5.11.2018

On: Summer.

Notting Hill

"S u m m e r"

Summer looks like soft spatterings of viridescent emeralds, vermillions and sages atop thick mighty crumbly tree trunks. She looks like the strappy tops we find at the bottom of our chest of drawers still smelling lightly of last summer with the odd cider stain still clinging to the fabric. Summer smells like hot charcoal and the blistering skins of sausages. She smells like the vibrant bursts of flowers and blossoming trees that envelope the streets with their fresh perfume. Summer smells like the very expensive fig perfume your very kind friend got you for Christmas, wafting around you like a sweet sugary refreshing cloud.
Summer tastes like your favourite beer outside in the sun with your friends, the crisp coolness cutting through the muggy heat of the city. She tastes like quick sea salt tinged kisses arm in arm with a new love, burning as fiercely as the sunshine above. Summer tastes like fancy unpronounceable French salads outside on roof terraces overlooking the city of London. Summer sounds like Kevin Lyttle and Rupee over loudspeakers, gyrating hips and open lips, expectant. Summer sounds like hurried high pitched excitable conversations with your girlfriends over the clinking of wine glasses and extortionately expensive food. Summer sounds like plans to do this, to go there, to see him, to find something new.
Summer feels like warm, prickly, humid heat upon your skin. She feels exotic, foreign and exciting. Summer feels like absolutely every brilliant and good thing in this world. She feels like a new chapter, she feels like hope, she feels like... new

I had always considered summer to simply be an ‘inbetween’ for me. A few months to spend working and saving some cash before heading back to school or university. Apart from the pleasantry that are the warmer temperatures, summer has always been just another season until last year. Last summer was my first proper summer out of education and it was... uneventful. I am loathed to admit that I spent the entire summer glued to my laptop sweating, panicking and fearful of the future, firing off close to fifteen job applications a day and staring at my desolate inbox, waiting, waiting, waiting
This year, I plan to use every single sense of mine to enjoy the summer months. I want to hear, smell, taste, feel, and see summer. I want to just bask in the sun, really taking in the tiny details of God’s creation. The tiny Daisy’s sprouting up amongst sharp blades of grass, the tan lines on my arms and the new reddish-brown hue my skin takes after sitting in the sun reading all day, the chilly sweetness of a freshly cut cold triangle watermelon, and how incredible an iced coffee with friends tastes and feels in the moment.

I really want to enjoy this summer and be carefree. Oh how I desperately want to be carefree.



What I Wore...

DRESS* - jigsaw | SANDAL* - jigsaw | EARRINGS* - jigsaw | BAG - lekki market | GLASSES* - david clulow


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5.05.2018

The Jar.

Charlotte Street
Long time no blog friends! If you are buds with me on social media, you may have seen that it'll be going on a blog break to get re-inspired again. Life has been... tumultuous to say the least and with summer hot on our heels, I think more time outdoors and less time indoors staring at my phone may do me so good, so I'll clearing out my drafts throughout the month of may, before saying au revoir until I can think of things to write about (which shouldn't take too long with where life is heading at present..) Here's something I started at the beginning of the year and I've only gotten round to finishing now. 
Back in January as my head was in the clouds, (quite literally as I was on a flight from Nigeria back to the UK), during the flight, I watched a delightful little film called ‘Every Brilliant Thing’. It is essentially a play about depression and the things that make life worth living, I won't spoil the plot, but I will urge you to watch it. I laughed and then I cried until my eyes were red swollen golf balls. 

