Seeing love…

I am a perfectly imperfect being. But in his eyes, I am simply perfect. I am his first love, his first kiss, his first everything. He is the only being who knows what my heart sounds like from the inside. He lays his head on my chest to hear my heart beat each morning because it reminds him of home. We fight and we argue each and every single day. We argue over diaper changes, brushing our teeth, not playing in the toilet, and why mommy doesn’t want him playing in her shirt. I always lose the battle, but I’m praying that I win the war. You see, he is only eighteen months old, a year and a half, yet he is the same size as the three year old’s at daycare. He stares at me with love in his eyes, unconditional, even if I forget his snack or pick him up late or change his diaper a little behind schedule and end up having to change his entire outfit. He runs and jumps and skips outside because he loves the freedom that being outside gives him, even if mommy is out of breath trying to catch up. Living on the fifth floor in new york city, he stands on the couch and stares out the window. Looking down on the tiny people he sees going about their day, watching the sun rise and set. He climbs in my lap that he is starting to out grow because he wants my undivided attention. His first word was mama. For four months it was the only word he knew. For four months minus a day, I wished that his first word had been dada. We laugh and play and giggle and share and read and play some more. He bumps his head and turns to me for approval to cry. 

Motherhood. Each night I want to turn in my resignation letter, but each morning he will not allow it. For he did not ask to be here, but now that he is, he demands time, energy, and attention. He places my face between his tiny hands and kisses my forehead. He runs and jumps into my arms when he sees me. He runs away from me when he hears the words bath or diaper. His breath on my cheek each morning as he climbs into bed with me so we can get another hour of sleep is the sweetest thing I’ve ever felt. He snuggles closer and throws his leg around my waist to ensure that I don’t try to sneak away from him.  Each day my heart sinks more and more in love with you as you stare up at me with those eyes that match your fathers, seeing me, with love…


Bitter Sweet

I graduated almost 5 years ago. I graduated early because I was in a rush to move on with the next phase of my life. That is something I’ve noticed looking back on my entire life. I was always in a rush to get through what I was doing, so I could move on to the next thing.

Today, I listened to a song called “Happy without me’ by Chloe x Halle and I was transported back in time to freshman year when I had no clue who I was or what I was doing. At that time I had been surrounded by so many incredible people who I thought at that moment, would be in my life forever. I had my college best friend who lived three floors above me that I was attached to at the hip, who I loved like no other. There were these amazing group of guys that we lovingly called “The Ethiopians” because they were obviously Ethiopian, but they had this incredible air about themselves that seemed so untouchable. I had these 2 Nigerian guys who took me under their wing and shortly became older brothers to me and taught me how to properly cook Nigerian food. lol.

There was one young lady who drove me insane and pushed every single button that I had. I almost wrote her off as a racist (she had some slick comments), but she had a strong spirit and challenged me on everything that I thought I believed. And her then fiance was just as annoying. There were a few Desi guys who had the sweetest disposition and were the comfort of the group. An Arab guy who was like my little big brother, even though he was older and bigger than me. Who I would introduce as my brother to everyone. And one guy who challenged everything that was conventional and did his own thing.

These people even know how they impacted my life at 17 and 18 years old. Listening to that song brought to mind each and every single one of them. Thinking back to how close we were then, the fun we had, and the memories we made back then. It’s definitely bitter sweet to see where they are all now.

I miss you guys. I pray that you are all happy.


With love,


These old bones…

These old bones ain’t what they used to be.

