Landscape and pose

I was out with my sister the other day, when we stumbled across the most gorgeous location. I happened to have my camera (Nikon Coolpix L330 in case you’re wondering) on me, so of course we had to take a few shots.

I am no photographer but photography has always been one of my loves (hence my never-ending Instagram photos [@PaulaPaceSetter]), so, please enjoy these photos myself and my sister took.

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Peace&Love.

Paula Melissa xx

A LEVEL RESULTS DAY 2015 – ROYAL TELEVISION BURSARY SOCIETY

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I am going to university!

I achieved and acceded the grades I needed to get into my dream university (which shall remain anonymous for security reasons and whatnot). I am so happy today, because it feels like my life is falling into place. And rightly so. Anyone who knows me, knows I work hard – extremely hard – for every single thing I have in life. In that way, I am entitled to feel a sense of pride in myself, but mainly in God. Thank You, God for giving me the strength to go to the library to study every day from 9am til 8pm. Thank you for giving me the focus to study instead of going out all of the time. All of the short term sacrifices have been worth it in the long term.

My A Level grades were AAB. Now to some people, that is amazing. To others, that is nothing. It doesn’t matter what they are to others however, because they are fantastic to me.

Another reason why I believe that today is one of the best days of my life is that, because I have been accepted by my university, I have received a bursary package from the Royal Television Society (RTS).  The RTS are an educational charity that work primarily in television, broadcast journalism and television production. To find out more about them, click here. They are a big deal because they know all of the important people in the industry. Being a part of them will give me unbelievable opportunities to network with the who’s who of the business, allowing me to potentially get a job in broadcast journalism when I graduate.

This opportunity is only awarded to twenty people in the UK, every year. Only twenty people. And I am one of them. The fact that I am one of the twenty continues to blow my mind. This very blog (along with other of my projects) was hailed as one key influencer in me getting long listed, short listed then the actual bursary. So, I must thank you, as the readers, for motivating me to continue to write.

Today is a good day for me. Today might have felt like a unpleasant day for some, especially if things did not go to plan. But please remember nothing is really the end of the world (expect the actual end of the world). I strongly believe that everything happens for a reason. Just because your life is going in a direction that was not initially planned, does not mean that your life will not be great. I know this sounds cheesy coming from me, someone who got exactly what they wanted from today, but I know what I am saying directly from experience. Life can be so disappointing sometimes, then you realise that the disappointment was a blessing in disguise. You wouldn’t be the person you are without those disappointments and ‘failures’. Enjoy every season in life that you find yourself, and learn everything  you can from it.

Peace&Love.

Paula Melissa xx

(Undergraduate Journalism Studies student)

HAPPY 3RD ANNIVERSARY, PAULAPACESETTER!

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Did you know, that the 31st of July marked 3 years this blog (yes, the very one you are currently reading) has been existing?! 

I find it absolutely amazing that my small blog, that started as a hobby because I was bored, has grown into the sophisticated lifestyle blog that it is today. Although, I am usually quite quiet about how many views we get, I will share that we have 15,000 readers from all over the world. It makes me smile that my little words, pictures and videos are reaching (and hopefully inspiring) thousands globally.

This post is mainly to thank every single person who has ever read my blog. I have continued writing for all these years due to your encouragement and support.

Stay tuned for more great work, more guest bloggers, more inspiring posts and more fun pieces.

And if you would like to learn the story behind the name, PaulaPaceSetter, watch this video!

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

10 reasons why I would not go on I’m a Celeb

To the wonderful people who have not yet had the divine pleasure of watching or knowing of the show, I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! allow me the honour of introducing it to you. I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here (I’m a Celeb) is a British reality TV show, where ‘celebrities’ are taken to a jungle in Australia to stay for a couple of weeks. They have to do creepy, scary challenges, such as eat bugs, just in order to win food. Honestly, it is one of my guilty pleasures. Absolutely love it.

Most of the time, the ‘celebrities’ are people that were on some show that only had one series about six years ago, or were in a band that had one hit about fifteen years before I was born. Basically, people who were once relevant and are no longer relevant, so they go on the show to try to become famous once again! Lovely. Shout out to the amazingly brilliant ITV producers who manage to make us, the Great British TV viewing public, tune in every night (or record the whole series then watch it in one go, if you are like me) with their fantastic writing. You guys are the real MVPs.

So, I was watching the show and wondering whether or not I would do I’m a celeb, you know, if I ever got famous. To be perfectly honest, I do not think I could ever bring myself to do it, and here are 10 reasons why;

1. I would spend most of my time fangirling (adjective: obsessing and acting crazy in the presence of a famous person/people) over Ant and Dec and that one lone relevant celebrity that IS actually famous and everyone ACTUALLY knows who they are. But mostly Ant and Dec. Sorry but they are freaking legends. I would honestly just stand there, wide-eyed, gawping and grinning at them (I bet I’m taller than Dec). They would actually kick me off the show as soon as I got there.

2. This is probably a big reason – I am scared of everything. Literally everything, I am not even exaggerating. From that first step into Australia (Actually, how would I get to Australia,  I’m scared of planes) I would be terrified. I would probably cry. A lot. I’d probably do a Gillian (if you know, you know;)

3. I would find everyone irritating as hell. I would get into so many arguments. Not because I’m argumentative but because in that kind of environment, anything and everything would annoy you. And it is the kind of thing where you can’t even walk away, trying to be the be the bigger person and everything. Like, where could you go? To the shower? Toilet?

4. The idea of cameras watching and following your every move freaks me out. I always say I want my life to be made into a reality tv show, but honestly I wouldn’t really. In the jungle, you can’t even discretely pick your nose without it becoming news in the Metro back home. Stress.

