Tales of 2 Timothy 1.7

Tales of 2 Timothy 1.7

Your true beauty isn’t in the way others perceive you, but in the way you see yourself

It’s only been a few months, since I’ve started to feel more beautiful with my natural hair than I would with hair extensions.  For many years I’ve covered my hair religiously with extensions as I believed that I was most beautiful with that than with my natural hair. To arrive at the point where I am now, it took me a very long journey. To understand what this has meant for me I need to take you back to the very beginning where it all begin.

Many moons ago, (well not soo many) I was born out of two 100% black parents in the beating heart of Central Africa. My father, a very religious man always thought us that a woman should be the way God has created her to be. He is very conservative, so growing up we didn’t know much better than our natural afro hair. Our skirts had to be above the knee length and extensions didn’t even exist in our dictionary back then. But as my sister and I moved to Europe at a very young age, we came into a very different environment. We left a country where everyone was black and had our type of hair, to come into a place where we would seldom see someone with our natural curls and everyone else had beautiful silky straight hair.

From the very beginning of our life in Europe we learned that we had to cover our natural afro curls. Because it wasn’t beautiful enough and was even seen as dirty. This not so much from outsider, but more so from people of our own race. So for several years we would religiously replace one extension hairstyle for the other and during all this time we would never walk out of the door with our natural hair.  As we grew up, every African women we knew did this, we saw this as a normal procedure.

I got through school and through work effortlessly while doing this until I got my first flying job. I was accepted as a cabin crew in a great airline. Being a cabin crew meant coming to work around 4am in the morning already in your uniform, with your hair all tied up in the back. Well for someone who was used to have her hair in beautiful long extensions this was a real challenge. How was I supposed to tie all these extensions in the back without it looking funny? I was so used to see myself with these extensions that I couldn’t even picture myself walking out of my house with my natural hair let alone go to work like that. With ups and downs I managed to get through that, by waking up extra early to manage my hair. But little by little I started to realise that this wasn’t right.

As I love travelling and NY has always been my young girl’s dream; after long thinking I decided to travel to the city of the big apple. Just a side note, I believe that everyone should travel at least once in their life; to a place they’ve always wanted to go. I believe that it should be a part of the law that one shall go and see the world out there at least once in their life time cause you learn so much from travelling. With that being said, I made my way through the most exciting city in the world.

I remember my first day in Manhattan I was in an absolute aw! Not that it is the most beautiful place that I’ve ever been to, but it’s definitely the craziest place I’ve been able to travel to. Being there I was able to witness how some people could be unapologetically free in the way they were. You didn’t just have people with blond and brown hair in a long or short hairstyle. You had all kind of people, all kind styles , all kind of hairs and all kind of structure and colours. I was so amazed to witness this. I remember  once seeing this elder black women with beautiful long healthy gray hair, this completely disrupted everything I had known about black women’s hair back then. She was fashionable, sophisticated and looked absolutely beautiful and she didn’t seem to be bothered with her natural hair, instead she wore with confidence and pride. I wondered how she had come to that point.

While being in NY, I did some modelling gigs, and I got to know this young girl from Brooklyn. She was so amazed by the fact that someone looking like her, would travel the world just to come and do something that she loved. Therefore she kind of looked up to me. One day I asked her where I could buy extensions to put on my hair. She looked at me all surprised and said ‘I don’t know where you could buy that, I didn’t know that this wasn’t your hair”. I explained to her that I was wearing extensions and she nodded understandably. Afterwards I felt disappointed in myself, here I was being an example for this young girl to live her life the way she wanted to and now I just showed her that you could go across the world and travel to places but then still not accept yourself or love yourself completely.

Going back home I started a small but sure battle of making my hair as long and beautiful as I wanted it to be for me to wear it naturally. At the time, social media was just making her way all over the world so there were just a few social pages that you could follow with beautiful images of black women with long beautiful natural afro hair. But whenever I would show some of my close friends any of these pictures, they would discourage me saying that the only reason they had such long hair is because they were part of some mix of races which gave them some of those genes that makes your hair grow faster effortlessly and I believed this. What I didn’t know was that just like any plans in nature, when you nurture it and give it water and enough light (which means no constant covering with extensions) it will grow.

