It has been a while!

Photo by Wendy Clarence

It has been over three months since I last published a blog post—my blogging license should be revoked and I should be put on probation! If I told you that I’d be back last month and you feel lied to, I’m sorry. If you noticed my absence, bless you! I hope that all is right in your world as you read this.

Here’s what has been going on in my ordinary but much-valued life.

Marriage
All glory to God, Sayo and I remain the poster children for long-distance marriage (LDM). Ok fine: I’m sure there’s another couple who’s rocking the LDM better than we are, but I’m proud of us. Our relationship is deepening, we’re focusing on improving our communication, and we’re being extra considerate of each other (giving each other the benefit of the doubt under these less than ideal LDM conditions). Sayo is responsible for my more consistent bible reading and I appreciate that.

Waiting for our reunion has had its frustrating moments but we trust the process (though we greatly dislike the waiting!) and we have people praying for us which has helped. I wish the powers that be would give us more updates along the way. For now, we continue to wait. I promise to update the Unexpected series before the end of this month.

Family
I thank God for his faithfulness to my family—He has kept us for such a time as this. There have been challenges, but we aren’t alone through them. When you get sick and then get better, that’s such a blessing: some people are dealing with chronic conditions that require management of them for life.

When I’m faced with challenges, my default is to worry, pray, and then worry some more, instead of leaving my worries and fears with God. It makes no sense because why else am I praying? Joyce Meyer says something about how it’s perfectly okay to enjoy your life after giving your burdens to God but I always take back my burden. It’s strange to imagine getting to the point where I can be crying while praying in one moment, then enjoying my favourite show the next, but what better sign of faith that God’s got this than for me to do my part (which is to pray and also do what I can do) and leave the rest with Him? It’s a work in progress.

I’m still a mother hen with my parents and being Auntie remains one of the best things that has happened to me—I can’t believe how much I love my nephew and niece.

On a thankful note, my sister and brother-in-law celebrated five years of marriage and my nephew celebrated his fourth birthday, both on the same day—this never gets old to me!

Friendships
I’m fortunate to have supportive and encouraging friends. I’ll be travelling for a week with a friend next month—I’ve never done that before!—and I’m looking forward to it.

One thing I’m struggling with in my friendships is NOT indulging in gossip. I hate the way that I feel after discussing things behind someone’s back that I wouldn’t feel comfortable saying to their face, which tells me everything I need to know: I don’t want to be this person. I want to have better things to talk about than other people’s lives.

About half of my close friends don’t believe in God. As I deepen my study of the bible, certain things are harder to ignore. For example, it’s very common for people to take the Lord’s name in vain and it bothers me. But then I feel like a hypocrite because I say “Oh my God!” yet I physically cringe when someone says “Jesus Christ!” Can anyone relate to this? The way I rationalize it in my head is that Oh My God! is an expression of surprise or shock, not a swear word while the people who say the other name mean it as a swear word, but I don’t think the bible differentiates!

I can be a good friend in the moment, but I feel like I’m slacking in the friendship maintenance department. I don’t follow-up in between meet-ups like I used to. I also have less patience for repetitive issues (except gossip-related ones, sadly!).

Work life
My job is in transition. This year, I want to be an excellent employee and I want to focus on documenting what I do impeccably so that if I should be away for an extended period of time, someone could step in and keep things going. No one wants to think of themselves as replaceable but we all are!

Over the years, I’ve willingly obsessed about aspects of work that have nothing to do with what I was hired for. In a work setting especially, gossiping feels so wrong yet I do it. There are definite issues at work but ranting about these frustrations with like-minded individuals has done nothing for the situation so I want to stop wasting my energy on it. I’m not sure about the best way to extract myself from something that I enjoy (in the moment) and that I’ve willingly been a part of for so long. In the past I’d say that I’m done but then I’d witness something, get fired up again, and start talking about it nonstop!

I’ve been fortunate to make friends with some colleagues but I need to reduce my non-work-related chatter in the office. I’ve always liked the idea of keeping my personal matters out of the workplace as much as possible and I don’t know if it’s this workplace in particular, the prevalence of women, or the length of time that I’ve worked there, but trying to keep your personal stuff personal almost seems like you’re breaking some code. I don’t want my business to be all around the office and I recognize that some days, my employer isn’t getting as much of my time as they’re paying for, which is not cool.

