Tag Archives: confidence

Raise her to be Strong

To the future dads, dudes – and my future husband about our baby girl.

Raise her to be Strong

Raise her to be Strong – not beautiful. See beauty is only skin deep but strength – strength is what carries you on.

Raise her to be strong – not for anyone else but for herself. So that when a boy tries to take advantage of her the first word from her lips is no and her first act is to defend herself.

Raise her to be strong – do not call her honey nor baby girl. Call her what she is – call her a warrior because from the moment she is born she will have to fight for everything she wants in this mans world.

Raise her to be strong – and remind her every day that strong is sexy. That true men [or women] don’t fall in love to watch beauty fade, they fall in love because it is god damn sexy to watch someone who can carry themselves through the good the bad and the ugly.

Raise her to be strong. Set a president for greatness on how she treats the world. How she realizes that muscles are a sign of strength but that there is nothing stronger than a heart that can push on and continue to love in even the darkest of times.

Raise her to be strong – to not listen to what others demand of her mind and her body.

Raise her to be strong so that she will not posses the ability to watch people around her become victims.

Raise her to be strong – and raise her to be an advocate for those who are not because we all know this world could use a lot more love.

Raise her to be strong.

For the love of god raise her to be strong. Because one day I might not be around to help you to hold her up.

My truth

I was raised by a man that thought the world of me. Who loved me unconditionally. My father was the greatest man I have ever known and few have ever risen to what my father was. My truth is that I am scared to raise a daughter in this world. See I always thought I wanted sons because boys seem easy. They have more privilege and I could give them a great life without much doubt. But what I realized is -my fear of bringing a beautiful and strong baby girl into this world is born out of the fear that I can not give her the world. I can’t give her everything because that will be her battle to fight.

The lack of equality in this nation is deafening. Between race, sex and sexual orientation – no one is true ly free to be who they truly want to be and it makes me sick.

The piece above will become a poem one day. But the girl that it is about – the daughter I haven’t yet prepared or thought to have yet. She will be so much more – and I can’t wait to one day meet her.

If she cries pretty

If she cries pretty

Do you think they will hear her tears

Like a stampede of elephants

Rather than a whistle in the wind.

If she cries pretty

Do you think they will finally notice her

Notice her scars

Notice the times she caused herself harm wishing she was good enough for any of them

If she cries pretty will she finally think herself worth it

Or will she just continue to be left

Utterly and completely confused.

Heart for Rent – Not For Sale

“The more people you let in the more they have a chance to walk right out of your life.” At my age – I’ve let a couple guys lease my heart but I  have never been good at breaking down the walls and they never stay long enough for me to collect rent.

I’m that girl that indulges in toxic relationships. That listens to sweet talk and ignores all the warning signs – because when he tells me “you’re beautiful” I’d rather not translate that to mean – I want to sleep with you.

Truth is – I’ve never been good at finding the right guy. Never been good at knowing my worth – and with no experience in love I tend to go with the flow [ translation, lay down and get taken advantage of. ]

In short – I am the girl that wakes up feeling ashamed for something that wasn’t supposed to feel wrong – for drinking too much and walking herself home. Translation:

I am the cautionary tale you tell your daughters before they go to sleep at night because you never want to see them get hurt in the way most – if not all – girls inevitably do.

this isn’t a pity party

Of all the regrets I have, I wouldn’t change the lessons I have learned. I wouldn’t change the life I have lived, not only because I can’t – but because I have come to terms with the way my heart works.

To quote a movie – and a book – “The more people you let in the more they have a chance to walk right out of your life.” 

And as much as I wish this quote wasn’t true, it is – because I have felt it first hand. For me – and I think I have said this before – loss comes easier than love – because for me – I learned loss before I could understand what love was.

The reason I spent weekends watching trashy teen dramas [ and yes this is diluted ] was to understand the way other people thought. For them it wasn’t thoughts of falling one parent short of  being an orphan, it wasn’t contingency plans if mom dies. It wasn’t black dresses and churches and services and flowers and casseroles – it was boys, and designer brands – it was drinking yourself stupid and talking about the things you shouldn’t have done on Saturday come Monday morning.

