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G O A L S

“You remind me of myself when I was your age” said Belle.

“How do you mean?”, asked Imelda.

Imelda recently graduated from college and was looking for a job. She stayed at home, applying to all the positions she thought she had the skills required. She polished her resume and practiced several times in the mirror,just in case she got called for an interview. She got called for a couple of interviews but somehow, she never got any of those jobs. She knew there was a problem somewhere but she did not know what it was exactly. She’d learn about the company she was going to be interviewed at, what their total sales were, number of employees and so on. She’d watch a ton of YouTube videos and blogs about job interviews. She’d record herself answering interview questions and would replay it over and over and over. She seemed pretty confident – but only in front of the mirror. She’d attend an interview and start fidgeting. The interviewer could tell that she was nervous and couldn’t sell herself. She’d purposely watch tv shows that have a lot of scenes in an office so she would imagine herself one day, dressed like that and going to work. She always looked forward to the day she would get a good office job. Her plan was to work in a position that she would love and look forward to going to everyday. She had goals and aspirations, plastered on her wall in her room. Her dream car, her dream salary, her dream house and where it would be located, her plans to take care of her family and make sure they were comfortable. All of that. She was well aware that that wasn’t going to be possible until she made an extra effort. One day, she decided to step out of her comfort zone and went online to search for any seminars related to her field. She found one and decided to go. That was where she met Belle.

Belle is a very successful Vice President of Marketing. She was one of the instructors at the seminar. She is a single 28-year-old woman with a passion for her work. She loved marketing so much that after her lecture, 99% of attendees at that seminar were so inspired and ready to move to the next level in their careers in marketing. She was black and beautiful, she was always smiling and was ready to talk to whoever she saw. It was obvious she knew how to take good care of herself. She did not look too expensive but you could tell that she loved to look good. Her make up was perfect, her outfit was on point. She was so elegant in the way she walked and talked. She noticed Imelda at the back of the hall during the break and walked up to meet her. She introduced herself and asked her why she was sitting alone.

“You know, the whole point of you being here is to learn more and make connections with people. You never know who you might need one day” said Belle.

“Yeah, but I’m not sure how to approach people and talk to them. I mean, what will I say? What if they ignore me. I’m not very big on rejection”, Imelda responded.

Belle talked to her about shyness and how she needed to work on that in order to be successful in that field. She knew Imelda had a passion for marketing but did not know where to begin. She gave her her business card and invited her to visit one day. Imelda took the card and thanked her. After the seminar, Imelda went back home and everything Belle said to her were still fresh in her memory. She decided to write it down so she wouldn’t forget. 2 weeks after, Imelda decided to visit Belle at her office. She called ahead and made an appointment. When she got there, she asked for the VP, Marketing and told the receptionist her name. She was asked to sit and wait for Belle. Soon, Belle came out, greeted her and led her into her office. They talked for a while. Imelda asked a lot of questions and Belle answered to the best of her abilities.

“Why did you say I remind you of your younger self” asked Imelda

“Well, once upon a time, I was very shy. I wasn’t willing to try anything new. I was stuck in my comfort zone. Anything that would take an extra effort from me, I wasn’t doing it. I would somehow talk myself out of it. I wanted all the fine things in life but I did not want to work for it. I wasn’t getting any younger. My dad decided to stop giving me money. That was shameful enough. I got really broke and that was when I made a decision to change and make my life better. I applied to many jobs but I didn’t get called for interviews. I didn’t give up though. The problem was that I did not have a lot of experience working in an office setting, so I made up my mind to start from scratch. I kept telling myself that it would all be worth it in the end and I’d appreciate everything I spend my hard-earned money on. So, I decided to start my career by applying for an entry-level sales position. I made sure I learnt all that I needed to during training and worked very hard to meet the weekly sales targets. Soon, I got promoted as a result of my will to achieve and succeed. The company was a start-up and I loved going to work every day. The fact alone that I wasn’t sitting at home and doing nothing made me happy. I worked harder and harder and I got promoted. I left that company because I wanted to pursue a Master’s degree with the money I made from there. I graduated with donors. During my masters, I tried to attend as many seminars as I could and spoke with at least two people in each seminar.

