The other side of thoughts

I have a long flight ahead of me. Pleased at the chances I will get to cut corners, I gleefully anticipate my trip to oblivion.

stock-footage-man-walking-on-a-country-road-red-tint

They say its game over; I beg to differ, the game only just begun. Numerous opportunities still lie in our paths to concede goals and lose even more glory. Oh the joy of pessimism! Freeing you from the throes of disappointment! You can’t dampen my spirits! Too late my spirits are already in a puddle! How can you make me depressed when you already met me in that state? The intoxicating sense of power over myself grips me, ha! Nobody can ruffle my feathers, he who is down need fear no fall.

CrazyOldMan

Have you noticed that there is something quite happy about depression? In the smug satisfaction that comes with pitying yourself? In the blameless piety involved in blaming others for your problems? Oh the joy of being guilt free.
Why do you laugh at the madman? Don’t you realize he has been emancipated from the mind boggling frustrations of sanity? No wonder he is so happy! You must be mad to hold on so desperately to your sanity. Ha ha ha ha!

article-2204305-150CAB56000005DC-942_634x453

Why weep at death? Staring at the empty shell that once contained your loved one. What happened to the belief that he is in a better place and can be hurt no more? Is it doubt that makes us hang on so tightly to our existence? Attempting to delay our trip to the other side of breath! I wonder. I gaze into their eyes and I see their frustration, struggling for relevance in a sea of irrelevance! Striving to attain greatness by embracing mediocrity! Scurrying around in a rat race, gathering shiny jewels and trinkets only to lose them all on their final trip.
I stand alone, watching! The lone wolf amused at the futility of their struggles. Though as lost as they are, I choose to stand still till I find the road map with directions to redemption.

But how do I find if I do not seek? All certainly is vanity!

Minolta DSC

The idiocy of war! I disagree with you, so I’ll send some of my sons over for you to kill; in exchange we kill some of your sons. It then boils down to the smarter party losing when he realizes he cannot afford to lose anymore sons! While the stupid victor gloats over his willingness to throw more life away! Three cheers for the outstanding victor! Hurray! It can be summarized thus, war is young men dying and old men talking.

moonlight_desktop_1680x1050_hd-wallpaper-1097473 (1)

Lovers necking in the moonlight! Neither aware of the niggling doubts in the other’s heart, neither aware that in the next minute all the warm fuzzy feelings would be replaced with harsh animosity. It is funny that in a relationship the person who cares less wields more power, but isn’t it the vulnerability in caring that is the very essence of the relationship?

I gaze at the meadows the beauty of d flowers, the fluttering butterflies and a wry smile touches my lips as a small child grabs a butterfly and stuffs it in a jar. What is captivating shall be made captive, what is ravishing shall be ravished. It is the very nature of man that makes him destroy all that is beautiful in his path.

Written by @Yholar

Her Story, XXXVIII by @ladyingenous

Thanks for waiting. In case you missed the preview, find it here, so you know what to expect. If you are not sure what Beneath the Smile is about, please check the preview out.

The project aims at looking beyond the smiles of the next person, to see what’s really beneath, what’s really going on? How people really need help and won’t bother saying anything about it but would rather cover it up with a façade of strength, with a smile.
It’s time to look beneath the smile and lend a helping hand. People are going through real things, these are their stories.

We hope that you’d be kind enough to leave a comment. Your feedback is important to us.

Today’s story was sent in by one of our readers @ladyingenous

This is her story.

Please Read.

The ‘Beneath the Smile’ Project.

behind the smile

Ever felt like you’re alone in your own world? Ever felt like no one would understand no matter how much they tried?
Ever felt like something is wrong?
Ever felt you haven’t done enough?
Ever felt like giving up cause you think you can’t do it, you have given your best already?
Ever get this empty feeling like you don’t matter?
Ever felt like no matter how much you try it doesn’t get better?
Ever felt like losing hope because no matter which way you go it’s not working?
Ever felt like you’re not living you just exist. Ever felt like your dreams are more than you?
Ever felt like time is running out and nothing is happening?
Ever felt like you’re only talking it and never living it?

