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Wandering Thoughts

Because sometimes hiding behind a pen and paper is the only way we can express our true thoughts and feelings

Something Old but New

 A month after obtaining my B.Sc, I went back to school to start working on my Ph.D. Before I went back, I had a list of things I wanted to do outside of my research. I didn’t want to be one of those people who became so consumed with their research that they forgot how to live life. LOL. I laugh now because the thing I feared was what happened to me. A year into my Ph.D. I found myself struggling to find a balance. story for another post.palm face

I began to measure myself and my growth and progress with what those around me (and by around me, I mostly mean the people I knew back in Nigeria) were doing.

To my eyes, they were living the life, achieving their dreams and I was the struggling researcher living the work-home, work-home life 6 days a week. LOL what a silly comparison to make.

For a long time, I struggled with feeling like I wasn’t measuring up. Feeling like I was left behind,  and not progressing. But recently it struck me that yo I am doing a Ph.D.! I tend to throw the word around because I am surrounded by other Ph.D. students, but the truth is,  it’s in no way a walk in the park and the people I am constantly measuring my life with are not doing a Ph.D. and they are not me! well duh

Everyone’s journey is different and the truth is, we don’t all have the same end goal and we won’t all get to our end goals at the same time. Some people will get there at 20 others at 25 others at 30 and others at 50. Yes, we all want to achieve greatness, and we also want to be successful and happy, but the truth is, success and happiness vary for every individual. Our lives are different and the factors that surround us are different. We can’t expect to achieve everything at the same speed and in the same manner as others because we are not the same people! obv

So here are my two cents on the matter. In this social media age where everyone’s life is on Facebook and Instagram and Snapchat it’s easy to feel discouraged when your mates/people you know seem to be doing so much more than you are, or seem to be having much more fun , but the truth is, most people only put up the good times. They don’t post about their struggles, their stress, their hurt, nada, so you measuring your entire life against their happy moments is not ideal and doesn’t help you in any way. It’s like measuring your physical growth against a newborn baby. I mean, you won’t get an accurate representation because you are both at two different stages of life.

measuring your entire life against their happy moments is not ideal

Moral of the story, everyone is running a different race. Your race is unique to you and as long as you are running it to the best of your ability that’s all that matters. Keep running and achieving, cut yourself some slack and celebrate your small victories!celebrate

I say this all the time because it is super important! Celebrate your victories because life can be tough at times and people can be hard to please, so when you can, celebrate those victories! They make the bigger victories that much sweeter.

 

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Oh So Overwhelming…

2017At the beginning of 2017, I was ready to take on the world!

I had everything planned out. I knew what I wanted and I knew how it would all work out for me. January to June/July worked out fine. My research was going well, my personal life was doing okay, all was good with Miss Sharon.

But come August, everything seemed to go downhill. It was like everything was crumbling. But me being the person that I am, I told myself I had to figure stuff out myself. I had to be strong. I couldn’t appear weak. Everyone was looking up to me, you know, all that kind of stuff. (complete and rubbish if you ask me)

I had responsibilities and I couldn’t just pawn them off or pretend like they didn’t exist, but everything was overwhelming. So here’s what I did. I kept struggling in the water (the water being my overwhelming situation) and trying to swim, but since I don’t know how to swim all I was doing was keeping myself from drowning.

face palm

And in as much as I was keeping myself alive, it wasn’t how I wanted to live my life and it was a lot of hard work. I finally came to my senses the day before my birthday, when the mere thought of another year was causing me to panic. Lol

It was actually not funny, but I can laugh at it now because lol, it’s either that or cry.

At that point, I realized that there are times and seasons for everything that concerns you. This includes all your dreams and desires and ambitions. Sometimes we get impatient and we want to do everything NOW. Because we feel like we don’t have enough time, or because we see our mates achieving great things. So we pressure ourselves to act even when we are not ready. It’s like taking someone who is in primary 6 and telling the person to write senior secondary school exams. Lol, I mean, just because said child can write doesn’t mean the child is ready for those exams.

obv

So here is what I am trying to say. One of the easiest ways to become overwhelmed is to take on more than you can handle. It’s to say I can do so and so even when you cant, because the truth is, the minute you start to overstress one part of your life, every part of your life will feel the stress too and eventually begin to suffer.

