Happy.

*drags chair and pulls it up to the table…*

Okay.. I know that we’ve been here before.

I’ve made you promises, told you I’d be around more… I could start with an apology but at this point, I just need you to know that you remain one of the most important pieces of my life.

I’m ready to do whatever it takes to show you that I can’t go on without you.

I want you. Your mind. I need that. Your attention. All of it.

I miss the old days… you know, when you’d throw your head back to the left and laugh out loud at my jokes on your way to work, how you’d scroll through the blog in bed before you drifted off, stop and ponder, possibly disagree with what I was saying, maybe share it with your friends.

I miss the times I used to end up as the topic of discussion in your group chat. I miss us.

I hope you can forgive my absence. I’ve thought about you often.. how you were getting on? And about what you read on the train to work these days? Another blog maybe?

If you managed to find a blog that read like mine or did you have to settle for a dusty copy of the Evening Standard…

LOL

Hiii yall!!!

Okay, I’m done sweet talking you. At the end of the day, it’s not really like you can do without me! You’ve missed me. I’ve missed you. Rehrehreh

What is important is that I’m back babyyyyy!

So, let’s get into the discussion of the day: I feel like I should do a full update but I’ll reserve that for another time.. next post maybe.

I’m not entirely sure where I’m going with this one either so we’ll be figuring it out together as we go along.

*6.30 am. Monday morning:

I love those first few moments when I wake up in the morning.

You know, when your mind is just completely blank.

Empty.

Nothing.

My thoughts are always running so I cherish those seconds each day.

Even before I can register the fact that I’m alive or thank God for a new day, I enjoy the simple pleasure of nothing.

This may be a wrong assumption but I think most if not all people wake up like that.

Blank.

No matter where you are on the planet… Whether you sleep in a gold plated four poster bed in Buckingham palace or behind a skip on a side road in Shoreditch.

Everyone gets those first 20 odd seconds of nothing.

This morning after my beloved 20 seconds passed, I set my alarm on snooze twice. Grudgingly, I allowed daylight to enter my eyes and geared myself up for the vexations of the day that were to ensue before squinting at my phone screen and flipping through the notifications that came in overnight.

“Saheeeeed! you’re probably sleeping but I gotta give you the gist. Soooooo the date went well, he’s a bit short but what he lacks in height he makes up for in mortgages lol. Two to be exact!

#ISSAHUSBAND I’ll vnote you the deets later”

“Hey guys, so your boy is finally turning 30 and I’m having a party on the…”

“Dami babes, I checked my calendar? Coffee date Thursday? Let me know x

“Hi Tania, apologies for my late reply. I’ve seen your email. Can we schedule a conference call for Wednesday to talk through everything? I’m thinking 6.30?”

“Ajoke, forgot to tell you to take the meat out of the freezer. Check on the bottom shelf. Don’t forget to off your straighteners Mum x”

“Fam. Did we even go? Seun locked his keys in the boot so the whole evening was a writeoff. We watched XFactor and went to bed 😂”

“The red dress doesn’t fit me anymore😢 lool. I’m just gonna wear jeans man kmt!”

“I’ll answer those later” I thought as I sat up. Muttered a quick “Thank you Lord for a new day” prayer before dragging myself to the bathroom to deep my entire life and “impossible” to do list whilst running a bucket bath. (Showers are a luxury reserved for weekends and hair wash days only).

Got dressed, grabbed my laptop off the side, slipped on my patent flats and shouted goodbye to my sister from the bottom of the stairs.

Boom.. so we’re moving now.

Power walking to the train station.

Bumping J Cole’s “Love Yourz” because usually if I rap along to the song all the way through two and a half times, I’ll reach the station barriers just as Jay’s crooning

“…For what’s money without hapiness?

Or hard times without the people you love?”

Cool. We’re at the station, waiting to tap in, exhausted from rapping the song three times over and still not fully awake yet… thinking about how I had to leave my beloved bed to go to “work”, and how much “work” I have to do today, and how annoyed I am this man won’t move down the carriage and how cold it is especially because I left my scarf on the sofa and how I’m sure the dress I’m wearing must have shrunk in the dryer because it’s moving mad!

I’m also extremely troubled by how inconsiderate it is for the babe on my left to be eating a fried egg roll on this packed district line Train at 7.47 in the morning!!!

Basically, I’m just p’eed off at everything and everyone.

Fleeting feelings of dissatisfaction with some of the current mundane rituals of my life swell in my chest like the digestive biscuit I’m now dunking in my lukewarm cup of tea. (Btw, we’ve reached work and we’re at my desk lol)

Anyone else feel like that sometimes?

I probably should just face my front but social media is the perfect vehicle to take you on a procrastination cruise whenever you want to roll out soooo I scroll through endless posts of my fellow millennials and all the amazing things they’re doing this Monday morning.

Post after post about those that were “brave” enough to quit their 9-5 to start a cool tech company or those backpacking around southeast Asia…

I feel envious of their “courage”.

I take look at myself in the work toilet mirror and compare my reality to my “jet-setting, avocado on toast eating, hiiii Snapchattttt, Dubai quicklyyy” mates and think “Rahhh dennnnnnn, your life’s a bit dead Damz don’t you think?”

*Whatsapp message: *

William Adoasi: “Don’t give up fam. You’re there for a reason…”

And then it comes to me in the most humbling way:

“Errrrm. Hello hi? Is everything okay upstairs?

Babes.

You are doing everything that you said you wanted to do this time last year. Chill out man. 🙄

You’re doing a ting. YOU ARE DOING YOUR THING.”

As humans, we are so obsessed with acquisition.

From the moment we’re born, we’re placed on the conveyor belt of life with our arms to the sky.

“I want that.”

“I need this”

“If only I could just get there”

“If only I could fix this”

I remember being in Uni and so desperately wanting to graduate.

I just wanted to be on the other side.

To have those letters after my name. Nothing else really mattered.

And I was convinced that once I got “there”, I’d be happy.

And truly, I was elated.

All that graft, hard work, literal tears…

Walking up to that podium was a euphoric experience…

But then, those feelings wore off.

Quickly.

I was left with an itch for more.

Discontentment returned with his bags and our 6 kids and pointed at all of what I deemed as my “inadequacies.”

I was having an interesting conversation with my friend and he asked me

“D, what do you think happiness is?”

And since then, I’ve been asking everyone lol.

If we’ve spoken in the last 10 days, I’ve definitely asked you.

I tried to leave a couple inserts from my favourite responses at the bottom of this post but WordPress is moving a bit Beyoncé atm but I’m grateful for everyone’s input.

Some of the themes that appear to be reoccurring include:

• Satisfaction

• Love

• Contentment

• Peace of mind

• Freedom

• No regrets

• An unexplainable warm internal feeling

• Wellbeing

• Light in heart.

  • God

* Thursday 7.30am It’s my birthday today.

I am 27.

I know right? Wild wild wild.

(I look and feel 21 so it’s fine.)

And this year, I’m taking stock of my here and now and I truly appreciate where I am in my life.

I remember when I used to pray to God to be happy.

Now, I forget to thank Him for what have become “little blessings”

Like my precious family.

And real friends… both old and new.

And for friends that have become family.

And peace of mind.

And good health.

For sustenance

For love.

And the privilege of giving love to others.

For my job and lovely colleagues

For my achievements

For my dreams that will continue to become my achievements.

For the wisdom that has come as I’ve matured in age.

For forgiveness and the ability to forgive.

For the lessons learnt from bad decisions and heartbreak.

For new challenges, interests, loves and passions.

For music lol. For life would be truly dead without it.

For those magic moments in every day that make life amazing… like that first sip of hot chocolate from Picolo bar on a Sunday morning and kisses on the forehead and belly aching, tear jerking laughter. For that feeling I get when I wake up early enough watch the sunrise and those jokes I catch running silly MC battles with my Sade Blade in the kitchen whilst we clean up.

For the gift of faith, which helps light my path on those darker days

For the redeeming grace I’ve found in Christ, that offers assurance and reaffirmation though I wrestle at times the questions that are difficult to answer.

