It’s personal…

I wrote this a long time ago but I didn’t post it for the very reason that it is personal. I do not worry as much now, which is why I am posting it now. But everything I say still applies. Respect my wishes.

It’s times like this that I strongly dislike having people I know well read my blog. Strangers don’t judge you or treat you differently when they found out you’re a little more broken than you let on.

But I don’t care about that right now. This is my blog, therefore it is my life and my feelings that will be presented here.

Do not under any circumstances try and talk to me or message me about this post. I don’t want to talk to you about it. I do not want to know if you have read this or not. I am not writing it for anyone but myself; do not see it as a weakness.

Now, unto the sensitive subject of financial security or should I say insecurity. Growing up, I have always known the value of the pound, mainly because we were always counting them. I don’t know when exactly this began but I vaguely remember, one day we had money for every little thing I asked for, then the next day, mummy and daddy were saying no because they needed to pay the rent.

Listen, I would never ever complain about how much I have and I would never ever blame my parents or anyone. Because my family have made some crazy sacrifices for me. My parents are two of the most hard working individuals on the face of the planet. They have so many roles I literally have to take a breath before I begin to describe them. That’s one thing I got from them.

The perks of being financially insecure is that you learn how to do without. I could do without the latest stuff and I was fine. I still had friends. I still fitted in. How many kids nowadays can say that?! Another perk is that I knew how to stretch every pound and every penny’s worth. If you give me a fiver, I could come back with a multitude of treasures (I’m basically the glam version of a bargain hunter).

Since the age of twevle, I have been obsessed with the idea of getting a job. Looking back now, I realise that as much as I enjoyed hard work, it was also because I craved stability. Debt scares me, like crazy.

There are so many things about me and my background that people would never even realise because of the way I carry myself. I am not my problems or struggles. I am Paula; a strong woman who works so hard for everything she has and therefore deserves them.

This post isn’t going to change my life or change who I am. But this post is helping me to accept who I am and to remind me why it is I work so hard.

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Peace&Love.

Paula Melissa xx

Things that happened this year that I am thankful for – 2015 + video

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2015 has been a whirlwind of highs and lows (mainly highs). This post is going to highlight some of the highs in a bid to be thankful to God for everything that has happened this year.  So, in no particular order;

  • 2015 is the year I successfully completed my A Levels. This is a big deal to me because no one but the Lord truly understands how hard I worked and how stressed I was at that time.
  • Following on from the previous point, 2015 is the year I began university. I can honestly say, uni is THE best thing to have ever happen to me. I love all the new people from all over the UK I have met. I love the independence. I love how much I have surprised myself. I love that everyday is different and some how even the most mundane, routine of tasks seems fun to me.
  • 2015 is the year I was awarded the Royal Television Society’s Television Production and Broadcast Journalism Bursary. I think sometimes I forget how amazing this actually is. I am one of a handful of undergraduates who it was awarded to. Also, the RTS are such a respected organisation, I know I am learning from the best of the best.
  • 2015 is the year I worked on NCS. National Citizen Service is a youth program that I was actually a part of a few years ago, so to come back and work on it, as a mentor, was amazing. I have never worked this hard before but at the same time, it was so fulfilling knowing I was making a difference in the lives of the young people I worked with over the summer.
  • 2015 is the year I went on a weekend away retreat with my uni’s Christian Union. This may not be a big deal to some people but it was to me. Despite growing up in a Christian home, I did not have the conventional ‘Christian Kid’ childhood of going to Christian summer camps and Sunday schools and all that good stuff. This weekend was quite pivotal in my Christian walk because I learned to stop judging other Christians. Plainly put, I was seeing God through the lenses of other Christians around me. I was not seeing that they were broken, messed up people just like me.
  • Nicely following on, 2015 is the year that my relationship with God has grown. I think this has a lot to do with university. At uni, God became my God and no longer the God of my parents. I had to go and find out what I believed and why I believed it. No one could believe on my behalf any more. I am still not yet where I need to be, but I am definitely getting there.
  • 2015 is the year my confidence grew in terms of singing in front of people. I have grown up singing in front of a congregation at church but I used to be terrified to sing any other time. I still get terrified, but I heard nerves can be good. This year I sang in my Senior Prom in front of my whole year group. This year, I also sang at an open mic night at uni. Both these performances were huge steps for me.
  • 2015 is the year I fulfilled my childhood dream of going to a WWE live event. I grew up watching WWE with my family and we always spoke of the day we would go and watch it live. It is the best feeling when you finally do something that the younger you has always wanted but believed would never happen – so fulfilling.
  • Last  but not least, 2015 is the year I continued to be dedicated to this blog and to my YouTube channel (click here to Subscribe ). My budget, time and sometimes motivation has been limited this year yet I am proud of the content I have put out to the world. 2016 everything will be bigger and better.

