Dealing With Loss and Uncertainty.

Just as the title of this post says, 2020 has been a year which has brought just that- loss and uncertainty.

The other day, in my bible studies group, we were discussing how this year has brought so much loss for many people. COVID being one factor, waking up to the same BBC news report of the number of cases going up and up, you would wonder if the next person would be a family member or your loved one.

Regardless of that, this year has not been easy. We all suffered the loss of basketball star Kobe Bryant- sitting here writing this post, I guess it still feels weird to say he has gone. I also remember the exact moment Caroline Flack sadly passed- I just began to question why we are all constantly reminded of time to grieve and mourn, whilst we are also reminded that people are loosing their lives on a daily.

Nevertheless, dealing with this period is not easy. I am very grateful that I haven’t had to experience it so deeply myself, but I know of people who have had to deal with it, and it can be tough. Whilst I went around doing my research and speaking to people, I realised that there are many ways of dealing with loss and uncertainty, it is subjective. But I hope these next three points would help anyone who would be going through a difficult time.

1. Remembering there is a time for everything

I’m a Christian, and you’ll always here about my faith on here. Ecclesiastes 3 talks about how there is a time for everything. There literally is a time for every single moment, and as unpleasant as it sounds- there is a time where we will all depart from here and from our loved ones. All good things must come to an end and it is okay to take time to adjust to good things or good people’s lives ending

One thing I also want to stress is to not live in fear- to not let our current circumstances around us drive us to insanity wondering if it’s yourself or a loved one going to pass next- I don’t believe this is God’s intention for us.

2. Dealing with it in your own way
Many people experience and handle loss or uncertainty in different ways, I believe there is no wrong or right way to do so. Finding what works best for you will likely make the process much easier and help you to get a speedy recovery. Whether that be spending some time to understand your loss by yourself- or spending it in the comfort of your friends and family. Whatever works for you well is the way you should go forward with it.

3. Looking for a positive future
We are more than halfway through the year, and whilst it hasn’t been an easy one, you have to look for a silver lining somewhere. It’s not the best to have a mindset that nothing positive could come out of this year. Whilst the grieving process can take a while to go through for people, try not to let it consume the remainder of the year. There is still hope that you will go through this tough season, and this could take the help of family and close ones to be with you through the journey.

What ways have you managed deal with loss and uncertainty? Comment below

Thanks for reading!

Has God entered my 2020 ?

Hey !

So, after deciding what post to write before March started, I thought to myself, I haven’t discussed my faith/journey with God on here in a while.

No particular reason, I guess I’ve had a transformation or a twist with my relationship with God lately.

Let’s get the negatives out of the way:

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2020 started on a high. I was in a good mood and everything I envisioned for this year, I looked at with a positive mindset towards it. I guess I can say the same for others, all I would hear from people were how they wanted to start afresh and leave the disaster that 2019 was. To start a new decade with a bang. 3 months into the year and I can say it’s been good so far, not easy but good, I guess.

Now, one thing I didn’t do this year was make a mood board/ vision board. My regular pattern of creating a vision of the year by writing it all out on pieces of paper and sticking it on my wall had taken a halt for this year. I guess I wanted to not put so much pressure on myself regarding goals I had to achieve and to just live, take each day as it comes.

But that came with a risk as I wasn’t being held accountable for anything- one being my relationship with God. The mood board acted as a way for me to check on myself and see if I was truly keeping up with what I wanted to do, so now that I didn’t have my mood board- I had no accountability.

My main goal for the year:

One thing I established in 2020 was that I didn’t want my faith/relationship with God to fluctuate. As that happened A LOT throughout 2020, one season I’m reading my bible and praying and then another season I found myself drifting away from God even more (blame procrastination). I did not want that to happen this year !

So how is that goal going – it’s much better than what it was previously. Although it’s only been 3 months I can say I haven’t fluctuated much, but I think the main goal is to increase my relationship with God. And not the typical saying of “get closer to God” but actually make it personal. I would like to find out my way of hearing from God. Some people hear from God through dreams, visions, the word- I would need to find my method

One thing I want to do is do deeper bible study. See the thing is, the Bible is really a history book, (this should be a walk in the park since it’s what I do in uni) so, it’s basically just evaluating what happened in each time frame of the bible, taking the valuable life lessons from it and applying it to my daily life !

How is your relationship going with God at the moment ? What are you striving to do to make this year count ?

Romans 8: 38 “ And I am convinced that nothing can separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow- not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love”

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2020 Is That Year.

