But For Real: Growing Makes Me Feel Guilty When Others Aren’t

 

I feel a heart-to-heart coming on.

You know what I’m currently struggling with?

Growing.

Slowly but surely I have seen little promises from God that he’s got me. After moving to Vegas, I began to overcome insecurities that have kept me raggedy. I’m not making the same mistakes I used to (new mistakes, who dis). And although I’m not where I want to be, I can finally see who I’m becoming.

And it makes me uncomfortable.

Because while I’m excited for the BIG experiences I’ve been praying for, I’ve felt guilty for sharing my accomplishments. While watching others continue to struggle with the same bad decisions or hear them complain about their life, I steady question if I should be stuck too.

Should my life be in shambles? Should I just give up and live like everyone else?

My internal tug-o-war has convinced me to hold back to make others feel comfortable about playing small. And it’s silly AF.

Where did this start?

Since pigtail days, I was always teased for not quite fitting in. Cousins would make fun of me for being educated. I was often called Oreo (you know, black on the outside but white on the inside). I HATED being called an Oreo. Hands were thrown every. single. time.

But as much as I tried to fit in, I never could. It was annoying. I barely put effort in school but still managed to be in honors classes. I tried to wear certain clothes with my tits all out but would end up changing. I was pressured into smoking weed once and felt so uncomfortable that I never picked it up again (don’t read that mom).

**Disclaimer: If you want to have your tits out and smoke, I’m not judging. It just isn’t my ministry.

My life’s mission was to prove to others that I was about that life. That I could be cool like them. But God was calling me to be myself and it’s something I still struggle with daily.

I need you to know that you are set apart. 

When we don’t quite fit in, it makes us super insecure. I question God all the time actually.

Why can’t I just be like everyone else and be cool with it? I want to pop it for pimp too. I want to live an ordinary and safe life, God. I hate taking chances, do I really have to try?

But that isn’t what we were created to do. So when people start to talk down on our growth, we usually run to what’s comfortable – not taking risks at all.

STOP feeling guilty for growing.

Not everyone is meant to go with you as you continue to win. We have to accept that it’s okay to be alone for a little while.

Not everyone is meant to go with you as you continue to win. Click To Tweet

It hurts to leave behind all we’ve ever known for the visions of our heart. But playing into other’s expectations of you will never allow you to fully explore all that you can be.

Elevation requires separation.

This road is SO lonely, ya’ll. People you’ve had all this history with will start to act like strangers because they won’t get it. But don’t ever feel guilty for growing into who God told you you would be. You can’t blame yourself because others choose to stay piss poor. And you sure can’t blame yourself because others won’t let go of who you were 10 years ago. You’re changing and it’s totally okay.

[I wrote about why being alone is actually great here]

I have plenty of up and down days but I am learning to not apologize when God is working in my life.

It’s not a malicious brag. You don’t think you’re better than anyone. And if your wins make people that uncomfortable then they can politely watch on the sidelines. (That’s where they need to be anyway)

Moral of the story is – do you boo. You will inspire people with how you are changing, overcoming struggles and being blessed for your persistence. With your hot mess, struggling self, you got this. WE got this.

#letsglow

Alaina <3

12 Confirmations That You’re Doing Just Fine in Your Life

 

Last night while I was doing some research on millennials I came across these excruciating titles:

“Millennials, – The Me, Me, Me Generation”

“Millennials are actually the least entrepreneurial generation”

“Young Millennials are the worst behaved drivers”

“Tired Of Millennials’ Participation Trophy Culture? Blame Identity Politics”

Why are these old people so pressed?

It really frustrated me because our generation is already having a very hard time finding jobs in their field, overcoming loan debt, moving out on our own, remaining confident, choosing the right relationships, remembering to get our oil changed and NOT LOSING OUR MARBLES.

It’s a millennial bash fest on the internet and I’m tired.

Now I will agree that many of us are struggling with patience and clarity in our 20s. Acknowledging this struggle is by no means a pass to be average. But we have definitely let the wait for our goals discourage us from giving our best and pushing past the pain. This has single-handedly been my biggest struggle as a millennial post-grad. Adulting has often left me frustrated, doubtful, stressed and anxious beyond compare.

