Friday, December 28, 2012

Marking times, seasons and music

Here are some of the favorites that get heavy airplay in the US over the radio. These are songs that force themselves into my head and the tunes commit themselves to my memory while I ride across town.  Fall/Winter 2012 seasons.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Travel Writing: Summertime in Jamaica

It was finally August. Sensual, skimpy, sun-seeking, summer-loving month of August. Amidst birthdays, cookouts and grilled food, pool parties, exams, one of the highlights fit for publicity would be travelling to Jamaica. That's right, Jamo! My friend Olayinka Gbadebo (nee Kamson) was getting married and the destination was Montego Bay. The wedding date was fixed quite early, early enough to give ample time to prepare for the trip and so my friends and I got to planning. After much anticipation, preparation and even body workouts, months turned into weeks, days and in no time the weekend finally arrived.

Landing in MBJ was oddly familiar. On arrival, the insides of the Sangster International Airport gave every Nigerian in my crew a reason to glance at the next person. There was this home away from home look and feel, like one of the domestic airports in Enugu. Few automated systems, no moving walkways, halls not properly lit, security men standing by to search travelers' bags while chipping in the 'anything for the family' line. Surely, I had been in a place like this before a tad too many times even though this was my first trip to Jamaica. However, it was still amusing when the cute border control officer flirted while filling and stamping my immigration card and passport, intentionally delaying me at his kiosk, worrying my friends. LOL! Hey, come to think of it, that's happened once at Heathrow, and some months ago in Atlanta as well. There were the caddies loitering around the exit promising to make good fare deals to passengers and kiosk owners selling the 'original' Jamaican patties. Yum! What a welcome treat. We found our mini bus in no time and soon made our way to our hotel in Rose Hall.

The Ritz Carlton resort was a breath-taking beauty on a massive piece of property. Picturesque views of pristine beaches and palm trees, smooth Calypso tunes streaming from crooning organists strumming away in close corners, this might very well be the stuff paradise is made of. I loved every minute there and never wanted to have to leave. While I had recommendations for a number of things to do in the city, my restless wander-lusting soul for some reason grew calm in Montego Bay I was content with photographing, road trips, market visits and no real adventures so to speak. The day my team decided to go sailing, the professional sailor on deck advised that there was not wind enough to sail out and we had to wait. We got tired of waiting indefinitely, flagged a cab off the property (a tour bus, actually) and toured into the city. The driver, a young chap called Leighton, took the time to show us around, point out some places of interest while he shared the country's social history with us. We spent a healthy part of the day shopping and haggling, eating and jamming on Montego Bay's Gloucester Avenue, also known as the Hip Strip. By evening, we stopped at the Pelican for a hearty dinner of yellow rice, peas and jerk chicken. 
There was a place called 'Robbie's Kitchen' within the Half-Moon resort, a five minute walking distance from the Ritz Carlton, where we were treated to Jamaican blue crab cakes, nice mocktails and a most delicious fish special called Escovitch. Say after me, 'Escovitch."

Night fell and we went clubbing at the Margueritaville - a nightclub and restaurant with a tunnel-like sliding board that is said to fling brave souls into the Caribbean. PierOne was also another super vibrant club where the late-night energy was unbelievably superlative. I'm not big on reggae as a genre, save a few like the didactic treasure in Peter Tosh and the occasional Bob Marley, and so the Caribbean energy in the room practically drowned me on my first night out. I stepped out for some fresh air and conversation while the rest of the group partied till it was time to leave. We stopped for some delicious openly roasted jerk chicken on our way out of the club premises. You can be sure that when the following night came, I chose a goodnight's rest in bed while the others partied.

As our stay drew to an end, another highlight would be my hellish episode of dysmenorrhea. I had taken an afternoon walk to the Half-Moon resort with a friend to get some food and groceries. One moment I was walking and chitchatting, the next I was sprawling on a couch in a small town clinic, screaming and clutching at my stomach while a male nurse brewed me a cup of green tea at my request. He had pity written all over his face and asked me if I would like to see a doctor. "Just a cup of green tea please," I said through my teeth, "No doctors please." I popped a caplet of Aleve, sipped my tea and screamed till I slept off in the clinic at the slightest relief. *Sigh*

All in all, the trip was a great one, beautiful however short. The prices were pretty high, the people were very friendly, and the accent of the indigenes was so melodiously pleasant to my ears. I braved all and went swimming in my bikini, which before then, I had only worn in our swimming pool when I knew noone was watching. Thanks to Kanye's workout plan ... Finish up those lyrics for me. LOL! And best of all, Yinka's wedding was a huge success. By the following weekend, I was off to Orlando, Florida for another friend, Kunbi Odubogun's (nee Sijuwade) wedding. Excellent blog material for another post. Conjugal bliss to the couples. xo.

