Archived Blog Posts (2014)
THE 20 SOMETHING PROFESSIONAL: STARTED
Where do I begin? Recently, I had an incident where I allowed someone to make me feel small. I questioned my education, my place within the company and my skill-set. I had to back-up and reevaluate how I was internalizing the situation. The comment made by this person, who was in a supervisory role but not my supervisor, alluded to the fact that they felt I should only be doing my job—nothing extra or anything to enhance my skill-set.
My everyday interactions with this person was usually pleasant and they never complained or questioned my abilities (to my knowledge) before, so why when asked how I'm doing in my position did they say, oh she's doing an amazing job but she needs to stick with her original duties and not any extra work. This extra work they were speaking about is a learning and growing opportunity for my future. It went beyond my given duties and enhanced the skills I actually went to college for (which my current duties do not). My original duties never suffered—actually, I was doing both sets of duties simultaneously and doing them both well.
When I was told of the comment, I initially felt like someone had just slapped me in the face. In a world were word of mouth and recommendation is held in high regard for further promotion, I felt like this person made that comment to hurt my further promotion within the company.
How do you handle this type of situation? How do you validate your skills when you're the youngest, least experienced, lowest paid and/or hold the least power within your company?
1. Believe in your abilities. You were hired for a reason.
2. Stay hungry and humble. You may be smarter than a lot of people you work with. You may even hold more degrees and certifications than most folks that get paid more than you do—but you are NEW to the field.
3. ALWAYS go the extra mile. You should be the first in and the last out. Do not leave work for the next day if you can help it.
4. Keep a positive attitude. Don't get roped into the gossip or emulate the bad attitudes of other employees. Bad attitudes breed bad work environments. Do not feed into it!
5. Remember NO ONE can make you feel inferior BUT YOU. You can't allow ANYONE to make you FEEL small. Remember you are learning and growing in the professional world—you won't always be the lowest on the totem pole!
I have to CONSTANTLY remind myself these things, daily. And remember that EVERYONE started from the bottom (can’t help but think of Drake). But remember—with determination, hard work and belief that you'll succeed, we won't stay there!
So this Spiritual Sunday post is going to be from some words that was passed along to me from my mother. It REALLY spoke to me and kind of gave me a wink, letting me know that what I'm trying to accomplish and build creatively is working and I should continue because it's already done. Here's the message:
The Creative Process helps you create what you want in three simple
steps: ask, believe, and receive. Asking the Universe for what you want
is your opportunity to get clear about what you want. As you get clear
in your mind, you have asked. Believing involves acting, speaking, and
thinking as though you have already received what you've asked for. When
you emit the frequency of having received it, the law of attraction
moves people, events and circumstances for you to receive. Receiving
involves feeling the way you will feel once your desire has manifested.
Feeling good now puts you on the frequency of what you want.
I've already ASKED God to guide my steps on the path chosen for me. I believe with full faith He will not only deliver what I asked for but even more. And I've opened my heart, mind and soul to RECEIVE it!! If this message doesn't get you going for the week I don't know what will!! Go out there 20 somethings and ASK, BELIEVE & RECEIVE your blessings!
Bless you all!
BEING PRIVATE IN SUCH A PUBLIC WORLD
The very first thing I do every morning, without fail, is turn my alarm off and check my Instagram (IG) feed. If I posted a picture the night before I often check to see how it has done in the "likes" department the next day. I'm not on Twitter anymore but when I was I often would check it too—all before I shower and brush my teeth. But why? Why are we as 20 somethings so consumed with social media?! I don't even have an answer! I just know I like the feeling when my pictures get multiple likes. I like seeing how my friends in different places looked at dinner the night before and I even like the IG picture of what they ate... But why?! This is one question I can't answer. What I do know is that sometimes we OVER SHARE.
I am naturally a private person. I know, how can I blog about my life and experiences if I'm private? Simple. There are lines I will never cross. There are personal details I will never divulge. For the simple fact that they're PRIVATE. The same should be said for sharing on social media outlets. We live in a world where you can share photos instantly, Instagram, or if you have even less time--Snapchat. Hell, now on Snapchat you can send photos that will disappear (or you can screenshot them and it'll notify the other person you did), video chat and text chat. There's Vine for 6 second videos. Twitter for every little thought you think you just have to share. Facebook to keep up with your family. And I'm sure somewhere in the world (probably multiple locations) there's someone hoping to develop the next best social media outlet. But where should we draw the line?
Things I keep off of social media: romantic relationships and disagreements/serious matters with family or close friends. Relationships are off limits until I can be for sure that we're VERY serious. I don't share every person I'm talking to or dating with the world. And even after we’re serious only minimal information is shared. Trust me, it will bite you in the ass when you change your status to single on Facebook and get a million comments, FB messages or texts about how sorry everyone is for you. Pretty much all you want to do is tell them all to go to hell or cry (or both). You can avoid the unwanted attention by simply not sharing. My close friends (those who wish me happy birthday via phone call or text not on Facebook) know who that special some is so why should I have to share it with everyone else?! And if I'm single the very next day--they most likely knew it was coming and talk to me personally. For obvious reasons, I keep personal family business just that, personal, for mainly the same reasons I keep romantic relationships personal.
