The day I almost died

Tschechische Prag, den 13. Juli 2013.

The day I jumped out of an airplane, I didn’t quite think much of it. I was having fun like young dumb girls do with their young dumb friends. It wasn’t for the blood boiling gut wrenching eye-popping gush of adrenaline. It wasn’t exactly a dare either.

Two small town girls from a small west African town daring to overcome the limitations that are stacked so high against the African woman that we needed a small helicopter several meters in the air to proof that we can stomp them. No it wasn’t because we were curious, we knew exactly what we were doing—or did we?

My thoughts swirled in a multilinear direction. From my restricted vault of childhood memories to macabrely fantasies. If my aim was to die, that would be exactly the way I’d do it—sacrificing myself to Gaia, the goddess of sustenance. Venus in her verdant embellishment of flora and fauna. Surrendering skin, blood, saliva and soul. That sounded like me.

So we signed a death contract and laughed in the face of danger. Took a 20 mins course on how not to die, and soon we were way up there, still laughing. Shit got real when the door flew open. I realised that though I like to sit across a candle-lit sycamore table eating steak and drinking chardonnay, laughing at death’s joke and poking some of my own. I like to dance to cinema paradiso with him and make him buy me cocktails, enough to make me unwind but not enough to get drunk, I NEVER want to fuck with death.

At the moment I was instructed to jump out, I gulped and resisted the urge to breakdown while the condensed air from the high atmospheric altitude slapped my already shrivelled skin. This was one thing that wasn’t going to limit me. So I yelped GERANIMO, made peace fingers and went plummeting down to uncertain doom.

I had never wished so much to be Wendy as when I was falling heart first. I NEEDED to fly. What would my mother say? I was struggling against the resisting pull of the earth’s center, quite unlike the surrender and serenity I dreamed of. Suddenly, the parachute flew out helping me defy gravity.

Ha Ha, not today death. Not today Satan.

I may never have another epic superhero moment again. I stopped free falling and started dangling like a pearl on the edge of a maple leaf, Looking down to the world stretching its arms to straddle my weightless body. It was serene, and almost angelic. This wasn’t death grappling at me with it’s dishevelled claws. This was me taking a leap to live. These were two small town girls tearing at the bricks of limitation. And it was beautiful.

We ended it that day, laughing hysterically at our reflection in the bathroom mirror. Maybe because we enjoyed splitting our sides with cackles or maybe we devoured 2 grams of marijuana for the first time. Did we do it for the thrill or was it a dare? that’s a story for a different day.

The Interview

Den 6. Mai. 2019.

It was an especially windy morning and I was in a losing battle with the rain, my least favourite forecast. By now my mascara was like a plangent river and my nipples seem to have resisted all the confines I had on, and were poking out as if in protest. This is the kind of morning I’d double up on blankets and burrow a hole through with my body. Now I simply had to resist the urge to moan.

Several minutes later, I was in the courtyard of one of the most prestigious establishment of the town’s history. The weather didn’t seem to deter the occupants as there were more than a handful of young adults, running around in the garten, and some if you can believe, making rain angels.

I walked right through the iron-casted door and shook myself like a shaggy mutt, hopefully I’d get some warmth flowing through my veins before the interview. This was my first job interview, but my quivering body and goose-bumped skin subdued all other nerve-wrenching feelings.

As I walked through the long corridor, searching for the waiting room, a door opened and the man wedging his robust body between it was possibly in his late 40s. He seemed to be squinting at me through his rimmed-glasses; “Frau Ukut, Sie sinds?”

I swallowed my words as I replied; “Ja da bin ich”. He motioned to me to wiggle myself past him. I took a seat behind him as he muttered some welcoming words while taking a seat. We were separated by a sturdy table made from maple oak. He adjusted his brims and glared at me. By this time, my smile was beginning to quake. The voices in my head bellowed in unison, “Oh no, the jig is up”.

I dared to break the silence, “Herr Mayer, Gibt es eventuell eine Probleme oder?

“Na ja”, he heaved, ” Sie sind ein bisschen zu groß, eine Patientin hier zu sein”

Entschuldigen Sie, I chuckled at the silly remark, “Ich bewerbe mich nur bei Ihnen als Assistenzärztin. Haben Sie meine unterlagen nicht bekommen oder?”

