29tolife

Just another WordPress.com site

Archive for the month “November, 2011”

Passing Along a Great Throwback Blog

Salvatore Vuono/freedigitalphotos.net

I’ve been thinking about passion (not the open-mouthed, french-kissing, loin-tingly kind, but the one in the heart that beckons you to do something greater and for the greater good).

It seems that me and all of my friends are doing the obligatory pre-30 self-inventory about what’s important and if we are doing what we should be doing for the rest of their lives and will it be enough? We all have been grappling with knowing our passion may not be fiscally comfortable (for awhile) but one thing is clear– something’s just not right about our current direction.

One of my friends just told me this week that at 32, she has to constantly remind herself she is not a failure because she isn’t where she thought she’d be by now. I had to tell her, this economy has been a killer and is the main contributor as to why it appears she hasn’t gotten to where she wants to be, particularly in the industry she’s in. She’s totally capable, but these times are straight ugly.

I understand completely.

Look no further than the past at this blog from 11points.com, circa 2009. They mention folks who totally changed up the game at or after 30, and that’s when they became truly successful and even famous. Which gives me hope and encouragement that I can indeed become a success with the business I plan to launch.

Folks like action star Sly Stallone (deli clerk), mogul/ex-con Martha Stewart (stockbroker), and opera legend Andrea Bocelli (laywer) all flipped the script and decided to follow their hearts, and clearly raging success wasn’t far behind. Read the rest of the really fascinating list. I didn’t know Julia Child was a spy for the U.S. government before she taught the world how to cook a mean bird or speaking of chicken,  KFC’s Col. Sanders seemed to have a colorful resume prior to becoming the king of poultry later on in life.

Today’s take away message is hopes and dreams don’t have an expiration date and that sometimes changing course is necessary to get to your greater self. I’m inspired.

Advertisements

The Hottest Reality Star That Ain’t On T.V.

I like reality shows, I really do.

But I don’t like the effect it’s starting to have on people. Especially young women. I can’t tell you how many times I hear folks my age and younger who don’t necessarily want to be Kim Kardashian or have her rep, but they want her “life.”

It just really pisses me off. While she and her sisters came out with a really solid, successful line at Sears (there’s a pair of faux leather pants I really want), this reality star worship is really getting on my nerves. I couldn’t believe there was a line wrapped around the block and a wait time of 30 minutes just to get into Kim K’s Soho store Dash when I was back in NYC a few weeks ago.

With all the hair pulling and backstabbing of the Basketball wives, or any of the Housewives of Anyplace, it makes me long for the day when women were ladies. I think of people like my mom, and aunts and teachers and such who managed to work hard all day, give back to not only their own families, but their community and still manage to look pretty fabulous in the process even though they were dead tired.

Today it seems we put undeserving people on pedestals because they are rich and beautiful (regardless if that wealth was earned or the beauty manufactured and paid for), meanwhile, the women around us, who work hard, who nurture us and pick us up when we are down are often brushed to the side, taken for granted and taken advantage of. If you are reading this blog, you are probably totally one of those people.

So I’ve decided.

If you are getting up every morning to go to work or school even when you know you don’t feel like it and even when you have a couple of sick days to burn, if you are being responsible with your money and paying your bills instead of being reckless at the mall, if you are a mom, an auntie or someone’s mentor, then you, my dear are the REAL reality stars.

Will we get endorsements and fragrances? Probably not. But make sure you show some love to someone who is working really hard who often goes unnoticed. If no one has noticed you lately, know that I do and I appreciate you too! You and I are the realest reality stars out there.

Is Tattoo Removal Erasing History, Or A Sign of Maturity?

As you hit your latter 20s, you reflect on a lot of decisions you made over the last decade. Sometimes, the consequences of those decisions stick with you far longer than you thought. For me, it was a ridiculous credit card bill (that took about five years to pay off completely), and ignoring the U.S. Department of Education for about two years when they said they wanted their money back three months after graduation.

For one of my girls, her decision was far more permanent and much more visible in a cocktail dress.

