Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Snippet of my Bucket List

Here's my bucket list as promised, feel free to suggest what to add. It's a note on my phone that I keep adding to as I'm inspired.

  • Stay at Caesar's Palace in Vegas
  • Visit the Tiger Palace in Thailand
  • Meet one of my role models; Diane von Furstenberg or Angelina Jolie (can I cross this off, as I was at the same conference with Angelina and got to take a picture haha)
  • Stay at The Peninsula in Paris
  • Attend a floating lantern festival in Thailand
  • Fly first class on Emirates Airline
  • Kiss at the top of the Eiffel Tower
  • Kiss at the top of the Empire State Building
  • Visit Bondi Beach (I mean d'uh?!)
  • Go to Maui
  • Climb Mount Kilimanjaro
  • See the wonders of the world
  • Visit the Taj Mahal
  • Drink Morrocan tea in Marrakesh
  • Safari in Kenya
  • Carnival in Rio 
That's it for now I guess. Who wants to share with me what's on theirs?

All The Places We Would Go And The Things We Would See

I remember when I first fell in love with travelling, it was under the influence of my sister Mirna. She had always had a discontent growing up in Nigeria because she knew there was more to her life and she was determined to find it. I know this because she bought a one way ticket when she was moving to London and she's lived there for ten years and frankly I don't think she's ever coming back (something a lot of our family and friends are still yet to grasp and understand). I mean she's been there for 10 good years, going to be a citizen soon, you would think they would get the picture now. 

Anyways, I found an old journal of hers when I was converting our shared room into my room ad curiosity prompted me to flip through it ( I mean I'm a sister it's my job to snoop!) and so I did. I was curios to know her thoughts, she had always been a mystery to me, still is but there is a 7 year gap between the two of us and we didn't really get along when we were growing up. What did we have in common? Also me moving out at the age of 3 to live with my cousin who was just a year older than me probably didn't help our relationship. 

In her journal, she penned down her dreams of exploring the world and different cultures, Geography turned out to be her favourite subject and she couldn't wait to travel to the countries she read about in her text books and studied on the map. You see when she and my brother were growing up, my parents weren't as established as they were in my own time. So while I got to summer in London every summer from when I was 8, she didn't get that opportunity till it was time for her to go to university. Ironically, I thought these summer trips made me exposed, LIE, lol but thankfully I had her to mentor me through that. 

She did remarkably well for herself, by the time I moved to London for university and we were living together I began to see her in a different light and understand her better. She had 11 different visas in her passport or 9, not quite certain of the figure and she was hoping from one place to another from Fiji to Marrakesh to Prague. Till we lived together, I was very picky with my food but she forced me to broaden my horizon, often teasing me of being a village girl and thanks to her I can boast of knowing how to make one or two Indian, Mexican, Italian and Thai dishes. 

Rubbing off on me, I decided to travel more from my second year in uni and even though I'm glad I did, I wish I had made better use of that opportunity like taking advantage of the ERASMUS scheme and doing a semester abroad. Let's face it travelling is easier from London than Nigeria, nevertheless I'm proud of my travel stamps in my passport. I got to relive childhood memories in Disneyland Paris, be reminded of my smallness as I took walks along the beach in Barbados, walk through the door of no return like our ancestors in Porto Novo, swim with dolphins in Dubai (crossed off my bucket list), recreate a memory from Sex and the City in New York, Brunch in Brussels, Fall in love in Rome, lose my head in Barcelona among many other memorable experiences. I was inspired by Johnny Ward on Instagram (onestep4ward) who is travelling the world. He's gone to 193 countries out of 197, how amazing is that? He's actually living the dream. 

I decided to make a bucket list too, which I would share in my next post because I'm scared this post is already lengthy as it is and I hope I haven't lost your attention. I hope to travel to a 100 countries before I die, so far I have 89 to go. I can't wait to go on adventurous trips like climbing Mount Kilimanjaro (on the bucket list) and relaxing unwinding holidays where I can splurge on spa dates for my husband and I or my daughter and I and cultural trips where I can show my children that there's more to learning than the four walls of a class room and romantic trips with just my husband like visiting Venice together and island trips where I can just absorb nature and be awestruck by the creativity and mind of God. The one thing I look forward to giving my children the most, is a passport to the world. Whereas I'm eternally grateful to my parents for the London/American summer holidays, I aspire to take my children to a different country every summer if the Lord wills. 

