Category Archives: #TOTD

#TOTD : Needing ≠ Wanting

November 6, 2016

As I begin to enter my mid-twenties, I can say that I’ve only been in one real relationship in my life, and I haven’t dated much to be label as an “avid dater.”  For most of my high school and college years, I was in a long-term relationship as I’ve previously mentioned here.  My boyfriend and I at the time ended things on good terms, so there wasn’t really any reason for the breakup besides the fact that I was tired of being referred to as “John’s girlfriend” (using a fake name to respect his privacy).

Since then, I’ve been categorized as the woman who is strong, independent, confident, career-driven and someone who is far capable of taking care of herself.  Unlike most girls who need a man’s validation in order to feel valued, I take pride in knowing that I don’t need a man to be fulfilled (it’s been me, myself and I for the past 4-5 years).

But, over the past few months, I’ve encountered this new sense of emotion that I can’t even understand or begin to describe, which is ironic because I’m usually in tune with them.  However, what I can tell you are the five things that bring them up:

  • I’ve made the mistake of scrolling through my Facebook feed to find a bunch of my former acquaintances announcing their engagements, changing their status’ from in-a-relationship to married and studio images of babies that they have apparently just popped out.  Although I think it is absolutely nuts to have all of that by our mid-twenties, I can’t help but think that I am falling a bit behind.
  • My friends are all in a relationship, so being a second priority on their list is never fun.  But that doesn’t mean that I am not happy for them.  Because at the end of the day, I’d want them to have that special person by their side.  As for me, I just need to know where all my single sistas’ are at!
  • At every family function, there is always someone who is going ask you the inevitable question, “Are you single?”  For every answer give, I always feel the need to explain myself in fear that they would see me as pathetic.
  • My mother consistently reminds me that I am not getting any younger.  Whenever she compares my youthfulness to fresh meat, it cracks me up a little because now I’m actually starting to fear wrinkles, random stretch marks and sagging boobs (not to mention our vaginas).
  • The lowest point of all points — embarrassingly, calling the ex-boyfriend

So, after I had out-of-the-blue dialed my ex, that’s when I immediately went into a panic.  What the hell is wrong with me?!  My best friends, who I love so much, dropped everything that they were doing to dissect my craziness (glad to have entertained them with this as well), and here’s what they came up with:

Lori, maybe it’s because you miss having that companionship?  I mean, you’ve been single for almost five-years, and I get that your mother has been the same way so that’s all you’ve known.  But you’re not 40-years-old, Lori, so stop acting like it.  Don’t be so hard on yourself.  This doesn’t mean that you are weak.  We all know that you don’t need a man, but it’s also okay to want it.

My girls helped me realize that “needing” and “wanting” are NOT synonymous.  It’s actually okay for me to want to be loved and to be taken care of by someone other than my family.  This desire does not diminish my self-respect as an independent woman, and that’s what I’m learning to understand.

Image via Pinterest

#MotivationMonday : Real Strength

August 1, 2016

As I watch my mother fall in-and-out of sleep, I am left reflecting back to the last time I saw a parent of mine on a hospital bed.  It’s amazing how it’s already been over ten years since my dad had passed away, and how much of our lives had changed since then.

At just ten-years-old, I was mad at the world.  I had developed this sense of self-pity, feeling as if the world had owed me everything for not only taking my dad away, but for having my family go through one crap after another.

But, now as an adult, I look back to realize that I have absolutely nothing to bitch about.  Everyone has lost someone, and everyone faces the challenges that follows so I am definitely no different from the rest.  I was blessed with such a nurturing mother, who gave me literally everything that I had ever wanted, and, yet, I, out of all of her children, gave her the most heartache.  I was blessed with such amazing siblings, who took my abuse and still manage to stand by my side no matter what.  I was blessed with opportunities like getting an education and offered potential career paths that I had taken for granted.

When people tell me how “strong” I am, I cringe at the word because I have never known suffering before.  My mother, on the other hand, had escaped from Vietnam during the war, assimilated into a new culture, gave up her education to provide for her family and supported her kids as a single-parent.

So, when I arrived at the emergency room, I turned the corner to find my mother with a huge smile on her face.  She sat on the wheelchair, conversing with the nurse, giggling like a small school girl.  Regardless of what life has put her through, my mother still manages to put-up a smile.  To me, that’s real strength.

Now, “don’t freak out” as my sister had used earlier with me, my mother is doing well and is going to be fine.  She just had a minor emergency that required her to get a blood transfusion.  Heck, she’s back on her feet and is already getting back to work!

#ThoughtOfTheDay : Feelin’ Like A Child

March 10, 2016

When I was a kid, I was always rushing to grow up.  During my childhood, my cousins were all in their twenties, discussing their careers, dating life and the craziest things that had happened the previous night.  As a ten-year-old, I was attracted to the whole idea of adulthood because of the self-assurance, independence and sense of control that grown-ups exhibited.

Now that I’m in my mid-twenties, I’m practically considered an “adult.”  It’s ironic because I’ve been anticipating this moment for so long, and, yet, I feel far less grown-up than I thought I would be.  In some aspects, I have obtained the freedom that I so admired as a child, but at the same time, am limited as well.  Because with adulthood there are responsibilities and obligations to deal with whereas a child you didn’t have to worry about any of that.  As Nigel Cole once said:

“…I think it’s tougher to be in your 20s because you’re expected to be a grownup and expected to earn your own living and be successful and I think you feel like a kid still.”

