Lessons Learned: Part 1

For the past 6 months, I have been serving as a personal assistant. Although the job pays well and I am very lucky to say my bosses are very sweet, I have indeed learned a couple lessons along the way.

First off, I can’t freaking wait to work for myself. As a side hustle, I do photography along with dog grooming and oh boy do I love it! I enjoy perfecting my craft, analyzing my work, taking notes on how to become a better worker, making my own schedule and setting my own pay rate. Throughout the last couple months I can whole heartily say that I have seen both of my businesses grow exponentially and I’ve actually had to stop myself so that I could mentally catch up to what my body was trying to accomplish. Working for someone else as my “main job” has made me appreciate working for myself so much more! I don’t have to pretend to like what I do when I actually enjoy it! Don’t get me wrong, I very much appreciate the opportunity that I have been given, however there are shadows to every sunny day.

However, literally being responsible for someone else’s life, as in making sure they make it to their appointments on time, to scheduling reservations, to making phone calls on their behalf, has made me a much more responsible person. Yeah, if my mom were to get a chance to write something here she’d say I often forget to fold my laundry and spend way too much money on Starbucks, but in the grand scheme of things, I’ve improved a ton. I have learned to take into account the importance of watching the clock, finishing tasks I’ve started and having a good attitude.

Although I would much rather be working for myself and telling other people what to do, this is where I am in the present moment and I am going to get as much out of it as I possibly can.

Commitment Issues

New year, new me! That’s what they say, right? Except for in a recent study done, most people have been found to give up their new years resolution by the second week. The study done by the NY Post says that only about 8% of people succeed with their goal. That’s crazy! So you’re telling me that out of the 7 BILLION people in this world, only about 560 million can actually stick to the plan. Let’s talk about commitment issues, amiright?

The practice of challenging ourselves and setting goals at the beginning of the year have been around for thousands of years, so why can’t we get the hang of it?

What I believe to be the problem in our society is actually something that I heard not too long ago by really strong, tall guy with an unmistakeable accent. If you guessed Arnold Schwarzenegger, you’re right.

Not only is this guy one of the largest human being on the face of the earth, but if you ever take the time to listen to his life story, the struggles and obstacles he’s been through, he is a true inspiration. The most recent speech of his that I listened to talked about the art of goals and dedication. He talked about how by simply organizing your day and setting time for yourself (going to the gym, reading a book, or learning about something new), will help us waste much less time with useless tasks.

The one thing that he said in his speech that stuck with me the most is that the reason people don’t reach their goals is because they have a plan b. At first, that was really hard for me to understand, because I’ve been taught the saying “if plan A doesn’t work, there are 25 other letters in the alphabet.” However, when he went on to explain what he meant, it made complete sense. Instead of putting our entire time and energy into that one plan a, we are slowly contributing some of it to the plan b in the back of our minds. If we only have one goal to begin with, there won’t be any distractions or energy vampires veering us away from the end result. I know, right? Mind blown.

So as we go into this next year of 2019, I challenge you to find something that you 100% want to dedicate yourself to. Whether it’s a fitness, financial or spiritual goal, set your mind to what you want to do and stick with it. Give yourself enough credit, you can accomplish anything that you set your mind to.

*Here is the speech by Arnold Schwarzenegger for y’all to watch!*

Dear Mom

Dear Mom,

I know that I say that I can’t wait to leave the house. I know that I say that I want to be independent.  I know. I know. I know. But, I don’t actually mean it .

I don’t want to go to the grocery store to buy my own food. I don’t want to learn to make fresh rice on my own. I don’t want to unlock my front door to find an empty apartment. I don’t want to get in my car to drive and not have the weight of your worry on my chest.

I’ll miss your all white furniture. I’ll miss your Christmas scented candles in July. I’ll miss your seasonal dish towels (Especially you nagging me for using the Easter ones in February). I’ll miss your sarcasm. I’ll miss your blunt honesty. I’ll miss our impromptu dance parties. I’ll miss your jam sessions while we’re riding in your boujee Audi. I’ll miss listening to you try to pronounce weird English words like onion & squirrel, because your voice over the phone just isn’t the same.

Thank you for being honest with me when I needed someone to snap me into place. Thank you for keeping me accountable for my decisions. Thank you for teaching me how to manage my money. Thank you for having fresh food made when I come home practice. Thank you for driving me everywhere under the sun. Thank you for loving on me when no one else did. But most of all, thank you for never leaving me.

You’ve stuck by my side through every thick and thin. You worked your butt off to provide for me when there was no one you could rely on. You’ve been honest with me when I needed you to be but you’ve also been considerate when it came the time.

I promise you, that no matter what, I will always love you, till my last breath on earth. I can’t wait to see what the future has in store for us and our relationship. I know I’m not nearly the adult that I think I am but I do know that I can tackle on this crazy world with you by my side. I love you for ever and ever.

