Daddy issues

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Picture gotten from-Pinterest

There are three main things self-reflection may teach a patient mind: self-discipline, acceptance/openness and self-control. There are many ways people may choose to reflect which may either be loud or to the heart.

We are greater than the things we say for ourselves. We restrict our abilities to only what our eyes may have encountered and not fully with our minds and brains. We neglect the paths our hearts may create for us in thoughts of it being fragile and so delicate, forgetting that what’s broken may still be broken again in order for it to mend.

Submission

I’m very aware of reasons why feminists fight to be heard. I don’t blame extreme sexists that pull major chords as I’m intertwined in being non-feminist and sexist at the same time. I break a little when I watch things not add up with submission, when women are ridiculed about their softness. I’ve watched mum for years, I’ve seen loyalty, I’ve questioned her love.  “How can a woman, so powerful, so filled with knowledge be this?” I’ve seen other women too. I’ve watched myself try to grow out of it but it’s a born ritual. It’s my own way of welcoming peace. It’s my only power over the other.

Trust

We can totally be honest with each other but lack this. We can hold hands, laugh, talk about the children and eat in good silence when we are certain about our distrust for each other. Evenings made me believe that the sun may rise at sunset. My sister and I would read conversations with words very familiar with love written by unfamiliar people. We would both lay under blankets and brew gossips about these evenings. We were soul sisters. We grew to hate what men that looked like this do. We still talk about it, we still cry a little over what we’ve known. It’s almost like disappearing from what seems to mean good because we weren’t shown how goodness can be trusted when it’s felt. It’s not normal to be thought of  that way by another, I think every now and then.

I wish I have someone to blame everytime I choose to run with my eyes. I hope everyday for the day I was first heart broken by my eyes to be erased from my head. I don’t want to be reminded of being broken in a place that I should run to when I’m broken. I hate to talk about home to people that don’t feel like home, I don’t hate to run from home because of my eyes and the crotches it walks with when there. I hate the thought that the first man that warmed my hands when I came into this cold world stalls me from breathing into a certain type of peace I crave.

Daddy issues.

 

Dyna Ekwueme Copyright, 2017

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Sedative sentiments

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Picture gotten from-Jannaleadams

Let’s awaken the grieve of Joy,

the little laughs with babies, foe and your toy.

We can be generous with words,

writing with rhymes against all odds.

 

Here’s my token of wealth,

here’s love, happiness and my skin the way it’s felt.

Could I wander in your tones of delight?

your selfish looks and chin that will drop in my plight?

 

I want us to write in this kind of poems,

send love and hopefully one day, we make them under these elms.

We are both heavy with choice, the one to receive, the one to send.

I don’t want this fate, this rush nor this blush to end.

 

We will chase these little ones soon,

in cloudy, rainy and sunny days and bloom.

We will hold hands with peace, with soul and a dance.

I wish these all, in words would be our chance.

Dyna Ekwueme Copyright, 2017

As a black girl, living in Brighton, England

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Picture gotten from-Proud Brighton

A lot of black people I’ve been privileged to converse with are skeptical about having to move to or study in Brighton. The popular buzz of Brighton being known as a major gay city also tends to affirm their dislike for this beautiful town.

I moved to Brighton September 2014 with the sole purpose of studying and not paying much attention to the city as I wasn’t an outing type of person before arriving. I was enticed by the beach and the pebbles by the sea front during an open day visit in my foundation year which was supported by EF, Oxford (the foundation institution I had attended). The differences I had picked up with the culture, style and people compared to Oxford’s made me choose the University of Brighton instead of Oxford Brookes which had offered me an admission prior.

Firstly, I haven’t come across as many gay people as I had predicted on coming down here. Even during the gay pride festival that is usually hosted here on a yearly basis, I rarely see gay couples or find a group of gay people sitting, walking or chilling. It’s probably just me who isn’t looking hard enough. To clarify, having gay people in this city actually in my own opinion makes it more accepting and tolerable compared to other small and vibrant towns in England.

