Tag Archives: Courage

PAW Pink Party: I will be on a panel


So, hello world, we get what PAW stands for, and PAW Cameroon is slowly but taking off. I was invited to join a panel and I am excited about the panel I’ll be joining.

Getting Authentic: Leading from your Heart against all odds

This is a VIP highlight of my week. 

The week is starting off challenging because I somehow contracted the mumps virus… (I thought I was too old for that oh my), but I hope all is well by then.

Have a nice week everybody, and I ‘ll sure share feedback.

Thank you for your support and all

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Learning to Face My Fears Part 3 – The Ashley Rose series!


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I started exposing the roses of my dear friend Ashley Rose and if you want a recap of series 1 and 2 then click here: and here:

Today I expose part three and I am happy the way it turned out for her in this particular series that she not only overcame the fear of moving to ‘Atlanta’ but she ended up ‘liking and craving’ for Atlanta.

Read on, enjoy and leave a comment, share with us how you overcame any fear of yours, and of course do not hesitate to share the post with your friends…

Atlanta Braves Statute of Liberty!

Since I was diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder five years ago, I have made a conscious decision to face all of my fears. One of my biggest fears was moving to a big city. All the traffic, people, crime, and change were too much for me to face all at once. I was sure I would move to Atlanta and all this bad stuff would happen to me and I would come crawling back home to my small middle Georgia town. Surprisingly, I learned to adapt to my environment and thrive.

Visiting Atlanta: I knew that I wanted to move to Atlanta because I wanted to attend graduate school at Mercer University. While visiting, I was nervous driving in this big city with all the traffic and noise. Sitting in traffic can make you feel like you are so small in this big world. The only traffic I ever sat in was at the local Dairy Queen drive thru. Learning how to get from one place to the other was difficult because I relied on my GPS who sometimes has mood swings and works when she wants to. Sometimes I change her accent because I think she will sound nicer, but it doesn’t work. I decided to visit the college and ride through downtown on a Friday. It was not the visit I envisioned because I spent hours in traffic and stared at more tail lights than the actual city. But, I knew beyond all that I feared, Atlanta was calling my name.

Finding a place to call home: I finally got my acceptance letter from school, so now things were becoming a reality. I had to find my very own apartment. Looking for apartments in a city is much different from the country because you never know what you are going to stumble upon. Within the same price range, I could view a beautiful apartment in metro Atlanta, but a complete dump in the city area. So this task was going to be harder than I expected. After viewing several places, I decided to call a cute two-bedroom town home my residence. I went to the country, packed up my cats and belongings and headed to the big peach city.

Moving and adjusting: Deciding to keep my home where I grew up was a safety net decision; I guess I was not ready to completely let go of my small town. The moving process went well. I was able to buy a lot of new things and call the place my home. The first few months were really hard because I missed my family and friends. My anxiety kicked in high gear. According to the book “Dancing with Fear,” the author describes major life changes can cause a feeling of stress overload. I was feeling it and dealing with some panic attacks, but started counseling around this time to gain insight. I remember the first month I was there, I was so lonely because I didn’t know anyone and class did not start for another three weeks. I was bored out of mind, but eventually when school started, I was faced with more than I bargained for. Once I got a part time job and settled into my school schedule, I started to really enjoy my life changing decision.

Thriving: I ended up graduating school and staying in Atlanta for a total of three years. I moved to Los Angeles for a year and then ended back in Atlanta because I missed the east coast so much. If I had never made the decision to move to Atlanta, there would have been parts of the world I would have never been comfortable experiencing. I have decided that I am a true city girl. When I go back to my small town, I am now an outsider and don’t fit in well, but still make time to visit loved ones. Facing my fear of moving to a bigger city exceeded my wildest dreams and enabled me to even follow my dreams.

Source: Dancing with Fear: Controlling Stress and Creating a Life Beyond Panic and Anxiety; Paul Foxman, Ph. D.

