Close Encounters of the Roch-Kind

Few years ago, I read a book by Jesse Duplantis – read the book and listened to his sermon on the same title – the title was “Close Encounters of the God-kind”. He detailed and chronicled the experience he had on his numerous visits to Heaven. You see, Jesse is a willy old charismatic preacher so you can bet that I enjoyed listening to the sermon more than I enjoyed reading the book.

However, something struck me during that period – I was highly impressed with how he recreated the divine scenarios he had experienced and also how he related those experiences to seemingly mundane and trivial everyday life experience here on earth.

Before Jesse, I never really paid attention to stories of people who went to Heaven only to come back and try to coerce people out of fear to live for God, it doesn’t work that way, but I was drawn to Jesse’s version of events and led to believe them, simply because there was a lesson in there for me!

I want to follow Jesse’s example in talking about the various encounters I’ve had in the last couple of months. You see I’ve met different people under different scenarios, and I’d try to relate some of these encounters to a general allusion.

I look back at my life and see how far God has brought, and I see how every new phase of growth in my life has been distinguished by the kind of interactions I indulge in. I have never been one to have numerous friends. You know, I still don’t know how people do it. I’m not your guy for the long term or after party. I am still trying to come to terms with the concept of sharing your life with people, it got me really worried at some point until I had an epiphany – people will fulfil their mandate in your life with or without your help.

The people who are meant to stay in your life do not need your help – you play no part in orchestrating it. The people who leave, left for the same reason, they had played their part, and their business was done. No sentiments. I look back at the people in my life right now and I don’t think I’ve played any conscious part in them staying. I’d more likely give you more reasons to leave rather than stay.

I wish people would stop whining about their interactions with people. What I have come to understand is that people are in your life for a reason and season – it is your duty to find out what their role is while they remain, not your duty to make them stay. People who would stay will stay, those leaving, will. You’d hate yourself if you ever had to lower your standards or give up your comfort just to prolong the exit of a bystander in your life, you’d be worse off.

The things we go through in life aren’t meant to be reproduced in a soap opera, there are lessons in even the mundane things we experience. If you don’t figure out what the lesson(s) is, you’d keep running round circles. What are the current encounters you’ve had in recent times? Can you point out the inherent lessons that were for you? Jesse Duplantis wrote a whole book from encounters, can you even write half a book on the encounters you’ve had in a life time?

That guy you met last week; you guys are buddies now, but to what end? What role is he playing in your life? Quit letting bystanders take centre stage in your life, quit incurring losses all because you want to have people in your life. I’ve studied people who know so many people – it came effortlessly, on its own. Life is not LinkedIn where you can wake up one morning and set up a connections target for the day to increase your connections. In the real-life version, you don’t increase your connections by tapping the button. Rather, you increase your connections by staying true to yourself. I remember when we were derided in high school for not being promiscuous, they kept trying to make up believe that we would be disadvantaged in the real world when it came to choosing partners as we had not been well versed in the art of “toasting”. That’s a big lie, the things that are meant to come your way in life come not because you went after it, but because you stayed true to form and it was easy to locate you! Stay true to form, do not be distorted because you want to fit in. Any success you get from otherwise, will only be short-term.

 

Stay True!

 

Miracle Roch.

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Crying in Two Years

 

For the first time in two years; I cried and shed a tear.

In between these two years, I have tried to shed a tear, I’d come across situations that warranted a tear but they just wouldn’t come out. My heart was too restful and chilled to become tensed about any situation. I was beginning to get worried that I was becoming too hard, lacking emotion and empathy. People had begun to describe me as “too serious”, and I was slowly developing a reputation both at work and within the neighbourhood as the “no nonsense guy”.

You know, most people thought I was proud, they assumed my lack of visible empathy to pride. I’d become so straight to the point that I didn’t mind whose ox was being gored, I said it just as it was without sugarcoating how I felt. My only saving grace was that, I never had a bad feeling towards anyone, my heart was chilled and at peace, so even in those fiery moments when my emotions poured out; the love was visible.

Several nights I lay on my bed deep in intimate thoughts with God, trying to remember how far He’s brought me and my family, I’d feel really grateful and broken, but the tears just wouldn’t come, I’d always ask God to “break me”, and at the same time hear him telling my Spirit to “let it flow”, I’d hear him saying the ball was in my court yet I was hapless.

I felt that block, I knew there was something in my heart that was stopping me from tearing up, I couldn’t exactly pinpoint what it was, but there was something, felt like a block or a lock, saying “man, que sera sera”, I couldn’t care any less. It saved me a lot of stress, I had no expectations from people – I didn’t expect anything from people, I took everything that came my way at face value, and it felt good. I was living large.

