Confessions from a Former Control Freak

Hey kids!!! I’m back from one of the greatest experiences in my life. I married my bestfriend and gained even more amazing family. Goodness the amount of love I felt on that day was just indescribable. It’s funny that it was only about 3 years ago when I thought I could never feel or would never allow myself to feel the love that I feel every single day now. It took some time, work, and prayer to get me to where I am today. Please believe I am so happy I’m here.

Okay, for all this “growth” let’s talk about where I came from. Not because I want to dwell in the past but I want to remember where I never want to go back to.

My life as a control freak or the politically correct term “type A personality” was absolutely full of umm stress and anxiety. It was utterly exhausting trying to control every single thing around me. At times I knew I looked like a crazy woman. Always trying to control my family to do what I wanted. Always wanting my students and athletes to be the best EVEN if it meant not giving an inch to let them actually have fun (well not my athletes…I made sure they had a good time πŸ€·πŸΎβ€β™€οΈ call me biased).

I knew changes had to be made and fast. Things were so bad that I couldn’t control my emotions. I could never have the appropriate emotional response to situations. I would laugh when I should have been sad. Instead of expressing my anxiety I would become enraged or just flat out break down. It was so bad I couldn’t even celebrate joyous occasions, always thinking the worst would happen instead of just enjoying the moment.

So here are ways that I began to deal with all of this:

1. I stopped thinking I knew how others would react. The dumbest thing in the world is trying to predict others reactions. You are not them (I had to scream this to myself in the mirror). Everyone is not you and you are not them. How you react to a situation is not the same way someone else will. Stop thinking you can control people’s reactions.

2. Stop making up situations in your head. It’s not reality its your own imagination. If you have a negative way of thinking then chances are EVERY situation you come up with is going to end horribly. For me this is so I wouldn’t get my hopes too high if things didn’t go my way which is utterly ridiculous because nothing has really been a life ending experience. Might not have felt good going through some things but I’m still here.

3. You can’t control people’s feelings about you. I have written a post about not being everybody’s cup of tea and there’s nothing you can do about it. And guess what most times you can’t change it, but it has nothing to do with you. You have to be able to keep on living regardless of the thoughts others have about you.

4. You can only control what you have direct influence over. Your thoughts, your actions, your emotions and your response. That’s it!! You can’t control anything else but this. So why not make sure all of these are filled with positivity, genuineness, truth and love. That’s all you can control.

Once I began living a this truth my life started changing for the better. Do I still have to remind myself of these things….umm yeah. It’s easy to fall back into the same pit falls but I don’t stay in them. I keep moving forward one day at a time.

We did it lol ❀

#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

#lessonslearned You Won’t Be Everybody’s Cup of Tea….

Hey Kids!!! Welcome back to the misadventures and fooleries of Confessions From a Red Couch. I am pleased that you have came back for more tales of life, romance, and the in between. Like I’ve said I plan to share my lessons I have learned throughout life. This post is no different. So well let’s begin shall we…..

#lessonslearned: You will never be everybody’s cup of tea!

Now look…I know myself and my personality and I can tell you this, I am not everyone’s cup of tea. I have been talked about, passed over, thrown away, and looked down upon my whole entire life. I’ve been promoted, demoted, and everything in between but I’m still living and loving. Why do I keep progressing? Honey I learned I’m not for everybody and neither are you.

Now I’m not saying that it’s okay to be a butthole (please don’t), it’s not your job to rub people the wrong way on purpose. It’s not okay to treat people with a nasty attitude. It’s not okay to be the negative Nancy or a sobby Susan (sorry if your name is Nancy or Susan, just well alliteration πŸ€·πŸΎβ€β™€οΈ), your job in life is to be the best you you can be inspite of people’s attitudes toward you. This is what I have learned:

Other people’s perception of you are not who you are in total. Everyone we encounter gets a glimpse of who you are and build upon that. If someone sees you always happy that’s the perception they have of you. If someone always sees you losing it and cussing others out, that’s their perception of you. The small windows of prescription that we allow people to see are how people then perceive us. People who saw me as JUST a track coach have a different perception of me as a Science teacher. Do I try to correct their perceptions… nope. Why? It’s what they believe and until they see me in any other capacity then what’s the point. Their perceptions don’t change who I am or who you are.

