It’s been a minute Since we spoke I love how you always call Voicemail Redial No fail I love knowing you are there All around me But not around me I may not call Till my next interview Not even before the recruiter screen Let’s talk after the final stage So you can work your consistent magic Get me the best package Fully remote With unlimited PTO So I can now tweet that I’m a tech bae Tithe into your household No way
Nobody can check me Ignoring calls for offerings into your storehouse Because it comes through a messenger I don’t rate But so do my bills Xfinity, T-mobile, and Student Loans are never late And as you directed I do to Caesar I give Building fund Who go belief Every day between Bakare and Oyedepo I lose Faith in the doctrine Their behavior is like a slap in the face Religion no longer makes me feel like a Winner I stand in the Chapel annoyed But not like Jesus Me More rage At a younger age Oh Lord, why did I ever come of age?
The women bully the young girls Forget your curves that dress must hide them You don’t want to tempt the boys Those ones do no wrong They flaunt freely like gun slinging soldiers Unhappy church women forcing marriage down the throats of young people We know their husbands cheat Their RN wives will never admit defeat On the offense Jesus is a mighty God Another testimony It’s my 10th anniversary with my husband this month But it’s his 60th rent payment for mistress this month Direct deposit All the church does is gossip Settle down, settle Join the train of unhappy souls In the place where we save lost souls
So here I sit Disillusioned Disconnected Despite knowing my relationship should be with you Not the establishment But I need the establishment Because within you, I am not established Yet Why does the church that made me love you in Bible Tales Now make me draw my sword to protect myself from it’s absurd tales
I stay in the place of worship Not because I hear thy voice But because that choir hits the notes and every chord They have the best YouTube reputation Far and above Nothing beats sprinkling a little legwork into my praise and worship It’s for the kids they say It helps us stay hip But further lost I feel The church no longer feels like home When I close my eyes to pray All I see is her on her knees No pray Taking deep breaths It ain’t about faith That wasn’t her name This is about me and you Honest and true I love you I do But do I know you
Every day I find more ways your “word” divides people Or those you called discriminate against your blessed people I’m torn I was sure that growing up Would mean more of you But the more they “tell me of you” I see less of you in them And then less of me Because who I was before was rooted in you Now he feels like a distant past Long in the rearview So here is me pouring my heart out I hope you hear me I’ll try to pick up when you call Or call you back at my earliest convenience Or when next I need you I hope that’s still cool
I told my mom last week that I felt “tired” of my church. Something changed – the love went out the door It was sudden, abrupt and then just gone. I used to be the person that couldn’t wait for Sunday. Praise and worship lifted me up, even when I wasn’t singing. I just loved being there. It usually meant my whole day but I loved giving my time. I am not sure what happened and I think it may just be my church because I don’t feel this when I go to others but I lost the spark.
Not just for going to church but for speaking to God – period. It felt hard because I know I need him and he has done soooo much for me(please tell me you sang Tim Godfrey’s Nara here” I struggle to hear him in my private bible readings but I noticed that I would always hear him in song. In private moments of worship and praise – he would speak and I would hear. So I know all hope is not lost, maybe I need to change my church or something in my life but I wanted to share this post with you. It’s vulnerable, it’s not cute, it’s not Big Daddy Adewus but it is one of the layers that defines me. I believe my faith and my upbringing in Christ has influenced a lot of the man I am.
Last week, I was trying to record a video for my IG after my workout and this song came on Oba to nja Funmi by Gbenga Akinfenwa. I have heard it before and many times but that day, the words struck. Despite my faithlessness and unfaithfulness, God keeps fighting for me. And he has never left me to wishes of those that do not have my best intentions at heart. I felt vulnerable and embarrassed and I almost decided the video would never see the light of day but I see all of you that interact with the “realer” side of me. I know there are people the song may speak to or this caption may speak to. So here it goes.
I hope you are happy, at peace and loved within yourself. If any of those elements is missing and even if it is not, here is my heart to you and a hug from me to you. I pray God keeps fighting for you and I. Please check out my blog for my Convenient Christian series and enjoy Part 4. It is as real as it gets. Till next time.
It’s been a tradition for many years that on my visits to Lagos, I get incredibly inspired to create new content. Whether that is writing or pictures or even business ideas, something always pops up. The struggle always comes around taking the time to actually write or share the content created – something I hope to improve on in 2022.
But last night, I slept early. In my hotel room alone, after missing dinner plans, I ordered in some Afang (not a fan) and Eba. Because I need to watch something while I eat, I watched Zootopia. Don’t question me! I love my kid/animation movies. Shortly after, I knocked out and I woke up about an hour ago. 6:56am. I have plans today that I am very excited for but for now, I wanted to put down a few thoughts swirling in my head. 2022 is young but it already promises so much, so here are a few thoughts.
If you are like me, there are certain things that have been on your resolutions list for a few years. You keep watching it and moving it from year to year like a depreciating asset on your balance sheet. Look, life is hard. Mr Eazi lied. But one thing I have always lived by is that regret is much worse than failure. Think about the things you regret, not saying “I love you” to someone or seeing your favorite actor and not asking for a picture. Those linger longer and cut deeper than the time you burnt a recipe you tried for the first time or when you got a low mark on a test. The key here is that you tried. Me, in certain areas of my life, I am never afraid to try but in others, I hesitate.
I ask us this year to just do it. Execute on it. You really won’t “fail” because you’ll be learning from each instance. Do it now, so you can look back months from now and see progress and learnings. Not regret for never starting.
Stop Breaking Your Own Heart
Stop waiting on that apology. Stop expecting that person to treat you better. Stop overstating your importance in the lives of those around you.
