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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Be ENCOURAGED!

I have to be honest with you… As I began to write this week’s post I found myself writing, re-writing, and editing what I had written… I found myself explaining why the post was so sad and discouraging.  I wrote about how I am ready for more… How I am trying to stay encouraged during what is pretty lonely holiday season for me.  And then, as I listened to Pandora Radio these words began to pump through my speakers:

Sometimes you have to encourage yourself.
Sometimes you have to speak victory during the test.
And no matter how you feel,
speak the word and you will be healed;
speak over yourself,
encourage yourself in the Lord…

This song is called Encourage Yourself by Donald Lawrence.  Although I have always loved this song and have turned to it in times of needed encouragement, there was something special about its timing on this particular day.  I was literally writing a post complaining.  Complaining about my personal life and how I want more.  Being single is not always easy and although at times it can be fun, freeing, unpredictable, and exciting, it can also be lonely, difficult and trying. 

But, when you know that others expect certain things from you, you feel the need to be that person for them at all times.  Not only is this exhausting, however, it is an extremely hard task because no one is ever “always” anything.  I cry and get sad, I kick and scream and complain… I am human.  But for some reason I feel like I cannot allow myself to go there because I have to encourage others (I’m pretty sure it is become my purpose for being here) and how can I be positive and encouraging if I am complaining about my own life.  It feels selfish and ungrateful, which are two things we all know I never want to be viewed as.

A good friend of mine, Andrew, tweeted this: Who encourages the encourager?

Although he posted this tweet a while ago, it continued to stick with me as I face life!  I have so much going on that I do not have time to complain, and then when I do… I feel horrible about doing so, or some divine intervention stops me from going there!  But I have challenged myself to answer Andrew’s question…

The encouragers must find ways to encourage themselves as well as understand that needing encouragement is ok! I have learned to take it easy on myself when I am feeling down, because if I never had problems, hard times or unhappy moments how would I know what true happiness feels like? 

Life is a wonderful thing, it overflows with lessons but I am grateful for my open mind… I have somehow managed to turn my discouraged spirit into one that is hopeful and ready… Eager and excited for what’s to come… I’m not sure what will happen the next time I need a little encouragement, but just like the other encouragers of the world must do… I’ll figure it out!


Table for one please… Sometimes I amaze myself… Love me or leave me alone…

BACK TO HAPPY TIP: Things happen... Dust yourself off and try again! It works!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The Day of Never Before

Today, 12/12/12, the day of never before...  This is a once in a lifetime day!  I, along with several other people, am very excited and doing awesome things!  Some people are making wishes, others starting new ventures… and then there are the people who are living as if this day is nothing special!

How many opportunities do you get to celebrate for nothing at all?  I, for one, like to take days like these… you know, the abnormal ones, and create something special!  I just like to have a reason to celebrate, smile, and enjoy myself!  To be honest with you, I didn’t give it much thought until midnight…

Yesterday was quite a doozy for me…work was stressful, the day was long, and I couldn’t get through it fast enough.  For some reason, I was concentrating on some feedback I received a while ago and it was truly eating away at me. 

It’s weird though, because I was feeling down for the entire day and then at midnight, I was given a reason to smile, a few reasons…more than enough to make me forget about the insignificant situation that had me down. 

I'm a firm believer that we speak things into existence and a couple of weeks ago I wrote this:


This post was about still trying to find my worth and my purpose… Understanding that people seeing greatness in you doesn't necessarily mean that you see it in yourself!  I was/am there!  But after a while of complaining and searching and trying to understand, I've given up!  Not in the way you think.  I've just decided to stand still, because instead of taking the good, I always seem to take the bad.  I can receive 100,000 compliments and take the one criticism and let it destroy my confidence.  I've been there for a little over a week… I let someone's misconception of who I am, put a dent in my character and take a piece of my confidence.

Then a little after midnight, like a beacon of light in darkness... Trumpets in silence... An overabundance of reasons that I AM ENOUGH began to slap me in the face!

I like to think of today, 12/12/12, as the day of never before!  The day that I am taking control of my worth and living IN IT!  The day that what I say GOES!  The day that I am MORE THAN ENOUGH!  No more, faking it til I make it… I am GREAT!  I am CONFIDENT!  I am influential and powerful beyond measure!



