25 Lessons for 25 Years

Finally had the time to sit down and capture the most important lessons in my life thus far! Hope you enjoy!

Lesson 1: Be authentic– I stopped trying “fake it until I made it.” Yes, this works for some but I didn’t feel authentic or genuine. I felt like I was trying to be someone else or someone I wasn’t. There isn’t much glamour in my life but I’m happy, loved, and blessed. I’m overly emotional all the time, Im sensitive, I goofy, and I love hard, but that is who I am, I can’t change that and I don’t want to, it’s what makes me “Lee”.

Lesson 2: Make it fun – Everything has been “limited” this year lol friends, time, and coins. I have been spending time trying to build up my brand and lower my debt. Whenever I get time I make sure it’s fun. Whether it’s a improtu pizza date, a FaceTime chat, or an actual night out I make it fun, it gives me a chance to breathe, a chance

Lesson 3: Choose happiness– If it doesn’t make you happy, don’t do it, whether it is a situation, person, or job.

Lesson 4: Make it last – Cherish what ever you hold dear and keep it close.

Lesson 5: Forgive– You don’t have to forget but forgive. Never spend too much time holding grudges. It’s never your battle to fight.

Lesson 6:  Make yourself the only competition- Just because you do it slower or faster than someone else doesn’t mean anything. It’s your life go at your pace.

Lesson 7: Make it impossible for them to steal your joy. – Never let them catch you slipping.

Lesson 8: Keep them guessing – Keep it ambiguous everyone doesn’t need to know how you do it when you do it or the manner in which you do it.

Lesson 9: Make memories– But most importantly capture the moment

Lesson 10: Smile– Smile often, you would be amazed at how much it changes your day.

Lesson 11: Obstacles are just opportunities that haven’t presented themselves – Look for the silver lining always

Lesson 12: Plan it– A goal without a plan is just a dream.

Lesson 13: Do it– You planned it now do it!

Lesson 14: Fear is just a word-  Fear is just a word- It has no holding, conquer it!

Lesson 15: Love – Love hard and without regrets.

Lesson 16: Be Kind always– You never know what hell someone else is going through.

Lesson 17: Perception is reality- How you perceive something is how it will elevate you to another height or keep you grounded.

Lesson 18: Protect your heart– Guard it above all else because you only get one. Be careful who you let hold on to it.

Lesson 19: Listen twice as much as you talk– We have two ears for a reason

Lesson 20: Build your brand- My favorite quote is,  “Your smile is your logo, your personality is your business card, how you leave others feeling after having an experience with you becomes your trademark.” – Jay Danzie  It’s important to know how others perceive you.

Lesson 21: Keep GOD close- Mediate and pray daily even for at least 5 minutes.

Lesson 22: Change– The only thing constant is change, learn to adapt and accept change in all

Avenues.

Lesson 23: Grow- once you accept change you can grow. Yes it is painful at times but necessary.

Lesson 24: Be proactive- Close mouths don’t get fed. If you want it go get it!

Lesson 25: BE YOU!- I be learned not to bend to a stereotype or what society thinks I am. I the only Carletha and I m going to set out to be the BEST version of me I can.

25 don’t owe me anything. This past year has been a whirlwind of emotions and I would not change anything for the world. 26 whatchu got for the kid?! 

Titles

Anything  that you are passionate about, see a future in, or hell even take interest in you stake a claim you place a title on, a definitive person, place, or thing that has and association with who you are as a person.  You have been apart of this other person life daily routine and assuming sexual activities for a while but what your saying is that this person has no definitive stake of claim in your life.  This person your just existing with. Now i don’t know about anyone else but I m not just going to exist with someone that’s a waste of time energy and emotions. Yet we still do it. We still exist with no title no claim, like lost baggage at an airport.

My 2nd question is how you are you ever going to get to the next phase in the life of the relationship?  Do you go from existing with each other to married? Where is the bridging and merging of one? I never understood this.

My 3rd question is how do want the other party to be loyal and only “ride for you” if there is no commitment of title? Does a NBA play for a team without a signed contract outlining his duties and what is expected of him? No so why would any party but there all into one person with out any guarantee that there will be some type of definitive role?

I ask these questions because I probe you to ask them yourself. Not having a title seems harder than actually having one. Setting clear expectations, and outlines of duties are always a roadmap for success so why aren’t you doing that for your love life?

