Day Eight – Reflection

I’ve learned a lot,  mostly that a lot of my actions were based in fear. I let fear of failing enslave me.

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us…”

I enjoyed creating a life map the most (from my values in action). Had fun just playing with the graphics, but having it in diagram format helped me to clearly see my next steps. I struggled the most with  creating my mission statement. I’ve been called a perfectionist before, but I’ve always dismissed it, all the while acknowledging mild OCD tendencies :). My thought pattern has been that if I don’t have all the tools, if didn’t start right,  then it won’t done right and then I can’t do it. Basically, telling myself that everything should be perfectly aligned and timed a certain way for me to be successful. Everyone knows that perfect doesn’t exist.  What I’ve learned from this exercise is that in most things, I see the big picture, I “get” the big picture, easily. However, I get hung up on the details.

“…We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” –  Marianne Williamson

Day Four – Values In Action

Am I currently living out my values? What do my values look like in action?

Knowledge/wisdom/truth/spirituality – 5

I gave myself a 5 here, because I could be doing more to educate myself formally, like pursuing a MA MFT or enrolling in a Clinical Psych program. I just feel like I’m not there yet, spiritually. I guess that test is on it’s way. Attending Bible Study and reading more philosophy and history books would be a good start.

Family – 8

There are members of my extended family that I would like to have a closer relationship with.  I need to reach out to them and position myself to be of help when they are in need, but I think it’ll take more than a phone call or even a visit. Facebook, that’s it! I’ll flood them with game invites and tag them in all my pics!

Community – 5

I do service projects and donate a lil something something.  I need to renew my membership in my neighborhood association and attend city council meetings to stay abreast of what’s going on. I need to donate more of my time.

Financial Security – 1

I can’t lie. I’m not doing enough here. Get a second job, save more and invest, consolidate school loans. All things I need to do ASAP.

Love – 10

All I can do is be lovable, the rest is up to someone else and I believe I’ve done that quite well. I love completely and hard, that’s got to count for something, right? Can’t say there’s a single person that I hate or even strongly dislike.

Advancement/progress/health – 5

Let’s see. I’m doing this 31 day life reset. It’s really helping me to organize my thoughts and outline my goals.  I could eat better, move more, and care less.

Fellowship/laughter – 5

I can find the humor in almost everything, I’m always laughing. Just in case I can’t, I can always watch old episodes of Wipeout or It Only Hurts When I Laugh. Gotta explore the great outdoors and spend more time with the homies.

Responsibility – 10

I hold myself accountable for my actions, almost to a fault. I have no problem acknowledging when I’m wrong.

Peace – 7

I tend to worry a lot unnecessary, nothing a lot more me time can’t fix. I just need to spend a couple of spring days relaxing, gazing upon water and the sky (preferably from the shores of a beach resort) or slow dancing with myself at 9:00am on a weekday morning with the music blasting.

Creativity – 3

I admit. I’ve neglected my crafts and some are yet to be discovered. I used to be so heavy into graphic design. I kept it up for two years and never quite used it again.  Never finished learning the piano either, I was too inpatient and never mastered reading music. I sing to myself all the time. No one ever tells me to shut up except my dad and sister (but they’re just hating) so I guess my voice is tolerable. Even if it isn’t, I’d still sing. I’ve always wanted to take up dance. Guess I should start looking up those pole dancing Modern Dance classes.  I never thought of myself as the creative type.

Day Three – Identifying My Values

Today’s exercise was to name my values. I initially was making it more complicated than it really was. All I had to do was list 10 things that’s important to me. Here’s what’s important to me.

  • Knowledge/wisdom/truth/spirituality – I can’t explain this. It’s just who I am. It’s what I do. I’m always looking at the “why”s of everything, I enjoy it.
  • Love – Love is a beautiful thing, when it’s mutual and unconditional. I love love and I love being in love
  • Family
  • Community – These are my brothers and sisters too. We need to adopt a mind-set that when one succeeds we all can. If one is down, we all should try to lift that person up.
  • Financial security – Money provides more choices. Choices offer freedom.
  • Advancement/personal growth & developement
  • Responsibility – one of the things I’m most passionate about. When people voluntarily take on responsibilities and then choose to neglect it just pisses me off. Especially, with children.
  • Peace
  • Fellowship/laughter/good times
  • Creativity – expression is essential.