But that morning; I cried. I sobbed profusely. I couldn’t exactly point to why, but the tears were profuse; in the early hours of the morning. I tried desperately to stop, the more I tried to be rational about it, the more tears strolled down my cheeks.

Those tears made me realise the transformation I had undergone in two years. Two years ago – the last time I cried – I was in a bad place, I’d felt let down by several things and people so I cried a lot. I didn’t understand why a honest guy like me would become a victim; I’d managed to conjure up a “me against the world” scenario all up in my head, and then in my usual defiant manner, I woke up one morning and told myself I was going to shake it off, turn a new leaf and pretend like none of that happened. I put myself on autopilot, superman like. For two years, I’d blocked off my emotions without knowing it, all the love I showed was ephemeral, nothing deep. I’d developed a thick skin without even realising.

Funny how an act of unreciprocated selflessness broke me – I had been the recipient of selflessness and I was disappointed at myself for lacking the ability to reciprocate, it was then it dawned on me – Man, what happened to you? When did you become so cold? This isn’t you, can never be you, how do you always end up so blessed even without doing anything extraordinary; how?  You see, I’m really blessed to have the right set of people in my life. I don’t have many friends, I’m not even sure I’d be able to fill up a 100-seater hall with people who genuinely look out for me, but the very few people in my life have been worth the while. They have been tailored made to meet different needs at various points in my life.

So that morning, I thought about how people remain in my life even when I make no effort sometimes to keep them, and I thought about how they go the extra mile for me, I see how genuinely “in love” they are with my life and the realization sets in. In between these two years, my life has been transformed by an overwhelming outpour of undeserved love from different shades, I’d only begun to realise. These things broke me, love was an expensive ideal for me growing up, growing up, it felt like something you had to earn, something you had to give up something to get in return. As I grow older and see expressions of undeserved love, I become even more motivated to extend that trait by becoming a channel of love to my immediate society and also shed a few more tears. Enough of being that superman, it doesn’t hurt to show a soft side, no harm in being called “soft”, no harm in being jeered for not being “masculine” enough.

Do what keeps your heart at peace, do what keeps you vulnerable, only then would the tears flow.

 

Stay True!

Miracle Roch.

The Passion of Roch

I will be vulnerable in this post, hence its brevity. Please also forgive my wordplay of Mel Gibson’s movie as the title of this post. You see, I’m not really a big fan of Mel Gibson as a person, but it’s very hard to ignore the ingenuity and quality he puts through his work.

Passion is a word bandied around every now and then when someone tries to give a psyching speech or motivational talk. They talk about how important passion is and how applying passion to what you do can easily set you apart; they quickly go to the success stories and mention a few people who were “passionate” in their endeavours, if only we could see through the lens. If only…

You see, the thing about passion is that it can prove equally as dangerous as it can be useful once it’s misdirected. It’s the reverse for public opinion; public opinions are best when they are negative, because it brings the true best out of you.

When I was in school, I was a smart chap. In Junior Class, I always came out tops or amongst the best, with little effort. So, I grew up thinking I didn’t need do too much to come out tops in class – I paid attention to my position instead of my overall average. So, while 70% was enough to come out tops in Junior class, it was really poor because people in other Junior Classes were coming out tops with an average of over 90%. Well, I wasn’t bothered because I didn’t feel threatened.

When I got into Senior Class, we had a reshuffle, so I now had a different set of classmates; the struggle caught up with me. I didn’t put in extra effort because I had been used to coming out tops without working so hard, I struggled. When the first results came out, I had my lowest result ever; the same average that was enough for me in Junior Class set me back. It was really tough, by the time I got a hang of myself, it was almost late.

That was my first experience with being unequally yoked, being around people who didn’t challenge me. This is why I don’t have so many friends, people ask me from time to time, how I survive in an urban environment with very little friends, and the truth is, I am yet to see someone, anyone, who can match my passion in all things – both serious and trivial things. I apply passion to things I’m involved in, even if they don’t make sense.

Anyways, after a long while I got into College, and the same thing almost happened, except this time, it was not exactly academic but in other facets; I found myself around people that did not really challenge me, I didn’t have to do too much to remain a notch above anybody else, so I grew up over the years with the mindset that I didn’t need do so much to stay above everyone else, and it didn’t help either that some of the people I looked up to lacked content, so I had to resort to feeling good with their commendations and all.

By the time I changed environments, I struggled for a long while to come to terms with my new-found reality. The accolades I had become accustomed to for doing even the most mundane things were nowhere to be found. I doubted myself, I asked myself if I’ve been all that people said I was. Funny how a rough six months came really close to damaging over a decade’s worth of mental reputation and worth.

