Social Media Hiatus: What I learned

It is so nice to be back to blogging. I have to be honest, I have had writer’s block, I’ve been stressed, and this year I started off with a good cry. 2017 was a humbling experience, for in those moments I concluded being comfortable is not the way to live life. Living comfortably makes me live a repetitious life. That is, going through the same problems, experiencing the same things in life, and just being in the same spot. It is still. It is boring. It is not where I want to be. I guess you can call this a little fast.

In the beginning of the month I came across a video on youtube on how social media contributes to depression. Long story short, whenever we log in to social media and see that we have notifications waiting for us, it is a shot of endorphin (that happy hormone that we can attain through a good steady run). As humans we need to stay active, but we also need human contact as well. Now because we are in the age of technology, both of those needs have been stunted. While the benefit of convenience comes from social media (not having to get up and travel to see anyone), we lack in several other areas of our life which is now taking a toll on our overall health. Instead of physical and mental benefits of attaining a runner’s high from a nice jog with a friend (social benefits), we rely on a notification or like from people we have not seen in months or even years to reaffirm that we are indeed being thought of. And when we don’t receive a certain amount of likes or a response in an efficient amount of time, we question our self-worth.

For those reasons, and allocating my time in a more productive way, is what led me to leave social media for the month of January. January being the beginning of not only a new month but a new year, I noticed I start my new years off disappointed. I spend the last week and a half of December planning my year and setting my goals and when the new year comes, while starting can be hard, the hardest part is being consistent. A lot of the reason is because I find myself comparing where others are in their journey to where I am. While this can be motivating, it is mostly depressing for  me personally. Social media accidentally puts me in this position a lot of times. There were a couple of things I was able to do in this month:

  1. Reclaiming My Time: not only do I have a daughter to care for, but I am a student and also pursuing an acting career. I also have financial, mental, and physical goals I wish to achieve. And while I have social goals, social media is not the only place I can enjoy a conversation. Killing two birds with one stone has always been important to me ever since I learned what it meant. Working smarter, and not harder allows me to complete tasks quicker and allows me more time to relax with my family and pursue my dreams (that’s all I really want to do).
  2. Focusing on my Studies: Without having a planner (I still need to get one, but the one I want is expensive), I have been able to allocate my time efficiently to my classes and complete my assignments early. I have also learned how to further engage with my classmates (who said online classes are boring?).
  3. Networking & discovering new things: I have gotten around to doing things I said I would and with that I have met some new contacts! I met a real-estate agent in the salon through talking about God. I was also finally able to finish reading this book (review coming soon) and by the end of the book, I found more resources for auditions—I’ve been looking for this information for a year.
  4. Learning from my environment: I was able to watch those around me in their phones and see how robotic and uniform we look as a whole. There is something unsettling about that. Not being able to hold a good conversation with those around you because of the lack of knowing how to. I can’t really blame this mostly on social media but social media does not help the situation either. While social media raises our awareness of what is going on in the world, why not have a conscious discussion face-to-face versus in an online forum?

While there were some benefits to not being on social media, there were also some challenges.

  1. I was a little lonely: While I have interactions with my family and coworkers, I still felt disconnected because a lot of people were in their phones. But one of my goals were to be in tuned with myself and to focus more on me.
  2. Missed out on news: I only have internet, so I had to log on for the news (weather mostly) or if I needed to contact someone. I did get side tracked and found myself scrolling, but I immediately realized that I wasn’t missing anything and was able to log off and get back to schedule.
  3. Motivation: I get a lot of my motivation from bloggers and instagramers (fitness and diet). It was hard to find motivation in myself to upkeep my fitness and diet goals, but it is what I needed. Learning to lean on myself, finding my strength in my weaknesses were the goals.

I overall believe this was quite beneficial. I can see myself doing this during the work week with social media during the weekends or nonconsecutive days on social media to remaining consistent with promoting my brand and staying connected, but remembering to look up at the world right in front of me is more beneficial. What are the pros and cons of social media for you? Tell me what you think in the comments. Here’s to reconnecting and catching up,

I’m back!

T.

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Sunday Night Reflections #LifeofTF

What my day consisted of. 

Im just trying to stay focused on the goals and have love on the baby in the process. So many thoughts are constantly going through my mind knowing the real test is soon ahead. It can be scary seeing yourself where you want to be and knowing it’s so close but looking from where you are seems beyond your reach. This is nothing but Jesus in me, because no matter my current situation I still speak on where I’m going. I usually don’t boast, but if I had a friend who constantly pushed through despite current trials, not dwelling or allowing the problem to keep them where they are, like I do, life would that much more worth while. Until that day comes, all I can do is continue to motivate myself and teach Tamia to do the same. 

