Dear Africana Woman,
This week was my birthday. I am a whole 37 years. I am so excited. I was a bit overwhelmed by the events of the week to be honest. There is a ton going on. I need to do an audit soon. So I guess let me share what I have learned this year and how I have evolved.
Let’s start with my vanity. Had it been two years ago, I would be the person counting how many people ONE remembered my birthday TWO how many people posted on my socials THREE keeping score of people I sent messages to and then they didn’t do anything for me. Maybe it’s not vanity but pettiness HAHAHAHA. Maybe I am the only one who used to do that. Well it’s the truth. Then I would get all worked up and upset when I don’t hit certain numbers of perceived love or something. The difference with this year and previous years is that whilst I am happy to have well wishes, my happiness is not dependent on the messages. Listen, I woke up on the 13th ...actually I also used to wait for who would be the first to send me a birthday message 🙄 (literally rolling my eyes at my foolishness). Friend, I went to bed early, because I was mad tired. When I woke up on the 13th I said my prayers, wrote in my gratitude journal and wrote my intentions for the day. My intentions were Lord surprise me, let me move with grace and ease. I pray for rest and unplug but at the same time i want to dance, reflect and give thanks.
I was like I will be cool, calm and collected today. Then I heard a message from Muma Sinkala. If you don’t know Muma, she is a professional hype gurl. Followed by a message from Kako and a surprise post from Tryphena. Cool ran out the door and I was super hyper. I was dancing, kopaling myself. Then I was expected to work *sigh hahahaha
Got into the office and to my relief everyone had forgotten it was my birthday. I say that because it’s like a pissing competition. “What are you going to do for your birthday?” and of course my answer was, “Nothing” Then there is confusion on their faces, so they follow up with, “Oh but you will do something on the weekend” and my answer is still, “No” There follows an awkward silence. You see people are uncomfortable that contentment is not attached to money. To give them credit two people eventually remembered. By noon I was done and out the door.
I think over this last year I have been learning to trust God and to trust myself more. I will explain. We are so focused on pushing ourselves to hustle and grind. ‘I will sleep when I am dead’ culture. Like friend, I am not about that life anymore. I listen to my body. When it gives me clues that you are tired, I listen and go to bed. Gone are the days when I am forcing myself to do all nighters. I feel better and I think I get more quality work done.
When it comes to trusting God, I think most of us say we trust God but don’t follow it through with our actions. Which means not worrying or trying to do everything in your own strength. This year I have been giving up more of my perceived power and giving it to God. He always comes through even though it may take some time. Here is an example. Traditionally, on my birthday I have a photoshoot. Here is the thing, there is only one person I trust to take pictures of me. I called her up a couple weeks ago and said my birthday is coming up. Can I book a session? She declined because she was working on site for a certain company. She sent me a couple photographer’s numbers. Again I don’t trust just anyone to take my pictures so I was resolved to just not do anything this year, because everything I was attempting was not panning out.
Then the afternoon of my birthday I was taken to a surprise location for a picnic, canoeing and a photoshoot. Get this, the photographer was none other than the lady I always go to. Look at GOD come through. Shout out to Eness Photography, Moxy Events, Chena Art Gallery and Nkwashi City. It was an absolutely beautiful experience.
If you remember the post in January called “The Truth is I am Broke, I am in Debt and I am Scared,” here is how I have done so far. The one thing that I was not successful at, is clearing all my debt by my birthday. When I spoke about it I was at K190, 206.30. My plan was to follow the Dave Ramsey plan. Which includes setting up your emergency fund then attacking your debt with the snowball method. So today I have my emergency fund of $1000 and my debt is at K176,538.50. It has been crazy. In July I suddenly lost 30% of my income. Not to get into the details but it literally shook me to my core. So it is an upward battle. Eye on the prize. I think I have become much better at saying no to things. People will ask me to buy things and I will say No I don't have the funds. Or I will not have a shopping spree just because it is my birthday. I am an impulsive buyer driven to spend by my emotions. Right now, I keep myself in check. I do not put pressure on myself to spend money just so I can receive outside validation through compliments. I am continuing to work on paying off my debt.
The other thing which I tried to do at the beginning of January was say that I am open to having a romantic relationship which I followed through by joining dating apps. Hahaha What a lie. I went in believing that I will not find anyone and guess what I didn’t. I think in February, Spirit worked on my spirit. I was doing the whole “I will die alone’ crying party. At which point Spirit asked me, “When will you be content? Will you stop living because you are waiting on Mr. man? If you never have a romantic relationship, is God enough?” Friend I wailed even louder. Hahaha. But Spirit was right. My purpose, contentment and joy is not linked to a man, person or thing. It comes from within. In realising this I found Security.
What am I excited about for this next year? I am excited to wake up and smile. I am excited to appreciate the beauty around me. I am excited to learn new things. I am excited to meet new people. I am excited to visit new places. I am excited for a new adventure.
What am I grateful for? I am grateful to be alive. I am grateful my body is healthy and functions well. I am grateful I have people I can call family and friends. I am grateful for music and beauty. I am grateful I have options, it truly is a privilege. So to another year, well lived. I hope you join me on this journey.
The Africana Woman is not just a blog. We have a podcast and community of Visionaries. Do take time to look around the website, subscribe and join what tickles your fancy. You can also find me on socials @Chulu_byDesign. Thank you for reading, I appreciate you. Remember to love yourself flaws n all and attract the life that you truly desire.