9 times out of 10 most people don't mean you well. I'm sorry to say it. I would rather think that the world is full of cheerleaders and motivators but it just isn't. People are jealous, mean and vengeful. And they will use whatever you put out there as ammunition to shoot you in the heart. [Wow, I'm beginning to sound very pessimistic, but I stand by it.] So stop handing them the bullets. Sure, share that you cooked a great meal, worked out really hard, made an A on a term paper or looked hot for party but keep most other things private.
Even as you begin to create new projects, websites, clothing lines, or start a new job--you may want to limit what you put out there until it is concrete. I know you're excited (and you should be!) and proud but again if something falls through or plans change you're opening yourself up to unwanted advice, questions or criticism. DO use social media for what it has evolved into-- free advertisement, marketing, branding and a place to start conversations with someone that can help you or you help them in a business venture, etc... BUT always keep in mind that fine line. Once you put it out into cyber space it's there for good. Your million dollar fortune 500 company self may not approve of your old keg stand photos... I know it's hard in a world where everything and everyone is asking you SHARE. Just try to stay aware of your social media presence. You'll thank yourself later.
20 SOMETHING PARTYING
This post (possibly an upcoming series) is mainly geared towards us, post grad 20 somethings. Partying. It used to be a Monday thru Sunday morning kind of thing in college but as we get a little older, add 40+ hours a week of working, possibly graduate school, trying to hit the gym a few times, grabbing dinner out once a week with friends/bf/gf means you'd like your only two off days (Saturday and Sunday) to be just that-- OFF DAYS.
Guess what? You're not alone my fellow 20 something. More and more am I a part of conversations that has the phrase; we're not as young as we used to be. Or I can only go out tonight or tomorrow--not both. Or the one I say often, if I go out this weekend I can't next weekend! Does that mean that we're no longer any fun? NO! That simply means we are prioritizing and partying isn't as high up on the list anymore.
The 20 somethings I know are juggling work (some with 2 jobs), school, their own startups and side hustles! There's little time to leisure when you're trying to be great. And rightly so. My thinking is I'll party when I'm on my own yacht! :) But really, they'll be plenty of time to live it up when you (1) can afford to party like you want to (2) are partying where you want to--hello coast of Italy, (3) living the life you've always wanted to live.
Don't get me wrong, everyone has to blow off some steam (and we ALL SHOULD!), but let's stop wasting these precious hours standing around waiting for our turn on the beer pong table or in a crowded line to get to the bar. Instead make your going out mean something--networking, building [meaningful] relationships and/or celebrating actual accomplishments or special people in your life. Something that I am doing more of is looking up events in the Charleston Area that seem like opportunities to meet like-minded individuals. Will there be socializing? Yes. Will there be champagne? Gosh, I hope so! But most importantly there will be inspiring people with fresh ideas that want to make connections too!
Since my spirituality is such a large part of me getting through these 20s, I decided that I want to also start this series—Spiritual Sundays. I know everyone don’t believe in the exact same being, God, gods or whatever—I do think that everyone should believe in something bigger than themselves. I personally believe in God. Not because anyone told me I should believe in God but because I’ve seen Him work myself. For instance in 2005, I lived in Bay Saint Louis, MS. Hurricane Katrina destroyed my entire house—no she destroyed my entire hometown and my 8 family members (mother, father both brothers, grandmother, uncle and 2 cousins) and myself looked death (fierce wind and rain) in the face. Odds were we were going to die. I asked God to come in and save us because I knew I wasn’t ready to die and that I had so much more to give the world. And a little under a decade later, I’m here. He showed me what true faith was that day. And I’ve tried to have it ever since. I know, I know there’s probably all of this science that contradict my experiences but how could you not know that there’s something bigger than us when you look at a baby? Or look up at the bright blue sky and feel a sense of calmness? Or when you’re kissing someone for the first time and your heart stops beating for a second? How could science explain the deep connection that we have with other people we call friends? Or how dogs just know when you need some love? How could science explain the feeling you get with the sun on your skin? Or how the earth smells after the rain? It CAN’T!
So here I am. Like I’ve said in a previous post—there’s power in words. So I want to send everyone into his or her week with words of encouragement. Some will be original but some won’t—hey I’m not the expert on all of this, but I truly think if we believe we can we will.
So this Spiritual Sunday I say this, what is for you will forever be for you. You cannot miss out on what is meant for you. It took me so long to learn and apply this lesson to life. But through soul searching and faith it just came to me. So I'm giving it to you. This simply means there are no lost opportunities. No job that you were meant to get and didn't. No person that you were meant to love that you didn’t. No relationship that was meant to work out that didn’t. Because simply, what is actually for you will forever be for you. It belongs to YOU—no one else. So stop worrying about all of these things that didn’t work out because it didn’t work out for a reason. Everything will happen in perfect timing if you open yourself to allow it.
