Categories
Growth writing

Life In My Twenties: Two Dilemmas I Have Faced So Far.

Hi guys!

Back again with another post in the Life In My Twenties series! I hope you are all enjoying it so far?

Our guest today writes about two dilemma’s he has faced so far and has come to realise the importance of contentment and being patient with yourself!

I’d love to hear what your twenties have been teaching you, please share and leave a comment!

Happy reading!

Two DILEMMAS I HAVE FACED SO FAR IN MY 20’s.

Hey Ari, I hope you’re well, 

It’s certainly been an interesting few weeks since you asked me to be one of the contributors to this blog series about what it’s been like navigating my 20’s so far.

I was unusually excited, after all, we’ve had so many meaningful conversations about life over the years and spoken about how we’d like to share our experiences with a wider audience.

However, as time passed I found myself paralysed by the idea of sharing my experiences; and by my fear of being judged – what if I can’t get my message across clearly? What if I’m misunderstood? What if no one cares?

Anyway, that being said, I have decided to go for it and put my fears aside. I believe that there is always something someone can learn from another person’s experience. And that is exactly what this is, my personal reflections on my experiences so far.

-o-

The Dilemma’s

“Ari… you know I have a restless imagination at times and I can be a bit of a perfectionist.”

Thinking about where to start on a topic such as navigating your 20s. I was instinctively compelled to write about certain dilemmas I have faced so far. This is because the situations and patterns I have encountered have often provided me with an avenue for profound shifts in perspectives.

With that in mind, I would like to discuss the tension I have often faced fully appreciating my success and striving for continuous improvement.

Up until the beginning of quarantine, it had been virtually impossible for these two opposing approaches to life to coexist in my head.

On one hand, my desire to better myself has been a huge contributor to my achievements. However, it has contributed equally to destroying my motivation and eroding the joy and satisfaction from those successes.

You see, the continuous improvement side of myself would often spend so much time analysing how things could or should have been done better or differently so that the next time round I would ultimately achieve more, and in my head, maybe then I’d be satisfied. 

That continuous improvement side of myself would often rhetorically ask the other side of myself: “But I mean Fola, can you really blame me?” And would then proceed to give the very compelling (in the world of my mind) argument that:

“We both know the allure and promises of ‘progress’, ‘growth’, and ‘the next thing’, are very enticing… And besides, we have constantly been reminded, and also both agree, might I add, that there is always room for improvement, to never rest on our laurels and most definitely never to be complacent.”

Sometimes, this argument would spur me on to do more which I guess had its benefits, but at other times, the other side of myself would simply shutdown.

This shutdown was because that part of myself had found, through its practical experiences that manner of living was simply tiring, draining, unrewarding and hugely dissatisfying, irrespective of how much it had made me achieve. So much so that then achieving more had no correlation with satisfaction… You know, that feeling you get when you realise that what you were so sure you wanted didn’t turn out to give you the satisfaction you’d imagined.

Realisation

Now that hopefully you now see my Dilemma, I realised that it was as a result of my misconception of what I thought contentment meant.

I thought that to be content meant to settle, and because I refuse to settle (I still do refuse). I was always searching for something out there, dwelling on the past, fixating on the future.

Never really appreciating the moment (or the present success) for what it was. 

A new understanding of contentment has taught all sides of me that there is a time for everything. It has taught me to know that, sure things could have been done better or differently; and that there is still so much more to be achieved. But for now, in this moment, to consider all those facts and still chose to accept where I am at. 

Contentment taught me to be present. To fully appreciate my current successes and also at the same time strive for more. 

The Real Dilemma

Those are the things I would have liked to say about one of the dilemmas of navigating life in my 20s so far, but really in writing this my true dilemma has been that: 

Ari… you know I have a restless imagination at times and I can be a bit of a perfectionist.

Ari… You know I have a restless imagination at times and I can be a bit of a perfectionist I am scared of failure.

