Hot girl or hot mess?

Ladies… I know its’s 2019 and we are in the midst of our hot girl & City girl summers. I know that in today’s times we think very highly of ourselves, our financial stability, and the value of our time. I am genuinely here for all of it. The girl boss entrepreneurship and attitudes, and the transparency of our standards is amazing to see. However, this confidence does not replace one small but important factor: nobody owes you a damn thing. I know Megan Thee Stallion said “yeah I’m in MY bag but I’m in his too”…. but some of y’all forgot the “MY bag” part.

I encourage every woman around me and every woman reading my blog to require from a man what you require from yourself. It’s important to be equally yoked and for your requirements, wants, and needs to be met. But what is NOT okay is that some of us carry this mentality of looking at a man as a check and overlooking good men because they aren’t offering to pay your rent. I’m never opposed to a man wanting to take care of me, but I don’t find it okay or the least bit flattering if that’s what’s happening and I can’t take care of myself. It’s one thing if you’re down bad temporarily and the man in your life offers to help you out.

But more and more over social media I see women talking about requiring men to pay for their every expense. I’ve seen arrogant statements about certain women not even wanting a man to call them unless it’s about paying some of her bills. Statements like that are why I feel genuine love is hard to come by. A man helping to take care of you is the icing on the cake. The cake itself is the important qualities like compatibility, love languages, and common goals, which are being over looked. Then as a result of this mind set men my age are walking around thinking everybody wants something from them.

I think some of us have taken the lyrics of today’s female rap artists and ran with it in the worst way. I think the bigger picture here is to boss up and expect stability from yourself then require it from someone else. There is nothing hot girl-esqe about not being able to support yourself but requiring another individual to, in return for your time. We have to stop acting like having a vagina is all we have to offer and that because of it a man should pay up and worship us. Unless you’re looking to live a sugar baby or escort lifestyle (which I am not judging at all, get it how you live girl. I respect everyone’s hustle and look down upon no one.) leave it out of your relationships.

Your love interests and boyfriends are not a bank, they’re not your pimp, they’re not your father and you look like a bum treating them as such when you can barely pay to get your own nails done. Get realistic and decide what you actually want. Do you want a boyfriend ? Do you want a check ? Do you want both ? Figure that out before you call the next man a bum for wanting to take you on a real date instead of taking you shopping on your first encounter. Something else to consider is the position you are putting yourself in.

If your relationship is centered around money and you, yourself barely have any… that never ends well. The amount of stories I’ve heard of where women wind up stuck in a relationship they’re unhappy with because they are living off of a man and have no other option is ridiculous. When you move in with a man make sure you have the means to exit that situation in case it doesn’t work out. If a man does love you and value you enough to pay your bills make sure regardless you can still have the means to pay them in case the day comes that you no longer want to deal with this person or they decide they no longer want to deal with you.

Even more importantly think of the power you lose when you don’t have your own. You give men a lot of power over you when you’re driving in what he paid for, your living in his home, and living a certain lifestyle with his money. There are certain men who will use their financial power to control you or keep you. Men like this will view you as a possession rather than a person.Truly ask yourself if that is worth any amount of money or perks ? You can’t be a boss b*tch with a bank account that is in the negative while also living a lifestyle that is completely funded by someone who can decide to stop catering to your financial needs at any time.

Have your own and require someone to meet you at that level. If he happens to have it more together than you and wants to spoil you it’s a plus. But don’t stop your grind and the potential you have for anyone. Don’t allow these lyrics to have you stuck and using your femininity as your only means of income. Value yourself and your mind just as much as you do your female power. I’m not saying it’s bad to allow someone to spoil you. I think all of us deserve that kind of love. But make sure with a man present in your life or not that you are taken care of. Always always always have your own and spoil your damn self! I promise every man you come across will respect you more. It’s a lot harder to keep a woman who can’t be be bought. A real man will rise to the occasion.

