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F E A T U R E D P O S T!

This is a really delicate topic, so I’ll throw in a couple of “lols” just to loosen up the pathway for the heart trying to rise through the esophagus.

So, how did I overcome depression?

Actually the question is how am I overcoming depression?
This is probably the hardest post I’ll ever write, but I promised to share my story. So here goes...

Depression began in my mid-high school years. The works: stay in my room all day, refuse to socialize with family, church family, school friends, (except for my high school best friend. Love her loads), refuse to eat in public (or with family), if I did, it would mean I'd have to socialize with people, which I did not want. I slept a lot and the sleep came easily. When it didn’t, I’d lay patiently until it came. There were days when I would feel so down and I wouldn’t know why.

I was ready to push anyone and everyone I did not trust away. I was, of course, suicidal. There were always those thoughts that asked “Why am I even alive?”, “What good am I…
Recent posts

QUIET

I REMEMBER MY FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL IN AMERICA. I REMEMBER IT LIKE IT WAS YESTERDAY. I WAS NERVOUS, BUT NOT AFRAID. MY RELATIVES TAUGHT ME THAT I SHOULD NOT FIGHT, UNLESS I WANTED TO GO BACK TO MY COUNTRY BY MYSELF.

SO I BECAME QUIET.

ME, THIS LAGOS KID WHO COULD WALK 30 MINUTES FROM SCHOOL TO HOME ALONE AND UNAFRAID BECAUSE I WAS READY TO FIGHT, BECAME QUIET.
I WAS A RESPECTFUL CHILD, WHEN I WAS A LAGOS KID. I’D SIT IN CLASS, OR CHURCH WITH MY FRIENDS AND I NEVER GOT IN TROUBLE.

UNLESS SOME KID NEEDED ME TO REMIND HIM THAT EVEN THOUGH THIS CUTE UNIFORM DRESS I WORE REPRESENTED ME AS A LADY, I WOULD NOT HESITATE TO BEAT HIM LIKE A BOY.

SO BEING QUIET IN AMERICA WAS NOT DIFFICULT, BUT IT WAS NOT EASY.
I SAT IN CLASS ON MY 1ST DAY OF SCHOOL READY FOR WHAT THE TEACHER HAD IN STORE. REALITY STRUCK ME WHEN I HEARD THE TEACHER’S ACCENT. I WAS NOT AFRAID, BUT I WAS WORRIED THAT I WOULD NEVER BE ABLE TO MIMIC THAT ACCENT.

SO I KEPT QUIET, JUST IN CASE I WOULD NEVER BE ABLE TO FIT IN. I WAS BU…

MAMA, WHERE ARE YOU?

HOW WILL YOU CARRY YOUR CHILDREN?

WILL YOUR PELVIC BONE BE BROKEN

IN ORDER FOR YOU TO BARE LIFE? LIKE ME?

WHERE IS YOUR FERTILITY?

WHERE IS YOUR WAIST?

WHERE ARE YOUR HIPS AND WHY ARE YOUR LIPS SO BIG?

WHY ARE YOUR CHEEKS SO BIG AND SUNKEN?

MAMA, WHY DO I SEE YOUR BONES?

I CAN FEEL YOUR SPINE

AND I CAN SEE YOUR CHEST AND COLLAR BONE.

MAMA, I CAN FIT YOUR TWO WRISTS IN THE CIRCLE OF MY THUMB & INDEX.

WHERE ARE YOUR BREASTS, MAMA?

I SAY, YOU’LL NEVER BE ABLE TO FEED YOUR CHILDREN.

HOW DO YOU KEEP STILL AS THE WIND BLOWS?

YOU’RE CUTE..

YET, YOU’LL NEVER BE BEAUTIFUL LIKE ME

I CAN’T FIND YOUR BACK

HONEY, YOU FRONT LIKE A MAN.

WHAT ARE YOU?

MAMA, WHERE DO YOU COME FROM?

WHAT WAS HE THINKING AS HE DROPPED THE TINY HINT OF BEAUTY,

BUT MISSED ALL THE ENDOWMENTS?


