Dating · Life · Positivity · relationships

Dirty 30: How Dirty Is It?

welcome-to-dirty-30-young-enough-to-party-like-a-20-something-wise-enough-to-pass-out-at-a-respectable-hour-d0429
That bottle of wine isn’t getting any easier.

I know that they say that women shouldn’t reveal their age, but I don’t really care. I’ll be 30 in December. I’m not so sure how I feel about it yet…don’t even know if I’m actually feeling anything at all, but I’m definitely becoming more aware of the arrival the closer it gets.

I’d like to think that my concerns are normal. Relationship status. Career status. Life in general status. There’s something about closing in on this decade that really makes me reflect on the past and hope for better in the future. It all boils down to time. I always worry about wasted time. Looking back into my 20’s, I can think of so many times where I gave time to undeserving things and people.

Welp. 30 is coming, and I don’t plan to do the same this decade around.

The same things that I sometimes worry about are the same things that I am grateful for. Yes, I’m very single but at least I’m not going into my 30’s wasting time in a terrible ‘relationship’. I sleep just fine knowing that I’m not worried about being hurt by a man. I may not have an six figure career, but I’m steadily working to better myself–even going back to school.

When I REALLY think about it, I’m not doing as bad as I could be. I count my blessings for sure. The real truth is that the standards of age mean nothing. We each have our own path. We each have a journey full of experiences that no one else can share completely. We each have our own pace–things are done just when they should be. I’ve learned to have even more trust in myself. As long as I’m moving towards progress, I’m able to snap out of my random pity parties.

I just wish I could get my metabolism moving the same way…

 

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Life · Positivity

Ready or Not, Make a Move

ready-or-not

Ready:

1. completely prepared or in fit condition for immediate action or use.

2. duly equipped, completed, adjusted, or arranged, as for an occasion or purpose.

How many times have you pulled back from doing something out of fear that you weren’t ready? Are we ever truly ready for any of the steps we need to take in life? To be honest, I have more questions than answers, but I’ve been able to make some sense of the dilemma. I’ve been on both sides of the fence: I’ve put things off and worried about my readiness, and I’ve leaped into things and worked them out as I went. It all boils down to how willing you are to take a risk.

They say that experience is the best teacher. Well, what if you don’t show up to class? How upset have you been when you weren’t considered for a position because you didn’t have enough work experience. “BUT THAT’S WHY I APPLIED!!! I NEED EXPERIENCE!!!” Isn’t that just so frustrating?? Well, I think that life works the same way except there are many opportunities where we can give ourselves more experience if only we take the necessary risks.

Risks are tricky; not knowing how something will pan out can be very worrisome. The results may or may not be favorable. You may end up two steps ahead or two steps behind. You may not see any change in your life at all. It’s okay to be hesitant about risk, but the most important thing is getting that life experience to prepare you for future things. I don’t think it’s possible to be completely READY for something, but you can at least take steps to prepare yourself. This preparation can be educational, financial, or just experiencing things that strengthen your maturity.

Are you ready for the next step? Maybe not, but that doesn’t mean you should remain stagnant with doubt. Go ahead and take those steps for preparedness. Each experience gets you just that much closer to what you never thought you’d be ready for.

blogging · Life · Positivity

Blogging When Life Is Hectic: Where’s the Balance?

sleepy-duck
I’m just as tired, but not as cute as this little duckling

Sooooo…it’s been a couple of weeks since my last post–quite a lot has happened since then. I originally intended to only be away for a weekend because I knew that work would be crazy for those days but things seemed to take another direction.

 

Working in retail sales, September marks the beginning of our busy season. It is at this point that we are ending our third quarter and gearing up for the fourth quarter. You can’t really prepare for it, you just kinda deal with it as you go along. The hours and the stress of the customer-facing nature of the business create the perfect recipe for exhaustion, leaving the mind and body with very little energy for anything else. Since I’d been so excited about blogging in these first few months, I am saddened by how little I’ve been able to produce. I’ve even been upset with myself at times simply because the fatigue has clouded my mind so much.

This is no good. 

You ever been so tired that your mind feels like mush? You ever had days where you’re mentally ready to get back on the horse but your body knocks you back to the ground? That’s how these past 2 weeks have been. Writing has been tough, but I’d resolved to at least make sure that I kept my reading mission going (“F*ck Feelings” is still pretty awesome by the way) so I could have my mind focus on something.

