What makes your heart leap?



Last week, I was having a conversation about passion, and how we try to understand people that claim they’re not passionate about anything. My friend said something along the lines of, ‘think about what makes your heart leap’. And that stuck with me.

I think about my interests all the time as one of my main focuses is to turn them (and my hobbies) into a career, in order to enjoy my life in a way that sustains me. However this question made me look at passion in a very different and refreshing way.

I understand that many people want to have a passion, but perhaps there are stories behind why it lacks in their life. For example, their creativity being stamped out by parents, depression taking over, failure, etc.

Something better

So I think that considering what makes your heart leap is a better place to start. Words like “passionate” and “hobbies” feel so rich and loaded sometimes. Perhaps words like “interest” and “like” are better. Let’s start small.

Now, I know that “what makes your heart leap?” is loaded in itself – it’s descriptive and metaphorical to an extent (some things really make your heart skip a beat), but I believe that when considered, something that makes your heart leap can be as simple as the following:

  •  Going outside when the rain has stopped because the air is fresh
  • The smell of food you like
  • The person you’re in love with
  • The thought of your past, and how you have improved over time
  • Thinking about and planning your future
  • Talking to someone who actually listens to and understand you

The list can go on and on. Passion and hobbies do not have to be overt and tangible things. They can be thoughts and feelings that make you feel at peace, even if it only lasts for a short while. There could be much more that you’re interested in than you give yourself credit for.

My answer

What makes my heart leap is looking at plants and the sky. I’m not even the best at plant upkeep – I just appreciate the parallels between plants and humans, and it feels special to hold a plant in my hand – as if I’m holding myself. The sky makes my heart leap because it scales my world down for me and takes me past immediate worries. It’s free art that I can capture and look at without limits and reservations. It is harmless.

Though you can note plants and the sky as my passion, I think they fit more correctly into the list of things that make my heart leap. And what I do with that information is down to me. I don’t even need to have much of knowledge about these things or turn them into something productive. I just like and appreciate them. If I wanted, I could use them as inspiration for a novel I will write in the future for example, or I could let it them spark research into the outdoors – I could learn the science of the sky and consider how to live a life that harms as few tress as possible.

Now you

There is so much attention to be paid to what you are interested in, what you get excited about, what makes you feel a bit happier when you are down…

I know that depression makes it hard to see these things sometimes. And when you’re in it, you can only hope that you’ll feel something ever again. But I know that there are things that everyone likes. And whatever yours may be, perhaps you just pay little attention to it because it feels so small and insignificant.

But it matters. Pay attention to yourself, and your heart. Appreciate what makes you feel good and hold it close to yourself. Likewise, be okay with these things growing and changing into things you could never imagine. Notice and sustain the leaping of your heart. Identify what makes it leap and keep it as a piece of paradise close to yourself.

To conclude

I am reminded of a poem that I read on the tube, from A Portable Paradise by Roger Robinson:

And if I speak of Paradise,
then I’m speaking of my grandmother
who told me to carry it always
on my person, concealed, so
no one else would know but me.
That way they can’t steal it, she’d say.
And if life puts you under pressure,
trace its ridges in your pocket,
smell its piney scent on your handkerchief,
hum its anthem under your breath.
And if your stresses are sustained and daily,
get yourself to an empty room – be it hotel,
hostel or hovel – find a lamp
and empty your paradise onto a desk:
your white sands, green hills and fresh fish.
Shine the lamp on it like the fresh hope
of morning, and keep staring at it till you sleep.

What makes your heart leap?

Dangerous Daydreaming

And to daydream to the same extent that I did when I was younger is to push the fulfilment of my dreams forward – to place the responsibility of a good life on a future self that does not yet exist.


I spend a lot of time in my head and I accept that sometimes I overdo it. So I let things spill over to my diary, just to funnel my thoughts somehow – testing and assessing them all, making sure that they’re not destructive – and if they are, trying my best to diffuse them.

