Don’t be surprised…

Hey everyone! Long time no talk!

I have to apologize for my lack of presence I’ve had over the past couple months. I’ve been busy serving as a bridesmaid in multiple weddings, getting baptized, attending church classes/functions, celebrating my nieces first birthday and trying to enjoy what seems like the last few days of the year that will be anything over 50 degrees!

But those aren’t excuses, because I’ve also spent the past few months “frozen in fear”. My blogging hiatus came from me having so many ideas swarming in my head about what to blog about, analyzing who was actually listening to me, what next steps I should take in my career, and overall what to do next….

While I’ve gotten over the “being frozen” part, I’ve noticed that as I’ve been making changes in my life, strange things have started happening. For a while (and I’m kind of still recovering) my finances were out of whack, things started happening at work that made no sense, and people started saying and doing things that were just straight up bizarre. Without elaborating too much and to refrain from putting anyone on blast (lol), I realized that I’m reaching yet another pivotal point in my life, and not only will different things start to happening on a daily basis, but some people in my life might disappear! Not everyone is meant to come along with you the entire way of your journey and you’ve gotta be ok with that.

So when you start moving forward to your destiny, don’t be surprised if the people that used to call you; don’t anymore. Don’t be surprised if the enemy seems to be doing everything possible to bring you down and install fear back into your head. Don’t be surprised if people don’t understand you or think you’re being unreasonable in your desires. And finally, don’t be surprised if you even question your own self some days.

Your thoughts, dreams and aspirations wouldn’t be in your heart, if there wasn’t a way to accomplish them :-). You’ve just gotta believe and start asking yourself:

“Why not me? Why not right now!?”

5 things I learned while traveling alone

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Some of you may know that I recently traveled out of the country alone to Mexico alone last month for a little R&R. What I thought was going to be a trip of relaxation, fun and sun, actually was doubled into a spiritual transformation that manifested on its own. Having a goal of overall just traveling more, I booked this trip back in October 2013, with no expectations what-so-ever. Little did I know that my trip to the Riviera Maya with excursions to the Tulum Ruins, Isle de Mujeres and 2 days beachside would not only change my life…but more importantly change my mind. Here are 5 things I learned from traveling alone, that I think everyone can benefit from:

1. Everything is not only going to be fine, it’ll be great!

—While I was surrounded by beautiful beaches, food and sites, I realized that as I took all of this on alone, and made it back alive and very well, I realized that not only was everything I had previously worried about in regards to work, relationships, money and life in general was not only going to be fine, but it was going to be GREAT. For no other reason than “Why wouldn’t it be”? Each night, I made a ritual of sipping champagne (all inclusive resorts are amazing, champagne for everyone!) on the beach in the dark under the moon. There’s something so powerful about being near a large body of water, that makes you realize you can do anything you want to do, and that you’re going to make it.

2. You must not forget that the world is happening, outside of your everyday reality

–While it’s important to be present in the moment, you must recognize there’s more out there in the world than what is in your line of vision. While I was watching 6 men perform a beautiful spiritual rain dance of some sort in Tulum, I couldn’t help but to think of my coworkers scowling at their computers in their cubicles back in Pittsburgh. Reverse roles, to current day; while I’m here in Pittsburgh, big beautiful things are happening outside of my 4 walls! I could take that time to be angry that I’m not there traveling the world every moment of everyday, but instead I get excited knowing I won’t be inside these 4 walls forever, and that joy is happening at this very moment, all over the world.

3. Being by yourself is an amazing opportunity to listen to what God is telling you without distraction

—Being by yourself with little/no cell service around people you don’t know, is prime time to listen and tune into what God is really trying to whisper in your ear about your true reasoning for being on this earth. While I definitely don’t think this is discovered overnight, by taking a few days to be on your own schedule without having to do anything you don’t want to do, you’ll definitely be closer to your destiny than you were even just 5 minutes ago. It’s a marathon…not a sprint.

