Dolly Writes

Journey of a growing woman

I’m going to miss my allawee!

Hey guys,

I know. I know. I have been a wasteman with this blogging thing. I have been very busy over the last few months. My work took over my entire life. In fact, I have lost so much weight. Before, I left the house this morning, my mum was like “You have really lost weight oh…What happened? Are you okay?”

And yes, I am very okay. I have just been stressed and my appetite was very low for a bit but generally, I am fine. All glory belongs to my saviour, Jesus.

So, my national service would finally be coming to an end this week by God’s grace. I am so ready for it to end and even though I have some plans for the future, the fear of the unknown is a real fear. I want it to end but if you guys have followed me long enough, you will know that change scares the shit out of me. But you know what, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Would I miss NYSC? HELL NO! However, I would miss the friends that I have made this year.  I know that the end of this service means that I won’t be seeing them as much anymore.  I would also miss my allawee! That credit alert every month was heaven! I’m telling you, the fact that you have ₦19800 coming into your account every month is a wonderful feeling. It takes some load off one’s chest. There are times that I’ve been so broke but then I remember that at least, money will enter my account at the end of the month.

I never really wanted to serve. It always just seemed stressful and a big waste of time. However, man plans and God laughs — so they say. And I do not regret it. I am grateful for the experience and I am ready to move forward to the next phase of my life.

Advertisements

100 Subscriberssss!!!! + Giveaway!

So, I have waited so long to write this post and I am so excited to announce that we finally reached a 100 subscribers on this blog! Yay! Actually, it’s a 102 subscribers now and I am just over the moon.

I have owned this blog for five years and this is one of those milestones that I really wanted to reach. It definitely took me a while but it does not matter because this is where we are now.

I am so thankful to each and everyone of you for reading, liking, commenting and just lending me such wonderful support. It is for this reason that I want to celebrate this milestone with a giveaway to one of you beautiful people.

You guys have been so amazing to me and I would never be able to thank you enough but I hope this does. I want to give away two pieces of literature that have really inspired me as a writer. As I am currently trying out my writing with short stories and short film scripts, I thought the ideal gift to give will be two short story books by two writers that I love so much and have opened my mind up to so many writing possibilities.

The two books are: The Thing Around Your Neck (Short Story Collection) by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie  AND What We Talk About When We Talk about Love (Short Story Collection) by Raymond Carver. These two authors are super amazing and the stories they tell are different and so easy to read. I keep going back to them when my mind needs a little push and I hope you love them too.

Okay. So the rules of this giveaway are simple.

  1. If you are not following, already, please do so.
  2. In the comments below, write down the name of your FAVOURITE post that I have written on this blog, why you LOVE it and please, leave your NAME and EMAIL ADDRESS there as well.
  3. On FRIDAY 23rd MARCH, I will choose the winner (randomly) and I will announce it to you all.

So, that is all you need to do for a chance to win. I wish there was more I can give but this is it for now. As this blog continues to grow, I hope to do more of these and with that, the gifts will continue to increase.

Thank you once again for 100 subscribers!!!!! You all are the very best and I love you all so very much. If you have any questions, please ask and I look forward to your comments. ❤

 

Twenty-Somethings

So, on Saturday, while I was in the Uber on my way to work (Yes, I work on Saturdays too, FML…), I started listening to Sza’s ‘Twenty Somethings’. I have listened to this song many times but I never really heard it until that day and I related with it on a completely different level.

I mean, I have to tell you that my 20s have been a whole different ball game. It has to be. It is that time in your life when you are definitely not a child anymore but you cannot necessarily call yourself an experienced adult because you are still trying to navigate adulthood and all that comes with it. It’s that period where you are introduced to life on a whole new scale.

For me, my 20s have been such an interesting journey and I am just 2 years in. I have seen myself evolve from the person that I used to be and the ways that I used to think. There are some shows that I watch now, like Insecure and Atlanta where, I can totally relate to the characters on those shows. I see myself making the same kind of mistakes they make; battling the same kind of decisions that they do about work, love, sex, life.

Not only that but my friends are in their 20s as well. The conversations that we have has changed. We spend our time talking about those same topics – work, love, sex, life – and also arguing about things going on in the news or on social media.

