Cycles and Patterns

In life, we’re always in patterns we can’t shake, cycles we can’t break and it’s like Charlie Puth says in his song, “The Way I am”:

I’mma tell ’em all
I’mma tell ’em all that you could either hate me or love me
But that’s just the way I am… 

I get that and I totally feel the same way, but sometimes there are things we should learn for the better. If anything, what I’m trying to get at with this post, is that it is possible to break unfathomable cycles and learn a different approach to things we swear we don’t do.

So when I talk about cycles, I mean relationship cycles. About a couple of nights ago, I dug up my old journals from high school and some keepsakes. In a startling discovery, I noticed that a lot of the things that I went through in my adolescence has been an interesting cycle, that it was so telling of the situation I was in recently (more on that here).

Upon making this discovery, I was perplexed and shocked that I didn’t realize this sooner. Now I’m not going to go into too much detail here, but I do feel like these experiences that I have had with my relationships really helped me to grow, to learn from myself and from the people involved.  The thing with this cycle, however, was that some part of me felt that it was my fault that these relationships ended, that there was something I wasn’t doing. As I read and reflected on these experiences, I realized that I did all I could in a given situation: I communicated how I was feeling, I tried making the relationships work, etc. In the end, I realized, the problem wasn’t me, it was them.

I also noticed that for a while, that I was pretty lenient and gave out second chances like it was candy. As strong as I portray myself on here, I have been really lenient when it comes down to relationships, because I simply believe in the phrase:

“If you love something, let it go. If it comes back, it’s meant to stay” or something to that effect.

But I guess what I’m trying to say is, there are exceptions to that phrase. What if the person you loved was someone who only comes into your life only when he/she/they feel like it?

I’ve realized, that that is not love. The way I see it, they’ve either loved you or they love you and are willing to be better the next time around. But keep in mind that not everyone gets a second chance, so even if you do think they’re better, but you don’t feel right about the person, you’re not obligated to give them a second chance.

The tough thing is though, there is no way to tell if said person is going to make a positive impact in your life.

You. Just. Don’t. Know.

Sometimes it’s better to rely on that, than on something that you’re so sure of happening (with little basis of knowing).

And I learned that, it’s okay to say that I’m not ready for another person to come into my life. It’s okay to say, after finding all of this out, that I still have a lot to learn about myself.

So far I’ve noticed that in a relationship: I’m the kind of person who will give you the literal time of day. If I fall for you, I fall hard. I’m broke half the time, but if I see something that makes me think of you, I’m buying it for you. Going on an adventure? No problem, I’ll bring blankets, my phone charger, and my camera. Essentially, I try to go the extra mile for those that I love.

But like I said before, I’m a work in progress. There’s still a huge chunk of my life that I want to experience that doesn’t involve a significant other, for the time being.

Why It Matters…

So you’re probably reading this and thinking, “what’s this gotta do with me?”

IT HAS EVERYTHING TO DO WITH YOU. I mean, if you think about it, each and everyone of you reading this probably has a cycle, a pattern that you need to break. Whether it’s letting too many negative people into your life or pushing away the people you really care about, this isn’t just about you. It’s about you and the cycles that you engage in, subconsciously. A lot of times, it’s really hard to break something that is so common to your everyday being.

We pick up ways in how we react to things, because it’s so essential to us. It’s a coping mechanism, so that we have expectations going into a situation and the same outcomes from it.  To take it a step further, it makes us feel immune to getting hurt.

We don’t even think about the cycles that we engage in until someone tells us about it or in my case, stumble upon it while reading and reminiscing the fast times at high school.

It’s all about unlearning a thing that is so deeply rooted into the way that we are. It’s hard, but I promise you, it’ll be worth it.

The more you are able to re-evaluate something, the more you are able to grow and become a better person.

Sending loads of love and light your way,

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The Importance of Goal Setting

With the summer winding down and the excitement for school starting back up again, I thought today’s blog post should be about something surrounding the idea of goals and setting them, lol.

All jokes aside, this has been a post I’ve been meaning to do for a while, but haven’t had the right time, like now to go forth and talk about it.

