Little man called me very early this morning, wee hours I must add, to let me know he ranked fourth in class, in his opening exams. Really proud of him. He knows there’s always a gift for him when he hits top 5. So anyway, I later walked into a book store to get him a book. Because I’m that kind of sister that rewards good performance with more books 😀

I really take time to try get him interesting books since I’ve gotten him something before that he down right flipped pages and went like, “Meh, this one’s boring.” And it’s tricky because it’s not always possible to be with him when getting them, but even if it was, I feel it’s important to have a good balance of not just fun, but something he can learn from too- I’m not boring, I promise.  By the way, of the two books I got him today, I got only one right. The other one got the famous label :/. Now I’m making a mental note to maybe shift the balance more towards fun, for now.

Anyway, so… as I rampaged through the entire store, I was on the lookout for a book for myself too; but somehow nothing clicked. But then on the queue at the check-out counter, my eyes spotted something! I picked it up, flipped a few pages and I knew I was sold. Lean In For Graduates. That’s the book title. The author is Sheryl Sandberg, the Facebook COO. Needless to say, I got it.

I’m in love with this book. It’s not exactly a self-help book, she says that herself. Just a book that doesn’t fit into any box of categories, and it feels to me like a reflection of her life with lessons to learn from it. And I love it because it’s made exactly for us who are trying to navigate through the work/life/relationships jungle; whether we’re just starting out/ trying something new/ pressing the reset button. I appreciate it mostly because Sheryl’s style of writing is so engaging- it almost feels like I’m having coffee with a friend and she’s narrating stories and catching me up on her life. She’s really funny too, and I think it’s possible guys in the shuttle I took home had doubts about my sanity since I kept chuckling to myself.

I’m really glad I got the book today because I feel like I’d already started making some of the mistakes she’s pointed out. Or rather, I’d been getting it twisted. So far, I think the greatest lesson I needed to hear is this: ‘Careers are a jungle gym, not a ladder.’ A jungle gym is like monkey bars, where you can ‘jump’ from frame to frame, while a ladder is… well, we all know what a ladder is.  If you’re ready with your images from Google, then let me indulge you.

Sheryl gives the perspective that while there’s only one way to get to the top of a ladder, there’s more than one way to reach the top of a jungle gym. Thinking of your career as a ladder limits you, because there’s the fear that there’s only one ladder for you, so how then, can you be certain that you’re going up the right one? The feeling is paralyzing- I know this all too well… Because how do you make a career choice that’s supposed to determine your whole path (ladder), when you’re not 100% sure? On the other hand, a jungle gym career would allow you to play it by ear, explore many different opportunities, and learn as much as possible from each- just a different route to the top. It definitely sounds more exciting, and less crippling. Plus, she says, climbing up a ladder, your only view is the butt of the person above you, when you could be having a much better view on a jungle gym: D

She also talks about listening to your inner voice and letting it be your compass throughout life- just trust your gut, and forge your own unique path.  You’ll know what’s right for you by the way it feels.

I’ve only read 4/17 of the chapters and I already feel they’ve been so impactful. I kinda want to slow down and synthesize what I’ve learnt so far before carrying on, and I foresee a hard time doing that! Anyway, if this sounds like the kind of perspective you need in your life right now, I highly recommend this book- it’ll definitely be worth it. Or you may not even think you need it, until you read it. Whatever the case- just Lean In, and get a share, too.

Yours in growth,

Woman In Progress 🙂

 

 

 

So… I didn’t post anything last week. I have no good reason, really. But I do have a slight idea, maybe epiphany, of what has been holding me back this past week. So… this occurred to me when I was taking a shower. I honestly tend to think that I might have a shower alter-ego. She always has these amazing ideas, magically finds solutions to problems I can’t fix, and gets life-changing epiphanies. This girl, I kid you not, can do anything. Then immediately she steps out of the shower and hands me the baton, I mess everything up. 😀 Because this isn’t the first time I’ve thought to myself that I’ve finally figured this out. But then I always seem to forget.

Anyway, this thief. Procrastination. I can guarantee it’s been more than 40 days since he came into my life. And I’m not saying this proudly or anything. You know how they say procrastination is the thief of time? I think I know what they mean.

