40 RANDOM FACTS ABOUT ME

I did this a year ago and now I’m doing 40 facts to add to it. I hope you find this at least mildly entertaining.

  1. I am the eldest of four children; I have two younger sisters and one younger brother.
  2. I have a pet dog called Rolfie. He is 9 months old and we’ve had him since he was 6 months old. He hates dog food and strangers. (He is smelling me while I write this.)
  3. I’m not a party person. I’d literally prefer to stay at home than go out, most of the time.
  4. I love make -up, especially eye make-up.
  5. I’ve been blogging for over two years.
  6. I can’t ride a bike.
  7. My first published piece was a poem I wrote when I was 12.
  8. I’ve worked in the government.
  9. Both my parents are lawyers, ministers and authors. My mum is also a councillor in our local council.
  10. I love animated movies.
  11. I love cooking, but I can get extremely cranky if people bother me whilst I’m in my cooking zone.
  12. I’ve been singing in my church choir since I was 9/10
  13. My favourite colour is purple.
  14. RomComs are the best.
  15. I can be quite a loud person if I’m feeling comfortable but I generally hate unnecessary noise.
  16. I love education and learning but hate school.
  17. I got to sleep before 10pm most nights.
  18. I am a born again Christian and I strongly believe in God.
  19. Jesus is my life. My life is Jesus.
  20. I use twitter and Instagram way too much – (@PaulaPaceSetter)
  21. I have a complicated relationship with food.
  22. I let my age limit me in life for a long time.
  23. I find people who are similar to me extremely annoying, but at the same time they usually become my closest friends.
  24. I have poor eyesight and therefore have prescribed glasses that I never really wear.
  25. I love gospel music; it is so uplifting.
  26. I became a YouTuber in Summer 2014.
  27. The only countries I have been to are Nigeria, Belgium, France and Wales, and obviously England, which is where I live.
  28. I can be such a fangirl, but I hide it relatively well.
  29. When I become friends with someone I am also committed to helping them or supporting them. Due to this, I am still friends with people I met 10 years ago.
  30. I usually prefer covers to the original song.
  31. I hate swearing with a passion.
  32. I have strong opinions about certain topics, and I am not easily persuaded.
  33. I hate going to the cinema.
  34. I have more girl friends than guy friends but tend to be closer with my guy friends than girl friends.
  35. I don’t like boybands.
  36. I don’t drink fizzy drinks or alcohol, I only like juice.
  37. Ice cream is my kryptonite.
  38. Young people are my passion and I spend most of my time trying to positively impact young people’s life.
  39. Recently, I’ve decided I want to be a presenter, after presenting a talent show and showcase, as well as a journalist; Benny Bonsu is my inspiration when it comes to journalism and presenting.
  40. I am NOT an outdoorsy person but in Summer 2014 I went to Wales, where I climbed up a waterfall, I climbed inside dark tunnels inside a mountain and came out at the top, I went camping, I went canoeing and I jumped into a freezing lake even though I can’t swim. I literally still can’t believe that I did all of that.

Peace&Love.

Paula ox’

Why smoking is a gross habit

Smoking is such a disgusting, repulsive habit that I literally cannot stand. This post is not to say that Smokers themselves are bad people, because I genuinely don’t believe that they are. This post is to highlight how bad the habit is.

In the UK, over 10 MILLION people smoke, and sadly, 200,000 children between the ages on 11 and 15 smoke too. Two thirds of smokers start smoking before 18 and are totally hooked by the time they become fully grown adults. (ASH.org.uk, 2014)

A lot of young people smoke nowadays, which is something I say full of regret. There is this brand-new phenomenon called ‘social smoking’, which is where (and I quote) you don’t really smoke but if you’re with your friends and they’re smoking, then you’ll smoke. Is it only me who finds that stupidly immature and amazingly ridiculous? If you’re going to smoke, smoke because you want to, not because your friend asked you too (not that you should smoke, anyway).

This phenomenon has swept the nation, causing smoking areas to be added to colleges (which I am also against, by the way). It feels like these students are practically back at primary school where the popular girl or boy says everyone should wear a red scarf or says everyone shouldn’t play with someone and everyone listens, because they were all mindless sheep (Sorry but that’s how my primary and high school experiences were, I don’t know about you guys). It is ridiculous.