YOUR SOLES ARE TOO CRACKED UP

TO RUB AGAINST ME, MAMA

YOUR SKIN..

I CAN BARELY FIND YOU.

AS THE MOON ATTEMPTS TO BARE ONLY IT’S LIGHT UPON YOU,

MAMA, WHERE ARE YOU?

Originally published on parallelmagz.com
Odabó,
Oluwanitori
I visited a beach last month.
I brought 2 stones with me, But I had no plans on keeping them for this visit.
I loved one of these stones,  but it did not please me as the other.
So out of the entire month I spent at the beach, The stone I loved was lost after 2 days.
I searched and searched for hours,  then I found it. Soon I threw it away willingly, Because it did not please me as the second stone.
Love was an overstatement.
My second stone stayed with me. I did not love it, But it pleased my eyes. It had sharp sides that could cut my flesh, But I looked past that  and I focused on its beauty.
I kept this stone for 2 weeks, Until I gave it up. It fell out of safety one day And sliced my foot.
I cried and I said "oh stone, I kept you for your beauty, Yet you hurt me You hurt me deep  and you’ve left me open for scars." I should've never brought this stone with me.
I should've left it where I found it. Now I limp around with a bandage on my foot, Waiting for it to sc…

You're Enough

I've come a long way as a African woman. I used to hate the way I looked. I hated my skin color, my hair, my slimness. My lips. I did not like these things about myself because people pointed them out to me as out of the ordinary and I like to be ordinary.

Then I'm less. I know nothing. Therefore I am less. right?

For a great percentage of my self-awareness. I've looked at myself as less. Someone may say "well that explains why she was depressed". Nah let's not get into that lol.

There was a day I looked at myself in the mirror and I wondered, why am I not good enough? I remember it like it was yesterday. I was in high school. I stared at myself and I asked “what's wrong with me?” “I think I’m pretty. ““So why am I less? and why am I not good enough.”

One thing I want to focus on is value.

As a young individual, you always want to place your worth and value in the hands of others because others see the you your reflection does not tell you about. When I sto…

8 UPDATES ON OLUWANITORI!

It has been a really long time. Hasn't it, dear Oluwanitori reader? I've missed you as much as you have missed me. It's been a tough and trying semester for me, mentally, spiritually and academically. This day, I'd love to share with you some updates on little aspects/changes in my life that may be of interest to you!

I completely cut my hair off in April 2016. (Transitioned for a couple of months) *see this post*
Cutting my hair was the most controversial thing I've done this 2016 LOL(but then again). I just woke up one day and decided to stop postponing rash decisions like this and just do it and my sister was totally up for it!

I spent time constantly reminding male friends and counterparts that my mere existence and purpose in life is not for their pleasure and/or survival.
No, I will not cook jollof rice for you and no, I didn't dress up today because I wanted to look good for you and/or your homeboy.

I stopped obsessing about my weight and size.
I think I…

My 'MeettheBlogger' interview with SunshineSarahxo

Recently, I had a 'Meettheblogger' interview with SunshineSarahxo where I shared why I blog. If you are just dying to know more about me, you may click the picture below to read the interview. Don't forget to share!

BUBBLE

As you all know, I've lived less than half of my life in another continent, a completely different culture. One thing I noticed about the new culture I now live in was the concept of the "personal bubble space".

It was the 1st day of my internship. I walked in for my orientation and took my position next to a wall as I waited for the orientation leader. There were other orientees in the room, so I had no space to stand or sit, except for the wall, in order to not inconvenience anyone. As I stood, waiting, I glanced at my phone multi-tasking and passing time. Suddenly a thought came into my mind. "Why am I even standing sef?" I wish I can just sit on the table or on the corner of the chair next to someone" I looked around and I noticed how much space everyone gave one another. It was as if each and everyone of us had some form of disease that could be caught by physical contact or breathing the same air.

I looked at myself and noticed that I also stayed aw…

Orange Cake

I was 11. I wrote in my diary about my 10th birthday. About how my family didn't really care enough to celebrate it with me and how all I got was a egg-roll (Nigerian). Then I wrote about my 11th birthday, about how we didn't celebrate that either because we were still fresh off the boat and about how it wasn't important. I can't remember how much pain I depicted in that journal entry, but I can imagine it was a lot of deep stuff coming from an 11 year old.
My dad got hold of my journal and read that entry. He didn't tell me that he read it.

