No, means no

I shut down today. In the middle of it all – I broke down and shut down.

It started in the morning (or one morning) when an Ex called and asked to speak to me. Something in me said I  should just shut him down right there and then. But, he insisted, so in the only way I know how, I gave him a listen. And for a (brief) few minutes I zoned out. He went about his ramblings, telling me this and telling me that. Re stating how sorry he was about x, y or z – Things I had heard before. I forgave him (a while ago) and then again in that instant and then thought that would be it. But he had more to say (funny because he never spoke so much then), so I told him that he would have to clear his conscience with God (because this was beyond me) – I was out. He heard what he wanted to hear, and then alluded to us getting back together and again, that, was a firm NO. That chapter was closed. And slowly I began to shut down.

I wondered what it was about me that made it impossible for them, for him to stay? What was it about me that made me not enough for them, for him in the instant? And why did he, they always come back seeking redemption? I wondered what it was about me, that made it ok for them to come stumbling back? With more excuses and reasons? What was it about me or them, or him, that made it reasonable to assume that I would listen? Again and again and again.

I shut down today, realizing that I was a yes girl and all my “yes’S” kept, keep getting me trouble (more trouble than I could, can handle anymore). I shut down today because I understood how empowering that two letter word can be. How hard it must feel (just in that instant) but how good it gets. How liberating and invigorating  ‘no’ really is.

I sat at work,  a little depressed about everything that was wrong in my life, but remembered words from a friend –  words that said: “why you acting all damaged? Why you acting like you’ve never loved or been loved?” I remembered that there was me, a me before all this, a me that knew my worth. A ME who could say No and stop acting like the world was over.

Then people kept on asking me for things. Piling work on my desk, expecting me to go above and beyond as I often find myself doing. I shut down today and said no. When they asked me to complete a report that I was not expected to do, I said No. When they told me to conduct a meeting I was not scheduled for, I said No and everything they asked for today, I said no to. The more I said no the more empowered I felt and the more encouraged I was to continue to say No.

I shut down today for all the yes’S that I gave in the past. For laying down so much and watching them walk all over me. I shut down today because no matter how low I got they still found a way to ask me to be flat. I shut down today because I realized they respected MY ‘no’ more than they did my yes. I shut down today because I was tired. I was exhausted, and I simply wanted a break.

So when family wanted me to help with a project I said, I had no time, when a close friend asked if I could listen to her problems I said, “no not today”.  And when that really cute Guy asked me out for coffee I said “nope not today” (Hoping that maybe someday when I am ready he would ask again). When another ex asked if I wanted to talk, i started to talk and then said, “no not now, maybe not ever” (let’s break unnecessary cycles). When a guy whose been trying to hit at/on me kept blowing up my whatsapp with messages, I said, “I am done, stop sending me messages”, when he asked why, I responded “I am tired of pretending,  keeping you around until I feel like I might be interested in you”. When that random man assumed that I was ok being his side chic, I said, “no, never” and when I asked myself if I was ok, I said ‘no’ and that made me all of a sudden Okay.

I shut down today and returned to my shell. A place I had not visited in a while.

I shut down today, not knowing when I would re-boot.

And when I least expected it, I re-set, understanding that I was fine and that I needed the break,  and that no amount of YESs would make me better or happy!

Be like Nims,

Shut Down today and say No

This is a PSA brought to you by Nims Mayers


#ConversationsWithRudi: 3 Key Ingredients of a Relationship

Sometimes it feels like the Naked Truth says one thing today and then back pedals another, personally, I like to think of it as being able to convey and speak from different perspectives. We aim to bring you different truths In our own words. We never expect you to agree with them, but we like to engage and spark conversations, because we believe it makes us all better individuals.

In the quest to foster these discussions, I have decided to start a new thread entitled #TNT #ConversationsWithRudi. Rudi is one of my most trusted people, (helps that he is also my cousin) but really, what it is, is that he and I are able to freely talk about anything and bounce ideas off each other. This thread may feel often like an insider conversation but essentially relives his thoughts (appearing in bold; disclaimer: only the paragraphs or phrases in BOLD are ‘explicitly’ his, I would hate to attribute things he may not think to him), My responses to him, and often my own views and thoughts are everything else – it is basically a flourished re-transcription of our talks.

