TWENTY.

So…

We’re officially in the adulthood stage aren’t we ?

Can’t consider myself a ‘teenager’ can you Efe ?

Sigh. I would repeat these questions to myself at least twice a week for the 6 months that created the first half of 2019. Boy was I scared !

Yup, so i’ve finally made it to 20. The big 2 0. The cut off point of the word “teen” ,and the time where you realise life is just coming at you really fassss !!

The time where your beloved uncles and aunties will walk up to you and say “Eyyyyy Efe , you have grown paaaa” or the time when your mum travels back down memory lane and constantly reminds me of the time when I was a baby crying with my Eczema skin. Yup, this is the time when I knew these statements will come to pass and , well , it’s finally here.

I must say I was really scared to turn 20, when you realise it, it’s actually a whole 2 decades on this earth. It’s just something about having the word “teen” in your age that sort of preserves your innocence. It’s the time where this new decade will probably see me walking down the aisle, raising a family and starting my new life as an accomplished woman- is it not scary?

Normally I would be so excited for my birthdays, since it’s at the beginning of the month it only leaves me with a few days to countdown to the exact time it hits midnight on the 9th of June before I can celebrate. But this year was different. As each month went by, I was getting more anxious about entering my twenties , and also it being June , making me realise that it’s halfway throughout the year and time is ticking away for me to reach all of my goals.

Jackie Aina’s video on “Things They Don’t Tell You In Your 20’s” came in handy as when I sat down to decide on what I would include in the post, watching her video allowed me to hear some great advice from someone who has enjoyed and lived throughout their 20’s

She gave advice on the things I guess i’ve heard before – making your dreams work, enjoying singlehood and of course wearing SPF 😂 , but the one thing that stood out to me was not being too hard on yourself.

The minute I was settled into the year of 2019, amongst other things I was preparing for, I immediately started to be very harsh on myself and my accomplishments. From questioning how far this blog has come, to my personal achievements and of course ‘comparing’ myself to others and what they had achieved by my age. I guess this is what caused most of the anxiety throughout the beginning of the year- comparison.

Of course your 20’s are vital years , they are the years where your life can change drastically , and your life can transform based on the decisions you may decide to take through it – but one piece of advice I would give to any 20 year old reading this now – is to make it your selfish years. Make it the years where you put yourself first. At least that’s what i’ve decided to do.

Allowing society to impede on your overall outlook on your life is definitely not being selfish. Being selfish is taking a step back and analysing what you want from your life and making decisions that would purely be of your benefit. Your 20’s only come once in your lifetime , let it be a time where you are making decisions for yourself and allowing them to make you happy.

I guess another thing I would say is to take risks, at the end of the day you are still young. So having a trial and error period (of course not letting it be detrimental to your entire future) is no problem. Allowing these years to be a time of trialling and making small risks doesn’t have to be scary at all.

Overall, enjoy this new era ! Not a lot of people made it to 20 , and if you have and are reading this then you have done a pretty good job!

Thanks for reading ! Stay blessed x

It’s December: What are you waiting for ?

Hey Readers !

Funnily enough, I remember writing this post back in November, so initially this post was meant to be entitled ” It’s November: What are you waiting for?” but I thought to myself- Hmm, before I type another word, why don’t you apply this to yourself first before you start writing and directing people to make choices with their life you haven’t even done yourself ( slowly whispers “Efe you really tied it” to herself)

Background story over- the purpose of this post this week is exactly written in the title. We have successfully made it to December 2019. Now I know not all my readers are religious, but I would like to say personally that God has been very good. When you realise it, going out and making it back home safely is a blessing and that has occur for every day of the year, and God definitely deserves all the glory for that !

