Hey again! (Two blogs in the same day? Yeah I know…)
I’ve been away for a while but it’s for good reason. I have a little less than two months left of my summer break from school, and while I still have a (very mentally demanding, time-consuming) job, I’m enjoying the extra time and brainpower on my hands.
I’ve been spending my time using a few different software to design basic stationery items for everyday needs. This includes business cards, invitations, announcements, etc. I’ve designed for a few people so far, and it looks like I’m doing pretty well with it. I still have a lot to learn when it comes to the technical aspects of stationery design, but I’m very excited to learn. I’ve always enjoyed creating things, even if it looked bad or looked silly, I was just happy that I made it. It never crossed my mind to become a serious business venture until this year.
I am currently working on the website and other formalities for this business, and I hope to seriously launch it soon! Im still learning and asking a billion questions but I work very diligently and pay close attention to detail.
Stay tuned for the website/album launch! I’m assembling a pretty good team who I think could really make this fun.
Look out for updates!
It has been quite a while since I’ve written anywhere here! I don’t really use my tumblr much either unless it’s the day after an award show and I want to look at all the cool pictures from the event or some gifs of my favorite artists. Anyway, I’m alive and well, sorry for the hugeeee delay in posts!
So a few things are going on. But in a nutshell, there is a lot i want to accomplish before school starts again this fall. Some of which, are already underway.
I’ve made it a priority to take better care of myself in every way. I’ve never been much of a fast food junkie or junk food hoarder, as I was brought up in a home where most things are made from scratch, so my eating habits haven’t changed dramatically. I’ve never really been into pork (although my friend had me try some she made at her house for dinner and it wasn’t bad), and I really only eat beef when I go to restaurants with friends and order a nice steak or a well done burger. And that certainly doesn’t happen often. Besides, I still enjoy tasty food!
I’ve been a person who walks a lot since middle school, I used to walk a mile to school and a mile back in high school. The mile-long walk home usually followed marching band practice or softball practice, so I had even more exercise. College slowed that down a little bit, but I didn’t have a car so I walked a lot anyway. I’m back home now, with a car, so I have to make the conscious effort to get my heart beating. That means taking the stairs, parking in far spaces in parking lots, occasional bike rides, and more recently, jumping on the trampoline. When I’m feeling really energetic I do legitimate workouts to keep the flab away lol.
Another way I’ve been trying to take better care of myself is to minimize stress. I’m a constant worrier. I criticize myself unnecessarily when it comes to my work, and I take constructive criticism very seriously. I naturally have the desire to please everyone and sometimes that means that I have to neglect my own feelings. I’ve made conscious efforts to express myself more. Some things I can’t just let slide anymore. A lot of dramatic stuff within my circle is now the least of my worries.
I’ve been teaching myself to understand my worth. Respect goes a long way. I give respect to everyone I meet, whether they return it or not. But I will no longer find myself in situations where my dignity is
Being compromised. I’ve been used for my time, money, resources and even my generosity and sometimes naïveté. I recently realized that the friends I value the most don’t expect anything from me but my presence and my friendship. I owe them nothing else. And that was a great feeling once I realized it.
In relationships, I still struggle with tolerance and opening up to people, but I’ve definitely become smarter. I’m grateful that I didn’t have to learn anything the hard way, but I’m glad that I’m at a point in my life where I still don’t need anyone yet, you know?
I feel like many people my age have similar goals and sentiments as I’ve mentioned here. The early 20s are really the years are figuring out life and where it’s going to go next. I’m having a pretty good time so far.
That’s it for now, thanks for reading! I’ll be writing about my new business venture shortly. 🙂
Long time, no speak.
I’ve been a little occupied lately, well, most of the time. Sometimes I do have time to write things here but I can never think of something interesting enough to write about that I haven’t already spazzed about on Twitter. So I thought I could just share what I’ve been up to in the meantime.
Okay. Here we go.