So… I was telling you about last week. I had this assignment that I was meant to work on. Not exactly my cup of tea, but something I needed to do. I’d think of working on it, but somehow get around to doing everything else except that. Even voluntarily do laundry, out of the goodness of my heart. So the whole time a cloud hang over me, and no matter what I tried to do, I couldn’t help shaking the feeling that I needed to be somewhere else doing something else. End result? I either did nothing significant or didn’t enjoy anything else I did. Total waste of time.

In campus, I read this book once that I really loved and endlessly recounted to my friends: ‘Eat That Frog, by John Green’. It’s really an amazing book that I’d recommend to anyone who feels they need help with the procrastination tendency. John Green says to eat the hugest, ugliest frog first. It’s interesting, he compares doing unwanted tasks to eating a frog. If you had to eat a frog for example, you wouldn’t want to spend time staring at it and thinking about how you’re gonna eat it- That would make it more repulsive and harder to eat. You’d want to throw it in ASAP without giving yourself time to analyze the meal, so that you get it over with as fast as possible- Keep it short and not-so-sweet 😀

And I thought I learnt this lesson. Well I have the whole theory on paper, I could write a book- as you can see. But then what I realized this week is that knowing is not enough. I’d have to apply it. There’s nothing else I needed to know that I didn’t already. I just now needed to dive in. And clearly motivation is unreliable- I couldn’t keep waiting on it.

So I gathered all the lessons I’ve ever learnt on procrastination: The pomodoro technique, the elephant maneuver, the 5-second rule… (Told you I’m really good at this procrastination thing in theory. :D) My personal favorite is the 5 second rule, which I tailored to self to be a 3-second rule. When I have to do something I don’t necessarily feel like doing, I count to three and jump right into it. If I think too much about it I’ll probably talk myself out of it and not lift a finger. On the bright side, getting started on something builds momentum and it gets easier. No wonder they say the first step is the hardest.

I’m starting to feel compelled to give you a list of the tips and tricks I use on myself when I’m facing procrastination. Although I’m not sure I should. Okay, okay… you win. I’ll do it 😀

  1. Eat That Frog
  2. Learn to tolerate discomfort. Just push yourself. (Yes, beyond your comfort zone.)
  3. Your body can do anything, it’s the mind that needs convincing (You can literally jump into anything and your body will be game, but sometimes if you give your mind a chance it’s gonna play tricks on you.)
  4. The 3-second rule (Or 5, whichever works for you.): √√√ (Waiting to see who can decode these ticks 😛 )
  5. Motivation is crap. Don’t sit and wait around for it- it’s always gonna stand you up 😀
  6. The Pomodoro technique (This actually really works- google this. It kinda tricks your mind into starting the task and before you know it, you’re sucked in through and through. Which is a good thing.)
  7. Think progress, not perfection… Do something, anything, then keep improving on it.

So procrastination is a thief of time because why? Because as long as you haven’t completed that nagging task, you may not be able to move on to something else. Especially if the consequences are looming. If you’re like me, you’ll waste a lot of time feeling guilty about it and hating your life while you could just get it over with and move on to the next thing- which is probably more fun anyway.

I don’t even know how to end this post. I want to say I’ll keep trying- I think procrastination is a little, (maybe huge) battle to face every single day. I’ll definitely come back to this pep talk when I need reminders. Also I’d love to see your lists 🙂 It’s about time to catch this thief!

Yours,

Woman-In-Progress’s alter ego 😀

This past weekend, I found myself face to face with an exercise to write down and later read out the things I love about myself, in a group. Sure… I might have noticed things I appreciate about myself over the years, but usually I only list them in my head if ever. So finding myself having to put them down on paper and read them out loud (amidst second-guessing voices in my head…), that was new.

Let’s just say… It wasn’t that easy. It got me thinking that we really don’t give ourselves enough credit. It’s potentially easier to notice and point out the good and admirable qualities in others, than commit to an introspection.

I have this thing I always tell myself… that I need to remember to treat myself as I would a best friend I valued so much. I would be kind to that person, I’d always show them how much I love them, I’d never say mean things to them, I’d be their greatest cheerleader. So I should  strive to act in the same way towards myself because I should be my own best friend, and no one can love me more than me. (No human, that is :-)) And of course because my best friend is amazing, I’d have no problem complimenting them! In that moment, I had to remind myself that.

