On: Running After Time.

What are the first things that come to your mind when you see the word ‘time’? Do you think of an elaborately gilded grandfather clock, loudly ticking away in a quiet corridor? Or do you think of days turning into weeks turning into months turning into years? Or do you think of a delicate glass sand timer, barely visible grains sifting quickly as if in a race to reach the smooth glass pooled bottom of the timer, a metaphor for chasing time? When I think of time, the words ‘running out’ flash neon in an erratic manner in my mind. A glaringly uncomfortable reminder of the fact that each second, each minute, each hour, and each day that passes is time moving ever forward. Time that I will never get back. Now, this isn’t a piece to scare you, but rather I think (hopefully when I finish writing this) it will be a piece that will encourage, uplift and light the fire under your ass to go out and get started with all that your heart desires for 2019 and beyond.

[ Dress c/o  &Otherstories | Boots c/o Boden | Hairclip - Asos ]

Whilst time is indeed a man-made construct, it is something that has always scared and baffled me. On my drown days, lying in bed, eyes fixed on the ceiling, my body still but the thoughts in my mind crawly dully, bumping into each other thinking, thinking... thinking about time. Ironically it’s usually about the time I’m wasting by allowing my fears to freeze me into doing absolutely nothing. And I suppose that’s the revelation I've had, time will continue to pass in front of me, whether I choose to step into what I’ve been called to do or not. Time is always passing yes, but time is not running out for you my darling. Hold tight to my words, heed them and hold them close to your heart. Whether you start today or start tomorrow, or even next week. Time is passing, but not running out. Don’t let that thought paralyse you into never going for the things you’ve always wanted to do.
The concept of time running out for me because I hadn’t achieved certain worldly milestones at a particular age or time was shattered last year when I realised that a.) in the words of my people, I can’t come and die and b.) I cannot let something that is simply a man-made construct dictate how I feel about myself and my life, and indeed how I live my life. I have actively had to choose to just live life, gently acknowledging each sunrise and sunset and everything in between, but realising that my achievements do not have to line up with the seasons changing and the days turning into nights. Life is to be lived, we are here to thrive and not simply be alive, let’s start really living outside of time this year. Promise friends?

[ photos by shotsbyfifi ]



Planted Not Buried: 2018 A Year In Review.

A brief few words...I’m typing this with a warm pastel de nata in my mouth and a piping coffee in my hand. Thoughtfulness, reticence, and tranquillity fall over me like a veil.  Last year was interesting, to say the least, filled to the brim with uncomfortable experiences, I had thought 2017 was a difficult year - but boy did 2018 come through hard. There were times where I quite literally thought I could not and would not make it through. It seemed that I would carefully take one step forward only for the ground to give way, forcing me to crawl back to the starting line like an injured bird. 
I had initially wanted to write this post similarly to how I wrote last years post 'Six defining moments', but I typed it up - and scrapped it all (hence the late upload) because it didn't feel quite right and I felt like I was forcing myself to find six defining moments. For me there weren't specific defining moments last year - I can honestly say that the entire year was a learning curve that taught me how to deal with disappointment, hostility, fear, sadness and so much more. More specifically I learned how to be more vulnerable and I really opened up my heart to people that I trusted and in turn, they held my heart like a prized possession, gently, and they soothed my fears with gospel before allowing me to place her back into my chest. My job situation was probably something you've all gotten a little bored of hearing about oui? I myself am honestly exhausted about forever talking about academia and careers but I have a duty to write about ALL the things - good and bad. Last year, I started a job - and subsequently left that job (along with every other employee) due to a highly aggressive director. I then started another job - and subsequently left that job on a mutual decision due to it not being the right fit. I then started another job - finally, the job of my dreams, wonderful directors and an office dog to boot, with a direct train from my house to the office - and subsequently was let go of just before Christmas due to uncertainty in the construction industry (thanks Brexit ugh). So astonishingly I'm back where I started this time last year, except with a huge amount of new work in my portfolio and a lot of new skills and programmes under my belt. I spent December packing up my things in the office and wishing my old employers well (they really are the best!), and spent the holiday period with family and friends, laughing, drinking and eating. If anything, this has been a wonderful year for friendships, from my friends gathering together to send me flowers and a stupendously sweet card (covered in images of all of us *sob*)when they heard about my bad news to friends quite literally holding my hands whilst i cried.
I spent a lot of time in 2018 listening to Pastor Michael Todd's 'Planted Not Buried' series, and it truly redefined the way I looked at my circumstances, now in January 2019 I can look back at last year as either being buried in the dirt or planted in it. The dirt is dark, it is uncomfortable, it feels like you're trapped, but it is the very place in which a magical work is being done, and it is a choice, whether you yield to it, or you push against it. I'm choosing to yield and I'm allowing the 'dirt' to do a work in my life that will be transformative, spectacular and beautiful... All I have to do is keep working, even when it's dark, scary and uncomfortable. This year will be the year I drop good news on the blog and it will stay because it was planted in good soil and built on sturdy foundations.
I'm looking forward to what this year brings. Hopefully, new career prospects and so much more to come. Happy New Year Family, let's make it a good one.