I’m still working to find a balance for blogging when my real life is hectic, and I’m not giving up. I know I’m not the first to have these challenges, and I know I won’t be the last. I also know that I love blogging and really want to grow as a writer so I need the continued practice.

If you’ve ever dealt with this struggle, what techniques did you use to get closer to balance? Did you ever learn to balance blogging with the chaos of your real life, or are you just making it work? Leave me a clue, a sign, or something in the comments.

I definitely need all the help I can get.

Life · Positivity · Wellness

Just A Thought: There Are No Mistakes, Only Poor Choices

accountability

Recently, during one of my thought sessions, I thought about how much of life is based on cause and effect. I came to a bold realization: We don’t make mistakes, we make choices. (Yes, bold statement.) There are forces of nature that just a cause things to happen, of course these things are out of our control, but most of our lives can be chalked up to choices–this applies to both positive and negative experiences. I don’t know about you, but in being honest with myself, I can think of so many things in my life that could’ve been different had I just made a different decision.

Owning your decision-making is an ugly process. I mean, who wants to admit that they’re wrong? Admitting fault is a touchy thing, but it’s real. Saying “I made a mistake” sometimes sounds like a cop-out. Yes we’re imperfect. Yes we do things that make no sense. So many times we certainly misplace blame. I think that the more honest we are ourselves about how much power we have over the outcome of our lives, thethe morebetter better off we will be. It’s easy to blame someone else for why something has happened to us; it’s not easy to reconcile with the fact that we’ve made a poor decision. You can’t fix anything if you’re not honest enough to identify a problem. Well, if you’re not honest enough to realize that you’ve repeatedly made poor choices, then how can you become better at making the right choices?

I’ve put myself through so much unnecessary foolishness all because I made foolish choices. While some would blame others, I knew to blame myself. I STILL make stupid choices, but being honest about that has helped me move in better directions and avoid much more grief and heartache. This post is a representation of my thought process through it all. I’m learning to empower myself to create the life I want.

Here’s my challenge to you: Sit down and reflect on your own life.

How many times have you made things unnecessarily hard on yourself? How many times have you blamed others when the power was all in your hands? Do you TRUST yourself to make good choices? It can be painful, but the honesty can certainly help. Own your bad choices, and strive to make better ones in the future. You have more power over your life than you could ever realize.

blogging · Dating · Life · Positivity · relationships

Advice From Pretty Men

 

beautiful tina
I really had no intended photo for today’s post, so here’s a gif of my fave Tina Belcher courtesy of giphy.com

 

I’m not sure what happened, or even WHEN it happened, but there’s been a sudden rise in pretty men giving women advice. These men make videos and post statuses that tell women just why their relationships are unsuccessful, why their mindset needs to change, why they’re not attracting decent men, what men are looking for, and even telling men what they are doing wrong (women REALLY eat this part up it says, “Oh, he’s on our side!”). I’ve seen quite a few of these “attractive advisors”, and I’ve been left with questions:

Isn’t this common sense? Why are these women eating this up as if they’ve never heard of these basic concepts before? Haven’t they lived and experienced on their own to learn these things without having this pretty man tell them what’s up?

Nothing that I have seen or heard from these men has been mind-blowing. Hell, I’ve been saying some of the same things for years! I have friends who’ve said the same things! A lot of the ideas are just logical concepts on how relationships and human interaction work–LOGICAL. They’re just delivered by a handsome face and a smile. Are women incapable of understanding logical ideas unless their presented by a man?

I think women are VERY capable, which is why these men bother me and the women who follow them puzzle me. It’s bad enough that women are seen as “emotional creatures who can’t possibly make decisions based on logic or rationale”, it really doesn’t help to see these guys use emotional appeal to gain the female audience. They tell you how beautiful you are and appeal to your desire to have a man understand your plight in the quest for love. They even have you asking yourself, “Why can’t I find someone like him?”

That’s EXACTLY where the problem lies. Ladies, these men have no idea who you are so your chances with them are very slim. Of course everything looks and sounds like perfection, but would you listen if he wasn’t so handsome? No matter what these men tell you, unless you’re able to learn from your own experiences and be truthful with yourself in those experiences, you’re wasting your time hanging on their every word.