My father came into the house. He decided that he was going to fix the roof himself after Harvey left Houston broken, trying to pick up the pieces again and patch things back together best as we could.
You could hear his deep breathing from a hards day of work. I offered to help next time as he laughed at the image of my frail 100 lb frame, trying to carry wood up a ladder. He knew my heart was in the right place, but the only thing I was allowed to carry up the ladder was a bottle of water.
He sat down and said I need you to rub my feet. It brought flashbacks of my childhood, taking his shoes off and trying to place healing hands on tired feet.
My mother sat across from us, holding my son as he stared, not quite sure what was going on. I said to him, this is supposed to be your job, but until you’re old enough, I have the honor.
And with every moment I placed my hands over my father’s aching feet, I realized that he needed more.
I held his hands in mines. They used to seem so much grander when I was a little girl. Now, I can see how they’ve aged. Cracking and peeling. Callused in most places. These hands have seen many years of hard work so that mines wouldn’t.
With every movement, I could hear his bones creek and crack. The grimace on his face matching the pain that I can only imagine that’s going through his body. I held his hands in mine, rubbing until he couldn’t take no more from the pain and the pressure of my hands on his.
I moved to his arms and his back until he said no more, trying to ease just a little pain from my father’s aching bones that have accumulated over the years.
And while he sleeps not so soundly tonight, I am awake, thinking about the sounds of his bones under the weight of my fingers.
Thinking that tomorrow, he will get back up there, with no complaint, because he knows that he is taking care of his family. Like he has done every single day of my life.
And even though there is nothing I can do to ever repay this man, tomorrow I’ll be right there up the ladder with his bottle of water, and waiting for when he is done, to have the honor of placing his tired feet in my lap once again.

I choose you babe…

Last night I went into the kitchen to fix myself a bowl of ice cream. It had been one of those days. I just wanted to dip my ice cream, sit in my chair, and watch YouTube videos reminding of the wardrobe I wish I had. But the wife in my said, “Ask him is he wants some.” The laziness inside of me had no interest in dipping more than one serving. But I allowed the wife in me to prevail and asked my darling husband, who I’m pretty sure had a harder day than I, if he wanted a bowl of ice cream. He did.

Marriage is a lot like dipping that second bowl of ice cream. No matter what type of day you’ve had, it’s choosing kindness towards your spouse. It’s about being aware of their thoughts and feelings, and taking those into consideration in you day to day activities. It’s being selfless in those moments where you really want to be selfish.

I’ve only been married for 2 and a half years, and for some people that seems really short. But for my husband and I, it has been the best years of our lives. There is this feeling you get when you know that the person laying next to you in bed, is choosing you everyday, just as you are choosing them.

My older brother asked me a profound question when I told him I was thinking about getting married. It was along the lines of ,”A lot of people get married based on feelings and emotions that are temporary. You have to ask yourself, ‘If he gets into a car accident, and looses all his limbs, would you take care of him? More importantly, would he take care of you?'”

There are good days. There are difficult days. And then there are days where you just can’t bother. And that’s okay. As long as you both decide the next morning, I choose you.

Life Update

Recently I recieved a message about being featured on where I am in life. It made me pause. Where am I?

Lately, I have been really selective about what I share on social media. So here is a life update for those of you who are interested.

Jamaica is all that it is hyped up to be. It is absolutely beautiful. However, I didn’t get to experience much of it because I spent my time there on the floor of the bathroom because morning sickness was kicking my butt. The toilet bowl was my constant companion throughout my pregnancy. After spending a month looking for a job and finding that I was either over or under qualified, and then finding out that I was 6 weeks pregnant, my husband and I decided that it was best for me to rest versus starting a new job that I would have to leave in a few months. I am not a house wife. I like to describe myself as a kept woman. It sounds more sophisticated.

Being a “kept woman” didn’t go over very well with many people, thinking that I gave up my career to take care of my husband. And while there is nothing wrong with that in my opinion, I was doing the most important job I have ever done in my life, growing the most incredible little human being I’ve ever encountered. I found it difficult to provide excuses as to why I wasn’t working or going to school, especially when my in-laws asked. At one point, I truly thought my mother-in-law had me figured out, but alas we kept it to ourselves until we were ready to share it with the world.

At 7 months pregnant, I made my way to Houston to be closer to my mother during the most important time of my life. In my last trimester, I had a new found respect and love for the woman who carried me and the woman who carried the man that I love so much. Pregnancy is hard! But to me, the delivery is much harder. Our beautiful baby boy was born on June 15th at 3:24 a.m. Saifullah Ayodeji Tijani.

People ask about his name. Saifullah means sword of Allah(God). Ayodeji means my joy has doubled. Tijani means that he is the son of my husband. lol. We chose the name Ayodeji because soon after we found out we were pregnant, my husband was offered a residency in New York. Our joy had definitely been doubled.

After being under the guiding hands of my generous and loving mother, once Saifullah turned 3 months, we packed our bags and moved to the big city.  I am still a kept woman, who now keeps her baby alive each day, Alhamdulillah. I am grateful for the opportunity to be still mentally for once in my life, even if not physically. Chasing behind an eight month old works up a sweat daily.

