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Out Of Africa, Into Rhode Island

So here I am to introduce myself. How does one do that without sounding boastful or egotistical? What facts do you reveal? Do you lie a little to make the mundane seem extraordinary, or do you try to describe things as they are? My life has never been exciting, and the few times that I have had excitement in my life, one wouldn't hope or wish for. I'll settle for telling the truth and hope someone somewhere is interested or amused. My name is Monie. Well, actually, my name is Morenike, but you can call me Monie. I've lived in Rhode Island for the past eight years, and in West Africa -- Lagos Nigeria -- prior to that. I was born in Nashville, Tennessee, in 1978, to African parents who carted me back to Nigeria until I graduated high school. My parents sent me to the U.S. to attend college and "find myself" when I was 19. I have an older sister and recently found out that I have a six-year-old brother in Nigeria, fathered by my dad who, at 63 years old, felt the need to prove himself by having a male child. I have a five-year-old son, who, besides God, is the very light of my life. I have a fiancé who loves and accepts my son and me more than I thought possible, and a niece and nephew I adore. You could say I have a pretty normal family life.

I'm not an active person. I read, and when I'm not reading, I'm watching movies or writing online. I'm addicted to craigslist and have nine blogs on my favorites list. I scour the Web for news and know inconsequential, useless pieces of information that shouldn't matter to anyone. I watch Law & Order: Criminal Intent and Law & Order: SVU, which air on NBC and USA, but I boycott the episodes of Criminal Intent that don't feature Detectives Goren or Eames. My fiancé is a software engineer who brings his work home, so many a night we're both in the living room (he on his laptop and I on my PC) typing while we watch murder mysteries get solved on TV. Pretty boring, I assure you.

I discovered blogging last August, a month before I had surgery. In September, I had two rods and 14 screws fused to my curved spine to straighten out my scoliosis. I started blogging shortly before the surgery, because I wanted to document my journey, and I didn't know any other way. I've been hooked since. Because of work, I haven't had time to write as much as I'd like, but I constantly think of what I'd write about. On my way home from work, I sit in traffic and mentally note the events unfolding around me. Every chore or journey to the grocery store becomes an adventure to write about later. I find it relaxing and entertaining. Someday, before I get too old, I intend to write a book. What about? I have no clue. It's something I've wanted to do. I think it'd be pretty cool.

My best friend is Rondelle. I've known her since I arrived in the States in 1998. She is a year younger than me and is the only person -- besides my fiancé -- who "gets" me. She and I share a bond that has weathered fights, breakups, arguments, men, and births. She has three children who I've seen grow up through the years. My son calls Rondelle "Auntie" and does not have a memory of life without her and her family. She, like me, does not have a lot of family around, so we make do with each other.

This is my life. Well, most of it. It's not much, but it's good. I hope as I get older, it'll get better. It's uneventful, but I'll take uneventful and peaceful over exciting and chaotic any day. I'm grateful for who I am, what I have, and everything in between.


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