Inspirational Quick Speak is a blog that focuses on staying positive, motivated and trying to always see the better half in all situations. Most people only see things in black and white, but I love to waddle through the grey. Yes, it does exist! We experience so much in our lifetime, and even more with the youth of today. Young people who have experienced foster care no longer have to feel like no one understands what it’s like. I do. I’ve seen, I’ve heard, it’s happened to me too. This blog is for me to reach the other youth who are like me, and I like them. We’re in this together! With great trials, there will be tribulations, but staying positive and motivated pushed me to do better and to be better because I already knew what the statistics would label me, so I decided to label myself first!
Self-image is one of the most important characteristics of ourselves that we need to improve daily on. I, contrary to belief believe that having too much “love” for yourself can be a bad thing. These people we call conceited. A self-image, by definition, is in its most basic form an internalized mental picture/idea you have of yourself. It's how you think and feel about yourself based on your appearance, performance, and relationships that consistently impact your outlook on life as well as your level of happiness and fulfillment. See guys, even Harry Potter, though a fictional character, understands. He said, “It takes a great deal of courage to stand up to your enemies, but a great deal more to stand up to your friends.” More often than not, our enemies tend to be the reflection of ourselves. What I mean by that, is that we are our biggest supporters whilst being our biggest bully.
We criticize ourselves so much that it has now become more of a habit and harder to recognize when it is happening. Sadly, we are the ones that bully us the most. We do so, by comparisons. Everyone has compared themselves to something before. I won't say how often, because it varies by person, but what I will say, is that, either way you do it, stop it. The more conscious you become of your actions, the more control and confidence you will possess. I say this because when we lack in one area, we pull from other areas in our life to fill that one gap that we NOTICE. Failing to realize that all we did was pull that energy and attention from one side of us to the other. Thus, filling up one gap, whilst leaving many other gaps now lacking. This is the glass half full/empty theory.
Everybody is literally different. Even twins! Yes, there are fraternal and identical twins, but did you know that even identical twins aren’t truly identical; they’re similar. From a quick google search, I found that,” studies have concluded that, even though the fingerprints of identical twins may be similar, they are not identical. They share the same genetic makeup because they were fertilized in the same zygote (egg). This is also what makes us special as individuals. No one could ever replicate you. No one could ever be you. They may come close or do a real good job at copying who you are and what you look like, but there will always be something lacking. I speak so much of lacking because that is what we see from ourselves when we compare to others. That we’re lacking in height, weight or too much weight, hair length, eye color, body measurements (wait, bust, hips), lip, eye, and nose size/shape. I could go on and on with the things that I’VE WANTED TO CHANGE ON MYSELF.
We may have agreed on the things we want to change, or your list may have been shorter or longer than mine, but the point I want to really get at, is that these list need to no longer exist. We are all chasing beauty standards that are different standards of beauty defined by a variation of types of people. In the end, I realized that what I thought I wanted was impossible because I would never be happy with what I had as long as I cared that someone had something different. I also realized that the things I may want from someone else's body, is just the thing they HATE! This made me realize that the way I saw myself needed to be that of myself and not what I thought I was supposed to look like. I don’t want to dislike myself so much that I go under the knife and ruin something that was perfectly fine before. I often see the men and women that went to alter their bodies and ended up hating the post op. But this is what “YOU” truly wanted right? To be “beautiful” right? Is this it?
February 10, 2020
Oscar Wilde said, “What seems to us as bitter trials are often blessings in disguise.”
Growing up, as an adolescent, I would always look at my surroundings and analyze what it was that I noticed was different with me and my family to those around me. I would start first with their faces. The facial muscles always tell what it is that you may be truly experiencing internally but can’t figure out how to make your face match what you’re telling your brain.
Do these people genuinely seem happy or are they simply forcing fake smiles on their faces so that someone doesn’t say, “Hey, what’s wrong? Are you okay?” Why is it that those phrases pull at our emotions so strongly? Those dreaded words that would release all that pain I had been forcing myself to swallow. But why? Just to torture myself so that I don’t have to say what I am feeling.
So, as I look across their faces, some of them I can see that light in their eye that sparkles when they smile, the heartiness of their laugh and the creases beside their eyes and mouth as they bare teeth to show that...they’re happy. But as I look at my own face, I saw tears well in the pools of my eyes as I searched for those same lines, but mine only showed around my mouth as a frown with no sparkles in my eyes and the slightest chuckles, very far from a hearty laugh.
So okay, I’m not as happy as they appear to be. But I wonder to myself, maybe they're just good actors, just as I. Just as those who pretended to care for me when I needed them most? I trusted the smiles and their laughs after my jokes, or was I desperate to believe it to feel better about my situation? Even now as I look back on old childhood photos, those same tears pool in the well of my eyes as I stare back at myself. I look so cute and innocent, I know, but take a deeper look. As I celebrate birthdays and family gatherings sharing memories, my eyes still show sorrow, darkness, emptiness, sadness, confusion, and a desperation for change.
As I continue, I look from their faces to the clothing and the way they carry themselves. Some show pride and some you can see defeat in the way they may slump as they stroll, maybe their clothes are tattered or unorderly. Some seem to wear things that didn’t fit, like me. Did they do it to follow a new trend or were they hand-me-downs, like mine? Was it by choice or not?
Something that I didn’t know would happen was me finding a deep interest in the social standards of society. What I didn’t know would happen was me being fascinated with Human Anatomy and Physiology. What I didn’t understand was that my surroundings, my environment would shape me, but only as far as I allowed it.
I was exposed to death at an early age, through family tragedies and through my mother working for the county morgue. I didn’t know that this would lead me to pursuing my Mortuary Science degree. I knew that if I didn’t wear the newest hottest stuff that I’d be bullied, what I didn’t know was that it would create character. It would push me to be more individualized and on my own current instead of trying to vibrate on someone else's when mine was meant for me and theirs for them.
