#LessonsLearned I Failed at….

 

 

Happy April!! I have missed you guys since the last post. But here we are back together again. I want to talk about something that very few of us like to talk about. Failure!!! The big F word. I wrote an earlier post about recovering from failure. Failure can be a driving factor to succeed or to do nothing. Most of the times we run from failure because it’s not fun to say we didn’t get the desired outcome. failure is the biggest teacher in life. It has taught me so many lessons, most were quiet and no one really noticed. Some were public and embarrassing. What I have learned is this, when you fail it’s not the end of the world. So here are some areas where I royally blew it and how it taught me to succeed and do better.

Failure at Explaining myself

A long time ago I felt it was necessary to explain my intentions. I wanted people to hear why I did xyz and what my emotional, physical and metaphysical reasoning for a decision that had nothing to do with anybody but me. I felt I needed the world to know my intentions for my every move. You know what happened…..I was still misunderstood. People would still get their panties in a bunch or twist my words to seem negative.
So I stopped. I started making moves without answering others questions. Writing this blog, my move. Starting a podcast….my move. It was liberating. I stopped worrying what people were thinking about my decisions and actions and just started living. It helped me to make important without asking for permission. I guess this leads into the next one…..

Failure at Living up to others expectations

Lord knows I tried my hardest to fit into boxes others molded for my life. I really did, but it wasn’t comfortable. It always felt a pair of shoes that were ill fit. Just felt odd, like I was wearing a mask. It wasn’t until one day I looked in the mirror and cried because I didn’t like what I saw in the mirror. I was uptight, stressed, and closed minded. How could I love anybody else if I didn’t love myself enough to be myself?
I began to take suggestions about how and what I should have been doing with a grain of salt. Sure I have the degrees and titles but what would be the purpose of acting like I was better than anyone I was trying to serve? So I began to make sure that I was happy with who I was to myself and others. Did I care if I met others’ expectations…nope. This is my life to live not theirs, and I am going to live it being true to myself.

Failure at Checking and responding to email

This one may not seem as deep as the others but let me help you out. Important information comes through my personal, work and business email daily. If I don’t check either one with consistency AND follow up it could mean loss of a sponsor, missed parent/student communication, missed opportunities, and the worst missed money. I actually lost a job because I didn’t follow up with an email. Yes missed money all because I didn’t take the time out to read.
Now I check my email three times a day. I make sure I follow up with my school’s administration, my parents, my readers/listeners, and other opportunities. As of now some of those don’t pan out but the majority of the time they do. So I make it a point to employ a 24 hour rule when it comes to email communication. I flag unanswered emails and make sure they are priority. The age we are in now, email is a vital part of effective communication. I will never drop the ball like that again.

What have you failed at that has made you more successful now? Please comment the lessons you have learned from failure. I love to know what you have done to progress into a better person.

 

#lessonslearned Planning a Wedding Is Not My Jam

Here we are on the cusp of October and I’m tired of trying to plan a wedding. I’m not this girl. I’m not even mentally prepared for this whole ordeal. There’s so many other things I can think of to do with this wedding budget. There are other things I can do with this time!! There are other things I can do besides figure out which flowers I’m going to carry down the aisle(which I’m not carrying btw brooch bouquet). I really don’t care honestly. All of this stress for 30 min….I’d rather plan for the rest of eternity that we are going to spend together. So this post is just a rant about the things I’d rather do besides this….

1. I’d rather elope!! Yep I said it. I rather throw on a dope dress and him look dapper in a suit and it’s just us and a few family members who will stand with us.

2. I don’t have anyone who REALLY knows me to bounce ideas around with. I’m busy, their busy, life is busy. I feel like I’m alone in a sea of tasks and I can’t communicate what I want or how I feel. People forget that I haven’t dreamed about this stuff. None of my vision boards, vision statements or anything ever had wedding plans on it. I just never thought this would happen.

3. Why all the hooplah for 30 min? Like for what, I don’t get it.

4. I see why people go to the courthouse and get it out the way.

5. I want to put the money we are saving for this small wedding

into something else; eliminating debt, down payment on a bigger house, a dream trip. You know something for us.

6. I’m tired of trying to drop weight for this day. I just want to be fluffy and fabulous. I’m 36 and this weight seems to want to stay with me so I think I’m just going to let it stay.

7. I’m tired of thinking about tshirts, charms, matching outfits etc for my nonbridesmaids and non participants of the wedding. Like I already didn’t want a wedding party but I feel bad about not getting things for my nonbridesmaids.

8. I honestly don’t want to try on another wedding dress. I hate them!

9. I should be enjoying this process with the women of my family but they have other things to do and I guess since I’m not making it important they aren’t either. Energy matches energy.

