The Day After 30 Days

Ladies, gentlemen, Nostalgians, The 30 Days of Hope is now… almost over.

No, no, no, it’s not over yet. What? You thought I’d just end it like that? Without having a go at it myself? Naaaaaaaahhh… I’ve got hopes and dreams and expectations too nah. How will it look if I got all these good folk to come share theirs and then just stood back and didn’t show no faith myself? Not cool, that’s how… ( ˘˘̯)

Where do I start? Well, I already pretty much did… Seeing as this year, my mainest goal is to bring my writing into a new dimension. Like many writers, my writing experiences flows, ebbs and stops. I need to move into the same realm of those folk who seem to always be able to just write. Whenever, wherever. And I realise that this takes discipline. And discipline involves taking steps. And this blog is one of such steps. Writing more, on a schedule, is one way of achieving this. Writing through the block and frustration and inspirationlessness is another step to achieve what I aim for and so I’ve decided to post more, much more, going forward. Hey, look who posted every single day of January. *beaming*

Of course, I realize I didn’t do this all on my own but I did manage to edit most, if not every one, of the posts that went up and I wrote an intro for each one too, short as those might have been. So yeah, I managed to write something practically everyday in January.

In addition, I was offering folk an outlet I’ve come to appreciate, same one I’m taking advantage of right now. Sharing a platform. Helping old friends, making new ones. As evidenced by testimonies that have already begun to roll in from people who’ve participated in the project. They’re not mine to share (except of course y’all are offering. Hey, I’m open *hint*), but I’m really glad I was able to be a part of making them come to pass.

Back to writing more and honing this talent into more of a skill, I would like to announce to you, my beautiful nostalgians, that I shall not be posting here so frequently going forward… *crickets* No, I’m not contradicting myself and ,yeah, I expected y’all to cheer really loudly and shii but y’all just can’t seem to see the bigger picture so I’ll just go ahead and paint you one… literally. Well, sorta. Okay, enough with the dramatics. My good friend thetoolsman over at TheNakedConvos has offered, and I have accepted, to move one of my largely under-utilised categories on here over to TNC. Basically, I shall be running a column, Art Stories, on TNC weekly. Art Stories will feature pieces that bring together two or more artforms including the literary, applied, performing and visual arts, one inspired by the other(s). What does this mean for me? Well, I’m a practicing artist, but I’ve left certain skills to go fallow overtime. By running this column, I get to power these back to life, developing them in the process and achieving all-round fulfillment as time goes on. You feeling me? So I’ll be doing much more drawing and illustrating now, also exploring other styles and media as time goes on and y’all get to go on this journey with me. Yay!

The column has already premiered- this last tuesday- and you can expect a post every tuesday going forward at 4pm, naija time (GMT +1). You can read the first piece/story titled JURY based on a drawing I did a while back title AlhajaiPlease hit this to read the post. Leave a comment o ( ._.)

I can tell that some of y’all might begin to wonder, patriotic Nostalgians that you are, whether this doesn’t contradict my earlier stated resolution to post here more often (than I did last year). It doesn’t. I shall write here still, only I might not be writing fiction as much, those shall be going to Art Stories.

That said, now, finally, we can bring 30 Days of Hope to a beautiful close. I’m so thankful for everyone who participated, RTed, commented, encouraged… Y’all are precious. By God’s grace, we shall all continue to see positive fruition from doing this. We shall testify, we shall grow, we shall become better people… because we said and wrote it and because we believe.

A blessed and a purposeful 2013 to you all, my beautiful Nostalgians.

Bless.

Day 30: Nathalie

Day 30 of 30. It’s been a long beautiful journey. I’ll be back later to round the series up but for now, please read Nathalie (with her very lovely name)…

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2012 was a year that gave me a fresh start and a new perspective on an astounding amount of things.  I took the time to discover many things about myself which prior to the year I would never have known… *crumples page, starts over*

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Every second in our lives is filled with opportunities to learn, grow and become whatever we want to make out of our lives.  Mine was quite eventful. I got to take a year off university (not counting the ICP entrance exams in December ’11, the French Grammar exams in May or the ICP stint in the first few months of ‘12),travel, see new things and discover that I love textile and dress design as well as influencing the finished product that is a work of art -thanks to becoming a muse for Nike Art Gallery’s Rotimi Gbadebo’s Art. We love you ‘Timi! #Tangent.

I realised how important God’s will is in all that I do and that love is not the only reason for life but is the reason to hold on when things break you.  Also, I learnt to understand that the reason you like or respect people must not affect your ability to assess character; as character defines who they are without that thing that you like.

