No Missing Puzzle Piece

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Disclaimer: I am about to spit some serious truth here so if you’re a pansy who can’t handle the truth please feel free to #swerve. As for the brave souls who can handle the harsh reality that is life and love please continue reading…

The Advice:

When I was 15 my older brother, 11 years my senior, unknowingly gave me the best relationship advice to date. He told me what I hope every teenage girl and every young woman realizes before it’s too late. He explained to me that I need to be whole on my own before I would be truly ready to settle down. He said that if I was incomplete and seeking a relationship for the sake of completing myself (which, at that age, is what many young girls are doing) that I would never truly be whole or independent on my own. He brought to light a valid point, what if things end with that person? I would be so lost and confused, incomplete. I think we forget that we should not be with someone for the sake of being with someone to complete us. Instead we need to be whole on your own and find someone who compliments us… So, sorry Katy Perry, I don’t want my missing puzzle piece. I want to already be complete.

As the journey to finding myself continues I am growing and learning the relevance of the advice my brother gave me nearly ten years ago. I am also realizing, with the help of some candid conversations with friends (many of them guys) that there’s a desire by men to feel needed. This is not to be confused with feeling respected. Mutual respect, to me, is one of the most important aspects in a relationship and I hope that if a man (or a woman) don’t feel respected that they opt out instead of being miserable. I could see it being hard to walk away from someone if you feel that they complete you. And in turn, sticking it out in a relationship which lacks respect. And without respect, love will not flourish. Allegedly some guys tend to want to be with someone who depends on them, someone who needs them. I’ve concluded that this is some type of awful ego thing. What’s wrong with being with a woman who wants you rather than needs you? I can only assume that is some kind of insecurity plaguing society. You know what fellas? There is absolutely no problem with wifey making more money than you. Chances are the reason she does is because you got a late start to your career because you were still trying to find yourself. Instead of taking it as a stab at your manhood take it as incentive to further your career (or make her stay home with the kids and cook for you and then you won’t have this dilemma). But seriously. It’s 2014, I understand our parents and grandparents having an issue with this but in this day and age that kind of stuff should be irrelevant. I am using monetary examples above but this dependency goes way beyond that. Another example is feeling the need to always have someone to call, text, consult with for decisions both large and small. You should be secure with yourself enough to not always needs someone there for you. For the sake of keeping this as short as possible I didn’t want to list all the examples, but you get my drift, right? If not, just stop reading because the rest of this may just confuse you.

Please don’t take this as a bashing post towards men. I am told that I come off as a man-hater. Public Service Announcement: I am not a man hater. I have a lot of men in my life I really admire. Like my dad, my 11 year old nephew, my brothers and brother in laws just to name a few. To be honest, I really think females are just as guilty of feeding into this dynamic as men are guilty of what I’m coining as an “insecurity complex”. Girl. Stop being such a damn princess. Seriously. Stop. It’s not cute. Do you really need a man to buy you everything and open the car door for you? You can’t do it yourself? You can. I believe in you. Hey, don’t get me wrong. I am all about chivalry but there is a difference between needing a man to buy you everything you have and wanting to feel appreciated. I don’t mind being treated like the princess (that I am). But I am also capable of fending for myself because mama didn’t raise no fool. I can pay my bills, replace my brakes and cook a mean meal. But if a man wants to do that all for me, by all means, he can be my guest. Just let it be known that I don’t need him to. Again, mutual respect and understanding, that’s all I’m seeking here.

Next matter of discussion. Ladies, please don’t dumb yourself down and please don’t settle. Just because it seems that everyone around you is getting engaged/married/knocked up doesn’t mean there is a race to the finish line. Newsflash: there is no finish line. We are all in our own race. Against ourselves. We should only be in a competition with the person we were yesterday. Compete to be a better you. Let destiny take its course and have faith that everything happens in due time. (You should also acknowledge that not everyone gets married so it may be wise to seek the companionship of some cats just in case).

Now, riddle me this. Is it so wrong to seek intellectual conversation with someone who is confident and secure in themselves? Is it wrong to be emotionally and mentally developed before plunging into a relationship with someone and spending the rest of your lives together? Marriage is emotionally exhausting, financially stressful and requires selflessness. I only know these things because all my married friends remind me of them and because I see it in the relationships around me. I find nothing wrong with being in a relationship and growing together I just know that’s not what I want right now. Marriage is a big deal and I hope to get it right the first time.

