Archived Blog Posts (2015)
So a lot of what I talk about on The Secret Life has to do with where we're going in life, preparing for success and realizing our own potential then doing something with it. But what I don't say, I guess what I think should be understood, is this idea of having faith in your path.
Having faith in your abilities is great. Having faith that you will get it all done successfully is great. But having faith in your path or your journey is much harder. You can believe with everything you have that your skills or abilities are outstanding but you're hitting every road block and being told no more than you're being told yes—don’t allow that to stifle your faith in your actual journey. You can believe that one day you'll reach all of your goals and dreams but at every obstacle in the road you're questioning the path you're on. That's when having faith in your actual journey comes in to play.
Everything you are doing right now moves you on your path. It either moves you forward (which we all want), backward or side-ways. And a lot of the time if we're not moving forward we believe something must be wrong with what or how we're doing it. Instead of trusting our path we begin losing faith. But think about it like this—if you're doing something, anything, towards reaching your goals and you're moving any which way at least you're MOVING. The only people that should be worried are those that are NOT MOVING AT ALL.
You just have to remember that no matter what if you're working towards a goal wholeheartedly with full faith in your journey (all be it your triumphs and obstacles) you will reach success. It may not be exactly how you planned, hell it may not even be the exact end goal you meant to reach but you'll end up among your dreams.
Don't start questioning yourself now. Keep working, keep moving and keep the faith. Like I said in my very first post—we all run the race at our own pace [and on our own paths] but we'll all end up at the finish line. Trust that!
So get out there and keep it moving 20 Somethings!
JUST DO IT!
So I must practice what I preach. I'm always telling people in my life to 'go for it!' 'Take the big risk, gain the bigger reward.' And my famous one, 'you can never fail because we learn from everything. So start now!' BUT when it came to one aspect in my life, starting my YouTube channel, doubt kept whispering in my ear that I couldn’t do it.
This may seem like something trivial—to start a YouTube channel, to some folks but it's actually a big deal to me. Ever since I started really wanting to learn about makeup I went to YouTube to learn. Sure I checked out books, read articles, followed the careers of several artists BUT my main teachers came from YouTube. About 5-7 years ago the whole world went through this shift where bloggers became the new age reports, journalist, product reviewers, producers, directors, editors and stars in their own right on their YouTube channel. So about 5 years ago I wanted to start a channel but thought I didn't have the chops. I didn't have the equipment. I was in college and didn't have time. I didn't know what I was doing. I didn't have the following. I JUST DIDN'T! I let myself go FIVE years NOT believing in my ability to create something that the world would want. How could I ever tell others that what they want to show and share with the world mattered if I didn't truly believe what I have to share with the world mattered?! Simply, I couldn't.
So recently, I jumped. I bought filming lights, I’m purchasing a new laptop soon (one to better edit up to date videos--my old Macbook Pro is boarderline dead) and saving for a Canon T3i that I hope to purchase in a month—but I'll start filming on the webcam as soon as I can. Do I think I have everything needed to make the best most perfect videos ever? Not yet. Do I think they'll be folks that wonder why I even film? I'm sure. Do I look like all of the most popular beauty gurus out there? Hell no! But do I whole-heartedly believe in my dream? Yes. Do I think there are folks that look like me that wish they had someone to create these videos? Yes. Am I going to want to give up or get sad from rude and mean comments? Most likely. BUT what I won't do is stop. I know there's a 19 year old girl out there that likes makeup, has tried to wear it before but didn't quite get it right and needs help—I’ve been that girl before. Is make up going to change the world? Most likely not. But will it give someone a little confidence. So that's what I'm doing it for—I’m doing it for that moment. For that person. I hope to spread my mantra of self-love over everything, skin care tips and mishaps I’ve had, makeup tips for the average person and who knows what else. Most importantly, I’m STARTING!
Everyone has something of themselves to give to the world. Be it makeup, rapping, styling hair or clothes, creating jewelry, poetry, short films—whatever it is it isn't insignificant. Never let anyone tell you your talent shouldn’t be shared with the world. You can help someone. And if you only ever help ONE person I do believe you've done your part
FIRST COMES LOVE-ING YOURSELF
It is tough being in a relationship in your 20s. I think we're hard-wired to think that the "right" or "natural" next step after graduation is to fall in love, get married and have children. And I guess somewhere in all of that we're supposed to start our dream life-long career, successfully. PUH-LEASEEE! I don't know who wrote those rules but I call BS.
Hell it's hard enough for me to get out of bed when my alarm goes off (the first time) and find something appropriate to wear to work (that isn't wrinkled or that I didn't wear last week). Let alone be in a healthily functioning relationship. Now that's not to say that there aren't fully functioning healthy 20 something relationships (shout out to Sejal and Jermaine on their engagement!), but I do say they are few and far in between. I applaud those that are brave enough to say 'hey, I know I still have a lot of growing to do BUT I'm willing to grow with you and work on this relationship together.' That takes a LOT of balls. And a lot of love. When I think about these relationships and how evolved and involved each person has to be I ask myself is it really possible? Am I the only one with that question?! Have I become cynical? I'm not scared of a grown up healthy relationship in my 20s I just think they don't come around as often as I would like them to. Don't get me wrong I've had some pretty okay relationships, interests and whatevers. BUT I guess the question I ask myself often is—is it me?
The answer I usually come up with is ‘no it's not entirely me.’ Meaning, relationships are very much a 100/100 give and take. (I don't say 50/50 because I never understood why in the hell would I give you half of what I can give??)
What I have learned through some trial and error is what I do and do not want in a partner—be it long term or even someone I'm just dating. Here are a few examples of what I mean (mind you, this has taken some serious soul searching and finding out what I am doing wrong too—an unhealthy, unsuccessful relationship is NEVER one-sided. Each person contributes to the dysfunction in some capacity).
I've learned that I deserve to be loved. This is tough for a lot of people—men and women. A lot of times we can block the love someone is trying to show and give us because we're hurt or scared.
Another thing I've learned is that I deserve the love that I give. Disclaimer: I am apprehensive about trusting someone with my secrets, feelings, love—basically anything emotional. So when I do love I love HARD. I sometimes give so much of myself that there's none left for me. That's a ME problem (really nice to figure this out now). So when I tell you I love you, be it any type of relationship, I mean it. Like to a fault. And I've learned that I deserve love and loyalty like that. Feeling unappreciated is a relationship killer.
One last thing I want to share that I've learned, and this one quite possibly is the MOST important one: learn to love yourself first. You cannot and will not be successful in a relationship if you don't nurture the relationship between your heart, mind and soul. A successful relationship with another just won't be right until you love yourself and accept yourself for who you are flaws and all.
So many people rush into something because they're lonely, it's the right thing to do, feeling pressured or using the other person as a crutch. I get it. I've done it. I've stayed in things that were not particularly beneficial to me because of some of those same reasons. It's okay. It happens. That's what growing and learning about you is all about. BUT once you've realized this pattern step back and reevaluate what's really going on and what you really want out of a relationship. It's not easy and I'm still right there with you learning and growing. Each relationship will teach us more and more about what we like and don't like. So don't beat up on yourself for getting it not so perfect the first time around—it’ll all pan out.
Happy Valentine’s Day 20 Somethings! Don’t forget to spread the love! Hold the door open for someone, smile at the lady on the bus, treat your siblings to some ice cream, tell your best friends you love them, call your mom and dad and tell yourself you are enough!
