Twenty One + Perspective

 
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I accept that my lateness is a chronic disease which will probably progress over time. Or, I could say that when you’re booked and busy (lol), your focus is narrow and so, most things are often (innocently) neglected - my blog lol. Now you know why my posts are rare! With that being said, cues 22 by Taylor Swift your girl made another trip around the Sun.

Twenty-one was an eye opener. It was filled with lessons; much needed ones that really allowed me to step up and put on my big girl pants. No more victim mode and feeling sorry for myself but rather being accountable for my own life. It made me wiser! Something I prayed heavily for; however, not in the way I expected it to be but that’s life.

Months prior to my birthday, I felt so many changes occurring at my core. I wasn’t sure what I was experiencing but I definitely knew God was up to something. I didn’t even question it. I just trusted Him. And I mean really really trusted Him. Almost like surrendering to the bullshit that was coming at me because I knew He had me. It wasn’t easy. Situations I held onto had to be released in order to make room for new seasons. Experiencing the toughest of times all to manifest the strength I didn’t know I had and understanding that most things in this life are temporary: people, seasons and moments.

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With time, it gets easier. You relax and trust that what’s meant to be will be. And let me tell you, your perspective will shift. The way you react to life will change. People will leave simply because you have outgrown past situations and behaviors. They will not always be understanding of what you are experiencing. And most importantly, it will be OKAY! You will be okay. Life will be okay.

I believe my biggest lesson was: release. To let go and no longer force what I knew was not meant to be here with me. I couldn’t make people understand me and I let go of that need to. It’s been liberating.

For my twenty second year, I want to continue growing and creating the person I believe in deeply. No more making excuses or delaying myself. And definitely, no more holding on. Life is rewarding when you travel lightly - no extra baggage. As Mama Badu says, “All you must hold onto is you…..one day, all them bags gone get in your way. So pack light!

What I asked for this time around is joy and peace. Nothing more, nothing less.

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Better Late Than Never

Happy twenty nineteen guys! I know I'm two months late but better late than never right? It's March. I'm still trying to grasp the fact that we're here already; time really does fly!

I've been asked quite a few times when I'll update my blog. Truth is, I was intentionally avoiding it. The beginning of this year held a huge transition for me and time felt like a distant friend. While this season was all I prayed and hoped for, I had no preview of what I was getting myself into. However, I knew the real challenge was going to be balance. So I shuffled around a bit and decided to remove some things that required too much of my attention. Best decision yet! Actually, it redirected my focus and forced me to realign myself.

I don't have any goals for this year. I am over it (lol). Instead, I read somewhere about setting intentions and taking deliberate action and so, that's my plan! And what are my intentions?

To be more present is at the top of my list. Just as twenty eighteen was closing, someone close to me mentioned that I live in my head too much. And while it was not what I wanted to hear, it was most definitely the truth. And this has forever been the root of my anxiety. I never wanted to admit how much I struggle with it but lately, I'm being more open with myself.

Reading more is one of them too; I've created a list of books which I'm committing to reading this year. No pressure (lol), but I've definitely been enjoying this. It's actually one of my favorite down time activities.

Aside from this, I'm embracing the moments where I'm learning and growing and, forgiving myself at the same time. This year so far, has shown me how much our perspective can undoubtedly shape the way we live. While I can confidently say that this is attributed to my current reading of The Alchemist, I'm grateful for the lessons on this journey and those who hold me accountable each step of the way.

Life always has a way of working itself out and this has been a daily reminder. Just be patient and trust in the timing of the universe. Everything happens as it should and never without reason.

Have an amazing year loves!

Photos by: my dearest Safiya

Let's Be Real (It's Almost 2019)

I just want to be really candid about a topic that's very important to me, and my circle of people. Nothing fancy so please forgive my brutal honesty.

This year has been of the most emotionally draining years for me. I'm not sure how it was for others but I felt like 2018 woke me up from the sleep mode my life was in. The topic of healing came up so much this year; everything that happened to me led back to it. And what came to mind in a conversation with a friend of mine (it always is! lol) was this -

People are afraid to heal because - they are afraid of the truths that may surface or, they already know these truths but aren't ready to face them and deal with them.

