HELLO, FEBRUARY.

February is arguably most people’s favourite month. Not only does it have the least number of calendar days, it is also flavoured with romance and affection flowing from the celebrated “Valentine’s Day”.

Research shows that the word February is derived from the Latin word “Februarius” which means  “to purify“. It is worth noting that, February was known as the “Month of Purification” during ancient Roman times.

I find the meaning attached to the word February to be very befitting as it truly is a month of purification for most people- knowingly and unknowingly. December is usually characterized with year end fun or pressure, as the case may be. January is usually a pressure filled month with people being intentional about various new beginnings and payment of bills feeling burdensome after “Decembering”. It is no surprise that January is jokingly tabbed as “Jan-worry” lol.

February is a stable month. A transition with less anxiety and pressure. I usually step into the month of February with a sigh of relief for surviving Jan-worry.

February allows me to still focus on my set goals only this time, it is from a place of continuity and a pace of reasoning- drawing from lessons learnt in the past month.

February is also the birth month of most of my favourite people and celebrating their gift of life and love is always so special for me. As a lover of love, Valentines usually gets me psyched and it is fulfilling to witness the multiple yet varying expressions of love.

I am excited to see what February 2021 has in store for me! I hope it keeps my mind pure and free from any stress.

Happy, February!

About 2021

“I do not know what my tomorrow holds, but I know who holds my tomorrow”

Some years ago, I used to be BIG on resolutions. December was mostly my month of deliberate and intensive introspection. I would put pen to paper and list down things that went according to plan in the previous year, self loathe through the failures that could have been avoided and spiritedly plan for the following year.

My resolutions were like a year long to-do-list. Whereas there are many benefits that come from having years planned out to the dot, the spontaneity of life is such that most times, life will not flow in the planned direction (But, I will not dwell much on this because 2020 thoroughly handed down this lesson to all of us).

In the recent past, I have been more reluctant about setting year long resolutions. Instead, I plan for the month, week, day or any shorter term as I perceive it to be more… foreseeable and contextual.

To attempt to write about my hopes and plans for 2021 is extremely scary. 2020 taught me that hope is frail and plans can be very easily disrupted. That notwithstanding, some plans I have (that can be ‘publicly’ shared) include:

  1. TO WRITE MORE!!!! – I honestly do not have any logical explanation for my inconsistency as far as keeping this blog alive is concerned. This year, I hope I keep the fire constantly burning. (If you’re reading this and know me personally, feel free to make me accountable)
  2. TO BE MORE HEALTHY– I don’t know if this qualifies to be a resolution/plan in the strictest sense because it should be a given, innit? But well, I hope to be more deliberate and consistent with avoiding unhealthy- food, spaces, situations, people, ALL THAT.
  3. TO BE MORE INTENTIONAL ABOUT (+CONSISTENT WITH ) LOVING MY LOVED ONES- If you’ve read my post about what 2020 taught me, you would know that I spent most of my 2020 alone, physically (and if I’m being honest, emotionally) detached from my loved ones. This year I hope to be more expressive, loud and suffocating with my love. 🙂
  4. TO DO MY BEST– this is also one of those “vague cliché resolutions” but regardless, I hope I maintain the pace and desire it takes to simply… do my best. In anything and everything. Despite whatever comes my way. I plan to be intentional about harnessing my agility and resilience skills so as to rise above unexpected hurdles.

All in all, I pray God blesses my plans and gives me the wisdom and grace to accept His plans for me (which may vary from what I may have in mind).

What are your plans for 2021?

What 2020 taught me.

I sternly believe it can be unanimously agreed that 2020 was a life altering year for EVERYONE. We all experienced the unexpected and had varying responses and reactions to the change.

This blog is a summary of some of my key lessons that came from the year (in no particular order).

  1. What doesn’t kill you … gives you unhealthy coping mechanisms if not addressed.

I know most times “what doesn’t kill you” is followed by a hope-filled, matter-of-factly-delivered: “MAKES YOU STRONGER!!!”. It’s almost as if any other outcome of surviving “what doesn’t kill you” save for being made stronger would be unthinkable.

Whereas the optimist in me believes in the sun shining again and flowers blooming after the rain, the realist in me is alive to the fact that there is a process between when the rain falls and when the flowers begin to grow. The muddy process, the one that messes up bright clothes and in worst cases even causes floods (if you’re from Lusaka you know this ALL TO WELL).

