What I’ve Learned From The Last 6 Months

The first 6 months and your next 6 months will not be the same. We are now in July which means we are in the second half of 2018 so you will face a new series of challenges, blessings, and obstacles that will look different.  You choose to have that difference be a “good different” or “a bad different”. Only you have the power to do that. One of the best feelings is when you realize how much power you have in your own life to do the things you want to do.

I usually do a “What I’ve Learned From: [Month]” but considering now that we are halfway through the year I wanted to take the time to reflect on the first half of 2018. I hope you all can learn from some of the things I have learned these past few months.

I knew 2018 was going to be a hard year but I’ve grown so much because of it. Last year had nothing on the growth I’ve had in the past 6 months alone. Not all of that growth has been good. There have been dark times and a lot of nights where I kept asking “Why?”. I know this year was hard for a lot of people and I’m in awe how some people can handle the things life throws at them. I’m truly inspired by that. I love seeing the good in people come out in times of adversity. I saw that within myself too.

I told myself that 2018 was going to be a selfish year for me. I’m turning 21 in a couple of weeks and I also launched my brand + platform on January 17 of this year. 1/17/2018. I’ve seen myself grow throughout my platform in so many ways and I think my platform is a really good representation of where my headspace is at. It hasn’t been in the most positive places and due to some traumatic experiences, I found myself desperately needing myself more and more. I couldn’t rely on anyone else to save me. I was in a really toxic place. I struggled with an eating disorder which had severe impacts on my overall health. I wasn’t healthy at the time but I have come a long way since. My relationship with food is steadily improving because I stopped punishing myself for things that had nothing to do with me to begin with.

Learning how to take care of myself

I’ve learned what taking care of yourself looks like and how valuable peace, energy, and light is in my life. I spend a lot of my time focusing on my own peace and protecting that because I’ve seen myself in a place where I wasn’t doing that. I wasn’t giving myself the love and energy I was giving other people. I think it’s easy to look outwards for happiness, love, and validation but when I catch myself doing that I always ask myself “Am I providing that for myself first?”. That behavior is something I’ve practiced over time.

A lot of the self-love and me taking care of myself was new to me so I didn’t what it looked like. I had to make the conscious choice to take care of myself every single day.

The biggest lesson I’ve learned this year, so far, is you have to take care of yourself before you do anything. I wasn’t a good friend, a good partner, a good energy to those I cared about because I didn’t know how to properly take care of myself mentally, physically, and emotionally. It really affected a lot of my relationships around me and my health too.

You don’t really ever get taught to do that. I don’t we teach how to take care of yourself in a way that’s deeper than the surface level things like face masks, relaxing, etc. We focus so much on being stable financially and in our careers but never take a step back to look at the person who has to go through this. In order to go through anything, you have to be okay with yourself first. Before I hated to be alone and now I value my independence so much more because I know that only I can offer that peace of mind in life.

The Newness

The first 6 months of this year have been some of my darkest days and a lot of new transitions. I’m learning that your early 20s are some of the hardest times because you are in between being a real adult and still being a teenager. There are so many firsts that happen to a lot of us during this time that can be overwhelming. Your first move, your first real job, your first big heartbreak, the first bill you have to start paying. Whatever it is, it’s new for us. But the new isn’t impossible, it’s just unfamiliar which can be scary. It was for me. I’ve learned that once things become more of a practice they do become a lot easier. It takes time but it’s a valuable time of learning.

Moving to a new city by myself was a lot more lonely than I ever anticipated. I am also in a new role in a completely different company. I’ve been sharing my internship help guide for all of you to benefit from it and go through this together.

What I’ve done to help myself with the newness is to take a step back, look at it for what it is, and be grateful for it all. I think about how lucky I am to have these opportunities to do what I am empowered to do. Even when I am overwhelmed, I thank God for everything because I know that He is shaping me to be the woman I am supposed to be. So of course, it’s going to be a little difficult.


Let’s get a little personal… If you have been reading my content for awhile, you know that one of the last relationships I was in wasn’t very healthy.  I fell into an awful mental cycle that I have since pulled myself out of. I wasn’t taking care of myself.

There are things that I still battle daily to overcome it but you can’t rush the healing process. I am also a very forgiving person so despite what’s happened I chose to forgive and move past what happened. I didn’t want to carry any animosity with me because it would have bled into other aspects of my life. I do still love this person and will continue to have love for this person despite how much it affected me.