For this first post, I opted to go with the key ingredients for a relationship (I like to think, a successful one at that). These thoughts are often based on our own experiences, readings and exchanges with various people and ourselves.

These are the ingredients we have come up with, which are in no way a manual set in stone. Both parties should ideally adhere to this, as a one-sided balance of power may topple things in a whole different direction.

  1. Self-awareness – knowing what you are good and not good at. What’s important to you, your values and who you are Rudi seems to believe that you must understand who you are to know where you are going. And I have to agree with him. This exercise in self-awareness I believe is a solid foundation for your values, expectations and eventually your tolerance on a whole myriad of issues. It plays a critical role in defining who you are and what you want. A very much younger version of me once got into a relationship because I (thought) needed someone (at my side) [stupid decision in retrospect] but from that relationship, I quickly learned that unless I already know what I want and who I am, chances are I will always sway with the wind… it was an arduous few months of trying to be someone I was not, and always trying to please the other. You are only effective and instrumental to the relationship when you know.
  2. Relentless desire to communicate – desire to always share what’s on your mind, good or bad . People shouldn’t be guessing Personally, I struggle with this the most, maybe because In the past I have trusted and been hurt, I have given much and received very little in return [although we must give without expecting to receive]. But, I do see where Rudi is coming from. You have to build the relationship on utter trust and that involves showing yourself both in the good and bad light. But it goes beyond trust, it is really a question of sharing, sharing your lives. Ultimately, your other half, should never be left guessing or wondering what could have, should have or isn’t. In a not so distant past, I was faced with this and unfortunately I did not handle it well. When your partner, the person you aspire to be with finds out things on their own, they feel they could have heard from you, a broken link entrusts. This is a tough one, I like to think, however, that this is something that can be worked on, it may not happen overnight. Everyone doesn’t always have that incline, and this is where patience must best be exercised. As a relationship begins and grows, the learning curve also grows. The relentless desire to communicate will always prove to help to overcome those many barriers you face.
  3. A natural desire to learn about the other persons’ interests and desires. This one goes without saying I think, but, must be reiterated. The key word here is natural. IT must not be a chore, coerced or rehearsed. And as the relationship grows I think it becomes easier and even more necessary. To take an interest in the other is one of the purest and easiest forms of affection.  This may often mean putting the other person above you. It may also mean recognizing and understanding you do not have the same triggers and that could be cause for misunderstanding, but it essentially comes full circle as it means learning to know the other, sometimes even better than yourself.


Chances are if you are reading this, we hope you’ve got it right and that we have too. And if you don’t perhaps you learned the hard way like some us, no matter, just hit the reset button and learn to work on those things you may be inadequate in. These are simply our thoughts. It won’t always be easy, but we agree that if a person (as two individuals in the relationship) makes the conscious effort, there is no stopping the success of the relationship. Nota bene: I did mention to Rudi however, that I believe that relationships are based about 80% on luck… this is to say that if something was not meant to be, no amount of salt and all the above will change much (I am a realist like that lol). I’m curious to hear from the #TNT family, what are your ingredients and how have they influenced your relationships? Join us in the conversation #TNT #ConversationsWithRudi 

Divorce is Not an option

If you remove the option (of divorce) then the only thing left for you is to make it work. A while back I was watching Will Smith on an episode of Ellen Degeneres  [Editors note: looks like the link is no longer working, however, you can watch the family on Oprah and their schooling us about (their) relationship here]. The link was just ‘visual aid’, my message remains] So, W.Smith when asked by Ellen why his marriage to Jada has stayed strong all these years, he said,  “we removed divorce as an option“. As simple as that. We all know it’s not as simple as that, but I like to think that it is perhaps a key to marriage these days. Let me explain.

I have said it before, commitment is not sacred enough anymore. Furthermore, young people today seem to know and believe that if it doesn’t work out then I walk away, divorce/separation becomes an OPTION for them, and they seem to think they have a myriad of options.

I’ve heard people tell me that women are educated today, that essentially means that they can work and secure reasonable financial security, this, in turn, makes them “independent” (we all know I hate that word) and consequently, makes them volatile enough to walk away or not invest as much as they would or should.

You could give me dozens of reasons why marriages don’t work and why people get separated. Today I feel like I can give you just one: they KNOW they can walk away.

