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

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

22

It’s been two weeks since I uploaded a blog post. It feels good to be home. I hope you’ve all been well and the sun has been shining in each and every one of your current seasons.

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It was my birthday recently, so I thought it would be fitting to share some of the things I’ve learnt/ some advice based on what I’ve learnt, now that I’m a year older. Some of these you may have heard before, some you may have not. I’ve got tons of lessons to share, but I’ve picked some significant ones. I stand in awe of how far I’ve come, and I’m so grateful that I’ve seen another year, with good health, joy and happiness. I hope you will be encouraged.

  1. I am proof that His words never return void, what He says, He will do.
  2. God always has, and always will have my back.
  3. I’ve learnt that I’m scared of something I didn’t even know I was scared of.
  4. I’ve learnt to truly not care about what people think. Gums will always flap.
  5. Things don’t work out how you plan them to, but they work out.
  6. If something doesn’t work, try something else. Plan B isn’t always a bad thing.
  7. With great pain, comes great joy and overcoming. (‘It may rain a lot, but it can’t rain forever’).
  8. I can’t help people all the time. I’m human.
  9. There are some people that will never be able to comprehend what you have done/ what you do for them. Some people that unfortunately do not know the meaning of gratitude, love, respect and reciprocity. I will never unlearn the importance of loving myself enough to set boundaries, say ‘no’ and put myself first, because somehow, people can still take and take and take. Even when there’s nothing left.
  10. It’s really important so say ‘no’ sometimes.
  11. Watch people carefully. I’ve learnt that people can’t fake who they are forever, eventually the truth seeps through the cracks.
  12. Situations can bring out the best or worst in people. You can find out about a person’s nature by looking at how they react to certain situations and how they interact with/ treat different people.
  13. Just because you’re a good person, doesn’t mean everyone else is. And just because you have good intentions, doesn’t mean everyone else does.
  14. Make promises to yourself, it’ll do you some good.
  15. Achieve your goals- don’t forget about them.
  16. When lending money (I’ve learnt not to lend money), give what you’re happy not getting back. Lend money knowing that you’ve lost control over what is rightfully yours, and what you should get back.
  17. Think deeply about what you’re about to put your (insert word here) on hold/ on the line for.
  18. Baby steps.
  19. I learnt that sometimes doors have to close- even the doors I fought so hard to keep open. It’s ok to feel sad when letting go, but it’s important to do just that- let go.
  20. Always be careful, always be vigilant.
  21. There is always more to learn.
  22. You’re still growing, even when it feels like you’re standing still.
  23. Never get tired of doing good.
  24. Never get tired of doing the Lord’s work, of being obedient to His call.
  25. Sometimes, love from a distance- love with wisdom and love with boundaries.
  26. What is for me, will be for me. No matter what.
  27. Unfortunately, friendships come to an end. Even the greatest of friendships.
  28. Age isn’t a barrier or a restriction when it comes to friendships. Some of the most special bonds are with people that are much older than I.
  29. Cherish your loved ones, learn more about them.
  30. Everyone deserves to be loved. Everyone is worthy of forgiveness.

 

Until next week

Love and blessings

Rebekah

Starting Over

Part of Overcoming Fear and Feelings of Failure is starting over. In this instance, in order to fully close the door and leave university behind (along with a few other things), I had to first overcome so that the next door could be opened without fear, but with peace, happiness and confidence.

There are some really great things about starting over- I love that most of the time, it can be whatever you want it to be. In other words, it can be as ‘small’ as starting a new job or as big as deciding to terminate a relationship, move to a different country or leave something that was a major part of your life behind. On some occasions we start over because we want to, but sometimes we start over because we have to. Either way, I’ve found that once you’ve opened the new door, and you’ve started to find your feet, it’s quite satisfying knowing that you’re at the beginning of something new. You find comfort in the fact that everything is going to be alright, and you can start afresh having overcome whatever it was that you had to overcome in order to touch that golden doorknob.

I understand that starting over can also be a very frustrating process- especially if you’re starting from scratch. I remember when I just left uni and I had to figure out what exactly I was gonna do next- what I was gonna do with my life. I got a massive piece of paper and brainstormed, I had so many plans but as the months flew past, I soon realised that it was a lot harder than I thought and it wasn’t quite going to work that way.

Having to start over taught me a few things. Allow me to share some of them:

  1. It sometimes takes a while to find your feet. Don’t be afraid to take some time to figure out your next steps/ what you really want to do.
  2. Having a plan makes you feel better- Things don’t feel so scattered.
  3. Contrary to point two, you’ll eventually see/ accept that things won’t go to plan…
  4. But things work out better than you thought…
  5. And once you’ve found your feet, you’ll see that the good really did outweigh the bad.
  6. Patience is a virtue and you might find yourself waiting (a lot) when starting over.
  7. To never give up and to keep pushing through the darker days.
  8. To stand by my decision and trust in the fact that I knew it was the right thing, even though doubts crept up in the darker days.

