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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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Inner Compass, What am I Even Doing!?

 

A few months ago, a friend asked me to do something. I won’t lie, I had my reservations about taking it on. I am generally a cautious person, and I tend to overthink things, so when I faced this dilemma, I told myself I was overdoing it.
I went on to do this thing, and for a while, things were going alright. I was able to manage stuff and keep everyone happy. However, as I kept on doing said thing, I began to struggle. Long story short, I became overwhelmed, stressed and unhappy and had to put an end to things. shaking my head

You can probably guess where I am going with this. If I had listened to my inner compass, I would have saved myself a few months of stress and anxiety. But did I? Nope, I decided to push away the one thing that usually keeps me out of trouble because I wanted to prove a point (or something like that).
So here is the thing. We all have an inner compass. Some people call it intuition, but to me, it’s the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is my compass. When I don’t have peace about something, it’s usually the Holy Spirit telling me I have no business getting involved with it. Whether you refer to your inner compass as intuition or the Holy Spirit doesn’t change the fact that there is something on your inside that tells you what to do and tells you when you are on the right side of things.
The world we live in is full of voices striving for our attention and if you do not know what your inner voice sounds like you will listen to the voice of everyone but yourself.
know yourselfDon’t let anyone sway you. If you know for a fact that you cannot do something, or you do not think a particular task is in your best interest, then take a step back, because here are the facts, most times people do not know you as well as you know yourself.

We often talk about discovering ourselves and finding our paths in life. To me, the first step in achieving this is learning to hear and listen to your inner compass. It genuinely saves you from a lot of mistakes, stress, anxiety and the likes. And often when we don’t know what we are doing, or how to handle a particular situation, our inner compass acts as a guide.
The truth is, I haven’t always listened to my inner compass and nine out of ten times I find myself looking back and seeing all the signs I saw but dismissed. I look back and remember all the times I heard in my spirit that I should have followed a different path, and I’m like, “but you know if you had listened you wouldn’t be here right now”.

Remember, you are the driver, they are the passengers. Even if they sit up front with you, they are still passengers, and you get to decide who you listen to on this journey of life.

It isn’t always easy to listen to and follow the inner voice in us, but it is necessary. Learn to tune out the world and pay attention to yourself. To your mind and your heart. You are the main character in your life, don’t give the lead to someone who doesn’t deserve it or knows the story as well as you do. check yourself
Finally, if you are ever in doubt, or not sure your inner compass is making sense, talk to a mentor, a friend, or someone who knows you and someone you trust. Chances are if you are on the right track they will point you in the right direction.
Remember, you are the driver, they are the passengers. Even if they sit up front with you, they are still passengers, and you get to decide who you listen to on this journey of life.

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Random Thoughts on Abuse and Society

So today, I want to talk briefly about abuse in relationships. nervousTo be honest, I do not know where to begin. So I am pretty much going to do a word vomit and hope for the best.
Recently, I have been in contact with people, young women and girls, who have been victims of physical and emotional abuse. And every time I hear one of these stories, my heart breaks a little because no one deserves to be raped, assaulted or abused by anyone.
Whenever I hear these stories, there is usually one thing that stands out in all of them. A sense of entitlement and a lack of respect. These are two things, in my opinion, that causes people to treat other humans as objects and not people.

No matter who you are, you aren’t that important and turning to violence because you don’t get what you want doesn’t make you a “bigger, better or stronger” person.

I have never understood people who felt entitled to other people. idgiPeople who think that because they are in a relationship with someone they by default own the person.
It baffles me how some men can say, “If you do not date me, you can’t date anyone else” and then proceed to become physical if the person doesn’t agree.
It is easy to say, “Oh the person has a history of violence”, or find some excuse to justify the persons’ actions, but the truth is, those are just excuses used to protect abusive people.
In my opinion, the root of the problem lies in a society that teaches people to “get what they want at all costs”. A society that doesn’t teach us to respect people, especially women. And at the end of the day, we have men (and women) who think their mere existence is a blessing, and everyone should fall at their feet in awe and wonder. However, the truth is no matter who you are, you aren’t that important and turning to violence because you do not get what you want doesn’t make you a “bigger, better or stronger” person. It just makes you immature and petty.I said that
The way society is set up we unconsciously train young men to view women as secondary to men. Sometimes, it appears that women are prizes to be “won”. Maybe it is because men pay obscene amounts in bride price, or spend so much while wooing a woman. Whatever the reason is, it breeds a mindset of unhealthy ownership which often spirals into abuse.
To my way of thinking, if you say you “own” a human, then that makes you a slave owner. You don’t get a woman as a prize for all your hard work. You also don’t get a woman to be your slave. That’s not what a relationship is.
Long and short of the story is this. Abuse is a horrible thing for anyone to go through. It doesn’t matter if you are male or female, abuse is horrible. However, it is very prevalent in our society and we, need to speak up about it. The time of enduring it in silence is past. Now is the time to speak up and to make a difference.

I know this is a different post from what I usually write, but I would love to hear back from you. Please comment, like and share. Also, if you want to share your story or experience, feel free to email me at shaybolanta@gmail.com

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The Weight of the World

Sunday = Picture dayGrowing up as a pastor’s child, I had what I would call an “interesting” childhood. Right from childhood, I knew I had to live up to being “The GOs only daughter“. The bar was already set much higher than it needed to be because of the family I was born into (I love them btw).  The bar was set so high, that I spent my childhood, teenage and early adult years trying to reach it. Everyone expected something from me and I couldn’t disappoint.

