Your Friendly Guide to Emotions and Feelings

FeaturedYour Friendly Guide to Emotions and Feelings

Emotions and feelings are funny. Well, not really, especially when they sometimes lead to heartbreak and broken bonds. I always wondered what the point was, I mean why do we need to go through all of these twists and turns and ups and downs? It gets really tiring sometimes but I guess we need them, in a weird sort of way. Without emotions and feelings, we wouldn’t be able to connect to our environment and other people, they’re sort of like our bridges to the outside world and each other. So we’re going to take emotions and feelings and see what exactly is going on.
Our emotions as well as our feelings are idiosyncratic; they seem to be purely subjective. Nico Frijda described our emotions as driving forces, they help to spur us into action. Okay, we’re all familiar with Iron Man, so let’s imagine that emotions are the suit, but whereas Tony Stark can control his suit, we have no control of our emotions. So there we are, just flying around, letting our emotions fly us wherever, only being tempered by occasional bouts of reason. Our emotions can be understood by other people, quite clearly even. I mean, my emotions about people putting milk before cereal can be clearly interpreted by my flying rage and lecture on simple home training. (No, but seriously, what is wrong with you people?) Our emotions act as little windows, popping up and allowing other people a view into our own hearts. Try as hard as you may, but our emotions will not be silenced. Sometimes though, emotions can hurt and there we are wishing we were a TVD vampire and we could just shut off our emotions, but I’ll talk about that later. Let’s move to feelings.
Feelings can be incredibly annoying and for good reason. How to describe feelings? Feelings are how we interpret the emotions we inherently feel. They act as our translators, converting our emotions into something we can act on. With emotions, some if not most of the time, we are completely unaware of them, but with feelings, we have the full view. We are completely aware of our feelings, allowing us to make decisions based on them. Feelings, also unlike emotions, are under our control. So let’s switch the autonomous Iron Man suit for a nice comfy car that we can turn invisible. Invisible, you say? Well yeah, we can control our feelings but we can also hide them. People only see our feelings when we let them. “I’m not going to catch feelings” has become something of a motto for the 21st century teenager. Funny enough, most of the time, we’re referring to our own emotions, and as we already know, a fight with your emotions is not one you’re likely to win.
Let’s talk about my second to the last sentence in the second paragraph. See, we may think that we can block our stubborn emotions or dampen our uncomfortable feelings but the truth is this. When we supress some of our emotions, we are inevitably reducing the volume of other emotions, cutting a part of us from the full beauty of our environment. Now, if on the other hand, we allow our feelings and emotions full reign and instead of ignoring or repressing them, we become comfortable with them, we allow the flow of positive drives to flow more strongly. It’s like by allowing ourselves to feel pain and sorrow, we allow for a more intense experience for happiness. So pull down your emotional defences and allow yourself to experience things fully, to feel completely, to soar or rather, to fly.

The Weakness of Strength Theory

FeaturedThe Weakness of Strength Theory

People piss me off, especially my friends. Sometimes they do stupid things and there I am standing there, rubbing my jaw saying “Why am I even friends with this person?” In other words, the people close to us have a way of sending us close to the edge. Why can’t they just be perfect? Why do they have to be slow? Why can’t they see how I feel? A few weeks ago, though, I stumbled across something that would change my whole perspective on people and their faults and weaknesses. It’s a theory called The Weakness of Strength.
The theory goes like this: every strength that an individual has, necessarily brings with it a weakness of which it is an inherent part. It is impossible to have strengths without weaknesses. Every virtue has an associated weakness. Not all the virtues can belong together in a single person. Make sense? Okay let me give an example. I, like some others, always seem to try to look for the good sides of other people. So, this allows me to be kind and empathetic towards people. I’d always assumed this to be my strength, but the flip side to this isn’t quite so bright. See, me being nice, allows people to take advantage of me and make me look like a complete and utter fool. (I’m not crying, there’s just something in my eye.) So my weakness comes from my own perceived strength. If you’re willing to look, you’d find that everyone is caught in this particular dilemma of weakness and strength. We look at weaknesses as ugly parts of ourselves, imperfections, but that shouldn’t be so. Weaknesses are as innate as our strengths, it is not possible to have a strength without a weakness.
When I came in contact with this theory, everything seemed to be shone with a whole new light. When someone messed up, the question “Why am I even friends with this person?” was met with a resounding declaration of the person’s strength. Sometimes we get so caught up with a person’s weakness that we forget their strengths, the attributes that drew us to the person in the first place. In the face of weakness, let’s try to keep the strengths in view.
The theory can help us in times of crisis when we just can’t help but see the flaws in the people we’ve chosen to associate with. It undermines that pesky little idea in the back of our minds that somewhere out there, there’s a person who can fulfil all our needs, in truth, there just isn’t.
We are imperfect beings, inherently so, and the theory helps us understand this better. We will meet people with a whole new array of strengths but this will inevitably come with a whole new litany of weaknesses. The theory calms us down, reminding us softly that perfect people are like unicorns; they seem like a nice idea, but they simply do not exist.

Featured

Mirror (Part One: Paradise Lost)

