Relationships. I am a sucker. I love to love, this much is true. I have been lucky to meet some of the most interesting guys, and date a few of them. I have also had my fair share of the how-did-I-get-myself-in-this-mess types. For the most part I have learned quite a lot from guys throughout my life as I do have only a handful of female friends. As for relationships, with everyone that’s ended, I pick up a thing or two that I learned from it, dust my ass and move on.
My last relationship was heaven! Yeah before it became hell. I look back on it every now and again just to watch a few clips off it and move on, which is what I pretty much do with my entire life.
So as much as I love to love, I have decided the only person worth loving right now is me.
Now back to my Ex.
He is very Nigerian, tall, handsome, sexy in every way a girl could think of, very caring and an all round lover boy. At this point, if any of my other Ex’es have enough sense they’d know this post isn’t about them.
This was one of those relationships where you are absolutely so sure it was the one. Everything felt like such a dream, as does everything in Life. But as dreamy as the love was, the hurt was real whenever it occured.
I thought I’d share with you 14 things I learned from this relationship as they are indeed very good points worth noting.
1. Everything is better together
In the early stages of our relationship, my ex and I did almost everything together. We were like peas in a pod. We spent a lot of time together and it almost seemed like our lives were intricately interwoven in such a way that there was no me or him, just us. Working out, cooking, grocery shopping, salon visits, everything you could think of.
The good part of this obviously is that It made our bond that much stronger. The bad part? I found that I missed doing things on my own. He kind of became my only buddie, my best friend, my everything. He was always in my space I was always in his space. It is pretty easy to start stepping on toes when you are that close to a person and that’s exactly what happened.
2. Not everything is better together
Contrary to 1 above, actually not everything is better together. Sometimes a girl just wants to be a girl and a boy just wants to be a boy. So everytime that we were not doing everything together, I found that I was happy to be alone. I am quite sure he was too. So in our time apart, we got that much better alone so that when we did come back together again there was so much to talk about. Balancing is key. We knew how to balance time together and time apart, but not quite well and so the odds were always against us when we didn’t get it just right.
3. Communication is an on-going thing
For any relationship at all, whether it is business, casual, friendships, love, every relationship thrives and excels because of great communication. The best form of communication above all else is real time face to face communication, and I am not talking facetime and skype. When you are with somebody physically, able to look in the person’s eyes as they speak to you, you create a bond that is real and that more special.
However when my Ex and I were apart, we kept it together on all other channels of communication, phone calls, text messaging, BBM and even twitter.
When we were not communicating constantly, something was wrong.
Now the question is ‘What are you talking about?’
With my Ex, we talked about everything. He was my best friend, sometimes it seemed like he was my only friend.
Was this bad? Hell yeah!
Bad for me though because it almost began to feel like I was losing myself socially as I had only one being in my circle most of the time.
4. Family matters
I do place family above everything. Luckily he did too. We talked about our families a lot and were in constant touch individually.
The last thing you want is to be in a relationship with someone who hardly brings up conversation about family. Not good.
5. When there’s money, Love is good
I have never been the type of girl to size a man up according to how much he was packing financially. For the most part I believe in growing together so my choice of men have never had anything to do with their financial status.
However when there’s money and we have enough to spend on this or that, and go to this or that place, Love is good. Every girl knows what this means.
6. When there’s no money, Love is better
Even better than 5, when there is no money, Love is better! As my relationship with my Ex has shown me. If you are like me and do not mind loving a guy for richer or poorer, then you have probably found ways to make love exciting when there is no money.
With my Ex, we found lots of ways and I mean Lots!!!
No money easily meant that we came to appreciate everything a little more than was necessary. We also were able to focus on deeper more meaningful matters like emotional, spiritual and intellectual growth, as we spent more time on naturally available non-money-buying activities.
7. Praying together is powerful
I am constantly seeking new ways to enjoy and develop my relationship with God. I am not holy, just as you aren’t, but when you are with someone on the same path spiritually, it can be a great thing to share.
Everytime we prayed together it always felt like the prayer was that much more stronger and God answered much quicker. “Where two or three are gathered…..”
