No Hard Feelings/ Good Intentions

Hello family

I know. I’ve been gone a very long time but in due time, I’ll tell you about everything and let you know where I’ve been.

How are you? I hope that you have been living your best lives and making me proud by shining your incredibly bright lights.

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As adults, we know that things don’t always go according to plan, and it can sometimes be upsetting, frustrating or confidence shattering, but it can sometimes be a blessing, a learning experience, a relief or a form of confirmation.

Having thought about it for a while, this week, I decided that there was no longer space for me on a project I was assisting someone with. Although I wanted to see it to the end, it was time to say goodbye. I was unhappy with a few things, but ultimately I just didn’t have the time and resources to continue on in the way that was needed.

One thing that has taken a while for me to master is setting and reestablishing boundaries (post coming soon), but also taking time to put myself first, saying ‘no’ and being ok with the fact that I can’t always swim oceans or trek through deserts for people. I realise that some of the more recent choices I have made (like leaving this project, for instance) has been a result of the boundaries that I have had to put in place. I accept that although we both had good intentions, and plans/ goals as professional partners I couldn’t jeopardise what I had worked so hard to establish.

I have to say that I am grateful for the experience and for the fact that there are absolutely no hard feelings (so it seems lol). As usual, I have taken the time to reflect on recent events and bask in what I have learnt and what I’d do differently next time. Having said that, it would be absolutely unlike me not to share, therefore I have devised a short list in the hopes that you too can learn, grow and be inspired or encouraged:

  1. Boundaries- I’ve already touched on this and I will do a separate piece on it, but I will say that it’s important to know them. #IAmNotATeacup.
  2. Seeking Wise Unbiased Counsel- I know I’ve said this before, but it’s good to seek wise counsel, especially if you think you might be being irrational or if you think you’re overreacting. (Side note: I’ve also said this before, but be careful who you take advice from. When making decisions make sure you are happy with the decision you are to make. Make sure you’ll be able to stand firm in it with no regrets. People may have good intentions but remember that the people who advise you to do one thing, won’t have to deal with that one thing. Some might not even remember the advice they gave).
  3. Taking a Loss- Sometimes you have to. In some cases it will bother you and in others it won’t. Although mine was the latter, this experience reminded me that sometimes it’s better to take the ‘L’ and move on. Learn from the experience. I found that it was better than trying to force things to work or staying ‘just because’/ to see where it would lead.
  4. Knowing When to Back Out- This is important. It’s ok to say ‘no’ and it’s ok to leave when you know something isn’t for you. However, don’t be out of order. Remember that there is a way to do things so that there are no hard feelings. Nine times out of ten, you’ll know when it’s time to go but it’s essential to find the balance between doing you and still being a decent human being (I say that with love by the way, believe me). In this case, I found that part of finding the balance and doing things at the right time was having the ability to back out (and not be out of order) before it was far too late.
  5. Knowing When to Be Quiet- Again, despite the fact that you may have good intentions, not everyone will be able to see it. I learnt that sometimes, you have to let people come to certain realisations alone.
  6. Something I learnt about myself though… I’m not always that good at telling people how I feel. Sometimes I’m not that good at being persistent with ensuring that people understand how they’ve made me feel. How is someone supposed to know they hurt, offended or upset you or even if they make you happy, if you don’t let them know? Part of reestablishing the boundaries is about having the initial conversation(s).
  7. I should work on running my own project.
  8. In light of my introduction, I was reminded of the importance of accepting that things don’t always go according to plan or work out the way I would have hoped.

 

I’m so glad to be back, and I hope that you can take something away from today’s post.

 

No hard feelings…

Until Thursday

Rebekah

Mushy Rice

I can cook. Now, I won’t say that I’m incredible and I can throw down in the kitchen but I definitely know my way around. Although it’s not my favourite thing to do, I cook with love. With a view to becoming a wife and mother in the near future, and taking into account the fact that I have- for as long as I can remember- always been surrounded by very good food, I believe it is my turn to surround the people I love with very good food.

