Dolly Writes

Journey of a growing woman

Category: Dolly’s Life

Confidence.

So, I had such a wonderful day yesterday. I was able to work and have fun at the same time and it was just such a lovely, calm feeling. I had a day off from work yesterday but I still had to go to Lekki to interview a physiotherapist for our health segment in the paper. Ever since, I started this job, this was the fastest I was actually able to get a story done and dusted. I had called the physiotherapist in the morning and I was in his office in the afternoon to interview him. We had such a lovely conversation and I cannot wait for it to be published.

Afterwards, I headed to Nok by Alara (which is fabulous by the way) in Victoria’s Island to have lunch with an old friend of mine. I haven’t seen Ajiri since our secondary school graduation in 2011. He has always been someone I have considered a friend (honestly and truly) and it was nice to just eat and catch up and laugh about the goings-on of our lives.

As I sat there talking to him, it dawned on me that I have become a different person – I mean I am still the same but I am also different. The last time I saw him, I was 15 years old and I had not experienced life in the slightest. I had self esteem issues, body image issues, I was at the entry phase of depression. Now, as I sat in front of him, I was now a 22-year old woman. I wasn’t a teenager anymore. I am now more confident and more in tune with the things that I want for my life. I have solid opinions on subjects and I do not care as much of what others think of me.

Don’t get me wrong. There is still so much about myself that I want to work on. There are still days when I wake up in the morning and I am not feeling myself, but over the years, those days have become less and less. There are days when I feel sad and upset but Jesus gives me a reason to smile on those dark days. To an extent, I definitely do care what others think but I care more about how I feel and how I portray myself.

Generally, speaking, I am happier and I feel happier. I feel as though I am in control. I feel more aware of who I am. There is still so much confidence in me that I am yet to unleash and I honestly can’t wait.

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22 So Far: God, Career & Dating in Lagos

So, I have been 22 for just about two months now and I have to tell you, this has to be one of my most pivotal years ever. I am exploring so many new parts of myself and my environment and it is just more than I expected it to be but I am enjoying it and excited to see what each new day brings. So, I wanted to take you guys on a journey on the different aspects of my life since I turned 22.

SPIRITUALITY

Of course, this is the most important thing. I am still not where I hope to be when it comes to God but I have realised something. I find myself leaning more on God than I have ever done in the past. I have found that one way in which he communicates with me is through my intuition so whenever I have any doubts about something or I am confused about the next step to take, I say a little prayer and check to see how my spirit feels about it. This is something that I am really appreciative of because I know that I need God more than anything else I could ever hope for in this life or the one after. As I mentioned, I am still not where I want to be but I am trying, God willing.

 

CAREER

I believe I mentioned in an earlier post that I am currently doing my NYSC, which ofor those who are not aware, means National Youth Service Corps, which is the national service that Nigerian graduates partake in for a year. So, at the moment, I am currently serving in Punch Newspapers which is such a full circle moment for me. One of the very first newspapers I ever read was Punch. In fact, I used to read Saturday Punch and Sunday Punch more than any other paper because they had stories and they were just more my speed. So, it is just so amazing that I get to work and write for Sunday Punch. God is such a comedian and I love it. It can be stressful and to be honest, working in a Nigerian office, – especially after experiencing working in the UK – takes some getting used to but I am taking it all in stride and doing my best to keep working and just being the very best I can.

 

DATING

So, dating in Lagos has been so interesting to me. Lol. I was in a relationship for about 3 years. So, this was like from when I was 17 to 20 years old. It took a while to get over that relationship because that was my first serious committed relationship. I mean, I saw myself getting married to this guy and having all his babies but that did not work out and I really really lost myself. So, my experience of early getting back into the dating scene has been in Lagos. I mean, I did a little bit of it in the UK but now, it is different because I tend to be out of the house more than I ever really have. I am still just at the entry of dating but so far, it has been interesting meeting and talking to people. It can be scary though because I have noticed that people tend to be really dishonest about themselves in this town so, you never really know if someone is being genuine with you. It is really about being careful and I am trying to do that while having fun.

 

ME

I have been so good. I think, in the last couple of months, I have somehow – without even realising – become more confident and happy and just better than I used to be. A friend of mine told me that I am ‘glowing in the chaos’ I truly believe I have God to thank for that. I have to say all glory really belongs to God because He got me out of a really bad rut and I am just generally happy and accepting of things. I try not to stress about things I do not have much control over and just keep it pushing. Mind you, I do not always succeed but I am putting in so much effort into just being happy, honest and free.

 

So, how am I finding 22? 22 has been good to me so far. I do not have much to complain about and a lot to be grateful for. I just hope and pray that this year keeps on coming with the most pleasant surprises, God willing. I cannot wait.

