Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Fearless Fancy

Growing up, I was a busy child. Always taking at least one performing arts lesson and participating in at least one sport through out the year. Never any breaks, that means even through out the summer months I was doing something.
Participating in these kinds of activities as a kid gave me a different kind of mindset when it came to trying new things and stepping out into unknown territory. It helped develop my "thick skin" and self esteem.

I took piano lessons for about 10 years. I played classical music mostly. In those 10 years of lessons, the music became more difficult to master but the steps to mastering it were the same. You learn a new skill that's applied to the art, tackle the new music in digestible parts. When each part is mastered, put them all together. Voila! You are playing your classical piece like Chopin himself. At the time, I didn't realize that these piano lessons were actually teaching me life lessons. As adults, we are confronted with situations we have never dealt with before, it makes us uncomfortable. But this is the natural progression of things. After 10 years of lessons and coaching and scales and arpeggios and hand stretches to reach chords, my parents would be disappointed if I were still playing "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" with my pointer fingers just because it was easy for me to do that. They expected to hear me fumbling through on Chopin's Nocturne Op.9 No.2 until I got it right or they'd think they were wasting their money. LOL! In performing arts, we are always mastering new skills and testing our limits. No fear. We will get it with enough practice. Well, some times. With small hands, there were always some chords I just couldn't reach cuz it wasn't physically possible. Ha!

It's the same with sports. Although I participated in some team sports, I was never really an "athlete". It just wasn't in my blood. LOL! But, athletes have thick skin just like performers. Constantly getting critiqued. Being told how to improve. Getting scored. Getting judged. Winning competitions. Losing competitions. Auditioning for shows. Trying out for teams. Getting the gig. Not getting the gig. Making the team. Getting cut from the team. It's just what comes with the territory.

When I won a competition, there usually wasn't a big celebration cuz I was supposed to win. I mean, I had been practicing for 3 hours everyday. There was no reason I shouldn't have won. When I didn't win. It was not the end of the world. There is always someone out there better than you or with more natural talent. I'd just have to work harder before the next one. There are always more competitions for you to compete in and win. The scoring sheet would reveal what I needed to improve on so that I could work on it and win the next time.

Life is full of victories but you have to go through some losses along the way. The losses teach you character. The wins build your confidence. Losing or messing up or making a mistake never stopped me from practicing that show piece until it was perfected. A situation in life not turning out how I wanted it to never stopped me from living. Things are as they should be and when they aren't how I want them to be, I've realized that I have a lesson to learn and some things in my life that I need to work on.

Perfecting a new craft takes practice. You will fumble but that's just apart of the process. Don't be scared to push yourself beyond what you think you can do. You will surprise yourself. Test your limits. If you never test them, you will never know your full potential. Jump into new opportunities with both feet. No fear. And don't give up until you are a pro.

Live your Fancy life without fear.

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Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Fancy Dating

I have been off of the market for a while now. Almost 12 years with the same guy. Seven years married. Prior to dating my husband, I had a steady boyfriend right out of high school and was with him most of my four years of college. I was engaged to him, but I had a come to Jesus meeting with myself and Jesus where He and I decided that there was something way better out there for me. So I broke it off and was single. Needless to say, I didn't get much dating experience during the time in my life when I should have. I was back in school after the break up, so I wasn't really pressed to have another boyfriend just yet but I'm cute so I was "talking" to a couple of guys. When I was telling one of my really good girlfriends about how aggravating boys were, she recommended that I read a book called The Rules. So, I did and it gave me some better dating guidelines and tips to adhere to. I'm going to summarize a few of them for you and add my "Fancy" twist but you should still read the book for yourself.

The 5Linx of Fancy Dating

1. You attract who you are.
If you are wondering why you keep attracting the same kind of guy. Take a look in the mirror, sistah. It's you. Leeches can smell the desperation through your perfume. Jerks can detect your low self esteem a mile a way. While an upwardly mobile man sees that you're a boss or at least a boss in the making by the way you walk in a room. The leech and the jerk may try a boss chick, but they will soon find out that they don't stand a chance. Long story short, work on yourself before you worry about getting a boyfriend. A mate does not complete you, he compliments you. Together you will conquer the world. Get your degree. Start your business. Lose those last 5 pounds. Go on a girl's trip. Just do whatever you have to do to be happy with yourself and you will attract an AWESOME man that is perfect for you and will encourage you to continue on your journey to success and happiness. Keyword is "ATTRACT", not find. The bible says it best, The one who finds a good wife has found something good, And he receives Jehovah’s favor. Proverbs 18:22 Notice that God did not instruct women to go out and search for a husband. Make yourself accessible but let him find you.

2. I don't call boys.
I quickly learned that a man who insists on giving you his number and is not begging for yours is not down for the chase. Don't let them men fool you and tell you that they "don't chase" women. Men are competitive. They LOVE the chase. They chase dreams and aspirations. They chase money. And when they see a woman they want, they chase that woman. Now, I did not say play games with him. Just let him pursue you. Do not call a man who offers you his business card unless it's for business purposes. If you exchange numbers, wait for him to call you. As you develop feelings and agree to a committed relationship, make sure you are calling him and making sure he knows that he got his prize.