But to constantly call us narcissistic and lazy when we are the most world changing generation is beyond me.

Millennials gave you platforms like Facebook and Twitter to promote your hating, trash articles on. Ya’ll NEED us and knowing my worth to this world does not make me entitled.

*Whoosah. Calming down*

Fam, you’re amazing. A little impatient sometimes, but dope AF. And with all the personal and professional obstacles we have to climb I wanted to take the time to remind you that you’re doing just fine.

Our 20s are about figuring it out, not having it all together. Give yourself room to make mistakes, challenge yourself, overcome hardships and love yourself harder then you ever have.

Our 20s are about figuring it out, not having it all together. Click To Tweet

Below is a list of reasons why you are doing better than you think. You may have three of these, you may have all 12 but just know that if you have at least one (which I know you do) you have the tools to truly live the life you desire.

 

  1. You have a roof over your head
    • Praise break for sturdy roofs. Many of us are still living with our parents and that makes us uncomfortable. Don’t be ashamed of that. What a blessing it is to have a safe place to make mistakes and get your life together. Put your pride to the side and take the flexibility while also learning from your family. You are being prepared to dominate your lane and once God gives you the green light, ain’t no turning back bih. And for those who live on your own…do I even need to explain why you are the truth?
  2. You have ambition (Working toward a clear goal)
    • Oftentimes we get so caught up on “the other side” of success.  But the gag is, you’re always going to be fighting for more. YOU SHOULD be fighting for more. If you have a dream and are working toward it then you are winning. Never stop believing in those little desires that tug at your heart to be better.
  3. You have the ability to pay your bills
    • I will never forget the day our lights got shut off. Growing up I had never experienced real hardships that I can remember so this was a very humbling experience for me. Not everyone is able to pay one bill, let alone all of them. If you paid your bills (even late) then declare and believe that you will receive financial freedom one day. A book that has transformed the way I manage money is Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover.
  4. You have friends that motivate you
    • Nothing is worse than walking this road alone. If you have at least one friend that speaks life into you and keeps you accountable, you are doing great. There are so many people wasting time with superficial friendships that keep us distracted and won’t help us grow. Keep the real ones close to you and make sure they know how much you appreciate them.
  5. You have overcome setbacks
    • You remember that situation you thought you would never get through? The breakup. The death. The job loss. Sickness. You made it. Can I get a hand clap? *Hurricane Chris-like* When we are so focused on where we want to go we can forget where we have been and what we achieved. Things that came to break you made you stronger. It’s now part of this amazing testimony you are living. Go look in the mirror. You are holding the strength of somebody that has a destiny. Be proud of that.
  6. You have a well earned degree
    • With all this money we have given to Sallie Mae we better be proud of this degree out here. No matter what people say, getting a college education is extraordinary. You fought through the hardships of balancing classes while trying to understand yourself and you dominated the heck out of it. Even if life is not aligned with where you thought you would be when you graduated, don’t take for granted the experience college gave you. You know how to push through and achieve something big. We lit. We educated.
  7. You have a supportive family
    • Big ups for families who support us. Now this doesn’t mean they agree with every decision we make but that their love for us surpasses any mistake or choice. I can run off to Canada and elope and know that my mom will love me through her disgust haha. Not everyone has that support and it’s something we can take for granted. If you have a family who will never give up on you then relax and appreciate them. Even if you don’t, know that family doesn’t always mean your bloodline. Continue to seek valuable relationships that will pour into you like family should.
  8. You haven’t quit
    • If you are reading this blog post then there is something inside of you that wants more. You have had many rough days (I know ALL about those days) but here you are giving yourself another chance to see what you can do. Never underestimate the fight that’s in you. It may simply be getting out of bed and brushing your teeth but keep pushing toward what you deserve and I promise it will come to pass.
  9. You’re not the same person you were a year ago.
    • Thank GOD that I am not the same person I was a year ago. When I look back on my old journals I can see someone who is continuing to grow. Now there are still many areas that I have yet to overcome (procrastination and tardiness being two big ones) but I’m making progress. Think back to exactly a year ago. Has your mindset shifted? Have you dropped people you used to adore? Has your style changed? Gotten closer to God? Really sit and think about the last year (even if it was a hot mess) and see how much you learned. You are getting wiser everyday.
  10. You seek new experiences
    • We are a traveling, try-it-out generation. Every year you are pushing yourself to try new things like traveling internationally or painting with a twist. These experiences are helping us to get out of our comfort zone and become more well-rounded. For me, I plan to attend at least one conference by myself in 2017. Seeking things that aren’t familiar are great for personal growth. Write out that bucket list (I always recommend at least 100) and dream big.
  11. You are employed
    • I struggled with this for a long time because while I was employed (at a day care center) after college it wasn’t my dream job. Or even a job in my field. I quickly began to shift my mindset because I knew that I was being humbled. I learned that I had to fight for what I wanted and working at this daycare was part of that fight. From the job of your dreams to working at Walmart, know that these opportunities are always pit stops for greater. Keep pushing.
  12. God will come through. Always.