But sometimes that isn’t enough. I don’t open up too often because I don’t enjoy vulnerability, and I hate to jeopardise perceptions of the people around me, considering that these people sometimes have an influence on how I feel, and have a part to play in the negative emotions that I experience.

So, when thinking, writing, and speaking aren’t enough, I consider daydreaming. And I indulge in it!

Yes, daydreaming happens in your head too. However, it’s a different part of the head altogether as here, you infuse real life with fantasy and consider what could be if reality wasn’t something to consider. I daydream to motivate myself, to procrastinate and to pass time.

However, like all things in life, and like everything I have written here so far, daydreaming requires balance. Sometimes I get in too deep and waking up to reality can be just as harsh as the phrase suggests. To reside in the clouds is to keep in close proximity to paradise, where hardship and difficulty are far away.

But an integral part of growing up is realising that you can only stay up there for so long. I may have been daydreaming about the future for my whole life up until this point. But now, I am coming to understand that this is the future. And to daydream to the same extent that I did when I was younger is to push the fulfilment of my dreams forward – to place the responsibility of a good life on a future self that does not yet exist.

It can be dangerous to perceive your dreams as so far away, especially when it causes you to overlook the resources you currently have before you, that can make these things come true.

Rather than wishing and hoping, it’s time to start actualising and doing. Maintain the comfort and paradise that daydreams give to you, but leave the nest more often, and replicate your future and your dreams outside of your daydreamed safety bubble.

Understand that your life can be all that you dream for it to be when you learn to appreciate your reality and work hard for your desires. Acknowledge how passive daydreams can be, and consider the stark difference between yours and your reality. Then try to close the gap.

Yes, escapism is rehabilitating. But transforming that escapism into authentic living is far more exciting.

Focusing on God

The mind is strong and we possess certain degrees of self-actualisation. But nothing beats God.


“When considering myself in the grand scheme of things, many worries fade away. The significance of my relevance and validity dwindle when I eventually see the forest for the trees; when I look past small details that grab my attention more than they should. Because when my present moment is my be-all and end-all, I find it really hard to breathe.”

It’s important to look at what is inside you – how it relates to you, how you can make it better, and whether it’s hindering or helping you somehow. But it’s equally as important to look outside of yourself and into things that also matter. Emphasis on the also, absence of an instead. It’s possible for you to matter while you focus on other pressing issues in life.

But beyond that, there is a greater and ultimate importance in focusing on the only thing that created and understands everything, which is God himself. I find peace so quickly when I remember that I have God, the One who created me and the other things I choose to focus on, on my side.

When I was in school, I put it down to a simple analogy. If a classmate and I are revising for a difficult test on a topic that we know we’re not good at, and they don’t have a belief in God or any higher being for that matter, they are relying on themselves and their own strength to help them with the test. Whereas I, with the same lack of self-belief, can put my trust in something bigger and better than myself – I have something else on my side when my human efforts fail.

That’s the foundation for my belief in God. The presence of that extra something is what makes up the 100% I need to approach something with confidence. And sometimes I can’t even bring 1% to the table.

But I digress.

This is all to stress the importance of focusing on something bigger and more powerful than yourself when life becomes overwhelming. The mind is strong and we possess certain degrees of self-actualisation. But nothing beats God.

And all too conveniently, when life brings difficulty and pressure, (sometimes self-imposed), I forget to focus on God – this greater and more capable being.

But when I finally ask myself how focused I am on His undeniable strength and capability, the answer is often very little. So, I shift my focus back to God and the pressure for me to perform fades away because I know He will complete it for me. And there is no need to prove myself to Him anyway.

What this means

So, to refer to what I wrote at the beginning, the small details of life are simply my own resources, and the bigger picture is God. There are benefits to focusing on the grand scheme of things rather than finnicky details, because the control that God has over every situation makes fretting about them pointless.