Ever notice that when we try to be like someone else or we follow in the footsteps of a goal that we don’t have interest in, it never works. I found my purpose, my calling, in following myself and not attempting to be a person I am not. I would rather my baggage than that of another I am pretending to be. All this time, I was focusing on what I couldn’t control instead of accepting that this was my temporary reality, because I wouldn’t always be a defenseless child. The things that separated me from everyone else is what has shaped me and helped me realize that my uniqueness of my story is the blueprint for who I am and why I operate the way I do. I decided to take what was given to me and use it, just as scrap artists do with “trash”.
I know it may seem cliché to follow the “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade”. Well, it’s true. Why self-sabotage? Why isolate yourself because you’re afraid of the what-ifs? You forgot to think about the positive what-ifs. Had you taken that leap back then, you wouldn’t have been turned down this road trying to find your way back, right? Everyone isn’t out against you, hoping for your failure. Your biggest supporter and your worse enemy are and will always be yourself. Only you may determine your abilities by how much you work for it or at it.
Take it from me, I know it is easier to keep screaming “Why Me?” when it seems like the world is against you. Maybe you’re looking at it with the wrong perspective. Why you? Because you made it about you. You chose this decision. You chose to give in. You chose to dwell on the negative and allow it to eat you alive. You also could have chosen to learn from what was happening around you and to look for answers instead of accepting your assumed fate. You may not have had control then or now, depending on who you are reading, but you WILL gain control now or in the future.
Keep holding on. You’ve made it this far for a reason!
January 15, 2020
“You don’t lose real friends or relationships when you stand up for yourself and set clear boundaries. You lose abusers and manipulators. A person in 2 months can make you feel what a person in 2 years couldn’t. Time means nothing, character does. Here’s the hard truth- It's’ your fault if you get hurt holding onto someone who’s shown multiple times that they’re not good for you.”
Contrary to popular belief, I believe that respect must be earned and not given. I grew up on the traditional old school reasoning that elders deserve kindness and respect no matter what and then that trickled down to respect everyone at all costs. I do not agree. I believe that no matter who you are, you will receive what you put out. This goes for family, friends, bosses, and strangers.
I do not agree with the mentality that I must always be courteous and willing to move at the sound of the finger snap, metaphorically speaking. Times have changed and we must change with it. We’ve found out that the only reason that Adults feels like respect should always be given and not earned is because that is what they are used to from their pasts. They have to give respect out of fear of retaliation. That fear no longer resides as deeply with us, so we must adapt.
There are people out there that have stolen from us, lied to us, and cheated on us; you really believe that we should just turn the other cheek? I say no because we are starting to teach people how to treat us. Now I understand that some of us are truly genuine people at heart and will do what’s right no matter what. Please don’t misunderstand what I am saying. I do not condone violence or outright disrespect. However, for example, if you’re in a setting and you need help finding directions and you turn to an elder and that response is rude and snobby, I see nothing wrong with saying your thank yous’, if you got your directions but something needs to be said to that individual. That’s where I believe the change will begin, is forcing people to acknowledge their behavior by calling them out.
Learning to tell others about themselves and gaining your respect that’s rightfully deserved is one of the most difficult things to do as a millennial because we’re caught right in the middle of grown and childlike. We aren’t taken seriously and it’s time to change that. Adulting is real; just because your aged doesn’t mean you’re more knowledgeable, not to say we can’t learn from our elders because that’d be naïve to say, I am simply stating that we can learn from each other.
If we start looking at each other as loving humans who too are going through what I am going through, whom may be struggling but a different struggle than mine. Some of these attitudes and arguments could be prevented if we all understood that we are all dealing with things that aren’t easily shown so we should take a second and evaluate peoples remarks to our subtleness and kindness. If we do that then we can take a second to accept this attitude we were given, but now we have a better understanding that it is not necessarily me that’s upset this person and that their mind is probably occupied and being overwhelmed by the many thoughts our brain transcribes by the second.
January 8, 2020
“Sometimes, the fastest way to reach your dream, is to help someone else reach his or her dream.”
We, as a society needs to do better. We’re too focused on the wrong things, the surface things when we need to look deeper. There is more of those less fortunate than those whom are doing “okay” compared to those living “lavishly and comfortable”. Instead of helping those around us sharing wealth for the greater wealth there is, Life and Love. I know it may seem kind of cliché' or I a cliché' writer, but that would just add to the issue. Why is it annoying that I write to spread love and peace? That is what we are all craving, and all understandably need.
To fill those voids, we surround ourselves with things. We think that tangibility makes us feel better, more secure, I guess because its physical and we can clearly see it. Unlike the intentions of others or how they truly feel about us. So instead of surrounding ourselves with people, we choose objects because they can't hurt, lie, or cheat us. Just as we hold close to those objects, we should hold tight to our fellow neighbors.
As a mentor and mentee, I know the value in helping everyone to help reach their goals. I do not see myself as successful unless those around me are in wealth too. If not, then at that point I'd feel like those that are in control now. I disagree with the ideology that we need to help our own selves up by our bootstraps because no matter how you want to look at it, we have all received a break from someone down the line somewhere to be able to continue to push ourselves to where we are or want to be.
My success is by the hard work of myself and nothing of those around me that may have given me their last $5 so that I may have gas in my car. Maybe they gave me some money off a loan but didn’t want a repayment. I was blessed by others and I am grateful for it, so I give back. I also give back because I know how it feels to have nothing while watching someone right next to you is figuratively “eating good”.
Greed gets you nowhere but overfull, overstuffed, tired, sad, depressed and sometimes alone. We have to stop thinking selfishly. For ourselves, not sharing or thinking we’re above another as well as for others, whom feel like they deserve the life they live when they’ve tried to elevate themselves but because of the structure of our Government and Nation, can’t. It’s going to take a team effort to make a change. Fighting against each other only makes it harder for the majority, as the minority have no problem helping themselves get richer. Let's take notes lol.
