Fiction

Believe in You

I got promoted.
I’ll come back to that shortly.

During my company’s holiday party in December, I was walking through the venue.
It had thousands of people in attendance including. There was incredible food, drinks, laughs and a musical performance by one of the most legendary pop artists of our time.
As I waded through the crowd to use the bathroom, I got stopped by someone.
They nervously tugged at my blazer.
If you know me, I initially looked down in such disgust.
Like huh?
Who touched me????

I didn’t recognize the face as I looked down and they quickly introduced themselves
“Hi Ade, it’s me __
I beamed a huge smile in response.
A quick awkward hug and I was looking at them again.
They quickly said
“Thank you for everything”
That was one of 4 similar encounters that night. I had hired him and the three other people that came up to me that night.
Because of the pandemic, much of their recruitment and onboarding had happened virtually. In some cases, I never saw their faces unless I stalked their LinkedIn profiles.
As I walked away that night, I felt a sense of pride. I brought some incredible people to the company.
In some cases, it was giving them their dream jobs.
One of the 4 was a recent Phd graduate and this was his first “big boy” job.

Last week, I found out that I got promoted.
The only one on my large team to get promoted and scored a 110% on my annual evaluation.
Why is all of this relevant?
I am pretty darn good at my job. Phenomenal actually. You should see me in action.
But I can’t help but remember how I almost never even got this far in my career.

A few years ago, I got called into a room with my director at the time and my lead. They told me that I wasn’t doing my job fast enough.
In my mind I was.
I may not have been moving as fast as they wanted and that’s okay. But their delivery that day was harsh.
And for someone only a few months into that role, it shook me and discouraged me.
I believe their intent was to inspire me but it actually made me consider quitting.
But obviously, y’all know how stubborn I am. So I didn’t give up and here I am today.

Sometimes I hear the way my teams and leaders praise my work and a part of me is truly amazed.
I got better. I worked harder.
I pushed myself but I had help along the way. After I left that company, I worked for two leaders that believed in me and gave me the reins to push boundaries.
I may not have been fast enough there but under the right leadership, I am the pace setter.

I wrote this WOW to remind you to believe in yourself and bet on you.
Don’t let anyone tell you you’re not good enough or great enough.
Always take constructive feedback and apply it where needed but never give up on you because of someone else.
Imagine if I gave up, the 100’s of candidates that have gone through me may not have the amazing opportunities they have right now.
You are right where you need to be. Slow it down or speed it up but never stop moving.

Please comment, retweet and share. Thank you for your continued support.
You are highly appreciated.

WordsOfWednesday

© 2023 #WhatTheHeckMan

Fiction

Eniiwaju.📍

In previous years, I’ve written this as “random facts about me or get to know me” but it’s January 6th, 2023 – I have been up since about 6am in Ghana for my friends wedding.
I waited till a little past 8 to get dressed and I’m heading to the gym downstairs.
I have just taken my “first naked pictures of the year”. Relaxxxxx!
It’s not really naked from the point of nudes but I’ve tracking my body and my progress for about 9months.
I’d love to see what I look like by Jan 6th, 2024 by God’s grace.But as my birthday approaches, I am reviewing who I am and what I love. So here are 32 things about me, things I have learned and thoughts I have. I hope you enjoy!

