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Did I stick to my 2018 Goals?

Often times I find that we make these new years resolutions and we never actually revisit them after January. I wanted to look at what I wrote down as my New Years resolution for 2018 and see if I was able to stick with some of what I wrote down. This is not only a means of holding myself accountable but also a means of encouraging myself to stick on the path that I am on and work harder at things that I wrote down. So without further ado, lets get into it!

  1. No more self silencing – This was something that was directed towards one person in my life who use to make me feel really bad about expressing myself. He was constantly criticizing me and making it seem as though everything that came out of my mouth was WRONG or STUPID (which was really funny because he literally was a person that had not one pot to piss in). This is what caused me to self silence as a means to not offend this person. I never had this issue with anyone else. Long story short, it was HIM not ME, and my life has been way better ever since we have broken ties. So I do not self silence and I guess I technically never really did.
  2. No More Comparing – Sadly, this again ties into #1. This person made me feel so crappy about myself that I was CONSTANTLY comparing myself to other women. I got rid of his negativity and began comparing myself WAY LESS.
  3. Self Preservation – I think that this year I have done a better job of self preservation but I definitely can do better. One great thing that happened to me in the last quarter of the year was that I began drinking way less and started being a little bit more conscience and aware of what I was putting in my body. I also tried to be aware of what I was watching and listening to, because as you may or may not know, all of that can really have an affect on your everyday life.  I also began going to church on a weekly basis and utilized the word as a means of mental renewal.
  4. Using Social Media Less – I think that I had spurts of when I was using it less, but definitely not where I want to be. If you know anything, then you should know that social media is a tool that can really kill ones spirit.
  5. No complaining, Positive Outlooks Only – I have gotten way better at this! I try to be more aware of what I am saying and how I am thinking in general. This has allowed me to be less depressed and really push through the hard times.
  6. Be more prepared – Last year I wrote this because school was a real struggle for me and I felt as though I was lacking, but in reality I am not this ill prepared person.
  7. Work Harder – This is something that everyone can try to better at year over year. Work harder than your hardest! I did do that this past year, and I plan on doing it again in 2019!
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I turned the big 3-0

I remember when I turned 25, I was so sad. I cried and cried thinking that I was getting so old, I was unmarried and I was super miserable in the relationship I was in.

Each year that passed after that, the feeling somewhat stayed the same. A feeling of “oh Gosh, I’m getting older, what do I do now”.

But as my 30th drew near, something clicked in me and the usual feeling of sadness did not come. Rather, As my birthday approached I was filled with excitement and appreciation to see this age. The last few months I have been on an appreciation kick. Appreciating every last thing I could think of from big things such as being in an MBA program, to small things like being able to move all my toes and fingers. This appreciation didn’t allow me to feel any sense of sadness or anxiety of being 30, rather I was filled with joy that God allowed me to be on this earth this long.

I must say, I love the thought of being in my 30s and leaving all the junk and baggage of my 20s behind. I am now older, calmer, smarter, stronger….better. And that my friends is something worth being happy for!

You can lead a horse to water

I am a helper. If you are in my life and I rock with you, I’m going to do all I can to help you. I believe helping others is especially important for those in the black community because if we don’t do it, who will?

But what happens when you continue to help someone and they continue to mess up the opportunities that you have opened for them? This is a place in which I am right now.

I struggle letting people go and just faltering, especially when I know what they can do to turn things around. But when I overextend myself only to have them mess up again it can be an extremely disappointing, frustrating, and distressing to me.

You know that old saying, “you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink”,that’s the exact sentiment that I feel. For this person I have literally given a massive amount to fully transform their life and yet they still found a way to completely mess it up. What do I do now as this person opens up to me about their troubles? Let them fall extremely hard this time or do what I’ve been doing the last few years and help…AGAIN?

In a way to ensure that I don’t put myself in a bad space I have decided to try to help this person one last time and take a massively different approach. Take on a less hands on and more of a coaching approach. I am not here to physically do things for this person anymore, I am here to guide them and offer advice when they ask. I am here to give them literature and passages that will help them head in the right direction. It is now up to them to choose to stay on the path of always ruining things, or finally deciding to be responsible. I can no longer utilize my contacts and my personal resources to help. All I can do now is watch and pray for them and offer kind words to keep them encouraged. Although my first instinct was to do what I always do and overextend myself to help, this time I will just sit back and allow them to figure things out for themself. Hopefully this new strategy works.

