Handling Rejections and The Power of Positive Thinking

When I was applying for my undergraduate degree in Biomedical Science, I was rejected by 4 out of the 5 schools I applied to. To make matters worse, I got rejected by these schools one by one until it was only that one school left. It was one of the most demoralising times of my life. I was extremely anxious and uncertain of my future and what would happen if I couldn’t go to school that year.

However, I wouldn’t change a thing that happened. Although I got accepted by only one school, it turned out to be the perfect university for me. Studying in Salford University made me fall in love with Biomedical Science. It allowed me to excel and I graduated with a First Class Honours Degree! (For some context for my non-British readers, my grades were evaluated to be equivalent to a 3.83/4 GPA by WES)

My university experience is just a type of rejection that you could experience. There are so many different things that people go through that are way worse than silly university applications. They are not defined by their circumstances and their rejections. They never let it get to them. They are extremely inspiring to me!

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Rejection

Getting rejected sucks. And it especially sucks when you poured your heart and soul into something and no one appreciates, no one wants it, people laugh and completely ignore it. You feel inadequate, like something is wrong with you and you try to analyze everything you did and what you could have done differently. These were thoughts that crossed my mind on a number of occasions. But during these last few years I have reformed my way of thinking and I have began to adopt a positive mindset. Adopting a positive mindset has allowed me to enjoy life more. I appreciate the simpler things and I understand that it’s okay to try again!

Getting Positive

Call me crazy but I truly, truly believe positive thoughts attract positive things. What you think can really affect the outcomes of situations in your life.  It’s like the law of the freaking universe.

I often draw inspiration from extraordinary people whenever I approach challenging situations in life. As future scientist, I am inspired by scientists that succeeded above all odds. One peculiar example is Thomas Edison: a great inventor and businessman. Most people know him as the man who invented the lightbulb. When he was younger, Thomas Edison’s teachers said that he was “too stupid to learn anything”. He was fired from a number of jobs he had because he was “unproductive”. He also had 1000 unsuccessful attempts at inventing the lightbulb. One thousand, painstaking, detailed attempts! Thomas Edison was rejected and experienced thousands of failures before his successes. His drive and ambition was extraordinary!

Rejections and failures are a normal part of life but you  only need one yes or success for things to turn around. In times of rejection, I believe having a positive mindset is crucial because it allows you to handle negative situations properly. Don’t give up!

Have Faith

In Christianity, faith is the pillar of it’s belief. We hope for things that we do not see and things we can never understand.  In hard times, we are encouraged to have faith and hope that things will work out for the greater good. In fact, faith is so powerful in Christianity that a parable says that even if you have faith as small as mustard seed, you can move a mountain! Even if you are not a religious person, having faith allows you to keep your head up high and not be overwhelmed by your problems.

Hope

I always say to myself if rejections happen that it’s not the end of the world. It may feel like it but just keep hoping. Never stop hoping for positive things. Affirm that you will receive them and work really hard for it. Don’t worry if it doesn’t work out the first time. Try again, try harder and in different variations. Above all, hope for the best. Believe that the universe is working for your good and not against you. Hope that everything will work out for the greater good!

How do you handle rejections?

Thank you for reading!

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Dubai, City Of Gold: Visiting The Gold Souk

Although I visited the Gold Souk almost daily with my mother, I didn’t actually realise that I should blog such an interesting place until the last day we went there. So criminal! A market is called a “Souk” in Dubai. So a gold souk is a market that sells gold! The Gold Souk in Dubai is a long street consisting of hundreds of shops left and right which sell gold, diamonds and other precious stones and metals. Even if you plan to not buy gold when you go to Dubai, you should definitely visit the Gold Souk.

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Outside is usually hot in Dubai but there is an ample amount of shade on the streets to prevent sunburns and excess heat. The inside of the shops are just absolutely breathtaking. There are different varieties of gold that come in shapes, sizes and thickness. Gold is sold by weight and although Gold is relatively cheap in Dubai, you will have to haggle to get the desired price you want. In true African mother fashion, my mother haggled gold prices that were originally advertised as $45 per gram and got them down to $38 per gram! I don’t know how to haggle for the life of me so I just watched in awe. The craziest haggling I experienced was when they told my mother that they would clean all her gold for $600. By the time the conversation was done, my mother was paying $200. I don’t know how it happened. She is superhuman.

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Gold is a pretty hefty investment, so when I saw some elaborate gold on display in the shops like the one above I just wondered to myself who is the person that will buy this massive, intricately designed, heavy gold? Can they adopt me? Are they taking job applications? Just kidding. Not really.