It’s important to be able to balance everything, from work to family, to friends, to fun. No, you don’t need to party every night, but you do need to be able to do something fun even if it’s just reading a book or catching up with someone over coffee.

You deserve to not just live life, moving from one day to the next, but to enjoy it.

And, it’s also important to be aware that everyone has different stress threshold levels (for lack of better words). Some people can handle any amount of work without batting an eye or taking any breaks, while others need to take regular breaks or have regular intervals to handle that same workload. It doesn’t make anyone inferior to anyone, it just means that we are all different. And honestly, it’s important that YOU realize that YOU are different from other people, because the sooner you realize this, the sooner you’ll be able to balance your life and move in the right directionmom-cat-balancing-act.

So as the year comes to an end, and you plan for 2018, make sure your plans are not just realistic, but they also include you. Make sure they aren’t all about making money at the cost of your well being. You deserve to not just live life, moving from one day to the next, but to enjoy it.

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That Time of Year

Today is the 18th of December and in a few days, I’ll be a year older. Usually, I’m quite happy when my birthday comes along.

me

It’s another year, I’m getting older (don’t know why this ever made me happy tbh lol) people show me love, I remember all the good times, treat myself to some cake LOL, all that good stuff.

More importantly though, for me, birthdays usually mark the beginning of a new year (which is what they are) but more than that, they sometimes feel like a second chance. You know, like maybe you didn’t really do 18 that well, so then you decide you’ll do 19 better because you know better.  Or maybe 25 wasn’t as great as you wanted it, so you tell yourself 26 will be better, it’ll be your year etc.

In fact, about 6 months ago, I was already planning my birthday. I told myself I’d cut my hair and dye it red. I’d get a second piercing and this birthday I would usher in a brand new Sharon.

LOL, it’s actually not funny, but the last couple of months knocked me down a peg or two and to be very honest, I am not ready for my birthday this year. If I could skip it, or postpone it for a month or two, I would, but oh well!

oh well

Anyways, so things aren’t really going the way I planned, but I was speaking to a lady the other day and she said to me “Sharon, you can’t keep doing the same things and expect things to change”.

 

you can’t keep doing the same things and expect things to change

Now this isn’t or wasn’t the first time I was hearing that, and it wasn’t new to me, but hearing those words in that moment made me realize that I was actually doing a lot of harm to myself by being comfortable in my situation and waiting for the world to magically fix itself for me! LOL

And it reminded me that you can wish all you want for a better life, a better 2018. You can make all the new year resolutions you want. You can hope, and you can dream.

just

But if you live 2018 the same way you’re living 2017, making the same choices, nothing will change and come December 2018 you’ll be right where you started. At some point, you have to realize that life is what you make of it, and if something isn’t working for you, maybe you should try something else because come what may, you are not the same as everyone else.

Also, you need to accept the fact that your life is really yours to live and if you make decisions based on everyone but yourself, chances are those decisions will come back to bite you and they more often than not will leave you feeling resentful.

So yea, if you don’t like the way things are going, then maybe it’s time to make a change in your life. A change that moves you in the positive direction.

Life can sometimes be hard, but you don’t always have to do it alone.

And hey, if you’re unsure of what to do, there’s nothing wrong in asking for help. It takes a lot of courage to admit that you don’t have it all together and you need help. Don’t let your pride stop you from being great.loved

 

Life can sometimes be hard, but you don’t always have to do it alone.

 

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GIFTS FOR THE ARTIST IN YOUR LIFE

From the archives

 

So today’s post is something I actually wrote last year. I lowkey feel like I’ve shared this before, but lol. Nothing wrong with sharing twice!happy gif

 


I remember how I used to pride myself in being this bad ass girl that never cried.

I told myself over and over again that I wouldn’t cry. It was like a mantra I repeated to myself ever so often. So no matter how hurt I was, I hardly ever cried. Nothing could faze me.

The few times I did cry, were times when I was extremely pissed off, and since I had also told myself I would work on my then explosive temper, crying was the only other option.

That was then… About two months ago, all that changed. Imagine my surprise and astonishment when all of a sudden, I started crying almost every day. The first time it happened, I blamed “mother nature” but the next few times, she wasn’t there to blame, and I was left trying to figure out what in the world was going on!