I challenge every couple that is preparing to get married to put in a clause that does NOT give them an option to divorce, it will do one of two things’; make them THINK HARD about what they are getting into, make them realise whether or not they are getting married for the RIGHT reasons and two if faced with the hard times, knowing that divorce is not an option, with their backs against the wall, they will have to fight, fight back and fight strong.

It seems rather drastic, but I like to think that we do our best work when we have no option but to go left or right. The divorce rates in our societies are sky rocketing. Bad choices? Having it as an option? Impatience? More statistical data? Myth? Not built like our parents? What is it? Talk to me.


The Men in My Life: My family

For the longest time, God played tricks on me, making me believe that I would be the only girl in a family of four boys. He was clearly trying to toughen me up or something. Fact is, through the years, I quickly developed easier relationships with the male genre, and through the good and bad, there are men in my life who have just played the role a sister would have played. I thank God for my one and only biological sister, and all the other women and sisters he put on my path. But really, I like to talk about the men in my life and how they have influenced me (positively and rarely but surely negatively too).

I have been writing about the men in my life for a few years now. There’s  a few posts you can find here. For every one of the posts I have modelled it on a masculine figure in my life who has somehow influenced me. It has been a fun experience, and sometimes I re-read them just to have a good laugh. To remember loves and encounters past, or the jokers that have put a smile on my face. I am hoping to write my final series soon enough (because truth is I have told you about all the memorable ones so far): obviously, it will be entitled THE MAN IN MY LIFE (lol). I hope to be able to find the embodiment of my heart’s desire in one, and the one man who encompasses the good and the bad I have known through my existence on this marvellous here earth.

But for now, this one goes out to the men who are my family. From my father(s) and father figures, to my biological brothers and adopted brothers, those men who are either my cousins or friends of my brothers, those men who feel the need to protect me regardless. Who would fight battles for me out of pure and untainted love. I thank you all, too many to mention, but here are some of your stories.

Before I write that final chapter, whenever that will be, I want my second last #MenInMyLife post to be about my family.

A lot of times, I find one of these in each of them, or ALL in just one. But these ones are special because of their perfect timing.

My father and all the men how have been generous enough to be fathers to me: For their unconditional love, devoted protection, and strong counsel, I am infinitely grateful! I like to say there is no me without him, but clearly no us without every single one of them. To my dad and my fathers, because a father Is not just the biological one, I say thank you for your constant high expectations of me.  And for making a little girl a princess for life.

My Cheerleader: This is the one man for whom I can do no wrong. It doesn’t matter how many times I mess up, or don’t. It doesn’t matter that I haven’t accomplished all the things I set out to do, this man always cheers me on. He is my personal pep squad, always with the right words, always encouraging me and always just darn right there. I love this one, because he makes me feel good, even when I am at my lowest, and I know I can always count on him to put a smile on my face.

My reality check: Unlike the cheerleader, this one has a smart mouth on him. Often times, I avoid him when I’m trying to delude myself. But why I appreciate this one so, because he tends to tell me like it is, whether I like it or not. The truth is, he has saved me from many a complicated situations. You know the kind of bull that us women like to sugar coat, well Mr. RC won’t let it happen. I have had memorable nights with this one.

The papa bear: Just like it sounds, papa bear is always on ‘protection’ (overload) duty. I think sometimes he thinks I am going to break. And the hardest thing for him has been to see me grow up and become like he says ‘a woman’. I think the day he meets the man that will eventually pull me from his grasp, he will have a sit down and “talk’. I don’t know that he will do much talking but probably more growling, scolding and scorning. I love me papa bear because no matter how old I get, he still tries to pinch my cheeks, ruffle up my hair  or just treats me like I was still 5.

My ride or die: this one will come into town and call, won’t matter what it is I am doing, he  always has something for us to do. He will take me out all night, till the early dawn. Drinks and food, combined with copious amounts of laughter. We will laugh at those women who try to approach him, but hesitate (thinking I must be the girl) and then he will encourage those men who try to hit on me (while secretly laughing at the ones he thinks have no chance). Ride or die, is my girlfriend but in the body of a man. And the next day, when my head aches, he will tell me”: we do it (all over) again tonight?

