‘Tis the Season- All Year

To honestly not give a fuck. Don’t feel like holidays mean that you have to go out of your way to be kind to people who aren’t to you. Santa isn’t fuckin watching, he’s too busy getting wasted with that creepy elf on the shelf. Which means NO, you aren’t getting those coveted karma points for sitting through terrible events surrounded by vapid people. You’re being miserable for glory that will never come. And that goes for every event not just holidays and not just family ones.

People Who Matter Don’t Mind

Don’t buy anyone presents if you don’t want to. Ignore the “happy holidays” texts and block that “hey how have you been” person. You know who has been around for you this year. Who the people are that have poured into your cup consistently. 100% chance they don’t even want you to stress out over anything. Your presence is a present for people like that. Because who you are and how you are is so much more important to them than superficial displays of jolliness.

People Who Mind Don’t Matter

Stress, sadness, and emotional exhaustion are not what you’re life is supposed to be made out of. Seriously, take it easy. This happens every year. Sitting out and taking time for yourself is PERFECTLY OK. No one likes fruitcake, having their weight, or relationship status examined. Nor should you feel as though you have to sit there and endure insults thinly veiled as “I wouldn’t say this if I didn’t care”.

Reclaim Your Time

Skip the event, date, meeting, whatever it is. If you can’t skip it, set boundaries and take no shit.That loud Auntie that always got something to say? Let her know that ugly wig and store-bought pie isn’t fooling someone. That pretentious friend who thinks her emotionally defunct fiance is her pass to judge your life? Ask her the last time she felt loved without having to plan it herself. Does Dad think ya gained a few pounds? Look who’s talking chuckles *pat dad on the tum tum*. That shit isn’t ok but it IS ok for you to disengage and preserve your mental wellness.

But You Though?

You’re wonderful and I need you to know that at every time of the year. The last few weeks of the year can be really difficult mentally and emotionally. Hell, the whole year can be like that. But that doesn’t mean you have to subject yourself to drowning. It won’t always be hard. But when it is, lay low and love your self more.

All is Calm, all is bright, and ALL can get these holiday handz year round,

Lily

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I have found myself in that all too familiar rut when working in a creative capacity. Lack of motivation backed by sheer exhaustion by the time I’m home.

But for me that is no excuse not to have TTL on and poppin regularly. So to my fellow bloggers, what methods work for you? I know it could all be so simple! But I’m still trying to hash out the best recipe. Whilst making sure I’m not stressing myself to the max to create, create, create!

Any tips or suggestions are welcome and what I find I’ll be sharing in a follow up post.

We can all crush this blog game and we will!

Til Next Time, Stay dope.

Lily ?

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Tonight, as I sit and listen to the rain and the symphony of froggies outside, I realized I wanted to say something. Forgive me in advance because this is a thought in production…

Take heart in knowing that momentary fear is the currency for development. The anxiety. Worry. Restless nights. It isn’t for naught. 

THE THINGS THAT SCARE YOU THE MOST IN LIFE…YOU’VE ALREADY BEEN THROUGH.

Keep that phrase close to you when you have doubts. Because being afraid is a really big part of growth. Seriously. If life doesn’t scare the fuck out of you sometimes, well sistren and brethren, we aren’t doing it right. Fear comes with moving in a direction that isn’t exactly clear yet. Walking along a trail where the markers are few and far between and present some difficulty to even locate at times.

Lately, I have been experiencing fear and uncertainty in regards to my next moves for the coming months. I know I am not the only one. It comes in waves and for a moment I get tunnel vision. Not knowing what to do or what to think. Riling myself up over the smallest of details. Forgetting the big picture and erasing my own journey to this moment. The same journey that shows me, every single time without fail, I have prospered through worse.

My pushback is making a plan. Even if it is only planning what I’m going to have for breakfast tomorrow. Taking back control of my mind and ordering my steps is such a powerful action. Come hell or high water I am going to have this cup of coffee and a few moments to myself.  If for no other reason than to defy the gods, it sets me up to change course on my own terms. 

You are a divine and cosmically touched being. Please sleep tonight knowing that tomorrow is at your mercy. You will make it. And there is no other option than for it to be beautiful when you do. 

Sweet dreams and warmest of hugs,

Lily 

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I have struggled with this concept for years. Faced it in college and again now trying to build a brand and become my own boss. It takes a lot of work to get yourself on track with your goals.