Friday, October 5, 2012

How Time Flies

On this day eight years ago, I was a freshman in Uni. We had enrolled the previous day, got assigned to dorms (Deborah Hall, Room F407) and my room mates were Ebun Awodapo, Omonye Ogun, Anita Bright. We seemed to settle in well and the next few days would be orientation and registration. Hmmm, I remember some of my first friends, Seun Olaniyan and how we got talking about previously taking the same course at different NIIT locations during the summer. I liked him instantly, with that his clear, confident bass voice and his bad boy looks and it was good to know we had the same major :)

Ladun Olatunde, I would later meet when lectures had just about kicked off. I was late to class one day and needed to sit somewhere quietly without calling the lecturer's attention to myself. Ladun's pew looked like it could take one more person and she made room for me to sit between her and the next person. "Can I sit by the edge pleeeeease?" I had asked and she nicely gave up her edge seat.
Soon enough, she was in a similar situation one day and I was seated during a lecture. She asked if she could  share my pew and when I made for her to seat in, she said "One good turn deserves another" with a broad smile. I gave up my edge seat. Weeks and years later, everybody would know us and refer to us as "Rice and Beans." LMAO! We stuck like glue, Siamese twins till the end of Uni ... and still haven't been unglued eight years later.

Jolaade Alao was someone I would see from a distance and never imagine we would ever have common interests. She was so 'madamy' in her gait and her dressing too. While the rest of us wore costume jewelry to class, Jolie could be seen spotting matching pieces of gold carats. She was always dressed so neatly and sharp too and her gait was very mature. Weeks into the first semester, I was carrying out my class rep duties, and on this fateful day, I was worn out with going back and forth the college building, sorting out assignment sheets for my classmates at the close of day and I was working on something in the lecture hall. Jolaade came to me saying she had not submitted her assignment and wanted to turn it in since I was still around. Explanations turned to heated arguments and before I knew what was going on, Jolaade and I were crying. LMAO! We sat quietly, cooled off and apologised to each other. Eight years later and today, the trans-atlantic US/Congo barrier is non-existent for us as I am presently Skyping with her :) She's one I let in on my every decision, major or otherwise.

Tobi Ogundolapo was in the same department as I was, had a slightly different major from mine (Computer Engineering) which meant we took the same classes up until fourth year. Tobi and I joined the school's Ushering unit and then, realised we were almost neighbours back home, and had attended the same primary school. But there's no telling a Tobi story without an Adeolu Owokade. Weirdly, I don't remember first encounters for either one but I remember tutorial classes, ushering meetings, study groups, working and hanging out during SIWES, going home for the holidays, and the Agony Aunt sessions. 'Deolu and I have similar dimensions but with a different route. Eight years later, we are on the (long) road to grad school. Earlier this year, I became a resident at "GhostHouse" to reduce my commute hours to/fro work. My boy still looks out for me every time. He taught me how to drive (although I still put in my hours in driving school and started all over). Geez, he is that selfless friend that fixes his plans to accommodate mine, accompanies me to events where I need a plus-one, and makes my mum start asking me questions I have answered a million and one times.

Lotanna Egwuatu was the embodiment of a Barbie doll the first day I set eyes on her. She was freaking wearing pink trousers! Pink! And then she screamed in the middle of a lecture when she saw a lizard on the wall. I couldn't believe it. I couldn't stand the girl. Semester results came out and I found out the nonsense girl had brains. I managed to avoid her until sophomore year came and we were assigned to the same room for SWEP. I almost collapsed when I realised. It would be me, Lotanna, Ladun and Emilomo Longe in one room. Looking back, that was one of the best things that could have happened to my Uni life. During that period, I found out the girl was not half bad, she was smart, fun, godly, and introduced me to Praye's "Shordy." We embarked on some crazy adventures and escapades during SWEP, and I can say that I have successfully figured out the method to her madness. We got pretty close in third year, and by fourth year, I made my first trip to Abuja just to go visit the nonsense girl during the holidays. During my visit, her mum got me a summer job and that saw me relocating from my Lagos home to work in Abuja. Eight years later and today, Lolo and I have become female engineering enthusiasts, co-founders of Citewire, and we barely missed a shot at becoming sisters-in-law.

