Dear 26 year old Me…

Today, and today only, I claim to be wiser than you. Let’s just take a moment and laugh at that! We made it!! We made it to the other side of obstacle number 1(And by “obstacle number 1” I mean: all those “you should be married at 25” statements, hopefully, they realize that’s not going to happen now so we are good. We can breathe and do whatever *Whew*). Y’all it’s rough out here… If you know, you know. Haha.

One day we will have a conversation about the stumbling blocks. We will talk about the “almost” business deals, the “almost” companies and the “almost” jobs. We will talk about the “almost” happy ever afters and the almost baby daddies, lol. We will talk about all the almosts and then we will smile… We will reflect and, maybe, we will cry. We will cry about the hurts and the emotional baggage we picked up along the way (Girl, what were we thinking?).

We will talk about the walls that have been so beautifully built around every curve that is you (You know, the internal Berlin wall). Then we will tear them apart, brick by brick. That one brick that was placed because of lies and broken hearts – yep, it’ll be gone – , the wall that has been elegantly architectured with bricks bought with the realization that the knight in shining armour was actually a villain – that one will go to!. We will talk about the bricks of indifference that were delivered by the ghost under the bed and the witch in the wardrobe … We will talk about the walls of pseudo-confidence that were built by deliveries of insecurities. We will cry over the truck full of losses and arguments that put it all together…

One day we will tear the wall down, piece by piece. Like the wall of Jericho, it may take a couple of marched around the city… One day we will… But today, today we do none of that. Instead, we remember…

  1. There is no road map to originality. You have to cut through the undiscovered forests to be uniquely you so don’t be intimidated by the giant trees!
  2. It is ok to be weak. In fact, it is important to be weak! The strongest people are those who embrace their weaknesses and use them to their benefit.
  3. You will fail. Not once, not twice but countless times. Remember to take your failures as lessons rather than permanent losses.
  4. You cannot be the smartest person in the room. That will mean you have stopped learning when…
  5. You should never stop learning. Take every opportunity you can to learn something new.
  6. You should never stop LEARNING ABOUT YOURSELF!!! You are the most important piece of the puzzle and you need to continuously identify each part.
  7. You cannot let your past define you. It is the past for a reason. You are not who you were 2, 5, 10, 20 years ago (in fact, you are not who you were 2 minutes ago so there’s that). The sooner you embrace that, the better.
  8. Don’t dig up the skeletons. They are dead for a reason. Leave them dead!!! It is not for you to bring them back to life. Mummies are a no-no.lol
  9. If you still pay attention to what people think to determine your course of action, you are not going to go far. See (1).
  10. Take RISKS!!! Take ALL the risks. Better to say “I tried” rather than “I wish I had”.
  11. Take care of all parts of your “self”. Take care of your mind, take care of your health, your heart and your soul.
  12. Don’t give up on love. “The greatest of these is love” was not put in the Bible for no reason. Jesus is wiser than all.
  13. Give all or nothing in everything that you do. If you are going to give mediocrity, don’t do it.
  14. Know you why! Walk in your Purpose!! Never stray from these two, they define your legacy.
  15. Prioritize family! These are your people, family should be your safe place.
  16. Take time to heal… “Don’t bleed on those who didn’t hurt you”. If you don’t heal, you will bleed in the wrong places.
  17. Introspection is everything.
  18. Be quick to course correct. Don’t wait until it’s too late. Learn to know when you have failed and when you need to take a break.
  19. Fill up your well! You cannot draw water from an empty well.
  20. “Forget yourself long enough to help others.” It’s not all about you, it’s about service and servanthood.
  21. Celebrate your wins, celebrate other people’s wins! Nothing is as rewarding as seeing the fruit of one’s work. Join the party!
  22. A “Principled” centre is a winning centre! Never forget!
  23. Know your Vision and Mission statement, then “walk it out”
  24. “He who fails to plan plans to fail”. Prioritize Planning!!
  25. Put God first!! Nothing, and I mean N.O.T.H.I.N.G., should happen if God is not at the centre.
  26. Travel!! Travel far and wide!! Travel in season and out of season. It is good for your heart!

