A New Way to Think About Budgeting: A Financial Journey

I feel like wealth isn’t talked about enough within the black community due to various reasons such as lack of family time within the household, no mentorship, or no one else in the family educated enough on finances. This leads to children being uneducated on finances when becoming an adult. Leaving them to figure out how to manage money. Figuring out how to manage money when no one has shown you how to, is pretty hard. Most of us end up living paycheck to paycheck or blowing it on wants more than needs. We dig ourselves into these deep debt holes that we can’t get out of and then are judged heavily when we ask for help. Sound familiar? – it does for me!- 

I figured out money how probably most people do, by observing. I grew up in a single parent household. My mother didn’t have time to teach me. My grandmother gave me tips here and there, but I learned mostly by observing her. My grandmother spent money like she was always going to have it. There wasn’t one time we went to a store and she didn’t spend under $100. I thought to myself “I’m going to be just like her when I grow up”. And I was, only she knew how to budget and I didn’t. 

I have gone through a lot financially and I’m still learning and adjusting. I am by no means a financial guru and do not give out financial advice. I am, however, your favorite lil sis here to give you just a few things I’ve learned on my road to financial wealth.

I’ve learned that small changes win the race. The first thing I did when I decided to get serious about my finances was, – you guessed it– research! Youtube, Pinterest and books were my saving grace. What got me started was Dave Ramsey Baby Steps. Of course I had to tweak it because I’m not saving for kids or college, but it was definitely a start. Then on Youtube I followed TFD ( The Financial Diet) , Camille Collazo, and The Break. TFD has 2 books (available on audible as well) that dive deep into money. They are good short reads and worth it. I do have a few books that I want to read, such as Rich Dad, Poor Dad ,which always comes highly recommended, but I’m a visual person when it comes to numbers and investing, so I started there with watching people talk about money. While researching, I also found a few tricks of my own.  

  1. Pay Yourself First AND last

I know you’re going, duh! This isn’t new, it’s what everyone always says! Well, that’s because it’s true! You did all the hard work, so when the check comes pay yourself first! In the beginning this was a little hard for me. I would pay myself and then I would take it back and spend it. If I could see the money in my account then I was sure to spend it. I had to figure out a way to save money without being able to see it in my account. I set up a separate savings account at a local credit union that had a 2.5% return without a card to the account. I have a percentage of my check direct deposited into that account as soon as I get paid. This way I cannot remove the money from the account without physically going to the bank. I never have to see it and I check the account by the monthly statements. 

Another way I paid myself first was a savings challenge. I would always see the money challenges going around on Pinterest and other social media apps, and I thought “What could it hurt?” I grabbed a mason jar cut numbers 1-52 and I pulled 2 numbers at random every 2 weeks ( I get paid biweekly, however, this challenge was weekly so I had to tailor it for myself). Whatever the numbers equaled went straight into my emergency savings at my bank. I think its important to have a bank and a credit union. Banks are everywhere and credit unions are usually local. You get more perks with a credit union than a typical bank account. I enjoyed this challenge because it really did feel like a game. I never knew what the amount would be and it was thrilling to see how fast the numbers added up. It even challenged me to see if I could save even faster. I actually became obsessed with how much I could save. 

One thing I started doing that most people don’t do is paying myself last as well. The day before payday, what is ever left in my checking goes to my emergency savings. This has helped a lot with savings and budgeting. Flexible bills tend to fluctuate so I over budget just to make sure I have it all covered. I also budget myself an extra spending fund just in case I forgot something, I call it a cushion. Normally, those funds are left over and I slide that money into my emergency savings.

I love to shop. – we should know this by now– so paying myself first meant budgeting being able to shop. Saving money is nice, but as Carrie Bradshaw once said “ I like my money right where I can see it… hanging in my  closet.” Yes saving is necessary, but so is enjoying it. One reason I could never save the money is because I would always take it out to eat or shop, it made me feel better. A little treat –or a lot of treats– always made me feel like the hard work was worth it. I carved out a spot in my budget to both save and be able to buy myself something –or a lot of somethings– nice. 

