Work Ethic into a Lifestyle

So, I decided to come home after being in Athens for extended period of time. Just so I can rejuvenate and relax a little. Now, every time I come home something different appears or changes. This time was no different.

My brother is headed to high school and what does that mean: New stuff. Now I look at my brother who’s 6 years younger than me, but an entire foot taller than me and have a few questions: 1) where did the 6 year old I knew go? 2) Why must you always have jokes? 3) Why are you always trying to get at “an older women” <– (this one makes me laugh a lot).

Fast forward. My parents ask me a pretty basic question. I answer. I say a thought out loud. Now, this is the part when I wish I would’ve my idea to myself but, this conversation brought up some pretty interesting things.

  1. Why must we always go get the newest thing?
  2. What do you have now that is going to enhance your life?
  3. What will you do now that you are going to be grateful for in your future?
  4. What and how much do you need to live comfortably?
  5. How do you prepare for that now?

Now these questions, at that moment at least, were the furthest thing from my mind. I just wanted to get downstairs and finish watching Power (#FreeJamieStPatrick), but I stopped and thought about it. What am I doing now and how is it helping me?

I’ve looked at myself and my life countless times. Whether it was looking at my schedule for next semester or planning for law school or planning for living on my own. Here’s a few things I’ve done to help me feel a little better about “adulting”

  1. Get a planner and write everything down.
    1. I can never remember everything. If I tell you I’ll remember, I probably won’t. I move two miles a minute with my thoughts and a mile a minute with my feet. Little things sometimes get lost in the shuffle or I push them off to another day. But, I realized when i write things down, I get more done. I have a small notebook in my purse and a planner. I use my phone calendar and notes, always. I write things down in multiple places because it helps me. Some people aren’t like that, but I am.
  2. Have a certain level of organization.
    1. My roommates can attest to the following: I organize everything. I will change things around to accommodate for new things. If my room looks a complete mess, I’m having a rough week. If my bed isn’t made, I was rushing and will probably keep to myself when I get back home. Organization helps me feel like I will not forget anything. I have a calendar white board, a large white board, have millions of sticky notes and everything has a container or bin with a label. It took me an entire year to get like this though. After living in a very small room for 15 weeks my freshman year (shoutout to 304 Petty Lane lol), I knew then that organization will help me not fill overwhelmed. Shoot, my car is even organized. I’m a military kid and can finally understand why my dad was big on organization: you don’t feel rushed or overwhelmed when you can find what you need. I’m not saying you have to have freshly vacuumed floors every day (although my mom would probably love that), but organization that works for you will go a long way in your everyday routine.
  3. Take a mental health day.
    1. It is that serious. Mental health has been a rising issue because the effects are, in some cases, deadly. I will have days when nobody can find me and I will do no work. I will do my daily routine and important things, but that’s it. Other than that, I will sit in my pajamas, watch Netflix, take three naps and eat cereal all day. I will also ignore people (unless it’s my Mom. I’m not getting yelled at for ignoring her). I will do what I have to do to recharge so I don’t get bogged down. Now, sometimes I take mental health breaks by going to the gym, sitting in Tate and people watch, or just listen to music and be in my own little world. Sometimes, human interaction has reached its point with me and I just need to do things alone. Don’t let anyone tell you that being alone is bad because you learn so much about yourself.
  4. Check yourself before you press buy.
    1. Now, Jay-Z is one of my favorite because his music is honest. In his recent album “4:44”, he talks about increasing your personal wealth and how you can get to the point where he is financially. Success and greatness comes with sacrifices and compromises. Sometimes, parties aren’t worth it. Sometimes, the latest piece of technology isn’t worth it. I got called out by my mentee/little sister for having an Amazon cart equaling around $200. My dad asked me, “if it’s still functional, why do you need to replace it?” That really struck a chord with me because as a millennial, the latest thing excites me, even if it only has my attention for ten minutes. I”m not saying it new things aren’t nice, but let’s be real. Do we really need every new gadget that comes out?
  5. Surround yourself with people who inspire you
    1. You are a culmination of the five people who surround yourself with the most. I have seen this happen. You know how you lose friends and your life starts to move at a different tempo? That’s a change. I have changed plenty of times, especially in my (soon-to-be) three years of college. I stopped trying to be at everything. I stopped doing things that I didn’t like. I started to find organizations that sparked my interests and kept it. I found people who would walk with me during hard times and not scold me for making a choice that wouldn’t be the same as theirs. I started to find myself. I spent a lot of time alone for this very reason. And I was completely okay with that. I changed my people and I love it. I have friends who work with minority students, who have a love for food, travel, music and fashion. I have friends who love giving back to people who look just like them. I have people that love to Brunch and strategize on their next life move. I have people that love DIY projects. I have people who accept me for being me and don’t make me apologize for it. I stopped being a people pleaser a long time ago because it’s exhausting. Embrace who you are and people will gravitate towards you for being genuine.
  6. Have a plan, some mentors and a couple of tissues.
    1. Here’s why I say have some tissues: every day ain’t sunshine. There will be days you might have to cry it out in your room. I would hate to have a runny nose, so the tissue is there to make sure that doesn’t happen. Have mentors that are where you want to be, doing what you want to do or have experience in areas you want to explore. My dad and older brother are two of my mentors. They keep it real with me, even when I don’t want to and force me out my comfort zone by not enabling me. I have a couple UGA alumni I will email about opportunities in current professions or things that they did on campus that I am looking into. I have former coworkers that are helping me through the law school process. I even call my old high school counselors, advisors and teachers to keep me a reality check. But with all of them in my corner, I have a plan. I have a one, two, five and ten year plan. Different stages in my life with different objectives. Some goals build off of others. Some are stand alone. But having a direction in what you want can keep you focused.

Things take time and it is okay. Everything doesn’t have to be planned out right now, but it helps a lot when you plan ahead. Some things in life can be daunting, but you have to realize where you want to go, what you want to do and how you’re going to get there. Just stay the course, enjoy the lessons and blessings and remain humble.



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