Relationships

‘The Year of Shaniqua’

The end of the year is getting closer and closer, which always puts me into reflection mode.  If you know me, you’ll probably know that I never reflect more than when my birthday and the end of the year come around – for some reason, they always feel like new chapters.

If I was gonna give a title to 2018, I’d call it ‘The Year of Shaniqua’.  As much as I prefer to put others first, this year was about me and putting myself first, particularly through the second half, which I haven’t been doing a whole lot of in recent years.

A few months into this year, I came to the realisation that I had been seriously struggling mentally and emotionally for a long time, but had rarely given my mind and heart time to catch up.  Looking back, I can now see how broken I was, meaning that I was not giving the best of myself to others.  If I wanted to truly make a difference in the world and find my love for Young People Insight again, I needed to take time out and give myself the opportunity to heal.

I took a two month [semi] break this year, which was exactly what I needed.  I was able to enjoy time just being ‘Shaniqua’, rather than being ‘Shaniqua the Activist’ or ‘Shaniqua the Facilitator’ or ‘Shaniqua the Youth Advocate’.  I was also able to spend some more time developing as ‘Shaniqua the Poet’, which was amazing, as well as having more time to be ‘Shaniqua the Friend’.  It was great, although I would have loved a little more alone time, but you can’t always get everything you want.

Having time out made me realise that I need to take moments away from all I’m doing when necessary, which may mean cancelling a meeting when I’m feeling mentally unwell or putting aside work for an afternoon when I’m feeling emotionally drained.  I am just important as the people I want to reach.  I also decided to remove my Yahoo Mail app on my phone for good, as I did not want to be consistently checking it anymore.

I also wanted this to be the year of the ‘Single Shaniqua’, after coming out of a toxic relationship at the end of last year.  He came at one of the worst years of my life, when I was unknowingly incredibly broken, and still not over Charming, who I had really fallen for and had broken my heart.  It was like he was preyed on my brokenness, which enabled him to exploit my vulnerabilities and weaknesses, causing me to behave like someone I’m not – I never want to be that person again.

It was a horribly negative experience, which put me off relationships, but it was also a learning experience.  I learned how much I do enjoy being single and that a full-blown relationship really wasn’t for me at this time of my life.  I have so much going on that I want to apply my heart, mind and time to, without the addition of having to give so much intentional consideration and love to a boyfriend.  I also knew that I had a whole lot of work to do on myself – and also get over Charming – before I could even consider getting into a relationship again.  Although I have had some involvement with guys, I can happily say that I am still ‘Single Shaniqua’.

More than anything though, I’ve grown a lot this year and been able to move forward in a lot of ways, which was necessary after an awful 2017 and very trying 2016.  I’ve learnt a whole lot about myself, mainly through looking over my prayer journal and speaking to my amazing God, which has enforced how resilient I am and reminded me of how much I’ve achieved.  I’ve come to see that I need to be a lot less hard on myself, which I’m still finding difficult, but am working through.

I’m also continuing to ask God to help me work on my other negatives.  I’m trying to eliminate my frustrating inner narcissist.  I’m still fighting against comparing myself to others.  I’m continuing to work on being more patient, managing my time better, and most of all of, being more temperate and consistent with eating healthily, exercising and going to bed early.  Consistency is seriously one of my biggest vices.

This year may not have started off 100%, but it’s been a good one as a whole.  I’ve enjoyed 2018 and I’m looking forward to seeing what 2019 brings, which I am already coining as ‘The Year of Young People Insight’ – I am definitely taking my baby to the next level in the new year.

However, despite it being ‘The Year of Shaniqua’, there have been amazing people that have contributed to my year and it would not have been the same without them.  Of course, there are always too many to mention in one post, which is why I plan to do something I haven’t done in a while and write a series of posts about some of the beautiful people who have played a special part in my 2018.  Keep any eye out for them – you never know, I could be writing about you.

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Disbelief in Fairy Tales & Love

I’ve always been a sucker for fairy tales – the Disney fairy tales, not the twisted ones in the books.  I loved the happy endings and watching two people fall in love.  I desperately wanted that – the happy ending and to fall in love with the one.

I dreamed, and dreamed, and dreamed of getting married.  Getting my perfect ring, wearing a beautiful white dress, walking down the aisle with my bouquet, my bridesmaids in their pink or red dresses, seeing my husband’s smiling face, the reception, the whole works.  I then dreamed of the happy life with my husband, where we had our own beautiful family.  Yet dreams come crashing down and fairy tales are just that – they’re tales, nothing real.