But at this time of the year, you see the various tweets, Instagram memes and our dear famous sister reappear on our various social media pages. I don’t know her name- but she looks like a Beatrice… So we are … going to call her Beatrice I guess…

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This time of year, we are always talking about the things we intend to do for the next year. Whether it is to start that new diet, or to start that new business plan, page or YouTube channel. Whether it is to start on a new project or to start saving towards that dream car of yours. It is always projected over into the new year. Yes of course, it is good to have visions and dreams for the new year, after all a new year presents that start for everyone. But really, what’s the harm of starting that new thing in December? after all we do have 31 days to start ahead, so why not just – start ?

My friend always used to say “life is too short”, and I’m sure we are all familiar with the phrase YOLO as well, and I certainly have applied that to my life. This very blog that you are reading this post on is a perfect example. I had been contemplating starting this blog for God knows how long and I was also adding all the worries of life on top of it- so it seemed as if this blog was never going to come into existence.

But I revisited the phrase, and simply thought- Life is really too short ! Not to scare you or anything- but our days here are numbered on earth, and wouldn’t you want to have a peace of mind that that thing that has been your long lasting passion was developed into a great idea ?

For a long time, I had suffered from what is known as the “what will people think of this” syndrome. I thought to myself, I can’t do this and expect people to actually pay attention to this, its pathetic. I do want to write a post about my initial thoughts about this blog- but that’s another topic for another day.

Let me not digress any further. The point is, I think we need to just start whatever is bugging us to do, and this doesn’t have to be massive things such as buying a house, because obviously it takes some time and preparation. But whether it is investing in that book, or starting your own website. Even calling that friend you have been planning on speaking to ever since September- NOW IS THE TIME.

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Don’t let December and this Christmas atmosphere deter you from getting head start on that dream you have been thinking of every day since the year started. Even if it’s a brief plan or blueprint of how it would plan out to be, there’s no harm on starting a bit early, to ensure that it all works out successfully.

Thanks for reading and Stay Blessed x

#ESSENCEINTERVIEWS 1

Hey Readers!

So I’m back with something exciting and new, since September I’ve been pondering on this new segment called ESSENCE INTERVIEWS, where I interview successful people on tips to do with motivation and their journey to get to where they are now. It wasn’t until the beginning of October that I put this plan into action, and by the beginning of November, this planned was birthed into reality !

So I start off this segment with a very dear friend of mine, someone I’ve known since I was like 4 years old and someone who inspires me more than ever- Desiree Henry. Desiree is a British sprinter from North London who competes in the 100 and 200 meters races. So far she’s acquired an amazing bronze medal in the 2016 Rio Olympic Games and a silver medal in the 4 x 100m relay in the World Athletic Championships in 2017. Amongst these many achievements, she is an Adidas ambassador and lover of photography ! It was such an honour to catch up with her since I haven’t seen her for over 7, maybe more years ! I’m glad that I got the chance to start off my new segment with her, and I look forward to continuing with this with more great people to interview! Check out the interview here :

  • So Desiree, how did you know you had a passion for athletics ?

    I feel that my passion for athletics began when I attended multiple competitions and just found that I was winning ! Of course everyone wants to be the best, everyone likes to win and feel successful and have their moment, and after winning a few races, I just wanted to do everything in my power to maintain this and be successful, become an athlete and be successful at it, so I believe my passion started from there.

  • Do you feel pressure to stand out amongst thousands of athletes that are around the same age as you, if so, how do you deal with this pressure?

    Most definitely , in terms of the pressure I have to realise that, yes athletics is an individual sport, and the competitiveness is extremely high in the UK, but I think what puts things into perspective is when I went to America, and found that not only are there girls my age running just as fast as me, working just as hard as me, but it was the numbers. I’m sure that there are 100 girls that could do what I do, and that could knock peoples confidence. But that could make me think how am I going to make myself feel even more special, I just think to myself my drive is completely different to their drive, it’s just remembering who I am, remembering the work I have put throughout the years and not discrediting it and just giving myself a pat on the back and realising that all my efforts haven’t been for nothing, and I’m going to be successful regardless, even if it means I’m my own cheerleader you could say.

