Tag Archives: Life’s Lessons

See who’s back: What a blogging break…


blogging break you said
That was what I thought I needed

What a blogging break I brokered: Am glad to be back!!!

If I have learnt one thing during this blogging break, it is that I really love blogging and the break was not effective.

Primo, I wrote three updates when I had bragged of a month free of blogging. Ha, who was I deceiving? ME it turns out;

Secondly, I didn’t even open the book I was hoping to finish writing during this break. Ha again, who was I deceiving? ME once more;

Thirdly, did I read as much as planned? I bow my head to look at my feet and whisper loudly NO – blogs I follow and 3 or so books and social media fake news etc don’t fill my reading reservoir sorry Marie try harder;

So dear world, I admit I may have brokered a bad blogging break. Indeed, I had hoped to take away to ‘blogging birb’ of thrice weekly and turn that period to reading and writing ‘beck’. I didn’t get any close to achieving that and I realize that although the break from regular blogging did usher in some small mental release, I didn’t really need it. To be honest, I kept counting the days the ‘officially announced’ blogging break will be over and I kept writing down stuffs I would have been excited to blog about.

My evaluating this blogging break is the same way I have for some years now been able to candidly evaluate myself and stuffs in my life. It is the same way I encourage my clients and those I mentor and coach to evaluate their too.

Not wanting to write a long post today on my ‘official first day of new blogging term’, I will conclude with a few updates:

Event flyer

  1. I did continue building my business (s) and am gradually seeing a big picture. I am taking a diploma on CBT to focus on being a personal and mental wellbeing coach of substance ( hardly any in my whole country);

  2. I am working on officially setting up my law firm; another big leap of faith, sometimes collaboration is not for you;

    Gaby
    recently on vaccation in the village
  3. Today my last son Gaby turns 8 and yes he will forever remind me of miracles. His conception was one and he kicked me from the womb when my desperation was its peak and I was holding a knife to my heart. I can never forget that. Coincidentally, I am coaching today on Developing a positive attitude and I am full of positivity and gratitude for life especially on this day. Eight bonus years of living with so much gratitude and I am authentically ME inside out… To God be the Glory Great Things He has Done…

  4. It was therefore a bitter sweet break overall, and there were some moments of ocean breeze and village life – but also some stress inducing and charged moments… life happens

  5. My one resolution with regards to blogging is that no more pressure on myself to maintain any blogging routine, my mental wellbeing is primordial and this is also living my mental health advocacy

Happy Sunday to us all and thank you my e-family

thank you
am so full of Gratitude

And so was Gaby a few minutes ago

Dare Dakar: Dare Life (An area girl in Dakar)


Infront of my poster, well others hadn’t put up theirs yet – trust me to be on time

I am back from 5 days in Dakar, where I was attending the 3rd African Epilepsy Conference –  I am so tired. I have equally been nominated to lead the national chapter of the IBE and so you can imagine.

This post was actually started while still in Dakar just so I don’t have much writing to do on my return.

Yes: I have Dared Dakar and I am more armoured to Dare Life or better put Dare the business of Living. Before I proceed, I want to say like all dynamic business men, I want to make a huge profit out of this business and invest in society starting with my family.

Daring Dakar Day 1 -3

I have to greatly summarize so as not to write this post in 3 parts.

Day one (Thursday 4/05/17) was literraly spent flying over Africa and doing Airport hopping. There are no direct flights to Senegal from my country; so –  I left my home at 6 am and finally checked into my hotel in Dakar at 10 pm thanks to the cab driver who knows no where and no French… The national language in Senegal is Wolof …

Day 2-3 (Fri&Sat 5&6/05/17)

That block is called the Confucius Language Centre – donated by the heavily present chinese

I start off very tired, curiously still jet lagged although the sports I get to do from 4-5 am on Saturday morning boost me up plenty. Friday morning was really tough and some emotionally taxing situation nearly nailed me down. I am so grateful for my support network and coping strategies. I learn a lot though and yes I make so many contacts. Some area people (from the doorman via the receptionost to the room cleaner etc these are my best); a student and some VIPs.