With other relationships, I’ve realized that sometimes taking the time to work on yourself before you can even commit to anyone else. It’s a working progress and something I try to be mindful of every single day. This goes back to being honest with yourself in order to find peace in what you do and who you want to do it with. Take accountability when you mess up, if you want something just go do it, and don’t take any of the growing process for granted.

I’ve also given myself the permission to take time away from certain circumstances. I need to keep everything and everyone at an arm’s length before I welcome them back into my circle or space. Everyone you meet comes with their own energy, their own conditioning, and I think it’s perfectly okay to say “Hey, I don’t want to have this in my life right now while I learn to figure some things out on my own”. You need to communicate that to those around you if you need the space to process the chaos in your world. I think it’s perfectly healthy to do that. The people around you will want to help and support you but somethings you need to digest at your own pace. They may not understand but if you need to do it for yourself, they’ll have to accept it.

My Brand Baby

I love talking about this because this is a place where I can really be myself. My brand, my platform, my social media is really important to me. Some people may think it’s superficial or may not be sustainable however I feel like I am being called to share my stories with you all. The whole development of building a brand is so much more than people think. You are your own boss so you have to keep yourself accountable and motivated to do whatever it is. Whether it be creating social media templates or reaching out to brands, you have to stay on it. I get to create things that reflect me in a way that engages people. I don’t need 1000 followers who don’t engage with my content. I’d much rather have a few who are really listening to offer feedback and show support. I love hearing from you guys and talking to you all.

I’d like to think that my brand has been successful in the past 6 months since it’s conception. I started it because I wanted to express myself to people who felt like no one was listening to them. I get to be myself: authentically and organically. ALSO, it’s a creative outlet for me. There is so much that goes into social media behind just posting. Now, there is a new social media industry that wasn’t there before. There are so many jobs that got created because bloggers and influencers took a leap of faith to share their thoughts with the world. This industry may seem competitive but I don’t really believe in that word. I think there is so much out there already that people can connect to and just because you connect with one person doesn’t mean you don’t connect with other people. It’s created a community of creators who want to support one another. I know there are some snakes out there but so far, I’ve met some of the most incredible girl bosses because of my platform.

It’s something that I have worked a lot on and put a lot of energy into so I protect it like it’s my own. You all will see a new face of my brand very soon and I am so excited. I get to evolve with Is Anyone Really Listening? Again, this speaks back to the self-power.

What I’ve Learned From: April

Woah.. that was fast. I feel like there was a time between March and April because the two months couldn’t be more different. In March, I was in a completely different headspace. If you don’t know what I’m talking about then feel free to catch up What I’ve Learned From: March. My priorities in March differ from my priorities this month but in my life, they both were built upon each other.

In the past month, 3 really important things have happened.

  • I’ve learned to take care of myself in such a way where I take ownership of what I do and who I choose to do it with. I am aware of the areas that I am limited in as well but choose not to let that stop me. 
  • Professionally, things have been positive to say the very least.
  • I’ve strengthed important relationships that will carry with me in the next chapter of my life and I couldn’t be more thankful for them.

It’s crazy to me how a perspective change can relieve so much pressure. I was in a place of preset expectations by what I thought other people wanted to be but now I’m unapologetically me. It’s liberating. It wasn’t easy and definitely not overnight but as my therapist, Ernest, says: love is a set of reinforcing behaviors. I have been practicing active self-love and that has translated into other areas of my life. I’ve shed any thought that I need to be something because someone else chooses not to accept me. That has propelled me to be stronger in the next chapter of my life: moving to Charlotte. This move is coming a lot faster than I thought. I leave the comfort of almost 4 years in a few days to start a completely different set of challenges, opportunities, and relationships.

I was really tested this month. Tested in how much I can be aware of how I react in response to what someone may think. For example, there was a day where I felt so beautiful in my skin. I’m a little tan now, mustard yellow is having its moment, and when you have an eating disorder feeling comfortable in clothes that are a few sizes too big is rare. When I had a day of that I was met with some comments by someone who had every intention to break me down. It was so trivial and normally, I would let it get to me. But instead, I chose to still feel beautiful. We choose how we let other people affect us. Don’t give someone else the power to change how you think you are because they’re too blind to see it. 