We are more than halfway through 2018 and by now we have set goals, changed goals or given them up just because… life happens. And that’s totally okay, life has a way of diverting our focus away from our goals.

I don’t know about you, but my goals have been at the center of everything I do, everything I’m working towards. Goals are what keep us motivated. I mean, if you think about it, the concept of goals is so embedded into our lives, that we don’t even realize it.

In fact, the word ‘goals’ is often masked by other words like:

goals

Anytime we get a syllabus, the first part of it is always, “Objectives for this class…” and then the list commences.

But goals aren’t just things made to keep us motivated, they’re also things that help us see the big picture. With each goal or task that we accomplish in our lives, we are essentially paving the way for our future. Our dreams are what keep us moving, they keep us mindful, grounded even.

But the thing about goals, is that they have to be SMART goals. What I mean by that, is your goals have to be Specific Measurable Attainable Reliable and Time-bound.

A lot of times when we make-up our goals, we have a tendency to be super vague in what we want. It’s almost as if we want the end result, yet not wanting to put the work into said goal. I mean there’s always the possibility that we want to accomplish a goal, but we have no idea how to go about completing it or where to even begin.

Recently, I signed up for a 5k. I’ve never done a 5k before, but it’s been on my bucket list for a while.

I was doing an event one morning and there was this lady who was standing in the next table over from me, she was a representative of this foundation called the “Aubrey Foundation”. I asked her what the foundation does and she said that it was made in memory of a school teacher, named Aubrey Pappas, who taught sixth grade English at a North Brunswick school district. In 2014, Aubrey died in a car accident and was also pregnant at the time with her second child.

From the way this person told me the story, Aubrey sounded like such a sweet woman, who motivated her students to become better people and how becoming a better person is a huge key to success. She touched so many lives in her time as a teacher and as a person.

Aubrey’s husband is a cop for the town of North Brunswick and shortly after she died, he found her bucket list and saw that one of the things she wished to accomplish was a 5k. So from that moment on, with the help of family and friends, they vowed to #LiveLikeAubrey and The Aubrey Foundation was born. You can read more about what they do here.

It was really cool hearing that story and it even motivated me to get back on that 5k training grind! The thing about goals is that they can either be short or long term goals.

Short term goals are goals that are short (obviously lol) and easy to achieve in 3 months time. These kinds of goals can be anything, like waking up earlier in the morning, working out 2-3 times a week, going on more walks, etc. Smaller goals keep you accountable, they keep you on your toes and are a lot easier to accomplish, if you work towards them.

Long-term goals are more than short-term goals

and they often involve a life change or a change in mindset. Long-term goals could be: to graduate either magna, summa, or cum laude from college, to work for a well regarded company, to become a doctor, actuary, digital marketer, to live in a specific area, etc. Long term goals are normally things that you are working towards. Funny enough, long term goals need at least a couple of smaller goals to reach the ultimate goal!

An example of goal setting is meditation! Whenever I start a meditation practice, I make a rough list of all the goals I want to accomplish through meditation. Essentially, it’s a compiled list of internal changes I would want to work towards, like becoming more patient, losing weight, becoming more tolerant, etc. Then, out of the list of things I’d want to get out of the practice, I’d pick one that has been of high importance.

The more you focus on that goal, the likely it is for you to accomplish it. Meditation is made to help keep you at ease with the stresses of everyday life as well as making it easier for you to accomplish any aspirations you hold close to your heart.

With all that said, celebrate the small wins. If you’ve done something that gets you even an inch closer to completing your dream, then CELEBRATE!!!

What are some of your goals? Leave me a comment below!

Sending a ton of love and light your way,

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The Summer I Grew Up

It’s crazy to think that I’m not the same person I started the summer with. In a span of 3 months, I’ve grown into someone I’ve longed to be. Frankly, that involved a series of situations that made me think about who I want to be, what my goals are for the future. Through it all, I’m amazed at how far I’ve come.

