Closure

In your mind you’ve got a bat and you go around the house, systematically smashing everything they left behind to bits. In reality, you know how much those things cost and maybe you’re cheap a coward, but you just don’t have the heart to do it. So you start to think about other ways, how to rid yourself of the hard lump that has lodged itself in your chest, threatening to stay there forever.

You think packing their stuff in a solitary box, to be left at their door -or to be handed over in a brief clandestine meeting- will do it.
It doesn’t.

Neither does burning.
All you’re left with is the acrid smell of smoke and a dark ring on your balcony…the shape and size of the cardboard box that was there 5 minutes ago.

If there’s no catharsis in tearing up their old notes, then deleting their texts, emails, pictures off your Instagram, their number…does less.

You wonder if there’s truth to the myth that a good scream can let it all out. So you try it. One day when it’s just you and the four walls of the house. You scream yourself hoarse. Then you wait for all the pain to evaporate.
It doesn’t.
When people ask what happened to your voice, you don’t have an answer prepared.

You get a tub of ice cream. You’ve always loved Ben & Jerry’s. You rent a movie. You don’t forget the box of tissues. You’re in your most comfy pyjamas. You dig in. The movie works its magic. You bawl your eyes out.
NOTHING.

Then you start to think. Maybe hearing why will make it better. To know the reason, even if it’s some fundamentally flawed aspect of your character, should be better than nothing.
So you set it up. Steel yourself for what you know is likely to be brutal. You sit through the small talk, willing them to get on with it. When they finally seem ready to, you sit up. Coffee/ tea/ liquor whatever form of dutch courage is your poison in hand. You listen intently, waiting for the one thing you can pinpoint and say “Aha! This is why.” But other than a series of half-truths and patronising lies meant to make you take the blame for their shortcomings and/ or feel like the one that got away, there is resoundingly…
NOTHING.

Now you’re worried, is this how it’s going to be forever? A hard lump stuck in your chest, freezing your insides so you don’t even have the patience to deal with anyone new?
Maybe you’ve just been a fool, buying into the myth of a reason setting you free. Maybe at the end of the day, that’s all closure really is, a myth sold to romantic fools.

Can We Just Live?

You know how I wrote this post of mums and boyfriends about two years ago and it was a joking sturvs and I thought we were really all just playing? Well! turns out the pressure is real! What! Look, if you’re not in your mid-twenties yet you had better join some of us search for the anti-aging serum oh. Let us just stop the hands of time together.

The pressure is real oh! Notice how I said that twice? Yes, that’s how real the pressure is. I would say it  100 times but I feel like you’re smart, you get it. This pressure is not the light one your mother gives you. Those my in-law bants that she throws in when she feels like you’re pouring too much milk into your coffee or even the jokes about what she’ll be giving out as party favors at your engagement. It is not even the little jokes when male friends come home. Like hehe hehe ‘is he the one?’ type questions.

No oh! This is strangers, who have absolutely no business telling you how to live your life telling you how to live your damn life! Can you tell I’m pained? Okay not really, I mean someone had to write this, I am not angry or anything. I am not even crying. These? These are not tears….It’s just a reaction to the onions my sister is cutting in the kitchen at home. I am not home you say? Is it your eyes? Can a girl not have allergic reaction again? My friend my friend allow me get back to the story.

Aha! So as I was saying.It’s even worse when you look younger than you actually are not that I’m complaining, everyone and their grandmother think it’s okay to give you advice.

“When you meet a man…”

“As for Ghanaian men…”

“As a woman…”

You. will. hear. this. at. every. turn. You cannot even breathe at this point for fear that some auntie will say “all this air you’re breathing you should have been breathing in your husband’s house”. At social events, when people ask what you do, you will now have to start calculating because “as a woman you must not let men know that you have accomplished xyz, let them get to know you and then you can start to reveal your accomplishments.”

“Men don’t like these things.”

“These things scare men.”

Deep down you’re thinking it cannot be true. That the men in your generation know better, that they too want a woman who can bring something to the table. You believe that those weak-livered men who are threatened by an accomplished woman do not exist in your generation. You’re happy in these beliefs, smirking secretly at the aunty who is busy spewing ‘nonsense’ at you in the name of wisdom. Until you meet that one guy, who is your age by the way and is very concerned that your plans do not have a man at the forefront. So…who will make sure the children have been bathed? Who will make sure that there is breakfast on the table when he’s leaving home and dinner is ready by the time he gets home? He’s a big man U no.

The worst part is, this is just the tip of the iceberg. This does not begin to cover the horrible amount of pressure girls go through because they have reached a certain age and nobody ‘put a ring on it’. This is not even their final form! This does not cover the expiry date jokes that they make for bants or the sermons you will hear that basically tell you “a woman may have a job, but her real place is in the kitchen”.

