Sunday, November 18, 2012

Running

I did not make it to church again today.

I woke up early enough, had breakfast, got dressed, wrote the check for my tithes, and then I moseyed around the apartment until service ended. Then I got on the train, ran my after-church errands, and came right back home.

This is the plain truth: I am avoiding God.

There are only a few things that make me retreat so far into myself that I start to pull away: I'm sad, I have done something very wrong, or I am angry...at God.

And boy have I been angry. For years after my mum died, people applauded me for handling things so well. I was focused in school, doing much better than I had ever done; I was helpful and involved at home. And under all that bravery my anger simmered. Every time someone remarked on how much I was growing to look like her and what a great woman she was, my anger simmered beneath the surface and I turned behind them and shook my fists at him. If she was so great, why would he take her away from me?

I eventually got over my angst, and our friendship returned to normal.

Today, I think I'm just sad. Not depressed or self destructive or anything, just s-a-d. If I could paint a picture of how I feel it would be me, sitting in the dark in my closet, waiting for...something.

I don't want to run from God. It is like fighting with your best friend and hating them because you know you can't talk to anyone about it, because no one else can understand or fix it. I know better now than to try to fill the space with anything or anyone else, and I know I should just let it all go and pray, or sing a song, or just talk. But I am not always strong enough or wise enough to do the right thing...

So I run.

xoxo

Monday, August 20, 2012

Pink Slipped

I got fired today. By accident. For about 25 minutes.

It was kind of a funny story...

I was literally working on something important when all my files zapped right before my eyes and my internet shut down. Every attempt to log in to anything was futile. My account had been disabled. I excused myself from the all-important global Monday call and called IT (thankfully they had not shut down my phones or intranet yet).

The IT rep, bless his Indian heart, was obviously confused. He asked me many polite questions, but was really too polite to ask me how I was in the building if my employment had been terminated (I had no idea of course, I'm used to all sorts of IT glitches). Eventually he admitted he couldn't help me and sent me on to HR.

HR was just as confused. After asking about 6 times if I was sure my email still worked, the rep asked me to email them at HR with the problem.

After ages (30 minutes or so) I finally got a call from a senior management person: Someone in HR was processing my visa/tax forms and had just stepped away from his desk when an emergency termination request for another employee came in on his computer. Due to a lack of his morning coffee or a brutal rejection/breakup over the weekend or the death of one of his 8 cats, he accidentally terminated me and the person who needed to be terminated. So everyone I had spoken to saw on their end that I had been terminated ("emergencily" terminated). Technically I was only wiped out of the system for 25 minutes. In practice, it took about 5 hours to get me back online, and I found out tonight I still cannot log in remotely (Bummer ☺).

This is where I pat myself on the back for not panicking at all in spite of the hoopla. With all the craziness going on at the bank lately I wasn't concerned for a second that my job was possibly in danger and I handled it all with grace and humor, if I may say so.

Can't believe it's only Monday..

Sunday, August 5, 2012

'Roo-kie'

A few pictures of my day out with the little sis. I think my days as the family model are coming to an end *boo hoo*








Saturday, July 28, 2012

Waking up with the beast



I haven't been taking a lot of pictures lately, just as I haven't really been writing, or reading blogs (I'm really sorry! I'm all caught up on Dosh's and Nife is next). Let's just say life has been in the way. This is what my bed looks like this morning.

I recently changed up a few things in my apartment for the Summer and my favorite change is this Striped Duvet + Shams from West Elm. I got the inspiration from a design blog and I loved the idea of customizing the shams. I might get another set for the kicks. Needless to say, someone has a little problem with the wording of this set, which makes him even more of a grouchy beast in the mornings....

Sorry about the rumples, I made a promise never to iron my sheets again haha 

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Should have, Would have, Definitely Will Next Time

I should have kissed him.

In that moment when his arms were around me, holding me so softly and yet so fiercely like I could disappear just as quickly as I appeared in front of him. When his height enveloped me, even with 6-inch heels on, making me feel small and delicate, just the way I imagined it in my dreams. His breath was a warm, light whisper of air on my cheek for one second...and then nothing. Like he was holding his breath.

It did not matter that we were surrounded by hundreds of people or that we had not spoken a word to each other in months. I could not remember why I had sworn off him and told myself we could never be friends or anything else.

