Let Go of Temporary People

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Not sure if any of you seen the video circulating of Madea (Tyler Perry) discussing letting people go. If you haven’t seen it, I’m sure you can find it on YouTube. It’s a fascinating video. The jest of it states that you need to determine who’s in your life for a season or a lifetime. Some people’s primary purpose is to teach you a lesson. Not necessarily to spend the rest of their life with you. It’s up to us to learn the difference.  However, we hold a tighter grip on that person when we need to let them go. Madea also mentioned that’s why people are having a difficult time because they’re keeping a dying relationship alive. I understand some folks don’t want to be alone or start over. I think we have to stop looking at this as a bad thing. It is more of an opportunity for you to grow and move in a more positive direction. Staying with someone for the sake of having someone is plain dreadful. That’s a miserable existence that I don’t want in my life.

These life lessons are too valuable to miss. I had two people that I used to have as friends. We had a falling out that, to this day, still doesn’t make much sense. I didn’t realize at the time that those friendships ending turned to be blessings in disguise. The lessons I learned from those relationships I still use to this day.  If one friend is playing both sides and keeps the drama going, then move right on past that person. A real friend never wants to pin two friends against each other. Their main objective would be keeping the peace. Also, watch how friends treat you after a romantic relationship ends. When my ex-fiancé and I broke up, I noticed a shift in two of my friendships. It came across like they didn’t know how to be my friend anymore. We all spent time together due to the fact we all were couples. I guess since now I wasn’t a couple, I no longer fit the image. Of course, this isn’t how friendships should be at all.

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I discussed the shift with my two friends at the time, and they were gas lighting me, of course. Other friends warned me to be careful, and something seemed off with that situation. Of course, I didn’t listen, and ultimately the friendships fall apart. One friend was increasingly becoming distant, so I knew something was up. One day I finally called her out and asked her what’s going on? She said she wants to move on and gave a bogus explanation of moving away from friends who also knew Sharon (not her real name). I thought it was silly, but she wanted to leave my life, so I let the door wide open for her. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t hurt. However, I wasn’t begging for someone to stay when their actions proved otherwise. I wish both of them the best, but it was time for us to part ways.

The biggest lesson I learned from this is when someone starts to treat you differently, pay attention. That person’s feelings toward you are changing, and if you aren’t careful, you’ll be shocked by what comes next. When someone is genuinely committed to you, they will have your back no matter what. That’s what true love is all about with your flaws and all. If nothing else, I learned who truly cared for me or who was ready to discard me when I didn’t fit their image. It’s sad when things end, but not everything is a loss. Some things work out for the better only when you allow it and stop fighting the process.

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How did you move on from situations that no longer served a purpose in your life?

The Importance of Me Time

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After having over a month of running from here and there, I am exhausted. I didn’t realize it until this past weekend when my plans fall through. I realized at that point that I need to take better care of myself. It’s important to understand that at times, you need to take a break and decompress from the world. Many people have different ways of needing me time, but whatever it is, it needs to happen. Burn out from work and life is a real thing. I believe this is the reason why more people are suffering from depression. Americans are overworked and underpaid, which is a recipe for disaster. It is more critical than ever the need to recharge and refuel to be a better version of yourself. In the next paragraphs, I’m going to discuss my top 3 things I do during my me time.

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I love to meditate as it’s imperative to get centered with yourself. It helps to rid my body of those negative thoughts, and it helps me to relax as well. At first, I struggled with it because it was new and something I never did before. I thought that maybe I would never obtain the concept, but after a few practices, I finally got the hang of it. I recommend meditation as it’s a great way to help with self-soothing. Of course, in life, you will be faced with many stressful and challenging situations. Meditation is the best way to remain calm in those situations. Since adopting meditation, I have been much happier and more relaxed than usual. I would get upset about something and be able to keep myself calm quickly. Whereas in the past I would get agitated and it would take me a while to calm down. Most of it had to do with my career and my emotional intelligence not being at the same level. Maturing doesn’t end at 18 years of age, and we all continue to grow through more life experiences. The best way to start meditating is simple by starting and finding a free app to use. I enjoy Head space even though it’s not entirely free, but it has a worth of knowledge available. Whichever route you decide to take I hope that you will give it a try. It has done wonders for me, and I hope that others enjoy the same benefits.

