In a time where everything feels divided, I think we can come together and agree that we are living in a crazy time. From history-breaking elections, mass shootings, natural disasters, blunders of world chaos and everything imaginable in between, it’s imperative for us to step back and appreciate what is still good in our lives. Sometimes, we need silver linings and little pockets of hope to remind us of what we are actually working to achieve. And that’s coming together as one race (the human race) & becoming the best version of what humanity can offer.
For me, I believe it starts with a little bit of perspective and a whole lot of gratitude. And what perfect way to reflect and pay tribute to what makes us thankful than the holiday we are about to celebrate?
I know I haven’t been the greatest at keeping things afloat on the blog. But, I’m determined to finish this year strong. So, I’m putting together a series of posts to highlight what I appreciate and was grateful for in 2018. In addition, I’ll be sharing what I’ve learned along the way from each of these features. And hopefully, my little bits of insight can help add to the collective light of the people.
So, cheers to this post as my KICK-OFF!
And, cheers to my circle of family/friends that constantly remind me I am not alone and I am loved. Whether it’s just checking in or kind words of motivation / encouragement / support / etcetera, a little goes a long way. I’m a hard shell to break, but at the core, it means the world to me. This past year, a lot of things became more apparent. I noticed my actions were reactive to the type of energy I was receiving. Luckily, I’ve kept the negative at a minimum and allowed room for more positive energy to come. And as of late, I’ve begun to see and understand just how precious is a second in this thing called life. We’re breathing. We’re living. We’re blessed. Leave the hate and live in love. Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Feel free to leave a comment and let me know what you’re thankful for; I’d love to hear!
As I get older, birthdays become more about reflection than it is about celebration. Out of Gemini season and going into my next trip around the Sun, there’s been a lot on my mind. To make peace with the past and prepare for what’s ahead, I write these words to serve as a reminder to myself and in hopes that maybe by sharing, it could shed a little light into your lives as well.
Like the start of Drake’s “March 14” song, “Here we go…”
In my 20s, I felt like I was constantly chasing something. Whether it be my career, true love, purpose/meaning and everything under the Sun, I was chasing to be something great in this life. Then as 30 started approaching, I choked up on this idea that I haven’t achieved anything. A series of flashbacks to make me feel like I was nothing. It felt like watching a reel of all my unfortunate mistakes and together they all brought me to this moment. It’s like I should have been somewhere else, should have been doing something different and yet “I am here”. It was this little dark cloud above me and it made me hate wanting to add another year to the books. I started looking at other 30-year-olds and how I fared against them. Soon, it turned into this downward spiral of self-pity and I knew it was becoming unhealthy. It did not serve me in any way and I needed to snap out of it – FAST. We really are our biggest critics and when it comes to the subject of self, comparing ourselves to others is the deadliest habit.
So, pulling myself out of this rut, it took a lot of mental effort, perspective and appreciation. I had to take a moment to really count my blessings and ask myself “What am I grateful for?” The answer was short and simple: family and friends. It’s the ones who took time of out their lives to let me feel I was loved. The ones that made me feel special, even just for a moment. Kind words are everything to me and I’m grateful to have a few people in my life to remind me to shine. With them, it was what I needed to get me through that rough patch.
Thereafter, it was as if the universe and I came to this mutual understanding. I had to appreciate life for what it has offered me and not focus on what life hasn’t given. So when I opened this space to let light in, I realized everything I could ever want, I already had. I have people who love me and a life that lets me keep living. Everything else has just been a bonus. Boiling it down, I already won. Achievement was always in my corner; I just never took the time to acknowledge it.
Now, here in my 30s, I stand with a new outlook. This decade is about enjoying the ride and the journey to what dreams may come. It’s about appreciating little pockets of time to remind me that “I am here”. For example, I was recently by the marina watching the sunset enjoying a nice drink with a breeze. And it’s moments like this that bring content and make me feel like I already made it. In addition, we search for meaning and purpose in our lives. But, what happens if your purpose doesn’t meet your expectations? Where life sets you up for one path and you know deep down, it isn’t for you. We find ourselves disappointed. Living through that in my 20s, I also refuse to let this decade get the best of me. Instead, I’m about giving this decade the best of me. And that means, EVERY.PART.OF.ME.
Life has a funny way of moving. It’s been months since my last post. I remember writing it feeling enthused I was going to write more. As we can see, the exact opposite happened.
(For my own mental clarity, let me write this down, so I know it’s real.)
So after I finished the post, Mercury retrograde happened. The basic explanation means to say that planet Mercury appears to move in an opposite direction to planet Earth. It is believed that during this retrograde period, it has an effect on our lives especially within communication and technology. It’s also said that certain astrological signs are deeply affected by the retrograde. Some think it’s baloney, while others swear by it. I’m somewhere in the middle. As a Gemini (haaay!), we are ruled by planet Mercury, which means we’re greatly impacted by the retrograde. During this time, Geminis were advised to keep their mouths shut (since we’re jabbers) to avoid offending someone. Launching new projects were also ill advised and patience was the key to success.