  1. I love worship. Specifically African worship. Don’t get me wrong, I love me some Maverick City and Hillsong but how do you translate Ijinle ninu Ijinle where the meaning carries weight?
  2. I enjoy pushing my own boundaries and limits. Whether it’s going heavier at the gym or testing my discipline, I really like seeing how far I can go.
  3. I love learning my body and that has transferred into loving my fitness journey.
  4. I struggle to ask for help. Don’t we all?Those of you that know how to ask for help, please how do you do it?
  5. I am an experience. If you have the privilege of knowing or loving me, just know you’re in for a treat. Nuff said.
  6. I really like cooking and creating new recipes. I don’t even know when I started loving cooking as much as I do but I thank my mom for letting me cook my first pot stew at 9 years old. Since then I have created many things since then and I just want to say thank you to mama Adewus. Check out @chefadewus on Instagram for your food inspirations.
  7. I am currently learning a language and an instrument.
  8. I am the first of 4 children. Being the oldest fills me with pride but Omo e be tins.
  9. My last name is NOT Adewusi.
  10. As I get older, my appetite and ambition continue to increase. I want more out of life and I work harder.
  11. I give the best surprises. Ask about me. BUT I kinda hate surprises. 
With surprises, because of how much work I put into making sure I give the best ones, I think my standards
  12. I lost 54lbs and I decided on March 16th, to absolutely change my physical and mental health and well-being. It’s coming up a year and I’m excited to transfer my disciple, dedication and grit to other areas of my life. Finances, coming for you next!
  13. I really love writing as you can imagine – people call me The Wordsmith but I now hate reading! Actually I don’t hate it, I just don’t know if I have time daily to read anymore. I’m going to try to read more this year.
  14. I love flowers. I typically get them every couple of weeks but I realize that the flowers are simply a symbol of my self love towards myself. Don’t get me wrong a bubble bath and getting your nails done is not the true meaning of self love but the physical can impact the emotional/spiritual. I love walking into my home with fresh flowers, with gel on my fingernails, with lavender in the air, with smooth jazz as my clouds. I love giving Sanmi his flowers, because he deserves all of them.
  15. I schedule cry sessions. I feel a lot when it comes to the world. Empath some people say and sometimes the weight of the world can be too much. So I find time to cry and let it out. Gospel music is the surest vehicle to tears. I don’t even be trying half the time. I’m just here trying to praise God and next thing – wennnnnnnn.
  16. I’m scared of my parents aging. My father turns 70 this year and I am trying to capture every moment with him and my mom. I know God will bless both with long life but damn. Do they really gotta get grey? Fucking biology.
  17. I hate people gossiping about me. Even if it’s positive. Something about it always feels off but I guess it should come with the territory. Because there are times when I find myself sharing positive things about people I know. A few years ago, I decided that I wanted to change many things about my life and one of them was gossiping. It’s so easy to get caught in it.
You’re with your guys/gals and someone’s name comes up. It feels harmless to just talk about them. A few words shouldn’t hurt but it can definitely cause harm. More often than not, we are sharing things that we cannot say in front of them, so I have chosen to be different.
  18. I do not typically dream when I sleep. I realize that if you have been following me for a while, there are some things here that you may have read before.
but yes, I rarely have dreams.
  19. I love the sky. Like a lot.I love pictures of the sun. Sunrises or sunsets. Even random pictures of the sky just warm my heart. Forget God in the heavens for a sec (never forget God o) but I love the sky because it signals hope. I remember growing up either staying at my grandparents or at my uncle’s and aunt’s – when I missed my parents or my family, I would just look up into the sky. Sometimes in the star filled night and rest easy on the promise that the sun always rises in the morning to brighten up the sky.
  20. There is nothing I set my mind to that I cannot achieve – NOTHING. I think it is the fear of failure or the need to never get complacent. I usually find myself tigerishly chasing after new goals. There is something about reminding your mind and body that you got this. 
I love how sometimes my friends tell me that it actually inspires them to chase their own dreams and goals. That is the world I want to live in continuously – so what am I looking to conquer next? 
Mastery of a language, playing an instrument and maybe building out another stream of income. 
Read my report at the end of 2023 and see how far I go.
  21. I can start a conversation with anyone about almost anything. I am sure I picked this up from my dad. I used to watch him go to the dealership or the airport and just strike up a conversation with anyone! 
Frankly as a child, it kind of annoyed me but I see the value in it now. Especially because it happens so naturally, I never find myself begging for the conversation but if it we want to talk about stars or animals or the upcoming elections in Nigeria, I find myself capable of having those conversations. And truthfully, I like that about myself. 
I also think it’s because I remain curious about the world. I am always reading articles and trying to learn more about the world. My travels also help a bit as I always find myself learning from people and picking up new things.
  22. I’m unlearning hardship and choosing ease. 
For those of us that grew up in Nigeria or in other parts of the world and with less than, there was a way we were taught to view the world. You had to grind for everything and not take the things you had for granted. 
I agree and believe that is the right way to navigate the world but I also believe that it sometimes forms a dependency on hardship and it can be hard to unlearn. 
Because of that upbringing, we hold on to hard situations and things that make us grind for happiness. I am looking to unlearn that – especially in 2023 and beyond. We strive for ease.
  23. I really love traveling – growing up, I would watch my father as he watched Discovery Channel or the History Channel. He still loves documentaries so much. 
Somehow, it opened my eyes to the vastness of the world. Every time I travel, I realize how much of the world I have not seen and how small I am in it but also how big my impact can be. 
If you can travel, do it. 
Doesn’t have to be far countries or complex trips – start by exploring your own city and then state, then your country and others around it that you can drive to. You’ll begin to find that you make up a great big world and people are waiting to meet you.
  24. I have the worst motion sickness. I had to put this one here right after the travel one because as much as I love traveling, I HATE the motion sickness I get. 
It is also why I don’t do rollercoasters. I am thankful for Dramamine. I can’t remember where or when I discovered it but it has changed how I travel and ride in cars. If you had bad motion sickness, you should check it out and see if it works for you. 
https://www.dramamine.com/products/motion-sickness-medicine/dramamine-non-drowsy
  25. I struggle with letting people love on me.
In therapy – working on it. Even this birthday, I struggled with letting people do nice things for me. 
It always makes me feel bad that I can sometimes feel emotionally closed off but I want to be better and let people give the love I give to them back to me.
  26. Kindness over everything. 
I believe that kindness should be the most important trait when dealing with people. I don’t think there is enough of it going around the world. 
One goal of mine this year is to show a bit more kindness in every space I occupy.
  27. My favorite word as I get older is IMPACT. If you know me well enough, you’ll know that it drives everything I do and want to do. Are you being impactful in the spaces you occupy?
  28. My favorite meal of all time is spaghetti with my pasta sauce and meatballs. Don’t ask me why but I also like to boil some plantain and an egg in that joint. Tastes heavenly – you should have me make it for you at some point.
  29. I am learning that my depression and mental health challenges don’t make me less of an amazing person.
  30. I really enjoy reading all your comments when I post blogposts. You may not know it but on those dark days, I pull up your comments and sometimes read them, in a way, my art makes me feel seen and I thankful that it resonates with you all. So please never stop commenting and sharing, I appreciate it.
  31. I have incredible music taste. You’ll catch me listening to Neo soul and then rap, then UK rap, then acrobats, then jazz – all of them dey and I love it.
  32. I am grateful for everything I am and everything I have and what is to come. Simple.