It is a unique process wherein you get to choose first hand what you value and how or if something is worth balancing. In my opinion I think we could all use more frequent periods of stepping back and assessing the path we have traveled and where the road looks to be leading us in the future. If for no other reason than to keep a fresh perspective on our experience.

*****I also want to clarify that “getting yourself together” is not limited to degrees and business successes. Pursuing intrinsic gains that shift you into better vibrations and way of living is just as arduous a feat.*****

However, I am not saying you have to go the way of the Hikikomori to meet your goals. Just know that it is ok to not be able to juggle everything and make everyone happy. I am saying that as much to myself as anyone else! My Dad always said “those who mind don’t matter and those that matter don’t mind”. They will be supportive of you and respect your “I have to do this” mindset.

All that to say, PLEASE do not feel guilty or made to feel like a bad person because you have decided to focus on yourself. Leveling up requires quitting fruitless distractions that do not fill your soul, purpose, or pocketbook. The world is ready for the version of you that you have been dreaming of! Keep laboring in love. You’ll be surprised what the universe will bring to your doorstep.

♥Lily

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Short, sweet and to the point- Stop experiencing through time.

Stop measuring your journey by artificial benchmarks

Stop anticipating your arrival at your hearts destination

Your feelings do not abide by the date in your planner

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The best decisions can feel like the worst ones when you don’t know what is next. I am a firm believer in the power of a back up plan but I’m at the mercy of life and its lessons like anyone else.

A week after stepping down from an increasingly toxic place I know physically and mentally I am doing better. I actually sleep soundly and my body is starting to correct itself in various ways. This has been scary. Let me say that clearly and consistently, this decision has not come without its fair share of fear. The feelings of anxiety and wayward wandering are also pretty prominent. I have found that financial security via employment is a ridiculously strong narcotic. I have had time to look back at where I was and how much I was willing to withstand to make sure my comfort and stability remained intact. To what degree I desensitized myself to get through 8am Monday to 5pm Friday. It is impressive and terrifying to know how far you will go to secure yourself. With that mixed bag of feelings I know what I can offer and what I refuse to give going forward.

As one would expect I have re-entered the job hunt pool fairly quickly. And OMG IS IT TRASH. I am saying that as sincerely and professionally as I can muster. The hoops that are in place now are ridiculous and I am now very clued in why positions never get filled. And the need to really take a good long look at who you are applying with is crucial. The following two questions are extremely common now:

 

While seemingly harmless on a first glance, the first questions has a concerning undertone. On one hand they want to know how hard of a worker I am and if I will go the distance. But on the other hand, they are gunning for someone willing to be “above and beyond” ALL THE TIME. It is the age of the “eager beaver” where we should be grateful for the experience. Except….we already have it. I’m not showing these to bash the hiring process (ok a little) but to make a point about being aware of who you are applying with. Nah, no preaching about “you’re interviewing them as much as they are interviewing you”. They are judging to see if you’re hungry enough to accept bottom of the barrel. If you’re unsure if that is the goal go back and really read the “job description”. You’ll notice a tone of self-importance and an exhaustive list of expectations from YOU with no mentioned contribution from them to match your effort. Often times coming in at the $11-$14/hr range.

 

 

This second question is trickier. You’re talking about a big project that you contributed to and ultimately championed. Be careful here a question like this is a perfect pitfall to over share and/or blow things out of proportion. Keep it modest and brief using buzzwords like: organization, results oriented, time management, process, efficient, team work, customer satisfaction, etc. While you want to show off, it just isn’t a good idea. Read up on the position on the company site if possible and align your narrative with their company culture. You don’t want the person reading your responses to feel threatened by your competence.

 

PAUSE.

 

Excuse me bitch, whet? Yes! Of all the reasons you can get thrown in the no pile, seeming overly competent and ambitious can be one of them. Logically, an employer should want that. But think of it this way- the everyday jobs that we encounter (while we work on our dreams) are looking for someone who has no ambition beyond the company they are applying for/employed by. Complacency and good ole stability is what gets and keeps jobs. So slap that stick family on your back windshield and let these employers know that you are fine with life and will be staying and hope to support your family and all major milestones while carrying the company on your back. For $35,000 or less a year. Mmmmm the smell of mediocrity….

