Motivate Me Mondays: Chasing after your destiny

“Destiny is not a matter of chance; it is a matter of choice. It is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved.” – William Jennings Bryan
I believe it is our responsibility to achieve the things our hearts desire because to live a life with regrets can cause more bad then good. We cannot let fear hold us back because the hardest part about achieving what we want is actually starting it. We can talk about it, think about it, and even dream about it but to make it become something real we must take a chance.  Todays motivational story is about a young lady who is choosing to chase after her destiny and not allowing any obstacles or set backs she may face, to stand in her way; here is her story:
Tell me about yourself
I am Robin Butler, a twenty-four year old licensed natural hair care specialist/ educator in North Carolina and the owner of Created Coily Inc. As a proud alumnus of the Illustrious North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, excellence breeds through my personal and professional brands of success. My holistic view on natural beauty and healthy hair development stems from my lifestyle, focusing on the balance of mind, body, and spirit. Our hair style is simply an expression of our inner minds. 
I’ve always loved hair every since I was a little girl. I would collect and buy so many hair magazines it wasn’t even funny. It has always been my niche; easy and fun for me to talk about. Outside of entrepreneurship and business- I enjoy learning and teaching. I’m preparing to go back to school in the next year to obtain my Juris Doctorate in Law and Masters in Business Administration. I love going to my church, spending time with family and friends, and practicing all things regarding holistic health and beauty.
What is Created Coily Inc. ?
Created Coily Inc. supports a new age of natural beauty which fosters and supports the healthy state of kinky, coily, wavy, and curly hair. Created Coily Inc. (The Experience and Style) is a organization of natural hair professionals and a thriving community of families who embrace natural hair and living. We are the home of C2 products, apparel, and a wide range of services which include Salon Services and Consulting, Educational and Lifestyle Workshops, and the CoilyCRATE subscription box; created with you in mind.
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How long have you been natural ? 
My last chemical service was done in 2013, which was 4 years ago. 
What natural hair tips do you have for all the beautiful natural hair women who are just starting their natural hair journey ?
My natural tips would be to enjoy the ride and not to rush through each stage. My hope would be for you to really take the time to learn not only your hair, but your health, and yourself. That is where the ultimate power and growth begins to transform within yourself.
What makes Created Coily unique?
Created Coily stands alone because it is not only a brand, it is also an identity to the future of Americans. Data presented by the National Geographic Center released in 2015 stated “By 2050 everyone in the United States will have curly hair and some variation of brown skin.”  Created Coily Inc is an American Curl Company, organically grown in North Carolina. We don’t just have lifeless shelf products, we have hair products that are sold in local community beauty salons which help the keep small businesses viable in our community. Our products teach our clients about their hair and are approved by the stylist treating the clients hair. Our apparel “Respect the Fro and Locs” or Black Girl Magic are worn proudly by our consumers around the country. Our quarterly subscription box meets subscribers at their door step every four months to help women stay inspired and find solutions when it comes to their hair journey. Created Coily is unique in the industry because we are natural hair care specialists creating experiences, culture, and style for each one of our customers to fit their healthy hair and lifestyle needs.
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What was the driving force behind you starting this business ?
The driving force behind me starting Created Coily Inc. was knowing that if I looked beyond myself and my own issues, I could create an identity and a platform for the future that would stand the test of time. We would solve solutions to issues and create a space to talk about it. Everyday I’m continuely reminded of this driving force because of my own hair truths, both pretty and ugly.
What set backs or obstacles, if any, have you had to overcome?
In the last two years with Created Coily, there has been a million set backs but I think that is just the nature of the business. It wasn’t one set back that wasn’t worth the experience I gained. I think one of the biggest set backs I had to overcome was having to learn and fill every role of my business until  I get to place I can hire and employ others. I am the web developer, graphic designer, financial analyst, photographer, videographer, IT, supply chain and logistics, stylist/chemist and manufacturer, production manager, public relations, shipping/delivery and legal analyst. You have to not only learn these roles but perform them professionally everyday. My degree was completed in General Economics, so for me this was a learning curve. I fell in love with my brand and that’s the only way I’m overcoming it. 
How would you define success ?
Success is your ability to stay the course and not give up on the very thing that can change the trajectory of your life.
What keeps you motivated ? 
Being able to chase after my destiny and full potential everyday. I love being able to wake every morning and look forward to going to my work space and being able to create what I see in my head then make it into a career; that keeps me motivated. 
What are 3 tips you would say are vital to the success of a business ?
Three tips vital for a successful business in my opinion would be:
1. solid marketing
2. authenticity/creditability within your industry
3. passion/love that is undeniable
Where can people go to learn more about created coily and purchase one of your products?
To learn more about Created Coily Inc. you can visit our websites at www.createdcoily.org to learn more and createdcoily.com to Shop. Be sure to follow us on IG and Twitter @createdcoilyinc. You can also follow my personal and professional journey on Youtube at Naturally Rob.
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Motivate Me Mondays: Achieving the unexpected