I have grown a tremendous amount this year. God has been so good. Please join me and be grateful for this year because it puts you in a good, prepared mindset for 2016.

 

Peace&Love.

Paula Melissa xx

Another year older

It’s my birthday!

It has become quite a tradition to write a post on my birthday.

I think birthdays are great opportunities to look over the many blessings we have in life, especially in the pasting year. New years are also a great time to do this.

2015 has been the best year of my life, mainly because I have seen such a masssssive change in it.

I am grateful for my friends and family and also for the woman I am becoming. She is quite a cool person, and I know the Paula from a few years ago may not have recognised her…

All thanks to God for sustaining me and bringing me through everything.

Can I also take this opportunity to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Prosperous New Year!! Thanks for reading :)

Peace&Love.

Paula Melissa xx

The Addition and Subtraction of Christmas

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Christmas time is definitely everyone’s favourite time of year, but I worry that people forget what the reason for this season is. This is because over the past few decades, we as a society have added things to Christmas and subtracted vital things from it.

Happy Holidays!

I first noticed ‘Happy Holidays’ replacing Merry Christmas a few years ago when there were suddenly more ‘Happy Holidays’ cards in card shops and people would greet you it, instead of Merry Christmas. From what I understand, it is a bid to include and incorporate other religious holidays that also happen to fall around the Christmas season (November till January).

I of all people am a huge advocate of equality and social cohesion for all types of people, religions and so on. However, I also believe in the monopolisation of religion. By this I mean, every religion is different and therefore each religious celebration should be given the space and monopoly to be celebrated how and when it wants to, respectively.

Personally, I think the merger of multiple (different) religious holidays to the replacement of one of the most important Christian celebrations is disrespectful. Why can’t we say Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Eid Mubarak separately? Why can’t we get cards that print these separately. Why must we combine all our celebrations and holidays, all for the sake of being politically correct and economically efficient.

It’s not about the money, money, money!

Christmas has become so over-commercialised that young families have come to secretly dread this time of year. Children are taught that Christmas equals expensive presents from mummy and daddy, while mummy and daddy are struggling to pay the bills and ensure that those same children have food in their bellies. It is actually so sad.

Whether you are a Christian or not, Christmas is a period we should all think about love. Jesus’ birth was the beginning of a demonstration of the craziest display of love man and womankind can even begin to think about. It is a time to show those around you love. To that lonely, elderly neighbour. To that widowed man who sits next to you on the bus every day.Spread Christmas spirit by showing random acts of kindness and love.

I hope that my children (in the distant future;) grow up in a society less concerned about commercial matters like what £150 trainers are in style or what new flashy toy is on trend and are more concerned with being good people.

Christmas hymns and carols being replaced with Christmas songs

I am generally a fan of modern things. Being born in the 90s, on the eve of the new millennium, I am part of what they call the digital generation. Also, I am a huge love of Christmas music all year around (yass a little bit of Bublé or Mariah is always good). But what I am not a fan of is carols and hymns being replaced with songs that are only Christmas related because they mention Santa or Mistletoe. I love the classics like ‘Oh Holy Night’, ‘Away in the Manger’ and ‘Silent Night’.