One day, he came home and asked me and my brother to get some groceries from the car and that he has a surprise for me. When I saw the cake, I said hmm. Still couldn't guess what was going on. When we brought the orange cake in, my dad called me and told me that he read my diary. I was pissed, but in an African home, privacy does not exist for 11 year olds, but I'm sure you already know that. He said that he didn't…

DEFINITIONS

There's something about definitions
that sends me to a place of discomfort
What does it mean 
To be perfectly defined?

I keep staring at this sea of puffs on my head
And as they stare back at me

I can imagine them asking
"What else do you want?

We're not perfectly defined for you.
You want us to make you look good
So you massage us with oils and water

You fold our arms and legs up overnight
Tie us up with satin ropes
Threatening us to make you look good for tomorrow
You want us defined
But yet we've tried to show you

In our coming together we are defined
In our separation, we are defined.
What more do you ask?
Have you not noticed that we
Always come back to ourselves?

When we shrink,
We are only going back to safety
It's all we know.

We are only cringing at the thought of you
Expecting us to form shapes or stretch our limbs for you.

That simply is not who we are
We are defined
We just ask that you accept us the same way when we are not bound."
Odabó,
Oluwani…

Life in the African Diaspora

Recently, I began writing for Parallel Magazine. My focus is "Life in the African Diaspora". There, I share and will be sharing part of my most intimate experiences as a woman and/or individual living outside my home continent through poetry.... well i think it's poetry.

There are so many topics to choose from!



Check it out at Victoria Ṣọngònùga | Parallel Magazine | or click the links below for specific poems I have written...






Odabó,
Oluwanitori

Guess Who Just Became a Tapered Babe!

I cut my hair!

I had been speculating for years now. So I finally did it!

So why did I cut it??

To be honest, I just woke up one day and decide against relaxing my new growth. I haven't relaxed my hair in 5 months and the hair really grew!!
What really made me choose to cut it was just the thought of having short hair and being able to enjoy it.

Past experiences with short natural hair:

Childhood
When I was a child in Nigeria, I'm sure my hair was cut short, and it was probably because my mom was over it, but I SURE didn't mind. I remember the teeny tiny puff which grew into 2 giant puff balls. I remember the rubber thread used to make my hair, separated in sections. They hurt so much and I really hated them. Actually, anything involving an African woman touching my head brings headache and face-lift memories. I happen to have a very sensitive scalp and I have learned that beauty hurts. (But not all the time)
High School
I cut my hair twice. And when I say cut, I mean a REALL…

A Rant on Single Stories

About a week ago, my class commenced by watching a ted talk video of Chimamanda Adichie’s “The Danger of a Single Story”. She happens to be one of the most inspiring writers whose work I have always had the pleasure of indulging my frontal lobe. When I watched this video, I felt myself remembering and reliving my childhood. It was like she was telling my story, except for that Mariah Carey album lol. Although, I have had experience in a similar situation where people would ask me if I understood the African artist who featured on Beyoncé’s song, “Grown Woman”. I didn’t, but when I researched the artist, I found out that he, Ismael Kouyate, is an artist from Guinea. Well Guinea, is not exactly Nigeria, where I happen to hail from, but at least they got the continent right... right?

Well, whenever people would ask me if I understood or could translate what the artist was saying, I told them that it’s not my language. I didn’t really catch offense because, people have not really gotten to…

A Bantu Knotted Week

There's this issue that has been brewing in my mind for some time now. This issue is on certain African hairstyles, such as, Bantu knots or plaiting of hair (cornrows). Lately I've been noticing that I don't see a lot of women wearing these hairstyles with pride. It seems like the only time we do these hairstyles is when we're either trying to curl, crochet or weave hair in. Bantu knots are known especially for curling the hair, while the plaited hair is used for curling, crochet or weaves. The only people I find going out with cornrows are young children, a few women and men.
So last week, I decided to go out with my hair in Bantu knots and I took note of some of the experiences I had. To be honest, it was hilarious to me.

