2019, how do I say farewell to a year that brought me to the highest of heights and it also brought me down to my knees in prayer? It was a good year, with lots of wins, but it also presented some challenges. Most years have their mix of ups and downs, but 2019 felt a bit more dynamic for me. The ups made me feel on top of the world, while the downs kept me up at night.
Nonetheless, 2019 is a year that taught me a lot. In fact, I believe that this year was a pivotal moment in my professional life, spiritual life, physical/wellness journey, and in my personal development journey as well. I’m happy to see 2019 end on a high note, but most importantly I’m ready to march into 2020 with my head held high, ready to grasp whatever life throws at me.
Without further adieu, here are the lessons that 2019 taught me.
New job, a new luxury apartment downtown, brand new car, the attention and admiration of my inner and outer circle. I just celebrated my 25th birthday on a beautiful beach. After 4 years of college and 2 years of graduate school, I finally graduated from student-dom and had entered adulthood. My job was everything I thought I wanted. I traveled for work and I even traveled on weekends. I was living the life of my dreams.
And 10 months later, it was taken away from me. It was taken from me in a matter of minutes. I lost my job. I lost my glamorous apartment. I lost the admiration of my friends and relatives. I lost the pride and confidence that I had in myself. I lost the freedom that I embraced being 550 miles from home. I returned back home, with no job and little money. I was no longer on top of the world. In fact, I thought the world was against me.Read More »
It’s been 6 months since my last post. Apologies for going radio silence on you. I have so many new ideas for posts, but I just couldn’t come back after ghosting you and say, TA-DA New Post! without at least explaining where the heck I’ve been in the past 196 days. So, here goes a list of things I’ve been doing instead of updating my blog. And some other random epiphanies I’ve had along the way.
Today is my birthday!And what better way to start my 33rd year on this planet than by writing a new post talking about all the lessons I’ve learned. A word of caution: I’m not proud of everything in this post, but as long as it resulted in a lesson learned. It’s all good, right?
When I was a little girl, the first thing I’d look at each morning was a painting that hung directly across from my bed. It was a painting of a woman and her little girl in a warm and loving embrace. My mom purchased it when she was a teenager, years before she had her first child.Read More »
To break the monotony of a day at the office, I often listen to Podcasts. I like podcasts that offer insight on a variety of topics, while still entertaining me in some way. Last week, I discovered How To Fix A Broken Record, a podcast based on a book of the same name. The podcast’s author, Amena Brown, discusses various topics in her book: natural hair, the importance of loving yourself, single life, married life, and the adventures of adulting in the social media age. Amena and her guests will make you laugh, reflect, or perhaps reevaluate life. So, S&T, if you need a pick-me-up during your day today, I highly recommend How To Fix A Broken Record podcast (and the book too)!
It’s not unusual for me to hop out the shower prematurely, grab a towel, and run to my iPhone to jot down a fabulous idea for a blog. It’s not uncommon for me to pull over during my commute to the office to write down an idea for a blog. At the office, I leave a blank notepad on my desk to jot down ideas as soon as they come. Normally, blog ideas flow consistently.
I took a 15 month hiatus from my blog. Why? My life was so full of activity that I honestly had no mental energy to conjure up a blog post, even when I tried. 2016 and 2017 were eventful years. I graduated from my graduate school program in August 2016; endured a 6-month job search (from May 2016 through December 2016) and 14 interviews with 10 different companies; accepted a job offer and settled into a new career; relocated to a new apartment in the Raleigh-Durham area; and planned an Atlanta wedding from North Carolina. I was so busy, I don’t even know how I managed to stay on top of everything. Sadly though, one of the things that I truly adore, was put on the back burner: my blog. Read More »
Hey S&T! I’m a newlywed! My wedding was in August. Ceremony and reception were both beautiful. The best part is that I married the man of my dreams. My wedding vows are written below:
You are my favorite person. Kind-hearted, brilliant and driven. Considerate and encouraging. Wise and positive.
