I recently watched the movie EatPrayLove for the first time, yet to read the book. Whereas this is not exactly a movie review, I found it very soothing and took a few notes from the movie which I will share below:
” … a heartbreak you wont let go of because it hurts so good”
“We must always be prepared for endless waves of transformation”
“Still your mind. If you cant master your mind, you’re in trouble”
“Regret. Ocean of regret”
“Forgive Yourself. Everything else will take care of itself”
“Believe in love again”
“God dwells in you as YOU”
“You lose balance, you lose power”
“Only way to heal is to trust”
Overall, it really is a feel good movie and it is insightful. It also ignited my travelling desires which I cant wait to fully actualize!
My mind and I are in a never ending war. It’s like my life is a miniature battle field. Some days, I triumph over it. Successfully reclaiming my sanity, calm and peace. Some days it wins our wars, pushing me to the edge and making me feel things I would rather not.
When does the cycle end though? I always wonder. Will there ever be a time when my happiness is not flavoured with random, intense waves of unexpected sadness? Is it something I should accommodate as “a part of my journey”? – these thoughts constantly flood my mind and the answers are lost on me.
But still, I sigh. Just kidding. I rise….. I guess. lol.
I am a fighter not a quitter. So, every time my mind wages war, I get in the ring and put up my best fight.
I am also one to allow myself to feel, so I live through the waves and this minimizes the risk of experiencing compound, complex lows which I may fail to overcome.
Writing is one of my ways to fight my mind, like right now. A random interlude on a working night to declutter my thoughts.
I hope it gets better eventually. My therapist commends my efforts in attempting wear my heart on my sleeves- I guess that counts for something.
What’s the point of masquerading and appearing to be perfect in an imperfect world?
Anyway, I’ll end here. (now to think of a title for this random blog lol)
If you’ve read this far, please send good vibes my way. (:
I have been struggling with deciding the appropriate structure or form this blog post should take. Should it be poetic jubilation of triumph from the perspective of a youth that took part in a historic revolution? Should it be a detailed narration of events leading up to this moment? Even though the form is lost on me, I’ll write anyway as this has to be documented. It NEEDS to be documented.
For those who may not know, on August 12 2021, Zambia had it’s general elections. With what has been recorded to be one of the largest voter turnouts, people lined up in long queues for many hours- to use their votes as voices to speak for the many years their voices were silenced.
Borrowing the words of an anonymous Zambian Voter:
This was not an election, it was a revolution. No one can stop a revolution
What followed from the 12th of August was days filled with anxiety, expectation, uncertainty and religious following of updates by the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ). This was also flavoured by the shut down of internet and a widespread use of VPN. Memes and banter formed the basis of most conversations with margins between the two main contenders being at the center of the jokes and commentary.
In the early mornings of Monday, 15th August 2021- a winner was finally announced by the ECZ. The once opposition leader, Hakainde Hichilema (HH aka Bally) emerged victorious as the President-Elect of the Republic of Zambia.
An emblem of democracy. History in the making.
As Zambians, we used our votes as voices and instruments of power
I know it’s four days into August and by now the “happy new month” sentiments should’ve phased out. But who makes the rules? and who demands adherence? (smiles in slight rebellion).
This blog is mainly just a check-in and well wishing post to be honest. 8 months into 2020 pro max, otherwise called 2021, has been far from easy for most people.
We are striving, trying and grieving continuously with only a few moments to gasp away from the mess and catch a fresh breath. Our fresh breaths look different, but I hope we are all being intentional about them. Mine are: praying, writing, music, eating … Whenever I feel the weight of the world dragging me, I turn to any of these and find the strength to fight again.
What are your fresh breaths?
At some point earlier this year, I committed to making monthly resolutions, that’s going terribly. Daily to do lists are more achievable and predictable so I bask in those. To be honest, I still cant keep track of how some months have gone by so quickly.
