#lessonslearned: The Great Beginning

Hey kids!!! I kinda of jumped in this series #lessonslearned without really giving a background of why I even started this blog in the first place. So let’s go back down memory lane *cues Back down Memory Lane by Minnie Riperton* (Awwww yeah)

Confessions From A Red Couch was born out of frustration. I was frustrated with life. My job sucked, my relationship was dying, my mental health sucked and it was affecting my physical health. I was having frequent debilitating panic attacks and migraine headaches. I had lost some of my pillars of strength in life. I had just been diagnosed with a blood clot that appeared out of thin air. My hope was gone. My faith was gone. I couldn’t pray….matter of fact I didn’t even know what to pray. I was mad at everyone including God and felt there was no where to turn (depressing right).

So one Saturday night when I was confined to my house (Dr ordered time at home) I figured I would change my surroundings in the house. So I went to my library/front room (I call it the creamsicle room) and sat on my red couch and started writing EVERYTHING I was feeling that would have led me to commit suicide in that room. Every hurt, every pain, every frustration, EVERYTHING. I would cry, write and sleep (this was the cycle for 2 days) and when I finished I finally prayed. I finally opened my mouth and talked to God. I finally let God heal my heart and dry my tears. I finally let go and at the moment of release God presented me with the name “Confessions From the Red Couch”.

Now it still wasn’t easy. I always thought who in the world could want to read my ramblings. Who would actually read this foolishness? No one will be able to relate to me and my own personal pity party. Everytime I would write an entry someone would inbox me saying how my transparency helped them. Someone would always send an email about how they don’t feel alone in their situation.

I never expected this blog to really be anything, just a place to rant, but it helped save my life. God allowed me an outlet for not only me but for others. Am I rich from blogging? Nope. Do I do this for monetary gain? I want to some day, but for now I’m writing for the simple fact that I owe it to God to share my experiences with others. Are things better now than when I first started blogging? Yep, but it’s not perfect, and I’m okay with that. I’ve learned so much about myself and how to maneuver through life a little bit better.

Well….that’s all folks lol I really appreciate those who have stuck with me as a have traversed this thing called life for the past 4 years. Yall have stuck with me through a lot and for that I am thankful. Since the holiday season is upon us I’m only going to post once in November and December. I really need to spend time with my family and loved ones without any distractions. 2019 be ready for a totally revamped blog, a new podcast and some good old “merch” (aka merchandise). I love you guys be safe and keep being amazing ❤

I said yes to my dress all while being bossy lol
My blessings right here…..my hearts ❤
Me and my love…..✊🏾 Forever

Hello failure, my old friend……

I see you summer….but why are you so hot so early? Anyway, summer is here and my summer body is NOT ready. At this point it doesn’t even matter. When I step out on the beach, the pool, the splash pad at the park you are going to get whatever is under these clothes. Why? It’s ALREADY too hot to wear clothes in Houston. I’m not about to be extra modest and uncomfortable because you don’t like my pudginess. Get over it….I already have.

Okay enough about the heat let’s, talk about something familiar and uncomfortable. We all make mistakes. We make decisions in life that are based on emotion, fear, our own idea of success, others failures, and our experiences. These decisions don’t always lead to great outcomes and that’s okay.

Failure helps us learn and move forward. I feel like I’ve had more failures in life than successes but others who look into my life see totally different. For instance after my first year of successful teaching and coaching I lost my job and it was my fault. I was scheduled to take the Texas Certification exams in August of 2008 but I was injured during a volleyball camp and had to have emergency surgery on the day of the exams. I spent half of that semester in physical therapy and depressed. I had no one to blame but myself and it was heart wrenching.

Now I got my job back with help, influence, and encouragement from a lot of people on team Janae, but I knew deep in my heart of hearts that I should have scheduled those exams earlier than August. It was a learning experience and from that I learned I had to trust myself again. We all make mistakes, in love, in career, in living, in life but you have to remember that you aren’t perfect and you have to trust your own judgement in life. Here’s some ways that can help:

1. Pray!!! God will never steer you wrong. Usually when we make mistakes we want to blame God for the bad stuff and take credit for the good stuff. Honestly God directs your path but it’s up to you to follow the path He sets. I didn’t pray about scheduling those exams nor did I take having them done seriously. I ignored the sense of urgency that I had each month to get the job done and in the end I reaped the benefits of that big old L (it actually turned out to be a good thing… I’ll talk about that later).

2. Learn from your mistakes. Take this as time to reflect on how you can improve yourself and the choices you have made. Did you listen to yourself as you made the decision? Did you go around red flags because you wanted to try it anyway? Trust your inner judgement. You know what’s right for you and believe in yourself. Most of the time when you reflect back on a decision you realize you ignored your first thought. You went against what you knew for yourself as truth. It’s okay we all do it.