photography by Yossy Akinsanya - Edits by myself.



After The Leaves Fell...

Every morning I wake up at 6:00am and snooze until an inappropriate time, until I realise once again I snoozed for too long and my 7:10 on the dot - must - leave - to - catch - bus - on - time routine is in dire trouble, but every morning I make it out of the house on time, some mornings with a chunk banana hanging out of my mouth, others with my gym gear hurriedly locking the door and quite literally flying down the road to catch my bus to the train station. I catch it and hurrah - yes! I remembered to top up my weekly Oyster card the evening before. I tap in, squish myself on the bus for the short ride to the station and then run to catch the faster train, tapping in- making in on just before the doors close AND I manage to get a seat (on the rush hour Thameslink trains, this is a miracle). 
The morning is grey, with a lazy burning ochre sunrise playing wistfully in the distance, I sit quietly listening to my music and staring out of the window instead of catching up on Twitter or Instagram. A haphazard line of fiery trees burned in the distance, a warm reminder of an autumnal and winter breeze, and a welcome change to the concrete landscape that blurs as the train moves quickly from station to station.  I stifle a yawn fuelled by too many late nights on Netflix and get off at London Blackfriars, heavily breathing in the intoxicating scent of fresh coffee before heading out of my exit and stepping into crunchy orangey red leaves. Everywhere, gently curled leaves resting in piles on the floor, not yet marred by London’s constant rain. I smile to myself as I giddily stomp through the leaves to my local coffee shop. 
The leaves remain for some weeks, and each morning their warmth makes the start of my day a little bit better. Dogs happily playing in the flecked watercolour warmth, small children holding leaves to their eyes and yelling ‘peek a boo’ to their bemused parents, and I with my mustard trainers stomp, stomp, stomping away. And then all the leaves fell. And the trees were left bare. Skeletal twisted marron shadows that lined the streets. I began to wrap my scarf a little tighter, bury my head a little deeper into my chest, and quicken my steps, noticing those one golden brown leaves slowly disintegrating under my feet. 
And then the rain came. November’s rain came thunderous and heavily, she made no announcement, she simply turned up one day and washed all the leaves away. Day after day, hood up and coffee in hand scurrying to the office, I would look down and the pavement became more and more grey again, with raindrops spattering all around me like great big tears.  Mornings became darker and it was harder and harder to get out of bed in the mornings, and the rains mid-November hit me square in the face, almost choking me with her force. Water was all around, splashing my ankles from the puddles in the road, invasive droplets finding their way into my jacket and on some evenings, an exhausted stream would make her way from my closed eyes onto my heaving chest.
Things changed after the leaves fell. But “Though the winter is long even richer, The harvest it brings. Though my waiting prolongs even greater, Your promise for me like a seed...I believe that my season will come”.