I’m not sure how you will make this day special but DO IT!!  THIS type of day doesn’t come very often… So have fun with it… Why not?

Table for one please… FINDING reasons to smile… Love me or leave me alone!

BACK TO HAPPY TIP: Even if you have to make up ways to smile… DO IT! Be happy… For no reason at all!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

If you ask me, I'm Ready!



As I look at this picture, I see more of myself than the normal person would.  This feather is not only beautiful, but it is free, detached, and open to vast opportunities.  It’s open to go anywhere.  It has no boundaries… This feather is me.

I am so super excited for my future… As 2013 approaches, I am so excited for what’s in store for me as I, like this feather, am ready for anything…ready to see the fruits of my labor.  I am excited.  Open.  Eager.  Optimistic.

This feather inspires me…this feather gives me a better outlook.  You may see something completely different.  I am grateful for my perception.  Stay tuned…

Table for one please… If you ask me, I’m ready!  Love me or leave me alone…

BACK TO HAPPY TIP:  If I can find hope in a single feather, you can find hope somewhere.  Stay positive, optimistic, and prayerful.  It’s coming.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

How Do I Know?

“I’m proud of you!”
“I can’t wait to see your dreams come true!”
“You are great!”
“Your life looks like so much fun!”
“You are awesome!”

As I cleaned my house last Sunday, I began to think of these words of encouragement and admiration that I hear from my friends and loved ones often.  I love words of encouragement and I will always be grateful for them… they keep me going.  The problem is I can’t see the things others see in me for myself.  Sad, right?

My cousin sent me a text the other day that simply said, “I’m so proud of you!” and I was completely thrown off guard because it came at such a random time.  My reply was, “For what?!? LOL”.  The “LOL” is a significant part of my reply, because I truly chuckle at the fact that people see so much greatness in me!  It’s not low self-esteem, at all; I’m just trying to see it in myself…

She said that she was proud of me because I have taken a situation (the breakup) that would have broken anyone else, and turned it into something wonderful.  I replied with, “Thank you” and then I began to think…

How do I know that I’m not broken?  Yes, I’ve made the best of where my life has brought me and I’ve made a commitment to find a way to smile daily.  But, still…How do I know?  Writing Table 4 One has exposed me to some wonderful people and experiences; however, I still feel incomplete.  Not because I want my ex, but because I want to be more than independent, happy, single, and alone!  Yes, I’m content… Meaning, I have realized, accepted, and made the best of my life as a single woman; however, I still want more!

Life is not black and white; mine isn’t, at least.  I don’t think that anyone can ever be completely anything… Happy, content, sad, caring, fearful... ANYTHING… Life pulls different things from us, depending on what we are going through, at the time…  I often struggle with the roller coaster of emotions…  Yes, I understand that I have good days and I’m grateful that they outweigh the bad ones, but my issue is who to turn to when I’m not happy, fun, social butterfly, always smiling Courtney.

Sometimes, I don’t want to be “on”.  Sometimes, I want to kick, scream, cry, and complain.  But I think I have conditioned myself not to “go there”.  I’m working on finding a balance, a way to be completely me, at all times.  Not that I’m phony or pretending to be someone I’m not… (Ain’t nobody got time for that!).  But I am struggling with finding a balance.

For now, I’m blessed, happy, content, loved, admired, encouraged, sad, emotional, unfulfilled, envious, confused, lonely, and still finding my way at the same damn time! The journey continues…

Table for one please… finding my way… Love me or leave me alone…

BACK TO HAPPY TIP: Commit to smiling, at least once a day.  It will make the dark days a little brighter!


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

There's Hope...

How often do you take the time to say “thank you”? I mean, being really grateful for where you are in life…

I say “thank you” often; when I'm happy, sad, frustrated, confused... WHATEVER! I always try to remind myself that things could be worse… I've learned that no matter what, I will always want more... So, I thank Him, in the meantime…

I could talk to you for days about how I want more of this or more of that, but I'd rather tell you why I'm thankful for what I already have.

My parents are my biggest fans.  They are, without a shadow of doubt, #TeamCourtney!  They give me wonderful advice, they support me and all of my big ideas, they catch me when I fall, and will always be there for me. Not everyone can say they have both parents in their lives or their support; I am thankful for my mother and my father because they believe in me.

