My Thoughts

Growing in Your Purpose

To be completely honest, this topic of Growing in Your Purpose was one that was difficult for me to write about. Not because I didn’t have much to say, but more so because it forced me to reflect on my own continuous growth. I had to find a way to take my emotions and struggles and piece them into a cohesive post (because 85% of the time my thoughts are racing 100mph in every direction). I’d like to preface this by saying I can only speak about what worked best for me– my personal experiences and the paths I chose to take. Growing in your purpose will look and feel different for you because it is different for everyone. However, I do hope reading about my journey of growth lights something within you to either start or continue your journey of purpose.

Personally, the biggest factor of growing in my purpose has been introspection. The ability to examine one’s own emotional and mental processes is not only time consuming but comes with great responsibility. The truth of the matter is, it’s difficult to face your own flaws/internal roadblocks. However, it is even more difficult to actually do something about them. It is important to reach deep within yourself on this lifelong voyage because it takes a certain level of vulnerability with yourself to do so. There’s this notion of how scary it is to be vulnerable with another human, but when’s the last time you were truly vulnerable with yourself. Believe it or not, many people are not honest with themselves. Once you verbalize and then accept your doings, it makes them real. Which means something has to be done, or shall I say something SHOULD be done (because sometimes nothing is done at all). The acknowledgment of needing to work on certain areas means you no longer get to use them as a “crutch” in your life. If you’re confused on what I mean here are some familiar examples: “When I get upset I can’t control my mouth, so don’t take it personal” WRONG! “When I get overwhelmed with something I tend to shut down and retreat” WRONG! “I’m not the best at explaining how I feel, but know that I care” WRONG! The reality of this world is that every single one us has things to work on, but what good does it do for us to accept our flaws as part of our being. I’ve never been fond of the phrase “well that’s just who I am”, once again… WRONG! That is who you have accepted to be. When you know better, you have the obligation to do better.

It is difficult to pinpoint the start of my journey but I can for sure say that it has consciously started within the last few years. Every day we have been on this earth is a day of living in our purpose, but there comes a point in time when you take control of that journey, and that is what I’m referring to. We must actively seek growth and change because the reality is that it does not happen on its own. With each passing day, we are constantly transforming mentally, physically, and emotionally without even thinking about it. But in order for that transformation to be beneficial and of true substance, we must be cognizant of our end goal and then create a plan of how we wish to mold ourselves into that person. For those of you who know me, you know that I believe my purpose on this earth is to help and inspire others. Ultimately, I wish to create a foundation and help those in need through a homeless shelter/drop-in center. In the meantime, I’ve found a way to inspire and help on a daily basis by blogging and being a resource to those around me. I have no doubt that I am very different than others when it comes to my ability to process my thoughts and emotions. I strive to take something from every encounter I have because there is always something to be learned. I am constantly processing internally in order to not only understand those around me but to grasp a better concept of the woman I am transforming into DAILY. Also, by understanding my experiences I am better able to share them with you all.

There are 4 aspects of my life that have taught me so many things, specifically in the last two years. Between friendships, school, relationships, and moving I have had my fair share of growing pains. School is what led me to move, which created a domino effect in my progression. I always knew that obtaining my bachelors was not the end goal for me. During my senior year of college I started looking for grad schools and I just knew for sure that I wanted to go south. A story that many people don’t know is that I only looked into programs in St. Louis because of the guy I was dating at the time. L O L. Long story short we broke up, and he didn’t get transferred to St. Louis, which allowed me to get a fresh start. * Let the record show that I did apply and get accepted to schools in the South, but Webster was paying for school and paying me! * There are a million and one lessons in this entire scenario, but I’m thankful for God’s touch because I probably would still be in Indiana had this all played out differently. Being in St. Louis has allowed me to grow in ways that I had never imagined. Although the city is a bit slow, it is what I needed in this season of my life. Places like Chicago or Indianapolis would have slowed my progress and clouded my focus. Here, I have been able to isolate myself and step into a chapter that is my own. Throughout this time, I have learned how to manage my time, money, emotions, and mental health. I’ve realized that I enjoy being in new spaces and settings, it is the essence of who I am. As difficult as it was, I loved being in a city where I knew no one. Two years later, I have now grown roots here (no matter how often I’m gone haha). I trust God’s ability to lead me into every decision I make, even when it makes absolutely no sense. During this time I have taken control of what I desire my life to be, while letting go of people and situations that no longer align with that.