Secondly, as a black girl and as one who appreciates her cultural background and race, it wasn’t a problem building a community of friends that share the same interests as me. As there are two universities in Brighton, University of Brighton and University of Sussex, this city is filled with both home and abroad students and therefore finding where you may belong isn’t a problem. There are clubs and communities open for all kinds of people and interests within and outside the schools’ premises. This is to say that every year, the population of blacks admitted into both universities are always significantly higher than the previous year so, don’t panic if you’re worried about this factor.

Thirdly, I’m quite a foodie and quite traditional as well as I enjoy cooking my own meals. Most times going out spontaneously with my friends to small restaurants and food places at the city’s center allows me appreciate different cultures and what they eat without having to visit their countries. Brighton is diverse with a plethora of local and international restaurants representing countries from across the globe, I however have exploited this privilege as a black girl who has come from Africa. I have tasted and tried cooking most of these dishes myself, as well as recommending them to friends.

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Picture gotten from-Brighton lanes

Racism. Socio-culturally, Brighton is very diverse and as a black girl I haven’t had a reason to question my skin colour and where I’ve come from since living here. It’s so diverse and free-spirited that I have only met two guys who actually admitted to being originally born and bred in Brighton, my co-worker at a night shift and the maintenance guy for my rented place. Compared to Budapest, Hungary, I never get conscious of my surroundings and certain places I tread because of the colour of my skin or the fear of what people may be thinking. Brighton is one of the least racist towns you can ever think of in England.

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Picture gotten from-Yablink

If you love greens and parks, books and rides, if you love events and dances, good night outs and games, Brighton is the place for you. This city is not anti-black or anti-any other race, It accepts, tolerates and builds with you as long as you are open.

The disadvantage however, for me is the fact that it is quite expensive to live in. Apart from that I can see myself settling and building a good life here as a black girl if I wanted to. It’s become my mini home.

Dyna Ekwueme Copyright, 2017.

For millennials: 21

 

Journaling

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There is no warmth in waiting for the right time. The patience will sting harder than the truth you believe about holding on.

Misery becomes more appealing.

“may you be defined by your boldness in running through dry and dark cracks.”

I’d get into the bus sometimes, most times with my headphones banging loud music out its tiny speakers.

Sitting by windows is my favourite thing. My eyes get to count coloured and grey houses, watch trees and many other greens. I often begin to play rhythmic music in a lowered volume to feel the same feeling I get when watching good scenery movies. I deviate into solitude and just observe.

It is powerful.

The only regular thought I’ve known is home, it’s sometimes with me and other times I fear to think of its broken tone.

I’ve watched myself grow with strangers that I call friends. I’ve been shaken by subtle disagreements imposed by the universe in openness.

I seldom believe we are all here, just making history and not living well enough. We will all die surviving with or without purpose.

“In love, the purest of our souls’ manifest.

In love, we succumb to humility and fear without coercion.

In love, we tell our stories in ways we wish they existed.”

Can you read the signs through my saggy eye bags?

I’m knackered by pressure from my wants and the wants I’m expected to want.

I heard mum’s voice on WhatsApp call and she sounded like 50 hasn’t been good to her. I’ve been thinking of her in a sweet way lately. In a way I would spoil her with happier days if she were here.

“Be generous and kind with what you bear to instil

I’m one and a half page of an A4 gone and I’m still wasting words on consciousness. This is what it feels like to fight forces that you never chose, fighting constantly.

You will live, you will live

You will write, you will write

You will love, you will love

You will break, you will break

You will heal, you will heal

You will die again and again before you learn to live to die.

“Be offended by your zeal to live because thinking of your death will remind you of here always”

 

Dyna Ekwueme Copyright, 2017.