As I’ve said earlier, I’ve already realized everything that these guys say. I’ve either experiened it myself, witnessed and learned, or learned from friends. At the end of it all, I’ve still made dumb choices, ones that I have completely owned up to. Why do I own these mistakes? Because I believe in being honest with yourself, you’ll understand how dangerous it is to hang onto those pretty words instead of honestly learning from your experiences. I can’t even say that my mistakes were mistakes, I knew better and chose to do the exact opposite.

These guys are cool and all, but before this social media phenomenon there was always common sense. Be honest with yourself. Take time to seek wisdom outside of social media. Live and learn on your own terms and stop hanging onto the words of those pretty men.

Life · Positivity · Wellness

Breaking My Bad Habits: Divide & Conquer


I have some of the WORST habits. It’s not even the bad habits that are the problem, I seem to have the hardest time breaking them. I mean, I recognize them and may even know the fix for them, but I’ve failed in the execution. My bad habits are like a giant Pokeball–I’m getting captured all over the place. I may manage to break free from said Pokeball, but those habits are like, “Nah”.

Well, that’s all about to change. I realize now that I’ve been going about this all wrong! I’m going to have to employ the “divide and conquer” approach. Sometimes the solution isn’t to cut bad habits cold turkey, you have to create little good habits that will chip away at your bad habits. The end goal is to have turned those little good habits into bigger, permanent good habits and have those bad habits shrink and fall away.

Here are a few of the bad habits that irk my nerves (in no particular order):

Procrastinator: Master Level

daria procrastinate.gif

I’ll get that thing done. One of these days. I really don’t mean to put things off, but when I get into that procrastinating mode, nothing is safe.

The Heavy-Duty Snoozer 

homer snooze.gif

Oh. So that alarm thought I was just gonna get outta bed and hit the showers huh? I’m straight up disrespectful when it comes to alarms. Even with having 4 alarms set–mostly to accommodate my snoozing needs–I still find a way to inch past them all so that I can get up at the very last possible minute.

Ashy Keshia

ashy larry

I love lotion. I keep plenty of lotion. Unfortunately, I never take/make time to lotion my actual body. I mean, maybe if I could stop snoozing so damn long. The only parts of my body that actually make the cut every day are my arms. I need to get it together. I don’t need this black to crack.

Sleep Fighter

insomnia stewie

I already know that insomnia is my arch nemesis, yet I seem to love to help it out by not getting to bed when I KNOW I could actually go to sleep. I just HAVE to occupy myself with something else instead. This one is good and bad, because it’s how I get a lot of my posts written (or at least started) but I know I need to be getting more sleep.

 

Blowing All The Monies

TAKE MY MONEY

Look, when it comes to food I’m either gonna spend none of the money, or I’m gonna spend ALL of the money. There is no in-between. There is no try; only spend. If there’s food on the line, my swipe game has no bounds. Even chip reader can’t slow me down. Don’t make me break out my Apple Pay. My bank account has PLENTY bounds, but the food just calls to me.

Some of my bad habits are milder than others–this is also just a short list. When it came to my wine habit, I was better able to change that habit because I knew it was a BAD thing. I took time to understand WHY I was drinking so much and I made the changes. I need to work on my mindset in relation to these other bad habits too. I CAN break them, I HAVE to break them. Anything that is slowing me down and keeping me from doing the things I need to be doing to get ahead needs to be completely cut out. There are SO many things I’ve never finished because of these stupid habits. This can’t continue!

Mindset really is everything. Maybe I have no energy because my thoughts haven’t been energetic. This most recent rut came after a period of super productivity and positivity. I must turn that switch back on–it felt so much better than the alternative.

Bad habits are always going to be hard to break if you keep telling yourself that. Change the conversation.

All gifs courtesy of giphy.com

 

 

Dating · Life · Positivity · relationships

Sticking Around Just Means You’re Stuck: The Prison Of A Bad Relationship

choose yourself

Relationships are something else.

When two people really love and respect each other it’s a little easier to know where you stand. In a perfect world, all relationships make sense. All relationships are healthy. All relationships are fulfilling.

Tough luck. This world ain’t perfect.

What happens when every day of your relationship feels like torture? What happens when you love them, but they don’t seem to love you? What happens when you realize that you’re nothing more than a convenient resource? It’d be stupid to hang around for that, right?

