Author Archives: Dang

Worldly Riches

Death, they say is inevitable but is it less painful?

I am not an emotional person. I will say it again. I rarely get emotional. So years ago, anytime death was mentioned around me, I never used to feel anything. Maybe I was of the mindset that we will all die one day – I don’t know but somehow, death seemed to be a faraway thing to me.

That was until I read a book – I cannot remember the title at the moment but in the book, a mother lost her Police officer son and it broke her. Permit me to say that I got broken too. Days earlier before I read the book, a friend of mine had lost a relative and even as I consoled her, I knew deep down that I did not understand her grief. But as I read that book, about 6 years ago, I wept.

ALSO SEE: #DANGDoctor Aniebiet Ekong Preventive medicine – the way forward in Nigeria

It was not small weeping. For days, I felt like I was tied down in a fog where I was not given permission to rise. I just kept tearing up at every little thing. I would look at my parents, friends, siblings and start crying. My grief, I could not explain to anyone. No one understood what was breaking me.

Then very recently, the son of a popular musician died and it shook me again. All I could think of was why it happened. I remember saying to my friends, “How will they cope. How do they get over this loss.” Throughout that week, I found myself constantly fighting tears. Sometimes, I’d bow my head down at work just to cry and then pray. Other times, I got so overwhelmed, I’d run into the toilet to cry.

And then just last week, my pastor lost his wife and that, I still cannot understand. I mean they had known each other since University days. They were friends first before lovers. They then married and then started a family – out of love, commitment and all. They gave to each other. Oh, they loved. And then, came death and snatched her away, so coldly.

As I watched him struggle with tears and his emotions during the ‘going home’ service, my heart bled for him. He had lost so much weight, got darker and looked so gaunt. Reading his tribute to his wife, I couldn’t hold back the flood of tears. The only thing I kept thinking of was that he had lost his best friend.

As I left church, My friend said to me “How is he so strong? How is he holding up? I swear I would fall apart.” I voiced out the same thought, telling her how I felt exactly the same way. I mean I don’t know how I’ll live again if I lost my mama. I dread that thought.

We both came to the same conclusion : Do well for that loved one today before it is too late. Share memories, laugh, cry, live, love together. Do not neglect them only to mourn when they are no more.

And for everyone mourning who has just lost a loved one, may you have a thousand and more reasons to smile soon and may your broken heart be mended.

Written by Ayo Al for Diaryofanaijagirl,ng

Being a father chased fear

How My Life Turned Around After Our Full-term Stillborn

 

Dealing with death is difficult no matter the situation.  Unfortunately, it is something my wife and I had to overcome early in our marriage.

Over seven years ago we were expecting our second child.  The pregnancy was going as planned.  The baby was in excellent health, and my wife was feeling as good as possible.

It was all good until my wife went to her last appointment before her scheduled delivery.

At that appointment, she found out the baby no longer had a heartbeat.  We also learned the baby was going to be our second son.

Later that day we went to the hospital to induce labor, and on January 27th, Christian was born.

We got to hold him for a few hours and then I had to plan a funeral.

Everything happened so quickly and those few days are a blur.

After the funeral, it was hard to go back to normal.  We had an empty nursery at the house, hospital bills for a child we didn’t get to bring home, and unfulfilled hope.

Everyday life was hard for a long time after his birth.  A bad situation got worse when we started unnecessarily buying things to fill a void, alcohol flowed smoothly for me, and my weight increased.

A year later, we were in massive debt, our marriage wasn’t like it used to be, I was unfulfilled with work, and I was in the worst shape of my life.

Christian would have only been about 18 months younger than our oldest son.  We had dreams of them growing up close, playing sports with each other, and being best friends.

With most deaths, you have memories of the departed, but with when Christian died we lost our dreams.  That was the hardest part for us.

Getting Out of the Funk

In late 2011, thankfully, we were expecting our third child.  Unfortunately, everything else in my life needed a change because I had to get our family out the mess. I remember sitting in my car during lunch and made the decision to change my life.

As I was thinking how to change, I read a quote from Tony Robbins that inspired me, “the path to success is to take massive, determined action.”

So that’s what I did.

Here are the steps I took that helped me get unstuck quickly.

Personal Development

Almost immediately I started to devour personal development material.  I wanted to learn from those who had experienced success.  Specifically, those who overcame obstacles.

Most people think this would be expensive, but 90% of personal development tools are free.  Here is a list of what I used to fill my mind and soul with positivity daily:

  • Podcasts
  • Library books
  • YouTube Videos (Mostly TedTalks)
  • OverDrive (app to listen to Audiobooks from library)
  • Blogs

Starting this habit helped me immensely.  It is the reason I was able to change careers in the middle of a recession, write a book, sell an app business, start an Amazon business, and develop my blog.

Massive Change

As I was voraciously studying personal development material, I realised I needed a change in my life.  I need something to make me a little uncomfortable.

For me, that was changing careers.

I had been in the financial services industry since graduating college but was disengaged with work for a long time.  I loved helping people with their finances (I still do), but I realised the banks were more interested in their own profits than the customers.00

This change gave me the opportunity to start over.  It was something I needed immensely.

Exercise

Though I had made mental changes, I realised my health was still an area that needed improvement.

In 2012, I decided to start training for a 1/2 marathon.  I’m not sure what sparked that genius idea, but I began training in February and ran my the race in May.

At the time, I didn’t realise all the benefits of exercise. Knowing what I know now, I would have started exercising sooner to help me get out of my miserable state of mind.

Exercising helps change your mindset.  You feel better about yourself because your body produces more endorphins when you exercise.  These endorphins are chemicals in your body that improve your immunity, helps you relax, and is a natural mood booster.

Since that race, I have kept up a pretty steady exercise program.  Currently, I workout at least 4 to 5 days a week. My workouts include:

  • Running
  • Playing basketball
  • Weight training
  • Cardio workouts
  • Swimming
  • Playing with my kids

Being Present

There is an old quote that says, “wherever you are, be all there.”

Before Christian being born (and after), my mind was always all over the place.  I thought work was the most important thing in life and I had dreams of climbing the corporate ladder.

I would put in 12 hour days. When I was at work, I would be thinking about my family.  When I was with my family, I would be thinking about work.  I didn’t even make my wife’s last doctors appointment because I was at work.

After our daughter was born, I realized I needed to be more present.  It was then I started experimenting with meditation to learn to be focused.  Currently, I try to meditate daily for 7-10 minutes.

Learning to be present, helped me concentrate more on my family and, surprisingly, work.  Due to this change, I have better relationships with my kids, my wife, and am more productive.

I’ll never forget our baby boy Christian.  It was a difficult time in my life.

However, I did learn the best way to get out of difficult times includes digesting positive materials, massive change, exercise, and being present.    Implementing all of these actions helped me rekindle my relationship with my wife, pay off our debt within 18 months, and live a life I love.

What has helped you over obstacles in your life?

Source: Possibilitychange.com

Preventive medicine

#DANGDoctor Aniebiet Ekong Preventive medicine – the way forward in Nigeria

 

It’s time that we should decide to take the oars of our health into our hands. It’s apparent that the system has failed and is continually failing, from lack of resources to lack of infrastructure (human, power, hospitals, equipment’s, etc.).

