POEM: A STEP FORWARD

My environment was hostile 

I became volatile

All my efforts to stay positive were futile

I knew I had to somehow, find a way to flip the tile

And that if I don’t take the appropriate step now, being somewhat juvenile,  

I’ll never stop paying till regret renders me senile.

I had to be versatile

I had to start working towards ideas that were fertile,

The type that will imprint my name among the elite percentile. 

When they realised I was about to pull off a feat,

They made my decision seem counterfeit

They tried to make me realise all I was about to forfeit

But I saw beyond their deceit 

I made my own conceit

I determined to stand firm and fit

And I swore to myself that they’ll meet me on my feet

When next we meet.

I realised that to keep up in a world where it’s every man for himself,

You’ve got to start showing up for yourself.

Then, I started showing up for myself

And in what seemed to be a twinkle of an eye,

Everything around me started to answer aye.

That got me really high,

Not the drunken high,

But the I’m-going-forth-to-conquer-the-world high.

My determination to resolve my plight

Has led me to seeing the light

Although the light of the day I currently see slightly resembles that of a twilight,

I’m positive my journey won’t end up in flight

Because I’ll never stop the fight

In order to experience the fulfillment of replaying the highlights

When it all comes to limelight.

Copyright © Vwerosuoghene Abioye, 2020

All rights reserved.

8 THINGS TO DO WHEN LIFE THROWS STONES AT YOU

  1. Work through your Emotions: You need to allow yourself to feel. There is absolutely nothing wrong with crying yourself to sleep or having some alone time to be emotional. You actually end up feeling better and it sometimes comes with getting closure. Bottling up your emotions will only make you feel worse. It might seem like you’ve escaped the emotional outburst but you are only setting yourself up for an emotional disaster later, because your mind would still somehow lead you back to that which you’re avoiding.
  2. Listen to Music: Music has been proven to be therapeutic. Even though listening to songs that relate to an event or predicament allow you relive the moment, it eventually calms you. Find a song you can relate to and put it on repeat if that makes you feel better.
  3. Talk to Someone You Trust: Make sure the person is a good listener and someone who will not judge you. There are some people you talk to and even if they don’t give you any advice, you leave them feeling much better than before you talked to them. Those are the kind of people that can help you heal.
  4. Breathe: Try the deep breathing and meditation techniques of stress relief. They can work magic. I’ve tried these several times and they absolutely worked for me.
  5. Be Hopeful: If you make a projection of your life within the span of a year from now, you’ll discover that what you are feeling at the moment would not really matter then. Why waste your energy on draining yourself psychologically when you can choose to move on and feel good about yourself.
  6. Figure out your Mistakes: Try to be objective and sincere with yourself, then ask yourself questions like “What happened?”, “Where did I go wrong?”, “What did I do wrong?”, “What could I have done differently?”, “What can I do to make it right?”. Once you are able to answer these questions correctly, then you will be able to retrace your steps.
  7. Try Again: You should never stop trying. Never give up. When you get let down or disappointed in one thing, then you pick yourself up and try the same thing again. You could also choose to try something else if you’ve discovered you are not so good at that particular thing or you are more interested in something else. Your success lies in your interest. Don’t be afraid to start over.
  8. See a Therapist: If none of the above works for you, see a professional therapist as soon as possible. I’ve read a lot of people’s testimonies about how this helped them get through a particular turbulent situation or life in general. Don’t be too embarrassed to see a therapist. It doesn’t necessarily mean that something is wrong with you. A lot of people you look up to do that as well. Stop caring about what everyone thinks of you and take good care of yourself. Do whatever it takes to get better. Remember, you’ve got your own life to live.

An Open Letter to my Grandmas

Dear Grandma,

I hope you’re fine where you are. I hope you’re looking down at me right now with a broad smile on your face. I hope you’re proud of whom I’ve become. As a child, whenever I asked about you, they’d tell me you’re up there in heaven. They say it’s a very beautiful place and I hope to be there someday.

Sometimes I’ll ask them to tell me about you. I was so eager to know you, to know what you were like. Grandma Cecilia, I saw a picture of you. My dad had it in his album and I’m glad he kept it. You were beautiful. My dad says I take after you but from what I saw in that picture, you seemed to be more beautiful than me. I can only imagine what you were really like in reality. Grandma Alaba, I never saw a picture of you but I heard a little about you. You thrived regardless of the unfriendly environment you found yourself. You are like the strong woman I hope to be.

One thing that eventually became clear to me as I grew up is that your children never really got to know you. You left before they could even describe your personalities and I don’t think anyone really took time to inform them about who you really were. That made me pray all the time never to go through what your children went through.

I want you to know that your children survived and succeeded. I’m sure you’re proud of them too. They raised a woman like me. A part of you survived and that’s why I’m here right now, writing this letter. They carried on your genes. I’m sure some of your traits too, even though they wouldn’t recognise them. How else would we explain why I look so much like you, Grandma Cecilia?

I remember those times I would wish you were alive so that someone could put my parents in check. I’ll listen to the kids in my class talk about how their grandmother stopped their dad or mum from scolding them. I used to wish I could have that. Funny, I once cried because I had no grandmother.

I wish I had you to pamper me. I wish you were there to listen to all my flimsy and funny stories and laugh at my not-so-funny jokes. I wish I had pictures of us together. I wish I had memories to reminisce. I wish you were there in person to witness my big day. I wish you never left before I came. I wish you were still around. Maybe things would have been different, maybe not. All the same, I think you being here would have worked better for me.

When I watched the film “Coco”, it reminded me of you. If the story in that film were true, I’m sure you visit us too because I still remember you. Rest on Grandma. I love you even though I never met you and I hope you’re proud of yourself for having me as your granddaughter. I hope to finally meet you when the days permanently go dark and the light never comes on again.

Your granddaughter,

Vwerosuoghene.