Goodbye 2019 – My Last Post In This Daily Blog Project (365/365)

Goodbye 2019, it’s really weird to say farewell to not only this year, but this whole decade and it’s honestly been a wild ride. Not only does this mark the end of my daily blogging ventures, but it’s the beginning of many other things in the works. I can’t believe we’re here, this year has both gone ridiculously fast, but also really slowly at the same time.. although that might be because I’ve written many of these posts last minute and that has made every day tangible to me (if that makes any sense).

The year started off with a shit load of anxiety, I was worried about work contracts, realising some subtly racist reasons that I was even in that position. I’ve essentially worked three different jobs.. maybe four if you count a department I supported whilst doing two of those jobs and every job was wildly different. I didn’t really have a lot of long term career thoughts for a lot of the year, especially as I was in an angency that had no path I could take without licking a racist arsehole – so I found an alternative and it’s been good so far.

I’m definitely in a better place now than I was this time last year, I was even talking to my cousin about it all and it’s mad how a year can change things – Yes I’m aware how digustingly cliche’d that whole sentence was, but it’s my last post of the year so please allow me to throw them in as it’s the only time I’m actually allowed to.

Writing this blog was a very conscious decision I made to help me get back into writing and give me an outlet whenever my mental health was waning.. which happens a lot. I realised what happens when I don’t have healthy outlets and that was 2018 in a nutshell, I partied too hard, cried too hard and was generally surrounding myself around weird crowds and even people who took pleasure in my vulnerably angry state. So this year I decided to change that and I’ll go into the next decade with that same energy. As much as I enjoy socialising, I’ll keep it with the right people, as not everyone is worth your time and you really need to go with your gut in most cases.

This year marked many beginnings in my career and personally as I had the privelege of starting a podcast with two of my best friends and it’s been regular and fun to do. It may never reach a million hits, but in all honesty it’s a lot of fun to do and we went in with very pure intentions and a willingness to learn about the technical side of things when it comes to set ups and equipment.

I also started going to the gym at some point which was honestly something I never saw myself doing and although it was fun, I had to take a pause as my brain started to do the thing where it punishes you for not going enough or eating right or seeing results. I’ll probably go back at some point, but I’m not willing to slip into unhealthy habits just to lose a few pounds.. it’s not worth it in my case.

I’ve learnt a few things this year as well, and although I’ve written them down I might as well write them again because it’s my blog and I can do whatever I want:

  1. Don’t spend time with people outside of work if they give you a bad gut feeling.
  2. Don’t always talk about racism around white people, they can’t always handle it and it’s not worth dealing with their emotions.
  3. Spend time with people you truly love.
  4. Tell those people that you actually love them.
  5. Instead of saying you’ll do something, actually do the thing!
  6. It says a lot about someone if they’re not happy about you when you’re succeeding.
  7. Not everyones crazy compliments one another.
  8. Don’t spontaneously decide to live with someone when it’s a dodgy situation and your gut feeling is bad.
  9. Also, don’t do it if everyone you know is telling you not to do it!
  10. If your friends don’t like someone (a friend/partner) it might be worth evaluating why they don’t like them.
  11. Some friendships end and that’s ok.
  12. Sometimes you have say how you’re feeling, you can’t always let it bubble up.
  13. If someone judges you about your movie/music/tv taste don’t bother with them, they’re a pretentious twat.
  14. Not all arguments are worth having, but some are!
  15. Don’t go out with your work colleagues when you’re in the dark place.
  16. When you give out your last fuck over a situation, you’re a dangerous specimen… choose your actions wisely.
  17. It never hurts to be a little petty about things, because some things are worth bringing petty energy into.

There’s probably more to write about what I’ve learnt but that would enter a realm of revealing personal things about me that I don’t feel comfortable including. ๐Ÿ™‚

I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, I still can’t believe we’ve made it this far in this daily blogging journey. That doesn’t mean this blog will cease to exist, I’ll just be posting less frequently and might actually have time to edit it all.

Happy new years and let’s go into the next decade with a more focused, positive and healthy mindset!

Image result for new year anime meme 2020

How I Grew My Curly Hair LONG (357/365)

I don’t really consider myself a hair expert in any sense, but I got asked on Instagram about how I grew my hair and I feel like it’s difficult to really write everything down in the comments section – plus I needed an idea for todays blog post as I’m currently in the later stages of a massive migraine attack… I need to remember my body has limits so it humbled me… but back to hair.

So, I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, I’m lazy when it comes to my hair. A lot of the time I don’t even realise it has grown a lot until I straighten it and it hits me. My hair is fairly healthy, it does what it needs to do and I’m pretty good at finessing my frizz by either incorporating it into my style or hiding it completely.

