The Meaning of Life

asphalt-automobile-beach-1118448
I think about it often to what the meaning of life is all about. I understand that this statement is cliche, but I still wonder about it often. There has to be more to life than work, bills, and debt. Life has to be more than getting up doing mundane things daily and not having a real purpose. The reason why I’ve been thinking about this is due to the latest episode of Pose. *Spoiler alert* One of the main characters, Candy, is murdered in a run-down motel room. The episode featured Candy coming back as a ghost and speaking to a few of the main characters. One of the things she said to Angel was to live your life and don’t have any regrets. I feel that to be free in life; you have to live it to the fullest. When you are long gone, do you want to be remembered for what you accomplished or how you enjoyed your life? You can be alive but not doing what you want will kill you long before you die physically.

bright-candle-clipboard-811575

One of the things I started to do was manifest what I want and allow the universe to make things happen for me. I stated that at the beginning of this year that I would travel and go out more. I have made both of these things happen so far. I have been enjoying life and living it up! I have already experienced things that I could only dream of, and it paid off. As Will Smith said, “The other side of fear is outside of your comfort zone.” I took this saying to heart, and I’m noticing significant results. Also, I stated that this is the year that I would finally get the promotion I’ve been wanting. So far, I’ve been on four interviews and praying that this last one will be my opportunity. However, if it doesn’t happen, it won’t stop my shine. Whatever is for me won’t pass me. At the same time, you have to put yourself out there for opportunities to come your way. You can’t sit on the sidelines and wonder why what you want isn’t happening. The universe won’t grant your wishes if you don’t put in the work and put your best foot forward.

adolescence-cute-dress-944762

I understand that it’s easier said than done to stop listening to the naysayers and live your life to the fullest. Of course, people will call you crazy for what you’re doing. You must realize that once you stop caring, what others say life becomes so much easier. The main person that you should be focusing on is you. Other people will feel threatened by the fact that you’re taking life by the horns and how comfortable it makes you. Most people don’t know how to deal with that as it’s not something that they experience daily. They’re too busy complaining about why things aren’t happening for them or being negative about everything in life. It’s not about why things happen, but how you react to it. Remember if at any point in your life you don’t like the story then change the narrative. You’re the author of your life, and you can change the story when necessary.

art-bible-chapter-320266

Get out there and live more!

 

The Importance of Me Time

beach-beautiful-bridge-449627

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.

battery-charging-device-586340

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.

balance-beautiful-blurred-background-1574647

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.

facebook-instagram-logos-266246

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.

adorable-animal-canine-164446

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?

US: How the Messages Correlate to Society

I’m writing this post about some of the themes I noticed from the new Jordan Peele movie, “US.” There will be some spoilers in this post. Come back here after you see the movie as I don’t want to spoil the movie for you. Great now that we got the pleasantries out the way let’s get to the post. One major theme of the film was that Adelaide explained a traumatic event as a child by meeting her doppelganger. Of course, this terrified her, and as the viewer, we believed she escaped and made it back to her parents. Later in the film, it’s revealed that Adelaide and Red (tethered doppelganger) switched places in childhood. Red went to the surface, and Adelaide stayed down below in the tunnels.

Essentially Red stole Adelaide’s life and every day since Adelaide along with the other tethered has been plotting their revenge. It further explains why Red fought so hard to defend her life and her family. Before this revelation, it came across as a Mom protecting her children. However, knowing that Red stole Adelaide’s life, it puts a different spin on it. Red vehemently was defending her spot because she didn’t want to go back living among the “others.” Adelaide reminds Red of where she once was and where she doesn’t want to be. I felt this directly correlates to what is happening with the immigration issue in the US.

Some folks within the dominant group don’t want people of color in as it minimizes their existence. They feel like they have to fight at all cost to protect themselves. Due to the number of people of color increasing and the dominant society is decreasing. Therein lies a power-shift! The oppressor is now becoming the oppressed which is a position they don’t like. Everything in their power in terms of laws or other means are created to keep the “others” out. It’s fine until the threat of self-preservation is near. Once this occurs, it’s all about survival of the fittest. I ultimately believe that Red was selfish in this regard. She didn’t care about her family. She was only looking out for self and didn’t want the “others” to have their time in the spotlight.

Another major theme I noticed has to do with the husband Gabe and the daughter Zora. Both of them were preoccupied with technology and keeping up with the Joneses. Zora was so caught up in her phone that she wasn’t paying attention to what was going on around her. When the tethered family was in the driveway, her mom asked for her phone. She said Mom I’m not on it when Red wanted to call the police for assistance. Zora wasn’t present for the current situation. Her only concern was that her phone was outside of her possession. To further illustrate my point while on the beach Zora barely interacted with anyone. Again she had her head in the sand literally and glued into her phone. I felt this strongly spoke to what we are experiencing now with social media. Some people don’t have social skills nor how to even communicate outside of social media.