We also talk about our futures and while some of us have our journeys mapped out, not all of us (like me), seems to have any ideas how to go about it. That can be frustrating sometimes because you feel like you are supposed to have it all together but then, you don’t but the plan is to always take it one step at a time.

We also find ourselves confronted with new realities like the realities of marriage and children and we ask ourselves how we got to this point. Lol.

We drink lots of alcohol and we find time to hang out and we talk and when we do, we analyse and joke about the things that young adults talk about. And I love it.

I think that the freedom you feel in your 20s is unlike any other but its good because you get to enjoy that time for yourself and put your life together for when you are ready to take on bigger, bolder responsibilities.

I will miss it when it’s over but I am enjoying it now and taking it all in while learning to be the best version of myself.

I celebrated women’s day in the strangest place

So, today started off a little weird. I was slightly irritated by something that had gone on in my personal life but eventually, I just let it go. However, before I could let it go, I spent half of the day trying to analyse it and understand it because I am an analytical person when it comes to people and feelings. I like to understand why people do the things they do or say the things they say and I also analyse my thoughts and behaviour as a way of processing my feelings.

Anyway, I had gone for my CDS today and after chatting with Ayo for over an hour, we decided to leave that place and go home – well, he went to the gym and I started my journey home.

So, I had just gotten to 7UP bus stop and was looking for a keke Napep or keke Maruwa – which is basically a tricycle – that could take me to Magodo gate. As I looked up, I saw three of them waiting to carry passengers  and in one of them, a woman was calling out so she could pick passengers. As soon as I saw her, I already knew that I was going to enter her keke. She called out to me and came to hold my hand to enter her keke and then she said out some words of prayer and encouragement to me. Then, she told the other male keke drivers in Yoruba, ‘This is what makes women different from men..” and it only made everyone giggle.

I have never seen a woman drive a keke. I am sure that there are women that do but this was my first time seeing one and I was in such awe of her. She was just so sweet and in control and powerful. I was just smiling from the moment the ride started till the end. As I sat there, I felt like my women’s day had been made. I felt like, this is exactly what it is all about – women understanding their strength and their power and the fact that we can do anything we want to do.

As a champion for women as I am, I felt God was giving me a gift today. It was a wonderful one and it was just lovely to see a woman just taking control of her life and not allowing anything stand in her way. That was the celebration that I needed.

Happy International Women’s Day to my women all over the world. We are beautiful, strong and powerful. I had a conversation with a friend of mine, KC a few days ago. I told him that women are powerful creatures and he said: “Omo, I tell you, you are right. Women are powerful. Anybody wey tell me say women no powerful never jam.” Lol.

I just want to encourage women out there to always stay beautiful and remember that you have so much strength and power in you just waiting to be unleashed. Carry yourself like a Queen because that is who you are. You don’t need anyone to tell you how awesome you are, you just need to believe that you are.

Happy International Women’s Day. I love you. 🙂

The Buhari Administration is so tone-deaf, it’s ridiculous.

A couple of weeks ago, I was going to visit a friend and I requested for a Taxify to take me to my destination. As we went along on this journey, the driver and I started to have a chat. We spoke about a great many things but mostly, we spoke about the state of our country, Nigeria.

He expressed a lot of pain and anger at the fact that as a graduate, he had to become a Taxify driver because of the state of unemployment in the country.

Of everything he said, one statement from our conversation has always stayed with me. At the time, Yusuf Buhari, the President’s son had been in a coma after being involved in a horrible accident. The accident was as a result of a power bike crash which is reported to have been purchased at a sum of 56 million naira ($157,000). He was transported to Germany to receive treatment and only returned to the country a few days ago.

Now, when I was talking to this driver, he wished for the death of Buhari’s son and he was not apologetic about it. There were a couple of reasons he listed for this statement. To begin with, the fact that the President’s son was able to purchase such an expensive power bike in a country that is dealing with economic issues angered him so much. He goes, “How old is Yusuf Buhari? Has he ever worked for anything in his life? Yet, he is able to buy a power bike for 56 million and Buhari will be saying that times are hard.”