WHERE THE HELL HAVE I BEEN?
So I've been MIA for 2 MONTHS! My intentions were to take off during the month of December—you know to do the whole family thing but then so much happened in January that I honestly couldn't find the right words to say.
I like to post with intentions. Why say something if all you're doing is just filling the air?! No point, if you ask me. I also wanted to deal with family things, personally, I didn't feel a need to share that so I kept quiet. I celebrated the holidays, brought in the New Year renewed and optimistic (despite the flu) and I mourned the loss of an amazing man; my uncle Zeke who passed at the beginning of this year. I lived life outside limitations of social media. I didn't post often on Instagram or Facebook and I didn't blog. I seriously wanted to just live the life I was living (good and bad) in the moment.
Now this doesn't mean I wasn't thinking about my little slice of cyber space! I just knew that I had to be completely on board mentally to bring something that would benefit everyone. There's enough junk out there that fills up our time and space—I never want the secret life to be that. I want to encourage, empower, move, evoke emotion, evoke action and make noise on this blog. I want the world of 20 somethings to look to this blog (if not now, eventually) as a place to go to and find solace in knowing that they are not alone in this fight towards growth. Life is all about the relationships you build and they start now.
Trust me, I haven’t abandoned my post. I'm still here!
Here’s what to look forward to this coming year on The Secret Life of a 20 Something:
More 20 Something Professional posts,
MORE Beauty, Food and Fashion posts,
Introducing the Charmingly Charleston page (more on that later)
& of course more of life’s little blunders that I love to share.
With this new year reaching nearly a quarter over (!!!), I hope that it's starting exactly the way you want it to. BUT guess what?! If it hasn't you still have SO MUCH time to change your trajectory.
Also, I want to dedicate this post to Uncle Zeke. He was an amazing man that left HUGE shoes to fill. He paved the way for so many people in our hometown community (their words, not just mine). He believed in giving back and never asking for a thing in return. He lived a full life with God at the center. I look to his life's work whenever I think my dreams are too big. His bravery is unmatched in a time when people like him couldn't or shouldn't make waves. He has taught and is teaching me so much about myself and what I believe I can accomplish. There's never a task too big that you can't complete without faith in God, faith in yourself and hard work. Thank you, Uncle Zeke for embodying that mantra.
I leave you all with many blessings.
I haven't done a Spiritual Sunday post in a while but that doesn't mean that I haven't been steadily dealing with things and truly leaning on God for constant support.
I talk a lot about having faith in myself on the blog and urge you all to do the same--but I would be remiss to not inform you that the entire reason I have faith in myself is because of my faith in God. Now, I'm not here to impose my beliefs, because I think everyone has to have their own personal journey spiritually--but I am here to tell you about my own personal experiences.
My faith is truly the only thing that has gotten me through some pretty rough and dark times in my early twenties. Everyone has a journey and a story--and mine is still evolving, but I can truly say I am a much better person because of my true and full faith in God and His power. Through every obstacle, over every hurdle God has been there and brought me through it all. There were so many times I didn't think that I could get out of my own head and start to become the person I want to become and God was right there with affirmations that I was on the right path. Even when I didn't "see" where I was going--He kept me on my way.
So for this Spiritual Sunday post, I urge you to seek spiritual guidance. You may not believe in my God, but I urge you to find something bigger, positive and more powerful than yourself. Because no matter how much success we may have or how much money we make-- anything rooted in material possessions can not be taken with us when we leave this Earth. It is imperative that we learn that now.
Have a blessed, productive and lovely work week 20 Somethings!
I'm a huge proponent of growth--growth mentally, emotionally and career wise. But I often grapple with the thinly veiled difference between growth and change. Growth is good. Change is good. I'm not saying either is bad. I'm saying that they are different.
Often times in our 20s we internally battle with growing up--I mean we're done (or almost done) with college, we have big kid jobs and we are becoming the men and women that shape society. So shouldn't we relish in the idea of finally "growing up?" The short answer, yes. But, in the case of change who are we changing for? If the answer is ourselves--good! If not... well let’s talk about this.
These 20s are tough. We want to become the human our parents hoped to raise, the ideal candidate for someone to love, the charismatic one, the funny one--I mean basically we just want to be all around good people. That's fair. I want that too. But I don't want that if I have to compromise my true self in any way. It's okay to evolve as life throws lessons your way but to outright change who you are at your core to make anyone but yourself happy is destructive.
As all these voices in her head are whispering (or yelling) be great, be successful, be charming, be sexy, be funny, be smart, be loud, don't be loud, be proud, be humble, be strong, be compassionate, be ... It is hard to drown out all of that noise and truly follow your own path. But I urge you to try!
Don't ever fracture yourself to piece together someone else's image of you. Change is good. Just always make sure you're changing for yourself.
Have a wonderful Thursday, 20 Somethings!
THE 20 SOMETHING PROFESSIONAL: DATING IN THE OFFICE
So are we even allowed to talk about this? Or is there like some secret rule that is understood and not uttered? Well I want to talk about it so lets do it! (Don’t you love a good play on words? :))
Dating in the office... Is it okay? Well, I don't have the answer but I have a little insider secret. Do it--responsibly. Ugh, guess that's a two-fer for today, haha. But seriously, I never say never about anything. I just say don't recklessly jump into anything.
Pros: This could be a great experience with a person--not to matter that you work with them, they are still a person and if your heart is telling you to take the leap do it! If it's not against company policy or illegal (DUH!) it could be a nice little secret "game to play."
Con: You may have to be secretive just for the sake of keeping co-workers out of your business. If you break up while you both are still working in the same place, you HAVE to look at and work with that person until one of you quit. (AND IT'S HARD!) You have to keep it professional at ALL times--arguments CAN NOT carry over into the workplace.
I dated someone I worked with a couple years back--we were young, in love and managers for different but overlapping groups. Well when we broke up, we had to keep working with each other making decisions and have meetings together like normal because the work still needed to get done. But there were plenty of times I wanted to reach across the table and slap the shit out of him because I was hurt, angry and sad. (PS I don't condone violence of ANY kind from ANYONE) But I didn't. It was HARD I cried plenty of times in closets, bathrooms and my car but the work had to get done so we worked it out. BUT would I ever do it again? Ugh, I never say never--but I do know that I would seriously take a step back and weigh all the pros and cons.
As 20 Somethings, we have to be careful mixing business and pleasure because we are trying to climb that proverbially career ladder. But we also have to live (hey, I'm a hopeless romantic!)--just make sure you make a thought out responsible decision and take it day by day. If it doesn't work out you can always change your hair color, Kim K style, and move to Boca Raton.
Have a great rest of your week 20 Somethings!
So as I write this I'm pretty sure my brain is attempting to multi-task and prioritize the 1 million and one things I need to get done… like right now!
I feel like I'm on this hamster wheel that just keeps spinning, I'm busting my ass, but I'm not getting ANYWHERE! Do you feel like this sometimes? Do you feel like despite all of your efforts you're unable to really feel accomplished? Does your list of goals seem to keep piling up—building up to this mountain of tasks that no longer seem manageable? Do you feel overwhelmed? Tired? On the brink of just giving up, joining a commune and living off the land?
