26 Things I learned at 26

I’m in the dying days of Chapter 26 and I’m looking back on where it started. It has been turbulent to say the least but it has also been very rewarding and very fulfilling. I’ve grown, I lost, I’ve lived, I’ve healed but I’ve also broken in places I’m now trying to heal from. I’ve gotten to know myself a whole lot better. It’s been…. Well what we typically call Life.

In summation of this new chapter and while I prepare adequately for the new one, here is a list of things I’ve learned.

  1. How to really love myself and give me the type of love I want and I need.
  2. How to make Chikanda.
  3. How to cook Kalembula
  4. That you do not own the person you love and sometimes we place uncommunincated expectations.
  5. How to be healthier and to manage my weight.
  6. That I may not like avocado but my skin and my hair really do.
  7. That even the people who hold most dear won’t clap for you when you win when things aren’t going as well for them and they may even secretly wish you ill. But that’s ok.
  8. What politics really is and how it is done here in Zambia.
  9. I learned about the beauty in letting things die and using the dead things as compost to enrich the new life growing.
  10. I learned how to make macaroons (almost perfectly)
  11. Journaling is a need for me.
  12. I learned that in addition to being. Sapiosexual. Men who have good character, Godly traits and are really level headed are irresistibly attractive to me.
  13. To make room in my life for the things I want or desire.
  14. I learned to come to the table with my strengths and the areas and excell in. To lay them down with pride in myself. To know that me taking pride in myself and abilities will be offensive to many. But as long as it is a good healthy pride coming from a place of confidence and security rather than arrogance and insecurity. I will be just fine.
  15. That when people have power they will do things ‘because they can’ (paraphrased from Naomi Alderman)
  16. This one is a little eyebrow raising ……. I learned how to draw my eyebrows  LOL
  17. How to manage my weight by first of all managing my thoughts and mental state of mind.
  18. To actively start pursuing and exploring my passions.
  19. To look in the closet for the skeletons of people that are constantly accusing you know in your hearts of hearts you are innocent.
  20. I am the Analyst personality type.
  21. When there is disession and chaos it is essential to turn your focus on the one who stands to benefit the most from existence and if my goal is to end it that is my starting point.
  22. How therapeutic and essential dancing is in my life.
  23. To fight the real enemy of my life(The devil) more than I fight anything else.
  24. How in almost anything you do… You need a plan on how you will manage the male ego if it is present.
  25. How to look out for toxic femininity in myself and in others and how to manage it.
  26. To never again doubt my intuition.

 

Chapter 26 has been quite the journey. I am officially toasting to it and eagerly awaiting the next chapter.

Guide to Being a first time maid of honour to the first bride in your social circle….


My best friend just got married, that officially marks me being a part of a bridal party for the first time as an adult.

NB:I wrote this in the period leading up to the wedding and after the wedding.

Apart from a few articles and images I got from Pinterest in addition  to shreds of observation. I wasn’t too sure what being maid of honour entails. Apart from that, I’ve noticed alot of what I think the maid of honours duties should be are things I’ve seen in different scenes from different movies. This was empasised when one of the girls asked me if the bride had gotten her bridal lingerie. I had no idea it was part of the duties of the maid of honour to ensure this. For someone that lives under a rock the most of that the time. I don’t watch too many movies and series neither do I attend a lot of weddings. Thus limiting my self from further being educated or refreshed in the maid of honour duties are. Also attending a wedding only gives you a glimpse into the duties of the maid of honour on the actual day. It does not teach you what goes on behind the scenes.

Zambian weddings have a matron who performs a lot of the functions a maid of honour does in a different setting(as seen on tv) so it can get a little confusing on what your role is.The new culture presented to us by the media in its various forms often does tug of war with the traditional Zambian nuptials and had me confused over what is maid of honour duty and what isn’t.

Here is a list of things you should be aware of as a maid of honour. Some are things I wish I’d known or wish I could have done better. Others are things I knew before some are things I learned along the way from experience some are things I was told about.

Pause, the other bridesmaids just walked in and in order to not disturb the writing I’ve had to excuse myself. Sorry, lets continue

1.Make sure you’re accessible. Don’t have a communication struggle Months leading up to my first time maid of honour duty was laden with technological malfunction. Something in my fingers must have been kryptonite to all technology around me because my phone was messed up. My laptop just wouldn’t charge.It was terrible. I was not the most accessible maid of honour.

The bride needs to be able to bounce ideas off of you. It also helps you know her vision. And help her achieve it. Fortunately for our bride she had a few other shoulders to lean on when I couldn’t be available. It wasn’t easy for her  but we pulled through it.

  • Be accessible

2. Take the time to ask questions and find out what is expected of you. Ask the bride what she would expect from you. Read articles. Look on Pinterest. Etc even take the time to watch bridal related TV shows.chick flicks etc Its OK for you not to know. What is not OK is not taking the time to learn.

3 . Constantly ask the bride how she is feeling. What she would need help with. It is overwhelming for her. Help carry the burden planning a wedding is stressful.  You are an unpaid employee of the wedding. So make sure you put in your hours.

4. Remind her of things she may have forgotten. Weddings can get tedious with so many ideas and options to choose from. As much as you can jot down your brainstorming sessions or her ideas.
5.On the day of the wedding as much as is possible ensure people to get be ready on time.Sometimes you may have to push people.Help people get dressed. Be willing to do things that will help people get ready quicker. No matter how menial the tasks may seem.

6. If you’re doing a dance routine.  Make sure you practice more than everyone else. As the person in the front people look to you for direction. If you mess up everyone does.

7.Be at the brides beck and call as much as is possible. I’m not the most subservient person I know…. lol. I made a conscious decision to be for the duration of the wedding period because I would like to have someone I know can rely on if I were the bride.

8. DON’T TAKE ANYTHING PERSONAL. Stress and emotions may be high during the wedding. The bride or other people around may become affected by this and act unpleasantly or even say things that aren’t nice. Don’t take it personal even when it is. Let things go and if there are any offenses you have suffered that must be addressed.Do it after the wedding. The wedding is not about you.

NB: You may or may not experience it but prepare for what comes with estrogen, people may be catty, or dramatic or may talk behind each others backs etc IGNORE it only address what needs to be addressed.

9.Make sure you save and plan for the wedding  Anticipate costs you may have not budgeted for. Weddings are costly.

10.Try to be as organised beforehand as you can because the wedding will get hectic. I lost so many things during my bestie’s weddings because I had to attend to the bride and to myself.

  • Ensure your belongings are packed or put together, and if the other ladies are gracious enough delegate the responsibility to them.
  • Use items you don’t mind losing

 

Wedding trends are continually evolving and it’s hard to keep up it’s you’re not immersed in it.

Other things you may expected to do as the maid of honour.

  • Be in the forefront of arranging a hen party.
  • This one was mentioned to me much later; Make sure the maid of honour has bridal lingerie.
  • Grab the veil or keep it from flying off the brides head on a windy day lol

 

NB:On the day of the wedding or any other nuptial related event, leave everything all your worries or personal issues you may be facing at home. You can go back to them after the wedding passes. The day goes by very fast. For the most part you are unaware of the photographer/s you don’t want to be caught on camera looking like Cinderella;s step sister. The period surrounding the wedding was a very trying time for me, and it did show in some of the pictures. Anyway….

Remember to have fun, the day goes by so fast and you will miss it. I hope this helps someone.