I drew a “map” that outlined where I’d start from and where I’d end. After a couple of days of forced procrastination due to inadequate funds, I finally set out of my house.

NB. The pictures might not be so quality. My camera battery was pretty low cause I abandoned my charger in school. I had to ration the power that was left and take most of them on my phone. Instagram filters helped make them look better, anyway.

-I practically walked the whole time I was out. Besides the trips to the first and from the last destinations, I didn’t know which cars (I mean troskis) went where. And if you’re well aware of how cheap I choose to be most of the time, you wouldn’t be surprised to find out I didn’t want to spend money on any taxis.

  • Gallery 1957 (The Galleria), Kempinski Hotel, Gold Coast City

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Funny enough this exhibition was the only excuse for my visiting Kempinski Hotel for the first time ever. I was a bit surprised when I entered the room and found it empty, contrary to what a man in charge told me about it being one of the most visited places in Accra. It had this whole swimming pool theme, with most of the swimmers being elderly people. Besides the paintings there were screens with videos of the swimmers, and pictures of the people who most likely were the inspiration for the art.

Reminds me that I haven’t gone swimming in a really long time. I’ve got more plans to make.

After I left I just had to take a picture of the National Theatre, because…well, it was right there.IMG_20181114_093051

 

  •  Acrilex, Osu

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After walking for about 30 minutes, dodging the main road for a while and walking through a neighbourhood whose name I do not know of, I got to Osu and found the mural I was looking for — one someone had told me about. It was painted on the side of an arts and crafts store named Acrilex. The words ‘arts’ and ‘crafts’ were enough to tempt me to go into the store and eventually buy a can of silver spray paint I obviously hadn’t budgeted for. If you’re an art lover you’d find they have a lot of cool supplies — why if I had a little more money I wouldn’t have left with just the spray paint.

  • Independence Square (Black Star Square), Osu Klottey

Then there was a lot more walking. Don’t know how long this one took ; I had to make a couple of stops. Passed through a couple of slums with the Independence Arch in the distance as a guide. At the Black Star Square, I noticed quite a number of people sitting, and even sleeping, in the bleachers — some I assumed were homeless. The Independence Arch was pretty close to, if not right next to, the sea. Opposite it was a statue of a soldier mounted on a pillar, with a black pot painted with gold symbols beneath it.

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I couldn’t get close enough to the Black Star Gate because from afar it looked like it had been barricaded, and crossing the road would’ve been too much work.

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Conveniently enough there was a photographer lingering around, and in accordance to a prayer I prayed before leaving home, I got someone to take me a couple of pictures.

  • Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park & Mausoleum, High Street

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I was relieved to find out I didn’t have to pay to enter, or else yours forever chisel would’ve just stood outside the wall to take pictures. This place had a lot of statues, of people playing different kinds of traditional instruments mounted on pillars on top of water. They all led to the biggest statue — that of Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, the first president of Ghana. The building behind the statue , I guessed was the mausoleum. Under it was his tombstone.

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The ever-faithful wife’s was present as well.

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I couldn’t help spotting this on my way out. I wonder if our former president ever kept a part of his mind preoccupied with different possible ways he could flex.

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  • Jamestown Cafe, Jamestown

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Now this place, I was pretty familiar with. Just not in the day.

My plan was to stop here last so I’d be able to grab something to eat before heading home. After buying the spray paint and paying the photographer for my pictures, my pocket was a tad drained, so I had no choice but to settle with a light snack. No sweat. After all, there’s always ‘rice at home’.

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The service at Jamestown Cafe is actually pretty good. Feels warm whenever you go to a place in Ghana where they still apply good customer service. Only thing that caught me off guard that day was the food I settled for, considering the fact that I saw about three pieces of chicken on the menu, felt myself salivate when I saw the huge plate headed my way, and opened it just to see a solitary piece of chicken with some pepper at the side. I wasn’t amused, but a hungry girl just had to settle. Eventually when I get to Kumasi I’ll console myself by buying three pieces of chicken at the same price I bought that one.

All in all, I’m more into the ambiance of this place. Seems like a pretty calm place to get away to, read, meet up with people, inhale creative air, etc. Plus they’ve got dogs you can pet. Who can say no to dogs?

Now, until my next break, my bucket-list has been put on hold. Pray for your girl, that she gets more wisdom on how to spend money so she doesn’t have to compensate by being chisel.

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Pictures from the Galleria

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‘I know you like what you see.’

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Memes. Memes Everywhere.

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Thirsty? Try a coconut — a drink that comes with something to chew

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Man’s got quite the musical entourage

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I thought I looked great up until I saw the pictures. Sun had literally swollen my eyes shut. I might’ve grown a bit darker too.

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‘You nasty?’ (Annabelle’s voice)

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Mural at Jamestown

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More mural

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Those wings at the corner are always in Chalewote pictures

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Camera gave out here before I could get a shot of Kwesi Arthur. Sigh

 

 

Conversation

Solilo-Convo: Phase One

So you’re still not going to do anything???

I’m supposed to do something?

Something besides whiling away all the time on that phone of yours.

Bruh. What could make this situation any worse? I’m tired.

Well, get up and do something. This level of laziness and unproductivity is making me sick.

I’ll get up soon, I promise.

You’ve been lying in that same position for three hours.

And I’ll lie for an hour more if you don’t stop being so bossy. What are you, my mother?

No, but this is my body too. AND I’M TIRED OF LYING DOWN.

Okay, okay. Sheesh. … There, are you happy?

Put the phone down.

No.

What are you still doing?

Checking tweets.

You did that five minutes ago.

No, five minutes ago I was reading comics on Instagram.

You’ve got too much school stuff to read to be doing this. School might practically reopen any minute, if not never.

Tbh, it really ain’t as easy as you’re trying to make it look like right now. The best I seem to have done since I came home is one page a day.

I getcha. Damn, this short attention span.

I know.

Well?

I kid you not, I’ve been reading the same sentence for over five minutes now.

Don’t blame you. It actually looks pretty boring from up here.

Lol. Story of every other aspect of my life.

It’s not that boring.

It actually is.

You be in here writing like two stories at a time, playing guitar, drawing, doing random DIYS, and you’ve even started writing Haiku. And that’s not interesting enough?

First of all, I’m more of a Jack of all Trades and a Master of None. You see me doing them, doesn’t necessarily mean I’m doing them right. Then, there’s the fact that I haven’t been moving around that often since I came home. It’s just been cooking, babysitting, sleeping, helping these children with homework hoping I’m not wrong myself —

So what else?

I don’t know. I need to move out. See places I’ve never seen before. And if I had the time and the funds, travel.

You want to travel, eh?

Not necessarily outside the country. Not yet, anyway. I don’t seem to know much about my own country anyway, so it seems like a good place to start.

I see.

But that’s just me thinking out loud.

Nevertheless, it’s a good thing you considered adding other things to spice up your life.

Yep.

‘Cause now that I think twice about it, your life really ain’t shit.

Shut up. Potty mouth…uh…brain.

Truth’s a hard thing to swallow.

Can I go back to reading now?

Thought you’d never ask.