3. Always remember you can move forward. Not matter how bad you have messed up you can start over again. That’s the beautiful thing about life. You can start over again without really having to explain things to anyone (even if you have kids…. they adapt). Moving forward is based off you trusting that you learned from your mistake and you can go forward in life. You can’t give up because you messed up! You know how many things we wouldn’t have in life if everyone stopped after they made one mistake?
That’s the process of life: you live, you make choices, you learn from the good and bad and you keep it moving. If I would have stopped after I lost my job I would be stuck in” what if” land. No one wants to be in that space!We all know people in that place: what if I would have went to school? What if I didn’t have these kids? What if…. blah, blah, blah! You’re stuck in a reality that hasn’t happened, just move forward make something happen (I know, I’ve been in what if land with my book….). Just trust yourself and do it. What’s the worst that could have? You write the book, you get the job, you cure cancer? Possibilities can be endless but you have to move forward!

I’m letting it go Sis….

Hey y’all HEY!!! First I just want to toot my own horn and say YAAAASSSSS!!!! I have officially written three weeks in a row. Child when I set my mind to do something (good or bad) oh I gets it done. Secondly I want to praise God for the fact that I have less than 40 days left of this school year. For some reason this year has tested my will and my to do. From the look of my social media time line, so are the rest of my teacher friends. I don’t know if it’s the way we started the school year off (Harvey…..enough said) or it’s just the fact that it’s time for educational reform (this just might be my way into a doctoral degree……..and that’s a BIG MIGHT!!) but whatever it is I’m so ready for the end of it.

Okay let’s talk about letting the trash of life go. I’m not talking about that ex that did you horribly wrong and you feel like you just need to throw the whole dude away like he was never born (Sis I know the feeling….don’t worry I addressed that in an earlier post). No I’m talking about all the times you messed up and disappointed someone, you missed the mark that someone set for you, you slept with that person, you drank that drink, you did whatever you did knowing that it went against someone else’s idea for your life. Look I know about this all too well because I feel like I am the Queen of the let downs.

Don’t get me wrong when I do right and hit it out the park that ball goes for miles but the same goes for when I mess up……that dang ball goes on for miles (what can I say…..I don’t know how to do things on a small-scale). I’m writing all this to say I let the way I disappointed people in the past shape the steps I have taken in my present and toward my future. I have always felt and others have made me feel as though my mistakes, times I have misspoke, things I have typed, choices that I have made have disqualified me from continuing to accomplish the plan that God has for my life. As I continue to live I understand that all of those things, all of that foolishness, all the missteps are what have shaped me into the 35-year-old I am today.

SO TONIGHT I AM WRITING TO SAY: YEAH I DID ALL THAT AND MORE!!! Judge ya mama. I’m tired of letting people look at me like I’m not worthy enough to fit in the inner circle. I’m tired of people holding mistakes I’ve made ten years ago over my head and making me wear a scarlet A. I may not have turned out like you expected me to but DEAR GOD I’M HERE (thank you Alice Walker for the best quotes of my life). Your approval means nothing to me anymore. Making you proud is no longer on my list of accomplishments. Either you get behind me and support me or you can officially watch this train roll on. Your ideas of me will no longer hold me hostage.

And here I thought I looked like a burnt piece of bacon

Saying YES…..(not what you’re thinking)

Happy April!!! So after my last blog I have decided to get my life. 35 will not defeat me. So I am going to start taking care of me. Per my last post (yes…please say it like you’re typing someone in an email “per my last email 😑😑”) I am going to be a little more selfish and start focusing on Me and saying yes to Me. I have a plan…. guess I can share it because maybe one of y’all will keep me accountable.

I had to go into my war room (aka my car….. hush your face I pray where I want) this morning and ask God for some help (Nothing will move you more than a dream of you dying…*shutters*). So in my dream last night I died. I literally felt the life leave my body and woke up coughing. It wasn’t the death that scared me more than feeling like I was going to leave this world and no one would notice or care (sorry if this is morbi but…..).Nothing scares me more than dying and not having anything accomplished and no these 3 degrees are not accomplishments to me (and I don’t care what you and ya mama think about it). I felt that in my dream last night. That my hopes and dreams had ended before I could ever get them started….but let me NOT digress. This plan, let’s talk about it.

1. I’m going to read more. My passion for reading has been killed by the distraction of everything. I love reading but as of lately I haven’t been able to read anything except lesson plans and dumb quizzes on facebook. I’m going to start by actually reading Shonda Rhimes Year of Yes. Why this book…. because I forgot how yo say Yes to myself.