Does your family work your nerves?!? LOL… Mine does! But I am SO thankful for them.  They challenge me to be my best. They support me beyond expectation and they hold me accountable for my actions. My family will always be there for me to be voices of reason, to be my cheerleaders, and to tell me the truth! I am blessed to have a family full of people who want nothing but the best for me! I am thankful for my family because they will always be there.

I am thankful for my followers because they inspire me! To have people who care about what I have to say is humbling enough… But the fact that people faithfully read Table 4 One once a week and support my events is awesome! I started writing this blog for selfish reasons and now its purpose has evolved to so much more than that. I am thankful for the people who read my blog because they support me.

My connection with Urban Fetes has taught me so much! They have exposed me to wonderful people and have given me the opportunity to share my voice…and for THAT I am thankful! Through Urban Fetes, I have met people and built relationships that I will cherish for the rest of my life. They believe in me and support me to no end.  I am thankful for Urban Fetes because they connect me.

Friends! I speak often of how I'm grateful for my friends because they choose to be in my life. I can call on them when I am sad, happy, want to talk, or when I’m bored and they are there! I am so blessed to have so many of them, ones who I can cry with, pray with, write with, party with, drink with, or do nothing at all with! I am so thankful for my friends because they accept me.

I am thankful for sanity and for strength! I am thankful for my voice... I am thankful for my openness and the fact that I am unashamed. Yes, if I had my way, I'd be in a completely different place in my life, but I'm not and I'm still thankful. I've learned that everything doesn't happen when we want it to; each of us has a purpose and although I'm still trying to find mine, I will thank Him, in the meantime... Prayers, in the meantime, are the ones that matter most to me because it’s easy to say “thank you” when all is well...

So, I'm thankful for it all! I'm thankful what I have and for what's to come. I'm thankful for the journey...

"There's hope... It doesn't cost a thing to smile... You don't have to pay to laugh... You better thank God for that!” - India Arie

Happy Thanksgiving and remember to be thankful for what you've got...

Table for one please... I'm thankful... Love me or leave me alone :-)

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Nobody's Perfect

“You are looking for the perfect man!”

I was completely shocked to hear these words come from my friend’s mouth, as we had one of our heart-to-heart conversations a couple of weeks ago.  And I know that this wasn’t a blurb or senseless thought because, as friends, we are always open and honest with one another.  So she meant it…she truly feels that I am single because I am looking for the perfect man!  Wow!  At first, I was defensive but then I challenged myself to take a step back and make sure that she wasn’t correct in her observation.

I used to be a “one chance girl”, when it came to dating.  I’ve written before that I had to open my eyes and begin to date men who I normally would not, just to see if I was missing out something.  So I did; I pretty much went out of my comfort zone and I didn’t come across anyone I was super interested in, while reluctantly dating those men.  I would run away as soon as something went wrong.  It’s almost like I was looking for an excuse not to date them.

So, I took my challenge a step further… I decided to give the men I was dating more room for error.  I say this because, for lack of better words… Shit Happens!  I make mistakes, of course; especially when dating, so I had to realize that other people make mistakes as well.

I know, understand, and accept that I am A LOT to handle… I’m a woman!  With all of that being said, I know that every man cannot handle me!  When I date, I look for certain attributes from that person…NOT perfection.  I have to get to know them enough to decide if I want to invest the time to get to know them better and lately I haven’t wanted to do that with anyone!

As my friend and I continued to have our heart-to-heart, she said something that really stuck and gave me a little more understanding of dating.  She said, “When a man loves, he gives her all of his love at once; however, when a woman loves, it grows throughout their time together”…

This statement stuck with me, as I have heard variations of it from other people, as well… My friend is not the only person who views me as “looking for perfection”.  I am not willing to risk investing into a life with someone who I am not willing to entrust with “all of me”.

Another friend asked me what exactly I am looking for in a partner…

I am looking or waiting for someone who will appreciate me when I am at my best and comfort me when I am at my worst.  I want someone who is goal-oriented and driven, in their own right.  I want someone who is equally yoked.  I want someone I am attracted to.  I want someone who is NOT perfect, or perfect for me… perfection is over-rated.  I want someone who is willing to grow into “their best” with me… As I grow into “my best” with them.  I don’t want perfection, I want substance.

Table for One please… Still growing… Love me or leave me alone.

