Open Letter

It’s so very hard to believe that today marks eight years since you have gained your wings. November 23rd will always be a constant reminder for me that a piece of my heart is gone and I am left with memories. In those eight years, I have done a lot of learning about myself. I have had plenty of time to do self-work, soul searching, furthering my education, career accomplishments, traveling and establishing a strong foundation of love for myself. There have been many days in which I think about you often, what life would be like if you were still here or what great things that you would accomplish that we would celebrate. There are also many days in which I don’t feel like moving, being around other people or simply just want to cry for several reasons but the main one would be because I no longer have you to just pick up and call, see at the end of the day or just to laugh with.

I am so very thankful for the time that I was able to spend with you! All of the laughs that we shared, all of the memories that we made and all of the time spent. You always provided me with a smile no matter what was going on, a hug to comfort me or to just let me know that you’re always right there, a laugh to ease some of the stress, a listening ear when I was stressed about or complaining about my part-time job, a cheesy rap song that you made up off the top of your head to try to gain a laugh out of me, having me to come and hang out with you and your friends at the house while you all played video games or drank but last but not least, always receiving a phone call you from you at the whew hours of the morning just to let me know that we both made it to the next day. Most importantly I miss our in-depth conversations about life. Boy, the goals and aspirations that we had back then were incredible. I miss listening to all of our favorite music together and coming up with our meaning as to what they meant to us.

Although we had good times, we’ve also shared some times that weren’t so pleasant but they were important to our journey. It’s because of you that I’ve learned to communicate my feelings no matter what! There would be times where you would be very upset with me for not speaking to you for whatever reason or not telling you what was going through my mind. You taught me that it is okay to have feelings because it doesn’t make you weak but it gives you a power that no one can take away and your feelings are always valid, no matter how the other person receives the message in which you’re trying to convey. It’s because of you that I can articulate myself well in my writing. You loved to write poetry or short stories and I admire reading your work because it inspired me more than you know. Most importantly, you taught me not to take things personally and that everyone has their things that are working through that have nothing to do with me.

But overall what I admire the most about you, is how you loved me with all of your heart. No matter my flaws, how bad an argument was or the extent to how mad we made each other, you were so proud to show me off to any and everybody. You always made me feel loved even during our trials. You never allowed us to go to bed mad with each other. You always lovingly corrected me and you always taught me to love myself before loving you! You taught me that although you didn’t have much you made sure that I had the world. You always went out of your way to provide whatever you could without me asking you or expecting you to do anything for me. You were a gentle giant who loved so hard. You made it known to me what I meant to you, your words were always followed by actions. I cannot even think of one time in which you let me down. You were a standup guy. You loved for ME and not what I could do for you. I use to joke with you all the time that you talked too much. However, I love to hear your voice right now.

This past weekend I had the opportunity to enjoy the Big KRIT concert in Atlanta. And no, I didn’t cry when we came on stage but I did embarrass myself a little bit. Yelling the words and dancing like nobody was even watching. Yes, it’s because of you that I love his music. His music has helped me heal through the years and holds a very special place in my heart. I was just telling my best friend that it’s ironic that every time that he comes to Atlanta it is always in November. I like to think that it’s your way of providing me with some comfort during the month.

Man, it’s so hard to believe that you’re gone, still. But I know God makes no mistakes, your assignment on this earth was complete and He needed you more. I thank God for blessing me with you and your love. I thank you for loving me, teaching me and never leaving my side despite anything. I love you still, I always have and I always will.

Greatness is just that, greatness!

For every season, there is a fundamental lesson or blessing behind it. Whether it be a lesson that we haven’t quite gain the concept of or whether it be the work that we have diligently conducted within ourselves in order to receive blessings. The fact of the matter is that we are all ‘a work in progress’ and we continuously are striving to be the best versions of ourselves for God, self and those we love.

However, in the same sense of the matter, when you’re on the road to intentionally establishing a foundation, you will have things that are sent to test you! How you respond to those tests will determine the progression of what’s to follow. Thankfully, some of us pass those test and some of us fail those tests but great news, those tests are never sent in the same form. I guess that could be a good thing as well as a bad thing.

