A Journey Moving Forward

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It’s been a while since I came online here and on Facebook. I’ve been extremely busy. In the last 2- 3 weeks, I’ve bought a new domain for this blog, launched a website (Find it at http://www.youthdive.com ) and gotten new clients and new phases in my life. It’s been hectic and I’ve grown so much in the time I’ve been absent.

I’m writing this to tell all my beautiful readers that I’m taking this blog down a different route. I don’t want to spring on you a couple of articles to confuse you as to what this blog is about. That’s why I decided to write this.

For a while now, I’ve been struggling with my ‘niche’. At first it was a personal blog, then it became a college blog and eventually an inspirational blog. Too many niches to even begin with. Most days when I write, I feel like I still hold a lot back and I’m not free to express myself the way I’d want to. I feel like I’ve had to hide my Christian side a lot to avoid ‘triggering’ people or being politically correct..

I can’t hide that part of myself anymore. It’s who I am and it’s really important to me. I want to be able to share that part of my life with you guys. God has been a huge part of my life. Everything I have and who I am is because of God so I can’t keep hiding him anymore.

Here’s what’s going to happen. My blog is going to remain very much inspirational and helpful in many ways. My aim is to target those with in the 16-30 age range. Yes, I know that’s a weird range but it’s either catch them young or before they’re too old. I may be able to teach a thing or two to a 40-year-old but I think I have more to learn from them.

As many of you as are Christians, I invite you to stay and invite your friends. If you’re not, there’s no need to run away. Christianity is a religion of love so of course I’ll always love every one of you and in the process, we could learn a thing or two from each other. There’ll be stories and advice, talks and struggles. Whichever way, it will be amazing. I want this to be a space for growth and interaction irrespective of who you are.

Thank you guys for sticking with me these past 6 months. I apologize for disappearing again. The website relaunch will be on the 1st of August, 2017.
The new website is drumroll please http://www.kristabeldubois.com

Yes!!! I finally saved enough to purchase a domain name. I’m currently designing and I can’t wait to show you guys all I’ve done. In the meantime, you can still connect with me on social media and I’ll give updates on what’s happening.

Right now, I need your help with two things:

  • A colour scheme ( colours to use)
  • A beautiful font for my logo

P.S One of the colours must be purple. And I also took the liberty of moving all my subscribers to the new blog so you can easily receive updates and see new articles. 🙂

Thanks again for all your support. Take care and God Bless.

Be A Little Rainbow and Sunshine

I think I missed the sun a little too much. I spread my clothes outside and it’s been three days since it started raining on and off. I woke up today and  met the warm light from the sun peeping through my window. I’m so grateful for it. I don’t know if it will last but I’ll take anything at this point.

Because I’m this excited, I thought to write about a few ways you could be a rainbow and sunshine to someone today. Here we go:

  1. DON’T JUDGE: Before you leap for joy because you can do the wrong thing and thing and hide behind these two words, let me explain what ‘judging means.
    It means forming an opinion or criticizing something.  Saying you shouldn’t judge at all is an almost impossible task but what you shouldn’t do, is judge before knowing the facts.

    I mean it’s easy right? Even a JUDGE waits for the defense to present their arguments and both sides go head to head before he draws a verdict. So basically, don’t be judge, jury and court. No one should have that much power. Give people time to redeem themselves. If you have to point out a flaw, do it with love. If possible, in private. If they don’t accept it, at least you did your part.

  2. LISTEN: to understand. Listen for the sake of listening. Don’t always listen to reply. Sometimes, people are not looking for solutions to their problems, but just a listening ear. It’s not because they’re whiny or cry babies but sometimes hearing yourself talk about stuff clears your head way faster. Even for proofreading articles, reading aloud always works. In your free time, be a listening ear to someone who needs it.
  3. GIVE MORE THAN YOU RECEIVE: When you say ‘give’ people think clothes and money or maybe foodstuffs. There are so many other things you could give. You could give your time, your word, your recommendation, your support, your signature, your approval. It’s so many little things you may not be consciously aware of. I love those moments when someone tell me that a joke I made or  something I said was really helpful to them Best moments ever. So find more ways to give and it will definitely come back to you.
  4. COMPLIMENT: But only sincerely. A sincere compliment is better than mere flattery. Actually, most people can see right through your fakery. They may decide whether or whether not to point it out, so you may lose your credibility. However, a sincere compliment can brighten a person’s day and cause them to let down their guard. I used to complain that girls were mean but I was no different.

    One day, I was sitting with a guy friend of mine and a girl walked by. I turned and I was like; OMG she’s so beautiful. He asked me to tell her but I refused, so he stood up and brought her to me. He told me to tell her what I just said, and I did out of embarrassment. She smiled and even though we never became BFFs, I’m sure it brightened her day. Since then, I knew the value of a compliment.