Xoxo,

Nori

Creating with mindfulness and Intention: Shades of Pink turns 1

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Photo’s by Joel Ismont

Happiest of Birthday’s to my shade babes (a belated one to say the least, which is due to me getting my shit together for myself and for this blog). The best gift my blog could have possibly received was the major support and love that comes in the form of views and the positive words sent to me through comments and messages every day (even when I’m not posting, which absolutely warms my heart in a major way). I can’t say thank you enough. All of this love and support has kept me driven and put me in the position to monetize off of my blog. Thus far I am putting all of that money towards making Shades of Pink an even better experience for all of you. Through the ups and downs of being a new up and coming lifestyle blogger and being a twenty something here’s what I’ve learned during my time away:

The theme of “intention” seems to be really big in my life right now. I have learned in a few different aspects of my life, that nothing will change or improve until you move with intention. I used to think that mindfulness only applied to coping with anxiety and dealing with self when you are in a state of stress. But that is far from true. Being mindful opens your eyes to how you are living and coping out in the world. I am a firm believer that the mind and the body mirror one another. They send the conscious messages about what is going on in your subconscious. The subconcious is our ultimate truth underneath it all. Some of us are more in tune with this truth than others, naturally. But I think at some point or another that mindfulness beats our ass so crucially at some point or another that we have no choice but to shut up and listen. That without a doubt is mindfulness at it’s finest.

As a creative, being mindful (or not) affects your business and your brand both negatively and positively when we let it.  But furthermore it is a gateway drug to emotional intelligence (the best drug there is..let me tell you). I’ve kind of taken some time for me in the midst of figuring out who I am as a creative and what I want to do with my blog and my brand. Increasing my mindfulness and actually being able to identify what it is that I am feeling about myself, the people around me, and what I am doing with my life has given me an even bigger plan for Shades of Pink than what I initially started out with. I started with a small goal for myself and my potential, and now I have a plan. After getting myself together mentally, emotionally, and physically I can set my intentions. I know more often than not the cluttered mess in my mind and lack of time management is what keeps me from being consistent in my projects.

I had to remind myself the other day that when I first began working on my blog last year I actually had way more on my plate than I do now. What made me slow down was the pressure I felt to be the best at everything I was doing instead of being mindful of what MY best was. Understand this: THERE IS A DIFFERENCE. What feels good to me and what is standard for society and those we feel the need to impress are two totally different things. What you think is being required of you is not YOUR best. That’s someone else’s standard. That’s someone else’s best. What is expected of me by my peers, loved ones, and what society is projecting on to us is not necessarily going to be what I want for myself in the grand scheme of things. I have multiple driving forces in my life that cause me to spread myself thin and opperate like a chicken with my head cut off. For some creatives like myself, having the time to focus in on one thing is the hardest part.

It also doesn’t help that the world tells us what success is and then we feel disappointed when the success or achievement we reach doesn’t make us feel full. Through this realization and through excessive amounts of FOMO (fear of missing out). I know what my best is and I know what success means to me. Success and how we define it is a very personal thing. I have a better understanding of what is priority in my life right now because of falling on my ass a few times and feeling disappointed. It’s necessary. It’s necessary to go through the motions so that we can understand them fully. The hardest part can be figuring out how to verbalize what it is that we are feeling. For the longest time I’ve felt like I’ve been working way harder than those around me, yet I was feeling like I was missing the mark. My achievements were no longer doing it for me. The bigger picture was: I was falling short somewhere.

I’ve busted my ass for a credential (for teaching) and for my current grades with in my actual major (mass com) that made me feel like complete shit afterwords because of lack of sleep, little to no self care, and ignoring my mental health just to get an A in a class I don’t really care about when it’s all said and done. Then in the midst of that my blog posts are far few and in between and so is my YouTube content. I had a social life that was completely lacking (but is slowly but surely becoming more of a priority again), I had no time for a significant other, and I was barely spending time with my family. But during this process of going through the motions and realizing how I felt, underneath it all I felt burnt out and spread thin. I felt like I was being mediocre in all the other areas of my life that were important to me and what I feel my true purpose is.