So, what had happened was that I had move on to a better environment, with more enlightened and knowledgeable people, and these guys didn’t see this “extraordinary” things I did (which won be accolades before) as a big deal. The first thing my instincts did was to recount my history and try to make them see that this was really special.

See, I’m a strong character, and one of the things you get with strong characters is that we can be very insistent, even against glaring odds. It also helped with my confidence too, because I have never been one to rely on public opinion for confidence, I’ve always felt not too many people like me out there. Hence, it helps me build a wall of confidence and parameters (not perimeter) controlled wholly by me.

But the one mistake I made was to rely on public opinion as it had to do with the output of my work, I stopped listening to my innate parameters to judge the quality of my output and it affected me gravely. I stopped putting in all the hard work and it slowly caught up with me. But here’s the thing, I am a special being. I’ve been all that since I was born, but here’s another thing, no one cares about what you’ve been, they want to see what you can deliver in the now – in the present.

Quit living in your past glory mentally, it’s one thing to say you are looking forward to new challenges but mentally you’re still stuck in the past. I started this post by talking about passion, but passion takes 100 percent, so you had better make sure you’ve been fixated on the right thing before applying all that passion.

Stay True!

Miracle Roch.

Birthday Post: I ran fast

 

It’s my birthday in a couple of days and I’m really grateful and surprised at the same time. The fact that I’m currently a thousand miles away from home and tucked in a hotel on official assignment means I may not throw the party I intend to throw on that day, but you can bet I’d find a way to celebrate. I’m so excited about my birthday that you would think I won a lottery, but no, I won something bigger, I won at Life. I won guys, I won. I won at happiness, I won at love, I won, and that’s all the accolade I need, the fact that deep down on my insides, devoid of materialistic attachments, I am at my best – happy and free.

I took time to look through my life, at some point, I thought it was luck. I had to run through the major events in my life and how I’ve become the man that I am now. I’ve always been different, I look back at my upbringing and I marvel at some of the maverick things I used to do then. It’s not rocket science that those very things have shaped me into this proud man that I have become.

How did I become such a strong character, like, everything around me suggests that I shouldn’t be this independent tough lad who’s taking the world one stage at a time, but here I am, taking the world, one step at a time. This birthday is not a day for sober reflection, I’m done with that, there is nothing to be sober about.

I think my life is on track and it’s something I remain grateful to God for, like I’ve got my shit together, life is going at a good pace for me, I’m in that position where I honestly and strongly believe that with a little effort, I can be all that I ever want to be, no holds barred.

It’s been a year of freedom, boy, I did try so many things for the first time this year. I tried so many things and I’m proud I tried them, crossed so many things off my checklist of “firsts”. Every year, I keep surprising myself, I keep learning more, getting more and typically living more.

Every year has something it brings with it for me, this year has brought everything and I am most grateful to God. The Lord that keeps on giving even when I am least deserving. One of the things that gives me great joy is knowing I am in Christ.

Last year, I made the decision to not kill myself over the “small” things and just move with the flow, it looks like that decision has paid off as I am saner than I have ever been, the whole world could literally be falling like a pack of cards behind me and I am not bothered. That’s the kind of life I live now.

When I think of regrets, I think back to my early teenage years, I look at my receding hairline now and I get nostalgic about those early years when I spent too much energy trying to make my hair look like Nelly’s, all that time spent carving my hairline, buying Sporting Waves and doing all sorts didn’t seem to pay off, the texture of my hair is still as stubborn as ever, but that’s about all the regret I have.

Most of the things I wanted going into this year, I got. The only regret is that I got them all by myself, as I grow older, the realization sets in that I am ready to become a father, how do I know this? No one gives me anything for free anymore, I literally pay for everything in my life right now, thankfully God keeps providing. It’s a tough life, this paid life, at least somethings should come freely, don’t you think so too? I’m not complaining though, so long as God keeps protecting me.

I have gotten bolder, the few fears I had before I got into this year have all been banished, I took the bull by the horn, I went through the valleys, specifically looking for the Valley of the Shadow of Death; usually the steepest, and God still pulled me through triumphant, we’re good like that!

I’m heading into this new year feeling alright, I still dance around naked in my house, I still laugh at funny videos on Instagram, I do anything it is that keeps me happy, I still love food. Most importantly, I’m heading into this new year with the right people, the right support system and the right environment.

If I don’t stop myself, I could keep typing on and on. My guess is that you can feel my energy, enthusiasm and vigour through these words, that’s how happy I am. No more, no less. Happiness, not dependent on anybody, happiness totally owned and controlled by me. Forget all those things about peers and mates, no one is my mate, I learnt that a long time ago and it has helped me greatly, growing at my own pace, walking in my own lane, nothing can possibly go wrong with that yeah? Twenty-three sure can’t wait to have me. Damn, I’m really getting old. Finally changed the wineskin.

