Three Simple Changes I've Incorporated To Better My Life.

I promise I am not about to type up a super smug kale smoothie style cliche of a ‘new year, new you’ blog post. I am utterly bored and a little worn out by the enthusiastic cries of ‘eat this!’, ‘do this!’, ‘be this!’ In Regards to New Year's resolutions. Sitting on the train home the other night, I pondered what small honest changes I could implement in my life that would not feel invasive, unnatural or unachievable, and I thought to share them with you here, because I realise more people than not struggle with the new year and how to make small changes that will snowball into big advancements by the end of the year.
If you’re anything like me, you may thrive off of clean slates. I love a brand new journal, or a fresh, perfectly crease free book, and a lot of the time I want to apply that to my life. I want to start over, disappointed by the journey so far and I suppose wanting to wipe the slate clean and go again, but every second is a new slate, every minute, hour, day, week, month, year and we can walk into who we want to truly be anytime we desire. I’m writing this post for those of you who feel irrevocably stuck. For some of us, it has felt as if we’ve been stuck buried under heavy soil for years, we’ve been going around and around like a broken record, screeching away in a corner, never moving past a particular chord. We’ve been writing the same New Years resolutions in our journals year after year, growing more and more dejected as it feels certain things aren’t coming to fruition.

Social psychologists have said that it actually takes around 66 days to break a bad habit or form beneficial ones. The compound effect is something I’ve been getting to grips with and realising that every action I take in this moment will compound together to form my future, it sounds scary but I use it as a way to I suppose, push me out of my comfort zones, but I digress, here are the things I've been incorporating into my life lately...

BOOTS: New Look
DENIM JACKET: Primark Mens
The most annoying of them all. Getting up early. During the average working week I’m up at about 6:30 - 6:45, but this leaves time for me to just shower, brush my teeth, get dressed and leave the house hurriedly. Tragically boring, but if I went to bed at a decent time, I could wake up at 6:00am and fit time in for prayer, having a decent breakfast (as opposed to a stale croissant from Sainsbury’s), and schedule some Instagram content so I could hit my goal of three posts per day as opposed to one every other day. Getting up earlier has meant that I have more time during the day to fit in my other interests such as an hour or so for reading or time to catch up on my favourite Netflix shows in the evening. It also means that I end up sleeping properly during the night instead of waking up at 3am in the middle of the night.
I have the brain of a fish. I forget absolutely everything if it is not written down somewhere or lazily thrown into my phone calendar. A lot of time wasted in my life is actually trying to figure and remember where I should be and what I should be doing. To tackle this, I picked up a diary from Paperchase in the January sales and this little piece of joy has made it a little more enjoyable to get organised. Getting organised means I can allocate my time more effectively and get more done. For example, intermediate French is something I’ve been wanting to teach myself so I’ve scheduled in that my days for that will most likely be a Tuesday and a Thursday whilst I’m working. I’ve also been wanting to up my gym but because I often have blog events in the evening, having a continuously updated diary means I can schedule in for morning classes on these days.
(And again, and again, and again) - I can almost hear the collective sigh all across my blog readership, with this one. As the saying goes "If at first, you don't succeed, try, try, try again". Most of my proudest achievements have been born as a result of consistent resilience and trying again and again, and again, and again.. you get it. Even now as I'm searching for a new role, with every non-response, every dead end, every unsuccessful interview, is a woman willing to go again.  After all, it took Elijah seven times before he saw the rain cloud that was promised. 

I hope this helps any of you that feel a little stuck and unsure of what little steps you can take when everything feels overwhelming and it feels like the world is moving ahead of you. 



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.


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