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In addition, we also got invited upstairs to the room where they clean and design the gold! It was behind a hidden door in the store that acted like a shelf for the jewellery. We climbed up the stairs and entered a room where there was a line of people hard at work cleaning, designing and repairing the jewellery. It was a stark contrast from downstairs which is kept at an impeccable standard. This room was gritty and showed signs of wear and tear. It’s interesting how beautiful things are made in very unlikely places.

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That is my experience at the Gold Souk! It’s a really awesome place and I bought my first gold item! It’s a really cute bracelet and I am very happy with my purchase. Every time I wash my hands and I am wearing this bracelet, I always giggle to myself because I know it can never fade once it touches water. The concept blows my mind. Lol don’t judge me.

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Thank you so much for reading and I hope you enjoyed this post!

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DUBAI: My Desert Safari Experience

Desert dune bashing, Camel riding and belly dancing, I had a very authentic Arabian experience at my Dubai desert safari. Check it out!

The Desert Safari is a popular tourist activity in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. My Desert Safari included 3 activities; Desert Dune Bashing, a Camel ride and and a BBQ dinner with a desert camp experience. I booked through Golden Treasure Tourism which did my visa, tourism activities, air ticketing and hotel bookings. To begin the day, a driver picked us up from the hotel with a group of 4 other people and drove us to the desert.  Before I travelled to Dubai, my travel agent had told my mother that sand dune bashing is very scary and if she doesn’t want to have a heart attack she shouldn’t do it because it’s similar to a roller coaster ride. Because of this, when it was almost time for dune bashing, my mother told the driver that she didn’t want to drive on the “fast car” but she wants to come down from the car and drive on the “slow one”. This got lots of protests from the second group. Unbeknownst to her, the slow one didn’t exist.

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The driver just completely ignored her, smiled, turned on the car and proceeded to give us the wildest ride of our lives.  I have never been driven so fast in my life! I have also never screamed so loud in my life either! The car was tilting and swerving at a 45 degree angle over steep sand cliffs while we were bouncing and holding on for dear life. I literally thought the car was going to topple over and have an accident. The driver later told me that the second group had paid him to drive extra fast and that was why he was the most extreme dune basher among all the other drivers! But he was such a nice soul who took good care of us and I became good friends with him later.

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Although it was so scary at first, I started to have so much fun! The adrenaline was coursing through my veins and I started laughing and taking videos. There is also nothing like a seemingly near death experience to bond everyone in the car. I and the other group soon became fast friends and I learnt a lot about Dubai, camels and the Afghan culture from them.

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After dune bashing it was time for the camel ride! Camels are beautiful, tall and calm creatures. It is pretty easy to get on a camel but when it is getting up you can easily fall over so hold on tight!

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The next activity was the desert camp experience! There are so many things to do like henna, trying on traditional Arabian clothing, sand art and eagle handling. I tried everything but the eagle handling because there wasn’t enough time. The entertainment included a belly dancer, an illusionist spinning-type dancer, and a fire breather. The food was also pretty good. There was BBQ chicken, beef, rice and lots of salad and bread. I had a lot of fun!

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Most days are rarely perfect. I think the day of my Desert Safari was perfect and it is easily one of the top three experiences of my life. I loved every single thing about this experience, the people I met, the new things I tried and I am so happy I got to experience it with my mother. Thank you so much for reading and I hope you enjoyed my post!

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Dubai: At The Top, Burj Khalifa

I have a love for visiting the worlds largest things so it was impossible for me to visit Dubai without seeing the worlds tallest building, Burj Khalifa. Standing tall at a whopping 828m with over 160 floors, it is a truly unique building. When you drive around Dubai, Burj Khalifa is one of the first buildings you recognise because it is so tall and it towers over everything. No matter where I was, I could always spot this building, be it at the hotel, the market or the mall.

I read that it is better to book viewing tickets online than buy upfront because it is cheaper and quicker to move through the line. I ordered my tickets from atthetop.ae for the 5:30 viewing. However, the best time to visit Burj Khalifa is around 6:30 pm because that is when the sun is setting and the view is amazing then. Because of this, 6:30pm slots where fully booked for 2 days! so try to think about that before you book in advance.

Getting up to the top was surprisingly very quick, Burj Khalifa has the third fastest elevator in the world. The floors where moving like seconds and you couldn’t notice that you were so high up in air. We quickly got up to the observation deck and the view was amazing! There was also a little area after where I got to see the history of Burj Khalifa’s making and the people behind it. It was awesome.

Unfortunately I couldn’t get a picture of the building from the outside because you go through Dubai Mall to enter the building but here are some of the pictures I took!

