Sunday, December 25, 2011
Monday, December 19, 2011
- Stop spending time with the wrong people. – Life is too short to spend time with people who suck the happiness out of you. If someone wants you in their life, they’ll make room for you. You shouldn’t have to fight for a spot. Never, ever insist yourself to someone who continuously overlooks your worth. And remember, it’s not the people that stand by your side when you’re at your best, but the ones who stand beside you when you’re at your worst that are your true friends.
- Stop running from your problems. – Face them head on. No, it won’t be easy. There is no person in the world capable of flawlessly handling every punch thrown at them. We aren’t supposed to be able to instantly solve problems. That’s not how we’re made. In fact, we’re made to get upset, sad, hurt, stumble and fall. Because that’s the whole purpose of living – to face problems, learn, adapt, and solve them over the course of time. This is what ultimately molds us into the person we become.
- Stop lying to yourself. – You can lie to anyone else in the world, but you can’t lie to yourself. Our lives improve only when we take chances, and the first and most difficult chance we can take is to be honest with ourselves. Read The Road Less Traveled.
- Stop putting your own needs on the back burner. – The most painful thing is losing yourself in the process of loving someone too much, and forgetting that you are special too. Yes, help others; but help yourself too. If there was ever a moment to follow your passion and do something that matters to you, that moment is now.
- Stop trying to be someone you’re not. – One of the greatest challenges in life is being yourself in a world that’s trying to make you likeeveryone else. Someone will always be prettier, someone will always be smarter, someone will always be younger, but they will never be you. Don’t change so people will like you. Be yourself and the right people will love the real you.
- Stop trying to hold onto the past. – You can’t start the next chapter of your life if you keep re-reading your last one.
- Stop being scared to make a mistake. – Doing something and getting it wrong is at least ten times more productive than doing nothing. Every success has a trail of failures behind it, and every failure is leading towards success. You end up regretting the things you did NOT do far more than the things you did.
- Stop berating yourself for old mistakes. – We may love the wrong person and cry about the wrong things, but no matter how things go wrong, one thing is for sure, mistakes help us find the person and things that are right for us. We all make mistakes, have struggles, and even regret things in our past. But you are not your mistakes, you are not your struggles, and you are here NOW with the power to shape your day and your future. Every single thing that has ever happened in your life is preparing you for a moment that is yet to come.
- Stop trying to buy happiness. – Many of the things we desire are expensive. But the truth is, the things that really satisfy us are totally free – love, laughter and working on our passions.
- Stop exclusively looking to others for happiness. – If you’re not happy with who you are on the inside, you won’t be happy in a long-term relationship with anyone else either. You have to create stability in your own life first before you can share it with someone else. Read Stumbling on Happiness.
- Stop being idle. – Don’t think too much or you’ll create a problem that wasn’t even there in the first place. Evaluate situations and take decisive action. You cannot change what you refuse to confront. Making progress involves risk. Period! You can’t make it to second base with your foot on first.
- Stop thinking you’re not ready. – Nobody ever feels 100% ready when an opportunity arises. Because most great opportunities in life force us to grow beyond our comfort zones, which means we won’t feel totally comfortable at first.
- Stop getting involved in relationships for the wrong reasons. – Relationships must be chosen wisely. It’s better to be alone than to be in bad company. There’s no need to rush. If something is meant to be, it will happen – in the right time, with the right person, and for the best reason. Fall in love when you’re ready, not when you’re lonely.
- Stop rejecting new relationships just because old ones didn’t work. – In life you’ll realize that there is a purpose for everyone you meet. Some will test you, some will use you and some will teach you. But most importantly, some will bring out the best in you.
- Stop trying to compete against everyone else. – Don’t worry about what others doing better than you. Concentrate on beating your own records every day. Success is a battle between YOU and YOURSELF only.
- Stop being jealous of others. – Jealousy is the art of counting someone else’s blessings instead of your own. Ask yourself this: “What’s something I have that everyone wants?”
