5 Things I Wished I Knew in My Twenties

When we are young we are in such a rush to grow up and be older, be an adult. When we are older we live for the days when we were young and wish we could have the knowledge we now have, but unfortunately life doesn’t work that way. We have our elders try to tell us their wisdom, but deem them as “too old to know” and “times are different now”. I remember before going to high school my mother told me “ Vita (that’s one of her special nicknames for me), you’ll make a lot of friends going to high school, but when it’s all over none of them will be your friends.” Now I don’t know if she spoke that over my life, but she was right. To this day I have less than maybe 5 friends from high school and really the ones I do have are more like family than friends. I always took what she said with a grain of salt. The friends I had going into high school were solid people then. I couldn’t imagine not being their friend. The friends I made in high school I thought would be forever, but slowly they dropped off like flies.

The people I met in college became friends for life. They are stuck with me whether they want to be or not –lol.  

I was on Facebook mindlessly scrolling, when I came across a repost that was giving some advice on things you should know while being an adult. I thought it was awesome advice, things I wish I knew at that age. – would I have listened?  Probably not, but at least I would’ve had it in times of need.

Here are 5 things I wished I knew in my twenties

1.       Finances

I was given some great tips about finances growing up, but no one ever taught me about finances. It was as if it was something I was already supposed to know. I didn’t understand the importance of it until I was flat broke; borrowing from Peter to pay Paul. I treated money like it was disposable and like it would always come, because up until a certain point it did. I lived paycheck to paycheck and sometimes was flat broke with not a penny to my name the day before payday. I had no concept of balancing, budgeting, or savings. I think this is the common story for most people, especially in the black community. Either our Elders didn’t know much about finances or they failed to teach it.

I really started to get a handle on my finances later in my 20s. I began to change the way I looked at money. After researching and finding people who talked in a language I understood when it came to money, these few things  helped me: TFD on Youtube, 52 week money saving challenges, and learning how to properly budget for my income using the 50/30/20 rule, so I wasn’t living check to check.- another thing was listing out what I wanted so I wasn’t mindlessly buying

It still takes a lot of discipline for me when it comes to finances. I still slip every now and again, but I can manage it better.

2.       Education

Everyone tells you getting an education and having a degree is extremely important. Not just for income purposes, but for critical thinking life skills as well. Not every career in life requires you to have a degree, but it is nice to have to fall back on; a degree will never depreciate. College is expensive, there’s no doubt about it. When I started college in 2007 classes were about $500 a class. Now in 2021 some classes are triple that if you’re going online.

Even if you opt out of getting a degree, try for a certification or trade. Certification shows that you were trained in that job and know how to do it and it takes a lot less time than going to college. Jobs really love when someone knows how to do the job vs having to train them for the job. The key is to never stop learning, you may be good at what you do, but you can always be better!

What I wish someone would have told me is how to be smart with the loans and refund checks. I wish I would have paid the interest or at least the principle on the loan while in school. That way when I got out of school my debt wouldn’t have been as high. Or to save my refund check and use it as emergency funds while going to school, because your car will break down or you will need a little extra to cover rent one month, instead of blowing it on spring break or clothes. 

3.       Health is Wealth

I never took my health seriously. I was for the most part fit until after college. I could eat what I wanted and not worry about gaining weight-probably because I danced it all off at parties-. I was what a fitness trainer would call skinny fat. I had no muscle and could not run a mile to save my life. I went to the doctor if I was sick and that was it. It wasn’t until I started noticing I was tired all the time and generally never felt good, that I began to take a personal interest in my health.

Looking back I wish I would have taken exercising and my overall well being more seriously. I noticed that people who were physically fit at a younger age, like middle school and high school, have an easier time keeping up with staying fit than those of us who slacked off. Trying to get fit now takes a lot of discipline, a lot of tender love and care, a lot of I really don’t want to, but forcing myself to. I love how I feel after. I work at a desk all day so getting up and going for a run really loosens my body up, but working up the strength to actually go for the run and not sit on the couch and veg out or lay in the bed and take a nap that’s the hard part.-hell I’m sleepy now tying this! lol

4.       You will never have it figured all the way out, do it anyway!

Time is of the essence. This moment right now is all you have and you can not get it back.  When I was younger I thought I had all the time in the world to figure it out. What I wanted to be, what I wanted to do, the kind of life I wanted to live,  I felt I had the time to put the serious stuff off. Instead I partied and bullsh*tted.- but remember there should be a balance to everything.– After college life hits you fast! I still had no idea about any of it. I got a full time job out of necessity, but it was not what I wanted to do. In that job field, although I gained a ton of experience and learned a lot,  it wasn’t something that I was passionate about.. I didn’t have a plan, I wasn’t intentional about anything. 

Truth is you don’t have time. If 2020 has taught me anything it’s that you need a plan for longevity, but do what you can in that moment. I wish I would have been more willing to step out of my comfort zone and tried on different things to see how they fit. New experiences, different jobs, different men even, everything I did was out of comfort.  One day I looked around and realized everyone had moved on and I was still here, trying to figure it out. There was not one person’s life I wanted. Not that you should want someone’s life, but you should have people who you aspire to, and I for a moment, had no one. 

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying figuring it out is a bad thing, but don’t waste life away. Do what sets your soul on fire. Go and try different things on and see if they fit you. Most of us know what we want to do, we are just too scared to take the leap, too worried about what people are going to think or say, or afraid to fail. If we stop looking at failing as a negative and start looking at it as a stepping stone or a lesson on what not to do, we would be much further along.  Make the most of the time you have,  but have a plan just in case!

5.       Nobody Cares

Which brings me to my next point. When you’re young, no matter how much you say you don’t care what people think, we all know you do. It’s why you move through life the way you do. You care if your friends or family don’t support your dreams. You care if you’re not acknowledged. I wish we would stop saying that we don’t care because in some way we all do. In reality, no one should care more than you do. 

