Friday, 21 July 2017

#GirlBoss by Sophia Amoruso - A Book To Learn From?

I discovered this book quite late. In fact I had seen it many times  on the Aristoc book shelves  but I ignored it. Mostly because of the title and author's hair cut. I felt like this book was trying to sell me something but I was not sure quite what exactly. If I am honest the fringe and necklace frightened me, but the cover certainly got my attention so the marketers did a great job on that one.  I had seen Nasty Gal ads on the side of my yahoo e-mail page back in the days when yahoo mail was still cool.Then I think last year the news story broke that the Nasty Gal company was bankrupt, and because the same story and the aftermath of it kept popping up on my social media newsfeed, I made my way back to the book store to buy it. This was largely due to the fact that the media stories made her appear human and I was curious to know more about her beginning.

LA Times Story 

New York Times Headline

I think that's the problem with books that are marketed and written in this way, they appear one sided and they end with what seems like a happily ever after ending. Just like the fairy tail we assume that our heroine rides off into the joyful sunset never to experience failure or sadness again. Luckily for Sophia she gets points from me for mentioning the following quote in the beginning of the book.

"If there were rules to being a #GirlBoss-which there are not- one of them would be to question everything-including me. " ~ Sophia Amoruso

The quote above was a smart quote to put at the beginning, for me it saved her. She's telling us that despite her producing this appealing product of a book, just because everything looks pretty and well laid together, you should not take everything at face value. You should question. It's done so subtly that it may be easy for the reader to miss, and it's probably long forgotten by the time they get  three quarters of the way through the book. Yet for me this is one of the best gems of the book. This is Sophia's experience. Take  what you can but at the end of the day you have to live your life. According to reviews she had a ghost writer, which appears very evident based on the style of the writing. There  are many cliches in the book.  The advice is not new but that doesn't mean it isn't relevant for a young person...possibly high school graduate? I would have really appreciated this story at the ages of 19 or 20 years.

"And shitty jobs made the good ones more meaningful. Most people don't land their dream job right out of the gate, which means we all have to start somewhere. You'll appreciate your amazing career so much more when you look back at your not so amazing jobs in the past, and hopefully realize that you learned something from all of them." ~ Sophia Amoruso

Yap.. the above quote is age old wisdom. I wouldn't call them 's****' jobs though. We all have to start somewhere and these are really valuable experiences and basic skills that are acquired at that level. I learnt a lot from working as a sales assistant, those skills have stayed with me to date. Which is why I feel this book would be great for freshers too (those just starting out in University). All experience is a great lesson. It's up to us to demonstrate what we have learnt.

"If  it sold we learned. if it didn't sell we learned. and we kept on learning."
                                                              ~ Sophia Amoruso

And yes you do have to keep on learning, if you aren't I question whether you are living. Post Nasty Gal, Sophia Amoruso has started again, she is setting up a  new Girl Boss website and a new TV series based on her life.

Vanity Fair Story 

 The way she has dealt with  the backlash and her exit from Nasty Gal is a testament to who she is. Someone who gets back up and keeps going. In my opinion, that's one of the best character traits in this life to have. None of us are perfect, she should get mega props for  building a brand from scratch. According LA Times Nasty Gal was bought by, that still says something about her incredible ability to build a valuable brand.

"If you're frustrated because you're not getting what you want stop for a second; Have you actually flat out asked for it? If you haven't stop complaining. You can't expect the world to read your mind. You have to put it out there, and sometimes putting it out there is as simple as just saying 'Hey can I have that? " ~ Sophia Amoruso

Loved this bit of advice. I am learning how to effectively ask for what I  want. A skill that will do many well. People skills are a very valuable currency these days.

What I love most about the book are the other bonus little gems from her friends. People who created brands and products dispensing a little of their life experience and wisdom. Fabulous! Loved it. If you click on their names below,  it will lead you to where you can learn more about them. Was this just extra PR? Probably...still interesting and useful though.

