Wednesday, December 30, 2015

The Vickies 2015

With me, you can expect 50 shades of random at all times. The Vickies are my awards for my most awesome memories; Things, People, Apps, Places, Events that flavoured my 2015. However I'm doing this quite late, backdating which means I'm missing out on tons of details and expereinces. Anyway, here goes!
  • Job/work: Had four jobs at the same time at some point, but landing TCCC was so refreshing, and then the "Blue people" coming through was the icing.
  • TV show: Game of Thrones, Runner Up: Silicon Valley
  • App: Spotify, Runner Up: Foursquare.
  • Video Game: PS4 - Injustice: Gods Among Us
  • Carry-over crush: Not applicable.
  • Dance moves: Shoki, Shakiti Bobo.
  • Newlyweds’ wedding: Yemi Yetunde. 
  • New Old Friend/Person of the Year: Ladun.
  • Momentum: April.
  • Unexpected achievement: GSU Outstanding CIS student 
  • Car: Let's hear it for the Santa Fe, and then the Sonata!
  • Person of influence: Megan Smith.
  • Trip: Lagos!
  • Coffee: Chai Latte (Starbucks)
  • Road trip: 5 hr solo from New York to Baltimore and back
  • Unscrupulous adventure: Vegassssssssssssshhh!
  • Song: Ginger Me - Somi
  • Person of the Year
  • Love interest: Bamz

Friday, December 11, 2015

Of Piggy Banks and PlayStation Consoles

Walahi, New York City can be a shit hole sometimes, and driving there is never a good idea.

I was going to buy myself a Sony PS4 game console for Black Friday, and had started to set titbits aside for the big buy. Alas! The fateful Friday came, and I drove out to run a couple errands for people. I usually ride the train and/or metro, and this was really against my will.

Parked my car right around the corner, paid at the meter for parking and made the quickest dash into the French building to pick up my documents. Came out in less than 5 minutes and met an orange envelope with two tickets tucked underneath my wiper. I was served with two fines: one for parking within 8ft of a fire hydrant, and the other for leaving an expired registration sticker on my windshield. The fines combined cost nearly as much as the Black Friday game deal. So crushing.

Guess it's back to playing YouTube Wii :'(

100 Percent of the shots

If it's true that you miss all the shots you don't take, would it also be valid to say that you hit all the shots you do take?

It's another year's end, mid-December.
Consciously numb for a large chunk, and I told myself I would kick out of it by the year's end.
Well, the year is over. What's my formula for regaining my drive?
How much travel, food, literature and naps do I need for a balanced equation?

I dare ask myself: what keeps you running? What ignites my flame?
And then without looking too far, I find it, where I had expressed myself in an older post. All I had to do was search my blog for an era where I was spirited and could clearly articulate what that was. One was literature. And it shook me to see that it was in February of 2013.

... Source your own life from its presence.
... What sustains you from the inside when all else falls away.
... Be alone with yourself and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.

I am human, an emotional being, and no human emotion is too alien to me.
The thing with feelings is that you can't unfeel them. You can try to mask them but you might have to rethink that if staying true to yourself has any value to you. Like it does me.

Of disappointing myself and conforming. Where I have claimed to be numb. I have felt but probably refused to acknowledge.

At work with my day job

On the contrary, I've been a social butterfly at work. And I have had some exciting emotions this year that moved me to tears.
At GHC, when I realized how much responsibility rested on my shoulders.
And when I moved into my own apartment.

I worried a lot about some things I hoped I had control over - like buying my car
Excitement - when I had to travel - even though it was for work
Confusion - when two of your friends asked you to date them a day apart. Some boys are sharp guys, and recently one skillfully broke out of the friend zone. Impressive, but it's never about them - what they did, or how they did it. It's about me. How I feel vs. what I know.

Pay attention to what I want and need, live without fear, and keep reaching for my best life.
I am a single choice away from a life defining moment.