BACK TO HAPPY TIP:  You should value the opinions of your loved ones.  People who truly love you, always have your best interest at heart.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

That's What Friends Are For!

Lessons!  I love them; I believe that life is used to teach us…  The experiences we have whether good or bad should be used to grow.

I have found that I learn the most lessons from the experiences of others. I’ve been fortunate enough to have open and honest friends who I talk to on a regular basis.  I’ve recently tried to make my experiences mean something.  Meaningless interaction is for the birds!  No one wants to feel alone… Having great friends who you can be completely “you” with, is not only comforting but extremely necessary...

I recently had a heart-to-heart conversation with a very good friend of mine and it got REAL.  I had to make the decision on how/where this completely necessary conversation was going to go.  As a friend I had to make the decision to be completely honest (whether it helped or hurt my friend) because I needed to!  We all know that the grass is always greener on the other side but sometimes we need a little help smelling the roses that we have!

As a single woman I have been forced to find contentment.  I have real friends who are falling in love, getting married, buying homes and having babies all around me!  I have challenged myself as a person who has none of this to be happy for them as well as be hopeful for myself.  As friends we sometimes have to separate our personal struggles in order to be “there” for our loved ones.  I personally know how hard it is to force yourself to be happy for someone (especially a close friend) who has what you feel is SUPPOSED to be yours.

Not so long ago, I was the mean friend; I actually closed off and completely lost “my character.”  I didn’t want to hear about my friend’s joys and victories because I didn’t have any of my own. 

What kind of friend are you?
Is your friendship conditional?
Are you only happy for others when you are happy?

I had to make a personal decision to slap myself in the face and make the decision to be better for my friends.  As a friend I don’t feel like I was being completely “there” for them when I checked out…  I would want my friends to be present through the good times as well as the bad.  So, even when I want to kick and scream, be angry, jealous, run away or cry… I SUCK IT UP because I would want them to do the same for me. 

Think about the type of friend you are and whether you are being the type of friend you would want to have in your life.  It goes back to the saying, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you…” Be happy for your friends and be happy in your life!  The lesson I’ve learned is sometimes you have put the feelings of your loved ones in front of your own.

Single, married, in love or not be grateful for what you’ve got! And soon enough your friends will be there to support you as you go through your next GREAT CHANGE!

Table for One please… Living unselfishly… Love me or leave me alone…

BACK TO HAPPY TIP: I know I’ve said that it’s ok to be selfish, however it’s a much greater service to be selfless… Especially for your loved ones…

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Be Concerned... I Know I Am!

When I was a little girl, I saw a woman, who was very close to me, involved in a relationship with a man who abused her.  She would go away for a while and come back with bumps and bruises on her body.  I never asked what happened to her because I already knew… As a 6 or 7 year old child I was exposed to Domestic Violence.  No one ever explained to me what was going on because they assumed I would never figure it out.  But I did.  And I still remember what her face looked like when she would return after having an altercation with her abuser.

To this day, Domestic Violence is becoming more prevalent and needs to be addressed.  Do me a favor and think about someone you love… Someone you truly care for… Now imagine them being afraid for their life because the person they are romantically involved with is abusing them. 

Being afraid, unhappy, uncomfortable or held hostage in a relationship is not how it’s supposed to be.  A great friend of mine often says, “Love doesn’t hurt…” and I completely agree.  Hurtful, harmful, abusive relationships can become tragic in a matter of moments.

“Domestic Violence is about power and control… When the abuser feels like they are losing the control in a relationship, they attack.”

Tiffany Hightower stated this during a Domestic Violence Awareness event I attended at Elite Nail Lounge in Calumet Park, IL last weekend. This statement really stuck with me as the attendees had a discussion about this epidemic.  I’ve never looked at it that way; I’ve always thought it was about anger or jealousy but she has changed my entire perception. 

The discussion led to many eye-opening thoughts for me… My friend's mother, Yolan Henry was also a speaker during the event.  In January 2009, her daughter, my friend, Nova Henry was killed by a man she was romantically involved with, along with her baby.  This situation in particular is one that I think of often, not only because it was a horrible tragedy, but because it hits close to home.  You don’t often realize the power of pain when it happens to others, but when it gets personal, you are forced to feel it... and this particular situation and the sorrow I felt and still feel is REAL. 