So for me – teen dramas were the way out – because I didn’t have to let anyone in and I didn’t have to watch any more people I cared about – walk out.

me – I write sins, not tragedies

I get caught up in the nights I should have had, the boys I should have kissed, the mistakes I couldn’t make because – because if something happened to me my family would suffer. My greatest sin before being reborn in college was not living my own life but the mistake of only existing in the pages of my novels and pretending that I could escape from my nightmares.

My sin in college was pushing people away to see who would come back – and hurting more when the first guy I hooked up with didn’t. My greatest sin has not been a tragedy though. Because I don’t believe in living tragedies. Because – like Shakespeare – even the greatest tragedies can be made into comedies.

Cinematic Discretion

If my life was a movie – you would think it sad. But in reality the choices I have made – the decisions that have defined me only prove that when it comes to love – and when it comes to my heart.

When I watched “to all the boys I’ve loved” the other day I wondered how many people feel the way I do. I wondered what my chance at love was if it still scared me. I wondered what my odds were if my biggest fear wasn’t being forgotten or dying, but being left behind. And I don’t know when those answers will come, or when love will – and that sucks but it doesn’t mean I cant learn from what scares me. I guess it took me writing this [ and who knows what else in regards to soul searching ] that while

I may always [ for now ] be for RENT – I will NEVER BE FOR SALE

 

If working out was Sexy

Girls you know what I mean

By the end of any good gym sesh we are sweaty, hot, bothered, and none of it is in a good way. Guys – don’t act like you are immune either – you look [and smell] just as bad as we do because no one can look sexy working out.

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if working out was sexy we would all be obnoxiously fit

and we would all be much more inclined to go to the gym – but we aren’t and it is not.

Fun fact: I will never be an Olympian. I don’t have the drive, the determination, or the self control when it comes to food to be able to work out at that level. Power to the people who can – but it just isn’t me. [Hell I haven’t even been to the gym in a week] ‘

Now there is no doubt in my mind that Olympic gymnasts are sexy, as are most Olympians, but there is a definite reason that the judges sit closer to the athletes than we do – because they have to see the movement while we just get the wide angles of biceps that literally defy gravity.

My point of this is that like crying, working out isn’t supposed to be sexy, it’s kinda just supposed to be. But the important thing to note is that this is ok.

So my advice ….Get Swole in Solitude?

Look

As I conclude todays ramblings I would just like to give a round of applause to the people who have figured out a way to look good while working out. [You are in a vast minority my friends but we still love you]. It probably was not an easy journey for you and I truly commend your efforts.

So yeah…

To the rest of the population, guys, gals and otherwise, working out is a quintessential part of living a healthy life so my best advice to looking sexier at the gym is simply staying away from the mirror, push yourself, and stay confident. Love the life you live, love the body you are in, and forget about how you look because at the end of the day you aren’t working out for anyone but yourself.

 

An Open Letter to My Muffin Top

Just because they were sexy on Seinfeld doesn’t mean I want one on my body – my battle with being flub-ulous

I used to work at camp. Now don’t get me wrong I love children, but working with them. Well they tend to want to chase and poke you. As someone who needs personal space this was a long time struggle – but it wasn’t the space as much as it was the “flub”

Think of that scene in Nemo… “Nemo, go touch the butt (boat)” Kids are like that. They poke and push and being a favorite means you barely get time to yourself. Like I said I loved the kids, but could have appreciated some more space.

As a young teen I was incredibly fit, but then I grew up, I went to college and my body got away from me. Now I am not saying I am not healthy – I am saying I am normal and insecure.

The Half Baked Truth

Having a muffin top is common for most women, in fact I have heard speak that this little pouch of extra skin has the purpose of preparing our bodies for child birth, but as a 22 year old with no plans of getting  pregnant – id rather have my body hold off rather than being so proactively prepared.

My point? Who is to say I have to have a belly? Why is it so hard to take the top off? Well I think a lot of it is diet – but more of it has to do with our culture.

Personally I would love to have abs again. I felt strong and sexy when I did, but it isn’t as realistic as being toned. When it comes down to it, I feel like the best version of myself when I have my belly covered by high waited shorts – but that is no good way to live.