I am not saying those other songs do not have a place, because of course they do. It’s just their place is not at carol services – I do not want to be hearing ‘Santa Claus is coming to town’ in a carol service please and thank you.

The disappearance of the nativity scene

There are some obvious inaccuracies in nativity scenes but over all, they are such an important part of Christmas, especially for children. We rarely hear of school nativity plays in schools any more, and when we do, we only hear about them because they have been drastically added to or subtracted from.

The subtraction of the main guy Himself

It can be argued (and it definitely is) that Christmas is a pagan holiday and is not the right time of year. People need to understand that those things hardly matter. Christmas is a celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ, who was God born in human form to die for the sins and salvation of the whole world. Whether or not you believe this does not influence or change what Christmas is.

Of course people who do not believe that still enjoy Christmas time, and rightly so. But we as a society need to stop editing Jesus out of Christmas, with the intentions of not hurting people’s feelings.

Growing up in London, we were taught to be tolerant and respectful of other religions and cultures. We were taught what things were offensive to people’s beliefs and therefore we respected that. We would never dream of amending other religious holidays, so then why is it so easy to take the Christ out of Christmas?

It’s not Xmas, it’s CHRISTmas. 

If there are parts of Christmas you do not agree with, then simply do not participate in them. I would prefer that. Than taking out the key message of the whole thing – Jesus. He’s the reason for the season.

I think the moral of this post is that if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. We need to stop making Christmas all things to all people. Christmas is what it is. Have fun with it and adapt it for yourself, your family and community. But do not claim that that universally Christmas, that’s your Christmas traditions. Do not let Christmas lose its value and just become another thing we do in the year.
Peace&Love.

Paula Melissa xx

PRAY FOR PARIS, PRAY FOR HUMANITY

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My heart is really heavy, right now. There are so many things going on in the world that make me feel small, and useless and out of control. Yes, I know this is not about me but I want to be able to feel like I have done something to reduce the hurt that our world is feeling.

An earthquake in Japan. An attack in Lebanon. Bombings in Baghdad. Hurricane in Mexico. Terrorist attacks in Paris. I do not know what is happening and why it is happening, and neither do I claim to. If you have been affected by any of these disasters, I pray that you and your families are comforted. All I can offer are my prayers and my condolences.

I feel like we are getting closer and closer to the end of the world and while this is a really scary thought, I am strangely comforted by the idea of meeting my Maker soon. I know you may not what to here this as it may sound like a total cliché, but honestly, God is in control. I do not understand what is happening and I do not fully understand God and His ways, but I think that we will be alright.

Keep praying and keep fighting, because we only lose when we turn on each other based on religion and race and political views. We need to understand that before any of that, we share one thing in common – we are all human. We are all part of the human race. There are human beings out there today mourning the loss of children, wives, and husbands. Why not focus your energy on praying for them and showing them love in anyway you can, instead of spreading hatred towards people and religious groups. We are all mourning, as a human race we are all mourning.

My heart is so heavy. #PrayForHumanity

Paula Melissa xx

 

Jehovah Jireh, My Provider

Guys, this is a really real, really raw post, because right now, in this very moment, I am feeling some really real, really raw feelings.

It is days like this, moments like these that I begin to understand why they call God Jehovah Jireh! He is a provider. When you need something, He will supply it for You.

Coming to University was a new experience for me. It was my first real taste of actual independence. I am an adult. I am in charge of what I do, where I go, what I eat and perhaps most importantly where I spend my money.

This summer before uni, I got a job and worked really hard with the intention of saving money. However, as soon the money touched my bank account, it seemed to instantly evaporate literally into thin air. I suddenly had all these expenses and I watched as my hard-earned money disappeared.

You do not realise the value of money until you work for it yourself. You start to question all your purchases, like “This dress is worth 2 hours of work. Is it really worth it?”