People have a right to not accept you for who you are, but as long as you’re not being oppressed you keep moving foward. Look I know we as a society are trying to push that we are all special, but if we are all special… then who is truly special? Yes we all have purpose, we all have things that only we can accomplish but are we God’s only gift to the world? Nope. Do people HAVE to treat you like your ish has never stank? Absolute not. The only thing people honestly have to do is treat you with respect….DAS IT!!!

I say all this to say….you ain’t for everybody and it’s okay. Keep living, loving and being yourself. You will find your tribe and be their cup of tea while being able to spill all the juicy tea honey ❀

Just trying to be freshed faced and not looking 36 😘

Everyone doesn’t love like you….#lessonslearned

Sooooo….. hey kids. I’ve been laboring with writing this past month because I’m trying to be more consistent and make sure I’m offering content that is engaging. In truth, I’m tired lol. Teaching at a new school, starting a really big project at my church, planning a wedding (please tell my girls to stop trying to form a nonexistent wedding party lol) and everything else life has to offer has been exhausting. Adulting is fun and sucks all at the same time lol But anyway…. I digress.

This lesson was extremely hard for me to learn through life, and I’m still learning it. I could never understand the concept of mutual love because I’ve always felt that if I show you how I love you should be able to mirror it. But how many of us have felt this way? I mean it’s really not that hard right….. WRONG. Everyone is different, everyone comes from different backgrounds, and EVERYONE has learned how to love differently.

When I was younger I ALWAYS had issue with relationships with other people: family, loved ones, friends, significant others, because I couldn’t understand why they couldn’t love just like me. I mean by gift and profession I am a teacher, I make it simple: I do, we do, you do. I’ll even draw a diagram, sing a song, build a model, whatever they needed to learn how I love. But this NEVER worked, not even with my family. Why, because while I was trying to teach them how to love me I wasn’t paying attention to how THEY wanted to be loved. So busy screaming and throwing tantrums while yelling “LOVE ME LOVE ME”, that I wasn’t listening to their silent pleas of “but this is how I want you to love me”.

It wasn’t until I was about 29-30 (goodness that seems so long ago….I feel decrepit) when I discovered that everyone had a different way of loving or even showing love. How? Because I hurt some people who really loved me but I was too selfish to accept the way they loved. Like I’ve always said, I AM NOT PERFECT! Nor do I ever pretend to be, but I caused some really bad blood because I was too immature to see that they were doing the absolute best that they could. So after apologizing and accepting myself for the jerk that I could be I started a journey of loving, listening, and observing. Yep…. you have to actually be active in this thing called love.

I needed a change and so I went on a lovely journey. I learned to listen and pay attention to others. I read books on types and ways to love. I stopped forcing people to love me in a way I saw fit and started understanding how and why people loved they way that they loved. It was a hard journey. I had to develope boundaries but it’s been great. My advice to you is to listen and observe. Don’t be selfish and self centered. The world does not revolve around you and neither does the sun rise and set on your behind. Love is a give and take. Just make sure you’re giving and taking is equal. Don’t get out of balance and end up empty. Keep loving, living and listening ❀

Hey 36 ❀

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!

Still saying yes…. but I still have boundaries

*In my Marvin Sapp voice* Never would have made it…..

Never could have made it to the end of the school year

Lord knows I’m excited to be done honey. I’m over your kids, it’s your turn. Tag you’re it!! Now look I can help you figure out what to do with them during the summer. There are TONS of STEM and coding camps that will help your babies get into the tech field. If your kids are athlete there are plenty of schools that are having summer conditioning/boot camps with morning and afternoon sessions. But as for this teacher…. I’m going to be enjoying my summer doing all the things I want to do and planning a wedding (still in disbelief lol).

So the year of saying yes does not mean I have forgotten my boundaries. I’m saying yes to opportunities that will open up new doors but I’m still saying no to things that will cause my anxiety to go out of control. Simply put I’m saying yes to my boundaries.

“But I thought you said you didn’t have a wall around you’re heart anymore”…. ain’t nobody asked you to ask me that. But let me reply to you’re little funky statement. See the boundaries are not to keep too keep people out of my life, it’s more to protect myself from my own actions. The characteristics that make me great can also be abused.