2020. The year of clear vision.

The start of a new decade. I really had to sit down and ‘deep’ it. I have lived for a decade and I’m about to enter into a new decade. As I listen and read the many phrases of “you are about to enter into your best year yet” and “2020 we’re not slacking” I start to wonder how I can make this year my best.

2019 was hard. I’m sure many people can attest to this, for me personally the combination of second year of university, working on my personal development, my blog and applying for placements (which is too complicated to go into I don’t even know how to explain) it was a tough rollercoaster. It’s weird how people can relate to the feeling of 2019 bringing nothing but disappointments, lack of achievements and hurt.

But hey- it’s 2020, if you don’t remain positive, who will ?

1. Stop saying “New Year, New Me”.

Now I’m not trying to be a negative Nancy here, but stop saying this phrase unless you are actually going to do something about this “New Me” thing. I’m sure many of us on social media have seen the various stories and posts of how 2020 is going to be better than the previous year (including the woman who is stepping up on those steps with a box named “edges” signifying she is not leaving that behind lool) and how this year is going to be the best year yet because “I am now a changed person”. But it’s easier said then done. Don’t just say the phrase for saying sake- act on it.

Yes 2020 is the beginning of a new decade and it is good to have a positive outlook of your character for the year; however, it is important to remember that come December 31st 2020, you are not going to see a change in yourself unless you have worked on it
consistently throughout the year.

2. Get an accountability partner.

So, if you are going with this “New Year, New Me” vibe, at least get someone who can be
accountable for this. My suggestion will be to write down all your goals, either financial,
spiritual or character motivated and hand it over to someone who will be willing to check you up on some of your goals you had for the year. This can be someone close to you like a sibling, parent or a good friend. Make sure they are reliable and motivational though, you wouldn’t want it to be someone who doesn’t care about your growth or wellbeing. Therefore, look for someone who is going to add to your improvement and be accountable for your goals.

3. Get a gratitude jar.

I was introduced to this idea by my friend Tisha, who suggested getting a jar and writing on a piece of paper something you are grateful for within that day. By the end of the year, you can empty the jar and read all the things that you are grateful for within that year. I think as we go through the year, we may go through struggles or difficult time that makes us forget the smaller things we can be grateful for. Just having air go in and out of our lungs each day is a blessing, that can be something you put in your gratitude jar !
If you want this year to be remembered as a year of success, this gratitude jar will help you achieve it.

4. Just live.

This point applies to my generation, the younger 20’s or the older teens. I’m sure you have heard the saying “This new decade is going to be wild- you’re going to be married, having kids and buying a house” wait up, hold on a minute ! Please we are just 6 days into 2020 !!
Yes, the next 10 years ahead of you may look like a lot in terms of life changes, and it’s
nothing to be afraid of, but I urge you to just take this year and just live.

There is nothing wrong with staying focused on your future, but also remember to take the time out and just enjoy the year that is ahead of you. My “New Years Resolution” as people would like to call it is to just branch out of my comfort zone and try out new places and new activities, travel more and just LIVE- Not be so caught up and be strict on the goals I had planned for the year.

Thanks for reading this post, I hope you have a pleasant and peaceful year, and here’s to
new posts within the new year “ *clinks glass*

Remain Blessed.

ESSENCE TALKS 5 – THE BBL DILEMMA.

It’s Friday. You’ve just come home from a long week of work and your girls have invited you for a night out of drinks and fun. Despite your feet aching, your hair not being washed and your heart desperately yearning for your remote to watch Netflix in bed – you decide to go. That silk black dress that you know is figure hugging is eagerly staring back at you as it lays on your bed.. but then your head slowly starts to drop down almost as if you are a baby struggling to stay awake as you look at your “FUPA”

Okay story telling is over- let’s address the elephant in the room. Orrr page…

Yes, the infamous BBL, the abbreviation that is going all around the streams of social media and has now become the new trend/phase lately causing numerous of girls to go under the knife and causes numerous amounts of debates online. And here I am to add my own 2 cents into it.

Why am I calling it a dilemma? :
I decided to name this post the BBL dilemma only based on the reason that I am literally stuck on whether I support the option to have a procedure done and whether not to. I wouldn’t say I’m contradicting myself by supporting two different options but let’s just say I am in support of a person’s choice to change an insecurity if they have the means to and it is not detrimental to anyone’s wellbeing. However, I am also in much support of women not automatically succumbing to social trends based on their body part and then going under the knife is then seen as their only option to getting rid of a body part that society has deemed unflattering. So, since I haven’t come to a solid conclusion about which side, I’m on I will call it a dilemma.