8. I am mad at you, Let’s talk about it
Over time in life I cultivated a bad habit of keeping things to myself when I was mad and shutting off for minutes, sometimes days. My ex hated it and was always quick to try to quell the situation. He taught me how to get things over with as they happened and it made a huge difference in my life. I didn’t have to walk around with all that baggage and our relationship didn’t have to suffer for something that was already in the past.
“I am mad at you.”
“I am sorry boo. Please let’s talk about it.”
We talk about it, problem solved. Love goes on. Everybody’s happy. Goodbye. Till we fight again. Repeat cycle.
9. Keep a few secrets
This is very important. My Ex and I talked about everything yes, but everything doesn’t mean I couldn’t hold on to a few things that were mine for safe keeping.
I can be a little too trusting for my own good sometimes and with my Ex I was exactly that. But a few skeletons in the shelf don’t hurt no one. Unfortunately for him we didn’t stay together longer for him to hear me spill.
10. We both love books, But I’d choose mine
I made a really terrible mistake of giving up my right to choose and began instead to want to do things my Ex did. This was especially true with books. We are both addicted to books but in varying subjects. However I doted on him a bit too much. I thought he was the most intelligent guy I’d ever met. I wanted to schedule my day like he scheduled his’, I wanted to read the same books he read, I made his mentors my mentors, I created To-Do lists after To-Do lists like he did even though I was much more productive as a random creative.
Heck it didn’t take long before I lost myself in his world.
But here’s the hard truth, no knowledge is lost. I admit that I learned quite a bit from going that route but it cannot be compared to the joy I felt when I came back to my senses and began to read and do according to my own unique needs again.
11. Not every man is a dog
I have met quite a number of dogs in my lifetime. I don’t care how many people you have running down your list, we all have our numbers, but biko, when you are with one person, stick to one person until the devil separates you two.
My Ex respects himself too much to be a dog. Whoever the girl is that’s gonna get him now after me is one lucky girl!
12. Men are simple
All the emotional bouhaha that we female folk bring to the table really doesn’t make sense to them. They don’t get why we make something so simple appear way too complicated. Men have the simplest answers, the simplest reasons for doing what they do, it never has to be too deep, it never has to get to the point where they have to beg us. But we nor gree.
I for one nor gree. It took a while but he finally did drive home his point into my thick skull. Men are simple, if you are willing to see it that way.
13. Rules of engagement, Keep it to yourself
This particular relationship was the best I ever had! Oooohhhh the Love. Unlike any other relationship, this one was very very very Us. I didn’t have any need to get anyone involved in our drama and like I told you at No.8, my Ex had a way of solving issues as they occured. It is true that conflict and disagreements occur in relationships to strengthen the bond, just like life does with us when things are down and tough. The more conflicts, the more opportunities to learn how to resolve them better and in a loving peaceable manner.
Because I was not involving my girlfriends or telling whoever cared to listen about my problems, it helped us solve issues between us and there were no external opinions fueling or messing things up. You know how everyone suddenly becomes a relationship expert when you have a relationship problem? Yeah, I didn’t give myself the pleasure of that kind of therapy. Ehrmmm..actually maybe once. (There’s always that one time)
14. Love is as love does
My Ex’ favorite phrase. This is akin to love your neighbor as yourself. Do unto others as you’d like them to do unto you.
He was a master at this and everyday was a reason to love even better than yesterday.
Basically whatever you wouldn’t accept for yourself, do not extend unto your partner.
15. “I Am not your Ex”
I heard this all the time. It was like a constant reminder. My Ex before this Ex was a terrible Ex. And the latter Ex hated it whenever I made it seem as though he was a reincarnation of the former Ex.
‘I am not your Ex’ he’d say to me matter of factly. And when I looked into his eyes and gazed upon his handsome face, of course I wasn’t blind. He was not that Ex obviously. He was better, more caring, sincere, very well mannered, very dedicated and a true God-send. But he is an Ex now. Just not that Ex.
Now after all that, why did we break up? Nna it’s a long story biko.