2013! *now singing Trybe Records transformer song*

As at 29/01 I’m in the library staring out of a glass window into a dark night…

Why am I telling you this?  Well I’m just realising that inasmuch as I chose day 30 so that I would have lived out most of January, I still am unaware of what the future holds.

However, I have the following goals.

1.    Trust And Obey. Not just trust and try to compromise on some issues that are iffy for me but obey His Word in spite of how hard this must be for me.
2.     Work hard and graduate this year with a result that makes me happy. Not people, but me. Why? In the end, if you are not happy with it, their opinion does not count.
3.    Write more. My blog has suffered from my neglect enough.
4.    Read more- Academic and literary.
5.    Keep in touch.
6.    Love with all my heart.
7.    Ask all those who can’t just be happy with my success…

To “Show some love to a neighbourhood transformer today”.

To as many of us as still wonder how to set out goals in our own lives, try what I do. Work to beat a realistic set or assigned deadline. As many of them as you can beat this year will count towards one or more of the beautiful things that the gift of life has enabled us all to achieve come this time next year.

And to all, I wish joy and peace as we await the morning that is the future.

Bises (kisses),

@da_sweetthin

Day 29: D3ola

d3e, as I like to spell her, is my absolutely fabulous friend. Her dreams always humble me, but not as much as seeing her actually do everything it takes to bring them to reality…

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“Hello Miss Adebiyi. Please sit down.”

I smile at her anxiously and sit in the leather chair. I look right at her, trying to keep my mouth from rambling and making a fool of myself in front of her. I’m in the office of one of the top editors at Conde Nast, publishers of the world’s leading lifestyle magazines. Just a couple of months ago, I was slugging it out in graduate school and somehow, I’m here for an interview. I can’t even believe my luck and my fingers slightly tremble from all the excitement and nervousness.
“So tell me, why do you want to work for us?”

I clear my throat and suddenly, I’m blank. I had practiced this answer several times and had it right to the t. she gives me this look like I’m wasting her time and then I start to speak.

“I have always wanted to work for a fashion magazine with such a bold and vibrant personality. Writing and working on my own fashion blog and even creating my own fashion magazine prototype had made me realize that this is what I want to do. My background in hard news reporting gives me n edge because I will always fact check, double edit and correct every single mistake. I believe I can make a difference here and…”

“Enough.”

Eff me sideways; I’ve bored this woman to death.

“I have read your work on your blog and both your magazine prototypes. I have to say that I prefer Yanga to the other one you created at the end of your graduate education. So different and fresh.”

Okay …

“Thank you. I also have some other things …”

“And OmogeMuRa has over a million hits per month! Such a feat for such an alternative website.”

Is she trying to insult me or compliment me? I hate fashion speak sometimes…

“The web editor opening needs someone as dynamic and different as you. Your hair, attitude and portfolio show that you are not afraid to take chances and forge your own path.”

At this moment, I’m about to scream for joy.

“I just have one more question….”

Are we about to discuss my salary? All exclusive access to the fashion closet? My Lord has done it for me.

“When are you going to wake up and make your father’s food?”

Huh???

It is then I blink and realize that I’m not having an interview with one of the editors of Vogue. Instead, I’m in Lagos and waking up to the sound of my mother screaming about food and some stupid thing my brother had done again.
F me.

I have so many dreams and hopes right now for 2013 and the above is one of my main goals. Get a freaking job. At a fashion magazine. Even if it’s just getting coffee and tagging clothes, I do not mind. Every day, I get the whole “print is dying” speech or “you don’t have a serious job” thing. I’ve come to realize I love editing and looking over word and images with a fine tooth comb. It’s such a great and beautiful feeling, doing what you love. I pray I get to do this for the rest of my life or until I become an old, senile but fashionable lady.  I want to prove anyone can make it following their dreams and not compromising. I have worked way too hard to get to where I am, nobody is going to stop me now.

Then I want to move to New York City. Bright lights everywhere, smell of the American hustle and the belief of a better tomorrow. I have wanted to move to NYC since God knows when. Its scary as heck though, moving to the city, entering the rat race, hoping I don’t get mugged, raped, robbed, killed, or generally messed up. But if your dreams don’t scare you, you’re not dreaming big enough (stolen from somewhere).

Then there is OmogeMuRa. Would it be too much to ask to get a New York Fashion Week press pass (guess who was denied again)? Or ask that more people comment cos when I pitch to brands, they think no one reads it? Or even more views and hits so that I can be like linda ikeji and be raking in cash on advertising? So the main point of this rambling paragraph is just to say, I want OmogeMuRa to get bigger and better. Everyone and their mama has a fashion blog right now so I have to find the secret formula to make mine stand out.

