Happy Half Birthday to Me: Fun Facts, Confessions and Lessons

Happy Half Birthday to ME!!!!!

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Half inspired, half challenged by Courtney Saunders of Passionate Woman Blog‘s Post about being 25 and Winging It. This post will include fun facts, confessions, and lessons thus far.

Fun Facts

  1. I am a HUGE ANIME FAN. I feel like anime is becoming trendy, but I have been watching since I was in middle school (2006 to be exact). I started with the basics Naruto and DBZ, and I just fell in love. I don’t know what it is about anime – maybe it’s the reading of subtitles, the animation, the stories, or something. But I will always be a huge fan.
  2. Black is my FAVORITE color. I don’t know why I’ve just always loved it, black is just pure to me. It is also the color I wear the most of.
  3. I am a huge animal lover! I wanted to be a vet when I was younger (pre-my lawyer phase). My dad kinda ruined that dream by telling me I had to stick my hand up a cow’s butt when I went to Vet School.
  4. I am OBSESSED with my dog, Nehemiah. He has made the transition to living alone sooo much easier because without him I would never leave my apartment.
  5. I loveeeee flowers. Especially lilies. I believe it is because my dad always buys them for me, so I associate them with love.
  6. I love to watch weddings shows, wedding videos, engagement videos – honestly anything where people are in love. It brings such joy to my heart. It’s funny because I currently don’t want a huge wedding ceremony, just a reception with my closest friends.
  7. I cry at everything! Happy, Sad – it doesn’t matter. I am such a crier. Which is super ironic because if you ask my parents as a baby – I NEVER CRIED. I guess I am making up for lost time?
  8. I love the beach/lakes/ocean. The ocean/the beach makes me so happy and calm. Whenever I felt anxious or overwhelmed in college, I would go to the beach. Maybe because I was born on an island (Guam).
  9. I love to read, but not really non-fiction/self-help. I think it’s because I use books as a way to escape/live a different reality. I do think there is a great value to self-help and non-fiction books, just for some reason I am not into them. (If you are on good reads/interested in what I am reading – follow me here)
  10. I loveeee playing games on my phone – however, if a kid asks me I will always say no. Idk why but currently I have 19 game apps on my phone. A gamer at heart?
  11. My brother is probably my favorite person in the entire world, probably more than my parents. He can never do any wrong to me. We even got matching tattoos!
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Ancient Greek: φιλία, often translated as “brotherly/sisterly love.” | matching tattoos with my brother, cause no matter what we got each other.

Confessions

  1. #MeToo. If I say no, that doesn’t mean convince/coerce me. Listen the first time.
  2. I battle with imposter syndrome and severe anxiety DAILY. I am working on it. I am working on it by putting myself into more uncomfortable And working on my confidence especially when it comes to school. I know that my research and my academic perspective is necessary.
  3. I honestly feel every emotion super deeply. I’m not sure why but I do. And I also take on other people’s experiences and emotions and experience them myself. It’s hard but a gift.
  4. I am generally the person that everyone goes to with their problems, however, I have a hard time trusting people with my problems.
  5. I worry A LOT about being a Black woman whose professional life is BOMB but whose personal life is lacking. I feel like most people want me to focus solely on my professional life and graduate school, but my personal life is equally (if not more) important to me. I struggle with trying to balance both of these circles.
  6. I love blogging and vlogging – but sometimes I worry that my content isn’t that exciting or engaging enough to keep folks interested in what I have to say or produce (on YouTube).

