Money, Thanksgiving, Soul Train Music Awards

I’ve never quite understood why among my group of friends, I always seem to be the only one (visibly) bothered by money. Maybe I process things differently, but when someone invites me to a random thing, like brunch, I have to think about it. And whereas (I think) most people who pause to think are trying to see if the invitation fits their schedule, I’m thinking about whether my account balance is padded enough, and if the experience is worth it. I’m ALWAYS here for new experiences, and I don’t mind being a bit broke for a while because I spent my money travelling to a new country, for example. Thankfully, I’ve never had to be extremely broke, because my daddy is too kind. However, I need time to mull things over, to see if I’m flush enough or if I can spare a few coins – and it’s not like I have a budget. I don’t think budgets work for me as such, so once I get money I just move 20-60% into a savings account because I usually don’t know if I’m going to be able to save anything next month. Why am I not sure? Because my life is unstable. In one month, I might have to travel like 5 times, and when you consider that flight tickets cost €70-120, consider that I have to factor in costs of transportation in these cities, consider food, etc., you might appreciate why I have to save in advance. Also, I’m looking for a house and my parameters are really stringent so I have to save for what I want. Then I need a new computer. Etc etc. Sigh.

{Break in transmission: I’m watching the Soul Train Awards on BET and Erica Campbell (one half of the Mary-Mary duo) is on. It’s very interesting to see how black people can turn spiritual in an instant, and this right now, this might as well be a church service or church concert. Tasha Cobbs is on now. Babyface was being honored earlier and they played some of the songs he wrote, with the artistes. BoysIIMen featured then, and that was the best bit of things for me because they sang End of the Road and I got really nostalgic. My goodness, I love Janelle Monae’s voice. I’ve been trying to get rid of the nasal tinge to mine and now I think I want to sound like her; only problem is everyone who knows me will look at me askance like “have you come down with a cold? You’ve had this cold for months now though”. R-Kelly has come on now to sing Step in the Name of Love and I’m dancing along because nostalgia, but I’m also making a weird face because I just remembered this article I read recently. That also just made me think about how the media shapes our perceptions and influences our behaviour. Hmm. Eyyy he just started singing Ignition Remix and I remember how my best friend in high school loved that song.}

Right, so we started with how I seem to be the only one who doesn’t outwardly worry about money. I don’t know how to pretend, so I usually just say how broke I am. I think I’m poor 😦 and I wish I could just not worry and spend all the money. I need more hustles. And more stability. Oh well.

How was Thanksgiving weekend for you? I liked the hashtag #ThanksgivingWithBlackFamilies – another insight into the lives of black Americans, seeing as I’ve never lived among them and all I know is from TV and maybe books. I’m grateful for my parents who have done their utmost best to raise us, and I’m a bit happy that I’ve come to see them as human beings who have emotions and are just trying to live their best lives, rather than just ‘parents’. I’m thankful for my edges, because they’re full and don’t look like they’ve been ‘snatched’. Thankful for red wine (which I used to hate) and cider, because those are awesome. Thankful for self improvement, and love. Thankful for relative comfort, and for my career because my current job is almost the literal illustration of “life comes at you fast”. I’m learning a lot though, and hopefully not falling on my face too many times – AND I get to work from home 🙂

I have work to do and a work phone call to make at 10pm (perks of working from home, eh?), so I’m gonna go now.

A bientot.

Tidbits while I write my thesis III

8. I turned 25 3 weeks ago. I had a mini quarterlife crisis, but before that, I had to ascertain what the basis for ‘quarter’ currently is. 120 or 100? Most people think it’s 100. What did I do during my quarterlife crisis? I played Fun’s We Are Young on repeat and soulfully belted out the lyrics, until the boyfriend told me there was a package waiting for me at the reception. I went, and lo, he had bought and sent me a pair of RayBan aviators. No more crisis for now, please.

