I think about weddings almost every day. I love every part of it. I have a mood board in pinterest with everything I need for a dream wedding. I have way too many wedding dress styles though, besides the point.
I’m a gooey, wide eyed romantic, I can’t help it. I want to go on car dates, and road trips to places I’ve never been. I want to be surprised on a random tuesday with flowers because he thought of me on the way home. I want to tell him about my day and have him actually listen. I want to make corny ass gifts from pinterest and tiktok for him. I want to dress up and take him out. I want to spoil and be spoilt. I want to live a fairytale romance. I choose not to be ashamed of my choices. I have been told severally that this is the real world and romance is not the same way it is in movies. But I say, why not? All it takes is a little effort. Why not live your life in a movie? Why does the world get to decide what is plausible and what is not? If I choose to have a dinner date twice a month with a significant other, are you that close minded that you cannot see how it is possible?
I choose love. I choose light. I choose happiness. I choose romance. I want to wake up on my birthday feeling like a princess, I want to live my life in luxury, and be as glamorous as I desire. I can make my life whatever I want it to be.
But maybe, just maybe, Happily Ever After is alone.
It’s 4am, and once again, I can’t sleep. But this time, it’s not because of the monsters under my bed, this time, it’s the voices in my head. The voices telling me I’m worthless and the voices condemning me of every mistake I’ve ever made. I don’t know how this is possible but I swear some of these voices came from his silences. His silences and inability to communicate summoned the demon of assumption. I lie awake, thinking about every mistake I ever made, every wrong step I ever took and a part of me is thinking, who lives like this? I can’t breathe. My heart is on overload. Is this normal? Is this death?
One voice tells me I am valued and loved and respected, the stronger voice tells me I’m weak, and stupid, and that I deserve how I’m feeling. My heart physically aches. I cry so much my ribs hurt.
I need to breathe again, I haven’t breathed well in so long. Dare I say the reason? Is it even a reason? The voices are arguing. “I brought this on myself”, “I’m only human”, “I deserve to be treated like scum”, “I make mistakes”.
I feel like I’m going to burst soon and I would hate it if it happened with the wrong person. In fact, nobody is the right person, nobody deserves to have raw trauma spewed on them. I crave for help yet flinch when it gets close to me. One voice says I’m overreacting, one voice says I’m normal. I wish the voices would just get their act together. I don’t mind not sleeping because the voices are talking to me but I just want them to stop fighting. Just agree on something. Am I crazy or not? That’s all. Just decide. I’m exhausted.
P.S: In retrospect, I have no idea what this title means and even if it is related to the story. Its just the first thing that popped into my head.
The leaves on the mango tree are scattered all over our compound. I wish they had fallen down as a bunch in a particular area, but no, they are singly strewn all over the floor. It is my turn to sweep the yard and I already woke up late, so my mother is giving me the side eye from the kitchen. I don’t look at her but I can feel it, deep within my bones. I know the feeling like man knows the back of his hand, it is the same feeling I felt in class, only to find Paul staring at me. The only difference between them is that, for my mother, my heart drops into my stomach and I feel a cold chill. With Paul, my stomach is filled up with butterflies and my heart flutters.
Right now, as the thoughts of Paul invade my morning, the only thing in my stomach is a rapidly growing monster. My child, but mother calls it monster. Maybe it is. It has brought so much destruction to this world without even being here yet.
I hurriedly finish my chores and go to my room to avoid getting in trouble with mother. These past few months, simply breathing seems to rile her up. I see her point though, my breaths indicate that I am alive. And as long as I live, so shall my child. I can not go into the kitchen to make my breakfast yet, not until everyone is done. I eat just enough that my child doesn’t die. Sometimes I wish it would.
5 months ago, I wished I would die as our family doctor pronounced me pregnant. I thought I heard wrong, pregnant? It can’t be. I used protection. How could this happen? It was fever I had, not pregnancy, I thought. Maybe the doctor got it wrong. But deep down, I knew the doctor was right. It was still very confusing.
The next Monday, I went for my classes like a ghost. Paul was waiting outside my apartment, with a sunflower in between two of his fingers. A flower for a flower, he said. He saw the look on my face and knew something was wrong instantly. He held me tight, opened my door and asked me to talk to him. The shock of the news about my pregnancy had not yet worn off, but I managed to tell him. I was ready to do anything. I just needed him to lead the way, were we getting married? Were we eloping? I’m on board, I just needed to know.
Mother wakes me up, apparently, I had dozed off while reminiscing. My stupid pregnant brain always makes me so tired. I take my antenatal drugs as instructed by mother. I go back to my bed to lie down. I wait. There is nothing else I could do but wait. I had no one on my side. I had gotten pregnant out of wedlock, Paul broke my heart, and left the country as fast as he could. My mother can not bear to look at me. My father is upstairs, paralyzed on one side, the shock of his only child getting knocked up in her second year in school is too much for the poor man to bear. He suffered a stroke and has not recovered since.
