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.

 

 

 

Love · Relationships

“A Bit Too Great” Expectations

This moment felt so real. I just kept wishing it wouldn’t end. 

I made sure that my efforts to hide my excitement would not be so obvious, as the guy I had liked from afar for so long, was the same one holding my hand now. He was grinning from ear to ear, and would take a glance at me from time to time. How easy it could’ve been to blurt out every single thing I had ever felt or thought about him. But I had to keep my cool, because that was likely to end up in me embarrassing myself. He was a bit fidgety himself, and would occasionally place his arm over my shoulders or round my waist. We walked and talked for a couple of hours, and at a point in time, we were at a deserted place. We stopped to sit down. I was glad. Partly because I was getting tired from all that walking. Also, I was hoping he’d take advantage of the fact that we were alone to tell me how much he liked me. Of course, why would I refuse him if he did? Everything about him seemed so perfect.

Moments passed and we were still talking. The confession I was waiting for was taking too long, which was gradually making the conversation seem more boring every minute. Maybe I shouldn’t have expected anything at all, because it was beginning to look like I would be disappointed. My rampaging thoughts made me fail to realize that none of us was saying anything anymore. Or that he had even leaned a bit closer to me. I became aware when his hand cupped my face, and I saw how he was just staring at me. My heart could’ve broken out through my chest with the way it was pounding. I really wasn’t ready for this — this, being something that looked like a kiss that was heading my way, from someone I never imagined would bother to have any kind of feelings for me.

I also wasn’t ready for the person who knocked on my door and jolted me out of my idle daydream. 

Sigh. “Coming”, I yelled, as I got up to go and answer it. I was probably going to be occupied for the next couple of hours. Well, I said to myself and my imagination, until next time we’re idle.

 

I used to write. Stories. Not just short stories. Novels. Before this very strange and suspicious writers’ block overcame me, I can remember one or two scenes I wrote about similar to — and even better than — what’s above in the books I wrote. Most of what I wrote was inspired by my wild imagination. How I always wished my life would be when I came of age. When I could actually say I belonged to someone, and that person would not be either of my parents. A lot of us do, once in a while. I don’t know about you, but, just like I would begin to imagine my life being in a perfect story with a perfect setting and a very perfect man, everyone else might have a certain yardstick that they’d want to measure their potential partner with.

Typically, girls, for example, crave for men with a relatively tall, Herculean structure. Most wish for wealth. Some wish for brains. Others wish for their dream man to be good in other specific (and classified) aspects of their lives. Then a few people I know just like to combine everything together. These things, which some people call ‘specs’, can leave individuals feeling totally dissatisfied with whoever comes their way, cause, apparently, they’re not ‘who they’re looking for’. On the other hand, it can go ahead to blind other people from seeing reason, because if they find ‘exactly what they’re looking for’, they wouldn’t want to lose them, so they’d have to do anything and everything to try to keep them.

I hate to be the one to say — I don’t even enjoy saying it to myself — but then sticking to all these standards you set instead of keeping an open mind for anyone that might come your way, is likely to end up with you missing out on the person you really need, or even deprive you of a whole lot of other beneficial and healthy relationships.

 

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As far as my knowledge serves me, there’s one of two things you would be able to feel towards a person you like at a particular time; infatuation, and actual love. The former always occurs first and leads to the development of the latter, which is completely natural and bound to happen. But a lot of what we see around is just a confusion of the former for the latter. And this usually happens because we allow the illusions that come with being infatuated to cloud our ability to reason and think rationally. We can decide to put the blame on all them ‘specs’ cause, yes, they do play a major role in the infatuation process, especially the physical ones.

Most of the content we find in books and on television also play a major role in giving a very wrong and unrealistic idea of how ‘true love’ really comes about. There’ll usually be a man/boy and woman/girl, both with very desirable characteristics, they meet each other and realize they’re both what the other was looking for, and after a few days or weeks of getting to know each other, a little bit of emotional chaos, and in most cases, sexual intimacy, they hit it off and conclude they’re both ‘in love with each other’. Funny thing is, we never really do get to see what happens when they stay with each other for a longer period, and get to know themselves a whole lot more. As far as I’m concerned, everyone has their very own imperfections. What happens when they both find out what the other’s imperfections or flaws are? What if they’re unbearable? Does the ‘love’ thrive? Do they learn to adjust? Bottom line is, everything is made to look so straightforward and easily doable, and everyone else begins to measure up their potential or already-existing love life to those standards.

