D*mn Detroit!

Burnt Living Room

 

People close to me know that I love my city. I’ve always loved that fact that I am from Detroit, I’ve never been shy about representing Detroit. My love for the city has developed over my 23 years of life. Although Detroit is not the only city I’ve lived in, it has had the most impact on my life because I’ve spent the majority of it here.

Though Detroit has a reputation of being a tough place to live, I’ve never really seen it that way. Don’t get me wrong I’m not oblivious to the crime and turmoil, but I also see the good in my city because it has helped me become the woman I am today.

I have never been the type to want to run to the suburbs because it’s so much “safer” there than in the city. For as long as I can remember I’ve lived in the “hood” and I’ve never been ashamed.

Though I’ve always lived in the “hood” I’ve never really fallen victim to the “hood” mentality (Thank You Jesus + my Mommy). I’ve said all this to say that my love for Detroit will always exist, but it’s starting to run a bit thin.

My beloved city is beginning to feel more like a burden and the joy I once had living here is dwindling away. The disdain is growing ever so strong and the negativity is feeling like it’s becoming more overpowering.

I hate it!

I hate that my love for Detroit has been tarnished by the negative experiences I’ve encountered recently.

My heart hurts pondering the thought that someone was cruel enough to burn the home my mother worked so hard to purchase for us.

I’m still angry!

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No excuses! Just do it! Victory comes as a result of defeat! 

I’m still hurt and I still want answers!

Why?

Why us?

Why our home?

What did we do to deserve this?

 


I am trying so hard to not let the hurt become bitterness because I know there is a blessing in all of this.

 


 

We just have to uncover it!

Sadly, Detroit no longer feels much like home to me.

Wow, never thought I’d feel this way, but I do right now.

 

Keep my family in your prayers!

STOP Sharing Your Dreams With People

Sometimes we are so excited about our dreams that we want to share them with everyone, especially those close to us. It’s natural for us to do this, but you have to protect your dreams like your life depends on it.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying NEVER tell ANYONE about your dreams. I am simply saying be EXTREMELY selective with who you share your DREAMS with.

Over the years I’ve realized that there will ALWAYS be some NEGATIVE Nancies. ALWAYS!

Some Negative Nancies will disguise themselves in the name of realism.

Some Negative Nancies might be upfront about their hateration.

Some Negative Nancies may have given up on their dreams a longtime ago and want you to do the same so that they don’t feel so bad about given up on their own dreams.

I said all that to say this…..

People will try to convince you that your DREAMS aren’t achievable for so many different reasons. Instead of wasting valuable time defending your DREAMS, use that time to work toward making your dreams your reality.

By then it will be too late for those Negative Nancies to convince you that your DREAMS can’t come true.

Everyone isn’t courageous enough to dream, but don’t allow them to stop you from dreaming too.

Protect your dreams, Protect your future, Protect your destiny!

 

Signed,

Dreamer

 

 

 

 

Imperfect Imani

I am the most imperfect person I know.After 23 years of living, I’ve learned to own my imperfection! There was a time when I let people put me in a box. Many would call me “Miss Goody Two-Shoes” simply because I stood out from other kids. Being teased in this way by many adult family members made me feel awkward growing up. I began to put unnecessary pressure on myself to be “perfect” in an effort to prevent the name calling that hurt my feelings, but it seemed that the more I tried to fit neatly into those boxes they created for me the more they made fun of me.

Over the years this desire to please people didn’t go away, in fact it grew stronger and my confidence grew weaker. It’s like the more I wanted to please others the less I thought of myself. This cycle of feeling inadequate followed me from my childhood days, through my preteen years, though my high school and teenage years, through college, up until…..

Well, I am still a work in progress!

But let me tell you, my confidence is a lot higher. My mindset about who I am is a lot more rooted in my own ways of thinking. I’ve become so much more comfortable in my skin!

When I used to make mistakes, booooooooooooy I used to feel like it was the end of the world. But, not I don’t sweat the small stuff. I’ve accepted the fact that every rumor about you doesn’t need to be addressed because people are going to believe what they want to believe and everyone’s opinions shouldn’t and don’t matter. There is nothing anyone can say or do to make me feel bad about being an imperfect being.

YES, there are things I’ve done in my life that I am not proud of.

SO WHAT!!!!!!

Life is about making mistakes, learning from them and moving on. The sooner I learned that the better off and less stressed I became.

“Imperfection is beauty” -Marilyn Monroe

Now, I am not one to quote Marilyn Monroe too often, but this quote is perfect and it captures the essence of my message.

STOP allow people to project their insecurities on you because they are not courageous enough to deal with their own issues.

Imperfect Imani is here to stay, take her or leave her.

Those are the options!

Signed,

Imperfect

10 Things That Make Me Happy

Life is filled with so many ups and downs that it is so important to find things that make you happy. 

For me, I feel most happy with the simple things. I am not very materialistic, but I do like nice things.