I’m grateful for a life well spent so far.

If I continue to list the things I’m grateful for, you’ll probably be reading until my next birthday.

“Happiness is where you find it… and that’s where the choice comes in”

-Taiwo Omotayo, 2017.

I’m happy.

Free and open in heart and mind, full of hope and optimism.

And I find it in all those things I’ve mentioned above.

Not because my life is perfect…

But because I have deeped that “THERE”

doesn’t exist.

“There” is right now. As I type this from the comfort of my bed.

26 has been good to me. I trust 27 will be sweeter.

Choose Happiness yall!

Till next time,

Saheed x

❤️

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Warm hands.

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Warm Hands.

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year…”

Before we get into it… Let me just set the scene for you. Currently the time is 4.49am.. I’m alone with a cup of peppermint tea, swimming in the papers I’m reviewing for this health report I’m working on and have been playing the same Boyz II Men Christmas album since last week..
I’ve drunk my body weight in tea and don’t even know what day of the week it is lol… AND I’ve got work in a few hours.
Anyway……..
So we’re at that time of the year where it’s all mistletoe and minced pies
(Anyone else ever wonudered why they’re called minced meat pies when there’s no meat in them? Weird.)
Fairy lights, Quality Street chocolates, the Coca-Cola adverts… Home Alone re runs and hideous jumpers.
Christmas is my favourite time of the year.
I love seeing what it does to people.
Carol singers at train stations, kids in cute little elf suits, tinsel everywhere you turn…
Before all the Ebenezer Scrooges come out from the crevices of the earth with their “Jesus wasn’t born on Christmas Day, it’s all so materialistic! it’s about the presents” malarkey… It’s still a great opportunity to reflect, share love and spend time with people that matter the most… whether you believe in Jesus or not.
We’re not too far from the end of the year… And my goodness, what a year it’s been!

It’s also the time of the year where everyone is more giving. For whatever reason, something about the season softens most hearts and its much easier to dip your hand into your pockets.
2 weeks ago I volunteered with Love in Action who are a charity that hand out supplies to the homeless at different points throughout the year. The kind of things that you use everyday without thinking about it… socks, underwear, tissues, toothpaste, antibacterial gel… simple things.
We walked around Charing Cross, stopping and handing out bags and talking to people.

I made a friend, Luke* (not his real name)
At first when I approached to talk to him, he didn’t seem very interested. I offered my hand and introduced myself, explained why I was all in his grill and asked if I could give him a bag.
He told me his name and took my hand.
“Ay, your hands are warm Demi ( he said my name wrong but I didn’t have the heart to correct him because of how confidently he said it lol).
“I can’t remember the last time I held a hand this warm”
He was 35 with a really interesting story but the short version is that he found himself on the streets after the difficult breakdown of his relationship with his daughter’s mother and the death of his brother.
He turned to alcohol and everything “slipped out of his grip”
Our conversation turned to where he was from. He was Irish but had been in London since he was 19. I told him I’d been to Dublin once to see my dad when he lived there but that was a long time ago. He hadn’t “met many Nigerians” (although seeing as we’re everywhere, he most probably has and not realised!) but he had a few friends from Ghana in Brixton that he would visit from time to time.
He told me about his favourite Ghanaian song that his friends taught him and asked me if I knew the words too.. (LOL I did not for obvious reasons).
He hummed the tune and sung the words. I nodded along, smiling awkwardly.
He’d been homeless for 2 and a half years.

For that moment, we were just two people on the street discussing our different interests and commonalities.
He thanked me and gave me a kiss on the cheek.
I walked away from that conversation, feeling like I’d “done a good deed” and I left Luke there.
I walked away from Luke and his reality and stepped back into mine.
I have no idea what happened to him after that.
Since then, I’ve thought about him.
Especially on cold nights like tonight.

We had some sleeping mats that could be used on top of cardboard. I went with Debbie (if you’re reading this Debbie, hey girl!!) to speak to a lady and her friend who seemed to have set up with duvets in the corner of the station subway to offer the insulating mats.
“There might be some people upstairs who would need them more.” She took what she needed from one of the bags and pointed to where we should go.
I was really touched by that.
To still have the needs of others in mind, in spite of the apparent needs of your own is love personified.

I have no idea how homeless people live day to day on the streets.
I’ll never forget the homeless lady I met about 3 years ago in Starbucks Kings Cross whilst I was passing time waiting for my train back to Kent.
“Everything is hard. I wash in public toilets. I dread when it’s my time of the month. You can’t really make future plans. I don’t plan for next week. I take each hour.. each minute as it comes”
(Obviously, man paraphrased the ting but she said something to that effect…)

This weekend, the homies and I went to Thames Reach Homeless Shelter with “JLM Love in a Box”.
Love in a Box has been running for about 7 years? (I think)
We prepare gift boxes for the homeless, have a chat and sing Christmas carols.
The best thing on Saturday was seeing them respond to the songs… smiles on their faces… hearing their stories.
One guy, Stephen * (not his real name) came up after we were done and asked us to sing over the phone to his disabled friend who was having a bad time.
Again. It was a real heartwarming request.
Although when we were done, he asked his friend if it cheered him up and he said “no not really”
To which Stephen replied “Oh you miserable git!” 😂

Both days reminded me that homelessness is literally just on the other side of your front door.
Life as you know it can change very quickly.

I’ve been so CONSUMED with myself and everything I’m chasing over the last few weeks… months even. We get trapped on this never ending conveyor belt of life and once we acquire one thing, our priorities, affections and desires shift to the next.
We hear it all the time
“One must learn to be content”
I’m sure I’ve said that on this very blog more than once.
But it’s more than just that.
We have to be grateful.
For all things.
In all things.

I say the routine “Thank you for waking me” as I drag myself to the bathroom in the morning, or “Bless the hands that made the food” before I eat lunch as a force of habit.
But when we really really REALLY take a second to take in all the many blessings, we’ll realise there’s so much to be thankful for.
And even when life isn’t as rosy as we’d like it to be, there’s ALWAYS something to be grateful for.

In the hustle and bustle of our day to day, especially in this festive season, those people sitting on the pavement, hidden in shop doorways or standing outside the tube station so easily become invisible to us.
You might even think to yourself “They probably brought it on themselves” as you hurry past to soothe the guilt of not even acknowledging their presence. I’ve done that many times.
But they’re human beings.
In need of love and hope like everyone else.

I see people publicly declare all the “great and wonderful” things they do for people waiting around for the social media round of applause equivalent: likes and retweets.
And yes, they are “great” and “wonderful” things.
But if you find that you CANT do something for someone WITHOUT announcing it with the entire world, you might need to check your motives.
That being said,
This is not me saying “Ay! Yo! Look, aren’t I a good person because I gave a homeless man shower gel and sang Ding Dong Merrily on High on a Saturday”
HOWEVER, this IS me saying “We miss opportunities to reach out with our hands to touch people who need us all the time.”

“I can’t remember the last time I held a hand this warm”

Luke, my mate in Charing Cross. ❤️
Those words will resonate with me for a very long time.

To everyone reading this, as we run around sorting out last minute presents for our loved ones, when we’re out sipping mulled wine at a Christmas work do.. or at home seasoning the turkey singing along to the Michael Buble Christmas album.
Let’s spare a thought for those that aren’t as fortunate.
For those who will be alone this Christmas.
And those who are having to celebrate the first holiday after losing a parent or a child…
Let’s remember those who do not have and those near and far from us who smile in the midst of adversity.
Those who are fighting illnesses.
Let’s also take from the plenty that we have been gifted with to share with those less fortunate…
not just because it’s Christmas, but also in our everyday lives.
Because that’s what we’re called to do.

I want to wish you and your families a very Merry Christmas…

*hops off the soapbox*

Saheed xx

Grad.

Grad.

I started pharmacy school in September 2010 feeling anxious, excited and completely oblivious to the roller coaster ride that was waiting ahead.

