This blog was created to serve as an inspiration to all who read aspire, to love and to live a life of purpose.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

21 Things I Wish I Knew at 21- Part 2

Happy New Week!

In continuation of my May 9th post on 21 Things I Wish I Knew at 21, and as promised, here's Part 2. 
Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow,. The most important thing is not to stop questioning. - Albert Einstein

12. Travel, if you can afford it.  This is the time to do it- before you have kids, before career commitments and before marriage. With age, comes responsibilities and limited vacation time. 2011 was my self-declared traveling year. I visited 4 countries and it is still one of the most memorable years of my life.

13. GET A MENTOR. In fact, get two- one in your career and one who you admire personally.  Actually, get as many as you want. Reach out to someone you look up to,  more likely than not, s/he will be honored.  I have about 5 mentors and I still have "mentor openings". For me, my criteria is to find someone who "seems" to be where I want to be, then I connect with them and find out "how" they got to where they are. Remember, you have to humble to learn.

14. Network- Make good impressionsIt IS a small world. 

Two months ago, I attended a Continuing Legal Education seminar for lawyers in my area. I was fortunate enough to sit beside a lovely lady. When we took a break for lunch, I introduced myself and we got to talking. It turns out she was a lawyer looking to quit her job and start her own law firm, a move I had made just three months prior. This got us to talking some more. We exchanged business cards. She later contacted me to set up a time to get together. She had plenty questions about how I overcame the fear of abandoning a steady handsome paycheck to dive into the unknown. Our meet-up was awesome, to say the least. We had an honest conversations and she left feeling inspired. We kept in touch and soon, she indeed made the leap. While she was getting her firm set up, she got a lead in a practice area I knew more about and sent the client to me. That client is one of my highest paying clients till date. Just yesterday, I found out she was neighbors with one of my very good friends and that they had each talked about me to each other on several occasions and did not know they were talking about the same person till my friend posted a picture of me on her Instagram.  What a small world!

15. Guard your reputation- it's an investment account that you only returns what you deposit.   Simply put, in metaphoric terms, it is better to be "reserved" than to be known as the community "whore". See Number 6. 

16.  When it comes to "hanging out", trust your instinct. Do not do anything just to fit in. A few years ago, I mentored the female youths (aged 14-19) in my church. After one of our meetings, one of my mentees came up to me and asked if she could pick my brain. She told me this colorful story about a recent fight she had with her friend. Her friend accused of her of being boring and uptight, simply because she didn't want to accompany her to hang out with two boys to a beach picnic. I asked why she did not want to go, she said she did not trust the boys and that it was a secluded area. I told her to stick to her grounds, but just accept it might cost her friendship. Two weeks later, she thanked me for my advise. Apparently, her "friend" went on the trip with another friend and they both got raped. 

17. Face your demons. Own your life experiences and how they have made you who you are.  You are only human. There IS nothing wrong with YOU.  Stop looking back. Move forward.

18. In life, everyone has a different question paper. Stop trying to copy others. Create your own path.

19. Do NOT believe the hype. No one's relationship is perfect. People who make an effort to continually boast about how their relationships or marriages are perfect only do so to hide the truth. 

20. Let go. Let God. The only person grudges imprison is you

21.  Don't chase after people who don't want to stay. Any person who makes you work extra hard just to stay close to them, does not deserve you.  Your time and emotions are better spent loving those who love you, instead of worrying about those who don't.

Stay Inspired.....
NwaVic||| |||Instagram @dearnwavic  ||| Twitter @nwavicesq

Image source: Google images

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

#LegendsNeverQuit! #LegendsKeepFighting

Success is defined as "the accomplishment of an aim or purpose."

Thanks to the #LegendsNeverQuitCampaign, here's a snippet into the "rags-to-riches" story of 11 successful celebrities. My favorite? Mark Wahlberg! :-) These images speak for themselves, loud and clear.  Hope they are a source of inspiration for you today!

Just incase you're struggling today to meet up with your story....just remember...
"Your incredible brain can take you from rags to riches, from loneliness to popularity, and from depression to happiness and joy - if you use it properly." - Brian Tracy 

Like MLK once said, "Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.” 

Take that one step in the right direction today!

Stay the Course!

