Picture The Past

25 May

After months of procrastinating, I finally ordered my new laptop, (as a task to avoid another task I didn’t want to do) and in the process of backing up my files to transfer to the new laptop, I came across so many gems. Old poems, letters, stories and songs I’d written. It was so weird reading back those writings, almost like I was entering the mind of another person, someone I could somewhat relate to. Things I’d written, going back almost 10 years and seeing such a transformation from that young girl, lost but full of life, questions and thirst for adventure, to this grown woman, who likes to wander, with a deeper appreciation and understanding for the mysteries of life.

When Looking Back is a good thing...

When looking back is a good thing…

Back then, I thought my writing was top notch, but reading it now I couldn’t help but laugh. NOW I think my writing is top form, though this just proves that we are constantly developing and what we think is good quality now is always only a fraction of our best work to come. It seems I had a story to tell; so much drama and so many conflicting emotions. Reading back I thought “Wow this girl has issues, I thought I had issues but this is DRAMA”. I went through some trying times, but I see that I got through it and it encourages me that whatever we’re going through now, we will get through it also. All the things we worried about back then don’t seem to matter today, serving as a reminder that things eventually do get better because today I have a different story to tell.

One of the biggest files on my computer (yes beating the music files) was my pictures, starting from the summer of 2010. It was my first time travelling to the States for Camp. A life changing experience along with the other countries I visited like Thailand, Morocco, Japan and Paris. I found old pictures of birthdays, weddings, my graduation, and even my cousin’s first time at Nandos. What great memories and as each picture told a story it warmed my heart recalling the moment that led to the picture. There were pictures of near and far friends, family and old friends turned strangers. Despite my doubts sometimes, I actually do have great relationships. Some I’m very close to and those I don’t talk to every day, yet we’ve created beautiful memories in the past that will always be cherished. (The collages below are only a snapshot, there were so many pictures I wanted to upload but I had to pick just a few that capture the journey) Even the pictures with people I no longer speak to brought bittersweet memories. Challenging relationships teach us much about ourselves and if we are willing to learn, they make us better people. Seeing those faces again reminded me of where I was and how far I’ve come. It gave me a better picture of where to focus in my relationships.

Thailand, Morocco, Japan & Disneyland Paris!

Thailand, Morocco, Japan & Disneyland Paris!

Amazing summers in the USA!

Amazing summers in the USA!

For the first time in a long time, I was pleased with my past. Pictures are the evidence of the life that once was, and it made me proud that I did a lot of what I wanted to. This was the past as I knew it and it was positive; that I could accept. Back then in real time, I thought I was unhappy because I didn’t know where I was going or what I was doing. But seeing the pictures as a bigger part of a puzzle, I was definitely living the life. Though I didn’t believe it then, I actually look like someone who had a clue. Travelling, socialising, and spending quality time with great people, that’s what was (and still is) important to me. A few weeks ago a friend asked “What is life really about?” And in hindsight I can say it’s partly about living a life that allows you to experience all kinds of moments with people you love, so you can create great memories that last a lifetime.

final

A story of a time around yesterday!  More Groupies, Less Selfies!

So you may be sitting here today feeling like you’re lost and/or unhappy but if you just capture these moments now, years from now you’ll be able to see this experience in the bigger scheme of things. Each person is a character in this wonderful story called Life and so we shouldn’t really ever feel stuck because Life is constantly changing and we are always growing. Whether it’s our physical appearance, mentality or lifestyle, we’re a different person today then we were yesterday, and a different person we will be tomorrow.

You are the photographer of your life; you chose what to capture, the location and settings, you choose the poses and the people…

…So make it beautiful.