By no means am I saying screw your education. I know a degree is worth a lot these days and it can save your ass on many occasions, as well as being an asset to financial stability. But I’ve learned that to me, my worth is not determined by a degree. Attaining a degree does not come before my mental health, and most importantly it will never mean more to me than this right here. With the understanding I have now, there are a lot more moments where I am facing a school v.s. self dilemma, and I choose myself. I choose to get the sleep I need and turn an assignment in a day late when it’s necessary. I choose a little less study time so I can get myself together after a hectic day. Sometimes I’m going to do C+ work so that I can cater to my blog. But I’ve learned that it’s okay for me to do so. If anything, its NOT okay to run myself into the ground for a grade. A degree will help further what I want to do but it’s not the end all be all for me. I’m no longer afraid of getting a B or a C. I’ve come to terms with the fact that I won’t be the best at everything. But as long as I’m the best in the areas that are everything to me, I’m able to feel full.

With less than a year left of college I know where I stand with what I want and with that being said, my priority is myself. I won’t keep spreading myself thin and missing out on what is important to me. I am challenging myself to make more time to get a better balance on what works for me. I think that’s something all 20 somethings are searching for. How do we balance school, work, passion projects, friends and family, and a love life without losing our minds or spreading ourselves thin? Listen to your body and follow your heart. I would have laughed at that staement a year ago because I am always this “oh so logical, everything has to add up and makes sense” head ass, as I’d like to say. But the mind and body follow one another. If something doesn’t feel right (like your body telling you it needs to rest) listen to it. When your heart tells you something isn’t right listen to it. Work on what is lacking especially when you see signs of it wreaking havoc in your spirit.

I don’t have all the answers as to how to balance life and a busy schedule successfully, but I’ve decided I am dedicated to figuring it out and sharing it with you. I know it starts with intention. I know it starts with being mindful. I know it ends with emotional intelligence and being able to identify how you feel so you can identify what actually works for you and makes you feel whole. This comes with doing things that aren’t fun sometimes, so that you have time to spare. It will come with not being able to please everyone. It will also mean unlearning whatever you thought success was and redefining it for yourself.

As I start my journey, I want to begin with getting back to what I love most. I’m pushing myself to write even more often than before. I’m challenging myself to post every Sunday. I’m challenging myself to share a lot more of this journey of figuring out how to navigate life through all of its craziness. I’m challenging myself to be vulnerable. I want to end this with saying thank you to my friends who push me and are on my ass about me posting and continuing what I started. I also want to remind everyone that it is never too late to change how you think and process the world around you and start new habits. If you have a new habit you wish to create for yourself: Start today. Start where you are. At this very moment do something that will further move you into the direction you need to be in. Even if it’s a small task, get started. Fall back in love with what you do and prepare to have to make the effort to fall in love with it over and over again. The grass is only greener where you water it. To everyone who continues to read and share S.O.P thank you for your love and support. Happy Birthday Shade Babes !

20 something, stressed, and doing her best,

Nori <3

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Me and My Best Friends First YouTube Video!

 

Happy New Year everyone! A video/channel for my blog is still on the way, but sadly my health hasn’t been the best. I don’t do mediocre so I rather feel at my best and give you all my 100% before I release it. In the mean time my channel with my best friend is up and running and ready to go (which was a lot of work on it’s own while I’ve been dealing with this bronchidal infection and juggling my other projects) but I had plenty of help and I’m super excited for what’s to come! I’ve been quietly working hard and you’ll see what I mean soon.  Check out our first video below and be on the look out for a shadesofpink/shadesofnori Q&A really soon!

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An Open Letter to Women

Art belongs to Hippy Potter

The past couple of weeks have been hard for me. I’ve sat on whether I should share my slightly traumatic experience or not or if I was ready…and after sitting on it a while I think I am. It’s more than needed and much bigger than just me. Me and one of my closest friends decided to go out a few weeks ago on a Friday. We specifically were going out because my social anxiety has stopped me from going out completely. I’ve never been a home body but for the past 6 months that is exactly what I’ve become. Something inside of both of us knew going out that night didn’t feel right but since we felt we had already went out of our way to get ready then we might as well.