It’s a tattoo.

ohmega1982/freeimages.net

I get a text from her last night saying she’s found a place to perform the procedure and she is having it removed.

“I mean, who puts a bumper sticker on a Bentley?” she asked.

Remembering the day she and another one of our friends got tats, I smiled and I asked her why. I pretty much knew what she would say, but I still wanted to hear her say it anyway. This was also instant blog fodder.

“I was 18 and stupid and I think it’s kind of ghetto and I don’t want it in my wedding pics.”

She’s not about to get married right now, nor is she in a relationship by the way, but I get her point.  In general, she’s a professional woman who is often going to galas for her job, where in this case, that tat, and her teenage judgement would be exposed in front of her colleagues and subordinates.

Even if she didn’t hold the position she holds, I think this is all a part of the self inventory that tends to take place as we edge nearer to 30. She doesn’t want to be looked at in a certain light because of something she thought was cool at 18.

Don’t get me wrong. I know a lot of brilliant people with tats, and of the professional ones who decided to get them even after those rebellious years, they strategically decided to make sure they were in places where people couldn’t see during the 9 to 5.  However, I do believe there is a double standard for women with tattoos though, and that they may be seen as unsophisticated, or wild.

I was the chicken of the group. I managed not to get tats or belly rings when my friends did en masse. The only thing I did get was a piercing at the top of my ear. Funny thing is I rarely even wear it these days. It’s still cool though!

What are some of the mistakes from your teenage years or early 20’s that you find yourself still having to live with today?

Burnt Out @ 30? Hell Yes. Forbes Says I’m Not Alone

Ambro/Freedigitalphotos.net

There are certain days where it seems your Facebook feed is just giving you exactly what you need on a day you need it most.

Yesterday, I got soaked in the rain, running to an assignment at the U.S. Capitol, only to be told the venue where a forum was being held had to be evacuated and I couldn’t get to where I needed to be (me thinks they were still trying to hunt down the man who was shooting at the White House, because he was hanging out on the Natl Mall).

In addition, I was trying to figure out how to scrape pennies together to go home to visit my family for Thanksgiving, and a package of samples for the new business I’m trying to start was being held in limbo three days beyond my supposed arrival date. I needed those samples to validate me and push me forward. Why couldn’t they have just arrived when they were supposed to? Now, because of the hours at the post office and my work schedule and commute, I have to wait to pick them up Saturday. Boo. I also came home to an unexpected misunderstanding with my rental office in the form of a letter I didn’t like, and I was just funky.

But good ol Facebook. The first message of hope came in the form of a post from a close friend who works with at-risk teens. He mentioned a 13-year-old girl came to his class with a tee shirt that said “Show me your money and I’ll be your girlfriend.” The business I am starting involves young women and positive messages and I was reminded then and there, sans my fabulous samples, I need to keep on keeping on with my project. I instantly told my friend to remember that child, because when my project is ready, I want to involve her.

The next post came in the form of a fabulous article from Forbes magazine. “Why Millenial Women Are Burning Out At Work by 30

I couldn’t help but read it.

I was wondering if I was going crazy or if I was ungrateful for being frustrated with the course of my life and how hard I was working and not really being rewarded at an equal level, the way my hard-working baby boomer parents told me things would turn out.

I was wondering if I was going crazy because I was willing and even ready to learn a new business after putting so much time, effort and a degree in a business I’d been working in in the last decade. It was scary.

It wasn’t supposed to work this way. I was supposed to become a fabulous columnist at a large newspaper and teach at a local university by 40. However, the way the media industry has been going these days, the same fabulous columnists I idolized are on the unemployment line themselves and wanting MY job. Gone are the days of working someplace for 40 years. Babyboomers are now being kicked to the curb and having their retirement funds drained by companies they were  so fiercely loyal to, who in turn, they believed would be loyal to them too.