So we all proceeded to list the things we valued about ourselves, and amidst that, a question came up: How then do we stop ourselves from comparing ourselves, and our strengths, from the rest of the world’s? An incredible woman and mentor gave a scenario where you’re just from affirming yourself and applauding your strengths, but the minute you step outside your door/switch on your devices, the world comes at you with all these expectations and definitions of what is beautiful, and amazing, and what defines success. And naturally, because you’re human, you forget all your affirmations to yourself, because they ‘just don’t fit the bill out there.’

I really loved this context. Because it’s so true! Consciously/sub-consciously, we’ll often find ourselves looking at our lives vis-à-vis other people’s. And we forget to acknowledge that we all have different journeys, which then build us into who we are.

I was watching this episode of World of Dance, and this young boy danced so beautifully, it brought everyone to tears. (Not me :-P) When asked the theme behind the dance, he explained how he’d been abandoned by his parents at a young age; the story behind the dance was his struggle to burst past his anger towards his birth parents, which was clouding his gratitude and appreciation for his adoptive parents. One of the judges said, “I really appreciate your life experience; it’s exactly what has shaped you into the kind of incredible person and soulful dancer that you are today. Your emotion behind the story has caused you to dance in such an amazing way.”

We’re different. Different, not better or worse. Because we’re made of different ingredients. And that’s okay. Because of our different journeys, different backstories, it would then be unfair to compare the outcomes. True strength and self- acceptance comes in recognizing this and seeing how special we are. Taking the good things that have resulted from our journeys, and working on those that need improvement. And I believe it’s okay to be on a journey of constant self- improvement. Because truth is, our journeys may have also contributed to certain perceptions/ beliefs that may not necessarily be true, so we need to examine these constantly and work on them. And while at it, refresh on the Serenity Prayer :). In the meantime, accept where you’re at. Applaud yourself, you really do more than you get credit for.

I love this quote (You’ve realized by now how much I love quotes and mantras)…

The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind the scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel.

How unfair to ourselves, right? We judge ourselves so harshly.

But if we really understand the strength of our behind-the-scenes, we’ll be comfortable in our own skin enough to applaud other people’s strengths without questioning our own. Enough to recognize the unique contribution we bring to this world. Enough to withstand the societal pressure of living up to certain standards that have no factual basis. By the way I do not think that society’s definition of some of these things is accurate. And Google agrees. For example:

a) Success:

/səkˈsɛs/

noun

noun: success; plural noun: successes

the accomplishment of an aim or purpose.

See? It’s relative. Judgement is based on the said aim/purpose.

So… are you accomplishing the aim and purpose for which you were made? Are you achieving your full potential?

b) Beauty

/ˈbjuːti/

noun

noun: beauty; plural noun: beauties

a combination of qualities, such as shape, colour, or form, that pleases the aesthetic senses, especially the sight.

See that? A combination, you guys! All the things that add up to form you, that’s beauty!

Imagine what would happen if we all embraced everything that made us uniquely us. If we’d be the best versions of who we are, and who we’re supposed to be. If we allowed our different stories and realities to be our strength. The world would be so beautiful, with all those shades of us. Not being utterly and completely ourselves robs the world of an amazing shade- created intricately with different beautiful pigments and textures.

So write that list, and read it out to yourself as often as you need to. Or shout it from the rooftop if you wanna 🙂 And don’t think that anyone else’s list takes away from yours- it really doesn’t. Truly take time to understand and appreciate yourself and your journey, and fall in love with the unique, irreplaceable shade of you!

Many thanks to Her 1000 miles for the discussion that inspired this post 🙂

Signed,

Woman In Progress.

Whenever I’ve been asked to list my top values in life, Balance comes up. I’ve always been one of those people who want to have it all. And by all, I mean, have all the things that are important to me. Enjoy life in its fullness. Never been a fan of sacrificing one aspect of my life for another. Except, as I grow older, it’s becoming quite difficult to figure out exactly how this is possible. I mean… hitting 20s, being finally out of school, gathering responsibilities along the way, life is different now.