Most of my heartbreak in recent times has been from over-extending my heart into areas where it had previously been scarred. For a long time, there was a person that I wanted our relationship to work so badly. The biggest stumbling block, they are the friend that never apologizes first or sees they’re wrong unless they’re completely backed against the wall. Believe it or not, there were nights I would cry because I just wished they would do better. The final nail in the coffin, they tried to gaslight me. This person said to me that they believed how I responded to them upset them and they couldn’t explain it. Plus they assumed some of my tweets were directed at them. On said day, I was working and very busy. So obviously replying the message was not a priority. Don’t get me wrong – I was fully aware that them not getting a prompt reply was a trigger for them but what happens when I am not even looking at my phone or focusing on that at all? Or when MY own world is busy. Anyways, the friendship fizzled out and I have no intentions of being the one to rekindle it because I am tired of breaking my own heart. IF all the time passes and they are not self-aware or reflective enough to realize where they messed up and own the situation, why should I keep hurting myself?
This year – say no to things or situations that keep traumatizing you and stop breaking your own heart.
You do not have a monopoly on someone else’s happiness
Less Ego, More Love – nothing related to Wizkid or Burna or Davido or Shatta “He needs a psych eval” Wale. Oftentimes, we believe that because of what we experience with certain people, their future happiness should be tied to how they made us feel. Sorry but that can’t work. Never. A previous ting of mine got engaged recently and it was beautiful to see. Truth be told, I knew it would happen someday – aside from our relationship she was a good person. But a part of me always felt slighted that she wasn’t this great version of herself while with me. Self-reflection will tell you that I probably had a part to play in that but I still felt a way.
In 2022 and beyond – please remember, you do not own people or have any influence on their short or long-term happiness. Focus on making you the greatest version of yourself and leave the rest for the universe to sort out.
If you are like me, you have been through quite a bit. It’s normal. We’ve seen things and felt things. Been hurt, hurt people and seen ourselves evolve. One thing about people is that we wear our trauma like tattoos gotten in dark alleys and reminders on our hearts like passport stamps but we fail to sit in our happy moments as if the showers of joy come with hailstones.
Much of the trauma and hurt you have faced have you cautious, closed-off, defensive, reclusive, overextending, overcompensating, unable to accept compliments or love, and so on. It’s normal and perfectly okay but this year, look into the mirror like Issa and forgive yourself. For the parts, you played and for the things you did or said, then forgive yourself and move on.
You deserve light and fluffy love like perfect pancakes. You deserve smiles that light up the room. You deserve the best YOU.
So go after that person in 2022 and truly be the best of you. The world will be better for it.
It’s barely 4pm and I just had my first meal of the day. Well if you count my smoothie, then I guess second. But my smoothie was three scoops of protein powder and half a cup of Almond milk. I’m deep in the trenches.
It’s been 3weeks since I started my Green and Grown diet (basically eating only veggies and things growing out of the ground with chicken and turkey for protein). It has been an interesting road so far. And I figured I would share some updates on how things are going. So here are some of the lessons I have learned in my 21days of changing my diet and my life
Lesson 1: Ignore the scale and the mirror for a while
You know how you, yes YOU will go to the gym once and the next morning you’re looking for the abs or the fatter ass? Yeahhhh same concept. I struggle a lot with this because on most days, I would wake up and check myself in the mirror. Mostly because I would always observe my body and make sure everything was still in place and still working. You know 30+ vibes
But there have been many days where I look at myself and because I don’t see the full sculpted version I have been working on, I briefly get discouraged. Thankfully I ultimately push through but I can’t help but notice that I struggle with it. This past weekend, I was at a birthday dinner for one of my really good friends and someone hugged me – touching my torso, they said “oh wow, your work is really showing. I be seeing you go off on IG but you’re killing it” The next day, I had another event and people again complimented my progress, despite the fact that I was wearing a sweater that hid most of my body.
There is progress – someone asked me recently after complimenting “how much weight have you lost?” I honestly don’t know and I don’t want to know. I have found that the scale has been one of the places where my joy had been stolen. So no I do not want to know. I would rather continue working on myself till I see visible changes that I want like I sleep better, not be short of breath when I run upstairs or I can go longer – hehehe if you know what I mean. So my lesson for you as well in this time, ignore the scale and the mirror – keep pushing and one day you will look up and love the way you look. I guarantee it – props to you if you got that Men’s Wearhouse reference!
Lesson 2: Love on yourself more than you want others to
Positive talk – remind yourself that you are a work in progress and frankly you are doing the work. For me, I decided that this year and this stretch would be when I change my body for the rest of my life and that means a lot to me. For who I Want to be – for my wife, my kids, my future.
I am trying to be kind to myself in any way possible because like I said, I am doing the work. I realized that my discipline is the biggest gain I can ever get – when it’s all said and done, it won’t be how many pounds lost, it will be how much I’ve proven to myself that I would never give up. And that is love. Never giving up on someone or something.
So spend time telling yourself you are awesome and you are great. Remind yourself that you will achieve all that you want to achieve.
Lesson 3: Celebrate the small wins
Last week on one of those days that didn’t feel so great at the gym, I felt annoyed. I was starting to lose faith in the work I was putting in. But from somewhere I got the nugget (oh how I miss those!) to focus on the small wins. That for me looks like in the last 9 days I have typically eaten dinner before 6pm. Some days are even closer to 4pm.
Yes. I would eat a decent-sized meal (really small – sample picture below) and just drink water later at night when I get hungry. There was a day last week when I REALLY wanted to drink Garri with Peppered Turkey but it was 10pm. I almost gave in but I forced myself to say no. I drank some water, and some green tea and I went to bed. The next morning, I had a smoothie for brunch and forgot about the night before.