Your dreams, your passions, the things you choose to pursue are for you and nobody else. Those are the things that bring you joy and nobody else. So guess who is going to care about those things? Only you. Self-doubt, especially for an artist, stems from your fears of how you will be perceived or what people will think and how you’re judged in the world. Truth is no one cares. Most of your support will come from people who don’t know you, but relate to you and the ones who hate to see you succeed. No one will care more about what you’re doing than you. If it’s something that you’re proud of, that truly brings you joy without harming others, do it. I say go for it. Tyler Perry is heavily criticized for his plays and content, but guess what he still creates them and he is a millionaire now. He once said that he doesn’t create art for the people who don’t understand, he creates it for the people that do. Whatever it is that you want to do, do it. You will find your tribe and then you’ll continue to create it for them. There’s a million different brands of bread, still everyone has their own preference. SHINE ANYWAY!

Though I’m not disappointed in my journey or regret a thing, I’m exactly where I am supposed to be, still these things would have been great to know and not have to learn the hard way ha! I may make a part 2, writing this actually made me think of 5 more things I wish I knew.

Do you agree? What are some things you wished you knew growing up?

And Remember,

Dont be Bitter,

Be Better!

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Dont be Bitter be Better: 3 Reasons Why I Chose to be Single

Reading the heading of this post, I know you’re wondering why would one choose to be single.-Let me explain.- I found myself in an odd place. I was in a situationship that ended on good terms, we even decided to still remain friends. Even after the romantic phase was over, we would meet up for drinks and still text as friends. One day, I found myself blocked and ignored. This was someone who I had a fifteen year friendship with so to be suddenly cut out of their life was odd. I would speak when I saw them and nothing, not even a hello back. The need to know why I was suddenly being treated this way was growing inside of me. The more it happened the angrier I became. –I know what your thinking why did you continue to speak?- A part of me was all kill them with kindness, but another part felt it was probably agitating them that I did– that was the petty part of me.

Privately, I was very hurt by losing the relationship and the friendship. – I was hurt hurt. Mariah Carey’s breakdown ft Bone-Thugs and Harmony has never made more sense than that moment in time

The guy a dated after that 5months into the dating phase –not relationship but casually dating– he got engaged to someone else. Yes, you read that right, engaged to another girl while we were dating, and to add insult to injury I found about it 2 weeks later from someone who didn’t even know I knew him, let alone was dating him.- the audacity, tuh!-

I felt myself becoming bitter. I didn’t want to shut love out, but at that moment I didn’t know how I could continue to be so open to something that was literally ripping my heart apart. I prayed to ease the pain and bring me understanding. In the past, I had taken a break from dating before and dated myself, but I was still open to invitations. Initially when I took the first break, I was a 20 something year old who was lost. My 20s were rough and flew by. I am now a 30 something who has experience. I’m more settled now, I feel wiser like I have a new lens on life. I don’t feel so desperate to get to a finish line of a goal, until I started comparing my life to where I thought I should be for my age. So this decision didn’t come lightly. This time I decided to decline any interests. No dates. I didn’t entertain someone who was interested in dating. If they weren’t pre-existing non-romantic friendships, I wasn’t available for it. I wanted to completely focus on me and pour into myself. My prayers were eventually answered, but in praying I realized a few things about myself and how I approached dating:

1. Relationships were the goal
My goal was to be in a relationship. That’s it. That’s all I wanted. I had no clue what I was going to do after I got into one, but as someone whos never been in one, that was my goal. Somewhere along the way I began to be desperate to be in one. To be claimed, chosen, picked from the bunch. The older I got the more important it became. Towards the end of my 20s dating began to feel more of a hassle than fun. Dating was supposed to be the time of your life, but for me it felt like a means to an end.

If you listen to society, being single will have you feeling worthless. You cant possibly be anyone of value if you’re not in a relationship or married, your advice is worthless, you don’t understand anything as it relates to relationships and you can’t hang around the couple crowd if you are single. I have lost so called friends for being the single one. To be deemed “worthy” by society, I needed to be in a relationship.

I started to look at every possible love interest as “the one”. After the initial contact, I daydreamed about our life together. -if I really found you attractive.- I had an unrealistic expectation for every man who entered my romantic life. I was never in the present moment. I never saw it for what it was until it was over, and I was heartbroken, more so by the possibilities than by missing out on the person. –cause lets be honest, if relationships weren’t my goal there is no way I would have been with some of the dudes I entertained. They were definitely “what were you thinking?” type of guys, especially the 2 mentioned at the opening- I focused very little on the person and more on the end result.

2. Dating with Intention.
I investigated my dating history and they were all pointless. There were no clear intentions or standards set in the beginning. They were all “I like you, you like me, lets see what happens”. – 4 words no woman should fall for-. There were no clear boundaries. No clear communication. It was all unhealthy. Not only were the relationships not clear, but neither was I. I had no clue what I wanted in a relationship. I didn’t understand the value of what I was bringing to a relationship and what I should be receiving from one. The more I thought about it, the more I realized I had no clue how relationships worked. Sure, I had examples, but they all seemed to be unhappy or settling for things that didn’t align with their morals or values. –and I did not want to be one of those people.- Even though I knew what I didn’t want, I still wasn’t clear on what I did want.

I’m a researcher, I have to have understanding. The “why” must be answered. So, I did what any researcher would do; I read. I read books, 4 specifically; The Conversation– Hill Harper, Relationship Goals– Michael Todd, Judge This Cover-Brittany Renner, and The Game of Desire– Shannon Boodram.

