“Lean In” Recap

yes women can

I finished the book “Lean In” by Sheryl Sandberg. Here are a few of my takeaways.

  1. Show up and show out.
    • Overall, I believe as women who are ambitious, especially in the workforce, it’s important to show up. Oftentimes women are only seen as emotional and can’t step up when it’s necessary. I think that’s a stigma that might have rang true in the past, but history has shown that during the face of discrimination and doubt, women always prove people wrong. Women should never be discouraged about taking on a higher position or a new position because of choosing to start a family. I know first hand that being a mother and other obstacles in my life, I have stepped down and been afraid to push forward professionally. I wish I had found this book six months ago. Maybe I wouldn’t have stepped down. Now I’m constantly second-guessing myself. “Maybe I could’ve made it work”. I should have believed in myself more. Instead, I let the speedy success of a male counterpart hinder my own success. I allowed being a mother lower my self-confidence in the work place.
  2. Make sure you have a supportive partner.
    • I enjoyed this chapter of the book the most. I struggle with voicing my thoughts with my partner. Mostly because I felt like I couldn’t justify my feelings. I felt like if I said I wanted to take on a new career path but it would put us in a financial hole, then I wouldn’t be doing my part in this relationship. It’s scary. I think women are more willing to step down and be an ‘at home mother’ or ‘at home wife’ because we don’t believe we are worthy of that type of professional success as our male counterparts. Which sounds so devastating to me, because I am one of those women. As a working woman, I didn’t understand how vital it was to have a healthy, supportive partner when wanting to hold a successful high-level position at the workplace. Women need a partner that is willing to step up at home so we can step up at work.
  3. Self-care.
    • I think this goes for both working mothers and non-working mothers. Being an at home mom is a full-time job. So it’s important for us to take care of our health. Tying this back to the book, if we are mentally and physically exhausted, how can we show up to work and put our best foot forward? Having a supportive partner is also important in this self-care. We need to have a partner who is willing to take over caring for the kids while we prepare for an important presentation or meeting. Or a partner to takeover bathing and putting the kids to sleep so we can head straight to bed after a long day at work. As women we always over exert ourselves and think that we don’t deserve to rest because we’re supposed to do it all. But we don’t have to. To give the best versions of ourselves we need to take care of ourselves and allow others to help us when we need it most.
  4. Don’t be afraid.
    • Don’t be afraid to ask for the raise. Don’t be afraid to put in for that position. Don’t be afraid to take a seat at the table. The first couple of chapters in the book, Sheryl talks about how women have a tendency to give way to the men at work. Even when well-deserved or even invited, we choose to blend in the background. Sheryl uses a lot of research to back up her points, my favorite one was about how men will apply to a position knowing they don’t have the necessary qualifications. While women may meet more than half of the qualifications but we focus on the 10% of what we don’t have and won’t apply ourselves. How crazy is that?! I am one of those women! Even right now, as I am seeking a new career path, I constantly am telling myself, ‘I’ve never had any experience in that division, why would they hire me?’ I’m constantly thinking that I’d get laughed at for even applying myself. Yet, I know a male counterpart would put in for the position in a heartbeat, WITHOUT thinking about his qualifications. Don’t be afraid! Go for it!
  5. Take Risks.
    • This is my worse enemy. I can attest that I am the very last person on this earth that would take any type of risks. I need to calculate all of the pros and cons. Even then, I probably won’t take that risk. It’s so nerve-racking to me. Yet, I’ll find myself in the same, unsatisfying, underpaid, boring job and think that’s okay. THAT’S NOT OKAY. So yes, take risks. Do your research. Take that leap. Taking that risk might be the best step forward in your career.
  6. Have a mentor.
    • In my women’s in leadership group, they talk about having a mentor at all of our meetings. I have yet to find myself one. Mainly because I have yet put myself out there. I don’t know what I want for myself so I’m afraid of being judged and seen as ‘wish-washy’. I’m very insecure in the professional realm. I’ve never had a mentor in the workplace. I also never aspired to being anything more than an employee on a company’s payroll. I think that’s where my problem started. Sheryl also pointed out how it’s important to allow that mentor-mentee relationship to blossom naturally. If it’s forced, it’s awkward and neither one of you will truly benefit from it.

