Belonglessness

Posted on by ann

Belonglessness. This rejection of arbitrary labels that have never suited or completed me leaves me feeling belongless. I squirm at being identified and I feel the foundations of what identities are crumbling. Or maybe, rather, they are being torn down deliberately. Stripped to their essences, checked for their soundness, questioned for their relevances and discarded or reconstructed accordingly until: belonglessness.

The longing to belong does not ache all the time. I imagine one can belong with all the other unbelongers in this world. Belonglessness is a state of being, not a state of feeling. It is an identity itself, one I’ve carried, unnamed, for nearly thirty years. It is the result of a metaphysical diaspora and the only way to cure the longing is… well, to return to one’s metaphysical home.

The journey continues. Existing in belonglessness is like working even though you are tired, even though you could lie down on any nearby surface and drift away in moments. You learn to work through it, understanding it’s only a temporary state of being and that, one day, you will truly be home.

Posted in Life | Leave a comment

beauty is pressing me on all sides but especially inside

Posted on by ann

Everything something amazing happens, I recoil in… well, in amazement. The ramifications of this current thing of amazement is currently rippling through my body. It’s like the moment at the top of a roller coaster. As you wait there for the split seconds before the ride, you expand with the thrill of anticipation. This is that moment, extended.

Posted in Life | Leave a comment

Every Moment

Posted on by ann

Sometimes the memories are triggered by wind and air. This moment is dark and romantic, that one full of giggles and silence…

But every moment, I knew. I knew and still I let myself love. This terrible, magical thing. I will never understand it.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

How to Miss You

Posted on by ann

My dad calls and asks me not to stay up too late. I’m laughing and suddenly crying. This work is so real and important to me that I don’t even notice the time. I remember when it was warm, I would work downstairs. Before long it’s 2am and the only reason I’m shutting off the computer is because you are on the couch, pretending to be working too. Your snores give you away and I nudge you and tell you to go to bed. I only slept because you tried to stay up.

This is what we dreamed: building together, working together. And that is what we had.

I sleep during the afternoon and work throughout the night. It’s quieter and I get to catch the sunrise and turn over the memories. If I ever get lost in the wanting, the dull ache of loneliness, may I always remember the work we did together.

Amen.

Posted in Personal | Leave a comment

My Many Parts

Posted on by ann

Part of me wants to let go and open up again, to laugh and smile and be all right. Part of me is angry at herself for becoming what she told me she would not become. Another part of me is angry with him for initiating this because I never would have gotten the courage to do anything. Still another part wonders if, aside from knowing and telling my truth, I could have done anything differently.

Another part is still reeling from wanting something and someone so badly, getting it, getting him, and having it crumble in a few short conversations. And another part knew this was going to happen. Another part holds me up to myself and shows me the choices I made; though I don’t regret them, I know I could have made better ones. Yet another part craves touch again, but refuses to remember those moments in this story.

But it takes all of me to move forward, one step at a time. It’s all of me that closes that part of my heart to him; he doesn’t deserve it and nothing in our past can change the last year of our lives. All of me knows that I made a decision not to give any longer; sometimes I don’t even muster a good morning. The cut is so deep, the realization of what I’ve lost is so heavy, that I am stunned into silence when I turn it over in my mind.

And for me, it’s all or nothing. The parts of me that are scattered in the aftermath are finding each other, slowly, so that even if it’s not whole, it’s getting there, one piece at a time. I thought I was getting all, but I was settling. I was convincing myself and fooling her into heartbreak. Now I know.

Peace to the pieces. May you become whole again.

Posted in Personal | Leave a comment

The Worst Part

Posted on by ann

The worst part of all this is feeling alone. My brain knows I am not alone: my sisters, both given and chosen, have been amazingly supportive. I am learning to seek out activities that are inline with my vision and get me out of my comfort zone just to avoid the loneliness. And yet, I stare down this fear of being alone daily. Some days it’s bigger and nastier than other days. Tonight it’s especially sharp.

I am used to being invisible and visible at the same time. I am used to being spoken over, interrupted, misinterpreted and flatly ignored. The sting of those feelings are familiar and temporary, but I can’t seem to shake this aloneness. It sucks. And this in-betweennes – not fully American, not really Nigerian, not really African-American, not really white, either – does nothing for me. I want to feel a part of a community. I want to belong. I want to fit in. That is at the root of all the things I have ever wanted.

Recently, when I go down this path, I find myself thinking of the story of Jesus in the garden right before he was turned over to the Roman authorities. Although he had created this close knit community of men in his disciples, during the most desperate time of his life, he was alone. The three men he had called out to pray with him fell asleep. While he was pouring his heart out to God, communicating the deepest agony of his soul, the people he was supposed to be able to depend on (after all he had done for them!) failed him. And he said it to their face. He expressed his disappointment to them, even while he loved them.

Jesus knew he was going to be tortured and killed. I can’t even imagine holding that kind of knowledge within me. No, really. I have no frame of reference for that. At the time he most needed his posse, he also knew he couldn’t depend on them. While he asked them to pray, he also went straight to the source, to God. “Daddy,” he said. “Everything is possible for you. If it’s possible, take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.”