In all seriousness, peer pressure can really be a huge battle to fight against. You can feel different and isolated when you don’t smoke, especially if all your friends do. This can feel terrible, there is no denying that, but seriously, peer pressure is no excuse. Every year, 100,000 smokers die due to their addiction (ASH.org.uk, 2014). Sorry to be blunt, but you will NOT take your friend who introduced you to smoking with you to the grave. You’ll just take yourself.

Cigarettes don’t taste nice (I’m totally guessing because I have NEVER tried one and I don’t plan on trying one), so the reason for trying one and starting the habit is because someone first offered you one and you thought, “ooh better accept it because I don’t want to look like a loser. It’s only one ciggie and Mum isn’t here so she’ll never know.” My smoking friends have never been brave enough to try and offer me a cigarette because they know I’d probably stuff it up their nose. But, I do understand how tempting this may seem to someone who is totally reliant on what people think about them. Fair enough. I just want you to believe me entirely when I say, your real friends would respect you even if you choose to not smoke with them. If they make you feel downgraded because you don’t join them, they are not real friends. Period.

How do you guys even afford it? I’ve always wondered that. I used to know this girl who was so addicted to smoking that she would steal money from her mum’s purse. Then she got to the age where she could work, and began looking for a job so she could fuel her addition. Crazy. Just obsessive.

My tip to not falling for the craze of smoking is to be sure of yourself. If you say to yourself, “I won’t smoke.” then no one can make you smoke (unless they stuffed it in your mouth, then I would call the police because I’m pretty sure that is called assault). But to help yourself, trying and stay away from areas where everyone around you is smoking. You become a second-hand smoker (don’t even get me started on second hand smoking! I hate when everyone is blowing smoke in your face, like ‘mate, if I wanted to smoke and kill myself with you, I would have asked!’). Just don’t put yourself in the situation where you feel pushed to do something you don’t want to do, and don’t put yourself in the scene where you look abnormal because you aren’t doing what everyone else is doing. Just don’t do that to yourself.

(Source: http://www.ash.org.uk/files/documents/ASH_93.pdf)

Random question: is it true that smoking can turn your lips black? *gags*

 

I hope you enjoyed reading this post. I wrote this because someone asked me how I managed to not give in to peer pressure and join the large smokers community based at my college. I tried to make it funny (well, I wouldn’t say tried. I just am, lol) because it’s such a serious topic that talking about it makes it seem like I’m ranting and deliberately attacking people who smoke, because I really am not. I am so passionate about young people and it hurts to see young people literally cutting their lives in half because of a 10cm stick. It really hurts. So take this as advice and inspiration and not as rebuke.

 

Peace&Love.

Paula ox’

I met young MP Chuka Umunna and I was inspired

So, when it comes to politics, I usually have no view. I don’t really know a lot about it, although I am starting to learn.

My mum is a committed member of the Labour Party. Now when I say committed, I mean committed. Like, she goes campaigning with her ‘crew’ on frosty Saturday mornings – she’s dedicated.

On Saturday 11th of January 2014, I decided to tag along with her to one of her Labour campaigns. They were handing out leaflets outside a shopping centre in a neighbouring ward. I was standing in the background, totally freezing, but totally loving the whole atmosphere and vibe. These people are genuinely passionate about their cause and want people to hear them out. They didn’t force people to listen to them, they simply explained what they believed and left people to make up their own minds. I respect that. I feel like, people should be given the information then left to choose what they believe or what they want to do with the information they received. That’s why I try to not shove my opinion down anyone’s throats (‘try’ being a significant word).

After about an hour, Chuka Umunna turned up. For those of you that don’t know (and you really should know, by the way) Chuka is a British politician, Member of Parliament (MP) for Streatham (since 2010) and the Shadow Business Secretary (since 2011). He’s kind of a big deal. My mum was seriously excited about him being there because he’s half Nigerian and from the same tribe as my family. My mum totally used him as a subject for a ‘if he can do it, you can do it’ lecture which I pretty much heard the WHOLE day but I can’t really complain. It was inspiring, especially concerning how humble he was.