We have watched people die from seemingly small situations that could easily be handled, from lack of insurance, lack of funds, lack of access to proper healthcare or from lack of trained personnel to handle it. Truth is, there is nothing that can be done right now that would not take time and dedication. So what do we do in the meantime? Preventive medicine.

Let’s start with hypertension, until 2004, a review by in the Journal of Nutrition concerning the epidemiology of hypertension in Africans indicated that it was not a disease with high prevalence estimates in Africa. Meaning that a few Africans were diagnosed with hypertension. Now it’s almost in every household and it’s getting worse.

Some people would argue that we didn’t have the right equipment to diagnose and I would say that studies have indicated that hypertension is generally aggravated by obesity and high salt intakes, obesity is a disease caused by urbanisation and wealth. So to indicate that we are wealthy we gain weight. That’s just for hypertension, what of a myriad of other diseases that are now plaguing Africans including diabetes.

ALSO READ: Mental illness in teens is more common than people think

If we cast our minds back, how did our parents live? Long tales of how they would walk distances to fetch water, go to school, play under the moonlight, play in the sand, eat fewer pieces of meat. All of that, although it indicated suffering to us but it basically is a picture of the better times. There was a lot of walking so there was increased physical activity so people did not get too fat, children played a lot in the moonlight so obesity rates in children were reduced. They ate portions they could afford so obesity rates were controlled also.

Back to the present, children are not allowed to play in schools because the schools are competing with others, they are not allowed to play at home because the environment is unsafe or we just want quiet. Parents don’t have time to walk or exercise because we are just too busy, the economy is failing and we have to survive. I understand all of that.

What is the result? Increasing incidences of chronic diseases, which are now coupled with infectious diseases (which we already had by the way) and a failing system.

What do we do? Take it into our hands, practise preventive medicine…allow children to play, walk more, exercise more, eat less, eat a variety of food groups so that it can provide all the nutrients we need, have regular medical check-ups. If there’s no money for that, do the others.

Until the country gets better, we can and we will fight for ourselves and it starts with our health.

Wriiten by Aniebiet Ekong for Diaryofanaijagirl.ng

 

Teenagers and Mental Illness

Mental illness in teens is more common than people think

It’s normal for teenagers to be moody at times. But when are an adolescent’s mood swings a sign of something more—like mental illness?

Mental illness is more common in teens than you think. But many types of mental illness are treatable, and it’s just a matter of pinpointing the diagnosis.

Six Facts About Mental Illness

Here are 6 facts about mental illness in teens that parents should be aware of.

Physicians define “mental illness” differently than most of us do

Physicians look at specific criteria in order to determine if a person has a mental illness.

For a person to be diagnosed with major depressive disorder, physicians generally look for depressed mood or a lack of interest in hobbies or recreational activities. However, in teens, these signs might show up as changes in their grades, a disinterest in friends, or out-of-character irritability. If at least one of those symptoms is present, additional criteria are assessed.

Additionally, five out of following seven symptoms are required for diagnosis:

  • changes in sleep
  • new onset of guilt
  • changes in energy level
  • changes in concentration or task completion
  • changes in appetite
  • changes in motivation
  • thoughts of suicide

If a person has experienced five of those symptoms nearly every day, for at least two weeks, he or she might be diagnosed with major depressive disorder.

READ MORE: I am not a weak person. I am stronger than most can even imagine.

The lesson: If your teen has occasional episodes of anger or stays out late sometimes, it’s probably not a reason to be worried.

On the other hand, if those feelings persist and there are other unusual symptoms, it’s probably a good idea to talk to your doctor.

Warning signs of mental illness in teens vary depending on the condition

For most kids, one of the telltale signs is going to be a decline in grades, but there are other warning signs, as well.

Changes in social habits including pulling away from school, friends, and activities that your child has enjoyed participating in in the past could be another warning sign.

Generalized anxiety, social phobias, and depression also have their own unique symptoms.

Symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder include:

  • Feeling restless, wound up, or on edge
  • Becoming fatigued easily
  • Struggling with concentration
  • Experiencing irritability
  • Feeling muscle tension
  • Having difficulty keeping worry levels under control
  • Struggling with sleep, such as difficulties falling asleep or staying asleep, or not feeling well-rested

Social anxiety disorder symptoms include:

  • Feeling very anxious at the thought of being around others, and struggling to talk to other people
  • Experiencing extreme self-consciousness and fear of humiliation, embarrassment, rejection, or offending people
  • Worrying about being judged
  • Feeling anxious days or even weeks ahead of a social event
  • Avoiding places where other people will be
  • Struggling to make and keep friends
  • Blushing, sweating, or trembling around others
  • Experiencing nausea around other people

And signs of depression include:

  • Feeling persistently sad, anxious, or empty
  • Experiencing hopelessness or pessimism
  • Struggling with irritability
  • Feeling guilty, worthless, or helpless
  • Losing interest in hobbies or activities that used to be enjoyable
  • Struggling with fatigue or lack of energy
  • Moving and/or talking more slowly than usual
  • Feeling restless
  • Struggling with concentration, memory, and/or decision-making
  • Experiencing unexplained changes in appetite or weight
  • Having thoughts of death or suicide
  • Unexplained aches or pains that don’t go away when treated

While at least some of these symptoms generally have to be present for several weeks or months before an accurate diagnosis can be made, sometimes, even just 2 weeks’ worth of symptoms is enough to consider a diagnosis.

Mental illness in teens is more common than people think—but also very treatable

Mental illness is preventable. However, in most cases, parents don’t bring the child in until after issues have been going on for months and months because they are in denial. Most parents feel that, “It can’t possibly be what’s happening to my child.”

You should talk to your teen if you’re concerned.

If your teen seems stressed or if there’s been a significant change in their behavior it’s best to address it in conversation with them first. It may not necessarily mean a psychiatric diagnosis like depression or anxiety, but it could still be a sign that there is something going on in their life that is acting as some type of stressor.

Source: Pennmedicine.org

Age-Shaming is wrong

Can Age-Shaming Be the Next Fat-Shaming?

I don’t want to feel bad about my neck. And so far, I really don’t. It looks totally fine. If you saw my neck, you’d agree: There’s nothing wrong with it.

Nonetheless, I’ve been in an ambient state of dread about my neck (and the rest of my aging body) for the last 15 years or so. I’ve been worried on two fronts: (1) That even though I generally feel good about myself, I will grow to hate my own appearance. (2) That other people will hate me because I have stopped being young. I’ve read Nora Ephron; I know how this movie ends. The credits roll and there we all are: accomplished older women, standing in front of our mirrors, pulling at our turkey-wattles, feeling bad.

I bought my first very expensive “anti-aging” eye cream at the tender age of 25. I joked that it was “preventative,” before the term was paired unironically with Botox. I had no sign of wrinkles, but that didn’t stop me from combating them. At 30 I used intense pulse lasers on my sun spots. At 35 I was convinced by an overzealous dermatologist to try glycolic peels and Retin-A. I read about foreskin-stem-cell facials, and instead of horror, I felt intrigued. I researched snail enzymes and LED-light treatments and cryogenic chambers.