Well, I listened. And inevitably, complacency found a way into my routine. Like a family member who promises they only need a place for 2 weeks and somehow end up staying for months on end. Now, I’m here like, “What in the world?! This has to end.” I’m the type of person who needs to be constantly on the move and complacency goes against who I am at the core. I believe complacency keeps you from progressing and it stunts your growth. In frustration, I knew Mercury retrograde made me comfortable in complacency. With every ounce of mental strength and will power left in me, I finally got here.
That was a much longer rant/explanation than intended. In short, I really just wanted to say, KEEP IT PUSHING – no matter what. I understand we have days where we don’t feel like it or flatly don’t want to do it. It’s okay to have those days. In my case, I had months of bad days. And this is where it can become detrimental. Pile on the bad days and we get into the mindset that another mishap is enough to ensue more unfortunate days ahead. Then, we feel stuck in this cycle of helplessness. The key is to remain mindful and fight not to stay there. Break the mentality. You’ve heard misery loves company. Well, comfort hates growth. Together, it’s like water and oil – they don’t mix. So, try to see each day as an opportunity to start anew.
A bit cliché, but seize moments that inspire you. Stay active and do things you like. Be around people who are motivating. You never know what could spark your momentum. Remember, a step - big or small - is still a step. All you have to do is try. At the very least, believe in yourself and know positive things are coming.
XX. more love. more light. and to better days ahead.
Do you wonder sometimes why people face disappointment? Having my fair share of them, I think it has more to do with the person who has the expectation rather than the person who has to hold the expectation. Don’t get me wrong; I think expectations are necessary because it gives us a point of reference on how to be better. At the same time, we often fail to communicate our expectations to the bearers of these expectancies. As a result, one party has no knowledge of these hopes while the other party is left disappointed.
So in my part to be better and to avoid disappointment, I felt it was necessary to share my intentions for this blog space. We understand expectations as a thing to look forward to or something to expect from someone. Thus, I wanted to create and lay a foundation with you, as my audience, about what to expect when you come to my blog.
My goal is to create original and honest content about an array of topics that I hope you find just as interesting as I do.
The following are categories you’ll see me cover:
4. GLOBAL AWARENESS
In trying to keep my own truth, I hope to keep this space safe. I understand that no perspective is identical and we each have something to share. So, I hope everyone that comes here, myself included, will keep an open-mind to hear each other out. Understanding comes through dialogue. With excitement in my heart, I am hopeful our dialogue will elevate and lift us.
"LIVE HONESTLY. LOVE TRULY."
With 2017 of living happy and conscious of my choices, I’m marking 2018 as the year to level up. Weeks leading up to the countdown, I thought about what I wanted to achieve in the upcoming year.
I’m the type of person who hates resolutions and more about setting goals. Resolutions sound cliché and carry around this luggage full of negative hope (like you’re optimistic - but you kind of know, you’re going to fail - but you do it anyway, because everyone else is doing it). It’s sort of like dating someone without any intention of marrying them. Just pointlessly going through the motions. It’s a set-up for failure. AND I DO NOT COSIGN ANYTHING THAT IMPEDES THE SELF FROM PROGRESSING AT ANY PACE. It’s funny; I saw a filter on Snapchat the other day showing a broken resolutions cam. Seriously? We have trained our minds so well that we know resolutions are just meant to be broken. Knowing this, it’s the reason why I like goals.
Goals are positive. Goals are motivating. Goals are here to stay.
Goals don’t ask you for constant reassurance, they ask you for consistency.
Goals ask for you to put in the work, so when you’re done, the celebration is well deserved. Goals won’t judge you if you fail, goals only ask that you keep trying until you succeed. Goals don’t expire because they’re not bound to time. So, the ask is simple, JUST DO.
Set goals that will test you and push you, not ones that will break and discourage you. Set goals that will guide you to the person you want to become. For me, one of my goals this year is to “live honestly and love truly” in every aspect of my life.
If you haven’t been living under a rock lately, then you’ve heard the buzz from Oprah’s speech at the Golden Globes. It was nothing short of inspiring. But, one particular quote really resonated and re-confirmed all the energy I’ve recently been trying to put into the universe. She said, “What I know for sure is that speaking your truth is the most powerful tool we all have.” Stole the words right out of my mind.
In this era where everything feels like smoke and mirrors, our grasp of reality has to start with living our truth and allowing our true self to emerge. Unintentionally, my motto for this year goes hand in hand with speaking my truth. Several friends have asked what does the slogan really mean and it’s fairly simple.