The Biology Lesson:
BBL’S or Brazilian Butt Lifts is a surgical procedure in which fat is transferred from different body parts such as the abdomen, hips, lower back and thighs through liposuction and then transferred to the butt to create a desired look of a larger butt or a curvier body.
I can’t pinpoint exactly when it started to be on the rise in terms of popularity, but I believe it began to be an American craze before it crossed borders to the UK. According to the BBC there are several reasons why BBL’s cause severe damage or even death to women, such as injecting the fat the deep muscle tissue which can be incorrectly put into the veins, fat being transferred to the bloodstream and then to the heart, or it being done by inexperienced practitioners.

Image result for bbl surgery

Average People:

This whole post was inspired after watching Live from Layfield’s YouTube video talking about the problem of average people (mainly being influencers, youtubers etc) getting these procedures done. It leaves us to really question where the line has to be drawn with it. I like the points they were making, and it really made me question some of the things regarding these surgical procedures, one being about insecurity.

I’ve started to notice that you are never really going to be happy with your insecurities, whether it be the size of your height, your FUPA or the size of your butt, how it doesn’t agree with the size that society has deemed to be acceptable. But the fact that going under the knife to create something that agrees with societal standards, doesn’t mean deep down you have changed your insecurity, you have almost just masked it.

So, when its average people promoting this procedure and ‘influencing’ to follow suit, I guess it leads us to question are they really influencing body confidence, or influencing societal standards?

Solutions:
Like the YouTube video said, I believe the main solution to this is to know who you are in Christ/ or at least know your worth if you are not religious. God did not make any mistake when making you, this is evident by making you very unique to everyone else, no one else has your fingerprint even, if you think God made you the same would he have let things such as the amount of hairs on your head be the same as everyone else’s? I’m not trying to preach here but its’ food for thought.

Others include:
-Limiting your social media time: One tip that Is recommended is to have a limit on your social media time, I would say Instagram the most, bodies are plastered constantly all over the explore page and it can be discouraging to one’s eye. If it’s really affecting, you decrease your time

-Verbal agreements: if this means standing in the mirror every day for 5 minutes repeating to yourself “I am happy with my body” then by all means do so. Verbally repeating something to yourself each day will aid in increasing your self-confidence.

Thanks for reading x

#ESSENCEINTERVIEWS 4

Hey!

So, I am back with a long-awaited ESSENCE INTERVIEW, where I discuss life with inspirational or motivational people, and I ask them about any tips they can share about their journey to their current position or about any life lessons they have learned. If you haven’t already you can read the previous interview I did with Laila Mensah (Fusion of Cultures) here

So, in this edition, I have Manny Ade, a YouTuber and a radio presenter of his show protonixmusix

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I wanted to bring someone with a different perspective, since he is my first male on here since starting ESSENCE INTERVIEWS (*dances away*), I thought it would be exciting to talk with him and discuss his passions for Christ and his love for music, so here is the talk I had with Manny!

So, tell us the background behind your creative side e.g. your channel, radio show, your photography etc?

Funnily enough it came from a dark place of frustration actually. I was born in the UK and then moved to Nigeria when I was six, came back at 16, spending a total of 10 years out there. In Nigeria we didn’t have subjects like media within academia, so I wasn’t tapped into that, but I realised I was always a creative kid (making and creating stuff). When I came back to the UK, after GCSE AND sixth form, you’re at the point where you are trying to figure out what you would like to do in the future. Initially I had picked computing and ICT as that was available to me at the time. It got to a point where I realised it wasn’t what I wanted to do. I was never into 9-5’s and I realised it just was not for me at all. I am a very outgoing person, so I started to consider if this was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.

One thing I always loved was music, as a kid I would always be on blogs and eagerly waiting for the next album to come out and drop. I then considered becoming a producer at one point, then I thought of starting off my own label- I really had big dreams.

Around 2015, I started planning towards a website, started blogging and launched the website on my birthday. This website included a radio feature and from then onwards I have just been enjoying doing radio!

What/who inspired you to start Protonixmusix?

Protonixmusix is a pop culture show, but I play Christian hip-hop. It still touches on mainstream media but also touches on the Christian hip-hop scene, this is because I am now a fan of it and I find it is really minute, so I feel like I’m in a good space to help push it.

A guy called J.Monty was the first guy I came across in terms of Christian hip-hop, ever since listening to him I have been inspired to really promote Christian hip hop.

You changed your show from mainstream to Christian hip hop- as a Christian, what’s your opinion on Christians listening to secular music?

