Back Down Memory Lane

lookingback

I saw a couple of #ThrowbackThursday photos floating around this past week and decided to dig out my own old photo album books that I finally (finally) got out of storage. Looking at those old photos took me on a trip back down memory lane…*cues the song

As I checked out the photos I expected a flood of emotions to hit me, I should’ve been sad at precious friendships lost and gone astray, or perhaps I should’ve burst into laughter or maybe I should’ve reminisced on the “good ole days” like my family tends to do around the holidays. I didn’t really feel a flood come through…instead I wondered why it took me so long to realize that the girl in those pictures was only a sliver of the essence I’d eventually accept as being the true me. You see, I was always running, trying to get to the next moment, trying to taste the fruit of “success” planted in my mind from God knows where, running so hard from myself that reflecting back while looking at those old photos I briefly wondered if I was ever fully present in the reality of my experiences.

Then, after laughing at a photo where I was wearing a long chain with a dragon pendant around my neck which symbolized the days when I was a huge Dru Hill fan…I decided it didn’t matter. Whether I was fully present to life then or not, I still managed to bring some great memories along for the ride. Those memories were just enough to trigger a desire for change, because if I thought they were too faded then I could create the kind that felt more colorful. Now, I’m taking in the ups and the downs of the journey, walking towards my destination, stopping on the road to laugh and have exchanges with other travelers and this time keeping records and drawing maps perhaps I’ll learn more interesting lessons, maybe even teach a few things to others so they don’t hit the same dead ends I did! Life is far too short to have regrets, especially about matters you can’t go back and fix if indeed it ever needed a fixing. And life is also far too precious to continue doing the same ole same ole that will cause you to feel regret.

Now, when I take pictures, or journal, or create vision boards and then later decide to go back down memory lane, I think I’ll smile. I’ll be reminded of hope and determination, of having fun and being authentic, of loving life and being in the moment; I’ll know that somewhere along my journey purpose whispered in my ears.  It called me to live with it, to walk in it, to speak with it, to discover where it would lead, and even to encourage others to believe they have one too and that theirs is just as important as mines… and looking back, I’ll smile because I’d know that I decided to listen.

Do you ever pull out old photos and take that trip down memory lane? What kind of emotions do you experience when reflecting on the past?

Until next time…

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Flickr Credit

A You Worth Fighting For

Here’s a heads-up, this is one of those “personal” personal development post. One I wrote to pump myself up but figured maybe you could vibe with me on this one since I’m fully aware that we all feel “some type of way” every now and again…

I was up late for the past couple of days after an extremely exhausting week. This pissed me off because all I really wanted to do was sleep instead of toss and turn over unresolved issues plaguing my thoughts, heart, and spirit. I needed to deal with some truths about myself that I buried under busy work. And 2:00 in the AM was not the best time for me to deal with them in my opinion. Then again, what is the best time to deal with you?  

Ever had those kind of nights?  

So as I wrestled through my lack of slumber, many questions wrecked my brain. I pondered my next steps, cringed at the fact that it was now November and I still struggled with the same darn issues I swore I would handle at the start of the year, and briefly wondered if I just went along with things that didn’t feel ‘right’ to me would life be easier to bear. If I just accepted dilemmas that made me feel “less than” or conflicted with my values or even settled into the pool of fitting in (whatever the heck that really meant) so as to not deal with the consequences of having an opinion and my own reasoning which strayed away from the status quo, could I live with that? I concluded I couldn’t, and in the past I’ve committed more harm than good to gain freedom from self-induced oppression. I refuse to go that route again and hurt others by feigning a carbon copy of myself because I don’t have the courage to be the real me.

I discovered that despite myself (because what human is perfect) I am worth fighting for.

And I don’t have to entertain anyone who views me any different. In all honesty I temporarily forget that when I don’t have things in place that I feel validate my existence. But I supposed that is where I cling to faith and spirituality when nothing here on earth can calm the storms inside my heart.  I am also blessed to have people in my life who slap me with an honest “girl get it together you’re beautiful just the way you are” followed by a “even though you can be very selfish” and a “oh yes, and greedy too she eats all your food” as they nod in agreement and hide their plates away…Oh friends  

But what make it easier to accept their honesty is the fact that I already believe it to be true. I already believe in myself enough to fight for myself whether that be for reciprocity in love, healthy boundaries in relationships, or respect for my time and work.

If you can’t see yourself as worthy of love and respect no one else will and that is the good to honest truth.

So, in the words of Mary J Take me as I am or have nothing at all

Until Next time…

 

Flickr Credit: anna gutermuth

Don’t Be Afraid To Ask For Help

Flickr Credit: georgia.kral

If I had to take any one thing from this past week it would be that everyone needs someone to lean on. Ok, I did get that line from the movie Lean On Me, but the basic principles hold true. It’s ok to ask for help. We all fall short at times, and that’s ok no one is perfect no not one.

I do admit that I have a hard time asking for help.It’s not because I think I’m all of that and a pack of donuts, (far from it). As a matter of fact I know many successful business men and women are great because they have a great circle of trust around them and a great team of people who are probably more talented than they would ever hope to be. I guess I struggle partly, because of pride, and partly because I’m afraid of rejection. But when I’ve reached my human capacity for squeezing knowledge into my brain it’s time to remember my personal mantras by having the courage to be me, not trying to play superwoman, and asking for help. I sometimes have to tell myself to stop waiting until I’m driven into a corner to swallow my pride, while other times I just need to stop being a punk and woman up when I need an attentive ear or even a shoulder to cry on.

Just recently, I reached out to several women entrepreneurs that I truly admire, and felt I could trust to be patient with me. Mind you, because I know that women are some of the most taken advantage of entrepreneurs due to our giving nature. I do my best not to approach others trying to take advantage of their kindness, as I respect the trades of these women (we all have bills to pay). I’m grateful for their advice and taking time to offer me help. Because someone has helped me, I am more humbled and in a better position to show the same love they have shown me.

So, to those ladies and countless others, I thank you for your help.