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

Monday, December 8, 2014

The Illusion of the Greener Grass

How are you? From where you're standing today, how is your life looking,? How is your family? Job? Career path? Health? Goals? I bet you the answer to your "where do yourself in 5 years?" question has changed just slightly, if not very dramatically. I also bet you've peaked over to the other side, just a bit...into the life of that friend, family or colleague...into the one window they have selected for you to see and you're wondering when yours will mirror. No, this is not jealousy. It's not that you are envious of them, you just want a husband who is as handsome as your friend's, or a job like your cousin's which seems to give her enough to afford that luxury car , or you're missing someone you lost and wonder why the good die young and the evil live and build mansions around the world. Wait, your fiance has told you he cannot afford the caliber of wedding your family friend, whose father is a newly appointed Minister, just had and suddenly, the apparent lack of bellanaija prospect makes your life seem so worthless and miserable. Yes, you are peaking, on the other side where the grass seems so fresh, so green, so grown. Just beneath your shoes, under your lens, the grass seems wrangled with harmattan fever.

With each passing year, I have learned that simplicity was the luxury we enjoyed before we grew up and realized what it meant to "live", what it takes to BE.  The very essence of living is a roller coaster, up and down. There's an old saying that if, in the company of those you consider more successful than you, you made everyone throw out their problems and had to pick one back up, you'd hurriedly take back yours. I won't get into the craze that social media inflicts but in reality, not every one's struggle is apparent. No matter how it seems, no one ever has both feet in the house at all times. It's one in, and one out.  Each season brings its own blessings and challenges, alike. God is a fair God and has fashioned it so.  That thing in your life you may see as a challenge, is a blessing to someone else. There's something that you have that someone else wishes they had and while you think someone has a perfect life, they probably think the same of you. No one has it all together. While you think they have a perfect life, they may think the same of you. Next time, you are tempted to compare, remember that you may see a person's glory, yet have no clue what their story is. We are all BE...and in the process of an endless pursuit of happiness, we cross and pass various valleys and hills.
Those who have jobs envision what it would be like to just have time to travel, while those who are jobless wish they had a job that would give them the means to travel. Those who have kids want to lock themselves in a room for quiet time, while some are frequenting various fertility clinics. Those who are engaged/married,  reminisce about when they only had themselves to worry about and those who are single, wonder when their big day would be. That's it, we are not pursuing happiness. We are pursuing the next big thing.  Sometimes, that job you claim is beneath your qualifications, would generate more income for you in a year because it is more stable than the "big-rush" job. You leave your relationship because you've become bored and hop into another. You don't want to marry her because she doesn't compare with the new flashy super-model-like girl at your job. You think that's what will make you happier. When the honeymoon phase in the second relationship wanes, and you see "all" of it, and not just the physical/good side, you'd realize it's just De javu.  There's nothing wrong with an upgrade. The goal should just be to never loose sight of what is, in the process of searching for what has and what could be.

Focus on your internal happiness because you won't realize that after the brief excitement of jumping the fence, if you're not truly happy within, you'd become bored and discontent again. Unless you want to spend your life's currency, hoping from place to place, job to job, relationship to relationship, marriage to marriage, your grass is only as green as you make it. 

Again, don't get me wrong, we should all strive to be better, to do better....take opportunities, travel, do what you need to do to be the best version of yourself. Just never do so at the cost of ignoring your blessings. Whenever you feel envy, restlessness or whatever emotion "the grass is greener" syndrome disguises under, bring yourself back to where you are and realize that in the midst of the grave finality the past gives us and how scarily uncertain the future seems, all we have is the "present".
Your grass may not be perfect but it's yours. It is only as green as you water it. Water it, nourish it, live it, inhale it's scents, love it in all its glory, find peace in it's sounds, and don't buy into the greener grass illusion. The grass on the other side is probably just a different shade of green.

