Older never old | Turning 23

Happy birthday to me

Hey guys,

Me again…

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

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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

  1. To be truly confident in my abilities and my beliefs even when it is uncomfortable to be
  2. To let go.
  3. 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.

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We’ve been here before | Thoughts on fears and self doubt

Hi Friends,

“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 🙂

 

The Nigerian Woman | Granny said…

Advice from my Grandmother

Hi Guys!

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.

Back//

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

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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
  4. 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.
  5. 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

 

est.1994 | Birthday thoughts


Heyyyy!!

It was my birthday this month 😀 whoop ti doop! Couldn’t upload this post as early as I would have liked due to some technical issues but we move still. It truly was a happy birthday despite the rain. So grateful for my friends and family who showed up and sent lots of love my way :).

So typically I like to reflect on my past year and project for my year ahead but I think I need to give you the full gist of the day. Before I begin, lets just say I am convinced my upper back looks like Wonderwoman’s right now but hey that may just be in my head.

I decided to go indoor rock-climbing for my birthday, an activity I would recommend to anyone who may be interested. A couple things to note though are that I’m afraid of heights and well rock climbing involves going up above the ground supported by your harness, your b-layer, a few measly protrusions on the wall and God Himself.

We had a lovely instructor who took us through how to be safe and from that point on it was just climbing and living the dream.

21 was an interesting year for me. I definitely felt myself growing quite a bit and I’ve learned some important things along the way.

Being fearless is great but facing your fears is so much better

This year I have found that the more times I challenged myself to do something that I didn’t feel altogether comfortable doing, the more I saw myself improving. A major example is sewing for other people. [I have more to say on this] Sewing for others is actually terrifying to me. I just always feel like I wouldn’t get it right and I know for a fact that my skills are still rather basic so when people trust me to make things for them I have an overwhelming desire to say No! This year however, I tried it a few times. I wasn’t successful every time and I still have some projects sitting and waiting for me to revisit them but I have also learned so much more not just about sewing but about myself and how I ought to be handling failure. Failing isn’t the problem, it’s what you do when you fail that really matters

Look beyond yourself every now and again and see how you can be the joy in someone else’s life

This year I realized to a whole new degree that there is an entire world happening outside of myself. People are happy, people are hurting and everything in between. I’m still working on this one but sometimes you just need to be present and truly present for someone else even when they aren’t giving much in return. It could be a “just because” gift or sitting with someone and quietly listening to what they feel, whatever it is just find a way to make someone’s day a little better.

Starting is slow and rocky but you’ll never get anywhere if you give up there.

I am nearing my first full year of being in the working world and my business is also in its first few months. All in all this year has been a lot of firsts for me and there have been several moments of questioning what I’m doing and why I’m doing it. I’ve doubted myself and my abilities a whole lot and just been generally confused about many things but its only recently hit me that this is just the start and as with all things, it will become clearer as I move forward

Trusting God is often easier said than done.

This one caught me off guard a bit. Being Christian, I’ve heard “just trust God” a thousand and one times so much so that I just agree on autopilot however when it comes to time to really let go and let God, I find myself holding back on the silliest things. To truly trust [in my opinion] is to understand that His plans are for good and when He asks me to let go of something its not to leave me empty but to make room for something better. The letting go isn’t always easy but like I said, I’m learning.

Drink your water, Mind ya business!

Finally, at 21 I learned that I need to take care of my body and take care of my mind. This means being a bit more conscious of what I consume and how my behavior impacts the world that I live in. Now as wholesome as this sounds, note that this is still a work in progress. Battling the 5pm chocolate cravings and the indulgence in some really juicy gossip but still we move 🙂

So excited for 22 and I am seriously hoping to sustain this positivity all year long

Becoming Black

Thoughts on Race and Racial Injustice.

