Instagram has returned invalid data.
Browsing category


2020, 28, Her Version of Events,


P.S. Please listen to Kygo’s album Golden Hour while reading this.

Apple Music


Words take up whatever form your mind desires for them to take up; Like when you tell me at the end of a call “I should let you go,” my mind interprets it as a reminder that you will never be mine, and when I type “Thank You,” my mind means ’I love you and I am grateful I can lean on you.‘ Maybe the words left unsaid are the ones I need to say and get everything out in the open. 

This isn’t about talking to just anyone, it is more about talking to you. I am going to make a list of all the random things that happen during the day that I want to text you about. Things that wouldn’t ordinarily be your business but, because I maybe love you, I have the desire/urgency to let you in on all my activities. 

Some days I am scared we will have after-the-fact conversations and say things we wish we had said in the moments when they mattered and we will be left wondering if things could be different had we just used our words. 


We are constantly reminding ourselves in conversations that we are friends, I think we both need the reminder. We are constantly testing the waters to be sure we both remember. We say things like “you know you are my friend, ” followed by a short pause like we have more to say, “this is why you are my friend,” and then end conversations with open ended sentences like “you know you are important to me,” which can mean anything and nothing at all.  

Maybe, instead of constantly forcing ourselves to fit into the “friendship” box we outgrew many moons ago, we should have a direct and open conversation about where we have progressed to and how to find our way back to where we need to be. Because the reminders and open ended sentences will only lead to a horrible breaking apart. 


I can’t remember the last time we didn’t talk in 48 hours. I have convinced myself that if we can successfully not talk, that we have no form of communication, for 72 hours, it means that our hearts are successfully unthreading from each other. Oh, by the way you called, just at the 53rd-hour mark. I was freaking out, thinking you had forgotten all about me already and I was making peace with it, you know. It might seem a tad bit dramatic but my mind loves to make up stories and these made-up stories help me cope. But there are little things you do that my mind has decided are peculiar to you. Like how you say “I miss you”, never in those words but with the urgency in your voice when you say “Still alive and well?” 


I love who we are in the moments when we let our guard down and share freely. When we forget all the careful boundaries that are in place. But one of us always remembers and  drags us back to the boundary lines. It was your turn to steer us back last night and now I can’t get the words you said out of my head: “there really is no point to this line of conversation.” My follow up question should have been “So why did you call? Did you have pre-arranged talking points?”, because I was angry, angry at you, angry at the situation. 

I found myself in the last few weeks thinking we should just rip off the bandage and go cold turkey because, really, what is the point? 


I think the best part of our friendship (I am calling it this and commanding it into existence) is that you believe in me so much more than I do in myself. You see me and you prop me up to the point where I am convinced I can take over the world. When I lament or feel like I am not good enough, I can be rest assured you will tell me “Hey Ara, you’ve got this.” When I am tired and have worked myself to the ground, you stay with me, pull me back on my feet and help me to the finish line. You never tell me my dreams are too big, you listen, help me fine-tune them and constantly remind me to keep my dreams in focus and set milestones towards achieving them. In the middle of everything I will miss about “this”, what keeps me longing, is that it could have worked, is what stands true at the centre and is hurting like hell is that I’m letting go of someone who completely cheers me on and is always on my side and the sense of complete hopelessness that I will not have this again. I am learning to hope again, to believe that God is definitely going to sort this out for me in His own perfect time. 


I woke up this morning with the overwhelming desire to call you, to make sure you are fine and all is well in your world. 

I have used so many tricks to stop myself from calling you; the best trick is telling myself that it isn’t my place to know if all is well in your world and if you need my help you would reach out. But this isn’t stopping my need to talk with you, to just hear your voice and know that all is well with you. I am hoping that I don’t cave in and call or text. I am not feeling as overwhelmed as I did when I got up this morning, fingers crossed to see how the rest of today plays out. I missed your call this afternoon and I called you back. All is definitely well in our world but not in mine, it will not be until I lay “this” to rest 


There are stages to separation. First, “we” goes out the window closely followed by “us” but because we don’t want to wrap our head around what is happening we start having placeholder positions in our individual futures. We say things like “Oh! I will be your daughter’s godfather” or “I will make sure you dance at your wedding” because, even though the separation is happening you don’t want it to happen all at once, you desire to hold on to whatever you can just a little bit longer.  


I think the process of unloving is one that isn’t widely talked about. The process of feeling your heart pull away from another’s, of asking yourself why you thought the moon only shines in the person’s eyes. I know nobody really thinks this but I am sure you understand what I mean.

You start to question if your feelings were real in the first place, you question if you even know the definition of love and can be the right judge of when you next feel it. I believe the hardest thing is how a few of the things you once loved and admired about the person become the very things you can’t stand, the things that help your heart make the decision to walk away. I guess my question is, how do you trust your judgment on your emotions when they seem to always be shifting?