Now, I know emotional work is not easy. And I say that from experience. Some days, I couldn't be bothered to do the work. But if you don't heal from your past traumas and experiences, how do you expect to live and enjoy all life has to offer?

You can't continue to walk around being a "savage" or a person with a cold heart and have meaningful relationships with those around you and yourself. Now, know that this behavior isn't synonymous with being "selfish" because boundaries and limits are, in fact, extremely important. However, I'm referring to behaviors you have adopted as coping mechanisms to your triggers; you unintentionally hurt or shut out the very same people who love and care for you but are probably incapable of showing it due to their own demons and traumas. We are ALL dealing with our own shit! That's just the reality. Hence, self-checks are so necessary when you're walking through life.

And this really just ties back into my previous post (kinda, sorta). We have these goals and dreams that we desire but we don't prepare ourselves for them. That preparation involves healing from whatever is holding you back; it involves awareness and bringing to the surface the shit you've buried for years. It requires you to dig deep, acknowledge the hurt and suffering and work on yourself. Because, and I hate to break it to you like this, there's no other way around it but through it!

I promise I won't front on here. My transparency is what keeps me sane actually. I feel like I've been experiencing my worst of worst couple months. But instead of avoiding what I feel internally, I'm facing it.

And it's hard as crap, I'm telling you.

Some days, I can't stop the tears from flowing. Some days, I lean on my friends for support. Some days, I just want to be alone. And some days, I just can't be bothered (lol). But one thing for sure, I never give up on myself. Because believe it or not, I'm still young and I don't intend to be carrying this emotional baggage my entire life. It's exhausting.  A lot of the the things that weigh us down are the things we hide inside us thinking they will disappear.

So yes, here ends my rant. I really don't have all the answers; I'm just learning as I go and I love sharing with those who surround me and vice versa.

I pray you find the courage to heal yourself and walk through those moments with grace. To love yourself through it no matter what reveals itself.

photo by: Krystal Hoyte

Are YOU Ready?

Yesterday, my babe and I were discussing manifestations and our attitudes towards the things we want and desire. We both agreed that there's power in speaking things into existence and expressing gratitude even before we receive them. She shared with me something that I'm going share with y'all (in summary),

"...you have to act like you already won. Instead of asking for it, say 'thank you for this trip', 'thank you for these good grades', 'thank you for this financial blessing.”

Essentially, you're just shifting your mindset from wanting to attain these things to receiving them. It's really about perspective and what we feed into our minds. Our words and thoughts carry so much emphasis in our lives; the more we understand this, the more we begin to understand how life functions.

I'm currently reading 'You are a Badass' by Jen Sincero (plug btw!). The first part sheds light on understanding our conscious and subconscious minds. Our conscious mind create our goals, dreams and desires while our subconscious mind hold our attitudes and beliefs towards these things . When we begin to change our attitudes towards the things we want (these can be emotional, physical or mental), we change the path it takes to get here. There's this saying one of my old teachers drilled into our heads as children, "your attitude determines your altitude (how far you go)." And this couldn't be anymore true!

But what if you've been practicing this? What if you've been training and adjusting your mindset to be open to living in abundance and success (whatever that means to you)? Well honey, you just aren't ready! And this was a hard pill for me to swallow.

You see, every stage in our lives require a different (better) version of us. You have to be prepared and equipped for what you want. If you're not, then you are truly incapable of having it. Think about it: you want to be a doctor but you haven't enrolled in med school, you want to love someone but don't even love yourself, you want to make money (lots of it) but your money management skills are poor. How can we be given these things but don't posses the mindset/skills to have it? And I think that's where most of us are stuck.

We think that when things don't work out for us, the universe is conspiring against us or God isn't listening. It isn't and He is! They just need us to be ready and aware. And by being ready, I don't mean saying "I am ready". It means to be living life in such a way that shows you are.

