Category Archives: Growth

This Thing Called Fear…

One of the most powerful emotions I have ever felt is fear. Fear has kept me from saying things, doing things, creating things…or it has caused me to do, say or be things other than what I wanted to do or who I wanted to be. Do you know how debilitating it is to see the life you want or yourself, but to be too afraid to even think about the steps you need to take to get that life? Or even worse, to know what you need to do, but to be too scared to move? That’s the kind of fear that gripped me. I’d know exactly what I wanted to do, but be too scared to do anything about it…which to me, is way worse than not knowing what you want to do at all. Up until recently, that was pretty much my sole method of operating. I’d be so gripped with fear, or with the “I’m not good enough” thought process that I’d never even make the first step. What kind of a life is that to live?

I’ll tell you — not a great one.

Over the last few months, I’ve had numerous conversations about dreams, destiny, and what it is I really want to do with my life. I’ve had them with people that have been in my life for a short time, and those that have been in my life for years. All of those conversations have led to a consensus: we all have dreams, they scare the mess out of all of us, but we feel like they are things we absolutely have to do. I would be a bold faced liar to sit here and say that my dreams don’t scare the crap out of me, because if I sit and think about it long enough, they truly do. I’m getting to the point now, though, where I am working around and through that fear. I can’t sit back any longer and wonder “what if I had taken that chance?” or “what if I had followed through on what I really wanted to do?” Life is too short to begin with, and the last thing I want to do is live with a whole bunch of regrets.

Does this mean that I’m going to have to step outside of my comfort zone? Definitely. Am I going to still be scared at some points? Of course! But my goal is to do it anyways. I’m trying to take risks that I normally wouldn’t take, to relentlessly pursue my dreams like my life depends on it, because it does. The very core of my being hinges on this journey to live the life I believe I’m destined to live. If I decide to give in to fear…if I decide to let it run my life, I will effectively die. Part of me will cease to exist, and I’m sorry, but I like all of me at this point. I need all of me to stay around, because well…I’m a pretty awesome person!

I’ve said all of this to say that I refuse to be ruled by fear anymore. It is a process to get out of this way of thinking, because I’ve conditioned myself/been conditioned to think this way for so long, but I am willing to go through the process in order to come out a better, more fulfilled, happier person on the other side. To you, my readers, I have to ask…am I the only one that’s been this gripped by fear? If not, what have you done to try and get over or around it to become the best you that you can be? Share with me in the comments; I’m sure we can all learn from each other.

Until next time, folks…

One Year Later…

a year ago, I was here.

 

It’s only been a year.

But it feels like a lifetime.

I mean that in the best of ways. A year ago today, I started a long weekend down in Florida with Nick, Cheekie, Max, and Shon. I’ll spare you all of the details, since I wrote about that already. What I’m going to talk about today is my girls and how I feel about them. Thinking back over the last 365 days, it almost seems impossible that that was the first time I’d met these ladies, due to how integral each of them are in my lives today. It literally feels like I don’t remember most of what my life was like before they got here. I think that after I met them, the person I used to be got swept away, and made room for the woman that I am becoming today. It may seem hard to believe that 5 people that met in the chat function of a UStream could become sisters in the matter of 3 days, but that really happened. That weekend proved to me several things that I never thought were possible.

First, it proved that women really can get along. I mean, we were in a hotel room with one bed, a pull out sofa, a bajillion bags of luggage, one bathroom, umpteen containers of makeup, a million shoes, and one TV. And yet, everyone came out unscathed and loving each other at the end of the weekend. If THAT’S not a miracle, I’m not sure that they exist. Second, it proved that sometimes the best things for you come from the most unexpected places. I had no expectations when I went to Florida other than to have a good time digging my toes into sand in 80 degree weather in October. As long as I got my nap on the beach, I was good. I got more than I bargained for. As a result of that trip, I gained four sisters, the opportunity to meet *many* other people that I consider to be my sisters/friends, a gang of girls coming to DC, a trip to Toronto, most of them coming back to DC for my birthday, and an open invitation to various cities across the country and in Canada. How amazing is that? Off of the 5 of us coming together for this one trip, I’ve gained like 20 friends. I’m personally amazed at the reach that I have now, and how many people from all different walks of life, professions, and parts of the country that I truly do love as a result of the trip.