I have found calmness in the midst of craziness

Ms Tola xx

Brutally Honest

18 Apr

As I sat down towards the end of last year, and thought about my plans and goals for 2015, two words came to mind; FAITH and PATIENCE! They resonated so strongly I knew they were the themes for this year. Only four months in and my faith and patience has been tested with such force. My thoughts have been all over the place and it’s been hard to write and share my experiences honestly, because honestly it’s been an extremely challenging time. ‘26’ has been the hardest of all my years because of two major life changes; MARRIAGE and MOTHERHOOD. I didn’t post anything because I felt I didn’t have anything meaningful to say behind those positive phrases and recycled clichés to cover up the real struggle. This year my real life begun, and as usual, I wasn’t ready. I had this picture of what my life was supposed to be like and the disappointment of that manifestation left me feeling frustrated and disheartened. It was HARD! VERY hard and it didn’t help that I was on my own trying to figure it out. Life as I once knew it ceased to exist. This wasn’t a test, warm-up was over and this, my friend, is the real deal.

Adulthood sure is something eh?!!!

Adulthood sure is something eh?!!!

In April 2013, I hit what I termed a “Quarter-Life Crisis”, turning 25 and feeling overwhelmed that there was so much about adulthood I didn’t know. Looking back at that post, I can see I didn’t take adequate steps to put all those points into practice. What exactly I was doing with my ‘single years’ because even now I still find myself asking, ‘who am I?’ as an individual, ‘what makes me happy?’ ‘what is it that I really want from life?’ ‘what steps can I take to get where I want to be?’ The disappointing thing is I thought marriage would answer those questions for me. But it doesn’t. It just emphasised the urgency of reaching a solid understanding of who you are. It’s very unfair to expect your spouse to meet a level of contentment that you haven’t achieved for yourself. If they’ve created an environment for you to be happy in and you’re still not happy, it’s not their fault. It’s your responsibility to be happy! As for motherhood, now that was a different ballgame altogether; discovering the beauty of real pain. All those parenting books and antenatal classes couldn’t completely capture the experience and consequentially, the aftermath of pregnancy was unbearable in the first weeks because of the circumstances surrounding it. However, being pregnant was mostly pleasant and even the labour experience was quite enjoyable.

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When we desire things and believe they will make us happy we deceive ourselves. Living a lie only leads you to where you don’t want to be. And I definitely found myself in that place. Life had changed and I was struggling to adjust and as a result started feeling guilty for not appreciating the blessings others would love to trade places for. I was losing faith, losing patience and doubting every choice I made. I wanted to GET NAKED… like seriously rip off those clothes of oppression but I couldn’t. I didn’t want the rawness of my emotions to be seen as unnatural, shameful and inappropriate so I lied about how I really felt. I was falling and failing and didn’t know if I would recover from this moment of madness. No I didn’t get naked… I was teasing with a bit of flesh here and a flash of thigh there, but I couldn’t be honest with myself. It didn’t help that I was in an environment where autonomous growth wasn’t nurtured so I was afraid of admitting I didn’t know what I was doing because that would mean someone telling me what to do as opposed to showing me a variety of ways that could work. I was in new positions, some of my relationships regressed, emotions were at an uncontrollable high and all the things I knew in theory just weren’t working in practice. Terrified of being criticised for making a mistake, I tried so hard to prove that I had it all together.

Some you like, others not so much!!

Some you like, others not so much!!

We have to stop lying to ourselves about the way certain people make us feel and then find that place where we can express our hearts openly. We have to be BRUTALLY HONEST because eventually the layers of emotional closedness will wear us down. Once I opened up about how I was really coping with the different changes, I was ready to talk about it. I asked one of my besties why no one tells us it’s this hard and she’d always reply “Omo, even if they did, we wouldn’t believe them.” We wouldn’t believe them because people only share the picture when it’s perfect and we expect it to always be that way. I found strength admitting my weakness and was reminded how emotionally liberating it is being vulnerable. I regained that intimacy established through sharing struggles and being bare, knowing it’s all a work in progress with a willingness to work at it. It’s no surprise my closest friends are the ones that have been honest with their difficulties and allowed me to be honest with my shortcomings without any fear. We can be naked with each other (heheheeeee).

