After barely crawling through the past weekend and the past few days, I have finally gathered the strength to declare war on what has proved to be one of my worst undefeated enemies over the years! Period pains!!! And yes, you guessed right, I choose to use words as they are my most trusted weapons in many wars lol.
You know I always wonder why period pains have to be soooo brutal to me. I mean, for the most, I am good citizen. I pay my taxes, I do not litter and I am a registered voter. Surely that should give me some form of immunity from the torture that comes with this bleeding pain. But no, it’s a constant fight for my life whenever Mr P comes along.
Also, I am well aware that society has tried to make conversations such as this one almost taboo. I find that weird lol. We should be free to talk about periods and the pain associated without it feeling like an abomination. The stares in the store, especially from the non-bleeding privileged gender, when I am confidently carrying my pads really baffles me. What’s even worse is how shopkeepers try their best to pack them away real quick or layer them in opaque material- it’s as if they’d rather die before their female customers are brought into community damnation for purchasing pads LOL this has to stop, please.
Anyway, I think it would be retrogressive to not turn this random rant into something more growing like, maybe… Tips on how to deal with period pains. So here goes some positivity:
My 5 tips on how to deal with period pains:
Lol. No but really, I sometimes cry to let the pain flow.
2. Hot Water Bottle
My hot water bottle (or equivalent alternatives) are really my best friends during the very trying times. I don’t know the science behind it, I never really like biology and other sciences in high school to be honest. But there should be a medical explanation for how the heat helps with soothing the pain.
3. Hot Shower
Again. Heat comes in to save the day. This really helps me. Also, the water should almost burn me for it to do justice.
4. Caaaaaaaake & Sweet Treats
*deep happy sigh* there’s something about my sweet guilty pleasures and winning the war against the painful period villains. Albeit temporarily, it really does the deeds.
5. Sleeping on the floor
See everything about this villain is about discomfort. It’s really the enemy that is out to kill. So in surrender I humbly lay on the cold hard floor and – somehow, sometimes, it does help.
Additional tip: PAINKILLERS!!! This should have topped my list if I am being honest, I would have probably been a loving memory without them. lol
To conclude this random rant, I should state that as a diplomatic person who believes in negotiations over violence and conflict, I truly believe we are underserving of the brutality that comes with period pains. Worse still, we are not afforded a platform or opportunity to negotiate the terms and conditions. Like if you asked me- a monthly text message, saying “SAFE” or something would be a better alternative. But what are the odds *cries* …. but we are not quitters! We live to fight another day lol
So, tell me dear readers, what are your effective remedies against the period pain plague? Do some of my tips above resonate with you?
For my non-bleeding readers, please share what you do to help in this never ending fight lol if you dont do anything, I am side eyeing and judging you!! Just kidding…. or am I? lol
Day 22/22 of the #WinterABC Challenge!!!!- WE MADE IT!
Between my generally tight schedule and episodes of writer’s block, I NEVER thought I would make it through consistently blogging for 22 Days!
As a first time participant of this challenge, I close the challenge with a bag full of experiences and lessons. Before I proceed to detail my highlights of this journey, here is a song dedicated to all my fellow participants! (Fun random fact about me lol, I LOVE MUSIC so much so that at some point in my life I considered being a DJ 🙂 )
Attempting to accurately detail and off load my full bag of experiences from the challenge may prove futile. But here is my attempt in 3 of my top highlights:
I learnt how to put mywork “out there” and it didn’t back fire lol.
Before this challenge, I was very hesitant about putting my blog out there. I would write and that was it. I knew I wanted to engage with other writers and sometimes I wanted to write things that would spark conversations with others. But, I lacked the confidence to do that.
I am happy to say that the challenge has boosted my confidence and I have gotten awesome reviews, constructive criticisms and generally learnt more about myself.