I started asking myself if I was okay, started questioning my mental and emotional health! Lol, I remember one Sunday morning, where I cried for most of the service! I’m sure everyone thought I was under the influence of the Holy Spirit, Lol! crying gif.gifThe truth of the matter though was, I was hurting and all I could do at that point in time was cry.

I started losing weight, and I became quieter than I usually was. I avoided conversations and unless it was work related, or my family I avoided people too.

After a lot of searching within myself, I finally accepted the fact I was just really hurt and needed to allow myself deal with and process the hurt. Now, that isn’t some story about how overnight I became better, or how I discovered the key to getting over hurt, far from it. I mean I did learn things during that time, but that isn’t what today is about.

Now, that isn’t some story about how overnight I became better, or how I discovered the key to getting over hurt, far from it.

I mean, I did learn things during that time, the most important being that it is important you allow yourself grieve when things happen. Brushing it under the carpet doesn’t and will not fix anything, cause when you lift up the carpet, everything will be right where you left it.

It hurts to hurt, but feeling the hurt, in my opinion, is a sign that you are human, that you are alive; and where there is life, there is hope.  But I digress!

Often, we look at people, and they are all smiles, but inside they are hurting. Other times, people seemingly “disappear”, they go AWOL, and we are left wondering why… when this happens, don’t be too quick to judge them.

Everyone is different, and everyone handles pain differently.

Don’t be too quick to say “this person doesn’t even care.” It could be that they are hurting and just need a little time and a heap loads of love.

Everyone is different, and we all deal with things differently. It is so important to be nice to people, you don’t see how your actions affect them. Sometimes a smile is all a person needs to feel better about themselves and their situation. Simple things like text messages go a long way. Allow your actions speak. Not everytime only saying “I love you” sometimes (most times actually) show it. loved

Learn about the people you meet, learn to give people the benefit of the doubt. Some people need patience, lots of it, while others don’t. Some people need time, and others will pour out their hearts to you the minute they meet you.

Be sensitive, be nice, don’t be so quick to write people off. Be careful with your words and actions, because some things you do might leave lifelong scars on others.

And finally, when things happen, and you feel broken, there’s nothing wrong in taking the time out to heal.

Having said that, if anyone reading today’s post needs a listening ear at any time, you can reach out to me. Email: shaybolanta@gmail.com. Twitter and IG:  shayrunn and Facebook: Sharon Bolanta

 

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The Battle with Self

IMG-20170805-WA0017Last week I spent a lot of time battling things I thought I had overcome time ago! I felt like I was not measuring up. I felt like everyone was in a better position,  better than me.

You see, I’ve spent most of my life proving to people that I was/am good enough. When I was younger, I often felt like I had a point to prove. I was privileged, smart, hardworking and beautiful (even if I do say so myself, lol)  However, I felt like everyone around me thought  I only got the things I got because of who my parents were. So I worked harder at everything, constantly trying to prove to people that I was good enough on my own. I was strong and independent.  And I made sure I proved to everyone at every opportunity I got that I could succeed.

So yea, I’ve consistently felt like I have had to prove my worth to any and everyone. It’s actually a horrible way to live, to be honest. Why? Well instead of doing things and enjoying the things you do, you’re constantly on edge running a race with people who don’t even know you’re running. You don’t enjoy what you do, you never feel like you are good enough, you’re constantly failing even when you’re not, because to you,  the success that you seek is always a bar higher than you’ll ever achieve.

Some of you might read this and think, well what’s so wrong in shooting for the stars no? Well, there’s nothing bad in it if deep down you’re doing it for you. If you’re happy and genuinely enjoying what you do, then great! Chances are though, that if you are like me, always proving yourself, then you aren’t.just

So back to last week. Last week I was very stressed. I felt broke and broken, and the worst part of it all was, I couldn’t talk to anyone about it. Now read my words carefully, it’s not that I didn’t have anyone to talk to, I just couldn’t bring myself to talk, and that was a huge setback for me, cause I thought I had overcome that struggle a while back….

I was irritated with myself and everyone, but in the midst of my frustration and irritation, I realised something.

