Today is my birthday. As I look back at my life’s journey over the years, there have been several experiences and lessons that have altogether shaped me into the person I have become today. Nothing reflects most of my life experiences and lessons like this piece I found on the internet:
I’ve learned that you cannot make someone love you. All you can do is be someone who can be loved. The rest is up to them;
I’ve learned that no matter how much I care, some people just don’t care back;
I’ve learned that it takes years to build up trust, and only seconds to destroy it.
I’ve learned that you can get by on charm, for about fifteen minutes. After that, you’d better know something;
I’ve learned that either you control your attitude or it controls you.
Many of them are in my little world and some are out there known by many. Well, that’s life and I am a woman who has never stopped counting her blessings.
So here we go for today.
I have always loved to have a particular ‘service provider’, be it my tailor, hairdresser and all. The best reason is that I hope to have someone I could bond with in that regard and not just see as a ‘trader’. Even in the markets back home, I had my special ‘mamis’ from whom I bought this or that foodstuff etc.
When I came to Brussels, I started looking for a hairdresser. Men, I even shaved my hair at some point so that I could have more time to decide on what next to do about braiding giving the cost, and trouble finding ‘a hairdresser’.
I asked some Africans I met in the streets, bus anywhere and most sent me to ‘Matonge’ (an area like one of those open markets we have back home). My guts however did not want to go there.
And then someday last August, I was referred to Fati and since then, she has become my ‘sister’ from Senegal.
Last monday, I went to do my hair as usual and Fati gave me an appointment to meet up somewhere. She was a bit late and I was getting nervous. A friend I spoke to adviced that I go to ‘Matonge’ but I decided to wait for Fati.
As if the delay wasn’t enough, when she came she insisted we go to her new ‘cot’ which was like 45 more minutes away. Well, I went along after all, we were already together.
Fati loves chatting and she let me in on so many things in her life and family and all and I was just glad to listen and note how glad she was to have a listening ear.
When Fati started braiding my hair ‘at last’, we were soon interrupted by her Uncle with whom she lived that it was lunch/dinner (5pm or so) time and he wouldn’t take any excuse.
So you can see for yourself how it went the Senegalese way : I was glad to drink two cups of their lovely chai though 🙂
Fortunately, Fati does the braiding pretty quick too and so in like an hour later, we were done:
Sometimes, I have an idea of what I want but Fati often tell me what she thinks will be best for me giving the weave I bring and all.
What matters in the end is the love I find in Fati.
A strong woman is a powerful woman. Why? First of all let’s look at the definition of ‘strong’ to find out. The first thing that may come to your mind is ‘Physically powerful.’ However, there’s another definition in the dictionary which is, ‘Having or showing ability or achievement in a specified field‘. That’s what I am going to focus on.
I class myself as a strong woman. That’s because I have had to deal with some major challenges in my life. Instead of those experiences breaking me, they made me strong. I was determined to fight my way through because of my girls. Not only did I develop unusual emotional strength, I also learned how to fight negative thoughts that wanted to drag me down.
Some of those negative thoughts were:
I can’t go on.
I can’t deal with this.
I wish I was dead.
Life is too hard.
I just want to go to sleep and not wake up.
I don’t want to talk to anyone.
I want to be left alone.
And the list went on… But guess what? I knew that I couldn’t give up because my daughters depended on me. Their love helped make me a strong woman. Plus I am a fighter.
The reason for this post is to encourage you. I want to tell you that you too are a strong woman. I’ve got some quotes to share with you to motivate you.
A strong woman
Pain is something that can cut deep into your soul. I know! I’ve been there. In 2000 I had to deal with the deaths of three people I loved. They died within the space of nine months. The pain was extremely bad because those deaths were untimely. But through that pain, I became a strong woman.
A real woman
If you’ve been knocked by love and heartaches and bounced back, you’re a real woman! You know how to dust yourself off and start all over again. It’s great when you’re able to get back on track. Especially when you learn from whatever it was that knocked you down.