I wanted him to kiss me, and everything inside of me yearned to kiss him back.

But I held my breath and willed my heart to stop stomping around in its cage. I tasted his lips very briefly and ran my hands down his chest. He's skinnier than he was in my last dream. And then I just stood there...

He pulled back and looked at me with a question in his eyes, he was hurt. I smiled sweetly and headed for the door, away from the party by the pool. I had won, whatever the battle was this time...

It's been 60 days. I should have just kissed him.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Not a playsuit...

Esther Quek. Photo courtesy of Tommy Ton


I came across this photo today and I am inspired. Her look is so fresh and different and even though I promised myself not to run out and buy anything, I have been (window) shopping... ☺

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Whimsy

The other Saturday night I stayed home and ironed my sheets.

The pillowcases too.

I ironed my 600 thread count sheets, spent a good amount of time making my bed perfectly, climbed into bed and watched a DVR'd Rom-Coms until I fell asleep. But that's not the sad part. What's sad is that I did not realize how sad it was until I was at brunch the next day and got asked what I did on Saturday.

It's not like I'm big on night life in the first place, and I do have my moments when I just want to lay back and do nothing all weekend. But I cannot remember a time when I was so comfortable being away from people and so content with it. When I allow myself to think I about it I worry that something is wrong.

Maybe it is, maybe it's not.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Champagne Nights, Cocaine Mornings

Whenever I'm working a late night or over a rare weekend, I get lots of sympathetic messages from my friends and family. I can tell they worry about me. "Where do you get time to live, to do stuff?" "How will you meet guys?" "How will you maintain your relationship?" "Will you ever marry???????" And etc...

Sometimes I think about it too. And even I wonder why I do it.

What do I really do anyway?

A few months ago, we took on a new, interesting client. The story starts in Hollywood...

When studios, actors, directors, producers, writers and everyone else come together to make movies, they expect to make a lot of money on it at the box office, and then even more when your favorite stations show them over and over and over again. When they make TV shows, they hope to get into syndication and stay on your television for as long as possible. This means lots of checks for everyone for a long time to come. But people in Hollywood do not like to wait for their money. There are multi-bathroom homes in Bel Air to buy and upgrade, personal trainers and personal shoppers to pay and new diets and religions to explore. So enter our clients. They go out and raise a ton of money from people who want to send their money on a growing mission, and then they buy the rights to these movies and shows from anyone who wants to sell so Hollywood can get her money now when she wants it. And then they take the monthly checks for years to come.

My job is to help my team prepare documents and information to convince investors that the client is someone they can trust with their investment. We have to understand what they do, investigate the team and their performance, analyze the industry, be satisfied that they can reproduce the great returns they have been showing in past investments and then guide investors to the same conclusion. Investors are pension plans, insurance companies, banks, rich people, any "qualified individual" by SEC laws that has a checkbook that we can tap.

Our investors are all over the world, so every second of every day, one of them is awake at their desk, doing diligence on our client and needing answers to a pressing question. They can ask at 7am New York time, or 7am in Singapore which is almost bedtime in New York. Or they could be working on Sunday, the first day of the week in the Middle East. And what our clients pay us for is to have the information needed out of the door as soon as possible.

Which is why I have no control over my work hours.

And when we are not working for our clients, we are out meeting new clients. Managers whose funds own companies like Burlington Coat Factory, Mary Kay, Neiman Marcus and much more, and seeing how we can work together to raise the next set of funds so they can go out and do what they do best. And add that to other things that pop up, and 24 hours may not be enough for a day.

So why do I do it?

To be honest I think my job picked me. In college I was bored out of my mind. It wasn't that all my courses were easy all the time, but there wasn't a lot that gave me sleepless nights or challenged me to knuckle-gripping determination. And from the first day I knew I needed a job that would push me in every way, and this seemed interesting. Plus the people who work in investment banking are really, really, really interesting people.