Jordan Peele, an American actor, comedian, screenwriter, and film director, was born February 21, 1979 in New York City, New York. Jordan went to middle school at Computer School in I.S. 44, high school at The Calhoun School where he graduated in 1997, and became a 2001 graduate of Sarah Lawrence College. Years later, in 2013, he met Chelsea Peretti who later became his fiancé in November of 2015 and his wife in April of 2016. Jordan and Chelsea recently announced in February of this year that they are expecting their first child.

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Photo Credit: People.com

Jordan Peele is known for his celebrity impersonations, his music video parody for his song “Sad Fifty Cent”, and his appearance in the viral video “Hilary vs. Obama”. Peele has been nominated for and awarded a few awards for his acting and writing skills. Peele has acted in many different TV shows and movies some of which he also wrote, produced, and directed. A few of the films and movies Peele is known for is:

Key and Peele

The Mindy Project

Modern Family

MADtv

Little Fockers

Wanderlust 

Get Out

While Jordan Peeles accomplishments cannot go unnoticed, his 2017 horror/comedy film Get Out, which he wrote, directed, and produced has earned him one of his best accomplishments to date; the FIRST African American Writer-Director with a $100 Million Movie Debut. The film also received 100 percent positive reviews from Rotten Tomatoes and Peele achieved all of this in only 16 days from the movies release date with a $4 million dollar budget and a cast containing quite a few unknown actors. This movie is nothing like your normal horror/comedy movies because the horror it portrays is the real and honest terror that a black men feels living in America. Get Out is the type of movie that requires your full attention or else you will miss the hidden messages and even some of the obvious ones that this film displays. If you have already seen the movie I would encourage you to also read this amazing post written by Jessica Wilkins entitled 15 Easter Eggs from “Get Out”; it will leave you speechless.

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Photo Credit: http://www.getoutfilm.com

Jordan Peele’s accomplishments from the movie Get Out is an example of achieving something completely unexpected; something being better then you ever imagined it would be. Peele was aware that this movie may bring about a lot of negative criticism but that did not stop him nor did it hold him back, which is more then enough proof that you should never second guess yourself when it comes to doing what you believe in. Peele had faith in the success of this movie and he was not afraid to bring awareness to things that are overlooked in todays society, while also adding a nice touch of comedy to the mix; which in my opinion helped balance out the level of intensity the movie has. Let this be a motivation to you to never be afraid to do what is right while still remaining true to yourself.

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Why Do We As Women?

Why do we as women believe the first thing we hear when someone is trying to tell us something about our man?

Have you ever been approached on some “Im coming to you woman to woman” or “I know something about your man” or “Your man isn’t as faithful as you think he is” ? I know I have and I know I’m not alone when I say, that when that happens, it is the worse feeling ever. It’s like your heart has dropped into your stomach and you start questioning your entire relationship right away. Sometimes you get so caught up in what you’re being told at the moment that it becomes hard to make rational and sound decisions on top of responding to what you were just told, the proper way.

I understand how hard it is to deal with situations like this but this is when it is important to know the person you are with, be aware and alert of the level of happiness that exists in your relationship at the time, and DO NOT believe the first thing you hear. If a woman feels the need to come to you about a man you sleep with, talk to everyday, see all the time then be sure to do all your research, the same way I’m sure the other girl has done hers. Is she providing you with proof? Are all of her ducks in a row? What does your gut tell you when she starts telling you things about your man? This is the time to really dig deep and find out what your intuition is trying to tell you.