1st day:
Saturday - I went to work and was turned back because my pants looked like jeans. (When they weren't, or do I need to upgrade my glasses prescription?) Convenient.
After that, I went for a photo shoot and the photographer was curious ab…

In An Attempt to Feel my Feelings

A few weeks ago, I was surfing the web and I stumbled upon a very beautiful blog called thecuriousgemini. I took to reading and in the midst of reading, I was taken aback by one of its blog posts called Feel Your Feelings. When I saw this title, I thought to myself “hmm... Don’t we all feel our feelings?”, but when I read the post, I realized that I was way off.


I will encourage you to read the post before continuing here, so that you may be able to understand what I am talking about.


When I think of “feeling my feelings”, I’m reminded of the feeler that I am. The over thinker and the planner with no action. When I read, Feel Your Feelings, I got another perspective on this case. I learnt about acknowledging feelings that I am not so comfortable with having. In uncomfortable cases that require me to acknowledge my feelings or react openly, I find myself unresponsive. In Nigeria, we call this nonresponse “forming”. Which means that I am “putting up a front” so that no one would know ho…

The Bae List

Valentine’s Day is coming! And all the single people are totally excited!!!

NOT!

Since Valentine’s Day is around the corner, I decided to tell you guys about the bae list, my experience with it, and how far I have come with it. The bae list is a list of all the qualities you would want in a future spouse. Whether spiritually, financially, psychologically (state of mind & perception) physically, domestically and many more, it is about what you want. This list is created, and then taken to God in prayer. I mean what else would you do with this kind of list? Obsess over it? Nah don’t do that. That would make it an idol.

I created the bae list a REALLY long time ago and I enjoyed it because it brought things that I never really thought about into perspective. It gave me the chance to be able to talk to God about that awkward topic. Fortunately or unfortunately after creating it, I never did much with it. I know exactly where I kept the list, but I never went back to stare longingly at it…

Why I Check Other on www.BrittlePaper.com

Yes!! My title is correct!


My poem got published on one of my favorite literary websites called Brittle Paper!!

I'm very passionate on the topic of my childhood and how I adjusted to the western culture.

I'm just soooo happy!! We "poets" or "writers" pray for the day someone would think our work was good enough!

Thank you soo much Ainehi Edoro!!

Check out the poem at Why I Check Other | Victoria Songonuga | African Poetry


Odabọ (bye for now),
Oluwanitori

Follow Me by Glory Glory

Today, I’d like to introduce to you a very talented artist I have had the pleasure of knowing and being blessed by way back when I was a youth. Her name is Glory Attaochu and I may not know her personally, but I have had the opportunity to be blessed by her music especially during worship at church events.
Glory plays the guitar, piano, AND the violin and so I’m sure you can imagine how beautiful her music must be. From what I’m hearing in her music, she’s definitely adding her African heritage to the mix and I absolutely LOVE it!! I really do! She also reminds me a lot of Asa whom she has said to be one of her greatest inspirations and anyone who reminds me of Asa is awesome in my book!
Glory’s voice really is just beautiful compared to some other artists we know and love. If you know me personally, you know that it is virtually impossible for me to enjoy music that has no meaning and value. You know what that means (in my my singy song voice). Glory’s latest music video is called Foll…

In 2015

God closed a lot of doors in my life in 2015,
but I did not see death.
I was close to death at times,
but I took those miraculous footsteps back and cheated.
or is it cheating if they were miracles?

He ended toxic relationships
and gave me new relationships
so that I may begin to last more than 1 week living for him.

He took away the stumbling block that separated me from him
and though he did not give me the pinch of amnesia I cried for,
He helped me to understand these memories 
and to use them to touch the lives of others.

In 2015,
I finally understood the meaning of grace.
I found out that I did not need to clean up myself
to be good enough for God
because that would be like showing up for surgery 
after messily cleaning 
and stitching up your ripped apart heart.

I found out that he just wanted me to
shut up and stop complaining 
and open my mouth and start praising him.
He taught me the art of worship.
He helped me understand the proof of his love.
Though I may never feel like I'm good enough, 
his g…