Gabriella's Speech During 12 Days of Christmas Event, December 2019
Good evening everyone,
My name is Gabriella and I am a foster alumnus. I currently am a TNFC Ambassador gladly serving our community of youth and spreading awareness.
I would like to begin with a quote. “Life is more meaningful when our goal is fulfillment rather than gratification."
Being a part of The New Foster Care has tremendously helped me over these last couple years and has brought me closer to what the true meaning of support and movement really means. I have met some pretty amazing people who continue to inspire me and have hope for our future. Here, I have found a family.
Around the holidays, is when most of us feel the loneliest. It’s ironic how this time of year is supposed to bring friends and family together, but in broken families, it’s the opposite. I grew up around my family although I was a ward of the state for almost 10 years. However, I didn’t always get that joyful Holiday spirit. I’ve been through a lot and endured more, but one thing that never changed was how much I wanted to feel loved and full in those winter months.
I would see on T.V. all the families getting together throwing parties or snuggling around the fire watching movies drinking cocoa. This wasn’t my reality. I was determined to make the best of it always though. I grew up with a stereotypical mindset about Christmas, Kwanzaa and Hanukkah. Gifts are not that important, to the contrary! I always thought that you loved me more by how much bigger my presents were or how many gifts I had. Now this game was more exciting than it seems because I have a December birthday a week before Christmas. So silly of me, but that was what was advertised to me for the meaning of Happy Holidays. It was measured by how happy I was. Unfortunately, this was short lived because I came from a family of four young children and a single mom. She seemed to have always done her best, so that was enough for me.
This time of year wasn’t the gloomiest, but it wasn’t the most joyful either as the years went on. The older I got the more it seemed like the older kids were thrown into the background. This humbled us and helped us realize that again, gifts mean nothing. Don’t get me wrong, I will not turn down some money, jewelry, or any other type of gift, but what I am saying is that we need to be more grateful for the real gift, life. Having those around you that you know care for you, like The New Foster Care, genuine people with genuine love in the heart for the youth and their families.
I love and appreciate the Helpers of TNFC. I am calling you guys helpers because you’ve helped lift the veil off of sorrow and doubt and helped dry off the eyes pooling of tears, you’ve helped those aching feet that stood and walked for miles to be able to drive in style, you’ve helped those hungry with little to nothing to eat feel what a stomach full of food feels like again, you’ve helped my heart grow more for those surrounding me because I got a new outlook this year on what a foster youth really looks like, you’ve helped bring families warmth with the many donations of clothing, you’ve helped many children find their smiles again during these trying seasons of their lives with the dozens of toys stocked with stuffed animals, crafts, and books. You’ve helped restore belief that there are still organizations that do their work for the greater good.
You’ve helped me grow into the woman that stands before you today. To be able to do this speech in front of all you as calmly as I am isn’t because of what I learned in Speech Class in front of my peers but in being here with you all. Ever since I started my volunteer work, I have spoken in front of policy makers, parents, youth and others whom have great affects, and you all have taught me that we do matter to someone. My friends showed me this cool T-Shirt designs and it was targeted to the women, but I believe it should be generalized. It reads, “Teach [them] to be Somebody’s and not Somebodies
If it’s anything I have learned here, is that, we are S O M E B O D Y ‘ S.
"I will not be another flower, picked for my beauty and left to die. I will be wild, difficult to find, and impossible to forget” -- Erin Van Vuren
I’ve never wanted to be someone other than myself. Well, I kind of lied. I never wanted to be anyone else, but a better version of myself. Settling just for the sake of, never sat well with me. For years I watched many people settle for the relationships they regret and the jobs they hate. It seems like people are okay with being part of the same system that everyone else is running on.
I wanted to be like those commercials where everyone is going in the same direction and all wearing the same things until the one person steps out of line and then they change into their own individual person from the group. Once this happens, they realize that they aren’t alone, and that other people are in search of like mindedness. Such as, in leaders.
I want to be remembered for my uniqueness, not for always following the rules. I mean rules hypothetically speaking. Most rules are put in place for a reason, but the ones that aren’t, such as fashionable rules, THROW THEM AWAY! I can’t tell you how annoying it is for people to comment on how an individual wants to look. That’s why we are called an induvial in the first place.
If all men and woman were all exactly the same and you’re expecting individuality, you’d be insane. Literally, by definition. The standards we put on beauty and who you’re doing it for, NEEDS TO BE REDEFINED. Beauty will always be in the eyes of the beholder. This will always be because we all have different tastes. Such as heel lovers: wedge lovers: flat lovers: sports lovers: movie lovers and so forth.
I am choosing to step outside of the norm. I don’t want to be normal because to me normal is average and if you're average, there's nothing exciting and memorable about you. So, I’d rather stand out for not wearing makeup than to be like every other girl with the same foundation and lashes applied. I think there are multiple ways to be “in” but still standing “out”. For instance, it’s not that I don’t wear makeup, because I do, I just prefer a subtle partial face than a full or half face. My eyes are still popping, I still have my long natural lashes with mascara, and I am comfortable with what I am wearing because I don’t have to change a thing.
With wearing makeup, you must watch how you hug, eat, cry and laugh and so forth. It seems like too much just to feel more beautiful. I said feel more beautiful, because you are already beautiful! Anything you add should be only enhancements and not cover ups. You cannot cover up your true selves. You may think you're hiding and trying to cover up hurt and pain and or any losses but truthfully, we can still see you. Behind all of this, you are still the same you. My respect for you has never wavered by the way you carry yourself but by the content of your character.