Guess what? I still look 40. Maaaaaaybe I could pass for 38 immediately after using one of those terrifying sheet-masks people are always Instagramming.

What’s even more embarrassing than all the prophylactic beauty treatments is that, until very recently, I was engaged in the delusion that I might still be able to get better-looking. I had convinced myself that — through an alchemy of funds, time, self-control, and prayer — I’d finally have all I needed to get my body into what I vaguely referred to as “the best shape of my life.” In my imagined 40s I’d be able to afford Juice Press. I’d find enough resolve to say no to afternoon doughnuts like, “Whatever, big deal, who needs doughnuts?” I’d get enough sleep because I’d be boring and disciplined and never drink on weeknights. Instead of slouching toward decrepitude, I’d be that silver-streaked goddess in the front row at hot yoga. I cringe to admit this, but I looked at how Tina Fey and Gwyneth Paltrow were aging, and I actually thought that could be my trajectory.

I should have seen this line of thinking as early-onset dementia. Instead I took a lifetime of inherited bias against old people and turned it inward. If someone as exceptional as Nora Ephron was powerless to avoid internalized dissatisfaction about her neck, what chance did I stand? And yet, I began to realize, I was more afraid of the feelings that aging would inspire in me, than afraid of the physical changes. After my ridiculous 15-year campaign against the inevitable, I’ve found that I just don’t want to hate my neck, or apologize for my soft upper arms. I don’t want to sacrifice facial expressions any more than I want to be told that a size 12 is too fat.

I’m not expecting BuzzFeed to add an OLDS category with articles like “21 Things Only Postmenopausal Women Know About Necks,” but I do hope that things will get better. I have faith in millennial women to change things because so many of them are going to start to feel the effects of aging soon. Like me, I suspect they are going to find that they don’t want to worry about being invisible and irrelevant and unemployable just because of the way they look. And when their self-esteem crashes against a societal norm, these are women who tend to push back against those norms. My hope is that their readiness to regard all kinds of personal matters as political statements will usher in a conversation about age-shaming to echo the ones they started about slut-shaming and body-shaming.

I’ve spent an awful lot of time worrying about looking old, and I’m ready to give it a rest. Instead of worrying about looking bad, I would rather recalibrate my sense of what looks good. I want the world to recognize the beauty of time on a woman’s face, and if the world never will, I want, at least, to make peace with it in my own life. I want to be like one of those confident older women who walked in Rachel Comey’s fashion show last season — wrinkles, gray hair, and all. Seeing images of older women treated as normal and beautiful has a profound effect on me. Much like scrolling through the feeds of curve models, it recalibrates my sense of the ordinary and expands my visual vocabulary of ways to look.

Lately I’ve been thinking more about how to avoid the things I’m actually scared of about getting old: becoming set in my ways, stuck in my thinking or narrow in my influences. I want to keep my mind-set open, my life full of voices that are vibrant and diverse. That takes a lot of work too, but I’m confident it will have a greater return on investment than all the creams in the world. That was always the case, it just took me getting older to recognize it.

Source:Thecut.com

Living With Your Demons

I am not a weak person. I am stronger than most can even imagine.

It’s like an endless black hole eating me up inside. It’s consuming of both time and energy and I’m not quite sure how to handle it some days. For the most part I have it under control but there are some days where it just takes complete control over me. I do everything I possibly can to keep it under the radar, I smile and laugh even when I feel like falling apart. When I feel myself losing control I excuse myself and break down, but for some reason it’s still my fault.

You tell me everyday that the monster isn’t real but you will never know until you live with it. Until you feel it over power you and control your every thought motion you have no room to talk. The monster is exactly that, it’s a monster. We all have monsters. They live in our heads. They destroy every sense of security we have. They bash in the light bulb and force us to live in the dark so they can be with us forever.

My monster is loud. All I hear is him roaring in my head, slamming his hands and stomping his feet because I refuse to live in the dark, my whole life I lived there. And I hate to say this, but my monster always wins. No matter how hard I fight, I will never be strong enough. My monster does control me more than I control myself and I hate it. I hate how weak the monster makes me.

I am not a weak person. I am stronger than most can even imagine. I am a strong person. I am strong… but this beast inside of me brings me down. It tears me apart. It cripples me. The monster consumes me all day everyday and this is the first time I am able to admit it.

Living with the monster isn’t easy. I cry everyday. I feel it coming over my like a storm cloud filling up the once sunny sky. It’s like I’m drowning every moment of my life.There is rarely anymore moments of happiness because the monster destroyed every piece of it I have ever had. Everyday is a struggle. The monster is fighting piece of will I have in me.

But despite how strong this monster is, I will not let it take me. I will not let it swallow me hole. The thing about living with the monster is that with everyday it consumes you… you are one step closer to strength. I know that really makes no sense, but that’s life. Life doesn’t make sense as is and adding the monster into the mix just makes it even more complicated. But the complications in life helps make the future easier.

Source: Theodysseyonline.com

Losing Interest In Life Tips

When You Begin losing interest in life and start getting confused, you should do this

There are many good answers already. Most of the answers are focused on the action you can take. However, the most important element is knowing the cause. Without knowing the cause any action will only provide temporary fix.

See our mental state is governed largely by what is in our subconscious mind. And our subconscious is largely built up of what we feed it over the years. Think of a bag, if you put garbage in it, you will only find garbage in it later. Subconscious works the same way, if you put garbage in, you will get garbage back. Here are the top 4 garbage items and what to do with them:

ALSO SEE: Why You Should Prioritize Your Health Before You Meet Someone New

  1. TV/News – It is very rare that you see any positive news on TV or other news mediums. The rest is just garbage for your subconscious, and it very likely is adding to your depression. I suggest stop watching TV and stop ready/listening to any news.
  2. Trash Talk – If you are surrounded by people who like to trash talk, weather about their own situation, themselves, their friends/family or about their money or whatever else, that has to be cut off! This means that you need to think about every single person that is around you, their habits etc. This also means listening to your own words, your own thoughts, and anytime you say anything negative/trash etc, stop yourself, think of the same situation but now say something positive.
  3. Food – Just like trash talk, we are hell bent at feeding ourselves trash these days. Make a conscious choice for eating only healthy and fresh foods.
  4. Air – Believe it or not, but the air you breath has a tremendous impact on you. If you stay mostly indoors then you are not getting fresh air/oxygen that your brain needs. If you live in/around a polluted area then going outside is not going to help much. If that is the case, you are better of dedicating a small area inside your home, and grow small plants.

You will not be able to do these things for very long or consistently unless you realise that it is important to change your subconscious paradigm which is attracting the negativity, in turn causing depression.

Loosing interest in life, really means not knowing your own purpose in life. Every living being has a purpose, yet, large population remains unaware of their own purpose. It is very likely that you have been trying to live a life for yourself only, or focused too much on others who didn’t appreciate what you did for them. Either way, time to stop. To truly realise the purpose of your life, you will need to spend some serious amount of time serving humanity, animals or any other cause you feel strongly about without any expectations attached to it.

Here are 3 key things you can do to attract brand new experiences that will drive away the depression, bad thoughts and habits, negative energy and people.

