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Hello <<First Name>>

I hope my letter finds you well, I really do.
New year, same traditions so get you a cup of whatever you like and let's ☕️

Now, how are you? (I'll be waiting to hear from you as always ✨)

Me, I am doing well. Considering that outside feels like death ( new strain, winter & lockdown ) it feels good to be well again. Do you remember the manifestation message from last month's letter? To update you I rewrote it in past tense and wow, God is faithful! Here...

2020 ended beautifully. I submitted good work - great, actually. My baby brother turned one and I watched him cut his Mickey mouse cake over zoom - such a precious memory🥰 My Sereti turned 17 and moved to a new country shortly after - she's all grown 🥺! I found new joyful ways to celebrate life with my loved wasn't the usual travel adventure but it was a good way to slow down and appreciate the mundane, the every day, the here and now. I could not make time to create content but healing, calm, balance and immense love have been finding their way to me.  It's why 2021 will be a good year, regardless. 

Instead of the usual lessons from the month, these will be more intentions I have for the year. The seven intentions are grounded by my three action words for 2021 - Practise, Explore and Rest. My words for 2020 were: Breathe, Create and Build  and they guided most of my actions in 2020. Let's see how 2021 goes. 

1. Focus on the system

Guided by this James Clear quote: "If you genuinely care about the goal, you’ll focus on the system." I commit to setting up and following through with systems that will allow me to be the best urban design scholar and blogger that I can be. I will keep the promises I make to myself more and rely on my passing feelings less. I will focus on the system.

2. Progress over perfection

I refuse to let the fear of imperfection prevent me from trying enough times. I will publish the imperfect content and submit the imperfect essays and forum contributions. I will practise doing it and getting feedback and then doing it again over waiting until I am sure I will get it right the first time. 

3. Keep discovering yourself

While my 2020 gap year enabled me to explore what makes me come alive, I will remember that it was just the starting point. I will allow myself to be surprised by new interests and passions. I will pursue and indulge in them. I will let this discovery of self, help me set better boundaries for what I am willing to spend my time, energy and resources on. 

4. Discover through people and places

Even though the solace of my people and my places (hi Jozi and Nairobae🥰) beckons, I will push through the discomfort and (safely 👀) explore the UK. Embrace the people this season is bringing into my life. Maybe give online dating a real chance 😏. Flirt with life a little. Thrive in the instability of this season and trust that a stronger, more self-aware, fuller Chebet emerges.

5. Normalise rest

I will not think of rest as a treat. An experience I must earn. Rather I will constantly remind myself that it is a need, just as crucial as eating or sleeping. I will distribute moments of rest and pause throughout my day. I will no longer feel guilty for Friday evenings and Sunday mornings of absolute nothingness. 

6. Actually treat yourself

With the understanding that rest is not a treat, I will actually treat myself. I will no longer call things I should be doing anyway like making nutritious wholesome meals for myself 👀 "treating myself". No, I will buy myself nice things. Read nice books. Watch good movies and series. Sample chocolates. Go on travel adventures... I will do all of these without even an ounce of shame.

7. Let go and let God

I will engage and challenge the colonial and sexist religious ideals that have prevented me from being in true communion with my God.  I will separate the wheat from the chaff and allow myself, as I am, to be in relationship with my God. I will surrender and trust this God with my present and future. I will truly rest in the plans They have for me.

So yeah that's me. I know this one was way overdue but I needed the rest.  I look forward to writing to you soon with January's lessons!

I'd like to end with a new tradition - my favourite song of the past month!  It has to be 'Phone Yam' by Alfa Kat. I literally rang in the new year with it!

The video is also such vibes, enjoy! 
Sending Light & Goodness,
P.S: If this was your first, feel free to catch up here! 
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