We spent the night going to a few bars and we stopped at an art gallery. At the last bar where we were at the longest, we had a two drinks and talked to some people we knew. The last thing I remembered was talking to a mutual friend and after that I remembered nothing. 2 drinks in and I am suddenly in the car with my friend and her car is stuck on some train tracks in an area I couldn’t even identify. That part I only remember briefly. Apparently I got upset that my friend started freaking and being completely incoherent (just like me) and I wandered off in the middle of the night having a bad trip off of god knows what. Never in my life had me or my friend blacked out off of only 2 drinks. It was obvious something was slipped into our drinks just based on how we were acting. The fact that all of that had to be relayed back to me and I couldn’t remember anything or who I was around after that point is scary as is.

Luckily I had enough sense to call my mom after wandering off and my friends were able to get to me. The night resulted in me injuring myself and I have tissue damage from a high ankle sprain and I’ve been on crutches for the past two weeks. But the worst part was my sense of peace that has been taken away and the confusion. I am 90% nothing was done to me and that we left at a good time. But reality has set in, in a way I would never wish on anyone. Of course as a woman you know that things like this are serious and can happen to anyone. But you don’t truly think it can happen to you until it does. I always assumed date rape drugs were only slipped into drinks at house parties and Frat events. Never did I think while at a bar with tons of people there, that someone would try something like that in such a crowded place. In a sense I blame myself for being so naive.

But on the other hand I blame the intentions of men. I blame parents that never enforced respect or consent. I blame society for putting out silent messages to men that they are entitled to a woman’s body. I’ve been sad and I’ve been angry. I feel violated and yet I feel grateful. Grateful because I don’t fully know what the intentions were going to be behind that person putting something in my drink. I don’t know how that situation would have turned out had we stayed any longer than we did. I’m glad something told us to leave. But I am saddened to know that this is common. It makes me sad that there are many other girls who weren’t as lucky as me when it happened to them. This situation is so much bigger than me and has opened my eyes immensely. This further emphasizes for me how important it is as women for us to stick together. I have a brother, and he was just as angry as I was when I woke up the morning after. This is why it is so important for more men to be feminists. We need your support. We need good men as allies to call other shitty men on their entitlement and cruelty.

I tried to tell myself that this was no big deal because I turned out fine. But I would be lying if I said I wasn’t jumpy while out or that my anxiety hasn’t been through the roof. It would be dishonest of me to act like I didn’t lose sleep over this some nights or like that gap in my memory of that night doesn’t haunt me. I’ve blamed myself for what happened to my friend and for leaving. I’ve blamed myself for being so trusting. But quite frankly, fuck all of that because I should be able to go out and have fun and feel safe. I shouldn’t have to feel like there is a target on my back when I’m out with a friend to have fun and enjoy myself. Unfortunately that’s the world we live in and I had to learn the hard way that I need to go to more extreme measures of protecting my well being than I had been. I’m okay with rising to the occasion but I ask of all of you to do the same for yourselves and each other. I hope this is something we can all learn from.

To all women,

I sincerely will never sleep on the possibilities of what we go through/could potentially go through again. Never again will I turn a blind eye to when another woman may be in danger or need help. I ask for all of you to check in with your fellow women when you see them out? Pay attention to your surroundings for yourself and for the sake of other women. Tell other women about potentially harmful men. Speak up about your abusers, tell us who they are. I personally would never judge another woman or shame her for coming forth to tell me that a guy I know is known to rape or assault women. We need to make it easier/safer for one another to reach out for support or help. I ask this of all of you because only we truly know what we go through. We read the body language of each other so well. When you see another woman being harassed check on her, walk with her, have 911 on speed dial. Be a source of light and protection in a world where a girl can’t even safely go out with her friend and get a drink. To the men who speak up, who protect women, who respect women, and their consent I salute you and have nothing but love for you.