Stay Inspired,||| |||Twitter & Instagram @nwavicesq

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Friendship Chronicles: Growing 'Up" & Loosing Time

One of my friends broke up with me last month. Well, kindda. More like a friendship hiatus. Let me start from the beginning. It was two weeks ago that I noticed I hadn't heard from her in over a month. It was unusual because she would usually 'ping" me at least two times a week. It was ironic because I had been so involved  in the chaos of my own life that I hadn't noticed her absence. Maybe that was the very basis of her annoyance with me. Our conversation spanned from "long time no talk" to a detailed listings of incidents that proved (to her) that I didn't care. Of all of it, the most alarming crime I committed was that I visited her city and only visited her twice. Funny enough, in my mind I had gone above and beyond considering that I was visiting for only 3 days and had at least 10 family and friends who lived in that city. My 2 visits to her, on 2 different days, weren't enough to show my dedication to the friendship or an interest in her. To that, I remembered the 2 friends I didn't even get a chance to visit on that trip, or the one cousin who came to visit me while I was visiting this complaining friend and had to leave because I was stuck in traffic heading back, or the one very beloved friend who kept calling me while I was visiting this friend but my phone was dead. Of these, I let her know. Then, she said I wasn't as "available" as she would like her friend to be. I have a full-time job, plus I am planning a wedding and a big move. She was back in school and single.  I told her, if anything, she didn't need me; I needed her.

After acknowledging the feelings of insecurity in friendship she was experiencing, I made sure she realized that those feelings didn't warrant a childish silent treatment. Our conversation ended almost sweetly. It felt like a romantic relationship "let's be friends" conversation, except this went from a friendship to an acquaintance-ship.  I wish she had told me earlier. Maybe, the level of resentment she felt towards me wouldn't be so deep. Maybe, I would've had the opportunity to make a better effort. Maybe, she wouldn't have felt so "left-behind", her words, not mine. Just maybe we would have still been friends. And not in a hiatus...
Growing up isn't easy. We all get side-tracked by pursuing careers, lifelong commitments and family. Life tears us all in different directions giving us different burdens to bear and shifting our priorities. As I get older, I realize that best friendship isn't measured by frequency of communication but consistency of rhythm.

Relationships evolve over time, due to circumstances beyond our control. While I'm "in touch" with all my childhood best friends, who stays my "best friend" will solely depend on "time" and "mutual effort". Growing up, all we had was time. Our only duty was to study and when we weren't doing it, we just sat around and talked... and talked. I remember in high school, during breaks, I'd get dressed in the morning with the only agenda to meet up with my friends and talk and laugh about everything...or nothing.  Gone are the days when all we had was time. Time to sit on the phone and talk about nothing. We had too much time to visit each other in the middle of the day, try on each other's clothes and again, talk about nothing. The future was so bright, we were so full of anticipation that we chilled through it, daydreaming about the perfect future where the perfect future husband, job and children lived.

Through the pursuit of happiness, we have all lost "time". The future we dreamed about is here and it's not as perfect as we envisioned. Everyone is so focused on finding or securing a career and/or life partner that many friendships have shifted lower in priority.  I now see majority of my BFFs once a year. In between, we try to maintain a grasp of each other's lives via social media. It's what life has become.
A similar article on hellogiggles couldn't have said it any better.
Our phone calls are rare and brief – usually under five minutes – but it’s my favorite five minutes of the day. I Skyped with a BFF for two minutes a couple weeks ago and I’m still smiling from it. Sometimes we’ll go a month without contact—but no one gets mad or hurt. It just makes the random texts and phone calls even sweeter. And, we stalk each other on Facebook, of course, so it’s not like we’re completely cut off.
So while I may not see or talk to my BFFs nearly as much as I did when I was younger, I still very much feel their presence in my life. No matter how long it’s been since our last conversation, it always feels like no time has passed. And the time we spend together is richer, more meaningful. Not because we’re older, but because it’s so infrequent and we want to soak it up. And also because we still sneak cigarettes. (Please don’t tell our kids.)
More so, besides time, some of us have grown apart. Our definitions of "friend" have also grown (sometimes apart also). Some have found God and others haven't. Some have matured, and others haven't. Some have suffered more tragedy, than others. Some are more successful or busier trying to be. Life is now fast-paced and the slow get trampled on. In high school, we were contained in the same "institution". We sat in the same classroom and learned the same thing.  We were on the same schedule. From waking up to breakfast to assembly to class to canteen breaktime runs to prep time to dinner. We saw each other everyday and for those of us in boarding school, we saw each other ALL day. We almost had no choice but to be friends. 

