“I want to love Nigeria from afar and say I miss Suya”

Dear Diary, Fashion, Lifestyle, Oddities, People, Spurs, Travels and Recipies

“The skin colour of the slave masters changed but we’re not really free.”

 

“We used to be really excited back in the day, we would buy flags, share them, run around in green. Give to all our neighbours. Stick them on our cars.

But now, independence means nothing. It’s just another holiday where there’s no school or work. It’s like an extension.

We have countries where men died for causes and led battalions and that’s how far it goes. But the citizens know and understand, stay true to it, respect it, celebrate it and pass it down to their generations.

But the average Nigeria is suffering. I don’t know what we gained and what we’re enjoying because in many fields, outsiders rule and what do we have to show for it?

We’re independent but is it really what we want? If you’re not in a certain class, no one cares about you.

Your only crime in Nigeria is being poor.

57 years after and nothing to show for it. Look at where we are.

I would like for it to actually mean something but when your country has done less to make meaning of its independence you wonder how the “celebration” will ever mean a thing.

I would want to love Nigeria from afar and talk about how I miss suya and all but ultimately, I’m Nigerian and I love it but I will never delude myself that we are the best nation”

Those were his words when I spoke about October 1st with him this morning. Amongst all the conversations I had today on Nigeria’s independence, this took me.

On many levels, I relate and in as much as we hate to, we must admit to the truthfulness of it.

Nonetheless, as a Nigerian, I pray for a better Nigeria and I wish her fruitfulness.




In other events,

Yes, September was a month I was totally absent in this space but don’t fault me just yet. When I resume school (around October 17th) I will actually (for real this time, for real real for real) release the schedule.

Plus, I have an announcement that’s pretty big.

While that’s coming, I made myself green because…independence.

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Happy Independence! Happy October! God bless Nigeria!

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Are you six o’clock?

Spurs

This is one short extract I really liked over Sunday.


What’s up?

God wants you to be honest and upright.

 

 

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What time does the clock above show? Yes, six o’clock. Now, it may seem strange to ask but, “Are you six o’clock?”

What does that even mean?

The long hand of the clock points straight up and the short hand points straight down – they make a straight line. So, they are upright and downright.

Now, are you six o’clock? Are you straight up and down? Basically, are you straight and honest in all you do?

That’s a very tough question to answer. Especially with the “all” in position.

It is difficult living with and moving forward with people if you cannot be straight with them in life. You may find it hard but it costs nothing. Sometimes, you may think you’re being careful and you don’t want to hurt them. Other times, you may feel the damage is done so you might as well not – just stop.

In truth, by nature, none of us is six o’clock. We all do wrong in certain things (see Romans 3:23). We are all crooked and bent by nature. Some of us are 1:00, some are 4:45 – we are not straight. But the good news is that Jesus can make you six o’clock. It’s a short process, if you’re willing. He’ll help you step by step, to become six o’clock but you have to make him your best friend, read your bible and pray every day.

The moment you do, be assured that you are definitely six o’clock at all times.

That’s the attitude you should enter August with.


Welcome to August!

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I am genuinely happy we’ve arrived a new month.

The past month for me was not quite as expected. I went through about four stages of my definition of “stages of loss”. First, I asked myself where? Searching was the second part, and the third was me asking myself how and why? And fourth I had to accept and reminisce on the good times we had. This went for my phone – but it was not the only thing.

Last month left me amazed, certain things did not feel real but I kept it moving 100/100.

Now, for our blog.

I know I almost always begin with how I’ve been away or how a lot has happened and blah blah blah. Yes, I’m probably like 5:30 instead of 6:00 but hey, you just have to see some truth in those words beyond my laziness and procrastination. So, the real question is am I back or just stopping by?

While we’re on that, dance with me as I tell you that I’m done for the school session and I can have time to blog. But first, I will make us a new schedule (one we will actually stick to for the time being, that is, until I resume again) that I will introduce probably on Thursday or Friday.

So, “summer” as my friend, Ibifubara, viciously says does not exist in Nigeria, has begun for me. Technically, it began on the 21st of July but I used the time to chill out at home. For summer, I’d be in between interning and chilling with people but the good thing about my internship this year is that, it is work from home for the most part, what bliss!

