When Life Hands You Lemons

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When life hands you lemons, you make lemonade…

I’ve had this quote on my mind for a while now. It’s pretty easy to recite and use like I’ve seen tons of people do over time but I’m pretty sure many don’t know the context in which it is used. They say quotes have a deeper meaning and this one does too but I’m going to try and address it from a different angle unlike the theory we are used to. I intend to share my findings with you now.

 

Disclaimer:

Once you sense I’ve started thinking too much or getting philosophical, stop me… if you can.

 

Moving on… last time I checked; to create lemonades you require lemons, water and sugar. So if life is giving you just lemons how do you end up at lemonade without the other ingredients? Hmmm…Oro nla.

Like I said earlier, I’m going to try and give this a literal meaning different from the one you’re probably accustomed to.

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Lemons in this context are talents. I don’t mean the money they spent in the bible days, I’m talking about the gift you were born with, that thing you’re extremely good at for no reason without little or no practice. Those are the lemons life has bestowed you with. Some people are blessed with fat lemons, some juicy while some others stale and small. Whatever type of lemon life has given you it’s your duty to create something out of it. That something being chilled lemonade.

So first, to make lemonade, you need a couple of ingredients aside lemons.

 

The first of them being Water.

Note, life didn’t hand you water like it did with the lemons so you have to discover it yourself. Water in this context is Diligence, Determination and The strive to be better at what you do. It’s a known fact that water helps plants grow, so let’s assume the ‘water’ here helps your talents develop. Many lose it at this stage. They never come by adequate water or the nerve to harness it out of the earth. So they end up with lemons still and continually look over the horizon to the finish line where their peers and life-mates turn in their lemonade for assessment. In other words, our group has fallen short of a couple of people. That’s how life is; some people never make it past the first stage and they have to endure the mediocrity that trails them throughout their existence.

 

Next on the list is Sugar.

Adding sugar to the mixture of lemons and water you have already is simply infusing Creativity into your talent that has been diligently developed. Like water, sugar has to be found as it’s not a free gift from life. Creativity runs the world these days. Hi5 went into depression immediately Facebook was released with its unique features. The keyword there is ‘unique’. Spain and Barcelona were blown away in the World cup and Champions league respectively because their Tiki Taka style of play had become obsolete. Opponents knew what to expect because no form of creativity whatsoever was brought into play. That’s what happens when your lemonade lacks sugar.

Dig deep into your subconscious, understand your surroundings, study your predecessors and emerge with something unique. That’s the trick. Nobody cared to listen to our old local artistes after Wizkid landed with his unique touch to hip hop as we know it. The result of his hard work is there for all to see… you can say he spoilt market for the lacklustre ones. That’s the advantage sugar gives you.

Now we have our lemonade but we don’t have a final product yet. You don’t possess a means of distributing it and nobody; I mean nobody wants to drink lukewarm lemonade. This brings us to the second phase of adding ingredients.

 

The first of them is a Fridge or Freezer if you will.

Nobody likes warm or hot lemonade. Everybody loves it ice cold and chilled. The fridge here is Branding. Now that your talent has been developed and garnished with creativity, you need a proper concept with which you would release it to the world. Engage in proper branding, create the perfect website, buy the perfect costume and rent the perfect offices and workplaces. Accomplish this and you have a well developed and defined talent waiting to be displayed to the world. After you’ve accomplished this, you need one last ingredient.

 

Jars and Cups.

The last but definitely not the least of the ingredients. You need a jar in which to share the lemonade and cups and bottles to serve with. We definitely don’t want to all drink from the bowl you mixed your lemonade in. That’s unhygienic. Everybody wants to take their lemonade to their offices and to their homes. They want to be able to put in the cup holder in their cars and take little sips when the traffic is unbearable. That my brother/sister is Having a Platform, which can mean Advertising; Social Networking to be precise. People hardly read billboards these days. They would rather view your adverts on their phones and laptops. The world has gone digital, make sure your refined talent can too. Provide a means in which we can carry your lemonade around and in that way publicise you further.