I know these types of post won't be for everyone but my hope and prayer is that it reaches out and touches someone. Have an amazing week 20 somethings, GO BE GREAT!
THE 20 SOMETHING PROFESSIONAL: LETTING COLLEGE GO
Letting college go is undoubtedly the hardest thing to do when you’re entering the real world work force but it is, in my opinion, the most important step. Now don’t get me wrong, in college you’ve built a network and made connections that may last a lifetime. Don’t go dropping these folks! But as a post grad 20 something, you have to start thinking about the next chapter in your life—and everyone isn’t going in your same direction, so choose wisely. If that same friend is still talking about how he’s going to do this or has that in "the works" but you only ever see Instagram pictures of him at your college town’s popular bar and he graduated a couple of years ago— he most likely shouldn’t be your number one draft pick for networking options. Surround yourself with go-getters; people that inspire you. You should never be the most successful person in your group of friends. Look around and again, choose wisely. Like I said in a previous blog post—you won’t always have the same group of friends as you grow and that’s OKAY! You’ll do yourself a disservice if you don’t become more selective.
It’s time to buckle down and start to figure out what you really want to do in life. This very well may not be what you end up doing at 50 years old BUT at least you’re thinking! I have a personal saying, dreaming doesn’t cost you a cent. SO DREAM BIG. No really, BIGGER THAN BIG! Let your imagination run wild—you want to own your own company. Great! How about owning your own original franchise? How about going global? THINK BIG. Okay, now that you’ve got your sights on being the ruler of the free world, you’ll need to root some of these dreams in reality. I know major contradiction, Brandis. How can I dream big and be realistic?! In order to see HOW you’re going to meet your end goal you MUST decide where you are in the process of achieving these goals; what is your personal skill-set, financial situation or geographical location? All of these factors weigh heavily on how you’re going to obtain your goals. But do you want to know the best thing about all those factors? YOU have the power to change them. Yes, I know we learn that our circumstances and experiences are what really define and guide us through life, BUT in that we’re omitting the strength and power of our own willingness and ability to CHANGE these factors— that's what’s most important!
Now that you have a rough sketch of what life goals you’re working towards, stop and tell yourself that you WILL do and become whatever you’ve set out to do and become. Words are powerful. How we see and think of ourselves is VERY powerful. You have to KNOW that you CAN and WILL be successful in your endeavors in order for all of this to work out. That sounds SO cliché but it is TRUE. If you’re willing to bust your ass, do the work and research, and make and act upon meaningful connections then you will succeed at whatever you set your sights upon. Sure, it won’t be easy—hell everything will most likely be an uphill battle, but you’ve taken the first step. You’ve started on this journey that YOU will create. For 17+ years (K-12 and undergrad), you’ve taken a path that was pre-made for you. You’ve followed a curriculum that someone mapped out for you. You made certain decisions because you thought it was what someone else thought you should do. This chapter in your life is ALL ON YOU. You decide. These years are the foundation of your greatness. So don’t be afraid to close the last chapter (college) and take the first steps into this new one. WE get to decide how great WE will be—so let's go be great 20 somethings!
THE 20 SOMETHING PROFESSIONAL SERIES INTRO
Depending on what type of 20 something you are (a college 20 something or a post grad 20 something), you have to start thinking about becoming a civilized member of the professional working world (or move back home and live with your parents, unemployed and playing Xbox or Pinning your life away). I joined, kicking and screaming, the workforce only a year and a half ago-- but now that I'm officially a tax payer, paying for dental insurance and contributing to my 401K I can honestly say--I don't miss being in college anymore. But there are just so many things we have to start thinking about that it can become overwhelming and frustrating. And there's very few places to find the type of information WE ACTUALLY NEED--or at least in one central location. I've done A LOT of research and read WAY too articles written by a few not-so-2o somethings that lend their advice based on the 20 something world they lived in 30 years ago... No disrespect to them--some of their advice is actually useful, but unless they understand the world of Twitter, Instagram, an astronomically high unemployment rate of post graduates with secondary educations verses how much your degree(s) cost ($$$) AND the price of a really good night out--they're not going to get it!
This series will consist of all sorts of things: how to write cover letters, what REALLY needs to go on a resume, how to conduct yourself in interviews, what to wear in the workplace, how to handle being the lowest on the totem pole, creating a personal budget and everything in between. I think the hardest thing about transitioning into this world is figuring out how grown up you think you should be and how many of those keg stands you really should still be doing. It's difficult. I get it. College was an amazing time. Who knew how easy we actually had it?! *Those 20 somethings reading right now that are still in the thick of the things--ENJOY college!! There will never be another time like it. EVER.*
Knowing how you should feel and act in this new environment is very scary and a real tricky thing to master. I personally haven't even scratched the surface on everything there is to know and do. So let's figure this out together. I will be sharing all types of ways I've been able to get through it thus far--which isn't very far but I hope you'll join the dialogue. So comment or email me anything specifically you'd like to discuss or give advice on this matter. I know I'm not the only 20 something out there treading this rocky work force water. So HELP ME! THROW ME A FLOATY (and a beer) and let's figure this stuff out together!