I said I am not crying!! These? They are not tears oh…something just fell in my eye.

IMG-20160530-WA0002

Why I Love……………….ZUMBA!

If you read One Month In! you may recall my mentioning joining a number of exercise classes in order to achieve my long time dream of not having to be rolled off of the plane when I eventually get back home. Not like I ever have been mind you;but whereas people have nightmares about normal things like being chased by monsters or featuring unwillingly in a family member’s pot of soup, I find that mine tend to be more about pounds that reflect on the weighing scale rather than their rightful place (my account) which brings me to the reason for today’s post: my love for zumba.

Prior to coming here, I had never really used the gym although like a lot of girls I know I had resolved several times that I would etc; and had actually made inquiries here and there but never actually got round to doing it. Which is why when I started eating all those desserts and realized that those pounds need to go somewhere other than my cheeks I had no idea which of the fitness regimes available at my gym to try. My flatmate (also Ghanaian) tried to persuade me to try zumba but- and this is something my friends know- I have this small issue with dancing in public. I am perfectly happy dancing away in a chair in public, or even dancing to a song in my room. However, get me off that chair in public and suddenly I am a pair of left feet, unable to bust a move to save my life. Of course under certain circumstances I forget that I supposedly have two left feet and dance like nobody’s watching but that’s a story for another day.

I had a feeling the treadmill wasn’t for me if I wanted this to be something that eventually became a habit (no, I’m not crazy…yes, I have heard that people meet cute boys at the gym but you’ll have to see how I look when I’m going to the gym to understand that this cute boy thing is probably not going to happen).

Anyway after reviewing all the facts, we decided to try a couple of classes before choosing which ones we would actually stick to. She was still for zumba but being the independent 21 year old woman I am, I decided I was going to try spinning first. Maybe I just overdid it that day (or not); whatever the case may be, let’s just say 3 days of an aching behind later, I realized that perhaps my behind did not quite provide the kind of cushioning one needs for such pursuits. Now, I quite love the behind I’ve got but I could not imagine continuing with spinning unless I somehow miraculously bulked up in that department before the next class.

So I decided to just suck it up and try this Zumba I had heard so much about. I must admit my first day was almost the disaster I imagined it would be, having sworn off of dancing for so many years as I had, I often found that while the class was doing one action I was still busily doing the previous one and when everyone was moving in/ facing one direction I was doing the opposite because I hadn’t grasped the most basic rule of Zumba i.e. keep your eye on the instructor, always.

But it was fun! Which was ultimately what I was looking for, a way to keep in shape while having fun. It does help that (especially in the Monday class) most of the music is upbeat and contemporary stuff I already like. Also, there’s a lot of shimmying and winding which I (and presumably the guys that come peeking to see what’s going on) quite enjoy. When songs like uptown funk come on, I can’t wipe the grin off my face; and the once or twice we’ve done Fuse ODG’s antenna, you’d think I’ve been pumped full of adrenaline with the sudden spring that comes into my step. I have since then tried yoga and aerobics which I quite like as well but Zumba! that’s what has my heart. If you’re trying to lose weight and you’re looking for something that combines fun and weight loss, I suggest you give it a whirl. Especially if like me you’ve got a behind to protect 😉

It doesn’t matter if you’re a bad dancer either, everyone is too busy trying to keep up to care how you’re doing. You can stand in the back till you are confident in your moves but the more you keep going, the better you get so don’t get discouraged if your first class is a bit of a disaster. So go ahead, try it! Your behind will thank you, and even if those pounds don’t end up in your account, at least you know you won’t be seeing them on the scale either!

#TimeNoDey

So! I know I promised 3 posts this month (yes yes stop nodding so much, calm down) and it looks like December is almost over and yet nada. Worry not though, I promise that I am working on that sequel I have spoken about in my last few posts and hopefully, you should be reading it soon. In the meantime, this whole #timeNoDey thing that was happening on twitter reminded me of something that happened to me earlier this year and I thought I should share. Trust me I didn’t always find it hilarious but in retrospect and in view of kpakpakpa and #TimeNoDey I kind of see it in a new light.

It was a bright and sunny no rainy. It was a Thursday!  I remember that much! Anyway I had just got to the gate at work, windows rolled down, wind in my hair, music blaring loud, feeling all bosschick. I turned off my engine to let myself in when my car decided to show me who was boss. The car wouldn’t start and because the windows were electronic i couldnt roll them up either. By this point all nonsense thoughts of bosschickness had left me and all I could think about was how I was going to get the car into the compound and roll the windows up.