It’s a tricky one! Certain people may say it’s a conviction, certain people may say to rule it out completely, certain people my say not all secular music is bad. Personally, it’s hard to detach myself from hip-hop as that is something I will always love, however at certain times, there are certain people that I would not listen to. I do think it’s a conviction thing to a degree, if it’s something that influences you wrongly, I would say cut it out for a period of time and see how it changes you, if there is a change. But to be on the safer side, cut it out completely. For me I still listen to secular music but there is a balance between the two.

With music it’s hard to put a cap on it, there are attachments to it, I have grown up on the Kendrick’s and the J Coles, so they have a place in my heart.

How do you keep focused on your path with Christ, being a young male especially with social pressures e.g. raving, parties etc?

For me, certain things come easier for me e.g. not drinking or smoking. So those things have never been my vice. With regards to relationships, during university things such as lust and sexual sin are things that we have to battle with. But in general, I don’t find it hard. I don’t find myself in situations that would get me to act out of my Christian character, even when I do, I am just me. I am very solid in my walk with Christ, I’m no superman but I have always been individualistic, I don’t get influenced by my friends a lot also. If there are things, I struggle with then I take that to God and we figure it out.

You are very open with your faith online, e.g posting scriptures and making your show Christian based ,what would you say to younger people who want to be bold in Christ but feel shy to?

I would say go for it. I don’t care where I am with my walk in Christ, there are times where I feel super on fire, and there are times where I don’t feel it. The logic behind it is that- the sacrifice that God has made through Jesus, it’s almost selfish to me to know that this is the greatest gift to man, why wouldn’t I want someone else to experience it. If I know that having Christ in my life is this good, then why wouldn’t I share. It’s as simple as that. I don’t care about what others think ( to some degree we do we are human beings after all) I personally feel that Jesus is the solution to everything, so if I can help someone and give them a glimpse to what I know to be- the greatest gift, and I might as well share and give them the greatest gift that I have received.

You have been on YouTube for quite a while now, what are the lessons you have learned and what tips can you share to anyone who wants to start a channel ?

BE PREPARED- know what you are getting into, don’t look at the glitz and the glams of it, there is a lot of hard work be super consistent.

When I got into it, it was for the fun of it. If you are going into it purely for the money, then try and reconsider doing it. Do it for the fun of it but know if you are going to take it seriously, it is a full time job.

I would say prepare and be consistent- something I even struggled with. You can find there is a good high at the start, but there was a point when it got daunting (consistently editing and uploading)

If you can do it, go for it- but be an individual and be unique, you don’t want to be packed in for being like everyone else, you want to go into it and want people to know you for your individual self. Have your unique selling point- someone is going to gravitate to you.

Thanks for reading and make sure to check out Manny’s socials for more content !

YouTube- Manny Ade’
Instagram : mxnnyade
Twitter : @MxnnyAde
Protonixmusix: 

 

 

 

 

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

My Paris/Travel Blog

So initially I never had any plans to travel in 2019. I had spent a lot of time, effort and money last year in Toronto, that I said this year I’ll just kick back and enjoy the goodness of the UK. However, when my good friend Yelena invited me on a girl’s trip to Paris in January, I just couldn’t resist! I said yes and we instantly started planning. I was in Paris for a total of 5 days and 4 nights, and it was a packed, fun-filled trip. Here’s some of the activities that I got up to, it was really a lovely trip and I would recommend everyone to do!

Day 1: CHAMPS ELYSEES, EIFFEL TOWER, ARC DE TRIOMPHE

So, on day 1, we went straight into the city and tackled the biggest landmarks possible. Since we had a limited time in Paris, we thought it would be best to tackle the most important things first and then go for other activities later. The good thing about these places is that they are in close proximity to each other, either by walking or by metro, so it was fairly easy to do these landmarks in one day. I must say- the internet does not do these justice, its truly a sight to see by the naked eye, the amount of intricate detail that goes into each design makes each building spectacular in its own way. I never appreciated architecture that much until I saw these buildings, no shade but London’s skyscrapers can kind of be off putting in terms of design in comparison to France, it really makes you value the amount of time and detail that went into the creation of these buildings.
When you go to these places, they can be quite busy, especially during days of clear blue skies, so patience is needed when trying to get a good camera shot! However, it is so worth the time and energy of looking at these lovely landmarks- it truly is a sight to see.

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Day 2: DISNEY VILLAGE, VAL D’EUROPE.