Well I felt all of these and much more. I felt I didn’t know which way to go cause no matter which way I went I just got stuck. I try my hands on so many things yet none gave me joy. I was confused cause my life no longer made sense to me. It felt like I was losing it and there was no one to turn to. It felt like there was absolutely no one to share this with. It felt like my troubles were eating me up. It felt like I had so many people around yet no one. It felt like everyone was running and I was standing wondering which way to go. It felt like this and it felt like that. I couldn’t even find the words to describe those feelings. They just came and when they did I just felt numb. I felt empty. I felt down. I felt indifferent. I felt lifeless.

All of those emotions and more were things I felt at a stage in my life that I couldn’t explain. I am sure you might be wondering why all of these emotions for a young girl like me. Well this is the story behind all of those emotions.

I am the second child and the first girl in my family. I lost my mum when I was ten. It was the worst thing that could have happened to me because I was not even with her when she died. I didn’t get to spend her last days with her. Prior to her death I had spent the whole of my jss1 first term holiday with her. It was horrendous having to see her in the condition she was. My mum went through a lot of pain and I had to watch all this without being able to do anything. She was diagnosed with a lot of diseases, some of which I didn’t even understand. She died while I was in school. Immediately after her death, my dad fell ill. It was like he couldn’t be strong for us so we had to be strong for him.

I lost my dad exactly 55 days after I lost my mum. When this happened, I felt so much pain that I couldn’t even cry. The pain was beyond tears so I just bottled up all of the tears. I did not cry and the tears were transformed to bitterness in me. I was bitter for as long as I could remember. I did not understand life anymore. I had lost my best friend in the whole of the world (my mum) and then I lost my dad too. It was just too much to bear.

I never talked much about it. I kept all of the bitterness in me. I was always sad though I always smiled (how ironic). The devil used it as a tool many times to keep me depressed. I would just be playing with my friends, then we would start talking about our parents and then I would just be saying “my uncle this and my uncle that” never “mum or dad”. It was very sad. It was really eating into me. I kept asking God why he had to take them. I used to feel unloved and I was always looking for love. It was always a battle to believe someone would ever love me for me. I just felt like there was no love for me anywhere. I used to feel rejected.

But then something changed. I no longer feel all of those things. I am now a hundred percent sure that someone cares. Someone greater than my imaginations. Someone my mind can’t understand or comprehend. Someone my mind drifts to when I feel all of these. He said to me I will stand by you when no one’s there. I will love you till the end of time. It might not seem like it but I am working out something great in you and through you.

You are perfect, He says. You are the most precious amongst my treasures. The very hairs on your head I know. You are engraved on my palm. I know your very make up. Those days when I’m down, I lay on my bed cover myself up and have a good cry but at the end I smile ’cause I know this person cares. I smile knowing there is hope. I smile knowing I have a friend who is greater than even a brother. I smile knowing I’m not alone.

He didn’t promise that I won’t fall but he said he will be there to catch me when I fall. He dint promise that it will be easy but He said, He will be by my side through the tough times.
He didn’t promise me a smooth road, but He said He’ll carry me through the rough ones. He didn’t promise me the whole world, but He gave me Him who owns the whole world.

Sometimes I cry at the thought of the love He has for me because I don’t understand it. Sometimes I’m afraid I can never love Him like He loves me.
Sometimes I’m afraid I will always let him down.
Sometimes I’m afraid I’m not up to the standard.

But at the end I remember,
He is not looking for a perfect person,
He is not looking for the person who has no wrong,
He is not looking for the person who has a hold of everything. All he asks is for a heart to believe Him and then trust Him. A heart to love Him not by itself but by His own love.

That’s all he asks.

That He, is God(father, son and spirit) and He is the smile beneath my smile.

• • •

Don’t just read, say a prayer.

A PENNY FOR YOUR THOUGHTS?

