Location: Faro Portugal
Living life. How many of us can honestly say we are living life? I mean really being a part of this ‘living’ experience. I’m going to be honest, a large portion of my life has been spent ‘surviving’. It’s just dawning on me how much ‘coping’ I do verses LIVING life.
So much is going in this world, I mean just this week we had terrorist attacks right in the middle of London. Innocent people going about their day had their lives taken away from them, no warning, no nothing. What is life?
How come some of us get the chance to wake up everyday and get to sleep in our beds every night and don’t even notice that we are ALIVE? I’ve been thinking about it for a while, it’s tiring. When my grandma passed away this year, I realised that there is actually nothing in this life that is guaranteed. You can make plans but there is no guarantee that they will come to pass. Really all we have is today, several individual moments that come together to pass a day, a week, a month or year.
We all go through dark times, certainly for me those times make me appreciate the good times so much more. It is wonderful to wake up and not feel pointless. That it’s a new day and I’m a part of it and there are endless possibilities to what I can do. I am so grateful for better, brighter days – really noticing those little things we don’t usually have time for – birds singing in the garden, my family enjoying a meal together, my friends laughing with me. There are so many blessings we have, if only we choose to notice them.
As the weather gets brighter, I feel the dark cocoon that wrapped around me breaking apart. It releases and frees me from its trap, which made me almost forget what it means to enjoy life or to appreciate living. It was really hard guys and I’m so grateful for making it through.. So many of us will go through dark times, but I just really want to encourage you that it will be over, you will be free, you will laugh and smile and feel again. Your storm will not last forever, and somehow you will get through it.
It’s time to be a part of this living experience, let’s remember how blessed we are everyday to wake up AND be able to go to sleep. I’m so glad for your life and super excited to share this journey of living life to the fullest with you. I hope you’ll join me. x MC
Location: Faro Portugal
The only life I want to live is one where I can be me, fully and unapologetically without fear or regret.
Several people can judge where I am now, but only I know the journey it’s taken to get here.
Took me a while, but I’ve learnt to love myself deeply enough to not want to be anyone else.
Ultimately, the most important thing is that I’m proud of the woman in the mirror.
I do not wish to add or take anything away; I am beautiful just as I am.
The beauty of the sunset is not that it sets out to be beautiful, it just sets.
Chitenge Wrap: Zambia | Sunset: God
This post is written in collaboration with The Children’s Society. They published an in-depth study into children’s well-being called The Good Childhood Report 2016. This report showed that there is a significant gap in happiness between boys and girls. Girls are becoming increasingly unhappy with their lives overall and especially with their appearance. This post is dedicated to those girls.
When I was 14years old, I decided that I wanted a nose job. It was bound to happen ever since the awful day at 9 years old when I discovered through reading ‘Body Facts’ that my nose would NEVER stop growing. But there I was at fourteen years old, no longer dreading the nightmare or pinching my nose to avoid it getting bigger, but actually living the nightmare. It had come true, and despite numerous research, looking far and wide for resolutions – I could not find an alternative, there was only one solution and that was to carve away the parts I considered ‘extra’ on my nose.
After coming to terms with this decision, I decided it was time to share it with my closest and dearest. My best friend Nicola and I were in our usual habitat – the girls toilets, when I looked at her through the foggy toilet mirrors and made my announcement. “Niki, my nose is massive, it is getting in the way of my potential beauty, and I need a nose job.” Niki’s reaction was less than satisfactory, for years I had confided in her about my most deepest and darkest insecurities so I really expected that she of all people would understand my plight. However, all she did was dismiss my comment like a useless statement and moved on to something else. I was shocked. I had to ask if she had heard what I told her. This time she said “Your nose is lovely, it fits your face so well and doesn’t look anywhere out of place – I have a big nose!” Shocked was an understatement.
To imagine someone would think this big, flat, thing on my face as ‘lovely’ was bewildering to me. Furthermore, my friend with the most perfect pointed and slender nose thought she had a BIG nose! Was she deluded? Could the person I had given so much trust to have such awful judgement? and worse, if we were best friends and she thought as I did – could I be deluded about my nose too?
Looking back now, I can see why I had grown to despise my reflection so much. See I was a black African girl with black African parents growing up in a very white world. I learnt about beauty from my friends at school, before that – we were all just human blank human canvasses distinguished by our unique smiles. But at high school, I started learning that not every canvas was created equal – there was ‘pretty girl’ so-and-so with the straight blonde hair and blue eyes, and ‘beautiful girl’ so-and-so with the hazel eyes and long wavy hair. There was ‘Fit girl’ so-and-so with the perfect abs and bum – the object of every schoolboy’s desire. And then there was me. The black girl. Not really beautiful or pretty or fit – just you know, the black girl.