Day 2 was spent releasing my inner kid at heart- at Disney village. I swear no matter how old you get, a part of you will always jump at excitement once seeing the castle or the numerous Mickey Mouse signs. That day was a bright and sunny day, causing us to take great photos around the garden areas and release our inner silly selves! The village consists of numerous amounts of shops to buy souvenirs; however, I would recommend buying it at stands at the Eiffel tower, due to a cheaper price and variety.

After this, we enjoyed some lovely Chinese at the Val D’Europe shopping centre near our apartment. To me, it was similar to Brent Cross or Wood Green- many shops and many places to eat for a cheap price, therefore saving us loads of money.

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Day 3. LOUVRE, PALAIS DE VERSAILLES, NOTRE DAME, FOIRE DU TRONE

This day was jumbo packed with activities to do – so by the end of it we were so knackered ! firstly we set off for the Louvre museum, this was the place I was most excited about as of course the Mona Lisa was going to be seen, however my friends and I were just excited that we got to breathe the same air as Beyoncé and Jay Z did. I must say the museum is so beautiful- I know I keep repeating this word but it’s honestly the only word I can use- I was just so in awe by its beauty.
So, my mission was accomplished, and I got to see the Mona Lisa. Guys, it’s tiny. Like tiny…
It has a whole room dedicated to her as she is protected by glass that is most likely bulletproof, two wooden blocks and not 1 but 4 security guards by her side. I took my picture and then I left lool, the crowds were ridiculous !

I would recommend going to see other artworks apart from her, the museum holds thousands of beautiful paintings full of loads of history to learn. You can ponder over statues such as Venus de Milo, St John the Baptist and the Sphinx. Those places are less crowded, and you can really see the beauty of each artwork that is present. Most importantly the museum is free! (gotta love a bargain)

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So, we did end up seeing the Notre Dame in all its goodness and glory. I wish I could go into what happened, but I wouldn’t want this post to be too long. First of all, it truly is a spectacular building. We didn’t get to go inside due to the long queue wait, but simply gazing into the exterior of the church was breath-taking. I thank God for two things- one for his protection as we didn’t go on the day of the fire and two because I got to set my eyes on this building beforehand, not many people got the chance to view the real thing- and although they are rebuilding it, it will never be the same as the original, therefore I remain grateful. However, once billions of dollars were raised within weeks of the fire, it leads you to question where the world’s morality really lies. After all, we know there are people dying and in poverty due to war and conflict, and to this day we choose a building over innocent lives… I guess I may go into this in another post, but it’s just food for thought.

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Lastly, we went to this amazing funfair called Foire Du Trone- and it really put the UK’s funfairs to shame. Forgot what you see at Winter Wonderland or Brent Cross, France has the best funfairs hands down! although it was freezing cold, we didn’t let that stop us from enjoying delicious churros and crepes, as well as all the amazing rides!

Day 4: VAN GOGH EXHIBITION, SACRE COEUR

On the last day we decided to indulge ourselves in our artistic splendour and spend the day at the Van Gogh exhibition, this was held at the Atelier des Lumieres and was honestly one of the best exhibitions I had been to. The exhibit consisted of a warehouse transformed into a digital viewing of all his works. No matter what position you were sitting in, his artworks were projected across all walls, making the atmosphere almost terrestrial. It was a great experience.

Lastly, we made the journey to the Sacre Coeur cathedral. It was so peaceful not only because you weren’t allowed to talk but because of the high ceilings, candles being lit and the stained-glass windows. My friend Yelena and I actually took a moment to pray, and it was so relaxing because everyone in the church was so peaceful and posed. Definitely added to the calm atmosphere. It makes you reflect on all the opportunities you get to travel and enjoy with your friends, so a few minutes to demonstrate some gratitude to God was the least we could do!

And that concludes the post, Paris was an awesome trip and will definitely be seeing me in the near future again! Watch out for my next post where I share tips on travel and travelling with friends. 

Stay blessed! x

 

Essence Talks 4

Mo Money, Mo Problems !

puff daddy dancing GIF

Hey guys,

So, after a long-needed hiatus (blame uni of course *rolls eyes*) I’m back with a new essence talk- this is where I discuss my views on a topic that has normally been chosen by my followers on IG- so keep a watchful eye on my stories where I announce when the next essence talk is coming up!

Today I am talking about teens and finances- the handling, the spending, the saving, the preparation, the cash losses, and the numerous, numerous amounts of L’s taken (slowly reminisces on those struggle times lool)

I guess my talk begins with growing up. I always questioned why in the UK, young children are not educated on the processes of taxes, credit scores and mortgages. I mean unless you’re going into a career such as engineering or construction, or anything lab based- I don’t necessarily see the need in me learning how to find the value of X or how to do simultaneous equations in math lessons.