Your daughter,


Love Long Lost

I have spent the last couple years of my life envying girls’ #ManCrushMonday posts on my Instagram feed. I’ve prayed. I’ve fasted. I’ve read the Word. What I got from all of that… nothing. No knight in shining armor. No one to take me to homecoming . No one to take cute pictures with me. Nada. Zero. Zilch.

The last two years, I have especially struggled with this issue. I kept blaming myself. It was because I wasn’t skinny enough. I didn’t have six pack abs. My Instagram feed wasn’t cool enough. I didn’t have enough followers. I didn’t have enough likes on my posts. I wasn’t funny enough. I wasn’t smart enough… the list could go on and on. However one day, as I looked at myself in the mirror like I had done a million times before, I thought to myself “it’s not you, it’s God.”

This summer, my dear friend, Madeline Kennedy referred me to a book called Single, Dating, Engaged, Married: Navigating Life and Love in the Modern Age by Ben Stuart. To be honest, I was scared to read it. I was scared to be told into reality. That me getting upset because I can’t get a boyfriend was dumb and selfish. However, I can definitely say that I wish I had read it sooner. It would have saved me heartache that I caused myself. It would have saved my self esteem while it was digging itself into the ground. But most of all, it would have put me on the path to success a lot sooner.

When I say success, I don’t mean actually successfully getting a boyfriend. I just mean that my growth in my relationship with the Lord and the revelations of what He has in store for me could have been seen a lot sooner.

In the single section of the book, Ben Stuart talks about the “gift of being single.” When I read this for the first time I thought, “you have got to be kidding me.” How is being the only senior at my high school that hasn’t had their first kiss yet a gift? (Yes, it’s true. Publicly admitting this is all part of the journey) However, as I continued to read more into the chapter it began to list all of the responsibilities and destructions that came with having a special someone. At that moment, I felt a flashback to when we begged my mom for a puppy. She went on and on about how we had to take it out, feed it, pick up it’s mess, bathe it and how we couldn’t leave on vacations that often because dog boarding is expensive and taking a dog on a ski trip is just inconvenient. Apparently the same goes for a significant other. Stuart goes on to explain how less available you become when you’re constantly worried about a boyfriend/girlfriend to take care of. Less time to give to your family, your friends, your pets, but especially, God.

To summarize what the chapter says, God has made you single for a reason. Whether that’s because he wants you to devote more time to Him, grow in His word, or maybe He has someone special planned for your future that just isn’t quite in the picture yet. The biggest takeaway that I got from this is that God always has a plan *cue the overplayed Drake song.* Take the season of singleness in your life as a space for you to grow in yourself and the Lord. This a sign from God telling you that you need to go to church a little more or maybe even dive deeper into the Word.

If this is the only thing that you take away from this post, along with my sad, empty love life, it’s that there is a reason for everything. Don’t rush life. Every step that you take has been planned out by the Creator. Let Him guide you and lead you into the life that He has laid out for you.

Truth or Dare

This past summer has really been one to remember. I made new friends, stepped out of my comfort zone, and really saw Jesus working in the lives of so many people around me.

But as school comes around the corner, the “post-summer camp” hype begins to wear off and reality starts to kick in. The back to school shopping, practices, appointments, schedule pickup, and emails from school counselors and teachers begin to fill my email inbox.

As I laid in bed last night, unable to fall asleep, I began to reminisce on all the ways God has impacted my life this summer. But more than that, how I wished everyone around me could have felt that too. So in that moment, I challenged myself. I challenged myself to step out of my comfort zone and show people what it feels like to know you’re loved by Jesus.

It’s my senior year of high school. I can feel the pressure from my family, asking me what I plan on doing with my life. And as I sat and thought more about that question, I came to the conclusion that this “plan” doesn’t have to be a specific profession, university or major. It doesn’t have to be a step by step list of all the classes I plan on taking or how much money I see myself making in the next 10 years. All of those things will come at one time or another, none of it needs to be rushed. But the “plan” that does matter is the type of person you see yourself becoming. Do you see yourself as a Jesus follower for the rest of your life? A “I’m gonna wait till after college to really go to church” type of person? What about the person that lights up the room everywhere they go? The one that radiates love in all they do.

I think the real question here is, what kind of person do you see yourself becoming in the future?

So I challenge each and every one of you, whether you’re going to be a senior in high school, a 7th grader, or you graduated 23 years ago, to look at yourself in the mirror, take a piece of paper and a pen, and write out the person you want to become.

It doesn’t have to be something crazy and super duper huge, like being a missionary in Africa (although that would be super cool). But maybe the person that always smiles back at the person taking your order at the coffee shop, or maybe the person that is genuinely nice to the customer service rep on the other end of the phone.

Whatever it is that’s on your list, stick to it and strive to go above and beyond. I dare you!


Now Or Never

Even though we don’t want to admit it, the beginning of the school year is right around the corner. And you know what that mean…The times of back to school clothes shopping, buying overpriced planners and comparing class schedules are all too close by.