Growing up, I’ve always imagined myself entertaining people, I’ve always imagined that the kitchen would be the heart of, or at least be a massive part of my home. One of my goals/ my desire is that people would genuinely love and enjoy my food. I’m pretty sure this stems from my Nigerian culture. I love my culture. More so now than ever, I appreciate and understand the importance of being able to provide as a woman, taking responsibility of this responsibility. At the end of the day, I am a Nigerian woman, therefore, looking after my home, looking after my kitchen will always be my duty, no matter the century, no matter how annoying it may be.  I’m not saying that it’s compulsory for women (Nigerian) to cook all the time and spend every last moment in the kitchen with no help, but I am saying cooking and serving is a big part of this culture. What you choose to do with that fact is up to you. But I digress.

Anyone who knows me will know that I don’t like change but I’ve been (surprisingly) welcoming it. This year has been great so far as I’ve impressed myself in more ways than one, doing things I never saw myself doing and doing the things I always wanted to do. This includes cooking- striving to master various dishes, working towards being able to say (with much proof) that I can throw down in the kitchen.

With a view to mastering how to cook different types of food, I have made a list of the food/ meals I can make well and a list of the food/ meals I haven’t made before that I’d like to be able to cook well. This keeps the goal in sight and makes achieving this goal seem more realistic as I can alter the lists as I go along. Ultimately, I should be left with one very long list and one short one.

Having said all this, I’m actively making an effort to make more meals and to try new things. Come on, they say the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach and I want bae (and my family) to live in my kitchen. Truly enjoying the meals that await him (them).

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On Tuesday, I thought I’d make some Nigerian fried rice. Although I’ve made this many times before with great results, I decided to make it again as it was an easy dinner. Or so I thought. We didn’t have any long grain/ easy cook rice left at home so I begrudgingly used basmati rice -_-. At this point, I was already aware of the many setbacks, but I approached with caution and proceeded to use the basmati anyway, hoping that it would be a first time success. Despite the fact that it seemed to be going well at first, it (all of a sudden) took a turn for the worst with the final product being… hmm… let’s say… less than desirable? As disappointing as it was, the experience allowed me to consider the bright side and bask in the positives. Because of the mushy rice, I learnt/ was reminded that:

  1. It can be disappointing when things don’t always go the way that we planned but it’s not the end of the world. We can learn from every experience.
  2. Practice makes perfect.
  3. Stepping out of your comfort zone is not so bad.
  4. Most people will appreciate your efforts.
  5. Mushy rice is part of the process.
  6. Never again will I ever make fried or jollof rice with basmati rice. (Well not until I seek wise counsel anyway).

But ultimately, as frustrating as it was, I am determined to reach the goal and continue experimenting. You never know unless you try, right? In light of looking at the positives and working on the negatives, I took the time to reflect on Wednesday’s dinner that went a lot better than Tuesday’s. Yes, I cheated by doing something that I knew would work but I still found there were things I could have done better. We are our harshest critiques, but who knows, I might share some things with you as I progress on this journey.

While striving to reach this goal, (making sure that Rebekah’s kitchen is the place to be), there are some other things that I’m going to be working on:

  1. Timings- I can take too long to prepare food (I don’t want my children to starve!).
  2. Sticking to cleaning up as I go along. It works up until a certain point and then I just stop :s.
  3. Mastering when to cook certain things so that everything is ready at the same time and being able to avoid possible disasters that may come with cooking multiple things at the same time.
  4. Cooking under pressure (keeping calm and carrying on).
  5. Enjoying each process, continuing to cook with love.

I hope this inspires you to go after the smaller goals that still have an impact on your life, as you work towards the bigger ones. Don’t be afraid to work on you and to work on improving your future. Bask in who you are and embrace where you are from. Reaching a goal is reaching a goal, right? Regardless of how big or small it is. Do you, always.

Ps sorry I didn’t post last week, it was a bit of a hectic one. I hope you’re all good though and you’re all shining your incredibly bright lights.

 

Until Thursday

Happy aiming and achieving!

