Don’t Put All Your Eggs In The College Basket.

Brought to you by a college student.

Take it from me, college isn’t everything. I also do not subscribe to the fallacy of the laptop lifestyle because it’s way more difficult than that. I am the girl who believed in school as a source of security.  I still believe in college, just not as much.

My curiosity began when I realized that many people could not afford college. I grew up in a low-grade environment. Most kids prayed to finish high school. I was lucky enough to come from a family that could support my education. That didn’t mean it was easy, there were days I was sent home for not paying fees and sometimes I missed classes. However, I was grateful that it was an option in the first place. I remember asking the girl next door what the plan was, since college was out of the question. She said she’d start a business. In my mind, I shook my head thinking that she would probably end up like the people in my street. Boy was I wrong. I don’t know where she is today but I wish I could go back to tell her that she’d be just fine.

For me, education meant extra work. I couldn’t afford to put in average effort as my chances of getting the best education would come only from a scholarship. I had to work extra hard. I was always at the top of my class but my school was also one of the lesser quality schools. This meant that my ‘best in class’ could mean bottom of the class somewhere else. Extra work.

Growing up, I was so playful. I love playing. I couldn’t sit still in class for any reason. I had to focus and no, I don’t have ADHD. I was just excited about life. School was never stressful for me but I always wondered how the other kids who thought different would cope. Fast forward at least 17 years later, I know they should be doing fine, if they want to. School is not the only answer.

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Now, I’m in college and it’s not as easy as I thought it would be. I’m not as ‘bright’ as I used to be. I broke down at least thrice in the last two years. I feel like I’m in a race and everyone is leaving me behind. I still believe in not giving up. I like finishing whatever I start. So, no I won’t give up on college. Call me stubborn but that’s just me.

Lately I’ve been feeling out-of-place and scared of everything ahead because I’m so unsure. Most people call me crazy and unfocused for trying anything else other than just Medicine but this is me. I may finish this journey and become a doctor. I may also finish and never use my certificate. I was never forced to do this so I believe I get the choice to change it even though I’m too scared to.

I don’t know. I really don’t. I guess I’m just too chicken. I’m writing this to tell anyone out there who feels like they won’t go far because they can’t afford college that they’ll make it. IF you work hard enough and find something you’re passionate about, you’ll find a way to make money out of it. If you’re in college, whether or not you’re doing well, please do not think it will solve your problems. It’s a tough world out there. If you don’t love what you do, it will drive you crazy.

Treat college for what it is, a place to learn about yourself, not as the answer to your problems.

College is one basket. Don’t put all your EGGS in it.

 

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An Apology to My Creativity

This month I was lazy. This month, I played a gamble. This month I lost.

I got really lazy this month and felt like it was a good idea to stop writing. I felt lazy all the time. Morning, afternoon and night, I found a new excuse to give. By March 20th, I told myself that I wanted to see if people would come here whether or not I posted. Sadly they did come. How silly of me.

I spent hours and hours scrolling through feeds of other people’s content, refusing to create mine. I apologize. To the audience that came back. To the readers that have messaged me at some point to tell me how they loved an article I wrote. I got carried away, looking for new ways to increase my finances. I lost sight of what was important.

Even though, I had written about how I was never going to let it happen in this article. I apologize to my unused creativity. I promise never to abuse the gift that was given to me.

Although my reasons for trying to increase my financial standing was to help the growth of this blog, I still lost track. Nothing is worth sacrificing the vision for. Sometimes, slow and steady is always better.

I’m back and I’m better. I’m here for the long run. I hope you stick around on this ride to see how far it takes all of us. Most of all, I hope it blesses you as much as it blesses me.

If you want to read about the last time I lost track, here’s the article

Standing Up In The Face Of Rejection

I sincerely thought I could deal with rejection until I got a new kind of rejection. I struggled with it and I had to seek some help and re-orient myself. After a little research, reading articles and talking to friends, I felt so much better and I decided to share what I’ve learned with you guys.

Starting a virtual assistant business has had me putting myself up for scrutiny every other day and having to face, more often than not a big fat “NO”. Right now, I dread my inbox due to the number of emails I’ve been getting. But why does rejection hurt so much? It’s because our brains are wired with the same pathways for physical pain as the emotional feeling of rejection.

The pain that lingers when we feel rejected is self-damaging and self-inflicted

How can you deal with this pain?

