Monday Inspiration: The Protection of No

Happy Monday to you.  Today I want to talk about the pain that comes along with NO.  Like children when we hear no we may experience a plethora of feelings.  From being disappointed, to hurt, to anger.  What you wanted and where you are in that journey makes your NO levels different.

If you were in what you thought was a loving relationship and you felt the next step was marriage only to find out that the person you held so dear to you is a fake, that NO that he failed you and the pain of starting all over again can be devastating. What about the pain in the NO when you are job searching?  Job searching is a numbers game at times.  You may hear several NOs in your lifetime where that is concerned.  Trust me.  When I got laid off of my job in 2010 right after having my premature daughter I was devastated.  I was thinking what in the world am I going to do?  I moved to Philadelphia and found out I was pregnant again.  Out of my element and new to a city I decided to take some time off and do the stay at home mom thing.  It was harder than I anticipated.  The time I decided to go back to work, I heard so many NOs my heart actually hurt.  I felt like I would be at home forever.  No after NO after NO began to chip at my spirit.  I am human I thought I have a college degree and experience why is this happening.  But it did.

During those difficult times of hearing NO and the mix emotions I felt, I got stronger.  I felt like I was taken a thousand steps back but I got stronger. I got a job and then began to progress to where I am now but the story wasn’t an easy one.  I have had moments where I second guessed myself. I cried.  I cursed from being so angry. I was miserable. I had to get it together.  So if you woke up and all you can do is hold onto the pain of NO, I get that.  Hear me clearly, when you let it go and walk with the sting of the pain and move forward you may not get that YES the same day, but you will if you don’t quit. At the very moment of quitting you will get a YES.  Put the work in.  Take moments along the journey of NO to renew your mind.  You may have to do this daily.  Whatever it takes, don’t faint and don’t quit.  There is protection in NO.  NO means something else is out there for you.  No means that the journey you paved for yourself wasn’t the journey YOU needed to be your best self.  Shocking how we think we know everything we need until life throws something our way to prove that we don’t.  Strive for excellence.  You can walk through the pain without the pain knocking your will to live out of you.  The protection is making sure you don’t walk further in pain.  There are people in places God never intended because instead of listening to the NO and letting it protect them, they let their personal desires walk them willingly into some mess and now they are miserable.  They shouldn’t be in that place and they know it.  Sometimes that stubborn will have you walking in circles.  When things don’t work out there is a reason.  If you are running late to a place, there is reason.  It’s protection.  Yes its frustrating but you don’t know what you are about to walk in.  Trust the process.  Have faith and walk in the sting of the pain don’t let the pain of NO overtake you.

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Sunday Message: “What She Said”

So today is turning out not quite how I had in mind. I’ve finally ate breakfast yet it’s clearly late lunch time right now. I woke up with the worst headache. I haven’t had a migraine like this in quite awhile. I’ve noticed my hormone levels have been all over the place. Thankfully I have my first “yearly”check up since hysterectomy surgery, tomorrow.

I was looking at my Facebook memories and a picture came up that was so innocent but made me do a little thinking. I started thinking about my past dating life and being single in general. Let me pump all of your breaks now I am not wishing or hoping for any old thing! I am not taking applications, my home life is super secure. But I thought about the woman I was. I would say I was strong and confident. I did what I felt like I wanted to a point.

I was talking to a friend and she asked me at any time while dating did I feel like I had regret. I told her the truth overall no of course. However individual situations many times. I definitely struggled with wondering what everyone was saying or thinking of me. I’ve only come to the knowledge now that folks will say whatever about you or even make up what they want so you have to just live.

I remember one time when I was visiting some friends in Atlanta a man I had been romantically connected to wanted to rekindle but I was so caught up in what those who were with me thought I declined. He told me I would go back home and be “wifed up” and he was almost right to the point. I’m not saying anything would have come from that encounter but there’s no way of counting that out. Again I’m not in a what could have happened mode but as my friend and I talked there were other missed opportunities that I missed aligning my life with the crowd.

I

I missed job opportunities too! I got a job offer in Omaha and didn’t take it because I was worried about leaving my family and feeling I would be isolated from friends. I wasn’t thinking about how much of a life I could have created. My dad was like girl get out and enjoy life. But nope I was like I’ll stay.

