Nice guys and girls don’t win??

I’ve always wondered why people say nice guys (and girls) don’t win. Why is that? Why do we believe that?

Forget bag for life, I am a friend for life.

I strongly value nice people. This is a post is a shoutout to you guys, keep doing you, boo! Please do not let anyone let you think that being nice is equal to being weak. It is really not! It takes the strongest person to remain nice and sweet when life can continually be incredibly bitter. Do not let people look down on you or walk all over you just because you’re a nice person. You can be gentle but firm. Nice but smart. 

The connotations of being a nice genuine person also meaning you’re a doormat is something I strongly dislike. I was brought up to always want to help people. If it is in my capacity, why not help someone out. My mum would always say this to me, and I’ve grown up with it instilled in me. Forget bag for life, I am a friend for life.

I’ll always be there for you if I can. Of course, over time, people learnt this about me and they thought they could take advantage of me. I love that I can now laugh at this, but at the time, trying to balance caring about other people but also being a little selfish about my own needs was something I struggled with. Sometimes I still do.

But one thing God has revealed to me a lot recently (GUYS, we’re only a few weeks into 2017 and I have learnt SO much already. God is so good.) is that while people may repay your positivity with negitivity, your kind words with harsh words, you will ALWAYS have the last laugh. Always. And I don’t mean that in a malicious way but in a content way.

This year already, I have seen so many opportunities (I can’t wait to share some with you guys reallllllyyyy soon) that have only come my way because people remembered me. I may not have been the smartest, most qualified for the job or whatever, but they remembered me as a nice, genuine person and chose to give it to me. And I thank God for that!

This is not to boast that I am such an amazing person, because I’m really not. This is not to say I am a super nice person ALL OF THE TIME because I’m really not (ask my housemates, they’ll tell you). This is just to say that I live a life where I constantly think, how would I like to be treated, then treat people that way. Also, it is the fact that I see everyone as Children of God. I must treat them right, especially as someone who claims to know Jesus, the ‘nicest’ guy who ever lived.

 

Peace&Love.

Ya girl, Paula x

KEEP SENDING THOSE EMAILS! – How to Network in this Digital Age (Tips & Tricks)

Keep pushing the boundaries, keep working hard and keep knocking on the door.

As a journalism student, who is constantly being told that our industry is ‘saturated’ and that you have to be the very best to get a job, you can be pushed either of two ways.

You can use the competition as motivation to work hard, study hard and grow to be the best. OR you can give up.

I have chosen to the first one, because I believe nothing worth getting comes easily. And if it does, abuse of it is inevitable because you do not fully understand its value.

I’ve know I want to be in the media industry for years! That’s probably why I started this blog nearly 5 years ago. But I had no contacts and was a complete novice as to how this whole media thing worked.

A few years later and I know a fair bit, thanks to hours of research, fantastic friends and amazing mentors.

So back to the reason for this post, I want to motivate you guys that are at a similar stage to where I was a few years ago or even where I am now. Keep pushing the boundaries, keep working hard and keep knocking on the door.

Find those people who inspire you in the industry and contact them. Twitter is great for this because you can literally tweet them (or even DM them) and ask for an email address. So far, most people I have asked have said yes and given me their email. Tell them to look out for an email from you and then message them again when you’ve sent the email. If you’re anything like me, you’ll feel annoying and pushy, but sometimes you really have to be. These people need to remember you, so let yourself be remembered as keen!

Try to go to industry networking events! Email is great and everything but NOTHINGGGG beats speaking to people face to face. I am an extremely bubbly person. This can be very hard to bring across when I’m writing, especially when writing emails (it usually results in many many many redrafts lol) but once you meet me, you’ll get exactly what I’m like. It is a lot easier to make a lasting impression on people when you meet them at networking events. So carry yourself gracefully and do not be scared to just walk up to them and talk to them. Networking events are only places that that kind of thing is okay!!! I met my mentor at a RTS masterclass and as soon as she finished speaking on stage I ran up to her and introduced myself. She said I was the only person who had the guts to go up to her and talk to her and on the spot she gave me her email and offered to mentor me! BE FEARLESS! Put yourself out there. The worst they can do is say no.

Speaking of mentors, they are SO important. Walk in the footprints of giants. Learn from those who have done it before you and longer than you. Listen to them and learn from their mistakes so you do not have to make them. Mentors can also point you towards people you can connect with and grow from.