Today… Today we hope. We hope that the brighter days are many and the darker days few. We hope that these 26 reminders act as a guide where we forget how to live [Because, come on now baby girl. I know you are stubborn but you have to accept the lessons you give to yourself, if anything. Just saying]… We hope that the past failures and experiences are building blocks, not to the defensive wall system though – we are done with the walls fam! -, building blocks to a live well lived. Today we hope that we inspire, that we try, that we live… Today, we hope that our existence epitomizes a full life. We hope that we live it out and, where we fail, that we laugh it out.

Then we celebrate! We celebrate 25 years of up, downs, lefts and rights (oh, man… That was so cliche but I love it. Hahaha)… And, most importantly, we pray that the next quarter of a century brings with it wisdom and growth!!!

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Thinking out loud

Sharing this blog post from a friend… Food for thought, you get to determine what output you get from life!!! Enjoy the read and go follow

gasolobanele

Then I got inspired to write as 2016 starts. Happy New Year.

Life is either complicated or simple. It all lies in the lens that one chooses to view life. After all everything is about the choices made.

In life something is bound to go wrong. Wrong in this case is defined as something that you did not anticipate, something you do not like, something you did not plan, something that cripples whatever you were working on. Undoubtedly that brings disappointment, sadness and anguish. The choice then comes about on how you proceed from the situation. You can choose to accept that sometimes things go wrong, choose to learn from the situation, choose to understand what may have caused it to go wrong, find a way to prevent it from occurring again. You can also choose to blame others, blame yourself, hate the world and completely consume yourself with anguish…

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#LIFELESSONS: Understanding friendship

So I was listening to part of a series earlier this month and I had to reflect via this blog post. You can, for your own good, check out the video here 

So I am and have been, privileged to have a global experience when it comes to living and learning. I spent some time as an exchange student in the UK – something that gave me an opportunity to get travel experience in Europe. I studied at an international school and proceeded to graduate from an American university… Call it diaspora or Third Culture Kid tendencies, it’s on you hahaha.

Throughout my experiences, I have gained two best friends and numerous friends and acquaintances…. I often say, my best friends don’t fall under the “friend” circle. One is a “sister” and the other is “my person”… So I say this, right, and that is all well and good. I also, then, have A LOT of people that I consider friends… Having listened to this series, though, I find it necessary to conduct a friend audit.

A. Did I have it wrong all along?

Charles Metcalf speaks on three categories of “friendship”:

  • Fans
  • Followers
  • Real Friends

I am not going to go into detail on how he defines these (you can check out the video yourself) but I took note of his description of real friends. Think about this as the reflection on these.

B. Come along with me, in the night

One thing that I have always known about friendship is the value that comes with people coming alongside you. If you go to many Swati weddings – which I do because I am a pastors kid and dare not show up at the church members wedding… Uzozibonela, haha – you have heard the “two are better than one” statement [Ecclesiastes 4:9-12].

There are so many times where I have reflected on the value of someone who comes along with you in different situations. Think to break up ice-cream at sonic, think long nights and early morning… There are so many situations that I have been in and, really, just needed My Person to just be there – no words, no convo, just be present in the situation. I know I say this literally but it holds true figuratively as well. Understanding the value of friendship means understanding that the one you call a friend can fight alongside you in every situation that you face.

C. I ain’t doing that with you bro

So, if you know me, you know I am stubborn AF!! Once I decide on something there is no going back. I am not about to listen to you about it either. In that, I like things to go my way too. So, to be honest, I can be unreasonable in my expectations. I am grateful, though, that my friends often call me out on this… Sometimes I listen and sometimes I don’t. When it comes down to it, though, I know that there are people who will tell me, to my face, that I am off track and I need to fix my life!!

Pastor Charles speaks of the importance of having people who will be sure to “call you out”. He says “If you are the only warrior in your circle, you will get tired of fighting other people’s battles”. I know I have gone through situations where people were EVIDENTLY fighting against me and I wanted to walk away and never talk to them again – we’ve been there. In retrospect, though, these are the people who fought for me when I couldn’t fight for myself… And these are the people who will make sure I don’t slip away when I’d rather do that.

I remember reading Americanah and noting the relationship between Ime and Ginike (when Ime was depressed, remember that?). These are the times when friendship isn’t about simply agreeing with your friend but also entails calling them out into their full-blown identity. Y’all, there is so much value in having friends who will fight against you.