 

I made myself cringe. I wish nothing but the best of everything for all of you and whatever your goals are I fully support them. However, it is important to be realistic when it comes to employment. A few other tips:

  • Do not share your address if you do not have to. Geographical discrimination is a thing (commute time, neighborhood, size of your home, etc)
  • Do not share social media or personal websites unless they are directly aligned with the job description
  • If you left your job for similar reasons as I did, answer the “why did you leave” with a simple “organizational changes that were not aligned with my professional goals” or something like that
  • NEVER TRASH YOUR EX OR YOUR EMPLOYER– says more about you than them
  • If you’re really interested in the job opening write a sincere cover letter
  • DO NOT answer questions about your relationship status, parental/guardian status, etc. IT IS ILLEGAL
  • Update your LinkedIn, companies are looking

My first week out to pasture and I haven’t had much luck. But this week, for you and I both, will be the one. In the meantime, I send so much love and light to you and yours because it’s hard out here for a competent and worthwhile person. You’re appreciated and you’re doing fuckin great. Thank you for waking up and trying another day.

 

Lily ♥

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I quit my job this morning and I’m scared, anxious, and worried. I hate feeling like this but I know that feeling better comes with time. I know that the hardest part of trusting the process is setting it in motion.
Two years, 3 months, and I quit. I am not saying this triumphantly nor am I saying it sadly. Right now it is merely a statement of fact. The tears well up and dissipate every few minutes or so and I side step the catches of breath pretty smoothly. I am not mourning my job (maybe my paycheck a bit) but I am feeling that “wtf have I done and what am I going to do next” pressure. Everything will be okay, I know this. The choice I made was a good one for me but for now overwhelmed is the prevailing feel.  I am positively overflowing with things to say but in the same instance I realize none of them are ready to be shared because I’m not sure which words to use. But I want to make this very clear for anyone on the edge:

IT IS OK TO LEAVE A BAD SITUATION.

Even if it is not immediately it is important that you take stock of every interaction and relationship that puts you in a less than YOU state of mind. Those people, moments, jobs, websites, that take your inner dialogue out of character GOTS TA GO. It has taken me a year to lay down the gauntlet and realize that “hanging in there” isn’t worth it. You gain nothing from leaving yourself in a situation that requires a sacrificial ritual of your mental health and soul to get through. Because at the end of the day all you will be left with is a shell of who you were when you woke up and no closer to where you thought you ought to be. I’m not quite sure I got this across earlier but I didn’t quit my job to “pursue my dreams”. If only it were that fantastical and innocent. I quit because everyday was more of a struggle. Crying myself to work on the highway, going through bouts of not wanting to eat, feeling defeated and devalued as a professional and really, really, really, bad sleep…a typical week in review.  I didn’t notice these things until it was pretty far along because I was busy making excuses that somehow the problem was me and not that I worked in a hell hole. Because fuck all if I wasn’t going to “stick it out” for that coveted financial security and stability that a decent job can provide….a scam.

We aren’t always going to be happy but we damn sure don’t have to be miserable 40 hours a week. Ya’ll please take care of yourselves. I mean that loudly and consistently. TAKE CARE OF YOUR DAMN SELF. Self care and protection of your mental health is not just a face mask and mimosa’s or 2k and a fresh fade. Sit with yourself and listen. I am saying this from a place of experience and concern because I know what it is like to be trapped in what society says is good and it be the most toxic thing you’ve done lately. Sometimes you have to close the door so that other ones can open for you. That’s cliché af but sometimes rocking the boat is the only way you’re going to create the wave that carries you to the next shore.

Stay afloat babies and rage on,
Lily
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Try this.
 Seriously, today try saying no to someone who is asking you yet again to do something that you have no interest in. Doesn’t have to be rude. Just say no. Firmly. No explanation is needed and you don’t owe anyone that.

 

I have exercised the use of this word the last couple of weeks. Or more honestly I have stopped being complacent in social interactions and then being miffed when I’m stuck with an unwanted task or have to suffer through some awful conversation. Basic concept, saying no. But let’s be real IT IS REALLY HARD and we are taught not to say it if we can actually do the thing that is being asked, albeit subliminally. But whew! LET.ME.TELL.YOU!!! Saying no is a straight up game changer. Conversations end quicker, you can block his number faster, and you are able to get back to enjoying a night in with wine and your fav show.