This is me on my birthday. Not needing anyone to help me devour this delicious crepe but wanting them to so I don't regret it.

This is me on my birthday. Not needing anyone to help me devour this delicious dolce de leche crepe but wanting them to so I don’t regret it.

 

Don’t forget to share on social media, follow this blog and take the silly poll! Follow me on Instagram for a constant feed into my life: @Hodagram

Xx H

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Reflections: Memories vs Money

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I want everyone to know a really important piece of information that I think we may have lost sight of. All the wealth, all the possessions and all the property we make and own in this world will not follow us to our final resting place. Once we are put in a box, placed in the ground and covered in dirt it will not matter how much we made, what we bought or where we lived.

There are some things we can take with us though. Our good deeds. And then there are the memories we will leave behind for others to reflect on. So you better make sure you leave some damn good memories with those you surround yourself with.

I am realizing lately that I am guilty of chasing this life. I remember being in college, looking into jobs and refusing to work at a company that wasn’t a household name. If it wasn’t fortune-500 I would overlook it. Thinking that I would be insignificant if I didn’t make enough money to buy my dream car as soon as I graduated. Thinking that if I didn’t get a raise every year and a bonus that it would not all be worthwhile. I am convinced this is something I picked up from society and by being surrounded by people who didn’t realize what the purpose of life on this earth was all about.

When I reflect on my childhood and how my parents raised my siblings and I, I am proud to say that material things, money and wealth were not my parents priorities. Instead, my parents enriched us with the remembrance of God, with wealth in the knowledge of the lives of the Prophets and with an abundance of love and respect. They loved us enough to nurture and guide us but respected us enough to allow us to make our own decisions, our own mistakes that ultimately shaped our character and made us the people we are today. I realize now how important these things really are and that everything else in life is simply an added bonus.

As I grow up, quickly approaching my 24th year on this earth I am learning to reflect more and prioritize the things that matter to me most. With the loss of those near and dear to my heart, both young and old, I am constantly reminded how quickly life on this earth goes by. That the time I spend with others should only be in a positive environment. I am wasting less and less time doing things I hate and more time doing the things that help me grow as a person. I am learning that the life we lead here is but a moment’s time in the grand scheme of things. That I am only on this earth as a servant of God and that what I do here will ultimately lead to where I spend the rest of eternity, and personally, I am seeking to spend eternity in light, not in darkness.

And so I am realizing more and more that the importance of making memories exceeds the importance of making money. I am of course, typing this at my nice desk, on a nice laptop etc. I’m not saying to give up everything nice you have, quit your job and focus on making good memories and pleasing God. What I am trying to say that it is extremely important to be humble, live in moderation. Realize that we are simply visitors of this earth and to stop taking for granted all the blessings we have.

With all this being said. Make sure you save 20% of your income. My wise accountant told me this, at the end of the day you need financial security in case of emergencies (Gucci bags are not an emergency).

A few weeks ago while out with friends someone blurted something out that made so much sense to me. She said “we really don’t live within our means”. I am realizing that there’s a huge problem with society and my generation in general. We bury ourselves in unnecessary debt to get things we really don’t need (your college education is something you need so don’t feel bad about your student loan). So, friends, I leave you with the wise words of my pseudo-older sister.. “Live within your means”. If you can’t pay it off at the end of the month then your a$$ can’t have it. #Dassit.

making memories with my silly sis <3

making memories with my silly sis ❤

Don’t forget to share on social media, follow this blog and take the silly poll! Follow me on Instagram for a constant feed into my life: @Hodagram

Xx H

Purpose, Passion & Positivity

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I wrote this post over a month ago as I sat on a plane to California. For me and many others today is a sad day and as I sit here and reflect upon life on this earth I found this post extremely suitable. A reminder to us all that life is but a fleeting moment. Grab that moment and make sure it is worthwhile. Make sure that the time you spend in this moment is fulfilling and leaves those you left behind with a positive memory of you.I am so grateful for those around me who lift me up when I am down, please keep doing what you’re doing, leave the world a better place ❤

The 3 P’s: Purpose, Passion and Positivity.