Ari… You know I have a restless imagination at times and I can be a bit of a perfectionist i’m scared of failure I am scared of my success.

And I know that although I have found it easy to express myself to you, I know that I will not be able to express  myself to your readers… so I thought why should I bother.

The end.

Categories
Love romance writing

Is A Long Distance Relationship Worth It?

With the way the world is set up these days, long-distance or some distance is typically the order of the day. With access to jobs, schools and just the possibilities of moving around; more and more we consider long-distance dating/relationships. Even more so with our current global pandemic, some of us have been forced into long & some distance type relationships. Which brings me to my question- Is a Long Distance Relationship Worth It?

Spoiler alert: You are the only one that can decide this for yourself. However, I will be sharing what I have found from some conversations I had.

For some context I used to be team –NEVER GOING TO HAPPEN! More recently due to a series of events I am now team- GIVE IT A GO!

So there you have it, you can give it a go if you are currently dating someone you really like and are willing to commit to long term. You don’t have to take my word for it – I will be sharing comments from other people.

Based on my research here are some things to consider when giving long distance a shot:

Money

I was surprised only one person mentioned this but it is a factor that is very key! People always recommend you plan your visits ahead- this requires money. You will spend money on travel, dates when you’re finally together and then gifts. Once you start long distance, gifts become a thing, even if they weren’t your thing before. It is always sweet to get a reminder that your significant other is thinking of you.

Trust

You need to trust your partner 100% It is the only realistic way you can get through this. Obviously you wouldn’t be in a relationship with someone you don’t trust but being long distance takes this to a whole new level. Trust is typically built over time and something a lot of people mentioned was that they would be more comfortable doing long distance if they had dated with no distance at first.

” My key takeaway from being in a long distance relationship for 3 years is that Trust & Communication are the most important things.”- Anon

Be Intentional

As with everything else in life & even regular relationships, being intentional always pays off. With long distance, it helps to schedule time for your partner. So, set a Facetime date, a Netflix party, playing online games, doing a Bible study or devotional plan together, praying together. Plan things you can do together apart from talk on the phone. This leads to my next point.

Being present and not multitasking while on the phone- behave as if you’re having the conversation in person and just be present.”

know what works for both of you and be intentional about doing or giving them this.”

Be Thoughtful

You typically have limited options but that should not stop you from showing up for your partner. You have to be attentive to what your partner likes or doesn’t like and try to find creative ways to express that. If you know your partner loves letters- write to them! If they love flowers- send flowers! Find ways to surprise your partner, thankfully technology allows us to do this in different ways. Most importantly, make sure you are listening to your partner and doing what they want.

I surprise him with cards at random times because i discovered he likes that.”

Communication is key

Again, this is a given in any relationship but as I have previously stated, being long distance heightens the need for this. Some quotes about communication from my contributors:

Be open with each other even when they’re being hella annoying…”

Communicate in the right amount for you both, don’t over do it.”

If there’s something, we have to talk about it. We don’t feel comfortable withholding things from each other.”

Complete transparency and open communication, even if it’s hard.”

Pictures

This is a big one for me, it probably goes without saying but honestly, sometimes you miss your partner and would just like a reminder of when you were together and how it felt. Nothing helps more than having a cute picture or video to help relive one of your moments with your significant other.

Patience & Understanding

You definitely have to adjust to the long-distance situation, especially if you switch from seeing each other all the time to long distance. You need patience, understanding and resilience to get you through. Patience because sometimes things can be lost in translation via text or even the tone of your partner on the phone. Understanding because there might be parts of their day you don’t necessarily have full information on and you just need to understand that.

Mutual Effort

You and your partner have to be committed to making it work and ready to keep choosing each other.

Although long-distance gets a negative rap for the most part. I found from my discussions that most people who have been in it or are currently in one are happy to do it with the right person. Personally I love that a long-distance relationship allows you to focus on the friendship part of your relationship above all else. That gives a good foundation for anything that you see being long-term. A long-distance relationship can be so worth it with the right partner! But ultimately everyone has to decide this for themselves.