First, realize that it is absolutely normal and the people who rejected you or your work are the minority and do not really define and speak for the rest of the population. We are 7 billion on the planet, you still have a long way to go. Then, use the pain to your advantage. See it as a wake- up call to be better and to improve. I always say, use everything as an excuse to improve.

Everyone needs to experience pain at least once in their lifetime because it corrects the idea of perfection in your mind

Avoid taking things personally. It’s really not because they were out to get you. Try to be objective about the situation. If you were in their shoes and you had to pick 5 out of 100 people, someone has to go. If logic fails you, and you can’t possibly think of a good reason why you were rejected, then it goes to show that it is a loss on their part. This is especially true in relationships.

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Make new connections with people. Wallowing in your sadness and shame of being rejected will not help you get through the feelings you may be dealing with. Trying to establish new relationships and connections is a sure fire way to remind you that the world is huge and that there are so many new opportunities waiting to be grabbed.

Related: Time To Focus

Avoid destructive self-criticism. As much as this may be tempting to go all “Woe is me”. It won’t help the situation and it will only worsen how you feel and you may roll into depression. Failure and rejection should be handled similarly. Constructive criticism is helpful especially if you get feedback from the person who rejected you. If you focus on working hard to get what you want, you won’t have the time become self-piteous.

Related: The Gift of Failure

Rejection, especially constant rejection is a sign that you are trying to live your life to the fullest so don’t give up.

If you need a little more inspiration, I love this article: WHY YOU SHOULD AIM FOR 100 REJECTIONS IN A YEAR.

Finally, PRAY. Yes, I said it, PRAY. If you’re religious or even if you’re not. Prayer and meditation are good ways to work through any emotion whatsoever. As a Christian, prayer helps me through many things I deal with. Here are some verses that could help:

2Cor 12:9 – And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly, therefore, will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

1 Peter 5:7 -Casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.

Psalm 118: 22 – The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone.  Love this one.

At the end of the day, your self-love is all that matters and if you approve who and what you are, nobody should tell you otherwise. If you believe you’re good enough, soon enough someone else will. It may take time but the time will definitely come.

Stay Awesome.

If you enjoyed reading this post, please share to someone who may need to hear this. If you want to read more, you could snoop around right here:

 Habits For Personal Growth

Small Changes for a New Life

I’m Old. Not like dinosaur old, but I’m far from a spring chicken. The fact that I use the term ‘spring chicken’ just goes to show how old I am.

Ugh.

They say you’re as old as you feel, and for me, I do feel dinosaur old. Well, I did until recently.  As a freelance writer and social media consultant, I spend a lot of time on my ever-growing backside. Sometimes, in life, you get to a point where just have to look at yourself and wonder what the hell went wrong.dinosaur-1430240_1920

For me, that point came when I realized that I was over 250 pounds of all fat, and I’m pretty sure the only thing holding my body together was the tub of ice cream I downed every week. Yeah, things were bad. That was the first small change I made in my life. Actually, it’s a pretty big change and the one that really kick-starts everything else. I had decided enough was enough. I was sick of being fat and the only way to fix it is to work for it. So I did. With kids, family, dog, and life, finding time to sit down and work PLUS do something to stop becoming the Blob was becoming difficult. At least, that was my excuse.

I just don’t have the time.’ Like everyone else had a crap load of time except me.

So, the next thing I did was find a schedule that worked for all (albeit a bit wonky). Unfortunately, this new schedule has me up around midnight, so ouch there. I tend to get up between 12:00 am and 3:00 am to start my day, so it’s still a work in progress to get up and get going.

The biggest part about my change is the addition of a 3 mile walk first thing in the morning. Doing this before I eat help raise and maintain higher metabolism rates in my body, allowing my body to burn off food more efficiently throughout the day. More than that, this early morning walk helps my mind focus and when I unplug during the walk, my mind actually clears and seems to just see things more clearly.

For this walk, I’m not out there trying to run and kill myself, but I am walking brisk enough to sweat and be out of breath at times. That’s very important. If you simply take a leisurely stroll in the morning, your body won’t improve. You need to get your blood flowing and your muscles working to get the true effects of a workout, even if it is only walking. It’s hard. It will be hard. This is where the want comes in to say ‘Get up and get out there, fatty!’ And so I do.pexels-photo-221210 

Do not get down if things seem to slow or be tough. That’s my final little change. I am constantly getting down on myself about everything. To me, it’s as if the entire world rest on my every decision and action – of course, we all know it doesn’t. So, I would tell anyone trying to improve themselves, stop beating yourself up all the time.

