As much as this blog has been a love letter to the continent I call home, it's also been an outlet for me to explore how to better (and better love) myself.
Blogger Brigitte Lyons puts it so well when she says, "if you want to change the world, better yourself first." That was the thinking behind this whole Afri-love idea. In order for us to inspire, encourage, demand and create the changes we want to see in our continent, we have to first know, be proud of and love who we are and then, act from that position.
Overcoming the madness
Last year was the busiest year I've experienced. Getting a business off the ground is no joke and all the learning, administration, establishing of relationships, bidding for projects, servicing clients and actually doing the core work was a lot to handle. On top of all that, I attempted to blog every weekday and pursue other personal projects. At the end of the year I was exhausted and overwhelmed yet hopeful that the Christmas break would give me an opportunity to work on the things that usually get attention last.
I had a wonderful holiday with my family, who I don't get to see very often. Wonderful but, not productive in the way that I had planned. January rolled around and it wasn't exactly the fresh start I'd expected. I found this post from Miss Modish and I could relate, almost down to the word, with how she'd felt before she decided she needed to change things up, for her sanity and health.
What January has been for me: a time to reassess my routine; a time to really think about what I want this year and beyond; a time to enjoy taking care of myself again; a time to discover how to rest and relax without guilt; a time to put things in perspective in order to ease the pressure I put on myself; a time to remember and review what I want to achieve with Afri-love. That last point has taken silence (time and space) and that's why posts have been strikingly few and far between.
What happens now?
When I started this blog, it was intended to be the first step of a bigger vision. Towards the end of last year, those next steps were showing up in my mind again, though evolved from my original thinking as a result of experiences and ideas that had come to me in the year and a half since my first Afri-love post. It was encouraging but also daunting. And I haven't exactly figured it all out yet but, this I will share with you: I've always wanted this blog to be preparation for something more tangible. Inspiration for concrete action. It's all well and good talking about possibilities and opportunities but the real magic happens when you actually act on them. When you take advantage of the possibilities and make opportunities for yourself.
Along with continuing to share the amazing Africa-inspired or Africa-made things that I come across, I will be creating more resources and content that has practical use in the pursuit of what you want to materialise in your life. As with most of the posts, there will be a creative bias. After all, the arts are a central part of my original hypothesis.
I don't want to turn this blog into a magazine-style showcase– there are so many great Africa-centric blogs and websites filling that role. I want to continue to be open in sharing what inspires me but also my thoughts, my story and what has worked for me in the journey to living the life I want, and loving the person that I am. The blog will continue to draw from that personal place. However, I am one person in a much wider conversation and I want to integrate other voices and different experiences and perspectives. Thus, I will also be developing a virtual learning/discovery space in the interest of building a larger community of people who are pursuing their passions and changing the world by doing just that.
Sit back, talk back, subscribe and enjoy
I hope that you'll stay tuned and enjoy. As always, I'm really eager to hear from you with feedback and ideas of what you want to see here. Remember that you can read posts via RSS or via email and that you can also subscribe to the Afri-love mailing list for updates regarding the blog and the wider world of Afri-love (e.g. the plans I've hinted at). You'll only get occasional emails (2-4 each month) and of course, your details will never be passed on to anyone else.
One last (exciting) thing
I've started writing for Technorati! Check out my first post on making room for a more creative life.