My first tip is to leave it the fuck alone sometimes. I know it’s tempting to wear braids, twists, bantu knots and manipulate the fuck out of it, but your hair is delicate so loads of tightening and styling leads to breakage.. and breakage is the enemy. A lot of people believe black hair doesn’t grow very long, but it’s a myth, the only reason some people struggle to grow their hair is because it breaks off at the ends due to loads of extra styling. So leave it alone and throw it in a bun later on in the week, your ends will thank you in the long run.

I like to oil my scalp throughout the week, I’m not sure if it even adds to growth but it helps my dusty dandruff ridden scalp. I use a mixture of 2/3 Jojoba Oil, 1/3 Jamaican Black Castor Oil and a few drops of tea tree oil. Again, I don’t know if it helps, but it’s worth noting.

I also swear by keeping your hair moisturised, don’t let it dry out during the week. Your hair needs water and help, so moisturise it and really pay attention to how it’s behaving! Use masks, deep conditioners and leave in conditioners. You won’t see results straight away but trust me you’ll thank me in the long run.

I know it’s tempting to use every product you see influencers use but stop it, just stop it. Use what works for you and maintain a good routine. Some products out there aren’t good, and even though something new is out and every curly haired woman is saying it’s their holy grail, what works for them might not work for you. I’m a big believer in staying in your own lane and tailoring your routine to your hair as everyones hair is different.

Drink water… just do it. I know whenever I’m dehydrated it shows in my hair, and skin, so just stop being thirsty and drink some water.

Back to things that can cause breakage – don’t brush your hair when it’s dry, your hair will break a lot and you’ll lose all of your progress that you’ve been working on.

Last but not least, chill a little bit. I never really made hair growth my goal and to be honest I don’t really care about it’s length a lot, I just want healthy hair and the length comes with it. Most of the year I have no idea how long my hair actually is, I just keep it nice, moisturised and free to do what it wants. So stop doing length checks, and allow it.

10 Days Left To Go! My Personal Review Of 2019 (355/365)

Wow guys, we’re on the final 10 days of the year, have you managed to get your resolutions from the beginning of the year and assessed how your year has gone?

Personally I didn’t set many resolutions this year purely because my huge one was to write more, and that came about in the form of this blog and although it has been difficult I’m still doing it so that’s been a success at least.

I’ve always loved writing, even though I’m not really good at it. It’s weirdly therapeutic even when you’re not actually writing about what you’re feeling, but the simple act is somewhat cathartic, and as someone who didn’t really have any healthy outlets until now, the blog has helped out a lot. It hasn’t caused as much drama as I thought it would, and it has taught me a lot of things I didn’t know about myself – like the fact that pride can bring about great discipline.

Now that I’ve actually been running a daily blog I no longer have any excuses for being lazy or unmotivated, so I may have shot myself in the foot a little bit.

From what I remember I also wanted to spend the year being more emotionally happy and mentally healthy which.. to be perfectly honest I’m not sure if I succeeded. I know compared to this time last year I’m in a better place, but there’s still a lot of work to do on that front, but that’s sort of a life long thing either way so there’s no point trying to get there immediately since it’s not possible.

My own problem with setting personal resolutions is that I know what I’m like, if the goal isn’t possible I know it won’t happen. I know what I’m capable of and that sort of helps and hinders my progress.

This year has both gone fast and slow in my opinion, but that’s probably because I’ve also spent every day writing something so I’m hyper aware of how time has gone, to the point of knowing what day we’re on. I’ve enjoyed the year for the most part, I’m actually doing the creative projects I always said I’d try, I’ve spent less time using work as an excuse to not have fun, and more time just doing what I want.

I’ve tried to do other things and even moved out for a month, and you know what that month taught me many things, pick your living situations wisely, I’m not compatible with every single person and that I probably shouldn’t be so spontaneous with such a massive decision. It was a hectic month with more drama than I’m used to, but I guess you live and you learn. Now I can spread this knowledge to my siblings who will probably not listen.

This year has also just solidified that I’m truly grateful to have the friends and family that I do have in my life because they’re actual gems.

I wish I could write more about this years review but honestly, I don’t know if I have more to say except that life is a wild ride. 2019 will forever mark the year of writing, working many different jobs, starting creative projects and learning my own limits when it comes to human interaction.

How has your year gone?

The Time Me and My Friend Saved a Cat (353/365)

We have another door to door story coming up, it was a truly hectic day for everyone in our group, there were fights, threats and we saved a cat.

