There is something about reaching a new decade that makes people want to reflect. I mean it makes sense, you become aware of the fact that ten whole years have passed and you’re in weird numbers now. I mean 2020… It’s weird. We’re in the 20’s… am I the only one who finds it weird on some level? Every time I hear the 20’s I’m transported back to the 1920’s and their awesome flapper fashion and not so awesome Wall Street crash. I’m acting like I was there, I wasn’t.
So these are my 20’s, the 20’s that I get to personally experience. I also find it cool that I’m currently in my 20’s age wise going into my 20’s decade wise. Ah the things that amuse me.
So yeah like most people online the New Year got me thinking about the past decade and how things have changed or not changed. I thought to myself, “How old was I ten years ago?” and in 2010 I was sixteen!
That sparked more thoughts and more shock because I then realised it’s been ten years since I finished secondary school… ten years! Ten whole years!
How did that happen? It doesn’t feel like it was that long ago you know.
I remember finishing secondary school and going to start sixth form and being so excited because I was going to a new school for sixth form that was co-ed and I just knew it would a learning experience *wiggles eyebrows*.
To this day the most beautiful man I have ever seen in real life I met at my sixth form. But I was so awkward. Going from a girls’ school to a mixed school was an experience. It wasn’t like I’d been starved of seeing boys the five years of secondary school, I saw them at church and on the street, but seeing them in a school setting again hit different. I was so confused, “Why are there boys here? Oh right I go to a mixed school now.”
And they were tall! Honestly it was like learning with trees. In my secondary school I was one of the tallest girls so going from the tallest to being dwarfed by lighthouses was disorientating.
It was, however, one of the best decisions I made that decade. It prepared me for university and I got to escape the girl drama that was happening at my secondary school’s sixth form.
After that I went to university and time went too fast I think. It was a blur.
My course opened my eyes to the world. There’s something about journalism, you either come out jaded or eager to step into the field. They really show you the harsh realities from day one.
Apart from my course I enjoyed the independence of living away from home and getting to control my life. I liked making friends and new opportunities in the societies I joined. I got to belly dance, help refugees, go to parties where I learnt how to dance and I learned how to operate a camera and film sporting events.
In my second year, in my second semester I got to go abroad to study. I went to Australia, Sydney NSW to be exact. That is the second best decision I made that decade. I loved it there! So much!
I met so many awesome people who kept trying to convince me to stay (if I could have I would have). I liked the atmosphere, the friendliness and the honesty of the country.
As I write this (12/01/2019) Australia is going through it, especially the East coast due to the bush fires that are happening there. It saddens me to see people having to go into the sea to escape the fire that is engulfing their homes. If we could give them our rain… or something… but anyway if you are able to give then consider donating to help them fight the fire. There are many charities and organisations you can donate to, for example Red Cross and WWF.
Honestly these past two years (2018/2019) have really shown us global warming is real. I mean I’ve always believed due to my science teachers so really these past two years have physically shown that global warming is real for those who doubt or keep trying to shut their ears to the problem, mostly certain world leaders (you know who).
Anyway back to my decade recap…
During my time in university the Olympics in London happened and that was so much fun to watch every day. I remember being at my cousins house and we were both way into it.
I also got to go on my first solo trip abroad (before Australia) to Dublin Ireland for a week. I planned that trip meticulously and it paid off. I explored many castles, beaches and ate good food. That’s what I love to do when travelling, experience nature, see history and eat!
Around the same time I got into kpop (2013). It was accidental. I just clicked on one video (UKiss – Forbidden Love) and that was it. It’s funny though, my friend had shown me kpop in sixth form but I hadn’t been interested but when I was in Uni it just hit different and I was like, “Yes, she’s right, this is great!”
So I started watching variety shows that had my favourite groups in and I started to pick up Korean and I thought, “I should learn this language, I like the way it sounds.” Cut to my second year and bam! Thanks to the Korean society (which I joined because they were persuasive and it was the nicest society I joined that year… honestly) I found free Korean lessons and so began my journey that I am still on.
In my third year my university offered free language courses and I took Japanese and I finished the beginners course with high marks *still proud*. I’ve always wanted to learn Japanese as when my university offered it I snapped it up.
During the 10’s decade I also restarted learning Spanish. I’d done it at school and I hadn’t taken it seriously. After university though I decided enough was enough and I started taking it mad serious. I wouldn’t say I’m fluent now but if you abandoned me in Spain, I’d survive.
Moving on from language I started my natural hair journey in January of 2015. I’d been wanting to for a long time and I finally did it. My Uni friend even shaped the cut for me. Ooh I rocked that tapered cut!