  1. Start meditating. This one is not easy. Many people think that meditation is about reaching complete silence, and others have different concepts. If you have never done any meditation, I suggest starting out with guided meditation (i.e. some sort of a class). Or you can start with finding good videos on youtube.
  2. Donate large sums of money. Large can mean completely different to different people. The purpose is to detach yourself from the money. If you are going to donate but then keep cribbing or start boasting that you donated money, then it is of not much help. Do it with a sense of gratitude that you received this money when you needed it, and now you are passing it to someone/someplace where it is needed.
  3. Surround yourself with positive, spiritual, high energy people. If you do any of the above items, this one will come naturally.

Most important, stop expecting instant results and prepare yourself and make the commitment to make lasting changes to your life.

Source: Quora.com

Why You Should Prioritize Your Health

Why You Should Prioritize Your Health Before You Meet Someone New

You want to look your best when you’re dating new people. For most of us, that means dropping a few pounds. In your head, you just have to buckle down on your calorie count for a few weeks or months, and you’ll look great in your tightest jeans or fitted leather jacket. And then you’ll finally feel ready to date.

So you put off posting your profile. Maybe you succeed in losing a couple of pounds, but then life gets in the way. Maybe you regain some weight. Maybe you don’t lose as much as you’d hoped. Whatever the case, your weight can become a convenient and never-ending excuse for keeping you at home.

Here’s an idea: Stop waiting. Put yourself out there in the perfectly imperfect body you have.

It’s no secret that two-thirds of Americans are overweight or obese. In other words, most people aren’t walking around rocking a doctor’s office-worthy Body Mass Index. That means they probably don’t expect yours to be, too.

ALSO READ: Your Will Power Is More Powerful Than You Think

Don’t get me wrong. Physical attraction is a critical component of dating. But it’s usually a combination of many things, including how someone takes care of themselves, dresses themselves and carries themselves in the world.

The good news is that plenty of people will love your curvy body just as it is. And they’re more than happy to meet you and your Dad Bod. People tend to be more forgiving about your weight than you might think.

Unless someone is looking for a very specific body type – and they often will clearly say they’re looking for someone who is slender or thin – they don’t let someone’s few extra pounds stand in the way of finding true love. They’re looking to meet a fun, attractive and nice person.

Here are some tips about how to feel good dating in the body you’re in:

Buy clothes that flatter your current size.

Find jeans, sweaters, dresses and jackets that you feel good in. If you don’t want to spend a lot of money because you plan to buy smaller sizes in the future, you can always find quality clothes on the cheap at discount stores, eBay or by finding online sales. The point is to wear clothes that help you feel good about your appearance so you can radiate confidence on your dates.

Post accurate photos.

Take some beautiful pictures of yourself at the size you are. Most people don’t mind your extra weight. What they do mind is false advertising on your online dating profile. They rightfully feel deceived when a person who is significantly heavier – or shorter, taller or older – shows up on a date, instead of the person they thought they were meeting.

Talk about yourself in a loving way.

You can influence how people see you by how you describe yourself. You also shape how you feel about yourself. If you’re asked to describe yourself, you can write about how much you love your “soft, curvy” body. Avoid loaded words like “fat” or “overweight.” Say you’re a “bigger guy who loves enveloping his sweetheart in a bear hug.” Find the positive message.

Show your date you live a healthy lifestyle.

Are you making your health a priority? Are you following a weight loss plan? You can easily communicate that to your matches. Send a photo of yourself on your Sunday morning hike. Share the fact that you’re spending your afternoon making healthy meals for the week.

Many people are looking for partners who will support their own health goals. Make it clear that eating well and exercising are important to you. And don’t forget to walk your talk on actual dates. That means skipping the nachos and margaritas and making healthy choices.

The bottom line:

We’re all human and trying to live the best lives we can in a world with constant temptation. Don’t let a little extra padding prevent you from finding a sweetheart now.

Source: Eharmony.com

Will Power Tips

Your Will Power Is More Powerful Than You Think

Willpower has been termed ‘the greatest human strength’, and rightly so…as it is the factor behind every single noteworthy human achievement down the centuries! With willpower, the impossible can be made possible…without this all important quality, everything you have worked for can be lost in an instant. By harnessing your willpower, and exercising self control and practical wisdom, you can work toward your personal and professional goals and truly enjoy the quality of life that you deserve.

Even if you have always felt that you lack this all important quality, do not feel disheartened. By consciously trying to develop willpower, you can in fact achieve miracles. Through regular exercises and self- discipline, willpower can be cultivated over the years. Self-care can ensure that you have the willpower to get things done, on time and every time.

To ensure career success through willpower, it is important that you have a roadmap charted out. Chalk out the professional goals you would like to achieve in your life. Set targets, and put down dates by which you would like to have reached each career milestone. Some goals may need some work- such as undertaking a course of study- or achieving a certain level of experience.

You can also map out your weaknesses, and formulate ways to turn them around. For instance, if you wish to be a leader, but are not good at communication, there are workshops you can attend to skill up as required. A series of small changes can turn around your life and lead to huge positive changes in your career.

You could take the help of training experts to work out the certification courses that could help you along the way. One of your goals could be to increase your earning capabilities. Some credentials such as the PMP certification in India have been proven to give a 42% salary hike to certified individuals. You can list out your goal of completing the course of study leading to the PMP exam, and successfully clearing the exam. Willpower plays an important role in this endeavour – you should be religious in studying every day, despite any other pressures you may face in your life.

Make resolutions – and stick to them. Your resolution may be as simple as clearing your email inbox every day. Piling up incomplete work never helps, and once you fall behind it is very hard to catch up. Staying on top of your daily work requires a certain amount of willpower.

ALSO SEE: Between ego, pride, self respect and being down to earth? Which are you?

Levels of failure and success in your career, leadership capabilities, the ability to be a good team player, and the ability to get tasks completed on time are all directly related to your willpower, or the lack of it! A person who lacks this all important quality is certainly doomed to a life of constant failures and inadequacies.

In fact, a lack of mental strength and willpower can affect every aspect of your life- not just your career alone. Taking the first few steps to develop your mental faculties can be difficult, especially if you are faced with toxic situations, peer pressure or stress caused by family or friends. However, you must make a comprehensive life plan – keep at it and you will surely succeed. Make sure you start to consciously work on developing your personal and professional skills through willpower, and you could create a sea-change in your entire life!

Source; Knowledgehut.com

Age-Shaming is wrong

Between ego, pride, self respect and being down to earth? Which are you?

Ego is one’s own awareness of oneself, ‘I am’. Pride can be normal or excessive. Normal pride a positive self image and a sense of pleasure in what you are. However one can have pride in one’s children and friends which is evident in one’s enjoyment being as much as the person in his/her success. Excessive pride is the feeling that there is nobody like me which goes under the name of egotism, boastfulness, presumptuousness, ostentatiousness etc. and the excessively proud person is an egotist

Self Respect originates from one’s values, education, upbringing and culture. It is different from pride. It is self respect that does not allow me to tolerate a person who is ‘stepping on my toes’ nor would I tolerate being taken for granted or pushed literally and figuratively.

Being down to earth means a practical person who uses his head and heart properly, looks at situations calmly and is not swayed by emotions in carrying out his/her duty in a given situation.

