The first rule of Life Club? Welcome to the greatest 5-part-series in blog posts about: Life Clubs. We have ALL the rules…

Love yourself before others. Respect yourself before you respect others. Understand yourself before you try to understand others. Find the beauty in yourself before you see it in others. The reality is this: we are born before we meet anyone else. So, if we cannot put ourselves first, we will always be shortchanged, undervalued and underrated.

First Rule of ‘Life Club’: Me. I am the first rule.

❤️

28

Hello. I’m blogging because I’ve been in a very reflective mood of late… In case you’ve missed it, today, I turned 28.

This blog post has been a long time in the making, I actually drafted it last month and didn’t publish it until today, to mark the occasion.

Let me start by listing 28 things I love about myself… I’ve learned that in life, unless you love yourself first, it’s impossible for anyone else to love you. People can admire us, be fond of us, but if we sell ourselves short and undersell ourselves, we won’t be taken seriously.

1) I love my personality

I’m crazy. I’m unique. I’m authentic. I’m myself. I have never tried to be anyone else, even though I’ve been misunderstood, undervalued, underestimated and been an outcast. I’ve spent enough years in my own company to realise that at some stage, I will meet people exactly like me. Or, at least, people who accept my level of crazy.

2) I love my honesty

I am very transparent. I will always put my hands up, and be the first to admit defeat. If I cannot be honest, I am not being true to myself.

3) I love my weaknesses & flaws

This has taken a long time… I spent many, many years disliking myself and the things that made me feel weak. I realised that disliking myself wasn’t doing me any favours. The only thing that would, is challenging these weaknesses and trying to make them a strength. If I failed at that, at least I’d tried.

4) I love my eyes

Eyes are the window to the soul. I’d hope that my soul is one of good. I love Thomas Edison enough for it (my soul) to be lit like Diwali.

5) I love my smile

As corny as this is, I love my smile. The reason? I’ve smiled at times when all I’ve wanted to do is cry – and it’s led me to actually feeling a little better.

6) I love my laugh

When I really, really, laugh… It’s silent. I feel winded afterwards. Laughter is a sign of great times.

7) I love my energy

People who know me personally have told me time and time again that my energy is “infectious”, so – if you want to be around me, make sure you’ve been vaccinated.

8) I love my talents

I don’t have many talents, but the ones I’m blessed with – I love and nurture. I sing and I write. They’re the two talents of mine that I really practice.

9) I love my strengths

My strengths are what make me, me. In the same way that my weaknesses do, my strengths are the stuff that have brought me to being the person I am today. I rely on my strengths a lot more when I’m feeling weak.

10) I love my passion

I’m passionate.

11) I love my determination

I don’t give up unless something is out of my control.

12) I love my faith

This is number one. But, I’ve put it here because this is in no way chronological. “Let go and let God”.

13) I love my imagination

I’m creative and I’m vivid in my imagination. I believe my imagination knows no bounds.

14) I love my forward-thinking

So, while you all are in 2019, I’m in 2022. That helps and hinders… If my plans don’t go my way, hindrance… If they do? Boom. I dreamt it, now it’s time to live it.

15) I love my quick-wit

Fast and humorous.

16) I love my Sims

Some think the first step to starting a family is owning a pet, wrong. The first step to starting a family is playing Sims and building one. Virtual reality ain’t called “virtual reality” for nothing!

17) I love my optimism

I’m very optimistic. Some would call me a ‘dreamer’, in fact… Scrap that. Most would. But the reality is this: 96% of the things I’ve dreamt have become a reality – timing is of the essence.

18) I love my ability to learn quickly

My learning is as quick as my wit in most cases… There’s some lessons I’ve taken a longer while to learn, but for the most part, I’m quick.

19) I love my tenacity

I suffer from anxiety and depression in my own way, but I’ve never let my depression and anxiety stop me from putting myself out there if it’s something I truly, truly want. The way I think of things is this: “if you want something you’ve never had, you’ll have to do something you’ve never done.” Nothing great ever came from comfort zones. The anxiety, tension and stress you’ll feel when you rip the band-aid off is short-lived when compared with the length of time we’ve spent agonising about the anxiety, depression and tension we’ll feel when ripping it off. Not everyone has that, and I’m beginning to understand that.

20) I love how I’ve grown

I’ve come along way from what I used to be like… I never used to understand others, but I realised that the reason for this was because I didn’t understand myself. This is key. Understand to be understood. Listen to be listened to. Love to be loved. I used to think everyone’s minds and hearts worked like mine. The beauty of life is that we’re all different. I no longer spend my time expecting too much from people, because there’s things I can’t give people – in the exact same way there’s stuff they can’t give me. Accept what you are given, don’t think about what you’re not.

21) I love who I’m becoming

I’m becoming Kate Middleton.

22) I love my experiences

You have to be okay with your past in order to better your present and improve your future. I’ve finally come to terms, to the best of my ability, with my past. I no longer resent anything and I am no longer a victim.

23) I love my fashion-sense

I’m a bit quirky with my fashion sense. I love clothes. I love sneakers. I actually bought a Christian Louboutain sneaker because I can’t wear high-heels and I do not conform to the ‘women wear stilettos’ stereotype.

24) I love how close I’m getting to the 28th thing I love

Yeah, no – but seriously… I love that I’m now 28. I’ve wanted to grow up since I was little. I don’t think anyone understood me, but I’ve always wanted to be in mature people’s company. When I was growing up, I had more friends in the teachers than I did my peers. Growing up, I felt more mature than my classmates in most things – bar my humour.