The protector: Just like papa bear, this one thinks I can break, Everywhere we go, he stands at 6+ft tall and checks out the competition (well not that he is competing, but he has decided no one is good enough). His side eye game is so strong, and he has been known to walk me through crowds at the club just so I wouldn’t be ‘bothered’. I avoid him when I’m trying to have a scandalous night out with the girls. Because just as he protects me, he does the same with my girls. But we love him so, we have the strength of a thousand men when we are with him.

The grinch aka my sometimes enemy: He his own special kind of brand. I should not do anything, anywhere, anytime. I was born to be home and take care of the kids. His philosophy. Works for his women, but sometimes I have to remind him I am not his woman. His rules are made for them. He is simply my brother and friend, and  trying to change or model me really won’t work. Why I love him so? Not sure, but probably because he has always been consistent and when I watch him with his lady, I secretly hope that I find someone who grounds me so.

My ‘personal’ clown: the polar opposite of the grinch, this one is my very own Kevin Hart. His mission in life; make me smile and laugh all the damn time. If he ever has a conversation with me and I don’t laugh, he does not feel accomplished. I run to him on the bad days and sometimes the good, because his jokes can do me no wrong. Ever!

The inconsistent one/mess: Now this one enjoys my company today and then the company of another tomorrow. He is inconsistent in everything. I can’t count on him for much, but when he is around he gives 110%, as if to compensate for this erratic behavior and his soon to approach disappearing act. What is it about this one that allows me to keep letting him back in? I do not know. His charm? I think his inconsistency, bridges a gap and fills the void of some of my faults – relativism much? I can’t be that bad, if he is.

I could go on, but these are the loyalists, never a dull moment with them. And what they mus tknow and understand is that I lean on them more so ever than they could ever lean on me. If you want to know the value of a good man/brother/father in your life? Ask someone who has never had one. As I write my last few words on the #MenInMyLife I say to you all, cherish them, appreciate them and above all love them (sometimes we don’t give them enough).

Tell me about the men in your life on this #InternationalMensDay


Most people say that relationships are based on x, y and z. I call “bullshit”. I sometimes like to think that all you need is compatibility (and 80% luck).  Interesting enough, infatuation or love is often confused for compatibility, it’s one thing to be completely obsessed and engrossed by a person and it’s another to have a bond, understanding beyond the measure and visual of the naked eye. Unfortunately, I truly believe that not everyone experiences this feeling in their lives. Sad, but true. It is not so much about finding a soul mate but rather about fitting the right key into the keyhole; that is the best analogy I have for the understanding of compatibility (some might say that’s what a soul mate is, for me that’s a divine concept).

It is often experienced on two levels: Emotional and Physical (sexual or otherwise).  But there is also the intellectual compatibility, this one is often reserved for like minds and rarely plays a defining role in a relationship if you ask me (it may play a sacred one in emotional infidelity)… Rarely in my opinion, do you connect with someone who does not challenge you intellectually or at least pokes at your curiosity. Emotional & sexual on the other hand…

Emotional compatibility engages all aspects of the social aura around two people. Have you ever seen a couple that has their own private little jokes? Those that finish each other’s sentences, that seem to understand what the other wants and that have that elusive thing called “chemistry”? I have, and am happy to say I have lived it. That thing isn’t just called love, because sometimes even when love is no longer there, they still have it. I wish it onto anyone who has never experienced it, because ‘it’ to me is indescribable. It is a friendship deeper than the sea, it is a bond bolder than the ocean, it is an understanding crazier than a kickboxing fight… IT is what it is.  Like most things, it can grow and it may wither, but experience has shown that once it’s there it lasts forever, or whatever really really long is called.  It isn’t always about liking the same things or doing the same things – often it is more about understanding best the things about your partner that they fail to understand themselves. When you’re no longer together, it is still knowing when something is not right with the other, it is reading their minds before they realise that is what you are doing. It sounds pretty fairy tale-ish but what other words could I give it?  Don’t get me wrong, a relationship CAN work without a 100% compatibility, but it COULD last even more with it.

Sexual compatibility on the other hand, is tricky. I believe you either have it or you don’t. And like everything else when it isn’t there it can make for a nasty relationship. However, it does boil down to what is on your priority list. Contrary to the other forms of compatibility, this one is perhaps the one that can be tuned by human input, because it is possible to “ameliorate” sexual compatibility (perhaps I will devote another post to it). If love exists within a relationship, it is possible to make the sexual chemistry more acceptable.  Consequently, this is the one compatibility element that can survive independently. Some people have relationships based solely on this; evidently, these relationships are limited only to sex.