 

See I told you that you were doing fine. How many of these could you check off your list? List the confirmations  below! And sign-up for my weekly emails below too. I have some cool stuff I’m working to send you.

You got this. We got this.

Alaina <3

 

Why I’m Not Afraid to be Single on Valentine’s Day This Year

 

It’s Valentine’s Day everyone, and I’m happily single AF.

Since the beginning of time (or Hallmark cards) this day has become a dreaded reminder to single people all over the world that their juice has failed again. Envy and a strong case of “I Hate This Holiday” stirs our soul into thinking that we absolutely need what everyone else has.

If anyone knows the struggle of this, it’s me. 

I mean it’s already hard enough dealing with singleness in your 20s. Everyone is getting engaged, married and showing off their adorable families. But Valentine’s Day seems like an annual cruel reminder that somehow you weren’t worthy. You got cut from the roster. But that couldn’t be further from the truth.

When thinking of being single for Valentine’s Day, today totally reminded me of my first pair of Adidas (stay with me).

I’ve always REALLY wanted Adidas. One day I stumbled into a shoe store and saw a similar style of Adidas for way cheaper. They weren’t the ones that most people wore but you could hardly tell the difference and I mean hello, cheap. Less money. So I bought them.

Excited to wear them, I rushed to open the box, laced them up and left to an outing with friends. I felt so confident and secure when I left but once I started walking in them THEY HURT LIKE HELL.

Like literally burning. I immediately went from loving the mess out of those shoes to hating them with every fiber in me. Disappointed, I knew I had caused this pain on myself. I once again settled for a cheaper version of the real thing.

While it is completely normal to desire to be in a relationship, I have been guilty of sacrificing my peace and standards for a cheaper version of what God wants to bring me.

Single on Valentine's Day
Look how ashy my leg is lol

Like those awful Adidas, I invested in relationships that I was never supposed to be in. Ones that looked great in the box but hurt once I began to walk in it. But this year I decided to stop forcing it and surrender this difficult area to God.

If you have been struggling to stay hopeful in your singleness, here are 8 reasons I’m learning to be happy AF in mine.

Loving Myself Comes First

This is a concept I have struggled with. I thought that if I could just have someone to validate that I was worth it, I could be happy. But through a cycle of hurt and disappointment I discovered that I absolutely had to be whole in myself before I could truly love anyone else.

I learned that all the times I was rejected by others was really God’s way of forcing me to love myself. Not just the good parts but forgiving the times I messed up and the mistakes I made.

I am enough. And there is so much power in knowing that while also waiting in expectation that someone will fight to experience it.

YOU ARE ENOUGH, TOO. From your love of hip hop to the pizza you stuffed your face with yesterday. You were made perfect but can only attract the right person if you love yourself enough to let your light shine.