The outside doesn’t matter anyway. If you continue to think that the outside is all that matters, why do you eat every day? Why do you use the bathroom every day? Why do you drink anything every day? You do because you understand that what’s on the inside of your body requires all of these things to function properly inside and out. How you feel about yourself is first. How you think about yourself is first. How you see and carry yourself is first. What comes next will be anything else that you want, but you must always remember who you are first. You are YOU still, without the clothes, jewelry and makeup. We have to be comfortable in our own skin. Can’t depend on anyone else to do it for you. Be the roses that grew out of concrete and stop trying to follow the dandelions that grow persistently.
Be – YOU - tifally,
I have a good friend, Rachel, whom I find to be a very intelligent hard working woman. I say that because she’s working for a cause much bigger than myself. And I look up to her ambition and her willingness to serve. Even at the expense of her own dreams. A woman mechanic is what I would love to see her be. At least I hope that’s the goal, still. However she plans to run her life, I’m backing her up all the way. She writes blogs too! Check out her latest here.
Just as she, I too have school as one of my top priorities. My education means to me as much as my life. I never want to stop learning. I never want to stop educating myself for personal growth but also because I value its own value over my life and successes. But again, lessons are from successes only. Whether you lose or win, you’ve learned.
My next fearless friend is Arielle. Arielle is way beyond her years. Her confidence is incomparable. She may seem shy and reserved, but she packs a powerful punch and refuses to take bs. I respect her for not allowing others to make her feel like the underdog. She’s not afraid to take hold of the mic and speak up for us, foster youth and alumni. Arielle is a role model for our generation of what a leader serving in more than just her own community, looks like. Listening to her speak about and on the cause sparks love in my heart. She’s truly selfless.
My girl Natalie is a strong willed, determined, soulful woman. She’s been through many trials her entire life. Yes, just as we all, but Natalie, I don’t know. I feel for her. She went through things in her personal life as well as continuous cycles trying to be broken in her entire life. Her spirit is so warming and cleansing. I feel almost at peace of mind when I unload my day on her. She never puts herself before others and sometimes forgets that it’s okay to take care of Natalie while being Super Woman for her family as well. She’s an art therapist and I didn’t know how important her role was in the community until we had a chill night at my house and literally colored. It was so nice and peaceful to concentrate on something else than what the world was buzzing about. We were one within ourselves in that moment and we were all happy amongst each other.
Lastly on my most impactful list of ladies, I have Neoshua. She is a firecracker that serves you right each and every time. She came to me as I a freshman at the university and her coming up on Senior year and she was adamant about helping me with my future and utilizing all resources of a foster youth to assist me in obtaining my degree. She too was selfless. She is a powerful presence and a beautiful one as well. She is calming and helps you make sense of whatever mumbo jumbo you’ve been trying to sort through yourself. She’s a social worker and a great one at that. She shows her love and care in ways that aren’t traditional which makes you respect her more because she is all around unique. Neoshua makes you think on what you’ve said, and you better make sure you know why you’ve said what you have because she’ll check its purpose. Not to tear you down but to make sure you’re always consciously aware of your actions. How could you not respect someone down for total accountability? We need more of this around again. People have fallen off.
These are all impressions of my friends as I got to know them, but on the outside, they show who they are through their personality and facial/ bodily expressions. Be careful about how you want to be presented to the world and how you want to represent your BRAND; You. How to Talk to Anyone author, Leil Lowndes said “First impressions are indelible. Why? Because in our fast paced, information-overload world of multiple stimuli bombarding us every second, people’s heads are spinning. They must form quick judgments to make sense of the world and get on with what they have to do. So, whenever people meet you, they take an instant mental snapshot. That image of you becomes the data they deal with for a very long time. So, makes yours count.
The story you want to tell the world about who you are shouldn’t be dependent on what others have to say about you and the same for yourself. You should not have to speak a word to show who you are. You’re work in the community should be able to do that for you. If not, STEP UP.
“Hustle Until You No Longer Need to Introduce Yourself.”
"Don’t Stop Until You’re Proud.” --Motivation App
“I Want Peace in Knowing That It Wasn’t for Lack of Hustling That I Missed A Target for My Dream. I Want to Know That the One Thing in My Control Was Under Control.” -- Jon Acuff
Motivation isn’t true motivation unless it comes directly from yourself, within. Just as they say you can’t lose your Joy because it wasn’t something that could be given or taken away, like happiness, your motivating factor is already there within. You and I just have an issue with doubting ourselves. Why is it that we can take that same doubt that keeps us down and out and flip it as a “pusher” to do better just because it was SOMEONE else who doubted us.
It should never take for someone to down talk you for you to believe in yourself. I look at myself and I weigh my accomplishments based off two things. One, if I believed in myself and wanted to do that “thing” or two, if I only did it because I was told that I couldn’t. I won't lie, some of them were based off my own fears of succeeding that when I communicated them to someone else and when they didn’t believe in me, I suddenly believed more in my own success.
I don’t understand why, but for some reason we have an issue with doubting our capabilities. There are no limits to accomplishing whatever it is that you desire. They never thought a physically disabled person could play basketball; well they have their own league. They never thought that women could have supreme positions in the Justice System, but just this year, 12 Black Women all ran to be Justices in Texas. They never thought that Foster Youth could do or be productive in their lives; WELL WE ARE!
There are no boundaries out there to stop us. I never said they’d make it easier or be fair about it, but there will never be something that keeps you away from reaching your own goals besides that person breathing air into their lungs reading this post. It may seem too far out of reach, if so, just stretch your arms and reach further.
You’re hanging on a ledge and the only thing between you and death is this part of the ledge that is within arm's length to pull you up and over. There’s no one around to help you either. You’ve stretched and stretched those arms until they ached. Finally, with no more courage left in you, you presumed, with the last bit of strength you can muster up and reach onto that other landing and safe you are once again. Against all odds that you felt or calculated while dangling. You trusted in yourself and never doubted your strength. Was it because it was life or death, maybe? I want to believe it was because you stopped having a pity party and fought for your life.
