One significant shift in my mindset last year was the value of community. I undervalued the role that being part of a positive community played in one’s growth as a person.
As someone who spent a lot of her life doing things alone, not asking for help, sorting everything else herself and even calming herself down in the middle of a panic attack, community was the last thing on my mind. I never even really thought about it, apart from the blogging community I was a part of. I took so much pride in doing things alone until one day it hit me. If truly I was meant to do things alone, I would have been the only human being in existence on earth. Thankfully that’s not the case because what would I do alone? I can’t even hold a live chicken!
I decided to go on a journey of re-discovery in the middle of last year. At the time, it was more of re-discovering God and less of rediscovering me. During the process of re-discovering God, I found myself disengaging from things I believed were true about myself, My likes, my dislikes, and overall who I was as a person, My personality began to feel a little strange. I didn’t know if certain things were true anymore. I didn’t pay any mind to that initially because my focus was re-discovering God. The lack of clarity surrounding who I was, at the time, seemed to be a distraction.
Hello everyone. I have made the great (depending on how you look at it) return to my writing corner on the internet. I promise I’m trying to not make this a habit. If you follow my Instagram and listen to my podcast, you’ll discover I haven’t been as MIA as it seems I have been here.
For some very strange reason, people have continued to interact with my posts and even follow my blog while I have been away. I do appreciate those as well as the people who have stuck around during my absence. I genuinely can’t believe I still have readers.
Due to the fact that I am constantly reinventing myself, I thought it would be a good idea to write a long overdue “Meet the Blogger” post. That’s what we are doing today. This post does feel very self-centered but it has to be done.
What is your name?
My name is Wonani Mwanza.
Where are you from?
I am from a beautiful country called Zambia. Specifically from Lusaka.
I am a civil engineer, blogger and podcaster. I somehow do all three but one tends to suffer when things get really busy in certain areas. Also, constantly thinking about numbers sometimes takes me away from being creative here. I’m actively working towards changing that. I’m no longer looking for balance. Just trying to find a system that can make all these work. Hopefully, as soon as that system is working, nothing comes up to cause havoc. Unless, of course, it is a good thing.
What are your favourite qualities about yourself?
I always try to run away from such questions because I don’t like to think too much. Also, sometimes I feel I don’t know enough about myself. Anyway, let’s not be unnecessarily deep. I think I’m an honest person, I’m a great listener and it really takes a lot for me to give up. I really try.
What’s your favourite book?
My favourite book currently is All The Bright Places. I read it a couple of years ago and haven’t read anything since that pleased me as much as that one did. What a beautiful piece of writing and story-telling. Here’s a little secret. I once had a book blog and the only review I posted there was for All The Bright Places. Now I only do book reviews on my Instagram Stories.
What’s your favourite place you’ve been?
Langkawi, Malaysia! Langkawi was so beautiful. Great food, great activities, amazing people, etc. I had such an amazing stress free time. Zero worries at all. I would love to go back there soon and do everything I didn’t get a chance to do.
Well, I have many big dreams but I believe I have a lot to share with the world. So much to do. Give me platforms. I also want to travel whenever I can.
I’m actually living one of my dreams which is to work with young people and just help them navigate life. I know that’s a very broad statement because what do I mean navigate life? That was a dream and I’m living it now.
What is the most interesting and different thing you’ve done this year?
Believe it or not, a photoshoot. I do not enjoy having my picture taken because of a number of reasons so to step out and decide to be part of a photoshoot for Bloomers was something even my mind wasn’t really understanding. I had the loveliest time with them and everyone was kind and patient. Did I have a wardrobe malfunction? Of course I did. Would it really be my first photoshoot without something going wrong?
What is your current favourite song?
I’ve been listening to One Name by Naomi Raine a lot recently. It is a good song. I will consider creating playlists and sharing them here every so often.
What is your worst habit?
I have no better way to say it but picking my skin off my fingers. There’s no better way to say it, I’m afraid. I know, I’m not proud of it.