perfect

Faith and Patience are life -long lessons so it appropriately represents the themes for this year as I enter the life-long commitment of Marriage and Motherhood. The trying of our faith builds patience and patience gives us strength in the midst of our trials. Trying to present a perfect picture and keeping up appearances is exhausting. We need to be honest and allow ourselves to go through all experiences, because even the negative ones are meaningful. It takes great courage to be honest in your struggle and to share your pain with others if it would help even just one person. Being true about where we are at any moment is how we inspire others to do the same. And that is how we begin to resolve our issues and move forward.

piano

With that being said… roll on ‘27’!

Happy Birthday To Me!!!

Ms Tola xx

Taking Stock

31 Dec

The last day of 2014 so you know what that means? Stock-taking!

Stock-taking at the end of the year entails thinking carefully about the situations and events that occurred and doing an inventory of how the last 365 days were spent. Through analysis and evaluations you make plans and decisions which set the tone for the New Year. It is a time for reflection where you ponder on all the good and ‘not so good’ things that shaped your experience of the year. Just thinking on the different events that happened, I can say I experienced 2014 in the simple aspects that life offers. I witnessed two individuals, pledge eternal love and commitment to one another at a wedding in Switzerland. One of my best friends gave birth and we welcomed the to the world my Goddaughter. Another close friend lost family members to the sicknesses of the world and I went to the Cremation of a friend’s mother. Friends got engaged and family members got new jobs whilst others moved houses. Marriage, birth, death, and living; all part of life. So how does one distinguish one year from another? You ask specific questions like… “Did I achieve the things I set out to achieve?” “What did I learn?” and “What can I do differently next year?”

“Did I achieve the things I set out to achieve?”

I read all my blog entries from January 2013 and when comparing the years, two words that come to mind are GROWTH and CHANGE.  I didn’t really set myself any particular goals for 2014, so during my time of reflection it was difficult to measure how successful I was in achieving what I set out to do in 2014. Yet, it wasn’t a fruitless year because I did have my themes of LOVE and LAUGHTER and these expressions completely represent my year.  All that I achieved was displayed through acts of love and found in daily moments of enjoyment.

I LOVED!!! I loved my job as a Data Manager. I loved playing Squash (a new found sport I tried this year).  My love for writing was re-kindled. I found love as a greater force than emotions, with God, myself and in my relationships through commitment, forgiveness, acceptance and appreciation.

I LAUGHED!!!  As challenging as things may have been, I truly enjoyed life this year and I realised it was because of all the people I love and who love me; my family, my friends, and especially my husband, who from the first time we met brought joy and optimism into everything we encountered. So as I spent more days loving and laughing, I think it’s fair to say I achieved that which I set out to.

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“What did I learn?”

A way of measuring the effectiveness of an experience is through the lessons we learn.  I learnt so much from Love and Laughter and because of these two things, I found meaning in everything. I learnt how to be happy, and was reminded that happiness is found in the simplicity of things.

I learnt the importance of changing my perspective because particular beliefs can be so negative and limiting and result in unjustified feelings of fear and inadequacy.

I learnt how unpredictable life could be. Even with only a vague idea of what I wanted for 2014, I found myself constantly surprised by different events as a reminder that anything and everything can change in a single moment. And believe me, it certainly did.

I learnt that there’s a time for work and a time for play, but in between there’s a time for rest and this year was definitely my time to slow down. Being restricted physically, I couldn’t do as much as I wanted, but was able to mentally walk my path and I believe I am right where I NEED to be.

The biggest lesson for me this year was a quote from the Batman Begins movie, “It’s what you do that defines you!” And I realised these are the values we define for ourselves and how we live in line with those values. It’s what we do daily, that moulds us into the person we are.

“Success isn’t what you achieve compared to others; it’s what you achieve in terms of what YOU are capable of doing.”