I’m not the same person I was, as when the summer began. I’m a different person because of the experiences I went through. The thing about good experiences and bad experiences, is that both of these serve as a purpose to learn and to grow.

With summer 2018 wrapping up, I’ve been reflecting on how this summer was so profound.

To start it all off, I graduated from Community College with good grades and amazing friends right by my side.

I then traveled to Australia for an amazing 8 days as part of a Business and Entrepreneurship program. I met so many people who came from different walks of life, but were all in the same boat as me: studying at an accredited community college or transferring,  and absolutely killing it in their studies. I didn’t just meet people from across the country, but from different countries around the world. It was a very humbling experience. The opportunity opened up so many doors for me. It pushed me in the direction of my dreams and what I’m really meant to do.

When I got back, jetlagged, on Sunday May 27th, I started my internship the same week. My internship was at a local radio station that housed both AM and FM stations, which was pretty cool! Prior to starting, I had already been a week late to starting my internship. Starting out, I thought I was going to be working every day and start accumulating hours… BOY, WAS I WRONG.

I was given an office day, Wednesday, specifically, where I would have a regular 10-5 day. In that time, I would work on some projects that really got the creative wheels turning in my head.

What followed were events, so because I worked in the Promotions and Marketing department, we had events in the surrounding areas, which were a variety of  festivals, free movie nights, concerts, fundraisers and more! Most of the events we did involved us settting up tables, our portable sound system, prizes, tent, a game etc. And I’d get hours for these events! (by hours I mean like hours that go towards my internship program, I had to have about 180 hours).

Somewhere along the way, in the midst of working and living my best life, I came out of a relationship (which some of you have seen and read about here). A really bad situation arose and in a span of three days, I realized that I needed to do what was best for me. That involved making a decision that wasn’t easy, which was to end my relationship with the person.

Truthfully, I didn’t think I’d be that motivated to do it. I lived in denial about my relationship, I believed that everything was going well, but after those three days, I realized that the relationship was, in essence, crumbling. Things started standing out in my mind, like red flags and it reinforced the need to get out of the relationship once and for all.

Through this experience, I didn’t just see the true colors of this person, but I began to see the true colors of those around me. I’ve had to cut some ties, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.

So from then on, it was workworkworkwork.

Work was fun! There was never once a dull moment in the office or at events and I’ll miss the people I’ve worked with this summer.

Now, I’ve recently purchased my textbooks for the upcoming semester. I am beyond ready and excited to see what the future holds for me at this 4-year university, come September.

But the bottom line is:

I’ve had a great summer, I had the amazing opportunity go to Australia and to work at a local radio station, where I was able to form connections in my professional field. I realized that I had problems in my relationship and I ended up breaking that off, because let’s face it: I deserve better. I had a shitty situation that lead me to breaking up with the person, through said situation, I was able to see how much my support system came together and helped me through every step of the way.

I am beyond thankful for the amazing people who stayed by my side and were more than willing to listen and give me honest advice. In the moments where I was falling apart, these people have lifted me up, given me the strength and the wisdom to keep moving forward.  I have grown thankful for every day that I have these people in my life, who push me to become a better me.

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I’m proud of who I’m becoming!

Sending a ton of love and light your way,

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The ‘I Told You So’ Phenomenon

Hey y’all! So this past week, it’s been primarily rainy and gloomy in my area. However, yesterday was pretty great and I finally felt that spring feel. The feel where it’s not too cold, not too warm, but just right? That’s always the best feeling. Now that we’re entering April, it’s the start of gloomy weather. While it is great and all, I think I’d much rather have some 60 degree weather, right about now. But as the saying goes, “April showers bring May flowers”

Haha! Anyway, I’ve been noticing how we are so quick to point out other people’s shortcomings/red flags.

We, as a society, seem to actively look out for any ‘imperfection’ that we find out about someone. It’s like we wait for it, we stalk instagram, facebook, and any text or conversation about said person.

and when we find said imperfection…

We’re literally ITCHING to tell our best friend. Whenever you tell them this, it starts off a little like this: “So lemme tell you about this bitch…” Like when we see something that is out of our own experiences or out of our own beliefs, it’s automatically something worth talking about.