Often times we as women take the first thing we are told about our man and run with it because we allow all the emotions it brought us, to cause us to make irrational decisions. We have to handle these off guard situations better then that because often times, the other woman whose brining you this information is waiting to see how you will handle it but you must remember to “never let them see you sweat”. There are three sides to a story, his side, her side, and the truth but in order to find out the truth you must remain calm, level headed, and do not make a decision until you gather all the facts. Also, do not forget to TALK TO THE PERSON YOU ARE ACTUALLY IN THE RELATIONSHIP WITH before automatically assuming they are guilty of what they are accused of doing. Trust me when I say, that when you approach them with what you have been told you will be able to tell if it is the truth or not but whether or not you accept it, is your choice.

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Motivate Me Mondays: Taking a risk

“No matter what people tell you, words and ideas can change the world” – Robin Williams

In life sometimes we must take risk, we must step outside of our comfort zone to achieve the things we want. In order to make something possible you must have a level of confidence in yourself so that no matter what happens you will not give up before turning that idea into a reality. Todays motivational feature is about Shanea Phillips, a young woman who took a simple idea and turned it into a reality and how it is now becoming bigger and better then she ever imagined; here is her story….

Who is Shanea? Tell a little bit about yourself

I’m just a North Carolina A&T graduate trying to change the world one small step at a time. I’ve always enjoyed meeting new people, building relationships and connecting people in my network to opportunities. This and my passion for helping others influenced both my career and entrepreneurial paths. I work full-time as a Marketing and Communications Associate for a national nonprofit that raises and grants funds to fight HIV/AIDS. In my “spare time” I’m either in class working toward my Master of Public Administration degree, planning the next Brunch N’ Grind networking event or spending time with friends and family.

 

What is brunch n grind?

Brunch N’ Grind, LLC (BNG) provides networking brunch parties for young black professionals in New Jersey and the surrounding areas. BNG attendees can expect unlimited food and drinks, great music and an opportunity to connect with like-minded professionals.

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When did you start brunch n grind? What was the motivation behind starting brunch n grind?

It all started after I hosted a brunch party for my 24th birthday. As I looked around the table I saw engineers, accountants, PHd students and marketing executives and thought we need more opportunities like these! More opportunities to just break bread, grab a few drinks and really connect on a personal level. Brunch brings people from all backgrounds together (as food and libations usually do) and is a great avenue for networking and meeting new people.  Most importantly, I saw a need for more networking and social events for young black professionals in NEW JERSEY! Many professionals are trekking to New York every weekend when there are so many talented people and opportunities right here in the state.

 

In August 2015, I nervously took the lap of faith to start Brunch N’ Grind to serve as an avenue for young black professionals to advance their personal and professional goals. The first one had about 40 people come out to eat, drink, network and socialize and I decided to keep it going

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What keeps you motivated ?

 

Honestly, I’m motivated each and every day by the people around me. So many of my peers, especially black women, are building and starting movements that support and uplift our communities. Thinking about the bigger picture inspires and encourages me to keep going. I realized directly after college that it is about both WHO and WHAT you know. It is becoming increasingly important to build a network and establish social capital while make these career and business moves. Knowing that I can help people accomplish this through my brunches encourages me to improve and grow to reach even more people.

 

How much has it grown since you started?

It’s amazing to see how much Brunch N’ Grind has grown in the past year and a half. As I mentioned before, the first event had 40 attendees, now we reach capacity at each brunch with nearly 100 young black professionals in attendance. The growth is inspiring, because it shows that we are fulfilling our mission to provide a space for people to gather, make connections and support each other

 

As you continue to expand brunch n grind, where would you like things to be in the next 2-3 years?

 

In the next 2-3 years, I hope to offer brunch events more frequently to offer more opportunities to socialize and connect. Additionally, I plan to expand to other cities that have a large young professional audience, but like New Jersey may lack opportunities to come together. Now that I am a year and half into running the business, I plan to create a strategic plan that will outline business goals for the next few years and a plan on how to get there. Part of that is looking into sponsorships and partnerships to offer even more on a bigger and better scale.