This can relate to the current desires that I know aren’t a matter of life and death; I consider them in the grand scheme of things and come to realise that they really don’t matter. People won’t care too much about what I’m doing – and if they do, it will hardly affect me. Besides that, my focus on God sets my thoughts in a more wholesome direction.

When sprinting you look ahead so as to not lose focus or slow down. Likewise, in life, I look to God to keep heart and know that everything in life will be okay. He is watching and guiding me, so worry (although natural) is something for me to give less power to. All power goes to God.

Philippians 4:6 (NIV)Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

Why I Sleep Unsatisfied

The world has its own way of establishing balance in so many areas of life. It’s only right to apply those to my own.


Since finishing university, I have had many days where I go to bed feeling unaccomplished because there hasn’t been much for me to plan and achieve.

So to give my days purpose, I started writing to-do lists. I knew that such structure would direct my days and steer me towards productivity. But over time they’ve become debilitating.

It seems that I’ve created new pressures in my life that eventually make me feel like I haven’t achieved much if my list isn’t complete by the end of the day. I go to bed feeling unproductive and like I have failed – I take structure too far.

I have embraced the idea of obligation-free living more than I have actually lived it. It’s like looking out of the window and never going outside.

I’m still saving shows and YouTube videos to indulge in when I feel like I’ve done enough work to deserve it and I’m starting to see the danger in this.

What doesn’t help is the fact that being obligation-free means that my life is largely in my hands now, and I need to make moves that will help my future – more freelance writing, improving my online presence, and applying for schemes that will help me in whatever way they can.

There is a necessary balance to find between self-given obligations such as this and relaxing. It’s about time that I start searching.

Balance – that’s what life is all about, and that’s what I have boiled many thoughts down to lately. I’ve written before that the grass is only greener on the other side for a season. Good times come and go – so do periods of obligation. The world has its own way of establishing balance in so many areas of life. It’s only right to apply those to my own.

There’s a lot I want to do and I know I can achieve it. But it won’t be achieved if it’s all I think about – I’ll get tired of myself and question the point of it all.

I’m not sure how close I am to finding balance in my life but I believe that accepting the fact that I need it is a step in the right direction.

TL;DR: Diary entry from 08/06/2020

“I have been bad at not pressuring myself while in lockdown. I still feel pressing needs and I am creating obligations because I struggle to feel productive without them. But in the end, it cripples me and makes me wonder what I’ve achieved, if anything.

I don’t know. The need to do better has dictated my life and I’ve been cool with it. I guess it’s not always good though.”

Exhuming My Bookworm

… there is a divine being involved, who knows the true intentions of every unknowing action we make.


After three years of denial and excuses, I found my inner bookworm again.

I’d been waiting for a desire to get back into reading and it appeared unexpectedly. Though I started and stopped the novel months ago, I finished it in under a week!

My degree meant that I was reading books all the time, so reading for pleasure took a back seat (until it fell out of the car) because I always had something else that I was obligated to read for the sake of my grades.

I pushed the genuine enjoyment of novels that I wanted to read into the far future. This tells me that we often look forward to a time where we can experience something that pleasures us, guilt-free. And oftentimes we hold back on such indulgence because it never feels like the right time.



Because, sometimes you just do things or make random decisions that take you to unimaginable places. This can’t even be premeditated.

Last week I learnt that there are no bodies I can’t exhume and no passions that I must lie to rest completely. As long as I apply myself correctly once things happen to be going in a desirable direction, I will be able to get back into whatever my younger self was interested in, regardless of my age.

And you can take that argument as far as you like – that’s your business!

This isn’t even to say that you should just stop overthinking and just start what you want to do. Because I could’ve simply decided to pick up the novel and force myself to finish reading it, but that failed countless times in the past.

It wasn’t motivation, determination or the desire to prove something to myself that led me to reading and finishing the novel. I just picked it up because I couldn’t sleep and expected it to send me to sleep. But life took me in a completely different direction.