4. Alone, not lonely

–So many people were worried that I would be lonely while vacationing alone, and that I would become bored. While I never worried about this, my trip turned out to be quite opposite. I was always doing something and met tons of people on my excursions and at the resort. And the days where I laid poolside/beachside all day were actually even better because I did minimal talking, got to catch up on reading, and got lost in my thoughts.

5. We are all morning people if we are doing something we love

—I’m a morning person when I am doing things I like to do. I’m an early riser on weekends. However it’s a struggle to get up and go to work each morning ( that’s another post for another day). I was up by 6:30am, every morning while I vacationed. Not just because I was excited to lay out in the sun and work one my golden tan, but because I was doing things while I was there that I liked, and was curious about. Imagine if each day we woke up excited to do something we loved to do?

Be sure to check out my pics from my trip on the next page, next to the “About Me” page/link

Yes, you’re living a “Real Life”

I would have to say my guiltiest pleasure in life would be watching “Sex and the City” several times every week. I have all of the seasons on DVD and as I start to settle in for the night and nothing is on tv, somehow Carrie, Miranda, Samantha and Charlotte magically appear on my TV set 🙂 I know most of the lines in each episode, can recite verbatim quotes and can emulate any one of Carrie’s outfits. It’s excessive I know, but I love them! There’s one episode in particular that sticks with me, when Carrie goes to a baby shower and is forced to take off her $485 Manolo Blahnik’s because the couples house she was visiting was a “shoeless house”. She took them off, they got stolen and when the host offered to pay for her shoes, she told her how much they cost and the host in turn gave her half the money and told her she wasn’t living a “real life”, because the shoes were so expensive. Carrie thought about times she’s supported this woman’s decisions in life ( marriage, multiple baby showers, bridal shower), so she was taken back when her “friend” let her know she wasn’t living real life, and eluded to the fact that she had a marriage and kids to spend money on, that she was living a “real life”. Fast forward, Carrie sent her friend a wedding invite and said she was getting married to herself, and that she was registered for one thing….a $485 pair of Manolo Blahnik’s 🙂 the woman bought them and sent them to Carrie’s house and all was happy in NYC.

Do I fault Carrie for being pissed about her shoes? No! What I do find interesting though is that relating to everyday life, how we as women in particular, wait for others to validate our lifestyle and need recognize that although we may not lead a typical life, it’s still a “real life”!

I’m not married and I don’t have kids, so after I graduated from college, the large parties in my honor stopped lol and I found myself consistently gearing up to celebrate someone else’s real life. Their wedding, their baby shower, their graduation, their life. And I started feeling irritated! I felt bad because these were the life of loved ones whom I was celebrating, so why couldn’t I just be happy for them!? I was overjoyed for them in truth, but there was a piece of me that was waiting on someone to celebrate me! I wanted a “Hey Candace, congrats on your credit score going up!”, “Hey girl, I’m so proud of you for not choking someone at work this week, let me take you to dinner”, or “Oh my God, you didn’t end up with Mr. Wrong, drinks on me tonight, we buyin out the bar!” or even a nice little “Congratulations for making it this far without a baby and starting a career!” Now to some of you, those may not sound like reasonable things to ask for from someone lol but it’s my life, and it’s a real life…

Coupled with being determined to take my independence to the next level, and become comfortable with being alone, I booked a trip to Riviera Maya, Mexico in November and just got back 2 weeks ago (I’ll talk about my experiences there in my next post). People thought I was crazy and was going to get sold into slavery, and told me the trip I had booked wasn’t safe and wasn’t something I could just do in “Real Life”. But I went anyway, got the most beautiful tan, met some great people, got to your and see some of God’s creations in nature and most importantly had the most memorable, and wonderful time of my life. Many people were there on their honeymoons, vacations with spouses or families and I was there by myself. I was also told that my trip was a little extravagant for one person as well. But guess what, this is my REAL life that I am creating for myself, and it’s valid. I didn’t wait on a man to take me there (one day I could return there with a man on my arm, who knows), I didn’t wait on girlfriends that are leading lives of their own to come with me….I took myself, I CONGRATULATED MYSELF, and recognized that I don’t lead the status quo life that society has designed for me, but that’s not going to stop me from living a real life. Period.

