“I know, up on top you are seeing great sights…”

Once more, a Dr. Seuss quote, but this time, an incomplete one. And that’s not because the rest of it is irrelevant, actually it is very relevant and I’ll complete it for you in a heartbeat before you go googling and forget about this great read. But I’ll stick to the first part of the quote for this post. So the rest of it goes “…but down here at the bottom we, too, should have rights.‚ÄĚ But forget that for now, or not, if you don’t want to.

There’s a lot of achieving to be done in life and I can bet that all of us feel great when we achieve something we’ve always dreamed of achieving. When we get to the top of our ladder, whichever one it is, we feel proud of ourselves and that’s partly why people celebrate graduations. Finally all the hard work or lack thereof paid. Up there on top we see great sights. And it would be really nice to believe that somehow we made it and that somehow things are always going to be great but life is more than just getting to where we’ve always dreamed of getting and you know it.

It’s quite often you think that once you just get through something then everything will be smooth sailing from there on. And you’ve probably said these words before, ‘I can’t wait to…’ often said with the idea that well, you have to go through a particular thing to be happy and with the presupposition that that particular thing you’re going through is like hell with the fire turned up a little bit more.

Perhaps you can’t relate but let me bring it closer home. Maybe you’ve thought that if you get something you’ve always wanted, maybe a phone, a car, or a particular someone then things will be great for you, you’ll be at your peak and nothing’s going to pull you down. And maybe you’re wrong and you know that you’ve been wrong about this all along, Because even if you reach the top of your mountain, no matter how steep and dangerous the mountain you’re climbing is, there’s always another mountain ahead so perhaps life is not a mountain but a range of mountains. And perhaps no matter how hard you try to climb up the mountain you won’t even reach the top because that’s not guaranteed. Maybe you’re weak or not that smart and maybe you have an underlying medical condition and you’ll be cut off before you even start. Therefore you’re not entitled to success no matter how unfair life has been to you and no matter how hard you work.

This post wasn’t meant to be about mountains but I hope you get my point. I know, up on top you are seeing great sights but remember that you’re an extremely blessed and even lucky individual to get there on top and that the top of one mountain is the start of an even steeper and more dangerous mountain. So celebrate, celebrate your wins but don’t forget how awfully lucky you are to be where you are and don’t stop moving forward because there’s a lot to be done ahead of you.

Savvy mountains

Chelsea R.

Elastic heart

Well I’ve got thick skin and an elastic heart

You won’t see me fall apart

‘Cause I’ve got an elastic heart

~Sia

There’s quite a lot of things to go through in life and none of us is going to be completely bullet proof- ever. No breath you take is risk- free and you’re going to keep suffering as you always have and as you always will. Optimism can help a whole lot but not this time and sometimes you sure do need someone to remind you that you’re living in hell. In fact I’d say that one of the reasons, and perhaps the most important one, why you do anything you do whether good or bad is to try and lessen the burden that you have always faced.

I bet that you wake up in the morning to go to school or work so that at least you can live a less miserable life- and that’s not even guaranteed so perhaps you think it would be better to throw everything to the wind but no, that won’t work either unless you’re very lucky and very few of us are that lucky. How many people do you personally know who have won the lottery or became famous overnight? Its extremely rare to be that lucky and even though you might win in the financial sector, you might be miserable because perhaps you haven’t learnt to love yourself or you have no friends, maybe you’re a little less fortunate than everyone else and as fate would have it, you’re far behind everyone else. Heck perhaps you have an average IQ and no matter what you do you fail. Maybe you’ve never taken yourself seriously and now your entire existence is a series of blame games and you hate yourself for not ever trying to create a life worth living. Maybe even when you’ve mastered yourself and are living your best life you’re still confronted with sickness of family and friends and the constant torture of knowing that your life may end any second and sometimes even for no reason at all and no matter how healthy you are, you’re still living in an atmosphere that probably has trouble- seeking creatures waiting to pounce on you any moment they can.