With all of this being said I’d like to leave you with a few things that I’ve taken away from my ongoing journey:

– You can be whole while still discovering pieces of yourself.

– Go to sleep each night with a clear mind and heart, and get up the next day to try again.

-Have people in your life that hold you accountable.

*SN:  In my group of friends I am well known for calling them out on things that they could and should be doing better. Now, don’t get me wrong I am not constantly beating them down with criticism, but I do challenge their thoughts and ability to do better. In the same instance, I expect them to hold me to the same standard. Those in our lives who truly know us, know when we are not reaching our full potential.

– In times when it feels like life has buried you, water yourself and BLOOM!

– You have no time to convince others to value all that you are.

– Learn to return back home to yourself.

– Give yourself permission to grow, bend, break, cry, to find peace in chaos, to EXIST,

to LIVE, to hold on, and to let go. You’re only human.

Every day I’m still figuring it out, and some days I get it completely wrong. But it’s one hell of a ride and I’m enjoying every second of it. I’d like to close by letting anyone know who is reading this to always feel free to reach out to me if they have questions, need advice, or just would like to know more about my journey. Have a wonderful week!

My Thoughts

Inconvenience Yourself, So You Know It’s Real

Be inconvenienced so you know it’s real. Yes, you read that right…inconvenience yourself. As I continue to mature, I’ve come to realize the importance of being inconvenienced. The term naturally comes with a negative connotation; however, an inconvenience is merely an adventure or opportunity in disguise. This topic came about in terms of maintaining friendships as the convenience of said friendship fades away, but now I think it can be tied to several different aspects of my life.

This weekend I went to visit a friend from college who I haven’t been able to catch up with as often as I once did. We both graduated, moved away, and started to live out our dreams. She has recently started a family of her own, and is flourishing as a wife and mom now. As I drove home last night I thought about all the friendships that I have maintained throughout life, and especially after college. I’ve also thought about all of the people in my life that I’ve “lost” when it no longer was convenient. It made me appreciate those who have put in the effort to maintain relationships as our lives have pulled us in separate directions. The reality of life is that you will lose people along the way, but have you thought about the true reasoning. Did you get lazy? Was it a little bit more time consuming than you were used to? Or maybe they were no longer good for you, because I don’t want the term inconvenience to be confused with a situation or person who is bringing complication to your life. But more so on the terms of something now requiring a bit more thoughtfulness, time, and/or effort than you were once used to. An opportunity, friendship, or relationship that is well worth the added efforts.

I love the phrase “change is inevitable”, and in the same breath change is not made without inconvenience. As we figure out what we want out of life, we must also figure out what we’re willing to sacrifice. And in my eyes inconvenience is nothing more than a sacrifice of some sort. My past relationships have cultivated this newfound side of me, a side that welcomes uncomfortable growth. As I look back I’ve realized that every relationship I’ve been in has been long distance. This has not been on purpose, but life just has a funny way of working out like that. More importantly they have required great efforts and “inconvenience” on both parties. It allowed me to learn the importance of who and what I decided to pour myself into. Now I won’t dive too deep into long distance relationships (because that’s definitely a topic I can take off on), but the fruits, or lessons, of them can feed you for a lifetime. I learned that some people were not willing to sacrifice or be inconvenienced for me, as I was for them. In hindsight, I’m thankful for those times because I can now move forward with a new mindset in all facets of my life of the sacrifices necessary to trigger growth.