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So say you’re lucky enough to finally spot a person of your taste. Y’all vibe and everything. Obviously you begin to imagine the possibilities of the both of you ending up together. You bring out every hint in your arsenal to try to make them realize the feelings you have towards them, that is if you don’t go straight to the point and tell them. But then they don’t happen to feel the same way. Hurts, doesn’t it? But you’re able to move on — rejection doesn’t get to a person like you that easily. Or maybe it does. Maybe you feel you just didn’t try hard enough, or there was this great quality about you that the other person didn’t notice well enough. So you keep up with the persistence. Bring out all the reasons in the books as to why he or she has to accept you. Keep on coaxing them. Maintain the friendship on good terms, with the secret hope that they’d come around eventually.

Unrequited love is something everyone should prepare to expect at least once in their lives. I heard once somewhere that the more someone rejects you, the more attractive it makes them look to you, and that’s probably why we’re mostly ignoring those chasing after us and running after the ones who treat us like trash (trash sounds like such a strong word though…treating us like we’re invisible?) The worst part of all this is when we begin to compromise our personalities and sacrifice our happiness and comfort the moment we realize it’s what attracts them to us. Sure, you’re making the one you ‘love’ happy. But are you happy? And are you always going to remain happy? 

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‘Hypothetically’ speaking, I have a friend. Couple of years ago, there was this guy she was interested in. Initially the both of them seemed to be hitting it off, and it looked like they were getting somewhere. Then all of a sudden, it didn’t. Not to be a pessimist, but I wasn’t very surprised, because this wasn’t the first time it had happened this way. It was almost like a personal survey I was conducting, and at that point, I had drawn my own conclusions.

My friend expected way too much.

Upon asking her, there were a lot of things she’d tell me. Most of which begun with, “I wanted him to”, “I thought he would” or “He was supposed to”. She’d also rant about the unnoticed efforts she made to make sure everything moved smoothly for the both of them. And believe it or not, it wasn’t everything she did for him that she was comfortable with.

Disclaimer: I’m no expert in relationships. But I know for a fact that even though it is absolutely necessary for each member of a relationship to be able to make a number of sacrifices or compromises, no relationship is worth keeping you unhappy or dissatisfied while doing so. If you aren’t appreciated for who you are or what you do even on a friendship basis, then what guarantees a happy relationship that also comes with freedom of being yourself?

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In yet another ‘hypothetical’ scenario, I have another friend. She had a close friend whom she’d been infatuated with for a long enough time. Soon enough, he started to come around, and to her surprise, it looked like he felt the same way too. Everything he ever did seemed so great, and he was perfect. He was with her on most days, and came over to spent time with her on most nights. This went on for a couple of months, until word begun to spread that he had a girlfriend — which wasn’t her. She chose not to believe, since he hadn’t told her himself. Apparently he never planned to, because the so-called rumors were true. It was then that she knew she had to keep her distance, but she never had a good enough confrontation with him, since she was still mad about him not coming clean with her. Her resentment affected the way she related to him now. Seeing him made her feel annoyed. He noticed, and it affected how he related with her as well. Eventually, he did tell her, they made up, but things never really went back to normal — after some experiences, you can never really expect them to.

It was hilarious hearing someone on radio warn listeners to be careful about the kind of people they get attracted to on social media, because you don’t get the opportunity to notice things like bad breath and body odour through a screen. It made a good point, though. You never really get to notice what’s wrong with a person till you get close enough. You might be the one to get swayed with dazzling smiles, panty-dropping eyes, charming words, or even the way they dress or the amount of money in their bank account. You never really notice too much…

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…until someone gets tired of hiding all those other qualities you don’t seem to like. Then you’re both in for a ride.

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There are bound to be a lot of trial-and-errors in the dating process. It’s not abnormal to have relationships turn sour. It’s not strange to even end up with the wrong people a couple of times. It is, however, unwise, to notice a pattern, turn a blind eye and pretend not to have caught on. If you were lucky enough to have landed into perfection on your first try, then that’s great. If you were fortunate enough to have made a few wrong decisions at the start, but then are now failing to figure out what exactly could’ve gone wrong at first, you’re probably setting yourself up for something likely to be another failure if you’re not lucky.

Love. It’s a word that’s overused, and also misunderstood. Last thing I’ll say is, learn to know when it is, and when it isn’t. It’s a dicey business to deal with, but it really doesn’t have to be as complicated as everyone makes it. Rushing into it doesn’t give anyone enough time to see the warning flags. And if you’ve ever watched Disney’s Frozen, then just like Anna, eventually you get to realize you got played.

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I thought he was the one that was going to save me

but in the end

I was forced to pull myself out of the wreckage that he left behind.

-k.o

Uncategorized

Why I Still Fuss Over Your Cuss

“Wanna hear a joke?”