Having said all this, I haven't done any real travel. You know, the 'pointless' travel, where you travel for the sake of travel. The last trips I made were for work and missed the real elements  - of exploration. I typically tried to squeeze that into other purposeful trips, but it's about time I took a 'just because one' and I'm thinking Europe.

The more I spend time with myself, the more I realize that I'm no fake. 
My habits and outlook may have changed, but I am essentially the same person - evolving. My thoughts complement each other. My life has been moving in one direction even if I can't place a finger on a specific place. 

I remember to pace myself but not in competition because I don't know what other people's journeys or life purposes are. I remember to keep probing myself to move in the direction of fulfillment, enlightenment, impact. That's what my life is about.
It may not work out, but never for a lack of enthusiasm.

 "May your coming year be filled with magic and dreams and good madness. I hope you read some fine books and kiss someone who thinks you’re wonderful, and don’t forget to make some art — write or draw or build or sing or live as only you can. And I hope, somewhere in the next year, you surprise yourself.”

— Neil Gaiman

Happy to say I took a chance, and I kissed someone who thinks I'm amazing. I am amazing, I know me, but I only know me. How do I know they are for real? When do you trust them? Why?

Best days that come to the top of my head:
Good Friday, Graduation.

This year, my favorite book was: How Children Succeed, by Paul Tough. Favorite article was Conscientiousness, in Time magazine.
Grateful for income streams and corporate jobs but paychecks brought an initial feel of gratitude, relief and happiness, which was fleeting and gradually routine.

Spikes: If I looked back at some sort of event graph, some things that made me happy were: Contribution, mentorship, participation, rewards, adventure, relevance, appreciation, completion, progress, acknowledgment, recognition, growth, recommendation.

The year has been outstanding but if fulfillment is by any means an indicator of success, I know I'm not there yet.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Morning Breath

Mornings are for praising God.
I wake up, and whisper softly to the One who gave me breath.
Breath means life.
I'm thankful.

People Like You ...

Among other things, you are terribly afraid of being hurt,
Friend zone queen - master of warding off spotlights and advances,
Protecting yourself from appearing to be vulnerable,
Keeping low expectations of people,
Are hardest on yourself - your biggest critic,
Second guessing, analyzing, paralysing,
Wanting more yet holding back,
Writing notes and addressing yourself in third person.

Among many things, there are no airs to you,
Hardly a people pleaser, but you remain fiercely loyal to your chosen few,
Pride yourself in being tough, even though you really are a see-through sensitive ball of mush,
Effortlessly attracting people to you, making them easily find their best selves when you're around
Then they hardly want to leave you anymore,
And you're all too familiar with how that typically plays out ...

For how long more?
Well guess what, that ship, that denial ship docking at the nile just sailed!

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Nolo for new New Yorkers

What no one told me was that moving to New York came with traffic tickets one day and parking tickets on your dashboard the next. Which also meant showing up in court a few days later, standing in front of a judge and having to answer the question: "How do you plead?"

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Dr. Shepherd

3.05 am on a Tuesday morning. 
Still struggling to fall asleep. Highly stressed.
New hives breakout.
Increased palpitations.
And then toothache. 
Really rough patch.
Great Physician, SOS.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Town Crier, City Rambler

Never shop on an empty stomach. And this has nothing to do with clothes.

I went after work today to check out some furniture stores. I'm furniture shopping for my first "bachelor" pad, my very own apartment! I hear it's (supposed to be) exciting, but I fear it would be more overwhelming for me. These are not the things that excite me. Coming up with ideas for matching sets and pieces for a bedroom, living room, kitchen, bathroom ... *GAG*
Honestly, if I could afford to, I would simply move in a heartbeat into an already furnished spot. Stress. Hives. Remember.

