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That look in your eyes that completes the sentences your lips start,
that tells me I am accepted wholly and completely,

The feel of your hand grasping mine that whispers that whether things get better or not, I’ll always be safe.

And when you say “I got you baby girl, forever and always”… I know that I am home.

 


©Adeola Matemilola 2016

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Adeola Matemilola and aeyshadeedee.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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The Beginning

The first time I stepped into a casino, it didn’t feel strange, it didn’t feel normal; it felt like an alternate universe but one in which I felt sort of okay, if not comfortable.

It was 9pm on a Wednesday night, just one hour earlier, I had arrived at the casino lodgement  with my sister and heart beating wildly, I had begun getting ready for my first day working as a croupier.

When I arrived at the casino, I was shown into the staff-room and all eyes turned to me, I felt like an anomaly, the way they quickly tapped each other, whispering and pointing and not one person said hi, and looking back, I probably was; they had never seen me before, I was wearing a croupier uniform and I was black, talk about shock!

Anyway, suddenly, they all stood up and started to move towards a door and here I was confused, do I follow them? Do I wait for a welcome party? What to do? In that split second, I felt a tap on my shoulder and a pretty girl with a small smile on her face told me to put my bag in her locker and come along.

She would be my first friend in European casino, Zeynep.

Out on the casino floor, I was assigned to a roulette table to stack chips, I had never done this before, I didn’t know what I had to do, and I wasn’t told, I was simply told to go and do it. Luckily for me, it was a dead table (no players) and the Georgian girl assigned to deal at that table immediately turned to me and smiled, asked my name and told me hers, and told me not to worry about a thing, she was going to help me as much as she can and she assured me that I would be an experienced croupier in no time, she talk about when she trained and gave solid advice on how to make the most of the experience. She talked about how being a croupier can be an exciting, how it can be frustrating and tiring.

Enter Maia! She kept every promise.

It’s been 4 years and I am very far away from that quiet, confused girl who walked into the casino that Wednesday night.

It wasn’t all roses and cream; many many things happened that made me feel like quitting so many times, I gave myself so many pep talks those first 9 months, I can’t even count.

But then the next February came and I moved to a different branch of the casino in a different town, got an apartment with my sisters,enrolled for my MSc in International Relations.

My first day at this new casino, I walked in like a boss! I knew how to deal all of the games we offer, I spoke a little Turkish, I walked into that staff-room not expecting anyone to say hi and I didn’t care.

Here in this casino, I have grown, blossomed… I also got a little crazy, there was no way to help that.

This is Casino Chronicles.

 

©Adeola Matemilola 2016

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Adeola Matemilola and aeyshadeedee.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Beneath I’m beautiful?

I’m not scared you won’t want me,
I’m scared I won’t be strong enough to accept you wanting me,
The feeling of letting go so completely, of believing that there is someone out there capable of loving me through all of my mess seems way too impossible.

I’ve worn this mask for so long,
It’s now not so much that I can’t take it off, it’s that I’m scared to.
Fear; that’s what drives me now, not that you’d know it by looking at me.
I hide it well.
I hide it behind my anger, I hide it beneath my laughter, I hide it within my room, I hide it in a bottle.

©Adeola Matemilola 2016

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Adeola Matemilola and aeyshadeedee.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Butterflies and aching

Today, you smiled at me and my heart stopped, I held still, couldn’t breathe, I willed time to stand still, this moment to last forever.

I tried to convince myself that it didn’t really mean anything, it was just a smile but my imagination already had us out on a first date, taking a walk on a beach, lying in the grass looking up at the stars, laughing at everything.

Last week, she told me about a boy she liked and how her heart ached that he didn’t look at her enough, that he didn’t smile at her enough.
She told me about the butterflies that had taken up permanent residence in her stomach.
How her heart ached constantly because “oh, how I need him to see me”

I had listened and smiled.

I understand it now. Because of you.

©Adeola Matemilola 2016

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Adeola Matemilola and aeyshadeedee.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

It’s okay not to be okay

I’m tired. That’s how I usually explain it.