Speaking of connecting (wow, all these links.. someone would think I planned this lol), LinkedIn and Twitter are your best friends from this day forth. If you want to work in the media or business industries and you’re not on LinkedIn AND Twitter, what are you doing b? Get on them now (and follow me while you’re there)! It kind of works as your online CV so make sure it looks good and professional!

Let’s go on to the ole curriculum vitae! Everyone has a different way of writing CVs but here are a few tips I’ve been taught, and they seem to work so far. You either have to keep it to 1 page or 2 full pages. No 1 and a half pages. And most definitely nothing more than 2 pages, unless you’re Bill Gates, Steve Jobs or it’s an Academic CV (for postgraduate courses etc.) Keep the design simple and chic, there are loads of templates online so have a look at them. Also another cheeky lil tip I’ve picked up along the way, save your CV in pdf form as well as as a document. This keeps the formatting of it, especially if the person you email it (and tbh you will be using your CV more online than working around shops handing them out) to does not have Microsoft Word or downloads it to Google Drive (Oh gosh, have I mentioned how Google Drive, Gmail and Google Docs are your friends best friends RODs.. that’s another post for another day!).

What goes hand in hand with a CV – A Cover Letter! If you didn’t scream ‘cover letter’ at your laptop, phone, tablet or desktop because you don’t ever send cover letters, or in fact you don’t even know what a cover letter is, don’t worry, that was me literally this time last year. Ah, ignorance is bliss. But no longer. Cover letters are actually vital in saving people time. Bare in mind how long and detailed CVs are, cover letters help employers check if the CV is rubbish without having to go through it. In this lovely digital age, you usually attach this with your CV in the email or better still, type it out in the body of the email. Cover letters tend to still be in the format of a letter (especially if the company asked for it and you’re attaching it in an email). Make sure these do not go beyond 1 page. Make them short, concise and relevant to the business – they can actually tell if you just sent them a default one… they can tell. They can just sense it some how.

Lastly, I thought I’d leave you with some brilliant links that I’ve used to help me scout opportunities (from placements to volunteering to apprenticeships to networking events) –

Hope this post has helped and please do contact me if you have any questions (or even leave a comment)

Peace&Love.

Ya girl, Paula Melissa x

Hello, My Name is Paula and I’m Addicted to My Phone!!

Addicted. Addiction.

They are such ‘hard’ words but I’ve come to believe that in order to overcome – or at least begin to overcome – them you have to admit that they actual exist. So that’s my first step: I have a slight addiction to my phone and more specifically social media, messaging and generally scrolling.

You guys, I am not even exaggerating. The other day I caught myself scrolling through my emails, constantly refreshing my emails. Like… that’s not normal.

I always told myself that I did not have a problem with my phone, social media and all that stuff. But recently God has really been speaking to me about. More clearly that you can imagine. So clearly that the idea of it being a coincidence could not even cross my mind.

I would go on Twitter and see tweets. I would go my Bible app and see verses. I’d go on Facebook and see posts. I’d speak to someone and they’d be like, “yeah I’m just on a social media fast, you know. It can be so addictive!” and my brain would just spontaneously combust, while I smiled and nodded in agreement.

This post is not to say that social media or my phone is bad. No. It’s to say the love of those things above God is bad. For me, it’s the constant longing to know what other people are doing, where they are going, who they are with and how much fun they seem to be having. It is the constant need to look like I got my ‘stuff’ together. It is the constant need to ‘update’ people with my life, people who probably do not care that much.

So here’s to spending more time away from my phone. Here’s to ignoring the inner longing to ‘quickly’ scroll on instagram and see how many likes my pic got. Here’s to growing my relationships with God, my family and friends instead of having people online like me lol!

Oh and I’ve just released that this is my first post of the year, so Happy (ever-so-slightly belated) New Year, my loves! I hope 2017 will be a great year for you, full of lessons and blessings!

2017, looking good 😉

Peace&Love.

Ya girl, Paula Melissa x

My 20th Birthday/Merry Christmas/ Happy New Year x

 

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The ‘sparkle’ of being away at university, with the independence and the fun and the excitement, finally wore off.

