Do the thing

Remember that thing you told yourself you were going to do? Why haven’t you done it yet? What is stopping you from doing “the thing”?

For me, “the thing” was going back to school to get my BSN. I knew I had to get it to remain competitive in my field. It is almost impossible to advance from being a bed side nurse without at least a BSN. Yet, I kept finding every excuse not to do “the thing”. “I can’t get financial aid so I can’t afford it”. “It’s going to take a year or more for me to get this degree”. “I don’t have the time to study”.

Continue to insert bullshit excuses for four years.

In that time I did actually attempt to go back to school. The program I chose was not for me AND I did not dedicate myself to completing it. I wasn’t serious about it so I flunked out. After that I started back with the excuses… until I had no choice but to go back to school and get this degree.

At the time I was working at a hospital that I hated. While I was in an ICU setting, which is what I wanted, the place I worked did not care about their patients. It was about profit. I don’t do well in that type of an environment, I am far too much of a patient advocate for that. For me to get out of there and back into a teaching hospital, I either had to have a BSN or be willing to complete one within five years of hire. Looks like your girl was going back to school whether I wanted to or not!

I won’t lie, school damn near broke me. I paid completely out of pocket so I had to get a high interest loan, took a PRN position in what can only be described as Hell, and took multiple term breaks just to not have a mental breakdown. What could have easily been completed in about a year and a half or less took me three years. My degree just came in the mail.

This has been a learning experience for me. It made me realize there are multiple ways to do ” the thing”.  It also made me realize I needed to be realistic with the timeline I created to do “the thing”. Whether it took one year or five, those years were going to pass anyway. I could either use that time wisely or I could continue to watch the years progress. I had to learn to readjust and keep going.

So I say to you, what is keeping you from doing your “thing”? Could you have done “the thing” in the time you have spent finding excuses? You can do this. Whatever that “thing” is, you have the ability to accomplish it. Take that first step, all the steps after that will seem a whole lot easier. You’ve got this.

Starting from the bottom

People have this idea that they should just be at the top of any and everything they do, from the moment they start doing it. 

Stepping into the job market? Well, I want a six figure job with no training, in the most saturated field.

Starting college? I’m supposed to get into every Ivy League school I apply to with my 2.1 GPA.

Starting a blog? My first post should get 10,000 likes as soon as I post it. 

Starting a podcast? I should already be number one on iTunes with this first show.

Starting a vlog channel? I should already be a YouTube partner.

Starting a gaming stream? I should have 15,000 subscribers and companies beating down my door by the end of my first stream.

Starting a business? I should have $100,000 in revenue in the first month.

Starting a band? We should sell out Madison Square Garden for our first show.

What ever happened to “starting from the bottom”?

We have become a generation of instant gratification. Things are just supposed to happen.  There should be no work involved. Success is supposed to be instant. Right here, right now. 

How’s that working out? 

Life rarely works that way. Success takes effort. It takes work. It takes time. Typically it’s not going to happen overnight. What you want to accomplish will take time, dedication, and consistency. Consistency is the one thing people seem to gloss over. You can’t just put forth all your effort into one try and then walk away when you realize it’s going to continue to take work. 

Apply for the top notch job you want. Understand, however, that there is probably someone more qualified than you for the position. Step your game up and work to become the candidate they are looking for.

You’re not going to get your degree overnight. Having one good semester is not going to carry you for the whole two to four years. Your GPA is cumulative, that one 4.0 semester has gotten dragged down by your three 2.5 semesters. Work to bring your GPA back to where you want it EACH SEMESTER. 

Know that not one single person may read your first blog post. That’s ok. Continue to post anyway. Be consistent on when you plan to post. Look into how to boost your page views. Advertise your blog to social media. Build your base

Pick a topic you know you can talk about for your podcast and then post on a consistent basis. You will never get your podcast to be popular if you sporadically post or go long amounts of time between posts. If Thursday is your podcast day then be ready to podcast every Thursday!

Record your first vlog and understand that only one or two people may see it. Look at your vlogs and determine what you like and what you may want to work on. AND THEN ACTUALLY WORK ON IT. Continue to evolve and grow. Don’t look at your followers, your base isn’t there yet. Good content will slowly bring people in. 