I have read The Conversation many years ago. I remember it being so packed with gems, that I wrote notes in the margins and highlighted sentences throughout the book. I decided to reread it. The gems were still valid. It is, however, geared more toward people already in a relationship, but it gave me insight.

I loved the Youtube series Relationship Goals so much! It was actually the first thing I watched while struggling through the pain of losing the friendship. I learned a lot by watching the series. So, when Michael Todd wrote a book, I brought it on preorder. The book was so different from the series, which I loved, no one wants to read something they’ve already heard verbatim. There were some parts of the book I disagreed with, but he does speak about all kinds of relationships as it relates to God. I had to keep reminding myself that the book isn’t just talking about romantic relationships. Also, every relationship doesn’t have to work according to someone else’s interpretation of the bible. Overall, I enjoyed the book and got a real grasp about faith in relationships.

Ill admit, I was a little reluctant to read Judge This Cover by Brittany Renner. Brittany Renner is a social media star who is best known for her sexy photos and fitness on Instagram. She has made a name for herself by posting workout videos and promoting fitness products. Brittany has been known to date some very famous people. It is said that most of the relationships she refers to in her book are about those famous people, although the names have been changed in the book. I was really shocked by how insightful this book was. I related to her and her struggles with dating. Though she was a little more free in her sexuality, I admired her willingness to bare it all in the book. She also gave a different perspective and some great advice. Overall, I would recommend this book to anyone. Most people I know that did read it, did so to be nosy about her life, but ended up loving the book for her insight. I’m telling you it was a great read!

Lastly, I read The Game of Desire. I was pleasantly surprised by this book. If you’re not familiar with Shannon Boodram, she is a certified intimacy educator who teaches people to be more competent and confident as it relates sexology. My judgement of the book pre-reading it was that it was going to be mostly about sex. While there is, of course, sex talk in the book, the book is mostly about you. Discovering who you are, your love language, your personality traits, your intimacy language etc, and how to use that to be present in your dating life. There is a workbook you can fill out prior to reading which I highly recommend. I learned more about who I am as a person reading this book, than I did about dating. I honestly wished I would have read this book first. This is a book I highly recommend everyone read.

Lord, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change and the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.”

3. Self-Love
You knew we were going to end up here! I preach this. Every time I think I have finally obtained the highest level of loving yourself, I find something that could use extra work, a little extra love. When it came to intimacy and body positivity, I lacked majorly. I noticed in the bedroom or times of vulnerability; I was very mean to myself. –You know the talk “suck it in don’t let them see you have a gut, eww” “wear something to cover your arms no one needs to see those Hammocks” “ you want to wear shorts, have you seen your thighs??” “Make sure it’s dark when you take your pants off gotta hide those stretch marks, that’ll be a major turn off”.– Being sexual with some one may have felt good, physically, but mentally I was beating myself up with negative talk the entire time and after was worse.

I have struggled with my weight ever since I took the depo shot. My body has been through a lot. I have gotten trainers, changed my diet, taken weight loss pills, different diet fads all to try to lose weight. I cant remember a time in my adult life that I actually loved my body. There were certain things about myself I wanted to change, and I would, only to gain it back. Doctors would tell me to change my diet or to eat smaller meals more frequently and if I got sick they would say it was just a stomach flu. It wasn’t until I landed in the ER twice with the same doctor that pointed out that something wasn’t right; did I really start to find answers.

After getting diagnosed and getting a treatment plan together, I really began to focus on my health as a whole. I began to make the correct changes and my body actually responded. I began to look more and more like the person I saw in my mind. My self-talk became positive. Sure, there are still somethings I’m a little self-conscious about, but the positive outweighs the negative. The negative is what I strive to give the most love to. Constant reminders that we are regular people and look like real people. We don’t have tiny waists and giant asses. Our breast will have a little sag to them. Stretch marks are a part of growth your body is constantly changing, and facial hair is a thing, almost everyone has it. Society and social media will have you out here changing who you are to fit their standards of beauty rather than loving the way God created you. No knock to plastic surgery, if that’s a path you want or need to take to love who you are, more power to you, go forth and do that, but make sure it’s for you and not for the world. “Lord, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change and the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.”

I have been purposely single for a year. Every now and again I’ll feel alone, but I’m not lonely. I have found less of a desire to be in a relationship and more of a desire to be comfortable with who I am before inviting someone into my space; my peace. I’m more understanding about my love life and what I need and require to continue to flourish and grow. I’m no longer feeling bitter…. I’m better.-does my tagline make more sense to you now?-

Would you take a year off from dating to learn yourself? Let me know in the comments below!

As always, remember,

Don’t be Bitter,

Be Better!!

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A Toast to the Last Decade

As we reached the New Year, I’ve been deep in thought about the last decade. I’ve watched as everyone posted his or her accomplishments, or the highlight reel, over the last decade. Most people posted the typical American story finished college, met the love of their life, got their dream job, got engaged, got married and had kids. As much as I wanted to be involved, I couldn’t come up with anything remotely close other than the fact that I survived.

I enjoyed reading everyone’s highlight reel, but a piece of me was infuriated. Did everyone, but me have an awesome success story?? Was no one’s decade as awful as mine? Were we not being real with ourselves?? I know we don’t like to dwell on the negative, but really it can’t all be positive all of the time.

For me, the past decade was whack. I’m talking wiggity whack. It was the worst. It was also my 20s so there’s something to say about that –the struggle years, I like to call them lol– When they ask you were do you see yourself in 5, 10, 15 years, my answer was not where I am today. So when it came to the end of the decade, I felt renewed.  I was honestly ready for this New Year, new decade; simply put I was just ready for new beginnings.