Why have I gone on and on about it today, because I think every relationship deserves to have compatibility, without it the relationship might disappoint you.  Why compatibility you might ask, for 3 reasons: understanding, compromise and chemistry.

  1. Understanding: it is so difficult to live with someone day in and day out, and most of the time you have to understand their mood swings, contemplate their moves… With compatibility I believe this task is rendered much easier. I believe that the “bond” you share makes it so that on those days when to everyone else your partner seems foreign, you having a yearning deep inside that tells you it will get batter and it is never that serious.
  1. Some will say that compromise is possible without compatibility… Possible, but it is enhanced with it. Why? Simply because of that inexplicable connection… This all sounds like gibberish huh? Think about conflict resolution – that pull allows you to bend in ways that few can; because essentially you are always trying to find that initial balance you both share and one won’t be at peace until the other is. As I said, it sounds fairy tale-ish. Anyone can go for compromise but few will be happy with it.
  1. Chemistry – whatever that may mean to you, is to me very closely associated to your similarities when it comes to issues of personality, issues of religion, money, politics (the touchy subjects), sex – here similarity doesn’t mean “exactly alike”, it just means like minded. Complimentary in most cases. Chemistry can be physical, emotional, intellectual, spiritual….it is that thing no one can really explain.

I guess when you listen to me, compatibility is so elusive huh? And there is no true definition to it…

My expert advice ends here, am an edutainer not a doctor. The one thing you should have in a relationship is “compatibility” – because when everything else fades, that is ‘attraction’, there has to be something that you can rely on. And that thing for me is COMPATIBILITY

#NakedTruth: If you are just looking to have some good old fun then find a sexually compatible partner – but remember sex isn’t everything! Wait a minute, am I promoting promiscuity? This is a naked truth y’all and am out. Be safe.

Will you love, suffer and support?

Below are testimonies from various women. These women perhaps don’t know where to turn to anymore. How would you respond to them?

“My husband comes home drunk every day. And when I try to ask him where he has been he gets violent. He doesn’t quite hit me, but he shouts and throws me around. I don’t know what to do.”

“I recently found the receipt to a hotel room in the jacket of his suit. I wasn’t looking for it, but the dates coincide with a time when he had said he was going out of the country for work. I can’t be sure, but I think my husband is cheating on me”

“He says he wants to marry me. But, he drinks a lot, he’s abusive, doesn’t care much about others (perhaps because a member of his family committed suicide) and am scared that he might walk away from me and my son. Should I still consider marrying him?”

I mean, I could on and on with these kinds of testimonies…

Some women can handle cheating, others can’t handle lies. Some women claim they will walk away if they find out there is another child in the marriage and some will stay no matter what. Some will handle a slap and others won’t.  Every woman has her level of understanding, corporation and tolerance.

In a relationship, they say, all that matters is what happens between your four walls. Often times, family tries to influence your decisions and your way of thinking. I firmly believe that in this day and age, being the “independent” note it is in quotes women that we are, there is so much that we believe we can’t and shouldn’t handle.

I heard a man tell me the other day, Nina you need to ‘love, suffer and support’ I was shocked. I felt like he was telling me that to be a good woman I had to love unconditionally, support my man but mostly suffer through all the trials and tribulations. I questioned my education, I questioned my understanding of this institution called loved and wondered, just how much I could handle? I wondered just how much I could truly handle, probably not a whole lot.

At the end of the day, quite frankly we are each built individually and all have our own depths of tolerance. One woman’s hurt, is another’s joy. But be careful, we must not ask of our women to be door mats or simple souls. We must ask of them to be strong without being intolerable, we must expect them to be understanding without being naive…we must hold them to higher standards but be ready to reach those standards ourselves.

I don’t think you can change a man (or woman for that matter). I also believe that no amount of advice given to a person in love will be heard rationally. But I like to think that everyone knows their level of tolerance and as friends, mothers, sisters or daughters, it is our duty to push the people around us to understand what they are living through and air out their situations so that internally they may search and find answers for themselves.