D. Chill, I’ve got you

Then there is the fighting for you when you can’t fight for yourself part. There is so much comfort in knowing when to fight for those you care about. There is so much beauty in being told, “you don’t have to fight, I’ve got you”. Knowing that, regardless of how you feel about the situation, your unwillingness to tackle something, there is someone willing to let you take a step back and “handle it”.

I consider myself a very independent person: I struggle with allowing people I am dating to pay for the whole meal, I struggle with sharing my need for help with friends, I struggle with vulnerability. One thing that I have realized, over the years, is that allowing someone to “get you” requires trust – a lot of it even. It requires that you let your guard down a little and realize that it is not just about being a receiver of pity or charity (which my independent mind always rushes to) but it is also about being a receiver of love.

Y’all, there is nothing as beautiful as hearing “I’ve got you” from someone you care about. There is nothing as comforting as knowing that you have a safe place to just be, where you do not have to fight or pretend you have a handle on things because your friend really knows you don’t and are willing to hold down the fort until you’ve REALLY got it.

E. When all is said and done

The translation of the word friend/friendship comes for the Hebrew roots “rh” and “hb” – with reeh and oheb being the most common terms for a friend. All things considered, these translate to “one who loves.” Thus “the ideas of friend and friendship involve three components: association, loyalty, and affection.”[ Elwell, Walter A. “Entry for ‘Friend, Friendship'”. “Evangelical Dictionary of Theology”. 1997.]

As the first quarter of the year is coming to an end, maybe it’s time to conduct a friend audit! Ask yourself:

  • Does this person fight alongside, against, and with me?
  • Do I consider this person an associate?
  • Do I consider this person loyal?
  • Do I consider this person affectionate towards me?

And be honest about answering these questions, you will be doing yourself a favor.

Let’s talk about it, what is your definition of a friend? How have you learned from your friends so far? Have you watched the video, what do you think? Leave a comment!

 

PULL UPS AIN’T PULLING ME UP- GYM LIFE STRUGGLES

***THIS IS PART 1 OF A 2-PART POST***

So, in August (or was it July? I can’t remember now) I decided I was about to take my #fitnessgoals to another level. I was on some, “ok Nosi, you KNOW you are on that get healthy tip and have been trying that wog (jog and walk) regime three times a week. How about we hit the gym?” Yea, yea, yea… Also, going to the gym is cool right? So I hit up my older sister, who has been religiously doing the gym thing for a while now, and I’m like “hook me up with that gym membership sis” and she does. So it’s game time and I have the hello Coca-Cola body type thing going in my head already.

The idea of it was exciting but the practice, not so much. Sooooo, the first week of the gym comes around and I am pumped – really, this was the second week, but I only went once the first week so that doesn’t count. Also, I am like, I paid for the month… The month will end soon… I have only been to the gym once… I am not doing this to my money (really my sister’s money but hey)… Let’s get this…. I better max out on this gym membership now…

And then there were pull-ups – Disclaimer, let’s be honest for a second. It wasn’t pull-ups, it was sit-ups but I wasn’t about to mess with the “Pull ups ain’t pulling me up” title so here we are ‘\_(“/)_/’ (That is a shrugging woman emoji, FYI). Y’all, I have never wanted to cry endurance tears this much in my life!!! It was legit, I was on some “heck no, I am not about to do this” tip but I had to…While the experience itself is nothing to write home about *boohoo Coca-Cola body* and *respect to those that hit the gym religiously* I took some lessons from the whole experience that I figured I’d share…. So here goes.

Lesson 1: Your SQUAD better be LEGIT

So, I did those sit-ups, right? Wrong!! I was losing fam! Like, it was bad. I didn’t want to do it anymore. The only thing in my head was, what in the world was I thinking signing up for this gym membership… But you know what? My sister didn’t let me give up.

At some point, she gave me that “big sister look.” You know that looks that tells you, you better pick yourself up real quick. Yea, that one! At some point she hit me with that, “Nosi, we paid for this and you are going to do this thing. When and where will you learn if you don’t do it right here and right now?” I wasn’t happy about that… NOT.ONE BIT!!

It was at that moment, though, that I realized she was NOT going to let me give up. Sometimes we get into situations and places where giving up is easy; where it is easy to let it go because we are lacking in endurance. It seems like the back, where we came from, is so much better than the future that seems unreachable. Those are the moments when you need the squad the most. If you have it right, they are the ones who will shift your focus from your sphere of concern to your sphere of influence. I beg, get you a legit squad.