WELL DON'T! Everything will get done. (I will whisper this to myself too.) Stop panicking. The work, the tasks, your goals will all be accomplished in due time.
Take a second, prioritize your "list," be it on paper or mentally and go from there. Knock off what you can when you can. Don't add anything to your list until your list is finished. But be sure to prioritize with realistic timelines. I plan on "taking over the world" one day but I know that my laundry needs to be done first. And I also know that my list will NEVER be complete if I put them both on the SAME list. Make several lists. Things that need to be accomplished today, this week, this month or 6 months from now. No matter your timeline, SLOW DOWN for a second and evaluate the entire situation before you run off and become a nomad. No disrespect to the nomads out there—I'm sure the life is a noble one but I'm sure it's not for everyone! Just like this “go-getter” “grinding” life isn’t either!
Also, when you feel yourself becoming overwhelmed with the list of things that aren't accomplished, remind yourself of some things you have accomplished. A little pat on the back (emphasis on little because there's a fine line between humble and asshole) goes a long way and helps gain some perspective!
Okay now back to the rat race... We've got a world to take over 20 somethings!
ITTY BITTY BOMBS
I'm twenty freaking five and I live at home. BOMB dropped. I'm twenty freaking five and I'm single. BOMB dropped. I'm twenty freaking five and I am not waking up to my dream job everyday. BOMB dropped. I'm twenty freaking five and I still have drunken nights that I can't remember. BOMB dropped. I'm twenty freaking five and I don't know if I'm even making a dent in this world. BOMB dropped.
These itty bitty bombs get dropped everyday. Everyday I question some aspect of my being. Everyday I wonder if I said that right, if I hurt that person's feelings, if my shirt was too tight and you can see my love handles, if I drank too much and was too honest to that one guy or if I'm appreciative enough to the people in my life that give a damn. Every. DAMN. Day. I sprinkle these itty bitty bombs through the hemispheres of my brain and drop them down like Hiroshima. I am constantly at war with myself. I am constantly critiquing and judging myself. These itty bitt bombs pile up and I drop them over all of my good qualities. I'm cute and smart--but I'm not skinny (itty bitty bomb). I'm hard working and tenacious--but I'm not one of those 20 something millionaires we read about (itty bitty bomb). I'm loving and nurturing--but I am single (itty bitty bomb). I negate all of these awesome qualities with my itty bitty bombs, that I only seem to believe truly exist in all of my friends and Victoria Secret Models.
Why? Why do I bomb myself? Why do I let doubt creep into my mind causing self-esteem suicide? Why? I don't know why. (If you've figured this out please let me know) But I have figured out that it's a) not safe to carry around these itty bitty bombs b) you're only going to keep hurting yourself if you do. It's just not healthy. We all have sucky qualities about ourselves BUT we have even more good ones! Focus on the good and work towards either changing or accepting the bad ones. No one is perfect. NOT ONE PERSON. And expecting perfection from yourself is majorly unhealthy because it's just not achievable. So work with whatever you have and stop dropping bombs on yourself. (Try not to throw any either--we all have our own shit we're dealing with we don't need someone attacking us!).
Have a great work week 20 Somethings and remember, make peace not war--with yourself!
SPIRITUAL SUNDAY: WHAT IS (ACTUALLY) FOR ME?
Well the weekend is coming to an end so that means a little reflection time is in order. For some that's church, meditation, prayer, devotion, a long run to clear your head or spending time with family. However you reevaluate your life Sundays are perfect--it just helps you reset and recharge for the new week ahead. Everything that has happened thus far is behind you and there's only new opportunity ahead. So with this Spiritual Sunday post, I just want to reflect on something I've said before in a little more detail, "What is for you is for you--no one can effect you receiving your blessings. You will ALWAYS receive what is FOR YOU!"
What I'm not saying when I say this is that it is perfectly okay for you to question that journey, to question what is actually for me? I question it. Honestly, that's what I meditate on often. It's not the questioning of this part of your journey that is negative, it's the fact that you must believe at the end of the day whether you figure it out or not, YOU will receive EXACTLY what is for YOU. I promise you this. If you maintain a steady work ethic towards whatever goal you're wanting to achieve or whatever milestone you want to reach you will receive the EXACT outcome you're SUPPOSED to receive.
I never planned on moving home after college. I thought some magic fairy would drop my dream job in my lap, I'd move to this cool hip city, fall in love and get married, make enough money to live comfortably while traveling and eventually growing a family. Guess what? I moved home, found a job that isn't at all what I thought I'd ever do, I make enough money to live pretty okay and I'm no where near my image of successful. BUT you know what? I'm so very happy. I'm utterly and completely happy with my life. Just about everything, no, nothing is what I pictured but it's better. Because with this life that I am living I've found joy, peace and happiness in the truest form within myself. No where in my initial equation did I ever think--I needed to find myself and be happy. I needed to grow closer to my family as an adult rather than as an adolescent like when I left for college. That I needed to truly weed out my friendships to those that are true and honest on all fronts. That I needed to learn about finances and ACTUALLY stick to a budget. That I needed to stop taking everything so personally. I learned all of these things in less than 3 years. These lessons learned far outweigh my initial plan. It was MEANT for me to learn these lessons now.
I received these lessons because I was supposed to in this time in this place. This was ACTUALLY for ME. So when you allow for life to guide you on YOUR path and you keep a positive faithful attitude, I'm telling you, YOU will receive EXACTLY what is for you.
Try seeing the positivity and lesson learned in every situation this coming week. I'm telling you with this outlook you will find that nothing brings you down or dampens your dreams. It will ALL work out in the end because, "What is for you is for you--no one can effect you receiving your blessings. You will ALWAYS receive what is exactly FOR YOU!"
Have an awesome week 20 Somethings.
So I'm taking the blog to the next level. I'm adding a membership portion of the website. This will be for the 20 somethings that frequent the blog that like to interact, comment or add their opinion to the mix. It will be a membership only page--where you have to SIGN UP for it! I promise it only takes 30 seconds. Once you've registered you'll be a part of The Secret Life community. You'll be able to add to blog discussions, reply to other 20 somethings that are responding and truly be involved in a community of likeminded 20 Somethings. PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE register on the site. When you click on the new tab labeled "The Secret" it will prompt you to log in or register. That will bring you to a landing page. After that, you simply click enter and the first discussion is available. From there we'll iron out topics of discussion for the future and other things.
Thank you so much to everyone that has supported me thus far and who continue to support me! I truly want to create an environment that others feel safe to express themselves, maturely and openly about things that are going on in our 20 something life!
THE EX ZONE: WHY CAN'T WE BE FRIENDS?!
So, I think I should stop blogging questions I definitely don't know the answer to (but I really won't)--but I have to ask, is it possible to just be friends with your ex?
This is the major question I'm sure everyone thinks about. Life in the after-relationship is (most of the time) very gray. Do you all of a sudden stop talking to this person you've built a friendship with, made them apart of your family, depended upon in some capacity etc... A lot of the time the after-relationship is dog eat dog. You're just trying to self preserve. You just want to make it daily without thinking of that person every moment and wonder where it all went wrong--that's if you're the one that was broken up with. If you're the one doing the breaking, you're just trying to search for the thing that was lacking in your previous relationship (be it freedom or another partner--I'm being VERY general there's a multitude of reasons why someone decides to break up a relationship). But regardless, each person is simply trying to move forward. So wouldn't attempting to be with your ex in the after-realtionship counterproductive? I don't know...