You know how people feel sad when they cut their hair? I didn’t. I was ecstatic, liberated!
Then I moved back home in June 2015 when I finished university. That transition was so hard. My parents got used to living without me for three years and so did I… it was difficult but we worked it out.
I went back to Rwanda for the first time in eight years I think… yes I know how terrible but it’s expensive to travel back! Anyway I had a great time. It was good to see my grandparents again and my family again, and to just be in Rwanda.
I cut my hair again in Rwanda and I cut it so short. That was the beginning of my scissor happy journey (Aug 2015). I had some good times. However whilst short hair is more manageable to wash and style, it needs more maintenance cut wise and that got annoying.
Then I took a gap year and tried to work during that time of nothing. It was so hard to get a job and I was shocked. I mean even a simple job in a supermarket was hard to get, like why? Just hire me. I eventually got my first job working for a hospitality agency and let me tell you it’s a scam! Never go for the 0 hour contract jobs unless you have a full time job and just need a little something extra on the side.
How they expect you to live on £30 a month is unbelievable.
So I got a second agency job because I figured with two I’d earn twice as much. *rolls eyes at self* I mean the second one was better but I still didn’t earn enough.
Then my third best decision of the decade, I got my driving license! Getting that done and out of the way was the best thing and technically wasn’t my decision, my mom encouraged me to do that. Fam, it’s so freeing! When there aren’t plonkers on the road I love driving.
Then I got my summer camp job in America which I have talked about and only lasted a summer and was a WHOLE experience and I got into my first relationship.
Dating… it’s funny how you romanticise something so much and then you experience it and you’re like, “Wow, this shit is hard.”
I don’t regret dating and having my first kiss and all that because as my cousin says, it builds character.
He was my first boyfriend and my first break up. I shan’t go into it as I’ve already talked about this in my relationship segment of my 20’s blog posts.
Ah my 20’s, I started my 20’s half way through the decade. At first it was fun as I turned 20 in Australia and 21 I got a driving license and 22 was just a good year but then it got difficult. 23 mayn… from then on it was a struggle. There were definitely good moments but there were so many setbacks.
I felt like a nail and life was the hammer hammering me into the ground.
I got a post graduate diploma in Ancient History and I did get to go back to Rwanda again in 2019 but those experiences weren’t as positive as I hoped they would be. However, they built character and I always enjoy learning new things so I didn’t totally hate doing Ancient History.
I also self-published two books. As I’ve stated before I started writing when I was in secondary school like when I was about 14 to 15. So the fact that I actually followed through on my promise to my friends and published my books, I’m proud of that. So that was a positive moment.
Doing that also made me realise how much I love writing and how I want to be a professional author. I’m still working on that. It’s a struggle but I’m hoping and praying that I will get there.
I also started my fitness journey that decade. It’s honestly so important to me. I know a lot of people dislike exercise but I love it. I love moving and getting stronger. I honestly take pleasure in the development of each muscle.
I believe that if you exercise in a way that suits you and makes you happy then it’s a pleasurable experience. We’re all unique and so our fitness plans should be uniquely tailored to us.
Oh and I started this blog. This blog was a blessing in the dark times of my 20’s.
Those three years (23-25) apart from my relationship and post graduate diploma I don’t remember much else that happened. My life for three years was foggy and unsure and just not there.
I wasn’t making the best decisions and I let others make me feel inferior or like I was this huge failure when I wasn’t (more on that later).
So yeah I’m really glad I had this blog because when I was getting too dark I remembered, this blog was supposed to be a space where I could encourage and uplift or talk to others and I wasn’t doing that. So I consciously started to do it again. And by uplifting others and talking about my passions I got to see the colour in my life again.
I also went to therapy in 2018, it was a big help. I highly recommend talking to someone if you’re struggling or need a mental tune up. Cars get one every year, why can’t we?
And this year just gone I have learnt how to braid, I have braided other people’s hair, I have started dancing again and I’ve stopped being scissor happy. That’s right, I’ll actually let my fro grow! I’m excited, where will it reach? I started doing poetry around 2018 as well and that’s been fun that year and this year gone.
I started YouTube and my editing is slowly getting better. No one watches my videos so my channel is just for me and I think I’ll treasure that. I can make whatever I want for the fun of it and I think that’s cool.
So yeah I’m trying to focus more on the positive instead of dwelling on the negative (more on that later *part two*).
Well done Gift. You’ve worked hard.
This post was long but this a decade of my life we’re talking about.
It’s been a difficult decade with big highs and big lows but I am grateful for each experience. How was your decade?