I’m blessed beyond measure to be able to call these 4 ladies my sisters. They’ve seen me through some of the hardest times of my adult life and have been there for some of the best times I’ve had as an adult. Although we don’t talk every day, we all know that each of us is just a phone call/text message/email/GChat away, and it makes me feel overwhelmingly happy to know that I have that type of support from women who weren’t even on my radar at the beginning of 2010. They’ve pushed me to become a better writer, a better steward, a better friend, and a better woman, and for that, I’m forever indebted to them. There’s something to be said about the solidarity of the friendship between women, and as the youngest member of the group, I have some fantastic role models to look up to.

Nick – Even though you and I don’t talk every day like we used to, I still love you just the same. I love hearing you get mad and your Jamaican accent coming out, and to hear you laugh seriously sends me into a fit of laughter. You’re hilarious to me, and absolutely gorgeous, and an all-around amazing person. You’ve been through a lot in the short time that I’ve known you, but you’ve always kept your head above water, and have come out on top thus far. I know it gets hard for you, but I want you to know that you are amazing, and serve as an inspiration to me every single day. You inspired me to go ahead and create this blog as a dot com, and to let my voice be heard even if it seemed like no one was listening. I don’t take anything that I’ve learned from you for granted, and I look forward to all that the future has to bring both of us. You’re awesome, I can’t WAIT to see you, and I love you!

Shon – Over the last year, you’ve become my voice of reason even when it seemed like I couldn’t be talked down. I love that you listen to me, and hear me out, and give me practical solutions to problems I surely won’t care about in the next few years, all while reminding me that it’s normal to feel this way since I’m only 25. You’re one of the wisest people I have ever met, and you have such a loving, giving, caring, and beautiful spirit that it truly radiates from the inside out. It is a joy to be able to spend extended amounts of time with you, and you have truly edified me and given me counsel in ways I can’t even express. I love watching you be in love, and you deserve every single grain of happiness that is already here and that is soon to come. I absolutely love the fact that you’re here in DC with me, and I can see you so we don’t go through withdrawals. ;-) I love you!

Max – I almost have no words. You’ve been open arms for me throughout so many of my horrendously awful situations, been the tough love I’ve needed to get back in shape, and been my biggest cheerleader. Most of all, you taught me how to believe in myself in spite of what other people may do, say, or think about me, and that has proven to be invaluable. I can only hope to be as magnificent, poised, blunt, honest, and unbelievably hot as you are when I hit my 30s; with you in my corner, I know I have no choice! I love you for loving me in spite of myself, and for always being there with open arms just when I need you. I can’t wait to see you again and have that long, drawn-out hug that we always do when we see each other. I love you honey!

Cheekie – Lord have mercy. Who knew that a year later, you’d have turned into one of my best friends? You bring out the best part of me, and the part of me that I thought left when my father left this Earth. I can be as silly, as ratchet, as funny, and as open with you, because it’s really like we’re almost the same person (scary, right?). You’ve given me the inspiration to write again, to find my voice, and to get back to what I know I have a God-given gift to do. From the depths of my heart, I sincerely appreciate everything that you have done for me and my life over this last year. All of the gchats, tweets, phone calls, co-blogs, Tumblr posts, and visits have truly made me a better person. I don’t know where I would be without you, and I’m glad I never have to find out. I know since we’re silly all the time, I don’t tell you enough, but I love you girl!

All of these women here have had an indelible impact on my life. From sharing cocktails and breakfasts by the pool a year ago, to sitting in our respective homes reading this blog today, their influence is all over every single aspect of my life. I thank each and every one of them for sticking with me on this journey, and for being a part of one of the best years of my life. I love you all, and here’s to many more years of friendship! :-)