Outgrowing the wild

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I was about cooking Jollof rice when I looked out the kitchen window to see the spectrum of bloom the weather left the sky. It reminded me of evenings in Aba (my home town in Nigeria). It reminded me of the way the weather back home tells us how much it would pour rain down. I felt dark for a minute. Six more weeks to finish university, six more weeks of trying to catch up with the reality of my second home, Brighton.

107, Brighton

I used to hate long conversations with my housemates, I used to pick times where I’d choose to hang out with them. I used to lock up in my attic room and disturb them with my late loud music and my loud laugh with uni friends but now we talk, laugh and live like it’s a ritual. We get curious with when next we get to hang out or just play random games. You can tell from our eyes that farewell day will be more like doomsday.

Journal

A lot has changed in the past three years. Things have become a little clearer, my journeying, the reality of what I need to achieve in life, most importantly what I have to give and offer. They’ve become more pragmatic than illusive. At this point in my life, I’ve learned that I’m allowed to grow especially with others who are willing to grow with me. I’ve learned courage can come from the least of things and people. I learnt that growth doesn’t need to be big to be successful. I’m also aware that I’m allowed mistakes in every step of it, I’m allowed to fall and fail because I’m human.

Pen

Writing has humbled me in ways that I can’t explain, it has changed my sense of purpose. It has redirected me to people and places that bring peace and mindfulness and it still is. The process has been bliss and I believe strongly that it’s fully been God. I’ve  had the opportunity to believe in the strength I carry with words, to pray sometimes with my pen because my mouth can be heavy to say the right words to God. If only I can write in other languages, the world will pray too.

There are many ways I’ve stripped off colours of habits that I don’t identify with, ones that won’t serve me. Many ways I’d love to do more for living and not trying so hard to live right. It’s a gradual process. It’s an investment on and for self. It’s my culture, my way of outgrowing the wild.

Dyna Ekwueme Copyright, 2017.

Nwoke’m

Do you ever listen to your own repetitive connections at 03:00 am too?

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Picture gotten from-Pininterest

I’m starting to think imaginations are art. I’m starting to love the entangling emotions built from it. How strangely I could be fluid and solid like an umelted candle at the same time. I’m starting to feel all the same.

Yesterday, I thought. The day before I did too and many days and months before then again, I’ve been thinking. How would someone like you meet me? Would it be spontaneous, would be soft or angry? Would it be in a crowded room or when I’m by myself. That’s the scary part of thinking. I don’t want to be ready. I want to be with myself in full, in love, vulnerable and loud. I want us to meet unforced just like the universe has been with me lately. No mind games, no holding back. I like the modern approach, the evolution of it all. Descriptive dialogues and unending gist of our taste in music, books, movies and other people, what we worry about when it gets dark. Tell me where else you would be when you’re not with me.

Nwoke’m

When you’re here, your past is. The darkness of it won’t scare my love, I pray. The time you choose to be weak, I’ll be strong, I pray. The time you’d change, I’d learn to adapt, I pray. These are not my affirmations, they are hopefully who I’ll grow to be for me and for you until that “someday”. I believe our feet have come across same footpaths more than twice, I believe time is keeping you for magic. You are a future to wait for.

Keep yourself for me.

Nwoke’m (Igbo translation for “my man”)

Dyna Ekwueme Copyright, 2017.

On ageing

In my thoughts, in my head, in my journal. Here.

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Win your battle before you come home to mine.

Don’t remind me the trails of footsteps I face everyday.

It’s not enough to live young, wild and free because I know of places that don’t bring me such experiences.

Hold onto the existence, let what you have to say complement mine. Let what you have to give add up.

Don’t scare me with silence. Don’t tell me I’m too young to learn what grey hair can teach. It’s my cup of tea.

I am not here to prove how much neither do I seek accomplishments that will one day be forgotten.

I’ve been told countless times to win, win and win but I never got led to. My bruises, pain, tears, countless failures equals me.

Give me what you call wisdom, give me peace of mind. I’ll find my fun,my energy, my space and most importantly, me in all of it. Let me be.

Ageing is just a state of mind.