But here's some thoughts I've received from a few close friends:
"[If it is a] cordial relationship, yes."
"I think so, they know you better than most [other] people [and if] it was serious... [they] typically want to see you do well."
"No... especially if you really liked/loved the person."
"Nope... but it is possible."
"If y'all have a platonic relationship you still have feelings/are fucking. [So no.]"
It's funny how polarizing some of these responses can be. But as you can see, mostly, the answer is NOT black and white. I think the best thing to do is whatever is best just for you. But you can't be your ex-partner's "person" in the after-relationship AND also heal to move on at the same time. If you could be, then you both would never have broken up in the first place. Right?
So here's what I think. You can be friends with an ex, in time. I believe that no matter how the after-relationship came about, you have to take care of your feelings first. No matter if you're the breaker or the break-y. Take care of your feelings first. This may take years before you're ready to be friends. And honestly, you may look at your ex and wonder, why would you even want to pursue a friendship anyway? Perspective is everything. But you may also look at them and actually simply miss the friendship--with no sexual strings attached. That's the true goal.
The biggest mishap you may have is trying to be friends to soon in the after-relationship. You get muddled emotions and it's tough to separate the intimate feelings you once had for one another with the physical ones. No matter what, both partners have to have moved on, emotionally, for a genuine friendship to form. BUT it takes TIME. Like everything worth having it TAKES TIME! Repeat after me, "Being friends with my ex will take TIME, and I will know in my heart of hearts when the right time has come. I will not force a friendship just to be back in their lives. I will not have sex with them just to have temporary intimacy. I will let my heart and my mind heal in its own time." And if you find yourself in the middle of a situationship with your ex, it's okay. It happens to the best of us, be honest with yourself (and your ex-partner) and start the healing process over again. Or you may find yourself in something unhealthier than your relationship together. That's the glorious part about growing up there's no age limit on it. Sure it's great to learn this shit early but if not, start now.
I think I'll keep writing about "The Ex Zone." I have some good insight from my friends and of course my own experiences. This 20 something life is very interesting...
Sleep tight 20 Somethings, tomorrow is a new day to be GREAT!
What is your happiness tied to? What anchors your happiness?
I'd like to think mine is tied to intangible things, like love, faith and peace. But sometimes I don't know, sometimes I feel like it's tied to accomplishments or goals I'm trying to reach. Or physical things like looks and weight. But it's not good for me to attach my happiness to these things because when these accomplishments aren't met or weight fluctuates or I fail at something— what does it do to your happiness? It destroys it. It shatters your self-esteem and it causes serious self-doubt.
So for today, (I want to take it day by day) I am attaching my happiness to something else. I'm going to attach it to love. Real unconditional love. Not perfect love—because no one and nothing is perfect. Whether that love is coming from a significant other, your parents, siblings, your best friends, your co-workers or whomever. Attach your happiness to that. Anchor your happiness to what is real in this world.
In a world full of hate, chaos and death let love be what we anchor your happiness to. Let love be your true tie to your bonds. Be genuine. Be unconditional. Be happy.
Have a wonderful work week 20 Somethings! I truly love you all so much for the support and feedback!!
I would like to dedicate this blog to the 9 victims in Charleston, SC at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church. God bless their families. They've chosen to anchor their happiness to love and forgiveness. We can all take a page out of their book.
MAYBE WE SHOULD JUST DO IT.
I was having a conversation with a sorority sister of mine a couple of weeks ago and it stayed with me...
We were talking about all of these things we want to do in life and then she asked a very simple yet poignet question, "I wonder if other women our age have the same or similar desires as we do? Some days I feel like it's just wishful thinking and other days I feel like they're just around the corner." Well I know other women in their 20s have to dream about similar things--decorating their own homes, have loving partners, fulfilling careers, traveling and growing a family but like she also said, "some days... it's just [seems like] wishful thinking." But is it?
Somedays I think maybe all of these dreams and goals that I have are just kid's stuff. Maybe it's child's play or just that a DREAM. How can I possibly make all of this happen? How can I find the capital, the resources, the network, the drive, motivation, organization or hours in the day? When all of this begins to pile up it is overwhelming. Everything you planned or hoped to accomplish seems impossible. It seems scary. It seems like "wishful thinking."
But then you have conversations with the people that know you, that care about you, that motivate you and you realize--maybe you should just do it. Yeah. Just maybe we should just do it. Just take the leap of faith. Run after your dreams until you catch them. Stop being scared of the what if's and the no's. Stop talking yourself out of investing in yourself because it may fail. Just go for it!
Sure there's steps in between trying, doing and accomplishing. Plan it out and do it. Be smart but don't be scared. I'm sure every person that is successful today grappled with the same fears and insecurities we face as 20 somethings trying to make our own way in this world. But the difference between those that make it happen and become successful with those that are still talking about how they want to be successful-- is their will to just do it! So I say to you 20 somethings STOP over thinking. TAKE THE FIRST STEPS--JUST DO IT! (I'm going to jump right with you!) It doesn't matter if you "fail" 100 times, that's 100,000 different lessons you've learned to make the 101 chance a knock out HIT!
6 THINGS I KNOW I'M DOING WRONG
7/25/2015 0 Comments
I'm a list-er. I honestly love making list and there's nothing that gives me more satisfaction than making lists and checking off items I've accomplished.
The worst thing about that is if I don't complete these items on my list in a certain time frame I become depressed and feel down about myself, which in turn minimalizes all of the things I have accomplished. Being negative towards yourself is the WORST thing you can do to yourself. It's a horrible cycle that you have to break now. I'm working on it daily. So in this post I'm going to list 6 things I KNOW for a fact that I'm doing wrong--towards myself.
1. Not getting enough sleep. I seriously am horrible about this. It's not healthy and it's not safe over long periods of time. For us 20 Somethings it's recommended to get about 7-9 hours of sleep per night. I know CRAZY talk, right?! Try to unwind before bed and an hour before you're ready to sleep put the phone and all electronics down. Read or meditate before and you should fall into sleep.
2. Not eating well or enough. I skip breakfast a LOT. I don't always eat what I should and I drink a lot. It's not doing my body any justice! I've taken small steps into working towards that: I wake up 20 minutes earlier to fix and eat breakfast before I leave, I pack my lunch for work (healthy options only!), a snack on green smoothies and nuts at work when I'm hungry still and I (try) to eat dinner before 7pm. Its small steps that are building up towards my goal. All you can do is START and TRY!
3. Not being active enough. My schedule SUCKS! But so does everyone else's! I'm joining a gym RIGHT near my home for $10 a month (hello, I spend more at Starbucks) and I'm making myself go at least 3 times a week. It's a start. A start in the right direction!
4. Not getting enough alone time. My days are filled with talking and working with people. I currently live at home so I go home to a house of people. I have to learn to take some time to myself. Be in my quiet place. Meditate. I'm working on it!
5. Doubting my abilities. Before I even try sometimes I begin doubting I can even do it. The brain is a powerful tool. If you tell it—it can do it, most likely you'll try until you do. Once you say you can't, there's switch that turns on and settles if you don't--because you already said you can't. I need to STOP DOING THAT! Be it applying for new jobs, running that extra minute or putting myself out there for this blog--I have to stop doubting my abilities. It's not healthy.