The difference between this month and last was that I struggled with taking the ownership of things I was doing to myself and others. I am limited in a lot of ways in what I am capable of doing but that doesn’t make me a bad person. It’s not good or bad it just is. Just because I choose to eat certain foods and stick to a strict diet doesn’t mean I can’t eat or I hate food. In fact, I love food but I refuse to force myself to an uncomfortable point where I feel awful about myself. Will I eat a cheeseburger tomorrow? No, but whatever I am eating is a lot better than what I chose to eat in the past. I’m just limiting myself to a place where I can feel comfortable with doing something that was such a challenge for me. For me, that’s growth. I was able to be aware of what I am doing and not doing. Taking onus of it and choosing to practice that with my own food has been a big factor in my overall health. I feel better at fueling my body, which means I feel better about myself because I am taking care of myself. I will be open about my journey through this because I think even if you don’t have an eating disorder you can gain something from this.

Another major difference is that I am really accepting what I am doing as being something of value. What I mean is that I see how much value I have and what I can bring to a situation. Professionally, I am able to see the fruits of my labor more directly. But personally, the relationships that I have been growing are more deliberate and intentional. I do what I need to do to take care of myself and as a result, I can be more present and active in those relationships. Everything about where I am right now is different than what I am used to because I wasn’t taking care of myself. I wasn’t doing what I needed to do to feel like myself. Apart of that goes back to feeling like who I was wasn’t enough. When it was and it is. Now, I just don’t settle for what someone else thinks I should/shouldn’t be. I’m me now instead of trying to be someone that needed to be wanted. As long as I love myself, can take care of myself, and accept myself that’s enough for me. If someone can’t accept that or embrace it, I don’t let it bother me. We all have choices. 

Everything you are searching for in your life whether that be love, being wanted, being heard, anything at all starts with you. No one or nothing can offer you that other than you. If you can’t provide that basic love for yourself no one else will know how to. Maybe this sounds super cliche but to me, it’s so important because I looked at so many external outlets for my own happiness, security, and stability when really I had it all within me. I didn’t need anyone else to provide that because I am able to do it myself. That doesn’t mean I don’t need someone else to offer me joy. They do but I know that I can take care of myself. Ernest calls it self-regulation: put the oxygen mask on yourself first then try to help someone else put theirs on. I am now able to self-regulate better. I’m not perfect. It’s been a process but again, reinforcing behaviors.

This was revealed to me when I was beginning to rebrand my blog. If you haven’t noticed my logo is different. In the past, I didn’t have one to begin with. I thought I needed a team or a branding expert to help me but one day, I sat down and spent a few hours working on it. It was a challenge to explain what I was and what I liked to someone else. I knew the type of look I wanted to go for. I wanted it to reflect me: refined, beautiful, and millennial. I created it myself and it was so empowering. I’m pretty sure I cried because I thought I needed someone else. Not to say I won’t ever ask for help because I know there is a lot I don’t know and I am okay with that. I got feedback and I made sure it made sense but for something like branding it has to reflect you. AND NO ONE KNOWS YOU BETTER THAN YOU. I was able to translate that and even helped someone else with their branding. I honestly love to brand and make stuff. I was able to be creative. It felt really good knowing that I did something for myself that helped me grow. Thank you to everyone who has reached out and offered the feedback. 


Moving falls at a very interesting time and maybe I’ll address it from the things I’ll learn in May but for now, it’s a very important time. I’ve taken the time to sit with it all and for the first time in awhile, the future doesn’t intimidate me. There are so many wonderful and challenging things that are on the other side of fear (@willsmith paraphrasing your quote). I usually get super anxious about moving but I am so grounded in myself that I know regardless of the trials and tribulations, I will find a way to be okay with myself. Knowing that I get to share this next chapter of my life with someone who is also going through it is comforting. I’m very lucky to be where I am right now and I am soaking up every ounce of it because I know what it feels like to not accept what I’m doing and who I am. Now that I do, I feel called to grow in my own light.  I’m excited to embrace the newness and the difference of May.

More to come…stay tuned. – T.

What I’ve Learned From: March

If you’ve noticed or haven’t noticed, I have been absent on the content this past week. It has been a very crazy, eye opening month so far and I am in a place now where I think I can face what March has taught me.