 The conference is at the famous Cheikh Anta Diop University by the Ocean and my my my…  I meet Falima and we click. She is a 3rd year student and in love with Cameroon ha – some things we think are despicable are other peoples dream… And you could refresh about my heroine Fati here, Couma on the right is her kid sister now my friend too ofcourse

On that friday evening, we have the official opening ceremony followed by a cocktail. I am very pleased to make friends with Ella & Lola

I keep stocking up on chicken to feed my friends

Day 4&5 (Sun&Mon 7&8/05/17)

I sleep much better and I go for sports at 5 am. Baam I run into a Petit gang arguing over their booty but I refuse to let fear take me back. I walk right through them with a dare me stare like a commando. It tells them, am an area girl minding my business, mind yours. One of them whistles at me “yowa (yes in their dialect) mama” but I dont smile back. I instead make the ‘buddy fist gesture’ and continue my way.

I zoom through the morning and soon it is closing ceremony. There is a planned city excursion with a restaurant reserved for those who opt. It ain’t free and nope am done with those 3/4 star stuffed scenes. I also have to be economical so I chart my way to Fati their family home. Going to such areas makes you know life indeed has several shades. Talk of bumpy ride…

To get there you just keep going right through the sea lol. The VIP friend who brought me here told me in all their life they’ve never been to this area nor where I am lodging…

It was already past 3 pm and I was scared lunch will be over; but nope just in time… See me enjoy famous Senegalese rice the Senegalese authentic way …

On my way back to the hotel I dare a scarpie and enjoy 2 hour plus of cheap sightseeing and listening to Wolof being rolled off from all angles. These people greet each other for at least 7 minutes. How romantic? Am loving it and today being a Sunday there aren’t that too many passengers… Wrong it pick as it goes, hop out as you wish… I sit, stand up for a grandma, sit again elsewhere when someone leaves, stand up again for a pregnant woman and when next I mange to squeeze somewhere I dare not look up again who comes in …and, I still treck for like 15 mins because the final bus stop is no where close to the hotel…

On Monday I quickly do sports and then check out of the idealistic hotel by the beach, to the area where I can drink chai by the road side. I can count on Coumba to go shopping for souvenir gifts. Here is the address Coumba gave me, sorry it is in French so use google translate maybe it’ll give you a more precise address:

“Bjr marie tu diras au chauffeur que tu vas au golf rond point marché jeudi terminus 38 à la cité des enseignants …”

Look my people, when a Senegalese tells you it ain’t far, hail a cab immediately. When they say they are just stopping by to greet, cancel other appointments! Simple

And I did it, dared dakar again one last time, dared to go to the infamous Goree Island. How could I come to Dakar and not visit that island? The emotions you leave that island with – am speechless

Tuesday 9/05/17

Flying until finally landing and getting back home in one Peace/Piece – Amen

I hope I have been able to visually take you to Dakar and back, inspiring and motivating you to Dare Life and Dare Yourself

Have a great midweek (as for me I am spending half of this day in bed – Ineed to chill out before I crash) leaving you with this short clip of someone excited at watching the waves

Mind your mental health (Mental illness or not)

Thank you so much

1 Whole Week 4 just David & I


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That was in David’s School

Hello world,

Wow I just spent a whole week with David.

David is my Shepard; David is my King; David is my gentleman. David opens the door for me, David likes insisting on the dinning table: ‘after you mama’ and when I ask why he’ll say because it is ‘ladies before gentlemen’. I don’t want to bother his young and fresh mind on what sometimes goes on in the ‘bigger world’. David is my second son aged 10, and he didn’t have an Easter Break per-se because they in final year of primary school had preparatory classes in school daily from 8-12 pm.