The beginning of the decade, 2010, started off bad. My mother broke her leg and had to fight workers comp to approve to get it fixed.  It took 3 months and it healed incorrectly in the process. It took 2 years to get through that. I was 25 when I filed bankruptcy, the first time. Medical bills plus no steady full time income and having to help my mother, well it was a lot financially. I managed to graduate, but owed over 25k in student loans. I was almost homeless… 5 times.  I was laid off from my job, twice. I dated nothing but fuck boys-one even proposed to someone else while we were dating, tf?!-I became very ill and the doctor’s cant figure out what is wrong with me. That’s not even half of what contributed to that terrible decade.

Believe me I got stories for days and we’ll get into them. Even through all that bad, I guess some good did come from it, though not the tangible kind. I’m a stronger person. I am more resilient. I’m more patient when getting to know someone. I learned and I’m still growing in my financial literacy. I’ve learned to love and trust myself.

The last decade prepared me for life. Most people didn’t live the life I did growing up. It was difficult. My mother struggled to provide for my brother and me. We lived in the hood and both went on to have to learn to provide as adults.

No one taught us or prepared us for adulthood. We didn’t have any handouts, nothing was given to us we had to work for everything, and fail many times to get it right.

I grew up this last decade. The hell I went through-and the hell I didn’t mention– made me all the things I am today. I don’t regret a thing, not even the pain. I learned a lot about myself. I matured.

Now that we are well into the New Year, I feel prepared. I’m ready to do life.  To apply what I’ve been through and what I’ve learned, and use it to better myself going forward.

How was the 2010-2019 decade for you? What are you most looking forward to accomplish? Let’s talk about it!

And remember,

Don’t be bitter,

Be better!

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Time for a Change

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So lately in my community of people we’ve all had this theme in our lives where we feel lost, but we know where we are going. We arent exactly sure how to get there or if we should keep straight or turn left or right, but we know whatever we choose we’ll be ok. We’ll get to where we need to be.

I’ve been staying that course almost all year.  I’ve been purging. I feel almost like I’m shedding skin. I don’t know if it’s because ya girl is knocking on 30s door or what, but I’ve been in the spirit of “this shit has gotta go” and so it’s been going. However, lately I had been feeling cramped and cluttered even though I had purged everything I thought I possibly could. I just wasn’t happy. Now, as a Libra it’s in our nature to be indecisive, but I literally couldn’t make a damn decision. I was supposed to be finalizing birthday plans that I just couldn’t decide on. I’ve been going back and forth on things that should’ve be a piece of cake to decide on.  I didn’t realize anything was wrong until I was on my way to do something I had absolutely no business doing. As I was driving I just thought “why do I keep allowing this? Why am I acting like a passenger when I’m clearly in the driver’s seat???” -Now I will say what I was on my way to do influence this sudden revelation.- It was my “ah ha” moment. It was the push of anger I needed.

meditate-01-giphy_0I swiftly turned around and went home. While sitting in my driveway –where I do some of my best thinking– I decided to delete social media. Usually when I take a break, I just put the apps in a folder and put them on a page by themselves, but during my break I may cheat and look. This time I straight deleted the apps. No cheating. I honestly was tired of reading y’all opinions and thoughts. It’s some of the best peace I’ve had in a while. I honestly thought I would miss it, but nope. Not at all.

Around the 5/6 day of my break I decided to clean my dream/goal journal out and rewrite my notes so they were more organized and I discovered I’ve been writing the same goals/dreams for years. Every year, same.fucking. goal. I went ahead with what I was doing, but this bothered me. That night while surfing YouTube I ran across what I like to call “adulting” videos; Financial and minimalist videos. Your typical ‘things I don’t buy’ or ‘10 ways you’re wasting your money’. All of these videos resonated with me because again I’ve been purging and feeling cluttered. The more I looked around the more I just saw…. stuff. Just a lot of stuff that I really don’t need/don’t use. I hold on to stuff people get me just cause I don’t want to feel bad for letting it go –when in fact they probably don’t remember gifting me it anyway– so the more I watched the more I became invested.

The next day I woke up in what my mom called a “Katie rage”. My grandmother, Katie, will get in these moods where everything has to change and change right then because she’s tired of saying it and she fusses and complains until it’s done. Whether it’s cleaning the house or redecorating it’s getting done TADAY! -yes that’s right, ta-day– Now I must add that I was sick with an upper respiratory infection so I had been off work during this social media break and I had a lot of time to sit with my thoughts. So that day I woke up with a clarity I haven’t had…. possibly ever? My mom and I purged, cleaned, and redecorated which I’m soooooooo happy with. I work from home so I have wanted my space to be nice, ascetically pleasing. I’ve been focusing on just my bedroom for a while, but it was a lot of stuff in my house that had been in my house since I moved out of my mother’s house which was… 7/8 years ago? I was just tired of looking at it. I literally threw what seemed like half the apartment away. Sa la vie! -la vie!-

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I will say my thoughts have been clear and focused, but I can’t seem to shut them off. I feel like I’m on a drug at times, but the results have been good so I’m kind of ok with it –lol-I won’t say I’m a minimalist. I dig the concept. I take some of their lifestyle and apply it to my own because we as Americans do over consume. Families in need probably wouldn’t be if some of us just learned that less is more. We don’t need a lot to survive. While I LOVE my closet –and awesome fashion sense wink wink lol- I don’t need all the clothes in my closet and could probably dress a whole 2/3 people and still be able to dress myself with my entire wardrobe. We really do live in excess. However I can’t let my closet go- even if I can’t wear half of it lol-, but I can control what I buy. Going for the structured quality items vs the fast fashion or getting Pyrex containers that are multipurpose vs. buying Tupperware. -environmentally better too

Maybe it was time for a lifestyle change, No no it was definitely time for a more adult lifestyle change. As I go into my 30s its time to let a lot of my old habits go. Those same habits can no longer serve me where I’m trying to go.

