White lace bubu and social navigation
So last summer, I got to attend a wedding as my boyfriend’s date which was super grown up to me but apparently is something regular people do…who knew? For the traditional wedding, the colors were all white with red accents so I figured this may be a fine opportunity to make my dress. The dress ended up being a pretty simple project, fold in half, cut out a neck hole, sew up the sides a few inches in to create the waterfall arms and add a collar! Easy peasy lemon squeezey.
In addition to just being excited for a new project, I knew I was probably only going to know maybe 3 people at this wedding, I figured it might be a conversation starter. Now the catch is, I suck at bringing up my sewing in conversation (lol) and I’m also really awkward around new crowds. Needless to say, I was pretty nervous about the ordeal and perspiring heavily.
I see people who move effortlessly through crowds and are able to completely be themselves from the first conversation and they baffle me. In a good way of course but baffled nonetheless. No don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate meeting people and I don’t spontaneously combust into flames of anxiety and frustration when posed with the opportunity to face people I don’t know. My main concern is usually that I have no control over the version of me they meet that day and following up as my regular self just gets harder from that point. For some reason, when I meet new people, my voice gets a little high pitched or my accent sounds a pinch more Canadian. I can never hear it in the moment but I can read it in the reactions of others who either try to mirror my accent or who question whether I grew up in Canada.
Honestly I think my real undoing starts with the introductions. I don’t have a very common name so even growing up in Nigeria, I got pretty comfortable with my name being mispronounced. I wonder if anyone experiences as much stress as I do when people ask me what my name is. I now spell my name on autopilot just to save people the trouble of calling me Enai. For the record, my name (Enang) is pronounced as follows: EH–as in Canada eh!–Nang–as in bang with an N. I think it may be too late for some of my friends now because like I said I got so used to mispronunciations that I’d settle for good enough.
So between awkward introductions that always last too long and involuntarily starting conversations in a Canadian accent that I can never seem to reign in on demand, this is my SOS. All my socially savvy readers, how do you do it??? How do you navigate the crowds and finesse the awkwardness?
Pictures by Willyverse
This isn’t a premeditated post. I feel it’s been a little while since I’ve come on here just to write about something that wasn’t particularly important or serious…you know just a regular shmegular chat about life and living. So let start with where I am right now. Sitting on my bed, legs crossed, still in my work clothes (lol my mum won’t be too pleased), belt unbuckled because dinner needs to settle and this bra is about to clock out of her shift because comfort is key friends. I had a to-do list for this evening but I also kinda knew I wasn’t really going to get around to much. I’ve spoken to a couple people lately about how I feel like I am not being productive outside of work. Maybe it’s a temporary thing or maybe I need to stop being lazy and actually do the things I need to do. I guess me writing this post is one of those things.
Which reminds me and I’m not sure how these two things are related but I need to create a budget for this year if I’m going to meet my financial target at all! It’s so funny how quickly money leaves your account when you’re not tracking every dollar spent. Ever wondered where the slang “cake” as it refers to money came from? weird.
I had a couple weird dreams last night. Don’t judge me but I think its partly because I slept in some of my “Outside” clothes. Dreams are a funny thing. You know it can’t be real but that doesn’t stop you from being fully immersed. I guess that brings up the difference between dreams and thoughts or maybe even dreams and perception. You know your perception is only one aspect of a larger reality but that doesn’t stop you from defending it as if it were the whole truth. Does that mean dreams are the same? One perspective of a larger reality?
Some times I wonder if we think any more and I mean really think. Remember when you were little and learning to wear your shoes for the first time? okay maybe not the first time but that experience as a whole. I remember thinking really hard about why switching which foot I wore my shoes on made such a difference in my comfort. I remember thinking about why I couldn’t read the reflection of my hand writing in a mirror but if I wrote on the mirror I would be able to read it.
Sometimes we should pause
Yea I know it’s been said a thousand times before but really just pause and listen. Watch the dust fall. Blink hard. Be present. Avocado <Ha! you didn’t see that coming did you?
Writing like this is particularly fun for me. I’m not concerned about being clear or succinct or using a bunch of fancy words to impress you. I’m just writing as it rolls in my mind. mmm sushi.
Kay I’m done now. Follow your dreams people 🙂 Unless your dream is to be a bad person then you know maybe reconsider
Haha okay I’m done for real.
