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

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Holy Hoses?

So for the past couple years my best friend Chioma and I have been putting together a compilation of poems for publication. It was supposed to have been published earlier this year but we had some hiccups so its still in the works. So, look out for it ;-) Chioma and I have been writing and sharing poems since our JS1 (7th grade) days so I'm excited to co-publish my first book with a friend so dear to my heart :-)

In light of that, I decided to share a poem I wrote some years ago. Its about "something" we each encounter everyday (at least I hope so) but here's the mandate---what is this "thing" I write about? Read the poem and comment on what you think I mean by "Holy Hoses". I'm excited to see who guesses it right ;-)
Holy Hoses

Your grace in form of water blesses me.
With you, I’m clean. From tiny holes you speak
your piece. Sometimes as cruelly sharp as sticks.
Sometimes as gently dull as morn. You’ve seen
it all. The skinny, ugly, pretty, fat
and tall. The white walls that surround you, bore
you. Sprinkle glory on my mortality.
Rouse my slumber. Send me back again.
Tomorrow and you start my day. Last night
you ended it. You. Cold or warm, just like
slim pins, you raid my skin attempting to
decipher cast and body.
Color from flesh.
I say, “alert me” not “abuse my drowse”.
Alarm my senses in the am. Caress
my tire in the pm. Arrest my dirt.
Forgive my transience. Butter my chocolate skin.
Silently punching me. Punishing sins ago.
Pardon my lapse.
Just rain…

Stay Inspired...

Appreciating your "Now"~Don't Exist. Live.

Hey Everyone! I hope you all had a relaxing thanksgiving weekend and did not wound yourselves trying to get black friday deals. I had a great break from everything this past week! My family & I went to New Jersey to visit my big sis Oby and her hubby. It was awesome to have most of the family under one roof. Soo much food and soo much love under the same roof, I am forever indeed thankful for the people in my life.

That brings me to the topic of this post... Appreciating the "Now"; what it means to live . Living is more than surviving. It means wholly enjoying the opportunities in your life, the people who love you and the not-so-mere fact that you are alive. Often in life, we spend so much time emotionally absent from our bodies, that we loose sight of our Now. We are either chasing the future or analyzing what went wrong in the past, that the present is left void of our attention. We are all guilty of that, to an extent and we do it in a variety of aspects of our life; in our careers, our relationships, etc.

One problem with gazing too frequently into the past is that we may turn around to find the future has run out on us.  ~Michael Cibenko
No man is rich enough to buy back his past.  ~Oscar Wilde

Check your pulse, You're still breathing? Then, LIVE. Check your phone, people actually contact you? Then, LOVE. There's a famous saying that there's a big difference between living and existing. Its important that we don't spend our years simply existing, going through the motions. I realized late last year that I had spent so many years in school and it was making me mundane. So in an effort to "live" more, I dubbed 2011 "The Year of the Traveling Ral" and decided to visit four countries before the end of the year. I went to India (February), Italy (March), and Dubai (October), and the year is not over yet ;-). I plan to do a post in January about the trips. Anyhoo,  it worked- It really felt good to see the world, how other people live. It made me feel alive. Like I was seeing other pages in the book of World. Like I was Living...

We crucify ourselves between two thieves:  regret for yesterday and fear of tomorrow.  ~Fulton Oursler

Simply "existing" means something different for each person. For person A it may mean continuously analyzing what went wrong in your past relationship, that you remain blinded to the other opportunities that are your life NOW. For person B it may mean continuously planning for the future that you fail to enjoy what you have now. For person C it may mean simple procrastination. For person D it may mean pushing someone who loves you away in an effort to protect yourself from heartbreak. For person E it may mean staying stuck in a dead-end job because you are afraid of being disappointed.
Here are a few "Living" suggestions to get out of the "existing" rut

~ Love. Its a great feeling
~ Appreciate those who love you & tell them you do
~Be adventurous
~Leave the past where it belongs (behind you)
~Work towards the future but never sacrifice your happiness for the unseen
~Travel (if you buy tickets really early, you can get a $300 ticket to the bahamas ;-) )
~Take risks (reasonably)
~Dance (its freeing :-))
~Take road trips
~Find a passion & live it
~Sample food.- you may find something you really like (I just recently tasted almond-flavored pancakes- I'm in love- like, where has it been all my life? :-))
Sooo good :-)
~Make a bucket list & try to accomplish at least 2 per year
~Stay around people or things that make you laugh (its true- laughter heals the soul)
~Make a conscious decision to be happy
~Do something you've never done
~Step out of your element
~ Open your heart
~Take a "Me-Day"
~Volunteer- helping people brings blessings
~Rid yourself of negative people
~Savor each moment like its your last

Live, Love, and Appreciate!

Yesterday is history.  Tomorrow is a mystery.  And today?  Today is a gift.  That's why we call it the present.  ~Babatunde Olatunji
The best thing about the future is that it comes only one day at a time.  ~Abraham Lincoln
Stay Inspired...

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Happiness is a Conscious Choice. Yours only.

