Adulting 101

Hey Ladies!

It’s almost the weekend, so I’m super pumped! But let’s talk about the elephant in the room of every millennial… ADULTING. *cue dramatic music* Who knew being an adult could be so challenging?  I surely didn’t. I mean yeah, I knew it wasn’t going to be a cakewalk, but I swear I go through about 100 emotions a day. I know many of you can relate. It’s like you go from being swaddled in a warm, comfortable blanket to being thrown into a pack of wolves. It’s just TEW much at times.

I think my major issues with Adulting are time management and finances. I don’t necessarily struggle with procrastination or anything like that, but most times I have so much on my plate that my head feels like it’s spinning around in circles. I often find myself choosing between two things I really need or want to do. On a normal day I’m choosing between a nap or a workout; and on an extremely busy day I’m out of the house for 12 plus hours. Sometimes I wish I could push a pause button on life, but of course that’s not an option.

Finances, oh finances YOU are the main culprit of adult stress. Money is needed for basically everything you could even think of. Want to move out? You need money. Want to start a business? You need money. Want to take a girls trip? YOU NEED MONEY! Can we catch a break? Geez. It’s quite frustrating especially when you begin to think about the future. I have a desire to get married and have kids like many millennials, but I’d rather not bring children in the world until I’m prepared financially. I’m already thinking about how I’m going to send them to college and I don’t even have a potential husband. It’s madness!

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Your twenties present so many shifts and changes. Most people graduate from college and the next day they’re left to figure out everything on their own. Once you kind of have adulting down, curveballs start to come your way. I’m just ducking and dodging as I go. Thank God I have amazing parents who are there to help if I really need it. But once you leave the nest, it’s so hard to put pride aside and ask for help. I moved out, so I should figure it out without them now. Right? Eh. Not necessarily. But that’s easier said than done.

Along with the external factors of adulting, there’s an internal struggle that also happens. You’re trying to decipher exactly who you are as a woman.  Tons of questions swarm your mind daily like…What kind of woman do I want to be? What will/won’t I accept from people? Do I want to get married and have children? Finding yourself and your true identity can be tricky especially if you have distractions in your life. I had to get rid of mine to start working on the inside. I’ll elaborate in another post.

Adulting can be tough, but here’s how I’m managing to make it. Maybe this could help you too.

  1. Live in the moment. The power of NOW is truly a force to be reckoned with. You don’t know what tomorrow holds or if you’ll even be alive tomorrow, so live in the moment and enjoy the time you have here on earth.
  2. Realize that you don’t have to have it all together. A lot of times I’m a wreck and accepting that has made adulting much easier. You won’t always have it together and you won’t always have the answers, but that’s OK. Humanize yourself.
  3. Stop comparing yourself to others. Now this is the toughest thing you could probably do because social media has stolen the joy of uniqueness. Everyone wants to be the same and have the same journey. Enjoy YOUR journey. All the bumps in the road, the tears, the pain will all be worth it.
  4. Make time for yourself (recoup). It’s important that you’re not on go-mode 24-7. I usually like to take a day to just pamper myself by getting some rest, curling up with a good book, taking a bubble bath, or treating myself to something special.
  5. Plan. Even though our plans often fail, it’s important to write down your goals and plans for the future. If you want to purchase a home or a car, plan out how you will save your money to make those purchases. I have personally made a plan that by age 30, I won’t be working a 9 to 5 job. I will be working for myself full-time.

 

You got this!! Come through adult!

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Scars Left from Verbal/Emotional Abuse

Heavy topic. Yeah, I know. It’s extremely heavy for me because I’m still living with the scars that I got three years ago. But let’s talk about it! Writing is therapy for me so here it goes…

So if you know me personally or have read any of my past blog posts, you are probably aware that my last relationship was pretty toxic and left me with some ugly scars. This post isn’t mean to bash my ex, but simply to share my experiences with women who are struggling.