Please comment, retweet and share. Thank you for your continued support.
You are highly appreciated.

WordsOfWednesday

© 2023 #WhatTheHeckMan

Fiction

You’ve Changed O

I’ve been taking pictures of the sky a lot lately.
Every morning for the past two weeks, I’ve taken pictures of the sky and the sun as I make my way to the gym.
I love pictures of the sun. Sunrises or sunsets. Even random pictures of the sky just warm my heart.
Forget God in the heavens for a sec (never forget God o) but I love the sky because it signals hope.
I remember growing up either staying at my grandparents or at my uncle’s and aunt’s – when I missed my parents or my family, I would just look up into the sky.
Sometimes in the star filled night and rest easy on the promise that the sun always rises in the morning to brighten up the sky.

My heart has been heavy for a few days now – many conflicting workflows battling for the little bit of happy I have left. Like kilode?!
Anyway, my birthday is in a less than a week and I am actually pretty excited this time around. For various reasons but one really important one, I feel seen.
I enjoy me.
I like me.
On most days.
But I also like that I am evolving and rediscovering who I am and who I want to be. I confirmed something I always knew about myself recently.

LOS ANGELES — FOX Sports personality and Pro Football Hall of Famer Shannon Sharpe had to be escorted from the Crypto.com Arena floor Friday night after an altercation with several Memphis Grizzlies players.
The incident happened shortly after the halftime buzzer when Sharpe yelled at Ja Morant after the final possession of the first half. As Morant was walking off the court toward the locker room, he paused and walked in the direction of Sharpe at his courtside seat.
Before Morant could get any closer, teammate Steven Adams stepped in front of him and approached Sharpe.
Other team personnel, including Morant’s father Tee Morant, got involved as Crypto.com security separated the crowd.
“I bet you won’t!” Sharpe yelled at Tee Morant as the two were pulled away from each other.
Sharpe and Tee Morant are both back in their seats for the second half.


Basically Shannon Sharpe got out of character.
A few days later he apologized on his TV show. I happened to catch the apology and it resonated with me.
You can see the full apology here but something he said stood out to me.
He said – “I’m not going to say that wasn’t Shannon Sharpe because it was, it was just me getting out of character”
Whew!
Many times we apologize for our truth. We see our flaws as something that makes us less but it doesn’t.
I love that I am never too big to apologize when I am wrong and if you are my friend, I would almost always seek to fix things first.
It’s important to be responsible for all of yourself, but it’s even more important to place yourself around people and in spaces that bring the best out of you and not the worst.
If you are constantly around someone and you walk away feeling drained – maybe you need to stop being around them.

I like my evolution but sometimes the growth you have experienced will cause you “pain”.
Because you find yourself standing firmly around people you once knew and they are still in the same emotional spaces. The gap your growth afforded you will also have you feeling sad for them and that is hard.
Lastly, I’ll leave you with this – evaluate all areas of your life and be truthful to yourself.
Peel back some of the layers and you’ll see that some people in your life are just placeholders and sometimes you are one too.

You’ve Changed o
“Sanmi just over here mad all the time”
“If this is who you have become after all these years, then I guess I didn’t miss out on much”
“You’re just like all the other guys out there”


First let me start by saying that you should never let anyone’s perception of you become your reality.
For me, what you think or see as being mean or selfish is choosing to no longer be a people pleaser and putting myself first.
I used to live for validation and external acknowledgment, the moment you start putting yourself first, everyone thinks you’ve changed.
I’ll admit that I wish I heard more voices announcing and validating my worth as a young boy.
I simply didn’t.
As an adult, you can affirm those voices yourself or continue to accept instances, spaces and people that validate your lack of self worth.

Those hard relationships?
The ones that make you write long un-replied essays, make your heart race not into the sunshine but to duck and cover? Those are you reaffirming spaces that make you feel less than you actually are.
You should leave.

——

You’ve become an “influencer” – why do we try to clown people for living the lives they want while living the ones we don’t want.
Being up close to an influencer, you realize it’s not easy.
Delivering and inspiring in an industry that is still finding itself, is hard work and I respect people that do it.
I also respect the fact that these people make their living by living out their creativity and truth.
I don’t think I’m an influencer.
I believe I have talents that I feel grateful and privileged to share with the world but never anything beyond that.
If that leads to influence and bag someday, then so be it.

But I am not a fan of the underhanded compliments or slights at what you do.
It actually brought up something for me regarding a “friend” – I realized that after thinking about all my interactions with said person, I don’t think I have heard them give me a straight forward compliment in years.
It’s wild.
They won’t directly engage your content or work but will say things like “na wa you’re big now o”.

Cracks me up because what if I wanted to become an influencer true true.
There is money there o!
Like serious money and you don’t want me to us the talent I already have to chop from there?
Yeah, you definitely hate me.

Live your life. For you.
Enjoy it.
Make that reel.
Post that pic.
Start that page. You may not think it but you are a true influence. Even if its not to the people closest to you.

——

It’s my birthday next week. I have been working on a special post that I cannot wait to share!
Next week’s post will come out on Tuesday (my birthday) and not Wednesday.
Also, some of you have been asking for my birthday wishlist.
If you are a gift giver and you typically get gifts from your friends, I encourage you to make a list during your birthday period.

It cuts out the tedious guesswork of people trying to figure out what you want or need for your birthday.
For someone like me, my birthday wishlists are basically EVERYTHING I need in this time.
No gimmicks.
So if it’s there, I need it and if you didn’t get it for me, I would have had to use my money to get it.
And why do that?