These days have been productive. I have recently changed up the blog, and fixed a few things. I am participating in BLOGTOBER, where I will attempt to post ever day for the month of October (low-key excited) and have been taking this month to plan. 

Currently, it is 9:20 and I am waiting on my sister to get back from her school trip to take her home. But I feel like she gon have to catch a ride because they taking too long and I need to finish this homework before midnight (two assignments left) *rolls eyes*. 

Until Next Time,

T. 

The Blue Pill or the Red?

I need help and guidance here! I’ve been working for my current job for two months, I love it. 

Here’s an overview:

City job. Rate of pay is 14.01 an hour, but I only get 25 hours a week. It pays the bills, but I’m not able to save money like I need to. As much as they love to promote from within the company, I have to be there for at least 6 months before I can even apply for a better position. This is a permanent position. I don’t get benefits (part-time employee), except for the discounts they give me (free services they offer, discounts off rent, and amusement park tickets). the hours are mid-day, 12:30-5:30 which is okay. They’re saying I may have to come in earlier shifts. Like 5-6am, etc. it’s a lot of information to learn which I don’t mind. They have resources out the butt to guide me. There’s a solution for everything. I am also gaining the office & computer experience I’ve been seeking for a while now. But I have a daughter and I can’t just get by. I’m a single mother and will soon be working on one income. On top of that, because I’m in a different tax bracket, taxes are a killer!
Now this other job, if I am offered, 

Is a 12 month contract and pays 14.44 an hour. It’s working with shipments & customers (something else I’ve been interested in) in another city, and offers a mid-day shift but more hours (35 hours weekly, 1-8p).  Double the paycheck of what I’m getting now. Which I could definitely use. I wouldn’t have to worry about a second job, but I would have to deduct my own taxes. I just finished working a contracted position and I owe, but this job would allow me to pay it off. I believe this job maybe a city job (the business I would contract for). So I could receive some benefits/discounts. But after its up, I would be in search of another job if one is not offered to me. I was out of work for two months after my last contracted job. But I do know what I didn’t know then. And have no reasons not to save. I think I’m going to go for if I am offered, but I hate that I’ve invested do much (well I guess two months is not much and I’m not trying to make a career out of either so..?) I think I have my answer but value a second opinion. 

Help me sort this out guys! I need outside perspective! Let me know your thoughts in the comments. I need to converse (laughs)! 

Until Next Time,

T. 

Should’ve Had a V8

Last night, I discovered— or should I say rediscovered my baby-handling skills. And have realized that I really underestimated myself…

My daughter will be 9 months tomorrow. For all the moms out there, sure you can remember when you first brought baby home from the hospital. It was so easy for them to just fall asleep(if there were no serious issues).. Effortless!Because primarily, that’s all baby ever did (eat, sleep, and poop). Simple! But then somewhere along the lines as baby started growing, baby became more alert and wanted to do everything but sleep. Every child is different, they have their own temperament. So you try everything you could think of to get baby to sleep, whatever works for her…
Breastfeeding did it all for me. When she had her first fever after her second round of shots, I gave her some Tylenol and popped a boob in her mouth, and in an instant, her temperature reduced to normal. If she is sleepy, I know breastmilk and that warm skin-to-skin contact would knock her out almost immediately. And while I loved breastfeeding (health benefits, reduced late nights), I knew I was depending on it. I knew because I went over the 6 month limit I gave myself. But you have to understand, holding my baby boo close to me and gazing in her eyes as she stares into mine. And her reaction after she takes a swig of my mother’s milk: hilarious! She actually smacks her lips and goes, “Aaaaah…” With a big ol’ smile. Sometimes we call it her liquor. She’ll fall over like a drunken teenager on a Friday night (laughs). That’s my baby. Here I go, I digress!It’s kicking me in the butt now, while I have no regrets going over my 6 month mark, I have and still struggle with a few things:

  1. Putting her to sleep. 
  2. Getting her to sleep through the night.
  3. Weaning (well maybe not so much)
  4. Getting her to sleep in her crib.

I gave her more food during the day, more sunlight, and even an extra bath to help get her into a routine to associate bath time with bedtime (she also sweats like her dad and has as much hair on her head as I do on mine which doesn’t help). And while she clearly shows signs of sleepiness, I don’t feel like I’ve been addressing it correctly. I think timing is everything with her. I’ve read so many articles on what to do, I even have What To Expect: The First Year  (a great book and go-to guide). These issues have become stressful, as I am cranky without my 8 hrs, and while dad takes over sometimes, I remember he can’t always as he works & is tired too. So yesterday, as I was putting Tamia to sleep, I knew it would be a struggle. She was hyper (trying to keep herself awake) and speaking in her gibberish baby language when I finally fed up said to myself, “I used to be good at this. I babysat all of the time, what am I not doing?” I began to wonder what I used to do to put a baby to sleep, and then it hit me… rocking.