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I started to institute a requirement that I would stay off of social media at least one day a week. I noticed that it was consuming a vast majority of my time, and it started to contribute to the negative feelings I was having about myself. I know everyone likes to think they’re secure about themselves, but now and then we all start to focus more on the flaws that we have. Social media has a way of reinforcing those negative stereotypes and body images. It’s important to unplug and step away from social media to see the real world. There is most likely something that you have been putting off that you forgot to work on and you’re using social media as a reason not to complete it. I have been guilty in the past of saying I don’t have time or I’ll come back to it later. The truth is I hardly come back to it, and I was lazy by not completing my tasks. By giving myself time away from social media, I get to readjust my focus and get back to my real life.

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The last thing that I created for myself during my me time is lazy Sundays. I don’t do this every Sunday, but depending on the week I had or coming up I would do nothing on this day. I can stay in the house all day if I want to or go outside. It’s a lazy day because I don’t demand that I full this day up with something to do. I allow my mood to determine what I would do that day if I do anything. Sunday is a no pressure type of day. I can use it as a day to catch up on my reading, my favorite TV shows, or prepare myself for the upcoming week. Allowing myself this time helps me with getting much-needed rest and will enable me to slow things down a bit. I’m guilty of not giving myself breaks as I should and setting a day aside to do just that helps tremendously.

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What are some of your me time activities that you like to partake? If you don’t have any currently, which ones would you like to implement?

Prescription for Self-Care

When you hear the word self-care what comes to mind? For me, it’s something that I don’t do enough. I’m always running around but never take the time to focus on myself entirely. We all need time to ourselves to unwind from the stresses of the day. You can’t be fully present for others if you have yet to be there for yourself. I’m learning that I can’t give my all and saying no is okay. I still feel guilty when I do however not being there for myself is even worse. How can you say you love yourself if you don’t give yourself the same care as everything else? Internally you deserve the same amount of attention as your job, bills, etc. No more excuses! From this day forward self-care will no longer be a slogan but a complete lifestyle change.

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I concluded that I lacked self-care while being on this leadership council for a non-profit organization. I tried to make myself available to all the meetings and any activities that came up. Due to my work commitments being on this council was proving to be quite challenging. It didn’t matter however because I was determined to give back even if meant hurting myself in the process. Since this council is new, it requires a lot of time and effort. I could provide support but only in a limited capacity. I started to see that my availability and the council needs weren’t in alignment. I kept forcing myself to fit into a puzzle piece that doesn’t fit. I realize that honestly, I could give my all but at what cost? Sure I would be giving back, but I won’t be fully present as I would be exhausted. I have to take better care of myself if I’m going to be an asset. Until I cater to my needs, I can’t possibly be there for others.

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Putting others before yourself is selfish because as a human you have needs as well. Not catering to your own needs creates resentment. Taking time to recharge your batteries gives you the space you need so you can get in touch with yourself. Also, it’s okay if you can’t be involved in everything. It’s better to dedicate yourself to a few events as opposed to every occasion and not enjoying it.  Be honest about what your schedule permits. People may expect more but don’t let guilt deter you. Don’t let others have free reign over your time as you don’t get that back. You should be happy and excited anytime you are spending time on something. If your energy is continuously depleting that means you are neglecting your needs and you need to look into that. I’m practicing self-care currently, and unfortunately, it’s taking some adjustments on my part. I’m hoping you do the same if you haven’t started already. What are some of your self-care methods that you tried? Please share your comments below. Don’t forget to fill your daily dose of self-care or seek your treatment as needed.

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Until next time,

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Happiness is Waiting

I’ve spoken previously about the importance of stepping out of your comfort zone to grow. You learn so much more about yourself when you take these opportunities. Recently, I put this thought process to the test during my latest trip to Los Angeles. I know family and friends don’t want me to move there, but I love the weather. We’ll see you never know what happens. Anyway, the purpose of this trip besides a vacation, of course, was to visit a relative of mine. I haven’t seen her in two years since she moved and this would be an opportunity to see her new surroundings. Since I knew she had to work, I decided to create an itinerary for myself. The flight was six hours from NJ, and I am not about to be sitting in a hotel waiting to hang out. I am incredibly grateful that I took this approach. I went overzealous with the activities, but I still was living my best life.