You would think that “who-am-I-phase” in your life would just end after your teenage years, but that isn’t necessarily true.  I’ve learned that I will be spending my entire life trying to find the answer to that question as so many wise individuals before me have said.  I thought that by now I would know what I want and have a blue-print of my life, but it’s actually the opposite — I have so many wants’ and have no idea of where I’m headed.

It seems as if we’re all trying to appear put-together when in reality we’re all just making it up as we go.  You know that saying, “fake it till you make it”?  It applies here because no one ever knows what they’re doing as long as they’re doing something and that something is moving forward.  At the end of the day, you can only hope for the best, and trust that everything will be okay.

It’s funny how life works isn’t it?  As a child, you want to be a grown-up but when you’re finally a grown-up, you’d wished you were that 10-year-old self again.  At this moment, I feel like a child stuck inside an adult body.

Image via Tumblr

#MotivationMonday : Another Year, Another Letter

December 28, 2015

Sick of making resolutions that never get fulfilled?  I sure never followed through on my workout plan!  Instead of making a list of things to check off, my best friend and I started exchanging letters to each other at the end of the year.  We never read what each other wrote, but handed it off to one another for safekeeping.  Until the new year comes around, we would unseal our letters and reflect on thoughts that we once had before.  Unfortunately, the exchanging of letters never caught on, but that didn’t stop me from writing letters to myself.

These letters are not a list of “to dos” that simply gets checked off  — they are long-term goals that I hope to continue or implement into my daily life.  It’s a way for me to strive to be a better person (or a better me).  They are also a representation of how far I’ve come!

Below you can see what I’ve consistently concealed in my letters:

 

  • Go after your dream.  I have a simple dream really, and it’s to get that dream job.  It has definitely been very discouraging during the past few months, receiving one rejection after another, but I’m not the type to give up so easily.  So, I encourage all of you to find your passion, work at it and to never give up!
  • Know your worth.  There’s a saying, “If you don’t believe in yourself, then who will?”  There are going to be plenty of people who will discourage you, lower your self-esteem and push you down.  Keep in mind that you are the only “you” in this world, and no one can take your place.  It is your job to fight for yourself because no one else will.
  • Who cares what they think.  At the end of the day, what matters most is what you think of yourself.  Trust your instincts, do what you believe is right and live the life you aspire to live.  As stubborn as this may sound, this is your life and you only get one chance to live it.
  • Hold onto the good people in your life.  There’s a few people I can name on the top of my head who have proven from time to time that they got my back.  If you ever find those kind of people who would be there for you in both your successes as well as your darkest hour, hold onto them — they are the ones who you can actually count on.
  • Change your attitude.  You’ll learn that what constitutes a “good” day from a “bad” day is partially due to your attitude.  The secret to finding happiness is you — you can decide to be happy by waking up every morning with a smile or waking up every morning wishing the day was over before it even started.

This past year has taught me many things, including patience.  My family is not known to have it, I can say we all got it from our grandfather.  Our low patience is what gets us easily frustrated and aggravated with ourselves and others, and from the trials I’ve been put through this past year, I can definitely say I’ve been tested.  Even though I haven’t reached my goal just yet, I know I am slowly making strides.  Right now, I’m just going to keep putting myself out there, and trust in the timing.  Because as Yoda says, “Patience you must have!”  (A little Star Wars reference for all the fans out there).

With hard work and patience, I’m going to continue to work on myself each and every day. So, if you want to move on from making the traditional list of New Year’s Resolutions, try out what I’ve been doing here!  There’s a sense of romanticism about opening a letter that was written over a year ago.

Here’s to another year, another letter!

 

XOXO,

– Lori

Image via Elite Daily

#WisdomWednesday : Defining Your Own Success

October 21, 2015

In a call-to-action, Julianne Hough discussed her journey in defining the word success.  As confirmed in the dictionary, success is defined as the fact of getting or achieving wealth, respect, or fame.  Even though I am appalled by the definition, I couldn’t help but remember a time when I agreed with the folks behind Webster’s Dictionary.

When I was growing up, my idea of success would begin when I receive that college degree.  Waiting for that big day to come, I can still remember what I imagined my graduation to be like — I’d be wearing a big smile on my face, laughing along with my friends as we throw our caps in the air.  When the day finally came, I sat at my seat conflicted as the dean spoke of our achievements.  At that time, I was secured with a full-time position and was in the midst of moving out.  You’d think I’d be happy with all that I’ve “achieved” like graduating and all, but I wasn’t.

I ended up leaving what I thought was going to be my next chapter.  But, instead of feeling relieved, I felt just as unhappy as I was before.  Well, what’s the problem then?  Because success and happiness goes hand-in-hand, I eventually realized that the problem was me.  The problem is that I wasn’t happy with myself.  With this revelation, I know now that no one and nothing is responsible for my success and happiness because only I can create that for myself. Like Julianne says:
 

“We get to create our own success.  Success is about being happy with yourself and doing what you love and being surrounded by amazing people.”

So, what is success?  For me, success is about being the best that I can be because that’s all that I can ask of myself.

This topic is so abstract and complex that I hope you somehow figured out what I’m trying to say.  Trust me, I got lost in here a few times — I’m still lost to be honest…Regardless, it is your turn to share your definition of success.  The word can be interpreted in so many different ways, and that’s okay!

Visit juliannehough.com to get a further reading!  Also, please sign the petition at Strayer University to change the definition!

 

XOXO,

– Lori