Slips happen. Get over it and keep on going. Nobody is perfect. Remember that.

It’s about a month later. I’m getting used to the screwy early schedule and walking first thing in the morning, even before I eat anything, is helping my metabolism stay up and actually increasing my focus throughout the day. When I can, I try to throw a second walk in, but as long as I get my good walk in, I’m a happy camper. My weight has even dropped about fifteen pounds, which makes me want to continue to work.

If you think it’s time for a change in your life, chances are it is. Nobody knows you and your life better than you, and nobody can change your life but you. In the end, it comes down to how much do you really want to change? If you truly want it, anything is possible… Even change.

This is a guest post by Joshua Cook. Please feel free to visit his site below.

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Joshua Cook is a father, blogger, and social media consultant enjoying the beautiful weather in the Pacific Northwest. Recently starting the Cook Consulting and Content Creation firm, Josh is happy to be able to bring his life changing experiences and ideas out to help others.

Letting Go: Setting Yourself Free

People think forgiveness begins and ends with saying ‘ I’m sorry’. When we think of the phrase ‘forgive and forget’, we only see and hear the forgive part, the forget part is well, forgotten. Isn’t that interesting? I’m sure forgiveness exists in every religion in one form or the other. Jesus told Peter to forgive 77 x 7 times which was code for forgive until you can’t anymore translated as a memory wipe whenever we forgive. Ironically, we do everything but that.

Can we really forget? Probably not exactly. You’d need an actual memory wipe for that. lol. But. Do you know that feeling when you think of a situation from your past that used to hurt and now you feel nothing. It’s now a memory of what used to be your reality. That’s as close as you get. If you’re lucky, you might reach that point where it never really comes up in your thoughts or conversation, so its stored in your passive memory and might require some kind of description of the the incident to remind you how and why you were hurt. Wouldn’t you like that?

The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is an attribute of the strong.

-Mahatma Gandhi

Forgiveness is hard. It requires you to accept an apology that was never given and to heal a wound you didn’t inflict. You have to pick yourself up for what seems like no reason. If you have to cry, if you have to think about it, whatever it takes but by the time you get to the end of this, I want you to decide to set yourself free.  You have to move forward to achieve all that you’re meant to. You may not realize it but the chains we use on others bind us too. Like revenge, it always two person package.

There are two easy steps to do this:

  • Forgive
  • Forget

Okay that may not be explanatory.

  • Forgive by trying to remember why and how you got hurt and you started feeling the way you. You just have to do this one time. Think about everything. Pool all the feelings together. Imagine having a conversation with the person, what would they say? what would you have them say? Then. They’ve said it. All you have to do is accept their apology.  Now, let everything go and take a deep breath in and out. It’s over. You may still feel a little but at least today is day one of your recovery.
  • Forget – Don’t think about it anymore. If and when you see them, smile and wave. Resolve the feelings within or express them safely. Write them on paper, throw them away, make a tape and delete it. Whatever works for you. Your peace the most important factor. They may not feel remorse but it’s their burden to carry, not yours.

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 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.

Matt 5: 44  NIV

Phew! Look at you. 10 lbs lighter already. Is it just me or did the room just light up? Try not to harbor any more unhealthy feelings. If you have to talk to the person in question, by all means do.

If, you happen to be the reason someone else is hurt, and it haunts you day and night. You should go apologize in person. They don’t have to accept it. All you need do is sincerely apologize. People reject apologies because they sense insincerity or they still feel hurt. Just let them be, in time, they’ll come around. If they never do, it’s not your fault. You’ve done your part and they’re the one with the burden now. You just have to get right with God. You may try to make it up to them,if you or they feel you should.

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At the end of the day. The idea is to love. Love and love unconditionally. It will always set you free.

It’s (NOT) Okay

Before you crucify me, hear me out. No it’s not okay. I think we need to put a quota on how many times we get to say that because it’s getting out of hand.  It’s not always okay. ‘Okay’ is not the answer. It’s going to be okay is not the answer to the problem. It’s a construct for when you don’t know what to say and now it has become the norm. It’s no longer okay. Think about it, how has saying that helped anything. It’s just a quick fix. Let me explain myself to you.

