This week I was talking to my therapist, and she asked me, “Am I ready to settle down?”
It took me a while to answer because I never really liked that term.
To me, settling down has always seemed like a term people used to signify the end. The of your crazy wild single days, the end of freedom, the end of fun, or whatever people think is ending.
I have never thought about the idea of marriage and kids as the end of something. I have always thought of those things as a fun adventure for me and my partner to tackle together.
Even when you break the phrase down, its “Settle” and “Down.”
As black women, society has told us to settle and lower our standards, and this term makes me feel that I would be settling for something, and that is not the goal AT ALL.
I have never been someone who feels that they need “settle down” by a certain age. I have always allowed life and love to naturally walk into my life and take it day by day.
Now that I have found someone I would like to spend a long time with, I am so grateful. I feel that if you hold yourself to specific timelines and benchmarks, you run the risk of missing what you want. If you are always running around looking for something, you are bound to miss it.
Same as when you are looking for that top, hat, remote, or whatever and cannot find it, BUT as soon as you go to look for something else, it is right there.
Love is the same way; it will come when you least expect it.
The “down” portion of the phrase makes me feel like everything goes downhill when you settle down. As if nothing of goodness, joy, or uplifting can happen after you settle down. That is simply not true.
In my mind, finding a partner to take on our lives with is very exciting and uplifting if you have found the right one. It would mean that for the rest of your life, you can take on adventures with them. Those adventures could be anything such as new countries, new kids, new careers, new anything.
When I get married, I want it to be a new beginning with a life partner and not seen as the end.
Let us retire the term “settle down” because it no longer fits how marriage looks today.
Before, settling down meant getting married and having kids and living a very simple and modest life. Now there are plenty of couples traveling the world, starting businesses together, and going on adventures as families.
There is no need to settle down anymore only to pick a partner to have new adventures with.
And just so you know what my answer to my therapist was:
“I don’t like the term settle down, but these are the things that I know. I know I love him. I know I want to be with him for a long time. I know I want to have kids. I know he wants to have kids. I know he would make an amazing father. And with all of that, I think we would have an amazing life together.”
This week on Pinterest, I stumbled across an article about birth order personality traits.
As I read it, I realized how much my birth order had affected my personality and my life.
I am the oldest of the three sisters, who are 22 and 19. And as I continued reading the article, I realized how some of the personality traits for the middle and youngest child also match my little sisters. Here is the chart I saw:
Like many oldest children, I was told I am responsible for my little sisters. It was my job to protect them and make sure they are safe. I started babysitting them when I was 12/13, and as a result, my little sisters would come to me whenever they had a problem and needed help, which I loved.
As the oldest, we are automatically the leader of our siblings, and with the sense of responsibility, we are often more cautious, self-motivated, self-driven, and conscientious.
However (at least for myself), these traits morphed into a people-pleasing mindset, need to be perfect and make everyone happy even at the detriment of my happiness and being the “fixer.”
As I mentioned, my sisters would and still come to me for help and advice, but back then, I would do everything for them and fix everything, even if I didn't want to. I would bend over backward to make them happy and please them in any way.
It was not helpful for them or me. With therapy, I figured out that the best way to help me and my sisters is to assist and advise them to have them solve their problems on their own. It gives them the independence they need and gives me a break from running around like a chicken with my head cut off
Due to our traits of responsibility and cautiousness, firstborns are often Type A and are extremely hard on ourselves. We have a fear of failure (perfectionist complex), which results in us not being the biggest fan of change, and it is hard for us to step out of our comfort zone.
I used to talk to myself so horribly and not give myself the love I deserved because I felt like my life and myself was not perfect, but now I know that nobody is excellent, and I should treat myself better.
I don't only want to talk about how bad being the firstborn has been. There are many benefits.
The firstborn is the only sibling that was able to get all the attention from their parent(s). We are also more organized and patient. The oldest children are also the most scholarly and open to learning more and new skills. We confidently dream and plan because our Type A personality will not allow us to do without a plan in place.
AND THE BEST THING I READ, We often outearn our siblings and pursue careers in law, medicine, engineering, sales, or own a business.