Anyway, for those that asked for my list here it is – https://www.thingstogetme.com/620500a76b96
PS: If you know me personally and you want to get something but not pay the reservation fee – please message me directly. Thank you!

Please comment, retweet and share. Thank you for your continued support.
You are highly appreciated.

WordsOfWednesday

© 2023 #WhatTheHeckMan

Fiction

Àrólé

It’s 3:30am.
My aunt is on the couch in front of me snoring. On the other couch, my other aunt’s driver is gently snoring.
I bet they are both probably glad that I am awake now because I am pretty sure I snore louder than them.
I’m sleeping on a mattress on the floor for the night and I feel so at peace.
There is a Christmas tree to the right of me leaning on a standing fan.
There’s no light in the house right now because Nigeria but it doesn’t matter.
There’s a ton of food left from the party earlier and lots of love around every corner of this home. That is golden.

As I reflect on the year – and it’s been a hell of a year, all I can say is “Thank God”.
2022 was a year I would describe as simply – restless determination.
Before the year began, I was committed to arresting certain areas of my life. I decided that 2022 would be the year that positioned me for the rest of my life.
I had been doing the work in different areas but this was the year that I wanted to properly channel the same energy in all areas of my life.
I became obsessed with building the forever life I wanted – today.

In this year’s review – I’ll talk about certain areas of my life like I did last year (you can read the 2021 review here), how I did in 2022 while sharing the expected scores of 2023. I want to make it clear, I give myself scores because I am incredibly critical of myself but most importantly, I love to document progress and growth.
It was even while reading last year’s post that I realized that I had done really well for myself and had a great year.
I also will be writing a letter to my Future self for the first time this year. I hope to document what that looks like next year too.

So here we go, my 2022 for you.


2022 Goals for Big Daddy Adewus + How I Did

  1. Pray More – (I did this)
    1. Touch more lives (I believe I did this)
      1. Be kind to me (Definitely flunked at this!)
        1. Enjoy life (I chopped life last year sha)
          1. Argue less, resist the urge to defend yourself (Kinda sorta did this but more can be done here)

Faith:
I am still not convinced that my Pastor is the man to lead me at my church. I love church because of the communion and worship space it provides me but I am not sure I am deeply convinced in the depth of the Pastor as a spiritual leader.
Don’t get me wrong, he’s a great man. Really nice guy.
But something feels off – I find myself zoning out when he preaches. I also think that the fact that he somehow works in “tithe paying” in to EVERY sermon is a huge turn off for me.
It makes me feel like he’s not speaking from a deep place of fellowship with God. How are you preaching about loving your brother and somehow tithe becomes the focus?

All that being said, I enjoyed my growth with God last year. I feel a bit wiser and stronger in him.
I still deeply love worship and I joined a worship collective with some other worship leaders in my local community.
We meet once a month to sing and fellowship together.
I also think that my daily sessions with God while working out have been life changing.
I always feel him near and I communicate directly.
It’s so odd to have a personal communion with God in such a public place but I ain’t mad at it. Where do you hear God the most and the clearest?This year, I want to intentionally pray more. Much of my praying comes from worship – which I guess is not bad but people always make it seem like if you are not a prayer warrior like the MFM church, you are doing it wrong.
I also want God to use me more this year. Amplify my impact in the most amazing ways.
Last but not least, I want my life to reflect that I serve a living God. You may also hear me on one or two projects this year. So stay tuned!

2022 Expected Score: B+
2022 Final Score: B+
2023 Expected Score: A

Fitness:
WOW.
If you read the entry from last year, I was just at the beginning of my fitness journey.
Amazingly, I crushed it.
I think I wanted to go down. My fitness journey because I wanted to prove to myself that I could do it.
I lost a lot of weight in 2013-2014 because I was depressed and heartbroken from a relationship.
But this time around, I didn’t just want to lose weight.
I wanted to change my life – starting with my body. I never went on any fad diets or used supplements. Everything you see is me grinding hard through every rep and pushing myself to the limit.
I lost almost 54lbs last year.
While most of the progress looked like it came from the gym, I can tell you confidently that I won first in the kitchen. Cutting out unnecessary sugars and fatty things was essential for me.
I am not yet at my final form but I am certainly on my way.
Here’s to an even more ridiculous fitness year. Let me know if you want to come on the ride as well!

2022 Expected Score: B+
2022 Final Score: A++
2023 Expected Score: Keep that sameeee energy fam!

Creativity:
Why are we so critical of ourselves?
I was talking to a friend on the phone yesterday as I went through each segment. When I got to this segment, I wanted to give myself a C but then the person added more color to my perspective and changed it.

Last year we had the first video taped episodes of my podcast.
I started my speaking videos on Instagram and TikTok.
I started my food page and while I stopped posting as frequently because of my dieting, I actually did it.
Also 2022 was probably my most active year on my blog since maybe 2019 or 2018.
Plus TheRantsShow did its thing and the annual giveback was another success, so there you go Sanmi.
It was a good year. It can get even better.

I want to make TheRantsShow the most impactful podcast and show with Nigerian hosts and roots this year.
Watch this space.

