Make time for what matters.

My home has become merely a resting place – a place I go to at the end of the day to rest my head. Maybe that is all there is to a home? maybe not. I truly believe that a home is what you make it to be. I spend most my days at my job and the coffee shop. Having a full time job and going to school full time has granted me the luxury to do such things (hint the sarcasm). I am eternally grateful to have a job that I love and also have the opportunity to pursue a master’s degree. These things along with spending so much time at the coffee shop has made me come to the realization that the old adage “we make time for what we love…” rings so much truth in my life.

When you go to the same place over and over again, you begin to notice some patterns, behavior, and people. Everyday I sit in the corner of my local coffee shop and I watch the baristas as they converse among themselves. There are two individuals that catches my eye (you guessed it), a young man and a young lady. Based on their body language and sneaky glances towards each other, it is very easy to realize they are more than coworkers. My “hypothesis” was proven when she came to the coffee shop (on her off day, I presume) to share a meal with the young man who was working that day.

20170417_215330

Despite the fact that I spend so much time at the coffee shop,I never cease to leave an hour before the shop closes (10 PM) so that I can make it home in time to say hello/goodbye to my mother who works nights; sit with my father and listen to him talk about his day; listen to my little sister’s endless stories about tough high school life; and spend some time talking to my fiance.

In case you don’t get the gist yet, the point I’m trying to make is that:

you will make time for who/what you love!

The girl at the coffee could’ve easily stayed home or done other things on her off day, but instead, she chose to come spend it with the one she loves. I could easily (in the name of schooling) allow my job and school to occupy all of my time and energy, but instead I choose to make time for the things that matter most to me.I would not trade my family for anything in the world and I know that everyday is a daily reminder of how much they matter to me.

Love like tomorrow is not promised.

novels

Being sick all through last weekend and half of last week really gave me some time to think about a lot of things and put things in perspective. One of the things that came up was how cluttered my life has become over the past few months. I realized quickly that it was very difficult for me to function in clutter, so I started spending more and more time at the coffee shop because there I didn’t have to look at my reading table filled with books and papers. I also didn’t have to think about my clothes spilling with clothes.

While I was sick I thought of how much better my life would be if I didn’t have so much stuff! I mean, I had books and papers from high school boxed up somewhere in my closet; I had more clothes than I needed – both the ones that do not fit and ones that does. It was time to let them go.

The first thing I thought of letting go was my my novels. Once upon a time (before graduate school) I used to read novels religiously. Reading and journaling was my outlet for a lot of things. Anyway, I gathered up my novels and I put out an announcement on social media that my books were up for grabs (no buying necessary….completely FREE) and the amount of responses I received was overwhelming. At first I was happy to see that there are people out there who still read books! but then I was sad because this meant that I actually have to get rid of my books. The thought of this made me more emotional than I’d care to admit.

This weekend I spent cleaning out my closet and throwing away clothes that served zero purpose. I also ended up with three full large trash bags of clothes going out for donations. My next project involves getting rid of furniture and other little unnecessary things.

Clutter creates chaos and where there is chaos there is no peace of mind.

My life is clutter free. My mind is clutter free. My mind is at peace.

Self-care

cropped-cropped-choice2.jpg

As a counseling student, I receive a reminder every semester via textbooks and professors about engaging in self-care activities. And that makes sense because you want to have your crazies together before handling other people’s crazy. This year I really let myself go in that self-care department.

Self-care means something different for everyone. Self-care to me is when I am able to relax with a good book (note I didn’t say textbook), drink tea, and work out…I love running. It is just a time I spend with myself and I get to tune the world out.

Between grad school and working full-time, I always felt like I didn’t have enough time in the day. Working out became a waste of time for me. Every time I thought of the one hour I would spend working out at the gym, I thought of all the assignment or reading I could get done within that time period.

And the repercussion for neglecting self-care activities is the constant emotional meltdowns I would have over unnecessary things. I also gained almost 20 lbs! Yes, I really let myself go.

So my primary goal for next year is to engage in more self-care activities. I need to care for my body and also respect my body by watching the things I put in it.

What are some other self-care ideas you might suggest?

Recap: 2016

2016-image

I keep on hearing people say they’re ready for 2017 because 2016 was the absolute worst (for them) and I’m just sitting here thinking, “au contraire.” Excuse my french (ha!) but that means “on the contrary” in case you haven’t already figured it out by now.  Anyway, 2016 was a good year for me and I learned a lot this year. I learned about trust, perseverance, the power of words, and most importantly the true meaning of love.