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Those particular shorts of his I have begged to have them given me to fix but nada

And so hmm, that is how David and I came to have a whole week to ourselves at home. I had left his 2 brothers in Buea when I went there to savour Dyane’s epic memoir. Ok, my plan had been to send the three of them to Buea for the Easter break before I knew David wasn’t going to have a break. Now, during the first week of that break, Alain had opthalmologist appointments and now wears glasses, and Gaby the star had a tummy rumble and a wound under his foot which he picked up from one of his many adventures in the neighborhood barefeet of course – oh poor me.

With David, you talk less, do more,  and appreciate silence and art more than all. He loves , cooking, drawing or watching one comic or the other. He also has a like minded friend in the neighborhood who goes to his school too. They often hole up in our home after school and draw all those characters they see.

I made it a point to have dinner with David everyday and to help him with any assignments. I thought of what else to do with David, and realized I could start by walking with him to his school. The last time I had walked with them (Gaby is in that school too), was at least 2 months ago and that was a quick dash.  

Last Thursday therefore, althought having a hectic day ahead, I decided to walk with David to school. We walked mostly silently, enjoying the breeze and birds chirping , with me making not so successful attempts at conversation. Yet, David was smiling all the way and I later realized he was just happy to have me all to himself and walking with him to his school. When we got there, he asked me to buy him something to eat (we hadn’t had breakfast before leaving, happens sometimes). I also decided to have whatever he opted for so as to taste for myself what they eat in school.

David was so happy he became talkative, introduced near his entire class to me and then em – wished me to enjoy my meal. He wanted to go on with his friends now.  My entire day was set to be yummy, nothing could wipe the sweet memory of our walk to school and his joy at introducing his mates to me.

A walk and a sandwich was all it took this day. When I asked David on the eve of his brothers’ return while we had our last quiet dinner together,  what he liked most about our ‘home alone’ days, he said the best thing was my walking with him to his school that day, and my not being so stressed out the entire week.

Oh these kids, not only do they notice but they also have their own peculiar benchmarks. Alain the first will shrink if I offer to walk with him to his school for example, and Gaby the last will not be bothered. No I think he will find my presence by his side restraining since he plays as he walks and stones play with him too.

All in all, although I had hoped to have this Easter break to myself, I have a book I started writing in January and am not finding time to write, I am grateful for what I got – a whole week to bond with David.

If life doesn’t always turn out the way you want, turn yourself out to make the most of it. 

Why expect gratitude which you find so hard to show?


The Greates virtue
as tough as other virtues to achieve

Hello world,

Sometimes it is difficult for me to articulate a post; and well I just go with my spirit. Last friday I was faced with one of such posts, and today again here comes another.

I have written a few posts on gratitude; and I end each day I can with enteries into my gratitude journal. It’s made such a tremendous impact in my life. I learnt that from Oprah.

So when someone wondered if they were being acknowledged enough, I quickly recalled pondering at their own lack of appreciation I had personally witnessed on some ocassions.

What goes around comes around. When you can’t bring yourself to say thank you, why expect someone else can? When you can’t be grateful for life and being alive, why expect life to be grateful to have you alive? You’ll find it difficult to live on and that’s just what you’ll keep noticing – the frustrations and adversities.

I am grateful to be alive and to get a second chance at life – seven years into what I call my bonus. I seize all opportunities to show gratitude and I don’t expect it in return  – yet get it too so much…

I want to share how moved I was to read a post by Talasi Guerra who struggles from several issues and yet could still be grateful for life – after yet another difficult night.

Wishing us all lots of reflections this week, some bliss and wow moments full of gratitude

Gratitude post by Maya
Wow, I had never come across this quote by dearest Maya

Five Life Lessons from my Hero Erico: “The So called Fool” in Wum


All the above pictures were taken on the same day, in the space of 6/8 hours. Is anyone else excited at the transformation like myself? I forgot something insignificant in wum, but I am threatening to do 20 hours on the road to go get it… wish I could afford that now, just so I see my hero again and give him the pictures he asked me to develop, and thank him from the bottom of my heart from making my short stay so fulfilling. Also would have loved to get him a pair of snickers or take him one of mine.

