I’ve had my blog for 8 years and only recently built a subscribe page. I know what you’re thinking: “What kind of useless blogger is this one?”. Trust me I’m thinking it too. Like a lot of things in my life, I’d been meaning to get to it but never sat down and actually put the pieces together. Then one day something snapped, and I decided it was time. I now have my first 20 subscribers! Granted you’re all friends and family I bullied into a follow but thank you for obliging.
There’s a certain level of fear that comes with having a set list of readers. I’ve only ever written when the spirit moved me, which hasn’t been very frequently (my mummy will say it’s because I don’t go to church). But now that I have a guaranteed set of eyes, I feel like I need a certain level of structure. With that, I’ve decided I’ll be updating this at least once a month. I went back and forth on whether this was too infrequent a schedule, then I remembered: Omono you’re a full time student with a part time job who is still trying to juggle auditioning, scheduling a relatively consistent (AKA 5x/year but it’s the most consistent acting job I’ve ever done so there) voice over gig, creating and organizing your dance videos, while attempting to maintain social relationships that extend beyond your cat. Chill.
So once a month it is. I’ve started brainstorming topics to write on in the coming months but would also love your feedback. If anyone has any topic suggestions (or just wants to say hi 👋🏾) comment below or shoot me an email! I really am looking forward to building my own community with this little slice of internet :)
Till next time,
This is gonna be a little all over the place, but there’s a thread so stay with me:
I didn’t get home till about 1am the morning after Christmas. I was part of a deep discussion at my uncle’s house and one of the things that stuck with me was this quote: “As I get older, I blame my parents less and less for the struggles of my life”. I’m paraphrasing, but that was the general idea and it prompted an audible oof from me. Now I’m not here to go into the traumas of my past, but I have done the most healing work on myself this past decade. As a result, my blood pressure is managed, my skin is (relatively) clear, I’ve jumped 2 full letter grades higher in emotional intelligence and I’m better at knowing what I like/don’t like/what I will/will not stand for. “Self-care” we call it. And yet I still feel so far off from who I want to be. Thus, my new decade’s (ok Omono calm down), my new year’s* resolution is to stop using “self-care” as an excuse to not start running the race of my life. Even writing this is making me uncomfortable. “The race of my life”, so dramatic! That drama prompts an eye roll, but really it prompts internalized pressure which prompts anxiety which prompts feelings of inadequacy, which prompts letting up on myself, which prompts the justifications I’ve started to call “self-care”.
Back to my parents. In case you didn’t know, I’m an immigrant. In case you didn’t know, I live in the United States. In case you didn’t know, the current president has bred quite the xenophobic climate. While I’m f̶o̶r̶t̶u̶n̶a̶t̶e̶ gattdamn blessed to live in Los Angeles, I am still affected by said climate. As is typical of many of us, the older I get the more I reflect back on my life. On the life I’ve lived, but also on the one I might have lived. I think often of who I would be if I never moved to the states. Or who I’d be if my journey here had taken a different path. And I’ll be honest, I’ve blamed my parents for what I called “the state of my life”. For the struggles, the stressors, the fears and so on. Very validly, I’ve had to self-care hard to overcome some of those hurdles. Not so validly though, I’ve begun using that label to limit myself. I said earlier that I wondered who I’d be if I’d never moved to the states. The honest to blog answer is that we will never know. But I do know this: I would not be afforded the same level or the same quality of opportunities that I’ve come across living in the U.S. I can decide to be an actress and very soundly pursue that dream. I can wake up, decide I want to dance and without much effort drive to a world renown dance studio. I can say I want to go back to school and enroll in a class that very same day. I can have a work from home job that allows me to live in New York for the summer. Like what?! And so I say no more self-care. Now that’s dramatic. I clarify: no more indulging* in self-care. Yes, I need to and will continue taking care of myself. But for the opportunities I’m afforded, and for the millions of people who aren’t even given a playing hand, it’s my duty to hussle. Let’s pray I keep this energy throughout 2020.
Not metaphorically, literally. I am directionless. I have goals, dreams and aspirations and I fancy myself capable of achieving such, but by God if they required directions and I didn’t have Google maps, I'd be screwed. I joke that if I make it on the Amazing Race, my Achilles heel would be my poor sense of direction. That and puzzles. I hate puzzles. I hate these two things because they make me feel stupid. And not just oh she’s distracted or inattentive type of stupid, but this fool is dumb dumb, you're dumb stupid. It gives me flash backs to JS1 and having to work out math problems on the board in front of the whole class. Kill me now.
Digression: my senior thesis project for my Psych degree was to replicate a study using the underclassmen as our sample size. My group did our study on the hypothesis that math anxiety is increased in women. Unsurprisingly, our findings supported the hypothesis. This is my personal blog so I have no desire to cite sources, but a quick google search will give you evidence of these studies.