But- and there’s always a but- you can lessen that suffering because the only other alternative is to increase your suffering. Unfortunately there are no in-betweens. Your suffering either increases or decreases but never stays the same. And if it doesn’t show now, oh trust me it will. Because unfortunately you get to pay for everything you do, and if you think that anyone ever gets away with anything, heck you’re wrong. They will pay and maybe not in the ways that you imagine. It comes down to every decision you make. Think of every decision as going into a folder that manifests in your life. The increase suffering or decrease suffering folder. Every single thing. From the kind of friends you have, to the time you wake up, to the time you sleep and even what you eat, whether you choose to show up or stay in the miserable job or quit a job with no back up- and by the way this will mess you up. And its not only about the things you do, it’s also about the things you don’t do and watch out for the things you don’t do because they too can destroy you. It’s like not doing what you ought to do or being silent when you know you should address something. That can end in a disaster. For instance perhaps you can trace failing exams to an assignment or reading you never cared to do or the losing a friendship for something you should have done or said but didn’t. Making careful decisions doesn’t mean you’ll have a great life though, you won’t pass your exams just because you studied perhaps you’ll even fall sick on exam day or forget to do an important question but it means that at least you don’t have to attribute that misery to yourself and you don’t have to blame yourself – at least not all the time.

So now we know that we’re miserable and we know what to do to reduce the misery and what happens if we don’t and that this doesn’t guarantee happiness but it makes it easier to know that you’re at least not entirely responsible or even responsible for it at all. When you start living purposefully, your chances of being happier and successful are not absolute but are higher. I suggest you do that. Start living purposefully even when you think you can’t. You’ve got a thick skin and an elastic heart and you won’t fall apart. And in those days that you don’t feel like doing anything, do it anyway, because you can, and you will, and you’ll be grateful that you did. I promise.

Elastic hearts,

Chelsea.

Don’t do stupid things (Or at least try not to)

You’ve been getting a lot of advice since forever and perhaps you’re tired of it all. Its going to end here because I present to you the advice that perhaps will be the last piece of advice you’ll ever take (not get)- Don’t do stupid things.

Quarantine has come with a lot of challenges like unhealthy food choices, too much food, a halt on your goals (if you cared to have any), laziness, not exercising, very late mornings and nights and excuses that you make for doing nothing (at least nothing that really matters). You’ve also managed to be “busy” without being productiveūüĎŹūüĎŹūüĎŹ at least you’ve managed to disappoint yourself. Yaaay, 1 for you. And no matter how many TED talks you watch, you manage to wake up 3 hours later than your usual 11 a.m depending on the series you’re watching.

I sincerely hope you have it better than that but in case you don’t, I have only 4 words for you, let’s say them together, don’t do stupid things. Ever. Or at least try not to. I won’t tell you (and I don’t care) at the very least what you eat, what time you wake up, whether or not you attend those online classes exercise and how much money you choose to spend -its yours anyway. But if its stupid, don’t do it. And remind yourself this every single time you catch yourself doing and even worse, rationalizing something stupid.

You’ll be driven crazy with all this best self advice because you change everyday and a habit developed today may not be useful in the next month. That’s why you might find yourself disoriented during this quarantine period especially if you can rationalize that you’ll get back to your routine after quarantine, like things are changing, change too.

Do everything you can. Eat, sleep as much as you want, have fun, spend money but if the purchase is stupid, the sleep is getting ahead of you, you’ve added a size or two that you don’t want or you’re arranging clothes and drawers at the expense of your online classes remember that it might be stupid. Don’t do it.

Pop! Goes the Weasel

Every night, when I go out
The weasel’s on the table
Take a stick and knock it off
Pop goes the weasel                                                                   ~Anthony Newley

People are different in many ways. Some more conscientious than others, some more agreeable than others and others more extraverted than others. I could go on about how people are different in so many ways other than the big 5 personality traits but if I do that I’ll be missing the point.

No matter how different people are, there are acceptable standards of behaviour- for everyone- of course with the exceptions of certain unique individuals who for one reason or other, perhaps medical, may behave in ways we should find acceptable even though normally we wouldn’t. We all have an idea of what’s socially acceptable and what’s not. We know that it’s okay to be friendly, to have good manners, to ask before taking what’s not ours and most importantly to do our honest part.