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What advice do you have for young women like yourself?

Believe in yourself. You can do anything you put your mind to! I know this may sound cliché, but I find myself lacking confidence and second guessing myself more often than I would like to admit. It’s so easy to scare yourself out of a brilliant idea by thinking you aren’t ready or capable to pull it off! I would say, the first step is believing in yourself, building self-confidence and taking that leap of faith to put yourself out there. Once you do, you’ll realize that you are more than able and fully equipped to handle anything that may come your way. You see a problem? Take initiative and get it done. Lacking in an area? Educate and train yourself or partner with someone in your network.

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Where can people go to find out more about brunch n grind?

You can visit www.brunchngrindnj.com for more information, upcoming events and to sign up for updates. You can also follow us on Instagram @brunchngrind!

 

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Motivate Me Mondays: Breaking Barriers 

Mahershala Ali, born Mahershalalhashbaz Gilmore in Oakland, California on February 16, 1974, was raised by Willicia and Phillip Gilmore. He was raised Christian but later converted to Islam and graduated from St. Mary’s College of California in 1996 with a degree in Mass Communications. His interest in acting came about after taking part in the staging of Spunk which helped him land an apprenticeship at the California Shakespeare Theater. After a sabbatical year where he worked for Gavin Report, Mahershala enrolled in New York University’s graduate acting program, obtaining his masters in 2000. He is married to Amatus Sami-Karim and on February 22, 2017 they welcomed their first child, a beautiful little girl by the name of Bari Najma.

Mahershala Ali is known for being seen all over our TV screens, on the “BIG SCREEN”, and on stage in quite a few plays. Some of his works are:

House of Cards

The Hunger Games

Luke Cage

The Wronged Man

The 4400

Blues for an Alabama Sky

Smart People

Moonlight 

These are just a few works where he showed his brilliant acting skills but make no mistake there are many many more. The rewards he has recieved show the many accomplishments he has and continues to make in his career. One of his most recent accomplishments is becoming the first Muslim to win an Oscar for his portrayal in Moonlight

Mahershala most recent and awesome accomplishment speaks to ones level of determination to never let anything hold you back. It also speaks to being patient and trusting the process because often times we want success and money right away without putting in real time and effort, while remaining dedicated to the ultimate goal. Do you know what your ultimate goal is? What are the things that you want to achieve that will make you feel like you’re on your way to breaking barriers? These are important questions to think about and refelect on because we all view success differently and we all have ways we can and want to achieve that success. Let Mahershala Ali be all the proof you need that having the right level of determination can get you very far in life!


Photo Credit: Gq.com

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Why Do We As Women?

Why do we as women ignore all of the things we keep allowing, when these men end up hurting us?

Ladies how many times have you been told “that man only does what you ALLOW him to do”. Probably too many times to count right? I know that would be and is my answer. I have people from friends to family tell me this all the time yet I would still continue dealing with things I had no business allowing to even occur.

Please understand that I am in no way saying that these men are right for what they do to us and put us through but eventually you have to ask yourself why it continues to happen. It seems so simple especially when all you ask is for these men to do is be faithful, loyal, loving, respectful, and 100% committed. We do not get into these relationships expecting to be treated in ways no woman should be treated but it is life; its these situations that make us the women we are today. However, at some point you have to step back and look at the situation to see the part you are playing; realize the things you have been allowing.

These are times where we have to keep a constant reminder of what people have been telling us since guys were even a thought because we are so quick to blame the guy but after the 3rd, 4th, and 5th time of the same thing happening we need to start asking ourselves what are we allowing to take place that makes these men feel like they can continue doing what they are doing. Why do these men continue to hurt us is a questions that sometimes we already have the answer to and don’t even realize it.

The start of 2017 for me was the beginning of finally letting go of a situation I had been dealing with for longer then I should have. For me, cutting someone off and letting go involves taking a extreme measures from blocking on all social media to blocking phone numbers and emails to loosing all contacts with friends and family until I have reached a place of peace. This situation I was in was filled with ups and downs, tears, low self esteem, and a lot of things being allowed on my be half when I knew that I was better then that. There is no better feeling then cutting off a man you’ve allowed to have too much control over things like your feelings, emotions, and decision making. As women we try to become the type of women we say we would never be like but often times we become those women and that is because love makes you do crazy things.