While still in the season of starting all over in a new place and space, I thought I'd challenge myself every (other) week. This first one will be budget related: no eating out throughout the week. I've stocked up on groceries (even that needs checking. Living round the block from WalMart & Publix back in GA has left me comfortably spoiled and whimsical in this regard). I'll be cooking my lunch and dinner throughout this week, nevertheless, I'm not one to pass up on invites to lunch/dinner as long as it's "on the house" :) And that brings me back to the first line of this post. I never knew there were so many Dunkin' Donut shops between work and home until today. I was so famished and tired from furniture shopping, I almost caved at the sight of the first Subway I spotted on Route 9. It's barely day 2 of 7.

Ah! Again, since we brought up the topic of Route 9, (unplanned enjambment), I won't conclude this post without letting off some steam about the said American highway. For the last 14 days, my daily commute has been the most infuriating part of my day. Why? Because within an otherwise short span of 6.6 miles, I encounter 29 traffic lights on this tiny stretch of road. 29! Even if I hadn't just moved from the blessed Interstates 75/85 (after rush hour of course), it's torturous for anyone below 70 years of age to have to drive at 40 mph. And I'm not even 30 yet. I say probably too many seniors and retirees in the area, which is fine, but having to share the road at 8.30am, at that "speed" is hardly productive.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Cities with Peaches and a medium Apple

First weekend as a New Yorker (not to be mistaken for first time in New York, which was about a year ago). This time, I filed a permanent change of address, ground shipped all of my American life in 5 labeled UPS boxes (dropped one off at Goodwill) and flew Delta with 112lb spread over two suitcases, a tote, and a garment bag, on a one-way ticket to Newburgh. This time, I'm neither looking nor moving back after seven months in the Hudson Valley like I did last Christmas.
This time, I am officially a New Yorker, who is not willing to change my mobile number or my driver's license just yet. I'm still loyal to the Peach.

I accepted a job that was not my dream job. It took me a while but I eventually came to terms with it, stopped sending out job applications, and turned down pending offers. I changed my perspective, quit complaining and came up with a game plan. Last year, I interned at this same company at a time when they had undergone a major overhaul. It was a divestiture that left a tad too many employees bitter. Interns of course were not affected but some of my buddies were hit. They were confused, angry, and rightfully so. The emotions would creep into our social gatherings at times and leave  a depressing and somewhat complicated atmosphere. Before my time was up, some of my coworkers who were much older in age and had spent lifetimes at the company turned into counselors and offered me their nostalgia-laced career advice. After seven interesting months, I left the chaos behind and went back to finish up with school. And then the company made me a full time offer.

I returned five days ago, and for the life of me, could not decipher what I was feeling. I decided to live it out and evaluate my emotions at the week's end. Certainly, this time the first time excitement and nervousness were largely missing. There was blankness, a bit of impatience, and I realized I was looking out for hints of validation. I found traces of negativity in peoples eyes, and some of their questions and reactions made me second guess and question myself. And then I decided:

I am here to create and grab opportunities and make the best of my time here. I know where I started and I count my blessings for where I am right now. I am not going to be side tracked by frenemies and irrelevant opinions. Save them for your kids. This is my time. I am here to take my chances, my shot at life - my life, and I do not care who validates me or what the next person thinks about my career choices. If I made such a terrible choice in your opinion, why the hell are you still here, working for the same company? My career is not about anyone else but me. Me. And so, I don't care what you think.

It's been a whirlwind of a week, with my apartment move-in date not due till another month. I've had to live out of my suitcases in my trunk and sleep on the couch in SV and EY's living room. It's a mini jungle living with those two dudes, and then both their girlfriends technically moved in. Too much going on but hey, a roof, bed and bath would do for now, even though it's not free. I'm definitely looking forward to some me time as soon as I settle in my own place, furnish the new apartment and get my second car.

Photo Credit: Rolling Out

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Short Stories and Small Talk

Looking for a word to describe how I feel now that I am finally done with my graduate program. Great does not even cut it!