20 SOMETHING DATING
I find myself at my laptop drinking a glass of wine pondering on the ever popular subject-- 20 something dating. I can't help but to think of Carrie Bradshaw, (from Sex and the City-- if you don't know who that is stop reading, log on to HBO to GO and BINGE MY FRIEND, BINGE) possibly having this same dating dilemma I'm pondering in my 20s.
20 somethings, why don't we [actually] date anymore? I have broken 20 somethings into two very distinct groups--those who are married or floaters. Let's go with the group at hand--the floaters, since those who are married figured it out or doing a damn good job of faking it. I define this group of 20 somethings as those that fall in between being single and committed at the same time. We can't call ourselves technically single because, let's be honest-- we probably all have that someone on reserve... You know, that one person you can text and they'll always answer to hang out or whatever... (insert emoji expression here). But all jokes aside, we've become the age of reattachable strings. We attach them when we want and cut them lose when we're done. Convenience is the name of the game. We're caught in this perpetual brief cycle of like, lust, linger and leave--I like to call this the "L" cycle. Sure, there's those that stay in one stage longer than others and sometimes it even looks like it'll turn into something "real," but no matter what these types of "relationships" always ends in ruin.
I'm not trying to put down my fellow 20 somethings, hell I'm guilty of partaking in the "L" cycle myself. But when did we become so comfortable with these types of relationships?! I don't know when, where or how but I do think it will take a conscience effort to break the cycle if you're looking for a real connection. Ladies, stop giving into these pathetic excuses for dates (his bed, his house, his bed...). And gentlemen, start taking ladies on REAL dates! They don't have to be expensive or over the top--but GET OUT OF THE BEDROOM-- watching Orange is the New Black while eating pizza DOES NOT COUNT. Grab Starbucks and sit in the park and TALK it'll probably cost like $10, tops, but you're building a connection other than a physical one.
Everyone has to STOP settling. Our 20s are meant for us to start figuring out who we are, what we like, how we like it and with whom we'll like it with, all the while building MEANINGFUL connections and relationships. The only way we're going to do that is if we invest in only those that inspire meaning in our lives. Life is short, don't get stuck in the "L" cycle just because it's easy and feels good. Find someone that you enjoy--be it their laugh, how passionate they talk about their dreams, how serious they are about politics, whether or not they love mountain biking or WHATEVER but connect on a deeper level. And if it doesn't work out--that's OKAY too!! Because at least the time you've spent with them added something meaningful to your life, because there's a blessing in every lesson. Don't waste a MOMENT. These 20s won't be around forever...
WHERE ARE THEY NOW?
Have you ever asked yourself, where are they now? I'm not talking about some child star or some guest on Oprah. I'm talking about all those "friends" of yours you once had. I was scrolling down my Instagram (IG) feed this morning--which I ceremoniously do every morning once I cut my alarm off, and I ran across some photos of old friends. I had friends from (2 different) high schools, friends from my freshman year of college and friends that didn't quite last after college. And all these self eliminations have left me with a handful of very close friends now, which is perfect with me! But I wondered, why didn't I remain really close to those initial bffs from high school?
It's because we simply grew apart. I know that may sound harsh or insensitive but it's true. Every step you take is a step towards your end-goal. Be it--wealth, a family or just being insanely happy and if these people aren't necessarily going in your same direction, then inevitably you will not remain close. Don't beat yourself up about it or feel like a crappy person. It happens. That's one thing I'm learning as I grow up--shit happens. You can't control it. If there's a time and space where you all can become close again--take it. Pick up where you left off and grab some Starbucks (or Fireball in my friends' case).
In my opinion, I don't think we need hundreds of friends. We need those close few that will keep our secrets, remind us about last night and text you to see if you're still breathing. Growing up shows us that we really need fewer and fewer people around to validate who we are because we're doing it for ourselves.
So cheers to friends-- past, present and future!
AM I NOT SUPPOSED TO BE THERE ALREADY?!
“You become what you believe.” –Oprah Winfrey
Indulge me for a moment.
I finally realized the question I've been asking myself for at least the past 6 months, "Wasn't I supposed to be somewhere by now?!" I don't mean at work, school or running late to an appointment. I mean married, having kids, working the job of my dreams, owning my own company or finished with schooling by now. At 24, am I not supposed to be there already?! That nagging question has been haunting me for months (let's be honest-- the past year) now as I see different friends reach these goals. Many of these friends are meeting the man of their dreams (where, I don't know!!), having precious babies and building my dream home. WHAT THE HELL?! Am I below average or something? Did I miss that class in college about where to find "the one?" How to buy a house under the age of 30 without going broke or how to land your dream job 101?! I MUST have been hungover or skipped that class because I scroll down my Facebook feed seeing all this happening to a few other 20 somethings and I'm still receiving texts from my friends about drunken nights downtown in Charleston. Don't get me wrong, I love those nights (less now than I used to), but there has to be something else, right? Shouldn't I be looking for something else? Shouldn't I have my shit together by now? I mean I'm pretty, smart and driven. Shouldn't the other stuff come easy?!