He was in agony, kind of where I am now, but in the end, though his love is eternal, God didn’t stop Jesus from being killed, and Jesus knew he had to go through it to the end. The destination was just too glorious to let the matter of death stand in the way.

This makes me wonder what my destination is, how glorious it is, how far away from it I am now. And since I am nowhere near the type of agony Jesus was, I can keep going along this path right now. This is my peace: trusting that God who led Jesus through torture, death, ressurection and glorification, is the same God who is leading me through this time of loss, heartbreak and growth.

Lord, everything is possible for you. Give me the grace to pass through this and even greater things than this. Let your will be done. Amen.

What are you going through right now? The only way out is through and I believe your destination is glorious, so keep going.

Posted in Faith, Life, Sermons To My Self | Leave a comment

In Which I Consider Another Liminality

Posted on by ann

The space between what you feel and what you know to be true. What do you feel? I can only answer for myself. And this moment I feel foolish, having open my heart wide to someone who I thought would do the same. Instead, that someone gave me back to God, albeit in a roundabout, hurtful kind of way. At a time I thought I would not stop feeling all the things, and I considered the weight of each feeling: anger, hurt, sadness, shock, fear. Foolishness seemed the least lethal, so here I am.

And what is true? That you are surrounded by a radical, unconditional love. Radical, meaning it is at the root of all things, that it is elemental. Unconditional meaning without condition. You tell me, but love always has conditions; after all, it can be taken away once you’ve been hurt. But this is radical love I’m talking about. It is the creative power that keeps this universe together; it is everywhere; it is endless; it is divine. For a brief moment in time it was fully human and fully divine. Yes. This love is God. God as love exists regardless of what you feel. This is the only sure, immeasurable thing: Love. God. God. Love.

That is the space between what you feel and what is truth. Love. Never forget. You are surrounded by it.

Posted in Faith, Life, Sermons To My Self | Leave a comment

Fresh Work: Africans in the Diaspora

Posted on by ann


Check out the work I did for Africans in the Diaspora. From identity to web development and even a custom map application, I worked closely with a team of dedicated Africans to bring this vision to life.

Posted in Web, Work | 1 Comment

Morning Melody: Wonderful, Merciful Savior

Posted on by ann

Everyday I wake up with a song in my heart. Today’s song is Wonderful, Merciful Savior. There are many versions of this hymn out there, and I love everyone of them. Below is Selah’s version.

Wonderful, merciful Savior, precious Redeemer and Friend.
Who would have thought that a Lamb would rescue the souls of maen?
Oh, You rescue the souls of men.

Counselor, Comforter, Keeper, Spirit we long to engage.
You offer hopes when our hearts have hopelessly lost our way.
Oh, we’ve hopelessly lost the way.

You are the one that we praise. You are the one we adore.
You give the healing and grace our hearts always hunger for.
Oh, our hearts always hunger for.

Almighty, infinite Father, faithfully loving Your own.
Here in our weakness You find us falling before Your throne.
Oh we’re falling before Your throne.

You are the one that we praise. You are the one we adore.
You give the healing and grace our hearts always hunger for.
Oh, our hearts always hunger for.

You are the one that we praise. You are the one we adore.
You give the healing and grace our hearts always hunger for.
Oh, our hearts always hunger for.

Posted in Morning Melody, Personal | Leave a comment

Morning Melody: From the Inside Out by Hillsong

Posted on by ann

Everyday I wake up with a song in my heart. Today’s song is From the Inside Out by Hillsong. My sister taught it to us during band practice a while ago and I’ve always loved it, especially that bass line.

A thousands I’ve failed, still Your mercy remains.
Should I stumble again, still I’m caught in Your grace.
Everlasting, Your light will shine when all else fades.
Never ending Your glory goes beyond all fame.
My heart and my soul I give You control, consume from the inside out Lord.
Let justice and praise become my embrace to love You from the inside out.

Your will above all else, my purpose remains.
The art of losing myself in bringing You praise.
Everlasting Your light will shine when all else fades.
Never ending Your glory goes beyond all fame.
My heart and my soul, I give You control. Consume me from the inside out Lord.
Let justice and praise become my embrace to love You from the inside out.

Everlasting Your light will shine when all else fails.
Never ending Your glory goes beyond all fame.
And the cry of my heart is to bring You praise
From the inside out, Lord, my soul cries out.

My soul cries out to You.
My soul cries out to You.
To You. To You.

My heart and my soul, I give You control. Consume from the inside out Lord.
Let justice and praise become my embrace to love You from the inside out.
Everlasting Your light will shine when all else fades.
Never ending Your glory goes beyond all fame.
And the cry of my heart is to bring You praise from the inside out
Lord my soul cries out

Everlasting Your light will shine when all else fades.
Never ending Your glory goes beyond all fame
And the cry of my heart is to bring You praise from the inside out
Lord my soul cries out from the inside out
Lord my soul cries out from the inside out
Lord my soul cries out…

Posted in Morning Melody, Personal | Leave a comment
← Older posts