“Well sure, why not? Everyone loves a good joke”, you reply, as you listen intently, ready to be overcome by extreme hilarity. You hear the joke, and, well, if you agree with me, there’s no better feeling than laughing so hard that you feel your ribs about to crack and intestines about to spill over. “Oh my God! That was so funny.” “Wanna hear it again?” And the cycle repeats itself. The joke is told, you laugh out loud — and manage not to topple over. You’d probably leave feeling happy for the rest of the day.

But what if you had to hear that same old joke. Every. Single. Day?

You’d try to fake a laugh, maybe, just so you don’t hurt the other person’s feelings. But every single time the joke is repeated, a bit of the hilarity is stripped off, because a joke is at its funniest only the first few times it’s told (if not, then it must be a really, really good joke which I’d also want to hear). When overused, it just loses its essence.

A lot of things have evolved over the years, most of which have come to stay.

Technology. Ripped jeans. Fast food. Random swear words.

Of all the things that disturb me in this world, nothing disturbs my insides more than the last one. Well, maybe because I haven’t seen anyone walk virtually naked or eat anything disgusting in front of me before. Majority of the posts I find on social media are in one way or another bombarded with curse words. Then there’s a lot of music. Not to talk of the movies. It’s not as frequent for Ghanaians as it might be for those in the Western world, due to cultural differences. Nevertheless, it’s still quite frequent.

Throwing my mind back to my second year of secondary school, I can vaguely remember four of my dorm mates and I heading out of our house to the assembly hall for entertainment. It was a visiting Saturday as well, so we had to clean up after the messes that had been made before leaving. Upon getting to the entrance, we chanced upon a very aggravated form three girl, who, apparently was trying to mop up the floor, but couldn’t do so as quickly as she wanted to because everyone else kept stepping all over it on their way out. That’s when she decided she’d express her anger in words.

And my, what colourful vocabulary she used.

A couple of her friends who were around were laughing in surprise at her sudden outburst. But those I was walking with weren’t amused at all. The person I least expected to show displeasure was the one who spoke up. She said something that has stuck for a while now. If I can paraphrase correctly: “She should know her limit. The number of swear words you use in a sentence isn’t supposed to prove anything.”

Now, I’m not someone who can admit to never having sworn before. In fact, I do it most of the time, when I get pissed (and I can get pissed over the slightest things). Sure, I don’t make them as audible as most people would, but at that moment I truly understand that, “Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks”. After I’m done, it leaves me feeling like I got a load off my chest. But despite the fact that I do occasionally swear, I can never get used to being comfortable hearing swear words. For some songs I listen to, I literally have to turn down the volume whenever it gets to some parts, and eventually, I stop listening to the song altogether.

Even as a medical student, I have become accustomed to openly talking about body parts freely, not excluding the private parts. But then hearing people refer to private parts in the form of swear words just seems to add some whole other weird meaning to it, making it uncomfortable to listen to altogether.

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My own artistic representation of different reactions to potty mouths.

 

I came across a quote just recently, which I do believe to an extent.

People who use swear words regularly tend to be stronger emotionally and more intelligent.

Taking into consideration what I said about me swearing to myself during my emotional outbursts, I look at this in the perspective that whoever runs their mouth without thinking twice has probably reached the point where nothing perturbs them anymore. That person has either been exposed to a whole lot of disappointments in the past, or well, just doesn’t care.

But everyone, as my friend from senior high school would say, should know their limit. People who go on diets might have what we call ‘cheat days’ — the days they get to (moderately) eat anything that’s not on their diet menu. But what’s the point of being on the diet if you get to eat the junk food whenever you feel like, and as much as you want to. All the junk feels good, but restraining yourself and going by your diet discipline will most likely leave your body feeling healthier.

Of course, not everyone will agree with me on this — not that I expect them to — but I think my previous analogy is pretty much applicable to my main point. Sure, you may not be able to stop yourself from using curse words altogether. But with a little time and effort, everyone has the ability to be able to exercise self-control. Regulate yourself. Cut down. Get a muzzle too, if you think that’ll help. 😂

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The kind of stuff that comes out of your mouth can go a long way to determine others’ perception about you. That may not seem to matter once you’re surrounded by your normal everyday people. But how easy is it going to be to keep your potty mouth to yourself when you’re somewhere that it really matters? Old habits, like trees, die hard.

Maybe put in a little bit of deeper thought before saying whatever it is you want to say. It counts if what you say uplifts a person’s spirits or brings them down. You never know what kind of impact the words you utter could make.