"When I am not working, I'm still working. i'm always observing, I'm taking photos of patterns and colors I see on the streets, I'm jotting down ideas, I'm meeting people, connecting the dots, researching my craft, trying new products, giving my friends manicures, working on my website, updating my social media accounts, working on my own products, on collaborative projects, putting together inspiration boards or sketching new ideas. I'm working on craft and my business not because I feel obligated, but because I love it. I've always had to work hard because I had no other choice, but I always believed in myself."~  Madeline Poole

"I learned early on the motto 'know thyself' I think if you have a unique point of view and stay relevant and authentic, you will make an impression. You have to be excited and passionate about your ideas to make them work. Chances are it will take twenty of those good ideas before one sticks and has a chance to become real, but a good idea is only good if there is a well thought-out plan to make reality." ~ Norma Kamali

So would I recommend this book? Yes to high school graduates and first year university students. We need to read other types of stories. Not to copy but to learn from. For someone my age there is a lot missing, for example I would have loved to hear the real nitty-gritty of running a business and it would be great if she did another edition with how the company ended up getting sold. Painful to write, but a useful learning experience for many. Yes none of the messages in this book are new but it's still a good product of a book. Below are other reviews to help you decide. Just my thoughts.

More Book Reviews of the Same Book...

Two hundred odd pages later, I had learned two things. The first is that Amoruso (pictured) seems nice: fun, self-deprecating and self-aware. The second is that this book is as shallow as a teaspoon: God help today's school-leavers if they need advice like "treat your LinkedIn profile like an online resume" and "spellcheck exists for a reason". Oh, and this: "Don't have sex with everyone in the world you work in. It's a small world." ~ Helen Lewis, The Guardian Book Review

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

I Am All For Mary J Blige Right Now...You Should Be Too!

Mary J Blige has just released a new album called Strength of a Woman. I am loving her new song called 'Love Yourself' , particularly the remix with A$AP Rocky. This song speaks to my younger self.  She goes for a retro 60's or 70's style in the video (not sure about the exact time period because I am not a fashion history expert..). Everything looks so wealthy and luxurious, there is this infectious piano playing, then trumpet blowing and finally a cool beat 😎, that hooks me from the beginning, I can't help but bob my head in agreement to the lyrics throughout the whole song.  It sounds like a real Mary J Blige comeback song.  Just like No More Drama she  is speaking to the parts of us that are healing and learning from painful situations.

This song should be in a James Bond movie. Come to think of it....why hasn't she been offered the Bond theme song yet?

 If you haven't already heard through the hip-hop and R&B grapevine.  She's going through a divorce. Allegedly her husband cheated on her, and used her money to go on 'work trips' with his mistress.  Wendy Williams reported that throughout the divorce process her husband has been demanding $30,000 a month in alimony from Ms. Blige because he is now used to living a certain life style . He has no children with her, in fact he brought children from his previous relationship into the marriage,  and he is demanding money to support all his children and himself. Allegedly most of his children except for one are above 18 years. Which leads me to the assumption that he was basically living off of Mary J Blige and was not making any of his own money? 😲😲😲

The Guardian 

People Magazine 

I admire Ms Blige because she has been very vulnerable and open about her thoughts and experiences during her divorce, to me she comes across quite sincere in her interviews. In fact I think it's really brave of her to do so. She literally admits to giving this man full control of  her career and finances when they got married in order to demonstrate to him how much she believed in him.( I am shocked that she handed over all her hard work just like that... 😮😮😮)You  can watch her interview on Breakfast Club here. I watched the whole thing from start to finish and I admired  her more for coming across really honest and straight forward, rather than side stepping the issues. This might be the main reason that entices people to buy the album.  Which brings me back to the lyrics of this wonderful song called  'Love Yourself' song....

Truth can be the sweetest pain
It can mess up everything
It's the only way you know
I'm payin' for it, I'm changin' for it

This is the great dichotomy of life. As I have  written many times the worst moments can sometimes teach the best lessons and so sometimes you can't help but look back and appreciate them.  Ms. Blige refers to learning from those moments and says it's really the 'only way you know'. It's very deep, but that's what we love about her music, her ability to really speak to our pain and growth in life. Her ability to be vulnerable in the moment  has turned out to be her biggest career strength, which makes the title of the album very appropriate. 

Go Mary!

I know myself too much to ever fold
Dark clouds, I'm movin' past you

Sometimes when we find ourselves in tough situations, we have to figuratively pick ourselves up and keep walking.  Eventually we get through the dark moments and find some sunshine on the other side but not before the soul-defining work of getting through our problem. That' s what the above lyrics mean to me. It is what we call our  'inner strength' which once  again alludes to the theme of the album.

