Wading

I feel like I have to give a disclaimer before I get a call asking if I'm okay. I couldn't sleep and at precisely 0313, I did what I've been putting off for so long – I wrote. This is what came of it.

And I’m here. Reading our story and feeling so fucking overwhelmed by the utter dysfunction of it all, wondering how I managed to find love in you, in your absurdity. I can’t help but feel you’ve broken me forever and you won’t ever understand because it doesn’t matter half as much to you as it does to me. Nobody will understand. Nobody has been in love with you the way I was in love with you.

I'm floating in you, in what I want you to be. You can see me, clear as day and you know what I want yet you deny me heaven. And I deny myself by clinging on to the idea that is so evidently not you. Either I drown here and the death of me will open your eyes to the actuality of what you've done or I save myself, never to wade in you again but know you're still here, being what I don't need you to be – not mine.

I'm learning and desperately trying to unlearn the mechanisms I have used to keep myself together in this time of healing. I let myself cry, I let myself think, I let myself grieve and I realise I'm living a life that no longer exists to appease you.

Finality isn't what I thought it would be. It didn't bring about the coldness of the loneliness I know I need. I feel open. I am not new but I am.

I’d like to say thank you to everyone who encouraged me to start this again. From the people who asked me if I was still writing, to those who asked me to start writing again and to those who simply said they missed my blog. It makes me teary-eyed to think I’ve touched people enough for them to notice my absence and to care to ask me to try this all again. It means the world to me.

Having To Choose

Hi guys. It’s been a while.

I wrote a piece over on fvdedcollective.com titled ‘Bursaries and Virginities’ and it’s my response to a report about a university in South Africa offering bursaries to female students who remain celibate and undergo regular testing to ensure they are sticking to the terms of the agreement. You can check it out here. I feel like I’m not done talking about it yet because it really is a segue into a lot of deeper issues that weigh on my mind a lot of the time. I was angry when I wrote that post but now I feel like I can reason a bit better.

I was talking to a few of my friends in university about this and almost all of them said they would accept this bursary and the aforementioned testing just because they were already virgins and they didn’t plan on having sex before graduating from university anyway. But what I didn’t get is why they didn’t get that this whole situation was the biggest pile of shit in the first place. So I guess this is what I would say to them if they would listen to me and my words flowed as naturally as they do when I’m sitting in front of a computer screen.

I understand wanting to remain celibate as much as I understand wanting to have sex and I understand wanting to have an education and not having the funds for it at the time. I understand why this could seem appealing but I don’t understand why one has to choose. I don’t understand why sex has to be used as a weapon against a woman or anyone.

At the end of the day, I am a human being first. I am an intellectual being, I am a sexual being. I feel things, I want things. I have the capability to be anything I want with everything that I am. We are all sexual beings so why is sex something that I have to choose? It’s the choice that irritates me. It’s the fact that I have to choose between wanting to expand my mind or taking part in this fundamental act of life. It’s this notion that all I present to you is what’s between my legs and nothing more. Why can’t I have the possibility of both?

The reasoning behind this bursary was to minimise the spread of STDs and unwanted pregnancies and all that jazz. But do these things happen on their own? Do I click my fingers and demand to have chlamydia or have a foetus grow inside of me? It takes two to tango. Everyone is super quick to point the finger at females in almost all cases that involve sex. Be it rape, be it harassment, anything that involves consent or sex itself going wrong, females are seen as the problem and 9 times out of 10, I bet a female didn’t bring any of the issues on to herself. No one has stopped to consider the problem could stem from a male?

There are basics rights as a human being and from all I see and from what I know, the experiences of a female in this day and age are inexplicably tied to her sexuality. And it saddens me. We are so much more, we are not just sex. Too many times, I hear women saying they need to change what they are to change the outcome of situation that involves a member of the opposite sex. We have to do all the work or we need to be the defining factor. In my head, inequality is tied to the saying “from who much is given, much is required”. My one sole question that I will continue to ask is “why?” Yes, we are a bundle of intricacies and we do so much for the world but we’re not the only ones here. I just wish I knew why it was always down to women to be the sacrificial lamb in almost all situations.