A Movement

Dear belly, you have asserted your dominance on my life. I respect you for being strong, for providing a pillow for my friends, for being there when I fill you to the brim, but you don’t have to hide. You can be proud, you can be present, you can be you. And that is why I want to start a movement. A free the belly movement that promotes self worth, self care and self pride among women.

#FreeTheBelly

We aren’t here to be normal we are here to be extraordinary.

How can you free the belly, how can you be proud of who you are and who you still stand to be? Don’t be half baked – be firm fluffy and bursting with flavor.

 

an open letter to the break room

oh the break room…

How I love the time we have spent together. I remember going to the store to fetch all the food. The effort put in to pull the carts, which were too heavy to push. The palate cart I also had to pull with fourteen [yes fourteen] cases of water and Snapple. This is the adventure I have since signed up for working at a small business.

My coworker and I walked through BJ’s with carts [plural] filled to the brim – and yes my struggle was real, but not as real as the struggle I face when dealing with my Oreo addiction.

Two hours later we returned to work – 700 dollars down on a months worth of groceries for an office of thirteen. The issue and gluttony of which is not lost on me.

you see…

Like many offices I have worked at, I have been forever blessed to have a break room full of food – but this gift is often paired with a guilt and lack of control. Like many of those around me I am a sucker for my sweet tooth – so while I originally thought that working at a health company would end my struggle from the temptation of snack foods – I could not have been more wrong.

an ode to my love of Oreos

To my friends, my followers, my family, I have a confession. While most grow attached to sinful pleasures, to alcohols and drugs my weakness is chocolatey and crème filled.

To my lover… double stuffed Oreos – Oh how I love the time we have spent together. From the day I said I would only have two, then two turned to four and four six. I did not mean to eat you so fast but you taunted me. Your packaging relaxed me, so blue and tinted with a subtle shine. I had no choice when it came to you; and when you were gone – I thought I would be free, but still there were more… so many packs more.ice-cream-oreo-frappuccino-waffles-60641

With my entry into the adult world I always thought that I would leave old habits behind, but my sweet tooth is one that no amount of dentistry or orthodontia has never been able to remove.

To my friends [and my dentist], who thought I had grown out of this phase, I am sorry, but my journey and love for Oreos is not now and will not soon be over. This love will continue to make your job [and my bills] hard to swallow – and while I am sorry, I cannot change who I am.

Oreos – I love you and know I always will.

dear break room,

I love you. I know our relationship will be long, fruitful, and expensive – But I promise to love you like only a true foodie can. This weekend will be long, and our time apart sad. I am sorry to cheat on you with my home kitchen, but you knew this relationship was never meant to be easy – only worth it for the two of us. For now, know I love you, and I will see you soon.

forever your love,

R

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BETTER THAN SEX

the average person burns 85-100 calories per half hour of sex.

According to CNN, Womansday.com and a variety of other sources this is the statistic. Now obviously some people defy the odds based on what positions they do and how long they can last –  but on average this is the number that is shared.

Now what if I told you that you could do better? Not in bed… but in calories burned. What if I told you that some things you do every day, outside of the bedroom, counted for your calorie deficit and that sexersise wasn’t the only way to feel sexy or toned this summer. Interested yet?

pexels-photolet’s get physical

As someone who works for a business that focuses on longevity, health, and financial security, finding the best and most enticing ways to sell health to the public is kind of in the job description. So I figured I’d spark a theory on some of the summers best thought-less workouts. [and maybe if you guys have more you could leave them in the comments below.]

1. yoga

Did you know that 1 HR of yoga can burn 475 calories. [doubling the amount you could burn if you were rocking that downward doggy style]

Depending on severity, yoga is a series of stretches, balancing exercises and core stabilization techniques – which absolutely kicks my a** – but it often sounds much more appealing than a three hour run. And if you go for just a half an hour more, for a 1.5 HR class your count can go from 475 to a range of 630 -712. [like I said… better than sex]

2. dancing

depending on what time of dance you do, did you know that the bump and grind could benefit you more on the dance floor than it could behind closed doors. according to sources like new health advisor dancing could burn anywhere from 105-620 calories per hour.

Now personally, I only tend to think I am a good dancer if I have had a drink or two, but if a class like Zumba is more enticing than doing yoga, or going on a jog – then learning how to dance or just trying to could help you turn up by breaking it down.