If anything changes, I may or may not let you know.


P.S. When my husband would ask me to do something while I was pregnant, my response would typically be, “I can’t. I’m too busy growing a foot.”

Things not to say to a pregnant woman…

From the thoughts of a pregnant woman who is completely over your unsolicited opinions and advice.

  1. You look so tired.
  2. I just know you’re having twins.
  3. She isn’t strong enough to carry twins.
  4. You need to eat more, otherwise that baby is going to starve.
  5. How much weight have you gained?
  6. Are you sure you’re gaining enough weight?
  7. You’re getting huge.
  8. You need to eat more.
  9. Are you sure there’s just one in there?
  10. Next time you’ll have triplets.
  11. Should you be carrying that?
  12. Should you be eating that?
  13. Why are you wearing that?
  14. You should really have a natural birth, the way God intended. Epidurals are for women who are weak.
  15. You better accept the drugs. That’s what they’re made for.
  16. Breastfeeding will be too difficult for you. Just give the baby formula. It’s the same thing.
  17. Breastfeeding is the most natural way. Giving your baby formula is an abomination.
  18. I hope it’s a boy for your husband’s sake
  19. I hope it’s a girl for your sake.
  20. Aren’t you too young to be having a baby?
  21. Why haven’t you taken your birthing class yet?
  22. You’re not going to be prepared for that baby when it comes.
  23. Oh, so you’re going to stay a home…?
  24. Oh, so you’re going to go back to work and leave your baby…?
  25. Are you ready to give up Ramadan/fasting for the next 2 years?

People say the most offensive and rude things to pregnant women. A piece of advice, keep your opinion to yourself and allow her to enjoy her pregnancy.


Before I said goodbye…

June 6th: I turned my letter of resignation in to my boss. I gave him a 4 month notice. Everyone around me said I was stupid for giving him that much time, but I knew in my heart that it would be very difficult for me to walk away after giving a two week notice. Especially since my coworker walked in and gave her less than 2 weeks notice the very next day.

September 21st: My last day at work. All of our positions had been filled. I tried to give them my brain so they would be prepared for the task at hand. I may be small, but my shoes were tremendous. I kissed my babies, a promotion I turned down, and my office that I worked so hard on, good bye.

September 24th: I packed up my 774 sq ft. apartment in my parents mid sized SUV with my mattresses strapped to the top and we took off. It took my husband and I 12 hours and 7 stops to make it to Houston safely, Alhamdulillah. We spent the next 2 hours trying to unload the car because I was paranoid that someone would break into my car and steal my dollar tree organizers.

September 26th: I turned 24. I spent the day organizing my mothers kitchen (without her permission. She wasn’t exactly thrilled when she came home from work). We ate a beef and pineapple pizza with bbq sauce for dinner and my husband surprised me with an amazing cake that made me cry.

September 28th: I boarded a plane to Miami. We spent time with my husbands people who live out there.

September 29th: I finally boarded a plane to Kingston, Jamaica.

December 5th: I sit. Writing this. Reflecting on my life thus far. I try not to think about what is next because I do not have an answer to that question, and typically that is not a question I allow to go unanswered.

There is time. Even though it slips away from me each passing day. There is time…



Year Of Yes

(Written September 14th, 2016)

Yesterday was my oldest brothers birthday. Today is my mothers birthday. I am currently sitting in William P. Hobby Airport as I write this. Leaving my mother. In 12 days, I will be turning 24. My Kobe year. That realization is really starting to sink in.

My Jordan year has been very eventful. I got married and traveled more in that year that I have my entire life. I turned in my  first official letter of resignation.I can’t count moving to Jamaica in my list of accomplishments since it will actually take place while I am embarking on my Kobe year.

There is always this debate on who is greater, Jordan or Kobe. Their numbers are 23 and 24. I don’t know much about basketball, but I can’. But I have enjoyed adding these two remarkable players as the guiding light of my yearly journeys that I am haphazardly recording.

Recently, I was suckered into downloading audible because I wanted to read, “Year of Yes,” by Shonda Rhymes, but couldn’t find a copy in Lubbock and couldn’t justify the shipping price. 6 bucks.