Hell, that’s how magazines make sensations, they report on things that are either divorces, marriages and even the occasional “what the fuck?” type stories ALL AMONG STARS. Just like magazine reporters and paparazzi, we’re actively making mental notes and pasting it to our personal weekly or even daily magazines. We are always up-to-date with what our favorite celebrities say or do on their social media platforms and interviews, that we kinda leave them with no room for error.

So when they step out of line or do something uncanny…

We scowl and laugh at their shortcomings.

On top of living to be able to point out and even call people out on the things they’re doing, when it all fails, we live to say ‘I told you so’ as if we were damn fortune tellers

Has it ever occurred to you that if said situation actually did work out for the person as they thought it would, where are we? I mean, we practically live to see the shortcomings of other people, but what does that say about us, if we were so sure, it was going to fail?

Why are we so quick to point out other people’s imperfections, when we already have some of our own? The moment that someone tells us about something we’re doing wrong or is a massive red flag, we get on the defensive. Depending on how each person reacts completely varies, but for the most part, we tend to be defensive and we try to justify why we do certain things.

and then we go so far as to reciprocate the same sentiment back to the person. Now shots have really fired, haven’t they?

So what do you do in a situation like this?

Realize that it’s coming from a good place

We all know how family members are quick to say something because believe it or not, we value their opinions. Even though they “grew up in a different time”, the same philosophies they have learned when they were our age, still apply to today. They’re honest because they know you (unless you’ve been estranged from your family for quite sometime) and want you to see yourself as a great individual.

However, Friends won’t tell it like it is… unless you have a serious problem. I have only a few good friends who are literally willing to give me and all out honest response. If a friend is willing to actually ROAST you on how you’re handling things, then you know you have a good friend. The good ones always bitch because they care.

Don’t Brush it off

On top of realizing people are coming from a good place (yes, even if they roast you, lol), take their criticisms into consideration. We aren’t perfect people and this part doesn’t imply any sort of perfectionism. What I am saying is we can work to become better people, in whatever way we can.

The important thing is that you listen to them. Have a positive outlook on it. Work towards becoming a better you and don’t read too much into what people are trying to say.

If your support system tells it like it is, points out what you’re doing wrong and how you can be better, I’d say that this is out of love. The people around you want to you to get to a point where you can be comfortable with making mistakes and learning from those mistakes, so that you can be better equipped to handle things head on. Your support system can be entirely friends, entirely your family, or both!

Definitely make it an effort to surround yourself with people who care about you and are willing to go the distance for you.

If you’re constantly withdrawing from your support system all because you can’t accept one little criticism, then who is really at fault? People won’t want to go the distance for you, if you don’t let them.

If you’re gonna blame everyone around you for the behaviors that you have, the mistakes that you continually make, that doesn’t serve you any good and it isn’t fair to the people who love you. You aren’t growing as a person in this way.

I read somewhere that the more we assume what other people think about us, the more we limit ourselves and our perspective of the world. 

Don’t beat yourself up

With whatever they tell you, just know that there is always room for improvement. Beating yourself up about something that you need work on, doesn’t help you grow either. It’s time to move on and see to it that you will take the steps needed to be better.

Step up. Learn about yourself and quit whining. That was me, roasting you.

You are a person full of worth and value, and the thing is: I see it in you. I don’t know everyone who reads my blog, but I do know this: each person in this world has worth. Each person is worthy of love, guidance, and all that is good in the world. I see your worth, but in order to make a difference in your life, you have to be able see it in yourself as well.

The bottom line is, it’s so easy to point out other people’s shortcomings, but we must not be so quick to point out theirs, if we know that we may do the same thing. We are not perfect.

Always stay mindful of the fact that you can always become a better person and can learn from the constructive criticism of other people. We’re works in progress and we learn each day something new about ourselves.

Thanks for stopping by!

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It is OKAY to Fail

Aye y’all!  Wow. I can’t believe we’re in our last week of March! Where has the time gone?! Like I could’ve sworn I wasn’t going to get out from this winter tundra my area has been having. Happy Easter to all my friends who are celebrating!