As usual, I hope that I’ve encouraged you in some way. This week, I’m praying for those who are starting over, be it because they have to or because they have chosen to, whether the door that is closing (or the door that has just closed) is big or ‘small’. I pray that you find strength in this season and you stand by your decision. If you’re starting over because you’ve chosen to put yourself first and do what is best for you, I applaud you. Putting yourself first is often difficult. I pray that you find your feet and you will be blessed in this process of renewal.

Love and blessings

Rebekah

 

 

HELP, I’M RETAKING YEAR 1!!

When I withdrew from university, I was in the first term of my second attempt at first year. In light of the fact that the new academic year begins soon, I thought I’d upload something I wrote a while ago. I figured it might help some of you who may be going through this…

If someone told me last year, two years ago or even five years ago, that I would be retaking my first year of uni, I guarantee I would not have believed them.

Truthfully, my first year was a shipwreck but looking back I wouldn’t change it. I won’t lie, there are definite downfalls to retaking, (very irritating downfalls like marks being capped at 40!!!!!), but I’m coming to terms with that. It took some time but soon I realised that in order to take the fist step, I had to humble myself and accept that I was not the first person to be in this situation and I certainly would not be the last. Yes, there is a possibility I could be the only person on my course retaking, but lets be real: I am one person, this is one course and this is one university.

Seeing third years- the way they work and their standard of work inspired me. More so when I found out that some of these third years retook their first year. Oooh those graduate portfolios!! No word of a lie, they were absolutely phenomenal and to know that I could be that if I put my heart and soul into it is stomach churning. Yes it’ll be hard, very hard, but all degrees are. Honestly, it may not have been as easy to reach if I went into year two at the correct time. As I say, and I’ll probably say again, we are all on different journeys. It might not work for you but I’m hoping that repeating year one will work for me.

Before I go on, let me clarify: I’m not retaking because I was a careless student. Let me put it out there that I was always on time, I met all deadlines and I worked hard (although procrastination did get the better of me at times), things just didn’t run as smoothly as I thought they would. To be honest, I expected one thing and I got the complete opposite, which knocked me a little bit. Okay a lot (lol), but I sucked it up and did what I needed to do. My time management wasn’t always the best, but I can put my hand on my heart and say I tried. In the words of Sarah F ‘Not everyone gets things right the first time round’.

If you’re going into first year, I advise that you work hard to avoid retaking. Of course no one goes into uni thinking that they’ll retake, however remember that anything can happen and things don’t always go according to plan- stay humble. Having stumbled myself, my biggest piece of advice is this: Learn your work style. At some point in education you would have learnt that different strategies work for different people. Some people can start a whole project the night before and get an A and some will start 4 weeks before and get a C. Know how you work. University isn’t the time to test the waters. Have fun but know that you’re there for a very expensive degree. Uni is a choice at the end of the day, so make the most of your choice. Oh and try not to leave things to the last minute!!! It is possible to do a project the night before and get a decent grade, but that isn’t always the case.

It was pretty late in the academic year when I realised it was over. I had so much hope that the situation would turn around, but I knew- at the back of my mind I knew. I sat down with my dad and my older sister and explained that it was very likely I’d have to retake. Of course, we explored my options and that night I came to the conclusion that I would give it another shot. I remember talking to my support tutor and three close friends of mine. All of them admired my courage and determination whilst it sank in that I’d be doing year one again. Something I never saw myself having to do.

My journey is far from complete. One thing I do know is that I couldn’t do it without my Saviour, Jesus Christ. Oh how I cried out to Him. If you’re a student and you find yourself in this situation, know that it is not the end of the world. Of course you will probably go through ALL the emotions known to man- I know I did- but don’t worry they’ll settle in time.

Firstly I’ll say that if you find yourself in this situation, think about what is best for you. It can be so easy to get caught up in ‘’ooh what are people going to think?’’ or ‘’that tutor of mine will rub it in my face with his ‘I told you so’ ’’. Forget them. Life is not about pleasing people all the time. You’ve got to stand up and do what’s best for you. If that means retaking the year, so be it! If you want to do something, go out and do it. Be inspired- make the most of every situation. Personally, I’m using this as an opportunity to master my craft. Yes I’ve done it before, but I’m gonna do it better. You should too.

Secondly, use the summer to prepare, regroup and refocus. Read up on course material, there is always something to learn and/ or get a better understanding of.

Thirdly, think about where you went wrong. What did you learn? What would you do differently? For me, I learnt a lot. Course material and craft aside, I learnt about myself. I learnt to be confident, that things don’t always go according to my plan and there is hope and greatness even when you’re in the midst of a nightmare.

God always, always has a plan-even when it feels like you’re alone and everything is crashing down on you. He showed me that I truly do have to walk by faith and not by sight.

Next, be practical and do what you need to do to make sure you succeed. The good thing is you’ll have the advantage having done it all before. Share what you know and never be afraid to ask for help. If you struggle with organisation, make timetables and schedule time for work ensuring to highlight important dates like deadlines. If you find that you need a bit more help and support, speak to a tutor you trust/ get along with or find out about and book an appointment with a member of the student support team. You should be told about the members of staff that can help you further at some point during induction. You may even find that a tutor recommends someone who can help.