As I couldn’t really share this experience with many of my friends my battle for natural long hair became a long and lonely journey. This changed a few years later when some of my friends began to embrace their natural curls as well. As social media started showing all those images of beautiful black women, they luckily also shared tips and tricks of how to take care of our natural curls. So little by little I started gathering everything I could find from products, to Do’s and Don’ts of how to make my hair grow faster and more beautiful. But as I never gave my hair enough time and space to grow I had a hard time reaching my goal.

It wasn’t until long after that, when I was working in a new nine to five job that I met this young African woman, who was 100% black just as me, with beautiful long natural hair. Ofcourse I asked her about her secret and she told me to simply leave my hair at peace. She said that the reason my hair didn’t grown as well as I wanted it to is because I constantly covered it under extensions. If I would leave it alone with minimum care it would grow effortlessly. I told her that I wanted to but didn’t have the courage to just walk outside with my natural hair. What she told me then, would forever change my life. She told me that our hair was part of the oppression from decades ago and that now, we should wear our hair with pride. Looking closely into that I started to learn that our parents and grand parents were oppressed in being different than what they were and not expressing themselves the way they would want to. Because they weren’t allowed to wear African hair, our mothers and grand mothers went on to find different ways to cover their hairs such as wearing wigs or cover their hairs with fabric to be more accepted. Because of this disturbance in our self-image, we learned not to accept ourselves the way we were but the way the oppressor wanted us to be.

Although black people were delivered from slavery many decades ago, we had never learned to free ourselves from this oppressive way of thinking. The oppressor had let us free, but we have kept ourselves captive in our minds as we had lost every since of our true identity.

A woman’s hair is a woman’s pride, by not being able to accept our true beauty we unconsciously put ourselves inferior to those who do.

Now almost in my thirties I finely realise that my true beauty isn’t in the way others perceive me but my true beauty is in the way I see myself. I used to spend a fortune to have my hair covered with extensions now I feel a sense of beauty, freedom and pleasure in rushing my fingers through my natural curls. It’s still challenging as I’ve yet to reach my ideal length, and hair length is defined in depth while my hair structure defies gravity and grows in the height.

I needed to share this story with you as I believe that it’s time for us black woman to look ourselves in the mirror and call ourselves beautiful again. As the media restraint, itself from representing us for a very long time most of us grew up with the image of an ideal woman who was very different from who we are. Now we are in the most wonderful age ever in history, where many great black woman are doing greater and greater things, this should be an inspiration for us to walk with the heads up while bouncing those curls with confidence. So, don’t be afraid, show me your curls. 

 

 

The four phases in which a man falls in love

In these past couple of months I’ve been able to observe a friend of mine from his first date until now as he’s been falling in love with his girlfriend. It was amazing to have witnessed this process from the very beginning. Knowing this process would have saved me so much time, energy and emotions in my own dating life in the course of the years. While I was expecting that a man would commit to me after a few dates, I’ve now learned that a man’s commitment phase comes much, much later than a woman’s commitment phase. That’s why I want to share these phases with you because I believe that it will give your relationship more chance to succeed. Although character and attraction are the key to get a man to be interested in you, it takes the patience to go through these phases for him to fall in love with you.

The first phase is the denial phase:

You must be asking yourself what is she talking about? But just bare with me as I’m trying to explain a man’s thinking in a woman’s brain.

The denial phase is the phase in which a man won’t admit to anyone that he is seeing you. You’ve been on a first-, second- or even third date and you had a great time. You enjoyed each other’s company and all seem to go well. For us as women we tend to go and label these moments way too fast. So we start dreaming away about our life together. While for a man, this is simply a time of denial. Whenever someone would ask him about the two of you, he will deny that there is anything between you two. Although you’ve been hearing from him every day since day one and although he asked you on a few dates, he won’t mention your name to any of his friends or family yet.

This is normal, because a man is mainly driven by his ego and reputation so he won’t risk to put it all on the line if he doesn’t know you well enough. So he takes his time before he even thinks about mentioning your name to those around him.

The second phase is the minimisation phase:

This often comes after two to three months of dating. So he’s been going out with you; you’ve done the cinema, you’ve done the lovely dinner out, the hand in hand walk across the park and the cosy little bar on a night out. While you as a woman are now high on your horses and want to get the label out and call him your boyfriend; you want him to clarify and put a stamp on the fact that the two of you are an item. He on his end, will minimise and downplay anything that has to do with you to anyone who ask about it. Of course he will do his best to treat you well. But whenever you try to pop the question: “Where is this going?” Cause you want some clarification in your dating life. He will try to avoid the conversation and just find something else to talk about. Or he might even ignore your question or try to get away not having to answer it.