When I think back on times I waited for others to validate me, tell me it was ok to do something, or congratulate me, I missed out on a lot. But it’s ok! Life goes on and as it’s going on, it gets better everyday! If we wait on others, we’ll never get a damn thing done that we want to do. There’s a nice quote somewhere out there that’s similar to that last sentence, but I think mine sums up my point pretty well 🙂 This is your life, and if you’re going to make the most of your time here you’ll have to start recognizing that there’s more to your life, than what others are doing, and while family and friends are wonderful and makes some of life’s moments more precious, you can’t wait on anyone! Timing to live your best life will never be “right”, so you’re better off just going out there and doing it.

What are you waiting on?

First Post!

So it actually took me a lot of nerve to start a blog and share it with you all. I’ve had this blog since October and was using it was a private journal, because I wasn’t ready for “people to be in my head yet” lol But here I am anyway….

I figure, “What’s the point in being on a journey, if you’re not going to share with others, and possibly inspire and help people through theirs!”

Our entire lives we are conditioned and practice, getting ready for the real world. But what is the real world by most peoples standards? Going to school, getting a job, getting married and then having a baby. Those are the 4 major milestones society has conditioned us for, that people will buy you gifts for (birthdays don’t count, we all have those) and milestones I had planned for as well. I went to school, I got a job, I haven’t gotten married or had children (yet), so I pretty much invested all my time and energy into being the best I could be at my “jobs”.

I’ve been a front desk agent, an assistant, a cast member at Disney, a manager at Target, a recruiter….and the list goes on. Yes my resume makes me look somewhat confused, but I have found that since graduating not only did I not really know what I wanted to do, but I also was having a hard time fitting into molds. After all, I picked my major (tourism management) when I was 16 years old, and my biggest concerns in life were making sure I had 2 dresses for the proms I was attending and making sure my highlights were done once a month.

Fast forward to more recent times, I ended up getting into an argument with one of the hiring managers I recruit for on wether or not to offer someone $11.74 over $11.75, that, my friends, is when I had an epiphany.

Epiphanies can be cool, but this one wasn’t. I ended the conversation, gave into what this particular person wanted me to do for the penny she was arguing for, and immediately ran outside and into an alley way and cried ( I can sometimes be emotional and dramatic). I realized at that moment that this was not where I wanted to be anymore. For me this was scary, because although I had been out of college for just 3 years, I had tried numerous “careers”, and at that very moment had made the decision that this “career” wasn’t a mold I wanted to fit into either. I thought “There has to be more to life than conversing with someone on the phone about 1 cent”…..and that’s when my journey began…

Rewind a few months prior to that, I had dealt with issues of being lonely, and thinking that if I didn’t have the perfect man AND the perfect career, that I wasn’t on the right track. I got over that quickly and realized, that although the grass may be greener on the other side, that might be because it’s turf and not real.

Ive realized a lot of things over the past year. I’ve realized that just how society conditions you to be or do certain things…that might not be you. Yeah you’ve got a great paying job, benefits and a hot boyfriend. That’s cool. BUT WHO THE HELL ARE YOU?

Well, I don’t know. I’ve done status quo things all my life just as I was conditioned to do. As high schoolers and college grads, we aren’t taught to explore ourselves, just explore companies and skills that someone else has decided will make you successful. So what is my purpose here on earth? What makes my heart sing? What excites me so much everyday, that when I lay my head down at night, that I can’t wait to get up and do it again the next day? Isn’t THERE MORE to life than what society has deemed as successful?

Through it all, I’m learning to not only challenge myself on how I can be the co-writer of my life along side God, but to also be thankful for my journey, and realize that what I have to offer to the world is unique in its own way, as is what you have to offer (yes you), is unique as well…

Follow me on my journey! It’s going to be a fun trip 🙂