Surprising notion – most christmas cards and messages feature snow; which is odd because it rarely snows in Winter anyway and the narrative has shaped what winter should look like for many children across the globe, even those that celebrate Christmas basking in the African or Australian sun . Why is this important ? It is key in a world where many stories and experiences remain hidden from the global arena. We speak of the daily life of more than 2 billion of the world`s population. This year, travelled to more than 10 Countries and 4 continents; which allowed me to be in both the colder hemisphere to the warmer hemispheres of the world in one month this December particularly – it reminded of how important it is to share stories of our worlds – representation truly matters. Have picked a couple of pictures that were part of 2022 for some reflections. My reflections this year are focused on validating diverse experiences and embracing various norms of the world as part of the global storylines that are respected.OPEN GALLERY
“Welcome to my 2023 end of year curated notes featuring the various norms that inspired the year : Featuring low key pics of the travels from some of the countries that inspired the year with moments and experiences that brought growth; to books + Quotes that strengthened my year and things I recommend to explore. So, dearests; thanks for stopping by this latest dynamic blog – Lets´ start with the places that inspired 2022 and three books that were thought provoking – see above and below pics of these”
“There is power in feeling SEEN because it validates your being EMPOWERING you to exist authentically and be truly YOURSELF. I suppose the books that inspired me this year – did just that.”
As a black African women working in spaces where I am usually the only one – because of this I walk with even more pride about where I come from because many people I encounter have never heard of stories like mine and if they have – sometimes the way they hear or read of places like where I come from is not entirely representative nor doing justice; experiencing this gap is empowering and drives me to tell my story and normalise stories – that include a glimpse of where I have been raised as well as spotlight other stories from minorities. For this reason, I intentionally spend a lot of time searching for stories that have more representation beyond the proclaimed spotlighted western stories… – hence the books I have spotlighted in this are truly meaningful in that way. May they inspire a world that is more than what you have known.
“When reading these books, there are parts that give INSIGHT on various barriers and also the huge successes experienced by minorities, whilst giving snapshots of diverse peoples´ life , from barriers of class, race, gender and society. I felt with each book, I learnt something POWERFUL. Thats a post for another time, given I almost gave up on finishing this 2022 reflective notes.. sha,..”
““My biggest discovery and something I have adopted is the growth mindset – you can literally re-create your life. You can redefine it. You don’t have to live in the past. I found that not only did I have fight in me, I had love.” this was one of the most powerful quote in the finding me book by Viola. If you are looking for a memoir that can change your life – this is the book. It will inspire and power you up to create the life you want for you.
In the short stories in Rotten Row I could see home and many of the characters were very relatable. I could picture the interior of a kombi bus filled with the razor-sharp chatter of the driver and passengers; a hairdresser’s salon alive with gossip; a melee of relatives enjoying a punch-up at a wedding. Rotten Row is truly one of my favourite books by Pettina – a great writer from Zimbabwe who chose among other things to bring to life a country that has so many various characters to it and also a political arena that many struggle to wrap their heads around. It is a reminder that stories matter, that how and who tells them is just as important as the story itself. The third book on the book inspiration is on Women Leadership, what is quite striking is how HBR brings real life stories and backs up actionable ways that have been proven on how to ensure that gender equity is a topic that is backed up by not just showing the results of women taking up leadership roles but by also truly understanding what it really means to have all types of genders actively engaging in the development and decision making processes across the globe in various arenas. It does so by highlighting the struggles that are faced in this journey – if you are keen on being an ally of gender equity then this book is for you. Taking about ally’s, I have to go back to the memoir of Viola – I hope that you become also an ally of your best self. One of the things these books powered me to do was to continue investing in personal growth and finding the right tools and people to help me on the way.
“May you live long enough to know why you were born! I hope the months to come are rooted in discovering and enabling you.”
On discovery, exploring ;finding you
One of the things in 2023 that fully makes sense in this step to becoming and creating yourself – is discovery. I believe its beautiful to explore with others and invite trusted confidants and experts on this discovery journey. Get a coach, talk to people in the areas you want to dive in, explore with experts you can hire to work on your behalf to develop you. This is truly the best investment I have made to date and in some cases its you saying yes to a naturally occurring mentorship journey – that yes is a full commitment to your personal development beyond what you know today. Say yes friend, say yes sis; brother – say yes to you.
On normalising and finding power in your experiences
“Yes!” thats a huge first step in choosing you. That is the mantra I am taking into 2023 ( hopefully throughout all of it ) – the mantra – is to say yes and embrace the power of your experiences – normalising the moments, your feelings within situations and using that to fuel you, to reflect and draw in power from all of you. This is the year of not dismissing the way you experience life – its the year of understanding how all these come together to make you today and to draw near to the you of tomorrow.
In 2023, may you find power in your experiences of 2022, of 2021 and even of 2020 – all of them. May they build up into this new year vs. being erased – may you find power in all your experiences