One day, I got a call from one of the guys I spoke with and he told me there was an opening for a marketing position where he worked. I happily applied for the job and I got called for an interview. I got the job. I loved working there and I got promoted after 16 months.”

“Wow”

“I’m not saying I didn’t have some challenges on the way. I did. But what drove me to succeed were the thoughts of being satisfied that I was doing something sensible with my life. I was willing to succeed no matter what it took. I had no other option. I love marketing and I know that you do too. Learn something every day, because the world keeps evolving. Ask questions, contribute whenever you can and make sure you establish professional networks. Your next referee might be sitting near you and you wont realize it”

“Thank you so much Belle, I really appreciate you taking the time to talk to me. Thanks for believing in me and I promise that I will not let you down.”

They talked more and Imelda went home. She knew that her life was about to change and she was ready for it.

My Picks: Top 5 TV Series to watch

I realized I was watching a lot of tv series which I enjoy a lot (at my spare time, of course) and I wanted to let you know the ones I totally love. To some of you, the choices might be weird but I have my reasons for watching every one of them. A lot of the series i’d be listing here have been scheduled for a Season Premiere this fall (woot! woot!) and I am so excited. I cannot wait to see how intense they’d be. I won’t go into too much detail by telling you the writers or directors or producers of each of them (thats why we have Rotten Tomatoes and IMDB). For series lovers like me, here are my top 5 to watch:

Grimm

Funny story, I decided I needed something new to watch, so I went out to buy a couple of series. I was still in Nigeria then and internet is kind of like a luxury. I got a couple of series from the guy I usually buy from and he suggested I watch Grimm. I asked him what it was about and he said I should just watch it. I watched every other series I bought that day and left Grimm till the day I got bored. From the first episode, I could not stop watching it. If we are close, then I have definitely talked to you about this series. Grimm is about a cop (Nick Burkhardt) that had some hidden gift fighting creatures called Wesen. They are in human form but they can turn to different types of animals when they want to. He is the only person that can see what they truly are, which makes him a Grimm. He then realized that he came from a very long line of grimms who had been hunting wesen. omg! y’all have to watch it and understand why I love it so much.

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Wentworth

I like to call it the “Australian Orange Is The New Black, but better”. No jokes, it is actually better. Well, in my opinion and those of the people that have watched it. So many interesting characters you’ll love, hate and love to hate. It is filled with so much drama and the storyline is amazing.The beginning is about a woman that was put in prison for attempting to murder her husband. She goes in as a scaredy cat and then ends up as the most feared person at Wentworth prison. She is such a badass! Enough said, go watch it!

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The Flash

I’m sure everyone has read or at least heard about The Flash. Its about a young forensic scientist named Barry Allen that developed abilities after the particle accelerator exploded. He had a best friend that friend-zoned him and he was very in love with her. LOL, You know how the story goes. This series is so good!!! I cannot even stress how amazing it is. The second season is premiering on the 6th of next month.

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The Blacklist

Yes! If you have heard about it before, it is worth the hype. I like it because its different. The plot, characters, everything!! Nobody is safe at all. Raymond ‘Red’ Reddington is on the FBI’s Most Wanted list. He turns himself in and he agrees with the FBI that he would help them catch the most dangerous criminals on the condition that he speaks with Elizabeth Keen. I’m not sure what their connection is and the writers are yet to reveal that to us, but my guess is that he’s her real father. Season 3 starts on the 1st of next month. I told y’all this fall season will be lit!

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Unforgettable

I love my crime drama and Unforgettable tops the list. Even after the show has been cancelled twice. HA HA!!. Carrie Wells was diagnosed with a medical condition where she cannot forget anything. Nothing. Nada. Nut. So she goes back to work with her ex boyfriend slash partner to solve crimes with the help of her gift. Cool eh?

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There are a ton of series I would’ve loved to include but a lot of people already watch them. I’m hoping that some others get renewed for new seasons,like Common Law and Almost Human. Anyway, those are my recommended tv shows to watch, if you haven’t already. I promise you will love them all.