2. In May I’m attending a conference called Women Winning at Work, and yes I bought a VIP ticket because I am saying Yes to myself. I really want to be more productive in my career, not only that, I want to be more productive in my endeavers outside my career. I feel this conference will not only push me to achieve better but will light a fire under my feet to get on the good foot (let’s go sugar foot!!!)

3. I am listening to more podcasts and doing my homework. Living in fear of backlash is keeping me from moving forward with something that could be amazing for me. It’s time for me to start pushing myself out in the public eye a little more. I mean yes I’ve done this as an athlete and a coach but I feel that at some point I need to known as this person I am at this minute. I’m not going to be ashamed of mistakes in the past or mistakes in the future, because someone may actually need to hear my story.

4. The book WILL BE DONE BY JUNE. No further explanation needed for that.

Hopefully my few and faithful will continue to push me. HOPEFULLY they haven’t lost faith in me like I have for myself, but if they did I am going to give them something to believe in one more time.

Little razzle dazzel for the one time ❤

Fighting to be Happy

Hey Loves!!! Okay it’s the summer and I’m chilling. I swear I feel so lazy during the summer but when you’re an educator and you deal with other people’s kids during the year….. yeah it’s all the way deserved.

Dating Tip #34568: Never let your pettiness turn to the new person your old significant other is involved with (even if they were cheating…. I know just hear me out). Chances are most of the time the new person has no real clue about what happened in your relationship and if they are happy they really don’t want to know. You can not like your ex and that’s okay but trying to make someone else’s life miserable is honestly not worth the satisfaction you think you’re going to get out of it. And to the person who tried it with me….next time make sure your comment isn’t “anonymous”. I only approve comments on my blog from people with names attached so I can thank them 🤗.

Now let’s talk about choosing to be happy….. no let’s talk about the fight to be happy. Everyday I fight and no one else knows it. I make a conscious effort to put an authentic smile on my face and think positively about the world around me.

I think about all the positive things that are happening right now that I don’t talk about because I don’t want others to put their negative opinion on it. Words have power… death and life live in words. So for me I choose to only stay in conversations that don’t make me angry or anxious no matter who it is.

Look being an educator and a coach is not an easy task. Everyday I either have administration, other coaches, other teachers, or parents telling me how I should do my job, what the kids should be doing, or what they would do differently to get better results. I have to make sure that I get past all of this and be confident in who I am as a professional. I’m not just a coach and I’m not just a teacher. I sacrifice as much of myself as I can daily to make sure children can become the best they can be in a society that beats them down everyday.

Being a woman….. really!!! Don’t get me wrong I love being a woman. I love everything about myself especially being a Black woman. I wake up in the morning and thank God for who I am and how He has made me. But society is hard on us. We have recently seen a the big movement of #blackgirlmagic, but everyone isn’t on this bandwagon. There are still people who give you a hard time just because they can’t stand how wonderful you are. Society wants you to think that we are all like full of drama like the reality TV shows portray. That want us to feel ashamed of our skin being “too light or too dark” and the kink of our hair being unprofessional yet people pay to get bodies like ours. Honestly if you are a woman you are amazing, you are a miracle. Don’t hate on your fellow woman because she’s handling life, applaud her and do the same.

Here’s the biggest one for me…. my relationship. So I am in an actual adult relationship. Yes…me, the one who said she had a wall the size of the Great Wall of China around her heart…yep that would be me. I fight for happiness in this relationship. What I’m saying is this, I fight my demons from past relationships to stay happy in this one. This one is not the same as the last and if this one doesn’t work out it won’t be the same as the next  (although there won’t be a next because I’m becoming a nun). I fight daily to not group him in with men my friends have dealt with or men that I meet everyday. I fight daily to give him a chance and not just give up because I’m anxious about the relationship. This one has shown me something different and I appreciate him by being different. Don’t get me wrong it’s a struggle to not try to “help” him because he’s not doing something the way I would do it. It’s hard letting him help me because I’m used to doing things on my own. It’s hard to think that I can form a partnership with someone I can trust when I once had no trust for anyone.

I’m going to continue to fight because I like feeling happy. I like having joy. I used to read bible verses on joy daily because I had so much bitterness I was holding onto. I told myself and God if I let all that stuff go that I wouldn’t pick it back up and I would live life (I seriously don’t think that would involve a real life relationship). So here I am keeping good on my promise to God and myself. It’s a fight but it’s worth it.

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Pieces of my family… my heart…btw my bother is single!!! 25-30 is the age range ❤❤

 

 

Who is Your God?

Just a small deviation from the usual but here goes….

Who is your God?
My God is one who loves unconditionally
Who doesn’t care about color, denomination, money or sex.