I am cherishing my small wins. The compliments I have been getting from people about looking smaller and my face shrinking. Someone even told me my head was getting smaller. I NEVER knew that was possible.
I urge you to celebrate your small wins AND the big ones too. What are you currently working on that you can point to as some small wins? Please share them in the comments.
I hope you have a fantastic rest of the week and as always, please share and comment.
Written 4/5/2022 after eating the last batch of beans and chicken for dinner before a call with the Nifty Nine.
I was standing in front of the ATM, I inserted the checks and it spat two back out. I grumbled a bit and then I reentered them – this time around, they worked. With a sly smile on my face, I emailed the receipt to myself and I headed out of the business/bank center. It was one of those that doesn’t have any people – just the machines and virtual portals. I headed back to my car and before I started the car, I began to hear voices.
I know what you are thinking. What is wrong with this guy? But it was the echoes of the songs I was playing before I went into the building. It was me singing “Ololade mi Asake” over and over in my head. I turned on the car and the song had finished, it was now a new song but I could still hear those voices too. We all hear those voices.
I remember one day when I was much younger, I ran upstairs to my mom and I was like “you called me?” She frowned and said “no” Then she added “don’t answer if you don’t see who is calling” All my Africans or Black people in general reading this all rolled their eyes because here is a Nigerian mother telling you to be sure you see her before answering. WHERE THEY DO THAT AT???? Nope! Mothers be wanting you to even answer while they thinking of calling you!
The whole reason I was depositing those checks is that I stopped listening to voices. The checks were some gifts given to me by members of a church I went to sing at recently. Standing there – instead of appreciating some of the gifts that come from my gift, all I could think of was the voices that said I wasn’t good enough. I have one friend in particular that would tell me not to sing whenever I would sing around them. So are the hundreds of people around the country that I sing, can’t they hear? Do they not know good music? That’s incredibly hard to believe. The last time I sang, 4 separate people came up to me to tell me how much they loved my singing and how I carried myself. Yet, before each time, I would hear my friend’s voice saying “no”
Truth is, we are all victims of it. We drown out the voices of praise and amplify that of our doubters. It is important to listen to the voices, especially the praise – you need the fuel. I am not saying doubters are always wrong, otherwise, too many people would be Soundcloud rappers. Sometimes those voices are the voice of reason and they force us to strive for better – for greatness. So they are important in the room. But they should not be so loud that it makes you want to stay out of the room.
There are also times that you are those voices you hear. You push yourself too hard. You negative talk yourself. You put yourself down. Stop it! You are deserving of greatness, belief and the confidence of someone bound to do great things. I am not a fan of those fake self-talk pages on IG (especially since IG is a hub for tons of negativity) but find your own source. Pour the positive into your soul. Every chance you get. Fill your room with enough loud voices – so the next time you are in front of a room ready to present or a church ready to sing or alone at the ATM, the only voices you hear would be of those cheering you on.
Till next time,
Please COMMENT your thoughts below. Thanks for reading!
It was recently brought to my attention that I haven’t written one of these audits in a while. The last one was 2020. I think with the way the world has gone over the past few years, I can be cut some slack. Glad to be able to pen this now and give you some insight into my world and where my mind is or has been.
I also figured I would share some of my 2022 goals with you
Big Goals for Big Daddy Adewus 1. Pray More 2. Touch more lives 3. Be kind to me 4. Enjoy life 5. Argue less, resist the urge to defend yourself
Faith: I am a bit tired of my church. My personal relationship with God is “good” at best. I haven’t felt too hot on certain things connected to my faith recently but thankfully I still pray and talk to God and he talks to me. I am working on the latest edition of Convenient Christian (a piece I write, I’ll post links here for you to check them out), so look out for that. Link to the last one here.
Because I have been “running” from God a bit – I think it has affected some key things I relied on him for. Discernment, gratitude, divine guidance and so on. The past week has been hard on my heart for various reasons but mostly because I felt I had let God down. Not in specific actions – before anyone thinks this is some “gotcha” moment but because I just wasn’t plugged in. The lessons from the past year and this last week have been hard. But I was able to just lay it all at his feet this past Sunday. I went back home. And while I worshipped and praised – he spoke to me. Then the Pastor came on his sermon was EXACTLY for me. Man, when God is with you, he is with you. I am thankful but there is still more work to be done.
2021 Final Score: D 2022 Expected Score: B+
Fitness: As I write this, it has been 11days on my Green & Grown diet. Except for Chicken and Turkey – everything I have eaten over the last 11days has either been vegetables or things have grown out of the ground. I am starting to like the way I look but I also have been going super ham at the gym lately. I got this app called Fitbod – it basically gives you exercises every day to do and helps take away the guesswork. I love it! At 7am every day, it tells me what workouts to do that morning and I can crush it. All in all, I am enjoying this new phase. I decided that I want to get the body of the rest of my life, starting now. I am tired of waiting till a week before a vacation to start detoxing or drinking smoothies. If I want this life, I need to work at it now and I am more than determined.
2021 Final Score: C 2022 Expected Score: B+
Creativity: I need an editor. I have so much written already. I need to actually POST but I always get weighed down by the prospect of having to edit. If someone can help me, I will really appreciate it. I have tons of series lined up (are you ready for the rollercoasters?!), I have the novel in motion. I want to learn how to write scripts.
I started a food IG and I now have more than 250 followers. @chefadewus Please follow and support me if you can. AND my Pinterest page!