What’s the biggest project on your to-do list right now?
Personal project: I need to do better at my time management. I hope that counts.
Business project: I just need to make more money. I need a million-dollar business idea.
What’s your favourite scripture?
I don’t have favourites but here are four I’ve been loving over the last few months:
Jeremiah 29:12- “Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.”
Psalm 116:7- “Return to your rest, my soul, for the Lord has been good to you.”
What’s your favourite thing about life right now?
Here are a few things I’m enjoying:
Working with teenagers. I didn’t think I’d find so much fulfilment and learn so much about myself through this.
These are all the questions for now. If there is anything else you’d like to know about me, leave a comment below and I’ll be sure to let you know. Also, leave a comment telling me one interesting fact about yourself. I would love to know what my readers are like.
If you haven’t been listening to my podcast, you’re missing out! Catch up now and don’t be left behind.
Hello my lovely readers! A few months ago, I wrote about why you need to start journaling. I got great feedback on the post and during my interactions with my Instagram followers on the same, the idea came up to create a template that I can share with everyone. That is what I will be sharing today.
When I posed the question about whether people journal or not, a few people responded saying they don’t journal because they don’t know what to write about or how to go about it. I then asked if they would be interested in some journaling prompts and they said they would. That’s why we are here.
The journaling calender follows four main themes: Gratitude, Introspection, Reminiscent and Future-self journaling. With the help of a friend, I chose these four because I believe they are all encompassing. There is a lot more that could be written in regards to the themes than what I have shared in this calender so I hope you have the freedom to explore that even after we are done with this month.
Over the years, I have learnt to express gratitude for the big things and especially for the little things. Gratitude journaling is something I do every time I journal regardless of what my main journal entry is about. I make it a point to mention at least one thing I’m grateful for.
It is important to develop a heart of gratitude. This makes you aware of the good things going on in your life and also helps you identify silver linings in tough situations. Gratitude journaling develops helps you to develop a positive mindset. Gratitude journaling helps you remember what truly matters. It is a reminder of all that is good.
This is a big one! One fear people have when it comes to journaling is coming face to face with who we really are on the inside and not the person we pretend to be. Sometimes, people like the pretend version of themselves more than the real version because that one could be more likeable, fun or just easier to get along with.
Introspection can be defined as “the process of attempting to directly access one’s own internal psychological processes, judgements, perceptions, or states.” Introspection is important because it allows you to understand yourself and process what you learn about yourself along the way.
Reminiscent journaling is simply writing down your memories. I enjoy doing this especially when it comes to writing down things that happened years ago that I never want to forget because I tend to forget things I haven’t written down.
Reminiscent journaling requires that you go back to an event that happened years, months or weeks ago, recall how you felt in that moment and how you went about it and then write everything down. There are people I never want to forget, places I never want to forget and emotions I never want to forget so I gladly write them all down.
For this theme, I thought it would be a great idea to write about our goals and dreams without doing it the traditional way of making lists. Future-self journaling is important because it allows you to keep track of your goals, make better decisions and develop a positive mindset because I believe no one willingly sees themselves failing in the next 10 years. I am most excited for these ones.
I’ll share an image of the calendar below but I’d highly recommend you download the pdf version here because it simply looks better and you can keep it on your device and easily share it with others.
Please follow my Instagram @doseofwonani to keep up with my journaling posts this month on my stories. I will be posting everyday and will also be explaining some of my prompts and letting you into my journal on some days. So be sure to follow me so that we can keep up with each other’s journey.
Leave a comment and let me know if this is something you will be taking part in. Also, let me know which theme you are most excited about. I would love to know and also interact with you.
Hello my lovely readers! This is a post that has been a long time coming but I *FINALLY* got an engineering job. Yes. You read that right. Your girl made her first step into the engineering industry and the first step to achieving one of her wildest dreams. Well, from the title of this post, you know I’m working as an intern. A structural engineering intern to be specific. During my time as an intern, I have felt like quitting about twenty times and as a result, I have learnt to go easy on myself.