 

“What can I do differently next year?”

Having admitted that I didn’t set many goals this year, I set myself goals for 2015. 2014 was about exploring and finding things I Love and make me Laugh and as a result, I uncovered the person I am. So the personal, professional, creative, spiritual, and financial goals I chose will assist in developing the best version of me.  I made it through this season and as I enter another, different conditions will apply and I know I have to work harder than I did. The groundwork of this year was just as important, and the journey remains the same as when I just didn’t know. But next year, it is more specific and I will be proud about everything I achieve and even more passionate about the road ahead.

So when December 2015 comes and I ask “Did I achieve the things I set out to achieve?” like Beyonce, I too will say…

“I was here, I lived, I loved.

 I was here, I did, I’ve done

Everything that I wanted and it was more than I thought it would be….

…That I gave my all, did my best, brought someone some happiness

Made this world a little better,

Because… I WAS HERE!!!!!”

Wishing you a blessed and prosperous 2015

I have found calmness in the midst of craziness.

Ms Tola x

Job or Career?

30 Nov

Is it a job? Is it a career??

Last month, I commemorated a whole year of being “employed” as a Data Manager for a clinical trials unit; a field I didn’t even know existed. After committing to my decision to NOT pursue a career in Law, it was back to the drawing board for me. I spent numerous months, researching the internet for career options; doing personality test after test trying to find the perfect job that provided a stable income whilst combining my skills, interests and most importantly my PASSIONS! I had many doubting days that I’d never find it but instead be subject to working in a job I loathed, that barely paid and left me with little or no time to do other things I enjoyed.

In the midst of my long-term career search, I serendipitously stumbled into this role. It was 100% unintentional. But like most things in life, there are no coincidences. From starting as a Temp in February 2013, going to Thailand for 6 months and then being made the permanent Data Manager in February 2014, the whole process mirrored parts of Hansel and Gretel’s story, where I followed a trail of white pebbles and found myself at a place I could call home. It completely changed my standpoint on the whole “working” front.

Perspective...

Perspective…

I wasn’t particularly passionate about working in clinical trials. I just looked at the skills required and realised this was something I could do. I guess that’s why they call them transferable skills, because even though I had no experience or knowledge of clinical trials I was able to develop and apply my general abilities in a variety of jobs. Apparently, we spend one third of our day sleeping. Working 9-5 was another third of my day leaving me with the final third for evening activities. But it occurred to me that regardless of how we divide and allocate our 24 hours, each moment adds up and makes the day. The key is to try and find meaning in whatever you are currently doing and this is much easier to do if you view it as a part of life rather than just a job or a particular career path. Not everything that happens in life do we welcome so eagerly, yet everything we experience brings lessons that we can heed or reject. So if you choose a job or career that you hate, there are opportunities to learn and grow and make changes accordingly or you can spend a great portion of your life being unhappy for no valid reason.

The choice is YOURS!

The choice is YOURS!

Working as a Data Manager wasn’t part of my career path; it was just something temporary until I found “The Perfect Career”. Yet I’d turn up every day, and leave feeling filled with the new things I’d learnt on Excel, a database or about pregnancy. The trial I’m working on comes under the Institute for Women’s Health and seeks to provide evidence to which position is better during second stage labour with an epidural in situ. (I know, I know; how sophisticated and knowledgeable do I sound!) It was just so relevant because I knew one day, I’d be pregnant and all this information would be useful. I became familiar with medical terms and even with the nature of a midwife’s role. I have an AMAZING boss, who is very knowledgeable in various areas and has taught me so many things in the workplace and about life in general. She always offered support beyond the standard employer-employee relationship. I respect her both professionally and personally and as she’s a mentor, she’s also someone I consider a friend. Some tasks were really mundane and mind-numbing (aka, data entry) so I was able to listen to podcasts and audiobooks. So even at work I was working on my personal development and feeding myself spiritually. Then to top it off I was getting paid a great salary that was more than enough.