Stay True!

Miracle Roch

Random Musings – Water is not Wet

 

In the 19th or 20th Century, there was a man named John Pierpont, who died thinking he was a failure. It’s sad that he died thinking he was a failure when in reality, you

I’ve spent the best part of the last three months living in hotel rooms. I’m writing this from my fourth hotel room within that space. People look at me and they say I’m so lucky to have a job that takes me round to different places, but they conveniently forget the fact that living in hotel rooms mean stricter deadlines to beat, and less sleep time. On several occasions, I’ve had jto work through the night and dash to board meetings the next morning for a presentation.

That’s the ugly side that people refuse to see, when you see people display flamboyance on Social Media, the worst thing you can do is let that get to you. Humans conveniently relegate the ugly things about them to the background, it’s a natural human instinct to keep up appearances. There is really nothing wrong in keeping up appearances but to what end?

I recently saw a line on the internet that hit me deep. A 90-year-old woman said something along the lines of “start with what you have, not what you want”. This is so deep, little wonder that the older people get, the less materialistic they become. Most of us are sucked into phantasms and dreams of what we want our lives to look like based on what we see on TV, but we forget to really appreciate what we have.

You want that car so bad that you forget you are not on a wheelchair. It’s crazy because we don’t seem to own any form of control over how we want our minds to react to our wants. It’s like the carrot and the stick, we know we ought to be grateful for what we have but at the same time we want more, sometimes we even derive motivation to conquer new grounds because of what we desire.

On to other trivial things, I don’t know if it’s selfish for me to say I’m low-key hoping Trump succeeds n aggravating Kim Jong Un, the North Korean lad. Would be nice to finally see a real-life War scene play out on CNN. I know it’s kinda evil because people will die, I don’t want people to die but then again, I want to see a real-life battle play out. You see that thing I said about not having control over what our mind and heart wants?

I’ve had to travel so many miles away from my base, to a new state, meet new people and it’s been fun. Some of the guys I’ve met here are the best guys you’d ever meet, people willing to go all out to help a stranger, it’s led me into thinking of what I really want to do in my retirement. By the way, I plan to retire early, say 40. I would probably pull off a 2017 Zuckerberg or a Life-time Richard Branson and make a list of places I want to visit and go on a visiting spree round the world. Oh yes, I forgot to talk about the Laundryman at the hotel where I’m staying who apparently is trying to make money off me by not giving me a receipt for my laundry so he’d pocket that money himself.

The first place I’d like to visit though will be Switzerland. The Swiss amaze me, I read a whole lot about how pedantic and technical they are, how good they are at everything and how easy it is to become rich over there and it has got me thinking. If the Swiss are all that, how come they are rarely mentioned when real matters are being discussed? Like all the important treaties are either signed in Geneva or Bern, but you never hear jack about the home town. If they are so good, and have several rich people, how come they aren’t topping the Forbes list?

I hate a theory as to why the Swiss have been out of the Spotlight though, it’s something I’m hoping to prove by visiting. I think they play safe, and people who play safe never really make it to the top. That is my hypothesis; I see the average Swiss as someone who is happy to stay indoors, occasionally do some grocery shopping and go back to their couch at home, no stress.

There’s something about doing your job so well, and also something about making people know you do your job so well. It’s similar to something you see often in Nigerian work spaces, people who don’t do pay attention to doing their jobs so well as much as they pay attention to making people know that they’ve done a job. Everyone wants the spotlight, sometimes it gets tiring and annoying. But then again, would you rather be the quiet Swiss millionaire sitting on his couch with no press serenading him, or would you rather be a Mark Cuban, make little money and make some noise about it? Your choice.

Stay True!

Miracle Roch.

Starting Early: Girls

 

This is the third installment in a new series I started called “Starting Early”. It’s a chronicle of my early and first interaction with some of the things that come to define me today and how they have influenced me greatly. I would share stories of my first contact with Emails, Books, Music, Girls, Internet, Computers, etc. Enjoy! You can read the previous one on how I fell in love with emails here and the one on how I started writing here.

The first interaction I had with a girl was when I was two years old. I had this very beautiful cousin who was roughly my age too, she was a few months older. On my second birthday, we took a picture together in front of my cake, and the picture turned out fine. For some weird reason, everyone thought it was cool to refer to us as husband and wife despite the fact that we were cousins. We would play together, do the whole mummy and daddy games and all that stuff. I grew up getting fond of her until we grew apart at some point mainly because her parents had to relocate to another part of town so they couldn’t come over as frequently as they used to.