Listen, having people around is great. Creating a new life is scary. Taking a chance on love, can be nervous however don’t ever make a decision on the basis on what others would think. Whatever the “she” is speaking, saying, or thinking, it only affects them not you. I’ve missed on things because my inability to separate support from permission. I didn’t need permission but during that time I wasn’t able to distinguish the two and set boundaries.

Everyone is talking about “living their best lives.” I’m doing that now. I’ve wasted time and didn’t enjoy moments due to not being able to understand what that meant. I didn’t have the capacity to shut the naysayers out. I didn’t have the capacity to say regardless of what my entourage thinks, I’m making a decision on what I want.

Whatever the “she” may be whether a friend, a strong glare from a stranger, your church family, a boyfriend or even a potential dater, be sure to balance what they say to what you want and be able to live with yourself after the fact. Anything that may create a regret means don’t do it. I wouldn’t go back to that life now but I can learn and teach my girls and my son not to let other whispers stop you. You can’t live your best life under the guidance of hoping for acceptance from everyone around you! You may not get it. You better be sure you can accept you. You are okay with the outcomes. You are okay with walking away! What “she says” means nothing if it doesn’t align to what you say or what you want! Remember support isn’t permission. Give yourself permission to be happy! Define what that means to you!

My Reactions to Jennifer Lewis’ Breakfast Club Interview

So I watched the interview with Jenifer Lewis and it had my full attention for over an hour. Let me forewarn a few that she is who she is. If you have ever seen her or listened to her then you know she talks the way she wants to. She serves it with no sugar and her mouth slips when she wants it to. Some may find it offensive, I didn’t. I felt like the tone of her voice was real and it made her points even more valid. I will post the link so you can view it for yourself but I wanted to touch on the parts that spoke out to me. Again I shouldn’t have to say but I will that these are my views on what I received from her interview:

30 Summers Left

She speaks about time being short and how with that short time she doesn’t allow folks with negativity to dominate her space. I love that. I think it’s easy as she has done the work to be in that place AND she has gotten to that age where she can say and do as she pleases. She makes note that she’s saved her money so she really isn’t worried about someone coming for her. What a place to be in?! I was like well say that! How many of us can say the same?

It’s like watching that smart mouth Aunt say whatever the Hell she wants and everyone got something to say to her but you got cash money on her cause you know not one person gonna try her. That’s what I felt. Now while I watched I wrote my points down in a notebook. I carry one on me at all times and she mentions having a journal to write down your feelings. She also talks doing this practice of writing things down since the 7th grade and how that is how the book she wrote came to be. I have it and will spend some time over the weekend diving in.

So what will you be doing with however many summers you have?! Will you be using that energy giving to folks who don’t need it? How about wasting your time on things that at the end of the day aren’t necessary? Wasting your time talking about the same folks and what they have or don’t have or where they are going?! Evaluate a few things, use your time better. Folks tired of hearing it. Speak about a few things that matter!! Move on!

Mental Illness

What’s I liked was her candid conversation about mental illness. She has said she is bipolar and suffers with depression. It is uncommon for anyone is show business to tell their business when it comes to this disease. People don’t want to admit it in fear that others will not book them for being in their truth. I like it because I stand with others in that mental illness is something that we need to stop making taboo and actually deal with it. She talked about how she was being perceived and how she handles it. She is not ashamed as she tells it. She calls out a few including Kanye West that she feels is suffering as well. Taking care of yourself is important and being honest where you are is even more important. You know something is wrong deal with it.

Multiple Friends

The notion we tell ourselves that we don’t need friends or we only need one friend has to stop. Not one person has what you need. Stop this island life. You need others around you. You are the issue as to why you can’t exist with others. Change it!

Beating your Kids

Now this is a subject that will ruffle feathers. Let me explain why! It’s not just because of the argument of violence towards kids and how that affects them. I think it has more to do with doing things “just because that’s how you were taught” is more of the discussion. She advocates for parents to stop doing it all together and spend some time disciplining them and talking to them. She talks about even in her age she still has scars on her from being beat as a child. Any beating or popping that is done to a child that leaves a mark is abuse. So have your thoughts or do what’s best but be open to that discussion when listening to her points.