6. Being negative when one thing goes wrong. I am an all or nothing type of girl. If ONE thing goes bad I completely think that everything is bad. I discount almost all of the good. I've been working on this for a couple of years by remaining positive in 'bad' situations and reminding myself of the good I've accomplished. It helps. It settles that voice inside your head that's ready to tell you—you suck.
There's more. Lots more of the things I do wrong towards myself but one thing I'm working on is not being so negative—so before I become too self-deprecating, I'll stop at 6 and work on those 6 before I choose to voice anymore. Baby steps. Think about the things that you are doing wrong to YOURSELF. Think about the fixes. Be realistic. And start working on them today. Until you are a healthy, happy and positive you—you will never be able to tap into the BEST parts of yourself.
Have a great one 20 Somethings!
20 SOMETHING DATING: IS LOVE EVER ENOUGH
7/21/2015 2 Comments
I've been having several conversations in the last couple of months with other 20 Somethings about love, relationships and reality. I am a romantic, naturally. But I am hard wired to be realistic. Oxymoron? I don't know. (But that's not the point of this blog.)
In a world where 20 Somethings are shown that becoming a millionaire before 30 is totally doable and realistic, owning your own home before 30 is imperative and having your dream job all planned out until retirement (that's a joke--the word retirement will not be in our vocabularies!) is a must no later than the moment you walk across the stage--when are we to figure out love? And with all of these logistics, how is something as subjective as love even fit in? And when it fits in to the grand scheme of things (money, careers, etc...) how can it compare when it has nothing to do with science, facts and numbers and everything to do with emotions? And even if and when you figure all of that out--is love enough? When you're broken and beaten by the world, your career is slipping from your grasp, your investments are all plummeted--is love going to be enough to sustain you?
When you're so ambitious and have worked so hard at building the life you've always imagined and it doesn't happen like you want it to, can love be enough? Should it be enough? Will it be enough?
At the end of the day, is love going to be enough?
I don't know the definitive answer. I know how I feel now though. I know that my life will not feel whole if I'm not successful in my career (whatever that is), if I haven't made some sort of dent in helping the less fortunate AND if I don't have a family of my own (love). So my answer right now--just love won't be enough. I don't know if that's acceptable, normal or "okay" to say but that's my truth. So for me, at the end of the day love can't be my entire existence. A relationship or just a family cannot make me whole. And I'm okay, as a woman, to admit that. And I think it's okay for anyone to admit that.
I know that if I don't reach certain goals for just myself--I cannot be the best partner, mother or whatever. Everything will suffer. So for me, love isn't enough.
I say all of this to say, don't put so much stake in 'finding' a person. Find yourself first. Know what you need to accomplish first. That person will find you when you're supposed to be found. When you're almost whole and missing just a few pieces, they'll be right there. And with them and all the other pieces, YOU will be enough. You will be exactly what you're supposed to be.
Your ideals may not match up with mine--a family may be all you want. And I say to that, perfect. The world needs us all. You may not even want to ever get married--okay, the world needs you too!! I'm saying go towards finding your purpose and never settle for bits and pieces of what makes you whole. Go for it ALL you deserve it ALL (whatever all is to YOU) just don't rush it!!
Have a great one 20 Somethings
THE EX ZONE: ARE FRIENDS OFF LIMIT?
7/14/2015 4 Comments
So I know I may get a little flack about this one... And just maybe this question shouldn't be asked because it's a no brainer. BUT I'm going to ask it anyway because I truly believe SOMEONE can relate. So here it is: Can you date a friend of your ex's?
Here's my opinion, yes and no. I think that there are levels to friends-- that kid in your ex's spin class that they occasionally speaks to every other class, sure go ahead! But the one best friend that basically claims your ex's parents as their own--do not even try it. Now with that being said, I do believe that it is impossible to stop yourself from being attracted to someone (it’s all animalistic and chemistry), but I do think you can stop yourself from falling in love with someone. Falling in love with someone has more so to do with proximity than most other things. If you are not around or don’t communicate with that person regularly then you will NOT fall in love with them. IF you are in constant contact or proximity with that person, then coupled with the fact that you find that person attractive--then DUH you're going to start falling for that person. So in theory, you CAN stop yourself from falling for someone.
Mainly, I think it's a respect issue if you date a close friend of your ex’s. You're saying to your ex no matter if we're together or not I'm not going to cross those boundaries or disrespect what we did have by dating or sexually being with a close friend of yours. Now, if you and your ex ended on bad terms... I guess the gloves are off for some. I just personally believe in loyalty and respect with someone you shared so much with. (Let's not get confused with "talking" to friends--because if it wasn't serious and you're not 'loving the crew' and talking to everybody they hang with then I think do you, it wasn't that deep!)
I know it may seem silly to even discuss if whether or not dating your ex's friends are wrong but I figured I'd start the conversation and allow for others to sound off about the topic. If you’d like to share some of your own stories about this topic or give your opinion please do it in the comments on the blog or on my Instagram!
20 SOMETHING READING LIST
So I never have ANY time. Like EVER. And I surly never have time to do something that I loved to do since I was a child--READ! I love reading. I love holding a book, laying on my back then my stomach and then my side in bed all night turning the pages until I finish this book. I love the escape and the new world that each book brings. Obviously, I am a lover of the written world. But since undergrad I have literally been able to read like 3 books for enjoyment purposes only. Because, like us all, I have NO TIME! Because in those moments where our brain isn't working or moving on to the next task on our long list of never ending tasks, I clearly am not thinking about reading. So no one has time to read. Well MAKE TIME! (I'm telling myself this also). Reading is literally a great exercise for your brain, it helps to unwind and it's a FREE TRIP somewhere! (Granted it's in your mind butttttt it's free :).
Now if you don’t have enough time to read, I do suggest that you do take a few moments a day to do something other than what 'has to be done.' You can meditate, take a stroll outside, call your mom or whatever to unwind from the day. Also, if you're not a big book reader, there's a cool website called audible where you can listen to books instead! Also, check out a few podcasts; some that I love are called The Memory Palace, Criminal and Serial. These are some of the BEST podcasts I've listened to so far!
Anyway, onto the books I want to point out. Now, I'm only a little ways into Steve Harvey's book but so far so amazing! I may do some sort of book review on this later. It’s inspiring. I' haven't read Girl Boss, Sophia Amoruso's book yet but it's totally on my list! (Sorry fellas you may or may not relate to that one. But I think books are unsexed! You can learn from EVERYTHING.) I've heard such amazing things about this book when it comes to business. I have read (and refer to often) Suze Orman's book, Young, Broke and Fabulous. It is the BOMB DOT COM! Like it breaks down so much when it comes to finances and money for young adults it's crazy! Somethings I think... Is this really really realistic BUT the information is solid.
Here's the links to books mentioned:
Steve Harvey's book.
Sophia Amoruso's book.
Suze Orman's book.
If you read any of these books please let me know what you think!! And if you have any suggestions on what else to add to the 20 Something reading list I'd love to hear it!! Reviews and suggestions are ALWAYS welcomed!
Have a GREAT weekend 20 Somethings. I'm off to ATL!
