Tuesday, July 26, 2016

It only takes one YES.

So often we see people writing about how they have become successful and that it takes a ton of failure. We know these stories of how Michael Jordan didn't make a basketball team or how Albert Einstein's mother was told that he was stupid and couldn't amount to anything. Hearing these stories does help when things don't work out, but actually going through that failure hurts. Rejection, being told no, being told you aren't good enough, can't do something, etc. hurts. It just hurts. it is OK that it hurts. LET it hurt. That is one thing through my many failures that I've learned - don't act like you didn't care or that it doesn't hurt. That hurts you even more in the long run - it's like avoiding an injury and continuing to use the injured part of you. Acknowledge it.

The second thing I do in a failure situation is setting a time for me to be done wallowing. Now, don't get me wrong, I STILL WALLOW. I just set a realistic timeline of how long I will be wallowing before I try something again or pick myself up and try something new. In addition to setting the timeline for the wallowing, I also have my typical things I do that cheer me up. If I get cut from a dance audition, I always eat something ridiculously awful. A whole pizza or something covered in spicy queso or even a Cajun Fondue PoBoy (where I ask them to put the fondue straight on the bread so I don't have to mess with the dipping). That doesn't mean I go crazy forever of being unhealthy, but I allow myself the indulgence. I also watch random movies or go out with friends. I do something I've been putting off like spot cleaning the carpet or heck, why not make the apartment spotless?! I do those things within my timeline of wallowing.

Then I get back on the wagon and try again. It sounds cliche, but I cannot even begin to count the amount of failures I've had, even if we try to narrow it down to dancing, work, school, following societal norms for women my age, etc. A good friend once told me to NEVER stop trying. You might get a million "no's" but it only takes one yes. IT ONLY TAKES ONE YES. That yes can change your life. And you only need one of them. That mantra gets me through every stinging, horrible rejection I've ever had. It helps me to keep going, to keep trying and to not quit. If something is important enough to you to try, keep trying. I'll balance this out by saying if you are putting yourself in a harmful situation (physically, emotionally, etc.) then definitely quit that, I'm talking more about dreams, hopes and goals. Don't give up on that. Don't give up on YOU.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Take what is yours, but no more

I pride myself in working hard to ensure that I can live the way I want without worrying about my finances. I make sure to hold multiple jobs, if necessary, and take no days off. Sometimes that rocks and sometimes that really sucks. I recently had my first full weekend off in months and seriously didn't know what to do with myself. It was truly refreshing, but I'm not sure if I want that all the time. I like to be doing things or thinking about things. I've heard this is a Millennial type trait, but for me, it's a necessary part of life. If I want certain things, I have to do certain things to get the things that I want.

One thing that has been a constant for me is that I want to spend what I earn and not what other people earn. It's nice to be treated by my significant other or friends every so often, but I feel personally responsible for myself and my well being. That isn't to say that I feel that I shouldn't donate money or treat my friends back, but I do make sure I can handle whatever expenditures that I incur.

This isn't a post to shame others who can't take care of themselves - there are some situations that are horrible, tragic, and all too common. I'm happy to lend a hand when people are in need because I've been in need and didn't receive much help. I didn't even know I needed help, to be honest. Most people don't. Offering help and love sans judgement is important and a part of being a good friend, person and human.

This is a post about knowing what is yours and what isn't yours to take. I'm not only referring to materials; I'm referring to time, love, etc. I love Beyonce's "
Formation" and I love that she says "take what's mine." She doesn't say take what isn't hers. She doesn't say steal. She says what is hers. Remember to take what is yours, but not more.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Remember to turn on the light

I know y'all are thinking - WOW two posts in two days? Or maybe not, but I'm liking having some time to think and write, so I'm happy to share it with you! Yesterday's post was about keeping it real - having that tough conversation with yourself in a negative time to turn that situation around for the better. Today's thoughts are about how to get to that positive and run with it.

One thing that has been a constant for me is that I'm a very independent person who sometimes (often) gets lost in my day to day tasks and forgets to connect with my friends and family. Social media sites give me a quick way to check in and I can text and such asking how things are going, but I mean really CONNECT. Connecting to me is talking with the person about what they and I are passionate about. They might not be the same, but doing so brings you to such a great place. I have a couple of examples of how I chose to start this Monday out - by connecting.

