Sunday, September 7, 2014

30 Layers...30 Days Day 6-7

Day 6: Don’t Fix Me, Love Me. (Name something about your appearance or personality that use to make you feel insecure or inadequate but you have grown to love.  Why are you grateful for it? What changed your perspective?)

I’m perfectly flawed!  I’ve always been small or skinny as most people say!  I wanted to be thicker as society had me thinking that that was the only way “Real” women were made.  I desired legs, butt, hips, breast and all those things appealing.  I would think to myself I would look so much better if I was a little thicker.  I’ve always thought I was cute J but I desired a nice full body as well. I didn’t exercise because I didn’t want to get any skinnier than I already was.  I looked like a lollipop… At least that was the joke.  Big head and little body.  This made me very insecure.  But I knew I needed to embrace who I was.  I’m grateful I can eat just about anything I want and not really have to worry about gaining weight.  Not that I eat any and everything but I’m thankful my life doesn’t have to consist of dieting.  I’m happy I educated myself on exercising and the benefits.  I’m still small but I have a little more definition to myself.  LOL! No more stick pole jokes.  The lollipop jokes just don’t go away.  Life has a way of changing your perspective.  When I decided that what you see is what you get I accepted my small frame.  Honestly, I’m happy I’m petite.  I’m in the best shape I’ve ever been in… I’m happy for all the guys that thought I was cute but I was too skinny! Now, they are either too big or with someone that they complain about being too big.

I’m perfectly flawed! I don’t trust easily.  Growing up I didn’t understand the concept that trust was earned and not given.  I would meet people, get good vibes, and hand over all my trust.  You can only imagine what this has been like over the years.  After having my trust broken time and time again, I finally grasped the concept of trust being earned and not given.  Now, I’m so to trust.  I’m more cautious about opening up, communicating, and sharing me.  I’m not sure if it’s a good thing or bad thing.  Sometimes, it’s unfair to the individual but a girl can only have her trust taken for granted so many times before she begins to guard it with all she has.  I don’t like for people to try and rush me into trusting them.  One thing for certain is when I trust I do so explicitly.  You have to earn it and once you break it, it’s almost impossible to gain it back.  I’m perfectly flawed! Second chances are hard to come by with me.  Don’t fix me, love me! We all have flaws but we all are capable of loving and being loved…Flaws and ALL!  What’s a home without a mess?  What’s a person without flaws? Don’t fix me, love me! I’m perfectly flawed.

Day 7: Gratitude (Make a list of things you are grateful for, specifically focusing on things that you take for granted.  We tend to place a higher value on what we don’t have then what we do.)

About a week ago, I made a post on FB of some of the things that make me happy! I’m grateful for parents that I call daily.  We can get so accustomed to having our parents readily accessible that we take them for granted.  I’m grateful for sibling that I can count on.  They don’t always be in the places that I WANT them to be but they are ALWAYS where I NEED them to be.  More specifically the things I take for granted but shouldn’t, I’m thankful for a place to call home, running water, electricity, employment and my ability to communicate with any demographic… I’m forever grateful that I enjoy writing.  I’m thankful for hot baths after miles of running.  I’m thankful for reliable transportation, big fluffy bath towels, and most importantly peace of mind!

Friday, September 5, 2014

30 Layers... 30 Days... #100 #Representative Days 4-5

Day 4: 100% (Where in your life are you not showing up 100%)