I know that being the oldest child is not the sole reason for all my personality traits. Many of them have to do with the family dynamics, environments, and personal traumas endorsed. Still, it's fun to see how many of these personality traits relate to you as it relates to your birth order.
The same way astrological sign traits can bring various people together, so can our birth order.
Comment below with your birth order and if any of the traits relate to you.
WHEW!! It has been a rough week!! Between the injustice of America and the death of Chadwick Boseman, many of us are running low on emotional capacity . This entire year has stressed many of us beyond our wildest nightmares. And the craziest thing is 2020 IS NOT OVER YET!!
Here are 20 coping mechanisms that can help you during a tough time.
Each week I write down my goals for the week to keep myself accountable for achieving them. I create a vision board and write down my yearly goals for New Years' and birthdays, but I have not written a 5-year plan in so long.
The last time I created a 5-year plan, life threw a wrench in my plans, and none of it happened. I was so devastated that I fell into a depression and felt like a failure. From that experience, I learned to research the goals, understand the reason behind the goals, and create sub-goals to help achieve them.
For example, I told you in an IGTV that when I was in high school and college, I wanted to own a house by the time I was 25. I had not researched home ownership or that process. I had not created any sub-goals to help me achieve that. Additionally, the only reason I wanted a house was that I thought it was a measurement of success and happiness, but all I wanted to do was live alone (which I currently do).
Here are my 5 Long Term Goals:
1. Career – I would like to be a full time blogger and grow Simply Sha Sha to a platform that shares bloggers' content about health, food, parenting, etc. I hope to be making enough money from blogging to support myself. If I am still working in Corporate America, I would like to be working in marketing OR being a content/marketing consultant for small businesses.
I want never to feel like I am working or be happy working on things that matter to me.
2. Financial – I would like to be credit card and student loan debt free!! I want to clear that debt and increase my credit score.
I want to have more financial freedom and splurge a bit on my loved ones and ME!
3. Social - I want to be surrounded by love by my family, friends, and hopefully by my current boyfriend (future husband ?)
I want to look at my circle, my community, my village, and see nothing but supportive, loving, and well-meaning people.
5. Personal – A goal that I am focusing on super hard right is improving my relationship with my body and food. This is a long-overdue priority! I will talk about this more on IGTV this week. I want to continue therapy and improve my mindfulness and the way I talk to myself. I also want to keep managing my anxiety.
These are just a snapshot of my long-term goals. Some of the reasoning behind them and sub-goals are not shared but could be shared in a future blog post.
I wrote these goals down to share with you all but also for me! I often get so busy, stressed, and unmotivated that I forget why I am working so hard and what I am working toward (BIG PICTURE). Or I get distracted by someone else's success and start to wonder down their path when THAT PATH AINT FOR ME and should keep going down the path that God made for me.
There are many times we (or at least I) decided that we want to do something solely because someone else was doing it well. I have not considered the different skill set between that other person and myself. The same way I envied the skills of others, someone has envied the skills that I have. I am grateful for the expertise and abilities that I have.
It's August! I cannot believe it. The summer is almost over, and we all have the same summer memories.
Since the summer is over, the 2020 seniors are about to be the 2020 freshman.This had me thinking about my college years at Francis Marion University in Florence, SC. Staying up all night to study, going to all the parties, and everything in-between.
With all the fun I had in college, there are a few things I wish I knew before I started in college. Here are my four tips for freshman year:
1. Take that ASS to Class
This is a first-rate tip!! Unlike high school, no one calls your parents if you do not report to class, and there is no state mandate that you have to attend. Literally, no one cares if you attend class or get dropped from a course for not attending because the tuition paid for at the beginning of the semester is NOT REFUNDABLE.
You are allowed a certain number of absences per class, but it is essential to use these in the best possible fashion. For example, if you have a family emergency, medical emergency, or a sick day (sick can mean hangover, but I wouldn't do that often)
Not going to class because you have an 8:30 class, and you can't get it up IS NOT an emergency. If you are not a morning person, schedule your courses for the afternoon or evening.
Remember to be on time, depending on how anal your professor is about that, they WILL close AND LOCK the door at the beginning of class and count you absent. Some professors are just that ruthless.
