The Art of Saying No

I can’t be the only person who has this issue. I have the hardest time saying no to people. I believe deep down I’m afraid of disappointing people if I say no. It’s as if I’m letting people down by not doing what they ask of me. However, what I’m realizing is that I’m causing more harm than good. When you put others before yourself, you start to neglect your wants and needs. There is nothing wrong with helping others, but it can’t come as a detriment to yourself. Here are four questions to consider before agreeing to assist someone with their affairs.

  1. Will this put my aspirations on the back burner?

Remember it is admirable for you to help others, but, if your own goals are affected, think before taking on more than you can handle.  You will become resentful and bitter if your goals take a backseat due to helping others. It is best to make sure that you have the time available to continue to pursue your goals while supporting others.

  1. Will this impact me financially?

Friends and family may fall on hard times and ask for you to assist them when it comes to money. However, keep in mind that you aren’t obligated to provide them with this assistance. If you don’t have the funds be honest and don’t give out something that you need for yourself. Your friends and family may even try to guilt you into providing them with the support. Please don’t give them your last especially if you are struggling yourself. Do you need this money back that you are giving out? If so, think about how this will impact your relationship with that individual if you don’t receive your money back. I learned a long time ago that if I give cash out don’t expect it back. Doing this will avoid many arguments that may arise.

  1. Will you be overwhelmed by assisting?

Despite our best efforts things in life can and will come up.  Whether it be work or unexpected life events that may occur. Helping others should never become overwhelming or even feel like a burden to you. Assisting others only works once all of your related activities are complete. The reason this becomes an issue is that you are doing too much at one time. Let me tell you this is a disaster as you will become frustrated. You can even snap at a moment’s notice due to your growing agitation. The way to not feel overwhelmed is to make sure you have time to offer your support. Don’t just say yes due to the fear of what telling no would cause. Be honest if you have too much on your plate and are unable to provide support at this time.

  1. Are you indeed able to assist at this moment?

People will respect you more if you are honest about what you can handle. Don’t feel as if you must say yes or else. Taking on more than you can chew only hurts you in the end. When people see that you will take on any and everything they will begin to take advantage of you. It is up to you to stand up for yourself and let people know when enough is enough. If you can’t help in the full capacity that the individual is expecting, then explain what you can do. A person who loves you doesn’t care how much you will contribute when any little bit can help. If someone gives you a hard time about it, then you will know in the future where you stand with that person.

Before responding back to someone about supporting them remember these four questions and then proceed to provide your answer. Make these questions a habit of answering before agreeing to help others. The critical thing to remember is that to be of assistance to someone is to be fully available to help. Learning to say no is difficult as I struggle with it myself. But taking the time to think before saying yes is a better option. You will allow yourself time to assess in what capacity you can help and what precisely you can provide. This way you are assisting on your terms, and you will feel less inundated in the process.

Until next time,

Thkeya Life (1)

Breaking the Cycle of Abuse

With the growing acknowledgment of the “Me Too” movement, it has brought to light the injustices that many people face on a daily basis. Of course, this is a great thing that the issues of the “Me Too” movement are coming to the forefront. Comprising positions can hopefully be avoided in the future. Unfortunately, there are still a few issues that haven’t seen the light of day. One problem, in particular, is when a sexual violation occurs at the hands of a family member or friend of the family. One thing that I would hear often growing up (and I’m sure you overheard this as well) is don’t leave your child around so and so. I understand rumors and how you don’t want a rumor to destroy a person’s reputation. However, for speculations to grow over time, there has to be some validity to the whispers going around. Case in point look at Harvey Weinstein and Bill Cosby. Those rumors followed them for years, and now years later we are discovering that indeed they were correct. There were many women impacted by both these men, and if just one person would’ve spoken up, it could’ve prevented so much anguish.

It is incredible that people are finally speaking out against Harvey Weinstein and Bill Cosby. However, we all need to speak out even if it’s someone close to us.  We need to protect our women and children better. It doesn’t matter if you knew this person for years. Once a sexual violation has occurred the moral thing to do is call the authorities. I’m aware getting the police involved particularity when it pertains to Black people can have dire consequences. Honestly, this type of matter shouldn’t have the appearance of being seen as being nonchalant. By protecting the abuser and shunning the victims, there is a horrible message that is coming across. We are telling the victims to keep their mouths shut as what they say isn’t important. Also, we are allowing the abuser to continue hurting other people. Psychologically this will have lasting effects on the victims. Victims may feel suicidal, withdrawn from society, perform self-harm, and struggle with intimacy. Depending on how young the abuse starts this will impact their development as they will be conflicted about what occurred. Their body will respond differently from their mind. Unfortunately, this type of confusion will lead them to feel like it is their fault for what happened. If the abuser admits their wrongdoing at all, it comes with an idiotic statement about being enticed. We need to change our approach to discussing topics such as this to help the victims move forward with their lives.

