Honest Stuff.

>> Friday, March 27, 2009

I promised myself I would do the Honest Scrap Award last week, and I started this post Friday last week, but had no chance to finish it. So here goes. Better late than never. I've also been meaning to do proper blog-rounds but same story. Bear with me I am coming, lol.

* You must brag about it
*You must include the name of the blogger who bestowed the award on you and link back to the blogger
* You must choose a minimum of seven (7) blogs that you find brilliant in content or design. Or improvise by including bloggers who have no idea who you are because you don’t have seven friends (lol).
* Show the seven random victims’ names and links and leave a harassing comment informing them that they were prized with Honest Weblog. Well, there’s no prize, but they can keep the nifty icon.
* List at least ten (10) honest things about yourself. Then pass it on!

Weeee...It's HARD. I've been thinking what to write, but I feel like I poured it all out last time I did this. I will make an attempt though.

Brag: I got this award and I'm great for it. (I suck at bragging, especially if faking it, so this has to be good enough)
The blogger who bestowed me the award: Standtall, gave me this award and truthfully I am honored she remembered me, the newbie. I admire her for her persistance and ambitions, strength and intelligence. A role model!

Here goes:

  • Many people around me see me as a courageous person who isn't afraid of anything. At the same time I get very easily scared off because of experiences I've had before. I am extremely wary when walking outside alone in the dark. This has lead to funny incidences. Further explanation will follow in another post :-p
  • When I was real small, I wanted to become a vetrenarian, I loved animals and still do. I get furious with people who have no respect for them. If they are truly spiritual/Christian/anything else they label themselves, they should have full respect for the life of all animals - we share the planet with them and they all have their important place in the ecosystem. They can feel pain, like us, so they should be treated with respect and not be tortured. I have two dogs, one lives with me and one with my parents. The one that lives with me I brought all the way from Nigeria. He is living proof that dogs are results of their environment, i.e how they are treated. He was wild, and now, any Nigerian that meets him are surprised. He can do anything I tell him to do, i.e close doors, pick things up, move things etc etc. Every day when I leave in the morning he stands in the window looking at me with big sad eyes and is always looking for a cuddle.
  • I suck at going to bed in time. I have gotten better over the years but even though I know how tired I'll be the next day I'll still stay up a bit longer. I think this is connected to my need for 1 hour TV every day. It calms me down and takes my mind off and If I've been busy all day and everythings chaotic I NEED my me-time and run away from reality for a just a little-bit.
  • I am a total rebel. I've always done what everyone else DIDN'T do. Allthough I am still very conservative in so many ways. Sometimes being conservative IS doing what everyone isn't doing. But I don't think anyone should be judged by their cover. I believe in being original and I don't have much respect for people who just goes with the flow and always follows the crowd for that reason only. If you like what the crowd likes that's fine - I do sometimes too, but people who just does things because "everyone else does it" - nah! I think it's healthy for everyone including me to go outside of the box. It's a sure lesson.
  • I moved on my own when I was 17 years old. I grew up very fast.
  • I am not superstitious AT ALL and have the attitude that I need to see things to believe it. However when I was 13 years old I started experiencing something new. You can say I am a very good judge of character. For several years I just ignored these feelings because I thought there could not be any truth to it, but have learnt to trust my gut feeling more now. That's another way to say it btw, - I have a very stubborn gut feeling. I am very much against judging people by their cover but I somehow always know whether a person is fundamentally good or bad by just taking one glance at their eyes. My husband has been completely freaked out by my mind-reading skills numerous times.
    Example: We once met a man on the street whom my husband was aqcuinted with and he had to greet him. When my husband greeted him I instantly felt sick in my stomach and my blood started pumping. I felt very anxious. When we walked away the words just fell out of my mouth "That man is a VERY bad man I don't like him at all". I instantly regretted it because I knew my husband would just think I was judging someone I didn't know,but his eyes went wide open and said "HOW DID YOU KNOW THAT! That man killed many people back in Nigeria and people have told me he is now dealing on drugs".
  • I am a health-freak and feel guilty whenever I don't go to the gym or didn't eat healthy enough. However I think everyone needs to forget about it sometimes and just enjoy a good meal. I LOVE food!
  • I am not a party-person at all and don't feel the need for it either. However I think I need to get more used to socialising because I feel a little awkward. Missed out on all that stuff as a teen. I have always loved dancing though.
  • I think people in real life have always viewed me as a bit too serious person. It's good to be serious and all but not too much. I don't want to change that part of myself because it is me, but I believe I've been "too serious" due to events in my life. I am trying to change part of it now and be a little more "jolly" - lol.
  • I am a loyal follower of the golden rule. A lot of people say they are but in reality they are not. I'm not flawless but I force myself to always follow this rule. This self-dicipline is extremely important and I think the world would be a better place if people cared for and remembered this principle.
  • I love Blogville! I think there are so many talented, inspirational people out there and find myself learning new things every day. It's been so nice to be allowed to take part in it and look forward to becoming better at it. I really need to learn how to shorten my posts down. Forgive me people!