2022 Expected Score: A
2022 Final Score: B-
2023 Expected Score: B+

Finances:
I didn’t always stick to my budget in 2022.
I spent a lot on trips, travel and time with my friends but I still hit my savings goals.
Part of my goal this year will be to save and keep the money saved. I may need to move things to a separate SEPARATE account. But our goals must be achieved this year.
I mentioned last year that I have big goals and I still do – so diligence this year will be key in all that we do.

2022 Expected Score: A+
2022 Final Score: B
2023 Expected Score: B+

Relationships:
As you get wiser, you discover more of who you are, who you want to be and everything in between.
In 2022, I prioritized my mental health and my place in friendships.
There were some that I cut completely.
Resurrected a few.
Others that I restructured and some that I restricted.

I am still very thankful for the friendships and relationships I have. I feel like I nurtured the ones that needed water and love.
I also learned that in relationships, you can sometimes over water them.
Sometimes you need to tend to the soil with a till and not muddy the soil.

One thing that came up for me in 2022 was that I realized how much I hadn’t been fought for in my life.
I always felt that friends and partners had usually given up on me.
It’s still a few I loosely carry. So I decided that I would fight for me.
To some, it may seem rash or harsh and even extra sometimes but truth be told, I had to look out for me first.
And I encourage you to do the same. Not at the expense of others or while harming others but truly because you have to learn to put you first.
Inverted or not, it is what you put in front of the mirror that looks back at you.
And if you let life have it’s way, it can drain you off the joy you find in people and in yourself.
So yes, 2022 relationship wise required work. It required communication, patience, kindness, honesty and forgiveness.
It was hard but it was real – just ask the scar on my forehead.

2022 Expected Score: B
2022 Final Score: B-
2023 Expected Score: B+


Please comment, retweet and share. Thank you for your continued support.
You are highly appreciated.

WordsOfWednesday

© 2022 #WhatTheHeckMan

Fiction

Move

A few weeks ago, I started making short videos that I post on Instagram and on TikTok.
Somehow I haven’t blown yet 😂 – jk jk
But the hardest part has been staying consistent through it all. This year, I have been grateful for putting myself first, trying new things and reminding myself where necessary, that I am that n**ga.
There are fragments of this life that I have now that I sometimes only come to appreciate much later in the process but truth be told, I have a lot to be grateful for.
Most of all is God’s faithfulness – even when I have been faithless and unfaithful.
It is God, it’s been God and it will always be God.
If you are a believer, stay close to him in everything.

One thing I have always heard growing up is “where there is a will, there’s a way”.
But sometimes we fail to realize that we are in the way.
You’re in the way.
The beauty of letting God’s will be done is stepping aside and stepping up when called up.
Many times, we try to orchestrate, dictate or coordinate our story and frankly, it’s not our place.

The most I can ask is that you live this life for you – according to his plan for you.
I used to worry about what people would think but I realized that I am where I am, not because I did anything special but simply getting out of the way but acting on things where I was led.
“You’re now an influencer” – someone said to me because of my videos.
But the videos are just an extension of my writing.
People will feel how they want to about whatever you do, you just have to act on what you are called to do.
I hope as the year wraps up, you stay still enough to hear what you are called to do and active enough to do them.

“This is not how I expect my Ade to act”

Do you invoke courage in the people you love or fear?
There are some people you meet that awaken more within you. You find yourself being “more” – wanting to give more, be more.
Those people awaken courage within you.
Then there are people that give you cause for pause.
Not because they are bad, but sometimes they may be too good to be true.
When you have unresolved trauma, you can sometimes look at the good things in your life or happening to you as bad things. Things to be cautious about.
It’s not always on you.

For example, you meet someone on social media that you think is a light.
You are drawn to them.
But as you get to know them better, you realize that they are complex.
Suddenly, they are “too friendly” “too social” and you want them to be different.
Not because they have done anything wrong but because you need them to fit your mould, the one you have in your head.
So your internal working model and your narrative stays the same.
I invite you to challenge yourself this week and going forward. Let your actions, your kindness, your love – let them all spark courage in people.
Let them want to love more because of you.

This week, I am working on –

  • Getting better at replying text messages. You are probably waiting on a reply from me right now tbh and I apologize. I’m a work in progress
  • Getting better at trusting early:- I functionally have an expectation of people hurting me (yes, we are talking about it in therapy” but I want to try to expect the best from people when I meet them. Lose guard? Nah but I’d love for the guard to not always be up. What are you working on?

If you enjoy my WordsOfWednesday, then you’ll probably really like my videos on Instagram and TikTok.
Please enjoy them here and follow me. Also sharing all my content helps!
Thanks!

See you all next Wednesday. Please share this piece with your friends and family and on social media – Twitter, IG, Snapchat and so on.
Thanks!

The Wordsmith,
Master of Cliffhangers.

Please comment, retweet and share. Thank you for your continued support.
You are highly appreciated.

WordsOfWednesday

© 2022 #WhatTheHeckMan

Fiction

The Reframe

Reframing things

There is something they say about meeting your heroes.
I went to a high school in Nigeria owned by the Redeemed Christian Church of God where my parents were Pastors.
I liked my experience at the school and at the time Pastor Adeboye was a hero to me.
Over the years, I continue to appreciate his standing and his impact in the lives of Nigerians, Africans and Christians worldwide but I most certainly cannot say that he is still a hero for me.
I have met him up close a couple of times – I am pretty sure he doesn’t remember. He has met millions of people over his long life.

