Today is my birthday and yet I’m finding the memory reel to be slightly broken. It’s amazing how we can remember an experience, but sometimes fail to acknowledge the feelings and fine details that accompany it. Maybe because it’s so easy to romanticise the past, bringing the good and the positive elements to the forefront, leaving the less favourable aspects to rot in the shadows. I wish I could continue to go through life like this but I realise that I no longer can. In reality, some shadows need to be faced and more importantly become milestones which you can learn from. I am so thankful for my 25 years on this earth, for every smile and for every tear. I have learned so much and cannot wait to continue learning more.

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Here are 25 important things that I have learnt by 25.

  1. My lips are not too big

  2. I am not “too dark” (whatever that means)

  3. I do not speak well for a black person. I simply speak well.

  4. My hair should never be compared to a carpet

  5. Bullies are cowards

  6. There is nothing wrong with an African accent

  7. My heritage is a proud part of me

  8. The shape of my body is no-one else’s concern but my own

  9. You will always do better than those who never tried

  10. Do what you enjoy and not what others think you should enjoy

  11. My skin colour is not a justification for this stop and search

  12. Class does not negate racism

  13. Masculinity is not definitive, simply a social construct based on traditional expectations of a given society

  14. Listen to others

  15. Self-motivation is key

  16. Family is important

  17. It’s ok not to be ok

  18. There is nothing wrong with being ‘different’

  19. If it’s meant to be for you, then it will be yours

  20. Forgiving others is hard but important

  21. Make time for yourself

  22. Not everyone is your friend

  23. Success is comparative, so I will continue to celebrate every victory

  24. Racially motivated jokes do not count as ‘banter’ (2018, anyone can get it)

  25. I’m not perfect and never will be but I’m happy with the way I am


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