I can’t help but come to the ultimate conclusion that we, as an entire human race, lack these three traits. I’ve also concluded that this is why so many of my friends and I are still single. When did I come to this realization? Well, when I found myself surrounded by individuals with a plethora of these traits, when I was surrounded by people with purpose, passion and positivity to the point that it was literally oozing out of their eyeballs. If you do anything with your life, especially in your 20’s I would say it would be to find these three things:

Purpose:

Recently I attended an off-site team building event with 50+ people from one of the IT teams here at my job. One of the speakers, Valorie Burton, was talking to us about Purpose. How many of us have even found our purpose, or truly gone in search of it? Purpose is a great thing to have, I think we should all have a purpose. I mean, why else are we waking up each day? If you don’t have a purpose you might as well stay in bed forever. #AmIright? Valorie told a story about a woman whom she swore her sole purpose in life was to bring joy to others. She said the woman sat front and center in an audience when she was speaking and kept smiling and nodding her head at Valorie as she spoke, egging Valorie on with an infectious smile. Valorie said this woman brought her so much joy as she spoke and put her in good spirits. She then turned a question on our team and asked, “is there any one here who feel their purpose is to bring joy to others” without skipping a beat my director and manager pointed to me. I was absolutely flattered. People always joke that I have a constant smile on my face no matter what the situation is. It was still a shock to see that others felt I could have that kind of impact on them. But I mean, we can’t all be joy bringers. There have to be people to balance the optimists with some realism. (More on optimism later). If we sit and really think about what our purpose is then we are more likely to have more productive, fulfilling days. I encourage everyone to really go out and seek their true purpose in life. I am still not positive what mine is but it’s an adventure in itself to pinpoint exactly what it could be. If you’re really having trouble determining your purpose a great practice is to ask those around us what they thing your purpose is or could be; from there build on it and make it your own. You won’t be disappointed, I promise.

Passion:

I won’t say that this is the most important of the three but this is something that I have really noticed is lacking in my life and in the lives of those around me. I could blame it on the fact that so many of us have become emotionally numb or I can blame it on the fact that we all suck. Let’s stop sucking guys. A few weeks ago I sat down with a colleague. We talked about work, life and our families. The conversation was really fulfilling because our goals and passions closely aligned. However, I noticed something really interesting. When he spoke about his children I noticed this undeniable twinkle in his eyes. I couldn’t put my finger on it. Then it came to me. It was passion I was seeing in his eyes. He was so passionate it was literally contagious. He had this immense amount of love and passion for them that I couldn’t help but find myself smiling as he showed me his daughter’s basketball videos and the funny twitter posts from his other daughter. I came to a conclusion after speaking with him: When people are passionate it not only shows in their eyes and their voices but it reflects onto us. A friend recently told me that she loves speaking to me about social media but she loves how passionate I get about it and how my eyes light up. I have a passion guys. Isn’t that exciting? We should all have a passion. Let’s do more things we are passionate about so we can twinkle and shine on.

Positivity:

An undeniable phenomena is that positivity is absolutely positively (see what I did there) contagious, infectious and one of the best character traits someone can encompass. Positivity literally makes you a better person. Don’t believe me? Think of your top 3 favorite people, are they positive? That’s what I thought. Nobody likes a Debbie Downer or Negative Nancy. I find myself always looking for the bright side to situations. I think this really shows in my personality. (actually I know it does, because my friends, colleagues and sometimes even acquaintances tell me I’m super positive). I guess you could say I am little Miss Sunshine. (Someone has called me that recently too, I’ll take it). But really, the next time you find yourself complaining I want you to try something. It’s called “re-framing”. Something negative happens: your car won’t start in the morning and you have an early meeting in the office. Re-frame this situation by realizing that the universe (and God if that’s your cup of tea) have conspired for this to happen for a reason. Your car isn’t starting but, did you get into a terrible accident and harm yourself or someone else? No. Do you know what we just did there? We re-framed our negative situation into a positive situation. ta-da! For the sake of my own mental well-being I’ve stopped responding to people who complain or reflect negativity. I could be a pretty emotional person and can’t help but feel down when those I care about are down. I’ve realized however that I can’t save everyone. Sometimes people need to save themselves. With this realization I’ve decided to counteract negativity with positivity. If my friends and loved ones want to eat up the positivity I’m spreading then so be it. But if they don’t then I will not allow them to drag me down and beat me with the horrid negativity stick. I do not have room in my life for that. You shouldn’t either!