The other reason he gave was also because he wanted Buhari to feel the pain that the entire country was feeling. You know, when he made this statement, it was so shocking to me that he could say that. However, after listening to him talk more and more, I began to understand why he said what he said. He was in so much pain and he was angry at a country that takes everything but never gives anything back. He told me how he had to relocate to Ogun State because times became so tough and money became tight and so he could not afford to live in Lagos anymore. So, everyday he drives down to Lagos to do the Uber and Taxify work.

I would never wish harm on anyone and I am glad that Yusuf Buhari has recovered from such a horrible crash. However, it seems to me that the Buhari administration is so tone-deaf, it’s ridiculous. I tell you, they act like Aso Rock is the entire country. It’s like they forget that there are millions of people that are living from hand to mouth everyday.

I have been fortunate enough to have never wanted for anything in my life. I have never had to struggle to get anything and I honestly thank God for that. However, even for me, there are things that I have seen in this country that just make me so sad. The economy is in shambles yet, you will see politicians living with enough means to own an entire city. Our healthcare system is a mess; Corruption and unemployment is the order of the day; Boko Haram is still operating and Fulani herdsmen are killing people. Honestly, this whole country is a mess. It is little wonder why people like the Taxify driver are angry when this administration seems to not be paying attention to the plight of the people.

We have to do better. This administration has to do better.

Photo: BusinessDay

AYO: I find it hard to believe that you were ever depressed

It is so funny to me how fast things can change and you never even realise. That sweater you thought you loved so much two years ago becomes an item that you never even wear anymore. That heartbreak that you thought would last forever becomes a distant memory. There are a lot of things that have changed in my life in the last couple of years and I find myself in a completely different space.

As some of you may know, I am currently doing my national service (NYSC) and yesterday was our CDS which is where we talk about things that we want to do to help the community. Anyway, after our meeting yesterday, I stayed back to hang out with a friend of mine who also happens to work at Punch with me. Ayo and I have a lot in common and even though we have only known each other for a short time, we are always able to talk about anything and everything.

I had mentioned to Ayo that once upon a time in my life, I was very depressed. It is so crazy to me now that I can speak about it in the past tense because I never ever thought that I would ever get out of that hole. The thought of it seemed so impossible to me. As I mentioned this to Ayo, he told me that he finds it very hard to believe that I was ever so depressed.

When he said that, it dawned on me how far I had come. Anyone that knew me during that time knew that I was not always very happy. In fact, anyone that has been reading my blog from as far back as 2013, will know that I went through a very depressive state for a really long time. I was unhappy all the time. I cried all the time and even when I was happy, I was never really happy. It brings tears to my eyes now thinking back to those times because I found it hard to talk about what I was going through. I contemplated suicide so many times. I wanted to die.

When 2016 started, I began to notice a shift. It was a very slight one but it was a shift nonetheless. I could just feel it in my spirit that I was going to be alright. I had an amazing support system in my friends and in my siblings. I was beginning to open up more and share more and even though it was still a difficult year for me, I found it easier to handle. Towards the end of that year, I started to pray more and read my Bible more. Jesus saved my life.

By the end of 2017, I just knew that I was done feeling sorry for myself. I also decided to take each day as it comes. That is and has been my motto. I was going to take baby steps because I know that I have suffered through a mental health issue and if I let it, I would fall back into that filthy, lonely hole again. I have decided to be accepting of what each day brings and try my best not to worry about things that I cannot change. When people tell me that I have adjusted to living back in Nigeria so well, it is honestly just due to the grace of God and in just investing in my personal happiness. I try to laugh as much and as loud as I can because laughter is good for the soul and I try to do things that I enjoy. I do my best to dedicate some time to my Lord each and every day. Some days, I forget but the days I forget cannot be compared to the days I remember.

Don’t get me wrong, there are days that I get upset and I want to cry because things do not go the way that I planned. I allow myself to feel those emotions because I am human after all. However, I try my best to not allow those emotions overwhelm me.

The reason why Ayo can say what he said is because he is experiencing me at the best place that I have ever been. There are days I wake up in the morning and I am not even in the mood and I do not even want anyone to fuck with me that day. Then, I get into work and all I want to do is to tease and laugh with everyone. I can’t even help it anymore. I decided to choose happiness and now, happiness is choosing me.

For those that are going through a difficult time right now, I want you to know that this too shall pass. God got you and I love you and I am always available to listen.

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.

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.