  • What is your favourite thing about being an athlete ?

    Hmm, my favourite thing about being an athlete would definitely be the travelling aspect of it, being an athlete has opened up my eyes to so many cultural experiences, and not only cultural experiences but being able to experience it through travelling and going to different countries, a big thing for me when I started off being young, was travelling around the UK. I thought that was the greatest thing, but now athletics has brought me to places such as South Africa, China, The Bahamas, America etc. It’s just incredible that I’ve had these opportunities to go to these places ,so that’s not only comepetition experiences but life experiences, that have been amazing and have been able to achieve through athletics.

  • Do you feel that the sporting community is lacking in black females, form diverse areas e.g London ?

    To an extent, yes. I am lucky in the sense of  the generation of sprinters we have are top female sprinters , that are London sprinters, so I feel like we have the representation there. Of course we have to think about the future, what are the future generation looking like for upcoming sprinters ? and I wouldn’t say a lot of them are from London, but I think we are lucky for the support and for me to do my job which is to represent London the best I can, even if that means winning a medal. Just giving the younger generation, hope and a future. Then I would also look at a wider scale, London is partially represented in out sport, but on the grand scale, are black women represented in sport in general ? If it just means that I can do my role and get my face out there as much as I can, then I’m doing a great thing, we are on the right path of having well represented black female athlete.

  • What makes you gain confidence in times of anxiety, for example when you have a huge race coming up or a big interview etc ?

    Well for me, when it comes to races, I’m at the stage where I’m running against my heroes, my idols and all that kind of stuff. It’s really easy to crumble and get sucked in and forget all he hard work you’ve put in, but now I’ve been able to train my brain, that when I’m standing there on the line, those days of sweat,blood and tears that I’ve put in at training, it’s going to be for a reason. This is the moment that it’s all been worth it for, and I think it only takes me a few seconds to simply realise that and once I believe that all the work that I’ve put in has been worth it, and all the work is going to help me with my performances, I just feel unstoppable! I can look to my left and to my right and be like ” right, let’s go, bring it on!” because I’m confident in my work.

  • In terms of motivation, what would you tell your younger self ?

    I would tell my younger self, the hard work that you’re putting in right now, maintain it. It’s going to define you as a character and separate you from not just being an average sprinter but being one of the best in the world and a world class British athlete, so I would commend myself on that, on my perseverance and determination. I would also say- enjoy the journey ! You are going to experience a lot and in experiencing alot, take a moment to just appreciate every single opportunity. Whether that’s going to a new country and racing there- take a moment to walk around and explore the country because another thing is, you’re gonna travel the world a lot, but just make sure you get the real experience and not just see the tracks, the hotels and repeat that cycle but try and get that experience in. 

  • What would you say to someone who wants to follow in your footsteps and gain exposure for their career e.g boosting themselves on social media ?

    I would start to think how can I help myself, and I would start with things such as charity events. That way you are doing a selfless act, something that is not going to bring financial gain out of it but to gain experience and communicate with people, that could be an amazing thing. So by charity events, this could be giving away old clothes or speaking at schools etc. Because it ultimately helps you to build your own character and it gets you think to think from another perspective, so if you’re going to a school and you are going to speak to people from another generation, if you’re an individual or an athlete, everyone has had life experiences, and everyone can learn from a moment and if you can share those experiences and what you’ve learnt to to a younger generation, again through that you have done a selfless act- share it on social media! It’s not a problem at all. And yes people can say, “oh well, you’re only doing it for social media clout” but also you did something amazing, you took time out of your day, not getting paid by it, but taking time to help others, I feel like that is a  major important thing. It’s important to build yourself first, build your own self confidence and to get to a place where, you don’t feel as well that you need outsiders to tell you are great or amazing, but simply spending time and building on your own self confidence it the best thing. 