A prayerful woman
Praying has been my lifeline. It’s good to be able to pour out your troubles and forget them. Praying isn’t just about getting down on your knees with your hands clasped. I pray by simply talking to God. I always get a sense of peace afterwards. And He does answer prayers.
A successful woman
A successful woman will use her problems as stepping-stones to get to where she wants to go. She doesn’t see them as setbacks but as opportunities for growth. Have you had people laugh at you and tell you that your idea is stupid? Or that you will never make it? Or why do you want to give up your job to pursue a silly dream?
Negative remarks will make a strong woman determined to become a successful woman. My favourite quote is, “Winners don’t quit and quitters don’t win.”
Kindly read on the interesting rest at June’s fabulous blog (more images and quotes there too), while I repeat her closing remarks:
Have you experienced the harsh realities of life? What made you the strong woman you are today? Please share your story in the comment box below. If you liked this post, share it with your friends …
Why couldn’t we discuss our emotions and hence find solutions to whatever we were going through?
I have admitted not discussing even 1/5th of my emotions. Well, not that I didn’t want to but because the opportunities were almost ever never there.
Is it only tradition, religion or something else? Is it that even the men don’t want to discuss emotions at all be it theirs or yours?
I know there are some men who do and that’s good for them. I am sure these ones have seen the benefits in discussing their emotions but I know there are many more who still think it is ‘macho’ not to discuss them.
People, admitting nor discussing our emotions can cause irreparable damages, have been there – done that and so at least am an example.
I came across this you tube clip on men and their emotions and share it with you while wishing you a fruitful week.
What is your take on this dear gentle readers and followers of mine?
I don’t know what has kept me from writing this post ever since? It has ever since I started a page for my heroines, been on my mind!
Yes, I do have them lots of heroines and writing these posts, is my own way of celebrating them and all those who impact others’ lives.
My heroine could very well look like this but helas I don’t have any real picture with or of hers.
That period was a very difficult one for me and to tell you the extent I almost derailed out there, I even stole from a shop a few times. What did I steal, food.
I had no money and no job. I had cut off communication with my mother and whole family because the thought I was possessed and well I left in the first place right? and did all those nasty things I narrate in my book right?
So when I got to Dubai, I lived with my boyfriend of then in an a flat alongside at least 6 other people. It was a three bedroom flat and more rooms had been created in the sitting room using plywood.
The rents were to be compared with those in London, Paris or New York and so the savings I brought paid that up.
Then this flat mate of mine, oh she who was just a cleaner with emirates airlines but who cleaned the planes on transit and all, took pity on me.
I did not know about Myanmar before and she barely spoke English. I think her supervisor at work was from Myanmar too and so she got her hired and well in such jobs language ain’t real necessary I think.
She lived with her husband and they both worked at the Emirates airlines cleaning planes. This picture I found online reminds me very much of them: both were petite too just like these!
She started bringing left overs and giving me (us) and this helped a lot. I fasted all day not only because I did not have any thing to eat, but also because I wanted to discipline myself so and keep my faith believing that those trying moments were going to pass.
And today, those moments are long gone. My heroine by the time I left Dubai, was 7 months pregnant and they were making arrangements to return to Myanmar, have the baby, leave him there before returning to toil for their daily bread.
People like her are my angels, my inspirations and motivations. I definitely wish her blessings and all the best wherever she is.
Dear gentle readers and followers of mine, it is with this post that I conclude my week. Next week, I resume on Tuesday with Emotions and Well Being – reach out to men ( hopefully someday it will come to be too).
and this means: to prosper in any business; to have increase or success. Living a meaningful life is my business which I am running on my terms.
I feel good, thralalalala – what’s wrong in being happy, proud and contented in life? What stops us from talking and even being proud about our successes, joys and high hopes?
Some people think it is a lack of humility. But tell me, is it ok to always complain, be full of self pity, demand empathy and hide our emotions away lest people say or whisper here and there?
