I was the most frustratingly awkward human to wake up on this Earth.

It’s better now but that doesn’t mean I don’t get awkward, just less. Even today, I’d rather watch as people talk when we are in a closed group than to be the one talking, that means the limelight is on me. But ironically, I loveeee public speaking and I’m pretty good at it. I can speak on a stage before thousands of people but no, I do not want to be the one speaking in a closed group, weird much?

When I was younger, especially during my secondary school days, it was bad. I know we all went through that phase because hey adolescence! but I was the typical Wattpad novel awkward teen with body image issues and lack of confidence. I couldn’t look people in the eye, not even a newborn.

I couldn’t speak to people straight and guys??? Shoot me please. I get wobbly kneed when passing a group of guys… who may be 2 junior boys.

I get nervous talking to the ladies too, I feel like they are always forming opinions and passing judgements about my self and body and my awkwardness which made me more nervous and therefore more awkward.

I know you are tired of the word but I can’t help it. I never wanted to be noticed among the crowd, the limelight was my enemy but that was kind of hard for the second tallest girl in the whole set so I always stood tall, but somehow made sure I was never seen, just seen through.

I think that was when I developed my reading habit. Books saved me when nothing else was looking bright. Thank you books, I love you too.

I hated mingling with others (still kind of do), I conversed with myself (still very much do), I craved alone time (still do), I’d rather listen than speak (Same even now, except when it’s in writing) but at least, I don’t get awkward around people and around men because, well, they are men…nothing special ( full disclosure: I don’t get as awkward)

Today, some things considered normal make me cringe, some conversations make me want to run, some people make me nervous, I still don’t know how to react many times and I still don’t like being among people but am I very awkward? Sometimes, but it’s better now. 

I know some unbelievers of jinxing may come for me but I strongly believe that what you say, may end up having a strong effect in your later life.

That being said, I am sick and tired and fed up and … of the phrase ‘men are scum’. We get it, men do bad stuff, unthinkably horrid stuff, men are not perfect, men suck sometimes but so do women. Bottomline; men , women, kids, whatever =humans and humans, try as you may to think otherwise, can never be perfect. Got it? Great. 

Now that out of the way, let’s talk about the generalization part. No single species or group of people are all the same. They can never be all bad or all good. We are all guilty of stereotyping (I’m unproudly guilty) but come on some just get old, e.g men are scum.

Some bad things are bound to happen, we can’t escape them, it’s life, but some things- we call them upon ourselves. When you sing praises of men are scum like a life devotion or a strength mantra it gets to and does funny things to your head. You get to see the worse in every man no matter how seemingly good he may be. You tend to ignore the great qualities. You tend to judge every situation unfairly against the man without hearing the other side. You tend to be stuck up and blind. You tend to see what you wish to see and honestly, that’s not life. I mean where’s the fun? In fact you attach too much importance to that when many things are very much more important e.g personal growth. And if you are unwilling to see the good in a person, then there’s nothing the person can do that can change your mind. 

And then if eventually as fate will have it you fall into Femi’s trap, we are doomed on the social media circles because it’s about to be a month’s dedication on motivational speech men are scum epistles. You don’t move on because you can’t because men… men are scum!. 

This life is as it was meant to be and if your man is scum, he is and if he isn’t, he isn’t. Just because he is scum doesn’t mean they all are. He is. And when the next one comes, go with the flow, loosen up, enjoy the ride, because the other option is too dreary to be and because we may never know what is in stock.

Please stop the men are scum already. I know that they can do the most!!! I know some things some men do is Authubillah! I know it can be frustrating but do not jinx your life because of Jack.

My Dad is not scum, my brothers aren’t, majority of the men I know aren’t, my husband and kids are not (In Sha Allah) and they are all men!.

Honestly that confuses me too. I dream for myself a good life, I never dream small. Inference: I dream for myself a big good life and that requires happiness, contentment and money so I look for it the halal way because I believe that if it’s haram, remove contentment out of the picture.

