Category Archives: IntrovertedPanda

Finding the Right Cubes

“Adeyemi you need to chill”
“Don’t take things so serious all the time.”
“Guy you too dey ginger”

These are things that I’ve heard repeatedly through the course of this year.

I’m not sure when I became that person; the one who thrusts himself into things with so much energy, that it seems counter productive. I find myself wanting to achieve so much, that I end up not achieving anything at all.

For instance, I didn’t exactly start typing with the aim of talking about this. I really wanted to write about how ridiculous it is that I find myself in a shit mood before the sun has found it’s way into the morning sky, but I guess that’s just the way the cookie crumbles, isn’t it.

I don’t even know why I’m posting this morning.
*shrug* fuck it… I think a good Nikky Holender workout may help lift this mood…

Have a great day guys…
-Panda-


Geniuses: How Would The World Be If Everyone Was Different?

Answer By Lauchlin MacDonald

I originally answered this question anonymously, because I assumed people might interpret what I said as bragging if I attached my name to this. However, several people in the comments and a couple people privately asked me to go public, so here I am. Nobody special, like I said, and I hope that this does not affect how people read my answer.

A lot of people have written answers to this question that I agree with the broad strokes of, but the problem with most of them is accepting that there is a meaningful category called “genius.” I have a ridiculously high IQ. Taking different tests at different times in my life, there’s been about a 15 point spread, but the highest was in the low 180s. I took the LSAT on a whim a few months ago, and with no preparation scored in the 96th percentile. People were calling me a genius all through school, until I switched from studying Physics to another discipline where people aren’t always looking for geniuses.

There is no such thing as “a genius.” I’m not one, and I’m not special. Virtually everyone I’ve ever met, aside from people with brain damage or intellectual disabilities, is as smart as I am. The only thing that makes me different is that I am extremely good at logic puzzles, and I’m better than average at math, and I am firmly convinced that those are not inborn aptitudes, but things that I learned.

So, what am I doing in my life? Am I a venture capitalist, or an entrepreneur, or an award-winning novelist? Nope. I’m just now getting somewhere in my career that I’m pretty pleased with, but I spent most of my 20s blundering around. I made a lot of emotional decisions, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do, and I made several aborted attempts at different professions. I moved a bunch of times, and I delayed my own plans for romantic relationships. Nearly all of my peers who were also called geniuses did similar things. The one thing that unites most people we call geniuses is intellectual restlessness and the speed with which they get bored (not positive qualities, on their own). My peers and I were lucky kids, with supportive families and lots of opportunity, and almost none of us could get our careers together before we were pushing 30. Clearly “genius” is not what gets things done.

Nearly everyone is as smart as I am. I’ve never met a cognitively normal person who didn’t have as much capacity for learning and understanding as I have. There might be Good Will Hunting people out there somewhere, but I’ve never met one of them either. So you want to know what a world where everyone was a genius would look like? You’re living it.

Our culture is extremely invested in the concept of geniuses, special people who rise above the rest of us to accomplish great things. I think this concept is a symptom of something sick in our society. Some of us like the concept because we like to think of ourselves as geniuses, and we think this somehow makes us better than the ignorant masses. Many of us also feel the need to elevate those who achieve greatness to a special intellectual category, to justify why the rest of us aren’t doing as well. We say, “Oh, she’s a genius, of course she’s a success.” We do this to trivialize the extreme hard work and absurd good fortune that is necessary to succeed in any field in this system we’ve created. Steve Jobs wasn’t a genius; he was a megalomaniacal businessman with some good product ideas who was in the right place at the right time. Change his life’s circumstances a bit, and he could have ended up as a manager at McDonald’s instead of getting rich selling us shiny pieces of metal and plastic.

Some of the other answers have said how society wouldn’t function if we were all geniuses because there would be nobody to do unskilled work. If you don’t think that there are millions of Einsteins toiling in thankless, unskilled jobs, you are fooling yourself. Some flip burgers or dig ditches or drive delivery trucks or work on fishing boats for a while, and then find a way out to something better, or work their way up to management. Some never do, and keep flipping those burgers for their entire lives. They have the aptitude and the interest that would have let them study physics, or compose a symphony, or start a successful company, but they were never encouraged to think they had the capacity, or they had no opportunity to study, or any number of other things that prevent people from doing all they’re capable of.

So what would the world look like if everyone were a genius? A few really successful people, lots of people bumbling around trying to find their way, and an enormous mass of frustrated, bored people, flipping burgers every day so you and I can afford to pontificate about geniuses on Quora.