Dear world, to wrap up this week, I share 5 lessons I learnt from my interraction with Erico:

  1. There is so much to people than meet the eye… how many times do we need to read or hear this I wonder. Anyway, people are different and some take prejudice seriously and go with the general consensus that ‘a fool will always be a fool’. I am so happy I courted Erico and that he warmed up to me so much and agreed to go bathe and come back so we could go around. He talked about so many things and such wisdom from his mouth oh my God;
  2. Erico for example told me that now when people laugh at him he says to himself ‘they are laughing at their own stupidity’. Those were his words, I didn’t want to ask him if he goes or went to school. I don’t think he does but the bottom  line also is you don’t need to go to school to acquire wisdom. Erico told me when he just got to the village he was always angry and fighting especially when he felt or saw children and adults alike mocking him. The fights landed him into so much trouble because he was often beaten by the numbers or stones thrown at him and he had to run and hide home and not want to go out again. Gradually, his mentality changed and he keeps to himself but doesn’t fight back if laughed at;
  3. The ‘fool’ may know something or somewhere you don’t and that could be your saving grace. I could have asked around for the direction to say the lake or the shoe mender, and I could have been ‘scamed’ or taken to a bush and assaulted… these are extreme examples but am sure you can imagine. Now it costs me next to nothing to court Erico and there I was with a warm friend, a guardian and so much information;
  4. Accept your limitations in life and spare yourself head and heartaches. Erico told me that he knew what was expected of him by his grandmum everyday, and he knew that those were his responsibilities because he could not do much more. He couldn’t go to ‘big school’ (I marvelled at his expression), nor work any money. So grandma expected him to wash the dishes, clean the house and compound and go fetch water. He loved doing those and in return he was very grateful for the food he ate everyday;
  5. Don’t take things for granted, it could have been worse. I mean when you see the man who doesn’t have his four limbs, or you see some picture like that of the famine ravished child who was been ‘eyed for a meal’ by a nearby vulture, how can you take anything for granted? Now, some will laugh at Erico and call him a ‘fool’ (probably thinking to themselves they are lucky neither them nor theirs are ‘fools’). Erico told me he was happy to be living with his grandma and able to eat everyday – even he didn’t take things for granted. He was maybe luckier than Tangatapan who lived in the market or motor park or wherever night met him, and carried his luggage on him. And then we want to whine at the weather?

Dear all, I learnt so much and was so touched by my friend and Hero Erico. Such incidents keep me grounded, more humble, modest and simply so grateful for life.

Please, you wanna share any insight?

Wishing us all a splendid weekend and lots of such in life.

It’s my Birthday: Reviewing some of them down the road


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My  3 Musketeers and I, what more could I ask for?

Oh Happy day, oh happy day… Oh happy day, oh happy day…

Another birthday is here, wow wow wow – look at who’s made it this far?  This year is a far different year because I think I have come full cycle… not that life will not make and mar me henceforth or anymore, but I have since the 10th of October last year made a conscious turning point in my life henceforth… No more consciously messing up and letting myself be messed up so help me God… I am therefore celebrating this day with my boys in our own special way – yes I DESERVE IT

I flash back to my birthday in 2014… I did a youtube; sort of familiarizing myself with baring and sharing my whole self – body and soul out there in the world; and oh my that was scary especially back then…

Then in 2015, I was further tamed to attempt some humour, and I came up with 36 lessons learned in 36 years… hope you have a look right here… A few days before then, I had just made one of my greatest discoveries – I found love oh my…

37th-birthday
A very pleasant surprise, modest but 

Last year, that is 2016, I was a guest on a show on that day talking about women and love and life; and hmm I was feeling soso until the host surprised me with a birthday cake… That warmed me up for the rest of the day…

With this dear all, I humbly recall and share some of my journey especially on my birthday… Wishing us all the best…

Thank you
Gratitude all the way

 

Release those bags: A picture which says it all…


shed-them-off

I truly wish it were not so easier said than done. I however think the emphasis is in striving to release them and not to look back. To care about our mental wellbeing and do something as soon as we can so the weight of those bags not ruin our bones. Of keeping faith in hope, of accepting our limitations mindful of the need to release all of them bags quick before we collapse. Of forgiving ourselves above all, and of releasing the bags as we can; as we move on…

Happy sunday to all, peace and love and healing all the way

Divorced and Happy


I thrive and sure you can!
I thrive and sure you can!