- Stop complaining and feeling sorry for yourself. – Life’s curveballs are thrown for a reason – to shift your path in a direction that is meant for you. You may not see or understand everything the moment it happens, and it may be tough. But reflect back on those negative curveballs thrown at you in the past. You’ll often see that eventually they led you to a better place, person, state of mind, or situation. So smile! Let everyone know that today you are a lot stronger than you were yesterday, and you will be.
- Stop holding grudges. – Don’t live your life with hate in your heart. You will end up hurting yourself more than the people you hate. Forgiveness is not saying, “What you did to me is okay.” It is saying, “I’m not going to let what you did to me ruin my happiness forever.” Forgiveness is the answer… let go, find peace, liberate yourself! And remember, forgiveness is not just for other people, it’s for you too. If you must, forgive yourself, move on and try to do better next time.
- Stop letting others bring you down to their level. – Refuse to lower your standards to accommodate those who refuse to raise theirs.
- Stop wasting time explaining yourself to others. – Your friends don’t need it and your enemies won’t believe it anyway. Just do what you know in your heart is right.
- Stop doing the same things over and over without taking a break. – The time to take a deep breath is when you don’t have time for it. If you keep doing what you’re doing, you’ll keep getting what you’re getting. Sometimes you need to distance yourself to see things clearly.
- Stop overlooking the beauty of small moments. – Enjoy the little things, because one day you may look back and discover they were the big things. The best portion of your life will be the small, nameless moments you spend smiling with someone who matters to you.
- Stop trying to make things perfect. – The real world doesn’t reward perfectionists, it rewards people who get things done. Read Getting Things Done.
- Stop following the path of least resistance. – Life is not easy, especially when you plan on achieving something worthwhile. Don’t take the easy way out. Do something extraordinary.
- Stop acting like everything is fine if it isn’t. – It’s okay to fall apart for a little while. You don’t always have to pretend to be strong, and there is no need to constantly prove that everything is going well. You shouldn’t be concerned with what other people are thinking either – cry if you need to – it’s healthy to shed your tears. The sooner you do, the sooner you will be able to smile again.
- Stop blaming others for your troubles. – The extent to which you can achieve your dreams depends on the extent to which you take responsibility for your life. When you blame others for what you’re going through, you deny responsibility – you give others power over that part of your life.
- Stop trying to be everything to everyone. – Doing so is impossible, and trying will only burn you out. But making one person smile CAN change the world. Maybe not the whole world, but their world. So narrow your focus.
- Stop worrying so much. – Worry will not strip tomorrow of its burdens, it will strip today of its joy. One way to check if something is worth mulling over is to ask yourself this question: “Will this matter in one year’s time? Three years? Five years?” If not, then it’s not worth worrying about.
- Stop focusing on what you don’t want to happen. – Focus on what you do want to happen. Positive thinking is at the forefront of every great success story. If you awake every morning with the thought that something wonderful will happen in your life today, and you pay close attention, you’ll often find that you’re right.
- Stop being ungrateful. – No matter how good or bad you have it, wake up each day thankful for your life. Someone somewhere else is desperately fighting for theirs. Instead of thinking about what you’re missing, try thinking about what you have that everyone else is missing.
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
1. Live within my means (budget). Fail.
2. Be picky about who I date. Find a good, worthwhile person to spend my days with. Fail.
3. Drink less. Know my limits. Fail.
4. Work toward my dream job with an innocence project. In Progress (in grad school!)
5. Be a better friend. Be more thoughtful. Pass.
6. Smile. Be friendly to strangers especially when out running or at work. Fail.
7. Journal daily. In Progress (not 100% but I do have a journal going).
8. Be more comfortable and confident with just being me. Fail.
9. Continue learning to cook. Fail.
10. Love life. In Progress
11. Be brave. In Progress
12. Read and write more. Fail.
13. Keep up Memphis blog. Pass.
14. Say how I really feel. Pass.
15. Get back to God and being an integral part of the church. Fail.
16. Spend time with babies. Fail.
17. Fall in love again ... but don't pretend to. Find something real. On hold.
18. Run a marathon. In Progress (training for a 5k, baby steps =))
19. Earn my masters. In Progress
20. Spend less time on social media/email. Only check/update once a day. In Progress
21. Be able to define what's unique about me. Fail
22. Train Memphis. Fail
23. Find and love living with a roommate. Might be my last opportunity to do that! In Progress
24. Respect my body. Fail
25. Go on a trip with Dad to DC/NY and cruise with Gma. In Progress
26. (one to grow on) ... Find something new to do that I love. Still working on it...
