2.26.2018

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

x

2.13.2018

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.



x

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