Now everything I say, I say with good intentions so hear me out. Many (note how I said ‘many’, NOT all) Black, Asian, coloured, non-white or whatever you like to call yourselves people like to use their race and background as an excuse and as a reason to not succeed and to not do well in life. Many like to blame racism or the government or the police or pretty much anyone, for the reasons they are not succeeding. You guys have got to get over it. I’m not saying racism is finished, because I’m pretty sure it still exists. But for goodness sakes, we’re in a generation that has seen a Black president of the United States of America – place where racism, years ago, was horrendous – for two bloody terms. Come on now. What I’m saying is that I never ever ever believe that your colour, background or any aspect of you is a reason why you aren’t who you want to be and isn’t any indication as to why you aren’t where you desire. Get over that ‘pity me and my people’ attitude. Without being all cliché and cheesy, the only obstacle that can be a huge hindrance in your way, is you and your mind-set. That’s something I learnt YEARS ago.

Did you think it was easy for a young high school girl, living in London (a city with 8.3 million other people with dreams and hopes just like her) to randomly start a blog nearly two years ago, where she could share her love for writing and inspiring people? I had a million-and-one reasons as to why I shouldn’t do it. I had pressure to focus and get good grades at school. I had pressure to be social with my friends and be popular (and all that nonsense). I had pressure to know what I want to be when I grow up, career-wise (to be perfectly honest, I’m not even sure now, something to do with writing, I think). I was confused about who to tell about my blog, how would people take it? I was worried I wouldn’t even get views. Simply put, I was confused and worried and scared and anxious, but I went for it. And here I am.

I’m not sure where I am headed and I’m not sure what I’m going to be, but one thing I am sure about is I’ll work hard all of the time, and at the end I will succeed, and I plan on bringing my friends and family along this journey with me.

The other day I was reading the Bible on my Bible app (technology can be really great), when I came across a Bible verse that is totally perfect for this post: Proverbs 10:4 (CEB) says; Laziness brings poverty; hard work makes one rich.

This verse explains that being hard working is a positive thing in a person and makes you rich, physically rich (money and all that good stuff) or emotional and mentally rich, were you are content with life and feel like you’re a functioning, profitable addition to society and to the world. But obviously, don’t work too hard. Leave time for fun. I’m lucky because this blog is both work and fun.

The feature image is a picture my mum took of Chuka and I. She asked permission from him directly to take the photo, so I’m assuming I have permission to post it on my blog (awks if I don’t). AND I’d like to thank Chuka for inspiring me and reminding me of what I first wanted to do myself. Inspire people.

I’d also like to remind you, I follow no political party. My mother just happened to support Labour, and I went to the campaign, just to support her. But, I definitely agree with some of the Labour Party’s ideology. (Torrie fans, please don’t hate me) It’s only just occurred to me, most of you readers are not living in the UK. Please don’t be put off by the fact that you don’t understand British politics, because truth be told, I don’t either. Just be inspired by my overall message, which is work hard.

Well, this was one of my favourites. I’ve been distracted for long time on here, but I’m back on track!

Peace&Love.

Paula ox’

Team healthy living

People say I always have phases in life when I’m obsessed with a particular thing, activity, music, artist etc for a while, then I get bored of it and move on. As sad and childish as that makes me sound, it is so true.

I’m laughing because on the 25th of September 2012, I wrote a post about healthy living and that phase of mine lasted like a week, maybe even less.

But now, I’m a lot more grown up so I’d like to believe I mean it for real this time.

Ever since the first day of the year, I have made a conscious effort to eat healthier. i must say, I was a relatively healthy person beforehand, because I don’t eat a lot (which is really hard to believe since I am always talking about food and complaining about being hungry lol), but this year I hope to improve my relationship with food. I used to eat really irregularly, skipping meals and bingeing. BUT NO MORE.

So far I’ve managed to stay on track, but since college is back the real challnege is back too. Part of my healthy living also, I do a 25 minitue walk every morning to college and a 25 minute walk back (so nearly an hour of walking a day which is the only nit of excersie I do).

Let’s see how that works out, lovelies:’)

Peace&Love.

Paula ox’

Who do you think influences you more – your family or your friends?

So, I’d like to discuss the idea that nowadays friends and peers influence teenagers more than their families do. Is that true? And if so, why is that? I mean, surely the people who birthed you, looked after you and everything in that nature should be the people you look up to the most. I asked lots of different the same question and here are a few of their answers and interpretation as to who influences them.

