Late Birthday Post.
Travelling To 25th Lane
There were days when we grew hips and tended to our hair, mostly because we were cautious for our bodies, not for the rightful reasons but for the luxury of growing up, becoming a girl fully aware of the attraction we hold on boys. It was like melted wax, a light bubbling along the lines of teenage years, exuberance that soon run out. Because as we grew, realities began to set in. we worry for things like what we should eat and bother about eating too much oil that causes pimples. Somehow I feel strange when I birth any intruder on my face because I rarely invite them. It is safe and pleasing to say I have a pimple free life unlike others I know. I hardly get any and when I do, it appears like a marked dot in the middle of the ocean. It bothers me because I suddenly feel strange. I want to get it off. Somehow a stubborn one always persisted for as long as it pleases.
I wonder to myself, if you fuss so much about just one pimple that stands odd on your face. How would you cope if they came in batches or how do you expect others to feel? Frankly speaking, that should be none of my concern. I care about my body and as much as I do hope others should do so to, it really does not fall in my niche of concern. Maybe if we have some kind of mutual connection because when it comes to body matters, many dispositions are involved.
It has taken me a lot of guts to open up about my feelings, the early years were stiff years where no one knows anything about me unless I let them. I have no issues getting comfortable with relating to people on how I feel, iI guess as I grew older, what became much of an issue to be was perception. People never got it right with me especially when they see my face afar off dancing taut with a rigid off tone. You don’t mess with me, I would not give you the chance either so really, there wasn’t much story to hang around that long. But naturally, as I passed through the phases of life, I accepted upon realisation that maybe I was not so tough after all, maybe I am but not totally and I was hiding under the mesh of life’s give and take or maybe, what realities played me in store. Really, I was not that bad, for those who chose to stick with me because they saw through my lens, that girl who held so much beauty and pain at the same time, the tight grip that would later extend her hands to release her awesome wonders. When beauty and pain merge, it becomes an ocean of endless possibilities and soulful experience. I think it is magical.
I think I am magic,
And magic is unfathomable.
I think I am open and warming as I am tough and calculating. I started to know myself a lot more at 24. The transitioning journey from age 23 to 24 and a lot fell flat at my feet, with sprinkles on my face. I was surprised only in a moment because I have always been an eagle, an eye for detail, a quick run on ideas and situations, sharp wit and a time for deep reflection. I could wake you up in the middle of the night, i could switch from talking about pancakes to dancing. I can do anything I choose to do. Prior to that, I was many other things I had previously talked about somewhere on these white lined shores. I cannot fully express what, and at 25, I noticed many things, one of which is my spontaneity which cannot be far fetched, that thrills me. I have become much of an in between person. Beautifully wired weird because I am not your everyday girl.
Travelling to 25th lane was even tougher. Come to think of it, I have come a long way in opening up. Sometimes people on the journey with me found it difficult to relate at first. I did silly things I would never had dared or thought of at 16. Yes, I remember telling my boyfriend then that I was breaking off my relationship with him because I felt too young to be in one and I do hope one day he would understand, my morals were high, treading on the unnecessary caution sidewalk. And I equally compensated that with doing crazy things along the 25th journey. Things my 16 year old self would have frowned at. Though I had learnt about responsibility and all that shenanigans right from when I turned 16. Done more work since I was 10, thanks to Grandma. I learnt more the hard way. I became broken, tired but still choose to trudge on. I remain a big dreamer and my dreams and visions have kept me thus far. I have so much built up in me to dish out because I am on a journey to my own perfection, while flaws are part of my make up route, it is not my final bus stop.
Being An Immigrant Is An Ass
Being an immigrant is an herculean task and growing up certainly is not a joke either especially for someone who moved a lot, having to do so many things at almost every turn or the same time. I am immigrant in the land of America and welcome to my 25th year life.
Every day, I have had to grow up and I deeply believe I have a whole lot to teach.
First of all, my dreams were shattered when I arrived, that should make a blockbuster movie though. Heck, I remember sitting at home navigating on my computer on this whole writing route which seems to deepen everyday yet refuses to amass wealth since I barely have the time to process writing thoughts properly. I am an island of thoughts and my adventurous soul will not let me rest. And everyday, I am on the verge of a break out, deeply seated in the cocoon of deep thoughts. I hope it births something great soon. But I am equally very careful lest I get what I did not bargain for. I wish I could pen more about this.