  5. APOLOGIZE: For your wrongdoing and try to make it up by being a better person. It’s as simple as that. Acknowledge your wrong doings. It takes a strong person to do so.
  6. RESPECT: I feel like society today has thrown respect out the window and replaced it with ‘speaking your mind’. I have a special place in my heart for people who know how to express themselves, give opinions and speak their mind without trying to insult or be-little the other person. Your ability to show respect should be irrespective of the person’s behaviour.
  7. APPRECIATE: Appreciate the little things people go out of their way to do for you. Appreciate those who are loyal and do not screw you over. Learn to thank those who work for and with you. In your relationship, thank your partner for the love they show to you. If  you have someone who is good to you, your appreciation goes a longer way than your words ever will.

 

Today is such a beautiful day and I hope, you can make someone’s day brighter.

Happy Thursday!

Why Are Struggles Important?

Most people would prefer that their lives are free from struggle and hardships. Yet, these two factors play a very important role in shaping individuals. Why is it so important that we pass through struggles?

Struggles make the most inspiring stories and creates the most beautiful individuals

I didn’t grow up in an environment where I had everything I asked for. Things I got were always more of what I needed versus what I wanted. Early in life, way before economics had the opportunity of teaching me the difference, I got the hang of it. I understood opportunity cost and scale of preference. Demand and supply came naturally as I had to bargain my way through life. Call me biased but today I wouldn’t have it any other way. Frankly, I’ll raise my kids to be comfortable but wise enough to know that what they have is a right and not a privilege.

The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of those depths.

Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

Whenever I tell a story of my life, especially about the little things, people stare at me in awe.  How are you such a chill person? I’ve had a few ‘that was child abuse’ comments thrown my way but I really don’t mind. I had to walk 10 minutes to stand in a queue to fetch water in a 20 litre bucket (5.28 gallons for you Americans), placed on my head and walk back home. This journey was to fill two drums with water, a combined capacity of at least 200 litres. On some days, it would rain and while I’d be glad that the drums would be full, I’d still make the journey for drinking water.

Don’t get me wrong, I went to school. A good private school for a middle class child. I was top of my class. That didn’t mean I didn’t do the dishes when I got home at 5pm each day or that I didn’t stay up till at least 12 am each day because I was the first-born of four kids. I took care of my siblings and never knew what a party looked like. Truthfully, the few times I did go, I was bored to death. I always took a book with me or cracked someone up with my weird jokes that always came up on the spot.

All life demands struggle. Those who have everything given to them become lazy, selfish, and insensitive to the real values of life. The very striving and hard work that we so constantly try to avoid is the major building block in the person we are today.

Pope Paul VI

As I grew up, I worked even more. My parents would have wanted me to work less but given the size of my household, the option was not available. I bought my own data for internet surfing and had to stay up to date with trends out of my own pocket. To put this in perspective, I finished high school in 2010 so I’m not some 80’s kid. The scholarship I acquired that eventually got me out of my country, I searched for it on my own. I applied and then asked for transportation fare from my parents when the time for the interview came.  Today, I have a blog that I hope they don’t find out about till another 2 years.

This is just the nicest and easiest part of my story. I say it with joy because the woman I am today is because of everything I’ve been through. I know that the average struggling African child would switch lives with me in a heartbeat because they see worse. At least I was never raped, molested or forced into child marriage.

Why were my struggles so important? They were because today when I see someone struggling with anything, I can feel their pain to an extent. With the little I have, I’ve learnt to work hard to get more, and not expect anything to be given to me. I had my first ‘camera’ phone in 2013. It was a Nokia C3. The camera wasn’t even working I got it from a friend when my torchlight phone crashed. Google Nokia 1661. I use a Samsung S5 and I see people dying over the latest Galaxy S8 and the new iPhone, it doesn’t bother me.

I’ve learnt to be:

  • Compassionate
  • Understanding
  • Patient
  • Contented
  • Grateful
  • Easily adaptable

I still have my #firstworldproblems days but when I look back, I see how far I’ve come. I stop to appreciate the little things people take for granted. I remember the first time I had a bedroom and a bed. That was the 28th of January, 2015. I slept on a floor most part of my life till I got into college. I could ‘shower’ and I had constant electricity ( ask people in Nigeria what this mean). I do not believe you cannot possess any of these qualities without struggling for it, but with the experience, comes a greater sense of empathy.19051341_1694718000825141_2230631015099924480_n

The struggle is there so you can appreciate the plenty.

I’m writing this so that the next person out there who feels like they are going through the worst situation. As painful as it is, it’s a story to be told. It’s a lesson to be learned. You may not see it now, but eventually you will.

Your struggle is there so someone can be inspired.

My earnest prayer is that when I become successful, I never forget where I came from. I will remember all the people who helped write the story that is my life. It may be a little cliché, but it is definitely true.