10. I honestly just want to lay in my bed huddled under the covers. My anxiety is at an all time high about this whole thing. I thought I was supposed to be happy doing all this right? But I feel like now I’m doing it more to impress other people who aren’t contributing financially to this whole stupid endeavor.

11. Okay last one….I really can’t involve everyone because everybody likes to interject their vision of their wedding into your’s and I don’t want it.

Maybe I’m just emotional because my uterus is trying to escape my body as I type. Or maybe I’m just done. And even with writing this I still think we should elope. I’m over this process. But whatever I guess whatever will happen is going to happen 🤷🏾‍♀️

Here are some pictures from my horrible experience at a chain bridal store. I hated every minute of it. The dresses I liked didn’t come in my size and the dresses in my size aged me almost 10 years. I go to a smaller bridal boutique next weekend that caters to curvy girls. I’m hoping the experience is better.

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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.

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 ❤

What if I could just….

Hey kids… look at me!! I’m trying to be consistent with my writing again, so post 2 for the month of March deserves a big Taaadaaaa!!! Okay I’m pretty sure at this moment I’m forgetting to do something important but I’m writing and so this take precedent at the moment.

I’m stuck on this being 35 thing. I swear most days I feel like everything is on fire and I’m trying to figure out what’s the most important thing to put out first (because it’s honestly too much thought to focus on putting the whole fire out). I am exhausted trying to find the most important things to focus on and with each day I feel as though I’m running out of time.

So what’s most important? What or who do I focus on the most? I don’t know…. so any suggestions would be helpful. Because right now I’m overweight, over stressed, over anxious and over worked. I want to focus on creating this brand but I always feel I’m talking to no one. Like my ideas for Confessions from a Red Couch are so great but life just keeps happening. If I could just focus maybe life would be different but for now I’m going to keep driving myself crazy while everything feels like it’s burning down around me.

That blue though 💋

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.

I didn’t want to be her again….

Hey guys….. I’ve been MIA and I apologize. I wanted to write something else but this wouldn’t leave me alone so……

I don’t want to be that girl anymore. Yeah she might be skinnier, a little more attractive, a little easier but nah I don’t want to be her. See back then she used to sweat the small stuff. She used to allow what others thought and said about her drive her crazy. So she tried to fit a mold. A mold that she wasn’t ever meant to fit. A mold that no one can ever fit.

That girl was full of anxiety and unsure about her future. She believed many lies that were told to her and that she told herself. She believed that she was unlovable. Something proven to her by people who she thought cared about her. They would provide lip service but could never back it up with action.

So instead of living she just existed. There was no drive, there was no purpose, she was just there. Until one day something inside of her screamed to be released. Someone who she had lost so long ago. She decided to let her free. Free to be whoever she wanted to be. That’s when I found me. I was finally comfortable in my own skin being who I was supposed to be. No more pretending, just living the life I really wanted to live.

Now I understand those experiences have shaped and molded me. I may not be perfect but I can tell you I’m definitely content and happy (and maybe just a little exhausted).

*I ain’t het no more!!!*

What is your WHY……

Happy April! This morning as I was sitting through another meeting about building relationships and helping students develop into functioning adults (Lord knows we need more of those because somega people out there….). During the presentation they played a clip of Buster Douglas fighting Mike Tyson that talked about his WHY. His WHY for not giving up even though he was knocked down. His WHY for continuing to deliver hits even thigh he was the underdog.  His WHY for brevet giving up!!! (I’m not going to spoil it but watch the link below)

Now me being the extra sensitive 30 something year old that I am had to leave the room to shed a few tears because it was so touching. Truthfully I think I was crying because I think I’ve lost my WHY. Through the years it’s been family, my little sister, my students, my athletes,  young black women of the world…..etc. but now I don’t know.

Actually I think my WHY has shifted. Now it seems my focus and my actions are more so pleasing myself and God. I’ve been the “good little church girl” and the “responsible first born”. Those roles were fine and have helped push me into the woman I am today but now…..now what do I do?

Most women go through this transition in life. Our WHY motivation is so focused on taking care of others around us that we forget we are our biggest motivation. When it all comes down to the get down if it’s not for us, then who is it really for. Seeing others happy and taken care of others brings us joy, but what happens when the kids grow up, the students graduate, and people die? A shift has to be made,  you have to be your biggest WHY. You have to understand without you being that why nothing else really matters.

Today I vow to make myself my WHY. I plan to set goals that will please me and God only. I feel some good things are happening soon, but not to make anyone else proud. Just focusing on myself for now 🙂

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I think this dress is going to make me happy 😊