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Friday, January 9, 2015

This Year Meets Us Well

*Long New Year's Post-- it's been a while okay!? :)*

Afehyia Pa! (Ah-fee-she-ah-paa) A common saying in the holiday season of Christmas and New Year to most Ghanaians. And yes, as it translates, this year meets us well. 2014 was a blessed year in its own right but to be honest, it was a very complacent year for me. I didn't feel as if I had to "do" anything but I always have something to do:). However, I had some great moments of 2014: celebrating my first year of marriage, having a fabulous summer break where I took time off from full-time teaching, being more active in my church community, and lastly, becoming a homeowner with my husband. In the past, whenever a new year rolled through, I took great pride in setting goals. I would make lists upon lists of things I want to do and achieve. I would post them on my desk and relish in crossing them off. I have kept journals of my dreams and desires and have successfully fulfilled many of them. But until recently, I found myself so overcome by my obsessive goal-setting. I think it was because many of them were the same year after year, and many were so lofty and cumbersome. So this year 2015, I will reactive that goal-setting passion of mine by coming up with reasonable and realistic goals that are not generalized or overwhelming. And I truly want to use my blog as a platform for these goals and hopefully get some of you as my virtual cheerleaders.

  •  Commit to blogging on a consistent basis

I started this blog as a way to stay in touch with friends and family about my trip to Ghana. Upon coming back, I have notably reduced in posting partly because I lost a spark of excitement. I came home and returned to doing pretty much the same things I did before I left. My dreams of working abroad were stilted to some extent and I just "didn't have anything to write about". Which is not true. I have/had plenty to write but had to take some time off for figuring out the direction of this blog. It is a lifestyle blog where I can be candid and engaged with those who love all the things I do: God, literature, family, self-awareness, Africa, and beyond. My goal is to blog weekly. Once a week. And if possible, more. If not, I commit to 52 blog posts this year.  I have a long blogroll of women whose writing inspires and entertains me. And I commit to reading more blogs, commenting, and just getting my blogger voice out there.Someone reading cares. I suppose. :)

  • Develop a true quiet time with God

I have been a born-again Christian since age 17 and this journey has been so captivating, confusing, and enlightening all at once. I have had moments in my walk that have been groundbreaking and moments where I felt like I was just a wanderer. It's a journey all right and I intend on pushing through and enjoying everyday life with my faith in Christ. I sucked at quiet time in 2014. I was so preoccupied with other things and never got that part of my life straight. But it's so necessary. Meditation, quiet time is so necessary for a growing woman. So I resolve to do better and be better about my walk. I will seek out quiet time at a set time everyday, even if it is for 15 minutes.  A big feat for me but I am going to do it. I don't want to see it as something to check off daily but I want it be something I yearn and desire for constantly. And to be honest, it will take practice because I've been out of touch.

  • Find my Style

Okay, I'm embarassed to say, I am still learning how to dress myself and know what looks good on me aside from my boring teacher clothes. This is a hard one to admit. My husband has been begging me to change up my look but I'm a bit reluctant (which I will explain further in #4). However, I know I have a pretty nice figure and I want to reflect my personality through my personal style. I always joked that if I can wear ntoma (ankara, African cloth) every day, I would...So this year I am going to learn how to build a wardrobe and not be that frantic person who runs to H&M or shamelessly to F21 whenever I have an upcoming event. And usually, I leave flustered and empty-handed... I love Shirley's sleek look, Chioma's functional style, and Delmy's savvy wears so hopefully I can channel ideas and personal taste to reveal a unique me this year.

  •  Move more, eat cleaner

A common favorite on everyone's list but a necessity on mine especially this year. I went through a strenuous and in-depth physical at the end of 2014 that really opened my eyes to how important it is to care for my body. No worries, I have a clean bill of health aside from some slight, fixable things. So getting my health straight, moving more through physical activity, and eating more whole foods is a pursuit that I will push towards until I am personally satisfied.

  • See a notable shift in my profession

This year, I finish my certificate in International Education at GWU! Yay! From volunteering in Ghana to gaining acceptance to Columbia to teaching again and now, completing my graduate certificate, I really have some places to go. I really want to put my degree to use and hopefully, get my master's in International Education in the future (if someone is paying for it!). Meanwhile, I've been reflecting on my teaching career and I am quite ready for some change. I pray that all the seeking I have been doing will end with a wonderful result.

  •  Rekindle my passion for reading

I was such a voracious reader in high school and somewhat in college. But once work started, I dropped the ball, heavy. I soon resorted to ravishing through tons of young adult novels because of my students and while those are fun, I need to get back to making my book lists and reading again. I am a part of an awesome book club and I want to make time to read and even more, write about what I read. My dear friend Clarissa  has started an e-book club on her blog so I will join in with her by creating monthly posts on a variety of books I read and posing questions or answering hers. Also, I hope to venture into more nonfiction texts as my love for fiction may cause me to be out of touch sometimes! ha!

  • Take a writing course

I teach English language and literature and I love everything about it but I tend slack when it comes to writing skills. I am not the strongest writer. I can assess, give tips, and appreciate good writing but when it comes to my own writing, I'm not proud of it. My writing is very conversational and I want to work on being more concise, sophisticated, and still relatable. Once my course with GWU is up, I am considering taking a writing course at my local community college. Or just teaching myself. Hell, that's what I went to school for:) I think I'll go back to my first love and pick up my journal again and release. All the same, I hope taking a course will allow me to let go of my inhibitions and enjoy a new and active writing community.

  •  Sew finally

I have a machine that is desperately calling my name. And with as much money I spend on my seamstress (though I love you Irene!), I think if I try hard enough, I can start putting some things together and making it work:) Yetunde, Francisca, and Mimi are all my muses. Hats off to you ladies.

  • Share myself fairly and willingly

Hubby calls me a busybody. Friends praise/complain that "I know everybody". I tend to struggle in saying no and for the most part, it's been good. I love helping others, being there for others, or just connecting with folk. I have a giving spirit and in most cases and I believe it is a blessing. Last year, I really laid low in terms of how much  of myself I give. I wasn't "everywhere" doing "everything". It was just me and mine. And it was good for me but then again, not. I don't need to overexert for others so much so that I burnout and then, withdraw. Because by withdrawing, I found myself to be a little selfish and cynical. Turning down a lot of activities because "I simply didn't have time for it". When in essence, I did have time. I just didn't want to be bothered. This year, I want to be fair in how much I give myself to others and how I use my time with others effectively. That means having limits but it also means, not holding myself completely back. There is a blessing in sharing your time, love, finances and gifts with others. But I do not want to do it so much that I neglect my personal state of mind, my marriage, or neglect those who really need me. So this year, I plan on being there for loved ones who don't see me as much, balancing my church life so that I don't make it "my life", and enjoying quality time with my husband who works long and late hours on a weekly basis. That's what it's going to be about for me this year, balance and completion in everything I do. One day at a time.

Happy New Year all. I'm back, I guess! :)


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