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open letter

Posted on December 29, 2017

5 biggest blog achievements of 2017

lifestyle

Anyone who knows me personally would know that I am not one to brag about my achievements. If anything, I tend to downplay them and not give myself enough credit for my successes. Among many reasons, I simply don’t see the point in broadcasting every single one of my accomplishments to the whole world – and yes, I do realise the irony of me saying this as a blogger.

It would seem that that is the very essence of what being a successful blogger is all about. These announcements and life documents are what the blogging industry thrives on. More irony? Perhaps! For someone who started blogging four years ago, you would think that I would have gotten over the many aversions I have to the industry – I haven’t. If anything I am learning to get better at masking them, which sometimes, I think can be worse.

But much like any industry, there are positives and negatives. What it really comes down to is finding a healthy balance between the two. This however, can be a struggle and a half when you’re on the road not taken. The road that I took at the start of 2017 towards being a full time blogger, completely blind to what the universe had in store for me.

So without further ado, here are five of my biggest blog achievements of 2017 🙂

1. The launch of my YouTube channel

Launching a YouTube channel might not seem like a big achievement to some of you, especially since a lot of bloggers are leaning towards video blogs nowadays. However, starting my own channel is something that my inner critic always prevented me from doing. If it wasn’t about me feeling that I didn’t look the part, it was about me thinking I didn’t have anything important to say – my negative self-talk told me everything under the sun to discourage me from doing something that I now, derive a lot of fulfilment from. So biting the bullet with YouTube was always going to be a big achievement for me and when I finally did the “unimaginable,” it trickled a butterfly effect like no other.

2. Radio contributions with 2FM’s iconic duo

Following the release of my second YouTube video (5 things Irish guys should never say to a black girl on Tinder) I was contacted by one half of RTE 2FM’S iconic duo, Chris & Ciara to appear on their late night show as a guest. Like anyone who suffers from any sort of anxiety disorder, I was beyond nervous to be making my radio debut at a national level. Thankfully, any concerns I had were quickly silenced the second I got chatting to the two loveliest faces (or voices) of Irish radio! I will forever be grateful for the opportunities they gave me to speak about both light-hearted issues and also some serious ones, such as the core message surrounding my viral open letter.

3. International press coverage of my open letter

Back in May, I poured my heart out in an open letter to the Irish men who have hypersexualised my race. When I first read the letter on air on the Chris & Ciara show, it received a lot of positive feedback. It was only when the tabloids caught wind of it and misconstrued my words that the immense media attention followed and had it spread like wild fire. The letter quickly circulated national papers in Ireland and the UK and it even made American headlines.  I was flooded with request to appear on live radio and undertake an overwhelming amount of interviews that week – it was both a blessing a curse at the same time.

Read more about the magnitude of this ordeal and how I coped with the publicity here.

4. Studio interview with Matt Cooper

After what felt like a lifetime of avoiding emails and turning down interview requests, I finally mustered up the strength to accept and follow through with a studio interview for The Last Word on Today FM. I will never forget the feeling I had in my stomach when my taxi driver told me that Matt Cooper was a tough interviewer. I went from experiencing emotions of excitement to feeling pure dread. Granted, he did dampen the atmosphere by telling me on the way in. But I have to say I am truly thankful for his honestly and advice as it gave me the preparation I didn’t know I needed for the iterview.

5. Filming for my television debut

Although I am limited as to what I can say about this, what I will say is that the combination of my achievements in 2017 had a butterfly effect for not only 2018, but quite possibly the rest of my blogging career.

I spent a good chunk of the last few weeks filming for a very exciting upcoming tv project airing next year and while I have no power over how I will come across or how it will affect me and my blog, the last twelve months has taught me that I can control how I react to it.  Whether it works for me or against me, I know who my true friends are and who will  stick with me through thick and thin! 🙂

It goes without saying that my decision to follow my dream has paid off in more ways than one and the laws of attraction really did work in my favour this year with each milestone resulting from the previous and creating a foundation for the next.

I will forever be grateful for the life lessons I discovered through my blog in 2017. In such a short space of time, I learned a huge deal about the media industry, friendships and of course myself.

I genuinely have no words to express my gratitude towards those who not only supported me during difficulties. But also helped celebrate the times that needed to be celebrated: those individuals will always have a special place in my heart (you know who you are).

I wish each and every single one of you all a sparkling New Year and I hope you’re excited to see what I have in store for you guys in 2018! 🙂

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Posted on June 19, 2017

POSITIVE RESPONSES TO MY OPEN LETTER

vlog/ youtube

Happy Monday everyone! I have a new video up on my YouTube channel about some of the positive responses I got to my open letter.

In the midst of all the drama and controversy, I did get a few kind and supportive messages from men and women of all ages and races which I thought would be worth mentioning. Some of these nearly had me in tears! <3

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Posted on June 12, 2017

Coping with bad publicity

Uncovered

There was a time in my life where I believed all publicity was good publicity.

But after having been at the receiving end of non-stop hatemail and reading barbaric headlines about myself that just aren’t true. I have to say, I feel very differently about that now.

The last two weeks have been an absolute roller coaster for me – I got my first hit with the tabloids and I’ve really struggled to come to terms with it all. My initial reaction was to relocate to a non-English speaking country and never come back.  How could an open letter expressing hurt and pain have turned into something so ugly?

Two words: bad journalism

Now I can sit here and moan about how I was played by the media and make myself out to be a helpless victim. But I won’t do that. I refuse to give people who fish for ways to ruin the lives of others for their own personal gain the satisfaction of thinking they can silence my voice when they can’t.

So instead, I am going to focus on the positive because I genuinely do believe that some disappointments are a blessing in disguise and if my experience over the last few days has taught me anything, it is that.

The day the fake news about my open letter started circulating the tabloids I was approached by a number of women’s magazines who were genuinely interested in getting to know me and what prompted me to write the open letter.

A number of radio stations also asked to interview me, but because I was so overwhelmed by what was going on I wasn’t up for some it at the time. Thankfully, I have  since then been given the chance to speak on national radio about the backlash over the last few weeks, giving me the opportunity to set the record straight.

But what I learned the most about this humbling experience is that there are still good people out there and sometimes, it only takes one person to restore your faith in humanity. I do not believe that the racist trolls and the Debbie Downers represent the vast majority of people in the world and I just wanted to say thank you to everyone who showed me love and support during this difficult time. Especially to the journalists who actually did their jobs right (surely I’m allowed to throw shade once?)

I will be doing a video on my YouTube channel towards the end of the week about some of the positive reactions I got to my open letter, as I have come to the realisation that I’ve been heavily focused on the negative (it was hard not to).

So keep an eye on my channel and don’t forget to subscribe!

To catch up on my radio interviews, check out the press page on my blog as they should clear everything up for you guys! I feel like I’m finally moving on from this, and I’ve even started working on my next few projects – I want to say they won’t cause as much as a stir. But who would I be if I didn’t cause a little bit of  drama? 😉

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