  • And girlllll, I need some fitness tips so, what are the essential/starter-kit basic things to getting that body in shape

    Right, we are getting right in there ! When we say “fit body” people have to remember, it is not going to happen overnight. If you are going to the gym, I’m telling you don’t look in the mirror the next day, thinking you’ve made an improvement – because you haven’t. But this shouldn’t discourage you, but I think the number one thing is – brace yourselves- CARBS !
    As much as we love our rice, bread, pasta etc, that is the number one thing I would reduce on my list. I personally don’t have any carbs, but for someone that isn’t an athlete and they are doing their day to day things, I would reduce the amount. By this I mean having 1-2 carb dishes a week, eventually progressing to having no carbs at all. I tell you that is where a lot of fat comes from.
    Tip number 2 – everyone loves a good ab circuit workout. and if you can implement at least three ab workouts a week, roughly 10 exercises for each of them =, I feel like that’s an amazing foundation for you, just to introduce exercises into your body. Nothing too strenuous, something easy, maybe if you are watching a Netflix show or just chilling, something that is not taking major time or is taking out time from your busy day. I believe those two, would be my top 2 things, if you want to start your journey to a healthy and fitter lifestyle.

  • Any lasting things you would like to say..

    I used this quote the other day “dreams don’t work unless you do” and this can be applied in every aspect of your life. How I relate that to me- if I don’t go to training, if I don’t put in the work and effort, how am I going to be successful ? You or anyone else can apply that by making sure your going to lectures, going to seminars guarantees you graduating or getting the grade that you want, whether your a teacher or something, going to work inspires the next generation and helps them too. So that has been my quote for the day, – ” dreams don’t work, unless you do.” 

So that’s the first post of this new segment completed ! I’m so excited for starting this and can’t wait to see what come out of this. I would like to thank Desiree for contributing to this and you can find her on :

Instagram : desiree_lh
Twitter: @DesireeLHenry
Facebook: Desireehenryfanpage
Youtube: Desiree Henry

Thanks for reading !

 

 

 

Setting Your Mindset Up For School

So, it’s officially September (seriously guys this year is going too fast, I can literally remember the 31st of December 2017 when I was in church getting ready for the new year ha ha) and if you haven’t already seen the back 2 school adverts on television and the college enrolment posters on billboards and train stations then maybe you’ve just been hiding under a rock look. But it is definitely back to school season! and what better way of starting the month off with some tips on how to prepare your mindset off for back to school.

I think the first step to getting in the right mindset is doing it PRACTICALLY. And by this, I mean getting the necessary resources for a good school year. This can range from correct uniform if you are in a secondary institution, or getting clothes needed for sixth form or university. Stationary is essential for school, this can range from notepads to folders, to flash cards, highlighters, even a good functioning laptop is needed if you are in a higher institution. Practically getting yourself back into the school zone will give you a good shock, and tell you that you are going to have a great school year, and you’ve left that lazy holiday mentality back in Ibiza (or wherever you went lool…)

Secondly, it’s all about the MENTAL preparation. Let’s face it, school can be stressful, very stressful. I’ve mentioned in the past about taking care of your mental health, and I can’t reiterate this enough- its so important. School is a place where you make friends and meet them every day, however it can also be one of the loneliest places, especially in university (I’ve had my experiences of this too) so mentally preparing yourself for what can seem like a long year is very important. So, try and do what is best for your mental health, whether by talking to mentors or councillors, family members or investing in your faith e.g. prayer. Going in with a strong mind can help you when you face obstacles such as exam stress.

Lastly, PHYSICALLY. I don’t think this is really talked about enough, but physical health is really important too. It can be simple things such as eating healthy and having a balanced diet. At the end of the day you need to have energy to focus and perform tasks to the best of your ability in order to perform well at school. So gradually beginning a routine of getting enough sleep, eating the right things and drinking enough water can really make a difference to your school day. And this depends on where you are in your education, for example a Uni student may need a lot more energy for all-nighters and long library sessions in comparison to someone who has just started year 7, so take time and evaluate how much energy you need for a school day. Physical health is just as important as mental health. Both work in unison.

