2017

Well, where do I start? 2017 hasn’t been all roses and daffodils, and running through fields of wheat because that’s the naughtiest thing I’ve ever done but 2017 still been a great year. I’ve gone from strength to strength and I achieved things that earlier in the year I didn’t think I could.

BAD Bs GET FIRSTS 

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I’ve done so well this year in terms of personal goals, I graduated with first class honours in Accounting and Finance. This has been my goal since the first day I stepped into my university in 2013 and achieving it has given me enough confidence to last a lifetime.

Getting a first was not easy! University it’s self is not easy, but getting a first or trying to get one pushes you beyond your limits and will have you questioning your sanity and ability.  I questioned my ability allllll the time, hence my self-doubt post. The stress I was under I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy and I’m still recovering from my final year now lol. There were laughs, there were plenty of tears, late night trips to Co-op because our house needed  sweets and Monster to get us through the night,  late night chats in our kitchen cooking pasta bake, salmon and sweet potatoes because going to sleep meant having to face your degree the next day and the all day library sessions. This year I learnt the key to doing well in uni is starting assignments and revision early, prioritizing Uni over fun (but still take breaks, don’t let Uni break you),  sending drafts to teachers/asking for pointers, finishing your assignment the day before and staying up all night to do your Harvard referencing (or you could reference as you go along, but I never did that). After referencing until 9 am you sleep, wake up at 1 p.m to proofread your work and cut down if needed and then submit. I remember texting Kim and Swin to knock on my door if I was not up by a certain time because missing a deadline was my worst nightmare.

Me finishing my last exam:

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The joy I felt from finishing my last exam is a joy I want to feel all the time.  I spent so much time in the library throughout my university life that it became my second home but I’m grateful because it all worked out. Glory be to God.

Kim, Swin, Nino, thank you all for being such wonderful housemates and making me laugh because home to an antisocial house would have been upsetting.

WORK WORK WORK WORK WORK

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I told my mum I wanted a job by September and I got one in August, less than a month after graduating. Look at God. Plus, I actually like my job, which is a huge bonus, I’ve worked in places where I would dread going to work in the morning, not anymore!

HOLIDAYS

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I went to Tenerife for my birthday and although I did not travel as much as I did last year I’m grateful to have travelled at all because travelling is a luxury even though I like to treat it as a necessity.

BOOK SORIEE

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I got back into reading this year! This is a big thing for me because I’ve been complaining for years that I don’t read enough.

In the last 3 months I’ve read:

  1. Panther in the Hive by Olivia Cole
  2. We should all be feminist by Chimamanda Adichie
  3. Things fall apart by Chinua Achebe

If you want to read more too, join our book club “The Book Soiree”  and follow what we’re reading this month here.

Part-time Blogger, Full-time Babe 

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Lastly apieceofsarah.com turned 1! My baby! My everything! The love of my life! Writing gives me so much joy and starting this blog has bought out creativity that I didn’t even know I had. Blogging also helped me with my assignments. I had 8 assignments this year, achieved 6As, 4 of them being A+ including my final project. blogging has allowed me to help people far and wide and has given me guidance when I felt like giving up. My accountability, self-doubt, goals, procrastination and consistency  posts all acted as reminders as to why I have to keep on going, so I’m forever grateful that God gave me the idea to start this blog.

If you follow me on twitter you probably would have noticed my “65 days of happiness” thread. I did this for three reasons, to count down the days until 2018,  to cheer myself up and to make myself become more grateful for the big and small things that happen in everyday life. I think finding happiness in each day has made me more grateful than ever and reminded me of how blessed I am.

I’m so thankful for the love and support I’ve received and I can’t wait to show you what I have planned for 2018.

My overall goal for 2018 is to step out of my comfort zone, even more and give myself more credit because I love myself and it’s what I deserve, I hope you do the same too.

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The pain of feeling unappreciated. 

Unappreciated and overburdened. 


There is nothing worse than going out of your way for someone and when a similar situation arises, they don’t do the same for you or they don’t say thank you.  While you shouldn’t do things for others in expectation of receiving something in return; it’s still painful to know that,  that person wouldn’t and doesn’t appreciate you or your time. There are so many people who do not have the same heart as you and do not have good intentions for you, which sets you up for many disappointments along the road. Don’t get me wrong, there are good appreciative people in the world and if you find them, keep them close but there are plenty of users too. The person reading this may or may not be a user too, but only on self-reflection can you answer this question. When this happens to me, I try to remind myself that God will reward me for doing things out of the kindness of my heart, but sometimes that isn’t enough.

When you feel unappreciated you have three options:


  1. Say how you feel 

  1. Distance yourself

  1. Don’t go out of your way for them again

Speaking about your feelings –  If you’re like me, you probably hate speaking about your feelings out of fear of overreacting or saying something offensive because you’re undiplomatic, or you expect everyone to have a certain level of respect/common sense/unselfishness and most importantly to avoid conflict. You have to stop biting your tongue to avoid hurting someone who is hurting you, I mean, how else would they know how you feel? Depending on the situation is and how angry I am, I get my point across by writing down how I feel then speaking to the person later so I don’t forget the important points and to make sure I’m not over-reacting and to avoid saying something hurtful.