As I listened to my friend’s mother speak to the group, I was overwhelmed by her power.  Yes, she is powerful, influential and an advocate for Domestic Violence Awareness. She has made it her business to make sure people are educated about Domestic Violence so that it will become less prevalent.  One statement in particular has helped me and will change how I interact with those around me.

“Don’t turn your head or ignore your friends or neighbors when they are in abusive situations. You reaching out, saying something or calling the police might save someone’s life!”  

As individuals, we all have people in our lives that we care about.  As humans, we also have to use ours instincts and caring nature!  My thoughts are as Yolan suggested, if we were to pay more attention to those around us, we could possibly prevent horrible things from happening.  Sometimes people are afraid to reach out or to even leave, you never know a person’s situation.  So, before you judge or turn the other cheek, just think about mothers like Yolan Henry who’s loved ones are no longer here because of the lack of concern of a neighbor. 

I know it can be frustrating or feel like you are “beating a dead horse” when trying to convince someone that they are in an unsafe environment, but realize that every situation is different and not as easy to escape as some may think.  Domestic Violence comes in many forms and has some serious warning signs as well… We have to also be aware of the behaviors of the people we have in our lives.  I know my friend’s tragic story has definitely made me pay more attention to the signs… 

There are several avenues to help people in need… hotlines, support groups, shelters, etc… Please seek help if you need it or reach out if you know someone in need.  Domestic Violence IS NOT just going to disappear, we have to be aggressive and sincere in our efforts and less accepting of hurtful and harmful behavior.  Please check out the links below… use them, pass them on… GET INVOLVED!

Table for One please… Fighting for change… Love me or leave me alone…


Domestic Violence Help Line:  (877) 863-6338

National Domestic Violence Hotline: (800) 799-7233

Break the Cycle:  www.breakthecycle.org

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Who Do You Think You Are!?!

I’ve been talking to people a lot lately, not just running my mouth (that’s easy…) but I’ve been having real conversations, conversations about real issues that have been very enlightening.  I’m super open, always have been.  I think that it’s the best way to make progress… to be honest with yourself!

I talk to myself a lot too! LOL, I’m not crazy… I just want to make sure I am being completely honest with myself in all situations.  When I say I am content, I mean it!  The reason I know is because I ask myself often and I see clear examples in my behavior.  I compare the way I react currently in certain situations to the way I’ve reacted in the past.  A part of it is becoming more mature, but it’s also got a lot to do with how I’ve learned to accept where life has brought me.

It’s completely possible to lie to yourself, especially when you are “in your feelings” so I make SURE that I am what I say I am!

I see people on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram post about how happy they are in their single life. Then they turn around and are super sad and unsupportive of people who speak often of how happy they are in their relationships.  What’s up with that!?!

It’s ok to be sad or unhappy with where you are in your life!  Everything is not going to be “smooth sailing” all of the time, and that’s ok!!! 

Now, I can speak on this because IT WAS ME!! I was trying my best to accept my life for what it was, but then I’d get upset when I saw people who had what I REALLY wanted.  It’s a hard thing to be happy for someone who has what you are so eager to have as well…  It takes strength, faith, contentment, optimism and much more to be happy for others.  But what I’ve found is that what’s for others isn’t necessarily for me! THAT was a hard pill to swallow, but once I got it down I was able to be truly happy with the deck of cards I was dealt and I’m learning to play with what I’ve got! And I’m happy with it! FINALLY!

My point for this post is to make people think… Whether you are single or married, successful or still working your way up BE HONEST with yourself and others.  You never know, letting your true feelings show may build a new relationship or open doors you never knew were there!

Who do you live for?  I ask myself this question often.  NO I am not perfect and YES I have setbacks and bad days and disappointing times… but I’m honest about those times so that I can grow from them.  I want to be better today than I was yesterday and even better tomorrow, but in order for that to happen I must be honest with myself.

There’s nothing wrong with faking it til you make it as long as the person you are trying to fool isn’t yourself!  Just try it… After you pray and before you go to sleep ask yourself some questions and be honest! You just might be surprised with your answers.

