Don’t Forget the Sun

A few months ago, I made a declaration that this year would be my year of “YAAAAAS”. A crazier way of saying “My Year of Yes”. Inspired by Shonda Rhimes and her awesomeness – along with a lot of reflective moments of where I’d like to see my life headed.

I’d dedicated this year to embracing opportunities that may scare me, making changes I wouldn’t usually make…basically, I’ve been all about trying new things.

In the past few months, I’ve watched my life go from one level to the other. It’s amazing how one conscious decision can change everything.

I’m not here to write about the amazing things that have happened, though. No. That’s for December. I might need several blog posts for that, though.

One thing I have learned – really learned – is that with every awesome thing that has come, a great amount of responsibility has followed. And it stayed.

Adulting (‘being an adult’) came at me so fast. I was not ready. Balancing it with schoolwork? Worse.

I’d reached a point of being with my laptop wherever I went – bed, class, cafes, even church.

The only thing on my mind was “I need to work.” I no longer saw anyone because… work.

And everyone understood. They saw the bags under my eyes. They were victims to my snappish moods and strange behaviour – nothing major, just arguing with myself and pulling out my hair. Not too bad…right?

Anyway.

It was my uni’s Spring Festival last week. I’d resolved to miss the entire thing. Because…work. Deadlines. “Adulting.”

Spring Fest would just have to wait until next year. Until last Friday came. Long story short, I went to Spring Fest. I made noise. Got hyper. Ate food. Almost got into fight with other adults over a rollercoaster. Found myself at colour fest, jumping around and dancing like I’d never danced before.

Meanwhile, my phone was buzzing with alerts. Deadlines upon deadlines. Appointments upon appointments. But I did not care.

That weekend, something in me snapped, and I realized that I needed to have some fun.

It reminded me of something in Shonda Rhimes’ book, Year of Yes.

“Yes is meant to feel like the sun.”

I hadn’t felt the sun in ages. I hadn’t felt the warmth…the laughter…the sun, man.

The best way to describe it. I may have been in the light, but I wasn’t paying attention. Immersed in awesome but all I was seeing was the burdens…the work…the pain.

So I decided to flip the switch and just…stand in the sun. Soak it all in. Embrace it with my whole being. Laugh. Jump around. Get all kinds of colours all over me.

For that moment, I chose to forget about the “have-to-dos”…and I chose to stand and breathe and feel the light and warmth. Not only feel it, but carry it along with me.

It is so easy to get caught up in the madness. It is painlessly easy to stay running on the hamster wheel. It’s easy to forget that this life we live…it needs warmth. It needs light. It needs fun too.

Your fun might not be surrounding yourself with dozens of people and powdered colours. But that’s okay. Your fun does not need to be my fun. What matters is that you are having fun.

What matters is that you are laughing. That you’re living. That your breaths are filled with relief, and love, and joy.

That the lines on your face are from smiling. That your body is filled with warmth.

You need it. You deserve it.

Sure, the work needs to be done. The grind needs to be lived. The world needs to be tackled with strength and focus.

But every now and then…it is good to throw everything aside, step outside and soak in the sun. Whatever your sun may be — as long as it brings you good. No harm here. Your wellbeing matters.

That’s all I’d like to drop today.

I have a couple of things to do. But first… the sun.

Have a great weekend everyone**

Don’t forget the sun…

 

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Beneath Your Beautiful: Instagram, Make-Up and Filters

Wonderful readers! I have returned! – Lol, listen to me getting all dramatic. Anyway!

It has been a while since I added my pocket full of cents (sense, maybe?). I must admit…the past few months have been rather hectic. Fruitful! But hectic. Friends were made. Friends were lost. Bridges – and hair, fingers and toes – were burned. Some are being reconstructed. All in all…Chipo is growing up! *insert random applause here*

So, wonderful readers (both new and old), today’s topic is going to be a little soppy but there’s nothing wrong with a little soppy every now and then! But first – a story!

So during my attempts to study, I decided to go through a few pictures I’d taken a couple of days ago – boredom had taken over. I found one that was totally…weird. But I loved it and for some reason, I wanted to make it my cover photo on Facebook.

“But it’s not ‘pretty’, Chipo. People will think it’s weird.” – my inner voice spoke up.

I froze.

“Edit it first.” It continued. “You know? A little grayscale effect and a bit of smoothening then bam! Hellloooo pretty Mama!”

I felt myself agree with my thoughts as I attempted to close the photo. Suddenly – I’m not being dramatic here – a stronger thought entered my mind.

“Since when were you a girl who hid behind lots of effects just to look ‘pretty’?”

I honestly felt rather nauseous – and trust me it had nothing to do with the lame cafeteria food I’d eaten. The thought came in quietly but it had a hell of a ripple effect! I removed my hand from my mouse and stared at the photo. I reflected on my life for a few seconds. It had been a while since I’d last put up a real “No filter” photo.

“No one will like your photo” The inner voice tried again. I think I need to invest in a new inner voice. This one’s becoming a problem.

I’d become “that” girl. “That girl” who dolls up her photos or ONLY puts up pretty-looking photos just to prove to the world that “Hey! I’m super pretty too and you better know it!” Sounds lame, huh?

Well that’s what a lot of people (Male AND Female) feel when they put up photos. All of these glamorous, movie-star looking, edited photographs that end up with 56 likes. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong. Hey, I don’t mind a couple of likes for a photo every now and then – or more frequently than that.

The problem comes, though, when we become incapable of putting up a real “no filter”/”glitz and glam” photo on because we’re afraid of what people will say. The power we give Facebook Like’s is pretty scary. The fate of a simple click has the ability to crush or build one’s self-esteem in seconds. Is this life, people? Is this life?

Sure zits and uneven skin aren’t exactly the highlights of a photo but we kinda have to realize that just because we erase them on a photo on Instagram…people will see the real deal the next day.

“Well that’s what concealer is for, Chipo.” Someone just said as they read this.

Well, honey, there’s only so much help concealer can provide before it turns on you and turns your skin into something you wish you could physically filter. True story.

beauty

Look, I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with make-up, photo-editing and all that jazz. I partake in those things too. But I’d like to think that I remember that these things aren’t the be-all and end-all of our self-esteem and appearance. I like to walk around without make-up sometimes (or often) because I don’t want to lose sight of what I truly look like.

Random pointer. Ladies, if you cake on that make-up just to get a man remember something…there will come a time where he WILL see you without that make-up…and I pray  he doesn’t go “Ohhhh snap!”

Instagram is a great place to exhibit our editing abilities but hey…let’s not let it get to our heads. There are enough the cover-girls and cover-guys in the thousands of magazines out there.

It’s okay to show the world who you really are. Because, honestly speaking, you can look absolutely stunning with that make-up or in those glamorized photos but…if you don’t have the self-esteem and personality to match it…you’re kinda wasting your time. I’m just saying…

By the way: For those of you who may feel offended by this post please realize something I NEVER MENTIONED YOUR NAME. If the shoe fits well…wear it. If you don’t want to wear it…find some better looking shoes that’ll make you look good!

I think my rant is over. I’d like to end this post with a status I put up the other day

“I want to see the real you. The real beautiful you. Beneath the fake beauty Instagram, Filters, and Make-Up give you. Why? Because You can erase edited photos. You wash off make-up at the end of the day. That fake stuff? Disposable. But let me tell you something. No one can ever erase, wipe out, or wash of the real beauty you were born with!”

realy beauty*comments of all opinions – mature though – are welcome :)*