In a few weeks, he’s coming to my neck of the woods.
All the churches in the area have suggested people to build out a mass choir and my name was mentioned.
For my efforts and my abilities, I assumed or expected to be one of the leads.
Somehow I was not selected as a lead but as a backup(I don’t think our choir mummy likes me but subject for another day)
I immediately got in my feelings – especially because both of the rehearsals are almost two hours away.
I was very annoyed.
But I met this amazing soul a few months ago and they thought me the power of reframing.
Frankly, I think they reframe a little too much but I truly appreciated their perspective on trying to see the positives in things.
I started considering the simple fact that, truth be told, it’s possible that I may not have been selected at all.

The reframe gave me a reason to be grateful for my talent period.
But also be grateful to be called.
I can sometimes struggle to reframe into the positive and it’s something I am working on but I wanted to share with you all.
There will be a lot of times where the world tries to knock you down but being able to stop and reframe might be one step out of navigating through a difficult situation.
And funny enough, I am currently now in line to lead one of the main songs because the other guy chosen can’t make it.
Look at God – I’ll report back to see if I actually end up leading.

Do you have any phobias?
I really HATE cats but I also hate raccoons. I was rushing out of the car to avoid raccoons and cracked top of cologne bottle. It fell and I broke it.
So it got me thinking – what things out there are you all afraid off?
Please share in the comments below.

See you all next Wednesday. Please share this piece with your friends and family and on social media – Twitter, IG, Snapchat and so on.
Thanks!

The Wordsmith,
Master of Cliffhangers.

Please comment, retweet and share. Thank you for your continued support.
You are highly appreciated.

WordsOfWednesday

© 2022 #WhatTheHeckMan

Fiction

The Conversations of One

I am always interrogating myself.
Not in the “sitting in a holding area” type of way but I frequently find myself asking and trying to understand the “why” behind my thoughts and actions.

My office/team has started a slow reintegration back into the office. We are not encouraged to come in once a week – Tuesdays.
I know, I know. Boooo 🍅🍅🍅🍅🍅
Honestly, it hasn’t been the worst thing ever, even though I will say I still prefer working from home.
This morning, I was folding my laundry in the laundry room and I realized that I haven’t booked my rental car for my drive into the office.
I am heading into the head office tomorrow and it’s approximately an hour’s drive.
My car has been giving signals of having an issue, so I typically try not to drive it for further trips.

My roommate and guy best friend on the other hand just bought a brand new very sexy whip.
Status car.
My brain briefly went “why don’t you just ask him to borrow you his car?” – before his new buy, he had a more rundown version.
The Nigerian in him used the last money in that car. He would sometimes borrow my car to run quick errands, so asking to borrow his car shouldn’t be weird right?
The next thought in my head was now the one that I interrogated, it went like this…
“For as close as we are (13years of friendship) and the fact that he’s used mine before, he should let me use his car and if he doesn’t, then hmmm. Maybe we are not best friends like that”
Yup.
That was the thought.
But here’s the thing, thoughts like that are not uncommon. As a matter of fact, they show you are human.
And they also lend to the biblical idea that the heart of man is desperately wicked. Despite how well-intentioned it might be on the surface.

I quickly dispelled the thought but it reminded me of why I always ask the why of people when they ask certain things.
Mostly my lady best friend tbh.
Questions like – “do you think we are still best friends or do you feel like you respect me?”
I ask the “why” because many times, those questions are not rooted in curiosity but in fear/unhappiness/insecurity.
My mind asked the question about the car in a way to almost test the strength of my relationship with my best friend and that shouldn’t be the case.
I know my position in his life, so why did I almost way to put him to a test that my mind secretly hoped he would fail?
This is why I encourage you and I to always ask the “why” within the things/questions we ask.

For me, it’s a chance to discuss the motivations and intentions behind what my mind/heart is questioning.
Sometimes, the thoughts are unhealthy and unhelpful.
It always you to objectively discuss with yourself before advancing.
Truth be told, he may not feel comfortable letting me use the car. Don’t get me wrong, I am a great driver but the car is expensive.
If you sef drop 6bands on a car, you’d feel hesitant to let anyone outside yourself drive the car like that.
I know I may feel uncomfortable as well driving the car because of the pressure, so odds are, I would actually rent one for myself to ease my stress.
But yes, stop trying to test your relationships with the hope that they fail. If they are real and genuine relationships, chances are that life will give you checkpoints to evaluate the strength of the relationships anyway.
And my bet is that in the most organic ways, you will pass.
But also if and when they “fail/falter” it won’t be because you used your hands to influence the demise of something you so carefully built.

Anyways, time to head to the gym. It’s 9:15am and I am running “late”.
Another reason I like working from home. How many times will you get the chance to actually be entering the gym at past 9am?
We move sha.

I hope this week, you are having reasons to smile and feel loved.
Don’t use your own hands to ruin the things you love. The world is already built to do that for you anyways.
Keep growing and shining – till next time.
Stay up!

Update: he let me use his car and I was terrified the whole time I drove it. For starters, it’s a German machine! And it cost a lot of money but also because I was traveling on a less traveled route. Anyway, it was a day.
And thankfully, my mind lost this battle.

See you all next Wednesday. Please share this piece with your friends and family and on social media – Twitter, IG, Snapchat and so on.
Thanks!

The Wordsmith,
Master of Cliffhangers.

Please comment, retweet and share. Thank you for your continued support.
You are highly appreciated.