My monster child has ruined my life before it is born. I have no one anymore. All I can do is wait.
They think I am happy to leave. How could I be? But I need to leave. I don’t want to. I need to. I don’t want to leave my family. But I am a bird and I need to fly and to be able to fly,I need to be out of my comfort zone. Nothing ever grows in the comfort zone, didn’t you hear? I want to go out in the world and come back stronger. I am so close. All I need left are focus and discipline. Okay I know, those are big stuff. But I feel the future. It is so close. I can feel it on my fingertips. It feels weird cause I have never known with all convictions that I’m supposed to do something. But I feel the storm clearing.. Very soon, I will come out and blossom but till then, please, do not hold it against me. Do not hold it against me that I have to leave you. I do not take pleasure in it but it is what I need to do to grow. You love me but you do not like to see me grow. You do not like progress. You think it foolish. You think me young. Yet in the near future, you expect a miraculous growth in the matter of seconds. Growth takes time, my loves. Do not rush me. You can only encourage me and love me in the process. Take care, my loves. This is my last letter to you. For now…
Do you believe things are simply right or wrong? Do you believe life is simply white or black or do you believe life can be an assortment of greys? As for me, I don’t know what I believe. I’m on the fence in a lot of things. As Christians, we are taught to forgive others, regardless of what they did. My therapist says I should forgive because it’s doing me more harm than good to still hold a grudge. But how do I forgive my abuser? How do I just let go of all the pain and the memories, he hit me till I lost my baby. How does one just forgive a monster?
Don’t wear provocative clothing, they say. Why? Oh you may tempt men, a good Christian girl doesn’t wear an outfit that can cause her fellow brethren to sin. It’s my body. I can wear whatever I want. Oh no, Christ dwells in you. It’s His body too. Where is the fucking line?
Don’t tell people you were abused. It is your story, you own the right to share your story. No. No. Tell the whole world you were abused, call out your abusers. Let them pay. You will help others by speaking up. Yeah I would help others probably but right now, I’m more focused on helping myself. Is that selfish? Maybe.
Have fun. Go to clubs. Live your life. No. Don’t ruin your life. Read. Travel. Learn a skill. Where is the line between “You Only Live Once” and “Don’t waste your future”.
My therapist says I have anger issues. I’ve only broken about 3 of her vases. Where does she get off telling me that? I am calm. I am a rock.
I’m married, and my husband cheated on me. He didn’t fall in love with someone else. He had sex with a stranger while he was drunk. Does this mean my marriage is over? I want someone who chooses me, and respects me. But am I willing to get a divorce because he cheated? Once. But where is the line?
Don’t kill. Get an abortion.
Don’t lie. Lie to protect others.
Don’t steal. Steal so you won’t starve.
Where is the line?
I think I’m more of a gray woman now. Life can’t be good or bad. Nothing can.
It was the last day of school. I went out with my friends earlier that day, we were celebrating. Well, they were celebrating the end of high school. I was celebrating…you know what? I don’t recall. I got back home a little after 5pm. My overprotective parents had only called twice. But I loved them, I had to, you see, they brought me into the world and all their antics were born out of their love for me.
My brothers did not know what day it was, they didn’t congratulate me on the end of an era. They couldn’t see that this was no ordinary day. I had two brothers and one dog. I named my dog Xavier, I heard it in a movie once and it always had a special place in my heart. Now that I think about it, I was pretty sentimental about unimportant things and quite unaffected by the things that were supposedly important.
I was in my room, stroking my dog’s fur and thinking about life when my phone rang. It was my boyfriend. Oh boy, he was special. The honeymoon phase was over but every other minute is just as amazing. He showered me love and respect and gifts and everyone said I was lucky to have him. He was in every way, the one. I seemed so happy with him. Seemed.
The day was actually a special one for me. It was the day I ended my life. At 11pm, I took a bath. We had a nice tub. It was big and my mom had these fancy bath bombs, took one of it and used it. Then I took my pocket knife and sliced both my wrists..the water in the tub turned bright pink..and slowly darkened as more blood left me. I finally smiled. The last thought that went through my head was “I was a happy child”.
People love setting a limit for you when they don’t even know the half of you. I know you’re tryna push and be supportive but you gotta know when to listen. Cause I’m here screaming and telling you I’ve had enough and I can’t do shit no more and you’re saying “God doesn’t give us more than what we can handle.”
I don’t know what I believe in, I don’t have things all figured out. Fuck it, I’m only a child. Don’t expect greatness from me. Don’t expect me to be perfect.