So ladies, tell me, what is your level of tolerance….?

Has your education, your environment influenced how much you can take?

And sincerely, do you sometimes say: if he does THAT, am walking away?” Are you convinced of the fact or do you just say it? They say never say ever… Do you?

The only naked truth I will go with is: tolerance definitely varies with your level of commitment; someone who is dating won’t always take the same bs or may even take more bs than someone who is married. Tell me about your levels of tolerance.

Marriage: A Business Contract (Re-post)

If you spoke to my mum she would tell you that fewer and fewer people are getting married today. I have not done the math and do not intend to. I get tired of my mum speaking about marriage ALL the TIME. I am going onto my 30s and that is all she seems to be going on about. I don’t blame her and I don’t hate her…sometimes she irritates me but I understand her. She comes from a generation where by 19 young women were married with children. In her case by 30 she was already married with one child and a second one on the way – so no, I don’t blame her when she gets “worried” about me.

I on the other hand, feel like people are getting married every day (for the wrong reasons) and I am constantly receiving invites for weddings on every coast of the planet. Age no longer matters. I know very young and very old couples, mixed and single sex couples. Marriage is just everywhere I look . But I have to ask, are people getting married for love and should we get married for love?

If you ask me, people are getting married for financial security, for stability, because of societal pressure, because others are doing it, because they’ve been together for so long and very few, very few in my opinion (must stress that) are getting married for love. Some will say that am just being bitter and saying this shit but look at the divorce rates?  I want to argue that even when there is love people get divorced (but that’s a whole other issue, that is simply because people don’t understand that marriage is WORK)

Let’s for a second imagine that marriage was a contract? A business transaction.  That is:

  1. There must be An OFFER – one of you has to put the proposal on the table (an invitation to treat) with the ‘terms & conditions’ clearly stipulated.
  2. There must be ACCEPTANCE – that is mutual agreement *call it mutual CONSENT*
  3. This contract must be Legally BINDING – you both must intend to honour said contract and accept the consequences and repercussions
  4. Finally, there should be CONSIDERATION – (where would we be without it?) valuable consideration that is, one must accept to exchange one thing of value for something else of value.


If all these four things were agreed upon from the get-go, would marriage not make more sense? I’ve never been married and am not an expert, but I like to think that perhaps this is the future of marriage. that generations to come will no longer marry simply for love, that they will make “rational” decisions and sign “business contracts” instead.

But I could be wrong… What say you? What will we tell our kids? Is marriage truly a dead institution? I mean couples are constantly living on a “come we stay basis”  and enjoying all the benefits & rights of married couples (even under the law), so… Why the hell get married anyways?


The year of me




Most people asked me this year, “Nina, why don’t you write anymore?” My general answer has been: “because I am not inspired”. But if I’m being truthful, I simply no longer felt the need to write or expose my thoughts, and that [is/was] a temporary feeling. This is part of the reason that I have so far never truly fully accepted to write for a magazine or be tied down by an editorial team, because writing is first and foremost therapy to me and then entertainment to others. And when the inner me has nothing to say, my pages are often blank. 2016 has been the year of me! It has been self discovery at its best and self-loathing at its worst, it has been me trying out a new therapy, one that involves talking to myself (some may say, that’s not new), one that involves me being at the core of everything and letting my little demons battle it out with little or no interference from a highly judgmental world. Instead of writing, I immersed myself in reading and continued my ongoing #100BooksIn2016 challenge. Reading and understanding others became and has been my therapy so far. So what brings me here today? I need my most serene and loyal form of therapy. Me needs this again. [and no I am not a patient in constant need of therapy, just an individual who quickly learned to master her coping mechanisms]


Some and probably not most of you, may have noticed that this year, lots has changed. But mostly I changed. I stopped being the Nina everyone knew, the emotionally and physically available, vocal and opinioned, always complacent and understanding, ready to get down and dirty Nina and I started to be selfish. So selfish to the point that people noticed, wondered, felt offended but ultimately very often than not, chose to say nothing. And note, it wasn’t born out of any form of hatred or annoyance, but rather out of self-love (oxymoron much?). One of my favorite blogs this year has been the Dear Body Project because it embodies what each individual should aspire to do and be (shout out to the amazing individual behind this). In my case, I consciously made the effort to love me more over and above everyone else. Because I felt a part of me slipping away, burdened under the weight of everyone else’s baggage, when I couldn’t even carry my own. I was lost, a version of everybody else’s Nina but my own.