Lesson 2: Your DRIVE better be LEGIT

One thing I know, the trainers’ drive was legit! Hahaha. No, seriously! The guy had me! He insisted that I wasn’t going to stop until I could throw the ball far enough (yes, yes, there was a ball. I had to do sit-ups AND throw a 4kg ball!! I.FREAKING.KNOW).

Let’s talk vision, mission and aims for a minute. We need to create a vision for our life that is focused on a solid purpose, a purpose that is bigger than ourselves. I told y’all, my motivation for the gym life was a “coca-cola body” but – to be honest – it was much more than that. It was about getting myself toned up, boosting my health habits and becoming a “fitter me” (corny I know). I am not sure if that is “a purpose that is bigger than [myself]” but that was my drive alright.

We need to get ourselves to a place where we are driven to achieve our goals at all costs!! It would have been easy for me to walk out of the gym at that moment, no one was stopping me after all, but I decided I wouldn’t do that. I wasn’t about to let my drive down. When our drive comes from the inside, it becomes legit. When it is inspired by our purpose rather than social media or social constructs, we have no option but to pursue it. One of my inspirations in a legit drive has been my younger sister for a while. I remember this girl taking a gap year because she made it into a Chemical Engineering program but not a Medicine program. She said, nope, ain’t gonna do that. Imma try until I get into medicine – she graduates next year!

How many times have you thought about quitting and then remembered your drive? How many times have you quit because you forgot what your drive was? Or maybe, how many times have you quit because your drive wasn’t strong enough; wasn’t legit? This was a big lesson for me in redefining my doubt and making it the legit-est it can be! We need to have a drive that will force us to do things, to put in the work, even when we don’t feel like doing it.

***Watch out for Lesson 3 and 4 in October***

“Be around people that make you want to be a better person, who make you feel good, make you laugh, and remind you what’s important in life.”

― Germany Kent

Year of Yes – Shonda Rhimes

Y’all, it’s women’s month!!! Happy 31 days of KWEN APPRECIATION!!! The fight for womanhood never sleeps so here’s to the start of another year of fighting!!

So, we’re doing things a little different this month. *You’re welcome*. I’ll be profiling one of the books in my reading list this year… Shonda Rhyme’s Year of Yes. What better way to mark this month. Really, it’s just vital life lessons that I picked up for myself through my reading. Enjoy!!

  1. Always remember that your happy ending is YOURS and it will, probably, not look the way others think – and expect – it to be.
  2. You are ALWAYS saying YES: To mediocrity, manipulation, unhealthy living, terrible habits, etc. Whenever you say no to one thing, you are automatically saying yes to something else.
    1. So, NOSI, every time you say no to working out you are saying yes to laziness and unhealthy habits, every time you say no to putting in work you are saying yes to procrastination, and every time you say no to saving you are saying yes to poor financial choices … Go figure!!
  3. Don’t take yourself too seriously! Learn to take moments and plan – learn to take moments out to “dance”
    1. Y’all, I felt this one!!!!
  4. It is one thing to “stand” like wonder woman and it is another to “be” like her.
  5. Don’t undermine your accomplishments. Receive praise, in humility, when it is given
  6. KNOW YOUR TRIBE AND INVEST IN IT!!! Invest your time, your love, your presence!!!
  7. Always say “Yes” to the things that scare you the most, that is where you will experience the most/best growth.
  8. Don’t just dream, do. “Perfect is boring and dreams are not real. Just…Do”
  9. Learn to be a better friend to yourself.
  10. Pay attention to the way you view people. See them as they are, not as what you want them to be – if the two perspectives are the same, you have found a unicorn.

 

P.S. Image sourced from: https://cafe4apps.net/year-yes-shonda-rhimes-epub/

#BECOMING – Featuring Njabu “Enjay” Khoza

Ok, ok!!! I am so excited about the July edition of #Thriving!!! I don’t get to write this month but Enjay graces your phones (or laptops, or reading apps, or whatever). If you are in Swaziland – aka Eswatini, aka the best kingdom on this side of heaven – you’ve probably heard her spit fire… If you haven’t, you’re a slacker and you need to do better fam!!!

Imma be nice to you and hook you up with her Instagram! Check it out….

