About Me

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Calgary, Alberta, Canada
I am a lot of things - I am limited edition, not weird :) . A Christ Lover and a fashion lover. I love crime and comedy shows (or movies) .. and I always move on no matter what :)

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Numb

What exactly is that numb feeling that creeps on us? Is it emptiness or some kind of depression or is it a type of mental illness? Dictionary.com defines numbness as “deprivation of physical sensation or the inability to move”.  Oxford dictionary online explains that the state of numbness is the inability to think, feel or respond normally.

There are also articles that relate the feeling of numbness to a type of mental illness.  They explain that emotional numbness can cause a person to feel no hope for the future (livestrong.com). It also explains that it could make one feel disconnected from a situation. So, maybe this feeling could make us feel hopeless or allow us watch life pass by.

So, what is purpose? And how does the continuous feeling of no purpose make us feel? What are the long term effects? Can it cause us to feel numb?  A lot of people talk about finding something to fill the void in our hearts  like love or faith; but what if the void isn’t from family or friends or a lover  or God.  What if the void feeling is from lack of understanding one’s purpose, and the inability to go at it with full-force? What if purpose isn’t showing up?



What happens when days pass, and they become months and you find yourself living a life of routine and feeling nothing (like a robot or bubble head). With every waking day, the pain in your muscles intensify and as the clock tick, you wonder what you are doing here; in this big-big world.

This situation may be a little difficult to explain because you do not feel sad or bitter or negative. You don’t feel like you receive no love or have none. You are able to receive love, give it and enjoy the love you share with people.  BUT there is still that sick feeling in your stomach because by the seconds, you feel like a waste of space. What exactly am I doing here?

Again, what is the purpose? Does it get miraculously revealed to us? Or do we go on this journey of trying everything until we find it? How do people find that thing (or those things) that make(s) them feel a little more fulfilled? How do people come to terms with what they are created for?  Does one have to go on a long break from the regular everyday life to press a reset button or to step back in order to figure it out? Should we look internally for balance?  Should we accept or assume that there is no such thing as fulfillment and maybe perhaps, we will get used to that? Maybe purpose actually never shows up? How exactly do you know? How can we chase the emptiness away?


This search for purpose seems to be taking too long.  There have been nights and days of prayers, accepting the situation, headaches and swollen eyes because I don’t understand how I can just be here and feel nothing. I do not know how to be just “there”. I honestly hope to be more than that. Also, I have always known what is next, I have always had a plan after a plan but for the first time in my life I am not sure of what direction to take or what I would love so passionately. It is a confusing and strange place. But I am not one to give up and will keep searching.  I see an end to this episode and believe that soon, I will be in a better and clearer space in my head and I will know.

However, I am tired of feeling so numb and tired of being so tired about it!!! Maybe I should listen more to my heart instead of my head.  Maybe it will be the best and “stupidest” decision I will ever make.

Friday, September 30, 2016

oh! WOW! How did your hair get so long?

"YOU CHANGED YOUR HAIR AGAIN?" Every single Afro- Caribbean female understands the awkwardness of answering this question. " Yes, I did" you reply with an awkward smile. I was talking to a friend on Monday, and she asked me if people at work ask questions about the hair change; so, that question inspired me to write about the questions  and experience that we get and hopefully, educate other people.

It is also weird when the same set of people ask you the same question every month or two months. "wow! your hair is soo long today, how did it grow so fast?" It is most annoying because the first 2 times they asked, you explained that you change your hair frequently, and you wear extensions too.  But no!! same questions again! And in my mind, I literally roll my eyes behind my head, on other days when I am not so patient, I give a reflex dirty look that makes them keep quiet. 

What is it about Afro- Caribbean females and our glorious and miraculous hair change? and why is it so common with us? It is a cultural thing. It is that simple and it isn't strange or weird, neither is it because we hate our Afros and want other people's kind of hair. We  just get bored, and love to spice things up.  We have been wearing our braids since we were 4, and our mothers adored us in any kind of hair they did for us. So we might decide to rock our fros' today, locs tomorrow, a weave next week, or a wig in 2 weeks. Today we feel like the short bangs but  tomorrow, we want our hair flowing like the rivers through our backs. It is just the way it is. Many of us want to spice things up, we love to, and we do.