My podcast is back and SmallChops is a perfect fit. We need a woman to join us consistently though – preferably someone in Canada or the US. Hit me up if you know someone or you are interested.
I also need to restart my French classes + piano.
2021 Final Score: C-minus 2022 Expected Score: A
Finances: I changed jobs in the summer of 2021. One of the biggest companies in the world came after me, aggressively. It was so humbling and validating. Better pay, better company, sign-on bonus, better everything sha. By the end of 2021, I had hit all of my savings goals for the year – I ended up Detty Decembering some of that money away but that is not the point. Last year, I proved to myself that I could save and I am already on my way again this year. So I am very excited. I have big BIG goals in 2022 and 23. So man must save – I am even on a budget right now. And if you know me, you know I stick to my budget! 2022 is the year of big bags and sometimes that just means closing the big bag already in your hand.
2021 Final Score: B+ 2022 Expected Score: A+
Relationships: This is where the most learnings are for me. Romantically, I am satisfied and happy. Butterflies. Boarding passes. Boba Tea.
In friendships though, it has been a rough year. March 2021 brought a friendship breakup of a friendship that was 12+years old. When I still think about it, it stings deeply but it is what it is. I was already nursing a difficult week and then I walked into church and this was the Pastor’s sermon (when I told you God was talking to me, I was not joking)
Friendship is a choice Choose friends that fill you up. Friendship is loving Friendship is trusting Friendship is loyalty
This past week for me was another reminder to remember the difference between acquaintances and friends. It sucks to think through that feeling but it is necessary. One of the things I struggled with growing up and being bullied was that I wanted to be loved by everyone* As I get older and wiser, I continue to realize that wanting that is toxic and actually having that is fake. To make some relationships work, you find yourself pushing and doing more than you ever would need to. And then you find yourself empty and resentful. Unnecessary.
I took stock recently and I should be proud. I have friends like Seyi that I have had since 2003 and people like Anthony that I have been brothers with since 2006 – 16years. We started what is now our crew called Nifty Nine. 3 out of the band is married with kids, people are in committed relationships thriving. I have my PDG crew expecting our next baby, two weddings are upcoming. And I have the Ninz’s of my world, the Nnenna’s, the Renny’s, the true Brethren, and more. I have never been one to say “No New Friends” but Omo, my squad is already deep. So I was grateful for the reset because it allowed me to look around and appreciate what I have that is solid and these people ACTUALLY love me. They show up for me. They care about my person and my growth. My soul and my heart. So while these recent times have been hard, I am thankful for my true friends.
I am also freshly inspired to be a better friend to the ones I hold dear. Excited for all our growth, love, accountability and friendship.
2021 Final Score – F 2022 Expected Score – B
2021 was rough in many ways – a medical diagnosis that I reject in Jesus’ name, pandemic, soaring prices of everything. But it was also a year of newness, growth and love. I am super excited for 2022. It already started off so great – engagements, birthdays, babies, new jobs, leaving toxic things and people. It will only get better and I am sooooo excited for it. Thank you for reading my review and catch me in early 2023 by God’s grace for a recap on this year. In the meantime, check out my current content (below if you are on your phone and on the right side of the screen if you are on your computer).
Til next time,
Thanks for reading as always! Thank you for commenting. Here is to a fun and blessed 2022! You are highly appreciated.
Tonight, I cried. I was listening to the song above and I became overwhelmed with gratitude to God for everything he has done for me. A few days ago after a long day of errands, I came back home and I was actually about to go to sleep when I heard a loud and obnoxious knock on the door. It was late but I walked to the door and opened it. It was my neighbor. He came to tell me that I had left my car running for 4hours. Can you believe that? I completely forgot to turn off the engine. I do not know what would have happened if it kept running for more hours (about to Google it). I was grateful that nothing catastrophic happened plus I am thankful to God for using my neighbor whom I have never spoken to beyond hi and bye, to come and ensure I didn’t lose my vehicle.
Yeahhhh, right there… on the head
If you follow me on Instagram, you will probably have seen videos of me at the gym. I am always dancing in my recordings. Most times to gospel music. A few days ago, I walked up to an equipment and I bumped my head because someone shorter than me had lowered the bar. It hurt – I see you short people, or maybe not.
But as I massaged my head, I went back to working out and dancing, people kept staring and I thought o myself, I am the weird person in their own gym life. But I love God and singing his praises anywhere, I was not going to stop that.
I was in line at the grocery store when the cashier said “you know you don’t have to wear that anymore?” He was referencing the recent mask mandate that had passed in California – we don’t have to wear masks anymore. It felt weird hearing that. For almost two years straight, we had gotten used to wearing this thing everyday, now you are saying we don’t need to? Can people go back to “normal”? Do they even want to? I kept my mask on because I still feel the panini is not over but it got me thinking, even after COVID is finally under control, will I stop wearing a mask? Most likely not. I will probably end up wearing it every flu season as well. Just to stay protected. Some try to act like the masks are evil or something but guess who hasn’t had the flu in two years? Exactly. I’m keeping ‘em on. Will you keep wearing masks or have you already thrown them away?
I am tired. Physically for the most part. About a month ago – I was in Los Angeles and on my first night there, I laid down in my hotel bed. I had plans to link with my younger brother. I placed my head on the bed at about 6:30pm. I woke up at 2am – the whole night was gone.