Lately, speaking to all my adult friends, this is how conversations go. Hey, how’ve you been? I’ve been great, just so busy… then either them or I start out competing each other with lists of stuff we’ve had to do, to prove who’s busier 😀 It’s almost like busy is a tag of honor. You know how these big, important people are described to be very busy? Yeah… you get the picture.

I always have this conversation with one of my best friends; where we both have this strong fear of losing ourselves in the ‘busyness’ of life. Let’s say: Monday. You wake up early, say 5.30 a.m., if you’re to be prepared in good time to attempt to beat morning traffic. Get quickly ready, down some breakfast if you still have some time, otherwise give it up- You’ll take something at tea break. Hit the road, be at the office by 8. Work a full day, probably leave the office at 5pm, and get home by 6pm on a good day. You’re exhausted. Take a minute, then begin to prepare dinner. Or go out to eat. Do a couple more things here and there, then it’s bedtime- you got to sleep early so you’re able to wake up early tomorrow for work- Tuesday. (See how easily it can become all about work?). Tuesday- Friday, repeat the program on a loop. Saturday is laundry + cleaning day. Sunday you’ll probably go to church and attempt to relax after that, although by afternoon you’ll probably be fretting about how you’re not ready for the coming week. Your life feels so filled up, (you don’t even know with what) and you find yourself saying no to the things you love to do, or to the people whose company you enjoy.

I don’t want to pretend that as an adult, doing certain things/some responsibilities are optional. I know most aren’t. At the same time, I believe that how we organize our schedule is our choice. Have you ever had a free day where you look back and you seriously can’t figure out what you did all day? Can’t point to an achievement? But then, at the same time, you’d been so occupied all day, barely had time to catch a breath? Guess what, you’ve been a hamster on a wheel.

I had a conversation, about two weeks ago with a long-lost friend I hadn’t seen in years. The hang out was totally unplanned and was supposed to be a few minutes’ encounter- she was picking something up. But we ended up talking about how busy we had been that we hadn’t had time to hang out, about how our schedules were driving us crazy. She let me know that she was feeling quite overwhelmed with everything and felt like she needed to get away. I suggested on a whim, then do! Get away. Take a vacation for yourself. Catch a break and get back re-energized! She didn’t agree- things would fall apart, she said. At home with her family, her business… Then we decide to pull apart her day and try to understand what keeps her so busy. We discover most are repetitive tasks like going grocery shopping, picking up stuff for the business, cleaning up… etc. We proceed to try and re-organize her schedule, and by the time we’re done, realize we’ve been at it for hours. Frantically, she reaches for her phone to make sure there has been no emergency- that the business hasn’t run down, the baby hasn’t fallen sick. Sure enough, none of that has happened. Everything is running well. I think at this point she realizes that it would actually be possible to take a break and her world would not crumble. 🙂

I’m convinced that we ultimately decide for ourselves the way life unfolds. The things that fill up our time. The stuff we say yes to. My point? Being busy is a choice. There’s no shortage of things you can fill your day with, but you’ll find that most of them may not even contribute to the direction you want your life to take. I blatantly disagree that there’s time for everything- I think there isn’t. And I’m beginning to appreciate the importance of becoming as minimalist as possible. Of doing less.

I like schedules sometimes, but I’m also one of those people who like to have unstructured time, every so often. Time to just be. Time to do whatever on earth I feel like doing; and I’ve taught myself not to feel guilty for this. I feel like life on its own never slows down, and one would have to sometimes make a conscious decision to get off the wheel for a bit. For example, when I feel overwhelmed, I am teaching myself to let this be a cue that I’m probably taking on too much of the wrong things. It’s a sign that I’m losing control. I decide to leave everything immediately and take a moment to figure out what I need to drop, reorganize and recharge. What’s the worst that can happen?

I think that saying the world needs you (work, family, school) is an inaccurate reason as to why not to slow down when you’re tired. Or even when you just want to take a break and have a good time. We aren’t machines, and even if we were, we all know machines perform better when they’re well-oiled 🙂 So I guess it’s okay to take time to fill your cup, relax, do the things that make you happy- or do nothing at all, spend quality time with the people you love. You can only pour from a filled cup. And relax, really. It’s not a matter of life and death.

