musings

On Pressure and Expectations

As someone who places an incredible amount of pressure on myself, crippling self-doubt and unrealistic expectations are two things I am well versed in. I know that this is something that many people struggle with too, and it can be so exhausting to try and navigate.

There is a quote that reads “diamonds are coal that did well under pressure”. These are the types of quotes that make me hate Pinterest. And I love Pinterest. We live in a society that glorifies working yourself to the bone to achieve something, even if it is at the expense of your mental health and physical wellbeing. I’m here to tell you this – we’ve got to stop. And I say “we” because I’m talking about myself too. It can be so easy to get caught up in trying to achieve highly all the time. But sometimes, this is not realistic and can be unsustainable.

Now, I’m not saying that we shouldn’t have goals or aspirations. I believe that having a clear purpose or goal is one of the most important elements to achieving success, no matter what area of your life it falls under. Goals motivate us, keep us going and remind us why we started. But. They can also overwhelm us, and make us lose sight of how well we’re already achieving. It gets to a point where nothing feels good enough. This is not a happy or healthy place to be.

Recently I’ve come to realise just how critical I am of myself. I’ve had to think about whether I’m doing more harm than good, and challenge my thought patterns which I previously just took as “being driven”. I have also realised that when I don’t achieve some ridiculous goal I’ve set for myself, the only person who is mad about it is me.

I’ve learnt that sometimes, it’s not worth the drama. It’s not worth the “its not good enough” dialogue that seems to play out constantly in my head, and that not getting a 90 on a test doesn’t mean much in the grander scheme of things. Life will go on.

So, here’s to being a little kinder to myself. To giving myself a little more room for error. To breathe. To be a human being. I hope you’ll join me.

September Musings

I know I’m not alone in saying that 2019 has simply flown by. Next week we go into the final quarter of the year! It almost feels unreal. My online presence this year has been erratic to say the least. School has been busy and life in general has not left much time for my usual pastimes. I’m back nonetheless to do a bit of blogging – things feel a bit slower right now so it feels like a good time to pop back in.

It’s been an emotional rollercoaster of a month for South Africans. August is Women’s Month, and September saw violent, horrific crimes committed against the women in our country. Like many women and men alike, it has left me feeling incredibly overwhelmed, helpless and scared. All of this  has been weighing heavily on me and I’ve found myself having to take a step back every so often just to calm down and collect myself. It’s been quite a thing to navigate.

On a happier note though, there has also been so much good! The summer is approaching, which means that Cape Town experiences all the seasons in a seven-day period. Think sweater weather one day and beach weather the next. The sun has such a wonderful effect on me and always makes me feel uplifted and happy, so I’m grabbing any opportunity to soak up some sun as the warmer weather approaches us.

I’m hoping to do some more writing over here over the next few months. It feels so unreal that I started this little blog when I first started high school, and here I am, finishing off high school (but hopefully not blogging) next month.

It’s been a wild ride – thanks for sticking it out with me!

Nabeela x

Lately 07

We’re almost a quarter way through 2019, and it feels unreal how fast time is flying by. Getting closer to the end of a chapter of your life is bittersweet – you want it to come and you also never want it to come, all at the same time.

I have been busy to say the least! You may have noticed that both my blog and Instagram have been a little quieter than usual, and that is due to the huge workload and other responsibilities that have been consuming most of my time as of late. As a result, making stuff and writing for the blog hasn’t been very high on my to-do list (but I do want to get back into it a little in my one week of holidays coming around soon).

Next week, I’m off for the week on a beautiful river just outside of South Africa and I’m looking so forward to a week of sunshine, sand, paddling, no phone or signal, and spending time with my friends.

Lately, I have been:

listening to: a bunch of music on Spotify, including all the Sabrina Claudio, and Post Malone (always, always, always).

reading: Grit by Angela Duckworth. Just got into this one, and I’ve heard its a goodie, so I’m looking forward to that.

wearing: this body mist from the Body Shop that smells like a garden in a bottle.

using: this face cream from simply bee

writing: lots in my journal to try and keep calm and stay zen. I also wrote for issue 10 of Comeback magazine.

bullet journaling: to stay on top of all my schoolwork

trying my best to: live in the moment, and enjoy every second of my last year of school

all the love

Nabeela x

Seventeen Musings

As we get older, we often overlook our personal growth. Whilst it’s easy to see it in others, it is only upon close introspection that one can notice it in oneself. We often grow up to be very different from how we visualized our future selves when we were younger.

That’s not a good thing or a bad thing. Its just how life is. Maybe you thought you were going to be a doctor, and now, once you’ve been through the education system, you’ve realized that just isn’t for you. Maybe you just wanted to be a princess. (Hey, we can’t all be Meghan Markle, but a girl can dream).

Either way, another trip around the sun means another year of memories, dreams, goals, achievements, failures (in whatever light you choose to view that word), and ultimately, growth. Here are 17 things I’ve learned up until now.

  1. As cliche as it sounds, being comfortable in your own skin and accepting yourself, no matter what stage of life you’re going through, is one of the (if not the) biggest contributing factors to your happiness.
  2. Trust your gut. That thing knows what’s up.
  3. You don’t have to be best friends with every single person you’ll ever meet. And that’s okay. 
  4. Things are not always going to go the way you planned. That is also okay. And a totally normal part of life.
  5. With time, you’ll learn who your true friends are. It’ll be hard, but also worth it.
  6. Don’t underestimate your own strength and the ability of time to heal.
  7.  Sometimes, when you think you’re really going to miss someone, you realize that life goes on and if they’re meant to be in your life, they will be.
  8. If it’s meant for you, it’ll come for you. (Really been living by this this year. It can be hard. But its the truth!)
  9. Just because someone is older than you doesn’t mean they’re right.
  10. It’s okay to have close friends with different opinions. Every debate and discussion doesn’t have to (and shouldn’t really) end with the other person having completely changed their opinion.
  11. If you’re unhappy about something, speak up. Sometimes (but not all the time) that’s all that’s needed to make some change.
  12. Not everyone is going to like you. That’s okay. You weren’t made to be loved by everyone.
  13. Social media is not, I repeat NOT, real life.
  14. The more comfortable you become with yourself, the less power other people’s opinions will have over you.
  15. Happiness doesn’t just come naturally to everyone. And its virtually impossible to explain to someone who’s never experienced it. Be kind. Be patient. Be supportive.
  16. Sometimes, being kind is more important than being right, contrary to what your ego might tell you.
  17. It’s okay to say no to things that just aren’t your thing. It doesn’t make you less cool/teenager-ish/attractive/whatever other rubbish people like to tell us. Just do you. Be yourself. It’s the best thing you can be.

I want to leave you with these wise words that really resonate with me and the kind of life I’m working to build.

“i have what i have and i am happy. i’ve lost what i’ve lost and i am still happy.” – outlook / Rupi Kaur 

Nabeela x

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