Donna: When you meet a kindred Soul your spirit knows that… 


That was our first time meeting together, barely 3 days after I braved it to obtain her number and call her…

I have a picture where I was captured laughing out my soul like that… It’s in my living room…

I had been thinking of reaching out to Donna over a month ago… I hadn’t read anything about her, nor even heard much about her… I had once been told we were going to be invited on a panel to discuss our books and co, but that never happened… That was last year… 

Amusing Donna Forbin with my efforts to reach her

Last month, I started thinking a lot about this Donna … I hadn’t even googled her up… Indeed, it only dawned on me to at least google her and see her face once she agreed we could meet yesterday … The network didn’t help and so we ended up just describing each other… Needless though because we just knew each other on sight…

Donna lives right there in Limbe… that magnetic sea side city where I finished my last memoir… Gosh Donna just told I was invited any time to occupy her second room… I brought her a copy of one my book ( the one I actually have a printed copy of), and she gave me so much more

I am in a reading frenzy currently, Cortland Pfeiffer’s Taking The Mask off, Chimamanda’s half of a yellow sun and Americana, and now Donna gave me gifts of all 4 of her books… Ok you tell me how do I sleep?

When I called Donna on Monday afternoon, her voice was just what I had been dreaming of… Indeed, when I got her number in the morning, I first prayed before deciding to call in the afternoon hoping her morning hype would have calmed down ( just pure guess work and I was once again right)… Another sign I had told myself, was going to be in her tone the way she said hello… I actually prefered she say hello and not hi… And that’s exactly what she said… And in that way which just hugs your soul…

Could it be an ‘unknown Angel’ involved here all along captain?

In Cortland’s book, he talks of synchronicity and soul contracts…

Donna and I talked that Monday afternoon for 24 good minutes… I timed that, and yesterday we just had to part due to other commitments… This morning we spoke for 12 minutes cause she is on the go, ok WhatsApp chats is not factored…

Oh my, you will definitely read more about Donna on this blog… I never felt this before or met someone like this here or anywhere else for that matter… Donna herself is amazed and so grateful I called her? Ha

Her books … (I gave up sleep and I have already read 2 of them) are so … To my spirit…

Must a soul mate be of the opposite sex and someone with whom you share much more than your soul?

Donns chose that pose…Looking together in that direction: wondering and hoping 🙂

Wishing us all a nice weekend… And a ‘Donna in our lives… 🙂

STIGMA: The Script’s Synopsis P2


Hello world, pursuant to P1, here is P2:

…This is actually the setting into which Precious, Victor and Mercy are born to papa Thomas and mami Maria. Papa Thomas is a doubting Christian who has fallen out with the church because he insists on wanting to take a second wife since mami Maria has so far giving him only one child (He refuses to count the first two sick children as his). He has surnamed this third child Mercy and although she is only a girl meaning of not so much value to him, he desperately needs the ancestors or God to have mercy on her and spare her from the ‘badluck’ of her siblings.

The movie takes us through the traumatic ordeal of Precious and Victor, an ordeal which begins at home and ends up in school. They are at first taken by their parents to the traditional healer where they undergo near fatal and highly superstitious practices in a bid to rid them of the ‘curse’ source of the badluck, and when the procedure fails, they are dragged to the church with the hope that the reverend father will exorcise the demons in them.

The movie also brings out the guilt, burden and pain mothers feel and bear throughout such ordeals. In our case, mami Maria the mother of the sick children, bears it all bravely, leaving no stone unturned to get her husband to change his staunch traditional mentality and try out the ‘whiteman’s medication’ for once. It is she who when at her stall sees the NGO’s sensitization posters, pleads desperately with her husband that they go to the mission hospital and attend their presentation to learn some more. She equally plead with the catechist to come talk to her husband mindful of his disapproval of papa Thomas’s penchant for polygamy. The catechist’s visit leads to their being received by the reverend Priest. Reverend Fada as he is calls, seizes the opportunity to dismiss all what has been said at the village square and the traditional healer as false beliefs/practices; nothing more.

