6.06.2018

The Goodbye.

Just For A Little While...

I checked the stats on one of my blog posts. A post that swirled around my head for a couple of weeks before being regurgitated quickly into the notes section on my phone, then moved over into Grammarly (lazy spellers unite) and then finally published with a series of photos that related. I was excited! I’d written something that came from the heart and as always, awaited the clicks and comments, but this time they didn’t really come and as I scrolled through google analytics, it finally dawned on me that blogging may truly be dying a slow death, and with this realisation, came the question of whether this would mark the end of almost a decade of oversharing on the internet for me.
I started back in 2010 / 2011 with an ancient rickety Pentax camera and a whole lotta passion for writing and documenting life. Fast forward to 2018 and I’m still here typing away and documenting life through words and photos from my shinier, less problematic Canon 700d. But something in those seven years changed drastically. Everything feels so instantaneous and superfluous, and I feel like I'm bored of the ever-increasing tide of Insta-glam clickbait. If you leave Instagram or Twitter for a few days, you’ll have missed so much in such a brief amount of time, and that to me is absolutely bonkers.
Although something strong inside me, (as well as the kindness of you guys!) wills me not to quit completely, I'll be honest and say that I am desperately struggling to find fresh inspiration lately. I open my notebooks to write and I twiddle my pen idly chewing on the lid, my mind blank and swirling with never-ending to-do lists. Whether it's the season that I'm currently in that requires reflection, quiet and perseverance, or just being in need of a brief social media shut down for a little while, I'm hoping that upon my return I will be brimming with imagery that feels more tangible, words that are more thoughtful, and ideas that are less self-indulgent. The next few days, weeks and months are full of change, fresh starts and clean breaks for me and I'm absolutely terrified, excited and feeling expectant for this new chapter in my ever complex book. Oh, the writing that is to follow once everything falls into place! 
I'll be back soon, but in the meantime catch me on Instagram, I'll be documenting my travels, life changes and thoughts over there. 

Much love, light, and grace my friends

xo Sade



5.24.2018

The Girl Who's Learning To Take Her Own Advice.

Notting Hill
Last week Thursday I left the house in a hurry, applying lipstick as I hurtled down the road to the bus stop, keen not to miss my train (If you use Thameslink, you'll know how frustrating it is to miss a train in a rush!), I got to the station with a minute to spare, only to see that the train was cancelled and there was a ten minute wait for my next one. The evening was balmy and the sun was shining so I sat on a bench and listened to a podcast, glancing impatiently at my watch every thirty seconds or so. Whilst I was waiting, an elderly lady approached me and complimented me on my boots, before sitting down beside me. I pulled out my headphones and greeted her smiling deeply, we immediately hit it off, and when the train finally pulled up, I decided to keep her company until I had to get off at Farringdon. We spoke about Nigeria, about faith, about her life when she was my age, about her children and so much more, before I got off, I gave her a hug and told her it was nice to meet her, she held my hands prayed for me and told me she wishes she had been like me when she was my age and that she's excited about all that is to come for me. It was the third time that week that someone had, out of the blue, spoken life and good things into me.
For someone who writes paragraphs upon paragraphs of advice on here, I'll throw my hands up and say that a good 70% of the time, I struggle to take my own words of wisdom. When the fear, anxiety and confusion come, a lot of the time it knocks me for six and I struggle to get back on form. A recurring theme in my life right now is not being able to see the promise that others see in me. I've been pushed forward for leadership roles, recommended for mentoring opportunities with disenfranchised youth (in particular young black women), and told that I'm actually nowhere near as 'rubbish' as I think I am in architecture. So why can't I just walk in the promise and excitement that others are seeing in me? Because I've been ignoring one of the most important bits of advice I always give other people, which is not to see my identity in relation to career success, online popularity or anything else that is worldly and fleeting. 
So during this 'winter' period (metaphorically not literally! even though it is a chilly summer in the UK...) I'm going to take my own advice and throw off the identity that the world has labelled me with and walk out into my truth. Walking into new career opportunities knowing my full worth and holding my head high as a woman in the construction industry. Walking into leadership opportunities and shepherding the youth to greater heights. Walking into a more settled sense of self. 

What advice do you need to take from yourself?


What I Wore...

DRESS* - sugarhill boutique | BAG* - next | SHOES* - next | GLASSES* - dolce and gabbana via david clulow


x

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


x

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 



x

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

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