12.12.2017

Six Defining Moments From 2017.

It's 10am, Supal and I have just finished taking some photos in Russell Square and we are now ravenous. Hmm.. Cheap pancakes? Avo on Toast?...  "How about...noodles..." I say slowly. Supal's face lights up with pure glee "YES" she happily replies. We grab the bus to the tiny noodle place in Leicester square she's taken me to before, we sit down order our noodles and then collapse with laughter at the fact that we've ordered noodles for breakfast. This year has been filled with surprising moments much like noodles for breakfast and I realize that it's only really the start of December but I've been spending a lot of time being reflective and look back on moments that really defined my 2017 and have been a catalyst for big change. Here are my six character-defining moments of this year.

1. [Started Dating Again...]

After a three year break from even glancing at the opposite sex, I found myself with butterflies in my stomach, constantly checking my phone for messages with a big ol' smile on my face courtesy of a new flame that hit me square in the chest out of nowhere. As I type, "Them" by Nils Frahm is playing gently in the background. Framing my thoughts and words with a sweet lullaby that feels a little like the gradual build-up of feelings you get when you being to like someone. Slowly at first, and then swiftly almost violently, your chest feels tight, your stomach uneasy tinged with word vomit and then dizzying, exciting mixture of "Oh my gosh... I think... I like him". Storage almost full - my phone kept flashing, eventually, I rolled my eyes and began to clear out old videos and photos I had on my phone. Pictures of food I'd eaten, blurry shots from our grand tour of Italy and.... a photo of him.  My finger hovers over the delete button and then suddenly I smile as I'm transported back to that night. With studio done for the day and assignments submitted, we walked hand in hand to Tesco to pick up one of those dine in for two meals. He chose the steak and potatoes for dinner, I chose cheesecake and Moscato for dessert. We sat in the living room at the dining table talking about.. something I can't remember, a glass in my hand with my head resting on the other simply staring at him. His eyes always grew about two sizes when he talked about anything astronomy or space-related and his eyes were huge that evening. Two sparkling brown warm orbs under heavy set brows surrounded by some premature wrinkles from lack of moisturizing. I pulled out my phone and snapped a photo halfway through his speech because I knew I wanted to capture this moment forever. He just looked so CUTE my heart squeed. I was happy and he was happy and everything felt... Alright with the world...

2. [Getting Dumped.]

When he pulled the plug, I remember tearily asking him how everything could have come crashing down at once. I was distraught and embarrassed, but quite honestly I saw it coming. I saw the cracks but chose to turn a blind eye, thinking "it'll work, it's just a hiccough". The days after were a blur, I just continued working - I cried in the studio toilets in between clicking away at my desk, ignoring the wondering eyes of my classmates who knew what had happened. Days turned into weeks and weeks turned into months and here we are in December when a year ago the fire in our relationship was burning brightly and fiercely. Looking back, I'm glad he pulled the plug and I'm even gladder that he pulled the plug during my submissions because it gave me time to really re-evaluate if I wanted to stay in the North of England or move back South to London. Before the break up I had planned to get an Architecture job in Liverpool or Manchester so I could be close to him (I was lost in the sauce, I know) so afterwards, when all my job offers fell through, and my relationship was over, i had no other choice but to pack my bags, clean out my flat and kiss goodbye to what I had thought would be my future.  I'm ok with the breakup now and I no longer hold any resentment or anger, knowing that the split was for the best as in the long term we wouldn't have been able to give each other what we wanted and needed. In a weird way it really showed me *exactly* what I want in a significant other now and areas where I will not compromise, should another worthy gentleman present himself in the near future.

3. [Getting my MH in check...]

It seems like 2017 has been challenging for most people. From friends who are going through cancer treatments to others who have lost their jobs, to relationship breakdowns, this year has truly done a number on our mental health as a collective. Life is such a beautiful thing but occasionally there will be piercing moments of pain that puncture our world, one of the best things I've taught myself to do in order to regain a sense of clarity is to take mental health days. It's become something so ingrained into my routine that even my friends and family know about it - some have even been encouraged to do so themselves. If I'm struggling, I will be gentle with myself, I will sleep, read, meditate, go for a run, avoid my phone and anything else that will make me feel better about the situation. After university my MH was in a bad place because of the breakup and difficulty finding a job, instead of taking each day as it came, I berated myself for not getting a job as quickly as other people, and it became a cycle of me almost hating myself for being so 'useless'. Getting off Facebook and limiting my hours on social media, as well as taking a break from job hunting really helped in the initial stages. If you're feeling on edge, burnt out and teary, please do take a mental health day whenever you feel you need to do so.

