Late Night Shenanigans: Rated Cringe Worthy

I’m not entirely sure who this is aimed at or why I am writing it but here it goes. Hope you enjoy! 🙂

I’ve finally found a platform that I can share what I love doing with other people. A lot of people who have known me on a surface level in real life, such as peers and acquaintances, probably see me as the girl who gets decent enough grades and is friendly to people without actually knowing too much about me. There is so much more to me and my life than my grades and my people’s persona. I have a story – a short one – but still a story, I have a life outside of education contrary to popular belief (shock horror), experiences, both good and bad, my own opinion, beliefs – strong ones and I finally have a medium to share it on.

This may come as a shock to people who know me properly but I feel like I have spent my life living in the lie of the perception that I think others have of me. Let me break it down. Anything that anyone has said to me, whether good or bad has formed the way I perceive myself. It’s been that way from ever since I could remember. From primary school when I used to be called “goody-two shoes” to secondary school when I would be called “not black enough” to sixth form where I’d simply just be called “different to the rest”. Now, the goody-two shoes thing was true, mostly in year six when I suddenly became quite shy and introverted for reasons I honestly cannot remember. I definitely lost the goody-two shoes label over the years though, not that I’m complaining. The “not black enough” label has sort have stuck in my conscience but I’m old enough now to know it’s absolute nonsense. But during secondary school it consumed me. My post titled “melanin” explains a bit more what I mean by that – so definitely check it out! What matters now is I know that my race is my race and I will never let anyone, including myself define me based solely on the colour of my skin. I’ve learnt to be me, simply because I’m me. But it still gets me down sometimes. I don’t want to be confined to the racial stereotypes that modern society has created – I wasn’t made to be put into a box. At the same time I want to embrace my race, my roots, my heritage freely and encourage others to do the same. It’s something that I’m honestly still figuring out.

The whole “different from the rest” perception is the honest reason why I’m up writing so late. I have always known I was a bit different. Not in a cool edgy, American teen rebel movie sort of way, not even in being extremely good at something or creating something incredible. I was just different. I felt distant from most of my peers in every stage of school life. As if they were experiencing a different world to them, that’s how it felt like. I wasn’t heavily restricted from doing anything, my parents were protective but I had freedom, maybe more than a lot of my peers did. But I never felt like I was in the group, nor did I feel particularly left out, but rather on the circumference of the circle (#GCSE maths). I spoke to everyone, got along with mostly everyone. Don’t get me wrong, I had great friends, no one purposefully or intentionally did anything to me but I felt this way pretty much all the time. I wasn’t happy being me because I felt people would judge the real me. I felt so pressured to conform to a standard that no one even expected of me while they were simply busy just being themselves. I put myself on the outside, I discluded myself because of fear of not being loved no matter how many compliments people showered me with. And even if I felt I wasn’t loved by the crowds I often ignored and disregarded my first love, Jesus.

I put the views and opinions of others above God’s view of me. And that is without a doubt what kept me in that dark place. If I had dwelled on my identity in Christ than on my identity in the eyes of the world my teenage years would have been different. I’ve obviously finished beating myself up about it now, and I know I have been forgiven for that 100 times over but sometimes I do look back and think what if. What if I spent my time resting in his presence than I did resting in other people’s satisfaction. What if I listened to His voice rather than the world’s voice. What if I spent my time in worship rather than drowning in sorrow. But then I remember, if it wasn’t for my mistake, I couldn’t be sitting here right now, writing this for you guys to read. I know everything I write and say won’t be relatable to everyone. After all, this is my story, not a projection of the whole world’s story. You may not believe what I believe or you may not be passionate about what I’m passionate about. But if I could ease the stress off of one area of one person’s life then I would write this blog one thousand times over (do you get the reason for my title yet?). You have to forgive me though, ahaha, it’s 3:38am on a Saturday and I am quite possibly in need of my bed right about now. So I’m going to wrap this up here with this:

I think I’m finally fine with being a bit different 🙂

Sweet Dreams and Love Always,

Shadz xo

Quarantine Talks: Reading, Writing and Watching Netflix

How have you been spending your lockdown? It’s become the new norm for me, I sometimes even forget I’m in lockdown until I get the daily news bullentine on the BBC News app. I’ve had a lot of astonishingly productive days so far where I’ve met personal targets and deadlines. And I wouldnt’ say I’ve completely gone mad (maybe a little) but I’ve honestly had days where I haven’t even wanted to get out of bed or do anything remotely productive. One of things that I was certain about when creating this blog is that I was going to be completely and utterly honest with my readers.

As you probably already know, I am far form perfect. I don’t have my whole entire life sorted. I don’t have all the answers to what I want to do in the future. I just don’t have it all together. Seeing as all the priorities that I have at the moment are inside jobs i.e. this blog, video making, attending online lectures and writing essay, lockdown hasn’t actually restricted my life as much as it has other people. But I’m not getting as much done as I thought I would.

I would say I’m a very driven and ambitious person – on one side. I have things that I want to do, improve in and complete. The other side of me is sluggish, demotivated and often too nervous to push the boat out just that little bit further. I’ve started making videos on my Instagram, but as soon as I post them I start worrying who will see them and what they will think. Will they think I’m boring, too serious? Or maybe over excitable and not sophisticated enough. Not so long ago this would have stopped me completely from posting anything! Including things on my PRIVATE snapchat story. Anxiety about what other people might think has been my biggest struggle throughout my whole life. It starts off as a little tickly feeling in my mind and suddenly it overcomes me like a big dark cloud. I’ve worked on it over the years especially in the weeks leading up into university and I am still working on it.

What I’m trying to get at is I’m not exactly where I want to be in most aspects of my life – in my creative passion, in my confidence, in my fitness, in my relationships, in my finances or in my mental wellbeing – but I am certainly not where I used to be. Reaching the end goal or target doesn’t matter as much as the progress or the journey. At the start of quarentine I had started none of my full-term essays written, I was slacking on instagram and blog posts and I hadn’t even made a video yet. Now, I have consistently been writing blogs, I’ve produced two mediocre videos and worked on all of my full-term essays, with one completely finished. It’s not a lot for 7 or 8 weeks of lockdown, but it’s something. I’m learning to trust that God is the one who hold the plans for my future. All I can do is rest in His strength and follow where He leads me to go. This has brought me great peace in all of the uncertainty. He promises His children rest. Even when anxiety is closing in on me, even when I want to reach something that seems untangible, even when I feel I’ve failed, I have learnt to rest in His presence. And it’s okay to stop, to scrunch up your schedule and press reset for tomorrow. It’s okay to switch off and binge watch Netflix series for hours and it’s okay to not quite reach your standards of perfection. What is meant for you is already yours.

Love Always,

Shadz xo

Unmotivated?

Yeah me too. I’ve been sitting in bed for the past two hours following my lectures this morning. Granted, I was tired, and had some shows I wanted to catch up on also but in all honesty I feel extremely unmotivated.

It gets like that sometimes. Sometimes, like this morning, I wake up and want to just go back to sleep. If it wasn’t for my 10am lectures I may have. As soon as I got back to my accommodation, I collapsed into bed and haven’t left since. I could be reading, researching, exercising, changing the world. But no. I’m writing this very blog from between my insanely cosy bed sheets.

I’m sure you all experience days like this sometimes. It’s okay to not feel 110% motivated all the time. I know some people do (or pretend that they do), and they are inspirations, but my reality is that some days I don’t want to face the day to day happenings of life, people or productivity.

So long as the unmotivated and withdrawn mindset doesn’t become a habit, doesn’t override your dreams and aspirations or distract you from the things you need to do, it’s okay to sit and do nothing sometimes, healthy even.

I will get up, just give me 10 more minutes…

Love Always,

Shadz xo