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Lessons

  1. It is okay not to be okay. I have learned this really within the past year or so. With the passing of my dearest friend last year, losing my uncle a few days ago, dealing with a lot of rejections for graduate school, insecurities – I have been dealing with a lot lately. And honestly, I have been trying to hold it all together, but I can’t. It’s unhealthy for me to try to hold everything in. BUT I have found solace in confiding in the very few people I trust.
  2. Experiencing multiple emotions at one time is absolutely normal and you are not going crazy.
  3. Closure, for me, is such a blessing and a curse. A blessing when it closes a chapter nicely, however more often than not has been a curse and made me feel worse than not knowing.
  4. As much as I believe that I need to be superwoman, I cannot save everyone or do everything at once. It is okay if the only person I save is myself.
  5. I am learning that my worth is not dependent on ANYBODY’s ability or disability to see or acknowledge it.
  6. Change is inevitable, and the quicker you can learn to adapt or roll with the changes the better it will be.
  7. Sometimes you just have to go with the flow. If you know me, you know I am such a planner and type A – but I am learning to just let go of my strict plans and remain strict about my goals.
  8. (BONUS) I am learning how to say no (and you should too!). For years I thought that saying no implied that I didn’t like someone or was trying to be confrontational. However sometimes, saying no is the kindest thing you can do for yourself or someone else.

Challenge: Do you have any Fun Facts, Confession, Lesson you’d like to share? JOIN THE CHALLENGE – OR share below 🙂

I challenge Samantha of Melanin Project Blog and Khari of Twelve-Eight

Best,

-Tanesha Renae

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I’m Dealing With Loss…

TW: SuicideDealing With A Loss

 

So recently, about two weeks ago on Wednesday (On May 17), my dearest and most beloved friend took his own life. Literally to know this young man was to love him. He sort of had this magnetic pull about him, where as soon as you met him – you just wanted to be around him more and more. That’s exactly how I felt in high school when I first met him – and even to a week or so before he died and I saw him at the gas station. The feeling never goes away. It’s hard to explain to someone who has never felt the pull of him.

The days following when I found out, I literally stayed up until four am crying and almost hysterical. Why is my friend gone? Why couldn’t he stay here on earth with me? Why couldn’t I save my friend? Why wasn’t my love enough to reach him? Questions that have no answers – the only person who could possibly answer them is now gone.

My Heart was and is very broken over this. I was so fond of this young man, and as were so many other people. At 24 years old, he was/is so loved. Every day, multiple times a day – I find myself wandering back to his Facebook page and reading through every single post that has been made. “RIP my battle buddy” “I cannot believe my friend is gone.” “You were such a great friend, and definitely gone too soon“ “You were so loved…” etc.

After my “hysteria” of losing my friend, I’ve since calmed down and attended both his funeral and wake. But deep down, I’m still hoping that this is some bad dream that I am about to wake up from. As I looked at what used to be the body that housed the most beautiful soul, I felt sort of at peace. The young man in the casket was not my friend, it was just a body… A body that used to hold the spirit and soul of the most amazing person. Everything that made my friend who he was, was gone and what was left was this body. The body didn’t hold the love I felt from this young man, or the happiness he gave other people – it was just a body.

The sun lived in his smile – so I’m often wondering where do I go now without his sun anymore. Grief is a crazy thing. It’s made me lash out at people I care about, become closed off and emotionless and even feeling like my life is meaningless without him. But I know that’s not true, and more importantly, my friend would have been so hurt by that fact. My heart is slowly but surely healing and I know that God has a plan for my life. And within that plan, that this experience was necessary.

If you know someone who is experiencing deep hurt – make sure you are absolutely there for that person. Even if you feel like your efforts are going unnoticed or unhelpful – trust me your efforts are valued. Especially if that person is grieving a loss of a loved one. It means so much to me that so many people have reached out (called and texted), prayed for me, and just had me in their thoughts over the loss of my beloved friend.

If you know someone or if you are suicidal – please reach out to someone. Suicide is not the answer. If you are or someone you know is struggling with depression – Reach out to me, someone you trust or love or call the suicide hotline they are so very helpful and are there 24/7. The number is 1-800-273-8255. They handle both suicide and depression. If you don’t want to talk on the phone try the crisis text line – just text this number 741741.

Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Matthew 5:4 NIV. 

Love Always,

– Tanesha J.

(This post is sort of all over the place – but that’s exactly how I feel, all over the place. I slowly but surely I’m getting back into the swing of things.)

if you are interested in hearing more about my friend, I posted a video on my youtube channel. Click here.

 

Let It Be Done In Love!

