#ICANT: 7 Things I’m Officially Retiring.

20 Jan

Happy Monday, My Beautiful and Brilliant Loves! First, thanks for all the blog love! The stat views are really growing and it’s all thanks to who? Y-O-U *does robot/raise the roof dance for you here* I really appreciate you giving a flip about my 2 cents, and I especially love the fresh perspectives and opinions you share with me on social media. You guys ROCK! If you’re not following me, find me on both Twitter & Instagram @TheEssenceOf_ (don’t forget the underscore)!

Okay, so I recently turned 27 and I feel so good about it! It’s like a new sense of womanhood. After some reflection, I made up in my mind that there are some new boundaries and guidelines that I am holding myself accountable to when it comes to my life. You can find them numbered below, in no particular order.

1. Dead End Relationships: Whether you’re a boo, homie, cousin, or whatever else, if it’s clear that our relationship is stuck at a standstill with no signs of mobilizing again, then I’m out. Nobody is exempt. Sometimes we get so comfortable in relationships that do absolutely nothing for us. We can’t live with the expectancy that every single person in our life is going to make some life-changing impact, but by the same token we also don’t want to spill time into anyone who gives us nothing in return. Personally, I find that when I’ve known people for a long time, I feel some kind of obligation to keep them around. I tell myself that all that time invested must’ve been for a reason, and because of that, I have to stay connected. While time invested probably is for some reason and there’s a grand lesson that can be uncovered from it all if I were to dig deep enough, that doesn’t necessarily mean that more time should be invested in the now and in the future. What are you doing for me NOW? What are you giving me NOW? Am I learning anything from you NOW? Are you making me feel appreciated, loved, safe and happy NOW? If answering those questions is too much of a struggle, it was a pleasure knowing you back then, but adios–at least for NOW. You’d be surprised at how much lighter and more energetic you feel by subtracting certain people from your equation.

2. Text Messages: Not literally, because we’d all die. As far as guys who claim to be interested in me, though, I will no longer be entertaining your 30-minute+ conversations that you try to carry on via impersonal text messages. Call me old fashioned, but that whole texting back and forth thing is a nogo and will land you a nice, secure spot on the strictly-homie-not-to-be-taken-seriously list. You can’t possibly get to know me via swapped “wyd?’s” and emojis. Perhaps if I was a fresh 18 year old strutting ’round campus I wouldn’t mind so much, but as a grown woman three years shy of 30, I’d be half insane to keep entertaining someone who doesn’t think enough of me to pick up his cellular device and hit me to say, “Thinking about you!” or “How was your day?” If you really and truly like me, texting all the time won’t suffice and you’ll want to hear my voice anyway. If not, sayonara suckerrrrrr!

3. The Club: Now I blame my praying mom for this one. In casual conversation after my 23rd b-day, I told my mom, “Yea, my friends and I were supposed to go to the club for my birthday, but I just wasn’t feeling it. I threw a party at my house instead and we all went to Waffle House.” Her response? “Thank You, Jesuuuuuus! I was praying You and Sasha (one of my BFFs) outta that club!” I was equally humored and weirded out that she actually prayed to dead my social life. Four years later, my clubbing desire still hasn’t revived and I’ve just accepted the fact that I’m a lame who enjoys spending her weekend nights at home watching a movie or catching up with friends over dinner. Not only is the cocktail spillage on my cute shoes played out, but there’s just nothing there for me. I’m not a dance freak, I don’t drink as much because I want to look just as good as Nia Long when I’m her age, and I’ve never been fond of strange men shouting “So you model?” and other whack lines in my ear  in hopes that I offer my number. That phase of my life is waving the flag. I’ll make exceptions, like if it’s a friend’s birthday or bachelorette party, but rarely will I be hitting up the club just because it’s Saturday.

bye bye, clubbies :-)

bye bye, clubbies 🙂

4. Saying “Yes” when I mean “No”: When it comes to complex/confused in the head people, the ranking probably goes something like this, from top to bottom: Dennis Rodman, Amanda Bynes, Antonio Dodson, Me. In a conflicting situation, my reaction just depends on the day… or the hour… or the minute… or the second. I may give you some unfriendly words, I may smile (but in the patronizing way), I may smile (in the genuine, have a great day way), I may burst out crying, I may not think twice about it. It typically varies, except for when someone asks me to do something I’m really not up for. I usually say yes because something about telling people no makes me feel uneasy. By nature, I really am a generous person and I generally don’t mind helping others out, but there are times when either someone’s request is just too demanding or I’m just not in the mood to agree, but I still end up saying, “Uhhh, sure!” Well, that stops now. Actually, it already started like late December. If I don’t feel like hitting the streets with my girls, “NO!” If I don’t want to give you my number, “NO!” If I don’t want to listen to your senseless chatter, “NO!” You get the point. Of course I won’t shout “NO!” like that, but I will, in my own cute little way, let whoever know that I’m not in. I’m not saying I’m going to be a complete and utter brat either or that I’ll never make compromises again, but I won’t feel guilty anymore about saying no if it’s what my heart really wants to say.

5. Worrying: Moving to New York for grad school was probably the quickest and most random decision I’ve ever made in my life. In desperation to get up here and pursue my dreams, though, I needed a legit excuse to tell my parents. Two going on three years later, I’m still chasing my dreams and have made quite a few strides. I’m not going to lie, though. It. Is. Hard. Work! I rarely complain about it and I always come off happy to others, but there are days where I’m so tired and borderline paranoid about everything working out. Not only am I fearful of failure, but I also genuinely love it here. I can’t see myself anywhere else, doing anything else. I worry if I’m working hard enough and if the work I put in is good enough. Deep down I know one day I’ll really see the rewards of my daring labor, but I can’t help but to get in my own head sometimes. That’s way too stressful, as I’m sure you can relate, and I’m tired of worrying. Instead, I’m going to try as best I can to just trust that I have all the essentials needed to make it; to just live, work and utilize my faith to reflect on what I know God gave me.