                                             The universe takes care of all its birds- R.J Palacio
The feeling of emptiness seemed to engulf her. It swirled inside her, sweeping in anger, pain and regret along with it, like a hurricane. She once saw a question about which was more painful: physical pain or emotional pain. At first she was a bit uncertain, but now she knew. How can you heal what you can’t see? How do you mend what you can’t feel? How can you put yourself together when you don’t even know the pieces that are missing? That’s how she felt, like a jigsaw puzzle with some pieces missing, so it was just an incomplete picture. Her name meant happiness but she always seemed to feel the opposite.
“Idunu,” her mother called, “dinner is ready.”
Just what she needed, more food. At this point she had already learned to eat her feelings at an almost professional level. She stood up from her bed to make her way to her door, barely glancing at the Beyoncé posters on her pink coloured wall, she wasn’t in the mood to dawdle. She also briskly walked past her full length mirror, she was the last person she wanted to look at. Her room wasn’t much to look at, really. It would resemble a store if not for the bed and her own little personal touches, she was the only chid but with none of the privileges.
“Idunu!’ Her mother shouted. “I’ve called you more than five times or am I your mate that you want me to bring your food up to you?”
Sometimes she wondered if her mother knew she was exaggerating or if over the years, continuous use had made it a second nature to her.
“I’m coming, ma” she shouted back, in a volume that was neither rude nor disrespectful, Nigerian parents were very touchy about that. Walking down the stairs she passed some family pictures hung on the wall, pictures that showed happy people with happy smiles, but that was far from the truth, those smiles never existed in reality. She hated the pictures, they represented a time that never happened, her family had never smiled like that. They had never gotten together like that. They were barely even a family, just three related people in a house, not a home.
Even from the middle of the staircase she could smell the sweet aroma of the freshly prepared soup. Her stomach rumbling in response. She walked into the kitchen and looked in awe at the feast laid before her. Despite her mother’s flaws- many as they were-she was something of an adept cook. Laid on the table was a wonderful meal made up of Amala and Ewedu soup. Yes, she was unhappy but at least she wasn’t hungry.
She was busy eating, enjoying the meal when she looked at the empty chair and a thought struck her.
” Where’s daddy?” she asked. “Why didn’t he come home last night?”
Her mother’s reply-as always-was snappy and devoid of warmth.
“Why don’t you just focus on your food and leave your father alone?” she said with a stern look.
The thing was, Idunu wasn’t fooled. She saw the quick but noticeable look on her mother’s face, she knew that look, it was the exact same one she used when she was trying to be strong. When she asked that question, she suspected that her mother had asked herself the exact same thing. Truth be told, she didn’t know much about her father. He seemed so cold and unwelcoming, every attempt to start a conversation with him was just an exercise in futility so she gave up on trying. She had always wondered why her mother loved him. Birds of the same feather, she thought, and smiled to herself. But her mother had the eyes of a hawk.
She frowned. “What are you smiling at?”
Your strange marriage, she thought.
“Nothing, I just remembered something funny.”
“Well, okay, I just don’t know how you can smile with that body of yours. Please calm down with the food, it’s not running away”
Yeah, sure, why not? Body shame your fifteen-year-old daughter, nothing off beam there.
Sometimes, when her mother was feeling in a better mood, she’d ask what was wrong. Sometimes, she was what was wrong.
Unsurprisingly, her hunger faded. Now, all she wanted was to leave her mother’s company.
“Thank you for the food” she said as she picked up her plate to clear it.
“Ahn ahn, but you’ve barely touched your food,” her mother said, “what’s wrong?”
You
“Nothing, I’m just full, I’m on a diet”
“Finally.” Her mother said.
She quickly left the kitchen and tried her best to hold in the tears that were threatening to escape her eyes. She quickly climbed the stairs, a small feat since her vision was blurred with her tears. She entered her room and fell on her bed, silently wishing she was never born.
That night she stayed up, thinking about how different her life would be if everything was just perfect. If she wasn’t so fat, if her mother wasn’t so mean, if her father actually cared maybe, just maybe her life would make sense. But for now, it was all just a fantasy, but that didn’t stop her from replaying it in her mind, over and over again. She did this until the cold embrace of sleep finally took hold of her.

The Alien Thought Experiment

FeaturedThe Alien Thought Experiment

Okay, so I wanted to write about how our society would look from a different external perspective, so we can see the big picture. Hope you like it.

Imagine this. An alien from a faraway planet plans to come to earth, let’s call him Spock, he has heard about this floating blue-green rock and is very curious about it, his planet has successfully perfected cloaking technology so he’s able to walk amongst us without being noticed. He packs his belongings and sets course for earth. On January 1st 2000, he lands on our planet. The first thought that strikes him is how these humans look, very odd. Where are their antennae?
He is able to fully adapt to a human everyday life, he even gets a job. He begins to notice a lot of striking things about these beings. They act very strangely. Most humans are bound by a certain belief or dogma. Some of them, on the first day of the week, go to a place of worship called Church. He attended a service once or twice and was stunned, there seemed to be wide gap between what they preached and the actual actions they performed outside of this hallowed place. Some also go to another place of worship called a Mosque. A peaceful religion, but some radicals have warped this harmless religion into something else, something dark and this allows ignorant people to happily stereotype the whole religion. There are even other religions, so many! He couldn’t even begin to count them all. And yet, most of them chose to put religion over morality, which would become a detriment to their progress sooner or later.
Another thing about these beings? They seem to fight over everything. Humans seem to variate in terms of pigments that they call race. He was once curious about this, then he realised something: there was nothing different. Just like one of the fruits on his home planet, it came in different colours but the interior was always the same. Besides the skin colour, there seemed to be no fundamental differences between them, they had the same fluids in them, they were born the same way, their organs worked the same way, they ate the same way, so why did they treat each other differently and hurt each other just because of it? He honestly couldn’t understand why they did this to each other and he suspected that, neither did the humans.
But then again, maybe he came at a bad time. This was probably just a phase that they would come out of, give them a few years and they’ll surely see their errors, surely they’ll change. So he left. He returned on January 1st 2016 and he was shocked to find that nothing, in fact, had changed. It seemed even worse than when he had left, close to 16 years earlier. Funny enough, it seems that most of the humans wanted change but not many actually wanted to change. So here they were, these curious beings, their own disease and their own cure.
They had become blinded by their vices, consumed by hate, crippled by ignorance and broken by greed. Every day seemed to bring a new tragedy, with a new day seemed to bring new tears.
On his home planet, humans were regarded as legends. His people had come here to visit before and they were still at awe. The humans had many transgressions, far too many to count, almost infinite but in the face of these, they still carried on. They always pushed past the bloodshed, pain and anger and were able to emerge into a new day. The humans weren’t regarded as legends because they were perfect-they most definitely weren’t-but because they always survived, they always found new ways to thrive, no matter the adversary, be it war, be it famine, be it disease, be it discrimination. The humans always came out fighting.
Spock wondered about this as he left back for his home planet and realised what it meant to be human. They had come a long way and had a long way to go but being human meant that you always pushed on, always endured into a new day, until you reached the horizon.

Science and Religion Need Counselling

FeaturedScience and Religion Need Counselling

Before you read this, let me first say that all the conditions stated in my first essay apply here, if you haven’t read it, what are you waiting for?

Okay so before we discuss God’s existence, we have some other things to do. First we are going to do what girl best-friends inadvertently do all the time: counselling. Science and Religion are probably the poster couple for failing relationships, I mean, they almost never get along. Science is so difficult and stubborn and Religion puts milk before the cereal [this right here is unforgivable and if you do this, just switch off this device and re-evaluate all your life choices], it’s no wonder they’re always having issues. So they called me to help out and I thought you’d like to watch.