People are using technology as a way to replace human interaction which is why once they do come in contact with others; it doesn’t go well. The husband Gabe was trying to keep up with his friend. He mentioned in the movie that his friend purchased a new car and a boat to mess with him. He doesn’t appear to have a knack for the boat, but it’s view as a status symbol. That if he has the boat he “made” it and he’s now apart of the upper-class society. I got to thinking about the emphasis we place on material items to fit in. We need to be more grateful for what we have instead of what we don’t. The grass isn’t always greener and whichever side is getting the most water will consistently appear to be more green.

There is a ton more of symbolism that I picked up from the movie which could make this post even longer. The ones I mentioned above spoke out to me as I got them right away while watching the film. The movie made me think about some of my current life choices and if I am making them for me or someone else. I am indeed an independent thinker like I believe or I am subconsciously following behind other people. I often time second guess myself, and I take a long time to settle on big decisions. I am worried that I’m going to disappoint my family somehow or think they will not approve of my choices.

I want to go with my gut instinct, but then I brush it off as not being realistic. I can make a last minute decision, and things will turn out completely fine. Other times when I took forever to make a decision it turned out to be a disaster. I believe it had to do with the fact that I overthought it too much and I didn’t view all of my options as I should’ve. It is essential to listen to what you want and not others. Nobody is living this life from day to day but you. If anyone has an issue with what you say or do, that’s their problem. You only get one life, so it’s best to live it up; however you see fit.

What are some of your thoughts after watching the movie US? What do you feel the filmmakers were trying to convey with the messages in the film? Were there things that stood out to you? Why or Why not?

A Different Approach to Dating

All my friends would tell you that I’m terrible at dating. What can I say I’m a hopeless romantic. I typically date one person at a time, and it hasn’t been working out too well for me. I get emotionally invested too early, and by the 2-3 month time frame things fizzle out. I believe this is due to not developing a real connection and the fact that around that time your representative leaves. Everyone is on their best behavior in the beginning, and after time they start to become more comfortable. That is when the real them comes to the surface. I find myself in trouble around this time because I didn’t allow for the relationship to flourish naturally. I rush into things due to infatuation which doesn’t last as it’s not substantial. Of course, things don’t continue if you haven’t taken the time to get to know someone. Plus you have to spend more than 1-2 days a week to understand someone. Consuming small amounts of time with someone not only delays the emotional connection needed for a relationship but you don’t know the person either. If you don’t know who you are dealing with then how can you say you want to be with this person. Getting butterflies for someone is great but slow down a bit to determine true compatibility.

My friends have told me time and time again that I need to date multiple people. For some reason, some people think this means having relations with everyone that you’re dating. That is not what this means at all. Honestly, this is a way if you to date many different personalities at once and see which one is the best fit for you. Another added benefit is that it helps to keep your emotions in check. Especially if you are someone like me, this can aid you in your dating experience. I was curious to see what others had to say about this topic, so I conducted mini online research. Many guys and girls were entirely against dating multiple people. Some of the responses that I read stated that they don’t want to be an option and other people said you wouldn’t be emotionally invested in the relationship progressing. One response I thought was a big shocker was when someone is dating multiple people they aren’t viewed as looking for a serious relationship.

All of these reasons were a surprise to me, but particularly the last one gave me pause. If you are in the beginning stages of dating someone you have no idea of where things will land, of course, this person will date other people as the whole purpose is to look for their future husband or wife. How can you demand exclusivity without having that conversation first? Truthfully, when you meet the right person, you will naturally start to cut off the other people as they aren’t what you want. In dating it’s important to have an honest and open dialogue. Don’t put others down just because you don’t agree with their dating methods. Ask the right questions and if it doesn’t jive with you then find someone else on the same wavelength as you.

Whatever dating method you decide to partake in; be honest with the people you’re pursuing. It’s essential that they know and understand why you’re taking this approach. This conversation can also clear up any misunderstandings that someone may have. Due to the hookup culture that we are in is the reason why dating multiple people gets a bad rap. Explaining why it’s vital for you can make a difference in people understanding you better. For example, I went on a first date with this one guy, and it went very well. I had a few horrible first dates before this, so it was refreshing. When I texted later on that evening to say I made it home okay that’s when things went left. He proceeded to tell me that I’m everything he’s looking for and he wants to make me his woman ASAP. Typically I would be all over this and be ready to be in another relationship that ends in a few months. Because I am dating other people, I didn’t allow my emotions to get involved just yet. I’ve only known this guy for three weeks, and we don’t interact every day. I only see him once a week due to scheduling conflicts. If we had been spending more time and speaking more regularly than maybe I would entertain a relationship with him.

