Career

A Productive Week + Updates on Move to Philly

by ThinkFeminist on January 20, 2014

Processed with VSCOcam with b1 presetIt’s being a productive two-weeks for me. I started my new job on January 6th as an Energy and Environmental Consultant. The first two weeks obviously flew by! I love my job so much, and I am eager to develop, learn and contribute as much as I can.

I am in the middle of parent interviews for Camille’s potential schools to start in the Fall. Right now, we are down to the wire on two schools – Meredith Elementary School (best public elementary school in Philadelphia) and St. Peter’s School (arguably, the best private school in Philadelphia). Both schools have their pros and cons, and obviously, financial impact is a huge part of the equation. We are carefully weighing both options to see what will fit Camille intellectually, emotionally, academically and socially. The most important factor is that she is continually challenged.

Eats: So far, we’ve gone to a few restaurants. This is largely due to the weather, trust me, we live next to South Street, the home of gazillion restaurants and bars. We’ve visited

 Cups & Chairs: 703 S 5th St # 4, Philadelphia, PA 19147

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Pat’s King of Steak  1237 E Passyunk Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19147 Everyone swears by Philly CheeseSteak!  My college friend came visiting last weekend and we all decided it’s the best time to have a Philly CheeseSteak. We had a blast and it was by far the best cheesesteak I have ever had. I will most likely try their competitor Geno’s Steak next time.

Around the City: I love the architecture around Philly. It is so French, and reminds me so much of Paris. Camille’s school is on this street and so, I get to take in this view everyday.

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At home: We love our new space. It’s small compared to our condo in Ohio, but it’s big enough for us. I love the white walls, double windows, and so much more.

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Outdoors: We live in Queen Village which is one of the oldest settlements in Philadelphia. It’s really nice outside, and there are parks every other street, and lots of trails. Our home is right across from Penn Landings and lots of nice hotels like Sheraton, Hyatt and the famous Moshulu restaurant. We feel very blessed to land such a nice area of the city. We pretty much walk around to all the nice eats and coffee shops.Processed with VSCOcam with s3 preset

School: Camille started Kindergarten again. Although, she will have to do it all over again since she is still 4. I feel so sad about that because she is already reading at 2nd grade level and doing math at 1st grade level. I decided to keep her challenged by enrolling her in Kumon Math and Reading program as well as Settlement Music School where she is currently taking Music lessons and will start Piano in the Fall. I feel so blessed to have her in my life and I hope I can be around long enough to watch her grow into an amazing young woman.

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Xoxo,

Blessing.

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How to Overcome Procastination

by ThinkFeminist on January 15, 2014

IMG_8897[1]The procrastinator is often remarkably optimistic about his ability to complete a task on a tight deadline; this is usually accompanied by expressions of reassurance that everything is under control. (Therefore, there is no need to start.) For example, he may estimate that a paper will take only five days to write; he has fifteen days; there is plenty of time; no need to start. Lulled by a false sense of security, time passes. At some point, he crosses over an imaginary starting time and suddenly realizes, “Oh no! – I am not in control! There isn’t enough time!”

At this point, considerable effort is directed towards completing the task, and work progresses. This sudden spurt of energy is the source of the erroneous feeling that “I only work well under pressure.” Actually, at this point you are making progress only because you haven’t any choice. Your back is against the wall and there are no alternatives. Progress is being made, but you have lost your freedom.

Do you procastinate? Read more here to help you overcome it.

 

Xoxo,

Blessing.

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#NoFilter | Lessons Learned In 2013

by ThinkFeminist on December 25, 2013

unnamedOn December 28, 2012, alongside with millions of other people, I made a list of New Years Resolution. I discussed my challenges, my reasons for unhappiness and how I wish to be fulfilled in 2013. I chose one word to propel me into the new year and it was to be “happy”. I suffered some setbacks, but I covered so many grounds, found joy and happiness in small things.

Here are some of the things I’ve learned through 2013.

Lesson 1. Stay Positive: Whenever I get really antsy about a situation, I start replaying memories in my head, most of which are unpleasant. This spirals into negative talk and ends up making me more sad and sometimes angry. I decided to stay positive in 2013. I did a lot of running, exercise, reading, writing,  along with a good dose of positive self-talk. Overall,  I felt completely at peace with my past, present and excited about my future.