2. Stay Organized
People told me this all the time before I went to college, but I never understood the importance until I was in it. ORGANIZATION IS KEY!!
Most freshmen have an average of 4 to 5 classes a semester, so that is 4 to 5 assignments and due dates you have to keep up with. Also, unlike high school, your parents are not notified of late assignments, or you don't have teachers reminding you and putting it on the board. The professor will give you a syllabus with the due dates on it, and it is UP TO YOU to turn them in. Most of the time, you will have to turn them in online.
I would suggest having a planner (my fav) with colorful pens for each class OR using a calendar app on your phone, anything to make sure you stay up to date on your assignments because BELIEVE ME once you get behind it is so hard to get caught up again.
3. Know Your Professors
I know you don't want to be the kiss ass teacher's pet, and that is not what I am asking you to do, but it is always a good idea to make sure your professor knows who you are and vice versa.
This means be on time, show up to class, participate in the lecture, and answer questions. If you are struggling in a class, go to their office hours or talk to them after class to ask for help. I promise this may seem like overkill but having your professor know you and see that you are actually trying in their course can be the difference between at D+ and a C-.
This is how I passed every one of my science courses (biology, psychology, and physics). I AM NOT GOOD AT SCIENCE!!
4. Check your Crew
This means be careful who you hang around and who you allow in your friend groups. If someone had told me this tip my freshman year, it would have been 100% better. College is FULL of new people, and that can be an amazing and overwhelming thing. On the one hand, you are exposed to many new experiences and cultures, which is excellent, BUT that also means you are exposed to people who may not have the best intentions or align with your moral compass.
This tip is very personal because looking back on my freshman year, and I should have made some new friends. My friend group was doing hard drugs, drinking, stealing, and other things that I KNEW were wrong, but I did some of them anyway. I didn't realize the consequences of the decisions I was making until I was arrested.
I am not blaming my old crew because I made those wrong ass decisions when I knew they were wrong, and I wish I would have the foresight I have now to choose your friend group wisely. That saying, "Birds of a feather flock together" is 100% true.
The people that you surround yourself with daily can influence the decisions you make. If you are around studious people who want good grades then you are influenced to do the same but if you are around people who are doing drugs, not studying, and barely going to class, that can influence you as well.
The take away from this tip is that while being open to new people and cultures, make sure you surround yourself with people who have positive intentions and kind hearts.
Well, I have told all my business and given you some great tips on how to survive your freshman year. I want to make sure to include that I know with COVID still being around, your freshman year experience will be very different. There probably won't be many in-person classes or not as many parties. There may be more COVID surprises, but remember that your college is experience is where you will figure out so much about yourself, be challenged, make lifelong friends, and lifelong memories.
DO NOT ALLOW COVID TO TAKE THOSE PRECIOUS THINGS AWAY FROM YOU!!!
They are too important :)
LAST BUT DEFINITELY LEAST, I want to dedicate this blog post to my favorite college freshmen (shown below). I have known these kids - my apologies - young adults their entire lives. They are special and talented in their own unique and perfect way. They make me laugh, smile, and sometimes curse, but I would not trade them for ANYTHING. They each carry a light that is so beautiful, pure, and full of hope. While I know that light will be tested - that is how this world is - I pray that it never deems it because it will guide them to the successful and bright futures I know they will have. I love you all so much.
David runs to the back room and spots the red duffle bag he was instructed to get. He grabs the old rolling chair from the desk, places the heavy duffle on it, and rolls it to the dining room. He is extra careful as he and the wobbly rolling chair makes its way down the hallway.
As he gets closer to the kitchen, he hears more voices than when he left and slows down to peek his head in to as “who’s hear?”. His father smiles, knowing that he had taught young David well, “Just Pop and Miss Liz.” David rolls the chair toward his father, high-fiving Pop, and smiling toward Miss Liz, and when his father nods, he knows the chair is close enough. David goes to sit at the kids' table, playing with his toy gun while eavesdropping on the adult conversation.
David’s father, Magnum, looks over at Miss Liz, having a spirited conversation with herself in the floor lengthen mirror and turns to Pops “What is the urgency and why the hell is Liz crazy ass in my house?”