Dyna Ekwueme Copyright, 2016.

Dear woman, dear man..

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There are ruthless ways your own words may have been translated. There are places you sing songs of war and some you whisper courage. Twice you may have been beaten down by fear, ignorance and love with hopes to come to terms with ever flowing chills. You may have seen you without the others, those you lean so strongly on, those who made you want to read this in the first place. Perhaps, I’m wrong. Wrong about you being unhappy and in pain, constantly wanting more, or maybe you’re happy for the wrong reasons. This may not be for you, this may be for more.

For you.

Dear woman,

You can’t bear it all. It’s perfectly okay to take a step back and care for you. It’s alright that you feel for two, to feel more for others. It’s womanly to embrace your beauty and show off what you’re sensitive to. Your boldness is what men who lack courage detest, your aura is what keeps you grounded to your ego. When you are passionate, the others may not understand, when you seek, you find the roots, when you cry the earth bleeds, when you’re broken the world hears you too. You matter without validation, you’re a piece men cannot do without. You have the ability to create and recreate generations and this power makes you a god. You were born to nurture, give, give, give and give again. Bear this in mind when you belittle you. Hold this high up in your head when you walk into crowded rooms. Educate others when they say to you “you can’t”. Let it warm you always. Let it keep you with love.

For you.

Dear man,

 We hear you. We hear when you’re silent, as it’s as loud as your ego. Your strength and resilience is admirable. The corners you cut and the length you go to get what you deserve have bred feminists. You have the ability to break and mend even though you may choose the former in pressing situations. Your pride and consistency for the things you’re passionate about makes good women appreciate you and good men work diligently with you. However, you sail with your crew members only, often forgetting that passengers could know a thing or two about sailing. It’s totally okay to let your shield down. These walls you build against us breaks you more than it does to us. It’s okay to feel, to cry, to admit to not knowing. It’s fine to accept women that ask for equality, to feel intimidated by once in a while. It’s okay to ignore challenges and just feel. Live with and for the moment without chasing shadows. Breathe without asking for more air. Allow yourself to be drowned by and with love, allow yourself to understand what you constantly fight, allow yourself to hold on for long without the thoughts of letting go. You were born supreme. Society has made you in-charge, regardless, seek to open up a bit more.

Dear woman, dear man..

You need each other to grow, understand, love, feel, chase, reciprocate, challenge,bear and live. You need you most importantly. Begin with this.

Dyna Ekwueme Copyright, 2017.

What ‘they’ won’t tell you about failure.

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Picture gotten from-Bounceback

First of all, everyone preaches these days about success without addressing the odds of what’s likely to happen if it isn’t attained. Most times, people that fail to talk about failure have been winning their whole life and other times the rest are those that hide their failures or just don’t talk about them.

Before you think of turning down a decision, request or an action, the major force that propels you to drop it is the voice in your head saying “NO! I can’t do this because I’m afraid of not doing it right” or “NO! it’s not going to happen because I’ll end up failing anyway”. It’s never necessarily the fact that we can’t do it, but the thought that propels this fact.

Some of us have always been a substance of failure, or was born to be told that we’ll never make it. A few others just choose to settle with failing because it’s become a comfort zone over time. However, success has been constantly fed into our ears in every corner we seek for a push that no one really points out the effects of failing. Not to say that failing is a good thing when really we should be aiming for sky high, but to enlighten your mind on how failing appreciates success more and keeps it longer than those who haven’t had their first fall.

Here are what people don’t stress on when they talk about failure;

  • Nobody is immune to it- Even the greatest falls, those who are used to success fail. So, quit thinking that failure is for losers or to re-frame that, quit seeing yourself as one.
  • Failure gives value- Think of the last time you failed an exam or you were reprimanded by your boss about a meeting. You’ll tend to be more present, more attentive and willing to learn more than when you were about the life of getting it right all the time. Sometimes, failing makes you love what you really hate because of the focus you lay on it.
  • Failure is unmeasurable success not attained yet- Most legendary stories of people who went from nothing to elite were never told without the words “tried and tried again”, “Never gave up” “Hoped” “Failed”. Of course everyone’s success story is different but with most, you can read patterns that got them to where they got to. These are the principles that prepare you for the big deal. Therefore, I urge you to embrace failure if you find yourself in the position, accept it but never admit that you are.