But over the last decade or so of the same ol’ routine, I’ve rounded up some tips and tricks to save some time, money, and sanity for when the dreaded first day comes along.

  1. Especially if you’re in high school, don’t buy school supplies until you’ve been to the first day of all your classes. – Your teachers will more than likely have a syllabus with all their required materials and more often than not, you probably didn’t pick up 90% of those items when you went shopping the week before.
  2. Don’t stress about finding your classes. – If you’re an incoming freshman freaking out if you’ll be able to find all your classes in your huge, new school, don’t! There are teachers all over the hallways pointing kids to the right direction. Also, if you’re worried about racking up tardies on the first week, don’t fret. Teachers don’t start counting tardies till the second week of school or so.
  3. Get a planner! – You’re human. You forget things! So better to be safe than sorry and get yourself a planner. Get one with a calendar to write down all of your homework assignments, test/quiz dates and birthdays (you don’t want to be that friend that forgets your bestie’s birthday).
  4. Take your freshman year seriously! – But for real, guys!  Slack off on your freshman year and your GPA is ruined forever. Yeah, you’re world shouldn’t revolve around your GPA but still, its a pretty important piece of that whole college thing. And if you’re anything like me, you’ll regret taking it easy.
  5. Make friends – And stick with them! High school changes people, and if you’re not surrounded by the right people, with the right intentions, and share the same core beliefs, things can go downhill very easily. For me, the most upsetting part of the last couple years of my life was looking back and seeing all the people that I hung out with and loved on in middle school, only to see them tear themselves down and get themselves into waters too treacherous to come out of.
  6. Stay true to yourself – This kinda goes with the last one but… don’t lose yourself in the mess that high school is. You’ll be invited to do things you’ve never done before, things that you told yourself you would never get yourself into. So make sure to stand your ground and stand up for what you believe in so that you don’t lose your identity in the temporary pleasures of high school.


There’s Something Holding You Back

Thinking about the future has never been more prominent in my mind than it has been in the last couple months. It feels as if it were yesterday that I walked into high school with my sparkly silver Toms, flower crown on my head, and backpack filled to the brim with every colored highlighter, Flair pen and mechanical pencil ready to start my freshman year. I remember walking into what felt like a sea of adults, people who had their life together. They walked with purpose, didn’t seem as though they were nervous or had anything to hide. That day I thought, as I got my 4’11 self lost in the crowd of senior basketball players, will I one day feel as confident and powerful as they do? Will I be able to walk around this campus with the pressure that every other grade below me will look try to follow my lead?As I look back on that day now, my first response is to laugh. How did I ever think I would have it all together by senior year? Don’t get me wrong, throughout the last three years of my life I have learned more about my identity, the importance of choosing the right friends, and about handwork and dedication than I have in my entire life. However, as I look at myself in the mirror and think that I’m supposed to be a well-functioning, tax-paying, adult in a matter of 1o months scares me down deep to the core. Those kids that I saw, walking with their head up high and chests out in front, weren’t ready for the real world, they just barely made it seem like it. Yes, they might know how to drive themselves to school and on dates with their girlfriends. Or maybe even know how to check how much money is in their bank account and recite their social security number. But they sure as heck weren’t ready to be thrown out into the open waters because they’re still just kids.We’re often told that a lot in our childhood, “You’re just a kid.” But what if the word “kid”, didn’t mean childish, ignorant, and irresponsible. What if it meant, full of creativity, confident, light-hearted, and loving. Growing up, we often put ourselves down because we think we’re too young and no one will take us seriously. In my opinion, that is one of the greatest forces stopping us from moving on and succeeding. In movies, and by our parents, being a teenager is getting caught smoking in the ditch behind the playground, tailgate parties that get taken a little bit too far, and even breaking hearts and stealing firsts. But we underestimate ourselves. Teenagers have so much potential and use it so little that if we actually all made the effort to go out and change the world it would be simpler than we thought.1 Timothy 4:12 says “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.” Even about 3,000 years ago there was still this image, this perception, that because you were young, you would be looked down upon, and Paul knew that. The Bible encourages us to go out and to set an example despite our age, maturity, and life-long experiences.Something I have learned in the last couple years of my life is that you don’t need depressing or life-changing experiences to be a good example of love, compassion and faithfulness. Instead of going right along with the trend and proving the world time and time again that we are stupid, reckless, inconsiderate snobs, we should strive to change that norm and push away the titles and identity given to our age.I have spent the last three years of my adolescence trying to prove to myself that being an obnoxious teen is part of “the process.” Blaming the fact that I can’t make a difference because I’m not even old enough to buy cigarettes and that I’m just a kid. But, going into senior year, I’ll walk into school with my head held up high and chest out front because, I know that all eyes will be on me. How I act, the way I talk to people, the decisions I make on a daily basis will be used as a guide line for the future generation of seniors of Liberty High School. This year will be the biggest opportunity for me to be an example of what a Christ follower should be and that makes my heart so so happy!So now what’s your excuse? What’s holding you back?