Real Love: Friendship Edition

So I have been documenting my journey during various stints of my life.  I have talked extensively about moving to Philadelphia from Lancaster and how hard it was for me to adjust to life in general. I STRUGGLED. There were a lot of reasons why.  I had great friends at home in Lancaster.  I was newly pregnant with baby number 2 and a toddler as I moved into my fiance at the time’s home.  It was too much at one time and I was trying to act like it wouldn’t be a problem.  In my mind I am like I got this.  However I didn’t have it and I was too self-centered to reach out to others to tell them the REAL of how much I had been suffering but feeling like someone should just know what is wrong and rescue me.  Guess what?  I had to rescue myself.  Many didn’t know. I didn’t open up and I didn’t talk about it either.

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One of the areas that suffered the most was friendships.  All of them took a hit.  Not one was okay in my eyes.  It wasn’t that friends left me because they didn’t.  I lost the access that I once had or at least I felt that I had.  Do you know how hard it is to maintain friendships even an hour and a half away?  When you can’t drive as often as you want due to the hassle of having a toddler and a growing belly?  Listen, I didn’t invite any friends over because anybody who knows me and knows my ambitions would think (in my head) that I had accepted the very bottom by moving in with my fiance and his mom.  Now let me be clear that is how I FELT.  There was nothing bottom about taking on a plan to make sure you are secure and making sure that things aligned well as long as YOU have a self-care plan and I had ZERO!  I never let folks know not even my parents what my plan was and how having that plan is what has caused me to have a better life even now.  I just moved and acted like I was crazy in love and I was but it was a purpose for it all.

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So after I had my son and even after the birth of my youngest and last child I struggled to get out and make friends.  I am not one of those people who believes in having a thousand friends instead I believe in smaller solid circles.  To build a circle I compared them to friendships I had for over 20 years and they can’t be on that same level.  However after some self-care, some get over yourself, after some mental relief I have been able to establish some new friendships and they are proving to be something so powerful.  My new friendships have NOT replaced old ones but they are showing me that you can open your heart and life to another person and be whole.  I have learned that I can be the friend I want others to be towards me.  In that I have learned that the love will not look the same either.  We have to be willing to put it out and weed the wrong ones out.  That is a process.  It doesn’t happen overnight.

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One of my friends I will call her K is amazing.  I didn’t realize I needed her in my life until she came in and I allowed her the space.  I find that she is super refreshing and super encouraging.  If anybody would follow our daily videos or texts they would call us weirdos. I find that the love that she gives adds to me and makes me want to be a better woman and mother.  She checks me when I need it but her approach isn’t to cut.  I have had friends who kept it too real but didn’t have the finesse to be able to know where I was at moments and it would hurt my feelings.  I also didn’t speak up about the hurt either. I didn’t want the backlash. That is not a real friendship if you can’t say hey you are doing something that isn’t sitting well with me and I need you to stop.  I am glad that I am open to the kind of love where someone gives me the love I need and not the love they think I need and isn’t willing to change. I have had several budding relationships in the last 5 years and they are ALL super amazing.  They all have taught me so much about myself.  They all are a blessing.  I don’t have to pick and choose love I can have it all and having girlfriends in my life is necessary and beautiful at the same time!  This notion that having girls who are friends to avoid cattiness is ridiculous.  That only happens when you choose the wrong ones.  I have had to cut a few of those off too in the last 5 years or even just let nature take control and not see them as much too.  My friends old and new are making me better in this thing called life.  I am honored to have each of in my life.

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Monday Reset

Good Monday morning.  I know its hard to start your week off right on days when you don’t feel you are at your best.  Today is one of those super soaker rainy days when all you want to do is get in bed.  I right now want to be curled up in my bed with my laptop and a few magazines but life calls.

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I remember on days like today when I want to escape that Mondays are the beginning to the end of the week. I can’t get to Friday without starting my Monday off right.  I have a lot on my plate and that means that I need to push forward and pass how I feel.  I have to reset my thinking to crush these goals.  I still have to show up.  Above showing up on a Monday, I need to be clear.  As much technology that we have, I still thrive on to do lists.  I still thrive on writing down goals so when I complete them I can go to the next goal.  So with that being said, reset your thinking. I looked back at things that didn’t work last week and made changes according to what will set this week on fire. Is it getting up earlier and getting things done?  Is it preparing things differently?  Whatever that looks like for you, you have to do.  Your week and life depend on changed attitudes and mindsets.  So set yours on fire by shaking the Monday blues and getting clear on what you want to do and what it will take to get there!