3. rock climbing

forget numbers on a scale. Just a half an hour of rock climbing could help you burn 409 calories. This way of lifting yourself up beyond your own standards won’t just be fun, but it will help you work those quads and glutes way way better than the boy next door.

Side note: as someone who has been rock climbing, this excersise has the added bonus of sanding out that competitive edge so many of us have. Getting on top is well and good, but getting to the top of that wall and ringing the bell. Well… you know what I am going to say, its better than sex.

pexels-photo-326582the down and dirty… [truth]

Now keep in mind these three ways aren’t the best ways to be fit. They are not the end all be all, or the only ways you can be that person you’ve always wanted to be. Truth is – nothing I say will get you there… but you can. Taking adventures like this is the start, and if you are like me and you hate to be told to work out – then these types of activities could be better for you than running or jogging, or even having sex. Truth is, being healthier isn’t about what others think, it isn’t a number on a scale, it’s about you and at the end of the day, you are all that matters.

As an athlete and a young woman, being fit isn’t just about making my bosses trust me – it’s important to me too. At 22 I have explored a lot of the options above, and as the descriptions indicate, not all of them have really stuck… but truth is it’s not always easy to get to where we want to be, and not all of us can manage a steady stream of “workout buddies’ so that’s when I thought of something:

Could the best way to get a summer bod not be going to the gym, but could it be as easy as seeing a summer concert series. Could your favorite band not only claim to be better than sex… but actually be the key to a better you?

hello from the other side… I wish I only realized…

Truth is… yes. According to Livestrong 1 HR of jamming out can help you burn 300 – 400 calories, and similarly singing [which I know you all do in the shower, in the car, in the rain, and YES AT CONCERTS] also can burn 100 – 140 calories depending on the time and your size. [three words. better. than. sex.]

So wait… does this mean that Coachella, could really be COACH-ella? Well no that is a little bit of a stretch [and a horrible pun], but it does mean that those concerts and shows we all love to go to are actually a key factor in keeping us happy and healthy. Not to mention this could also explain why a lot of the people we see at the most popular shows can have the stamina to dance and sing the whole way through.

Based on the types of music you listen to, the shows you hang out at, and even the small town bars that feature your favorite swing singers could be playing a major role in you living your life. Which if you think about it… is kinda awesome.

its more than kinda awesome…

By the logic above I burned around 1200 calories seeing Taylor Swift, and that doesn’t even include the long ass walk I took to get there or the other acts I was jamming to.

By the logic above I burned 800 calories dancing with Jesse McCartney and at least 300 calories listening to Nina Nesbitt who will hands down be the next best star we have seen in a while.

By the logic above I have burned thousands of calories in my life doing something that cost me less than a gym membership – and made me hate a gym far less. And as an added bonus, I got to experience real moments with my friends rather than pretending that I was training to be the next American Ninja Warrior.

I guess what I am trying to say is that – I never expected there would be data on a question like this. I never expected that 100 bucks on dinner, a show, and a workout, would give me a reason to keep doing what I am. Today I realized that when I say I am exactly where I should be, doing exactly what I should it wasn’t just a line – it was an excuse. An excuse to realize that living our lives and singing our hearts out are not only a way to live happier lives but longer and healthier ones as well.

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featured shows include T-Swift, Jesse McCartney, Beyoncé, Budweiser Made in America (Macklemore), not featured. Logic, G-Eazy, Timeflies, SoMo, Daughtry, High School Musical. And how lucky am I that this is only the start.

Slutty or Single – the Lack of a Middle Ground pt1

The 22 Year Single Streak

I grew up in a cul-de-sac. By the time I was 14 I was watching romantic movies and teen dramas to get a gage for what my love life could be like [in theory.] And lacking any other point of reference than High School Musical and Desperate Housewives, I set my expectations high – fell for some people I barely knew, and wished that dating culture now was more like a romance noel rather than a Jersey Shore re-run.

at 22, I have never been in love, only in like – but even then, I worry about finding someone. but the worst part, is that people keep telling you you’ll get there, but they don’t know the side steps and shortcuts you’ve taken to feel something rather than nothing.