Then there are my body image issues and my new weight loss goals. I started an awesome diet this year and I hope I can be strong enough to carry it to the end. I just added excercise to it and the first workout was HARD. My invisible abs hurt like hell now. In a few weeks, I should have my summer body on deck and get all the boys coming to my front yard. Oh and for some reason, people think I’m losing weight cos a lot of people commented about it when I came back home. LOL. Imma just do me and you do you.

Oh, and I want to kiss a boy. It’s been that long. In the end, I just want to end this year wearing Givenchy and Loubs. Still too much to ask for?

Dusk 28: Fara

Gosh, this world is small. In the course of making the exchange and receiving this entry, I found that Fara knows me from what back. I would never have imagined we’d even ever met. Thank God for good behaviour… ( ._.)

Here she goes…

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Hope springs…

Where do I begin? When I saw Uncle Toky’s (the story of how I met Mr Toxic is one I’m sure not even he remembers) tweet about doing this guest blog thing , no one was more inspired than my humble self. At least I’d like to think so and the reason is this: This year is my year of hope.

I know everyone is usually excited about new years. I am so thankful 2012 is over. It was such a hard and difficult time for me in every way. That is, except for the awesome miracle of having all my family members and loved ones hale and hearty and for that I’m grateful. In the course of last year I realized that amongst other things I’d lost my desire to hope and the will to try. I was too scared to hope for a happy ending. Not because I felt I was unworthy of one but because I was too scared that I might not get it. I sank into the pits of despair. To make everything worse I tend to do this thing where I don’t confide in people about thoughts I have not yet processed and understood. Some people say I’m fiercely independent. Others think I’m strong. I think I’m just a case of wonderful contradictions. I’m happy I realized how my life was heading in the wrong direction and that I could do something about it. I am sorry I’m not letting you into the details of how life changing my year was but I’m a bit of a private person and there’s not enough time to wash my dirty linen here even if I wanted to.

Going into 2013, I choose to be happy. No I mean joyful because I have found that joy is a choice that isn’t based on emotions and that there is a certain amount of growth that comes with choosing to ignore the bad and thank God for the good. I now know that I have the power to choose what I dwell on. We are our thoughts. I am thinking happy thoughts. It hasn’t been easy so far but I am not one to give up.

I have decided to stop being afraid. I know that sounds cheesy and ambitious but I mean that I have decided to own my fears and insecurities. I gave up on a lot of things in the past because I was too scared to try and fail. I tend to be that ‘all or nothing’ person. I was so scared of being thought of as insecure or deficient in some aspects that I missed out on all the help and love I could have received. I am going into this year admitting my short comings and looking for ways to make the best of them. I thank God that so far I have done well considering that people who make resolutions rarely ever get this far. Yaay me. I don’t believe in resolutions I didn’t even know about them till I met people from other backgrounds. My father always encouraged me to take stock of the year in little bits and make realistic goals.

I have decided to hope for love. Yup. Before now I have always acted like I didn’t need or want love. Who was I kidding? Not that I’m lonely or needy. I just think I’ve learnt enough about myself right now to be realistic about my expectations. It’s about time I stopped running from love and let it on. It can be such a beautiful thing. Last year I was heartbroken in all the wrong sort of ways. The picture I had always held in my mind as the epitome of enduring love was torn to pieces. I was shaken to the core. Coupled with a heart break that resulted from a non-relationship and I stopped believing in love. At least the kind we all secretly or openly hope to have in our lifetime. Well I’m back. I believe and I won’t hold myself back. Love will find me.

I am going to be more open, honest and in touch with my emotions. If you own your weaknesses, no one can use them against you.

I will give forgiveness whenever I have the opportunity to give it. Not because the people who hurt me but because it deserve it but because forgiveness is gift you give yourself. The peace comes with it is indescribable.

I choose to laugh more and be healthy. To love my body even more than I already do.

I will write. I will not withhold my pen because I want to hide my emotions and writing will bare them all. I owe it to myself to live.

I will be reunited with my family. I miss them so much. I want to tell them I love them, not over the phone but face to face.

This year I will travel, read a few more books, enjoy the changing seasons, cry only tears of joy, adore the woman I’m becoming and give God even more of my heart than ever before because He’s all that I’ve ever needed to get by.

This year, I choose to hope. I you all weren’t bored with my long ass declarations.

Peace , Love and Hope.