Millennial

She stated she wrote the book for millennials and I can definitely see that. Too many times this new way of thinking which is fine on certain points wants to discredit things that have shaped the world as it is today. As she goes through this book tour she is also making sure she reminds people of where they come from and to respect those who came before them. This message here is necessary especially in regards to the many young people who are losing their lives daily and accountability seems to take a back seat.

So I’m enclosing the link so you can view and come to your own conclusion. However I think it’s a great watch for all. She keeps everyone laughing even through tough dialogue about rape, sex addiction and even sexual abuse. Please give it a look or watch!!

Jennifer Lewis the No Chaser Edition

Weekly Recap: May 17, 2018

So it’s been a minute since I’ve done a recap. The last one was April 6, 2018. Time flies when you’re having fun! There has been quite a few updates since the beginning of April. So here we go:

Personal Vibes

So since the last time I’ve started a new job! What?! Yes it legit fell into my lap and was an opportunity of a lifetime and I had to leap. Was I scared? Absolutely. I like feeling secure and there’s nothing secure about starting over trust me! However the move is a great one for me professionally and for my family. So I’ve been trying to adjust to the new blessing. I’m still not there yet but I’m getting there. I need to fit in more workouts and get that life/work balance together but I’m confident I will get there!

Also thanks to everyone for the birthday love. The gifts were great and my family was even better! I can’t complain those who showed love definitely put a lot of thought into it! Thank you for all the love!

Thanks to my husband for my gluten-free cake and dairy free ice cream request. Don’t worry the kids had regular cupcakes and what I ate healthy on dessert I made up for it in a few birthday drinks!

The great thing about my birthday is that it’s around Mother’s Day and my day was low-key but let me tell you regardless of how that nap I had, it was everything that I could have needed and didn’t know!

I finished the Broad Street Run in under 2 hours look at God!! Yes I trained and definitely did that! I’m still in awe. However I haven’t done another run since then but plan on hitting the pavement on Sunday with my girls! I had to let my body recover and get aligned! I did suffer an ankle injury, a minor one and my knees have felt tried but I’ve been doing all that I need to do to keep my body together!

Blog Goals

So we are about to hit the Summer months. So I will be blogging all of the fun. I usually have zero issues being social in the Summer. I look forward to meeting up with friends, celebrating life, and having the best family time! The way the Storrs move in the Summer is amazing oh and in case you’re wondering we do it on the cheap. I love that Philadelphia is rich in activities so you definitely won’t see us bored! Plus with a Pinterest mom you can best believe I’ve got the rainy days on lock!

So make sure you’re following and keeping up! I will be on the move!!

Monday: Restore

It’s another Monday upon us. Depending on how your weekend went makes a difference in what you see going into a new week! Sometimes when you have a bad weekend and you don’t reset, it makes you speak badly about your new week!

Do not allow the frustration from your weekend make you talk badly about this or any other Monday. Mondays are what you make of it. You can take control of any bad day and turn it around. Get determined to do what needs to be done. Set yourself up for success!

Change what needs to be changed by being active. This means if you dislike your job, be active in looking and applying. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, sometimes that is a full time job searching for a new one. However the benefits will be worth it. If you don’t like where you are living and money is tight, seek for what you can do to change it. Look at your spending habits. What can you change?! Where can you cut? Do you have a hobby you can use to make money from? What about selling a few things you don’t need? All of it will take participation from your part to change where you are!

Take courage today to make today that much better. You got this! Good morning Monday!!

Crushed the Broad Street Run

So I am going to break down my personal run. This run attracts over 40,000 runners and is the biggest thus far. 10 miles all the way down Broad Street! However the same way I trained which is my pace, my race is how I finished!

Weekend of the Race

I wouldn’t recommend it but we ended up needing to attend a family emergency thus having to take an emergency flight out of town. I wouldn’t have it any other way for the ones we needed to travel for but catching a flight that got us back in Philadelphia around 1am on the day of the race is not how you rest up to run. I believe the night before the race you should really rest up to be up for early prepping. You should also make sure you set your gear and any essentials out the night before. This will eliminate the morning forgetfulness that creeps up as you rush around!!