I've always said that God doesn't give us the desires of our hearts without the necessary tools to achieve them. And it's true; you need to use those tools to prepare yourself for the blessing. These thoughts are coming full circle (for me) because I wrote a post, here, few years back in alignment with what I'm saying. I'll share an excerpt,

"The best thing you can do while remaining patient is to work on and improve yourself. Being prepared is the ultimate task right now while you leave the rest up to God."

A word y'all (lol).

Photos by:

Krystal Hoyte 

Coffee & Self-Care

Saturdays are meant for coffee (cappuccino, for me) & conversation. This is easily my favourite thing to do. And what's better than a friend who agrees to it? Often, these days are needed and, in the name of self care, I'm treating myself to these as much as I can. Food always end up being apart of it and that's a bonus!

Taking the time to indulge in the things that brings you comfort may seem impossible especially if you're adulting your way through this world or constantly in a state of worry about what comes next. That's me at times; I'm an over-thinker and it hinders my ability to simply enjoy the present and be content with where I am.

Lately, I've returned to journaling which helps with the chaos that goes on internally. I release whatever I'm thinking or feeling in hopes that it clears my mind and redirects my focus to the now. I make it a daily practice because ya' girl be tripping! Nonetheless, I'm also reminded that I need to be fully present to truly live out my experience here.

What makes this journey slightly more bearable is the company you keep while you maneuver through this world. A few close ones (emphasis on few) within reach to talk to, to cry to, to laugh with and share with is necessary. There's so much you learn about yourself in friendships; I'm forever a student. It also shows you how to thrive in relationships where different personalities flourish and that's important as everyone is constantly growing and changing.

I'm going to end this by saying that I'm embracing the space that I am in right now; there's confusion and uncertainty and a few moments of "I'm over myself". Some days, I amaze myself by how far I've come and other days I just allow myself to feel whatever feelings visit. Then, I set coffee dates and indulge in the name of self care.

Photos by:

Emerson

May Day

It's been a while; I've been busy with school but I'm back. These past few weeks buried in lab reports, assignments, tests and on-going practicals burned me! And if you've read my previous post on charting a career path in STEM, then you're probably asking why am I "complaining". Truth is, I have never felt so overwhelmed and defeated in all my years of studying.

Tuesday was a bank holiday and, my friend and I headed to Animal Flower Cave. This was my first time going into the cave and it was totally worth it. We later ventured to Speightstown for lunch which I refuse to speak on because the experience was absolutely horrible. By the end of the day, I was worn out; y'all the sun was not playing!

Other than that, life has been shaking me up in all types of ways when it comes to friendships, priorities and the art of balancing. Recently, I had a conversation with a friend of mine on setting boundaries and understanding that no matter how well you treat people or be good to them, it won't make them the same towards you.

To constantly give of myself, time and energy to people with no form of return was exhausting; it was beating me down and it made me question if I'm worthy or deserving of anything good. I knew I didn't like the feeling it brought but I didn't know how to fight it.

I'll share what she said to me, in hopes that it helps you too:

"Just set standards for yourself and if you realize that you are constantly going that extra mile for someone and doing good by them and they never do for you, evaluate the situation. Figure out within yourself why you are being so good to people if they aren't doing good by you.

..I learnt that people will most times put themselves first if it means it will better them. So why shouldn't I? Try to figure out how certain situations are benefiting you and your mental health. Ultimately, love yourself more and let your decisions be guided through your love for yourself."

It has been a struggle to put this all into practice. But I understand it takes breaking old habits, unlearning patterns and being honest with myself. And most importantly, time.

One thing I've been keeping in mind is this: It if doesn't bring me peace or, exhaust me more than it should, then I'm not doing it. However, it does not mean I'm no longer going to give or show up for people, but if I do, I need to be willing to accept that it won't always be returned. It's a process of balancing; when to give and when to simply say no.

Twenty Eighteen

The new year symbolizes a fresh start in most of our lives which prompts us to make a few changes and set some goals. And I'm definitely one to be on that wave.

I entered 2018 with "... a new Year, new me" mindset. Now I know it's very cliche but after the year 2017 gift me, I'm more resolved to let go and trust the process in every facet of my life.