Saturdays are for Weddings

In the last two and a half months, I have been to 3 weddings. It seems that I have gotten to that point in my life where weddings have become a part of my social calendar. For the sake of comparison, I’ll let you know that the last time I went to a wedding prior to this period was my aunt’s wedding in 2012. Now, it has become a regular turn-up for me.

I enjoy going for weddings. I think it’s a great way to spend a Saturday, especially a Nigerian wedding. You get to dress up and look cute and there is so much food to eat, a lot of alcohol is flowing and the music is popping. I can tell you that there is nothing like a Nigerian wedding.

In going for all these weddings, there is a new reality that I am suddenly faced with: This could be me in a couple of years. In a couple of years, I could be the one getting married. My day will be on people’s social calendar. There will be people trooping to the wedding that I don’t even know and will never know that they were there. I would be a Mrs., a wife and the only question that is on my mind is, ‘HOW THE FUCK DID I GET HERE?’

I mean, I know how I got here. It’s just that it came so fast. While I am young and have no plans on getting married anytime soon, I do realise that I am not so far away from it any longer. I am not a little girl anymore and for all intents and purposes, I am now a woman. Any relationship that I get into now, is not for jokes or bants or to see how it goes. If I am to date someone, it is with the notion that we are headed in that direction. If that is not the case, then there is no point.

This is why I am not rushing the process. I am not trying to get into anything serious until I am ready for it. While I am a strong woman who is trying to get my career on track and be the best person that I can be for myself, I am also excited at the prospect of starting a family at some point in my life and with every wedding, the reality of this gets clearer and clearer.

 

Too Much Flexing in Lagos

So, last week Friday, one of my close friends, Abiola turned a year older. Sheyi, Abiola and I always try to do something for each other when our birthdays come around so, as we are such busy people, we decided to take Abiola out for dinner on Sunday when we were less busy.

So, as we were searching for places to go, my friend Millicent (as I was in her house at the time) suggested that we try a place called ‘Brass and Copper’ which happened to be on the Island. So, in looking at their social media accounts, Sheyi realised that, that very Sunday that we planned to go was their grand opening. Coincidence right? Anyway, we decided that it will be nice to go there and check out what is going on.

So, later that evening, I dressed up like a doll and had my Taxify driver take me to the restaurant which also happened to have a bar as well as Shisha. Abiola got there before me, so I headed straight to the bar to meet him there. As, we sat there talking, we looked around to get a feel of the place. It was not a bad place at all. Personally, since I got back two months ago, I haven’t really been to a place like this in Lagos. So, it was definitely nice to be out at a place like this. Sheyi eventually joined us and we went to the restaurant area to have some good food and drinks and nice conversation.

At some point during our dinner, I started to notice that this seemed to be a hot spot for the night. It seemed like all the big Lagos boys and babes decided to converge here for a meeting on this special day. As I turned to my back, I saw Toke Makinwa there, who is a popular socialite and a TV personality in Lagos. I studied her for a couple of seconds and turned away to focus on my friends. We had some good food and it was just nice to hang out with each other because we do not get to do that often. Sitting there, I was feeling like such a grown up because I realised that this was now my life. My life was now NYSC, work, public transport, the occasional Owambes(Lagos parties) and once-in-a-while dinner with friends. This is now my life.

After dinner and walking around for a bit, I decided to go home since it seemed like we had peaked for the night. Abiola and Sheyi decided to wait with me as I waited for my taxi. At that moment, I started to hear sirens. Okay, what is going on? Next thing you know, I am seeing this car trying to park in front of the building and I notice that this big car with the sirens is protecting this man driving his Lamborghini. Now, bear in mind, I am not sure I had ever seen a Lamborghini this close to me in my life. I think I saw one once race past on a road in London but I had actually never seen one so close before in my life. The first thing that came out of my mouth was ‘Omo, too much flexing in Lagos.’ which only made Abiola giggle.  Lol. And in that moment, I had a conversation with myself.

In looking at all the pomp and glamour,  I realised the pressure that people faced in Lagos. There is this pressure to be a big boy or a big babe in Lagos. No matter where you look, you see it. On social media, in restaurants, in bars, while hanging out with friends. While I want to get to a point in my life where I am successful and celebrating my success, I never want to feel pressured into being something or somebody that I am not. I always want to remain me and a big fear for me is that I lose sight of who I am. So, I am going to make a conscious effort to always stay true to myself no matter what and live my life as honest and as free as I possibly can.

Career.

In getting older, I have been forced too think about my future way more now than ever before. As you grow in age, your responsibilities increase as well. Apart from finding a purpose that will fulfil me, I also need to find a means to make money so as to be able to take care of myself.