The problem is that Science is a yes or no kind of person and is always right unless proven wrong. Now, if Science is always right, then we need to work with Religion, cos that’s just less difficult. Let’s start with one of their pressing issues. How we came to be is easily one of humanity’s longest questions, I dare you, look to any myth, any religion and check the creation story, there’s something funny happening. In each and every one of them, stripped to the barest minimum, it’s always the same pattern: from nothing to something to everything we know now. Don’t you think that’s a bit odd? How is it possible that all these people from different points in time and different cultures and different religions all came to that same conclusion? Okay tuck that into your pocket for now, let’s hear Science’s side to this.

So Science has given me an answer and he’s so narcissistic that he’s given his explanation a fancy name: The Big Bang Theory [don’t bother googling, you’re only going to see the show, which by the way is amazing] and after 20 minutes of confused questions from me and annoyed answers from Science, I think I can explain. Science says that the whole universe, everything expanded from an extremely dense and hot state [a singularity called the Big Bang] and continues to expand. This is backed up by evidence from a lot of sources, so Science can’t be wrong, right? And just to add insult to injury, Science brings in a further explanation for life with the theory of Evolution, one that states that Evolution is the process by which organisms change over time as a result of changes in heritable, physical or behavioural traits. Consequently, making apes and monkeys our relatives.

Now, I’ve had my fair share of Science and Religion for a long time and I think I can settle this dispute [if you have anything contrary to say, comment and let’s talk]. First, we have to modify the way we look at Religion, maybe we’re the problem, who nose [I’m playing it too fast and loose with these Doctor Who puns].

See, we look at Creation as an event, a one touch kind of thing but what if Creation is a process, one that began millions and millions of years ago and is still going on inside me and inside you.

Right now, I can tell you’ve already labelled me as a crazy person but please stay with me. One of the problems I predict you having is the contradiction with your holy text, but let me introduce the fact that your holy text is in no way completely literal. I mean, there are so many things in it that can only be explained by being figurative, so what’s one more thing? And time is definitely not a feature in your holy texts, so that chapter you’re thinking of could well have taken thousands of years.

Now the issue you may have with the Evolutionary theory is that God [or the supreme being of your preference] is perfect therefore everything he makes must be perfect, so why should they change if they’re already perfect? Again, I implore you to adjust your views a little, just a little. Perfection is a heavy term with numerous definitions, just look at the universe, it’s beautiful, no? God made the universe and it’s perfect, but look up at the sky, it is the same sky your ancestors looked up at and yet it’s a different one altogether, the universe is constantly changing, Earth is constantly changing so why, I ask, should life not follow also? Perfection in this sense doesn’t mean no change, it just means that even with change, it still retains its core attribute: life.

Also, some humans feel undignified to look at monkeys and see them as a relative. Well, tough luck, it happened, it happened. Even though the heliocentric view of our solar system was proven wrong, we still think of ourselves as the centre of everything, Evolution has shown us that we have no special place here on earth and Astronomy has shown us that we have no special place in the universe. We are unique thinking beings, isn’t that enough? And how exactly does you being related to a monkey somehow impede your progress as in individual [Bazinga. Google it, have a laugh]? Hmm?

Aww, look. Science and Religion are hugging it out, they have some other major issues but for now, I guess they’re together. I’m just going to leave them both now, at least they’re not at each other’s throats anymore. I don’t know about you but that was tiring, I’m going to take a break and when I come back, we’ll do a bit more talking, don’t forget to put your opinions and stuff in the comments section.

Oh, and one more thing. Well, see, where did the singularity from the big bang come from in the first place? Had to come from somewhere, right? Huhn, so from nothing to something to everything we know now, remind you of anything?

 

[Hint: second paragraph. Two sides, one coin. I’m getting really tired of this coin thing]

 

God and Me and Everyone (S01E01)

FeaturedGod and Me and Everyone (S01E01)

When this is over, that would make an amazing TV show title, probably even get a CW deal or something. At some point in our lives, we all ask the same question: does God really exist? Some people immediately fall back to what they were taught as children and believe in God because, well…their pastors/priests/parents told them to, ignorance is bliss, I guess? Some people deviate completely, they ask the questions, don’t find reasonable answers and then they decide that this whole God thing isn’t cut out for them, Atheists. And there is another group of people who out of sheer stubbornness and Infallible faith just won’t or rather, can’t stop believing but at the same time have reasonable doubts and questions about their religion and believe it or not, your religious text does not hold all the answers. Before we even go into this, let me make a few things clear. This is not meant to convert you to my belief or whatever and it’s definitely not meant to slander any given religion. I’m not really religious, this is just me sharing with you what I’ve learnt hoping it would be helpful in whatever path you decide and I’m going to do this without referring to any religious text because that would make things tricky . This is also not an argument for or against Christianity or Islam, this is just me using logic and reason  to try to make sense of this whole thing. So…Geronimo! [ Doctor Who pun, google it, do some of the work for once].
It seems that the most common problem people have with God is all around us and all you have to do is look. There is so much evil in the world and we look at all of this and then look up and ask Him ‘how could you let this happen?’. I know how that feels, because it makes sense, right? I mean, He’s the ultimate being, why isn’t He doing anything to help? Aren’t we His children? Didn’t He put us here? I was thinking about this one day and then I understood that the same fundamental quality that allows us to be ‘good’ can also allow us to do evil things: Free Will.

We all have it, we all have a choice in what we do, that’s one of the defining qualities of humans. So, it’s not that God can’t destroy all the evil and it’s not that He won’t, He’s allowing everything to run its course. Think about it, if God controlled us and made us do virtuous things, would they still be virtuous? No, because for something to be virtuous, it has to contribute to our spiritual life in a positive way meaning that we’d need to choose it and without that choice, we aren’t even humans anymore. We are free to commit evil or good acts and God isn’t going to change it, He created us like this, Free Will is a two sided coin.

So, plainly, if God decided to erase all the evil in the world, it would break the terms of our very own existence, meaning that our free will would be gone and no action we commit is even ours anymore. And for God to have created a world without evil, He would’ve had to create a world of automata, beings who had no control of themselves…that two sided coin.

So why did God give us Free Will? Without it, we’d all just be puppets, empty shells who had no control of their actions. And you also shouldn’t get this twisted, God didn’t create Evil, it’s more of a side-effect of not doing good. So instead of thinking of Evil as a thing, think of it as more of the absence of a thing. For example, stealing is an ‘evil’, that is, it’s the absence of honesty.