Before 2015, I was a bit shy about going out in my natural hair because I was terrified about the many questions that people might ask, or the kind of unwanted attention it might bring. So, I would always make my hair based on trying not to be too sharp about the change. (why did I care so much?)

I Strategized.  Sooo, let us say I had a long weave of 16 inches and wanted to go short - 6 inches. I will go get a 12 inches or 14 inches so that the change won't be so obvious and so they don't ask too many questions.



But again, why did I care so much?  In May 2015, I decided to leave my hair out to work and I am glad I did. To answer my friend's question, of cos people ask questions. Some people do because they truly want to know and I don't mind explaining. If you know me, you know I can talk about hair ALL DAY LONG lol. But some people are ignorant, they will ask you a million times and make you feel like you are fake and all that interesting stuff. Some people will stare at you like a specimen ( maybe not at work) and some will make ignorant statements.

In 2013, I left my hair out (it was semi-natural) and  I did a scarf like style and while I was trying to rock it in confidence, I remember a co-worker said I looked like Aunt-Jemima on the syrup container. LOL! seriously? I think I had a long term daze from what she said, and obviously didn't like it but kept giving an awkward smile. That statement made me go wear extensions ASAP. Aside from her ignorance, why did I let her statement get to me that much?

Some people will even come tell you what they prefer on you and what they think you should wear. rme. lol. I think only a few people can tell you what they prefer without you asking -your spouse or partner, children, and sometimes, your hair stylist.

Do I have to tame my hair or make it look more consistent to make other people feel comfortable? How does my hair affect what I do and how well I will still kick ass doing it?

I remember working at a place where I wasn't allowed to wear braids. I only wore weaves. They mentioned that hair should be clean and all that - soooo rude! It was from management at the top and my braids wasn't part of their image and they had this rule in their corporate binder.  I didn't complain much though but quit after 2 months for some other reasons including this. I should have done more than quit.

After sometime, I decided that I didn't care anymore. I stopped caring what anyone in the whole wide world thinks about my hair and what they think I should wear. I stopped caring that people will ask questions. In fact, I have auto answers to certain questions. "how long did it take, did it take long?"      "ya! I hear black hair doesn't get as long" ( lol! do not get me started on that )  " you changed your hair AGAIN??!". loool. Thank you audience, for taking your time to notice my gorgeous crown. If I can, I will answer your questions. If I can't, I will smile in appreciation or give you a look at the lack of it. I just stopped caring because I wanted to DO ME!

So you may see me in my short natural shrunken hair today, braids tomorrow or a long flowing weave next week, and it will still be me, and in all, I will look beautiful in them all.

I will be putting up videos about hair stories, experiences, what I have learned/ learn and what I do with hair. I am excited about this because it is something I have had on my mind for about a year or two and I am glad it will be coming to reality.

WATCH OUT! :)

Remember that Every Hair-Type is Beautiful No Matter How You Wear It.

Love,
Abi Tobi


Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Guilty















I think I look guilty. I am not sure but that’s what they say
They say I am naturally guilty,
Like atrocity is embedded in my genes

Everyone else walks these streets free
But can I? The question is: am I allowed to?
Why am I being followed?
What exactly is my crime?
Is this a crime of my existence?

Like every other day,
I wake up and I am hopeful for a new day
I am loved, much loved by my friends and family
I love fishing, playing football and having big family picnics in summer
I love to have a good time, and thank God I do.

Maybe I dropped out of school, maybe not.
But like every other day, I am hopeful for the future.

Today, I was being followed again. 
Today though, I wanted to be careful
I didn't want to be part of statistics.
No surprise, I was talked to like I just committed murder
I tried to ask what my crime was
But I am on the floor
Begging for mercy; pleading to be let go
I tried to scream but my voice starts to faint

I am weak. I try to scream for help
Tried to reach my energy, I am hopeful
My voice is faint. I tried to speak
But my energy is vanishing
Today isn’t my lucky day
A sound is going through my chest
I can’t reach air.