Table for One please… Continually growing… Love me or leave me alone…

BACK TO HAPPY TIP: Find out WHO YOU ARE before trying to make improvements to yourself... You might be just fine with the person you already are!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Setbacks

Setbacks…

Have you ever had one? I almost had one the other night.  I ran across some old pictures and decided to look through them. I normally don’t do this because I know they will take me back to a time when I was Dangerously in Love and I just don’t need to go back there.  But I looked anyway…

I ran across a beautiful picture of me and my ex, we looked so happy… we were at my cousin’s 30th birthday party dancing.  I looked at the picture for a second (which was way too long in my opinion). It was a candid shot, so neither one of us was looking at the camera.  The photo seemed to tell the whole story of what our relationship embodied.  Joy, love, fun, passion, friendship, all of that and more…  It kind of upset me to know that I felt all of this emotion from looking at this picture for literally one second.  So after my glance I tossed in the trash because all that the picture represented is gone and will never be back. 

I feel that the past is just that and should be left there.  I guess I’m not strong enough to face it.  Even though it was long ago I still can see the scars that the scabs left after they healed.  You know what I mean?  The pain I felt from my break up is no longer there, but I can still see the scars that were left behind and I DO NOT want to re-live that time… EVER with ANYONE! So, I just move forward and I never plan to look back.

“I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past.” Thomas Jefferson

I am so hopeful for my future that I’ve made it a point to leave my past where it is.  I have never been a “break up and get back together” kind of girl, when something in my life is over I never look back.  I don’t know if this is a defense mechanism or great willpower.  But I’ve been like this since I was a child…

If I asked my parents for something and they said no then that was the end of the conversation.  I am not a beggar…I am not a risk taker…I am not a second try girl.  I just feel that everything happens when it does and how it does for a purpose.  If it was for me then I would have gotten it. So everything that’s in my past (if up to me) will remain there.  I will not brush the dust off of anything in my past because I’m too eager for my future to look back!

Setbacks… We can either allow them to have power or toss them in the trash.  I almost had one the other day and I’m grateful for my strength.  When you have something to look forward to, old stuff has no validity and although I will never forget that time in my life it’s over!  I am grateful for the good times… the bad times… the experience… but life goes on.

Table for One please… Looking forward NOT back… Love me or leave me alone!
BACK TO HAPPY TIP: Memories should always make you smile… If they don’t, leave them where they belong… THE PAST!  


Wednesday, September 26, 2012

LOVE: My Favorite Word

Love.  I’m pretty sure it’s my favorite word.  But not just because I’m a hopeless romantic, it’s so much more than that… I believe that it’s an action, not something superficial to just be thrown around with insignificance.  Because for me, it has so many different roles in my life.

I love God.  Now, I don’t normally go all super religious but how can I talk about love and not mention the One who loved me so much He sacrificed His only Son?!?  I mean, I am who I am, have the blessings, talents and sanity I have because of who He is!  My strength, joy, faith, LIFE comes from God.  I am truly blessed with many gifts and he continually blesses me!  I love God.  Sacrificial LOVE.

I love my family.  I am talking about the people you are stuck with…LOL!  The people who you couldn’t get rid of if you tried.  Family is who I am.  I’ve inherited good AND bad habits, learned the true meaning of patience, and experienced an obscene amount of joy.  I mean family that’s there to pick me up when I fall and family who knows that they can reach for me to catch them when they fall…Beautiful, strong, kind, hard-working, responsible, and thick as thieves!  My family is irreplaceable.  I love my family.  Unconditional LOVE.

I love my friends.  I’m so fortunate because they say you are blessed if you can say you have 1 friend, well I’m positive I have more than that.  These are people who choose to be in my life and love me despite ALL of my flaws, just as much as I love them.  People, who don’t want anything from me, but give me the world without even knowing it!  I’ve learned so much from my friends, my real friends, not just the ones who get a birthday text, but the ones who have to suffer through my famous (terrible, awful) birthday song.  The ones who will tell me I look fat in a dress, just as fast as they’ll tell me how cute my butt looks in my favorite jeans.  I love them.  Chosen LOVE.

I love LOVE!  I just do!  There’s no other way to put it.  I saw a necklace in a store a couple weeks ago and I was drawn to it.  It was simply a gold chain with the word “love” hinged to its center.  Simply, love.  I wanted to get it so badly; I ranted and raved about this “love” necklace the entire time my friends and I were in the store.  But the more and more I thought about it, the more I realized I didn’t need it.