 

How does no give me all this? You ask, askingly. Because it is powerful and simple and quite frankly puts up one helluva wall between you and the other person. It puts their bullshit back in their court and you get to watch them flounder. You aren’t rejecting them you are simply denying them access to you at a given time based on the conditions of their need. BUT HOLY SHIT can people not extricate themselves and the word no from each other. “Can I see your tits?” NO “I knew you weren’t into me” welp, that sounds like a you problem “OMG, can you believe what he did? We HAVE to talk about it” Yes I can, and no we don’t “wow! you don’t even care about my problems”

                                                                                  

 

I SAID NO….I didn’t say anything about not liking you or not caring about your other problems. I just don’t owe you my comfort or peace. PERIOD. It is very ok to value your own time and how you spend it. Ramping up on the no front has been cathartic. From my Mom to dating– ya’ll getting these here no’s when and where I feel like it is appropriate. It isn’t my job to compromise so that you feel comfortable in whatever terms you dictate no matter the cost to me. TAKE THIS NO AND THE HANDS IF YOU GOT QUESTIONS.

 

Jokes aside, be very wary of those who do not respect your right to disengage, decline and otherwise leave a situation. YOUR NEEDS ARE NEVER LESS IMPORTANT THAN SOMEONES WANTS, OK? Write that some where and revisit it often until it is second nature. It doesn’t HAVE to be someone that you are romantically involved with. It is any person whom you have voiced it to and they have swatted it aside. Yes parents. Yes best friends. ABSOFUCKINGLUTELY that random fuck on the bus/train/tube/subway/etc. If they get in their feelings? That’s a them problem.  If they get to stuttering and accusing please remind them

                                     
This has been a PSA from the Trill Network,
❤️ Lily
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The last few weeks I keep running into the same message: “keep creating, keep going, keep trying”. Nothing is significant about the phrase except that it is continuously framed with the question “Am I good enough?” This question constantly plagues me and has been quite an obstacle and a deterrent to my dreams and progress. However, I think it is normal (especially in a creative space) to have that small voice nagging at you sometimes. Creative works are so unique because there is no set of rules or regulations you have to adhere to. It is based on how far can your mind take you. But I get railroaded by that voice…when I feel like I’m starting to want to really soar– “who even reads this? what good are you doing or offering to anyone? this is a waste of time!” An annoying mantra that bangs around in my head like a street dance number in a Broadway play so often lately.

But then it appears again KEEP DOING. And again, CREATE REGARDLESS. MOVE FORWARD. FAIL, IT’S OK. And it continues to resonate with me louder and louder to just keep creating no matter how good or bad you think it is because while you create that voice doesn’t have time to bitch. You can’t get pushed off course when you’re barreling full speed ahead, as best you can. Failing is totally ok but as a creator failure is hard to define because it is such a personal experience for each of us. To that end, coping with and using the term “creator” is nerve-wracking for me. Because I am sometimes so embroiled in the “well can I be x,y or z, if I’m not putting out perfect stuff and competing tit for tat with the mega bloggers/creators/et al?” YES I CAN BE THAT but ONLY if I actively work to become that. You hear me? We can be whatever we want as long as we are working towards that goal. I can’t be a blogger, creator, CEO, influencer….without trying. I 100% am not going to be known as any of those things if I am not putting out content that I love and really flexing my muscles as much as I can.

Admittedly though, many days are a struggle. Full time job, school, trying to research and make connections to find a better profession or certification that will get me there, can really leave me drained. So I am making an effort to invest some time into learning how to keep up a reserve tank for my own wants and needs. I want the same energy that is expected of me at some baby boomers company to line their pockets for myself. I’m also open to suggestions about what may work for you or what you have found that definitely does not work because that is extremely valuable to me as well. I’m aspiring to be more “bout it” in my creative realm as I am in my professional and personal ones.

So here’s to continually trying, without boundaries or worries!  Make sure you have yourself a couple of glasses of water, a couple of minutes away from the information highway and I will see you later ❤️

Take care fam,
Lily
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You always want to put the best face forward. At least that is something that I have always been told….”fix your makeup, hide the crazy, people are watching you” Miranda Lambert’s “Mama’s Broken Heart” comes to mind often when things go awry. I will attribute that conditioning to the region in which I grew up. Picture it- rural southern US upbringing, with a gentle hearted, phalanderin’, Daddy and a straight backed put up or shut up Momma who ain’t give a shit about your feelings and taught you exactly how amazing you are. Slap me somewhere in there. This here preface seems maybe a bit unnecessary, nostalgic or heehaw fairytale but shut up and give it a minute. Ya gotta know this to understand what comes next.

