The Christmas season is in full swing and we know it, based on the number of videos surfacing on the internet with people dancing to Omunye on tables and roofs. Yes, roofs! The festivities are so wild that if the song Sister Betina comes on, we all forget who we are and what are dreams are, because dance we shall dance! Well, while we get our groove on and allow the merriness to help us relax, it would be great to take a recap of the year we had, and what a year it was indeed. We survived break-ups, we survived set-backs, we survived disappointment, we survived emotional break downs but must of all, we SURVIVED. Honestly, this deserves one large big breath in and one large big breath out, because it was a packed year. What I loved most about this year is growing with you, the reader, the feedback has been amazing. There is nothing that warms my heart quiet like hearing back from you and knowing that, ey…You are not alone in this, we are all dealing and some better than other, but dealing nonetheless. The growth that is knowing that we do not come here to gather to throw a pity party, but that actually it is about identifying the areas that lack, the areas that are empty, the areas that have been broken, and deciding to no longer walk around bruised and beat up, but actually take things in our strides with practical solutions. I love that there is awareness in self growth and deciding that, I, above all else and everyone else will teach both myself and the world how I ought to be loved. I, first and foremost must understand who I am and how I want to be loved, to ensure that I can teach the world how I want to be loved. The most simple and basic concept, but hardest to grasp. On the bright side, we have come a long way, a long beautiful way that ought to be celebrated.
So, here is to the last article of year, and I decided to get brutally honest and allow you into my world and share with you the struggles, the victories and the thing this self-love journey has taught me. Grab a cold mocktail, some carrot sticks and enjoy the read
Things I learnt this year;
The world does not owe you a good heart – I went about my life with my heart on my sleeve, believing there is good in everyone. I believed that all people are good, you just need to search hard enough, because everyone deserves to have someone patient enough to search beneath the layers of hurt they cover themselves in. I was right, because everyone does deserve that. What I was wrong about is that loving someone should come at the cost of loving yourself. Being self-sacrificial is you telling yourself you do not deserve the same love you give out. You always honour your well-being first, and ensure that the love you give is an overflow of the love you give yourself. You should never operate from an empty well.
The world will treat you the way you treat yourself – You can try fool everyone, and convince yourself that you know who you are and what you deserve. Yet, if your actions contradict what you tell people about your self-confidence and self-love, you will pick it up immediately in the way people treat you. The way people treat you is a reflection of what you allow. Someone can cross the line, but it is always your duty to set straight how someone chooses to treat you. That comes in standing up for yourself and ensuring that people know what you will and will not tolerate. This is not to be clothed and covered up to ensure you do not offend anyone. Anyone who is offended by your truth should not be in your space, because to choose to not acknowledge someone truth, is to silence them. Unapologetically protect your space.
Love can wait – I was so desperate for love. Desperate to give love. Desperate to receive love. The funny thing is, how can I possibly give love, when I did not know how to love myself? How could I possibility receive love when I did not know what that love should look like? All my life I was knee deep in a relationship, I never had a chance to get to know me, and understand me. To be able to discern when the love I was receiving was lacking and when the love I was giving was from a place of desperation. It was not until I pledged to myself a year for me that I fully grasped just how toxic that is.
Get to know yourself – We spend so much time getting to know people, we rarely afford ourselves the same luxury. The luxury of fully understanding who you are and allowing yourself to embrace yourself fully. The strengths and the faults. Doing a SWOT analysis of yourself. I decided after my last relationship, I will take a year out for me, a year to get to know me, find me, understand me, understand my love language, understand what needs work and what needs to be strengthened. It was the best and worst decision of my life. The best because I badly needed this. I badly needed to breathe and take myself in. Fully and wholesomely take myself in and understand who I am. Discovering my strengths has been amazing, working through the areas that have been broken and fixing them. What I was never ready for, is the full length mirror that comes with facing yourself. Seeing all the things that need work and are toxic about yourself. That is the actual worst, the beauty in it though, is that I get to uproot the traits I do not want within myself.
Pace yourself – The thing with being a dreamer and a go getter, is that your dreams and ambitions are fast paced. You want everything now, you need everything now and are keen to achieve. This is great, because it drives you and motivates you to go after your dreams. On the down side, it strips you of living. It takes away living in the moment and enjoying the sun on your journey. It was only recently that I learnt that enjoying the journey will not slow you down, if anything it enhances your focus. It allows you to explore yourself and in turn strengthens the quality of your work.
What do you love? – What makes your heart bump, your adrenaline rush, your laughter come easy? No, not a relationship, not anyone. What makes you happy? What are your hobbies? Haven’t got any? Find them. Search for them and allow them to colour your life. I discovered an insane love for travelling and it has been amazing. It has become my way of showing myself love, the feel of traveling fills me with such great love!
The nay-sayers – I rarely talk about people who hate or come to tarnish what you are trying to build, because I feel it is a serious waste of time and energy, but it is essential to address. Whenever one is trying to build something, be it a brand, your mental health or anything of importance, there will always be disruptive energy brought your way. Unfortunately, this is a part of life. Being able to discern intention is important, because it can derail you tremendously. I recently had someone tell me that being beautiful and single means something is wrong with you. My natural instinct was to ward them off and ignore the comment, because in truth it is thoughtless and the mentality not worth arguing. Later however, the thought kept popping up, because the seed was planted. I had to seriously introspect and find why this bothered me so much, and it stemmed from a place of fear. Fear that my decision to be single and alone may ward off potential future partners, because the question always remains, what is wrong with you to have been single for so long. The truth is, any person with such a mentality is not worthy of your time. For a few reasons. 1) They must not know themselves, because their question insinuates repetitive dating habits without a time out. 2) They believe validation comes from having a partner. 3) A relationship is a cushion more than it is companionship, which means it is bred out of a place of desperation rather than love. 4) They are toxic, in that they have no problem insinuating you have a problem without so much as understanding both your reasons and thinking.
There you have it, in a nut shell. The year has been rough, but most importantly it has been enlightening. They say one cannot have growth without being stretched. This year was challenging, I survived one of the hardest break-us, I survived disappointment in my academic career, I survived unemployment, I done went and did the damn thing and survived.
Until next year, I wish you a Merry Christmas and a prosperous, audacious, self-loving, self-reflecting, self-understanding new year. I promise next year will be better, it will be happier, but most of all it will be the best year ever! I mean it!
With a tad bit of crazy