Lessons from the Little Robe

So lately, my youngest sister and I have been spending a lot of time together. During our teenaged years, we weren’t close but I’ve come to really appreciate our growing closeness. As I get older, I realize that family truly means a lot.

Enough with the sappy-ness. Here are a few lessons I’ve picked up from the younger “Robe”, my bighead-in-crime.

Lesson #1:

Don’t take yourself too seriously. Wind down. Be silly! Be sillier! If you feel like singing at the top of your lungs to some of your favorite lyrics, do it! Let down your hair and just embrace your silly inner child. Don’t hold back because the crowd is watching. They are all awaiting a similar permission to be free. As we Jamaicans would say “be fool fool and nuh watch nuh face.”

Lesson #2:

Be unapologetically you. Sometimes I spend a lot of time time trying to fit into the image that people have of me. To my mother, I’m the responsible daughter who factors her family’s needs into all decisions. To my coworkers, I’m the one who always delivers, sometimes at the expense of myself. To my friends, I’m the one with the advice who seems to always have it together.

Honestly, being all that all the time is exhausting. One of the things I’ve come to recognize is that despite putting your all to meet others expectations, you will still end up not meeting all. On top of that, people will forget all the great stuff you have accomplished, the moment they think you slipped up.

The best strategy then is to live for you. Be you! Live for your expectations! Anything else is just pure madness.

Lesson #3:

Use the brakes. This one will always be a joke between us. My first driving lesson, I took a corner and panicked when I realized there was a car on the curb that I couldn’t bypass quickly enough. My sister kept yelling “Brake! Brake!” as the car connected with the one on the curb. Over time, I’ve come to utilize the warning “brake” in my daily life.

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Not everyone is doing IT…

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As I was getting ready for work this morning, the Bible story about Elisha complaining to God about him being the only one in Israel who haven’t bowed to Baal came to me. What resounded in my head was God’s reply.

Yet I have left me seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed unto Baal, and every mouth which hath not kissed him.
1 Kings 19:18

We live in a world where sometimes it seems like everyone is doing IT and we are the only ones not doing IT. This I admit can be pretty lonesome especially when we begin to feel pressured to do IT. What is the IT you ask? The IT is all the things you know you shouldn’t be doing for various reasons whether they are societal or personal reasons.

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It is time to leave your comfort zone

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A year ago, I reached a place where I felt like I wasn’t growing. I felt like I wasn’t going anywhere. I felt stagnant. I had dreams and visions in mind but I saw no fit manner to achieve them. I was doing so much but I felt as though what I was reaching for was always just outside my reach and no matter how far I stretched, my aim always eluded me. I had grown stagnant in my professional, personal and spiritual life and this stagnancy sucked me in almost as though I was standing in quicksand.

It is strange but have you ever noticed that when you have worn out a plot of land, you have to leave it for another plot and give it time to recuperate? It is the same with life. Sometimes we have to leave our comfort zone, what is familiar to us, and move afar from the shore. I was just reading of how the disciples of Jesus left their comfort to pursue a ministry that was hard and it is for this that they are remembered, for this that they gained the greatest prize of all, salvation.

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The Subject of Crying

Maybe no one told you that there was strength in your tears. – Kelly Clarkson

I used to be one of those females who believed that crying was a sign of weakness. Well, it should be the flip as crying doesn’t show that you are weak but rather that you have strength. It takes strength to show others that you are vulnerable. One of the things that have really struck me is that although tears show considerable strength, we tend to apologize anytime we become emotional in the presence of a group or others – especially if we don’t know them well. I had to ask myself: ” Why do we do that?  Why is it not okay to become emotional whenever we want?”

Here are a few reasons why tears, whether in public or private, are okay.

  1. Tears enable us to get in touch with our deepest feelings. Unless you’re putting on a really good act, eating onions, or acting in a movie scene, tears express the rawest emotions within. We have all had moments when a really amazing gift or gesture had brought tears to our eyes. We cry when we share moments of great elation with others. There are many times, I’ve laughed until I began crying. Tears are also an expression of grief at endings or the loss of those who are precious to us.

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23rd Birthday Musings

Yesterday I saw this post in Facebook feed.

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This was a post I had written on my last day as an eighteen year old. I don’t know what I was thinking when I wrote this but it captured a piece of me that have been simmering for some time since then. I’m still smiling, still have a temper when I’m ready (though it has been honed) and Jesus and I are still having fun but I’m no longer as childish as I was then. Growing up does that to you.

Wow year 22 has ended and year 23 has begun. I can’t help but think of all the changes that I’ve undergone since year 18. I finished high school and university and changed jobs, said goodbye to my childhood and met and changed many friends. Hot potatoes! That’s a lot of changes but I learned a lot a long the way and for that I am grateful:

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A Letter to My 10 Year Old Self

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Hi Chan, knowing you the way I do, you are no doubting trying to figure how it was possible for this letter to get to you. Stop focusing on that, focus on the words of wisdom I’m about to impart to you after 22 years on earth.

At this point, I know you are still hurting over Daddy’s death but don’t worry, everything is going to be okay. One day you will wake up and be able to remember the good times you had with him without tearing up.

Sweetheart, you won’t be good at everything it’s okay. Failing is not the end of the world. You are still a poor dancer (although you now have a lot more rhythm) and you still suck at music but be okay with it. Work on your strengths and ensure you are happy with whatever you choose to do.

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Mediocrity and Lackadaisical-ism

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So I’m a person who likes to be prepared. If I say I’m going to do something, I will do my research and try to ensure that I am ready so that it gives me some peace of mind and an ability to relax when it is time to showcase what I need to showcase.

One of my annoying (to my friends) habits is that if I have a deadline for Monday, I will try to be prepared from even the Friday before so that I have enough time to get familiar with the information and so that I can set my mind and self for whatever issues may come up.

One of my greatest pet peeves when working with a team is when a member/members of the team treats the thing that we are supposed to be working on lightly and then screws up the entire presentation of the work. I’m so serious about this that I will get really pissed (even if I don’t stay pissed long)! I hate mediocre work and I don’t like delivering mediocrity. Going in as a team means you have to end up taking collective responsibility when mediocrity is delivered even when you busted your ass off preparing.

Mediocrity will get you nowhere. Mediocrity will only let you remain among mediocre people because mediocre is only excellence in the eyes of mediocre people. When mediocrity is intolerable that is when success is inevitable. SUCCESS is what I’m aiming for….

 

XOXO
Chañel