I am DOING.A.THING!!!!

Sooooooo, I am doing a thing!!! I hear you right now, looking at your neighbor and being like: “what thing is she doing.” Yeah, I see you. Don’t act like you didn’t just ask that…. And I know your curious mind has you over there murmuring, “what thing are you doing Nosi?” So I will tell you. Wait for it….. It’s almost here….. Here it is….. (Ok, y’all don’t even understand the smile that was just brought by the last few lines!) I digress, my apologies…..

I AM GOING ON A NEGATIVITY FAST!!!

Maybe going is not the right word since I have already started this fast. Let’s just put it this way; I am fasting negativity this month. I know, you’re probably thinking what the???? Or not. Maybe you’re just thinking, “you actually have to fast that?” because you have negativity in check. Well, if you are thinking the latter then can I schedule a coffee date with you so we can discuss how you managed to be this person!!!

Why a negativity fast?

It’s December (duh) and the year is almost over (also, duh)…. Cue Christmas plans, lamentations on how terrible (or great) the year has bee, reflections on the top stories of the year. I mean, you know how we all get when the year comes to an end. I believe, strongly, in the power of introspection and am constantly looking within to see where I am and where I need to grow.

Truth be told, this year hasn’t been terrible. If I start to think about it, there have been several depressing moments and events but the good outweighs the bad. In the midst of that, however, I realized that I had developed some sort of negative vibe and was on some “Nosi – you are not this person. Get it together!” So, as I approach a new year, I decided I need to cleanse myself the best way I know why. *insert meditating person emoji here (do they have those?)*

Tell me more!!!

I knew it! I knew you’d want to hear more about this fast!!! I did some research online (by research I mean I really just typed “negativity fast” and ran a google search. hahaha) and felt like the following plan was the best route to go. Feel free to join in on this fast, it’ll be exciting to share the stories after. *wink, wink*

The Plan

Abstaining from…

1- Talking about situations and people with a negative viewpoint

2- Pessimistic expressions about people and circumstances

3- Critical talk about myself and others

4- Complaining of ANY KIND

5- Negatively gossiping about others (gossip nje – ain’t nobody got time for  that)

6- Using sarcasm to hide my negative and bitter views*

*Between you and I, this will probably be the hardest for me.

 

Intentionally Focus on…

1- Meditating (For me this’ll be focusing on my relationship, and intimacy, with God)

2- Meditating on, and speaking out, thanksgiving and praise

3- Declaring who God is and who He says that I am

4- Speaking life, love and hope to myself and others

5- Speaking solutions and calling forth answers to problems

6- Focusing on what God is doing in my Life

Practical Applications…

1- Start and end every day with thanksgiving and personal declarations

2- Abstain from watching, listening to, or reading media that fosters negativity

3- Limit my use of social media

4- Each time I am tempted to be critical of someone, I will speak kindness over them

5- Be intentional not to let negativity dictate the atmosphere around me

6- Practice forgiving people quickly

7- Spend time laughing each day

8- Bless every place I go with hope

9- Do not criticize others for being negative.

Some more resources…

If you do decide to join me, here are some additional resources. Also, halla at me so we can keep each other accountable.

Mark Dejesus at markdejesus.com

ignitinghope.com

#FakeItTillYouMakeIt*

*Or, Excitement over Fear – Faith equations

So I will be Twenty-Five in a Few days!! By few days I mean 10-ish, I’ll be 25 in 10 days (really, it’s 11 but 10 sounds cooler than 11 so yah)!!! I was telling my older sister how I’ve never been this excited about a birthday before and felt kinda weird but it is what it is hey. Go big or go home. I, hopefully, will be this excited about birthdays in the future too but hey, who knows. I have said it before (if you follow me on social media, that’s where I’ve said it – before you start asking me, where Nosi? Where did you say it “not now but before”? hahahah – also that last statement in quotes makes no sense but it is funny to me so I’m keeping it). Anyways, what I’ve said is:

I am looking forward to the best 52 weeks of my life!