A few weeks ago, I picked up a twig, and between both hands, I snapped the twig in two. It made a sound that was satisfyingly horrific. The sharp snap and the crumbling felt all too similar. I snapped the twig to show myself that I had, much like the twig broken in two somewhere along the lines and I desperately needed to smooth these cracked jagged lines encompassing stress, fear and failure. Somehow in all this snapping, breaking and cracking, I remembered ‘every brilliant thing’ and it got me thinking, what if I note down some of the little and big brilliant things that happened day in and day out, that way, by the end of the day I could reflect on these things and hopefully these brilliant things would blur out the not so brilliant things, should they pop up. So I began writing, I started on one of my worst days, a day where I didn’t leave my bed for exhaustion, a day where I just lay there looking at the ceiling wondering what my purpose was, it got to 7 pm and I had sat up watching Brooklyn 99 on my phone, twenty minutes later and I still felt the same, if not even Captain Holt and Gina could shake the storm clouds hovering over my head then it seemed like nothing could. I put my phone down, picked up my journal and wrote ‘good things that happened this week’, and then I chewed my pen for ten minutes trying to rack my brain for some good things that happened but I could find nothing (or at least what I thought was nothing), then I remembered things that happened, that may not have been so significant to me, but may have been brilliant for others; 1.) Helped out a stranger going through a breakup. 2.) Helped out someone who is struggling with depression and have become their accountability partner. 3.) Wrote a letter to a friends sister who is struggling with their health, low confidence, being a teenager and being bullied at school. By the end of point three I felt something piecing back together inside, I didn’t feel so much like I was just floating, I felt purposeful.  Then I remembered brilliant things other people had done for me: 4.) Had four different acquaintances reach out to meet me for a coffee/lunch this week. 5.) A kind smiling woman let me get off a very busy bus before her, I had a stressful morning so this small act of kindness really made my day. 6.) My friends gave me the biggest group hug after they found out about something awful that had happened to me that day and it was the warmest feeling ever. 7.) Emmy sending me silly memes on Instagram that made me howl with laughter on the train home one night.
Then I also remembered some randomly brilliant things that happened this week and I was full on smiling as I wrote all these brilliant things down on thin strips of odd bits of paper. 8.) I was somehow shortlisted for lifestyle influencer of the year for the Blogosphere blog awards. 9.) I received the most beautiful and springy bouquet of peonies from Bloom & Wild. 10.) on my walk home from work I saw the sun setting over crisp azure blue skies and I felt an intense overwhelming sense of peace in those few minutes - they reminded me that this world is so big, so beautiful, so detailed. 
So this old mason jar began to fill with scrunched up balls of paper holding the brilliant things that have happened and the promises of what are to come. On the days where I feel out of sync and the jagged cracks begin to appear, I walk over to my jar, pull out a piece of paper and remember every brilliant thing that has happened, every brilliant thing happening right now, and every brilliant thing that will come to pass if I just keep my head above the thrashing waters that are well.... Life. 


What I Wore...

DRESS* - joanie | BAG - lekki market | SHOES* - next | RING* - adore 



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4.16.2018

Flowers & Future.

Do you know why after almost eight years, I still write on this blog? (even though blogging is apparently dead - although that's another story for another day...) Is it the thrill of gaining new followers? Or the (very generous) PR gifts I’ve received over the years? No. I write for myself,  and in writing for myself  I hope some of these words and passing thoughts resonate with at least one person out there. This week I had a plethora delightful messages from women across the globe sharing their stories of struggle, growth and waiting, they thanked me for some of the previous posts I've written, they thanked me for my honesty in my Instagram stories, and they thanked me for being encouraging in the face of adversity. These messages spurred me into picking up my metaphorical pen and paper and allow the swirling thoughts that echo in my head and in my chest escape for a while. I wrote this post in the notes section of my phone two days after I walked in the rain home crying and singing "Be Still", fiercely declaring "surely love and mercy, your peace and kindness will follow me".  Last week was filled with hurt, dealing with others anger and a lot of confusion and it really broke my spirit, but it inspired me to pen this post. I hope these words help someone.
So, flowers and future. Where do I even start with this one, well maybe I should address my intermittent disappearances on this space, life has been well... happening I suppose and life has been throwing me curve balls and challenges that have been so much bigger than me. When the culmination of seven years of studying and working was coming to a close, I thought to myself “Sade, this is it, you’re almost at the end of this part of your journey, through this pain and pressure, you will birth great things, it is almost done”. I thought I’m going to find a job after graduation and I’ll work hard, and I'll play hard and life will be golden. I’m not sure where this idealistic view of life came from, but I suppose it’s what I told myself to get through those final difficult months, and then of course I finished, I graduated and life didn’t pan out how I had expected it to. In January I finally landed a role, and I wrote a post about new chapters, and indeed it was a new chapter (that has now closed), in that chapter I learned how to deal with difficult people calmly, l learned how to navigate meetings as the only woman on the team and I grew and grew and grew. But it wasn’t easy at all, I was crushed and pressed from all sides, and some mornings I would wake up, look at the ceiling and wonder if this is really what I had been called to do. The thing with future is that often when we encounter resistance, persecution and pain, in the beginning, it begins to warp our thoughts towards ourselves, our future and the plan for our lives. Where do I fit into all this? I’m not sure. I’m still on the fence in regards to whether I should keep pushing and pursuing architecture but for now, I will continue to try my best in all I do and live by faith, not by sight ignoring the path of least resistance.
Even faith as small as a mustard seed will grow and bloom into something huge, unexpected and beautiful. When we admire flowers for their beauty and delicate aroma, we don’t think of the battle they have gone through to get to their final form. As a tiny seed in the earth, she fought for water to grow, then she sprouted into a bud, searching hungrily for sunlight and hoping not to be crushed. The little bud grew more and more and soon she risked being cut early, being picked apart by the birds or  being trampled upon, but eventually the sun peeked out from behind the clouds warming the growing flower and she began to slowly blossom, each beautiful perfectly made petal slowly unfurling, unleashing bursts of fragrance, drawing people near to her and filling towns, cities, countries around the world with colour, scent and life. The little seed persevered, and she made it.
I’m trying to be a little more like the humble seed.  I’m trying to be more resilient, I’m trying to surrender to the soil, I’m trying to keep my gaze turned towards the sky, waiting, waiting, waiting patiently for the sun to warm this body, to fill me with life so I can finally burst into bloom. It might be in a month, it might be in a year, it might be in a decade, and it might never come whilst I’m on this earth, but I will continue to fight against my fear of the future, focusing on the here and on the now and letting the troubles of tomorrow be dealt with then. Keep looking towards the sky my friends, do not look left, do not look right, just keep on doing what you need to do to, timing is always a funny thing. As always much love and light, you're doing ok, you're doing ok.