1. “Work.” I put it quotation marks, and I use air quotes when I talk about it person, because yes, I physically complete tasks and receive monetary compensation for it. I am basically an assistant, lol. My dad works for a contracting company in Washington, DC. I help out and basically do all the things nobody else wants to do. Errands, if you will. But is it part of my career path? No. Not at all. Honestly, I’m blessed to have what I have. One day, I’ll be able to return these gifts to my parents. I’ve been lucky enough to come from a family that is well off, by way of extremely hard work, faith, and support. I have a great work ethic, I work hard in everything I do, even though sometimes i like to cut corners to make it easier for myself. I challenge myself whenever I can, and I always want to do the best I can. This is true in my work, schoolwork, friendships, relationships, etc. I don’t like to shortchange people. If I can’t agree on anything else with my mother and father, I can definitely say that hard work is a major part of success. I’m blessed, I really am.
2. School. I think I’ve mentioned before that I am a graduate student. I’m pursing my master of science in Biotechnology, with concentrations in Biosecurity and Biodefense. Basically I study biological weapons and techniques. I have interest in science/biodefense policy, and I hope to make a career out of it very soon. It’s all part of my master plan. I’ll come back to this topic later. Otherwise, school has been a lot of work. I’ve completed 4 classes (12 credits), and I have 6 in progress, so if and when I successfully complete this semester at the end of April, I would be halfway through my program (yay!). May 2015, here I come. It’s not easy, at all. But I’m getting through it. Family life/life in general has made it difficult to stay focused and do the best work I can do, but I’m optimistic that I will get my 4.0 this semester. I keep getting 3.5’s…and I just want a perfect GPA for once lol. Anyway..enough about school…
3. My life. I’ve been a minimalist in that department for basically my entire life. And I’ve been content that way. I’m not really in a hurry to make any drastic changes, although it does cross my mind from time to time. I’m 23, so naturally I’m contemplating what I really want out of life. One of my best friends is coming up on her first wedding anniversary in May, and the other one is due to have her daughter any day now. So yes, I definitely get nagged about it, lol. When am I going to “settle down” and find someone? I don’t know. But I will tell you that kids are not in the near future. I’m still raising my siblings, lol. Dating is just more work than I’m usually willing to exert, but I think with the right person, I could compromise. Until then, eye candy is always welcome. 🙂
4. Writing. I’ve been busy with my other blog, called Life, Policy, and You. It’s centered more towards my career interests, and allows me to sound off and exercise my competence in science, society, and policy as they relate to each other. I figured that stuff didn’t belong on my personal blog, as it’s more news-like, technical, and political. So if you’re curious about my interests in science and policy, along with some cute, nerdy trivia from time to time, please take a few moments and check it out here. It’s still very brand new and I’m sure there are still problems with it, but bear with me. Thanks a lot in advance! I hope people can enjoy it as much as I like to write it.
5. Friends and such. I really haven’t done a good job at being around and available to everyone, mostly because I always have so much to do, but I always make sure people know that they are important. It wouldn’t be unusual for me to travel randomly when I have time to see a friend who lives far away, or have something nice sent to them in lieu of my presence. I’m terrible at texting when I have other things occupying me, and phone calls sometimes are impossible to return as I don’t really have time to do that until well after most normal people are asleep. But my friends mean a lot to me. I’m grateful to have friends who are not only as busy as I am, but are understanding. I’m glad there are people who don’t find my quirks to be odd and not charming, or who embrace my strange sense of humor. That’s so awesome. 😀
6. Photos. I have not taken any photos in nearly a year, and that is because I don’t really have time, and I don’t really enjoy taking pictures that I’m ‘told’ to take anymore. I’ve taken photos for artistic leisure, yes, for sure. But I don’t do events so much anymore. One, because at first I was helping friends for free, and then I started charging people and I noticed my stress levels go up because I get so worried about the quality of my pictures vs. the prices they paid. Another reason is because I usually do birthday/party outings at restaurants, lounges, and clubs, and taking photos for parties is exhausting and mentally straining. Imagine having 10 people hovering over you at any given moment asking you for a picture. Then they want to see the picture, then they want to take it again because they “look fat” or I “didn’t get their good side” or “one of my homegirls was in the bathroom.” And people get really fucking rude. Plus, you’re on your feet the whole time and you don’t get to drink and eat and float around like everyone else. So yeah, needless to say, I’ve taken a photo event hiatus until I forget how much I hate party pictures. Not to mention, the lighting is always REALLY bad.