Before I slept, I felt dizzy and like the room was shifting – I have known it for a few weeks but I struggle to rest. Most weekends are filled with a birthday party here, a brunch there, church on this side, DIY projects on that side. It’s made for a tired me. I need to rest and as a full adult, I am scheduling it for next weekend. Isn’t that bizarre that we now have to schedule rest? What happened to being a child and just not going to class or sleeping and ignoring your chores? S M H
I watched a talk the other day about relationships that said as you get deep into it and kids come into play, you have to schedule sex. At first, listen, I thought it was bizarre but seeing how busy I am now with all I have going on and no wife and kids yet? Nah, I completely agree with that person. Heck, I have been trying to make an appointment with my left hand for months now and no luck. S M F H
My best friend called me a Nigerian parent because I keep finding things around the house to work on. First off all, “and soooooo”. Secondly, “even thoughhhhhhh” I truly am always working on something but frankly, I need rest. In the meantime though, please follow my latest thing, my Pinterest account. Every follow, like, and share counts. Thank you!
Recently, I was driving and this person in front of me was moving so slowly. I maneuvered around them and began yelling, I was so annoyed. Then it hit me. Why was it so hard to be kind in that moment?
I remember the first time I was ever let go from a job. I was so heartbroken that day that I drove home so slowly, I was crying and confused. What if someone honked at me as I drove? Would I have been able to hold it together? Maybe, maybe not. It was a timely reminder to be kind always. That person could have gotten word that their health was poor or just been having a bad day – you never know. Spread kindness, not continue a chain of the hard in a world already hard enough.
10:48pm – I had been on this wave of eating earlier in the evening, in my attempt to not eat late. So I would eat my first “big” meal around 6pm and if I was up late, like on this day, I would snack on something. The choice this night was the super delicious sausage rolls from @AllIDoIsCook. They get shipped to my house and I get to feast on such goodness. They come in air-tight packaging. That night I decided to use a knife to open the sausage roll pack. As I picked up the knife, my mind told me to use the scissors instead. You probably already know how this ended. Yes, I cut myself.
I was staring at my hand and I just burst out laughing, I knew. I flipping knew and most of us know. We feel it, we see it. The signs are clear and glaring but we go into it anyways. The last time I dated a woman that had poor communication skills and couldn’t express herself, I knew I would eventually get hurt. But she was soooo fine and yes, she had/had bum bum and I went inside head first. Omo _, she just made me catch feelings and started making me return to my toxic ways. As hard as they may come, run from the things that will bring you hurt.
Stay Up, Stay Safe & Stay Strong. I LOVE YOU!
The Wordsmith Master of Cliffhangers
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As I write this, I’m sitting in the owner’s corner of a 2001 or 2002 Toyota Camry heading for Olumo Rock. For those of you that don’t know Olumo Rock is one of the major sights to see in Nigeria. Olumo Rock
I faintly remember visiting there as a child a couple of times. Nothing that is etched in my memory or incredibly significant.
Hold on- we just got stopped by the Federal Road “Safety” people. (Watch this handoff, I haven’t seen smoother baton passing since Usain Bolt and his counterparts dominated the 4×4 relay)
This trip started off with 7 people interested and the plan was to rent a van to make it a fun group trip down to Ogun State and back. But here I am, solo in the back of this ride, and as fate will have it, it’s Tems over the radio singing “you don’t need no other body”
Life has a way of teaching you subtle lessons every now and then, this one is a lesson I learned before but the reminder was great for this new chapter of my life. Sometimes you will want to get things done and no one will follow you or be as eager as you. Not because they don’t love you or believe in you but because oftentimes the vision you have is yours and yours alone. You see it clearer than anyone else.
It can be incredibly disheartening because you want your tribe to run through each experience with you. But life is about knowing that some of those stories will be experienced and written in the back seat of a car on a dusty back road into the state capital of your home.
The key piece for me here is, do it anyway! It may seem daunting or incredibly tasking but do it anyway. Not only will you deepen your belief in your self but you also prove to yourself that when those solo phases of your life come, you’ll be ready to brave them alone.
We just pulled up to Olumo. It’s not busy. It’s beautiful and I’m glad I came. Catch my full experience on my Instagram stories and highlights. @adewus4real
For a while now, I have been thinking about the idea of things that make us who we are, things that help us show up how we do. “That’s just how I am” is never just a stand-alone idea. We have things conscious or unconscious that shape who we become.
Some of these have similarities or bleed into each other but most are also standalone topics that should also be explored. I thought I would write about how we (me) show up.
Promising and failing/not showing up
Most of us can relate to the world-famous phrase “if you get all A’s or do well in school, I will get you (insert incredible gift that would have made your childhood)” All through the school year, you are busting your ass, working hard, trying harder to be the best student or child you can be with the hopes that your parents/guardians would keep their word.
Then the end of the school year rolls around, you did great but nothing. NOTHING. Instead of getting what you were promised, you hear things that make you feel guilty for wanting what you set your mind to. Suddenly, the game changes and you were expected to be a good student anyway. Expected to be a good child anyway. So why are you sulking? I never knew it but it stuck with me for a while. It reinforced the idea that there was no real reward for doing good, aside from whatever you chose to reward yourself with.
So now as an adult, I take people at their word seriously. Don’t make promises you cannot keep to me. It may seem small to you but to me, it is another nail in the coffin of mistrust and disappointment. And as much as I have grown to expect and understand that people may mean well but will always fail, I can’t help but see the strong feelings related to being let down by the people who’s words mean a lot to you.
How many times have you planned a birthday trip? Or an event and expected a certain number? Many of us know that the group chat always starts with 35 people but only 6 will end up on the trip – if you are lucky. Quickly, you start to realize that the moments that will bring you the most happiness or joy are sometimes on the other side of lonely street. You end up experiencing life in some ways, by yourself.
