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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

Unapologetically You … (II)

glasses

I’m one of those people who finds it hard to say no (I may or may not have mentioned this before). I’m better at it these days, but in the past, 9 out of 10 times I’d always say yes. You see, I often felt like I wasn’t good enough, so I thought if I  did what the people around me wanted, I would become good enough for them. LOL, let’s just say things didn’t quite work out that way.

I’m older now, and even though I haven’t completely mastered the art of saying no, I’m working on it – and this leads us to today’s post. Recently I was asked to do something. My first impulse was to say no because it was beyond my abilities at the time. However, I thought, “what would people say if they knew I said no”? I then told myself I was being silly for thinking I couldn’t do it (even though I knew there was no way I could deliver) and being the stubborn person that I am, I decided I would say yes! LOL, I’m sure my village people were laughing at me. Anyways, I said yes, then promptly decided I wouldn’t think about it. I mean, I knew I had this thing to do, but I didn’t want to stress about it, so I didn’t give it too much thought. I did all that I could physically do and lived in denial for a while. As the deadline got closer though, I realized how unprepared I was and let’s just say things went south really really fast. facepalm

Looking back, I know I could have prevented all that by simply saying no, or saying I couldn’t deliver within the time frame. I could have avoided all that emotional and mental stress. I could have handled the situation in so many different ways, but I decided to go down the one way that would cause me the most stress. I knew it wouldn’t end well, but my fear of “what would they say” stopped me from making the right choice.

So here’s the thing, in being unapologetically you, you have to know who you are. You have to know your strengths and weaknesses, make the most out of them and protect them. If you know you get stressed easily, you need to remove yourself from stressful situations when you can and find less stressful ways to deal with them. If this means doing things straight away instead of leaving them until the last minute, then do that. Don’t sit in situations that will cause you to pull your hair out when the option to walk away is available.  It’s like eating chocolates even though you’re allergic to them just because you don’t want people to think you’re weird or because everyone is doing it. It doesn’t make sense!

Protect your peace of mind, your health and your joy and do it with pride

You can only protect what is yours if you know how too. What are the parts of yourself you are working on? What are your weaknesses? What are your strengths?  What are your unique qualities?  You can only protect and nurture them when you identify them. This isn’t to say don’t work on becoming a better you, but as you’re on that path, take care of yourself so you don’t jeopardize your progress.

When I first started my PhD, one of my colleagues said to me that she doesn’t work 7-day weeks because if she does she’ll become overly stressed and become useless to everyone. So she works 5-day weeks, goes to the gym, has a life outside of work and is productive as a result. She knows herself and she makes no apologies for being that way!no apologies

Your life is yours and yours alone. Protect your peace of mind, your health, and your joy and do it with pride. It doesn’t matter if they think it’s an anomaly. At the end of the day when you’re sick or stressed or worried, the people you were trying to live for most likely won’t be able to help.

Moral of the story, you know yourself better than anyone else. Don’t let the thoughts of people or society push you into a situation that robs you of your peace and joy.

Life is too short for you to be constantly stressed when you don’t have to be!

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Unapologetically You… (I)

IMG-20170914-WA0005As a personal blogger, writing can be hard at times. Especially when you’re trying to be honest and speak about the things that matter to you. There is a constant battle between how much information is okay and how much is too much. You wonder if people will actually understand the point you’re trying to make or if they’ll blow it out of proportion and be annoying.

I’d like to talk about mental health, faith, sex and sexuality, race and so many other things, but I often wonder how I can talk about those things without the accompanying backlash. It’s not necessarily that I am worried about what people will say about the topics, it’s the things people will say to me.

The internet can be mean and heartless sometimes and quite honestly I don’t want to be on the receiving end of that hate anytime soon. This in addition to some other things, has stopped me from writing about certain topics and doing some things. But you know what? I think that needs to change.change

How many times do we hold back on being the person we are meant to be because of what people will think/say? How many times do we hold back on saying what we really think because we think people won’t approve? For me, that’s like all the time. (as you might already know)

You’ve most likely heard this before, however, I’ll say it again. You only get one shot at doing life. You’ve been deposited with so much greatness, so many ideas, so many dreams. Don’t let the idea of someone’s hypothetical disapproval stop you from doing what you know you should be doing.

If you know for a fact, that this is where you should be and this is what you should be doing, then go ahead. Don’t let the people that will never approve (or will only approve when they are broke and need your money) stop you. rolling eyes

There’s so much in life that you can do, there is so much that you were created to be. Don’t let the world stop you. Step out of your comfort zone and do what needs to be done. People will talk no matter what you do. It’s just human nature. So don’t let what they’ll say stop you.