Other People Are Not Responsible For My Happiness

I read an article that said we abandon ourselves when we start to judge. You know, say things like

  • I’m not good enough
  • No one will ever love me
  • I always mess up
  • I’m not attractive enough for anyone

Just like a child feels alone when a parent scolds them, so does our inner child when we talk down to ourselves. As a result, we turn to others to fill that shame.

This could be neediness, blaming others or trying to do everything right for approval. Common side effects are the addiction to attention, sex, complaining, and so much more.

Making others responsible for your happiness will never make you happy. It’s actually unfair. Let them off the hook by doing the inner work first.

Making others responsible for your happiness will never make you happy. Click To Tweet

You Are What You Attract

This is the most cliche yet true statement I have ever heard. For years I attracted people who were just as broken and unclear about themselves as I was.

In my head I wanted this fine, strong, successful, God-fearing man but in reality I was overweight, unfocused, needy, and a very lukewarm Christian.

Something wasn’t adding up.

It was unfair to demand quality in a man when I wasn’t bringing the same to the table. And even if I had successfully attracted that dream man, I would have been so insecure in the relationship that it wouldn’t have brought peace.

You attract what you believe are not what you want. 

You attract what you believe you are, not what you want. Click To Tweet

Work on yourself so that you flow in the same lane as the person you want to eventually be with. If I’ma attract a baller I got to get in formation (jk. Okay not really).

Ain’t No Biological Clock Bih

Can I have a transparent moment?

When I turned 26 this year I felt…nervous. By this point, half of my Facebook was engaged and it left me questioning if it would ever happen to me.

I am a very career-driven person and I often feel like that intimidates people. This has left me settling, looking at every man I walk by and wondering if he could possible be the one.

But doing it my way never brought peace. 

Failed disappointments showed me that the longer I waste time trying to race my biological clock, the further I push it back.

It’s not easy and I have many days that I sulk while listening to SWV but I decided that my time is valuable and sacred. So I’m keeping that ish.

Single on Valentine's Day

Unavailable Men (Or Women) Will Forever Be A Dead End

This has been my BIGGEST lesson this year by far (in all 50 something days lol).

I have met such great guys along this journey. The problem is that they were emotionally unavailable to give me what I needed and deserved.

But because I saw the potential (Or the fantasy. You know we like to play make-believe), I tried to manipulate someone into being what I wanted.

It ain’t work. And as painful as it was I had to let it go.

Don’t waste your time on people who only put in minimum effort for their convenience. This is literally the foundation of situationships and that is what we don’t have time for. Measure your peace and if that person doesn’t add to it, then they surely don’t deserve to have you.

The Pursuit of Astoness

First things first. You have to stop giving your amazingness to every Ordinary Joe on the street.

I love the analogy of comparing a Honda to an Aston Martin. Both can do the job you need it to but the Aston is what makes you feel like somebody important. I can turn on my TV and see a Honda commercial every ten seconds, begging for us to come buy one. But an Aston Martin? That’s so elite that normal Joes would never try to get one because they know it’s out of their price range. You have to intentionally seek an Aston Martin to find one, and that is how we should be too.

What’s your value price? Many times desperation for attention (that inner child) breeds us to lower our value so that any person can access us.

Stop giving your Aston Martin goodness to Honda drivers. [Read this on settling]Trust that the person of value that you hope for will go out of their way to find you in the luxury lot. Until then, keep adding to your value by seeking wisdom, doing things you love and genuinely being happy alone.

God Knows Me Better than I Know Myself

I can barely pick the toppings on a pizza so why do I think I have the super powers to go find who I will spend the rest of my life with? A JOKE. 

In my wait, he is preparing me to not only give love but be able to receive it without those lingering insecurities. My singleness has pushed me to learn commitment, servitude, forgiveness, PATIENCE and kindness. That’s the grace that God continues to show me every single day when I don’t deserve it. That’s what true love is.

I have so much peace in knowing that God has never failed me. Singleness is a hard road but its a journey I am learning to surrender to God. He is what brings the confidence. The happiness. The strength. And I have no doubt that he is going to bring me someone who literally blows me away.