Sometimes, you pull yourself together so unexpectedly, and it inspires you more than the other things you have planned to help you achieve just that.

Trust every process and take nothing for granted. Be kind to yourself (something I definitely need to work on) and accept that life is scarcely planned – there is a divine being involved, who knows the true intentions of every unknowing action we make.


The book I read was Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi. 10/10. Would recommend.

I believe that if you can’t think of a way to improve something, then it deserves full ratings. After all, how much life will you live until you give something full marks?

It’s good to feel like any experience was the best and totally unbeatable. If anything, it deepens your appreciation for anything else that you see as perfect in the aftermath.


Whew, this week (and the future)

“The UK will no longer be permitted to distract me from its own sins with a bloodied, rotting finger that points at the USA’s injustice.”
It’s been a long time coming, and it’s not over yet. This post is a lengthy summary of my thoughts this week in relation to the Black Lives Matter movement: Responsibility & Sacrifice, Silence, Performatism, Education, Revolution and of course, Racism.


Responsibility & Sacrifice

I’ve felt this overwhelming sense of responsibility, particularly on the front of social media – regardless of condition, to sacrifice my comfort of retweeting funny things and instead fill the TL with news and facts. To sacrifice my comfort of sharing aesthetic Instagram stories and direct people to petitions and learning resources. In other words, there has been a loud sense of “I don’t care if you don’t feel like posting. Post because you need to spread awareness and fight. And if you don’t post, I’ll assume that you don’t care.”

I understand the approach and in many contexts I agree. However, some people aren’t posting or being visibly active because they’re spending time learning and processing. But, for some that’s not good enough. It’s a sliding scale.

The cards that we have been dealt as black people currently require us to teach ourselves and inform others. We can take rightful breaks but after a while we need to “show that we care again”. The process is tiring but true – we have equal shares in victimhood and activism.



Silence is complicity at times. But for many Black people, silence is complicated. We are “silent” because we are overwhelmed. We are “silent” because we are protecting our mental health. We are “silent” because we don’t know what to say anymore. We are “silent” because we are in mourning. We are “silent”, but only online – offline, we are doing what we are able to to change things and will keep doing so once everyone else moves on. – Yomi Adegoke.

Silence is complex and no true indicator of someone’s mental state. Especially the cohort of victims themselves.

There is a (often self-imposed) pressure to show that the visible part of your existence gives a damn about racism. However, not everybody is keen on, or fond of displaying their outrage or desire for change online. Perhaps less people are looking at you than you believe, but you don’t want to be called out for no action.

Speaking to a friend earlier this week, we agreed on the question of “but who is actually checking for you?” i.e., you may feel like you need to post because you don’t want to be called out, but who is calling you out anyway?

Now, I won’t deny that I did see people calling out others (non-Black people, colourists, coons…). However, if you know that you are genuinely feeling something about this, sometimes having a conversation is enough. If you feel like that’s not enough and you still need to post, I could say ‘you do you.’

But, I could also say that your actions are performative because your self-assurance with your concern for the issue isn’t enough for you.



This week marks the most I have ever heard this word in any given timeframe. Here are some short thoughts I’d been writing:

  • I need to police my potential performatism. I want to continue learning organically in a time where no one has the patience for that, myself included. I begin to wonder if I knew enough in the first place.
  • I want to do my part with learning about Black British history. The UK is no longer permitted to distract me from its own sins with a bloodied, rotting finger that points at the USA’s injustice.
  • Sharing things on social media has led me to question if I am sharing because I genuinely want people to know things, or because it is required of me and I’ll look bad otherwise. Am I proving myself to others, or to myself? Perhaps the need to ‘prove’ is the main issue.
  • You’re right and wrong to everyone and to no one.
  • In awareness and awakening, we make mistakes. Have mercy on such people because no one is totally righteous.
  • I have a strong desire to learn all that my brain can take, remember it, and inject it into trains of thought and conversations where necessary. But I fear the tiredness and anger that comes with learning about Black history.

