Slay 2017: The Year of Yes


It’s fitting to end this year with the same photograph I began it with.

Year in and year out I would look at the big, white sheet of A2 paper collecting dust on my shelf waiting to be made useful. I had bought it three years prior with the aim of making a vision board and had not found the time and discipline to craft one.  It’s only after I finished reading Shonda Rhimes’ Year of Yes at the end of 2016, a book that undoubtedly ignited a flame in me, that I took the opportunity to set some intentions for the year and to remind myself of them every day.

In the middle of my vision board, I placed SAY YES as a reminder to be open to opportunity, discipline and focus. In each other corner of the paper, I placed my four areas of intention: career, body love, personal space and travel. I also had other motivational phrases such as “success”, “inspiration is everywhere”, “claim your space” and “go for gold”.

The centre piece: me in the Cosmopolitan Magazine.

For career, I placed the words “write + publish” and it’s funny because I would roll my eyes or chuckle every time I looked it like: Girl, what even? What could you possibly publish? For body love, I placed “clear skin ahead”, “work out”, and a picture of a woman on a scale. For travel, I placed a picture of an aeroplane. How absolutely magical then to look back at this year in which I travelled to London for work, managed to clear my skin, reached my goal weight, started on an exercise routine that I actually look forward to (skipping!) and self-published a beautiful storybook for children called Mpumi’s Magic Beads! 

A birthday babe at her goal weight.

The book has honestly been one of my favourite blessings this year. I’m so happy that I was in such a great, healthy state of mind that when I approached some publishers and got rejected, it didn’t hinder me in any way because this lovely story was going to exist. So, I immediately said to myself: “I have always had creative and editorial control of every bit of work I have put into the world, so why should this be any different?” With no real knowledge of what I was undertaking, I rolled up my sleeves, grabbed an empty notebook, made notes and Googled my way through months of every single detail of planning, writing and executing that was essential to establishing the Mpumis Magic Beads project and my own company, Thank You Books. I am proud to say that I own every bit of my work and that I am compensated as such. It wouldn’t have been the case had I reached a publishing deal and received some percentages for my project so, it all worked out for the best!

This project was made possible by a community of talented individuals whose love, dedication and hard work ensured that the book looks, feels and reads as beautifully as it does.

A big, big thank you to:

  • Kay Bapela & the Book of Swag team – for the call to participate in the #Today campaign.
  • Masego Morulane- for the gorgeous illustrations and book design. I’m still so impressed at our synergy and we haven’t even met yet!
  • Nokulinda Mkhize – for being mom goals with the refreshments setup back in April, for all your advice and belief through this journey and to the Sibling Trio of My Heart for being my audience.
  • Alexandra Flusk & Montwedi Mosala for being my best friends and always being there for me when I need you.
  • Mama – for the startup capital for Thank You Books, for your love and nurturing my gifts with a fiery dedication over the years.
  • Sibusiso Mkhwanazi – for the Thank You Books logo.
  • Dane Bowman – for your expertise and friendly disposition in helping me navigate self-publishing.
  • Cindy-Lee van Wyk – for being a great editor.
  • Masego Maponyane – for believing in me and helping me to see its possibility very early in the game.
  • You – for your support, positive energy, likes, retweets, affirmations and for buying my book.

There are still some things that I would have loved to achieve this year that I have not yet (hello, Masters thesis and secret thing) but I am excited about how I am responding to these as only slight changes of direction. I actually feel really good about my unfinished thesis and about my disappointments this year because all of them prepared me for the glory that was 2017. They are also just more opportunities for me to make myself proud and to prove to myself, once more, that I am always possible. 

I’m currently on holiday in Coffee Bay and I’m so excited to get back home: start the year, make my vision board, buy myself a new year planner and to work daily to make all of my dreams real, again.

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Thank you for reading my blog. Happy New Year to you and an amazing, purposeful 2018!


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