So that’s pretty much what has been going on. I’m a full time assistant, deputy mom/tutor/chef/chauffeur/sugar mama (to my little brothers), grad student, artist, writer, and a very involved friend to those who consider me to be a friend. My life is a marathon, but I am so grateful.
Aside Posted on Updated on
Just a random post, I feel like writing something.
My brother found his recorder yesterday, and I found mine probably a few months ago. It’s a recorder, I know, I shouldn’t be excited…but I am lol. I know it’s such a silly instrument but it just made me laugh because last week I was in DC with my friend John, and we saw some guy playing his recorder on the street. I don’t know if he was playing his recorder for money or if he just wanted to play there, but I found it pretty amusing. I’ve had a few recorders in my lifetime, mostly due to moving and thinking I lost my recorder when I really didn’t, then getting a new one and finding the old one later. My brothers each have recorders as well, so there are several of them lying around. There’s no question that public schools teach the recorder because it’s so simple and it’s a great way to learn how to read notes on a staff.
Did you know that there are people who play the recorder professionally? Like they seriously play the recorder? I never really thought about it until today. I can probably play about 5 songs on the recorder, but none of them sound any more than amateur to me.
I’ve been wanting to buy an Irish tin whistle for a little over a year, but for some reason I never get around to it. But I finally went to order one today, and I came across a few other instruments. My younger brother has wanted a flute for a long time but my dad first told him it was a “girl instrument”. After convincing him that it wasn’t a girl instrument, he told my brother he had to learn piano first. I taught him the basics and fundamentals of piano, so now my dad has no excuse, haha. But anyway, I came across a fife, not a cheap plastic one, a really pretty metal one. I immediately ordered it for him. A fife is a good way to learn the flute, and it also sounds beautiful when mastered. My parents don’t really have time to check his homework and keep track of his grades, so I’m in charge of that, and he’s gotten off to a great start. This will be his reward, he’ll be so excited. 🙂
My youngest brother plays the trumpet, and he’s GREAT at it. He’s auditioning for honors band and all-county band, and brass ensemble, so that can give you an idea of how good he is for a person who hasn’t been playing for more than two years. I started playing piano when I was 6, took lessons until I was almost 9, started them again at 11 or 12, and stopped again at 14. I can read music, but I’m not as good as I would be if I was consistent. I played the strings (mainly cello, viola, and violin), throughout my 5th-9th grade years, and I started to learn guitar but never really got past the basics. My older brother, who has autism, plays the keyboard/piano by ear, but only plays melodies he made up by himself. My dad played the pipe organ as a child, which is how he learned to play piano, but he’s really good at playing the harmonica. He’s probably better at the harmonica than any of us are in any instrument.
So needless to say, I still never bought the Irish tin whistle.
When I can finally get my siblings to focus enough and make a drum beat (because none of us play the drums, although I can do a decent drumroll), I’ll probably record it and post it here so you guys can see. We can jam a little bit. We’re not great, but we’re creative.
I guess you can say you learned something new. 🙂
It’s been 12 years. It’s hard to believe it it’s been that long, but I’m sure to those affected by it, and those who lost loved ones that day, it feels like it has been such a long time.