One thing you forgot to consider was how determined you were to not to let go of the other hand holding on. You didn’t know you possessed so much strength. Look at your goals as obstacles that are achievable to pass over if you are determined enough.
“I Want Peace in Knowing That It Wasn’t for Lack of Hustling That I Missed A Target for My Dream. I Want to Know That the One Thing in My Control Was Under Control.” -- Jon Acuff
“If you can’t change the circumstances, change your attitude. Funny thing is, when you do, you’ll find that the circumstances often change.”
Joe Rogan said, “The time you spend hating on someone robs you of your own time. You are literally hating on yourself and you don’t even realize it.”
“Each of us creates his or her own life largely by our attitude,” said by Earl Nightingale
I know we all get tired of being told to fix our attitudes. I didn’t understand the true meaning behind that phrase until now. I’ve told you before, that these blogs aren’t just to help you or for you, they are for myself as well. I’m learning as I read each quote and as I type the words, it’s manifesting into my spirit. Much like when your teacher or professor may say, “you will retain the information better through writing what you heard.”
Time and time again, we waste our time and energy in areas and places that don’t benefit us. Stop consciously draining yourself. You don’t realize that throughout the day you encounter so many different energies. Maybe you said hello to a passerby, and they ignored you, so in following, you don’t speak to the person waving and hinting a shy smile, in the end, trading off that negativity.
Stop picking up and carrying away all of everyone else’s baggage. You have enough of your own to deal with. Having a good day shouldn’t be a rarity, nor should you feel like you must fight for it. It is simply put like this; Mind Your Own. So what if you said “Hi” to someone who clearly doesn’t remember their manners, so shrug off that disrespect or whatever you’d like to label it. Why? Because it didn’t hurt you, kill you, nor stop you in your tracks. Accept it but don’t hold onto it. Toss that negativity mojo back into the trash from which it came. You have a day to conquer!
You’ve had enough people holding you back and you’ve had enough down time/ pity time keeping you from your destined truth. It’s time to reclaim your time back; your happiness back; your resilience. Stop looking at your failures as failures. Stop looking at negatives as if that’s all they’ll ever be. One thing for certain; let go of expecting people to be a certain way just because you are. Stop wanting to be understood and instead love who you are. We all have issues. Whatever one you decide to use; one of us can and will relate in one or many other ways. No matter how much progress you’ve made, we all snap back sometimes. Don’t worry. Growth is a journey that you have to be willing to walk along.
When will we get tired of selling our own selves short? What happens in the moment doesn’t have to last in that moment. We have control over our words and choices. We never lost control, even when we feel like we’ve lost it all. There is always another move you could still make. It might not be to your liking, but it’ll be a better choice than the one you've made or are currently making.
“Don’t ask God to guide your steps when you’re not willing to move your feet. You have to take the steps necessary to get your blessings. At some point, God’s word has to go from being highlighted in your Bible to being written on your heart. Months from now you’ll be in a completely different space. Keep praying, reading His word and working on yourself. Blessings are coming. When you get what you want, that’s God’s direction. When you don’t get what you want, that’s God’s protection. A partner who leads you to God and not to sin is always worth the wait. Be patient! The person you’ve been praying for is going to come!” --- SPRINKLE OF JESUS App
I’m ready to have peace in my life. I am too old now to hold myself back. My very good friend Malik asked, “What are three things that you value?”, to that question, he got a mixture of responses. Many people said, “Peace, Love, Loyalty, Honesty, Family, Money, God, Time, Food, School, Power, and Respect.” It’s funny how we all value the same things in a way. Most of these things lead or feed into the next. What we don’t understand is that what is supposed to happen always will happen. You know how much you may try and fight for something, for instance, a job opportunity or maybe even a relationship. You have a lot if wasted energy here trying to force it to go the way you want, not realizing that the reason it probably isn’t working is because it simply wasn’t meant for you.
At times, I find it difficult to talk to God. Not so much as talking to him, but my issue is in hearing Him. I can be stubborn at times and in doing so, I miss out of things. Could have been trying to prevent me from wasting my time or telling me to invest my time in one area versus another. I may want to lean in one direction, putting all my eggs here and not knowing that by the time I was ready to stand and carry my basket full away, that the handles would break, and I’d lose everything. The sign that I possibly had been missing was that when I placed them in, one would roll out. “How is this so?”, I’d ask. To my surprise, the reply I’d get was that maybe I didn’t stack them neatly enough. So, I’d take my time again and invest it into this basket.
This time I will be sure to be more careful and slower. Now that I have all my eggs neat and, in a row, take to take off again. Or so I thought. To my dismay again, the basket would break. Now after trying and failing many more times. I do something I hadn’t thought of all along. Let me think outside of myself and see another possible route out. This could be the advice/mentorship of someone else that you don’t want to listen to for whatever reason. Let’s just see what would happen if I gave their idea a try. Shockingly, or not so, depending on your willingness to accept help, this new plan works.
Everything isn’t meant to go just the way we would like. Sometimes there’s a lesson to be learned or what was once accepted is now outdated or He sees no longer fit for you and your growing situation. Allow yourself multiple escape routes. Allow yourself another way of thinking, accepting a new way of life. Stop skipping, jumping, hopping, twirling around your blessings. Just because it’s new and unheard of doesn’t mean it wasn’t meant for you. You never know, they could be holding that very breakthrough you've been working so hard for, searching so long for, yearning deeply to see.
What you’ve been asking for, has always been there. Wipe off that fog on your glasses, smear the steam off that mirror, dust off those bootstraps and pant legs, put back on that brave face and conquer as you were destined to. Live purposefully, give abundantly, love unconditionally, hug joyfully, and celebrate gratefully.