Doing our honest part is very important because nobody likes a weasel. A weasel is anyone who is shifty and sneaky and tries to evade obligations by any means possible like lying. First of all I’d like to tell you don’t be that person. And next I’ll tell you; Avoid such people. They will drain your time and energy.

However, no matter how much you try to avoid them, Every night when you go out, the Weasel’s on the table. No matter how much we try to surround ourselves with responsible individuals, there is always that one person in our lives who behaves in less than acceptable ways. We all know that classmate who bails on group work, that colleague who gets promotions on work you’ve done, that friend who comes to dinner without contributing a penny and that relative who for obvious reasons you have 20 missed calls of and is saved as ‘leech’.

People like people who do their work. And its okay to demand responsibility from people who for absolutely no valid reason at all don’t hold their weight. Because other than being weasels, they’re thieves who will steal your time and resources. Don’t accept that or you’ll become a whiny bitter weasel yourself.¬† And you’re not worth sacrificing- at least not for a weasel. So Take a Stick and Knock it off.

Get rid of anyone who takes advantage of you. It’s time to take the stick. And this is no sympathy- filled exchange of words because weasels are sneaky and can be very manipulative and you might end up doing more for them than you ever did. Knock them off after taking the stick. Drag them out. What do you have to lose except a weasel? When you do that you’ll see that Pop! Goes the weasel.

Agreeable but Savvy,

Chelsea

 

 

Weak motives

Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might

Ecclesiastes 9:10

This is one of the most ingenious Bible verses I’ve ever read, simply because unless we’re doing nothing, we’re doing something whether passive or active.

Take for instance sleeping. Sleeping is a very passive doing but a doing nonetheless. And it requires our attention or a complete lack thereof. Whether sleeping, eating, dancing or listening, we’ve got to do it with all our might. Now for the food lovers, I’m not asking you to down 11 slices of a large pizza like I once did but perhaps a careful attention on what you eat and why. Like the wine tasters.

Today I won’t dwell on the what because for the life of me I don’t care what you do. At all. But the why is of integral value and thats because no matter what you do, a weak motive to doing a good deed is cowardice and it will haunt you because you will lose yourself.

In choosing your life’s career or making other important decisions like making friends, you’ll be damned if you have a weak motive. Choosing a career because its what someone else wants you to do will mess you up. Big time. And making friends because you’re seeking approval or acceptance or someone to simply agree with your aimless wanderings, uninformed opinions and excuse your laziness and procrastination will destroy you.

And even worse is cleaning your room because you’ve been told to. You should have done that anyway. Unless you didn’t want to. Then it should stay like that. Weak motives are a poison that you’ve carefully chosen to make you the person you’d wish to hate but you can’t because it’s you. Don’t be that person.¬†

Savvvvvvvvvy choices,

Chelsea

 

On concrete lies and others

Writing isn’t easy. Especially when you don’t know what to write. Or know what to write but absolutely don’t have the words to express yourself, which is usually the case for many people. Non- fictional writing requires truth because words have power and who knows who’ll read or what impact these articles will have on their lives.

I started a series of posts about feminism which I deleted because I wanted to write about things I can define. And it’s easy, dangerous and perhaps absolutely shady to talk about things you don’t understand and worse, that you can’t define. A simplistic throwing around of terms can be dangerous.¬†

This doesn’t mean we’re not allowed to give opinions on issues of importance. I think (and this is my opinion), that these labels and words we use today, e.g feminism, toxic masculinity (If there is such a thing as this, thus necessarily implying that there is such a thing as toxic femininity) etc, have lost their meaning since when they were first used. And now they mean almost everything and meaning almost everything means that they mean nothing. These are issues I grapple with daily in my mind and I want to bring them out to you but I can only do that when I truly understand and observe the patterns of how things are happening today (which I haven’t really been putting a keen eye on).¬†I’m very much disturbed by these issues because as Dr. Seuss said, sometimes progress progresses too fast and I believe that people can take things a little too far and get too extreme- to their peril.