Hmm, this made me really think and it made me sad to report that I’m not giving 100% in any areas of my life.  Although, I exceed expectations most of the time, when I look back I always find an area that I could have given more.  Let’s talk work for a minute.  I know I’m not giving 100% but the work is so non-challenging that I feel like 40% will exceed expectations.  If I say so myself, I do my job well but it doesn’t excite me.  I love the concept but I want a more hands on approach to helping people.  I do more than the bare minimum but I don’t give 100%.  Relationships – I try to give 100% especially when it comes to family and friends but if you read my previous post you will know that I’ve become selfish.  Selfish in the fact that I’m not willing to give 100% of myself for people who are only giving a small percentage of themselves.  I’m sure I could do more to be a better daughter, sister, aunt, cousin and friend but I can’t sacrifice and give more when I don’t get it in return.  Now, my love life is nonexistent these days.  And not because I’m not “trying” to date but because I haven’t come across the right one yet.  Or maybe the right one hasn’t come to me.  Either way, our paths haven’t crossed.  Dreams – the reality that I’m not giving 100% to my dreams makes me really sad.  My biggest problem is patience.  I don’t have any.  Maybe I should say very little.  This is a vast improvement for me.  I know some of my talents but I will quickly talk myself out of executing them most of the time.  And if I do execute them I always do it on a smaller scale than it should be.  However, I made a promise to myself to not let the fear of failing or being rejected rule over me.  I’m totally AWESOME at the things I do, especially when I give 100% and I just have to trust my talent and abilities. J  I will say this year I have been accomplishing things from my vision board.  It’s the best feeling in the world to have a vision posted on a board and to see it manifest!  Okay, I’ll be HONEST! I totally talk myself out of doing some things and definitely saying some things.  Not as much lately though.  Pre-thirties, I did this all the time.  Then I said what the heck… Hence the blogspot…almostunfiltered30. It took me a while to realize that I was responsible for me and no one else was.  So, I needed to be able to say what it was I wanted to say and to whomever.  Umm, not in a disrespectful kind of way but it has to be said.  I feel like there are so many areas in my life where I need to give more and show up 100% of the time.  I’m working on making my presence more known in these areas.  110% is my goal with exceptions.  And during those times I will give what it takes.   Even if it’s 150%.

Day 5: Representative (How is your representative *past or present* different from the real you? Why did you *or do you* feel that she was necessary?)

At 31, what you see is what you get! I haven’t always been that girl! My representative was the girl most people wanted to see but I learned quickly that trying to please people would get me nowhere.  Thankfully, I had parents who taught us how to be individuals.  And as great of a job they did I still found myself not really being myself.  I can be a little too outspoken.  At a point in my life, I didn’t want to come off as the “stereotypical” angry black woman.  But the reality of it is I was trying to conform to who I thought society wanted me to be.  I wanted to be acceptable in the collegiate and corporate world.  I wanted to be a politician so I thought I needed to change who I was.  The reality of it is I only needed to communicate better and with a warmer tone.  Luckily, I have a big sister who I act a lot alike but I noticed the way she communicated was totally different from me.  This was the case even when we felt the same way about things.  I noted that her tone and communication style was warmer and more effective.  She didn’t come off as the angry black woman with something to say but more like the intelligent woman who wasn’t a pushover.  I dropped my representative and let the authentic me shine.  I worked on my communication skills and learned how to say things “politically correct”! ;) In all other situations, I’ve always been me.  What you see is what you get.  I’m happy to report that I no longer feel a need to conform to who society thinks I should be. I have no desire to be anyone but me… Uniquely created.  Allowing a representative to be present in your life is exhausting and drains you of the REAL you.  After a while, you will lose sight of the REAL YOU!  My motto is never change who you are to conform to others but never stop improving the REAL you! 

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

30 Layers...30 Days... Self Discovery! Days 1 - 3

So, I am participating in this challenge: 30 layers... 30 days! It has already been interesting.  I love how the creator of this challenge makes you actually think.  It's a good reflection tool and just a good way to get to know YOU better!  Below are the first three days of the challenge... So far it's been very interesting! :) Enjoy the read and if you are inclined to do so join the challenge!

Day 1: Start. Stop. Continue.

Start: What do you want to start doing? What do you want more of in your life? What feelings, what activities, what energy? What baby steps can you take today? I want to start doing more volunteering with youth or less fortunate.  There is so much to want in life but ultimately I want to live knowing that I have left an impact on many lives.  I love the feeling I get after mentoring or volunteering.  I would love to start doing more things outside of my comfort zone. J  I’ll make a pledge to start incorporating one new activity per month into my schedule.

Stop: What have you had enough of? What are you tolerating or feeding into that is not adding value to your life? What area of your life is begging for more boundaries? I’ve had enough of people letting me down.  Sometimes, I tolerate people’s subpar behavior because of our relationship.  They are a family member, a life-long friend.  I need more boundaries with having expectations of others in my life.  This is the quickest way for me to be disappointed.