Stay Inspired.....
NwaVic||| |||Instagram @dearnwavic  ||| Twitter @nwavicesq

Image source: #LegendsNeverQuit #LegendsNeverStopFighting

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

21 Things I Wish I Knew at 21 - Part 1

I wish I started making lesson lists earlier. Before life taught me lessons that forcibly whipped me into an understanding that self-reflection is the fastest way to grow...The older I get, the more I realize that life is an unending lesson. Sometimes, I wish I could crawl back into the studded shelter with pink roses my parents let me live in for years, unaware of the tornado that life has to offer. The things I know now,  I wish I knew at 18 or at 21 or maybe, yesterday.  Maybe I would have saved myself some heartbreak...But then again, I can't have any regrets. Because my experiences, the good, the bad and the ugly, are part of my journey.... And tomorrow, I will wish I knew what I know then, today.

The best any of us can do is to learn as much as we can, when we can. And keep on growing... In putting together this list, I looked back on the years since I turned 21 and put together the happenstances n my life and each lesson it taught me. I also conducted a small poll from young ladies aged 29 to 35...this list does not only reflect lessons we all wish we knew at 21, but ones which continue to be valuable in our lives everyday and will continue to be even at age 55.

This blog will be in two parts. Here are the first 11 :-)

1.  Fear God. Let God matter to you, personally. Don't just attend church but seek to know God for yourself.  Allow His word guide your feet in your daily dealings, and you will see a change in your path.  Actually take the time to read the Bible your parents bought for you. You can also sign up for the Bible app and get daily verses.  The Bible is unmatchable wisdom and you will find that the word will get you through life's toughest seasons.
Joshua 1: 8-9

2.   You ARE the average of the people you surround yourself with. Choose friends who enrich your life and purpose. "Proverbs 1: 10: "My Child, sinners will try to lead you into sin, but do not follow them."

3. Be serious with your education.  Education is fundamental. Even if you don't want to be a professional, there are so many life and common sense skills that education gives. Relish it.  Allow the educational experience to pass through you. Enjoy it. Make the best of it. IT is YOUR means to change the world.  Take Mandela's word for it.
4.  Stop being so fascinated with the popular ones. The geeks (like Mark Zuckerberg) win in the long run. For real, ask someone who is at least 30 years old, "how many of the "popular kids" win your class ended up being CEOs or world leaders?" The answer will be the same: very very few. 

5. Treat people well. The person you took for granted yesterday may become your lifeline tomorrow. This is a principle my parents take so seriously, my middle name reflects it. Integrity is wealth. 

6. Be careful of social media. Everything you put online is permanent. Really. AND remember there is social media, and then, there's reality...two separate things. Take everything you see on social media with a grain of salt. People only show you what they want you to see. No one's life is that perfect, but you know this already. So don't let anyone's appearance of perfection cause you to count your failures. 

7. Respect and listen to your parents.  This does not mean you have to do everything they say, but at least give it value. Because there will come a time, you wish you had them to counsel you. Most of the time, they are right. The Bible mentions it twice:  Proverbs 1: 8-9 and Proverbs 6: 20-23.  

In fact, there's a promise attached to it- LONG LIFE.
8. Stay Close your family. Friends come and friends go. No matter how far you run, you will realize family is always home, and there's no place like home. Form and maintain bond between you and your siblings. They are your first friends, and most likely, against all odds, will be the last ones standing. 
9. Do not settle. That boyfriend that puts you down and makes you believe he's the best you can ever get, is NOT as good as it gets. YOU deserve better.

10. Don't play "wife" to a man who is not your husband. YOU know what I mean. So, enough said.

11. Get to know yourself. Find out what you like and what you dislike. Pay attention to your feelings. What makes you happy? What can't you tolerate? In what areas do you feel most accomplished? Knowing the answers to these questions is the gateway to figuring out a lot of aspects and making important decisions in your life- your career, your spouse, your friendships, etc.  It is only in recognizing your strengths and flaws can you flourish AND grow!

Stay Inspired.....
NwaVic||| |||Instagram @dearnwavic  ||| Twitter @nwavicesq

Image source: Google images

Monday, March 27, 2017

Women Who Inspire: Omy's Strength

I was a teenager when Omy's husband Kelechi died 13 years ago. Omy's family and mine were very close growing up, and still are; we often refer to each other as "cousins". I remember hearing the  sad news of Kelechi's passing and thinking to myself, "How terrible, may God comfort Omy and her girls." I even remember visiting Omy to extend our condolences.

Over the years, whenever I see Omy and her girls, it's all happiness and love...and chitchat. But you know, it took a little more growing up for me to fully comprehend what happened to Omy in 2004. Even now, despite the comprehension, I flinch when I think about how much her life must have changed in an that one day went from one with a smooth-sailing ship filled with dreams and plans, to a fleeting power boat.....It must have been an alarmingly painful experience for a "barely-married" 26 year-old mother of two. 