In other news, I’d be at the Lemon curd this Saturday. So if you’d be there too, be sure to say hi or I’ll tear your lashes out – I can actually try.

 

I wish you a blessed and fun-filled August, live it up!

Sharon Ntan 19before97

 

THREE

Dear Diary, Lifestyle

This post is just 650 words. Make sure you get to the end.

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It has all been tumbleweed and dry air here but still we know there’s warmth. Yes, there is. Not that I’m back to posting on a regular, no, not quite (exams are underway) but JULY is a very special month.

WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? 

On July 1st, 2014, I decided to start a blog all over again. This was one of the days I wandered around the internet seeking shelter and I found one in the blogosphere.

As some of you may know, I made the move to WordPress from Blogger in 2015. This move was made because I found WordPress more responsive amongst other things.

 In these three years (as inconsistent as I have been) I have met amazing people and built cherishable connections. The Blogging University was a really amazing platform to facilitate that too. The daily posts, prompts and photo challenges have been interesting and inspiring too.

Amongst the many people I’ve come in contact with, Michelle. W has been of great help.

On joining WordPress,

On random days, people ask me what it’s like blogging on WordPress or blogging at all. Well, to answer that, there is an amazing community here on WordPress. This community has everyone doing different things so you will definitely find your twin.

Some people are mainstream, others are just not. You can even be your kind. You just find your path and do what you want to do. You can blog amateurly because you’re fascinated by words, reading and writing (like me) or professionally because you want to make a living out of it. Either way, just start whenever you want to – get a blog planner too.

There are no rules to this thing. If you just want an online diary, yes, you can have that as well. Make your blog private and give access to only those you want to, that is, if you want to.

This space and great. Amidst all the chaotic reporting, you can be selective and have yourself an amazing WordPress reader. Some days you don’t even have to blog (like me) you can just come online and read millions of posts and articles from people all over the world.

I must add, my WordPress reader is everything (I can suggest great people to trail)

On the future of 19Before97…

Really, don’t ask me. As far as I know, 19Before97 is not an “always and forever” platform. But these are the words from a girl who once hated Jam and bread but now eats them together like she’s always been obsessed with them.

As for now, may we enjoy it while we see it and live our days as the sun comes out with such liveliness.

Thank you for opening this site for as many times as you do. We’re growing faster than expected but I’m grateful. It feels good to know you’re here to read (or scan through) or just view pictures of whatever it is on this bloggyyy blog.

Often times, I’m tempted to close down this blog (you will be too) because I know how distant I can be (and I know I have mood swings and phases) but someone always tugs my heartstrings – always someone new.

Happy blogversary 19Before97!

Happy blogday to us!

I am literally taking myself out to celebrate this special and quiet day.

Welcome to the new month…

– JULY –

This month will be good to you. And if you find that it’s not, put it in its right senses. You have that much power. Yup!

Meanwhile,

I will leave you with this embarrassing video I made on July 1st, 2014 when I just opened this blog. I pretty much wanted to test out every single thing Google had to offer me – including YouTube (remember, I was internet homeless) LOL oh well

 

See you soon xx

Sharon Ntan 19before97

 

 

14 words that explain those weird feelings you feel inside

Oddities

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I’m going to tell you about my absence. 

Lately, I’ve had a lot of school work. Imagine a world where you offer ten courses in school and out of the ten, you’re given assignments in nine – the kind that are lengthy and voluminous with due dates which follow each other by days of three or two. Not forgetting the tests that come in between every now and then.

Lately, on most days, when I get home, I just freshen up, probably eat and then I fall asleep. I want to have a renewed mind and enough energy to do my assignments a little bit into the night. Then I fall asleep again around 1AM or so to wake up for my 9AM classes. Simple.

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So you see, that’s my routine and blogging time – I really can’t squeeze in. I’m currently not the best person to be telling you about decluttering. I mean, declutter so you can breathe but that’s as far as I can go.

I won’t bore you with my current boring and studious life but I’ve been feeling a lot of things. My moods go to the park a lot these days. Swinging and sliding and having fun with themselves. But still I’ve managed to have a taste of bliss in the absence of all thought.

