No Choice But To Change

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.

-Iyanla Vanzant

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Country Music & Me: My Time Capsule To The Yesteryears

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. Continue reading

What To Consider Before Asking A Couple When They Are Getting Married

My boyfriend and I are approaching our 2 year anniversary and I just turned 30 years old. I understand why so many relatives and friends are becoming increasingly more curious about when will tie the knot.  As my elder no-nonsense cousin so eloquently stated during the early stages of my boyfriend and my relationship, “You’re not 19. What are his intentions?” It’s a valid question for me to consider.

I believe people are asking from a sincere place. They genuinely want me to be happy and they believe that marriage is one way to achieve happiness. They also want to make sure that I do it fast before time runs out and I can no longer give birth to babies. Many unmarried women in their mid-forties, who were focused on their career in their early thirties, regret the fact that they did not settle down earlier. Perhaps they want to ensure that I do not make the same mistake.

I get it.

But what I don’t understand is how some people feel the need to pressure you into making such a huge decision. We all know what pressure sounds like from our loved ones:

  • When are you getting married? (asked each time you see her/him)
  • When will I have a grandchild?
  • My son needs a playmate. Please tell me you’re going to have children next year.
  • You’re not getting any younger. You don’t want a high-risk pregnancy, do you?

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Moving Forward

Life is hard, I know. You want to give up, I understand. But, keep pushing towards your personal goals, exercise goals, career goals, or whatever other type of goal you have. Do not stop moving forward. Do not stop making progress, whatever little progress that is. It could be as simple as doing one push-up today, in order to work your way up to being able to do 50. It could be removing one Oreo from your diet instead of changing your entire diet. It could be researching the requirements for your new career instead of submitting the job application. Baby steps will eventually lead to great progress. Just keep moving forward…

Photo Credit: http://www.shaunellerton.co.uk/

The Gift Of Tragedy

gift tragedyMy 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. Continue reading