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

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Everything, Everything: Book Review With Spoilers

 

So, if you don’t know I am one of those crazy people who have to read a book first before going to see a movie. When I saw the commercial for this movie, I immediately wanted to see it ASAP. I was telling my parents that I have to see this movie. And then I found out it was a book first, I literally couldn’t contain my joy. I love books – more than I can explain. Reading has always been a huge part of my life growing up. It makes me sad that I can’t read as much as I used to in high school, but I am trying to get back into the flow of reading.  Anyways! To the book….

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I started this book around 7PM on Thursday night and finished it Friday morning at about 9AM. It is a quick little read – very easy to read and get wrapped up in. There’s pictures and drawings throughout the pages and the main character Madeline is so easy to love. She’s a sweet 17 year old who’s very very very very very sick. So sick, that she has to live in a bubble to protect herself from her triggers. She has been sick her entire life. She loves to read (a girl after my own heart) and loves architecture and all things learning. Her life is pretty “content,” and then Olly moves in next door.

Let me tell you, Maddy and Olly’s interactions will literally have you blushing and remembering how it felt to be that young and in love. The book is so well written that you literally feel the excitement and giddy-ness of meeting a boy. In Maddy’s case, this is her meeting a boy for the very first time. Do you remember when you first started noticing boys (or girls) in a romantic way? I think I remember, in third grade I was in love with this boy named Morgan. Anyways. So Olly basically challenges Maddy in ways unimaginable. He even unintentionally causes her to leave her house for the first time and every time thereafter together. Olly has a great impact on Maddy, in my opinion. This was a great little read for someone who is into Young Adult fiction books and wants to get started reading with a light hearted, coming of age romantic book.

Here come the spoilers part.

I believe that Maddy and Olly going to Hawaii was literally the best thing. Like Olly says (and Maddy reintegrates) that chaos theory says that one little thing changes the course of everything else in a person’s life. I’m glad they went, even though Maddy almost died – had they not run away Maddy probably would’ve never learned the truth: that she’s not sick at all. I believe that what Maddy’s mother did was horrible. Just horrible and selfish. In effort to protect herself from feeling the loss and hurt from losing her husband and son, she literally gave her child this “rare” disease. She literally displays classic symptoms of Muchasuen by Proxy Syndrome. This is a type of child abuse that involves the exaggeration or fabrication of illnesses or symptoms by a primary caretaker. This is a type of mental illness that requires treatment, which the mother towards the end of the books sought.

I somewhat understand why Maddy’s mother did what she did… She just lost two of the loves of her life and the third was gravely sick. I get it, she’s scared… BUT I don’t think it was right for her to contain her daughter in the way that she did. Grief and love for that matter can make a person do crazy things. I do think it was a waste of settlement money from the accident. All that containment equipment, air filters, glass, and decontamination things – waste of money.

Overall I would give this book like 4/5. It was a great, quick little read. However I do wish it went into more detail about the characters after this discovery and more of their lives.

If you’ve read the book (or seen the movie), share below in the comments about your thought?? And If you have any book suggestions – Share those too.

XOXO,

– Tanesha

Live Better, Feel Better

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Back at the beginning of the year, I had decided that my only New Years’ resolution was to be a better person all the way around – mentally, physically, emotionally.

For years, I’ve experienced low self-esteem as well as many years of verbal assaults. “Fat girls shouldn’t wear this.” “You’re too big to wear that.” But, I decided that I didn’t want that to be who I was. I didn’t want to allow other people’s thoughts and opinion to play such a huge factor in my life. I wanted to gain back control of how I view myself and now allow other’s opinions to taint how I view myself.

So on April 16, I decided to start back hitting the gym. I am a plus sized girl, so hitting the gym came with a lot of anxiety. I was afraid of what people would think about me being a bigger girl working out, not really knowing exactly what I was doing, or people thinking that I’m just doing this to get skinny. None of that is the case, I am literally just trying to gain control of how I feel about myself.

So, I started working out. It’s not about the weight-loss or getting skinny, it is more so about me gaining control and loving who I am. I was afraid, but now I feel more empowered. Which has made me want to live my best life. So getting healthy has made me start living my life a little bit better. I don’t worry as much about what I am wearing, or how I look.

Once you start living your life to your fullest potential, unapologetically – you will ultimately feel so much better. Your insides will begin to be reflected in your outward interactions and life.

In what was are you going to start living better – share below in the comments! I want to start improving other aspects of my life as well (such as my living in love (with actions), or spiritually, mentally, etc.)