Lesson 2. Be Grateful: I practiced gratitude on a daily basis. Sometimes a simple prayer, and sometime it’s by simply ending a sentence with “by God’s grace.’ I reflected positively on how far I have come as an individual, and how much I have grown in my own personal journey. Most women tie their gratitude to their husbands, boyfriends, or parents….for me, it;s simply God. He’s been with me through every up, down and turn and I feel very blessed to live such an amazing life with my little girl.

Lesson 3. Let Love Lead: In 2013, I dropped all craziness. Those who know me know that I am highly spirited, and I make decisions on the go, sometimes without thinking of the repercussions.  So this year, I practiced self-restrain. I focused on my personal growth and I let love lead me to what feels right, what feels genuine to my core and being. I found peace with those I had so much hate towards, and in return,we exchanged true apologies, honesty and friendship.

Lesson 4. Say Goodbyes Quickly and Keep Moving: I found that if you love something, you let it go and if it’s yours it will always come back. So many things came back to me this year, and some I had to let go completely. I said goodbye to my marriage, and my ex and I remain best of friends, and great co-parents to our wonderful daughter. We pray for each other, and wish one another the best in life. This blogpost was written at my in-laws whom we are visiting for the holidays. It’s truly remarkable that we both feel this way after the pain, anger and destruction that was 2012. I realized how resilient, forgiving, and loving the human mind can be even after what feels like a bottomless pit. Somehow in the midst of this, we found healing and grace, and we know that we can’t recreate the past, but we can decide our future.

Lesson 5. Travel Often. Get off the grid: My trip to Morocco, Nigeria and Europe was the highlight of my year and I am so glad that I took that trip because it opened my eyes to the world. I’ve always wanted to be a true global citizen, with the opportunity to go places, meet new people, experience cultures while visiting landmarks across the world. I had my phone with me, but I had no access to my data plan, hence I was fully immersed in my journey and I shared my experiences whenever I had wi-fi access. I hope to do more travelling in 2014, by God’s grace.

As we look forward to 2014 together, I am not sure which direction my heart will lead me in terms of relationships, motherhood, and career. But I know that exciting things are in store for me and my loved ones and I wish you thesame in all you do. Have a wonderful Christmas, and a Happy New Year.

What did you learn in 2013, and what do you have in store for 2014? Chime in below.

Love,

B.

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The Absence of Feminism in Africa and Why It Matters

by ThinkFeminist on December 15, 2013


If you are following me on twitter, you already know that I’ve been raving about the new Beyonce’s album. I live for that entire album right now…from “Pretty Hurts” to “Partition” and “Drunk In Love.” I am reeling with excitement, however the one song that stands out the most is “Flawless” which samples the Tedx talk of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie titled “We Should All be Feminist”. I identify strongly with this talk because I myself like Chimamanda grew up in Nigeria and have been exposed to every scenario in her talk. A good example was my trip earlier this year to Nigeria which was very interesting. I met up with an old friend of mine to discuss business at an hotel, and as soon as I sat down in the lobby, I had various men looking my way. One, an older white guy (obviously an expat) walked over and immediately handed me his phone saying “enter your phone number”, and I think I must have given him the look of death. And as soon as I opened my mouth to utter a word, he said, “what school are you attending? You want a blackberry? Who are you waiting for?” So obviously, I understood exactly what he thought I was – a sex worker. So, I immediately gave him a piece of my mind, and as I was wrapping up my speech, my friend, another white guy came in and immediately dismissed him saying “Oh, she is American and definitely not interested, but feel free to award  her one of your oil contracts, she is very capable.” I was completely irritated by that experience and to be honest, the rest of my stay in Nigeria was very similar. It was common to go to a restaurant in Victoria Island and find girls in groups ordering water at a table hoping that a rich guy (preferably an expat) will notice them.

The absence of mainstream feminism in Africa is killing the creativity and ingenuity of younger girls and women. It’s stifling innovation as young women hesitate to participate in startups, entrepreneurship and other “men’s job”.  It encourages African men and even expats to take advantage of this gap. I wrote earlier last year about my experience coming to America alone at the young age of 17, with only $800 and I ended up attending a top public university in the nation, footing my own bill. I would love to talk about that experience some day because I will never forget the words of my father. Although he was happy to see one of his offsprings go to America, he wished 100% that I were a boy. The full story is for another day because it  also involves the role of mothers in shaping the future of their sons and daughters.