I don’t believe in happy endings or love anymore – at least not for me.  I don’t believe that I will ever find the one or get married.  It’s looking like I’m destined for the eternal single life, allowing me to focus solely on my work and changing the world, until I decide I’m ready to foster children.  That’s right, I’ve given up on having children of my own too, because why should I want to bring a child into a world I despise and don’t want to be living in myself.

I’ve tried to hold on to hope and believe that love will happen for me – and I mean proper reciprocated love – but I genuinely do not believe it exists.  I’ve given up all hope, but that’s alright, because God is with me and He is the love of my life.  You have to understand that I’ve tried, but my last involvement with someone was the last straw.

I was stupid.  Yet again, making dumb mistakes I know I shouldn’t have made.  Retracted on myself and did what I said I wouldn’t do.  I let myself get attached, allowed myself to actually like him, when I said I would do neither of these things.  I didn’t want to do either of these things; I didn’t intend to do either of these things; but I did and I know I’m paying the price for that.

Although he said he was different (one of the first of his many empty words), he turned out to be just like the rest.  Wanting to rush into things, not wanting to properly date, spewing empty words and promises like word vomit, working his magic and getting me to like him before doing a disappearing act.  He acted like a boy, even though he thinks he’s a man, and I continued to make excuses for him.  I mean, how stupid was I?  But no more.

I want to be there for him, not give up on him, give him unconditional support.  Because whether I like it or not, he’s in my heart and I don’t think that is going to change anytime soon.  However, I’m not sure if I can do it without having feelings get in the way.  I guess I’m just going to have to pray for him from afar, because his presence in my life is becoming toxic and I don’t need that.  I’m already suffocating and struggling to hold on to any breath I have left.

But I guess that’s life.  People come and people go.  People hurt you and break your hurt.  People act as lessons, and it’s painful, but it will get better eventually.  At least that’s what I have to believe and tell myself to stay sane.  What I do know, is that I should have stuck to my guns, closed off my heart and not allowed myself to get feelings, which is now going to be the case going forward.  I don’t intend to have feelings for anyone ever again – I hate feelings anyway.

I’m not a naive little girl anymore.  I can see that certain people are only in your life for a season, that marriage is not a definite and Disney fairy tales are simply entertainment, filling your head with false ideals that are unlikely to ever come true.  And to you Mr Charming, thanks for bringing me back to reality.

A Much Needed Release

I really want to write something today.  In fact, I feel like I need to write something today.  I guess that there are a lot of pent-up feelings inside that need to be released and my beloved writing is my best outlet for that.

There are a number of things going on in my mind these days – more than I even want or would care to mention.  Sometimes they keep me from sleeping, sometimes they make me feel sad, and sometimes they simply remind me of a worse time.  That is one of the last things I want.

In all honesty, it is mostly my crowdfunding campaign that is occupying my thoughts and draining my energy little by little.  I desperately want it to succeed and reach as many individuals as possible, but man is it hard work.  I knew it was going to be hard, but I could never have imagined just how difficult this task would be.  I’m putting it in God’s hands though and I know that with Him I will succeed – I mean, with God for me who can be against me.

I’m finding myself thinking about my late grandad and aunty a lot recently as well and I’m not sure why.  All I know is that I keep thinking about when I lost them or their funerals or how much I miss them, and it hurts my heart.  Tears spring to my eyes and emotion builds up inside of me, knowing that I have to live the rest of my life without them.  I don’t think I’ll ever fully get past that.

Then there is a situation with a certain friend of mine, which has been causing me a lot of frustration and sometimes upset.  Certain things need to be raised with him, but I don’t know how to do it and I don’t want to cause any unnecessary unrest in his life.  I keep putting it off, even though I know the conversation needs to be had and the whole situation has been bothering me without his knowledge.  I hate rocking the boat, but I don’t like unresolved issues in my relationships with those I am close to, especially when it makes me start feeling like a fake.  I also can’t have situations negatively effecting my emotional wellbeing and not doing anything about it, because that’s not healthy.  I just need to somehow have this conversation.

And then there is a certain someone who has made a surprise reappearance in my life and wants to pick up where they left off, but cannot be relied upon or trusted.  I’ve been here before with them and they’ve completely left my life, without warning or explanation.  I know this could easily happen again, which is why I don’t want any attachment to form, but this person unfortunately always finds a way of getting into my head and I hate it.  I am planning to keep my distance though and let them talk to me when they want, because I refuse to repeat the mistakes of my past and feel hurt, rejection and confusion.  I’m done with all of that.

There are many more things on my mind, but like I said, I don’t want or care to mention them all.  I’ve expressed what I’ve wanted to express, which feels like a burden lifted, although my head is still throbbing a little.  I think I just need a holiday.