It is in that space that 2020 handed me this first lesson. Teaching me the importance of buying rain coats, protective boots and avoiding certain flood prone areas as I waited for the sun to shine (of course, metaphorically speaking). I learnt that it is okay at worst and EXTREMELY IMPORTANT at best to be deliberate about discovering and adhering to healthy coping mechanisms. I learnt that, in as much as hope is the rope we use to hold on to life when we cannot cope (barrrrrrrs!! lol), it is vital to do something about our situations in the present as we hope for a better tomorrow.

2. Change is inevitable, change is… GOOD.

With the coming in of the unexpected Corona Virus *DEEP SIGH*, the entire world was forced into a phase of change. The previously unheard of and almost abominable social distancing became the life saving order of the day. Face masks became a norm and most of reality took a sudden virtual shift.

As is expected of every change, it was not easy to completely adapt my personal way of life to fit this “new normal”. Those who know me well enough, know that I am a… Chronic Hugger (if there’s such a thing lol) and physical touch is one of my primary love languages. As such, being limited in this light… absolutely sucked.

However, there were a number of positives that I would regard as a good that came from the change. For instance, remote working was a change that I fully embraced, the ability to deliver regardless of my physical location was the flexibility I never knew I needed. Additionally, spending most times in doors with limited in-person interactions allowed me to introspect more and get to know myself better, I count that as another good.

3. The volatility of life.

2020 was a year of so much loss in my personal space, in the lives of my loved ones and in the world at large. The brevity of life and closeness of death became more apparent last year than it has ever been in the years past. It forced me to learn to love better and to live each day like it was my last.

To any reader grieving the loss of a loved one- I send you love and light. Please accept my sincere condolences. May the souls of all our departed loved ones, continue resting in Eternal Peace.

4. Dreams come true!!! No matter how seemingly trivial they may be.

The final lesson from 2020 was that, my dreams are VALID no matter how small they may seem. One of my trivial yet life long dream came true in 2020. This sparked an inexpressible joy in me and reminded me that all dreams come true- some just take longer than others.

Closing remarks: Like the picture attached to this writing, 2020, as seen from the lessons I’ve shared was a blend of “colours”. Some brighter than others. A month into 2021 and most of the struggles faced in 2020 still exist, I don’t know what lessons I’ll share about 2021 but I do hope it has more highs than lows.

The volatility of life

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I lost my cousin today.

He died of  a short illness.

Lots of thoughts flooded my mind- I usually go through a similar phase whenever I hear of the passing of someone I knew personally.

Do they know?

Do they have even the slightest clue that this could be it?

Or are they met by shock?

What is it like on the other side? I wonder.

Do they miss us like we miss them?

Do they look back and wish they could have done, re-done or not done certain things?

In times like this, it dawns on me that life is…. volatile.

Any day could be my last day.

And most times I wonder, what the last day will be like.

Will I know?

Will I be met by shock?

What will finally close my door of life- an illness? an accident? murder?

Will I be ready?

Would I have lived a fulfilling life the time death will knock on my door?

What will I be remembered by?

Who will remember me?

….. Any day could be my last day. The volatility of life….

[RIP Mwila, till we meet again]

I thought about you today.

I thought about you today and it didn’t hurt.Strange.
I got comfortable with the pain I didn’t know how to act
Healed.
It was like losing a friend I had become very comfortable with
Pain.
Who will stay up with me late at night?
Who will share the random outburst of tears on bus rides home?
Peace.
Do you feel at home with me? I’m sorry I don’t know what you like I haven’t had a guest of your nature in the recent past.
Past days have been awkward, relearning to be at peace with peace to be happy with happiness and to be in love with love.
Love.
I searched for you in the presence of others.
Defined you by how comfortable I felt in their arms.
When I lost them, I thought I lost you.
How else could you exist without form.
It didn’t add up so I subtracted
Your essence from my being
Detached myself from beliefs of your existence

I thought about you today and smiled.

With gratitude.

For the times shared,
moments lived,
memories created,
and lessons learnt.

EXCEPTIONAL

20210130_200825_0000No one talks about the downsides of being labeled “exceptional”. Being “exceptional” is NOT as exciting as it is paraded to be.

Being “exceptional” shifts the perception of you from ordinary.
It demands that you meet the perceptions you did not labour to create from people you may not even know “like that”.

Being “exceptional” dictates that even when you are not fine you make things around you work out just fine.
It doesn’t meet your struggles with “do you want to talk about it?” It instead yells, “REMEMBER WHO YOU ARE AND WHAT YOU ARE MADE OF!!” (Ummmm… who I am? or who you imagine me to be?)

Being “exceptional” leaves no room for mistakes.

It greets your downfalls with “What happends” and “I-didn’t-expect-this-from-yous”. You cannot make mistakes, it is abominable! You are…. exceptional remember?