25 for 25…

Just under 24 hours from now, the clock will strike midnight, and it will be October 1, 2011. Which means, I’ll be 25! It honestly feels like I just turned 21, but…that’s neither here nor there, now is it? Needless to say, I’m more excited about this birthday than I have been for any other birthday in recent memory. Could that be because I have friends coming from California, Chicago, Toronto, Pittsburgh, Hampton, North Carolina, Ohio, and from around the Washington, DC metropolitan area to help me celebrate? Possibly. Could it be because I can finally rent a car without paying that stupid underage fee? Maybe. I think a lot more of it has to do with the fact that I actually feel a shift happening as I approach this birthday. It’s been an interesting journey through the first half of my 20s, and I’m actually eager to see what the last half brings. I’ve learned a hell of a lot about myself, about people, and about life over the last 5 years. What better way to look forward to the next 5 years than to share 25 things I’ve learned before I hit 25…these are in no particular order, but they’re all important to me, so bear with me. Maybe you’ll see something you can relate to in this list…

25. Good food and good music always go hand in hand with each other.

24. Having shoulders to cry on is just as important as having shoulders to stand on.

23. Emotions are powerful tools when controlled and expressed constructively.

22. True beauty radiates from within.

21. Not everyone deserves more than one chance to get it right with you.

20. Heartbreak is but a stepping stone in the journey to happiness – better to experience it now than to deal with it forever.

19. Having good counsel around you proves to be more important the older that you get.

18. The music you listen to is indicative of the way you view life.

17. Laughter is one of the best experiences one can partake in.

16. A cute, short black dress really does make you feel sexy.

15. Perspective is limited by one’s life experiences, morals, and intentions.

14. The company of strong women is more edifying than is given credit for in the mainstream.

13. Your network really is your net worth.

12. Talking about ideas doesn’t really do much – the implementation of ideas is where the true success lies.

11. Dreams really do come true.

10. No matter how small the biological family is, it should never be taken for granted.

9. Physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health are all connected, and should all be taken care of with the same diligence and urgency.

8. The smallest moments with people you love will turn out to be the moments you remember the clearest.

7. Refusing to let your circumstances consume you may be the key to keeping a smile on your face.

6. Taking the time to let the people that you love know that you love them may benefit you more than it does them.

5. When people choose to walk out of your life, the best thing to do may be to actually let them walk. Fighting will only prolong the inevitable.

4. Aim to never be the smartest person in your circle.

3. Taking risks may blow up in your face, but it’s better to know than to walk around with the cloud of “what if” over your head.

2. Even when it doesn’t seem like it, your mother really does always have your best interest at heart and truly loves you more than she may know how to express.

1. God really does have it all under control.

I thank God that He is allowing me to get to 25…I hope that the end of my 20s proves to be as interesting, as fun-filled, as pleasantly dramatic, and as educational as the first half of my 20s have been. There were times where I literally thought that some situations would be the end of me, but it has turned out that they have only made me better. To those of you here to celebrate this with me, I appreciate you and love you from the bottom of my heart. Without you, there literally would be no me. You each mean something so special to me, and I’m extremely lucky and grateful to have you in my life.

I’ve come a long way from when I turned 20, and I hope that when I turn 30, I can look back at 25 and say the same.

 

Until next time, folks…

 

School Days…

Somehow, here we all are at the end of summer. (Well technically, summer doesn’t end until September, but…just go with me here for a second…) I don’t have a clue as to how Memorial Day until now sped by so fast, but here we are, knocking on the doorsteps of fall. And with the beginning of fall comes a familiar new beginning– school. School supply lists have been combed to make sure kids have everything they need, new clothes have been purchased, and bedtimes have gone back to a decent hour.  Millions of kids all across the country either have already started school, or will be starting the school year within the next two weeks. It’s an exciting yet nerve-wracking time for students, parents, and educators alike.  Everyone is worried about what sort of challenges the year will bring, what progress will be made, and how students will fare come the end of the academic year. It’s nerve-wracking for me for different reasons.

It’s the time of year where I start to feel a pang in my chest, and start to wonder “what if…” I try not to play the “what if” game with things that go on in my life, because I believe everything happens for a reason, but this is one area where I can’t quite shake the feeling. Those of you that know me in real life, and have known me for a while, know that I started college with the intention of becoming an educator. I went to school intending to major in Secondary English Education, but life took me down a different path.  Life took me to major in Family Science, and to now be on the road to a Master’s in Human Resources Management. Far cry from the education world, right? I know that I’m setting myself up on a career path to be successful, and to have a decent career, but there’s a…personal touch missing from it for me.