Here we are, three months into your dating life. As it gets kind of difficult for a man to denial that he is seeing you, he will simply minimise the fact that you two are seeing each other. When asked about you, he will answer things like: “Well yeah it’s just someone I met recently”, “Yeah we went out, no big deal”. If he finds you beautiful he will say things like, yeah she’s alright, simply cause he wants to downplay it. Also to you, he will be more cautious, he won’t text you too much. He won’t share with you the important things of his life yet, cause he is still on the look out to see if this is going to be something worth it. Cause a man would do anything not to lose face.

The next phase is the admission or commitment phase:

After five to six months of dating (if you’re patient enough to stick around), a man will start to confirm his engagement to you. In this phase, a man wants to be sure that everyone knows that you are his and therefore he will go on and label you as his girlfriend. Because he simply wants to make sure that you don’t go see anyone else but him.

When asked by family or friends, here he will confirm that you are his girlfriend. He might let you meet his friends and family and sometimes even ask to meet yours. Here he will start to engage you in his life, such as bringing you out with him while his friends are around. By doing this he wants to make sure, not only to others but also to you that you are his and no one else’s. In this phase he will admit that he finds you attractive. He will contact you more than he did on the previous phase, and sometimes it might even feel as if he is testing you. He will check on you more frequently and will want to know where you are, with who and so on.

We as women see this phase differently, we think yes; he is in love with me but that’s not yet the case. A man needs more time and confirmation before he gets there.

Only around this phase a man will be fully committed to you. In the previous phase he might even take some other woman out on a date, as he hasn’t committed to yet, so he is technically free to do so. It’s only in this phase, that he will limit his dating scene into one person, you. As he is open in telling others that he is seeing you, he will expect you to commit to him and he in return will commit only to you.

Please note that this means that if after six months of dating a man still doesn’t call you his girlfriend or doesn’t want to commit to you or hasn’t brought you to any of his family nor friends then it means he is not worth your time. Meaning that he might be seeing someone else or he is just not that into you.

But if you’ve passed all those phases successfully then the next phase is the Falling in love phase.

The falling in love phase

This phase comes after the admission or commitment phase. Which means it’s about eight to nine months into your dating life. This is the phase where you are now the centre of his world. As you’ve been able to stick around, you’ve seen his ups and downs and his flaws and all and you are still with him, he will do anything for you. Yes, I know you want me to repeat it again so here it comes: He will do anything for you. He will go out of his ways to make you happy. If that means buying expensive things for you; going long distance to see you, taking you out on fancy holidays he will do it (depending on his personal situation of course). All this are just a fracture of what he will be willing to do for you. You see a man isn’t as sentimental as us women. A man when he can get sex, he’ll go for it. In general he won’t do that much effort for a woman but once you’ve reached this phase in your relationship, nothing is too much. He will go exceedingly, abundantly above and beyond to make you happy. For a man to be able to do all this effort, means that he is in love with you.

Although he won’t go and scream it to his friends and family he will show it in everything he does for you.

After falling in love comes the building a future together phase:

Although for us woman this phase already comes after two to three months; and yes for some it already comes after the first date. A man needs somewhat nine months to see himself being bonded to you for a long time ( please note that I didn’t say for life, cause that term scares some men, having to think that he would spend the rest of his life having sex to only one woman) But if you’ve been able to stay with your man for so long and he has fallen in love with you, he would see his future with no one else but you.

In this phase the rolls turn around, he will be the one asking you to book things many months ahead. For example a friend’s wedding in a few months or a concert or end years celebrations. This because he starts to see the future with you. In this phase he will want your presence in his life. If he lives by himself he will want your stuff in his apartment such as pictures of you, or little things such as clothing, toothbrush so that he is always reminded of you. Sometimes he will even suggest that you move in with him. Note that I only mention this now, because until a man falls in love with you, having your stuff in his place will feel smothering to him. Even if he has confirmed that you are his girlfriend, he doesn’t want to see too much of your stuff in his house yet. So wait until the right time comes before you start to leave things in his place. There is nothing attractive about a woman being too pushy; or a woman who already leaves her under wear in your place after a few dates.