A post I saw this week was titled, “Performative Allyship is Triggering”.                                                        No further comments – welcome to 2020.



On Wednesday, someone responded to my anger with claims that their anger for Nigeria’s corruptive downfall is three times mine concerning current social justice. It frustrated me as I felt like I hadn’t learnt enough to justify my argument.

I wished I did. And that’s what’s important – the self-driven desire to learn.

However, there is a danger with learning so much during this social climate. It is the chance of a repetition of a traumatic school experience; learning under pressure in order to perform.

In this case, performance isn’t necessarily performative, but rather baby activism and doing your part; informing yourself and contributing to the conversation with knowledge rather than ignorance. Not feeling dumb.

This process of learning should not feel forceful. I was educating myself organically in the past and this sudden rush of education has been a lot to handle. Nonetheless, I’ve still learnt a lot. I just want to return to the self-imposed methods of learning that I was using before.

Note to myself and to you: Do not be angry with yourself for not knowing much about Black (British) History. Do not be frustrated if you understand the why of systematic racism more than the how. Do not be frustrated if you stutter in an argument and have gaps in your knowledge. You may not remember everything you teach yourself and that is fine. The reason for your self-education is a result of un- and miseducation. Therefore you need to be patient with yourself as you smooth over these cracks.

As pressing and revolutionary as everything feels right now, this type of learning is non-linear, so remove the pressure to know and remember everything instantly.



We must be sure to not romanticise anything that is going on now.

Black people standing together is a sign of unity. Unity is beautiful but the source of pain is not – it’s ugly. Do not romanticise the revolution because it is not pretty. Do not synonymise the revolution with beauty because that is a separate term.

The revolution is a definer, not something to be defined. It is a separate entity. People don’t know a revolution when they see one but they need to be more perceptive now.

Do not be frustrated when the hashtag stops trending. Change doesn’t occur overnight. The revolution did not just begin, neither is it near the end. This is a just a part of it.

Simultaneously, privileged groups need to be knocked at the knees and brought to the same level as the underprivileged in order to hear their stories and primarily experience the same revolution in their minds that will manifest itself in the flesh.

Gil Scott-Heron said it best in his explanation of his poem and song, The Revolution Will Not Be Televised:




One problem is that white people are looking for concrete proof of racism: facts, receipts, evidence… when really society has evolved past that now. Racism has its ear to the ground and is aware of how to get to Black people in such a way that allows denial.

As vulgar as it is, calling a Black person a nigger nowadays will spark rage but not rallies. Rather, killing a Black person as a police officer will spark a rally because it is proof of systematic racism. That’s the bigger monster we face today. Receipts of prejudice and discrimination cannot always be given to the privileged groups asking for it because a lot of the time, the racism is coded.

To be racist is to also be apathetic, to close your eyes to the systems that make it difficult for Black people to exist freely without a target on their backs. If you’re waiting for a white person to scream ‘nigger’ as the only receipt of racism, you need to wake up and realise there is a greater depth than that now.

Until you acknowledge that, you’ll be living as if the world is prejudice-free while a white police officer kneels on a Black man’s neck until he kills him.


“Not all (insert cohort) are bad!”

Fury arises at the sight of sweeping generalisations and assumptions but such behaviour is what caused the current condition of the Black man; the assumption that all are criminals, savage, rapists, illiterate, etc, and the assumption that Africa itself was a Tabula Rasa.

No batch is free of bad apples, but racists, colonisers and imperialists didn’t key into that knowledge when constructing their damaging systems. They made sweeping assumptions. E.g.: all Black people are bad. So let’s make it harder for them to get jobs.

Assumption and its aftershocks systematically chip away at the livelihood of Africa and its diaspora to this day.

So don’t be furious when people make sweeping generalisations about the police and white people. Without such, no one will pay attention to the batch, talk less of the bad apples.

FACTS: No Justice, no Peace. Speak Truth to Power. I will never stop supporting and perpetuating these phrases. They are timelessly relevant.