Now, I know a lot of you read this our blog. By stats we’re all just passers by so I wouldn’t guess that some of you literally wait on a new post. I think the weirdest part of the wait has been when my students’ affairs director asked me when I was going to post again because he has been “waiting”. I found it weird and funny – he doesn’t think it’s weird btw.

By way of disclosure, I never really knew quite a number of you actually follow this our blog. So when I get messages that read, “Why haven’t you posted in a long time?” (because I got a lot of those in this time past) I’m always like, “Who, me?” Okay. I didn’t know that. I will. You touched me, I’m in my feels.

Lol okay, so speaking about feelings? We feel many things on a regular day. On some irregular days, well, we feel way more than many things – it’s not just an emotional roller coaster, it’s an emotional disaster. But I’ve learned that a life without all these isn’t really a life at all. A life without clutter, a life without a little trouble, a life without annoyance, a life without siblings, a life without friends, a life without that one person, a life without the daily things in this world that pique us and learning how hard it is to lose someone or something or to fail a test —without this, we never realize the worth of what we have and how beautiful life is in between.

While you’re standing there in that whitespace, feeling different things you may not know how to describe…I’ve been there for quite a while. But I went in search because I felt like some of these feelings can be explained and ta-da some can and I made this list for you. Here are a few of those weird emotions we feel on weird days:

1. Mal De Coucou

A phenomenon in which you have an active social life but very few close friends.

2. Adronitis

The frustration with how long it takes to get to know someone.

3. Sonder

The realisation that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own.

4. Rubatoisis

The unsettling awareness of your own heartbeat, whose tenuous muscular throbbing feels less like a metronome than a nervous ditty your heart is tapping to itself, the kind that people compulsively hum or sing while walking in complete darkness, as if to casually remind the outside world, I’m here, I’m here, I’m here.

5. Catoptric Tristesse

The sadness that you’ll never really know what other people think of you, whether good, bad or if at all.

6. Ellipsism

The sadness that you’ll never be able to know how history will turn out, that you’ll dutifully pass on the joke of being alive without ever learning the punchline—the name of the beneficiary of all human struggle, the sum of the final payout of every investment ever made in the future—which may not suit your sense of humor anyway and will probably involve how many people it takes to change a lightbulb.

7. Liberosis

The desire to care less about things—to loosen your grip on your life, to stop glancing behind your every few steps, afraid that someone will snatch it from you before you reach the end zone—rather to hold your life loosely and playfully, like a volleyball, keeping it in the air, with only quick fleeting interventions, bouncing freely in the hands of trusted friends, always in play.

8. Onism

The frustration of being stuck in just one body, that inhabits only one place at a time, which is like standing in front of the departures screen at an airport, flickering over with strange place names like other people’s passwords, each representing one more thing you’ll never get to see before you die—and all because, as the arrow on the map helpfully points out, you are here.

9. Nodus Tollens

The realization that the plot of your life doesn’t make sense to you anymore—that although you thought you were following the arc of the story, you keep finding yourself immersed in passages you don’t understand, that don’t even seem to belong in the same genre—which requires you to go back and reread the chapters you had originally skimmed to get to the good parts, only to learn that all along you were supposed to choose your own adventure.

10. Kuebiko

A state of exhaustion inspired by acts of senseless violence, which force you to revise your image of what can happen in this world—mending the fences of your expectations, weeding out all unwelcome and invasive truths, cultivating the perennial good that’s buried under the surface, and propping yourself up like an old scarecrow, who’s bursting at the seams but powerless to do anything but stand there and watch.

11. énouement

The bittersweetness of having arrived here in the future, where you can finally get the answers to how things turn out in the real world—who your baby sister would become, what your friends would end up doing, where your choices would lead you, exactly when you’d lose the people you took for granted—which is priceless intel that you instinctively want to share with anybody who hadn’t already made the journey, as if there was some part of you who had volunteered to stay behind, who was still stationed at a forgotten outpost somewhere in the past, still eagerly awaiting news from the front.

12. Monachopsis

The subtle but persistent feeling of being out of place, as maladapted to modernity as a seal on the beach—lumbering, clumsy, resting often, easily distracted, huddled in the presence of other misfits—unable to recognize the nearby…

13. Lapyear

The age at which you become older than your parents were when you were born – ugh, they may now begin with the “When I was your age” talk.