With this all being said and done it’s important to know these phases, to respect a man’s timing and to let the man take the lead. I don’t say that every man reacts the same way, but this is a blue print of most relationships. Of course some situations might be different. The key to win a man’s heart is patience and time. If you have these two main elements and he is attracted to you then your relationship is set to succeed.

The little big impacts we have on other people’s life:

A friend of mine used to work in a company where he did many hours of overtime. He was one of the best in his job, was well organised, very punctual had great leadership skills, everything you need to run a business But at the time he was working for this company, being miserable and having nothing but complaints.

After hearing him complaining for a few months I told him that the next best logic step for him would be to start his own company. I told him he had all the qualities needed to run a successful business, and having worked in that industry since he was a teenager he knew all there was to know. I told him that I believed he could start his own business, make it successful and find fulfilment in what he does instead of depending on someone else.

A year later he called me and informed me that he was in the process of staring his own business. A few months after that he signed the documents and was owner of a limited company. Now a few years later, he keeps on adding zeros to his pay checks as is collecting the fruits of his own labour.

It all started as an encouragement of something he wanted to do anyway and now it has worked out as a successful business adding new workers to his employee’s team.

Every time someone comes to me with a dream, a wish a vision, a goal I never break it down, I always try to find ways to encourage him to bring it into completion. I believe that when someone conceives a certain dream, wish or goal and has this for a certain amount of time, and it’s a positive building force, a positive goal than we should all encourage that him.

The other side is true as well, you might have a dream, a will or a wish, but after consulting the wrong person, this last can put you off your dreams and hopes and give you all the reasons why things wouldn’t work. People like that you should avoid, as they could stop you from achieving your greatest goals if you depend too much on their approval.

It’s important to know who to share your goals with and who not to.

To the person giving advice;

we should all be careful in giving our opinion to someone else. The impact that our words have on others is bigger than we can imagine right now. Weigh your words and never speak unless it’s to build up the other person and not to break him off. Your words have the power to build or destroy so choose the correct ones and choose to build others up whenever you can.

Have you ever had the experience where you were speaking to an elderly man or woman and you were talking loudly to make sure that they could understand you only to realise that despite their elderly age, their hearing capability was perfectly fine and you were being ridiculous talking so loud?

Or have you ever been given someone else’s baby to take care of and when the child started crying the first thing you came up with was; this baby must be hungry; cause with your limited knowledge of children the only thing you could come up with is that a baby cries when he’s hungry. Which is absolutely legitimate; but only in some cases.

These two cases are just a few examples of how we all have prejudices.
In these cases it’s an innocent form of a “preconceived opinion that is not based on reason or actual experience”. As these cases show us; these two examples of prejudices are harmless and culturally accepted.

In the case here above it might be a funny experience, once you realise that the person you are talking to can perfectly hear you and you are making fun of yourself talking that loud. This can easily be corrected by taking a normal conversation tone.

In the case of the baby, well if he is not hungry he will simply ignore your attempt of overfeeding him and will continue to cry until you realise that he needs something else than an other spoon of baby porridge.

Prejudice is an umbrella word to show people’s tendency to over generalise others. In the above cases the preconceived opinion about the other person was innocent and harmless but what if we went on to generalise everyone we meet? What if we are used to form an opinion of others without taking the time to get to know them or the situation they are in? What if our perception of others is in fact a generalisation of what we’ve preconceived without actual facts?

If we go back to the example of the crying baby, a baby doesn’t always cry for food, sometimes a child will cry because he’s getting new teeth and the process of having a new teeth growing is painful for a child. Of course if we base our understanding of this little child’s needs on the 5 minutes that we spent with him we will probably not understand what’s going on,  after our ridiculous attempt of trying to give him an other spoon of food in the most exciting and interesting way possible (by playing planes for example, what I sometimes try to do). It would take us some time to realise that the crying baby isn’t crying because he is hungry; and often it would take up to the mother, who knows the child well to detect what the baby needs, while we as outstanders would probably not know what is going on.

