A break from YouTube

Cover photo

This post is my way of finally deciding to take a break from making content on my YouTube channel. I do not know how long the break will be but I will not upload another video until the time feels right. And here is why:

I have been watching YouTubers making videos on YouTube for ages and found myself aspiring to do it because I wanted to entertain and inspire people like those YouTubers used to do to me. But recently, I have found myself making videos or wanting to make videos for the wrong reasons.

In the recent year, there has been an explosion of people venturing into YouTube as a way to make easy money. I was not one of them. But this increase in competition, shall we say, has made it so much harder to be noticed on YouTube. I found myself getting so discouraged when I would put my all into a video, especially on limited funds and time, only to have 20 people watch it. Let me be real with you all, that hurts.

I then made my Sam and Nia video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wc1ORipj6aI) which to date has over 9 thousand views. The views made me feel amazing. People were telling me to make more rant, controversial videos like that one, and I was tempted to. I planned videos that I knew would offend some people. Ridiculous. The whole reason why I started YouTube was to be entertaining and inspiring. The header on this blog literally says “Paula Melissa, Here to Inspire” and that is the complete opposite. I went back to what I wanted to do, with the inspirational videos, but the views disappeared too.

As well as this, I would watch the videos of other smaller YouTubers and be completely blown away by the skills they had in filming and editing. My videos felt VERY basic compared to theirs and one thing I never want to be is basic.

The last contributing factor to why I am putting my YouTube journey on pause is that it takes a lot of time, something I do not really have a lot of. I have so many other projects that I have neglected a little because of YouTube, like this blog. I want to go back to posting more often and now I will have the time to put my all into it again.

I do not know when I will go back to YouTube, but when the right time comes I reckon I will know. Until then, my videos will remain on my channel, which you can subscribe to here if you want to.

I appreciate everyone who watched, commented and shared my videos.

Peace&Love.

Paula Melissa xx

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

IMG_3420

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

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

University, here I come

I have been making myself seem busier than I actually am in order to ignore the fact that I am going to university in 4 days and 3 nights.

But I can’t ignore it – on Sunday the 20th of September, I will be leaving my family home and going to university.

Do you want the truth? (This is the part where you expect me to pour out my emotions and express how nervous and anxious I am feeling about basically starting a new life – a new independent life – on the other side of the country.) The truth is, I am just not that nervous.

Last night, I couldn’t sleep and I kept subconsciously telling myself ‘it’s the nerves’ and rightly so. But truthfully, I am not that scared. There is obviously some excitement there, but other than the bare minimum, I just want to go and start my new life.

Here’s why: Every year of my life, every birthday, every new school academic year, every new job, I always try and reinvent myself and be the Paula I have always wanted to be. Halfway through that year, I realise that I haven’t changed that much.  It took many years for me to accept the Paula I am, and that is when I became a grown up (still questionable). I am excited for uni because this is the place where the real Paula will be unleashed (questionable verb choice, yes I know. It conveys imagery of unleashing a deadly virus which I promise was not deliberate). At uni, I won’t know anyone so I won’t have to live up to anyone’s expectations of who Paula is. I won’t even have to live up to my own.

The only expectations I will live up to is what God has made me to be, because I’m still in the process of figuring that out. University is the perfect setting to discover who you truly are, without the input of others.

So, if you are nervous about university – whether you are staying at home, moving across the country or even going to another country – just remember that this is your opportunity to find out who your really are. It is the time and place to discover what you are passionate about and what special, fantastic thing you bring to the world.

Be excited and prepared and excited (yes, I said excited twice). Make lots of new friends, have lots of fun (responsibly) and learn lots of new things.

Here’s to the first year of the rest of our lives!

Peace&Love.

Paula Melissa xx

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.

2015-05-17 14.07.39-1

2015-05-17 14.04.56

2015-05-17 14.08.58

2015-05-17 14.04.32-1

Peace&Love… and all things blue;)

Paula Melissa xx

I’m a First Gen

Capture

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