I understand the touchy nature of this topic makes people want to shy away from it. However, this is important enough that it needs everyone’s full attention. There are many people out there who are impacted by this cycle of abuse. One of the worst things you can do is tell someone they are lying. Please understand the amount of courage that was taken to come forward. When someone is describing in great detail what transpired, they are not lying. Keep in mind if you are telling the truth you never have to remember a lie. Also, not believing someone when they tell you what happened to them is terrible as well. It, unfortunately, relives the whole ordeal all over again when nobody trusts what the victim says. The idea reinforces the belief that the victim is at fault for what occurred to them. Giving support to this situation and being there as a shoulder to lean on is essential. Most importantly please stop protecting these abusers! Speak out and get the authorities involved as soon as possible. You will help to save someone from a lifetime of grief that some take years to overcome if they do at all.

Until next time,

Thkeya Life (1)

Congratulating Yourself

For me, one of the hardest things to do is be proud of myself. I am my own worst critic. I am always looking for the next thing that I forget to stop and smell the roses. I hear all the time from family and friends about how well I’m doing. Unfortunately, I don’t feel the same way they do. I feel as if there is more I should be doing and I have to stop procrastinating to get it accomplished. In my own eyes, I don’t feel like I have accomplished much and there is much more for me to do. I had a conversation with my best friend the other day, and I realized that I am extremely strict with myself. I rarely give myself credit for anything, and I’m always trying to see what I could’ve done differently. The goals I have accomplished I failed to pat myself on the back and say a good job. If you don’t toot your own horn then who will? To be happy about where you are going, you have to acknowledge where you been.

I took time away from blogging to focus on the goals I set for myself so far this year and what I completed. While I had this time to reflect I realized that I cultivated a lot in short amount of time. I got a promotion; I started this blog which I wanted to do for years, got my savings up, and started traveling again more regularly. There are more goals on my list for this year, but so far I’m doing very well. Had I not stop to think about what I accomplished I would’ve missed out on all that I did. I must say it felt pretty good knowing what I’ve done so far this year. I finally patted myself on the back, and I deserved the recognition. Taking the time to reflect on my goals helped me to see that I am not doing as horrible as I thought. It also helped me to stop being so hard on myself. I have to stop and appreciate things more as life is too short not to.

My best advice to anyone that is in the same boat as me is to enjoy life as it is happening. Don’t be so caught up in trying to get to the next thing that you stop appreciating what’s in front of you. It is essential to stop and admire the beautiful things currently in your life. You work so hard for what you have, and it is critical to enjoying the fruits of your labor. You owe it to yourself to congratulate yourself on your current successes while looking forward to the future.

Until next time,

Thkeya Life (1)

The Price of Motherhood

During this past week, Cardi B announced her pregnancy with her first child. Congratulations to her as babies are an incredible blessing. The comments that I kept seeing online were appalling to me. Many people were saying that it’s too early in her career to have a child and others were saying that her career will fail once she gives birth. These comments sadden me as comments such as these are never told to men when they become fathers. A man’s career, as well as his life, isn’t impacted at all when becoming a father. In fact, children are not only seen as a blessing but as a way for a man to mature as well. I believe the way that society views men are the reason why their lives don’t change when they become fathers. A man is supposed to be a provider, and if that role is lacking, then he is seen as a deadbeat. Whereas if women have a career and aren’t home, she is looked down upon as an awful mother. Therefore, this way of thinking reinforces the view that women should be in the house with the children. There is nothing wrong with being a stay at home mom. However, women shouldn’t be made to feel that still pursuing a career after a baby is wrong to continue.

Due to societal woes and what family may say many women will put their family plans on hold for their careers. I am one of those women as I keep waiting for a perfect time to start a family. I want to make sure that I won’t be an absentee parent. Another major factor is the financial aspect as it is very costly to raise a family. Then you want to be in a two-parent household as it’s essential to raise a child with both parents. The list goes on with how many reasons I could come up with for the waiting game to continue. Of course, waiting too long comes with its own set of challenges, but that’s another post for another day. My main point here is that women feel the need to compartmentalize their entire lives before starting the family. There are no issues with that, but one must recognize that life doesn’t fit neatly in a little box. One must be flexible as life takes on many shapes and sizes. You have to be able to roll with the punches and have faith that everything will work out. If things don’t work out as planned, you will figure out what needs to occur to get you back on track.

What I learned from this Cardi B situation is that there is no right time to do anything. Honestly, if you are waiting for a proper time, you will be waiting forever. Yes, there may be an ideal time to do something, but the way life goes who knows when that will happen. If you are ready to start having your family, then go for it. Others may feel that you are making the wrong decision, but it’s yours to make. Also, don’t believe that you have to give up your hopes and dreams just because you are a mother. Children are a blessing and not a burden. Children can be a great motivator and will energize a woman to work even harder to support her family. Salute to all the women out there who are working hard to take care of their children while still pursuing their dreams. I am proud of you and continue to shine on all these haters out there. Your motherhood is a strength and not a weakness. View motherhood as another form of representation of you but not all that you can do.

Until next time,

Thkeya Life (1)

Paralyzed

I write poetry as well, and I wanted to share with you a poem that I composed. Periodically I will share my poems on this blog while staying true to the relationship-centric view of my page. The poem that I am going to share today is entitled, “Paralyzed.” This poem is about domestic violence occurring within a relationship. I hope that this poem will resonate with someone and give them the courage to walk away from the situation before it’s too late. Also, please share this poem with anyone who may need to read its contents.