Let’s rewind about three years to the exact date…lol I was living in Atlanta and embarking on a life journey that I thought would end in romance, wedding bells, and a happily ever after. Boy was I wrong. After some personal issues arose with my then boyfriend, I started seeing a different side of him. There were some red flags before then, but when his behavior changed dramatically all I could see was flashing neon lights saying “Caution.” But did I listen? Of course not. Like a typical 21-year-old who thought she was in love and was going to spend the rest of her life with this man, I decided to stick it out. Why? Because that’s what you do when you love someone right? WRONG.

The verbal abuse started very subtle. So subtle that I kept asking myself if I was tripping. He would throw little jabs here and there. Insult my comprehension skills or intelligence or he would show me other women and tell me why they were beautiful. I took the small punches like a champ. I thought that he was just frustrated and it would blow over, but nope! The more time went on, the meaner he got. Not only was he throwing bigger jabs, but he would also make me feel guilty for stuff HE did. He would flip everything on me and now I’m the one crying and feeling like crap. A master manipulator he was. I remember one time I was leaving the house to go to an Atlanta fashion week event, and as I walked to my car I saw him pulling up from a long day doing landscaping with his father. I stopped and waved and he rolled his window down. Didn’t greet me or anything. All he said was “Why are you dressed like that? You trying to get another n*gga?” So I said “What are you talking about? I told you I’m going to an event with my friend.” He drove off and I got in my car. Why didn’t I just leave that night? I’m not sure but everything happens for a reason.

Fast forward about three days and I found out that he was sexting another woman. It honestly was probably more than one. I never felt secure in that relationship. We spent more time arguing about other females than enjoying each other. He always put other women who were his so called “friends” before me. If they needed something he was there in a hurry, but if I needed something I was a burden. I was sinking into a deep depression and I didn’t even know it until I read my diary from that time. I was unhappy, skinny, thin nails. I wanted to get out but I didn’t know how. I was trying to stick it out because we had already planned out the future. I was going to have all his babies and we were going to have the perfect life. But God had the perfect escape plan for me. Yes it crushed me to the core. I’ve NEVER felt pain like that before and wouldn’t wish that on anyone. I mean who wants to feel betrayed? I did everything for him and he spit it back in my face. However, that needed to happen in order for me to fulfill the destiny God had created me to live out.

After leaving the relationship, I was depressed and suicidal for a few months, but I just kept getting closer and closer to God. I leaned entirely on him during the process. It was my only option. Now it’s three years later and I’m in a whole different space. I’m accomplishing things that I never would have imagined. I’m immensely blessed, but just because I have forgiven my ex, doesn’t mean that the scars still don’t linger. The trauma from not only being cheated on but also being verbally/emotionally abused has caused me to be a different person emotionally. Before, I was super trusting of men, but now I’m a little jaded. Not in a sense of being bitter because I prayed to be delivered from that, but in a sense of being fearful to fully trust and love again. I’m the queen of overthinking, and it’s difficult for me to actually develop feelings for a man now. Almost everyone I meet automatically goes into the “friend zone.” If I catch feelings it’s like I become mute and can’t verbalize it. Sometimes I feel emotionally broken. Like a switch inside has a shortage or something. It’s like when my feelings start to bubble up to the surface, a light starts to flicker and shuts the whole thing down. Anyone in the same boat?

I just think it’s going to take a man that exudes the light of God to tear down those walls and make those scars fully vanish. God loves me like no man ever has and until a man can practice a 1 Corinthians 13 kind of love on me, I’m good. Most importantly I desire unconditional love. I watch a show called Married at First Sight and one of the cast members named Sheila said that she’s never been loved unconditionally. She said that it’s always been a conditional type love. The type of love that a man is willing and ready to love you when things are great and easy, but on the days you’re difficult to love, he’s ready to throw in the towel. I’ve always loved the good, bad, and ugly in people, so some reciprocity is what I need in a husband!

What do you desire in your husband? How do you deal with trauma from past relationships? I want to hear your thoughts!

XO, Jess

In the Grey

Queens, let’s get into some relationship talk…

So yesterday I was listening to LeToya Luckett’s newest album, Back 2 Life and one of the songs, Grey, specifically stuck out to me because it perfectly describes how relationships work in this day and age. Listen to the song, and then continue reading the post!