There are two different effects from each of these times and I find that I am more powerfully creative when I work or attempt to do something outside at night.
Every time I sit out during the day to read or write or workout, whatever it is, I am more likely to enjoy the task much more than when I do it indoors.
Research does suggest that we are currently living unnaturally everyday as we hop from air-conditioned houses into air conditioned cars to air conditioned offices or classrooms and repeat the cycle over. This keeps us from enjoying the full benefits of nature and the outdoors.
I love to be outside. Especially at night
It is advisable to have a ritual that keeps you outdoors for sometime, maybe in the morning or in the evening. It could be a walk, a round table gathering with friends over drinks, or you just simply sitting down to read something.
This is my ritual right now and I hope to stick with it for a long period of time.
I workout outdoors, jogging with my dog, jumping rope and meditating first thing in the morning in that order. Meditation for me happens outside under a big tree that I am lucky to have in my neighborhood. It is always a chore of sorts to find an array of trees and nature in Lagos Nigeria where I live as the entire city is overrun by concrete buildings seated side by side like sardines.
So if you are lucky to live in an area that has a decent place to chill and appreciate the outdoors, take advantage of this beautiful gift of nature and bask in nature in the morning staring up at the sky as the sun rises.
The best time to be out in the morning is between 6AM and 8AM. If you are going to be outdoors much after 9AM be sure to use sunscreens and lotions containing a good amount of sun protection.
The best time to be out at night is between 6PM and 12AM.
When I was in school reading or doing any work at night was a breeze. I couldn’t concentrate during the day and as such I was a night crawler. It was heaven for me. I could stay up late for long hours and I used be a really nocturnal being.
These days as I journey towards experiencing that fun part of nighttime again, I begin to realize that there is in fact something about the nighttime that is so powerful. If you can stay out in the open night air for hours on end locked in on a task, you find concentration to be an easier, deeper experience and you feel fearless and powerful all at once.
I know a lot of us lead busy lives and can hardly afford the leisure of affordable nature time but when you think of all the stress you can relieve yourself of by just being out in nature, this would become something you might be drawn towards again and again. According to a 2009 study published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, the closer you live to nature, the healthier you’re likely to be.
If you can give yourself just 10 minutes of outdoor time in the morning and at night, for the next 7days, you would feel a lot more alive and well. You would connect to an even deeper part of you in ways that you never thought possible and you’d begin to find each new day to be an experience worth looking forward to.
I hope this helps and you can somehow begin to let yourself enjoy the powerful effect of nature.
One great thing to do? Look up and stare at the clouds. For no reason at all whenever you are outdoors, look up to the sky and bask in its wondrous beauty and majesty. Sometimes I dare to think that the creator just sits all day creating art with the clouds. It is a really beautiful world up there. The next time you feel terrible or burned out or depressed, look up and see the wonder that looks down at you everyday.
It is such a beautiful world out there. We are too locked in most times to experience it.
Remember #EvaSays? Yeah well, that is old news now and we can officially put an end to its era. It was fun but not exactly fulfilling for me, which was why I stopped in the first place.
I realized that I wanted more than just sending you voice notes and mp3s of my random musings, I mean, how does that improve my relationship with you?
I have been trying to get us to be best of friends for such a long time now, I literally wake up every morning looking and pondering on a what new ways we can get this relationship of ours on a better footing. If you are a fan that means you most probably listen to my music twice as many times as I do myself and hence probably even know me just as much as I know myself.
So what does that make you dear #Alordian? Aren’t you my dear fan? And friend?
I know you have a great many questions for me, I mean I wake up to hundreds of them everyday on my Twitter and Instagram, and I have decided I would answer as many as I can on those platforms but also
So! Do you have questions you would like for me to answer via audio and video messages? Simply type them in the comment box below in this post, or ask me on Instagram and Twitter with hashtags #EvaAnswers #EvaAnswers1
I would be posting all voice messages and video messages from #EvaAnswers every Friday! Which means if you want to receive answers from me you have to get posting right away!