Actually, you WILL let these things happen to you. You are going to stick around and endure the madness. You’ll even ask yourself, “WHY AM I STICKING AROUND FOR THIS???”. Well, I can’t tell you why YOU’RE sticking around, but I can tell you why I did.

It was comfortable.

I’m not about to go through every annoying detail–I honestly don’t have the strength–but the long and short of it all is that there was a baby involved. A baby that wasn’t mine. The feelings of anger, humiliation, and stupidity that I felt were unreal. I was hurt because I felt betrayed. I was more upset with myself than I was with him. After finding out what happened, I still stuck around.

I stuck around because I loved in spite of. I stuck around because I was comfortable and didn’t want to start over, no matter how badly my trust had been damaged. The dynamic wasn’t the same, I could never really trust him again, yet there I was. I’m not the only one who’s done this. Sometimes we rationalize–or at least TRY to–to make ourselves feel that it’s better to deal with the problems we’re used to, instead of trying to find better for ourselves. I think that whole idea is TRASH. That’s what you tell yourself when you’d rather make excuses than make changes.

It took me a long time to be comfortable with my single self. He was the hardest to let go of–I definitely slipped up a few times–but I knew it had to be done. I even found myself wondering if maybe I should be with him since he knew me so well, but I got over that idea eventually. It was only hard because I was afraid that I’d be alone forever.  Over time, I came to this realization: I’d rather feel lonely from time to time while single than feel lonely and stupid while in a relationship. It’s not fair to let someone disrespect you or the relationship. It’s not fair to allow yourself to be torn apart for the sake of keeping the peace.

Sometimes, you have to choose yourself. That person has made their choices with no regard to how it would affect you, so why continue to imprison yourself emotionally to accommodate them? No, it’s not easy being single and being forced to learn yourself, but I promise that the preparation is a setup for a better point of view. I don’t know about you, but I’m over allowing someone to destroy my dignity. I’m over allowing someone to turn my love into a weakness where I allow myself to be humiliated for the sake of pleasing someone who gets to do what they want.

Letting go is easier said than done. DUH. Easy or not, it’s necessary. Don’t make accommodations for unhealthy comfort, you’re only cheating yourself. I’m not even saying that you necessarily need to start over with someone else, you need to start over with yourself.

Don’t lose yourself for the sake of comfort, you’ll never get that time back. Don’t choose to be imprisoned.

Current Events · Life · Positivity

Rebel WITH A License: Third Time’s The Charm

passed test

Thursday, August 4,2016 will go down as one of the most important days of my life. I accomplished a goal that had been 12 years in the making. I’d overcome all of the failures of the recent past. 

I FINALLY got my Driver’s License!!!!

Sometimes, I feel silly about my excitement about a license. I mean, who actually thinks it should be that big a deal? Hell, you may even be reading this and thinking that I’m hype for nothing. Guess what?

I. DON’T. CARE. [insert victorious laugh]

But seriously, if you’ve read my post “Rebel Without a License: Driver’s Edition”, then you already know about my struggle. I’ve already told you about my DISASTROUS DMV visits, but let me tell you how marvelous my last trip was.

The day threatened to not be so marvelous at first. I went to the DMV of my last failed road test and was met with a bad sign. It was a flashback to the 4 hours of hell I’d experienced the first time: the computers shut down. While everyone else waited, I politely walked out and drove to another DMV location.

BEST. DECISION. EVER!!!!

I had a short wait before being called to wait again. Still, my waiting time was short in terms of DMV time. My examiner was the EXACT one that I needed. He gave pointers without scaring me to death. He was relaxed, and his chill vibe rubbed off on me. I passed that test like nobody’s business. I reacted the way any sensible person would.

I CRIED.

Well, I wasn’t BAWLING or anything, but I definitely teared up a whole lot. A huge weight had been lifted and I had finally accomplished that goal. All of the frustrations were washed away. The one thing that kept me going was the encouragement that I received. I had to really visualize the success. I was going to pass that test because that was the only option. SOOOO many years!!! SOOOO many failures!!! 

SOOOO much success. 

