A Look Beyond the Titles

Mother.  Wife.  Supervisor.  Employee.  Provider.  There are so many times when women who fall into these categories are defined by these words.  We are characterized, classified and described with these words and at times, our identity and worth is sometimes only valued based on these things.  For five years, I have had the pleausre of being a wife; three of those years I have been on the journey of motherhood; and that same amount of time I have held a managerial role at my job as a supervisor.  I identify these roles because a lot of times these roles either have positive or even negative connotations to them.  You can either be praised for the strength and determination it takes to hold these titles; while in some eyes, your abilities and talents are narrowed to only these roles.

I am More Than What my Titles Define

As a woman who holds these titles, I don’t want to be ashamed when I say, I want to be known for the things I do outside of these things.   I am thoroughly proud to be a mother and take pride in being a wife, but I also have interests, thoughts and opinions that define my individuality outside of those things.  Sometimes, I don’t want to have non-stop conversation about parenting or marriage, because there’s so much more that goes on in my life outside of these things.  I feel as if I don’t want to always complain or discuss my job or my work.  Aspects of these things are nice; or how they may relate to real-life issues can be fine, but my conversations and my lifestyle does not have to center around 24-7 “mommy” type things, or “married/wife” things.  I am an individual Black woman.  I have friends who come from all walks of life who have so many different things going for themselves.  I am a writer and published author, I read the news, I follow social media for the simple fact that I like to stay connected to things going on in the world and within my age range and demographic.

I have done this very often, and I tend to challenge myself to tell people things that are not so  obvious  about myself.  Two things that someone will always know about me within 30 minutes of speaking with me is that I am a wife and I am a mother, because those are the things that I tend to assume people will always only want to know about me.  I believe that women are designed to tell people those basic facts about themselves, because they are the most important things, and not highlight any of the other things that are important to them in their lives.


#50Days50Questions: Dreams and Goals 

What are my goals and dreams?

  • Run my own publishing company
  • Become a full time writer
  • Be featured in a magazine or on another blog
  • Continue to publish

I don’t share my dreams often, because sometimes they feel too outlandish to be accomplished.  Also, right now, I’m in a position where a young thug has bills to pay and a small mouth to feed, so throwing caution to the wind and just going out on a limb and following my creative passion is not the most logical plan.  I wonder sometimes the main issue will always be “how will I ever get the money to ever fund any of these dreams and have them come true?”

Anyway, I’m rambling and need to get back on subject.  Let’s talk about the concept of dreams and goals.  The reality of it is, we all have them.  I don’t think anyone goes through life without having goals for their life.  I also believe no one goes through life without having a dream that they want to see come to fruition either for themselves or for someone they love.  In my opinion, it is a common way of life.  The idea is having the drive and determination to make these dreams a reality, and put a plan in place to complete the goals you set out for yourself.

I’ll always have big dreams and goals in my life, I don’t think that’s something that will ever waver about me.  Dreams and goals are things that build a person and make them unique; Andretti both something I’ll always hold close to my heart.

How to Push Past Your Comfort Zone

So far this year, there has been a lot of discomfort in my transition into 30.  There was going to be a lot of things I told myself I would do that I normally wouldn’t have ever done.   One of the main reasons I chose to do this cruel thing to myself was because as one gets older, sometimes you have to change.  Sometimes you have to spread yourself a little bit in order to know what you’re capable of growing to become.

Lately, I’ve committed to putting myself in the position to intentionally making myself do things that make me uncomfortable.  I am doing little things that the ‘old Whit’ would have NEVER dreamed of doing and to my surprise, I am slowly beginning to see that I enjoy it more and more.  Even though some of the things may not even get me out of the house, I feel that even in this millennial/digital/social media stage in life, I’m still putting myself out there in ways that I never would have a year or two ago.  As a person who is generally an introvert by nature, it is extremely difficult for me to be as outgoing as I strive to be.  I still become very shy when opportunities present themselves for me to vocal about certain things; however, with everyday that passes, I try to affirm that I can push myself to become more outgoing and outspoken as I transition into a new chapter of my life.

For me, I feel a shift of greater things happening as I approach my thirties and in order for me to be prepared for it, I believe that some of the preparation is occurring now.  I feel that certain tests are being put in my path, as a way to say “Yo, I need you to get past this, because when _____ comes into your life, you’re going to need to be ready for it.” Now, if you ask am I passing or failing these tests, I may possibly just be getting by, LOL; but I think there are lessons learned in all things.  I believe that any and every experience I’ve gone through has taught me even the smallest thing about myself, and that is what is most important.  The key is to now take those things I’m learning and apply them to becoming a better me for the future.