I had/have to own my 25th birthday! No, seriously!! I saw myself slowly drifting towards anxiety and depression because “twenty-five is the peak and it’s only downhill from here”; because I always thought I’d be all figured out at this point: Finances, checked… Future husband, checked (future because in my grand 5 year plan he would be in the picture but we would be moving towards that husband place – Oh how we dream)… Dream career, check… That second degree, check… The list goes on and on, we can sit down and talk for the rest. Hahahaaaa. Anyways, I almost reached the (oddly expected) quarter life crisis. So, while I was watching myself watch myself get to that place I decided NO!!! I am not about to be about that life and I am not about to be the stereotypical young adult going through a “darn you social constructs for messing with my mind” place. I decided I would channel those emotions somewhere else so…. Here are some reasons I am excited for the BIG.TWO.FIVE

 

1 – I AM EXCITED FOR A NEW START

Yea, yea… God’s mercies are new every morning, I know… The New Year is for clean starts, I know… Any day is a good day to start again, I KNOW!!! It is more than that though. I believe that I am at some sort of peak. I have an idea of how messed up the world is but I have also seen how beautiful it can be. I have made my childish errors – don’t get me wrong, errors will definitely still be made – and I have learnt lessons from them. I am at what many call the peak of my young adult life (by many I really just mean my mum, or you if you agree).

I am a YOUNG ADULT!!! Goodness gracious!!! No, seriously!!! At 21 you are barely legal, 22 is just a weird age and at 23 and 24 you are figuring out how to put one foot in front of the other but…. At 25!!! Good Lord!! You have made most of the mistakes you’ve made: in love, in friendships, in family, in regards to yourself. Trust me when I say I have ticked off a lot on my “not to do” list that I didn’t realize I had. Hahah… I have failed at love, I have failed at being a good friend, I have messed up at being a good daughter, a good pastor’s kid, a “good” Christian. I have done my fare share of messing up and I am ready to press the refresh* button.

*REFRESH AND NOT RESET BECAUSE I WANT TO KEEP THAT SEARCH HISTORY FOR REFERENCE WHEN I AM GOING THE WRONG WAY. *insert giggling emoji here*

 

2 – I AM EXCITED TO EMBRACE ALONE-NESS

I discovered this year that I love being alone!! I really do!!! I moved into my first “adult” apartment, by myself and goodness gracious!! There is something to be said about getting into your own space – a space that you can mold into whatever you want – and be ALL.THE.WAY.FREE. Like, you can come home and be yourself. You get to make (and break) the rules, you get to define the atmosphere and you get to create something!! You, ALL.YOU!!!

I always thought that I was a lot more on the extroverted side. Assertive, yes, but more chirpy, come-alive-in-the-crowd type. I am slowly learning that rejuvenation happens when I am by myself. I gain my energy that way, my creative side flows and my dreams find a way into my conscious. Alone-ness has allowed me to realize, in my head anyways, dreams I had forgotten about and some that I never knew existed. It has allowed me to create new ones, too. I have seen how small, and big, the world is as I spend time by myself. I am learning what makes me come alive, what gets me excited, what drains me! It is safe to say that I have discovered more about myself in the last few months than I did most of my college life.

 

3 – I AM EXCITED TO DREAM

Y’all, I am realizing the beauty of dreaming with God!! Seriously, looking at hopes and goals, and recognizing that they are possible has set my heart on fire in a way I never thought I’d experience. Sidenote, you are never too old to pursue your dreams. You are never too young either. The universe works in your favor and, once you set your mind to it – and work tirelessly towards it – it will happen.

So, this coming year, I am about to dream my wildest dreams. He says that he cares about the things I care about and I am ready to see if he really meant that. It is sad that we get to a place where we forget the things that brought us excitement when we were younger, the things that we thought would just happen simply because that is what we wanted. Oh, how I pray that I develop the heart of a child (not the mind though, I’ll keep an adult mind. lol).

 

4 – I AM EXCITED TO TRAVEL

If you know me, even a little bit, you know I LOVE, LOVE traveling!!! I haven’t done that enough this year though, so I am doing better next year – they do say do all the traveling while you are young and free right? I am currently at 31/50 in American states and 4/7 in continents and would love to see that increase. I am excited to learn how to create time to travel and explore with a work schedule that doesn’t always allow me to. Hopefully this year we can make it 40/50 in American states and Asia, I am coming for you next.

 

5 – I AM EXCITED TO WALK EVEN DEEPER IN MY PURPOSE

Learning what your purpose is a beautiful thing… Walking in it, now that is amazing and hard at the same time. This year has been a year of revelation in as far as my purpose is concerned. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I still wouldn’t tell you much. I sure would tell you more than I did last year though, so that counts right? Hahaha… The fun thing about purpose is, in my opinion anyways, it is constantly being refined. It is like being at the optometrist and going through the letters, the letters never really change (aside from your optometrist moving to the next one) but your ability to see them does. The different lenses allow you to look and, as the right lens comes into play, you get to seeing the letters or numbers just right.