The second time was in primary school, I was in primary three or four, there was this girl names Fatima or something (or was it Folake, not sure), I must have forgotten her name. Fatima was one of the finest girls in glass. One time our class teacher, one Mr. Ajetumobi or something flogged me for flopping my book reviews. They had given me a book to read and review, but because I didn’t like the book, I chose another one and read, then came to review the book of my choice, he was having none of it, so he flogged me mercilessly. Fatima was the only person to console me in the whole class, she shared her biscuits with me so I would stop crying, I was crying really mercilessly without shame. Fatima was there by my side. That was how we got close and we became friends. One incident that makes me laugh till today – one time when we were done with school, I was waiting for the driver to come pick me up, and then Fatima walked by, and *drum rolls* I put my hands in my pocket, and then called her, she came and I asked her where she was going to, she said she was going home (wasn’t it obvious??), then with hands still in my pocket, I told her to go on. She gave me a hug and I think I tried to steal a kiss on the cheek like I had seen on TV, I only ended up getting one on her shoulder, I didn’t have the guts to go through with the original plan. I felt so good that day that I could call Fatima with my hands in my pocket and she could come. We would share our lunch and do every other thing together. You know, I’m not even sure her name is Fatima, but I’m pretty sure it starts with an “F”. I had to leave town abruptly and change schools so we lost touch. Never been in touch with her ever since. Didn’t even know I still harboured these fond memories of her before I started writing this.

There were several other interactions with girls but they were pretty much subdued because I had gotten involved in church, was a Child Pastor, knew the ills of adultery and fornication so I didn’t even bother coming close to girls. I used to be so immune to “girl-awe” that at some point people thought I was abnormal – it wasn’t a thing to be gay then so no one felt I was gay – but even at some point, I had to ask myself if I was normal until I met one girl. Her name was Stephanie, I was in JS 2 or something, she must have been the first girl I made knew I liked her, we were both young so it was a bit funny to us. She changed schools before anything could even materialize.

Hold on, I can’t really go about mentioning names. I’ve had encounters with a whole lot of girls. I remember one time I when I had to hide my number to talk to one girl in my class, I’d steal lines from those “200+ Text Messages” books and send her romantic messages about how my heart burns for her and blehhh, then one time I called her, she kept trying to figure out who it was until I blew my cover. I couldn’t even talk to her the next day in class. That was the end. Or was it the one time I sent a girl a text telling her I loved her, and then she called me almost immediately saying she loved me too and asked for us to meet the next day. I was freaked out, I didn’t know what it meant to love someone, I was so naive, the next day I ran away and kept avoiding her till she got tired and got angry with me.

So many funny memories. I grew up seeing a relationship as a sin, and basically trying to struggle against the desires of my flesh and the things I had been taught in church. That struggle continued all through my adolescence until I getting to the tail end of my teenage years. And I wonder what my life would have been if I was taught earlier on. The first time I felt I was in love or so, I remember asking myself if this was what if felt like, it felt so wonderful that I was angry that I had missed out all through the years.

On the flipside, that orientation helped me in my interactions with girls, was never distracted or neither did I try to be phony. As a result, I got very good with the girls, had many of them as friends, I think my best friendships have been with females. I also like the fact that I was introduced to this world of emotions late, at least it meant I was able to do something meaningful during my teenage years.

The first time I tried to ask a girl out, I had to google, then do rehearsals with my friends and memorized all my lines, it was quite funny, and then when it turned out well, I was happy. I remember all the taunts I used to get back in school from friends who always went through the length to remind me of how I was not making moves. So, when I finally got one over the line, at my first attempt too, I felt good. I actually have a good record of not having any girl say no to me ever. But that is also because I’m not driven by testosterone or other hormones. I would advice young boys to leave women, these days I don’t see them as a big deal, I don’t even think there’s any female I can’t walk up to, because I grew up seeing them not as sexual objects but as honorable species. That respect remains visible when I talk with them, it gets mutual.

So yeah, that’s my early experience with girls

 

Stay True!

Miracle Roch.

Fathers’ Day: Where is the Noun?

Few months to my Junior WAEC exams, I lost my phone in a public bus. I remember vividly the drama and scene I caused that day in the middle of the road as I made sure the whole bus was searched, I didn’t find my phone. I laid in the middle of the road begging for cars to crush me, no one paid attention, no one even came to drag me away from the road, even the motorists I had delayed did not honk their horn. I was chaotic and dramatic for four reasons;

The first being that having a phone then was a big deal. This was a period when GSM phones were still getting into Nigeria and were expensive, that I had one was a big deal. I had gotten used to the phone and the status it gave me, coupled with the fact that my phone number was special; it contained just three digits, was easy to memorise and recite. 