Who influences you the most, your friends or family, and why?

  •  I’d say friends because I tend to avoid my family. That’s because they annoy a lot and it’s a lot easier to leave my friends when they get on my nerves.  – Male, 16
  • I would like to say both but honestly, it’s my family. I think it’s the fact that you’re always around your family as you grow up so you learn things from siblings and learn to obey your parents. – Female, 16
  • Friends influence me more in the sense that we are in the same age group and so we can relate to each other. We keep each other updated with the latest hot topics, gossip and trends. – Female, 25
  • Well, I’d say friends, probably because your friends understand how you feel on a mutual level, whereas family may only see things from their point of view, a majority of the time. In this way, you could also relate to a friend’s choices which would make me feel like I am more influenced by friends as to making choices, than family. – Female, 16
  • I say friends because you choose to spend more time with your friends than family. – Male, 16
  • Personally, it would be family but not necessarily my parents because they’re boring and don’t fully understand my generation. I would say, however, that I am influenced by my older siblings especially my older brother is who I really look up to and I would say is the  biggest influence in my life. – Male, 16
  • I think both the groups of people are equally influential in a young person’s life because regardless of how much time someone spends at home with their family, their peers and friends outside of the home are people they can relate to the most. So friends are likely to influence them a lot, as well. – Female, 16
  • I am going to say family influence me the most because family members are always around to push you to do what they want you to do, or what they think is best for you.- Male, 17
  • I would say that friends influence me more, although it may not seem like it, we really do spend a lot of time with our friends. A large majority of our colloquial terms have been adopted from our friends & peers and sometimes even personality traits. By this I mean, the way we act, our use of register, and how we address people, whether this may be formal and informally. Moreover, we care considerably more about the opinions of our friends than we care our parents. If our mum or dad suggested we saw a movie we wouldn’t necessarily be persuaded into going to watch that movie, until perhaps a friend mentions it. In a way, we are sort of driven by the social desirability presented to us by our friends. – Female, 17
  • Friends influence young people more at this stage of their lives than their family. They tend to value the opinion of other young people (not only just friends) above that of their family members. – Female, over 25
  • I would say both family and friends influence me in different ways. Family because they initially set up whom I am as a person. There are certain immoral things that I could never do because my mum and dad have brought me up that way. Your culture also plays a part; certain decisions I make will be influenced by where I am from and my culture and heritage. On the other hand, friends influence me on the day-to-day things, as I tend to see them regularly. Sometimes the influence I get from my friends clashes with that of my family. – Female, 16
  • I would say both groups influence young people. There is a wide diversity of types of young people, some who are more influenced by friends and some influenced by family, depending on the individual. Some listen to their family more as they are close to them and can gain guidance from them. Others prefer to speak to their friends about personal issues they may not feel comfortable discussing with parents, e.g. relationships or social lives. They may however confide in their siblings, depending on how close they are to them. – Male, over 25

After receiving all these different views I was confused as to what I thought the answer of this question is. I think young people are like sponges, especially at adolescence; they absorb information, behaviour and ideology from the things and people they see and hear around them. If you are always at home with your family, you’ll be more influenced by your family, of course. But also, you’ll be influenced largely by the media and internet. If you’re at home all of the time, as well as spending time with your family, you’re also watching TV, browsing the internet or reading books, thereby becoming aware of lots of new things. The new things you learn may influence the way you think, reason and perceive things and people in life. Likewise, if you’re never at home, love hanging out with your friends, and are the life of the party, you’ll obviously be influenced by your friends more. Therefore, my verdict is that it depends on the individual. You may initially have been mainly influenced by your family, as a child, but as you grew up and grew in independence, so did the places you searched for influence.

This is my interpretation. Comment bellow with yours.

 

Paula’s Idiolect

If you thought idiolect and idiot meant the same thing, you’re completely wrong, but you are not alone. I first thought something along those lines.

A person’s idiolect is their own personal way of speaking. It consists of the words and type of language they choose to speak. There are specific words and phrases that people use that become associated with them.