All I see are cracks and the endless reasons why this can‘t work and, maybe, never worked. I think the euphoria of whatever I felt blinded me to these cracks but, aren’t we supposed to love regardless of the cracks? 

Maybe the anger that consumes me right now is born out of a place I don’t want to visit anymore. A place where, if I am being honest, I saw all the cracks but chose to love regardless, embraced all of you, cracks and whatnot.

P.S. Please listen to Kygo’s album Golden Hour while reading this.

2020, Adventure, Her Version of Events,

28/10/2020 – Musings on Graduating

My degree got confirmed today. I am grateful but boy, the year was long and short at the same time. It feels like you can’t pack that amount of living into 12 short months but all the living happened and I experienced it, so it really was long and short at the same time. 

I started my MSc year applying for a study leave from my job and accepting a new role I would function in part-time till I concluded my degree, but part-time quickly turned full-time and I found myself juggling a full-time masters program with a full-time job. 

Here are the things that naturally happened. 

I started sleeping 3 – 4 hours at night because, between essays and project plans for work, this was the only number of hours feasible for sleeping. Also on the subject of sleep, I mastered the art of power napping – it became essential for survival. 

The art of cutting myself some slack. I am hard on myself, I think we all are, and I desire to always operate at a 100%. It has been a learning curve coming to terms with the fact that my output will not always be at a 100% and embracing that as a growth opportunity instead of beating myself down. 

Rest, a very foreign concept to me. I usually push myself till the death, rise and just keep going, but in the last couple of months allowing myself off-days saved me from burning out. Off-days when I just read a good book, binge watch series and not beat myself up because of the work that I could be doing because, in the words of my famous friend, ‘’work no dey finish’’ so you might as well give yourself a day off every now and again. 

Say it with me, ‘your calendar is your friend.’ I learnt to schedule everything, from calls with friends to my classes and work meetings. It helped me stay on top of things an important plus is that I can colour-code all my different activities.

We all need a support system and I think I took mine for granted. I lived at home with my family and that meant, after a day at work, my sister was there to offload on, my mum would have dinner waiting on a few nights and my dad would take playful jabs at me. Overall it was expected. I have come to appreciate them more and I miss them from time to time.

Still, on support systems, I have the best friends in the world. I have earned this degree with all of them; they have listened to my rants about deadlines and feeling inadequate and have supported me at every point, I think the overarching lesson is: you can’t go through life alone. 

I am grateful to have achieved one of my dreams: completing a masters degree. I am excited for what comes next.

2020, Her Version of Events,

01/11/2020 – I Have A Few Questions…

First question.

Where did all the time go? 

I still remember going to see ‘Three Sisters’ at the National Theatre London on the 31st of December and, thereafter, going to a church across the road for a watch night service. 

It was my first New Years without my mum and dad and going to the watch night service was the only family holiday tradition I could keep alive. 

It just feels like not enough time has passed for it to be November 1st already; time to pull out the journals and start planning for 2021. 

Second question. 

Do you feel small, like you are incapable of making a difference in the world? 

The world seems to have toppled on it head this year and seeing a silver lining has been be really difficult. 

Here are the areas I feel small and insignificant and the things I am attempting to do about those things:


I haven’t gone this long without seeing the members of my family and I have this hum of ‘missing’ that won’t leave me alone. If not for the pandemic we would have visited so I have compensated with constant communication and sometimes just leaving a video call running in the background while we go about our day. 

I have come to terms with the humming. I will always miss my family once I am away from them and this is okay. 


I never paid attention to politics and never cared much about voting. I am ashamed to admit it but all things political just overwhelmed me, so I stayed away. 

In the last few months I have turned a corner and I want to understand everything: how politics works and what goes into governance, but the more I research I can’t help feeling little – feeling that I don’t have the power to change anything. I understand it but how do we go about effecting change in a system with a design flaw? Figuring out how to start has been overwhelming. 

I haven’t figured it out completely, but here is what I am doing: tweeting about the things I am learning and sometimes lashing out at government bodies and agencies. Having an outlet is helping as well as researching into different initiatives from across the world to gain an understanding of how others are going about it. 

Last question. 

How do you spice up your meal prep? 

In the past year, since I started living alone, I have realised that meal prepping is one thing that ensures you don’t go hungry but it has the potential to quickly get boring. I am stumped on this, I don’t have an answer or an approach. Okay, maybe I am not completely stumped. I am trying two new recipes this week as options to add to my roster, but suggestions on how to spice things up are welcomed. 

These are all the things that keep me up at night and then some. 

Here is to a glorious November! 

Happy New Month. 