What exactly was my crime,
that I deserved to be killed on the spot?
What exactly was my crime,
that I did not deserve to be heard?
Was it the existence of my being?
Why do they always call me guilty?
Was this because of my race?
Did I deserve to die because I was an African- American male?


Yesterday, another innocent African American male, Alton Sterling, was rough-handled and shot by two police officers. There is a video going viral of what happened, I saw it, and the deceased was shot multiple times. The whole thing is heart-breaking. 

This is dedicated to everyone who lost their life due to misuse of power & / police brutality. 

The difference between us and them is location. May Justice be served this time. I really really pray Justice is served this time.  







Sunday, June 12, 2016

Perfectly Single?

In a world where everywhere you turn you must "see" the hashtag #couplegoals, it seems like it is much more valuable to do life - whatever it is, with someone else. When you are in a relationship, you mostly automatically have a partner for all your favorite activities - a movie, hiking, dinner, playing video games, vacationing etc,. You also by default and love, have to pick up new hobbies, and enjoy them with the person. 


While it is absolutely beautiful to do things with someone else, there is also that thing about enjoying life by yourself, independently and beautifully alone. The question today is where do we draw the line?  

I have found that I am way better when I do things alone - studying, a pet project, learning or developing a hobby, etc. Even at a new job, I have to learn things on my own instead of being spoon fed. For me, finding your own way is the point. Sometimes, being alone in a space with no one particularly known makes me so much more productive. Is that weird? 

So yes, I would go to the movies alone, sign up for an activity alone and so on. While I enjoy spending time with my friends and family, sometimes, it is better alone. Yes, I plan it in my head, share it, and then kindly decline any sort of offer for others to hop in - I am not always successful 'cos stubborn friends lol. Maybe being an only child, and growing up as one contributes to this?  I am not sure I know how to be any other way.

Also, I have been single for a minute and in this period, I am learning a lot about myself.  I am finding that comfort and confidence in who I am and just owning it. I did not realize how much I could appreciate who God has made me and I grateful for this gift. 

Sometimes, I fear meeting the significant other. What if he just wants to scatter this sanity and space that has been created for me? What if he doesn't appreciate and understand the way I am crafted? When I say I need some time to recreate or to regain my energy, I fear that he will take it personal, and think it is because I do not love him enough. The reality is that I already have so much love in me for him and by God's grace, it won't run out. Will he understand the time requested is for my sanity?

So here I am, living a single person's dream and loving life.  I am enjoying the journey and appreciating whatever life throws at me.  But could I be too comfortable in my own space and unknowingly, looking the other way when there is a threat of someone scattering my sanity? Or maybe it is A-okay to have these fears, and to be careful when making such decisions? Where exactly do we draw the line? 

Am I the only one who is like this? Are there other people out there like me? What do you think or what advice do you have? I would love to read your thoughts, opinion / & advice. Please leave your comments. 

Thanks for reading, I hope  you enjoyed this post, and will be returning for more from Abi :) 

Love, 
Abi Tobi. 



Sunday, May 1, 2016

Why We Serve

Have you ever been in any kind of relationship where it felt like the other person mostly did nice things for you because of what they got in return? How did that make you feel ? For some reason, I often find myself in situations where I am being used. Whenever I realize a friendship is not genuine and for selfish reasons, it hurts. Glad that I never wait with keeping such friendships - I just remove myself from the situation. "to the left, to the left " * in Beyonce's voice lol. I won't say I am not guilty of it either.

I grew up in a culture where people believe that the more you serve, the more you do things in church or other religious communities, the more your prayers will be answered. From observation, I find that people really believe that if they soak themselves in church activities, fast for the whole month, and so on, God will definitely give them what they want. So, if the answer to your request is no, does it mean that God isn't true or does it mean that he is not good? There is nothing wrong with serving, and soaking oneself; however, the question we must ask ourselves is the intent of what we are doing:

- Is it to get "favors" and to be on the "good side"? Is it to earn righteousness points? 
- Is it to keep up with a status and the way we are being perceived by others?
- Is it because we love God? Because we love him enough to do things because of him and we want to obey him? 

