Happy

How Am I 26 Today?

I can’t believe I’m 26 today.  Writing that and saying it out loud is actually mad.  Little me has really turned big 26 today.  I’ve passed the middle ground of 25 and am even closer to 30 – a crazy and at times terrifying thought.

From the moment I turned 25, I was dreading this birthday and the prospect of being 26 made me proper sad.  However, I became accustomed to the thought of it as the day drew closer and today I think I’m actually okay.  I don’t particularly like getting older, but I am a lot more comfortable with the age I am now and don’t feel as many of the pressures that came with 25.  I’m more at ease with who I’ve become and how my life has changed.  I’m also out of 2017, which was a horrible year, and I am the happiest I’ve been in a long time.

You read that right, I am the happiest I’ve been in a long time.  In fact, I am in a proper good place.  A number of things have contributed to that, but it mainly comes down to the amazing God I serve and the impact He has had – and continues to have – on my life.  God has supported and comforted me time and time again.  He’s granted me strength and resilience, while taking me through storms.  He has my back and saved my life in more ways than I could imagine.  Being near to Him brings me peace, joy, validation and so much more.  My relationship with God is a true blessing.

I’ve also taken time to slow down a bit, properly reflect and take the time to understand what I’m actually doing in my life, as I lost myself for a little while.  This has enabled me to really be in the present and appreciate everything around me by really taking note.  I have also finally been able to see how much I have achieved and how much I have grown over the past few years, which is genuinely surprising to me and I personally believe is pretty amazing.

The course of my life may have changed when I left university, so I was not where I projected myself to be at 25, but I can now acknowledge that I have something even better and I am so proud of what I’ve done.  I’ve started and maintained my own platform for young people, which I intend to develop further.  I am a lyricist, published writer and performing poet.  I’ve put on a cross-arts programme in my home town two years in a row, bringing young people together and spreading positivity.  I’ve been paid for facilitating workshops and had the opportunity to work with some truly amazing young people.

I’ve also had the opportunity to meet very special and wonderful people from different walks of life, who I greatly appreciate.  My YP Insight family, my always extending TCFT family, my Queens Gardens peoples, my Mitcham Library crew and everyone in between (I’ll do another post fully highlighting the beautiful people in my life, because they are so many to mention and they deserve the shout outs).  I don’t think I would have come so far without the support, advice and laughter provided by them all.

There is definitely a lot further for me to go, and there is a lot more power for me to tap into, but I’m feeling pretty good at 26 at the moment.  Even though I say I’m getting old or feel old, I’m actually still young and I have done quite a lot as a young person.  I’m also content with how my life is on a more personal level – being married and having kids right now would not be right for me at this time of my life at all with everything that I have to do.  I enjoy being single and having the freedom to do as I please – I’m also still getting to know me and working on some of the mess that remains within.

So right now, I can smile and say ‘Happy Birthday to Me.  Shaniqua, you are a wonderful, hilarious, beautiful-hearted girl who has so much to give to the world.  Don’t sell yourself short, be a slave to fear, or doubt your abilities.  With God you can do anything.  Love you girl.’

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Riding The Two-Week Emotional Roller Coaster

Up, down,

Round and round,

Not knowing what to think,

What to feel,

Taking me on a roller coaster of emotions.

Riding that roller coaster

Over the past two weeks,

On a journey more special

Than I ever imagined.

Surrounded by friends,

Old and new,

Further developing my extended family,

I was encircled by love,

Filling my heart to the full,

Falling in love with all around me.

In spite of this love,

I felt a sadness,

Pain cutting through my heart

With no way to stop it.

Grief hit me,

A sense of loneliness overtook me,

Feeling hurt by somebody,

Like an outsider around everybody.

Taking some time out,

Some time to recuperate,

I began to heal, smile

Grow, learn,

Embrace all that was going on around me.

 

Suddenly, believing love was possible again,

Laying myself bare for all to see,

Gaining a better understanding of who I was,

And what I could really be.

Overcome with sadness to be going home,

But filled with happiness and glee,

It was time for this ride to come to an end,

It had become a little too much for me.

I finished this ride feeling

Like I had at the start,

A little unsure,

Quite out-of-place,

A little despondent at heart;

Not looking at some the same way,

Feeling a bond had been broken,

Confused at how I got someone so wrong,

But not surprised, as they are human.

My feelings may have been the same,

But I was different,

Reacting, handling things in a better way,

This emotional roller coaster was truly special,

No one can ever take that away.

Up and Down

The past week has been a real mixture of feeling up and down.  I’ve been happy, I’ve been excited, I’ve been thriving, but then I’ve been depressed, upset and annoyed.

I’ve found myself questioning the people around me, wondering whether I truly belong in the different family units I’m a part of and worrying about my job.  I feel uncomfortable in the places where I once felt comfortable and prefer to be alone (or with my sister), not usually speaking to anyone.

Seeing my granddad ill cuts me deep, as I just want him to be okay again and hear him speaking to me.  I want to hear one of his silly jokes or listen to one of his stories about his childhood.

However, I’m happy about some funding I’ve secured and about my interview with East London Lines.  I’m thankful for having a home and money in my account when so many others don’t.  I’m glad that I have a job, which I not only enjoy, but is also close to my house.  I’m happy that I have a sister who I love very much, and who is also my best friend.

But more than anything, I’m thankful for the God I serve who continues to support me and reassure me, even when I find myself constantly worried.  I know He will never let me down and He keeps me from going under into that dark place, which is hard to get out of once I’m in it.  Knowing that I have Him and His promises keeps me up when there is so much that gets me down.