Let It Be Done In Love

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“Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God.” Ephesians 5:2 NLT

A few weeks ago on my YouTube channel, I talked about how to be a better person and one of the things I said to do is to do things with love. In the video, I didn’t go into a lot of practical ways to live in love so that’s what this blog post is about.

  1. Love yourself. This is first and foremost! I mean, honestly think about it – how can you live in love and let love follow freely from your heart if you don’t even love yourself first. Your heart should be filled to the brim with love and once you start to love yourself more it will overflow and pour out into everything you do and touch.
  2. Be Considerate. For me, this is done by considering other people’s feelings and what they might be going through in their lives. For example, if someone is being a poor friend to me, instead of lashing out, getting upset, or even cussing them out – I always first try to give the person the benefit of the doubt. Maybe my friend is under a lot of stress and pressure these days, or maybe this person doesn’t know they are being unkind.
  3. Perform Acts of Kindness. This one is pretty self-explanatory. You don’t have to go all out or even spend money (such as paying for the car behind you foods/Starbucks behind you). You could just hold the door for someone and say “I hope you have a blessed rest of your day,” or if you see someone frowning tell them hello! You never know what people are going through, and your smile or hello, or “have a great day,” might help them get through those tough situations in their life.
  4. Love encourages more love. The more you outwardly live your life with love, I firmly believe that the more love will return to your life. I honestly feel like the more I’ve been intentional about being kind and living in love – the happier I have been. I no longer allow people to upset me, and just love them in spite of themselves.

I hope this encourages you to live in love! What are some ways you will begin to live your life in love? Share below in the comments!

XOXO,

– Tanesha Renae

Dear Confuzzled Feelings

Hey Ladies, There was a guy that I talked to for a second (Like literally for only a month or two) We flirted and hung out every once in a while. He wanted a relationship, but I didn’t want to go there with him. I knew that he wasn’t the one for me and just wanted to be friends. I wouldn’t even let him kiss me, only a peck on the check twice, maybe.  Fast forward to about 5 years later, we’ve both moved on with our lives. Now I hear that he’s really falling hard for one of my closest girlfriends. I mean he’s asked me if it would be a problem that he wants to you know, holla at her. Being that we were never together, officially or whatever. What should I do? Should I feel some type of way? After all,  we weren’t a “thing” right, and I never even wanted anything with him? I haven’t told my friend that he wants to talk to her yet, I mean should I? I don’t have feelings for him, and still not trying to be with him. Should I feel some type of way if she wants to talk to him because he was mine first? – Confuzzled feelings.

Well as far as actually having this guy. I don’t think you had him. It’s also five years later, his feelings for you most likely do not exist anymore. So you maybe having feelings for him back then, or even now – it’s a little too late. I don’t think he was really yours to begin with. You can’t claim authority over someone who you “don’t even want”. I think on one hand you really did want him, and you just didn’t know how to confront your feelings or admit your feelings to yourself (and him). But again it probably is a little too late, being that it is 5 years later and he’s falling for your girlfriends. I don’t think you should feel any type of way, because he’s moved on from the past and you should too. I think as man, I believe he should tell her himself that he wants to talk to her. You should move yourself out of the way of his happiness, and on to better things.

Keep It Classy,

– T.Renae

Dear In Love or Nah,

Hola #AskTheLadies, i think I am still in love with this guy, but y’know I’m unsure because we don’t talk like we used to, partly because he’s also dealing with another girl. He hasn’t put titles on either of our relationships. We had issues and I could no longer cope with his lies. I’ve told him if he wants to talk to her, he should leave me alone. The problem is he doesn’t want to . Well I didn’t give him a choice, and I left, though I was extremely upset that it couldn’t just be the 2 of us. We didn’t talk for over a month BUT he kept persisting. Calling me, texting me, facetiming me and so on. I’ve discovered that this other girl is still in the picture. I don’t understand why he wants to have me around  when he has her. I just need help figuring out whether my strong feelings for him are love? or am i attached because of the chemistry we had? -In Love or Nahh
Dear In Love or Nah,
You will always have some form of love, bond, or connection with someone that you have spent a lot of time with. However, you can’t force someone to be with you or want to talk to you. He is his own person and makes his own decisions. You were right for leaving him and not speaking to him because he was entertaining someone else. Even though it may hurt to see him with this other girl, just try to focus on yourself and moving forward in your life. I’m sure you probably gave him a lot of yourself but being stuck on him can possibly leave you to miss out on another guy, who respects, love, and adores you. Most importantly a guy that, cares about you enough not to entertain other women. You may still have love because as a woman we tend to love hard and become really emotionally attached, but you are probably not in love anymore with him.
Stay Strong,
Mion Edwards