Guess what? I answered all of my own questions:
HELL NO! I AM EXACTLY where I'm supposed to be; dating, working whatever job pays the bills and smack dab in the middle of my economics course in grad school. Why do we pressure ourselves?! Why do we allow these great exceptions to ruin our dreams? Why do we stifle and shrink ourselves to fit a mold that simply wasn't created for us to even fit? WHY do we question our current earnings, relationship status, job position and overall worth?
My twenty-somethings, STOP feeling like you're in the slow group of the marathon! Just like running, we're all going at our own pace (and we should be!). Yeah, some folks started off sprinting--so what! Keep your pace; we'll all end up at the finish line eventually.
This is what this blog is all about. I've tried to go the trendy fashion/beauty blog path but it eliminated such a huge part of who I am, an actual writer. So it'll be a little of each part of me--but mainly the way I'm trying to navigate through life, my own way. I won't get it all right BUT I won't get it all wrong either. But no matter what-- it'll be here where I'll share it.
"It's never too late to start over. If you weren't happy yesterday, try something different today. Don't stay stuck, do better."
I hope this post finds you all well. I've been a little MIA here on the blog because LIFE has been happening, you know the usual—school work, friends coming in town for a little R&R and then getting over feeling kind of crappy lately. So here's where this Spiritual Sunday post comes from.
Like I said, I've been feeling a little crappy lately. Sucky stuff at work, my body isn't doing exactly what I want it to do and all around just feeling sucky! But guess what, it is MY decision to feel better. No matter what is going on, we all have the choice to turn things around for the better. When you're starting to feel like you're on the slippery slope to feeling sucky STOP IT! Don't allow yourself to go there.
Shit happens and life is hard and sometimes in your 20s you can feel like you can't ever make anything work, but you have to focus on the small things. Try focusing on the things that you can make right, even if they are small. I am going to name 3 things I can do right each time I do it—I can take a great selfie, cook any type of pasta dish and find the best deals when shopping. I know that may sound silly but when it seems like all else is going wrong you have to look to the SIMPLE things! And then change your state of being. Quick, silently name 3 things you can do well. Hold on to them and add to them everyday. It'll make you less prone to believing that you can't do anything right. And when you start to get to that place, where negativity dwells, STOP it. Change things up and try something different. See if that works and if it doesn’t try something else. Just keep trying! The choice of being happy lies within you! SO BE HAPPY *queue Pharell's Happy song*
Have a WONDERFUL week 20 somethings!!
Disclaimer: this post is unoriginal. Meaning, people (I mean REALLY smart people like sociologist, psychologist and neurologists) have all studied what I'm about to talk about. I like to call it The Gap. This is a preverbal line in the dirt we place between people like us and people like them. How we self-identify is directly related to who we surround ourselves with. I know we're all individuals but if you look at your family and close friends, I'm sure you all have many things in common: race, religion and socio-economic status. This is common. As humans we naturally group off, we form families, we form specific groups of friends and we group off for many different reasons.
What I wonder is why do we disassociate ourselves with others "outside of our groupings?" Okay, let's think about it. When is the last time you rode a bus (those in super large cities this may not apply)? Elementary school? Middle school? High School? College? Currently? Okay so now, quick, what do you think about when you're cruising by the public city bus stop? What do you think of these people? Do you assume they are automatically poor because they can't afford their own transportation? Do you even think of them at all? I work near the main hub of Charleston's public transportation station. I see all types of people but mainly I see those that perceive to be of a lower socio-economic status, they're not particularly dressed for a "day in the office" some look sick and others just look exhausted. The first time I ever drove to work I thought, oh my, these poor people. God bless them. I disassociated myself entirely from the people I saw. I mean, I own my own car, I work a steady job and I'm not living on the streets--so of course I'm not one of them.
Oh, but I am.
Because there's no way we can disassociate ourselves from anyone because we're all connected by our smiles and laughs. The way we love. The way we cry. The way we hurt. We all have the same fears and dreams but due to circumstances some are just not able to reach them. One tough, bad or unfortunate decision can be the catalyst that steers our lives for the worse. Right now, we've either avoided that situation or haven't been faced with it yet. Just one decision. One degree of separation is what can change the course of our lives. So I urge us all to stop drawing lines. Stop furthering the gap because we're not all that different.
In our 20s I think we're afforded the time, knowledge and space to grow into who we really want to become. We won't learn it all now but I do think this time is crucial. So cross that line and accept others. Because in accepting them you are also accepting yourself.