I am learning that I have to go through the lens selection process. My purpose is unchanging but my viewpoint changes from seeing one angle and then another. I see what I have matured enough to see. The purpose stays the same but my maturity is the lens-selection process. Until I find the right lens, the purpose will be blurry! As someone who wears glasses, I know that the lenses selection process can be both scary and exciting! I refuse to be scared, I choose to be excited.

And that, right there, is pretty much it – the reason I am so excited about twenty-five. I REFUSE TO BE SCARED, I CHOOSE TO BE EXCITED!!! So here’s to an amazing year ahead!!! Let the countdown begin!!!

 

*Disclaimer: 31 Is a guesstimate. I haven’t been too good at keeping track, I just know I celebrated when I made it to 25 – then I stopped counting

#25andfeelingFINE

Confessions of a Woman Struggling to “even”

Sips tea… Can’t even!! Tries coffee… Nope, can’t even!! Brings out the wine… Nah, nah… Indulges in dog petting, baby admiring, meditation… hmmmmm, No… STILL CAN’T EVEN… The urban dictionary defines “I can’t even” as:

“The complete… onset of the cessation of brain activity, brought under the presence of acute stress, which fully affects the person only a short time after it strikes them. Said person, under the duress of the symptoms, demonstrates their affliction by alerting to others that they can’t even, in reference to their inability to deal with the symptoms, or their inability to perform simple actions which have been made impossible by their afflictions.”

Yep, I quoted urban dictionary because why not. Life is a struggle! A joyful, entertaining and satisfying journey but a struggle none the less. Sometimes the struggle overwhelms you, sometimes you don’t realize there’s a struggle and, countless times, you are such a boss at managing the struggle that others don’t realize that it exists in the first place. Have you ever looked at someone and thought “wow, she’s got her life under control” only to find out later that they’re a hot mess. Isn’t it funny that, when you “can’t even” (let’s see how many times I can use “can’t even” in one blogpost), everyone else seems to have things in check? This blog post is for everyone who feels like they are struggling… Homie, you are not alone! I gots you!!

I can’t even ADULT

I said it. “Adulting” is hard! The act of making life choices is one that is delicate and deserves a “handle with care” note on it. Sometimes it requires us to create (or cut) relationships that we once thought were life giving. It requires us to think through the steps, to process, to create spreadsheets and graphs of the pros and cons of all the potential routes. I am quickly realizing that the process gets complex really quick! I know I often get to a place where I pretend those decisions are nonexistent. If you’ve ever piled up mail you know what I mean.

It starts slow: you put one envelop on the table and tell yourself it will be opened later. Next thing you know, there’s a pile of envelops and you are too lazy to open them all. I often do the same with tasks, responsibilities and decisions. I have been doing that a lot lately, actually, and I probably need to open up (and sort) the different “mail” in my life. Piling things up usually seems like a good idea at the onset until you realize it isn’t. My IB teachers used to call it getting to the “bottleneck” or something like that. If you’re on that same pile-up route, maybe you should stop reading and take care of ish, yes? Yes!

I can’t even CHRISTIAN

Raise your hand if you are a perfect Christian (or Moslem, or Babist, or traditionalist or spiritualist)… Basically, raise your hand if you are perfect in exercising your faith (or lack thereof)!! Oh, you liar!! I see you!! Guys, faith is so complicated. I mean, it is and it is not – which in itself makes the whole dynamic that much MORE complicated!! So, you see, there’s no winning.

I have been a Christian for most of my life at this point and I’m still not sure how to do it “right”. I see people doing it oh so well and feel like I am not even trying. I watch my friends successfully fast during Ramadan and think “Nosi, you need to do better”. I listen to people defend their spirituality, defend atheism, stand on the street corners and tell me why scientology is the way to go and I’m out here questioning God (and his plans for my life) over and over again.

I sin, oh boy do I sin! Sometimes my sins are small, petty even, and I defend myself and cook up justifications for why that’s “not too bad”. Sometimes they are huge and I hope that I can bury it all and pretend nothing happened. Sometimes a lady has to channel the inner Joseph and flee which, let’s be honest, is easier said than done. I use sin here as my personal focus but sin may translate to different aspects of failure: the times we act contrary to what is deemed morally right; when we break the law intentionally (and sometimes unintentionally). There’s also those times we act in a way that’s contrary to the ethical and moral standards that we set for ourselves. Yeah, you get me now don’t you? There’s that one time that I had a bar of chocolate after I’d told myself I was on a diet, sin against ‘self’ right there!