I tag: Hmmm..Anyone who reads this who perhaps would like to do this. I challenge you! It's tough and a good meme I think, because it forces you to more awareness. This wasn't easy to me and I actually think the best point about it is to share some personal things about oneself.

Have a blazing beautiful day :-)


A total UN-gentleman

>> Tuesday, March 24, 2009

A couple of days ago I made a mistake.

I had an old friend on Yahoo-messenger whom I'm not really in contact with any longer. The man asked me how me and hubby was doing - I said that hubby has been quite stressed recently (this was my mistake - WHY did I share that again?!!). I don't know, I was tired and didn't really think it through.

The man said "Well, maybe he's stressed because of you..." I just lol'ed it off like it was a joke because this person knows nothing about my personal life, and said he wouldn't know what the reasons of my hubby's stress was - I was feeling just a tint annoyed...
He responded
"Oh, so I can see you have a voice now huh...". What's his problem?

"I don't know what you're talking about. I've always had a voice, and a strong one too...What do you mean by "voice" anyway?". I should have just logged off then, but I hate to admit I have a devil in me that loves winning an arguement over a chauvinist..

Anyway we continued bickering, and somehow started talking generally about men/women and he ended up giving me this statement:

"Well, whenever a man's stressed it's always cause the woman is doing something wrong. Men should always have the last word anyway, they make all the decisions and they're better at it" What?
Mind you I had not told this person anything at all from my personal life after the initial mistake..
I could feel my blood starting to boil. I asked him how he could be so judgemental and say something like that and the reponse I got was just "hahahahaha!". OK ! Now I was ready for some a**whipping.... lol

First I thought ok I best just get away now cause I get too emotional about these things...- but decided I need to learn how to keep my cool and finish someone off with killer-arguements and logic - not being over emotional and annoyed. It's quite satisfying winning a discussion about core principles with style.

Me: So you don't think men and women are equal then?

Him: They most definitely are not.

Me: How can you, a man of the 21st century, say something like that? You're young, you got an education, and you still think like that? Why? Don't you think it's a bit prehistoric? Where's your evidence anyway? (Yeah I know I was wrong to be surprised..)

Him: Because it's in the Bible. God said so. The woman came from a man. Men are the rulers. Men are the strongest and know how to do things better. If what I'm saying wasn't true, no women would seek the protection of men. Men are the ones that do all the important things, like going to war.

No you DIDN'T?

No need to write down the rest of the arguement, but it was a bit heated....
The more reasonable arguements I brought, he continued to try to end the discussion by saying "Well, women and men are not equal, end of case, you can say whatever you want." and "Your ideas are just European feminist views. It's a European invention"
I informed him my viewpoint isn't only feminist but also humanist. Meaning: We, human beings are all equal, no matter gender, ethnicity or nationality, sick or healthy. When I talk about equality between men and women I am talking about EQUAL WORTH. Not saying we stand shoulder to shoulder when it comes to physical strength. He kept on saying that women are made for certain roles. Men that have this point of view simply pisses me off. Who are they to tell me what my limitations are??
He also said that I should show him any couples where the man and woman are equals that actually works.
Anyhow, he completely failed to keep the discussion reasonable and went on to personal attacks way beside the point. Which usually means the person is getting frustrated that he/she doesn't have anything to say in defence because the opposite arguements are overwhelmingly strong.