Furthermore, I think the presence of evil in the world in a way contributes to a good greater than it could be without evil, like in music, discords in a harmony can make it sound more melodious or the dark patches in a painting make it more beautiful.

This is the end and the beginning. Hopefully you enjoyed reading this almost as much as I enjoyed writing it. I am thinking of writing a series about religion and what I’ve gained and understood so far so if you have anything constructive to say, please comment or message me, thank you and till next time.
Well…that was long, hopefully the next one will be shorter. Dammit, no such luck, now let’s talk about the big question: Is there a God? 

Beginnings-Part One

FeaturedBeginnings-Part One

So I wanted  to do something a little different with more humour and i thought about it and then this story was born .

It was cold, his phone was dead and yet all he could think of on his way to Marcus’s was the ridiculous jogger dressed like a Christmas tree doing his usual prancing gazelle routine, today he was sprinting. Lenny understood sprinting. You ran fast because you had somewhere to get to. He didn’t understand that whole jogging business. It was a run, only slower, so obviously you were in no hurry to get where you were going, so why not walk?
As always, arriving at Marcus’s house always brought this sense of dread he couldn’t yet identify, maybe it was what he knew he was about to endure for three hours, or maybe it was the fact that he was tiring of his frequent visits but it was most likely the pet dog Rover who seemed to have a hungry look on his face whenever Lenny approached him. Without hesitation he knocked on the door fervently while keeping a very close eye on the dog, after about five minutes the door opened and to be honest he wished he had been greeted by a much kinder face. Tessa was Marcus’s first daughter, her real name was Theresa but if you valued teeth and general good health you usually called her Tessa, she greeted with her usual grunt and led him in, after all these years Lenny was astonished as to how Marcus kept the interior design the same or how he could stand it more like.
The colour was in one word: drab. His wife upon entering the house had decided to give it her personal “touch”, when Lenny finally decided to get married he hoped his wife wouldn’t be half the tyrant Catherine was. Tessa led him to the sitting room which he had become accustomed to due to his frequent visits, as he sat down he heard a sharp screeching sound which made him cover his ears in absolute horror, a sound that could only be described as abominable, jarring and could only be made by one man, one teenager to be specific. James the third and last child (he hoped) was thirteen and when he told Marcus of this disturbance he replied “let him be, he’s ‘experimenting’ ”
Lenny just wished he could experiment somewhere else, like Canada or the French quarter and he heard Russia was nice at this time of the year, he gave his suggestions to Marcus but his friend wouldn’t have it.
Still waiting for Marcus to arrive, he used the time to look around, what caught his eye was the family portrait, looking at it someone may have assumed they were a happy family, after a year of careful observation he knew otherwise.
“I remember when we took that”, Lenny turned around to meet his friend, truly the years had worn out his friend or maybe it was Catherine, he could never tell, at about six feet tall Marcus looked like an athlete that is, if you ignored the grey hair sprouting at the edges of his head or his constant slouch. He remembered when they were children and how lively he had been, now he looked like a fifty-two year old man even though he was in his early forties
“it was just after James was born wasn’t it?” Lenny replied
“Yes and that one was after the wedding”
he said, pointing to a gold framed picture, for some reason Marcus looked at Lenny with a scowl.
It took him a while, but he remembered. The wedding service had been nice with a never ending flow of food, when it was his turn to make a toast, he had said wonderful things about the groom recollecting their childhood years and he was sure he saw some tears in his friend’s eyes, then he looked quizzically at Catherine and said
”oh, I thought you were marrying Will(Marcus’ brother),in that case I take it all back”
Lenny didn’t remember all of it but there was definitely a lot of shouting and swearing afterwards
“And what a day it was” Lenny replied with a smile
“you’re two days early, is anything wrong?”
“Can’t I visit my friend without coming here to work?”
“What do you want?”
“Something”
“Before you begin just remember that I don’t owe you anything”
“Really?, because if I remember correctly, I am the one who introduced you to your wife, looking back at it, I think I should apologize”
With a sigh Marcus replied ”just shut up, let’s go upstairs and talk”
On the way up,, Marcus started with the usual question
”So when are you settling down?”
“Don’t start Marcus” Lenny replied
“I’m just saying, you’re a family consultant and yet you don’t want to start one, a bit ironic isn’t it?”
There were very few events in the world that could be considered rare, Lenny being speechless was one of them. Marcus just wished he had his camera.
Before they could even get up the stairs, Charlie had already beat them to it, for a young boy he was quite smart, but the side effect was that he was constantly spouting out facts that everyone could live without.
“hey, Uncle did you know that-“
He was abruptly cut off by Lenny who quickly replied ”yes I did”
After the interruption they made their way to the living room upstairs, where they both sat down. Once upon a time this house belonged to Marcus’s parents and as children they had both played in this vey room in fact just sitting down here brought a feeling of nostalgia.
“What’s wrong?” Lenny asked, when you spent twenty two years knowing someone, it was easy to know when they were troubled
“it’s the house” he replied
“Oh, did it go to a party without telling you?, for God’s sake be more specific”
“It’s being bought out”
“What?”
“Times have been rough, I got laid back from work two months ago so I haven’t been able to pay the bills and I had no choice, so last week I went to an estate agent and this morning I got a call, she said she would buy the house and for good money too Just enough for us to start a new life in a small apartment”
Hearing his friend so sad brought out a protective instinct to make sure his friend was okay but honestly he didn’t know how.
“but you can’t sell the house” he said finally
“ I had no choice and there’s something else you should know”
“What?”
“The buyer, it’s your sister”
“but-but-but she’s dead”
“I thought so too but when I heard her voice I was sure, she may go by a different name but I’m sure of it, it’s her, Rita’s alive”
But Lenny wasn’t listening, he was too busy remembering the burial.
It had been a nice day, the birds were singing, the flowers were colourful, it seemed like such a cruel joke seeing as they were just about to bury his sister, his only sister. It had been an accident, she worked for the infirmary in Iraq, constantly helping, constantly happy, constantly hopeful. She had just got off the phone from her brother, and no one expected it, everyone knew that the fighting went on in the battle field but no one expected the infirmary base to be bombed, thirty-three died, fifty-two injured, Rita wasn’t among the injured.
Till this day he would never forget the last words he heard her say on the phone that day
“so when are you coming back home?” Lenny had asked
“don’t worry about me, just a few more days and I’ll be back home, I promise and tell Marcus I said hi”
“Lenny, Lenny are you listening?” Marcus said, interrupting Lenny’s reverie
Lenny just looked at him and said ”Hi”
“What are you talking about?”
“Never mind that, did she give you a card?”
“yes, she did” he said, handing Lenny a white piece of paper
It read:
Michealson consultancy agency

TARA .I. DREWS
It didn’t take long but Lenny scrambled the letters and what he realized made his heart stop.
Rita Edward.

