Happy Birthday to Me!

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Happy Birthday to Me!

It’s my 24th birthday – and I gotta admit I’m feeling a little weird. This will be my first birthday without doing something to celebrate with my parents, and honestly it is kinda bumming me out. But I refuse to be sad on my birthday (plus ain’t nobody got time for that, I have a whole final due on Monday). This year, instead of reflecting on what I’ve already learned – I want to focus on changing for the better. The past year has been very revealing to me about the type of person that I want to be. Not because I am unhappy with who I am, because let’s face it – I’m pretty lit. But rather because next year, at 25, I want to be happier and just overall better as a person. God has put it in my heart to start laying the ground work in my 24th year, so that the next quarter of my life will be the best.

My Goals are as followed:

Stop Allowing Folks to Treat You Like You’re Regular. I have this really bad habit of allowing people to just treat me any type of way. It is because growing up and even into my undergrad days, I used to be really afraid of being alone and not having any friends. But now, after moving to Pittsburgh alone, I’ve realized that – I don’t need them. I pride myself in being a good friend to people and if they don’t want to act right – that’s on them. Friends are great and as much as I want to have that “group of girlfriends” – I can’t keep trying and trying and trying.  Especially when I’m not reaping any of the benefits. If you’re my friend cool, but if I feel like I’m putting in more than I am going to Imma fall back and stop expecting that reciprocation. I’m still gunna be there for you if you need to be as a listening ear. I just have to stop expecting them to do the same.

Live More In Love and Be Positive. Most people who know me know that I am a pretty optimistic person. But sometimes my positive energy gets hit with other people’s negativity and I absorb it. Not on purpose, but it happens. I want to be able to keep my positivity and energy clear of other people’s baggage. Which is sometimes really hard for me because I take on other people’s stress often. Also, I want to live in love more. I wrote a blog post about how to put love in your daily lives. But I want to be a more loving and kind person. When people are around me, I want them to instantly feel loved and cared for. There was a girl once at Hampton, while I didn’t know her personally, I could see and feel the energy she radiated. I want that.

More Jesus. For a few months now, I have been feeling like something is missing from my life. I felt like all this good was happening around me, but still something was missing. And honestly, it was yesterday that it hit me. I wasn’t spending as much time with God as I should be. So this next year, I want to take my relationship with God to the next level. I feel like I haven’t been taking my relationship with Him as seriously as I should be. But starting today, I am recommitting myself to God, His word, My Prayers, and His people. I will be studying His word and doing daily prayers – every day. No excuses. God has done so much for me, the VERY LEAST I could do is spend time with Him.

There are probably more things, but these are going to be my main focus right now. I am so excited about my next year of growth and wisdom. 23 was a year of getting comfortable with being uncomfortable, growth and new opportunities. I cannot wait to see what 24 brings.

Love yall bunches.

– Tanesha

Mid-Week Memo – 12/7

“One of the lessons that I grew up with was to always stay true to yourself and never let what somebody else says distract you from your goals. And so when I hear about negative and false attacks, I really don’t invest any energy in them, because I know who I am.”

– Michelle Obama

10 STANDOUT IDEAS from 2016 (thus far)

I feel like 2016 has been the year of learning for me. I am forever reflecting on this year and what things I could’ve done better, what things were good. I think self-reflection is one of the most beneficial things a person can do, because change has to come from within. People can tell you all they want about the things you do wrong, or the things you are doing correctly – BUT until you recognize it yourself, you probably won’t make longterm changes. So here are some of the main things that I’ve learned and that I plan on keeping with me for the rest of my post-undergraduate life.