What I have found: Dating in 2018 is hard – but it is no one persons fault, it’s the system. In 2018 apps like tinder, bumble and coffee meets bagel make it easier for young people to expand their dating options, but are your options actually expanded if everyone is just playing a game? The epic gamification of swipe style dating culture has become a vastly hit or miss system that for me, has warped my idea of meeting that dream guy at a bar by chance.

The Process

Looking at my own love life [and maybe this applies to you too] I have used all of the apps above. I have tried to find dates on bumble but am often too confident to find a suitor. So what I have found is that often times the other party either is not interested in a date or doesn’t provide enough substance for me to know I can make it through that date [this is fine, it happens.] But then – Time passes, I get bored, I delete my account – then the cycle starts again.

For me, I have essentially been stuck in a talking phase for most of my adult life – and as for the men I meet at school or in my professional life, well those never really went how I wanted them to either. In short, at any point in my life, I can view myself as one of two things – Slutty, or Single, but what I constantly ask myself is… where is the middle ground?

The Rewind

Everyone has their own level of comfort when it comes to promiscuous behavior, mine has always been on the side of the lesser -o n the few occasions I have woken up in someone else’s bed, I walked home feeling like my skin was crawling away from my bones and like I couldn’t trust myself anymore – but the point I make, albeit archaic is that, for me, I never wanted the hook up culture, but occasionally made choices that I regretted.

So have I ever followed the traditional definition of a Slut? no, but the dirty feeling doesn’t seem to go away – and that is what scares me most.

The Present Tense

Status – single, and ready to mingle

At my current age and point in life, I would like to find someone, but like many people trust is an issue. For me it is about being comfortable with myself. Waking up with a smile, or a groan before work is all I need.

I guess what I am trying to say is that right now I am looking for balance, and if someone wants to meet me half way, well then he is more than welcome to meet me in the middle.

 

 

Traversing the Unknown: How Graduates deal with the Stress of being Unemployed

“I can’t give you a sure-fire formula for success, but I can give you a formula for failure: try to please everybody all the time.” ― Herbert Bayard Swope

As someone who just graduated, I can still feel the palpable stress of friends and colleagues who haven’t yet landed their dream job. As someone who struggled with feeling insecure, I understand what it is like to question myself in times of uncertainty. As someone who is human I know I am not perfect – but I also don’t want to be.
Truth is, post grad is hard – whether you have a job or not. And while I have taken time to measure how lucky I am to have found my way thus far, I also want to take a moment to recognize the instability I endured to get here. I want to level with you all – so here it goes.
Three months ago, I was preparing to graduate college. I was lucky enough to have studied at an institution I loved and gave my heart to, but the feeling of leaving it was and still is surreal. Now, I know that because I am going back to school in the fall my story is a bit different than those who are done with their education, but a year ago I wasn’t enrolled in a Masters program, I was working at an internship that challenged me but also wasn’t what I expected, and I still had no clue what my future held. Suffice to say I was petrified.

Today there is a powerful sense of insecurity that comes with the term unemployment.

I see it in my peers, my friends, my family and I saw it in my parents when the recession hit in 2008 but in some ways the stress that comes with that inevitable sense of insecurity, places adults in the place they need to be.
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Now don’t get me wrong, I am not advising unemployment, but I can say that there is a lot to gain from fear. There is a lot to gain from endless hallways and corridors that lead to unknown places – and there’s something about being lost that helps the right people find us. I would know – I have been lost – and in many ways we all have.
For those of you who don’t understand this feeling, I’ll explain it like this…Remember when you were a kid, shopping for groceries with your parent? Now remember the fear of being in the supermarket and losing sight of your parent. Remember that split second of having no idea what to do next? “Mom told you to stay in place, she said she’d find you, but patience is the last thing you need when you feel this way.” No matter your age you justified the need to remain calm, to follow instructions or to break protocol. Now look at yourself when you are scared, looking for a job, or in between relationships… This time in your life is no different.
Think about it, you have just walked into a huge space [post grad/unemployment is like a grocery store] you know exactly where you are, what each isle [opportunity] holds, but all you want to do is find the people or the food that makes you feel safe. [You want to hold onto your parents cart and not let go.]
The way I see it – when college ends, it’s like getting stuck in the supermarket without your parent. You know you should stay where you are but now the game has changed and now you need to find what is best for you.
I guess what I am trying to say is that I think it’s easy to get caught up in the hustle. To get caught on a easy road or isle that you’ve walked a hundred times – but the methods you used to get things done have evolved, and so have you. The shelves got taller, the prices rose, the stakes are more prevalent than ever and it is scary, but you will find your way.