Before you cut off my head, of course we are going to travel round Nigeria as well. I'm jealous of the people who have visited all 36 states, I have visited only 11 or 12 lol. And also before you discredit me saying you need to have money to do all this, I'm going to say this to you, you just have to do what you need to do in order to be able to do what you want to do. So yeah it's your dream to travel a lot, then work hard and endure the mundane job looking forward to your booked summer trip where you can embrace your desires. 

A wise man once said; The world is a book and those who don't travel only read one page
                                                                                                                       - St Augustine. 

I'm so excited for this week's Date Challenge, we are going on a couple's road trip with his best friend and girlfriend, so that crosses out "Go on a roadtrip". 

Sunday, 22 May 2016

Snuffles, Snuggles and a 10 Year Late Letter

I currently have the flu so for this week's dating challenge, we stuck indoors and watched sitcoms to make me feel better. Thereby striking off 'Have a movie night at home' on the Dates Bucketlist. J did a perfect job helping me nurse my cold and snuggling with me to make me feel better, only seems fair since I took care of him the day before when he was down with a fever lol. I opted for Black-ish and How I Met Your Mother instead of a movie cause they say laughter is the best medicine. 

However, I had to brave it up and dress up for a friend's bridal shower, which brings me to the real point of this post. I bumped into an old high school classmate at the bridal shower that took me back to memories of who I was in secondary school. You know when you always see questions like, if you could write a letter to your teenage self, what would it say? I never knew what I would write, but seeing her today gave me some sort of clarity on how I would like to answer that question. This was someone's friendship I had fought for and lost myself trying to get and seeing her briefly for two minutes had me like, all that for what? It was laughable moment. 

Growing up I tried way too hard when it came to certain things, not that I would change anything because they all shaped who I am today but I can't help and cringe when I think about some memories or read through old journals. Friendship especially, I wanted a Disney friendship so bad, I lost touch with reality. Somehow I forgot that their friendship was scripted and reality was a rude awakening. I changed "best friends" like I changed my toothbrush (every 3 months) and that resulted in me getting walked over, losing my identity and never really building concrete relationships. Don't get me wrong, I was no saint, heck I was probably the problem 90% of the time, but if there was anything I enjoyed, it was playing the victim LOL. BUT I've come a long way in maturing and I'm so grateful for the journey.

So if I had to write a letter to my teenage self it would say, 

Dearest Bondi, 

There are three things which shouldn't be forced; love, friendship and a ponytail. If you have to force it, leave it. The girls you're trying so hard to be friends with right now won't matter in ten years because your paths are going to take different directions. Your confidence has no tie whatsoever to your acceptance by these girls. You don't have to force anyone to be your friend and certainly not by bribing them with gifts. First love and accept yourself unconditionally and then you would attract the right kind of people who would love and accept you too. 

If you keep giving away so much of yourself to people who don't appreciate it, you're going to be left with nothing. And then there's not going to be any respect there for you because you've clearly demonstrated you don't respect yourself. Respect yourself to walk away from anyone or anything that no longer serves you, grows you or makes you happy. And it's okay to not be liked by everyone, it is not your job to please every Tom, Dick and Harry, you are not Nutella. Embrace yourself, your quirks, imperfections and personality and this is going to build a self confidence so strong and admirable that it would be almost impossible not to be your friend. Don't be afraid to show the real you, no one is going to criticise you for it and if they do, that's their problem not yours. Stop changing who you are to fit the friend of the day's criteria because you're going to keep losing a little bit of your identity with each mask you wear. 

One more thing, there is absolutely no rule that states that you must have a best friend in life, you can have soul sisters, you can have confidantes, hell you can even have multiple best friends but don't feel like you've failed because you don't have a friendship that looks like a Disney movie script. You're going to turn out to be an amazing beautiful woman and I only wish you could see yourself ten years from now so you could walk away from situationships. You would be shocked to find out who your real friends actually are but no spoilers, it's a journey you have to travel for yourself. Also don't try to fit people in the God-shaped hole in your life, if you want a perfect friend turn to Jesus. 