God sure has a mysterious way of navigating our journeys and filling the gaps in our lives with His grace and purpose. He uses our pain to not only build solid foundations in our lives, but to serve as living testimony of His presence. A once sheltered 26 year old widow is now not just a successful mother of two beautiful young ladies, but a breathing inspiration. When I think of Omy now, I am amazed at the  caliber of woman she is....and how she turned her horrific episode into a powerful inspirational journey. 

I could tell you a lot more about Omy...but don't take my word for it. Here's Omy's dedication to Kelechi last week, on the 13th anniversary of his death.
"Exactly 13 years ago today my husband and the father of my two angels went to be with the Lord. Two people died on that day, Dr Kelechi Egesie Wokemba and the young carefree girl that used to be me. The 'strong' woman you know today was birthed that day. She was not given a choice or time to prepare. With just a moment's notice this role was foisted upon her. When the grieving father of your husband's staff who died in the same accident with him is sitting across from you asking what your plans are for his daughter's corpse and funeral, you have to grow up on the spot.   
Up until that point, I had lived my life in the clouds. My biggest problem at that point was probably where to do my Masters degree and whether or not the children would come with me. But here I was, one month to my 27th birthday, suddenly solely responsible for two little humans and series of decisions on sensitive issues that continue to present themselves till date. I needed a plan. It took me all of 24 hours to come up with a strategy for this journey. My strategy had just two components: 1. Make Kelechi proud. 2. Don't let the devil take any glory in this. I think it has worked.  

The first picture was taken at the funeral on the 31st of March 2004. The second was taken the next day or so. We had actually strolled out to his uncle's place. The third was taken 5 days after the funeral on the day we got back to Enugu from the village. Maybe it was the joy of the Lord or maybe I was just so happy to be back from the village but that smile you see in that picture was for real and to the glory of God, it has never really left. If you knew me back then, you would know that it can only be Lord's doing.  
I am an ajebota. I am not being haughty or anything like that. I was 'jeborized' from my mother's womb. From my father's house to my husband's house it was smooth sailing. Nothing in my past prepared me for a life of stress. People who knew me before the incident had already concluded that they would probably be burying me in a short while because they didn't see how I would bear it or handle the pressures that come with the territory. But alas, here we are 13 years later.  
You see, God uses the foolish things of this world to confound the wise. He loves to take rejected stones and turn them into cornerstones. He doesn't like to be predictable and He does things in such a way that no matter how you analyze it, the glory comes back to him. That is what He did with me. His grace came upon me instantly and the person who was most surprised at the transformation was me.  
If you're facing any difficult thing in your life today, look at me and find strength. You are strong, you just don't know it. No one thought I could do it. I doubted myself many times. Often I would look at my girls and feel sorry for them. I wondered whether I would be able to give them the kind of life and upbringing their dad and I had planned. The two year old in the picture is now the head girl of her school. Not too bad if i may say so myself, so take courage and take charge. If 'Omy daddy' could do it, so can you.  
I remember Kelechi today with fondness. May his sweet soul continue to rest and may those of us left behind find grace to daily keep the flag flying."
 We often look for heroes in movies, books and celebrities. However, they don't live in fiction; they live amidst us. Omy, you beautiful in and true epitome of virtue...a stellar woman of strength and perseverance. I am inspired by your grace even in the face of tragedy.  Your beautiful girls are lucky to have you to call Mom. May God continue to smoothen your journey. May the meditations of your heart come alive in the quality of your life.

If my ship sails from sight, it doesn't mean my journey ends, it simply means the river bends. ~ Enoch Powell
Keep on sailing, nwanne.

 Stay Inspired.....
NwaVic||| |||Instagram @dearnwavic  ||| Twitter @nwavicesq

Monday, March 20, 2017

Powerful Testimony: Frank Edwards

Happy First Day of Spring!! 

Here's an oldie but goodie from Frank Edwards. I fell in love with Frank from the first day I heard "Mma Mma". I even blogged about my awe of his music in 2012. In fact, I made sure at least 3 of Frank's songs were played at my wedding ceremony. More than his music, I am just inspired by his success story! Take a listen, I hope you are too!

"Don't let your background put your back on the ground."
I hope this inspires you to keep on working! God's got you! Have a blessed week!

 Stay Inspired.....
NwaVic||| |||Instagram @dearnwavic  ||| Twitter @nwavicesq

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Red Carpet Fashion + Complete List of Winners: 2017 Academy Awards (The Oscars)

Check out the red carpet and full list of winners from the 89th Annual Academy Awards which held today at the Hollywood & Highland Center in Hollywood, California.