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Be Coachable

The word coachabity usually is something you hear from small business owners or entrepreneurs. It’s the ability to sit and learn how to perform or get results. I’ve had a long history of sitting under coaches for various fields and here’s how you can apply the same method in life:

No one wakes up and is Denzel Washington. Even Denzel had to learn his acting craft and fine tune it. He is now one of the best actors of our time. So one way to be coachable is to listen. Drop the “I know what to do mantra” and listen not just hear. You can hear someone tell you how to do what you do but to listen means taking things in and applying.

Think about it in terms even if you’re not in business of your own, when you do go to a new job even with skills you must learn how the new job handles things. You don’t go in there declare you got this and just start working! You have to sit, listen and receive instructions. Don’t jump the gun! Learn and listening is the key to being coachable. You can have the desire to be number one all day but in order to do that you better gleam what the one who is in the number one spot did to become number one!

Another aspect of being coachable is having the ability to understand that you will fail in the beginning. I think even well talented folks need this crushing blow to the ego to be better! It’s life and you are going to have to have thick skin. So expect hardship and have the mindset to move beyond it! If you easily give up you are indeed not coachable. Failure is a setup for success. Think about the businesses that start in a person’s house, they have an idea but the prototypes usually are flawed until they persevere through them. You too will see your greatest potential and reward once you don’t give up or give in!

So get in the game of life, know you may get knocked down, let someone teach you a few things and be successful!

Women’s Month Preview

I enjoy women’s month! It’s one of the biggest traffic months. A lot of people have asked me why do I do the posts for the full month?! Simple, why not give a regular women a month to shine? March is women’s history month and women are changing history on all fronts all the time. These are women who might not have shared their story openly before and are ready to let you know that they survived the very things that was designed to take them out!

Think about it in this light, women need to know that as much division that is created among us, we are all connected. Think about a topic that women alone goes through. Bring that topic up and women who don’t know each other can relate and will openly share. This is why we need to tell our stories more often. We need to talk about the times we succeeded and the times we failed. We need to highlight our strengths as well as our weaknesses. There is a woman somewhere struggling alone when she doesn’t have to. She is somewhere feeling defeated because she doesn’t think what she has done, gotten herself into, or is nervous about, some other woman has been in those trenches, but we have been there and made it out in one way or another.

Ladies it’s our day everyday. It’s our month every month. It’s our year every year but when we get to shine a little brighter, then shine! As a woman I am proud of those who have come before me. I am proud that we as women have failed along the way but still keep on going regardless of what has been thrown our way. I’m proud that women are learning how to embrace what they have and not make excuses or try to water it down. We are owning our place in this world, choosing the life we want, being sexually aware and unashamed and most importantly stepping away from the status quo to achieve any goal we want!

We are scooping up the younger generation and showing by example how it’s done. We are not restricting ourselves to make men feel comfortable. We are walking in lanes that were not always paved for us. We are learning to practice self-care and saying no when we need to. We don’t have to carry it all! We can take breaks! We can travel this world alone! We can work across the aisles! We can make our dreams come true!

I salute all women from every walk in life. From the women who feels as if her past has knocked her out of the running to the women who made every right decision and are benefiting from it! To the college graduate who is the first in her family to the drug addicted mother who cleaned her life up! I salute you all!!

Get ready for some amazing women with some amazing stories to share. Thank you for being brave enough to be vulnerable. It takes a lot to put yourself out there! It takes a lot to know that when you put your story out there knowing there will be some folks who think you aren’t worthy! This blog was made from those whispers and guess what just like you I haven’t stopped! Let’s have some fun, learn some lessons and get inspired to live our best life NOW!

We’re going to hear from business women, community leaders, wives whose husband have left them and they picked up and kept on building, single moms, college graduates, those working with offenders, all kinds of women.  So be on the lookout the month-long celebration will kick off tomorrow and end March 31, 2018!

Motivational Monday: Keep the Reset Going

Good morning to you.  I hope you are doing well and pressing forward in your endeavors. I wanted to remind you that there is nothing wrong with constantly having to reset yourself.  I find times that people quit because they get tired of falling within their plan.  This means you set a goal and you don’t achieve it.  So instead of resetting yourself you just walk away from that goal.

