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Hello <<First Name>>

We made it through January, yaay!

You know the drill! Get you a cup of your fave and let's sip. It snowed in London today so I am writing this from my cosy bed as I sip on peppermint tea, so soothing...

How was your January?

Mine was a rollercoaster. I was in denial most of it - how could it be a new year when things were just as bad if not worse? I ended up doing more resting and exploring than practising. However, what matters is that I was able to do most of the things that required doing. Huge shout out to my steady support system for seeing me through. I would not have done it without the "let's catch up" video calls, "we're here" voice notes, "you gat this" texts and  "baby bro almost walking" videos! I am carrying the following lessons into February, in the hope that I survive less and thrive more. 

1. Timelines are suggestions

This is coming from someone who extended all her deadlines on the first week of school and spent the rest of the month paying for it, so maybe take it with a pinch of salt?😄 But really I have been working on easing the pressure I let deadlines (real and perceived) exert on me. My parents finishing their marriage ceremony last month had me like, "Ah! Kumbe I can even get married in my 50s..." Am just teasing mum, relax😜 But yeah! I'm leaning into taking my sweet time with things. There's this poem by Kaffa Sakho The Rush that puts this so beautifully. 

2. Memories are distorted

My mind does this thing where it remembers only the best parts of the past. I spent a lot of time reminiscing about 2020 - how perfect it all was! The sun, the joy, the time with family, the ease... and then I read my journal! Wueeeh! That was the best way for me to realise that constantly comparing my present with my past and wishing I could go back was wasting my good time.  So here's to using the present time to create all kinds of memories!

3. We're all messy

The best hours of my January were the ones I spent watching 'How to Get Away with Murder'! I was drawn to how messy the characters were ; especially because I have been forced to confront the messy parts of myself (the trauma, the ugly, the addictions, the strife, the character flaws, the inconsistencies, the gunk) a lot lately. My takeaway is to stand in courage and see it all and recognise that they also form a part of me as much as the other glossier more popular parts.  Most of all, I am learning to extend grace to myself even as I work to do and be better. 

4. The only way is through

I would beat myself up about feeling like this Masters work was a chore because I am finally doing something I chose and feel passionate about. But it feels like a mountain most  of the time and I have to remind myself that the only way is through. I am also learning to romance myself  through it because I still want to come out on the other side so lighting candles during my work session, playing music and dancing during my breaks, going out for walks to get new perspectives... It's still hard  but yeah we are going through, liwe liwalo!💪🏿

5. You are not your work

I submitted this design project that made me want the earth to open up and swallow me (no really, I may have to redo it). It felt like the world was ending until I dissociated myself from the work. I had to remind myself that while the work does reflect aspects of my learning and skills it is not who I am. I am getting better at believing this while also doing my best. Finally,  as @terembecherono reminded me the other day (watch her IG stories!!!), " You are valuable even when you do nothing!" 

6. You've got optionS!

I had to capitalise and exclaim because I'm shouting (at myself mostly)!!! I do not know how I internalised that I have to settle for whatever comes my way in a world that is this full of opportunities! Anyway, online dating is especially illustrating this fact. For example, while one person will make you feel like an item on their to-do-list another will make you feel like time has stood still. OptionSSSS!!! Fine, you may have to cast your net wider, read swipe more profiles😏, but settling because there are no options? nah! So  this is a reminder to keep swiping, keep looking,  keep applying for those opportunities,...also as my friend said you could also just chill and wait because some options will fall right on your lap. Whatever you do I hope you only choose the options that make you feel the most wanted, loved and fulfilled; at least that's what I am teaching myself to gravitate towards. 

7. Want what you want 

I think it's being a firstborn that taught me to want what other people want or expect me to. This is the hardest lesson I am having to unlearn - yaani that it is allowed to want what you really actually want. Moreover, that I can also enunciate these wants?!🤯😂. I think what has been preventing me from doing this  is fear that the party who may be affected by these wants and desires may disagree or leave but imagine it is not a must especially when I can circle back to lesson 6! Chai Geng, I hope you  go forth and get yours! In the words of one of my fave songs by Yazmin Lacey, "Own your own"!

And that's it for January, as always feel free to share your lessons with me!
February is looking good so far, I am taking advantage of all the Valentine's marketing to remind myself to actually love on myself in the ways that I need, like I finally got a therapist, yay! I hope you get to love on yourself and your people extra this month as well.  Otherwise, write to you in March!✨

Song of the month
I couldn't help the song of the month being another South African one (In the spirit of exploration I'll try make the next one grime or some). However, this fire medley carried me through January. It also has me looking up jobs in Johannesburg because why did I ever leave again? Anyway, enjoy! 
It's the way everyone is visibly having a good time for me! 
Sending Light & Goodness,
P.S: If this was your first, feel free to catch up here! 
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