What would you love to do if you weren’t so ‘busy’? Carve time out for that. Personally, I want to be able to say no to the things that don’t really matter, even when I have time, and say yes to the things that do, even when there seems to be no time. Let everything fit around the stuff that’s most important to me. How I plan to do this is write a list of my goals in every sector of my life (career, family, relationships, health, finances… for example), then use these to determine activities that are important. Lose the Fear of Missing Out… (This will be hard guys, FOMO is real.) Be a little more selfish with my time. Concentrate on being productive, not busy. Intentionally choose to refuse to feel rushed, refuse to live my life frantically.

I want to schedule less activities in my day, so that I can lose the feeling of urgency; instead immerse myself deeply in every important thing that I choose to do. I want to negotiate for off days at work, delegate where possible, and make a constant effort to schedule my priorities. I want to try and fill my evenings with more than just meal prepping and getting ready for the next day. I want to really stay mindful of my journey, and not live my life on auto-pilot. I want to be able to stand by this perspective when I’m no longer in my 20s, and 30s throw even more at me. I want to practice achieving the balance I so desire now, and maybe by then it’ll be too deep-rooted to topple.

I picked up on this statement that has become a personal mantra to date, that: ‘Spend your time, energy and money on the stuff that sets your soul on fire.’

Let’s try something together, shall we? Let’s stop using the word busy to describe our lives. Let’s catch ourselves every time we find our lips curling up to form the word  🙂 Replace it instead with full, rich, happy, fulfilling. Let’s be everything we want to be, do everything we love to do, yet refuse to be busy. Oh, and please call me out if you hear me say I’m busy. I don’t have time for that. 🙂

Yours,

Woman In Progress.

 

 

I THINK I’M READY…

Posted: August 5, 2018 in Uncategorized

Every time my friends and I have had a conversation about having kids and parenting, my heart flips. It seems oh so scary. Maybe because I’ve been able to watch my little brother grow, literally from day one, and so I have a very clear perspective that babies/children aren’t always cute and cuddly, and they don’t always smell like powder 😀 Last amazing 8.5 years.

Fast forward to a few days ago, I took a trip with my said little brother, who I adore by the way. He’s almost 9 now. Two other little cousins are with us on this trip. 9 and 12. So it’s a troop of 3, and 2 adults. And boy, have I learnt a whole lotta stuff! Well, I think, many little realizations have been leading up to this learning moment, but I feel like the scale tipped today.

We’ve had a pretty much amazing day today. Save from a few moments when I lost my voice and got dehydrated from the shouting I’ve had to do all day, giving repetitive instructions. I have come to learn over time, that little man doesn’t like to be shouted at. He shuts down almost completely and it gets so frustrating coz then I have to raise my voice further, he shuts down more then it’s a frustrating standstill. For us both 😀

So we’re back at the hotel, I’ve made them take a shower and kept insisting that they should keep their slippers on, I don’t want anyone walking around barefoot. Little man comes out barefoot. I point it out, send him back to rinse his feet and put on slippers coz by now they’re dirty, I say. He goes back alright. Comes back out barefoot. Again! I’m getting so frustrated! Why won’t he just listen! I wonder where his head is at. Is he absent-minded/just being naughty. I just don’t get it. I try to keep my calm coz its night, I’ve spent all my energy shouting all day and being drained by the heat of the sun, I can’t even scream if I wanted to. So, I take him back myself, supervise him as he rinses his feet again and finally puts on slippers. (Well maybe the back and forth sounds a little overboard, but I’m trying to instill a lesson here, I think to myself. I can’t let him off the hook.)

As they get dressed, I stay with them, and we begin to have conversations and reference instances from the day we’ve had. As I’ve mentioned, my energy is pretty low so I have really slowed down and I find myself really listening to them. Little man talks about an incident when he’d accidentally fallen and grazed his knee earlier. I didn’t see it happen coz the troop was walking ahead at that time and we must have been slightly distracted. Out of the blue he asks me:

Little Man: If you had seen me fall, what would you have done?

Me: (Surprised at the question): I’d have scolded you for being careless. (I immediately feel bad for saying that, so I try to retract the answer) … I’m joking though. Why, what do you think I’d have done?

LM: You’d have shouted at me.

Me: (Feeling terrible now) Really? Why would you think that?

LM: I don’t know, you just usually like shouting at me.

