Blue on Blue – Long Sequinned Gown

I was feeling myself today.

I am no fashion blogger as you can probably tell from my blog, which is mainly filled with posts of me ranting about life and people and everything in between. But today, I wore this dress and felt like a Queen. If that doesn’t qualify me to write this post, I do not know what else will, to be honest.

The dress (not #TheDress but still The Dress, do you get me?) –
2015-05-17 14.03.53I don’t know the technical term for this dress but, it is a figure hugging, blue, sequinned, ankle-length gown with a high neckline and thigh-high slit at the back (not too bad for a novice, if I do say so myself). I paired the dress with a pair of blue suede platform heels and a simple silver choker necklace.

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Peace&Love… and all things blue;)

Paula Melissa xx

I’m a First Gen

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Hello, my name is Paula and I am a First Gen.

What is a First Gen?

A First Gen is someone who is born in a country their parents migrated to. My parents were born in Nigeria, I was born in England. Therefore, I am a First Gen.

What is significant about being a First Gen?  

Being a First Gen is hugely significant because you have to learn to combine two (sometimes even three) totally different, and often clashing, cultures. Your friends at school are allowed to stay out all night and go raving or partying, whereas your parents at home have a set curfew for you and expect you to go to night vigil with them on Friday night. See.. clashing. Being a First Gen is significant because you have to carve your way through life incorporating both aspects of who you are and where you come from.

What is a common struggle you, as a First Gen, have had to deal with?

When people ask me where I’m from. To which I reply confidently, “London.” Then they say,

“No really! Where are you from? Like from, from?” And I reply a little uneasy

“umm.. London.” They then arch their eyebrow, tutting and shake their head whilst waiting for me to try again.

“No, we mean where are your parents from?”

“Ohhh! Nigeria!” 

“So, you’re Nigerian…”

“What me? No, I’m… No, I’m British Nigerian.”

The struggle is real. After years of this same exact conversation I’ve taken to answering the initial question with, “I was born in London but I’m originally from Nigeria.” Saves time and energy.

Do you consider yourself more Nigerian or British?

I pray no one reads this and condemns me, saying I’m disowning my country, decieving myself, trying to be white… I’ve had enough of that over the years. Simple answer: I feel more British (*draws a breath in quickly*) and let me explain why.

I was born in London. I’ve lived here ALL of my life so far. (In a few months I am taking a huge step and relocating to Sheffield to study.) The only time I have ever been to Nigeria was when I was aged 2 or 3 (My mum cannot remember the exact details and obviously I don’t remember because I was a baby) and I stayed a couple of months. A tiny holiday to the Homeland when I was an infant does not quite equate knowing, living and understanding Nigerian culture. I cannot even speak my language of Igbo (shoutout to all my Igbos!), I cannot even imitate a Nigerian accent so how can I be more Nigerian than British???

I will say, however, as I have grown up, my Nigerianness (yes, I made that up) has also grown because I have become more interested in Nigerian culture. The food (!!!), the politics, the movies, the music and the fashion. But I still do not know enough to contest with my British culture. I am learning more and more and I love learning more and more about Nigeria. Yes, I am not white and yes, I am British. Yes, I am British and yes, I am also Nigerian.

What’s one thing you hate about being First Gen?

I hate that your parents feel the need to pin all their hopes and aspirations on you.

“You were born in this country, why cannot you not go to Oxford or Cambridge?”

“You will be a medical doctor/lawyer in Jesus name, amen” *prays intensely*

“You have all the opportunities in the world in this country and you want to become a fashion designer, an actress, a journalist. You’re trying to kill me, isn’t it?”

Like no. Maybe I don’t want to go to Oxford or Cambridge (they don’t do Journalism anyway!!) and what’s wrong with being a fashion designer. Obviously, not all Nigerian parents or First Gen parents are like this (Thank God my parents are not (fully) like this) but it is a large majority.

The worst thing is when you’re First Gen and the eldest sibling…………………………………

What is the best thing about being a First Gen?

Life is always fun. When you’re a First gen, life is full of spice and variety. You might have fish and chips for lunch today, then gari and okra soup tomorrow. Or you might have a roast dinner on Sunday or ackee and saltfish with home-made dumplings. Life is different everyday because you are ALLOWED to pick and choose bits if both your cultures. I repeat, you are ALLOWED to pick and choose as you like. I know this one girl who managed to incorporated Nigerian tribal clothes into her everyday wardrobe. She’d literally be wearing black skinny jeans with a crop top created from her mum’s gele. Talk about being a proud First Gen.

