Thursday, July 10, 2014

I Double D.A.R.E You!

I hesitated about actually making a blog post about this… Maybe for fear it might turn into one of those EliteDaily or BuzzFeed Posts like, "25 Things I Wish I Would've Known Before…"  Don't get me wrong… I love those post… Its actually cool to find out that you're on track with the rest of the world (not sure if this is where we want to be) but you catch my drift…

Lately my post have been all about fashion… I get it… People love fashion…That's probably the only reason people view my posts… I haven't quite figured out yet how many of you actually read what I say lol… I just want to share some things that I've learned this year... But don't worry… a few fashion pics will be included below…

I always have so much to say when I start writing blog post…  Most times my thoughts get all jumbled up and its hard to eloquently express what I’m trying to convey…. For this reason, I have asked my friend Khirsten to cowrite this blog entry with me…  She is one of my closest friends from college.  She recently graduated from the University of Alabama where she received her Masters of Arts in English. Roll Tide!! In the fall of 2014, she will begin doctoral studies in English at the University of Louisville.  

Lately we have been having many conversations about  love, dating, and the ups and downs that they both bring.  Many of our conversations always end with her telling me… let go.. have fun… enjoy life…
This time I finally decided to take her advice and this is what we have discovered....

1. DARE to make mistakes

My mom always tells me to learn from the mistakes of others... I mean... Yes... It's sounds perfectly right... If you see somebody accidentally walk into a puddle you try your best to avoid the same puddle.... Well I'm here to tell you to make a big SPLASH and  jump in the puddle...  I've always been scared to try new things and live a little because I'm always scared of the consequences... However, I have found that making a few mistakes has actually helped to prepare me to handle tougher challenges.  When faced with difficulties, I remember lessons learned from mistakes. Not only am I able to lower the chances of repeating the same behaviors, I also gain a better sense of myself and those around me through observations and interactions.  These mistakes become essential to my understanding of myself and my growth as an individual.

2. DARE to love yourself

We always hear it… You have to love yourself before somebody else can love you…  But that phrase is actually true… Since I’ve started my self-love journey, I’ve learned that I'm tied up in myself... I love myself and that's enough.

When I moved to Alabama two years ago, I realized that I had been avoiding so many things,  people, and problems in my life.  It was so easy to brush things off because I was so consumed with other things prior to moving and living alone.  My love and attention to school and social activities often caused me to ignore things that were seriously affecting and influencing me. So, I took a challenge to face myself and learn to love all of me. Everyday, for 30 days, I sat in the mirror and wrote. No specific time, no specific topic...just writing about myself, with myself, for myself. To some people, this exercise may sound extremely vain, or even silly, but the things I saw and learned truly helped me to better love myself. In turn, my friendships, relationships, work, and other areas of my life have all been enhanced. I credit it to those days of search within and facing myself as an attempt to love myself a little more. I complete this exercise a couple times a year now, and I love what happens in those moments of reflection.

3. DARE to let some people go!

I’ve held on way too long to many relationships because I did not want to hurt the other person.  I was sparing their heartache (or so I thought) at the cost of my happiness.  Experience has shown me that it’s ok if you don't feel as strongly for somebody over time as you did in the beginning... Unfortunately, that's part of growing up and finding out more about yourself...  You can't force your new self to love the person your old self fell in love with...daring to let some people go allows room for positive and fruitful relationships to exist.  Holding on when you have realized that interactions aren’t beneficial to you can ultimately cause more problems...and ain’t nobody got time for that!

4. DARE to ask

Assumptions are dangerous things to make... Recently, I have found myself asking a lot of questions... If I'm confused/concerned about something somebody says, instead of jumping to the worst conclusion, I ask them to help me better understand what they were trying to say... This has helped tremendously in building honest and open relationships with people... But be mindful in how you ask... You can't rush anybody into opening up about something they don't want to... Make it clear that you ask because you care... Not just to be nosey... Sincerity is received in all things...

5. DARE to date

It seems that since I’ve graduated from college, everyone close to me is either embarking on serious relationships, getting engaged, or starting their family. Me...I’m just getting degrees  lol. Seriously, in the midst of all the congratulations and observations via social networks, it’s easy to find myself wondering just when my happily ever after will come. During those times, I DARE to date. Dating is fun, but it is WORK! Not the typical work like a 9 to 5 office job, writing/grading papers, it’s emotional and physical work.  Dating interactions can be as sweet as a Georgia peach and as smooth as Tennessee whiskey; but  they can also be as bitter as an Alabama football loss and as rough as the back roads of Mississippi.  No matter what each dating situation may bring, taking that daring step to allow yourself to meet and become acquainted with new suitors proves to not only be beneficial to your future, but it is also beneficial to learning more about yourself--your likes and dislikes, your desires, your fears, etc. So, no matter how daunting it may seem to find that extra time to squeeze in a dinner date or happy hour meet-up, take a chance and dare to date!

6. DARE to try...and try again

Stepping out and daring to date will lead to many success and probably more defeats.  Sucks, I know, but it’s true.  The way I get over this ugly truth is by accepting that if it was supposed to work with every person I met, I probably wouldn’t be single right now.  With that in mind, daring to try...and try again has become a constant for me this year.  I’ll be the first to admit that the courage that it takes to try is relatively simple for me. I believe I’m pretty ambitious, so stepping out there is actually pretty exciting. BUT trying again after a defeat, is not that easy.  The self-doubt, the questions, the fear, and so many other factors began to effect me in ways that I never imagined.  This year has challenged me to face those doubts, fears, and questions and try again. Sometimes the outcome still was not what I wanted, but I was proud of myself. I saw that I had just a little more inside of me to give, a little more to learn, and so much more room to grow.

7. DARE to write
It’s not uncommon to hear people say that they hate writing or describe it as a difficult task.  Over the past couple years, I have found a new love and appreciation for writing.  This attention is due in part to the decision I made to pursue studies that afford me to teach composition to college students. It can also be attributed to the peace that I feel when I dare to write.  There are so many things that we deal with daily.  For me, writing has become a place of peace where I explore my thoughts and desires. Sometimes they can be as trivial as what color nail polish I am considering wearing with my next outfit, or as captivating as my thoughts about my current love interest. One of my dearest advisors explained it to me this way: “You think writing is hard? It most certainly is NOT! You’re writing all the time. When you think of a new thought, listen to a song, watch a movie, or have an engaging conversation. There are so many wonderful things going on in your mind. The work is sitting down, dumping that information out, and putting the pieces together.” Those words keep me motivated to write.  In fact, co-authoring this post has inspired me to give my blog some much needed attention.  So, let’s share our stories, our thoughts, and our interests. Afterall, Dr. Maya Angelou said it best, “We are more alike, my friends, than unalike.” Dare to write!

I Double D.A.R.E You! 

Shirt: Forever21 Jeans: Giti Boutique Shoes: ASOS 

Enjoyed this blog? Let us know! Check out +Khirsten L Echols at 1 Brown Girl's Milestones