In conclusion, this was just a short post put together, as I was reflecting on how I can make my school year a better and efficient one. I thought it was great to share on my blog for those starting school soon, or for those who have already started a new year. Wishing you a blessed, prosperous and enjoyable school year!!

My Culture is Not for Sale !

So, this week I have decided to blog about my opinion on the idea/theme/social construct or whatever you would like to phrase it as – Cultural Appropriation. The whole scepticism around the concept, and how it has affected me directly or exactly how it has affected girls my age or around my ethnicity.

But first, let’s define the term as: “the unacknowledged or inappropriate adoption of the customs, practices, ideas, etc of one people or society by members of another and typically more dominant people or society”

In simpler terms, it’s the process of taking another group’s culture, or traditions or lifestyle and adopting it as your own, and therefore making it accepted in your culture, rather than theirs, hopefully that makes sense?

The term arose around 2016/2017 and it came to it’s prominence due to its association with celebrities such as Kim Kardashian, Katy Perry and Justin Bieber all facing criticism over it. Even celebrities we recognise today such as 6ix9ine who regularly use the derogatory word “n*gga” in his lyrics is facing high criticism from let’s say the “black culture” after using the term quite frequently

So why would anyone be offended over this idea? Let’s look at it in depth. The whole process of it is when you are taking a person’s culture (mainly of a lesser dominant race) and using it as your own. An example of this could be when Kim Kardashian wore braids and posted it on her Instagram account. On the outside, there is nothing wrong with it, after all she is just wearing a hairstyle, isn’t she? However, the problem starts when she referred to the braids as “Bo Derek” braids after the famous actress who wore the hairstyle in a movie. Many black women were highly offended by this act, stating that she completely disregarded the history of braids and cornrows, as it can be traced back to relating to slavery, as those were the styles that women wore before they boarded slave ships and had their hair removed, it was apart of their culture and customs, and unfortunately it was stripped away by the slave owners, due to their wanting of them to assimilate to western types of hair which is mainly straightened.

Other instances include singers such as Katy Perry being criticised for wearing Geisha which is the tradition of Japanese culture which includes wearing pale white make-up and elaborate hairstyles. This stemmed from her American Music Awards performance in 2013. Many people again were hurt and offended by the act, which she later apologised for. Now there is not anything wrong with wearing other people’s cultural attire or materials, it can simply mean you show appreciation for their culture and are interested in it. However, when it is culturally accepted by a person of a dominant race, whilst the weaker race is criticised for it, it becomes a problem and many people who view it happening on social media become very offended by it.

So, what is my opinion then? I completely understand the hatred and the annoyance coming from the receiving end of cultural appropriation. After all, imagine wearing something you find attractive, but when a person of a higher status or wealth wears it they are praised and adored for it whilst you are ridiculed for it. However, I believe we have to look at it from both sides. Taking the example of black cultural appropriation, with hairstyles and facial features such as lip shapes, aren’t we doing the same by doing processes such as contouring noses and wearing weaves and wigs? There is the argument of it being protective styling and beautiful, however we happen to take the culture of Europeans or Caucasians by wearing straight wigs, even with the emergence of frontals to make it look extremely realistic (as you can see I am digressing into hair talk)

But the point is, in realistic terms, we take things from people’s cultures all the time, sometimes without realising that we are doing so. This is not necessarily wrong, as it can be considered as a way of appreciating the beauty in one’s culture, I think where the problem lies is when the persons culture is not being accepted for its originality and praised when someone of a different culture takes it into the public light. Whether culture appropriation would ever be solved is the question, as time goes by, people’s cultures are being shared and intertwined with others rapidly. So, should we start to accept that this is occurring, or should we put an end to appropriation due to the harm that it causes to the lesser dominant race ?

Thanks for reading !

Issa Testimony !