On monday, I wrote about our emotions and our well being and my plans in that direction. Yes it is a great journey I am embarking on and I don’t mind who comes along initially, no I just want to go on that criuse.
It wasn’t easy and it still isn’t; oh no but let me tell you what is the ultimate:
I discovered coaching and blogging although in the reversed order. I re-discovered my ‘fierceness’, yes I went really unconventional by publishing my book.
I labelled it accordingly and re-worked its trailer to my satisfaction.
Now, I am slowly but surely thriving and I know it is up to us to do same or to watch other do same while reading their stories!
I am HAPPY, very happy. I have high HOPES and tiny fears, I know it wouldn’t be easy after all nobody ever said it was going to be. I also know with faith, Determination – Discipline and Dedication I will thrive for a long time to come!
Dear gentle readers and followers, are you thriving or just surviving?
Do you care for a journey to more emotional well being?
If Yes, then you can start on your own by re-eveluating yourself and if it be so hard a solo journey, reach out!
This week, I go emotional as in seriously. This week, I introduce what will eventually become my coaching business in some years to come.
Women: it is ok to discuss our emotions! This week I say Women, next week I say men, and thereafter I will speak to us all!
I suppose there is nothing wrong in dreaming, aspiring and planning. I love doing stuff in advance, sort of trying to figure out a whole project before I embark, least of which is even a mere weekend.
And so after much thought, I decided to embark on a challenging but fulfilling career as a Personal and emotional well being coach. I am still at the conception stage but I am excited about it enough to share the news with you.
It takes certifications, preparations, organization, finalization and all but yes – I am ready to embark on all that. I am currently being coached by Jeffrey l. Moore and that is frankly speaking one of the best self investments I ever made.
Now, back to my post for today! I have noticed and personally didn’t do it too, that we women and well especially in my continent Africa or even country Cameroon where I know quiet some women, we don’t think it is ok to discuss our emotions.
Maybe just like ‘men’ (well I don’t mean all either) had long thought and maybe still do think that it’s not ok for them to cry, women thought it ain’t ok to discuss their emotions.
So what do I think and make of all this? Personally, I didn’t discuss even just 1/3 of these. I didn’t discuss neither with my own self, with my partner or family nor with my ‘girl friend’ and here I put quotes because we would sure like to discuss with that ‘girlfriend’ (or boyfriend as the case maybe) we can trust not to make matters worst for us.
In a subsequent post on this journey, I will categorize some of these emotions and also look at their inextricable link to our personal cum emotional well being, hence to our ‘productivity’.
But, before then, next week, I will speak to our ‘men’. And, for men who care about their women, they have to understand their emotions or encourage them to talk with them and of course vice versa.
Dear gentle readers and followers of mine, this is my new found passion and ambition and I know many will wish me well. Maybe some will become my clients someday. The journey is just starting. I went through so much in life and my book tells most of it. I think it is noble now for me to help others too albeit professionally.
I just took a very bold decision today, albeit officially, to work hard to become a Personal and Emotional Well being Coach. I am currently being coached and I going to go after the certifications and all. Yes I know my time is limited, I don’t know the exact duration but I want whatever will be said to be consoling even to my corpse. Vincent, I am always touched by your posts and I once more reblog this great one.
Steve Jobs once said; “Remembering I will be dead soon is the best tool I have encountered to help me make the big choices in my life. Because almost everything – all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment, or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.”
Folks death is inevitable. One day, when it’s all said and done, we will die. But have you ever thought about what will be said about you on your funeral? What does it all come down to?
We sweat and labour to find our place here on earth, to fulfil our dreams. Sometimes we take…
We all read series 1 I suppose so, series 2 starts of with some legal intonations – well, maybe it will all end up legal too in my story? I think we could only best find out in the book itself so now back to another thrilling excerpt right?
Wait, before we get there, may be we could wonder why in spite of legislation, adultery is still so prevalent?
I came across this image and sincerely found it befitting on a personal note:
My ex-husband and I had come to mean so little to each other that we not only went out separate ways emotionally and all though still living under the same roof, but we eventually sought a divorce after l left.