ALSO READ: IS SOCIAL MEDIA THE NEW HIGH?

Of all these things Ego and Pride are to be avoided as much as possible. Pride is good if its for the country or family etc. Ego makes us demanding and narcissist, we expect people to always be below us at any cost may it be asking for an apology or taking initiative to talk, we always expect the other person to do so. Too much pride is related to ego as it increases the latter.

Now coming to self respect and being down to earth, having self respect is mandatory as it guides us when to stop giving in to a person or a situation. we cannot expect people to respect us until we respect ourselves. Being down to earth always gives us a positive vibe and makes us more approachable. People feel comfortable in talking to us as we are not always boasting of our position/achievements.

Source: Quora.com

Dating a colleague tips

Before dating a colleague at work; consider these 4 things

Because professionals spend most of their time together, it is not abnormal to hear of colleagues falling in love with each other.

Before acting on that attraction, however, here are 5 questions that you need to ask yourself.

1. Does your company have a policy against it?

Most companies have a policy in place which prohibits love affairs between colleagues.

So you need to ask yourself if your company has this type of policy, and how rigidly do they enforce this policy?

ALSO SEE: Getting Dumped Before My Wedding Taught Me Things I Never Knew

2. Won’t I be distracted?

Love is a beautiful thing and we all encourage people to fall in love and experience its beauty.

However, company owners are after maximising profit and getting the best out of their workers.

So ask yourself, will this relationship significantly affect my work and productivity?

The answer you give might be the difference between having a job and being unemployed.

3. How successful will the relationship actually be?

You also have to consider the actual possibility of the relationship working because, in the situation that the relationship fails, you are going to be stuck with seeing that face everyday. Now imagine that.

4. How closely do you work?

How about the closeness of your activities at work? Do you work on different teams, or in different departments?

Or do you work in the same team?

How closely you work might also have an impact on whether a relationship with a colleague will work or not.

Getting Dumped Before My Wedding

Getting Dumped Before My Wedding Taught Me Things I Never Knew

Getting dumped a few weeks before my wedding was the most painful experience of my life to date, but how I came through it is the single proudest moment of my life.

When I met with his mother four years after the breakup, she said she’d felt so guilty over these past few years. “I loved you like a daughter, and he’s my son—I never want any of my children to feel that pain.”

I told her I was glad it happened, not for the fact that the breakup needed to happen (was inevitable even), but to have experienced the pain and loss, to confront my then-unconscious fear of failure straight on, and to not only survive, but thrive as a result.

I told her I look forward to failing now. More accurately, I appreciate the lessons learned and the growth I’ll only be able to experience by getting back up, dusting myself off, humbly reflecting on where I went wrong, and pushing forward with a more finely tuned compass.

But that perspective didn’t come easily.

We were together for eight years through our twenties and into our early thirties. Four years in, we got engaged.

One month before the wedding I went from bliss to being sucker punched in the lower intestines (emotionally speaking).

It was a Tuesday. This was two days after coming home from one of the most incredible experiences of my life. I’d just finished yoga teacher training at an eight-day intensive on Long Island, Maine.

It was a perfect week. I came home still buzzing with blissful vibes and gratitude. When he said we needed to talk, my stomach dropped so hard and so fast I thought it would fall out of me.

He said he didn’t want to get married anymore.

The contrast and transition from high to low was dizzying. In one week I felt both the best and worst I’d ever felt in my life.

The following months were comprised of uncontrollable crying, deep sorrow, and some of the greatest lessons I’ve ever learned.

Reading the stories of others who have loved and lost were so helpful to me when I was in pain, as were the bite-sized inspirational quotes from great and kind minds that I could carry with me through the day, so I’ve included those that helped me the most. It made me feel connected and not alone; it gave me hope knowing there is light at the end of the tunnel.

That’s why I’m writing this. To share what I learned through this whole ordeal, how it set me off on a path of self-discovery and development, and how I’m a smarter, stronger, and more compassionate person because of it. The same is possible for you.

ALSO SEE: IS SOCIAL MEDIA THE NEW HIGH?

I never stopped to define failure and what it means to me. At the time I would have said it meant to make a mistake, to not reach your goal, to fall short, to not be good enough

I’ve never been more accepting of my emotions and tolerant of pain since this experience. This journey and everything I’ve learned has led me to be my happiest me.

Not to say I’ve reached the end of my journey. The best part is there is always room for more growth, learning, compassion, love, and happiness. And I feel blessed that I have the opportunity to pursue it every day.

Once I got a taste of self-improvement, I was hooked. I started to see that happiness—true happiness—and freedom from the control of emotions, of feeling not good enough, from constant worry, were all attainable.

This experience was a blessing. A painful, messy, crash course in learning to navigate life’s difficulties with grace and resilience.

Source:TinyBuddha.com

 

IS SOCIAL MEDIA THE NEW HIGH

IS SOCIAL MEDIA THE NEW HIGH?

I have always wondered why people take out time to put events of their daily lives on social media no matter how minute.

A huge percentage of Facebook and Instagram users are so frequent with posts that you could easily predict their routines. From a post like #wakeuptime with a matching picture, to another like #nightrest, you could virtually conjecture the current activity of that user based on the time of the day the user made that post.

Some posts help to pass information to friends and associates about important personal events like weddings, birthday’s e.t.c.

How do you explain posts about being in the bathroom, cooking or window shopping? Some even post about their marital and sexual lives (when you are not a celebrity, who cares?)

Well, based on personal observation, there is this natural ‘high’ that making posts on social media generates for its numerous users.

This high is possibly derived from getting a number of ‘likes’ for a post and maybe being the one who shared a post that went viral. To me, this is the only logical explanation for such time consuming and irrelevant internet behavior.

Researchers at the University Of California Institute Of Cognitive Neuroscience discovered that a region of the brain is responsible for regulating our motivation and reward process as both respond positively to creativity. When that part of the brain interprets a physical activity as some form of novelty or idea, it releases a substance known as ‘DOPAMINE’.

‘DOPAMINE’ serves as a reward drug that inspires humans to go exploring. It majorly affects movement, pleasure and motivation. When ‘DOPAMINE’ is released, it gives the feeling of pleasure or satisfaction such that is derived from sharing content on social media that would later feed curiosity and amuse thousands of users.

ALSO SEE: Telling White Lies. Is It Ever Okay To Tell A Lie?

These users would show their varying appeals for such content through likes or any other form depending on the platform. The desire to gain such satisfaction would make the social media user to keep making such posts, regardless of how vain and thus causing a release of ‘DOPAMINE’ to make him/her ‘high’.

Isn’t it interesting to note that, though people aren’t drinking, smoking or swallowing sedatives, they might just be getting their fix from ‘Facebook’, ‘Instagram’, ‘twitter’ or all other social media platforms???

So next time you are posting away about being at work, no light or your dating chronicles, just know that you are high.

Written by Green Veno for Diaryofanaijagirl,ng

Should You Lie

Telling White Lies. Is It Ever Okay To Tell A Lie?

Telling lies is an integral part of human nature, and often makes life a little easier for everyone.

If you think back over your day today, can you honestly say that everything that came out of your mouth was 100% true?

