Posts tagged Nigerian

Blog titles are difficult

Believe it or not, I am writing like a newbie. I am shy and highly doubtful of what my words will read like. Going by blogging science, most of my readers will be long gone because consistency is key for bloggers. So why am I back? 

  • I have things to write that could help one or two people, and I live for the opportunity to do so
  • My bio page puts me to shame. I literally wrote there guys, that if no one was reading, I’ll still be blogging. Eweee! 

In 2019 and 2020 blogging wasn’t consistent, I didn’t blog every week (or even twice a week like I once did), but I still put out interesting content.

2021 rolled by and I just stopped. There were reasons for stopping. Now we’re in 2022, and I’ll put my fear right out in the open – I don’t think I can be consistent with writing, or as fabulous as you all may think I used to be. 

I don’t promise consistency, but I promise consistency. Make of it what you will.

Now that we have shattered the ice, welcome! I love this space, and if you’re new here, I hope you get to love it too.

My name is Debby – we should pause here. As a Nigerian, I grew up introducing myself as Deborah pronounced something like this /Dei-beu-rah/. I told people they could call me any variation of my name that gave them joy – Debs, Debby (I was likely to tell them no “Debbie” though), even (the offensive to some Yoruba namesakes,) Debo. When I moved to Washington DC (which I will tell you about in time), I found it weird that some people didn’t know how to pronounce my name. Like Deborah. Relatively common christian name, you know, but they seemed lost to it. One toaster guy that followed and scared me at the bus stop lol, pronounced it as Devoura. For a minute, I thought I was from an exotic Caribbean country and that was indeed my name. Fancy. 

However, thanks to my primary 4 teacher, Ms. Kehinde, I picked up that the “O”(which we Nigerians mostly pronounce like /eu/) should perhaps be silent and instead the name may sound like /De-brah/.

I was like Riiiiiiiiight! I introduced myself with the silent ‘o’, and everybody was just fine. The weird part is that I adapted to a silent ‘o’ in no time, and found myself even struggling to remember to pronounce the /eu/ version to the Nigerians I meet over here. They tend to say ‘ehn’ after I say silent ‘o’-Deborah (weeps in solidarity). The ease with which I changed the pronunciation of my own name, baffles me. There is no moral lesson to this brief story. Except that…on doing a google search now, it seems the problem is with the ‘e’ in the first syllable, making it /Dɛ-beu-rah/, pronounced like ‘bet’ not ‘hay’ which /ei/ gives off. If I have confused you, sorry o.

Yes, my name is Deborah Adebayo, I am a Lawyer, international and social development professional. I am a Christian, and a Nigerian currently residing in Washington DC, USA – Nope, I am yet to run into Joe Biden, but that is underway. I used to love reading books, but now, I read professional articles in my free time (it comes with age, dear). Here are other things I’ve been doing in my free time of late: I discuss with mister lover, fellowship with other christians, cook and eat, binge-view interior design pictures on instagram or I make it a case of binge-watching movies. I am a couch-potato home-loving ambivert. I am therefore blessed that some people who read this blog consider me funny, because it is weird explaining my lack of a social hobby to other people outside of the blog. If it helps them, I say I used to bake and play the guitar (it never helps them). Feel free to call me Debby, (can’t have you struggling with /eu/ or silent ‘o’ or /ɛ/) and enjoy this online unraveling of the thoughts in my head as we go on. 

P.S: *I had completed this post when I re-read my about page, and found out that I had earlier edited away the part that says “…and if no one is reading, I’ll still be blogging”. So I wasn’t even tied to my words. On that note, see you never again!

Love and light,

Hello Strong Friend.

Hello precious people. Welcome back to this space. How’s life going? I really want to know, feel free to ramble away on how life is going in the comment box. I also advise you learn to journal some of your thoughts down, it helps to analyze your feelings. I don’t do so everyday but for the days that I do, it’s amazing.
Today, I’m sharing part of what I wrote down last year and I was suprised to re-read this year.
I wrote this sometimes last year:

God, I want to cry.
I so want to cry that I can’t type. I just want to cry on someone. For being so strong for so long, I want to cry. I just want to cry for everyday that’s gone by. I want to cry.
My lecturer cried in class today and it’s broken something inside of me, I just want to cry.
I got to IVCU fellowship office today, and in the outer office, I heard some of my friends’ voices inside. I didn’t want to go in because I would have to be strong in front of them.
Since when did that start? Friends you can’t cry in front of?
Friends you can’t break your walls in front of.
Am I like that to other people?

The structure of my campus fellowship’s office is basic: you step into a room, call it your reception area. Then there’s a door leading to a store by your right. Still in the ‘reception’ area, there’s a door in front of you that leads to what we often refer to as “the inner office” or inner court (in reference to the Jewish temple).
The walls are made of thin wood, and it’s really just dividing one big office. You can understand that the voices carry.
The context: That day, my lecturer had cried in class and it surprised me, surprised everyone. But it did something more to me, it made me want to cry. I had something to do at my fellowship immediately after my class and I hadn’t cried yet 😀.
Discussion: It’s alright if I didn’t want to break down in front of more than one person but the real issue was the thought that flashed by my mind making me think I had to be strong in front of people.
Strong. Strong? Who is strong please? Such a relative word. Truth is there is more strength in vulnerability than in ‘bold face’.

Since when did that start? Friends you can’t cry in front of?
Friends you can’t break your walls in front of.
Am I like that to other people?

The real question was whether I had friends who would turn away rather than cry in front of me. I’m not talking of general acquaintances. The few and deliberate friends.

Cornelius Lindsey, I referred to him in this blog post, put this picture up on instagram. A part of his caption says:

“To be the strong friend is a desirable position because it means you’re valuable and useful.
Unfortunately strength turns to weakness when it’s used without rest and replenishment. That’s why it’s important for strong friends to have true friends who s/he can be honest with when asked “HOW ARE YOU?”
So strong friend, don’t hide behind pride! Answer honestly for your own sake. I know you help others, but you need help too.”

It’s got two aspects. Check on your strong friends selflessly.
Two, allow yourself to be checked on. Don’t turn back. Go in. No pride allowed here.
There’s a saying that goes:

“Good friends never let their friends cry alone”.

I tell my friends ‘make me a good friend please, don’t cry alone’. Na beg I beg.
A problem shared is a problem half solved. Be deliberate about your friends. Don’t just let friendship happen to you. “We’re in the same group, so we’re friends; we work together, so we’re friends“. That’s cool on a surface level but you must have friends you can tell the brutal truth. Brutal, being the emphasis.
My message to you: Choose your friends, then trust them.

Truthfully,
Debby.
Go on ahead, how are you doing?