Basically, the song is about being in the grey area of a relationship, which is something I’m sure everyone has experienced. It seems like the grey area is becoming thicker and thicker, and now there are almost no boundaries in relationships. I know our grandparents didn’t have to deal with all this grey area. Back then, you went on a date that a man asked you on, and then after that you’re in a committed relationship if the date went well. Most times this led to marriage, children, and decades of love.

Nowadays, there’s grey area in every step of the process. First, who asks who on the date? (and no I don’t wanna “chill.”) Then, who pays for the date? Some people think that the man should pay for the first date, and some people (mostly male) think that a man shouldn’t spend his money on a woman he’s not invested in yet. And when you’re in the “talking” phase, how much is too much? Who should text first? Can we see other people? How do we move to the next phase? All of this grey area has quite frankly driven me to overthinking every little thing when it comes to men I might be interested in. I don’t want to do too much, but I also want to let the gentlemen know that I’m feeling a vibe.

But when you actually get into the relationship there is still more grey area. Often times, both people involved have different interpretations of relationships and their expectations. One person might think it’s OK to still text people of the opposite sex, while the other might be totally uncomfortable. It’s just way too much for me and I’m annoyed by how complicated the process can be. It’s definitely a good 50% of why I choose not to date right now.

So what’s the solution? I think that transparency and communication is KEY! We’ve got to stop going with the flow if we don’t like going with the flow emotions. Don’t act like you don’t know what I’m talking about. Yeah… when you can’t get mad that a guy you “talk” to or like is “talking” to other people because you aren’t in a relationship with him.  You can feel the jealousy and possessive nature boiling up inside, but you’ve got to sit there and smile like it’s not bothering you. Who wants to suffer like that? I know I don’t and will not ever again.

In my next relationship I want to be as open and honest as possible at every phase of the relationship. I don’t want to feel limited and confused. I want to make sure we are on the same page and clear of our expectations. But, I also think that we as women have got to stop letting men get off the hook so easy. Now, we’re making decisions and stepping into the place that men should be. Men, YOU should be pursing women and LEADING the relationship. Stop waiting for women to ask you out or to bring up the “So… what are we?” conversation. If you know the relationship isn’t going anywhere, YOU need to be the one to have that tough conversation. And if you do see a future with the woman, let her know and be a man of character about it. We’re too old to be playing childish games.

I don’t know about ya’ll but I’m so tired of the grey area! Are you a sister wading in the grey area? I want to hear your thoughts!

Fasting As Your Weapon

Queens!

I hope you had a wonderful Mother’s Day if you are a mom, and if you aren’t I hope you were able to spend the day with your leading lady.

I’ve been wanting to write this blog post for a few weeks now, but I’ve been too busy to actually sit down and type it. But today you’re in for a treat! So if you read my posts regularly, you know that I have no problem being transparent. Simply because I know my testimony and my experiences could help other women.

Let’s rewind to the last week of April which was a cringeworthy, stressful week. My father was in the hospital, I had tons of things going on with my web series and my personal life, and on top of that, Satan was really being a pest. He always seems to attack me when I’m distracted so he can catch me off guard, and boy was I caught off guard.

Mentally I was all over the place, so my alone time with God was slipping through the cracks, and that’s exactly when Satan decided to attack my mind with lustful thoughts. This wasn’t the occasional thought that I can usually pray away. It was strong and resistant. It literally felt like my flesh was rising up like a giant and challenging me to a WWE Smack-down! No matter how much I prayed, rebuked the devil, and tried my hardest to think godly thoughts, the lust wouldn’t go away. It was adamant about being satisfied. It was like a bully forcing me to feed my flesh. At this point I was fed up and distraught, but in the nick of time the Holy Spirit whispered “You need to fast.” It was such a gentle nudging. It was like God telling me what to do to fix the problem, but he was waiting for me to accept his advice.

So I decided to fast, but I was unsure what kind of fast I should do, and again the Holy Spirit said “How can you expect to defeat the enemy if you aren’t prepared because you’re always on social media.”