Pulling it all together:

The other week I had to present to all the IT directors at work. Not nerve wracking or anything right? The Purpose of the presentation was to highlight the work I’ve done in the past year. Instead of boring my audience with a dull presentation I decided to include things I am passionate about. I told my “story” aka the work I completed in the past year through pictures. I included pictures of my family, of cupcakes and of my students. I knew if I wanted to get my message across I could would be most effective if I could convey to them the Passion I had for the projects I worked and the best way I could do so was through pictures that told the story. I started the presentation by asking everyone to tell me one positive thing that happened to them that day or week either at home or at work. In the year I had been in my role I brought this practice to our weekly team meetings. By starting my presentation with Positivity I literally felt the air in the room get a little lighter. People were laughing and smiling within the first two minutes of the start of the meeting and that positive air continued until my other two colleagues presented after as well. Not only did this make me more comfortable but it also allowed everyone in the room to reflect on a positive aspect of their day. How many times do we recognize positivity in our daily lives and reflect on it? We will literally become more appreciative and all around happier if we practice this simple task. Right now. Think of three positive things that happened to you this week. Close your eyes. Show some gratitude. Do you feel better? That’s what I thought.

 Now, make a promise to yourself. You’re going to seek your purpose, put passion in all that you do, and reflect on positive aspects in your life. Do it.

I must-ache you a question, how cute are my cupcakes?!

I must-ache you a question, how cute are my cupcakes?!

Don’t forget to share on social media, follow this blog, take the silly poll, comment and like! Follow me on Instagram for a constant feed into my life: @Hodagram

Xx H

The importance of failure and defeat.

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This post is more so a reminder to myself rather than a public service announcement. Please excuse any typos as I wrote this in the notes of my iPhone after a mild breakdown where I decided I needed to do some serious soul searching. This relates closely to my last post. If you didn’t read that one, check it out, fool.

Sometimes life and love will drag you down to extreme failure and defeat. It’s how we shine through, how we grow from these failures and defeats that make and mold us into the person we are truly destined to be. We have all been there. Felt absolutely and completely defeated. Like there was no way of picking up the pieces and starting over again. Whether it was from work, a relationship or school, we have all been there. But miraculously and by the will of God we made it through, and now we have the stories and scars to show for it.

I once, as a naive, wise-ass, little girl, asked my older sister what the point of practicing was if practice makes perfect but nobody’s perfect. She answered so perfectly that to this day I won’t forget her response: “nobody is perfect” she said, “but you can practice and be perfect at one thing, so it’s always worth practicing.” And just like that. Life made absolute, perfect, sense.

I’ve noticed that the worst times in my life where I have felt absolutely and completely defeated are what shaped and molded me into the woman I am today. I am proud to say that I have known defeat and failure in every single aspect of life. Personally, professionally, in school, in relationships and in friendships. Every single failure and defeat in all these aspects has always been a blessing in disguise. It showed me how absolutely strong and how much of a true warrior I am. I needed this reminder more than ever the past few days. And so I am sharing this in hopes that if someone is down in the dumps this can be a reminder to them as well.

There have been so many times where I wanted to give up but something inside of me would switch on. Something like survival mode I would say. I would remember that I have something to prove. Not to anyone else, to myself. I always have to prove to myself that I can pick up and start over again or else I will have a true mental breakdown. I think those of us who have experienced the worst times are the strongest and most beautiful (wait, did I just call myself beautiful? Yea. I did #yolo). It’s always good to reflect and remember where we came from and how much we have endured to be where we are today. Even when defeat is facing us head-on we can always find a way to overcome it. Every time I want to throw my hands in the air and call it quits at work I remember the all-nighters, the acne breakouts from stress and the emotional breakdowns and remind myself to keep pushing, that I did not do all that in vain.

Story time. The fall semester of my sophomore year of college is one of my most vivid memories of failure and a story I always reflect back on. As an honor student in high school I thought I had my shit all figured out. Going into my second year of college with a 3.7 GPA I thought I was absolute hot shit. Wrong. I was not. I took an extreme course overload, a new part-time job that took up all my free time, a booming (irrelevant) social life and I was barely able to keep my grades from slipping.

Then there was my epic downfall. The most awful class: Statistics for Business. A requirement I had to take that would get me into my beloved business school, a (naive) goal of mine in undergrad. As I took my final for this class on that cold December day I knew I had two options. Take a D for the course and not be able to replace it, only average it (a ridiculous Rutgers policy) or ask the professor to give me an F and retake the course to replace that grade. My first F of my life and I asked for it. I asked my professor to give me an F. I asked for failure. After that semester I pleaded with one of the academic deans to wipe that whole semester off my transcript. I rambled on about how I was in mental and emotional distress and that I needed a redo. He told me there were no redo’s in life and at the rate I was going I wouldn’t make it into business school. He was right. And that was the absolute best advice and decision I had made, I kept that F, had a W and a C in other courses (as well as an A and a B+, there was still a little genius nerd inside me somewhere).