N.B. The project goes on with Tomorrow’s ’Her Story, XXXVIII’ by An Anonymous writer

You can still send in your own true stories to obafuntay@gmail.com

You can subscribe to the blog (at the right column to follow the project, if you are viewing with your mobile, just scroll to the end of this page to subscribe)

His Story, XIII by @CashMyFocus

Thanks for waiting. In case you missed the preview, find it here, so you know what to expect. If you are not sure what Beneath the Smile is about, please check the preview out.

The project aims at looking beyond the smiles of the next person, to see what’s really beneath, what’s really going on? How people really need help and won’t bother saying anything about it but would rather cover it up with a façade of strength, with a smile.
It’s time to look beneath the smile and lend a helping hand. People are going through real things, these are their stories.

We hope that you’d be kind enough to leave a comment. Your feedback is important to us.

Today’s story was sent in by one of our readers @CashMyFocus

This is his story.

Please Read.

The ‘Beneath the Smile’ Project.

behind the smile

My father died when I was 17 years old in Nigeria. It’s a long story but I’ll try cut it short.

I was a high school student then, in a boarding school and usually didn’t get to see him often because when he was back home for his journeys, I was usually back in school. The little time I spend with him was only on christmas break in the US or in Nigeria. Nevertheless he always called me through the school phone booth to always tell me he misses and loves me so much, and his plans for me and whatnot. We really didn’t spend much time together in his life time.

Anyway, the day of my late uncle’s funeral came and passed peacefully. Everybody went to bed that night and woke up the next day except my dad and he was supposed to leave for the US that very day. Well, no one told me nothing till I came home on mid-term break. When my mom informed me, I felt something leave my body that moment, I was heartbroken, I almost committed suicide. I knew things would never be the same in my life.

To make matters worse, after my dad passed away, his family wanted to share his properties between themselves before they start talking about burying him which resulted to a big fight between us and my dad’s family. But thank God for my mom and the strength, wisdom He gave her and for HIM being with us all through. We finally buried my dad 7 months later although it wasn’t a befitting one.

My life changed afterwards. I became a man cause, I’m the first son. I’ve tried to get over his death and find other father figures to bandage the wound, but I still think about him. I still have a hard time dealing with his death. That’s why I smoke, drink, and spend money fast. I’m not doing these things to fit in but for the temporary navigation to nothing. No thoughts. No brainstorm.

But now nothing is working. Not even Alcohol or weed could keep my mind from thinking about him. I cry when I think about him, when I say I cry; I mean I cry. Eyes red and you can look me in my eyes and tell I’m lost and when those crying moments acquire, I blame it on the wind. Lol “Naw bro, the wind got into my eye.”

So to those people that have already casted their stones at me, I just pray that you never wonder endlessly in this world like me.

God bless.

• • •

Don’t just read, say a prayer.

A PENNY FOR YOUR THOUGHTS?

N.B. The project goes on with Today’s  (4pm)  ’Her Story, XXII’ by an Anonymous writer

You can still send in your own true stories to obafuntay@gmail.com

You can subscribe to the blog (at the right column to follow the project, if you are viewing with your mobile, just scroll to the end of this page to subscribe)

Her Story, XIII by Tinnie

Thanks for waiting. In case you missed the preview, find it here, so you know what to expect. If you are not sure what Beneath the Smile is about, please check the preview out.

The project aims at looking beyond the smiles of the next person, to see what’s really beneath, what’s really going on? How people really need help and won’t bother saying anything about it but would rather cover it up with a façade of strength, with a smile.
It’s time to look beneath the smile and lend a helping hand. People are going through real things, these are their stories.

We hope that you’d be kind enough to leave a comment. Your feedback is important to us.

Today’s story was sent in by one of our readers who has asked to be called Tinnie.

This is her story.

Please Read.

The ‘Beneath the Smile’ Project.

behind the smile

While attending an interview at a multinational recently, I was asked a question ‘why are you always smiling?’ and I replied ‘Smiling is a way of life for me’ with a smile.