So small story:

I was walking to the parking deck after work today and a ton of things danced around in my mind. Earlier this week, while anticipating the my final exam, I had a series of flashbacks and highlights of this year, and through the entire eighteen months of my program. A not-so-tasteful experience I had in February played back, as though to remind me that not all the highlights were rosy. I cringed but commended myself for showing strength even when it might have been easier to crash. But strong is normal, ask Chimamanda. I took a stand then and made up my mind that I would never look back.

Flash forward to this afternoon, when this same mental picture made its way to the front of my memory's museum (borrowed from Kanye). And again, I felt anger all over again, and got defensive. My walls were already back up, fortified. The traffic lights changed, and I crossed Peachtree Center @ Andrew Young Blvd, with my molten thoughts solidifying, "I am not going to care about anyone that does not care about me ..."

"Did you have a good day today?"
Some backpack guy in a grey shirt, a green helmet was riding his bike slowly beside me.
"I was asking if you had a good day today."
That was random, but a thoughtful gesture regardless.
"Yes, I did. Thanks for asking. How about you? LOOK OUT!"
The cyclist was talking to me and was about to ride into a building. He went on to tell me about his day and wished me a safe drive home. And with that he was on his way and out of sight in minutes.

I walked up to my car and tried to pick my thoughts up from where I left off, but that didn't work.  Instead what dropped in my mind was, "A little more faith."
And I was smiling.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Selfie. Solo. Soliloquoy.

I looked at my prayer notes from the last month of 2014 into 2015, which was an unsent message in my email. Ironic. I had definitely sent it out even though it had no recipient's email and still sat in my Drafts folder. There were only four things on that list. And by the end of the 2015's 1st quarter, they were all resolved.

While driving home in the thunderstorm late yesterday, (yesterday in itself was a mini-rollercoaster), I switched off my radio, to give silence some airtime. Somewhere in the quietness, I realized that I hadn't done enough dreaming. How could I possibly have challenged myself enough if I was already "done" praying or wanting more by April?

I'm nearing a comfort zone minefield, and I'm glad I caught it. I am going back to the drawing board, and gathering momentum for the next hurdle. I am not settling for an average life.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

... And The Pursuit of Open Happyness

We hold these truths to be sacred & undeniable; that all men are created equal & independent, that from that equal creation they derive rights inherent & inalienable, among which are the preservation of 

Tons of great things happening around me. Off the top of my head, my parents and siblings are well, my friends are in a happy place, and I am in an extra special place. My Jolaade landed an internship at a reputable company. My college friends the Owokade's are spanking new parents of an adorable baby girl. My very own "tribesmen," Yetunde and Yemi are getting married in a couple months. My girl Tayo O. landed a job and also found love! Deola K. landed a new job as well, and I am positive Biola J.O. is next in line. Tolu O. got his startup up and running and is well on his way to success.

And happening to me: I started a new job last week, and if I gave you half the details of the entire process, you’d agree with me that it really is a miracle. But I’ll skip the details today. Remind me in person J

Yesterday, I got honored at school for being the Outstanding Graduate Student in the department of Computer Information Systems. It was an award from William W. Cotterman, an accomplished scholar and patron saint of Information Systems at Georgia State University, who at some point was appointed by the then US president Jimmy Carter to a Committee on White House Information Systems within the Executive Office of the President. Wow!
I was and still am super thrilled, proud, and grateful. It’s such a big deal for me. I have decided to pay this act of kindness forward in the near future.

& Liberty
Would this be celebrating the fact that there is New York in my future or that I am a Lady Liberty of some sort?

An application I had turned in and waited on forever finally got approved. It was the best news I had received in a long time. I was visibly trembling when I got it. I would not let go of Yemi, after which I proceeded to hug Yetunde, who I squeezed so tightly that we nearly lost balance. Then I knelt down, jumped on the sofa and pretty much cartwheeled around the living room while screaming the whole time. Apt it happened on Good Friday too! God hears prayers.