Now this tale will focus on the cat because all of the violence that ensued that day can not be told by me, they’re not my stories to tell, and almost every instance was fuelled by racism.. I don’t really have it in me to talk about racism with a level head at the moment due to the current state of life.

So back to the cat…

So it was a standard day of knocking doors in a nicer area, everyone was rude, and me and my friend were getting sick of everyone in the area. We completed out first lap, which takes place around 1-3pm quite quickly and spent a lot of it talking about life. As people are usually working it’s the quiet lap in most areas so usually if you’re with someone you spend a lot of it talking and generally taking the piss if you’re friends.

We met up with the group to have lunch, the day seemed to be like any other day, and for us it was pretty chill.

Our next lap had more people back from the school rush and everyone was fucking rude. Now, at this point we were used to this, but on that day we honestly could not be bothered dealing with people – it happens every now and then and it’s always good to have someone with you when it happens so you can talk things through.

We were getting to the point where we could not be bothered doing any more work and we heard something weird, it was an animal but it sounded like it was in pain. Now, we were knocking new builds so it wasn’t like we were near main roads, the area was quite compact and even maze like. Then we saw the cat, it had clearly been hit by a car and we weren’t sure of what to do, so we checked the cat and it was in a bad state.

We tried knocking near by doors of people, regardless of whether we pitched them or not because a cat was in danger – now people are dickheads and they weren’t nice to us when we re-knocked their doors up until the cat was mentioned. Luckily we managed to get a hold of the neighbour of the cat owner (who was at work), I believe from what I can remember he also had a cat, or a pet at least as he knew what to do.

The cat owner eventually came back and it was a whole ordeal. I don’t remember a lot of it, but only the fact that we were honestly worried about the cat. It sounded like it was in a lot of pain, and I don’t think it would have stood a chance if we hadn’t been on those roads knocking doors that day.

Weirdly enough things like that happen a lot when you take on a job like door to door sales, you’ll end up in situations where you help people, are able to call ambulances and really just make sure people are getting the help they need. It sounds dramatic, but a friend of mine literally had a customer have an epileptic fit in the middle of the sale, and called an ambulance for them.

So, we saved a cat, met up with our group of fellow sales people and although we wanted to tell our story proudly – everyone had ended up in some form of violent situation, or potentially violent situation. All sparked by racist comments… so the day was a bit of a mess for everyone in that area.

Female Friendships Are So Important (346/365)

Sorry boys this post isn’t for you, so try not to feel too left out.

Female friendships are so bloody important in our day to day lives, both the media and many women out there really underestimate the importance of having other women in your life. It’s not even about empowerment, but about the special bond and having someone who gets you. Someone who has your back but also understands feminine struggles, let’s not even talk about periods, we all need someone who will tell us when we have lipstick on our teeth. Someone to let us know if we smell. Someone to fix our hair and keep us in check – women are honestly amazing and I really urge you to value you female friends.

I know a lot of us fell under the curse of feeling like male friendships had more value and even uttered the words ‘I just get along more with boys, they’re less drama’ – the cursed phrase.. which is a lie. Yes your male friendships are also important, but that internalised misogyny that promotes males over women by using tired outdated stereotypes are not ok and they’re also just causing you to miss out on a special bond.

Yes, some women are awful, and some men are awful. I’m not saying everyone is amazing and rainbows shoot out of their ass, I’m saying that if you find a good group of women, who aren’t assholes, you won’t regret the bond.

Sometimes I also want women around me just so I can complain about my period, and whine about the pain, the mess and just have a good moan. I do also have men that (unwillingly) deal with me talking about this topic, but they just will never get it and it’s upsetting.

So this is just a ramble to let you know, women out there, please value your friendships, especially your female friendships.

Every Sales Tips You Can Use To Get Your Way (340/365)

I’m going to round up this mini sales series with something extremely useful but easy to read. Sales roles are a great way to build your confidence and your people skills, but the thing I personally took from it was how the techniques you learn can be valuable and help you essentially get your way with people. They’re not 100% going to alway work, but every single one can help a lot when it comes to negotiations.