I picked up her stretched out body (she wasn’t flailing, but she does this thing where she’ll kind of donkey kick her legs to keep herself awake), put her in cradle position, with my legs crossed, and began a rigorous rock. Of course she tried to fight it, but I stuck to my guns. She got a little cranky, but I was able to calm her nerves by singing to her (we’ve sang ABC’s and Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star since she was born and she recognizes the melody— that of which I discovered were the same in both songs) she smiled and dropped her eyes. With a little more push and pull, she fell asleep. A deep one! As light of a sleeper she is, I was amazed. I was able to sleep until about 4 am. Thunderstorms, lighting, and a bad dream kept me up. She slept through the entire thing. 

I said to myself, “I knew I shouldn’t have let Terrence talk me out of putting a rocking chair on the baby shower wish list.” I could’ve came in handy. There was this episode of Grey’s Anatomy in maybe the second season where O’Malley is staying with Burke & Yang. Yang wanted him gone but didn’t know how to approach it. Meanwhile, she is taking a class with Cheif Webber when she questions his ability to perform a skill with his eyes closed…

You want to win? Always go back to the basics.

-Chief Webber, Grey’s Anatomy

Until Next Time,

T.

Selfish Summer 16′ (What Type Am I? Book Review)

This summer is about me.
And when I coin the phrase, selfish summer, I don’t mean everyone else is out of luck on my priority list but I must be on the top…

You see I’ve decided instead of taking summer classes (as much as I wanted to) I’d focus my attention on my hobbies and areas of interest. Hell, I deserve to think an academic break. So I’ve decided to tackle a few goals that I’ve had for quite a while.

One of those goals is to read more during my leisure (it’s been a while since I’ve taken time out to do that). I stopped at Barnes and Noble one afternoon after work and came across a great read.

I’m a psych major and found a little peace to find a book that I enjoyed and happened to be in my field of study. Furthermore, I’m all about self improvement and found this to be a great start!

How I grew attached to this book: I am currently finishing up a contracted position that I’ve worked for 5 months. While I’ve enjoyed myself and the people I’ve met along the way, I happened to learn a great deal about myself and specifically my preferences [in the workplace]. Most importantly I’ve discovered that as much as I love customer service, if I can’t help people in the way that I would like to, then I can’t do it. With that being said, I am interested in the intellectual psyche of a persons’ mind. Helping them to understand themselves and what direction they should go after helping them to identify just that. Not listening to their complaining about how their equipment doesn’t work (my current duty as a contractor) and I could go on and on about what if like to do but I’d rather discuss my dislikes (which include, but not limited to):

  1. Up close and personal space invasion
  2. Direct confrontation/discussion unless it is brief
  3. Being interrupted while I am concentrating on a given task
  4. An unstable work environment 
  5. Relying on others to carry out a task i.e. lazy coworkers

Just to name a few.

With that, this read sparked my interest because I have personally struggled in making conscious decisions for myself. I feel that behind that obstacle was because I don’t understand myself: why I do things a certain way and why I have to implement them in that way specifically. Why I address people in a certain manner and act a certain way around others or big crowds. Based off of my biological psyche, what environments I would thrive in the workplace, etc. 

This book goes into understanding yourself and others by the Myer-Briggs personality test (may have taken in high school). So from there I answered some questions about preference and temperament which led me to discover— of confirm— my introverted personality. 

I am an introvert: to sum things up, to be an introvert means to be internally motivated. I prefer not to be around many people and find inspiration in the crevices of my mind.  While I can work with others no problem sometimes it can be a struggle to ask others to do things for me, I would do things myself before bothering someone else with a task (if I am able to). My struggle is using this to my advantage. While being an introvert may seem bad, I don’t feel it is, and the author does encourage you to think that way. While I may come off as quiet I do have great skills: I prefer to write things down and am very particular as I try to be as accurate as possible.

ISFJ: I digress, the image above I took of my personal ID. It is a make up of my preferences and temperament. It stands for Introverting Sensing Feeling Judging. 


I have some work to do this summer! 

God has a way of bringing me to my knees..

  
Man, I just don’t get it. 
I’m at a stage in my faith where God is clearing out everything and everyone that is toxic to me (whether I like it or not). And with fair warning. Signs, feelings, vibes. Dreams.

It’s sad when you have to find out the truth. Not be told the truth but find out after. This really hurts.

  
…Did I mention how much I love Joel Olsteen? I came across this book in B&N, so far it’s a good read.