  1. Everything Counts!

Speaking of budgeting, having a budget is important not only for paying your bills, but also as a guide to get past living paycheck to paycheck. One major reason I failed at meeting any financial goals was because I left too much out of my budget. I wrote down my monthly bills in my budget, but things that were flexible such as; gas, food, going out, subscriptions, grooming, personal items etc. all got left out. I would pay my bills and whatever was left was up to chance. 

This was a big no no. It left me overspending and sometimes left without things I needed. I was living paycheck to paycheck and sometimes couldn’t even make it to pay day.  

I fixed my monthly budget to include every single thing possible that I needed money for. This took some getting used to because I hated having to guess at what my flexible spending would be. After a few months I began to pinpoint a number that pretty accurate for each of my flexibles items in my budget such as $80 for gas, 50 for personal items etc. this helped me stay on track within my budget You can always work backwards to find this. After all your bill are paid lets say you have $300 left, break that $300 down to each item and stay within the allotted amount.

Here’s an example of an old budget I did on NerdWallet

I have found some neat tools to help me budget. One of the best tools is the paycheck calculator. Whether you’re hourly or salary, make overtime or bonuses, it will calculate how much your checks will be with post and pretax deductions calculated. It will also give you suggestions for credit cards and savings!

NerdWallet is the next best thing to keeping you on track with how much you should have for each part of your budget if you follow the 50/30/20 rule. I have found this rule to be the best for me, especially with saving, i was cutting myself wayyy short when it came to saving. they also have articles on the site that offer advice for finances as well.

  1. Use all of your Job’s Benefits

So much money is left on the table because people do not use all of their job benefits! I’m not talking about matching the 401k so you get the maximum benefits- but that is important by all means get all the money they are willing to offer– but the other benefits that get left on the table. 

Say for instance stocks. You work for the company, why not buy a stock in it? One of my coworkers earned an extra 10k just from her stock alone! She was able to put down that money on her first house. 

My main full time job is a huge fortune 500 company in the healthcare field. Almost anything health related I get a discount for. Sinus meds, asthma equipment, gym memberships etc. I get a discount for. My job also offers a plethora of discounts with other companies for auto insurance, phone bill, to hotel discounts, to pay for parking at the airport. My job also gives us free money for being healthy if we have an HSA account with our medical insurance. That’s right, free money for being a non-smoker, or meeting certain health criteria’s, or for donating blood. We even get an extra $600 for getting pregnant. 

Your job can have so much to offer. I suggest looking into the company you work for and see where you can save or earn.   

I’m still learning and researching as I want to get into investing soon. I still have my setbacks, but I learn from them and continue to build. I hope some of these tips were helpful. How did you learn about finances and what are some of the ways you save? Let’s talk about it!

And Remember,

Dont be bitter,

Be better!

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ProductivityHack: The 3×3 Rule

Ahh yes, back here again! With the beginning of the year we are all challenging ourselves with New Year Resolutions and  goals to set the tone for the year. If you have been an avid reader, then you know my very first vlog post was about productivity and how to achieve your goals. I still use this method to date. It helps me focus so much better and plan better for the things I want to obtain. What is it, you ask? It’s the 3×3 Rule. 

I use this method in conjunction with a planner and a goal board. I am an anti-vision board person. They just do nothing for me. I need to visually see what I want and how far I have to get it. A vision board just helps me see what I want, but it lacks the action or the visual progress behind it. My goal board is simply a poster with a line down the middle. On one side I have sticky notes with my goals on there and the other side are goals that are completed. This helps me stay focused on my goals. I’m able to keep going by visually seeing the progress I’ve made. I get great gratitude by moving the sticky note over to the completed side. I will put my big 3 plus maybe smaller goals that aren’t as heavy. 

Why just 3?