There are a lot of things we will do in this lifetime. Some of them pleasant, and exciting and some of them not so much. Some we do accidentally and others intentionally. Becoming, however, remains inevitable. From birth, our parents overlooked the process, well at least as far as we know, they were supposed to. Teaching us right from wrong, what’s appropriate and what isn’t, which road is worth the hustle and which one isn’t, and every other ideal imaginable. So much can be said, on becoming, but one thing for sure is that if you are old enough to read this, then it’s about time you took the rails, and control who you’re becoming, what you’re becoming.

Quick disclaimer, I am not an expert “becomer-er”😏, quite frankly, I’m barely a functional adult. But I’ve realized the power of being honest about where I am, in order to get to where I am going, because it is evident that I’m going somewhere and I’d like to know where that is, God forbid I end up in a place, in a person I dread. Which is why I had to start somewhere,

Step 1: Scary step. Call yourself out on the person that you have found yourself. Question who you are, shake your foundations now while you do not have to, before you encounter a situation that insists on it. This is not a one day step, to be honest, this is a state you must live in. Do you really hate racism? Why Christianity? Why do you use the toilet paper that you use? Question everything that you have inherited, and allow yourself to change your mind after careful consideration. This is the 1st and final step to becoming, simply put, introspection.

I know it often seems like the day we were born our body landed in one place and our purpose or truest self or whatever it is we are in search for was broken into a thousand pieces and scattered all over the world, and the body was tasked with the mandate to run around like a headless chicken trying to find and piece those pieces back together.

Before God sent us into this world, he whispered all the things that we are, and not just those we ought to be when we get to earth, but the vigorous journey seems to have wiped our memories clean. And the only things worth piecing together are those lost within ourselves. What we are looking for is not abstract, but is greatly familiar to us, and focusing all that energy on improving personal existence in every moment is how we jog that memory.

Hold it right There, please get me right. When I speak of improving yourself, I’m not even on that St Teressa tip. The noblest course a person can ever pursue in life is that of self-fulfillment. Do not do things that do not resonate from within you. Do not contribute to a course you do not believe in, not until you’ve established who you are, who you want to be, and where you’re going with all this. Putting glitters on a wound makes it pretty, but also spreads the infection. Do not donate to orphans or other vulnerable groups if that is not where your sympathies lie. If you do not like the fact that you don’t sympathize with them, find out why and perhaps you will learn that you would much rather be involved in their empowerment. Do not fall into the pressures of political correctness. Do not smile at people you don’t like, if you don’t like the person that makes you out to be, then get to the root of the problem and address it. Stop with painkillers and start with treatment. From the inside out. So as far as “fake it till you make it” is concerned in this matter, I rule against it, this world needs people with conviction, and to build conviction “address it till you become it”.

Decisions are never final, only consequential, and if you ever find yourself regretting a decision. Pick another one, with consequences more along the lines of what you can live with.

With your patience, I’d like to share where I am with my journey to becoming. After carefully considering the pros and cons, the whole saga, I’ve decided that I’d like to put all my efforts into preserving my youth. 😒 Okay, wait, before you roll your eyes at this cliche, her me out first. I want to hold onto my free pass, being exempt from the formalities of the world. Always needing empowerment of some sort in a certain area of expertise, in all areas of expertise. I want to hold on to the feeling that at any point in time I can choose a different path for my life for whatever reason my recklessness sees for. I never want to know better. I’ve seen the people that know better and their lives are a sight for sore eyes.

I have no desire to walk about this world as though I possess some kind of profound wisdom when in fact it is wisdom that possesses me. There is no running away from the knowledge the journey, but I will not worship it, I will acknowledge it’s existence and use it in relevance but I will not be a slave to logic. For the longest time, this has been the enticement of adulthood for me, the ability to command this aura of wisdom and knowledge. The fastest way to close yourself out to something is to possess it. A person who owns a cell phone or 2 has no reason to get another and must simply be satisfied with what they have. I cannot bring myself to be satisfied with what I currently know. I want to die, still not having figured life out, But having explored as much of it as possible.