First of all, the fact that men and women naturally have different roles have nothing to do with equality. We are all worth the same regardless!
Saying that women aren't equal, is just like blowing off the millions of women since the beginning of time who raised our children. It's like saying their work isn't important. It's also blowing off all the women who fought for more rights and paid with their life.
Countless women have survived and lived and provided for their families without a man. For this guy, having different roles was the same as not being equal. Talk about simplifying and mixing up the meaning of words.
That being said - nothing is going to stop me from doing the typical "man-jobs".
All women can do whatever they want and they are fully capable of it. The only reason why they don't is because 1)It's not their personal wish, or not suitable for them at that point in life (f.ex they're busy taking care of their kids or 2)They've been brainwashed to believe they can't do it. It's never because they are unable. Being a woman is a strength not a weakness.
However each couple/family decides to settle the divison of labour is their choice. If a woman likes to stay at home, do the cooking and everything in the house, that's fine. Because it's her choice. Not when she's forced to it because some man wants to say that's what she was born to do. I can agree that it's natural for men and women to have different roles, but it should be their own choice and don't ever come and tell me a woman has limitations...
The feminist battle is first and foremost a battle to have the freedom of choice. That doesn't mean it's compulsory to be a rebel.

I informed the guy I thought he was a total hypocrit. Because the same values founding the thought that women are born inferior is exactly the same values that fuels racism. It's exactly the same type of logic. There's absolutely no physical evidence of it and is a ridicilous belief founded on fear, ignorance and having to step on top of other people to feel better about oneself. People also need to stop using religion as "evidence" to continue promoting these ideas.

Physical strength or appearance has nothing to do with worth at all. How about respecting our other strengths? Our mental strength ? Being the glue that keeps families together? When I said all this he got really annoyed and said "I'm not a dumb ass ni***. Great. Clap for yourself hun. You used the N-word, NOW you win the arguement. Yet another ignorant statement. Why use the n-word about yourself and your people. Disgrace.
Just like MLK and Malcolm X, Nelson Mandela & Desmond Tutu and countless other figures fought for freedom, rights or independence, women have done a lot of the same. To have the rights to vote, the right to go to court, the right to divorce an abusive husband, the right to speak up when getting raped. And we still have a long way to go all around the world, both with women rights and trying to end discrimination. The two fights aren't exactly the same, but they share a lot of the same principles and details. So many people have sacrificed their life so future generations could get a better future with more opportunities. It's so ungrateful to not have that in mind. There was a time the common view around the world was that a woman was unfit to vote, being just an emotional creature. Yes. That's the words they used. Thank God we have moved on from then.

Ok I guess this is enough..Had to get it off my chest.
I realise it was a strong one, and hope no one will misunderstand anything I said..don't have time to read it over too many times, lol.

Honest Scrap coming up! Hope everyone is doing fabulous.


The promised land

>> Tuesday, March 17, 2009

I've often thought about the tremendous gap between peoples expectations of the "Western world" and actual reality. Most people living in the "developing world" have no idea how hard it is to get a permission to stay in "western countries". I know mostly about Europe, so I can't speak for US and Canada but I imagine it's a lot of the same.