Love Always,

– Tanesha J.

SoapBox: Don’t Take It Personally.

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People sometimes suck. Being the kind-hearted person I am, I am always expecting people to treat me the way I treat them. But that’s not always the case. People will hurt you, slander your name and not even think twice about it. Which is so strange to me because in school growing up we were always taught – “Treat others the way you want to be treated.”

But maybe that’s how they pull it off – the people who treat you poorly, never expect to be treated badly or are ever actually treated badly. When people don’t treat you with the same decency, respect or kindness that you have shown them, you could get super angry, irritated and upset. OR you could not take it personally. The way people treat others has everything to do with them, and hardly anything to do with the people receiving the actions. For example, if my friend Sally treats me terribly, that says more about Sally than it does about me – especially if I know that I’ve continually treated her kindly or with respect.

At least that’s how I look at it. So continue to treat people kindly and with love – it’s honestly the only way to live with a clear conscious and also it just feels better. 🙂

Love you all bunches,

– Tanesha J.

 

 

Sunday Soapbox: Don’t Live In Fear

Fear is defined as an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain or a threat. Even if the fear is illogical or nonexistent – it still so causes distress on your body. Our bodies are naturally to equip to handle day to day stressors and fears but perpetual fear and stress causes wear and tear on our bodies.

Fear can even cause you not to do things you once enjoyed. I feel like I live in a constant state of fear – I’m afraid of not getting into grad school, letting people who believe in me down, someone hurting me or my brother (or any family for that matter), afraid of hurting someone’s feelings and the list goes on. And it sucks. I feel like always having to push past that fear becomes so overwhelming that it drowns out the other positive feelings in my life.

But as I am living with this fear and learning how to deal with it – I often find that the fears are mostly in my own head – thought up from an overactive imagination. Sometimes I have to remind myself that this fear won’t kill me – it might hurt a little, worry me a lot, and physically cause me to be uncomfortable but I won’t die.

I saw on Pinterest once that you must “starve your fears,” which I didn’t fully understand until now. One of the main ways not to feed your fears, is to do whatever it is that scares you. For me, it’s applying for different programs or asking former professors for letters of recommendations or even going to Walmart alone. For you, it might be conquering your fear of heights or standing up for yourself when you’re not being treated respectfully – Whatever it is – do it anyway.

Another way is to purposefully counteract the fearful thoughts with more confident, strong ones. Sometimes you’ll have to go to a person with a strong, confident voice to counteract your fearful thoughts. My go-to person is my mother because she’s almost too straightforward and is practically fearless. Whenever I start to have fearful thoughts, I think about my mother telling me, “what’s the worst thing that will happen?”

Don’t let your fears control your life. You are the captain of your fate. 

What ways do you conquer your fears? Share below in the comments. 

XOXO,

-Tanesha 

Valentine’s Day Impromptu Date Ideas

Happy Valentine’s Day

Some folks go out with their girls to dinner and movie (like a date with their girls), while others sit in the house and sulk. Honestly, my friends all live in different states and sitting in the house and sulking doesn’t sound appealing either. So what am I to do? I decided to come up with some impromptu “date ideas”! These are great ideas for you go out with your significant other, your girls, or even go out solo!

  1. Have an intense workout session.
  2. Go to a museum or an art gallery
  3. Buy Yourself some flowers or pick some!
  4. Get up early, make breakfast, and enjoy the quiet morning.
  5. Write yourself a love letter
  6. Send your girls a heartfelt text message (or call) about how much you love them.
  7. Go out to dinner (I love good food!!)
  8. Take a long walk in your favorite park
  9. Go to the library or Barnes & nobles to read for a while (I guarantee it won’t be crowded!)
  10. Get a mani/pedi – or even give yourself one at home!
  11. Go see that movie you’ve been waiting to see!
  12. Have a “Night In” – eat junk food and watch a movie marathon!

Don’t be forced to stay home on this day full of love – Enjoy the love you have received over the years and give some love away (maybe a random act of kindness?)

XOXO,

– Tanesha

 

Things I Learned in 2016 That I Am Bringing Into My 2017

It has been about 7 or 8 days into 2017 (at least when I am writing this) and everyone around me has been either saying “new year, new me – I am overhauling my life to make more positive changes and resolutions” or the more self-righteous “I don’t need New Years to recreate myself – I do that every week.” I am somewhat in the middle. This new year, I am super excited about the upcoming possibilities and opportunities that are coming my way. However, I didn’t get there by happenstance – without 2016 there wouldn’t be this chance for 2017.