My heart is big, I will give you what you need, even if it means me going without. See that can be abused, so my boundary is to make sure I have what I need and IF I can afford it then I can give it.

I have a bad habit of being very straight foward, sometimes a little too blunt. Even when I say something in love to others it comes out harsh. So now my boundary is to make sure I think before I speak (and check my facial expressions because Lord knows my face hides nothing).

Oooo here’s another important one: I don’t let people guilt me into saying yes. I have a boundary that protects my time and my mental well being. If I feel like I’m over extending myself, you will definitely get a no from me. Dealing with anxiety and unnecessary stress is not what I do anymore. I will protect my mental well being at all costs.

There are others but I don’t want to bore you with my ramblings. Just know I’m still saying yes but my boundaries are helping me to maintain a good balance.

Be Soft and Whole

Hey yall heyπŸ€— first off I want to give an honor to God who is the joy of my life. He’s given me so many opportunities, opened and closed so many doors, been with me through EVERYTHING and I just thank Him for it. Second, I want to thank the ones that have been rolling with me from the beginning, I just recently realized that this is my third year anniversary of my blog and I have had some faithful readers. Thank you from the bottom of my little heart for either reading to be nosey or reading for enjoyment, you have kept the stats rolling.

Umm….okay here we go. This is another touchy blog but I’m just going to do what I do. So my little sister posted a poem by Neon Soul called Soft and Whole, and it made me pause and think about life. I have tried so hard my whole life to not be seen as weak and vulnerable. I have always fought against labels as sweet, soft, open, etc. anything that would make others view me as anything other than strong was a negative.

But I now know I’ve been fighting in vain. No matter how much I try I still realize I’m soft. I still cry at certain parts in movies. I still love to spoil kids when necessary. I still treat my students like they are my top priority because they are my babies. I get happy at wedding proposals. I act like a big kid around my parents (in a good way….. not a spoiled way).My boyfriend makes me feel like a delicate little flower even though I can still bench press 235 lbs and squat well over 300lbs (I swear I have super powers).I’m at a point where I just don’t want to fight against it anymore. I don’t want to carry heavy things if I don’t have to. I don’t want to have to be physically AND mentally string all the time. So call me what you want yeah I’m soft, but please remember I will always bring these hands when needed and necessary.

Yep I’m a big mushy head….. but I’m still cute though❀

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 πŸ˜‘πŸ˜‘”) 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 ❀

Braiding chair confessions

This has been the first time I’ve had time to sit and type since the beginning of the year. I had a whole plan to do a re-launch of my blog and book this year and then guess what happened…..LIFE! Life hit me like a ton of bricks at the beginning of this year and I’m so glad that today is a new day. Thank goodness I can start over and return to the plan at hand but until then let’s talk about some things.

Okay in this season I’m learning how to forgive and be forgiven. I’m too old to hold grudges or even think about holding one. I’m at a point where instead cutting everyone off, I need to understand everyone’s actions aren’t done to spite me. I’m realizing that everyone makes mistakes and the mistakes that aren’t detrimental to my health or well being can be forgiven and moved past. I don’t want to be that woman that can’t have healthy relationships with people. I don’t want to be that mean spiteful lady that no one wants to get close to. I just want to love and be loved, without judgement or alterior motives.

I will never be perfect. I’ve tried it and it gets me in more trouble than just being myself. I’m learning how to be more truthful about my faults. I procrastinate, I hate it when things aren’t done my way, I know I’m supposed to see things as black and white but I can’t. Because of all these things I do things that everyone can’t understand. But I do know I’m loyal and I will put everyone else’s needs above mine. It’s who I am. I choose to accept my faults and others. If I know I’m not perfect I can’t expect anyone else to meet some ridiculous standard I have set.

I’m learning to listen to people to hear them and not just to give a response. I want to hear what people are saying now instead of just defending my point. We are so caught up with trying to make sure we say what we need to say that we can’t HEAR what people are trying to communicate. Just a bunch of noise…..that’s all I hear is noise when people talk. I’m tired of noise.

All this to say 35 is forcing me to grow up. I don’t want to participate in childish games anymore. It’s tiring and making me look old and put on stress weight. I just want to live and let live. Love without parameters and enjoy those who want to be enjoyed.