 

That’s the last of the ingredients in making one-of-a-kind lemonades… simply, Lemons, Water, Sugar, A Fridge and Jars and cups. Lemons never give you lemonade right away, neither would your raw talents give fulfillment or put food on your table. You need the other ingredients in the right proportions.

So, dear readers; when life does hand you lemons, make lemonade and make sure you make it just right… damn, lots of ‘make’ in that sentence… 🙂

 

Have a lovely day.

I remain Mike Dammy

 

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Imagine Animals Got Smart

Hi there… Happy Monday morning… I meant that though -____-

Let me gist you about a joke I shared with a friend yesterday on our way back from Babcock University.
The joke was simple yet witty.

Imagine God suddenly blessed animals with super intelligence much like ours” like those predator sharks in that classic movie; Jaw.

I for one laughed at my intending doom. My friend just sunk in his chair at the realization of his predicament.

“They would hunt us down and kill us one by one… After all the bullish methods we’ve adopted in maiming and eating them.” We said and laughed when our thoughts and imaginations coincided.

So we, my friend and I sought to describing the animals that had it out for us (Jobless lads right?… We couldn’t help it, We were stuck in a traffic jam along Shagamu road. Man can’t die of boredom right?).
So back to our plot… We categorized them ranking from the animals that might not utilize their God-given intelligence to harm us that much to those that won’t hesitate one bit before they plan their mass MANslaughter. I daresay I pity some people especially those men with big tummies stuffed with various kinds of animal meats and sticks of suya, there would be no remorse for them. There might not be need for Armageddon when these animals are done.

I made some sort of list afterwards. I’ll lead you through the hierarchy. We’ll make it some sort of count down.

10. Wild Animals: Lions, Hippos, Rhinos, Sharks…
Well, If you fit in with this category. There’s not much I can say, you’re finished. I don’t expect any Nigerian to be scared by this category cos the black man himself is scared of them. So I’m guessing this group is for our white brothers. So, enjoy Amigos. A lion with a gun? I really don’t want to be you.

9. Snake
My people. I hear some of you delight in snake meat. I’ve also heard it tastes like fish. That’s where my knowledge ends though. If I want a meal that’s tastes like fish, I will eat fish. My friend wasn’t so lucky here… Once, he had sat down with men demolishing snake meat. My sympathy bro. You won’t stand a chance against a cunny snake in an armour tank.

8. Cricket
My God… I still don’t believe this. People eat crickets?! I’m not even sure If they have any ounce of meant or whatever on their tiny bodies. You people that have devoured them though, your judgement would be like one of those Egyptian plagues from the Bible.

7. Dog
Ibo people?  Why???
This is on you… You brought this upon yourself.

6. Pig
I rejoiced at first when We came upon the Pigs category. I have never taken pork and was already whirling around in celebration when my friend shut me down and reminded me that bacon and sausages came from those filthy animals. I can bet I swallowed spit at the thought of it. A slimy Pig, kitchen knife, Me… There could only be one outcome.

5. Ram/ Goat
Our Muslim brothers and sisters, this is your personal category. Nuff said.

4. Fish
Aha! Everyone is affected here!
Imagine the likes of the Kote, Tilapia, Stock fish, Mackerel, Titus, Catfish and Whales thundering out of the ocean with a resounding shout of war. Nobody is safe here… We’re all gonna d*e.

3. Turkey
I reckon the Fish should rank higher than the Turkey but I reserved this space for the Turkey for our average earning families to the affluent ones in Nigeria and the Thanksgiving loving citizens of America. Those menacing looking birds won’t be kind on y’all. They will stomp, maim, pluck out eyeballs and kill afterwards. It would be a gory sight. Sadly, I would be in the mix of it.

2. Cow
Iya Basirat people, the beef loving congregation of Covenant University, Customers of meat sellers, Suya fanatics, Anybody and everybody that has ever tasted cow meat. Be it the normal beef, shaki, pomo or whichever one. Those four legged once-dull creatures won’t go easy on us. This time everything they see would be red.

1. And last but definitely not the least; Chicken.
Ha-ha!
This is the end.
Christmas, Easter, KFC, TFC, Chicken suya, Eggs. Dare I say more? You think chopping their heads off before u dip them in hot steamy water to remove their feathers is cool right?  Wait till you see what killing mechanism they invent cos of us.

