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.

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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.

Starting Early: Emails

This is the first 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!

Source: checkupnewsroom.com

I created my first ever email address in 2002, I was only 8 years old then. The email was “imo4real98@yahoo.com”. The first email I tried was “miracle@yahoo.com” but it was already taken, I had tried several variations of my first name before I decided to use my initials. “imo” are the initials of my first name arranged in no particular order. The first email exchange I had was with an Uncle who lived in “America”, and then subsequent email exchanges with people I met in chat rooms (more on that later)

The actual word “imo4real98” was suggested by the cybercafé receptionist where I sat. I didn’t think too much about it, I was just happy to finally get an email that was not taken, and I wasn’t born in 1998 neither, but maybe she felt I was; I was definitely so small as an eight year old, I must have passed as a four year old in her sight, or maybe it was just random. “for real” sounded like the mark of authenticity in those days (akin to “official” and “real” these days). It’s fifteen years now and I still have that email (although not really really active, prefer Gmail these days). There was a period when it became redundant for over three years, but I was able to recover it. After being used to the world of emails, I switched to “kenspaco@yahoo.com”, the inspiration came from my obsession with the name “Kenneth” as a kid, I loved the name “Kenneth”, I’m struggling to remember the source of my obsession right now.

I also created an AOL account and a Hotmail account but I used Yahoo! more than the rest because of Yahoo! Messenger. I also used Hotmail often too because I loved their light blue background, and because of one other feature that I can’t remember now. Oh, and I also had to falsify my eight on numerous occasions because I could find my year of birth on the dropdown list.

I’ve lost “kenspaco”, and it didn’t fly as a nickname neither because my classmates as at that time were either dunces who knew nothing about emails or they were just being annoying and would rather stick to calling me “mmiri oku” (an Igbo variation of my name meaning hot water).

Because I didn’t have a computer then, I was always at the Cybercafé. I would always rush to the cyber café after school and stay there till dawn. One of my early obsession was Yahoo Messenger. I was told there was a chat room where you could chat with people from other countries, and because the person I watched using Yahoo Messenger always went to the “Romance” Chat room, that was where I always went. Back then, I didn’t know it was odd for an eight-year-old to be in a romance chatroom, neither did I understand what “Romance” really meant. I had thought that was just the only chat room, in hindsight I now understand how and why everyone was always shocked whenever they came to my computer screen. I did meet so many people from that Chat Room, most of them would send me vulgar and explicit private messages which I didn’t understand but I would play along with them in a bid to sound smart. Most of those friends are nowhere to be found now anyways.

That early introduction led me into a decade old obsession with Yahoo! The Yahoo homepage was an invaluable news source for me as it covered every segment and category. It would be another thirteen years before I would create a Gmail account. Even as a full-fledged adult now, I cringe from time to time whenever I remember Yahoo!’s demise, really sad stuff.

I shared the story of my early introduction to emails because my initiation into the world of emails has had a great influence on how I like to conduct my businesses these days. I love emails, I’d prefer you send me an email even if it’s a one liner. I also love closing my emails with a remark. My strong affinity for emails certainly has roots in my being introduced to it at an early age. That was the first thing I knew I could do with the internet — send emails, before the other things. It also tells a great lesson in loyalty and efficiency, I remained with Yahoo! despite the mass exodus to Gmail, but the minute I used Gmail and saw how effective it was, I didn’t think twice.

In a nutshell, most of the things we have become strongly attached to these days all have roots in our mode of initial contact with them.

Stay True!

Miracle Roch.