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Thinking out Loud 7.4.17

People wonder why most women are more vocal and rebellious these days. I think that it stems from the fact that our mothers showed too much weakness and obeyed without questioning, all because of “the kids” thus us. we watched them carry so much pain and burden in silence that we vowed in our hearts that we will not go through what our mothers went through. so even though they sought to teach us submissiveness by their actions, they indirectly taught us to rebel

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To the teacher who made me hate mathematics

Dear Sir,

I was just a child who wanted to learn and who enjoyed school because my curious mind was being fed. I wake up early with the excitement of going to school to learn and play with my peers, until there is a quick and painful awakening of what awaits me early in the morning during your lessons.
I was not very fascinated by numbers but I wanted to find out what I could accomplish with them nonetheless but the sound of your cane descending on our backs early in the morning put fear in the center of my brain and I could not think of any other thing apart from the pain that was synonymous with your subject. I remember all the meanness as if it was yesterday and I don’t know if you just derived pleasure from inflicting
pain or it was just a teaching method gone badly.
As I write this I am struggling to remember your name that is how much I fear you sir, so much so that I dread to even remember your name. Every morning in school was torture for me as there was what is known as early morning “mental” (any Ghanaian student knows the caning that goes with that word). It was supposed to be a morning brain teaser before the main lessons but it soon turn into a caning bazaar.
The pain you inflicted was supposed to make force us to take the learning of mathematics more seriously but it ended up filling my whole being with dread and hatred for all things numbers and for years I struggle to deal with numbers. The choices of courses later in life were determined by the absence of numbers because I did not feel worthy of numbers.
My friend and I who constantly got canned every morning came up with ways to cheat (something I was not proud of) so we would not have a sour back to take home. As you would instruct us to exchange our exercise books with the person next to us and mark each other’s work, the two of us would quickly exchange our blank exercise books and write out the correct answers for each other as you wrote them out on the board. This was our only chance of escaping the consistent forced relationship we had with your cane.
I am not totally blaming you for my natural weakness with numbers but you did little to encourage me to find some fascination with numbers.
Today, I have come to terms with the fact that I am just not good with the formulas and rules that go with numbers and I will rather read books and analysis characters or write poetry, but I do wonder what my relationship with numbers would have been had you not forcefully broken us up.

I am my blog

When I decided to start a blog, it was a battle between sticking to poetry which is my niche or mix different genre of writing. I realized there is so much to write about and I might not always want to express myself in poetry so I decided to mix things up. I didn’t want to concern myself too much on what basically to stick to because I was excited I am finally going to be able to share my poetry and different perspective with others.
Some people would like us to believe or are able to separate their “SELF” from their writing but I am a firm believer that you can’t be a good writer without giving at least a little of yourself away. Most of the time and by that I mean all the time, my writing (especially my poetry) is provoked my very own emotions and experiences and therefore it is hard for me to write without giving a piece of myself away to my readers. My poetry is full of little “hidden” life stories of myself.
All I am trying to say is that I am what I write basically and I am happy to be able to share part of me with others near me and across the globe.
When I say I am my blog these are the reasons why:

1. Not very consistent: those who have visited or who follow my blog would realize it has undergone series of changes from its name to the general appearance and that is me right there, I find it difficult to stick to a particular pattern and therefore I am constantly trying to put a new feel or appearance to either my house, appearance, writing etc. I always belief things can be improved upon. This has its short falls because it makes me appear as someone who can’t make up her mind or decide on what she wants.

2. My emotions are on a roller costa: my poetry is especially an indicator of how constantly my emotions change. One moment I am writing a very sad poem at other times I am trying to capture the magic of life or my experiences. Click on any of my writings and you will know immediately how I was feeling at the time.

3. Some post have no likes: we all have posts we have invested so much time to write and yet no body “likes” them and so there are days when I am not a very likeable person. It could be because I come across as cheeky or too brutal with my utterances. Whatever the reasons maybe my blog and I have those days when we are just not likeable period!