We live in an environment where we are often asked to split our attention between multiple things like family, career, and personal. It’s very hard to devote our attention to a plethora of things and give it our all. 3 things are about the maximum of what you can focus on that will get your full attention. Anything beyond that begins to get pushed back, passed on or forgotten about. This is because anything after 3 becomes overwhelming. The anxiety from asking ourselves to accomplish so much, will eventually take control to the point where we scrap all the goals and get nothing accomplished.-I don’t know about you, but when I get overwhelmed I shut down and nothing gets done.-

How does the 3×3 rule work?

The 3×3 rule consists of 3 major goals. You then break those 3 goals into 3 monthly steps, and those 3 monthly steps down to daily steps. Everything you write down should be geared toward helping you reach one of those big 3.

For example, let’s say you big 3 are to:

  1. Write a book 
  2. Be healthier
  3. Save 5k

So for your monthly goals you should have something like:

  1. Write 1 chapter
  2. Light exercise daily 
  3. Save 416

Then you’ll break this down to fit your weekly needs it to look like this;

Week 1.

  1. Set aside 3 hours to write=MWF
  2. Workout at 3pm during lunch break
  3. Set aside 100.00 by cutting out fast food and packing lunch

Week 2.

  1. Write time=2 hours T/R
  2. Yoga before work
  3. Set aside 150 from check

Week 3.

  1. Write time= 8 hours 2Sat/2Sun/1Mon/2tues/1Wed
  2. Up water intake
  3. Set aside money that would be spent on coffee this week 

Week 4.

  1. Write time =2 hours 1/W/1F
  2. Walk on 15 min break
  3. Set aside 150 from check

Boom! You have now completed your weekly goals, which resulted in completing your monthly goals, which brought you one step closer to your yearly goals!

I love this method. It has made my goals achievable and less overwhelming. Before I was introduced to this method my goals were lofty and I never accomplished any of what I wrote down. This method has enabled me to accomplish some goals faster even completing some before the end of the year. I re-evaluate mid year to see how far I’ve come. In the event I do complete a goal or I’m close to completing a goal I will add a new one, or boost the old one up. – say if one goal was to save $1k, I boosted that to 3k so I’ll have 1k in all 3 of my accounts.-

I hope you all find this method useful. What do you use to attack of your goals?? Let me know in the comments.

 And remember 

Dont be bitter,

Be better!

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Coping with Quarantine

This has been an interesting time for America.COVID-19 has come in and interrupted our lives. We have been halted and moved around. Most of us made plans for 2020 that we now have to change or forgo completely. We are learning to be flexible and how to go with the flow.

This time has felt stripping. We are forced to put into perspective what matters. We have been stripped down to necessity and thrown into survival mode. I don’t know about you, but I feel like my people, black people, have been training for this our whole lives!

I am a natural homebody, so when the stay at home orders went out; it was a cakewalk for me. I continued doing what I always do.

I am fortunate that my plans/life didn’t halt, if anything they kicked into overdrive. Both of my jobs offered more hours and I am very blessed and grateful for that. I haven’t really had the time to relax, and that’s ok. That is my mood for this time period I feel grateful. –I am also grateful for these sales, but well get to that later lol– 

I am a believer that where you are, is exactly where you are supposed to be. When I am in a tough spot I always ask, what am I supposed to be learning form this? In our toughest moments that’s when we learn the most. Instead of griping and complaining about what you’re not able to do, focus on what you are able to do. When I got laid off from my job in 2016, I panicked for a moment, but once that moment passed and faith kicked in, I realized I now had the opportunity to create. I had never had the time before and now I did. And here we are. I would not be blogging if it weren’t for that layoff. –I also started a YouTube channel; more to come on that later wink wink

It kind of drove me crazy listening to people complain about having to spend time with their family and the frustrations from losing their employment- trust me I completely understand– but some times perspective is key. Focus on the positives and continue to thrive on those.  Here are some of the things im grateful for:

