Dear Chynna,

I’ve always written letters to our past selves, but really what good will that do? We can’t go back and change the past, we can only learn from it. I thought that this time around, we’d have a go at writing to our future self.

I also didn’t want to write a generic letter that states the goals that I want to be achieved at this certain time, blah blah blah. I’m still at a stage in my life where I don’t know exactly where I want to be in say 5 years time. I just know that I want us to be happy, as cheesy as that sounds, and have a book published. Whether we’ll be in a long-term relationship or by ourselves, as long as we’re happy that is all that matters.

Ideally, we should be settled, living away from home and in a job that makes us financially stable. I think those are realistic expectations, so it’s all about taking the steps to achieve these goals. 

In the pursuit of happiness, things get difficult but it’s what we do that makes the difference. Do we just sit there and moan and complain that nothing is going right? Or do we stand up and do something about it? 

Life has its ups and downs but with a good support system then you know that things are going to be okay. Life is not perfect but that’s what makes it fascinating, exciting, amazing. If we let all the bad shit that happens to us get in the way then we would be worn down to a husk of a human being.

When we feel like crying, let it out. When we feel down, find someone to talk to. When you feel happy, share that with someone. When something good has happened in your life, shout it from the rooftops!

I am a firm believer in karma – put good into the universe, and you will be rewarded, no matter how small. No one needs negative vibes – we only subscribe to positive ones. 

Of course, not every day will be a good day – it’s unrealistic to expect that but if we go about life with a positive mindset and just keep doing us then it’s going to be alright. The goals we’ve set, we will have achieved by now because you know what? We. Got. This. 

Love and peace, baby girl. We the best.

Chynna x

A Letter to my 16-year old self | A Letter to my 18-year old self

Much like my ‘Being Mixed Race’ post, this topic has been floating around my drive for a while and I’ve been wanting to write about it for ages. Since starting the ‘Let’s Talk About…’ series, I’ve been thinking about what topics I can write about and thought this is the perfect opportunity – especially as it has been a while since the last post.

Relationships are a tough topic for me just because they’re always so complex to dive into – questions like, “Why did this break down?” “Why did I even date them in the first place?” “Will I be single forever?”

But it is such an interesting topic and something I just wanted to touch upon. I’m no relationship guru (trust me on that), but I mean I’ve had some experience that could possibly make one or two books depending on how you wanna spin it.

First things first I’ll eat your brain… yeah, no wait… wrong discussion. Let’s talk about romantic love, shall we? Let’s ask really deep questions like, “Does it exist?” “Is it a lie?” “Is it a trap?” and then go into a frenzy because you don’t know what is real anymore. In a way, I do believe that romantic love is socially constructed and that would be thanks to Hollywood.

Think about it – you’ve grown up watching films and reading books where a guy and a gal meet and fall in love and live happily ever after. Love at first sight and all that BS. Although, miss me with that BS but I’ll get onto that later. Hollywood has led many of us to believe that we will meet our one true love by bumping into them randomly in the street – and, yes, okay, you can randomly bump into someone in the street, and they may have the guts to ask for your number, but 9 times out of 10 that’s not going to happen. And if it did… how do you know that’s your one true love straight away?

For me, love is something you build. I attended a family member’s wedding back in August and I remember the pastor did a speech and brought up a valid point. Wouldn’t you rather ‘climb’ into love rather than ‘fall’ into it? Falling implies that you will not have a great landing and it’s all bumpy and just not a great experience, right? Climbing into love implies that you’re building something with your partner and taking time as you go along. To reach the top is an achievement and to have your partner alongside you makes it even better. You build a partnership and you listen to each other, you support and trust each other.

I feel like it would be appropriate to insert something about love and devotion here, so… [emoji] I can’t get enough of all that love and devotion in my life. [emoji] /endsong

But do you see where I’m coming from? Honestly, I used to be such a hopeless romantic. I used to pine for the fact that I would meet my one true love and my life would suddenly have meaning. I mean, don’t we all at some point? Then reality hits and you realise you should really concentrate on yourself before committing yourself to a relationship, anyway.

