Category Archives: Uncategorized

New Year, New Me?

 

 

 

Image result for 2016  2017

 

 

So we’ve arrived in 2017 – the most futuristic sounding year to date. A lot of people got so fed up with 2016 that they desperately awaited the new beginning that 2017 would bring. Here we finally are. Now what?

I have spent a lot of my (relatively short) life waiting for life to just hurry up and for the next phase to come already.

Starting out

I remember being in year 6 in primary school, looking forward to secondary school but half wishing I could fast forward taking the 11+ exam and waiting to see if my results were high enough to get me in to my first choice school. It’s funny because as soon as I arrived at secondary school all that hopeful expectation was replaced with the overwhelming pressure to make friends and find my place, and with all the older years telling me just how cute I looked. All that time wishing I could just ‘be here already’ and when the time finally came, I couldn’t wait to no longer be amongst the youngest. The wish to fast forward time and move up through the school had reared its head again.

Growing up

We leave school, then, there’s that weird in-between stage of College that feels like the longest and most character-defining two years of life. Before you know it, uni applications come and go, as do A level results. Suddenly, you’ve arrived at the pinnacle of your educational journey.

I don’t think a day went by in university when I didn’t wish I could just be in the world of work. If this has also been your journey, you’ll appreciate just how silly it was to think work would be an escape for university. I think back to those dreary days spent in the library and remember that they were wedged in between long breaks of 4 weeks at Christmas and up to 12 at summer. How could I have wanted to fast forward from a place in life where I had 12 hours a week contact time?!?! It’s beyond me.

Full on adult

So what’s next? There are no more educational milestones set out for me to reach, so have I just been content with enjoying the present day? Of course not. Suddenly the focus becomes life milestones-  good jobs, marriage, babies, maternity, deciding when to go back to work and retirement.

Like it or not there will always be a next phase to look forward to; it’s our decision whether or not we enjoy what the present day has to offer us. Alternatively, you can spend all of your life wishing you could fast-forward to the next stage and, before you know it, you’ll have completely wished your life away.

I don’t know what you’re looking forward to for this year. Whilst you’re praying for your goals for the year to come to fruition, don’t forget to enjoy wherever you are right in this moment. This year I commit to caring less about the destination and enjoying the journey.

Love lots,

Dani

 

For Those Who Took An L in 2016


I am a Twitter addict (don’t worry, I’m working on it, I’ll get clean – I promise) and there are few things I enjoy more (how sad!) than scrolling through my TL, viewing the opinions of others. 

With 2016 packing up its bags, the most reoccurring opinion, shared by thousands around the world, has been the acceptance that 2016 has been an L – a loss, a low; a year that needs to be buried and forgotten as soon as possible.

As with all things that become trendy, I’m sure there are some people who had an amazing year were just keen to stay with the crowd. I had to ask the question:

Did we all really have the worst year; have we all been taking Ls? 

I honestly couldn’t relate. The year, up until that point, had been great. There were the things I had longed, and sought, to accomplish; I had been successful. As the year drew to a close, if anything, I had begun to feel restless because I needed new goals. 

And then November came, right at the end – so close to the finish line. My best friend told me he had a confession to make and I remember looking at my phone, confused. What could he possibly have to confess? I felt as though I knew him – I was wrong.

My world, as a I knew it, crumbled slowly. Suddenly 2016 wasn’t the best year, a good year or a year worth remembering; it was the year that I realised that the reality I had been existing in had been false. I had taken the ultimate L. 

Most importantly, I realised, once again, that those closest to us have the power to hurt us the most; people lie and lie again – the need to be transparent does not always exist in others, I was broken. I desperately, and quickly, climbed into myself, looking for a safe haven. 

At this point, I began to write. In hindsight, my writing saved me. My writing continues to save me. I’ve written more freely and consistently than ever before. Every day, I write something new. I am liberating myself, becoming my own hero, picking up the pieces and rebuilding.

I clung to the Most High on the darkest of days, the days where getting out of bed seemed too hard, where I would cry on my way to work, unsure as to how I would get through the day. No one else could hold me together because I couldn’t find the words to explain what had happened. 

I wrote this to myself on a dark day and I still remember how it healed me. These were the words I needed to hear but no one else could say. I thought I’d share them with you.

This year ended pretty horrifically for you; your best friend betrayed you and you feel lost as a consequence.
Even though you are in immense pain, remember what you have gained through this loss. You will regain your sense of worth, self and purpose. You
will see that you are worthy of love. That you do not have to work to make someone care for you and those who are meant to see you won’t have to be forced to look.