  • You guys know I am a shopaholic so im thankful for these sales! I have had my eye on some big ticket purchases and these sales have allowed me to buy them for next to nothing! Allowing me to get what I want without killing my bank account
  • Speaking of bank account, before quarantine I would treat myself to eating out, and I still do thanks to uber eats, but the price has been much cheaper thanks to zero delivery fee and the alcoholic beverage that im not able to enjoy. I actually haven’t been drinking during this time.
  • I have been natural most of my life so I have been doing my own hair for years. As for my eyebrows, I had a bomb threading lady that moved about 10 years ago and I had her teach me how to do my own as well. 4 years ago I made the decision to get acrylics and now when the nail shops closed I have been back to my natural nails and I realized how much I actually like them. 
  • Is it me or have people been extremely kind during this time? I know there are some cases where its not, but for the most part when I do have to get out for essentials people and employees have been sweet and kind.

I have been seeing a lot of post saying that you should use this time to be productive come out of quarantine with that business plan you’ve been thinking about, start that blog, make that YouTube channel, and if you have the will, time, and drive by all means do it! However, if you use this time to be still and rest that is ok too. A lot of people have been using this time to clean, purge, and organize and that is also ok. There’s no right or wrong way to do this and only you know what’s best for you. I know some of us have it tougher than others, but lets try to be grateful for the moment and focus on the positive that this quarantine has created.

working my second job

Also, let’s keep in our thoughts and prayers the people who are suffering from this illness, the people who are fighting for their lives, and the people on the front lines working tirelessly to combat this virus.Im not on the front lines but work in the environment and guys its serious. Let’s do all we can to overcome this. Do your part. Use discernment.

How have you been doing during this time? What are some things you are focusing on during this time? Lets talk about it!

Until next time!

Don’t be bitter

Be better!

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Tips and Tricks for Working from Home

 

I am fortunate to work for a company that allows me to telecommute. When I first started, we were only allowed to work one day from home. I soon got a promotion that allowed me to be full time work from home.  I’ll admit, I was the laziest work from 

home employee. I would get on my laptop at the last possible minute and would wastemy breaks by scrolling through IG or Facebook or napping. And you guessed it, my production fell soon after. I learned pretty quickly that it was important to get a routine down for working from home. I didn’t necessarily need to do the routine I had for when I had to go to the building, but I had to get some sort of routine together, so I wasn’t rushing to get to work and struggling to make it through the day.

I Youtubed a lot of work from home videos, but everything was very entrepreneurial, where people didn’t start their workday till 10am. i have to be at work at a certain time and i am tracked at work so most routines didn’t work for me. I needed to do something that was tailored for me. I needed a routine that would work for my work schedule. I took little tips I saw in previous videos or blogs and it looks something like this:

How to start your day:

It’s weird to think that you need to get ready to go to your living room, but I needed structure in my work life. I started with a time I wanted to go to work. One perk of my job is flex time we can get to work between 6-9am. While I was working in the office, I would get to work between 730-8 am. So, naturally I shot for getting to work at 8 am while working from home. This allowed me to wake up between 630-7am, allowing me enough time to get ready for work and do things like shower, brush my teeth and make my bed without having to rush. I’m an intermittent faster, so I don’t eat breakfast till 10am, fortunately for me I have a conference call that allows me the down time to make a quick meal while still working. Since I am on a special diet for my health issues, I usually have toast, hard boil egg and orange juice for breakfast.

What to wear:

Next thing is clothing. I absolutely hated working at a desk all day wearing jeans. They were just so uncomfortable! One thing I hated more than jeans was pajamas. Ifound that while wearing pjs I was unmotivated to work. I just wanted to lounge aroundand be lazy. On the days I would need to leave work early or come to work late, I would get dressed and I felt more motivated to work. I looked at a couple of options, and ultimately decided to buy some cute 2-piece lounge sets. They were stylish enough that I could wear out the house, but comfy enough to, well, work in while sitting at a desk. While I’m not a huge make up wearer, I do have to comb my hair, even if it is to put it back into a neat top knot and look presentable. This helps me show up ready to work.