4. Love for pictures: I believe that where words have failed pictures have triumphed because a picture can speak louder much more than words. I love to take pictures and thanks to selfies it is now cool to self-indulge in pictures. On my blog I try to add pictures to most of my writings so that the visuals can help communicate what I am trying to say as well as give people the freedom to interpret my work the way they understand it.

5. Love for culture: I am from Ghana and as much as my country has a lot of challenges I still love my country and the diverse culture. My blog brings part of my culture to people who know little or have no idea about it at all. I share my culture through my writing. My blog has a feel of the Ghanaian culture to it.
So there you have it, anytime you visit my blog feel at home and know that I am sharing a piece of me with you.

Why I fear the words strong woman

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There is never been a day where I felt like I should be a man (oh only during moments when being a woman does not favor me). Growing up in a culture where being a woman is limiting and yet having a grandmother who commanded so much respect and fought the odds to achieve everything she has ever wanted for both her children and grandchildren, I was aware of the strength of a woman from an early age. My grandmother mirrored it all and was known as “De Gaulle” (a nickname she was given because she was thought to be strong, firm and strict like General De Gaulle of France) because of the power she exudes.

I must have unconsciously picked certain characteristics from her because I always want to work hard to achieve all that I ever wanted. I wanted to earn my own money so I could spoil myself and buy what I wanted. She taught me the value of hard work, honesty and independence (but she did spoil me rotten too). I remember my first day in the boarding house, I was merely a child (in Junior High School) but I was so aware of myself and my surroundings (unlike many who looked lost and in tears) that the then headmistress said to me “you don’t need a school mother” (So I gladly never got one).

I therefore grew up depending more on myself and I have realized since finishing school and working that most people I have encountered turn to tell me I am a strong woman. That is a compliment or should be a compliment but for some funny reason I become a bit uncomfortable and turn to ask the giver of such compliment to further explain what they mean by “strong woman”. This might stem from the fact that I have come to believe (I say this because it might not be a widely accepted belief) that statement has some negative undertones. When people say you are a strong woman in this part of the world I think they mean one or the following;

  1. That the woman is somehow difficult to deal with
  2. She is ruthless in speech and in dealing with others
  3. domineering in her dealings with others
  4. The “I know my right” kind of woman
  5. The “odindin” (woman of steel) type of woman

Don’t get me wrong I am proud of being called a strong woman and I wear that compliment around most of the time but I can’t help but think of the negative connotations and undertones that might sometimes accompany that phrase “STRONG WOMAN”.

Songs I cry to

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It is a new year and we are all excited about the prospect of a new chapter in our lives. In 2014 we all hope for better things in our lives; from our families, relationships, careers, friendships and many other areas of our lives. When we were shouting the popular greetings HAPPY NEW YEAR, it was not necessarily because the weather or a lot of our surroundings will change and not because most of us will change attitude wise. It is mostly because we hope things will be different and the idea that we have the chance to turn things around in our lives is what excited us the most (not forgetting the holidays).

As much as it is exciting and we all hope for the best, we still know that the journey into 2014 is not going to be rosy, we can’t simply keep it together all the time and hey! That is alright because we are simply humans. There would be happy moments along the line and there would be heartbreaks; people will disappoint us mostly but we would disappoint ourselves too along the journey.

Speaking of heartbreaks, most of us know how that feels like especially when it comes to the issues of love and relationships, when someone you love no longer cares and feels the same way about you or has simply decided to move on with their lives because they don’t see you in the picture of their future. Different people have different ways of dealing with heartbreaks, some will cry, others will stop eating while others will simply refuse to let go and some others take the time out to plan the “perfect” revenge. Many others will pretend it never happened and dust the memories off their shoulder and simply carry on.

This is what I do, I stay indoors, cry and listen to lots of music, and a song immediately becomes a hit to me if the lyrics speak to my situation. I will sing along and cry my eye balls out. This process (funny how I call it a process now) is the catharsis for my body and soul. During this time you need both songs that make you strong and tell you that you are stronger than you know as well as songs that will simply make you miserable so you can cry yourself to sleep. Like it or not whatever you do to get on your feet again is a necessary process (as long as you are not going about hurting others).

