My last post of 2017 mainly focused on what had happened in the year and ended with a couple of questions about what I’ll be doing in terms of self-improvement/self-love/self-care. I really enjoyed answering those questions and it felt good to write everything down. I feel like with writing those answers and publishing them on my blog for everyone to see, I must now be held accountable. 

This post will focus on my actual goals for 2018. I FaceTimed my cousin last night, and she really inspired me with her own goals for the year. She said that she feels like this year is going to be her year and I feel the same way. I can feel it in my bones (and not just because it’s cold)!

I recently tweeted a few things I’m looking to do this year, and I’m looking forward to taking steps to achieve these things:

✨ Speak things into existence
✨ Remove negativity in my life
✨ Get a jar and when something good happens, write it down and put it in
✨ Make a vision board
✨ Buy a new planner

I am a bit late in getting my planner for this year, but I finally ordered one after researching for about 2 hours for one that I think will help me with my journey. I found Trigg Life Mapper, which seems promising. 

“Each week you write down your goals – categorised into “self”, “work”, “passion”, “relationships”  – and the action you will take. You get a day-to-a-page format with space at the top to prioritise that day’s tasks, with bullet points for appointments underneath. On a Sunday, it asks you to reflect back on the week and note what you’re grateful for. There’s a six-month review in June then at the end of the year, you are encouraged to take stock of what you have achieved.” – Independent, 10 best 2018 planners

I feel like it echoes the Happiness Planner I have, but at half the price. Whilst I really enjoyed the Happiness Planner, I think it is time for me to try something new. I will most likely post my first impressions on Instagram, so keep an eye out on that. 

My goals for this year are probably similar to many others because they mostly include health, fitness, personal growth. The strides I took in 2017 definitely laid the foundations for helping me with my goals and I am super excited!

Finish my first draft

This is different to finishing my book because it is a long process to get to the final product. I want to at least have a first draft completed by the end of February, which I think is definitely possible. There’s also the fact that I have 50k+ words already written of my story, so that’s a nice little headstart. I’ve already made progress with writing up character backstories and timelines, and I plan to keep track of all this via a thread I started last year:

This is the first time in a long time I’ve been excited about one of my plots. I have (or had) this habit of starting stories and never getting around to finishing them. I know exactly how I want this story to end, so let’s see what happens!

Dress more like a grown up

I was having this conversation with Mutay last night, and this goal may sound a bit funny but honestly, it is something that needs to be done. Whenever I go to work I genuinely feel/look like one of the college kids that I see roaming around outside Sainsbury’s. I don’t much care for clothes, I’ll be honest, but I feel like I need to start dressing my age. Ready for my glow up, 2k18.

Somebody just needs to buy me a whole wardrobe, though.

Maintain relationships 

I have pretty strong relationships with the people in my life and I just want to keep that going, really. This means making time for people. I know this can be difficult with school or work or other social commitments, but if those people are important to you then you will make the time. 

I am hoping to get out a bit more this year and whether this will garner new, lasting connections, we’ll have to see, but it would be nice. There are so many interesting people in this world and I love hearing other people’s perspectives, as well.

Implement healthy habits

This one is a bit of a no-brainer. I started off really well with exercising and healthy eating last year and then I fell off the bandwagon several times, and then it got to October, I want to say, and bam. I was just straight sitting on the road going nowhere.

I stopped making my own healthy lunches and would either grab a meal deal from Sainsbury’s or bring in last night’s leftovers which usually consisted of a lot of rice. I haven’t been to the gym in months. I’ve only recently started drinking water diligently, again.

My skin has suffered because of my laziness, and it’s gotten to a point where I know that I need to do better. Not just because I want a hot bod but because if I don’t actually look after my body then my eczema flares up and it just makes life really hard. So, I’m writing it down now – I WILL MAKE BETTER HEALTH DECISIONS IN 2018.

Work on my portfolio

I have had chynnawebley.com for how many years now, and aside from posting a bit on there, I’ve largely left it abandoned. I want to revamp it, add new content, all sorts – I know I want this domain to be a portfolio, but I don’t know what direction I want it to take. Keep an eye out for updates!

Get into a strong blogging habit

Again, last year I started off really strong, had a bit of a wobble mid-year and then sort of got back on it towards the end. I definitely want to put more time and effort on my blog this year, as I do feel like it has been neglected a bit. Also, actually catch up on the blogosphere because I’m really behind on posts/comments. 

I have many goals I want to achieve this year including more travelling, but I feel like that one’s a given. Like I mentioned earlier, I feel like this is the year to achieve everything! I know I can achieve these goals if I put my mind to it, and as above, I’m going to be doing more speaking things into existence. 🗣️

We’re 7 days into the new year and I’ve already found my theme tune of 2018.

