Friday, November 14, 2014

Preparing for my Toastmasters Icebreaker challenge


Words are significant to me. They have always been, and I knew this as early as elementary school, when I had started to self-publish my writings. I liked to read and write, and I would sign up for extracurricular activities that allowed me do these, even though they somewhat hampered my participation in sports, outdoor activities and general interaction with people.

As I got older, I have come to discover that at different phases in my life, a single word could define the common thread holds the activities of that phase.

For example, in 2007, one defining word for me was “Balance.” I was seeking out mentors and started to spend a lot of time in pro-female circles, not necessarily “feminist”,  listening to women from all walks of life speak. From this, I began to understand that women were struggling. They desperately wanted to succeed in their careers and family lives but had to keep making trade-offs and sacrifices. I would attend events where women would speak about these challenges and seek/give counsel, secrets and advice from/to those who seemed to be on their way or getting it right. I wasn’t necessarily there yet but I knew for sure that it was a matter of time before I embarked on a quest to find balance.

In more recent times, one of those words would “Bridge.” Around a milestone birthday, I unwittingly made trips to cities where I was drawn to their monumental bridges. Before long, I created a checklist of other bridges to visit, But more significantly, I was looking to bridge gaps, both mental and geographic, in defining areas like education and career choices. I was also evaluating my progress by asking myself existential questions like, “Where am I?”, “Where do I want to be ultimately?”, “How do I get there?” Clearly, the underlying issue was trying to define my direction and understand how (to build a bridge to) get there.
Still in the same mental space and time, a recruiter asked me, “Are you Sales or you are Technical?” and my reply was along the lines of being a hybrid that bridges between business and technology.

And these days, the word is “Home.”
My last name originates from the Ibo tribe of Southwestern Nigeria, and it means Child of the City. Small wonder, I love and live to travel.
Three weeks ago, I was en route Los Angeles, making small talk with the stranger who sat next to me about this book he was reading called “Game of Thrones.”
During the conversation, he asked where I was from and even I marveled at the reply that I gave:
I was a Lagosian living and schooling in Georgia, interning in New York and attending a conference in California. He replied, “Boy! Are you miles away from home!” But I love it, and I have come to make peace with wanderlust.
As the year 2014 comes to a close, so does my internship. I am evaluating my goals and actions, and getting ready to leave New York. And then, I get an offer for a job in another city, and I realize it’s always going to be like this. I’m a child of the city, and anywhere is home.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

1st World, 3rd World, Whose World?

I’m Late.

My upbringing may be one of the factors that have hurt me in terms of missing out what the rest of the world was taking for granted at my age, but I won't take for granted that the same has helped me enough to get me on the scene. 

Given me a mind that’s curious and easily wants to know what’s on the other side of the wall. 
Helped me enough to make me realize where I am, and see that I have to catch up. 

I am learning to ride a bicycle, play volleyball, swim, work while schooling, and play chess.

At different times, the scene belongs to a different group, but I have learnt to keep the same attitude 
all the time. 

I tell myself, it doesn’t matter. You are here now. Now catch up.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

140 characters more or less

I read somewhere that boredom is a precious thing.

Well, I am clearly bored of keeping a blog. Not necessarily with blogging, maybe with this blog.
I have taken to different forms of blogging on micro platforms - the Twitters, Facebooks, Google Plus, Instagrams, Pinterests, Foodspottings, Tumblrs.
Never MySpace, never.
I create notes and logs in apps for food and fitness, and Google Drive.


Revamp or start something new?
Tending towards the latter.
Integrate sounds like a better deal.
Or theme.


If the reader of this post is concerned about thinking in bursts or wondering if I am simply writing blurbs, then the reader should know that the writer is on presently on page 119 of 220 of "The Shallows: What the Internet is doing to our brains," by Nicholas Carr, on my Kindle Cloud Reader.
And believe me, that explains this blog post.


In other news, this six year old electronic moniker that is "Miss Balance" has to go.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

The Joneses: Neighbors not Roommates

This Forbes article just changed my life.


That probably flashed a tad too dramatic but yes, changing one’s thinking is ultimately changing one’s life. In a nutshell, it is a story of two friends who decided to start a “buy nothing year” thing and it resonated with me. I started out this week telling myself I would buy nothing, this week. No eating out, not even lunch at my work cafeteria. Well, so far it’s Thursday, and I gave in just once yesterday. But anyway, the message at the heart of the story is simple: You can’t manage what you don’t measure, and I thought it was a great coincidence for me to run into an article when I myself was embarking on a similar venture, howbeit on a smaller scale.