Special congratulations to Mahershala Ali on his big win. I fell in love with his acting when I saw him on Luke Cage. Well deserved! And of course to Viola Davis! Your speech was truly inspiring!

Ryan Gosling
John Legend and Chrissy Teigen
Mahershala Ali
Ruth Negga in Valentino
Emma Stone in Givenchy
Taraji P. Henson in Alberta Ferretti
Jessica Biel in KaufmanFranco
Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel
Naomie Harris in Calvin Klein

Chrissy Teigen
Aldis Hodge 
Viola Davis in Armani
Cynthia Erivo
Brie Larson in Oscar de la Renta
Emma Roberts
Janelle Monae in Elie Saab
Robin Roberts
Nicole Kidman in Armani PrivĂ©
Ava DuVernay
Pharrell Williams
Andrew Garfield 
Riz Ahmed
Luciana Barroso and Matt Damon 
Nancy O'Dell
Sofia Carson
Priyanka Chopra
Halle Berry
Jessica and David Oyelowo

Hailee Steinfield
Jackie Chan
Kirsten Durst
Octavia Spencer

Salma Hayek
Denzel and Pauletta Washington
Trudie Tyler and Sting
Scarlett Johansson
Dwayne Johnson and Lauren Hashian
Laura Dern
Karlie Kloss
Michael Strahan
Darby Stanchfield
Kyla Weber and Vince Vaughn 
Auli'i Cravalho
Ryan Seacrest
Terrence Howard

Full List of Winners

Best Supporting ActorMahershala Ali, MoonlightJeff Bridges, Hell or High WaterDev Patel, LionLucas Hedges, Manchester by the SeaMichael Shannon, Nocturnal Animals
Best Makeup and HairstylingStar Trek Beyond
A Man Called Ove
Suicide Squad
Best Costume DesignFlorence Foster Jenkins
La La Land
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Best Documentary FeatureO.J.: Made in America
Fire at Sea
I Am Not Your Negro
Life, Animated
Best Sound EditingHacksaw Ridge
Deepwater Horizon
La La Land
Best Sound MixingRogue One: A Star Wars Story
Hacksaw Ridge
La La Land
13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi
Best Supporting ActressViola Davis, Fences Michelle Williams, Manchester by the Sea Naomie Harris, Moonlight Nicole Kidman, Lion Octavia Spencer, Hidden Figures
Best Foreign Language FilmToni Erdmann
The Salesman
Land of Mine
A Man Called Ove
Best Animated ShortPiper
Borrowed Time
Blind Vaysha
Pear Cider and Cigarettes
Best Animated FeatureZootopia
Kubo and the Two Strings
The Red Turtle
My Life As a Zucchini
Best Production DesignLa La Land
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Hail, Caesar!
Best Visual EffectsThe Jungle Book
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
Kubo and the Two Strings
Doctor Strange
Deepwater Horizon
Best Film EditingLa La Land
Hacksaw Ridge
Hell or High Water
Best Documentary, Short SubjectJoe’s Violin
The White Helmets
Watani: My Homeland
4.1 Miles
Best Short Film, Live ActionTimecode
Silent Nights
La Femme et le TGV
Ennemis Interieurs
Best CinematographyLa La Land
Best Original ScoreLa La Land
Best Original Song“City of Stars,” La La Land “Audition (The Fools Who Dream),” La La Land“How Far I’ll Go,” Moana“Can’t Stop the Feeling,” Trolls“The Empty Chair,” Jim: The James Foley Story
Best Original ScreenplayManchester by the Sea
La La Land
Hell or High Water
The Lobster
20th Century Women
Best Adapted ScreenplayMoonlight
Hidden Figures
Best DirectorDamien Chazelle, La La Land Barry Jenkins, Moonlight Kenneth Lonergan, Manchester by the Sea Denis Villeneuve, ArrivalMel Gibson, Hacksaw Ridge
Best ActorCasey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea Denzel Washington, Fences Ryan Gosling, La La LandAndrew Garfield, Hacksaw Ridge Viggo Mortensen, Captain Fantastic
Best ActressEmma Stone, La La LandNatalie Portman, Jackie Meryl Streep, Florence Foster JenkinsIsabelle Huppert, ElleRuth Negga, Loving
Best PictureArrival
Hacksaw Ridge
Hell or High Water
Hidden Figures
La La Land
Manchester by the Sea 
Stay Inspired.....
NwaVic||| |||Instagram @dearnwavic  ||| Twitter @nwavicesq

Sources: Huffington PostBuzz FeedVulture.