Well, that’s it.
My countdown of the animals that would declare war immediately they sense they have been blessed with super intelligence.
My advice is simple;  Be a vegetarian.

This was all jokes though. God will never so cruel as to bless those beasts with our level of intelligence.  We are indeed safe. Let this be a reminder that this situation could have been more critical. Enjoy life more.
So, Kill that chicken… Roast that cow… Grill that fish… Chop those sausages and have an awesome meal. You deserve it.

Again, Congrats to the graduating set of Babcock University… The world awaits your stardom.

Also, Happy Birthday to a great indigenous writer; Mr Walt Shakes… Many more fruitful years to come. His latest post; Something Old ‘N’ Borrowed  was the inspiration for this very post. Thank you Sir.

Do have a lovely Monday. God bless.

Mike Dammy

Yore

days-of-yore-lourry-legarde

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She took a few steps; exerting more pressure on the interlocking tiles to convince herself she wasn’t creating a delusion. A couple of footsteps nearby in a similar rhythm to hers made her wonder if all she was hearing were mere echoes. A bat whisked over her head and she ducked in fear. Then she heard another step and she was convinced she was being followed.

She took to her heels and raced into her street from the main access route. Her heavy steps and laborious breathing left a trail too easy for her stalker to follow but she didn’t care. So far she got home before he caught up with her.

Three blocks from her building, she dug into her handbag and fetched her keys. A minute later, she was fiddling with her door handle as she struggled to insert her key into lock. She turned the key in a rotary motion twice and the lock snapped. Quickly, she entered her apartment; the boys quarters apartment in an illustrious compound in the suburbs of Surulere. Her door slammed shut and she gasped with the noise that strew across the still night. She bolted the door and peeped through the blinds to see if she could sight her pursuer.

She saw no one and retreated into her bedroom. The clock chimed two as she took off her nurse vesture. She had a cold shower and collapsed on her mid-sized bed. She laid on her bed thinking about the incident and slept in two minutes after the exhaustion she suffered from working extra shifts at the hospital. She had not been asleep for five minutes when she heard a knock. She woke and snatched at a flashlight on a bedside cupboard. She switched it on and scanned her room for intruders. She heard another knock and sighed. Her heart raced as she exited her bedroom and advanced on the main door.

As she approached the door, she noticed the light from the flash light waggle as she struggled to keep herself from shivering. A few feet from the door, an envelope slipped under the door panel and she heard footsteps retreat from her door. She fought the urge to open the door to see the letter carrier and picked up the envelope instead. Her mind played out different scenarios for her current plight and she chuckled when she imagined it being a letter bomb.

She laughed it away and sat in a nearby settee. She tore open the envelope and an object fell from it. She picked it up and saw it was a necklace with a locket. In the locket was the picture of a young lady and a little girl; most likely the lady’s daughter. She laid the necklace aside and unfolded the letter. A quick glance told her she didn’t know the sender as the handwriting was unfamiliar. Straining to sound calm, she read it:

 

Dear Mary,

She paused and wondered how the sender knew her name. If he was someone she knew, why did he go through much stress to hide his identity. She shrugged off the thoughts and continued:

It’s great to see you, child. It’s been ages since I did. I hope you’re faring better than I am. I do miss you and I’ve always been around even if it didn’t seem like it. I hope you’ll forgive me abandoning you. I was young and naïve.

Still, I’m proud of you. And dare I say I’ve seen you work. I’ve seen your work and I’m deeply impressed. You’re the true child of your mother. I’ll get in touch with you soon.

Love,

Mom

So it was a She, she thought; her mother to be precise. This was splendid. Now she had a stalker who was also a blackmailer. She tossed the letter away and some scribbles on the rear of the paper caught her attention. She picked the paper and put her hand to her mouth as she read the note.

If you don’t believe it’s from me, go back to the orphanage and ask for the pictures I left them.