It was a windy Tuesday evening in June and the year was 2005. It was also a few days to my birthday and I was on the basketball court with the rest of the student body for some outdoor Tech Week activity. After much cheering, I started feeling funny - all of a sudden the wind felt painful against my skin and in a matter of seconds, I was shivering visibly. Laju Awani spotted me, took off his shirt and put it on me while another one of my mates (Festus Adibe) walked with me to my dorm to make sure I was okay. Who forgets such little acts of kindness? Eight years later, ... um, Laj, should we tell them?

Amidst some remarkably weird first meetings, some friendships were formed along the way, some lost mid-way, some kicked off after graduation, and there are those ones where we catch up when we catch up. To Mark Akpaibor, Jide Ayeni, Ifeanyi Egbe, Seyi Feyisitan, Tolu Ogunsina, Chris Ikeliani, Emi Longe, Toyin Agbebi, Patrick Akhamie. I take a piece of all of you everywhere I go. Cheers!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012


For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

That was the scripture from Matthew 6:21, quoted a few hours ago by Ted Strickland at the US Democratic National Convention 2012 in a bid to chew the Republican opponent. Still a full blooded West African with interests and treasures deep-seated in Nigeria, I am no political authority on the US politics. Matter of fact, the level of bickering, blame-shifting and catty content displayed in the "My name is Barack Obama/Mitt Romney, and I approve this message" TV ads have been more than a tad disappointing. I take interest in news and events around the globe and in reality, there's no denying the fact that there has been an over-share of promises and an under-dose of deliveries in the last four years by the Obama administration to the American people. However, with the convention underway, the incumbent president and party have a platform to redeem their image and regain confidence and votes of the people needed for re-election.

The state of the Union is definitely beyond convention speeches but I must confess, Michelle Obama was my hero last night. I had waited for this speech and when it came, I was nothing short of impressed. She was phenomenal, every inch a power woman as she delivered her points on the American spirit, experiences, values, family, policies and how they connected to the lives of the American people. 

"Like so many of us that was the measure of his success in life: being able to earn a decent living that allowed him to support his family. And as I got to know Barack, I realize that even though he had grown up all the way across the country, he had been brought up just like me.
... all you have to guide you are your values and your vision and the life experiences that make you who you are. So when it comes to rebuilding our economy, Barack is thinking about folks like my dad and like his grandmother. He's thinking about the pride that comes from a hard day's work. That is why he signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act to help women get equal pay for equal work. That is why he cut taxes for working families at small businesses and fought to get the industry back on its feet.
Barack knows the American dream because he's lived it. And he believes that when you work hard and done well and walk through that doorway of opportunity, you do not slam it shut behind you. No, you reach back and you give other folks the same chances that help you succeed. He is the same man who started his career by turning down high- paying jobs and instead of working in struggling neighborhoods where a steel plant had shutdown, fighting to rebuild communities and get folks back to work. Because for Barack, success isn't about how much money you make.  It is about the difference you make in people's lives."

For me, it was more than her ethnicity - her authenticity resonated with the dreamer/mother/daughter and people roles within me as well as paths I've taken and dreamed of treading. I connected with her on different levels as she spoke so highly and proudly of her dad, and I saw a similitude with my modest background, principle-driven, hard work stickler and eternally supporting/sacrificing for their children's successes mother, the one human being whom I owe everything I am and aspire to be. Hear her:

"I see how those stories, our collection of struggles and hopes and dreams, I see how that's what drives Barack Obama every single day...We get there because of folks like my dad, folks like Barack's grandmother, men and women who said to themselves, "I may not have a chance to fulfill my dreams but maybe my children will.  Maybe my grandchildren will.''  