So to all my ladies reading this, we have to move forward by making a conscious effort to not allow things that we shouldn’t even have to deal with in the first place. Stop allowing things from a man who would never allow it if the tables were turned, do not allow these men to have total control over your emotions; take that power back and continue working on becoming the right woman for the right man!

I would suggest reading this book which was recommended by a good friend. It is called Unglued: Making Wise Choices in the Midst of Raw Emotions by Lysa TerKeurst. This book is a great read that will help you to make decisions that aren’t not so heavily based off the raw emotions we sometimes deal with and can’t always control

Unglued: Making Wise Choices in the Midst of Raw Emotions

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Motivate Me Mondays: Never give up on your dreams!

“The question isn’t who is going to let me, it’s who is going to stop me” – Ayn Rand
In life we come to a point where we are almost told which directions we should take to live a life that we find comfortable and not really a life that involves us really doing the things we love. We become comfortable with doing what is considered normal and we end up not chasing after our dreams. Often times it is refreshing to me to meet people who are genuinely chasing after their dreams with such high levels of determination. There are not too many people who really chase after their dreams no matter what people may think or say; it takes a lot of courage to keep yourself motivated to do what you know you are meant to do. Todays motivational feature is the story Quayshaun Weston, also known as Kain, has shared about the journey he is currently on in his life. He is an up and coming artist who makes music we can relate to so I asked him a few questions to get a better understanding of his journey. Here is his story……
Who is Quay? Tell a little bit about yourself.
Well, I’m Quay Weston. It’s Quayshaun but people mess it up a lot so I shortened it to Quay. Saves a lot of time and confusion haha. I’m from Pantego NC which is about an hour east of Greenville. I’m from a small town with a small country family so like most I was raised by my grandmother and had to grow up relatively quick. I went to UNC-G where I graduated in 2013 with a Bachelors in Political Science/Pre-Law and minored in Sociology. I’m a member of the ADZ GHOST Chapter of Omega Psi Phi, a mentor, activist, social artist (rapper), and avid reader.
Why do you call yourself Kain?
Kain came along as a second rap name for me. A friend from Philly suggested it and I rolled with it. Now as far as my Enoch brand and my overall journey through life, it’s very relative to the story of Cain in the bible as far as finding myself and being isolated/wandering until I could create the empire that I wish to create.
When did you really start getting into music?
I’ve been writing music since 9 years old but I’ve been professionally pursuing and creating music for about 8 years now. I was creating mixtapes and everything during high school with my group , GHOST Ent, and now I’m creating everything solo for the most part.
What motivates you?
My motivation comes from the energy around me honestly. I can say that I am inspired by the idea that my walk in life and my journey would be an inspiration to someone else. I don’t do what I do for others, I do it because I’m passionate about it, but at the end of the day our works and gifts should bring glory to the kingdom of God. As long as you’re not leading people into the dark, your work should at least show the love of god or your faith in it. That’s what I push for. I’m motivated by family of course and wanting to keep them happy and bring peace to their issues, but I can only do as much as I can. I’m also motivated by the problems of the world. They give me the fuel to realize that as much craziness is going on, there can still be positive energy out there to help people and help myself to get through it.
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What type of message are you trying to convey through your music ?
My music before is all about my journey through life. I speak from the moment or head space that I’m in right now. My most recent project, black: a story told by kain, is all about political issues and social injustice that have been felt by black folks across the world. That’s where I was mentally when it was created. Before that, The Foundation, was a musical journey through my life and the changes I’ve made as a person. So the message I’m trying to convey is for people to realize their journey is different from everyone else’s and that you have to have faith in that process. Embrace that fear that comes with your growth and overcome it. You have to leave something here for the world to remember…what is that going to be for you?
Which one of your songs is your favorite and why? (If you can’t name just one, name at least 2-3)
My favorite song of mine is probably…Insecure. I mean everybody loves Doggin and American Pimp and Transcendence and Hunger Games or Sandra but Insecure was like the truest song that I’ve ever written. Where I was during that time was trying to explain to a girl that I was insecure too, and guys, we don’t say that often. We’re taught to not express things, which hurts more than it helps. That song is lit though.
What obstacles have you faced and how did you handle them ?
In my entire life my biggest obstacle was the normal…money, support, acknowledgement, network. However, after all of that the REAL obstacle that I was having an issue with was confidence. Once I became confident in my own work and believed that rap was my manifest destiny (EXACTLY what I was supposed to be doing)…things started manifesting themselves right in front of me. I had to accept my path and realize my process and my work is nothing close to anyone else’s and I shouldn’t be comparing myself to others because I’m a very unique being. So, most of my own issues were overcoming myself honestly. The other things can be figured out.
What is the end goal?
My ultimate goal is to create a creative arts complex that is designed to shape and mold youth into brands, businesses, and social entrepreneurs. They will come in, create, market, and brand their own products. After they create these things whether it’s music, tech/coding, video, plays, photography, writing, publishing, marketing, or coordinating, they will put together a fully functional event that will demonstrate their abilities. They will plan it, book it, schedule it, set up the entire program, create the promo materials, advertise, and hold the event. It would have to have a outreach factor to it, so we would help them with finding the charity or organization they’d like to donate to or partner with. Ultimately I want to be able to have a team that molds and shows our youth that there are creative processes out there and in order to reach your maximum potential you have to have a space to do what you love. While showing them that, they will be able to generate income for themselves, have income to support them through/during college, and they can employ others/give back to their communities.
What advice do you have for someone whose trying to get their music started?
Don’t make music if you don’t love it. If you’re doing it for money save us some time and stop. Straight up. My main advice would be to love what you do and use your platform to help the overall good of the people. Make good music then give back to your people that are putting you on. Simple. It’ll come back ten fold.
Do you have your hands in anything else besides music?
I’m very active in the community here in Greensboro and neighboring areas. I’m an Omega so service comes first. I am a mentor, we have a mentorship program started at an elementary school here in Greensboro. My team, LGi Dope, book our own shows and hold our own tours. I network and coordinate with activist groups such as Artist4Justice, UmojaLife, UNCG NAACP, Soul Society, and I have my own organization coming soon, the Enoch Coalition.
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Where can people go to learn more about you and hear your music ?
Everything is available right from my website, www.callmekain.com – I have music, videos, photos, you name it (haha, is that still a thing?). You can follow me or reach me and connect on Twitter, IG, Facebook at @callmekain. I follow back and all that so don’t worry about that. I hope you all can check out my latest project black right on the homepage at http://www.callmekain.com – DOWNLOAD THE PROJECT ON BANDCAMP, iTunes, Apple Music, Spotify, Google Play, Tidal etc. You can also listen to everything Kain on my Pandora Radio channel!! Thanks you all! Peace.