Secondary school times consisted of me spending away my weekly allowance as if I was Bill Gates himself lool- back then, something like a tenner was a lot guys, it was a lot. Little did I know the importance of spending in moderation and saving and investing. I remember watching a video from Debbie Crown, as she is quite fond of spending and handling business. She said something that really stuck with me- imagine from young if she had saved at least £20 a month up until the age she is now (let’s say she’s like 24-25) she would actually have a lot right now to indulge in any investments, start up businesses or simply the ability to treat herself whenever she worked hard. Man! – I thought to myself “why didn’t I have that same mentality of money preservation when I was younger!”

It wasn’t until my late teen years on this earth, that I started to realise the importance of money management. Since having a personal accountant or banker to guide you through your finances is not available (they also cost money) I decided it was high time that I focused on my finances and took control of how I was utilising it. Now you may be wondering- you’re not married, looking for a mortgage, or own a business, so why are you so fascinated with handling your money? I believe starting or getting into the habit of doing so will lead me into setting myself up for success by the time it is time for me to go into all of those requirements that need me to spend. (God willing)

Teens and Money Today.

What I must say is, I feel empowered. Almost everyone around me is “hustling” or trying to find their path to earn an income. This is what makes me proud of my generation, and majority of it is done through talents- whether it be hair, makeup, fashion or simply having a part-time job on the side (which is very hard to do when you are enrolled as a full-time student) everyone is trying to take on a hustle that would allow them to be financially independent and that’s what I respect.

Unfortunately there is the negative side to this-the pressure to aspire to be a part of this rich percentile that fits into the brackets of designer shoes, diamond chains and luxurious accessories- now I’m not judging and I’m definitely not throwing any shade, but I guess teenagers today live in a world where social media presents itself as a platform to display your luxurious items all over, for the world to see. The thing is, many of these things don’t come through from legitimate means, and that isn’t shown on social media, so these “luxurious” items act as a disguise to the reality of things- the realities of how these items were bought in the first place. Well that is a different topic for a whole different new day.

Financial Education.

If I had the power to change the current syllabuses of Maths in the UK, believe me I would. I don’t believe it takes a university fee of 9 grand and over for young adults to realise that handling their finances takes priority and should be done with serious consideration. I believe that if we were taught with the ability of handling our finances appropriately, we would be able to make smart decisions. My parents have always been advisable when it comes to managing your money, none of them work within finance, but of course they have had years of experience of surviving in this Britain to know the ins and outs of utilising your cash, therefore I think I’ve been alright so far. Of course, I get out of control sometimes with the occasional unnecessary purchase (usually make-up) but I’ve learnt that yes, whilst money comes and goes, it should be wise of you to slow down on the spending and save up for future investments.

Tips:

1. Control your spending:
Whenever I go on my shopping trips, I play the value game. I literally ask myself if this is valuable to me? do I really need it? And what benefit is it going to give to me? If I can’t answer these things, then it’s probably not worth me tapping my card of the machine for it. It’s imperative that the money leaving your account is worth the time you spent to earn that in the first place.

2. Get a savings app
Now I’m probably playing myself as I am yet to invest in a savings app (don’t worry it will be done after this post is uploaded lool) but there are some good apps out there such as YOLT or MONZO that help set you weekly or monthly budgets and help you to track when you are overspending. I think this is great as everything we need is normally stored on our phones, so we can track our daily spending. Alternatively, we can have someone accountable for your spending e.g. a parent or close friend who can monitor when you are going over budgets

3.Have a savings account
Now this can cause a love hate relationship- but I love it more than hate it. Having a savings account is great as it allows you to store money away into another account which can help contribute to things like Christmas or holidays. Also, most banks give interest on savings, therefore you will get more money accumulated over time. However, I’m guilty of transferring between accounts most of the time as it’s so easy to do so (literally done through a phone app) so it can get tempting to pass over money to the current account- I guess you have to be really strict on yourself to avoid doing so.

Thanks for reading !

 

 

 

 

The Fast.

Hey! How are you!