Also, in most cases, the things you think people are thinking, are most times false. Most times they are projections of our fears and insecurities. Sure they might think stuff, but it’s usually not as bad as you think and even if it is… who cares?  It’s your life, full of your dreams and your passions.

If you’ll let anything stop you, don’t let it be the thoughts and opinions of others.

Because you were made to be you. UNAPOLOGETICALLY You.

I’m a 20 something-year-old woman and people often ask me if I plan on getting married because  I’m doing a Ph.D. in polymers/materials. I hear it all the time (it’s ridiculous btw, but that’s a post for another day) but it won’t stop me from doing what I want to do. That’s one area of my life I have learned not to compromise on, but I think it’s time I took that attitude to the rest of my life. To my dreams, my thoughts, and my desires.

Moral of the story, don’t let the opinions and thoughts of others stop you from being you.

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Because you were made to be you. UNAPOLOGETICALLY You!

 

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Lessons from Lupita and the Black Panther Cast…

 

So I’m not really a Marvel fan type of person. However, Black Panther was all shades of amazing and lol, if you haven’t seen it, you really should!

Okay, so, unfortunately, this isn’t a review. This post is actually about the amazing cast of Black Panther kinda and life lessons I learnt from watching interviews and basically stalking the cast. LOL

Lupita and Shuri

Let’s start with Lupita, a few years ago, someone told me I reminded them of Lupita Nyong’o. Lol, at the time, I didn’t even know who she was, but from then on I slowly started to fall in love with her.

I’ve been watching a lot of interviews of Lupita since the release of black panther, and today while scrolling through her IG, I saw a post where someone commented and said something along the lines of “Lupita living the life/always having fun” and you know what, I actually agreed with them for a second. Until I saw a post where Lupita was celebrating her birthday with the cast. The picture caused me to think about all the sacrifices actors make to create awesome movies. I mean, it takes months of practice, hours of learning scripts, study, dedication, sacrifices.

FAM, it often looks like they are living the life on opening night, but when you think about it, it actually took them a lot to get there. A lot of hard work and time too. Nothing in life is just a walk in the park. Hard work always comes into play at one point or the other. It is what makes great people great.gold star

Another thing is, when watching video interviews or reading interviews of the cast, I realised that, in spite of everything they had to learn to become their characters, Nakia, T’Challa, W’Kabi, Okoye, M’Baku, Shuri, Erik etc, they still had fun.  They had fun working, they had fun becoming their characters and they had fun creating magic. Yes, I’m pretty sure there were challenging times and yes, they probably worked long hours (I actually know nothing about filmmaking) but they still found joy in those times.

A lot of people are always waiting, they are waiting to “arrive” before they find their joy. They are waiting to get to the end of the road before they have fun and they end up forgetting to enjoy the things that are happening around them. They forget to laugh at the funny times and enjoy themselves.  Marvel Studios' BLACK PANTHER Global Junket Press Conference

 

Life is full of many stages. You go through different things at different times. It’s important to take as much good from every stage of your life as you possibly can. Because the truth is, there will be times of fun and enjoyment and relaxation, but there will also be times of challenges, growth and hard work. If you don’t remember to find fun and more importantly joy in every stage of life, well, life will pretty much pass you by and all you’ll have will be moments of “I wish I had” instead of fun-filled memories.

 

So in closing, Black Panther is amazing and the cast is full of amazing, good looking (wink) people. If you haven’t seen it, stop dulling! LOL

But more than the amazing cast, there are lessons we can learn from them as individuals. Their dedication, hard work, open-mindedness, unity, loyalty, and humility are things we should emulate in every area of our lives.Skill is not enough to achieve greatness. You need to be willing to put in the hard work.

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As an aside, Letitia Wright is a Christian, unashamed and very open about her faith. When you get a voice, when you go from being a nobody to being a somebody, even if you are only a somebody to a handful of people, don’t be quiet. Don’t be ashamed. Speak out for what you believe in, for what you hope for. This is something that the cast of Black Panther has done repeatedly. They have advocated for women and for Africa and so much more.

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It is something we should all do. Don’t let your voice be wasted on things that don’t add value or don’t move the world or your world in the right direction.

Speak up for more! Together, little by little, we can have that more!

Thank you for reading today’s post!

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And please, go see Black Panther!

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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