10 Things that I Leaned This Year

When the end of the year approaches I tend to recap on everything that I experienced throughout the year, what I learned, what I accomplished, and also where I failed. I asked my self “what are 10 things that you learned this year?” and I thought I would share them with you, and hope that they can be helpful to you as well.

1) Set your own goals. As I once told my friend, life is like a race, we are all trying to get to the finished line, but we are not all running at the same pace, and we’re not all traveling the same route. That said, do not worry about what others have accomplished or what they are doing, set your own goals and work hard to achieve them.

2) Always prioritize. It’s plain and simple, if you don’t prioritize you will be lost trying to do it all at once. Plan accordingly, know what your goals, and focus ONLY on what is important.

3) Sometimes you will need to make sacrifices. Sacrifices can be hard sometimes, especially if you have to let go, or get rid of something that is dear to you, but sometimes it is the best choice that you can make today, in order to reach your destination tomorrow. That’s just how life is, you don’t always get the best of both worlds.

4) Make up your mind and stick to it. Don’t be so indecisive about every little thing. know what you want, make your decision, and stick to it. If you keep changing your mind and don’t stick with your plans, chances are you won’t achieve anything.

5) Hard work pays off. Think of it like this, in order to get to the mountain top, you must first go trough the valley. You will feel overwhelmed, but it will all be pay off. I promise!

6) Travel, Travel, Travel! There is a world out there to see. There is so much more than what you know. go somewhere you’ve never been before, make a list of places that you would like to see, and try to discover a new place every year, even if it’s just another state. I have seen some of the most beautiful places this year, and it was wonderful!

7) Try something for the first time. I went para sailing earlier this year and I thought I was going to die! (*whispering* I’m afraid of heights) nevertheless, I can proudly say that I’ve done it, and looking back at it, it wasn’t that bad 😉 I also went snorkeling and scuba diving. so much fun!

8. One day at a time. I won’t lie, this was a very trying year for me, and some days I did not want to leave my bed, but I took it one day at a time. If you can get through today, you will make through the next, and the next, and the next… Just focus on getting through today.

9) Be your own go to person. You knew this one was coming. well… what can I say… I have learned that people have their own problems and not everyone is willing to help you with yours. you have got to learn how to depend on your own self, you may find out the hard way that some things you have to go through on your own…unfortunately.

10) Stop worrying so much. Believe that there’s much more than you can see. There is a God that is working on your behalf. He is greater than your problems, and only has great things in store for you. Weeping may endure for a night, but Joy comes in the morning!

Happy Holidays!

Advertisements

Where Have we Gone wrong?

Image

I know I haven’t blogged in a while due to a lack of time and also for personal reasons but it did put a smile on my face when I realized that I was still getting comments and hits from my readers. From the bottom of my heart, I thank you.

I have been wanting to write about a lot of things lately, but one thing in particular has been bothering my mind. I have noticed a trend in our generation , or should I say my generation. It is true that everyone is living a separate life and that no two people are the same, but we do share a lot in common. I observe a whole lot, and think twice as much, and from observing people around me I realize that we (my generation) do share one thing in common: We have lost our identity.

Sadly, such thing does not happen over night, it takes time and also circumstances to affect someone’s life to a certain point. People deal with things differently, we all have our own way of coping with things that we face in our daily lives. I do not think that there is a right or wrong way to deal with feelings, sometimes we just don’t know how to.

As a result, we end up turning our back on our friends and family, we sleep with random people to fill a void that can never be filled, we envy those who we think are doing better than us and betray them, we get pregnant and abort our unborn babies because we are so uncertain of our future, we have children out of wedlock and raise bastard children, we stay in relationships with people who merely have feelings for us, sleeping has become a luxury because you can’t get rid of the elephant that sits on your chest at night, we no longer have standards because we think that we have gotten to  place where we have to settle, we are afraid to look in the mirror, we are afraid to look our parents in the eye, and we walk around with a smile on our face thinking that it will hide everything that is behind it.

Truth of the matter is, you can lie to everyone else but not to yourself. I keep asking my self when did life get so complicated, when did we stop being friends, when did we stop trusting, when did we stop believing, when did we stop loving…. when did we stop loving ourselves.

My mother always tells me that in order to fix a problem you must first know the source of the problem. Nothing can be done until we know when it all began and how it all began. Did one moment of silliness lead to another? Is it resentment, fear, grudges? Have we gone so far away from God that we do not know how to return? Everyone’s story is different… we do no all walk the same pathway…but whatever it is I think it’s time to make a U-turn.

Not my Battle to Fight

Earlier this morning, around 5am, I found my self awake, with a heavy heart, and a troubled mind. I looked at my phone and got angry when I noticed the time. Why on earth am I awake at 5 in the morning, when I had taken two sleeping pills four hours prior to that, because I wanted to avoid another sleepless night. I can’t continue like this God, I need to sleep or I’m going to make my self sick.

