Life Lessons

Late Night Tip.

Some of the biggest lessons of my life were never remotely taught in the classroom. You can’t teach life experience, you’ve got to live it✌🏽

Yes, this was the Facebook status I concocted upon getting home tonight…. but there’s more to the story.

On my drive home at 3am tonight, I began thinking about all the people I drove to the bars, from the bars, to house parties, to video game releases at midnight etc and my wheels began to turn.

Just a few weeks ago, I began driving for Lyft as a part-time gig. With grad school fastly approaching, a wedding to plan, life, etc, I thought, “Why the hell not?” Either I’m out and about, spending money I don’t need to spend at the moment or at home.

I’ve met people from all walks of life, mainly college age folks on these drives. We’ve discussed majors, minors, failed midterms, frat boy problems, literally a mix of everything. I always find myself saying things like “Don’t sweat the small stuff”,  “Enjoy your college years”, “You literally have the rest of your life to have a big girl or big boy job, seriously live it up”, etc. The moments after these exchanges I always question to myself, “When in the hell did I get so old?”

Truth be told, I’ve been in school on and off for the last 22 years. That’s a long fucking time. And frankly, I’m incredibly tired of going to school. Just in general. At this point you may be wondering, “well you should have just gone straight through”. Yeah okay. At a minimum, if you just go from Kindergarten to graduating with your bachelors degree, that’s 17 years. It’s longer if you add 2 years of preschool as well as any grad or post grad school. From there, then what? You work until you’re basically too old to enjoy your retirement. As a realist, bare with me, this will be most people. The classes I just finished to wrap up my undergrad, I’ve been physically doing those assignments in the workforce the past 5 years or so. Yet here I was, writing papers about nonexistent businesses, building up proposals and plans for a grade rather than actual pay like I had been accustom too. All for that little piece of paper (my bachelor’s degree).

Some days it feels as though we put too much stock in formal education and not enough it a little thing called life experience. (This is coming from the woman getting ready to go to grad school even.) Living in itself is learning. There’s so much to be learned from reading, from doing, from conversing with other people with different perspectives from you, from traveling, etc. There’s so much knowledge to be gained from little things known to be called life experiences. There’s so much to be learned from life itself outside the classroom, if we’re just receptive to all that surrounds us. Embrace it. You have your entire life ahead of you. Take time to explore and marvel, to learn and to grow. You’ll later come to find they were some of the best days of your life.

Renaissance Concourse Atlanta Airport Hotel- Atlanta, Georgia
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Life Lessons

Learning The Difference Between Know & Known

It’s not always the ones who’ve known us the longest that have the best of intentions for us. Learn to let go of the stale, stagnant & sometimes toxic relationships you’ve kept over the years simply because you’ve “known” that person(s) forever. We all change, evolve, & grow in different facets throughout our lives, sometimes that includes apart.🤙🏽🤙🏽🤙🏽

Learn to appreciate the friendship/relationship you once had & relish in those memories to some degree even, but sometimes people we know are simply people we used to know and nothing more than that. Don’t force yourself to hold on to a “friendship” or “relationship” just because of the time invested. The time will pass away either way, learn what to value versus what to simply let go of.

Life Lessons

Caution There’s an Umbrella Involved.

Clearwater Beach, FL

…but only if you want it to be. Life is full of decisions. All of which lead us to where we are today. Some proceed life with caution. This is just as well as saying you’ll always have a huge Yield sign in front of your face. Others choose to make their own way, avoiding the safety net most seek, take bigger risks and therefore reap bigger rewards.

I know countless folks right now that hate the position they have and sometimes even the company they work for. What are you going to lose by putting yourself out there??? PTO time? You’ll always get it built back up. Health insurance? Honestly, most of it is for the birds anyway.  Look for something else…

Our parents generations were brought up to believe that once you found a stable position, to stay, work your way up, and play it safe. But honestly what does safe even mean? You could get fired, the business could go under, new managers could come in and revamp the place, there are so many factors that go into simply playing it safe.

