Live and let live

Everyone loves to be appreciated, respected, adored even. That’s why it’s not very easy to take criticism. I know some people say they love criticism and it’s good for the soul, yen yen yen, I hear you. But if we’re being honest, and you’re like me, criticism pinches the soul. You do something and think it’s the best thing after sliced bread and someone shreds it to pieces, starting with, “with all due respect” and statements following that lack all forms of respect.

That’s actually not the point of this post. I got thinking of how sometimes I’ve been told to change stuff that I can’t necessarily control; people commenting about my facial expressions, or my ‘serious behavior’ whatever that means. “You need to lighten up more”, some would say. While in my head I’m thinking “I’m pretty light as it is, thank you.” 

I’m beginning to understand that people will often offer ‘advice’ in line with what they are accustomed to. So if someone is extroverted (life of the party, friends with the entire world), they’re most likely going to encourage people to be more interactive; while an introvert will think a charismatic person is doing too much and probably wish they would tone it down a notch. But I think this is just life, this mix of persons with different approaches to things is just how it’s meant to be. We can’t all be the same.

I’ve heard people say a person is too emotional or too dramatic. As much as it may seem true on the surface, I realise that the trait that may seem exaggerated in a person is usually very essential to the purpose or calling of that person. A person who is very talkative and passionate may become an advocate or a preacher. A dramatic person might very well end up in the Entertainment industry and we all love entertainment, don’t we? See how it works? See how it all fits together?

I think I’m coming to a place where I understand the selfishness in forcing someone to change a part of who there are just because I may not understand or appreciate it. I am learning that although I may not be able to associate with all persons, I am called to love them regardless and quite frankly,  love doesn’t stress people out (1 Cor 13: 4-13).

I have enough of my own self to improve on, and I think I should save my energy doing that. So let’s leave people be, and give them room to express themselves as they are comfortable doing. Life can be hard already. Don’t add to people’s wahala.

Have a stress- free day!

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Missbigwords is 4!

Image: Pinterest

I feel like a such a mother today, or a birth-er, (I made that up, yes)like my baby has grown so quickly right under my nose. 4 years? Where did all the time go? I guess because it started out being my little secret, I didn’t realise how long I’ve had it for. If this blog was a human being, it’s name would definitely have been Moses. 😂

Anyways, I just wanted to let you know it’s the blog’s birthday today. Unfortunately I don’t have a party planned, but we can have a little get together in the comment section. Just a little chat over virtual drinks, you know, some heart to heart on why you come here and how I can take better care of you, with my content. I’m very open also to suggestions on content and collaborations if anyone has lovely stuff to share – Cc Philippians 4:8.

I’m grateful for your love and support over the years, words of encouragement, criticism, gifts, for following and sharing, thank you. I wouldn’t be writing if you weren’t reading (actually, I probably would), but it makes it more worth my while that you read.

This is to encourage someone reading to step out and start whatever thing you’ve been holding back on doing. You never know what it can become. I know it might seem daunting and you’re worried about your consistency on the journey but just start, and take it one day at a time. There are juicy opportunities waiting on the other side of your fear. They’re so good, you don’t want to miss out on them! So step out and start.

Happy 4th Year, Blog! Cheers to a good year. Cheers to more inspiration and fewer days of writer’s block. Cheers to inspiring more people to start their own blogs.

Guys, I’m accepting gifts in cash and subscriptions. If you aren’t subscribed, please hit the follow button at the bottom right of your screen and fill in your email address. For more info or enquiries, please send an email to missbigwords@gmail.com.

Thanks for always coming back here. My heart is full.

MBW

1st Quarter Review/ Highlights

I know January seemed like it would never end and the next thing we knew, there were Valentine gift options everywhere, and now, March is winding down. Just like that, the first quarter of the year is almost over.

I think it’s a good idea to reflect after short periods of time, check yourself out, see how you’re progressing with your goals and plans, give yourself a little appraisal. I’d rather do four mini appraisals a year than one big one in December; I like to check on my progress on the go. So, I’ll be sharing a brief overview of how the first quarter has been for me and a review of some of my goals.

a. Reading Culture: I wanted to improve my reading by reading one book every month. I’ve slacked a bit as I’ve read only two between January and now- Michelle Obama’s ‘Becoming’ and I’m currently reading Trevor Noah’s ‘Born A Crime’, which I should finish before the month ends.

b. Career: As a newbie in the Legal Department, I wanted to imbibe the culture of my profession and have a bite of practice. Thankfully, I got a chance to. I have appeared a couple of times in Court, sometimes alone, to handle one matter or the other. The first time, it was a bit scary, but it gradually becomes less scary the more I do it. I definitely respect lawyers more now, it’s not easy.

c. Finances: At the beginning of the year, I challenged myself to keep records of all my expenses in 2019. To achieve this, I make a note of every expense and collate them at the end of the month; it gives me an idea of how much I spend on different things.

I also wanted to save some of my income which so far, I have done. I’m hoping it can make up something worth a trip later this year, *fingers crossed. For now, I’m just putting it away.

d. More time in fellowship with God: This is one goal that makes my every list of plans I ever make. I just feel it’s so important not to feel like I’ve ever arrived, or know enough, because there’s no exhausting God. You can’t know Him in His entirety.

I’m also learning that developing a relationship is an intentional act. You have to find time to sit, read, talk to and bask in His presence. It’s a daily walk, some days are better than others, but the key is to keep going back, no matter how many times I fall.

e. Events and Networking: I attended a few events this quarter, two of which I was invited to by my friend, Banke (thanks Bee). One of the highlights for me was Google event for International Women’s Day. It held at Landmark Event Centre, VI. The event was lovely, they really just treated us, to food, drinks, a professional shoot, panel discussions, break out sessions, freebies and the opportunity to network. What’s not to love? And it was all free. We didn’t pay a dime. Nah, shoutout to Google for putting all this together. I had a good time, and learned a bit more about #BalanceforBetter, the theme for this year’s Women’s Day celebration.