He toyed with the tip of a pen which seemed to have been heavily chewed on, then picking up the telephone, he punched in numbers and made some affirmations with the person on the other end. A few footsteps later, there was a knock on the door. Herr Mayer stood up, straightened his tie and right before disappearing assured me. “Warten Sie, Ich komme gleich wieder zurück”.

I sat there peering at the obscure hand painted framed images loosely hung on the wall. A couple were of a woman with soft eyes and a reverse smile. Another was of a clown trapped in a burning building, and there were others that had too much going on anyway. Absorbing myself within them kept me from tinkering with Herrn Mayer’s impression about me being a patient..

Shortly as promised, he was back with news, ” Ich freue mich darüber, Sie zu erzählen, dass Sie den Job bekommen haben. Wenn es stimmt dir zu, können Sie schon am heute Nachmittag anfangen”. My heart was palpitating in my chest as I could not believe his utterance. In that moment, I had forgotten every appropriate reply, so I grabbed his hand and shook it vigorously. Before I left the office, his last words since the forty mins I’ve known him were, ” we believe you will fit right in”.

So I went into the changing rooms and reemerged in the courtyard in white overalls. The dress code seemed to grab the kids attentions. Now the rain had stopped and my smile was beaming. Here I was, residing physician at the Institute of Paediatric Neurology and Psychiatry, Cologne. A dream I’ll keep reliving until it comes true.

The Test

After my well articulated post of taking it easy and letting life happen few weeks ago, I went ahead and did something absolutely rash last week. I signed up for the language test.

the registration for the exam is not a big deal, I mean normally people register for an exam they want to take next month or so. No sire, I wouldn’t be me without careless judgement. This test happened last weekend, that meant I had 6 days prior to prepare. How’s that for relinquishing control

Thus rolled in the beginning of what happened to be a really long week, I was recoiling from the death of my grandfather and somehow my brilliant plan was to distract myself by studying without ends each day. Na ja brilliant.

On the D day, I was beyond tired, kaputt as the Germans say, and well I couldn’t turn back now. I had already paid. Although I don’t consider myself a run-on-the mill lucky person, spring had just begun. This is the time of new beginning. If I was going to make a leap of faith, it had to be now.

So I did it anyway.

Out of the four fluency skills, I pride myself in my reading and understanding skills, I felt positive about that. Listening on the other hand, is not my forte. And writing? God knows that could go either way.

But the speaking. Oh the speaking part. I could count a million things wrong with it other than my enunciation skills. So there I, brain running on low glucose and less than optimal sleep. Hands fidgety. The self -confidence battery completely drained and naturally expected to speak Deutsch for 15 minutes.

Game over. I lost.

…or did I?

I told myself I’ll be okay either way the wind blows, tho honestly I lost hope. Today, I contacted the institute. The lady was kind enough to reveal my points, even though they officially aren’t to be revealed yet. Perhaps she had sufficient emotional intelligence to sense the desperation in my voice which provoked man’s most regal emotion, empathy. I’ll never know, and at the moment, I wasn’t really interested in that.

I have to say i’m shocked—in a good way. The scenario played out a lot different in my head. I will have to repeat a part of it, luckily not the whole. Now the question I can’t help but ask myself is, if I could go back, would I register for this test 6 days before it takes place, knowing I won’t make it all the way through?

At the risk of coming off stand-offish, Absolutely. I’m unapologetically non-penitent in this regard. I get no accolade for good judgement or relinquishing control. There’s a reason I don’t know how to swim. But I like to think I’m a student of life, I let life chew me up and spit me out.

Tomorrow, I’ll still climb the moon.

Matthew 11:28; Then Jesus said, “come to me , all you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest”.

Image by @bekexjj aka James Robert on Instagram

Another day, another year

Every time it rains

You’re here in my head

like the sun coming out

I just know that something good is gonna happen

I don’t know when

but just say a decree and make it happen…

Cloudbusting, Kate bush

Today is infamously the day my parents arguably claim I was born on. I have no option but to accept that. Nonetheless, around this time every year . I notice a shift in energies influencing me.

Reversing back to a little while ago, I would have relied on birthday wishes both from social media acquaintances, and wanted nothing short of grandeur and spectacular gesture. I remember my 21st, when I celebrated both with picnic ( in cold February) and a dinner party. Lol. fun times.