Side business
For most of the 10 years that I’ve been blogging as Good Naija Girl, I’ve talked about starting a side business. I’ve dabbled, I’ve launched, and I’ve haphazardly tried a few things but I’ve never gone all the way with an idea. The reason: fear, of rejection, of failure. But many of the people whose story inspires me started with something that’s not exactly the same as what they’re currently known for. They tried something, it failed, they survived, and they got closer to the great business idea. So with my latest venture, Elevate My Writing (EMW), I’m determined to see it to the bitter end. That sounds pessimistic but if you look at the end of one thing as the beginning of something better, then it’s great.

The process of bringing EMW to life has been frustrating. I’ve experienced more rejection than I’ve ever had of something I created and the full website isn’t even launched yet! The self-doubt is serious. I’m regularly discouraged by how much I have to promote if I want to be a businesswoman rather than a hobbyist, and I see why some people decide to focus on their 9–5 and not invest so much time on something that often seems like more work than it’s worth. I’ve wanted to quit many times, but no premature giving up is allowed this time: I have to do my best before I can conclude that EMW is done. Follow along on Instagram to see how I do.

Personal
The overthinker in me has been working overtime, which is part of the reason that I haven’t updated this blog. I need to strike a better balance between talking about something and doing it (less talk, more action). One area that I’m obsessed with sorting out is boundaries! I’m working on being firm but kind when dealing with people who I allow to broach my boundaries. I hate disappointing people but I also hate how I feel after giving in to something that I shouldn’t have. The difference between people like me and successful people is the boundaries that we set.

I want to be more deliberate about how I use my time. The older I get, the faster the time is going and I need to spend my time in a way that won’t leave me with regrets.

I love taking on other people’s problems and trying to help them solve it, whether they’ve asked for my help or not! What I’ve noticed lately is I’ll be obsessively thinking about someone’s thorny issue long after they’ve either accepted their fate or moved on. This is a huge waste of my time and brainpower, which I need for many other things. I plan to listen more than I speak or advise because I know these fellow adults can figure out their lives, just as I’m trying to figure mine out. Now if they actually ask for advice, that’s different.

My hair has grown but I still don’t make time for it—I love my hair but I do not enjoy styling it one bit! I’ve been wearing it in a pouf for months now. My skin (face) is the victim of my constant picking at its blemishes—someone needs handcuffs and a dermatologist! And if you are what you eat, well, I can tell you I’m not a salad!

What I’m looking forward to

  • Launching a profitable side business.
  • Going on vacation.
  • Welcoming my husband to his new home.
  • Celebrating with family.
  • Enjoying summer (winter was so long this year).
  • Blogging more consistently and continuing the Unexpected series.

Your turn: please share what has had your attention in 2018 and what you’re looking forward to!

13 thoughts on “It has been a while!

  1. Hey Jummy, Mona here.

    – I hope that the reunion between you and Sayo happens soon. LDM is not it at all. I’m praying for you guys.

    – So thankful that your family members are doing well. God will continue to keep them in perfect health. Amen! Congrats to your sister and hubby on five years of marriage, and also to the nephew for turning 4. All good things.

    – Friendship and relationship maintenance is also a big challenge for me. I want to become more intentional about this aspect of my life.

    – Regarding gossiping at work and on a personal level, I am so with you on this one. We’ve become so tuned out to talking about issues that we don’t consider it to be gossip. I also want to complain less.

    – Yes to setting boundaries and also stop overthinking stuff. Jummy, you and I are so much alike. No need to recap everything here.

    Thanks for sharing.

    • Thank you for your prayers and good wishes, Mona, and sorry for the huge delay in responding. I really appreciate all the encouragement you gave me in this comment! Sayo and I are closer to reuniting than we were six months ago so thank God for that!

      I hope that you’ve been able to make progress with having more intentional friendships, managing your speech at work, and complaining. I hate to admit it but I have not done well on these fronts over the last six months. But I will not beat myself up because I am aware and I will do better—it’s exhausting though!