The lives of Precious and Victor henceforth take a dramatic turn for the better once reverend Fada refers them to the mission hospital. He knows that help can be found at a hospital because his cook’s child who suffers from what he refers to as epilepsy, gets a lot of help from the hospital in the nearby village.

Precious is almost denied a chance at the ‘whiteman medication’ when her father papa Thomas grumbles that he doesn’t have money to take two children there. He will rather take the boy and leave the girl to end up which ever way. Her dear mother steps in again by bringing out her savings. There is no way mami Maria can let her husband blatantly and viciously discriminate against her two sick children because one is a girl and to him of little value, while the boy a younger sibling deserves all the chances at getting better.

At the hospital, the children are registered for consultation by the neurologist who comes during the medical missions organized by the NGO. This NGO which has been working on the field for barely two years now, has indeed been able to secure the personal support of one of the few neurologists in the region. The Neurologist they are told brings a special machine to test the brains of the selected patients so as to know the exact type of the brain disorder they suffer from, and to be able to prescribe medication which can prevent the fainting or seizures as the attacks are called in the hospital. The God sent NGO has also brought some subsidized medication which thanks to mami Maria’s savings, the family can afford.

All is well that ends well, at last the children can now go to school. Another exciting news is that they don’t have to fear the reaction of their teachers and fellow students if they have a seizure in school because the NGO has also brought handbooks about epilepsy for the teachers. The teachers will be trained and they will in turn teach the students on what to do if a friend is having a seizure. The NGO is even sponsoring the Fon’s Football Cup tournament (among other projects), so that through the sponsorship they can sensitize the entire community on the brain disorder and advocate for a change in mentality towards persons living with epilepsy – thus fighting against stigma. Epilepsy they emphasize is not contagious and so people will stop running away and shaming them when they are having a seizure. Epilepsy they even add can be cured and prevented. All this is so new, it makes the news in the whole village.

In the end, Precious and Victor become heros in their village. Their story is reported in the local newspaper and the NGO tells them they will be taken to the city to share their story. Soon, many other parents stop hiding their sick children at home, they take them to the hospital and write down their names so that they will be selected and called back when the NGO organizes another medical mission….

Stay nearby for P 3 next week and thanks for all the support

Running Away From…?


shed-them-off

There comes a point in time

When you muster the courage for the review

You look at them inside out

The flash cards of the lifeathon

The near out of breathe you’ve sometimes experienced

The long and wide distances you’ve covered

The impulsive, compulsive & obsessive thoughts and actions

The numerous and sometimes weird people who took you oh for so granted

The ceaseless times you doubted, loathed and devalued your own self

The frustration, exasperation and near extinction

The very tricky race…

Ah: Who were you running away from?

Oh:


What were you running away from?

You’re near a decade to half a century old

And there seems to be no one else following you but you

Ain’t it real time to look at those flash cards again?

To stop piling new ones onto what seems like a trash hip?

Oh how I wish this could be a fairy tale

The likes I dreamt of reading Cinderella and Snow White

Couldn’t there be a life school with a kindergarden section?

One you really went to before formal school?

Well, am counting my blessing and seizing every chance

I REALLY CAN’T KEEP RUNNING AWAY FROM ME

Several dawns have come by since my 3 decades and a half

I guess now is time for that spiritual retreat

When it was first offered I scorned

Oh how I thank you Lord for my source of unconditional love

3 days of just me and YOU in all intimacy

To hell ever running away from … again

An Area Girl in Abidjan Day4 P2


Oh gosh, as if my walking for 40 minutes to and fro this morning to hopefully get to a certain hotel wasn’t enough, I just found out on google maps it’ll actually take yes 1hr 22 minutes on foot to get there. Why didn’t I look it up before? See for yourself:

plateau-abidjan-cote-divoire-to-sofitel-abidjan-hotel-ivoire-google-maps
I didn’t know google maps works here because in my country…