 

We all want to live a life doing something we truly love to do. If you are able to do what you love go for it, stay consistent, and always remain motivated. Anything is possible!

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Why Do We As Women

Why do we as women allow a man to string us along?

Often times, as woman, we forget that a man who wants to truly be with you, will simply BE WITH YOU! A man won’t allow anything to stop him or hold him back once he has it set in his mind that he wants to be with only you. You won’t have to question whether or not he wants to be with you, you won’t have to ask him, you won’t have to argue about it, stress about it, and you won’t have to convince him that he should be with you and only you.

It is so easy to forget those things once we get caught up in how much we like someone. We start seeing ourselves with them and imagining how great a relationship would be with them, not even realizing that the person is showing signs of not wanting the same thing we want. I’ve been in situations with guys, who I now know, did not deserve my time, energy, and attention; I ended up staying in situations longer then I should have because I kept allowing them to string me along. I allowed guys to give me a little ounce of hope, when in all honesty, they were really only saying things to keep me around just a little longer. They did not have it in them to tell me that their intentions were not to be with me, even though they had made me feel as though things would develop into something more. 

Often times men will meet a woman and they will do all of these wonderful things to make that woman like him. A man will get so caught up in doing this, that they themselves don’t realize the damage that they will cause once that woman realizes that he does not have the same intentions as she does. Often times a man will not come right out and be honest about the fact that they have been stringing a woman along; often times they aren’t going to sit you down and tell you that they don’t want the same things you do. This is the reason why we as women have to pay attention to the signs; we have to stop staying in situations longer then we are supposed to and make sure we make ourselves fully aware of a guys intentions with us. 