It took six years instead of five, having to complete a preliminary Pharmacy Practice degree first, taking a year out to deal with unexpected events, some of which were beyond my control… countless sleepless nights in that God forsaken library where it was always too hot or too cold… Running to 9 am labs in those goggles and my ridiculously stiff white lab coat!
I lost count of the amount of times I wanted to just accept defeat, pack my bags… Drop out… Maybe find one uncle Bode to marry and become a second wife…. Yeah right!!! 😂
Just Kiddinggggg 😂
Anyway…
After brilliant years of incredible highs with friendships that I know will last for a lifetime.. And humbling life lessons that have shaped me into the woman I am today…
I am now so very proud to share that I’ve completed Master of Pharmacy degree!!!

I’m so grateful to God for His faithfulness.
He really does makes all things perfect in His time.

I want to thank my amazing parents for their unrelenting love and support. Even when I struggled to see the light at the end of the tunnel… They NEVER stopped believing in me.. They didn’t allow me to stop believing in myself.
In hard times, they never left my side.
I dedicate this triumph to the both of them.
Mr and Mrs Saidu…
You are my heroes.
And my day one OG who’s been rocking with me since ’95, my residential dishwasher and sister, Omotola Folasade Cokolette Shadikiiii baddest babe of lifeeeeee Saidu 😂 our 4am gist sessions especially during exam season always made my day! You’re my best friend.

To the rest of my awesome friends and family that have also been a MASSIVE support. There are way too many of you to name in this post but honestly… You all know who you are…
Thank you.
I couldn’t have done it without you guys!

It’s funny.
When I started all those years ago, I never anticipated it ending this way…. And when things were hard, I struggled to understand why.
But now, I get it… (Well… Some of it… I’m sure the rest will make sense in due time lol)
I wouldn’t even change it if I could go back. I’m grateful for my journey…
What a long yet purposeful one it has been!

Greatest lessons of all?
Well apart from the academic stuff, I’ve learnt that sometimes, good things can take a long time. I’ve learnt that I can do WHATEVER I want and set my mind to. I’m much stronger than I thought I was. Only the opinions of very few actually mean something significant as far as my OWN life is concerned. Sometimes you have to take the road less traveled to get to your destination and there’s no challenge too great when you believe in yourself, trust God and work through your fears earnestly.
My race is exactly that.
Mine.
And I’m so proud of that.
I’m proud of myself.

In the same breath, I’ve learnt also that degrees, accolades, certificates… They’re all just pieces of paper at the end of the day.
Masters or no masters.
I’m Dami Saheed.
And that’s more than enough too.

My message to anyone that has a goal or a dream they’re working towards and is battling with doubts.. Maybe you feel like it’s never going to happen?
Been there. Lol. Many times…
No matter how tired, discouraged or down you feel.. No matter how long it takes, what people may say or what it costs you…
Don’t quit. Because no one ever wins by doing that.
Don’t give up.
EVER!
Keep going…
You’ll get there.
You are going to get there.
You’ll get there when you’re meant to get there.
And when you do, I PROMISE you all the bitter memories of hard times will just melt away like they never happened at all.

“It always seems impossible until it’s done..”
(That’s not mine, it’s Nelson Mandela.lol)

I’m happily closing this chapter of my life..
In more ways than one.
It’s been an eventful journey so far to say the least… Maybe I’ll write a book about it one day…😂 ( okay I’m being a tad bit dramatic I know but it’s not everyday one becomes a Master of Pharmacy so please just let me have my moment!😂)

I doubt there’s a feeling in the world right now that compares to the profound satisfaction I have now I can FINALLY tick this off my life goals list… Having said that, the feeling after hearing my Mum and Pops say “Girl, we’re so proud of you” is definitely way up there!
Looking forward to pursuing the rest of my dreams with the amazing people I’m blessed to have by my side and the great love and unexplainable peace that resides within my heart.

I’ve had some great days so far… But I know the best days are still ahead of me.

Next stop: PRE REGISTRATION PHARMACIST BABY!!!

Miss Tania Oluwadamilola Elizabeth Saheed, (MPharm)

Sounds sweet doesn’t it? 😊
Time to make some bandssss…

#PharmacistAndThatttt
#ComeSeeMeForYourChestyCoughB
#Diabetes-NoProblem
#HeartDisease-IGotYou
#Chlamydia-Calm.
#EvenHairLossICanGiveYouWhatYouNeed
#YesIAmGassed
#AntibioticResistanceWarrior
#LegalDrugDealer
#BeenTrappingInTheBando
#WhatsNext
#MyPopsSaidPhD
#HeMustBeBloffing 😒
#HardOutHereForADrugPimp
#BabaGodNoni
#TheRealTrapQueen
#HotlineBling
#Views
#MillyRockOnAnyBlock
#AnyOtherIrrelevantHashtagYouWant
#OkayThatsTheLastOne 😂
Signing out… But I’ll be back! ✌🏿️✌🏿✌🏿image.jpeg

Remembering Kunle.

 

Remembering Kunle.

Kunkun!
Lankylots.
Its been five years already old friend.
I still can’t believe that you’re not here anymore… I think about you all the time.. Most weeks in fact.
I doubt a week goes by that I don’t remember you
But I’m sure you know that already brother.
Sometimes I worry that I’ll start to forget things…

I remember how you used to terrorise me flicking my bottom lip with your extra long fingers… And giving me those annoying light forehead slaps when I wasn’t looking… *Blessingsssss* that’s what you called them. so bloody annoyinggggg!
I used to have to jump to slap you back lol… You were so tall! The real Big friendly giant lol

And how you’d squeeze my face and call me puff puff cheeks lol… I used to hate it! I wish now that I could hear you say it just one more time…
I miss that.
I miss you.
I still remember our very last conversation on the phone.. You just called to catch up like you would do from time to time.. I was in a rush, making my way to a birthday dinner I think..
I’m sorry I was so distracted.
I’m sorry I hurried off the phone.
I’m sorry I didn’t call back.. I always meant to.

I still remember those Friday nights at NXGN choir rehearsals.. And how much you loved to sing.. How you would sing from the bottom of your heart, even though your voice was *cough cough* questionable!

I remember us all dancing and messing around at FOL.. You usually at the front having a dance battle with someone.. Ah, King of the dance floor! You owned it! lol… Always danced like your life depended on it! one arm behind your back, the other arm pointing straight ahead, bopping from side to side… And because you were so tall it was always so amusing to watch.
You made people around you want to dance too..

I remember your smile…
Your laugh.
You laughed often.
You laughed at everything.
You laughed at nothing.
Those silly insignificant things…That hearty, deep, warm laugh… Infectious. And how you would shake your head and kiss your teeth at the end of a really good joke. You made people around you want to laugh too…

I remember your kind heart.
You gave me all your skittles that time in Hackney Central library and then I took your drink too lol… “Puff puff, are you eating for two now or what’s going on here?”
I still ate them all happily without remorse! I remember that brown ecko jacket you would wear with a matching beanie hat or fitted New Era cap… LOL… And one of those crusty chequered scarves around your neck that we all used to wear back in the days. The swag was abysmal back then

I remember how you would send out those LONG morning motivational text messages to all of us.. I’d read them on my way to college.. And how you would drop me an inbox on Facebook when you knew I was sad about something.

It wasn’t until you left that I started to realise how much those messages mattered..

I remember your temper. You didn’t get angry often but when you did, it was all over for those in the firing line! You always wanted people to understand where you were coming from.
And that you meant well…
You were quick to apologise and make peace too.. You never held grudges.
Even when you’d been wronged.

I remember our talks about relationships… Ha! What did we even know back then?! I cringe even at some of the things we used to get caught up about… Especially at UEL library in Stratford.. Remember?
The 24 hour one where we would do nothing and hang til thy kingdom come… Just chilling in Stratty deceiving ourselves eating McDs lol
It’s a mystery to this day how we all passed our exams to be honest
you wanted a proper Nigerian girl that would make you pounded yam.. I’m sure it was you that used to joke about flying to Nigeria to find a wife because London babes were too much stress lol.