From the 11th to the 15th of Feb I decided to fast. This was my first official time doing this under my own controlled settings and terms. I must say it has changed me and transformed my outlook on my Christian life and journey, so I decided to write about my experience of it. Also providing some tips on how to go about it especially if it’s your first time- don’t worry I’m a foodian just like you guys and fasting is nothing to be scared about.

night court eating GIF by Laff

So, for those of you who don’t know what fasting is, it is basically when you remove a common thing from your life in substitution of getting closer to God. Now this is mainly associated with food as it is a common thing you need daily; however, I did a social media fast in addition, removing my accessibility to both during this time of my fast. Instead a person fasting would substitute time spent making or preparing food or time on social media and decide to pray, read a chapter of the Bible or just serenade themselves in worship music.

My strategy for doing so was to fast from the moment I would wake up until 6pm on that same day for a period of 5 days. This meant no food was to enter my mouth until 6pm when I would break it. All social media apps were to be logged out of, however I wished I had just deleted them as I was tempted to check my Snap or Insta stories from time to time. The only app I allowed access to was WhatsApp as I have university commitments which uses that app as a means of communication.

My day started off with worship and a reading from the Bible plan ‘Fasting with A Purpose’ which was perfect as it was 5 days, so it could keep me going and I never missed a day. I would then set off to uni, but even through that I tried to incorporate God in everything that I did, so as I walked, I listened to a worship playlist- Tasha Cobbs was really doing it for me lool, or I would just take time to reflect on God whole heartedly. After uni, I would do any work needed then watch a sermon- Michael Todd’s sermons really captivated me, specifically his ‘Charged Up’ series and his ‘Church Sucks’ series. Then by 6pm, I would say a final prayer and break the fast!

unnamed

Why I did it ? 

So, the main reason why I did it was to prepare myself. That weekend I went to a retreat in Wales, and I knew I wanted to prep myself for a weekend which I knew was going to be hectic and transforming. But truly it was social media. I WAS ADDICTED! . When I say addicted I think I was truly at my worst, although I was not active by posting messages or pictures, I would be on my phone from morning till night, so badly that my mind was bursting to read a book or prepare for my week at uni, but I physically could not shut my phone off, as if it there was a sprit controlling my hand and glueing it to my phone- weird right ?

I just knew I couldn’t continue so a social media fast was needed in order to free my mind for a while.

Let me just say- IT WAS HARD. I refuse to sit here and type, boasting about how easy it was to not eat or use my phone until 6 pm. Especially with a hectic and demanding university schedule. I was drained and miserable, and had low energy all the time, so concentrating on a lecture was very difficult to do. I guess with the social media fast, I should have had a build up to it- as going from being my phone’s best friend to completely neglecting it for a period of 8+ hours became very difficult to do. I believe on one of the days I had to break my fast in the middle as I was on campus for 9 hours, so energy levels were seriously dropping, but I didn’t let that deter me from continuing.

What I learnt : 

I learnt so much about myself during this time of fasting. One thing that you’re not meant to do is to boast and let others see that you are in this time of fast:

“When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show others they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that it will not be obvious to others that you are fasting, but only to your Father” Matthew 6:16-18

And yes, I did just that. Everywhere I went I uttered the words “yeah I’m tired as I haven’t eaten for like 5 hours” and I was waiting for their “Pele’s” in return. I realised this was not the correct way to go about it, we shouldn’t boast about being in this state and we definitely shouldn’t show it in our body language, no matter how weak you may feel. Instead, I learnt just how much reflection I could do, and how Jesus himself must have dealt with the 40 day fast, we are really not like the highest, in a sense of power I guess, our bodies physically can’t go 40 days without food or water, so I guess this shows just how powerful and might Jesus is as he could endure it.

Why you should do it:

– It surrenders yourself to God
– It draws you nearer to him, as the things we spend most of our time doing e.g. scrolling through timelines is spent reading the word or watching a sermon
– Brings humility, you now reflect on your positioning and your priorities, one week was enough for me to realise that I spend an excessive amount of my time on unnecessary things.
-Detoxes your mind: There is more to apps! Walking, chatting with friends, sitting in a park- anything that will allow you to be removed from your phone is great for your spirit and mind.

So I end my post here, my first fast wasn’t the easiest to be consistent at but I must say it has taught me many lessons, I hope to repeat this act of fasting throughout the year and pray that it strengthens my intimacy with my Father.

Remain Blessed x

Growing Up As The Only Girl.

Oh. So … we’re really going down memory lane huh?

Okay no problem.

It was so random when I thought of the idea of writing about my experiences growing up being the only girl. So yes if you didn’t know I’m one with three brothers all older than me, one residing in Ghana and the oldest being in his late 20’s. Whilst this may not seem like a big deal, there are probably girls in my position with 5 or 6 brothers, I still thought it was great as I could reminisce on the good old days of begging my brother to play Barbie and watch Bratz on TV with me. This will also include my perspective of being an ‘African’ only girl as I believe so well that this will differ from let’s say the… British perspective.