When someone is hurting, you hear people say ‘It’s okay to feel hurt’ and then after the hurt what next? Nobody comes back to say “here’s how you can work through this” or “this is how you can feel better”. You know what happens in such cases? They absorb the idea that it’s okay to continuously feel okay and nothing more. Before we fought through situations and circumstances, we always got up, we always fought through everything but now, we just want to be ‘understood’. We want to receive applause for being human beings. Oh! You don’t know what I’ve been through, I was [insert a struggle here] but guess what? Clap for yourself. Now get up and move on. Life happens. Sob stories never paid off unless of course you’re a writer.

Today, I watched a short clip on the life of J.K Rowling. How she started, lost a parent, had a miscarriage, got divorced and then decided to put all her effort into the one thing she knew the most, writing. Today, she is worth almost $1 billion dollars. Imagine if all she was told was ‘It’s okay to feel sad, don’t worry it’ll be alright’. In her case, she may or may have not had people say that to her. I’m worried that this generation will be full of people who are just absolutely content with whatever life throws at them. I was born this way, It’s not my fault, I married the wrong guy, If I had gone to better schools. We should stop patronizing these behaviors.pexels-photo-320007.jpeg

The only thing that’s okay is that you have realized where you are and the drawbacks you may or may not have. Once you do, start working through them. Fight! Don’t just sit there and throw a pity party. Did you know that some doctors don’t recommend telling a child with any kind of say behavioral disorder what the name of the disorder is. Yes, the child realizes he/she is not like any other child around them but their parents are told to avoid as much as possible, labeling them with one difficult-to-pronounce medical term. This prevents the child from dwelling within a box that can be broken down.

We need to start picking people up, not building houses in the pits they’ve fallen into. Sometimes, what your friend needs from you is not ‘support’. There will always be time to grieve, break down and cry and weep but once that time is over, it’s time to give life a try again. Tell people hard truths. Not rudely but politely, with love, not with an air of contempt or pity. When people can sense love in your word, even if they may be hostile at first, they will eventually process your words logically. They’ll be grateful for the tough love in the end. Trust me.

While You’re Still Young

Youth flies faster than the speed of light. One minute you’re crawling, the next minute you’re telling your mom you’re now grown up. Truth is you’re 15. I get it, most of us we’re pleasantly misconstrued about life. Now you’re all grown up finally and responsibilities got you owing a lot of debt. You’ve lost that inner child you used to have bubbling inside you and causing you to find new adventure in your life. You have to do what you have to do because you’re mature now.

Okay. Take a deep breath and look around you. Life happens whether you stop or not. Take it all in. Some days I forget I’m only in my early twenties, I’m not even close to twenty five and yet all you hear from me is what I have to, what I have to do. Yesterday, someone asked me, Is it what you have to do? what you want to do? Or what you should do? The saddest part was that hardly any of the answers were intersecting. Sigh. Wouldn’t it be awesome to have all those things be the same? I mean, yes that would only exist in an ideal world but then we can try to get as close as possible because things like doing dishes exist and I do NOT love doing the dishes. Some things never change. Take for example, I’ve noticed a lot of young married couples on Instagram of late and it’s really beautiful to watch. The thing I admire the most is how cool and chill they are or at least they seem to be and some of them have up to three kids. Yet, some of my friends can’t relax.

Mid-life crises percentages are increasing because kids are not allowed to be kids anymore. Rushed curricula, so much pressure from school. Matter of fact, I run a program that has three semesters in a year, four months per semester which is pretty accelerated. No worries, I picked it so I know what I signed up for but then most of these programs are made to save time. A little extra stress to save time. You basically spend your late teens and a good part of your twenties trying to get there. Good grades, volunteering and good recommendation, you just spend your time piling loads of paper to make a good first impression.pexels-photo-261895

Just breathe. While you’re doing all you can to make your life better and to secure a better future, remember you can only be this age once. Personally, I’m scared of those articles that say drink alcohol, have a one night stand etc I’m always wide-eyed wondering why anyone would give that kind of advice but I guess each man to his own. Embracing your youth doesn’t have to mean doing things you could regret. It just means trying to do the things that make you happy and learning how to grow. Trying not to lose your individuality, finding more ways to do the things you love and finding new ways to love the same person over and over again if you’re into that stuff ( which is really cool).

Remember, you’re only young once and you’re only as young as you feel. Never lose your child-like wonder.