Miss Liz has been in the neighborhood for as long as most people can remember. She was sweet, and everyone always looked after her, especially Pops. Pops had a soft spot for Liz since they were kids growing up together, and he knew she was kinda “crazy,” but when you’re conceived by an older brother taking advantage of his special needs sister, there are bound for a few wires to get crossed.
The alarm goes off signally that someone with the passcode has entered, and it was no one other than Nine with his girlfriends, Krystal and Tisha, right behind him.
Nine and Magnum have been running together for years. They got their nicknames from the armed robberies they committed together in high school. Of course, they would and still tell all the women they fucked with that the nicknames were for another reason.
How do you think Nine got Krystal and Tisha to stop fighting over him and agree to a polygamous relationship? With his nine, of course.
Pops smiles, “Nine! Sit down. This is important, and Magnum is getting impatient.”
Magnum and Nine sit at the heads of the dining room table with Pop and an empty seat on one side and Krystal and Tisha on the other. Magnum looks at Pop again, “Speak!”
Pops takes his hat off and sits it on the table, “I know where Leo is.”
Nine and Magnum give each other looks of disbelief.
Pops continues, “Y'all know since Leo got out, he has been laying low.”
Nine interrupts, “He better. That nigga owes us.”
“Exactly why I am bringing this information to you. He is hiding out at the Grato Hotel on King St. Room 318” Pops says with a slick smile.
Nine jumps up, “Let’s go.”
Magnum being the more practical one, “How you know? Who told you?”
Pop drops his head while looking over at Liz.
“Aww, Hell Naw!” Nine yells while sitting back in his seat.
Pop walks over to Liz, “I know what yall are thinking, but she was outside the corner store and heard the owner tell the delivery guy to take the order to the Grato Hotel on King St. Room 318 for Leo.”
Pop looks around the room and continues, “Y'all know Leo’s step-uncle runs that hotel. It would be the perfect place to stash him.”
Nine hops out of his chair again, pull his dreads back in a ponytail and stomps toward Liz. “Look here, looney bitch. Did you hear them talking about Leo or that some crazy shit you made up in your head?”
Pop tries to protect her from Nine but Nine pushes him out of the way. Liz stutters in fear “I-, I-, I- “
Magnum yell in his deep baritone voice, “EVERYBODY SIT DOWN!” Pops and Nine slowly walk back their seats.
Magnum gets up and walks toward Liz. He grabs her wrinkled chocolate hand and places it in his large hand, guiding her to the dining room table. He pulls her chair out and motions her to sit. As Magnum sits back at the head of the table, she smiles at him.
“Liz, when you were outside the corner store, what did you hear the owner tell the delivery driver?” Magnum says in this soothing and charming voice.
The room is dead silent, waiting for her answer.
She speaks, “Take to Grato Hotel on King St. Room 318. Ask for Leo” She looks around the table then continues, “What planet am I on?”
Sighs fill the room as Nine declares, “Everybody get out! I gotta talk to my boy.”
Pop takes Liz and leaves the house after saying, “I wouldn’t have brought this to you if I didn’t think it was legit.”
Krystal and Tisha take David into the kitchen to make him a snack. Nine slaps them both on the ass as they exit.
Nine goes to sit next to Magnum, “You don’t actually believe this crazy bitch, do you?”
Magnum shakes his head “I don’t know, man. What if she is right?”
“This bitch don’t know what planet she’s on, but you expect me to believe she knows where Leo is at”
Magnum responds to Nine, “It's not just her, though. Pops brought this to us.”
While their birth fathers were either dead or in jail, Pops always gave them an alibi or a hot meal when they need.
Nine softens, “Yes, that’s true, and I know how bad you want Leo, but this intel ain’t solid.”
Magnum hits the table as he gets up “I don’t give a fuck! You know what Leo took from me! He owes me!”
“He owes me too, nigga. He owes us!” says Nine getting in Magnum’s face.
“Then why am I the only one trying to go get him?” Magnum states pushing toward Nine.
Nine doesn’t take the bait but walks away. “Look nigga, I’m usually the crazy one, and you are the brains, but somehow we done switched. I’m just trying to be smart about this”
After a minute of silence, Nine proposes a plan “There is only one way to find out if he is there or not. Leo owes US. We need to find this nigga” Magnum nods in agreement, “We move after dark.”