Out of the 3 months so far, March has been the biggest learning lesson for me. To some degree, I have a responsibility to be transparent with you all in the best way that I can and to be honest, things right now haven’t been so great.

March has been hard and in general, I have a lot on my plate. I am grateful for it all because I am growing but the one thing that has been the hardest to accept is facing the one thing that has been screaming in my face: my health.

It’s taken me sometime to really confront this issue head on and acknowledge that I have a problem but I’m here now and I am ready to speak my truth about this.

So let’s get personal…

This past month I’ve felt like I’ve had to play a part all the time. I had to be the best student, friend, professional, blogger, whatever it is. I’ve had to be… THAT person and maybe I brought that upon myself but during this time I also have been eating less than 900 calories and anything more scares me. This has been going on for a few months now and other bad food/eating habits have come along with it as well.

It’s exhausting and I am tired trying to live this role I want to actually live my life and be who I am while going through this. I know we all have things we go through in life and sometimes we need to take a step back to  reassess ourselves and I am continuing to do that.

Weird right? I have a food blog and I write about food and I talk about food how could I have a problem? Well, you see that I was never like this. Somethings have happened that brought me to this point and it got so bad that I didn’t realize it was happening. I don’t look like the type of person who could have a bad relationship with food but I do and I am going to be upfront about it.

You would never have thought by my Instagram or social media. Social media tends to be a highlight reel of everyone’s lives and how everyone is good all the time when in reality that is probably far from their truth. I pride myself on being transparent in person and in social media and I felt like I was living this lie. I don’t know who I am completely but I know I wasn’t living my truth and I had a problem with that.

Am I going to post about how it’s hard all the time? No BUT I do owe you guys the truth and this is it. I saw all these people on social media happy when I knew moments before they probably didn’t feel that way. Everyone is going through something right now. Big or small it’s happening. What has been happening in my life, seems like it’s engulfed me. Sometimes it feels that way. Sometimes it honestly feels like food is poison. I have counted every calorie, I have a weird obsession over ingredients in my food, and I need to see exactly what’s in my food and how much of it.

I lost my normal and I have been fighting everyday to get it back and I thought I was the only person ever to go through this but as I started talking to more people about how I was feeling the more people started to talk about their hardships with food. I never knew how close it was to me. I go out nowadays and it takes a lot to get myself to do something as simple as eating. It’s been hard to get two “meals” in a day and what I consider is a meal is probably VERY different in what you consider a meal. Right now, a meal to me is a banana and that’s 105 calories. To someone with a normal/healthy mindset with food, a meal is 4 times much calories. I know calories don’t matter but right now that’s how I determine what food is “good” and “bad”.

I didn’t see how bad it was getting until recently and partly because I thought I had it under control but I was convincing myself that what I was doing was normal. Eating 400-900 calories a day is not normal by any standard. Plus I workout and I lead a pretty active lifestyle. That’s not healthy. It’s not sustainable and it’s not a life I want to live anymore.

It’s not like I can switch it off but with treatment, doctors, therapy, and a rock solid support system (which I have btw) I know I am going to be okay. I know this moment in my life doesn’t define me. I’m me but I am lost and I am struggling and I am not too prideful to admit that I have a hard time eating food and enough of it. It has taken a toll on my health in every aspect and maybe I will dive deeper into that later but I know that if I keep up with where I am at now, it could kill me and I don’t want that. I want to stay alive, I want to be healthy, and I want to feel like myself again.

But for now this is the extent I am comfortable talking about it. I will keep you all updated as my recovery continues but yeah, this has been happening. You may not have known but now you do and let me know if you have any questions.

What I’ve Learned From: Slowing Down

If you haven’t noticed, I have been MIA on my blog for the past week and I wanted to get on here to explain why, what I’ve learned, and what you can do if you feel like you need to take a second to stop and slow down.

So let’s get personal…

I took this week off because I was struggling a lot mentally. I had a lot of down days and honestly just didn’t feel like myself. I knew I needed a break because sitting in my room alone with my own mind was really dangerous. I (tried) to rely on those around me as much as possible without feeling too much like a burden. Thankfully, I have a few people I always go to who were gentle, welcoming, and kind which is exactly what I needed. I was stressed about so much that I couldn’t even begin to explain to you what exactly it was. I wasn’t doing the best of taking care of myself and I had a strong realization one night that the living that I was living in someways was not my normal and I was not okay with that. Something had to change. Also, some other things happened that triggered this setback but I won’t get into that.

