Relationship Lessons I’ve Learnt in 2018

Relationship Lessons I’ve Learnt in 2018

I can’t believe we’re in December! It feels like 2 seconds ago I was just starting graduate school and now I’ve been here a year. Moving to a new place was challenging, but it pushed me out of my comfort zone and allowed my to interact with different types of people. With this, I had my ups and downs. I had to learn how to properly navigate interpersonal relationships with different types of people. I’m still working on this, but I’ve learnt some lessons along the way…

ITS IMPORTANT TO BE MORE ASSERTIVE

I’m not sure if it’s because I’m easy-going, or because I’m just hyper-sensitive to people’s feelings. But there were several situations I encountered this year where I could have just put my foot down and spoken up. I think because of this, I’m probably at risk of becoming oppressed. This a serious fear I have always had so it’s disheartening that I keep finding myself in these situations.

I noticed a reoccurring theme with me this year: Something would happen that I don’t like, a situation that I was not comfortable with and instead of just speaking my peace, I would manage the situation poorly until after a long time I would finally realize I’m being taken for granted then speak up.

Remember how I said I need to take into account people’s feelings and how it affects them? Well that backfired. A lot of people tend to take advantage of that. They begin to manipulate and use this thoughtfulness or are too selfish to meet me at the middle. Because I am thinking about them and they are thinking about themselves, there is a massive imbalance. On one hand, I don’t want to be an absolute savage, but the serious peace of mind I had when I was savage was just amazing.

In light of this, my goal for next year is to figure out how to balance my savagery and putting people’s feelings into consideration. I need to properly vet people and see if they deserve this consideration, because not every person is deserving of me. Else, I run the risk of being taken advantage of.

DON’T BE AFRAID OF CONFLICT

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I think it’s important to fight sometimes. It’s weird but observing people’s relationships and mine, I think the only way some solutions can be met is if there is an argument. Arguments are completely natural. However, what I think is important is how both sides handle that argument.

I usually don’t like conflict, I’m more of a “agree to disagree” type of person. However with conflicts I just know how quickly things can devolve into a screaming match and I hate that. But if two parties come into an argument with a place of humility to listen to the other person and accept their faults, this is a great way to handle conflict. It’s not always easy though.

I’ve seen conflicts work this year….even screaming match, throwing chairs conflicts. I still hate it though. Maybe one day I’ll learn how to handle conflicts properly.

I’VE REALIZED THE VALUE OF A SUPPORT SYSTEM

Honestly I don’t know how I would have survived 2018 without the support of my family. This was the toughest school year I have ever experienced and I was at one point I was the verge of tears. Having my family (especially my mom and dad) constantly reassure me that I can do it was really the push of confidence I needed to see through my school.

Being around people who are always looking out for you is very hard to come by. Handling tough situations is so much easier when you have people by your side cheering you on. I think this semester really allowed me to realize that and I will never take that for granted.

Those are the relationship lessons I’ve learned in 2018. Thank you so much for reading! What have you learnt?

Chit Chat – Life Update

Chit Chat – Life Update

I’ve been away from my blog from several months and I thought it would be fitting to write a life update! As I mentioned in my New Years Post, I’m moving towards a more quality centric blog instead of quantity. The pressure to blog/vlog has had very bad consequences in the past but blogging when I feel like puts me at ease. However, I always worry that if I’m away for too long, you’ll all forget me! So a life update is awesome to just catch you up to speed on what I’ve gotten up to in my absence!

If there is anything on this list you’d love me to expand on and write a blog about do let me know!

Graduate School

I’m now in my second semester of graduate school. It still feels strange sometimes that I’m doing my masters because I never had a concept of what graduate school would be like. It’s a lot of work, but it’s given me a lot of skills in a few months. My favourite part about graduate school is learning coding/programming languages. I was excited, but nervous to learn it from scratch coming here but I’ve learnt so much and its now one of my best parts about the course. I think it’s that eureka moment I get after stumbling on a code for hours and finally seeing it work. It’s an emotional rollercoaster but I love it so far.

Move Back To WordPress.com

Earlier this year I moved from my blog, which was hosted on WordPress.com to a self hosted site. This inadvertently caused a massive amount of headache as my website crashed multiple times within this time. Also, trying to find the right themes and customizing was also challenging. However, the final nail on the coffin was the lack of engagement with the WordPress community! I hate it. I realised that I don’t care about SEO, domains, self hosted, traffic or any other blog things I “should” care about. It produces a lot of negative feelings for me and makes me unfocused on producing blog content.