In this “book” she tells us of the year that she spent saying yes to the things that scared her. Listening to it, really made me evaluate a lot of things in my life, and how I’ve allowed my fear to say no to so many opportunities that presented themselves in front of me. Ask any of my students, when that come to my office and say they have a questions, my first response is “No!” Before I’ve even heard the questions. I think to myself, I have already said yes to too many things, I do not have enough time, I’m busy, I’m tired, or I just want to watch TV. I was holding myself back because I had convinced myself that I had met my yes quota for the month.

In honor of Kobe, moving to a new country, and the wonderful new journey that I have said yes to, I have decide to embark on my own year of yes. Saying yes to the things that truly scare me, apart from things that would put me in harms way. Let’s see where it takes me.



The Inner Struggle…

Often times we have difficulty in trying to decipher to who we are. I’ve come to the realization that you never truly come to a conclusion. We are an evolving people who are far more complex that a string of sentence that try to define us. There is the person who we want to be, the person we are afraid to admit that we currently are, and the person that we are trying to run away from being.

I fall under a lot of different categories and identify with a number of values, experiences, and opinions. On the surface, I am a black, Muslim woman. I am an American-Nigerian hijabi. A Texas Tech University Alumni, born and raised on the South side of Houston who secretly loves sweet tea, chopped and screwed, slabs and swanging, grills(gold ones with lots of diamonds), and dreads. I also have a slight obsession with bow ties, glorious beards, men in suits, people who speak proper English, and higher education.

I love turbans on hijabis, I think my collar bone is the most beautiful thing on my body and sometimes I want to share it with the world, I love skinny jeans but don’t own a single pair, and would rock a crop top every single day if I could (I’m working on the abs). I love being “woke” and staying aware of what is going on in the world, but I hate watching the news. I enjoy trap music but I cannot stand the ignorance that it spews(it’s a constant struggle with the inner hood rat inside of me).

I want to give Dawah about Islam but I don’t like discussing religion because it can become heated and turn into something so much worse, but I want to share the beautiful religion that Islam is. I believe that Arabic is the most beautiful language on the face if the earth, but I’m so lazy when it comes to learning it and memorizing the Quran. My husband says I make up a bunch of different excuses, but I know it’s because I would feel obligated to give up music. The more woke and religious I become, the more my inner hood rat dies.

I am lazy with learning Arabic because I feel guilty that I am not learning Yoruba, my father and husbands native tongue. I feel guilty picking up the Quran because I’m not picking up my text book to finish this graduate course that I have an incomplete in.

I guess the question is, how do you know which aspect to influence you in each moment? How do you know which part to give up and which part to give in to?

These are my inner struggles. I want to be religious and woke. But there are many moral conversations to be had with yourself in making this decision.

Can I be a hijabi that walks around with an ankara turban on her head, nose pierced, a grill on her lower teeth, in a black and white striped suit, with dhikr beads around her neck, a prayer rug under her arm, a baby on her hip with his afro blowing in the wind, jays on her feet, an Infinity FX 35 in the driveway and a candy apple green slab with spinners next to it for the weekends, sipping on an Arnold Palmer, with multiple degrees, red lips with a tint of poetry, smelling of incense and Chanel, fluent in Arabic and Chinese, changing the world, crushing one stereotype at a time?


If I could be who I wanted to be, I think that is who I would be. Or closest visions of myself that I would want to see today. For now, I am going to return to packing so I can make some of these things a possibility.



Jamaica. I am moving to Jamaica. It’s hard to wrap my head around it. I’ve never been out of the United States for longer than 6 weeks. And now I have this amazing opportunity to be with my husband as we move forward in our life together, in this new country that I knew very little about prior to meet him.

As I move past my sadness of leaving my babies(students), my family, my friends, and the two cities that have been my home for many years, there is this blinding light at the end of the tunnel. And my husband is standing at the end in that light with a fruity drink and a beach towel. While I know that I will not be on the beach every single day, or every week at that, having the option is quite nice compared to Galveston water.

I am nervous. But I am happy. My birthday is around the corner, shortly after that I’ll be hoping on the plane that will take me to the next step in my journey.

I am not typically one who embarks on something new. I am anxious to see what happens next. I pray to Allah that He puts barakah in it for my family and that He guides me with every step that I take. Ameen.