WordsOfWednesday

© 2022 #WhatTheHeckMan

Fiction

Paper Boats

Even paper boats can float, till they can’t anymore.

There were days I would stay up late building castles with you
Home of gold with you

Rooms filled with play and tickle
Filled with love, lust, and passion
I would fight sleep to sit with you
Then give in to my dreams because I would get to be with you
Now I can’t sleep
My heart pinches with pain
And it’s all because of you

Life is fast but progress can be slow. Do what you can now, move the needle now

The other day I was thinking about how I started my weightloss journey in the middle of March. I was sooo annoyed that I didn’t feel like I was seeing significant progress till like July and then suddenly, it was as if I was just peeing all the fat away.
Then my mind got used to expecting that type of speedy impact. But that’s not real life.
The reality is that life is sooo fast. So much is happening daily and at an incredible rate but the goal should be what you can now and keep going, your impact will eventually snowball down the road. Sometimes it takes meeting the right energy/person/situation to realize great impact but don’t use the fact that life is moving fast, to not move.
For example, fitness folks will tell you that doing a daily work of 15 minutes will have a lasting impact than doing a 1hr workout once a month. Just move the needle today, however small. Your whole being will be grateful for it.

3 ways to get and maintain internal and external happiness

Relationships are everything

you usually get your first job because you know someone. Be that bonding agent for the next person. Pour into your relationships, friendships and more. I am realizing as I get older that more than what you have saved or not saved, I am happy about the human beings I call home in my life. They are all invaluable currency to me. Cherish that. Some people spend their whole lives looking for meaningful connections. If you have them, appreciate them. This is your cue to text or call that person you have been meaning to call. Life is also too damn short. Do it!
NOW.

Keep learning and figuring out new ways to learn

Pause.
What have you learned recently? What new thing have you picked up or learned that has improved you?It is not a major prerequisite to life but a sure way to stay happy/encouraged/motivated and growing is by continuing to learn every day.
Someone recently told me about how I know a “little about many things” and I laughed.
I certainly picked that up from my father. He knows a lot about a lot of different things.
But I love learning new things – it’s why I love history, discovery and animal channels. I am always trying to absorb new things about the world I live in and my place in it. Find something new to learn today. Preferably not work-related and let me know in the comments what it is.

Be a problem solver and innovator – use your privilege.

It is very likely that you hold some privilege, whatever marginalized group you are a part of.
Understand what that privilege is and how you can take that into the world to make it better.
For example, I am a black man in America. They are literally trying to kill us every day.
But I am also a black educated man in tech in America with some resources, so I am using that to try and better the lives of kids in Nigeria and other parts of the world.
It may not be a lot but to those 100+ kids and families, it is much. Find your privilege and make it the gift you give others. PS: if you will like to be part of the @TheRantsShow’s Annual Giveback happening in Nigeria every December, leave me a comment or message me. Fundraising will start very shortly!

See you all next Wednesday. Please share this piece with your friends and family and on social media – Twitter, IG, Snapchat and so on.
Thanks!

The Wordsmith,
Master of Cliffhangers.

Please comment, retweet and share. Thank you for your continued support.
You are highly appreciated.

WordsOfWednesday

© 2022 #WhatTheHeckMan

Fiction

Regardless, Upon Still

“Gas going up on a Wednesday!”

“How does that affect me?”
I said as I stood in my kitchen looking at my phone. My friend on FaceTime was trying to explain to me how the price of gas could be making things difficult for people around the US and the energy crisis in the UK affecting my friends and family.
I can’t relate.
Yes, I know things have gotten more expensive and much is tighter for folks but I truly can’t always relate.
I had to check my privilege.

I know this first hand because about a decade ago or maybe even half a decade ago, I was buying gas on credit and anticipating overdraft fees.
Now, I pull into the gas station without caring about how much it costs.
Not that I still won’t try to buy it where cheaper but the reality for me is that if it is $5.49/gal or $5.99/gal, I will still buy it because I can afford it and it does not make that much of a dent in my pocket.
Truth is, a lot of people care about how much it costs and it does affect more people than it does me.

I appreciated the conversation with my friend because while I believe myself to be self-aware, I still recognize that blind spots are everywhere.
So stay active in checking your privilege and how you move through spaces.
It’s a never-ending part of life and growth.

Pressure is a privilege and a gift

Have you ever been in a place/space where expectations of you were dead on arrival? Like people just did not expect you to amount to anything or be able to do something? Minds already made up for you about things and your capabilities. I recently got to listen to the legendary Billie Jean King and in her talk, there were a few things that jumped out to me.
One was the concept that pressure is a privilege and a gift.
Think of it like this, imagine being on a sports team (maybe the one you were on in high school) that was so bad you lost every game.
Then you face the biggest and best team in the country – all the reports are about how much they will beat you.
On both sides, you can factor in how pressure might be a privilege and a gift – on the side of the “bad team”, no one expects anything of them and that can be a gift because they can go in and enjoy themselves. On the side of the better team, the pressure to win and win convincingly is a privilege.

I don’t want to live a life where no one expects greatness from me.
I demand it.
I like that with the skills I have in life, people expect something from me. 
Now we should all be cautious to ensure that the pressure does not overwhelm or drown us, but the pressure is welcome and should be used as fuel for greater things.

What area of your life are you grateful that people expect a lot of you?