Oh, you gotta love yourself
If you really wanna be with someone else
You gotta feed yourself
Before you feed somebody else
You gotta stay open, and don't be foolish

The above lyrics come from the chorus of the song, a repeated message on the importance of self care. We have heard this all before; the cliche new age message, if we don't know how to love ourselves, then  how can we know how to really love another? Need I say more? You can watch the video below. Hope you enjoy the message as much as I did. 

All photo Credits: Mary J Blige Website 

I Am Now Glad You Walked Out My Life and Kept Walking

Dear Sir

Apologies, I know it's so so cliche, but I have to say thank you
You showed me the worst of yourself so that I could find the best parts of me 💗
God used you in such an unfair way but such is life.
Who knew this women would emerge from the ashes
Dust off the dirt and keep going
I swear sometimes it hurt so much it felt useless to try
To walk
To breath
To think
To be myself
Because that meant moving further and further away from what I thought I knew
Growth is painful

And because I didn't yet know who I was.
And because I thought this would be my last chance at love
I cried and begged God
But you just kept on walking
As though nothing had happen between us
I could not believe that a human being could be so heartless
But there by the grace of God you go...
You chased me
You made promises to me
Not me.
It was never me.
My Naivety 

I learnt that men like you like to portray strength, power and influence
But you are really actually quite weak
Quite Human
That it is really all just talk and not much else
That you are a cowardly little boy hiding in a 'grown man's' costume
A coward who learnt the magical illusion of projecting
 You project your biggest flaws onto others to make yourself feel better
You  dump your insecurities on people to feel better
You pass on that dark cloud inside yourself that you are frightened to address

It's a pity really
Also quite ironic
That because of your ruthlessness I am now here
I am really happy to be here
I really didn't know that this was hidden inside me
I really didn't know that I could become this
Or that there are second chances
Much more healthier second chances
Thank you for trying to break me.
You taught me some humans are extremely dangerous.
Once we've been burnt, we certainly won't play with fire.
So keep your distance
You are a walking time bomb
Eventually God will catch up with you
I really hope you'll be capable of learning
Growth is painful
"It's the monsters inside of us that are scary" 