Nonetheless I got up at 530 made myself some scrambled eggs and got ready! Shout out to my husband who got up with me and in his own way stayed with me during the race. More on him later!

Transportation

Broad street was totally blocked off so we rode the Broad Street line to get to the race. It was my first time! I was super excited just for that to be honest. I am grateful for having a car and the only time I’ve rode the bus was as a teenager in Lancaster. To me their bus lines are amazingly easy compared to Septa!! But we got there in just enough time to hop on! The train was full to capacity and yet in still folks were squeezing on! The energy was amazing. Some folks were eating. Others quiet trying to get their minds right. Others just holding on so they wouldn’t fall! Either way after 25 minutes we were at Broad and Olney.

Black Girls Run

Let me say again this is not a Black only group. It was made to make black women aware of the health issues that prevail us more than any other group. However they were essential to race day. I had the worst panic attack at work on Friday when I finally need to think about logistics. I sent them a message and immediately they swarmed me with so much love and support. When I speak to others about running issues to a non runner it’s different than when I tell a runner who is going through the same anxiety how I’m feeling. They got it and they helped me through that panic attack. Soon as I got off the train my BGR Girls were right there to hug and let me know it was okay. We also had an amazing stretch before we went to our respective corridors for race time!

Race Time Jitters

So as we finally pushed through the crowd I ran into my health manager from my previous job. She has been weighing me every week throughout this process. With the thousands of folks out there I had no anticipation of running or bumping into anyone I knew. It was refreshing to see her. As we made our way to our corridors which was color coordinated according to the time we were expected to finish, doubt crept in. Was I was able to finish? Was this race too much too soon?! Remember in 2017 I did my first 5K and this was a 10 mile run which is light years in comparison. However with my Husband by my side, when it was time I cranked up my music and was ready to go!

Music is how I trained. I knew by an end of a song where I was and this day was no different!! Each song added a certain level of “lets get this!” I felt inspired. There were many bands that played out in the street too! However their were background noise for me to keep on going!

Check Points

Running this race you’re able to see the city in one lump sum. So I had to go by my personal check points!! Let me say Temple is super big! That almost made me irritated. I wanted to be able to get through it but it took a little longer than I anticipated. My husband rode up on me twice. It was sweet hearing my name but it also pushed me. My husband doesn’t run so at the two times I saw him it made me think I was running slow. I told him this after the race. So after that he said when he thought I was going to be at a certain spot, I wasn’t cause I had beat him to spots and beyond! He had been riding the train to get to where he thought I would be. He was using the same tracker Racejoy that I was using so he knew where I was!

Mindset

Throughout the whole race I had to keep talking to myself. I never got comfortable. It wasn’t a matter of if I get through x amount of miles I’m good. I will say that the race provided a tracker and it tells you how far you have come. I didn’t hear when I got to mile 6 so I was relieved when I saw the 7 mile tracker! Like girl, you really did it. I never looked back outside of when my husband called my name. I didn’t want to see the crowds of folks coming toward me. It helped me to focus on going forward only. Different miles I had to say who are you running this mile for?! What would they say if they saw you right now?! Let’s move!

Completion

With any race you want to finish and finish well. I definitely did that! My goal was 2.5 hours I got done at 1.59 and I wanted to do the Tootsie Roll! Everything that I had fought for in those moments on the ground had finally come to an end. I have to shout out to the angel who saw me struggling at the last minutes and grabbed my hand. It was just like one of those race movies where someone comes and helps you to the end! That man said to me, “Sis, we got this let’s finish this!” He grabbed my hand and we sprinted them last minutes to the finish. Thank you angel for that! I looked to find him but couldn’t locate him but he was amazing in assisting me at the end when my mind was all over the place and my body was so worn!! Seeing the end when you’re tired didn’t make me feel like yay you’re almost done. My whole body hurt too much but I knew all of the miles I had ran, finishing was a definite.

What I learned

One of the first things that came to mind was Girl, you did that! I will be 37 on Thursday and I conquered this race before it. I can do anything like run a long ass road in Philadelphia! I ran 10 miles today and that in itself is worthy of a dance!