Yes, I love love.  So much so, that it’s my favorite word; however, I don’t need to wear it on my chest any more than I need to wear a t-shirt that says some flattering adjective like, “sexy” or “beautiful” or “smart”… If I embody these words, why do I need to display them across my chest?  I don’t.

I am love.
I have love.
I give love.
I receive love.
I am love.

But if you notice, one form of love is missing…but it doesn’t mean I am any less loved, less of a person, less happy.  It took me a while to get here, but I finally am.  I love myself and I need that more than anything!  What’s missing will come.  Romantic LOVE.

For now, the loves I DO HAVE are more than enough.  LOVE.

Table for One please… Learning to appreciate the current loves of my life… Love me or leave me alone…

BACK TO HAPPY TIP: Love yourself FIRST!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

I Need A Fixin' Too!

I’ve been struggling for a while about whether or not to give the whole “Basketball Wives” effect on the black woman’s reputation any more attention than it’s already gotten. As I watched Evelyn Lozada on Iyanla Vanzant’s “Fix My Life” earlier this week, I realized that I had to address a few things. I believe the behavior displayed on “Basketball Wives” should be used as a lesson, a test or an example of how we SHOULD NOT act or react in certain situations.  I am a strong believer that every action has a reaction and that we will always have consequences for the bad decisions we make, whether they are direct or indirect… as Iyanla says, “it’s going to cost you.”

Now don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that Evelyn deserves any of the things that have happened to her, I am not an “I told you so” type of person, we all need some improvement, however it’s definitely made me think about my actions and where I am in my life! I posted a status jokingly on Facebook the other night as I watched the show:

I need Iyanla's phone number! I want her to be my accountability partner! My life could use some fixin'...

My Facebook friends had a little fun with me after this was posted and although I was joking slightly, I really wouldn’t mind speaking to this wise woman.  I feel that I can identify with her because she too is an open book.  It’s much easier to have conversations with people about your pain, if you know that they too have experienced some pain.  I don’t plan on taking any steps back into what once was my sad, dissatisfied life, but as I move forward I want to make sure I understand my past actions in relationships so that they won’t affect my future experiences.

It’s no secret that I want the dream… a husband, children, maybe a dog and to live happily ever after...  But my wanting these things doesn’t make me desperate for them! What I mean by this is that I know that I am a woman of worth, of value and would be an asset to my partner’s life.  With that being said, I need them to be the same for me.  Evelyn stated that she just wants to feel loved and wanted and even though she knew the situations she entered in the past weren’t the best ones, she continued to move forward. This is something I will NEVER do!

Mistakes are all about recovery, when these mistakes become the norm or a pattern then there is definitely something that needs to be addressed.  I’ve had to ask myself some questions about my last few dating situations as I have found a pattern in my behavior.  I think that there’s a sense of fear in myself, just as there is with Evelyn.  Now this fear doesn’t come from me not having a father because he is VERY much a part of my life so what is it?

This is why I would love to have conversations with Iyanla because she doesn’t care about hurting your feelings… She breaks you all the way down so that you can build YOURSELF up! How awesome is that!?! Her show is easily one of my new favorites! I believe that writing has helped me face some of the troubles in my life but I still take it easy on myself.  I need someone to help me “go there” get down to the nitty gritty about certain patterns in my behavior. Having an accountability partner is an awesome idea, in every aspect of your life!

I am blessed, in that I have a few, I am going to challenge myself to take a look at my past behavior and make improvements.  I am NO LONGER a complete mess… LOL but the thing that I absolutely love about myself is that I know that I am not perfect.  I also know that I never will be!  I am all about making the best of my flaws and I look forward to the day that someone trusts me enough to show me the best of theirs.

Table for One please… Embracing it all… Love me or leave me alone :-)

BACK TO HAPPY TIP: Hold yourself accountable for your actions.  Sometimes a change in behavior is needed.  Happiness with yourself will affect the way others treat you.
 

Monday, September 10, 2012

Hello Fear

I’ve never thought of myself as a fearful person… Cautious maybe, but never fearful…  Being afraid would make me a coward and that is something I definitely am not!  But as I look at how I sometimes live my life, I realize that I may be living in fear.