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What are some things you could let go?

Lets talk about it!

XOXO

And remember

Don’t be bitter

Be better!

 

 

World Stop! Carry on..

I am an introvert at heart. I enjoy having fun and being social, but as much fun as that is, it’s also draining. I enjoy being alone. I enjoy being in my own world with my quirky little habits. I enjoy dancing around my house in my underwear singing at the top of my lungs eating ice cream straight out of the tub.
failed-resolutions-resized-600When this past year started, I had so many goals I wanted to accomplish. I’m usually the person that makes New Year’s Resolutions, but a month into the New Year; I completely blank on or forgot about those resolutions. –I have been trying to lose 30 pounds for 3 years -_-. Going into 2016 I really want to check some stuff off my list and I did, but once my list was getting checked off it only made me want to add more. This is where the balancing act came into play.

Balance.
Life is like a game of juggle sometimes. You juggle your needs, wants, career, and sometimes the curve ball life throws at you. You can become so focused on the game that you begin to lose sight of life and being in the moment. You become so focused on the act of juggling, that it’s routine. The game isn’t fun anymore, and now your body has the anigif_enhanced-buzz-21476-1427232414-14instinct and naturally knows how to juggle. So much so, that you can juggle with your eyes closed. The fun is now replaced with stress. Your arms are getting heavy, but you are focused. You are not going to let any of the balls drop. Your eyes are weary. Your body is giving out, but you are so determined to complete your task you ignore the signs. Until one day, you drop a ball. And like a snowball effect, all the balls fall. Your body has reached its limit. And you’re out the game. Mentally drained and physically exhausted.

Relaxation.

I had to take a step back. Mentally and physically I had no choice. I’m used to working 2 jobs 64+ hour work week, 7 days a week. I’m used to never pursuing things I want for myself. I changed that in 2016. I explored hobbies, I found my purpose, and I pursued my dreams, all while maintaining 2 jobs 64+ hour work week, 7 days a week. –talk about juggling! One morning I woke up, and physically could not move, work was not an option. I went to the doctor for her to tell me I was exhausted and I had a few vitamin deficiency and she gave me a mandatory 2 days off- which doesn’t seem like much, but it was very much needed to someone who only gets holidays off-

Thank God for friends. I took a trip to my friend’s lake house and got some much needed relaxation. While there in the middle of nowhere I found a little bit of restoration and rejuvenation.

Realization.

bossWe as individuals can be so hard on ourselves. Something inside me wanted to achieve so bad, which can sometimes be a good thing, but at what cost? I compare myself to my role models, people I aspire to become. If they can do it, what’s stopping me? I live by “You have the same 24 hours as Beyoncé. Get shit done.” Not a bad motto when you are Beyoncé and you have a team of people helping you to achieve your goals and dreams. I’m just one person. The actor, the cameraman, the editor, and the news reporter on my own story.

 

Re-invention.

7408e98bb9a3427e2cc6a218958dbfa8Going into this new year, let’s change up the way we do things –New Year, new me, who dis?- I had the concept right last year,3 goals, break those goals down into months, then weeks, then days. Work on them each little by little until the goal is complete.-I even made a video about it, see below or click ⇒ here – Sounds logical right? Until life happens and then what goals? Implementation is key right? Creating the goal and starting the goal is the easy part, actually following through and completing the goal that’s a completely different ball game- that I haven’t even made the team for, OK!-One of the things I find that hinders myself from completing the goal, is my mindset. If you think positive you stay positive, if you think this is going to fail, it will fail, if you think negative well you get what you think.- see where this is going?

42fda8172eb2c6d21113218e525032fe I have to constantly check in with myself once those feelings arise. I self-doubt, A LOT. Any form of art, you’re leaving yourself vulnerable. You’re literally taking something that is very special to you, something that took, hours, days, months, and years to make and then you present it for the world to see and not everyone is going to like it- that you know- but you are just hoping it is received well. You hope that it was received in the light that you made it in. As a writer, everything I publish is my baby, so I’m very protective of it. I struggle with writing sometimes because I can get a bit too personal. I’m very proud of what I write, I know it helps sooo many of you. Knowing that should be enough for me to keep going right? WRONG! I began to doubt that what I have to say is not very important. But isn’t it? That’s where I have to check myself. Ok, I’m feeling self-doubt. But that’s my own fear not allowing me to be great and fear and faith can’t reside in the same place. I have to literally tell myself out loud I am more than this. I am better than this someone out there is depending on me. I check that emotion and I continue on my way. Dreading going to work? Check that emotion, if you think it will be a shitty day guess what? It will be a shitty day! Humble yourself. Do you know how many people would kill for that very job so they can have that income?! It’s all about retraining your thoughts. As soon as that thought comes in CHECK THAT SHIT!

 

 

Let’s Recap, Toast to the Halfway Mark!

I had a lot of fun with the Month of Music. Thank you again to all the artist that allowed me to interview them, I enjoyed every minute! I hope some networking came from it, you got new fans, and maybe some new opportunities.

Now that the Month of Music is over, lets get back to our regularly schedule program. With it being June-OMG the year is halfway over AHHHHH!- I’ve been looking over my goals and I can’t believe I have everything pretty much checked off! How are you guys doing with that? -If you are lost, check this out.

Can you believe that was my very first goal of the year? Lets talk about something you guys may not know. I make a lot of things sound very easy on here, but life is not as breezy as it appears.

I have had a rough start to my year. One of the worst things -or so i thought- that happened was I got laid off from my full time job. For 30 seconds after I got laid off I panicked. All these thoughts about bills, money, and what to do next flooded my head. For the first time in a long time, I had absolutely no clue what I was going to do.

