I Hate Apples

Source: Samantha Forsberg, Flickr
Source: Samantha Forsberg, Flickr

I really do. My friend and I recently embarked on a new eating adventure in an attempt to eat healthier and drop some pounds. We came up with a list of foods to stay away from and read up on foods that would provide healthier options for us. We’re setting goals and making changes one step at a time. In those changes, we’re struggling to let go of pleasurable foods – especially those that satisfy our sweet tooth! But because we set a goal, certain things MUST be sacrificed.

During this “cleansing” journey, we’ve both already made some pitfalls along the way. I have a tendency to really beat myself up when I fall short or don’t stick to what I had planned, not so much with my friend. They simply said we can keep going and just modify more as we go along – no stress because of setbacks. I thought to myself, hmmm…they have a point!

So there are a couple of things I’m taking from this experience. One, if you want something to improve, there are some steps you’ll have to take that won’t be the most fun. This is where self-discipline kicks in. As I mentioned earlier, I hate apples, but I will eat them because they are good for me and I want to be in a healthier state physically. Will I eat them on the regular? Heck no, but I will do my best to incorporate them in my eating habits by substituting them in place of sweets that are not so good for me. I know what I want and will do what needs to be done to get it.

The other point I would like to make is allowing oneself to operate in their human nature. It’s okay to mess up. Mistakes and bad choices will be made, but that doesn’t mean the journey has to stop.

A quick quote:

“If you have made mistakes, there is always another chance for you. You may have a fresh start any moment you choose, for this thing we call ‘failure’ is not the falling down, but the staying down.” – Mary Pickford

On the job experience

I recently had a rough day on the new job. It seemed like everything I was doing was wrong and kept getting kicked back. It made me feel awful, but it didn’t stop me from asking for help and finding out what I needed to do to improve my work. Once I approached the boss about it, they didn’t hesitate to offer me insight and guidance. They were once in my shoes and made the same mistakes I did and told me I shouldn’t feel bad, just learn from them.  Now I have the tools to help me prepare my work with better quality so that it doesn’t get kicked back. I also learned to dig deeper within myself to be more keen and attentive to what I’m doing.

So from apples to heart to heart conversations with bosses, it all boils down to self-discipline and perseverance. Don’t burn yourself out trying to outdo yourself or others, and keep going despite the setbacks you may have. These life lessons are definitely being applied to my writing journey as well. While some doors have opened for me, I’m still not where I would like to be as far as platform and exposure goes. Does this make me want to throw in the towel? Not really, but some days are definitely more encouraging than others. Nonetheless, I decide to keep moving forward.

With that being said, I hope you too decide to let your mistakes teach you instead of bring you down. As a writer, fashion blogger, chef or whatever it is you decide to do, learn from your human nature and make the most of it.

Have you practiced self accountability? If not, what’s the hold up?

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So I got a Henna Tattoo….

Source: Flicker, Colleen M
Source: Flicker, Colleen M

I recently attended a Diversity Day event in the area. It was pretty entertaining as they had food, dance and all kinds of presentations going on. There were people representing different parts of the world and my attention was drawn to the Indian booth that served teas and gave complimentary tattoos. I decided to get one out of curiosity. Mind you, I’m no stranger to diversity; growing up in an African household exposed me to a lot of different cultures. But I must say my Christian upbringing shielded me from a lot. Now that I’m my own person, I’m not as skeptical to try out new things and learn more about different beliefs and perspectives.

First Sight

My attention was captured by the smell of Chai Tea and a long line of curious looking women. Most of them walked away with flower, glittery tattoos. Some of them were getting the design on their arms while others got them on their ankles. They were nice, but I didn’t want what everyone else was getting, so by the time I reached the front of the line I decided to get something that would represent what I was going through; change, a new start. The lady doing the designs said she would put a “Hamsa” symbol on me to represent what I was looking for. She told me it would protect me from negative vibes of hatred and jealousy as I embarked on my new start.