So to put it less dramatically, I’d like to become young at heart and mind, ever inquisitive and well established yet humble building my convictions from the ground up as opposed to adopting them. Without being ignorant of the less rosy consequential attributes of a questionable sense of loyalty. Nonetheless, at the sight of new information, I have the freedom to change my mind 💁. Although when it comes to becoming, I’m not sure if anyone ever arrived

It matters that you don’t give up

“Remember to look up at the stars not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see and wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious. And however difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at. It matters that you don’t just give up” – Stephen Hawking

Y’all, this is legit my favorite S.H. Quote. Like, LEGIT LEGIT!!! It holds such a powerful hope encourager (I’m not sure if ‘hope encourager’ makes sense but I’m using it anyway). And the last line has been on my mind a lot over the last couple of weeks. I’ve said it to myself over and over again for, to be honest, no reason sometimes. Cool thing, though, is where the conscious thinks it’s for no reason, the subconscious always knows why it’s doing what it’s doing. So, while I’m trying to figure out the relevance of this line to my season I figured why not share my thoughts with you…

It matters that you don’t give up on love

“What’s Love got to do with it? What’s love, but a secondhand emotion?” Or not? Y’all, we are called to Love regardless of the atmosphere around us. I found myself in a challenging position election season 2016 and had to realign my call to Love with my feelings of hurt. Nah, I’m not going to go into detail here, but one book that’s spoken volumes to me on Love (second to the Bible of course) is “Braving the wilderness” by Bréne Brown.

Let’s be honest, hate (or even indifference) is easier than choosing love. It requires no work, just existing. As full human beings, I truly believe that it is our mandate to choose love overall. That we are called to make the world a better place by loving the unlovable and choosing love where we have been hurt by those we thought loved us in return. I know that sounds a little cliche (and it’s borderline a call to hurt and heartbreak tbh) but Love can exist alongside choosing to “guard our hearts”. After all, we’re choosing love, not naivety!!!

Now, hear me when I say (or write. Hehe) this. Love is a radical act and comes at a cost but the reward is great too. Bham, I just got deep with Y’all!!! Hahaha… I say this from a place of struggling, too… I have, countless times even, failed at loving people well and have had to go home and have my mind continuously remind me of my failure. It may be responding negatively to a friend or coworker, internally responding with profanity of distaste as a manager or colleague says something – while keeping a smile on my face – #winning. Sometimes it’s been ignoring friends because of things that I justified in my head, or refusing to acknowledge my shortcomings when it comes to expressing love to family and those closest to me. Sometimes, I’ve failed so much at friendships that I simply figured it wasn’t worth the effort; that “if they cared they’d reach out too because it’s a two-way stream”. Shout out to you if you’ve thought this way too (of course this is not a good shoutout, shame on us!!).

What I’m getting at is this, giving up on love means giving up on a relationship with those you care about… So don’t do it!! It means giving up on the hope that all people- whether dear to you or nah – are deserving of love. Now, just because you love others without expecting reciprocity (which would be nice Y’all) doesn’t mean you open yourself up to manipulation – ain’t nobody got time for that!!! There’s a thin line between loving boldly and allowing yourself to be manipulated so watch out for that line, please!! IT MATTERS THAT YOU DON’T JUST GIVE UP ON LOVING BOLDLY!!!!

It matters that you don’t give up on your goals

Picture this: you’ve got an event right? You’ve set yourself up to wake up at 9 am to get yourself organized, you know you’re going to leave the house at 11.30 so you get there a few minutes late (because fashionable late right?). You get yourself ready and jump into the car but the car won’t start. You check for uber and the closest one is 25 minutes away (Y’all know uber does the most when you really need it!). So you’re like, whatever I’ll use public transportation but now you’re waiting at the bus stop for forever… Your goal for the day’s been tarnished… Or, better yet, imagine there’s a game of sorts (football, soccer, basketball, cricket or whatever) happening on the other side of the world. So you KNOW you’ve got to get up at 5 or so to watch this game… You get up alright, watch the preview a bit and just as the game starts there’s a glitch and you lose power… So you’re like, maybe I’ll just do it on my phone but you didn’t charge your phone the night before so… No game watching for you OUCH!!!