P.S, if there is any one you want me to watch, let me know in the comments section.

Till next time,

XO

Annie

Seventy times Seven

“Then Peter came up to Him and said, Lord, how many times may my brother sin against me and I forgive him and let it go? [As many as] up to seven times?

Jesus answered him, I tell you, not up to seven times, but seventy times seven!” (AMP)

Seventy times seven?

What the…

Wait, that’s a lot of times to forgive……

Do you have to count?

What happens after you have reached that number?

God’s answer: Keep forgiving.

In this present time, when people offend us, we tend to make sure the offender gets punished and we get satisfaction from that. We can go from 0 (sending hateful messages to the person) to 100 (Exposing the persons secrets on social media). Sometimes, innocent people suffer from this hurt. Let me explain: Imagine a young girl that got her heart broken by a boy. The boy does not want anything to do with her again. She feels like she wasted years of her life – depending on how long they dated. She wished she could have seen the ‘signs’ and ended the relationship sooner. She has so much hate in her heart for the boy and she would do anything to make him suffer for what he did to her. After some time, she goes into another relationship with a certain idea that that new boy will hurt her like the old one and then she treats this boy as if he were the one that broke her heart. This poor boy suffers for something he did not do and is not aware of. The cycle goes on and on.

If someone hurts you (I can go on and on about my own personal experiences of hurt), the bible says you should forgive. I know someone reading this is doing the ‘yimu’ face for me but it is true. Forgive that person, and move on with your life. As difficult as we may think it is, it is better to forgive and let God handle it, than decide to make the person pay for hurting you. If you study your bible often, you’ll notice that for every rule (for lack o a better word) in the bible, there is a promise attached to it.  Look at Mark 11:22-26, it says that when you are praying, you should first forgive who hurt you and God will forgive you. But if you do not forgive, God will not forgive you. You see?.

Truth be told, unforgiveness makes us bitter and blocks our blessings from God. When we are bitter, it affects our friendships and relationships. We’ll carry a lot on our minds and it can lead to serious issues. I was in a bad relationship for a while and after we broke up, I had so much hate in my heart for him. I was bitter, I was always sad, I cried and cried. I got tired of being sad and hateful one day, I cried to God and prayed about it. I forgave him and at that moment, I felt like a very heavy load was lifted off my shoulders. Forgiveness not only makes us happier, it makes us free in our spirit. It probably might even hurt the person that offended us because we are so happy and fulfilled.

When we forgive, it triggers our trust because we know that God will forgive us too. Forgiveness means letting go of that hurt and giving it all to God to handle it. Unforgiveness means we are letting the devil control us and we are giving him a place in our lives. I don’t think there’s a better answer to how many times we should forgive those who offended us than the one Jesus gave to Peter. I urge us all to try our best to forgive people and allow God handle it so that we can live with peace in our hearts and not a single worry in the world.

Songs for the week:

  • So Amazing by Crystal Aikin
  • For Your Glory by Tasha Cobbs
  • I Am by Jason Nelson

I hope they bless you as much I’ve been blessed by them.

Have an awesome and fulfilling week!!!!

XO

Annie

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Hello August!!!

Whats crackalackin’ guys?

It feels like the months have been speeding past. Where is 2015 running to though? It was my birthday yesterday and I am so thankful to God that I celebrated it in good health. I am a year older and just last night, I was thinking about the year and how it has been so far. I’ll keep saying this; God has been so good to me. He has kept me all this while, I have not had any cause to visit the hospital or complain of anything. It has been success, joy and God’s grace all the way. I am indeed a living testimony that God is indeed real and all you have to do is believe in Him and ask.

So, while I was thinking, I decided that it was time to change some of my old habits. New Month, New Me, right? There are some parts of my life I need to look into and completely change if possible. I want to be disciplined enough in this decision that by this time next year, I’d be so proud of myself and what I’ve achieved. It doesn’t have to be January 1st before one decides to draw up a list of resolutions. I have come a long way, I have become a better person but I still have so much to do.