That spring I decided business school was not going to be for me, I just literally could not keep up with all the naturally, statistically and mathematically inclined students. I switched my major to  something I was passionate about. Technology. Ever since I was in middle school I would use HTML to make corny websites with glittery images and quotes about love. I should have known after a Computers class I took freshman year that this was my true calling.I mean, how many people have seen me glued to my Blackberry/iPhone/Android, how many times have I rambled to my uninterested friends on the impact of social media and the importance of SEO?

That spring semester I redeemed my slipping GPA and retook the statistics course the following summer. During that summer I landed a dope IT internship at J&J and fought off a virus that had me miss two of the stats summer course sessions, I still managed to do much better than an F. It’s worth noting that I still had the other part time job too #hustler. That failure that defeat was the reason I changed majors, the reason I landed an awesome internship and the reason I learned I had to prove to myself, above anyone else, that I was a fighter. And a damn good fighter too. It took tears, stress, anger and angst to figure out that I would be so much stronger as a person, a student and a professional from just one bad semester in college.

I think to win a race we have to be in it. This means, don’t mentally check out when you think there’s no way through it. There is always a way through it. Because, like they say, if God brings you to it, He will surely bring you through it. This world is really freaking hard guys, if you want to get on top you have to fight like hell. Don’t give up. There’s a light at the end of the tunnel, there always is.

Peace and love friends.

Anyway, whatever. Here’s a pic of me dancing in a sombrero.

Anyway, whatever. Here's a picture of me dancing in a sombrero.

Don’t forget to share on social media, follow this blog, take the silly poll, comment and like! Follow me on Instagram for a constant feed into my life: @Hodagram

Xx H

quit playing the waiting game

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I have to say, I am far from a quitter but there is one thing that I encourage everyone to quit…

Yet another epidemic that plagues us. The waiting game. We are forever and always waiting for something. Waiting for a friend to finish getting ready, waiting to hear back on a job offer, waiting for someone to confirm if they can take that vacation we’ve been talking about, waiting to have enough saved to buy that Benz we always dreamed of owning, waiting to lose weight to buy that cute dress, waiting to have enough money saved to travel to a new place. Or worse. Waiting for someone to be the reason for our happiness. While some of these things you truly need to wait on there are some things within reach. So reach baby, reach.

I have a secret that I think is precious and it would be selfish of me to keep from you. If you want to be happy, be happy. Be HAPPY damn it. Find that happiness within. Stop playing the waiting game in hopes that you will find happiness through someone or something. You have all the happiness you could possibly need bottled up in that beautiful heart of yours. Actually, take your hand, right now, and put it on your chest. Feel that? That’s your heartbeat. One day it will stop, make sure that when it does you’ve fulfilled all your hopes, dreams and desires. Or most of them at least. Otherwise life on this earth wouldn’t have been worthwhile. Imagine. Your life ends and you look back only to realize you spent most of it waiting for someone or something. Pathetic, right?

I have heard so many girls say: “I can’t wait to go to (choose a country) with my future husband”. No. Stop. Go to (choose a country) NOW. Book that ticket, even if you have to go alone. I promise you, you will not regret it. This is so frustrating for me to hear because I was that girl. And then I woke up one day and realized the only person in control of my happiness and destiny was myself. And then I started realizing something else. My world was so tiny. My thoughts were confined to this predetermined way of thinking and my priorities laid within my family, friends, school and a career. Oh. And that notion that I was nobody until I was somebody’s wife. Bullshit. That was bullshit. When I decided I was going to do what I wanted when I wanted I realized that I was finally living. This was the most refreshing realization I ever stumbled upon.

Now. Another thing… While we are on the topic of waiting…

The worst waiting of all my friends, is waiting to get “older” to become more religious or spiritual. Like they say, the graves are full of young people who said they would find God when they got older. I will not sit here and preach because I am so ridiculously far from where I should be in this aspect of my life but like hell I am trying. For me, accepting that God saved us all a place in Heaven and that all we have to do is work for it in this life was what helped me realize the importance of righteousness. I think we take for granted how lucky we are. Local conventions, YouTube and Amazon books are just a few things that have made everything we need to know about religion within reach. We no longer have an excuse as to why we aren’t knowledgeable on this topic. This may piss a lot of people off but I think the spiritual connection you have with your creator, whomever you think it may be, is so extremely precious and if we don’t seek that connection early on in life it may be too late. I feel blessed to have learned so much about morals and ethics through religious teachings and I encourage everyone to explore religion. All religions. In college I took several religion classes outside of my comfort zone. Those were some of my favorite, eye-opening experiences. I gotta say though, religion classes were a close second to Gender and Technology which completely blew my mind. #Nerd.