The life classroom is a little different. We all belong to different "schools"...Now, "staying" friends is not only a choice, it is a continuous one. Life teaches us lessons differently and our threshold for such lessons vary. My ex-friend and I grew apart. Our expectations were mismatched and one of us let it slide long enough to build resentment that weighed the friendship now. It would be too much work to re-align. Ironically, what my friend and I need is time. Time for her to sort out her feelings and time for me to not be held guilty for the plate life set for me. Don't get me wrong. Even though  I have learned it is normal to loose friends with age, I think good friendships, especially with distance, need mutual effort, patience, transparency and understanding.  It needs strength enough to stand honesty, to understand when your friend needs you more than you need them, and proactive efforts to resist resentment.  Like I told my friend, it's not all or nothing. Maybe, we still have hope.

As in every life experience, from my friendship hiatus, I have been inspired to make better and bigger efforts to "stay" in touch. This means more random social media messages and texts, more random dinner and lunch dates, more skype dates, and most importantly, more transparency. And when it's mutual, no friendship hiatus!

And to all my friends reading, no matter how busy we get, I still think about you :-)

Stay Inspired....||| |||Twitter & Instagram @nwavicesq

Monday, October 13, 2014

Love Language: The Art of Love Expression

"He said I don't love him anymore, Can you even believe that?  My married friend whined barely taking a break from her Margarita. I didn't say anything so she continued, "I mean I tell him I love him, at least twice a day...." "Maybe that's not his language." I responded nonchalantly. She looked at me like I spoke another language. 

I recently came across an incredibly interesting book by Gary Chapman, "The 5 Love Languages".   According to Chapman, there are 5 love languages and knowing and speaking your partner's love language improves communication and "keeps the love tank full". 

"I love you" doesn't always say it all. For a good amount of people, it only goes so far as to scratch the surface. In fact, even though it's something you should say often, each person has to "feel" it in a different way. So you're not lost in translation, you have to express your love in a way your partner understands. More so, you have to realize you and your partner probably speak different love languages. You have to love your partner in the way they want to be loved, and vice versa. 

1. Words of Affirmation
For people who speak/understand this language, affirmative/positive reinforcement say it all. They like to be told they are appreciated and that their partner "sees" them. They like to be vocally acknowledged. For example, saying "You mean the world to me", "I am happy you are in my life", "you are a good mother","you look handsome tonight",  and/or "thank you" for the little things/chores goes a long way. If you notice that compliments are like music to your partner's ears, here's a list of affirmative words that could make them smile.

2. Quality Time
People who speak this language like undivided attention and spending time together. When you interact with them, they want eye contact to be reassured you are listening.  They like to eat together. They need to feel like they are priority in your life and that no matter how busy are, you have time for them. If your partner lights up when you spend time together, make great effort to create snippets of time to spend with them. For example, when they walk in the door, put the TV on mute and hear about their day was, stop by at their work to take them out to lunch, wait for them before you have dinner or wake up five minutes early to have coffee or breakfast together.  Find things you bond over, like TV shows or outdoor activities and create time to watch/do them together. 

3. Physical Touch
People who understand this language feel the most loved when they have body contact. It can mean something as little as reaching out for their hand in public, rubbing their head or shoulder, kissing their forehead, warm hugs, cuddling or more.  For them, touch and physical accessibility simply communicates love.

4. Gifts
For some, love is expressed by the act of giving; not only during special occasions like birthdays or anniversaries. Gifts mean more when it is "just because". After all, love is enough to celebrate everyday. They are not necessarily materialistic and the gifts don't have to be expensive or big. It's the thought that counts. For example, if you stop by the grocery store on your way home, you can pick up a single rose for your girl or if you're at the mall, you can pick up the smoothie your man likes. 

5. Acts of Service
Beyond gift-giving, some just don't like to simply hear about love, they like to see action. It may mean doing house chores, taking your girl's car for an oil change, packing your man's lunch for the next day, or giving each other a massage.  

At this point, if you're still wondering what your love language is (so you can tell your partner) or what your partner's love language is, so you can speak it more often, it's pretty easy. You just have to pay attention, when is your partner happiest? what do they complain the most about "needing"? If you're still stuck, take the Chapman's quiz. Trust me, it's not only fun, it's worth it. 
I hope that inspired you to love better. 