Was the dinner someone special cooked for you really that delicious? Did you actually like your best friend’s haircut?

Maybe not, but you wouldn’t dream of telling them the truth. After all, in a situation like that, what would be the point?

We all tell tiny lies every day without even realising we’re doing it. We often do it unconsciously, to make either the person we’re lying to or even ourselves feel better about a situation.

These white lies we tell every day are a big part of life, but there are times when the truth needs to come out on top, and you need to be careful that telling what you think is a harmless lie doesn’t snowball and get you into a tricky situation.

ALSO READ: My ex boyfriend battered, humiliated & arrested me. I want him to pay for all he did to me

If you’re struggling to figure out when these lies are acceptable and when they aren’t, here are a few examples to guide you.

They’re Okay When…

1. Someone Asks You How You Are

When we greet a general acquaintance by asking them how they are, the only answer we’re really expecting is “Fine thanks, you?” If someone actually started telling you how they are, you’d be pretty taken aback.

The person that asks is probably just being polite, and odds are that they don’t have the time or the interest to listen to your problems.

This is an example of how white lies are an integral part of our culture.

2. When Complimenting How A Friend Looks

When you get a noticeable haircut, you’ll expect people to comment, so if your friend has a bizarre new look, they might take your silence as disapproval.

In this case, it’s perfectly fine to tell them you like it, because, let’s face it, there’s really nothing they can do about it.

The same goes for an outfit someone is wearing. Feel free to make a positive comment even if you think it’s a pretty odd choice.

The time and place for your honest opinion on someone’s outfit is when they’re deciding whether to buy it, or when they’re deciding what to wear for an occasion.

Beyond that, it’s best to lie, as, for example, if they’re already at work or at a party, they can’t exactly go home and change.

3. When Father Christmas Comes Up

There are times when telling harmless lies can create such magic that telling the truth would be nothing short of cruel.

Remember the excitement you felt at Christmas when you were a child? All a result of little white lies told with your best interests at heart.

Believing in the Tooth Fairy or Easter Bunny will do any little people in your life absolutely no harm, and quite a lot of good, encouraging their imaginations.

This also applies to conversations that they’re not ready for to protect their innocence, like where babies come from or why Mum and Dad don’t live together.

4. When You Want To Cancel

If you need to cancel plans and you don’t think people will understand that you just need some alone time and would be terrible company, then feel free to make something up so you both feel better, blaming it on work or illness.

Your best friends might understand your real reasons, but other people might not. Just be sure to cancel ASAP so they aren’t left hanging.

5. If You’re Late For Work

Or for class, or any situation where your turning up late might cause a problem.

If telling the truth – such as your alarm didn’t go off – won’t go down well and something as important as your job is at stake, a carefully crafted white lie is definitely worth telling to save the situation.

6. To Avoid Becoming Fuel for the Office Gossip

Is your gossipy co-worker trying to pry into your love life? In any situation when you’d rather not share personal things, it’s often better to come up with a white lie rather than telling them straight that you just don’t think it’s any of their business.

7. To Deflect Unwanted Interest

That guy at the bar just won’t leave you alone? Whilst it’s ridiculous that often a plain no just won’t be accepted without an explanation behind it (but HOW could you NOT be interested in him?!), you might find it makes your life easier and your night more fun if you save yourself with a lie.

8. When Someone Needs A Boost

If a friend has been having a tough time with stress or illness and it’s written all over their face, just telling them they’re looking better might be what they need to actually start feeling better about themselves.

If they’ve been working out and on a diet and you can’t see much of a difference, they don’t need to know that. Tell them they look fantastic.

9. When Someone’s Done Something Nice For You

If you’ve had a meal cooked for you or you’ve been given an ‘interesting’ gift, it’s no skin off your nose to tell them it was delicious, or that you love it.

They’re showing their love for you and they’re trying to make you happy, so it really is the thought that counts, and being negative could really hurt their feelings.

They’re Not Okay When…

1. You’re Just Delaying The Inevitable

Is it something you’re going to have to come clean about eventually? There’s nothing worse than telling a small lie that can then lead to a whole chain of lies, as you’ll eventually get caught out.

Although I mentioned above that it’s fine to tell white lies when cancelling plans, you do need to be careful.

If it’s just a one-off occasion when you don’t feel particularly sociable and you’d love to do the same thing another time, then feel free to spin a white lie.

If, however, it’s a thing you really don’t want to do or a person you’d rather not see, then it’s best to be honest from the outset so you don’t keep getting the same invitation.

2. When You Want To End A Relationship

Romantically, if you’re just not interested in someone who’s asked you out or who you’ve been seeing, that needs to be communicated (kindly) ASAP.

You don’t want them thinking there’s a chance of something happening between you as this will only drag things out and make it awkward.

Whilst there’s no need to be brutal, you should make sure things are clear.

This applies to any kind of relationship, even business ones.

3. Someone Needs A Few Home Truths

If you think there’s something that someone really needs to hear as it will benefit them in the long run, you should tell them, even if it might upset them initially or make you feel uncomfortable.

Whilst it should always be framed positively, if you think someone is lying to themselves about a situation, it might be time for you to get real with them.

4. If It’s Money-Related

Anything to do with money is best to be approached as honestly as possible, particularly when it comes to your relationship with your partner.

5. In the Fitting Room

They haven’t bought it yet, and they’re genuinely asking for your opinion, so don’t lie when your friend or partner is trying something on and you think it looks terrible.

Someone at some point will make a negative comment about whatever item of clothing it is, and then you’ll look bad.

You’re not commenting on them, just the clothes. Just be sure you do it in a positive way and make constructive suggestions.

Why The Lie?

If you’re unsure as to whether honesty is the best policy in a particular situation, ask yourself what your motivation is for lying, and if that lie could cause more harm than good in the long run.

How I Put My Mental Health First (and How You Can Too)

 

Like millions of others, I am someone who lives with an anxiety disorder, which is categorized as a mental disorder. A little over three years ago I was clinically diagnosed with having a generalized anxiety disorder, triggered by lifelong battle with obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD). It’s kind of like a one-two punch where one disorder fuels the other.

For as long as I can remember I have lived with OCD. My symptoms were paying meticulous attention to detail and routine in everything I did. If I didn’t do this, I would be hit with an anxiety attack – characterized by persistent, excessive, and unrealistic worrying that something was going to go wrong.

As a kid that can be a terrifying experience, but as I got older, I used my OCD to my advantage, especially at work. I steered my routines and energy towards achieving as much as I could as fast as I could with unwavering attention to detail and organization. I suppressed, ignored and hid my panic attacks and kept my head down to deliver as much as I could as fast as I could.

Then one day I started to see issues develop and the anxiety attacks I had as a kid started to reemerge (in addition to the onset of panic attacks). All the while I kept working and performing at a very high level. However, the attacks eventually got so bad that I needed to go public with my ailment and seek treatment. I told my boss (who was tremendously supportive), I told my team (who was tremendously caring) and I stepped away for approximately six weeks to focus 100 percent of my time on getting better.

It was the toughest decision of my life. It was also the best decision I ever made. I came back better, stronger, smarter and healthier than ever, and I have never looked back.