Stream like no one is watching. In the beginning, there is probably no one actually watching. That’s ok. Do it anyway. Let your social media know when you’re going live. You’re bound to reach a few people. A good stream can bring them back, along with a few of their friends. It’s a start.

Go ahead and start that business. Be ready to be your own biggest supporter. Understand that a Facebook post talking about your business is not a feasible way to truly advertise your business. The world exists outside of Facebook and a lot of us don’t even have a Facebook page. Be prepared to get business cards. Be prepared to make flyers if that’s the route you want to go. Understand that getting your business out there is going to take time and yes, money. 

You all are talented? Great. Make music. Push that music. Play those tiny venues. Play the small summer concert series in the park. Have ways to direct people to your SoundCloud or YouTube page. Work for your fan base.

Work for it. That’s it. Be consistent in what you do and work for what you want. Success isn’t instant. It’s ok to not be a superstar in the beginning. You’re a superstar in the making. 

Surroundings

Your surroundings influence you more than you realize. The places you go, the people you choose to keep around you, it plays a part in your story. 

For a very long time I was going to the wrong places with the wrong people. For a while I can honestly say I was an alcoholic. I was a true alcoholic. I went out with the sole purpose of getting as drunk as I possibly could. I went to the same clubs with the same “friends”, making the same dumb decisions every weekend. I have been to work drunk. I have driven home sh*t faced. At that time I saw nothing wrong with it because the people I was around were just like me. They were drinking to get away from their emotions just like I was. It was normal. I was in school but didn’t really have a plan for my future. I was there because I was supposed to be. That was the only reason I went to college originally. Before my mother died she made it clear that she wanted me to continue my education, so I did just that. In school and just as lose as I wanted to be. I didn’t have anyone around me to help me focus. Add in an unhealthy and abusive relationship and that was life. 

I remember the moment I knew I was done with how I was living. I was about to graduate with my Associates in Science and my dad told me I could move to Virginia and live with him. As soon as he said it o started planning. I felt no connection to where I was. I didn’t feel sentimental. I didn’t even feel like I was going to miss anyone if I left. I simply made plans and drove six hours from South Carolina to Virginia. Done. 

That was the best decision I have made to date. Granted, I’ve made some dumb ass decisions while up here too, but I’m surrounded by people now that will call me on my sh*t. I have a small group of friends that keep me sane, keep me moving forward, keep me focused on doing what’s best for me. Instead of helping me self destruct my surroundings now help me grow. 

Change your surroundings, change your life. 

So close.

I am one portfolio away from having my BSN. I’m so close to this ordeal finally being over. I have no motivation. Don’t get me wrong, I want to be done with school. I am just so burnt out that the thought of another project makes me want to scream! School has been a huge ordeal and has even put me into debt. It’s caused a mental breakdown more than once. I’ve thought about quitting probably every term. This has been a rough road. I am over it. I am glad that I did it finally. This degree will help me advance in my career as a nurse. This degree is a stepping stone to what I actually want to do. I’ll look back on this and realize all the stress was worth it.  But for now, I am going to angrily stare at the taskstream instructions for this last project… 

Fix or fuss?

This blog actually hit me while talking to my brother. We are givers. It comes natural to us. We are good listeners, that also comes natural to us. We are very deep feelers. We are honest. We also have a habit of wanting to find a solution to the problem.

However, there are some people who do not want a solution to their problem. What they seek is sympathy. They want attention. They do not come to you so that you can help them fix this mess. They come to you so you can tell them how much of a victim they are.

These types of people want to talk… all the time. They will come to you for your “opinion”, however, if you begin to offer real world fixes to their problem they will shut down. Some will even catch an attitude with you and you may not understand why. You were simply speaking from the heart.

They did not intend to take responsibility for their issues. They did not plan on taking any action. No, that is not why they came to you with their problems. They just want you to listen and then tell them how wrong everyone else is. You are there to stroke their ego and spare their feelings. That’s it. You are there to be as useless as they are.

These people will drain you. They may be family or present themselves as friends. They will make you believe you can count on them in your time of need, just like they count on you. That is not how the “friendship” will progress. Blood is not thicker than water in all cases. Slowly, they will need you more and more. They will drain more and more of your spirit. Their problems begin to feel like your problems. They have no issue with talking to you but are always too busy if you need to talk to them. This is when you may begin to realize, you are just the listener. Knowing you, you will still try to be the friend you expect them to be. You will be the better cousin/aunt/uncle/dad/mom/ sister/brother/daughter/son than they are to you. They will continue to drain you.