Mini length pinafore
Heya and happy new year!
I’m back again with another DIY, however I kinda like the format of my last post where I kinda spoke about something completely unrelated to the outfit. I’ll try to balance my regular style of briefing you all on my creative process with my general musings in the next couple posts and we’ll see how that goes mmkay?
Now a little backstory, I was in Nigeria last summer and as my mum and I do, we were pow-wowing over fabrics and fashion and generally being girlie girls when this delicious fabric turned up. She mentioned she’d had it for ages and was highly unlikely to use it so I swiftly scooped this bad boy up amidst promises to make a skirt or co-ords set before she had time to reconsider. Truth be told, I had no real idea what I wanted to do with it, I just knew I had to have it.
This segues beautifully to a thought I’ve been grappling with lately. I strongly believe in the value of learning and absorbing information however I’ve recently had to explore the “why” behind all this data gathering. As many people may be able to relate to, we spend so much of our lives gathering data about the strangest things, some of which we may never use outside of awkward small talk on a second date with that guy you met at the gym. For example, the plastic on the end of a shoelace is called an aglet. Now, it’s highly unlikely that I’d ever utter the words “Oh you just stepped on my aglet” or “My aglets are really shiny today” but it’s a word I know and enjoy knowing.
I suppose my dilemma is really this: if there is no purpose or direct use for this information, do I still need to gather it? Should we only learn things that are relevant for our goals and if yes, how do we determine the bounds of relevance?
To answer my question –and please feel free to leave any dissenting thoughts in the comments– I don’t think all learning must be geared towards a particular goal. I say learn the cookey, quirky, random bits and roll with the tide! Just as I had no idea what I was going to do with this fabric when I picked it up, take on something new even if you don’t know where it fits. As long as it piques your interest, what’s the harm?
Another fine example of the value of rolling with tide would be this pretty little frayed hem I got going here. I saw this technique in a video about a year ago but hadn’t tried till now. When I watched the video, I was probably on a YouTube binge but somehow it’s found a purpose.
Is it okay to know, just so you know or must you know so you can do?
Pictures by Willyverse
Happy birthday to me
Soooo if you hadn’t guessed it’s my birthday 🙂 . I will be posting about this jumpsuit soon btw jsyk ;). Anyhow, I’m really here to leave a note to my self. I thought it would be a fun exercise to think of 3 things I have learned in my now 23 years of living and 3 things I want to learn going forward. So without much ado, here goes:
Things I have learned
- With friendships and relationships, quality trumps quantity. It’s easier and far more fulfilling to keep up with a select few knowing that you are giving the very best of your self to them and receiving the same.
- It’s okay to be afraid. Not to borrow too heavily from Mulan here but it really is. Bravery is acting in spite of your fears. You can achieve great things when you challenge your fears.
- Second chances are a beautiful thing. To be given a second chance is one thing but to give a second chance and see meaningful change is truly special.
Things I would like to learn
- To be truly confident in my abilities and my beliefs even when it is uncomfortable to be
- To let go.
- To learn when to use my voice to initiate change and when to draw back
That being said, I feel very calm about the year ahead. I am grateful to God for so many things but on this day, I am especially grateful for life, family, friends and love.
“You will never attempt anything greater than your self-image”
I went zip-lining for the first time this week and I should preface that by saying I am deathly afraid of heights so this experience was truly ground breaking for me. When I opened my eyes for the first time as I zipped over the lake, the first thought that came to mind was how breathtaking the view was. I completely forgot in that moment all the fears that had glued my feet to the starting board and when I made it to the other side, zipping back didn’t seem like the most terrifying thing to do anymore.
I’ve been thinking a bit about self-doubt, fear and the relationship between the two lately and I have concluded that self-doubt just gets in the way of being your best self. I’ve also thought deeply about who “self” is and why “self” is so easy to doubt but I wouldn’t get too into the weeds with that. Point is, in a world where we are almost constantly required to seek validation from one source or the other, it gets easier to fear that you don’t quite measure up.
Seeking validation is exhausting. Am I smart enough to graduate yet? Am I qualified enough to get this job yet? Am I good enough to keep this job? Am I cute enough? Fun enough? Creative enough? Talented enough? Have I pushed hard enough? Am I enough?
Whether it’s worrying about what other people will think, worrying that you would let people down or worrying that you are already not good enough, I say try anyway. Try because in the middle of the line, the view is unparalleled, you are that much closer to succeeding and the fears you feel now fade into memories.