Rebekah

Interesting Conversations

One thing I love about conversation is that it takes you on a journey. Often, a conversation starts off in one place and it ends somewhere completely different, completely unexpected.

This week at uni, some of the ladies and I somehow got sidetracked. We spoke about romantic relationships, being single, our individual views on marriage, and lessons learnt from previous relationships that didn’t end too well or that didn’t end the way they thought they would.

One of the women spoke about how being in a relationship when she was 19, with someone she thought she’d spend the rest of her life with, had an impact on her as a person. She told us about how naïve she had been. Sometimes people show us who they are and we refuse to believe them, we pretend we can’t see and then we wonder why things go wrong or why people behave the way they behave, why people hurt the ones they say they love. But these times, they’ve already shown us who they are. We asked her if she would change her experience knowing what she knows now. She said no, but she gently reminded us of the importance of loving yourself, finding comfort within and being content/ not relying on a man (or anyone) to fulfil your needs. Relationships are hard already and the stress that comes with not knowing yourself, what you want, not knowing your boundaries and looking to be made complete in a relationship/ by a man is really not worth it.

The conversation was lovely; it was nice to sit back and listen to other people’s stories and watch them reflect on how far they’ve come.

In light of some of the things we discussed, I started thinking about who I am and what I love about myself, what I hope will never change. I wanted to share some of these things with you in the hopes that it inspires you to get to know you, to think about what you love about yourself and to encourage you to be comfortable in your skin. In the words of Shameless Maya: ‘Do you, be you, stay true boo!’ So without further ado, here are ten things I love about myself:

  1. I am who I am, through Christ Jesus
  2. I am covered by His Grace, by His love, by His mercy
  3. I am incredibly hard working and I give my all in everything that I do
  4. I’m perseverant
  5. My heart is kind/ I am caring
  6. My happiness is unconditional/ I’m always happy
  7. I’m a nerd at heart and wouldn’t change it for the world
  8. I’ll always be there for people
  9. I’m reflective
  10. I have and will continue to overcome.

 

Here’s to basking in our good qualities and working on our bad.

Shine your light always.

Until next week

Rebekah

Kebab at a Bus Stop

Sometimes, things don’t always go according to plan. No matter how big (or small) the change, we can still be left feeling disheartened, disappointed, lost and sometimes confused.

Today, I went to an event with my sister (or I was supposed to go to an event with my sister), but when we got there, it wasn’t very good, it wasn’t exactly what we were expecting. We ended up leaving (very, very shortly after arriving). We couldn’t find a replacement event/ place to go and the restaurants didn’t really tickle our fancy. But we had a lot of laughs, and despite some of the judgmental eyes, we ended up eating kebab at a bus stop.

Although I wasn’t disappointed by what happened, and this not going to plan didn’t alter my life in anyway, I was reminded that it’s the little things in life that matter. Sometimes we can forget that as we rush to reach the finish line. I wanted to encourage you to look at the positives and to- where possible- try and make the most out of every situation.

Until next week

Love and light

Rebekah

Daisy Chains

Hello again, I hope you’re all well and you’ve had a wonderful week.

Last week Saturday, I thought about an old friend. We went to the same Sixth Form quite a few years ago, and although we were close, some time after finishing we somehow lost contact.

Although I thought about my friend over the years, there was something different about when she crossed my mind last week. I couldn’t help but wonder why people rarely reach out to long lost friends, or why people fail to let others know that they are missed, or they haven’t been forgotten. Is there really any harm in reaching out to a lost friend? What’s the worst that could happen or what does one have to lose? After asking myself these questions, I decided to send an email (as I wasn’t sure if C had changed her number, and knew that an email was probably the best bet) and I’m so, so glad I did. So much has changed but it’s as if nothing has changed.

We’re still in the process of catching up, but this experience reminded me how much can change at any given time. As we go through life, we can get caught up in the adventure and the places we are taken to, and as we go through the motions we don’t necessarily realise what’s going on and how fast things are changing. Filling my friend in allowed me to reflect on the last few years. I was reminded that we don’t often realise everything that goes on until we stop and really consider all the things we have been through. Reflecting is amazing; rebuilding bridges or maintaining an old (but beautiful) garden we failed to continue to look after, is amazing.