I can’t even with RELATIONSHIPS

Woah, now this is a legit struggle. Why is loving so hard? I’m not just talking about intimate relationships here, I’m talking about any and every form of “SHIP”. I have a great friend circle, my family is amazing and I have some pretty good mentors but, man, keeping up with “SHIPS” can be hard. Creation and managing ties gets complicated and sometimes I lack patience. I let friends go and return to relationships I should have killed a long time ago.

In different situations, we may pursue relationships with others from a selfish perspective. We seek fulfillment, joy that we believe we can only find from others. We don’t want to be alone, we want to be loved, we want to FEEL love and in order to do this we rope people along. We forget that “SHIPS” are a two-way stream and seek to take and take without giving back. Why are we like this?

My mother taught me what  I consider to be a fundamental goal of any “SHIP” I may pursue. This goal: growth. Now let me break it down for you. Hahaha! Mama taught me that, whatever connection I create with another individual, I should be asking myself how that persons life will be better because I am in it. It is the idea that, whether a relationship lasts forever or 2 days, that person needs to look at the time they spent with me and feel like they became a better person because of it. At the point where they experience no change or, at the worst, a digression in growth then there is a problem.

WE ARE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER

Ok, so there are a lot of areas that I think “I can’t even” in but these three are some main ones. The beauty of it all, however, is that I am not alone. I have conversations with people in my life and realize that our struggles are oh so similar. If you are like me and often feel like your struggles are not experienced by anyone else but you, you’ve got it all wrong. We are here, we are many and we understand. We understand that sometimes decision making is hard; that loving and living can get complicated; that faith needs a lot of work and shortcoming should be met with love.

I believe in freedom albeit I find myself believing it for others more than myself. The existence of freedom means that we always have a right to choose and that, while we can wallow in our struggle to “can”, we have the freedom to work on the areas that we struggle in. I believe that freedom allows us to learn where we need to and continuously do better in areas where we struggle.

I believe in grace for others and for myself. I know that perfection is overrated and therefore refuse to conform to the expectation of a perfect me. Sorry not sorry!! It is often easier to offer grace to others and hold it back from ourselves. I listened to a podcast the other day and someone spoke on how she tries to reason (and have conversations) with herself like she was talking to someone else. While that is a little weird, hehehe, I love the concept because it, somewhat, makes you a tad bit nicer to yourself.

I am constantly learning how to exercise freedom in my life and have grace for myself! Every day gives an opportunity to do this better than yesterday. I advocate for grace and freedom to “self” and believe that success comes in allowing the days of struggling to be building blocks rather than opportunities to stumble.

So, this Monday, how’s about you cut yourself some slack, give yourself some grace and exercise your freedom. While you’re at it, I’ll be out here trying to do the same thing!

(P.S. I used “Can’t even” 11 times if you weren’t counting)

FailureSHIP 101 – The art of failing well (or not failing at all)

So I was up here like, how do you even title a blog post about failing. I mean, come on now, who in the world would want to enhance their failure…ummmm, nobody that’s who. Unless, of course you are that random dead person who is given this option: to die or to FAIL to die!!! Of course then you want to fail well!!! See what I did there!!!!

I was thinking of title options and I had so many ideas I thought, how about you all pick one yourself too so, here goes.

  1. Failing like a pro (but that’s not what we want)
  2. Who wants to be a failurenaire (ummm, no one?)
  3. The life of a failure (but that’s speaking negativity into my life so thanks but no thanks)
  4. How to fail with your head held high (this sounds like a self-help book though so hmmm)
  5. Failing is normal (or is it?)
  6. Failing is fun (said no one ever)

So if you like any of these title go ahead, pretend that’s what this blog post is called… you are welcome!!

There are over 7 billion people in the world… and counting!!! Woah, that is A LOT!!!! You know what everyone has in common (besides the fact that they are all human and they have blood flowing through their veins, meh there’s a lot actually) but the big one is everyone is a winner! Yeah, I said it. The reproductive system is a battle of the fittest. The quickest sperm makes it to the egg, the fittest zygote becomes a baby, my biology is not on point but you see where I am going with that. We are all winners by the time we are born. We have already won at life by the time we start to experience life. How cool is that? But sometimes we forget this fact.