There were a lot of questions going through his head, but the first one was “how?”, for year he had mourned the death of his sister and now it occurred to him that she’d been alive all this time. How could she?. What was she dong that was so important that she left her family and friends in the dark. Thinking about it now, she always did have a bit of a selfish attitude.
To be frank, he came from a family of drug lords, corrupt politicians and Mafia kingpins, he had hoped he and his sister would be the exception, the ones to escape the mess that was his family. And now here it seemingly was, his sister pulling the exact same stunt his father would pull. It stung, it really did.
He stormed out of Marcus’s house, knowing that his friend would understand the trauma he was facing. He had already put his keys in his car when Marcus called out.
“Lenny?”
“Yeah?” he answered.
“Don’t do anything stupid”
“Now, when have I ever done anything stupid?”

The Creation Story

The Creation Story

Kò sí bí ilẹ̀ ṣe lè mọ́ tó, kó máà ṣú, kò dẹ̀ sí bí ilẹ̀ ṣe lè ṣú tó, kó máà mọ́.
No matter how bright the day, night will fall, and no matter how dark the night, it will yet become dawn.

Like in most creation stories, in the beginning, there wasn’t much. Sure, there was life in the sky with all the Orisha living up there but apart from that, nada, just water and marshy wastelands below. I’ll introduce you to the Orisha properly later on but for now think of them as the all-star team of the Yoruba. This group had everything from a lightning throwing god to a small pox deity. With all of this, some of them felt like there was something missing. Now, I don’t know why but maybe some of the gods were getting a little bit bored with the whole daily routine, there was no excitement. And that’s understandable, with gods you’d imagine that since they’re perfect beings, everything about them must be perfect but the thing about this is that life must seem like a big infinite cycle beginning and ending in the same way. What they needed was something new, something random, something… human. These were probably the thoughts that ran through the god, Obatala’s head as he went to the chief god, Olorun, to ask for permission to go to the earth and maybe create something worthwhile.
Out of all the Orisha, Obatala was the most creative and innovative. He always looked forward and sought out ways to improve what was already there. His curiosity always won over. He was that one deity who always wondered and asked questions (it annoyed the other Orisha to great lengths but with family you just have to deal with it). Olorun saw this in Obatala and thus, was not surprised when Obatala came with his request.
“Baba, I have come with something to ask you.” Obatala said as he prostrated, laying flat on the ground to show respect as was the Yoruba custom.
“Rise,” Olorun said with a simple hand gesture, in his baritone voice that could be heard for miles and miles. “What have you come to say?”
Obatala rose up and dusted his clothes, the simple loincloth he wore. “Baba, I’m grateful for the paradise we are all living in but I feel like it could be better, I want to—“
“Make new clothes for all of us to wear?” Olorun said, rising slightly from his throne with excitement. “These garbs we wear are itchy and always get in the way, I was thinking of maybe a collection of men and womenswear based on—.” Olorun stopped as he saw the confused look on Obatala’s face, it would seem that introducing fashion was not what the young god had in mind.
“Uhm,” Obatala began again, their eccentric leader always threw him off, “I’d like to go down to the earth, explore it a little maybe even create a few beings. I’ve had this idea for a long time about little people that look like us but without powers or—“
Olorun waved his hands in a shooing motion. Anything that didn’t relieve him of the constant itch he felt in his groin was none of his business. “I give you my blessing but you must first consult my eldest son, Orunmila, he can see the future and will be of help to you.”
Obatala bowed again and left the chief god’s chambers. Olorun was a wise god and he saw more than his subjects could, his eyes glittered in the light as he hoped Obatala knew what he was doing. What he planned to do was no easy task.
So, Obatala went to Orunmila’s abode. The other gods steered clear away from this god out of fear mostly. There was something about his silver eyes and manic smile that sent fear rippling through the spine of even the strongest gods. He had the power to see the future, and all other threads of time. It was said that Orunmila had even foretold the age of the death of the gods. Obatala shivered, knowledge like that was something that even the gods should not have. And yet, he kept on walking to Orunmila’s home, he knew this was the only way.
He was about to knock on the door when it opened widely and he was greeted with the face of the eldest son of Olorun. He was smiling his usual frenzied smile, gesturing for Obatala to come in.
“See?” he said as Obatala followed him in. “I knew you would knock on my door at this exact time and I also know what you have come to ask me”
Obatala expected nothing less from him but it shook him a little, did this mean that Orunmila had seen the whole course of Obatala’s life?
“So, will you help me?” Obatala asked.
Orunmila scratched his beard for a moment. “I will, but remember young god, I have seen the future. Beware the liquid that dulls the mind.”
Obatala didn’t understand what Orunmila was saying but he was overjoyed on the inside. His request had been accepted!

 
Obatala was preparing his bags for the journey, remembering the word Orunmila had spoken to him some time ago.
“You will need some things for you to be successful in your journey,” He said stroking his long grey beard. “You’ll need a long gold chain, a snail’s shell filled with sand, a white hen, a black cat, and a palm nut.”
Obatala looked at Orunmila with a little scepticism. “These objects have nothing in common,” he said, half wondering how he’d even obtain them.
“Just follow my instructions, it’ll all make sense, in time.” Orunmila said, already turning his back on Obatala to focus on one of his other projects.
Obatala secured his bags with the items inside. The white hen and the black cat had to be tied separately and tightly since they caused the most trouble. He slung them both with a string he tied on his back, picked up his bags with one hand and the chain in the other.