So here’s a list of all the methods you can use to get your way – that I can remember off the top of my head:

  1. Never seem too desperate, be indifferent. Like if the persons decision doesn’t matter because you can easily find someone else.
  2. SEE factors – Smile, Eye Contact and Excitement in healthy doses can make a huge different.
  3. Build a good level of trust, use relationship building tools like FORM.
  4. Always be prepared for every negative someone can throw your way with an overturn – in a sales pitch it would be when someone says they can’t afford it, and you overturn it with how the payment will be in 6 weeks time and as small as 20p a day.
  5. When using overturns make sure you stay indifferent, I feel like you should just think of desperation as the enemy of getting what you want.
  6. Keep everything short and simple. People have short attention spams and they honestly don’t care, so it’s your job to make them care as fast as possible.
  7. Be prepared for them to say no, I know this one seems a bit weird but at the end of the day not everyone is a yes, and that’s also ok.
  8. There’s this theory called Law of Average that I’d love to write about in more detail soon, but finding out you LOA, and using that to your advantage is a must!
  9. Have a winning mentality – even though number 7 said prepare for people to say no, you still need to have a mentality that you’ll win. If you go about pitching or talking with the mental state of someone who’ll lose, other people will sense it and not buy into what you’re saying. If you go in with a different mind set, it changes the game completely.
  10. Break down what you can and can’t control, because there are uncontrollables out there and you can’t spend a lot of time focusing on those things – it’ll make you feel sad and that’s not going to help the situation.
  11. Don’t spend more than 5 minutes focusing on something/someone who won’t make an impact on your life in 5 years time – not a sales tip, but something someone said in the sales office, and it sort of helps to build a winning mind set.
  12. Learn how to pick up on other peoples habits and use that to charm them, focus on how they present themselves, stand, look at other people. All of these things will help you figure out how to charm them and how to relate to them.
  13. You have to actually seem like you give a shit about the other person, in terms of their interests, why they’re saying no, and how to use that to overturn them in a way that doesn’t seem forced or planned.
  14. It’s all a conversation, not a pitch, not a plan and not something you’ve memorised. Once everything seems like a conversation, people are more likely to let their guard down and that’s when you have them ready for you.
  15. Last but not least, have fun. Honestly if you don’t seem like you’re having fun or care about what you’re talking about, the other person won’t give a shit. So have fun with it all!

How a Sales Pitch Works – It's a 'Conversation' (336/365)

Here it is, the promised sales series – in case you didn’t know I used to do door to door sales, and I not only did that unforgivable job for a year, but I also spent a lot of that time teaching people how to sell on your doorstep. Now I’m not going to pretend I was an amazing teacher as it’s a skill that took me ages to learn, as people learn in different ways and some need more encouragement than others. So let’s start with the basics, how a pitch even works.

Well they don’t actually see the pitch as a pitch, they see it as a conversation. A well structured conversation designed to close you, whether you’re aware of it or not. The reason it’s a conversation is that no one likes to be sold things, we’re just an anti social society who hates people in suits telling us what we need – and honestly after being in sales I completely understand it.

So the conversation is split into 5 easy steps:

  • Introduction
  • Short story
  • Presentation
  • Close
  • Consolidation

The introduction is a fairly easy step to begin with, although to master it takes a while. It’s where the first impression is built and honestly the first 3-5 seconds are arguably the most important. People are fickle and in most cases they won’t know anything about you, so you have to at least make them like you, because they’ll trust someone they like, over someone annoying and it’s all about building trust.

So that’s why sales people make a lot of jokes to begin with or say a comment to throw you off your scent of hostility, it’s to build a good first impression that allows them to be in control.

It’s also where they’ll actually say what they’re there form they need to answer the burning question of who they are and what they’re actually here to get you to sign up to.

The short story is where we start to answer the ‘what’ of the conversation, where they’ll start to elaborate but not spend ages talking about their importance. I personally pitched about charities so I’d break down who the charity helps and relate it back to the potential customer, if the charity involved deaf children, I’d find out if they knew anyone deaf or hard of hearing. Find out what support they get and hook them in as they aren’t removed from the issue anymore.

The presentation is also a part of this, as the what/where are closely linked, it’s also important that this doesn’t last forever. That’s why pitches tend to all be the same and go on for the same amount of time, which shouldn’t be longer than a minute and a half to be honest.

The close is a really important bit, and honestly you’re going to want to close someone after all of this. Even if they’re starting to lose impulse, you can always bring it back through explaining how it works but not in a way that’s intimidating. If they need to sign up to a charity it’s important to emphasise that it won’t start immediately but in 2 months down the line, if they already do charities ask them which ones and give a random name of a neighbour who also signs up to these charities and they also agreed to sign up today.

The close is really where the sales person comes out, even though it’s still a conversation, it’s when you really have free reign to lie about a lot. If they’re worried about cost, say it’s in the future and only works out to 20p a day, people hate math and they’ll probably want to do it, especially if you compare it to the price of a freddo, or make jokes about how freddos are expensive. Once you’re joking they’re sucked in.