I remember our random chats about life… And the future.. Our hopes and dreams..
You wanted to make your mum proud… Wanted to be there for your siblings.. You literally wanted change the world. I remember how you displayed your faith in God without apology. Both explicitly and through the love you shared with others so easily.

I remember feeling challenged by your dedication to doing good, being better. Always. Your pursuit was to love all wholeheartedly. A persistent desire to live a life of service onto others. You served others until the day you left us.
You never let someone leave the conversation without a laugh and a lesson.

I remember the day we laid you to rest.. And how the sun was shining down after days of poor weather. How hundreds of people, literally hundreds… I’m sure there were over 600 people.. came together to celebrate the beautiful life you led. Even in death, you brought people together.

A testament to the weight of the legacy your life holds.

I remember visiting your graveside with Covs a little while after that to lay flowers.. And how we got lost lol… I just felt like you could somehow see us shaking your head like “look at these dumb girls!”
After about an hour we got there in the end lol.. (I’ve never been good at reading maps smh..)

I’m sorry I haven’t been back since.

It was very hard to accept at first.
All the milestones we all looked forward to as kids that we won’t get to share together…
I guess before you, I’d never really had to grieve the loss of a friend before. You never know what to say or do with yourself. The sadness doesn’t ever fully go away…
Time has changed it though.. That sad feeling of loss.. It’s now buried deep beneath the memories of better happier times… You gave us all PLENTY of those.. Enough to last a lifetime on this earth for sure.

Sometimes on occasion, I think of you and it brings a tear or four to my eyes… For like 5.3 seconds … Only little thug tears though lol..
Today, Lankylots… Old friend of mine, I remember you.
All the good times we shared. The times you advised and encouraged me as a big brother… That time you appeared from nowhere and helped me carry my suitcase up the stairs at the station… (I was STRUGGLINGGGG 😂) that one random silly argument we had lol… (Let’s not even go there today although it was definitely my fault! I’ll take the L. Ha!)

I remember how you always had open hands and an open heart so people felt they could always come and take whatever they needed from you.

You weren’t perfect.
But you were good.
Compassionate.
Brave.
Genuine.
Sincere.
You lived a life that was full…
I’ll never forget that, I’ll never forget you.
You to us all.
You still inspire me today.

I have assurance that you rest peacefully now, probably having dance battles with Angel Gabriel because you had the tekkers when it came to the footwork lol.
I know we’ll meet again.. We will definitely meet again Kunlemi.
I believe that with my entire heart.
I can’t wait for you to squeeze my cheeks and slap my forehead again…

Til then my dear brother…

Adieu.

Saheed aka Puffy x
Oluwakunlemi Teniola.
31.08.1990 – 12.07.2011 ❤️

Two pence.

imageI’ve been mulling over whether it’s worth posting this. Race and police brutality is a touchy subject for most, myself included. I’ve spent hours literally reading through lamenting statements of pain from people all over the world. I’ve also seen sheer ignorance in levels that has also reminded me that a lot of people in this world have dark depraved minds.

First things first:
My prayers and thoughts are with the families of #AltonSterling and #PhilandoCastille.
My thoughts and prayers are also with the families of the police officers gunned down in Dallas today.

It’s easy to dismiss these killings as “unfortunate.” It’s easy to just allow yourself to become desensitised to the tragedy. But you owe it to yourself not to allow that to happen.
I take these tragedies very personally. All you have to do is imagine your brother or uncle as a hashtag to feel the burn and rage that I felt in my chest last night.

Racism is NOT a robe of glory. Nor is it a trophy that we cradle and parade to provoke songs of pity.
Police brutality towards black men and women is a REAL thing. People getting shot close range for selling CD’s in the parking lot is a real thing.

Who gets stopped and pulled over for a broken tail light only to end up shot multiple times with a four year old minor in the back seat?

BLACK PEOPLE DO.

Who gets shot in the back and has their dead corpse left exposed on the tarmac in the sweltering heat for hours and hours on end?

BLACK PEOPLE DO.

The plight of black people in America and even in the UK is not an illusion.
It’s not make believe.
It is not a joke.

Secondly: I cannot stand it when people of privilege feel that they can downplay the severity of the prejudice that other people without that privilege have to navigate every single day.
If you’re not black, it’s almost impossible for you to fully empathise. Why? Because you will never know what it’s like to be black.
(Yes, there is a difference between sympathy and empathy… Sympathy says “I’m sorry, it’s unfortunate that you have to deal with this.”
Empathy says ” I understand why you feel the way you do because I know what it feels like too. I’ve been in your shoes, I know where those shoes pinch”
.)

See the difference?
That’s not even necessarily your fault.
But it’s fact.
And if the #BlackLivesMatter movement is uncomfortable in a non sympathetic way, it’s likely that sadly you may be a contributor to the problem, knowingly or unknowingly.
That’s not to say that a black life is more valuable than that of another. Because it is not.
But it is to say that they are equal in value, and the history of humanity has shown us that black lives haven’t always been treated as so. I think a lot of what we see today is partly the residual effects of what has happened in the past as well as the perceptions of people which are conditioned to be warped subtly by media.
It’s amazing how the world came up in arms after the shooting of Harambe the Gorilla who was shot in a zoo after a child somehow got into the exhibition enclosure. It’s interesting that these killings haven’t appeared to provoke the same level of outcry?
Why is that?
I’ll leave you to ponder that.

Thirdly: like I said before, I’ve spent the last 48 hours agonising over the recent events in America.
And I’m not sure why but this feels different to me.
I genuinely feel upset. Annoyed. Heartbroken. Tired.
I think about the people who have died before now:

Tamir Rice, Trayvon Martin, Sandra Bland, Freddie Gray, Jeremy McDoyle, Samuel DuBose, Rekia Boyd,
Mike Brown, Sean Bell, Walter Scott, Matthew Ajibade… Those are just the few I can remember off the top of my head. The list go on and on and on..

In majority of these cases, no indictments are brought against the police officers which ultimately translates as NO JUSTICE.
No justice for the families who have lost loved ones, greater apprehension and resentment amongst the black community whilst they await the arrival of the next hashtag, complete with incriminating and harrowing video footage and no convictions.

Now, it’s easy for us to succumb to our emotions and become riled up, type out angry statuses on Twitter with the rest of the social media activists and discuss these sensitive topics in the privacy of our living rooms but last night it dawned on me after talking to my sister that actually:

RACE IS NOT THE BEGINNING OF THE DISCOURSE.

GUN LAW REFORM IS.

Let’s talk about Philando Castille briefly:
This man had a license to carry, declared to the officer that he was carrying and yet the result of his encounter with the police was a fatal one.

Where are all the National Rifle Association advocates in all of this? Why aren’t they out here defending the fact that the violation of this mans second amendment constitutional rights resulted in his death?
Is it because a white man carrying a gun is considered patriarchal and dignified whilst a black man carrying must be a criminal?
Gov. Mark Drayton of Minnesota said he doubts Philando Castille would be dead if he was white (I’m paraphrasing..) and I agree with him.

“But Saheed, you said the discourse isn’t just about race?”

Yes. I did. And I mean that.

It’s clear that a lot of officers don’t understand what the use of reasonable force is.
Excessive force in the very literal sense is what has killed those people I named earlier.
Now if we have police officers, who are supposed to be TRAINED and sworn under oath to SERVE and PROTECT not knowing what excessive force is… How can you justify the common civilian being permitted the ability to carry guns on the street? Does that make sense? No.
It doesn’t.
It’s dumb.
Whenever you listen to officers after these tragic events, the narrative is always the same:
” I thought he was reaching for a gun..”
“I was fearing for my life…”
Why are they always scared?
The British police (who aren’t without their shortcomings too) somehow manage to enforce the law and maintain societal stability without the use of guns on a day to day basis which says to me that it’s very possible.

If legislation is changed so that those permitted access to guns are accompanied by tighter restrictions and sanctions for use of excessive force by police officers are also imposed properly, perhaps these things won’t happen as often.

