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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

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I’m Back!


IMG-20180908-WA0032So it has been a while since I last wrote. I want to say I took time off to create more content and reorganise my life, but that would be a lie. The truth is the last few months have been challenging, and I couldn’t keep up with work/school/blogging, so I had to take a step back.
Having said all that, I am back (for the most part)! And I have a few things lined up. The one I am most excited about is a series I will be kicking off titled, “Letters to Sophia”. As the name implies, it is a series of posts written to Sophia! Who is Sophia you ask? Lol, watch this space to find out!

Another thing I will be doing in the coming months is introducing you to my life as a PhD researcher/candidate. I realise that a lot of people do not understand what a PhD journey looks like, and so I would like to share mine with you.

Finally, I will be featuring guest authors on the blog, so if you are interested in being featured, drop me a message at shaybolanta@gmail.com or send me a DM on Twitter/Instagram @shayrunn lets hook up!

In reality, this is mostly a “hey I’m still here” post, but I can’t leave without saying a little something, so here we go!
I started my blog as an escape. It was how I got stuff off my chest. It was how I shared my then unpopular opinions. However, as I have gotten older, I have learnt that my so-called unpopular opinions aren’t that unpopular and a lot of people resonate with the things I have to say. Now, this has made me quite happy, because it means I can speak my mind without judgement (sometimes) and even when I get judged, I don’t mind, because I know I am not alone in my way of thinking.
Okay, so where is the lesson here? I said thatWell, the problem is I don’t always say what I think. I hate confrontations, and I get very passionate about things, so sometimes I “un-look” to avoid unnecessary drama. And while “un-looking” is sometimes necessary to maintain peace of mind, there are times when we need to look and speak.

I have said this before, but it’s only right that my first post after months of silence is on speaking up. The older I have gotten, the more I have come to realise that the women I look up to, are women just like me. The only difference between us is that they speak up when necessary. Does this mean they get dragged on Twitter all day long? Yes!

But it also means they get to educate and inspire people all the time!happy dance

Sometimes it takes just one good connection, from one honest, down to earth conversation with a random person to push you in the right direction.

And here’s another thing. Speaking up is not always about educating and inspiring, it’s about connecting with likeminded people and I for one, am all for it! Sometimes it takes just one good connection, from one honest, down to earth conversation with a random person to push you in the right direction.
So moral of the story, you have a voice, thoughts, and opinions for many reasons. Use them, they are tools and assets, and when used wisely they can change your life in ways you never thought or dreamed!

Thank you for reading today’s post! Please like, share and comment!

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The “Bad Guy” Theory

For most of my life, I have had an interesting relationship with being the “bad guy” in people’s stories.
On the one hand, I genuinely don’t enjoy hurting people, and so I often allow myself to be painted as the “bad guy” (i.e. taking all the blame) when I have issues/disputes/misunderstandings with people. On the other hand, I don’t really enjoy “debating” with people (especially opinionated people who always have to be right). just noWhich means most times, when I discuss controversial or potentially controversial issues, I keep my opinion to myself. Partly because I don’t have the patience for stubborn people (lol) but mostly because I don’t want to be on the receiving end of anyone’s disapproval.
However, over the last couple of weeks, I have been toying with the idea of being the “bad guy” in the story, and I have come to a few realisations.
Realisation number one. In some situations being the “bad guy” doesn’t make you a “bad person”. For example, recently, I have read a lot of articles and posts about sexual abuse and gender equality. Surprisingly, a lot of those posts have received a large number of negative criticism even though the issues raised in the posts have been valid. Now, to a lot of people, the writers of these posts are the “bad guys” however, in reality, they aren’t the “bad guys”. In reality, they are a voice for those who are on the receiving end of gender inequality and sexual abuse which are important issues.
So what does this have to do with the “bad guy” image?excelent question Well, we live in a world with ever-increasing problems, and we often shy away from speaking up on important issues because we don’t want to be the “bad guy”. Or we do not want people to view us as the “bad guy”. However, the truth is, we cannot change the wrong things around us if we remain silent. And most times, speaking up will temporarily make you the “bad guy” because people do not like to be challenged or told they are wrong.
Another realisation is this. The “bad guy” is something fear tells you to keep you from stepping out of your comfort zone and to make you doubt your self-worth. It is probably hard to swallow this “idea” but think about it for a minute. When you don’t understand that your thoughts and opinions are valid, you shy away from voicing them. Which in turn leads to my first point. You shy away from sharing those thoughts because you are scared of the response, you might receive.

You shy away from sharing those thoughts because you are scared of the response, you might receive.

In the past, I often played the “bad guy” role because I felt if someone was upset with me, then my feelings weren’t valid. Even when the person’s emotions were misplaced, I still felt I had to be the “bad guy” so the other person would not be hurt and would feel better. I have now realised that it is not my place to prevent people from getting hurt by their actions. That is something they need to deal with themselves.
I guess at the end of the day, what I am trying to say is, it’s okay if people see you as the “bad guy” if you are doing it in the right way and for the right reason. Everybody who has made a difference in this world was a “bad guy” at one point or the other. Finally, your thoughts, feelings and opinions are valid. You don’t have to bury them or accept undeserved blame because you think you deserve it or because you are avoiding a confrontation. speak up
So speak up, your voice matters.