“I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” -- Michael Jordan
Wow. Mouth wide open. I know! You’d never think that the greatest basketball player, arguably, failed! Reality check; we all fall short sometimes. We are not perfect supreme beings. I don’t know why people associate success never with losing. Putting out a false ideology that there are people out there that are just doing it all, by any means and doing it right the first time. THIS IS COMPLETELY FALSE. Not saying it’s not possible to succeed at first bat, but I am however saying that it will always take work. Hard work. What’s easy to you might be nothing short of a steep incline on a rocky unsafe mountain top to someone else.
What I am really saying is that we must stop living our lives based on timelines set by others. We must stop looking at ourselves and judging our successes and failures on those of the next because no two journeys are alike. No two motivators are alike. No two minds are alike. We are unique from one person to the next. Twins are no exception. We are our own people and wonder why trying to duplicate the exact sameness of someone else is so hard to do.
I know how it feels to work so hard to accomplish something to only fall short. It’s happened to me oh so many times. It sometimes feels like I am living a life of failure. As I was writing, a quote came through on my phone. It reads......
“Do not plant your dreams in the field of indecision, where nothing ever grows but the weeds of ‘what if’”.
I refuse to stop working. I refuse to quit. So, what if this route didn’t work, I’ll take another. I’ve promised myself that I’LL NEVER quit on myself again. I’ll never beat myself up for something that’s normal for someone trying something they’ve never done before. Something else I’m learning that is also hard to accept is that it is okay to ask for help and nothing comes from nothing. Make these moves happen or shut up and sit down full of defeat. Not an option I say, well then, I guess there’s work to be done.
LET’S GET IT.
Change. I get so tired of change. But at the same time, I find myself yearning for it. I’m okay with a rude, disrespectful loudmouth that has finally decided to change and tone it down some and treat others with the respect they expect to receive. I’m not okay with living somewhere for a substantial amount of time just to have to move and change addresses. Which now means that everything that I have ever signed up for, I must now, change as well.
I hate when friends change too. We call it switching up now, but I want to dive a little into that. Have you ever been cool with someone for many years or just a short time period, but you guys were close? I have, with plenty of people. Unfortunately, to my disbelief, friendships end on their own timing. That timing though, sometimes isn't chosen directly by either of us. We do outgrow people just like things.
I know it hurts and you find yourself questioning your moves over time, but in the end, most times, you had nothing to do with the way those people are “acting”. I say acting because that’s exactly what I see it as. They pretend to be there, and maybe at one point, they were there. But nowhere to be found when you really needed them, now.
There’s always a way to look at things. In a negative way/ negative perspective/ pessimistic attitude or in a positive way/ positive perspective/ optimistic attitude. If you’re anything like me, you’re a glass half empty kind of person. That’s no way to continue to live life, I’ve learned. Changing my perspective on things helped me see that although I EMOTIONALLY feel like it’s a bad thing or they're a bad person or that it’s something I did......I really didn’t FEEL anything. I didn’t care. I was self-consciously and emotionally holding on to something that been died and was trying to free itself of me. I just wasn’t ready.
I was being selfish. Selfish with myself and my energy and my peace. We must learn to be more selfless with ourselves. Caring for ourselves must come first. Let those who want to leave out of your life, do so. Holding on will prolong the pain and a friendship/relationship that could have potentially ended a different way. What’s true of love is true of anything. “If it was meant to be, it will come back.” I (you) come first. Always. Without you, you cannot help or do anything to or for anyone else. You cannot satisfy someone’s thirst from a cup that is empty so how could you expect the same from someone who’s energy is low?
“Someone that holds you accountable loves you more than someone that watches you settle for mediocracy. Remember who makes you be better. You have a limited amount of time in this world. Don’t spend it being a watered-down version of yourself just so people can like you. Be firm with your choices. Don’t go back to habits and situations that weren’t helping you evolve. Be consistent with your change now.” -- Sprinkle of Jesus
Ownership refers to the ultimate and exclusive rights and control over property that have been conferred by a lawful claim or title, according to my google search. Exclusive rights and control. Take a second and think about that and what those words mean. We all crave some type of control or power over or for something. No matter how big or small the thing may be, we lose a part of ourselves when we can’t or don’t deserve a say so. There’s one place and being that you will always have complete ultimate and exclusive rights to only one owner. Its sole proprietor, and that’s you, yourself.
Being confident in who you are is the most control you can have. The moment you allow other judgements, or their beliefs carry over onto you and enter your thoughts, you're no longer in control. You have just invited in someone else's dreams, aspirations, demons and insecurities into your mind and now thinking you're less than or must compete. YOU DO NOT! I know it’s hard to believe or want to accept, but honestly, we’re all in the same position together. We weren't created to be just like the next person. Even with twins, they're different! We’re all equally made. What I don’t have, someone else may, but I too may have what they don’t. So, does that make them any less or better than me? NO. We’re one in the same.
Surround yourself with others that see the beauty in everything and I'm not saying that flaws don’t exist, but those that focus on the flaws will never see the sunshine because they're too busy watching the clouds. With this though, there will be people that are there trying to help us. I, like some of you have a hard time listening to criticism because it's sometimes hard to decipher whether its constructive or meant to be destructive. But here’s how you know the difference. It won't be with or from someone who just says they love you; it’ll be from someone you know loves you. You can feel it without questioning their motives.
The moral is, just be who you were meant to be. It won’t be hard. It'll come with ease because it’s natural. It’s time to start living for you. Time to start owning up to our mistakes and stop running from them. Those aren't going to break you, those lessons are meant to make you. Make you stronger. Build you thicker and more tough to withstand the next downfall. Those battels are what shaped us through our lessons, through the newly made experiences. You can either choose to take from them and learn or choose to take them as defeats. At the end of the day it’s up to you. You are always the main one in control over what happens or doesn't happen next. Change only comes from action. Verbs not nouns.