And lastly, don’t wait for the pain in your foot to go away before going to a doctor. The pain probably won’t go away and you will end up immobile for 6-8 weeks. #FML. I am pretty sure I sprained my foot 7 weeks ago. Instead of going to a doctor I kept brushing it off. Continued to run, kickbox and took a trip to Cali. The other day I woke up and literally couldn’t walk. Turns out I have a nasty sprain in my foot and ankle. No bueno. You only get one body, take care of it, don’t wait until things really hit the fan to get some help!

 So, let’s recap. We are going to stop waiting to feed our mind, body and soul. We are going to quit playing the waiting game and start living life to the fullest. Are we clear here? Great. Now,  excuse me while I plan my next adventure..

Don’t forget to share the humor, take the silly poll, comment and like! Follow me on Instagram for a constant feed into my life: @Hodagram

Xx H

Me, not waiting for happiness to come my way in Cali.

Me, not waiting for happiness to come my way in Cali.

You Are Not Busy. You Are Rude.

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Tonight I am writing to address a serious matter. I want to first take a moment to apologize for this unforeseen hiatus I took from posting. Some of you may already know this but I have been super busy. I have a full time job being awesome and a part time job being a bish. No but for real, I have had two posts lined up that just needed editing but for some reason I didn’t feel passionate enough about them to post for the world to see. Tonight I had the urge to write and since my friends have threatened to unfriend me in real life if I don’t post something/anything here it goes…

Serious Matter:

I want to talk about this “busy” word everyone keeps throwing around. I am under the impression that folks these days take the idea of being busy as something glamorous, something you should aim to be. The busier you are the better you are. Well. That’s all bull, being busy is a cop out, a sign that you have poor time management skills, poor prioritization and most importantly you are just straight up rude if you keep telling people how “busy” you are. When you tell someone you’re “busy” it just means that you feel they are irrelevant and you don’t respect them as a human being. Am I being dramatic? Good. I didn’t make the first word of this blog “dramatic” for nothing..

When someone tells me they were too “busy” to call me back all I really hear is “I don’t care about your existence” #sorrynotsorry. I am the first to admit it. I won’t answer texts when I see them because I feel like I owe it to people to give them my undivided attention. BUT. I will ALWAYS respond, eventually, even if its 4am in the morning. You bet your sweet ass if you reach out to me I will get back to you in due time. It’s the right thing to do and I am all about doing the right thing.

Anyone who knows me will say it. I am literally the #busiestgirlintheworld. Between work, commuting 3 hours a day, part time grad school, family, friends, volunteering as a teacher on Sundays and getting 3-5 workouts in a week I sometimes forget what sleep is and what it’s like to have nothing to do. Sometimes the pressure I am under makes me want to crack but I guess I’m too busy to realize *sarcasm*. One thing that I can say I am proud of is the fact that when someone needs me, calls me or texts me I am always there. And even if I have a million things on my plate I will MAKE the time. And that my friends, is the problem so many of us have. We (you) use busy as a cop out without realizing that you don’t “have” time, you have to literally “MAKE” time. Make time to spend with people you care about, make time to call an old friend to talk, make time to take your friend to brunch for their birthday, make time to sit with your mom and drink tea even when you’ve had a ridiculously long day at work, sat in traffic for eternity and just want to collapse in bed. If you don’t MAKE the time for these things you will let life pass you by with no fond memories to look back on. Do you really want to look back 25 years from now and realize you forgot to live because you were busy being “busy”?

Story time: A few weeks ago I called my friend on the way home from work just to talk. I had planned to hit the gym and even had my clothes in the car with me, one thing led to another and I ended up FaceTiming with her and ditching the gym to go over and see her and her perfect, adorable munchkin son. We ate pizza, talked about life, love and the pursuit of happiness, gave her cutie son a bath and put him to bed. #PerfectNight It was the best decision I made in a long time. I missed a work out, got home later than usual on a work night, but it was absolutely, positively exactly what I needed on a random Wednesday.