Fifthly play on your strengths! There’s no harm in doing something again if you did it well. Excellent at essay writing? Don’t change the way you plan your essays. Failed unit 4? Take the time to study and understand where you went wrong. I can’t express the importance of understanding briefs and the unit requirements- assessment components, methods, outcomes, criteria. Know them like the back of your hand, it is the key to help you figure out where your marks will come from and whether your work relates to what they are asking for.

Finally, my course was a fashion related course so I was producing a lot of research and sketchbooks. My last piece of advice from my former tutor may not apply to all but what he said really helped me: Lay out your work as if the person marking it is stupid and they have never seen the brief before. Let them understand why you did what you did, how you got to the conclusion, your thought process, EXPLAIN what you’re doing and why.

There is so much more to look forward to. I am so ready for the new year. This summer has been an amazing time for me to regroup and prepare to cross this bridge.

Let me end on this. Everything happens for a reason, you’re in this situation so make the most of it. Make the most of the time you have before you resume your studies, work hard, plan your time, make the most of the resources around you, ASK if you don’t understand, learn, learn from your mistakes- try not to make history repeat itself. Don’t forget to look to the future and enjoy YOUR journey, bask in THESE moments because life is what you make it.

Take care, God bless and much love always

Until next time

Rebekah

Letting Go And Leaving Uni

‘We all have this perfect picture in our minds of how things are supposed to be, and that’s why we all end up being disappointed.’

Who would’ve thought this chapter would end like this? Withdrawing from university in December 2014, something I never saw myself doing. It’s funny how we think we know. How we plan, plan, plan and are certain life will work out one way (things will go according to our own plan) and it ends up the complete opposite.

This season of my life I honestly wouldn’t change for the world, I grew and learned and I’ve been taken on a journey that I appreciate and cherish. It’s been long and hard but I’m confident about the future. Rightfully so, my happiness has been restored and I’ve decided to embrace this change and stand firm in my most recent decision.

I never thought I would have such a lovely effect on people and it’s a blessing knowing that I have. I was told that I touched people here and that means the world to me. Funny how you can be so oblivious to the impact you have on someone else’s journey when you are so familiar with the impact others have had on your journey.

I realised a few things in this period, the most important ones being:

1) This is not what I was called to do

2) Not alwaaaaays the best idea to mix your passion and your career  (this may vary and depends on the situation, career choice, passion and person)

3) It’s ok to let go when you realise that something isn’t for you

4) Letting go doesn’t mean failing

5) You cannot always live your life and make choices based on what people want and expect you to do

6) It doesn’t matter what people will think. You’ve gotta do you at some point and embrace your choices. What if it’s wrong? We all learn from our mistakes

7) You have a dream? Live it and work hard to achieve it

8) Be strong, be passionate, be daring, be confident and go out and do what you have been called to do (still working on this)

9) Sometimes God doesn’t want us to do the ‘obvious’

10) He’ll never forsake you and He’ll never start a work in you that He won’t or can’t finish.

I realise that everyone is different and I respect that what works for some certainly doesn’t work for others and that’s okay. Come on. Fashion isn’t for me. I don’t belong there; I belong in the community, out here, reaching out, touching and changing lives. As cliche as it sounds that’s what I’m passionate about, and that’s what I’m so longing to do. Yes, I should’ve pursued it earlier but God is the writer of my story and I needed this chapter, this path to prepare me for the next step.

One thing I’m grateful for is that I left on a good note. This was such a bittersweet goodbye. So grateful for the friendships I made in such a short period of time. I truly will miss some of you. For the first time in a long time I feel free and ready. My tutors acknowledged how hard I worked and how bad I wanted this, how much I wanted to succeed, and that’s all I could have asked for. My last day was the best day I had there because it was filled with love, joy, laughter, well wishes, hugs, solidifying friendships, the end of an era and everything in between.

In my leaving to pursue other things and in closing this chapter with confidence, I hope I’ve inspired people just as others have inspired me. I admire, commend and respect everyone who graduated from that place, as it is so, so far from a quiet stroll in the park.

All in all, I am so happy, and I am so grateful because as one door closes another one opens. I’m overjoyed with the way this turned out. Who knows where I’d be if I just followed my heart in the first place? I’d have no stories to tell and no lessons to pass down to anyone willing to listen. I bless God for allowing me to get this far and for stopping me from going any further. Truly there are blessings even when it seems like you’re in the midst of a nightmare.

I used to say that my time here was a shipwreck and I drowned, but no, it wasn’t a shipwreck, it was a very rocky boat ride to shore. I’m still rowing, still learning etc but now that I’ve arrived I plan to stay for a while (unless God states otherwise). So, when the time is right, I’ll hop back on the boat and row to the next island, but for now, land ahoy, land definitely ahoy!