What my contributors said in response to the question- Is a long-distance relationship worth it:

A Long-distance relationship is soo worth it if you feel like you’ve found the right person. Nothing worse than not trying at all and thinking ‘what if?’ I am super happy I tried because above having an amazing boyfriend, I have an amazing friend for LIFE.”

” Lol. I feel like no relationship is stress-free, each one has its hurdles that need to be overcome. If this is someone you see and desire a future with, the long-distance is a means to an end. So if it’s worth it’ depends on each individual person’s circumstances and end game.

With who I am with, everything is worth it. It all depends on your partner I guess and where you see y’alls future together ( hopefully they don’t belong to the streets” – P.s did you get the Future joke lol!

“Yeah if you’re both willing to put in the effort.”

Have you done long distance? Are you currently doing long distance? Have I convinced you to give it a go or are you still team never going to happen? I would really love to hear your thoughts on this in the comments section below!

Don’t forget to subscribe and share this post if you enjoyed reading xx

Ari’

Categories
selflove writing

Trusting the Process

We all talk about trusting the process but how many times have you thought about where you are and where you would like to be instead? If you’re anything like me, probably too many times.

So many of us are in a hurry to get nowhere fast, because when you get there you shift the goal again, and it’s back to ‘striving’ and doing too much.

I had a conversation with a friend recently and she mentioned feeling like she wasn’t doing enough … which is funny because from where I was standing she was doing a lot! She recently started a full-time job & is running a blog ( I promise I’m not talking about me lol) but somehow her mind had convinced her it wasn’t enough.

We can be really hard on ourselves, really impatient with ourselves. I’m learning to trust the process, slow down, and be present.

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with looking and even planning ahead but don’t forget you’re here now! Your life will only happen once and if you miss it well that’s it.

Stop and actually smell the roses, give yourself a minute to acknowledge where you are and love yourself enough to work towards where you want to be, but above all trust the process.

Today take stock of where you are, everything you’ve achieved, and look back to see how far you’ve actually come.

While looking ahead remember to be patient with yourself and be kind too, everything good always comes!

How are you staying present & trusting the process? Leave a comment below I would like to know!

Categories
Growth reflections selflove things to do writing

How to Keep a Journal

I have been writing in Journals for as long as I can remember. It has been one of the best ways to protect my peace, plan my next steps and give my mind a break.

Keeping a journal can be therapeutic, it can serve as a guide and remind you of what you want. They are great for sounding out ideas you think might sound crazy or just letting out your daily frustrations.

Here are 5 tips for keeping a journal

Get a notebook!

This is obvious, but some people keep notes on their phone or laptops but going old school is really the best way to go. Actually writing out how you feel, what you’re looking forward to or not goes a long way.

Create the right vibe

Try and find a quiet space and time when you can really hear yourself think.Where you will be comfortable getting in your feelings, whatever those feelings may be.

Bonus tip: light a scented candle and relax

Go with the flow

Most people say they don’t know how to start. A journal is for you-there are no wrong or right entries, so a good place to start is where you are. You can write about your day, you can write about a feeling, you can doodle, you will be surprised where your mind can lead you when you just let go.

No pressure

This is all about you, there is no need to keep it routine. You can Journal whenever you feel like it. You also don’t need perfect handwriting or picture-perfect pages, just write and don’t get too bogged down in the details of how it looks ( unless that’s your thing).

Write out your dreams

We can sometimes be scared to say what we want, a journal is a safe space and will give you the opportunity to work out your fears and hopes. Write out those big dreams and watch them come to life.

Write the vision and engrave it plainly on tablets. So that the one who reads it will run

Habakkuk 2:3

Do you keep a journal already? Have you been meaning to start? Do you have any questions? Let me know in the comments below!