9. There hasn’t been a whole lot going on, except, I’m now beginning to panic about getting a job here or somewhere. Add to that, the fact that the boyfriend is leaving Europe tomorrow, so I have to at least think about finding a job in Nigeria, even if it’s only a halfhearted effort. I say halfhearted because I’m not quite ready to leave Europe, not sure I’d ever be. We have had some discussions about him coming back to Europe though, but these are more long-short term than immediate-short term plans and in the end, the likelihood is that it will be me moving back to Nigeria. Not now though. Please, universe, not now. About getting a job, I was holding off on applying until after handing in my thesis, which I will talk about in 13, 12, 11…

10. We had a long weekend this past weekend. Public holidays on Thursday and Friday, and most people travelled but what did I do? I was editing (what I thought would be) the final version of my MSc thesis. Special thanks to the boyfriend for staying up with me on Friday night (we went to bed at 4.00 am when the sun was beginning to rise again) to finish the draft.  I spent Thursday monitoring how the price of Maya Angelou’s I Know Why The Caged bird Sings rose drastically on Book Depository, following her passing; then reading  (something set in 15th century Italy) and generally discovering that daytime television is quite uninteresting.

So, back to my boring thesis. Saturday rolled around and I thought oh let me just read through one more time and then convert to PDF and submit. I couldn’t have been more wrong. I was seeing such blatant errors that I wondered how my supervisor (who had read the other drafts,) managed to miss them. I decided that another round of editing was inevitable. Sigh. For starters, I didn’t want to bug the boyfriend again because he’s got his own exams this week, so I pulled out my Windows laptop. [I’m certain I’ve detailed why I abandoned that laptop somewhere on this blog.] For starters, it took about 45 minutes for me to get it to boot and open Google chrome. Fair enough, I spent the time editing on my Chromebook. Oh and, the events of this past weekend showed me that a Chromebook (can be, but) is not everything. I’ll spare you the details, but let’s just say I needed a Windows laptop for a lot of formatting. Right, so I had the laptop running, and then I started to edit, and save, etc. When I had finished, I decided it might be nice to re-label my figures/tables/equations. I had labelled them on my work computer before, but that was in Dutch and my home computer has English as its native language so I thought why not just redo it. And then when I was done, I clicked ‘Update Table’ (of figures), and my computer ceased to function. If I was a violent person, I would have thrown that computer against the wall in rage. I was shaking, and muttering an F bomb everywhere. I hadn’t eaten lunch (it was about 17:00 at this point) so I went to eat lunch, then I came back and began the gruelling process of trying to get the computer to work. I finally finished at 21:30, but only because the awesome boyfriend offered to help again. At this point, I could not bring myself to care about that thesis anymore, to be honest. Before I move on, a word of advice for anyone who owns or is considering ‘investing’ in a Toshiba Satellite Windows computer: Kill it with fire. [Maybe my own product was faulty/defective, or something. But I know I’m not a careless person. So it’s not my carelessness. Burn it with fire.]

11. Oh, I submitted the thesis alright. And then received (along with the rest of my classmates), 16 hours after submission, 7 documents in response to my submission. What are those documents, you ask? They’re a bunch of standards which our theses are supposed to comply with before they will be considered eligible for blah blah blah. You would think that these people would have been gracious enough to share these documents with us in January, before we began to write our theses. Do we look like we’re playing? [I’m sure one of them is chuckling softly at our misfortune. One of those documents is 58 pages long.] We had one document which detailed some standards to be followed. And I followed the standards in that document. Oh well. It will be done. Eventually.

12. So, I was holding off on applying for jobs because I thought I wouldn’t have time to prep and do all the aptitude tests. But now I must combine everything, because my internship is about to end and I’m not a fan of limbo.

13. Random: I remembered, this morning, that someone sent me a link in April to apply for a scholarship to Stanford Graduate School of Business. I shuddered when I remembered, at the thought of more school. I’m tired please. [Yes, life is a constant school, yadi yadi ya. I know. Go away.]

14. More Random: There’s someone on Twitter, @bimadew. She does this thing called Bim’s 10 Things every week, in which she lists 10 of her favorite things for that week. And she’s got such interesting things! They’re mostly pictures of people (e.g. Billie Holiday), but I find them very interesting. Now I’m thinking maybe I should find one favorite thing everyday. It will be like a happiness chore for me, to find something super interesting, without trying too hard. I’ll see if I can keep it up for 1 month straight, starting…tomorrow. Okay no. Today. Starting today.

15. Finally: I’ve gotten quite adept at bike riding, I now ride mostly on autopilot. I’m so chuffed for myself 😀

Sorry for the long read, and thank you for reading this far. À tout!