This has not been the first time that I found my self up at random hours of the night because my mind could not rest. One cannot begin to imagine the frustration of not being able to sleep at night because your mind is constantly working. I would lay in my bed for hours and listen to my thoughts all night until my eyes opened by themselves a couple of hours later, and that is all the sleep that I would get.

It’s been like that for about 4 months now. I know exactly what had triggered it but I did not know that it would start to affect me this much. When you have allowed yourself to drift into a place of worrying and fear, getting out of it isn’t an easy task. I am the type of girl who slaps on some makeup and pust a big smile on my face and go on with my day until it’s that time of the night where I should be resting and my mind will not let me.

This can’t continue like this. I can’t keep letting things get a hold of me. My sleeping patterns are affected, my school work is being affected, I have placed my self in a hole and I don’t know how to get out of it. As I laid there this morning, I realized that I have been trying to deal with too much on my own. We all need someone to lean on, but when there is no one around, we think we can handle things on our own.

The load is obviously too heavy for me, my strength is weak and I am trying to fight this battle on my own. Sometimes you have to realize your weaknesses and surrender. You have to admit that some things are beyond your control. I had been praying this whole time for God to give me strength to go through my trials, I have been praying for him to keep me in my right mind. But what God wanted me to realize is that I do not have to fight this battle, I cannot fight this battle that is beyond me, all he wanted me to do is step aside and let him fight for me. His strength is perfect, and he is able to heal all wounds. The sun might not shine on me tomorrow, or the next day, but I know with him fighting my battle, my victory is guaranteed. All I have to do is keep my head up until the day that I see a ray of sunshine in my cloudy skies.

 

Yesterday I Cried

Yesterday, I cried.
I came home, went straight to my room, 
sat on the edge of my bed,
kicked off my shoes, unhooked my bra,
and I had myself a good cry.
I cried until my nose was running all over the silk blouse I got on sale.
I cried until my ears were hot.
I cried until my head was hurting so bad
that I could hardly see the pile of soiled tissues lying on the floor at my feet.
I want you to understand,
I had myself a really good cry yesterday.

Yesterday, I cried,
for all the days that I was too busy,
or too tired, or too mad to cry.
I cried for all the days, and all the ways,
and all the times I had dishonored, disrespected,
and disconnected my Self from myself,
only to have it reflected back to me in the ways others
did to me the same things I had already done to myself.
I cried for all the things I had given, only to have them stolen;
for all the things I had asked for that had yet to show up;
for all the things I had accomplished, only to give them away,
to people in circumstances, which left me feeling empty,
and battered and plain old used.
I cried because there really does come a time when
the only thing left for you to do is cry.

Yesterday, I cried.
I cried because little boys get left by their daddies;
and little girls get forgotten by their mommies;
and daddies don’t know what to do, so they leave;
and mommies get left, so they get mad.
I cried because I had a little boy,
and because I was a little girl,
and because I was a mommy who didn’t know what to do,
and because I wanted my daddy to be there so badly until I ached.

Yesterday, I cried.
I cried because I hurt. I cried because I was hurt.
I cried because hurt has no place to go
except deeper into the pain that caused it in the first place,
and when it gets there, the hurt wakes you up.
I cried because it was too late.
I cried because it was time.
I cried because my soul knew that I didn’t know
that my soul knew everything that I needed to know.
I cried a soulful cry yesterday, and it felt so good.
It felt so very, very bad.
In the midst of my crying,
I felt my freedom coming,
Because…

Yesterday, I cried
with an agenda.

By Iyanla Vanzant

We all have our cloudy days where we cry our eyeballs out and feel as though the weight on the world is on our shoulders. We feel as if we are all alone,and no one else can help ease the pain. We cry because we don’t know what else to do about our situations. But what I like the most about this poem is the way that it ends. She certainly cried but she cried her last tears. She cried away her problems, as if she was burying her old self. She cried but knew that change was coming. The title of the poem is “Yesterday I cried” because it’s all in the past now…

Self Sufficient

All of us have been in relationships which we knew were not meant to be, or were not going to last. Yet for some odd reason, we held on. You knew he did not love you but you stayed. You knew you were not the only one, yet you stayed. You knew this man/ woman was not going to change, but it was not enough for you to move on. Those types of relationships can be self destructing. You know you want more, and you know that you deserve more, but you just can’t leave. What is it that makes someone stay in a situation where they are miserable? what is it that causes a woman to stay in an abusive relationship? What is it that makes a woman stay in a marriage where her husband has not touched her in years, and no longer comes home at night? Love, perhaps you say? Love should not be painful! If it is then it isn’t love.