Which one is worst?  Giving up altogether or falling a thousand times in a race but making it to the end?  I hope you went with option two. There are going to be many times in your life where you will have to reset yourself.  You get up in the am with the idea of being on time but then life happens, do you stay home?  No you shift your mindset and say well thank goodness I can open my eyes, and you continue on your journey.  As you set your mindset you will get through whatever is thrown your way. Do NOT give up no matter how disheartening it may feel.  Keep going!

It’s like you are dating a great guy.  He turns out to be a toad, do you just swear off men?  Maybe in your frustration but which is worst, finding the right guy or girl because you really do want to be coupled up or do you just walk the Earth alone?  You get you together, find out how you can do some inner work to attract the man or woman you want to be with and you start dating.  You start living.  You still keep on going.  You don’t do like some and become bitter. Bitter is easy. There’s not much you can do to foster bitterness.  Just keep on complaining, keep on being angry, keep on hating on the next couple and bam, bitterness has set in. It takes more work to push through it.  If you don’t think you are worthy of that push then how in the green Earth is your man or woman supposed to take you serious? Keep on trucking along!

If you have a desire to have a better job  but better hasn’t come yet, do you just not go to work altogether? If you want to eat and live you work your regular job and work hard at finding a better one. Keep on going.  Spend that down time and put in applications, talking to folks, networking, building relationship.  If you can’t reset through how will you do well once you get the job?  You do realize that with every thing, there is a challenge attached to another level.

The point of today and everyday is to reset.  Resetting is your ticket to renewing your mind to keep on pushing. It’s the second between giving up or pushing through even with tears in your heart and frustration on your heart. It’s what makes the people who are super hungry and the ones that could eat.  What do you want today? How many times have you failed at it?  Did failure make you stop and walk away from it?  It’s like with weight loss, one day the scale tips the wrong way you can’t just eat your way through it. Set that cookie down, forgive yourself and go grab a healthier option. Reset today!

Weekly Recap: January 19, 2018

Is anybody other than me still struggling with writing 2018?  I don’t know why I am but I am.  It seems so weird to say but we are all the way into the New Year. One of the things that I can’t wait to do is to continue to enjoy. I don’t want a lot of things I could have done, I want to look back and say I did.

Personal Goals:

I was able to finally book my solo trip. I had been debating if I was going to open this trip up to friends but I decided to do it on my own.  Everything in the world that I have read have all confirmed this trip.  Shout out to Demetria Lucas who I look up to so much who talked about tips on traveling alone recently.  This was after I had booked the trip.  Trips alone for me are something I want to add and luckily I can cross that off of my list for this year.  I will blog it once I am back but that wont be until April.  Just know where I will be going will be sun and heat.  I can’t stand this cold it’s getting on my nerves so in the mean time I will just envision myself there.

Shout out to my cousin Thalia who had the most amazing Sweet Sixteen.  It was great to be able to hang out with family to dance, drink, and eat.  Thalia is such a hard working young lady with the grades to prove it. I pray that as you continue in your walk that you get smarter, stronger, and make a beautiful mark in this world!

Go Eagles

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The Eagles won! That was a major game. Although we didn’t get to see the game, it was definitely great to hear that they had pulled the W! This weekend we will see if the Eagles has what it takes to make it to the Super Bowl!

As far as workouts I did the damn thing this week! I gave myself a rest day yesterday since I worked out everyday.  It feels good to know that I also have some fitness plans coming up in my weekend!

Shout out to my oldest daughter who got Peacemaker award at her school.

Blog Goals

Thank you to everyone who continues to read and support. It’s a blessing to do what you love.  If you have missed any blogs you may want to catch up ToiTimeBlog

This week we covered a lot of Ask Toi questions as well as talked on the life of Dr. King.  Today I even posted about a time where I was drowning in depression, self-pity, and etc and had to learn how to pull myself out of that.  So shout out to all of those who feel like there is only one string left and you are still holding on.  It doesn’t feel good in the fight but once you come out if you learn the lesson you can combat whatever comes your way applying some new-found skills!

What’s Coming Up for ToiTime?

One I’m continuing to crush these work outs and good eating.  What you eat is important as what you do with your body.  I am working on getting my runs aka 5K set for the year.  I also working on attending one blog conference this year as well.  So if you didn’t know we are traveling and doing more events this year.