Sometimes all I think about is how to make more money, be financially independent, make enough to explore the world so when I’m in that phase, I’m all money, money, money.  But some people don’t appreciate that, to them, I just love money too much and it’s unhealthy… especially for a girl (how my gender has anything to do with that baffles me) because apparently guys are intimidated by rich ladies. Okay!

When people ask me why I want to make money or what I’ll do with it I always say it’s because I want to be comfortable.

I want to be able to do stuff for myself without begging for it. I want to give out to others, I want to buy what I want without fear of running dry. I want to live knowing I can sustain myself and those around me for a while without running out.

I want to travel placessss; Italy, France, Beverly Hills, Qatar. 

I don’t want to live in rented places,I want to own it. I want to just halal-own my stuff. Is that me being over-ambitious or realistic “especially for a girl”.

People say ‘kadan mai albarka’ meaning ‘a few blessed coins’ but how about ‘plenty blessed coins’. Islam said nothing about having many properties except the fact that you must account for it and that is scary yes but better to have a good account Alhamdulillah than the other option.

They say you shouldn’t be too ambitious, you are not married and I’m just even taking baby steps now, what will happen when I decide to soar?  I’m sorry if my quest for a good life is off-putting to you but you either join forces or stay away because I’m not putting my life on hold nor will I hibernate my dreams. I mean it’s one life for Allah’s sake, why so uptight?

They say you shouldn’t be more ambitious than your husband but now that isn’t my fault is it. Besides I think my ambition is standard I’m just willing to push it where many aren’t. So if my husband-whosoever that may be- is or wishes to make it in that aspect of life then fine, let’s keep moving, but if he doesn’t, just support me and don’t stand on the way. As long as you try, I’ll appreciate it. 

Besides in case I’m richer than my husband, he will never ever know it. I know how the ego of men work and to make peace reign, unless it is unavoidable, you are richer. I’m not one to flaunt money and wealth, I’m one to use it.

Finally, money is NOT everything. It’s not even half of everything in life honestly so if I put so much effort in making money, then that means I put more effort in making other things work. So why is this one now chucking your eye?

Some people are people’s people. They can be around people 20 hours a day and never get tired. They’d rather be with people longer than they will be with themselves. They are extroverts, social, and very confident and comfortable around people.

Some people cannot stand others. They’d rather be alone 20 hours in a day. In fact, they don’t even like people. They are very reserved and might not be confident around others. Socializing is a strenuous task for them.

Then there’s me. I can be around people, I can socialize, I can be with others 20 hours in a day but honestly, I’d rather not.

Sometimes I want people around, most times I want them away. And I know why.

It’s a different thing to chat or be on social media, I’m at home so no (much) problem. But for me to actually go out of my house! That is a mighty problem. I don’t go out except I can’t help it (Market, Hospital…. oh yes of course, work). Socializing and hanging out are major tasks even for a productive purpose.

When I share no common interests or point of view or discussion point with a person, then I can’t relate much with him. If I can’t relate much with a person, then there’s not a point being around the person. Now I might feel this way around people I can even converse with.

For me to want to be around a person then that means the person really gets me to a certain extent and I can be myself with the person at all times. I can handle otherwise (when I’m not comfortable with a person) but I’d rather not, so I’m always surprised when some people are comfortable with everyone and they can be with everyone and speak to everyone. How fam?

I don’t even like talking much except it’s about a novel or cartoon. I don’t like repeating stuff, if I say it once I’d rather not say it again.

I don’t like arguing with people’s opinions and beliefs.

I don’t like it when people think my normal conversation is a battle of intellect and so they start showing off their IQ when in fact I don’t even know if I have one.

Generally, except when I really see the need to (because of the person or topic), there’s little or no point to talking more than absolutely necessary. Ever.