Jumper* - &otherstories | Trousers* - &otherstories | Boots - Tophop



N O V E M B E R . [Journal] .

No-Vem-Ber. The eleventh month, the finale just before the curtain call that is December. The eleventh month was cold, literally and metaphorically, with temperatures plummeting to 5 degrees Celsius and some back-breakingly painful news I would have to carry into the new year, this month was busy but I felt like a lonely whistle of breeze floating along, flitting through time and space without really being ‘present’, I can’t even really pin down much of what I did in November because it felt like it started and was over in the blink of an eye.

W E A R I N G : Anything waterproof has been on my body after accidentally getting caught in the most vile downpour on my home one evening. At age 27 I’ve finally hit practicality > style mode. I point blank refuse to be cold or wet anymore, I simply can’t and I shan’t. My trust old Topshop leather boots with thick socks have been my best friend along with the waterproof parka from Boden which, fortunately for me, both stylish, stupidly warm and undoubtedly practical (and ACTUALLY shower proof!).

L I S T E N I N G : “Your love surrounds me when my thoughts wage war when night screams terror there your voice will roar...” - ‘Prince of Peace’ has been on repeat for me, through the choked tears during my prayer time, to when deep anxiety sets in whilst I’m typing away at my desk, squeezing the breath out of my chest and whispering lies of ‘you will never be good enough’ into my ears. Prince of Peace has brought me great peace, a declaration and a reassurance at the same time.

R E A D I N G : I’ve been lugging around Shaun Usher's Speeches Of Note' ever since Penguin Books kindly gifted it to me at the end of October. Filled with strong, purposeful and emotional words, I’ve found it a good book to get lost in with a Flat white and a cake (hashtag not an ad I just really like the book!). Apart from that, I’ve been solidly reading my bible, particularly the book of Job and soon moving onto Lamentations - Can you tell I’m really going THROUGH it right now?

D O I N G : From Friendsgiving dinners (with an overabundance of alcohol) to tears, hand holding and exceptional love and warmth with my girlfriends, November was a busy month. I started it with Kachi’s blogger brunch in which I was kindly asked to attend and share the little blogging nuggets I’ve learned along the way, and it was a blast bouncing off of Kristabel who gave her perspective as someone who has cemented her path as an influential full-time blogger. It was incredibly warming to have people say that they attended because I was going to be there, and a good reminder to keep on with the blog, even if only one person reads it and feels encouraged.

D E C E M B E R  G O A L S : I glance lightly at my planner. It is filled with pale yellow sticky notes with purple biro scrawls upon them, listing out a project to get into planning before Christmas, endless to-do lists, a note that I have a pump class at 7:45pm, a barely legible scribble reminding me to pick up a friends Christmas present and I sigh. So what are my goals for December?

  • Absolutely nothing.

Nothing. Nada. My goal for December, I suppose is to keep on, keeping on, and enjoy the festive season with my nearest and dearest, being intentional with my resting and working periods.  That’s it!

I’m looking forward to writing up my year in review blog post because boy is it going to be a heavy one! So much happened in November alone that I could write a small novel, let alone the tumultuous hills that I’ve called the entirety of 2018...

Here’s to the final month of the year. Let’s make December a good one.



A Love Letter To The Younger Version Of Myself.

Dear Sade,

You my darling are magic.

Yes. Magic. Fireworks fly from the tips of your fingers in inimitable bursts of colour and creativity, everything you touch is Gold. A magical Midas touch that will only strengthen as you grow older and wiser each year.
Your late teens feel like a vast black ocean that you’ve fallen into and you’re not sure University is for you. You are in limbo - you failed a module in your first year and are having to retake it in a few months and if you don’t you won’t be able to continue on with architecture. But you will pass it, and you will graduate, for the Lord that brought you this far would not leave you to perish. 