Whatever we do in the name of God, expecting the glory back to ourselves is not done to glorify him and is not done because we love him. Selfish serving means we are doing these things mainly because of what we will get, be it respect, popularity or favors.

Remember how you felt when you realized your "friend" was using you?

It is so true that the greatest commandment is love (Matthew 22: 37 - 40) When you love someone, whether or not you get something in return, you want to see them smile, you want to do nice things for them just because. I try to apply this with my relationship with God. I am still a work in progress but it is getting better.

We do not have to be legalistic about things. If what you are doing is because God asked you to and you are obeying, or because you want to be a helping hand, great! But if you are doing whatever you do because of what people will say about you or because you believe that when God sees all you do, he will let you have your way or you will earn righteousness points  (read Isaiah 64:6), think again. 

Yes, there are people who keep giving so much because they have a heart of love, and God turns around to bless them - cups running over. I do not believe these people did things because of what they expected. I believe God saw their hearts, looked at them and added all other things.

Some people make these activities their number one priority and suffer the relationship with their children and / spouses. People are growing dysfunctional families and not showing love even in their homes; the home is where we should all serve first. The excuse is usually " putting God first"... Hmm is that really true? The family should NEVER be neglected! 

As Christians, we should seek the kingdom of God first (Matthew 6:33). To me, this means that we should be faithful in our service to him and return all the glory to him. It says further that all other things will be added - to me, this means that he got my back and no matter the situation, I should just trust him. That is enough for me. The older grow in my faith, and with life sometimes not making any sense, I find this word more true and important. Trusting him is another way we can find grace to obey.

Again, we should be intentional when we serve, and we all should do things for other reasons bigger than self. We may want to take a step back and think again


Abi Tobi.







Wednesday, February 17, 2016

In the Rear View

What is it about our dreams and ideas that we keep leaving them in the rear view? Why do we wake up with an exciting interest but let it remain in our heads every night till it slowly starts to feel like a fantasy? Do we gain anything by sharing dreams we want to breathe life into and do just that; share?


For the past few weeks, I have been experiencing a kind of low I could not place a finger on. You know those moments when you want everyone to be quiet, you want to be left alone, and maybe you feel the urgency to dial back, reflect, and gain energy? I wanted an empty world for a day or two or three. Obviously, I did not get that because, as always, one has to: get up, get dressed, talk to other people, smile, laugh, and ensure not passing negative energy to others.

After about 2 weeks, I realized that I am one of those people who have had ideas for as long as can remember but for some reason, let them remain ideas. I started to understand some of the root causes of my low feeling. There is something called the full potential, and maybe when it feels so far to reach, our energy level and motivation start to feel far from us? Maybe?



Can other people believe in our dreams with the half-baked zeal on our part? 


When I was about 16, at my school back in Nigeria, we took a course which required us to write vision and mission statements, and our short and long term goals. I remember vividly going on and on. I am a girl full of diverse interests. The difference between that 16 year old girl and my present self is that I totally believed I would do those things. I was very determined and definitely knew where I was going. For me, one way or the other, I was going to get there. I honestly can't say I am still in that mindset. How can other people believe in our dreams when you are unable to show strong determination?


Fast-forward to years later, I had forgotten about the exercise, I had another idea that got me excited. A few months or a year later, I remembered the “goals” exercise. I had that idea when I was 16. So, why would I have recurring ideas and let them remain dormant? 

I started to dig-deep into what changed, and what made me lazy. I will share 5 main reasons why we let things be.

-       Too Big: Sometimes, when I think of the long-term goals of an idea, and what it is expected to bring, it feels too big for me. In my mind, I am like “it is little me, in this big world, that can never happen for me.” Seriously, I put myself in a place where certain things seem just too much. I will sometimes compare myself to those who are successful in the area and feel so little compared to them. I tell myself that I am not capable.