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Meet your VIP and Event Staff for concert scenes on “Nashville”

After about 30 seconds of freaking out and praying, calmness came over me and I knew everything was going to be a
lright. It’s was going to be rocky, but it was going to be okay.

I took the time off to dive into things that were always just a dream to me. I got a wonderful opportunity to be on a popular TV show, I started my YouTube channel, and I really started to take my blogging seriously. Now all of this sounds so exciting; and it was. However, there were times when I was uncertain, scared, and completely shut down from being overwhelmed.

These first 6 months of the year were full of up and downs. A lot of downs and a lot of dwelling in the moment. Gosh, I am the queen of dwelling. I don’t know how to move on from something that truly hurt me. I’m so used to doing it, that I don’t even realize I do it.

Something Keke Palmer said-if you don’t follow her on snapchat, you are doing yourself a huge disservice- really spoke to me, she said we as human beings can reply a moment over and over again in our head, and we allow the energy of that moment, when somebody or something hurt us, to spill into other good moments, and ruin what could have been a great moment. So allow yourself to feel that bad moment for seconds, or hours, but know that only you have the power to let it go.

DeathDwellingPastStayingI never allowed myself to feel those bad moments.I never realized that I, Me and only ME, had the power to move on from that moment. I would take those moments and add them to this brick wall I was building. And every time I had a good moment I would pick out that brick that hurt me and no matter how good that moment was, I would ruin it. Self sabotaging. I would turn what could have been a beautiful moment, or what I could have turned into a positive on only focus on the negative the moment presented. Waiting for a  series of good moments to change my moo
d.

“Rock bottom became the foundation on which I built my life”

I had a couple bad moments within the first half of the year. Every time I thought I hit rock bottom, I hit a lower floor. But after I heard those words, I allowed myself to feel that moment for however long I needed and instead of using that brick to build a wall, I used it to build my foundation. J.K Rowling said, “Rock bottom became the foundation on which I built my life”.  Rather than be hurt by those moments, I’m grateful. I learned. I grew. I’m stronger.

6358791146522069822127800330_learn from the pastSo Often we are told that its our perception of a situation that defines it. If you look at it as a negative, it will be negative. If you think of it as positive it will be a positive moment. And if you look at it as a blessing, it will be a blessing. i had a lot of unexpected “negatives”, but each “negative” prepared me for the next. Had I not gone through the one before, I wouldn’t have known how to handle the next. -Blessings-
As we move into the last half of the year, lets practice changing our mind set. -Positive Vibes Only, even the so called negative ones-

I’ve been keeping to my 3 major goals- I’ve have knocked 2 off, 1 being taking my blogging seriously, 2. is well…. announcement coming soon :)- but one of my minor goals-not even sure if you could call it that so lets go with practice- is to be present in the moment. Too often I am so focused on my phone shuffling between apps that I have wasted HOURS.

So, I will be removing myself from the social media world until July and I invite anyone reading this blog to join me! Blogs are already scheduled and will still go up every Monday- so if you’re not subscribed, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR???- I will return in July with what I was able to change, accomplish and learn. I may pop up in-between with my special announcement, who knows…. keep your eyes out on IG- @lilsisveebspot.

 

Until Next Time Guys!

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 don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE!

XOXO

 

Nina B

I wanted to end the month of music with someone I’ve known since I was just in elementary school. Ever since I can remember she’s been doing music. She’s never let “no” stop her and she straight grinds to make her dreams come true. A true definition of “never give up”! This last artist, comes straight out of Murfreesboro, Tn. Nina B has been making impacts in the music industry and is definitely one to watch out for. 

First, I know you by a different name, but I’ve had the pleasure of knowing you since I was just my brother’s annoying little sister -ha!- how did the name Nina B come to be?

Ha! Yes I remember those days, but you weren’t too annoying (just kidding!). But you know that’s a great question. When I first started rapping I used to freestyle and I had a fierce attitude when I spit. One of the older guys that hung around used to call me Nina bc he said I popped off at any given moment and won’t jam under pressure. (Just to clarify, a “Nina” is slang for a 9mm handgun) Honestly, it stuck with me thru my little “rap battles” so I decided to keep the name. The “B” can turn into plenty of meanings but we’ll keep it at Nina lol. 

Ok , that makes sense now! I never knew that. So, you’ve been in the music game for a long time, you’ve done a little bit of everything, but you always come back to being an artist. You have this enormous passion for music. What’s the one thing you love about music?

Wow, I can’t even put that into words! Music is a huge part of my life. I take to music to release any type of emotion towards any situation. I really think that music to me is very therapeutic and that’s the most important aspect of music in my opinion. That and the overall message of a song is key. 

Yes! Music has definitely lost its message to me now its all about being hot for now. Especially,with being a female artist. Speaking of being a female artist, what would you like to see change in that field of the music industry? 

Sis, I don’t think we have enough time in this interview to get my full take on this issue, but I’ll do my best to paraphrase. Honestly, I think that the issue with all females breaking into the industry is the overwhelming need to objectify the woman and the inability for men to value the likes of a woman. Along with a lack of serious artists; not these women who just want to be put out to get on. Period. What I mean is that this need to push the whole “sex sells” agenda is enabling us from our talents. Damn near every female rapper that comes out of the woodworks is nothing more than carbon copy. Either she’s trying to be Nicki [Minaj] or she’s just rapping about what’s in between her thighs rather than between her temples. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good Bad Bi** anthem, but let’s be real with ourselves for once in a while. Put it this way, name one female rapper (besides Lauryn Hill) who at some point in her career didn’t have to be sexy in some type of way in order to keep themselves relevant? 

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That’s a tough one unless I can name Queen Latifa or Erikah Badu –that’s a stretch huh?-Being a female artist is already an up hill battle, its such a hard industry to break into, from your experience why do you think that is?