Diagnosed with life threatening fibroid at a very young age, lost blood like a woman in the labour room every month for 12 days – droplets for 8 days and peace for 10 days, this was her own cycle unlike 3 – 5 day like every normal woman. She was a prayer warrior, the greatest and most wonderful sister and friend I knew ever existed, faced hostilities from both families all because she had only female children and chose the way of God.

She endured hostility from her husband, got abandoned by the same man for two years to fend for herself and children without a job, lived practically from hand to mouth, had the most troublesome daughter ever.  She had every cause to back down, bail out and give up on life and everything it had to offer but instead she was the life of the house and there was never a dull moment with her.

As children we could hardly reconcile what she was going through because of her enthusiastic attitude towards life, to me she was the happiest woman with the greatest challenges that. She had a smile that kept everyone going without thinking of our predicament, that smile and in-depth inexplicable happiness kept her family together and helped her walk through the fire and still coming out stronger.

She died in pain, still smiling, she is my mother, forever in my heart! I saw her go through with all these and I was not left out on facing my own challenges…

From being raped at 13, to struggling to finish secondary school. Then having a great challenge entering the university, almost dropping out in my final year due to financial issues and then becoming the punching bag of my father, awaiting my final freedom in marriage and of course, I’m scared of the male gender as I am, of going to hell but still  I have learnt not to stop smiling and for her I wouldn’t.

I see her in me (not the sickness though) and that makes me happy as ever.
…and yes, I’m that troublesome daughter.

That’s my story.

What’s yours?

• • •

Don’t just read, say a prayer.

A PENNY FOR YOUR THOUGHTS?

N.B. The project goes on with Tomorrow’s  ’His Story, VII’ by Ezechukwu

You can still send in your own true stories to obafuntay@gmail.com

You can subscribe to the blog (at the right column to follow the project, if you are viewing with your mobile, just scroll to the end of this page to subscribe)

Her Story, XI by @duchesskk

Thanks for waiting. In case you missed the preview, find it here, so you know what to expect. If you are not sure what Beneath the Smile is about, please check the preview out.

The project aims at looking beyond the smiles of the next person, to see what’s really beneath, what’s really going on? How people really need help and won’t bother saying anything about it but would rather cover it up with a façade of strength, with a smile.
It’s time to look beneath the smile and lend a helping hand. People are going through real things, these are their stories.

We hope that you’d be kind enough to leave a comment. Your feedback is important to us.

Today’s story was sent in by one of our readers @duchesskk

This is her story.

Please Read.

The ‘Beneath the Smile’ Project.

behind the smile

I don’t know if this is normal, but I remember stuff from when i was 3. Not shadowy memories but real vivid pictures of things I’m sure happened. My story begins from about that time.

At that age i was conscious of the fact that my dad lived somewhere else ’cause every time he came we had special outings: we often went to listen to jazz or just play at the amusement park. I knew my family was happy but I didn’t understand why we had to live apart.
My dad eventually changed jobs and we went to live with him in Jos. The coldest, peaceful place I had ever been in.

In secondary school I remember having just the basic things I needed but somehow people envied me on visiting days because my family would come with lunch and we’d eat together and laugh.

My bond with my dad was so strong. The first time I saw my period I came to where my parents were seated and called my dad aside to tell him. This really upset my mum.
I told my dad almost anything.

It was my sister’s birthday and I was mandated to take food to my neighbours. I heard a knock and when I opened the gate, a man said he wanted to buy eggs from my mom’s poultry. I went to call her but my dad chose to go since she was eating. “who is disturbing my wife at this time?” he asked. I followed closely behind still bent on taking food to the neighbours. We got to the gate and realized the men were armed. As we ran inside I had no fear ’cause my dad was there, ‘He would lock the door then call the police and we would be fine‘- I thought to myself.

When I got into the house I ran to lock the alternative entrance while my mum kept asking confused questions. Then I heard the gunshot.

My dad was gone

…just like that.

I can’t say I know what hell is like but if it’s pain is worse than what I felt that day, then it’s pain is indeed unbearable. That day something died inside me. When I hold up a front and smile it’s ’cause I know the worst thing happened.