Apart from the fact that I genuinely missed my friend and I was keen to learn about how she was and everything I’d missed out on, I accept that it was probably easier for me to reach out to my friend as there was no tension between us- we didn’t have an argument, we didn’t fall out etc, we just simply somehow lost contact. With that being said, I wanted to share this with you guys as (from this experience) I have found that there is security and warmth in reaching out. I wanted to encourage you to try and rebuild an old bridge. Reaching out may not go according to plan, but if there is someone you have lost contact with, that you still very much adore, and who you haven’t forgotten about, there’s no harm in seeing how they are, and letting them know that they mean just as much to you as they did before, all those years ago. You never know, it could make their whole day, and then some. There’s no harm in trying.

Do something different.

Until next week

Rebekah

Difficult Decisions

In life, we are sometimes faced with difficult decisions. Sometimes we can work through our problems alone, but sometimes it takes someone else to help us find our way.

No matter how big or small, the choices we make can have positive or negative impacts on our lives. Although we learn from these experiences and we learn to heal from the choices we may have made that we regret, it’s important to think about what we are faced with and how this may affect us in the future.

Where I understand that wrong choices encourage growth and shape us as humans, I also understand the importance of being comfortable with every choice that is made. We should accept the fact that there are things that are out of our control; although taking a step/making a choice may not be the best choice, taking a leap involves being able to stand firm in the choices we make.

When faced with decisions that will have a heavier impact on us/ our lives, be it cutting someone off, ending a relationship, quitting a job or risking it all to pursue a dream, career or business venture, ensure to consider the possibilities and know in your heart, that you are comfortable with the choice you have or you are about to make.

Sometime ago, I learnt that although seeking wise counsel is great, it’s important to be at peace with your choice, it’s important to take the advice in, but to know that ultimately, you decide where you go from there. As harsh as it may sound, the reality is that once you’ve made a decision (specifically based off of something someone said) two or three years down the line, the people you sought advice from probably won’t remember what they said. So if you realise you made a mistake or you sit down one day and wonder why you listened to them or you start to regret the choice(s) you made, you can’t blame them because ultimately, it was your choice to make.

So, to anyone who is faced with a difficult decision(s), I recommend seeking God for direction/ confirmation, considering all of the possibilities, seeking wise counsel but having your own opinions/ thoughts (not relying solely on what they have to say), not making decisions when angry, taking as much time as needed to figure things out, reflecting/ asking yourself questions, having faith in your gut and striving to ensure that you are happy with your choice(s).

‘Never base your life decisions on advice from people who will never have to deal with the results’.

 ‘When you need to make a hard decision, flip a coin. Why? Because when that coin is in the air, you suddenly know what you’re hoping for’.

 

Here’s to life and accepting that things are difficult and decisions are hard to make, but there is always a light at the end of the tunnel.

Here’s to growth and learning.

 

Happy decision making!

 

Until next week

Love, light and blessings

Rebekah

Faith Without Works

I’ve been thinking about this a lot recently and holding onto the fact that having faith goes hand in hand with being practical, or putting in the work. I serve a mighty God who is able to do all things, but trusting in that truth shouldn’t make room for laziness.

James 2: 14- 26 highlights the fact that faith without works is dead. To put this in perspective, if I say that I want a new job, what good is it if I have faith that God will give me a new job but I don’t update my CV and apply for anything? Or if I say I want to meet new people but don’t put myself out there and network etc, what good is it? It doesn’t really make sense. Yes have faith and trust that things work in God’s time but also put in the work. ‘You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only’.

I’m sure you get my drift. All this to say I’m making a conscious effort to have faith with works. Trusting and knowing that God can do all things but making an effort to take responsibility for my role in this and putting in the work.

I hope you take it upon yourselves to have faith with works too.

This one’s to trusting and working, always.

Until next week

Rebekah