Working Is A Sonofabitch
I have had to do many things all at the same period of time as usual. The work lifestyle in America is entirely different from Nigeria. In fact being here has opened my eyes to further realities of living over the border. I have worked odd jobs ( in the Nigerian mentality sense) though the mindset I have come to appreciate is that every job is a damn job, in America, maybe not in Nigeria. If I was told I would be doing these kinda jobs here, I would probably have bluntly refused.
My first job was at a warehouse. The thing about American jobs are most involves standing for at least 8 hours. That was one aha moment but I got used to it. It was a printing firm where we did customer package handling just like the people in Amazon. I almost worked for Amazon but their hire camp was always far from home and as I am a constant leg benz, it posed much of a problem. I kept getting hired and not fulfilling the other sides of the employment, I would end up canceling it when I discover the distance.
I think one of the things I dislike about the jobs is how they make you work your ass off every penny. They are watching you with big lens. They follow rules and are stuck to it like a swarm of bees to honeycomb. When I was working at a clothing store, I got so bored of constantly wearing the same colour of clothes, black and brown. Shouldn’t a clothing store be diversified, creative and innovative? It tired me out.
The other jobs wanted to turn me to a bathroom cleaner. Well, this is America, don’t stand your ground and you will be exploited and overly used. I remember telling my co worker who said I had to clean the bathroom that I had allergies and I was not going to do that. I left the other job because they wanted me to be cleaning the bathroom at such low pay. I left with ease. Once, I asked my ijebu boss, ijebu because he works with his father in the store at all times yet has employee(s) with insufficient pay; ME. In this store, I had to sweep and mop the floor every damn day. It was a tiring experience. Couldn’t we just sweep and mop every three days or so? Some of the workers will save their day and not mop, only brush up the feet stained dirty areas.
It wasn’t easy.
“Can’t you guys employ cleaners?”
“Why would I need to employ cleaners when you are here?”
“ Why not?”
“ I am paying you to do the whole job, that why you are here, I do not need cleaners”
“ Enny, are you sure this job is for you?”
My boss had a quick witted way of calling my name, almost like it a tongued silent sound of ice cream licked over and over. I knew he liked it somehow, sometimes it goes “errrniii?” other times, it is direct, “erni”
You see, one thing about American employers is they get pretty uncomfortable when you start to question them and in some other places, everyone wants to act like a damn boss. Before you blossom into a butterfly in disarray, mouthing their supposed thought pattern and work, they already kicked you out. And since it is theirs, you really have no say than to turn right and find something else, so I was very familiar with that tone.
Heck, of course that job was not for me, I am just doing it in the meantime and trust me, I have never stayed on a job for up to six months since I came because I am not comfortable. The jobs are all not for me and I am proud to say so.
Most people do not understand the need for me to keep moving till I find what is comfortable. I remember two friends telling me, ‘Enny, why can’t you stay one place?’ Stay one place keh? Not my portion, I am a mover! This is why Nigerians get stuck in stinking jobs that doesn’t even pay well. They have failed to realise come Jupiter from the north, a nine to five job in America can never be enough to get you stinking rich. Th nine to five job is slavery. There is modern slavery in America, I said it!
At the clothing store job, there was this lady I met whom had been on the job for like 5 years, I felt terrible hearing this, picking merchandise and arranging clothes for 5 years and over! she did not move forward, she got too comfortable. I did not want that. I left the job after three months.
This whole job thing was after I became stuck because the post office or whatsoever refused to deliver my immigrant papers. I could not start school or do anything. Really Nigeria’s blessed. Here you are practically living for someone else like a robot whose data is stored somewhere, to be tracked down anytime the need arises. Your life is opened. I have always wondered why Americans are open and can say anything. If an American just got out of jail, he would tell you. A Nigerian man wouldn’t.
I am still on the journey of finding what works, I have been stressed and burdened. My current job is also a warehousing job, not easy but it is stable, I get to price packages ( I could do 1000 product packages or more in a day) and make sure they are well packed and I chose it because it pays me over time( meaning more money even though the over time does not come often except on peak periods) and most importantly, I do not get to work weekends, if I was called to work weekends, I get paid over time. Overtime pay is a big deal here. To me, retail jobs are the worse jobs because they make you work weekends, time off may be weekdays. Also it is in shifts, they can cut your hours of work which means less pay, they can tell you to work from 3pm till midnight. I just do not like retail jobs, too much going on, it is here they would be calling you to wash toilet. Some people do it but if you know what you want and where you are going, you can be like me and dislocate yourself. Haha but I am glad I had the experience so I can mouth it.
