If I tell you that I've been trying to write this post for a solid two weeks now, you'd think I was crazy. Demi, how could it be this hard to reflect on your year? Well, I'm glad you asked. This is gonna be a long read so get comfy, grab a cup of hot chocolate, and happy reading. It's about to get real.
In the words of the infamous Kylie Jenner "this was a year of realizing things"... a freaking rollercoaster of "things" at that. It's crazy to think about how much can change in a year. How much you can change in a year. Looking back, 2017 was the hardest but most incredible year. From January 1st to December 31, I changed so much and there was so much change happening around me. It's so easy to look at someone's Instagram feed, try to piece together every image, and create a story about what you think their life is like. Don’t get me wrong, I do brunch a lot and love styling outfits, and taking pictures of those random things you see on my feed, but that’s not all I do.
For me, Instagram is my stress relief – it is a way of visually capturing beautiful things in my everyday life that I find beautiful. It’s my visual journal. However, there are some days I get stressed out, frustrated and overwhelmed because of well… life, people, or even because myself. I'm only human.
Over this summer I met some incredible people who changed my life in more ways than they could have ever thought – more ways than I would have ever thought. The one that had the most impact was my summer internship senior director (I remember it like yesterday.) I scheduled a “meet and greet” on his calendar and we met up at the Starbucks on the first floor of the office building, and the first question he asked me “Who are you?” I thought that was a really strange question, and at that moment my entire life flashed before my eyes. I began to replay the last 21 years of my life and attempted to form a sentence or two describing who I am. Of course he knew my name, my major, and school, but he wanted to know ME my morals, my standards, what makes me happy, what makes me mad – things that make me who I am. He reminded me that once I know who I am, there isn't anything I can't do.
This year I realized that there’s way more to me than being @itsdemib – the girl who loves to take pictures. Don’t get me wrong I LOVE the gram, I love taking pictures and putting together outfits, but to me it’s way more than that. It’s about curating content that inspires even just one person to do what they love and express themselves in a way they know and love. So who am I? I'm a 3/4 Nigerian, 1/4 German future industrial engineer that loves to laugh, spend time with friends, and my family. I love blogging, capturing beautiful moments, all things creative, and I am really trying to work on my faith. Most of all I love to make people feel good and smile (I get it from my incredible mother who loves so genuinely and so hard).
In doing this reflection, I realized that in 2017 I began to let people’s words and actions (both unintentional and intentional) harden my heart out of fear of getting hurt over and over again. You name it: guys, “friends”, even random people… all did or said things to me that wore me down. It began to change who I was because the world seemed to not appreciate or want all the love I had to give. I felt like people were taking advantage of all the love I had to give and it hurt when they would abuse it or makes me feel dumb for wanting to give it to them.
But then it all clicked…I am not loving people to get anything in return. I do it because that’s who I am, because that's what I believe I am called to do. People come and go, relationships come and go. And that’s okay. Not everyone is meant to be in your life forever…and that’s okay. So in 2018, I’m going back to my roots...back to who I am and not letting those around me change that (and if someone's trying to…well, they don't need to be in my circle ;) )
With that I ask you -- who are you? What are your morals, goals, and aspirations? And when you figure that all out, promise me you’ll hold on to it with your dear life and not let anyone try to change you.
// if you made me laugh // i need more people like you around … we should hang out more
// if you made me cry // whether they were happy, sad, or angry tears -- thank you for helping me learn that it's okay to cry and it's not okay to bottle everything in and stay sad or angry... so thank you. because of you i learned that tomorrow is a new day and you can't stay sad or upset -- life is way too short
// if you took advantage of the love I gave you // thank you for teaching me to love intentionally and for teaching me that it's more than okay to love myself
// if you didn't let me love you // to this day I’m still confused why, but i hope you know that i still do care and i want nothing but the best for you
// if you hurt me without knowing it // you probably don’t know how bad you hurt me because I kept it bottle inside and refused to tell you… despite how hard it was to know that you didn’t care to ask what was wrong, thank you for teaching me that communication is so important – i can’t be mad at you if i haven’t told you what you did wrong
// if i hurt you without knowing it // i am genuinely sorry and did not mean to hurt you, so if i did i hope you find it in your heart to forgive me. (ps. please let me know what i did so i can make sure it never happens again)
// if you intentionally hurt me // just know i’m now stronger because of you
// if i took advantage of your love // please know i did not do this intentionally. i appreciate you more than you know…thank you for loving me
// if you made me question what i love // thank you, because you made me realize how much i really do love it, and because of you, i’m going to work that much harder to get to exactly where i want to be
// if you made me question myself // i wish you only knew how much i needed that – whether you meant it to help or hurt me i thank you...because of you i am more confident, rooted in my faith, and proud of the woman i am becoming. i’m unapologetically myself and because of your doubts i am more than okay with that
// if you supported me from the beginning // 'thank you' and 'i love you'…five words i probably haven’t said enough. you believed in me when i didn’t believe in myself and for that, i am forever thankful. this hasn’t been an easy journey but i promise to make you proud in the end <3