There’s always an assumption that the police officer’s judgement is the correct one. And we all know that this isn’t always the case.

I don’t really know if we’ll see gun law reform in this life time. But what I do know is this:

Without it, it’s just a matter of time before the tragedy of police brutality strikes again.

I’m out. ✌🏿️

Saheed.

Rubber.👄

Rubber. 👄

****ITS BEEN A LONG TIME…
Shouldn’t have left you without a dope blog post to step to… STEP TO… Fikifiki break it down uh!!! ***

I know, I know… I’ve been missing.
And I’m truly sorry!!! I feel like I’m always apologising to you guys. My friend said I’m like the boyfriend that says he is going to change but never does! Lol I know it’s not acceptable but I’m a cutie so it’s not like you can stay mad at me is it?! I am really sorry though…

But it’s crunch time y’all.
Finals are here and I’m trying to keep it all together but I’m stressed and bored of it all to be honest. It’s a tad overwhelming. It feels like I’m standing on the side of this huge mountain.. And I’ve been hiking up it (for years literally lol…) and still have no clue how I’m going to get to the top.. There’s just so much to do… And time is literally running away from me….

Naturally (…as you do) instead of studying, whilst I’m trying to relinquish myself of the Queen Procrastinator crown, I really want to write so it’s best for me to obey myself before the urge leaves…
I’m never sure when I’ll feel compelled to write again. Am I the only one finds themselves thinking every single thing under the sun when I’m really just meant to be focusing on one important thing??
Why do our minds do that?!!!

It’s also a long one as I don’t know when I’ll be able to put my thoughts down like this for a while!

So here it goes.. I write this from the comfort of a couch in Drill Hall library… Complete with a tepid cup of tea from the vending machine.

I’ll start this one with a little throwback story…
I remember I was leaving the library early one day some time ago…
It had been one of those all nighters fuelled by many undeserved breaks where we drove to McDonalds for McFlurrys and apple pies at 2am, had a race tournament up and down the library on our wheelie chairs and rode through unmatchable highs from those cheap 39p energy drinks… That day had been a bad revision day for all of us.
The girls did the wise thing and left for a nap around 4am but I decided to stay to try and make myself feel better for not doing much that day…
It got to about 6.30am and I could hear the birds willing me to accept defeat and make my way back to my bed.. I could see myself in the reflection on the computer screen and just thought

‘Dami, look at your life… Pack your bags and go to bed… Tomorrow is another day’😂

So I start walking home.
Now… As I’m walking home, I walked past a young man… Lets call him…. Gareth.

No, actually lets call him James.

So, “James” was one of those chaps you would see most days in the library. Masters student I think.. Laptop in hand, huge backpack… He was always heading somewhere lol…
We weren’t really friends per say but because we both basically lived in the library we used to exchange a pleasant yet awkward smile whenever our eyes met… You know the one.
Raised eyebrows, you look slightly to the side and nod your head a little?

Now, for the purposes of setting the scene ONLY *cough cough*
James was as good looking as they come.
Tall, broad shoulders, dark, Nigerian… proper handsome righteous looking kinda brother lol.. If you’re into that sorta thing.. And he was fluent in Yoruba.. (which always scores you a few brownie points lol)

Anyway… Where was I?
Ah yes, so he was buff right?
Yes, he was.
And seemed like a nice enough chap from the few polite conversations we’d had over the months.

Now, this particular morning as I walked past “James” our eyes met again. He smiled and said hello, I responded politely…”hey, what’s up?”
He asked the normal dreaded exam season question “how’s it going?” I gave him the generic ” yeah, not too bad. Just want it to be over.. How about you?” response…
He raised his shoulders, head tilted to side and sighed (as you do.. When someone sighs after the “how about you?” question, you know it’s peak. no more needs to be said lol) and we kept it moving.

But I couldn’t help but think something was different.
Off.
He looked different.
Very different.
I was searching myself over and over again.. I just couldn’t put my finger on it..
It wasn’t until I got home and my head hit the pillow, Reunited with my boy Butch, (my teddy.. Yes i still have a teddy, mind your business please!) that I realised what it was..
So, he looked grey…
Like as in grey… Grey like London on a Monday morning in January…

I wish I was exaggerating.
It’s as if someone had taken a remote control and turned down the contrast.. It was that drastic.
It was a familiar grey.
A colour I’d seen many times before on aunties, in nollywood movies… In the hair shop…
It dawned on me that this young man had been bleaching his skin…
I’ll give you a moment to take it in…

Black.
MAN.
BLEACHHHH.

Skin.
Bleach?!
Buhhhhleeeeeechhhhhh.

B. L. E. A. C. H.

Mad ting.

It had never even occurred to me before then that a young man could feel insecure about their complexion and that they would go to the extent of buying a lightning cream… Especially as dark skin brothers are like in fashion now.. And have been since 2007 at least! Didn’t homeboy get the memo?! Lol
Just imagining a guy asking for a cream like caro light or whitetious or any other hydroquinone containing cream in the local hair shop is a tough for me, I can’t lie to you.

Didn’t everyone stop checking for the light skinned brothers ages ago? I’m sure they went out of fashion with velour track suits and baggy bootcut jeans?! (I’ve got a lot love for my caramel brothers really! My jokes are purely for entertainment purposes lol)

Banter aside, truly I was shocked. It actually made me quite sad… James, you really didn’t have to do that to yourself bro.
It did make me think to myself:
It’s crazy how the world can make you feel like you’re not good enough.

There’s a lot of talk about race at the moment. Its always a passionate sensitive conversation when it comes to race. I’d love to dissect my views on race, colourism, racism… And all the emotional and political issues that come associated with those things but this post won’t contain it, and truth be told… The “Application of circadian neurobiology in the treatment of clinical disorders” is calling me back to my desk.

But what I will say is this:
you shouldn’t take cues about how to feel about yourself from the media or anyone else come to think of it.
The world is such a fickle place,
What’s beautiful today won’t necessarily be what is beautiful tomorrow.
I laugh now but throughout primary school Charlie and his mates used to call me Rubber lips. Did I just call out a old school bully? I think I did! And I don’t give a damn! Come buck me in Heathway if you’re a badman Charlie!
It was a huge deal. Back then I thought my lips were ugly. My biggest flaw. Amongst struggling to appreciate my complexion when all my barbie’s were white and everyone seemed to appreciate fair skin… (We’ll come back to that another day like I said… It will get long)

I’ll also never forget the day… Probably in the first few weeks of secondary school that a girl told me to go and draw a smiley face and rub it out with my “Rubber Lips

Do you know what rubber is? That’s so mean.. kids can be so wicked! it’s funny to me now but it was NOT funny then. That was the birth of the gangster that types before you today because I’d had enough and had to do what gangsters do so she and anyone else at my school knew what time it was… ( Again, maybe something we can discuss another day.. #ivechanged)
How the tables have turned. Something that I was mocked for is now something that some people are willing to do, pay, give anything to acquire for themselves… Some go to the most extreme lengths to change the shell that their soul was sent to the earth in… ( see how I made it poetic for y’all!)

Now,the whole world to wants full lips. And a small waist. And a large round derrière and huge breasts… And they will go to the ends of the earth to get these things… The TL and the shade room is heavy laden with pic after pic of Blac Chyna, Amber Rose… Every Kardashian and their “perfect” bodies…
But they have all the features  that weren’t  considered to be part of the standard of beauty when I was on the playground getting terrorised by Charlie Francis and his Thomas the tank engine mandem!
I know exactly what it feels like to look in the mirror and not like what I see… To feel like what I have isn’t enough.

But I know now thats a lie.
Can anyone call me rubber lips today?
Yes.
Would I care?
Nope. Absolutely not!
Do I think that my lips are a part of the unique beauty that I have? Most definitely.
I love my rubber lips, my “…negro nose and Afro!” #HotSauceinMyBag

And you should be proud of you too. Everything that you are. It is important to believe that you’re more than enough. That you are beautiful.
Just as you are. Whether that’s black, white, light, dark, bald, big nose, small ears… Whatever you have, whatever you look like “it took your mama nine months to make it…”
You’re amazing. You should let anything or anyone tell you otherwise.