Back to Forbes. I’m burned out. This article was so on point, and it made me feel a bit better that I wasn’t some ungrateful, little punk. Thank you Larissa Faw for saying it! A friend commented on my Facebook page that she was glad someone finally addressed this too. In closing, I’d like to share my response, which in my opinion sums up nicely how I feel about the whole thing:

See, ok. We are going to have to catch up real soon for real. There are moments where I’m like, shouldn’t I be more grateful? I should right? Then I’m like no, there’s nothing wrong with wanting more and being tired of killing myself everyday for whatever it is we are all working towards. Because of course, we all have to be striving towards something all the time, right? Something has got to give. I’m already worn out. I don’t care what anyone says. Women in our generation have a much more complicated situation than the women before us. Even though we have more wealth, education and independence, it comes at a serious cost. Not saying previous generations had it better, but where exactly are we headed? Will we even have the mental and emotional stability to enjoy whatever it is we have worked to achieve?

VIDEO POST: Talk About Perspective…

africa/freedigitalphotos.net

The women featured in this documentary put all these wack chicks fretting over turning 30 to SHAME!!!!

It’s called “The Beauty of Aging.” All of the women in this video are over the age of 80, and they are freaking inspirational. They have been through it all and they are sharp, powerful and amazing.

They talk about the loss of friends and loved ones and being left behind and they also talk about still gettin it in!!! These ladies are fabulous.

Perspective folks, live your best life the whole way through. Be thankful, find ways to be happy. I was in a crappy mood today, and this video helped!! There is so much wisdom in our older generations, they are awe-inspiring.

http://www.beautyofaging.com/the-trailer.html

The Blog I’m Not Afraid to Write Anymore

One of the grand life events everyone hopes to have nailed down by 30 or wants to nail down shortly after 30-especially women- is getting married.

I’ll be heading to NYC tomorrow to celebrate the union of a good friend and his beautiful and wonderful bride. They are a great couple and I’m very proud of him, especially considering he’s one of those nice guys who had no problem complaining about always seeming to finish last.

He has made it to the winner’s circle. Not because he’s getting married, but he found the right person and he actively works on making her happy. In turn, she does the same for him. When he made his mind up, he was ready.

He was ready. That part takes a lot of patience and a lot of courage.

I should know. Here comes the hard part.

I got through my younger cousin’s wedding  about two months ago managing to get only a bit misty-eyed. But this one may be tougher, especially when friends in my circle take that stroll down the asile.

I wanted to leave my personal baggage out of it, but I’m going to keep it real.

I was engaged for nine months. My engagement ended a few days before the new year of 2011 rang in. The wedding was supposed to be in May. I was madly in love.

Long story short, as time inched closer and the reality of us becoming man and wife was getting more intense, the love of my life said he feared he wasn’t up to the task and that maybe he just wasn’t cut out for marriage at all.

I let out the most heartwrenching wail as he held me in his arms that night and I was numb. The next morning, I took off my ring, put it in its box and went to work feeling completely hollowed out. 

We were very happy for two years. I was going to uproot my life and move to his city. I had gotten the ok from my job to allow me to move and set up an office in our new home. We had passed our premarital counseling with flying colors, until one day he started to change and became more and more distant. I put the deposit down on the dress. The dress was awesome. My goregous shoes still sit high on a shelf in a closet, unworn. My dear friends planned, then quietly canceled showers and parties.

We tried to talk it out. I tried to ease his fears. I told him we could even push back the wedding for a max of two years even, but I couldn’t lose my best friend and we could get through it together and that this change would be scary for me too.

It didn’t matter. For him, a lifetime of dissappointments, a difficult childhood and an uncertain future was too much for him to handle and my love wasn’t going to be enough to pull him out of what was taking him over. He feared his string of bad luck was contagious, and would eventually find me too. He didn’t want to “bring me down.”

But down I went anyway in the subsequent months.

Just a month after the split, I went to see the Alvin Ailey Dance Theater, a birthday gift from him he had purchased well before our breakup. I took a dear friend and as we were led about four rows from the front, I was overwhelmed. I wept in my seat. Embarassed, I prayed the house lights would soon go down to hide me. His gift was beautiful and exactly what I wanted. I would have been happy to just be in the building, but to be so close! That just made things worse. He was the one who was supposed to be sitting with me that day. He was supposed to be holding my hand. I was supposed to be crying because of how moving the show was, not because he was moving out of my life completely. 