Be about it. Own it.,
“You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem and smarter than you think.”” They told me I couldn’t. That’s why I did it.”” Every day you wake up, you have one job; to be better than yesterday.”
Yesterday is the past, today is the present, and tomorrow is the future. Each day we ever only experience once. You’ll never get this day back again, so why waste it? Stop spending time fighting and arguing and holding grudges, making yourself mad over something that’s petty. Yes, petty. If it doesn’t outweigh safety or a life, then it’s a petty vengeance that you're carrying. Was it worth it? Did you feel better about yourself afterwards? If you hesitated or the answer is no, change. It’s never that deep to waste your joy or happiness in a day on one incident and that’s it.
It’s the same when someone doesn’t have faith in you to do whatever it is that you set your mind to. You use that as motivation to push forward, right? Why can’t you just use that same logic when it comes to negative doings and sayings. For example:
PERSON: “What do you have on? You look atrocious”
ME: “Why thank you for noticing my outfit. I know it’s quite different or what you’re not used to but that was the point. I don’t want to be like the majority. I was aiming to stand out”
PERSON: “You can’t do that; you aren’t smart or strong enough. Haha.”
ME: “Watch and see. *I Conquered*”
It’s so easy to take what is said and internalize it but using it as a motivating force is unpredictable and unmatched because it’s a power unlike no other to be able to manifest negativity into positivity. Really, it’s just about having another outlook or possible perspectives. You can do al and anything that you want to do. It’ll just either come easy or you’ll have to work very hard to reach that accomplishment. But hey, at least you did it!
The way we perceive ourselves is most times well below par of what we truly are. Stop minimizing your success what you have done, the next person probably couldn’t even get that opportunity. Take it and use it to the best of its valued ability. You are bigger and better than you may think. You get do overs daily, use them wisely. Can’t keep doing the same things expecting a different result.
“Obstacles can’t stop you. Problems can’t stop you. People can’t stop you. Only you can stop you.”
You are the only person in your way. Someone once told me: evaluate me now, but come back and see my growth. Listening to the negativity will only provoke your subconscious to think that you aren’t valuable enough and to help lead you away from what you were determined to do. Listening to the negativity and flipping it to aim towards what is positive and acknowledging it can be better. Taking ownership. We all know that the brain is very intelligent, but why do we treat it so wrongly. Stop underestimating the one thing that is keeping this humanly world running. With a flip of a switch, this can be a coocoo nest or a world full of entrepreneurs and owners and motivating mentors. We need to start remembering that we are the main character of our lives. Everything we experience, take in, give; it’s because it’s your choice. You are not a side character/ backseat rider, said best by my good friend Natalie.
Much like hers, I heard this quote, “Don’t draw your sword to kill a fly.” What I took away from it was, basically another quote you’ve heard before,” Pick and choose which battles are worth fighting.” The first quote hit me harder because it forced me to analyze my actions to understand what that quote was really trying to say. My conclusion after a short time of thought was that I too often chose to fight when nothing was needed to be done; I had just elevated the situation for my own personal gain and sometimes it backfired on me.
How many times did you hear or say yourself, how difficult it is to explain what is going on inside your head when you don’t even understand it yourself? That’s the problem. We need to unplug our heads and stop thinking so much and so deep and so hard on the little things and always seem to whip past the things that deserved some strategic planning instead. Some of us are just too afraid to step up our lives, our visions. Don’t stop and succumb to your fear and doubt. “Fear doesn’t prevent death. It prevents life.” Most of the pain you’re dealing with are just thoughts. Ever consider that?
I’ll end with a quote from Ghandi, “Never reply when you’re angry. Never make a promise when you are happy. Never make a decision when you are sad.”
The craziest thig that I’ve ever heard, is that we should be more like squirrels. Lynn Stergar, an entrepreneur, said because of their ability to live life and always to the fullest with all types of motivation and sacrifice. Squirrels are purposeful animals. They literally use the world to their advantage. They will find any means to satisfy their needs. Meaning in the same breath, they are goal orientated. Busy go-getters and in business for themselves while still helping others.
Anthony Robbins said, “No matter how many mistakes you make or how slow your progress, you are still ahead of everyone who isn’t trying. “We don’t need to be smarter or more creative than our competition, only more focused. Focus is powerful because not everyone possesses that. We allow too many outside forces in to deter us from our goals. Plenty of successful people have lived up to the hype for many years, but it was not always that way.
For instance, Einstein was expelled from school and didn’t speak until around his 5th birthday and therefore was labeled “mentally slow”. The most intelligent man, slow? I think not. The franchisee of KFC, David Sanders’ recipe was rejected over 1,000 times by many restaurants. Now look at the many restaurants on street corners. Macy’s is and has always been a booming business. Prior to Macy’s though, Rowland Hussey had 7 straight businesses fail.
You get in life what you create, and you create what you expect. If you don’t want something, you simply just don’t have to go out there and get it, but the things you do, you must work for. Even that that comes “easy”, it still won't be easy to maintain. You shouldn’t want something handed to you anyway because it hasn’t been perfected. What was said “good” for someone else should never be good enough for you. If something is good enough, it can be better. What makes it better is the twist of life that YOU throw on it.
You were created to do great things. There will always be obstacles in this life and many times you will have to start over, but at least you started. Be more like the squirrels running free with dreams and working aimlessly dodging anything keeping them from their goal. They too never forget to have fun. Running a life of straight business will run you early straight to your grave.
Be patient, work hard, have fun.
Did you know that couples that cuddle can become addicted to one another and even go through withdrawal when they’re apart; as a result of oxytocin. In both males and females, oxytocin is released, but in different ways such as, “social bonding, sexual reproduction, childbirth, and the period after childbirth.” In the same likeness, we must learn the difference between connections and attachments. One gives you power and the other sucks the life out of you. Pain changes you and a wo/man become a reflection of how you treat h/er and remember that no matter how good a man or woman you are, you’ll never be good enough for someone who isn’t ready.