I have decided that I am not leaving room for the Joneses to suddenly creep in on me and subtly take over my finances. I use Mint, and spent a good two hours over the weekend, planning, categorizing, budgeting and partly wondering why the app was not intelligent enough in its time to see patterns and make predictions, saving me the time and stress of manually adjusting the “Uncategorized” transactions. Watson takeover long overdue!


"The outside influences are always pouring in upon us, and we are always obeying their orders and accepting their verdicts. The Smiths like the new play; the Joneses go to see it, and they copy the Smith verdict.” - Mark Twain, Corn Pone Opinions.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Past presents Future

So close, Steve, I am so close. These are exciting times in a girl’s life. My steps are not mature or enough for retrospection but I feel it!
2014 is my best year yet. It took off on such a bang, a bang so hard that eight months in, I am still sailing through. In truth, it’s not evenly spread over all areas, but am I thrilled for these life landmarks.

Listening to NPR can make you weird and/or keep you doing weird things, if you were born with it. Like writing a letter to your future self and sending it to a company who would keep it and mail it back to you in the future. Which I did, after listening in one night while driving to Zaxby’s for a Cajun Club sandwich. 

Anyway, I'm glad I did write the letter and I’m looking forward to hearing from myself on my 30th birthday. Makes me wonder about the company in question, whose name now eludes me, and their reasoning behind being in business: setting up shop to receive and transmit secrets, prayers, hopes in letters between the past, present and future. Handlers, keepers and re-deliverers, who really play no part in manipulating time.

Deep.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Bridge Over Water

I have a thing for bridges.
Cantilevers of steel spanning obstacles.
Obstacles like bodies of water, even though I am naturally inclined to water.

It's not a new thing. I only just realized it when I was on yet another bridge and felt some strange yet familiar attachment.
The Walkway over the Hudson, a steel cantilever bridge spanning the Hudson River between Poughkeepsie and Highland, New York.
Something about the architecture.
And now beyond the architecture, I am more fascinated with their purpose.

I am easily a roamer and I have found a company that fits me. I'm in constant motion. Mind, body. And I thought of this after a job interview. The interviewer asked me, "So are you technical or sales?" She says I have to be one of the two. I say well, I am IT, and IT does not put me in a box with only two options. Matter of fact, I think to myself that if I eventually get an offer from this employer and I accept it, I am going to need a bridge. I want to know if bridges exist in the company. If they don't, I want to know that I can build one. I am both. If you won't let me roam, I don't want to be restrained or constrained to a job role. I find I am tailored for flexibility, and won't put a cap on self development.

I am a creative, easily a freelancer and it is important to me that I enjoy what I do daily and have the option of spicing things up.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Logs: Week One

A week and a half in.
Past one of the overwhelming phases that is week one: getting confused by faces, names, buildings, tasks. I don't know the algorithms involved in pairing but I was assigned a mentor and we went out to lunch together on the first Friday, which eventually turned out to an invitation for an evening hangout with colleagues. Friday night came and we were out of Poughkeepsie and headed to Main Street, Beacon, some 13 miles apart.

The Hop was the first stop: an artisanal beer tasting room. Right? Choice location for a beer-o-phobe like me, innit? Anyways, thank Heavens for apple cider and great conversation :) I got introduced to MAS, who would be my favorite person for the rest of the outing, as well as SV. MAS was down-to-earth, well, with a splash, just a splash of well done cocky, which was understood as she had badass bragging rights). I admired her openness and marveled at her accomplishments. Down the line she introduced me to SV, who was the most obvious character in the room, no thanks to his lanky 6 foot 4 or so frame. My thing for SV was how he put himself out there for MAS. I loved the friendship instantly. SV took time to show me the ropes and give useful advice. Hop forward to the more upscale Round House where we were re-introduced and I ended up wearing his random "Brad" shirt when the weather got a tad too chilly.

Dogwood was my fave of the three bars. It had that 2a.m energy that I loved even though I did not actively contribute to. I was mentally shutting down the part of my brain that handled conversations, and was only passively answering questions. MAS didn't feel too good and had checked out too. Three of us stepped out for fresh air while others stayed in for a few more pints. Things eventually wound down after 2am, and we split into groups. While some headed home, my group headed to the 1-84 Diner for some random breakfast.

By 3am, I was in wrapped up in bed, ready to call it a night. But JG wasn't.

Saturday came and I finally unpacked the suitcases I had been living out of. Caught up on Game of thrones, went grocery shopping and cooked some some stockless stew which came up decent. And spicy.