Hours go by, and Magnum finds himself tucking David into bed. “Daddy, are you going to find Leo tonight?”
Magnum chuckles at his nosey son, “Yes. Leo stole from me and Uncle Nine. He owes us. And what happens to people who owe us?”
David puts on the most serious face a seven-year-old could muster and answers, “Pay or Die.”
Magnum rubs his head and kisses him good night, “That’s right. Sleep tight”
As Magnum walks toward the door and turns off the light, David calls out, “I hope you find him,” as he closed his eyes to fall asleep.
As Magnum walks toward Nine’s room, he hears the moans of Nine, Krystal, and Tisha. Magnum knocks on the door, “Nigga put it away and let’s roll.”
Nine grunts from the other side of the door, “Nigga hold the fuck up.”
The moans turn to grunts and screams of release, and moments later, Nine emerges from the room with a massive grin on his face.
Magnum walks toward the dining room, “Really?!” Nine just shrugs and follows him.
They grab the red bag, get in the car, and head toward the Grato Hotel.
As they approach Leo’s room, Magnum can feel his face getting hot. Leo ruined his life and owed him his.
Nine uses the key he stole off the cleaning cart to enter Leo’s room. They find Leo on his couch doing lines of coke while watching late-night talk shows. Leo attempts to yell, but Nine punches him in the face and knocks him out cold.
Leo awakes to his hands, feet, and body tied to a chair with Magnum and Nine looking at him.
Nine breaks the silence, “Well look who done woke the fuck up.”
Magnum continues to stare without speaking.
Nine continues, “We been looking for you, Leo. It’s been a long-ass time. The last time we saw you, the cops was taking your ass away before we could get to you. I even tried to get my connects inside to get you, but you joined a gang for protection. That was smart.”
Nine looks at Magnum, who is still staring at Leo. “You remember Magnum, right, Leo?? You remember what you did?”
Leo looks at Nine and then Magnum, “Look, man, I am so sorry. I didn’t know. I didn’t find out until I was inside; that is why I had to join the gang in the first place.”
Magnum asks Leo, “Why the fuck is you out? After seven years? How?”
Leo shaking and scared, replies, “Technicality. The judge who handled my trial was corrupt, and all his cases were thrown out, and people were released. Again. I am so sorry. I didn’t know about Stacey.”
Magnum yells, “Don’t say her fucking name!!”
Nine watches as Magnum approaches Leo, yelling, “Don’t you dare! She was beautiful, kind, loving, and pregnant!! You killed my wife. You could have killed my son. And now I am going to kill you.”
Before Nine could stop him, Magnum releases his entire clip into Leo.
Magnum just stood there, staring at the man who killed the woman he loved seven years ago.
He could hear Nine scurrying around, grabbing shell casings and gun, and putting them in the red bag. He could hear Nine saying that they were not supposed to shoot him but torture him. He could hear Nine telling him they had to go as the police sirens drew closer.
Magnum knew he should leave, but his legs wouldn’t move. All he could think about was Stacey, how much he loved her, and how he wanted for the day to kill her killer.
Nine pulls Magnum out of the hotel room and into the car seconds before the police arrive.
They drive back to the house in silence.
The next morning, Krystal and Tisha are making breakfast for the boys. David is already at the table with Nine when his father comes into the kitchen. David hands his father the newspaper and asks, “Did you find Leo, Daddy?
Magnum looks over at Nine, then to his son, “I did.”
David then asks, “Did he pay or die?”
Nine responses to David, “What he owed was too great, so he had to die.”
David smiles as Krystal places and pancakes on his plate. They all eat breakfast in peace, knowing justice is served.
This week I am picking a writing prompt from this book I recently bought. This prompt this week is:
Name something you're afraid to try but really want to. What makes you afraid to try it?
I have wanted to try skydiving since I saw Will Smith talk about his experience doing it. He says he confronted fear. He also says that it is the point of maximum danger and minimum fear. It honestly looks likes the most excellent and scariest experience of all time.
My cousin has been a few times and confirms how amazing the experience is.
The reason I have not tried it is also the reason I want to do it. FEAR.
