29tolife

Just another WordPress.com site

Archive for the tag “young women”

My Tentative Message to the Girls’ Conference

I don’t even find it a coincidence that a few moments ago, I was invited to speak on a panel for a young women’s conference in my hometown in March.

I’m basically a week away from turning 31 (where I told my best friend, this is the year we ‘show em how it’s done, 31’), and I’m reflecting and such anyway.

I was asked about potential topics, and  the main one that came to mind was about talking to the girls about real things that usually result in success.

Folks talk about dreams and hard work, but no one ever gives the specifics like:

Making a Plan.

Revising the Plan.

Finding Mentors.

Doing what it is you want to do for FREE until someone can pay you.

Realizing that the people you may be helping for free can in fact help you later.

Not giving up.

Not listening to negative people.

Sticking to your mentor like glue.

Befriending like-minded people who have similar goals, so yall can eat Ramen by candlelight together and dream out loud. Those friends will hold you accountable and remind you of your dream when you forget.

Having the understanding that feeling tired and uncomfortable and frustrated and as if time is standing still and you are too– is part of the process.

The importance of giving back.

Finding other strong women who really love you and will nurture you.

If what you are doing isn’t working, doesn’t feel right. Then stop. Find the right thing. Do not waste time. Don’t be scatterbrained and mistake lulls for it not being the right thing, but if you are just totally miserable and can’t see a light at the end at all, you need to find something else to do.

You can’t do anything worth doing by yourself. You have to ask for help.

Mistakes can be helpful.

You have to take a risk. If you aren’t a little bit scared, you aren’t trying hard enough or putting yourself out there. You are playing it way too safe.

The second thing I want to say is, there is money and clothes, cars and jewelery if you depend on your looks, your body and a man. But you still have to pay in some kind of way for that life too.

And now after spending the last decade trying to chase an amazing career and make loads of money, I want to really impart on the young women that everyone won’t be a doctor or a lawyer. Everyone won’t be famous or wealthy.

But guess what, if you aren’t, it’s ok. You are not a failure.  The worst thing you can do is something someone else wants you to do that you don’t want to do yourself. It’s wasted time going to school or picking a job because your parents or someone else told you it would make you a lot of money.

It’s about you finding your lane, honestly. Making an honest living that you are proud of , doing work you are proud of.

Even if you don’t go to college, or you join the military or do a trade, or start your own small business, pick something you are interested in. Figure out how to make a living out of it, then use the internet to track down all of the people you admire in that industry and ask them for advice or bounce ideas off of them.

If you decide I want to make enough money to travel once a year and pay my bills and that makes you happy and you aren’t selling your good good on the street or on Craig’s list, then hunny, you do it.

That was the lesson I’m learning in my 30s. I may not become filthy, stinking rich. It won’t hurt, but I’m proud of what I’ve already accomplished and I live independently and I go shopping to buy the things I like and I handle my business. Sometimes you don’t realize how blessed you are.

Have I been looking for a new job? Sure, but I can still pay my bills and splurge on great restaurants and theater and things I like to celebrate my upcoming birthday. I’m so blessed to be able to do that. Right now, that can be enough until it’s my time to do something else.

I’m looking forward to this event. And now, I have to plan something Olivia Popeish to wear to said event!

Love this song. Makes me want to go get em!!!

Beating the Psychology of Doing Bad Things to Feel Good

I just read an article that doesn’t surprise me at all, but for some reason it hit me in a profound way today.

The article I read was basically about a study that concluded overweight girls are at a greater risk of engaging in risky sexual behavior– such as not using birth control, or not having their partners wear condoms, to even being forced to have sex when they didn’t want to.

Keep in mind the stats were even more unsettling because the survey of almost 4,000 girls ranged from around age 13-18.

Sex wasn’t on my mind as a young girl, until I hit 18, surrounded by beautiful young men in college (who were smarter and better looking than the guys from my small town) and a roommate with an active social life that kept her out of our room… I had a boyfriend. We kissed and we touched and fondled and groped in that room until, I couldn’t take kissing and touching and fondling and groping anymore.

He asked me if I was sure, I nodded and took a deep breath.