UuurggGHH!! Selfie! I think it’s been quite a while since I randomly took selfies of myself. I have fallen in and out of love with taking selfies several times in the past year. All the running around and trying to get work straight has set me up for a lonely selfie ride. I barely even remember to snap out my phone and take a picture, no matter how long I spent getting my makeup done that day.
It’s funny how you go from wanting to take Selfies all the time to literally not even remembering to do so. So what happened Eva? Too busy? Is that really the reason or did you just fall out of Love with yourself?
You know, Infact I think I did!
This might be funny to some and might even come across as total gibberish, but truth is we all go through this phase of falling out of love with self in different ways. It is what keeps us knowing what we deserve, what we should settle for and what we shouldn’t. In my case, I completely became some sort of recluse, locked myself away in my small crib of a shell refusing to come out even to hang out with friends or share a drink with someone who cared enough to ask me out.
So what happened?
I was Lost gaddemeeet!
No that isn’t quite the best way to put that. I hate to make it sound like I am some kinda mad person with no clue about the world. As a matter of fact maybe I am.
Because how do you go from wanting to care for your nails, your hair, staring yourself in the mirror every chance you get, checking to see that your makeup is perfect every now and again dabbing some powder here and there, writing journals everyday, wanting to go shopping to get yourself something new and pretty, to not even caring what you look like? Literally!
How do you go from enjoying a good time out with friends, picking up a book and indulging your brain, watching a movie without feeling like you are doing yourself a disservice, or even loving what you do entirely, to just going through the days, working your ass off on some project or another. Forming busy? Ok oh
I sincerely do not even know how this began, I just woke up one morning and didn’t care about myself enough to care about myself. Isn’t that such a sad thing?
I am slowly coming to terms with it and understanding it for what it is. I fell out of Love with Eva.
There was just so much work, so much stress, so much going on externally that I slowly began to refrain from what was going on internally.
Today however I offer myself to myself. To love, to care, to nurture, to respect- If I don’t take care of myself, who will?
Selfie, or Self Love? You choose.
I do not care about selfies if I do not Love myself. And when I do Love myself, then I can be happy and share that happiness with someone in a low vibrational state. Isn’t that what we are all here for?
To ascend several levels of emotional states each one even more heightened than the next, and then to teach others how to do the same for themselves?
In more posts to come I will share how I am really dealing with this and steps I have taken daily to fall inlove with myself again. But for now, do you like my bathroom selfies?
The only thing they had was water in Dubai.
Their leaders started developing the place, They figured tourism would be a great idea for income.
Oil finishes that’s why the US buys our oil and keep theirs in reserve.
Dubai now has new measures for Nigerian Tourists.
There is caution as soon as they see Nigerians.
Its a different kind of treatment.
I was in Korea, just standing and admiring the place. This police man walks up to me and he says “Where are your papers?”
I touched his shoulder and said to him
“You see that guy over there, and that one over there, have you asked him for papers?
“So you come to ask for my papers cause I’m black.”
I say to him “No you are a racist”
It flows directly from us. We go to a country and we fuck up that place where we are, We fuck up our house and fuck up other people’s houses when we are there.
Whatever you do you stay focused on your part every other thing is noise.
If the money offered is going to help me achieve what i want to achieve then every other thing is noise.
I’m only after me, I’m focusing on what I want to get.
Just ask if this thing is of any benefit to you. You know what you can get out of it, fine
You see I very rich, every person rich but we as rich we see the people we make provisions. We move around the city free, no cry no crime no stoning.
Cause we too rich so we make them comfortable
So your country, is it hard make comfortable everyone? Why not?
His legs swinging in every direction above th e ground.
I say to him “Have you eaten?”
“Yes, now now now”
“What’s that in your mouth, gum?” I am puzzled by his constant chewing of something
“No oh!” he exclaims “Na chin gum”.
We all burst out in a long trail of laughter that enveloped the tiny room.
This is what should happen naturally if you were inlove with yourself.
Yes hunnie. Ever heard of falling in love? Imagine falling in love, absolutely, completely, with yourself.