Exceptional and expectations are inextricably linked  in a very disheartening way. At best, they are simply annoying and at worst, they are out rightly SUFFOCATING!.

So, to everyone labeled “exceptional”:

I hope you find the courage to live beyond the expectations and stay true to yourself.
I hope you live and learn through your failures at your own pace.
I hope you shut your ears to the pressures that come with the label everyone assumes is a  privilege to attach you with.

You are seen.

You are felt.

You are not alone.

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In response to:

September 12 Word Prompt

Research

RESEARCHH

So, if you have been following my writings, you will notice  that I haven’t posted anything on here in a long time. My reason? I had writer’s block. I just couldn’t seem to…write. Which was really much more heavy than I make it sound. See, I had a lot to write about and the desire to write was there but… I just could not, no matter how much I tried. Sigh.

As one of my resolutions to “heal” from the writer’s block , I told myself I would actively take part in writing prompts. Needless to say, my resolution has been met with a challenge, todays word lol. Research. What can I write about research? hmmmmph. 

Anywaaaaay, here goes:

The first thing that comes to mind is sharing my research experiences.  From a tender age, I have had a very inquisitive mind that questions anything and everything (I should add that, growing up I learnt the hard way that this trait is both a weakness and a strength, but I guess that’s a story for another day hey).

Whilst in highschool, I joined the Debate Club which in my view sharpens two skills; Research and Communication, in no particular order. The exposure through interactions in the club laid a strong foundation for my personal development in light of the two skills.

When I enrolled into Law School, research was not an option, it was no longer a luxury it was a MUST to learn the skill in order to “survive”. I was constantly searching for cases, articles, books and other relevant information.  Currently, working as a Tax/Legal Consultant has proved that research never quite ends… it just varies in depth, importance and magnitude.

Here are my top three research tips I have gathered through the years:

  1. Be interested. I learnt that the more interested I was in the subject matter to be researched the more information I could gather,  the better I could analyse and the more effectively I could communicate the findings of my research.
  2. Be teachable. I understand research to be a process of learning and unlearning. As natural beings, we usually have premeditated thoughts and opinions on an number of things. Most times, research either confirms our convictions or proves that we thought erroneously. In both instances, creating a teachable aura helps one research better.
  3. Be disciplined. However little or big, every research requires the use of time and resources. There being a correlation between the size of the research and the time and resource spent. In order for other commitments to not be jeopardized at the had of research, discipline must be exercised.

All in all, research is a beneficial skill set to master as it helps break the walls built by ignorance.

Happy researching 🙂

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In response to:

September 10 Word Prompt

NO WRITING IS WASTED.

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Four words accurately reveal a valuable lesson I  have come to learn; “NO WRITING IS WASTED”.

In the recent past, my writing was simply a way of communicating to myself. In my head, I was my only audience. I was filled with satisfaction when upon reading complete writings I realised that my dance with words was not merely the “one-two” step I had in mind, but that it turned out to be some crazy tangle movement with swirls and lifts.

With the right amount of confidence boost from my mentor, who is also my brother in law… I recently put my writings on this blog ‘out there’. Allowing an audience other than myself to journey through my words. Little did I know that a number would appreciate this journey.

I recall a friend whilst making reference to a biblical scripture, telling me, ‘a lamp has no use under a table where its light cannot be seen’.

On that premise, I figured that my being satisfied with my writings was surely not the ONLY reason nor purpose I could be writing. There had to be something more! There HAS to be something MORE. I’m still on a journey to discover that ‘more’.

In the meantime, I’m glad to journey with others. It feels me with intense bliss to know there is atleast one person that relates or is moved by my writings.

Comments such as these fuel my desire and encourage me to keep going at it:

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It’s encouraging to know that as I dance with words there is an actual impact being made. I’m convinced that indeed, no writing is wasted! This lesson has been deeply engraved into my subconscious and it continues to manifest itself in me.

They say, “gratitude unlocks the fullness of life” so to all those that pat my back and tell me to keep going at it, and to those that give hints on what to improve and how to improve what to improve… to you lot I say, THANK YOU!

I will continue to dance with words.

I will continue to journey.

I will continue to write.

If Not For Fear

It’s 6am and ideally, I should be in my final hour of sleep preparing to wake up at 7am as per custom.

But, here I am, scribbling (well, technically typing lol).

… Let me give a brief background about how I got here …

So, there I was… scrolling through my twitter time line half asleep till I came across something thought provocative!

This:

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At the sight of this thought provoking inquiry, my mind was flooded with an entire list of things that I would do if only I tossed out fear.