Call me crazy but, okay, don’t call me crazy, I get offended. But seriously, when you want to do something you make time. You are never too busy to do something you want to do. You make time for the relationships in your life that matter. For family, for friends, for things you enjoy doing. Stop getting wrapped up in the stigma that being busy is something glamorous or makes you more important. It’s not. It’s actually sad if you’re too busy to respond to a text or return a phone call. Actually, you know what? It’s not sad, it just makes you a rotten person. What if that phone call could be the ONLY reason someone will smile today? Do you feel awful about yourself yet? Good. You should.

I’m no expert on self help. I suffer from anxiety myself and I am pretty horrible at managing my time. I usually make up for the time I lost living my life by not sleeping (kinda like I’m doing right this second). Now that I think about it, I probably suffer from anxiety due to lack of “free time” because I’m “SOOOO Busy” *note sarcasm here*. Seriously though, I do think we need more time to ourselves. Time to reflect, to relax. The time I spend in perfect peace, for me, it’s writing or chillin’ with my mom even if we sit in silence is the best “me” time I can get. Try it sometime, it’s dope.

I hate being busy, did I mention that? I always stop myself when I am about to tell someone I care about how “busy” I am. We are all busy in our own ways. What we need to learn to do is prioritize. I won’t say manage time, because anyone can manage their time with a planner or an iPhone calendar, what we need to do is prioritize. Yes, we have a work deadline, yes, we have a final to prepare for, yes, we haven’t done laundry in 3 weeks and are running dangerously low on undies BUT- it’s unhealthy to not take breaks and focus on ourselves for a little. Call a good friend, chat, tell someone we appreciate them and tell them how much we care about them. When we show gratitude for others we feel happier. Trust me. I’ve tried it. You should too. Take the time out of your day to LIVE.

As long as you keep saying you’re too busy you are going to start believing it, and then you will never find happiness, inner peace or true love. Alright, maybe I’ve dramatized that a bit, but you get what I mean.

Stop being rude and using the word busy as a cop out to not make time for people or things. “Sorry it took me three days to respond to your text, I was so busy being a rude jerk”. <— That’s what you sound like, jerk. Please show some common courtesy and class, don’t take people for granted. Even Beyonce makes time to returns calls and texts, I would know. You should make the time too. Now excuse me while I listen to Tupac and drink my Tazo Zen tea.

Stay Humble folks.

 

gfdg

Here’s a pic of me busy being awesome  at the Google Mountain View office in Cali last week 😉

Don’t forget to share the humor, take the silly poll, comment and like!

Xx H

 

Learning to take a compliment…

Standard

Happy International Women’s Day to all my fabulous ladies!!!!!

Now. Can someone explain to me why some of us fabulous women still can’t take a compliment?

For as long as I can remember I have literally been mentally, physically and emotionally unable to take a compliment.  This didn’t always bother me and I always just brushed it off as low self-esteem and insecurity. *You’re probably thinking, this girl is totally not insecure and does not suffer from low self-esteem, she posts ten selfies a week.* Let me clarify- I post selfies because I feel it would be an injustice to society to look damn good without ensuring that everyone can see and appreciate it. No, but seriously, I’ve literally had this exact conversation with many of my friends . We don’t take compliments, we brush them off in a feeble attempt to seem modest but instead we belittle ourselves and our achievements.

I think I need to explain a little more in detail what this inability to take a compliment really is. Just this week someone at work told me my eye lashes look fabulous, instead of taking a compliment, saying thank you and smiling I said “Yea, it’s because I’m Egyptian.” What?! Does that sound modest? No. It sounds stupid. The reason my eye lashes look fabulous is because God made me this way and also because I use two different mascaras, one to lengthen and one to add volume, it’s an art really. I spend a good minute plumping those bad boys up, I should take pride in that! I should say thank you and let the compliment be what it is, a compliment. Why didn’t I just say thank you? Why did I feel the need to say it’s because I’m Egyptian? It’s not because I’m Egyptian, it’s because I’m fabulous annndddd because: “I woke up like dis” (more on Beyonce later).

