Be careful

Be careful of the man who doesn’t respect your feelings.

Be careful of the man who doesn’t respect your child.

Be careful of the man who doesn’t respect your time.

Be careful of the man who doesn’t value your intelligence.

Be careful of the man who refuses to hear you, talks over you, and disregards what you say.

Be careful of the man who is emotionally stunted or broken.

Be careful, because it doesn’t matter how good other aspects of your relationship are, this man will never value you as an equal or treat you with respect.

Be careful, because this man probably lacks compassion, sympathy, and empathy.

Disclaimer: This is not a poem. This is not artistic. This is a warning. Be careful.

The only man, baby, I adore

I gave you everything, what’s mine is yours

I want you to live your life of course

But I hope you get what you dyin’ for

Be careful with me, do you know what you doin’?

Whose feelings that you’re hurtin’ and bruisin’?

You gon’ gain the whole world

But is it worth the girl that you’re losin’?

Be careful with me

Yeah, it’s not a threat, it’s a warnin’

Be careful with me

Yeah, my heart is like a package with a fragile label on it

Be careful with me

Be Careful by Cardi B

New Year

I notoriously say, I don’t make resolutions, I make decisions.

Some things never change. And this year, I’m making the decision to take care of myself. Like really take care of myself. I’m putting myself at the top of my priority list. And, I’m focusing on the things that make me truly and genuinely happy.

1. I love being Blaise’s mom. Love. But, motherhood is hard. It’s so incredibly hard. And, I pray over my role as a mother every single day. I just want to give motherhood more of my time. I want to be present for my son more. I want to realign MY priorities.

2. I want to be healthier. I started to figure out this healthier lifestyle stuff last year. I started moving in the right direction, but I struggled making a full commitment. I wanted to have it both ways, and that’s not realistic. I’m taking care of MY health and MY body.

3. I have some major plans, and my finances need adjustments to ensure that’s all possible. Major adjustments. Like a reintroduction to what it means to save. So, I’m reading and researching everything I can find to educate myself. I’m budgeting. I’m figuring it out. I’m taking control of MY finances.

Ultimately, I want to take ownership of my life. I want to be a more committed and confident mother. I want to balance my finances. I want to take control of my health. I want to be happy, for real.

I want 2018 to have ALL the follow up that these other years intended.

Easy enough, right?

Toxic is toxic. 

Toxic is toxic…SMH

I’ve struggled in a relationship recently. Trying to determine if this is worth the work. 

You can’t let toxic people stay in your life. I know this sounds like a “duh” moment, but if you take an assessment of everyone in your life you’ll probably realize it’s easier said than done. 

Toxicity can live in romance, with your parents, siblings, or extended family. It can be your BF or your BFF. It can be tied to any relationship. You have to identify toxicity despite the relationship or the reason. And, you have to get rid of it. 

Disclaimer: I am NOT saying you have to cut people out of your life. You may, but you may not. It could be enough to change the dynamic of the relationship, if the other person is willing. 

No matter what, your overall health is dependent on the chemistry of your relationships. 

Know your worth?

I’ve battled, for a thousand years, with the phrase “know your worth.”

I don’t think anyone ever told me my worth. I don’t think I understood my worth. And, I didn’t know how to establish it. 

I believe the value you place on yourself is directly related to how you have been treated, your wants and desires, and how you feel about yourself. 

In using the phrase we forget that everyone doesn’t have a good foundation of worth and isn’t realistic with expectations. 

I’m still figuring out my own worth. I’m still trying to establish that in my life. 

And, I’ve done that through trial and error mostly, but I’m devising a better plan as I go. 

To start, I’m certain that I’m worth what I’m offering..honesty, reliability, compassion, sincerity, fun, and passion. If the man I date, the friendship I build, or the job I take can’t give me those things back, then we have a huge issue of respect. And, I can’t imagine I’m gonna stay around that long. 

Second, I’m a catch. Seriously, I am. I’m worthwhile. I may not be ideal for everyone, but that doesn’t lessen my importance. I realize that. And because of that, any opportunities that don’t work out just weren’t meant for me. They aren’t because I’m inadequate. 

That was a really hard lesson. 

So knowing your worth is about knowing yourself. 

Duh, I know. 

But there are so many of us that are less than experts on self. So, instead of focusing on a worth that’s yet to be defined. Figure out who you are. Establish what you’re bringing to the table. And, value yourself as you currently are even if improvements can be made. We can all make improvements. 

Once you’ve mastered that, you will have a good grip on knowing your worth. 

Good luck. 

God speed. 

30 Things to Start Doing For Yourself #11-#15

30 Things to Start Doing For Yourself

11. Start giving your ideas and dreams a chance.In life, it’s rarely about getting a chance; it’s about taking a chance. You’ll never be 100% sure it will work, but you can always be 100% sure doing nothing won’t work. Most of the time you just have to go for it! And no matter how it turns out, it always ends up just the way it should be. Either you succeed or you learn something. Win-Win.
Don’t live with regrets. 