I tried to find very common and basic examples that you might have encountered in your life to show you that prejudice is not an isolated case, it is something that all of us participate in a day to day life. Here you have been able to see that prejudice can be harmless but in some cases; this can be harmful not only for us but most of the time to the person we are judging. When we take away the age group and start to make prejudice on everyone we meet this can blok our communication with others. You wonder how? Well let me tell you.

When you meet someone, you immediately form an idea or concept about that person. We all do this, which is fine, but when your perception of the person you have in front of you is negative; immediately your communication with this person will be limited. You won’t have the patience and willingness to listen and understand what this person is saying because your mind is already filled with what you think you know about that person. Also your communication to others can be limited if you feel yourself superior to the person in front of you. This will cause you to ignore this person or not give them the time to express them selves or try to understand them simply because you feel superior to them some how.

Let me give you one more example. There was this writer/public speaker who was trying to make his way into the public eye; he was trying to get himself known in order to get some credibility. One day he heard that this tv show host was coming to some events; so the man did his best to get to that event and spent the biggest part of the evening trying to talk to this famous show host. Finely he got the chance and stood in front of this show host; there was this man standing next to him and some other people aroud. This man thought I got this one shot; so he went on and gave the a show host his fullest attention and tried to impress him as best as he could ignoring everyone else that was standing with him. He was proud of himself as he thought he had made a good impression on this well known tv show host. The next day he heard that the man standing right next to this tv show host; the man that he had completely ignored during the whole conversation was actually the one owning the whole network; he not only owned the tv program and channel but also owned many radio stations around the city. So then he realised that he was impressing someone just because that person was well known on tv, while ignoring the one he actually had to be talking to and of course the owner of this big network wasn’t too impressed to have been ignored.

If this man wasn’t filled with prejudice of thinking; this person is important to me so I will give him all my attention and ignore this other man because I don’t know him so he mustn’t be that important; he would have saved his career many years of struggles. This all because his communication was limited due to what he thought he knew about the person standing in front of him.

What I want you to get from this is that even though you think you know someone; try to put your prejudice aside and try to have an open communication; you might be amazed of what the other person can bring you. Remember, every communication is a key to the next step in your journey.

We are living in the most wonderful time ever and… it’s getting better and better

I know you might read this first line and think, “What, does she really believe that?” Yes, and I’m going to give you a few points why.

I remember when I was in college one of my teachers saying that we were living in a dreadful time, so much war and all those crazy things happening. Growing up I often heard people referring to old times as the “good old times” that had now far gone.

But today I want to share with you a different view than what the mainstream has given you so far.

I believe that we are living in the most wonderful time that has ever existed. I know that if you tune into the media you will get a view which might be a total opposite of what I’m telling you but just bare with me and I’ll try to give you a few points to state my verdict.

The first reason is technology: Although world wide media has brought new marks such as cyber bullying or the big brother is watching you syndrome on the scene. There are so many great things that we can do thanks to media that we were not able to achieve just a few decades ago.

I have friends living in Australia, LA, Asia, New York and family in Canada, Europe and the deepest parts of Africa and you know what? Every single day I can hear from them, talk to them see how their lives are going and share mine as if we were never apart. This used to be a very expensive process, if someone moved to another country you would say your goodbyes and know that you will never see them again unless they sent a picture or letter by post that would take ages to arrive or if you took the long trip to go and visit them. But none of that now, as you can reach everyone at any time.

Technology has also made it so far that blind people can see, that deaf people can hear. It may be on a basic level but for those suffering it’s a big step forward. Where we were used to get only a brief selection of what others decided would be our 7pm news report now has become a worldwide selection of -just name it and you can receive it-. We can share information from the deepest parts of the world to each other and make each other aware and inform one and other on everything that’s happening.

I could spend the next few days just to give you the innumerable reasons why the increased technology has improved our lives but let me give you other points that I found remarkable as well.

I don’t know if you noticed but people are more able to speak up for themselves and for others. Where people would accept defeat in silence and leave it there, nowadays they stand up and speak up with authority. There is this confidence growing that injustice shouldn’t be accepted silently but that people have to stand up for it. This amaze me. Just a few years ago, people would have pretended that nothing had happened but now there is this collectiveness of speaking out righteousness and this, in so many levels.