I have interning experience. I have done two other internships prior to this one. What makes this one different, however, is that this is my first internship as a university graduate. A degree holder. I am suddenly expected to know everything there is to know about the field.
Going in, I had so many expectations. I was going in to learn new skills, add on to the skills that I have and simply be the best intern I could possibly be. And that’s exactly what I did until I ran into hiccups and started questioning how ready I was for this new chapter of my life. Did I really learn anything in uni?
When I got to my workplace, I had heard from other interns that the place wasn’t really busy. I heard that while they did have tasks occasionally, they didn’t really get to work on so many projects and I was kinda bummed. I didn’t want to spend as much money as I was spending to get to the office to end up doing nothing when I got there.
Fortunately, and sometimes unfortunately, that hasn’t been the case for me. I always have work to do. Within my first two weeks of being there, I found myself doing my first full task using a software I had never used before. All my colleagues were going through the task easily and I was struggling trying to figure out how to draw a line at an angle.
I remember coming home one day and telling my mom that work was hard. The tasks were easy but executing them was just so hard for me because I didn’t really know how to use the software. I felt so bad about myself because when other people were starting their second task on the project, I was still figuring out the first one. During that week alone, I wanted to quit so many times and I just couldn’t understand why I wasn’t getting it!
I eventually managed to finish it and then started working on my second project. Yet again, the task is easy but the execution has really been killing me. I remember coming back home after a really bad work day, hormones all over the place and juts balling my eyes out because why even did I decide to get into engineering!
This post, is for anyone just starting out at their very first new job and those struggling with belonging in a new work environment. This post is for me.
While I struggled with all these things, I kept reminding myself of how I needed to be patient with myself and how I needed to show myself grace. I reminded myself to go easy on me. Here is why.
I Don’t Really Know Anything, But I Should Be Willing To Learn
Okay. Not anything. I made it through 4 years of university so I definitely know something. However, it is okay to not know things. That’s one challenge I found myself facing. I like to know things and not knowing was just stressing me out. So I had to accept my lack of knowledge but not dwell in it.
One thing about me, however, is I will always be willing to learn. Be it stuff about my job, religion, social justice, etc. I’m always willing to learn and so even though I would go back home to complain to anyone who would listen, I’d still sit and read up on everything. Doing whatever it takes to learn. Also, asking 10000 questions. My boss knows me as the girl who will ask questions. If I haven’t been to his office in days, he comes to ask why I have been quiet or why he hasn’t been seeing me. Before, I used to worry that maybe I annoy him with my questions. That never stopped me though because I’m just trying to be good at what I do. My willingness to learn has always made up for my lack of knowledge and I believe that is one of the things that ensures I’m always given work to do.
I Have Six Months Experience, They Have Ten
This is not me trying to make myself feel better. Okay. Who am I kidding? It is. I used to feel so bad about not being able to draw things or design as quickly as people who have been working professionally in the industry for years. This was until I reminded myself that I’ve literally been working this job for less than six months. It is almost impossible for me to be as skilled or as knowledgeable as they are. They have learnt and gathered so much over the years.
Thinking like this helped me feel better about myself and definitely lessened the pressure I was feeling. It will most likely take me a lot less than 10 years to learn what they learnt in 10 years but I’m not there right now and that is okay. I have learnt so much in my time here and I’m grateful for that. I’m definitely more experienced than when I got here.
7 months in and I’m not complaining about being behind anymore. I just complain about being tired and not sleeping enough but I am way past putting so much unnecessary pressure on myself. I am learning and that’s okay.
I don’t write much about my profession but I do intend to create a section for it. I will be giving tips on internship as a graduate because compared to being a student intern, this is a whole different ball game. I can’t wait to share more on this!
What was/is your experience like working as an intern in your field? Please leave a comment and let me know!