Stay Inspired||| |||Twitter & Instagram @nwavicesq

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Marriage Gist: 7 Must-Have Conversations Before "I Do"

Marriage is defined in a number of ways. It has different meanings depending on the basis on which it is entered. The Bible defines it as a covenant by two individuals and God. The law defines it as a contract. Cultural anthropologists have defined it as a "culturally sanctioned union between two or more people that establishes certain rights and obligations between the people, between them and their children, and between them and their in-laws."

Regardless of the definition that you buy into, "union", "covenant", and "contract" share one underlying meaning...Unity. Basically, that two people somehow agree that it is beneficial, in one way or the other, to become one.  Finding the person you love and want to spend the rest of your life with is one thing but it's only after all the anesthisia-rial glamor of the "impression-stage", a wedding and honeymoon wears off, that the true meaning of "covenant" arises. 

Contrary to popular belief, just being married doesn't guarantee happiness. Past the love, understanding, sexual compatibility, mutual respect, honesty and all the good stuff that makes a marriage yummy, there's the fine print, the harsh "must-have" conversations required to acquire the knowledge you both need to make the lifetime commitment work in the long-term. Though these conversations are not always easy to have, having them beforehand is an opportunity to ensure that you are uniting with someone you "can" communicate with.

As I get ready to take this big plungey step, and as is natural, every married person I know has felt the need to give me much-appreciated marital advice. In all the chunks of advice I get, "compromise" is the one word I hear over and over again. An art in itself, compromise requires mutual concession of preferences, wants and sometimes, opinion. Because it entails a bunch of sacrifice, there's a need to be informed of the fine print "terms and conditions" of the person you'll be sacrificing for and with.

Disclaimer: So, this post isn't given from experience. It is recently-acquired and implemented knowledge that I think too valuable to keep to myself :-) 
1. Finances/Financial Burdens

Finances are one of the most common reasons for divorce. The financial commitment that comes with dating is chicken-feed, compared to the marrying of funds that comes with marriage. 

For one, as a married couple, spending habits are put under a microscope. If one person is focused on spending and living in the moment while the other is focused on saving for the future, a joint future may be what is compromised. More so, it's important that you are transparent about the amount of debt you each have. This is an area where "assumption" does not work. A discussion on the plan of how it'd be taken care of could avoid disappointed expectations.  I know someone who  who assumed her fiance would pay he student loans, only to get married and be shocked to find out he didn't buy into that train of thought. To him, she racked up the debt on her own and should handle it.  

If you're living in a credit-run country like the U.S., it is imperative that you are acquainted with each other's credit score. No matter how much you make, a bad credit score can ruin your ability to make any big moves like buying a house or a car. One of my friends often jokes that she demands a credit report and pay stub on the 3rd date because these days,  with the number of people "faking it till they make it", the kind of car a man drives or louboutin shoes a girl wears has absolutely no indication of the amount of money they "really" make. There's a lot of truth to'd be shocked at the number of people who drive Range Rovers or carry LV bags and can't pay their rent but I digress. Simply put, to avoid any surprises, know how much your partner has in their savings, how much debt they have, and the origins of both.

2. Religion

It is a true saying that a family who prays together  stays together. While there are marriages that survive a difference in belief, it's challenges can be a mountain. There is a unique bonding that lies in a mutual level of belief. Religion shapes a person's outlook on expectations, conscience, attitude, and raising children. A difference in religion (or depth of commitment to faith) can mean a difference in agreement in general way of life and while it may seem petty in the beginning, with time, it will start to show in the little things. For example, some religions don't tolerate alcohol. If you are a big drinker, you'll find you spend your Friday nights out with your friends while your partner is home alone. The divide that spending too much time apart creates is enough to destroy a marriage. 

A difference in fundamental beliefs can be especially destructive if not handled with precision when there are kids involved. This Columnist at Cracked couldn't have said it any better, "One of you is an atheist, and the other is a Baptist. The atheist is totally fine with the baptism because, eh, what can it hurt? It's just a little water, right? But a few years later, you find yourself in a volcanic blowout about whether to send the kid to a Christian school or a secular one. Later, the kid is learning about government, and the parents are telling him completely conflicting lessons, like dirty recruiters trying to sweet talk him into joining their team.....If you're not prepared for it, it will shove a splitting maul up your relationship's ass in a heartbeat. But more importantly, it'll confuse the living shit out of your children. If you talk about it at great length before you commit to marriage, you can at least set some basic terms for when those situations do pop up." 