With grace and direction, I believe that I can achieve my goals that I’ve set up and I want you guys to join me. If there is anything you have put off, you should probably make a decision to do it. We have a few months left before the year ends and I want you to be disciplined enough to achieve whatever goals you have set for yourself. Whether it is changing your diet, or stepping out of your comfort zone, or meeting new people, or being a better person, or stop fighting with your mum or dad. Whatever it is, make that decision today the 1st of August and stick to it. You’d be surprised what you can achieve if you set your mind to it. Nobody is perfect and nothing great happens overnight. It takes a lot of effort and determination. I want to see everyone at the top because there is enough space to go around. This isn’t one of my fiction posts, I am making some major decisions in my life that I know would make the future me proud and I want you to do the same. Let’s be that change the world wants to see.

So mark your calendars because we have goals to achieve. Good luck guys!

Kisses,

Annabel

Episode 4: The story continues

This post is long overdue. My apologies guys. Anyway, let’s get to it.

Remember how Timi left me in the living room that night? Kissed me on my forehead and said goodnight? Really breh, goodnight though? With a kiss on the forehead? Sigh. I was sad. Don’t look at me..of course I wanted more needed more craved for more. Either he wasn’t really into me like I imagined or he was taking baby steps. I wanted the latter. I finally went to the bed and dozed off within a few short minutes.

Fast forward to the next morning. I woke up and was really expecting some breakfast in bed type thing or at least I thought I’d start perceiving the aroma, but that wasn’t the case. I even came out of the room to be sure, maybe he closed the kitchen doors, that’s why I wasn’t perceiving anything. Ah ah..nothing. I was about to shut the door when he opened his and walked straight to the room I was in. He had taken a shower. He smelled so good I wanted to hug him but babe gats brush and shower first. I didn’t even let him hug me. He smiled and said good morning.

“Having breakfast at Oasis with Tunde and Piper. So I’d chill for you to get ready. I won’t rush you don’t worry, because I know you’d take a lot of time”

“Okay, I’m starving” I said to him.

“Great”. Then he went to the living room and turned on the tv.

I spent time getting ready (I mean, you cannot rush perfection). I came out with my bag and we were set to go. We got there, saw Piper and Tunde waiting already so we went in and the waiter took our orders. Breakfast was great! The couple left and we were alone again. I told him I needed to go see my aunt and her family at Omole and he offered to take me there but I refused. I wanted to go alone. I didn’t want her to start winking at me or asking him questions like I came to introduce him as my future husband. After a lot of insisting and refusing, he finally gave up and called a cab for me. He kissed me on my cheek before I went inside the cab.

“Might go to the office to do some work, at least till you’re done. Will you come back to my house tonight?”

“Umm, I planned to stay at my aunts tonight. I mean, why exactly do you want me to stay the night?” was my response.

“I want to see you again. You can’t just leave like that. Ok, let’s have dinner tonight”.

“Ok, fine”.

I entered the car and he shut  the door after me.

The cab man turned to look at me and smiled. He drove away.

“Madam, that na your husband?” the cab man asked.

“No, my friend” “Kai, if tuna two marry ehn, na so so fine fine children una go born”.

I smiled.

You know how some of those Lagos cab men like to talk, whether you’re interested or not. Ijebu (he said that was what people called him) told me about how he almost had an accident on his way to Ibadan, how he was looking for a fine girl like me to marry, how he was looking for a better job and lots more. We finally got to my aunt’s house and I called her daughter to open the gate for me. As soon as she opened the gate, she hugged me and told me how much she had missed me. Her little brother also came and ran toward me. We went inside the house and I saw my aunt and her husband. I greeted them and we talked for a while. The joy in me when she told me she made efo with pounded yam and I should go and take some from the pot. I went to dish my food and sat at the dining table to eat. Her and her husband went upstairs. Her daughter sat down also at the dining table without food. I knew it was time for my interview session.

“Do you have any gist for me?” was always the first question.

“Not today”

“Me I have. There’s this boy in a class ahead of me, I think he likes me”.

“Hmm, okay. Let it stop there, focus on your books ok? There’s time for everything” was all I said to her.

“Okay, aunty. Soooo, is there any new man in your life? Is he fine? Is he tall? Does he have beards? Tell me now, I know there is.”