We neglect each other too much. Men should never be afraid to express themselves or feel appreciated, just as the woman. We both have a ton on our minds living in this society. We both are experiencing the same hardships and put that energy on each other as if the world didn’t drown us already. A friend of mine, said, not targeted at just one group but for all, but most importantly for our culture. He said, “Black Men! It’s okay to seek counseling. It’s okay to be vulnerable. It’s okay to be different. It’s not okay to redistribute pain. It’s not okay to pass down trauma as culture. It’s not okay to mislead those around you." Those words are so beautiful because they came from another man encouraging men.
Often, we all feel alone. That is so far from the case! Look at how many people are in the world, BILLIONS! How many are wealthy versus those that are white collar versus blue collar versus middle class versus poverty stricken. We all experience the same things in life and in our relationships. Just at different frequencies. We must stop putting ourselves against each other instead of the us against the problem. Nothing is that big if the love is that deep to break that bond and trust between two loved ones.
There are so many different quotes and sayings that follow the theme for this blog and I feel that it is appropriate to share them so that we can think on them and implement them the moment they cross through your eyes to your brain and lastly your conscious and subconscious minds so that some of these relationships will finally end or gain the strength they’ve been fighting so hard to keep the love together. Check yourself. Sometimes you’re the toxic person; mean and negative. Sometimes the problem IS you. That doesn't make you less worthy. Keep growing and checking yourself first. Everyone wants something real with someone real until they meet someone who has real standards challenges them to be consistent, considerate, and real committed.
« Stop getting excited over the bare minimum.
« Know the difference between those who stay to feed the soil and those who only come to grab the fruit.
« Value anyone who supports you with nothing to gain.
« Someone can love you desperately with their feelings and still not know how to love you correctly with their actions.
« Don’t let bad memories from someone old stop you from making good memories with someone new.
“Oh it chases me down, fights till I’m found, leaves the 99. I couldn’t earn it, I don’t deserve it, still you give yourself away. Oh, the overwhelming, never ending reckless love of God.“ – Reckless Love of God by Native Kingdom
Those words resonate so deep within my soul. I feel a sense of comfort and peace when I sing unto His name. I feel free and like a weight has lifted off my shoulders. You don’t have to be religious or spiritual to know you felt as if things shouldn’t be where they are, based off the decisions you may or may have not made. Time and time again, we tell ourselves what we should’ve, could've, would’ve done in a situation instead of doing it then in the moment. We do this in all areas of our lives and it always makes me think, “Why didn’t I just go with my first mind to begin with?” Why is it that we think that we aren’t allowed to make mistakes and fall short sometimes? Don’t we know that through failures is how we learn and progress?
These are legit questions that we must ask ourselves. Who said we were or had to be perfect? Where is this set “positioning” coming from? I dislike how we allow evaluations of ourselves from those who are either in the same area we are or no better, sometimes even worse off. You cannot tell me what I need to do if you aren’t where I am or want to be. We give too much power and control to those who have no control over us, our lives, or our decisions.
Have you ever felt like there was no wrong you could do, and you’d still be seen as a perfect little angel? This may be true for young ones or maybe even yourself when you were a child. One thing for certain, I know that in the eyes of God Almighty, you will never fall short. You could never do too much wrong to where He wouldn’t love you or cease to cover you. The love of God is truly never-ending, and it indeed is reckless. Reckless because he loves us even when we sin or use his name in vain. We’ve done so much wrong that we can’t even look ourselves in the mirror from shame and guilt.
I know I don’t deserve unforgiving love in my past because I was a selfish woman. I was selfish with my time and my love, unlike God. I was judgmental of the person and not solely of the sin as if I was perfect myself, unlike God. We need to learn how to be more SELFLESS. Thinking and doing for others before one's self. Can you just imagine how much more peaceful things would be if we thought of the next person before ourselves? I read on the back of someone’s shirt one day that read, “Are you ok? I’m calling 911. Let me help. Is there anyone I can call? I’m calling for help. I don’t like what you just said. Am I the only one who is uncomfortable with that? That’s illegal- you could get into serious trouble. Is everything ok over here? Can we walk you home? I’m saying something because I care about you. That’s not funny. Bystander intervention starts with you.”
All of these statements and questions are things that cross our minds daily, but why do we choose to ignore them? I know when I see something in public that I disagree with personally, often, I will interject. I do so because my intervention may have been the last chance for someone. I know that we don’t want to be perceived as nosy, but one of those cases, may have been the difference between life and death. Literally, I saved a life but not allowing them to say.
They were fine. I push and prod because I know what it feels like to want to scream but there’s no sound coming out. I know what despair and depression looks like and I can identify with them on that level alone. Anything helps because the little extra step you took, no one else bothered to. What separates you from the masses are the choices you decide to make and even worse, the ones you do not. Just like God, I try to have a reckless heart and a love for all people greater than myself. I want to be more like him. Loving, Forgiving, Truthful, Honoring, and Selfless.
“You may think you’ve got a long way to go, but sometimes you need to look back at how far you’ve already come. Before you give up, think of the reason you held on for so long.”
It is normal to feel like you haven't accomplished anything when you’re short of a goal but fell only so short. All the timeless efforts and countless hours you dedicated to these things feels wasted. Look at what you've gained or learned along the way. Those steps you’ve taken to reach your goal are just as important in the process as succeeding. Your goal was to reach the second floor, but you can’t do that until you climb the stairs or ride that elevator up.
The in-between is the most important part. You can’t say the alphabet is A-Z because our English alphabet requires more letters in between to be understood. Could you imagine only using one letter? Could you imagine having a computer but no motherboard?, A candle with no wick? A relationship with no boundari
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