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The best part about having an itinerary in place is you never have to worry about what to do next. Having your activities planned out for the day takes out the guesswork of what to do on a given day. Of course, you don’t have to follow an itinerary word for word. However, it allows you to focus on the trip and not stress about what activities to do. Having these preplanned activities in place worked out perfectly as I was solo for half the trip. I spent time with my relative but not for the whole duration of my stay. The best part of this is that I was able to do the things I wanted to do without judgment from someone else. Spending time with myself not only allowed me to fulfill my interest but to learn how to deal with my own company too.

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Another significant part of my Los Angeles trip is that now I made a new friend. When you go on a trip solo, it forces you outside of your comfort zone.  Then for you to connect with others, you will have to put yourself out there. That is how I made a new friend in Los Angeles, and I gained a new travel buddy. She was out in Los Angeles solo as well, and we met at the same hotel. We even were staying on the same floor only three doors down from each other. I’m a firm believer that we were destined to meet. I heard of coincidences, but that had to be fate involved. I seriously would’ve missed out on all the fun and the people I met if I didn’t go on this trip.

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Of course, I would’ve loved to spend more time with my relative during my time in Los Angeles. However, I learned so much about myself due to this trip that I wouldn’t trade this experience for the world. I learned how resilient I could be when faced with new obstacles and challenges. This trip opened my eyes to the endless possibilities if only I would be willing to try and stop being scared. Remember you can’t have a lasting relationship with anyone if you can’t have one with yourself. Go on that trip, try out the new cooking class, or whatever your interest takes you. Stop letting the fear of the unknown stop you from living your best life. The happiness you are seeking is on the other side of fear.

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Until next time,

Thkeya Life (1)

Social Media Cleanse

I know it’s been a while since I wrote a blog post. I was running around getting ready to head to Miami and then it was time to leave for my trip. Now that I’m back it’s time to write another post. I went to Miami for the first time for five days, and I loved it. I had the best time, and I can’t wait until I go back again. I did something that I rarely do which is not to take pictures and then post them to social media. I lived in the moment for once and didn’t stop to post the photos every five minutes. It was a very liberating experience to live in the moment and not be so preoccupied with social media. It made me realize how much social media has impacted our lives. I guess to a degree we have allowed it. We sometimes feel the constant need to post images and tell every detail of our lives. We need to practice more of living in the moment. I enjoyed my Miami trip more because I wasn’t trying to gain likes or please my followers. I did something healthy which is to experience the moment, as it was occurring.

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Living in the moment allowed me to have more freedom and experience my trip a lot more. I would post here and there but nothing how I would typically. Life was so simple before social media as people were present and lived in the moment. In the days before social media people would communicate with their company more instead of being on the phone. I believe it is insulting to be on your phone while in the company of others. It signals that not only are you uninterested in the folks around you but that whatever you are doing on your device is more interesting. However, putting your device down and taking in life as its happening is such an invigorating experience. You don’t get those moments back, so it’s important to be present in that given moment.

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I think taking time away from social media is essential especially if you see you are getting too caught up in it. One must remember that social media is a form of entertainment, but it’s not real life. It is a way for you to connect with others from different parts of the country and the world. However, it can’t replace living your life. There is much to see and do out in this beautiful thing called life. Please don’t allow social media to take away from that and make you forget what is significant. I would recommend that everyone at some point goes on a social media cleanse. It will allow you time away to focus on the real world and not the fake. A bonus is communicating with the people around you. With social media, people forgot how to speak when they have people in front of them. Purging from social media gives you time back with loved ones and the world around you. I’m not saying stay entirely away from social media but don’t forget to live your life to the fullest while using it.

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Until next time,

Thkeya Life (1)

Battle with Depression

I’m writing this in complete shock of what transpired with Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain. My thoughts and prayers are with their families at this difficult time. I’ve been reading a lot of comments regarding this situation, and everyone keeps saying how they don’t understand how Kate and Anthony got to this point. The comments are beyond hurtful as many people don’t know how mental illness and depression can alter your emotions. You will have mood swings, and thoughts of suicide can occur. These thoughts take place over the course of days, weeks, months, and even years. It is a constant battle of trying to get better and pretending that you’re okay. It is a private hell that I don’t wish on anyone. My intention with this post is to shed some light on this subject. The insensitivity I’m seeing is all the more reason why it’s essential to have this conversation. With many prayers and conversations with myself, I decided to share my own story. I have reservations about it, but I think it’s critical that I put my feelings aside. If this story can save one life, then it will be all worth it. Most importantly I hope that someone out there will think before they bully or judge someone. You have no idea what that person is dealing with or if the night before unsuccessfully (Thank God) tried to commit suicide.