2. I tried out different styles of writing
I usually lean more towards creative writing with a bias towards poetry whenever I am blogging. However, this challenge allowed for me to try out a wide range of writing styles. From Poetry, to E-nterviews, music reviews, story telling, etc. It really pushed me out of my comfort zone and there is nothing I love more than GROWTH.
3. I have made friends, future collaboration points andfuture content creation ideas
I honestly love that this challenge came with a sense of belonging. I discovered bloggers I didn’t know about and as we created and interacted it is safe to say we have created awesome friendship bonds. I have collaboration ideas and general content creation ideas and I look forward to a continuous, thriving relationship with all the amazing Afrobloggers!
Thankyou all for journeying with me and for being AMAZING PEOPLE.
When the idea to tackle this topic for Day 6 of the WinterABC challenge was birthed in my mind, I hesitated. Mostly because I thought it would be yet another procedural tone when I should be tackling substantive issues already. Then I had a shift of mind, I realised that by writing about Digital Advocacy, I was in fact- advocating for it. I decided to proceed against this realization.
For those old enough to have lived through the era when there was no internet and social media, you will agree that if you were told then that mass campaigns and fights against various injustices could be done behind the screen- you would gasp in disbelief. Previously, Advocacy looked like place cards and marching bands chanting their convictions and calling out injustices. These days, Advocacy looks like #Hashtags, tweets, retweets, blog posts and so much more. We are living in an era that has witnessed the uprising of Digital Advocacy.
Digital Advocacy is defined by Policy as, “the use of technology to galvanize people towards a cause, whether it’s a policy or a product. It’s an organized effort to influence public perception. Adding that, at it’s core, it can be one of the strongest forces of civic technology” .
The emergence of Digital Advocacy has been received by two main opposing views.
On one hand, there are people who ridicule the cause, condescendingly calling digital advocates “key board warriors”. Those that subscribe to this school of thought argue that injustices are reduced to “trends” or “hot topics” and that whether or not change is truly achieved, people move from one trend to another depending on what is latest. It is further argued that, digital advocacy is elitist as it only focuses on injustices that are able to reach media platforms and sidelines other injustices that may not be as “popular”. Under this perspective, it is lamented that after some time the hash-tags become… hush; whilst people’s grievances remain …. harsh.
On the other hand, there are people- like me, who recognise and appreciate the level of influence that is driven through digital advocacy. It is undeniable now more than ever, given the digital escalation that was mandated by the Covid outbreak, that the world is integrated through social and professional media platforms. I regard the internet as a window or portal to the outside world, it promotes integration and broadens perspectives.
Whereas the criticisms raised by those with reservations against digital advocacy may be emanating from genuine concerns, I believe it is disrespectful at best and inhumane at worst to belittle real life experiences and injustices into “trends”. The motives of all digital advocates cannot be stated with certainty for sure. However, I believe the same can be said about traditional advocates who would rally and chant. Even in that setting, one could only hope the cause was being supported from a genuine place. I strongly believe the same applies to digital advocacy and it cannot be justifiably sidelined based on this concern. Additionally, in a world filled with injustices, it is unfair to expect digital advocates to not vocalize or amplify on various causes in the fear of being perceived as “moving from trend to trend”.
I had a colleague who once argued that, the fact that first world injustices are broadcasted more than those of the third world is unfair. The said colleague made lengthy posts complaining about how attention is not given to local struggles. Again, I respected the perspective but was still bothered by the approach…I mean, would it not be better to use the platform you have to highlight the said local struggles than police and condemn others on how they advocate and what they choose to advocate for?
Furthermore, and unfortunately, just because a cause is fought for or supported doesn’t always imply results will yield at the desired rate. This is such a bitter pill to swallow for activists/advocates and it leads to advocacy fatigue when efforts are perceived to be in vain. However, it is no wonder that causes are fought for consistently. For instance, till date, every #InternationalWomen’sDay highlights problems that still need tackling because the patriarchal institution will take generations to follow to fully dismantle. Against this background, I contend that to perceive efforts by digital advocates to be moot because some results are not being achieved as hoped for is misguided, respectfully.