Trust

Trust: Noun, firm reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something

Describing the noun trust is always hard. You state the definition but it carries more weight than the actual words that define it. I guess what I am trying to say is that trust has no real definition, it has a defining moment, that moment when you either do or you don’t there is no between. Trust is a delicate thing. I envision it as a small piece of fine china, its hand-crafted from the finest materials.  You have no idea why this small delicate object cost so much money but you know it’s worth it.  If nurtured properly you are able to pass it down for generations. If it falls into the wrong hands it ends up damaged, chipped, or broken beyond repair.   You try to mend it fix it but you know in the end it will never be the same valuable piece it was when you first purchased it.  Once broken or betrayed it carries the weight of the world. Someone can work for years to gain the trust of someone and in seconds it is destroyed, unfixable beyond repair.  You can say “Let’s wipe the slate clean or let’s start over” but in reality you’re not. You are merely trying to fix what was broken instead of starting completely over and saving for a new piece of china (trust). It might be dinged a little or scratch but you know it will never be the same again.  My experience and journey is far different from yours but what I have learned throughout this journey is that once someone has betrayed your trust beyond repair it is time to call it quits. Easier said than done I know, but having the self-awareness to know that it will never be what it once was will save the heart ache and head ache in the long run. You’re going to continue to do a comparable study before the trust was betrayed and after. Let’s just be completely honest and candid with each other everything that person says you’re going to take with a grain of salt anyway because you will always have this thought in the back of your mind nagging you constantly. Throwing away something that is broken is necessary and needed at times.

 

Throwing or breaking something that is perfectly fine is a different story entirely.     

Trust issues plain and simple. You’re talking to someone who has done nothing wrong. Nothing to lead you to believe that any trust that you all have established has been betrayed or broken. HOWEVER you treat it like it is. Your hesitant, skeptical, unsure, scared that THIS situation will end up just like THAT one. Letting your past experiences change your perception or cloud your judgment. So you search for something wrong you start to dig and try to find something. Ask yourself WHY? It’s certainly not because of them. From what they say and what they show everything seems to be matching up so WHY are you digging? You’re digging because of the past. You’ve been so hurt and so betrayed that you willing to ruin or break something that doesn’t need fixing or is brand new.  You’re trying to find reasons why this won’t work out trying to catch them in a lie instead of giving them an honest chance. We as humans are born selfish. Have you ever stopped and thought that the other person is feeling THE EXACT SAME WAY you’re feeling? Scared, uneasy thinking that this is going to fail before it even begins? Are they digging? Are they trying to shatter an expensive piece of china? Odds are they are not.

So yes trust is a huge thing. To place all your hopes, wants, expectations and dreams into ONE person is scary. HOWEVER, it’s necessary, it’s necessary in hopes to find the one, to fall in love again and experience something honest and genuine with someone. So I challenge you, next time you get the urge to smash a brand new piece of china don’t.   Fight the urge let that person earn or break your trust don’t do it for them. If you don’t you have never truly moved on from your past or present, your running and you will never have a fulfilling future.

Adapting In the Midst of a Blessing

After your initial excitement of getting what you have been praying for quite awhile there comes a lull period where you find yourself in a growing pain of some sorts, where things are good but not as great as you thought; the “adjustment period” so to speak. How do you adapting to what you are currently experiencing?

  1. Find a balance– you may seem unbalanced or off in a sense. Remember nobody has ever had too much of a good thing, however,  you may think so. Learn to find a healthy balance between everything that is new and exciting in your life and what you is old, dependable and comfortable to you. Keep in mind that all things are have been dependable in your life should STILL be dependable and stable, you do not need to nurture those things as much as much as what is new in your life. Do ever make the mistake of putting your blessing on the back burner.
  1. Have faith/trust– Have faith that this blessing is DEFINITELY for you! You prayed specifically for it and you have it! What more can you ask for?! Jeremiah 29:11-13 “ for I know the plans I have for you,” “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come to pray to me and I will listen to you.””You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart”
  1. Change your thought process- GOD wouldn’t have given you this blessing if he didn’t think you were ready. Now that you are ready you much change your thought process in order to fully take on the blessing that you have. It’s called growth and we can not truly experience life without it, so GROW and Change how you think in order to fully receive your blessing.
  1. Your blessing is YOUR blessing– everyone isn’t going to like it or understand it. I grew frustrated over the weekend because this was how I felt. I had to remind myself of the 1st three, I found the balance and I made an honest effort to make time, find time, and plan time but for whatever reason it did not work and that isn’t my fault. I have to accept that. Over the past couple of months I have changed and I’ve realized that it isn’t a bad thing it is just preparing me for what is to come. Success comes with preparation and opportunity meet, I am preparing for my next success and there is nothing wrong with that!

