I’m reading some of Ismail Kadare’s poetry and listening to the ‘Royal’ by Lorde (incredible song, get on it if you haven’t already!). The poems are comforting as I ponder who i want to be and what i want to read. The latter being significantly less staggering…naturally. ps this post is quite long so a cup of tea…or three fingers of whisky may be in order. *wink*
Currently i’m reading Jhumpa Lahiri’s ‘The Lowland’ (which was shortlisted for this year’s man booker prize) and also ‘The American’ by Henry James. I have just finished reading Helen Fielding’s third and final one of the Bridget Jones’ Diary books which just came out! I really want to read Hilary mantel’s books and there are lots of classics I need to read or re-read.
I completed the NYSC (national youth service corps) program a few days ago (YEE HAW!). For non-Nigerians, its a year of national service that is compulsory for all Nigerian graduates (who plan to work in Nigeria at any point in their lives, regardless of if they studied at home or abroad) and commences with 3 weeks of boot camp, after which the year is spent working somewhere you have been assigned/posted (which may or may not be in your chosen career field. thankfully mine was, and I was posted to a law firm.Most people get posted to schools or the civil service though) and doing some form of community development service each week. It sounds like a gloriously fabulous idea but practically in this country? Its what I can only describe as ‘un cauchemar’ riddled with challenges we need more than several conversations to explore.
Moving on to a completely unrelated topic – My hair. I’m thinking about moving up my big chop(which technically isn’t a big chop since 90% of my hair is natural now). I’d planned to wait 2 years to do it. I have resisted the creamy crack for 20 bad-ass months thus far and now i fantasize about soft springy hair that eats my fingers when i touch my scalp. I want to do it now but worry that the person telling me I’m ready is a liar. Can i handle cutting off my hair at this point? Is that a decision i can commit to. I have commitment issues. The kind that makes you keep turning the dial when a song you love starts playing on the radio. Its like ‘i love you oh sweet song that makes me gyrate and pound the steering wheel at every red light but I just want to check out what else is out there, quickly. nothing wild, just a quick auditory scan through every other station. I know a significant portion of you will still be there if I come back. Come on, i mean when i come back. You’re here which means you’re safe. Don’t give me that face, safe is stalwart and lovely. Everybody loves safe. Safe is better than wild. Nobody wants wild’. When I was in lower sixth form I had a speech & drama teacher called Miss Wild. she’d wear a black boxy t’shirt with the world ‘wild’ scrawled across it and grin conspiratorially. She would spend an introductory chunk of our one on one classes talking about her relationship issues as a divorcee. Good-stuff! I used to want to be a divorcee when I was a pre-teen human. What I understood of it appealed to me then. I get how disturbing that sounds so calm down weirdos.
Moving back to the subject of who I want to be, I’ve been mentally inundated with areas I fall short or could do more. I want to be less lazy and more loving. I want to be one of those people who wakes up at 5 am every morning and works out, prays, reads the news, writes a chunk of her novel and does a kind deed ALL before getting to work for 8 am.(at the moment i wake up GRUDGINGLY at 6.30 am and if I manage to do two of the above, i feel like i should be given a congratulatory lollipop and made leader of the free world. Modest request.) Seriously though, I want to contribute more to earth. I want to add value at work, in the relationships I have, in any situation i’m in, not for recognition or reward but just because that’s the kind of woman I am .
In the light of the above, I’ve taken a few steps towards being that woman. I’ve just started volunteering with an incredible NGO concerned with educating Nigerian children who are growing up in slums and have no access to education, healthcare, clean water etc. I’ve wanted to work with them for a while but was always ‘too busy’. I just thought, with working 8am to 6/7pm during the week and volunteering at my church and trying to have some semblance of a social life and do things I enjoy, i wouldn’t have the time for it. However, I now realize that if making a contribution to the improvement to my country is enough of a priority to me, i’ll make the time. Two weeks ago -on 1st October was the 53rd anniversary of Nigeria’s independence and I didn’t say anything about it because i’m ashamed about the state of the country given our potential. I have no right to complain about my country being shit if i’m doing absolutely nothing to improve it. We can only do a little bit as individuals and I plan to do mine before my capacity to empathize dries up like Mrs Havisham’s wedding cake.
I’ve also just started using a work out DVD – Jillian Michael’s ‘Ripped in 30’ which is a 30 day workout plan with 4 different routines for each of the 4 weeks that include a mixture strength, cardio and abs.My starting weight is 61 kilos(I’m 5’3, fyi)- if I have time ill measure my waist,arms etc to see how many inches I lose. I’ll do an update at the end and let you know how it worked out for me.
Finally, on the blogging front, I have part 2 of ‘Guilty Leisure’ to complete and submit. I’m promising you it’ll be up before the end of October so I am forced to do it. I also have an exciting article I’m working on for another website. I’m halfway into that but keep doubting myself and stopping. You’ll all be first to know when its up. Lots more book reviews and articles are coming as well. I also plan to do the ’25 facts about me’ tag so y’all can get to know me better.
Hope the rest of October brings you joy!
Ps.Nigeria beating Ethiopia in the World Cup 2014 qualifier today made my afternoon. #RioDeJaneiroOnMyMind