THE NOT ENOUGHS
As a 20 something, there are so many times I question my worth. I know, it’s something that we’re not supposed to say out loud but it’s true and it happens. I’m here to discuss the truth in my blog. And this is mine. My name is Brandis and sometimes (probably too many times) I feel like I’m not enough.
In most cases I am very confident in my ability and myself, but there are many of times where I feel like I’m just not good enough. I’m not smart enough, pretty enough, thin enough, funny enough or whatever. Just simply— not enough.
Will feeling like this ever end? Will these bouts of doubt ever go away? Will there EVER be a time in life where you don’t doubt yourself? My guess is no. I know, it isn’t very optimistic but just think, none of us are perfect and we’ll never become perfect. And most likely, as we get older we will start to doubt our worth in other facets—am I a good enough husband/wife, am I a good enough parent, am I a good enough boss… These situations can be even more pressure than what we’re going through now, so how will we cope with the not enoughs as life keeps progressing and becoming more complex?
Firstly, don’t allow anyone to make you feel like you’re not enough. The people you surround yourself with are very important. If someone (or plural, people) in your life isn’t adding to your happiness, why are they there? There’s enough decoration and glittery things in the world, don’t allow someone to simply be decoration in yours. Your own insecurities and doubts are ENOUGH, if there are people in your life that are perpetuating that doubt, why the HELL are they still in your LIFE?! My rule of thumb, if they’re not adding to your life— subtract their ass from it. So pull out your calculators 20 somethings, do not let negative people continue to dwell in your life.
But the biggest thing you can do for yourself when you feel the not enoughs coming on, is taking care of those doubtful feelings head on and with positivity. We’re enough. We’re enough because we are all made differently and for different reasons. We each have something very special within each of us that make us each ENOUGH. So no matter how you’re feeling or how you allow someone else to make you feel, remember you’re enough.
When you begin feeling the not enoughs, remember— we’re all ENOUGH.
AH HA! MOMENT MONDAY
This is a new series I'm introducing to The Secret Life of a 20 Something. I in-part stole this from Oprah (I don't think she'll mind!), but in part I've been documenting my Ah Ha moments through different facets in my life—my entire life. This blog, in a sense, is a major Ah Ha moment for me. I knew I needed a place or more so a release for all of the lessons I'm learning in life. These moments of clarity has brought me closer to becoming more centered, helped my relationships with others and my personal relationship with God. My mother said something the other day, "When I was younger I used to know that God was my own." I used to feel that exact way and I noticed as I get older I have forgotten that feeling. There I was right in the middle of an epic Ah Ha moment.
Recently, my mother and I had a talk about forgiveness. I'm sure she thinks I wasn't listening even when I don't agree with her right away I am still listening. I have had a very difficult time even talking to a particular person that I was very close with and still love, but because of a situation I thought they handled poorly I quit speaking to them. I kept making excuses as to why I wouldn't call them or why I didn't feel like I needed to waste my breath because they would never change their ways but guess what? Forgiveness is for yourself. Ah Ha! It's not for the other person. There is a piece of me that will never heal if I do not forgive and move on. So I am going to take the next step.
These moments have come in many different forms and from many different people throughout my life, and I believe that we all can learn from each other's Ah Ha moments. So I would love to hear your points of clarity. Or a major Ah Ha moment of yours. Comment below.
Every step I take to becoming a whole person (more on that later) is necessary to being the best 30, 40, 50 and beyond Something I can be. It starts now. I hope that you share your Ah Ha moments with me so we can create a community of learning growth.
SPIRITUAL SUNDAYS: LIVING LIFE
Very recently, a best friend of my mine lost her mother. She's 24 and it's not fair that she has to deal with this type of hurt. It's not right and my heart aches for her and her family.
Having thought about the what ifs, what if that was my mama, daddy, or siblings and I just start crying because I couldn't even fathom living life without them. This has promoted me to realize I need to take some action in my life. So, I'm calling everyone, especially us 20 somethings, out--LIVE LIFE WHILE WE HAVE IT!
Tell the people in your life that you love, you love them, you miss them, you need them or whatever you've been holding back. Because life is so fragile and at this age we tend to feel invincible and we are not. We won't always be so free, available or willing than we are now. So live your life now!
But we all know, that even if we do live life to the fullest, it still won't always be happy or joyous. People that you love will leave your life in many ways. But no matter what no one will ever really leave us because if they made an impact on our lives, we will carry a piece of their spirit in our hearts forever. Just remember there will be more good days than bad ones and those are the days we must cling to.
I say all this to say again, LIVE LIFE. Regret nothing and never hesitate to tell someone how you feel about them because you never know when the last time you'll get a chance to do so.
I want to tell every 20 something that read and support this blog, I appreciate you.
Rest in eternal peace Ms. Barbara you will be missed.
Have a wonderful week 20 somethings
AVOIDING THE VOID
I have been living in a state of sleep. I haven't been awake my entire life. I've dealt with the low blows of life with alcohol, unhealthy relationships, comfort food and buying accessories/shoes/clothes. But I'm no longer taking my sleeping pill. I'm becoming aware, awake and present from here on out. I've been avoiding the feeling of the void by remaining asleep.