There’s part of me that wants to get out and get involved in the world of education. Do what I have to do to get a degree in education, get certified to teach, and start to take over the world, changing one child’s life at a time. I’m not going to go into all of the statistics and all of the specifics, but the United States is in dire need of some improvement when it comes to education. We’re so far behind lesser developed countries, and it makes no sense! The achievement gap between African American and Caucasian students and between affluent and poor students is real. (If you need proof, go watch “Waiting for Superman.”) I really got inspired to start thinking about teaching again when I read my friend Gem’s take on how she would operate a charter school if she was ever in the position to run one. It’s really what got me to thinking on if I could go back to school after I’ve finished this Master’s, or if I should go into a program like Teach for America and go into the classroom that way. Of course I wonder if I’d be an effective teacher, if I could inspire my students, and if I’m cut out for a truly thankless job. I recognize what teachers have to go through every day, all year long, and I truly salute each of them.

This is just something that’s been on my heart for a while and that I needed to get out. To my readers, I ask…do you have any particular career change that you feel tugging at you? I know I can’t be alone out there…share with me in the comments.

Until next time, folks…

Living for the Weekend…

Ah, the weekend. It’s the best part of the week if you ask me. Sometimes the work week can be so long and mundane that I’m practically begging for Friday to come back around. On the weekend, I don’t have to get up early (at least not early like I would if I was going to work), I can lounge around in bed if I want, and it gives me time to do the things I really love to do…like writing, taking pictures, and hanging out with my friends. But this past weekend? This past weekend was unlike any other weekend I’ve had in recent memory. It was chock full of things I’ve never done before. Now normally, I wouldn’t be particularly intrigued by me doing random things on the weekend, but this time is different. Things happened this weekend that I swore in a million years would never happen, and I’m still in awe that they actually happened. Well, are you going to tell us what happened?

Glad you asked! For starters, I went thrift store shopping for the first time ever in life. Peebz sent out a Facebook invitation for people to join her at the Unique Thrift Store in Silver Spring, MD, and I figured what the hell? I’ve never done it, I’ve heard that people have gotten great deals on clothes, and I wanted to go do something different. While there, I finally met my Twitter buddy Eric, and me, Peebz, her daughter Tee, and Eric all traipsed around the store, finding random hilarious things along the way, and having a ball roaming around that HUGE store. I had a really fun time thrifting with them, and I got somewhere around 8 pieces of clothing for just about $60. That definitely wasn’t the last time that I plan on doing that, and I now have friends and family members that want me to take them with me the next time that I go find some more things out in Silver Spring.

Although I’ve lived in the DC Metropolitan area my entire life, I don’t take the time that I should to properly explore my city and surrounding areas. Going thrifting on Saturday and taking Peebz back home allowed me to see parts of the city that I haven’t seen in a while, and I really enjoyed the experience. Far too often, I just hit 50 West, head onto New York Avenue, make a right on Florida, end up on U Street, or keep going to Adams Morgan, and I’d forgotten that DC is so much more than that. I saw parts of the city that I had never seen before, and other parts that I hadn’t seen since I was a kid…I’ve got to take some time out this summer to go to the less-traveled, but exceedingly authentic parts of where my family is from.

To round my weekend out, I went to and participated in One Degree From Me’s DC Quarterly Flow Dating event. Now, anyone that knows me knows that I don’t even go to work alone (my mom and I commute in together to save money – stop judging), much less go to a dating event alone, but guess what? I did it! And to top it all off, I had an amazing time doing so. It was so nice to meet different people from all parts of the country that ended up in DC, as well as people that had been here their entire lives. There were people from all different walks of life, from all different professions, and at all different points of their lives with one goal in mind — to have meaningful conversation with other like-minded individuals. I got to meet some very friendly men and women on Saturday evening, and the entire atmosphere was warm, inviting, and pleasant. I was especially proud of myself for actually engaging people in conversation…I love talking to people, but sometimes my introvert starts to show and I end up in the back of the room just taking it all in. I didn’t let that take me over this time. I started conversations with people, maintained ones with others, and ended up with contact information for a couple of guys and a couple of women. I’m sitting here in anticipation of the email that I’m supposed to get with my mutual interests’ contact information in it, but regardless of the outcome of that email, I’m extraordinarily proud of myself for getting out of my own way and doing something I never thought I was capable of doing. It was just the boost I needed to not only become an active participant in my dating life, but to get out there and to try new things and see what life has to offer me. I have to give a special shoutout to Paul Carrick Brunson and his One Degree From Me team for putting on an amazing event, and him for being such a warm and inviting person, and for striking up conversation with everyone that came to him wanting to talk.