I have a fear of not having control. This is the reason I try to plan and prepare for everything. I honestly feel like skydiving would be a therapeutic experience for me. I would come face to face with my greatest fear. ABSOLUTELY NO CONTROL!
Therapy has helped with my control issues, but I still feel like skydiving would be amazing for me and JUST FUN!
And while facing that fear and still being able to jump out of the plane, I would be fearless.
In an article in Jumptown, a skydiving website in Massachusetts, they describe the way skydiving makes you feel as:
To leap out above the clouds, far above (and in spite of) the crowd that tells you you're crazy for doing it, is quite literally falling in love. It gets you out of your worried head; it shows you how powerful you are; it gives you a peek at just how much brilliance life has in store for you.
Past injuries and future preoccupations literally disappear during a skydive. During that time in the sky, you are one hundred percent present. For some, that's a gift beyond price.
Maybe one day, I will be able to build the courage to go skydiving. You know I have done the research on the subject and found a place near the beach. Does anybody want to come?
I’ve made some progress in my weight loss journey to lose the quarantine weight, but I have been in the place before. I have been in the place where I start making progress, and I feel good, but I am not making it fast enough, so I give up. Or I feel like I am making progress so I can fall back into some old habits – what’s the worse that can happen – then I start picking the weight right back up. So, this week I am going to write an open letter to myself to keep me motivated on this journey. I hope you will be able to read it to be motivated as well.
Life can be unpredictable, which can lead to amazing moments, but it can also lead to tough and challenging times. Tough times often build tough people. However, getting through that tough times can seem too big of a task. When life gets tough, it is essential to remember that it is okay to ask for help, that tough times happen to everyone, and you are stronger than you realize. These are things I had to tell myself in 2017. The summer of 2017 was one of the hardest times of my life. I was broke, depressed, and ashamed to ask for help. Get ready because it is storytime.
For some back story, when I graduated college in 2016, I was determined to go off and live this fabulous life I dreamed of. I was going to graduate with my degree, get a fantastic job in the city, have a fly ass apartment, and live my life like a fab sitcom. And I did…or attempted to…
I moved to Raleigh the day after I graduate with a "promising" job at a "marketing firm" to my "fly ass" apartment to begin my "fab" life.
A LOT of quotation marks, right? RIGHT!! So here is the real real
I moved into a cheap apartment in a questionable neighborhood – I mean a lady got mugged in my apartment complex parking lot – with a job that ended up falling through THE DAY I SIGNED MY LEASE. Luckily, I found another "promising job," which was me standing in a retail store (Walmart, Sam's Club, Best Buy. Etc) for HOURS multiple times a week, asking people if you would like AT&T cable service.
I am not saying that job is horrible but it not for me!
So, I quit! In my mind, I have this brand-new business degree, meaning I can get any job I want, right?
After applying around in July 2016, I ended up getting a job at a call center working for Blue Cross Blue Shield as a tele-insurance agent. After a few months, I got an offer at a logistics firm for a sales/marketing position with great pay and excellent benefits. Sept 2016, I started at the logistics firm; everything was going well. I was making good money, being social, things we great. UNTIL...
Feb 2017, I GOT LAID OFF!
Never in my life would I think that at the age of 22, I would get laid off. I thought that shit only happened to people in their 40s.
This is where I think my depression started, and everything went downhill.
I applied to be the marketing assistant at an amazing nonprofit that tutors low-income kids. I loved that job. I got to use the marketing skills that I developed in college, BUT I was making peanuts. It was a nonprofit, so they couldn't pay me a lot, but I loved the work, so I got a second job at Target to help with the bills. Whenever I wasn't at the nonprofit, I was at Target and vice versa.
I was not social, I was BARELY making ends meet, I was paying bills with my credit cards with no idea how I was going to pay that bill either, and whenever I did have a day off, I would stay in the house and play video games. I WAS STRUGGLING.
BY THE WAY, I was lying to everyone that I was doing great. Whenever I talked to my mom, granny, or friends, I would tell them EVERYTHING IS GREAT knowing that was a whole ass lie!!!
I did this for 4 MONTHS! Crying in my car from being so tired from working multiple jobs and side gigs to make ends meet, only eating two times a day sometimes because I couldn't afford three meals that day, lying to my family and friends. I remember crying on my MF Birthday.