I feel August is a month of soaking in and introspection. As far as weather patterns are concerned, we are moving from winter to summer and in between, there’s August. With fierce winds, occasional sunshine and cold nights. If we are to use the butterfly analogy, I would say August is the cocoon, before the summer wings brighten up and allow us to fly. Well, this may not be a universal depiction, but atleast I believe that for myself and surely, it should count.
I also believe it for my country Zambia because this is the month we go to the polls !!! As a first time voter (yes, I am that young lol just kidding, I was eligible in the previous elections too – but circumstance beyond my control happened) my excitement is over the roof. I am ready to have my vote and voice heard. I will share resources on the importance of voting in separate blog and hope my country men and women turn up in numbers and do what is right.
Also, I will be graduating from my Young African Leaders Initiative(YALI) Regional Leadership Cohort soon. I have planned to do some blogs sharing the knowledge and experience acquired during the 7weeks period of evening classes and seminars. I am excited for that.
At the end of what can be termed the most trying quarter I’ve had to endure professionally (so far), I thought I should give an honest account of the struggles I have faced as a young professional and the lessons I have drawn along the way. Whereas this writing may resonate with others, I will mostly write from my perspective.
But before I start, here’s a musical attachment (which I believe explains this musing ) to accompany your reading:
The space I find myself in as a young professional is a whirlwhind of contradictions.
On one hand, I am entirely thrilled and overjoyed to have a job (the unemployment rate in my country and region is devastatingly low- my placement can’t be taken for granted). I feel achieved and privileged. Most days feel like blessings and I rarely doubt my potential and abilities.
On the other hand, however, I am just starting out- with a blank slate. Every day serving as a deposit in my bank of experiences. This means I am yet to make numerous errors and be filled with feelings of inadequacy and doubt along the way. People that have managed to rank high in the professional world attest to the fact that the journey is not one without struggles. But, much as we are told to expect struggles, the impact that downfalls may have on our mental health and well being has not been talked about enough. But no one can be blamed for this as it is largely a personal and subjective experience.
One of my personality traits is that I am a perfectionist. I usually like things done the right way and I take delight in positive results and accomplishments. This is as much of a blessing as it can be a “curse”. It is a blessing to the extent that this ability makes me go the extra mile in ensuring I do my level best in every discourse- socially, professionally, etc. However, it is a “curse” to the extent that it does not teach me how to surmount situations when regardless of doing my best; my best is not- good enough.
This has been the biggest struggle of being a young professional. There is an overwhelming desire to be immediately good (exceptional if anything). There is a tendency to knowingly and even unknowingly overlook the fact that our role models took years to perfect their craft and be able to navigate complex situations with ease. If there is a place where experience has proved to be a good teacher, it is the professional world. Young professionals, like myself, must be alive to this fact. We should not be too hard on ourselves as we journey and grow.
Lately, I have come to learn that what matters most is how many times I pick myself up after every down fall. As Taio Cruz sings in the embedded song, “sometimes the pain is what we need for us to grow“. All the failures experienced along the way are stepping stones as we strive for greatness. We must always appreciate the lessons that come with the journey and embrace both highs and lows.
I can’t wait to be a seasoned professional who would’ve risen above all the set backs and lessons and developed the required skill and expertise to THRIVE. Until then, I remain a struggling young professional who wakes up everyday and reminds herself that hitting rock bottom (the worst case scenario) only leaves room for one option- RISING ABOVE. Like Taio sings, “even with broken wings sometimes you find your way to FLY“
The following points explain how I surmount feelings of inadequacy as a young professional:
I remind myself that I am where I am for a PURPOSE, otherwise, I wouldn’t be there.
I affirm myself. Take a bathroom break, look in the mirror and say: “I am smart, I am capable, I will WIN”
I consult and have open conversations with my seniors, I ask how they dealt with setbacks when they were in my position and what they would advise me to do differently. I believe that there is power in community and that we are never without a friend.
I listen to UPLIFTING music- works like a charm 🙂
How do you rise above feelings of inadequacy as a young professional or even generally?