About the Wordsmith

Apologies for missing the post last week – I am learning to prioritize myself a bit more as I shared a few weeks ago.
Last Wednesday I was watching my fave Jacob Banks in San Francisco and boy did we have a night! One day, I’ll gist you all.
But yeah, I was at the concert thinking, I could just pull up the WordPress app and post while standing front row, and then I decided not to.
I know some of you look forward to reading this every week and I apologize but your boy had a great time sha.
And I hope you enjoyed reading this week’s post.
Also, I am making my full foray into completely going bald – I groomed myself and shaved all my hair last week.
I loved it.
Just soft launching my 2023 and beyond look, so get ready for it.

For those wondering, I am doing well. I feel lighter than I have for most of the year but I am still working through things.
We will all figure it out together, so thank you for being here always and for your comments and sharing.
Till next time, we gather dey!

See you all next Wednesday. Please share this piece with your friends and family and on social media – Twitter, IG, Snapchat and so on.
Thanks!

The Wordsmith,
Master of Cliffhangers.

Please comment, retweet and share. Thank you for your continued support.
You are highly appreciated.

WordsOfWednesday

© 2022 #WhatTheHeckMan

Fiction

Grow Up

Nobody tells you how uncomfortable growing can be and how much you lose if you don’t evolve.

As you get older, what do you really want?
Over the past few months, I have been reviewing certain situations in my life and how they have been shaped.
My weekends for example are on two completely different extremes – I am either in another state or even country or I am laid up in bed watching Oga Sabinus videos with no plan at all.

I like the quiet, and the occasional dash to another city or country.
I like the feeling of warmth I get from directly interacting with my friends and loved ones. There was a time when I wanted to be liked by many. Now I crave being respected by those that matter and those I make room for in my heart.
Lately, I have been thinking about what I want now as an older man than when I was younger.
Some I would expand on, others I would just state the headline

Intentionality

I think I have written here many times that the word that truly drives me is impact. I live for impact.
I want to be impactful in all the spaces and areas of my life.
But how does that translate into my relationships?
When I was younger, I just wanted someone to listen when I spoke or when I shared. Now I want someone that listens and acts.
There has to be an intentional element of every aspect of relationships.
I have come to realize that it is not enough to just exist in our dynamics, we have to act.

There might have been a time where I just wanted a partner I could vent to. Now, I believe I want one that can act on my frustrations if needed and hold me accountable where appropriate.

Loyalty – with respect and reevaluation

Gone are the days of us staying friends because we used to go to Nigerian Student Association parties.
There requires more than that to loyalty – its the consistent trust, leaving space for growth, mistakes and all-round support of each other.
Not present? Biko shift.

Honesty and Practicality

I think it’s only right that as we grow and evolve, people are appreciate the value of honesty and communication between friends and family. Lately, I had an unexpected conversation about how I felt regarding a situation where someone hurt me. People have been calling for me to forgive and let it go but I never felt I had anything to let go of.
The conversation sparked more for me though – we spend so much energy trying to get the hurt/maligned/abused to let go of their pain.
Granted we all fall short but shouldn’t the feelings of the person hurt be protected?

I’ll use an analogy – imagine you go out of town for the weekend and you let your friend stay at your place.
You come back and find out they stole from you. Do you ever let them back in?
Oftentimes, someone hurts and steals from us but our closest friends simply ask us to leave the locks unchanged and let them back in.
No thanks.
I’m setting an alarm and a Ring system. Want to get close to me or mine again, text abeg.

Random Musings
Importance of Self Care

Over the last couple of weeks, I have spent a bit of time at the hospital. Routine checks but also following up on some concerns I had.
In that time, I realized that the value of sleep and rest should not be understated.
Many of us grind and work sooo hard for many months out of the year and sometimes look out for the big vacations we take once a year.
I don’t find that sustainable. We don’t sleep enough. I don’t sleep enough.
I am at the age now where I worry quite a bit about a few different things.
So where is the self-care?
It’s not only in the boba tea you get yourself every other week. Sorry Matcha gang!
It’s about listening to your body, and your heart, pouring into your cup in the ways you know that speak to you.
Getting enough sleep, putting sunscreen on your neck, ignoring negativity + gossip, drinking water and minding your business.
That and more is putting yourself in care.

Your Friends are Your Friends, their Friends are NOT your Friends

I love to watch how people act when relationships end. The split is actually interestingly comical. Everyone needs to go through it at least once, so you know how it goes.
Some people adore you when you are with their friends. Maybe by extension or because they really respect who you are.
But when the relationship or friendship ends, even in the most amicable ways, everyone picks sides.
And I find that fascinating because more parties are biased and they usually cap for their friends.
But if you loved your friend, you would tell them the truth.
Like if he took his eyes off the prize, tell him. Not just stop talking to her.
Sister, what if your friend was the reason the relationship ended? But now you subbing him instead of helping your own friend grow and be better?
It’s always hilarious to observe but such is life. Everybody ehn? Do better. Tainz!

Grow Up

If your default is confrontation with people all the time or feeling like you need to start shit to show how nonchalant you are, you are the one who actually needs a hug – it’s giving damaged and hurt on the inside. Do better.
Nuff said.

See you all next Wednesday. Please share this piece with your friends and family and on social media – Twitter, IG, Snapchat and so on.
Thanks!

The Wordsmith,
Master of Cliffhangers.

Please comment, retweet and share. Thank you for your continued support.
You are highly appreciated.

WordsOfWednesday

© 2022 #WhatTheHeckMan