On September 11, 2001, I was in 6th grade at Deer ParK Middle Magnet School. When the second plane hit the towers at around 10:30, I was in third period, which I believe was either gym or band depending on if that day was an ‘A’ day or ‘B’ day. Anyway, I don’t remember because that’s not when students had found out what happened. After third period, I had lunch, then 4th period was my magnet class period, which was Theatre Arts (yes, I was a theatre arts magnet student for 3 years, and I was pretty good at it, I’ll talk about that some other time), and we went along as scheduled. We did notice, however, that our magnet teacher, Mrs. Buffaloe, was a little tense and uneasy after a teacher had come to the door to whisper something to her. Teachers didn’t want to tell the students what was going on, and that became more difficult when parents started coming to the school and kids were going to the office for early dismissal. Everyone wondered, why is everyone going home early? What is going on? At the time, we didn’t know or really care what was happening, as long as our names got called to go home.
My youngest brother was only a month old at that time, and my mother was actually taking him for his one-month check-up at the doctor, so she wasn’t aware of what happened. I remember my older brother and I got off the bus and got home and no one was there, so we waited about 20 minutes to find our mother rushing home. She told me that there was some kind of attack in New York and at the Pentagon, but she wasn’t quite sure what exactly had happened. We walked in those house, turned on the news, and instantly saw the footage of planes crashing into the towers and people screaming and yelling in chaos and fear. It was a very frightning scene, and it unsettled me for a while. Yes, I was only almost 11 years old, but I think I had a pretty good understanding that this was bad. Really bad. Over the next few weeks more details came to surface and suddenly, I had thoughts of “what if” and “how come” these planes were hijacked. Then we started hearing the words “terrorist attack” and “Al Qaeda” and “Muslim extremists” and things changed dramatically from there. Airport security became IMPOSSIBLE. All kinds of laws changed after that day. Muslims were never looked at the same way again. Any brown person from the Middle East, Eastern Europe, or Northern Africa automatically had potential to be dangerous. Heck, if you were a Black or Hispanic person who had hair dark enough or a beard long enough or even looked like you were in hijab, you were suspect.
So much has changed since then. We’ve had troops sent to Iraq and Afghanistan. One of my older cousins has actually done a few tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. A few years ago, he got seriously hurt by an explosive and thankfully lived and made a full recovery. He was awarded a Purple Heart for his service. He recently returned from Afghanistan and is doing well. More recently, Osama bin Laden was captured and killed. That is one of the greater victories during President Obama’s term as president. But that’s not what I’m writing to remember. I’m not writing to talk about conspiracy theories about 9/11. I’m not writing to talk about the government and any hidden agendas that are believed to exist. I don’t know what exactly happened that day, and neither does anyone else who wasn’t on any of those planes that day. I just know a lot of people died that day. A lot of people are permanently injured. Many people have scars that will never heal, mental scars of loved ones taken from them too soon. And sadly, many people were never found. It’s so sad and unfortunate that this had to happen, for whatever reason it may be. This is my love. This is me remembering the fall heroes that day, from firefighters, police officers, pilots, doctors, first responders, airplane passengers, people who worked in the twin towers, people who were just visiting New York City that day…mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, daughters, sons, friends, grandparents, aunts, uncles…you are not forgotten.
God bless the families who still grieve and feel pain from the tragedy that happened 12 years ago. And God bless the United States. God bless the world. Peace will come, one day.
Take care everyone, thanks for reading.
My family is still grieving, but they’re taking care of business as far as arrangements. Anyone whose family is from a different country knows that this is a huge task. When my grandpa died in 2010, my father had a casket custom made somewhere in the United States and shipped to our house (which was weird, looking at and opening a casket that would be sent to Nigeria), and sent it to Nigeria himself so he could see it before it reached its destination. There’s also a lot to deal with because I’m not sure where they’re burying my grandma, I would hope it’s near her late husband, but I’m not sure. Anyway, there is a lot to do, but it’s getting done and my parents are being productive.