Continue: What habits or trends do you want to continue? What’s been working for you? What can you do to ensure you keep it going?  My number habit to continue is running! It’s my sanity when I’m insane.  My ME time when I need it most! It is my outlet to release any negative that may be taking its toll on me.  It is my praying time and my alone time with nature!  Writing is my other outlet.  Both running and writing has been working for me.  I’m sure both will continue.  I always make time for both.  I will rearrange my schedule to ensure I get both done when I feel a need for it! J

Day 2: Joy Snatchers (Narrow it down to your #1.  What can you do to minimize or eliminate this influence? More importantly, do you know and believe that you have the power to do so?)  Sometimes, joy snatchers are so small that I really shouldn’t give much thought to it.  I’m very impatient and sometimes I don’t see the humor in things.  I’m not anal or an asshole but I honestly don’t get the joke sometimes.  I think I can take life a little too serious at times.  I think my number one joy snatcher is expecting people to behave or think as I would.  Okay, let me clarify.  I’m not saying that everyone will do as I do or maybe I am.  This is very contradictory.  I just know that I expect to find the things that I find important just as important to them.  The older I get the more I realize we all have different priorities.  Sometimes, I have a hard time understanding why people do AB&C in situations XY&Z.  I need to move past this and accept that people handle the same situation differently.  More importantly, I need to let people make mistakes and learn from life’s experiences.  The best way for me to eliminate this joy snatcher is to accept that not everyone will prioritize what I find important or approach a situation the same as I will.  Yes, I HAVE THE POWER to change this! Every day, I work on becoming more acceptable and know that I realize it’s a joy snatcher I will be even more conscious of it. J

Day 3: Favorite Mistake (What mistake have you learned the most from?) This is a really hard one.  I thought on it and thought on it.  My favorite mistake probably isn’t really a mistake.  I learned the most about ME when I became selfishly concerned about my needs before others.  Now, I don’t necessarily think it was a mistake but my approach may have included a few mistakes.  I woke up one morning and decided I was tired of being the always available child, sibling, aunt, cousin, friend and girlfriend.  I was becoming a crutch for so many people.  And while doing so, I was stressing and worrying myself over things that others cared nothing about.  I WAS OVER IT!!!! I decided I was a priority and I was tired of being treated like an option.  So, I began focusing on me and what do you know I didn’t really know myself.  I’ll admit it was lonely at first but then I learned how to enjoy my own company.  I didn’t always need to be handling business for someone or solving their problems.  I did more of the things that made me happy… Running! Writing! Cooking! Planning! Playing dress up! Dancing! *I CAN’T DANCE AT ALL*  Needless to say, I fell in love with me all over again! I was my best “mistake”.  I lost a few people that shouldn’t have been on my team anyway.  When I stop benefitting them I was no longer needed in their lives.  Oh well!!! I’m happy and I continue to make my happiness a priority.  I’m selfishly making me happy! And while I’m doing so I continue to learn so much about myself.  Soul searching has been fun, scary and necessary.  I didn’t really know who I was but I knew who I needed to be for everyone else.  It was a relief to be there for me when I needed me the most.  It sounds weird but it’s the truth.  Since selfishly making my happiness a priority I’ve been less stressed and a lot easier to deal with… I even started dating.  Now, that hasn’t been the best experience but I’m hopeful! J

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Remaining Faithful...Hopeful...& Positive

There seems to be so much happening in the world around us.  Some of it is affecting us directly and indirectly.  Needless to say, we are being affected.  These last few months seems like I have been surrounded by death.  Just about everything that I see on the news is NEGATIVE!  And let's not begin with social media.  All of these events make it extremely easy to lose faith, hope, and anything positive.  Sometimes it's hard to focus on the positive things in life when so much negative surrounds you.  I'm learning to surround myself with positive people and thoughts daily.  Life is much easier this way.

Death... My attitude about death changed a while ago.  It's the inexplicable and inevitable.  We know the time nor the hour.  All I can do is make each day count.  This life here on earth isn't guaranteed.  This is easier said than done, depending on the circumstances.  Remain faithful, hopeful and positive.  Cherish your loved ones.  Make memories as no one can take these away from you. Say I love you! But don't just say it...Show them that you mean it!  It has been 27 days since our (my family) world was turned upside down.  I can get through some of my worst days because I have memories of Corey.  Good, great, awesome memories. These things matter.  Send text messages, make phone calls and just cherish each other.

Negativity... I don't know when it became cool to be so negative.  The media, television and social media are draining the life out of people.  That is IF you LET them.  Don't get sucked into the drain of negativity.  Be that sprinkle of faith, hope and positive energy someone needs for the day.  We don't have to ALWAYS be attracted to the negative and the drama.  Spread hope and positive messages.  I like the fact that there's a challenge on FB to post three positive things for seven days on your FB page but also tag three different people daily.  I have found it to be refreshing and a good time for me to reflect on the positive that has occurred during the day.