 

Paralyzed

 

New Adventures with Friends

The weekend of March 9th was such a fantastic experience for me. Anyone who knows me will tell you that Halloween is my 2nd favorite holiday with my birthday being the 1st. I attended my first Monster Mania Convention that weekend! This event exceeded my wildest dreams and expectations. For starters, I got to meet the Mistress of the Dark herself, Elvira. Cassandra Peterson was out of her Elvira character. However, it was still nice to meet her. I was even having a conversation with one of the actors who played Jason, and I had no idea who he was. I’m sure he got a big kick out of that, and I was upset later as I was close enough to get a photo with him. The fact that I got to enjoy Halloween in March is the best feeling. I felt that I was entirely in my element as my affinity for the macabre was on full display. The stranger the better and being around folks who felt the same way I did made the experience even better. I also want to thank my best friend for tagging along with me. I was glad to share this experience with her even though horror isn’t her thing. She still was able to enjoy herself, and I was happy to show her another side of my wacky crazy personality.

I was delighted I was able to share this experience with my best friend, but honestly, this almost didn’t happen. I was content with going to the Monster Mania Convention on my own and experiencing this event with me, myself and I. After further deliberation I thought what would be the fun in that. The whole point of going to this type of activity is to experience it with someone. I was surprised that my best friend went as I stated before this wasn’t her thing. However, this reminded me that real friends would go to events with you just to spend time with you. Even if the outing isn’t to their liking, they will still attend. Just spending time with your friend no matter what you are doing will bring the friendship closer. Doing new activities together will ultimately help strengthen your bond as you start to learn more things about each other. I encourage all friendships to plan different events and step outside of your comfort zone. Not only will this help to improve your bond but you will learn something new about yourselves in the process.

The moral of my story is not to automatically assume that someone won’t attend a social gathering with you before you even ask. You may be presently surprised at the outcome that you receive. Of course, you should still participate in the activity even if others can’t attend but it will be more fun to experience it with friends. It may appear that your friends may not enjoy it, but it could turn out to be the most fun ever had. Never assume the answer will be no and just ask that person and people anyway. I almost missed out on this opportunity with my best friend, and we both had a fantastic time. Life has a funny way of proving to you that looks aren’t always what they seem. Stop assuming, grow a little and ask your friends to attend that place you wanted to visit.

 

Here’s a picture of me with my best friend and Elvira

Keya Jess & Elvira

Too Close to Home

I was on a high from attending my first Monster Mania Con that I just knew this past week would go well. As I got further into the week, things became more and more hectic. Unfortunately, for me, I can’t seem to have good things happen without something terrible happening right after. It seems to be the Universe way of saying since you are happy at the moment I will ruin it. I told myself this year I would remove drama from all aspects of my life. I will not allow myself to be involved in anything that doesn’t bring pure joy to me. Life is too short and being around negativity is not worth the wasted effort. Who wants to be around drama and misery all the time?  I know for sure I don’t want that to be apart of my life. I’m going off on a tangent so let me get back to the point of this post. I thought I got rid of this particular ex in my life, but every time I turn around he keeps reaching out. If it’s not one thing, it’s other. It’s starting to come across as if he is obsessed with the thought of us getting back together. I seriously just want to be left alone and move on with my life. Drama just follows and consumes him, so I need to remove myself from the situation to have inner peace.

The best advice that I can give anyone in my situation is never to eat where you lay. Which means don’t date someone that is too close to your current residence. Trust me you are asking for trouble if the relationship doesn’t work out. You are in a constant state of should I move or should I not move. Of course, this will only be an issue if the person you are dealing with doesn’t know how to keep their distance. Honestly, don’t even take the chance as the flip side could have dire consequences. It’s challenging to try to move on when you have the constant reminder of your last relationship nearby. Plus once you begin a new relationship, your ex will be there to witness your budding romance. Who wants to deal with that once you are trying to start something new? Sometimes the best course of action is to move away and start a new life elsewhere. This way you can avoid all of the potential drama and be able to move on stress-free. I wish I would’ve done this earlier as it would have helped me to avoid the issues that occurred this past week.

My advice is to avoid a situation like this at all cost. It may sound like a great idea at first because you can see that person more and plan outings more often. However, the cons outweigh the pros in this type of situation.  If the relationship doesn’t work out, you may start to wonder about your safety. You will begin to wonder if this person is mentally unstable and will they turn out to be a stalker. It’s a lot easier to avoid someone when they don’t live nearby. You may feel the constant fear of being watched or followed by your ex. You will try your best to watch out for yourself and to make sure you aren’t in harm’s way. Unfortunately, your ex- boyfriend/girlfriend lives in the same area so that person has a right to be there as well. The only way to make yourself feel comfortable is to move to another location. That may sound drastic but if that is what the situation calls for then so be it. I hope the examples I gave drives home the point of avoiding this situation altogether. Trust me you will thank me later if you do. Have you been in this situation before? How did it work out for you? Drop some comments below and let me know your thoughts.

Until next time,

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