Think about a paper cut. The tiny pricks that sting and sometimes makes you bleed. You don't even notice them and then instantly a sharp pain. You're not going to die. You're not going to bleed to death. Truthfully, you forget about them as fast as you notice them. But that shit still hurts. And if paper cuts were to add up, if you felt the sting of every little paper cut you've ever gotten in your lifetime, every time a new paper cut happened, that shit would really hurt. And you may never use paper again.
Now, think about the last time you failed. Me, the last time I really failed at something (that I can remember because I fail on some level everyday) was in graduate school statistics. It was hard. I tried and it still was hard. I made a D on my first test. I felt like a failure. Now let me be more general because I've failed a lot. I've failed my partners in relationships, failed diets and failed communicating with my parents and friends. I've failed people who have believed in me, I'm sure. I've failed society at some point. I've failed myself. I've failed God. I've failed. I'm not perfect so of course, I fail and will fail some more.
I have come to realize that in the grand scheme of things all of those "failures" are just like paper cuts. They stung when it happened hell maybe I even bled a little. I probably even got teary--but I didn't die. I moved on and in time I even forgot about some of those failures. And the ones I can't forget about, they've taught me to 'hold the paper a little differently the next time.’ Those tiny little paper cuts can add up but you don't have to let them. Treat each one and move forward. Don't dwell on how much they sting or think about the fact that you've been stung before--because it'll happen again. And if we lived this life constantly worrying about those paper cuts happening, we'd never really live or use paper again in our lives!
This life is so painstakingly short. We're 20 Something for only a decade and then our 30s, 40s and 50s blink on by. Stop tallying the paper cuts and start tallying the smiles, fully belly laughs, drinks that taste just right, food that warms the soul, exercise that leaves you feeling strong, music that reminds you of love, kisses that take your breath away and moments that make you wish you were young forever. So when those paper cuts do happen, we remember that the pain is fleeting and the sting eventually goes away—so keep on moving forward.
Have a great rest of your Hump Day 20 Somethings.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU STOP KEEPING SCORE?
Relationships are HARD. Like really hard. Relationships with your parents, siblings, other family members, friends and partners—they are all hard to maintain. What makes them harder, I've come to find out, is when you're in a situation where someone is keeping score.
If that person hurts your feelings you remember, file it away and when the next time you get a chance to hurt theirs' you do it. Or you use it as some sort of insurance or weapon against them in the future. Like if your partner cheats on you—you take them back and then every opportunity you get to bring up their cheating in your defense you do it. That's keeping score. That's the WORST kind of toxic relationship you can perpetuate.
In relationships where either party is keeping score you're taking away from the big picture—building an actual relationship! You're so busy trying to keep up who was the first to hurt the other, that you're forgetting why you’re forging a relationship with this person period.
Also, when you say you forgive really forgive, or don't say you do at all, until you truly do. It’s okay to not forgive someone instantly. It's okay to say that you're hurt or apprehensive about trusting them again. Talk it through and then forgive—if not for the other person, but for yourself. And if you can't find it in your heart to forgive then don't agree to moving forward at all. Move on and call it a loss. But keeping score is toxic, tiresome and immature. You can never move forward when you're holding on to something behind you. LET IT GO!
If you don't then trust me you're going to be the only one who loses
Have a great one 20 Somethings!
20 SOMETHING DATING: EMOTIONALLY UNAVAILABLE
So I've come to the conclusion, I'm emotionally unavailable when it comes to dating. I didn't think I was but upon further review and some recent soul searching I've come to the conclusion, I am.
When did this happen? I couldn't tell you, but let's brain map shall we...
I thought I was some hopeless romantic that believed in happy endings. That the 'good' person always wins in the end. That the one that got away will always make their way back to you... But honestly, I don't believe in any of that. I believe that love is messy. Happy endings are the exception not the rule. The ‘good’ person usually ends up alone in the end. And the one you thought would always make their way back to you took a side street and found someone else. I know, this sounds cynical. But upon even more research, I've become cynical too...
Now, don't get me wrong, I think every last one of my friends will find love. I even think I will too eventually. But that whole fairytale, 'he gazed in my eyes and I longingly looked back at him and we just knew" type of love—I just don’t think that’s real. For me, it'll probably be practical and less romantic than I used to dream. It will happen exactly when I think it'll happen and there won't be this big romantic whirl wind that causes my heart to skip when he gets down on one knee. I'll have to compromise romance for cheesy day-late valentine's gifts, forced flowers on my birthday and receive gifts knowing there’s hope of sex at the end.
I’m not saying that because all of this will happen that I will end up unhappy. I’m saying that my realization of what really happens verses the romance that I once dreamt catapulted me into the land of the emotionally unavailable. This wasn't the dream. And because at 25 I see more realness than romance the dream has dwindled, thus creating a cynical emotionally unavailable dater.
I withhold emotions because I don't think I'll be met with genuine ones. I don’t expect romance because I’ve either had to ignite it myself or teach the person how to do it before. I now substitute emotions for other things and just keep it moving. I think that romance is simply something that is a means to an end instead of an act to simply show the other person you care. I just don’t believe in the magic.
Maybe it’s me. Maybe I pick the wrong men. Maybe that’s just the price of 20 Something dating. Maybe I’m tainted. But either way, this is where I am. Smack dab in the middle of emotionally unavailable land. It may just take the right person to come along and change my mind. Or I’ll end up 40 and still cynical. Maybe time will soften me up a bit and I find a healthy balance between believing in the magic and understanding the reality of it all. I don’t know.
There’s no neat bow for this post. I don’t have a little antidote to share. There’s no editor’s note that states I’m now a hopeless romantic due to a new love. I just felt like I needed to share. Not only for me to just get it out, but I figured someone somewhere is feeling the exact same way and I had to let them know they’re not alone…
HURRICANE KATRINA: THE BEST THING THAT HAS EVER HAPPENED TO ME
There are moments that stick with you forever. There are moments that you can recall that almost feel like you’ve been transported back to that exact time—you smell the same smells or feel the same exact emotion you felt at the time, almost like you can reach out and touch it all over again. The day Hurricane Katrina hit my little hometown of Bay Saint Louis, MS, is one of those memories for me. I probably really don't have to tell you about the events of that day, everyone has heard all the stories before—my family was no more devastated than the next family. But I think a little insight in where I'm coming from may help me better get to my point.
We did honestly think we were going to die. Not in the dramatic way that movies sometimes depict but in the ‘oh so’ quiet way that commonly most people die. In our case, we’d just slip under a blanket of water and drown. But we didn’t die. We were the lucky ones—no the blessed ones. We did lose our home, cars and other stuff. We lost stuff, lots of stuff, our clothes, furniture, computer, televisions, photos, forks and spoons. We lost all of that stuff. But it’s just stuff. We didn’t die. Our world did shift and time stood still for days. We lived without running water or electricity with about 9-15 people and a dog at any given time living in the same residence (the number isn’t specific because we only started with 9 people until about two or three days after the storm). We looted supplies—water, toothpaste and paper products from the local grocery store with mud piled waist high and snakes lining the ceiling. We passed cases of water to the front of the store and loaded it onto my uncle’s truck that was parked on higher ground and that didn’t flood. We also passed cases of water through a path we made through the mud, broken glass and over turned aisles to older individuals that couldn’t withstand the conditions inside the store. We were told at gun point by law enforcement that we had to stop and drop everything we had in our possession because we were stealing. We didn’t take anything we didn’t need but we were in fact stealing. We were able to obtain about 5 or so cases of bottled water and other stuff we needed to survive the coming days.