Live honestly. We’ve heard the old adage, “Honesty is the best policy.” There is clearly no argument there. I believe living honestly means being true to you. It’s being able to stay authentic despite the noise that surrounds you. When life feels consuming, honesty is having the ability to remain raw and candid. It’s learning to live with no filters. And it’s okay to be unapologetic if it’s authentic to you. Living honestly means being truthful in your thoughts, your emotions and your actions. If you’re not sincere, what purpose does it serve? A lot of the time, we move away from our true selves to make it easier for everyone else. And it shouldn’t be that way. For me, living honestly is taking ownership of your life, whether it’s the good, the bad and the ugly. All of it makes me who I am and I can only try to be better.
Love truly. Love has been one of my life’s biggest challenges. It took me a long time to get to a healthy place with love. But, I’m finally here. At the mark of 2018, I made a vow to love truly and that meant being genuine with my feelings. It’s about giving myself what I need more than what I want. I’m here to continue nurturing self-love and welcoming true love. It’s about taking all my relationships and letting the right kind of love walk in. Starve the negative, feed the positive. In 2018, I want to celebrate love at every stage and every angle. Love deserves recognition despite how small or large the victory. To me, love doesn’t always win, but when it does, it’s a beautiful thing. And I’m all about winning this year.
All in all, I am here for love and love is here to stay.
With a week into 2018, I wanted my blog launch to reflect back on this past year to serve as a reminder of how far I’ve come and how much further I have to go. In order to welcome the changes ahead, it seems appropriate to first give ode to the journey I’ve trekked. And to describe it in short, 2017 came jam-packed with many lessons to be learned.
First, it taught me how to let go of the things we want, so we can make room for the things we actually need. With more space, it made me realize, I didn’t need to ask for someone to pick me. Instead, the only person that needed to choose me was myself. In my mind, this idea seemed blissful and simple enough to achieve. When I had to translate it into actions and execution, it proved to be no walk in the park. Just like any relationship, it required the same amount of effort.
In a “Man in the Mirror” moment, I had to ask what choosing myself really meant. It’s having an honest conversation with yourself and answering what YOU really want. What are YOU trying to accomplish in YOUR life and YOUR relationships? Everyday, I had to consciously stop and ask, “Is this what you want?” or “What’s your goal here?”
And it was simple; I wanted happiness.
Well, 2017 made sure I understood it clearly.
Happiness is not a permanent state of mind.
Happiness is merely an emotion.
Happy is not a pedestal or an accolade we’re meant to achieve.
Happiness is a decision.
Every. Single. Day.
It’s true, some days aren’t always happy.
And that’s okay.
It’s not supposed to be.
Some days are angry.
Some days are sad.
Some days are frustrating.
And that’s still okay.
There’s a reason we are built with a range of emotions.
It’s called being human.
And 2017 taught me, it’s okay to be human.
Moments are fleeting, so be present and feel what you feel.
Just don’t dwell and get stuck with one feeling.
Emotions are temporary - treat it as such.
Life should be treated with a similar perspective. Anything can change. When life presents us with options and requires us to choose, we automatically think these choices are permanent. As a result, we pick the paths that seem safe and fail to serve ourselves with the choice that would bring us the most joy. This past year, it pushed me to think differently.
Life is a collection of choices, made of both good and bad. I know I’ve had my fair share of wrong ones, but the beauty of choice is that I can still decide to make the right one. In some cases, the choices that brought me happiness where the same ones that ended up being the wrong choice. But that’s okay. Why? Because when I recognized how the decision no longer served my well-being and how it was negatively affecting my life, I knew another decision would present itself. I could either own it and move forward or stay in a rut. 2017 taught me how to always choose the former. In truth, no one is ever really stuck; it’s more about how we react to situations and emotions. Personally, I learned to be unapologetic about my choices because they ultimately contribute to a well-rounded perspective of what I define as MY life and the life that surrounds me.
Above all, in this “I pick me” journey, I learned the importance of self-love. In my darkest and loneliest hours, when I needed someone to be there, I realized the only person there was me. In my moments of bliss, when I wanted to share my excitement and joy, I realized no one really cared but me. I admit, there were times, I felt so utterly alone. But, I surprisingly found beauty in the solitude. Being alone doesn’t mean you’re sad, being alone means you are satisfied in your own company. I realized I didn’t need others to justify or acknowledge my existence, I was enough to acknowledge my own. At the same time, it doesn’t mean completely shutting others out of your life. It’s important to welcome the company who choose to be with you. Let love walk in when it wants, just don’t demand it.
Wrapping up, I thank 2017 for being filled with many highs and many lows. It showed me there is beauty in the places we least expect. We are the roses that grow from our own concretes. The seeds of love are fundamentally rooted in the self. To positively share ourselves with the world, let us love and nurture who we are first. In the greatest time to be alive, I’m so excited to see where love can take us next.
Cheers. & Happy New Year!