So, I’m back with a new post, it’s been a while as usual (I’m familiar with my inconsistent uploads now ha!) but today I decided to write about how important it is to talk to God- like literally how important it is to tell God everything.

As we all know prayer is when you are having a conversation with God right? And we think that God is this super being who is bigger and powerful (which in fact he is) therefore our prayers must be super formal as if we are writing to the Queen herself. But I’ve learnt that telling God the smallest thing, even though it may be embarrassing or uncomfortable to mention to God really does help as God answers prayers.

Lately I’ve been struggling to talk to God – LIKE REALLY BADLY. As in I can’t even formulate a sentence to say to God in the mornings as I am usually cranky and tired from sleeping all night, and then before bed I usually watch a little YouTube or scroll through Instagram and that usually puts me to sleep- but not talking to God. It’s got me quite worried as in desperate times of need e.g. exam season I can spend hours with God, but in times of enjoyment e.g. holidays, I struggle so badly to have a conversation with God. But then I try and remember the times when I was honest to him about my feelings and struggles and things turned out for the better from then on.

Little Testimony: So this year I created an Amazon account as I had some old textbooks I didn’t need any more so I decided to sell them, now I’m not sure if anyone would agree on this but Amazon is a very complicated website, like very complex so of course I made a mistake and set up my account wrong, so by doing this they deducted £15 from my account which of course I was very angry about. So about over a period of 2-3 months I battled with them back and forth constantly about getting my refund as there were several steps involved in the refund process. It was a long and frustrating time in getting my refund, however I realised I had not even spoke to God about it. It just hadn’t come to my attention that I hadn’t told God about my problem that I had. So, I decided in the morning that I would actually talk to God about this problem and within a week or so of doing that, I received my refund. Lesson learned.

So, this is basically a lesson to you and to myself really about the essence and benefits of telling God everything, even from the littlest thing to the biggest. Even things you may think you can handle on your own and in your individual time can be helped by the power of God. I would say this is a contradiction as I honestly do struggle with this myself and I hardly tell God about the real deep things that I may be feeling, however I guess this is something I need to develop on and be more serious about as God really does care about every single detail in your life. Hope this helps !

Stay Blessed x

Why I Write.

 

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So, I guess I could say that from a young age I’ve always loved words. It began with reading and you could describe me as a “bookworm” in the sense that my head was always wrapped up in the latest adventurous story that were printed on pages. Eventually I realised that words put in the right frame have the power to influence, educate and transform people, and that is why I write!

Previously I’ve expanded my work from poetry to Spoken Word which is a format of speaking poetry aloud to a crowd, once again with the motive of either educating or inspiring people. This can be used to support examples of famous speeches from Martin Luther King, to Maya Angelou to George the Poet. These speeches have gone down in history not only as revolutionary but powerful and motivating speeches that have changed the world. Evidently so, it has paved the way for many changes in society.
However, I attribute some of my works to artists such as Suli Breaks and DYLEMA who are both UK poets/spoken word artists. Not only because they are captivating in their words and writings but after seeing them both perform live, they’ve left that impact on me that still directs me to my spoken word pieces today.

Suli Breaks, most notable for his piece titled “Why I hate school but love education” which has gained close to 9 million views on YouTube is what particularly attracted me to his work. I guess what made it gain such prominence is the fact that it was targeted to many teens, like myself making it very relatable to some of the topics raised in the video. Topics ranging from not being able to fully express your uniqueness under subjects such as English or Maths, and topics such as Black History Month being limited to the generic understandings of Rosa Parks or Martin Luther King. He managed to create a distinction between the purpose of school and the purpose of education which many people could relate to sincerely, simply put it was a great spoken word piece.

Likewise, DYLEMA performed her piece “What If a black girl knew” at a university showcase I attended last year, and her words were truly inspiring. In a short space of 5 minutes she was able to poetically translate to a crowd, common issues that black girls face such as stereotypes of girls in society, insecurities relating to facial features and a lack of opportunities we come across. The fact that once again I could disclose my feelings towards this powerful piece is also what attracted me to her work and motivated me to start writing my own.