 

Break time:

While working in the office, I would go for walks on my fifteen-minute breaks and for my thirty-minute lunch. That ceased when I became a telecommute. I would either nap or lay around, which was nice during that time of the month, but soon became a nasty habit. I have a little toy poodle and a neighbor who has a large hound mix, I walk them on my lunch or late break if the weather permits. This allows me to get some fresh air and a little exercise.

Work time:

During the workday I am chained to my desk, but there are some perks. I have my desk set up next to my balcony windows so I can see outside. I do get distracted easily so I try to watch things that I can follow easily on my iPad. YouTube is mostly playing. A few channels I enjoy watching are, Raven Elise, Patricia Bright, The Real Daytime, Jayla Koriyan, The Glam Twins, and more recently Living to DIY with Rachel Metz –her room make overs are everything!– when I’m not on YouTube, I’ll most likely be catching up on my weekly shows on Hulu or bingeing a loved show on Netflix. Occasionally, I’ll have a concert and sing my heart out or listen to a podcast. A few podcasts I have been loving are – in no particular order -Happy Hour Necole XOXO, She and I podcast, Force of Habit with Shantel Taylor, Small Doses with Amanda Seales, and My Favorite Murderer. I also listen to audible, but I have found that this is hard to do for fantasy or science fiction books as my imagination takes over and distracts me. I mostly will listen to biographical or self-help books. I really enjoyed Gabriel Union- We’re Going to Need More Wine, Brittany Renner- Judge this Cover and Shonda Rhimes- The Year of Yes, just to name a few. 

 

Before I know it, my workday is over, and I can resume my usual at home activities. I have found that this routine keeps me motivated to work and feeling good at work. If I do overtime-which my company has been on a mandatory overtime for a little over a year, this I have to limit myself to certain hours for the day or else I burn out 12 hour work days are a one time thing, however 10 hour shifts are doable. Its important to break down my overtime vs doing it in one lump on a Saturday like I used to especially with working a second job. I will usually do my 8-hour workday and then add 2 hours of overtime a day for the week. If I have more than 8 hours to do than I will do the rest on the weekends or I may 3 hours extra during the weekday.

I hope this helps anybody who is new to the telecommute life or anyone looking for an easy routine to get them started! 

I’d love to hear your routine or tip and tricks for working from home, leave them in the comments below!!

As always,

Don’t Be Bitter,

Be Better!

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Respect these F*cking Boundaries

The latter half of 2017 was really rough for me, personally, spiritually, and mentally.

Words I would use to describe it; reckless, passionate, irresponsible, wild, unhealthy, unrequited, challenging, contradicting, and confusing just to name a few.

Since turning 28 I feel like I am stepping from a woman to a grown ass woman and all the universe is pushing me towards something. –has anybody else had this feeling before? Usually when I hear people talk about this it’s at the 30 mark, but baby I’m telling you I feel different!?  943fbd8450531a4095b8fb1f05972b5883433736_hq

I’ve talked a lot about vulnerability, navigating and figuring out what worked best for me- and I’ve brought you guys along this journey as I figure it out– while doing some research, I came across some blogs that really brought some things into perspective. BOUNDARIES. Something that was so simple, yet very much needed. While figuring out being vulnerable I had to figure out what my limits are and what I will and won’t allow. Unfortunately, everything is trial and error and boy was it trial and error-and is still a work in progress– but ultimately it’s about knowing yourself and having standards.

boundaries-2

Set the boundary, live the boundary, respect the fucking boundary. Boundaries teach people how to treat you. If there is one thing I have learned, it’s that people will only treat you how you allow them to. Boundaries are not only important to have in your personal life, but in your dating and career life.