Thank you for reading today’s post! Please like, share and comment! Also, don’t forget to subscribe to this blog!

You can also follow me on Twitter and Instagram @shayrunn

What are You Thankful for?

A few weeks ago, I was talking with someone and she asked me what I was thankful for. I replied with “I’m thankful for my family.” In my mind, my family was a good thing to be thankful for, but lol, she wasn’t impressed.

not impressed.gif

She said, “Well, it’s good to be thankful for your family, but they are not here with you. So what are you thankful for that happened today? Because it’s important to be able to be thankful or happy about things that happen in your everyday life.”

This got me thinking, and I realised that, although generally, I am thankful for many things in my life, I find it hard to see and acknowledge good things in my day-to-day life/activities.

I’ve come to learn that in life, it’s important to find joy in the small things. It is important that you don’t let situations you go through steal your peace and happiness. Life happens in stages and seasons. Sometimes you have a lot of sunshine, and on those days, it’s easy to say “Oh wow, God is good.” However, what happens when the clouds cover the sun and the winds roar? How do you deal and overcome those situations?idk

All my life, people have told me the usual “give thanks in all situations,” but I never understood it. To me, it felt like people were living in denial (in some cases they were tbh, but that’s for another day!). However, I am starting to look at it differently. The idea of giving thanks in all situations isn’t about pretending that x, y, and z aren’t happening. Rather, it’s about acknowledging the fact that although those things are happening, there is still something good in your life.

Deciding to be thankful shifts your focus from all the bad around you to the good. It isn’t always easy to do, but it’s necessary. Why? Well, sometimes the things that aren’t going right might be overwhelming. They might make it seem like there is no hope. If you keep focusing on these situations and their accompanying thoughts, you might end up in a dark place. However, when you are able to look at all the darkness and find a beautiful lone star, that star might be enough to get you going.

It’s easy to say “well nothing good happened today”, but the truth is, the things you are thankful for don’t have to be massive things. You don’t have to win the lotto or get a raise before being thankful. It can be over something as small as what you had for dinner, jollof-rice

 

or an enlightening conversation you had.

Personally, I think choosing to be thankful daily, causes you to analyse your day and find the good in it. Take my day for example. I got to work this morning and everything that could go wrong went wrong. By lunchtime, I was ready to go home and cry. Ordinarily, I would have said, I really don’t have anything to be thankful for. However, as I write this, I’m looking out the window by my desk (it’s a beautiful view) and counting all I have to be thankful for. I somehow got inspiration for this piece, (I was really stressed about what I would write about) I had a nice salad for lunch (I like good food) and to top it off, I found something I had been looking for to complete my experimental setup. So yea, maybe my day didn’t start out great and maybe nothing happened the way I wanted it to, but I can, and I have chosen to look back and be thankful.change

Moral of the story, choosing to be thankful is honestly the only way to keep going on at times. Some call it looking at the bright side, but irrespective of what it’s called, it’s a powerful tool for dealing with trying times.

Finally, lol, coming to this realisation prompted me to join a friend on twitter in finding something to be thankful for, every day. I have found it quite helpful (and challenging tbh) and today, I am inviting you to join me.  Use the hashtag #Iamthankful to post something you are thankful for every day. You can do it for a week, a month the rest of the year; it’s entirely up to you! But give it a try!

Thank you for reading today’s post! I hope you enjoyed it! You can follow me on Twitter @shayrunn

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Almost New Things…

so-cool-random-22921826-500-333Happy 2017 everyone! So, it’s probably a bit late for that, but better late than never right?

Okay, well, this isn’t really an article, it’s more of an update.

I have been quiet for the last month, not because I’m done with blogging, but because I’ve been trying to put some things together to make my blog a bit more “exciting”.

So please bear with me guys!

Having said that, I will be featuring people on my blog this year, so If you are a writer, or you know any great writers please feel free to leave me a message.  You can contact me at shaybolanta@gmail.com, I look forward to hearing from you all 🙂

Before I go, I do want to share something I’m learning. We are all humans with feelings and emotions. We are different people, who think differently, act differently, and respond differently. Sometimes, we forget this, and have unrealistic expectations for the people we call friends and loved ones. Why is this bad? It’s bad because they will never be able to meet those expectations and you will constantly get hurt because of those expectations. Take it from someone who grew up living a life full of expectations, it sucks.

So what’s the take home message? Cut people some slack every once in a while. Put yourself in their shoes; they may be trying their very best and that you can’t see that probably hurts them more than you know. So give your your friends and loved ones a break ever so often. You wouldn’t want to have to constantly live up to the unrealistic expectations of people all the time, so don’t make others have to do that for you!