In addition a new month is upon us, February.  The month of love. As always I plan to talk to my singles who seem to get missed in this month and give you some survival skills as this month takes a toll on those who desire to be with someone and are not.  It’s a real life feeling that when you have someone you tend to forget.

Also early this year I need to work on those ladies who want to shine a light on a part of their life that they overcame. I need women from all walks of life and backgrounds.  Don’t worry I do all of the work and all I need you to do is be open, willing and transparent.  I think so far I have written some honorable pieces. This will come out in March but I need to do all of my interviewing now.  If you are interested let me know by sending me an email to toitimeblog@gmail.com

 

Thanks, until next time-find something that you are passionate about or something that makes you happy and do it well!

Martin Luther King Jr. would be Disappointed

So today is MLK day. The day we remember the teachings and words that Dr. King’s legacy was supposed to enlighten us to do. Dr. King faced adversity and his message was clear that we change how we interact with others for the chance for us all to live a life of equality.

On paper it’s the best message that we ever could have. The problem with Dr. King’s message is that it with all of its national and worldwide playback the message can only go so far if we don’t just recite them on today. There will be people who recite it just for the moment but don’t apply his words and how he lived each and every day to their every day life.

Another issue that we have to talk about is racism. The ability to hate and show hate to a group of people who do not look like, nor do they align with your personal measurement of acceptance based on race. So yes even those who state they have a black friend how can they be racist, yes you too can be racist. Having acceptable Blacks but hating the other Blacks isn’t about preference. This is hatred and this is racism. That acceptable black person you have welcomed into your fold still has to deal with the same overt racist actions that others like them have to face. Black folks don’t get to claim they have an acceptable white friend and dodge racist reactions.

Dr. King didn’t want us to have the Travon Martins of our time. He simply wanted any child and adult to be judged on character and not color of skin first while their character was used to later justify the hate. He didn’t want our young black men or women to be assaulted before they could even be determined to have been a criminal first or not. You do realize no one has made signs that our black men or women can carry that identifies whether or not they are good or bad when approached by cops.

I think about my own son. He’s 6 years old and is taller than most kids his age. Hopefully he will make good choices, but even if he does the way the world is set, what makes him so different that he won’t face racism?! I was called a Nigger by a child in elementary school and was told that I wouldn’t be anything even though I had maintained a 4.0 from practically 2nd grade.

Dr. King’s message of acceptance and equality is necessary. We need to hear it and live it. We have come far but the way history shows itself it’s definitely repeating. That makes me scared. My great grandmother before she passed away was able to live to see a Black president. That is hope and dope at the same time. (Dope means awesome FYI!) However we need more hope in order to raise our kids and the kids that come behind them to do more then repeat Dr. King’s speech. We need the Dream to be our reality and we need it now. The increase in race based deaths and hate speech is no longer secluded events. They are no longer happening to a select few. It’s common place. As much as we don’t watch the news with our kids to control a little bit of what they take in, they still are getting the negative messages. We as parents are still having to have more adult conversation due to questions surrounding inequality.

If you’re reading this blog today, make a declaration to do better. Please treat yourself and others around you with dignity and respect. Respect the differences of those around you and embrace people’s uniqueness. Spread love but make each other respect one another. This is a unified message. If not the very pain that our ancestors was killed for and shed blood for will continue to spill today.

Dr. King didn’t just give you a day off. His message was greater then just an awesome African American lesson. This lesson is and should be the very spirit of our own lives. We are connected regardless of how much we want to fight it! Don’t let Dr. King be disappointed that he may if he was here think his fight was in vain. Don’t let his good work be taken advantage of. The times his wife and kids didn’t know if he would return home, or the times all of their lives was questioned for nothing! We are the Dr. Kings of our time! Let’s do our best to spread love! Lets also continue to call those out who spread hate. Why? The ones who hate but are undercover are more dangerous then the evil you know, acknowledge and are prepared for.

So do community service today and everyday. Get out and learn about others history. Get out and extend your services without discrimination to all regardless of race, sexual preference, etc.

Don’t snub your nose at people because you had one bad experience with one person. Allow a sea of different people into your neighborhood without them fearing retaliation on the back end. Let your children play with one another without fear. For those in high power jobs and responsibilities, do your job without these prejudices making your judgement a top priority over your oath of office.

Let’s remember Dr. King everyday!