x

4.03.2018

On: A Few Things Friendship Has Taught Me This Year.

Carnaby St, Soho
The tips of my fingers were starting to feel a little numb from the cold and with it, I could feel the flickering embers of irritation being fed with each minute of lateness that my friend incurred. I huffed and puffed, pacing slowly outside the station, pulling out my phone for some semblance of an update and ... Nothing. She was late. Again. I wondered if I should carry myself and my approximately £20.46 worth of immaculately applied makeup back home, but then I remembered my promise of being more patient this year and I sighed, put my phone back in my bag, crossed my arms and waited. She eventually came bounding towards me with a colourful flash of braids, a bright jumper and a cheeky smile, shouting "I'm sorrrrrrrrrrrrrry!" in a voice that doused the annoyance in my chest and ignited the love I had for her. She linked my arm promising to be on time next time and sealed the deal by buying me a flat white.

You see I am an early bird by nature. I have about three alarms set every morning 'just in case'. I get to work half an hour early each day, 'just in case'. And I am almost always exceptionally early to just about everything 'just in case'. I am a planner by nature, a magpie to details, diaries and decisions. My friend, on the other hand, is more of a go with the flow kinda gal - something I've never been able to do. She blithely rolls out of bed whenever and just hopes for the best, sometimes she hits the nail on the head and sometimes she doesn't, and whilst being late isn't the best trait, I do think opposites have a lot to learn from each other. For example, I've become less militant and a little more flexible with timekeeping because of our friendship and in turn, she's been working on getting to places not only on time but slightly earlier - Brilliant right?! In this, I've learned to chill out more and become more flexible.
Imposter syndrome has been a losing battle for me over the last year, and my current life situation has heightened the feelings of fear, not being 'intelligent' enough and not being worthy of the space I'm taking up career-wise. It became so bad that I almost talked myself out of Architecture all together and thought about throwing in the towel once and for all, a very wise friend of mine who is currently killing it as a super successful and mega confident lawyer gave me some solid advice regarding my situation, saying that it is in the challenge that one grows and I've been trying to remember this every morning as I commute to work. It's a daily battle between myself and my mind, but I'm trying not to let imposter syndrome stop me from progressing in life.  In this, I've learned to try and not be so hard on myself.
As you hurtle through your mid to late twenties (particularly as a woman of African descent), the recurring question that people seem to ask is 'Are you dating anyone?' and 'When will you get married?' followed by a lot of unwarranted advice along the lines of changing yourself to attract a certain type of partner. By now I just laugh it off, because for me whether or not a partner is in my future isn't that big of a deal, in fact, my friend and I (An incredibly inspiring guy) were discussing love and finding love in our friends and family first and foremost. It completely blew my mind and made me rethink how I love the different people in my life, a lot of the time when we get partners, we tend to focus all our energies on this person and neglect the ones who were there before them. His enthusiastic and genuine love and care for the friends in his life made my heart warm with affection and I was reminded of how lucky I am to be a part of that love. In this, I've learned to remember to love my friends the same way I would love a romantic partner.
I'm forever trying to better myself, and for me, the best way to do this is to surround myself with people who inspire, challenge and love me, so here's to the friendships that are slow burning, infused with inside jokes, up's and down's, arguments and makeups, here's to the friendships that are instantaneous, electric and charged over last-minute coffee dates, here's to the friendships that are filled with reciprocal concern and energy, here's to the friendships that set up conference calls at 11:30pm on a work night to discuss the strategy behind approaching someone your friend fancies, here's to the friendships that are filled with honest tears and then in a split second racuous laughter. Here's to friendship.