Day Two – Life Assessment

Lifestyle: I love that I have a routine during week and free time on the weekends. It gives me something consistent to look forward to and free time for me to chill or be spontaneous. I love my hometown, but I feel boxed in. I hate that I don’t have my own and that my activities aren’t more diverse.

Work: I’m glad that I have a job to begin with.  There are so many people who have families and because of the selfish, greedy, rich wealth seekers  economy they can’t provide for them. I get to make a positive difference in the lives of adolescents. I’d do that for free. It is disappointing when clients aren’t ready for change; I understand that not everyone wants to be saved. I do not work in the capacity I would like to work in. I don’t like being limited to administrative projects. I want to do it all,  to be a part of a treatment team and make programmatic decisions. The program I work with now has a lot of potential, but it’s very stressful. It’s lacks space, resources, knowledgeable staff, and structure. In short, I’m overworked, over qualified, and underpaid.

Education:   I’m a student of life. I love that I graduated college. I love that I never contemplated changing my major. There are so many skills I want to learn, but I’m limited because of my lifestyle and finances. I hate that I didn’t push myself harder. I hate that I procrastinated and was not as focused as I should have been. I would have liked study at a different institution at some point, preferably a HBCU.

Finances: I have money coming in and I have not touched my savings. I don’t have to rely on anyone to have my basic needs met. However, the money coming in is not enough. I hate my income-to-debt ratio. I hate that I haven’t managed money properly in the past and now I’m literally paying for it. Oh, how I have learned!

Health: I’m in sound mind and I’m in good health. I desire to be more spiritual. What I don’t like is not being able to get a good night’s sleep, not feeling rested and my body fat percentage. I’m currently investigating how much of that is in my control. Wish I was consistent with nutrition and exercise. In a nutshell, I literally and figuratively feel like I’m trapped in a clear box on stage in front of an audience. I feel like I’ve been fighting with weights on, trying to get out of the box. I’m exhausted.

Family: I have good relationships with my parents and sister. I was raised well and I’m grateful for that. I feel loved and respected by all my family. I’m ready to start a family, but I’m not ready, ready. I’m not stable enough. I don’t have all the things needed to start a family. What do I hate? – That some of my family have chosen to live their lives in ways that burden others. That some of my family take on some much of others’ burdens that it becomes them. They are consumed by it. However, I’ve accepted that I can’t change them and perhaps I can lead by example.

Relationships: I’ve established lasting relationships with good, supportive, goal-oriented people with a sense of humor, common interests and outlook on life. Others, I haven’t and I battle with it. I can’t let it go.  I hate that I wasted valuable time, resources, and energy in situations where I should have just kept it moving.

In spite, I am blessed. Life is good.

Day One – Mantra

“Life is a process of becoming, a combination of states we have to go through. Where people fail is that they wish to elect a state and remain in it. This is a kind of death.” — Anais Nin

Got this notebook from a choir member for Christmas. It's perfect...just in time!

I can’t stay here. Here is killing me. It’s time for a shift and I can’t look back. I have to position myself to receive what God has in store for me.