The game has changed – but so have you. The store has changed – but so have you. Things have evolved from the way they used to be – but you have too.

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Fact: each and every person you know is insecure about something. Every person in the world is insecure about something. But – Fact: that’s normal. Truth is, it’s not only ok to not know what comes next, but it’s the best thing for you.

There is a reason our mom’s take us to the store when we are little – it’s not because they have to watch us but more so that we have to watch them. We learn by following the lead of those around us. So when everyone around us is scared, we are too – but we don’t have to be.

 

We learn by following the lead of those around us. So when everyone around us is scared, we are too – but we don’t have to be.

To all my friends, collegues, readers and lost souls realize that you are not alone, that we are all trapped in our heads trying to find a way out. We are all scared of what comes next – and we have the right to be. But also remember that the best is yet to come, hope is on the horizon and the corridor will end if you just keep walking.
I spent a whole year being afraid, working hard, trying to play it cool. I was completely petrified the whole time, but I kept doing what I was supposed to. I worked, I exersised, I ate good food, I ate bad food and I did it all day after day – I wasn’t perfect and I didn’t pretend or act like I was anything special, I just hoped everything would fall into place – and when the year ended I got a call and I got lucky.
Truth is, fear was the best thing for me during this last year. It always has been but this year it was more important than ever because it grounded me and allowed me to set achievable goals. At the end of the day, I am not a poster child for what to do after you recieve your degree. At the end of the day, I am still learning; but at the end of the day, you are too. So hold on, keep working and be ready. The secret to dealing with stress as a graduate is simple, live. Just live and move toward your goals because sure enough you will find that your opportunity is coming – all you have to do is reach out and catch it.

Misdiagnosed Determination: the Idea that Women are kept from Feeling Confident in the Workplace

In a recent Forbes article, writer, Homaira Kabir, argues that a majority of women, despite reoccurring successes, suffer from imposter syndrome. She states that, “from the board room to the Golden Globes” women continue to feel doubt when it comes to taking on new opportunities. I disagree.

Maybe it is my generation, maybe it is the women I associate myself with, or maybe it is my mother who instilled an immeasurable strength in me, but as a woman in the work force I for one, see no formal lack of confidence. In fact, what seems to reflect a lack of confidence, for me, actually represents an unmatched form of determination built on an idea that no matter how often we succeed, we can always get better.

Look, I get it, I’m 22, I am just out of college – how could I possibly know what the female populous feels when it comes to working in this day and age? Well let me tell you a story. When I was 15, I started working at a camp. By 19, I was working 80 hour weeks during the summer, literally running from camp to night shifts at a local burrito shop down the street, by 21 I had 4 jobs during the school year [not because I had to but because I wanted to work and I wanted to learn new skills] and two in the summer. Still 21, I went back to school to work 5 jobs, burned out – dropped to 4 and now I am down to 1 and loving it. Now, I don’t tell you this to impress you, I don’t tell you this because my life has some hidden workaholic intervention story, I tell you this because I am what Shonda Rhimes would call a ‘Titan.’ I work, I sweat, I burn out, I recover and I do it all over again. I am a Titan. I schedule myself to the 11th hour and then negotiate for a 12th. I am confident in who I am and I inspire the same in those around me because as a woman, and a millennial, I can’t afford to be anything less. So while I know that I am more the exception than the rule my point is that I wasn’t born this way. My point is that I learned to be driven from women around me; so when you tell me that something is keeping women from feeling confident in the workplace, I have to tell you that you are wrong – because I don’t see it.

Moral of the story? I’ve worked a lot. I’ve worked early mornings, late nights, stood until my feet ached and still managed to work on physical fitness. I rarely had weekends off and minimum wage was a lot lower than it should have been but still, no matter the job, my coworkers and I managed to push through. I’ve celebrated success and grown from failure, and – I get it – I wasn’t making salary, I am not a mom, but the places I worked were filled with a diverse number of people that had families and bills and illnesses and the women I worked with, well they were no less real than the ones I assume to have been categorized as the “many” in the Forbes article. So if your board room lacks confidence, then go to the back kitchen of a restaurant, or look at the girls on the line in a burrito shop – then tell me that these young women, these proud and inspirational women lack confidence, because I swear that they are not falling prey to being anything but themselves.