As I dive head first into my career, I’m encountering the inconveniences that come with trying to “have it all”. But I’m no stranger to the obstacles that life and our society throws at us. With each passing day I will continue to welcome the inconveniences that allow me to advance in my career, as well as the inconveniences that allow me to maintain healthy and loving relationships with friends and family. As the saying goes, “No one ever said it would be easy, they just promised it would be worth it”. So inconvenience yourself ,and know that it’s real, because you are well worth the growth and happiness on the other side. I challenge you to go into this week with a new outlook on your inconveniences and turn them into opportunities!

My Thoughts

23 Lessons in My 23rd Year

*cues Ratchet Happy Birthday by Drake*

What a year it has been! I feel like it was just yesterday I was sitting down to write 22 things I learned in my 22nd year. In that time I’ve graduated from grad school, started my first “big girl” job, moved into my own place, and traveled overseas for the first time. And all of that only occurred within the last 5 months. To say the least 23 year was a very transitional year for me, a year of truly stepping into the world on my own. With that being said I’d like to share my 23rd year in 23 “lessons”.

In no particular order:

  1. Self-love is great, but self-awareness is important.
  2. I may or may not officially be into napping, still on the fence about it.
  3. Every opportunity isn’t the right opportunity, don’t be hasty in decision making.
  4. Everyone should live by themselves at least once in their life. It teaches you a lot and opens a whole new side of yourself up.
  5. An addition to #4, is learning how to love being alone. Not to be confused with lonely.
  6. I’m currently learning how not to water myself down for others. Anybody who decides to be in my life should accept who I am at my purest form. In the same breath, they also have the right to leave my life if it’s not for them. And that’s okay, too.
  7. Others may never do what you do for them, and that’s fine. Doesn’t mean they don’t care, and it doesn’t mean you should “harden” yourself.
  8. I learned to do what I wanted to do because it’s what I wanted to do and I could do it, and I did it for me. (*if you didn’t follow you don’t get me)
  9. I learned how to be okay with the end, just as much as I enjoy a new beginning.
  10. I do not look my age, at least 26 and topping off at 30 (my energy/the way that I carry myself) If I had a dollar for every time I heard “You’re only 23?!”
  11. Forgiveness, not for others but for myself. For not knowing better at the time, for past behaviors, and for being who I needed to be at the time.
  12. I learned not to be so narcissistic, and it wasn’t intentionally but I found more important things to focus on other than myself. I guess I grew up mentally.
  13. I learned that sometimes the best thing to do is throw yourself into a goal and work you ass off (and continue to fail) until you figure out how to complete it.
  14. I learned/ realized I am truly loved and appreciated beyond my wildest expectations. I have people in my life who have showed up and showed out for me when I couldn’t for myself.
  15. I may never have abs, and I’m completely fine with that. Donuts have never failed me anyway haha.
  16. I learned “to love the parts of myself that no one claps for”.
  17. The world is my oyster, and I’m the pearl inside waiting. I truly believe I was meant to travel the world. I feel the most at peace when traveling. I feel whole.
  18. You should keep the people around who let you sing off key at the top of your lungs. The ones who encourage your off beat dancing. Because they see how happy and free it makes you.
  19. Goals are goals, and they are not a measure of your success if you fail or take a little bit longer to complete them than expected.
  20. I learned that Sunday’s are my most productive day, and truly set the tone for my week. ( a notion that I have come to live by)
  21. In the last year I have taken the time to learn the things that make me smile. I have dug deeper within my happiness.
  22. I learned (the hard way on multiple occasions) not to wear jumpsuits to work when you consume the amount of water that I do haha.
  23. Last but not least, this is truly only the beginning of all that the world has to offer me. At the age of 23 I have already accomplished more than I had imagined for myself at this point in my life.

I’m sure there are many more lessons throughout the last year that I’ve learned, but these 23 stuck with me. As I enter this next chapter I desire to be intentional with everything I do, and everyone that I engage with. I desire to be transparent and candid. Whether that be with friends, family, partners, my goals, and even my career. I’m entering a season of elevation in all aspects, and I must be intentional with how I go about it. So for now, keep me in your prayers and stay tuned for all that I make of this next year!