How To Make A Care Package

How to make a care package! So as most people know I am a military girlfriend, so my boyfriend and I spend a significant amount of time apart. So what I’ve started doing is sending him care packages! I plan on keeping this up when he get deployed, and such. So here are the steps I follow when I am making one.

  1. Come up with a theme (and stick with it). Trust me on this! Pick the theme before doing anything else, because you don’t want to get half way through making the box, and then decide on a theme, and have to start over. Save yourself some headache.
  2. Decide on everything you want to put in the box. I try to keep the things in the box somewhat aligned with the theme of the box. I often make a list of everything I want to go in the box.
  3. Next, I make a shopping list, because there is bound to be something you want to go in the box, that you don’t have readily available in your home. This will save you the hassle of running back and forth to the store every time you think of something else you need. I try to get everything at the dollar store or Walmart to save on costs!
  4. Get the box and start decorating the interior. I get those flat rate boxes from the post office, because I can just go and pick up the box without any questions asked or paying for the box immediately. I normally get like two or three in case I mess up one, because I am not perfect when it comes to crafts. So for the last boxes I’ve used wrapping paper to cover the interior of the box, but it is so flimsy and easily ripped. This most recent box, I used poster board and cut it, and I am a lot happier with the results. It seems so much more sturdy and won’t rip as soon as my boyfriend opens the boxIMG_4413
  5. After letting the box dry (if you used glue) and get settled. I being to put all the fun stuff inside. Some suggestion of items to go in the box are: non-perishable food, candy, pictures, “open when…” letter (which are so awesome but take a bit of time, so plan AHEAD), and whatever else you can think of! Try to put the items in strategically so that when the box is put through the mail, nothing will be too damaged! Remember it is the thought that counts!IMG_4415IMG_4416
  6. Head to the Post Office and Mail the box! You’re done – your special someone will love the gift, partially because of all the cool things they’re getting, but mostly because you thought enough of them to send this amazing package!!
Have you ever thought of making a care package? Share your comments below!
Keep It Classy,
-T. Renae
**Special Shout Out to my Father for helping me make the BEST box, I’ve ever made.**

Love Yourself Challenge Week Two: 25 Reasons Why You Love Yourself

Ladies & Co. introduced the “Love Yourself Like A Queen” challenge last week and it’s already making an impact!  The 7-week challenge was created for women to self-reflect and look within ourselves through God. Last week we wrote love letters to our first loves, ourselves! Week 2’s activity was to think about 25 reasons you love yourself and I’m honored to be sharing my reasons. 25 reasons should come easy to a woman of confidence, but it took more time than anticipated to create my list.  I even had to pull in love ones to complete it, but this is my perfect list! Week 2’s challenge wasn’t just about the list, it was an activity to look from within to examine yourself in a positive light. In this life, we are our worst critics but this gave us an opportunity to reflect on the elements, characteristics and qualities that make us the beautiful queens we are!