Since that time I have come to realize that a number of people have experienced (or are experiencing) symptoms of anxiety or are working to cope with some kind of mental disorder that make waking up and going to work every day challenging. Many people struggle to address their mental health needs, so they suffer in silence, often holding back, because they don’t want to feel ashamed, embarrassed or labeled with a stigma.

I am sharing my experience, perspective and tips in this very personal post to help those who may be dealing with a similar situation. I am not a doctor, but I am someone who has personally overcome what may seem insurmountable. I know that for many the first step is the hardest one to take, and my hope with this post is that it encourages people to take that step.

If you are dealing with something like this, here are some tips to help support you on your journey.

Know you are not alone.

First, know that millions of other people have gone through (or are going through) the same thing. One of the hardest things to manage with anxiety is that it can be hard to explain to others. I once read somewhere “Explaining an anxiety attack to someone who has never experienced one, is like explaining the color red to someone who is colorblind”. It can be very hard to articulate the physical and mental symptoms you are experiencing. When you literally feel like you are going to die, that is a hard thing to capture and articulate. It is a terrifying experience.

Related: 

You may also feel alone because this is not a comfortable topic for a lot of people to talk about. In a world where everyone appears to be living the perfect life because of the stories and photos they share on Facebook and Instagram, it is impossible to tell the difference between perception and reality. I am here to tell you the reality: You are 100 percent not alone in your struggle. Don’t be fooled into thinking you are. Nobody lives the perfect life. Don’t be fooled by what people want you to believe.

Yes, it is okay to put yourself first.

Many people feel that it is impossible to step off the treadmill that is our job, especially in a world where we are connected 24/7. It’s hard to turn off your brain. Once you complete one task the next deadline is right behind it. As someone who suffered from OCD this was the hardest thing for me to reconcile. I lived my life through my checklists —  my days were a constantly running list of checked boxes. I wanted to achieve big, ambitious goals every day of my life. You can constantly and consistently make excuses for why right now is not the right time to step away and get help. The reality is, the longer the wait the worse you will get. Sometimes the right time is right now.

It’s okay to ask for help.

This is one of the hardest steps to take; telling someone you are not feeling well and you need help. It is terrifying because you don’t want people to think of you differently. You don’t want to appear weak. You don’t want people to think you lack “mental toughness.” You don’t want people to say, “Oh well, the pressure must have gotten to them.” You don’t want to be branded with a stigma that limits your career mobility and potential.

The reality is if you are living with an anxiety disorder you are living with a disorder you can make better with the proper treatment. It is not a matter of willing yourself through the day because you want to create a perception that you can grind through anything. It’s about sharing with people what you are going through so you can be healthy, happy, and productive.

Related: America’s Youngest Workers May Be the Least Stable Generation on Record

For managers and leaders, take the time to get educated and informed. Be supportive and empathetic — don’t dismiss it because you can’t physically see it. According to the Anxiety Disorders Association of America, approximately 1.5 percent of the U.S. population age 18 and older (about 3.3 million American adults) suffers from an anxiety disorder. Anxiety disorders can affect anyone; it doesn’t discriminate. It doesn’t matter if you are a movie star, entrepreneur, world-class athlete, an adored musician, CEO or a world leader.

Chances are you know someone right now who is doing their best to manage through something like OCD, ADD, depression or any one of a number of mental disorders. If they come to you for support, give it to them (don’t use it against them). I am blessed to have worked for amazing people at Microsoft, Porch.com, and now at SAP. What made them so great was the time they took to understand what I was going through and give me the flexibility to know my triggers so I can thrive.

Give it time.

Getting better at managing and living with your anxiety takes time; don’t rush it. For me I found success using cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and really understanding my triggers. Meditation is important to me. Running is important to me. Sleep and diet go hand in hand. I don’t like being around large crowds. Working with my doctor I found the right way to balance and treat my disorder. It took time and there were days when I felt like I would never improve. By dedicating myself to what it took to get better, the results came and I persevered.

It takes courage.

At the end of the day this is hard, and I will not overlook the courage that comes with having to admit that something is wrong. I was able to improve through the treatment I received and the dedication I placed on my health. In particular sleep, diet, exercise, and meditation. All of us are different and the way we handle situations like this will be different. But there is one thing I know for certain, if you can find the courage, things can and will get better.

Lastly, I know how hard it can be to “go public”. This article is about as public as one can get. I am putting my story out there as I know it can help others. This will live on the Internet forever. That is okay – because I am not ashamed and I know that when people put themselves out there so they can truly be their best, that is what they find in the end.

My ex boyfriend battered me

My ex boyfriend battered, humiliated & arrested me. I want him to pay for all he did to me

My now ex boyfriend battered and humiliated me. So on the 21st of October, I called him that I had an emergency, he promised to come over to my place but never did. I called him back only for him to become quarrelsome about it so I told him I was going to go over to his place since he doesn’t want to come to mine. On getting there, I realised another girl moved in with him. I was so shocked and sent him a text expressing my displeasure, he called me and insulted the day light out of me. I stayed there and waited for him to come back.  As soon as he entered, he slammed the door open, picked up his tall boy speaker and attempted to hit me.  I tried to calm him down that we can settle the whole issue amicably, he refused and went ahead to hit me with the object, all I know was that few minutes later I was on the floor and could hear him say ‘oh she is alive , let me kill her’. He continued the battering, pulled me by my braid till he pulled some out, strangled me and looked into my eyes and said ‘I never respected you’. I became weak and heart broken.

After this, he left me there and went out, he came back few minutes later with some policemen, he told them I barged into his house, that I scattered things and assaulted his dog, this is a dog that practically sleeps on my bed, a dog I take care of like a child (she is a really cute dog). I was arrested that night, I told him that I will sue him for battering so he sent his friend to take me home although I refused because they both came to arrest me so what was the point trying to take me out of the police station.

ALSO SEE: #ThrowbackThursday I Listen to Strangers’ Conversations and Give my Opinon…In My Mind

I really want him to pay for this, I have moved on but I just can’t get over the fact the he can hit me and still arrest me for nothing. It was so unfair and heartless of him, this is a man that moved into my apartment and stayed for 6 whole months last year with his dog.

I feel cheated, humiliated, used, oppressed and heart broken.

Written by anonymous for Diaryofanaijagirl

Unexpected Friendship Changed My Life

How an Unexpected Friendship Changed My Life

We were opposites: she was loud, I was quiet. She was outgoing, I was reserved. She spoke her mind, I kept my thoughts to myself. But somehow, we became friends. And her friendship changed my life.

Sometimes you put walls up not to keep people out, but to see who cares enough to break them down.

Before I met Christy, I was the embodiment of introversion.

For example, my family had attended the same church since I was two, and yet, for over ten years, I felt like a stranger in my own church.

Christy changed all that.

At school, Christy and I had a special place which we called The Hill?—?a little mound of dirt and grass on the far end of the field where we sat and talked and watched the clouds go by.

“Why don’t you ever come to Friday nights at church, huh, Sarah?” she asked one day as we sat on The Hill.

“What is there to do on Friday nights at church?”

“We have youth group. It’s fun. You should come!”

Every time I brushed the notion off, Christy persisted until finally, one night, I did go.