I recall looking at the TV and wishing time and time again that a girl with skin like mine, a wide nose and kinky afro hair would appear on the adverts or as the pretty girl in Corrie or Emmerdale, but it never happened. She never came. And so I started to believe that my features were not beautiful, my look was not desired and therefore my value was reduced. This belief might have eventually surfaced in the form of me wanting to have a nose job. But I was so glad to have shared the thought with Nicola that day. It took me a long time to fully embrace my physical features from my kinky natural hair to my feet – literally (I had big feet!). But when I started to look at myself through eyes of acceptance, I realised that everything on my face and body fit me so perfectly. If I changed a single thing then I would not be me. I was beautiful. I am beautiful and just by accepting myself, I can be happy in my own skin.
My strength now comes from knowing that there is no-one else like me. I believe that I was created with love and purpose that comes from much more than my outer appearance. I know just by having pure intentions and love for myself and others, that I am the most beautiful person possible even if others’ are unable to see it. My worth is not determined by someone else’s ideals and my beauty cannot be measured by comparing me to anyone else. I want you to see just how beautiful your differences and unique features make you. To be able to look in the mirror without ANY enhancements (surgical or otherwise) and say “I am beautiful just the way I am”.
All my love x MC
For more information on the The Children’s Society, visit their website here.
Location: Faro Portugal
Skirt: Missguided | Top: River Island | Hair: Curl Genetics
Happy Sunday darlings,
We made it! Yes we got through the first week of 2017, back to work and reality after the holidays and we survived. How was your first week of the year? For me, it has already been full of lessons, and I can already feel God pulling me towards a life of no fear and living fearlessly. Telling me that I can aim for more than just survival, like a lyric that sticks in my mind from Nicki Minaj “to live doesn’t mean you are alive”. And thats a fact.
In aiming to do more than survive this year, I have taken on a different mindset to LIVING. This includes deliberate behaviours I am practicing in the form of making better habits, from the thoughts I allow to linger in my mind to the words I let out my mouth and finally to the actions I involve myself in. These are deliberate choices, around my physical health, my mental wellbeing and my spiritual and emotional happiness.
I look forward to sharing more on some of these things in upcoming posts. And I really want to encourage you to take back control of your life this year. There is nothing stopping you living the life you want and taking steps towards it TODAY. Decide what it is you want and then go after it with all your might. I truly believe this will be a year of making dreams come true.
All my love x MC
Location: Faro Portugal
“Believe and act as if it were impossible to fail.” Charles Kettering
Dress: Zara | Heels: Pretty Little thing | Lips: MAC Ruby Woo
It is almost the end of the year! Can you believe it? 2016 gone just like that. How do you feel about it? Most of the time we reach the end of a year and we always exclaim about how quick it has gone, our disbelief at the new year and how old we are getting. This year I did all those things, but I also tried something I have not tried before – completion.
Instead of just reflecting on the year, I looked back at 2016 in its entirety. I reflected on the goals I had set and how I had performed in achieving them. I also looked back at the things I had not quite achieved, and I asked why. Then I thought about all the things I want to do in 2017, the woman I want to be and how I could reach that. And then I did something epic – I wrote them all down and started thinking about what I could do NOW.
See, I want to go into 2017 with a readiness, with a clean slate free of guilt or unfinished matters. That means FREE in every sense of the word – physical, mental, emotional or spiritual. I deserve a fresh chapter, a revived focus. And I will not wait for the world to give it to me, I’ll just give it to myself. How? By closing off unfinished business right now. One of my favourite films – Kill Bill, has a scene in which The bride goes into a restaurant and screams to O-Ren Ishii: “Wǒmen hái yǒu wèi wánchéng de shì!” which translates to “You and I have unfinished business!” before going on to chop off Sophie’s arm in an opening act of vengeance. Now while I am not encouraging any of this violence in any way, I do think that unfinished matters whether emotional or physical or financial can place a burden on the heart, that makes it just a little heavier to have that bounce in your step as you walk along life’s way.
So here is what I am doing. Asking myself what can I do to round off those goals I set at the beginning of the year? Is there a final push somewhere? How can I renew some of the relationships that were disturbed through the year? Is there a friend I can call through the week, should I write back to my other friend. I am so eager to finish off this year on the right note, that I joined the gym today! Not waiting until ‘new year, new me’ malarkey, I’m doing what I can right now.
Let me finish by saying, there are several things I did not complete or even begin this year. It is natural to feel disheartened about such things, to talk yourself down and really start to doubt your ability to accomplish them at all. But don’t. Honestly, cut yourself some slack. Just because it didn’t get done by 18th December 2016 doesn’t mean that it can’t be done. You have life in your bones! Your heart is still pumping life through your veins! NOTHING is stopping you doing what you want to do.
So don’t give up because of temporary set backs, keep going, keep believing and please keep telling yourself everyday ‘I am on my way to fulfilling my destiny, I will achieve my dreams as long as I keep on trying.’
I’m right here with ya x MC