[I hear my heart break]:-(

Me: Not really, in this situation, if I’d have scolded you it would have been because I’d told you guys severally to stop running carelessly on that pavement.

 [Silence]

Me: Picture this, how would you feel if you told someone to do something so many times and they didn’t listen?

LM: I wouldn’t feel anything. Sometimes I tell you to do stuff, you don’t do it, but I don’t get mad.

Me: So, you’re saying that if you ask me to do anything at all, and I don’t do it, you won’t be mad?

LM: It depends on its importance.

Me: But keeping slippers on is important, for example, yet I had to ask you to wear them so many times before you could do it. Can you see how that can be frustrating and make me shout at you even when I didn’t mean to?

LM: I don’t think it’s important, it’s not a big deal though.

Me: (Shocked) Why, what do you mean?

LM: I mean, I could always wash my feet again if they get dirty.

Me: But you guys are going to bed, and you know you need to get into bed with your feet clean.

LM: Well yes, but the floor is clean. When we were leaving this morning, I saw someone come in to clean the room.

 I immediately understand where his reaction/not paying attention to the slippers rule is coming from.

 Then I remember how just last week, going through my 7 habits workbook (7 habits of Highly Effective People- Stephen Covey),the lesson on paradigms had really stood out to me. About how our paradigms or simply put, the way we perceive things influences our thoughts and actions more than we can imagine. And that to change our actions, we’d have to first transform our paradigms.

I quickly relate this to a personal childhood experience narrated by one of my greatest leadership role models, Mark McCord, the former YALI RLC East Africa Chief of Party. His mum would always scold him about cleaning his room and keeping it tidy; and they’d always fight about it almost until he moved out. Because the lesson never really sank in, he’d only do it, if ever, out of fear for his Mum, and only when she was watching. It wasn’t until he really appreciated why it was important to keep his room neat, that he began to do it unsupervised.

What does that mean? If a child doesn’t understand the lesson you’re trying to instill/ the importance of it, they probably won’t take it seriously, or they’ll only do it out of fear of you. You can imagine what happens if these kids go out of your sight (Which by the way is inevitable: Boarding school, growing up, moving out etc.) Instead of building their character on a strong foundation, instilling values deep, they’ll probably be one way with you, and a total mess when they’re on their own. Or a total mess through and through, if you’re not scary 😀

Well this is not exactly a parenting post but I’ve definitely had my perspective on parenting changed today. Kids’ brains are not empty jars where you just keep pouring your instructions, views, opinions into. Just like adults, you’d need to understand that these kids already have their own perception of situations and all; the only advantage is that… their’s is easy to change. You know how they say… Samaki mkunje… I have learnt that the best way to get a child to learn any valuable lesson, is to first understand what they know/ get an idea of how they think around the topic. Then it would be easy to either build on what they already have or deconstruct and rebuild any skewed views. Of course, it means being patient enough to listen to them, understand where they’re coming from, then explain your lesson in a way that makes sense to them. Trust me they can tell when you’re not making sense- ask me, I know 😀

I’ve also learnt that parenting can be so much fun when you change your perception of it. E.g. instead of thinking of parenting as a constant state of running around with a stick, yelling, you can consider that these are actually little humans you can hang out with and have fun- as you would with your adult friends. Listen to them, have conversations, try to understand their personalities and work around them, respect them, involve them. Just as you would adults.

I saw this quote a while back in passing (I’m probably paraphrasing…) that ‘We focus too much on what a kid could be tomorrow and forget that he’s already someone today.’

And this other one I’ve just seen by Jess Lair, that sums up my post perfectly:

‘Children are not things to be molded, but are people to be unfolded.’

I’m not an expert in children, not even a parent yet (Well unless my temporary troop counts :P) but I feel highly convinced that parenting could be fun. With a change in perspective. And methods too. So, sitting here, watching my troop for the week asleep as I type away, I feel so content, all the frustration faded. I can’t wait to hang out tomorrow- they can be really fun, and their views are really interesting- when I let them show me. It’ll probably be quite unnatural but I’ll definitely do my best to be intentional about keeping all this in mind in my interaction with them, see how it works.

Long post huh. I can’t believe I had all these thoughts on parenting. I think I’m ready after all! Well, as soon as I figure out ages 0 to 8! 😀

Signed,

Woman in Progress.