Hi. I’m Hafsah, and sometimes, when I look at myself, my face, my body, I feel like it’s not good enough. Sometimes I have issues, body image issues and usually I am my own critic- not others. It’s fine if you do the same thing too. It’s fine if sometimes you feel down because you wished your curves are curvier, it’s fine if it’s often and not all the time, it makes us human.

We were never created perfect so noticing our imperfections physically is a good sign. Next, we accept it, we can’t do anything about it, we embrace it, we love it.

I feel uneasy about how my tummy looks in a tight blouse ‘ I look pregnant’, I say. But don’t hate that part of me. I hope it could be flat sometimes but it’s not flat and I’m okay. I’m still the same person and I have 50 dollars down that I’ll still be the same person with a flat tummy.

TV, social media, the internet, magazines all don’t help when it comes to self-esteem and body image issues. You just have to discountenance all those ideals as the unrealistic and unrelatable made up standards that they are. Because in the long run, who gets to define, design and decide what really is beauty and perfection? The Creator . And since the all perfect Creator who never makes a mistake created you like this then best believe you are as good as you could ever get.

If I wish to exercise so much my tummy flattens it has to be for me. It has to be my choice, it has to not have anything to do with the expectations of others on who I should be or the stereotypical images of ideal body on the Tv.

I have plenty body image issues, my face size, my nose, my skin tone, my hair line (and guess what? Many other things that people actually compliment me about)… but I’ve embraced it and the fact that I majorly love me like this though sometimes I may feel insecure, is all part of living.

Keeping Up With Social Media

Social media is the greatest most destructive millennial development. It has turned the whole world into a global street so that you can access information and people with no fuss. Now while that’s mostly a good thing, you stumble on things that make you question your choices.

One of the very first platforms to reach Nigeria was Hi-5. I didn’t know about the Hi-5 craze until it was almost over and almost all my friends were on it. I wasn’t particularly crazed about the prospect of meeting strangers I couldn’t actually meet.

Then came Facebook, then 2go, then BBM now these I actively participated in. So I watched the metamorphosis of those platforms from media of connecting with people to a means of corrupting people. 2go was the worst.

People thought the most they could do was chat up friends and family, make new friends, try to lure people of the opposite gender into a flirting spree, exchange phone numbers etc. When I’d log on 2go and see the nonsense going on in different groups, I’d think that is the height of it. Little did I know that it was a saintly arena compared to the future decay.

Now many of those social media platforms are just mine fields of indecency, insecurity, narcissism, immorality and many mental ills.

People utilize it for social harm and gratification out of that than for social good and a free conscience.

The timelines of Facebook are marred with lies and time-wasting stories rather than important news and socializing.

The pages of Instagram are riddled with gossip and name-calling rather than sharing and catching up.

The streets of 2go are deconsecrated by immoral ideals and vapid talk.

Even LinkedIn, a professional networking site has more love and immoral proposals in the message sectionthan work proposals.

Youtube content helps you waste hours and plenty data watching people spew useless stuff which you won’t remember in a few hours time.

Snapchat affords you a chance to watch small children ‘live there best lives’ according to social aesthetics even if they aren’t necessarily happy about that and yes, you can follow everyone’s lives right up to the colour of their underwear because that’s the whole point. Then after that, gossip about what you watched in the Dms.

And then when they have adulterated the true use of the platforms, they meet on WhatsApp.

If you wish to maintain your dignity as a person do not be caught dead roaming the streets of some platforms because they are a one-chance street.

And to maintain your sanity in others do not believe a word posted or a smile splayed or a story said or a life displayed because anyone can take a happy picture, but only a few are truly happy after the shot.

Now all of these realisations took time and change to register. And according to the true nature of the platforms, it is a duty upon you to keep up with trends, literally follow the lives of the people you are following(because you have nothing better to do), suck up all the idealogies and propaganda they subtly release because that is about the aim of the apps and be a merry smartphone puppet.

Now all that notwithstanding, social media is an absolutely amazing tool for those who actually know how to use it for the best and that’s those who know how to develop themselves, network, form meaningful relationships or strengthen existing ones, be productive, impact others, source for jobs or further their businesses and generally positively develop themselves.