It is hardly anything to do with money.
I promise you this much.
More money only means more things to buy. More places to go. More things to afford whether you needed them or not.
It doesn’t necessarily teach you what you really need to know about life. You.
You think it is the mirror that is playing a big joke on you until soon enough you have absolutely forgotten who you are.
Now that is where the big trouble starts. You find yourself hopping from one place to another, one book to the next, reading through bible verse after bible verse, watching one motivational speech and another and another..in search of You.
And all this time, you were with you. You never left! You woke up with you everyday. You slept the night with you every night. That was you with yourself in the bath. In the park. At the bank. Everywhere everytime.
But you were missing from you.
Or was it just you who decided in your heart to label something as bad?
You completely fine tune your mind not to see the many blessings that surround you until all that you focus on is how bad things are?
Isn’t it all good until we see someone who has more? Or something that appears better? Even though that in itself is another illusionary extension that has been projected unto your poor mind.
Soon you completely forget the one you were made to live and forget yourself all together.
Whats more, because this entire process causes you to stop focusing on you and Loving you, You begin to search for Love in every place else that is out there, external from you.
But Ha!!! How can anyone even really Love you, if you don’t Love you?? Isn’t that your primary assignment here?
Were you not told to Love your neighbour AS YOURSELF???? As! Yourself.
So you love you first.
You do it for you first.
And then you do it for everyone else.
Her frail body sprawled asleep on a bed, the sheets in disarray, lacy white panties the only thing to cover her burnt-brown African skin.
Her arms on either side over her head, legs flung carelessly across the bed. The illumination of the room was aided naturally by sunlight, which filtered through a window that appeared to be on the opposite side from where the wooden bed stood.
Behind the bed another window in front of which was a wooden wardrobe that towered high towards the ceiling.
Below it, herself. On the bed. Unclothed.
She stared at the computer screen looking at the photo, her eyes fixed on the lace that draped her thin dark behind. And it seemed for a moment that she could completely ignore the fact that this was her in the picture, as she let her mind travel back in time recollecting where she had bought the cute undergarment.
Then as though she was slapped back to reality by an unseen hand from the back of her head, she brought her concentration back to the contents of the email.
“Everyone will see this,” it read. “You know what to do, relinquish every right you have over the company or else..”
The sender address was unfamiliar, but the voice of the writer was well-known. She had heard it everyday for the past year and half, reading mails that came from the email address she was accustomed to, or hand-written love letters.
Letters she only received, albeit frequently, when an apology conveying emotions of regret for some wrong doing or another was necessary.
She had heard this voice say the words “I love you”.
A phrase so simple, yet illustrious enough to become a sort of luxury, luxury that she had already begun to believe she didn’t even deserve anymore.
“I love you.” The first time he had said it to her, her poor heart froze up inside her chest enslaving its proficiency in receiving air for a quick second and then melted within her. His eyes had conveyed all the proof she needed that he was in fact sincere.
Sincere he was indeed.
Just as much as he was now about leaking her photo to all of humanity. Perhaps only to those who cared to see what sleeping beauty might have looked like if she had been of a much darker skin tone, with hair just long enough to run through a comb in one quick sweep.
“Far from a sleeping beauty,” a coarse voice said in her head.
She stared at the photo in total disbelief.
What kind of person takes a picture of someone sleeping? She wondered and immediately answered the question for herself remembering the kind of man he was.
She thought to reply the mail then reconsidered it just as quickly as it had flashed in her mind.
How did she get herself in this mess?
One minute she was only but a girl with dreams of success and world domination, the next she was being blackmailed by the man she had devoted all her attention to for the better part of the past year.
She stood up from the chair and walked towards the wall socket where her phone was plugged in. She picked up the device, without a clue who to call or what to do and began to scroll through her contact list hoping the name would signal itself to her when she came to it.
Three days ago they had had a fight. Another fight. He had pulled her by the hair and slammed her on the mattress which lay on the floor.
Mounting himself over her and using one hand to stifle the air in her lungs as he held on to her throat he began to yell, “I will kill you!”