If that example wasn’t enough here’s a whole list of compliments I shut down and dodged like the plague because I’m too mentally, physically and emotionally unavailable for compliments:

  • Compliment: Damn girl, your arms are jacked
  • Response: Ew, no they’re fat
  • Normal Response: Thank you, I work out a lot, I can offer some workout tips if you’d like!
  • Compliment: Wow, you look great, did you lose weight?
  • Response: What? No. I’m so fat. Ew.
  • Normal Response: Actually- I lost fat, I changed my diet about a year ago and I work out…
  • Compliment: You have great eyebrows.
  • Response: Yea, I know. I get that a lot. I have a great eyebrow lady.
  • Normal Response: Just say thank you?
  • Compliment: Wow, that’s really smart.
  • Response: Are you kidding?
  • Normal Response: Seriously? Just say THANK YOU.
  • Compliment: I was just telling my sister, you looked gorgeous last night!
  • Response: Are you serious? I looked gross.
  • Normal Response: Thank you would have probably been the normal human response.
  • Compliment: (from my kickboxing instructor) You looked great out there tonight!
  • Response: What? No way. I suck.
  • Normal Response: Wow, thank you, that’s a great compliment coming from you, I’ve been coming 3-5 times a week for months!

In hindsight it would not have been that difficult to take the compliment, actually, I am convinced that because I don’t take the compliments for what they are and instead put myself down I convince myself that I am not these things. How pathetic, right? How many of you do that too?

On a more serious note… Recently I’ve felt my inability to take a compliment flooding into my professional life. That’s when I felt I had to stop, reevaluate my life… annnnd write a blog post about it. Oh, I also resolved to be more confident and take the compliments for what they are. The other day I was with my director in his office. As I mentioned before- I recently got a new role at work and I’ve been in a rotten, miserable mood because I keep psyching myself out and thinking that I know nothing about anything and will end up under-performing. Just being myself really. Because of this I’ve spent countless hours the past two months drilling information into my mind in the hopes of learning everything about everything. Just being an entitled Millennial ya know? Uhm no, working my behind off to prove to myself I am not a failure. (This will make sense two paragraphs later, wait for it.) Anyhow, my director and I were discussing some ideas and best practices and I said something that made him respond with: “Oh wow, you really know your stuff, huh?” My response? *blank stare & 10 seconds of silence followed by:* “Are you being sarcastic?” He literally looked at me like I was a lunatic. Not only did I completely discredit what I had said but I belittled myself and my intelligence. Not cool.

I also have a tendency to do this in school. I’m in grad school working on a Masters in Project Management. The reason I even decided to go back to school immediately after undergrad was because I felt like I didn’t learn enough since I didn’t take any business classes. Yea. I basically discredited my entire undergraduate career and my degree. Sorry Rutgers. This semester I have a professor that I really admire. I admire her so much that I always think I am giving the wrong answer. It could also have to do with the fact that she’s extremely stoic and I have no idea if she thinks what I am saying is completely ridiculous but after EVERY response or statement I make in her class I say “I think” or: “I don’t know.” For example, I will bring up an alternative theory to a point she made in class, it will be completely valid and she will say I brought up a great point but I will have already discredited myself anyway and said that I “think” and that I “don’t know”… When in reality, I do know, because I’ve studied the material and I have a valid point. Why do I do this? How many of you do the same??

I feel our generation, the “Millennials”, are constantly coined as narcissistic and entitled. I beg to differ. I have had numerous conversations with prominent, successful women, some in HR, who point out that people, especially women, have a hard time recognizing their own achievements. They play down their success and belittle themselves, whether in the presence of males or other women it doesn’t matter. What matters is this mindset needs to change. We need to be way more confident in ourselves, we need to celebrate our achievements and celebrate one another. I recently downloaded the entire Beyonce album (legally, because I support ma girl ‘Yonce) and there is a verse in Flawless spoken by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie that I think everyone, especially females, need to read, and I will leave you with these words:

We teach girls to shrink themselves. To make themselves smaller
We say to girls: “You can have ambition. But not too much
You should aim to be successful. But not too successful. Otherwise you will threaten the man”
Because I am female- I am expected to aspire to marriage
I am expected to make my life choices. Always keeping in mind that: Marriage is the most important. Now marriage can be a source of- Joy and love and mutual support
But why do we teach girls to aspire to marriage. And we don’t teach boys the same?
We raise girls to treat each other as competitors. Not for jobs or for accomplishments
Which I think can be a good thing. But for the attention of men
We teach girls that they cannot be sexual beings in the way that boys are.
Feminist: the person who believes in the social, political, and economic equality of the sexes.

So, are you a feminist? *Hint men can also be feminists.

Here's a pick of me after kickboxing class...

As usual. Here’s a pic… This is me after kickboxing class…

Don’t forget to share the humor, take the silly poll, comment and like!

Xx H