25) I love maths but unable to do long multiplications

Fact. I am the weirdest person for loving things I can’t do… Another thing to include in this list is: dancing.

26) I love my love of animals

Giraffes specifically. Also, growing up, I used to have an insect hospital, where I used to help bees fly by putting a mixture of sugar and water on a spoon. I also used to collect Daddy Long Legs and let them fly around the assembly hall scaring everyone. Nowadays, I just let spiders sleep in my room and evacuate to the sofa in the living room. They’re web developers, so they earn and pay their way.

27) I love my sneakers & boots collection

This is more about how I’ve earned the luxury goods I own. Every time I open a box of my favourite sneakers that I’ve probably never worn, I think of the hard work I put in to get it. That’s life. You get out what you put in. I only have the luxuries I have because I’ve worked darn hard to earn them. I’ve forever been that way and will continue forevermore.

28) I love being blessed

I’m blessed and that is a blessing.

Now, let’s move on to things I’m grateful for… This will go quicker, I promise.

1) God

2) Family

3) Friends

4) Work

5) A roof over my head

6) My talents (already mentioned above)

7) My strengths (same)

8) My weaknesses (same) – if we didn’t have weaknesses, we wouldn’t recognise our strengths

9) My good days

10) My bad days (same) – if we didn’t have bad days, we wouldn’t know what good ones felt like

11) My education

12) My accomplishments

13) My life-experiences (even though I’m 28, I’ve experienced a lot already. Obviously, there will always be someone who’s experienced more than us, but it’s a blessing to have experienced this much – it makes me resilient)

14) My ability to count (because: this post)

15) Pets (our neighbours’ cats and friends’ adorable doggos)

16) My talents

17) People who believe in me

18) People who are patient with me at times when, if the shoe was on the other foot, I’d have struggled. (I’m a handful, and I know and am changing that)

19) The people who refuse to give up on me

20) The people who understand me and understood me in times when I didn’t even understand myself

21) Lessons I’ve learned

22) Bubbles that have been burst (in life, we have to take the rough with the smooth)

23) Health (good health is wealth)

24) Mastering the act of gratitude. (If I hadn’t had mastered the act of gratitude, I wouldn’t have all these things to be grateful for)

25) I’m grateful for the love I’ve received

26) I’m grateful for the constructive criticism that I’ve received

27) I’m grateful for the things I have and the things I don’t, the things I will and the things I won’t – because life is ours, and it’s what we make of it

28) You. I’m grateful for you. Always

LOVE

‪I don’t ‘date’ because I don’t want to spend time with other people’s eventual spouses. Having said that, I’m not sitting around twiddling my thumbs… What I am doing is being my true authentic self, living my life with the understanding that what’s meant for me will find me.‬

‪I’ve dated in the past and nothing came of it. I’m not knocking it, because a lot of people I know are in relationships with people they met through dating apps. For me, it’s just not something that seems to work. Maybe I’m the problem? Who knows… One thing I do know is this:‬

‪What’s for us will never pass us. At the right time, in the right place, what will be, will be (with whom it’s meant to be). It’s never too late or too early.

deep sleep

We all deserve a deep sleep.

Wide-eyed and struggling to switch off? This soporific decoction will help you doze off. Lavender and German chamomile flowers are wrapped in biodegradable muslin, infusing in the warm water to create a hypnotic blend. As lavender balances, neroli alleviates worries, clearing your mind until you begin to…Zzzz

Right. I don’t sleep. I haven’t slept since October 8 1991, the day before my mum gave me the push I needed – birthingly.

But, I’ve been noticing my anxiety getting out of control recently, and bought this to calm me down, as I heard it’s very relaxing.

I’ve started a new Sunday Ritual whereby I pop a Lush bathbomb in my tub and apply a Lush face-mask to unwind before the new week, and this has to be my favourite instalment of it so far. It’s definitely blog-worthy, for its ability to relax my anxiety alone.

Look, I can’t say it’s helped me sleep, only because – as I’ve said – I’m awful at it (and I bathed earlier than my usual bedtime). I’m wired to American time, even though I live in England and it’s been this way since my previous job, and frequently travelling there for holidays since.

(It also doesn’t help that I’m iller than Illinois right now. The MF’n illest! ‘Mansour flu’ be BADT & BOUJEEEEE 🤟)

I’m kinda like New York, in that I never sleep… But, I’m sure it helps even the most insomniac. Also, the time I used it didn’t help either – I’m sure you’ll agree 5pm is not a time for bed!

Having said that, I have been in and out of naps all weekend. I’ve only got up for water – to drink or bathe (not at the same time or in the same sitting, obvs).

However, I can confirm that the deep purple water I bathed in (which this bathbomb emitted) chilled me out massively, and my anxiety is a lot more manageable.

What face-mask did I use? Brazend Honey. It’s my absolute favourite, aside from Prince of Darkness.

Lavender is the greatest, and there are loads of pure and very real lavender cuttings inside.

I just love everything about this bathbomb, it’s so unique and beautiful. It smells amazing too.

Top Tip: After it finished infusing the bath water (before I dipped in), I took the bathbomb out and squeezed the excess water and placed the cloth/bag over my eyes as a pillow. It worked wonders and smelt like a field of lavender.

smily

Smile, even if you can’t or don’t want to – be smily. Our minds trick us into thinking we’re happy each time we smile.

Also, laughter yoga exists. Just laugh, even without reason. Eventually, when you’ve done it for long enough, you’ll find a reason to/remember a pleasant memory.

Everything will work out for the good and be alright in the end. If it’s not alright, it’s not the end.

Finally, please remember that it’s a bad day or a bad phase, not a bad life.