The last 11 months have been painful, some days absolutely unbearable. But I’m getting stronger.

There was a time where I thought it impossible to write this down for others to read. I thought it would take years. I’m proud of myself.

Best of all, I can be happy for my friends and family and gush about how great it is to be in love, because I was blessed to be that happy at one time and I will receive that blessing again someday.

So yes, something may stir inside me causing me to cry tomorrow. While my probable tears for my homeboy will be of joy, there is one that I know that I can’t stop from falling– a remnant of the pain still left inside from a great love that just simply could not go any further.

Say It, Write It, Do it. The Power of Writing Things Down

paul/freedigitalphotos.net

A lot of people resolve to do big things by 30.

I think next year is going to be awesome, just off of the sheer fact that I am preparing to launch a business and I’ve been taking classes to help me prepare.

But that big thing aside, one thing I keep hearing in my class and in my research about business leader is be organized and write stuff down. That’s two things, and they actually tell you to write stuff down first so you can actually be organized.

Even the Bible gives this sound advice in one of its lesser known and hard to pronounce book of Habakkuk. And the LORD answered me: “Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it.

It’s a simple thing, but people don’t do it enough. It has to go beyond a sticky note on your computer and the grocery list (budget experts say, this helps you not overspend if you stick strictly to the list while shopping).

I’ve been writing a lot of things down lately. When I get new ideas for my business no matter how big, small or delusional and I also write down ideas for my job as soon as I get them. I’ve learned to listen to myself and to not wait until morning. It doesn’t take that long to write it down and It’s the worst knowing you had a great idea and didn’t write it down as soon as it came to you. What you may or may not remember is totally not as good as the original thought. Train yourself not to be lazy by doing this.

Going back to the vision thing, I did actually do a vision board for my company recently, and things are going well in terms of the planning. It really does help. At a recent marketing event I attended one of the speakers said to actually go to magazines and cut out pictures of people who fit in your target demographic. Give them names and jobs and favorite stores and restaurants. I did that, and I instantly came up with more ideas for more products and services I want to provide.

Most recently, I even wrote a press release for my launch. I’m not ready to lauch yet I’m still quite a few months away, but seeing it in print is amazing motivation and when I read it, I’m kind of impressed with myself, my mission and what I’m about to actually pull off when the time comes.

I leave you with a blog that breaks down 7 Powerful Reasons Why You Should Write Things Down. I may print it out and tape it to my fridge.

Rant Warning: The Evolutionary Reason for a Woman’s Large Capacity to Love

Today’s post is the first of what I call rants. And I’ll be kind enough to let you know by giving it a rant warning sign. You may totally feel me. You may totally think I’ve lost my mind. But think about it.

I came to an interesting conclusion that is more freeing than deciding “He’s just not into you.”

It’s also deciding that you are not so special that when a man says he’s not going to settle down or he doesn’t want to settle down, that you listen and move on.

As women, we have a tendency to believe our love will heal. It does. It’s powerful stuff. I was wondering about our super emotional traits and how they are supposed to actually benefit us going back to the primal, evolutionary days.

I think that all of that extra emotion, all of that extra nurturing is built in us for our CHILDREN. Not our men. The biggest problem women have is we get it confused and we end up expending all of that extra love and emotion on the men first.

We as women really got that thing twisted up. No wonder men are confused. For what they lack in being uber emotional and being built the way they are is… going back to the caveman days, they had to be tough to survive and go out and fight the elements, and to a certain extent, real men who handle their business still have to use these traits. They just aren’t built like us. Fine. Ok. I accept that.

So I get it. We are made how we are made. We have that hormone we give off after having sex that no matter how hard we try will emotionally attach us in some kind of way. It sucks. I detest that, but ok. I accept it.  There is a purpose for it all. And while I sort of despise being more emotional, I’ve learned to acknowlege it. I’ve learned to tell men that I can be rational, but I can be emotional too and you need to value that in me, even if it doesn’t make sense to you. You better be glad I’m this way, because if you want me to be a good mother to your kids, I’m going to need this.

