“We don’t have to be ordinary…Make your best mistakes…‘Cause we don’t have the time to be sorry…So baby be the life of the party.”
Shawn Mendes- Life of The Party
This post is dedicated to the Columbia High School class of 2004. It’s been 10 years already and I am excited about our 10 year reunion next month (still gotta get my ticket though!) I started thinking about high school and all the things that went on and I realized that although I was there physically, I didn’t know how to live my life to the fullest just yet. Instead of going to parties, dating, and getting involved in other social activities like the other kids my age, I was focused on getting the hell out of there in one piece because I felt like no one understood me and who I really was. All people knew was that I was obsessed with Usher (I had it bad lol) and that I was shy and socially awkward when not talking about him. Part of that was my fault because I feared rejection so I chose isolation instead. I don’t believe in clichés and high school wasn’t a “Mean Girls” or “She’s All That type of situation but I do feel like I wasted a lot of time worrying about what other people expected of me. I was so worried about not fitting in that I didn’t realize that standing out was what set certain people out from the pack and made them memorable. Recently, I’ve had conversations with people from high school that I still keep in touch with and I realized that many of them had the same insecurities that I had when it came to how people perceived them. All that time when I felt like I was alone, there were people who were going through similar dilemmas but they just chose to handle them differently. Instead of becoming withdrawn like I did, they became the “life of the party” and chose to follow their hearts. Granted, some people became dynamic personalities solely because of the attention and/or because they wanted to be seen cool in the eyes of their peers but many of them just decided not the give any more fucks and do what made them happy. It took me a bit longer to catch on but I got it eventually:)
10 years later, I am able to look back and see things in a different light. I do not regret missing out on anything in high school because it made me the person I am today. I am able to say that I still have my shy and awkward moments but I know now that the only opinion that matters is my own so when I start to get in my way, I do whatever it takes to make sure I don’t fall back into those behaviors and patterns. Many people don’t feel the need for high school reunions anymore since Facebook came to existence (Thanks Mark Zuckerberg!) but I still think that it will be nice to interact with everyone up close and in person. I want to make sure that I speak to everyone because I have to make up for lost time :p You only live once but if you do it right, once is enough.
To the CHS Class of 04: See you soon!
Always remember to love and live luxuriously!
Amazing Grace how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost but now I’m found. Was blind but now I see.
Line from “Amazing Grace”
For the past couple of weeks, I have racked my brain trying to figure out what I wanted to write about. I wanted my words to be positive and have some type of meaning to them. I didn’t want to sound redundant and mention topics/themes that I have written about recently but it’s been difficult because I feel like I’ve been at a standstill lately. I haven’t been as focused and driven as I wanted to be and have settled when it comes to what I want out of life. Instead of making changes, I became complacent and that is a scary thing because when you are in that mode, you feel like nothing will ever change and that this is the best that it will ever be. I was wallowing in self-pity especially when I started to compare my life to my peers and started becoming envious of their success. I know envy is one of the seven deadly sins but “dead” in this instance meant that the part of me that made me different and unique was starting to die. I was losing myself because I put limits on my expectations by settling and being jealous of others who haven’t . Nothing worth having comes easy and even though I knew all of this, I still allowed myself to sink deeper and everything I wanted and desired felt like it was slipping further away from me and the woman I wanted to be started to slip away as well.
I have epiphanies on a regular basis especially as of late. I have had a lot of time to reflect on life and see things as they are. The problem is that after said epiphany, I don’t take the necessary actions to change my situation because of all the work that has to be put in place. I realized all of this when I was talking to one of my kids at my tutoring job. She was upset because she felt one of the other girls was being mean to her and she felt like she was treated unfairly by the other girls in the center as well as her siblings at home. As a result, she started sulking and crying. I told her that although I understood why she was upset, she had to take responsibility for her own actions because she had been mean to the girls in the past and had hurt their feelings. In order for her to get along with the girls and her siblings, she would have to be the type of person that others would want to be around and in turn, they would give her the same treatment. Crying and sulking wouldn’t help her situation but making the necessary changes would. I said it in simpler terms of course but I realized I was giving her good advice but I wasn’t applying any of it to my life but instead, continued to go through the motions. I realized that I would continue to lose myself if I kept doing the same things over and over. That experience was definitely an eye opener and was the main inspiration for this post!