I read this on Quora a few minutes ago, and it blew my mind. Just thought to share it with you guys.

Here’s the original post
I hope you’re having a great Sunday.


One Year of You

Year One.

*chuckles*

It’s hard to believe that you and I stuck it out.

I’m sitting here, wondering what magnificent words to write in your honor, on this momentous night (oyinbo repete).

But, all I can say is that I love you.

I love you in ways those three words cannot express. I love you in ways that can only be seen in colors beyond the spectrum.

You’ve been my partner in the journey that has been 2013. You’ve stuck with me despite our differences and difficulties, and waded through the muck and misery to find happiness with me.

We’ve been through more in the last 365 days than most people go through in a decade. Battles neither of us thought we’d ever have to fight, we found ourselves unsheathing the swords from our hearts and charging straight into it.

When we fought each other, we’d battle it to the end. Words would be said and tears would be shed. Pride stepped on and hearts ripped open.

When it was against outside forces, we’d stand back to back and take them down together. We’ve learned so much about each other, and I want to keep learning, loving and being the man for you.

I was going to speak plenty grammar and blow you away with the poetry our love should symbolize, but watching you sleep, I’m reminded of one important thing. One thing that’s just as true as the words “I love you” are when I say them to you;

My sun rises and sets in your eyes.

You are my lady, my woman, and hopefully, one day you’ll be my wife. I hope and pray that God gives me the grace to keep being the Crown on your Head, that I never put you to shame, or stop loving and taking care of you.

We’ve learned, we’ve laughed, we’ve wept, we’ve struggled not to kill each other, and woken up realizing we couldn’t imagine being without each other.

I hope we keep loving, and teach our children how to love by showing them how we love each other.
I hope we stay together till our company is the only sure thing we can hold on to, and holding each other’s hands becomes more second than kissing each other through our morning breath when we wake up in each other’s arms (more like when I wake up on the floor after you’ve kicked me off the bed.

I hope we contribute to each other’s successes, and as we get stronger, the name we’re working to build becomes something that will outlive us both.

I hope we do this for another year… and more years after that.

I hope we keep growing together.

Happy Anniversary, Kiitan mi.

I love you.

Ade Ori IreIMG_20130623_205052


Runaway Words: Musings From The Bottoms Of Bottles

He said, “The problem is, I don’t understand.”

I was a bit confused, so I asked him what he meant. He said “Every action I take is always taken from a place of good intentions, but more often than not, they’re the wrong thing to do. So I may mean to offer her roses along with her favorite brownies-in-a-mug, but end up serving up a tin cup full of tears and served on a coaster of mymagnificent intentions.”

“And when I do these things, she groans about the weight it puts on her soul, and I moan about how pussilanimus I am for treating her wrong. But unable to see me in pain even when it was of my own construction, she comes to me and tells me it’s okay. And takes me back into her arms with a teary eyed smile. We pick up the pieces of the sticks that are our broken feelings, rub them together and from the little flame we bring forth, once more create the inferno that is our love.”

I told him, “Homeboy, I feel you. So after all this, why do you still fuck up?

He said: “For the life of me, I wish I knew. I’m like a kid standing at the shore, writing my mistakes in the sand and hoping I don’t forget them. And with the high tide comes the wave of good times, erasing what I’ve written with the hopes of never forgetting. And the waves wash it away; leaving me to look and wonder what I said I wouldn’t do. I look so closely, I’m able to make out faint traces, and keep myself in check, but ultimately those traces go faint and I forget. And then I make the same mistake again and then it hits me. That’s the shit I did the first time! So I retrace the faint traces I left in the sand and smile as the tide goes low. I smile and look at what I’ve written. Till the tide is high once more and like a high person, I start the cycle once more.”

I said, “That’s heavy man. Why does she still stay with you then?”

He said, “Because she’s amazing. She sees past my bullshit and when she gets tired, remembers somewhere deep inside, that I love her. She’s amazing enough to still find that flag even in the warzone we sometimes call our love. She stays because she believes in me. And loves me in ways she can’t even explain. Ways that delight and frighten me at the same time, that keep my heart beating with a purpose and have me looking for the quickest ways to get her back beside me when she’s not there beside me. She makes me want to stand on every street corner in Lagos (excluded, are street corners in Festac, Ikorodu, Akute and Abara Estate), to ask fellas that pass me by, if they have it as good as I do.”

She stays with me because she’s patient, and knows that I try. She stays with me because she chooses to see the good times we have, and let them overshadow the bad days. She stays because she’s my eternity, and nothing could try to keep us apart.”

He was quiet for a second… “Or maybe she stays cos no one else would have her… I’m not sure about that one.” He said.