Dating

Having standards and boundaries while dating or in a relationship is very important. I’ve talked about my dating lifeor lack thereof– before and how I’ve never actually had a legit boyfriend, I think the last time I had one of those was 8th grade? Does that even count? NO! Every since this “talking” or “we not together but we know what it is” phase it seems that people are more interested in that rather than having an actual relationship- I can go deeper into this on another blog, but for now I digress– while in high school and a bit of college, I too, dabbled in it – it’s very convenient for that period of your life– but damnit after 25 if you’re still on that move far away from me. I’m at the point now where I want something real, someone I can grow, build, and explorer exclusively with – not knocking anyone that prefers to “talk” or “be together with no title” I just realize it’s not for me, it’s too confusing and way too many open questions for me and if you read my last blog that’s just asking for a panic attack I don’t have time for that, but to each its own right?-   I’ve been on a few dates in the past, but as I began to really analyze my dating life, I began to question do I really know how to date?suits_403_jeff_jessica_boundaries

Dating feels hard confusing not fun right now. I’m the single friend, so getting advice from my girlfriends that aren’t dating like me was hard, so naturally I looked for reading material and articles online. I have read The Conversation by Hill Harper before, but the details were a bit foggy to me. So I took the dust off the book and reread it. I instantly remembered why I loved the book so much. I even made notes and highlighted areas the first time I read it. –I read this book when I got out of my last “we not together but togetherrelationship– I also came across a blog post on XO Necole which came back to boundaries. I loved the idea of treating everybody of the opposite sex like a friend until it’s crystal clear that they want something more. I could go deeper into this, but honestly the post says everything I would say, take the time to read it if you have the chance. Between the book and the article, it definitely put things in perspective and gave me some things to keep in my arsenal when it comes to this dating game.

Career

I’m always going to be very vocal about purpose and passion, I feel like I was dead before I found it. Its hard work when your purpose and passion don’t make you those coins to stay alive, however. I talked in a post about how unhappy I was in my job because the job itself is stressful and it was taking away from my purpose and passion, which I care deeply about.  I decided for my sanity to take a step back out of management–although it’s considered a promotion– but it’s just a simpler job and it offers me more benefits, such as working at home.  Your job is such a huge chunk of your day, you should be happy doing whatever it is right? For someone like me it’s a means to an end, but I also need to be happy and not stressed doing it so I am able to do my passion and purpose. It’s a fine balance to it. It’s a boundary to it.giphy (1)

I follow Halfietruths’ blog -and honestly if you don’t you should, she’s amazing!- and she did a video over boundaries, where she talks about  what boundaries are, why to have them, and how to set them. One of the things she talks about in the video is how setting boundaries protects your energy, which for me is why boundaries are so important for me right now.

I’ve always been very open about suffering with PMDD I will be doing a video on this soon so keep an eye out- Fortunately for me, I know I’m very sensitive to hormones, so taking birth control with hormones in it, Plan B, or anything with added hormones will trigger a “crazy” lady – seriously shit gets REAL!- So setting boundaries helps protect this very important space for my sanity.

download

It’s also so important for you and others to respect the boundaries you set. I’ve been guilty of setting boundaries and then going back on them to please someone or to please myself.-temptation is a bitch am I right?–  How confusing is that right? If I show I don’t even respect the boundaries or standards I set, how the fuck am I supposed to expect someone else to respect them?

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Going into 2018, I challenge everyone to really get to know who you are. We are ever evolving beings and we are constantly changing and one day you look up and you realize you don’t know who you are anymore. I challenge you to be the best version of yourself daily. I challenge you to find you purpose and your passion and go for it, but live in the moment and enjoy the journey. What is living if you’re not having any fun? Have fun. but also RESPECT THESE FUCKING BOUNDARIES with positive vibes only. tenor

Let’s talk: What are some boundaries you’re setting for yourself in the New Year?

Until next time,

Happy Holidays!

Is Fear Driving You?