Or maybe not. Let me know when you try 🙂
Advice from my Grandmother
Bringing the Nigerian woman series back with some wise words from my Granny. For some reason, this memory has been at the forefront of my mind lately so I thought I’d share. On my first day of Primary school, she sat with my mother as my mum helped me into my “big girl” uniform. When my mother stepped out for a few minutes my Granny proceeded to hand me some major keys. It’s kind of funny to me how with the passing of time, her words have renewed meaning to me. Anyhow I’ll stop babbling on and get right into it.
The first thing she said to me was “neither a borrower nor a lender be”. Yes I’m aware that this is Shakespeare now but at the time I was none the wiser. At five this meant that when other kids at school would ask me to rip out paper from my notebook for their games, it was my responsibility to consider the consequences. First, my mother would have my ass if I ran out of pages in my book cause I was being the community vendor for table soccer. No friendship was really worth that. Plus the reverse of being the borrower was not safe either. Kids are mean and once you get that reputation of being the one who is always borrowing; its hard to shake the mockery. Later in life however, being discerning with borrowing and lending can save your friendships. There is nothing more uncomfortable than that feeling of debt whether you borrowed or loaned. You know that feeling when you see someone who owes you money faffing about on Snapchat or Instagram without a care or as would be the reverse, the feeling that you can’t take a breath without your debtor glaring at you. Either way, this is a philosophy I would recommend to anyone.
The second thing she said was “don’t let anybody see your pant”. This one caught me off guard to be honest but it was a lesson on avoiding pedophiles and men being scum 😛 . Okay maybe I’m reaching with that last bit but not by much I assure you. At five as you can probably imagine I took this very literally. There was nothing to suggest that this was really veiled caution against sexual predators. This lesson however came in handy a few weeks into Primary 1 when a two of my male peers at the time thought it would be cool to bring a small mirror to class and place it on the floor as a “peeping” apparatus -_-. When I found out, I stared the offender in the eye like Mowgli did Shere Khan and slapped him :). Ah the thought of my righteous retribution still makes me smile today. Fast forwarding a few years though, I feel what my Granny is saying to me now is that many people will make a case for why they are deserving of you; some convincing, some just creepy, but your vulnerability comes at a high price so act accordingly. I was raised in a society that constantly sexualizes women and like a double edged sword, shames them for indulging in anything sexual. For this reason I feel she was telling me to guard more than just my itty bitty fruit of the looms but to guard my heart as well.
Lastly, she said to me and still says to this day “be a good girl”. These are the all encompassing words of caution. If showing discernment in my dealings with others and guarding my heart weren’t enough to steer me on the right path, these were her final words to me that day. These words say to me remember where you come from, be kind and honest, honor your parents, be a blessing to all those you meet and live in peace with others.
Sometimes I wonder why she chose to tell me these things on my first day of school or if she told my mother these things as well but whatevrr it was, I’m glad she did.
Its been a while and I’ve missed blogging so much!! I feel like I say this after every mini hiatus but its still true 🙂
So I’m sure you’re wondering where I’ve been and what I’ve been doing with my time so I thought I should give you a brief summary and possibly a couple teasers of posts to come
- I was taking a class – no this isn’t one of the teasers but you know personal development and what not – in Project management. As fun as it was to kind of get back into the school vibe, I also remembered all of the things about school that stressed me out eg. late nights and group work so yea that took a chunk of my time.
- I made overalls…and they weren’t for me!! Yes yes, your girl is really pushing boundaries and challenging herself. Now this is one of the things I hope you will see very soon so I wouldn’t say too much about it but that has been very exciting.
- I’m currently learning to drive. Hoping I can get my license by February next year actually but driving has been kinda chill so far. I haven’t run over anyone or crashed into anything so I think it’s safe to say I’m doing alright. :p
- I might have made a wedding dress! No biggie, maybe I did, maybe I didn’t. Oh and if you were wondering, it wasn’t for me. I may have more details for you in the near future…mayyyyyyybe.
- Really just been working on myself. The adulting game had me feeling all kinds of overwhelmed this year but I’m trying to take things as they come and trying to make good decisions.
Yea in the most succinct way, this is what I have been up to since my last post. I’m so ready to get started with blogging again and putting out so much more ❤
To fresh starts