A dear friend shared a quote today via Facebook that got me thinking about this whole topic.

“No amount of security is worth the suffering of a mediocre life chained to a routine that has killed your dreams.” – Maya Mendoza 

While your career should not be your entire life, it is a huge part of it. You should be able to wake up every day and look forward to the position that awaits you at work. There are a ton of positions out there. While I understand the desire to build a strong  & rather short resume in the process, do you really want to do it in an unhappy environment for a company you don’t care much for?

There are no limits in this world except for the ones you set for yourself day after day. Follow your arrow & make shit happen for yourself. Only you stand in your own way. You’ll enjoy your journey so much more on your own terms rather than simply playing it safe according to someone else’s🔥

Clearwater Beach, FL Coastline

 

Life Lessons

Necessities of Life


In the midst of cleaning the living room & kitchen for a family get together tonight, I spy Winston curled up in my fiance’s duffel bag just napping away. We could stand to learn so much from our pets.. all they desire is love, a little bit of nourishment & a place to lay to lay their head. We buy toys stacked on toys, holistic treats to spoil them a bit and accessories that sometimes have me thinking that I’m doing a bit too much. At the end of the day though, they love getting snuggled on the couch & their pettings the most. They’re happiest when they’re playing with some old box or household item rather than their toys.

It’s moments like these that have me question where my priorities have been and even where they are today. My heart has always been in the right place as has my intentions, but sometimes I get a little lost in translation though. I used to be a HUGE shopaholic and incredibly materialistic. I went to the mall/outlet malls pretty frequently and when I grew tired of that, online shopping became my new go-to. Eventually I broke that habit thankfully, but accumulated a lot of stuff during that time. At the end of the day, I never fathomed these things would bring me happiness and of course they didn’t. Needless to say, the older I get, the more I try to downsize. On the daily, I would easily trade all the things in the house (just about) for experiences, trips and memories made with the people I care most about.

All we really need day to day is a little love, nourishment to our bodies and a roof over our head. It never ceases to amaze me how our pets give us daily reminders to just how simple life can be.

 

Life Lessons

Four Paws and a Squeaker.


Growing up, I never grew up with any pets. Probably explains a lot I’m sure, but nope. The closest I ever had gotten to that was at the ripe old age of three, maybe four. Beethoven was one of my favorite movies at the time. Who didn’t love that HUGE Saint Bernard and all of his lovins’ he had to offer??!! My grandparents surprised me with a black lab puppy from the neighbors down the road from them. I lived in an apartment back then in town, looking back I think it’s more or less Mom didn’t want an indoor dog and so Beethoven became the sweetest farm dog you ever saw. I remember driving him around in my tricycle, him jumping in the pond; we were the best of friends. One day, playing fetch I grabbed the toy too soon and he got my finger. It broke skin, scared the bejesus out of me, and that was that. It didn’t make it any better having a hover mother for a mom. No one explained to my recollection that it was an accident and off I went. He was more of my grandfathers pup anyways considering he spent most of his time around him. What did I know? I couldn’t have been more than four at the time.

Flash forward a few years…. Fish were a welcome pet in both of my parents homes. I LOVED going to Walmart to pick them out. I always picked too many and I always wanted them all. One day, I probably had 7 goldfish in a tank (they all had names), and we were making the typical trip from Georgetown to Brandenburg, from dad’s to moms. Before choir practice that night, I put the special drops in the water (to purify it unaware I was to take them out first). I’m not exactly sure what happened, but I know I didn’t do it correctly (apparently). I couldn’t have been more than seven or eight at the time and after leaving the room to change clothes, I came back to find a few of them floating at the top of the tank. God it was awful. In a blubbering mess we saved a few but I didn’t want anymore fish after that. I had come to think that maybe my parents were right and I wasn’t cut out for it.