As I mentioned in my last entry that my faith has been tested since the new year began. This book has helped me understand God’s moves. I’ve always found the hardest part about receiving a blessing has always been the process of getting there. A blessing is good, yes but sometimes as a believer I forget that I may have to go through a tunnel before I can see some light. Especially when I don’t expect it.

I also find my train of thought shifting. I’m looking at things not as setbacks but milestones to better things. This book is helping me to realize that because of all of this turmoil, I should get into position to receive. 

Get this book if you’re in the same spot in your faith as I. Buy it if you need clarity on how God moves in our lives. Get it if you need motivation to keep on keeping on. Trust me you won’t regret the read.

“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” ‭‭Galatians‬ ‭6:9‬ ‭NIV‬‬

When things hit the fan…

I had to cut my hours in half, 

I’m failing my classes,

I have no babysitter,

And my faith has been rocky since the year started. 

This is when I finally let go and let God.

I still don’t understand the art of being “still”. 

Not doing anything and letting God guide me. 

Is that literal? I take it that way, but I still have todo something. I can’t just quit my job and school and sit around. Maybe that’s too literal. 

Maybe it’s me controlling what I can and accepting what I can not:

I think Gods been tryna tell me for a while to just chill out… 

Idk what do you do in this situation? Every semester I attempt to take a class and I either drop one of am struggling to finish. I don’t want to mess up my financial aid. So I think I’m going to just focus on Tamia, working (maybe a trade), and.. Discovering myself. That I haven’t done yet. 

I fee like I’ve been doing what everyone else has wanted me to do. What I felt they’d like. I’m tired of living for everyone else. I just don’t want to do this anymore..

I lift my hands and surrender. I’ve finally broken down and don’t care who knows it. I need to officially start over.

New Year, New Month, New Week, New Day

    

 
“So January was a bust… ehh. Brush it off and try again.”I love how February  begins everything this year! The Lord must’ve known I was gonna bs January. It’s also my birthday month (Feb 21st to be exact)! 

Plans? I am going to start this diet over. And follow it through until my birthday  

(that’s a Sunday). I am also getting back into the gym. But one thing I will continue to do, is take it one day at a time.

Pardon My Absence

 
I’ve been thinking… and thinking. 

With so much going on with the baby, working full time, and school part time I always find myself having to sacrifice one or the other (never baby, she always take priority). 

But I find myself… Falling.

I’m behind in my school work and I’ve had to call out a few times from being stressed, and physically drained. On top of that I can’t forget about the home life, bills, chores, appointments, and the like. And on top of that, I’ve gained 10 pounds since I’ve worked my new job (they feed us a lot of snacks, but it’s my choice to eat it). My manager from my old job asked me to return but at reduced hours. The only reason I’m considering this is because the schedule is early and that’s what I need.

It’s only a month into the new year, so for that I can’t complain. With that being said I need to reevaluate my schedule.

Here are my ideas (let me know what you think in the comments section below).

  
1.Drop down to part time but also pick up the schedule at the old job (it’s a check every week and I get in and out some days of the week to be home with baby and homework). My current schedule is 11-7; no time in the am or pm to do anything with us sharing one car and waiting on the other to get off, I can be off before he even has to go to work. 

2. I quit the full time, go back to old job with part time hours and pick up an at home gig (my plan anyway) making the same amount but more flexible to set my own hours. I only have to worry about a commute 3 days a week and I don’t have to deal with any customers (whatever job I get at least). I’ll only need a baby sitter for a few hours. 

This is for intended discussion. Please, if you e been through this I welcome your wisdom!

Blessings… Understand them.

  
Blessings…

I think I mistook the meaning of what came with them. In the matter of a years time, I received the greatest of them but at very high costs. Some blessings I didn’t even ask for.. Or maybe I did with out realizing it would be an outcome of something I was doing. 

I try not to bite off more than I can chew. But because of grace, that is God’s grace, I was presented with something I wasn’t ready for… At least I thought. You see this blessing requires time, patience, and sacrifice.

With time, there’s good (when dealing with God)… And there’s bad (when dealing with the flesh). With time, God heals, rebuilds, and restores. Something I’ve been long waiting for which is good. But also with time there is waiting, which involves a lot of patience. And with waiting, patience can be an issue. In due waiting, I sometimes— or a lot of the time find myself taking matters into my own hands. That battle between flesh and spirit interferes with my blessings. And sometimes when I’m not careful, I sacrifice that blessing God was preparing for me. Funny how that goes.

Though on the contrary, in order to receive my blessing, I must sacrifice something(s). What I thought was there to help me forever and ever, may have only been to get me where I’m going. Some blessings are only for a season… 

Understand… The blessing.