Hey there! If you’re new to the blog, Welcome! If you are returning because you just can’t get enough, I’m sure you have noticed some major changes. Initially, when I started this blog, I did it for the love of writing and sharing my thoughts because I wanted to make connections and hopefully what I was sharing was reaching someone and it helped- that’s what life is about right?- but I found myself holding back and not being as transparent as I wanted to be. I also didn’t like my house (blog site) it needed a major facelift and feel more like me- which was really important to me if I was going to take this huge leap with being more transparent, I had to feel comfortable in my space.

It was because of those reasons above that I hit a block. I wasn’t motivated to write anymore. So, I started this long process of really investing in myself.Aristotle-quote.3

I was also in a place in my life where I thought I knew who I was and everything changed, evolved, if you will. I could always see this spark inside me just waiting to burn brighter, but I wasn’t sure how to unlock it. I’ve been taking acting classes –which I recommend to anyone even if you don’t aspire to act, it’s seriously like a class on just being the best version of yourself–  it’s really helped me learn more about myself and my emotions. I saw that spark starting to grow into a fire. Now, acting is a passion of mine so this could be me feeding my passion, but once this spark started growing all these ideas started flowing in my head. So much so that I had to start carrying around a note book to keep up with them!

I always had a pretty good idea of who I was just from the perception other people had put on me, but was that who I really was? I also felt like I was pouring all these emotions out, but I was empty. And I couldn’t give what I really wanted to because I was very empty. Not saying that anything I was doing was inauthentic, but it was just the surface.

At job interviews, there’s always that one question they ask, where do you see yourself in 5 years? I would always give some bullshit answer because I needed the job. While going through this growth, I went on a job interview and was asked that exact question; I started to give my prepared, generic, best basic answer, and realized this is not what I want to do.  Even in my daily job, I began to see this is not where I see myself retiring. I realized I had a very clear vision of the life I wanted and I was deliberately avoiding it. Which is funny because the thing that made me happy was hard so I avoided it, but the thing that was bringing me misery I was doing every day and complaining about it

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– like oh no baby what is you doing?!?!-

I always thought if you were living in your purpose and doing what you were called to do it would come naturally and be easy. Everything would make sense, doors would open, and it would be like why haven’t you been doing this all along?! WRONG! I have said in previous blogs that I had a very crystal clear vision of what my purpose was and I took steps to walk in that purpose. When I initially started walking in my purpose I felt like I had no idea what I was doing, I was super uncomfortable, and I felt like I was in way over my head. Nothing was coming easy, not all doors opened and everything felt so unnatural. I struggled A LOT and my self doubt kicked in to overdrive. So much so that I thought about quitting. I thought I’m not cut out for this, maybe this isn’t what I should be doing. The moment I thought about giving up I was overwhelmed with tears and I was depressed.  My mother told me, if that could make me this upset I was doing exactly what I was supposed to be doing. God- or whatever/whoever you believe in– will test you, he will shake the ground, make it steady, then test you again. It’s up to you how you want to take the test. Oh the irony of this conversation! Earlier that day, I had a very open conversation with my coach. She also told me that the universe – or God– is trying to push me in a direction that I’m trying my damnedness to ignore because its difficult and hard and I don’t want to do the work. But she also told me that I had a lot of potential and that if I do the work I would be the person I’m so desperately trying to avoid.

Why do we avoid becoming who we are destined to be? That’s the story line for every great character right? They spend the whole movie avoiding their destiny and when they finally tap into it the world opens in ways they couldn’t have possibly imagined. If the end is going to turn out that way every time, why do we do our damnedness to avoid it? Maybe because we feel we are inadequate? Maybe because we don’t really believe in who we are? Maybe because somewhere along the way the world told us we weren’t special enough. Whatever the case may be, it’s time to change our way of thinking!

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So guys this it me. Unapologetically me, promising not let your perception be my reality, and to be my best authentic self every day.  Promising to change the way I view myself and start believing more in me,- because I’m a pretty awesome person. Promising to not let the negativity of the world into my soul and tear me down, or tell me what I should or shouldn’t be, or how I should or shouldn’t act, or control who I am and what I believe. I will be still in my moments and have joy every day. This isn’t a new me, this is just a version of me without fear driving the bus!