You have changed me. You’ve changed my perspective. Your companionship has made me bolder, more confident and fearless. The way you sacrifice on my behalf is awesome. I am grateful that no matter how much pushback I gave you back when we met, you persisted.Read More »
I’ve always loved the art of storytelling. But, I never thought that story-telling could make the large impact on the world that I’ve always desired to make. Perhaps, this is the reason why I never took it as seriously as my career in healthcare. Because healthcare is more noble than storytelling, right? Wrong. As Viola Davis so eloquently stated during a historical moment at the Academy Awards in February:
People ask me all the time, what kind of stories do you want to tell, Viola? And I say, exhume those bodies. Exhume those stories. The stories of the people who dreamed big and never saw those dreams to fruition. People who fell in love and lost. I became an artist—and thank God I did—because we are the only profession that celebrates what it means to live a life.
Storytelling is powerful. I cannot tell you how many movies have brought tears to my eyes or made me reevaluate life. What I do on my blog is tell stories of my life. I didn’t think of it as much, but when I stopped writing, I had a people ask me, “Why don’t you blog anymore?” Your blog is what inspires me. It’s those words that have brought me back to my first love – writing.
Lately, I’ve been contemplating my life purpose. I recently met a woman who I believe is living out her life’s purpose and I cannot tell you how much she has inspired me, motivated me, and helped me through life’s obstacles. She is truly amazing to be around and if that’s what living in your calling looks like, then count me in.
I want to get back to S&T, I can’t promise you a consistent blog schedule. But, I will promise you that I will go back to my first love.
Every morning when I was in elementary school, I would wake up and complete my routine: wake up, read Bible, pray, bathe, brush teeth, get dressed, and eat breakfast. After breakfast, however, I would make my way back to my bedroom and write my schedule for the day on my dry erase board. The board would look something like this:
I grew up in the Greater Atlanta area, in a city 20 miles northwest of downtown Atlanta called Marietta. My house is located right off Sandy Plains Rd. My family and I moved to that home in 1992. Back then, Sandy Plains was two lane street. It was a stark contrast from what it is today. Nowadays, everything one needs is located right along Sandy Plains. Grocery stores, pharmacies, my high school, dentist offices, doctor offices, fast food restaurants, cemeteries, post offices, pet stores, movie theaters, bookstores, and even hair salons. My high school hangout spot was the Chick-fil-A off Sandy Plains Road. And even when we got older and wanted to frequent nightclubs; the neighborhood nightclub was a short 5 minute commute from Sandy Plains.Read More »
The radio can be a bully. How many times has a song played on the radio and you didn’t like, so you flipped to the next station that was playing the same song? No matter what station you found yourself listening to, the song was alwayson the radio. It was as if the radio is telling you, “I don’t care what you do, but you are going to like this song. I am going to force you to like this song.” This is precisely what happened between me and my local radio stations. But, a positive outcome occurred. I began to appreciate the words from the seemingly ubiquitous pop song, “Love Myself” by Hailee Steinfield. The song so closely reflects the message of this blog and I couldn’t resist posting.
The lyrics reflect a woman’s dedication to loving herself, and putting herself first. (There is a bit of a sexual undertone in the lyrics, but we’ll ignore that.)
It is the type of song I could imagine a woman listening to after experiencing a break up from her boyfriend. You know how women go into their post-breakup rants about how they could do better all by themselves? They don’t need a man. Yep, this is the song you’ll find on their Spotify playlist. But, this song is not only suited for post-breakups, this song could be applied to women in relationships too.
For the woman in a relationship, it is easy to forget to take care of yourself. It’s easy to forget to exercise, eat healthy foods, and to do the things you did before he entered your life. It’s also easy to forget to take time out for yourself and do the things you enjoy doing. Life can become hectic when you’re sharing it with someone else, so taking a step back and chanting to yourself, I love me, is a must.
Thanks, Hailee, for your self-empowering debut single. Hopefully, we’ll continue to see you on the Top 40 Billboard Chart.