3. Long-term goals/Kids?

You should ask your partner where they see themselves in 5, 10, or 20 years.  What are their long-term goals? Location to buy a house/live, career goals, travel, etc. Your future plans dreams have to be aligned in some way. For instance, if you want kids, you have to make sure that your partner sees them in their future, at all and/or how many.  You don't want to get into a marriage only to find out you want 10 children and your partner doesn't want any. A couple of years ago, I attended a wedding of family friends who are now divorced. Apparently, husband wanted children and wife didn't because she didn't want to ruin her figure. If kids are part of your long-term life vision and your partner can't stand the thought of it, more times than not, it becomes a deal(marriage)breaker.

More so, as a woman, if you have big plans for your career, you have to marry a secure man who won't mind watching the kids while you put in extra time at work. As a man, if you have dreams to go into politics, you need to ensure your wife is strong enough to handle the pressure.
4. Values

One of the toughest things about marriage is the fact that two people who were raised by two different sets of parents in possibly entirely different backgrounds become one. Marriage is not only a unity of persons, to great extent, it is a unity of beliefs. To avoid future problems, you need to know how traditional, cultural, conservative and/or liberal your partner is. Just like with religion, it may seem fickle in the beginning but will matter more in marriage. For example, in today's world, a good number of professional women don't feel comfortable changing their maiden name or being housewives.  Some men don't think a married woman should keep any male friends, let alone take solo pictures with them. 

A more intimate issue is that of "private" compatibility. If you have high physical needs, you need to know if your partner expects the same frequency and if not, if they are willing to compromise.  These are discussions that need to be had ahead of time.

5. Stress Threshold/Mental Health

By your mid- twenties, unless you are living in the cloud, you would have found out that life is not a bed of roses. There will be challenges. Before you commit to sharing a bed with someone for the rest of your life and in essence, trusting them with your safety, you should know how they react to challenges and stress. There are overwhelming sad tales about husbands who kill their families because of the stress after losing a job, or even suspicions of infidelity and wives who kill their children due to the rigors of post-partum depression. While you can never fully know a person, because married people say they find out something new about their spouse everyday and people do change over time, you should at least pay attention to signs, no matter how subtle. When your partner gets bad news, how does s/he react? When a waiter is late with the food, do they make a scene?

6. Biggest Flaw

I strongly believe you can only truly love someone when their biggest flaw doesn't make you want to jump a bridge. No one is perfect. we each have flaws. But in order to survive being with the same person for the rest of your life, you have to be able to "manage" your emotions/reaction to their biggest flaw. This is beyond putting the seat down. For example, if you are a stickler for time and your wife is a late comer, you have to know you would rather take a different car and go ahead of her than continually yell down her throat.

7. Past Baggage

Information is power and ignorance exposes your partner, more than you realize. Everyone has baggage: health history, addiction, bad habits, run-ins-with the law, family issues, divorces, children or past relationships. It is important to know where your partner is coming from, to determine whether s/he is going, because marriage puts you side by side on the journey of life. Choosing not to talk about these things doesn't make them go away—they will return. No one wants to find out only after they have a gun pointed at them, that a new "family friend" had a past intense relationsionship with their husband and has jealousy issues. Maybe I've been watching too many crime shows, but this really does happen! Or if your partner has an addictive tendency, you don't want to encourage them to take more prescription medications for their leg injury only to find out they are barely a couple of years clean from rehab.

If you know why your husband/wife's past relationship didn't work, it will reveal more about him/her than you imagine. It provides an insight into their thought processes, behavior, tendencies, expectations, weaknesses and perspectives in relationships that will enable you maintain a stronger relationship with them. There is the recent cautionary tale of the girl who broadcasted her engagement all over Facebook, only to find out that her beloved fiance had engaged three other girls within the previous two years. All engagements ended when the girls realized that not only did he just want someone to help him with immigration, he had a wife and a daughter in Nigeria.