Your grown and wiser self, 

Ok well it might not be the best letter but it resonates with me and maybe there's someone else it resonates with too. Also don't think I've gotten it all figured out because up until last year, I still found myself in a situationship but hey I'm learning and that's all that matters right?

Monday, 16 May 2016

Dealing With Setbacks

I'm going to be honest with you, my life isn't going the way I envisioned it. But whose life ever goes as planned right? We all have boxes we set to tick as we go along life, Undergraduate✓, Postgraduate✓, NYSC✓, Job✓, Marriage✓, Kids✓, Retirement✓. 

But what happens when you're stuck at a particular stage and it just feels like there's no progress, I mean for me, life was going as planned, I was done with university at a really good age and I finished my youth service last year October and so I thought the smooth sailing would continue. But it's been 7 months and I've still not landed my dream job. I did an internship with an NGO for three months, which was great but now I'm back where I started and it feels like when will I get a job that I know I'll someday complain about? Aren't humans funny? We disturb God's ears with pleas of a request, then we get it and we disturb him with constant complaints. Just makes me appreciate God more, that He loves me so much to deal with my short comings. 

Anyways today was one of those morning where I woke up blue, feeling like "looky there, another Monday and you don't have work to go to". I was lying in my bed about to throw myself a pity party and invite depression, anxiety and comparison to the party but it's really amazing how God doesn't give up on us just yet. Somehow I got the idea to start singing worship songs to get the mood started and have my devotions. So there I am singing the songs that come to mind and then I decided to get up and read my devotional. I use two; Our Daily Bread and Love Out Loud by Joyce Meyer. ODB talked about getting godly counsel, I was like ok good and moved on to LOL and that's where I got my logos from. I decided to share because maybe someone needs it like I did. 

"When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them on the road through the Philistine country, thought that was shorter. For God said, "if they face war, they might change their minds and return to Egypt"  Exodus 13:17

No matter how carefully you plan your progress in any area of your life, you will have setbacks. That's part of the journey. Successful people are able to press through difficulty and delay and get right back on track without wasting time, feeling bad about themselves, or losing momentum. 

Having a bad day doesn't mean you have to have a bad life. Don't be like the Israelites in today's scripture who wanted to return to Egypt everytime they had a bad day while travelling toward the Promised Land. You are being freed from the bondage of egypt and heading toward the Promised Land, where God's purposes and promises will become realities in your life, but you will have days in the desert. When that happens, don't be too hard on yourself. 

Be nurturing and supportive of yourself, as you would of anyone else you love. Remind yourself that ten steps forward and one step backward still gets you where you're going (ding! ding! ding! voila I got my logos). Celebrate your successes, even small ones, and it will help you press pass your setbacks. 

Consider writing down your victories as you have them. Keep a journal of your journey and record your little successes and include the lessons you're learning along the way and the good experiences you're having. When you have a discouraging day or one when you feel you've done everything wrong, read your journal. You may be amazed at how far you've come!"

Isn't it awesome how God talks to us through different ways. My day went to a hundred real quick by the time I was done reading my devotional. I mean off the top of my head, if I'm noting down my successes, I've done really well in life. I have two good degrees from good universities, i have 3 diploma certificates in Fashion Journalism, Lifestyle Journalism and Project Management. I can speak French, I took one of the hard level diploma exams and I was the second highest, the first was an Ivorian lady, who speaks french already and she was only higher than me with 1.5%, if that's not something to celebrate, I don't know what else is. Above all, I have God and I have His word with His promises to take care of me and His amazing plan to prosper me and give me a future and a hope. Plus, I also know that God honours His word above His name so as long as I rest assured on those promises, I know they will come to pass. I feel so liberated and I'm definitely going to get me a progress journal and record my progress in every area of my life.

This was a lengthy write up and probably an even lengthier read for someone but I really felt compelled to share and I hope someone gets liberated through these words. Have a beautiful day.


(Ps: If you have any recommendations or advice/tips on how to deal with setbacks, I'd love to hear from you xxx)