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Don’t you love it when God checks you? I know I do. I actually laugh because He’s always right and knows exactly how to get me to do what I should be doing. So, I decided to get off all social media so I was free from that distraction. I also reached out to one of my friends for prayer and I continued to pray for myself and talk to God about my struggle. There was also a time at work when I had some candy in my office and had the opportunity to eat it, but God stopped me and threw some more wisdom on me. He made me realize that food can be the direct equivalent to lustful desires. If I can dominate my flesh by choosing not to eat the candy (no matter how much my mouth is watering), my flesh will know that it has to fall in line and cease to my authority.

Once I was able to dominate my flesh, I was able to overcome those lustful thoughts. This experience showed me that we as Christians have to stop relying on prayer alone. Yes, prayer is powerful and changes things, but sometimes your flesh does not obey prayer. Sometimes your flesh can rise up and resist every rebuke you’ve given the devil. That’s when you have to make your body a LIVING sacrifice so that you can overcome.

Before I close, the Holy Spirit is leading me to encourage everyone who is reading this to use fasting as your weapon. Your flesh should not dominate you! You dominate your flesh, but in order to gain control, fasting is a great option. I’m not saying that sex and sexual desire is bad. It’s not at all. Both things were created by God, BUT there are rules to it. Just like society has rules like “You can’t get your license until age 16,” or “You can go into the armed forces at age 18;” God has specific rules when it comes to sex. It is meant to be done in marriage because of the power that is released through sex. I’ll do another blog post on soul ties and consequences of premarital sex, but for now I’ll leave it here… If you are a follower of Christ, you cannot pick and choose what works for your life. If God sacrificed his life, I think it shouldn’t be a question to honor him with our bodies.

XO, Jess

Relationship Idols

Let’s talk about relationship idols! First… what exactly is an idol? Idol: any person or thing regarded with blind admiration, adoration, or devotion. And if you know the 10 commandments, the word idol is also used to prevent believers from worshiping other gods, people or things, but why do we still struggle with idol worship? It’s simple. It’s easier to love a person, place, or thing that we can grasp and see, than it is to do the same to a Spirit. 

People love the idea of God, but don’t necessarily love God. They love what he can do for them, but as soon as the blessings “stop” rolling in, they give up on God. We’d rather spend time scrolling on social media, cuddling up with our boy toys, or watching the newest episode of Empire. Now, I’m not saying that having a life outside of our relationship with God is horrible, but I am saying that we have to create balance (which is tricky). Just like finding time to fit your spouse and children into your life, God needs to be a priority as well if you are a believer. Ideally, God should be number one and everything else should follow. Trust me, I’m guilty of it too, so I’m not judging, but I do want to make you think. How many hours a day do you spend with God compared to the hours you spend on social media, watching tv, in the gym, hanging with your boyfriend, etc.? It’s most likely significantly less. You’re not a bad person, but it should convict your heart when you think about it.

Idols are extremely dangerous because they become so important that we can’t imagine life without them. I remember in my last relationship, I couldn’t go a day without speaking to my boyfriend. I was totally wrapped up in him. I was even willing to compromise my own convictions and beliefs just to be loved by him. Idol on aisle 3!

There’s no problem with loving your boyfriend or spouse, but when he’s more important than God, that’s when things get sticky. Your man didn’t die for your sins, and your man also doesn’t breathe life into your body each morning. Yes, I get it… companionship makes it difficult not to run to him for advice first, but have you tried seeking God first? Your man is Sway and he doesn’t have the answers, but God does for sure. Plus, I know you’re not running to him for advice when you’re having an issue with him LOL. Exactly! You’re either begging God for guidance or texting your girlfriends for sound advice.

And don’t get me started on us single ladies. We spend more time conjuring up a plan to get a man than submitting our will to Christ.

Then we have the nerve to wonder why the devil is constantly attacking us when we have all these idols stacked up before God. All week I’ve been able to relate and I’ve been looking like this…

I had to get off social media this week because the devil was really busy! I realized that social media was steadily creeping on my list of idols, which was causing me to fall off with my alone time with God. I wasn’t prayed up and prepared for spiritual warfare at all, and that’s exactly when the devil attacks!

So in closing, sis… let those idols go! Find balance and stayed prayed up! Check out the video below on relationship idols. It inspired this blog post.