WHEN THE CHIPS ARE DOWN…

Such a flaw in human nature
Never to value what we have until we lose it.
The cares and love of real ones to neglect
And desperately seek to please the one who cares less.

“They’ll always be there” so he takes them for granted,
Until they call his bluff and live him deserted.
Gold in the hands of the undiscerning is a travesty
Pearls also should never be cast among swine.

He trades off his kin at his season of plenty,
Never to be regained in his period of paucity.
Such a sturdy cord it is that binds folk together
But then it snaps when it suffers the strains of mistreatment.

The river that forgets its source becomes history.
Love is not a caged bird…endearing yet unfettered.
Much is expected from whom much is given
So don’t lose the moon while counting the stars.

Time…attention…care…gratitude…empathy…
Nothing fans the flame of love and respect than these.
Love unrequited, feelings unappreciated, efforts unacknowledged…
Nothing bids true affection goodbye than these.

When you sell your brother to a stranger,
Even the buyer will trust you no longer.
When you relish a façade and shun the bona fide,
To whom shall you turn when the chips are down?


©ayansola ibukun

CARE, NOT CONTROL!

You don’t have to turn into a bird at night and fly to the coven before you practice witchcraft. You are into witchery each time you bend others to your will or make them feel inadequate.🦉

How about you killed that idea that you are the only one with the answer to people’s problem and quit trying to fix others. Truth is it’s manipulative when you always want to be the sole reference point to other people’s growth/success.

Here and there, you’ll find folks that are invaluable but never will you find a fellow who is indispensable. He is therefore a fine specimen of a man who knows when to get on the pitch and play and when to watch from the sidelines.

Your friend seeks your counsel over a matter and you give her your best. She however ends up not taking it and you become offended… She gets into a relationship with someone you don’t approve. You sit her down and express your misgivings about her choice. She however tells you to trust her judgment on the matter as she knows what she is getting into. But regardless of her assurance, you stick to your gun on the matter and begin to resent her so much that it causes a strain on your friendship. Tell you what? You were never deserving of her friendship in the first place.

Trust your loved ones enough to be able to make the right decisions now and then. Love is not manipulative and neither does it lord over. Trust their judgment on matters of choice. In essence, learn to respect people’s privacy, opinions and decisions. Why cry more than the bereaved?

When a handshake goes beyond the elbow, we know it has turned to another thing. It’s good to feel concerned, to be perceptive and caring about people who are dear to us. However, it’s out of place to make them live in your shadow. Love/care for folks should engender confidence in them and not make them tied to our apron strings.

It does you no good to be overbearing. We all get to learn on the job. So cut folks some slack. A breathing space now and then will suffice.

Consider the relationship between the tire inflator and the tire. When deflated, the tire relies on the inflator to get back to shape. There is however a limit to the extent of air pumped into the tire otherwise it blows up and becomes useless. But what good is the inflator without a serviceable tire?No one is an island. We all need each other to grow.

Learn balance – don’t choke people with love, care and guidance.

CASE STUDY

A parent’s job they say is never done. But at what point in life should a child begin to make his own decisions while the parent simply play advisory roles? At what point should the parent cease to think for them? Many a child today resents their parents for their lots in life. And why is that? They forced a lot on them: what course to study…who to marry and where to marry from…what church to attend and activities to engage in…and the list is endless.

In my own clime, you hear parents say to a grown child As long as you are under my roof, you can’t attend a different church…As long as I’m your father, you can’t marry that girl. Pure manipulation. A parent has failed when his child(ren) doesn’t outgrow the dependency stage.

If I care about you, I’ll respect your opinions/choices. While I’ll do my best to play a positive role in your well-being, I won’t presume to know what’s best for you than you know.

Be a mentor, teacher, guardian, provider, trainer, leader…but not a tin god.

There is a thin line between care and control. Never cross it.


©ayansola ibukun

ABOUT LETTING GO…

I know what to throw away and what to keep… When to let go and when to hold tight.

He clings to the baggage of yesterday’s memory,
And tries to swim through the ocean of today’s reality.
His palms bleed with the scars of yesteryears unattended
Yet he tries to have a firm grip on today’s bliss.

How can a man look into the future When the woes of time past blur his vision?
He makes it to the other side of the pool when he swims light.

You shouldn’t pour new wine into an old bottle.
Nor sew a patch of new cloth on an old garment.
Know when to dwell on and when to move on.

Picture what happens to a river that stops flowing… It gets stagnated and becomes an eye sore.

Yesterday’s pain is today’s gain.
He wins life’s race whose eyes is on the target
But is bound to lose out that never stops looking over his shoulder.
Best you forget what is behind and reach out for what is ahead.

Think about the phoenix, reborn from its ashes, to start a new life.
Even the snake as it sheds its skin so it can growth further.

Shed some weight and up you go.

Love…learn…live!


©ayansola ibukun

MY JOURNEY ON WORDPRESS 🚶‍♂️🚴‍♂️🚐🚄✈️

Hello good people. It’s such a great moment to share my ‘progress report’ on this platform with you. I promise you it’s going to be worth the read…

IN THE BEGINNING…

My journey on WordPress began over 4 years ago, April 2015 to be precise. At the time, the thought of blogging never came to mind. Far from it! Truth is, I didn’t know the first thing about blogging then. My decision to be a part of this space was for the sake of honing my writing skills.

By the way, I can’t remember ever mentioning, on this platform, that I studied English. Yes, I did. And from UNILAG too. Now, if you are a student/graduate of English, you’ll understand how tough it is to leave up to people’s expectations of you as ‘an English expert’. Folks expect that your spoken and written English are almost perfect.