The roots of the problem lies within the person it self. The only reason someone would put up with the pain, and the shame, is because this person believes that the only way to be happy is to with someone who loves you. The fear of being alone outweighs everything else, because this person does not feel self sufficient. Have you ever met someone who has jumped from one relationship to another? Someone who just could not be alone, or just did not know how to be alone. Regardless of how they were being treated, it was better than not having someone at all.

Laying your happiness in the hands of someone else automatically makes you a victim. when you rely on someone to make you happy, this person not only realizes that you need them in order to feel better about yourself, but also take advantage of the situation. “He/she can’t be without me, i can get away with anything and everything. she ain’t going no where.” Once this happens you become at the mercy of someone else. Always remember that people will treat you the way you allow them to treat you. Realizing that your happiness is not at the feet of someone else is key! Yes, having someone who cares and loves you is one of the best feelings in the world, but having someone treat you like you are a spec of dust of their shoe, is not on the road to happiness. You set the terms for what you allow others to do to you. Acting as if you are not self sufficient will result in people treating you as such. Realize and remember that being happy lies in knowing that you are self sufficient.

Peace from Broken Pieces

I was out one day running some errands, when I drove past a Books a million and decided to go in to buy a book. I didn’t have a specific book in mind, but I walked straight to the inspirational/ self help section because I needed to read something that would help me get out of the emotional distress that I was in. I skimmed through a couple of books, but none of them felt like what I was looking for. On my way out of store, I saw this book laying on a coffee table, and the title by itself spoke to my soul. Piece from Broken Pieces: How to get through what you a re going through by Iyanla Vanzant. I knew nothing about the author, but when I read the back of this book I knew that it was the reason why I walked into that store.

…The breaking down into pieces of life is a painful thing to watch and even more painful to endure. Even more devastating is that as your life begins to unravel, day by day, piece by piece, there is absolutely nothing you can do to stop it. You see what is happening. You know what is happening. And you want anything other than what is happening to happen. You see, somewhere deep inside, we all know that lives are not built to fall apart. That is just not what lives are meant to do. The lives we are given by God are meant by God to grow, to blossom, and flourish. The reality is, however, lives do crumble…one day, as I sat helplessly surveying the broken pieces of my mind, heart, and life, I recognized that a broken life is a test of faith of the highest order. ~ Iyanla Vanzant.

I cannot begin to tell you how much this book helped me. I honestly felt like it was sent to me by God. I am certain that any young woman will find that they can relate to her at a certain level. In fact a friend of mine decided to buy it for herself after she read just one chapter. I wanted to share a couple of quotes that I got from this book with you as well.

When you don’t know who you are, chances are you don’t know what you want. When you don’t know what you want, there is no chance for you to get it.

Dear God, untie the nots. All of the can nots, should nots, may nots, and have nots. Please erase from my mind the thoughts that I am not good enough. 

We must learn not to give up when requirements are not met or when commitments are broken. To do so is a refusal to allow mistakes to be corrected and a demonstration of an unwillingness to forgive yourself or anyone else who needs forgiveness.

Sometimes when you fall down you just have to lie still, and hope that no one runs you over. If they don’t and you lay there long enough, taking care to be very still, breathing slowly, refusing to whine, God will lift you and perform a soul surgery.

Who am I? I am whole and complete, with a few cracks, dents, and scratches- nothing a little prayer and faith won’t fix. I am willing, I am open. (my favorite!)

I hope you will do a little research on her as well, because although she has appeared on Oprah a couple of time and had her own television show, I knew nothing about Iyanla Vanzant. Yet, today, she fits on my list of the strong women who did not let life’s circumstances, her past, her failures, define or stop her from achieving her success!

 

 

Everything Happens for a Reason

I received some news today that took me back to some years ago, when I made the decision to make some changes in my life. I must admit that these were not changes that I was able to make overnight, because habits are hard to break. It was a struggle for me to completely cut off some people out my life that meant so much to me, but I also knew that it had to be done. Sometimes, God imposes unbearable situations on us, in order for us to make the changes necessary in our lives. No matter how hard it might be, we must learn to trust ourselves because we know much more than we think we do. I knew that something had to be done, I knew that these were not the type of people that I wanted in my life, and I knew that if I did not make the necessary move, not only would I be the one to be hurt, but I would also be the one to lose. I recently read a quote saying that the hardest part about accepting the saying “everything happens for a reason” is waiting for that reason to come along. Today I finally found the reason that all these things happened to me years ago. I realized that it was for my own good. I realized that had it not been for these things, I could be stuck in painful situations today. All of sudden I realized that the things that I was going through back then are nothing compared to what I could be going through right now, had I not make those changes.

Sometimes we hesitate to make decisions because we are afraid of the challenge, the pain, the heartache that comes with taking such decisions. What I have learned today is that everything happens for a reason, and when it does, learn how to let go, because sometimes letting go is the key to your freedom, and also God’s way of opening bigger doors, with greater opportunities for you.