At the end of the day I am raising a daughter and I grew up in a household where I was limited to the things I could do because I was a female. I grew up resenting my parents for always scolding me for doing things a ‘boy’ did. I want to raise my daughter to dream and not be afraid of placing herself on the same pedestal as her male counterparts. I believe she can do whatever she sets her mind to and I want to pass along that vision. I don’t want her to limit her abilities and to not leave before she leaves.

Uplift Sunday

her voice can change the world

Every single time I come to post on here, I am overwhelmed with the amount of love I receive.

This morning I wanted to come to give some encouragement to the women out there who feel lost and overwhelmed. I’m twenty-seven and I continue to have days w
here I’m confused at what my purpose is. I compare my life and my successes to other women and always feel like I’m coming up short.

I know it isn’t easy being positive all of the time and that’s okay. Allow yourself to feel but get back up and show up. We all have our time and the best way to continue living an authentically happy and fulfilling life is to be flexible and allow all of life’s ups and downs to happen. We are never failing, we are only learning and growing. As women, we may face obstacles that men may never have to but that only helps to make us resilient. We are powerful. We are capable. We are WOMEN.

Finding My Voice

Hello.

It’s me again. I know, yet another few months away from my blog. During all of this time away, I’ve been doing some soul searching. Just about a month ago there was some change at my job. That change triggered me to panic. I started to become stressed out about work and where my career (lack thereof) was going.

Passively, I was going about my days, with the thought of this failing career path in the back of my mind. Then about a week ago I started to think about, ‘maybe it’s time to take control of my life.’ I felt that I lost total control of my life the moment I entered college, scratch that, the moment I graduated high school. I failed to plan therefore planned to fail. I understood that, but I never knew how to climb out of this hole I dug myself into. Again, in my passive nature, I continued to live. I continued to go about my days just going with the flow. I constantly was stuck in the daily flow of things. I would get stuck in a routine. Work. home. work. home.

Then that change at work happened and I was like, ‘oh shit. where am I headed professionally?’ I could never see myself moving up in the company. Why? Well, because I didn’t see any traits or talents that I could ever offer the company. I was not good at sales, terrible at math, not the best conversationalist. What does that leave? Being organized I guess. So I decided to talk to myself. I started to ask myself what did I want to do? What were my priorities? What are my goals? I asked these questions over and over. No, I didn’t come up with any great, life-changing answers. It took a single person to ask me directly, “would you consider going back to your old position?’ To put that question in context, I took a step down from my original position because I was going through some personal events and wasn’t able to perform to my full abilities. I was taken aback by the question. It was a shock to me for someone to see some potential in me. I’m sure I’ll thank him one day.

That lead me into digging deeper. By this point, money, money entered my mind. Being financially stable entered my mind, but this time it became the forefront. Growing up I saw how much money controlled my father, in a negative way. Money became his only reason to live. I vowed that I’d never get that way. So much so that I completely eliminated how important financial security was. So I became rational. Then that led me to seeking opportunities and asking questions. That’s all I needed to do. I was surprised to see the encouragement from my coworker.

At our quarterly women’s lunch, the topic of voicing ourselves as women, and the stigmas of women in the workforce came up. Then the book, “Lean In,” by Sheryl Sandberg came up. We didn’t go into details about the book but some of the women brought up some chapters that really inspired them. Instantly I looked the book up and ask my fiancé to buy it for me on his way home from work. I’m about seven chapters in now and finally felt like someone in the corporate world understands me. WHICH IS CRAZY. Like how could a very successful woman in tech, in a major corporation understand a lost, confused, struggling mother like myself?

I’m here to just say I’m enjoying the book so much. I definitely would recommend it to any woman who’s feeling down on her luck or discouraged to reach for that top position in her company.  I am thankful for other women who are using their success and influence to reach out to other women who are afraid to speak up for themselves – or simply lost their way through the hustle and bustle of being a women. I’m starting to feel empowered and my hope is to rev up enough courage and strength to fight my way to my own success!

Learning to Become a Wife (pt. 3)

Communication: “2. means of connection between people or places, in particular”.