For me, 2018 looks like an intentional year of creating and maintaining my own happiness, establishing healthy relationships around me and focusing on what's important. It's going to be a year of putting myself out there; not to please others but to be true to myself. I've already acknowledged the struggle that I'll encounter because it's going to be a process of unlearning and learning. However, I'm excited for the changes that will unfold this year and I welcome them with open arms.

If its one thing that the previous year taught me was that I needed to be more gentle with myself. And that comfort comes in talking to God openly about everything including my desires. It also revealed me to that the dreams I have for myself aren't going to magically drop out of the sky but they require work.

I opened 2018 with a spontaneous brunch with two of my amazing friends. This morning couldn't have gone any better and I just want to express how grateful I am. I don't want to be a sad mess right now but I remembered the days I asked for moments like these. This has been just one of the many examples of how God has been at work in my life.

Happy New Year my loves! xx

"And now we welcome the new year, full of things that have never been." - Rainer Maria Rilke

What's Happening

I haven't wrote anything in awhile. My heart's not there. I've battled with putting pen to paper and allowing my thoughts to flow but there's nothing there. If I'm being honest, I feel nothing. I don't want to call it a writer's block for the fact that it never occurred to me that writing equates to how I'm feeling or thinking at the time. For me, it just felt like the words were always there.

It's different now. I feel numb. So much has happened and how I chose to cope with it is by burying myself in school. The deeper I go, the more I'm close to being paralyzed. But I promised not to neglect my blog when life hands me these moments; I believe you would understand but you don't deserve the absence.

It's easier to just forget about this for awhile but it's something I hold close to my heart. It has always been my escape from the world but right now, it doesn't feel like enough. I'm not sure where my thoughts are at but it sure does feel like I'm sinking. And that's okay. I've learned to live with it whilst it's here. Just, remember me in your prayers.

Love,

J.

"For everything, there is a season. A time for activity under heaven." - Ecclesiastics 3:1

Do What You Love (STEM Career)

When I was younger, I wanted to be a doctor (a pediatrician to be more specific). After reading Ben Carson's "Gifted Hands", I wanted to be a neurosurgeon. During my first year at community college, I took an interest in microbes and so, I chose my major in Microbiology.

Pursuing a career in any scientific field is a very demanding and daunting journey. It's rewarding but it also has its difficult times. You change and you grow. And grow some more. You develop a greater understanding of patience and perseverance. You fail, and fail, and fail four more times 'til you get expected results. And sometimes, you just don't because life isn't perfect and neither is science. You spend lots of hours crying or probably not giving a care in this world (the latter being the most experienced) and then, making a decision to switch majors. But after a few useless lectures, sleepless nights and endless tears, you get it! You finally do and it's the best feeling in the world (read: happiness).

And that's why I'm still here. I contemplated on med school again and I considered other majors. However, anything else was just a means for me to avoid the growing pains.

What I have learnt is that you can't run away from the things that are there to help you grow in life. God has placed within each of us natural abilities and talents which are all connected to our purpose. He isn't going to give you a dream He knows you can't achieve. And in my opinion, it's all for a purpose; God was so intentional when He created us. Whenever I face doubts about my career choice due to any hardships I stumble across, I always go back to one of my favourite quotes (of course, by a scientist!),

"Where your talents and needs of the world cross, there lies your vocation." - Aristotle 

This has been a constant reminder that I'm right where I'm supposed to be. It can change; nothing in life is fixed but for now, this is where I'm at. 

So if you're like me trying to find what the heck your purpose is, it's usually rooted in the things you love. The things that come quite natural to us. I'm not going to lie and say it will all be easy but I guarantee you that it's so worth it! Doing what you love should not only breed success, but happiness.  

Love,

J.

Tee Turns 21

To my T, 

I love you but girl, why so bratty??

It was that time of the year again. If I said I knew what I was getting myself into, I'd be lying. Don't get me wrong, I've heard stories but I really believed it'd all be smooth sailing. Unfortunately, there were endless tantrums and literal cuss outs over this one day: July 25th. 