I love being a First Gen, despite the daily struggles we may face. One thing most First Gens will agree is, being a First Gen means your parents will not let you fail. Let me rephrase that, you are not allowed to fail (by fire, by force loool).

I got the idea for this post when I watched the trailer (below) for a new show called First Gen. It really got me thinking and made me realise I am a First Gen and totally PROUD. I also did the Nigerian Tag (also below) with my younger sister, so check that out too.

 

 

Udo na ịhụnanya (That’s ‘peace and love’ in Igbo, we thank God for Google translate lool)

Paula Melissa xx

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

Why does everyone blame the media? Twitter rant

Nowadays, the media never get cut some slack. Everyone takes the liberty of bashing it, repeating the many wrong components of the media. What annoys me about this is that, the media report and promote essentially what people care about and what people want to know about. Sadly, this is generally bad news. I am not saying this is a good thing, because obviously it is not, but how can we blame the media for the negative things that happen in the world when the media is virtually constructed by us?

I have always made it know that I plan to pursue a career in the media as a journalist. I say this with pride because I think that a job where you are paid to write about life and the world is amazing. The media conveys information and communicates it to people. Obviously, there are people at the top of media institutions who are pulling the strings to personally benefit their selves, but overall, we construct the media. It aims to write stories that people want to read. It aims to film reports people want to watch. It aims to broadcast information that people want to hear. I do not believe that the whole institution of the media should be prosecuted for the bad things you see on your telly, especially when you’re the one who wants to hear about it.

I think our society needs to prioritise good news just as much as we do the bad. Of course, it is important to know about murders and terrorists attacks and things like that, but what about young people in business? What about women who are on the verge of changing the world? What about developing nations who are making amazing advances every single day. If we cared more about those things, and less about the negative of this world. If we cared less about global politics and religious wars and every country thinking they what is best, the media would be a lot more respected for it’s work.

And it should be respected. The media takes us to places we would never be able to reach, without even needing to leave our bedrooms. It makes us aware of the struggles people face, but at the same time, it should make aware the victories people make. If we praised the good the media does, we would get more people going into the media and communications professions with ethics and values, with the intention of bettering the world. And less going into the sector to make money from people’s misery.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just my thoughts! I was on fire briefly, but I have cooled down now lol.

Peace&Love.

Paula Melissa xx

RANDOM QUESTIONS TAG – video

 

Everyone loves a good old tag. Here’s some random questions I answered in video, because I felt like it.

Also, please feel free to check out my YouTube channel :)

 

Random Questions:

  1. What is your middle name? – Melissa
  2. What is your favourite drink? – Juice or water
  3. What is your favourite colour? Purple
  4. What is the last thing you bought? – food from McDonalds
  5. Do you have any pets? – I have a lil doggy called Rolfie
  6. Do you speak any languages? – JUST ENGLISH (and sarcasm, if that counts)
  7. What is something you couldn’t leave the house without? – My phone, my purse and my diary
  8. What is your favourite make up brand? – KIKO
  9. Do you sleep with the bedroom door open? NO.. well, sometimes.
  10. Do you smile in pictures? – I look 12 when I smile.
  11. What is your favourite dipping sauce? – Mayo, Ketchup and BBQ sauce.
  12. What time do you go to bed?- early, I’ll be in bed by 10 but actually asleep by about 10:30/10:45.
  13. What is your favourite book or film genre? – ROM COMs – Romantic comedies are the best.

 

Peace&Love.

Paula Melissa xx

How to become a Journalist

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I want to be a journalist. I’ve wanted to be a journalist for quite a long while. My desire to be a journalist gave birth to this blog almost three years ago. My next step in this journalism journey is going to university to study it, later this year. Wooooo!

Over the past couple years, I have been advised and I have researched intensively how to improve myself to ensure I am ready to become a journo.  I am by no means an expert in this field yet obviously, but I have a few tips that hopefully will steer you to the right direction, especially if you want to be a presenter, journalist, reporter or writer.