She ran her fingers through her hair in stupefaction. Only her mother knew about the pictures. The same pictures she had retrieved from the orphanage some months back. She went into her room and came back with a brown envelope. In it were the pictures the letter talked about. She never opened them since she collected them. She feared for the worst as she tore open the envelope. The contents fell to the floor as her hands were shaking in fear. She picked up the first picture in the stack on the floor and left her mouth aghast as she saw a magnified image of the one in the locket.

 

Mike Dammy

June 28 is a Reality!

This is one of those posts I don’t edit… Not if I can help it sef, the Chief Editor; Kola is sleeping beside me.. yea yea, he’s my roommate… Moving on….
I woke up this morning, checked my mail and saw Kemi’s post on finally becoming a doctor, you can read it here —->>>> http://kemmiiii.com/2013/04/12/med-diary-23-alhamdulilah/
I couldn’t help but smile when she described her elation at being a graduate, hence being a doctor, but one more important thing, it dawned on me that I would soon be in her shoes, God willing.
76 more days and I’ll be four years closer to being an Architect,(4 years shey… *clears sweat on forehead*… not that I want to be one but its creates a tingling that keeps me going and keeps the fuel burning. It’ll be a tragedy if I mess up now and end up postponing that date but thank God, the word tragedy aint present in my God’s diary.
So, on a broader picture, millions of people would be graduating in the coming weeks; the four, five, six or whatever number of years spent in school are finally coming to an end. There’s the possibility of getting complacent but I pray we don’t because if anything is to come by the joy Kemi felt feels, I can’t let anything be in my way of experiencing that too.
So folks graduating soon, especially my colleagues in CU graduating on JUNE 28… Don’t get complacent, round up that project, put a little more effort in your studies, greet your supervisors and HOD heartily, and reduce the time for Fifa and make up drastically, don’t worry, you can paint your face all you want on your graduation day. Just so you know, Guys now look for graduates to marry, #JustSaying… What am just saying is that in anything you do, keep your eyes set on the goal and you’ll achieve it by God’s grace.
To all my Archi peeps, studio or project, not even structures or components can stop us. That group celebration we’re planning, we would accomplish it.
To all CU 400 and 500 level students, we have a little more than 2 months left, all of us would wear that green gown on that day in Jesus name.
To other students from other universities all over the world graduating this year, I don’t know the colors of your gown, be it blue, yellow, red, black, grey, indigo, white, anything.. but by God’s grace you’ll be wearing them come that day of your graduation.
To other students, wait for your time… 😛
Like I said, if you found any typo or Gbagaun, thumbs up… and apply for the role of Co-Editor.. 😀

Mike Dammy

Dee 3 : The other end of the line.

Welcome to the third chapter in the DEE series. I hope you’ve had fun with the first two chapters.
If you haven’t read them, you could get really confused here as to who each character is (Don’t worry, they aren’t a lot). So I implore to read them.
These are there links:

Dee 1 – https://damstylee.wordpress.com/2012/02/23/dee/

Dee 2 – https://damstylee.wordpress.com/2012/07/15/dee-2/

This particular chapter has been fused with a lot of fiction… Most of the story and the characters aint real. So if this story seems like a rendition of your story, its not.
Anyways, I’ve tried my best to keep the suspense flowing. Enjoy! 😀

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Its all coming back now as I skim blindly through the International section in the paper.
The calls, the visitations, the dreams. I understand them a whole lot better now.
And there was I thinking I was saving a life; not knowing I was digging my grave. A bitter sweet one you could say, but who cares, the bitter one always comes last.

Dammy! I’ve found him! I’ve found Mr right! He was right in front of me all this while. Can’t believe I’ve been blind to seeing this

Her voice still rings in my head…..
That call….
I was happy for her at first. I was glad she was happy.
She claimed she was blind and now she is wise. I reckon she’s worse or perhaps am the blind one
How the hell was I even supposed to know this was coming?! All I wanted to do was help, but she’s made her choice and now I sit here trying to make mine.
She said they hugged,
They cuddled,
They kissed, And Mae found it cool.
Could she have been seeing the future?
Could she have been seeing Mae’s future?

Remember the dreams….