I didn’t get to do normal teenage things because “people would talk“.   I couldn’t be anything less than brilliant at school, and ultimately I had to be the epitome of all that was good and calm.  So, I lived by these unspoken rules laid out for me by the men and women I met at church, at school and anywhere in between. I grew up feeling as if I had the expectations of the world on my shoulders. I lived in a glass house and didn’t get to make mistakes.

PK Problems

I grew up the one people came to for advice (I enjoyed this though; a little too much I think lol!). For some reason, everyone assumed I was always good and as per pastor’s daughter, I was a “mini pastor”. I became a pro at hiding how I felt. I learnt to swallow all my emotions, my anger, hurt, confusion, etc. I swallowed it all. At the end of the day, I ended up knowing everyone, looking out for everyone, but being alone.

 

So many people carry the weight of expectations on them and end up alone because of it.

There is nothing wrong with being a role model, or being there for people, but like everything in life, there needs to be a balance. Many people never have the chance to develop this balance. They spend all their lives living up to expectation and being strong for others, while they silently suffer.  I hurt when I come across people like that because I have first-hand experience of how lonely and hurtful that life can be.

The truth is, I haven’t quite figured out how to balance living my life and being there for everyone. I still take on more than I should and get consumed by people and their emotions and I still internalize a lot. However, I have learnt some things along the way.

I have learnt that we are not perfect people and we need to be kind to ourselves.  I have learnt that you can only truly love others when you love yourself. I have learnt that beating yourself up for not living up to “standards” isn’t healthy. It can make you see yourself as not good enough. You are. be kind to yourself Most importantly, I have learnt that you cannot give when you are empty. Any help or advice you give when you are weak and empty is never a hundred percent.

At the end of the day, there is nothing wrong with being the person who is always “there” for people. There is also nothing wrong with living up to certain standards. However, while you give yourself to others and while you live up to “standards“, remember that you too are human and the same kindness you extend to others you should extend to yourself.

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Crisis of Faith

A crisis of faith. A lot of people who believe in a Supreme Being experience this at some point in time in their walk of faith.

Everyone knows I’m a hardcore Grey’s Anatomy fan. I mean, this is my third time watching the show from the beginning and I don’t feel any type of way. LOL. Anyways, for anyone who has been watching the show, you’ll know that April Kepner has been having a major crisis of faith. So much so that she has abandoned everything that she once held dear to herself because of Kepner leaves.gifit. To be very honest I understand and empathize with her character and what she is going through (she’s had her fair share of crap happen to her).  

I always have a problem with how silent Christians are about how hard life can be at times. They tend to paint Christianity as pink roses and blue skies all day every day, but it isn’t. Too often, people turn away from the faith because they think maybe God isn’t really for them. I mean, the pastor said when I receive Jesus life will be rosy, but my life isn’t, so maybe Jesus isn’t really for me. Maybe I’m doing it wrong, and then they walk away.really Or if I do x, y, and z I’ll be successful and live well and be happy, but it doesn’t really work like that.

 

Like April, so many of us grow up following or trying to follow all the commands in the Bible. We don’t drink alcohol, lie, cheat, steal, commit adultery, etc, but somehow, the people who are doing all of those things seem to be making it in life and we are stuck in a rut. It’s devastating. It hurts and it makes you feel foolish. Because it seems like all your “being good” is for nothing.

In my opinion, having a crisis of faith is nothing to be ashamed of. Because almost everyone goes through it and it’s at this point you get to discover for yourself what your faith means to you and why you believe. In the last Grey’s episode, the Rabbi asked Kepner why she expected life to be fair? I mean, if life was fair, Jesus wouldn’t have died on the cross, because that wasn’t fair for him. He said if life was fair Moses would have seen the promised land and on and on he went. Which begs the question of, why do you believe? Is your faith simply because you want to be blessed? Is that why you follow the commands? Pray every day and go to church? Is it for the blessings you want/expect/need? Or is there more?thinking

At some point, you have to question yourself and your faith. You can’t keep doing it because you were born into it. Sooner or later, you need to ask yourself those hard questions and challenge what you have been taught all your life. You need to test the words you’ve been told. Why? Well, if you don’t, when life gets tough and you’re getting knocked over and under, if you don’t know for yourself what and why you believe, it becomes very easy to abandon the faith.

These day’s I’m quite frustrated with where I’m at in my life. However, even when I’m mad at God and tempted to scream, I still trust Him. Because no matter how upset and angry I am, a huge part of me still believes in what He has said concerning me.

I can only say this because my faith is mine. It isn’t my parents or my friends, it’s mine. And that’s why I don’t beat myself up if I don’t read my Bible first thing in the morning every day. Or why I don’t swallow everything “Internet evangelists” spew at me.

It’s also why I can feel like my life isn’t working but somehow trust in this God that I can’t see. Because my faith is mine and I have come to the point where I know and understand that it’s not by how many rules I follow. It’s about a relationship.meredith-alex-feature

A crisis of faith might seem scary or make you feel embarrassed, but don’t let it. Embrace this time of discovery. Don’t be scared to ask questions, it’s the only way you’ll find the answers you’re looking for.

 

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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.

you

Because you were made to be you. UNAPOLOGETICALLY You!

 

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