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Thank you for viewing and I’ll see you soon! xx

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My Travel Bag Essentials: Dubai Edition 

I am travelling to Dubai! It’s my first time going to the UAE and I am very excited. Whenever I see Dubai on TV it looks absolutely beautiful. I am travelling with my mother and I am very happy I finally get to see it in person. I plan to do all the basic tourist stuff like visiting the Burj Khalifa and having a desert safari ride. One thing I am really looking forward to do is riding a camel in the desert. It is such a unique experience that I’m sure I will always remember.

This will be an extensive post where I will cover my clothing, makeup and gadgets that I must have on this trip so grab some tea and enjoy!

Clothes

 

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In true tourist fashion I will mostly be wearing shirts and jeans. The main theme is a short-sleeved blouse, jeans and gladiator sandals. This outfit is pretty light and will be able to keep me cool in the hot Dubai weather. I also plan to carry a pashmina, to adhere to the Dubai dress code incase I am in a place where I need to dress more modestly.

Makeup

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My essential makeup items include lipstick, powder and eye makeup.  I already live in a very hot temperate climate (Nigeria) so I will easily adapt my makeup style to the Dubai weather.

Mac’s Ruby Woo and Taupe – My essential lipsticks include a nude lipstick for casual looks and a red lipstick if I feel dressy. I am carrying my absolute favorite lipsticks from Mac’s which are Ruby Woo and Taupe. These are my go to lipsticks that look good on any outfit or color.

Mac’s Mineralized Skin Finish Powder – Although I’m going to be wearing foundation, in hotter weathers it is good practice to carry a blotting powder for when you get sweaty and need to touch up your face. Mac’s Mineralized Skin Finish is perfect for this job!

Sleeks Mascara and Jordana’s Fabubrow pencil  – My essential eye makeup includes my eyebrow kit and my mascara! I am carrying my L.A Girl Pro concelear in Chesnut and my Jordana’s Fabubrow eyebrow pencil in Midnight brown. I am also using Sleeks Mascara.

Gadgets

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Canon 600D and Canon PowerShot SX700HS :-  I will be using these camera’s to shoot beautiful tourist-y pictures! I love my compact digital camera (Powershot) for a quick on the go picture but the DSLR (600D) will give you the perfect shot. Unfortunately the 600D has been discontinued but you can get the Canon PowerShot SX700HS on Amazon.

iPhone 6 and 5 :- I will be using my trusty iPhones to edit photos, post pictures on Instagram, Snapchat and listen to music! My favourite travel apps include

  • Uber – Whenever I need a Taxi I usually call an Uber but I will most likely be using Careem because I read that it is used more often in Dubai.
  • Trip Advisor – Gives reviews and tips on the best sights to see what to do when you’re in a destination.
  • Spotify – I love listening to my favorite music on the go. I utilize the offline features a lot when I’m traveling because I may not have access to Wifi in some places.

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Kindle :- Possibly one of my favorite gadgets and best £100 I ever spent, I can download a massive amount of books which will keep me company in long plane and car rides.  It’s such a great investment if you’re an avid reader of books. It is currently £89 and you can find it here. I am currently reading “The Shack” by William P. Young and it is so good!

Those are my travel essentials! I may be off the blog for a week while I enjoy Dubai but if I have time I will definitely do a travel series! Thank you for reading and I will see you soon!

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4 Ways To Improve Your Blog Photos 

Taking photos is an integral part of social media these days and this includes blogs! Having a few high quality, interesting photos on your blog increases your chances of viewers reading your posts. I have been blogging for a few months now and I have learnt a few tips that helped improve and increase my knowledge on blog photography. Here they are!

 

1. Invest in a quality camera:- I currently use a Canon Powershot SX700HS which is a compact digital camera. I also have a Canon 600D which is a larger DSLR camera but I personally think the digital camera is sufficient for basic blog photography. You can also get digital camera’s for under $200, but spending hundreds of dollars can be impractical for many new bloggers. Using your smart phone camera is a great option to take pictures. I take pictures with my iPhone 6 and 5 occasionally (The first image above was taken on my iPhone 5!). However, investing in a quality camera is only half the battle. Learning how to control basic functions such as the white balance, ISO and Aperture can really increase the quality of your photos.

2. Pay close attention to your lighting :-  It can make or break your picture. The best tip I can give is to take your pictures facing natural sunlight near a window. Preferably at morning or late evening, diffused by the curtains. I have learnt my lesson the hard way multiple times. My current house lacks a lot of natural lighting so my recent photographs have suffered significantly. Here is an example of one of my least favorite photos on my blog:

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It was taken in a dim room at night. Personally, I think it looks washed out, dull, and grainy. It was also a pain editing this photo because it was so dark to begin with!