So let me share with you the five (5) songs I listen to when I am going through a heart break or a break up. I sing along to these songs and cry in my room till I am strong enough to face the world again. Here we go:

1. Lose to win- Fantasia Barrino

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This is the song that hurts and encourages as well. When you know it’s over and yet scared to face a new life without this person so you console yourself with the fact that you have to lose in order to win

2. After the hurricane- Jasmine Sullivan

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This song simply compares the attitude of the people who break other people’s heart to that of a hurricane, which sweeps and destroy everything in its way.

3. No can do- Sugababes

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This song is for when you are the person who broke up with the other person and they are trying to come back but you are not ready. It’s a fact that you can initiate the break up but still cry your eye balls out.

4. The one that got away- Katy Perry

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Usually when you know you are to blame for letting the other person go away you just want to drown in a song like this.

5. That’s where I’ll belong- Peter Andre

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Well this is not like a heart break song but usually after crying all the tears and you are lonely and wish you have a special  someone by your side and you realize you don’t so you start to cry all over again.

So let me know how you deal with heartbreaks and how do you lift yourself up again and if it is through music feel free to share your list of songs with me.

If I were a Hip hop song

 Music has always been part of my life and when I usually say “take away my phone and leave my music”, I mean every word of that statement. This might be surprising especially in an era where social media is taking away all our time and attention. But I just know I will choose music over a lot of things. When it comes to music I am suddenly excited and my face literally lit up when I am talking about music or listening to it. My encounter with music dates back to my lonely days as a kid listening to music through the giant speakers my uncle uses for his “spinning” business.

I grew up listening to all genre of music and would find it difficult to choose one genre of music over the others. I listen to gospel, Hip-life, R&B, pop, Blues, reggae etc. and sometimes jazz. However one genre that is not very much my favorite is hip-hop; not only is it fast paced with a lot of unrefined statements and strong language, it sometimes disrespect women and sexualize us, but that said there are still so many hip-hop songs I like either for the beat or chorus or the simple fact that I enjoy the song and sometimes I really can’t tell why I like a song. If the song speaks to me I am good to go. I must add that I have an ear for good music and quite a number of people have said so.  

Have you ever wondered if you were a song how you wound sound like? Well I have and below are five songs that I would have sounded like if I was a hip-hop song.

1.  CROOKED SMILE-J COLE

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 Just listening to the lyrics of this song paints a clear picture of what women put themselves through to look picture perfect. We will go through any length of discomfort to look good and yet when we are told we look beautiful we don’t even believe it. Below are the part of the lyrics that tells me the truth as a woman;

 “We ain’t picture perfect but we worth the picture still.”

 “Oh, you a woman? I don’t know how you deal

With all the pressure to look impressive and go out in heels

I feel for you

Killing yourself to find a man that’ll kill for you

You wake up, put makeup on

Stare in the mirror but it’s clear that you can’t face what’s wrong

No need to fix what God already put his paint brush on”

 “To all the women with the flaws, know it’s hard my darling

You wonder why you’re lonely and your man’s not calling

You keep falling victim cause you’re insecure

And when I tell you that you’re beautiful you can’t be sure

Cause he don’t seem to want you back and it got you asking”

 

2.   SIGNS-SNOOP DOGG FT JUSTINE TIMBERLAKE

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The truth about this song is that I hardly know the lyrics of this song but the smooth sound of Justin Timberlake’s voice mixed with that “one in a million” voice of uncle Charley makes me want to be this song if I was a hip-hop song

3.  THROUGH THE WIRE-KANYE WEST

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 Yes I use to love Kanye West before he went “mad” and this was the song that started our romance. I think the tragic story behind this song was what made me love it. The chorus is awesome.