Training related: Now, I learn that something I had lobbyed for two days ago and which had been promised me, is going to some other gentleman who happens to be a more good looking or responsible or intellectual than myself? what can I tell you… For the past 3 days at day’s close, one of us is chosen to say a word or two to our trainer… I was so looking forward to this day’s trainer because I have read a lot of his works and he is truly one of Africa’s eminent personalities. Hence I lobbied, especially that only men had been chosen all along and the ladies were only chosen to give flowers … This morning I saw the one whom I just learnt has been chosen leave the room with one of the organizers and I had a bad feeling… This afternoon after coffee break I asked one of the the other principal organizers to whom I had first talked, he quickly referred me to their main man and seemed elusive whereas two days ago he was welcoming. I now know this guy was chosen today and this lead organizer tells me it’s because well all trainers have been men and so they thought it should be men talking to or about them. He tried to flater me I could also be allowed to add in a word later, but I was firm, am no man’s assistant and either I am doing the talking or he is. It’s really ok if it’s no longer me, I just thought they should have been fair enough to tell me before I asked sort of…

Over to something else: I am still having my itchy near running nose but there goes life again… and well I don’t look forward to going out either this evening or even tomorrow evening. I will however run tomorrow morning because I see that those exercises are helping greatly.

I did take two pictures here today with better smiles sort of. The sun shone brightly and I went to the yard after lunch for some sunlight and here I am:

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Enjoying me some sun

Anyway, I took a picture with this trainer today, the only I have taken with anyother person of my own accord, and I am happy to have spoken a lot with him and even talked about our both countries. Now he just so happens to know a family from which one of my uncles married one of his wives… how small is this world we live in:

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He’s an inspiration and motivation intellectually speaking – such an extensive CV

And about the Weight Loss: The scale miraculously read 76.4 today. Could I truly have lost this much weight in just 3 days? I feel my pants dangling but hmm that’s not real… either the scale I stepped on back home was faulty, or this one? I doubt what to believe now… so am just continue doing my thing and I know where I want to see more change in mass … until then, nada…

Am ready to call this a day and glad tomorrow is just half day…

Wishing us all a nice evening…

 

When did saying Thank you become any ackward?


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Dear World, today is Friday and wow I am so grateful for having survived this week.

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I mean having to go pick up your son from boarding house and seeing how much weight he’s lost in the 3 weeks since you last saw him, getting him tested and found to be suffering from thypoid, malaria and some nasty cough, and with his morale so low, even my own frail health vanished from my mind or body.

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And yet, I am seriously truly very grateful. So thankful to my God, my Stars, my Faith, my Friends, and of course last but not the least my Family both on and offline 🙂

I am known by many to love saying Thank you. Sometimes I am asked, “Thank You again for what”? I mean it could be just for you being there even over the phone to listen to me you know 🙂

Recently, I paid for a service no doubt, but civil servants especially are known to work ‘so hard’ to serve you ‘millions requesting their service’. So when I got what I needed asap, I called back to say another Thank you. I was made to feel ackward, but I just smiled. I know how hard it is for some to say this simple two words, I never heard many growing up although I sure did render so much sollicited and unsollicited service… and yes even for the diservice which teaches lessons, we can and ought to still be grateful.

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To crown my week and grateful spirit, I found something oh my so big to share right now. On Monday I thought I wasn’t ready for that just yet although I so badly longed and craved for one… my whole body is crossed for all to go well this afternoon… will let us all in later

gratitude

No doubt I am such a happy person. Even when am so low, I know it shall come to pass and I try to stay close to my bliss and dream. And ofcourse close to positive and kindred spirit not toxic ones…

thank you

Wishing us all a happy weekend and lots of opportunities to be grateful for life… 2016 is afterall my year of GRATITUDE…

Deal
Dealing to a Hurray

On your marks, ready, Walk… to bring epilepsy out of the Shadows


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Wow, wow, wow – barely 3 days and my brother’s name is high over there on the banner for all to see. No he didn’t die in vain. No my pain was not in vain. And oh yes the gain is worth the lane no matter how winding.