My first experience with depression started when I was a teenager. I experienced a traumatic event in my life which prompted this. I didn’t properly learn how to process and deal with my emotions. I sought help, but the first therapist that I interacted with wasn’t helpful. She made me feel as if the situation was my fault. I was already blaming myself, so this situation just pushed me over the edge. I had so much pent-up aggression inside that I just wanted it to be released. I begin to self-harm as a way to cope with my emotions. Of course, this didn’t help at all, and my pain only intensified as time went on. The pain was becoming unbearable to the point where suicide was viewed as the best option. I didn’t feel comfortable discussing my struggles with anyone. When I would explain my issues with family, I would hear you don’t have anything to be sad about, or you need to pray more. Not sure why people think hearing that would be helpful in some way. Of course, this does nothing to cure your depression or boost your self-esteem. I kept myself busy with school and extracurricular activities. All I did was mask the pain I was dealing with, but it did nothing to cure the depression I was feeling. My family and friends thought I was okay because I did an excellent job of hiding my emotions.

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I am a very great actress, and I hid it very well. I don’t want to come across as weak or complaining, so I keep things to myself. When I did open up to the family, I didn’t get the support I was seeking. They were listening to me, but they didn’t understand what I was feeling. In their mind, I was a teen, and this is what teens deal with, so you will grow out of it. This thinking was wrong as I didn’t grow out of it and it only became worse. When you first open up about your feelings and don’t  receive a heartfelt response, you decide to not speak on it anymore. Everybody wants to be understood so when that doesn’t occur it’s easier to keep your thoughts to yourself. Depression followed me well into my adulthood, and I still struggle with it daily. Happy events were occurring in my life, but I was battling my own demons that I couldn’t enjoy it. I know I wasn’t the most relaxed person to date during that time as I was suffering in silence. I was going through the motions of life and being miserable at the same time. I got to the point when ending it all was the best option just to alleviate the noise in my head. This is when I unsuccessfully attempted suicide, and I’m so incredibly grateful it was unsuccessful.

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I went to work the next day as if nothing happened the night before. I remember that day as if it was yesterday. I had a horrible day at work, and my coworkers had no idea the previous night I had. At that point is when I decided to seek therapy again. I know you are wondering the first attempt didn’t work out so why try it again? I knew that I couldn’t do this alone and who better to see but a professional. I met an excellent therapist and credited her with helping to save me from myself. I had been a broken person all these years. My inner child never fully healed, so she became an adult without the emotional coping skills necessary in life. Even though I was an adult emotionally, I was still a teen, and that version of myself was the one making the decisions. Until I learned to heal that inner child, I would never be able to move forward. Those were the skills I learned in therapy, and that’s why I’m here today. With her guidance, I was able to finally heal my inner child and gain the closure I desperately needed for that chapter in my life.

I am a stronger, healthier person now because of therapy. I am a massive advocate for treatment, and I encourage anyone who needs healing to get it. After speaking about my struggles, I noticed that some family and friends are going through similar issues. Being preoccupied with how I came across, I never thought that maybe there are people who understand me. When you are in your head too much, you don’t reason with reality. My family and friends are more than willing to help me if I would let them in my world. Therapy taught me that I need to stop building walls around myself and be open to people as everyone isn’t going to hurt me. I don’t want anyone to read this story and feel sorry for me. I’m in a much better place, and this experience has only made me stronger. I hope that you read this story and it opens your eyes that depression doesn’t have a look. Anyone at any given time could be experiencing depression. If you have a loved one that is struggling even if they give hints, please don’t ignore them. That is their way of asking for help.

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Unfortunately, there is a still a stigma associated with mental illness and depression. Due to that people are still afraid to come forward with their truth. If you are struggling, please feel free to email me even if it’s to vent. I don’t want you to feel alone. Seek treatment and speak to a trusted friend or family member. Use this post as a way to help facilitate a conversation if necessary. Don’t let your struggles get the best of you. There is a way that you can overcome your obstacles don’t be afraid to ask for help. If one person doesn’t listen or give you the response you are seeking keep trying. There are others out there who do so don’t give up. Please share this on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and leave your comments below. Let’s continue to add commas to our lives and not a period.

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Until next time,

Thkeya Life (1)