#007 Failure IS an option 

People say That failure isn’t an option. However how do you understand and appreciate your successes if you don’t know what falling face down feels like? 
Accept that you are going to fail– Oprah at 23 got fired as news reporter . During Fed Ex up and coming days they didn’t even have enough money to fuel the plane to deliver packages at one point. Every great or powerful person has experienced the “I got 5$ until the next pay day struggle.” You are not in this alone. 
Just because you fail don’t rethink your purpose– overthinking and rethinking is normal in when you fail. You think to yourself “Is this really what I am supposed to do? Am I really cut out for this?” Yes you are! Quit second guessing yourself! 
Treat your failures just like your success– what I mean by that is appreciate them because they all have a purpose and a meaning. Learn from them so you know what not to do and teach others what you did wrong so they don’t. Lastly SHARE your failures just like you share your successes. You never know who you are going to touch or who you will inspire. Because of YOU they didn’t give up! 

#007 goes to my failures thank you for the lesson you taught me to make me a better woman! 

  

#006 Break The Habit 

 We have to  the break habit. In order to change your current situation you have to change your thought process. Three things I ve decided to change. 

1. No social media the 1st hour of the day. Start the first hour of your day with a podcast, meditation, exercise,  music,  anything but social media. What and how you spend your hour of your day doing dictates a lot of your day. I mediate for 10 mins and then listen to music to get me pumped up for my day. 

2. One positive a day. My LSs and I have started sharing one positive a day. It makes you think about a positive or something of value that has happened during your day. 

3. “Small words big impact”.  Which means if someone says something that applies to me and they don’t know it it means that God wanted me to hear it so I have to act on it.  
It’s the small things that make the biggest impact. Break the habit!  

#003-#005

#003 Light Energy Outlook

Who you follow on your social media says a lot about what you. What you put look at everyday you feed into your mind, body, and your ideology on life. My news feed is a mixture between the fitness inspiration, other bloggers, forward thinkers, small business, and people who provide me with daily light, energy, and positive outlook on life. I m thankful for all the people who provide just a positive Light Energy and Outlook on everyday life. This post is just to say thank you.

#004 Minimalist

I am a hoarder and I admit it, I always start the excuse with “it was only”!!!. So not I ma cleaning out the clutter of my life and my closet. If I haven’t worn in it in the past 9 months I am chucking it. I keep holding on to stuff in hopes that maybe it may come back in style… NOT. I am on duffle bag 3 and feeling free. No longer do I have to intentionally leave clothes dirty because I do not have any room for them!

#005 Self Improvement

I had a great dialogue with some of my amazing friends this weekend. They gave me a great tip. “No Cellphone for the 1st hour of your day” Sounds simple enough right? It goes back to my reason 00 you have to be careful what you let into your space and ideology especially in with in the 1st hour of the day. So I tried it, as soon as I wake up I set and additional alarm an hour away, letting me know that it is ok to utilize my phone. I am 3 days in and for the past 3 days I have started out the day more productive than previously. Yay for self improvement!

Finding 100 ways and days to be happy.

The title is self explanatory. I am capturing 101 days of happiness. This was actually Inspired by my best friend and blogging sister Amber Jackson activistinspired.com to complete this task. It’s easy to complain, be and stay in a negative space but it’s actually harder to fine 101 things to happy about. So here we are I am giving it a shot and hope you enjoy it. I want to be able to find the sliver lining in any cloud on any day. I have been doing it for the past two weeks so the following couple of days will pay tribute to previous numbers.

What Do You Have?

What Do You Have?

#001 Career or Job?

Career– an occupation with undertaken for a significant time period of a person life and with opportunities for progress.

Job– a paid position or regular employment

I’m happy to have a career. I never specifically knew what I wanted to do and honestly still don’t. However, I am happy to be in an industry that spreads across vast occupations and the sky is the limit.   I am happy to have a career in an industry that is every changing and never stagnant. I never get bored, it’s always sometime to do or something to new to learn. How well you adapt to the ever changing environment around you depends on your success in this industry. Flexibility is key. You KNOW you have a career when you offer to work on your day off. *Like seriously*

Winthrop!

                            Winthrop!