Huey_Black Lives

My heart is heavy. It seems like every season there is a new hashtag and a new black body being violated and paraded. Videos of brutality being shared, beautiful quotes and deep passion and then silence. The silence only lasts so long until we have another video, a fresh wound, another tragedy and the cycle resumes. I am exhausted as like many others. Tired of fighting the battles of ignorance every time someone opens the gateway to their gut to utter “All Lives Matter”. Throwing that statement around like I am too stupid to see the reality of that statement. Every thing about that phrase is an intentional decision to remain clothed in the steaming warmth of your ignorance. It is an unyielding weapon used to scar and irritate the wounds that have been inflicted on us repeatedly.

I believe that Black is something you become and I can say this knowing that I have not always had to be Black. Growing up in a predominantly racially homogeneous setting, my race was always secondary, it was something that existed on the screen but not in my daily life. Imagine my surprise when I moved to Canada and suddenly Blackness was no longer an option. It was a mantle that was thrust on me with every interaction. If you started in this setting, it is easy to think that Black is how you were born. I had a professor who told me once that Blackness as a construction is simply something that exists in contrast to Whiteness. At the time I was deeply offended by this but slowly I came to understand that Blackness is not birth, it is history. A deep and complex history that is often over simplified. I say all of this to say that when someone makes the statement that BLACK lives matter, this is not a light and witty comment. This is not as basic as the colour of one’s skin, it is not as simple as stats even though statistics often help to buttress this point. It is a statement that speaks to historical pain. It refers specifically to the consistent systemic disregard for the humanity and well being of a specific group.

The media is quick to isolate the incident and the individual. “Black man shot by police”, “Black man with criminal record shot by the police” “Black man with criminal record who may have been armed shot by the police”. The use of his Black identity constantly feeding into this historical brand that distances him from his humanity. He may have been a father, a community leader, an innovator or as has now been made relevant; a great swimmer, nonetheless his Blackness takes precedence over his humanity. The search for reasons why he deserved to be killed begins; did he protest? was he armed? did the Officer perceive him to be a threat? how Black was his Blackness? At this point I am shaking.

I recently had a little old white woman ask me or rather tell me that she doesn’t understand why people have to bring race into everything. She felt comfortable to tell me this “because I sounded so educated” (Yes I had to pause and talk myself off the ledge of clawing at her face). I proceeded to let her know that there is a reason she doesn’t understand, but in her lack of understanding she CAN NOT tell a person of color where they can or can not bring up their race because race was not something that they decided on. No one asked them whether it was convenient to kill their people or to deny them of employment or to disrespect their families and their cultures or to enslave them. Race was not a choice that we made so when someone makes the decision to speak to you about how their race impacts them you have no right to silence them.

Ignorance is a decision. There is a wealth of rhetoric explaining why Black lives matter so before you decide to spew garbage, educate yourself. The importance of Black lives, or Indigenous lives or Latin lives does not diminish the relevance of anyone else. This needs no explanation.

And to the individuals in Dallas who thought it was wise to also commit murder, who you epp?! No, really, who sent you? Anger is justified, murder is not. Don’t be so consumed by fury that you become the very thing you hate.

Rest in Power!

Drip

Thoughts I have in the shower

If I go back to bed right now what would happen?

Why do we cry when we poop?

Is there ever an hour in the day when everyone in the world shares the same date (given time difference)?

What kind of parent would I be?

How do we know what we like?

Do we like things because we think we should?

What would the world be like if money never existed?

I wonder how thick my hair is

What if Obama called and I didn’t pick up because it was a US number and you know, long distance charges (nahh it was probably a spam call).

Why do I keep getting spam texts any way?

What would I do if somebody harassed me on the street car today. I’d probably yell at them and threaten to punch them if they talk to me. Lol! no.

What if I’m stronger than I think.

Is baby talk a real language?

Why do people always talk to babies in that weird voice.

Do babies think grownups are kinda silly? Is that why they laugh?

Who came up with folk tales like “why the tortoise has a cracked shell” and why didn’t they just say “I don’t know” as opposed to the elaborate narrative.

What if the tortoise was actually pushed from the sky because of his greed.

Nahhh that doesn’t explain why they all have cracked shells.

Mmm I wonder how much its costing me to stay in here and think.