I am a morning person. I feel the best when I wake up by 5 am, and I am able to do 20 things before 12pm. Starting my morning early and doing the right things on time makes me feel like the best version of myself, and this attitude is one I try to carry with me into other areas of my life. As a result, I also love the beginning of things - I love new years and months and weeks. Pockets of time that would allow me to clean the whiteboard and start all over are often good signs. But not everyone is like me, and not everyone should be.
Some weeks ago, I had a conversation with one of my closest friends about a post she made when the year started. In it, she spoke about how she has never liked to wake up early, and it also applied to starting the year too. The ginger many of us felt entering 2023 was lost on her, and she told her followers that it was okay to take some time before getting into the groove of things.
I loved this message so much.
I think there is quite a lot to be said about internet trends and how in a bid to strive for what we consider a better life, we sometimes, as a collective, lose sight of nuances that should otherwise be observed. The recent obsession with productivity and doing things a certain way is not a message that will be useful to everyone, and recognizing this will go a long way in reducing the feelings of guilt, defeat, and fear that might accompany some of us who consume such media.
The same way you don’t expect a fish to climb trees, or a monkey to swim underwater, is the same way some people are engineered to move differently, to process life and the information around them at their own pace.
On a daily basis, we unconsciously ingest a lot of information telling us the best way to live life. Everything is being compartmentalized and commercialized these days, including productivity! The amount of “How To become an It Girl,” videos I see on TikTok is a testament to this fact. And while we partake in these cultural subsets (because, let’s not lie, learning these things can be very useful to our growth and development) I think a more fruitful conversation to be had is the importance of self-mastery and knowledge.
How well do you know yourself? Do you know what you want from life? Do you know how to listen to your body and your mind?
My favourite author, Donna Tartt, takes 8-9 years to write each book. Stephen King, on the other hand, writes books with an astonishing frequency (has written over 65 novels), but they are both geniuses in their own right.
Growing up, it used to give me anxiety when I felt I was not doing things the way I had seen others do them, or in the same frequency, but lately, I have decided that it’s best to let things go and to take my time. The fact that everyone is learning a tech skill now, or posting all their career progress on LinkedIn, and I don’t feel any motivation to do the same, doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with me. I shouldn’t be spurred into action because other people are active and I am scared of missing out on whatever is out there.
And so it’s okay if you are not excited about everything that’s going on around you. If you don’t have the same goals as everyone else; if you see a different life for yourself. Life is full of variables - and there has never been one skinny road to success. As a matter of fact, the beautiful thing about success is that you get to define what it means for you. For some, it could be driving a range rover, and owning a mansion in Ikoyi. For others, it could be having just enough to live like a dignified human being.
If 2023 is the year you want to sit down, breathe a little slower, smell all the flowers, and take your time to savour, and chew your food, then do just that. If you want to hibernate before you ease into the ebb and flow of the crazy world teeming around you, then that’s fine as well. My favourite Suki Waterhouse song is Coolest Place in the World, and in it, she mentions learning that it is okay to want less, to want enough. Wanting enough means knowing yourself, knowing when to slow down, when to take things easy. Knowing that it’s okay to walk while everyone else is running. Understanding that you’ll move when it’s your time.
That’s it for this week’s newsletter.
No pressure, you’re doing great.
Have an amazing weekend, till next week!
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Media I Consumed this Week:
Reading: I didn’t read anything fun this week. I read my school books, and legal documents, and contracts.
Listening: I have been doing this thing where I listen to playlists I create, with Spotify’s enhanced mode on. This helps me discover new music, and it’s been fun. Currently loving Sandstorm by Mereba (ft JID), and SUGAR by BrockHampton. You can find them in the 20 Something playlist.
Watching: I haven’t watched anything worthwhile this week, either. But yesterday my friend showed me this youtube channel that posts a compilation of movies released each year. It was such a beautiful experience.
Thank you so much for reading this newsletter, your support means a lot!
Thanks for the reassurance.
This brings to mind a question:
How does a tree define success? Deeper roots or higher branches?
Another great piece, keep up the good working.
Rooting for you.
Really great and ad rem.
Keep soaring in your own pace too.