#002 College Didn’t prepare me for this

Winthrop Eagle December 2012 Graduate. Honey , Linda listen college DID NOT prepare me for the real world. Did I miss “Life after college 475?” There should be a course in senior year that is required for everyone to take. 3 Things they didn’t teach me in college:

  1. How to budget: I didn’t know what are budget was in college. If I ran out of money I just asked my parents. What I didn’t know was that ASKING didn’t fly after you graduated. So I had to learn how to make my meager job, before I got a career, stretch to make ends meet. Hot pockets and the dollar menu were my near and dear friends. At one point I had about a two month gap between my job and my current career, my parents thankfully agreed to paid my rent but actually I just went home for two months before I started my new job because I was flat broke. I didn’t have any money.
  2. Not having close access to your friends anymore: After college some of my friends BOUNCED . Left the 60 miles radius. I could no longer make a 3 mins commute to their apartment and spill tea or plan out our weekend.  I am thankful that my friendships are not predicated on how much time we spend together but rather the value we add to each other’s lives when we are together.
  3. An outfit for every outing and MAC make-up is NOT in the budget: Going back to number one, I have learned to recreate outfits with the same pieces, picked up a good knack for thrifting, and became an easy breezey beautiful covergirl. I focus on key pieces I need now for work and things that can be worn in the daytime and transferred easily into a night on the town

#009 Sun On the Horizon

Seeing the sun on the horizon. For the past 7600 days or so, I saw no sun on the horizon. Don’t get me wrong, things have been great friendships have flourished, my career has developed, and memories have been created. However, I told myself that dating or being actively involved with someone wasn’t something that I needed or perhaps wanted at the time. I focused on myself. I never gave myself a deadline or prohibited anyone from pursuing me, I just set clear expectations. The expectation was that I was the focal point in my life at the time, being selfish so to speak. In the back of my head I held on to something I saw and have heard on several occasions. “You have to be with a man who loves you more than you love yourself and more than you love him”

It rings true. I don’t know if it’s forever or not honestly. I m hopeful but only time will tell.  I m living in the moment and in the now. And now I’m happy. Everyday is a learning experience with each other. We force each other to grow and fight normalcy. We started off as friends and if it doesn’t work our friendship will still remain. He teaches me how to comfortable being uncomfortable and I teach him how to grow. I m thankful for my sun on the horizon.

Charleston Aquarium 2015

Charleston Aquarium 2015

5 Tips To A Successful Relationship

Calarity

Clarity is key- the Webster dictionary is defines clarity as the clearness of thought. Let your partner one know what is going on. Be definitive in the thoughts that you share with the person that you are with. Provide a clear picture as to what is going on. For example, if you are upset:

  • State why you are upset
  • What actions caused you to become upset
  • What expectations that need to be set or have been set that have been disregarded.
  • Provide a road map going forward for future occurrences.

Sounds trivial maybe but you can never assume what another person knows or doesn’t know. You have to make sure you are clear because no one is physic.

gandhi

Be ok with not talking about the future sometimes– I said SOMETIMES,  not all the time. The future will come; however, you have to work on the present to get to a future with someone. If you don’t, you are building a mansion and having nothing in it.  It is ok to live in the moment, get to know the person. Know what their hopes, dreams, and desires are, what their expectations are in a relationship.

Expectations-300x300

Set clear expectations– be specific and clear about what you want and what you don’t want. Be able to fully articulate what is important to you and for you, to your partner. If needed, outline in detail how and sometime when to do certain things. Everyone’s love language is different and you and your partner may not have the same love language, so it is important to share with them what you need and want.  Do not mask things you like or dislike because you want the person to like you. At the end of the day they are not liking the REAL you. They either like a diluted version of you or they like someone who isn’t even you. Eventually the real you will start to seep out over the course of months or years and it will all come to a head after awhile.

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Spend REAL quality time– No I don’t mean beinge watching Netflix together. ( even though we all love doing that) or going to a restaurant and eating. No distractions. Even in a restaurant you have a T.V. to glance at or people to look at or talk about. You are not just with your significant other. Take a walk in the park, go hiking, go on a picnic. My favorite thing to do sometimes is to stay home, turn the TV off, turn Pandora on, grab a bottle of wine or a case of beer and just talk. Talk about anything and everything under the sun, this allows you get to know them on a personal level and you have their undivided attention.

relationships

 

Be friends first- If nothing else you remember, this is the most important one. You have to be friends before you can start anything with someone. You may begin to realize that the people that you date you don’t actually like them. Why, because you are not really friends. If you act differently around your friends than you do with your significant other or feel like you have to, then they are not for you. The friends that you have had for a long time and with whom you weather any storm whether good or bad, you can completely and unapologetically be your authentic self.  You should treat your relationship just like that, and make it a point to be friends with them before anything. It’s always better to have a friend than an ex.