4. [Growing in leaps and bounds faith wise...]

My faith journey has been a long one with many twists and turns, growing up in a Catholic family, to renouncing my faith once i upped and moved out for university, to being re-introduced to a different perspective by some course mates, to dabbling in and out of Christianity, to finding my home at Hillsong Central London, meeting people who would be the catalyst for change in my religious life and throwing myself back in with full force serving on team! It's nice to have found a space to call home, friends who are encouraging and never judgemental and something to look forward to on a weekly basis. A lot of the time I associated Christianity with culture, and upon realizing that there are other ways to balance life and faith hand in hand has been quite literally life-changing. 
Catherine mid heel boden

5. [Moving back to London.]

After being dumped and having two job offers fall through - I packed up things and moved back South. For a while, my heart was in Liverpool and I was devastated to have had to move back and start all over again, but looking back I am SO happy that things didn't work out in  the north because so many of the opportunities and relationships I've acquired have been because I've been back in London. My family is here, my friends are here, my church is here, my blog life is here, and eventually, my architecture career will be here. I look back now and realize what I thought was a big loss at the time is now working out in my favour, little by little things are working together for a greater good in my life. It's hard to see in the moment, but I've forced myself to keep busy in between applications and it's helped me look at the big picture and focus on the future as opposed to the present. My journey may be harder than my peers at the moment, but I have hope that it's because my end destination will be more than I could have ever even imagined, both career-wise, and relationship wise. 

6. [Graduated as an MArch with Honours and achieved a merit as well as a first class/distinction on my research project.]

"Sade Akinsanya BA. MArch" my professional email now reads. After a very tumultuous seven years - I finally finished my two Architecture degrees. I can't even explain how proud I am of myself for finally finishing it because there were times where I thought I 100% wouldn't. I doubted my ability, my skill and even my gender in some instances so it is with a great sigh of relief that I can say I finally did it! I did it my way with no compromises, and I'm very proud of my thesis and research project which focused on religion, death and the future as well as hand drawing as a catalyst for truly thinking architecturally. When I eventually get round to my post on my Postgraduate experience, I'll talk through my projects in greater detail, but for now, I have a snapshot portfolio of my sixth-year project 'Alpha & Omega' up on my Issuu here if you're interested...
What have been your defining moments this year?



What I'm Wearing...

COAT (old) c/o boden | TEE - sugarhill boutique | JEANS (similar) - asos | SHOES c/o boden


x

8 comments

  1. You’ve done/are doing so well for yourself!

    Ditto on getting dumped; it’s always funny how in hindsight things make so much more sense than at the time.

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  2. I really admire how honest and genuine you are Sade, you write so beautifully too. You've definitely had a year filled with ups and downs but as you said all things are working together for your good.Just wait, the new year has so many great things in store for you! xx

    Coco Bella Blog

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  3. I absolutely LOVE this post and may have to take inspiration from it, if that's okay? Your writing is so beautiful and I love how honest you've been with talking about the real moments of 2017 for you rather than just the best. I hear that you're where you need to be girl, and I love that for you.

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  4. This was so beautiful to read. Thank you for sharing such intimate moments with your readers. New subscriber here!

    Xx
    www.TheActiveSpirit.com

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  5. This year seems to have been a big one for everyone I know. We’ve packed new jobs, new baby and unfortunately bereavement into the last 6mths alone. Still looking forward to what 2018 has in store though
    Lauren
    livinginaboxx

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  6. This is my first time on the blog and I LOVED this article. Thank you for your honesty. Your writing is also very beautiful.

    xx Katerina

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  7. This year has definitely brought about a lot of challenges. I think it'll definitely be a memorable time for me. Starting a new job that I've come to realise is not for me hasn't been easy, nor has the experiences which have actually pushed me to the decision of leaving. Only recently I've had to be more conscious of my mental health which is something I've never really had to give a lot of effort to before.
    Like you, I'm hoping all of this is in my favour and leading me in a direction of a better career, happiness etc.
    Wishing you the best!

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  8. Sade, I absolutely love your blog! I love how real and honest you are, it's a lovely quality that makes you relatable. You have such a way with words which always makes reading your posts an absolute pleasure. Thank you for sharing this with us, I pray that 2018 brings you everything you hope and wish for (and more!). Keep going girl xo

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Thankyou for commenting :) I read every single one!

XOXO Sade

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