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
This was written over the course of a 10-day vacation and time of solitude while I was in Florida and Kentucky celebrating my 25th birthday.
Every year during my birthday week I visit my grandparents in Florida. I call it a vacation; it’s really a time for me to find my center. It’s like my “New Years.” I think about the past year. I plan for the one to come. I pray. I sit and let the ocean wash over me. I am reminded how beautiful life is. I write. It’s one of the only times I have to just be alone with myself and pour out all of the pent up emotion. Every year I vow to journal, to write daily. And every year I realize I’ve neglected to do this, although I believe it’s one of the most valuable things a woman can do for herself. It will be a goal of mine once again in year 25.
I plan to get to that while I’m here this week. But there are much more pressing things on my mind that I need to attend to before I will be able to gather myself on that subject.
I always try to organize my thoughts before I write, but I think I need to write straight from my heart. So I don’t promise this to be in logical order, but it will be honest and it will be a reflection of exactly where I am.
First: reflection on year 24. In one word, it was painful. Year 24 was extremely painful. I am still sore from the amount of growing and beating up that went on this past year. I don’t think I need to go into the details of the lost relationship or the first year at my “big girl” job. I think what I really need to get to in order to explain the pain is what I’ve done to myself.
Year 22 … this is the last time I remember being true to myself. I was living for me. I had big dreams, high hopes, strong self-esteem and plenty of self-respect. I was so alive. And then I graduated from college, and instead of taking off I grounded myself. I got scared. I was so incredibly scared. Would I ever find the man of my dreams? Would I be successful? Would I even find a job? When you start letting fear creep in, it spreads like heat through a wet towel. Was I spending enough time with my family? How long would grandma and grandpa’s health hold up? What about Mom and Dad’s health? Where did I want to live? Should I go to law school? Where in the world do I go from here? For the first time I didn’t really have a plan. The morning after graduation, someone knocked on my door, offered me a much-needed answer to all of my uncertainty, and without so much as a blink I said OK. Someone sat down in front of me, poured out his love to me, and I said OK. I actually started the entire relationship on a lie. Because the truth is I nodded and said, “yes I feel the same way,” and I was still half-asleep. Literally (because it was 7 am the morning after my college graduation), and figuratively (because I had no idea how I really felt about him; I just knew he offered me the security of knowing exactly what he wanted … me, and that’s something I was entirely clueless of for my own life at the time). So I went with it. Did I fall in love with him? Absolutely. Was it for the right reasons? Absolutely not. I didn’t love him enough, and I think I might be the only person that understands what I mean by that. It certainly didn’t make sense to him when I told him, anyway. In fact, I think when you tell a man you don’t love him you are quite possibly the closest you will ever be to understanding what the meaning of love is. Breaking someone because you have led him on and lied to him and made him believe that you felt how he truly feels … that broke me. All I wanted to do was go back to the day he knocked on my door, look him in the eyes and tell him the truth … “I don’t know how I feel about you,” or “I’m not ready for this,” or ANYTHING besides, “OK.” Because undoing the love I built with him has shattered any ounce of strength I rebuilt from all of those who came before him.