Our attitude and mindset in Nigeria and Africa as a whole around gender has not changed since I left in 2005. Our culture encourages women to aspire to be homemakers, cooks, and housewives. It applauds the physical and sexual prowess of men, and insinuates that the woman’s role is to tend to the man….and as a result younger girls sell their body for favors because they believe that there is no problem with giving yourself to a man for money because at the end of the day, you give yourself to a man (your husband) for almost nothing. He marries you, and possesses you completely, you become his cook, cleaner, sexual object and on top of that he may chase after other women and (by the way) there isn’t much you can do about it. I have lived in these conditions growing up and it’s one of the disgusting reason I decided to study hard to free myself from a society that does not align with my core beliefs.

A feminist movement in Nigeria and Africa as a whole will be revolutionary, and we should all be part of it.

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How Beyonce is Re-Defining and Re-Branding Feminism

by ThinkFeminist on December 14, 2013

After waking up to the most creative musician entertainer of all times dropping an album, it was necessary that I purchase the said album. No doubt that keeping her album silent and dropping it overnight is game-changer in the music industry going forward. Queen Bey continues to set the stage. Beyonce is probably the most well-rounded feminist I know (career, motherhood, and happily married to power but not cracking). She is talented and bloody-ambitious, a killer combination for a feminist, but she pushes the boundaries even further, she powerfully commands her body, and wields this power over men and women alike, drawing them into her sex-positive energy that is bound to get you inside your feelings (listen to SuperPower featuring Frank Ocean, a favorite of mine). And her French lyrics in “Partition” blew me away! In one of the lyrics, translated here, she says “Do you like sex? Sex. I mean, the physical activity. Coitus. Do you like it? You’re not interested in sex? Men think that feminists hate sex, but it’s a very stimulating and natural activity that women love.

Beyonce continues to define feminism in a way that no other woman has been able to do well. Most women, like Sheryl Sandberg discusses feminism in terms of career, academics and/or accomplishments (or should I say leaning in). For Beyonce, it’s about ruthlessly following your heart and dreams, making choices that are fully representative of who you are or hope to be. She pushes the envelope by surprising us all, making it hard for us to say no to her eager demands. That simple act of dropping an album overnight without any warning or a fancy announcement, goes to show that this queen of pop is not about the fancy dandy, she is about getting shit done.

While so many feminist criticize her for flaunting her body or going by her married name, she responds to them with a badass show-stopper last night, redefining feminism and making it about women themselves. Feminism shouldn’t be a one size fit all thing, it shouldn’t be anti-man or anti-anything for that matter. Ain’t nobody got time for hating, we should be about business. Business of going after our passion and having the most fun we can. So what if I love to wear lingerie in public, why should that define my capabilities or question my solidarity for female equality?  Personally, this album appeals to me because it truly expresses how I feel about feminism, women, men, sex, love, and power. Beyonce is redefining feminism the right way….asking women to go after everything they want – love, career, motherhood, wife, fun. It’s the right way to live.

If a Lean-In book by a Wall-Street company CEO can be touted as feminism, so should a badass music album that expresses the true individualism of women. If we are looking to rebrand feminism, Beyonce is a great example to start with. March on Queen Bey!

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My friend showed me this video while we were having dinner earlier this week in Philly. I thought you all needed to see it too.

This also aligns well with my favorite quote of the year by Mindy Kaling of The Mindy Project.

“I always get asked, ‘Where do you get your confidence?’ I think people are well meaning, but it’s pretty insulting. Because what it means to me is, ‘You, Mindy Kaling, have all the trappings of a very marginalized person. You’re not skinny, you’re not white, you’re a woman. Why on earth would you feel like you’re worth anything?’” – Mindy Kaling, Parade Magazine.

Keep your heads high ladies. Happy Friday!

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Summer Reading List for Aspiring Female Entrepreneurs

June 26, 2013

I am an avid reader. While growing up in Nigeria, I read mostly science and engineering related books mostly because parents wanted their kids focused on a particular than being jack of all trades. Upon attending college in America, I realized that being well-rounded was nothing to be ashamed of, and it was somehow wired […]

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