Even though we are halfway through the year, this month really DRAGGGGED for me. It was ridiculously busy but seemed to last for an eternity.
During June I’ve been thinking about minimising and decluttering in all areas of life, from committing to not buying any new clothes for 3 months to packing up and preparing for my move back to the UK in August.
My hope is that the questions below will be a starting point which you can use to declutter mentally and physically. If something isn’t adding value to your life… why is it still there?
Do I need to tidy my room? (I mean like REALLYYYYY tidy it, a good old clear out)
Are there any clothes just sitting in my wardrobe, that will never be worn again? Can I recycle, swap or donate them?
Is there anything I need to let go of this month? Negative thoughts, negative people? How can I let go of them?
When was the last time I stopped to notice the breath in my lungs?
Am I dedicating too much time to something that doesn’t bring me joy? How can I refocus my energy?
What am I looking forward to next month? Make a list.
If you find it difficult to answer any of these questions because your mind is too busy working at 1000 miles an hour, you can try something else. Take a sheet of paper and record all of the thoughts swirling in your mind. You can use different colours and tools if that works for you or you can just go mad with a biro. DO NOT worry about analysing or categorising any of these thoughts, just get them out. You can include all of the arbitrary thoughts that occur whilst brushing your teeth or walking down the street.
After you have done this, you can explore the thoughts more if you want to. What are your priorities moving forward? Is there anything you need to do? Anyone that you should call?
This may help you to spring (or summer) clean your mind.
As my #loyal followers will know, in December last year I was offered a place on a Masters course in Education (Globalisation and International Development) at the University of Cambridge. I was both shocked and delighted when the offer letter came through, but immediately began to worry about the cost of the degree. The combination of tuition fees and maintenance costs is a total of £24,000. This is not a sum of money that I, or my immediate family, are able to cover.
In a bid to secure my place, I have been applying for and writing to many charitable organisations/foundations/businesses to acquire funding. So far I have enough to pay my tuition *happy dances* but I still need to prove that I can afford to live, eat and travel during the course of my time there. As of yet, the university itself has not granted my application of funding.
I am a very persistent and impatient person, so waiting for other people to make decisions about my future does not sit well with me. Therefore, I have decided to get a lil bit entrepreneurial (hello dragons den) and sell tees and totes to fund my time at uni!
The illustration features on the tees and totes was designed by Kim, who goes by @wheelygooddoodles on insta and features sketched portraits of the women that cheer me on and inspire me to do this degree (and every damn day in fact). These printed tees and totes were designed with the intention of celebrating powerful women in all of their glory. My friends are artists, scientists, philanthropists, nurses, athletes, financial experts and political geniuses, but most of all they are unstoppable. It’s worth noting that it was extremely difficult to pick just nine of my girl gang, all of my friends are legends.
“Buy this t-shirt of the everyday inspirational woman, to support an everyday inspirational woman.” – Adut Ayik 2019
If you’re interested in supporting, both products are available to buy here. Tees are available in sizes XS-4XL. Both products are made from organic cotton and can be shipped worldwide.
If you don’t care about tees or totes but want to support financially anyway, you can do so by clicking here!
Let me tell you about my mates (obviously this isn’t the extent of their qualities and talents, just a taste)…
Where do I even start with Adut? Did you know this girl has TWO Masters?! Her intelligence is astounding, but her ability to empathise, rationalise and express herself in a way that doesn’t damage others is so much more important. Adut is not afraid to tell me when I’ve screwed up and she’s ready to listen when I think she has too. She’s always there to chat to me when I’m ranting about politics in the UK and abroad (watch out for our podcast #HotlineBling). I don’t think I have ever laughed as much when I’m with somebody, when we come together the behaviour is shambolic in the best kind of way. There isn’t a friendship like this one. She should also be a model tbh, the definition of SNATCHED.
