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.



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



With A Spring In My Step.


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 



Svo Hljótt.

Covent Garden
My late teens are where silence became a solace for me. In the quiet, I learned to truly listen to myself without the swirling noise of the chaos called the world to bend, break and twist my thoughts. In the quiet one can truly find the peace I believe. It is something that people often find unnerving when they come into my life. "But... But... But why would you want to be alone?", a question that has been posed to me many a time. I often chuckle and wink explaining to them, that I'd like to spend some time with one of the most important people in my life. Myself. This isn't a gimmicky self-care 101 type of thing, it's a genuine need for me-time, to just chill out and let my brain rest. The introvert in me has genuinely grown to treasure solitude and I think there is something special about the echoing silence that surrounds you in moments of alone-ness. I'm talking alone, not lonely, for there is a difference my friends. I enjoy being alone, but not being lonely, something I've written about roughly here.
2018 rushed into our lives with a whirlwind of fireworks, optimism and promises of this being our year; now we're hurtling through the months - racing through March, and a lot of us are wondering, "How are we already this far in?!". We've been working in silence, building things up brick by boring brick and I can sense the deafeningly monotonous tinkering of the hopeful and the faithful trying, trying and trying again. Often my best works or achievements come out of the silent periods. I mean silence on all levels, physical silence and what I consider spiritual silence. When you're physically alone, when you feel like you're spiritually alone and when things in life are quiet when you're not sure where you should be, or what you should be doing. When you've metaphorically sown your seeds, toiled the ground endlessly and still have yet to see a single bud emerge from the ground. For me, this has always been a sign that bigger and greater things are to come, should I keep on toiling.
One of the most difficult things to do I think is work in silence in this day and age. We live in an era of almost instantaneous and instant gratification so it can be heartbreakingly hard to keep climbing our personal mountains. A lot of the time it feels like one step forward, three steps back, and we can look to our left and right and see others thriving and living their best lives. Keep going and fix your eyes on the race before you, even when your legs hurt, even when you want to break down and cry, even when your chest feels like it's going to explode. Keep going, keep walking your path in the quiet. I should probably note that I myself have been fairly absent from social media/blogging as I'm climbing my own personal mountains and toiling the ground as it were. I'm right beside you, waiting for all things to come together for good. 

There is beauty in the silence. Keep going. Try again, try again, try again, try again, try again, try again and try yet again.  There is someone, something, infinitely bigger than all of us working all things for good. Always remember this.

What I Wore...

 DENIM PINAFORE - asos (old) | ROLLNECK - boden | BOOTS - topshop (old)



In The Pauses.