However, since that is not the case, I told him to pull back a bit and let things naturally play out. He gave the typical responses of you are scared and so am I. I’m not like other guys so don’t compare me to them. Seeing is believing and since that hasn’t occurred yet this is all talk as far as I’m concerned. There are things that I saw about him that I didn’t like and I ultimately decided that it wasn’t going to work. If I didn’t date multiple people, I would’ve missed all the red flags. Some may not agree with my approach, but so far it’s working out for me. I respect the one on one method, but I think it’s better suited once you decide to be exclusive. Otherwise, you are putting all your eggs in one basket for a person you haven’t determined is right for you yet.

What are your thoughts on the approach of dating multiple people? Do you agree or disagree? What are some of the methods that you use to deter yourself from getting invested too soon?

Happy dating!!!!!

Improving Your Romantic Outlook

You should treat others the way you want them to treat you. If you want people to be honest with you, then you should do the same in return. If you don’t want to be hurt by others, then you shouldn’t do the same. It always amazes me how people are so quick to play the victim role but can’t accept the responsibility they play within their demise. For example, if I keep having bad relationships with men at some point, I need to reevaluate within myself why I keep attracting these type of men. I can make a general statement saying that all men are evil when it’s my horrible choices that are leading me to that conclusion. There is the segue to my topic of this blog post about continuously picking the wrong partners to date. I’m not calling anyone out as I have been guilty of it myself, but once you know better, you will do better. The first step of moving on from any situation is learning to treat the disease and not just the symptoms.

aerial-aerial-view-application-935869

The first thing I want you to consider is how you view yourself. Never mind how others feel about you but how do you feel about yourself? Do you put yourself down and call yourself terrible names? Understand that you are hurting yourself when you do this. Having negative thoughts about yourself can subconsciously be exuded externally and keep you from attracting the mate you want. Then others will start to feel the same way, and you will become less attractive as a result of that. Nothing is sexier than a person who has confidence within themselves and believes they are the best thing since sliced bread. I’m not saying be a jerk about it, but you have to have a strong sense of self if you want to attract someone of a higher caliber. You can’t believe you are worthless and then expect a potential suitor to think differently. Since self-esteem is an internal issue, you have to make sure you work through any of those issues before getting into a relationship. Nobody can correct this but you. Seek counseling if necessary but work through this immediately. The more broken relationships your experience, the more of a beating your self-esteem will take.

active-activity-beach-40815

As you grow within your career and personally your dating life should reflect that. Often we get comfortable within certain social circles because that is what we have always known. However, once you start to grow those areas that once interested you, unfortunately, do change. There’s nothing wrong with this, but nobody tells us nor prepares us for the transition to come. You most likely complain and I know I have about the lack of options out there. The conclusion I came up with is I’m looking for love in the same places I always have. The areas I’m frequenting I won’t find a professional man there so who is really to blame for my situation. You can’t do the same things you always did and expect a different result. You have to expand your options, and yes attend that networking event your friends have been trying to invite you to for months. You have to step outside your comfort zone if you want to meet Mrs. or Mr. Right.

affection-art-background-207105

I hear people say and myself included that I want a man to drive XYZ and work within a particular field. Guess what? The things I was asking for I didn’t even have myself. It’s important to make sure the things you want in a partner are things you can provide as well. I think it’s unrealistic to demand your partner to a higher standard, but you don’t have the same demands on yourself. I took the time to soul-search and prepared myself for when my husband finally arrives. If the right person walked into the room right now would you be ready for that person? If you can’t honestly say yes, then you have work to do. It’s a corny saying, but you have to be the partner that you want. Remember everything you are looking for someone else wants the same. If you are unable to provide those same qualities, then you will continue to date the wrong people. Don’t look at your single hood as a bad thing. Use that time to self-reflect on becoming a better you. Once the right person comes along, you will be more than ready for your last relationship.

anniversary-blur-celebration-326648

 

Let me know your thoughts in the comment section below. Please share on social media and with your friends/family.

Until next time,

Untitled Design

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.

athlete-beach-bodybuilder-305239

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.

beauty-beauty-treatment-body-care-161737

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.

arms-care-check-905874

Until next time,

Untitled Design

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.

adventure-background-blur-891252

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.

architecture-asphalt-avenue-1115866

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.

adult-backlit-beach-1000445

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.

brush-happiness-joy-22221

Until next time,

Thkeya Life (1)