For me, this becomes problematic when you have people who genuinely would love to show up for you but because you are used to being let down, you plan without them.
This can be birth out of childhood relationships or even adult friendships. I always say that the easiest person to lie to is yourself but also, no one can hurt you more than you can hurt yourself. In anticipation of people hurting you, you push them away first. Sabotage.
A part of me knows it’s rooted in a deep sense of unworthiness. Like the love you are getting from that relationship/friendship is not deserving, so you throw it away before they can realize you are not deserving and they take it away. It can sometimes feel like you are watching an outer body scene – like you are outside of your own skin as you watch yourself knock shit over. What is incredible is that sometimes you can feel your subconscious battling to tell you no, to tell you that you are indeed deserving but sometimes your villain streak wins.
It takes a lot of unpacking and affirming that you are deserving. I hope that we can both work on reminding ourselves that we are fully deserving of loving relationships.
Being afraid of things going right
I remember a time in my life when I would buy gas at Shell using the “credit” option on Monday, fill my tank and then pray that I came into money before the transaction would post on Thursday. On some cases, I would only have $1 in my account just to initiate the transaction. It was like that for a while but as I progressed in my career and I began to make “more”, I realized that some of those habits didn’t change.
Don’t get me wrong, they are not all bad because some of those habits helped me save so far but sometimes the fear of going back to being broke prevents us from living. We are so consumed with “what if it all goes bad?” and it prevents us from truly maximizing when things are going well. I know some afraid to spend out of fear of being broke again. Life is about a balance, save and prepare for the worst but live for the life you want right now.
Expecting people to leave
I remember waking up one morning and my girlfriend at the time was not next to me. I checked the bathroom, the living room and the kitchen. Nothing. I began hyperventilating. I could feel my heart pumping out of my chest. I later found out she left in the morning without wanting to wake me up as she left to work.
Unpacking that feeling/episode, I connected it to the first time I feel abandoned. I couldn’t have been more than 10 when my cousins who had lived with us in Nigeria for a few years were heading back to America. My parents told me I was going with them, so all day, I packed with them. One sleep later, I work up and they were gone. I had been scammed. It hurt. It stung. Still does. I couldn’t believe that I was lied to on that scale. All I kept asking was why?
So as an adult, friends or lovers leaving would really mess with my head and my self-esteem. Abruptly leaving or not saying bye? Even worse.
I was able to recognize it and I have now shared it with friends and lovers, letting them know what my deep triggers are.
I understand that many of you may be able to relate to some of the personal ways that some of my trauma shows itself in my everyday. I wanted to write this to validate US, I see you and I feel you. Here is to seeing and addressing the situations and our realities.
Thanks for reading and please share with someone out there who may need it. Comment your thoughts below!
Til next time,
Written on the flight back from London to San Francisco. Listening to Monalisa by Lojay. Someone walking around with their child in their arm is annoying me, I know I shouldn’t care but every time I see them creep up behind me, I freak out. Ugh.
Everything was in slow motion. It was as if we moved through the scenes in the movie Inception. My mouth went dry. My heart was racing. My eyes began to water as my palms got sweaty. I was angry, very angry. Lost in my head trying to make sense of this but I couldn’t believe what I was staring at. My father’s coffin in his home? How? I was still trying to process when I heard a sharp wail from my left hand side.
My mother dropped to her knees as she was crying uncontrollably. “Ta ni mo se” “Who did I offend?”
She continued to repeat as the twins tried to console her. Inconsolable as you can imagine. My older sister snapped into action and she said
“Dejo, how did this get here?”
Genuinely confused and fearfully of being blamed, Dejo began to shake as he responded.
“Madam, I swear to you, I no know”
“You don’t know?”
She followed. Dejo tried his best to explain.
“Madam, I dey that side dey wash the cars when I hear wetin be like truck for outside. I just think sey na delivery people dem dey drop something. Na when I finish come open gate, na him I see am”
As he wrapped up a small gathering of neighbors was forming. I could see everything playing out but it was like I was and just watching everything play out and I was still.
“Oya, help us bring it inside the gate and close the gate before the whole estate knows what is happening”
My sister instructed. Dejo, the drivers of the lawyer and my brother were joined by a few other men from the neighborhood. The coffin was lifted into the compound and the gate closed. My sister said
“Do we know if the body in there?”
No one answered. No one was certain. Then she said
“Open it up”
She said. My mother who was still on the floor crying suddenly sprung up and said
“Don’t you dare!”
Huffing and puffing, she looked enraged and possessed. She said
“That our family name has been dragged through the mud is not enough? You want to dishonor the memory of your father? NO WAY! That coffin stays closed and you all go about figuring out who in the hell would do such a despicable thing”
She turned around and began walking inside when I snapped out of the trance and I headed for Ivie and Kunle. They were standing apart as you can probably imagine that the things he heard inside had rocked his world a bit.
“You did this”
I said to Ivie with conviction. I could tell she was scared.
“You fucking did this with your diabolical ass. You did this shit like you planned all this other shit”
She froze. I yelled
Kunle stepped in and put his hand across my chest I turned and looked directly at him
“Kunle if you do not remove your hand from my body, I swear to God who made this earth, I will fucking pound in your face till you bleed to death. Get the fuck out of my way”
He stepped back but not too far, he seemed a bit concerned about what I could do to Ivie.
“Ivie, tell us how you are months away from a wedding with me but carrying my brother’s child. Tell us how you planned with Adesuwa to get me killed and then killed her yourself? Or just tell us why you dug up our father’s coffin and brought it into our home? Start anywhere”
Kehinde sprung and said
“Ivie is that true? Please tell us it’s not true”
Ivie in tears, said
“I had nothing to do with this”
Pointing to the coffin laying in front of us all.