Any relationship that is absent of communication is absent of growth and vulnerable to separation, temptation, and resentment. Often times, couples will say, ‘there was a lack of communication’, when too much time has passed and now they want out of the relationship. Communication is associated with spending quality time or bonding time. At the root of many relationships, communication is the #1 proponent to a healthy relationship. Without communication, issues, concerns, and questions never become heard or addressed. So you can only imagine if a person has kept in their emotions for so long without being able to voice or communicate their emotions to their partner, how damaging it is to hold it all in for so long – which ultimately leads to separation if no one decides to take the time to communicate.

I often observe the word communication is only brought up when one or both partners have reached their limit. Someone will accuse the other of not communicating enough, not listening enough, not paying attention, etc. So what accounts to all of these communication issues? Well, I think a lot of it has to do with our pride. So why am I choosing to talk about this? Besides the fact that communication is a necessity for ALL relationships even platonic ones, I have seen how a lack of communication has affected my mental and emotional space. Therefore, it affects how I am in my relationship with my fiancé.

Recent events opened up my eyes to how important communication is. I know, I’m 26 soon to be 27 and was in one other serious relationship before my fiancé, and yes, it just registered with me how important it is to have good communication with your partner. Communication, not just a means to relay concerns or issues, but communication as talking about your days, how you are feeling today, and what your opinions are certain things are, etc. It’s crazy to think that sometimes it’s THAT simple, right? Yes, it’s that simple to talk about how work was or how annoyed you were with the lady standing in line at the store with you today. My fiancé would ask me every day, ‘how was work? How was your day? What did you do today”? My answers weren’t always the sweetest. You’d think, why? What’s the big deal about telling your partner how your day was, right? Right, I totally agree with you. That answer had more to do with me than him.

As I started this series, I’m at a very conflicting time in my life. I am stressed beyond imagination. My skin has even reacted to my stress and started breaking out in eczema and scalp psoriasis. This all started about three years ago. No, for those who have been following my story, it is not because of my fiancé. He just happened to come at the tail end of something I would’ve never imagined would happen to me. My stress levels started to become through the roof. I couldn’t handle it. So naturally my body shut down. I felt it made more sense to not show any emotion or passion about anything because my body needed all of that energy to make sure I won’t go crazy. I needed to make sure that all of the stress wouldn’t get the best of me so I chose to not communicate with my fiancé. Now, I see that it has caused me more damage than good.

Not communicating with my fiancé didn’t help anyone, especially me. I hate bottling my emotions. So why would it make sense for me to NOT talk to my fiancé about my day? We weren’t put on this earth alone, so why choose to go through the world alone? Almost every answer I gave was, “it was okay, I didn’t do anything”. Then go back on my phone.  Now imagine being in my fiancé’s shoes and feeling that cold, lame, pathetic answer every day – when all you’re trying to do is show interest in your fiancé. I can’t fathom the emotional toll it took on him every day. The past year the thought of that would wiggle its way into my mind. I started to reflect on it later that night or the next day of how I could’ve responded better. Then of course being the prideful woman I am, I shook off the feeling. I continued to tell myself, ‘it’s because I’m stressed’, until recently, God made me see how wrong I was for dismissing the love and care for the man that He sent for me.

So we had a recent setback. During the entire process I held my composure. I showed no emotion. I walked in and walked out. Then as the day progressed, the outcome started to become heavier on my heart. It was crazy how you can be your own downfall sometimes. Usually my fiancé and I would talk about what happened and we’d always get into a heated discussion. But this time it was different. Instead of trying to be the regulator of his venting, I sat there and listened. I listened to his points, some valid, some straight out of emotion.  I just noticed the difference was listening. Sometimes we just need to vent. Sometimes we just need to say things to get it off of our chest. Most of the time we say things in anger or sadness that we don’t strongly believe or mea but we just need to let it be heard. Frequently that’s was the case with my fiancé.

My fiancé wears his heart on his sleeve. He is very emotional and passionate about, well, almost everything. So he needs to talk and communicate, especially on topics such as sensitive as what we’re going through. Yet I was being selfish and wouldn’t allow him to communicate, which forced him to hold it in. During this venting session, I just sat there and listened. In the beginning I was talking back. I brought up questions and such. Then I just found it more peaceful in my heart to just let him talk. It turned out to be a great discussion at the end of it all! Now let’s get back to the rest of the day. Well, of course my emotions and mind come late to the party. As the day continued, I became more emotional. Eventually I was crying and couldn’t contain myself. Well you see how quickly that emotional roller coaster went down.