Until next time guys!

Thanks for reading today’s post

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I Wasn’t Ready!!!

img_20160619_113623 Usually when I say this, it’s most likely because someone took a picture of me while I was talking or thinking of what pose to strike, and hence I’d respond with, “but I wasn’t ready now!”  However,that phrase took on a new meaning to me a few months ago.

While I was still in my final year of University , I was looking to apply to different schools because I wanted to pursue a Master’s degree program. However, my final year project supervisor thought I would be a perfect candidate to do a PhD under him. Now, to be honest, I wasn’t very enthusiastic about the whole PhD thing. I mean, I was just rounding up 4 years of school… I didn’t want to do 4 more. But he wasn’t having any of that! So, as the good daughter that I am, I brought the issue to my parents, and to my utter surprise, they wanted me to do it! Ah, I couldn’t deal.

Anyways, I had to apply for funding and people were like, success rate for this funding is only 10%, so I wasn’t feeling too optimistic like that. I mean, 10% and there would be people who had Master’s degrees, better QCA’s, more work experience etc.

So I was pretty chill, I didn’t think about it much. Once the application process was over, I focused on graduating from Uni and I even applied to some Master’s programs.

The results were meant to come out in June, but they didn’t. Now, I was a bundle of nerves, because in as much as I didn’t like the idea of 4 more years in school, the thought of getting the funding was exciting. Fast forward to July and one evening, while I’m in my room, I get an email…. And lo and behold I got the funding!

For the next few days, everyone was congratulating me, calling me Dr. Sharon, praising God, telling me they knew I’d get it, etc. For me, I was still in shock.

The following week though, it finally hit me. I was going back to Ireland. I was going to do a PhD. This wasn’t part of the plan! Things just got complicated, and I wasn’t ready, so I cried.

I think it’s safe to say I cried almost every day for like a month (Lol, joking!).

Everyone was so happy for me, but all I could think was, “I’m not ready”. I hadn’t made my peace with it, I hadn’t planned on it, I wasn’t prepared for it.

Because I wasn’t optimistic about getting the funding, I didn’t even do basic research on the whole process, and fam, now that it had happened I was just overwhelmed. For a long time I just didn’t know what to do or how to act. On the outside I was all smiles, but on the inside I felt helpless…

That experience taught me something. Sometimes we aren’t ready for what life throws our way. Those times are scary. So very scary and often we get caught up in the fact that we aren’t ready. We didn’t plan it all out, we don’t have it all figured. However, God is faithful and He has honestly given us the grace to overcome the things that come our way. Most times though, it doesn’t seem that way. It legit feels like life is spiralling out of control. But that you and I feel like everything is going out of control doesn’t mean that it is.

So sure, it’s scary and I still don’t feel 100% ready, but I’m here, and whether I’m ready or not, I’m going to do this thing. I have to spread my wings and fly. Sometimes that’s all it takes. You don’t realize how strong you are, or how capable you are until you find yourself in a position where you don’t have any other reasonable option and you just have to have a go at it.

Life isn’t in the habit of waiting for us to get ready and things often change in the blink of an eye. There is no secret to dealing with unexpected events, life will go on with or without you. You have to decide to not be left behind. You have to decide to move on even when it seems like you’re crippled with fear and anxiety.

You have to move, because if you don’t move, you will be left behind, and you will miss out on the wonderful opportunities that lie ahead.

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I Don’t Regret It At All

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May 2016, I had great plans for my summer! I had planned to do lots of travelling to different countries, but that didn’t really work out for me.

So when I found myself back in the motherland (Nigeria) before I was ready, I told myself, “well in that case, you’ll just have to travel round Nigeria!”

Lol, I truly laugh at my wishful thinking! I mean, I think I knew I was lying to myself at that point, but I just decided to believe the lie…

Anyways, I spent my summer in Kaduna, Nigeria. All 3 months of it, I don’t think I left kd even once, but do you know what? I don’t regret it at all!

I had one of my busiest summers ever and I loved it.

One of the things I did was join the technical crew/media department in my church. That was definitely an experience! The first time I was asked to take pictures during the service, I almost passed out with fear! Me? Stand? In front of hundreds of people, just to take pictures? I was so self conscious of the whole process, my first few shots weren’t great! But as I got into it, I fell in love with the whole process of capturing different parts of the service.

I learnt very fast what it meant to humble yourself before God and worship him in spirit and in truth.

image I was given the opportunity to watch people every week go prostrate before God, and I made up my mind, that I’d never take worship for granted. Because in those times of worship, we are exposed to the glory of God, in those times when we surrender our all to God, He in turn shows us His heart.

 

 

I didn’t get to travel this summer, but I got to experience God from a different perspective and I wouldn’t swap that for anything in the world!

Things may not always go as you plan, but God has his master plan and he’s very good at turning the things we see as disappointments into things of joy.

This was one of the main things I learnt from my summer.

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