However, the thing about not being who you always have been, is that not everyone understands it and most misinterpret it. I heard people say, you are not the same anymore, you are cold, you’ve changed, you’re weird, I didn’t appreciate that, you are this and you are that… but somewhere in there, I did not really give a damn. That was their opinion and they were entitled to it. I discovered me, things I never thought existed and I embraced those things and took them for the better (and sometimes for the worse). My best lesson yet was learning to say No. Learning that until I am in the right frame of mind for me, I am no good to you. This lesson I have struggled with over the years. Every time I think I’ve got it right, something proves me wrong. So what makes this year different? The fact that people started to get offended and deluded by my no, the fact that those who always expect were surprised at my sudden offset and natural instinct to put me and always me first. And as much as I understand that it hurt them, it helped me.


Yes, this year I started to grow into my own. Call it acceptance of fear. Perhaps the most paralyzing emotion I have ever known. Fear of success, fear of my own potential [I need to dedicate a whole post to fear], fear of conflict, fear of relationships, 2016 for me is the year, I accepted fear as part of life and as part of me; fear as the fuel to keep me going. I still have a long road to self-discovery, I am far from perfect (in fact many may not even like this new me and never will). I write today out of appreciation, because on this journey, some one allowed me to open my eyes. Allowed me to realize that if I continue to selfishly love myself this much I will eventually shut everyone out and perhaps miss out on some important relationships. So I continue my road to learning, while stubbornly loving me just enough to love others too. Am I back to writing? I don’t know yet, but, I’m certainly back to the better parts of me.

I fell in Love from day One

This is part of a 3 series called ‘The Way you make me feel’  – the final chapter. Read the previous one here.
Who knew I would one day question this undeniable love I have for you? Who knew I would be at a crossroads after everything we’ve been through? Who knew my patience would slowly run out, that my drive would slow and the twinkle in my eye diminish? You reconquered me recently and all through the year you teased me, told me how great things could be, told me you were looking forward to seeing me, told me I was still important to you. In one of our last conversations, you said, « Nina, now is not the time to give up on me. I am almost there ». But you see, that is the problem, potential for days to come with no real realizations. It is always, « almost » with you. Well, « almost doesn’t count ». I am t-i-r-e-d. Tired. Can you understand that?

It is easy to love. I should know, I fell in love with you from day one. The hard part is staying in love. It is almost as if you are punishing me for going away all those years, as if you gave yourself to another and you no longer have space for me. I felt you slither away this December, those whispering words I often heard from you were no longer there. I felt your warmth and your love was cooler, those encouraging words no longer constant. A part of me understood that 29 years later, it was perhaps time to make a decision. A decision to come and stay or a decision to leave. A decision I have no idea which way am leaning.

But how can I make that choice? If I stay, I still feel like you can’t give me what I need. That my needs are way beyond your capacity to fulfill them.  We are still getting to know each other, (ironic because it is so many years later) and some things you do drive me up the wall. It makes no sense to me that the simplest things are often the hardest for you to comprehend. That my courtesy is greeted with aggression, that my smile is sometimes welcomed with silence and other times frustration. I honestly thought we were passed that. Seeing you was so bitter sweet.  Two years ago, I promised to let you soar, to let you come back to me willingly… Two years ago, I never imagined my heart would pump this much in anticipation, beating as fast as the hopes and dreams I have been making in my head (waiting for you to get there, that there where we were both headed). And then, sitting there with you, it all came crashing. Your half ambivalent reception left me yearning and searching. Your shielded indifference at my excitement. Part of me hoped you would still look at me the way you used to, with continued longing, with reassured wanting. Part of me hoped that the things I had learned elsewhere would make me the perfect match for you, but your brothers and sisters laughed me off with disdain. All they said was « you’ll end up like us. », « Who do you think you are? »,  « What makes you so different? », « You think we didn’t have big dreams just like you? », « You can’t change him. That’s the way he is. » There was so much finality in those words, like they didn’t believe in us, like they didn’t think that I could make a difference in our lives, that together, You and I could be a driving force.