Flash forward the rest of my life and here I am… I went the rest of my days between them and now pet-less (minus a beta fish named Louie a few years back). Between my past experiences and the fact that neither parent was a fan of having indoor pets I wasn’t trying it out for myself. I always loved to rip, roar and run. I never understood why folks would get a small being they constantly have to take care of/it simply wasn’t something I was accustom to. The older I got the more I began reconsidering but I just couldn’t get myself to commit. If there was anything I knew/still know about myself it was that I WASN’T going to be that person that got a cute, cuddly furbaby and not be prepared/have to re-home not too long after. Timing has never been my forte, but I certainly wasn’t going to embark on this journey prior to being ready or at the very least be home more. I had always been a people person and while I loved animals, it wasn’t something I saw for myself.

After dating my boyfriend for a number of years,  we had come to dance around the subject of adopting. He grew up with a mixture of dogs and  cats. Never had a stray around that wasn’t fed. After volunteering at a few events with Lexington Humane Society, I KNEW going to a breeder was absolutely out of the question. I started quietly looking online at their website, not saying anything to him on it. When we found our Giulia she had been listed at LHS for at/almost over a month. After calling to confirm she was still there, once he came home from work we went. She had been saved from a kill shelter across the state and a parvo survivor. She had been passed up by many on the first contact list, as shepherd mixes are in high demand. During our meet and greet, she had been so excited to play with this squeaky yellow ball and was incredibly loving and sweet. It was love at first sight and we had to take her home with us.


Those first few weeks, I started questioning what i had actually been missing out on my whole life.  We were so thankful to have her but it felt almost as though she felt the same. That’s the thing about rescuing a furbaby. I quickly came to realize while I might have been a people person my whole life, it took a pup to teach me a thing or two about love.

You see whether we like it or not, people almost always love with a condition. It’s not like that with animals. They may be a part of your world but to them, especially those who are rescued, you are their world. No matter how your days been, no matter what happened, they are always happy to see you when you walk through the door. While we’d like to think that’s how it is with our loved ones and such, sometimes we’re clouded and even foggy with the stresses of life and it’s never that way for your pup. Giulia has taught me an incredible lesson about a human beings capacity to love and to care for another. It has taught me we have so much more to give than what we do and that affection, compassion, love and attention are all free gifts that we often overlook time and time again giving out to scarcely when we really haven’t even began to open our minds and hearts. When it came to toys, squeakers have come to be her favorite, but the material toys are nothing compared to a good ear or belly rub or just laying in our laps for a nap.  She specifically taught me I have more to give than I thought and I plan on doing just that.

Volunteering at the humane society makes me want to bring home all of the furbabies. My boyfriend was recently away for work and I spotted a 9 week old shepherd mix that looks like it could have been Giulia’s sister. I had decided to sleep on it a night to think it over. The day I decided to go up there she had been adopted just a bit before. Walking by the kittens on my way out, I made eye contact with one of them. He meowed and upon holding him I knew he had to be ours.

Winston has been quite the little kitten.


And to think it all started out with four paws and a squeaker.

Girl Power, Life Lessons

Open Letter To The Woman Who Is Her Own Worst Critic

Dear Miss,

Hello there miss perfectionist, miss independent, miss I can do it all. Yes, I’m talking to you!

Life has a funny way of getting away from us sometimes. Before you know it, you’re 27 years old, can’t wait to get home after a long day just to take your pants off, eat a bowl of mac and cheese (what I meant to say was a kale chicken caesar, but really I meant mac and cheese), and breath a minute. Then before you know it a couple of hours have passed and you’re silently muttering sh**, sh**, sh** as you try to find your textbook to complete a last minute assignment that you swore you wouldn’t wait til the last minute to do. At this point you’re up way past your bedtime regretting you didn’t do it sooner then dreading the next day to get up and do the same thing all over again. When you finally get to bed, it’s as though Google Chrome updated in the middle of your assignment and without asking your brain conveniently pops up every single tab that’s been on your mind that day: how hard you worked, what you could have done better, this, that, and every other thing. It happens. Life happens.