Fast forward to the next day – my emotions are still in disarray. I then start to just talk to God, not in a calm manner either. I was angry, of course. I felt like I was being punished. I felt like I couldn’t catch a break. If you knew the entire situation and events leading, then you’d probably think and feel the same way. I still went to work after getting in a good 20 minute cry before work. Worked. Then went home. My fiancé came home and like clockwork, ‘Hi babe, how was your day? How was work’? Instead of giving him the cold shoulder, I told him. I hold him about work. I told him about me crying before work. I told him how I was feeling throughout the day. I told him how I felt at that moment. I told him so much. Then he told me about his day. It was beautiful to see all of his expressions. It was amazing to see how alive he was just telling about the lunch that he had that day. Just in that conversation, I felt so good.

With that conversation alone, I felt more connected to him. I felt like I found the answer to my anxiety and fears. That answer was God and communication. God allowed an unexpected outcome to happen in order to guide me to my fiancé. To make me realize that He is with me and it’s through my fiancé. All I needed to do was communicate with him. All I needed to do was allow him to talk to me about the small things because that leads to the trust and compassion to discuss the big things. I know that was a long winded way to say, communicate with your partner. You don’t realize how much it will help the both of you to just take the time to communicate. You have chosen to be with this person, so why not work for a deeper connection? Why allow the flesh and the ways of the world to come in-between your relationship? Instead, take the time to talk and celebrate the little victories.

I realized that my fiancé is much more vocal than I am. I also know that my fiancé reacts in the moment while I take time to process it then allow my emotions to take effect after. We have to learn how to communicate. This doesn’t happen overnight. Different events bring out different things in us so we are always evolving as much so with how we speak to one another. Communication is important but you need to put in the effort. Communication is about selfishly and actively listening with loving and caring intentions.

I know, it sounds crazy to view communication in your relationship this way – very dramatic. But listen, take time to reflect and see how often and for how long do you and your partner talk about your days? Do you talk about your feelings on the daily? When you do have a disagreement, how do you handle it? Have you learned how each other communicate? If you are choosing this person to be your husband/wife, it no longer is about you. It becomes ‘we’. To create an everlasting relationship you need to understand each other and what better way than to communicate?

Learning to Become a Wife (pt. 2)

As part 2 of this series of, Learning to Become a Wife, I wanted to focus on vulnerability. These past few days I have been hit hard with emotions. I felt every emotion you could think of. The first night, I cried in the dark. Literally as my daughter and fiancé were laying in the same bed as me, I was turned on my side facing away from them with tears streaming down my face. I couldn’t help it. It was an uncontrollable, ugly, quiet sob. I wish I could’ve taken a picture of it to remember forever (just kidding).

So many of us don’t realize how much of our past can affect us as we become adults. Many times it’s our emotions that grow immaturely – especially after years of trauma and underdeveloped coping mechanisms. Even after being with my fiancé for a few years now, I have yet become emotionally vulnerable with him. It’s not because I don ‘t want to, it’s because I can’t seem to let my guards down enough to. Do you know how damaging it is for a person to hold in so much pain, anger, sadness, etc. for years on end? Not just that but how crazy it can make a person to feel like discussing these emotions out loud is wrong? How we feel inside portrays how we are on the outside. Every day I struggle with my own. thoughts. Every day I have to give myself positive affirmations in order to realize my own worth.

Vulnerability takes some of that off of our own shoulders. Being vulnerable allows us to take some of that negative energy and release it. By releasing it, or talking about it, we are taking the first step in dealing with our pain and healing. From my experience in relationships, being vulnerable is important for both partners. We all want to be perceived as the strong one, but there’s only so much our human bodies and minds can take. When you’re vulnerable, you’re telling your significant other that you need them. You are telling your significant other that, you are unable to resolve this issue and you need help. It’s difficult to ask for help. I understand. I hated asking for help. I still do. But we are human and we are made for social interaction. So if you cannot be vulnerable with your significant other, then why be with him/her?