It’s been a while and I would love to come back with a fantastically elaborate reason behind why I suddenly fell off the side of the blogging cliff, but alas I simply do not have one. I got confused and busy but mainly confused. I was confused about what I am supposed to do, both generally and specifically. I’d love to come back here and tell you all that I’ve now got it all planned out but that is simply not the case. If anything, I think I am only now accepting that it is okay to be a little confused, a little unsure about things but I just cannot stop all together.

While I’ve been on my little hiatus, I learnt a lot. I have learnt about who I am as a person. About what makes me smile and laugh and what makes me cry and irritated. Ironically, some things (and some people) make me do both.

Today, the 20th of December 2016, is my 20th birthday.

I have officially been on this earth for two decades. Mad. Thank You, God for bringing me through life to this point.

I love having my birthday so close to the end of the year because it forces me to reflect on the many many many blessings I have experienced over the year. Two of my favourite phrases (and indeed favourite Instagram captions;)) are “blessings on blessings on blessings” and “too blessed to be stressed”. They are both super cheesy but they remind me of the importance of gratitude for both the little and big things in life.

As I enter 2017, I really want to enter focusing on appreciating God. This year has been a tough one. The ‘sparkle’ of being away at university, with the independence and the fun and the excitement, finally wore off. It took me a year, but I began to feel so dreadful and ridiculously homesick.

The last month particularly, I did not want to be there. I love my uni, I love my course, I love the people around me but I did not want to be there. At all. And every day I stayed in Sheffield, was another day I grew more and more sad. I don’t think I can even fully explain what has been happening over the last few months, because I do not fully understand it myself.

I am so grateful to God for the friends that really prayed for me at this time because even I was struggling to pray for myself.

I have learnt so much about the world but also about myself.

I don’t want to make this too long, even though I have so much to say. Please do watch this video where I outline 20 things I learnt before I turned 20 (and subscribe while you’re there;)! It will be such a blessing to me if everything I went through and learnt from, could help at least one person. Believe me, it is better to learn from someone else’s mistakes than go and make them yourself.

So as I leave you now, I just want to wish you a Merry Christmas, full of love and light. I want to wish you a happy new year, full of wisdom and prosperity.

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Peace&Love.

-PM xx

GATHERING OF QUEENS – WHY WE MUST REFER TO OURSELVES AS QUEENS

There is nothing better than being surrounded by beautiful (inside and out), strong, empowered women – all supporting and motivating each other.

– This is what is known as a Gathering of Queens.

Photography by MLM Visuals (manlikemike.com)

Photography by MLM (manlikemike.com)

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Gorgeous ladies; photography by Leonie

My uni’s African Affairs Network organised a social event they called ‘the Gathering of Queens’. I was instantly hooked and promised myself I would attend, if not for the fact that my friends were on the committee, for the name!

MLM Visuals, top is IGWE by Ifeanyi

MLM, top: KWENU by Ifeanyi

I am ALL for referring to myself as a Queen (big Q, always!) not because I believe I am the best or whatever prideful connotations you may or may not associate with the word. I love referring to myself as a Queen because it promotes the idea of seeing your self-worth and self-value. Too often nowadays, it is way too common for young girls and women to search for their worth. Why? Why should you search for your worth, when you were fearfully and wonderfully made?

Queening; photo by Leonie (AAN)

Queening; Leonie (AAN)

MLM Visuals

MLM, choker: ASOS

There is something incredibly precious and profound in knowing how valuable you are. But not only knowing it, actually displaying it. You were hand-crafted, delicately constructed and inside that porcelain mind of yours is something to offer this world. It is time we start viewing ourselves this way, instead of looking to other people and other things for that validation God gave us from birth.

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MLM, headband: Primark

What do you need to do to become a Queen?

1 – Realise that you ARE one! Stop looking for someone else to tell you you’re a Queen; tell yourself.

2 – A Queen does not concern herself with trivial matters. She is not bothered by what people say about her. She is much too busy ruling and slaying. This is the mindset you need to have.

3 – Work, work, work, work, work, work! You can’t be a Queen without a kingdom or legacy. You can not sit there and expect things to be handed to you – Queens go out there and get things done!

4 – Surround yourself with a squad of Queens – that’s like-minded women, goal-oriented women. Women who will help grow you not tear you down before you even start.

MLM Visuals, Shoes: River Island

MLM, Shoes: River Island

This post is just here to remind you that you’re a queen, especially if you’d previously forgotten. But also, to remind you of your responsibilities, duties if you like, as a Queen to the world.