As he walked out of his hut, he could feel the other eyes of the gods boring holes into his back but he didn’t dare look back. This was something he felt he needed to do and he wouldn’t allow anything destroy his confidence.
Orunmila was at the edge of the sky, waiting for him. “Okay, young god, give me the chain and I will tie it to a tree and you will climb down it until you reach the bottom.”
“What will I do after?” Obatala asked.
Orunmila simple stared at him and answered, pointing to his items. “Do not worry, you already know. Now give me the chain.”
Obatala simply nodded, he had made it this far now, what was a little shimmy down?
As he climbed slowly down, he realised that the task was harder than even he had thought. The winds up there were harsh and cold, it whipped his clothes in a frenzy, He constantly had to adjust his grip on the animals and the bag he had also moved to his shoulder to avoid them from falling. The trip lasted for days and nights, as time passed even Obatala became wary of this endless journey.
He climbed down until he realised that the harsh winds were replaced by a kind of mist. He kept on climbing down until he realised he was finally at the bottom of the chain. The mist obscured most of his vision but he could still see a little because of the faint glow of the chain. He was confused about what to do next when a gentle idea nudged him.
He reached into his bag and brought out the snail’s shell and spilled the sand all over the mist, he heard the sound of it hitting the surface and some liquid splashed on his feet. He realised that maybe the whole earth was covered in water. As he poured the sand, it kept on flowing from the shell until it settled in a small patch of land. He let go of the chain and his feet met the warm hard ground.
He realised that he still needed to spread the sand across the whole earth when other idea came to him. He untied the hen and let it roam. Immediately, it moved around, clawing its way into the earth, spreading it around. Soon, it had created vast mountains and valleys.
He decided that the land looked a bit too plain and so he planted the palm nut Orunmila told him to get. Soon, it became an incredible palm forest!
And so, Obatala settled down in this new land with his cat as his pet to keep him company.
Days soon passed and months and then years with Obatala alone on this strange land with only his cat for company. As to be expected, he became bored, the days started to become monotonous. So, one day he began moulding figures made of clay as he drank his palm wine from the gourd he brought down with him.
Obatala was a creative god and as he worked, the clay seemed to be all that mattered to him. He kept on drinking, immersing himself in this creation, but the palm wine was slowly muddling his mind. Obatala didn’t care, and he just kept on moulding the clay, figure after figure, his eyes like that of a madman. In a sense, that is what the palm wine made him become.
As he was rounding up, he called on Olorun to breathe life into his figurines as the breath of Olorun was the spark of all life. As he did this, he promptly collapsed, drunk.

Obatala woke up, expecting to see his wonderful creations frolicking around on the earth, smiling and waiting for their patron god to wake up so they could worship him. Only as Obatala woke up, sober, did he realise the weight of what he had done.
He had made humans, yes, but due to his intoxicated state, he had gotten the proportions a little differently than he had already imagined. These were humans, just different than what he had planned. Obatala saw this and wept, cursing himself and swearing not to drink again. Only then, did he remember Orunmila’s words to him what seemed like a lifetime ago.
Beware the liquid that dulls the mind.
He should have listened. In his heart, body and soul, he knew he should’ve listened. He stood up and embraced them all, for they were his creations and he still loved them deeply. After this, he set on creating more human beings, this time sober, paying more attention to them as he should have. He called Olorun to breathe life into them once again and they became humans. They soon began populating and building their own civilisation with shrines to worship the gods. Obatala became the patron god of humanity and the disabled. He took exceptional care of them, knowing he was the reason they had even been brought to life in the first place.
The Orisha had been watching Obatala’s progress and they were pleased with the product of his work, all except Olokun, who felt resentment for Obatala and his creations since he was never consulted about earth and the humans.
Olokun was a proud sea god but he knew waging a battle against Olorun would end in him losing and being banished. He also knew that if he fought Obatala, the other gods would be forced to take sides, resulting in a civil war among the gods. Olokun knew that he had to do something, but what?
He looked down from the heavens and he saw the humans once again, they were growing exponentially and as Olokun looked, he saw that they did not even respect the land they were gifted with. They were crass, clumsy and short sighted, never fully thinking in the direction of the future.
Olokun’s anger soon grew the more he saw, and in his destructive mood, he caused a great flood that ravaged the lands. Homes were destroyed and humans drowned under the cruel waters. Lives were lost and the remaining humans cried to the gods, asking for an explanation.

The gods never answered.
From then on, the remaining human beings took nature more seriously, treating it with a kind of reverence.
Or so the story goes.

The Stories We’ll Tell

It was in, let’s say 2008 and my sister and I had somehow convinced my father to take us to a bookstore somewhere in Victoria Island. Right from when I was young, I always had this thirst for the adventures the pages of a book would bring and I soon realised that I couldn’t nor did I want to stop. My sister on the other hand just tagged along so she could manoeuvre a way to get something she actually had interest in. It was my first time in this particular bookstore so I was a bit eager to see what laid behind the glass doors that read some nondescript name. I scurried into the maze of bookshelves searching for something that would catch my eye but after close to twenty minutes, I realised that none of the books available were even close to anything that interested me. They were too old, raunchy and dark. I wanted something I could read and feel happy, not a Stephen King book that would scar my young self for life. Crestfallen, I walked to my father who was already looking frustrated. I knew I had to at least pick something that would at least make sure this trip was worth something. I looked around me hopelessly and my eye fell on a rather large comic book. I had seen Spider-Man lots of times on TV as a cartoon and as Toby McGuire (a.k.a. the best Spider-man ever), but I had never actually read any of the comics or even the annuals like the one in front of me. In fact, that was the first ever Spider-Man comic I had ever seen. I practically ran with the annual to my waiting father and my smiling sister who had somehow found a Bedazzling set. I looked up to him and grinned from ear to ear, ‘I want this one,’ I said.

Immediately we got home, I ran off to the room so I could read in silence. Reading that story, I  marveled at the art and the writing style, it captivated my young self. From then on, comic books became an integral part of my life. From Spider-Man, I moved to the adventures of The Avengers, Captain America, Wolverine and so much more. The thing about the comic world, though: it’s constantly changing, sometimes in minute ways and most times in large world changing ones. The Peter Parker I grew up with was an awkward teen who had trouble juggling between his two personas but now he owns a company and his Spider-Man suit has tech in it. Captain America is now a Hydra agent and Logan is dead. I was thinking about how frustrating the comic world was being when I realised that it wasn’t just them, in fact, nowadays it seems like all the things we grew up with are slowly ending and changing. I guess it’s something that everyone in the world experiences, you grow up and you outlive the stories that you grew up with, but it doesn’t make it any less jarring.