What you love about yourself

  1. I am a child of God.
  2. I work hard to achieve my goals.
  3. I’m more actively involved in church.
  4. I’m acknowledging who I am.
  5. I’m content in my own skin and with my connection to God.
  6. I’m more aware of who I can depend on.
  7. I’m learning not to let anyone or anything steal my joy.
  8. I am recognizing my own self-worth.
  9. I’m appreciating all the wisdom my parents have shared with me.
  10. I’m walking in my purpose.
  11. I have a 5-10 year plan for my life (knowing everything does not always go according to this plan).
  12. The love, passion and commitment I have for seniors, children, and people in need.
  13. I am not allowing stress to control my behavior.
  14. I’m learning to broaden my horizons.
  15. I’m discovering my happy place!
  16. I’m becoming more humble in my journey.
  17. I know that I am made in God’s image so I am beautiful just the way I am.
  18. I am my sister’s keeper.
  19. I love to motivate and encourage those around me.
  20. I am family oriented.
  21. I have the hope and faith that our generation will positively impact the world.
  22. I am open to what God has in store for me.
  23. I try to see the good in all people.
  24. I’ve been transforming my mind, body and soul to be healthier.
  25. I am a phenomenal woman!

A.Rochell

Happiness: The Inside Job!

Tips on making your life more genuinely happy! I feel like sometimes we get so caught up in the complacency of life. Then become super content with doing the same day to day things, every single day. I just felt like my life was too content. So I have been making a more conscious effort, to make my life genuinely happier.
  1. Realize you are not going to be happy every single day of your life. Life is hard sometimes, and it is very easy to get overwhelmed by the day to day stressors, life choices, and the world.
  2. Avoid Stress and Confrontation. For me, I try to plan out almost everything out. So my goals, instead of having to stress about how I am going to accomplish them, with my plan of action sheets, I have a step by step plan of what I need to do to accomplish it. And the confrontation section, I just don’t deal with it. I avoid it at all costs. If a person around me is getting hostile or angry, I walk away. Try to be the bigger person in everything.
  3. Don’t judge nor compare. The more you judge people and compare yourself to them, the less happy you will be. I always think of life as this “perception of reality”, and everyone has their own perceptions, so who I am to judge their perception when my perception may be weird to them.
  4. Take risks, face your fears! Get that adrenaline pumping! I always take life by the handlebars. Life starts and happens outside of your comfort zone!
  5. Just ride the wave. When things in your life start to go array, just go with it. God may be directing you to a new direction that you couldn’t see already. Riding the wave is sometimes difficult for me, because I like to plan and I am very Type A personality.
  6. Choose to be happy. I firmly believe that Happiness is a choice. Choose to look on the bright side of things, even when it is hard. You can do it!

Share your tips on being more genuinely happy below!!

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Keep It Classy,

-T.Renae

21 things I’ve learned since turning 21.

Happy June 2ND, also known as MY HALF BIRTHDAY!! It is official – today at 1:50ish am, I have been 21 years old for entire 6 months! Crazy right? Normally I don’t celebrate this day, however I thought with June being “Love Yourself” Month here at the site, I would talk about some of the things I’ve learned in the last six months as a form of self-reflection.

  1. Not everyone has the same moral code and values as you were raised with.
  2. Do not expect anything from anyone, so you’re not disappointed.
  3. It’s OK to do things alone.
  4. Breaking out of your comfort zone, is addictive.
  5. “And if not, God is still good.”
  6. You won’t get every opportunity; give others a chance to be great.
  7. I am not ready for children yet: babysitting is enough. And that is okay.
  8. It’s okay to be an introvert and extrovert!
  9. I will not and cannot make everyone happy, while maintaining my own happiness.
  10. Life is hard, but I am BARELY more than equipped to handle it.
  11. I deserve more than I give myself credit for.
  12. I am not ready for a real adult 9-5-work life. I have to work my own hours, or at least not work until after 10 AM.
  13. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and I am the beholder.
  14. People are always going to have something to say about your goals and life plans – remember they are your plans not anyone else.
  15. Just because everyone is doing “more real life” things such as having kids, getting engaged, and married, and having jobs, does not mean that you are not where you are supposed to be in life.
  16. Don’t be discouraged by critics of your goals – there are so many critics without credentials.
  17. Continue to be great, and let your light shine on the world.
  18. WORK HARD – at every single thing you do. Give no less than 100% to everything you do.
  19. Always behave kinder than you feel, you never know what someone else is going through.
  20. Love fearlessly.
  21. God loves you, no matter how short you fall, or how badly you mess up. He still loves and cares about you.