I then got to the stage, nearly a month into uni, when I realised that food is expensive. So are textbooks. So are clothes and washing and printing and buses. Everything costs money and I was running low on the stuff.

So I did what any reasonable person would do. I called my parents. I expected a swift transfer of money into my account, instead I was met with “Trust in the Lord, Paula. Don’t worry.”

Okay. My parents  quoting Bible scriptures is a normal occurrence for me and usually it is quite comforting, but not this time. Like, obviously I trust in the Lord but can you just transfer some money to me please???? [They did eventually send me some money. Eventually!]

But reluctantly I did. I trusted in God and left the fact that I had no money in His hands and did not allow it to ruin my day.

I call Him Jehovah Jireh because He provides in ways that are beyond our imagination. He provides through means that we are not even aware of.

If you take Him as your Jehovah Jireh, He will show up strong. Just call out to him, leave it in His hands and trust in Him.

 

Peace&Love.

Paula Melissa xx

Comparing yourself with others

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When I was a little younger, I had officially come to grips with the idea that I am not as ‘naturally pretty’ as other girls. Where I got this idea from, I do not particularly know, but I do know that I believed it with all of my heart. In my young mind, some people are just beautiful. They were born with the lucky combination of chromosomes that made them gorgeous. But it is not all bad, because the rest of us have strengths too. Some of us were born with smarts, some can sing and dance, some have the undeniable talent to make people laugh. I did not believe I was given beauty, but that was okay because I exploited my strengths. I sang, I made people laugh, I worked hard in school, I wrote and I was a good friend to people who needed me. All the while, I never felt like not being ‘conventionally pretty’ hindered me. If anything, it empowered me, because I believed that everything I had, I had earned and didn’t have just because I was nice to look at.

Looking back, it is clear that I only had this view about myself because I compared myself to other people.

For most people, comparing yourself to others just distracts you from the many good qualities you hold. You might be amazing in one aspect, but complete overlook it because someone else shines bright in one particular thing. I learnt that I was beautiful. Maybe not in the conventional way, but then again, who wants conventional? I learnt that some of the things that make some people pretty do not work for me. I had to find indiviudal things that worked for me and made me confident and gorgeous. I think I have.

If you realise something does not work for you, you either forget about it or make it work for you. Life does not give you time to whine and cry about things that do not work, because there will be many things that do not work. If you do not work hard for it, you do not deserve it. Simple as that. And if you get things without working for them, you will not fully understand its value.

I am proud of the beautiful, young woman I have become today, mainly because I worked hard to become her. Because of this, I fully understand my value. I do not ever need to compare who I am, what I am, what I have to someone else, because I am enough. Until I realised this, I was incomplete, whether I realised it or not. If more people could see their worth, they would not care so much when they are cast down or told they are not good enough.

When I was a little girl, I was ‘encouraged’ to join my church choir, mainly because they desperately needed members. I had no interest in music and singing, I was much too busy with things nine-year old girls do. But I joined and soon I realised… I hated it. It was not for me, so I believed. I couldn’t hit the high notes, it took up way too much of my time and to make matters worse, the members were incredibly rude. They were not afraid to tell a nine-year old girl that she really could not sing. After crying on multiple occations, I realised they were probably right. Compared to the adults in the choir, I could not sing at all. However, I also realised that if I kept working hard, I will be able to sing. Fast forward a decade or two, and here I am. I can sing. I may not be Mariah Carey, but I can definetly hit more notes than I could then. The point of my anecdote is to demonstrate that comparing yourself with other people can also be a positive thing, but only if you use the comparison to motivate you. If you do it to pinpoint all the bad things about yourself, then it is not helpful.

You do not need someone to make you realise that you are better than where you are in life, right now. You just need yourself to make that first step to improvement. But sometimes it can be just as helpful to have people to measure against, just to show your progression.

Peace&Love.

Paula Melissa xx