Fear of being hurt, fear of failure and the biggest one of all, fear of being alone!  To be honest with you, I’m afraid of trusting a situation enough to just “jump”… Be it a relationship, a new business venture, or everyday decisions.  This fear is most definitely holding me back!  But I refuse to let it take control.

This fear has, in fact, become my motivation…my reason to press on, move forward, and take a chance!  And if I fall, I fall.  I’ve talked about this before, but I think I’m able to face it all with a different point of view now.

What happens when you are too afraid to do something?  Lately, I’ve learned to ask myself where the fear comes from… Am I afraid of failure or that I may actually SUCCEED?  Success is scary… It comes with responsibility… expectations…

I believe fear is our mind’s way of making us think and evaluate our strength.  Either you will fight for what you want or you will give in to the fear.  Now, let’s not confuse our instincts telling us the difference between making a good or bad decision with fear.

The kind of fear I am speaking of is an emotion, a physical reaction prior to a certain expected occurrence.  And at this point, you have to make the decision to FIGHT or FLEE!

A few weeks ago a very close family member was going through a situation in her career in which she had no control.  She was not fearful; I was, very much so, but she wasn’t!  The situation ended up working out in her favor, which is awesome!  I learned so much from her as she “stood still”… Being fearless, actually worked in her favor and has inspired me immensely and my daily actions.

I am not Superwoman, but I do face my fears often and I have chosen to fight because fear could stop me from being great!  I want to be great!  I will be great and I will not let fear suppress the person I am destined to be!

Be it saying yes to a date, taking on a special project at work, learning a new skill or whatever, I will have control over my life!  This life is all about the decisions we make and living in fear is not only crippling, it’s detrimental!

I am looking my fear square in the eye! Hello fear…


Table for One please…  No longer afraid…  Love me or leave me alone!

BACK TO HAPPY TIP: Jump into your dreams... Don't let fear of any form hold you back, EVER! You may just disover how great you are!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Now, That's Beautiful!

I often speak of how much of a “girlie girl” I am… and it’s true!! I love jewelry, make-up, shoes, shopping, love stories, musicals, and anything that sparkles! I love being a girl; I get to wear dresses for no reason at all and smile at cute guys whenever I feel like it!

When it comes to dating, I have found that most men appreciate the fact that I am “girlie”! The men I attract like to see me dressed up and womanly in my skirts and heels! And I take FULL advantage! 

I am definitely not the “I am woman, hear me roar!” type of woman though. I like to feel taken care of…gas pumped, tires changed, car washed, boxes lifted, and all of that good stuff. I did have an independent woman moment a few months ago when I put windshield wiper fluid in my car though! LOL! But seriously, I am no “damsel in distress”, however; I do love to feel like a woman!

I mostly take pride in the fact that I am a black woman! I often joke with my bestie that I am a regular black chick…Not dark or light, fat or skinny, nothing to make a huge fuss over…I’m just a regular cute black woman! My mother; now, she’s a show stopper and always has been. 

Please don’t take my description of myself for something that it’s not! I love myself… I love my BLACK! My BLACK…Now, that’s beautiful!!

''There is a kind of strength that is almost frightening in black women. It's as if a steel rod runs right through the head down to the feet.'' – Maya Angelou

I’m so grateful that my strength, the strength that inevitably comes from being raised by strong black women, does not compromise my womanly nature! But we all have weak moments, moments when we have to lean on others for strength…friends, family, and sometimes strangers! I know I use the actions of others as examples, not that I’m looking to “copy” them, but I want to gain from their strengths and learn from their mistakes. 

I found that lately, people value my opinion. My presence, words, thoughts, and “being” is appreciated and that is a wonderful feeling! I often question my worth, my value, my purpose and I think I’m finally learning what that is…being a black woman and knowing the responsibility that comes along with it, makes me all the more special!

I’m so grateful to be a black woman; I wouldn’t have it any other way. Kissed by the sun, hips hugged by the lingering consumption of soul food, and smiles so contagious that everyone around me follows suit! I love my black; my black is strong, my black is beyond comparison, and undeniably, my black is ME!

Being a woman is wonderful, but being a BLACK WOMAN is an honor and privilege... Now, that's beautiful!

Table for One please…So grateful… Love me or leave me alone…

BACK TO HAPPY TIP:  It’s okay to toot your own horn, every once in a while! Someone’s gotta do it!