-With Love Kim-

Getting my spirit right – How to make the first steps to change your life

I am realizing now that for the last few years my spirit has been all wrong. If you asked my then though, I would have said it was in the right place.

As hard as it is to admit, this time last year I was arrogant (because I was entering an MBA program), I was scared (because I was entering an MBA program), I was jealous (I was always comparing others lives to mine), I was mean (using my power to hurt others if I felt like I was wronged), I was depressed ( I was in a toxic relationship with a person who was lost too), and I was constantly filled with anxiety (I always consumed myself with thoughts of the future and what was going to happen to me). I thought I was a good person but in reality I was lost and bound to the person society said I should be (looking at the way black women are portrayed in the media, I was fitting in very well with that mold). It took me some time and some bad incidences to realize that something in my life had to change. I could no longer keep waking up with a deep aching feeling inside of my chest and having the occasional cry in my car just to “let things out”. I needed more, a lot more. And that is when I decided that I was going to push myself and seek out God.

Now that I am on a spiritual journey and rediscovering Christ I realized that I had to turn away from A LOT. In order to do so I had to sit and really think about the things I needed to eliminate in order to get to where I’m was trying to be. Below are a few things I’ve changed:

1. Decreasing my time spent on social media – this is a hard one but a necessary one. I haven’t given it up cold turkey but I did delete my Instagram app. I was spending hours looking at what everyone else was doing in their lives and would begin feeling depression or envy. In order to combat this I deleted my app to decrease my accessibility to those thoughts and feelings.

2. Reading my Bible, watching sermons – it’s amazing how the things we go through today are written about in the Bible. God has provided us with the blueprint to properly navigate through our lives, all we have to do is read what’s in his word.

3. Forcing myself to think positively– I was told that if you force yourself to think positively, it trains your brain, over time, to think positively. This is important in combating negative feelings that may be weighing you down. I have really made a point to do this daily and I have already been feeling a massive difference

4. Talking to someone – whether it be a counselor, a therapist, a pastor or a life coach, talking to a professional on the regular will help with trying to change your life. And no I’m not talking about your best friend who is probably just as lost, hurt and broken as you, but a real professional who knows what they are talking about and who can give you techniques to strive and get better.

5. Changing what I eat – believe it or not what you eat actually affects your mood and behavior. You eat junk, you’re going to get junk. Changing up my diet is still something I’m working on but I have decreased the amount of junk foods in my diet. Though it’s hard being a college student and not eating out, this is essential in turning things around.

I have a lot more tips that I will save for another post but these are just a few that I have started with to help me down the right path. So far, just a few weeks in to my journey and with these changes I have already been able to FEEL a really big change!

At Peace

I think this is literally the first time in my life I have been at PEACE. I am a person who deals with a lot of anxiety and some times I make myself cray thinking about the things that I can not change and control. This year I decided that all of that was going to stop and that I would no longer live my life as such. I started off my year being the same old me with all of my anxiety and so on but one day I got down on my knees and decided to pray. The prayer that I prayed was for God to help me with my anxiety, and allow me to be more grateful for the things that I have and STOP harboring over the things that I don’t have. I also asked God to help me be more positive in all situations and always find the good in anything that is thrown my way. I also promised to stop looking at what other people were doing in their lives and just focus on myself.

My goal in 2018 is to put 110% energy, mental and physical, into myself. Ever since I have prayed this prayer and really been trying to be more positive, my whole attitude has been totally different. I have never felt better before. I am so at peace with myself and my life than I have ever been in my life. It has only been about a week since I prayed this prayer, but when I tell you that since that week I have been thrown some curve balls (including me getting robbed in Trinidad)…I have been thrown some massive curve balls that were meant to take me down. BUT someway, somehow I haven’t felt anxiety or depression rather just Peace and Joy!!!