Recently I took on an opportunity that didn’t pan out. It was a hard year, and I never want to go back to that situation again. It changed my life in a chaotic way. It tested my character, pushed relationships to the limit, and shook my confidence. It taught me lessons I couldn’t have learned otherwise. And, I appreciate that. 

In the thick of things, I questioned my decision to take on the opportunity. I was furious feeling like I’d been manipulated and lied to. But, my mom made an amazing point. I would have always questioned missing the opportunity had I not taken it. 

Everything doesn’t always work out. But, you have to try. You have to go for the lesson and opportunity, even if you don’t get the successes you want. 

12. Start believing that you’re ready for the next step.You are ready! Think about it. You have everything you need right now to take the next small, realistic step forward. So embrace the opportunities that come your way, and accept the challenges – they’re gifts that will help you to grow.

Everything changed following that year. I came back to my comfort zone, but life hadn’t stopped for me. Altered relationships, unemployment, and uncertainty are all I have right now. But, that’s okay. (Seriously, the control freak in me has been tied up.) I have nothing but opportunity before me. This is my chance to do everything that my comfort zone wouldn’t have allowed. It’s gonna be better than before. 

You don’t have to have major life altering events to take on the next opportunity. Just start moving in that direction. Take small, consistent, steps. Have faith and keep going. 

13. Start entering new relationships for the right reasons.Enter new relationships with dependable, honest people who reflect the person you are and the person you want to be. Choose friends you are proud to know, people you admire, who show you love and respect – people who reciprocate your kindness and commitment. And pay attention to what people do, because a person’s actions are much more important than their words or how others represent them.
I haven’t always invested in the right relationships. I don’t always put my efforts in the right people. But going forward I’m going to be much more conscientious of my investment. I want relationships that are positive and beneficial. 

Be careful of who you invest in. Don’t judge a book by its cover or social status. 

14. Start giving new people you meet a chance.It sounds harsh, but you cannot keep every friend you’ve ever made. People and priorities change. As some relationships fade others will grow. Appreciate the possibility of new relationships as you naturally let go of old ones that no longer work. Trust your judgment. Embrace new relationships, knowing that you are entering into unfamiliar territory. Be ready to learn, be ready for a challenge, and be ready to meet someone that might just change your life forever.

My circle is small. And, I’ve always relied on, leaned on, and celebrated with the same few people. And, that’s okay. But, we have changed, our priorities and values have shifted, and we have had to make room to welcome new relationships, in our own and in each other’s, lives. It’s been uncomfortable at times, but always rewarding. 

15. Start competing against an earlier version of yourself.Be inspired by others, appreciate others, learn from others, but know that competing against them is a waste of time. You are in competition with one person and one person only – yourself. You are competing to be the best you can be. Aim to break your own personal records.

I’d never considered myself competitive, until someone pointed out just how competitive I am. And, I was shocked. Why was I so caught up with other people? When my primary competitor should have been me. 

Other people don’t have my goals, needs, or desires. Their journey is for them. I need to focus on my journey and being better at it everyday. 

The challenge:

Take chances, make genuine investments, stay focused, and strive to be better everyday. 

Do the work. 

30 Things to Start Doing For Yourself #10

30 Things to Start Doing For Yourself

10. Start creating your own happiness. – If you are waiting for someone else to make you happy, you’re missing out. Smile because you can. Choose happiness. Be the change you want to see in the world. Be happy with who you are now, and let your positivity inspire your journey into tomorrow. Happiness is often found when and where you decide to seek it. If you look for happiness within the opportunities you have, you will eventually find it. But if you constantly look for something else, unfortunately, you’ll find that too.

This is part of my motivation into this series of blogs. This speaks to me with clarity and urgency. 

Don’t spend another moment unhappy. Do everything in your power to create happiness in your life. You are totally responsible for your feelings and emotions. Proactively work towards happiness. 

The challenge:

Find the moments that make you happy  throughout the day. 

30 Things to Start Doing For Yourself #8/#9

30 Things to Start Doing For Yourself

8. Start being more polite to yourself. – If you had a friend who spoke to you in the same way that you sometimes speak to yourself, how long would you allow that person to be your friend? The way you treat yourself sets the standard for others. You must love who you are or no one else will.

The way you treat yourself sets the standard for others. Wow! This is so incredibly true, and so incredibly important. Before you expect love from the outside, you must have introduced yourself to love. 

The challenge:

Before you start your day, every day, stand in the mirror and give yourself 5 heartfelt compliments. 

9. Start enjoying the things you already have. –
The problem with many of us is that we think we’ll be happy when we reach a certain level in life – a level we see others operating at – your boss with her corner office, that friend of a friend who owns a mansion on the beach, etc. Unfortunately, it takes awhile before you get there, and when you get there you’ll likely have a new destination in mind. You’ll end up spending your whole life working toward something new without ever stopping to enjoy the things you have now. So take a quiet moment every morning when you first awake to appreciate where you are and what you already have.

This is really similar to 6. Start noticing and living in the present. Focus on the present; including what you presently have. 

Desire is beautiful. It’s important. It’s necessary, but don’t let your focus on the next greatest thing make you miss the blessings you currently have. 

The challenge:

Life is short. Focus on the things that matter most.