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.

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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.

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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.

Self-betrayal for my art

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Picture painted by Abasido

I’ve held grudges for mid-nights that refused to give me the right words, for ecstatic memories I needed to feel at times like this.

Here’s how people who applaud the cracks and loopholes in my craft talk to me.

Did you hear them? Did you see what I wrote about them? No, because they feed on silence and that quietness that keeps them at a distance.

Don’t sing praises yet for the way I make you feel. Don’t be confined in my thoughts for too long imagining how I penned it all down. Don’t love me only when you can relate to my pain. Learn to understand this place I choose to write from. Learn to fall with me without fighting gravity. Appreciate the loathe that burns through the words that speak for sanity. Know this. Know this always that I’m a breathing war.

Darkness

I wish I allow myself be whole everytime my fingers itch to speak. I wish I wouldn’t choose parts of me that aren’t naked everytime I listen to my body’s vibration.  There’s art in feeling the way I do before these processes. There’s also the art of picking what my soul’s spirit wouldn’t let the world listen to, self-betrayal.

I’d cut through these layers of my flesh to compromise for losses. I’d paint my worries red to white the agony of womanhood and my evolution. I’d dance to the tune of every poet I adore to feel sane and not hate that I do this. I’d give up writing about lust, what I think of others and where I’d rather be just to outshine these constant thoughts.

I’d betray myself everytime for this art. Writing.

Do you find yourself sometimes in similar situations of self-betrayal? Would love to know in the comment section below. Thank you.

PS– This content was featured by Abasido Michael with his beautiful art inspiring this post. Do check his Twitter page out and appreciate his content and art if you like them. Thank you. 

Dyna Ekwueme Copyright, 2017.

Happy women’s Day

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Picture gotten from-Figurative art

To be here, to join hands and to murmur what it’s like to feel this way. To feel like a woman that I didn’t choose to be but of the nature that chose me.

Here is to all the days and all the nights I stay with me, with womanhood thinking of how big of a smile I should give the next day even whilst groaning in pain. Here’s for now, where neglect and responsibility will cut through deep layers of my skin, yet I’ll stand and be silent of it all. I wish to celebrate everyday for the rest of my life women whose existence have hurt and broken them in ways that can’t be told or written, yet love is all they give.

To women of all colours and roles in life, you are a bold statue that can’t be washed away by lingering figures. You are waterproof and transparent amidst where you think you’ve been. You are still a rose to be admired by men that stand with you. You are deserving of all favours you’ve been turned down. You are all this because you are a woman.

The universe will make love to you in good timing, woman. we will all celebrate the joy and pride of being a woman with you because you are valuable and valid.

I hope you take care of yourself everyday for the rest of your days here. Happy WOMEN’S DAY!

Dyna Ekwueme Copyright, 2016.

Struggling out of a 2:2 this final year: my Biomedical Science tale

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I barely bore you with events of my university life on here but I know once in a while I drop one or two major ones. Going back to 2015, my first year, I had blogged about my resits (What if? #17), how awful it felt to had seen my name amongst those resitting Genetics and Statistics. How sad and unlucky my summer was. What I didn’t include was calling my parents and letting them know about the situation. The disappointment in their tone as they spoke to me whilst trying to be good parents and not make me feel worse about the whole situation, the after effect of the whole conversation moved me. I guess my attitude towards everything relating to university and my course became more questionable as days, months and years went by.

Second year was heavy. As my course is a three-year course here in the UK, more pressure was mounted on me and more effort was equally demanded with the load that came with the 12 modules I had done last year. The hustle to secure a placement made it even worse but that wasn’t an excuse not to scale through. At the end of the year, I was awoken yet again by another resit which until today I have managed to  hide from my parents as I felt they would be bitter and really angry towards me if I had told them. Genetics again! At some point in time I joked about it to my friends, telling them how I’m “KINGING” in genetics resit zone. What felt terrible isn’t the fact that I had a resit, what made me break down most nights was the fact that 2:2 ends up being my portion even when I always seem to start off very well at the beginning of each semester. At some point, I just stopped asking why and accepted that university wasn’t for me. Thoughts of dropping out kicked in every now and then but the friends in my circle kept me grounded. They said my prayers with me, cried with me and most of all, they contributed to my healing and strength which led me into pursuing my final year.

It’s the 25th of February today, 22 weeks into final year and there is still no salvaging to my results so far. It hasn’t been stable and at the same time it hasn’t been the most brilliant. One half of my project and most of my course works released so far have been fluctuating with 2:1’s and 2:2’s. My first semester results came out and this time Genetics crossed the cut off point with only 7 marks and I’m most grateful to God for that miracle! the other paper sat comfortably on a 2:1 which to me is gracious. Hard-work and resilience have been with me since the school year started and to be honest with you,  it is a struggle trying to move up from a 2:2. I am 3 weeks into second semester  with 3 more course works, 4 more exams and my main project to finish. I am still with hope and so should you who is reading this thinking you’re sitting in the worst position or situation in life.