 

Dating · Life · Positivity · relationships

Ready To Mingle? Get Your Prep Work Done


I’ll admit it. I’ve been guilty of being a bit too eager for a relationship at times. Those of us who haven’t locked down a relationship are sometimes referred to as “single and ready to mingle”. I’ve asked myself one important question over and over again:

“Am I REALLY ready to mingle?”

When I say “ready”, I’m not questioning the desire for a relationship. I’m really questioning whether I’m able to give as much as I want to receive. I understand that everyone’s needs are the same and we have different love languages, but I don’t want to come to the table without bringing my own delicious offering. I’ve seen it over and over again, people asking the world of someone when they themselves can’t even offer a Monopoly parking space. What kind of relationship can I hope to have if I haven’t prepared myself?

I’ve learned to be COMFORTABLY and CONFIDENTLY single. When your response to the question of your relationship status is “I’m working on myself.”, people can take it as a joke. In actuality, that’s EXACTLY what you should be doing. I think it’s important to become independent of a relationship. Not independent in the sense of being single forever, but in being able to function as a whole person no matter what your relationship status. I think it’s important to be on level playing fields–outwardly and inwardly. But the most important part: learning to love yourself.

While single, I’ve had to be really honest with myself. I’ve had to reflect on my self-confidence, self-esteem, and ability to love myself. Too many people are looking to find these things in others. I can encourage you all day long, but it’s always up to you to decide to love yourself no matter what. You can’t substitute your feelings about yourself with your partner’ feelings towards you. It’s true that no one is capable of loving you like you love yourself. It’s special because only we know our deepest, darkest flaws and insecurities; if we can love ourselves in spite of those things, we’ve really leveled up.

I don’t want to relive the moments in past “relationships” where I foolishly navigated with no sense of myself. I expected things that I hadn’t given myself and was let down repeatedly. I’m hoping that my next relationship will be one where I’m able to maintain my love for myself while being further enriched by the love I receive. I hope to be able to add to that person’s life too.

Relationships are all about addition. Don’t cheat yourself or your partner by not being as sound as you possibly can. Hopefully, they will have done their own personal prep work and you’re able to focus on each other. Don’t expect perfection–I surely don’t. Just set yourself up for the best possible outcome like you would on anything else that you want success.

Life · Positivity · Wellness

I’m Not Good At Anything, How Do I Find My Outlet?

outlet

I feel like I’m always talking about how important it is to have a positive outlet. 

The very existence of this blog is a testament to what happens when you find such an outlet. Outlets are necessary because they feed our need for purpose and identity while allowing us to relieve tension. No one is exempt from unhappiness, but when we’re able to channel that negative energy elsewhere, we can have a better quality of life. There’s no denying the positive effects of an outlet, but the question still remains:

How do you FIND your outlet?

Whenever people ask me that question, they usually follow it up by telling me that they’re not good at anything. I don’t believe that–everyone is good at something and can become even better with practice. Sometimes it’s not so much about what you’re good at, but about what you enjoy doing. Maybe a creative outlet isn’t your thing. Maybe you’re meant to spend more time channeling your energy into something you already enjoy doing. For example, You may not be a writer, but you enjoy the relaxation of reading a book. Your outlet can be reading. Your outlet removes you from your stressors. 

calm activity

Before I started this blog, the only thing I knew for sure was that people enjoyed my commentary. I didn’t see myself as a writer or artist, I didn’t think that I was some kind of guru. All I knew was that I was stressed to capacity, and I loved how relaxing it was to run my fingers across a computer keyboard. I knew that I enjoyed writing and wanted to be heard, but I was no expert. (I’m still no expert haha.)

Even though I had an idea of what my abilities were, I don’t think I could’ve really settled on an outlet had it not been for the input of others. If you don’t know what you’re good at, maybe it’s because you’re too close to see it. Ask your friends. Ask your family. Ask your coworkers. You’d be surprised what others see in you. Sometimes, you may not be surprised, you may just need that extra vote of confidence.

My point is this: Don’t waste time telling yourself what you can’t do. Instead, actively search for the activity that will bring you peace and purpose.

P.S.

Maybe you’ve read all of this and you’re thinking, “I already know what I’d LIKE to do, I just don’t know HOW to do it”. If this is the case, you likely need a brain trust–someone to bounce ideas off of so that you can refine those that stick.

I’m more than happy to help you sort things out! Click here to get started on finding your outlet!