A Few Extra Pounds

 

 

A couple of days ago, laying in my hotel room in DR, I was watching an interview where Janet Jackson was talking about the book that she wrote “True You” where she discussed her struggle with her weight. Why on earth is Janet Jackson even talking about weight issues when she has the perfect figure? Little did I know she was one of us, one more person who was not comfortable with what she saw in the mirror. During her interview she mentioned the fact that she was an emotional eater and could easily gain 60 pounds in a month . Although I am not an emotional eater, hearing about her struggles made me decide that I would definitely buy her book as soon as I get back to the States because I felt like I could relate.

I cannot remember ever being the normal weight and size for my age. growing up I always knew that I was bigger than I should be. I got my first gym membership when I was 9 years old. One day my dad picked me up from school and took me to my first gym class, and since that day, I became very self conscious about the way that I look. I remember always asking my mom, my sister and my friends if I was bigger than this girl that just walked by, always comparing my self with someone else. I was never satisfied and comfortable with what I saw in the mirror, and after hitting puberty, it got even worst. I believe in I was a sophomore in high school when I started dieting. I have tried it all: slim fast, the diet patch, the grapefruit diet, the lemonade diet, the cabbage diet, an endless number of diet pills, and even a body wrap. I have considered lipo suction and a gastric bypass but of course I wouldn’t qualify because  I was not big enough.

My weightloss journey began the day  that I got on a scale and noticed that I was 5 pounds away from reaching the 200 mark. I refuse to weight 200 pounds! How did this happen? I’m always dieting and watching what I eat. I was determined to lose the weight and set my goal to lose 10 pounds within the next two months. I have now lost 30 pounds! Yes I am very proud of my self, and love when people tell me how good i look in this new body. I went down 2 dress sizes and love how my clothes fit. I also discovered that I am still not satisfied with what I see in the mirror. I am still not comfortable in my own skin. This made me wonder if I could ever get to a point where I am pleased with the way that I look. Is this struggle of mine mental? what is it gonna take for me to accept my body the way that it is? Is this going to be a lifelong struggle?

Sometimes I wish that I was one of those people that can go to the beach and not worry about people think of them. I do wish that I could go shopping and not think about if I look fat in the dress that I was buying. I once ordered some pants online and was worried that it would not fit. When I finally got it, I realized that I was right and I was wrong. The pants did not fit. They were too big. Thinking that it would fit too tight, I ordered some pants that were two sizes bigger than I was. My friends made fun of me, and turned it into a joke: “of course you would order something that’s too big, since you seems to think in your mind that you’re huge!”

This has been my struggle. One that many others are facing, even celebrities. It is not an easy struggle, and sometimes people don’t realize how it affects someone’s life. But it does. Learning to love yourself the way that you are is not always easy. One that many of us have trouble doing, It is a challenge to not just accept yourself the way the more that you are, and even harder to learn to love what you see when you look in the mirror.

 

The goodness of my Heart

I was once told by someone who was very close to me that if they were on a dying bed in need of an organ to save their life, I would be the first person that they would call because they knew that I would make such sacrifice. Another person also told me that when I love I have no boundaries, regardless of who the person involved may be, once I have feelings for someone I have no boundaries. These are different people who don’t even know each other. Yet they both made the same observation which got me thinking that there must be some truth to it. What I have also realized is that once people know your weakness and know what you are willing to do for them, It gives them power over you. By that I mean that this person knows that they can use you at any time for whatever reason it may be. I never realized that I was so transparent to some people. And these people told me things about myself that i did not even notice. I have since realized that a lot of things that happened to me in the past was because people knew that i would be willing to just hand over anything of mine just to make someone else happy, expecting nothing in return. I have lived such experience in past friendships and relationships.
This has made me come to realize that I must always keep a part of my self to my self. Never allow others to know your weakness to a point where they can use it against you. This said, I will not change the person that I am, neither will I stop helping or giving to those in need. Having a good heart is a blessing from God that I will not allow anyone to take away from me. What I will learn to do is to keep a part of my self to my self and not let people have access to the most vulnerable parts of me.

Day 15 – A picture of something you want to do before you die

There are so many things that I would love to do before I die! My most treasured dream is to travel the world! I believe that there is so much to see, and so much to learn outside of my perimeter. There is a whole world out there. One filled with so many riches and so many different cultures. One that I am eager to know about.

Here’s a couple of pictures 🙂

The Ancient Pyramids of Egypt

The Black Sand Beaches in Hawaii

See the wold's greatest architectures in Dubai

The Coliseum in Rome

Climb the beautiful Eiffel Tower

Climb The Great Wall of China

Ride a Camel in Morocco!