I decided to move back and I’m happy and calm not caring about all the extra blogging stuff. I just want my likes and comments over blogging jargon that gives me headache any day!

My site currently looks like a headache so bear with me because WordPress is currently facilitating my transfer! Everything will be back to normal after October 5th.

Self Awareness

I’m striving to be more self-aware. I was really inspired by a Japanese TV show called Terrace House (It’s on Netflix, thank me later).  Besides being amused by all the cultural differences Japanese people had with the Western world, I was particularly impressed by their self-awareness and reflection on all aspects of their life. There is also a strong desire to be better, and think of other people’s feelings and how their interactions affect people. I tend to think of how interactions affect me instead of the other way around, which upon watching this show, exposed my selfish tendencies! I know, strange. I can learn from anything, even reality TV shows. Haha

Dreadlocks

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I started dreadlocks! Myself! They’re currently 4 months old and coming along nicely. I guess you could say I gave up on my natural hair this summer. The breakage and tangling was real so I decided to lock it since my hair tends to want to lock itself every 2 seconds. My locs give me even more peace of mind since I use less products and only have to deal with my hair every 2 months. I ALSO DONT HAVE TO COMB IT OMG YESSSSSSS!!

Weight Loss

I’ve lost a total of 8kg (17lbs) since the beginning of the year.  I lost a lot of weight, but I lost it slowly to preserve my madness. I attribute the first few months of the journey to eating low-calorie alternatives of the things I loved like brownies, ice-cream and spaghetti. However, towards the last few kilograms, I attribute my weight loss to intermittent fasting and eating one massive, delicious, calorie dense, meal a day. I have my hangry, binge days but all in all its going pretty smoothly since I always feel very satiated after each meal.

That’s it for my life update! Theres many little other things that have happened but this is just the main stuff. Thank you for reading!

What To Do When You’re Feeling Overwhelmed With Blogging

What To Do When You’re Feeling Overwhelmed With Blogging

I’m pacing up and down in my living room, phone in hand, thinking of how I’m going to complete a post about how to stop feeling overwhelmed with blogging when I’m encountering those feelings myself. Haha I’ve been overwhelmed with blogging so many times but I’ve always managed to come out alive and kicking!

Finding the motivation to write, publish and promote posts can be difficult for some bloggers. Blogging can be hard sometimes. And trust me, I totally understand how difficult it is to keep up with writing posts, sharing them, promoting and engaging with your community. It can easily turn into a full-time job.

Overwhelmed with blogging….

I usually overwhelmed when I have a mountain of tasks I need to complete. I wake up some mornings dreading all my Pinterest pins, blogging posts and Instagram pictures I have to keep up with. Then instead of actually doing it, I shut down and do nothing at all.

Once I have a long to-do list I begin to prioritize what is really important and that can leave my blogging as a second priority (I know).

I often shut down because I ask myself “why is this causing so much anxiety for me? Is it even that serious”. The answer to me is no, nothing is never that serious. Which results in me pushing all my blogging duties aside.

It can also be extremely demoralizing when you are pushing out posts and you’re not getting the engagement you want or you are working for. It’s in those times that it is most tempting to ask yourself if you should to quit or keep going?

And sometimes…it’s just not fun. That’s the one thing I dread the most. I never want to get to a point in my blog where I feel like writing is a chore. I always want it to be fun and something I look forward to.

Ask yourself what is really important.

What is really important? Blogging to me is important but at this time in my life is it really important to cause more anxiety than my education? Or my health? No it’s not.

I’ve always gotten some form of anxiety/FOMO from social media so I always aggressively take action when I feel it creeping up again. I try to re-center my thoughts and focus on what is really important. Doing this removes those feelings of anxiety.

Only do the bare minimum and what is necessary

You’re not super woman. It’s okay to not be able to do 1000 things at once. Try to focus on one thing and do that well. Last week, I didn’t want to read any posts or pin on Pinterest. I guess you could say I took a break because I didn’t have the mental energy to do blogging stuff. I just wanted to binge watch Stranger things 2. LOL

All I did was like a few pictures on my Instagram. It really took the pressure off for a while and now I’m ready to go back in full force!