When the time comes for you to make a change, to grow, to do your life in a different way, the universe will make you so uncomfortable, so unhappy, you will eventually have no choice. If you insist on staying in a place you no longer belong in, if you do not grow the courage to do what is necessary to propel yourself forward, you will suffer the consequences, whatever they may be.
One of my favorite childhood memories is riding in the car with my mom on Saturdays, while listening to Kicks 101.5, Atlanta’s Country Music station. It was during these rides around my hometown of Marietta, where my mom and I would discuss the importance of self-esteem, earning good grades, and cultivating healthy friendships. Sometimes, my younger brother would join us and and our conversations would become more abstract, like discussing my brother’s interest in Gargolyes and Dragon Ball Z. Country music served as the background soundtrack to a time in my life when I didn’t have to worry about anything. Career goals were a thing of a distance future. Making friends was easy and my idea of establishing a long-term relationship was reduced to planning the most outlandish fairy-tale wedding possible. Life was good.
Nowadays, when life becomes challenging and decisions become overwhelming, I revert back to the days when life was simple. Music has an amazing ability to help us remember our yesteryears. Country Music serves as my personal time capsule, helping me travel back in time to when life was simple. I listen to Country Music daily. In fact, I not only listen to it, I sing along with it. Loudly. While driving around my city.
So, today, I’d like to welcome Friday by sharing my all-time favorite Country Music songs with you. I hope these tunes help you relieve the tension you may have stored up after a stressful week. And I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.Read More »
In my post entitled, The Greatest Lie Millenials Believe, I emphasized how important money is. I emphasize that it takes precedence when pursuing our goals. Life circumstances has also taught me that it is more important to manage funds wisely than it is to make a lot of money. For, if you make $56,000 per year, but spend $35,000 per year, you are much better off than someone who makes $500,000 per year, but spends $510,000 per year. Saving and managing funds wisely is key. Read More »
Yesterday, I did something I have never done before: I left my smartphone at home for the first time since I purchased it in May.
I didn’t realize my phone was not with me until I was in traffic on my way to work, but by that time, I was already 20 minutes in my commute and turning back around to pick it up, would guarantee that I would be late to work. I could not be late to work again.
I became anxious initially, as my thoughts bounced from how could I leave my phone at home to I’m going to drive 35 minutes during my lunch hour to pick it up.
I arrived at work early, with a plan to pick up my phone during my lunch hour. Two hours later, I realized that my day was coming along well without the addictive device. For once, I could think clearly without the interference of notifiers that frequently sound on my Android phone. A day away from phone was delightful and helped me accomplish the following things.Read More »
My grandmother died last December and while my family and I knew her death was inevitable due to illness, the fact that she was gone hit harder than we could have imagined. She was the matriarch of the family, had a good sense of humor, a classic style of dress, and a sassiness very few could match. I loved her dearly.
Fortunately for me, up until 2013, I hadn’t experienced the death of a loved one. Although my brother passed away 25 years ago, I was too young to understand what happened. But as a young woman in her twenties, I knew exactly what it meant when someone dies. It means they are never coming back in flesh. And that, for anyone, is a hard pill to swallow.
I deal with life’s curveballs and downturns differently than most. You may find me smiling when you think I should be crying. You may find me organizing my sock drawer instead of opening up about how devastated I am about what has happened. You may even find me laughing uncontrollably with relatives about something totally unrelated to what has happened. Sometimes creating a distraction is the only way I can survive another day.Read More »
I know, I know. I’ve skipped posts and as the months of 2014 unfold, my posts are becoming more and more sporadic. I apologize for my lack of consistency. Life offline has a way of interfering with one’s ability to blog the way she once did. Things are changing. I’m changing. And anything that comes to mind to discuss on a public platform seems a bit too personal. While I value transparency on my blog, there some moments in life that are best left unsaid. I really think that as things settle down and I am more comfortable in my situation, or perhaps gotten over this large hump in front of me, then I’ll be back to consistent blog posts.
In the meantime, S&T, I want you to get what you need from my posts. Is there a particular topic you’d like me to blog about?