Sincerely,

Nori <3

My Hair Journey: Why I shaved my head

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Photo of me by Leva Choden

Since deciding to shave my head I’ve gotten a lot of compliments on my short haircuts which are usually followed by the question “but why would you cut off all that curly hair ?” It took me a long time to love my big curly hair but in doing so I also gained some resentment to having it. I got tired of being associated with something that seems so minuscule. I remember going from being made fun of and gawked at for having hair the size of Texas to it becoming a trend that social media influenced others to love thanks to all the curly headed beautiful Instagram models of the world. But long before it was cool to have curly locks everyone was pressured to have sleek straight hair and those of us who didn’t got remedial questions like “why don’t you ever comb your hair?” or “why is it so frizzy?” (obviously because you don’t comb through curls and humidity can make your hair frizzy..). But when people started to love curly hair it became the first thing a person would notice about me and compliment me on. Not to mention my caucasian peers loved to always ask “What do you put in your hair to get it like that?”. The most annoying question in the world, truly.

But it wasn’t just outsiders that made me feel a way. Certain people around me that I knew made me feel as though my hair was who I was when really it was just a small part of me. Like I was so lucky to have a tangled curly mess on top of my head. Yes it was unique and I loved the compliments at times but I spent a lot of my childhood and adolescent years wishing my hair and even hair in general wasn’t an important topic. Yes, your hair is your crown but there is no crown to wear without the person. Which brings me to when I reached a point in my life about a year ago where I felt like I started looking at life from a whole different perspective. What was once important to me no longer had meaning. Things I once dreamed about and obsessed over didn’t impress me once I attained them. I felt empty a lot. I felt like I was a possession rather than a person in a lot of aspects of my life.

A year ago I quit modeling in the professional sense and got out of contract with both of my agencies because I felt like an object owned by a business rather than a person. I felt disrespected and degraded in my work and no amount of money could make me feel better about that. I had worked so hard to get to a point of being taken seriously as a model and once I was around people in the industry I was disgusted with how myself and other models were treated. I hated being on a strict diet and using up my hard earned money on a trainer I didn’t need ( I already looked like a noodle). And ya girl likes food. When I say I was unhappy I was UNHAPPY. I was overworked, I was spreading myself thin, and I was looking for validation in places I would never get it from and truly didn’t need it to begin with. The money and the time spent was not worth it to me anymore and I realized that I had received way more fulfilling jobs on my own. I  felt like I was a possession and not a person..and with enough hard learned lessons I soon found that I was feeling the same way in my relationships.

I was in a relationship with someone who was way more interested in controlling me and tearing me down rather than supporting me and uplifting me. My friendships were based on what I could do for other people. It seemed like everything in my life was a constant power struggle and the person I truly had potential to be was being constantly suppressed, controlled, or overlooked. I noticed I bit my tongue in a lot of situations like as if I had no control because I was often around people and situations that made feel that way (which was entirely my own fault and due to my own choices). I had to reevaluate everything; what I wanted for myself and my life, how I wanted to be treated/loved, and what changes needed to be made to be the happiest version of myself. When I stripped myself of what I knew I felt content in all of these random and brash decisions I was making. I cut all kinds of ties that were holding me back. I gave up things and people that I thought I loved. Detachment became a huge theme in my life, and brought me to the realization that I was no longer attached to my hair or the ideas I was conditioned to believe about myself as a woman.

I wanted to challenge my confidence and start over. I didn’t feel attached to my hair. I didn’t feel like I needed it, and synonymously I didn’t feel like I needed the things and people that I put so much emphasis on. So I hit up a friend of mine, Sergio Miranda who is someone I had always trusted and happened to be one of the best Barbers I know (Follow him on IG and book an appointment @noswagsergio). I figured if I was gonna do this is I was gonna do it right and have peace of mind that I won’t walk out of someone’s shop looking like an avatar. I mentally prepared myself to do it and I dyed and cut my hair a couple times leading up to me shaving it all off. The attachment I had to my hair eventually became nonexistent. I knew this was something I wanted when I first sat in that chair and I saw my hair fell to the floor. I felt lighter. I left the shop feeling like an entirely new person. Although cutting my hair itself was not the exact event that became the changing point of my life it was definitely the start. It was a realization that I was outgrowing who I was and who people portrayed me as. I noticed a lot when I cut my hair. I noticed my posture changed. I noticed that I actually had a deep appreciation for my face without it hiding behind big curly hair.

I noticed how my confidence soared and that I carry myself like someone who is comfortable in their own skin because I truly am. I didn’t feel like any less of a woman without my hair. I actually felt like more of one. I felt the most girly and womanly than I had ever felt in my life. I felt naked but in a good way. I felt like all of myself was being seen. There was a certain vulnerability I exuded that didn’t feel like the scary or uncomfortable kind. I no longer felt like I needed something we so heavily associate our femininity with. We do that as women. We take so much pride in our hair (which we should to a certain degree) that some of us don’t even leave the house or want to be seen when it isn’t done. We damage it and put chemicals in it. We manipulate our hair to look how we are shown and told it should look so that we look “pretty”. It’s great to look nice and feel good but at what point are we satisfied with just us? At what point are we content with what we are naturally given? I had to learn that this is what I was truly given in this life: Some time, a purpose, a soul, and this body that houses my soul. This body that is temporary and will break down one day. But I was also given the ultimate gift…the gift of being a woman.

I am a being who can create life and has natural ability and instinct to nurture and heal those around me because thats what we do. Women are the foundation of love. We exude it and we teach it through being love. As mothers, as teachers, as sisters alike we love so hard that sometimes it hurts like hell. I was onto something: F what the rest of the world is talking about as far as what I “need” because I embody femininity in ways that are way deeper than just physical aspects. I am a woman to my core. That cannot be taken from me and the confidence that came from this realization can’t be stripped from me either. The physical aspect of me got the change I was looking for but none of it mattered until I made some changes to my way of thinking and my attitude towards my identity and my life. The internal change was the most revolutionary. Here I was thinking I was just getting a haircut to be rebellious and go against a concept. But months down the line I was molded into someone with a new understanding. The one thing I have control over in this life is me. I have control over what I allow, who I allow into my life, what direction I go in occupationally, and what treatment I accept. I set the tone for all of my relationships and endeavors.

Doing something as simple as cutting off my hair gave me the courage to take on everything else that once scared me or made me uncomfortable. My comfort zone was where complacency lived and I knew I could no longer be there and grow into who I wanted to be. I have been stepping out of comfort zones ever since. I’ve been a raging b*tch ever since. But in the best way possible. I’m in control in all aspects. I hold my tongue for no one. I don’t tolerate being undervalued or mistreated by anyone. I don’t hesitate to say no or remove myself from situations that don’t suit me or contribute to my growth and my happiness. My happiness has become one of my most prized possessions along with my peace of mind and I’ve pissed a lot of people off trying to preserve it and cater to self. I’m not afraid to start over. I’m not afraid to break my own heart for the greater good and pick up the pieces my damn self. I’ve seen strength in me that I didn’t even know I had but I’ve also experienced a softness about myself I never knew I was capable of. I’ve been being vulnerable and emotionally naked, living my truth unapologetically…not to mention I share it with all of you (I bare my soul on here and it is still the weirdest thing I’ve ever done!). I feel like a pretty flower with the perfect amount of thorns. I now value both my crown and my person even more. You can’t appreciate your crown when you aren’t appreciating the entity that wears it. You aren’t your hair, you aren’t your occupation, and you aren’t the expectations and standards life so inconveniently places upon you.

You are a soul with a body. Not a body with a soul. What are the contents of your soul? What is truly in there and how often do you let that entity navigate the direction of your life ? When your physical state breaks down and you start to prune,  I would hope that your insides still look and feel their best . I would hope that your insides sing harmonies that exude your truth because you lived life making decisions that were best for you. I would hope that a life well lived is carried out through your spirit. I would hope that when you talk to people they admire you in the sense that you are so happy and full that  they want to know your secrete to being that way. I would hope that all of you choose to live out of love and not out of fear. Do everything that makes you uncomfortable. Whatever lights a fire in you, explore that. Let that fire light the way to what could be an amazing experience or a lesson worth sharing. The smallest of things that we do all contribute to our purpose, our exploration of self. That crazy thing you were thinking about doing 20 minutes ago that you talked yourself out of… DO IT.

xoxo,

Nori

Protecting Your Peace 101

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[This Photo does not belong to Shades of Pink. If you know the artist feel free to contact me.]

 

Class is in session ladies and gents! Get out your notebooks, your pens and pencils, and get your life. I’m about to teach y’all how to stop being the victim and attract all that peace you swear you’re lacking (when you really have it right at your fingertips). If you are constantly stressed out, dealing with nonsense, or finding yourself to be easily angered or upset I suggest you keep reading. This one’s for you!  Also, keep in mind this blog is not for the weak and sensitive. So yes, I’m about to tell you about yourself. But relax, it’s all in love and a little tough love ain’t never hurt nobody.

I can honestly say 2017 beat me up and snatched me bald but what I took from it was a game changer. The levels of unbothered I have reached in 2018 makes me question who I am all the time. I don’t know who this girl is that projects all this cool, calm, and collected but I sure do like her! But I didn’t become her without doing the necessary work. First and foremost I want you to start monitoring who and what upsets you. What triggers arguments between you and those around you? What is bothering you to where your mood is always so stank? If any of the answers to those questions had to do with someone else or another force outside of yourself, you have major work to do.

Don’t get me wrong, are there people in your life who bring about negativity and drama ? Sure. Is it possible for someone to have disrespected you ? Of Course. You may even be in a situation spiritually, emotionally, or financially that you’re extremely unhappy with. All of those things are valid and genuine reasons to be upset. But life gets better when we take accountability. What happens to us or what others do may not be our fault but we always have to recognize that how something happened (because you allowed it) and what became of the situation (how you reacted) was all up to you. When I reached a point in my life where I was tired of being the victim I began to own up to how I played a part in my own nonsense. Reflecting and looking at every issue from an “I” perspective changed my temper and my quality of life drastically. It’s easy to place blame on others and to be angry at everyone and everything but yourself in a situation. The reality is the only person deciding your fate and your journey is you. Everything begins and ends with you. So the next time you complain about your life and victimize yourself consider these 3 tips:

  1. Relationship Maintenance

I’m gonna need y’all to go through your relationships the same way you go through your emails and hit that delete button. Be realistic and honest with yourself about whether the company you keep is really aiding to your happiness. A year ago one of my biggest sources of unhappiness was my relationships with others. It took a whole lot of frustration and heartache for me to learn that boundaries need to be set and your inner peace needs to come before any and everything else. Is a relationship or friendship really worth your sanity? HELL NO. And tell anyone who says otherwise they can fight me. Never settle or compromise in that area of your life because you will lose and drain yourself of happiness every time. The most beneficial thing you can do for yourself is monitor your relationships check in sometimes and ask yourself if the company you keep is adding to your happiness or stripping you of your joy? I know better than anyone that the closest people to you can be energy vampires. Your own family can be just as toxic as your ain’t shit boyfriend. Toxicity is all the same it just comes in many forms.

One of the best decisions I ever made was to put myself and my needs before all else. That doesn’t mean being rude or selfish to those that love you, that means knowing what you want and don’t want, then moving accordingly. I didn’t want love to hurt so I left a 6 year relationship. I didn’t want to be miserable so I distanced myself from those who were constantly being negative and ruining a good time. One of which is one of my closest friends. Literally EVERY TIME I was around her there was an issue or she was complaining. She’s an amazing person but geez life is not that damn bad. I don’t love her any less but when I’m on a personal high and life is feeling good I wanna soak that in, not be brought down. So instead of being miserable along with her I love her from a distance and deal with her when I have the patience for it. There are certain family members I only see occasionally because I don’t like the energy they bring. AND IT’S OKAY TO BE SELFISH IN THAT WAY.

Compromising your sanity for others leaves you functioning less than normal in major areas of your life. Don’t allow people to leave you empty. Love is an exchange of energy and power. It should be exchanged equally whether it be your significant other, your friends, your family, etc. If you want to be a source of light in this world you need to be around those who help ignite that within you. If someone is dimming your light let them go or love them from a distance. As much as I hate to admit it, there is some truth to when my mother would tell me “you are who you hangout with”. To a certain extent I disagree because Nori is Nori, and Sally is gonna be Sally. But I think the company you keep and the energy they bring becomes your energy. What you surround yourself with has a way of transpiring over into your life. So ask yourself what you truly want for your life. If you want success and money consider loving your friends who are always broke from a distance. If you want to be the happiest you’ve ever been, you may want to cut off the negative Nancy’s in your life. If you wanna avoid the drama stop hanging out with messy and dramatic friends. You get the picture.

2. Be Happy Rather Than “Right”

I certainly have my moments, but unless provoked I’m usually not an argumentative person. But let me tell you, the right person can bring all of the wrong things out of you. Being in the wrong relationship for years made me not even like the person I was while I was dating that person. But going through all of the toxicity developed the standards I have for myself today and I don’t regret going through any of it. I know that when I’m dealing with a man and he makes me constantly have to step out of character, cuss him out, or I feel like I have to be defensive all the time to protect myself…. it’s a no from me. I like my peace of mind way more than I like these men. I sleep fine at night not going to bed angry, upset, or having to yell at anyone. When my relationship ended I decided I wasn’t going to yell anymore. I gave it up as a New Year’s resolution and to adapt a new way of life. I could yell until my face turned blue and it never made my ex hear me any clearer or want to listen to me more. So I made a promise to myself that I wouldn’t yell at anyone anymore. Not for them, but for me.

Yelling, throwing a tantrum, throwing hands (or for the proper: fighting), is all a huge use of energy that can go towards something positive that’s being used on negativity and pettiness. I’m not at all perfect but I’ll cuss you out while cool, calm, and collected before I let a whole other being (whether it be male or female) stress me out. Being that easily brought out of character shows the kind of control someone has over your emotions and the idea of someone else controlling me was enough for me to want to get it together. I’m not a complete pacifist, because I do believe in self love, and to me loving yourself also means not allowing disrespect. Therefore, I’m not asking you to let people walk all over you or to always turn the other cheek. I’m more so asking you to try diffusing a situation or “letting miserable people stay miserable” (my favorite phrase). What I mean by that is there are some battles you won’t win. Not because you’re losing per say, but more than likely you’re talking to a lost cause and won’t get through to them.

If someone doesn’t want to hear you out or respect how you feel they won’t. Don’t yell, don’t beg, don’t even give them your energy. Let the careless and closed minded remain that way. Leave them to be miserable while you stop dealing with them and do what is necessary for you to be happy. That’s what I mean by being happy rather than right. I rather take my happiness and leave negativity where it’s at while I continue to be happy and stress free. Arguing for the sake of arguing or being right isn’t as appealing when you’ve experienced your own little bubble of peace. When you truly create that for yourself you aren’t going to compromise it for anything or anyone.

3. Take Accountability

I mentioned this in the beginning and I’m saying it again because you will FOREVER think you are the victim until you do it. HOLD YOURSELF ACCOUNTABLE. That toxic relationship you got into: you allowed it. The friend who uses you for money and rides but never supports you in any way or returns any of the favors: you kept them around. The drama you constantly found yourself in: came from the people YOU decide to surround yourself with. These are all decisions you made. The crappy misfortunate events that keep popping up in your life happen because you walk around like you have no control over of YOUR life. Everything is up to you from the company you keep to the actions you allow and don’t allow from others.

But don’t beat yourself up! There is hope for you and you are still blossoming into the beautiful flower you’re supposed to be. But in order to grow you have to be able to function. Flowers grow and function from being watered, exposed to sunlight, and being fed and nurtured from the soil it’s growing in. If you aren’t growing maybe the love you thought you had isn’t watering you in the ways you need. Maybe your friends and family are dimming the light you need to grow. Maybe you planted yourself in the wrong soil and need to uproot yourself. DO WHATEVER YOU NEED TO BE HAPPY. Other’s may not agree or like it but you don’t live for them, you live for you. You have to be happy with the decisions you make. Protect your peace the way you protect your money; with your life. Happiness has never been a destination it is worked at with constant effort. It does not come from other people or entities outside of your being. So the next time you complain about life being shitty or not feeling loved, remember it is you who is running the show and controlling your destiny. Stop allowing yourself to be the victim, take control of life and make it your B/tch!

xoxo,

Nori <3