The fact of the matter is that our primary job is to make sure we are improving ourselves each and every day, despite some hiccups along the way. For myself, I can say that I can attest to that. Each and every day I strive to be the best version of myself despite what life throws but because I am human sometimes I fail those test and that’s okay. One of the most important lessons that I’ve learned this year is that whether the test comes in experiences, people or job form, I will master the lesson! As a person there are many factors we deal with in life, various backgrounds and etc. however, do not allow that to define you as a person.

For many years I’ve dealt specifically not feeling as if I was adequate enough to move to the next level within my career. Being in my current position at my organization, it seemed as if I had to work twice as hard for two reasons being a woman of color and “to prove myself” to my co-workers, that I am just a valuable as them. Again, it wasn’t until this year that I felt in my spirit that enough was enough, I am just as qualified, if not highly qualified to have the next position or a position elsewhere. Those around may see your potential and your greatness but still have a lot of negative things to say but if you believe that you’re great, qualified and the best, it reflects in your aura. Needless to say, I have major things working in my favor because I received this confidence and changed my mindset.

In terms of people, I have always been one who shy’s away from the spotlight, not speak up for my needs or remain quite to make others in the room fill comfortable. Another important lesson that I learned this year is that you cannot diminish who you are to make others in the room comfortable. What you are asking for, requiring of others is not too much! Those who love you, respect and have the equipment to handle you will be to handle you or meet you where you are at. In platonic friendships as well as romantic relationships this is so important! If you’re constantly telling someone what bothers you, inquiring about having an important healthy conversation or simply trying to implement boundaries and it seems to be too much for a person, don’t back down to make them comfortable. Again, for those who love you, want the best for you, respect you as an individual will not have an issue with doing what you request. I am very aware of compromising BUT with my boundaries and my greatness I will not compromise that! When you learn to respect, love and value yourself, those around you will have no choice but to do the same.
Don’t diminish your greatness because someone isn’t fully equipped to handle it!

Rebirthing Myself

For the last couple of blog posts, I feel as if my core context specifically emphasized the importance of strength amid trials and tribulations, growth within and overall life as a twenty-something-year-old. However, it is also important for me to realize that 2019 has been a learning chapter for me. How I decide to work on myself, process the lessons or self-reflections, blogging for me is therapeutic. Just like my choice to seek God and therapy, that’s just my preference. I say all that to say, those who read my blogs, sincerely, I thank you! For those of you who are waiting on my thoughts and personal opinions about social consciousness and women empowerment, please stay tuned. I am graciously working on myself, for myself! Now that I have aired the room with that disclaimer I would like to focus on what I’ve been thinking about for October, Rebirthing Myself!
Yes, I said it! Rebirthing Myself! [rēˈbərTH] noun. The process of being reincarnated or born again | the action of reappearing or starting to flourish or increase after a decline; revival. Yes, that’s it, that’s the one. Reappearing or starting to flourish or increase after a decline. For those of you who personally know me already know, 2019 has won hands down. I would like to say I am a pretty strong person, one who can withstand great force or pressure against anything that comes my way. Well, 2019 has truly done a number on me. Going through a series of emotional events, an emotional rollercoaster if you will, health scares, various life events, career stagnancy, family, trying out various niches that had the result of failures, friend dilemmas, relationship woes and ultimately being unhappy for several reasons. Whew, that was a lot but just like myself, I know many of you have faced a lot as well.
Again for those of you who truly know me, know that I am the ultimate perfectionist because I am a Virgo. This means Virgos are adept at big-picture thinking, planning out our lives, vacations, and what we’re going to do today, which makes us feel that we’re in control and secure. We expect perfection from ourselves, and we may project those high standards on other people in our life. Eh, I guess that’s a gift and a curse, for me this year, at least, it has been a curse. Let me rephrase that, for me, it has been the biggest challenge. Due to the nature that I desire to have everything be “perfect” manifested into frustration when things didn’t live up to my expectations (or sometimes unrealistic expectations). One challenge that I can say I learned is learning to go with the flow and accept “good enough” in terms of various niches that resulted in failure and career stagnancy.
However, in other things that have rocked the boat, I truly don’t know how I got to this point. All I know is that I have operated outside of my comfort zone and bloomed in more ways than one. Some of the biggest gems that I will apply in this rebirthing stage is that:

  • I have to learn to let go of people and things that do not aid in my growth, of course with prayer and guidance. Up until this point in my life, I never wanted to disappoint the people in my life, so I would spread myself too thin and put myself last. Which has led to a series of things in terms of mental, emotional and physical health. At the end of the day, I am a natural giver, I will give and give and give. I have to hold myself accountable and remove myself from things and people who do not reciprocate to my being. By reciprocate, I mean resources, time and energy not so much materialistic. You cannot pour into someone if your well is empty.
  • When given a task, I am incredibly hard-working! When I want something, I will work hard and my work ethic inspires others around me. However, because I work hard others see that and may either want to benefit from it or expect me to do all the work. I am only responsible for MY task at hand, not anything else. I’ve learned that when you help people get to where they want to be that they feel as if they don’t owe you anything especially credit. Or the biggest thing, only using you to help them reach a certain limit and turn into a stranger. Focus on you and your dreams!
  • Keep learning, keep growing and keep dedicating your time and energy into things that will reciprocate the same plus more. What you require, what you’re asking for, and what you want is NOT MUCH TO ASK FOR. You will receive everything you want and need plus more if you don’t lose focus on the ultimate treasure.
  • Stay consistent
  • Do not allow all failed circumstances, relationships or bad careers dictate your heart
  • Be intentional, be pure and be honest about who you are and what you are seeking. When you are authentic as a person, others will be able to sense and perceive you as such. You cannot parade around a façade of who you are, those who are in tune with energy and spirits will be able to read right through you.  Karma is real! And that’s just that on that!
  • Learn to love yourself, first! How you love yourself, how you treat yourself, how you speak to yourself will, in turn, teach others how to love you, too.
    Be confident and secure with yourself
  • Reframe from negative thinking! Self-sabotaging should be a thing of the past.
  • Treat people accordingly, not bad, just accordingly. You should no longer have to tell someone what they’re doing wrong multiple times. Those who truly value you and value your presence within their life will either get it right or get out of the picture.
  • Stick with your gut feeling about everything because it is almost always right! (At least my gut feeling has never been wrong, thank you, LORD!) Whether it’s your gut feeling about a making a career move, moving to another state, buying a car, entering that relationship, going out, or being around a certain person and/or people.

I am so thankful for 2019 and the lessons that it continues to teach me even towards the last 60 something days left. 2019 has been a year of proof. People have proven who can and can’t be trusted, I’ve proven to myself what I can and can’t handle, God has proven he is STILL faithful. Thankful for the journey this far and I am so excited to see how I will implement my gems to propel me into my future.

Re-evaluating non-negotiables

Heyyyyy ya’ll! Finally, I am getting back to my first love, which is writing. Writing allows me to verbalize my feelings and is very therapeutic. Allowing me to creatively express my ideas about various topics and opinions about things that are going on in society today. With that being said, over the past couple of months I’ve had the opportunity to experience some creative blocks and some other life events but hey, things happen, God is still in control and I am still alive and breathing.

During my time of going through certain circumstances, I’ve had the pleasure of learning important lessons about myself such as things that I will and will not tolerate. In the dictionary, we call this non-negotiables—which situations are non-budge when it comes to looking for a potential partner and/or friends! Yes, even in my late twenties, I am still looking to meet new friends, I am a firm believer that you can constantly learn from people whom God places in your path. Hence why it is very important to establish a list of solid characteristics of what you are seeking for in a person you choose to have in your life for any duration of time. Now don’t get me wrong the term non-negotiables can be applied to every situation in life!