For a self-proclaimed introvert, I truly enjoy people. I like meeting people, exploring their minds, and all that stuff. My job exposes me to so many different personalities from day to day and no matter how frustrating and tiring the hours get sometimes, the people I work with make it fun and that all makes it bearable. Today, my work husband (the Russian one. I also have an Argentinian work boyfriend, and an American work crush) went back to Texas after a 2-day training session for all first-year analysts in New York. As we always do, we started out with drinks at the work-sponsored happy hour session and then went out into the world. By 2am yesterday, we had been to about 4 bars and I had become a huge fan of Sake (first time ever. The Japs are killing with that one, by the way). And we were just getting started. Somehow we all made it home eventually and managed to get back to the office for training at 8am today, all mostly drunk but pretty much alive. Usually, regular night life for us is on a slightly smaller scale, but you get the general idea.

Besides all the fun and really great intellectual stimulation I get at work, the perks are pretty ok too. Compensation is nice, the occasional box seats at concerts and games make up for some dreadful weeks, and when I'm really down in the dumps about missing a date or a party, I remind myself that it only gets better from here and it won't last forever. :)

Saturday, March 24, 2012

The Anatomy of a Breakup

The word hit me like a good dousing of ice cold water. I groped for a seat at the breakfast table, the rest of the note forgotten.

Divorce.

We haven't even been married 3 years, I thought with sudden panic. Ironically today marks the 7th year we have been together a couple. We have not been 'together' in a long time, I mused, a dull ache in my chest.

My phone vibrates over and over. "PING!!!" "PING!!!" It must be Bade again. We were in the middle of making plans for tonight, I remember typing up a message to him as I bounded up the steps to our apartment and sauntered in to meet the note in the center of our breakfast table, the note that has shattered my world. The thought of partying it up with the guys is the furthest thing from my mind. The Lagos scene that I enjoy so much, the boys, the ladies, the endless teasing about my married status, is worlds away. "His name is look but don't touch", my friends would tease when they introduced me to girls. That was me, the faithful married guy.

Except for that one time with Tolani...

Every time I think about those months with her I cringe inside, the shame threatens to overwhelm me. I went from the man who was in control and proud of himself to a despicable, lying, cheating bastard, the exact words my mother would use to describe my father. The lies I told my wife and friends were flimsy at best, my actions utterly shameful. It was like an animal I never knew existed inside of me was let loose. Even now, I try to make sense of my actions then and I come up short: I had only been married about a year. And while we had the little issues married people are bound to have, the sex was still amazing, and amazingly constant. She wasn't nagging, she wasn't uninteresting, she was still the hottest girl I knew. But somehow, a teasing smile from the girl at the other table at a business lunch became a secret that I hope to take to my grave.

 Divorce.

The end of our marriage. Telling the world that we could not love and cherish forever like we promised. And God. I don't kid myself or pretend to be more spiritual than the next guy, but when I said those vows I meant them with all my heart. I never for one second thought that we would ever even consider a divorce.

More importantly, the end of our love story. Before things got so messed up she was my solace, my best friend, my treasure and the center of my world. Joyin. Every thing I did, all that I tried to achieve, was so I could lay the world at her feet because somehow I hoped it would almost measure up to all that she gives me.

We were introduced at a friend's party only eight years ago, and as soon as I met her I knew there was something about her. "Eat honey?" I had teased her in reference to the short form of her Yoruba name. "Mojoyinoluwa (I have tasted honey from God's hands)", she replied with a twinkle in her eyes, "or, in my case, Omodunjoyinlo (the girl is sweeter than honey)". She stayed on my mind from that night, but it would be many months before we would eventually form a friendship that I knew from the start was leading us to the altar.

We were the ideal couple, young, successful, ambitious and very much in love. The first snag came when the company she had worked hard for years moved operations away from Lagos to Abuja only a few months after we got married. She was offered a promotion to sweeten the offer to move but we had decided together that we did not want to spend the first year of our marriage apart. Living together and working full time was challenging enough. We decided together to remain in Lagos because I earned more, and because a move to Abuja would cost us much more in the long run. Our families and friends were in Lagos, it was where we always wanted to live and raise our kids.

However, we were both surprised at how hard it was for Joyin to find another job in her field. After months of marathon interviews and getting groped and propositioned by men she decided to start a business of her own. In those months, I got a promotion and a pay raise, and Joyin got resentful. In her frustration she went from being my biggest supporter to an indifferent observer. I could not share my achievements with her because I only reminded her of how her career was suffering. All the gifts and trips I shared with her were not enough to fill the void. She regretted giving away a promising position, and the reasons that we decided together that were more important than a career we believed was easily replaceable began to fade from her memory.