I know that one area that I always want to be involved in is the media, in some way even if it is not journalism-related. I just find that I thrive more in media more than anything more. I also want to be able to write – whether that is my main job or a side hustle, it does not matter but writing has to be a part of my life always.

As part of my national service, I started working at Punch Newspapers which is major. I am excited to get the experience and to be able to put it down in my CV- I mean, it is only the biggest newspaper firm in the country.

There are some things that I want to achieve by the end of this year but I don’t want to talk about them yet until they are almost done so that I do not jinx it.

Right now, I just leave my future in God’s hands because He has already seen it and He knows the right path for me to take.

God.

Consider what you owe to his immutability. Though you have changed a thousand times, He has not changed once.

– Charles Spurgeon

I have never met a perfect person. In my 8089 days of living, I am yet to meet or hear to someone that is just 100% absolutely, positively perfect. However, I am aware of an entity who is perfect in every way and that is God.

God is the only perfect being that was, is and is forever. He is faithful, kind, loving and every other amazing adjectives. The way that God loves me is like none other. You see humans aren’t perfect and no matter how hard we try, we can never be perfect. We will always make mistakes. It is just the way it is and the good thing about it is that God doesn’t expect us to be perfect.

And thank God for that because I have done some shitty things in my life but what I have discovered is that some how, some way, even when I don’t deserve it – which quite frankly is never – He loves me anyway. He is always right there, loving me and waiting for me to come to Him.

You know if I had a friend or a loved one who constantly – without fail – hurt me or did something bad to me, at some point, my patience will probably run out but see, that’s not the same with God. His patience never runs out.

I just…I have come to see that God really and truly is everything and I yearn to know him more and more. Unfortunately,  I am still at the point where I have not let go of a lot of my bad habits. It is hard, I won’t lie but I want to try. I do not even know if I am ready to try to be perfectly honest but I do want to keep working on my relationship with God. Even though, my spiritual life is really shaky, I feel like this is the best it has ever been because more than ever, I understand God a whole lot more than I did even a year ago.

I know that He loves me so much and I have faith in Him and I acknowledge what Jesus did for me on the cross and I am so thankful for it because I would be so doomed without  that beautiful price that He paid for me.

Happiness.

I’ll tell you what Freedom is to me. No fear.

– Nina Simone

I have never really been able to define what happiness meant but in the last year, I have come to see it as two things. The first is Freedom. Happiness, for me has always meant complete freedom – complete freedom to be me – and be okay with that -, complete freedom to live, to breathe; freedom from restrictions. I watched a documentary on Nina Simone recently aptly titled, ‘What Happened Miss Simone’ and she said something that touched me to the core of my soul. She said “I’ll tell you what Freedom is to me. No fear.” To me, that mirrors what happiness is. The only entity that I truly want to fear in life and the one after is the Most High God.

This is not to say that I want to just go about and be doing bad or evil things. No. Whatever you do in life, whether good or bad had it’s own rewards and I recognise that. I always want to maintain a strong moral compass on what is right and what is wrong. No matter what.

I also see Happiness as contentment. That is the second thing. Contentment. That feeling that no matter what I have in life, whether big or small, I’ll be good. I read something that Saint Paul had said in the Bible a while ago and when I read it, I said to myself, “This is what I want to feel all day, everyday.” He said: “I know what it is to be in need and what it is to have more than enough. I have learned this secret, so that at anywhere, at anytime, I am content, whether I am full or hungry, whether I have too much or too little.” (Philippians 4:12 GNT) .

I have never been the happiest person. I have always had bouts of happiness but it has never really been the full thing. This is because for a very long time, I suffered from depression. I have been pretty open about that and it was only last year that I really started seeing a light. So, in the last year, I have been the happiest I have ever been but it is still not where I want to be.

I have come to view happiness as a choice and I have to make that choice. Also, I have come to realise that true happiness comes from Jesus. The sort of happiness that Jesus provides is like none other because when you allow him to shoulder your burdens for you, you feel so much lighter. My spiritual life is shaky at best but it’s the best it has been in my entire life but I am trying though.

I am also trying to laugh more and not just laugh for the sake of laughing but that kind of laughter that makes your stomach hurt because you have been laughing so hard. I want to be content and I want to be able to depend on Jesus all the time.

Life is beautiful but it can be tough sometimes. You know this world is a whole mess and it always will be but it is what we got and I just want to make the best of every situation.

I know what it is to be in need and what it is to have more than enough. I have learned this secret, so that at anywhere, at anytime, I am content, whether I am full or hungry, whether I have too much or too little.

– St. Paul (Philippians 4:12)

Social Media.