If you’re anything like me, you are or have been inclined to a rush-prone love. One that makes the head spin, legs weak and stomach rumble. For a long time, this was a version of love I held to be true. The spin of my head had to be strong enough to topple my head over my heels whenever I fell in love. Anything different was not ‘enough love’, or so I believed. Until, he came along …
His was the kind of love that came softly. It cradled my spirit and embraced my soul with a gentle kindness like none I had experienced before. But, “where was the rush I was accustomed to?” my heart often wondered. Doubting, if it would be safe to fall for this peculiar, yet wholesome version of love. But, the more he laid down the beat, the more I carried the tune. I knew there and then I did not want to be a ‘one man band’.
That’s when I learnt that sometimes, love comes … softly.
It softly learns your ways
It softly understands your scars
It softly holds your entire being- sometimes through the palms of affirming words
It softly and consistently chooses you over and over and over again
I was about to blog another Honest Musing when I realised this is my 50th blog post!!!!! (insert frantic screams of joy!!!!). Honestly, for someone that started blogging as far back as 2016, I should be pulling more numbers. But, if you’ve been reading my posts, you know that I have not been a consistent blogger for a while and that I struggled with writers’ block for years (yeah that long… crazy, I know).
This year, I decided to be more intentional about growth and consistency as far as keeping this blog up and running is concerned. To be honest, writing is one of my all time effective coping mechanism- being unable to write despite my need to was not a good place for me to be. I am glad I made the choice to keep going at it and even more glad that I joined a community of fellow bloggers across Africa (SHOUT OUT AFRO BLOGGERS!!!) to help me stay committed- directly and indirectly. I am sooo excited for what the future holds for my blog and I.
Here’s a huge shout out and THANK YOU to:
All my readers
Everyone who has given me reviews so far
My muses (lol)
Fellow bloggers who keep on, despite. Your commitment and creativity inspires me to keep going at it.
Finding the right words to explain the first taste of failure is one of the hardest things to do as it can be triggering.
Failure is subjective and what one would consider as failure may not be considered as such from another’s perspective. But try telling that to an eleven-year-old girl who has not achieved something she had been wanting so bad. The notion of a mere “perspective shift” is as impossible as it is insensitive.
Suddenly, all the prior awards and gratifications leading up to that point didn’t seem to carry as much weight. Living through the consequences of the “failure” miles away from the people I loved was the salt on the wound. Furthest I’d been, most hurt I’d been, that far.
Learning how to fight the storm on my own. Wish I could say it built someone “so resilient that no amount of pain could ever shake her after that” but I’d be lying, this was just the beginning of the downs in life’s “ups and downs”. Every encounter unique in its own way.
Many drizzles later, the sun did shine- I learnt that life offers second chances and when it does… one must be brave enough to unapologetically grab them with both hands.
It’s the day after International Women’s Day, this year we #ChoseToChallenge stereotypes and biases in the continuous fight for equality and smashing of the patriarchy. Yesterday was flowered with conferences, hashtags and empowering dialogues to honour women.
It’s the day after International Women’s Day and today is not as loud as yesterday. Work places are back to business as usual and the flowers given yesterday are slowly starting to wither away. The echoes of cries of emancipation for the girl child are still resounding though the tone is not as mighty and uniform as it was yesterday. Thankfully, the hope for a better tomorrow remains in sight.
It’s the day after International Women’s Day and very soon the days will turn into weeks which will turn into months up until next year, when yet again another theme will roll out and the fight will carry on.
But, my mind wanders to what will happen between now and the next International Women’s Day.
Will women receive the work force support that allies pledged yesterday?
Will women collaborate rather than compete as agreed yesterday?
Will the girl child be safer?
Will the world be kinder?
Will what we chose to challenge be truly challenged and hopefully defeated?
It’s the day after International Women’s Day and I hope-
I hope between now and the next International Women’s Day, we each play our part in making the world a better place for every woman.