Who is your God?
We speak on one nation under God indivisible
But you and your cohorts serve a god who only cares about your money
Your experiences
Your families
Your communities
Houses set on high

Who is you God?
My God is the one who suffers the children
Gives beauty for ashes
He takes care of the sick
And cares enough to feed the birds of the fields

Who is your God?
Your god seems to only protect you and those who look like you.
Your god cares about protecting your way of life.
Your god would rather make a quick million than to help woman and children.
Your god has no name, it has no purpose.
It is a symbol of your greed and self righteousness.

See God is not a respector of person
He created ways when there is no way
He makes sure the teenage mother completes her education so she doesn’t stay on assistance.
He blesses the terminally ill with the right doctor and now she can enjoy her children.

My God is El SHADDAI
He is the one who comforts me when I watch the news and see someone who looks like me dies in the street

My God is Elohim
He is the one who gave me strength when I wanted give up each and everyday.

My God is the one who loves all, is all and will be all.
My God is, was and is to come.
He is the one who waits quietly while we do our own thing.
Still loving us and protecting us….
Patiently waiting…
He’s the one!!!

But I ask you again….Who is your God?

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That’s my Mama right there ❤

 

 

 

Dreams…..

A 6 months ago I had a dream that literally was screaming for me to move forward. No matter how much I feel my old issues are resolved they sneak up subconsciously to torment me.
In this dream I am mourning the loss of a relationship and refusing the possibility of a new one. All my exes encircled me and gave me a kiss on the cheek. I was so confused considering I know most probably hate me, but then something caught my eye. Each ex wore a shirt that had a list as to why we could never be together. Insecurity, luster, greed, envy, shame, doubt, weak, angry….all were valid reasons….all reasons why we could never fit the puzzle pieces together. You can never force a round peg into a square hole (yeah I know I reversed it). I could never reduce myself enough to make them feel important enough to be with me.
So I woke up prayed, moved forward, and let go.

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Smiles are genuine

Another Mancation

Well let’s do this again…..I did it in 2012 and now it’s time for another one. I need to get my focus back without any distractions. I have a lot of things I need to accomplish in the next three years. The last time I did this I ended up in a relationship at the end. Not this one….the goal is to make sure I gain a new sense of self. I’m starting now and plan on ending in December (family cruise!!!)

Here are the rules:

1. No serious dates.

2. I will not give any of my contact information to anyone new.

3. Those who I have erased and they feel the need to contact me will not be getting a response.

4. Anytime I think about going against the mancation rules I have to do 20 pushups.

5. Those who are able to contact me will be on a 10 minute limit. If they can’t get it out in 10 minutes then the conversation is meaningless.

I hereby promise to stick to these rules, if not I plan on having some very fabulous arms by December and in time for our family cruise.

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TAAAADAAAAA…….

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Tada!!!! Why have we stopped saying that when we do something awesome? Like when a three year old does it with simple things we give them the biggest round of applause (I mean seriously kid everyone takes a poop in the potty, you’re not special). We have celebrated so much marginal behavior (yeah I said ya kid ain’t special) that we overlook the amazing things we accomplished in our adult lives.

Every time you pay your house note you should run to your driveway and yell “TADA!!!!” as loud as possible.  When you get your kids dressed, fed, dropped off to school on time and you make it to work on time, you should get out of your car and yell “TADAAAAA!!!” in the parking lot of your job. Yeah this might freak the people around you out but you’ll have the biggest smile on your face and your day will probably go a whole lot better.

Well…..I’m doing mine right now…..TAAAADAAAA!!! Yessssssssss lol for my 33rd birthday I was able to drop all my “stress/life” weight that I gained over what I call “the 3 years from hell”. You name it, it happend. The culmination was the blood clot and a stay in the hospital.  I lost my mind and myself for a minute but this summer I got it back. So I owe myself a freaking TADA and I feel great about it lol. The picture in the orange was never posted by me….actually I never posted any pictures from that birthday and you see why.

So with that being said, make sure you find and give yourself a TADA moment every now and then. Celebrate your amazing moments even if no one else will. Find some thing even if it’s a simple every day thing to make you celebrate because the fact that you are here, alive and kicking is reason enough to jump up and give God some glory 🙂

Ladies and Gentleman…..Nikki Giovanni

So why didn’t I know about this fabulous poet until recent? Omg!!! Fell in love after reading one poem. I have life lol

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Afreakingmazing!! This one poem spoke more to my soul than any”selfhelpgetoverdramatolivearegularlife” book could ever give me. So i bought her book of love poems and I’ll read a poem a night to keep the idea of love in a positive light and chase away the doubt.

Good night loves 🙂