Twenty one years ago, Auntie Sandy blessed us with an amazing, selfless, wise, devoted and unapologetically honest friend. There's this saying that goes, 

"...Friendship isn't about who you've known the longest, it's about who came and never left your side." - Mikaela Tiu

Without a doubt, she has stayed being a true epitome of a great friend and most of all, showed me a completely different world that life has to offer. If it's one thing she has taught me is tolerance (she is no sweetbread) and to always get what you want in life. 

So to celebrate, we joined her to ensure that she really enjoyed her twenty-first birthday in spite of some of our plans being cancelled. We endured the full-blown brat side to her and gave her a great one. She's a true diva and the best definition of extra (lol) but we love her regardless. 

Happy birthday, again T! Hope this year is filled with tons of love, granted wishes and growth. 

Here's a really short video that sums up our time spent with her: 

1906: I Made It!

Twenty today.

At the beginning of 2017, my mom looked at me and said to me that I'll be turning twenty this year. I laughed with a little nervousness. Just a few years ago, I was a sixteen year old girl who was so anxious to finally leave school. Now, I'm twenty; officially leaving my teen years behind.

This day isn't about me though. It's about God and his unconditional love for me. He loved me in spite of everything and blessed me to see another year. I've survived another year of life and man, when I tell you it feels good, it does! There's a feeling of gratitude that sits within my spirit and I say this because I know there are others who weren't able to reach this milestone. I'm forever indebted to God for all He's done in my life and has yet to do.

I'm nowhere close to who I want to be; actually I haven't gotten it all figured out yet. However, I'm confident that my trust in God will open doors for me to walk in my purpose. There will be road blocks and many setbacks but there's divine provision all over my life. With that being said, I want to share the (most important) lessons that I've learned along the way and will be taking with me into my twenties:

  • Everyone can't come. Initially, I thought that everyone in my life would be here forever but time has taught me that there's a season for everyone and everything under the sun.

  • Check yourself. Often. Sometimes we are the selfish ones. Sometimes we are the toxic ones. And sometimes, we are unaware of it.

  • Be intentional. With everything you do. Allowing ourselves to reflect on the 'why' helps us to see our true intentions behind everything.

  • Follow your heart. This is my biggest lesson so far. But darling, listen to your heart and she'll guide you.

  • Finish what you started. In the great words of Auntie Sandy.

  • Don't take it personally. I'm still mastering this because if anyone ever comes at me, full defenses are in order lol! But I've realized that what people say or do has little to do with me and more about them.

  • You are your first priority; not the second, third or last. The FIRST.

  • It's okay to ask for help. If you really know me, then you know I'm still trying to accept the fact that I can't do it all alone. I am a perfectionist and I can be very strategic but teamwork makes the dream work.

  • Let it go. Whether it is material possessions, dysfunctional relationships, memories or troubling situations, release it. You'll feel much lighter.

  • Be grateful. For everything. What I've learnt in the past few months is that it could always be worse. Expressing gratitude daily allows me to appreciate all I have at the moment.

  • Say NO. To bad habits, to friends who conveniently use you, to family members who can't and will never understand. To whatever that poses as detrimental to your growth and happiness.

"For I know the plans I have for you," says the Lord. "They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you future and a hope." - Jeremiah 29:11

With love, 

J.

photo: Debra Cartwright

Chapter 20: The Countdown Begins

It's officially eight days away from my birthday and I've decided that I'm going to challenge myself to blog each day until then. I'm not sure how long this will last but let's be positive about it, shall we?

The closer I am to becoming twenty, the more I reflect on what's happening in my life. Lately, I worry about if I'm doing enough or if I've accomplished enough within the past three to four years. It's weird how we can conceive plans or ideas for our time here on earth but then life "does what it wants". It has been different on my account because the sixteen year old me would have never thought that I would be here. And though it's nowhere close to what she imagined, I'm grateful for the path God has set out for me.

My twentieth birthday has me thinking a lot; about my future and the past. To revisit the past is crippling for some but for me, it is the memories and lessons. I'm not one to live there but I do believe in meditating on past occurrences and learning from the wrong decisions. As for the future, it is giving me anxiety. I'm trying to find some comfort in uncertainty but the mind can do things of its own. I'm okay though; it's not to the point where it keeps me awake at nights.