Today, I simply copy and paste my recent article on the Divorce Magazine:

It is so scary to finally get to that point when you so want a divorce!

That was me and I finally got one when l recently returned to Cameroon my country and place of birth.

Synopsis

I used marriage as a refuge from my mother’s house.  I was running away from a home where I felt so out of place as I rightly or wrongly assumed I wasn’t welcomed. But, I also wanted to be married hoping the new status as a Mrs X, will shield me from my self harm and provide me some sort of ‘one in all social and emotional package’ that I longed for.

The foundation of my marriage was already damaged and so was the marriage itself.  The abuse started soon after and before long,  it became clear that the Marriage I had ran to, was now threatening to devour me and at some point I remember spending several days and weeks contemplating suicide.  I needed to escape…again.

This time, my route out of my unhappiness consisted of having one affair after another seeking validation and attention from others.  Needless to say that this behaviour only made me feel worse each time but it also led me to realise that if I were to save myself, I would need to leave my marriage.

I knew how divorce was viewed by those around me and I knew that I risked being labelled as one of those women who allowed her marriage to fail, who was unable to hold on to her man.  But I also knew that that was what I needed if I were to survive.

The Divorce Process

Obtaining a divorce isn’t the easiest of processes and it’s not just about whatever is written on paper declaring that a marriage has been terminated.

For me, the divorce was getting ready to let go of six years of my Life, owning up to my mess, and being ready to start off again but most importantly and making the very difficult decision to leave my children behind.

At first my now ex-husband and I wanted to go ahead with the divorce procedure after 7 months of living apart.  I thought I was ready but he wasn’t and he made it clear that he would make my life hell.  I knew I wasn’t strong enough to go test his threats so I left him to take his time and make up his mind when he would need the divorce too.

It took a whole year, or thereabouts, before he was ready. He informed me on the eve of filing the papers and I being a lawyer, advised him on the most effective procedure, guaranteeing I would not make any claims other than the right to see my Children whenever I came home. I never sought any financial support.

Once filed, the procedure took barely 5 months. I did not make a court appearance nor was I represented by anyone. This was a deliberate choice and one made out of need to simplify procedure. A divorce by default is easier to obtain in my Country.

What took a long time in my case, was obtaining all the necessary papers for a final judgment to be established.

Realizing my ex had lost momentum in a procedure he initiated, I got in touch with his lawyer, a senior colleague I knew and had actually encouraged my ex to retain,  paid whatever fees he was reclaiming and I followed up the divorce I now so badly needed.

I finally got all the papers I needed to proceed to my change of status and today, I am finally divorced!

Although the memories will forever stay with me, for a long time coming, I really don’t feel bad about that period anymore.  Yes, my sons don’t live with me but I know their father loves them and is an even better dad now than when I was around.

Divorced and Happy!

Although I never got to meet my ex when I was recently in Cameroon, I really wasn’t bothered.

I called him a few times, I even brought him a gift which he acknowledged out of politeness. I don’t care if he decides not to keep it for whatever reason but there’s a part of me, my flesh and blood, which he would never consciously give up – our children.

He is very firm when he tells me they are HIS SONS. He even denied me contact on the eve of my departure even though I had had them alone for two weeks. No ill feelings though, no trauma, no painful emotions to address in that area. I am moving on and I know my well being is of utmost importance at the moment.

I am just glad I finally got divorced!

Marie Abanga – Follow Marie on Twitter

Author of My Unconventional Loves: My Hurts, My Adulteries, My Redemption