Could this be the end of our season, our story? Are we doomed to an eternal life of « what ifs » and « we should haves »? I can’t bear to fathom it. There must be more, Love truly is not enough. Perhaps, I need to go and work on myself a little more. I need to understand myself better so that I can work at us, because my unconditional love is simply not enough. For your erratic, you need my cool, calm and collected. For those days when you are submerged by the bureaucracy and corruption that is, you need me to be precise, firm, organized, transient and decisive. For the things that even you can’t comprehend, you need me to mobilize others around me – that we may do things as a group, and forget our individualism. And on the days when your fathers, mothers, aunts and uncles think it is okay to take everything from you, leaving us with nothing, you need me to speak up. To always speak up, even when I don’t think I am being heard.

Am I up to the challenge? It seems that you have done your part, and now it’s up to me to decide, to jump. To finally come home, to be by your side without any question. To be your ride or die. You still make me feel some type of way Mr, I can’t give up on you, not just quite yet, we will find our balance. And no matter how many obstacles get in our way, I am ready to fend each and everyone of them off. Will you allow me?

Single Women with No children can’t do anything

"Single women with no children can't do anything", said the world as they gently smiled on.

I don’t even know where to start, as I write these words I am livid. Mad at what people come up with sometimes. A recent conversation I had with some folks of the male genre went something like this [I have contracted it for the purpose of my piece]:

Me: #RamaYade has decided to vie for presidency in France

X: How is a single woman with no children going to run a country?

Me: *speechless* [Knowing that my issue with her running for presidency has nothing to do with her marital status]

X2: It is impossible to hold  a position of responsibility when you do not have stability in your life, and being married makes you a grounded person

Me: *Still speechless* although I quickly added ‘being married is NOT a criteria for anything

X: Come on, we can’t put someone in power who will change her mind according to the kind of d*ck she getting and how regular it is.


No really. Literally, mind blown. I can’t! I am done, miss me with all the bullshit. They tried to tell me that it applies to men too, that what they were trying to say is that a position of responsibility demands that the person be grounded, be married with children. [Didn’t matter at this point that She is in fact married with a girl child, the discussion had taken another form].

I was shocked, suffocating but mostly hurt, and then not entirely surprised that young men could reason like that. That is the society we (now) live in, one where women have to CONSTANTLY apologize for being single with no children (or just being who they are).

Girl Bye! Am done. Let me say it again. That is some bull. Please if you are a single woman, with no children DO NOT f*ing apologize for who you are. A woman should be able to do anything she wants without being defined by the ring on her finger and the cellulite on her body. And this was what I said to all these men I was having this *discussion* with.

I hate to think of a world where my nieces, cousins, sisters are scared to aspire to greater things because they are not yet married, because they have no children. Miss me with the conventional norms that society has made you believe all your lives. Getting married and having children is a personal choice and has no impact on the kind of leader you should or could be. We know married men and women with very questionable moral compasses and leadership qualities, so there goes your ‘theory’. Middle fingers up, tell them BYE.

I ended that discussion by telling the fathers of the group, to certainly give me a call in a few years when their daughters are told that they are not suitable candidates to be the CEO of a company because the company is afraid of the kind of decisions they will make after a man passes through that p*ssy. Excuse my unfamiliar vulgarity, but that’s how I feel about all this BS. (isn’t this how all those isms – sexism, racism begin!?) Oh, here again, they tried to tell me that running a company was not like running a country. Should I say it again? MISS ME WITH THE BULLSHIT! [if you can have such reasoning then really what message are you putting across?]

The issue is very clear to me: do NOT teach your daughters (sisters, cousins & nieces) that they can’t do x, y or z because of a, b and c. We have a responsibility to uplift and empower the girl child, (every child actually) to know that leadership is about character and having a child or a spouse does not maketh you a leader, that you should not be discriminated on and it is utterly ridiculous to think that as a woman you can”t think on your own (god forbid a man whispers things in your ears). Your character is built by your experiences, and if those experiences happen to be in marriage and children then good for you, if they happen not to be, oh well, remember the world thinks: single women with no children can’t do anything!

I implore you, PROVE THEM WRONG child.

Am out!

Disclaimer: I wrote this while listening to #Lemonde, so if it feels a little salty, well tis cause I had  tequila too!


Only my truths are the ultimate word…

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