“…Oh Ayo I did suffer in there, becoming worse of than Marie Magdalene.
The Reverend I had an affair with this time around was strangely the least of my worries. Maybe somehow, I was kind of used to cheating and not being caught and even enjoying the rides by now.
This relationship lasted close to six months and even the pregnancy I pleasantly discovered myself carrying for my husband, (of course I had once been bitten enough to protect myself on such outings) did not repel him until I decided to give up that relationship as a lent offering.
We had webbed a relationship I can’t describe out of décor and decorum and we were almost dependent upon each other emotionally to the extent that every few hours, we talked for a minute or thereabouts, and sent each other text messages. We counseled each other on various issues, visited each other’s homes and much more.
Maybe because I knew it was a dead end, I wasn’t in the least worried about the future because I knew sooner or later he would definitely be moving on with his life and I would have taken a final decision about leaving too.
But by the time five months was around the corner and I was getting into my fourth month of pregnancy, and as he wasn’t moving on or giving up on this ‘nonsense’ of a relationship, I decided once more that it was time.
Next, I got to meet the one I fondly and seriously consider as my earthly “Treasure”. I called him ‘trésor’, at all times whether we were having our own disagreements, good fights or not. He also went through several crisis of his own, both in the country and out in the “wilderness”, and I tried for as long and as much as I could to stand by him just as he back then, stood by me on countless occasions and through all sorts of crisis.
I remember even once telling him I thought we deserved a break for the pressure was about to bury me deep and he reluctantly agreed.
I was in Arusha then and I soon started a brief flirt with a man aged half a century, good enough to be my father and nothing to write home about. My ‘Treasure’ counseled me and made a big sacrifice to come and see me in Arusha, and I didn’t even know he was coming. I was equally so pleasantly surprised that coincidentally he was also called Alain.
We went through so much and then when I felt the moment, that moment, that I had to move on, I wrote him a long email; although he never replied, I think he realised it was time for both of us to let go of that ‘Madness’ of a Love Relationship…”
Well, gentle followers of mine, I have shared these excerpts with you in all honesty, modesty, humility and gratitude.
I have so far had some reviews and I shared some in a recent post. Adultery may not have been the axe that felled my wedding tree, no I wrote about what I felt was the key killer, but it played a great role.
I write only my story for I can’t hold the pen to any other’s book. I don’t seek pity nor even blame, no it is useless. I wish to provoke discussions, reflections and much more.
Dear all, do show so love by sharing, commenting and why not grabbing a copy of the book?
I definitely agree with this so much that i can’t help but reblog it. I once named Vincent amongst 4 great men of mine and he was very modest and humble in his appreciation. It is not the numbers but the quality that matters. He is yet to convince me he isn’t aiming for the moon nor that I should follow him closely. thank you Vincent – yes it all boils down to us!
In the journey towards success in life I have discovered that more often than not there are more people who will try to stop you than aid you, even from among our family and friends. And if we give in to their words and pressures, we give them the power to control our lives. So no matter what stage you are in the pursuit of your dreams, remember this; your success or failure…boils down to you, and no one else.
There are people who will discourage you if you set ambitious goals, but never you mind them because, without goals there can be no achievement. There are people who will frown upon you as you seek a better life, but keep seeking because it is essential that all of us find our true place if happiness is to be found. There are those who will laugh and ridicule you…
This blog is to encourage others that is being victimize, been a victm, or were a victim that they no longer have to live in hidden. I want to share words of encouragement to them and let them know they can come out of their situtaion alive no matter what there abuser is telling or has told them over the years. Some individuals have left their abuser but they are still living in afraid or living in in jail mental; the victim have to get his or her life back. Living behind the wall in public isn't well for them. They have to make a stand for themselves and regain what they lost in that relationship. It will not happen within a week or probably a month. First of all its a learning process, admit to what they lost, and let go of the shame, pride, and bitter. Its up to the victim to want to be a Survior not the abuser.