So far, I can say I have around three or four spoken word pieces that I can say is finished and accomplished in achieving its goals which is to inspire and to motivate people. I hope to develop my skills further in creating more inspiring pieces to showcase to people of my age and to others too.

Thanks for reading!

 

#MentalHealthAwarenessWeek

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In light of Mental Health Awareness Week, I have been doing a lot of thinking and studying of how mental health is dealt with in the community of young adults, as well as ethnic minorities.

Another blog post will be needed to explain my opinions on mental health in the community that I am from, which will be both young adult and ethnic minorities, but for now here is a spoken word piece that I wrote and performed at an event that was sponsoring the charity “Mind”. Mind are a charity that focus on Mental Health and they offer advice and support to people of all ages who may be going through any mental health problems. This may be through counselling or support teams who offer health advice over the phone. Check out their website to find out more and also to donate ! : https://www.mind.org.uk/

Piece:

Dear Mum
I’m sorry
Probably woke you up from pacing around the room last night
I promised myself I would be quiet this time, but It just wasn’t right
See this time round I could hear the ticking of the clock on my wall
As if it was physically driving through the veins and streams of my head
Preventing me from being able to talk.
Sorry that I sounded like a 2-year-old child being forced to sleep alone
Without the comfort of his mother’s arms generating heat, penetrating through to his bones
See instead I stayed in a room where, you might as well call it one of the poles
Because the cold that was circulating around was to deep for my soul
See, I’m sorry
But I just don’t get you
The minute I could actually verbally articulate just what I’m going through, you just say “darling don’t worry, it will brush right over you”
The sleepless nights, the constant headaches, wondering how you even made it through another day
Yeah it will just brush right over you
See I fail to understand, that because of the melanin that’s being released through my skin
I’ve been subject to numerous repetitions of my mother’s familiar words
Continuously piercing within
“it will brush over you”
See I find it funny, quite damaging how, I’m supposed to pray and expect it to go away
Like it’s a cold or maybe a rash even
But the constant fear of a panic attack, yeah there’s nothing that could ever match
To this pain, that I’m feeling
So, Mum I’m sorry, but I’m not sorry…
Not sorry because society puts me under a bracket of people who don’t understand their health
Not sorry just because I’m apart of a certain ethnicity I’m supposed to keep my hurt to myself
I know you don’t get it, but I will overcome
So, I hope I haven’t shocked you too much, made you go wild
This is just a letter, written from your child.

Natural Hair Update-2018

So, I would say its been about 2 years since I have transitioned and completely gone natural (although I haven’t been strictly counting) and overall, I have to say that I have enjoyed it thus far!

Compared to my last post about me not really enjoying the process of taking care of the hair and only enjoying the aesthetics of it, I think it’s safe to say that I am getting the hang of the taking care process. It took me some time to get used to and actually learn about what my hair likes and what my hair doesn’t like. One thing I’ve learnt about myself is I guess I don’t like change that much, so once I find something that sticks and works, I stay put until I find an alternative that is more beneficial to the growth and strength of my hair

In terms of products I have stuck to the Crème of Nature Argon Oil shampoo to wash my hair as I enjoy how it makes my hair feel clean and fresh, additionally, it being a sulphate-free shampoo makes me sure that it is not going to be stripping away the essential oils that my hair needs. With regards to conditioners, I haven’t found my staple product yet, but I find myself switching between Tresemme’s Moisture Rich conditioner and the ORS Olive Oil Replenishing Conditioner. They both give great moisture to my hair which my hair seems to like a lot. As for my daily creams I am strictly sticking to pure shea butter that is straight from the motherland of course – Ghana, and my Jamaican Black Castor Oil. I find that these two works extremely well in moisturising my hair and keeping it nourished in protective stylings.