Georgina ❤

Songs of the Week

And of course, The Life of Pablo but Kanye’s being difficult so either subscribe to Tidal or download it somewhere. It’s great. It’s in my top 3 Kanye albums, I’m not ashamed to say it.

Please, Stop Talking

I know I said I wouldn’t talk about boys but listen: I have no choice, I have to or else, there’s simply no way for me to articulate what I have to say, I apologise.

Let me first state the obvious: we are all entitled to an opinion. Whether we are asked to vocalise it is one thing but we all think things, there’s nothing anyone can do about that. What pisses me off is being on the receiving end of these completely unwarranted opinions and then having to receive the backlash of not agreeing with said person’s opinion.

Now, back to our regular scheduled programme.

There is an individual in my class who has taken an acute interest in my outward appearance and it’s grinding my gears. Really, really, grinding. I’m really over this notion that a woman can only wear makeup or decide to put an effort into her outfit or whatever and it automatically has to be for “the man”. If I say it is, then it is. If I don’t, who the hell do you think you are assuming it’s all for you?

It first started with a few hit and miss comments here and there like “Oh, who have you dressed up for then?” and “You look really pretty today, what’s happening?” Not only were these little sayings utterly unwarranted, they were backhanded as hell. So every other day, I look like trash or? Pardon? Then came the one that really just sent me over the cliff. Wait for it:

“If you wore makeup everyday, you would be perfect.”

Now, let’s take a moment to consolidate what this statement actually means, let’s break it all the way down. Let’s delve into the mind of this utterly filterless, brainless, sack of idiocy and try and decipher what this one-liner meant:

Your God-given, natural, bare face is inadequate for me to even consider finding you attractive (or looking at you or dating you, I have no bloody clue) and I have decided that it is makeup and makeup alone that can solve this conundrum. You have to look appealing to me at all times, so do it. Now.

Ladies and gentlemen, are you shaking your heads with me right now? Believe me when I say I didn’t take this comment lying down, oh no. It would have been a disservice to womanhood if I let such a thing come out of his mouth and leave it unchecked. But what gets to me above all of this is simply the fact that he didn’t get where he was wrong. He didn’t get that he couldn’t say stuff like that to me or to anyone and think it was okay.

This issue of male entitlement, I don’t think it can ever be solved. I think it’s a neurological thing, a difference in brain chemistry because it’s too damn common to just be down to conceitedness. I don’t understand how every little showcase of self-love has to be attributed to me wanting to please a member of the opposite sex. That’s not all I am, that’s not the entirety of what women are here to do. There are a gazillion and one intricacies that make me up but for some reason, a boy just wants to see it all as me wanting to impress him?

Here’s the big question: why do you feel this is so? Do you pay my rent or do you buy my groceries? Do you stay up all night and memorise chemistry mechanisms for me? Do you even care about my wellbeing, physically or even mentally? Are we emotionally invested in each other? Do you have anything to do with me besides sitting in the same classroom as me? Yet you just want to think every little iota of my appearance is based on warding off or attracting attention from the likes of you. You want to reduce me into nothing more but a billboard on legs, because that’s all it is, right? Give me a break.

I keep saying this and I will always say it: ladies, do you. I can’t stress this enough. Nobody can govern you, no one can police you. I know the privilege of self-expression isn’t as easy for some as it is for others but one day, I hope and pray, that a world will exist where women can do whatever the hell they want without having to explain or justify themselves. Until then, crush comments like the ones I’ve mentioned above and just generally tell people to shut up.

Love, your highly irritated friend,

Georgina ❤

Songs of The Week

Just One Resolution

I haven’t felt inclined to write for a long time. I could lie and say I’ve had too much to do but besides studying, I really don’t do much and even the amount of studying I do is debatable. I have tried though. I can’t count the number of times I’ve sat on my bed, my legs crossed, my lights low and my eyes glued on a blank document, the cursor blinking at me, patiently waiting for me to do something but I couldn’t. No one asked why I hadn’t posted anything and I was surprisingly grateful for that too. It’s pressure and pressure leads to me writing absolute crap. I know, you don’t have to say it.