I read this verse a lot when I have my moments:

“I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.” – Pslam 27:13

I have so much peace in knowing that God has never failed me. Click To Tweet

Today I can be happy for all the lovers out there because I have the opportunity to work on myself like never before. Keep fighting for what you deserve and don’t be bitter. Yours is coming too.

Sign up below to get my dope affirmations! I’ll be sending them out this week.

Now excuse me, I have to finish writing my Finding Nemo Vday cards to my coworkers because I’m a literal child.

You got this. We got this.

Alaina <3

 

My Favorite Youtube Videos to Watch When Feeling Far From God

When I was a kid I had this shiny green bike that I rode all around the neighborhood. I got it for Christmas and I fell in love instantly. I would ride it everywhere and confidently showed it to all my friends. But over time, my green bike and I started to drift apart. I just didn’t get as much joy from the bike anymore. I hated looking at its scratches from running into things and its tires that were beginning to deflate. There were much cooler bikes that I wanted, anyway. So I ignored it. I left it hanging in my garage for years without a thought because I felt it couldn’t serve me like it used to. Straight dipped.

One day we were cleaning out our garage and the green skin of my old bike caught my eye. There it was, still waiting for the opportunity to serve me like it had years before. Realizing how much I missed riding, I dusted it off, pumped up the tires and sunk into the joy I had felt as a kid.

If only I had committed to this bike, I thought. I would be in shape and I would truly enjoy something that has been a part of my life forever.

This is what happens with us and God.

We oftentimes go on a high with God, proudly showing him off to everyone. Trusting in how sturdy he makes us feel as we travel down rough roads. But over time, we let other bikes (those awful distractions) steal our attention from him. We start to drift apart and lose faith in the thing that has had our back all along.

But you know what’s superrrr amazing?

Just like that bike, God never left me during the times I didn’t see his amazingness. He stayed right by me, patiently waiting for me to realize that he was exactly what I needed to feel strong, confident, joyful, happy and plain whole. But it was only when I put my time and love back into God that I was able to see all the things he wanted to give me.

Post grad has definitely been a testing of my faith. I’ve found myself on a roller coaster of doubt and fear when it comes to believing that God has a plan for me. But lately I  have begin to enjoy God again. I let go of constantly obsessing over what he can do for me and found peace in knowing he will.

Let go of what God can do for you and find peace in knowing he will. Click To Tweet

Imagine that?

I don’t even have to worry about my future because I already know that God has it on lock. My husband, my career, my family, my life…he’s got it under control. All I have to do is be still and play my part.

Are you feeling far from God right now?

If so, I have 11 of my top favoriteeee Youtube videos that I run to when I’m feeling weak in my faith. I’ve broken them down into categories just to make it easier. They help put so much into perspective and has allowed me to see that God is BIG. He can do so much for us…if we let him.

Trusting God/Surrender:

Surrender – Oprah Winfrey

How To Be Successful – Tyler Perry

God Laughs When You Make Plans – Gabrielle Bernstein

What To Do When You Don’t Feel God – Jefferson Bethke

Relationships

5 Keys To Identifying Your Soul Mate – Toure’ Roberts

Don’t Waste Your Singleness – Joseph Solomon

Ending My Toxic Relationship Changed My Life – Ashley Empowers

Growing in God/Confidence

God Gave Each One of Us a Gift – Steve Harvey

Why Did God Choose Me? – T.D. Jakes (Literally ANYTHING by him will send you shouting so you have been warned lol)

The Struggle Is Real – Sarah Jakes Roberts

Love Taps: Part 2 – John Gray

God is such a gentlemen. He won’t force you to get to know him in a deeper way but he will always pursue you, whether you see it or not. Usually when my intuition tells me I need more God, I have to evaluate what I let get in the way.

I want to leave you with a scripture I hold dear to me:

“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” – Romans 8:35-39

In translation this means – Who gone check us boo? WHO?

The only person able to keep us far from God  IS US. 

Think back to a time that you were able to get back in formation with God. Tell me what you did below!

You got this. We got this,

Alaina <3

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