Saturday, July 9, 2016

‎ Thanks for the memories, San Diego :) ‎

I've been trying to think of something good to write about my last six months in San Diego. I wanted to write something that would perfectly describe how beautiful it is, words that honored my feelings. I can't. I don't even know where to start. I can't wrap up the experience in one post. I have thousands of pictures (literally) that I hoard because I'm postponing having to put them up. It's overwhelming to gain so much in such a short amount of time. To have so many amazing memories with so many amazing people (in addition to the wonderful people I already know) feels unreal and embarrassingly extravagant . 

I wonder how I got so lucky.‎

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

"Progress not Perfection"

A few months ago I wrote about the phrase, "be kind to yourself" and what it meant to me.

I recognized that for a good part of my life I went through this cycle of abandon, guilt and then punishment when it came to my physical appearance.

I decided to stop. I stopped comparing myself to others, I stopped depriving myself to fit into a mold, I stopped feeling guilty. I stopped thinking or I tried to. I'd be lying if I said I succeeded in undoing years of programming that taught me I wasn't the standard when it came to beauty. The motivation, however, behind it all was to be kind to myself.  I think in that respect, I'm loads better.

Now it's time for me to re-interpret what being kind to myself means in my life. For me, I believe what we put in and on our bodies is important. I believe what we consume has the power to heal and that everything we need to be our healthiest and happiest is provided by the earth.

So as I approach 30, it's really important to me that I make my health a priority. I choose to do that by consuming foods that will serve a purpose in my body and by making sure I'm strong.

I'm sharing this on social media because I want us all to think about ways we can be kind to ourselves. Sometimes that means not beating yourself up for having a slutty brownie or three. Other times, it means drinking your green smoothie and working out.

Balance :)

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Be Kind To Yourself

I moved to San Diego to learn some things about myself and it's definitely happening.

My friends tell me all the time that I'm too hard on myself. I am... but in a very funny way. I think it's good when you can poke fun of your flaws and shortcomings; I'd rather tease myself than take myself too seriously or become one of those people that actually think their shit doesn't stink.

With that said, I've noticed that people I've only known for a month are saying the same thing. ‎

I was talking to my new roommate and joked about something (probably my ass) and he said "it's better to come from a place of positivity when you're trying to change something you know?" 

Whoa. ‎

First of all: Yes, Jack. Yes.‎

Second of all: What kind of energy am I putting out there that makes people notice that I'm my harshest critic?  ‎

I'm ready to change.

First order of business? I'm going to be kind to myself.

It's the phrase I constantly repeat to myself these days. Be kind to yourself. I think we all could do a better job of showing ourselves some compassion. I'm applying this way of thinking to every aspect of my life.

For example, when it comes to my body, I am way too fixated on looking a certain way. I had a folder of over 300 pics of women's bodies I wanted on my phone. I write "had" because I just deleted all of them. It's one thing to be inspired by someone, it's another thing entirely to value her or his body over your own.‎

Every time I want to beat myself up for not being skinnier, more successful, better at adulting, I'm going to remind myself to be kind. It's not about excuses, being lazy, becoming complacent. It's about continuing to push oneself to do better out of love instead of hate. It's about ackowledging my successes instead of harping on my failures and it's about making sure everything I do is coming from a place of positivity.

Who's with me?

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Hi, I'm Juwon and Sometimes I'm Sad.

It’s okay to admit that you’re not okay, take the necessary steps to take care of yourself, and work on making things better. Not only is it okay, it’s really important.

Bad things happen to all of us. I’ve said it before but it bears repeating: what these past few years have taught me is that a “good life” isn’t about the ways you are blessed, it’s about getting up and walking forward when everything goes to shit.

 I wrote about my father’s death a lot on my blog. And I’ve written about my brother-in-law’s death. It’s not a fun, light topic so I’ve been reluctant to really open up about it, especially to strangers who don’t know me or my family.

 I sometimes wonder if part of that reluctance to write about the more personal aspects of my life stems from fear of judgement. I certainly don't want to be looked at differently or considered "emotionally fragile". I don't identify with that; if anything I see myself and anyone else who has been through some tough situations as a hardcore motherfucker.