  • Dream HUGE, and don’t limit yourself, even if other people try to. You are the creator of your destiny, and absolutely nothing is out of your reach, unless you put it there.
  • Being Sure of yourself is a process, it takes practice. And by practice I mean every single day, looking yourself in the mirror and saying “You got this girl!”  You must be sure of yourself, because if you aren’t – who else will?
  • Trust God and his path for you, he will never lead you wrong. Romans 8:28 in the Bible says: “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.”
  • People only take from you what they know you will give them. This goes hand in hand with the saying, “people will only treat you how you allow them to.” (Thanks mom!) Folks are probably walking all over you and treating you the way they are because you are allowing them to by not standing up for yourself or correcting their behavior. Only you can change it tho.
  • SAY NO: with conviction. Stop doing things you don’t want to do and things that make you unhappy. Life is literally too short for you to do anything you don’t want to do. Say no, and leave it alone. You don’t have to explain yourself to ANYONE.
  • Friendships are reciprocal, and not everyone is your friend. If I’m being honest, I’m still learning this. But you shouldn’t be the one always reaching out, and always planning. You should be getting out of the friendship, the same things you’re putting in.
  • Plan early in your relationships, especially with marriage. Honestly ask yourself (and your significant other) what your intentions and expectations are up front. There’s no point of your intentions to seriously date, and your significant others intention’s are to casually date around. I believe that preparation is the key to success and that it should be applied to your relationships as well.
  • Explore the world – take in every opportunity, even opportunities you don’t think you will gain from. I think you should take advantage of every single opportunity and open door that comes your way, because you may gain skills that you wouldn’t have before. Also you could learn what type of career you don’t want to have.
  • The difference between you and someone else is what you are willing to sacrifice. I think there is something profound about being the person to go above and beyond the normative path. You should be able and willing to sacrifice for your goals. Sacrifice is temporary but the reward and feelings of accomplishing your goals are forever.
  • You can have it all, as long as God says the same. Galatians 1:10 says “Obviously, I’m not trying to win the approval of people, but of God. If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ’s servant!”As long as you are focused on living your life as an offering to God, everything will work out the way it is supposed because God favor’s His Children.

What are some of your stand out ideas from 2016? Share below in the comments!

XOXO

– Tanesha

Newly Single? I got you. 

So like you, at the beginning of the year I became single. After being in a very serious relationship for about two or so years, I felt like I had lost a huge chuck of who I was. Not because I was any less of a person without the relationship, but because I had become used to having him around and a big part of my life. But now that it’s been a few months, I’ve got a few tips that can help you through this period.

  • I needed time to grieve, and you probably do too. As a person, who loves hard, it takes a bit of time to get over someone, especially someone you cared deeply about. As Part of my grieving, I wanted to be left completely alone – I cut off communication with my ex-boyfriend. I gave myself a week to be mopey and sad, (and honestly it was probably too much time). But I was able to release all the sadness and hurt I was feeling by way of tears, eating junk food, sleeping and being lazy.
  • Change, change, change. I literally changed everything around me. I got rid of most things that reminded me of my ex-boyfriend (and by get rid of I mean I put it all in a box, I kept some stuff out tho). I rearranged my furniture, changed my hair, changed how I dressed and how I do my make up. After changing everything, I felt so refreshed and brand new.
  • Get busy. Grind time doesn’t stop. You are too amazing to stop being great. Do you have a secret hobby you wanted to get into? Now you have the extra Time to devote to that. You have the opportunity to be even more amazing than you were before! You can also fill that time with the great company of your friends and family. They are always going to be there for you and support you, and I’m sure they would not be opposed to spending some extra time with you!
  • Go out on dates, but DO NOT REBOUND. I know this sound contradictory but I think that it’s okay to go out with other people, but only when you’re ready and in a healthy way. Just don’t be on the rebound. What I mean is don’t go out immediately looking for a replacement significant other. I know you’re lonely and in your feelings, but no. Rebounding literally makes you feel worse than when you started. But if there are young men interested in you, give them a chance.

 

Those are the main things I would suggest, but most of all – give yourself time. Time heals all wounds.

 
What are some tips do you have for the newly single? Or if you are newly single, how are you coping?

 
XOXO
– Tanesha.

Sunday Soapbox: Where You Need to Be. 

I saw a quote by Tracee Ellis Ross that said “May the space between where I am and where I want to be inspire me and not terrify me.” And I realized I’m terrified of that space! I’m literally living right in the middle of the end of my undergrad years, and where I want to be seems so far ahead in the distance. And I keep trying to do a little bit here, and a little bit there – trying to bridge the gap but I realized that I’m probably right where I need to be.
You can’t build to your character, patience, endurance, perseverance by living a life that works out perfectly every single time. Those things don’t come from getting what you want, those things come from trials & error, suffering, getting knocked down (and standing back up). Even if you’re not where you want to be right now, you’ll end up exactly where you need to be. Day by day. Step by step. Inch by inch. little by little. You’ll get there. I promise. And I completely believe that, at the end of the day – one day I will be exactly where I want to be.