Going into spring break, I was really sick. Like physically sick. I am the type of person that gets awful fevers in general so my body was fighting off a terrible virus for like 4 days. I would sweat a lot in my sleep, feel super cold, then get hot again. Some kombucha and sudafed and lots of sleep thankfully cured my god awful illness. Anyways, in the midst of that I was having really bad anxiety attacks. I didn’t know what was happening and TMI but I was also on my period so it was just a few days of what felt like actual hell.

I took that as a huge sign from myself that I NEED to slow down. I was doing way too many things at once and tried to play this role that clearly was super unhealthy for me. I knew my body was telling me something but I can be pretty stubborn so I didn’t listen. It took for me to get really sick for me to be like “okay, take a second”. So I gave myself the permission to slow down. What that meant was: no content, no laptop, no work, and no bullshit. I wasn’t putting up with anything or anyone that was bringing me down or leeched my energy. Call it selfish, I call it self-love because let me tell you, I needed it. I tried to be more present in everything I did and it was a challenge at times not going to lie but I managed to stay present most of the week so I am proud of myself.

I was thankful because I had a girls trip to the beach coming up so I knew I was about to be around some awesome girls and the beach. What more could you ask for, honestly? I am so thankful I went on this trip because the people that I was surrounded around had the most amazing spirit. They brought some life back into me that I thought was gone. I even cried because I was so thankful for them and who they were.

The trip was like the movies. Girls sitting, braiding each others hair, doing each others makeup, taking pictures, and talking about boys. It was the sleepover I have always dreamt about. Each one of those girls was so unique, beautiful, and special in their own way. You wouldn’t think we’d have anything in common but we do and honestly it was the best girls night(s) I have ever been on. I had my own personal struggles along the way but being around those girls was the perfect distraction for me.

Sometimes we need to slow down. Even if it’s for a few moments. We need to sit with ourselves or in my case, surround ourselves with people that “get” us. I didn’t know these girls for long but I really felt like they understood me. They saw me for who I was and not what I was going through. We didn’t even talk about what was happening and it wasn’t even that emotional of a trip but just being around them and being surrounded by people who LOVE you really made the world of a difference for me. I am very lucky to have been heard and it showed me what true, honest friendship looks like. I never felt like I had a family here in North Carolina and I felt like the sky is always falling but for a few days the sky wasn’t falling and I think I found my family. If I didn’t slow down and focus on myself, I wouldn’t have been able to realize that the world is not crumbling even when it felt like it was. Moving forward, I think I am going to protect my energy more and listen to the earlier signs of support that I need or even being more present in the moment instead of worrying about things that happened or will happen.

What I learned from this is that when I gave myself permission to slow down I opened myself to so many other amazing people and things that I wouldn’t have been able to connect with. I am coming back to my platform and my brand with fresh eyes and a clearer vision. Instead of focusing my energy on the things that were already said and done I channeled my anxious energy into the people and things that make ME happy.


What I’ve Learned From: Being Cheated On ☕

Sadly, I know a lot of people who have gone through this so these lessons aren’t just my own. These are lessons that I’ve learned from people that have gone through the same emotions that I have. In order to protect the identity of those involved, there are no names. My intention with this is NOT to bash this person or to harm his image in anyway shape or form. I am also no relationship expert so what’s written is from my experience and some other people’s experience as well. 

My aim is to offer any comfort or relief to anyone who can connect to this story. I am a story teller and this my truth… I’ve written and rewritten this post several times but I think it would do a disservice to anyone who is listening if I didn’t tell this story that has impacted the last 6 months of my life.. 

Without going in too much detail, I was cheated on in November and he was not the one who told me, she did. I had no connection to this girl and for the most part him and I were on really good terms before it happened. I happened to FaceTime about 15 minutes before the cheating commenced. We were together for about 3 months. The nature of our relationship past or present doesn’t matter too much because this post is reflecting on the lessons myself and others have learned.