Two is that it will soon be a year since my hysterectomy and I’ve hit so many personal and health goals since then! I think I’ve had more ups than downs and it feels good!

Three what can’t I do?! I had folks like ok you’re racing and?! My response is lace up and let’s see what you can do?! This is not an easy task! It’s not easy at all! Not everyone can just run it! So it’s an accomplishment to say the least!

Four, where is the next race?! Weirdly enough I am currently Googling another one. My goal is to do a half marathon and then off to a full marathon!! Being in great shape is a continual journey and races for me keep me accountable!

Shout outs

Let me shout out my amazing family who have had to deal with me refusing to abbreviate from my schedule of training. Yes even in the Winter months when I would hear you can miss a day and I didn’t listen to it! Also for putting up with my eating which won’t change because for me it’s a lifestyle change and not a diet! For reminding me to focus on me and no one else!!

For me 3 little people who call me Mom! You guys have no idea of how I thought of each of you. I will be using this against your “I can’t” moments! There’s nothing you can do and you will achieve anything you desire!

To my amazing friends! From the start of this morning, I was flooded with messages of good will today! To everybody Facebook and other social media messages too thanks! During my last few miles since they were tracking me too, although I didn’t open my phone during the actual race, hearing the notifications knowing it was y’all made me feel like a badass!

To my husband, Marques: your pop ups today were amazing! For you tracking me thank you! For getting me anything I thought I needed thank you! For fulfilling my post race requests you are the real MVP! Also for making sure my bath was drawn and even helping me out of my sweaty clothes thank you. It’s these moments that are real relationship goals that can’t be documented or photographed. Being my number one supporter and fan today, thank you!

To my trainer! You are the real MVP! Pushing me past myself and telling me to shut that crying up thank you! You saw that I could do it you didn’t accept my excuses! And for reminding me that the body does what the mind wills! You pushed me through my mental setbacks!!

To my BGR family thank you for the weekend runs to get ready as well as the continual all year runs that keep us race ready all the time!

To my doctors at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine for making sure that I was healthy before and during this race. Every test done to ensure I was race ready thank you!

To every volunteer at the Broad Street Run, super thanks. Y’all were out there on the scene making sure every racer felt supported all weekend long!

To my readers, thank you for allowing me a few moments into your lives! I hope regardless of how you may struggle with any health issues or weight issues that you see someone who pushed through it and proved to herself first that she was important enough to be her own priority!

All pictures were taken by my husband Marques! I refused to be on my social media during this race! He had the sideline view and sometimes a runner’s view since he was on the scene with me!!

Ask Toi: Was I Wrong for calling my husband a child?!

Yes.

For my readers women all over call their husband an “extra child.” However that shouldn’t be a serious conversation and not in front of other people. This wife made a scene at a restaurant and then called him a child causing the entire restaurant to stop. This is a very black and white situation where anything that is said that demeans your mate, should not be done period. You don’t get to justify that bad behavior and it works both ways.

It doesn’t matter that you as a wife feel its not a big deal. It’s a big deal because it was said and it was embarrassing. A Husband being an additional child is really the fault of the wife. It could be you married a man who is co-dependent or you take on everything and then get mad when you are too overwhelmed and have him spoiled. Trust me I had to learn to work with my own husband not berate him. So I’m telling you from experience how detrimental it is in how you speak to, and how you handle each other with care and respect.

Either way you have to admit that outburst was completely uncalled for and speaks to you needing to have a conversation about the reality of what you need in your life from him. You can’t just have outbursts in public or private and not deal with the actual issue. If you don’t know what it is then spend sometime with yourself. You however have no right to use your issues as reasons to come at your husband and if he’s done this to you, will do this to you, etc he would be just as wrong. That’s for the ones who like to point the finger out instead of in when a situation goes down.

The respect in your relationship is gone to be flat out honest with you and it needs some repair. I might even suggest that you may need to work on your issues before suggesting that you both to go to counseling. He may be more adapt to receiving if he sees some change in you! It’s going to take some time before the embarrassment wears off he won’t forget it even if he forgives you. Be careful with your words even in the heat of the moment.

Good luck!!