      Hugs to you!

  2. And again the term “adulting” comes to mind and it is no easy feat. Definitely sounds like you have an interesting year with so much on your plate. Glad you are throwing your all into EMW no matter the outcome cos then you will never have to wonder or regret q lost opportunity. My 2018 is all about trying to have some form of work life balance. I want to try to get healthier as well.

    • You said it, Neuyogi: but why is it taking me so long to realize that adulting is life and digging in my heels is only hurting me!?

      I hope you’ve made some good progress on achieving work/life balance and improving your health.

      I just saw a picture of you and your little miss on Instagram and you both look great; thank God for that. Have a wonderful time back home!

      (Sorry this reply is coming so late!)

  3. Glad to hear from you since these days GNG!

    A lot had really happened to me and it seems everything is moving very fast..

    I think foreign people are used to swearing with words like OMG and they see nothing wrong with that, you shouldn’t feel “completely bad” over it incase you find yourself saying that too lol

    As regards project,
    I wanted to launch Online courses soon where i can teach people what i’ve learnt so fa (Personal growth and Internet stuff) but sometimes i don’t know where to start off which leaves me not to begin the project yet

    And yes, i check out EMW, the website is pretty simple, straightforward and cool.. I think you’re going to need a team for it. Or do you think its something you can pull alone

    Happy New Month and my regards to Mr GNG :)

    • Tunde, ma binu for my late reply. Thank you for your feedback!

      You’re definitely right about swearing here: it’s so commonplace. But I need to do better!

      Have you made some progress in launching your online course? You mentioned not knowing where to start so one method that some people use is to pre-sell the course based on an outline they provide on a landing page with a future starting date. Once a few people pay for the course you then create the course.

      Happy New Month…but instead of June I mean November!

  4. Glad you brought up the issue of gossiping at work.its something I’ve been seriously struggling with and I hope to overcome.

    I’ve somewhat improved on avoiding gossip because I moved to a new unit,but I’ve made new friends and I still find my self doing this. Will really appreciate it if you share helpful ways to avoid this

    Iike I said earlier I moved to a new unit within my organization.im currently working on developing and enhancing my skills to fit my new role.i worry sometimes cos I like to be an expert at what I do,but then again I try to encourage my myself that there’s a time to learn and start afresh.

    I’m working on my prayer and bible study time.i want to be more consistent at studying Gods word and listening to him more

    I enjoy reading your blog…keep it up

    • Opeoluwa, thank you for visiting and leaving a comment. Please accept my apologies for the huge delay in responding.

      With regard to gossiping, moving to a new unit can help because you can establish new rules. What I have tried to say to people that I used to gossip with is “We have better things to discuss than this”. I’ve also told the people I gossip with that I always feel awful after gossiping so that is why I don’t want to do it anymore. That being said, I still struggle with this.

      Congratulations on your move at work: I hope you’re enjoying your new responsibilities and thriving at them! I also hope that you’ve been able to consistently improve your time with God.

  5. I love reading your blog Jummy though I’m not consistent. .
    I really hope you and Sayo get reunited soon and I pray that your relationship continues to deepen.

    I also like how you’re so factual about gossiping and wanting to avoid it. Well done you!

    I hope you achieve your goals. This is July through and no post yet 😂

    • Thank you for reading, Tolu, and welcome back to blogging!

      Amen to all you’ve said—with regard to blogging I need serious help, but I did make a post just now!

  6. I missed reading from you so I had to come check to see if I missed. Keep going for it with Elevate My Writing. Every big successful person you see started just like you did, with lots of rejection, but kept pushing. I’m proud of you, and I love your Instagram page! I would follow, but I don’t have one and don’t think I’ll be getting one for now, lol.

  7. I still love reading your blog. When I read your words I feel like I’m chatting and catching up with you in your cozy living room.

    I personally have been the victim of malicious gossip that has harmed my life recently. So obviously I try not to engage in gossip… but I truly don’t know the difference between venting and sharing frustrations or spreading bad information about someone. If person A days and does mean things to me, and I tell person B about it as a way of getting it off my chest; what is that? Have I gossiped? Sigh.

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