Having said that, I believe the power of digital advocacy cannot be overemphasized. Social media movements such as #MeToo have stirred up much needed conversations that cut across boarders. They allowed for people to feel seen and heard. The assurance of not being alone and the courage to share stories. Support groups emerged to help victims seek the desired justice and that is but only one example of how powerful and effective Digital Advocacy is.
Some notable things to consider when it comes to Digital Advocacy as guided by Voices of Youth, include:
Goals – what are you trying to achieve?
Audiences – who are you trying to influence?
Messages – what do you want them to know & do?
Tactics – how will you get there?
Timeline – when will you do what?
Monitoring & Evaluation – how successful are you
In conclusion, I reiterate that Digital Advocacy is not only inevitable in the era we are living in but is also beneficial. Notably, it may not be without flaws and as such, I urge anyone who notes flaws to be more solutions driven, being the change that’s desired to be seen as opposed to ridiculing the entire cause.
To all Digital Advocates reading this, never feel that your efforts are in vain. The post, retweet and hashtag movement you actively participate in has a positive ripple effect in the fight against injustices and in the support for noble causes.
Firstly, to all my returning readers, THANKYOU so much for being part of this journey. To those visiting this blog for the first time, please do feel at home and come over often :).To everyone that likes, comments and engages in whichever way- I see you and I appreciate you (BIG HUGS).
Over the past days, I have had an amazing time creating, reading and interacting with other amazing bloggers as Afrobloggers from all over the world, challenged winter by bringing a lot of HEAT to the blogging platforms. I couldn’t imagine any better ice-breaking week than the one we have had.
For those who may not know, we are 4 days into the #WinterABC 2021 Challenge. Details are below:
As seen in the image above, this week was Creatives Week and it is no surprise that creatives- SHOWED UP & SHOWED OFF (*standing ovation). Congratulations to everyone that has made it through the 4/22 days!!! As my pat on the back to you all here is a song to jam to:
One thing I noticed as I read through various posts from fellow bloggers is that, there was an invisible string that seemed to tie most perspectives together. I also noticed that were some raised questions, others unknowingly gave solutions. As the title of this blog suggests, and as will be my last day custom through the weeks – I’ll dedicate this last day sharing reviews, highlights and lessons learnt from other creatives.
Notably, it would take me about a thousand pages to adequately review ALL the amazing content I came across. As such, if for a reason or another I haven’t gotten the chance to review any of the work you did, please do not feel some type of way. As this is just Week 1, trust that by the time we drop our pens on Day 22, I would have reviewed most of your content. Needless to say, you’re doing an amazing job!
Soooo … let’s get into it, shall we …
For some coherence, I will group my reviews in general topics and share views that came through from bloggers around that topic. From my observation, the 3 mainly blogged about topics this week included: Imposter syndrome; Value of creatives (money talk) and Advice on how to stay motivated as a creative.
Imposter Syndrome was one of the most frequented topics this week. In sharing on this topic, Denzel (https://blavkprint.wordpress.com/2021/06/01/the-creative-life-blogging-imposter-syndrome/) recounted his personal experiences battling Imposter Syndrome as a creative. When he wrote that, ” As someone who mostly leans towards poetry I cannot shake off the feeling that I am not a real blogger because I don’t tackle topical issues such as politics, religion or economics. I am more than capable of doing that as someone who has in the past studied liberal arts/ social sciences however, I feel disconnected from that intellectual side of content creation and I have the utmost respect for people in these niches because for me blogging is an escape from that world……” I could have almost sworn he stole the words from my mind/heart – which ever runs deeper. It reminded me though, that blogging as an art looks different for everyone. Thank God for niches! It is very easy to feel like you don’t belong when surrounded by different styles and talents. I used to feel this way until I embraced creative writing as my stronghold.