Well, as far as my experience, I think that it really depends on the way that you try and break into the industry. You really have to find a lane and stick to it. This is a male dominated industry so when you’re trying to break into a rap industry that feeds off objectifying women, You can’t be too hard and intimidate the guys, but you also don’t want to put yourself in a box and only rap about what every other female rapper is [rapping about]. So to put it simply, it will be easier for us to break into the industry when we are comfortable enough to accept that we don’t have to fit in with the norm. 

 

Ooh I like that. A lot of people don’t go in with a plan or mission, like Minaj or Latifa did. What can we look forward to seeing from you in the future?

I actually have a lot planned for the upcoming months and next year. Of course, a lot more music to come with some unexpected featured artists, and also I’m working on some visuals to put a face with the name. I’ve actually ventured out more into the entertainment field and I am working to get my label, Mizfit Muzik, up and running full force. What I’m super excited about is my clothing line, Trillions Supply Co, will be launching this summer/fall season, so definitely put a bolo (be on the look out) on that! 

Oh wow ok, you want your hands in everything possible, I love it! Speaking of labels and putting a face to a name, when can we expect new music, and where can we get your music?

You can expect some new music dropping from me this summer. I’m currently working on a project entitled F.A.M.E that is set to drop this summer as well. I have a single called “Supa Chronic” which is available now via Souncloud along with a group project I did with my team T$MG called “Track Meet” which is on Souncloud too. I already have my sights set on dropping my debut EP which I’ll give you more on as it develops. Until then check out some of my music at Soundcloud.com/ninabmuzik and Reverbnation.com/ninabmuzik

I ask the same question to everyone in my interviews, I’m such a big supporter of following your dreams no matter what, I think following your passion and purpose is one of the hardest, but most rewarding things you can do, what advice would you give to people who are struggling to find follow their dreams?


I would definitely tell other artists to stay true to themselves no matter what. As long as you make the music YOU want to make and hone your craft you will go far. Don’t get caught up in what you think people want to hear and just make music. These days everyone wants to make music so you have to find a way to reinvent your craft in order to stand out. Also, make sure you understand and know the music business. With that being said, I encourage all artists who are serious about their craft just stay focused on turning your dream into a reality. Success is a mindset and I’m the first one to know that life sometimes does set in at the wrong moment and makes it hard to create, but as long as you stay productive and keep your faith everything else will fall into place.

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And fall in to place it will! Huge thank you to NinaB for allowing me the pleasure to interview her! As you read she has big things coming soon so make sure to check her out!

Until Next Time Guys!

XOXO

Who is Pule?

This next artist, I got familiar with while he was in college at MTSU. With is his debut album ‘Who Is Pule’ and the video for ‘Sho’Nuff’ that just dropped, Pule is definitely making Headlines. -Not to mention his awesome personality, this guy is effortlessly hilarious Ha!- In this interview we find out just who exactly Pule is and what he thinks about the music industry.

 


 

Your style of rap puts me in the mind frame of Kendrick Lamar, just to compare, are you often compared to other artist and what’s been the most shocking if so?

 Honestly speaking, I get compared to Kendrick Lamar a couple times a month, but often from people who don’t even know I can RAP! My last video shoot people literally ran up to me thinking I was homie.  

As far as musical comparisons I’ve been compared to everyone. I get Kendrick, Cole… I’ve gotten Kanye and Andre 3000.. I’m honored to have been compared to guys that inspire me, but anxious for the day people compare up and coming rappers to me.

The MOST shocking was TELA from Memphis, TN. I love his record “Sho’Nuff” and think it’s a classic, and off pure coincidence, ended up making my own record titled “Sho’Nuff” off my debut album Who Is Pule.

You have a unique story, you’re a cancer survivor, can you tell us about that experience and did having to go through that push you to really work at your music career or pursue it 100%?

I think being diagnosed with cancer was one of the most impactful experiences in my life. It allowed me to grow spiritually and it helped me recognize that this Life thing doesn’t last forever. I value and cherish time much more, because it obviously isn’t promised to anyone. I’ve always been ambitious, but it has only enhanced my drive to achieve Every single goal I have.

My mind works differently and I see things in a better perspective because I’ve endured that experience, and I thank God for his design.

I’m nostalgic when it comes to music especially hip hop and R&B, I miss the days of Tupac and Mary J. , Nas and Faith Evans, Biggie and the Bad boy era, what would you like to see change in music industry?

I don’t think I want to see anything change specifically, but I am aware that hip-hop has grown and much of what we valued before has diminished due to the times and the effect of social media.

So my approach is to blend what I have learned and love the most in the past music, with my most current style and knowledge to make the best music for this time in my life.

I hate being put in a box because I believe we can do it all, Are there other avenues within the music industry you would like to pursue?

I am a South African, Atlantan who grew up off Michael Jackson, DMX, the Temptations, and Ladysmith Black Mambazo.. And everything else. So I would be cheating myself it I didn’t expand musically. I sing my heart out on a few of my own tracks already.

Outside of artistry, I’ve always been intrigued by management as well. When the time permits and I’ve accomplished what I need to on the creative side, I may dabble in management.

You recently became a father, how did that affect your music, if at all?

My daughter’s timing along with God’s was impeccable. The experience was amazing, not only because she was my first, but she was born prematurely and weighed a pound and a half, so they strength that she displayed was adopted by me. She added premium fuel to me and for that I owe her everything.

Dreams are hard work, which is why they are not pursued; the possibility of failure outweighs the possibility of it actually working. I believe God gives you purpose for a reason. What advice would you give to those struggling with finding their purpose or following their dreams?

Great question, and personally I’m driven by the odds. I actually enjoy the adversity and challenges presented because it adds seasoning to the story. I’ve overcome so many situations that I desire the feeling of accomplishing the uncommon.

