Potential

Good with Turning 27

Yesterday I turned 27, which is actually kind of strange of me to type, cos it’s weird to think that little me is 27.  Little me you know, with the baby face and all that, but 27 I am and I am good with that.  Very good with that.

Saying that I’m good with 27 is an even weirder thing for me, because I have disliked the thought of getting older for so long.  I hated turning 25 with a passion and although I was fine with 26, the thought of getting older still filled me with dread.  For a long time, the age of 27 disturbed me and I tried to avoid it, especially as it feels even closer to 30, but I’m not feeling too bad about that age either now.  As long as these good genes of mine hold out, I’m still gonna be looking young and I love that.

I also felt really blessed and grateful to God to not only see another year, but to see another day of my life, as I’ve wanted to have my life taken away from me on way too many occasions to count over the past three years.  This earth is a sick, twisted, sad place, which I know I’m not made for and wish I could leave, but I’ve also felt that so many others should be still breathing in place of me, who is often so ungrateful for the breath I have in my body.  That was not the case this year.

I was extremely happy on the day, and I had been in a great place during the days leading up to it, which is always a positive thing.  I’ve also had a positive year on the most part, with a number of amazing things happening and God opening a number of doors.  I got baptised this year, my platform became an official organisation and celebrated three years this year (through God’s help only), I won my first competition with my poetry this year, I delivered my first keynote address this year, and I had my face plastered over a storefront this year.  This is just a snippet of some of my many highlights, and we’ve still got four months of the year to go.

At 27, God has given me more than I could have ever imagined or asked for.  He’s put me on a path I never expected or planned for, but love with all my heart and gives me a reason to keep fighting on.  He’s also blessed me with many beautiful people, who contributed to making my day so special and a whole lot of fun, especially my sister who was there throughout the whole thing.

Usually, my birthday feels like a new chapter, but this year feels more like the middle of a chapter that is still being written, which probably won’t be finished until the new year comes and I am more than good with that.  I just can’t wait to see what the rest of the year brings and what other blessings God brings my way, cos I know that I’ve got a whole lot more work to do, more love to spread in the world and more people to empower so that their voices are heard.

I’m only just beginning to tap into my true power and potential.

Special Group of People

Yesterday was my final day on a project encompassing a series of creative sessions and workshops that came to mean a lot more to me than a job and I am going to miss very much.  How I was even able to get this job came as a result of a sequence of events that began with me simply being vocal and putting myself out there, but that is a subject for an entirely different blog post.

I first became acquainted with Mitcham Library last September as a facilitator for the Young People’s Laureate for London Tour, which was a wow moment to say the least, as I stepped into a library atmosphere I had never seen before.  Faced with a group of young people that were unlike any I had ever worked with, I knew that I had to take a particular approach to engage them and get at least some activities done in a workshop.  Fortunately, the approach I took led to me working with a group of young people that were very engaged, despite the number being small – this had to be the case though if we were going to get work done.

I thoroughly enjoyed working with them from the get-go and was given a quick reminder to not judge a book by its cover – these individuals will never be what you expect.  When I was given the opportunity to return to Mitcham Library as part of the tour, I jumped at the chance, as I wanted to follow through on the work I’d started.  I never imagined that I would be offered a long-term job opportunity at the library, but that’s what happened and I am so glad it did.

Not only was I going to get paid for doing what I loved – getting creative and working with young people – but I was going to have the chance to get to know these particular young people more and hopefully have some sort of positive impact in their lives.  I was ready and willing, although I knew it would not be the easiest of tasks and it ended up being one of the most unpredictable projects I have ever worked on.

I have loved it though, more than I can describe, and I was really sad when it came to an end yesterday.  I have genuinely looked forward to going into work every single week, and I missed being there the weeks that I was away – I’m really going to miss going there now that it’s over.  I love these young people, who have had a bigger impact on my life then I think they realise.  They have made me a better person and challenged my mindset even further, while helping me to find an affection for teenagers that replaced the disdain I had from them.

Week on week, I was cracked up with laughter and involved in some seriously interesting conversations.  I was blown away by their intelligence and impressed by the potential seen in most of them, which I hope they are able to tap into.  Slowly, I began to see barriers breaking down and trust being built, which I wish we could build on further, as six months wasn’t enough time to fully engage this group – they only got used to us more recently.

I adore my Mitcham Library Crew – the name affectionately given to the participants of the music workshop – and I was beyond proud of their growth over time, especially those who were brave enough to take to the stage and perform in Wimbledon Library.  They quickly became some of my favourite people, particularly my partner in crime, Conrad.  Everyone had a special part to play, including one girl who never got involved with the any of the music related activities, but would regularly come to simply support her friend – it would not have been the same without her.

And then there was drama, that varied to big groups playing games, to drama activities with four individuals, to in-depth chats with just one young person.  You never knew what you were going to get, but my drama partner, Rachael, and I enjoyed it all the same.  Some of the best conversations were had in those sessions and that is when I was able to develop a deeper understanding with a truly special young man who is going to do great things some day.

Being around all of the library staff was great too, engaging in conversations with them while having their support and expertise.  They were all lovely and greatly encouraging, but I have to give a special mention to the lovely Caprice, who would always chat to me and Rachael as we waited for Drama to begin, and also the wonderful Kurtis for a number of reasons.  Special mention to Sarah and Priyanka too.

Hopefully I’ll be able to do some work in Mitcham Library again, but for now I’ll just have to do with making visits to see the group of people I have come to care about so much.  With determination, learning and support, these young people are going to go on to do great things and make me proud.  I will never forget them.

My Own Worst Enemy

It is incredibly frustrating being my own worst enemy, but what is worse is that I cannot seem to stop warring with myself.  No matter how hard I try, I find myself fighting internally, which just drags me down.

I have spent a lot of time blaming other people and other factors, when it really all comes down to me.  Yes, people have hurt me and I have struggled with certain situations, but I have allowed myself to be badly effected by the actions of others and I have put myself in some stupid situations.  I have made bad decisions, I have told myself that I mean nothing and I have convinced myself that I am always the problem.

Most of my negative feelings have been fabricated in my mind, as no one has actually said those things directly to me.  I expect constant high standards of myself and when I don’t reach those standards or get what I want, I put myself down and find ways to feel worthless.  I want everyone to like me, accept me and respond well to me, but I start closing myself off when that doesn’t happen.

Over the years, I have built up walls and closed myself off, which has made me a quieter and smaller version of myself.  My self-esteem has dropped and my confidence has diminished drastically, preventing me from being truly happy and reaching the potential that so many individuals can see in me.  It’s as if all those around me can see the good, except me.

I have known for a long time that I am my own worst enemy, but realising that it is the cause of so many of my problems is a great move in the right direction, because I can do something about it.  However, what is difficult is trying to overcome it, as I don’t really have an idea of how to do that.  I know that it all starts with having faith in God and sitting at His feet, but where do I go from there?

Overcoming my battle with self is essential, because it is seriously holding me back.  It is preventing me from getting up and doing things that I have every intention of doing.  It is stopping me from going out, being brave and speaking to the young people that I need to speak to.  It is putting a halt to me making a real difference, and I really don’t want that.

Again, this is about me being a work in progress and I am glad that God is working in my life, but this is an issue that needs to be fixed as soon as possible.  I hate being my own worst enemy and it is extremely tiring now, because I want to be so much more than the person I am and finally be the person that God wants me to be.