Always try to automate things that can be automated. Automate your Pinterest with Tailwind. You could even automate your Instagram. At the moment, I don’t do either because I don’t want to spend that money yet. But once I do, it will definitely ease the pressure of keeping up with blogging for me! I highly recommend it.

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Force yourself to write, Even if you don’t feel like it.

When I don’t feel like writing, I write. Even if it’s the shittiest thing I’ve ever written in my life I’ll keep typing and finish the post. I can then later go back and edit it. Which usually turns out to be a really good post!

You don’t have to be completely inspired each time you write a post. I highly doubt that even the greatest writers were inspired each time they put the ink on paper. So write away!

Don’t get hung up on numbers

It’s fun when you’re growing in numbers but very discouraging when you are not gaining followers or even losing them! My fellow blogger friends often complain about losing followers so I can empathise with them over this situation.

Never compromise yourself for a few followers or likes. It soooo exhausting and burns you out faster than you can imagine. I know numbers are all the rage right now in the blogging world but I believe we are shifting towards an engagement-centric community soon. It doesn’t matter, as long as your 50, 100 or 1000 followers are engaged that is amazing in itself.

Your blog, your rules

It’s your blog and you make the rules. When I had 15 followers and now I have 2400, I always had an audience that genuinely enjoyed my content. I listened to them but I always blogged about what truly interested me. I made the rules as I saw fit and because of this, it’s more difficult for me to be overwhelmed with blogging.

At the end of the day, do what makes you happy with your blog and if something is making you feel unpleasant, scrap it! It takes the edge off knowing you are completely in control of your blogging outcome…


I hope I’ve helped you with some ways to get over those overwhelming feelings over your blog.

I would love to know if you’ve ever felt overwhelmed with blogging?

What methods do you use to ease that pressure?

3 Things That Made Me Accept My Natural Hair

I have had a complicated relationship with my hair. I grew up in a society that did not accept my natural hair, afro’s or dreadlocks. Straight silky hair was right and kinky hair was wrong. Right from when I was little, I went to the salon every three weeks to get a relaxer. Now if you don’t know what a relaxer is it’s a strong chemical that you put on your hair to straighten it permanently. I had extremely coarse and thick hair that my mother couldn’t comb so this was the best option at the time. Also, everyone was doing it so it was not a big deal.

I think most people can agree that relaxers are more harmful than good. The hair relaxers always burnt my scalp (yes, chemical burns on my scalp!!) but I always loved the straight silky look I got when I wore a relaxer.

I never knew what my actual hair looked like. I always had the impression that my hair was some sort of untamable beast that needs a relaxer unless all my hair would fall out.  It was unthinkable not relaxing my hair!

I also thought that people who had natural hair were dirty, lazy and god forbid they had dreadlocks. This was years of conditioning where I grew up where your natural hair was not appreciated.

 

3 things that made me accept my natural hair

Breaking the Stereotype

The first time I saw a woman with natural hair was on YouTube. Shoutout to Karen aka Glamfun. She looked beautiful, and she looked like me!! Could I really have hair like that? I decided to go natural because I was tired of using weaves as a crutch. I didn’t like the fact that I felt less of a woman once I didn’t have a weave on and felt the need to hide or compensate with more makeup!

It was then and there that I decided to go natural! It wasn’t always an easy journey but reminding myself of these three things finally made me accept my natural hair and love it for what it is!

  1. Your hair is a unique representation of you

Absolutely no ones hair can be the same. Your hair is designed perfectly for you. It’s adapted to your skin colour, your weather, even the colour of your eyes. Your hair has a personality of its own and you should never compare list for list with another persons hair. Using a natural hair typing system may be only part of the equation but just because you and someone have the same hair type does not mean you can do the same things on your hair and have the same results! It will always look different. Embrace its uniqueness cause that is you.

    2. Get preconceived notions of what you think “good hair” should look like out of your mind

I’ve learnt that healthy hair is good hair. Healthy hair always looks good no matter what texture, color or length. Once you remove unrealistic expectations of what you think your hair should look like and accept it for what it is, it will be great! I used to admire people who had long flowing locks of hair and hated natural hair. The self-hatred and conditioning was real ladies! Now I appreciate all hair types, but I have a special admiration for afro’s. They’re just a special breed awesomeness!

