I’m Sade Ojuola (she/her). I’ve always had a zest for life, and I’ve always been a dreamer.
Growing up in Oakland, CA, I always envisioned that my future would be larger than life. When people say “Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine I’d be here right now!” …I understand the sentiment. But I honestly can’t relate 😆 my dreams have always been very wild!
From a young age I’ve had visions of myself on all kinds of adventures and pursuing all kinds of passions. The question for me has always been, how do I get there? Over time I’ve adopted Oprah’s “next right move” philosophy, trusting that my next step will reveal itself to me in due course. And so far, it’s working!
I devoured books as a child (even atlases!) and every book I read left an imprint in my mind as to who I could be and what my life might bring. Reading also deepened my capacity for empathy: as you read another’s story, you see what it could be to walk a mile in their shoes. The more I read about experiences apart from mine, the greater my understanding that we are all so different and simultaneously the same. This sense of shared humanity has become one of my core values.
Reminding others of our shared humanity is my work now! As the Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging Coordinator at Reddit, I get to live my passion every day by educating folks on equity and inclusion, creating pathways for more diversity of staff and leadership, and developing programming to celebrate everyone’s unique identity. It is a very sweet gig, and I feel very lucky.
Now — more about Forever in Bloom!
I was lucky to be exposed to travel at a young age. My dad, a Nigerian immigrant who moved to Italy at 18, has a love for travel and culture that he passed on to me. My first big international trip was a Disney cruise to the Bahamas at 3 years old — and I’ve been hooked ever since, mk!
I’ve been to many countries since then, even living abroad in rural Thailand for seven months when I was 24. In some ways, I feel like my “real life” started after that trip. Solo travel has a way of forcing you to sit with yourself…and the quiet of solitude allowed me, the forever social butterfly, to really look within and examine what I want from life and what it will take to get there. It was in Thailand that I started my journey of growing up and into myself as a person. Now I’m a major advocate for people—young women and Black people especially—taking time while they’re young to explore the world outside their own backyards.
Travel is by far my favorite hobby. There’s n o t h i n g like that sense of anticipation when you touch down in a new place, ready to see, taste, and experience everything!
My favorite trip so far: Zanzibar.
My travel bucket list: Australia, Brazil, Cuba, Greece, Italy, Morocco, Philippines, South Africa. (A very abridged list. ; )
I mentioned that from a young age I’ve envisioned myself pursuing all kinds of passions. One of those passions is food! I’ve been cooking (primarily baking) for as long as I can remember. In childhood, my Easy Bake Oven was one of the most beloved and memorable gifts I ever received.
I’m not a trained chef or baker, though I think my life won’t be complete until I get some kind of culinary training. I looooove food, and am blessed to be very well fed lol. I believe food is a love language — yes, there are actually six.
Cooking delicious things for others, cooking healthful things for myself, learning the recipes and food traditions from around the world, is love! I share that love with you here through my recipes and restaurant recommendations.
The first thing I learned to cook: Pancakes : ) and my dad’s lasagna recipe, which he picked up during his time in Italy.
My favorite thing to cook: Cakes! I’m learning to decorate them and am very much a beginner, but I find the process meditative.
My most requested recipe: The biggest crowd-pleasers are my rum cake and banana pudding… the latter of which is just the recipe on the side of the Nilla Wafer box! #nowyouknow 😆
You might’ve noticed I’m a Black woman.
This part of my identity didn’t always make the primary tagline. But, the further along I move down my path, the more I realize that my lens as a Black, American woman is central to my journey and story.
As mundane as my life can sometimes feel, I realize that the world needs our stories and perspectives. So, I’m intentional in bringing that lens into my writing and work. It’s a goal of mine to share stories from other Black women too, to make this space one where stories of Black humanity are heard and amplified.
“My world did not shrink because I was a Black female writer. It just got bigger.” – Toni Morrison
The journey!! If you know me IRL, you know this is one of my favorite topics for discussion.
I get sooo hype about the fact that we all have a journey and purpose here on this earth. Does that not send a shiver up your spine? 😍 Are you in tune with yours?
In a past life, I was probably a psychologist or a life coach… in this one, I just talk about the journey, manifestation and alignment, and the divine timing of the universe to anyone who’ll engage lol. It’s not ~woowoo~ at all to me. It’s my life, and I see it at play in the lives of everyone around me who is attuned to it.
I’m particularly inspired by the journey of flowers in bloom. I see so much alignment between our journeys as humans and that of flowers: from little seeds of potential, each with various supports and barriers to our growth, into little buds just looking for the light to keep us going. Then growing and growing… until one day, if we’re lucky, we bloom.
I learn so much from the journeys of others, and share what I can from my own. Part of my journey is living and creating my wildest dreams—those dreams I’ve always had—out loud, capturing as much of it as possible, and sharing in whatever ways i can along the way.