Stop being so hard on yourself. Okay so yeah, we all have this somewhat vision of what our lives are going to be like at 18, 21, 25 and so on. Then you got there and it’s not at all what you thought or planned or considered ideal for yourself. Am I right? It happens to all of us in some form or fashion. Ultimately, where you sit is where you are at this current point in your life. Does that define you? NO. Does that mean you a failure?? HELL NO. Does that mean you will remain where you are the rest of your life & this is it??? ONLY IF YOU CHOOSE IT. Set realistic expectations for yourself and a healthy timeline to complete them in. Not everything can be accomplished in one day contrary to what we sometimes tell ourselves. Arrows move in one direction and that’s forward. We’ve all had a speed bump in the road from time to time, don’t let that define you. You are more than that and you are exactly where you need to be for today but don’t stop moving and keeping on.

It’s okay that you don’t have all the answers, nobody does.  We’re human. Every day we’re growing and evolving, hopefully into better versions of our self. Reach out to your parents, a mentor, etc. Don’t feel like talking it out. Start reading, find a hobby, something you can totally immerse yourself in. Sitting and overthinking as to why you don’t consistently have your shit together at this point in your life is not the answer, you’ll simply be wasting your time.

Appearances are not always as they seem. While social media has a lot to do with this, stop comparing yourself to others. Your size, your looks, your house, your vehicle, your job/career choices. Some may say money is the root of all evils, I say envy is. The grass will ALWAYS be greener on the other side (EVERY SIDE) if you’re not busy watering your own. You will never be happy with what you have if you are looking continuously at what everyone else has. No matter what that may be, be thankful for what you do have, what you’re aspiring to be and achieve. Someone, somewhere is wishing to have just a little portion of what you have going on in your life while you sit there thinking what you have or don’t have is simply not enough. Stop looking for that destination in which you will finally be satisfied. Learn to appreciate where you’ve been and where you are, while looking forward to where you’re going.

Learn to say no from time to time. Stop spreading yourself so thin, giving the best of yourself to others, saving nothing for yourself. Sometimes we find ourselves giving so much energy to people, things, etc that don’t deserve it. Take a step back, sometimes we truly can’t see the forest for the trees. This applies to everyone differently, but ultimately understand that time is precious and you cannot get it back.

Ask for help from time to time, you don’t have to do it all by yourself. Being stubborn as a mule, all of my life, it took me years to understand being strong  truly means knowing when to reach for another’s hand and sometimes we can return the favor and other times we simply have to pay it forward.

And for the love of everything, stop trying to please every damn body. You will never achieve this. Spending years in sales, giving client after client, the best customer service I had to offer, I always fell short with at least one. With friends, I have always had a diverse group of friends, so many different interests and hobbies, you’re going to disagree from time to time and you’re not always going to be on the same page. Get over it. It happens and that my dear is life. Do the best you can and move on.

You have the same 24 hours in a day and 7 days in a week that everyone else in this world has. Use that time the way you see fit, to the best of your ability. If you are doing simply that. How can you do anything more?

 

Sincerely,

The Woman Who Has Been Her Own Worst Critic

 

Life Lessons

27 Realizations From a 27 Year Old Millennial For Every Twenty-Something

ferris wheel

Life goes ever so quickly. One minute you’re in participating in Jump Rope for Heart in elementary school next minute you’re eating Taco Bell after leaving Two Keys on a Thirsty Thursday (is that even still a thing??). The past two years have had their fair share of ups and their moments of downs as well. Over the years, these are the lessons I found to be most beneficial that I only wish I knew coming into my twenties.