How do I know what is real and what is not? How do I know what to believe if I’ve only ever known one thing? How dare you, from a place of comfort and peace, having no tortured past..how dare you try to tell me how to live? How dare you try to make me have faith? You don’t know the half of what goes on in my head. You don’t know how I lay awake at night, every light I have burning and shining because I can’t fall asleep and I’m terrified of the darkness.
Do you know nature sounds scare me? Do you know I once climbed up in my wardrobe for hours because it made me feel safe? Do you know how unsafe I feel walking down the street? Yes, you are just trying to help but enough is enough. You don’t know. That is the point. You don’t know me. You don’t get to decide what I need. Maybe I need a minute. Maybe i need a year. I should take it. I should take the breath of fresh air I desperately need but I can’t. Not without feeling guilty that I abandoned my duties. My ‘service’. I can’t be happy without feeling guilty.
I thought the sadness was temporary. But maybe the happiness is temporary. Or maybe this is normal. Is it? Do you think? Do you also cry to bed at night because life overwhelms you? Am I in this alone? Are you here too? No one talks. Hmm. No one talks about being broken.
What is the key to unlocking your heart?
Are you the one they talk about?
Is it your pussy they talk about with no respect?
Dear girl, I know. I know it sucks. I know you thought he was different.
I know you thought he was the one.
But why was it so easy to get you to love him? And trust him blindly?
What was the key to your heart?
What was it that he gave that you didn’t have? Was it the money? The airtime topup? The snacks at 9pm? The date to the shabby restaurants? Dear girl, don’t you know you deserve better? You do. Why do you bend so low? Why do you spread your legs? I know he was nice in the beginning and as time went on, he started to change and treat you like rubbish. I know that girl, but why? Why did you let it happen? Why did he believe you shouldn’t be respected? Was it because you treated yourself with such little respect he thought it was okay to do the same? Was it because everytime he asked you what you plan to do with your life, you distracted him by thrusting your breasts in his hands? Was it because you told him about what your uncle did to you? And didn’t show any emotion, that he thought you liked it. He thought you liked being taken..with force..
He didn’t realise who you were. Dear queen, enough talk. Get up. Treat yourself with the respect no one has accorded you. You have been down, but you don’t have to stay down. You can change. Everyone is permitted to change.
I hope you won’t miss the free cash gifts though, the late night suya and shawarma, the car rides, the intense sex. If you can look past all these, you can change. You can find your purpose. Trust me when I say, it is not in his penis.
What if things don’t get better?
What if this, right here, now is the best it’s ever gonna get?
What if you can’t change the things you do or change your ways?
What if you can’t see reason with anything?
What do you do then?
What if you can’t make things work?
What if you can’t make a difference?
What if you can’t be successful?
What if you can’t change lives?
What if you can’t influence people?
What the hell do you do?
What if you’re scared and can’t make friends?
What if you’re terrified you’ll lose the ones you have?
What if you’re surrounded by people, yet you feel so alone?
What if life has no meaning anymore?
What should you do?
What if you can’t find yourself?
And you can’t stop falling, in this deep darkness you call life?
What if you are lost and all alone in the world?
You wonder, is this normal?
What I feel, is it right or acceptable?
However, you never know, because you never ask.
But how can you ask?
You have tried to be normal, and move with the world…
But you were taken advantage of. Now, you are hurt and bitter.
What if this isn’t a stage to pass through?
What if this isn’t adolescence or teenage dramas?
What if this is your life unfolding gently in front of you?
What if this is the best it’s ever gonna get?
What do you do then?
Hello World, seems quite easy to say, doesn’t it? But do you see the page you are reading this on, see how colorful it is? That is HTML and CSS in a beautiful intercourse. HTML is responsible for the texts and the entire webpage but the designing itself is supported by CSS. The full meaning of CSS is Cascading Style Sheets. Cascading implies something that follows an order downwards, this means that as you write your code, it follows a particular order..making it such that the code at the top gets implemented before the code at the bottom. Style Sheets are basically self explanatory, a sheet for styling and designing your webpage.
In my CV, I updated it using CSS only and it looks much better and appealing. I started off by setting a margin to the top and bottom by using padding. Now, margin is the space outside something. While, padding is the space between the container and the content(inside something).
I proceeded to use class and id to specify what colors I wanted for a particular element. IDs are used uniquely, with single elements. Classes are used for multiple/various elements. As you will see, I used id for the name(Zainab Jimoh) and class for the various subheadings like experience, education, skills etc.
There is an image element in CSS that you can use to style an image, I used the tag object-fit: cover to style my image, this simply means that I zoomed in and made the picture a square.
I removed the initial tabular state that my webpage was and used aside and float tags to move some of my content to the right and create a kind of column illusion. A handful of what I did was trial and error basically, but after a lot of trials, I must say I am quite proud of the end result.
Attached below is a screenshot of my webpage: