Becoming a Professional

For the past month or so, I’ve been browsing through jobs, and trying to grow my resume. I was startled by my lack of material. As we continue to grow older, we become aware of the plights of the ‘real world’. I’ve come to both appreciate and disdain the financial support I’ve continued to have from my family. Yes, it was nice going through the majority of my college experience without having to penny-pinch, but at the same time, I’ve damned myself as a viable candidate for many employment opportunities. Whereas my college profile is exemplary, my employment history is lackluster. Reasonably so, I was really kicking myself in the behind for it. But, recently, I was given some really good advice from a successful business professional.  He taught me that you should never look at yourself as a less-deserving applicant. His exacts words were, “So, you think the other person should get the job over you?” Of course, to this I passionately replied, “No!” We spoke for nearly an hour on the topic, and I came to realize that half the battle is mental state.

Confidence carries far. You have to learn to sell yourself. The key to any successful business is promotion and marketing. My advice: think of yourself as a business. What’s your objective? Do you want to fail or succeed? If you’re looking for success, then do you want to break-even, or be prosperous? These seemingly simple questions can make the biggest difference. Truth is, many of us don’t necessarily know which direction we want our lives to take, and that’s completely okay. Having a vague goal, is still a goal.

Ask yourself the right questions to get motivated for an interview or even while writing that daunting cover letter. Let your first impression be one that lasts and sets you apart from others. Take a break from your job search rather than spending hours working on applications non-stop, especially if you start seeing that negative mindset rearing its ugly head. Simplify, analyze, realign, and then resume.

One of the keys to the human experience is the interaction that we have with others. I hope that I have been able to help some of you by sharing my thoughts and experience.  I’ll leave you today with a hackneyed quote, “Keep calm, and prosper.”

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Back and Bold

blogentry_nabilaIt’s been a REALLY long time since I’ve blogged (both on here and my personal blog). Many of you don’t know me in real life; in fact, I imagine the majority of you don’t. But, here’s a quick update. I’ve always struggled with my personal life a lot. Since my last entry, I have gone on a difficult yet amazing journey. Within the past year, I’ve lost a lot of who I thought I was, and I’ve gained a humble sense of who I am today.

The truth is, we hold an imperfect view of ourselves within our minds, whether it is negative or positive. I recently read something about how we’ve never actually seen our physical appearance in person, only in reflections. It reminds me that that rings true in our personalities as well.

I digress, though. I’m delving into philosophical discussion now. I get distracted so easily. What I’m trying to get at, is that we all have unique journeys. We all have pain and joy, and hardship and victory. But, what makes us better people, is the ability to recognize that we’ve all been dealt different cards. Humility and acceptance were my saviors. I am who I am, past and all.

Life is what you will make of it. So, choose to make the best of it. Your struggles have made you into the person you are today. They should be pillars of strength, not the basis of a broken foundation. My advice today is to find peace within yourself. Find peace with your demons, and lay them down to rest. They’ll struggle to rise again, but you’re stronger than that. Your mental fortitude will be the beginning of your success.

Organization: Easy way to remember what to do

I would really like to start this entry by apologizing for not posting for a while. I got caught up in my schoolwork and life got hectic.

HOWEVER, I haven’t let any of that bring me down and I hope that you won’t either. “[Get on up when you’re down, keep on moving anyway]”

I’ve been working on SO many projects this summer, it’s astounding. I know, I know. It’s mostly normal for me to get my creative on, but really, I haven’t been able to lately because of my busy schedule. And that’s what brings me to the topic of today’s entry: organizing your life so you can find time to unwind. No more “I don’t have the time for it.”

For those of you that are night-owls and late-risers, CHANGE YOUR HABITS.

I’ve always been a morning person, but when things get overwhelming, I like to sleep in. You think it would do me some good, but NOPE. I just end up feeling worse for the rest of the day! What is that nonsense?! I find that I can get a whole lot more done if I’m up early. I’m so productive! There’s just so much time to do so many things.

Okay, so that’s step one. Waking up early enough to seize the day.

What’s step two? I say, make yourself a rudimentary schedule. Not something exact, but something more like an outline, a to-do list of sorts. Before you go off jotting things down in a planner, let me stop you. Don’t do it. Put your schedule up in a more visible area. If you really don’t want to spend “a lot” of money like me, you might be interested in what I did. Well, in truth, my brother was kind enough to do it for me. He bought some Solid White Tileboard from Home Depot to use as a white board. $16 for 4 ft X 8 ft. Yeah, I know, the possibilities are endless. If you really don’t want/need that much, see if you can find a friend to go halfsies with you, or, better yet, surprise them with it. Most people really like a planning space. After you’ve got your tileboard (have them cut it smaller at the store if you don’t want the full piece, they do it for free for the first 3 cuts), get some mirror clips and put the thing into your wall. You’re set. See? Simple. And, guess what? You just got some relaxation time from your worries. Projects and hobbies are the best stress relievers.

Well, now you’re ready. You’ve woken up early and you’ve got yourself a planning space. It’s time to start planning. Schedule your day. No, I don’t mean hour to hour, minute to minute. I mean, sit down and thinking about it. First put up your work and/or school schedule, then try putting up a grid with Sharpie on those constants so you can erase and fill those at your leisure without worrying about having to redo it constantly. Done. Leave the rest of the board clear and Sharpie-free. You want an area where you can jot down ideas and tasks that aren’t constant. I keep myself a couple of reminders and a to-do list for the week. Things that can be done at any time, you just have to give yourself a reminder to do it. It’s the same concept as having a magnetic list on your fridge. You have responsibilities and it’s not always easy to remember all the things that you have to do. In fact, for me it all seems to slip my mind. This little project was a life-saver. Once again, I applaud my brother on this one. Maybe there’s a little crafter in him, too.

Average your leisure time in your head, when do you have a couple hours to yourself. Usually, it’s not a whole lot, maybe a couple of hours a day. If your schedule doesn’t allow you to do much, try something simple. Cook yourself a nice dinner while watching a TV show. Letting your brain unwind and relax does wonders for the way it works. In fact, I find that I retain more information if I have background noise while studying. I put on a show I like and pull out my books and study while it plays.

 

 

Depression: Overcoming it the simple way.

“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.”  ~Victor Frankl

Have you ever had that overly encompassing feeling that things are getting nowhere? That your life is at a dead end? I wish I could’ve gotten that sinking feeling out of my gut for that last couple of months. Trust me; it doesn’t have to feel that way and you’re not alone.

I’m not a shrink any sort of way, but I’ve definitely been where you are right now. It’s not pleasant. It’s downright de-motivational. Things seem like they’re in a whirlwind and life is passing you by. In fact, it all feels so overwhelming that you feel like there’s no way out.

I found out the hard way how to solve my issues. I had to hit rock bottom, accept the status quo, and then slowly I began to reemerge. I have to crawl before I run. Baby steps, but I’ll get there.

I found that breaking down the process to recovery has been helping. Here’s my fool-proof  method. (SO FAR!!)

Depression: Overcoming it the simple way.

  • Step 1: Identify the problem. What is the cause of your depression?
  • Step 2: Brainstorm the solutions at hand. Can’t do this because you’re negative? Call a friend. Talk to a family member. Having a sounding board is a great thing to have.
  • Step 3: Choose a solution and stick to it. Choose the one that seems the most attainable. If that, too, fails, have a backup plan. Do NOT get discouraged.
  • Step 4: Build a timeline for your goal. What do you have to do to salvage the situation? Bullet-list them and then attach deadlines to each.
  • Step 5: Stay positive. Stay busy.

True, sometimes problems have a way of working themselves out, but if you’re unhappy, the worst thing you can do is leave it up to the universe. You have to put in the effort to see the change.

I know this entry of mine is a little different from my typical upbeat style, but I felt like the topic at hand needed to be taken in a serious manner. Depression is not something that should be cast aside lightly. Many of us have faced it at least once in our lives, and some of us have lost the battle. I’d like for those of you that are facing tough times right now know that you’re not alone. There’s always someone there willing to listen to you. If you don’t have any friends or any family that you can open up to, contact me. I will be your pen pal. Don’t let yourself become just another voice in the wind. YOU can do this. YOU can get through this. You’re always much stronger than you seem.

One last thought before I wrap this up; if you are suicidal or know someone that is, please get them help. Take them to see a professional.

 

Introduction

A ‘Simple’ Introduction

Originally when Mikey asked me to contribute the site I was really hesitant. I put it off and forgot about it for nearly a year. I knew he kept up with it pretty regularly, and I always read his entries and even retweeted a couple of the quotes that I liked. But, all in all, I never made the effort to do anything for the site myself. I gave roundabout answers and definitely didn’t pursue a commitment. Somehow something changed for me within this year though; when we discussed it again a couple of months ago, I pushed back my fears and decided to write.

You see, I’m not a writer in profession, and I’m not a positive person by nature. It seemed pretty odd for me to write for a blog that was about inspiration. The way I viewed it, inspiration was largely linked with positivity. How in the heck am I supposed to give others hope when often enough I have none myself? Nonetheless, I gave it a shot. I enjoy writing and I felt like my love for it would shine through somehow.

The first article I wrote gained very few views and I felt pretty distraught over it. It was almost as if the readers could see straight into my soul. They knew my heart wasn’t in it. There was no connection. I’ll admit, it wasn’t my best literary piece, but, despite that, I wanted to know my voice was heard. It’s so strange how that is. We’re all struggling in our own ways trying to be remembered. Whether it be through our words or our actions. Isn’t that what life is about? Making a difference?

This past year has really taught me a lot about myself and the world around me. I’ve struggled through a lot. I started my own business, quit a job with a difficult boss, struggled with rapid amounts of weight gain (20 pounds in one semester), and there always was and will be the eternal strenuous situation with my family. Really, the list is endless. The fight through it all is what brings me here today, though. My perseverance taught me so much and helped me grow into the budding adult that I am.

I’m young, possibly younger than many of you, yet the things I’ve encountered have been less than pretty. We all have our problems, but the battle through it is what gives us hope and inspiration. My lack of positivity isn’t my crutch for my column. In fact, I think it’s my advantage. That realization is what changed my view on this literary journey.

The second article I wrote was definitely different in all aspects to the first. I began to write more casually. I dropped the newspaper style and I wrote from the heart; I wrote on a topic that came from my experience. Within the first day of publishing that second article, I realized that honesty really was the best policy. It wasn’t about gathering a following; it was about letting my life and advice shine through my words. I genuinely felt good after writing that entry.

Personal growth can come in many forms. This blog has allowed to me live and learn and dictate my struggles. There’s no need for a therapist when you can express yourself to a crowd with a veil on yourself. I hope that my reflections can help you on your journey through life. Remember that life is a journey that is based on the decisions you make, not the one’s others make. There’s a quote that I really love from The Wedding Date, “Every woman has the exact love life she wants.” And I always adjust it to “Every person has the exact life that they want.” I find that it’s true. Sure, there are things that we don’t ask for, but there’s always room for improvement. Be that change. State of happiness is always contingent to state of mind.

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Simple fact: Men don’t understand women (a man’s guide to understanding us and a women’s guide to dealing with them)

 

We, as women, tend to get riled up when a guy doesn’t pay attention to us. Let’s not deny it, ladies.

Here’s a scenario.

You’re talking about your day, how this or that happened at work or something about your mother, you expect a response. Instead of that, you get silence… [insert cricket chirps here] “Were you even listening??!” And here starts the fight. It usually goes something like this:

  1. Apoplectic Woman Fit
  2. Self-righteousness from both parties
  3. “Babe you’re psycho.”
  4. Apoplectic Woman Fit
  5. “Calm down!”
  6. Apoplectic Woman Fit
  7. Sighing and then “Why are you so upset about this?”
  8. Sobbing reasoning
  9. “Okay, I’m sorry. I didn’t know that I was being that way.”

It’s not that he’s not listening; it’s that he doesn’t know it’s important to you. If a man loves you, he doesn’t stop at that self-righteous stage. He makes the effort to make things right. Sure, it takes them a while to get there a lot of the time, but he does care enough to make the effort. If he didn’t, he wouldn’t put himself through those “Apoplectic Woman Fits”. Now, if he doesn’t make that stage of effort, he’s not worth your fit. Move on instead of subjugating yourself to it every time.

All that being said, understand your man and you’ll understand how to deal with them. That scenario shouldn’t happen every night, and if it does, this might be the time to admit that there’s something wrong with your relationship. He’s either not putting effort to correct the situation, or you’re too sensitive. Or maybe, it’s both. TALK ABOUT IT CALMLY. I can’t stress that enough. Calmly. Don’t get emotional when discussing it, at least not till the end of it. Quit the theatrics and try to deduce the problem and make changes to provide a solution.

Personally, I’m very sensitive; I get caught up in the moment of the dramatics. It’s true, and it pains me to admit it. Often, much like my brother says, I need to calm the Hell down. A guy is just as complicated as a woman, despite the fact that they deny it. They hole up their feelings, and they don’t put much effort into caring about much. Society dictates that to be men, they can’t be soft. Unfortunate, but it’s the standard that we Americans stand by. Knowing that, women need to give their men some leeway. Just like us, they have an image to live up to. With us, we need to keep up physical social appearances. With them, they’re held to a mental indifference for social acceptance.

We may say we want an emotionally connected man, but let’s face it; we don’t want a man that cries all the time or throws fits because we don’t compliment them. A man pays us pretty compliments but most of the time we rarely pay them any. We expect it of them but they don’t expect it of us. I’m going against all the women libbers out there. But women and men are different. Simple. They’re not all heartless bastards. They just view the world a lot differently than we do.

A man compliments you if he likes you. Don’t be offended if he calls you sexy instead of beautiful. He’s merely remarking on the fact that your body IS beautiful. Take the little things in as compliments, he says things like “you’re sweet” when you do something nice for him or he puts his arm around you and kisses you on your face in any place other than your mouth. Those are subtle compliments from men. It says you’re exactly what they want.

Ladies, let men have their time to themselves. Don’t be clingy. Encourage him to spend a night out with his friends while you plan your own night out. Doing it the same night, avoids conflict. A healthy couple doesn’t absorb every second of their time with each other; they make an effort to carry out their own lives while carrying out a life together. Think of it as a term paper, take a short break and then get on back to it.

Guys can be dumb, but they’re not psychic either. When they’re not reading our subtle clues on how we feel, we think they don’t know us. That’s not necessarily true. In fact, it’s usually that they’re not that perceptive. They can’t tell that we’re upset because they don’t read minds! Women are typically better at reading and judging emotions. We know when to say “what’s wrong” or “are you sure?” It’s not the guy’s fault. Men only have emotions on one side of their brain. Women have them on both. We’re keener to emotions in general.

The solution, be straightforward. Tell them! “Hey, I not okay with you going out with your friends and getting drunk.” But tell them why! Don’t slight them with just that. Then you look psycho. Explain. “I really need you tonight. I’m not feeling very confident and it would make me feel better if you held me and showed me that I’m beautiful.” Make your man feel better about skipping a night out, throw a compliment in there that makes him feel like you need him because he’s amazing. “Nothing else makes me feel happier than you being with me.” Like us, men want to feel wanted. If he loves you, he’ll make you happy. But DON’T say things like that if it’s not true! Honesty is always the best policy, but most of all, men respond to logic.

Speaking of honesty, let’s look at one more truth. Men like hobbies and they get consumed by it. Whether it be football, video games, or even something like comic books, they like their little distractions from reality. Don’t be mean about it. Let him enjoy his delusions. We can talk to our friends and mothers about our emotions; all they have is their distractions. They like to absorb themselves in something that makes them happy. So, let them be happy. Encourage them in their happiness. Show your man you love them. They’re just as self-conscience as you are. You miss them and wish you would get more attention? Try joining him once in a while. Make him some snacks when he’s watching his games. Get them a display case for their collection. Show that YOU care. They want you to accept them and love them as they are. You wouldn’t want any different for yourself.

Respect your man and respect yourself. STOP BEING SELF-RIGHTEOUS. We’re different. We were made differently for a reason. A man and a woman can only complete each other when they understand each other. So make the effort to. Be calm and try to see the reasoning behind it all. Don’t jump to conclusions.

Men, take a moment to try to understand your lady. She wants compassion. It doesn’t take much effort to give it to her. I promise, your guy friends will probably never hear about it. And if they do? Make sure their women hear about it too. It’ll make you look like the rockstar.

 

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Simple Pleasure #1: Obtain a Bestie

Bzzt, bzzt, bzzt

I look down at the cracked cell phone within my reach. Who is it; interrupting my quiet complacency with the world?

I look back at my romance novel, hoping the noise will st…

Bzzt, bzzt, bzzt

Irritated I grab my phone and unlock it with a grimace on my face only to feel a sense of warmth and happiness as I see who it is. A simple text with a deeper meaning: “Hey, just wanted to check up on you and see how you were doing.”

A quick reply and I pull out my laptop to type this.

We make so many decisions in life. We make them undoubtedly by ourselves, even when things seem dictated to us.  Who we are and who we surround ourselves with make the difference. Family, friends, lovers, each play a specific role in our lives and drive us toward the path we end up on. The course changes, the people change, but the nature of this truth does not.

God gives us obstacles, trying times. Often we struggle in attempt to reach our destinations, goals if you will. A lost few claim to be without direction, without goals. I am one of them. However, my difference is that I am also blessed with friendship.

My best friend has been my rock. I’ve not had the pleasure of having a family that understands nor supports me. My guidance came in the guise of trial and tribulations. Which brings me to this little bit of wisdom that I wish to bestow on you: live, laugh, love but never forget friendship.

No one is your master but yourself. God gave us free will, to make our own decisions and to deal with their consequences.

Truth is that life isn’t easy. Often more than not, we feel alone. My trick? Find yourself a best friend. One that is true, irreplaceable, loving, caring, understanding; really, the list goes on.

A true friend will never express doubt in you. They will not be untruthful despite fearing your objections, nor will they turn around and say ‘I told you so’. They’ll stand by you when you’ve botched it all up and hold you while you cry. They’ll pick you up and help you keep living. In time, they’ll laugh with you as you think back on it.

God’s gift to the world is friendship.

Sure, not all besties are as perfect as mine. But, think upon this when you meet someone and draw them close; will they stand by you regardless? And will YOU stand by them? What drives your friendship?

We tend to latch onto those that we see regularly; friends we’ve made at school, work, a coffee shop, places that we frequent. But imagine yourself in a different place than now; will they make the effort to be your friend then?

I’m not a shy person; I like to think that I make friends quite easily. However, the friends I make are mostly fillers, people to occupy my time and heart for the time being. I know that things will change, and people will change. Regardless, I know that the friend I made in Mikey will never change. We talk less and less every day. We get caught up with our lives, our careers, and our drama. Despite it all, that blue moon when we get to talk, we both know everything will be okay. Life goes on.

Only God knows where life will take us. But we know how we’ll wind up: getting together once a year, talking about our success, our pain, and our futures. No matter what, that equation will not change.

Friendship should not be parasitic, one person leeching onto another. It should be like the relationship between bees and flowers, mutually advantageous; each entity encouraging the other to grow and prosper. I’ll admit I’m not well-versed in the true relationship between bees and flowers. Bear with me though; it’s a simile at best.

Embark on the journey of this world with someone by your side, a lover and a fighter both. Hold them up as they hold you. Together, you will do what seems impossible. It’s unlikely that you’ll find them tomorrow, and it’s unreasonable to search for them. Learn to laugh and find pleasure in friendships, rather than using it as an outlet. Struggle to live but never forget to love.

It is my experience that leads me to this conclusion. There is a best friend in everyone, but both parties must be willing to fight. There will be ups and downs, but through the good and the bad, they’ll be there.

Find your bestie and hold on tight. You’re stuck with them for life. And lastly, good luck in your journeys. Friendship is never easy.