  1. A good book.
  2. A cute journal.
  3. Good quality time with my family and friends.
  4. Being in a position to help people.
  5. Traveling.
  6. Spontaneous adventures with friends.
  7. Deep conversations about life with people who GET IT.
  8. Chocolate.
  9. Shopping.
  10. Quiet time with God.

Mani’s Money Management Tips

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One of my major goals for 2017 is to manage all the money I receive better. Looking at the amount of money I made in 2016, the amount I have saved and the amount I spent hurts my heart.

Last year, I made more money than I could have imagined coming straight out of college and not even working in the field that I earned my bachelor’s degree in. I am just recently realizing how much I mismanaged my money.

Here are a few tips I have been implementing that have helped me to start saving more and spending less:

  1. I have a percentage of every check going into 4 different banking accounts. There is a set percentage that goes into 2 different savings accounts and 2 different checking accounts. Doing this has helped me save because I primarily use only one checking account so in a sense I forget about the money in the other 3 accounts.
  2. Every month I take a good look at my bank statements to see where I am spending my money, so I can cut as much unnecessary spending as possible.
  3. In 2016, so much of my money was spent on food. This year I vowed to cook more at home in an effort to cut food costs dramatically.
  4. CREDIT CARD are great, when used properly. In 2016 I got a little carried away with overspending and am paying for that now. I will have ALL of my credit cards paid in full by the end of 2017. Moving forward I will only be using the credit cards for small purchases that I will pay back in the coming week or two. (Lesson LEARNED)
  5. I am starting to invest my money more aggressively.
  6. I am paying my tithes and offering FIRST!
  7. I am creating a monthly/weekly budget I must stick too.
  8. To combat my compulsive spending, I have a 72 hour rule. Before I buy it, I have to wait 72 hours. Usually by the 48 hour mark my interest in the item has died down, MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!

 

Cheers to Saving More and Spending Less!

 

5 Books I’ve Read and You Should Too

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Since I’ve become a lot more committed to regaining my status as an avid reader I’ve come across some truly life changing reads. Self-development books have been my favorite for the past few years so I decided to share a few I think you should read.

Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person by Shonda Rhimes.

I enjoyed this book for it’s creative simplicity and raw honesty. Shonda lets us in to her secret place and opens up to us about why her constant No became an unfamiliar Yes. Overall the book taught me how changing my mindset and taking chances could really change my life for the better.

One of my favorite quotes:

“Any actual parts of me, anything real, anything human, anything honest, I kept to myself. I was a very good girl. I did what everyone needed me to do.”

Reading this sparked my interest immediately because I could relate. I felt like this statement literally expressed the thoughts I’ve been having concerning myself in recent years.

I appreciate the fact that her making one sound decision had the power to impact so many facets of her life.

Secrets of Six Figure Women: Surprising Strategies to Up Your Earnings and Change      Your Life by Barbara Stanny.

There were topics discussed in this book that I hadn’t necessarily given much thought to until diving into this book. For example, I never thought much about why under-earners that are just as, if not even more talented than high income earners actually earn less money.

A lesson that I took from this book is that it is of great benefit that my intention is clearly stated. Clearly stated intentions light the flame of your burning desires. After intentions are stated and outlined, goals become more attainable.

Set aside time to clearly state and outline your intentions.

One of my favorite quotes: 

“Power is an internal sense of knowing yourself, and that doesn’t require money. But having money allows you to express your power in different ways.”

The Joy of Less: A Minimalist Guide to Declutter, Organize, and Simplify by Francine Jay. 

Before reading this book I had no conceptual understanding of what a minimalist was, but after reading this book I have discovered a newfound interest in pursuing a minimalist lifestyle. For so long I have been that person to buy any and everything I have some level of interest in no matter how useless or unnecessary it may be.

Confession: I’ve struggled with impulse buying for awhile.

However, after reading this book my impulse buying has subsided quite a bit. I appreciate this book most for introducing me to the concept Less Stuff = More Freedom and Less Stuff = Less Stress. Personally, I’ve realized that the reason it’s so hard for me to keep my room organized is primarily because I have way too much stuff and everything doesn’t have a designated place. I am still in the process of using some of the decluttering and organizing tips outlines in the book for every room in a house.

Reading this book will help reshape your view on your belongings. Read this with an open-mind.

One of my favorite quotes:

“Cultivating an attitude of gratitude is far more conducive to a minimalist lifestyle. If we recognize the abundance in our lives and appreciate what we have, we will not want for more.”

Gentlewoman: Etiquette for a Lady, From a Gentleman by Enitan O. Bereola II

Now this book was a fun read. It’s not your typically “a man giving women advice on how to get a man” type of book. It’s more about sharing with women how to love and appreciate themselves from a male perspective.

Through this book I was formally introduced to the idea of actually attending wine tastings, art galleries, ballets, operas and museums. The seed to enjoy the finer things in life was therefore planted.