The Pressure To Change

Do you know how we get fuels and precious stones from the earth? I’m sure you probably do. The summary is that when heat, pressure and a little pixie dust combine, it forms new materials that we harness and use. Depending on the conditions, we could get anything from coal to diamond. Where am I headed? Pressure. The importance of pressure. You see heat is a simple guy, it basically has two extremes. It burns or cools (freezes) you. Pressure on the other hand is more dynamic.

One of the first few quotes I caught up with in high school was:

Change is the only constant thing.

As a student who loved literature, I felt like this was the coolest quote ever. It was witty and like a mind-blowing play on words. Which brings me to a thought I’ve had all day.

Do you have to change EVERYTHING to get what you want?

If you haven’t caught on by now, I’m a very ‘feeling’ person. I love people and I care very much. I believe we are unique individuals and we’re the only ones that can do something a certain way. However, in a society that is annoyingly dynamic (not in a good way), do you have to constantly change who you are to get where you want to?

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Take for instance today I was having a discussion about personality types which I’ve found myself doing more often. Each one has strengths, weaknesses and careers that suit them. What then happens when you want to be successful in a path that your personality type doesn’t exactly flourish in? My take was that if you work on yourself, to strengthen your weaknesses, you could make everything work for you. The other take was that you have to restructure your mindset till you become the personality type of the ‘more’ successful people.

Maybe I’m not being a very logical person right now but drastic changes in personality type can affect every relationship you have. It might mean re-shuffling everyone in your life. A small price to pay for success. At least that’s what a logical person would say.

There’s so much pressure to be something which seems better off than who you are. I don’t even know why this is a thing. Why can’t we improve our character to work for us. There’s no fixing of broken things, it’s always ‘get a new one’. I’m not sure where this is headed. I do promise to get back on track tomorrow. I just needed to drop this as food for thought.

Unless you’re a completely horrible person, do you believe you have to change everything you believe in to fit what you want to achieve, whether or not you find it comfortable? Typing this makes me hope someone is not going to just miss the point. Because here it is ——–> .

People always tell me to be more ‘logical’ or be less ‘feeling’. I’m not sure how I’m supposed to do that exactly. It doesn’t feel natural to me. I mean I’ve improved in most areas of my life over the years and learnt how to tone down certain traits in certain situations. For example, crying when someone is rescued from a drowning accident, instead of resuscitation is probably useless. Even though that’s what some people might do. I don’t want to fit a mold. I just want to be able to fill the need I was brought here to. Change and growth is important but never lose yourself in doing so.

If we were all doctors, we’d have no chairs. Everyone is important.

You are rare and precious. Never forget that.

Why I Love Inspiring People

The day I started this blog was a scary day for me. I was so scared. Every free e-book I had exchanged my email address for had said I should have a niche. I didn’t have one. I really wanted to stop at that point. What was my blog going to be about? I knew I was a chatterbox in real life but you had to be more than that to catch people’s attention.

I tried to write down a list of qualities I had. I couldn’t write anything. It’s like when someone asks you what you do for fun. You just stare and pray for some cool sounding answer to pop out of your mouth. Over the months, I’ve become more comfortable. I may not know my ‘niche’ yet but I know my vision.

To encourage and inspire.

I may have to find some clever way to write that eventually but this is the basis of it all. I wake up every morning and my feed is flooded with clothes, makeup, skincare and exotic destinations. They get me excited and make me dream more but it also opens my eye to a neglected region.

We have a lot of people looking fine on the outside but broken on the inside. I want to help with that. I may not be able to fix all of it but I’m going to try. There are so many issues youths deal with everyday. I want to be able to help people work through that. With my experiences,  the lessons I’ve learned and the books I’ve read, I’ll offer the knowledge I possess.

I hope anyone that reads my blog walks away with a new perspective or gets inspired to do that one thing they’re scared of. At the very least, making someone smile world just as well for me.

I may not be able change the world at large but I’ll try, one person at a time.

Inspiration is very much like motivation.

People say motivation does not last long. That’s why like bathing, we recommend it daily.

Zig Ziglar

Stop The Victim Mindset

Today, I feel really annoyed. But, I’ve been taught to always write with love and concern, not out of anger. So here I go. Society sucks but you already know that. I wake up every morning and I try to avoid unnecessary controversies and negativity flying around the internet. I can’t leave the internet because it’s my second home. I live and work here. But some days are better than others.

Recently, a lot of articles and social media drama have managed to infiltrate my happy bubble. I am not running away from anything or anyone but I learned something new. For anything you read, watch or listen to, you don’t need to agree but it subconsciously influences you. This is why I guard my heart like my life depends on it, because it does.

What is the victim mindset? Here’s a copy and paste version.