“And the other things?”
I asked. She said
“I can explain honestly”
Sobbing she began to explain.
“I am sorry for lying to you Tomiwa, I really am. You did not deserve this. I was misled but my father…”
My mother jumped in
“I was instructed to get information on Tomiwa and the family by my father. I would often listen to business conversations with Tomiwa and funnel the information to my father. He told me to marry Tomiwa and that Chief Fehintola and he had come to an agreement to merge our families. But I was also told to not have sex with Tomiwa. Under any circumstances. The plan was to marry Tomiwa and ultimately get as much money from the family. Kunle and I met before I was introduced to Tomiwa. The day we met at your family Christmas party a few years back, I actually came with Kunle. We even had sex upstairs in the twins room while everyone was downstairs because it was the only free room. Kunle and I had been seeing each other. He knew nothing about the rest of the plan. And initially, all I wanted was Kunle. But once I knew I could choose to not sleep with Tomiwa and continue having Kunle, I was fine with that. I made peace with it. I would have the man I wanted.”
Teary eyed and flushed with tears, she rubbed her belly and said
“Kunle, your son or daughter is inside of me and I love you. And I will love this child with all of my heart. I completely understand if after all I have done, you no longer want to be involved in our lives but I love you and I will love this child”
Kunle looked down and away. Clearly the words got to him but he was conflicted and then he said
“Did you try to get my brother killed?”
Ivie sobbed harder and looked away.
“Yes. Yes, I did My dad told me I had to. Something had come out that would affect our plans and frankly, it seemed like a better deal to go that route and we could have just married without issues”
I was shocked.
“You wanted me out of the way. So you decided the best way was to kill me? When you could have just asked me to leave? When you knew it was Adesuwa that I wanted to marry and she was the woman I loved??? You are evil”
I was fuming. Kunle asked
“How can I be sure the baby is mine, with all these lies?”
Those words broke her. I could tell. She sobbed harder and said
“Kunle, I have never been with any man but you from day one. Only you”
He shook his head and turned away and I spoke.
“You had everything. A family that loves you, the big wedding you wanted, the houses, cars, trips around the world. All of it. Yet you wanted me dead, as if my family had not been through enough…”
There was a honk at the gate. All our eyes immediately shifted, who was it?
The gate swung open and a black tinted Mercedes AMG drove in. The driver rushed out and ran around the car to open to the owner’s corner. Out came a man that I was familiar with. A friend of the family and someone I had watched my father spend time with as we grew up. He was someone you could consider a true pillar of our family. Chief Akpo. Ivie’s father.
As he stepped out of the car, I had every intention of jumping him. But I had to contain my rage. He smiled big as he fixed his Agbada and he said
“I know you have many questions. Let us all go inside and we can clear things up”
We all sat down in the living room. Chief glee as ever while the glum faces of all of us waited to find out what was going on. Chief spoke first.
“I had hoped we would not get to this point but in life, some things just need to be done. That is the truth”
He smiled as he continued speaking
“Before all of you came about, way back in the day, Chief approached me with a proposition. He wanted me to father all of you. I agreed out of love for the man and I wanted to make sure that he had the joy of being a father too. But then, midway through the testing process, the Chief told me that he went with someone else. He never said who for years. And I could not prove who it was. I knew that if the DNA was run, it would show Chief was not the father but as far as showing who actually was, I was sure that we wouldn’t really get that luxury. Chief asked me to join the board as one of his closest friends and when we knew international investors were coming. I agreed but this time, because I did not trust his word, I demanded security. I got him to commit in writing that my daughter if I had one, would marry his son. And as you can see, God gave us what we wanted. The deal was done. Then you…”
He pointed at me and frowned a bit
“…You started making noise about not wanting my beautiful daughter. Something about wanting to marry who you loved. Well who you loved gave you up pretty easily to protect her parents. I bought out Adesuwa’s parents and simply threatened to run them into the ground. It was difficult but eventually we were able to convince her to take you out of the picture.”
I was stunned. The whole room was dead silent.
“This was simple. If the Chief held his end of the bargain, I got a couple of legitimate grandchildren in one of the wealthiest families and life would go on smoothly. When you started your drama, I approached Chief and reminded him that I knew his secret and it could be damaging if word got out. At first he appeared to listen and then he did not. I had to take matters into my own hands. I had my team working tirelessly to get the information I needed to make a move on him at the board level and take over the company. But before I could put my plan in action, he passed away. Around that same time, he told me that he was going to tell you all the truth after his trip. I guess he never made it to that. I knew that Chief was the type to not be blackmailed, so I sensed that he may have included the true identity of your fathers in the will. Well, everyone except you.”
He pointed at me again. Everyone sat up. My mother who had now stopped crying looked on inquisitively as he spoke.
“What do you mean?”
He leaned forward in his chair and said
“Everyone knows that Kunle is not yours. No surprise. But Tomiwa is the one legitimate child of you and Chief.”
The entire room gasped. The lawyer looked away.
Chief smiled and said
“Lawyer Williams knew. Chief knew. On our trip he told us about how his health was deteriorating and he might need a marrow transplant or something of the sort. Tomiwa, remember the set of tests you went to do with your father? I was able to acquire those from the hospital. It was in those results I found out that you were his only legitimate child. The results of the others showed what we already knew. Again, I planned to release the information for the takeover but your father elected to die before the news could get out.