Grown Up Life Goals

So now that I am about to embark on the next chapter of my life. Honestly, goal setting has been a part of my life ever since I can remember. I saw on Facebook once that ” Goals are just dreams with deadlines.” How can you ever accomplish anything without knowing what it is that you want to accomplish?

Goal setting is pretty straight forward. You should use the cheesy acronym S.M.A.R.T to help set and achieve your goals.

S is for Specific.

M is for Measurable.

A is for Action-Oriented.

R is for Realistic.

T is Time-Based.

Some of my personal goals include: building my self-confidence higher by working out more and eating healthier (cut out all these random carbs), start dating again (9 months from now), face some more fears (especially my fear of bugs), move out and become more independent.

While my professional goals are get into a good graduate school with a strong emphasis in research, publish my first peer-reviewed article into an academic journal, perfect my elevator speech, recreate my personal statement and cover letters, and re-brand myself.

Even more important than just having these goals in your head, is writing them down. I don’t know about you, but whenever I write anything down it becomes more real to me. I would suggest you write your goals down. Maybe in a notebook where you can journal on your progress, or maybe on sticky notes that you place on your bathroom mirror, or even just down on a piece of paper that you carry around in your wallet. I think you should look at your list of goals at least once a day. The more you see them, the more you will work for them, the more progress you will make on them, and then before you know it you will be accomplishing so much.

I believe that setting personal (as well as professional) goals are extremely important.

What are some of your goals for the rest of the year?? Share below in the comments.

Be Blessed, and Love always,

– Tanesha 🙂

 

Monday Thoughts: Expect Greater

 

“She quietly expected great things to happen to her, and no doubt that’s one of the reasons why they did.” – Zelda Fitzgerald.
Expectations can sometimes cause disappointments, however, if you always are thinking something bad or unfavorable will happen to you – that is exactly what will happen. I’m a huge believer in mind over matter. Your mind is the most powerful weapon you have. Be sure to use it for your benefit. Every day this week – Expect Greater. Greater success in your career, or greater understanding in a complicated situation. 🙂
Stay Encouraged,
– T.Renae

2015 Reflections

As 2016 has just started, I’ve given myself a few days to really reflect on the past year and figure out what I’ve learned, what I’ll do differently and what must change for this new year. I’ve learned so much and I just want to share my reflection as a means to inspire you to reflect over your past year as well.

I deserve better. I’ve put up with a lot of things that I shouldn’t have in 2015 with my friends. For me, it’s especially hard for me to voice my opinions or feelings because of fear of hurting someone else’s feelings. There’s no reason why I put up with as much as I did, and this year I am looking forward to standing up more for myself and not allowing myself to be treated any kind of way.

Along with this, I’ve found that you are your biggest support has to come from within. No one is going to support you, like you. Even if you support everyone and their momma’s businesses, startups, and ideas – it won’t be reciprocated. I don’t know why I expect the support and love I pour out into people to be returned but quite frankly it probably won’t ever be. And that’s okay.

I need to take more time to work on myself, pamper myself and love myself unapologetically. Sometimes I give too much to other people, and not enough to myself. In 2016, I plan on giving the same amount to myself, as I give others. Also, just work on loving myself flaws and all – no one is perfect and I shouldn’t expect to be either. Sometimes I feel like I hold myself to this unobtainable standard of living and how I live. I have to learn that the standard in my head isn’t the end all to myself. It’s okay to mess up sometimes.

With that being said, I’ve also learned how strong I am as a person – not physically, but emotionally and mentally. I can handle almost anything anyone throws at me. This year has been the year of challenges. With the pursuit of graduate school, and applying for everything humanly possible (scholarships, trips, diversity weekends, etc). I can do pretty much anything I put my mind to and I need to walk in that truth.

I think those are the main takeaways from 2015 for me. What were you major lessons in 2015 – Share them below in the comments!