Firstly, I would boldly seek audience with the president of my country. To have a good conversation. You know, one of those that start with, “with all due respect” and end up spilling out a lot of truths that may be considered somewhat ‘disrespectful’.

Secondly, I would leave town unannounced for a few days,weeks,months,maybe years lol… I would go to a place with lots of nature- water bodies, sand, trees, sunsets… you know… But I fear giving my mum a heart attack by daring to leave without a word. Also, I fear how I would survive seeing that my bank account currently leaves much to be desired *slaps face*

Thirdly, I would unapologetically follow my wildest dreams if not for fear. The fear that’s disguised in wondering. Wondering if my ‘dream’ is relevant for this day and age. Wondering if embarking on the venture which I still choose to leave as a mystery would be needed and appreciated. Wondering many other ‘ifs’ that are just execution blockers. If only I could easily toss away such fears, I would be adventurous and daring!

Truth be told, the list is seemingly endless. There’s a whole lot of other fears I realised I had…which got me thinking… Perhaps, I’m not the only one battling with fears.

Cheers to those who manage to easily live above any possible fears. But, I’m convinced there’s still an entire population that make up the “fear society”.

The fear society comprises of people that go for a pathetic job every morning. One were the ‘boss’ treats them like crap and their pay is nothing compared to the effort, sacrifice and hard work! These are the people that fear the probable hardships that arise from unemployment.

The fear society comprises of students that have passion for art but are forcing themselves to be in the formal system. Because society, to a large extent, still applauds white collar jobs.

The fear society comprises of Christians or general moral beings who turn their faces from sin without saying a word. They fear being termed as being “too judgmental” or “overly righteous”.

When you look close enough, we, as a society have A LOT of fears… which if I may add, are not even necessary! They do us more harm than good. However, luckily for us, we can easily toss out these fears, if only we so DESIRED. It has to be a decision we each make and grow with, relentlessly.

Flipping through mental pages of what I could do if not for fear, I realised there’s a greater joy at the other side of fear.

There is growth.

There is peace.

There is honesty.

There is adventure.

There is joy.

All waiting to be experienced if only fear could be kicked out.

May we be people that rise above our fears.

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This was definitely worth losing sleep for.

ABOUT VALENTINES 2018

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Valentines 2018. This was no ordinary February 14th solely dedicated to the profound expressions of love. In the turn of events, this year… valentine’s clashed with Ash Wednesday and ‘the Madrid game’.

This  ‘clash of the titans’ aroused an endless trail of jokes about how romance should be the last thing expected.

Buuuut…  woe to those that actually believed the world was going to hold back expressing love to their loved ones (HAHA! in your faces you anti-romance villains! *petty of me..I know I know lol*).

See, in reality, most people were actually  going over and beyond their means to please the people that meant a lot to them.

But how do I know this for sure?

Well, I too was helping organise a gift..for my bestfriend’s valentine.

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As we moved from the town centre to various shopping malls, my eyes were astonished by the number of people moving round doing the same thing we were doing- gift hunting! 🙂

One thing that stood out for me was when we went to a flower shop (Flower Boutique) at midday only to discover they had run out of roses. People were really on top of their game.

Now, just the day before valentines I was talking to a male friend who was convinced valentine’s was meant to “favour the ladies”. According to him, only women received gifts and sentiments on that day… what a deadly misconception! I don’t know about other ladies but, the ladies in my circle were actually doing the most for their men.

Take a glimpse:

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I believe love and its expression is meant to be reciprocated. If your woman is not doing the most for you… speak up! Let her know and let her change her ways… I know for certain that men love to be pampered too lol.

And for the men that continue to shower their women with gifts and affection. You stay winning. Small acts really keep the fire burning.

Men such as these: *Slow clap*

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I’ve met a few people that don’t believe in Valentine’s because according to them, “love is an every day thing and not just a one day blah blah blah” well, firstly, *yawwwwwn*… I mean, taking a day to go ALL OUT for the one you love does not in any way take away from the fact that love continues to flourish on other days. Riddle me this, does the fact that your birthday is celebrated on one particular day take away from the fact that your life and existence is appreciated every other day? Certainly not! But, that’s just my strong opinion…and yes, it could be because I am a VERY SENTIMENTAL being. Unapologetically.

I undoubtedly love, love. My heart is warmed up to the thought of expressed love. Put simply, that is the reason I love days such as valentine’s. They allow for the expression of something I love, LOVE. 🙂

Having said that, I hope you showed and(or) someone showed you love this valentine’s and the days before and after.

Regardless, I’m glad to have witnessed the fact that the spirit of expressed love is still ALIVE.

Always let love lead.

Always express love.

Always love love.