The second reason was that I had lost my only mean of communication with my mother. Then I used to live alone as my mother was faraway, she was in a place where there was no network so daily she made a short trip to a place where she could make calls and always called in the evening. It had become a ritual to always expect her call every evening. With my phone gone, there was no way to reach her and vice versa. I imagine the trauma she would have gone through when she didn’t get across to her baby boy that day.

The third reason was because I was also terrified of the punishment I was going to get from my mother. She regularly warned me not to take the phone out unless I needed to, she had threatened fire and brimstone on one particular day when I went out with the phone and narrated how it almost got lost. At that juncture, I wasn’t really thinking about my lost phone, I was more concerned with what my mother was going to do to me.

The fourth reason was that I had become so immersed in Nollywood that I was adrift of reality. I had felt that amidst all my drama, a good Samaritan was going to console me and buy me a new phone. I didn’t think anyone would see a barely twelve years old boy in such disarray and turn a blind eye. Guys, I was disappointed that day, in fact, I had sighted a man in a Mercedes and went to his door to cry, he quickly wound up his glass.

When my mom finally heard that I had lost my phone, to my surprise, she was not mad at me. She was more concerned with how her baby boy was going to cope because she knew how attached I had gotten to my phone (and all the wonders I did with it). Later on, she said she contemplated sending her own phone down for me to use since there was barely network where she was for her to use hers. You know, she actually bought a phone for me when she was coming back.

But this article is not about my phone or my mom. This article is about the aftermath of my phone story. I want to talk about the man who really became a pillar for me during my transition into adolescence. The day I lost my phone, I went to his office after all the shenanigans and cried. I told him about my phone and he told me not to worry. He told me to go home and relax, told me to concentrate on my upcoming exams instead. He was the one who broke the news to my mom. The next day, he was knocking on my door with a brand-new phone and a new sim card. No kidding! Like the very next day.

You see, I had little interaction or experience with my own biological father. He left when I was six or thereabout so I didn’t really know what fathers were supposed to do for sons other than what my mother did for me. But this man made sure I never had to worry too much about it. He bought me books regularly. When he saw my prowess with a computer, he quickly bought me computer books to read and hone my skills. Whenever he saw something beaming in me, he quickly bought me books. I owe my affinity for books to him and my mother. What did he not do for me? I always looked forward to seeing him or going to his office because there was always a gift waiting for me. He’d take me round his office then and tell everyone I was his son, you needed to see the confidence on my face.

The phone incident was one of numerous instances when he was there at my aid. Oh, and there was also a period when I hadn’t paid my school fees and I was sent home, I just went to his office from school, that same day he gave me the money and told me to go pay my school fees. I can’t even start, or was it the time when someone was harassing me and he called his Police friend and they brought their Police vans to make a statement. With him I always felt secured, I did whatever I wanted to do because I knew people had my back. 

I didn’t understand it then but I now know what that face on my mom’s face meant. I know she must have been relieved to see her son happy and have a father figure to always run to. I was too young to even understand it, like this man had a family compete with three children. But he introduced me to everyone in his family. They all knew my name. he always called me “my friend”, till today he calls me friend.

Today is Father’s Day and I want to say thank you. Thank you for filling that void, you are a grandfather now so you’re not lacking adulations and I know your children and grandchildren are the luckiest set of people in this world. Thank you for all those years when you stood by my side and held my hand. You make the word Father more than just a mere noun to me.

Your Friend,

Miracle Roch.

Dear Future Wife

Baybee,

The mere thought of you makes me smile as I write this.

Nothing would give me greater joy than to become a husband you are extremely proud of, one who is not only your lover but your best friend. I can’t wait to see us crack dry jokes and laugh our ass off as we raise our beautiful kids and train them in the way of the Lord.

Baby I can’t wait to have you in my arms, I know the feeling is mutual but if we must have a lifetime to do this, then we have to be patient. A little time sacrificed now in return for forever looks like a good deal. I am writing to keep tabs on you and be sure you are gearing up for us. I am not in a hurry, you shouldn’t be either.

Baby ain’t nothing better than both of us living out God’s purpose on earth for us, you know that’s the best thing ever. I hope you are growing in your knowledge of Christ as I am, can’t wait for those early mornings when we literally have to drag ourselves out of bed to spend time in prayer, I look forward to our intense discussions as we study God’s word with your head firmly rested on my laps.