Takeaways from the weekend? 1) Try new things – there’s no telling what can happen if you just go out there and do something that you were previously afraid/skeptical of doing. 2) Have some fun – I literally spent all weekend laughing, joking, talking, and with a smile on my face. That doesn’t happen often, but I’m making it my priority to see to it that it happens more often than not now. 3) Get out of your own way – I don’t know how many times I had to tell myself this on Saturday night, but I’m certain that if I didn’t, I wouldn’t have had as much fun as I did. All of these lessons can be applied to my life, and I have faith that they can be applied to the lives of you all reading as well. If you’ve gotten this far in the post (I salute you), let’s talk about what things you think you can do to add some variety back into your life, or some things you’ve always wanted to do, but have always been too afraid to attempt.

Until next time…

Sometimes It’s Better To Lose

Even though it’s now May, it feels like January was just here, and we were all doing the ever-so-famous New Year’s Resolutions. Some of us vowed to make better choices, to let some tagalong people go, to save more money, or the ever so popular one: lose weight. Now, if I remember my New Year’s correctly, that was the farthest thing from my mind (mainly because I was too focused on the alcohol and the appetizers and avoiding the police – another story for another day), simply because I didn’t want to make a cliché promise to myself that I knew I couldn’t keep. So, I downed a few more chips, meatballs with dill sauce, and drinks, and kept along my merry “not caring about my weight” way.

That is, until February. I was sitting at my desk, talking to Cheekie, when I realized that I needed to join a gym. I’ve been the same size since about 2005, and that’s two full sizes bigger than I was when I graduated from high school. My eating habits had gotten terrible, and my physical exercise was at an all-time low. I figured that there was no time like the present to take matters into my own hands and do something in order to put my life back in order.

Needless to say, the gym worked…somewhat. Though I recognize and appreciate the value of a good gym, I will be the first to let you know that I get bored very easily with conventional exercise. Getting on the treadmill was cool, burning calories on the elliptical was motivating, and getting on the weight machines was more challenging than I expected, but for the most part, I was doing it alone, and felt pretty unfulfilled. That’s when I got the bright idea to pay attention to my high school classmate Deanna’s Twitter page and eventually went to her website. I registered (and coerced one of my best friends into registering) for the April session, and determined that April was going to be the month I got my act together. I joined a kickball league, an aqua class, and resolved to go to the gym to supplement it.

Can I be honest with you guys for a second? I walked into Deanna’s class that first Tuesday and was PETRIFIED. I thought I was too fat, too out of shape, and too physically weak to actually make it through an hour and fifteen minutes of constant exercise. When was the last time I did that much exercise at once?! High school, that’s when. I just knew that day one, I was going to pass out, see stars, and run away from the class kicking and screaming, begging to never go back.

But I didn’t. I actually made it through! I was sore, tired, and wanted a hug and some juice afterwards, but I made it! And four weeks after the start date, I am still sore, still tired, and still would like a hug and some juice, but I’m noticing drastic and subtle differences. For one, since February when I decided to do something about this weight of mine, I’ve lost 10 pounds. Five of those came between April 3 and April 28 while in My Fitness Boot Camps. Five pounds? In twenty-five days? What? Talk. About. Motivating. I’ve changed my diet (mostly), changed my relationship with food, and I can feel my confidence rising and my self-esteem lifting after every single class I take.

The environment that Deanna has created in class is one of true camaraderie, true support, and most of all, it’s a lot of fun. Yeah, even when I feel like my arms and legs are going to fall off, it’s still one of the best ways I can think to spend time getting myself in shape. Her and her entire team of trainers are extremely helpful, and push me to be successful, work through the pain, and achieve the goals that I want to achieve as it relates to weight loss.