What I believe is even more heartbreaking than what I just explained, though, is from that day I said “OK” to him following my graduation, I continued to make the same mistake in every other part of my life. I kept saying “OK” when things really weren’t OK at all. OK, I’ll stay in Columbia instead of moving to New York or Chicago or Kansas City or back to St. Louis. OK, I will practically move in with you and become a ghost to a roommate I never gave a chance. OK we don’t have to go to that church that I loved and where I met God if it makes you uncomfortable. OK I don’t have time to do my bible study/journal anymore because I am too busy running the dog or doing your laundry or hanging out with your family. OK I will stop talking to my guy friends because you’re jealous. OK I’ll let you convince me I need to grow up and the girls are hindering that. OK I will fall asleep to the TV on even though I never had a TV in my room growing up and I sleep better in a dark, quiet room. OK I will be miserably uncomfortable sleeping next to sweaty boy and dog that scratches me and walks all over me all night. OK, I will accept my terrible LSAT score instead of trying harder. OK I will let my ex continue to poison my heart by letting him back in. OK, I will take a job because it’s a job and I should feel blessed to have the opportunity. OK I will live with you, even though I never wanted to live with a man before I was engaged. OK I will try harder to make this work because I can’t stand to see you hurt like this. OK I will stay in this apartment alone and take all of the responsibility so you can move on because I am so ravished with guilt I can’t look at myself in the mirror. OK I will let a guy stand me up three times and still give him the time of day when he drunk dials. OK I will still carry on a conversation with a guy who has informed me he has a huge crush on my friend … and me. OK I will agree to do work I don’t have time to do but it’s what I love and I’m sorry but I will probably let you down, yet again. OK! I am not at all OK. This is why year 24 was so painful.
So here are my Year 25 resolutions. First, here is the prayer from the bottom of my heart for this year and for my life:
Father God, bring me back to where I was with you. I surrender. Forgive me for going astray. I love you, and I truly believe in your plan and will for my life. Give me the self-control and confidence to become a woman who shines with the good kind of love, the love that only you have to offer.
In your name, Amen.
Here is how I feel right now.
I feel alone. I feel desperate. I feel ashamed. I feel scared. I am afraid of never finding true love. Afraid of never having a family. Afraid of wasting my gifts and my life. And every time I start to let all of these feelings start to restrict my breathing, I say, “I trust you God. I trust you.” But how do I ACTUALLY trust Him? How do I let go of all of my anxieties and just trust the Lord to work. That’s a really difficult thing to do when you’re lonely and hurting. When you know how much love you have to give and you don’t feel like you have someone to give it to. When you know how much you have to offer but you don’t feel like it’s being put out into the world. I will keep pouring out my heart, I will keep praying. I will continue to trust the best I know how. I know that things aren’t going to change if I continue down this same road though. This self-destructive shameful path I’ve created for myself. I have GOT to find some self-control. With men, money, and alcohol. I have got to stop excusing what’s not acceptable for my life. I know better. Now I must do better (thank you, O and Maya). Maybe typing out what I won’t do will help. Creating some rules, if you will, try to humor me.
1. I will not respond to any of the "time-wasters" I've managed to find since being single (including ex's and those found at douchecastles- thank you Shallon for that glorious term).
2. I will not call or fall back on him. He deserves to move on and be happy.
3. I will not disrespect my body.
4. I will not feel unworthy.
5. I will be friendly and smile.
6. I will put my heart out there, but I will not accept arrogance or ignorance from a man.
7. I will exude confidence and happiness because that is the only way anyone I’m actually interested in is ever going to find me interesting.
1. I will not use credit cards.
2. I will stick to my budget.
3. I will not spend recklessly on food/dining out/shopping.
4. I will learn to conserve and live within my means.
1. I will not drink more than a 93.5 lb girl should drink. Translation, I can drink 1 drink to my friends 2-3 and I should embrace this (it will also help save the money I speak of above)
2. I will not drink and drive.
3. I will not drink more than 2 days per week.
I have printed this out and stuck it on a bulletin board in my room. Each week I’m going to evaluate myself.
· Have I stuck to my rules?
· Am I finding myself happier, even if I am alone still?
· Which rule can I work on harder this week?
· Can I cross anything off?
· Which one could I work toward this week and how?
· Is there anything that needs to be updated/modified?
Here's to me and Year 25 ... a year I hope is at least twice as happy as 24 was challenging.