Sunday was a froyo type of day, and my German housemate and I went to Hoopla to soak up some sun while eating froyo with kitkat, crunch and twix toppings. I also finally ditched my loyal but dinosaur Blackberry (9700 Bold 2) phone. The thing belonged to a passed generation and in a museum, plus it didn't help that I had no Tmobile signal at work and the world had long evolved past the app-less blackberry era. AT&T's sexy Samsung Galaxy s4 mini for the win!

Monday, June 2, 2014

Empire State of Mine

I am finally in New York! I'm a stranger here. Everywhere I went, strangers helped me. When they had to leave, they handed me over to other strangers. Jamaican, Ohio grads, French men, Senegalese-American mum ... All the way from Queens to Poughkeepsie, and every city in between.
Thank you New York for the pleasant surprise!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Empire State of Mind


Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard,
Live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft.


I dream of you, New York.
Four days to go and here I am counting down, all giddy with excitement!
It's no secret California has my heart, but I wonder if you'd be strong enough to contend.

Monday, May 19, 2014

New York is meant to break you

"New Yorkers will spread you like butter and they will take advantage of you. Do not be friendly with anyone! Mind your business, just do what you have to do and come back to us when you're done."

"Keep to yourself and don't try to talk to anyone at work about your personal life. Nobody cares."

"You will fall in love ... with New York." 

"I love New York. I think you'll like it. You're smart girl. You'll be fine."

"... Look out for the Italian sandwiches."

"The South is too slow for people like you. you should go to California or maybe even New York."

"Listen, and ask better questions. Be more confident and assertive."

"NY is too hustle and bustle for you. California suits your demeanor, but then again, you grew up in Gidi (Lagos)"


Oh well, guess I'll find out in two weeks!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

(De)tourist.



Yesterday would have marked the beginning of my daily routines at Galleria Parkway but just in nick of time, I detoured as life would have it.
I could not help but think of my life in the form of an animated storyboard as a journey with different options and routes.
I wonder if the different routes all converge at a place eventually, if they are asymptotes or parallel paths.
You never know.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Delete. Don't Delete.

Estrogen.

I was looking at my 'news feed' on Instagram (I rarely use that thing) and saw one of my friend's picture of some food art came up as I scrolled down. I thought of her, and how we hadn't spoken in ages. She was one of my favorite people, great heart, don't care about a thing and guaranteed to keep you laughing. I reached for my phone in no time and gave her a ring.

We were Berkeley roommates last year, and at that time, she had this boyfriend who she adored and was almost inseparable from. His name dropped out of her lips at the slightest opportunity. Not in an annoying way, but in some cute, hopelessly way. She was my roommate and I got to meet him a couple times. From the look of things and without getting into detail, they were pretty committed, and it seemed like they were heading somewhere (the altar, in this case).

Fast forward to few weeks back when I gave her a call after a long time. It was graduation season, and I calculated she would be rounding off. We talked for hours catching up, throwing back memories and making future plans. And then I asked her about the boyfriend, teasing and referring to him as one of the fond nicknames I had heard her call him before.

We broke up.

You know how someone tries to hit you with reality and you ask them to stop joking? That was my reaction. "Girl, be serious. How is xxx?"
I still didn't get it. Not these two, it was impossible.
"I'm going to ask you one last time. How is xxx?"

This time I called him by his real name. And then a sigh followed and she narrated a sad story to me.

I scrolled back to her Instagram page and there I saw that all the pictures she had of both of them were gone. That was when I believed. And that is the part that inspired this post, far from attempting to tell private stories about people's love lives.

After the call ended, I reflected on how we (people, myself included) put out parts of our lives, and pictures, out there. When something goes awry, say we get hurt, relationships end, we take down memories from our social media accounts and struggle for a while with voices, memories in our hearts and heads. It's not necessarily wrong or bad, it's just become part of the culture these days. I don't know where I am going with this or what to do with the ending of this post, so I'll just end here. Romantic musings are clearly not for all.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Yours Truly, Winner of the Deloitte Technology Consulting Challenge!




Thursday, April 3, 2014

What better time to watch the Jetsons than now?


This is what the picture of the future used to be, but it is happening. Technology is driving the present and I am particularly fascinated by Tony Faddell and his Nest creatives.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Innovation in socialist states

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/06/30/most-innovative-countries-insead_n_887858.html#s301026title=1_Switzerland

Rated 12+ for the following

I am not a parent.
While interacting with the Ted Books app, I scrolled down to the details. The Rating was 12+ and 12+ means: Infrequent/mild profanity or crude humor, mild sexual content and nudity, mild mature/suggestive themes, mild alcohol, tobacco, or Drug Use or References.