And if our parents and grandparents could toil and struggle for us, you know if they could raise beams of steel to the sky, send a man to the moon, connect the world with a touch of a button, then surely, we can keep on sacrificing and building for our own kids and grand kids, right?
And if so many brave men and women could sacrifice their lives for our most fundamental rights, then surely we can do our parts as citizens of this great democracy to exercise those rights. If farmers and blacksmiths could win an independence from an empire, if immigrants could leave behind every, if women can be dragged to jail for seeking to vote, if a generation could defeat a depression and define greatness for all time, if a young preacher could lift us to the mountain top with his righteous dream ... then surely, surely, we can give everyone in this country a fair chance at that great American dream. You see, at the end of the day, my most important title is still mom-in-chief... I know from experience that if I truly want to leave a better world for my daughters, and for all of our sons and daughters, if we want to give all of our children a foundation for their dreams, and opportunities worthy of their promise, if we want to give them a sense of that limitless possibility, their belief that here in America, there is always something better out there if you are willing to work for it, then we must work like never before..."

It is with that sense of limitless possibility, content and mode of delivery that I carry on with my dreams and ambitions, purpose and pursuits. May the best man win.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Favourite Widgets: Foodspotting

My sister


Rusty Dusty Drafts: Poetically Sugary

Date: 26th October 2008.
Brown Sugar (the name/era before 'Miss Balance')

B reathe your magic
R uffle my heart
O pen my mind
W hisper in my ear
N ext to my heart

S how me a path
U nknown till now
G ive me a new life
A llow me a taste of
R eal Brown Sugar…

Poetically tinted

Up and Leave

If you are reading this, it means you are one of those left behind.
I was home by myself and it got a little worrying when nobody was picking up at the time I was placing calls to their phones. Not one single person picked up and then my mind started to wonder and wander along the 'Left Behind' lines until I dozed off.

Weirdly, my friend's boyfriend from out of town called in the middle of my nap and when I could not take the call, he left me a voice message, screaming "Where the heck is everybody? Why are you not picking call right now? I've called everybody, nobody is picking call. You, what is own your excuse now eh? ... Abeg make una stop am if na plan."

I wonder who has an episode sequel or prequel to this.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Oppa Gangnam Style

I am for the motion that Gangnam Style should make the list for Wii's Just Dance 4. I played the fibre out of the infectious JustDance 3, chucked the treadmill and my gym attendance and turned it into a full time workout routine. Believe me, it is just as effective if not more, as I would put in two hours every other day, get as much fun out and sweat out buckets of calories while at it. Sugar Hill Gang's Apache was a favourite workout for me, as well as Black Eyed Peas' Pump It and Konshens' Jamaican Dance.

I loved it that much to build a Spotify playlist of the songs that came with the third release. Anyway, it's become the tradition that about this time of the year, sequels are released. Leaks say Rihanna, Justin Bieber and co are a few of the artists to make the playlist of the fourth release and I am seriously hoping PSY and his Oppa Gangnam style are featured as well.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

This side of 26: Relocating, Leaving, Living

I'm still a blogger.
I'm still a blogger.
I'm still a blogger.
I'm still a blogger.
I'm still a blogger.

I'm still a blogger.
I'm still a blogger.
I'm still a blogger.
I'm still a blogger.
I'm still a blogger.

I'm still a blogger.
I'm still a blogger.
I'm still a blogger.
I'm still a blogger.
I'm still a blogger.

Hopefully, if I repeated this several times, even I would be able to convince myself.

But whatever.
Now that I kicked out of my crises, I decided, took a decision to never worry about anything my present, redefine worry. Funny how my friends say I'm always calm in a storm.

I get all protective and shii. I'm boyish. Still on spontaneity, it's rather remarkable how I embarked on a 12 hour road trip from Houston, Texas to Atlanta, Georgia.

This side of 26 comes with comments or compliments if you may, that say you look 20 but when you start talking, you sound 32.
This side of 26 feels calmer, it leaves a window for restlessness, a tad more confident in yourself, in your decisions, losing terms with uncertainty, embracing risks and the spice of life often referred to as variety.
This side of 26 feels passionately, unperturbed about pettiness and silly arguments
You would have thought this side of 26 would lose its ever growing fascination for men and men's bodies.
This side of 26 is taking more interest in health and fitness.
This side of 26 comes with finesse, some confidence and more charisma.
This side of 26 chooses the other route, the unknown, less traveled one.

