‘‘I play for me,’’ Serena told me, ‘‘but I also play and represent something much greater than me. I embrace that. I love that. I want that. So ultimately, when I am out there on the court, I am playing for me.’’
They say behind every successful man is a great woman. I don’t know about every woman, but I can definitely say that for me the reverse is also true. Behind a lot of my growth and key achievements has stood my husband. He has prayed for me, encouraged me, pulled me up when I’m not at my best and even when he annoys me he somehow always makes me smile. My husband is my rock. I love that after so many years we are still so close and have developed a rhythm. I love that we are a team. I pray that we forever share a love of God, travel, literature, food, movies and old homes with lots of character and modern comforts.
Thank you for believing in me. Thank you for being my king, my best friend– a true captain of inestimable value. Here is to building a beautiful present and future. Here are the 10 things I love about you (amongst many and in no particular order :-)).
- I love the way you laugh. It is infectious.
- That I can still talk to you for hours about any and everything.
- How you love and respect me and constantly invest in our marriage.
- That you always kiss my forehead before you sleep.
- That you buy me apple crumble and custard whenever you go near my favourite crumble shop and that if you are home before me you always ask what I would like to eat.
- Wake me up super early to pray and encourage me to spend more time in the word.
- Set regular family goal review sessions to make sure we are both working towards fulfilling our vision.
- Send me random articles that stimulate my thinking.
- I love that you give me my space but also your time.
- That you are so fun and down to earth yet super disciplined.
I write because I enjoy writing. It helps me explore my thoughts and express my understanding of the world around me.
I write because it helps me remember that I have learnt some things and am still capable of learning. In fact, writing reminds me that I am capable of anything. It helps me document my growth in areas that I would otherwise forget.
I write because I often struggle with writing and believe that is only through working on my craft that I can become better.
I write because I care about words – how they fit together, what they mean, imply and because I love how they carry all of our stories.
I write because my mother worked too hard for me not to try.
I write because I want my future children to be proud of me.
I write so I can be proud of myself.
I write to inspire others to be better.
I write because I can.
“I am the sole author of the dictionary that defines me.”- NW by Zadie Smith
At twenty-six, I feel like I’m finally coming into my own. From puberty to around 24 I felt that I was in an extended “awkward” period. I felt shaky and confused as to what I was doing and the biggest struggle was letting other people tell me who I was. In the midst of this awkward period I became a mother at 17 so discovering who I was as an adult and woman really felt very confusing and scary. I often felt more connected to the title of mother than woman and it has taken me a long time to really feel like I know myself intimately. These are a few things that have helped me consistently through this journey:
Spend time with yourself-
This has been really crucial for me, even if I can’t get a babysitter for my own coffee date…I take time for myself once I put my son to bed. I write, read, edit photos, take care of my plants and garden, meditate…these are just a few ideas. What these really allow is a sense of calm, I talk to myself and even work through some issues that have been giving me anxiety or are triggering.
Write a Personal Mission Statement
Writing a personal mission statement is empowering. It allows you to have control of who you want to be and who you currently are. Picking words that create your core values is apart of this too.I have five – ten words that I know are who I am. This is a great habit to form, you can update it as you grow and change, I try to do at least one a year. Words are incredibly powerful and what words you speak/write over you have an incredible effect on your cells.
Remove the timeline
We live in a world that glorifies finishing goals quickly, which is so hard. Having goals is good, but how quickly you reach them should not define you. This has been a difficult one for me to learn and this is one I still work through. But remembering this has helped my mental health and made me a better parent and human.
Pretend that you’re holding up a mirror when people start projecting
This has been so helpful. So often people will snap and start attacking your character and sometimes it really makes you ????. Obviously this isn’t the case with every confrontation, but there are specific people in your lives that are truly saying to you what they feel about themselves. This is clearly the case for the abusers and manipulators. These are a few things that have helped me consistently overcome and actually define myself. Learning to define, express and stand up for ourselves is such a challenge, but you can do it! No matter how long it takes to know yourself, you are always the author of what defines you.
When you realise that life is short and that your every breath is a blessing, you stop wasting time on things that you don’t hold valuable. You stop pretending that you enjoy certain functions and don’t lose sleep over things that are petty. You become more intentional in your choices. You are deliberately loving, deliberately kind and you learn to listen. You figure out what is healthy for you (spirit, mind and body) and invest in it. You stop comparing yourself to people who are on a different route and celebrate what you have.
Life can come at you fast and it can come at you messy. Your plans may not always work when you want them to. You may not even be fully sure of what it is that you want to do. But God’s timing is perfect. Smile at the ‘small’ things and take time to be fully present in ‘those moments’. Work hard. Appreciate people more and learn to both give and receive love. Remember that you are beautiful, you are intelligent and capable of learning anything you put your mind to. Pursuit excellence. Pursuit growth. Do you boo! Your thoughts and words are powerful. Here is to finding your truth and becoming a better you.