5. This one links with number 4 but I honestly think it is so significant it deserves its own number. Number five: the fact that women are constantly filmed parading in bikinis or showering or sun-bathing. I understand that here in England, we get no sun so the excitement of feeling the suns rays in Aus is overwhelming but this still bamboozles me. Obviously, no disrespect to the women, because they are obviously allowed to do what ever they want to. Some of these ‘celebrities’ are married, some have kids. And now their husbands have shared their wives, and their kids have shared their mother, with the entire male population of the UK. I couldn’t do it to the future beau. Other than that, how are they comfortable knowing that the whole country is judging their bodies. The whole country is deciding on who shouldn’t have had that extra jam doughnut on the helicopter ride into camp, and who evidently had spent weeks living in the gym prior. I just could not do that to myself.

6. I am much too awkward to go on the show. This is a real problem, please dear reader, take this seriously. You know that bit where the celebrities are meeting for the first time, with their guarded smiles, polite handshakes and unsure hugs – yeah, that, I couldn’t do that bit. My introduction would be a mixed of statements similar to, but in no way exclusive to;

“Hi, I’m Paula. Yes, the Paula of telly.”

“No. No, I swear I AM actually famous.”

“So, who are you then?”

“Omds, my mum used to watch you on telly. Before I was born. Wait.. Was it TV or radio? I think it might have been newspaper.”

“Wow! I remember you! You look so… different in real life.”

“I used to love you when I was much younger.”

“Do you have Twitter? Follow me when we get out if here. Oh… Instagram then? Okay, ask your granddaughter to instead.”

You see, I just haven’t mastered the art of small talk and conversation yet.

7. I am quite picky about what I eat and drink so I would probably just starve. They have meals like Ostrich and Emu – am I a goat to be eating that, please? I would fully eat rice, beans and porridge every single day. And to drink, they ways give them ‘treats’ of alcohol. “Do this challenge and everyone gets a beer” – but I don’t freaking drink and I don’t freaking want a beer, so that is a waste of my participation, to be perfectly honest. I would probably ask for mango juice, or apple if they didn’t have mango.

8. I would probably have super crazy mood swings due to lack of better food than beans, rice and porridge. I do not deal with hunger very well.

9. Feeling obligated to say, I would probably miss my family and friends. I would end up crying every other hour, moaning about how I miss my dog. And I am not a pretty crier.

10. Finally, the biggest reason why I probably would not and could not go on I’m a Celeb is that my mum probably wouldn’t let me. She saw a snake make a cameo on the show once and assumes the show is of the devil (obviously). My family would probably disown me, then tell everyone at church to disown me. That would be bad.

So there you have it, ten perfectly legitimate excuses reasons why I could never and would never do I’m a Celeb, even though I love watching it. But then again, the money…

I hope you enjoyed this post. I had a lot of fun writing it. Do not take anything I have said too seriously, it was a joke. Mainly ;)

Peace&Love.

Paula ox’

The Restoration Plot pt 2

Two years ago, around this time of year, I wrote a blog post on Easter. I want to share it again, because sometimes we take Easter, and what it represents, for granted.

He died, but now He’s alive. It’s a miracle.

We are remembering all the pain Jesus took upon His shoulders. All the discomfort and humiliation – just to make sure we have our place with God. He restored creation, after sin had attempted at decreating creation. He was that restoration. He gave us the provision, the pathway, the guide, on how to be sin-less. He brought a never quenched light into the darkness. No darkness can comprehend His light. He sent a comforter, a friend, a still small voice, living in the depth of our hearts. It was His Holy Spirit. His Holy Spirit dwells with us, within us and we didn’t even need to fight for that. We didn’t have to work for it. He gave us the easy job and took the hard one. He gave us the job of having to love Him. Of having to praise and glorify Him. And if you realise how great He is, you will realise our praises are nothing compared to what He deserves. Compared to how amazing, and awesome He really is. How loving, and huge and unimaginable He is. The human mind cannot even begin to understand how great He is. We weren’t worthy, we aren’t worthy, but He made us worthy. He became Sin. Sin died on that cross. He became Sin so you and I could be spotless. Spotless. Without a spot or blemish. We have become new creatures in Christ Jesus. We have His love working in us. His unfailing, unending, unexplainable, undeserving love, made available and accessible to us. Forever. And ever. He did that. And not for His gain, but for ours.

What kind of love is that? What manner of man is Jesus? That even death could hold Him. That even sin couldn’t phase Him. 

That’s my King. My Lord. The Lord of my life. The love of my life; That’s my Jesus. And your Jesus. The Jesus who fights for us. He is salvation.

And for all of that, I live in continual gratitude.

Thank you Jesus.

Peace&Love. Made available by the Blood of Jesus being shed for us.

Paula Melissa xx

My day at a deaf youth event – VIDEO

You can find inspiration in anything, especially when you do not expect to find it. My mum invited me along to a deaf youth event she was asked to speak at. I went along, not really knowing what to expect. I left that evening with inspiration and a whole new perspective on a side of life I didn’t really know a lot about. What better way to explain my day, than in video form. Enjoy!

I really did not know anything about being deaf, sign language and everything of that sort. It feels good to have my eyes opened.

In many parts of the world, deaf people are somewhat segregated, hidden away in small colonies. People do not expect them to have a life, do not expect them to be funny, beautiful, inspiring people. This saddens me because of course they are.

You can find inspiration in anything. Even in people you have never really known about. Even in people who cannot hear.

Peace&Love.

Paula Melissa xx