Anyway, I want to help people and I’m hoping "sharing" does.

I have a lot of experience being a caretaker. It’s not easy. It’s physically and emotionally exhausting and if you’re not careful, it can really put you in a funk. I found myself in that exact situation in 2015. I recognized that while I was busy taking care of others and - let’s be honest - distracting myself, I was not taking caring of myself. Physically I was fine but I wasn't taking care of my mental health and I wasn’t even praying anymore.

I kept myself busy with anything I could because if I stopped for a second to self-reflect, I would burst into tears. I knew I needed to take care of what was going on before it became a problem.

A lot of people were confused about my move. When I wrote my last post and mentioned how I still struggle with the death of my dad, brother-in-law and dog, some reached out and told me they had no idea I was so sad. I think I speak for everyone who has ever lost a loved one when I say you never stop being sad about it. I think over time we adapt and learn to live as the people our experiences have made us.

That's what I'm trying to do.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Why San Diego?

Some people have asked me why I moved to San Diego. There are so many factors that went into making this decision.

 One: I HATE winter in the Northeast.

 I hate it. Snow is stupid, being cold is the worst. To me, hell is a frozen wasteland where I have to shovel all day every day while my hat keeps on sliding off, the wind feels like a slap to the face, my lips are cracking and I can't feel my fingers and toes.

 So the weather was a huge reason.  Also, this lady on a plane told me to.

I was on my way to Nigeria from NYC with a layover in Paris and I was seated next‎ to this French lady on the way to visit her mother. We chatted about books mostly and then she asked where I lived. At the time, I was in CT with Yemi. I asked her where she lived. She replied, "San Diego". She met her American husband in France and followed him back to SD and she's lived there since.

She talked about how beautiful it is and I told her I always wanted to live there. She then asked me, "are you married?"
 I said no. 
 She asked, "do you have kids?"
 I said no.
 She looked at me and said "what's stopping you?"

 The lady made a very valid point.
 It took me a couple of years but I made it, nice French lady.

 Aside from that, I decided to move to San Diego because my heart is broken.

Is that too honest? Well, it's the truth.

 Dad, Jay, Scooby. Losing them hurt so much and I never dealt with it. I just threw myself into looking after my loved ones so I didn't have to address my feelings too deeply.

I'll get into this more another time since it's so heavy and this post was meant to be easy breezy, like all of my stereotypical assumptions about Californians.

 Long story short, I decided to move to San Diego because I wanted to enjoy sorting myself out while wearing a sundress.

Has anyone ever moved to another town for a random reason? I'd love to read about the experience that led you to where you are now.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

West Coast Living in 2016

"I want to love all of my life as much as I love this night".

That’s a quote from this book series l love (shout-out to authors Christina Lauren and to Laineygossip for recommending their romance novels).

 I didn’t remember that quote until I was in NY one night with my friends, laughing (I don’t remember about what) and it hit me. I understood what the protagonist meant when she said she wanted to love all of her life as much as she loved the moment she was in. 

 New York was supposed to be a bon voyage of sorts for me. A goodbye to my twenties if you will. A goodbye to selfish asshole living. A goodbye to nights fueled by vodka and Redbull. A goodbye to cheese (for real this time). 

 Anyway, it was my summer of fun. It was great. It was exactly what I needed when I needed it.

 Do I have to say goodbye?

 I mean, I’m okay saying goodbye to cheese. What really made this summer great was feeling like I was an active participant in the world again. It was the feeling that I was actually living, I was working towards something, I was experiencing, learning, discovering. No one should ever say goodbye to the things that make them grateful to be alive.

 Being in love with every aspect of your life is an amazing feeling. I decided to chase that feeling. 

 I chased it to San Diego.  So I'm in California now.

Don't ask me to explain why, this post is already way too long.

Everything about life right now is new, terrifying, and exciting! I'm in a completely new place and I don't have my tribe of amazing family and friends to rely on. I have to be everything for myself right now.

 I am so far away from my comfort zone, I don't even remember where it is, guys.  But that's when things get interesting, right?