I believe that there are two dates a woman is allowed to be self-centered. One comes every year on her birthday, and the other is her wedding day.

Well, truth is today is really not about me. it’s more about every other force around that negates or supports me to grow into myself. As I realised that each year God rewards me by unlocking a part of me. It’s like being invited to a party where you’re in the regular section, next year you get a VIP pass, the year after, you’re invited backstage until eventually you run the damn show. That’s just the reality of growth.

Another rather painful reality is that, the people who celebrate you each year may not be consistent. You eventually run the show because there is no one else to lend a hand. However, if you like me, then your guardian angel in the guise of a very handsome, caring, recently snatched bachelor, compels your amazing friends and family to support you.

The best present I got today was more of an act actually. Having my old lover(s), supporters and family from all around the world wish me birthday cheers. Thats’s going to be hard to outdo next year lol.

Lastly, because it’s become some sort of a tradition, I am compelled to reveal one key-word my previous age has taught me. Contentment. So as I sit down tonight and enjoy my glass of cabaret and my creamy pasta dish. My trusted hopping buddy being extra as usual, and my man checking up on me, before I sleep. I know I have everything I always needed.

Happy Birthday to me and memoir of Alexander.

This two years would have been nothing without your support and love, so from my heart to yours, have a great week.

Bubbles & Sunshine

The yellow pages of life does not promise a forecast of  bubbles and sunshine. Many times we venture to different paths and end up toiling unsuccessfully. We take risks,  casting all including our soul into the wind, and still  it makes no substantial difference.

Being unsuccessful is a tedious lifestyle nobody chooses, rather it chooses many. Sometimes doing what you love combined with  maximal effort is not enough.  Often I’ve wondered if i’m really that bad a blogger, sure I can admit that I don’t pay attention to details and several times I was ready to abandon my journey  and cut my losses.

So why haven’t I vanished from the blogosphere?

Well if there is something that I’m even worse at than writing, it is quitting. Never done it. mmhmm, well maybe that one time.

But who am I kidding? The exhilaration I get when the nerve endings on my fingertips presses against the keyboard is beyond comparison —no pun intended—and I especially love making people wonder; “what the F is this post/poem about?”.

They say people won’t listen to you until you’re worth listening to, but no matter how good, bad or funny one is, determination always changes the rules of the game. Determination is what makes me a force to be reckoned with.

And art exists in every level of the ecosystem. One can ignore it, but surely can’t deny it, even the way people speak is art. If you’ve witnessed two individuals or clans from a region speaking the same language, then you understand it. Bottomline is, so I’m a bit of a messy frantic misfit, In the end, I’ll write what is good and pleasing to my heart, because what my ventricles forcefully eject through my Aorta to sustain me in the land of living, itself is Art.

And now I’m done writing.

Just kidding.

STRANGER LAND

My first weeks in Austria. Although Austria is quite close to Hungary, about  4 hours drive, I’ve only visited the place in my dreams. 16 days ago,  I unplastered myself entirely from one country to the other in search of…. well I really don’t know yet.

My blindsight, as I’ve realised, is that I tend to forget to stop and smell the blooming roses. Last year, while I was squirming over my finals, regret settled on me like a morning fog. Turns out I never once patted my back for making it thus far. This attitude is what I aim to change .

God has indeed been wonderful, even in my  inconsistency. It took months of preparation, prayers, and learning Deutsch to get here and I couldn’t be more satisfied with the outlook on things. I’m learning to cherish the process, no matter how slow.

The last time I resided in a country, as opposed to touring it, I learnt a lot about who I am, and now Graz presents another stepping marble stone  to experience myself in a new  culture.

Since this is my first update since the beginning of the new year, I really want to thank my fellow bloggers and readers for the support. We ended 2018 together and practically walked  arm in arm into January.

The biggest lesson 2018 taught me is on  friendship, and bonds.  A random instagram video I watched back in December went.  “2018 is the year God revealed the true motives of people in your life”.  Fortunately and unfortunately, people I cared for, either packed up and abandoned ship or grew closer to my ever troubling waters.

Now I know that it doesn’t matter how long friendship is, what will be, will be. Stay tuned and  stay warm. Love, Idara.

The Root of Nigeria’s problems

“MENTAL SLAVERY IS R.E.A.L”

In today’s episode of “Wetin this one dey yarn?”, I wanna stress on a topic that really hits home.