Luckily for me, I could/can hold my own as far as the spoken aspect was concerned. However, when it came to the written, especially creative angle, I was a tedious work in progress. Now, don’t think too far… I wasn’t a bad writer. In fact, as far as academic/formal writing was concerned, I always did a fine job of it. (I recall one of my lecturers marking my script in my presence and telling me that I write so well). However, once it was time to put down a random thought/idea, short story, or anything without an intellectual tone to it, I suddenly lose my thinking cap and become pen-shy. It was that bad.

Meanwhile, I had always wanted to build a career in professions where versatility in writing is key – editing, content/copy writing… Seeing that my rigid and selective attitude to writing would hinder me from fulfilling this desire, I chose to challenge my limitations and take practical steps to get rid of them. One of those steps was setting up a WordPress account.

The idea was to have an e-Intellectual-Dumping-Ground where I could dump all the imaginative baggage my mind churned out. I felt I needed to have a serious platform that I could commit to. The idea of having a blog where I could call mine inspired me to task my mind and squeeze out logical and coherent ideas out of it. At the time, I was really not particular about the dynamics of of WordPress blogging.

My very first post on this app was a flash fiction titled Of Costly Assumptions and Regrets published on the 11th of May 2015. Now that I think of it, it happens to be my first successful effort at creative writing. Although I had written random pieces now and then, I didn’t consider them worthy of public consumption. I recall how accomplished I felt after fine-tuning the story and publishing it. It was such a pleasure to know I could give coherent expression to my imagination.

However, ever since my first post, my progress on the platform had been fitful. I’ll put up a post today and won’t post another for weeks. Sometimes, the interval lasted for months. And sure, I had bundle of excuses for the inconsistencies. For instance, I could tell you that the demands of my job in the crazy city of Lagos made consistent critical/creative thinking/writing an uphill task. I could also tell you that my workload as a post graduate student didn’t give me the room to build my blog’s portfolio. What’s more, I could even tell you that life happened, things went south and I couldn’t care less for some inconsequential WordPress post. But the truth I won’t tell you is that I just lacked the willpower and determination to stay the course no matter the odds.

Anyway, I didn’t start taking the platform seriously until some two months ago. You heard that right – two months! As at then, I didn’t have more than 20 following to my name in all of my five-year existence on this space. Also, I didn’t know Jack about WordPress optimization. All I could do was copy and paste content to my page, use the basic editing tools and upload images.

So why did I decide to revive the blog?

✍️For one, I needed to tackle that bane of inconsistency. I tend to start a thing/project on the spur of the moment and allow it die a needles death for convenient excuses. For a start, I decided to make this a pet project which I’ll keep nurturing till it blossoms.

✍️Remember what I said about working on my creative writing skills? Yes, I had been working on that all along but still needed to improve on it, especially as it relates to writing for SEO. Since WordPress provides the basic platform to apply SEO skills, I decided to avail myself of the opportunity and use it to optimum.

✍️However, more importantly, I wanted to bless lives with my writings. I didn’t want to be selfish with my knowledge and ideas. You see, nothing gives me joy than when I see people nourished through the things I write. So I said to myself: Why not take advantage of this blog to reach a wider audience?

NEXT COURSE OF ACTION

I didn’t just pray and wish that a miracle happens to make the blog grow. Much more, I took practical steps:

🎯I went on YouTube and had a crash course on how to maximize WordPress.

🎯 I sought out those who already had a sound knowledge of the app’s dynamics and took counsel from them.

🎯Without delay, I began to practicalise the knowledge: Got myself acquainted with the backend tools, page settings, image/text/font optimization…and began to apply them on my posts.

🎯Nothing works magic like rich contents. I came to understand that the success or failure of a post is dependent on the quality of its content, regardless of the optimization. So while I ensured I put out rich contents and didn’t lower the standard of my writings while at it, I also ensured I put it out in a reader-friendly manner.

🎯People make the world/word go round. Hence, I began to consciously and consistently build my following, one individual at a time.

IN LESS THAN TWO MONTHS…

I was able to achieve, in barely two months, more than I did in over four years:

📌My post The Believer; His Health; and Commonsense, published on the 26th of May (less than two months ago) happens to be the post with the highest number of engagements in all of my four years here.

📌I have come to master virtually all the readily available tools on this app and use them to optimize my posts.

📌In my quest to connect with fellow bloggers, I’ve come to meet profound writers (who are huge sources of inspiration) among whom are Patience and Dawn. God bless their wonderful hearts.

🔥Now to the inspiration behind this post: In barely two months of unrelenting devotion to this blog, I’ve made 500 amazing WordPress followers! That’s a multiple folds of the followers I’ve made over 4 years!

THANKFUL🙏

While this may not call for celebration, especially for bloggers who have followings in their thousands (whether via organic means or not), it means a lot to me. I choose to celebrate this moment and reckon with it as a milestone. I see it as a testament of determination, doggedness and consistency. It’s a proof of the fact that a ‘short’ but steadfast period of diligence and consistent effort can turn things around. The process may be tough (and it sure is) but it’s worth the effort.

So on this occasion of my 500th WordPress Followings, I’ll like to deeply appreciate every single individual who, in their magnanimity, followed my blog. When I see 500 followers, I don’t see mere self-serving social-media statistics but 500 awesome personalities.

I thank you all for every single like, comment, reblog, share and mention. Meanwhile, I promise to always make your following worth the while; to never lower my standards and never stop writing consistently.

God bless you real good!


©ayansolaibukun