There are times where it has almost felt like you were drowning in a deep dark sea of sadness, and my dear, it will come again through the upsets of broken relationships, perceived failures, and intense fear of the unknown, the daily greyness of “what does the future hold?”, but you will keep holding on and with each year that you do, a grand plan will begin to unfurl before your eyes. At age 25 you will see that everything you have gone through, has brought you to exactly the right place. Those stormy mountains you will climb with red raw hands, tears streaming down your face, will not break you. No, at the peak you will look down and you will understand it all.
You look at your body and want to hide, puberty came like a thief in the night and suddenly you sprouted breasts, thicker thighs and the gentle curve of childbearing hips that are well known throughout your lineage. Your body is covered in delicate golden threads that weave from the tops of your shoulders down to the soft lull of your breasts, before beginning again at your hips, snaking towards your buttocks and inner thighs before making a grand and unexpected appearance on the tops of your knees. They make you want to cover up and hide, these shining shimmering scars, symbolic of your now softer, rounder body. I promise though, after a while these thoughts will fade and ironically so will those stretch marks.

You are in love with love. Everywhere you see it. You see the sparkling crackling warmth of those fiery embers all around. And you are enamoured! Like most young women, you have a solid idea of how you will meet your Prince Charming, maybe you’ll bump into each other in the theological department of a huge library, books falling and accidentally brushing fingers whilst picking them up. Or maybe you’ll meet them at some sort of architecture event, glasses steaming up, awkward smiles and one too many glasses of free prosecco. Or maybe you’d meet at church whilst both serving on a Sunday, he’d make his way across the room to declare that he wants to do a bible study just the both of you. But that doesn’t happen, you will meet men and they will not be what the Disney movies said they would be. You meet men who are lessons in naivety. You think you can change this, but my darling that will never happen. These painful memories will be pivotal to your emotional growth. You will realise that breakups will not kill you, they may sting for a bit but I promise you, a year on and you will barely remember what their smile looked like, how they smelt and what they did. You will begin to concentrate on yourself and your surroundings and abandon the idea of love until it is ready, and you will know it is when the time is right. 
At age 21 you sit on your bed at university wondering how on Earth your future will pan out. You are terrified, everything feels so big, too vast for you to comprehend. Even a few years later at age 25, you sit again on your bed at home with a second degree to your name but a sense of fear that feels tethered to your heart. Once you let go, you eventually fall into place, the journey is not easy and even the place you fall into is simply a temporary part of your journey.

Do not worry so much in your youth, but instead take each day as it comes and be kind to yourself, this period may be difficult, but you will look back at these mountains as mere speed bumps in the grander scheme of your life because you my darling will achieve so much! You will become a leader for hurt women, for young women, for women who need a friend or a sister. The seeds that were planted in your chest by the almighty willing you to be a shoulder to cry on and a person to listen, will begin to sprout around age 24 and by 27 you will be a mentor not just to Yossy, but to many women. You will be a role model and wonder how someone who has come from such a bubble of dark confusion could be looked up to and my darling it is because you made it through the treacherous ocean of life and you not only survived, you thrived. And you will swim, again and again, forcing your enemies and demons to drown instead of you. Keep your eyes fixed on the almighty and your arms outstretched in surrender.

Youth is such a confusing and challenging space and you will look back on these times almost fondly, laughing at what you went through, knowing that the almighty carried you through to the other side a stronger, kinder, warmer and more empathetic woman, and my darling, there is so much more. More than you would have ever believed. Just. Keep. Holding. On.
To all my women. You my darling are magic. Just. Keep. Holding. On.

What I'm Wearing...

Rebeca Satin Dress c/o Boden | Cordelia Heels c/o Boden | Virgo Necklace c/o Sif Jakobs | Earrings - H&M (old)

[ photos by the very talented shotsbyfifi ]


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