The Punch Line

  1. There will come a day when you can no longer Hank It like you used too…. Even though I have been told over and over again that drinking is not a skill I refuse to believe it. In my extremely late teens to early twenties, Hanking It was a weekly tradition. That’s one shot of whiskey for every time Justin Moore sings Hank It. We used to do this several times per night, a couple nights in a row, especially during tailgating season. Just a few weeks ago, we took shots with water.
  2. Hangovers are a real thing apparently.. know your limits and know them well. By the time you reach your mid-late twenties, you’ll wake up feeling like a dazed and confused camel in the middle of the Sahara desert if you don’t  from the night before. As someone who’s always been able to handle their liquor (THANK YOU LIVER), it may be a hard concept to grasp, but the day will come and then you’ll know exactly what I am talking about.
  3. Nightlife will soon become your new favorite spectator event… You’ll have those moments when you go out for ladie’s night or just a night out with friends and you’ll find yourself people watching. At that moment, you’ll find yourself wondering if you ever acted like that or mortified at times saying that was never you… I assure you by all accounts you most likely have been there and done that. *sighs*

Friendships

4.  You meet a lot of temporary people in your twenties. When it comes to friendships I never lacked in variety. I had several different groups of people I enjoyed hanging out with and I never limited myself in that regard. Looking back, most weren’t friends, they were acquaintances. The sooner you learn the difference, the better. Not everyone who smiles in your face is your friend. There are people that are around to feed the soil so to speak others are there to pick the fruit. If you’re lucky, you will make some lifelong friendships in the process though.

5. Not every friendship is a forever friendship. There are friends for a reason, friends for a season and everything in between. Life gets busy. People change. They change every day as do you, as do I. People get closer. People grow apart. Learn when to hold them and when to walk away. Friendships like any other relationship require time and attention. I’ve been thankful for those that I have had over the years that understood those things as I have with them. But it requires making an effort, people always find a way to make time for those they care about. It may be a text, phone call, quick coffee date, etc but they make time. If you find yourself drifting into separate directions, care enough to have the conversation, if it’s important to you. Ultimately, learn to walk away from the toxic ones in the process. Toxicity is never good, no matter the situation, No one needs that kind of negativity.

6. Is it too late now to say sorry?… The answer is always NO. Many say pride goes before the fall and that it does. Live and let go. People make mistakes. Making the same mistake, more than once then becomes a decision. Learn to admit when you are wrong even if the other person has a hard time doing so. Burned bridges are not the way to go. Yes, things happen. But if there’s anything I’ve learned in this regard, apologize and move on. You may not ever be friends again, let alone best friend status, but forgiveness is a powerful thing and the world needs more healing no matter how small or big the indiscretion.

7.  Find your tribe. Growing up, I remember my dad always asking me who I was hanging around, what their goals where, what they wanted to do with their lives, etc. I remember huffing and puffing that I was just having fun and that didn’t matter at the time. It always matters. You are the sum of the 5 people you spend the most time with. Think of those 5 people, maybe more, maybe less and think about what you share in common. Is this a positive or negative influence on your life? It’s important to surround yourself with people that lift you higher and that you can do so in return as well. It may be with similar goals, lifestyles, interests, etc.

8. If you’re a friend, truly be a friend. Be the kind of person you need in your life. Treat them the way you wish to be treated. Never lose sight of that. Being a friend means being there for them, knowing that people are constantly evolving as are you and never passing judgement. I’m not Willy Wonka, but hey there’s a time and a place for everything. For people to say that words don’t hurt. Sometimes they do. I almost lost a near and dear friend to me once out of immaturity. My words were like daggers and not to mention what I had something to say on was none of my business. If I hadn’t been such a judgmental individual about it, maybe that person would have felt open to share. Thankfully it’s water under the bridge now, but that never should have happened.

Relationships

9. Learn the difference between love & lust. Millennials… we’re the generation notorious for being the hook-up culture, moving on to quickly, and not knowing how to commit. I can only imagine what the grandchildren might say one day, “Papaw and Mamaw both swiped right and they lived happily ever after.” I’m sorry, what? Perhaps Tinder could work for some but I don’t imagine too many success stories coming from that. Now to say that you only love someone for what’s on the inside, I can’t entirely agree. You have to somewhat be attracted to them, at least a little. Lust says I can’t wait to sleep with you, love says I also can’t wait to wake up next to you the next day as well. Sleeping together does not mean that person loves you. Always keep that in mind that just because the chemistry is there doesn’t mean there’s anything else of substance. It takes a lot more than two good looking people with a great sex life to make a relationship last.