We had another take on imposter syndrome from Benjamin (https://musanjufukavubu.wordpress.com/2021/06/02/imposter-syndrome-or-insecurity/). To begin with, I must state that Benjamin adequately embodies “questioning the question”. His posts are flavoured with controversy and will usher one into critical thinking. Particularly, in this post, which he called Imposter Syndrome or Insecurity (the title itself got me thinking…) he stated that “I will not go into the various types of imposter syndrome, because I don’t think what creatives in Africa face isreally it”– Controversial perspective. I understand that was being communicated is that, whereas feelings of inadequacy or inferiority (key components of Imposter Syndrome) may not be prevalent among African creatives, there is insecurity that develops because of a number of factors. On this note, he had the following advice to give: “If you are creative with wings especially, try to spread them out in the bid to avoid the feeling of inadequacy. Being a perfectionist doesn’t help the situation but only makes it worse. So slow down and find a pace that gives you joy even in the face of deadlines. Don’t get into senseless disputes with fellow creatives even when they come at you. Don’t at any moment block new ones, let them be an opportunity to make your work fresh.” and I couldn’t agree more.
I conclude this topic by highlighting the words of Shazzy in https://sanctuaryofgreatness.wordpress.com/2021/06/02/embrace-being-weird/ were she encouraged creatives to embrace being weird. She furnished a reminder worth bookmarking, by stating that: “As a creative, never allow fear of not feeling good enough about yourself make you to stop doing what makes you happy. Your skills and talents are good enough just as they are. Readers enjoy creative people who are honest and do not hold themselves back. You are an amazing ‘weird’ person. Yes sometimes you feel like you are the odd one out from other creatives. You feel like your content is not good enough or you are just too different to fit in the blogging community. Perhaps like me you feel like you do not belong and no one will ever read your work let alone engage – I think it’s important to still celebrate your weird you“
2. VALUE OF CREATIVE$$ (see the dollar signs? lol deliberate!)
It goes without saying that there is a unanimous cry from creatives to be paid more in the industry. Most creative’s input till date is paid through attention and recognition and rarely through money.
The agonies faced by most creatives were accurately captured by Valentine (https://valentinewrites.co.zw/writers-doubt/) when he artistically lamented that, “But, one still needs income. If, for nothing else, sustenance. Food. None of my scribbling and musings are commissioned; purchased; or subsidized. The thought of street performances for tips in bond notes haunts. One degree of separation removed from begging and destitution“.
The Afterthought broadened the perspective in the post titled, “Creatives: Chasing Purpose“(https://totheafterthought.wordpress.com/2021/06/01/creatives-chasing-purpose/) She began by feeding our thoughts with the question “Would you rather die with fulfilled potential or die with a pot of gold?“. Whereas there are moments when the purpose comes with the money, most times creatives have found themselves in instances were their purpose or passion is treated as a “side hustle or leisure activity” because it can’t exactly pay the bills. This reminds me of a tagline in the linked post by the Afterthought which said, “There is that space between the dream and its manifestation. Its probably called frustration“. Lol so relatable. All in all, she encouraged people to, “… go to sleep with a deep sense of accomplishment. Not simply going through the rat race” and I couldn’t agree more.
In a post titled, Creativity: The New Money ( https://blackmwanasmemoir.wordpress.com/2021/06/01/creativity-the-new-money/), Blackmwana’s Memoir shared rays of hope for creatives by stating that, “the digital revolution and technology have opened doors for most creatives creating more avenues to make money (the new money). This has made creatives becomes trailblazers of innovative ideas” The post went further to explain the benefits of being a creative from an economic perspective. These include: Youth employment, Networking among peers, business growth and earning an income whilst having fun!
One thing can be agreed on for sure, the lamentations shared by creatives are valid. But, in a world where digital transformation is on a rise, now more than ever creatives will be an integral part of the traditional jobs. Influencers and creatives who have mastered the art of engaging and interacting in various forms will be the paid windows of growth for many.