I can honestly say there’s only been ONE day I hated my job. And of course not every day a “happy day” but every day was truly a learning day. At times the work was challenging, and I messed up numerous times. Of course, there have been lazy days, where I didn’t want to get out of bed and go anywhere, let alone to work. But once I was eventually at work (even if I was counting hours till I was reunited with my bed), I was happy to be there. Staying past 5 was never an issue. I would regularly stay until 6 or 7pm just to get tasks finished. I put in the extra effort without being asked to, knowing I wouldn’t get paid overtime.

Right Said!!

Rightly Said!!

It wasn’t just an ordinary job or career; it was something I could learn from. It was another part of my life that needed watering and attention. I didn’t do it because I first loved it, but I ended up loving it because I made the most of it. I realised career decisions are not decisions about ‘what do I love most?’ but about ‘what kind of life do I want to set up for myself’. They can be so one-dimensional and stressing and straining to discern some enchanted single pathway of bliss is a futile exercise for most as we are so multi-talented. There are a range of things one could be doing, using all kinds of life-skills and talents. For example, a parent is a manager, a teacher, a doctor. A friend is a counsellor, an event organiser, a volunteer. A student is a writer, a researcher, a musician. A child is an actor, a veterinarian, a lawyer. A husband is a mechanic, an electrician, a cook. Even an “unemployed person” is an entrepreneur, a graphic designer, a spiritualist. Identify your skills and talents that are valuable, hone them and use them at every opportunity.

It's all part of the same puzzle...

It’s all part of the same puzzle…

Sometimes life it’s not always so glamorous. It can be just so simple. Let your career be to make the most out of your life because it’s your job to find meaning and fulfilment in whatever you do. It’s what you do that defines you. But this isn’t just a job title. These are in the choices we make and the attitudes we have towards our living. Live your life and work hard at it. But most importantly, ENJOY IT!!! There are ups and downs, seasons we love or not but in the end we must grow through Life.

I have found calmness in the midst of craziness.
Ms Tola xx

Morocco Morocco!!!

28 Oct

It’s been a month since I’ve been back from Morocco and like Thailand, it’s a place I’ve wanted to visit for a long time as I knew I would find another piece of the puzzle. I went with 3 friends and although we’re all at different places in our lives, we were all in the same place mentally, so it was more of a reflective and relaxing holiday. I decided to write about 5 things I reflected on during those days away.

This Time Last Year, This Time, and This Time Next Year

In the present day, I am entering two new chapters in my life and it made me think about where I was this time last year. September 2013 I was in Thailand on a whole different path, experiencing life like never before. Back then, I didn’t think I’d be here today; engaged to a blessed and wonderful guy with new life growing every day. Even though marriage and family life was something I always wanted, I anticipated I’d get there “sometime in the future” not knowing that “future” was only a year away. I had a completely different plan and picture for life in September 2014, which I thought was greater and bigger. YET, the quality my life is so much better than I imagined it could be and is finally aligning with my top values. It drove home that we really don’t know tomorrow. Sure we all have plans and goals, and sometimes it goes accordingly. But when things doesn’t work out like OUR blueprint, we may not see it or appreciate it at the time but Life is giving us what is essential to our growth and progress.

Life knows best...

Life knows best…

The things we want to do VS the things we need to do!

We got a nice package deal to Morocco, which included flights and hotel and a camel tour. However, before leaving London, my fiancé (just saying that makes me feel all giddy inside) and I agreed it’d be better if I didn’t ride the camels. I wasn’t too bothered at the time. The 2nd day in Morocco and our transport arrived for the tour. Once I saw the camels, I really wanted to ride but I had to put my safety first. I was really disappointed and felt left out when everyone was boarding the camels and taking pictures. Once the group left for the ride, I sat in the waiting room. I was tempted to sulk and indulge in a pity party about being excluded from this activity, but then I took out my books, put my feet up and sat comfortably amongst the fluffy pillows. Then the inspiration for this blog came and gave me the opportunity to relax and reflect, whilst I was alone. I was able to get lost with my thoughts, to read, to write and just appreciate everything around me. And do the things I generally love to do. I consoled myself by accepting that I didn’t have to be involved in EVERY activity. There would be plenty of opportunities in the future to ride camels amongst other things. But for this moment in time I had to just be still and remember the wonderful blessings that were already manifesting in my life.