The other kids had seen me around before, and though initially they were curious about my sudden appearance, Christy’s matter-of-fact attitude about my presence soon restored the group dynamics to normalcy.

Because of Christy, church finally began to feel a little more like home.

A friend is someone who understands your past, believes in your future, and accepts you just the way you are.

I was fortunate enough to attend a school that offered a theater class. The first time I saw the older kids perform, I wanted to be up there with them. But I thought it was impossible. I was too shy, I wasn’t “performer material,” I would mess up.

Once again, it was Christy who pushed me to go beyond the boundaries I imposed upon myself.

“Come audition with me!” she pleaded. “It’ll be fun!”

So on the day of the audition, I found myself outside the theater room, staring in wide-eyed fear at the mass of theatre wannabe’s arranged haphazardly throughout the room. Telling myself I only came to support Christy, I stepped over the threshold.

“Here, you have to fill this out to audition,” a tall, blond boy handed me a blue registration card.

“Um,” I gulped. “I’m only here to watch.” As I looked over the crowd I nearly turned and ran. But then I saw her, waving at me in the middle of it all.

“Hi Sarah!” Christy called across the room.

Suddenly, the embarrassment of singing on stage paled in comparison to the embarrassment of leaving without doing anything.

I grabbed the form, filled it out, and turned it in. The next thing I knew, I’d passed the audition!

Theatre was a turning point in my life. Because of theatre, I became more open, more comfortable with myself and others?—?I am not exaggerating when I say theatre paved the way for my future as a student, performer, and person.

All thanks to the friend who believed in me more than I believed in myself.

Truly great friends are hard to find, difficult to leave, and impossible to forget.

There were times when I considered Christy brutally honest, and perhaps a little maddening?—?especially when she badgered me to do something new. But I soon realised that those very characteristics were the qualities that made her the best friend for me.

It has been many years since the carefree days when Christy and I sat on our hill and talked. It is a bittersweet truth that as time passes, people change, and memories recede into that place where fantasy and reality blend.

But I will always remember my childhood days with fondness, the more so because I was able to share them with one of the best friends a girl could ever wish for.

Source: Medium.com

How I Got My Groove Back

How I Got My Groove Back After My Divorce

I believe that things have energy, and that we give objects energy through the memories and feelings we associate with them. I recently admired the Rolex of a man I’ve been dating. He said he’s been wearing it every day for 25 years, ever since he bought it with the money from cashing in the engagement ring that he’d given a great love — and was later returned.

“I wonder if subconsciously you hang on to that heartbreak by wearing that watch every day,” I said. “Maybe if you swap that one out for a new watch, you will finally find the wife you’ve been looking for.”

“That’s heavy,” he said, and smiled. “Maybe.”

About a year after my husband and I separated, I realized it was time to buy a new mattress. Sure, there was the perpetual sag that left me with achy muscles each morning, no matter how many times I flipped that sucker. But more than that, a bed is a bed. A marital bed is a marital bed. Where all kinds of things happen between a couple. Tender talk. Dreams shared. Bitter arguments that were indeed not solved before going to sleep. Adult things, of course. Mundane things, like folding laundry and sharing aloud from magazines under bedside lamps. The dull ache of missing the other person’s breathing when he is away on business. Hours and hours of energy spent as a married couple on that mattress.

Swapping out that Serta and its ex-shaped sweat stain was more than just indulging in a sweet plush pillow top that promised a good night’s sleep. That purchase was about accepting that my marriage was over. That chapter of my life was done. I needed to pack away all those sweet and nasty memories and move forward. Put that part of my life to bed, as it were.

So I did. Even though money was not flush at that time, I filed this expense under “health” as I believe quality sleep is critical one’s well-being, especially as the mother of two very young children who was not getting a whole lot of sleep. I also wasn’t getting a whole lot of sex.

I didn’t stop at the mattress. One of the countless things my ex-husband and I fought about was bedding. I prefer crisp white linens, while he hated anything without color. While we both loved the taupe raw silk coverlet from ABC Carpet and Home, I traded in all my bridal bedding for all-white everything. Virginal white.

ALSO SEE: #ThrowbackThursday I Listen to Strangers’ Conversations and Give my Opinion…In My Mind

And then something happened: Sure, I slept like a log. But something else.

I got a boyfriend.

And I started to have sex.

Fantastic sex.

All the time.

And while that relationship ended after a year, I have had the most wonderful time dating since my divorce. Sometimes on my new bed.

Recently my enthusiasm for post-divorce exploratory dating has been on the wane. I looked around my bedroom to see what else might be clutching tight to negative vibes. Old vibes. And I see that everywhere I look is old paint. Paint from when my husband lived in this bedroom with me. There are nail holes we pounded together to hang a beloved Indian bridal tapestry. Water stains from a storm that canceled a weekend trip to Philadelphia. Scrapes and mars that happen with life. A life together.

And so I made an appointment with a painter. To freshen the place up a bit. But also to freshen up the energy. Pack away some old and welcome the new. My bedroom doubles as a home office, and I hope the paint will also bring in some new business and more money. Money I may invest in a new watch for a certain someone.

Source:  Dailyworth.com

strangers' conversations

#ThrowbackThursday I Listen to Strangers’ Conversations and Give my Opinon…In My Mind

Remember how one time I told you I listen in to strangers’ conversations and give my opinion in my mind? You also remember how we all agreed it is only human? Ehen…

So, yesterday, I went to see Heartbeat the Musical (It was fantastic), I sat behind a couple and heard them arguing before the show started. Here is “our” conversation below:

Male: You don’t hug someone you don’t know that well like that is what I’m saying.

Female: (cuts in) How do I hug him? Side hug? C’mon nowwwww.

Me in my mind: Yea, me too. I hate side hugs. It’s childish.

Male: But I’m telling you I didn’t like something and you’re telling me to “c’mon now”. Are you for real?

Female: I don’t see any reason for you to be uncomfortable. When I give your friends full hugs, you don’t complain.

Male: My friends don’t squeeze your boobs tight when you hug them.

Me in my mind: LMAOOOO. Jealousy oshi.

Female: (Laughs out loud)

Me in my mind: Exactly. Very funny.

Female: Okay I’m sorry. Ma bi nu (I’m sorry). (She pulls his head closer to hers and gives him a forehead rub.)

Me in my mind: Awwwwwww!

Female: I won’t hug someone I don’t know that well like that again.

Male: You should have just said that instead of arguing.

Me in my mind: SMH!!! Babies!

Female: (Rubs his head more and gives him a peck) I’m sorry oooooo.

Male: (Shakes his head and Smiles)

Female: (Brings out her phone to take a selfie)

Me in my mind: Awwwwwwwww!

Male and Female start talking about snapchat.

I lose interest.

Musical begins.

This is my public opinion on the matter. I hate half hugs, I feel like half hugs are childish. Like why hug from the side? Can everyone hug like adults?

The only thing is, I worry about some men and their pervasive ways. Even though I give full hugs, I try not to hug some men too tight. Why? Some men hug you so tight and spend far too long pushing against your boobies. I find this really classless and extremely inappropriate. Anyone who has tried this with me never gets a hug again, just handshakes and a very nasty side eye…for being a creepy worm!

This post was first published on the 4th of September 2017.