What strikes me as well is that there is no longer this one approved way of living your life: Let’s say for example, 15 years ago, there was this unspoken rule of; if you lived in New York you could be anything you wanted to be but if you lived in an other country  you weren’t allowed to dream outside the box. You had to keep yourself conform to the 9 to 5 rule and couldn’t try anything else. While nowadays much more people try to become successful in their passion in a much more broader way than the secure 9 to 5. I’m amazed of all the artistic hairdressers, make up artist, bloggers, vloggers, writers, musicians, painters, photographers, cooks, fashion designers, IT specialists, sport athletes and teachers of all kinds that are out there. Now every field is open for everyone, there is no longer this limitation of you can only be a sport athlete if your father was an athlete as well; or a painter just because you went to art school. People just deliberately break out of the social cultural boxes and express themselves and therefore achieve much greater things than what we could ever predict.

Not only technology and art has brought people together but also transport has made it possible for us to reach for the other corner of the world. Sometimes I take an airplane here, leaving a cold and snowing city to arrive a few hours later in the heart of the rainforest with high exotic temperatures.We can buy food that comes from Brazil, clothes that come from China, cars that come from Germany, computers from the states while shining with pearls that come from Africa.

There are no longer limitations in what we can do. But still some of us don’t see the beauty of what’s opening in front of us but instead drown themselves in negativity of the downside of these improvements. I hope that these few lines give you another perspective of the era in which we are living now. I’m sure you can add a few more lines on the list of greatness that is now available to us. So if someone points out what’s so wrong with the world today; just remember for yourself that there are much more great things in our world today than what we are thought.

Let me end with this note: The more you look for beauty the more you will see it in your everyday life. of

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Give your fully 100% to everything you do

Often when we are in a job, we tend to think that we are working under a boss that don’t really see what we are doing so it’s ok to do this or do that or it’s ok to stop working 15minutes before your due time and starting closing your files or checking your social media status. We often tend to dwell on those poor behaviours that we don’t realise that this is what’s holding us back from what we are supposed to do and more important what we are supposed to become.

Two or three years ago I read this book, although the book was based on other principals and other theories that were very important. One of the things that really got my attention is what the author said about the fact that you don’t have to go to work thinking that you are working under a boss; you have to go to work with the mentality that You are the boss. That the whole company depends on you, that you have to be there on time to get everything started and have to be the last one out to make sure that everything is finished and closed correctly. That you have to give your job all the time required; and your fullest attention.

You see often when people want to build something on their own they think the best time is to work on it while being at their current job; taking the time that they are supposed to be working for someone else to deal with their personal business, but that’s not how it works.

If you want to succeed in life you have to act like you’re the boss right where you are. I don’t say that you have to go to your boss and say give me your seat and your large office, I’ll be running it from now on, -no- (cause then it might be your last day on the job). What I’m saying is you have to be despicable. You have to dress yourself as if you were going to get an award for what you’re doing, you have to walk in there as if you own the whole thing (not as if your mum just dragged you out of your bed), you have to talk with confidence as if you knew how to run this whole thing. You see, you have to start being great where you are before opportunities come knock at your door to bring you where you want to be.

That’s why it’s often those who go the extra mile in a job that ends up getting a better position or even greater, moving to greater things or starting their own companies. I know that there are also those who will act like, and do as if, but when it comes to it won’t put the extra mile to achieve something because their heart isn’t in to it. Don’t let yourself be that person. Even when no one is watching, even when it’s just to finish that one file that will go back to the closet and no one will see it, make sure that everything you do, you are proud of it. That you know you’ve given it your very best what concerns time and effort.

And you know what, it’s fine if you are not the best, it’s ok if e.g. you work in a sales position but you are not the one getting the most deals. That’s ok as long as what you give out is the very best of yourself. Because life won’t measure you up to others and say because you weren’t the best salesperson you won’t be able to achieve much in life –No-! It’s because you gave out the very best of yourself with what you had that you will get the best that there is. Don’t go compare yourself to others and think; well they always do much better than me so I’ll just go to work and just act like I’m doing something and no one will ever know. No-Stop-Don’t!