How do these App store ratings really work?

I caught this disruptive innovation that came with the 'iTrain' late, hence the world clearly passed me by. Maybe I am too late to complain, to late to wonder.

RatingDescription
4+Contains no objectionable material.
9+May contain mild or infrequent occurrences of cartoon, fantasy or realistic violence, and mild or infrequent mature, suggestive, or horror-themed content which may not be suitable for children under the age of 9.
12+May contain frequent or intense cartoon, fantasy or realistic violence, mild or infrequent mature or suggestive themes, mild or infrequent bad language, and simulated gambling which may not be suitable for children under the age of 12.
17+May contain frequent and intense realistic violence, unrestricted internet access, frequent and intense mature, horror, and suggestive themes; also strong sexual content, nudity, strong language, alcohol, tobacco, and drugs which may not be suitable for children under the age of 17. Whenever an app of this rating is requested for download, a message will appear, verifying if a user is 17 or older, and asking to confirm the purchase for this reason.

App Store (iOS) From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Implosive youth


Pulled this one out of my drafts. It was from a time in 2010. I don't remember how the post was to end but I clearly remember quitting the job after three days of employment, after I was asked to serve the MD his dinner, or something stupid like that. I just looked for another job on the fourth day.


I just need to rant.
Not getting any job satisfaction and I feel like screaming. This can't be it, this definitely can't be what my life and career would be about in the future. If I sit one more day in this chair, I might just explode. This has got to be my last day here. It's everything ... the job description, the traffic, the location and worst of all ...

Licking Wounds


March 18 2013.
In 'love' in February, licking wounds in March. Switching from nicknames back to full names.
You get hurt and you suddenly feel the overwhelming need to show that you’re fine and doing well.

March 6 2014.
You are fine and doing well.
Time heals.

Your Pal, Paulo: August 4, 2005


Peace :)

Work in Progress



Not all who wander are lost.

I have eloped, escaped, trekked, traveled, wondered, wandered, meandered and each farther step has brought me closer.
In each moment of my days I have learned, hoped, cried, prayed, believed, sunk, sung, danced.
Taken risks, set paces, joined band wagons, made life changing choices, been indecisive.
Made friends and lost some along the way.
I have aspired, achieved, and I have become.
All in all, I am on my way.

Sent from my iPad

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Bedraggled

Sunday, 6am

I wake up after a weekend long unproductive mental haggle of deadlines and (in)decisions and infinite number of browser tabs, before finally deciding on completely wasting my time, getting my mind off work and deadlines, Skyping six hours into the new day and catching up with Jolaade, and eventually sleeping in the midst of a most chaotic queen-bed of electronic and paper notepads, pens, lip gloss, business cards, towel, with the lights on.

And then I wake up to meet unmistaken Inspiration, sitting so gently. No doubt it is you!
I pick up my laptop and begin punching away at my keyboard.

Alas, dedicated usher, it’s time for service. 
Well, prayer meeting, Sunday school, then service. 
I’ll skip prayer meeting today.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Commuting Case 101

Me: "Work's downtown, school's in Buckhead and the rapid transit makes life so much easier for me. Commuting with the train is a whole new experience for me tho. I missed my route on the first day and ended up in Doraville. Haha! I even missed my bus this morning."


Friend: "Wow! So what did you do?"

Me: "Someone gave me a ride to Lindbergh. He saw me try and miss, and he pulled up."

Friend: "What?! And you got in the car? Were you not afraid?"

Me: "I was running late. There was no time to be afraid."

Timestamps for Titles


Barely a week into the 2014, the days sneaked out, weeks crept in and in fractions of seconds, finals are drawing too close for comfort. Amidst new year resolutions, prayers, celebrations, fastings and indecent icy, windy winter temperatures, the semester took off in a hurry. Was it not only yesterday that we were counting down and ringing in the New Year vicariously from Times Square?

For one reason, job, circumstance or the other, I had postponed my postgraduate move for a long time, and resorted to taking short courses, certifications and my recent favorite, MOOCs. But finally time and chance showed up with an opportunity for graduate business school, and I snatched it gracefully. From all indication, this year's timeline of events will be like no other, I need to keep logs for this even though my schedule just got ten times busier and blogging is the least of my worries.

Speaking of busy schedules, I need to learn the art of time management (which is #1 on the list, with money management following closely behind, and saying NO to projects coming in third place) as soon as last year, to avoid burning out and ageing before I hit my 30s. In another post, I will worry muse about being closer to 30 than 20.

So here's to 2014, I am taking my chances and putting my best face forward!