Alice is another one of my crazy intelligent friends. She’s currently studying a PhD and just presented at a conference in Chicago?! Your fave could never. This girl proofread my UG dissertation and my Cambridge application so she’s basically the only reason I’m suceeding academically lol. Alice is also hella passionate about the best sport in the world, netball! Ask her anything about this year’s Netball World Cup and she’ll tell you everything you need to know and more. Alice will always support me in crodough eating and all other emotional endeavours. We once dressed up as Damian and Janis from mean girls (I was obviously Damian), so that tells you everything you need to know about our friendship.
Carol is my flipping mum!!!! She’s also potentially one of the funniest people I’ve ever met (other than myself obvs). We have been through some crazy crazy times together. We have laughed, cried, grieved, fought and loved. My mum has remained resilient throughout all of this and is in a much better place now because of this attitude she has to life. My mum is also ACE because she is a nurse and we all ❤ the NHS right?! She has quite literally saved people’s lives and is now in charge of training the next generation of nurses in the UK. What a woman.
Deanna is the definition of a girl boss. As well as being an excellent historian and #academic, she also knows how to kill it on the netball court and throw a$$ on the dance floor. She has and will achieve great things because she cultivates an amazing energy and atmosphere in every room she walks into. She is a natural born leader and does it ever so gracefully. You can also find her being a Queen B stan on Twitter or stunting in a two piece suit on the gram. Did I mention that she set up a GoFundMe on my behalf? THAT’S MY PRESIDENT!
Grace is a creative genius. The end. Seriously though, talent just oozes out of this girl. Since the day we met in our first year of uni, she has been an incredible supporter of everything that I do. She’s photographed things for my blog, depop, charity events and everything in between! She’s a real one. Grace also has an extensive back catalog of puns and vine references that have got the both of us through some very difficult times. One of my favourite memories is trying (and failing) to steer a boat around Lake Bled with her and having to be rescued by somebody that worked at the boat renting place. I think that sums us up nicely.
Helena is my wisest friend. Period. This girl has helped me navigate some very difficult decisions and emotions. Helena is quick to put me at ease whenever I am worried about something, she speaks truth and life into every situation. I look forward to meeting up with Helena because our conversations are authentic, our laughs are loud and our outfits are on fleek. Helena is a force to be reckoned with and I feel so grateful to have her in my life. Love you long time girl.
Latia is the very real embodiment of the word legend. She’s that friend that ALWAYS has your back, from helping you do a tampon collection for charity to leaving the club early with you to get KFC. She’s also half of the fabulous pair of angels that decided to set up a GoFundMe on my behalf. I love her so very dearly (and I’m still baffled/impressed that she studied dental materials at uni – what even is that?!). My favourite memory of latia is her crying on a party boat in Kavos (don’t ask) because she managed to get tickets to see Nicki Minaj. I bloody love you Latia.
Mary is the type of person who insists on putting tomato ketchup on EVERYTHING, much to my continued disappointment. She could also eat all of the biscuits in your house in one sitting whilst simultaneously dead-lifting your dad. Mary is not afraid of telling me that my behaviour is ridiculous and will happily serenade me via voice note or whatsapp video on my bday. When Mary isn’t doing any of these things, she is helping out the good people of the UK, ensuring they get all of their coin in her job at the financial ombudsman. Mary, I love you as much as you love plain food.
Natasha. Last but certainly not least. Natasha is one of those people who pretends that they don’t have any emotions and people fall victim to her resting bitch face on a daily basis. In reality, Natasha is one of the most loving people I know. It doesn’t matter if you’re friends, family or a complete and utter stranger, she knows how make you feel welcome and wanted. Natasha is a hostess at heart, I’ve been at her house more times than I can count, it has been a haven for me during difficult times (side note: her and her mum’s cooking is the best). She’s also a saint for putting up with me and Adut being problematic on several occasions. You’re the best, friend.
Thank you for taking the time to read this, I hope is has brightened your day.