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.

 

You can read the letter to my 16-year old self here.

Dear Chynna,

Where do I even start with you? You’re a literal mess and still about boys ruling your life. I know… you don’t purposely do this. If only time travel existed and I could go back in time and shout at you for getting in a relationship so quickly. In fact if I owned a DeLorean or a TARDIS, Lord knows I would travel so far back to save you. At the same time, there’s all that lesson learnt and shit and you have to learn from your mistakes and you grow from them, blah blah blah. Whatever.

If you had the self awareness (I saaaaaay that, but it’s a bit hit and miss sometimes) that you do now then you wouldn’t have wasted your first year of university with a guy who dumps you because you decided to go for a great opportunity and study in China. Boys ain’t sHIT, girl. They still ain’t sHIT.

My advice for you would be to get out there and enjoy the independence you have now gained. You attended an all-girls school for most of your life, so I get it – you’re socially awkward when it comes to boys and so you got all googly eyed at the first guy who showed interest in you. I get it. (You still sort of get like that now – not as bad, but yeah) I really do want you to go out and make new friends, though.

Go and join that creative writing club. Go out every single week and get fucking wasted. Attend lectures with the most hanging hangover you could manage. Meet boys and kiss them, but don’t fall in love. Live on Chinese takeout and waste your student loan on useless things from IKEA. Most of all, make the most of your first year of university. At least when you get back from China, Mutay started her first year. What a life saver.

Nevertheless, I love your big head. You’re a stupid big head, but I love you. If you and I met, I’d probably knock you out but that’ll never happen, so you’re lucky.

C x

PS. What the fuck were you thinking in attempting to move in with that doofus? He ends up losing your deposit, FFS. You’re a moron. Love you, though.

 

I haven’t been completely honest.

The dating game is a hard game to play.

Some of my readers will know that I was in relationship, which has now since ended. Relationships are a funny thing. You never know if you’ve jumped in too quickly, until after it has ended. In the beginning there is always a honeymoon period and you think the sun shines out of their arse. Everything is all rosy and peachy and it feels like nothing can go wrong.

Then it does.

Relationships have always been tricky for me. I’ve never been one to hold a relationship for more than a year. I don’t know what it is or who jinxed me. I know that shouldn’t be in a hurry because I am only 23, but I feel like I am running out of time. Imagine an hourglass and you can see the sand grains passing through, but it’s going too fast and you can’t stop the grains because there’s a barrier. That’s how I feel about finding someone to spend the rest of my life with.

Let’s be honest, guys. No one wants to be alone.

I was dating someone at the start of the New Year. It was wonderful and new because he was someone I wouldn’t usually go for. He was intelligent and funny and someone I could actually hold an intellectual conversation with. He was into history, something that doesn’t really interest me… but I found myself becoming fascinated in that topic because of him. He opened my eyes to new things and a different perspective on life.

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I’ve gotten to that point in my life where I’ve started to question all these so-called conventions when it comes to dating.

This includes who should text first, how many days should you wait before texting/calling him, who should call first, etc. It’s all a bit ridiculous, I’ve realised. I’m a pretty impatient person, so if I just sit around waiting like I usually do then nothing will get done because we all know that guys are really, really clueless all the time sometimes. I don’t think guys realise how much they keep girls waiting and on edge. It’s annoying.

I mean, really, what’s so wrong with the girl calling or texting first? If anything it shows assertiveness and confidence which I’m sure some people would find sexy. I know I’d find it sexy if I were a guy. A relationship does take two people to work, so if it’s always the guy making the first move what does that say? Of course, I wouldn’t necessarily text the guy as SOON as I get home if I get his number (not that I ever have made the first move, anyway, ha!) but you know the next evening or 2 days would suffice.

In other news, I have an interview this week for a retail shop called Primark. I’ve realised that until I get a proper job with a per annum salary I need some way to survive. There go my high hopes of working straight as soon as I finish university. One of my closest friends works in the Primark I applied to, and she put in a good word for me, so fingers crossed I get it. I guess I just need to ace the interview. Who knows, though? Something could fuck up.

I also got a staff writer internship at geekinsider.com. It’s only 3 months and not paid but that’s okay because it’s online so I don’t need to spend any money or anything! Plus the experience would be really useful and help me brush up on my writing skills. They also said they’d give me a letter of recommendation once my 3 months are up. Good times!

I’ve also started watching 30 Rock (you know me and my television shows, I can’t keep away. I always have something new to watch) and have already raced through 3 seasons. 30 Rock is so, so funny. Like ridiculously funny – plus it has Tina Fey who I’m a lot a little bit in love with.

PS. I got a 2:1 in my dissertation. Drinks up!