Between me now finally accomplishing my goal of publishing my first book, on track to publishing more, and blogging consistently and expanding that; my mind has now opened up to so many other opportunities and possibilities to how I want to expand what I am currently doing and how to make my future in writing even brighter than I ever dreamed.  From only privately  journaling two years ago, to now blogging on two sites and having a published novel is a major move for me and I feel I can only go up from here.  I can only speak on three key ways I was able to make it happen:




So, for anyone who is struggling to step out of their comfort zone I say this; no one is stopping you but you.  You have to find what will help you to push past your comfort zone and get you to where you want to be in life.  Without those three things, I wouldn’t be where I am currently, and I definitely wouldn’t have the courage to continue to dream as big as I am dreaming right now!

Who’s Approval Do You Seek? 

There are times when I have to check in with myself, just to make sure that I am continuing to keep pushing towards achieving the goals I have set out for myself; but more importantly, make sure that I am not shifting into the mindset of doing things out of the validation of others, instead of  doing things because it is something that I truly love to do.

As people, it becomes easy to fall into the trap of doing things because someone else wants us to, or doing things to gain the approval of others (more often, our close friends and family for example).  Most times, we look to them more for their rallying support of your decisions, but sometimes it turns into them wanting to validate your decisions.

What you have to remember, is you have the right to live the best life you can; no matter who understands it or accepts it.  There are things that I never thought I would accomplish in life, but one thing I told myself is that I wouldn’t wait for anyone’s approval or permission to do the things that I wanted to do with my life or with my creative goals.  I also didn’t let anyone’s opinion of what they felt about it hinder my decision on what I chose to do with my life.

Sometimes, it’s worth taking the chance on yourself and bringing your goals and visions to life before someone else does, and not waiting for other people to give you the permission to say it’s ok. You have to ask yourself,

“who’s approval am I seeking in this journey towards my success?” 

The only answer to this question should be your own.  If you find yourself seeking someone else’s approval in your journey towards your success, it may be time to re-evaluate the confidence you possess for yourself and your ability to achieve that goal and also eliminating those who only expect you to live your life by seeking their approval and living through their idea of validation.

Sometimes you Will Suffer Alone

My first time watching Iyanla Fix My Life was on 5/20 (yea yea I know), when she attempted to fix the lives of a mother and her six children.  For the sake of spoilers, I won’t go into a long detailed account of everything I saw, but I will say that they had a host of deep issues that left me wondering if they would ever find the path towards forgiveness and healing.  I sat on my couch, phone in hand along with my fellow #BlackTwitter family as we hashtagged our way through this episode of drama, with our mouths gaping open in shock at all the tea being spilled.

As I was watching, Iyanla said something that I had realized I often thought about it and learned myself recently (which also left me wondering why on earth I had been missing out on these gems for so long).  So, Iyanla screams out in her voice in only a way that she could:

“You cannot get someone to agree with your experience.”

Whoa. Issa word.

This was pretty interesting quote and I have to say it stuck with me for some time now.  I took some time to really think about how much I had done the very thing this daughter was trying to do with her mother; make her understand and feel what she had gone through, even when it was clear that her mother was going to disagree with her at every turn.  When reflecting on my own personal experiences with this, I had learned the hard way that just because I was experiencing something in my life and had my personal emotional opinion about it doesn’t mean that everyone is going to be on board with me.

Sometimes, you are going to be alone in your feelings.  There will be times that you will not have a soul who is for you and how you feel, and you have to be ok with that.  Your goal is not to badger and fight your way into people seeing your point.  Your goal is to not push and project your emotions onto others.  The best thing you can do is express to someone how you feel, and hope that they understand and can provide some level of empathy, but it doesn’t mean that they will always agree.

Focusing your attention into making someone understand how your experience was with something may not give you the desired result; because oftentimes, we want that person to feel how we felt, understand our anger/rage/sadness; and sometimes, they still have no remorse for us. So what have you gained in all putting all that energy in forcing your experience onto someone? Not. A. Thing.

I notice that sometimes Iyanla may not always have the best approach to delivering her mesage, but on this episode, she spoke a word to me, and it’s something that even in my own life I have to remember to carry with me at times.  You have to remember that people will not always agree with what you’ve been through; you can only pray that the person you reach out to for comfort is willing to show empathy and understanding to your situation.

-Whit C.

8-5 Whit Vs. After 5 Whit: A Lesson in My Duality

As you can see in the picture, my attempt is to show that I have two different sides of myself.  I believe a lot of us in this world live in this same reality.  First, we have the professional side.  This is the side that puts on a bright smiling face, shows up to work and does the job that needs to be done.  For some people living on side A, there’s little to no foolery going on at the job, and coworkers no very little about your social activities and your personal life after you take off your ‘professional’ hat.  A lot of us live most of our days at work, so these are some of the people that we spend a good chunk of our time with, so they may perceive this to be our ‘normal’.  It’s rare or almost impossible for them to see how you are on a Friday night-Sunday evening, and if they do, it might shock them.