Don’t ever assume because you can’t see something…produce tangible evidence of its physical existence… it isn’t there. Lacerations, orbital fractures, and busted noses get the point across without any questions. Walk out upright, on your own, bereft of emergency services and you find out that somehow it is your fault for what has transpired against you. Your own parent will twist that knife for you. At least mine did.

Love is only as strong as the person receiving it.

Two years and seven months, culminated into fifteen minutes at 4am on a Wednesday morning, the last day of February 2018. When asked what in life changes you, people say a number of things: child birth, marriage, buying a home…. But I’d personally like to move for having the end of your life detailed to you by someone who moments before were telling you they wanted to marry you. That will change you. Having someone tell you “I will fucking kill you…cut your fuckin face off- do you know who I am?!” or how they have a few friends who can “make you disappear”. Law enforcement won’t help because “he hasn’t done anything yet”. And then you make the decision that you will walk out of this situation no matter what it takes. Save yourself.

Think Twice Act Once

4:05 AM this ends now.

4:07 AM see you on the other side come hell or high water- no matter what I’ll see me on the other side.

4:12 AM his surprise has turned into fear and confusion

4:13 AM you feel the heat of your own rage playing first chair to your voice that now emanates from you as though God herself is amplifying your existence as you issue the single deadliest promise of your life.

4:15…silence penetrates the air as you wait for whatever comes next

It never does. That next thing. It never will come. Because no one puts Baby in the fuckin corner. Ever. Cuz the funny thing about love is that nothing can overcome it.. accept the will to live. No one loves anything more than their unalienable right to exist.

Not everyone has the same heart as you

Why didn’t I see this coming? Weren’t there signs? Sure, maybe there were. I won’t argue that with you. With that in mind though, let’s revisit my upbringing. I am not the first, nor will I be the last, woman to have been taught and shown that you work shit out. Keep your business YOUR BUSINESS and work it out. You don’t quit on people or relationships. You made this bed now lie in it. Do more. Try harder. Cook. Clean. Are you building them up? Have you tried talking about it? Lose some weight. This sounds like your fault, I know how you can be. At first it made sense. I am lacking somewhere. It must be true, my mother is seeing this in me. I am not doing enough to make this situation and lifestyle as good as it could be. False connections are made and hyper sensitivity set in. Introspection became self criticism and sadness. I would’ve done anything to improve this whilst the other player never had any intention of doing anything outside of under perform. I want to succeed and grow. Prospering comes in a multi faceted stone attainable by us all. But know that the gold of your heart can inspire both admiration and jealousy. The more I opened myself the more disappointed I became. I was trying to love, care, provide, away poor personal makeup.

Little did I know that what I saw and how I absorbed at home is only different from this man in one way- content of the lesson.

More of you will never be enough if it was never valued to begin with

What is bred into someone, nurtured, neglected…it will always exist. No matter what language you learn to convey the idea, the simple construct of unconditional expression of care, it won’t be received by someone who has no ability to receive it. Giving of myself to the point of emotional bankruptcy, poor health (mental and otherwise) is never worth it. Not because it carries no value but because I cannot force someone else to value me the way I value me. That is where I erred and I implore you to learn from me and side step it. Set your price. Set it high. Non negotiable. We increase in worth please know you are worth so much and will only become more precious with time. Is what I would’ve said to myself if I had known. Love is wonderful until it requires improvement to continue.

The grass is always going to be greener under me

I am a complete person. I was the day I was born. I will runneth over when the sun sets on my time here. I will never again live my life in an apologetic cadence to create comfort for others.. My heights and my depths are my own and at no point is anyone entitled to access to either. I will cry more. I will be apprehensive of newer relationships. I will commit to letting fear teach me. My promise to myself is to continue becoming fluent in the beautiful love language that is myself. My soul is endless and my ability boundless. I never fell out of love with me and fighting for it was the price to remember.

This is the confession of a woman who fought back.

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