 You will laugh again, robustly, freely, fully, without restraint and ultimately, with joy. You will feel butterflies in your stomach and anticipate an embrace. You will entwine your fingers with one who loves you relentlessly and persistently – because that is how you love. There will be no convincing. You will not feel insecure because you will be affirmed daily, validated by the safety of presence. 

You will not cry in the way you have, as your tears have fallen harder than you have. The sun will shine again. You cannot see it now as most days you’d rather die than breathe, but this won’t be the thing that destroys you. It has tried. It has almost been successful. But you have always been stronger than you’ve felt and it is only through this that you will see that there is more to you; that although you feel broken, that is not how you will remain. This is only part of your story – there are chapters that you are yet to wander through, work through and discover. 

Don’t stop here because although you feel like giving up, there are people, some you are even yet to meet, that need you to live. So live. 

Live. 

Live.

I welcome 2017, with alert eyes. I have written down what I demand of myself- 5 words that I will insist upon and I will go out of my way to behold. Despite these plans, I know that ultimately we are in the hands of the Creator. As we look to Him, as the one that has already saved the day, I know that we will be okay.

All my love,

x

How I Celebrated National Boyfriend Day

  • hapily.jpg

 

So if you didn’t know, it was National Boyfriend Day this week. Isn’t it crazy how they make national days for whatever they feel like these days? I mean, why do we need a National Boyfriend Day? Is Valentine’s Day not enough? I feel like it’s another day, another way, to make single people look upon their lives with a mixture of horror, confusion and dissatisfaction.

Ironically, I didn’t see many couples celebrating this day (perhaps because it completely redundant and most people in relationships are miserable anyway- I jest, I jest) but I did see a very many people on my Twitter timeline lamenting about their single status.

Do I blame them? Of course not. From birth, our whole lives seemed to be geared towards this one moment: finding a spouse and experiencing our happily ever afters. Fortunately, because of the rise of womanhood and female empowerment, society (legally) allows me to be other things other than a wife and mother. Despite this, women who choose to remain unmarried, who enjoy their singlehood or may not want to have children, are looked upon as foreign specimen, as though refusing to let an unborn child take your body hostage for 9 months is an inconceivable notion.

Now before you ask me whether I am a feminist (I am) or whether I spend my time burning my bras (I wish I could) to symbolise the fall of patriarchy, I want to you hear me out. Wherever women go, there are expectations. At times, we are simply not enough. For example, once you have children (the basic, necessary requirement that should be attained in your lifetime order to be deemed a ‘real’ woman), if you decide to work as well as raise your children, you are frowned upon. Conversely, those who choose to stay at home are also frowned upon. I honestly believe there are unattainable standards held for women, by both men and women.

As a Christian woman, I can testify to the way in which the Church caters for married people above others. I mean, the women’s event at my church next week is about ‘how to cater to your spouse’. My immediate question, once I saw the theme of the event was, ‘What about the single women?’ Then I thought more deeply: What about the widows? Where do the women, who do not have a spouse, go? The answer that I’ve heard my whole life is that they should attend such events so that they can prepare themselves for the one that is inevitably coming.

But what if he doesn’t come? 

I know this is a somewhat morbid thought for some of you, and I do apologise if I am ruining your lifelong parade. But what if you waiting for the coming of man who has no intention of finding you? If he doesn’t show up, are you somehow lesser? Incomplete? A failure?

No, you are not. 

For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.

Jeremiah 29:11

My interpretation of this verse, on that dark and dreary Tuesday morning, when I felt as though I had nothing more to give (because work is crazy at the moment!), was that I still have an amazing journey to embark upon, one that can stand outside of other people, outside of work, full of hope, with a glorious end where I meet the one who died for me, the one who loves me unconditionally, the one who wants nothing but good for me, the one who wants to mould me and bring about His will in my life – whatever that may look like.

My advice to all my singletons out there is to keep your gaze fixed on Jesus: there is no love greater than the one he bestows on you daily and there is no other man that can carry the weight of your expectations. God who knows your heart’s desires and desires for you to know His also. I truly believe that once that becomes enough for you, all that you long for will be given to you.

All my love (and please forgive us for our writing hiatus),

Joy

P.S: Before I forget, I celebrated National Boyfriend Day by not celebrating it at all. Sorry if you’re disappointed.