If everyone was equal, there wouldn’t be no school, no competition whatsoever and definitely no evolution but other people’s success shouldn’t stall us from ours or blind us from attaining  unmeasurable success instead it should push us.

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I did tweet this last week but it doesn’t mean I can’t do better. In fact it is not an excuse! It is the reason why I’m pushing to move on from a 2:2, proving to myself that even if it’s not for me, it is definitely not impossible!

I hope you find a grip too and go on from there dear reader. Do leave your thoughts and comments in the box below. Thank you.

Dyna Ekwueme Copyright, 2017.

Budapest, Hungary- Four days tour.

Full video coming soon…

…and after fiver years I gathered courage and made time which turned out to be the best since the year started to go visit my secondary school mates and simultaneously tour as well. I hope you enjoy this short clip. Full video coming soon 🙂
Leave your questions in the comment box below and I’ll be glad to respond to each and every one of them. For more on this trip, subscribe to my blog as well, as I’ll be leaving my experiences on here soon on this amazing trip!. Thank you.

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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.

Reaching

I may write for you.

I may write for parts of you that were whole when you held on to the slips.

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Picture gotten from-Academichustler1975

I could ask when last you saw green, the colour, the scent, the pure green. When? I may choose to go on and rant about the look in your eyes when you see old notes, songs you shared that you refuse to listen to now. How about the people that remind you of who you used to be? How often do you break your noise with your own silence? This is me thinking about you.

When I chose to get lost in the sight of reality, I mean when I chose to disappear yet again, I unlearned a lot gradually. I could tell you that everyday that passed induced pain, from withdrawals to set backs and back to me again yet, I still chose to stay out of sight. Did I make better friends? No, I found a better friend in me. Was I convinced about validation not from self? Yes and I’m learning to be more content and humble.

When it’s not always about you, you’d notice even the little girl that was kidnapped in another continent. When you are more present, the people you love become an investment. You feel genuine laughter choking your lungs and taking your breathe all away. Each passerby will teach you without speaking to you. Your cravings change so will people that you think revolve around you. Those who found you to be more convenient when it was for them, you won’t see anymore. The tune you dance to all of a sudden changes and everyday will begin to remind you of days you haven’t spent. Time becomes money.

There’s a fever we’ve all caught and depending on the way we choose to treat it, we’d either die from it or live with it for better. The fever that has slowly eaten up our sense of belonging, a fever that has made us a bit too sensitive pushing many of us literates to ignorance and self-destruct. We want to live a better life but we don’t know how, even when we find out ways to do so, we gamble with time. We want to be the best version of ourselves yet, we find it difficult to move on. We creep into other people’s lives to feel better about ours. This fever has forcefully made us to place conditions on every little thing we give, even the purest, love. How else are we supposed to reach when we ignore our surroundings and choose to live on deciphered codes with hideous intentions and emotions?

Have a life whilst living for others.

Would love you to share your beautiful thoughts with me dear readers. Thank you.

Dyna Ekwueme Copyright, 2016.

 

Securing an undergraduate placement in the UK: my horror story.

I had long doubted my patience until the day I decided to get a gap year from university, working anywhere associated with what I’m currently studying. It’s been over 5 months since my final year started and over 8 since I got rejected by the organization I placed my last hope on. Part of the rejections I got made me embrace this final lap and part has been chaotic and has eventually pushed me to share this. I believe that there are quite a few or many students who would want to know this stage I didn’t quite conquer.

Firstly, I’m an international student and not to say that interviewers or most organizations or bodies that accept placement students discriminate against international students but let’s be real here. Any country whatsoever would consider taking theirs first before any other unless you are exceptionally suitable/ there isn’t any domestic student available to take that role, then you might just be lucky. Anyway, I had that in mind long before I even started cooking up a CV. Second year resumed September 2015 and my university already started putting up advertisements for the roles linked with Biomedical science, which is what I’m currently studying. It is a broad course involving various health and life sectors, therefore adverts were placed on student central (a learning and assessment medium for most universities in England) nearly everyday.

Some of the successful interviews I had gotten were partly due to the help my university (the University of Brighton) had  rendered. They helped get my CV to look more presentable and appropriate, they constantly sent direct emails to me whenever a new position came up, they always replied to most emails I sent and was always willing to give me advice whenever I needed help. That’s really what they can offer anyway, they can’t hand you a place!, don’t know about other universities but I’m speaking of mine.