Oh yeah, you can have the chance of gazing into the pictures of my early childhood as a treat, I guess!

Phase 1: Adolescence

small pic

I always wonder how a girl who grew up with brothers who loved football, Power Rangers and colours of dark greens and blue hues, could end up being a girl who is a lover of beauty, hair and female empowerment. Basically, how I didn’t end up being a tomboy. As a young girl I loved playing with my brothers, and I guess I could say the same about them. Let’s just say at this age I was prone to receiving the palms of my mother’s hand against my thighs in quick motion if she caught me playing with her Fashion Fair foundation or caught me walking in her red pair of heels across the flat. Goes to show that from a young age I was never drawn to those things my brothers loved. Every Christmas I would still crave the longing of a Barbie doll whilst my brothers ran around the other Toys R Us isle for the latest action figure of Spider-man and Ben 10.

Additionally, I had a neighbour who lived 5 steps away from me (literally) who I played with almost every single day. We’re still close to this very day and I must say she was my style icon when I was younger. From teaching me to gel up my hair, to what clothes I should wear for that summer fun fair to applying my first set of individual eyelashes for a party I went to in year 9. So most of my after school evenings were spent at hers. So, around this time, I guess it wasn’t such as big deal that I was the only girl. Yes, I longed for that same Sister-Sister style relationship I had with another girl, but simply I enjoyed being around my bros. There were definitely some hilarious memories that I will never forget- just not the same if I grew up with girls I would presume.

Phase 2: The Awkward Stage.

prom pic

Ah who can forget the joyous days of secondary school? The times where you would go in and laugh till tears came out of your eyes, the times where hormones are raging and you’re going through mixed emotions- emotions that only a fellow female would relate to.  See it’s quite difficult to adjust to bodily changes around the female region (you know what I mean, I’m not going into detail, everyone should have done GCSE Biology) and not having anyone to talk to about it besides my mother was not easy. I guess this is the stage where I needed the ‘sister’ I so longed for the most. By the time I joined secondary, my older brother had endured at least 2 years of school, whereas the oldest had already progressed towards college days. It still baffles me how I managed to organise and do my prom all by myself with the help of my mother of course. But even that- the age difference is a bit you know somtin somtin -from time she said I should do pin curls or geri curls to prom I knew yeah “Mum you are really not familiar with our time period are you?”  I must say I have a lot of female cousins, and just like my old neighbour, my summer holidays and half-terms were spent at theirs. Whenever I had an occasion to go to, be it wedding, birthday or any party they were always at my beck and call. For hair and makeup- I guess my personal beauty team, only we were related and I loved them very much lool.

So, with this growing adolescent stage came the time where you may hear the frequent statement of “You are now the woman of the house” “You have to cook for your brothers” etc bellowing from your mother’s mouth. My fellow Africans, why is it that the women is automatically seen as the lady of the house in terms of cooking and cleaning whereas the men are ushered into their careers of money-making, high-position corporate places? It is 2019, and we have come along way for the female. And that’s why I love empowerment so much, but I must say during this time those words began to remain forever in my memory. It is then that I wouldn’t say I gained a bit of envy, but I soon realised my ‘place’ in the household in comparison to my brothers. I don’t know if this was a way my mum used to prepare me for adulthood and motherhood as in reality you do have a duty of providing for your family, maybe a better method could have been used, which could have stopped me comparing myself to how my brothers got treated in the house.

Phase 3: Present

now

So here is 19-year-old me, currently typing away right now amongst other things I have to do. I guess the big question is- did I struggle growing up as the only girl, and the answer is no, I haven’t struggled. It’s been a crazy journey and being the only girl has impacted the way I think till this day. Yes, having a sister would have been nice and eventually I will get one once they get married, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that being an only girl has taught me so much about the male mindset. How they think, develop and mature. It’s actually quite funny.

And besides, a sister is so much more than having somebody who shared the same womb as your mother, I consider my friends from school, from church and my relatives all to be my sisters.  I wouldn’t change any arm wrestle, any playfight and any moments of struggling to hold the Xbox controller for anything. It’s the memories that matter to me the most.

So, if by chance you are reading this and you are an only girl in the midst of pulling your hair out of your scalp to help cope with the stress- don’t worry, it’s okay. Years after, you will look back and be grateful for these memories that will never you, and it is with this that I end my post.

(waits for applauds)

Too cringe? Lool

Stay Blessed x