I’m far from where I want to be, yes. But I will never, ever go back to where I used to be. Now that I know that I actually can lose weight, and that I can do some of these exercises I never thought I could…I’m so motivated to actually see this thing through. It’s my goal to be in a size 12 by my birthday, and with the structure of Boot Camp, and the changes I am making outside of the classes that I am taking, I’m certain I’ll get there. My family and friends have been there every step of the way, and I’m so grateful to have them during this journey. Ten down, about thirty to go…and with that said — sometimes, it really is better to be a loser.

Until next time, folks…

Finding My Way Back…

Like most of the people that I know in my age demographic, I grew up in the church. Grew up going every Sunday with my parents (sometimes multiple services in one day), going on Tuesday/Wednesday for Bible study, going on Thursday with my mom to meetings, going on Saturday for dance practice, and back again on Sunday for services. Rinse, repeat, and add in a sprinkle of Christian school from 3rd through 6th grade and you have most of my childhood. I grew up in the AME Church and in a non-denominational church all of my life, and I naturally thought that I was going to be extremely active in church through high school, into college, and into my adult life.

Then…well…then my dad passed away. And to make very long stories short, that’s not how my high school, college, and the beginning of my adult life went. Both of my parents played an equal role into how I got to church, but my dad provided me with more of the presence, if you will. You see, my dad was a musician. Every single church that I stepped into that he was in, he was always playing something. Whether it be bass guitar, alto saxophone, lead guitar, keyboard, piano, drums, or any other instrument you can think of, he was always in the front playing. My sister and I would stand in the back of the church and imitate him and when he caught us, he would always grin and laugh at us, and whenever we would be in the hallway during the sermon, he would talk trash about us being there even though he should have been in the church listening to the sermon as well. (All you musicians, I know the musician’s code, I get it! Lol) Needless to say, my father was really influential in my perception of church…he was a familiar figure in the church to me, and losing that familiarity rocked me in a way I never thought possible. Not only did I lose the desire to go to church, but I lost the desire to want to commune with God and be in His house or in His presence. I felt like he took someone away from me way too soon, and I had no understanding of it, and couldn’t fathom how He could claim to love me, yet snatch away the only earthly man that had ever loved me away from me.

The first time I stepped into a church after he passed away was one of the most brutal experiences I’ve ever gone through. I had to not only face the fact that I would never see my father in the musician’s corner again, but I also had to begin to come to terms with the fact that God does everything in His own perfect timing, and that my father’s death happened for a reason, even if I didn’t understand it. A soloist was playing a soprano sax during praise and worship and I simply lost it. I cried and froze up all at the same time, and I subconsciously knew that it would be a long, hard journey to experiencing church the same way ever again. For years, I’ve struggled with going to church for some time, then not going at all…tithing sometimes, then barely putting enough money for an offering in my wallet…listening to nothing but gospel music, then forgetting gospel music even existed…my life for some years has existed in these polar opposites, and only recently has it dawned on me that too many bouts with polar opposites lead to utter chaos in my life.

Was my father’s passing (or my grandmother’s or great aunt’s for that matter) any excuse for me to backslide on my church attendance and on my relationship with God? Absolutely not. I knew better – or at least I thought I knew better. It’s taken me years to admit that his death was the underlying reason as to why it was so hard for me to go to church. I miss him being there, I miss laughing and joking with other musicians, and I miss making fun of him every Sunday like I used to do. Though I miss him like crazy, I know that I can’t use that as an excuse to not be in regular attendance in a church somewhere on Sundays. I’m finding that my quality of life is severely lacking, and this is the one area where I have not been nearly as diligent as I should be.

Am I having a hard time finding a church home? Yes. I’m flighty like that sometimes. Am I more comfortable just watching from my computer in my bed? Yes. Sometimes I don’t want to be around people – I just want to get what I get from the sermon in my own home. Am I trying to actively fix this? Yes. I think. I’m about to buy my first Bible in years…I’m making active decisions to treat myself better, and to try and learn some more about God and the role that He should have in my life. Am I perfect? Nowhere near it. Am I trying to do better? Every day that I wake up, you can count on the fact that I’m trying. Is it easy? No. I haven’t been to an actual church in months. But, God willing, and with the support of others, I’ll make it back into a church on a regular, consistent basis.