So let’s get personal…

Obviously, I was really affected by this and I kept asking myself and him “why”. We weren’t the perfect couple but then again who is? There wasn’t anything lacking in the relationship. I can confidently say this because we have spoken about this over and over again. I realize that with things like this there isn’t a good why. There is no valid reason, excuse, or explanation.

Its a painful experience, I remember crying over it for days and just kept asking God, why? why me? why couldn’t he call me, I was right there? why? why? why? Since I couldn’t find the why in it, I blamed myself. I told myself it was me because it had to be. After I spoke to some other people who went through this, I realized that this is a very common thing to do. You begin to blame yourself and question your worth. You think that you could have done more in the relationship or that you did something to cause this when really that’s not the case. That’s what I did and it led me down a very dark path of insecurities, anxiety, and feeling inadequate. You start to think of yourself less because they chose that person over you so naturally you’re going to wonder what they had that you didn’t. It’s perfectly normal to feel those emotions when you face something like this. I depended on my friends and family a lot. I looked to them and God for answers that I don’t think I’ll ever receive because like I said before there isn’t a good why.

After some time, I was able to recognize that cheating had nothing to do with me. It was a conscious choice this person made despite being in a committed relationship. They didn’t think about me or how it would change the dynamic of the relationship as a whole. They had several opportunities to stop, step back, and walk away. You didn’t do anything wrong, you didn’t drive them to cheat, it’s none of that. There are no excuses because this is a one sided, selfish choice.

I’m not saying cheaters are bad people but cheating and infidelity can affect people beyond what you may think. It betrays that barrier of trust you have with your partner and frankly, everyone around you. You start to question every move and if you choose to take that person back (I know, I know 🙄) you begin to question and speculate EVERYTHING. Even the small stuff that didn’t matter before. You also associate to every wrongdoing to that action. For example, if they do something that is a little suspicious you go crazy mentally and your reasoning is “I can’t trust this person, they cheated on me”. Something like this can make anyone go insane because you’re wondering who are they texting, are they being honest with you, do they really like you or love you.

Your mind cycles in a wheel of different thoughts, feelings, and emotions. For me, it started with: what did I do/what was he lacking to how could he to why did he and it looped over and over again. Slowing my brain down and stopping it from affecting me was the greatest problem because this action fed into every insecurity I had about myself, him, and the relationship. Also it made me wonder if this was what love was supposed to feel like when in my heart I knew it wasn’t. The person who cheated on you did not love you in that moment because if they did they would stop and think.

No, love does not feel like that. I had to accept that because your self worth is not defined by someone else’s inconsiderate actions. Something like this can destroy even the strongest of people but it doesn’t always have to.

You need to trust your gut. If you are in tune with yourself, then you need to go with your intuition. It’s probably right as bad as it is. Trusting yourself enough to walk away from something that is toxic because of their wrongdoing is not a bad thing. I learned from my mistake (no he didn’t do it again) but the infidelity caused so much additional stress, anguish, and pain that didn’t need to happen in the first place. Do I regret taking this person back? No, because the relationship itself taught me a lot about people in general. Also, no matter how much you try: you cannot be with someone who you don’t trust. 

Being the type of person I am and I’m sure many of you can empathize, I ended up forgiving them but it’s normal if you don’t. Forgiveness is on your terms and shouldn’t be forced. Your partner should never force you to forgive them or “just move on from it” because things like that are scaring and they hurt for a long time. It’s okay if you don’t forgive them but choose to be with them.

I could write a series on this topic alone but healing looks differently for everyone.  Just remember you will move past this, this is NOT your fault, and you didn’t do anything to deserve it. Down the road as far as it may seem, you will realize that your self worth shouldn’t be reduced to this one person. Some relationships can move past it and be perfectly okay but mine and a few others weren’t as successful.

As I continue to grow past this experience, I am redefining what love means for myself and relationships. I am stronger because of this experience and would never wish this pain upon anyone. Though it’s been three months, I sometimes find myself asking why and looking for answers. The biggest thing I’ve learned throughout all of this is that the emotions will come in waves and some will be much bigger than others but when it comes, stand strong, face it, and let it pass you. Healing and moving forward takes time and it looks so different on everyone but what do I know that is constant is that the love you have in your heart and the truth that you live and put out into this world will come back to you.  Do not let this experience define you or your future relationships because of this experience. No one is worth sacrificing yourself, mental, or physical health.

This was my story and my truth 💜