In this particular season of life, the year of 2019, the valuable lessons that I’ve learned thus far: (1) God’s timing is everything (2) wait and (3) there are reasons and seasons for everyone in your life but it’s solely up to you to understand the magnitude of this! With the later lesson I’ve learned this far, it has been imperative for me to re-evaluate non-negotiables so that  the same lessons that I am learning won’t continue to be a cycle for me! I know I am not the only one who is tired of the endless cycle of meeting someone, being cool/forming a bond, hanging out consistently, forming a title, plateau, communication becomes inconsistent, hanging out becomes nonexistent, and the friendship/relationship comes to a halt. Again, this cycle can also be applied to any facet in life, find an interest, enjoy the interest, do the activity consistently, make it a niche, plateau, your excitement for this interest becomes inconsistent, doing the activity becomes nonexistent, and the interest for the activity comes to a halt. I’m a firm believer that God continues to give you lessons repeatedly until YOU LEARN! My mission is to break cycles that truly serve me no purpose what so ever, to get to where I need and want to be😊

Identifying and clarifying each year, what are the non-negotiables that I will filter through in every aspect of life? Career? Spare-time? Platonic relationships? Intimate relationships? And everything in between?
It’s so easy for people to say that, in terms of a career, “As long as the money is right, I’ll take it”. Well if it causes your mental health to be at stake, your life is on the line or detrimental to missing the most important life events for your family, is this career/job truly worth it?
It’s so easy for people to say, in terms of their spare-time, “My time is my time and I’ll do whatever I please.” Why yes, that’s a very true statement, however, is what you do in your spare-time fulfilling? Is it assisting with helping you become closer to your goal? Is it helping your mental health?
It’s so easy for people to say, in terms of platonic relationships, “Hell, I haven’t talked to her/him in months but whenever we do get to hang out again, it’s all love.” And yes, this too is also true, however, you don’t and you’ll probably never know what your friends are going through. Do you check on your friends at least once a week? No, I’m not referring to see if they’ve posted on social media but I’m talking about calling them, texting them or even FaceTime. Well, only if they’re not the type where you have to book an appointment refer to options one and two. Do you know if your friends are going through any life-changing events? Does your friend have any events coming up that you would need to attend? To have friends, you must understand how to be a friend for yourself! Trust me, I understand that WE ALL GO THROUGH THINGS IN LIFE however if we’re able to get on social media, we should also be quick to pick up the phone for a couple of minutes to catch up to those who mean the world to us.
Last but not least, we get so caught up with wanting the title of being involved with someone on an intimate level and dating exclusively, however, we don’t know the first thing about being a genuine, honest, RESPECTABLE human being, in terms of intimate relationships. A couple of my favorite quotes I love to hear from couples are, “As long as we speak before we go to sleep, we’re good. We don’t need to check in on each other all day every day.” “I don’t need to tell him/her that, that’s my business.” “We don’t have to hang out all the time”. Whew! I kind of went off on a tangent with this last one but I am being completely transparent about my opinions on certain things. Trust me, what works for you and your significant other is great but it may not work for the next couple. However, when you enter a relationship, you’re entering something so special, so significant and lastly, something to be honored between the two of you. Communication, comprehension, trust, honesty, respect, dedication, perseverance, strength, discernment, and accountability are key components to a vital relationship. Can you have an uncomfortable conversation with your partner without it getting heated? Can you be completely transparent with your partner and I do mean TRANSPARENT? Like what they’re telling you might make you mad, cry or whatever but they’re being completely honest because they trust you=a safe place. Is your partner your best friend, like hanging out with your partner is equivalent to hanging out with your homeboy/homegirl? Do you feel as if you’re the only one putting in the hard work in your relationship? Manipulated much?

When it comes to certain situations in your life, you need to re-evaluate from time to time your career, extracurricular activities, platonic relationships, and intimate relationships. Find the value in things that serve a purpose for you and your growth, remove yourself from people and things that don’t aid to your growth and development. At the end of the day, you’re the only person who has your best interest at heart. Go hard for you!