One of my favorite quotes:

“My wish is for you to perpetually fall in love with yourself again, again and again, and all over again.”

The Wait: A Powerful Practice for Finding the Love of Your Life and the Life You Love by DeVon Franklin and Megan Good. 

In a world where sex outside of marriage is glorified, this book sheds light on a story of two people that chose a different route. The two consciously chose to date with the absence of sex. According to these two lovers their relationship and marriage have benefited greatly from their judgment not being clouded by the ties of sex during their dating phase.

The greatest lesson I took from this book was the benefits of choosing delayed gratification over instant gratification because it always ends in receiving something better.

One of my favorite quotes:

“The Wait is about getting control of your life, reducing the dating drama, and avoiding desperate relationship choices so that you can make better decisions about your future.”

**I hope you enjoy at least one of these books as much as I have. If you decide to read one of the books I’d love to know what your thoughts are about it. Feel free to reach out to me. 

First Trip to Tampa

On the way to Tampa I read Fences. Whenever I’m flying I always like to have a book or two. img_0254

So, trying to save a few dollar against my better judgment I flew with Spirit Airlines. Now unlike my favorite airline Delta Spirit literally charges you for E V E R Y T H I N G. You can’t even get a cup of water on the plane for free. I think this small meal cost me like $13.00. I regretted spending that much money on this, but I was S T A R V I N G!!!

**Travel Tip: Bring your own snacks in your carry-on bag and pack an empty plastic water bottle. You can fill the empty plastic water once you get through TSA. Trust me you’ll save so much money. **

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Since I’ve been working so hard lately, I decided to treat myself to breakfast in bed (room service). It was well worth every penny.

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French toast and apple juice are my favorite.

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I used to complain about not having time to read, but now I read every chance I get.

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Tampa is beautiful!

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I absorbed so much knowledge at this conference.

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Debt free really is the new sexy.

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It Works! took over Amalie Arena.

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Having lunch with my G Hive Sisters was amazing. I received so much wisdom and advice from these ladies.

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Mex-epiphany fries. Simply put, they were A M A Z I N G!!!!!

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Amalie Arena

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Downtown Tampa.

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Say hello to The Millionaires’ Academy.

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I learned so much in this Arena and I’m pumped for next year.

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2017: Year of ME

So, at the end of 2016 I decided to pull back from social media and it has helped me become much more focused on my daily tasks. However, I want to go even deeper and spend even less time aimlessly surfing the web and scrolling through Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat.

I have cut back on the amount of television I watch, but cancelling my HBO NOW, Netflix and HULU subscriptions. Instead I am filling my time with podcasts that uplift and educate me, as well as using more of my time reading different kinds of books especially memoirs and books that add value to my life.


2017 is the Year of ME


I am going to make choices that benefit me.

I am tired of feeling like I have to explain myself to people all the time.

I am tired of caring so much what others think about me.

I am tired of trying to convince people to agree with my reasonings.

I am tired of allowing people to make me feel less than.

I am just tired of not being free to be ME. 


2017 is all about me becoming the best Imani I can be.

This will probably mean:

  • I am taking a lot more time for myself and to commune with God.
  • My phone will be on DND more often.
  • My time is considered even more of a commodity, therefore no one and I mean NO ONE will be allowed to waste it.
  • Negative folks must go! (You will be blocked)
  • I am so focused on myself that I will not discuss the lives of others, unless we are discussing ways to help them or how amazing they are doing.
  • I am loving more people from a distance.
  • I will be using the word NO a lot more often than I have in the past.

P.S. I am stating all of this in LOVE!

Unplugged and Unbothered

Ugh!

Don’t get me wrong, I love seeing people succeed and be happy, but I am T I R E D of seeing it on Facebook and Instagram. I’m completely fed up with seeing so many people experiencing alluring phases of life that I don’t feel I’m even close to experiencing myself. Let’s be crystal clear, I am in no way, shape or form a HATER, but I am overwhelmed. I feel like I am being overloaded with images from my peers of where I should be at this point in life.

Now I can’t point the blame solely at my peers because honestly, I know I’m overdue for a complete social media B R E A K. This break is tremendously needed because I have a strong desire to get reconnect with God and become more centered on His purpose for my life. Although, I feel like I am developing well, I still feel like I have a long way to go.

So, I’ve decided that I will be taking some time to UNPLUG from social media with the primary goal of getting closer to God. Social media has become such a huge distraction from my goals, but going into 2017 I want to put an end to that.

In order to sustain my sanity, I have to just take a break. The plan is to spend as much of my free time as possible becoming more intimate with God.

I need this break!

**Disclaimer: Please do not take it P E R S O N A L, if you do not hear from me for a little while. I just HAVE to eliminate some distractions from my life in order to make it to the next level God is taking me to. Know that this is something I need to do. If you don’t hear from me, please know that I still love you! There are no harsh feelings.**