& the pursuit of (open) happiness
And speaking of happiness, in addition to all the great events earlier mentioned, today makes it a week into my spanking new job and I have already learnt a lesson the hard way about brands. Yikes! Not really hard, but things could have got really bad, depending on who saw me. My offense? I innocently took my favorite potato crisps to work and right in the middle of the bag, I was called out for eating a major competitor (actually, archenemy)’s product on the premises. I hardly eat crisps but this one is my Kryptonite: it's kettle cooked, jalapeno flavored and to top it all, has my name on it. 
Sigh! I just want MY chips the way the “enemy” makes it. Why can’t we all just play nice? :’(

In other news, It's Tax Day, America! W00t! Still waiting on the IRS for my tax refund, however.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

What makes me happy?

Q: What makes me happy?
A: Being in a position to help.

Old Flame

... If we no longer fit in each other's lives, let's not fool.

Old flame I

Always off and on with you.
One more, just one last time.
I admit you're special, but I'm not doing anything special for you.
Not this time around.
I'm no longer into mind games.
Show me what you've made of yourself over the last couple years, and where you are heading.
If we don't fit in each other's plans, let's not fool anyone.

Baseball hats for bad hair days

I am on steroids.

Over the last four weeks, I have changed my facial/body wash and moisturizer, eaten squid, got new clothes, traveled and slept in a hotel, eaten airport and plane food ... Bah! It's lousy trying to backtrack every recent change to my diet, activities, body care products and whatnot. Turns out I am having an allergic reaction, even though my tests and blood work have come back clean and free of allergens. Neither my physician nor dermatologist knows what triggered it.

Jolie suggested bathing in cinnamon, or adding a bit to my bath water. The next day, Cece advised me to get some Calamine Lotion and dab all over my skin. Ugh! Too much. My gut said to see a dermatologist, and so I ditched both good advice and googled specialists within my area. I was already on OTC antihistamine, which was clearly not cutting it and today, the dermatologist placed me on a daily dose of corticosteroids for the next two weeks. It's clearly more serious than we thought.

Anyway, that antihistamine had me eating like a monkey, for lack of a better simile. Throughout last week, my appetite was through the roof and I literally tipped the scale. My lazy non-exercising ass has always been three pounds away from my self-imposed forbidden weight (upper limit) which means I even out with my portions. I was hoping to get back to outdoor running once the winter ended but alas! Murphy's Law came with uncontrollable appetites and random allergic reactions, and I'm now out of shape by six pounds. The drugs even had my knees hurting when I walked down the stairs. Omo, na wa o! Drugs and their side effects. I never clock 30 mbok!

I should probably get back to working out with Wii Just Dance.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Senioritis: 77 Days to Graduation

I am anxious and uneasy, and I have a chronic case of:

1. I wish I had the guts to be absent from school. Three words: b-school tuition. I wouldn't even do that if I didn't pay my own school fees. 

2. Save the sweat/track shirt/pants for Saturday morning Walmart trips.
I have control over how I dress in a business school setting. Plus, I like to dress up. 
Otherwise, everything else on this list is true, and I had had no idea this was a thing. 

On a good day, it's easy to spot me. Always one of those front seating, knowledge thirsty, intellectually curious ones, almost always having a question or two for the professor or meeting up after the class has dispersed. Recently, my attitude and motivation levels towards school changed drastically. I didn't understand it until a professor friend casually asked me how I was finding my last semester. "I'm coasting, Tim, and that's not necessarily a good thing. I've never been this bored with school." I'll mention here that I have a perfect GPA (so help me God this semester), just so you might understand what my motivation levels might have looked like up until this point. 

It's just weird and I don't feel the need to fix it, which makes it even more weird.
Is it my classes? Professors not doing a good job?
Am I just crumbling at the thought of my workload? (It's a lot this time around)
Maybe a vacation is the solution.
Maybe New York was the problem.
Or just the internship, which really was great.
Maybe I just need more sleep.

Whatever it is, I need to get through this.