Maybe I'm going all eat, pray, love... Whatever. I just know that the void in my life isn't from a lack of love, hunger, affection, materialistic items or anything else external. It's within myself. So, first step is first-- inside and outside revamping. I've added meditation and (consistent accountable) exercise to my daily routine. I'm taking it day by day.
Life is so fleeting. So fragile. The past is over and the future comes and goes in a blink of an eye. Now is all we have. So I'm deciding to live in the now, fully awake and fully realizing everything I can. Every ray of sunshine, every breath of fresh air, every moment. When I cry I'm going to really cry and not be ashamed. And when I laugh, I'm going to full-belly laugh. Because like I said, life is fleeting and I'm going to enjoy every moment.
Also, I apologize for the lack of posts. I've had friends in town, school work out the ass, became really sick (still recovering slowly) and then there was the lack of motivation. I felt like I didn't have much of substance to say. Maybe because of the void I was becoming to realize existing in my life. I don't know.
With all this being said, everything I decide to do in search of what's missing could be a load of shit. Or it could be the one missing piece to my puzzle. Either way I'll document my journey here. Let me know what you all are doing/have done to "fill the void."
Thanks for the support 20 somethings!
THE GOLDEN MOMENT
Okay, every other post won't be these deep proclamations of my life’s journey, but I do think this is a very important time to document—even if no one out there ever reads it, for me.
I really think that quiet time with yourself is essential to the success of finding your true self. Even if it is 15 minutes in the morning after you wake up or 15 minutes before bed—standing still and reflecting is important to the soul. I call it my Golden Moment. Clearing your brain, not going over lists, tasks that need to be completed or whatever else—you just sit and be. Just think of all the moments that are consumed with people talking, you talking, trying to find solutions or whatever. Now think of the moments you are just still, not sleep, but still and quiet. There's probably very few.
I try having a Golden Moment every day, whether it is in the morning a couple of minutes before the alarm goes off, sitting in my car before I drive off or sometimes I just stand outside in the sun (most of the time I am looking up at the sky—people who pass by probably think I'm strange). BUT grab a Golden Moment whenever you can! It is GREAT for the soul.
We are constantly "on," as a moving, shaking, groundbreaking 20 something so I know that even 5 minutes sometimes can be too long to just sit and be still, but we have to remember that we get ONE life. This life will not come around again—so treat yourself well first, take the time it needs to replenish and notice when your body is asking you to slow down.
There's ALWAYS going to be so much you can be doing, BUT you've got to take the time out to stabilize yourself. The Golden Moment is just one way I replenish. How do you recharge or replenish your soul? Where do you find solace? Tell me in the comments!
Have a wonderful work week 20 somethings!
THE 20 SOMETHING PROFESSIONAL: EMOTIONS IN THE WORKPLACE
This subject is something I've been debating if I even wanted to talk about. But I'm among friends here so why not!?
There's a CLEAR line between being passionate and being overly emotional in the workplace. Women too often get a bad rap for being emotional but if they're too passionate then they're a bitch. That story has been told before and is unoriginal and dated. I want to talk about how far is too far—how emotional is too emotional?
I think EVERY affective manager is emotional when it comes to their staff. I mean how can they not be? If you don't have an emotional connection with your staff how in the world can you truly invest in their well-being, development as an employee or their mobility within the company? The answers are you can't. You cannot make me believe that a true investment in your people can happen without an emotional connection. Emotions are vital to building bonds. But a true leader knows how to straddle the line between being connected and detached. There is a FINE line between being passionate and over emotional. If you're unable to take any type of criticism or unable to see the argument from both sides without becoming irrational or irate, chances are you're too emotional.
If you're in a situation where you feel like you won't be able to maintain control over your actions or your words—step back and ask to deal with the subject matter in a few minutes. Give yourself the time you need to regroup and reassess the situation. You're allowed the time to regroup if you're feeling like you're losing control over your emotions. As 20 somethings, we are most likely not directors, managers or major leaders in our fields so understanding now how to deal with your emotional reactions are key at this stage. We are building ourselves to be the best we can be and having a handle on our emotional responses is major. You do not want to be that asshole boss that no one likes—you can be as effective as can be but if you have no support or loyalty within your company it can be detrimental. So showing necessary emotions and dealing with situations with the proper emotional queues are very important.
Just remember, take a step back and regroup. You never want to say or email something you'll regret. Reputation is an important factor in how far we're able to climb to the top. Protect yours. We're all going to be emotional, we're human, but know how to check those emotions in every situation.
Have a great weekend 20 somethings! Be safe!
THE NEW CHECKBOX
So, I just turned 25. Hello mid-20s (which apparently I've been in since I turned 24... But ignorance is bliss, right?!). I am now a part of the 25-34 checkbox on forms! There are SO many things that I have learned these last 24 years that I realized I need to share. I did a brief run-down on my Instagram but I wanted to go a little further in detail on the blog. Because this blog is dedicated to learning and growing in my 20s I felt it was only right to give you the entire scoop on what I've learned.