Brazil, Rio, South America beeches!
Alter egotism. Friendships. Benefits. Losses.
Little patience for pretext and pretenders, pettiness,
Aspiring to achieve more.
Receptive, Warm,

Photo credits: Google Images.

Friday, July 27, 2012

For Coloured Chefs Who Have Considered Suicide When the Italians Were Away

Just the other day, I was having a conversation with a young man from Nigeria who has worked as an engineer with a firm in the United States for half a decade. He liked his job, he said, but mentioned how that the setbacks had outweighed the perks he enjoyed, with the biggest issue of all being that he was black. Several times he had interviewed for positions in companies where he knew without a doubt that he was clearly qualified but for the same unspoken reason, his application was denied. Well, I did not have facts to argue about on this matter but did not hide my surprise/doubts either. "You are new to the system," he told me, "You'll see."

Over the last two weeks, I have been privileged to enjoy the culinary expertise of Italian chefs who come up with varied ideas for breakfast menus. Here, no two days are the same, well not if you choose to stick to the status quo, which would be toast, omelets, cereal, grits, muffins, potato wedges etc.


The menu of the week:

Monday: Breakfast Burrito - 6" tortilla filled with eggs, peppers, onions, cheese, ham served with sour cream and salsa.
Tuesday: Eggs Benedict or Florentine - deliciously poached eggs atop a muffin with your choice of ham or spinach, then smothered in a rich house made hollandaise sauce.
Wednesday: Breakfast Croissant - filled with scrambled eggs, cheese, ham served with sour cream and salsa.
Thursday: Breakfast Quesadilla - 12" tortilla filled with scrambled eggs, cheese, ham
Friday: French Toast with strawberry sauce - battered fresh made bread slices pan fried and topped with a delectably sweet strawberry sauce.
Saturday: Back on the Ranch Quiche - chef's signature quiche filled with eggs, peppers, onions, ham and cheese.

Sunday came and I was looking forward to trying the Santa Fe Egg Bake special and being greeted by the Italians whose faces would brighten up, as they would make recommendations and I would leave commendations in return. I stepped into the buffet area that day and noticed some obvious changes. The chefs were nowhere in sight and neither were the display trays. The dishes set on the table were clearly short of the regular options. A hungry crowd walked in, waited to get their orders taken by a chef and when none showed up, they served themselves from the covered dishes. I waited for the crowd to disperse and when it did, a head peeked from the back of the kitchen. It wasn't any of the two Italian guys, it was a black guy. Realising I had seen him, he came out of hiding and approached me, trying to act unaware of the situation. I decided against ordering the Santa Fe special and simply asked for him to me a waffle with scrambled eggs. 

The wait was a long one and by the time my order finally showed up, it was obvious he had no idea what to do with the batter. The waffle was soft, messy dark and clearly not properly 'done' on the inside and splitting around the edges. In a bid to either garnish or disguise the sins, frosting was thrown carelessly all over the plate. Some of the people who were present in the dining area spotted a waffle being sent to my table and asked for the same. Indeed, the same they got. Disappointed, I simply made for the bread tray and picked a ready-made croissant.

See where I am going with this? There was one black man who had a job with an opportunity to work the best way he could, but he came up short. Come on, he's just a chef, you might say, but it starts from the little things. While I'm not disputing the existence of racism in the workplace, my plight to black people everywhere - at home or in diaspora would be this: stamp out mediocrity in any form of thought, attitude, habit, character or lifestyle. Enough of coming up short whenever you have an opportunity to excel. Train yourself to be disciplined in little things: imbibe virtues, be punctual, be accountable, keep your word and do without making excuses ... it goes on. Seize opportunities and make your own. The road less traveled is neither familiar nor easy, but people don't die of hard work. Put in 100, and the go the extra mile which is rarely found in shortcut routes. Educate yourself and when the spotlight hits you, you better be acting right.

"Seest thou a man diligent in his business? he shall stand before kings; he shall not stand before mean men." - Proverbs 22:29. Synonyms for 'mean' in this context would be 'average', 'ordinary' in other versions.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Letter to my 25 Year-old self


Are we there yet? Who knows what I’m talking about? The inner restlessness that comes with turning 25, looking every bit like a woman, feeling like a girl, looking back, looking ahead and questioning this ‘balance’ thing.