The thing is, for me those comics and novels were more than just past time activities, they were something more. When I felt alone or angry or just sad, I could turn to them and find solace in the pages of fictional characters who somehow taught me more than most real people. The stories had become something akin to companions I could look up to in times of doubt and stress. So, yeah, the stories change and evolve into other stories that would inspire the next generation, but that doesn’t mean the old ones are dead. We carry the stories inside of us as we try and brave through life without them—as hard as it may be—and maybe one day, we’ll be old and our grandchildren will look up to us with beady eyes and ask us to tell them a story from when we were young and energetic. We’ll look up from whatever we’re doing, pull our glasses down our noses a little and laugh. “Well,” we’ll say, “I’ll tell you the story of flying men and women and how a small spider changed a young boy’s life forever.”

Fight Night

Fight Night

Dammit, I feel the taste of blood in my mouth, a bland coppery taste as I hit the cold hard floor for the umpteenth time. He’s been knocking me around for so long now, I can’t even tell how much time has passed. He’s the most awful, greedy, selfish and narcissistic enemy I will ever face and I’m not sure if I’m up to it. I need to stand up, though, if I don’t, I’m finished. He lashes another kick to my side and I swear I hear my ribs crack under the pressure of his foot. He walks slowly across the length of my body and stops near my face, he looks down on me and smiles in that mischievous way of his. He raises his right leg and brings it down in an attempt to stomp my face into a bloody pulp. I roll at the last second, and then—

True strength can only be achieved by overcoming one’s self

That was said some 1500 years ago, a truth that still applies to us today. Upon my first encounter with this quote, I looked at it skeptically, I mean, why and how could you overcome yourself? And if you overcame yourself, then what would you be after?

But perhaps, I thought after, he didn’t mean it quite literally. We live in a world with all sorts of evil and vices and it’s easy, even natural for some to give in to the deep dark recesses of ourselves that indulge in these depravities. But there’s another part of us, the sometimes more silent one, that rages against this, the side that pushes us towards the path of the light.

This quote, however, seems to be based on the premise that the most natural side of us, is the selfish, greedy and narcissistic one. Working better with people is one of the aspects of myself that I’ve been trying to work on. When I’m faced with a difficult person or situation, my first reaction is to lash out and find someone to blame so I can lash out some more. But deep inside, I know that it won’t get me anywhere and yet I find myself by default, acting like Anger from Inside Out (which, by the way, was a solid animation). On some good days, though, I find myself doing the opposite, I take a step back from the situation and lash out against the part of me that wants to lash out.

So, are human beings naturally good or is our goodness a simple side effect of not wanting to do bad? Whatever the answer is, we as individuals seem to be split in two and we’re locked in a constant battle for supremacy over the whole being. So maybe the writer was trying to say that for us to be truly strong, and have complete control over ourselves, we must continuously overcome ourselves because we’re always going to have that side of us that wants to give in and that’s why we must keep struggling. “A house divided cannot stand,” is a popular quote that seems to apply to us too. You can’t be strong on the outside, if you’re divided on the inside.

I spit my blood diluted saliva unto the ground, I think I spat a tooth out too, but I’m past caring, that’s not what’s important. I wipe my mouth with the back of my right hand—the only hand I have now that isn’t broken. I walk to my fallen opponent who is a broken husk at this stage, with a calm demeanour. We fought for a long time but I finally won. I’m supposed to feel triumph but all I can feel is anticipation. His left leg twitches, an almost imperceptible movement, but I see it. My opponent may be fallen but our fight continues.

And maybe one day, Anthony will go down. But for now—I tighten the bandages wrapped around my knuckles— I’ll just keep fighting.

Why Bother?

Why Bother?

We live in a cruel world inhabited by cruel people. We become so wrapped up by our own personal schedules that we often neglect the people around us. So we’re caught in the act forgetting that they too are human beings and they deserve the dignity and respect that we demand from others. We shut ourselves in and accustom ourselves to a sort of tunnel vision that only puts in view what we want and discards the needs of others. But then again, why should we care? I mean, it’s not like anything bad happened when we didn’t.
Caring about others is a blatant waste of time, why should we use our time to care for the weak? Why can’t they become strong? Why must we pull the slack? Why should we be told to respect others, it’s not like they’re equal to us in any way. Of course we’re superior to them by criteria we ourselves made up. Why should we respect the religions of others? Why can’t they just think like us and adhere to our own beliefs? Why should we be kind to people when they’re fat, ugly, skinny or deemed undesirable by society’s standards? Why can’t they be like how society wants them to be? Is that really any of our fault? Why should we act the same around people who are not the same colour as we are? It’s not like anything bad ever happened when we acted otherwise. Why should we give to people who have less? It’s not our fault they weren’t raised with more.
Why should we treat each other better and encourage each other to be better? No atrocious event in human history ever transpired because we lacked tolerance, after all.
The problem is that it’s easy. It’s easy to give in to apathy and wickedness. It’s easy to close our eyes and hearts to the struggles of the souls around us and pretend that nothing is wrong. For too long we’ve done this and look at where we’ve come to as a race. We’re in the process of damning ourselves if we don’t act fast to change our ways.
Human beings are purely social animals. We operate by cooperation at our core. So then, how can we move forward as a society if we keep working against each other. It’s counterproductive thinking.
Now more than ever we must remember to fight. Not any foreign enemy but ourselves, we must fight the apathy that makes us close our hearts. We must fight the fear that makes us close our eyes. We must fight the cold unkindness that makes us close our souls. We must do this because mankind’s worst enemy is not Satan or a cataclysmic event. Mankind’s enemy is and has always been, Mankind.

Me Before Euthanasia

Disclaimer: This contains spoilers from the book/movie, Me Before you. If you haven’t read it, I suggest you do that and then come back and read this later.

Oh, and by the way, Will dies.