Keep It Classy,

– T. Renae

The Big Chop Summer: Tips to Handle Your New Natural

Summer is popular for many, many reasons but in the Natural Hair World summer is the time for Big Chops! Who knows why exactly this is the best time to put the scissors to those relaxed ends, but I found it was easiest for me to big chop in the summer because the weather was better and I had more free time to learn just what-the-heck to do with my new natural curls. For whatever reason YOU may big chop in the summer, there will be a lot of surprises in store and new things to embrace about being natural. Here are five easy tips and tricks if you’ve already big chopped and find yourself facing serious #naturalgirlproblems or if you are considering “big chopping” but don’t know what to expect.

  1. Don’t Compare Your Fro

Before I big chopped I was constantly on Youtube and Instagram looking through pictures of other girl’s big chop results or TWA’s (teeny weeny afro). I was so excited, thinking that I would get these cute little ringlets of curls similar to the many pictures I was seeing. After cutting my hair, however, I simply didn’t look like those other girls because…well because obviously I wasn’t them! When you first big chop, don’t compare your hair to someone else’s. Natural hair comes in a million different curl patterns, and colors and grows in different shapes or to different lengths and so on and so forth. Enjoy your own fro, learn how to love it and embrace it for what it is from day one.

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  1. Nourish Your Fro

When you first chop and are left with little to no hair, it is easy to think that you won’t have to do anything to it for days on end. This is not true. Imagine your hair is a flower in need of being watered and nourished daily in order to help it to flourish. By “watering” I don’t mean shampooing daily (see tip 3), just spritzing it with a water and oil or water and conditioner mix in the morning should be enough. Also, remember that beautiful hair comes from the inside out so nourish your body by eating right and drinking PLENTY of water. Your hair will thank you for it.

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  1. Leave Your Fro Alone

A new fro is normally as tempting to play with as a brand new toy but trust me when I say: leave, it, alone! By this I mean that you should try to resist the temptation to shampoo, re-twist, re-bantu knot or re-braid your hair daily. Find a style that will last you at least 3-5 days, which will help you avoid stressing and breaking your new coils. Also, if your goal is to achieve long (or big) natural hair, then avoid drastic experimentations. If you can, try to stay away from dabbling in keratin treatments, hair dye or texturizers. You’ll end up having to big chop again to get rid of damaged hair or you’ll set yourself further back in the journey then where you started. (Disclaimer: of course you can do WHATEVER you want with your hair and hair will always grow back. So if you’re not worried about anything then by all means do what you want.)

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  1. Budget for Your Fro

The natural hair journey is NOT cheap! Ethnic hair care products are crazy expensive and as a new naturalista it’s almost certain that you will be tempted to buy everything on the shelves that the online hair care forums promise will bring you cute curls to your TWA. The trial and error stage with products will go so much more smoothly and you will feel better about going natural if you are realistic with how much money you are going to spend. So set aside a hefty budget (maybe of about $100-$300) as your natural hair fund to spend on products in your first year. This money can cover products such as co-wash, shampoo, conditioner, hair masks and oils (that you will probably end up never using more than once), new brushes, combs, rollers, dryers and diffusers. The budget will also help you fund protective styles (such as weaves, braids or twists) that can be cute, fun and will give your hair a break. Your hair and wallet will definitely thank you.

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  1. Fall in Love with Your Fro

Warning: big chopping your hair is going to change the way you look. You now no longer have hair in your face distracting from your features, and your style may even change now that you can pull off eccentric pieces you never thought you could have before. It may disorient you to see how different you look, but I promise, from the bottom of my heart, that you look beautiful. If you love your fro, I can promise that it will love you back and reward you by flourishing. Tell your fro how pretty it looks today. Take the time to appreciate how unique your hair is and how mature and sexy you look with such a daring haircut. Don’t be discouraged, don’t let comments get to you and don’t stop falling in love with your fro.
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And with that good luck on your natural hair journey! By the way, I would LOVE to see pictures of new TWA’s and if you would like, share your Big Chop story with us.

Love, Aliah W.

Words [of] Encouragement Wednesday: 7/22

“Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it. The time will pass anyway.” – Earl Nightingale

Mr. Nightingale said it best ‘the time will pass anyways.’ Think about it, no matter if you run furiously towards your dreams and goals, or if you just sit by idly waiting for your dreams and goals to just magically be accomplished, the time will move. I think the best and most productive use of your time would be to keep striving towards your goals. No matter how grand or impossible-seeming your goal maybe, you can do it! Just focus, and work towards it! Stay Encouraged.

-Ladies & Co.