On days that I think my hair looks like absolute shit, I get 1000 compliments on it. So never think your hair is ugly because it’s not what you think it should look like!


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3. Stop obsessing over your hair length

When I first went natural I was obsessed with growing my hair long. I always had 16 inch weaves so to go from that to short hair was very challenging for me. I also felt like I had to grow my hair long because my hair had been grazing my neck my whole life and I wanted to prove to someone I could grow it long for some reason. This led me to do arduous things that I didn’t like only because it would give me long hair. Instead of enjoying my hair at every step of its journey, I was always obsessing over it. As long as your hair is healthy, it will grow!

Now I pretty much don’t care about having long hair. I’m even contemplating cutting it shorter because it’s so much more easier to manage! In the end, your hair is an extension of you. Accepting it may not always be easy, but once you do it is extremely liberating.

Thank you so much for reading! If you would like see one of the ways I take care of my natural hair check out my Ultimate Routine For Thick, Curly Hair!

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I’ve Gone Self Hosted: The Move To My New Website!

I’ve Gone Self Hosted: The Move To My New Website!

I have been flirting with the idea of going self hosted for months now and I finally did it! I’ve Moved! If you’re reading this post right now it means you’re still subscribed to Thepearlylife.wordpress.com!

I have now moved my blog over to thepearlylife.com so I will no longer update posts on this website!

I hope you can join me over on my new website! I already have some new posts I would love you to read.

Thank you so much for your support on my blog. I wouldn’t be here without it. ❤️

Love,

Pearl.

How To Let Go Of Negativity On Social Media and The Blogosphere

How To Let Go Of Negativity On Social Media and The Blogosphere

It more difficult to stay positive on social media and the blogosphere these days when you are bombarded by negative feelings and ideas on a daily basis. I have recently seen many posts about how blogging is changing (for the worse), the Instagram algorithm sucks and bloggers are liars. Basically, the rhetoric is that blogging is all round more difficult. I have also witnessed a couple of twitter fights among people and Snapchat stories where someone is calling another person names and asking for a fight. It is all very exhausting to witness.

Regarding the blogging situation, I personally believe that blogging and it’s platforms must eventually evolve and change. There may be a few growing pains while that happens, but there is always room to thrive in any environment!

I’m a generally positive person so I always try to avoid negativity at all costs now. Be it negative thoughts like anger and envy or just negative people and posts in general. It is not always easy, but here are some of the tactics I had to adopt to let go of that negativity!

Out of sight, out of mind.

Everyone knows the best way to get over something is to cut all contact. I think the same can be applied in dealing with negativity and negative emotions. Everything I ingest on social media is done in a conscious manner now because I know how slippery that slope is. One minute you’re admiring the beautiful vacation someone took and the next minute you’re wallowing in self-pity about how shitty your own life is.

Everyone is living different lives and it is very clear that social media is not what it seems. Most people show you the best versions of themselves. When they are laughing and looking their best in beautiful places. They don’t show you their tears, fears or struggles. Everyone has bad days. The person who’s life you think is perfect may be dealing with worse problems than you. For this reason, it’s very important to not compare your life at face value to other people on social media.

I also periodically assess how the people I follow make me feel. Do I feel inspired following this person or does it bring up negative feelings on my part? If I feel negative feelings, I unfollow that person immediately. It doesn’t matter if they are a stranger I met from the internet or a close friend. Surrounding myself with people who bring positive thoughts and feelings is important for my mental health and well-being! I believe our mental health is something we should not take lightly.

Ignore, Block, Repeat.

Whenever we are attacked by someone on the internet it’s very easy to think of a witty reply and lash out to the person that hurt you. But when you take a few seconds to assess the situation you realise that the people who are attacking you are probably projecting their insecurities on you. Once you’re aware of this, it is easier to let things go.

I have thankfully not been in any major conflicts on social media for a while now but I realised that they dwindled down once I started ignoring the people that attacked me. Arguing is a massive waste of time to me. It hardly goes anywhere and you can end up saying something very hurtful. I now have the policy of if I get attacked, I will silently block the person. It preserves my dignity and cuts the conflict short.

However, some things are harder to ignore than others and in that case, I’m an advocate for standing up for yourself. But it’s important to pick and choose our battles.

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Put things in perspective.