In Three years…

Certain days stand out in the retelling of your history. Many of these standout days usually start out like every other day, you don’t know what the day will bring or that the day will be a catalyst that’ll unlock something in you; birth something in you you didn’t even realise you needed. 

One of these stand-out days for me is the 4th of September 2017. It was my first day of work at Softcom. I was nervous and unsure of what to expect, natural feelings that come with starting a new role, outside of the typical first-day orientation and introductions to everyone. It was chaotic on my first day. Our office consisted of two separate flats located at the very top of a three-story building, hence there was a lot of movement between the flats. It was an open office setup with medium-sized tables and chairs around each table. 

The first thing that stood out to me was that a few chairs had names on them and there were a lot of conversations about chairs: who owned which chair and where to sit. An impromptu trip for about 12 people came up and it was all hands on deck to buy tickets and ensure everyone that had to be was on a flight to Port Harcourt the next day.  I spent most of the day helplessly waiting for my work tool (a computer) to arrive. It eventually did past 5 pm and at the end of the day, I wondered what I had gotten myself into.

My mum picked me up on my first day of work. It is just something she always does when I start a new role. She asked, ”Ore, so how was it?” ”It was okay,” I replied. ”Just okay?” she queried and I just looked out the window nodding because I wasn’t sure how the day had gone and where this move I had just made was headed.  

I didn’t dwell on my conflicting feelings for very long because my job at Softcom, to me, was a stopgap. I always wanted to be an academic – write papers, prove theories and generally be an important opinion-giver in my chosen field. I had it all figured out: work at Softcom till July 2018 then go back to school. I had accepted an offer to a  2-year masters program in Australia. I told myself that was my focus and I should not let a “stop-gap” distract me. 

But Softcom had other plans. First with the people. The people I met were genuinely interested in your wellbeing, they cared if one person was absent for work and took it upon themselves to find out why. When we celebrated birthdays, it felt like we were a large family filled with members that had no physical or biological connection except the desire to be present and be of help in each other’s lives. People were happy to be assigned tasks, they carried it out diligently, with little to no grumbling, eager to collaborate to get an activity to the finish line. I learnt quickly that people at Softcom genuinely enjoyed their work. 

I believe because Softcom makes you feel a part of something bigger than yourself, part of a group of people challenging the status quo to bring about change in a country that causes you daily to lose hope, you are able to release your capacity to deliver; to be the hope people are looking for. This created a group of people ready to create, in those two little flats, a version of the world they hoped to live in. 

With lofty dreams and ambitions comes a stretching beyond your capacity. I have taken on different projects, completed reports I didn’t believe I was capable of delivering on. I still don’t believe in a good number of my accomplishments over the last three years. My first week of work my manager was away and I had to represent him at a meeting with one of our largest clients. I had to read up en route the meeting and ask my colleagues a lot of questions over the phone. That experience was surreal. I look back on that day not sure if it happened, not sure what I said at the meeting but I am alive and still employed so I believe it went well. 

Stretching isn’t always welcomed because it is painful but it brings about growth in your character and it improves you. 

Softcom isn’t the same company it was on my first day at work, it has grown. It has developed with its fair share of challenges along the way but I wouldn’t trade the lessons I have learnt along the way, the friendships I have built and the lasting impact that working at Softcom has had on my life for anything. 

Ore still wants to become an academic. She is still in love with papers and research so right in this moment it will not be appropriate to write ”here’s to another three years” but the wanderlust explorer that she is is grateful her sojourn made her cross paths with Softcom. 

Knowing what I know now, I look back on the memory of my first day differently. I see a group of people that wouldn’t give up until a task was delivered on. I see faces of people happy to be at work, laughing and taking shots at each other, and carrying on till change happens. 

2020, 28,

How do you know to quit?

I’ve never learnt how or when to stop, I just keep going. ‘Where am I going?’ you may ask. I will attempt to explain. 

I start the day looking over my To-Do list from the previous day and filling the new day’s list with items that didn’t get checked off. With each meeting, with each conversation, the list grows and it is never done by the end of each day. 

I have tried multiple techniques with the list; I space the items out to reflect close-out urgency and priority, I unbundle the items so one item on the list doesn’t in reality represent 20 things, but things always overlap and it feels like a never-ending cycle. 

I keep following the cycle, I keep going everyday till I lose the battle with my eyelids and they shut on their own. 

What eventually happens is my body starts to shutdown by itself because it wasn’t built to work in this manner. It goes into hibernation, demands rest and does not take ‘no’ for an answer. 

I ask myself why I always have to get to this point before I listen to my body’s needs. I ask if I have the right approach to work and why I am willing to kill my body over my to-do list. 

I don’t have any answers. All I know is my eyelids are heavy again and are about to win our constant battle.