“Idiot.” I laughed out. “So you still know how to make jokes… I thought you’d washed your sense humor down after the second bottle of Jack.”

“Na…” He smiled. “As long as I have her, that sense of humor isn’t going anywhere.”

“You moist motherfucker.” I laughed as I poured him another drink. “If I’d known you’d be like this tonight, I’d have started playing Drake when you walked in.”

He laughed.

“So.” I asked. “If you know how much she loves you, why are you sitting here, reaffirming your loyalty to Lynchburg, Tennessee, when you should be with her?”

He looked up at me, brought out his wallet, and went “Charge it to my current. Add an extra 10% for yourself.”

Five minutes later, he walked out of the bar. Looking like a soldier of old; weary, but picking up his long sword, because the battle had to be fought, and he would do nothing else if he couldn’t fight it. I looked at the will returning to his step as he gathered momentum and crossed the road to go home to the woman he loved, and thought to myself…

Another day, another battle. Did he say 10% or 20%? *chuckle* he won’t notice jare…

-End-


Will You Watch?

Will you watch when I weep? Wondering to yourself why my eyes do not blink as I cry to sleep in silence.

Each tear drop tells a story that cannot be sung to little children at night.

Nightmares plague my soul; so much so I have come to know no respite. My plight is my pain, carved onto my hands, familiar like my own name, familiar like the warmth of a home long forgotten.

Forgotten like a game of whispers played in a noisy market, where sad smiles are sold on stands of reality. And the truth is bottled like liquor and labelled “not to be sold to people below 21”.

I wish I was a child again. Roaming the markets of life, my dusty feet oblivious to the roads of hard tar that must be travelled, that bottle of truth yet untasted, that song of sin still unsung.

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They Said The World Would End In 2012

So, I usually write a post about how my year went. I put this up on Efe’s blog yesterday, but I thought it’d be unfair to not share it with you. Besides, this one is a bit edited so it’s got more things in it than the one on Efe’s blog.

 

They said the world would end in 2012.

I mean, it was everywhere. People committing mass suicides based on Mayan calendars, pastors prophesying specific dates, movies telling us how it would end and how America would undergo some Project Noah activities to make sure humanity wasn’t wiped out, fat men would be commanding engines to start on their own and Asia would switch geographical locations with Africa (I didn’t quite see how the Chinese would be eating amala and ewedu or the Koreans would be doing the azonto instead of the gangnam style, but in retrospect, that probably wasn’t the point).

They said the world would end in 2012.

When 2012 started, I wasn’t ready for it to end just yet. I mean, I’d just survived 2011, I’d graduated from university, gotten posted to Niger state but then gotten redeployed to Lagos (thus ending my plans to acquire a plot of land or two, marry a sultry native and have beautiful babies with Yoruba/Hausa/Jamaican blood that would grow up speaking patois with “h-factor” and Hausa accents), gotten over the second major heartbreak of my life and inadvertedly broken someone else’s heart. I had a job, and I was moving out of my father’s house. I mean! Life was just beginning! If the world was a fat lady, she would just have had to pour herself a triple shot of gin, light up a Dunhill Switch and put that curtain call on hold for a little while, cos mehn, I had it all planned out.

They said the world would end in 2012.

So I got prepared from the beginning; I placed my order for “angelic white” baby-lace and sent it off to sew my Ascension Aso-Oke, I started planning transportation and housing logistics… oh, what the fuck am I saying? It’s not like I believed a word of all that stuff. Life was kinda just beginning…

Where do I begin?

In the middle of the fuel subsidy removal crisis that took place, I found time (in between fulfilling my daily duties as an armchair activist), to forge new ties. With no lies but a bit of self deceit, I plunged into this different experience with my feet first, never imagining how different it would be. And on the real, it was crazy. Amazing, beautiful, annoying… I don’t even know how to explain it; but let’s just say T-Pain’s “5 AM” became one of my favorite songs (this should have been the first sign that 2012 would end soon, but I wasn’t paying attention).

I lunged straight into my service year, and slowly but surely, began to be disillusioned about the perks of being a “working class citizen”. Besides the fact that I found that the NYSC scheme is probably one of the most terribly executed schemes in Nigeria’s history, and that waking up at 5:15 every morning was in no way fun, I realized that being an adult and independent was… a shitty deal.  I learned very quickly that things are always much cheaper when your parents are paying for them. Bills, transportation, food, clothes; I found myself paying through tears for all these things, and I started to understand what my father meant when he’d always rant about how his children didn’t know the value of money.