This post will basically explain my idiolect and how and where I have been influenced in the way I speak. I recently did a project on the study of English Language and the way we speak (especially concerning the British youth in the UK) and I thought it might be an interesting thing for you all to read. Obviously, I live in London, England so some of you more international readers may not fully understand all of this. But it’s been made to entertain you so don’t take everything too seriously.

Okay. First of all, English is the only language I am fluent in. My background is Nigerian and I can understand a few words in the Nigerian languages of Igbo and Yoruba but no where near as well as English. I learnt a bit of German and French but again, I am not fluent. That’s so embarrassing to admit.

Generally, I believe I speak correct standard English but when I’m with my friends and peers, I may use a few ‘mainstream’ slang words, such as ‘deep’, ‘butters’, ‘dead’, ‘safe’.. etc. However, I tend to not speak slang per se, but use regular words and change them to have slightly different meanings. For example; I say awkward a lot, often shorten it to awks. This means an uncomfortable situation or someone who makes you uncomfortable by the way they act. I also use it to mean ‘my bad’, like when I realise I got something or did something wrong.

Here are a few specific words I use and examples, with a brief funny translation as to what they mean (you’re allowed to laugh here, they’re meant to be funny)

  • Awkward: “I am way too awkward” – I always create uncomfortable situations for myself, unintentionally. 
  • Forever: “Boys in suits are forever winning.” – Males who dress smartly tend to look more attractive than males who do not.
  • Oh My Days (OMDs): “Oh my days, she said that?” – I cannot believe she said that, but I’ll ask anyway just to make sure.
  • Shambles/Shambolic: “I’m just looking shambolic  today.” – I look so horrible today that it’s comical. 
  • Ridiculous: “Sometimes, I am so cocky it’s actually ridiculous.” – Most of the time, I act cocky and it doesn’t really make sense because I’m actually not.
  • Genuinely: “genuinely used to have a phobia of planes.” - I’m not lying, I used to have a phobia of planes. Honest. I am not exaggerating.
  • Bloody: “And they didn’t bloody call me.” – I’m annoyed that they didn’t call me but I’m too much of a good Christian girl to swear so I’ll express my anger through the word Bloody.
  • Actually: “I actually love going to both a sixth form and a college.” – I’m surprised, I didn’t think I would like it since I was forced to do both but I actually like it. 
  • Freaking: “I’m so freaking hungry!” – I’m in need of food but I’d rather sit here and complain, because that seems easier.
  • Really: “I don’t take myself too seriously, so you really shouldn’t.” – I don’t mind being a fool so you shouldn’t either.
  • Though: “That girl’s fringe, though.” - I like that girls hair so much I can’t finish my sentence.
  • Basically: Basically, I start every sentence with basically.” – Basically, I don’t know what to say but saying basically gives me time to think.
  • Literally: “I literally love her vocals.” - I love her singing so much, I’m practically in love with them. 
  • Randomly: “I start randomly singing and dancing as I walk down the street.” - Whilst walking, I forget where I am and start singing. Then I look around, realise where I am and get embarrassed and stop. 
  • Generally: “I’m generally a nice person.” - Most of the time, I’m a nice person. But I have my moments, so be scared.

In recent years, I’ve noticed as I grow up that girls have become more intimate, to an extent. It’s more common for girls to call their friends ‘babe’ ‘sweetie’ or ‘hun’ or something that used to be what a boyfriend or love interest used to say. Here are a few words I call my friends, girls or boys, but mostly girls. I usually use these to greet someone or start a text/tweet.

  • “Babes”
  • “Mate”
  • “Matey”
  • “Love”
  • “Boo”
  • “Gorge”

Another influence in the development of language and specifically how I speak, is the rise of social media, especially Twitter and instant messaging. I’ve started saying specific words that I picked up from twitter. Sociolect refers to how a specific social group talk for example, young college students. There is a sociolect specific to twitter, that many twitter users use.

 

OKAY.

That was a longish one. What I am saying is, overall, I have a specific was I speak that people do tend to recognise. The other day, I called someone ridiculous and they were slightly offended until I explained that it’s part of my idiolect. When I call you ridiculous it means you’re really random and funny because you’re generally unpredictable. So, it’s a good thing.

I hope this was interesting. I think this post was extremely needed so that you can fully understand all my other post.

Peace&Love.

Paula ox’