I know, I know! That was a looooong analogy (or two) *insert shrugging woman emoji here*. Here’s the truth, it’s so easy to get into this same thread with the goals we’re trying to accomplish too. You know you’ve worked hard and given your best: you know you’ve planned as much as you could have. Then ish hits the fan and it seems like your plan comes tumbling down. Yea, me too buddy!! Been there, done that *insert struggle bus emoji here*. Sometimes that’ll happen a couple of time and you’re on some “let’s build this thing back up” but sometimes we get to a place (particularly mental space) where we’re over trying…

Don’t do it fam!! Don’t get over trying!!! You’ve got to keep going!!! There’s so much joy that comes with accomplishing something and thinking maaaaan, the number of times I had to restart to get here!! It gives you a story to tell!! It allows you to inspire others to do the same!! More than anything, it allows you to grown and become a better version of yourself. Isn’t that what we’re all trying to do? If you think about it, the numerous failures allow you to fine-tune your master plan. They allow you to recognize, from a distance even, what works and what doesn’t. Isn’t that cool? By the time you achieve your goal – and ultimately your goals – you’ve eliminated everything that doesn’t work and are left with “only the best possible plan of action”. So, say it with me, IT MATTERS THAT I DON’T JUST GIVE UP ON MY GOALS!!

It matters that you don’t give up on your Faith

I know, I know, some of y’all just zoned out there. It’s ok, you can skip over to the next one. Faith is a core value to me, Y’all, and boy do I struggle with faultless living!! Sin ain’t cool but it sure can taste good *insert monkey hiding face emoji here*. I’m just tryna be honest Y’all, that’s what you get in reading these blog posts. I KNOW I’m not the only one who struggles, too, hence the sharing over here. Haha… Sometimes we set ourselves up for success and vow not to do this or that because we know where it may lead our fallible selves, and it works… For a while… Until we get too comfortable (and confident) in our ability to contain us then it’s back to square one… (Also, my Pastors been talking about how demons will return 8-fold if they leave and come back so a lot of things makes sense now… I’ll edit the verse into this post once I find it in my notes so Y’all see what I’m talking about).

Sometimes my fallible self will justify sin!! Some of y’all are like, what does that even mean…. Let me tell you… I’ve gotten so good at using Grace and Freedom to justify CHOOSING to sin… Stop!! Don’t look at me like you’ve never consciously chosen sin you hypocrite you! Haha… I am pretty sure we’ve all done it… Let me show you… That time you DECIDED you were going to hold a grudge against someone? Or, when you went to sleep angry? Ooooor, that white lie you told? Ummmm, I’m coming to your door, that time you said you were sick just because you didn’t want to go to class/work/out with friends? Yeaaaa told Y’all!! We’ve all consciously chosen sin at one point or another… I’m learning that, while freedom and grace exist, every action performed in freedom will have results and grace is merely redeeming (without eliminating the results)… So, while I can’t promise that I’ll never justify sin again, I vowed to myself a long time ago that -where I fail- I’ll pick myself up real quick. So, Y’all, IT MATTERS THAT WE DON’T GIVE UP ON OUR FAITH!!!!

It matters that you don’t give up on you

When all is said and done, YOU are the most important part of the puzzle… When we’re called to “love others as we love ourselves” the statement assumed that we love ourselves already… Where we’re told to “do unto others as we would like them to do to us” it is inferred that we want only good things done to us. When we are mandated to “make the world a better place”, how can we make something better if we ourselves are not better? “Better” people make a better place…

Listen (or read, haha)! I’m not advocating for selfishness but self-care. We get to these places where we are on some “suicidal thoughts and actions” place because we forget the value that we bring in being our authentic selves. We assume that the best we can give is succeeding in our goals, being stellar believers – or nonbelievers- in our faith, being intellectuals if academia is where we’re at, or being great professionals or entrepreneurs or whatever because that’s what we perceive to be the core value we bring to the table. No Mami, you’re the most valuable thing you bring to the table… Hey there Mr., while we appreciate your “connecting beard” or whatever YOU are the most valuable thing you bring to the table!!! Y’all, EVERYTHING ELSE IS SECONDARY

I get so frustrated sometimes when I listen to people talk themselves down because “they haven’t achieved this and that”! You’re alive, you matter and you’re going to do great!! That, in itself, is enough!!! You are enough, I am enough!!! Giving up on you might mean giving up on your dreams, on your health, on your goals, your education, your mental health, your internal peace… The list is endless. Giving up on you is simply giving up on the things that make you come alive and become a better version of you; it is giving up on who YOU want you to become and letting who OTHERS want you to become define your trajectory… IT MATTERS THAT YOU DON’T JUST GIVE UP ON YOU!!!