I’ll admit, I thought giving and giving and loving and loving and believing there was something so magic and special about my love. It is magic and it is special, but I’m going to stop putting premium gas in a fucked up car. I’m wasting my resources.

 It’s delusional and kind of self-absorbed, but haven’t you thought that? Haven’t you ever said, “I’m different.” Of course you have. I have too.

With my magic love, the man of my desire would see it, appreciate it, change what’s wrong with him and give love right back equally, the way I like receiving love and with equal enthusiasm to mine.

That is not only delusional. It’s impossible. But we manage to think it’s perfectly reasonable to expect that from a man. No wonder both men and women are so lost.  

 But now, I see the light. It’s good to fall in love and it’s good to give of ourselves but we have to be a bit more stingy with our love when it comes to romance, and a bit more discerning of who we give our love to. Save some of it for who it was, at our most genetic core intended for, our children (future and existing). If you don’t, you will be bitter and always feeling like you are giving more to a man than what you are getting in return. Ration that love. Protect your heart. A man’s instinct is to always protect himself first. We need a little more of that ourselves.

I Had a Veggie Burger and I Liked It

MorningstarFarms.com

Well, it’s two weeks after my master cleanse, and because I am loving that my stomach isn’t hanging out of my pants nearly as much as they used to, and I can fit old clothes, and there’s not an unsightly bulge when I wear form- fitting shirts, I have a very real fear of incorporating meat back into my diet for awhile.

Seems silly doesn’t it? But I think meat and fast food was my slippery slope to being 20 pounds overweight in the first place.

I’m not quite sure if I want to go all the way vegetarian, but now that I’ve been three weeks meat free (I do eat seafood), not having as much meat as I used to seems to be a good look for the long haul.

I’m not a big steak person so giving up beef isn’t that big a deal. I converted to turkey burgers a long time ago, only eating beef burgers from time to time. I eat pork a couple of times a year, usually ham for holidays and my family recipie of chopped North Carolina Style bbq (also known as pulled pork). I make that like once in the summer. Once again, I happily replaced pork bacon with turkey bacon in my diet.

The only problem I have is with chicken. I seriously think that I could probably eat chicken every day of the week, and I probably have sometimes. I’m glad the master cleanse has given me so much discipline over the way I eat. I really think about it now. Which brings me to trying the veggie burger. My friends keep telling me, there’s no reason to fear chicken. Just don’t fry it all the time, and don’t go nuts at Popeyes. They are probably right, but I’ll decide on meat after I go to a wedding and wear an awesome dress next week. I may even push it to Thanksgiving so I can show my mother my progress and she can stop asking me if “I’m in the family way.”

The real test was if I could actually like Burger King’s veggie burger which is made by Morningstar (which would also let me know if it was worth buying a few patties to make at home). I know, I just mentioned I had a fast food problem… some would say why is this a good test? But that’s what I decided to do. I was lazy. I forgive myself.

I went after work for my dinner. It was actually good. I had lettuce, tomato, mayo and ketchup on it, even though I did ask for cheese and I wanted pickles too. But it took so long to make (other vegetarian blogs warned about this), I didn’t get snobby.

I got home and took a bite. It wasn’t bad. It actually had a taste to it. I was pleased. This could be something else to work into my new diet.

I had to laugh because I’ve had two vegetarian boyfriends in my lifetime, one of whom wanted me to like veggie burgers and bbq tofu so bad, and I was unmoved. I actually texted him to tell him I haven’t eaten meat in three weeks. He probably didn’t recognize my number, lol.

Either way, much to my surprise. I had a veggie burger and I liked it.

Fortunately it didn’t taste like a tire. And unlike Katy Perry’s hit song “I Kissed a Girl (and I Liked It)” it didn’t taste like cherry chapstick either.

Wonder if I can really lose 30 by 30… 10 down 20 to go… Now to find the right exercise regimen that I won’t get bored with or stop doing…

Post Navigation