But one of my older pictures, taken under a window with natural sunlight. Looks more natural and sharp. Here:

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So adequate lighting is very important in a picture.

3. Change your angle:- Experiment taking photos at different angles. It could be facing up, facing down or at 90 degrees. Placing your subject off the camera also adds an interesting and unique vibe to your photograph than straight on. Experiment with this the next time you take a picture and see if it comes out nice.

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4. Edit your photos:- I use apps on my iPhone and MacBook to edit my photos. Most pictures hardly ever come out perfect so it is good practice to edit your pictures before posting them on your blog. Here are my favorite iPhone and Macbook applications:

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  • VSCO :- Most people know this app, for a good reason! It is a great editing app that has a wide array of filters to use.
  • Canva :- This app superimposes texts on your photos. I recently discovered this app and I think it’s a valuable app for bloggers.

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  •  Photoscape X:- Most extensive editing app I know in the Apple Store. It’s also completely free! It’s amazing for editing photos on your laptop.

Those are my tips for improving your blog photography. I’m still a beginner and improving but I hope this was helpful and you enjoyed this post!

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The Art Of Decluttering

I find it ironic that I had a closet filled with clothes but nothing to wear, or a makeup counter bursting with products but I found myself using the same lipstick and wearing the same clothes everyday. I was also surrounded by a room that was beginning to turn into an episode of Hoarders (which is a really interesting show by the way). I was overwhelmed with items around me that really didn’t make me happy.

I had been away from my family home for 3 years and now that I was back, I was confronted with the clutter that had accumulated over the years. Books and clothes that hadn’t been read or worn in years were stacked in every corner. It was so much that I didn’t have space to keep the things I actually use. It was truly suffocating.

I came across a great book by Marie Kondo called “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying” which has really changed my perception of items I keep around me.

Most people are a “I’ll use it one day” or “just incase”  type of hoarder. This mentality makes me keep things that I really don’t need or like when it comes to clothing, books and makeup. I often felt guilty about throwing things away but I felt even more guilty for being surrounded by so much clutter.

After reading Marie Kondo’s book, the single most important thing I have learnt is recalibrating the relationship I have with the items I own. Now I sit and consider if an item I own “sparks joy” in me. Do I feel good, fulfilled and happy using this item? This is how I understand the statement that is used extensively in the book. If it doesn’t, it is better to let it go.

I’ve discovered that I do not need to feel guilty for giving away things that are in perfectly good condition, things I may use one day (which hardly ever comes) and just incase items. We often feel we are protecting the items we own by keeping them close to us but in reality it is the opposite. These items are sitting in a corner collecting dust, often forgotten, not being used. Marie Kondo says “If our items could speak, would they be happy?” I don’t think so.

Letting go of these items gives them, in essence, a new life where they may be cherished and used by someone else. I’ve realised that each item plays a special role in our life; that purple lipstick you never used? It taught you what lipstick colours worked for you and what didn’t. It is time to thank it for fulfilling its purpose in your life and let it go. Those books you read halfway last year and have been meaning to complete? It’s time to thank it for entertaining you briefly and let it go.

This change in my mentality has led me to remove  an estimated three 50 gallon trash bags of things that do not “spark joy” in my room.

I have also learnt how to fold clothes properly. I usually stacked my clothes on top of each other when I folded them, which is a recipe for clutter, mess and crinkled clothes. Now I fold my clothes the Marie Kondo way; vertically and colour co-ordinate. This has helped my organisation and reduced the stress of figuring out what to wear since all my clothes can be seen at a glance.

Sadly, I didn’t take any pictures of my room before I started decluttering. I didn’t realize I would probably want to blog about the process.

However, just to give you an idea of how cluttered things could get, here was a picture of one of the most cluttered tables in my house:

Now tables look like this:

I feel like a minimalist princess. I don’t know who I am anymore. Thank you Marie Kondo. Seriously, get this book.

Now that I have somewhat handled my clutter problem, I am now interested in tackling my style problem. I don’t have access to the clothing I want to buy so I have to wait till September till I can buy a whole new closet. Through decluttering I discovered that I hate ALL my clothes and I don’t really have a personal style. I am now in a long process of discovering  my personal style and aesthetic. I am currently loving a classic, sharp smart wadrobe with lots of white and pops of red and mustard.

Questions! 

How do you personally tackle clutter?

Thanks for reading and I’ll see you next time!

This blog post contains affiliate links. Affiliate links are the colored or underlined links in this post. When these links are clicked on, I may be compensated if you decide to make a purchase. Although I use affiliate links, all my thoughts and review of these products are 100% mine. Thank you for supporting Thepearlylife.wordpress.com!