If you have a victim mentality, you will see your entire life through a perspective that things constantly happen ‘to’ you. Victimization is thus a combination of seeing most things in life as negative, beyond your control, and as something you should be given sympathy for experiencing as you ‘deserve’ better. At its heart, a victim mentality is actually a way to avoid taking any responsibility for yourself or your life. By believing you have no power then you don’t have to take action. 

Source: Harley therapy

I feel like we’ve tweaked this mentality and made it suit us. This generation with the help of our society has made the victim mindset help us reach for ‘entitlement’. At this point, I’d like to point out something:

Society can only help make your life easier. Society cannot fix you.

We really need to stop putting famous people on pedestals and when they fail us, we complain. You can and may be hurt by people. People will treat you wrongly. They will not give you what rightfully belongs to you because the world is corrupt. It is not an excuse to blame all the hurt you feel on them. They may have had a part to play but you let them get to you. I recently watched a deaf girl on AGT sing. She has an amazing voice but she’s deaf. A deaf guy won ANTM at some point. It just means you can do anything.

I grew up in Nigeria. That’s just code for ‘I grew up tough’. This generation is growing up too soft. They can’t even face little obstacles in their paths. I can whine all day about how life is hard for me but I choose not to. Some days, I do, because we all deserve our five minutes. Once I’m done, I move on. I try new things. I fail some more. I get rejected a few thousand times again but I dust my bum and I get up. Nowadays, people feel like every complaint should be a movement. It’s not necessary.

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Take for example, I’m about 5ft 10 and I can almost never find a maxi gown in shops that is actually maxi. Trousers hardly reach where they’re supposed to. Let’s not even start with shoes. I have wide and long feet, about 11 inches long. My size is hard to find and when I do find them, they’re in ugly designs. I just move on. There’s a better way to complain about things that are not in place. I wouldn’t blame my lack of footwear on my poor performance in school. Even though I know that whenever I wake up I get a mini heart attack because my last pair is worn out and only one-fifths of my wardrobe matches that pair. You see my drift.

Can we just stop blaming society and little things for causing our problems. The little things do add up but it’s important to make sure they don’t. Isolate issues and deal with them individually. If you link everything up, it becomes this huge problem that seems impossible to solve. Just because two things happened simultaneously, doesn’t mean one happened as a result of the other.

You’re not weak for expressing your vulnerability. You’re weak for refusing to work through it.

Grief, pain, hurt, struggles, difficulties and obstacles are all part of living. They come and go. It’s normal to experience and you’re not the only one. It’s okay to express them, especially when it becomes too hard to bear. It is not okay to remain in a helpless situation even when help is offered to you. More importantly, it is not right to just ‘expect’ that help will come even thought it should.

You should be the architect of your own life. Help from others should be secondary. Rely on yourself. If you find others trustworthy enough to rely on, then do. If you don’t, become a reliable person so you can make someone else’s life easier.

You may be a victim at some point in your life but DO NOT let it become your life.

 

Sunshine With A Little Hurricane

“How is the water in your belly?”, a voice boomed over my racing thoughts.

“What?”, I replied. Jolted back into reality I realized that I had become so agitated that I was lost in thought, trying to process my anger. There it is, Anger. The reason for everything that had happened. It was a familiar scene. A talk became raised voices, well, mine alone. My hand moving in quick motion as my mouth struggled to get all the words out of my head. I was angry, again.

I’m usually a very calm person. I dislike conflict and I stay away from it. I would never let you intimidate me or someone else, but I wouldn’t go stirring up trouble either. Lately, the case has been very different. Aside the usual PMS and irritation from the many things I’ve had to deal with, my temperament has been very unstable.

I’m like a walking hurricane, waiting for a chance to erupt. But why? I had to dig deep. I was holding in a lot of stuff. I was walking around with a lot of things on the back of my mind. I didn’t want to deal with them and I didn’t want to let go of them. It’s like having 50 tabs open on your browser. The RAM is full, processing is slow. Everything comes to a halt. I broke down.

Here’s what he said to me:

Imagine you can feel all your stress on your shoulders.

How much better would it be to just release that amount of energy and just let it fall off you? .

Breathe in. . .

As you pull in a deep breath, imagine your shoulders tighten and move up. . Now… breathe out. .

Feel your shoulders fall down freely, and release all the tension you have. . .

I learnt this little relaxation method to keep myself calm.

With practice everyday, It has gotten easier and easier. I just watch for the signs. When I feel anxious and I start to raise my voice. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have anger issues. I’m just learning new ways to express myself even when I’m not in the best of moods.

The goal is to be able to say anything in a clean, calm voice. Kinda like that psychotic tone but cue down the psychotic. Ultimately, I’m trying to follow what God already commanded.

Phil 2:14-16 

Do everything without grumbling or arguing so that you may be blameless and pure…

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So I’m gonna ask you too. How do you deal with your anger? How is the water in your belly?