I also look forward to sex. You see, there are several things to love about you before it comes down to physical appearance. The beauty of your soul and the aura that comes with being with you far outweigh the thrills of sex. Our love isn’t based on physical appearances, nor any of those other things our society has laid out as criteria. I look forward to pouring decades of virginity into you, I look forward to getting satisfaction from your breasts. We are so getting this thing right that our guardian angels must get jealous while watching as we hit the bumpy ride.

I honour you. My Proverbs 31 woman. When I’m out with friends, I will extol your virtues with pride because you are all these and more. I have no worries about you being submissive like Ephesians 6, because I will live an exemplary life. I will make it easy to submit because I will treat you with respect and love. I will love you with every bit of life I have got. We will be exemplary characters in forgiveness, love and integrity. We will both lay strong foundations for our kids to do greater things on earth.

I am not a big fan of the kitchen but it won’t stop me making you great surprise meals. I can’t wait for mornings when you wake up and you feel cramps from your period, or when you get pregnant, I hope you have been practicing how to eat on your bed because I will make you the best breakfast in bed ever. I look forward to days when I come back tired and jump on the bed like a child because I know your soothing hands would soon caress and massage my stiff back. I low-key live for these moments.

I know it’s not all going to be a bed of roses, but I can assure you that we will work it out. For times when we hit our low, I promise that I won’t give up. I will not look back, it’s a lifetime promise of “being present” that I offer. I will always be present even when it doesn’t feel like it. I can assure you that no matter our troubles, I will always be present. You can count on me.

Our love will not be premised on what we see on TV. No matter how emotional we get watching movies like “Fault in our Stars” and “Me Before You”, we will not get carried away as we know that the best example of the love life we would have is Christ. We will love as He loves – without condition, without fear and prejudice. We know this is the way because he has shown us.

We will be vulnerable to each other because it is in moments of weakness that we consolidate on our strengths. I’m taking my time to make sure we get it right. I hope you’d wait for me, I promise not to dilly dally too much. Let’s take our time and savour the present. I can’t wait to walk you down the aisle and make you my wife. Thinking about it has to be the greatest thing ever. I pray for you every now and then; I hope you are doing the same too, for only God can keep us sane while we wait.

I love you Babe.

 

Stay True!

Miracle Roch.

Starting Early: Writing

 

This is the second installment in a new series I started called “Starting Early”. It’s going to be a chronicle of my early and first interaction with some of the things that come to define me today and how they have influenced me greatly. I would share stories of my first contact with Emails, Books, Music, Girls, Internet, Computers, etc. Enjoy! You can read the first one on how I started writing emails here.

Image Source: The Black Homes School

Image Source: The Black Homes School

I’m laughing as I write this.

Today someone asked me when I started writing, and it made me look back in time. How and when did writing become a thing for me? No clear answer, but allow me share some random experiences I’ve had with people and things over the years.

Let me start by talking about Naija Stories. You see, seven years ago, I used to spend all my internet time going through the Naija Stories website. At one point, I had read every single thing they had on their site. As a matter of fact, it was reading the stories on NaijaStories that make me think I could write as well if not better. I registered to be a writer, although I never posted anything, but that was the first step. I think spending so much time reading stuff over the internet had rubbed off on me, I know this because I rarely visited the NaijaStories site as much as I used to before I created my own blog.

Another random story is that I joined Facebook in 2009, and then I used to do this thingy I called “Miroc FM” every evening. I called it an Online Radio, and I’d usually sum up some of the things I’ve been up to and news around in the world in a Facebook Status Update. Then I used to spend time reading though new on Yahoo! And MSN too. Miroc FM did really well, I used to get loads of comment from people looking forward to the next post and dropping their reactions. It was a good thing to have, maybe if I had a mentor, it would have metamorphosed into a conglomerate now, who knows!

In high school, my classmates used mock me by saying my father was a newspaper vendor. This is because every day after school, I would stop by the Newspaper Vendor spot at the bus stop and read newspaper for hours. I’d stay there till evening reading through papers and engaging in debates and arguments with older men who came to read as well. I would argue with my school uniforms still on. What a statement. They called people like me members of the Free Readers Association, people who would read newspapers but never buy. That was misleading though, as you had to pay a token to read. My classmates didn’t understand my quest for knowledge inside newspapers. They felt newspapers were for old men, for our parents not young boys like us who had school books to face. While they stayed back after school to play football and talk to girls, I’d hurriedly leave for the Newspaper Stand. This was way before Online Media became a thing.