It would be a lie to say that I have all the answers and I know exactly what it is I need to do to get to where I want to be because I am still trying to figure all that out but I do know that I can’t keep wasting the knowledge that my epiphanies give me because it is liking ignoring signs that will keep me on the road to my destiny. I am finding my way back on the right path slowly but surely and I want to thank all of you because by reading and sharing your thoughts/opinions, I feel as if you are on this journey with me:) Have an amazing weekend and always remember to love and live luxuriously!
I kept telling myself that I would talk about this fear of mine once I faced it head on but then I kept putting it off because I didn’t want to feel like a failure if I wasn’t able to overcome it. I have had a fear of driving ever since I could remember and combined with my fear of failure, I have been hesitant to take my road test again after failing it the first time 3 years ago. I don’t like the feeling I get when I can’t do something properly and although taking the written test wasn’t hard (had to take it 3 times over the last 6 years after letting my permit expire) when it came to facing the road test, I always pushed back the date because I never felt like I was ready. I tried figuring out why I was so afraid behind the wheel and I have come to the conclusion that although I am afraid of failure, my biggest issue is my fear of death. I am not worried about my demise but being responsible for someone else’s life is a very scary thing and even if I am the most careful driver, things can happen. I know that thinking this way is only holding me back but when I get behind the wheel, I can’t completely relax because of it. I start over thinking every little thing and simple tasks become complicated inside my jumbled mind. I have to get over this to get my license and most importantly. to gain control over my life and my destiny. Fear can be crippling mentally and physically and I don’t like the fact that I am the one that’s standing in my way. So what should I do?
At first I wasn’t sure of what the answer was but after getting to the root of my fears, I know to deal with my fear of driving and fear of failure I have to understand that even though I may have some control over my life, I can’t control outside factors and how others think and act. There is only but so much that I can control and I have believe in myself and God that everything will be alright. Letting go and having faith is one of the hardest things but to face your fears, you have to be ready to deal with the outcome, no matter what it is. Although my fear is of driving, this can apply to any fear or obstacle you may have. My road test is 2 weeks away and I promised myself that I would not cancel no matter what because I need to take it again and even if I do fail, I can always go back in 2 weeks and try again. There is a quote by Thomas Edison that goes, “”I have not failed. I’ve just found 10000 ways that won’t work” and once you look at failure and life from that perspective, it changes everything. Wish me luck:)
Love and live luxuriously!
Janine and I after our interview:)
I love listening to new music and discovering new artists online on different sites but I found an amazing artist in the last place I ever thought I would: watching an episode of “Love and Hip Hop Atlanta”…I try to stay away from watching ratchet television on VH1 but one night, I was bored and gave in to the madness and I am so glad I did. While I was viewing one of the scenes not really paying attention to what was going on, I heard this beautiful song play in the background and wanted to hear it in its entirety. Right before the commercial break, I found out that the artist’s name was Janine and the Mixtape and the song playing was called “Hold Me”. It was a wrap after that! I found her “Dark Mind” EP on Itunes, downloaded it and fell in love with her voice and subject matter. I wanted to meet the person behind the music and ask her what inspired such beautiful yet dark lyrics. I was thrilled when a couple of months after hearing her song on VH1, I was able to interview her in NYC and I must say that meeting Janine and The Mixtape surpassed all of my expectations! She is a beautiful soul inside and out and I can’t wait to see what the future has in store for her. Check out our interview where Janine discusses her music, her thoughts on beauty and how much she loves NYC among other things! Enjoy!
For more info on Janine check her out on Twitter (@janine_mixtape) Instagram (@janine_mixtape) and on her website (http://www.janineandthemixtape.com/)
Always remember to love and live luxuriously!