My Thoughts

Why August is MY “New Year’s”

Hello everyone!!! It feels like a gazillion years since the last time I’ve blogged, probably because it has been. This morning I woke up and felt compelled to write this blog post because it is the first day of my birth month. The first day of any month brings this feeling of invincibility to most people as they are filled with hope, joy, and determination of ensuring this month will be better than the last. As for me, I’ve always viewed August as MY “New Year’s”, instead of in January. Growing up my birthday always signified the ending of the summer, and the beginning of a new school year. Also, it was the ending and the beginning of another year on this planet. As I’ve gotten older it has become imperative that I go into a new year of life with a level head, a plan, and with all loose ends tied up. Obviously, one day to the next does not come with a completely new mindset and clean slate, but I do my best to prepare mentally in the weeks leading up to my birthday. At some point in July I began to have introspective moments of the past year, while thinking about all that I desire from the year to come. And the “theme” for year 24 deals with being intentional with everything I engage in. I’ll get more into that theme on the blog post I drop next Thursday. Also, in my next post I’ll discuss 23 things I learned in my 23rd year, along with all that I desire for year 24. I hope that anyone who reads this continues to make each day better than the next, and to use each month as a way to take control of their life. I know that August is the beginning of yet another bountiful year for me, and I’m excited for all that I make of it. Sending positive vibes out to all of those who are looking to crush goals, “level up”, and live a life they can be proud to call their own!

My Thoughts

Liah’s Interlude

I’m not quite sure where to begin, but I’ve spent the last two months void of social media (except for FB, had to keep up with birthdays haha). I decided that I wanted to spend the first 60 days of 2018 grounded in who I am, who I wish to become, and where I would end up come May. Not to mention, I started my capstone for my MBA in January and it is with great pleasure that I announce I officially completed my MBA last night. It was by far the hardest 9 weeks of my life, but my celebration will be short lived because in two weeks I will start my second capstone for my MS in Science Management and Leadership. During that two week break I will be in Greece to visit 7 companies and learn about commerce in Athens. This trip and the experiences to come could not be more on time. I can say I’m ready to come from under my rock and reintegrate myself back into “society”, even if only for a couple weeks. I want to discuss some of my realizations that have come from my 2 month “interlude”.

In May I will be graduating and I’ve spent the last few months applying to jobs and networking, but things have not yet started to shift for me. I can definitely say that it’s been discouraging, but I have faith that God has a plan for me. With that being said, I was having a conversation with a friend one day about the pressure placed on us from society, and more specifically our generation. We are all learning how to “adult”, but it is no secret that most people have this notion that we should be in a certain place at a certain time. For me specifically, if I walk across that stage on May 12th and I don’t have a job I will feel like a failure, forget the fact that I’ll be 23 graduating with 2 graduate degrees. However, I’ve recognized that I’m only a failure if I allow this perception of who I should be and where I should be to permeate my life.

Recently, I’ve had many people I come into contact with say that I have this “glow”, and I’m always taken back by the comment because I feel as though the stress I was enduring had completely taken over. I could barely remember the day of the week, let alone comprehend where this “glow” could be coming from. However, I think it was a constant reminder from God that while you’re growing you could still be glowing. I’d like to compare it to a flower. A flower is still a flower, and is still beautiful even when it is not fully bloomed. So for everyone who is going through “it” during this stressful time of the year, continue to persevere. It doesn’t last forever and there are far greater things waiting for you on the other side. I’m glad I took the time to step away and focus on myself, and I’m truly ecstatic to get on this plane tomorrow to Greece. Make sure to follow my social media to see Greece through my perspective!