Day 28: Vanessa

Vanessa, my dear friend, does something truly unique and admirable with today’s post…

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So I see Tokunbo tweeting some dates and go on BBM to ask what the dates are about. Then he gives me a brief sermon about faith, prophesying… and for a moment I wonder if people in the “blogging world” would actually want to blog about faith and their New Year resolutions. In my head I’m like “Huh? Did he say ‘challenge’?”… It all sounded pretty cheesy to me at that moment. I sha picked a date, but asked for a sample and was quite inspired by Miss ChyChy’s post. I saw this as an opportunity to share with whoever cares to read, ways in which we can all make our 2013 a wonderful year and not just my resolution rants … Hi! 🙂

2012 was a truly amazing year for me. Despite the various challenges it presented, I was able to pull through and stand tall. I lost friends, gained some, ran away from some, but in all very grateful for the way things turned out. I have a mentality that as a child of God, all things work together for my good. I carry the consciousness that where ever I find myself, lines will always fall in pleasant places for me. Basically, I live a life of faith. I can’t begin to tell all the testimonies I’ve encountered here, but trust me! They are a lot! Some of them can’t be comprehended by the ordinary mind, but in all are very great. I expect nothing less in 2013.

I know people have the “grace to grass” or “frying pan to fire” experiences, but I can’t be shaken. I’m not shaken because I live this extraordinary life of praise, worship, prayer, gratefulness, humility and above all, a life of studying & practicing of God’s word. In this year, I intend to worship and praise God, pray to God, study and practice his word like never before! The law of diminishing returns does not apply in the things of the spirit, and so I strive to give my all to Him this year.

There might be things I’ll have to forfeit this year that may seem hard, but I know He deprives us of certain things to enable us grow in His grace and glory. It might be losing that friend who always seems to have the latest gossip or not having the time to watch my favorite shows or soccer matches… *sniff*. But those might be the things I need to lose to clear my mind and thoughts for greater ideas :D. I may face challenges that could seem “out of this world”, but I’ll always have the mindset of a victor and would definitely always emerge victorious! I say these things not because of pride, but because I’m very conscious and confident of who I am.

If you still haven’t figured out who I am, then I’ll let you in on it…

I’m a Christian. Born of the word and spirit of God. I have the overcoming life of Christ in me. I boldly declare who I am, because I am very grateful to God for his everlasting Love upon my life. I’ve heard so many people attempt to define love, but then the basis of my wonderful life is Love. So here’s my definition: “God is Love” (1 John 4:8).Simple.

It’s impossible to express true love without the presence of God in our lives. I urge you to accept God into your lives and show more love in the year 2013, as it is a wonderful foundation for a great and overcoming life on earth.

God bless you!

Dusk 27: Olayinka

Olayinka (she refuses to be called Yinka *rme*) and I kept running into each other at different places until we didn’t have a choice but to say hi and introduce ourselves to each other. Her turn now…

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I saw @0Toxic’s tweets about 30 Days of hope and without thinking, I said I was going to join.
I am supposed to write about 2013, yeah? Let me remember 2012 a bit.
2012 was about work,work, work, work, work. I didn’t take a moment to stop and smell the coffee. Funny that I ended the year losing the job.
I avoided every possible hang out with friends for no reason.
I learnt that loyalty to the ‘wrong people’ is over – rated.
High point of 2012 was going for #ChristmasOnTheStreetz. Thank you Ada and Maddy.
2013
I want to trust God and pray more. I wasn’t faithful to God last year even though He was more than faithful, I’d want that to changethis year. I also need to pray more and not just when life is rough.
I need to stop, smell the coffee and also drink the coffee.
I want to be selfish and to always think about myself first.
I want to truly love people. I want to say it and mean it.
I am going to hang out with friends whether I like it or not and maybe make new friends.
I am going to genuinely forgive my father and try to talk/see him more than once like I did last year. (the divorce’s been 5years, I should move on).
I want to be patient, really paient. I am probably the most impatient person I know.
I want to trust people.
I need to learn how to ask for help.
I want to do more charity work this year.
Re: work… I am handling 2 new projects this year, I am scared and excited but also trusting God for directions.

Day 27: Kelvin

I don’t understand why Kelvin had to go and write such a lengthy post… *rolls eyes*

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Hey Guys, 2013 right? Hopes, resolutions, aspirations yeah? LOL.

Here’s mine.

Ephesians 3:20 God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us… (The Message Bible)

Let’s just say I’m going to let Him do (or not do) and still be Thankful.

Thanks for reading.

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*smh* This nucca got jokes. Anyway sha, Many Happy Returns, Kelvin. I pray this year brings to pass all you dream and hope, whether blank bullet(point)s or tangible miracles. Happy Birthday.