I encourage every woman to be careful about who you give your time to. Allowing a man to string you along is time wasted and that is time you won’t ever get back. 

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Motivate Me Mondays: Breaking Barriers

Katherine Johnson, whose incredible contributions to the space program were displayed in the film Hidden Figures, born August 26, 1918 in White Sulphur Springs, WV, to Joshua and Joylette Coleman and she was the youngest of 4 children. At the young age of 13 Katherine was attending the high school on West Virginia State College campus and graduated at the age of 14.  Years later at the age of 18 she enrolled as a student at West Virginia State College, a historically black college. Katherine, who took every math class the college had to offer, had quite a few teachers taking her under their wing including professor W. W. Schieffelin Clayton, who is the third African American to earn a PhD in Mathematics.

Katherine Johnson graduated summa cum laude with a degree in mathematics and french and then took a teaching job at a black public high school. In 1939 she became one of three African Americans and the only female selected to integrate graduate the program at West Virginia University. She made a decision to leave her teaching job and enroll in the graduate program at the University. Katherine decided to take a career path in mathematics as a research mathematician which was not easy for many African American women to enter. In 1953 Katherine accepted a job offer from National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA), which later changed its name to NASA, at the Langley Memorial Aeronautical Laboratory in Hampton, VA.

Katherine Johnson made a lot of things possible for women in mathematics! She broke barriers and took risks and no matter what road blocks she hit along the way she never let it get in here way.

To read more about this amazing women and the rest of her contributions: https://www.nasa.gov/content/katherine-johnson-biography

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Photo Credit: NASA

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Photo Credit: https://www.becauseofthemwecan.com/blogs/stories/pioneering-nasa-mathematician-katherine-johnson-hidden-figures-movie-poster-everything

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Why Do We As Women?

Why do we as women continue to do the same things and expect different results?

A lot of the decisions you make in life shape the way things will turn out for you. No one can ever force you to do anything and sometimes some people have to make the same mistake multiple times before they fully grasp the fact that it is time for a change. As a woman, we know when we have reached our breaking point and we know when we are fed up but no changes will be made until we reach that point on our own.

In 2013 I accomplished a lot in my life; I became a member of the best sorority in the world, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc., I graduated from college, I received a job offer a week after graduation, and I moved and started taking care of myself. While I had all of these great things going for me there was still something that I kept allowing to cause me a lot of tears, anxiety, and sleepless nights and that was a man; a situation with a man that wasn’t even putting forth effort to be in a relationship with me. Time after time I would accept apologies for things I should have never put up with and stuck around even though I knew this was not the man for me. This was a man who supported me when it was convenient, missed out on a lot of my accomplishments, and blamed me for things that were never really my fault. I even went so far as to try to be just his “friend” at one point, even though I knew that was not the answer to a situation I no longer had control of.

I will never forget the day I sat in my closet crying and praying because I was so fed up with the situation and on that day, in January 2014, I decided to stand strong and cut off all ties with someone who did not appreciate me; I decided to stop doing the same things because all I was getting was the same results, which ended up causing me to get hurt. I also decided to take my mothers advice and read a book that she mailed to me and to this day I still tell people that this book changed my life.

January 2014 LaLa Anthony released her book, The Love Play Book, which talks about how she found love and success on her own. I started reading that book February 2014 and I promised myself that I would give any of the suggestions offered in this book a fair and honest shot. One thing that LaLa offers in her book is a 60 day challenge where you spend the next 60 days not looking, thinking, or even trying to get a man. She goes further into detail about it and how it helped her, of course, but for me, coming across not only the book but the challenge its self was the start of me taking back the control I lost over my feelings and emotions.

The Love Playbook: Rules for Love, Sex, and Happiness

I would encourage every woman who has reached a point where they feel as though something has to change, a point where they are ready to take back control over things that should have never been controlled by another person, to read LaLas book! I truly hope that reading this helps someone else and if you just so happen to pick up that book, I hope it brings you to a better place in life like it did for me!

Let Tay Tell It