MLM Visuals, bag:

MLM Visuals; details of this bag are coming soon

Dear young Queen, please do not forget your worth. Please do not sell yourself short. Respect yourself, respect that beautiful mind, soul and body. Enrich yourself with positivity and arm yourself with knowledge. Feed yourself with love and wisdom, and be ready to share it with everyone you meet.

Peace&Love.

Paula Melissa xx

DREAM NATION – I HAVE A DREAM 2016 CONFERENCE – & VLOG

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Dream Nation are all about empowering and education young creatives and business men and women. I have known about Dream Nation for a few years and have always wanted to attend one of their events. I am so glad that I have finally been able to attend one!

I also want to say a huge thank you to Tobi, one of the founders and editor-in-chief of Dream Nation, who encouraged me to vlog the night. Please do check out the vlog at the bottom of this post.

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I have the worst writing ever lol but of course, I took notes

It was an absolute privilege to attend the annual I Have A Dream conference! The evening was full of speakers and performances from some of the most inspiring, creative people I’ve ever met. The goal of the evening was to teach the attendees how to move from being an ordinary dreamer to a practical dreamer.

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Nissy Tee and I in full blown conversation

The night was hosted brilliantly by presenter and YouTuber, Nissy Tee who is an absolute sweetheart. It was lovely meeting someone who I’m subscribed to on YouTube and watch the videos of. I also met another YouTube (who I also happened to be a Subscriber of!) Adessy, who was so so lovely too. Small world!

Lorraine Wright teaching us about how to handle our finances

Lorraine Wright teaching us about how to handle our finances

The line up of speakers and panelists was absoluely crazy this year. From Pip Jamieson, founder of the creatives networking site, the Dots to Lorraine Wright, who has basically done it all in both the corporate and creative worlds.

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As well as these words of wisdom, the night opened with a powerful spoken word piece by Jolade and were blessed with by the soulful vocals of Barbella!

Barbella enchanting us with her soothing vocals

The only downside I can think of was that the event started about 45 minutes later than it was supposed to. This was a little problematic for me, living on the other side of London. I did have to leave early just to make sure I could get home, which was heartbreaking. But I am so grateful to my friend, Leonie who completed the vlog and continued taking pictures for me. The real MVPs.

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This event was a great opportunity to catch up with some of my friends that I had not seen since the end of uni! And also, a chance to network and make new, creative friends!

Photo creds - Leonie

Photo creds – Leonie

Thank you, Dream Nation, for arming me with knowledge and inspiring me to go out and make my dreams happen!

Peace&Love.

Paula Melissa xx

Teach Me To Be Carefree

I am forever grateful for friends that keep me grounded.

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Yesterday was a good day for me. It was impromptu and chill and reminded me that life does not always need to be so carefully planned out. It is okay to relax and enjoy the ride sometimes.

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My outfit for yesterday could be titled ‘how much can I look like my little sister, Pamela’! I may or may not have borrowed both the skirt and the trainers from her.

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Pamela’s trainers and my men socks loool

And just like the outfit, I had adopted Pamela’s carefree, chilled personality for the day and I must admit, I quite enjoyed it. It was a lot of fun wondering around Central London taking blog photos, checking out cute little independent bakeries/cafes and generally living carefree – for once. I must try it more often.

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I am forever grateful for friends that keep me grounded. They are the type of people that supply endless banter when you need to throw your head back in laughter. But they are also they type of people that lend a listening ear when you need to just talk and let everything out.

I am grateful that I know people that continually point me back to God as my comforter, friend and strength giver. Especially when I seem to forget. People that do not let me have a pity party but instead hold me accountable. You’re all the real MVPs. I appreciate you people.

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This post was kind of rambly, impromptu and messy and I like that. I am taking a page out of Pamela’s book and learning how to be a bit more carefree and chill.

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And as most of you already know, I am born and raised in London yet yesterday I saw some of London that I’ve never been in. It was magically! I challenge you to act as a tourist in your own city. Afterwards, you are sure to call it home a little more proud 😉

Peace&Love

Paula Melissa xx

#Carefreeblackgirl

God Worked Through His Deception

I wrote this post for Lively Stones and can be found here!


I was reading Genesis 27:19-33, which is the story of how Jacob, with the help of his mother Rebekah, deceived his father, Isaac and stole his older brother Esau’s blessings.