Somewhere in the desert...

Somewhere in the desert…

Kindness pays

In a selfish and self-consumed world, one can forget the need to serve. And in a place where there is great lack, another can overlook courtesies to others. Every day, we were bombarded with people trying to sell us things, or help us in return for financial remuneration. Even getting directions from the locals they would expect you to pay them. But in those few days, we met a few special individuals that went against the norm and saw us as four ladies needing assistance as opposed to a means to a financial end. We made friends with a lovely guy called Ahmed, who worked at a restaurant we ate at a couple of times. He spoke good English and French, and told us about the different types of scams people run in Morocco and what were reasonable prices to pay for certain items in the market so we didn’t get exploited being foreigners. Then there was Mike, whom we met on the beach and he took me to get fish and chips. We passed many restaurants but he showed me where the locals get the same thing for less. I offered to buy him lunch to say thank you, but he persistently refused and when I accidently brought too many portions of fries, I gave it to him and he generously gave it to some friends of his that we bumped into. On the way back to the beach, I offered him money and he refused, saying he knows people are always expecting something but was just happy to help as it was a nice break from his work. Then there was Raida, our driver for the excursion to Essarouia with all his efforts to find my phone, calling back and forth to his office to get the number for the Argan Oil place and then driving us back to retrieve it. There were other nice people we met in Morocco, but these 3 really struck a chord. They were exceptionally nice people, and in a place that thrives from exploiting foreigners, they went out of their way with no ulterior motives and not expecting anything in return. It made us do something nice for them. Like tip extra, buy a gift or even say an extra special prayer so the Universe would reward them and encourage them to continue shining their light to strangers.

Who said chivalry is dead?

Who said chivalry is dead?

Self-control is the best type of control

As humans beings we have a deep need for being in control. Whether it’s to influence circumstances around us or direct people’s behaviour, we like things to be certain, complete, consistent and when they lack those Cs, we start feeling powerless and inadequate. Holidays are the best places to challenge your issue with control, especially when travelling with a group of people. Morocco was an idea that started in all four of our minds at different times. Decisions had to made about the type of holiday we wanted; beach or city break, duration of stay, etc all the while being realistic with time schedules and budgets. This wasn’t a typical holiday where I went alone, so I had to be considerate of what other people wanted to do. Throughout the trip, I had to really examine myself, monitor my thoughts, my attitudes, resist the urge to try and control everything (especially being the Time-Keeping warden) and be open-minded to the suggestions of the others. Some days we had plans, others we just went with whatever we felt like doing. I guess I was worried that only being there for 5 days, if we didn’t plan and organise ourselves properly, we wouldn’t utilise our time and maximise the experience. Though we didn’t do everything on the “Top Ten list of things to do in Morocco” we made the most of it. And I appreciated the excitement in not knowing what was next. When you take control of yourself, you develop tolerance, patience, and group contributions usually bring out better results than any one voice as you become more creative with ideas.

 

Let go and go with the flow!

Let go and go with the flow!

Everything ALWAYS works out for good.

