New Year, New Elle

2015 is here!  This weekend, I had a few friends over for a vision board party. (You chicks left all your fatty foods and wine for me to eat!  Don’t worry-I’ll find something to do with it!)  I didn’t finish my board as I was making sure my guests had a great time.  Instead of just going through magazines and cutting out pictures and quotes that I liked in previous years, I know EXACTLY what I want to include as I know the goals that I want to accomplish this year.

Over the past few weeks, different things have been shared with me to make me reflect on things and to help me establish what goals (I don’t do resolutions) I want to accomplish in the new year.  My main goal is to focus on me-spiritually, emotionally, financially, and physically.  On the spiritual aspect, I’ve joined a local church (FINALLY!) that I love!  I missed my church during the two Sundays I was in SC for the Christmas holiday and thoroughly enjoyed the NYE service.  I can’t wait until they start Wednesday Bible study again in a few weeks.  In the spirit of being transparent, I’ve thought about seeing a professional, specifically in dealing with the death of Southern Mom.  I know that it is something that I will have to endure for the rest of my life, but I want to make sure that I am taking care of me first.  I’ve started working with a financial planner, and even though I feel like he has put limitations on what I can do (although he really hasn’t-I just hate budgeting), I know that his assistance will benefit me in the long run.  Lastly, I need to take care of my body-point blank and the period.  I need to eat better.  I need to start working out.  Not to sound vain, but I think I’m a cute girl.  And I feel that I can be even cuter once I start taking care of myself.  In short, I don’t want to just survive-I want to live.

I hope that in the next 360 days, I become a person that I am proud to be and that is better than the person I am today.

So what are your goals for 2015?

Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city.

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Focus

If you know me personally, you know that I’ve talked about doing everything from going to school to get my MBA, becoming a freelance writer, finding a church home, getting more involved in my sorority, running my first half marathon, and other stuff.  That’s a lot going on-even for me.  So, I’ve made some decisions, at least regarding the first half of 2013.

While I would absolutely love to go back to school to further my education, I don’t see doing that within the forseeable future (like, within the next 3 months-but I could be totally wrong).  I’m going to focus on my side hustle-my own business-receiving multiple streams of income.  I honestly believe that certain things in my life are aligning for me to work on my business at this particular point in time.  Not to mention that I’m assisting a few friends in helping make their dreams a reality: And I feel that I should do the same for myself.

When we’re focused on 10 million things, we can’t be great at all of them. Some thing is going to suffer.  So instead of trying to have 2 hands in 10 pots, I’m putting some pots to the side.  And for TyAnthony, if you’re reading this don’t fret, because I can totally hear your voice in my head as I type this.  This doesn’t mean that I’m going to give up on my goals; that’s not my style.  Some items just have to get put on the backburner for now.  We’ll revisit them in 6 months when things have (hopefully) calmed down and taken a life of their own and I don’t have to work at getting things off the ground.  My goals that I work on for the next few months should have a strong foundation after a certain period of time.  And when that happens, I’ll be able to let those things work themselves out and then I can focus on other things.

It has been a long time since I’ve felt like this (if ever)-like I have the world at my fingertips and that I can do anything.  This may not seem like a lot to some people, but I’m super excited about a potential upcoming trip for which I’m planning.  Most of what I do from now until the last part of the year will determine how successful I am at making it happen.  And what does that entail?  Focus.  I am making plans and saving and working on making dreams reality.  This may be attributed to having more direction in my life and listening to the right sources for inspiration.  Or maybe this is all just a sign of growing up.  Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city!

Step Outside YOUR Box

So you want to become an entrepreneur.  Or maybe you want to go back to school.  Or maybe you want to start working on your rainy day fund (again).   Or just maybe you want that cute guy in Accounting to come to your cubicle to say “Hi”.  Whatever the case is, we all have some things in our lives that we want to change.  I know I do-hence, “Evolving Elle”… 😉  In any event, in order to get some things we’ve never had, we have to do some things we’ve never done.