I know this was a long one, but it was something I needed to get off my chest. If you made it this far in reading, I salute you! :-)

Until next time, folks…

10/10/10 – Reflection at its Finest

Hey ya’ll!

Welcome to my first post in my new e-home…*looks around* I’m kinda diggin the place over here to be quite honest! Anyways, yesterday morning as I rolled over after a night of fantastic sleep on my new Queen-size mattress, and I checked twitter, I saw a tweet from a friend of mine (you can follow her here ) that dealt with the 10 things she wanted for herself…and I thought to myself, “Self? Why not do the same thing for you? It would be a good exercise for your brain and you might even learn some stuff you didn’t know before…”

So, thanks to that ever-so-motivating tweet I read and conversation I had with myself, here we are with the ten things that I want for myself, in no particular order, and in no particular time frame…

10. I want to make some type of impact on the educational state of our country. There are way too many statistics to go into here (maybe I’ll do another post on that), but the educational future of the United States is bleak at best. There is no reason why every child in this country shouldn’t be afforded the opportunity to receive a high-quality education, and I want to find some way to contribute to the change that is needed in order for this country to remain globally competitive.

9. I want to get past the idea that I function best when I’m in a relationship. It has been a LONG time since I have been in one, and since it’s been so long, I’ve often thought that my quality of life would improve if I magically found someone to want to be in a relationship with. Don’t get me wrong, I understand the sometimes therapeutic powers that companionship can bring, but…I can make it in my life right now without a significant other.

8. I want to find my niche. I don’t mean to compare myself to other people I know, or to seem envious, because I’m not, but I would like to find the little corner of the Earth that’s solely and specifically meant for me. I have all of these interests, and a couple of passions, and I want to figure out how to combine them all so that I can finally feel like I’ve come across something that gives my life purpose.

7. I want to be able to find balance in all aspects of my life. Anyone that knows anything about astrology knows that the sign of the Libra is the scales, meaning we search for balance incessantly. I get to these places where I find balance in some parts of my life, but then other parts are out of whack, so I feel jumbled and out of order. I want to be able to be on an even keel academically, personally, socially, spiritually, and physically. It’s a tall task, but I want it!

6. To piggyback off of number 9, I want someone to find me that is as equally invested in me as I am in them. Far too often, I become invested in people (whether it be friendships or potential romantic relationships) way before they ever even consider the idea of becoming invested in me. In the romantic sense of things, I’m doing myself a disservice by expecting or even wanting things from men that they don’t expect of me or that they don’t want me to give or them to give of themselves. I’d do myself a world of good to make people prove themselves before they become an integral part of my life.

5. I want to pursue my dream of publishing a book. I’ve had this dream since I was in middle school, and I can’t let the fear of “will it be good enough?” paralyze me any longer. I know I have a God given gift to write; I just need to finally sit down and do it!

4. I want to get past myself. You know how they say your greatest roadblock is your own self? Well, that’s 100% true for me. Too often, I allow fears, past transgressions, regret, confusion, or any other myriad of things to get in the way of the things that I feel like I want to do. I can’t live my life like that anymore if I ever expect to achieve anything great. I have to learn to take chances, and put the past where it belongs: behind me.

3. I want to become a better friend to myself. Yeah, you read that right. I am naturally gifted at being there for other people, and I pride myself on being a good friend, but somewhere along the line, I lost sight of being my own best friend. I want to learn how to take myself out, how to be comfortable with being completely by myself, and to fall in love with myself all over again.

2. I want to come to understand what the word “family” means again. I used to know in my childhood, but it seems as if since everyone has gotten older and ventured out on their own, we never take the time necessary to keep our familial ties strong. I want to translate a strong familial tie when it is time to start my own family, and am really passionate about making sure that my family sticks together.

1. I want to grow closer to God in different ways. I feel as if He places people in your life to teach you lessons, and that learning these lessons can somehow bring you closer to Him. I want to be able to hear, discern, and recognize His voice, and to be able to apply what He says to my everyday life better than I’m doing now.

Well…I think that’s it! What about you, readers? Did 10-10-10 spark any thoughts of change or thoughts of what you would want for yourself in your mind? Kick back, take a load off, and let me know!

Until next time folks!