I took the plunge.

It’s been a battle of discipline, self-esteem, love, rationality, irrationality ever since. I do see the reason why people should wait until they get married, even though I didn’t. Once you dive down that rabbit hole, it opens up a lot of emotions and challenges and human complexities that even people with multiple partners who claim they are cool with casual sex choose to acknowledge or ignore. Regardless of the choice there’s a Pandora’s box of feelings, of reasons why you are choosing to engage in sex, with whom and why.

I can’t imagine what these young ladies are going through having to think about these things as early as 6th and 7th grade. It hurts my heart, really.

But as a 30-year-old woman, I look back at the times I thought sex would make me feel better, and to my shock and dismay, it didn’t.

The bad news for these young, overweight girls is, self-esteem and the complexities of sex and why they are having sex will continue in their 20s, 30s and beyond.

They will find they’ll still struggle if they lose the weight. They’ll struggle if they are a runway model in Milan. They’ll still struggle if they got a degree, or a master’s or a doctorate. They’ll still struggle if they manage to rise in the ranks of a major corporation. They’ll struggle when they meet the perfect guy and he’s bad at sex, or the guy they can’t stand and he’s awesome.

For me, there’s no greater time for emotionally risky sexual behavior than my infamous “ho” phases post breakups.

Speaking of risky sexual behavior, other studies have shown that drugs and alcohol use are usually the culprits behind people having unprotected sex and making bad decisions.

Looking back, I’d say 99 percent of the time that I had self-pity sex, or spiteful sex, or bored sex, I was drunk. And even then I was drunk because I was feeling crappy about myself or I was stressed, or my job was making me nuts. If I was sober and made the date,  I was getting drunk by the time my booty call showed up.

Getting drunk was to muffle the voice saying, you need to be doing this for love and not to escape. This is not real. This is a waste of your time and energy.

I’m older now and although there are times I’m ridiculously horny, I’ve decided I’m willing to wait for the real thing. I owe it to myself. I know what it feels like to be madly in love with someone and be in a committed situation. Truth be told, when I was engaged, during the act, I’d look at him and I’d look at that ring on my hand and my head and heart would synchronize swim in delight. I’ve had no higher sexual experience than that. I’ve always joked that I couldn’t wait until the day I had married, God-approved sex. I still feel that way. I believe it will be highly intense, especially knowing all of the things I know now about love and committing fully to someone and trusting them completely with everything.

Once you have that high, anything outside of that kind of sex sucks, even if it’s great sex with a casual person who you think is cool. You find yourself reconfiguring your emotions afterwards whether you have feelings for the casual person or not.

You find yourself feeling like you wasted your time even if you briefly blacked out in ecstasy moments before. No sooner than you’re putting on your robe, to see them out the door, the euphoria has already come and gone…literally.

It’s not enough for me anymore.

Real great sex lasts longer after that release. Great sex carries over into sleeping late in that person’s arms, and making breakfast together, drinking out of the same glass. It’s watching that person getting dressed and heading out to work. It’s singing along with the radio while you are cleaning the house and sniffing his shirts and it’s coming right back home to that person when the day is done, and knowing that person is going to be there the day after, and the day after and the day after that day.

I’m alone.

Sure there are guys I could call.

There are hot guys I could call. Hot guys with good jobs, who are smart.

I do not love these hot, smart, guys. They do not love me. There is mutual respect. There is honesty about what we are and what we’re not, but no love.

I can’t see myself with them, and I’m not sure if they can see themselves with me in a real relationship.

I’m appreciating the discipline it takes to take control of my mind and my body.

That makes me feel good about myself. (When I don’t feel good about myself and I feel I’m going to crack, it’s time to break out the list of things that make me feel sexy and do the non-sexual things, lol.)

Feeling good about myself, keeps me from making that phone call.

Or in some cases, maybe I did make the phone call. But the good feeling I have about staying true to myself and having the understanding about what it is I really want, gives me the strength to change my mind, call back and say, “I’m sorry, I can’t.”

Love this song and the lyrics by the delightful Elle Varner “Refill”:

Post Navigation