Apart from that, I must admit that I am also a bit excited for what this year of my life will unfold. Of course I do have a few goals that I want to achieve such as being more consistent with my blog, building and maintaining the relationships in my life and learning a new skill or picking up a hobby. However, those aren't all but to just name a few. I'm actually thinking about creating a vision board and hopefully if I do, I'll share it with you guys.

Have a great week loves!

No is No.

"You can pray all you want but if God says no, it's no." - T'shan Tanile

This quote is too real. I'm all familiar with wanting something so bad though the signs were clearly telling me that it's not for me. It's never easy to make the choice to walk away and know, in your heart, that something better is coming. It's a faith thing right? Well, I believe in some cases it's the only choice you really have.

They say that if you want something, pray on it. At least that's what my Umi always tells me. But what if it's not what's best for you? What if God has other plans for you? The persistent me would continue to ask in hopes that the answer would change. At the same time, I know I'm just blocking what He's trying to show me. Sometimes, what we think is for us, is not. And more than often, we are too blinded by the physical accessories and facades to see the truth. In some instances, we already know by what the universe chooses to show us and we ignore her too. We can never attain a full life if we refuse to let go of what we think we want. So when God is closing that door and telling you to move on, don't block it by keeping your foot in the way.

Have trust in your heart to know that better is coming. That what God and the universe is working on is just right for you. Instead of praying for that job or for that relationship to rekindle, pray for the strength and knowledge to equip you for what's about to happen in your life. The best thing you can do while remaining patient is to work on and improve yourself. Being prepared is the ultimate task right now while you leave the rest up to God.

Have a great week loves!

photo by: 

Pinterest

Learning as I Go

While acknowledging the necessary change for growth, I've learnt quite a few lessons on this journey thus far. So I'll share.

There are some people you can vibe with and some you can't. Stop forcing energies.

I remember having this conversation with my dad about friendships. We shared a common ground on the Law of Attraction and how important it is to understand that everyone won't be your friend. He gave me some advice, "Everyone doesn't need to know who you are. There is no need to be in the spotlight 24/7. It's okay to step back and just be you. DO you. Eventually, the right people will come along."

Be okay with where you are.

When I tell you I know how it feels to want to be constantly progressing, I definitely know. Three years ago was the start of this journey for me; where I became aware of myself, the importance of growth and self-love. At that time, things were good. But right now, I'm not. I expected myself to be a point where nothing or no one disturbs my spirit. Where loving myself was an easy daily task. Where I can stand in what I believe and not be convinced other was. Where I knew where my future was heading. However, every shit upsets and/or makes me cry. Some days, I love myself and some days I don't. Sometimes, I'm unsure if I’m pursuing a degree that I want to do. So yes, I know what it's like to be lost and not have anything figured out. But I'm learning that's okay. And as the days go by, I'm learning to be okay with where I am. I won't always know what my next move is and I won’t always go where I want to be. That's the crazy thing about this journey called life; it'll never take you where you want to go but where you need to go. So less sulking and complaining, more appreciating. It's all a part of the process.

Keep your peace.

What I advise to myself is to let folks be.  Having my peace of mind is important to me and staying in toxic environments only deprives me of it. Keep in mind that at some points, you have to be selfish with who you are. Some folks never heard of boundaries. Find your peace and keep it close.

Love yourself.

 This is my biggest lesson. Now, I'm still learning to. And let me say, there is no right or wrong way to do it. Even when you messed up, love yourself. Love your mistakes and errors. Because they’re a part of you. You can't only love the good parts and not the bad ones. You were made whole so love yourself in its entire being. Treat yourself to nice things, compliment yourself, and show up for yourself. Too often, we expect others to do these things for us and when they don't, we get upset. But what if we did them from the start? Their lack of effort or interest won't leave us feeling empty or depleted. Because the love that comes from within is enough. Self-love is enough. I'm learning that it is enough.

It feels good to look back and see where you once came from. Oh, the journey of growth,! For starters, I never thought I'd be as open and honest as I am right now but I'm grateful for the change. I'm appreciative of this journey I'm on.