A little background on why I loved reading. I was privileged to grow up while my mom was getting her Undergraduate degree. So because I rarely left the house to play with kids, I had to find ways of keeping myself busy, so I would regularly pick my mom’s lecture notes and Text books and read. One of such books remain stuck to me, the title was “The Cooperative Identity” by one Emenike or something. I even created a song from the title of the book. I loved reading that book. I read the other complicated books too, mind you I was around 7 years old when I started reading all these university books. In Primary school, me and my classmates used to battle for the fastest writer while the teacher wrote on the board. In a bid to always win that contest, I had gotten used to writing practices at home, I would recopy random things till my book got filled. I also grew up looking at my mother’s diary from the 90s, way before I was born. I remember one touching day while I read her diary entries from the period when I was pregnant, I could feel her emotions as I read her entries about being scared she had miscarried me. It think this was my first interface with how important it was to document things. This helped me a great deal when I was in the Debate Team, I won most of my debate battles because I was sure of my points and could defend them.

Years later I remember I had a special diary where I recorded all details about one of the World cup tournaments. From scorers to major events. Every single thing, from the beginning of the tournament till the Final. At some point, I used to keep a diary of what I wore every day. Nothing I didn’t write about or read

Credit must also go to my mom. She used to have all kinds of book around the house. I remember reading Julius Caesar and an 8-year-old and getting confused. I had to show her words I didn’t understand she duly explained them to me. I was reading books way too strong for my brain back then. From Politics to Relationship to Personal Development. I then had a senior friend who loved my quest for knowledge and made it his duty to always buy me books. It was delirious, I had several books. I would stay up all night reading books, oblivious of my immediate environment, even shunning food.

Wow! Some of these memories came as I was writing, some of what I have described are almost 20 years old, so you can imagine the nostalgia I was going through as I described them. I might be a special child after all. There’s more but I think these will do for now.

So when did I start writing? I can’t put a time to it. But I’ve been in a romance with the pen and paper ever since I can remember, albeit in different forms and expressions.

Stay True!

Miracle Roch.

I am not a Fraud

 

I didn’t forget the ethos of this blog. I didn’t forget that what has made this blog dear to me is the platform it has given me to tell MY story from MY own lens. I know I haven’t written a great deal about myself in recent times, I know I have managed to fraudulently stay consistent (one story a month) even though I haven’t been that committed. I apologize guys, it was not intentional.

No, it was not writers block. I did not get tired of writing, actually writing remains about the only thing that gives me life (asides my new amazing phone of course), but I haven’t written because I have actually been struggling with the very subject of my writings – me. What do I write about myself when all I’ve been doing is get stuck in a loop of cyclic redundancy (I stole that line from Windows).

Honestly guy, I don’t know how I have managed to remain on point. My life looks lit, and it is! There’s been a conscious attempt to get killed by enjoyment (since there has been no one to follow me go). Thing is I have become too carefree to even view anything from my own lens. I go through lots of experience daily but I have become too unbothered to care what I think about them. My unlooking levels just hit a 101.

Sadly, this post isn’t going to give me a jolt of consciousness like I hoped it would. Chances are after writing this, I’d go back to my pretty mundane life of work-home-work. I try to diffuse that banality by doing things like eating plenty food, and spending more money on food. But even that hack can only work to a certain point.

Don’t get me wrong guy, I’m not depressed or sad. My life isn’t going through a crisis, but I’m just too darned to care about what I do outside work. It’s a been a miracle how I have managed to stay on track at work and in life. Even though the Beauty Formula’s facial scrub which I bought for a ridiculously high amount couldn’t stop the zit I noticed on my face this morning (after spending all that money, this life eh!).

Every day I go to bed, the only thing on my mind is to ensure I don’t wake up a fraud. I care so much about not being fraudulent. When I have my sessions with God (they have become so informal, a rarity these days), the only question on my mind is “God, am I a fraud?”. I don’t even preach so the question of whether I practice what I preach doesn’t come up, I have become a man with no voiced opinions.

You see, honesty matters a great deal to me. Lately I’ve done a whole lot of reading about renowned fraudsters like Bernie Madoff, Jordan Belfort and the likes and I cannot for the heaven of me fathom how human minds can be deliberately and intentionally deceitful. It is something I cannot stand, yet, I know that, being a fraudster isn’t something people set out to do which is where the conundrum sets in (more on that in subsequent posts, maybe?).

Whenever I walk into my bathroom and stare at my semi-naked body in the mirror, it gives me joy knowing I am not a fraud. Gives me happiness knowing there is no skeleton in my cupboard, gives me joy knowing I still have a good heart, knowing that I am not doing stuff I am not proud of. And that is the key to my sanity. The fact that even under relenting pressure, there’s only so much as to what I can do. That makes me happy every morning, waking up to the fact that my boundaries still exist.

I am not a fraud. I stay true to my personal motto. Now, are you a fraud?

Stay True!

Miracle Roch.