Putting your life in perspective and really acknowledging the privileges that you have is a good practice to adopt. You may not have a perfect life on paper, but there is almost always something to be thankful for. Focusing on the good things in your life can help you let go of the negativity. Also, having a positive outlook in the midst of negativity is a very important.

I also noticed that a lot of the things I used to get riled up about on the internet are really not that important in the grand scheme of things. Once I realized this, I stopped letting things get to me or offend me and just let it go!

Take a breather

Designating time to focus on you is great. It refreshes you and may make social media seem not so negative anymore. I have at least one day of the week where I don’t open my Instagram or WordPress. This activity became important to me after my Social Media Detox. It allowed me to forget the world of ones and zeros and really be in the moment. Sometimes it’s difficult to leave because there is this irrational a fear of missing out, but I always try to remember that it will be there when I come back!

Final Tip: Follow loads of meme accounts on Instagram, you will not be disappointed. LOL

I hope you enjoyed reading this post! I would love to know what your thoughts are on negativity in general.

How do you feel about negative posts and negativity on social media?

How do you deal with that negativity?

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What One Year Of Blogging Has Taught Me

What One Year Of Blogging Has Taught Me

I recently got a notification from WordPress that I have been blogging for a year now! Technically, I created my blog a year ago but I only started actively blogging 3 months ago. I have experienced a lot of ups and downs during these past 3 months and I think it would be lovely to share what I have learnt about blogging so far. I hope you enjoy!

Blogging is not as easy as it seems

That perfect flatlay and glamorous pictures you see on blogs have probably been taken a 100 times to look just right. Before I started blogging I used to think people just empty the contents of their makeup bag and everything falls beautifully in place. I didn’t understand why mine looked like a hot mess. It takes a lot of effort and hours to plan posts, write it, take pictures and promote it. Blogging can easily turn into a full-time job! You have to be consistent and diligent and always try to improve. It’s not easy, but definitely worth it. So far!

If something isn’t working, don’t be afraid to scrap it

When I first started blogging I couldn’t decide on what niche I wanted to blog about. So I started with many niches like music, movies, books, fashion, makeup, travelling and lifestyle. I started posting and I quickly realised that people did not like reading my independent posts about music, books and movies. So I deleted all those posts and I slowly dwindled down my topics to things that people liked. I listened to my readers and acted accordingly.

I think its okay to not blog about everything. Even if you love everything like me LOL. I think my opinion is more valued in certain areas than others, which is great! It allows my thoughts to be more targeted and my quality to be better. Don’t be afraid to adapt especially when you are starting out because you have we have so much lee way for change now!

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Shamelessly promote your blog

A lot of people feel shy about sharing their blog posts but it is one of the best ways for people to find your blog. I am not saying that you should be that annoying, spammy blogger, but doing things like sharing your posts once social media and leaving your blog link at the end of comments is a great way to get your blog out there. If you feel uncomfortable about sharing your posts with people you know you can carve out an entirely separate community of strangers to share your posts with. For example, I now have a separate Instagram page where I am striving to grow a community of like-minded people different from followers on my personal page!

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Interact with the blogging community

Interacting with other people is so important when you’re a blogger. It’s not enough to just publish posts and sit and wait for something to happen. I make sure to reply to every single person that took the time to comment on my post. Doing this helps build relationships with the people that read your posts! Also, do not be afraid to comment on other people’s posts, share their blog post, like them or follow them on Instagram. When you comment, try to leave thoughtful comments. Simply commenting “Nice” or “Great post” does not count. It shows you didn’t read a word of the persons post. Truly interacting really makes your blogging experience so much better!

This is one of the best tips for growing any social media site; posting often, striving for quality content and interacting with the community!

 Be yourself

I think it’s perfectly okay to derive inspiration from another person because almost everything under the sun has been blogged about. I think what makes a post unique in particular is the fact that it is your unique perspective. That is why it is important to be honest and be yourself. It is so exhausting trying to act like something you are not and I think people can pick up on that. On the flip side, it is so liberating when people embrace unique aspects of your personality that you may think are weird or not good enough. That can be what makes you stand out!

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I’m definitely still a baby blogger and I have no idea what I am doing 99.999 percent of the time so these are just some of the things I have learnt so far! I also have no idea what I’m going to do when I move into a self hosted site. And what in heavens name is SEO and HTML? This is uncharted territory. LOL wish me luck and fingers crossed that I appear graceful admist the madness!

What has blogging taught you?

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