There's so much to stress about, worry about, fret over, and all that other stuff BUT you can choose to focus on the positive things in life.  A lot of people will say it's hard to do when you have so much going in your life.  Your life could always be worse.  Nothing will change about your situation until you change your way of thinking.  No one has a perfect life.  And if they lead you to believe they do they are LYING! Things will happen...You may lose your job, house, car, loved one, etc but you have to make a decision to remain faithful, hopeful and positive.  Overcome the obstacle(s), learn from your experience, and share it with someone else who needs a little hope and positive energy!

Thankful Thursday! I'm thankful for it all.  I am stronger! I am smarter! I am wiser! I am more faithful! I am more hopeful! I am positive! I know for certain all my NEEDS are being met! #ThankfulThursday

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Grown Up Purchases...House Buying & Ish!

First off, I have totally missed blogging.  Life started happening so quickly and then I was consumed.  Oh wait that sounds like an excuse but it's really what happened.  Here's a quick update on what I've been doing... Running and working out of course.  Running has been my saving grace.  I traveled to Canada to run my first international half marathon <-- blog coming soon.  I celebrated my birthday and had a blast... Then I bought a house! *SIGHS*

I guess I really grew up quickly.  Nothing has made me feel more grown up than signing my name on 90+ pages of documents.  So, it really wasn't my intention to purchase a house so soon and quickly.  I've been waiting for a good time to purchase but I never really thought it was a good time.  So, it went like this... On the phone with a friend and we're talking about an associate of hers that's a loan officer.  I give her a call and she tells me I'm pre-approved. What the what??? Really??? Then my process began.  I wasn't being picky or anything like that I was still amazed that I was even considering.  My first realtor sucked...Like she was horrible! So, she got left behind.  My new realtor was awesome.  She lined up more than enough showings and quickly.  I had already made up my mind that I didn't want to be house poor so I had a set amount I was willing to pay regardless to the pre-approval amount.  I was on a tight deadline... My lease was up on my apartment on June 30th.  So, I had about five weeks to make something happen.  Then I traveled to Canada and everything happened...

Needless to say, I closed and moved in one day! I LOVE my house... It's a little too much space but I'm loving making it MINE!  These little DIY projects are not really my friend but I'm learning to cope.  I spend a lot of time in Lowe's and other places.  So, expect pictures to come sooner rather than later... Before and after pics!  In the meantime, here are a few things I learned.

~Be realistic about your money will buy you
~Know your must haves and what you can compromise one
~There will always be unexpected things
~The small things add up
~Research your neighborhood or area
~Plan for everything and anything to happen during the process
~Enjoy your new house...Make it yours!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Day 3 - NaPoWriMo (Living with a Heavy Heart)

With all the recent deaths, I got to feeling a certain kind of way.  I've been here...Living with a heavy heart!

Things can happen so fast
Making it impossible to return to your now past
You know something that shakes you to your core
Making you believe you can't take any more

Have you ever heard your soul cry?
Or ever had a piece of your heart die?
It's not something you want to feel...
But it's what keeps us human even if it's surreal

The pain of missing someone every day
Searching for words but never having anything to say
It's not an easy task living in pain
Hoping and praying you can stay sane

Your heart aches and your soul cries
Making you want to say permanent goodbyes
But that will only cause more pain
And that really is insane

Finding peace is the key
And that's the only way your happiness will be...
It's hard living with a heavy heart
But know it won't always be this dark

Alexandria Walker
April 3, 2014

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Day 2 - NaPoWriMo (Lost Girls)

A World of Lost Girls

I'm often referred to as the lost girl
Only because I'm consumed in a materialistic world
I don't have much focus these days
You can tell by my actions and unacceptable ways

I tried walking by faith and not by sight
But I everything I did seemed wrong and far from right
It is so easy to get lost in this world
Much easier if you are a misguided girl

I wasn't raised this way
My behavior and the things I say
I used to be that adorable, sassy little girl
Now, I'm lost in a cruel, heartless world

I've always had BIG dreams
Only now they've changed to go along with my materialistic themes
Naive, I didn't stand a chance in this cold world
I gave my soul now I'm just another lost girl

Alexandria Walker
April 2, 2014