 

 

 

Here’s the thing- and I already said it. Life in the 20s is so uncertain. I’ve been joking and saying that I especially feel like I’m in a quarter life crisis. But here’s what I’m beginning to learn:

I’m learning that… It’s okay to not have things all figured out from the start. That it’s okay to trust the process, and just keep taking each indicated step. That life is just fashioned like that… One moment leads you to the next, every situation prepares you for what is coming. And I’m learning that clarity comes with time. Things start to add up along the way. I’m learning that your spirit usually knows what you want, and what is right with you, as long as you can stay quiet enough to listen. I’m learning that sometimes problems solve themselves, and it’s okay to let go of the reins and let uncertain situations unfold. I’m learning that sometimes the best chapters in our lives may not even have a title at the start.

I’m learning that uncertainty is such a sorry excuse for inaction. Inaction gets you stuck. And the worst thing is that uncertainty doesn’t gel well with perfectionism. At all. And I guess this has been my greatest challenge. Even with blogging. I want to make sure everything is right, and that the outcome is certain, and I want the angels singing and pointing to a certain direction. But this doesn’t happen… we all know 😀

I have learnt that this phase is not all bad. It’s actually exciting that life could unfold in so many different directions… the possibilities are endless. Maybe what needs to change is how I look at it. I’m learning to let go of the fear, and instead embrace the feeling of not knowing.

I like this quote by Ijeoma Umebinyuo… that “Start now. Start where you are. Start with fear. Start with pain. Start with doubt. Start with hands shaking. Start with voice trembling but start. Start and don’t stop. Start where you are, with what you have. Just… start.” I’m learning that. That you don’t need anything outside yourself to begin right away…so there’s really no excuse. That if you try something and it doesn’t work… at least you can know that early enough and move on to the next thing. Because otherwise you’ll always fret about it, always wonder what if, but never really make any steps forward. And that it’s about progress, not perfection. You can always improve on the process as you go. But you need to start.

So now when I feel overwhelmed with uncertainty, I just need to remind myself that the best I can do is take the steps right in front of me. And hopefully those will lead to the next, and the next. Let go of control for a bit, and before I know it I’ll have a full chapter, complete with a title 🙂 And at that time when I look back, everything will make perfect sense.

After all I’m a woman in progress. 🙂

 

So.. I know this sounds cliché but I’ve wanted to start blogging for a really long time now. I guess I never really had the drive to until now. It’s not an actual drive anyway, just a situation I’m in; I’ve found myself stuck in the house with lights out after such a crappy day. So to kill the depression.. I thought I’d pour it all out here 🙂 Not the most inspiring of beginnings but oh well.. who cares, I’m here now! 😛

I am twenty. Okay.. twenty-something, and I can attest to how complicated life gets when you’re in your twenties. I’d say it’s the most mixed up stage of life yet the most important. Everyone expects you to make the right decisions- they say you’re now an adult (..at least being a teenager bad decisions were excusible..) But it’s okay I guess.. I mean, when I was younger, I couldn’t wait to be allowed to decide for myself.

Except, it’s not easy. There’s not a book of rules or a road map at least… most times you’re not even sure where you’re going, yet you still have to create your own path. A path that leads everywhere and thus needs you to have discovered exactly who you are and where you want to go. A path that’s lined with major life decisions to make, confusing people to meet and numerous risks to take.

It’s not all bad though, along your way you’ll probably have the time of your life, meet lifelong friends and have innumerable opportunities. It’s two sides of a coin.. the good, the bad.. But it’s a stage of life like all the rest.. dangerous, yet exhilarating at the same time. And it’s literally where you shape your future; decide on your career path, who you’re gonna marry and blah. It’s like a gateway.

All I mean to say is that twenties are unstable. Unpredictable. One day you’re here.. the next day you’re there. You change your mind like a girl changes clothes 😛 But that’s okay because change is good, and all the milestones are important on our road to full self discovery; to our future selves.

So cheers if you’re twenty! Have the ride of your life… hopefully to the kind of person you want to be, to the life of your dreams.
Meanwhile… I’ll take my ride here.. because my thoughts are my means there 😉

These here are the thoughts of a woman in progress 🙂