Those banners worth thousands of messages

Sortons L'Epilepsie de L'ombre
Sortons L’Epilepsie de L’ombre

We at the Gbm-em Foundation have done all in our might and conscious of our plight, to get ready. We are going to walk with our sympathizers purple high.

On Friday already, there will be a one hour program over the CRTV radio, about this maiden and first of its kind solidarity walk for an illness still ‘near taboo’. A pity the world statistics didn’t spare out our ignorance, in fishing out our infamous record. No 1 in prevalence of epilepsy worldwide… Oh cry my beloved country Cameroon!

A big Thank You for your generous donations in cash, kind and goodwill

Isn’t that awesome? Yes we can, Yes we are doing it, Yes will keep walking and marching on in the fight to bring epilepsy out of the shadows.

Courage, don’t let that Guilt and Shame eat you up to the marrow


Reclining but not submitting
Reclining but not submitting

Hello world, am glad to be back from that block. Maybe even back with some vengeance, though one to be morderated and even disciplined as I’ll explain. But let me see where I start…

Synopsis

This post will have some sub-posts ok, but I think they all relate to the title. Ok, I am happy that I got myself to finish some academic work I had been pushing since in the US, although I had been blogging almost daily while there. Maybe that was even my brain’s own way to jerk me to finish that work by feigning that blogging block? Sometimes I think even our bodies speak to us. Like when I recently fell again on the bike, a minor fall and one I reflected was probably a result of my inactivity all day and the very warm weather. And so, I have used this short blogging break to reflect on some stuffs relating to guilt and shame in different proportions. Probably again it relates to my imminent relocation home?

Do it when and while you can

I agreed to work on an academic article. I started sketching it in the US last month, then I started pushing it aside. The US adventures were getting really ‘roller coaster’ to say the least. Then I returned to Belgium, dealt with a bigger jetlag, and then continued procastinating on that work. Yet, I could still write and blog and facebook, and tweet… The guilt and even shame started seeping in. I started feeling awful and gradually lost interest in blogging. It dawned on me I just had to get this over with even if the inital dateline was still weeks away (glad I did because the dateline just got brought forward to this weekend). I took some perspective, and decided as I often do when something nags me, to blog about it. I refused to let that guilt and shame eat me up to the marrow. Forcing myself sometimes to write even about the most uncomfortable/unsettling of my ‘stuffs’, is my own way of looking guilt and shame in the eye, and why not shame it back? Hurray I have submitted that paper! I have also decided to blog with moderation, once or twice a week no matter the tick – that is needed structure and even say discipline.

Don’t let him keep throwing it at you 

By him, I mean X husbands for the likes of myself. I was talking with a friend who told me her X still blackmailed her to whoever will listen and this got to her and affected her. She was gradually getting tough but this has taken over 3 years and she is getting tired. I shared with her how I settled this long ago by publicly doing my mea culpa.

My Mea Culpa
My Mea Culpa

I was no fool, I knew by doing that, my own X would have nothing to tell about me which hadn’t been told by the horse herself – not that he even knew so much. I was no saint nor an aspiring one, I don’t know about him! I know much of what I did was disgusting but I didn’t want to be friends with guilt and shame for so long. And so recently, when I told oga X I was coming back and hoped I could have the kids some, and he tried to venom out some guilt and shame in my direction, I told him I was long vaccinated against that. I was suprised he was yet to get his own vaccin and was still so disgusted about it all.