Happiness? What does that even mean? Merriam Webster defines it as "a state of well-being and contentment". Happiness is subjective. So, what's more important is how you define it. By your job? Your relationship? Family? Money? 

Sadly, this year, I've come across many unhappy people. In fact, it seems to me that I've noticed more unhappy people this year than I ever have. This may be because I have recently become sensitized to "happiness-detection". or Not. Surprisingly, what I've seemed to notice is not people who are naturally unhappy but people who have slipped into unhappiness because of a deterioration of an aspect of their life; the declining job market, hard-breakups or status in life.

The reality is that life is tough. Its like a roller-coaster; unpredictable in its turns and immensely fast-paced. It's like a train moving forward, if you don't get on it, you'll be left behind. If you fall off and fail to get back on, get ready to take a picture of its tail.

Happiness is a choice. Ultimately. While admittedly, being happy can be threatened or strengthened by the person you love, the people who love you back, your job and the amount of money you have, most importantly, its about your state of mind and what you choose to do with it.  If God wanted your emotions to control you, He would have created emotions and put you in it. Instead, He created you and put emotions in you. Now, who do you think should be in control?

Often times, people keep waiting for happiness. Like it'd come riding on a white horse and sweep you off your feet. You say, " when I graduate, I'll be happy", "No, when I get married, I'll be happy", "when my man stops cheating, I'll be happy", "When I make more money, then I can settle down, then i'll be happy." But then, what happens now? Look around. There are rich people who are unhappy. There are poor people who are unhappy. There are married people who are unhappy. There are single people who are unhappy. What this proves? That happiness is deeper than external factors. Its about YOU and your mind. Internal. Its contentment with what and who you have in your life now and the realization that the future will happen, whether or not you're there to witness it.

Waiting to be happy is like waiting for life to be customized to you. It'll never happen if you don't make it.

Tough situations will always come. You'll grow old and grey waiting for them to end. The thing about tough situations is that it gives you two options- dwell in it or get over it. The first option burns you to the ground because you literally waste your thoughts and emotions buying into "unhappy". When you buy into unhappy, you end up pushing good people and good things away becuase you're inadvertently focused on what could be and not what is. "Unhappy" likes being bought so it'll give you a great deal. Stay away from that kind of sale.

If you want to be happy, here's what to do, BE. Its all on you. Your choice. Its a conscious choice and never will be automatic. This is not to say that whatever situation you're in will disappear automatically. it just means you reclaim your life. Doing otherwise is giving the "thing" (which could be a person) control of your life. Live now. Be you and love it all the way.

Here are a couple of my favorite quotes on happiness. They each speak gospel.

You need to learn to be happy by nature, because you'll seldom have the chance to be happy by circumstance.  ~Lavetta Sue Wegman

You will never be happy if you continue to search for what happiness consists of.  You will never live if you are looking for the meaning of life.  ~Albert Camus

It is not happiness until you capture it and store it out of the reach of time.  ~Robert Brault

Happiness is not a state to arrive at, but a manner of traveling.  ~Margaret Lee Runbeck

Happiness involves focusing on God's word. 1 Timothy 6:6- But godliness with contentment is great gain. Proverbs 15:13- A happy heart makes the face cheerful, but heartache crushes the spirit. Philippines 4: 4-Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice." Psalm 37:4- "Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart." Try counting your blessings. The fact that you're still living means God is not done with you yet. Now, that's happiness. Try to see the good in your life. You have a job? you're privileged. Its also appreciating those who love you and loving them back. There's happiness in loving.

Each minute you spend being unhappy, you loose 60 seconds of your life you'll never get back. Stop waiting for something or someone to make you happy. Decide to be happy. Choose to stay happy.  Most importantly, BE happy. 

Stay Inspired....

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


We've all heard of "the Bar". That phrase can be taken literally or for what it really means. After all, they are one and the same. For the few who don't know, "the Bar" is short for the passage of a camel through the needle....Ok let me get serious. Legally defined, it is the State Board Examination all law school graduates must take in order to practice law in the United States. It differs state to state. Some call it "lawyer hazing". I didn't... so don't quote me. As you may have heard, it is the hardest exam you can ever imagine. Its the final door to "Esquire" and its the pat on the back every law school graduate needs to be able to say, "yep, now that's done, what's up life?"

Kind of like the marrying of a judge's gavel and its base.

This brings me to the literal meaning. "The Bar" aka the fence aka the block aka the pole= basically, all things hard to scale. I kid you not. These terms are synonyms of the phrase. If you doubt me, try it- design a white MS Word page with "the bar", then right-click it and select synonyms. See? Its literal meaning lends meaning to its legal definition.

All in all, this is an exam all law students dread. As a matter of fact, many law students will most likely choose an extra year in school over taking this exam if they had the choice (and you've heard how tortious law school is). Literally, you have two months to train for a two-day exam that consists of 10 essay questions using a mere 25 mins for each question, a performance test that requires you to perform a realistically 2-days-of-work task in 75 mins and 200 multiple choice questions spending about a meager minute and a half on each question. This exam is more than about how intelligent you are. More so, its about one's ability to endure, persevere and function efficiently under pressure while maintaining sanity.

I lent my 2011 summer to 'the Bar'. I toiled day and night. My day started at 7 am and ended at 11pm. Everyday I questioned my reasons for the brain rape. At a point, I felt like my brain could not contain any more. Sometimes I felt like if I moved my head around too much, it will rupture and spill out. Or that I could vomit words. I went to bed defining "Rep Ipsa Loquitor", dreamt about the difference between specific and general intent crimes and woke up reciting the powers reserved exclusively to Congress. Yes, I had it bad. I prayed and I kept faith. I knew I couldn't do it alone. Faith? check. Praying family? check. Supportive friends? check? an awesome bar-prep course? check. Strict schedule? check. Motivation? check. consistency? check.

On July 26, I was in zone and ready to go. And I was doing just fine. Until I got to essay question 5. I swear, God has to have written the answer to that question for me. I wasn't even sure the subject that was being tested. Needless to say, I fantasized of the possibility of its impact on my fate for a few weeks. I couldn't even discuss it with my fellow bar takers for fear of increasing their fear. or mine. or both. That was the rule. Sealed lips. I worried. Until I came to the difficult realization that one more day of worry would render me indefinitely insane. Seriously. Suicide would've been continuously fretting knowing the results did not come out till November 4 at 4.30pm. Talk about self-inflicted cruel and inhuman treatment. There's even an argument that it rises to the level of torture.

Every now and then, people asked "are your results out?". Non bar-takers don't know this but bar takers don't want to talk about the bar. When its done, we just want to relax, breathe and attempt to move on. Notice I said "attempt". Until we tell you about it, talk about everything but. We don't want countdowns. We don't want "I know you smashed it" (unless we ask) because the truth is this- even if you think you know we smashed it, you weren't in that hall with us when we weren't sure if the words dancing on paper meant what they seemed to mean or were a coy distraction by the bar examiners.

In the same way, everyone around me seemed to be convinced I passed. Except me. 3 weeks before the results came out, I had a dream I passed but I didn't tell anyone because as a kid, I was made to believe that sharing dreams eradicated their chances of coming to pass. So I hoped by not telling anyone, I increased my chances of passing. So...I kept the unspoken rule of bar takers...lay low just before the results come out...don't publicly countdown...just keep your mouth shut especially on social media. If you draw attention to yourself, and suddenly go quiet after the results come out, negative assumptions will flow. So...I discussed it only with close family and friends. and I kept faith. I prayed. I fasted. I kept more faith.

Fast forward Nov. 4. I had been in Dubai that week for a mini-family vacation. The vacay seemed like a faith vacation. Like a pre-celebration. I prayed my results would justify it. Turns out results were due an hour prior to my return flight to the U.S. This meant that I could either buy wi-fi at the airport and check the results at the gate just before I boarded, wait till I got to my layover in Paris or just wait till I got home. I decided I couldn't wait- so I took the first option. Fortunately, wi-fi was free.

The results were listed online according to each applicant's four character exam number. Scrolling down the numbers probably took 2 seconds but felt like 2 hours. When I finally saw and recognized my exam number, it was decorated with a very pleasant word:

I screamed. Didn't care that I was in the airport. Then crosschecked to make sure like 5 times. Happiness. It was over.  Thank you God. Thank you supportive family and friends.

Its done.

Aloha! Scenes from Dubai

Hey everyone!

I know I know...I've been quiet. Forgive...I was on a mini-vacay with my mom and bro. Came back to great news but also laden with a bad case of the flu. I blame it on the swift shift between Dubai's 85 degree weather and D.C's 55 degree weather. Talk about weather shock. You'd think since the same thing happened to me when I came back from India in February, I would know to dose up on vitamins. Nope. Lesson never learned.

Well, first of all, Dubai is breathtaking. The architecture is so finite. I fell in love with the city within 2 hours. Everything is so organized. There is law and order. Something I wish Nigeria could boast of. The people were pleasant. Its a tourist city and they seem to be using their money well. I didn't notice any beggars, like I did in India. The cabs were labeled and had designated stops they strictly adhered to. No matter how many times you waved your hands in the air, these cabs would not stop unless you stood in line and waited your turn at the designated cab stop.

Coincidentally, the International Bar Conference was being held at the same week we were there so there were a lot of Nigerians around. Well, Nigerians are everywhere. But my point is this- they stood in line quietly and waited their turn to get a taxi. Why can't they do the same in their home country? Beats me. Come to think of it, even here in the States, cabs stop anywhere they can. Ok, enough loud ponderings. Here are some pictures...enjoy!

Mom & I at the conference site
Mom & I at the Aquarium
My bro & I on the Dubai Dhow cruise
Can you tell the wind was threatening to dance with my dress?

The Burj Khalifa- the tallest building in the world at the time it was built
Isn't this breathtaking?
At the Dubai Intl Mall boasting of over 1,200 stores. A shopper's paradise.
On the glass-bottom boat ride
The sharks seemed like they were right next to us
At the harbor after the cruise

Mom & I at the hotel

All good things come to an end. At the airport :-(