I am a failure, I tell myself. I am not good enough I whisper in my head. You have failed; I say when things don’t go my way. It’s not worth it, you will fail, I tell myself when I try to make life altering decisions. What, you are going to do what? I ask as I contemplate the thought of failing at something once again. The life of a failure, I think. That’s me, that’s my identity; I am a failure at life!!

Hold up now, how many times can you get some form of “fail” into a paragraph. Apparently a lot, and that’s how much you can get that in your mind, in your heart, in things you do, in your life! We are so consumed with the idea of labeling ourselves and our action based off of how things did not go our way. Trust me when I say that there have been so many such moments in my life. Rephrase that, there ARE many moments like that in my life. I am quick to sulk, to hide in shame at the failing that is just so unavoidable.

I have failed so much in so many ways. In life altering choices, you know what I’m talking about don’t you. You are so sure that you have made a great decision, you have thoroughly thought about it and played out different ways it could turn out and you are confident that it will work for you. And then, bham, life happens and you are wondering how in the world that actually looked like a good idea in the first place. How could you be that naïve!! Then there’s the academics, man oh man. I remember clearly that time in the IB when I got a 2 for mathematics and I had to pray and ask God for the best way to break the news to my dad. Now, if you have never heard of the IB, the grade ranges from 1 to 7 (with 1 being the lowest grade you can get and 7 being the highest). So yes, getting a 2 was a definitely fail.

I have failed in my relationship with daddy Jesus. Yep, I said it. I have gone through moments when I knew exactly what I was being called to do, whether it be talking to that person in the bus, to pray for someone or even to just give a word of encouragement. You would think after so many years of leading I’d have that figured out but no ma’am. Sometimes the Holy Spirit will be on that “yo, listen to me right now” tip and I’ll be like “who are you again HS?”

I have failed in relationships, be it friendship, intimate relationships and even family relationships (especially family relations). These failures have looked different but one thing they have in common is the fact that they get me to a place where I am crucifying myself and counting all the ways I could have done better. Yeah, life huh!! Human beings are SO HARD to deal with right? There have been moments where I have failed to choose grace over anger or peace over commotion, or patience, or love, or serving… See where I am going with that. Human-to-human interactions are such an easy fail yah?

Through all of the apparent failures in my life I have grown, I have learnt and I have (hopefully) become a better person. I have gotten to a place where failure is not an option because, why not? I have realized that moments of failure are APPARENT FAILURES and there is no way one can fail at life. Don’t get me wrong, of course we will come out sort sometimes but is it really failing? I recently discovered a quotation that speaks on this. It goes “I didn’t fail, I paid for the lesson”. How cool would it be to take this perspective in regards to failure?

According to the “Nosi urban dictionary” (yep, that’s a thing…or is it?) failureship can be defined as “the ability to use an unsuccessful result to boost your initial condition and yield a better end result.” It can also be defined as “living life without letting shortcoming define your path” or “taking every insufficiency and using it to your benefit or learning from mediocre and below mediocre conditions”. Isn’t that cool? What if failure wasn’t what we thought it was? What if we changed the meaning of not meeting your goals? What if every unmet goal was received with a “how do I improve this to give myself (or others) a higher fulfilment”? Wouldn’t that be cool?

What am I getting at? I really don’t know. All I know is I refuse to be defined by a lack of result, I refuse to acknowledge apparent failure as a hindrance. There is so much more that is there for me, for you, for everyone but we are way too quick in assuming that we are less of a person because we “failed” at something. What is that? Those things, those unsuccessful moments should never define ANYONE. My Daddy tells me I am more than a conqueror, he tells me I have been bestowed with all wisdom and understanding…. He created me and thought “it is good”. How then can something as good as I am go through moments of self-doubt that are inspired by failing?

I don’t know about you but as I start a new academic year I am confident that failure does not exist. Lessons paid for do instead and, man, I do not want to pay often but sometimes paying is necessary to move on and acquire a certain set of skills (Taken… haha). I am taking back the word “failure” and redefining the art of failing to propel me forward because, hey, the only way to go is up and forward right? Instead of failure I am putting in hope and success and running with that, in the next academic year and even moving forward in my life.

We are called upon to be successful; everything that we embark on is bound to work well for us (even if it takes a long time sometimes). Hope means that we have a desire for something good to happen and, in turn, we have a certainty that these good things will happen.

So, whether it be academically, in relationships, friendships, leadership, spiritually and any other area really, I challenge you this year to put successful and hope at the forefront of anything you undertake and to start mastering the art of failureship. I challenge you to never let failure rule, because really… what’s failing anyways?