Love breeds vulnerability. It simply comes with the territory. If we talk about vulnerability in the sense of intimacy, then more people understand. When we undress, we are our most vulnerable. We become “open” to the other person. So why can’t we become “open” with our feelings, thoughts, and emotions? Let me tell you why. It is much easier to undress ourselves physically because within minutes we can clothe ourselves. When we undress ourselves emotionally and mentally, in the instance the other person doesn’t respond well to us, it’s hard to take your vulnerability back. That is why it’s so difficult to be vulnerable with people, even our significant others. Our fear of being hurt or abandoned becomes more powerful than the need to heal. It is during the healing process when we are face to face with our pain. During the healing process we are forced to deal with our pain.

When dealing with our pain, that’s when it’s important for us to be completely vulnerable with our significant others. We need to lean on our partners. They are there to give us that support. They are there to be strong for us when we are weak. As we deal with all of the emotional and mental turmoil, it’s our partners who are there to help us. But if we never share whole selves with them, how would they or could they know how to help us?

So back to me crying late at night, in bed, in the dark. The next day, I texted my fiancé to apologize for being so short and and rude to him the night before. At that very moment, I felt something in me to share with him how I was feeling and what my thought process was. I felt so terrible about myself and I knew I needed someone to tell that to. With a quick phone call and short text, I felt like some weight was lifted off of my shoulders. Imagine if I didn’t open up to him, imagine if I didn’t have anyone to open up to. That mental and emotional pain might’ve gotten so bad that I couldn’t resorted to other means of “healing”. With me opening up and becoming vulnerable with him, I also brought us closer together. Our connection deepened a little. As silly as that sounds, it’s true. The more and more vulnerable we become with one another, in a relationship, the more we are leaning onto one another.

I think being vulnerable also allows us to deepen our trust in our significant other. I know as the years went by and the more open I was becoming with him, I started to trust him more and more. I was beginning to feel like, he’s my comfort. I started to feel like I mattered to him more and more. This doesn’t mean that he never made me feel like that from the start. It’s just a heightened feeling when you confide in someone and they perceive it well. All I can say is, choose a partner you can be vulnerable with. Don’t choose someone that dismisses your pain or your thoughts and feelings. Choose a person that invites the strong you and the vulnerable you. We all love to be strong because being strong makes being alone easy. Being vulnerable makes being married worthwhile.

Learning to Become a Wife (Pt.1)

*God put this on my heart to type out. God has been working hard on me and teaching me different ways to improve myself every day. I want to start a series of the many ways he is teaching and guiding me. One of these ways is teaching me how to become a good wife.*

For the past three years I have been with my Fiancé. Over these past three years I have learned so much about being in a relationship again. I’m also learning about how to love and care for someone else besides myself. After my long-term relationship for 7-8 years, I  went into a selfish stage in my life. Suddenly, I didn’t have to worry or care about a significant other. I didn’t have to worry about making sure I was good enough for another person. All I had to worry about was being happy and good enough for myself. Then after those two years of blissful single-ism, I not only found myself moving towards being a committed relationship, but in a situation I would have never imagined in a millions years I would be in.

My fiancé is a man of courage, honor, and love. Everything he has taught me, intentional or not, has shaped my idea of what love is. From the very beginning of our dating, he let me know what his intentions with me were. Believe it or not, he let me know that he wanted a marriage and kids the very first date. I was a little surprised. I thought it was interesting how a man could KNOW that he wanted to be married and have kids at such a young age. Of course we all know that men mature at a much slower pace than us women. I didn’t put too much thought into it though. As the days went by, we quickly grew closer and closer. Immediately I knew he was different.

How “honeymoon” stage came to quick end when we found out something that changed our lives forever. As quick as our infatuation took off, the cruel reality of our situation came even quicker. Our relationship was continuously put through the test. At every stage of this new journey I was expecting him to run. Every turn, every new hurdle, every disappointment, I expected to come home and see his things packed and disappear from my life forever. As luck would have it, he proved me wrong every single time. Still I would wait for that final straw to strike when he would turn to me and say “that’s it, I’m done!”

To have that type of state of mind in a relationship is unhealthy. You can’t build a strong relationship if you’re expecting it to fail.

Tough Week

I have been dragging my feet this week. I was in Vegas last weekend and I can’t even say I’m tired from Vegas. I don’t have a good excuse for why I’m dragging this week.

On a good note, I have been working on a post the last week. I’m just editing it now. My writing has been rough so I want to make sure I edit this one well.

I hope you all are doing well!