So is fear driving your bus and if so, are your ready to take the wheel?

Until next time guys!

XOXO,

LilSis

I Know What He Likes

So I was interested to know what men are attracted to, what things stand out the most. For me, most of my blogs are lately I have been written from my point of view, with some input from my circle of friends. This time I wanted to get my males opinion. I asked them series of questions and gathered a good idea of what the typical established male is looking for.

What feature they found attractive to the opposite sex?
dsfghjkNow I’m not going to lie, I thought I would get the typical answers like she gotta have a fat ass, big titties, small waist etc., but oh I was reassured that there is hope for us grown females that are still searching for that grown man! The top answers I got were that men want someone who carries themselves well. Size really didn’t matter to them as long as you could carry yourself well with that size, clothes that fit be put together. My favorite answer was realness. In a world where everything is becoming so fake some men still value realness. I’m not talking the personality trait, but rather the hair and nails. The other answers I got were approachable down to earth and nice teeth.

Next I asked if they prefer a specific race?
vghjkNow I did this for a couple reasons. I as a dark skinned African American woman seem to sometimes get over looked if I’m standing next to someone of light color. I have always had friends that are of the yellow bone complexion and although I didn’t find a couple of them more attractive than me – TIMEOUT- let’s not sit here and pretend that we don’t compare ourselves to the next chick even our friends. We don’t like our friend cause they’re extra fine it’s their personality, but you can bet your bottom dollar if you had to go up against her in looks you knew if you would fail or win in that category SOMEBODY gotta be the ugly friend,-TIME IN- but they always seemed to win even with jacked up teeth! So imagine my shock when I asked the question and got… NO SPECIFIC TYPE. Wait what?!?! Now maybe this has to do with the grown man putting away his childish ways, because lets be real to only date a certain type of skin color and not give other women a chance is very childish, because to love a person has nothing to do with their skin color- if only America could learn that-
imagesasdfgNow being the single woman that I am, I asked if there were any tips or advice they had on getting chose., for a relationship/wife. And by far the best answer I got I have to share verbatim “A woman shouldn’t wasn’t to be chose, she should was to be cherished. Being chose is like saying you are being selected off a shelf with others which in turns devalues woman’s worth.” Now I completely agree with this answer. We as women should demand to be cherished. However, for us single ones you often wonder is there something I’m doing wrong that I could do different to change my outcome? Another answer that I liked was “Men will treat you how you come off as you want to be treated”. In oher words, post a thirsty picture, you know the one half naked, showing that ass off, and a dog will surely pant in heat. The best way to be on your way to a relationship is to be yourself and to be open. It’s as simple as that.

imagesweNow ladies listen up, because this may help you change your ways! More than anything males hate an attention whore. That was my number one answer to turn offs. Don’t be that female in the club loud as hell for no reason; no one likes that female, she just good for entertainment. You heard it here first. Secondly, being closed- minded, gossipy, lack of confidence and argumentative. Let’s be honest, I can’t be around anybody with these traits, energy level is so negative it has to be hard to have to come home to someone like that.

Lastly I asked what were personality traits that were turn ons, and turn offs. I found that what it boils down to his someone who shares the same interest they have. I think this goes without saying, but I’m going to say it anyway, if you don’t share the same interest but forth some effort to. If that fails lord help you! Pick up the slack in other areas like having good convo, fashionable, goal oriented etc.

I learned a lot just from these simple questions, Did you?
I would like to give a HUGE thank you to the men that participated in this blog it absolutely means the world to me to have your support! To my ladies, if you get nothing else out of this blog, take this away; be you! He who is for you will accept you as you are even your weird little corks that you think no one finds interesting. Be open and always be independent, in the sense that you have some business about yourself, and remember the bible says he who FINDS a wife FINDS a good thing. Men are the hunters for a reason, don’t be desperate boo it’ll happen on Gods time. In the meantime, stay you and be beautiful!