Finding deeper respect for real success and real, strong passionate and powerful women that carry a certain aura and aroma of real success. Looking up to people and getting impatient with the girl within, with your new found identity, searching for validation and inspiration, Jane Fonda, Oprah Winfrey, Ibukun Awosika, Olajumoke Adenowo, and attending pro-female gatherings and owning women's issues.

Sliding down the 90 ft tray ride at Six Flags' White Water. New found confidence and daredevil-ism. Having my first and last beer with that cute lipped boy I have a massive crush on but my head won’t listen to my heart on this one.

My first real job is far from my ideal job. It’s the toughest of battles for me - battling with giving up control and just seeing where life wants to take me. Grappling with the unfamiliar and running for sanctuary in the familiar. Learning to truly appreciate the moment and not keep yearning for the next big thing. Stop worrying already. It’s about time you took a little of what you offer others to yourself.

Praying today - not at my best spirituality, just hoping, looking for something. The girl who set big goals and accomplished them, but 25 came with a hurdle so high. And i’m learning to deal with losing. Lose the attitude already.

My convenient male friends are on the verge getting engaged.

Discovering Voltaire.

Thinking of wedding dresses and discarding the thought before I could even catch a glimpse of the shoes.  Fed up of living under my parents' roof. Being hit on by teenage boys and married men, dealing with how the other guys in between are just not that into you and then you not being into the ones that just might be into you. Series of job interviews and no serious relationship, and wondering if I’m going to end up a cougar with this zero bullshit tolerance mindset.

You’ve done a commendable job in building loyalty to old friends and experimenting with your hair cuts and dyes.  The best gift you can ever give yourself is permission to change – to change your mind views, opinions and goals. Learn now to play, to live, to learn and finally you need to learn to love and to hurt, and to cry. Explore those occasional impulses and your genuine interest in making new friends of all ages and countries ranging from 12 year old Ronnie to 61 year old Sarah “Queen Mum” Mackenzie.

Keep your love for writing and books and music and coffee alive.  You will write and people will appreciate what you churn out.

The next time a guy tells you he likes you, you don’t have to start thinking up short episodes for a How I met Your Father sitcom. Maintain your no stanky breath principle but you have my permission to flirt.

Travel more for work and for pleasure, discover cities and other loves and discover yourself every time. How dare you speed through Paris? Visit the city of Crepes and Lights again, and this time, take your time.

Celebrate the glory that is your breasts before pregnancy, and work that body. Sort the Brazilian/bikini waxes every now and then, and you're good to go. Maximise all the idle time that comes with the shift job. Dolce far niente, Wine red, Wine white, provocative dance moves and running from the cops with white potheaded friends. Of course you know what I mean ;)

In the words of Baz Luhrmann, enjoy the power and beauty of your youth. The job sucks but you will find your planet. Quit worrying about owning a car, we all get what we need. 

Build a 30-things-to-do-before-I-turn-30 list and enjoy the journey to your next milestone.


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Tangled thoughts and travel

Restrooms have always been cradles or incubators of inspiration and creativity since the days and discovery of Feng Shui. So yes, here I am, blogging from convenient sections of a hotel room in remote Cary, North Carolina. Cary - dry, deserted, can't find no black people, got me being starred down and feeling awkward in restaurants, can't even find a WalMart, got me searching for African food and finding counterfeit Jamaican restaurants all the way in Raleigh. But yea, I whined about my not so great experience with Caribbean food to a friend who by happenstance has his mum working in this same town where my friend and I were. I'm in Cary for one more week and my taste buds are missing out on ethnicity.

Anyway, apart from speaking of uncomfortable physical places, I'm wallowing in murky waters. I'm in a place or timeline of events that has placed me between quitting a job and grad school and the level of uncertainty I must say is high. I lambaste myself, asking what I have done with all the ideas I have had in the past. Noone gets recognised from stowing vibrant ideas away in tens and scores of notepads. I should be on plan X by now, but then since I did not try out A, I adjusted to B, made a comfort zone out of C and that changed to D. E was the next seemingly logical thing to do ... and it keeps going on. Dreams and goals to achieve at landmark periods have gone unnoticed. No risks, no jolts, knowing what to do and not doing it and yet life's time still won't stop.

I am not going to continue like this. I am not going to be held back by fear of failure or embarrassment. I have decided.