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Hair · Hair care · Natural hair

Making Your Curly Mane Your Main

Since my first year of being in the university — the same year my year group graduated from high school — I’ve watched as too many people I know suddenly switch from a natural thick afro to short, straight, and apparently, managable hair (at least relatively). Initially, I had no idea about the whole concept of natural hair, let alone keeping it. Right after graduating from so many years of constant mandatory haircuts, I got my hair blown, because I enjoyed the kind of curls that resulted after you put in a little (or a lot of) gel. It was after a cousin of mine asked me, “Why not keep your hair natural?”, that I got curious about what that could be, and eventually, I realized, I actually had more options than I was aware of.

But boy, it sure didn’t take too long for the frustration to set in.

The first day I took off my braids in school, I realized I had missed my own hair so much. Also, my plan of keeping it for a week or two wouldn’t do, because it was so short I couldn’t do anything to it — not that I even knew what to do with it. The next time I took my braids off, I decided it was time to embrace my afro — no matter how short it was. Of course, I couldn’t avoid being called “kyekyekule” though. I assumed that word was meant to refer to a relatively younger person. Combing in itself was hell, and right after stepping out, sadly, the hair would shrink right back.

It’s been almost three years now. I’m proud to say that I have hair long enough to tie down into a ponytail. Or probably a bunnytail, since it resembles a snowball.

Ignore the girl giving me the cold and almost murderous look in the background. Up till now I still hope and pray I’m safe from any danger 😐

A lot of people see me with my hair so manageable all of a sudden, and assume I gained the ability to tame my hair in just one day.

“This is why I relaxed my hair. My natural hair is way too hard. It’s too difficult. Yours is just so soft.”

Others just don’t seem to have the time.

“You really force for your natural hair oo. You have time to twist and do cornrows and stuff like that. I can’t do all that.”

The rest … They just want you to join the flat, straight side for no reason.😂

It’s probably true. I might have more control over my hair than others, because relatively, it is less dense than others’. In the initial stages, however, I had to suffer (more like toil) just like everybody else. There were a lot of things I discovered, a couple of which I tried, and eventually I realized, it was actually a piece of cake.

So, as I patiently waited for my hair to transition from a pathetic shrunken afro to a bunnytail I could boast about, there’s a couple of things I picked up along the way.

  • Dry hair is one major factor that adds up to it being difficult to maintain. Once in a while, I put in a little bit of leave-in conditioner, and shea butter to lock in the moisture. This makes the hair yield to combing or brushing a lot more easily.
  • Until recently, before I discovered the detangling brush, all I used were combs — afro and big-toothed. The detangling brush has actually helped me with reference to stretching out my hair and getting rid of the knots.
  • And, speaking about knots, it would be a lot better to sleep with a protective hairstyle on. Sleeping with your hair unprotected, at least with hair like mine, can leave it prone to forming knots the next morning. Plus, the sheets, if they’re made of cotton could end up absorbing all the moisture in your hair, so it’s best to keep it covered with a satin scarf. I’m usually able to settle with a couple of twists or two cornrows before I go to bed. Lots of people complain about how they don’t have the time, or how complicated it is. I think once you practise, it’ll come a lot more easily for you. And it’ll be worth it when you have to take them off and show off your hair. 😉
  • Once in a while, if you feel you have nowhere else going, you could thread your hair. It’s like blow-drying, just without the heat.

When it’s totally dry and you take off the thread, it’ll be as good as stretched.

Below is a hand-written method by which I systematically go about threading.

There’s also a couple of things I make sure I take note of when I have to step out with my natural hair:

  • Carry an umbrella with you as often as you can. I don’t know whether your weather is as unstable or unpredictable as the weather here, where it could be too sunny one minute, and the next, there’s rain forming puddles the size of swimming pools. If this catches you offguard and you’re without any protection for your hair, you could suffer some major shrinkage.

This was after my first attempt at shampooing myself. Let’s just say that it took me hours to get the knots out again. If you’re not experienced, do not, I repeat, DO NOT SHAMPOO YOUR OWN HAIR!

  • You might also want to carry a comb or a brush along with you. Any kind of hair a girl wears (most, if not all) attracts not only curious eyes, but curious hands as well. If your hair is anything like mine, it’ll start shrinking after the first two hands that touch it.

I’d also give credit to the products I use — We Naturals. You could use any of your choice, but I know for sure that their products have, in one way or another, contrubuted to the growth. Check out their website or Instagram page to view their products.

You should get to know your hair. Befriend it. Pamper it. Buy it treats. (But please don’t end up using all the time you have on it. Already, we gotta be more productive, don’t we?) It’s practically not as hostile as you think it is. It will yield, and you can enjoy watching it grow.