-      Comfort: We attain one or two goals and get too comfortable; as though, those things enough. I honestly got comfortable. I told myself that whatever I was doing was good enough. When in reality, in my heart, I know there is much more to be done.


-      Tired and Lazy: With everything we want to attain, comes sacrifice. We have to sacrifice our time, money and sometimes, some relationships – to a reasonable extent. I just wasn’t ready to sacrifice anymore; like, I was tired of trying. Just outright tired! Weighing the pros and cons of losing on things, I just wasn’t ready to lose anymore.
      But these days, I keep seeing that, to win, we have to be ready to lose.


About 3 months ago, a friend introduced me to My Africa Podcast (you can download it on your smart phone or tablet and listen to the series too).  This Podcast features Africans either by descent, residence or action who are successful in a part of the continent. It interviews leading Africans, letting you hear directly from business leaders, artists, musicians, and so on.  My Africa Podcast is passionate about Africa, and gives us an outlet to incredible stories from across the continent. (myafricapodcast.com)

One common thing I gathered from all the interviews I listened to is risk, reasonable risk. Every one of them got to a stage where they had to risk something for what they desired. They worked hard, and dedicated themselves.  For them, it was all or nothing. So in attaining anything, laziness cannot be a factor. To me, success and laziness are mutually exclusive.

-       The God Factor: Sometimes, God gives us a dream, and a bit of vision about where we could get to. And sometimes, HE just drops these ideas into our brains to the point where they keep showing up, and it is left to us to develop them. We might look at those dreams and laugh, and struggle with trusting that God will come through for us. Could it come to reality? 

In the bible, Moses and Abraham are two people who doubted the greatness they will become. The promise seemed too big for them. Moses had a speech disorder and he was supposed to lead the Israelites out of Egypt. Moses was like Lord, please don’t send me to rescue them, I am not eloquent, and I am too slow. Moses saw his weaknesses in the situation instead of believing that God will definitely come through for him. God reminded him that he created his mouth and is aware of his situation. God told him to get going and that HE will be with him. God made resources available for Moses to be a successful leader to the Israelites (read Exodus 4: 1- 19, and Exodus 3 & 4 for the full story).

God is aware of our weaknesses, HE will equip us


Abraham was rich and was married to a beautiful woman but did not have any child by her. God had promised him a child but Abraham was getting old, and biologically, it is more difficult to conceive a child at an old age. So, when some visitors told Abraham that he would have a child, his wife, Sarah, laughed. Of cause, she laughed. I would too. She was like, how can I have a child when I am worn out and my husband so old. But again, God was aware of their weaknesses but still blessed them with a son, Isaac.  (Genesis 18:12, or Genesis 18 for full story)

These stories remind me that God is aware of all our weaknesses and that even when we think we are not capable, HE will provide all the materials necessary to help us. All we have to do is to learn to trust and to believe in God.

-       Friends and Family: Have you ever had an idea that you shared with a family member or friend, and they ask you questions that make you doubt your ability. I read a post someone on my Facebook shared about his fitness journey and business. One of the things that stood out to me was that in the midst of trying to achieve, we will see that we have lots of haters, and many of them are friends and family. Yes, friends and family. And his statement is so very true!

Why would we call those we are closest to us haters? And why wouldn’t they want our best interest? For some of these people, the problem is that they actually have our best interest and maybe too safe. They may analyze the situation too much and encourage you to stay on the safe lane. They may fear that our chosen part might fail.

Some other people are just unable to see your vision. It is your dream and as long as you keep your head up, you are dedicated and focused; you won’t regret it and it will be worth it. We want the validation of our friends and family, and many times, we want it too much. This can hinder us from going to the next level.

I am not encouraging anyone to throw caution to the wind; all I am saying is take advice and counsel very carefully no matter whom it is coming from. I pray God grants us his wisdom with these situations. 

This post is a little personal, and it’s even more so because it is an on-going experience for me. I am looking in the mirror and writing everything to you, and more importantly to myself. It is a stage in my life where I am tired. Very much tired, tired of making excuses.  So, it is time to bring those ideas to reality, and share them with the world.