What I Wore...

DRESS* - &otherstories | TRAINERS - new look | SUNGLASSES* - &otherstories | EARRINGS* - &otherstories | BASKET BAG - lekki market | WATCH* - shore projects


x

3.24.2018

With A Spring In My Step.

Bloomsbury.


Cherry Blossoms have begun precariously blooming here and there around London, unsure, much like myself if we’ve *actually* entered spring yet, or if there is still more snow, sleet and sharp winds to come. Regardless, there are vibrant yellow daffodils, deep purple crocuses and pretty little snowdrops all rising from the earth, turning their faces towards the sun, expectant for warmer weather and spring showers. I feel a little bit like a flower at the moment, I'm also turning my face to the sky expectant for spring, eagerly awaiting the sun on my skin, a glass of wine in my hands and a loose sundress on my body. Bliss. With the apparent impending arrival of warmer weather, I've entered my yearly "Sade vs Self Improvement" phase, writing lists of what I'm doing well at the moment, and areas in which I can improve. Some are health-related, others are more life in general related but either way, ya girl on a mission to do better and be better in all things, here are a few things on that list of mine...
Explore more parts of London: Every year I swear that I’ll make a conscious effort to get myself down to east and south London more often - and every year I fail miserably. We, humans, are creatures of habit and for me, if it’s not Central or North West London - I don’t want it. I mentally calculate how long it’ll take me from NW Zone 6 to SE - wherever and I'm tired already before the journey has even begun. But seriously I’ve been meaning to get myself to Peckham, Hackney and Islington in the warmer months. If you’re a Londoner, let me know your recommendations for hidden gems in the city! 
Dedicate a solid amount of time spending with friends and family: Getting work-life balance in check is a tricky one for me as I have some many different spheres colliding that I need to try and cater to, and very little time to do so. During the working week, I try not to stretch myself too thin so I can continue to work to the best of my ability. Keeping an old school week to diary has helped me work out gaps in my schedule, multitasking on the go has also become a go-to for me. For example, most of this blog post was actually penned in an email to myself on my phone the other morning on my commute to work! 

Work on my health & fitness: I will find absolutely any excuse not to exercise, but with each passing year I’m reminded that youth is fleeting and I should probably try to get into some sort of solid running or gym routine especially because most of my day requires me to be sitting at a desk drawing construction details, or on-site monitoring the building process (it's a lot more exciting than it sounds!). It’s so easy to get stuck in the Routine of wake up, go to work, come home, eat dinner, go to bed and repeat the next day, my conundrum is finding the energy to do such (any other fellow late twenty-somethings who are feeling more like eighty-somethings out there? I can’t be the only one exhausted 24/7?!), with the clocks having gone forward now, the days will be lighter and brighter so it means I can squeeze in a 15 minute jog after work or a 30 minute HIIT workout without it feeling like it's too late in the day. I'm also doing the Daniel Fast at the moment (which means I'm vegan, no coffee, tea, no sugars or sweeteners and no bread or products with yeast included in them), which has had a huge effect on my energy levels and weight (I've lost a whopping ten pounds so far and still have 27 more days to go) Although the fast is for spiritual purposes, I've been enjoying making a conscious effort to eat more fruits and vegetables. 



What are your plans for the spring and summer months?


What I Wore...


JUMPSUIT* - roman originals | SUNGLASSES* - &Otherstories | TRAINERS - new look | BASKET BAG - lekki market 



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