I WAS DEPRESSED AND BROKE AND FELT SOOO ALONE!!! My life wasn't supposed to be like this.
Then I broke down
In July 2017, I could not afford my rent. I had maxed out all my credit cards, I had only a few hundred in the bank, and I had no idea what to do. I balled up in my closet crying my eyes out thinking about how all I wanted to do was disappear, I wanted to leave and hide where no one could find me, and honestly, I wanted to die. Death felt easier than telling my family I failed.
BUT THANK GOD
Something in my heart told me to pick up the phone and call my family. I called my Godmother, who was with my grandmother, and I just started crying and telling them the whole truth about me struggling and being broke.
My grandmother called my mother and told her to leave work right now because they were coming to Raleigh to get me. THANK GOD FOR MY AMAZING FAMILY.
I moved back SC feeling like a failure and honestly being a bit depressed there but with my family and friends' support. I made it through. I got a new job, saved some money, and got back on my feet.
That summer was one of the toughest times in my life, but it was in those moments that I figured so much about myself and learned my most valuable lessons. I learned that it is okay to ask for help, that everyone struggles and I learned hard lessons about finances.
I realized I am stronger than I give myself credit for, and most importantly, my friends and family will love me NO MATTER WHAT – not everyone can say that.
Tough times are difficult, but having a support group in your corner, you can get through it and come out stronger on the other side.
Share some of your tough times and tough lessons in the comments below. Let's support each other!!
1. Actually Apologize
This one is super simple. Start by saying, "I'm sorry" or "I apologize." Many people get this part right, but it is the next few steps when things go all downhill.
2. Clearly State your Wrongdoing
In this step, you need to clearly state what you are apologizing for and what you did wrong. When you are doing this, you need to be able to honestly and openly say you are at fault in the situation. If you are not sure what you are apologizing for, you should not start an apology. You need to backtrack and listen to the person you have wrong and understand where they feel you have wrong them. IF YOU ARE NOT SORRY, DO NOT APOLOGIZE.
3. DO NOT MAKE EXCUSE!
This step is the MOST significant part. It also grinds my gears when done incorrectly. An apology is not the time for excuses. If you think the person you are apologizing to did something wrong or is an effect of what they did wrong, it is okay to request an apology from them or even say I will not apologize for your mistakes until they apologize for theirs. BUT DO NOT APOLOGIZE WITH THE EXPECTATION OF GETTING AN APOLOGY BACK. Your apology needs to stand on its own without any excuses or expectations of reprisal.
4. Plan to Move Forward
This step indicates why this situation won't happen again and what steps to take to ensure that. This plan should include the person receiving your apology. How this plan looks depends on the infraction or wrongdoing and the person. If you apologize for eating someone's food in the fridge, the plan might be to ask to make sure the person doesn't want it before eating it. However, if the infraction is infidelity, then the other person may need a lengthy step by step plan to ensure it will not happen again. This plan is dependent on the answer you will receive to the last step.
5. Ask for Forgiveness
This step is also straightforward, but many often forget it. The point of an apology is to admit wrong AND ask for forgiveness. Many people say, "I am sorry" and then expect the person to say I forgive you, but there is so much power in the asking. When you ask for forgiveness, it ties the apology with a bow of saying, "I know what I did was wrong, and I would like you to forgive me for it." There is a vulnerability in that statement which goes with the sincerity of the apology. In many ways apologizing in a vulnerable act because it humbles you, and when you wrong someone that also makes that person vulnerable and when you apologized, it also puts you in the vulnerable space, so everyone is on an equal playing field.
These steps are how to deliver a productive and real apology. Again, I firmly believe you should not apologize if you don't feel like you did anything wrong. Let's remove this notion that everyone must apologize even with children. You should also never apologize to get an apology in return because there will be cases where you will not get one back or at least not one you believe.
Let us normalize forgiving people without an apology. I would instead do the internal work to forgive someone who I feel has done me wrong, then have someone give me a half-ass insincere apology that would make me madder. Asking forgiveness can be hard, but giving forgiveness makes you strong. (That is a blog post for another week)
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.