I considered the fact that Jacob actually used deception as a means to receiving blessings from his dying father – this was a blessing that was due to the elder twin, Esau. The fact that Isaac had reserved this blessing specifically for Esau also implies that there was another, perhaps a smaller, less passionate blessing reserved for his second son Jacob. But Jacob (and his mum) wanted that first-born, hefty blessing.

Why would God allow their deceptive plan to work? Why would he allow Jacob to be blessed through the deception of a blind old man?

Well, it all stems to a few chapters back in Genesis 25 when Rebekah is pregnant with the twins.

22: The babies jostled each other within her, and she said, “Why is this happening to me?” So she went to inquire of the Lord.

23: The Lord said to her, “Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples from within you will be separated; one people will be stronger than the other, and the older will serve the younger.”

From the beginning there had been a power struggle between Jacob and Esau and from the beginning, God had made it clear that Jacob would be on top of his brother. Rebekah must have kept this in her mind since their birth and have constantly been looked for opportunities for this prophesy to be manifested. Because God had decided this, I believe that no matter whether Isaac wanted to bless Jacob or not, Jacob would have been blessed. It was already ordained.

When God has a plan for your life, a destination, a destiny, I believe there are different paths to reach it. There is the path that God has initially created for you. This path has His divine backing all of the way, but that does not mean that it is smooth all of the way. Let me be real, with God things are not suddenly easier, but they are doable because you have a source of never ending strength in God.

With God things are not suddenly easier, but they are doable because you have a source of never ending strength in God.

As well as the path God has planned for us to take, there are paths outside of His will that we, as humans, often stumble across because sometimes we think we know it better. We do not. While these paths were not where God wanted us to go, He will still use our circumstances to elevate us to that final destination. That is what happened here!

God was NOT happy with Jacob deceiving his dad and Jacob did have to suffer later on in life as a result of his actions. Jacob even had someone deceive him – his uncle Laban made him work more years than agreed to marry his daughter. God has a sense of humour, so be careful what path you try and follow, especially if you know that God is not a part of it.

It is comforting to know that in all things, God is in control. Even when we deviate from the script. Even when we getfaith confused and think we are making mistakes. God can work through our situations to make us strong, wiser and better, ready for His ordained plan for us. Whether we feel like we are on the wrong course at university or we are confused about our futures – find peace in the knowledge that God’s got our backs.

Practically speaking, pray, pray pray then do not be scared to jump. One thing I have learnt this year is that in certain areas, what God wants us to do is not always clear. So just pray and jump. And trust that He will be there to catch you because He will be.

Pray, pray pray then do not be scared to jump.

 

Peace&Love.

Paula Melissa xx

LIVELY STONES – Content Contributor

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http://www.livelystones.co.uk/

You’re looking (or reading!) at the newest addition to the Lively Stones content team!!

For those of you that do not know what Lively Stones is, allow me to explain. Lively Stones is an online platform that acts as a voice to and for Christian young people in the UK to be heard. They discuss topics and issues that students face and look at them from a biblical and therefore Christian perspective.

They contacted me earlier this month and I was so surprised but excited at the opportunity. A lot of my content on here falls into that subject bracket (of a Christian living and studying in the UK) so I am very grateful to be sharing some of my stuff with another audience (and hopefully learning a lot in the process!).

Check out the site here!

Peace&Love.

Paula Melissa xx

Love… Hate by Ejiro (Guest Poet)

Love… Hate

Someone define these words please
         What I feel I’m not sure
         A mixture of both? Maybe.
         Conflicting emotions
         Pretence of love? Or hate altogether?
         I don’t know what to call it
         Once it was like a bed of white roses
         How beautiful a sight.
         And in the blink of an eye 
         It was there, a thorn in my beautifully primed garden
         Tried to make it come off but it didn’t
         So I ignored it.
         But it kept on hurting me
         Poking me until blood trickled down and stained my roses
         Filled with raging anger I ripped it out
         With a strength I never knew I possessed
         I looked at my rose turned thorn and
         Without a second glance threw it out
         Exiled…because it didn’t deserve to be with the gentle ones
         In the end I guess it was a love-hate relationship.

 

Written by Ejiro Ogunyemi

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/the_ejiro/ // @The_ejiro
Twitter: https://twitter.com/jeneeiethompson // @jeneeiethompson

Peace&Love.

Paula Melissa xx

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

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