Fast forward to when the application war began, bear in mind that 1st semester had  already started and I had 6 modules to cover, each with their coursework and examination so you can imagine keeping up with the stress. Most colleagues of mine weren’t interested, so it was a lot harder to share my pain or have them relate with me on something they were not interested in. I applied to quite a few number of pharmaceutical companies including GSK, Pfizer, Nestle and many more. Some would have you submit your application online, which usually takes a long time and after which you also need to do an online test or even several tests before you get an interview which is not even guaranteed. Pheew! GSK, I remember vividly, doing everything until it got to the online test, after a week or so, I got a nicely written rejection. I did apply also to organizations that supported health science and governmental bodies too, all to no avail. Some won’t even bother to leave you with a rejection, you’ll just be waiting for your saviour to come.  To be honest with you, until today, I can’t tell where my perseverance came from. I kept going with all the piles of rejection. It was really saddening.

After my first semester ended, I was able to convince two of my close friends to get a placement year, sharing with them the benefits and long term joy it would leave them. Thankfully, I had them with me for the rest of the application journey. We were told around April 2016 by our placement team that the NHS affiliated hospital (Royal County Sussex) here in Brighton would be putting up various positions, so we should create a totally different CV that complies to the roles that would be advertised, including in it our choices (ie the roles you wish to work in. For eg. haematology, histology etc). We were more than excited because it is commutable and their acceptance rate from our university is high from statistical indications and also not a lot of us were running for the positions.

This was my final hope so I wrote my CV more than three times, had it checked by different well read people and the placement team too and waited patiently for the D day. My friends did too. It was a few weeks before the exam, the advert came up on student central, I applied and waited. We three had gotten an email saying we got ourselves an interview. I was overly joyed and happier that it was the same day for the three of us. One week before my second semester examination, we had gone for the interview and we all came out smiling and hoping. I began to imagine myself even working there and all, you know how your hormones mess you up, yes! it did to me.

It took nearly a month before we got our feedbacks, my friends had called me with excitement that they had been accepted and they would be resuming soon, screaming that I should check my email, that they should have given me a place too. As I opened my email and read the first line, I just closed the whole link and started weeping. I literally weeped out loud. I felt stupid for having persevered the whole time and placing all that effort I should have focused on my studies on placement places I ended up not getting. I questioned what really interviewers wanted, lies? Till today I can’t really say.

Truth is, some people apply the first time and just get it and others are never lucky. I feel like the criteria for getting a place not just a placement place but for most jobs are not always considered and looked into. Most interviewees who end up not getting a place especially suitable candidates don’t always see fairness in recruitments. I believe a new system of accepting employees should be put in place and also placement applications shouldn’t feel like hell for students. More universities should have affiliates where they can  directly place students that choose to do one. I understand international students (me and the rest of them) here in the UK should know better when we signed up to come here to study that there are limited jobs and opportunities considering the population and how small in comparison the country is , but efforts should be made at least to have us secure affiliate places here or abroad with the fees we pay. Home students too.

This is my horror story.

Are there any questions you want to ask regarding this? Or thoughts you wish to share, let me know in the comment box below or email me using the contact form. Thank you.

Dyna Ekwueme Copyright, 2017.

Oh sweet mama!

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For those who harbour a special kind of love in their hearts, I believe you all can relate to the chills your mum/mummy/mama gives you. For those who have lost theirs to this cruel world, I believe you all too can feel yours even more than I do. Every mum is a blessing, a celebration and a joy to the hearts of those who cherish a good thing.

I can’t say I’m closer to my mum than I am to my dad but part of who I am today was hugely impacted by mama. She would resound these native proverbs (incomprehensible ones) when I was little each time she wasn’t happy with me and they never really made sense until now. I sing them to my friends in English like I’m actually advising them when in reality I miss being scolded by mama. She makes the most jokes in the house and will always be the first to discipline any of my siblings including me whenever we decide to be naughty. I hated the days of “church every sunday and wednesday” coupled with “fellowship every friday” but all that I miss now knowing how much I’ve drifted away and how far from home I am.

It’s not easy to raise five children, and sometimes I look back now and admire mama in the purest way ever. The least she does is complain about how best we should be doing, instead she would find alternatives even if it means risking her all to get it for us all. Everyone in the house will call her “mgbo” (meaning-bullet) because she’s overly protective of her own especially towards papa. I’d tease her sometimes about her tummy asking her when we’d be expecting more siblings. Her response never changes anyway “Zuzuru gi shi eba puo!” (meaning- stupidly get out of here!).

I was never used to saying “I love you” to her but staying away from home for more than a year has got me into the habit of doing so, knowing how much I miss her and her Sunday white rice with “ofe akwu” (palm kernel soup). One of the tastiest you’ll ever have from a typical Igbo (ethnic group in Nigeria) home. Mama will giggle and say “Okay” each time I tell her I love her. Guess that’s the Nigerian way of saying “me too”. I very much miss my mum and I can’t bear another year apart from her nor my dad and siblings.

How much does/did your mama/mum mean/meant to you dear reader? Would love to know if there are momma’s boys and girls around my blog :). Thank you for reading.

Dyna Ekwueme Copyright, 2016.