4.  MY LIFE-THE GAME FT LIL WAYNE

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 This song appeal to me in a funny way especially the chorus which reminds me of family and friends I have lost but usually I am dead scared of singing it out loud for the fear that God will take my life( sounds funny but it’s the truth). Read the lyrics and you would

And I’m grindin’ til I’m tired
They say “You ain’t grindin’ til you tired”
So I’m grindin’ with my eyes wide
Looking to find
A way
Through the day
A life
For the night
Dear Lord, you’ve done took so many of my people but I’m just wonderin’ why
You haven’t taken (my life? x3)
Like what the hell am I (doing right? x3)
(My Life x3)

 5.   ASAP ROCKY-F**KN PROBLEM

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 This is the type of song you don’t want your parent to catch you listening to and yet you would. I don’t understand a word they say but I know there is a lot of explicit content but I love the entire rap but the swearing is too much but I can’t help it. I like it.

So wondering what I would sound like as a hip-hop song? I guess the good, the bad and the ugly. There you have it but I still would sound like a lot of other songs.

 

 

Wine making and character building

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If you are someone who enjoys wine, you will notice how wine seems to help you relax or sometimes make most dishes taste better than they usually would. Wine lovers all over the world sip away this relaxing drink most days of their lives. But have you ever paused to think for a moment and reflect on the process involved in making wine? I guess not, we would rather like to think of the finished product which is more appealing.  

After recently thinking along that line, I came to realize that there is a link between the process of wine making and the struggles and challenges of human beings, which usually leads to character building. The process of wine making is a tedious one but the final result is a refreshing drink that people have enjoyed the world over. You might never have thought about the link between character building and wine making but if you give it a little reflection it soon becomes clear that there is a lot in common than you might think.  

The harvest:  harvesting or picking is the first process in wine making. Selection of the fruits is as important as the rest of the wine making itself. Each fruit is carefully selected and bad or rotten fruits are usually not part of this process. Come to think of it, in life all of us have our own destiny and with it comes our special challenges. You must be grateful to be going through challenges in your life because this means you have been handpicked like a special grape fruit so that at the end you can come out as refined as wine. It is usually difficult to be grateful for difficulties or challenges but we all agree that in the end, it is what helps build our strength and character

Crushing and pressing: this is the part where the grapes are literally crushed and pressed for that special liquid which will later become the wine we enjoy. As humans we are sometimes painfully crushed and pressed so hard that we cannot see the brighter side of life.  I have had such moments and trust me it is hard to believe that anything good can eventually come out of it but the final result is always an amazing product which is savored the world over.  This is one of the most important processes of wine making as it determines the quantity and quality of the final product. So when you are crushed and pressed like the grapes hold on because the final product is an awesome product most people will like to share in.

Fermentation:  this is the magic touch to wine making but it also needs a lot of patience. Fermentation usually determines the taste and strength of the final product. This means that as we go through life we need to pause once in a while to think about the challenges in our lives, it is usually not an easy task because we would rather focus on the good times but believe me rushing through the challenges without reflecting means most lessons are lost and we are more likely to repeat the mistakes. Take time off and calm down like the fermenting wine and watch just how stronger you come out of your challenges like the alcohol in wine.  

Clarification/filtration: this process is where the wine is filtered for the unwanted particles to be separated from the final product. If the wine maker needs quality, he is extra careful at this stage. At this point in our lives this is the painful part where we need to decide who or which situation follows us to the next stage of our lives and like the wine maker we must make that filtration process very important because it affects the final quality of our lives.

Aging and bottling: this is the final process of wine making but is also as important as the rest of the processes. This process also contributes to the final taste of the product as well as how the wine will appeal to the consumer. The older the wine the better the taste and the better looking the bottle, the more likely it will attract or appeal to the consumer. The lesson or link with human beings here is that as we grow older we are more likely to appeal to people because we become mature and are more likely to handle issues better than we use to. We should therefore come out of our challenges with a positive outlook in life as this will help draw positive people to us and help us become better people. Package yourself positively and see how people are drawn to you. So the next time you are enjoying a glass of wine, remember you have so much in common with that glass of wine than you thought possible. Cheers!!!!.