Quick research


Hamsa is a symbol widely used in the eastern part of the world by different religions to include Hinduism, Buddhism, and Judaism. Each religion has its own affectionate translation for it, but generally speaking, it’s a symbol of protection against evil forces. The lady told me that I would be protected in my new start and that negative energy wouldn’t affect it. Yay!

So how does this tie into writing?

The connections this experience has to my development as a writer are endless. Not only can it open the mind to new ideas and concepts it can also be used as a motivator to take fresh approaches. For instance, I recently sat down and reevaluated my freelance pan and the priorities involved. It was especially useful because of the adjustment period I’m going through at the moment. Other things are going on for me that have caused things to slow down a bit with writing. I believe in the impact of positive energy and want to embrace it in my growth as a writer.

Want to learn more about henna tattoos? Go here!

As always let me know your thoughts and experiences in the comment section below!

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To All Health Advocates of Maryland: Is Anyone Paying Attention?

Every year the statistics come out – the healthiest cities in the U.S. or around the world, or the best workout states in America. Well I don’t think they’re doing this assessment properly. Or maybe I should say they need to find better ways of exploring and sharing health information. The “top 10 healthiest places to live” always consist of those ritzy coastal cities that consist of folks with high paying jobs who can afford to get massages every other day. Well I live on the east coast (yes, my city has been listed in the top 10) and those surveys give me no insight as to what fitness has done for my area. It’s being overlooked! For instance, in Maryland, there are many cities right outside of DC that are considered to be healthy places such as Bethesda, Silver Spring, Potomac – pretty much anywhere in Montgomery County. But Maryland is a huge state with other counties, where is the information for these other places? Prince Georges County is another popular area in terms of diversity and activity near the DC area. Yes, I know Prince Georges County is notorious for all the wrong reasons such as crime and poverty. It’s been that way for years. But over the past decade, there have been significant changes in the county that are not being highlighted enough. These changes have been for the better and continue to occur with no one saying anything about it.

Woodrow Wilson Bridge Trail
Woodrow Wilson Bridge Trail

Being a native of Maryland I grew up seeing a good variety of diversity and perspective towards health. But carry-outs and a good share of crime were prevalent in the area I lived in. With the exception of recreational centers, there were no gyms or real places to buy healthy food.  For the most part, health and fitness was not a concern of anyone. People just did what they wanted to do as all the negative statistics continued to rise in disease, poverty and crime. When I go back and visit these places as an adult, I barely recognize the neighborhoods. Not only have they changed for the better in physical appearance, people have taken on new attitudes towards their health. For the first time, I’m seeing the locals being serious about going to the gym, taking strolls around the neighborhood, and supporting local health food establishments (apart from the numerous colon cleanse products!). For example, the Woodrow Wilson Bridge is 4 miles distance both ways. People flock to walk this bridge every weekend. Kids, moms, entire families take to running/walking the 4 miles. Some of them go for seconds or thirds without missing a beat. It’s a big deal because it wasn’t like that before. Before they reconstructed the bridge, there were numerous parks all around the area, but they were mostly used for barbequing and hanging out. Now the parks and the bridge are being taken seriously as a way to work out. Another observation that floored me was gym membership. One of the recreational centers in Fort Washington recently opened offering a vast variety of fitness classes, rock climbing and swim lessons. At the beginning of the year the place was packed – from the machines to the studios. Months later into the year the place is still packed, unlike the regular decline shortly after the new year that we’re used to seeing. People of the county are dedicated and serious about their health.

Residents working it out in zumba class.
(Southern Regional Technology Complex in Fort Washington, MD)

So where’s the coverage? Especially since Prince Georges is always in a negative light. There is some positivity going on that needs to be highlighted; there’s development on the horizon that pertains to economic development, increase of real estate and an interest in fitness. It’s good to encourage the positive in people as they strive to make a difference in their lives. This type of positive attitude can have an overall effect on the area and improve the quality of life for Prince Georges.

What are your thoughts?

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