  1. First of all, you need to love reading and writing. As obvious as this sounds, you would be surprised how many people want a career in Journalism, but groan when asked about books or panic when asked to write a short story. Mate, you need to love reading and writing.
  2. Secondly, you need work experience or work placements. This needs to be done as soon as humanly possible. Seriously, start now. It doesn’t even matter if you haven’t finished high school yet – get work experience. Now, I mean no disrespect when I say this but when I say work experience, I am not referring to working in a primary school or a retail outlet. What I mean is in the media industry – intern in your local newspaper, magazine or radio station. Or all three. Anything and everything is valuable experience. Here are a few good sites to begin your search for placements, work experience, internships and apprenticeships: https://gothinkbig.co.uk/, http://www.apprenticeships.gov.uk/, http://www.bauermedia.co.uk/ and https://www.gov.uk/browse/working/finding-job.
  3. Thirdly, get yourself online. Nowadays, everything is online and we (as young journalists) need to use this to our advantage. All these media outlets and institutions are now increasingly using social media and online services. The online world is constantly expanding and evolving, rapidly – do not allow it to leave you behind! You (as a young journalist) need a twitter account. It is necessary to find out about news and opinions on news stories, literally as they are happening all over the globe. Keeping up with current affairs is everything (forget Keeping Up with the Kardashians) in this profession. Make sure you follow broadsheet and tabloid newspapers, radio shows and media cooperation (follow me while you’re at it: PaulaPaceSetter) such as; The Guardian, Daily Mail, The Telegraph, The Independent, Sky News, BBC News, Radio 1 etc. You cannot be a journalist if you aren’t interested in the world around you. You cannot live in a social bubble.
  4. Start researching universities from now. This one may be a little early or a little late depending on how old you are, but generally this is an important step in the whole journey. Find a course that balances all media platforms, especially online journalism which is an emerging mode. Also, make sure you find a course that is taught by established and practising journalist, that way they aren’t teaching out of date content.
  5. This one closely follows the previous step but is SO important it deserves it’s own number. Only go for universities that are NCTJ accredited. The National Council for the Training of Journalists has been training journalists since 1951. This course is the industry benchmark that ALL editors value and expect from their journalists. Make sure you go to a uni that offers this qualification alongside your BA or MA in Journalism because trust me when I say, it will be much harder to get a job with just a regular journalism degree. Do not waste three or four years of your life on something that doesn’t open doors to your dream job.
  6. Ensure that you can spell and write in good grammar. This seems really silly and small but honestly this is super super important. I recently completed (and passed) a 2-hour Journalism admission test at a university and honestly, I almost fell at the hurdle of the spelling and grammar part. It made me realise how much work I need to do on spelling. I cannot rely on spellcheck forever.
  7. At any stage in the Education system when you are deciding what subjects to do, ensure you pick essay based subjects. You need to learn how to cohesively structure writing in and interesting but functional way. Here is a list of subjects I suggest from; English Language, English Literature, English Language and Literature, Sociology, Phycology, Media Studies, History, Geography, Law, Government and Politics, Philosophy and any modern foreign language.
  8. Lastly, practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Find a story in your local area, get interviews and write an article. Just write. Then ask someone to read it and get feedback. then build on that feedback and build up a portfolio of your work. This blog is kind of my version of that.

 

I hope this tips are some what helpful. If they are, I’m glad.

Peace&Love.

Paula Melissa x

 

let it go, let it go

My last post was rather emotionally driven – more of a spur in the moment thing – and I have considered deleting it many times, but for now I’m leaving it. I think that I’m leaving it because I understand the importance of writing personally and being myself. This is a lifestyle blog, and death is a part of life – that’s my reasoning behind it, basically.

Anyway, on a happier note, here’s a short funny story my friend told me yesterday. It probably isn’t the funniest thing in the history of comedy, but at the time (In a painfully boring English Language and Literature lesson) I was crying actual tears of laughter.

I’m telling it from his point of view (with lots of added exaggeration (of course)):

I was at church on Sunday. The Pastor (the guy who stands at the front, basically) announced that his young daughter had a song to sing to the congregation (the people who sit on the chairs, basically). His youngest daughter refused to come up to sing the song unless her sister came with her. So the two sisters probably aged four and six, came to the front of the church to minister their song. They began singing into the microphone, first shaky then progressively more confident.

*The snow blows white on the mountain tonight…*        

I was like, Hold on! I swear I know this song. Obviously, I said this in my head because it would have been rude to interrupt the little girls singing. Suddenly, I heard synchronised screams as other Frozen fangirls joined into their jam.

*LET IT GO! LET IT GO!*

Were they really singing Let It Go from Frozen, at church. I couldn’t actually believe it. When they finally finished screeching, the adults began clapping like they sang the most inspiring song ever.

I told you that you wouldn’t find it as funny as I did. Honestly, I was laughing so much. But on a side note, who else is tired of Frozen and Let It Go now (I used to be a die hard Frozen fan, but even I can admit, it needs to be stopped).

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Peace&Love.

Paula Melissa x