However, it is still VERY okay to just want to create for fun, purpose or leisure and not be money oriented with your craft. Some have argued that monetizing something you enjoy doing may kill the spark. But then again, to each their own.
3. HOW TO STAY MOTIVATED AS A CREATIVE
This was another topic tackled by most creatives this week. It was refreshing to read tips and shared experiences on what other bloggers do to keep on keeping on. Some of my highlights in this topic, where as follows:
How I keep my creative juices flowing by justynlove (https://justynlove.wordpress.com/2021/06/02/day-2-how-i-keep-my-creativity-juices-flowing/) was a refreshing sharing around this topic. She begun by reminding us how creativity is intelligence having fun [heyyyy fun having intellectuals :)] and went on to share what she does to stay motivated. The activities listed include: going to the beach; watching sunsets; taking long drives; road trips; eating fries (found this interesting lol as a lover of fries); listening to music; reading music; sitting in silence and conversations with friends. My key take away from this is that inspiration can come in different forms. I also sensed a lot of self awareness from the post which I found encouraging. It is vital for creatives to know themselves and what works for them.
I also found Wonani’s letter to creatives (https://doseofwonani.wordpress.com/2021/06/03/letter-to-the-creatives/) very encouraging too. She gave a heart warming and much needed reminder when she said: “Unfortunately, it is normal to feel empty. It’s normal to have days when you simply can’t pour, or when the words you’ve put together aren’t turning into a sweet melody for the soul. It is normal to have moments when your fleeting thoughts are just that, fleeting. In moments like this, take time to feed your mind and your soul. Take time to bask in what you and others have created. There is a lot to learn from other people and a lot to learn from the creator of the heavens and the earth, the master craftsman” Taking time to feed the mind and soul stood out for me. I’m reminded that as creatives we can’t pour from an empty cup. We have to stay fueled and filled in order to sufficiently pour out.
All in all, I am so excited to have joined the Afrobloggers community this year and even more thrilled to be taking part in the #WinterABC2021 challenge along side all amazing creatives.
Looking forward to what is in store for next week!
Until then, please feel free to share some of the posts/phrases/experiences that stood out for you this week.
I am thrilled to be taking part in this year’s #WinterABC, for the first time ever. The line up of topics is very challenging and exciting and the discipline of having to blog everyday for the next couple of days is undoubtedly something I am looking forward to. I am always excited at the thought of varying perspectives and impressions. I am a firm believer in the beauty that lies in diversity, as such, I cannot wait to read through the different approaches my fellow Afrobloggers will have to the given topic guides. Here is what to expect in the weeks to come:
Ladies, gentlemen and all other amazing readers: Please buckle up as my Nsatu-rated Thoughts take you on a journey through the Creatives Week.
Welcome, to the room I call the Creatives Hub- a place where the various players in the creative cycle share their perspectives.
Have you ever imagined what goes through the mind of a Creator? Do you ever view the Created as living being with breath, soul and a story to tell? If the Creation Process sat down to share it’s perspective, would you listen?
Today, we will hear from The Creator ‘s perspective.
To some, I am a Wordsmith
To others, I am an Ink Slinger
I look in the mirror and see an inconsistent reflection
On some days, I thrive in my art
Creating creations that leave me mesmerized
Wondering if such perfection can truly be birthed from my mind
Or whether its just another lucky day
On other days, I slip through the cracks
The words don’t rhyme like they should
The ideas are not coherent
And there is a vivid disconnect between my brain and hands
I look at my creation and feel like apologizing
Knowing there’s something I intended to let out
But I just couldn’t write right.
I can attest, that I am a Jack of many trades
I trade in my time, skills and passion for a purpose
So when you ask for art that flows from my heart
I appreciate that you pay attention
I only wish you could value my creation and pay more than just attention.