I began to stay out more, and later into the night, it was just easier being with friends who celebrated me than at home where things were 'off'. It was hard to keep up the appearance of a happy couple when we were drifting so far apart, but we did it for family and friends. And then the fights began. We fought about everything: my late nights, money even though we had enough of it, her trips out of town, making plans without the other's approval, her business she never wanted to discuss with me, her new friends who I felt were bitter and unhappy and bad news, my friends who she thought were good-for-nothing and misleading, her refusal to conceive.

That hurt me the most, and she knew it. She took the one thing I wanted as much as I wanted her and held it from me. It was true we were not ready, but she refused to make any efforts to mend our broken bridges.

So I became cruel. My words were no longer kind, my attitude became worse. I knew I became impossible to live with but I could not stop myself. Like a wounded animal I fought back emotionally, trying to hurt as much as I had been hurt. And it worked. She has been drinking, out and alone in her room. Sometimes I hear her crying through the thin walls. I have been sleeping in the guest room for weeks, and pretending that I was having the time of my life. And today she has packed her things and walked away, asking me not to come after her. We were too broken to be fixed.

I picked up my phone and keys, and I made a decision. Joyin is not just my wife, she's my best friend and my partner. I know deep down that there will never be another woman like her in my life. She understands me and for some reason she likes me in spite of me and she has loved me and stayed by me for many years. The past years have been hard on both of us, but if I let her slip away without fighting I  could not live with myself. I need to make her happy again, like I promised 7 years ago, and love her like I vowed, in spite of everything.

If I can just keep the one secret that will surely end us...

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Walking in Bigger Shoes

When my dad opened his Facebook account a few months ago and joined my list of friends I jokingly tweeted that I should have blocked him before he found my very well-hidden account. Afterwards, there were jokes here and there about the funny things he said or did. But eventually, we (I) found a good rhythm that worked for both of us: I hardly ever interact with him on there, and when I post a picture/album/anything that I know will pique his curiosity I just make sure I exclude him from friends who are able to see it. It works pretty well (you all should try those customized settings). Anyway, I was a bit surprised when he asked me a few days ago why I am always on Facebook. Ok, not surprised, seriously exasperated.

Sidebar: Those who knew me on Facebook when Facebook was IT would probably laugh at that. These days I log in to check birthdays, respond to messages, report spam, decline Farmville invites, decline friend requests from people I don't personally know, unfriend people who invite me to parties 3 times in a row, and ocassionaly post a photo or two to show I'm still alive. Twitter, now that is a different story.

Back to dad, I was a little bit irritated that he was bugging me again. But this time, I thought about it differently...

If life works out the way I have pretended not to have planned it, when I am about 50 like my dad is I will have my own two children in their mid-to-late teens with a loving husband by my side. But I am sensible enough to know that life does not always work out the way we plan it or wish it would. Whatever the situation I am in when that time comes, I know for a fact that I would want my children to share my life with me. But more importantly, I would want, more than anything in the world, to share their lives with them and be a part of their adult lives.

Many of us are not from homes where both parents are alive, or even together, and lately I have been thinking about those parents and how they get by. I know they have their friends, but having only been in the rat race of having a career and corporate living for seven long months, I can only imagine just how few and far between those interactions with even the closest friends are. As young as I am, I have become just a tiny bit jaded about many of my friendships, and I imagine it probably gets worse as we all get older. In the end, we all will most likely turn to our children too...

Once when I was complaining about my dad and his MANY MANY MANY MANY OH MY GOD MANY questions on BBM a friend asked me to be nice, to think about the reason every parent is suddenly using our methods of communication. Picture this: half the time you are in the same room as your parents you are on that thing (as they all call it), you're smiling at it, maybe even laughing at it, and you never ever seem to put it down. For most parents I know, they are now on those things because they know it is the way to get to their kids, and maybe get us to smile at them like that. Lord knows I can't remember the last time I called my dad just to say hi. I even get annoyed when he calls me at odd hours of the day, selfishly ignoring the 6-hour time difference that makes it difficult for him as well.

I have often said to my friends when they quarrel with or complain about their mothers that I would give anything in the world, and I mean anything, to have my mother here today. But in the same way, I am guilty of taking my dad for granted even though I know many who would give anything to spend just one day with their father (or even just to know who he is)...