You may have heard about Nigeria in your local media. A lot of foreigners associate us with Boko haram, religious wars, poor infrastructures and welfare etc, and a lot of foreigners are not wrong.

Permit me to do a throwback and shed a little light on the history of Nigeria.

In 2015, Nigerians voted an incompetent  authoritarian named Muhammed Buhari, into the presidential office. As a result of that, we’ve suffered great losses as a nation.

But wait!  wasn’t it obvious that he was the wrongest candidate to elect? You may ask.

YES!

Six decades ago, after Nigeria became Independent from the British colony, we were subjected to military rule. Whenever a Military leader was not effective, a Coup d’état would ensue, as a result of that, the nation was always on her toes.

In 1983, Muhammed Buhari organized a successful Coup d’état and became the head of Nigeria, albeit,  his reign was one of the dingiest in Nigerian history. He was relieved of power in a bloodless Coup.

The man had no business getting the power in 2015, yet because Nigerians have a ph.D in outstripping their prior misfortunes, oodles of people supported his campaign.

How foolish are the people who don’t learn from experience.

It’s obvious that I hate our current government, nevertheless I prefer to look at the root of problems and deduce a solution rather than allowing my anger overshadow my sense of reasoning.

 

“WHEN WILL THE VICIOUS CYCLE END?”

 

 

From the moment a Nigerian child is born, they are taught to follow the rules. Don’t ask questions, respect the elders as questioning authority is the seed of rebellion that is not tolerated.  This is directly enforced by our primary care takers like our parents, school teachers, and religious leaders.

We grow up being fearful,  far from respectful as though we are still serving slave masters, colonial leaders, Militants. The average Nigerian child does not know the meaning of liberal.

Democracy is just a word. Even when you are right, you’re wrong!

Some Africans suffer from Mental captivity, the older generation especially.

This eventually shapes the youth’s mind so that when he travels to foreign land, he cannot socialise with  others, and he thinks of himself as a lesser human.

Ever wondered why Nigerian youths become successful after they have spent years in another man’s country?  after they have realised that they should not be repressed for thinking the right way?

Nigerians are some of the most innovative, creative minds in today’s world, but that potential is only discovered in foreign institutions. This is why instead of hearing about technological advancements made in Nigerian, we hear about innovations led by a Nigerian inventors working for, for example, a Canadian company

That’s right, there are no jobs for majority of youths in Nigeria, and that’s the main reason we emigrate.

Buhari recently said that Nigerian youths are the laziest people in the world.

Lol.

Sooner or later, these old greasy scumbags fighting for power will be gone, and where will the youths be? contributing to  the sublimation of another’s country’s economy.

Good job Federal Govt. Good job Buhari. Well done!

I’m sorry for my tone, if you picked up on that, I’ve just really wanted to say this for 4 years. If you made it to the end of my rant, Thank you for coming to my TEDx talk.

 

Image from Twitter

 

 

 

A Painful Soul

“Scars

from battles hurt

as It should”

 

 

Way back when waking up every morning was a struggle (honestly not too long ago), I used to write into  my Journals aka my ugly notebook. I sometimes browse through them when I feel stuck.

My first journal is actually really depressing, I can’t believe the state of mind I was in back then, but there are some OK memories in there too.

This week I decided to reedit one of my poetry from it to prove to my readers who battle mental illness, and to myself that life can indeed get better. It is a journey, I still struggle and flop. However,  I am no longer that person, yet it is my story of which I’m proud 😀

Happy Friday!


 

Eyes

like alabaster

reaching into the darkness

of my soul,

I gasp.

 

Aroused

Inside me

A faux without doubt

Another life I’ve lived

stringing cords of distrust,

 

Or paranoia

the  definition of toxic

screaming out someone else’s pain

sliding through impressionable doom

unwillingly

 

The taste

like kolanut lingers

on my tongue

masking the chamomiley one

the ones before left

 

Scars

from battles hurt

as It should

yet I must separate the truth

from fallacy

 

Staggering

dysmorphia is crippling

oodles of bubbles ripple

through a heavy

fragile heart

 

let the  legs sink farther

quaking in unison as they bite dust

again and again

my soul will find your

darker soul.

 

Help.

friend, help!

For in solitude, I live

In solitude

I will dine.


 

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