My heart still burns for the man who was shot while shielding his family. The same one who gave me life and promised me heaven and earth again and again

I cover it all up, beneath my smile.

• • •

A PENNY FOR YOUR THOUGHTS?

N.B. The project goes on with Tomorrow’s  ’Her Story, XII’ by an Anonymous writer.

You can still send in your own true stories to obafuntay@gmail.com

You can subscribe to the blog (at the right column to follow the project, if you are viewing with your mobile, just scroll to the end of this page to subscribe)

Her Story, VI by @ThisHandleTho

Thanks for waiting. In case you missed the preview, find it here, so you know what to expect. If you are not sure what Beneath the Smile is about, please check the preview out.

The project aims at looking beyond the smiles of the next person, to see what’s really beneath, what’s really going on? How people really need help and won’t bother saying anything about it but would rather cover it up with a façade of strength, with a smile.
It’s time to look beneath the smile and lend a helping hand. People are going through real things, these are their stories.

We hope that you’d be kind enough to leave a comment. Your feedback is important to us.

Today’s true story was sent in by one of our readers @ThisHandleTho

This is her story.

Please Read.

The ‘Beneath the Smile’ Project.

behind the smile

Hi. 😀

Let’s try that again. Hi. 🙂

Nope. I don’t feel that way.

This is how I feel – Hi. 😐

That’s that. I’m done pretending. I’m done pretending my world is la vie en rose, or that my life is so awesome. Look at me. Look at my face. I’m not smiling. My face stands out in the crowd, revealing the emotions some of us have chosen to hide, beneath a smile.

It was not supposed to be like this, really. Nothing is ever supposed to be like it is, with me. But this one is just… the bloody height.
She bathed me, and left me to dress myself up for school. There I was, finishing up, wearing my socks, when I heard a loud bang. In a matter of minutes, my light-skinned mother was burnt and blackened, on the sofa, surrounded by my father and the neighbours. They rushed her out, while I stood transfixed. It was a blur, but not really. I knew it was real, but chose to see it as a movie. My Mummy..
That same day, I went to school, after arguing and crying that I’d rather spend the day with my Mother. My father had insisted, and that was how I spent the day playing and laughing about, like my little heart wasn’t bleeding for my soul mate. That was also how I spent many days after that. Dad took me over to his boss’s home, to be with his children, other children my age, so ‘I wouldn’t miss my mother so much’. Like that was even possible!

They played with me cautiously, treating me with the utmost sympathy. Something that irked me to my soul. So I became a clown, showing bravado in the face of despair, smiling into the face of dread and internal hopelessness. I lived for the days I went to the hospital, kissing mother ever so gently, holding her hand, never leaving her side, scornfully commanding the nurses who seemed to address her in rude way.

Me, a girl of seven. I was strong. Never crying in front of her, even when she wept, wept at my emotional strength.
Suddenly, I couldn’t see her anymore. My father said, she had been worried about the way her burnt looks might traumatise me, because of the way I touched her ever so gently. I tried to explain that It was because I didn’t want to hurt her. She was my mother! Why would she irritate me? My father stood his ground; I could not see her again, till she was out of the hospital.

I’ve never been one to throw tantrums, but it showed in my eyes. I was lost, heartbroken. I kept wondering how she was feeling, how the nurses would be treating her, what they were feeding her. I must have lost my mind. But I smiled. I was still the clown, because I cracked jokes out of my pain, and the boss’s children still loved to be around me.

He came to the house, and carried me on his leg. I hadn’t seen him in two days, so I had prepared my childlike mind for the worst. As he patted my head, and I cleaned his tear filled eyes, I asked “Has my mother gone to heaven?”. He nodded, put me down, and left.
I didn’t cry for long. And when I went to shop for the burial clothes, I made sure the boss’s wife had no say in my choices. Black socks, gloves and a hat. Just like in the movies. Mother would have been proud.

I hated that I was deprived of seeing her before she died. I didn’t get any last words. People get last words. Words to live by. I have no idea what she must have been thinking before she.. I didn’t get any..