It is time to remember that no one else is dreaming for you, so you better be your own number one cheerleader. It’s ALL or nothing.  



Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Letting Go

I first wrote this poem about 2.5 years ago. I was dealing with so much unforgiveness and resentment. I hope you enjoy it.

In a box
refining and defining my space
with every eyebrow raised
and every gate to my soul,
to my mind; locked.

in silence...
unforgiving silence,
not really, my mind .. oh my mind
patiently waiting
patient enough for the right time
time to prey

So, here I am
letting my whole being dwell;
eat, sleep, pray, bathe,
 ..do ALL things in unforgiving silence

Fighting..
battles of the mind, in my head
trying to love ..
to develop genuine agape love again
fighting battles
my spirit and soul want free
my head.. my head, my head doesn't

I still feel the pain,
the pain of betrayal.
in my head I just want to hold on
revenge, re-analyze, right my wrongs
Prove I am right
but my soul wants to let go..
completely let it all go
what does it matter?
my spirit wants to be free

But I am in a cage
I can't let myself grow
I am stuck here in sinking sand
. . . such miserable silence
I can not let my head win











Saturday, January 16, 2016

18 Things to My 18 Years-old Self

HEY there people!  HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! 

This is my first blog-post in 2016 and I have lots of things to blog about. I just hope that I am able to manage my time properly, to come back here more frequently. Anyways, it was my birthday in December (exactly a month ago) and I celebrated differently, good different. I spent some time alone reflecting on the year and my goals. I realized that there were things I wanted to have achieved, and a place I hoped to have reached but not there. In all of it, I found that deep down, I am grateful, not disappointed, not upset- just grateful. I see that no matter how little, I am moving forward, and a step closer to my goals and who I want to be. 

While reflecting, I went down memory lane to who I used to be in my junior years in university. I just remember spending money I made from my first job on shoessss! I bought shoes all the time as long as they were pretty, I bought them haha. 

There are a few things I would tell younger me and I want to share some of them with you too :)

I think I was 19 here and my necklace? let us not go there lol
1) Girl! stop worrying so much about being too skinny, it's okay. You are just perfect.  
2) True, grades are important but they are not everything (not even half of the whole experience). Calm down, breathe. Focus on learning
3) Summers are for making money / gaining experience, AND for travelling. So, travel with your friends.  Spread your wings my little butterfly
4) Stop buying so many expensive shoes.  Calm down! But you will be happy to know that you will always love shoes :D
5) Apply to be an exchange student

6) You have a good intuition about some dysfunctional friendships, why are you holding on ? keep it moving my love
7) Do not feel obligated to be in a relationship with anyone
8) Go try those things you have interest in.  I smile telling you that going solo can be so refreshing. If you want to do something, go ahead and do it! if a friend(s) wants to join you, then that's fine. But don't be too scared or shy to do things on your own. You will thank yourself
9)  I know how much you wonder about love and boys. Love is such a wonderful and beautiful thing but sometimes, it is not enough
10) Heart breaks are painful, and could hurt everywhere  BUT you will be fine. You will find strength and growth in all those experiences. 

11) Learn how to drive now like your father has been pushing.  Learn how to sew.
12) Do not "dress- up" any less because some people might feel uncomfortable, if you want to look fabulous, go for it!
13) Forget what people say about girls being bad friends. Girlfriends can be awesome! They are such a blessing
14) Fear is powerful and terrible. It might try to eat you slowly, but I promise you that you will overcome, fear won't stop you!
15) Know and accept that your plans will fall, and sometimes you might fail. Know it is okay, it is part of the process, and it is for the best.
16) You will learn over the years that you are slightly different from many people. That's okay, do not feel little about yourself because you are " weird". You will also learn that many people are weird too.


17) God will always be a constant. When nothing else makes sense, your faith will.
18) Sweetie, you are not perfect, you will make mistakes and that is absolutely OK! Just get up, learn, dust yourself up, and try again (Aaliyah). 

November 2015 - a month before my birthday :)