And more than anything, writing calls for truth in doing and in being, not only in saying. And its absolutely easy but dangerous to write things that are contrary to your being and doing. A worse lie than a lie said is a lie lived (You can quote me later).¬†I think non- fictional writers have a lot of work to do in putting their words, truth and actions in alignment and that’s not easy. Even in something as simple as expressing a story, about oneself, about someone, its important to recognize and be very careful with the motive. A wrong motive will often distort and misrepresent a true story. And even worse, a misrepresented story is a lie. And what’s more dangerous than living the lie as truth?

Truthfully savvy,

Chelsea.

 

When You’re at the Edge

 

I attended a church session on rejection and depression, first because I really had never paid attention to these two issues and I wanted to educate myself, secondly because I wanted to look out for myself and others. Of course I already had a preconceived idea that it would be boring since I honestly had no in depth knowledge about rejection and depression. I’ve seen campaigns and articles about these two issues but unfortunately it just hadn’t hit me yet. Not because I’m perfect and my life is so great, sincerely, I’ve had days that I’ve hit rock bottom but because I hadn’t paid attention to myself, to others and to events. I also, fortunately or unfortunately, grew up believing that we’ve just got to be strong cause it’s life and life is just life. But I was so wrong. I now realize that the feelings we ignore come to later manifest in very many ugly ways like selfishness, anger, pessimism, narcissism and the list is endless.

At the Edge

During the session, I was thinking about the many times I’ve been at the edge. Just about to jump off the cliff. The verge between choosing to manage your problems or letting them manage you. I suddenly knew that I have been able to go through a lot. Having gone through them doesn’t mean that they were easy or irrelevant but that somehow I chose, consciously or subconsciously, to do something about them, whether it be sleeping, doing things that make me happy, talking to friends, reading and drawing. I thought of the many things I had thought of doing out of anger and desperation and I was very grateful that I hadn’t done them. Even though I didn’t deal with the problems immediately, I put them off until I was ready to think clearly through them. It helped me survive and live through it to share it with you and others.

Rejection

Rejection can be perceived or real. A perceived rejection may come out of fear therefore you already believe that you have been rejected without even trying while a real rejection is real. You could be and will be rejected from a job, by friends, lovers or even yourself. Yes, yourself. For example by not paying attention to yourself and your feelings or believing negative things about yourself or always being pessimistic about your life or even not taking good care of yourself. Rejection hurts but one way to deal with it is to prepare yourself for it and understand yourself well. Think of why you’re being rejected. If its something that you can change then change it if you want to, if necessary. But if it’s something you can’t change then whoever can’t accept you is being unfair and maybe prejudiced and you don’t need them.

When it comes to rejecting yourself, you need to think about why you don’t treat yourself well. It could be because of circumstances, careless words other people say and you think about it until you believe it or lack of will and determination or belief in yourself. Work out ways to believe in yourself more. Have a plan and purpose for your life.

There will also come a time when you will have to reject others. Do so if you need to but remember that they’re human. It’s not easy, but letting other people go is so much better than leading them on with no intention of having them in your life. Let them go when you let them go. You might have guilt and want to be friends or lovers or colleagues again but it’s better to be clear where your relationship with the other person stands. Forgive them and forgive yourself.

On purpose

Everything happens for a reason. To teach you something or help you avoid a danger you hadn’t foreseen. You’ve got to trust that God has great plans for you and He won’t let you go. So hold on when you’re at the edge. Your problems won’t magically disappear but with time, you’ll see that it all worked out for the good of yourself or someone else.Try to be positive and see the light at the end of the tunnel. It’s not easy but when you do that, you will survive.

Weeping may endure for a night but joy comes in the morning. ňúPsalms 30:5

Until next time,

Purposefully savvvvvy,

Love, Chelsea.

 

 

 

Corner Couch

All alone, whether you like it or not, alone is something you’ll be quite a lot

‚ąľDr. Seuss

Picture this: 

You’re waiting for a friend somewhere. It could be by the road, in a coffee shop, a restaurant or just any random social place. It’s been 5 minutes and they haven’t arrived yet. You’re practically glancing at your watch every second, getting pretty impatient. A random person comes and stands/sits by you, probably waiting for someone too or just minding their own business. It starts getting pretty awkward after a while and you’re thinking that this person thinks you’re idle or bored. Then you remember that you have company. You’re phone. Lifesaver. But you have nothing to do with your phone and even if you do, you’re too anxious to concentrate or annoyed at your friend for being so late. So you scroll through random apps or listen to music -unless you’re the selfie- taking millennial you should be- and you heave a sigh of relief as your friend arrives.