An image from the photoshoot at the Google event for Women. |Credit: @poshclickportraiture

f. Something New: I met a couple of people at events in recent times over the last quarter but two of them had what I considered interesting job descriptions. I thought their answer to my ‘what do you do’ was pretty unique- I’d never heard it before. One was an Agile Coach and the other a Design Consultant. (Please let me know in the comments if you’ve heard of these professions before, or any other unique ones you know). It’s so cool how there is a variety as to career choices and paths. Choose wisely, kids.

Me and my friends, Banke and Mo’ at Salsa

g. Other Matters: You know how there’s always a giveaway or raffle draws and people are always winning things. That has never been me, but a few weeks ago my story changed! I won a SPAR gift card! I was one of 10 people who came back from the breakout sessions first and that was our reward. I also won a cash prize for being one of the most punctual attendees at a Career Expo, which corpers were told to attend in place of their CDS.

My sister came to town briefly for a meeting, I went to Salsa with some friends and my Editor-in-Chief aka friend turned sister, got engaged! *insert dancing emoji. Also, I just want to take a moment to thank God for the proximity of my office to home. It’s a gift that I hardly get into any traffic. Y’all celebrate Jesus with me.

My Sister and I

This is it for me, how has your first quarter been? What are the highlights? Have you met any interesting people or heard any job descriptions that made you rethink your own? Let’s hear it in the comments. And kindly subscribe if you like the content here.

Have a good weekend!

MBW

A Seat at the Table #IWD2019

It’s International Women’s Day today! It doesn’t feel like a year since I wrote a post about 5 amazing women for last year’s celebration. The United Nations theme for this year’s International Women’s day is “Think Equal, Build Smart, Innovate for change”.

According to the United Nations, the theme will focus on innovative ways in which gender equality and the empowerment of women can be advanced. This theme is to continue the conversation, one which started and is forever ongoing, on gender equality and the inclusion of the experiences of women and girls in the advancement of technology. Basically, we’re poking the women flag a littler higher into the air and saying “Hey, we’re here too, and we need some more room.”

And this is a good thing. Women should be represented, our views heard, and our experiences taken into consideration. My only concern is that we don’t get so carried away agitating to be given a ‘seat at the table’ that we can’t deliver when we get there. I’m all for women to be included and have equal opportunities, but I’m even more pleased to see a woman holding her own wherever she is, so that no one is hinging her errors solely on her gender. That’s what you can put some respect on. We have talked the talk long enough, are we ready to deliver? Everyone is looking for results; no one really cares whether you are male or female if you can deliver.

Self-evaluation is the best way to grow. Asking questions and giving candid answers to yourself might be hard, but it’s needful. Do we go the extra mile in our work? Are we adding value? Are we seeking out solutions to the problems we spot and not just seeing all the loopholes only? Can we be counted on to keep our word? Can our employers be sure that we will show up to work, even on a rainy day and not suddenly fall ill? Do we treat our subordinates with an iron hand and a good heart, or an iron hand only? (They’re human beings too and #WeRiseByLiftingOthers, or is it just all hash tags and no action?

Much different from the UN, this year’s celebration is a reflective one for me. I’m asking myself these questions. I am evaluating my goals and trying to ensure that I practice the things I preach. I am learning to think through my actions and not just do what the world’s template specifies. I am learning more about myself, my faith, and the things I like. I am looking out for friends and showing up to support them because they matter. I am reading books, learning and adjusting where necessary. I am accepting responsibilities for the things I do and saying “no” where I actually cannot. I am in the running to live my best life! I hope you are too.

Happy International Women’s Day! #BalanceforBetter

InternationalWomensDay2019
Photo Credit: http://www.internationalwomensday.com

 

International Mother Language Day

I learnt, only a few minutes ago actually, that today is International Mother Language Day. If like me, you didn’t know there was an international day for that, you’re not alone, and now you know!

International Mother Language Day (IMLD) is celebrated across the world on February 21st annually. It was first announced by UNESCO in 1999, and it aims to promote and preserve linguistic and cultural diversity.

Mother language is not exactly a person’s mother’s language, although it could be. Mother language or mother tongue or native language is the first language learned at home, usually from parents. This is why a lot of people say English is not their first language because they learned it in school and not at home.

A lot of people take pride in knowing and speaking their native language and I may be wrong, but I think people who live outside of their home country are more intentional about speaking their language. It’s like a vocal badge of identity, and a means of staying culturally relevant in a place away from ‘home’. They are intentional about teaching their children and speaking it to them.

I once visited a Kenyan family who lived in Germany. I was impressed by the language distribution dynamic that was at play between the couple and their toddler. The mother spoke only Swahili to her son at home, the father spoke English, and he learnt German in school. Isn’t he so fortunate to be raised as a multi linguist?

Today, a good number of people speak their mother language while others don’t. I belong to the latter group, unfortunately. My dad always takes the blame for the inability of my siblings and I to speak our native language because he didn’t speak it to us growing up. I’m slightly jealous of people who can speak their native language and so fluently as well. I still want to learn Igbo and Hausa, because I think they are beautiful in their unique ways. This is while constantly working on my very shaky Yoruba.

As far as I’m concerned, language is the only way culture can be passed from one generation to another. Plus some things are just best in a native language -songs, idioms, names, proverbs; they are just deeper in meaning in a way that English language can’t convey. Can you speak your mother language? Leave a comment in your native language and the interpretation too, please 🙂

Happy International Mother Language Day!