3. He must make plans for you.
That means, under no circumstances do you accept last minute date invitations. He must schedule his time with you at LEAST 3 days in advance. Remember, you are busy being great and your calendar books up quickly. You are NOT sitting at home waiting for Prince Charming to ask you on a date. And even if you are sitting at home staring at the walls, he doesn't know that. You had plans. You planned to veg out on the couch that evening. LOL! If he doesn't get it after 3 attempts, he ain't the one. If he does get it and finally schedules time with you. Let him plan the date. Your job is to show up, look pretty and enjoy his company. You should not be worrying your pretty little head about where you all are going and what you will be doing.

4. Do not accept mediocre treatment.
We get treated based on what we accept. Make your standards clear without being a "mean girl". Men do not read between the lines. You must make things very clear to them which can be done without shattering their egos. His efforts must match his promises and words. Slick talk can keep on walking. Trust your instincts. If something seems fishy, it probably is. And most importantly, do not smash on the first date. Keep your legs closed until you are married.....or at least until you're sure about your feelings. Having sex prematurely can cloud your judgement, make him judge you and make you irrational if he puts it down but he ain't the one. On the other end of the spectrum, if you see that a man has gone through great lengths to do something for you, do not knock his efforts. Acknowledge them and offer suggestions in a loving way.

5. You must practice dating.
When I was single, I gave my number to any guy who asked because I know it takes a lot of courage to do that. No one likes rejection. I didn't have to be attracted to him or think he could potentially be my boyfriend. I did that for a few reasons. You never know the gem you'll get when you peel back the layers. But that takes time. You always have to give yourself options. Out of those men I gave my number to, I went on dates with the ones who asked me out properly, even when I wasn't interested. Of course there were a few that I wished had asked me out. But they didn't. So where dey at now? Finally, I needed to practice all the rules I learned so that when I did finally start dating "The One", I would know how to act. You don't get good at anything until you practice. So, I did just that. Went on some decent dates, some horrible dates, and even some good ones. I learned things about myself. I learned what works with men and what doesn't. I was able to be more clear about what I wanted in a relationship all before I started dating the guy that would become my husband.

If you are single and dating. Have fun! Still go out with your girlfriends and family, travel, and become even greater than you already are. Enjoy life. Trust me. Marriage is a beautiful thing but it comes with a whole 'nother set of troubles. Every guy you go out with is not your future husband. Don't get attached too quickly and watch what he does, not what he says. Some of these guys are slicksters and sweet talkers. If those words aren't backed up by actions, keep it moving. Life is too short for boy drama. Especially when you're living the drama free Fancy life!!!

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Thursday, November 6, 2014

Let Them Be Great!!!

I am no life coach. Never claimed to be one but I am pretty good at problem solving. Like, problem solving is my profession. My employer pays me to find solutions. My mind automatically starts looking for a solution when I see or hear a problem. I encourage people not to wallow in their situation being all sad and frustrated. Find the answer and apply it. Problem solved. On to the next thing that life throws at you. I don't like to see people that I care about depressed because of something out of their control *ahem* or repetitive poor decision making. I offer solutions or try to direct them to someone who may have the answers. When I don't have the answers, trust me, I have no problem sitting with Sway. However, as I have matured, I have learned when to keep my insight to myself. I have learned that unsolicited input is not well received in some situations. Even when I am called on, I say what I have to say and leave it alone.

Different strokes for different folks. I have my own life to worry about. Taking on other people's issues is not apart of that. You came, you asked, I gave you some knowledge, now it's in your hands. You can lead a horse to water but you cannot make him drink. And I do not try to. Everything we do is in our mindset. Some people are so fixated on the problem and defiantly chose not to see the solution. Like, everything suggestion I make, they counter with a reason it won't work without even trying. Some people relish in a state of chaos. So much so that when they see calm waters ahead they turn back into the storm. These kinds of people tend to always have something to complain about. I am not that person.  I am optimistic. Sometimes the only solution I can offer is to look at the blessings that come from a seemingly bad situation. I know that someone who chooses to focus on the negative cannot be helped by anything I have to offer. I think life should be nice and drama free. I don't give any advice that I wouldn't take myself. I don't give any advice that is out of my scope of knowledge. Having trouble with your step kids? I don't know what to tell you. If you're looking for advice, talk to my auntie, she's great with her step kids.  Sometimes people just need to hear themselves talk through the situation, so they're not really looking for input just a listening ear. I do talk things out with my husband all the time. He's great at fake listening. LOL!

I am in the business of helping people who want to help themselves but I am not trying to control or force anyone's hand. I only want the best for everyone, so I speak honestly which can hurt sometimes. My loves know I am going to give it to them straight, with a chaser, of course. I mean, I'd rather my mother tell me, in a loving way, that my breath stinks and I need to get to the dentist ASAP than have people avoid talking to me. I am not trying to hurt anyone's feelings. Just open their eyes. If they chose not to take my advice, I am not offended, it's just my perspective on the situation. I will never know all of the aspects if I am not in the situation. Who knows. I COULD be wrong. LOL!

Anyone can live the Fancy life but everyone isn't up for the challenge it takes. Being a problem solver is associated with personal growth and development. We are all different and at different stages in our lives. I am alright with that. I let them be great at whatever phase they are in.

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