I was sitting in my office this morning.
In my immaculate white coat looking handsome as ever, I’m signing out the mail for the day and then the phone rings.

Dammy!

Dee?

Yea!

Hmm… You sound so happy. What’s up with you?
I asked her as I tried to guess her answer before I’m enveloped in the suspense.

I’ve found him!

Found who?

The right man for me…. My other half!
He was right in front of me all this while.
Can’t believe I’ve been blind to seeing this!

I remember smiling as my heart rejoiced for her.

I’m happy for you, dee…

You won’t even ask him who he is. She says further.

Oh! I know him? Who is he then?

Its my doctor.

Your doctor? I asked puzzled.

Yea, my doctor……….
You.

For seconds on end, I said nothing and tried to assimilate the shocking information.

Dammy, She continues.

I know its hard and a very difficult decision for you considering Mae. But think about the dreams, they definitely mean something.
Or don’t you think so?

I remained mute as the whole world seemed to pass before me.

But Dee, I finally replied
Those are dreams. Dreams can’t be trusted.
And Mae; I can’t leave her.
I love her.

There was a short pause and she finally spoke;

Dammy,
I know this news is shocking but I’ll leave you to think about it. I’m sure when you relax and do, you would see exactly what I mean.
Whereas, the dreams definitely mean something; you of all should know that.
Dammy, I love you and I know you love me too.
We are meant to be together.
So please, understand.
I’ll be waiting for your call.
Good bye.
And she dropped.

I clasped my head with my hands to prevent it from blowing up. My world seemed to be going round in circles.
What the f**k did I just hear?
Who says am even the right guy for her?
What if am just an opportunist?
I’ve saved a lot of relationships but never excelled in one. My Ex still sends me hate (supposed to be anonymous) messages.
But Mae… Mae’s special…. but…but Dee’s wonderful too. Double dating suddenly is an option, one am actually considering but then, the dreams must mean something or don’t you think so?

I closed for the day and headed home. There was no use working with all that heavy thought on my mind.
So, here I am, I’ve made myself a cup of coffee and am reading the day’s paper as I sit cross legged on the two seater sofa in my sitting room.
I pick up my phone, dial a number and the other line picks;

Hello

Hey, I reply sternly
We need to end this.

End what?
She replies…………………


Damstylee

Well, seems this story has to continue then.


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A day in my office

The chairman overseeing the rescue of damsels in distress. Yup, that’s me!
Awkward job, you might say but that is exactly what I do, what I live on and what I survive with.
I don’t get paid with money though, the happiness of my clients brings me fulfillment and guess what I save them from?
Loneliness, Trauma,abusive relationships, backstabbing friends and a whole lot of other evil things. In other words, you can say I put them back on track in love.
How I discovered this job, I dunno. When it started, I have no idea, but I’ve been doing it for as long as I can remember.
(Now for the good part) How many damsels I’ve saved; 679, how many I’ve lost; Nil. Call it boasting, I really don’t care but am just too good at what I do.
So, here I am this fine monday morning in my office. Its pitch black as usual with the only source of light being the windows.
My phone rings… “At last!”
“You have an appointment, Sir” my receptionist says over the intercom, “Send her in”
There is a knock on my door and in comes a teenage lady, her face looking like she could burst into tears at any moment. Immediately, my office shines a deep red color. I’ll tell you the significance of that later.
As my job proffers, I calm her down.
We exchange pleasantries and I get straight to the point. (This part of my job is boring, so I’ll just skip it).
From all she said, amidst her crying, I could pick out that “she has a boyfriend but her heart lies with another man. One who’s heart lies with another lady, and the lady’s heart too…… You get the drift sha. Its quite complex, even for me.
After this ordeal, I smile in my seat and as cocky as I can get say “You’ve come to the right place, miss”. We continue discussing for a while and the solution finally hits me, but I keep it to myself. You see, one thing I’ve learnt in my vast years of experience is that you do not jump to conclusions no matter how much you think you’ve got it.
Soon, the day grows older and I set another appointment with her and bid her good night. The room is a light shade of green at the moment.
The next day comes quickly and I notice the color of the room “Apparently, we still have a long way to go”.
At a little over noon, she arrives; this time with a smile. My office becomes a deep shade of yellow. “Now, we’re making progress”.
So, we continue our discussion. Along the line, I know she has got just two options. She either leaves her current boy friend and chase after the love of her life or she sticks to being sorry for herself and stick to her boyfriend.
I tell her both options and she makes the right choice. (They don’t make wrong choices; not with me in charge). My office is now a lighter shade of yellow. “Almost there”
In my presence, she calls him and tells him what she has had in mind all this while and waits for his response. He hangs up and I see fear and rejection written all over her face. My office, by the way is back to the light shade of green. “This aint looking good”.
The phone finally rings after what seemed like eternity and I watch as she picks up the receiver. My stance a perfect facade of calm, while inwardly battling with anxiety raging. “Maybe, I am about to record my first failure…. Something, my mind isn’t ready for…”
Finally, I see it. The office lits up a bright immaculate white light amidst a white smile on her face. “Mission Accomplished!”
I listen to her set up a date with him while I try to suppress my smile . Her face screams happiness and gratitude while she’s takes her leave. She says thank you and shuts the door; immediately, my office turns a gloomy shade of black, (if there is anything like that). This is the bad side of the job.
#Sigh, “can’t wait for client 681!” 😦