6. Self Abuse: Be not alarmed. I don’t knock myself out with vases or stand in the mirror and curse at my reflection, but I can be a little harsh on poor ol’ me from time to time. For starters, I don’t get enough sleep. I know every dreamer has to sacrifice a few hours of z’s, but operating on 3-4 hours a night is purely nuts! I’m fine during weekdays, but by the weekend my body is worn and my mind is delirious. I’m snappy with the people around me and overly sensitive to every little thing. Yes, part of realizing your vision is sacrifice, but another part is a healthy body and sound mind. I’ve made significant strides in my diet, but sleep is definitely something I need to improve. Also, I tend to beat myself up if I don’t feel like I accomplished as much as I could have in a day. I could have maybe taken on one more story, or sent out one more email, or… it’s always something. Procrastination is one thing, but just not having enough time or giving your body a well deserved break is another. Taking better care of my internal and external being is a new must!

I smile when I'm nice to me :-)

I smile when I’m nice to me 🙂

7. Wasteful Spending: There once was a girl sheltered and completely oblivious to the worth of the almighty dollar. She had no bills or financial responsibilities and just carelessly spent her easy unearned money. That girl eventually grew into a grown woman by the name of Essence and is currently a starving artist living in Jersey, 30 minutes from NYC, and chasing her city dreams. The cost of living here is so much more than what I’m used to in Georgia and I’m also not really used to having to watch my pockets. When I lived with Mom and Dad, rent, food, gas and every other need and desire was free. Now, not so much. A pair of shoes could literally mean no food. I try not to spend irresponsibly, but I have made more than a few dumb purchases off impulse and later regretted it. As an aware snack addict, 7-11 is one of my very best friends. I can easily go in there every day and spend $2-$5 on snacks: bottled water, juice, Lay’s, candy. If a month has 30 days and I spend $2 each day, it may seem small at the moment, but that’s $60 a month that I can’t get back on junk that has absolutely no value! It always makes me mad when I look at my statement and see $2 here, $5 there, $3 here. My mom always says, “If you’re not careful, you’ll 2-dollar and 3-dollar your money away and have nothing to show for it.” As usual, the mother is right! To keep a better eye on my funds, I took her advice and I’m sticking to a tight budget. I put some in the bill bank account, which isn’t to be touched; I put some in another account; and then I keep a little cash. She always says it’s easier for your money to get away from you if you “swipe, swipe, swipe” because you can’t see the deductions immediately with a card. If you carry a little cash, however, you’ll be more hesitant to hand the clerk a 20 when you look in your wallet and see you only have two 20s and a 10 left. I refuse to be a mis-manager of money so here’s to new and improved financial habits!


14 Responses to “#ICANT: 7 Things I’m Officially Retiring.”

  1. theabilitytocure January 20, 2014 at 1:09 pm #

    Constantly examining yourself and tweaking toward perfection. It’s a noble trait that is inspiring. Great read!


    • Essence January 20, 2014 at 1:10 pm #

      Thanks so much and thank you for reading!


  2. Tuttie Ross January 20, 2014 at 1:14 pm #

    Yes indeed to EVERYTHING in this post!!!! You did that! *looks at neighbor and says NEIGHBOR. …NEIGHBORRRR* preach it girl!


    • Essence January 20, 2014 at 6:10 pm #

      Lol! Thanks for reading and glad you liked!


  3. Christi January 20, 2014 at 7:23 pm #

    Yesss!!! I def need to take note of those last 4 in particular and start working towards improving my life and overall well-being! Of course, life will never be completely stress free (and who would want it to be cause that’s boring lol), but these are definitely some good steps to take to minimize unnecessary stress! Good read as usual!


  4. Danielle Wilcoxson January 21, 2014 at 9:03 am #

    Great post. Very helpful. Numbers 1 and 2 have my name written all over them.


  5. Neshia January 21, 2014 at 3:47 pm #

    Well hello there!
    I absolutely adore this. You were dead on with a lot of things that I myself need to let go as well. As always, thanks for this article.! BTW-the little one is here 🙂


    • Essence January 22, 2014 at 8:44 am #

      Congrats, Neshia! So happy for you. I know you’re gonna be the best mommy ever! Thx for reading!


  6. Reuben January 22, 2014 at 5:54 pm #

    Essence, I love this!!!! All of these apply to me and are things I need to work on…especially worrying, self-abuse, and wasteful spending. Thanks for the post!


    • Essence January 22, 2014 at 6:05 pm #

      Glad you liked and thanks so much for reading:-)


  7. Jared January 23, 2014 at 7:20 pm #

    Ohhhh essy !!!! This sooooo applies to me in sooo many aspects especially the club , saying yes when I mean no , and as a fellow snacker the budgeting ! All of which I made a vow in 2014 to work on too! Such a successful inspiration love ya girl


    • Essence January 23, 2014 at 7:24 pm #

      Awwwwe! Thanks babe! So glad you liked it. Best wishes on your improvements too. You can do iiiiiitttttt! XoXo 🙂



  1. New Post Coming Tomorrow, But in the Meantime… | The Essence Of... - April 8, 2014

    […] #ICANT: 7 Things I’m Officially Retiring […]


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