                                                “Push yourself. Don’t settle. Just live.”
We are all suffering.
Yes, I know it’s a rather morbid way to start an essay but it’s true. We, all of us, are trapped in this dreary mortal coil and we are all suffering. Suffering is an inherent part of human nature and it follows us all through our lives, from our beautiful births up to our inevitable deaths. Now, the kind of suffering I’m talking about isn’t limited to physical suffering, I’m talking about the suffering that stems from the fact that most of us do not have what makes us happy, not yet anyway, and that’s why we’re suffering. So put on your striped bumblebee tights and let’s try and look a little bit more into this.
After I read Me Before You and I had successfully cleaned the tears off my bloodshot eyes (I wasn’t crying, there was just something in my eye), I started to wonder what I would do had I been in Will’s position. Can you imagine living like that, though? Imagine all the things you love doing, imagine how much you love them, now imagine all of them being stripped away from you in one fell swoop. Imagine having that body which now doubles as a prison.
You wake up a night, beads of sweat already forming on your forehead. Damn, where were your pills? You stretch your neck forwards, as far as your neck can allow you and you see the plastic cylindrical container seated on the dresser on the far side of the room. The white label stuck on its body practically mocking you. You turn your head sideways and find it’s just midnight, you groan in exasperation. You’re thirsty, though, you reach for the glass of water perched on your wooden nightstand. And then the cold truth settles upon you like it always does. You can never reach for that glass, or anything whatsoever. You lay in your bed and stare at the ceiling, you don’t really have an alternative, though. You’re trapped in your own body, a fate you can never find solace from, unless…
Now, that is suffering but on a different level entirely. Imagine that feeling, that cold knot forming in your chest, imagine having that for a whole lifetime. Suddenly, suicide doesn’t seem black and white anymore, it doesn’t seem as simple. Could you live a life like that, paralysed from the neck down, one where you’d need to depend on another for even the most basic of human needs? Before I read the book, in my head I had already formed my disposition on suicide. But after, I started thinking, would it be so bad to end a life, that wasn’t even much of a life anymore? Could I watch a loved one go through this pain for the rest of their lives? Funny enough, this is how most situations in life are, things are hardly ever one or the other, so what do we then do?
And that, is the dilemma.
I had these thoughts for a while and I just didn’t know what to think, so I brought the issue to my anthropology teacher. He brought to mind something that changed my view on this, and grounded me. He alerted me to the fact that in truth, we are all suffering, though the degrees of which may differ. He reminded me that even though we are suffering, there is still that minute possibility that things could get better. Killing yourself would erase any possibility of your situation alleviating. Sure, you’re suffering now but at least there’s hope, would you rather suffer or be damned? And then, I realised subconsciously, that’s what we’re all doing. If there was no hope, why would we even wake up in the morning? I honestly can’t say whether suicide is the wrong choice or not, but it’s definitely the choice with the less yield.
Suicide is a choice you take when in the life you live; you can’t find much to live for anymore. You feel the sadness gnaw at your soul until it finally wins over, engulfing you. But there are better ways to deal with it. Who knows? Maybe Will would have been happy with Lou and they would have both grown old together. Maybe the happiness we seek isn’t a feeling, but a choice. A choice to cease looking down at the dark bottomless abyss and look up at the brightness and hope that each new day brings.
So yeah, we’re all suffering but how we choose to endure this suffering is ultimately what defines us and paths we each take in life. Maybe that’s what the human experience actually is, a limited, though tumultuous endurance test, where we try our best to endure the unendurable and just push on, unto a new day, till we reach the castle in the sky.

The Pen is Mightier Than the Sword…Sometimes

The Pen is Mightier Than the Sword…Sometimes

Well, not really. I mean, in a fight, for instance. Would you really go in, against an armed opponent wielding nothing but a LeoSmart ballpoint? But then again, I guess in the metaphorical sense, it does sound a bit true because with a pen—albeit a visually unimpressive tool—, you can do this really amazing thing. It’s called writing and nowadays, with technology, you don’t even need a pen. It’s amazing, really. When writing was discovered, it gave us a whole new realm to explore. No longer would we be held down by the cold chains of mortality, even though we would die and our bodies become little more than maggot food, writing made sure our words and thoughts lived on. Writing was humanity’s first glimpse of immortality. Writing set us free from this mortal coil.
Okay so there’s this cool thing you can do with writing. Something not dissimilar to time travel. It’s a power that allows you to time travel…without actually going anywhere. So let’s try it, take a trip with me, to a day and time not to different from this one.
We’re in a medium sized house in Surulere and we seem to have landed right in the middle of the sitting room, nice place. But it’s really dark, what time is it? It smells like good food, though. The furniture is arranged in a weird unorthodox pattern and there are some pictures of little children with their parents lined on the wall, so it’s a family home. Do you feel what we’re stepping on? Huhn, it’s carpet, the colour of red velvet. Don’t ask me how I know the colour, I’ll tell you later. It would be best not to make any noise, I got the day right but the time was a bit wrong. The date is June 11th, 2006 and it’s about 2am so it’s still dark out. Do you hear that? There’s some kind of coughing upstairs, sounds like it’s from a child. Let’s see what’s going on. We have to be careful, though. Lots of stray toys lying around, watch your step. Okay let’s go into the biggest bedroom, that seems to be where the sound is emanating from. Be quiet and put on your cloaking tech. Didn’t bring it? I roll my eyes. Rookie. Here take mine, but only for this trip, imagine your own next time, freeloader. I’m turning the door handle but it’s a bit stiff, years of use have worn it down, I guess. Slowly now, the coughing sound is getting louder, you can hear it now, can’t you? Here we are, wait, that’s odd. We passed two large empty rooms on the way here. Then why do they all sleep in the same room? It’s a small family of four, the parents and two children, a six-year-old boy and a four-year-old girl. They’re really cute, aren’t they? The coughing seems to be coming from the male child. He’s a chubby one, has lots of days ahead of him, hope he makes each one count. He’s scratching his throat and he seems to have difficulty breathing, definitely asthma and the cold weather must not be helping. His mum rouses from her sleep, the coughs are getting louder and raspier. Without even pausing, she moves to the machine and slips the mask on his face and turns it on, he starts to relax and breathe well again. And for just that moment, it’s like everything is well again, up until the next attack.
Okay, trip over, let’s get back to present day. Those days were one of the boy’s better ones, and he would have worse ones to come. Asthma is a hard disease to grow up with, it clenches your throat, makes you irritable and suddenly the air that there was so much of, is just far from reach. It would take him about seven more years till he learned to manage it, make it easier to live with it but still, there were those bad days, were he would be transported back to those dark days. Where the night seemed to get darker and he couldn’t draw air from his lungs and the world would just get smaller and smaller. But here’s the funny thing, the very fact that breathing—a very basic ability—was beyond him sometimes, allowed him to make every single breath count, he was determined now more than ever to not waste his life.
I never did know or understand why we all slept in the same room and I never asked. Mostly because I think I already knew the reason why. The bonds of the family, curious thing they are.
Writing gave me a kind of escape from this world, a getaway if you will. I loved the way I would disappear in the words, becoming the pages. I grew up reading some of the most amazing stories ever told and I never even dreamed of writing some of my own, but here I am. It helped me use my imagination to turn those dark bleak nights into bright memorable days. So yeah, maybe the pen is mightier than the sword.
Except in a fight, though, that’s just stupid.