Go out there and give the best of yourself where you are at any time. If you are the cleaning lady of this big huge hotel, well make sure that when they all get to their rooms they see that you’ve passed through. If you are the one cutting the plants, putting the flowers or cutting the trees well make sure that it shows. If you are the one cleaning the toilet make sure that they can eat from the floor. If you are the one sitting on that desk and just answering the phone the whole day long make sure that every person you talk to remembers that warm heartfelt voice of yours with which you picked up the phone and hang up at the end of the conversation, and yes éven when someone calls 2minutes before you leave the office. Just give it the best with whatever you do, your colleagues may not notice it but have patient as you give out your best in the little things, the bigger and much greater things will find their way to you and just as you succeeded with the smaller tasks given to you; you will excel in the big ones aswell. Your future is in front of you and start right where you are. So tomorrow when you go to your workplace remember you are not working for someone else, you are working for a great boss, the greater you. How great are you willing to be?

What my first year of leaving my safe harbour has thought me

If I had to describe my first year here in London in one word, I would go for the word Resilience. When you look up the meaning of resilience you will find the description of “ the ability to bend, stretch and compress and still come back to its original form but this time come back much stronger than before. That’s how I would describe my first twelve months here in Great London.

I’m sure some of you may have felt the urge to break free, to take a big step to do something that your entourage can’t fully understand and to be honest you, yourself can’t comprehend it eighther.  You often don’t know why this urge takes such a persistence pressure in your being. You may feel like you might never know complete happiness or ever be fully satisfied unless you break loose of this mother cocoon that has defined you for so many years. Well if you’ve ever had these crunching thoughts, than you might know where I’m coming from and I can proudly say: Yes; been there done that!

So here is what I’ve learned:

When you decide to take this huge giant step in your life of leaving your home cocoon for the unknown you often never realise what it’s going to be like. You kind of discover the journey as it goes. It is a very frightening aspect for many people but I must say there is nothing more rewarding than following your inner self.

I arrived in London one year ago, and started the process of getting everything done in order to start my life on this side of the world. The thing about moving to a new country is, everything you used to know everything you kind of mastered you’ll have to relearn and redo it all over again. So I had to start from scratch, from finding a new home and getting into my new job to finding my way through my new town and country. I had to find out how all the regulations and insurances work down here, had to buy a new car and of course learn how to drive on the left side of the road! (Yes, I know, I’m in that special country where the people drive on the left side of the road).

As if all this isn’t enough, moving to a new country meant getting to know my new colleagues, making new friends and creating a whole new social network. Moving to a new country is much more significant than one could be able to predict. But although all these things may take a lot of your time, energy and emotions, you must know that this is what opens your door to a much greater you than you ever thought you knew. So while building my new life over here, I came across moments, things and events that made me crumble and fall down to pieces. I had to learn to rebuild myself from scratch but this time in a much stronger way. I had to learn that where I would have easily walked away in the past, now in this new chapter in my life I decided to stay and learn from my mistakes and make myself more resilient to those circumstances.

I remember times when this all was way too much for me, a time where I thought I want to go back home, back to what I used to know, back to the safe harbour of family and friends and shops and schools and jobs that I knew. There where I had built a certain level of social knowledge and would be able to get a great job with a management position. I had enough of proving myself, enough of standing tall and alone against the wind, enough of being the odd one out, speaking a language that I wasn’t so familiar with. I was ready to let go of the unknown and have the old back. But when this happens you must realise that when you let go, all the effort that you’ve put in so far has been in vain. Everything you believed in will be spoild if you quit the journey and run to your safe harbour. There was a reason for you to make this big step in your life so you have to hang on, just a little longer in order to recult the benefits of your hard work. So I decided to stay, to bite my tongue and continue to sail to wherever this journey was taking me. Now fast forward I’m starting to understand the pattern. I understood that I wanted to achieve much more than what I’ve seen growing up. So in order to achieve what hasn’t been done before I had to do what has never been done before. Only by breaking the chains of your secure self you’ll be able to reach for that one thing that you used to think was impossible.

Now I’m starting to see progress in my journey. Being resilient pays off. I may not be where I want to be yet, but I’m thankful that I’m no longer where I used to be and I know that I’m going to press through until I get where I want to be.

My point is, if you decide to take the journey, it might be much more than you thought yourself being capable to handle. But don’t let temporary feelings stand in the way of your destiny but march on with bold steps and allow circumstances to bend you, compress and stretch you but don’t let it ever break you into a point of giving up. If you do hold on, I promise you this journey will be the best decision you’ve ever made. You’ll achieve much greater things than you could ever imagine and will become not only what you wanted to be but much more than what your imagination can conceive right now. Enjoy the journey!