Some days, I wake up and I’m the happiest I have ever been, I feel this excitement straight from deep within which cannot be explained and I don’t usually stop to think about it because for me, that’s a gift. A gift I must hold tightly onto, and enjoy every single second of, because once that’s gone, I don’t know when it will come around again. Especially, now.

Most days, I wake up and I’m anxious; an unexplainable anxiety clawing at my insides, making everything an effort, making every action difficult.
On the really dark days, I don’t want to get out of bed, I don’t want to see anybody or speak to anybody, everything is an effort, my phone rings and my heart starts beating really fast. I hear people moving around the house, and my heart starts beating fast that they might come to speak to me, that they might require me to be normal.

My life isn’t sad. I have an absolutely awesome family. My dad has spent his life making sure that we have the best kind of love. I have amazing friends who care about me and who “know” me… I have every reason to be thankful, to be happy, to be beyond happy. There’s so much good in my life.

And yet, I am not happy.

And I have gotten so good at hiding it, at trying so hard to just be. I pretend I’m happy, I pretend I’m having fun, I pretend I want to be there, I pretend I’m fine. I try really hard because I don’t want to feel like this, It’s like this constant drowning feeling, or as if something is weighing me down. One day, I am so happy and the next day, like a switch was flipped in my head, I’m not.

I don’t know how to be happy. This sounds like a completely horrible thing but I simply can’t let go enough, this anxiety doesn’t ease up enough. And fun? its just not that much fun having fun when you don’t want to have fun.

And now, recently, it’s gotten even worse, my okay days are far between. Those days when I don’t want to get out of bed are the most common; so if I do get up, I don’t want to stop, I don’t want to think, I don’t want to hear my thoughts, I just want to push through the day and get it over with.

I’m tired though. And now, I’m tired of pretending that I’m fine. I’m tired of making the effort when I really don’t want to. I never know how to explain this, I never have the words, so I just say I’m tired… in my mind.
And I’m ashamed of how I feel, so I pretend that I’m not feeling it. I pretend I am fine. I put on a big smile and tell my therapist “everything is awesome”. And I’ve gotten so good at it. I’ve been doing it for years.
Crying one minute and laughing on the phone the next.
I’ve learnt to keep the tears on one side and continue when I’m alone. I’ve learnt to cry in a crowd and no one notices.
I’ve learnt how to pretend I’m fine.

Why am I writing this?
For two sets of people; someone who gets it and someone who needs someone to get it.

Talk to someone, it will help. tell them exactly how you feel, in the words you feel them, it feels stupid, I know, but just say them, with that one person, at least, you’ll feel less crazy, the voices will quieten, you won’t be so scared of the silence.

I’m trying to not be so ashamed of this; maybe it’s okay not to have an answer when someone asks, “why are you sad?”

The first day, I saw my therapist, she told me that “a suicide attempt is a crime punishable by jail-time in this country”… I’m not afraid of dying though. Most of the time, I’m afraid of living… But I won’t stop, I won’t quit.

I wrote these lines a long time ago “I’ll work it out, I’ll see you through, this is the life I meant for you”.

So, I simply have to remember that I don’t have to struggle alone, I don’t have to do it all by my own effort.

 

©Adeola Matemilola 2016

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Adeola Matemilola and aeyshadeedee.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Talking to vs. Talking at

I’m not entirely sure that the title properly illustrates what this post is about but please read on and let’s explore this.

All opinions is this post are entirely mine; if you disagree about any part of it, please, feel free to leave a comment and let’s discuss it.

Effective communication goes way beyond just being able to pronounce words or string them together. The basic secret to communicating properly in a way that leaves all parties feeling good about themselves and the topic of discussion, lies in being able to string together words correctly.

A quick example, a few days ago, I went out to a store with my sister, we needed to buy a birthday present for a friend’s baby, and obviously, we needed it wrapped. So, we get to the check out counter and my sister said to the cashier, “hm, and you’ll wrap it”, I immediately said “why did you say it like that”, so she modified it “please, wrap it”, while this sounds, well, acceptable, I still believe that the request could have been made in better way, in way that the cashier would feel like a respected human who happens to work here, rather than some robot that’s simply there to cater to your needs.