My only comforting job is working as an assistant events coordinator with admin functions for a woman who pays me commission, it is sad it is just part time, very occasional something. And my writing ( which is nothing to tell off lately. Rusty me. It sucks but I would get around it again)
America has a way of sapping and sucking your blood. I see it everyday with people who busied themselves with work but deep down, they are working because they have bills to pay. It is all about bills, little or nothing to save. And for a year plus I have been here, I am strategically thinking up ways to break out because I am one hell of a bloody fighter and this is war. In war against a particular type of life, it really isn’t about winning or losing. It is about positioning. Because to win is to have lost and to lose is to overcome. Will America lord it over me or will I arise and be free? Time will tell.
Because I know I am a boss baby.
Souvenirs From York And Yonder
The events that also transitioned me to middle 20s were the three incisions on my belly, souvenirs from New York. I had travelled to New york only to undergo surgery for appendectomy. The pain started before I travelled but I did not realise it was that serious until I got to the hotel and battled with over three hours of excruciating pain, one of the worse I have ever felt in my entire life, it was like a ball of stone was doing roller coaster moves in my side tommy, I was wheeled in an emergency vehicle to the hospital.
I had to take some tests to find out what the problem was, I am grateful for the friends who stayed with me on this phase. A fine doctor brought the ugly news that I had a swelling appendix. At first, I could not look into his eyes because it bore into mine mischievously. I thought I saw a wink somewhere. Then later, he could not look into mine because I had summoned up sick courage to bore mine into his. Naturally, I tend to look people in the eye much to their discomfort. At a point, I begin to see this discomfort and would ease it by looking away or gazing slightly above their forehead. Okay, the forehead thing never works , I just create a dreamy image in my eyes, I am seeing them but then I am not.
I think he wanted to smile when I mentioned the bills, get sick in America with no health insurance? Gbese! Well, I didn’t see him later, I was too sick to say hello and he was being too much of a doctor on duty to say hello back. Besides, I stay in Texas, he works in New york and both of us would probably not like the distance.
I got out of surgery the same day even though I should not have. I was walking and bending like an old woman. Too much walking made me bled from the three small incisions on my belly. Because I had to be at my sister’s matriculation ceremony. Everyone was being ridiculous that day, they were like “oh my God, she should be in a wheel chair!” Indeed!
Some months after the surgery, I had a domestic accident. Hot egg water splashed on my face and my chest. Another worse pain experience. The pain was pinching like I had robots digging holes on my face and chest, adding pepper to the open spot. I was home alone and had wanted to boil an egg in the microwave because I had seen it done before. I wanted to check the egg and peel it when it exploded. My chest peeled and my face darkened with superficial wounds. I was told to call off work the next day but I still went to work, I woke up with a swollen face for the next couple of days, I was thankful it didn’t meet with my eyes. The damage was inside but it was visible on my breast line, one that would leave a faint scar. Coconut oil saved these parts. Prior to this, I had fallen on my face while trying to catch a bus and still missed the bus. The whole experience with riding the bus is humorous and stressful but I am happy to say I have passed that stage by working my ass off to get myself a ride.
And for this car, I have escaped one accident and four near accidents. I do not feel like talking about this really. Because it poses more of a one long ass ride!
What About Love?
I think I will pass. It came to a point where I cared too much and too less to lay a definite hold on exactly what love is about. End of story.
Okay, cut the crap already, and what about it? All I do know right now is love is on a long lost journey seeking whom to grab a hold of it and get a meaning out of it. I am in no state to experience such, at least not right now. Let it come if it wants, I am not pushing. I think my issues got me weary of love. It is a beautiful thing but the beautiful things have not yet arrived.They say it comes like a wind, oh I have been there but really isn’t it less stressful if you just allow things to flow without giving yourself unnecessary headache of what ifs and what nots? Take it from me.
At 25 And Counting
Of course, I am not telling you everything there is because that would mean writing a whole book in episodic moments of events. But it is good to let out this journey and transition to 25th lane. And as much as I feel I am yet to accomplish what I need to, I am grateful that I am strong enough with capabilities to move on, with people who still believe in me and most importantly, with God who has always been there even in my worse off moments.
It’s okay to say at 25, I have not yet arrived but I am coming and it is only a matter of time.
I am coming.