Don’t let the guilt and shame of not having money, prevent you from smiling

I say it as is, I have been jobless since March 31st. And yet, I smile and even force myself to go around sometimes. Yes, I have felt that guilt and shame of not having money to do some things I would have loved to. Sometimes I have to babysit or househelp for a few euros, jobs I love just as much. And then Tbt, this period has been one of so much grace, I would have missed out a lot if I was hiding away in some depressing poverty stricken corner of my ‘shack’. Oh my, some days were bad, I needed to just be able to leave my bed and house, and on another day, all I could do was walk to the gym entrance and go back home. I am glad I try very much to reach out for help and equally cheer my own self up. Talk about finding the strength in what remains? In short I am even planning a final trip to nearby Bundesland, to bid  Madam Chancelor farewel.

Finding that strength isn't ever easy to say the least...
Finding that strength isn’t ever easy to say the least…

Dear gentle readers and followers, when that guilt and shame at whatever situation it is you are facing, starts creeping in, don’t let it get to your marrow. Force yourself, go deep down and find that strength, and then face it as best as you can, one tiny step at a time. Maybe it is for my lived and shared experiences that my darling Florah made this on my potrait?

A touching albeit flatering tribute from one of my lil sis in far off Tanzania
A touching albeit flatering tribute from one of my lil sis in far off Tanzania

Am I intrepid? The Sequel with Jurasic World!!!


After watching this, I think Yes I am intrepid!!!
After watching this, I think Yes I am intrepid!!!

And now, my sweet Pammy got me really thinking about this word Intrepid. When she first asked, and I never checked, that landed me in a Cessna!!!

And I braved it, in all intrepidness???
And I braved it, in all intrepidness???

I therefore looked up the word this morning on the free dictionary and this is what I got :

intrepid

Well, it’s been one long life’s journey to get to somewhere around these adjectives, but I sure am close…

In the Beginning
Selfie infront of the Cessna
Selfie infront of the Cessna

This woman you see here, started out scared of even looking out of the window of a ‘large plane’. I remember the first time I flew, although I was excited to go on a ‘large plane’, I was scared to open my eyes or look out the window. So scared so much that I kept going to the loo and even got lost altogether at the airport in Paris.  A few years later, I decided to face that fear by asking for a seat by the window. I coaxed myself to look down and to breathe as I did. Reminded myself that what ‘Don’t kill, only make dem stronger’. It was with this same spirit that I dared to go watch Jurasic World last night.

Daring to the Movies for Jurasic World

How intrepid was this? I had just landed from an awesome and full of adventures US trip, and yes although my brain hadn’t been ambushed, I sure knew I had to sleep right after landing. Sleep I did for like 4 good hours. Indeed, I felt like sleeping the whole day. But I was advised that wasn’t going to help my jetlagging. In short, I was invited to go to the movies so as to stay up the most I could. Which other movie but Jurasic World to keep me up even the whole night? And to say I am not a fan of these scary movies, is an understatement. I remember my second son chiding me to watch some Harry Potter one with them, telling me it was just a ‘Movie’ (like I didn’t know right?) And even then, I shut my eyes (and em ears already regulated by nature) almost all the time. And so I did go with friends to watch Jurasic World – gosh in 3 D – with those glasses which almost brought some of those ‘Dinos’ right under my blouse…

I Survive in all intrepidness

It’s now fun. I survived the movie and had no nightmares. Well, Tbt, I closed my eyes like a third of the time, although the sound couldn’t be dimmed even by shutting off my hearing aid… Anyway, I survived that one, and even if am not sure I’ll want to ever watch anything in that genre again, I am proud I braved it.

The Answer to Pam’s question
Yes I am intrepid. Yes I dare 2 dare. This is even a chapter in my last memoir. I believe in Facing my Fears, the earlier the better. Maybe, since I didn’t even have much choices growing up, and given my disposition to couragoeus ‘stuffs’, my personality is one of those right?

Dear gentle readers and followers, as I prepare once more for a big relocation back to Cameroon in a month’s time, I think I’ll need my ‘intrepid’ self more than ever. I am not fearless, but neither am I fearful. I fear for the unknown, and yet I know it’s there and there’s nothing much I can do but face it in all gallantry (my best synonym for that word intrepid). Wishing us all so much – thank you 🙂