Farewell 2009, Hello 2010…

It’s New Year’s Eve and 2009 is on its way out.  I have 9 minutes til the new year. This has possibly been the most emotionally draining year of my life (because of Fall/Winter 2008). Started out unemployed, heartbroken, and stressed. Stressed about my standard of living, relationships  and responsibilities.  I was awarded $5000 in car funding scholarships in October 2008. This scholarship was the breakthrough that I had prayed for. I had extra money but poor money management. I found out on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving that, TUESDAY, was my last day working. Reason being, my scholarship maxed out my remaining unmet need AND cancelled out my work-study for the spring. Great, now I’m jobless days before my birthday and weeks before the holidays.  That means that my car and loan repayment money now has to sustain me til I start working again. So what did I do? I tore it down for Black Friday, bought everyone’s gifts and went out Saturday! On Christmas day,  I had my heart rolled over (because it had previously snatched out my chest and later left on the ground.) After which, I just picked it up  and put on a key chain. I still had my organizational obligations, I was president. After Fall 08 only two people were left in my chapter, my preggers prophyte and I. I felt like a mess had been dumped in my lap and no one was around to help me fix it, because graduation is/was important, duh! Then, a family crisis. Hello 2009! Family crisis, at least once a week in the wee hours of the morning (and it’s already carrying over into 2010). I’m talking about disturbing phone calls, prophetic dreams, insomnia, sleep paralysis, and headaches. All a result of this crisis. Next, someone stole my course materials from my car. I was not going to buy all those e xpensive resources again; I was still unemployed. So I had to make do. Shoutout to my Soror Lulu for helping me with that class. I don’t think I could have graduated without you :). So I get my learning papers and I have to move back home.  Moving back home is bittersweet. It’s great not having a  bunch of  financial responsibilities and now I can save for my house. However, as many of you know it’s very hard to deal with adults with/in their stuff when you’ve experienced your own. Viva la independence!

The Silver Linings  I must acknowledge these. If I don’t, I would be taking my life for granted and I fully understand that tomorrow is not promised, so I’m grateful for today (still 2009!). I graduated, in the midst of natural disasters and my self hinderance, and received my B.S in Psychology. A couple of weeks after graduation, I found a job, in my field of study! I’m getting everything lined up and making career moves. My education has allowed me to better assist with the family crisis. I know it’s a long road ahead, but my family will be better because of it.  As painful as this experience is (and I write this on the brink of tears) I thank God that I am part of the solution.  These generational curses will stop. Relationships *sigh*. I complicate things. I’m learning  to become happy with being alone. Learning to be happy even if the contact list in my phone is empty. At the end of the day, I can only count on me, right? Still learning to trust my intuition.  My eyes are opening, slowly. All these years I thought I was so mature because I carried myself respectfully in public and never shamed my parents. Because I understood that there is a time and place for everything. Because I didn’t show my ass (literally and figuratively). I now see how naïve I was. I’m seeing people for who they are and it’s quite disappointing. I thought I forgave to a fault. Turns out I wasn’t really forgiving, just rushing to get past something so I wouldn’t have to deal with it anymore. Everyone in my life has a season and I have trouble adapting to the climate change, lol.

 My plans for to 2010 are simple. I plan to keep living and opening my mind to ways of becoming better (physically, mentally, emotionally). I’m going to smile more. Not just because my smile is splendid awesomeness that everyone should witness, but because it feels good. I complain a lot and I want to tone that down. That’s why I titled this blog “Silver Lining Chronicles”. To remind me, and others, that no matter what happens, nothing is so bad that nothing positive can’t sprout from it. In closing, I’ll never stop laughing and loving, mostly because I’m goofy. I thank God for everything. Every day. Each breath. Each motor and mental skill success, lol.

TLC of Me pt. 1

So, here it is December and I’ve been gainfully employed for six months with benefits. One of which is, free dental). Since I haven’t been to the dentist in FOREVER and my teeth are increasingly sensitive, I thought it was time to take advantage of those benefits. My supervisor referred me to a dentist she had been visiting for years. With that, I was all too excited to finally go in, find out what was wrong and what needed to be fix. Maybe it’s the hypochondriac in me. *kanye shrug*.  So I go in for teeth cleaning and come out needing seven (maybe eight) fillings and four extractions. WTF! Now I was expecting that I’d need some fillings, but alladat AND some? I was shocked, excited, and hurt at the same time. I don’t consider myself a cocky person, but most people who know me know how I feel about my smile; my lips (so soft, shapely ) and my straight teeth (or so I thought). Within a series of visits, I get the fillings and all of my wisdom teeth taken out. I’m saving the wisdom teeth extractions for the New Year (and insurance purposes)! So now, I’m four fillings in and I totally understand now why they must numb it.

NEXT: TLC of Me pt. 2: Date with the Allergist