10. Timing is everything. There are so many variables that go into having a worthwhile relationship but I’ve met so many people that didn’t work out because of the timing due to one thing or another.

11. You cannot expect them to love you, if they don’t love themselves. You simply cannot expect someone to give something they don’t have. Nor can you expect them to truly be able to love you if they haven’t taken the time to love themselves first. Time heals, love heals, forgiveness heals but it all starts with yourself.

12. You can and most likely will fall in love more than once. As someone who is living proof of this, it’s totally possible. There are 2 billion people in the world, you honestly think there’s only one person ever that you’re supposed to love? Now, I’m not saying you won’t get lucky on the first go around and they won’t be the love of your life, but it’s highly likely that you will. So don’t give up hope, if you haven’t found the love of your life.

13. There are certain individuals that you will forever share a connection with even if they are no longer in your life. Remember that whole you can and most likely will fall in love more than once in your life? Yes, I’m talking about that. People get together. People break up. Sometimes you’re not good for them and sometimes vice versa. Sometimes the timing is off. Maybe one person or both wasn’t ready. Maybe you never even dated, which seems to happen more than we’d all like to admit with our generation. No matter the reason, sometimes you don’t get closure. Sometimes, it’s not a clean break. Life is not always black and white. Love, attraction, certain indescribable feelings and emotions don’t always go away. But people move on and that is a small part of the beauty of life. You’ll save yourself a ton of trouble by understanding that revisiting those individuals often solves nothing and it’s almost like re-reading one of your old favorite novels… you’re expecting a different outcome even though you already know the ending.

14. Relationship are meant to be in between the two people having it, no one elseAnd also the good Lord above in my case but often times people forget this. It’s about what their parents want, what their friends think, what society seems to deem just, etc. Social media hasn’t helped in this regard. I see WAY too much get posted about daily from getting together, to breaking up to getting back together. And unfortunately in my late teens til I was maybe 21, this was me too. Every time Facebook Memories pops up with something I posted between 6-9 years ago, I cringe, read and delete it. Oversharing is not caring and is not a good look. Not everyone needs to know your business and contrary to popular belief, most don’t give a shit about it to begin with, they just want to know to know.

15. There’s no such thing as the perfect partner, but don’t settle just to say you have someone. Every one has their quirks, it’s about knowing what you can live with versus what you cannot. There may be no such thing as the perfect partner but two very imperfect people can workout beautifully. In the same token, don’t waste your time or the person you’re with if you don’t want to be with them for the sake of not being alone.

16. Move at your own pace, not what society has deemed the norm. Ever dreamed of the perfect house, in the perfect neighborhood, with the 4 kids, perfect husband, a station wagon and the white picket fence? No? Me neither. Partially because it’s not the 1950’s anymore and partially because I haven’t. My boyfriend and I have been together 4 years in August. I’m one of the last of the mohicans as far as no spouse, no children and no fur-babies. This still doesn’t deter me from being happy where I am. If you want all of those things, right here and right now, I’m also screaming kudos to you as well. At the end of the day not everyone has the same ideals or goals as everyone else, let alone same timeline. Go at your own pace and take your time. It’s not a race and there are no trophies once all of those items are completed.

Family

17. Your parents only want what’s best for you. No, my mother and grandmother didn’t want my 18-year-old self back in the day to be out on a Friday night and they would call anywhere from 40-56 times during the course of an evening to prove their point. My father always encouraged school before everything because education was believed to be the foundation to a successful career. You may question their methods/wonder if they were ever your age no matter what age you are, but in their eyes, you’ll never not be their child and they only want better for you than what they had themselves. They only wish to teach you the lessons they learned in their life so you don’t have to make the same mistakes they did.