Since I have some extra time, I've been more thoughtful in my day job tasks and initiatives. I was contemplating the best way to do launch a new piece of collateral that we created (it is SUPER cool, so stay tuned for how we launch it) in a timely manner. One thing about my organization and the industry that we are in is that everything is very fast paced - it's necessary for the operations sides of things. While it is important to execute in a timely fashion, I didn't want to sacrifice this great piece of collateral - I didn't want it to get lost in the shuffle of Monday posts. So Sunday, I was thinking about the best way to do this and had a few ideas, but wasn't sure what would be the best way. So what do I do? I call my friend Jill to talk through them. I've worked with her for a long time and see her as being a great thinker and doer - she sees things others don't AND I also wanted to catch up with her on a personal level. That conversation not only helped with one task, but might have offered a great opportunity for her AND me, simply from a phone call. I drove into work feeling great, confident and like I had a good purpose for today.

Halfway through my morning, I texted my friend, Jenna from high school just to chat. She popped into my head and I thought I'd say hello. I ended up talking with her for just under two hours while I was doing my day to day tasks about anything and everything that was going on with our lives, how past events lead to them, our feelings about current events, travel, etc. I haven't spoken with her in person for a while now and she gave me even more of a purpose for my day than I had talking with Jill. I also remembered that I DO have a great friend sitting in a different state that I can lean on when I need it and I think Jenna realized that I can be that person for her too. Even though we are far apart, we still can be supportive through happy and difficult times and events.

I named this post after one of my FAVORITE Harry Potter quotes by Albus Dumbledore (even though Severus Snape is the best character of all time). Remembering to turn on the light is huge. I'm not even in a "darkest of time" scenario, but I was forgetting to turn on the light. I was struggling to find purpose and direction, but didn't remember that I can turn on the smallest of lights that can help me find my way. For me, the way to turn on that light is to connect. To actually sit down and give time to the people who care about me and who I care about - with no other purpose than to say hello and see what's up. When you're stuck in a situation, find the switch, and turn on the light.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Keepin it Real

Hey y'all! It's been a LONG time since my last post. Honestly, life has gotten busy and I haven't had as much time to think through things - I'm not going to post for posts sake. One of the things that I've been grappling with lately is what I really want to do with my life. Everyone makes it sound so simple - have a family, a career, travel the world, etc. That isn't really what I'm talking about, though those are great goals to aspire to - I'm talking about what do you want to do day to day to be happy and fulfilled. THAT is a much harder question. The thing that makes it so hard is that you THINK certain things will make you happy and they do, but the over time, it becomes another chore in life.

Personally, I struggle with the whole closure thing. I'm not good at knowing that something good has run its course and having the courage to walk away. I'm always trying so hard to hold onto every little positive thing or success that sometimes I hold on too tightly and end up stressing myself out. I also loathe the phrase "Are you stressed? when my entire life is stress. It might not be stress about my survival, more like, self imposed stress. I'm trying to do a good job with everything I do and make sure I can balance my many commitments. I'm digressing, but I wanted to make that point - life is stress for me.

Back to my earlier point, how do you know when to walk away from something and try something new? What would that something new be? Well, as I said, I'm not the best at identifying that. Typically, something happens that forces me into a new position. I'll admit, the biggest obstacle is overcoming my own fear. Even if things are going badly, I think about that it could be worse and the unknown is worse. That isn't necessarily true, but that's my line of thought. People always say the grass is greener on the other side (until you get to the other side and then it's not as nice as you think it is).

I also struggle with knowing if I'm giving up or not. I'd describe myself as persistent and resilient and I don't want to feel like a quitter. I always am trying to get better and trying to do more, but at what point is that futile? I think that it takes a good look in the mirror and some honest questions - is this helping me or the other party anymore? Is this great job, relationship, hobby, etc. what it should be? If not, is it worth my energy to repair it, or do I need a break or to move on?

Now, I've admitted I'm not good at this, but one thing I know is that every time I've lost a job or relationship that is stressing me out, I've felt like a huge weight is lifted. I'm upset, sure, but I feel like I'm breathing air rather than drowning in water. Maybe placing yourself on the "greener" side theoretically would help, maybe jumping headfirst in would help.

By doing the above, you can start to get real with yourself. What do you want out of life? What do you want to contribute? What do you hope to see, do, experience? I'm a NOT a planner as it limits me, personally, but a rough understanding of yourself is necessary to be open to opportunities or experiences that will change your life. Keep it real with yourself and your life.