Are there more things about failure that you think people really don’t emphasize on? Have you got any success story to share from having failed once or more than in your life? I’d love to know in the comment section dear reader. Thank you.

Dyna Ekwueme Copyright, 2017.

Every ideal blogger’s worry- 5 main worries with possible solutions.

Whether you’re an established blogger or a start-out or even an intermediate in putting out contents, there are certain things you fear that could happen along the line. Here are a few of most likely worries that bloggers experience with possible solutions to fighting them.

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  • Audience Response–  Questions like “would I get backlashes from this post?”, “will my audience fall in numbers?” “can I get reported, put down or petitioned against if I air this opinion of mine?” might resonate in an active blogger’s mind before publishing a post for the world to see. It may not necessarily be these questions but most questions that come in mind tend to be audience-targeted as they are the major building block of blogs.

 Solution– Just post it! You’ll never know if your presumed controversial post might turn out to be your breakthrough or the post that receives recognition from an organization you least expect. Therefore, the only solution to this worry is publishing that thought, story, event or whatever that content of yours may be.

  • Information coverage– I think this comes before what my audience have to say in my own case. Most bloggers fear lack of knowledge and insufficient amount of information being put in their post for many reasons. This could be seen with most book and movie review bloggers, reporters or any sort of blog that has to deal with publishing enormous details for their audience compliance  or service use.

          Solution–  In this case, I’d advice leaving links to more information on the subject area posted, pictures and most importantly asking your readers to share their own thoughts in the comment section, that way you interact and tend to cover what you think wasn’t from answering questions and building a community.

  • References and copyrights– Only a careless blogger will make use of a copyright content without acknowledging the source. Even with acknowledgements made, most bloggers fear illegal use of materials from websites and other sources.

          Solution–  It is helpful and most appropriate to inquire on the use of a content not owned by you and to also leave reference details which may include web links about the material/s used.

  • Theme (future changes)– Most bloggers who for instance started off blogging on photography and travel might want to switch it up a bit with/to journalism along the line. These bloggers tend to fear audience-drift/loss. This happens most times with bloggers that start off blogging for the fun of it all or with no particular genre in mind and then go on later to specialize on blogging in a particular field or what they tend to enjoy blogging the most.

         Solution– Panic not. You may either choose to open a separate blog and inform your current audience on the change beforehand which leaves you managing two blogs instead of one or you may also choose to do it all in one blog by opening a new menu, titling it with your chosen field and informing your audience about the changes made. No matter how many readers you lose using any of these strategies you’re likely to gain more for what you’re passionate about. Why not do it?

  • Revenue– This may not be start-out bloggers cup of tea but definitely for the majority who make a living from the contents they put out. These bloggers worry about their profits and losses. They try to give out content where they earn the most and this they monitor using their statistics. Of course, this should be their main worry but fighting this enables them grow and stay focused without drifting from their passion whilst earning from it.

          Solution– Do not ignore the polls!. Every now and then, go through your stats thoroughly. Look at the contents that gets viewed and requested the most. Find innovative ways to carry your readers along without drifting from your original plan. Also, see to it that you read and respond to your emails. Take up advertising opportunities from organizations and individuals sending you their products and services. You may also want to keep up to date with information and advice on how to successfully grow your revenue over time. This can be done by joining local forums, going for seminars and speaking to people who are ahead of you in your blogging area.

These are a few points I have observed that sets back most bloggers. If there are any more major concerns you feel that you battle with as a blogger, please let us know in the comment section so we can render possible solutions or discuss it in detail. Thank you.

Dyna Ekwueme Copyright, 2016.