Keep It Classy, 

-T.Renae

Long Distance Relationship Tips

So I guest blogged over at The Kiss of Joy. So here is my post & I hope it helps you, or someone in a long distance relationship. Be sure to share it. Also be sure to check out her stuff! She has some awesome posts!

Hi, So for my post I am going to write out all the things a long distance relationship need to survive and flourish. First some background. To be honest every “some-what success” relationship I have ever had been a long distance relationship, and also my father is in the military and he deployed a lot so I grew up watching his and my mother’s relationship through the stints of long distance. So I am a self-proclaimed expert.  Long-distance relationships are a special breed of relationships but I don’t think they’re any harder or any easier than any other “normal” relationship. Long distance relationships have some strong points that normal distance relationships don’t have, and visa versa.

So if you know me, I am always saying that it takes a “hand with five fingers” to make a relationship work, especially a long distance one. What I mean is Relationships take five important components: Communication, Time, Commitment, Effort, Consistency, and Fun.

Communication: Just because your significant other lives a million miles away doesn’t mean that you guys shouldn’t talk it as much if not more than other people in their relationship. To avoid falling into the “we text every day about the same dang things,” trap, you’re going to have to have a plan. I wouldn’t say plan out every conversation, but just set aside time to spend with your significant other. Especially if you both are busy college students, trust me from experience! Maybe have lunchtime phone calls, and then calls at bedtime, discuss the plan with your significant other, so that you’re both on the same page of communication. So if you are having communication issues early in your relationship, it could be simple to correct early. It just requires you both to be open and honest.

Time: When you are in a long distance relationship, everything done together is special. Even if you are not physically together you can do fun things together. You can share a meal together via Skype. Or spend hours on the phone, or anything. My favorite part of being in a long distance relationship is when I fly 1,056 miles to see Andrew, or when he flies to me. While Skype dates, gifts, and 3 hour-long phone calls are wonderful, the best part is when we see each other. Even if all you do is sit in the room and watch movies, it’s never the same. Andrew and I always watch TV and movies together, and he says that every day is a new day with each other. So even if we watched TV yesterday, it’s not going to be the same as watching it today. It’s always worth it because it is your significant other.

Commitment: Your significant other must be committed to the commitment. Trust is what every relationship needs, its like the foundation of a house. If you feel like you cannot trust your significant other around the opposite sex, then you need to take a step back and reevaluate things. To build trust, avoid temptation. If you know every hot young men was going to be a party, don’t go and Skype your man instead. I’m not saying do this every time, but make sure significant other feels like they can trust you. And if your significant other does not tell you every single thing they are doing at every moment, it is OKAY, a little space in relationships is healthy. If you are worried about your significant other finding someone else, you should talk to them about it, especially if it a relationship you are want to be long-term (which should be all relationships right?). they should be able to put those worries at ease, because you shouldn’t have to worry all day and night about some random person taking them away.

Effort: This must be shown consistently. Both parties are involved in this. Relationships in my opinion are 100/100, and I refuse to be giving 100%, and he’s only giving 50%. It makes no sense and leaves one person hurt, usually ‘ the person who is putting forth the effort. Relationships where you are giving your all, and your partner is giving their all creates this beautiful indescribable harmony within your relationship. Trust me. Effort is just as important as commitment, the effort is like the determination to make it work. Effort defines everything that you are trying to. It’s just like one of your fingers, you need all of them to be fully functioning hands. You can be committed and not have any effort, and it not work.

Fun: Lastly, being in a relationship can be serious, but it also HAS TO BE FUN. Make time to relax, and let down your hair, and just really enjoy one other. Be sure to make it a priority in your relationship.

I think these are the ultimate relationship tips, and I hope each and every person who reads this experience an abundance of love and happiness, and continues to read the rest of the 14 Days of Love Series. Also Happy Anniversary to my wonderful, thoughtful, and handsome boyfriend. I love you Stud Muffin.

Keep it Classy,

-T.Renae