 

 

 

My Thoughts

“Chicago is Comfort…”

Yesterday as I was driving home I was having a conversation with my best friend that sparked the focus for this week’s blog post. As our conversation progressed, it fell upon the topic of where my life is heading upon finishing my graduate program in May. As always, the subject of where my new home will be brings me anxiety. While I was expounding on the remark, I made the comment “Chicago is comfort…” and I stopped myself in my tracks to process what I had just said. Chicago is on my list of places to look for a job, but I know that it comes from a place of comfort. Chicago is home to me, and it is where some of my strongest ties reside. However, that city represents a place of comfort, and in that type of comfort I don’t see growth. Now before I continue, I want to state that I am not saying there is anything wrong with moving back to your home city, I know plenty of people who move home because it’s financially responsible and/or their home brings the growth they seek. But these are my perceptions of my current situation.

From the beginning I never wanted to stay in Illinois, when applying to colleges I didn’t even apply to any within my home state. I’ve always felt that staying home wouldn’t challenge me in the ways that I sought out. So for undergrad I went to school out of state, and upon graduating I moved to another state, where I knew no one, to start graduate school. In the 18 months of living here, I’ve grown immensely and I’ve come to realize how much growth comes from being uncomfortable. It wasn’t until graduation that I truly pushed myself past my “limits”. I’ve began to face, and conquer, every doubt and fear that I tried to place on myself. I compare myself to the growth of a plant. As a plant grows, so does it roots, and that requires a bigger flower pot. However, the current flower pot is familiar/comfortable, but staying in that pot will stunt the growth of those roots, which stunts the growth of the plant. As the saying goes, A comfort zone is a beautiful place, but nothing ever grows there.

I’ll be the first to admit that I am no stranger to falling into complacency at times. But I’ve also come to realize that it’s more difficult to fall into complacency when you’re constantly moving outside of your comfort zone. In order to incite growth, one must do something they’ve never done before. Isn’t the definition of insanity doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result? I will say that familiarity and comfort is not a bad thing, because it’s something we all seek and need at times, but be aware of the impact it has on the progression of your life. With all of this being said, whatever your “Chicago” may be, step outside of that and give yourself the push that you need. Invite change and unfamiliarity into your life. Embrace the new you that is waiting on the other side of comfort. Growth is a decision. It just doesn’t happen. You have to make the decision to change your behaviors, thoughts, and lifestyle.

 

My Thoughts

Peace; Protect It At All Costs

Like many millennials, I juggle a multitude of things on a daily basis. And quite often I want to post a sign that says “Temporarily closed for maintenance” in regards to my life. There is a constant battle of protecting my peace, and I’ve embarked on this new task of learning how to do so in a positive and effective way. I’m on a mission of making the rest of my life, the best of my life.

I want to say that protecting your peace doesn’t entitle you to be mean, rude, or to blow people off. Protecting your peace doesn’t mean that you no longer care for those in your life, it just means you’re taking extra care of yourself. I’ve come up with a few key points that ensure I’m making the right decisions, and have kept me grounded in the process.

  • If it costs you your peace, its too expensive
  • You have to take responsibility for the energy you allow to be in your space
  • You are just as responsible for the energy you bring into others’ space. This is one of the most important ones because it’s a form of keeping yourself in check. We all focus on what we want in our life, but are you cognizant of what you put out?
  • Peace over pieces

As I come to the close of my graduate program, I am forced with the reality of what lies ahead of me. Between work, school, a social life, family, and the “future” I feel overwhelmed. However, I have taken some pressure off of myself by no longer feeling emotionally and mentally tied to situations or people that do not produce a peaceful outcome. I want to make it clear that peace does not equal avoidance, it equals dealing with conflicts in a manner that yield a peaceful conclusion. You cannot dodge stressful situations, but you do have the ability not to give it the emotion/time that can be better used in another facet of your life.

You have two roles in the protecting of peace. Protecting your peace and allowing for others around you to protect their own peace. The next time someone around you may be distant, don’t immediately take it personal. Try to reevaluate the scenario without you as a factor. Maybe school/work or family life is affecting them, and the worst thing you can do is show up with more pressure. In a world where we have a million factors weighing on us, promise yourself that you will choose your happiness and peace over all of them. Promise to make the rest of your life, the best of your life.