From London to Morocco, then back to London so many things were heading in the wrong direction. We almost missed our train as I was late coming to the station. We made it with literally 4 minutes to spare. We almost missed our flight because Ugo was held back at security; and they confiscated a lot of her liquids and then she and Amanda were caught up in Boots. With 0 minutes to spare, we rushed to the gate only to join the queue of passengers waiting to board. After being in Morocco for about 10 hours, Amanda experienced serious culture shock and hated being in Morocco. By mid-afternoon the next day, after loads of comforting and haggling in the market place, she decided to give it a chance and ended up enjoying it. During our day excursion to Essaouira (3 hours from Marrakesh), I left my phone at the Argan Oil factory. Thank God for Liliane speaking French, we found it in the end. Then to put the cherry on top we almost missed out flight back to London. After waiting in line for about 40 minutes, we reached the front only to be told we haven’t checked in. We tried to explain that’s why we came to the airport 2 hours before departure to CHECK-IN. Anyways; we were told if we wanted to board the plane, we’d have to pay a penalty of “eight hundred and forty… EACH!!!” I almost had a heart attack. Now here’s the thing, in Morocco they love receiving Euros from foreigners; we pay for our airport transfer in Euros, city tax at the hotel, they say Euros, the eggs I ordered for breakfast, the price was in Euros. So when I heard 840, I automatically thought Euros and I nearly died right there and then. After a while, he clarified and said “840 dirham.” Phew. As much as I was ticked off for being charged for something that wasn’t my fault, (apparently, we should have received a reminder email 24 hours prior to check in but obviously that email disappeared in the mystery world of BULLCRAP!!!) along with now only having 15mins before the gate closed and still having to go through security, Liliane made a good point, “Thank God it’s only Dirham and not Euros or Pounds”. Which worked out to only £62 and compared to £840 is ABSOLUTELY wonderful. As much as I’d liked to have paid £0, you have to see the positive in everything. No matter what situation you find yourself in, remember it could always have been worse!!!

Being in Morocco, I was reminded that happiness is found in the simplicity of things. Life is really good and we have so much to be thankful for. All we need is a change of perspective. Sometimes the best thing to do is to let go, be still and do nothing. But don’t equate that with nothing being done, life is always happening!!

I have found calmness in the midst of craziness!!

I have found calmness in the midst of craziness!!

Ms Tola xx

That Perfect Love Story!

20 Aug

who wants that love

Where did the butterflies go? Did they just wither away like the evergreen leaves that never grew, like the bud of spring that never did bloom? Did the spark burn out like the embers of a long burning fire, or did it sizzle from the cool waters hushing the wild flames? Did the passion fade away like a thief in the night, after lurking over the helpless victim unaware of the damage done?

Where did that love go?

Is there anyone that can tell me a thing about love because I can’t seem to understand? All I knew was the picture of unaltered bliss that the movies painted. The romantic equation that butterflies + sparks + passion = L.O.V.E. That perfect love story, where it was effortless and all a result of serendipity. I had a false expectation of love and was convinced I believed in this thing called love, and felt it whenever I listened to the rhythm of my heart. I trusted my feelings, until one day I didn’t feel the butterflies, the sparks or the passion.

Cliché cliché!

Who wants that perfect love story anyway? What about the love that emerged from the crack in the ground, after being stuck between a rock and a hard place? In spite of being kept within the dark past, Love found light, warmth, water and nutrients and built a solid foundation in which to step up and rise above. That love grows, from a seed planted so long ago. I watch it develop, shedding skin that hinders it from increasing. It continues to sprout into something beautiful, something strong. As it transforms, it transforms me from the inside out. As I nurture it, it nourishes me. It is hard work at times; constantly challenging me to expand my focus to the needs and wants of another. But slowly, I’m noticing how it makes me better and every day I am learning from something as natural as Love.

Now that's True Love!

Now that’s True Love!

To really love is to say “You” and not “me”. It is to forgive. It is to endure and to bear with one another. It goes beyond how we feel today and focuses on the commitment we made yesterday which determines the impact on tomorrow. It is less about speaking and more about seeing with loving and patient eyes. Love can be learnt and is then put into practice. But you must choose it rather than believe it is something you stumble upon. Because if you just fall in love, you will most definitely one day wake up, and fall out of that same love.
But love never falls and it never fails.