18. You may be getting older but your parents and grandparents are too. Make time for them as they did for you. The older I get, one of the things I truly regret is how I could have better spent some of my time and more of it would be with them. Thankfully, I have made much more of an effort to do so these past several years but my early twenties was much less than I would have liked to.

Career

19. Build a career around what you love. Life is too short to spend a big bulk of your week, every week, for multiple years doing something your heart is not in. Sounds cliche’ maybe but follow your arrow and you’ll never regret it. You’ll never wish spending too much time doing something you don’t enjoy. Pursue something that sets your soul ablaze.

20. Find a work-life balance that works for youThe saying goes a little something like, “Don’t get so busy making a living, you forget to make a life.” Only you know the balance that will work for you but believe me time goes faster than you think and there’s nothing worse than looking up from the grind to realize you just blinked away a decent portion of your life.

21. Know the value in knowing your value. Embrace what you bring to the table and ask for what you desire within reason. If you don’t ask, the answer will always be no. Understand there will be companies you work for along the way that may not be where you stay but that may be the stepping stone that gets you to the next level. In the same regard, do not fear leaving a position you have outgrown or no longer have the heart for. It may take time to find that new position willing to give you an opportunity to prove your value, but it will be worth it in the end.

Extras

22. Forgive yourself & others throughout your life. We’ve all fallen down. We’ve all made mistakes. Just as you might ask God or the person you wronged to forgive you, you must forgive yourself as well. And then truly let it go. Holding onto yesterday’s regret does nothing but provide a negative in your life. Same goes for forgiving others as well.

23. Do your best but don’t be so hard on yourself. Being as ambitious and driven (and overly competitive to be completely honest) as I have been it’s often hard for me to relax no matter how much I’ve accomplished in a day or week or year and God forbid if I don’t measure up to something I thought I would for myself. I am my own worst critic. I have issues with moderation. I’m either balls to the wall or I have nothing for it at all. This is something I have been working on for some time because I often give my all into something until I get burned out. Learn to rest so you don’t quit and move on to something else. There’s no prize for finishing everything in one day. Because then what? You’ll find yourself right back where you started with a new goal or initiative. Set a pace for yourself and go for it, not at anyone else’s.

24. Accept people where they are, as they are, for who they are. The world is full of differences. Being judgmental and close-minded never got anyone anywhere. Be kind always, you never know what their life has been like or what struggles they are facing.

25. Be the change. Often I used to wonder how I, in small town Kentucky can make a difference. It’s a ripple effect. Set an example. Find a community cause or council and serve, give back. Be a voice. It all started with me though. Your thoughts become your words and those eventually become your actions. Follow your arrow and find your purpose. It’s not enough to talk about it, take action and follow through. Working in the automotive industry, there was a great deal of stigma around it as a whole. It was my mission to change that perception, one customer at a time. Over 3 years time, I succeeded at this. It wasn’t about just making a sale, it was about providing great service and finding the right vehicle for the person I was serving. Leading by example, that incites change. Most recently, I joined the Junior League of Lexington and I only regret not joining sooner. The amount of opportunities to serve and give back to the community are unreal and they are everywhere. Start in your own backyard (so to speak). Do what you can, where you can.

26. Never take the time you have for granted. Tomorrow is never promised and we often take that for granted until someone we love has something happen to them. Don’t wait til then to wake up and start living. Someday isn’t a day of the week and sometimes that day never comes. Say what you need to say, do what you need to do. Live your life to the best of your ability within your means.

Cherry On Top

27. Stay unapologetically true to yourself. In a world full of fads and a media that praises trends made famous by celebrities, it may seem hard to resist at times.  Social media tends to have a habit of creating an image of people’s lives when in reality people only post or share what they want you to see. People are like onions, in the retrospect that they have layers and lots of them. Often what you see hardly scratches the surface. In a world of full of conformity, take the road less traveled. There’s no need to go around pretending to be someone you aren’t. It’s human nature to want to belong and essentially fit in, but by being yourself, you will attract the people that are right for your tribe. At the end of the day, you have to live with the person that you are, no one else.