28 Lessons I learned within 28 years

Happy to birthday to me! Thank goodness for God reigning down his Grace and Mercy on my life for me to live to see my 28th birthday! Every birthday always has me emotional for the simple fact there are a lot of experiences, trials, and tribulations that I’ve endured from one year to the next. However, the majority of that year wasn’t full of storms, each year brought forth numerous blessings and an abundance of lessons that I will forever be grateful for. Like any other birthday, I want to take the time to do some self-reflection but also to recap some of the most important lessons that I’ve learned in my 28 years of life.

1.     Spend your alone time in prayer and building a relationship with God.
2.     Enjoy your time with your family because life is short.
3.     Train your mind to think positive thoughts.
4.     Take care of your body!
5.     You become the best version of yourself every year. Give yourself credit for the work you’ve done to reach each new level.
6.     Accept the things you cannot change and change the things that you’re able to change.
7.     Check yourself! Check your mindset, check your attitude, and check your demeanor.
8.     Remove yourself from things or people who do not mirror your ultimate goal(s) in life.
9.     Do not allow other’s opinions or perception taint your goals or ideals. No one else was given the vision for your life except you.
10. Trust your instincts!
11. Love freely!
12. Live freely!
13. Acknowledge and make time for your friends.
14. Travel often.
15. Find some hobbies that you thoroughly enjoy outside of family, friends, and work.
16. NEVER settle for less.
17. Believe in yourself.
18. Read often.
19. Educate yourself constantly and be knowledgeable of what’s going on around you.
20. Don’t carry anyone’s stress, mistakes or selfish decisions.
21. Speak up for yourself!
22. You are responsible for your own happiness.
23. Create meaningful relationships and partnerships.
24. Do things out of love without thinking twice about it.
25. Heal from past experiences and relationships.
26. Therapy is okay!
27. Nobody knows you, like you.
28. Each interaction with someone or any experience is meant to teach you something about yourself or the world.

Now overall, I’ve learned much more than 28 life lessons, trust me BUT these were the ones that have helped me evolve into the woman I am currently. I am so grateful for each experience that has shaped and molded me, the people’s path I have had an opportunity to connect with, and testimonies that I can share with others and ultimately, I am just thankful for life. I must say a year ago today, I was at work, happy as I can be, no cares in the world and content with life. Today, I am just thankful to be alive! It’s cliché but a year from now things will be different.

To the girl I use to be

It is truly amazing how much things can change over a year’s time. Closely paying attention to not only my circumstances, but I have also had the opportunity to catch of glimpse of those close to me alter their lifestyles due to personal growth, relationships and/or careers. All I can say is that because I know these women personally, I know they are all beautiful and strong, it is not easy for me to watch the environment in which they’ve known for so long become obsolete. It’s truly heart-breaking but a catapult for growth. And only highlighting traumatic events with my friends, I recognize my circumstances and acknowledge that it, too, will only be used for personal growth. Although, I would love to share each of our personal situations for the sake of helping other women but I will just simply write a letter to the girls whom we all use to be.

To the girl I use to be,

I know right now you are currently struggling, crying and confused about the current events going on in your life from finances, family, friends, romantic relationships, and career and just wanting to be a better you. However, realize that this too shall pass and you will be a whole different mindset shortly. As a woman, you struggle with life every day and because of that you are a true warrior. You fight with yourself to make sure you are the best version for yourself and those around you all while trying to figure out how to remain strong. You don’t want to be a burden to your close friends, so you conceal your hurt, pain, frustrations, insecurities and mental issues to remain as a strong woman whom they know. You deal with not being the best woman for a boy/man who isn’t equipped to love you in the way in which you need to be and desire to be loved. You sacrifice your time, your mental and emotional space, your energy and love to be only treated second or as if your emotions are irrational. Be strong young girl! Please know that strong women don’t have attitudes, we have standards and boundaries. You are more than just a pretty face, you are more than someone’s second option, you are more than you know and think. Continue to keep the desires of your heart close. Don’t allow others to dim your light, set personal and professional boundaries and live your truth. You only have one life to live and if you live it just right then once is enough. Don’t give up on your dreams or goals because it doesn’t fit in vision of anyone else’s idea for your future. Continue to motive your sisters and continue to seek peace within yourself. Life is hard as it is but once you find a network of individuals who genuinely love you and have pure intentions, you will be thankful as well as full. Cheers to you and other girls who will remain dedicated to their personal growth and strong enough to not allow their current circumstances change their hearts. Good things can take time, so much time. So let life unfold. Don’t force it. And find beauty in the bliss of waiting!