In terms of protective styling, I find braids, wigs or any styles where my ends of the hair are tucked in the best way for length retention and an effective way for keeping moisture into the hair. I do tend to have a bad habit of leaving my braids in for a really long time – like a really long time, but I always keep my hair in until I have planned the next hairstyle that I want. But even though it is bad, it keeps my hair growing and it keeps it protected away from harsh weathers that you can get when living in the UK.

So, I would say that my hair once its been blown out reaches my shoulders, however the back of my hair grows way longer than the middle or the sides, so I’m not sure of the actual length of my whole head. I do plan to straighten my hair during the course of the year, to see how long it has actually grown, and so I can continue measuring onwards from there whenever I take out my hair from a protective style.

And that’s my little hair update over! I really enjoy writing these as it allows me to see the progress I have made with my hair.

 

My University Experience SO FAR

My University Experience Blog –

Woow 2018 definitely needs to slow down, because it is already March and I need to catch up!  Happy New Month guys!!

So, as we are already into the new year I decided to reminisce on how my Uni experience has been so far :

First things first, I can start off by saying that being at university has enabled me to learn so much about myself in terms of how I deal with my schoolwork, my friends, my social life and my extra-curricular activities. These past few months have really allowed me to evaluate how I am especially without living with my parents and also with moving to a new city in the UK. So, I’ll explain exactly how my experience has been so far…

Let’s talk school work. So, prior to starting university I had no idea what the transaction will be like from a-levels to degree type of studying, so I wasn’t ready for the big jump in terms of how lectures worked and how coursework was planned out. I found attending lectures in my first couple of weeks quite simple as I had just started, and I thought it would be best to not miss anything important- but by the time I got to the end of my semester the familiar phrase “you’re gonna miss some of your lectures” became to common in my case. I had never attended a proper lecture before coming to university, only through an open day visit or if I attended a guest lecture, so the whole system of adjusting to lecturing style was new to me but I eventually got the hang of it.

You think A-levels gives you independence? wait till you reach university level- now that is where the independence really lies. You are an individual learner to the core! Yes, they provide you with resources and work to benefit you, but it is solely up to you whether you want to use them to your benefit or not, at the end of the day they all impact you on how well you perform at the end of the semesters. But I learnt from a-levels that I am extremely extra so whatever resources they give me I just use it to the fullest anyway, even if it not that necessary to my work.

Okay, enough about the boring topic of work, we know that university doesn’t only include school work but also a lot of social activities on the side. Now my uni (which I can’t disclose for personal reasons and also because I’m not trying to do the most lool…) offers a great university experience especially in your first week or 2 of starting. Once I arrived I immediately knew I didn’t want to be that person who stayed in their room and didn’t socialise with anybody, so I made an effort to speak to my flatmates and to get to know people who I had never come across before, and I am glad that I made that choice as It helped me to make friends whilst I was just getting to know the university for what it really is.

Likewise, with extra-curricular activities and societies, I also made the effort to join some clubs that would not only get me out of my comfort zone, but that would also make my university experience a successful and interesting one. We all need a break from revision or coursework once in a while, so I made the effort of joining societies that I would love to do in my spare time. For example, I decided to let my creative side come out a bit, so I joined a society called Open Minds who specialise in drama, poetry, music and spoken word. It was actually a great experience as I ended up becoming an intern for them and also performing one of my spoken word pieces as their showcase which I really loved doing. There are bound to be some sort of society that will cater to your personal interests, so I would encourage you to join some!

Money- What is that ?? no really what is money in university please? It is somehow non-existent really because it just disappears out of your account just like that! And to think I was watching tons of financial preparation videos before I reached uni to prepare myself in advance. Yeah, knowing me and my spending habits, it never worked really. I probably need to do a separate post on money and finances at university, and the lessons I learnt from it.

Well since I am only in my 2nd semester of my 1st year, there isn’t really much I can say, but maybe I will do an updated uni experience, when I finish 1st year or 2nd year, so that concludes my blog post.
Thanks for reading!