Tell me that these young women, these proud and inspirational women lack confidence, because I swear that they are not falling prey to being anything but themselves.

As a child I heard a quote. It was in the movie, “Akeelah and the Bee,” and it read – IMG_8606

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” – Marianne Williamson

The first time I saw “Akeelah and the Bee,” I was in my mother’s classroom. I remember that, around this time, my mom was training one of my classmates for the Scripts National Spelling Bee in DC, and I vaguely remember wishing that another movie was on – but for some reason, after ten years, this quote sticks with me.

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.”

and how beautiful is that, how incredibly profound is it that our deepest fear is not that we lack something, but that we are so great that we cannot fathom the power of it?

As a young girl, I will admit I grappled with the fear that I would not be enough. I grappled with the idea that my efforts were not grand enough to succeed, but as a woman in the workplace, I have never let the fear of being less prevent me from trying to be more. I have never lacked confidence in a job, or a challenge, because I have always treated mistakes as lessons and successes as reasons to be humble.

InIMG_2714 a recent Forbes article a writer and life coach states that “many” women are kept from feeling confident in the workplace. I disagree – I think women are made to think that they lack confidence when in reality they are feeling what it takes to drive yourself toward greater and more humble victories.
I don’t think it is a coincidence that a majority of the jobs I have worked provided women with the ability to be confident leaders. I think the fields I have gone into build character, and build determination in women. I think that claiming that “many” women feel insecure in the work place and that they are kept from accepting their own brilliance is completely false because in 22 years, I have met more confident and capable women than I could name.
As a woman in this day and age I will never let my deepest fear be “that I am inatequate” because I know that I am and the women around me are more powerful than we will ever understand – and for a lot of us, dare I say, for many of us, that is our most powerful truth.

Beyond the Super Suit: Becoming my Halloween night Hero

Like most people, I grew up with parents who told me, “you can be whatever you want when you grow up.” Well, obviously, since I am here in jeans typing, rather than fighting bad guys in a tight spandex suit, my parents were a bit misguided in their statement. But, I can’t help but think that the person I was on Halloween affected the adult I am today.
As a kid I was dedicated to the idea that I would be chosen as the next Power Ranger. I lived my life hanging out in the cul-de-sac looking for power crystals and training in various ways to meet my goals – but the only time I really got to ‘suit up’ was on Halloween. I guess as kids we all have a duty to our dreams, but while some wished to be princesses, I wanted to save the world from evil – which was kind of funny considering how unbelievably safe my upbringing was. Today, it’s probably been twelve or so years since I have suited up, but I think a part of me still wants to become the hero I was never able to be back then.