All the Best from,
No Longer Broken Hearted

Thursday, 29 June 2017

10 Times My Period Does/Did the Most !

Here is a list of times my menstrual cycle does or has done the most:
  1. SURPRISE!- It can happen. Yes it can happen. You can be sooooo in sync with your cycle that you even have it down to the exact day and time you will start and then your body goes MUHAHAHAHAHAHAHA....surprise! Your period appears a day early or a day late. Sometimes even  a leap year can throw you off. It's like your cycle holds a team meeting with everyone down there and says. "What have we got planned for this extra day in the year? I need ideas people! we can't just let it pass..." The surprise can also include  a sudden spasm of pain and a mad dash to the toilet at 3am. Even being stuck in a meeting with no accessible exit points does not deter mother nature. It is always that time when your chair is sandwiched between other chairs with VERY important people sitting on them..that's when you get that sinking feeling deep in that special place just below your belly that you've started your monthly period. You can not leave the meeting because that would be rude and awkward. You can only hope and pray that when you get up from this all important meeting there isn't a big red patch on your dress or skirt.  I have been there. Yes many times I have been there. Thank you my dear period for reminding me that the body has it's own schedule and agenda. 🙌🙌🙌
  2. INCREASING YOUR PAIN THRESHOLD - The pain can sometimes show up at the most inappropriate and inconvenient of  times. It can either strike in a WHOLLOPING blow or it can build subtly until one is unable to move. For me the worst is in the middle of a busy work day, and usually a work day when I have to spend majority of my hours at my desk. I will probably have taken multiple pain killers at the recommended hours, and  then I will be forced to wonder if there are any over the counter body numbing tablets, that would help me get my work done pain free. But no that would most definitely require a doctor's visit and doctors don't like it when women whine about their period, because...well it's part of life and you really only have the right to complain if it severely disrupts your daily activities. I got a really bad case of malaria a couple weeks ago that required a stay in the hospital, the Doctor said, " For the kind of malaria you had, you have an incredibly high pain threshold." I said outloud in my head, " If you were a women, you'd understand that, that comes from struggling through painful periods." 😷😷😷
  3. PEOPLE WHO SELL FAKE PADS SHOULD BE PUNISHED - Yes six years ago I discovered fake pads while I was in Kotido, Karamoja in Uganda. Do you even know where that is? Google. Please Google. I need you to understand this one. This was six years ago, when there was only like 3 places of accommodation that NGO workers could safely and  comfortably stay in, and all the shops were made of mud walls and mabati sheets. Somehow I just didn't think to pack emergency pads on this particular field trip. So I ended up treking through the one street of shops in Kotido to find a store that had a pack of Always pads. Low and behold two hours later I discovered that what I had purchased was fake, because within 30 minutes I had leaked through. I was in the middle of a field visit to a school when I realized; it prompted a mad rush to the teachers' latrines and a puzzled side look from the headmaster. 
  4. UNEXPLAINABLE INHUMAN MOOD SWINGS- There will be some periods that come quietly and ( dare I say) delightfully, because you won't even notice or feel that they are there. You can go about your  daily business and the only thing you have to worry about is your personal hygiene. Then there will be THOSE PERIODS, the ones that start way way way before you start bleeding. You can be in your  favorite restaurant having your most favorite meal and suddenly the world will seem like a terribly dark place with no hope. When THOSE PERIODS happen your mood will never match your experience. Someone could gift you $100,000 and you'd be sure to  ask them, "Why are you so cheap?" Nothing is good enough, even your favorite dress and pair of shoes seem drab. People will start to avoid you. This will continue until your hormones move into the next phase of your cycle. We have all been there. many times. 😭😱😦😧
  5. LEAKS- I was in my last years of primary school when I started my period. I was a girl who would require many more years before she understood the magnitude of becoming a woman. I sat for the end of year exams and it just so happened I was on my period that week. This is in the days before Always had pads with wings. If you are woman than you understand that before pads had wings there was an art to sitting down which you learn over time. If you placed the pad on your underwear badly and them spend that day sitting badly well then a leak is bound to happen. That is exactly what happened to me, I was still in my girlish ways, I sat for a two hour exam and when I was done I simple left the main hall and went for tea break with my friends. I didn't check my skirt... all ladies know that after long periods of sitting, you are supposed to cautiously get up and check your skirt. You are supposed to be so good at checking your skirt/ dress/ jeans/trousers that no body should even notice you doing this. It's a skill, a real skill, that at that time I had not yet mastered. Five minutes into the tea break , I turn to see the MEAN GIRL pointing at me, then I realize she is actually pointing at my skirt and low and behold when I look down there are two very distinct drops of blood. Bright Red! She was laughing and grabbing anybody next to her and pointing at my skirt. I was mortified. There were tears, I remember running to the bathroom to change into my sports kit. But I never forgot the horror and embarrassment . 
  6. SAD LOVE SONGS AND CHICK FLICKS- Do I need to explain this one ladies? No I don't think so.  Simply observe the music, movies, TV series and books we tend to watch around that time of the month. Unrequited love is a common theme. 💔💔💔💔
  7. THAT 7 DAY ZIT- Before I discovered shea butter I used to get break outs. It would  always start with one zit that took up space on my face for a whole week. It's goal would be to remind me and other women that it's that time of the month. The zit most likely just appeared out of nowhere! Yes... one can have wonderful skin week and then BAAAAAM! Zit and dehydrated-tired-looking-skin appear.  
  8. ONLY MANDATORY MOVEMENT- this is self explanatory, during that special- woman-time you just don't want go anywhere unless it is mandatory, like for example your job, the hospital, the bank or church. That's about it. Other than that you want to be at home cuddled up in bed with a cozy blanket and pillow watching your favorite series or reading a good book, with your trusted Panadol nearby. Good bye social life! Hello isolation and anti-social behavior. 😴😴😴
  9. ENERGY LEVELS- Does anyone feel extra tired around this time? I do. Comment in the comment section.with how you keep your energy up. I am looking for natural solutions. Do you change your diet? Do you change your sleeping patterns? Do you take extra vitamins? Comment Comment Comment. 
  10. FOOD, GLORIOUS FATTY JUNKY FOOD- I want to eat everything and anything that is not good for me. Pizza, burgers, fried chicken, chips, crisps, milkshakes etc.... Goodbye healthy eating  🍩🍟🍳🍕🍗🍬
Is there anything I have missed? Do comment below with anything I may have...