A Few Updates

So I didn’t forget I had a blog…

I’m gonna blame the lack of new posts on two things: Firstly, I found out about this amazing app called Day One which still allowed me the freedom to write whatever thoughts I needed to get out, and not be worried about length, how personal it was, or whether it was something to be shared or not. I still have tons of drafts that predate my discovery of Day One, but they probably may never be published. Right now, it’s just interesting to go back, re-read them, and realize where my head was at, at the time I wrote them. Secondly, there were still things I didn’t want to write about. There are still thoughts I’d rather not confront. Not just yet. So I’ve stayed away for a while.

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To My Unborn

My darling Katana,

I will not get to see or hold you for a few more years, but you’re already real to me. You’re as real to me right now as you will be when your mother puts my hand on her stomach to feel you kick for the first time. You’re as real to me right now, as you will be the first time I hear you cry. Or see you smile… Or punish you.

I haven’t told your mom why I’m calling you Katana yet. I probably won’t tell her until you’re almost here. But I have known for years that it would be your name, and I know why. As you grow, so will you.

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Why I Don’t Love My Fiance

Church.

Michael J. Pittman

In 130 days I’m getting married, and a friend recently asked me why I love my fiancé. I wanted to share a deeper perspective on Amanda and I’s relationship, so before I answered why I love her, I had to first explain to him the reasons I don’t love my future bride to be.

I came to two conclusions:
First is, I don’t love Amanda for what’s on the outside. I know. It sounds cheesy, it sounds sappy. This perspective is not a novel idea by any means. How many times have you heard someone say, “I don’t love you for what’s on the outside. I love you for what’s on the inside.” But that brings me to my second conclusion.

I don’t love Amanda for what’s on the inside either.

Now don’t get me wrong, there are many things on the inside and outside that I love about

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Desensitized

You’re disconnected.

In the past week or so, a plane with hundreds of people on it has literally gone missing. 700,000 Nigerians paid ₦1000 as an “application fee” for a government job that would only hire 3000 people. Boko haram continues to terrorize northern Nigeria with relative impunity. Ukraine & Russia are on the brink of a war that should raise all sorts of WW3 red flags in your head.

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Learning to Lead

“…unless you’re not a leader, or you don’t want to be one. And that’s fine Uché. We can’t all lead. But if you’re going to be a leader, then…”

-Tico, sometime in 2010

I can’t remember what the conversation was about. All I remember is, it was really late at night, probably between 1-3am, and I was engaged in yet another one of the frequent conversations/debates/discourses I had with someone who was a friend/roommate/brother. I remember being upset he put it that way, because I knew he was right. And he knew I wanted to be a leader. He knew I saw myself as a leader (in the making). Putting it that way was basically saying “leadership is a choice, and if you’re gonna make that choice you have to abide by certain rules.”

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So Near, and Yet So Far…

It feels like I’m really keeping true to the title of my blog. I still don’t like writing, and when I do, I still find it difficult to share. And so other than a brief appearance HERE right before New Year’s Eve, I’ve been kinda quiet…

Yes, there are updates. I can’t say too much right now. I don’t even understand it all right now. I wish I did. I will say this though: I believe God is taking me through a process that is shaping the rest of my natural life. And that’s huge. Already I have a much clearer picture of what I’m supposed to do with my life. More importantly, I’m learning why I have to do it. I’m learning how. And I’m learning with whom. And that’s the reason for this title. It feels like it’s there, and yet it’s not. But I’m not complaining…

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Memories Lost

I’m not exactly sure how I met you. I wish I could remember, but I can’t. It had to be at TAWG though. The Abiding Word Gathering. Your fellowship in uni back then. A fellowship I visited from time to time, but never actually became a full fledged member of. As much as I wanted to, God wouldn’t let me. Which is weird, because off the top of my head, I can think of six of my closest friends who happened to be TAWG members in school. But I digress…

You were never one of my closest friends. We weren’t strangers by any means, but we didn’t get to see each other that often. Whenever we did though… We’d just talk. We never had to force a conversation. It just flowed easily. I didn’t feel special though. You were that way with every one. People just met you and instantly liked you. It must have been your smile or something. Or maybe it was your honesty. I don’t say this about too many people, but you had a pure soul. Everyone could see that. And I admired it. I loved it.

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23

It’s November 4, 2013. It’s 9:27pm as I write this. The first 15 seconds of Wizkid’s “Outro (Love Music)” are on loop. It’s the only song I’ve listened to in the past 2 days. Not because it’s the greatest song ever, it just makes me feel good. My nose is annoyingly stuffy, as it always is. My father’s “gift” to me that just keeps on giving lol. But I digress…

In a few hours, I’m going to turn 23. I never look forward to my birthdays, and as is the norm, I’ve already turned my airplane mode on. As soon as I hit “publish” on this, I’ll turn my phone off proper & [hopefully] go to sleep.

Birthdays usually brought depression. Not because I was ungrateful to be alive, just because it seemed that I never really achieved all I hoped to achieve in each new year. I’d have dreams. And hopes. But not goals. Goals require a plan. And planning has never really been my strong point. Wait, lemme rephrase that. I’m GREAT at planning. Implementing the plan is an entirely different story though. And so my birthday would come along each year and all I could focus on was the things I didn’t do. The things that didn’t go right. The things I shouldn’t have done.

Every year since I turned 18, without fail, I’d look back on my birthday and I’d be unhappy. And for someone who’s usually so extroverted, the fact that I suddenly wanted to be alone on my birthday used to puzzle the life out of my friends. But it’s my day right? If I don’t get to be selfish on my birthday, then what’s the point?

However, this year, that’s not why my phone is going off. I’m not depressed. I’m not exactly overjoyed either, and I certainly won’t be throwing even the most minuscule party. I’m… uneasy.

Yeah. That’s the best way to put it. I’m uneasy. Probably because as with most other things I’ve had to deal with this year, I know deep down in my spirit that certain things have to change immediately. And while I recognize the need for these changes, while I want these changes, I know they will be hard.

Also (and I’m only admitting this on here cos not a lot of people know about this blog), I just can’t resist doing things to annoy people. So the phone HAS TO stay off for a while, just so I can get cussed out by quite a few people when I turn it back on.

I need time alone to reflect. This time, to focus on the positives. I need time alone to quiet myself on the inside, and settle this unrest that’s been there for a while. I need time alone to rest. To think some more. To reflect. To write. To plan. And to pray.

Tonight, I’m going to pray.

I’m going to say a big thank you for this precious gift I’ve been given. I’m going to pray that I learn to become a better person. I’m going to pray that I learn to show love better. I’m going to ask for grace to do more in this next year. I’m going to ask that the fear of failure does not keep me from acting anymore. I’m going to ask that I do what I’m supposed to. I’m going to ask for clarity regarding the next step. I’m also going to ask for clarity in SEVERAL other areas (yes Lord, it’s about time you settled this relationship matter once & for all too lol). Above all though, I’m going to ask for forgiveness for not making the most of this past year. And the wisdom to do whatever is necessary to ensure that I have no reason to pray that prayer by this time next year.

Could I have done more? Yes. Should I have done more? Yes. I should have become more. But at the end of the day, in every way imaginable, I’m in a much much better place right now than I was 365 days ago. Granted I didn’t grow as much as I hoped to, but I grew. I’m older. I’m wiser. I’m stronger. I suppose in the end, that’s all that should matter.

Tomorrow, I’ll re-plan for the next 365 days. Right now, I must pray. Then I must sleep.

I’m 23. I’m alive. I’m thankful.