The header above shows one of the last years I was a Power Ranger for Halloween, one of the last times before my mom cut me off from store bought costumes and pushed me into more creative home made options – but I never strayed too far from the hero lifestyle. For years I was a spy, one year I was a “rapping bunny” where I wore my Reese’s hat turned to the side, and by college I moved into cops and robbers and whatever other ‘hot mess’ I could turn myself into. But why is this all relevant? Why does the person I was behind the mask influence who I am in front of the screen or on the keyboard?
Well, that answer is best explained by the inspiration of this post — my favorite show, “The Bold Type.” So a little background: In 2017, Freeform (ABC Family) established one of the most politically and socially relevant television dramas to date. The show, properly titled ‘The Bold Type,’ features three strong young women who work for fictional periodical, ‘Scarlett Magazine’ and work together to traverse life, love, politics, and friendship. Currently on its second season ‘The Bold Type’ continues to be, not only, one of my favorite shows, contrasting struggle and triumph in the modern age, but also creates one of the most socially and politically relevant conversations that young viewers have access to on television.
Now, I know what you’re thinking, “this is just another chick flick” and sure, while the show features highly feminist themes and independent roles, I’d argue that this show is for everyone. You see, what some fail to realize is that Feminism is the practice of believing in equal rights amongst males and females. Feminism is not the radical, nor is it the tame end of the feminist spectrum, but it is a little bit of everything. It’s everything, from the good, the bad, and the outspoken. Thus, anyone can be a feminist, and beyond that, everyone should be, because everyone can enjoy a show that better explains feminism and so much more as it pertains to the world we live in today.
Now, before I get carried away, or introduce unwanted spoilers I want to change my tune – Upon watching last week’s episode, Jane, the writer in the show, posed a question (a pitch) I would like to follow up on. The pitch read, “Does your childhood Halloween costume predict your future?” and after hearing that, I got to thinking… and what I want to know is… well, does it? How much does the person or thing we pretend to be for one night a year effect the trajectory of our lives? I want to know, “Does my (your) childhood Halloween costume predict your future?”
As I mentioned before, my childhood costume of choice was a Power Ranger (shown above with puffed out muscles of course). And as a young girl [ a tomboy no less] I did not subscribe to the traditional fairy princess costume affair, but what does that say about the person I am today? Even without the suit, has some semblance of Power Ranger life lived on within me? Are we destined to become the masks we wear, or can we simply be heroes with or without the super suit?
Well in my opinion, yes. I think as kids we are quick to become our idols. For example, in “The Bold Type” Jane became a writer because after losing her mother at an early age, ‘Scarlett Mag’ became the older sister she never had. She became a writer to be that same kind of person for others just as I became a writer for the similar reason of being able to talk about grief in ways that many writers don’t, but even more than that I wanted to be the hero that I failed to find through the losses I faced.
See when I started writing, my power didn’t come with a super suit, but I guess the heroes I always looked up to were not heroes because of what they wore, but because of the way they acted. The Power Rangers were heroes because they had an apparent sensibility for respect and a guiding sense of morality – and I wanted to be like them, not because they were heroes but because they had a constant need to do what was right, and a desire to work hard to do good.
I guess what I am trying to say is that the heroes, and the costumes that we wear as children do reflect who we grow up to be. They are our childhood daydreams manifested in a few pictures, moments, nights, and sugar comas, they are the people we play when we play dress up – and in those moments we get to be the people we truly want to be without any restrictions or rules. 2018-27-06-15-36-50
With that, maybe the question shouldn’t be “Does your childhood Halloween costume predict your future?” but how does/have the costumes you wore on Halloween as a kid affect the person you are today? And what makes you grateful for those opportunities?
I think our childhood Halloween costume does predict the future, and while I might not be a Power Ranger [yet] I think one day I will be able to save the world… I just have to figure out what power I’ll use to do it.

Well S*** Here We Go With Reality

You know the show naked and afraid?… well this is kind of like that – EXCEPT – I am fully clothed, you can’t see me on tv, and I am not just afraid…. I’m scared S***less.

Mission: ‘ Fake it ’til you make it ‘

Status: Epic Fail

Recently I started realizing that no one around me really knows what they’re doing. We all have our lives together but were still flying by the seat of our pants fighting, praying, hoping we find the strength to figure it all out. It’s like we’re all driving on this no where road, with no clue where we are and we keep driving like we do.

2018-17-07-16-44-27The Motto

In today’s world ‘fake it ’til you make it,’ has become a montra rather than a catch phrase. But maybe that’s what we keep doing wrong. I mean, what would happen if we started being honest? What if we went back to being ourselves? It’s scary isn’t it… but sorry honey that’s life, so are you along for the ride or are you walkin by?

Level wit cha

Man look, I get it. There’s perks to being just another fish in the sea. You get to lay low, do what you want, and that path ahead is determined by migratory patterns – so you coastin – but where’s the fun in being another fin in the crowd?

The Motive

Maybe I struggle to understand conformity because I have never been good at following trends. Or maybe swimming against the crowd was a coping mechanism against all the bs people in the world, either way I like my way, and hey maybe if you read this blog… you will too.

The Conclusion

Look at the end of the day I am an awkward little duckiling trying to make it in this big bad world. But I am not alone. Were all stuck here playing a game with no rule book, driving down dead end roads and praying that we make it to the right place – that’s just what “Adulting” is about, but I for one am up for the challenge – so what do you say.

You in?