So here's 25 life lessons I've personally learned, hope to master or will most likely never change:
1. My parents have turned into my best friends. They keep all of my secrets, they don't judge me and they are honest to a fault. I can be super honest when speaking to them and know that it will be met with love and the cold hard truth.
2. It is okay to have only a few REALLY close friends. These people, my people, have become family. Collectively they know my entire life and STILL love me. During some of the most difficult times in my life they were right there. Blood couldn't make us closer. No matter what at the end of the day I can count on those select few.
3. The roles have reversed with my younger brothers. They are crazy protective and they take care of me. It's strange and amazing at the same time. Sometimes I don't even realize how much they've grown up and how much they are teaching me!
4. Words can be fleeting but actions never lie. I used to make up excuses for people but I've learned to STOP doing that. I love the saying; show me better than what you can tell me.
5. I’ve learned it is okay that I don't know exactly where I want go in life!
6. Romantic relationships are TOUGH, especially during this time when I don't quite know where I'm heading in life. When you couple that with another 20 something in the same boat--it can get a little rocky. One thing I've learned from a particular relationship of mine; mean what you say and say what you mean. AND be upfront about what you want from the very beginning. Now I'm not saying I would start off by telling the other person I'm looking for someone to marry, have 2.5 kids and dog--but I do say that I'm not looking into getting into something serious because right now I'm finding out who I am and figuring out where I'm going. Basically I tell them I'm being selfish... This leads me to number 7…
7. BE SELFISH. Once you have a spouse, family, a mortgage or whatever you will not (or should not) be selfish. So here's the time! Take the time you need to figure it out, be silent or be loud. Take the time to date around and be up front about it. It's taken me a couple of years to be able to do this but I'm finally comfortable enough to tell guys when we begin "talking" what I’m looking for--it's not as hard as I thought it was. 9/10 times they too have the same mindset and just wasn't comfortable enough to tell me.
8. Good-byes are necessary. Sometimes you have to end things, be it a romantic relationship or other. Everyone isn't meant to stay in your life for forever. Just appreciate it for what it was and grow from the lessons you've learned.
9. Unhealthy habits die HARD. Get a hold on your unhealthy habits now. They turn into even unhealthier ones later. That could be literal and emotional bad habits. I still have a few to work on but I've kicked a bunch to the curb!
10. Learning who I am is a work in progress. I don't always get it right. BUT I don't always get it wrong either. All I can do is live my truth, say how I feel and go from there. If you're honest about whoever you are you'll never be worried about who doesn't like it--because you do.
11. I hope to master the art of balance. I tend to take on too much--and end up exhausting myself in the end.
12. I hope to better understand that 10/10 times people are going to let me down. And that's okay because no one is perfect and somewhere along the lines I've let them down before, but the idea that we all keep going is what I have to keep in mind.
13. I hope to better understand men. (That's another post within itself.)
14. I hope to stop rushing my life when it comes to reaching certain achievements and goals. It'll all happen in due time. I can't tell myself that enough.
15. I hope to stop being so hard on myself. I know that I'm my biggest critic. I usually know exactly when and how I've messed up and then begin to beat myself up about it. I really have to work on that--it's not healthy for my self-confidence or esteem.
16. I will never stop being fiercely loyal. No matter what--once I've let you in that's that. It's a gift and curse. Because often times I expect the same. (See number 12).
17. I will never stop loving REALLY hard. It's really hard to get past my initial threshold but again, once I've let you in and I love you--I love you for life (to some degree at least).
18. I will always have a "hot head." As hard as I love, I can get equally upset.
19. This one is an 'I hope I can fix but it hasn't happened yet so I don't know if it will' (at least for some people), once you hurt me--I'm done. I've gotten better with this due to perspective but there are some people I still haven't really forgiven. I know I'm working on it!
20. I hope I stop thinking I can "fix" someone. Like I said, I take on a lot--one thing is helping others fix their lives or situations. I internalize how they are feeling and it brings a lot of stress in my life. I have to stop doing this.
21. I hope to use my God given talents to better the world. I don't know if this is a lesson, but I do know that it's something I seriously am working towards.
22. I hope to continue writing and hopefully sharing parts of my life so it may help others.
23. I hope to continue to lean on God and know that none of these Earthly battles are my own.
24. I hope to master believing in myself 100%. I used to but life has kind of bruised my faith in myself, so I hope to learn this again.
25. I want to just be an all-around better person. I want to ultimately do what I was put on this Earth to do (don't exactly know what that is yet). I don't want to waste a moment worrying about what could have been because if it should have been, it would have been.
Okay, I KNOW this was SUPER LONG but it was cathartic for me. I like to take inventory on what I'm accomplishing emotional and this blog has allowed me to do so. I started The Secret Life of a 20 Something for this purpose.
Share in the comments below some life lessons you've learned thus far--you never know who it could help.