The second part of yourself is who I like to call your “after 5” self.  This is the person that a lot of people in your professional life don’t see.  This is the person you let loose on social media, the person who has a totally different set of clothes to wear on the weekend, and let’s not discuss the type of activities we get into on the weekend.  This also may be the person with a different creative venture in life. For example, by day; I’m a state government supervisor, but by night, I’m a blogger, writer, full time mommy/wife/bestie/homie/wine aficionado-in-training and turn up enthusiast 😎

Like I said, most of us live two different lives; and if you’re like me, sometimes it gets hard for others to balance or even understand that you have to change your personality to fit into your professional realm.  I heard a discussion about this once, and they called it duality.  I realized that this might be a little bit of something I’m going through right now.  Sometimes I feel like I am living in two different worlds.

I have a hard time balancing my personal life with my professional life, because I am very much a millennial. I am very much into social media, very much into wanting to be social and fun. I understand that I am not going to make some of the immature and irresponsible decisions I made in college now that I am an adult; however, I do know that some of the things that I do now are things I wouldn’t want my coworkers to know about in my professional settings.
A lot of times, people find that there is a struggle to be genuine while in their workplace, because who they are in the workplace might not be deemed “appropriate” for the climate of culture of their work environment.  I mean, how can you pride yourself on being uniquely you, when you have to censor yourself to please your work environment? #LeStruggle

As I continue to navigate through the murky waters of professional adulthood and my passionate side hustle of being a creative, I guess I will be also finding ways to define myself in both of these worlds as well as learning how to be my most authentic self in each one.  One thing I have learned is that respect and honesty hold true no matter what area of life you’re in, and people will value you a lot more when you’re honest about who you are up font instead of trying to be someone you’re not.

So, here’s to all of us working our way through our duality.  May we find a way to live and love both lives at once, Lol!!!

Be Careful What You Project on Others 

Have you ever gotten into an argument or disagreement with someone, and found yourself trying to push your feelings or emotions onto another person; and continuously gottten upset when they don’t see things your way?  Or did you want someone to feel the same way you felt about something, so you decide to try and push whatever agenda or feelings that you have about a situation on them so they can feel just as sad at?  If you have felt this way before, then it’s safe to say that you may have been projecting your negative vibes onto other people, and that’s not what’s up, friends.

So, let’s dissect this, shall we?

What does it mean to project anyway? The definition of project is to transfer or attribute one’s own emotion or desire (another person) to, especially unconsciously. Which means, whenever you’re feeling, jealous, angry, sad, upset, insecure, fearful, anxious, etc. you can project these emotions onto others around you, and allow them to feel the same way.

So, I’m sure you’re asking yourself; what would make someone want to project their negativity onto someone else?  I believe its because it feels good to us.  The truth is hurtful and we don’t want to be exposed to any parts of it by ourselves if we don’t have to be; so instead, we decide to push our feelings and insecurities off on people so intensely that they begin to feel as if they are theirs as well.  Before we know it, we have projected some negative vibes into the atmosphere and the reality of the situation is, we are still wallowing in our feelings alone, and all we’ve done is pissed some innocent people off in the process.

As I was digging into this subject, I began to ask myself some questions:

  • Do people find it easier to project their emotions onto others? Does it give them a sense of relief?

I believe for some people, it does.  I think for some, it serves as a defense mechanism.  If they are able to take that feeling and pass it off to someone else, and feel as if that burden is no longer theirs, then they are no longer worried or concerned.

  • Do you consider how you’ve affected someone else emotionally with your negative projections?

I will admit that I have attempted to project my emotions onto someone in the past, and I was called out on it.  There was a discussion about it and the air was clear.  After that, I was able to recognize how I contributed to that, and I do my best to not project on others.  I have learned from my mistakes (because I’m human enough to admit I am not perfect and I have done this before), and I work hard not to do it again, because it is not a good thing to do to anyone.

  • Is it possible to project positive emotions?

The last question was actually one I got listening to a podcast, and it made me think.  I don’t believe there is a way that you can project positive emotions, by definition.  If I am attempting to transfer my emotions onto someone else, I am basically trying to force the way I think, feel and believe onto someone else; which could be possibly setting myself up for disappointment in the long run.  I feel like your intentions may be good; however, the overall intent will still be lost, and in the end, someone will end up on the losing end of it either way.

So, with all this being said; I leave you with this question that I even asked myself:

How can we prevent negatively projecting our emotions on others?

One way I see doing this, is fully accepting our own emotions, and working through them like big girls and big boys should.  There are far too many instances when we project negatively on others, just to deflect what we truly want to feel and process ourselves, and that not only is unfair, but it’s also very toxic to spread that kind of negative energy around to others.  The best thing to do, is to begin to own up to whatever emotions your feeling, and learn how to deal with them as an individual and move on so that you don’t have to allow anyone to be subject to your projections.