I say this to say, that being at Peace isn’t something that you can’t have too. You need to strive for it and really work on it. You need to identify and eliminate the things that is causing you not to have peace in your life. A habit, a person or a place that you’re in, whatever it is, nip it in the bud immediately. And last but not least, pray with an honest and open heart for peace and stillness.

South Africa Part 10: The Return Back Home

The last thing that was a big treat for us was that  my boyfriend and I got a free upgrade to business class during our layover in Dubai.

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Us in business class. Can you see how excited we were to be there!

The amount of excitement that we were filled with was that of a child being able to eat ice cream and cake for dinner!  Don’t get me wrong coach on Emirates Airways is really great but Business Class takes your flying experience to a whole other level.

For instance, business class is located on the top floor of the plane (Yes, this plane has two levels). As soon as we got to our seats we saw how big of a difference it was flying business class. The biggest thing were seats that could be laid out horizontally with a push of a button so that one could sleep on the flight the same way that you sleep in your bed. This was so BOMB!

The second major difference was the food. Though the food in coach was delicious, the food in business class was much better. The food seemed fresher as though it was cooked by a chef on the plane (although I know it had not) and as soon as we sat down we were given a choice of champagne, and mimosas before take off. Oh and did I mention that they had premium alcohol in business class.

In business class they feed you, LITERALLY, all through out the flight. I thought we were pretty well feed in coach, but in business class they come around with many different things such as: warm croissants, pastries, and warm nuts.  There is also a lounge area in the back of the plane and a fully stocked bar! My boyfriend and I took this as a chance to try some expensive alcohol that we probably will never buy with our own money! In the lounge they had even more snacks for us to munch on during the flight  including cheese, small cakes, and crackers. And yes we did get fed three meals while in business class, so all the extra snacks were just an added bonus! Flight attendants also  laid out linen table clothes for each person before we ate. We also had actual glasses and silverware in business class that made you feel a little bit more at home.

Because our seats converted to beds I slept way more on this leg of the trip than I did when I went to South Africa. I am not sure when I will ever get an opportunity to fly in business class again (considering for one leg on Emirates it can cost you upwards to 5k for a business class ticket), but I sure did enjoy my 13 hour flight from Dubai back to the United States!

South Africa Part 9: Our last day in Cape Town

Our last day in Cape Town we spent the day at Green Market Square. The day before we had asked one of our servers  where was a good place for us to purchase South African souvenirs at a cheaper price. He said Green Market Square was the place to go. Since we only had a few more hours left in Cape Town until we departed, we ate a small breakfast and made our way to Green Market Square. We called an Uber and he dropped us off right by the square

Once we walked up, there were several different vendors and most of them were selling the same things. Initially I thought that each vendor had hand crafted, painted or sewn each item, but as I walked around I realized that they all had the same exact items. But this was not that big of a deal to me because the items were very nice nonetheless.

What is good about Green Market Square is that you can negotiate prices with the vendors. What is bad about Green Market Square is that you can negotiate prices with the vendors. What do I mean? Well first off it is always a good thing when you can talk down a price but some times this can lead to vendors haggling you, giving you their life story about how much they are struggling or even you feeling guilty that you asked for a cheap price on an item (this was my case, I felt really bad asking for lower prices). It was a bit overwhelming when we were walking around the different booths trying to decide what to get. I wanted to get everything, but of course I could not. It was also overwhelming because as soon as I would go up to look at an item more closely I was then bombarded with the vendor asking me a ton of questions or saying things to me to try and make me buy it. I mean I get it. This is how people make their living and as a person from a third world myself I respect the hustle, but sometimes I just want to browse and decide on my own.

Nonetheless we ended up getting some real good items to bring back to America. Some of the vendors actually take credit cards, but most only take cash. We ran out of cash at one point in time so we had to go to a local ATM to get some more. Since Green Market Square is in a busy part of Cape Town finding an ATM was not hard at all.

 We purchased kente clothe bags, necklaces, cups, dashikis, key chains, and so much more. Here are just some of the items that we purchased. Unfortunately I did not think to take any pictures of Green Market Square myself (still trying to get use to documenting everything) but I went ahead and googled some images of the square so that you could get the idea of what it was like.