On Love & The Things That Matter To Me

Note this post is full of photos…of me! Total overload but….hey, that’s the result of a recent photo shoot!

For a while now I’ve been ‘stuck’.

In the past. In my head.

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Looking up to God……..Yes I am.

In the past.

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In my head.

Someone said ‘You have to stop living in a post’. You have to move on. Write new stories.

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The blossomy goodness of a pineapple

Someone said ‘You have to stop being afraid of people seeing you. Take new photos.

All pretty scary stuff for me.

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My teeny-weeny kitchen

So I’m here, with a new song in my mouth. Once again. A story of self-acceptance and self-love. Of new beginnings.

I’m amazed all the things that happen when we give up worrying, trying to ‘fix, fix, fix’.

Like ‘fix’ weight loss.

Would you believe that I’ve lost weight………..with NO conscious effort. I’m heading to a new high – the weight I was when I had my first child ten long years ago.

Don’t you even dare ask what that is. I’m sooooooooooooo not saying but it feels pretty damn good!

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A tee-shirt from a recent work event

I’m amazed by all the things that happen when we find courage, in 10 seconds or more to ‘try and see what happens’.

That could bring new friends.

Like Zina.

Of the Egusi devilled eggs fame. And the wonderful photographer behind these photos.

This shameless display of me.

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Nose in the bushes, the lemongrass bushes!

Which I’m not totally comfortable with……………. Just so you know….

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Totally getting high on the heady, lemony scents

But which I love for letting me accept who I am and how I look.

Zina caused me to wear red, on my lips and around my neck for this photoshoot.

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I felt like a model. For an hour.
These photos are very me.

They reflect the things that are uppermost in my mind. My natural hair for one.
Discovering my natural curl pattern and loving it to pieces.
For me, there has been and continues to be some primal, visceral feeling in having my natural hair. I can’t stop touching it. Its like discovering a part of me, a whole new side of me that’s been hidden for ages.

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There’s my love and pride in where I’m from. Doesn’t for a minute mean that it is all sweetness and light but I love that I am who I am, where I am and at this time.

I learnt to ‘hang my neck on a clothes line’ – pushing my head forward and ‘hooking’ it on some imaginary clothes line. I look weird.

I learnt to stare at the camera. Uncomfortable long stares. To laugh genuinely. To jump even.

What I’m saying again is – I’m re-learning to re-teach my thing, me, my loveliness. I’d forgotten.

But they won’t let me.

Because they care.

Love. Matters. To. Me.

It means the world to me.

I am humbled, amazed that God loves me above all else. I’m learning to feel worthy of His love. Accepting of the perfection He’s crafted in me.

I am afraid that I might get arrogant but the converse is scary – that I might not appreciate the wonder that I am and that’s not an option I want to consider.

The love and adoration with which my children sometimes look at me shakes me up completely. They forget my angry moments. Especially early mornings when we’re pushing to leave home early. The things they say to me rock my world. My 8 year old says that 5 or 6 people in her class want to be chefs when they grow up – they love my food and my cooking.

My son will look at me with his glorious lashes and say ‘Mama, you’re beautiful. But you have a big tummy. And bum.’

My 10 year old never passes up an opportunity to draw and sketch something for me, like her ‘Little Miss Sunshine’ drawing which sits proudly on my desk.

My friends? Boy. I won’t start with the wonderful friends that surround me.

Who never let up on me. Who take every opportunity to tell me the truth, kindly most times.

Who push me. Inspire me. Encourage me.

I’m not afraid to say I love you. That it means the world to me.

I’ll ditch the crutches, the thoughts that keep me bound.

So, again on another day of ‘Love’, there’s cause for celebration. Of newness. Of confronting oneself. Of friendships.

I hope you find love whatever it means to you, in the cracks and crevices of life, in all the glorious places that surround us.

I hope not only that we have the best friends but that we are and continue to be the best friends ever.

Like Charlotte was to Wilbur in ‘Charlotte’s Web’. Friends to the very end.

Peace & Love XXX

——♥♥♥♥♥——

Check out Zina’s work and art on her website.

All photos but two (2) by Zina.[wpurp-searchable-recipe]On Love & The Things That Matter To Me – – – [/wpurp-searchable-recipe]

36 Comments

  1. Nice pictures. Admirable self love. Great but in line with what the person told you- lol; for me, maybe you shouldn’t stop living in your posts. The passion and approach to life will certainly encourage many but you should also write new posts. Nice work.

  2. OzOz, I love these photos. These beautiful photos of you! You embrace life and it shows.

    I feel you. I rarely step in front of the camera almost always behind it. Life is a journey and we always work towards self-acceptance and the joy of being who were were meant to be….s

    Your post was very touching and very real. Thanks for sharing it!

    Velva

  3. Oz, the most beautiful post ever! I was going to tease you tomorrow on the red lips until I read that part. Your pictures are the best, you look fab.

  4. What a beautiful post for Valentine’s Day. It’s great to hear about the different types of love – God’s love, love between friends, a child’s love, and especially loving yourself. We could all use a bit of help with that last one I think.

  5. I’m crying after reading this, dear Ozoz. How I love you and thank you for your incredible courage and bravery and honesty and openness. XO

  6. Lovely post that celebrates love and an enormous zest for life. Innocent words out of a babe’s mouth! My daughter recently told me “For me you are the epitome of an entrepreneur woman of the 90ies”, maybe I should wear more red lipstick. Love the overload of pictures, they are fantastic and I discovered we share the same tooth gap!

  7. Beautiful words, beautiful photos, beautiful lady. I just loved looking into your eyes. Love and hugs to you my friend. xx

  8. This is more like a movie acted by words, love the artistic combination of the words and pictures. Zina is a wonderful photographer and you stay as an inspiration to my younger brother and I, we love you.

  9. OMG you are so stunning Madame butterfly (I hope you don’t mind me calling you that)
    You are truly stunning inside and out. What a fabulous and inspirational post. Keep the loving.. It’s really nice to see you properly .. Now I feel I know you better.. I see the determination, wisdom and fun in you. X L

  10. Love this post, and LOVE the photo overload!!!!! more! My 3 yr old is like- mommy you’re so pretty! (kiss kiss) then looks at my belly and says- when is the baby coming out? (I keep trying to explain to him that the baby came out already 5 months ago – his little brother! 😛

  11. This made lovely reading, and I’m happy you’re in such a good place with yourself. “There’s nothing sexier than a confident woman..” And I forget who said that, lol. Happy Valentine!

  12. Hiya! I first you. *backflips* Yes I do love lemon tea. The scent and the taste is my second addictive taste. Lol at ” You are Very beautiful, but you have a big bum & tummy…” Thats the essence of the african woman you know. Happy Valentine.

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