I know first hand, how strict and heartless the system is, having to spend three years of my life simply battling for my then-boyfriend to get the permission to stay here. The system failed us, and as a result we had to get married in order for him to get to stay. This is not how I had envisioned getting married, and I certainly had no plans to marry that early. I didn't want it to happen like that, and I feel like we've gotten an unfair, rocky start to our marriage. I was supposed to finish university first and so on. At least that's how little perfectionist me had it all planned out in my head. Don't get me wrong though, I have no regrets.
That aside, after getting the permission to stay, one can finally have a life, breathe and stop fearing what the next month will bring. Even gradually starting to make plans for the future. It's terrible to not have the ability to do that. But getting the permission to stay, doesn't mean the challenges of living here is over. There are still lots of obstacles to face, and I can tell my husband is finding it difficult to adjust. The culture is so different, the weather so cold and the people so emotionless. Going from a place where time is quite relative to a place where everything and everyone is controlled by routines and the clock is new. It takes courage to be able to integrate - keeping his culture but blending it with the new and fitting into society. I've come to find out I don't think anyone can really feel comfortable or satisfied living in a foreign country unless they find a way to integrate and make it work. Without that they won't get the freedom they need to feel happy. One will always be doomed to bad jobs without knowing the language for example. In addition to that, the racism and prejudice that already exists and makes a lot of things more difficult than it would have been for others. In other words, it's anything but easy.
Yet, when we visit Nigeria most people seem to think its a piece of cake. I can't blame them, since the only connection a lot of them have to the "western world" is flashy cars, computers and glossy movies with beautiful people. Of course.
This christmas, we were approached by a man from the village. He said: "My son is a great footballer. I am sure he can be famous. Please take him with you to live with you in Norway so that he can have a better life". It's so sad. I'd like to help anyone I can as much as possible but it doesn't work like that. The gap between the glossy image people have and reality is just too big. Yes, living standards and a zillion things are better or whatever, but a lot of people aren't happy and it's more complicated than that. I think every single person living in poverty should have the opportunity of getting a better life, but thousands of dreams are also being crushed every year as a result of misinformation. How many Africans die each year trying to cross over from Morrocco to Spain? A lot of people who do make it, say they'd rather never have went in the first place. FYI I'm talking about people who fled from poverty without an education in the first place to non-English speaking countries like for instance Norway. If you do get the privilege to stay, you're not really going to go anywhere else than McDonalds or selling drugs. If you want more, you need an education. As soon as you arrive, you either have to live hidden or you'll be thrown into a system and degraded to a filenumber, live a life where every part of your life is decided by others. I wish someone would do a survey and ask all the people if what they came to see matched their expectations. I don't know.

Anyway, this is now concerning me personally yet another time - my brother in-law suddenly got this idea that he HAS to leave Nigeria. We've been trying to convince him not to for months but he it's impossible to change his mind. When he set his mind for something, he's going for it. A good quality really, but not in these kinds of situations. He has absolutely no CLUE how the world outside Nigeria is and he's adjusted to and grown up in the less developed part of Nigeria, so living in a beurocratic society where you need permits and documents for everything you want to do will be completely new to him. There's only so much we can help him with especially since he's not coming here. Lastly he's been doing completely OK with a nice flat, car and everything he needs - considered "well off" by all his peers. Then WHY must he go I wonder. Of course I do understand but at the same time I think it's crazy. We offered to raise some of our money over time and give it to him so he could invest in a new business and relocate to Abuja and come and visit us here whenever he wanted to. But he has chosen to throw all that away to a future of uknown. If he had absolutely nothing to lose, then it'd be easier to understand, but he's throwing everything he has, everything he's worked for, to gamble with his future. I think he has suffered enough already. As soon as he leaves Nigeria (this Sunday) anything concerning him is completely out of our hands.
I am sad because this guy has been more of a brother to me than my own brother, he's always been there for me and helped me out with anything I might need. He's been so loyal and supportive, and I truly care for his well-being. With the state the world is in now I grow even more concerns. People everywhere are losing their jobs and a lot of companies aren't hiring because they are struggling to keep their head above the water. He seems to think he can just go to Canada without knowing anyone there, get a flat and a job and start saving money to build a house. It DOES not work that way.
I realise at this point theres nothing we can do to stop him and our best shot is to support him as well as we can, pray that he arrives safely and meets some nice people that will be kind enough to introduce him to the world over there. He's a man of his own and has the right to make his own decisions. Who knows, maybe he'll hit jackpot and make it after all, he's a fighter. If not, I pray he'll return to Nigeria safely and focus on building a life there.


Back again!

>> Monday, March 16, 2009

Yes I am finally back and can now use both hands fully..almost.
it's taken me way longer than I had initially imagined. In addition to that, my schedule just got 10 times busier. I feel awful not being able to read and update on the blogfront, but I will try to do so ASAP! Wow, thank you all of you for all your sweet responses, that really warmed my heart! I never thought that many people would stop by and even bother to care but it was really sweet :-) You'll be hearing from me soon. XOXO


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