But here we are, in 2016 and I’m doing this. Happy New Year, everyone.

I don’t have any resolutions. Well, I had one but I think I’ve seen the light and realised how truly idiotic it was. I’m turning 20 in approximately 5 months. The actualisation of this only just sunk in about 3 weeks ago. And as expected, I freaked the fuck out. In my mind, I have, or better yet, had a timeline of how I wanted my life to pan out. I’m a semi-existentialist; I like to think I have some control over my destiny. On my timeline, around this time, I wanted to be able to drive, be living away from home, fully settled into university, be encapsulated by a self-confidence that could shatter concrete and of course, be in love. And when I consolidated what I had anticipated for myself and what I actually am, the big jigsaw puzzle that was missing really sent me into panic mode. I started thinking I was broken, like there was something wrong with me and I vowed to myself that by the 6th of May, I would be in something that resembled a relationship, by fire, by force. The people who I told this to all said the same thing: “what’s the big deal?” and it exasperated me that they couldn’t see what I was seeing. But the fact that they didn’t see what was so monumental about being 20 and single made me re-evaluate everything too and I came up with this new resolution: I won’t babble about singledom anymore. I won’t talk about boys anymore, I won’t cry about how “lonely” I feel or how “jealous” I am at the blossoming relationships around me. I’ll wait but I won’t sit and wait and I don’t want this blog to sit either.

So, with that being said, prepare to be introduced to a different side of me, I suppose. I want to try all kinds of things on here, I want to write stories, I want to collaborate, if I can teach Mandarin on here, I swear I will. I want to try new things, I want to continuously remind myself that a world exists outside the realm of boys and relationships that I’ve so tightly wound myself up in. This will be my little experiment. I will be consistent and I will post once a week, I promise. I just want to be open here, I want to grow and let you all see. I’m excited about this, I really am.

Oh and this is the year where I will edit wisely and justify my text before publishing because having it all aligned to the left is a mess.

Alrighty, see you next week!

Georgina ❤

Songs of the Week (it’s been a while)

Home

Before you do anything, I command you to read Tobi’s post, also titled “Home” on her blog here, we did a thing together. Please and thank you!

I was utterly prepared to do some poetic post with the recurring motif of “home is where you can walk around braless and give zero fucks” but nah, I’m going to switch it up, keep things exciting.

Whenever someone talks about “home”, my initial thought is always Nigeria. Always. I never thought I could feel so strongly attached to that country but I feel like my soul is rooted there. Every bit of me wants to be there all the time. The weather can melt your face off but it’s the best. Every day is an opportunity for growth, for discovery. The country is evolving, the nation is growing up and I get so overwhelmed just hearing about new developments in my endz (yes, endz with a z). I spent a massive chunk of my teenage years in Nigeria. As I formed into the graciously dazzling young lady that I am now, Nigeria moulded me, it dug out little caverns in me and dwells in me.

It scares me when I think of the number of people who leave for “greener pastures” in foreign lands and end up never coming back. I know, Nigeria isn’t for the fainthearted: that nation requires balls of titanium, a resolve that can never crack, patience in the truckloads and an ability to just take it all in and not run for the hills. But it’s home. It’s what runs through my veins: it’s always making a guest appearance in the small things that I do: be it a tinge in my voice or the sass in a look I give someone, there’s just something in me that continuously reminds me that Nigeria is where I want to be.

The food. Can we just take a moment? Can we acknowledge the sweetness, the absolute sweetness that is Nigerian food? I can’t remember the last time I heard someone hail the awesomeness of a plate of correct jollof rice by saying “the rice is too sweet”. I’m guessing using the word “sweet” to quantify the yumminess of savoury dishes comes from the direct Yoruba translation of “o dun gan” which literally means “it’s really sweet” but I digress. Nigerian food is a miracle to taste buds everywhere. Whether it’s akara and a small loaf of bread from the ever-faithful woman who was always there, every single morning, just there on the side of the road, expertly scooping up ground beans and squeezing out teeny balls into the abyss of bubbling oil before her on my way to school or the buns lady or the boli and epa lady or the suya man or the buka mama with her steaming plates of white rice, beans and 20, 50 or 100 naira meat. Food was never-ending, it was an experience just buying the food, it was a phenomenon sinking your teeth into it all.