Then it finally happens. You finally get sick of their shit. They have drained you of all you have emotionally and given nothing in return. You are tired. You are frustrated. You feel empty. You. Are. Over it. Congratulations! You are ready to break free from this parasite. You cannot fix their problems, and let’s be honest, they are not your problems to fix. You have your own life. You have your own issues to deal with. You have your own emotions to go through. You need to get back to you. It is time for you to re-focus. Concentrate on fixing your life. Focus on refilling. Focus on you and not feel guilty about it. Enjoy your new found freedom from their insanity. Don’t break yourself down trying to build them up. That is not your responsibility.

No happiness allowed

Have you ever encountered someone that is against any sort of happiness? What’s with that? Why do people go out of their way to hate on any and everything that people enjoy?  What exactly are they getting out of it?

Prime example: trend haters. If it’s trendy, they hate it… for instance Pokémon Go. I can’t even count how many people were bashing the game, bashing the adults that played the game, bashing enjoyment of the game in general. I saw lots of posts like “while y’all are out chasing Pokémon I’m out chasing this money.” or other dumb stuff along those lines. Why does it matter that we are out enjoying ourselves? At no point does our playing Pokémon Go have any effect on them. Yet, these people go out of their way to make sure the world knows they don’t like what others are enjoying. 

Even more recently, the “fidget toy” trend has been getting a TON of hate. Just go into the comments of any social media page that advertises the cubes, spinners, or anything else fidget related. It’s over run by people that have taken time out of their day to complain about how stupid they think this particular trend is. WHY DOES IT MATTER? Someone buying a toy to play around with has no bearing on the outcome of your day. None. Zero. Zip. Nada. 

Then there are the relationship haters. You’ll know them by all the bitter quotes about loyalty that cover their pages. They don’t believe in love anymore and you shouldn’t either. They always have something negative to say about everyone else’s relationship. However, they are so focused on hating other’s relationships that they have no time for one of their own. You have a guy that texts you “good morning”? He’s only awake because he was out cheating. You have a girl that makes you proud with her dedication to school? She thinks she’s better than you. There is no such thing as a healthy relationship to these people. 

Happiness is something that must be crushed whenever possible. 

I understand that life can make you cynical. I lost my mom, my whole world, when I was 16. It was crushing. It opened my eyes to loss, hurt, and how unfair the world is. It didn’t make me hate happiness though. It made me crave it. I wanted to be happy. It made me embrace every happy moment thereafter. 

Honestly, if you want to be cynical, be cynical. If you want to be miserable, be miserable. However, don’t expect others to sit in the misery pit with you. Let everyone else be happy. 

Everything for (almost) nothing

I shop online. A lot. I am always on the lookout for a good deal. I also make sure that whatever site I choose to shop on is legit. Once I know the site is legit then I make sure the product is legit. I’m a realistic shopper. I get what I pay for.

How is it that people don’t understand that? People really expect to get a $450 product at a $4.50 price.  When I’m shopping on one of those sites where I know everything is coming from China, I make sure to look at ratings and reviews. However, there is always at least one scathing review about how the product wasn’t exactly like the picture or how it took too long to get there. 

Honey, you paid $8 for a “genuine sterling silver” ring with “Swarovski” crystal and $1.27 for shipping, what exactly were you expecting? Where have you been shopping that had real sterling silver for under $10? And have you ever looked at the price of Swarovski crystal? You knew what the deal was. You knew that price was ridiculously low for a reason

And bruh, you paid $14 for those “over the ear, Bluetooth, light up” headphones. Why are you complaining that the charge doesn’t last long enough? I’m going to need you to get it together. 

You get what you pay for.

You are trying to get something for damn near nothing. You could not honestly have believed the cheap knockoff you bought was going to be just like the real thing? That price was your first warning. Quality craftsmanship costs. Be realistic. Understand what you are buying. Know that it’s going to be hit or miss. It just is. It’s a sketchy price from a sketchy destination, so be ready for a sketchy product. I mean it’s nice to receive a good product for those super cheap prices, but expect to see some flaws. That’s how it works. When shopping for that perfect deal, you win some you lose some. The anger you’re feeling in those comments isnt worth the $3 you spent.