Mid Year Self Reflection

Can you honestly believe that we are halfway through 2019? Whew, chile, what a year it has been so far. Thank goodness for God’s grace and mercy!

It has been a minute since I’ve blogged about much of anything, I thought that I would take the minute to do a little self-reflection. You’ve heard it here first, accountability, at it’s finest!

You can only grow when you learn to love yourself before anyone, implement time out of your day to self-reflect and redirect your focus. As I look back on where I was in my life this time last year, I am so happy for my evolution as a woman! Please do not get me wrong, this time last year, I was very happy–enjoying my life with family, friends, traveling, cultivating a strong sense of self-love, learning more about myself each and every day.

Fast forward to this day, I am still enjoying my family and friends, living life at the beat of my own drum, growing, and cultivating my future! I’ve made it my mission to be happy and successful, something that is very personal. There is literally nothing anyone can say, nor do that will make me doubt myself, question my morals or values in any aspect. I’ve come too far in life, experienced plenty of lessons in addition to blessings and I have a lot to prove to myself. Each and every day I strive to be my best self that I can be even with the weight of the world on my shoulders, at times. I know where my power and purpose comes from, learning that I am worth so much more and I will not settle for anything less.

At this age in life, as well as my mid-year self-reflection, I’ve learned two most important lessons: 1) When you know yourself, no one can make you question yourself, and 2) set boundaries in your personal life as well as your professional life.

  1. When you know yourself, no one can make you question yourself! When you love yourself, you’ve done the work to achieve complete happiness and you’re capable of not relying on anyone in life to be happy, you’re at a new level. Spending time alone you learn so much about yourself such as likes, dislikes, insecurities, morals, values, and your mental state. People who are knowledgeable of self-awareness are powerful individuals, they are kind and humble but firm in their beliefs and display confidence. Some confuse this as being prideful or having an ego. Although this may be true, you’ll be able to tell who is a wolf in sheep’s clothing.
  2. Set boundaries in your personal life as well as your professional life! This one took me some time to figure out but I am proud to say that I have learned my lesson. Allow me to introduce to you to how to establish boundaries in your professional life: “learn to say no, period”. It’s that simple, do not put too much on your plate that you’re not able to complete. Do not burn yourself out because you feel as if everything has to be completed today, you live up to your daily potential but prioritizing things of most importance to least importance can help you so much. Finally, establishing boundaries in your personal life. Again, at the end of the day, you are the only one who is responsible for your well-being. You have to make yourself a priority!! You do not have to apologize for not going against your morals, values, or your gut-feeling just because someone does not agree with your perspective. You do not have to jeopardize your self-worth to appease anyone. If your loved ones or friends can not respect your decision of you turning down the opportunity to hang out, saying no to a phone call that is going to result to your energy being drained, acknowledge your feelings, question you or make you feel bad for anything you do not want to do, redirect your focus! Whether you establish boundaries early or later, you must establish them. Take a few minutes to yourself every day and re-evaluate your boundaries, should you need to. When boundaries are not set, people become too comfortable with disrespecting your time, your energy and the beauty of being around you. Love your self enough to incorporate this lesson within your life.

Again, 2019, thus far, has taught me a lot about self, my purpose, my drive and most importantly, my ability to never underestimate myself. All in all, I will be successful, I will continue to grow and I will continue to love myself.