14. Gnossienne

A moment of awareness that someone you’ve known for years still has a private and mysterious inner life.

 

PS: If you feel like you feel more than you can describe, you can head over to The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows for more.

 

SEE YOU SOON!

 

 

Sharon Ntan 19before97

 

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MAY

Dear Diary, Lifestyle

I’m sorry.

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I mean, we literally walked straight into a new month and I didn’t even say a thing. I may tell you all about it soon or I may just move on and we all move on and everyone’s happy.

But until then, welcome to May.

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I consider May a beautiful month that alludes peace and this time I’m constantly reminded of flowers and their beauty.

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It’s past 3 a.m right now (at the time of writing this) but I told myself I must do this;
The only thing I hate about writing around this time is this;
I may bare certain things that may have wanted to stay clothe;
But that’s the drama behind all this;
I see myself; I see things; I come to know things; 
The intensest, the most poignant emotions gather here;
That, whether it is shine or gloom; it is felt.

FRiends that area no

So I thought of a person with the name of a flower; 
The very music of the name is fading;
But I feel its essences;
In my little head, for many quiet minutes;
With mind maps that deepen freshly into cities;
Many and many cities I hope to explore.

There are lovely things I have heard and experienced;
Everything is soul and flowering;
It starts small until it becomes a cheering light;
The kind that keeps growing fresh before me everyday.

God knows; I don’t know what keeps me laughing;
But I love it and I love His flowers.

I’m dedicating this month to flowers;
A field of them for us, and a garden;
Full of sweet scents, and colours, and pleasant aura.

So for every minute, on every day;
A flowery thought to bind you to happiness;
Spite of bosses, of the human nature;
Of facilitators, of the gloomy days;
Of all the unhealthy and over annoying things;
Made for us to get pissed off; yes, in spite of all;
Some reminder of beauty; from our day’s trouble;
Each Daisy, each Peony, each Gardenia, each Rose.

Remembering the scent; the look as if it were in the form of a person you love/d;
For even though there are certain flowers you can’t reach; knowing they exist is more than enough.

 

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HAVE A BLESSED, HAPPY & FLOWERY MAY!

Sharon Ntan 19before97

It’s okay to travel without packing a bag

Spurs

CRY. FEEL LOST. MOVE ON. BELIEVE. BE BOLD. BE AWED.

There are always exceptions,’ replied Flea. ‘They are what make you exceptional.
― Mo Willems

They say it’s weak to cry but that’s more than a big lie.

There is a certain way this life is set up. You have the big picture of what you want to make of it but one day, one event, that’s all it takes and your back is against the wall and everything just may seem like it’s all over. But it’s not.

You’re allowed to think that way and feel lost.

You see the reality before you but it’s way beyond what you have going on in your head. You take chances from time to time that just don’t work out. Does that mean you should stop? No. It means that next time you’re perturbed or you’ve “failed” you need to figure out and understand what’s worth it and what’s not. As painful as it is to have your plans, objectives or goals upturned and scattered, it’s even more painful to give up and wallow in all that’s lost.

You’re allowed to move on

Leave that place with all it holds and begin again. Some places aren’t meant for you to dwell in so sometimes you just need what will you remind you – see this as that thing. So pick up the few relevant things and go.

You’re allowed to believe.

You don’t see it but you feel it but you feel like you not only see it but have it because you want it, you need it. Go for it even when it looks impossible. That’s believing.

You’re allowed to put all your eggs in one basket; to put them behind a bicycle unstrapped while taking the bumpiest route ever.

Again, you’re allowed to believe.
You’re allowed to put all your eggs in one basket; to put them behind a bicycle unstrapped while taking the bumpiest route ever.

You’re allowed to be bold.

There’s only less you can do if you aren’t bold. You need to be bold to believe. This will help you find yourself and find your way.

You’re allowed to be confused.

You don’t even need to understand how things begin to happen well for you. Some things are above and beyond especially when you believe.

You’re allowed to do all these things because you have no other option.

Sharon Ntan 19before97