I am who I am, and the only person I should be comparing myself with is myself. The only person I should be using to measure my success and failures with is myself. The more I thought about it, the more I realised that yo, I had a setback, but that didn’t  mean I hadn’t grown or made progress in the last couple of years.  And the more I realised that the more I realised that in reality, I had actually handled things much better than I would have a year ago.

So yea, looking back, I don’t think things were as bad as I believed they were, and to be honest I need to pat myself on the back for the progress I’ve made instead of giving myself a slap, and you know what, you should too!gold star

We learn every day, and we should celebrate our milestones cause we are the only ones that know how hard it took us to get to them… And if we don’t celebrate them very few people will!

Remember to celebrate the progress you make this week, even if it looks very tiny, it’s still progress and should be celebrated.

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Relationship Bants 2

I know ya’ll have been waiting for Relationship Bants 2, well, your wait is now over!Hurray-GIF But before I go into it, can I just say that if you haven’t listened to the cover album on my last post, you really, really need to give it a listen. It is absolutely refreshing and amazing! You can find it here

Alright, so let’s jump into it, shall we?

Today I’m going to be quite brief because I don’t think I have the authority to tell you certain things, such as when you are ready to be in a relationship.

I say this because everyone is different. For example, when I was younger, I was told relationships were not for teenagers in secondary school, however, I know people who started dating in secondary school and 6-7 years later are still going strong. I also know people who waited until they were in college and ended things 3 months later. It’s pretty obvious that that specific grading curve for an individual’s readiness is not accurate. In the same way, everything I say today may or may not be applicable to you, but they are things I would personally consider before I hop into a relationship.

Before I start chatting rubbish, let me try to get my points across. We are all different people with different temperaments, which means we all have different strengths and weaknesses. How we deal with our strengths and weaknesses play a huge role in how ready we are to be in relationships (in my opinion). just

One of the major things, I think, is commitment. Remember that hurt bae video that was trending earlier this year??? The girl asked her boyfriend why he cheated on her, and the man straight up said he wasn’t ready for commitment!

That video struck a chord in me, cause often people say if you love someone you won’t cheat on the person, but fam, I don’t agree with that. I think if you are not ready, or if you don’t want to commit to someone, it becomes easy to do things to hurt the person, not because you are a bad person, but because you are not ready to be in a relationship!

hurt_bae

To me, its really simple, commitment is what keeps you together when things get bumpy or rough. Without it, things easily fall apart. So for me, it’s a big one. If you are not ready to commit then you are definitely not ready to be in a relationship.

Another thing is emotional maturity. This is sometimes hard to gauge, but there are clear markers that I would be on the lookout for. For example, someone who is emotionally abusive,  should not be in a relationship. It’s a big no no, and by emotionally abusive, I mean, if a person regularly makes you feel stupid or not good enough, or if a person is constantly making you feel like you are always wrong and they are always right, or they always play the victim I hate this one so much! or they lack empathy. Those are signs of emotional abuse and show a lack of emotional maturity. For example, Christian Grey from “50 Shades of Grey” lacked emotional maturity and in real life had no business being in a relationship! To be fair to him, he wasn’t really into that stuff until Anastasia, but that’s a story for another day! Anyways, long and short is, if you are not emotionally mature, then you shouldn’t be in a relationship.

This actually ties in with my next point, which is, if you cannot accept the fact that you are not always right, then fam, again, you have no business being in a relationship. There is no place for pride or self-righteousness in a relationship. You must be able to say you are wrong and you must be able to see reason. sorryI mean, some people (both male and female) like to think they are always right. The can never be wrong. Ah, who died and made you God -_-. You can’t always be right, so sit down and learn to say “I’m sorry, I was wrong”.

The last thing I’ll touch on is communication. This probably seems like an unnecessary addition to the list, but think about it for a minute and you’ll see how necessary it is. I mean, how do you expect to build something meaningful if you can’t talk?  If you can’t communicate how you feel, or what you want, or your hopes and fears,  how do you expect to build and grow?

If you can’t/won’t/don’t want to have honest conversations with your significant other, then  I don’t think you are ready to be in a relationship.

IMG-20170525-WA0010

Trust me, its very hurtful to be in a relationship where one person is unable to communicate, worse when both people cant!