Then this saloon car drove by and stopped a little ahead. I was delighted,  knight in shining armour! In spite of the fact that I would ordinarily never walk over when a guy calls me over to his car, you should have seen the alacrity with which i sped over and the smiles decorating my face. Imagine my shock when I got to the car and rather than get out of his car this guy said to me:
“I saw you buying something at the shop down the road but I couldn’t talk to you cos I was in a hurry”
*insert whatsapp shocked smiley*
Clearly my knight had not noticed my distress, perhaps if I were to explain the situation…so I tried…telling him
“Look my car is messed up, I need to sort it out”
Surely, this is where my knight turns superman, zooms to my rescue but noo I nearly dropped dead with shock when the next thing he said was:
“Yeah give me the number then you can go sort it out”
😶 😶 😶
So cold!

Here I was thinking the calvary had arrived, when clearly in this guy’s mind -waaay before I got the memo off of twitter- he had decided that time really no dey to be a gentleman. Needless to say he didn’t get the number 😆😆. I did get some gentlemen who helped me move it in though.

But yeah, apparently #timeNoDey….and it makes me really wonder, is chivalry on it’s way out?

Ps: one last post before the year ends right? Fingers crossed, it just might happen.

of moms and boyfriends

Of mums and boyfriends….and why single girls over 21 should join the kpa kpa kpa movement.

clock

Rather than write the paper which is due in 2 days that I’m nowhere near through with, I decided to write this post which I promised on twitter on the 29th of November. Why? Well inspiration for me to write is often hard to come by although when I do I enjoy it tremendously. I often find myself writing elaborate stories in my head and never actually putting them down on paper.

Anyways, in this coming month – being my birth month and all- (yes, I turn 21 again!) I will be putting out more than my usual 1 post every 3 or so months. Which means I will post no less than 3 posts this month. I know people tend to do the whole 1 post a day thing and I would have loved to. However, I know myself, and I know how laziness aka writer’s block can catch me for long stretches of time. Which is why in order not set you (my lovely readers) up for disappointment I am making the modest estimate of 3. If it is more, glory hallelujah. If not, well I only promised 3… 😀

On to today’s post!

Before I go into all of that though, I just thought I should mention this. Just so you know, there is no grand sale of guys where I can just look through a great selection of boys at a discount and pick the one I fancy, with the option of returning him to the store within 30 days if I find he’s not to my satisfaction. Believe me I would know. So to all my loving friends out there, there’s no one. I’ll tell you when there is.

You know how they tell you when you are growing up all the pressure that comes with growing up? Well they weren’t lying. In the past few months, conversations with my friends back home have been nothing short of hilarious with all the mounting pressure for them to ‘produce’ a boyfriend. Not like they have a gun to their head……yet…but I believe it’s getting there.

Thankfully I have the greatest-mum-ever™ who will never give me pressure be it direct or indirect (yes this is a directed message to my mum who’s going to read this at some point) but some of my friends have already started to feel the heat.

Imagine my friend’s surprise when she told her mum she was going for a wedding and her mum’s response was “you’re always going for weddings when will you do yours?” You see what had happened was…she doesn’t even have a boyfriend!! Oh and best part is the question was NOT rhetorical, she had to give an estimate.

Another friend got sent the picture of a huge cooker. When she ventured to mention how huge the cooker was, the straight faced reply was “yes, big enough to cook for my in-laws and grandchildren”. In-laws and grandchildren who are merely theoretical at this point because my friend really does not have a boyfriend at this point.

Did I mention that there are boxes full of magic mugs in my garage? Imported by my mom (who I love with all my heart)? And did I also mention that the mugs are apparently for my engagement and my sisters’ engagements regardless of the fact that none of us at this point have a boyfriend (unless my sisters do and I don’t know)? Let’s just say my mum could probably host an engagement party for any of us tomorrow if we told her about it tonight.

Also, a friend of mine recently came into possession of a book titled “How to prepare for the wedding”, kindly gifted to her by her mother. I would think step 1 would be to find the groom and then buy the book but what do I know?

These are merely a handful of the things that are going on behind the scenes in the homes of those single girls that have turned 21 a few too many times. Weirdly though, the pressure doesn’t only come from the mums. If I were prone to feeling pressured, all the times my friends have asked me if I’ve found someone yet in the two short months I’ve been here would surely have done me in by now.

In closing, I would like to leave you with this totally random but hilarious conversation.

 

1

2

A.T.N.A = All Talk No Action

PS: Apart from the magic mugs scenario, one other is mine but I won’t say which. Take a shot at guessing why don’t you? Oh and if I’ve told you this story before you’re out of the race please, no telling!

Have a great month everyone!

 

 

 

One Month In!


Disclaimer: This is not a sequel to Tracy yes there’s a sequel or there will be….one day…when I get around to it :D.

apple crumble

sponge cake

So, it’s been a mighty fun month! To be honest when I boarded my flight a month ago, I was more excited than scared but there was Still some fear. Fear of the unknown I guess. Since I got here though, I’ve had more than enough reason to let go of that fear.