In the spirit of this season of (commercial) Love, I am making a promise to my first superhero, my Number One man (for now)...

Daddy, if you are reading this (and I know you are) here a few things I would like to say to you:

1) Go to Facebook> Account Settings> Notifications> and disable those email notifications. I am not as active as I would like to be on Facebook, you should see my Twitter (you never will though. I made sure) but no one receives email notifications on Facebook anymore because then we would all go crazy and Yahoo would shut down from the traffic.

2) For the 60-plus years that we have left together on earth, I promise to not only be a great daughter, but to be your friend. Your best friend, if possible. You are a pretty cool dude and it would be an honor to get to know you as a friend and share (most parts of) my life with you as well. Maybe even get you to start drinking... ☺

Just one condition: Please do not ever ask me if I'm "Painting the town red" on a Friday night. Only old people say that ☺

I love you Daddy.

To the rest of you, please be kind to your parents.

Paix et amour ♥

Dont forget to check out my personal (daily) journal

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Untitled

This girl will self-destruct in 5,4,3,2,1.....

Silence.

A soft giggle.

A light poke in the side.

Still silence.

A frown, just a light crease between her eyes.

Flash

"You're gonna get your first wrinkle right there Sweetpea."

Flash

Biting strawberry, kiss-bruised lips. "Hey. I was only jok-"

"Shhh. Just go to sleep,"

Restless, too much weight on a thin shoulder.

A sleepy grumble. A tighter grip.

"Sleep"

But she cannot close her eyes.

Flash

A red scrap of lace. A shrug. A smile

Flash

Withdrawal, indifference

Flash

"You think too much. Just enjoy it"

Flash

Lonely nights, gut-wrenching tears

Flash

Fighting to stay together, staying only to fight him

Flash

Longing to understand him, to understand us

Flash

"You are self destructive"

Flash

"Your fantasies are getting in the way of our happiness"

Flash

Begging him to stay

Flash

"I am not the man you need"

Flash

Doing this dance again

Flash

I cannot get out of my head

Flash

Lying here next to him, this girl will self-destruct in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1....

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Pants on Fire


One Hundred and Seventy Three.

That's how many lies I have told this year.

A few months ago I visited a psychologist, just to talk about things. I am one of those people who do not crumble under emotional pressure, I implode instead. Unless I talk about them first. And since my best friend has been gone, I haven't found anyone I can openly talk to.

I made some good progress with the shrink, until we fell in love (it was mutual, I have proof). After that I swallowed my fear of Priests and visited Father Andrew.

Father Andrew is really... fatherly. He says we tell lies to control situations. By creating a story that is not reality, we create something we can control. But the real reason I lie, especially to myself, he says, is because I am trying to avoid pain. Which I probably agree with. Lies hurt relationships, and I have hurt many of my relationships by acting like I cared less than I really did.

For a loving father, he managed to still give me some homework, one of the things I hate most. The assignment was simple: resolve unresolved feelings by talking honestly about them. So on the first day of this year, I sent out my first letter out of the blue. It simply said, "Hello, I miss you". But even that was a lie, I should have said, "Loving you hurts too much, and I plan to never speak to you again if I can help it".

That's how it started.
"How are you doing today?" I'm great! Couldn't be better!
"Does this dress look alright?" Yes, you look perfect.
And when he told me he loved me, I smiled and said I love him too.

So here we are, One Hundred and Seventy Three lies later...

PS there are 12 lies in this post...

PPS maybe that was a lie...

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Fifteen

How many days does it take to change your life?
A month? 3 months? 6 weeks?
I read somewhere that it takes 21 consecutive days to break a habit.
I wonder how many days it takes to break a bunch of intertwined habits;
habits that feed one another and grow together;
vices that have a life of their own.

When does loving your body become vanity?
Where is the thin line between being human and giving yourself up to lust?
How do you stop the lies when you have so many secrets?
Can you stop keeping secrets when you have no one to trust?
What is the magic formula for picking the right friends?
The questions I have are endless...

It has been 15 days this year and I am hard at work making a new life for myself, a patchwork of all the lessons the years have left behind. I don't know how many days it will take and I know I will make new mistakes on this journey...

But I have changed enough not to repeat the old ones