At the end of the day, it’s hard for any one person such as myself to tell you when you are ready to be in a relationship because everyone is different. But relationships require a level of selflessness, levelheadedness and patience (plus all the things I listed above and more). If you don’t posses those things, maybe you shouldn’t be in a relationship at all. There is nothing wrong in being single until you are ready. It saves the world a whole lot of heartache and pain.

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Made of Music

There is music in everything and everywhere, but only few can see and tap into the magic! Today I am pleased to introduce to you to new music from one of those gifted people, MonLee.

MonLee has produced his latest creative work, a cover album of songs originally composed and performed by Jon Bellion, The Chainsmokers, Jay-Z, Johnny Drille, Jazmine Sullivan, Masterkraft, and more. MonLee’s cover album expresses the musical creativity of several renowned mainstream artists, adding to it his own creative prowess and personal touch; he owns the creative atmosphere of the covers as though they were his original songs, through Beatbox and Acapella, without the use of a single musical instrument. The album is about love, pain and other crucial life lessons.

monmom

MonLee is a Nigerian, Abuja based artist, who started in 2005 in Jos as a music producer popularly known as MonLee. He has produced seasoned artists such as The Isomers Band, Tommy Maverick (whose work is featured on Made of Music Cover Album), Charles DreadHead (Nkemjika) and Yéla, and alongside top notch music producers such as SizzLePro and MacRock. He produced his first personal project, a rap Mixtape in 2014 titled “CubEthics” and a soul EP in 2016 titled “BINI: The Poeatric Dreamer”. He is always working on his next album and connecting with his Essence through music.

 

Please find below, the album arts, the Soundcloud (listen) and Audiomack (download) links for “Made of Music Cover Album”

 

 

 

You can find out more about his music on his social media platforms 

Twitter: @monlee_mane
Instagram: @monlee_mane
Facebook: Mon Lee

Greener Grass

I’m sure you were all expecting Part 2 of Relationship Bants! Lol, sorry to disappoint guys, I will post it, but just not today!

smug gif

You know what they say about delayed gratification!

Okay, so to today’s post. For the majority of last week, I struggled with feelings of “everyone seems to be having a better time than I am” 😦 .

I was comparing myself to former classmates that had gotten married, classmates that got new jobs, classmates that seemed to have had amazing summers etc. And there I was . . . going to my “8- whenever I close job”. Doing experiments that for some unknown reason kept failing, marriage nowhere in sight. (not that I really want to be married right now, but still) No chance of a new job for at least 2 more years and summer is over, so no amazing summer for me this year! 😦

As you can see, everything in my life paled in comparison to what everyone else seemed to be doing, and it was hard to not be depressed or to not compare my life to theirs and feel like I got the short end of the stick. sad face

I wish I could say I “slapped myself” and got out of those feelings just like that, but it didn’t happen that way.

I had to have conversations, with both myself and other people. I had to remind myself why I do what I do, and why my life is just as good as anyone else’s.

It’s very easy to think the grass is greener on the other side. It’s easy to look at others and feel inadequate to the people around you, but you shouldn’t, and there are many reasons why.

For starters, you don’t know personally what they are experiencing. I have learnt that social media life can be as real as it can be fake and it is often difficult to determine what is a stunt and what is the reality. Another thing I have come to learn about the grass on the other side is that it is rarely ever the kind of grass I like. It looks good, but if I am completely honest with myself, then I have to admit that the things I am envious of, are not really things I am interested in, which raises the question of why am I jealous of those experiences in the first place! idk

Human nature is always searching for more. Day in, day out we want more. We are hardly ever satisfied, and I think that’s why the grass often always looks greener.

So, what do we do about that? How do we deal with this illusion of greener pastures?

Honestly, I think everyone will deal with such issues differently. However, one thing we can do is when we are tempted to look at other people and think less of our positions or accomplishments, we need to remind ourselves of why we started in the first place and why we have stayed all this while. We should have those conversations with ourselves and the people around us that reaffirm what we already know about ourselves and the things we have. Because as human beings, we love affirmations and reaffirmations. affirmation

So, yeah… The grass does often look greener, but your grass probably looks greener to someone too, and maybe if you pay a little bit more attention to the good in your life, you’ll see all the greenness that others see in you!

 

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