For one thing everyone here is so friendly it’s incredible. Part of my anxiety when I was leaving home was from all the things I had read or heard about how unfriendly people are in the UK. Not like I was expecting a rolled out welcome mat at Heathrow but I wasn’t exactly looking forward to having my head chewed off for asking directions some place.

And then there’s the free food! There was so much of it in the first two weeks I literally felt myself packing on the pounds and not in any of the good places if you know what I mean ;). Since I prefer my pounds in cash and not body mass I promptly joined the gym and although I wake up most days with aches in all sorts of places I figure it’s a fair price to pay for all the delicious food I’ve been consuming. So it’s been zumba three times a week and aerobics once a week just so I can eat all those glorious desserts without having to see visions of myself having to be rolled off the plane when I eventually return.

There was the dinner for international students the first night we got in aand the breakfast the next morning then the buffet dinner that evening buffet breakfast the morning after and then the International Student ball that night which was really marvelous. I did nearly go blind from some of the outfits but that’s par for the course really with these types of events isn’t it?

There was also a BBQ organized by one of the chaplains and where there’s chicken….. 😀 Anyways I literally attended so many events with free food in this first month I had friends from home asking me if I was sure I was away at school and not on holiday. Although the flow of food has since trickled down to the barest minimum now there’s of course the cottage lunch organized every Sunday which I wouldn’t miss for the world. Imagine that for a donation of £2 you get to eat a very filling home cooked meal and have the most amazing of desserts like chocolate mudpies, chocolate sponge cakes covered in chocolate sauce and ice cream, apple crumbles etc and best of all seconds are available! Best believe I’m in there every single Sunday rain or shine, £2 in hand.

With all that’s been going on I haven’t even had the time to be homesick. I do miss being able to just drive anywhere I want and being able to have dinner with friends (you know yourselves :*) whenever I wanted to see them and Starbites! Oh how I miss that spicy avocado chicken wrap and the jerk chicken. Other than that though it’s been a good month. I also miss my gentleman of a brother opening doors for me and holding my bag (when there was something in the bag for him of course).

I have made tons of friends of various nationalities and there’s been nights at the KPA (the Postgraduates bar), lunch in town, a few shopping trips, etc. I’m certainly looking forward to seeing the fireworks and hopefully a trip with some of my course mates if that does work out. If this month is anything to go by though, I can’t wait to see what the other months hold!

PS: If this post didn’t tell you anything at all, the morale of the story is FOOD, FOOD, and more FOOD please and thank you 😀

Lots of love,

AJ :*

Happy New Year!

I know I’m late, 19 days into the year and all of that but still, HAPPY NEW YEAR! How’s 2014 treating you so far? How many resolutions have you broken? 50%, 100%? Don’t feel bad, it’s par for the course. lol. It’s whyI don’t make any to be honest. I ended 2013/ entered 2014 with every intention of doing a post on gratitude, gratitude to God and to the people around us. To God because He is all round awesome as is to be expected 🙂 and the people around us because when people are with you all the time it’s so easy to take for granted the little sacrifices they make for you.

2013 was a great year for me although to be honest I didn’t realize it from the start. It was a year when a lot of my worries were sorted before I could properly worry about them -(and if you know me at all, then you know I’m a complete worry wart, constantly worrying about any and everything)- sometimes even before I could pray about them. So when I listened to a sermon on gratitude and all of that at the end of the year, I realized how ungrateful I had been, being quick to say thank you when the going was good and then going back whining when things got a little tough. Needless to say I was immediately filled with vim (and any other soap name that also means energy) fully determined to adopt an attitude of gratitude, show people more how much their actions meant to me etc. etc. I had it all figured out, 2014 was going to be all about gratitude and what not.

Then 2014 came. Laughing in my face. Let’s just say it hasn’t been a bed of roses. Suddenly I had forgotten all those plans I made, and often rather than thank you, I caught myself asking why? And it’s only been 19 days, well 20 but today hasn’t exactly ended has it? Almost lost a friendship (one that means a lot to me by the way) in the first few days but thankfully that didn’t happen, etc. etc. etc. and it was tough to stay thankful those times.

Basically, in less than a month, 2014 has taught me, that it’s not as simple as saying I’m going to be thankful, I need to actually work at it. So for the rest of this year, I’m going to work on staying thankful, no matter the curveballs life throws my way and learn to trust that God will work it all out for my good- I’ll let you know how that goes. In the meanwhile, here’s to hoping 2014 turns out to be everything you expected it to be and even more.

Cheers!

Oh and you should check out Hebrews 11 sometime 🙂