Speaking about my father, I started to understand him; slowly, but surely. I started to see some of the things he’d been through and the sacrifices he’d made for his family.  I realized that it wasn’t easy and if anyone deserved to be cut some slack, it was him. So I did… maybe.

They said the world would end in 2012.

And there came the time that I thought mine had ended; not my 2012, my life in total. I remember the first phone call I made, and the words we said. I remember having to compose myself and still laugh with Blossom as I took her to her friend’s place, ‘cos I couldn’t tell her what was going on. I remember seeing my future altering completely, and knowing there was nothing that I could do about it but be a man; because that was what I was taught to do, it was the only thing I knew how to do.

But I remember knowing fear; fear of the unknown, fear of the future, and fear of the uncontrollable. I also remember everyone that stood by me; through everything. Through my ranting and raving, through the times where I didn’t think I was strong enough to be me. If you’re reading this, you guys are the best ever, and I’m lucky as fuck to have had you all around me through what I can honestly say has been the most trying year of my life.

They said the world would end in 2012.

Lemme be honest, at some points, I wished it would. It was difficult, work was stressful, people gave me stress, and Frank Ocean came out of the closet (Yes that was a traumatic experience for me), but it did have its upsides…

I gained experience in so many things, I learned more about myself, I learned about my self-worth. I became stronger… damn. You know that saying, “You don’t know how strong you can be, until being strong is the only option you’ve got.”? Yeah… I learned the absolute truth of that. I found new music in 2012. Gosh… I don’t know how I didn’t know about these guys before, but wow: Krewella, Ed Sheeran, Kendrick Lamar… damn… so much good music. 2012 gave birth to a project I never thought I’d have been part of, much more be the one to think up. Big ups to Team GhenGhen; we’ve started something massive. A community that gets bigger with each week that passes, and this? This is something we’re going to be proud of. I’m sure of it.

In 2012, my daughter was born. The Hope of my life, and the one thing I’m most proud of. I watched her come into the world, silent and beautiful, and I knew my life had just begun.

They said the world would end in 2012.

But here I am at the end of it; and truthfully? I don’t have it all figured out, but I’m not afraid. I may be yet to master the art of having peace at heart, but right now, my daughter’s cradled in my left arm; and that’s enough; she’s my greatest piece of art.

They said the world would end… but 2012, was when my world began.

-Panda-


What Could Have Been

The things that may have been stay unknown but familiar. Like the face of the sibling of your friend whom you’ve never met.

These things reside in the back of my mind. Unreachable because they never came forth. Never sought to be more than wishes and things hoped for. Dreams soaked in possibility, yet left to dry in the heat of my omissions.

You were the poetry I wrote about. Transcending my dreams and becoming what should never have been, but was; completely, utterly, right there.
I reached out to you via eleven digits and a chime, and each one of my senses experienced your magnificence individually. The sound of your voice resonated through ears and into my soul.
Your laughter rung like bells from one end of my mind to the other. Taking the covers off memories I thought were extinct. By instinct I reached for more.
And then came sight. The sight of you in ankle cut jeans and pinstriped loafers. Your smile left me blinded like I’d been looking through the leftover shine of a sharp sunrise.

Words and laughter accompanied us to a place where we found pleasure in each other’s company. Playing with phones and speaking in hushed tones. At ease with each other, you eased into me. Leaning into me as if to seek for comfort and finding it as your head nestled below my collarbone, your tangled hair tickling my nose. Me breathing it all in; the smell of your hair like crushed raspberries and bubble gum. The nape of your neck like earth, exotic soap and that extra smell that beauty adds. It intoxicated me.

Unable to help myself, I helped myself to the feel of you. Touring down the paths of your skin with my fingers. Meandering along your arms and tracing the perfect fault lines on your palms. Brushing a finger behind your ear and entangling your already nappy hair.

And that was what we were. A singular wonder rediscovered in so many different ways every single time we connected. Every time our lips collided we spoke secrets that could only be expressed through taste. Every time you smiled the winds filled my sails; letting me float free and fast atop the seas of joy.

You were the sunlight and I was the hilltop. You crested on top of me and for a moment, we were beautiful. Looked at with longing by passers by who understood beauty and smiled at the simplicity of it.
But as with all things the sun gazes on, our beauty was fleeting. Reality stepped in like the darkness after a bright day. And despite the way that everything could have been, it’s all changed.

Now I sit and wonder to myself where it all went. Time and emotions spent to pay for what would never last. The past is all that’s there to remember. What was once a roaring flame, started by a single matchstick, now is turned to cold ashes scattered to the winds of reminiscences.

-Panda-