New Faces

 “Sometimes the people whom we’ve known for only a short amount of time have a bigger impact on us than those we’ve known forever.”

A couple of months ago, I journeyed to a new country with some new faces, and had the time of my life! Everything was so fun, easy-going, and chill. There was no drama, no complaining. I mean, I almost felt like these faces were not new after all because of how well things went. That’s even true for a group of women at the church I attend; every Sunday for the past couple of years, and I do mean every Sunday, about 7 of us literally laugh and talk about everything under the sun after service until they kick us out. And to be honest, I have sometimes felt more genuineness from these new faces than I do some of my old faces. Spending that short amount of time with different people once a week and even on vacation helped me to appreciate the wonderful people in my life; however, it also made me reevaluate some of the old faces that have been around for years.

Those experiences, along with a conversation with one of my friends definitely changed my perspective as it pertains to making new connections. Mainly because most of my leisure experiences usually include very familiar faces, and I also thought that my “making friends’ stage” of life was pretty much over and done with. I couldn’t have been more wrong.

Now I’m not saying that I’m going to call everyone in my life, and tell them that they’ve been replaced; because I do have some amazing people who I am connected to. However, I am finally accepting that sometimes you just need to change and/or expand your circle. Actually, I want to encourage everyone I know to either change or expand their circle as often as they see fit. I just believe that there is so much you can gain from healthy connections. And so what if you’ve only known this new face for a short amount of time, if they are contributing to your growth, then they should be added to your life with open arms; and those who aren’t should be dropped off.

A wise woman I know always says, “Your network is your net worth.” Meaning: We are truly the sum of the people that we have in our lives, and the ones that we choose to spend our time with. This is why we must always do a circle check, and make the necessary changes. There is absolutely nothing wrong with readjusting, because truthfully some of the old faces that we are trying so hard to keep around were just supposed to be in our lives temporarily.

We will end up avoiding so many obstacles, if we just stop spending so much precious time and energy on seasonal people. Giving out and pouring out, pouring out and giving out, and end up getting nothing in return. Wasting our time; and time is something that we can’t get back. We have to learn how to literally place people where they need to be in our lives. I expressed to my home-girl that entering another decade has definitely changed my perspective on a lot of things; especially relationships. When someone’s expiration date has arrived, I will start to do what’s necessary to close that door. Because it’s now time for me to start making room for some new faces.

My advice to you is to do the same. As we come to the end of this year, and 2017 resolutions are being drafted and vision boards are being created; start to take inventory of the faces in your life. Are they actually helping you to become a better person? Are they pushing you to reach your highest potential? Seriously ask yourself: Are these undercover haters or motivators? Do they discourage you or inspire you? Are they growing or standing still? What are they actually contributing to your life?

Life is too short, and time is too valuable to be spent on people that aren’t adding anything of significance to you. I’m not saying go fire all of your old faces, I’m just advising you to take a closer look at them. It may also be time for you to close some doors, and make room for some new faces.

“There are times when God has to change your circle, in order to change your life.”



The Winner’s Circle

A few months ago, I read a quote that said, “pay close attention to the people who don’t clap when you win.” And while I don’t think it’s a bad quote. . . it was just something about it that didn’t sit right with me.

I have literally watched the clips of Viola Davis and Regina King accepting their Emmy awards in September 2015 about 10 times a piece, and in each clip I could only pay attention to one person, Taraji P. Henson; she is clapping the loudest. The way she celebrates the wins for her girls is unreal nowadays! Taraji’s reaction was so heartwarming and genuine, especially for Viola because they were up for the exact same award; however she seemed excited just like she had won.

Watching those clips literally brought a little water to my eyes because I strive to be the exact same way when it comes to the people in my life. I do my very best to support them, and celebrate them, and brag on their every accomplishment; no matter how big or small it may seem.

Those clips, along with the past few years of my life have reassured me that it’s not worth my while to pay attention to the people who are not clapping. It’s in my best interest to give my energy to those who are cheering me on, and are making the efforts to ensure that I win.

Those who notice when I’m a little distant, so they shoot me a text message to check on me because they understand my mood swings. They notice the few times when I’m just standing still, and give me the pep talks I need to get motivated.

Those who notice when I’m silent, and instead of jumping to conclusions, or getting offended because I haven’t returned their call in a few days, they keep me in their thoughts and prayers because they know that I am secretly an introvert, and I just need to be recharged.

Those who recognize the greatness inside of me, and they give me an extra push me to the next step because they know that I’ve given my all pushing other people.

Those who are running this race with me, and when I slow down, they wait for me and encourage me to speed up. They help me to see it through to the end.

Those who don’t mind challenging my sometimes one-sided way of thinking, they help me see to the big picture. The ones who will go toe to toe with me in order to crush that petty desire to always be right.

Those who only want to see me win, and when I do, they pull out all the stops, the balloons, the cake, and the confetti to show me just how proud they are.

I am only concerned about the Winner’s Circle.

So many times, we waste our energy on people and things that won’t help us advance; or we start to be jealous of everyone else’s elevation. Remember, we become like the people we spend the most time with. If you are surrounded by winners, even if you haven’t won yet, hold on tight because your time is coming. This year, try to solely focus on the ones that are actually clapping for you. And then start clapping for them, and watch how things begin to work in your favor.

Read this next statement over and over until you get it on the inside: When you genuinely celebrate the people in your life, great things will start to happen to and for you.

The more I plant seeds of support, the more I celebrate and lift up the people in my life, the more wonderful things continue to happen for me. From the career advancements, to successful first dates. From receiving that college degree, to new house-warming parties. From getting married, to reaching weight loss goals. From welcoming a new baby, to leaving that comfortable 9 to 5 to start a new business venture. From paying off some major debt, to finally taking that dream vacation. I am so overjoyed with all the WINS that I’ve had a chance to celebrate within the past 12 months! So much can happen in a year, and my people have been truly making some major moves. When they win, I WIN.

The past 400 days have shown me just how important sowing seeds of support are; my circle, near and far, moved mountains for me. The sacrifice was something I didn’t know existed. From bridal showers, to my birthday, to Wonder Girl Weekend, to bachelorette festivities, to the wedding celebration, to post wedding vacations, to even looking out for my husband and my mother, the encouragement and the love has been overwhelming; my people took care of me. They made sure that Twenty Fifteen was one of the best years of my life!

Twenty Sixteen is the year that I vow to be as intentionally supportive as I possibly can. This year, I won’t just clap, I’m going to stand, clap, jump, ring my cow bell, blow my air horn, and yell their names to the top of my lungs! It is my desire that everyone connected to me wins.

Winners like to see other people win. So I will continue to be the person that gives the standing ovation any time someone in my circle reaches a milestone; and I encourage you to do the same. Be sure to volunteer to plan and host the celebration party, no matter how big or small!

I challenge each of you to make it a priority to invest in your circle. Let’s start sharing, promoting, and speaking highly of the people that we actually know personally. It is so imperative that you support and encourage the people in your life on a regular basis. I am really appreciative for everyone who’s apart of my Winner’s Circle, and I want to make sure they always know it.