We all washed ourselves with the aid of my mother in our non-working shower with the same bar of soap and bottled water. We cooked as much food as we had on a grill that a fellow neighbor still had in-tact—but I don’t actually really remember anyone really eating. We lived in the wreckage of our home as the mold set in and the humidity covered each room. The night crept into each room through the open windows completely blanketing everyone in darkness. No one slept. Everyone waited for the sun to come up again and fill their day with tasks that kept our minds off of everything. That gave us purpose.
We didn’t cry. We didn’t shed a tear past the moment when we thought we were going to die while the storm raged on and the water began to rise into our home. We didn’t shed one tear while we washed off each bottle of water by hand so it would be safe for everyone to drink. We didn’t cry when we looked around our neighborhood and only saw wreckage knowing that more than likely there were dead bodies amongst it all. We didn’t cry when we realized that no one had come for us days after the storm had hit. We didn’t cry when we realized that we literally had no connection to the world beyond our family in front of us. We just didn’t cry. We kept up with our individual tasks. Maybe it was a coping mechanism. Maybe it was the fact that the adults treated all of us children equally, so we all felt the need to ‘act accordingly.’ Maybe the adults cried in privacy in order to keep up appearances. I don’t know what it was but we didn’t cry.
The days of the shelter are a blur, for me, because I was sick. Breathing in the mold, the exhaustion or whatever it could have been set in and I was done for. I slept basically all of the time and ate very little. My daddy’s family came and picked us up and we retreated to South Carolina. You’re probably wondering at this point when in the hell am I going to get to the “best thing that ever happened to me” part—we’re almost there…
We moved to South Carolina and basically started over. New home, new cars and new jobs—oh, and we had our own forks again! We made new friends and adjusted. We kind of didn’t get a moment to even “deal” with whatever happened—we just moved forward. It wasn’t until years later that I realized the profound impact that Katrina had on my life. It was the fact that I had faced the storm and survived. That I literally looked mortality in the eye at the age of 15 and came to grips with the reality that I may die right then and there. I realized that I’d never go to college, get married, have kids and make my own money to move out of that small town— hell, even learn to drive. I realized in that very moment how remarkably fragile life is. And I think I subconsciously made a pact with God that if it wasn’t time for me to die that I would live like a survivor and not survive to just live. I realized that He gave me every opportunity in life by allowing me to weather that storm.
We ALL have a Katrina story. There’s a storm that each and every person goes through. None are too small to discount. Think back on the moments in your life that have left a profound impression on you—what did you learn? What is the take away? How can you turn your devastation into opportunity? There’s no such thing as failure if you learn or grow from the situation. I personally lost sight of this lesson several times during my 20s. Life went forward and I forgot about that pact I made with God and myself a decade ago. I let fear and rejection cripple me. I started just living life and not actively taking a part in shaping it. I started to let the storm be bigger than my faith in survival. I hope my story helps someone realize they’re a survivor too—and give them the will to start living like one. We can't take one moment for granted because it's all so fleeting.
It’s good to be back writing on the blog. I had to take a little time to reconcile where I am and where I’m going in life and that sometimes can be creatively stifling. But I’m back! Have a great work week 20 Somethings.
SO WHAT'S IN A NAME?
Sometimes you have to respond--just for your own conscience and peace of mind. Below is my raw response in the form of an open letter to Raven-Symoné's "ghetto name" comment, found here: http://youtu.be/1wXgrnGhZ2E
I posted this to the BET posting on Facebook:
An open letter to Raven-Symoné:
You have burgundy hair, large false lashes, your own name is commonly considered ethnic and too much of the time you speak incorrectly (grammatically that is). You're entitled to do and be all of this and not be denied any type of employment or advancement based on these choices if you're indeed qualified. So it's an egregious use of the current platform upon which you sit to demean, diminish or judge others for something they didn't even have the opportunity to choose, their name. Furthermore, you're perpetrating the worst kind of hate--self hate. Because those 'ghetto' named individuals look more like you than the 'Johns' or 'Marys' of the world.
While you are more than entitled to your opinion, please be careful on what your opinion does to the overall dialogue on race, socioeconomic matters and gender. It is irresponsible and reckless to spew your words and provide justification to those who are bigots and racists. They will cite your words whenever needing justification for tainted hiring practices against those with "ghetto names." Though you do not identify with one particular race or culture--which is your right, 'they' will see you as a influential black woman agreeing with their slanted racists practices.
I whole heartedly believe you deserve and should voice your opinion. I just ask that you remember your words are like a drop of water in the ocean--it ripples and causes effect well beyond its origin. There's a young black girl watching this clip named 'insert "ghetto" name here' that looked up to you. Maybe she hoped to work for you one day--and in one failed swoop you've dashed her hopes with your statement. I'm sure that this wasn't your intentions. So I ask, "what's in a name? that which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet..." That little girl, no matter her name, could have made a difference in your career--in life, but you will never find out because you wouldn't hire her.
Brandis, a little girl with a name that could be considered "ghetto."
I'm more than sure this was very tongue and cheek BUT perpetuating the stereotype and making a mockery of those with different or unique names that have been labeled as "ghetto names," is counterproductive to what I think we're trying to do as a people. No matter the name, race, religion, sexual orientation or whatever--if you're qualified for a position over others the job should be yours, sans the explanation of the origin of your name.
Be tolerant 20 Somethings,
WHERE I'M SUPPOSED TO BE...
So I sit here and write this thinking, I know it's been a while since I've written something. There's really no excuse or real reason why I've been gone this time.
I haven't been feeling motivated to write anything because, if we're being honest, I didn't feel like I had anything of substance to write about. I have been feeling down and out about a lot of things. I've grappled with how transparent I should be in this blog and then I thought on the blog's main goal from the first time I've posted--to reach out to 20 Somethings like myself, who are possibly going through the same thing. So here goes:
I've been really unhappy with some major aspects of my life. It's been a culmination of many things. I am not in a career where I'm fulfilled (not necessarily where I'm working--I love where and who I work with), but I feel like I'm wasting away my "expertise" or my learned (and expensive) skill set and I don't see upward movement in that realm. I am not happy with how my love life has been going--I have been dealing with emotionally unavailable men while I'm currently not able to invest my emotions either due to lack of trust, so it's been a serious shit show. I've been slacking on the blog and I haven't finished editing the course I'm creating for Udemy, just out of shear lack of motivation. I've been having some health issues that are out of my control but still frustrate me. And I've been horrible with my saving habits.
Okay, there I laid it all out there. I can't come on here and spout all of this advice without letting you in on the crap that I'm going through too. Without letting you know that I don't think I'm perfect or think I know it all. I have to show you my scars too. Now at this point of me writing all of this, I've taken some strides in correcting some of the things I've listed above--but it's not magically going away. And I have to continue to deliver despite what things are getting me down. So here's the lesson in this post--PUSH THROUGH. At no point in life will all the stars align perfectly (at least not for too long). So you've got to solider through it. (I'm telling myself this EVERYDAY). Change what you can and let go of what you can't--it will all come full circle eventually. We put so much stock in what our lives look like measured up to someone else. That's the DEATH of our own personal peace. We cannot go around comparing ourselves because we're all different. We all are uniquely made and have very unique paths.