I’m new to this

I will also never stop believing that my living right now is a testament for my future


I made this blog in 2016 and the home page has had the same message since the day I wrote it, which tells me that my intentions for this platform remain true to 16-year-old Adefela.

However, lately I have been inconsistent because I am trying to figure out how to run a blog in the way that I believe it should be run. I aim to be consistent and honest with myself, as I sort out my current fixations.

This post is categorised as ‘Weekly posts’ because that’s what I’ve planned to do; whether I have nobody reading the posts or I receive 100 views per post, it’s important to stick to what I have decided to do.

Last week I posted nothing because I didn’t make it a priority and I already felt like there was nothing to say. That’s also how I’ve felt this week, hence the post up to this point being a load of waffle.

Despite this, there is one thing I am learning (and have been learning for some time now):

Discipline trumps motivation.

It always has and it always will. I need to get into the habit of training myself to do what is best for me even when I don’t feel like it. Yes, I must be careful to not turn myself into a machine. But I must also be sure to add value to myself on the days when all I feel like doing is nothing.

I want to exercise because it’s good for me, not because I feel like it. I want to read my Bible daily because it strengthens my relationship with God, not because Religion has told me to do so. I want to contribute to a good future because that’s the only certainty I have right now, not because I have a fear of failure.

I am new to self-induced schedules like publishing a blog post and a picture every week. But my life needs structure and I don’t have an education system to give that to me anymore. It’s tough having to do things like that in the midst of a pandemic but that’s something I’m going to have to get over and make small in my eyes.

I will never stop believing that it’s okay to have off days, weeks, months…

But at the same time, I will also never stop believing that my living right now is a testament for my future, and I need to utilise my living breath to make the most of the idea of reaping every single thing that I sow.  

I don’t know! I don’t know what I’m doing!

You can’t always see the bigger picture when you’re standing on the canvas and painting what’s in front of you.


I don’t know! I don’t know what I’m doing!

I accept this with a light heart but I mean every word that I write.

I do not know, and I have no idea what I am doing. Perhaps it’s hard to believe that I’m purely existing right now, but it’s closer to the truth than anything else I have to say.

I started nursery at the age of 3, then headed to reception, primary school, secondary school and sixth form, then university. Now I am here. Back in my house in Dagenham, after 17 years of education and obligation.

I have learnt and gained a lot and now it’s time for me to put it all into practice. However my desire to do nothing is far more compelling than that to show the world the skills have developed during my time in education, where I followed the rules and did what I was told because children and teenagers can’t think for themselves, not really.

And deep down I always knew that I’d reach a point where I lacked clarity and had little to say when people asked me what my next step is. Sometimes I’m okay with that being my reality and sometimes I am not. That’s the overall tone of life – “sometimes I’m _____ and sometimes I’m not”.

Last week I wrote down all of my names and what I want to be called in the future. For the first time I was able to really distil what I have always been (my names) and what I would like to be (career-wise). It’s the closest those words have ever been to each other and it was a wakeup call that perhaps, I am more decided than I presumed.

I’ll do it again here:

Adefela, Eniola, Ifeoluwasimi, Lois, Eyidayomi, Olowoselu.

Journalist, poet, screenwriter, author.

That’s who I’ve been, who I am trying to be and who I will be in the future.

In light of not knowing what I am doing with my life right now, these names and words act as an anchor and provide me with the security that there is still a purpose for my life. You can’t always see the bigger picture when you’re standing on the canvas and painting what’s in front of you.

I have no problem with not knowing what I am up to, and being unsettled in the fact that a lot of my future seems to rely on me having good ideas and recognising if and when they come.

As it stands, I am currently living life as an individual in society. That sounds jobless and abstract and I’m not ashamed to say that perhaps it’s just that. Obligation-free, I have faith that my future is just something I don’t have the full blueprint for just yet, and that’s okay with me.