Firstly, thank you all so much for your kind words on my little secret reveal. It has been so wonderful to read your words of encouragement, excitement and pure happiness towards this new chapter of my life! Everything still feels a bit... well new and I'm getting to grips with trying to balance everything in my life right now without getting burnt out, so today's post is quite apt for this particularly busy Monday afternoon. My free time is fleeting at current, with my hours divided between my career, voluntary work, church life and (trying - and failing to have) a social life. The little time I do have in between is used to simply chill out, and more often than not, I swap the social aspect of my day to day life for what I lovingly refer to as my self-care sessions.  With winter in full flux (hello snow showers!), I've noticed that as a collective we entered February a little blue. The enthusiasm that thrust us into the new year with vigour and determination has somewhat evaporated, leaving us feeling a lot like cups that are half empty, rather than half full. As it's winter, a lot of the time I don't really want to leave my house during these precious moments of ephemeral lull, but this means I more often than not, will have to find fresh ways to keep inspired and happy during the colder months when like a bear, I hibernate (sorry to my irl friends but it is far too chilly!).
I've pledged to read a minimum of twenty books on Goodreads this year. I'm currently on book four (i think) which is the Life Of Pi (I'm struggling with the overly descriptive portions - But ploughing through nonetheless because I refuse to not finish it. Reading for me is both educational and an act of self-indulgence. In reading I learn to become a better writer; it forces me to think of the plot, explore metaphors and play with words I've never come across before. In reading, I'm transported to new realms, in my current case, I'm amidst fragrant trees and zoo animals in Pondicherry, a few chapters later and I can hear the Pacific ocean roaring in my ears, I can almost taste the salty sea water and I can feel the warmth of the sunset as my eyes follow Yann Martells words across pages. A lot of my free time is spent reading, certainly on my commute or on lazy weekends where I sit cross-legged in bed with a mug of coffee... Speaking of coffee..
There is a special sort of joy that is derived from the mundane moments in life. Really feeling the warmth of your duvet as it encases you on a chilly morning, the plink-plonking of raindrops across your window on a dull grey day, the smell of coffee wafting through the house whilst Billie Holiday's voice plays softly in the background. Absolute bliss. Sometimes my self-care consists of nothing more than... well, doing nothing. Just sitting in peace with a quiet coffee, (lately, I've been enjoying Beanies premium roast or their flavoured instant coffee and for tea, I am in love with Jing's Bohea Lapsang tea - deliciously smoky. Thanks, Sally!). These little hot drink rituals warm up both my cold fingers and somehow my soul, I think the simple act of just being, not rushing and just enjoying whatever I'm feeling in the moment is something I am really enjoying. Sometimes it's nice to slow down, especially after a week of battling people on the tube for a seat (the Jubilee line at West Hampstead is comparable to The Hunger Games).
I've been fairly absent on social media since my trip to Nigeria in December. I'm not sure if it is social media overload, or just being exceptionally busy but I've become slightly detached from my phone, a blessing rather than a curse I suppose, but  recently I decided to refresh my blog reading list, focusing more on writers, creators, photographers, poets, and anyone and anything that would ignite a fire of 'YES!' in my belly. I've been digging Laila's beautiful writing, Gem's delicious recipes, Mariell's honest posts on motherhood and life and Annette's moody photography. All these wonderful people (and more such as RebeccaChloeSaraMichelle) plant seeds of inspiration in my heart that bloom through my own creative pursuits.

So that's what I've been doing in the fleeting moments of quiet. I've been reading, resting and getting inspired in this little chrysalis, but winter will soon be coming to an end and then I'll be emerging (hopefully a rested excited little butterfly). Here's to a lovely week, everyone



On: Lessons In Love.

“Your taste in men… has always been questionable Sade” said Emmy one evening. I could feel her rolling her eyes at me through the phone, I grinned and laughed a knowing laugh. It was true, my taste in the opposite sex was somewhat problematic. I’ve always had an issue with regards to falling for the wrong people. From the crush in school with the braided hair a la Lil Bow Wow era, tall and wiry, with skin the colour of that first morning espresso (who subsequently bullied me from year 8 until year 11 for daring to fancy him – He was the ‘it guy’ of our year and I was the weird art kid whose skirt was too long, watched Naruto and had a concave chest), To the artsy Greek hippie with waist length curly chocolate hair complete with single dreadlock and a uh… unique sense of style (although he did introduce me to Bonobo, very good coffee and an abundance of brilliant indie films).

When I unceremoniously split with my boyfriend during my thesis submissions, I swore on cupid that I was done done done with relationships. Heartbreak is a bitch, she wrings you, she pushes you, she almost… breaks you, but she doesn’t and after hours, days and months of crying and pining, life continues as always. You go to work, you drink one too many glasses of wine with your girlfriends, you go to the gym, you keep on going and then suddenly… Your heart doesn’t hurt so much. You don’t flinch when people say his name. You don’t feel a pang of sadness when you smell his perfume on the tube, instead, you smile and understand that he was another lesson in love
You see with the culmination of each crush, flame, boyfriend, I unknowingly flourished. I got closer and closer to what I truly wanted in a lover. Taking baby steps further and further away from “Dang he’s hot” to “I love the relationship he has with his family”. Moving from present-day attributes that will fade in time, to characteristics that are more future focused. With crush A, I learned that I shouldn’t let any man belittle me, and that actually I am pretty damn amazing and should not have feelings for someone who thinks otherwise. With crush B I understood that in the end, the most important relationship I will ever have is with myself and I harnessed the power of true self-love. With flame 2.0 I realised that what I thought I wanted in a long-term spouse and what I actually wanted were two very different things. My focus shifted off how good looking he may, what job he had if he had bought a house etc and I began to understand the importance of a guy who is generous, kind, pious, and sweet.