I’ve been in such awkward situations before but not anymore. Not because people started coming early or because I’m the one who arrives late and absolutely not because I never have my phone. I do. But I have a reason and I’ll tell you why.

Corner Couch

We’re not comfortable with being alone and worse, we’re not comfortable with people thinking that we’re alone. That’s why our first instinct when we’re alone around people is to pull out our phone even we have absolutely nothing to do with it. This is not only toxic because it shows that we care a little too much about what people think but also because it shows that we can’t be be our own company (which in turn shows that we have a poor relationship with ourselves).

So the first problem but definitely not the worst, is that we care a little too much about what other people think. We pull out our phones not because we want to, but as a reaction to other people’s thoughts or feelings. The moment we prioritize what other people think instead of paying attention to our own thoughts, we forfeit our own peace of mind. The only time we should care about other people’s thoughts is when we need their feedback or ideas about an issue or maybe a project, in order to see whether we are heading in the right direction. But at the end of the day, their word should not be final but ours. On top of that, the only time other people’s opinions should matter is when you can truly trust that they want the best for you and you can logically see that it is the best decision to make. Otherwise, other people’s thoughts, feelings or opinions on your life are trash and should stay in their heads.

The second problem and the worst is that we have a poor relationship with ourselves.¬†We’re not used to being our own company and we don’t know what to do when we find ourselves alone. That’s why we consult our phones, which as a matter of fact cannot replace the comfort, interaction and life that we find in the heart to heart contact with a human, even ourselves. And then you ask, “But Chelsea, what should I do as I wait for my ride to work?” Worry no more because I’m gonna show you how take the corner couch and be comfortable in it in just 1 step.

Acknowledge that you’re alone and i’ts okay to be alone.¬†People are probably too busy minding their own business so don’t fret. Take two deep breaths and just be grateful for life. Remind yourself that you are your best company.¬†Notice things and people. Be happy and look around. See the beauty around you as you hear the background of human chit chat. Take notice of people’s fashion and kindness. Feel the warmth of the sun or watch the rain as it drops.¬†Read a book if you have one. Talk to someone if you can. Complement someone.¬†Check in on your thoughts and keep them positive. Dream and live. Think about someone you love. Order a cup of coffee and a croissant if you can and feel the flavours. Give a tip.¬†

If you learn to spend time alone, you’re not only enjoying yourself but also you don’t have to be around toxic people just because you’re afraid of being alone. I know that it’s not easy to do but like everything else, it needs effort and practice. Grab a cup of coffee and a book, take the corner couch and get fuzzy.

To be alone is not to be lonely

Until next time,

Alone and Savvvvvvvvvy,

Chelsea with hearts.

 

-Photo in this post taken by Chelsea.

 

 

Level Up

This is going to be different but very interesting because I’m leveling up. And I’m certain that this might not go well with all of my readers but I still hope to inspire you through my motivation and determination. I’m usually excited to write this blog for you and that’s still what I’m gonna do, though differently. Lemme just get straight to the point- I’m starting to write in French to not only inspire you but also to improve my grammar and use of the language. This means that I’ll have to start writing more often because yes, I will not forget my English readers. My French is intermediate so try not to use my posts for learning purposes.

Aujourd’hui c’est la f√™te du travail et j’ai d√©cid√© de faire quelque chose differente gr√Ęce √† la motivation des vid√©os que j’ai vu sur YouTube ce matin. C’est une id√©e que j’ai eu hier et maintenant je realise mes r√™ves d’etre une ecrivaine francaise mais c’est claire que je ne suis pas une ecrivaine professionelle √† cause de ma difficult√© de m’exprimer. Le plus importante est que je n’utilise pas Google translate comme avant. C’est le progr√®s, non? Je ne peux pas ecrire beaucoup √† cause de mon clavier. Normalement j’utilise l’anglais et fixer les accent comme l’ accent aigu et tout √ßa est trop pour moi. Donc je vais vous donner un peu des conseils de ce que j’appelle leveling up.