I have to admit the beginning of 2016 was a bit rough for me in the love department. I went through a lot of emotional ups & downs – a few depressive states. I came into 2016 with a dysfunctional relationship that starts the year before. Everyday I would talk myself into getting out of the relationship, but at the end of the day, I would go back on my words and stay. Honestly I think I stayed in that dysfunctional relationship because I was afraid of being alone. I liked the idea of having a man or someone to talk at the end of the day and over time, I placed that need above my happiness and sanity. Long story short, I finally grew the courage to walk out of that dysfunctional relationship. It was very difficult and like most relationships, it didn’t really end immediately. This ex-partner of mine tried in so many ways to convince me to come back and whatnot.

Okay, this is turning into a long tale of love and heartbreak lol. I need to focus. Back to why 2016 was an awesome year for me. Like I stated above, I learned a lot this year and that is:

  • everything starts and ends with God. I had to learn to let go and let God. And because it is in my nature to save people including myself, I had to learn the hard way that I cannot save myself and the more I tried to, the more mess I made.
  • pain is temporary and sometimes it seems like what we are going through is going to be the end of us. It really isn’t so because there’s always a silver lining and that is why;
  • I learned to persevere and speak positive things into my life. Words are powerful and always remember that you get what you say.
  • finally, I learned the true meaning of love and what true love should feel and look like. After walking away from the dysfunctional relationship, I was determined I to date myself *say what?!* for a while. So I prayed away any distraction (men) that came my way lol. But one there was one person that I could not pray away and today he is the love of my life and soon to be husband. *say whatttttt!*Yup, but this is a story for another day and it’s a darn good one.

So back to 2016 being the absolute worst for some people, I on the other hand had an amazing year. I got into a car crash that could have ended in a horrible way, but I survived, so what’s there to complain about? I’m just grateful to God that I am still here today. As someone said, where there’s life there’s hope…. or something like that. Go into 2017 expectant and with an open mind. It is going to be a fantastic year!

Cheers,

Uzo

Near Death Experience

screenshot_2016-10-11-00-28-34-1

The idea of death has never for once scared me because I know no one lives forever. We are all bound to die at some point unless the Lord comes for us first. Anyway, I have had my fair share of near death experiences – from bomb explosions to drowning and then to car accidents upon car accidents. The first major car accident I was involved in happened 3 years ago in a head-on collision. My car was totaled and everyone was amazing that all of us came out without a single scratch. It was God. He was with me then and He was with me yesterday.

The devil came out to play yesterday and boy, did he play hard! It happened at 5:45 PM on interstate highway 35. I was driving my brother back to his school in San Marcos when we got hit by a big tour bus. the bus sent my car bouncing off of the concrete road dividers then back to the bus again.the right passenger side of my car is completely demolished. it really is a miracle that neither my brother and I came out unscathed from the accident. anyway, the bus driver’s story was that someone suddenly braked in front of him and he tried to switch lane and not realizing that I was next to him.

I was quite shaken up after the accident and I think I’m still experiencing some form of shock. Regardless, it is impossible for me not to believe there is God. I have had many chances to die for God keeps spring my life for a reason. He is not finished with me yet. This Bible verse gives me hope:

The Lord watches over you—

the Lord is your shade at your right hand;

the sun will not harm you by day,

nor the moon by night.

The Lord will keep you from all harm—

he will watch over your life;

the Lord will watch over your coming and going

both now and forevermore.

(Psalm 121:5-8)

Battles

A couple of days ago, I was cleaning out my room: throwing out some college papers, books, old clothes and shoes. I opened up a box that was sealed and tucked away somewhere in my closet. I opened it up and lo and behold were my old journals/ diaries. I picked up the one from when I was 19 years old; as I began to read, I was amused and at the same time shocked at every thing I’ve written.
I noticed two things after reading a couple of the writings: 1) I am no longer the person I was 6 years ago, and 2) I was in a really dark place at that stage of my life. It seems as though I was screaming out loud and wishing someone could hear me. I wanted to be heard and seen. But instead the noises were just in my head.
My struggle with internalized depression went on for years before I finally discovered Celebrate Recovery and all the people that helped me on my road to recovery.

I know when people hear about recovery or recovery programs,their mind immediately goes to Alcoholic Anonymous (AA) or maybe someone recovering from drugs.

I am not an alcoholic and I’ve never done drugs in my life. My struggle was not with material things or things that were visible. My struggle was with my own mind…my past…my demons.The things that kept me up at night…weeping and wishing I didn’t have to face another new day. I went through some dark phases in my life and the whole story is unwritten. Only time will tell…

“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” Ephesians 6:12 (KJV)