So I say I may not be where I'm supposed to be... BUT I'm in the right spot to receive a blessing and a breakthrough. So stand in your chaos and work your way through it-- because you're in the EXACT spot you're supposed to be in to receive your own blessing!
Have a wonderful weekend 20 Somethings
2015: A YEAR IN REVIEW
It has been one hell of a year. It started off with great sadness with the loss of my uncle and it's ending with this yucky stomach bug my body decided to attack me with! But the middle... Oh, the middle was riddled with emotions of all kind: happiness, joy, peace, comfort, love, lust, passion, anger, hurt, laziness, sickness, humor--I spanned the gamut of emotions this year. But all in all the over encompassing feeling I have felt is sheer PEACE. I am totally at peace with where my life is going and who I have in it.
Firstly, my family is everything. When it's bleak or I feel like I can't find the will to keep moving forward--they are always there to give me that push I need to keep it moving.
Second, my friends--who have become family both near and far, they have poured into my life and given me a sense of support that is unmatched. I can honestly say that I have some of the most loyal, honest and loving friends. It's so important to have a group that you can rely on and that supports you because life is tough. Plain and simple. And it's in those moments that friends come in handy--either they'll be there with a bottle, Bible verse or both if you're lucky. :)
Lastly, I am revolutionarily happy with MYSELF! I am not perfect. I probably didn't even need to say that because, DUH. There's a bunch of things about myself that I hope to work on and change. But at the end of the day, I like the person I am and the person that I'm becoming. This wasn't always true through the years. So I'm really grateful for that feeling of self-acceptance.
OH! And to all the '20 Something' readers, I honestly can't thank you enough for the support and love that you've shown this blog. This year has been so rewarding on a personal and spiritual level for me and some times that has been hard for me to express through words, but you all have stuck by the blog and for that I am grateful. I hope that next year I can bring even more to the blog.
To 2015, I say THANK YOU for your lessons. And to 2016, I say--BRING IT ON! I'm ready for the many blessings, lessons and changes that are to come.
Have a SAFE and happy New Year's!
HOW I STOPPED EXCUSING MY POOR BEHAVIOR
For a good part of my early 20s I blamed my poor behavior (not being healthy, drinking too much, not getting enough sleep, being in unhealthy relationships, saying whatever came to my mind despite how it may make someone else feel... just poor behavior in general) on being young and in my 20s (Ugh, YOLO!). Currently in my mid-20s I find myself blaming my poor behavior on lack of sleep, feeling over-worked, feeling unappreciated or whatever. But this is immature. There has to be a point in time where we decide that we can no longer excuse bad behavior.
How I stopped excusing my poor behavior has been to try to really get at the heart of how I'm feeling and how I'm reacting to something. I am honest and open. I try to check my judgements at the door. And I try not to repeat the sames mistakes over and over--easier said than done I know.
For example, if I hurt someone's feelings, I try not to be defensive when they tell me I've hurt their feelings. I explain my thought process and I apologize for making them feel that way. I ACTUALLY LISTEN TO THEM. If I feel like my actions were indeed justified, I explain that to them but I still apologize for hurting them. You don't have to apologize for your truth, but you should always apologize for making someone feel badly.
I try to take this approach in every way I react. No one is perfect and our behavior won't always be so favorable, but if we're honest with ourselves and truly work on ourselves we can't lose. Stop being okay with hurting others or hurting yourself. Let's stop making excuses and do something about it. Rethink your mindset and your thought processes. It has tremendously helped me.
Have a wonderful and productive work-week 20 Somethings!
THE YEAR OF THE 26
I've been 26 for almost a month now. And for that long, I've been thinking about my yearly resolutions. As I said last year, I don't make New Year's resolutions--I make birthday resolutions.
It's not that I don't have anything to resolve this year; it's just that I have SO MANY! Not to rag on myself or minimize my accomplishments, I just feel like I can be doing SO MUCH MORE. I'm sure everyone our age with ambition thinks the same thing. So instead of writing about things I want to fix--I'm going to write about 26 things I want to see or feel (emotionally), in my 26th year of life.
I want to continue to feel sublimely peaceful.
I want to feel the magic again.
I want to feel unconditional love from myself.
I want to feel confident in my abilities.
I want to feel motivated about writing again.
I want to feel the wonder of dreaming big again.
I want to feel limitless.
I want to feel calm.
I want to feel busy but productive.
I want to feel needed.
I want to feel healthy.
I want to continue feeling happy.
I want to continue feeling confident in my truth and feelings.
I want to see more of the world.
I want to see the next chapter of my career.
I want to see more smiles than tears.
I want to see my own professional growth.
I want to see the sunset on the beach.
I want to see more friends that live in other cities.
I want to see nights that turn into mornings with great friends.
I want to see a health romantic relationship.
I want to see the best parts of myself instead of my flaws.
I want to see my purpose on Earth effect someone for the better.
I want to see my family flourish.
I want to see Adele in concert.
I want to see my purpose for life come to fruition.
I hope that my list helps someone compile theirs. There's so many other things that I want to see, do, smell, say and feel this coming year--but I try to keep things in perspective and take it one step and one day at a time.
Have a great weekend 20 Somethings!!
WHAT ARE YOU WILLING TO STRUGGLE FOR?
I read this amazing article the other day that wasn't necessarily geared toward 20 Somethings but it sure touched a cord in this 20 Something! I just had to share. Stop reading this blog right now and go read THIS article, like RIGHT NOW!
Okay, now how great and simple is that concept?! Often times we think about all the great things we want to accomplish in life and while we do think through some of the steps in order to achieve these goals, I don't know if we are hyper focused on the crap that really isn't that favorable. If we did-- half of us wouldn't actually feel confident in doing it and the other half would still be dreaming about doing it!
But the question that the article continued to raise, What are you willing to struggle for? is an overlying question that this blog has addressed in several posts. Mainly, the what ifs and the am I good enoughs? I feel like this article is an answer to how to solve those questions. We have these questions because we haven't truly buckled down and decided what we're willing to struggle for in order to achieve our goals; thus eliminating the what ifs and knowing for a fact we are enough, because we worked our asses off to achieve a certain goal.
If we sat down with ourselves (I suggests everyone does this often, whether in meditation or in prayer) and hashed out what we're willing to take or do that is incredibly uncomfortable in order to achieve our goals, I believe that we'd all be more self aware. Self awareness is at the cornerstone of success. Knowing what we're capable of naturally and then knowing what we'd have to do in order to reach another level of greatness is a formula for success.
To quote a line from the article, "happiness requires struggles." Oh, does it ever! When is the last time you were sublimely happy? Did it come easy? Did you have to tireless work at it? Nurture it? Bleed for it? Cry for it? Work for it? I'm sure if you sought out the origin of your happiness a struggle is surely at the crux. And in the end the struggle was well worth it because of the ultimate outcome!
I've made a short list of goals I'm willing to struggle for. Some I've wanted to achieve for years and foolishly realized that I never wanted to really be uncomfortable for them. So I'm getting uncomfortable in 2016. I'm going to leap out there on faith and bust my ass. I'll probably scrape a knee, cry, have terrible anxiety or get heartbroken BUT I know I'll be a step closer to some of the happiest moments of my life!
Have a wonderful weekend 20 Somethings,