Distancing yourself – Self-explanatory. I avoid that person and situations where I would feel inclined to go out of my way for them, this could be late replies to texts and decreasing my availability.  If you feel unappreciated by everyone around you, take some timeout to enjoy your own company, but don’t overdo this as it can be unhealthy.


Don’t go out of your way for them again – This is hard when you have a giving spirit and you like helping others but you can’t let people exploit you and your kindness. Remember you’re not a doormat, so put your foot down. If I feel like I’m going out of my way for someone (based on our level of friendship and our past) I will stop and ask myself would they do the same for me and if that answer is “no” I don’t do stuff for them because I have boundaries to set. Setting up boundaries around unappreciative people takes some time, but it’s worth it and you won’t regret it because when people get comfortable they think they are entitled to your time and resources when they’re not. You have the strength to say no or refer them to other people when you’re asked for things, as there’s no point doing things for people who will just take and take and take until you’re left empty, you need to look after yourself.


See my previous post: “The Power of Saying “No” 


To conclude, being unappreciated hurts but remember that you always have options when it happens. 

The Power of Saying “No”

No one is entitled to your space.

No one is entitled to your time.

No one is entitled to you.

Repeat those three sentences until it’s ingrained into your mind and you start putting it into practice.

It’s okay to say no when you feel like it.

This two letter word can bring you so much happiness and can stop you from being exploited by those who use up your valuable time and resources while demanding things that you would never ask someone else for. Do not feel inclined to do things for people because you fear you’ll be viewed as a ‘bad person’, if what you’ve been asked for goes against your values or will put you at a disadvantage, say ‘no. ‘

If you don’t want to say no out of the fear of being blunt and uncaring you can say the following:

  • ‘I’m busy’
  • ‘I’d rather not’
  • ‘I won’t be able to because xyz’
  • ‘I’d love to help but can’t because I’ve committed to xyz’
  • ‘I can’t because it goes against my views and it makes me feel uncomfortable.’
  • ‘I don’t want to’
  • ‘No thanks’
  • ‘I can’t’

Remember, time is your most valuable asset because it is the only thing you can’t get back, so say no when you feel like it.

 

If you don’t compare, you don’t compete, so don’t compare.

Constantly comparing yourself to others is unhealthy at all ages. I say all ages because remember how it made you feel as a child when your parents compared you to your best friend who was very smart or your well behaved cousin or one of your friends who they thought was an angel but you knew otherwise… Yeah? It’s still unhealthy now as it was back then but this time you’re doing it to yourself.

When you compare yourself to others,  you start pointing out your flaws,  all the things you haven’t done compared to them and how much “better” other people are  compared to you which is very destructive behaviour.

Comparison is the death of joy – Theodore Roosevelt

Continuous comparisons can make you forget the good things you have in your life, this leads to: envy, low self-confidence, resentment and general unhappiness. None of these feelings have helped anyone achieve anything but it’s been happening since the beginning of time. Due to the rise of social media, we think we see every aspect of people’s lives, in reality, we really don’t as social media is a faux representation of life. Remember, people only show you the good parts of their lives so you shouldn’t compare yourself or feel bad  for not having what they  have. You don’t see the struggles they’ve had, all the times they have wanted to give up and what they did to get there. You only see what they want you to see The same way you compare yourself to others, is probably the same way someone is comparing themselves to you; see how crazy that sounds? So instead of comparing, you should focus on yourself  and turn those negative feelings into motivation to do better for yourself.

Why I stopped comparing myself to others:
As time has gone on, I have learnt to focus on me and not compare my journey to anyone else because it is futile and stops me from celebrating the most important person in my life, myself.  I know Rome wasn’t built in a day and my time will come as long as I work hard and focus.  Great things take time and no one has achieved success overnight (unless they’ve won the EuroMillions but then again that’s luck not an achievement) so I keep working on myself.  For example  if I decided to compare myself with other bloggers or even Youtubers who get loads of traffic on their websites and have thousands of followers, getting 1000 views per day etc then my 1000 views in my last post  would feel meaningless, it would turn into something negative and I would be upset that I wasn’t at their ‘level.’

Regardless of how things look on social media and in everyday life, no one is perfect, everyone makes mistakes and  has their down-days which I don’t see. Over the years I have become more appreciative of myself and grateful for what I have which has helped me want to celebrate me more because if you can’t celebrate yourself who is going to celebrate you? Lastly I find inspiration from looking at others instead of being jealous because jealousy has never helped anyone achieve anything ever. So what’s the point of me wasting my time?

As I said in the title,  If you don’t compare, you don’t compete, so don’t compare. Sometimes we’re our harshest critics, this can limit our perception of ourselves and makes us put others on an undeserved pedestal which is why comparisons are so detrimental. So stop comparing and focus on the most important person in your life, yourself. 

 

 Photo taken by me in Miami, Florida – September 2016.