I wouldn’t say I miss the attention I used to get from all breeds of men back then but now I actually notice how much of it there was, if that makes sense. All the cat-calling and the hey baby, can I have your numbers and the married men who would purposefully drive slow to match my walking pace just to propose the notion of financial domination to me, the obsession over girls half their age… it was a lot to deal with so if you think Nigerian girls are particularly mean-spirited, it’s most likely not intentional. It’s a defence mechanism, no doubt.

I want to be back there. I want my children to have Nigeria entangled in their hearts and minds. I want to help my nation, watch my nation succeed. I want to get my hands dirty with the grime and grit involved with growing something, tending something and watching it flourish into the beautiful creature it’s always meant to be. I want be one of the lucky ones who can say “I knew my home needed more hands, needed a nudge in the right direction so I went and I helped and here we are now.”

Georgina ❤

Song of the Week

Listen to GoldLink and let your life change.

Delayed Reaction

The saga continues. I had another run-in with my friend and let’s just say the blissful nothingness that occurred after the goings-on of last week’s post didn’t last for long. The timing was perfect for the blog post though, no?

“What happened this time?”
“I was walking down the hall and I walked straight into him.”
“What happened, woman?”
“He said the biggest hello to my friend but he couldn’t even look me in the eye.”
“Maybe he didn’t want your friend to get a clue.”
“No. It was almost like he was ashamed of it; it felt like he couldn’t wait to get away from me. He didn’t even say anything to me.”
“That’s extreme.”
“That’s how it felt. And then it made me feel really, really shitty about the whole thing.”
“Like you regretted it?”
“Yeah. I just wanted to redo everything and kick him out of my room that night. I mean, why should he get to ignore me when he came on to me? It doesn’t make any sense.”
“Boys don’t make sense, get used to it.”
“Still. It’s all so fucked up.”
“But didn’t you both say it wouldn’t happen again?”
“Yeah we did, that doesn’t mean he should act like I don’t exist.”
“Do you think he’s told everyone?”
“I’m not worried about that, I just don’t appreciate this sudden switch on me. What’s even funnier, I’ve seen him more times since our little thing than before everything happened combined. Combined.”
“So what do you want to do?”
“I can’t do anything. I just have to live with it and pray he stops being such an asshole.”
“And pigs will fly shortly after, surely.”
Stop. I just don’t get it. I mean, you can hook up with someone and at least be cordial after, right?”
“Easier said than done. Maybe he just can’t look at you without thinking about what’s underneath your clothes.”
“That’s so stupid. I don’t look at him and automatically think about his third arm.”
“Why you lyin’?”
“I don’t though. Oh well, my hooking up days are over.”
“You barely even started.”
“Exactly why it’s good to stop right now.”

 

Moral of the story: don’t think you can get away with it. I keep saying this and I will always say it; I’ll scream it even: you cannot partake in sexual tings (yes, I said tings), be it all the way or thereabout, without feeling something, anything. Be it remorse, happiness, guilt, closure or that sensation that swells up in you where even you can’t put your finger on it, that feeling of static, whatever it is: you will feel something. We’re human beings and sex is a combination of feelings, it’s a physical manifestation of emotions, whether you like it or not. At the time, it could feel awesome but then the aftermath will sneak up on you and it’ll have you thinking all kinds of things, bad things, haunting things. It’ll have you doing all kinds of things, just to escape or embrace the reality of what has happened.

Maybe it depends on the person: if you know you have guts of steel and you can go back to absolute normality with a person after the deed has been done, then bravo. If you can’t, put it back in your pants or in your bra or whatever. It just leaves a trail of awkward little balls of rage and semi-broken hearts all over the place. It’s a mess, a mess that could be avoided if we all didn’t give in to every little sexual whim that blew our way. But, then again, that whim is pretty demanding. Ah, what an impasse.

Or is my friend just being too naive? Are hookups a definitive end to basic friendliness? Surely, that cannot be right.

At the end of the day, the boy in question really just has a lot of growing up to do as do all boys who do this exact same thing to gazillions of girls out there.