“F**king bitch. F**k you. You are going to die today. You better start praying to God. No don’t do that, you might be going to hell.” The shrill laugh that rang off his mouth was hell enough for her.
Fear embraced her and rocked her violently.
She had tried to wring herself off his hold but to no avail. He laughed at her efforts scornfully and promised her quick death at his hands.
“Scream all you want,” he had said, “No one is going to hear you.”
But the angels had decided it wasn’t her day to die.
Now as she stood in the middle of her room, her mind re-living each moment from that day, she suddenly wished she was dead. It was all too much. She hated herself. She hated how she felt. She cursed several times under her breath. They had broken up but the company and all the business it brought with it kept them together like Siamese twins. Now he wanted it all to himself and he was going to get it.
In that moment her phone rang out, the ringtone surprisingly louder than usual as she had sunk herself in the silence of her wandering mind.
The caller, Alex. Just the man she needed to talk to.
“Lex, I am in trouble!” She said into the phone and began to cry uncontrollably.
We may find it in the work we do, especially if our work translates to guaranteed comfort based on how much we earn. And if we do not earn enough to bring the kind of comfort that we seek, we may discover it in it’s most fickle nature of pleasures derived from external forms such as sex, money not earned from legit work, drugs, whatever our temperament of adventure may be.
And in the search for comfort that is not derived from the happiness that is result of the efforts from self, we find that we are willing to give up anything. Even give up our values, our self esteem, our worthiness as individuals, our precious time and energy.
Which i have now found to be stupid as these are the same things that we are to give up if we must earn comfort through self discovery.
Discomfort in itself is good you see, but the reason a lot of us miss the advantages of discomfort is because we are so focused on the negativity of it rather than asking the questions that lead to seeing the positivity inherent in everything.
Why is this happening? What can i learn from this?
What do I need to do now, not tomorrow to get out of this shit?
While we are refusing to ponder on the positive sides of discomfort, we then begin to go in a downward spiral through the negativity and conflict that it brings, hence the reason why a lot of us label it as such a bad thing afterall.
After the darkness comes light. The night is darkest just before dawn.
You may have heard these phrases a great many times but never put a meaning to it.
I have come to understand through real life experiences how so valuable a little discomfort here and there can be, especially towards our development and growth as human beings.
I have unfortunately spent much too long learning this but that in itself is why I value the lessons and the growth experienced from the process. Isn’t that just how life works?
The pain is only temporary and the more you begin to believe that, the more you begin to realize the untapped potential within you waiting to be born.
You are powerful. Even you do not realize how much you could do for yourself. No not now. But soon you will. And oh boy when you do!
You would not believe the force that would begin to propel you through the right paths to real comfort. True divine comfort that only you can bring for yourself.
Sex, Money, self-acclaimed titles and all else there is to this vanity driven world cannot grant you the comfort that you seek but yourself.
So if you must, borrow money from a friend or whoever else cares to listen to your immature whimpering, to take care of whatever needs are so important now that you cannot do without them for a little while longer. When it is time to pay up and you can’t you would realize you are in even more trouble than you started with.
If you insist and perhaps you should, Have as much sex as your fleshy desires lure you to think you require, you’d only be pleasured for a short while as long as is necessary to make an orgasm mean something to you- Well that is if you are lucky to have orgasms that mean anything but a burst and escape of good energy that could have been transmutated into valuable work done.
If it makes you happy drive around in someone else’s car, happy that you don’t have to take a bus and feel ‘shame’ for this beautiful life you have been blessed with. You would only keep driving around long enough till you forget how to do the real down-to-earth things that would make you succeed to buy your own car.
Everything good and bad that happens, happens to teach us. To strengthen us. To propel us to our dreams.
I have found that the more I am willing to endure now, the bigger the rewards that come to me. I have experienced frigging high levels of discomfort and pain and all the razzmattazz that come with that and I have made well over too many mistakes in my own poor life. But it is just enough to let me realize that all the bullshit i may be going through now is here today and gone tomorrow.
Love yourself -Find joy in the discomfort. Go for Gold