I was listening to Musiq soulchild’s new album today (which is amazing by the way! Check it out!) and he has a song on there called “Alive and well”

And a part of it goes

“…But if you’re a fat man
Be a happy fat man
And if you’re a poor man
Then be a happy poor man
I’m not trying to sit and tell you not to better yourself
But if you’re alive and well
Just be alive and well.”

Whatever you are, however you are… Just remember that there is no one like you. That looks like you. That does what you do like you do.
It’s better to be a happy “first rate version” of yourself than to be a bootleg budget pirate DVD second rate version of someone else. 😂

Just be alive and well y’all!

*sigh… That really was a long one but we got there in the end.
Not sure when we’ll spend time together like this for a while… But don’t miss me too much… I’ll be back before you can say “Rubber Lips!” 😂😂👄
Sending y’all some air kisses because the real ones are expensive!
It’s been fun.

Saheed xx

Nuptials.

 

Hey hey hey to all you beautiful people!!!
I hope everyone is doing good…
And had a better Valentine’s Day than I did although I’m sure anything beats running around the library in a onesie and headscarf putting finishing touches on a thesis!
I’m so gassed that I’ve submitted it… The feeling is just… Indescribable..
I guess the only way I can put it is you know when you’ve been wearing a wig, in August but it’s tight as hell and pinching you on the side? You try to shift it on a sly for small relief but it just feels tighter and hotter until you think you’re going to pass out… But then suddenly it’s the end of the day and you can snatch it off, dash it to the side and run your fingers through your cornrows without a care in the world? Yesssssss that’s how I feel.. Except multiply that feeling by six months lol!
I appreciate that not many of my guy readers will be able to relate to that as I don’t expect many of you to have experienced wearing a wig… Although, having said that these days… Anythi.. Actually, let’s leave that convo for another day! LOL.

Another side note on Valentine’s Day, it’s not my favourite holiday but I do think it’s a really nice way to celebrate a loved one.. So if your bae wants to DENY YOU OF YOUR BIRTHRIGHTS on Valentine’s Day, I suggest you grab his shirt, pull him in close and whisper in your best Olivia Pope voice ” you better hit up Interflora if you know what’s good for you… Don’t ever play yourself..” Ha! 😂😂 #JustKiddinggggg
So let’s get into today’s topic which I personally feel is a rather juicy and funny one if I do say so myself!

Now, *clears throat*

It’s really interesting to me how nowadays, everyone and their nan is obsessed with relationships! Everyone wants to know your relationship status.
I can’t even be gisting with my mum for longer than 5 minutes before the “So……..Ajoke, (as she fondly calls me when she’s trying to be cute lol) …what’s going on in your love life?” question pops up tactlessly, accompanied by a cheeky smile that I can hear even if she’s asking it over the phone. We could be talking about anything from taking meat out of the freezer to cognitive behavioural therapies and still this babe will manage to slip it in lol.. My mum is one of a kind for sure!

Once you hit 23/24, it’s like a silent army equipped with invisible copies of your biological clock emerges from the depths of the earth to skate around you as you go on about your business singing
When will you marry… When will you marry??? When WILL YOU MARRYYYYYYY??!!” in three part harmonies!

Ahah! Come on!
It’s getting hard out here for babygirls… And what’s even more interesting is that no one cares if you’ve spent the last 4 years working on some groundbreaking formula for a serum that has been dubbed the “fountain of youth” by world-leading scientists because of its remarkable age reversing properties… Or how you’ve got 6 degrees and you’re studying for the 7th one whilst learning to speak Mandarin and Latin on the weekends… No one gives a damn about your Pulitzer award nomination or your work with the British Red Cross and how you’ve been traveling, seeing the world, and educating village kids on nutrition and HIV prevention 😂

All our beloved aunties and uncles want to know is “Do you know how to make stew? Can you fry plantain? Can you keep a home? Why doesn’t someone like you enough to change your last name?” Can you tell the difference between Lafun flour and Fufu flour? (P.S. I’m still trying to suss why anyone eats amala by choice! Gross gross gross!!… Dear future hubby.. Amala is NOT part of the deal! Forget about it, I’m giving you the heads up from now so you can bear it in mind when you’re preparing my dowry!…ha! Just kiddingggg… But for real though, amala fi dead! *gunshots*)

The same aunties that told me ” NO BOYFRIEND O! if a boy just sneezes on you PERE! *Insert finger clicking* You’re doomed” when I was just a young buck with a barbie, “I love Jesus” hair bobbles and a dream are the SAME aunties asking when are they are going to pick lace material for aso ebi, come to eat jellof rice and drink Pure Heaven wine 😂 it’s so funny to me!

I’m probably about 2-3 years away from this but you know when you now become (prepare and read in your best Nigerian accent) “…oh you mean the one that isn’t married” -As in, that’s your name now, that’s how they refer to you. Forget Mary, Funke, Pauline… Whatever it says on your birth certificate becomes invalid.
For example:
Here is an excerpt from a conversation I heard at my aunts house a while ago
*- PLEASE NOTE: names have been changed to protect the privacy of the individuals involved LOL.

Aunty X: oh you would never believe that I saw Yewande* in Dalston today…
Aunty Y: Yewande? Who’s that?
Aunty X: ahah! Yewande now! Aunty Yinka’s * firstborn!
Aunty Y: oh oh oh! You mean the one that’s not married?!

SIDE EYE... Forget shade, aunties are out here straight chucking trees! Oak trees! 😂

One of my course mates said that when her parents questions were getting too much for her she told them she was gay! I laughed so much I fell out of my chair! 😂 can you imagine!! WILD WILD WILDDD!! Her poor mum almost had a heart attack! When she told her mum after a few days that she was only playing, her mum chilled out on the questions though tbf. Smooth…

I think the pressure is completely different for men and women… Particularly within our community. Young men are encouraged to dream, study, spread their wings, see the world, work, climb to the top, start businesses, make money… With less expectations for them to settle down.. I think women are encouraged to do the same…AS LONG as it doesn’t interrupt or interfere with your basic feminine “calling” in life to cling to a man and reproduce in good time!

Would I say I’m feeling the pressure to get married? Ummmm…. Yes and no… I definitely think that there’s been a subtle increase on the topic recently… Not so much from my Pops.. Lol that don doesn’t seem fussed… Unless he’s trying to play it cool and is hosting night vigils on my behalf in secret.. I told him I went on a date the other day…
His response: Wow.. Congrats!
Lol congrats??? Congrats?!!!… Clearly he doesn’t rate me 😂

But you know, it’s slipping in during family prayer time, they start asking about your male friends that they’ve met in passing or that have come to the house, they try to set you up with their friends sons… And every picture you put up on Whatsapp with a male friend makes you the topic of discussion in your family group chat… I know I’m not the only one who knows exactly what I’m talking about… even outside my immediate family and friends, I think our community places a lot of emphasis on marriage.

And rightly so, marriage is a beautiful gift from God… A gracious metaphorical representation of the sacrificial love Christ has for his bride, the Church… As well as a lifelong challenge to live beyond our immediate selfish tendencies for the betterment of our significant other… Or so I’ve heard lol.. And from what I’ve seen from those of my close friends who are married already..( shout out to the Adoasi’s, the Omotayo’s and the McCarthy’s… This list is only set to increase lol…) and even growing up witnessing the marriage of my parents, being able to share day to day experiences with your best friend I imagine is a dream come true… Highs and lows included.

Is marriage something that I want?
yes, of course.
Like most ladies, it’s something I desire along with kids… Especially kids.. It’s no secret how much I love kids.

HOWEVERRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR……

It’s just one of the things on my list. Despite popular opinion, marriage isn’t the epitome of life… Neither is it the sole definitive factor of my womanhood. You can be a complete woman and be absolutely satisfied without being a wife… (Cheeky scripture plug: Psalms 107. 9)

So many women are rushing to become wives and I’m just here scrolling through Instagram with my cup of tea thinking “girl, you know after the #ShellyWedsGbenga2016 posts on Bellanaija, after the live band packs up and the tan from your Seychelles honeymoon wears off, you actually have to remain married to that man”

you know, share your bed..(I’m a very rough sleeper btw…and apparently I talk in my sleep too.. Just another heads up LOL!), share your mind, emotions, your body, resources… Share the last meat in the pot.. You gotta share All that you have, all that you are with that man! So if you pick the wrong one, it’s going to get very long for you, very quickly.
I’m always saddened when I see young couples that seemed so in love a few years ago separating or getting divorced. A strong reminder that it’s not a commitment that you make lightly.. Marriages don’t come with warranties… You can’t just send it back because it’s broken, or doesn’t suit you or it doesn’t look or feel how you thought it would when you ordered it! This isn’t Asos Premier or Amazon Prime B!

Permitted it’s in the will of God for me, it’ll happen one day… I only want to get married ONCE! and until the time for me to set aside my babygirl boots rolls around… I’ll continue working on myself, achieving my goals and enjoying my life..

And to my precious aunties and uncles whom I know love me so much and want to come to my wedding soon… Keep me in your prayers … Who knows, maybe God will change my surname sooner than you think *wink wink*

Its been real… As always

Saheed (…until further notice! Ha!) xxx

Residue.

Residue.

Soooooooooooooo…..

Happy new year y’all! I hope everyone had a great Christmas eating through their body weight in food and passing out in front of the TV after Eastenders lol
Can you believe it… It’s finally here..
The year 2016… The year many of us have pined and longed to come for ages…
Its been a roller coaster so far man!
Of course, I did the normal things before it got here…
You know, set my yearly goals, joined the gym… Etc.
Met everyone in 2016 in such high spirits…
And we’re now in week 4 and I can honestly say I’ve taken L after L.
I’m exhausted… Physically, emotionally. All of it… Is that normal?
Typically, I don’t cry unnecessarily…
I set myself a cry quota… I’m allowed one full on cry every two and a half months..It can be a good proper cry if I need it to be.. You know, Snot bubbles… Burning eyes.. Even a hyperventilated breath here and there.. You know, the works… LOOL
But I’m sure I’ve cried at least 6 times this week alone! Recently, everything makes me emotional and I don’t get why… Real G’s like me don’t cry unless someone dies.. Or I’m listening to a really sad song lol I’m sure Killer Buks is shaking her head somewhere in Plumstead reading this disappointed LOL.

People come and talk to me about their problems often… I’m not even really sure why people come and tell me their deepest darkest secrets.. It’s not a responsibility I take lightly either. I LOVE that people trust me enough with their hurts and concerns.. Some of it can be quite heavy stuff… A lot of which I’ll take to the grave with me. *insert dramatic music here*
But what’s interesting about that is I don’t always get to be the “weak.” one.. For as long as I can remember, I’ve always felt like I’ve had to carry the issues of others, fix everyone else’s problems, protect those around me… So much so that sometimes I just mismanage or fail to address my own issues all together until they’re literally doing the azonto in my brain!
If you’re always the judge, the jury, the counsellor, the tear wiper, the cheerleader, the shoulder to cry on… It can get a bit overwhelming.
By the way, this isn’t me complaining… At all!
But somehow, this agony aunt/Oprah Winfrey/ Jerry Springer/ Ricki Lake/ Jeremy Kyle/ Dr Phil role that I’ve acquired and even relish in playing has indirectly become my defence mechanism…. And my fellow Ricki Lakes and Dr Phils will know exactly what that feels like.
Now, I don’t think there’s anything abnormal about the way I love other people.
Like most people I love hard.  If I’m down for you, then I’m down and I’m riding with you until the wheels fall off… And after that I’m outside pushing what’s left of the car until I can’t go on… And then I’m getting an über cab to take us to where we’re meant to be going …I’m guessing you’ve caught my drift…
So ultimately, I heal hard too.
Unforgiveness is a weird thing… You know, until I typed that word into my phone I didn’t even realise after all these years that “unforgiveness” isn’t even a real word lol. Can you imagine?
But as I was saying…
I’ve always known how to hold a good grudge. Oh my goodness lol… That ish is hard. I have become much better at it now.. But even when I forgave, it was a HUGE struggle to forget. I think it’s because under all the bravado, the smiles, the jokes… If you cut me in half, inside you’ll find marshmallows, pink pixie dust and all the other soft gooey things that females are meant to be made of…
Yes, just this one time I’ll admit that I’m soft. (If Sam is reading this, screenshot it my G because I’ll never say it again lol)
Soft.
And scared to be vulnerable.
So I front to hide my sensitivity until even I believe I’m hard.. Does that make sense?

Before, I would often forgive because it’s what my faith tells me to do. We grew up reciting the Lord’s Prayer before bed.. It’s the very first prayer my mother taught me.
” Forgive us as we forgive those who trespass against us…”
And because my heart was often hardened at the time, forgiveness felt obligatory… The rhetoric always came to me like “well.. Yeah you’ve been offended but you forgive because you have to.”

That’s tough because it’s a hard hustle to find justice or solace in that kind of forgiveness. That’s just the real. What do you do when you’re not ready to hold hands and kumbayah like everything is cool?

Any anger or resentment that remains unsatisfied can quickly turn to bitterness.
And just because you might not be bitter or angry, it doesn’t always mean you’re over it.
You just sweep any unresolved issues under the imaginary carpet in your heart and learn to function with a silent giant lump in your chest.
At the moment, a few things have lead me to go back and revisit some very interesting times in my life… Things that I thought weren’t even an issue anymore have bizarrely been popping up in the most random ways…And I’m learning that I have more work to do within myself.

As I’m usually the listener, I don’t often talk about how I feel.. Or what I need.. Out loud… Which I guess is why I write a lot of it down lol.

Or I just ignore it and hope it goes away… Which is dumb because obviously it never does.
So for anyone else, who like me sees a challenge ahead of them with regards to true forgiveness..

The following facts remain:

Forgiveness is your job.
You owe it to YOURSELF to forgive.
You deserve to be free.
You deserve to enjoy the beautiful things to come without any residue from negative past experiences.
Forgive who or what you need to for YOU.
Forgive her.
Forgive him.
Forgive them.
Forgive yourself.
Let it go.

You shouldn’t define your life by the way you’ve been hurt.

You reduce the room in your heart for compassion and stop yourself from enjoying the beautiful things your future is waiting for you to have.

“Dami, the only time you should look back is to remember the grace of God that has carried you this far…”
SS, Jan 2016.

“Dami, if you don’t let it go you continue to give old situations power…”
MST, Jan 2016.

“Dami, you’ll only ever find strength in forgiveness… ”
FA, Jan 2016.

“To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover the prisoner was you…”
Unknown, 2000and whenever LOL

Hope 2016 is good to us all
That’s enough mushy mush for a day.
Catch you on the repeat.

Saheed xx

Chapter 25.

Chapter 25.
(You might want to grab a cuppa… It’s a long one lol)

So today I turn 25! What a journey it’s been so far…
I remember being at house parties as a neeky kid seeing the “big girls” on the stairs and thinking ” wow.. I can’t wait to be 16″ and now I’m 25?! TWENTY FLIPPING FIVE?!

It’s only right that I give a sharp salute to the Big Guy upstairs!! It’s by His grace alone. I don’t take that for granted. At all. A thousand times I fall, yet His mercy remains. Blows my mind whenever I think about it…

Sorry , I’m still stuck on 25?! As innnn? TWENTYYY FIVEEEE?!!! Hello? Is this thing on? 25 keh??!!! It’s still not making sense to me.
Where did all that time go? The days when my only concern was securing my spot as baby spice when we played Top of the Pops in the playground… (They always made me scary spice kmt… Go figure lol) those days are long gone.
And now I’m at quarter of a century. Mad ting. I’m old enough to be someone’s mum! As in, another whole human being….Let’s deep it.
As in another person can say “mummy” and expect ME to say yes? ME?!!! Lol 25?! 😂 MAD TING… Is it still acceptable for me say mad ting at 25? Lol

Anyway… In past years, I’ve had the pre-birthday Blues around this time of the year… Normal people write long birthday lists, plan extravagant birthday parties, go all out for their birthday year after year.. But I’ve just never been that babe… I don’t know why.