So here are some of the lessons that I learned in 2016, that I am definitely taking with me into 2017.

  1. It is absolutely OK to not be OK. You are under no circumstances required to be OK all the time. There are days when you are going to be unhappy, distraught, stressed out, worried, etc – and that’s okay. Life is not roses and daisies all the time and that is okay. Honestly, think about this, if life was everything you wanted it to be, you wouldn’t be satisfied nor have an appreciation for all the good that is going on. You gotta take the good with the bad. Balance.
  2. Positive in, Positive Out. You must speak life and positivity over your future and your life. My mother and my friend are always saying you must visual your success and have positive thoughts about your future. Otherwise, it won’t happen. You have to have confidence that the things you desire, the love you want, the job/career you want, all of those things and more will come to you.
  3. Planning is great, but God’s plan is perfect. I am a planner by nature, I like to know what’s going to happen, when it is going to happen, why it is happening – everything. But God does not work like that at all. Not because He is going to harm us, rather because he has plans to prosper us in the future (my paraphrase from Jeremiah 29:11). Furthermore, God’s plan is perfect, absolutely perfect (so perfect we cannot even comprehend). There is nothing in the perfect plan of God, that is not meant for your good. There was a quote by Lisa Bever – she stated, “If you think that you have blown God’s for your life, rest in this: You, my beautiful friend, are not that strong.”
  4. Time heals all wounds, even the ones that hurt the most. Both physical and mental wounds are the same in some sense. First, you get hurt and then you got to put a bandage over the wound to not infect it anymore but also to give your body time to do what it is designed to do heal. Even for mental and emotional wounds, you have to put a bandage on it and give it time to heal. Invest your time into healing yourself. You cannot rush healing my friend, you have to go through all the pain, suffering and once you experience all that you will be allowed to heal.
  5. You deserve to be treated well. People’s actions are not a reflection of you, but rather of you. You don’t have to be a savage, specially in the “world of being a savage.” It is okay to treat others better than they treat you. There are not enough kind-hearted people in the world. But with this, do not be mistaken – I am not saying put up with everyone’s crap. I’m saying treat people kindly, but be sure to take care of yourself.

With all that being said, I hope that 2017 brings you everything that you need to be the best version of yourself.

I love you bunches.

XOXO,

– Tanesha J.

My Season of Patience and Learning

About four months ago, I wrote about my “season of rejection,” since then honestly, nothing has really changed – Things are starting to slowly look up, just not in the way I had imagined my life being (which I will talk about a little later in this post). I’m still feeling some of the same things that I felt back then, however, my mindset has changed completely. About a month or two ago, I feel like God told me to stop wallowing and embrace this moment.

Instead of the season of rejection, I am renaming this time in my life as my season of patience and learning. I am going to be really transparent here: it was so hard to change my mindset. Every day, I am reminded that God is still good and He provides. So no matter how I feel that day, or how much I want to give up – it is all going to end up the way it is supposed to.

I have learned quite a few things while in the midst of this period of my time. So here are the top ones.

  1. You are still going to have bad days, even with this new mindset. You are not a robot where you can just turn on and off when you are going to feel stressed. As this season of transition and change is happening in your life – it is going to be uncomfortable. It’s not going to be the rainbows and giggles that you imagine.
  2. Patience builds endurance. I like to think of patience like a muscle, the more you exercise it, the strong it becomes. No matter how many tears you shed, no matter how badly you think it is – keep going. Give it one day of sadness and then move on to the next day with a refreshed attitude. The more you practice not holding on to the sadness, hurt feelings, and disappointments, the easier it will be.
  3. Life is what you make it, not what you have planed. Have you ever heard that saying that life is 10% of what happens to you and 90% of how you react. You are going to have to choose to react differently to certain situations. Instead of getting upset that XYZ opportunity did not happen for you, use that as motivation to apply to more opportunities that even better. Don’t limit yourself to what you think is in your skillset, go beyond it.
  4. Do more of what you love to keep busy. So life is not working out how you think it should, so what? Your life will eventually get the way it is supposed to be. So for me, I suddenly had an OBNOXIOUS amount of free time (which those of you who really know, know I hate). I started filling my time with working out, reading the Bible and doing daily devotional, catching up on random shows I forgot about, studying to retake the GRE, applying to jobs, looking up grad schools and programs and whatever else I can think of. I think keeping busy really helps me not “wallow” because I have stuff to do.

Life is still hard, but I am determined to make the last few months of 2016 – positive and happy ones.

Be blessed,

– Tanesha Renae

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.