I really do believe that if the request had been made as “also, could you wrap these up for me?” Or “please, I’d like to have these wrapped”, it would make the cashier feel better and therefore make them more willing to help. Besides, we never know what sort of day people are having sometimes and just showing the smallest consideration or kindness in the way we speak might just be the thing to turn their day a little around.

Instead of saying “wait”, say “1 minute, please”.

Instead of saying “what?”, say “excuse me?”

The list goes on and on, but the main point is to try to make someone’s day a little better by stringing words together with some consideration and kindness.

 

©Adeola Matemilola 2016

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Adeola Matemilola and aeyshadeedee.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

BTI 001

Alone. Lonely.
They say there’s a difference
But each can be like an abyss that slowly swallows a person,
Like a feeling of hopelessness that settles like a weight upon your shoulders.

What does it feel like to have no one?
To have trusted wrongly for so long that trust seems unreachable.
How does one get past having “people” and yet having no one?
How does the heart handle giving and never recieving?

Pain. Abyss. Hopelessness.

Maybe the path to freedom is that paved with acceptance.

… It’s only life.

 

©Adeola Matemilola 2016

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Adeola Matemilola and aeyshadeedee.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Writing for people like me.

Many times, you’ll find that people will try to shut you up, don’t let them, speak your truth.

Just because it makes someone uncomfortable doesn’t mean I will shut up about it.

Infact, if feeling uncomfortable causes you to not want to see, speak, hear or at all acknowledge a problem, you are a huge part of the problem.

You took my voice from me, I let that happen. No more.

©Adeola Matemilola 2016

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Adeola Matemilola and aeyshadeedee.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Writing for myself…

A very good friend saved me today with these words; “so, write for yourself and people like you.”

Yes, I did mean SAVE.
I haven’t written anything in such a long time and I have been completely miserable, it felt like I was falling down a deep hole and I just didn’t care anymore, I didn’t care if I reached the bottom, I didn’t care if I simply kept falling and pushed how this made me feel into the very back of my mind and my heart, I refused to feel anything.
I couldn’t write, I was dying and I didn’t care.

This all happened because I let someone’s words have power over me.
It wasn’t a critic of my style of writing or word combination or grammer; it was an attack of my core, my personality, my psychology, my humanity, he (this pastor) told me in no uncertain terms that I write what I write on social issues because I have lived an unbalanced life and because I come from a disassembled community. He told me that what I write is my reality alone and it would be impossible for anyone else to relate, he told me that there wasn’t any need to share my work because it spoke only to and about me.
He had only ever heard one piece from me “mommy, I feel it too” but he put me and everything I’d ever written in one box.

I haven’t written since that day and I never even realised why until a couple of weeks ago when I mentioned the incident to my sister.
So obviously, there’s only one course of action now, I am taking my voice back.

I choose to “write for myself and people like me”

P.S
I apologise to everyone who follows me still even though I have basically been a waste of space (on your wordpress)
I also sincerely apologise for allowing one man’s opinions over-ride all of the wonderful feedback I get from all you lovely people.

I thank everyone who continues to support and especially read and critic. I am grateful, because in the end, you guys are my push.

My voice is my own. I will always speak my truth.

©Adeola Matemilola 2016

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Adeola Matemilola and aeyshadeedee.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Let’s run away

Let’s do it… right now,
Let’s not think about it,
Eyes opened or closed; it doesn’t matter,
Just imagine…
Let’s let the wind sweep us off our feet,
Let it take us where it may,
Let’s abandon the fear of the known and the unknown,
Replaced with a nervous excitement of come-what-mays,
The fights, the laughs, the moments that take our breath away.
But how long would this last? Who cares?
Let’s do it, let’s take nothing along, let’s run away.

 

©Adeola Matemilola 2016

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Adeola Matemilola and aeyshadeedee.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.