Permit me to tell you a story; the story of how we got here. In order to do this, I have to go back to the beginning. But I must warn you, it is a story full of love, not just about romance but that of life and hope.
I remember growing up as a little girl in Nigeria, I was fascinated by everything foreign and would stay up late watching satellite TV. I couldn’t get enough of Spanish shows like Maria de los Angeles and Cuando Seas Mia. Looking back now, these shows were stories of exaggerated romances filled with drama surrounding how two people who were clearly in love couldn’t be with each other. Naturally I fell in love with Spanish as it became the language of love for me. So it wasn’t a coincidence that when I came across a Spanish speaking Nigerian at University who happened to have resided in Cuba for eight years, I asked him to teach me some Spanish. I became curious about wanting to see the world beyond what I knew was home. And so my journey began.
At the age of twenty two I moved to the UK for studies. There I took on a life of adventure as I explored a few cities and countrysides which left me wanting more. It didn’t take long for me to book a trip to Mexico where I could practice speaking Spanish with the locals and that I did, almost to the point I kept getting asked if I was Cuban, lol, true story. There I met two lovely Canadian girls who stayed in the same hotel as I did and noticed I was alone on my trip. They asked me to spend the rest of my time hanging out with them which I thought was very sweet. Needless to say, I didn’t find a Spanish lover. In the end I found a new kind of love; love for life and many more adventures.
After completing my studies, it was time to look for work. I decided to volunteer to get the relevant experience. While volunteering, a friend at work introduced me to something called “the law of attraction” and that was the turning point in my life. “The law of attraction” basically states that you attract more of what you think. In the process I learnt about writing down my goals and setting a timeline to achieve them. A couple of things on the list included finding a full time paid job and love of course. Two months later I joined a dating site and after little or no luck for two weeks, I got a message from Craig asking if I’d like to chat. For some reason I wasn’t proud of online dating as not many people were fond of it at the time so I used an alias on there. Craig on the other hand used his full name and date of birth which made it all the more easier to stalk him on Facebook, lol. After five minutes of stalking, I responded to his message and we exchanged numbers. We spoke everyday for two weeks straight before deciding to meet. I remember him showing up on the date with just a t-shirt on what was a very cold day. It was clear he was trying to impress me with his muscles and tattoos, lol. When I asked him why he didn’t have any coat on, his response was “I never feel cold”. What a load of croc! I thought to myself as I could see the goosebumps on his arms. At that moment I was almost convinced he wasn’t the one for me until we found a place to eat and got chatting. Then we broke common ground. It turned out that he too had recently come across “the law of attraction” and was asked by a close friend to try out internet dating to see if it worked which he did. And that’s how our story together began.
It would take me at least another year to find a full time paying job but I never wavered in my faith. In that time, we learnt a lot about each other and discovered the sense of who we were as individuals. Craig transformed into a man of his own standing which is portrayed in his physical appearance and mannerisms. I on the other hand found love again, this time it was photography. It’s become my absolute passion which has driven my sense of style. It’s very clear that we didn’t all have it together but staying together in the faith of knowing our dreams will come true kept us even closer together. This was done with acceptance of one another.
We’ve never been ones to go crazy on Valentines day. If I remember clearly, our first valentine was on a budget of £20 and it was well spent eating pizza and watching Eddie Murphy’s stand up comedy. In simplicity, we see the beauty that is life which is reflected in our outfits. We found an empty section in a restaurant which everyone seemed to be avoiding because of the cold and there we stayed shooting. Craig went for an all black look with the classic roll neck paired with black jeans and stitched jacket completed with black work shoes and of course his pony. I went for an all blue look, almost. With my ruffled top paired with ripped jeans and golden trainers. The look was completed with the scarf that had all the colours of love wrapped around my bag. On our way back home, we found a note on a tree that said please read me and we did.
“The greatest happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved; loved for ourselves, or rather, loved in spite of ourselves.” – Victor Hugo
It is safe to say that in that moment we found love again. There goes the story of “my valentine”.