With my last boyfriend, I learned that it is better to have loved and lost than to not have loved at all. I look back and I can honestly say that I’m happy he dumped me (and also happy he dumped me during my submissions as it gave me more energy to pump into my work strangely enough). If he hadn’t have ended things, I probably would have dragged us through the relationship until we both resented each other (Hey I don’t like giving up ok! But sometimes you have to face the facts). I’m enjoying singlehood right now and it’s fun to feel the fluttering wings of a blossoming crush unfolding in my stomach, it’s nice to be able to actually laugh with girlfriends at the fact that I spent a solid two weeks in my room crying and binging on Chinese food post-breakup and lamenting my impending cat and dog mama status. 
So what I’m trying to say is, take the burnt out remnants of the fire that was once a passionate relationship, and with it understand that you are a different person than you used to be, you have grown, your heart is wiser and you are closer to being with the person you were destined to be with (I’m a huge believer in things happening for a reason). Keep your mind open, be prudent with your heart and always always always trust your instincts. 

With that said, Happy Valentine’s Day – Whether you’re single, unsure, in a relationship, married, separated, divorced or widowed. I hope you show yourself a little love.



A Plot Twist.


When Full Stops Turn Into Commas,

December 22nd I think. Or maybe it was the 23rd, I can't remember. But what I do remember is having to run home last minute to get changed out of the leopard print skirt and slogan knitted jumper I was wearing, and into the blackest most 'I'm too cool to be 'cool', but I'm obviously very cool with this ensemble' turtleneck and some matching black jeans, hanging halfway out of my laundry basket. I crawl on the floor searching for my comfy Topshop leather boots, pile my hair into a top knot, grab my oyster card from the dressing table and quite literally, leg it to SE1. Out of breath and mildly confused, I reach my destination when my phone rings. Bzzzzz Bzzzz Bzzzzzzzz! I'm already tight on time, so I consider clicking the red decline button, but then I register the number and my heart drops into my stomach. Oh no, oh no, oh no, I think as I answer. I hear a frenzied "We are so so sorry oh my gosh! Your interview has been cancelled - Have you arrived at the office yet?" "Yes... Yes, I have, I'm literally outside" I say very quietly. After much back and forth, I accept their apologies, wish them a lovely Christmas and walk pointedly to any coffee shop I can find and I sit with a flat white in one hand and a mixture of tears, concealer and smudged mascara coating the other. "In your time", I whisper to myself on the train home later that evening. In your time. 
December rolls into January with terrifying speed, and I return to the UK with my belly filled, my skin two shades darker and my soul filled with memories of family, sunshine and a lot of dancing. On the second Monday of the new month, I receive a phone call whilst writing notes on encouragement and persistence in achieving goals, it's the same kind woman from December asking if I was still looking for that particular role. I say yes and the next day I'm repeating that same journey again, this time with less laboured breathing and a heart crying out "In YOUR time. Everything good in your time". Usually, when it comes to job interviews I prepare methodically, almost insanely. I arrive two hours early to go through my obsessive notes about the practice profile, brushing up on my BREEAM and Lifetime Homes Knowledge. This time, I barely looked up the practice and only remembered my portfolio as I was halfway to the bus stop. 

I got the job...

I've been settling into my new role, tackling heavy deadlines and simultaneously trying to figure out a tonne of construction lingo as well as technical and structural drawings (my pet hate) with a sense of gusto. It has been... Extraordinarily challenging so far. I laughed with a friend the other day saying when we finally get what we pray for, more often than not, it's what we prayed for but with some life lessons attached to it. We don't get what we want and then a full stop. Oh no! Life is a series of commas, ellipses, dashes, colons, semi-colons, brackets, exclamation marks!!! (of which I am very fond of) and inverted commas. So right now, I think... there's a semi-colon at the end of where I'm currently at, thoughts of what next squeeze their way around my mind as I'm click clicking away at my desk, sipping a coffee and informing the client of when I'd be able to tackle that structural section. But for now, I welcome this semi-colon, the idea of a rolling stone gathering no moss, the not-so-impossible notion that finally, finally, my life seems to be heading somewhere again, and that my friends, feels oh so very very good. Another chapter of this book called life.

What I Wore...

Wrap Dress* - Likemary | Circle Bag (similar)* - Next | Necklace - Lekki Market | Merino Scarf* - Likemary | Block Heels* - Next | Lipstick - Colourpop 


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