Long story short, that dumb feeling that I only used to get in math class (and surprisingly only during my schooling in Nigeria) has long disappeared. So when I felt it yesterday, it was so visceral and almost tangible that it made me realize yoo childhood trauma is real! So what was the trigger? Someone asking me which way is north 🤦🏾♀️
In this regard, my spatial intelligence is not the strongest. I’m working on my negative talk, so I’m not gonna say I suck, but ya girl ain’t great at it. It sparks up those same feelings of idiocy that childhood me would very literally shut down on at first hint. But yay to maturity! Feeling that yesterday, I initially put my head down and pleaded with the ground to swallow me whole. But, I popped back up. That’s the thing about growing up right? It’s being able to recognize our discomforts and push past them. Sad thing is I really thought I’d mastered this. I’ve had so many jobs and gone through so many trainings that I’ve gotten used to being uncomfortable until proficiency kicks in. But again, the power of those early years.
So, what’s the remedy? Math fortunately isn’t a problem anymore. Though far from perfect, I attest that to the school system in the states. I stopped feeling innately dumb in eighth grade so, praised be. As per maps, I try to study Google maps here and there, and I’m really working on not being a passive wanderer. Recently I’ve been thinking about buying a Thomas Guide to LA so I can know the city beyond the four borders of my screen. That, and hopefully as I move from screen to paper, my internal map becomes more concrete.
There’s a lot of things I need to work on, I know I’m not perfect, but I also know I’m not dumb. We were introduced to the idea of multiple intelligences in my high school’s CORE program, so it’s nice to be able to reach to that when feeling low. And I made it through childhood so, there’s hope. Looking back, it's the social studies, the english and the language classes that got me through school. That’s probably why I’m a good writer. I’ve always been told I was a good writer, so cheers to self fulfilling prophecies 🥂#problematic
My motto this year is to do all the things I've said I want to. Partially because yolo, but more-so because as I get older my mortality is racing towards me faster than a hyperactive puppy. This is the philosophy that led me to New York, and the same one that led me to Hawaii for my sister's birthday trip. I initially wasn't going to go because let's face it, ya girl broke. But when there's a will there's a way, and so I scrounged and made it happen. I'd be lying if I said there were no regrets (I can still hear the audible cries of my bank account), but Hawaii's been on my list since I moved to this country so I'm happy I could make it there.
The islands are obviously stunning, the air humid and warm (my hair and skin thank you), the sun bestowing me with a glow to rival Mac and Sephora, and the waters clear, warm and healing. All beauties aside, Hawaii kicked. my. ass. A whopping K.O. I was no match. It started off with the tide-pools which we scaled a treacherous, steep, rocky mountain down to. The pools themselves were beautiful, with a backdrop of splashing ocean waves. I ate, I swam, I selfied, I stubbed my toe on a sea urchin and sliced my knee on a piece of coral. That thing went through me like a knife into soft butter leaving me to trek back up the mountain with a bloody knee,
Next up on the list, surfing! We drove to an area called North Shore which is ridiculously picturesque and I can't believe people get to live there. I've surfed before and I've loved it each time, so I was ecstatic to get back out on the water. What I didn't mentally budget for were the reefs that lurked beneath. Our instructors prepped us for them though and we were taught to fall off the boards like a starfish to avoid hard contact with the rocky bottoms. And yet, even with my best Patrick Star impression, I managed two cuts to the top of my foot on my first dismount.
But foot cuts be damned! I was going to enjoy this trip no matter the injuries sustained. And so we walked back to our car, tossed our wet belongings in the trunk and as I held on to the open trunk for balance to take off my shoes, a resounding thud. Yes, the sound of the trunk door slamming on and trapping my finger in it. Please open the door now! please please please! I tried not to cry, I really did, I hate crying in public but this one hurt. The actual physical pain, the mental image of having part of your limb forcefully stuck between something, plus the adrenaline triggered by my fight or flight response- it was the perfect martini glass cocktail of tears. Fortunately nothing was broken, and we very conveniently had a fully frozen bottle of ice in the trunk which I used against the swelling.
That night in bed, I gave myself a hug. For this body which had endured so much but still kept my soul secure and allowed me to enjoy the rest of the trip. For how bad everything could have been, but how perfectly safe I was able to come out of it. Behind that mortality puppy running my way, is a band of fragility kittens. I've never felt so fragile as I did on this trip. New York concrete jungle aint got nothing on mother nature (...and car nature) of Hawaii! We're truly just a bunch of soft vulnerable blood bags.
And yet despite this fragility, we are resilient. It is truly by the grace of God that I made it back to LA in one piece, and as much as I loved my vacation, boy am I happy to be back home.