In that exact order.
The year I became carefree.
This year felt so much more full on compared to previous years. I didn’t even know where to start when I decided to write a post on it. It’s impossible to pinpoint what my best experience was.
Twenty sixteen was the year I finally learned about myself and felt like I was constantly evolving into a greater woman every single day. I would literally have days where I’d want to spend it alone because I was so attached to the person I was becoming. I was so attached to this woman that not so long ago, she couldn’t even tell you what she loved the most about herself.
Earlier this year I was lost. Searching for love and happiness in any place and anyone I could find. I didn’t even want to help or advise anyone too much because it would’ve been equivalent to the blind leading the blind.
Zero confidence. zero direction.
I had to be so strong on top of that. I had to put up with rejection after rejection of everything I had put time and dedication in, I had to put up with being criticized and feelings of unworthiness just for being me.
I started to invest more time into reading, which helped refresh my mind. (Daughter you can make it by Dag Heward Mills) (Pink Lips & Empty Hearts by Heather Lindsey) both were very similar and spoke about the everyday real life situations women face, how to overcome them based on the real life experiences of the authors which then gets linked back to all the biblical stories regarding women. (Ruth, Esther, Deborah, Rebecca).
There’s nothing wrong with speaking about your struggles, just don’t create a whole pity party. Don’t come back with the same problems, the same excuses and the same mindset.
Ask yourself this;
What did I learn from it
What will I do differently next time
Because who really wants to be in the same predicament?
Less and less people will begin to show interest in your invite. You can try though.
I had to repeat to myself.
Daughter you can make it taught me how much painful experiences turn women bitter and that God will never forgive us if we don’t forgive others.
Forgiveness has always been in my nature but this time I was really tested. Tested to the point where I had so much hate in my heart which was disgusting because it was so unlike me. But the peace that came with it was indescribable.
Pink Lips & Empty Hearts taught me that a person who is established in what God called them to do won’t be moved by every open invitation they receive from others. They are people with discretion, so they hold themselves to a certain standard.
I had a purpose and a plan to fulfill, and being sucked into things/people that had no relevance to helping this prosper would’ve been a huge distraction.
I had no idea I would start writing blogs. For the longest, I never really knew what I was good at, I mean, I do have some great qualities here and there but I wanted something legit. Something I can expand on. Something I can build a platform on. Something I can call my own. Something that when people see it they’ll be like Yep, that’s Bernadette.
You know the saying ‘Your talent is God’s gift to you and what you do with it is your gift back to God’. It literally played in my head like a broken record. I couldn’t go a day without thinking about it. At this point, I was so intrigued in fulfilling this and I wasn’t going to rest until I did, or at least start working on it now for amazing results later on.
My first ever blog post was about confidence and my whole journey of reaching it. I think this was where my whole personal development stemmed from. One night at uni at an ungodly hour of exam prep I went into the notes page on my phone and wrote everything that was on my mind.
Normally, I would do this but that night, that very night was different.
It was different because that’s the night I decided I will no longer allow myself to miss out on opportunities because of a lack of self-esteem. That’s the night I decided I will no longer seek the approval of others ever again in this life. I began having flashbacks of all the times I didn’t do something because of the belittling opinions of others or the fact that it was way out of my comfort zone.
I was so tired of the wall I had built around me that didn’t give me the chance to express myself. I was so tired of the questioning and the judging. Why couldn’t people just enjoy their lives or at least let me try and enjoy mine?
That’s the night I told myself you better pick yourself up because life isn’t going to put itself on hold for you. People are still going to get up in the morning and go to work, the retired couple from across the street are still going to go on their planned cruise and splash that pension money, schools are still opened and so is Tesco.
The job that rejected you isn’t thinking maybe we should call her back. That person who offended you doesn’t even know how to spell your last name. You don’t need to explain yourself to anyone unless you truly want to. People were too needy. You don’t holla, you don’t do this, and you don’t do that. PLEASE.
You don’t even know what my favourite show is. Who even are you?
That’s the night I told myself
‘I’m lit fam’
All by myself.
It’s funny how that one night changed me. It was such an average night too. I probably tripped up the stairs once or twice before entering my room and the birds were chirping telling me I had officially messed up my sleeping pattern.
When I became satisfied with what I had written I was gobsmacked. That blog contained 20 years of thoughts and feelings that had been bottled up. That blog contained 20 years of no one understands me and no one ever will. That blog contained 20 years of let me just do small small chillings in my comfort zone and maybe they won’t notice.
What I loved the most was the fact that after I shared this blog, a lot of people told me how much they could relate to it. This meant a lot to me as I want to help people through my writing and give them a voice and write things that they may be too embarrassed or scared to share and so they’ll know they are not alone on certain topics.
Like I said, 2016 has been very full on for me compared to previous years, and I mean that in the most positive way as possible. I’m not the same person I was in previous years and I mean that in the most positive way as possible.
I encountered various occasions where people would get mad at me and even become threatened at how confident I had become.
Good. I didn’t come all this way for nothing and It didn’t take me this long to build for weirdos to tell me how to act. So is you finna sip this champagne with me or nah?
“Why do you …” “You’re always …”
BECAUSE WHO WILL LOVE ME LIKE ME?
One thing I would say to my readers regarding my journey is that your darkest experiences are not the end. It’s through trials where you reach your potential.
Just when you start to feel like it’s all over Jackie that’s when your breakthrough comes and spuds you.
So don’t cry and beg please.
“Lord, why me?”
But why not you?
You can’t get a rainbow without rain first.
You cannot grow within your comfort zone. I spent 20 years thinking this was a motive. Sooner or later you will need to get out.
And let me tell you this,
It’s made me who I am today.
I wouldn’t have written my first blog. I wouldn’t have gone through this whole development of growth, self-love and self-worth. I wouldn’t have had such an amazing year. I wouldn’t have achieved half of the things I have achieved.
This year, I became more myself than I ever have been before.
“The craziest things already happened to me, so either you’ll be laughing at me or you’re laughing with me”
– word to Nas
– A published blog post on a health and beauty fashion agency website.
My 20th birthday. The best I’ve ever had!
Embracing my natural state
The Gal-Dem takeover at Victoria and Albert museum with London’s most inspiring women.
“Women of colour are rarely given the chance to take up space in institutions like the V&A, so we took the task very seriously – we thought about representing a spread of interests and identities and the fact that we wanted to build upon our pre-existing relationships with people” – Liv Little
Various workshops covering arts, politics and music.
Guest speakers – What it means to be a woman of colour.
A black history month special- “black in the day” built from images shared from personal photo albums.
Mesmi: A night of self-discovery
“A personal journey of self-discovery turned into inspiration for a new collection”
A beautiful night of fashion, art and entertainment held by my brother’s event AF1MediaGroup, (Always Family 1st) Such an insightful experience celebrating black creatives. Featuring the designs of Misemi for the launch of her collection.
Caption says it all