To anyone who dares to dream wholeheartedly, expect “failure” along the way, and enjoy the lessons you learn from them. You have to respect and appreciate the process in order to attain what’s next.

If you can figure out what you are sincerely passionate about, that should determine where your dreams lie.

Where can we hear your music and when can we expect new music?

Go to www.whoisPULE.com for everything. If you enter your email for the mailing list, I’ll send unreleased exclusive material monthly.. If anything, just use the hashtag #WhoIsPule and wherever it leads you to, you all good.

There you have it! Huge thank you to Pule for allowing me the pleasure of doing this interview. I believe we will see big things from this guy in the future, keep your eyes and ears out! Definitely check his website out WhoisPULE.com and follow the hashtag #WhoIsPule on all your social media. Also check the video out below of ‘Sho’Nuff ‘

Until Next Time Guys!!

XOXO

P.Cole

Coming from Maryland, now residing in Middle Tennessee, I met this next artist at the start of his career. The artist and producer featured , P. Cole, has been around music his whole life. Taking influences from the north mixing it with a little southern trap, P. Cole is taking the hip-hop industry to a new level.

In this interview I wanted to showcase one of his many talents, producing and creating beats. Watch as I take you behind the scenes to see how he creates beat and his take on the hip-hop industry. Click the link here or watch below ,to get to know the artist P.Cole.

Check out his sound cloud here:Soundcloud

For business inquiries: RealColemusic@gmail.com

Until Next Time Guys!

XOXO

Skyler Harris

Now for a change of pace, coming from Memphis, Tn, Skyler Harris has been giving us chills with her smooth and silky voice. With covers like Kiss it better, to original work like ‘In your Arms’ to remakes when Beyonce suddenly moves a concert- don’t mess with the beehive, bey- Skyler proves she got what it takes, to take this music industry by storm. I had to take the opportunity to get to know the woman behind the voice.

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First let me say you have an amazingly beautiful voice! I’m sure you’ve heard that a lot, how long have you been singing and when did you start to get serious with it?

Awww, Thanks! I’ve been singing for as long as I can remember, (as cliché as that sounds!) I wrote my very first song, ‘Crush on You (Baby Don’t You Know?)’ when I was in the second grade— and yes, I still remember every word! Recently, I decided to really invest in myself and in my music. I’m always telling other people, other women especially, “invest in yourself, girl!” Now, I’m finally doing it for myself.

You have to take you own advice! You have a big vocal range! With a voice like that who are your musical influences?

Oh my God! Everybody!!! Jazmine Sullivan, definitely though, just because her voice is incredibly raw and she could sing the alphabet and by the time she got to L-M-N, I’d be crying! As far as my songwriting influences, Babyface— He has the ability to write from ANY perspective and create timeless works of art every single time!

I’m glad you said it, your voice outs me in the mind set of Jasmine Sullivan with the runs and range that you have. You do a lot of covers, recently we’ve gotten to hear some original work, is this something you plan to do full time? Where do you see yourself in the music industry?

Every now and then, I hear a song that I absolutely love and that has more emotion than I think the production allows. I love taking songs that you usually dance to or blast without really hearing the words and slowing them down and bringing those words out— sometimes even changing the lyrics to better fit my story, as I did with Rihanna’s “Higher”. For me, it’s always about feelings. The same goes for my original music. I want you to feel something when you hear my songs. What I would like to do as far as the industry goes, is write songs. Not just sending in demos and reference tracks for someone to make a carbon copy of—but really sitting down with an artist and finding out where they are emotionally, what they want the world to hear, coming up with music and a sound based on that!

I like that interaction, you really get a sense of who the person is and what they are actually trying to achieve with their music. I feel like that art has been lost, but real singers are slowly making a comeback in the music industry, which is something I’m all here for! i love me a good ballad, I feel like its been missing for far too long. What would you like to see change within the music industry?

I’d like to see the music at the forefront. There are so many artists whose songs I’ve never heard, but I can tell you who they dated, where they shop, [and] who they are beefing with, all because of  the blogs they’ve been featured in. So many amazing artists are completely unknown because they don’t have a reality show or some type of scandal keeping them in our minds!

Took the words right out of my mouth! We need to get back to letting the music do the talking. You mentioned earlier that you’re always telling girls “invest in yourself girl”, which I think is so important because so often we are told what to do and these expectations are already set and sometimes our dreams and passions can be lost in trying to rise to the expectation. What advice would you give to people who are struggling to follow their dreams and passions?

Don’t think about the recognition. Your gift will always make room for you!! Whether 5 or 500 people hear you, see you, hear about you— just ensure that whatever you’re putting out is an authentic version of yourself! I struggled so hard thinking that I had to sing about what people wanted to hear, but I later realized that my heart wasn’t in it— and although people were paying attention, they weren’t being moved because I forgot that giving myself was the most important.

Can i get an Amen! I loved that, so many people struggle with thinking they have to be this perfect, unreal, or enhanced version of themselves and forget that nobody is really that way. In fact those that make the waves and are are remembered for the work were those that were themselves authentically. So for those that don’t know – and if you don’t you should by now!-Where can we hear your music and when can we expect new music?

I’ve mostly been focusing on pitching songs, but I have decided to release an EP this summer so definitely be on the lookout for that! Until then, you can expect more covers of some of your favorite songs on facebook, youtube, and my sound cloud.

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I will keep my eye on that. Im looking forward to a certain Jasmine Sullivan cover *achem*. Thank you to Skyler Harris for taking the time out to do this interview! You can find her music and new single on Youtube at http://youtube.com/skylerc2008 or on sound cloud at http://soundcloud.com/skylerharris-1 or her website at https://skylerharris.com. Also follow her on IG-@Reaching4Sky

Until next time guys!

XOXO