Mind you, this is not something that I always used to think. Like I mentioned I used to be a hopeless romantic but it wasn’t until I got into my first proper relationship that I realised that this sh*t ain’t no joke. It’s not all flowers and chocolates and snuggles – people actually talk about *le gasp* their feelings and when I was younger this was very, very difficult for me. After that relationship ended, I was told that I wouldn’t open up and if the first inkling of a serious conversation was about to take place then I would clam up and just hide myself in my phone. I used to deny this vehemently, but now looking at it retrospectively it is something that I used to do.

Serious conversations about feelings and the future still scare me but I’m getting better. This even applies to my platonic relationships. Situations sometimes arise and I just want to hide in my shell and not deal with it. But dealing with it is part of growing and sometimes you just got to rip it off like a plaster.
I think the best example of reality hitting me in the face was when Mutay and I had our one and only real argument back when we lived together in university (unless you count that time I got angry at her about Skittles back in like Year 8 or something, but irrelevant… I was just short and had a hot temper so, you know).

I won’t delve into what happened too much because honestly, I am very embarrassed about it but I was a terrible person who instead of talking to my best friend about what was bothering me would hide it and then it all came spilling out and I really had no justification for my actions. I was hit with things about myself that personally I knew were the truth but didn’t want to believe. Let’s face it, no-one wants to hear the worst things about themselves said out loud.

But even after everything, my stubborn ass refused to apologise properly. It got sorted out in the end because Mutay was the bigger person, but that episode was devastating. In saying that, it helped me grow as a person. You should be able to speak to your friends without it being a HUGE deal – be honest and open because if you can’t be then can you really call yourself their friend?

Rolling back to thinking I would find my ‘One True Love’, I used to be so stuck on the fact that we had just the one person that we were meant to fall in love with and be with forever, but I mean is that even realistic? I think we have soulmates – people who come into your life to teach you something and help you grow as a person and learn more about yourself. Just like a season. You may go through many soulmates and that’s cool; it’s a learning curve.

I was dating this guy at the beginning of last year and even though it didn’t work out, he did teach me a lot because he was unlike any of the guys I’ve ever dated. When someone opens up your eyes and shows you a different perspective, it is refreshing and I know can always look back at that time with fondness because I was genuinely very happy at that point in my life.

I think with all the guys I’ve dated, I have learnt something new about myself and just in general which is great (in an ‘Oh, shit then’ way rather than an ‘OMG YAAAS’ way, if that makes sense). There are a few relationships where I’ve mourned the loss of a friendship, even now I’m doing that with a guy I was seeing at the start of the year, but it is what it is and you can’t force things if they weren’t meant to be. Just live your life, b.

There were so many things I used to believe in and I think that’s because I was influenced by what I read/watched. Like in the k-dramas I watched where it’s okay for the guy to act like an asshole and the girl would still fall for him. What?! But I’m not going to lie to you because k-dramas still give me feels and I still watch a few, so hey. You get my drift, though. You ever heard someone say, “Oh, he’s only picking on you because he likes you!”? No, girl, noooooo. If the only way he can express his feelings for me is by picking me then I don’t wanna know.

Red flags are such a big thing to look out for in a relationship. I remember I used to get told, ‘You need to go to the gym’ or ‘You could have a flatter stomach’ or ‘I mean, your ass is great but think of the potential if you worked on it?’. And yet I still stayed with him?

Here’s the clincher, though! If you were reading my blog back in 2015 then you’ll remember I posted about my New York trip. What I didn’t mention, however, was how my boyfriend at the time made me cry whilst on said trip. All because of an Instagram comment and the fact that I didn’t FaceTime him every f*cking day. The details are hazy but I posted a selfie on Instagram and a guy commented on it and then Mutay commented on it and then my ex commented on it. I deleted all the comments because I was like, “Whatever” and my ex BLEW TF UP. “You shouldn’t have deleted my comment. Why did you delete my comment? I’m your boyfriend. Blah blah blah.” I was in Baltimore for a wedding and I was meant to be enjoying myself with my best friend and getting ready and yet I was f*cking miserable and crying on and off the whole day because of some fool who wasn’t even in the same country as me.