Just know that it should be more for keeping in touch than gossiping and stalking. It should be more for linking up with like minded people than negative ones, it should be more for putting your capabilities out their than putting your life and beauty none of which are your achievements.

The Season Of Moral Decay

Life’s not meant to make sense all the time.

Sometimes we don’t make sense and life has no sense and nothing makes sense.

It’s a topsy turvy world. An hourglass kind  of place, today you are high up the contentment scale and tomorrow, rock bottom.

I won’t tell you that you can do it and you’ll be fine and you should pick up the fallen senses and build a six story mansion in the sky because then I’ll just be like a con-artist motivational speaker.

I’ll tell you that in my years on earth (which might seem not that much) I figured that you are entitled to your plenty ‘life is not making sense periods’.

It’s not necessarily teenage years or mid-life crises, everything in between counts and should not be downplayed.

If life makes sense 24/7/4/12 then I doubt life will even be any fun or interesting. I mean you’ve figured everything out, move on to the next level.

There’s a reason why we need God , there’s a reason why we need to confide and seek His guidance, if everything is spelt out then I hardly think we will.

The figuring out part, the contemplation on direction, the part where you are trying to reconcile who you really are, who you thought you were and who you’d like to be , the confusing part (who should I be with, what’s best for me), the unraveling part, the puzzle-solving part of life is actually 80% of it and eventually it gives life meaning and keeps you on your toes and growing.

So life doesn’t make sense? Yup, mine too most times is jumbled up but las las, we go dey alright.

How inconsistent are you? Are you like me, better or worse?  Do you also start a project with soooo much energy and spirit you feel like a space ship running on a million gallons of fuel. Then the fuel level starts dropping, and you start eyeing Earth. Then it drops, and drops till the only thing keeping you up are mere drops and fume. You chute up but there’s no steam and down you come crashing to Earth… and reality. And there goes the tail of the project… away and onto the next.

It’s always a good idea till it becomes hard work and only very few things you are truly passionate about pass the test of time.

You went to a make up class all geared up, you learned the art, you feel like in 3 months time you’ll be Mamza effortlessly gliding your brush against peoples faces accentuating their beauty and making it bold. You are the real deal. Then three months come and you don’t even like the sight of an eye pencil. ‘Makeup might not be for me’, you say ‘I’ll open a website today’.

I know your likes, you are like me. A free spirit. A tester of everything. You crave newness, your soul needs refreshing so you jump from a tree to another never quite letting the last one to fully grow.

It’s not as glamorous as it sounds, sad in fact that we have focus yet what we lack most is focus.

Close in for a group hug… and a plate of cheesecake.

I live in phases. I phase in and phase out. 5 years ago, I started my blog. It was my not-secret diary. I write stuff that mattered to me. It was liberating… but that was just on one part because on the most rewarding part; people read.

People actually read my scribbled thoughts, my thrown-together muses, my detachable imaginations and they appreciated it. Some even sent DMs to express their appreciation for reading my diary (weird when I say it like that) but I was happy I wrote.

Then I stopped, I had phased out of open diary writing stage and moved on to the next ‘thing of interest’. Looney human.

Anyway my loyal and ever-willing blog hadn’t seen an update for 2 years plus and yet, it never gave up on me. Thank you blog bae, I’ll be more caring now In Sha Allah.

So after reading tnene.com, a blog kept by a fellow lawyer who had contacted me about liking my write ups some 4 years ago my motivation came back and I found myself DMing her about hers. Check out her blog, it’s insightful… very.

I just hope this is a phase I can maintain. I intend on making the posts short and sharp.

So, all my poems, short stories, worries, crazy thoughts, perspectives, humor, satirical writing and anything writing from now on (to the duration of this hopefully forever phase) will be on my blog.

Do keep up with the escribbler and let me know what you think always.

See you (more).