More importantly, some states require medical tests before endorsing a marital certificate for good reason. Past medical conditions will put your spouse in a better position to care for you in every situation. Health-transparency is especially necessary if you want to have children. For example, if both parties have the Sickle Cell trait (AS or SS), their chances of having children with the Sickle cell disease is overwhelming. Knowing beforehand helps you plan ahead with wisdo

There you go. Because I'm still learning, let me know if there's another question I should be asking. :-)

Happy "talking"!
Stay Inspired...||| |||Twitter & Instagram @nwavicesq

Photo source

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Husband Gist: Dear NwaVic, Am I Settling?

Dear NwaVic,

I'm in my late 20s (ok, almost 30 lol) and ready to settle down. I am dating around and generally getting a feel of what I want in a husband. None of them particularly stand out. The one who is my type to the T and with whom I seem to have the most spark is not settled with a stable job. The one who has a stable job isn't as attractive as I have dated or am used to but he's very intelligent, caring and is really into me. The one whose family I love is too short and there's no spark. They all seem serious and I feel a bit like a deer in headlights....very confused. I feel like if I marry anyone of them, I'll be settling but my friends have called me "silly" and "ungrateful". Your advice?

Dear K,

Thank you for writing Dear Nwavic at Your question begs the question, what does it really mean to settle? The first step is owning the fact that not everyone gets that instant storybook fairytale connection then lives happily after. Everyone's love story is differently detailed. As a matter of fact, not everyone who has that instant connection lives happily ever after and vice versa. I know women who were repulsed by their now-husbands on first-meet but now think the world of them. Remember, in the old times, parents found spouses for thier children and they learned to live happly ever after. While that method has long-standing flaws, a good number of our grandparents stayed the course and had happy marriages.

I say this to say, no one is perfect. While attraction is important, there are more important qualities that make a good husband like I noted in my 7 keys to finding a good husband post.  For e.g., it is not about marrying someone with the most stable job at the moment. It requires a deeper analysis as to why he doesn't have one. Is he looking or just lazy? As for the second one, "not as attractive as I've dated or used to". You definitely don't want to compare your future with your past. If "attractive as I'm used to" was a 'marriable' standard, you won't be currently single. There has to be more...

A column I regularly read and often repost tackled something similar recently. In her response, Carolyn Hax said in situations like this, one way to gauge the keeper vs. the loser is whether your appreciation for someone is growing vs. diminishing. If so, giving him a chance and time is worthwhile. Other ways to tell if you are settling is if you feel easily irritated by your partner, see them a safety net  or have a laundry list in your head of things you'd like to "fix" about them. More so, you're settling only if you are giving up something you deeply value in a relationship just for companionship or to buy into the outdated idea that being 30 and unmarried is a death sentence.

Stop unnecessarily putting yourself under pressure. Don't marry any of them just yet. Take marriage talk off the table for now and date. Give it time and see if anything changes. Don't rush into anything you're not ready for. Keep an open mind, be prayerful and patient. The one who is meant to be yours will stand out and when he does, you'd know it. If it doesn't, then hold out for your "one". Sometimes, just like with acquiring wealth, the best kind of love lasts when it gradually grows, grows and just keeps growing.

I hope this helped!

Stay inspired,
NwaVic||| |||Twitter & Instagram @nwavicesq

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Dear NwaVic, I Got Engaged and My Friends Disappeared

Dear NwaVic,

I decided to write you today because I know you are also engaged as well.  My fiance proposed to me earlier this year. I was so excited. I love him and my friends all seemed to love him. But then just like magic, they started dropping one by one. Well, all but for my best friend who is also engaged and has done her trad. They are now having lunches and attending group events without me. I am planning a wedding and working but I am not dead. I tried to ask one of my close friends and her reply was, "you have an oga now abi?" I am so confused. What difference is that supposed to make? I am still the girl they went to high school and uni with. Is this normal? Are you experiencing this too? Help. 

Dear F,

Thank you for writing NwaVic at First, congrats on your engagement. What your friends are doing isn't normal, but the course of losing friends in life transition is especially if you are one of the first to get engaged/married among your friends and they are still single. The truth is that when you get engaged, your life and commitment level changes a bit. In turn, sometimes your behavior changes without you knowing. What happens is that your time becomes stretched beyond what your previous normal was. Be it wedding plans, moving plans, and getting to know your new family. Your commitment is deeper because marriage means merging with another, the way you've never done with your friends.