He stood up. Flashed a fake smile at most of the room as he smoothed out his clothes. He said
“Look, I have no ill towards Chief nor will I speak ill of the dead but he chose to try and outsmart me instead of keeping his end of the agreement we had many years ago. For that, he will not rest. Digging up his coffin is only the start…”
Enraged I snapped up and yelled
“Say another word about my father and I will finish you here”
Lawyer Williams quickly jumped up and put his hand across my chest to stop me. Chief Akpo chuckled mischievously and said
“Now wouldn’t that be so beautiful? To see our new CEO beating up a board member. I dare you to do it, do it, so I can bury this family once and for all. It’s admirable to see you have the fight chief had in him though, maybe that’s why his swimmers were able to conquer out of the many failures. He chuckled”
He smiled mischievously and waved his finger in the direction of his daughter and said
“Ivie, let’s go”
She sheepishly got up, sobbing profusely and followed him out of the room. As the door shut. My mother looked at Lawyer Williams and said
He leaned back in the seat, almost tired and replied
“Yes but the Chief wanted to confirm. And you know I was bound by confidentiality laws”
She looked back at my siblings and said
“We are not letting any of those Bastards take what your father built.”
And she stormed out of the room.
My father was re-buried and about 6months had passed by. The vote for reorganizing the board and the company was coming up fast. Most of the family had settled into their routines. Life in our new normal was going along. My siblings returned to their various homes and lives while I prepared to officially take over for my dad. My days were strictly guarded by the security team. My mother and I were basically in an enforced lockdown. Kunle had been mostly ostracized by the family but his impact was still being felt. We simply were not the same family.
Two nights before the vote, I called Kunle and told him to meet with me the following night. He asked me where and I called him to give him the address. It was a property a friend of ours was developing. I told him I wanted a fresh set of eyes on the property as I was considering buying it.
I was standing in the middle of the uncompleted building as night covered Ibeju-Lekki. The building was huge and was clearly going to make a very nice home once completed. I heard a car pull into the lot and footsteps get closer.
Kunle called out
“T, you in here?”
“Yeah, just come through the front opening here”
He walked up to me and I greeted him.
“How are you holding up bro?”
I asked him.
“I guess you can say I’ve had better days”
I shook my head and said
“I totally understand bro. Hopefully things settle soon. So I wanted you to see this place because I was thinking of buying it and using it for corporate housing for visiting executives. We fully operate the space with cleaning crews, a maid, a driver and the full home experience. It saves us the millions we spend on hotels putting them up in expensive hotels when they come to town. What do you think?”
He nodded as we walked up the stairs to the second level
“Yeah this is really nice. And we can truly curate the type of experience they have when they are here. I love the idea. Maybe we get that interior design firm to design it for…”
He paused. We both looked at each other. There was a sound. It came from the first floor. I looked at him and asked
“Did you come here with someone?”
He nodded and said
“Yeah, Ivie is in the car. We are coming back from dinner”
He called out
We both headed back downstairs. As we hit the landing area, I greeted her
“Hi Ivie, long time. How are you?”
“Fine, thank you”
“And the baby?”
“She’s doing well too”
“That’s really good”
Bang. Bang. Bang.
White noise. I could hear a loud ringing in my ears. The shock hit me like I was drowning. I felt my back hit the floor hard. Staring up at the uncompleted ceiling and gasping for air, the pain coursed through my body. I was sure I was going to die. The pain was in my lower abdomen. I placed my hand on the source of the pain and I could feel my hand wet. I was bleeding. Gasping for air, I was praying that I didn’t die and I was trying to pray but the words weren’t coming. Then a familiar voice came through. I felt someone squat next to me and say
“Breathe baby. You are going to live”
I turned my head to my right side and through the darkness, I made out her face. She smiled at me and said
“The police will be here soon and an ambulance. You will be fine”
I closed my eyes and the next time I would open them, I was in the hospital. It was also there I found out that Tunde and Ivie were dead.
It was a bright and sweltering day. The skies were clear. It felt like one of those good days for a perfect hike or lemonade on your backyard porch. The day was mostly perfect. With a gentle breeze occasionally reminding you to enjoy life. You could imagine yourself in any tropical location and it would make sense. It was the type of day for your skin and self care routine without doing much. The summer was announcing itself in style. The bell rang and the space flooded.
Stepping out, I opened the door with my right hand. They hopped in. Sitting back down in the driver’s seat and starting the car, my friend asked
“Oya finish now. Who shot them?”
I smiled and said
“Let’s just say, mother’s know everything”
“I knew it! I knew it!”
“How did she know where you were???”
I smiled and replied
“She followed me”
He exclaimed again
“Do you know if she pulled the trigger herself?”
I shook my head and said
“Fam, I don’t know and in many ways, I am grateful I don’t know anything about that night. I am just grateful for my family and continuing to grow the family business from here”
I pulled out of the school parking lot as another car sped past me almost hitting my car. I yelled out
My twin boys in the backseat both yelled out
I looked at my friend and then at the kids in the back and said
“Sorry kids. Bad habits”
We all chuckled as I turned onto the highway and drove right into Los Angeles traffic. The cars were backed up for miles. Traffic was notorious and ever present, not like the “forgotten” events in another overcrowded metropolis thousands of miles away. My friend visiting from Belgium said
“What The Heck Man, is this always how bad traffic is in LA?”
I nodded and said
He looked over to me and said
“But I bet you are glad you are far away from all that drama huh?”
Feeling the twinge from the nerve damage in my abdomen from the gunshot would I suffered that night, I looked out the window and then into the rearview mirror at my kids on their iPads and I replied
“Every. Single. Day bro Every. Single. Day”
End of the Bastards series. Please like this story, leave a comment below, and share social media!