  1. Être soi- même

C’est √† dire quoi? Vous ne pouvez pas level up sans la connaissance de qui vous voudriez √™tre. Il faut avoir la passion dans tout ce que vous faites car la motivation vient de la passion. Il y avait un temps que je n’ai eu aucun int√©r√™t de mieux comprendre le fran√ßais mais maintenant je mange, je bois, je dors, je lis et surtout j’ecris le fran√ßais. Je fais l’espagnol aussi mais c’est certes que j’aime le fran√ßais mieux peut- √™tre parce que pour moi c’est plus romantique que l’espagnole. Encore, pour moi.

2. Que voulez- vouz?

Est-ce que vous avez un r√™ve? C’est une question que vous rencontrez chaque fois, chaque jours, chaque minute et vous allez rencontrer cette question √†¬† l’avenir. Je vous promis. Bon, c’est une question tr√©s importante, tr√©s consid√©rable et √ßa evoque les pens√©es. Si vous connaissez que vous voulez, c’est plus fa√ßile de faites les choses que vous soul√®vement.

3. Passer √† l’action

En fin, agissez. Maintenant vous savez qui vous voudriez √™tre, comment trouver la motivation, vous avez un r√™ve et vous connaissez que vous voulez. Vous √™tes pr√™tez. Vous avez des ailes d’etre tout ce que vous voulez. Vous pouvez level up et volez jusqu’au ciel.

Restez- vous avvvvvvvvverti,

C’est moi,

Chelsea.

Encore, n’utilisez pas cette blogue pour apprendre le fran√ßais. J’suis pas une experte mais toujours j’essaie. Vous pouvez me corriger. Merci en avance.

Also, some phrases may not make so much sense when translated so if you can understand even a bit just try to read it as it is.

 

 

Love Behind Beauty

phen

It’s women’s day today and as I’m sitting here taking a sip of my water, I’m thinking about the impact that women have made overtime. I cannot overstate women’s efforts in moulding, shaping, inspiring, loving and creating beautiful people, families and societies. There are so many special women who have helped shaped the person that I am today and I know that they can inspire you too. Here are a few women who I truly believe are love behind beauty.

  1. Jamie Grace

jamie

I started listening to her songs in high school and I really loved her creativity and her style. Her songs had such good positive messages from growing up, to boys, to love, to God, to happiness, to courage. Her YouTube channel had really good, quirky, honest and colourful videos that I could relate to as a teenager. She has always been open and honest about her struggles and her relationships. She has especially been really open about singlehood, waiting and trusting God. She also has her own fashion and style that inspires me and most of all, she really is about sharing God’s love and drawing people to Him. You can find her on¬†YouTube¬†,¬†Instagram¬†and she also has her own podcast. She truly is love behind beauty.

2. Priscilla Shirer

shirer1

I started listening to Priscilla Shirer a year after I finished high school and that’s not too long ago. Her sermons really inspired me to have a closer relationship with God. She has a way of putting God’s promises on the table and she lives what she preaches. I love her creativity, her style and her show on YouTube,¬† Girl Chat, where she brings people to share their stories. She’s humble, bold, and funny, you’ll love her. You can find her on¬†Going Beyond Ministries

3. Letitia Wright

the one

Of course I learnt about Letitia Wright from the Black Panther movie where she acted as ‘Shuri’. I was captivated by her acting and I started watching her interviews. Her humility and authenticity drew me in. I love her style and her trust in God. She’s out to inspire and be a blessing through her acting. Watch out for her because she’s phenomenal. In case you haven’t watched Black Panther, it would be really great if you’d watch it. Also, watch Letitia’s interviews on¬†YouTube

There’s a lot to be said about these three women but I couldn’t possibly say it all. I am however very grateful for their positive influence not only on me but on other people as well. You realize they have some things in common that I value which are love for God, fashion, authenticity, humility, love, good character and personality. If you value these things then go over and learn more about them. If you know any women who inspire you then share with us in the comment section below.

Until next time,

Savvvvvvvvvy women,

Yours,

Chelsea.

Disclaimer: The images in this blog post have been retrieved from Women, Jamie, Priscilla and Letitia respectively.