People have been coming in and out of the house offering condolences since yesterday, so I’m pretty much been making food all day. People have been so kind, some of my friends called or sent their kind thoughts to me after either hearing about it or seeing my posts online, and that’s awesome. Sometimes I truly forget that I actually matter to some people. Not that I don’t think that I matter, but I admit that sometimes I need to be reminded that I do. My mom hasn’t cried all day, and she seems in higher spirits today; laughing, telling her obnoxious jokes, and just being the rambunctious mom that she is. So today, I’m alright. 🙂 My house has been divided for a while now, but this tragedy has eliminated the divide…at least for now.
Otherwise, I’ve been trying to keep busy outside of helping out with arrangements, so I’ve been taking my younger siblings and ‘nieces & nephews’ (who are really just younger cousins who call me ‘auntie Tosin’ or ‘Sis’ out of cultural respect; my younger brothers call me ‘Sis’) and keeping them all occupied so my parents and their parents can concentrate, and I have a few blogs written that I’ve saved in my drafts. So I’m a lot better than yesterday. We all are.
Thanks for reading. Really, I appreciate it. More blogs coming soon.
**this may have typos, I typed this on my phone and didn’t proofread
I didn’t think it could hurt this much. My last living grandparent, my mom’s mother passed away this morning. I knew it would happen one day. Most of my lifetime I had only two living grandparents because my maternal grandfather had died in an accident when my mom was a teenager, and my paternal grandmother died of an illness when I was about a year old. My paternal grandfather died in May 2010 after battling Alzheimer’s for a while. He was 84, so he lived a nice long life, but I did cry because I never got a chance to meet him; I had only spoken to him on the phone, and he always remembered all of our birthdays, until the year leading up to his death. I was sad, but I quickly came to peace with it knowing how much he ha accomplished; including his novel on the cocoa plant that I still long to read. I found out he died as a sophomore in college. I was finishing up the year, I had just finished pledging my sorority, and we had a senior sendoff cookout for the seniors. My phone was partially off, so when my mom called me and I missed it, I couldn’t call back. Eventually she texted me telling me he died, and I kind of just paused a little bit. My friend Shannon was with me, we were walking to the picnic and I asked to use her phone. I spoke to my parents, and kept it together for a few minutes. I started feeling the sadness come in, and I don’t really cry very often, and I certainly don’t cry in front of people. I told my sisters I needed to take a walk. I remember one particular sister (who is no longer a member) scoffing and saying, “what the hell? She’s taking a walk in the middle of our picnic?” While I hadn’t told her what was wrong, that really annoyed me. I took a walk, found a bench, and just cried for about 5 minutes. By the time I had gotten myself together and returned to the picnic, Shannon had told everyone, and they came to hug me and offer condolences. I didn’t understand how I could feel so much for a man I never met, but I realized that’s just love. My father seemed very peaceful about it when I spoke to him, and that made me feel better about it.
Today, my dad an brothers took my aunt to JFK airport in New York so she could go back to Nigeria. My mom called me as I was waking up, and she told me that her mother died. I instantly woke up and just said, “What?” She had been sick for a while but I honestly thought she’d get better. She had diabetes, and it had taken toll on her body over the years. My mom was planning to go see her for the first time in 25 years in September. But she died. She’s gone. She was only 68, my mom will be 50 in October.
She died at 68 years old of a completely manageable disease. That really hurts. I will forever be angry that my mother couldn’t see her. I will forever be angry that the embassy didn’t let her come to the United States. I will forever be angry that my mom has to feel that kind of pain for a woman who never even reached 70 years old. I’ve been crying on off all day simply because I see my mom’s tears. My mom does not cry. She’s kind of like me (well I’m like her) when it comes to crying. I just wish I had met her. I had only spoken to her once on the phone by accident. She called the house when my mom wasn’t home. We didn’t speak to her because it’s expensive to call Nigeria and my grandma didn’t have a stable phone. She also didn’t speak great English, but now thinking about it, I wish it was different. But it’s alright. This was supposed to happen, and we can’t be upset at God for that.
Pray for my mom.