On one hand, it could be that without knowing, you may be giving off a 'busier' (which they could interpret as "I'm better than you") vibe. In fact, this sometimes even happens just when someone starts dating. They start loosing friends because they are really invested in their relationship and unintentionally cut out friends. If I may add, I know girls who have lost friends in the process of wedding planning. It's this kind of behavior that birthed the term "bridezilla". Then when the wedding is done and their majestic bubble has busted, they start looking for their friends. Because no matter how much drunken in love you are with your partner, wedding hype and marriage, your friends still remain relevant in your life. They have probably known you longer and while your husband/wife should be your best friend, your friends "know" you differently and will provide the escape you'll need sometimes from your marriage. But I digress.

On the other hand, your friends may have just assumed/anticipated all of the above without any inkling from you. Just because you are engaged/married, they may expect you to drop them for your husband and so in order to protect their feelings, they become unavailable first. Or sometimes, it's just jealousy. When you happily make life changes, not everyone will be happy for you because it shows them where they are lacking in their lives. 
In trying to strike a balance, you only owe them one thing. Consistency. However you behaved to them before you got engaged, stay that way. Invite them to lunches/parties/hangouts as usual. If they decline, then that's on them and you have done your part.

In dealing with my friendships, I've learned a lot of lessons, three of which are the most important to your situation.
1. Friendship requires mutual effort. If one person is running and the other is chasing, unless the chaser wants to pass out along the way, s/he'll never catch up. The most you can do is your part= consistency.

2. Regardless of the physical distance between friends, a friend is always "there". You never have to look for a "friend." In my life, I've stopped chasing down people who don't want to be there. I say "good riddance" and move on to people who are happy to be in my life.

3. True friendships require transparency. While they may not have given you this courtesy, be the bigger person. For those friends you really care about, bring it up with them and give them a chance to express whatever the reason is for their distance. You also have to keep an open mind to listen to, apologize for and deal with any change in behavior on your part. If a "talk out" isn't fruitful, you'd have to cut your losses knowing you've done your best. Remember, it may not even be about you. It may just be about who they are and what they are dealing with in their lives at the moment.

Life transitions can be tough on relationships...marriage, engagements, bigger jobs, illness, relocation, children, etc. You change and grow. Sometimes you grow out of your friends. Your priorities shift and while true friendships last through life's phases, unfortunately not all friends can. Engagement and wedding planning will hurt some people's feelings. Prepare for it. Your friendships and sometimes 'familyships' will be tested. That's okay.

Your life is changing, own it. And in everything you do, never ever apologize for your happiness/blessings. It is yours to live. 

I hope this helped!

Stay inspired,
NwaVic||| |||Twitter & Instagram @nwavicesq

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Ode to a Legend: 30 Interesting Facts about Joan Rivers

My Ode to Legend series is not one I'm eager to write because a new one means the demise of yet another prodigy. Nonetheless, the bright side is that there's almost always inspiration from the journey they traveled to become who they are...the underlying themes always being resilience, wisdom and determination. 

This afternoon, I was walking from the courthouse when one of my colleagues screamed. "Joan Rivers is dead!"  We had all known she had been life support for the past couple of days after complications from a throat surgery. And though it wasn't looking good, for an 81 year old woman who was so full of life with no plans to retire anytime soon, there was hope that she would bounce back like she has always done. 

Everyone knew Joan to have a sharp tongue. She spoke her mind and didn't care who was listening or watching. However, behind all the jokes and glamour, there was a human being. There was a woman who had worked her way to the top in a time when women didn't have as many opportunities. There was a mother, who like she would often say, "gave birth to her best friend."

In honor of a very interesting entertainment icon, here are 30 facts about Joan Rivers' life you may not have known.

1.     Joan Rivers was born Joan Alexandra Molinsky in Brooklyn, New York on June 8, 1933.

2.     Her parents were Russian Jewish immigrants.

3.     Her father was a doctor.

4.     She said in an interview that even though she knew her mom truly adored her, she didn't get as much nurturing as a child. According to her, her mother was very humorous yet critical and her dad was softhearted, yet stingy.

5.     She had one older sister, Mrs. Barbara Waxler, who died on June 3, 2013, at 82 years old.

6.     She attended Connecticut College from 1950-1952.

7.     She graduated Phi Beta from Kappa Barnard College in 1954 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English literature and anthropology. 

8.   Her first love was acting. Later on, she said if she had not gone into entertainment, she would be an anthropologist.  

9.     Before entering the entertainment business, she worked as a tour guide at Rockefeller center, a fashion consultant at Bond Clothing stores and a writer at an advertising agency. 

10.  Her first marriage was to James Sanger, the son of a Bond Clothing Stores manager named James Sanger. The marriage was annulled after 6 months because Sanger didn't tell Joan before they married that he didn't want children.

11.  She first got her big break in 1965 on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson.

12.  Comedian Bill Cosby first suggested to Johnny Carson to make her a co-host. He described her as “an intelligent girl without being a weirdo . . . a human being, not a kook."

13.  Joan was known for her wit, but being brash and insensitive at times, making jokes about sensitive topics like the holocaust and Adele's weight. To explain that, she said the only way she dealt with difficult issues was through humor. 

14.  Some of her most criticized jokes were about the holocaust, Adele's weight, the Cleveland kidnap victims, the Gaza conflict and for calling first lady Michelle Obama "a trans."

15.  Though she said many A list celebrities had given her the middle finger, she never apologized for a joke. Through her eyes, it just meant that the said celebrity was watching/paying attention to her or her show(s).
" I succeeded by saying what everyone else was thinking"
Joan and Betty White on  The Late Show
16.  She was the first woman to have her own talk show on a major network, launching her own rival show, The Late Show.
"I don't like when the ladies come up and say, 'Oh you broke barriers for women, I'm still breaking barriers, that's starting with it, and I could still take you, sweetheart, with both hands tied behind my back ... Am I proud to be a pioneer? I'm not a pioneer. I'm still in the trenches. I'm still breaking ground. I have never spent two minutes saying, 'Well, I just did that.' I'm still looking for the new frontier. I'm still in my astronaut suit." 

17.  She married her second husband Edgar Rosenberg in July 1965, four days after meeting him. He also served as a producer with The Late Show Starring Joan Rivers. Even though Edgar and Joan were known to be close friends who danced to the same beat, Joan admitted during an interview to having cheated on Edgar numerous times.

Joan and Edgar

18.  Edgar fathered Joan's only child, Melissa Warburg Rosenberg (now known as Melissa Rivers) who was born on January 20, 1968. 

19.  In 1987, her husband Edgar Rosenberg committed suicide in Philadelphia after FOX fired him and Joan from The Late Show Starring Joan Rivers. Joan said he committed suicide out of "humiliation".

20.  After Edgar's suicide, not only was Joan broke, her daughter Melissa didn't talk to her for two years. They later reconciled and became inseparable, often working together and co-starring in their reality show.

21.  Joan bounced back starring in her own daytime talk show for which she won a Daytime Emmy Award for outstanding talk show host in 1990.

22.  Her first acting gig was as a lesbian in love with Barbara Streisand (before she became famous) in a play called Driftwood, which ran for six weeks in 1959. In the play, she kissed Barbara Streisand!

23.  Joan starred in about 27 movies between 1965 and 2014.

24.  In February 1983, she became the first female comedian to ever perform at Carnegie Hall.

25.  Joan once suffered from bulimia nervosa and contemplated suicide. But soon recovered after counseling.

26.  Joan became a grandmother in 2000 when Melissa gave birth to Edgar Cooper Endicott. She described the moment as "amazing".

27.  Joan started undergoing plastic surgery procedures at age 31 and proudly owned her numerous plastic surgeries, once saying "I've had so much plastic surgery, when I die they will donate my body to Tupperware."

28.  In 2009, she won an edition of Donald Trump's "Celebrity Apprentice."

29.  She had a successful jewelry line that she sold on QVC.

30.  Joan was an avid dog-lover, owned five rescue dogs and often donated to the charity Guide Dogs for the Blind. Her favorite foods were steak and shepherd’s pie.
 RIP Joan Rivers. You were an entertainment legend, indeed.||| |||Twitter & Instagram @nwavicesq