This year isn’t really an exception to that lol (minus the birthday blues because I’m very happy this year!)… But I thought that I’d share a couple of my personal reflections as I reach this milestone today.

1. You are where you’re meant to be.

Everyone has hopes and dreams. Plans for themselves and what they think their lives should look like.
If you asked me at 15 what the 25 year old Dami would be doing, she’d probably tell you that she’d be working in the city somewhere living that pencil skirt and cocktails after work life… If you’re like me, you’ll know what it’s like to not be at the expected place you’ve set for yourself. Nothing or no one else can congratulate or reassure you enough until you reach that target.
It’s only recently that I’ve accepted that whatever happens, happens mostly because it was meant to happen that way. And for everything that has happened because of a bad choice that I have made, there’s always been a lesson to learn. And trust me, I’ve learnt A LOT in the last 5 years.
Today, I know who I am. I know who I am not. I know what I want. I know what I don’t want. I know what I deserve. I know what I’m worth. I know my strengths. I know my limitations.
It’s taken me 25 years to get here. Nobody can take that from me.
I think that’s a great sign of maturity. To be able to identify the main anchors of your personality as an individual…
I’m a WOMAN. A grown ass WOMAN. Lol
I’ve spent a long time putting away my childish things… I’m not quite “there” yet… (Don’t know if we actually ever really get “there” wherever there is lol)
But what’s even more important than that?
Our culture makes us feel that our worth is tied in heavily with what we have.
I now understand that who I am as a person is more important than what I do as a person.
I’m not defined by what I do, the things i own or the things I have going for me, or even the things I lack right now. I am however defined by my faith, my passions and the fruits of my character… That’s who I am. Who and what you know me to be as a person.. That’s who I am. Hopefully it’s all good.. And if it’s not, there’s more work to be done.
How is life now? It’s great!
The countdown to becoming a Master of Pharmacy has begun (6 months y’all! Whoop!!), I’ve got the job that I really wanted waiting once I graduate… My personal projects are popping off and the future looks so bright. I’m excited for all the things waiting on the other side of the birthday cake.
My aunt told me once ” Dami, you can’t tell the time looking at someone else’s watch.”
Things that are meant to happen will happen for you when they’re meant to.
It’s as simple as that.
I was watching an episode of Being Mary Jane last week (anyone else love that show? ) and this quote really struck a chord in my heart:

“We must let go of the life we have planned to accept the one that is waiting for us” – Joseph Campbell.

Just let it go and live it out. It’ll all make sense…
Romans 8.28.
2. Love makes the ride worthwhile.

Age makes friendships hard sometimes. Our lives are like double decker buses. People hop on and hop off all the time. You have those mainstay mates. They get on and sit in the front. And talk to you constantly whilst you navigate your way through. They’ll give you the heads up on the pot holes and speed cameras.. Suggest a short cut maybe… They’re there always. Actively. Day and night.
Others jump on and gradually make their way to the back…. And then on to the back on the top deck. They’re riding with you until the very last bus stop. you don’t see them often but you know they’re still there and you know eventually when you do meet again, nothing between you will have changed. Friends forever.
And then between those in the front at the bottom and those at the back on the top… Everyone else comes and goes as appropriate. Sometimes you gotta stop the damn bus and chuck people off too lol.
I’ve noticed my “circle” get smaller and smaller as the years have gone by. I’m not mad at this… It’s just funny how you think certain people will be around forever until they just aren’t anymore. No malice, no bad blood. Just life.
I can honestly look at the friends that I have in my life now… From new friends to those who I talk to everyday and those who I don’t see often but remain strongly tied to because of the weight of our history and relationship…I can’t wait to share more of the joys of life to come with them. Weddings, house warmings, naming ceremonies, promotions… I can’t wait for our kids to be “cousins” lol… All that.
The love that I have been blessed with has definitely made this ride worthwhile.
Of all the things I have in my possession today, the love and support of my family and friends is the one thing I couldn’t live without. Thank you all for getting on my bus! I’m going to stop this one here before I start welling up… Obviouslyyyyy I got a rep to maintain! Roll Thafe Yh. (Only a few of you will get that joke but trust me it’s funny)

3. The world is your oyster:

A huge part of me feels like I’m being born again… ? Without sounding all mellow dramatic… Lol like every thing has been reset… Actually maybe not reset… It’s like someone’s drawn a giant imaginary line under everything I’ve ever done til date.
Today is the first day of the rest of my life.
I’m finally in the position to make the things I want to happen for myself happen.
There’s still so much of the world I want to see and “conquer”… That’s what is next on my agenda.

I have NO idea what the next 5, 10, 60 years have in store….
More work lol… For sure. Relocation? Marriage? Babies?
Lol who knows.. I’m up for whatever.

What I do know is this: I’ll forever chase after what’s better than what I’ve known.
I just pray that God will grant me the wisdom to live a life worth living. A life free of regret, a life of peace and joy, a life of service onto others and most importantly a life of love…
So that in years to come, when I’m old, frail and grey, and sitting in my living room in a rocking chair watching my beautiful family mess around in the garden, knitting a hat for one of my great grandkids, with a timeless and classic tune like Hotline Bling or Ojuelegba playing in the back (LOL!! Y’all know I’m gonna sing hotline bling as a lullaby to my kids right?! ) anyway… I’ll be able to look back and think that today marked the beginning of the best years of my life. 😊 (*whispers amen *)

Dami Saheed, I’m proud of the woman you are today. *pats back*
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got a celebratory bottle of super malt in the fridge with my name on it!

Peace out y’all! Til next time 💜 x

Superman.

Superman.

I remember those days my Dad would take me to feed the ducks at the canal by our old flat.
6 years old, pig tails, jelly glitter strapped sandals, pink frilly socks… old bread crusts.
Perfection in those precious moments.
Standing on the edge, close to his side, I remember looking out feeling like I was standing before the oceans.
Everything around me had always been much bigger than me so I was aware that I was little but in those moments… They were probably the only times that I saw myself as small.

Nothing in the world mattered at that point more than getting the bread from my pink lunch box into the beak of a duck.
I marvelled at the sound of their quacks. The way they skated on top of the water… Weightless with such grace and the ripples that trailed

G'd up 😎

G’d up 😎

behind..
I followed his arm as my Pops pointed across the water to make sure I saw the last piece of bread disappear from the surface.

I remember the evenings I lay on his chest when the rain outside was heavy and unrelenting… Those nights when mum wasn’t home.
How he sat with me in the night and reassured me after a bad dream that the monsters couldn’t harm me because he was there…
I remember how he would lift me up and we would dance around the living room on a Saturday morning to Ebenezer Obey whilst we did the household  chores.
I remember he would come into our room at night while we pretended to be asleep to pray for my sister and I before he went to bed.
I remember us blowing out candles on birthday cakes because I couldn’t muster the strength to get them all out at the same time by myself.
I remember our special handshakes and how he would tickle me until tears rolled down my cheeks.
For a while I genuinely believed my Dad was Superman… As in the Superman from the movies.. And that he worked long nights because he was out saving little boys and girls like me who needed help… That’s why he could always reach the top shelf… That’s why his bath water was always too hot for me to touch with my bare hands… That’s why he could always open the jar of jam.
To the man that gave me novels to read, took me swimming on the weekend, kissed my grazed knees when I fell in the playground… To the man that  snuck me sips of his coke when mum wasn’t looking, and bathed me in the kitchen sink… And showed me how to cut yams so that the sap from the bark wouldn’t itch my hands…

To the man that still catches my tears whenever they fall…
I pray that God would be so kind to bless me such that one day, my daughter would be able to feel about her father the way I feel about you.
You’ll forever be superman to me.

Sincerely,

Saheed x