She was a Literature Teacher. She left countless books behind..and that was all I had of her. So I started devouring, just to see her notes, get a glimpse of her thoughts, from Buchi Emecheta, to Shakespeare..Mother would have been proud. It’s really not the same without her. It’s been about thirteen years, and I’m still not used to it. But I’m trying. Working on, and not even coming close to being the literary goddess that she was, imagining what she would have said to me in certain situations, if she were alive and trying to live my life to make her proud.

Well, that’s it. Every reminder triggers a memory of her, and every memory produces a pang. Every pang I feel results in a grimace. This grimace is my smile. So beneath the smile, I’m not really smiling.

Haven’t you ever seen a grimace?

• • •

A PENNY FOR YOUR THOUGHTS?

N.B. The project goes on with Wednesday’s ’His Story, III’ by @GrizzyGrey

You can still send in your own true stories to obafuntay@gmail.com

You can subscribe to the blog (at the right column to follow the project, if you are viewing with your mobile, just scroll to the end of this page to subscribe)

Before I Die…

Sometimes, I like to shut my mind to certain realities.

People die. The ones we love. The ones we forget to tell that we love them. They just die.

How come it’s usually only at memorial services or it’s like that we get to hear all the good things to be said about someone? This someone who has already passed away, who can’t hear these nice things we now say?

Why is it that, it’s when the ones we love die that we remember to tell them how much they mean meant to us?

Funny how most of us never really show gratitude to people who in one way or the other have touched our lives till they kick the bucket.

At burials, we then go with long notes and speeches filled with platitudes. I mean, what is the point then?

You Love someone? Tell them.
Someone has been a blessing? Tell them.
We all tweet “I Love my mother” ….. Have you actually told her (Self sub)

The truth is, life is fleeting. We never really know what’s to happen next.

Just this Sunday, lost a friend because a drunk 33-year-old woman was behind the wheels.

RIP Tundun Lawani
I Love You. We Love You.

Start talking today. Tell those who matter, that Yes, You matter. Let Them Know!

Start.

#VideoWednesday

N.B: When I die, don’t start speaking oyinbo at my burial… tell me what need to be said now! At my burial, just chillax and eat cake all the way. I’ll be waiting for you in Heaven. I Love You too. 🙂

 

P.S. Please, if you have any video you think should be shared to others and we can feature on our #VideoWednesday, please mail me at obafuntay@gmail.com

Thank you

Yet Another Question

Its 12:59am, I can’t sleep, I want to but my thoughts won’t let me be…
a myriad of questions, but who do I ask? Are they even meant to be asked?

I knew him from a distance, I always wondered why he gave his all,
the hassle and stress just to ensure the mic was working, the projectors were on track,
he did all the technical things effortlessly; with less than 90 days to convocation,
he put in yet again his all to ensure the success of the ceremony, one he’ll never be able to attend in person.

I remember the day I heard he was gone, gone for good. I dint understand, I still don’t understand.
Why did he have to die?
Why do we even live?
Why him?
How exactly do we say who dies or who lives?
What about his dreams?

But amid the avalanche of questions, one thing stood certain – Life is short, it really is.

In the past few days, I’ve heard and read what people had to say about him and they said a lot,
he meant a lot of things to a lot of people. It’s definitely too late to add him on facebook
so I could write on his wall, but if I were to write, here will be my words:

It’ll be untrue to say you are gone for good, I was wrong. In the hearts of many,
those you know and those like me that you don’t know, you left a mark,
your imprint lingers. From the distance I knew you; you taught me one thing
– We Live to Serve.
That’s all I ever saw you do – Serve. You’ll forever remain loved for this.”

I still don’t understand a whole lot of things, life is a freaking jig-saw puzzle,
putting the pieces together has become mission impossible.

So many questions to ask Him at the end of this all… his death, yet another question.

#RIP Femi Ademiju

Maybe it’s just me, but there are just so many things I do not understand.

His ways, not our ways.

But then, this is what I think, what do I know?