The consolidation is the last step and funnily enough it happens after card details have been exchanged – it’s the step where you thank them.. well it’s when you also incorporate a guilt trip by reminding them about the children they’re helping, or animals, or anything charity related – I’m not sure how this works if you’re selling windows or anything physical. The consolidation exists for the ‘feel good factor’, the last thing you’d want is for someone to feel regret once you’ve left them to their own devices, because they’ll cancel the sale. So consolidation exists so that they’ll feel good and happy about your encounter and will happily continue the direct debit.

The emphasis on conversation is because that’s the scam of it all, it actually sounds like a conversation, but it’s all planned. Every joke, every statement every time they play with your pets – it’s all fake.

30 Days Left of This Decade.. (335/365)

Time has flown, I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, running a daily blog really makes you aware of how fast the year goes by and you’re able to pin point how many days are left/have past. It’s honestly mad but I do enjoy it as well since this blog is still happening.

I was going to start a sales exposรจ series, but then I remembered that Sunday is the day where no one reads this blog so why waste a good introduction to a weekly series on a day that everyone is either busy or sleeping. I know first hand that I prefer to use my Sundays either having a huge pampering session or just watching something new and exciting – so an anime or a korean drama.

When December hits I feel like it’s the time where everyone starts to reflect on the year and how it has gone. If you’re someone who has set new years resolutions, then you’re reviewing whether you actually stuck to them or if you’re like me and set overall goals, it’s just looking how what steps I took to achieve them. I want to write a more detailed post about how 2019 has gone for me later on and closer to the end of this daily blogging journey as I still have 30 days left to actually think about everything – you never know that might be a post I also put effort in to.

It’s also the time where you stop seeing the sunlight and sort of embrace the darkness more, so this can effect your mental health and generally how you’re feeling, as humans need sunlight to function. We are plants, let’s just be real about it. I use that phrase as a joke to my friends effected by the darkness, but in reality we do need vitamin D to remain healthy and sunshine can make you feel happier.

I guess it’s holiday season, so that’s something people look forward to.. right? As someone who doesn’t celebrate Christmas I know I don’t have to worry about buying a shit ton of presents or any of that, but the festive season does mean everythings on sale and there’s pretty lights dotted about everywhere so that’s nice to look at.

We’re going to be entering a new decade soon, so I guess there’s loads of pictures comparing how people started and ended the decade and I would like to officially say, none of you are seeing pics of me from 2009/2010.

Will This Blog Continue After 2019? (330/365)

You probably know by now, but I created this blog for this year, I wanted to start a challenge that would force me to write more and also allow it to become an outlet of sorts. Although I did not predict actually continuing past 2-3 months, I did think about the longevity of this blog a lot. I do intend for it to continue after 2019 however it won’t be in a the same format – no more daily blogging your girl is burnt out and we’re not even done yet.

I’ll probably more on to a free domain as well, as I only bought this domain to force myself to write every day. Nothing motivates me more than actually putting money and effort into a project, because then it needs to be continued.

Which means no more http://www.fatimaspeaks.com which will be slightly upsetting but I’ll get through it.

With less posts will come more detailed and well written blog posts, I might even start editing them and making sure they’re grammatically correct.

Sorry about the short post for today, hope you have a good one. ๐Ÿ™‚

Should I Be Open About My Mental Health? (322/365)

I write a lot about mental health, self care and generally like to give advice and tips based on my own experience, but one thing I’ve never done is actually write about my own raw experiences. One of the reasons why is because I don’t like to be open about my own personal pain online, being that vulnerable around people I personally know make me want to hide in a corner for a century, so doing it online would be personally .. difficult.

But, here’s the thing, I know for a fact seeing others be open and honest has helped me personally and others I personally know. I know I don’t have a big following anywhere, but would me opening up actually help people? I do want to help, if I’m ever open about my mental health it will take a while, so I doubt it would be done during my daily blogging challenge, but as a post next year… it could be a possibility.

So back to the question – should I be more open about it all?

I know I’m from many intersections of society, I’m Black, I’m Muslim (not practicing but still a Muslim),and I’m a Woman and let’s be honest there’s not a lot of people from all three groups actually talking about issues that effect us like mental health.

We tend to see it as a ‘white people issue’ or if we do see it the problem we’re then battling it alone as our parents see the word ‘counselling’ as a dirty word and let’s be honest extended family can only help so much unless they live near you.

Some of the lucky ones have friends to talk to (I consider myself in this category), but I know there’s a lot of people who might not feel the same, so maybe my experiences could help a little bit as I used to be someone who kept everything bottled in from everyone..

This isn’t a coherent post, just a question and my little thoughts around it. If you have an answer please comment below, or slide in my DM’s I have an Instagram account @fatimaspeaks. ๐Ÿ™‚