The moment someone makes you cry and feel so sh*t about yourself and like you did wrong even though you know you didn’t do anything wrong is the moment you exit the relationship. Just run. Just like this dude.

In hindsight, I should have left his ass as soon as those things happened AND YET WHO WAS THE FIRST PERSON I SAW AS SOON AS I CAME BACK FROM HOLIDAY? Sigh, Chynna. The thing is when you’re in something, you have rose coloured glasses and ugh. It’s difficult, I can’t lie. But we need to do better – we can’t be settling for these scrubs that don’t respect us. (I’m sorry, I’m actually listening to ‘No Scrubs’ as I’m writing this, so this is totes appropes)

I mentioned this in my ’25 Things I’ve Learned In 25 Years’, you need to love yourself first if you want a healthy relationship. Of course, anyone is capable of loving, we are human of course. But healthy > toxic, so if it takes you ages to love yourself then so be it but at least when you do enter a relationship you’ll have the right mindset.

The same mental process should also be applied to your platonic relationships. If you’re going out of your way for someone and they’re not doing the same, why are you wasting your effort? Relationships are a two-way street. You can’t expect to receive and not give and the other way round as well. It’s just common decency, right?

We should be continuously growing as people – surrounding ourselves with like-minded individuals makes such a difference if that is what you’re looking to do. See someone inspirational? Don’t be jealous. Take from them and go do your thing, and spread the inspiration.

Negative Nancies, as I like to call them, have such a bad effect on me. I find myself slipping into a dark abyss (as dramatic as that sounds) and think that I won’t progress in life, but then when I’m with say, my best friend, and see how she’s freaking slaying life then I feel so inspired and that I can f*ck sh*t up (in a good way). It’s a vicious cycle, sometimes.

A note: cut out the toxic people in your life. This is easier said than done, I understand, but in order to reach Nirvana (no, I’m kidding… or am I?), you don’t want toxicity in your life. As O.T. Genasis would say…

Moving on, you should really put yourself before anyone and think about everything else later. Never put yourself in a compromising position for someone who wouldn’t do the same for you.

I’m sure there will be people who disagree with me on my thoughts about romance and love and blah blah blah, but that’s cool – leave it in the comments and let’s start a discussion. This is the exact reason I started the ‘Let’s Talk About…’ series.

 

Okay, so I didn’t have a planned date of when I’d be back hence why I took an indefinite hiatus. There were several times where I did open up a blank document but literally my mind was all over the place, so that didn’t work out.

In between more hair loss, heart break and just the overall stress of life I really haven’t had much time to think about blogging. I have missed it, though! A lot. I’ve been lurking, as I said I would, and I’ve been seeing everyone’s achievements and I am so proud ❤️ Y’all are bringing a tear to my eye.

You’re probably wondering what I’ve really been up to? If I’m honest… a whole lot of eating and a whole lot of nothing. So, really, nothing much has changed since I last blogged.

Have you ever had those blue days and therefore you really need to cheer yourself up and music nor television nor books are helping? Yeah, I had that 2 weeks ago and so I treated myself to a rose gold iPhone 7. I know I could have probably waited until September for the new iPhone to be released, but when I say I needed to treat myself… I needed to treat myself. #treatyourself2k17

I should write about the most important thing, right? The thing that I probably should have blogged about ages ago but coincidentally I took a break around the same time it happened. Better late than never, I say.