Doc. Damstylee


Thanks for reading.
Take time to drop your comments below.

If it ain’t right, don’t take it!

Today I sat down to think about what my life would have been if I had followed or not followed some advices people have given me in recent years. It was a whole lot of funny and sad drive through memory lane but this is what I came up with.

Sometimes I wonder what would have happened if I listened to my dad and studied mechanical engineering. I would have died by now. With all the physics, maths, chemistry (argh!) flowing in my brain, I’m quite sure I would either be in a psychiatric hospital or fighting for my life in one theatre waiting to be cut open by the surgeon that’s meant to save me from the cerebral malaria I would have contacted.

If I had followed my pastor and well wishers, I would have been a man of God holding crusades around the country. Don’t get me wrong, that would have been extremely cool but the stress and dedication; *sigh.

If I hadn’t followed my guidance counselor and english teacher in high school, this post you are reading would have been in a book or in the papers and would have been something really good. But thanks to them, I wasted 5 good years of my life lost in oblivion looking for my talent or something I could call my talent after they made me stop reading and writing respectively.

If I had taken my brother’s advice, I would have been a wrecked accountancy student. the fact that I love putting a lot, most times too much in everything I do get me really stressed at times. With all the calculations that would have been flying around, trust me; I would have shut down. So bro, thanks but no thanks for your wonderful advice.

If I had followed my advice, the situation wouldn’t have been different from my dad’s plan for me. I would have been studying civil engineering and be going through the chemistry (*argh), physics and maths cycle. The psychiatric hospital would have been my home.

Since I took my mum’s advice, I’m currently studying architecture. The stress is killing and I get headaches everyday. I walk all night, all day too and during any spare time I get. My lecturers don’t help matters and they keep reminding us that one can’t be lazy in architecture. But asides the stress, the course is really cool, you don’t get to do too much calculations, thinking and its a great get away from chemistry (*argh). My course mates are all wonderful and we have a lot of fun amidst the stress we are undergoing.

Finally, if I had followed my fantasy self’s advice, I would be on broadway right now with a voice that could bring down angels. My fame would have extended past this planet and some aliens from another planet somewhere would have come to kidnap me so they could listen to my voice. As I said, this is my fantasy, and we all have fantasies so don’t criticize me too much.

If I have the opportunity to go back and change something, I think I wouldn’t have listened to my guidance counselor or english teacher. Its quite painful that I quit writing then; I had so much promise but that’s in the past now. All I’ve got to do now is work on my present and see what the future has in store for me. If you’re wondering why I add this (*argh) anytime I mention chemistry, its because I had a nasty time with it as a high school student, one I never want to have again.

All in all, I’m happy I took my mum’s advice, I wouldn’t have discovered how wonderful architecture and my course mates are. And *clears throat* its the best course you can ever study. 😉

Tnx for reading!