So Today’s blog post is dedicated to all my perfectionists.

Haha, anytime I think of the word ‘perfectionist’, I think about Monica Geller from Friends. She always has to win, always has to have the house (or apartment, if you will) clean, but basically she’s what I like to call a perfectionist. If you watch the show, you know what I mean!

But all joking aside, perfectionism comes from the stem of “(This/I’m) is not good enough.”, “This needs to look good”, “I have to look (good/thin)”, etc etc.

Personally, I know that I can get into this train of thought where I just want everything to pan-out exactly the way that I’ve planned it. Sometimes, however, life doesn’t always go the way we want it to go, and that’s completely OKAY. You have to get to a point where you can plan for all these things in your life, but in the end, you have to realize that life just, kinda happens and that’s out of your control.

Perfectionism comes from the same stem of control. We want to be able to control the things that happen to us. We want to be in control of how we want something to fit or something that deep down, we cannot change.

In fact, depression happens when there’s something in either our past or future that is out of our hands and we try to control it.

Anxiety happens when you expose yourself to stressful situations (like starting at a new school, meeting new people, etc). It’s not really a choice you have. Anxiety just kind of happens naturally. As things get harder or more advanced, it’s expected that you get with the ebb and flow of things. It’s hard, but not impossible to overcome.

Granted, there are some people who don’t have this problem or people who work on their anxiety and frustrations so that it doesn’t interfere with their productivity at work.

All I’m saying is, it is okay to fail.

When we fail, we learn from those mistakes. In fact, I’ve learned so much from making mistakes in my life and they have lead me to the conscious person I am today. I can’t change the past, but I can change my attitude to a more positive one and look at “mistakes” as works in progress.

I remember back when I was in high school, (damn, I feel old) I was in color guard for the marching band…

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Senior year. Fellow band kid at your service lol. (Fall 2014)

I had these instructors, who were some pretty great people and whenever we would work on a part of the show that needed some cleaning up, they would impress upon us to Make Different Mistakes”. It means exactly what it says. Make a different mistake so that you can continue to work towards being a better performer or a better person. The idea is that once you make a mistake, you learn from it, you grow and move on. However, if you make the same mistake on different occasions, then what does that say about you? Said mistake becomes a choice that you make.

There are people in this world who have a tough time discerning from their mistakes and think that what looks like the same mistake they made, is a different one on a minuscule level.

The important part is that at some point, you have to learn from those mistakes and be able to grow from them, not be mortified by them.

We aren’t perfect people, we are human. We fall, we rise and we grow. We are capable of making our own decisions.

I used to be mortified by all the mistakes I’ve made. I would look at them as a past I never, ever wanted to revisit for knowledge.

But how can we be scared of looking back on something that we ultimately wanted to do, at one point… and it came out pretty bad. There’s a lesson in every mistake.

Back when I was depressed, I struggled to come to terms with being okay with recovery. I wanted my recovery to be perfect and I wanted my depression to end by a certain date. What I have come to learn is, no one’s recovery journey is perfect. (It may take longer depending on how long you’ve dealt with an illness or if its been as a result of your upbringing and other external/internal factors.) As much as we want it to be, it’s the drive in wanting to get better that motivates us to work towards our better self.

I look back on my life now because of the sole purpose of providing you, the reader, an insight to how I dealt with a particular situation. With some of the things I look back on, I laugh. I laugh because I’m not a perfect person, I laugh because I see how far I’ve come, I laugh because I see that some of the things I thought were going to define me, ended up not doing that at all.

I’m thankful for the experiences that have lead me to today and while, I may get into my perfectionist ways, I know that I can always stay mindful of the fact that, it is okay to slip up. It is okay to fall down every once in a while, but what matters is how you get up and how you can learn from a situation.

In a perfect world, we wouldn’t know what was right from wrong. So we have to be mindful of the fact that we are human and that we need to understand that making mistakes, is a fact of life.

so go out and make all the mistakes!!!!

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