In less strenuous news, I actually like university this year, like, a lot. Almost all my lectures are super interesting, studying over everything doesn’t seem like a death sentence anymore. Only downside, there’s so much group work and it is so annoying, I can’t stress this enough. On the other hand, lab sessions are so cool now. I got to work with hydrazine. Hydra-freaking-zine. That’s rocket fuel. Actual rocket fuel. I still get all mystified when I think about it. Even though I didn’t propel anything in to space, it’s still cool, shh.

Until next week or whenever,

Xièxie! (That means ‘thank you’ in pinyin (a variation of Mandarin) which I’m a total pro at now.)

Georgina ❤

Song of the Week

Hypothetically Speaking

Guys, I have a friend who’s been gracious enough to allow me to share her “story” on here. And no, this friend is not me, surely. I recall the conversation pretty well so I’ll try this in a transcriptional format. Shall we?

“So, what happened?”
“There’s this guy.”
“It’s always a guy.”
“And we barely know each other. I think we’ve spoken two times in a year.”
“Okay…?”
“And yesterday, I was almost falling asleep in the student union when he comes over and we start talking about all sorts of stuff.”
“Yeah…”
“He then asks for my number and asks if I’m doing anything on Thursday.”
“Surely, you told him you were busy.”
Now, you tell me.”
“Uh oh.”
“Thursday comes around and he texts me asking if it was okay for him to come and I was all like ‘sure, see you at 6’ or whatever. In my head, there were no warning bells going off, no feelings of apprehension. I mean, it seemed harmless this whole time.”
“Oh gosh.”
“So 6pm rolls around and he comes up to my room.”
And?”
“We didn’t last 30 minutes.”
“You’re joking.”
“I wish.”
“Did you…?”
No. I just couldn’t let it get that far.”
“But, pretty much everything that would build up to that point happened?”
“Yes. Don’t look at me like that.”
“You barely knew this guy.”
“I know. I don’t know what the hell happened. It just happened.”
“So after it all?”
“I didn’t feel any type of way, at all.”
“What do you mean? You didn’t feel devoid or overwhelmed? Nothing?”
“Not a single thing. I tried to think about it, about what it meant and I couldn’t think of anything. I couldn’t feel anything.”
“That’s so weird.”
“I know right? I just hooked up with a guy I hardly knew and I felt nothing.”
“Girl.”
Stop.”
“Think it’ll happen again?”
“I don’t think I could handle it. We both said it wouldn’t. The feeling of feeling nothing in itself wasn’t pleasant, I don’t want to push it.”
“Putting all this emotional turmoil aside, how was it?”
“Ah-may-zing.”

 

There was no way I could have this experience in my mind, whether it was mine or not, and not come up with some form of diagnosis to her lack of feelings towards it all. It would be cruel and unnecessarily nasty to not try to solve the mystery of no feelings when the individual going through this situation swims in a pool of feelings on a daily basis. This person can form an emotional connection to someone she’s never met, it’s almost on a spiritual level. So how does all that just vanish? How?

Honestly, I think it was a defence mechanism. Deep down, she knew the whole encounter didn’t mean anything past the physical level. Subsequently, her mind just decided to not waste valuable electrical impulses on creating a bottomless abyss of wallowing turmoil when she could be doing something much more productive. I don’t think she did anything wrong, hook-ups are hook-ups, they happen and that’s all there is to it. You can’t marry every person you’re attracted to on a primal level but if the opportunity arises to channel this energy into something beneficial for the both of you, why the hell not go for it?

I know the real thing she’s battling with is trying to justify it to herself and then to other people. Sometimes, our own rationale just decides to shrivel up and die and so we’re left with a great big question mark hanging over this very new and very grey area that we’ve newly been inducted into. I shouldn’t have an opinion about this but I do, can’t help myself. It’s just interesting to me. Just being hypothetical and empathetic, you know?

My week in comparison seemed incredibly dull: it’s just been a whirl of lectures and Pinyin translations. I got invited to a prayer meeting and I’m going. I need all the prayer I can get.

Georgina ❤

Song of the Week