A friendship forged in 2NE1 and forever blubbing about boys finally went from URL to IRL when I met Pauline last June, and in turn, I finally got to meet Hamdah as well. How can I even get across how amazing these two women are? Pauline is kicking ass every single damn day and Hamdah too, interning in London this summer and just generally being a legend. I feel like a proud mama! (Even when I have to send out SOS alerts when Pauline goes AWOL 🙄)

Meeting Pauline and Hamdah for the first time was amazing, and it was literally the best day ever. We started off with brunch at M Raw located in Victoria where the food was so-so. However, I really must talk about the bottomless drinks because it’s safe to say that Mutay and I got turnt. Breakfast martinis? Yes, sir, right over here, thank you very much.

Being typical tourists (jk, lysm guys) Pauline and Hamdah wanted to visit Notting Hill so we headed in that direction with a stop to T2 on the way where we met the awesome Helen. I love that she genuinely thought we had been friends since like secondary school or something. Honestly, the energy all of us created bounced off everywhere and it definitely helped that the weather was beautiful.

I made a pit stop for some boba because boba is life, and we finally got to witness the behind the scenes of Pauline and Hamdah’s photoshoots. So much fun screaming “When will your boyfriend EVER” across the street as Pauline was posing. #honestlywhenwillyourbfwouldever

We then headed over to Richmond Park which I thought was only down the road, but I clearly underestimate my own city. It ended up being a bus ride and then a walk in which Pauline and Mutay raced up a hill and Hamdah and I struggled. Lol.

We didn’t explore much of the park, but the parts that we did were a bit disappointing, ngl.

Sadly, sadly, we had to start heading back at this point because Pauline and Hamdah had a silly train to catch. I know, right? So dumb! Should have just stayed… We obviously had to stop at Carluccio’s for some delicious Italian and to print off the photos we took because Hamdah is amazing and has a Polaroid printer. #sohitech

The most amazing thing is that even though that was the first time that we had all met, it felt so natural and not awkward at all. Honestly, we all clicked straight away. I think there’s always this fear that the friends we make online won’t be the same IRL, but I can safely say that of all the online friends I’ve met (Joy, Nancy, Pauline, Hamdah, Tiff) they’ve all been what I expected and much more!

It was also lovely to meet up with Pauline again when she was down in London for the Gymshark event and I’m excited to meet up with Hamdah more often now that she’s living in London (even though she’s on the other side of the river 😜)!

Ladies, all I shall say to end this post, is that I’m so glad that Mutay and I got to meet up with you both FINALLY and that you two are amazing, wonderful, intelligent, beautiful and all of the freaking adjectives really. ❤️ 

 

Lets talk about…

I feel like sex is still a taboo subject to talk about – in a candid way, anyway. Perhaps I’m not looking in the right place, but I can’t seem to find a lot of bloggers that openly talk about this subject. I want to be that person who opens the door to this discussion. Aside from textbooks and doctors, I feel like there isn’t someone who I can turn to and read about how they feel about sex on a personal level.

I’ve been watching Shannon Boodram’s videos lately. She’s amazing and so inspirational. Her videos have opened my eyes up not just to sex, but also to love and loving oneself.

My own opinions on sex have changed over the years. I was very sheltered growing up, so I was never given the sex talk. Coupled with the fact that I went to an all girls’ school run by nuns, you can bet I never had a great sex education. That’s one thing that bugs me. I understand that as a Catholic school, it probably isn’t proper to talk about sex, but at the same time not all of your pupils are Catholic. It’s better to be teaching people to have safe sex, than no sex at all. Curiosity leads to pregnancy. Just saying.

Living in a country that has free contraception, I still don’t understand why people don’t take advantage of it. Why be unsafe and risk being pregnant, when you can be safe and HAVE FUN. Yo, sex is fun. Hella fun when you don’t have to worry because you’re on birth control.

Anyway, I digress. Despite my mother being Catholic, she never actually told me that I should wait for marriage. I remember with my first boyfriend the only thing she said was to be careful. I don’t even know if that was alluding to sex or just being in a relationship in general, but I just took as both. My mum loves to dance around the subject. She’s not so uppity, now, but I kind of wish she could have been more open but I totally understand that not everyone can be open.

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