“Haha. Nah, no one. At least not yet.”

“Okay. Will you tell me if there is?” she asked.

“Yes darling, definitely.”

I needed to get a few clothes from the mall so I took one of my aunt’s cars and drove there. Her daughter wanted to go with me and went to ask her mum. It was a fun drive, we played a lot of songs and we talked about a whole bunch of things. We got back to the house and went to watch tv. I didn’t even realize I had slept off until my phone rang out. It was Timi.

“Hey, can I pick you up for dinner now?”

“Oh yeah sure, I’ll text you the address” and hung up.

I used that time to shower and dress up. He called me that he was outside. I went to tell my aunt and her husband that I was leaving and they said okay. Her daughter saw me off (mostly because she wanted to see the guy) and locked the gate when Timi drove off.

“I missed you” he said, planting a kiss on my left cheek. I looked at him and smiled.

Fast forward again to after we had dinner. We got to his house and I went to ‘my’ room. He came in and asked if I wanted to watch a movie. I said no, I just wanted to lie down.

“We can watch it in my room or even here.” he said.

“Well, if I sleep off, don’t be angry”.

We went to his room and were under the duvet. We saw Focus, because I hadn’t seen it yet. The movie was better than I had imagined. After the movie, he turned to look at me and he asked if I could guess what was on his mind. I was facing him but my eyes were closed.

“You want to kiss me, badly” I said.

Silence.

Before I knew it, he pulled me closer to him and kissed me so passionately. It felt like he had been holding himself for too long. He wouldn’t stop and I didn’t want to stop either. After kissing for what felt like 5 minutes, he looked at me and smiled.

“Why’re you smiling?”

“I finally did what I’d been meaning to do ever since the first day I met you”.

It was an honest moment. He said a lot. Then he asked me to be his girlfriend. Hmmm

I didn’t refuse.

Switching Interests

I posted about my passion when I first started this blog, which was part of the ‘getting to know me’ phase. I was so sure I was going to be an Interior Designer. Like! I was too sure. Anybody who told me otherwise at the time was in my black book. Ah, I had already imagined myself designing people’s homes. I even planned that when I got back from design school, my Aunt’s (the one in my previous post) house will be the first one I’d design and it’d be free for her. I don’t want to go into details for now, but just know that the period I stayed in her house with her family was one of the best times of my life.

I felt like I had my life in order. My mum tried to talk me out of it but I was too determined and too sure that that was my destiny. I’d download apps and design empty spaces every day and feel like I accomplished something. Whenever I felt bored or upset, I’d turn on my iPad and design away. I even got my mum to ask one of her friends in the industry to let me work as an intern at her company. I went on to apply at a design school in Canada. I got it. Long story short, somehow, I realized it wasn’t what was planned for me by God.

I applied for another course which I’m studying at the moment. I’ve changed in ways I never imagined. Back in uni, I could count the number of times I stood in front of people to talk. It was always the ones with louder voices or the ones that seemed smart enough that did most of the talking and I’d come out and say about a line long of words then go back to hide. I never ever thought I would stand in front of people and present and actually feel comfortable. I mean, at first I’d be nervous but once I started, it went away.

No, it’s not because I’m in a different country, or because I don’t like my own country, or I didn’t like my school. I just didn’t see the need. I saw myself as someone who was always in the shadows, letting every other person talk but myself.  Not to sound like a preacher now but, God’s plans are always better than ours. Even if you feel like you won’t amount to much, God sees you as an overcomer, an achiever, a success and a blessing to many. When He decides to work on you, you have no option than to excel in all you do.

So far, I haven’t had any regrets. It has been success all the way and I keep asking myself. What if I went ahead to study Interior Design? Would I have been successful? I want to make an impact in the world. I won’t be caught at the back again, hiding from people or too shy to say anything. Those days are long gone. I’m still learning and bettering myself and I’ll keep doing that because life is a learning process. Nobody has all the answers and it is only Him who is capable of blessing us more than we deserve. I hope I was able to inspire someone with my short story today.

XO,

Annabel.