I’ll use myself as an example.  In the post from my birthday, I stated that I wanted to go out on at least one date a week.  Sad to say, but I haven’t quite been keeping up with that.  Not for lack of trying on my part.  While I thought I had some aces in the hole, nothing’s really popped off.  While I did approach two men while in Atlanta (see, I CAN step outside of my box), one turned into a potential business opportunity (at least I’m working on an aspect I need to focus on this year) and the other…well, the jury’s still out, though he did tell me yesterday we still have to meet up for a drink.  (Oh, did I mention they both live in the District???)  I’ve come to realize while I welcome true companionship, it’s not going to devastate me if it takes awhile for the right man to find me.  I would much rather be alone and work on becoming a better Elle than be miserable with someone who doesn’t deserve me and we don’t compliment each other.

Relationships aside, I’ve also stepped outside of my box relating to my business.  A few months back, I was contacted by a young lady who wanted me to write a piece about her client.  This young lady is in the business that I’m trying to break into.  I built a nice repertoire with both women.  So, after a failed attempt at trying to connect with a former classmate to discuss this profession, I looked in my phone book and decided to reach out and see if she would be willing to discuss a few things with me.  She was all too happy to help. 

I say all of this to say if you want things to go differently in your life, you have to behave differently.  Regarding approaching men, maybe it’s my insecurity or traditional way of thinking that won’t let me start out as the aggressor.  And I don’t mean aggressor in the sense of “wearing the pants” or even being aggressive; I just mean in the sense where I’m the first to approach and say, “Hello.”  That’s so not me.  But, if I’m serious about meeting someone new, I have to do things a little differently, because what I was doing in the past is obviously not working.  And regarding my business.  Well, instead of doing things on my own or just doing research, why shouldn’t I use ALL of my available resources as in contacting someone who’s doing the same thing???

Lastly, I won’t go into too much detail (because the person whom I’m referring to may read this, and I don’t want him to know ALL my secrets).  There was someone I wanted to meet.  We have mutual friends, and I shared with one or two of them that I wanted to meet him.  But instead of waiting on them, I stepped outside of my box and contacted him myself.  We’ll see how this plays out.

I’ve found what it means for me to step outside of my box.  What does stepping outside of your box mean for you?  We all have different boxes, so what works for me may not necessarily work for you.  Might I suggest taking stock in where you are in your life and how you would like for things to improve or change.  Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city.

Why Dream?

Happy Monday!  This past week, I had the opportunity to speak with my BFF from undergrad. (She doesn’t know I’m writing this post based on our convo; I’ll probably send her a text to give her a heads up!)  We were discussing our lives and where we are, personally moreso than professionally.  She’s been married for about  a year and a half and she and her husband just became home owners.  We’re both members of the same organization and talked about how we’re both “taking a break” (for various reasons).  I was telling her how I’m not where I thought I would be at this point in my life, and she was telling me how she never thought about any of the things that she now has.  I thought I would be married with at least one kid and be an ADA or prosecutor somewhere in the South-She didn’t think she would be married or living in the Northeast.  This sort of led me to thinking what’s the purpose of dreaming. 

Growing up I dreamt of most things a little girl does-meeting my Prince Charming, getting married, having kids, living in a home with a “white picket fence”, and living happily ever after.  I wanted to go to law school and become this great attorney.  Yeah, easier said than done.  As I’ve gotten older, my dreams have changed.  They’ve become a little more sophisticated in some ways and some may have become a little more self-involved.  I’ve sort of become a little nonchalant about some things as I’ve gotten older.  While I no longer have a desire to be an attorney, I would still like those dreams of having a family to come to fruition, but sometimes I have this voice in my head that tells me, “It’s not gonna happen.”

So, what’s the point of dreaming?  And where do we come up with these dreams?  Are they based on what we see, people we know, what we think is society’s norm?  Are you where you thought you would be at this point in your life, whether it’s professionally, personally, or even the city in which you live? Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city.