I remember the first time I got a social media account. I believe I was 13 years old and in secondary school. I was so excited. While others had been joining MySpace and Facebook in its beginning stages, I never did because I did not want to fake my age – goodie two shoes. Yahoo Messenger was my first glimpse into the world of communicating with friends and strangers over the internet. I used to talk to people from different chat rooms and sometimes with friends but Hi5 seemed so much better. I could meet people as well as pimp my profile and check out my friend’s profiles and all of that. It was all fun. Sometimes, I still log into my profile just to see how things were. It’s like a time machine that takes me back in time to an old version of me.

Then as time went on, social media became this really huge thing that people were so addicted to and before you know it, I was a part of the movement. I joined Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and eventually Tumblr. Each of these apps have a component that I love. Facebook is great for me because it is easier to find people that I have lost touch with. There is a reason why till this day, when someone is not sure of a friend’s birthday, they check their Facebook. It has also helped with my blog as well because I have been able to reach people through my blog’s Facebook page.

Then there is twitter which is probably one of my favourite social media apps ever. I get to talk about whatever I want and to also see the way other people think. Twitter is truly undefeated. You see what  some shit on there that makes you laugh, cry, angry, sad and a lot of times confused. As a lover of words and thoughts and feelings, twitter gives me all of that and more.

I just love Tumblr for the pictures an d the deep quotes. Lol.  I have a love/hate relationship going on with Instagram. I like gossip too much..Lol, so I am always looking to sip some tea on blogs like Fameolous, The Shaderoom and others. I also love to share pictures and see what my friends are sharing as well.

However, Instagram has definitely contributed to some of my insecurities that I have had before or still have sometimes. Instagram can make you wish you had someone else’s life. I had to learn that things aren’t always what they seem. Instagram, more than any other social media app, in my opinion, has definitely contributed to the pressure a lot of people feel.

I was telling a couple of my friends some time ago that I might unfollow ‘Bella Naija Weddings’ just because as much as I enjoy looking at the pictures of beautiful brides, it makes me feel insecure sometimes or wanting marriage quickly. This is insane because while I do want to get married, I’m not ready for it right now and I know that. I want to get myself established more than anything before I take that leap but for a couple of minutes, when I look at that page sometimes, it makes me feel a certain kind of way. It reminds me of the societal pressures to get a man and get married and all that jazz.

Anyway, I can’t say that I’ll be staying away from social media anytime soon. Social media has also been a good tool for me especially with this blog and it really keeps me updated. However, I’ll keep on building myself and being the best person I can be. That’s all I can really do.

Music.

Oh, on and on, and on and on, my cypher keeps moving like a rolling stone.

– Erykah Badu

My very first memory of music is of me playing my ‘do-re-mi’s’ on the keyboard that was stationed in my home. I see myself sitting there at the age of 3 (I think) with a man (who I assume was my music teacher) teaching me how to play.

So before I really knew how to sing songs, I already knew how they were made. I knew the structure of it. Music is in my blood. Music is in my being. There is a song for every mood. A song for every feeling. If you are heartbroken, there is a piece of music that will reflect your pain. If you are feeling happy, there is a piece of music that will reflect your euphoria. Music reveals your true self. Music is a language. A language that I love with every fibre of my being.

And this is a language that I want to communicate in my writing as well.

I took up script writing last year. I have written a couple of scripts now and it is something that I have enjoyed creating. In doing so, I want to merge two things that I love – writing and music.

That is something that I want to keep working on this year. I want to keep this relationship with music going because without music, where would we be?

Love.

‘Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.

– Alfred Lord Tennyson

I have always wanted Love. I have always craved Love. And why wouldn’t I? Love is an extreme from of high that constantly gives you an out-of-body experience. Love makes you feel things that you never thought was humanly possible. Love. Love is magic. Love is light. Love is God.

And that’s why, even though I have had my heart ripped out of my chest and trampled upon like rags, I would do it all again. I would love all over again.

In turning 22, the truth is that even though I want to love, I am not ready for it right at the moment. I had a deep intense love for the previous man in my life. As much as I do not want to admit it, he is my first love. He is the first person that I ever gave my all to. Now, did he love me back? He would tell you that he did – to fulfil all righteousness – but I know that he didn’t because I loved him and I would have never treated him the way he treated me.

So due to this experience, my heart just wants to take a little break and recover and regroup and spend some time falling in love with myself – as cliché as that sounds.

I have not given up on love. Just taking a little break. I want to feel it again though. That feeling of love can neither be explained or described. It just is what it is and I feel sympathy for those that have never really gotten a chance to feel that burning intensity in your bones. And I hope that at the end of my 22nd year, I would have gotten to a place where I am peace with myself and ready to restart my heart again with someone who feels for me the way I do him.