Who wants that perfect love story anyway? Cliché cliché!

It’s unsettling at first when you go against everything you’ve heard and believed in regards to what Love is supposed to look like. Love, is LOVE and is expressed in so many different ways. Despite what the fairytales portray, it doesn’t always make you smile, but that doesn’t mean you’re not happy. It doesn’t always sweep you off your feet, but it keeps you grounded. It protects, provides, gives you peace, and is so precious. However, not everybody is going to get it. Love is beyond our definitions and our expectations.
Let it just be in its purest form, in its simplest form, in its truest form.

“If you learn to love unconditionally, then you have truly succeeded in life.”

“If you learn to love unconditionally, then you have truly succeeded in life.”

I have found calmness in the midst of craziness!
Ms Tola xx

Walk Your Path

28 Jun

Sometimes I sit and wonder, if this is the path I’m meant to be on.

My days were filled with clouds of doubt; dark and dim but every now and again, there were rays of sun that made dancing in the rain a little brighter.

I think about the different turns I took, and how many times I got lost.
I forgot my bearings and felt alone.
Yet, I kept walking because I knew somehow I’d end up somewhere.
I made many mistakes, I got burnt and my heart was broken.
But every once in a while, I’d find a safe place to lay my head for the nights.

Then the time came to head off and I’d find myself back on that long and lonely road. Days and nights turned into months, and I continued searching for a place to call home. I was hungry and thirsty and most days, weary. I found love and warmth in hopeless places which brought comfort as long as the embers on a dying fire. The seasons changed and we had to part ways, and once again I was alone in the company of the silent trees and the distant streams, talking to myself while flying creatures conversed together, mocking me.

Lighten my path!

Lighten my path!

Along the way I learnt many things, and met foreign friends who shared stories of the wonderful world out there. I craved to experience these sights, and they drew maps of how I could get there. I set off on a new path, with a new optimism that the direction I was heading would lead me to a better destination. But I didn’t end up in those lovely places. Though I did discover my own wonders, I experienced my own share of beauty and pain.

Sometimes in life, we meet disappointment on our path, and things don’t always go according to plan. We take that wrong turn, and life seems like a downward stumble. We regret going left when we recall hearing a voice saying ‘go right’. Our maps no longer confirm our location and our destination is all the more a blur. We cry the days away, wishing to turn back the hands of time. The days quickly get dark and we are more afraid of what lies ahead. Slowly, hope fades into the forest and we have no strength to go on. So we stay down… Time passes and we become a vague memory in the woods. After a long sleep, we wake up and find we’re still ‘Here’.

I know I just got to keep moving on...

I know I just got to keep moving on…

You may not be where you want to be, but maybe, just maybe, you are where you NEED to be… Hard times in life propel us, and have the potential to strengthen our character. In times of solitude and silence, you can clearer hear the voices telling you which way to go, and all of a sudden you realise you’re not alone.

Once you get back on your feet, remember the lessons you had to learn and forget the things you had to unlearn as they are no longer applicable to your current path. Nobody can really tell you how to get to Sesame Street because it’s a route you must find yourself. Your right could be my left and your 18 steps forward could be my 26 backwards. Though we may all look at the same things, it does not all follow that we should see them. Remember the wrong turns you took and be grateful for the extra time you had to grow, learning to trust your Guide. Find comfort in the fact that not knowing where you’re going doesn’t stop you getting to where you’re going, sometimes your wrong choices bring you to the right places and every step you take will bring you closer to your tomorrow!

"And all that is gold does not glitter."

“And all that is gold does not glitter.”

Sure enough, and regardless of how long it takes, you’ll find your way.
Though you may doubt if this is the path you’re meant to be on, you’ll get there eventually if you just Keep Going….

I have found calmness in the midst of craziness!!!
Ms Tola xx