Hats off To: Our Veterans, Their Veterans, ALL Veterans!

Banks are closed, some businesses are closed and you are probably relaxing at home (unless you go to Union College where no national holidays are observed due to  the trimester system).  Did you ever wonder what Veteran’s day meant besides a paid vacation day?

Also known as Remembrance Day or Armistice day, today celebrates our Veterans as well as the day where “On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month Germany signed an Armistice treaty formally ending World War I”

America! Eff Yeah!

Doesn't get more patriotic than this! Unless I had an eagle on my shoulder...

Our Veterans have sacrificed so much for us.  Looking death in the eye and overcoming hardship on the battlefield and abroad to ensure our safety here in America.  I’ve always wanted to serve and still plan to do so in some way.  While others may not feel the same way as me, we can do so much to help and support our troops!  I’ve adopted two soldiers and write to them often.  Oftentimes they don’t repsond because of their duties, but that doesnt matter.  I write them thank yous all the time and let them know that even on their loneliest days, I love them and I am always thinking about them and praying for their safe return home.

In my undergrad when I would travel from school to home, I would treat consenting soldiers to lunch at the airport.  We wouldn’t have to sit and chat, I just wanted to let them know that what they are doing was amazing and brave.  Incredibly enough, many were flattered by the gesture alone and wouldn’t accept the invitation. “I dont do this for the perks,” one blue eyed soldier from Kansas told me, “I do this to protect my family and to protect my home.”

That’s another thing many people don’t consider.  The families of Veterans also deserve thanks.  The love and support they provide for their troops and the sacrifice of learning to live without their mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, husbands or wives is a huge sacrifice.  I can only imagine the toll it takes on families when their soldier is deployed. The mere idea of their soldier not returning could be crippling, but these families move forward.

It doesn’t matter why they enlisted!   In the army you aren’t separated by intentions of enlistment, in the end those who came to serve or for personal or financial gain will be in the same battalion, will fight the same enemy and will save the same America that they love.

I implore you to take the time out your day and do something for the troops and veterans who have sacrificed so much so that we may enjoy the freedoms we have.  While many of you may want to argue that our freedoms are indeed limiting, consider living in South Africa as a black person or China as a women.  We have it GOOD over here!  it’s probably not all milk and honey and ridiculous wealth, but it’s coveted by so many people over the world, we must take pride!!

What can you do to help?

Educate yourself and others! For further reading and some stats on Veterena’s day go here.

Reach out! You can also sign up for the same org I am a part of Adopt a Soldier

Do something! NOW! If you don’t have the time for a long term commitment like adopting a soldier.  Get together with your family, your house, your fraternity or sorority or even your coworkers and make a few care packages to send to th troops.  Check out more info here at Any Soldier

Thank you to our troops, our vets and all of our armed forces.  I love you and your sacrifices don’t go unnoticed!

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Fail Again. Fail Better.

Fail Again. Fail Better

Fail Again. Fail Better

No ifs, ands or buts about it!  When life gives you lemons, you have to do your best to make lemonade.  Never let an event or situation define you.  You are worth more than you know and your resilience is the key to success.  If you haven’t failed at something, you truly aren’t learning.

My biggest success came from a big failure in my past.  I am grateful for my failures, because it brings sweeter success and opportunities I could never have imagined.  My uncle once told me “There’s no use crying over spilled milk.”  Although it is a cliche, it makes sense.  What do you do when you spill something? Do you walk away from it and revisit and lament over it?

You clean it up and try to get another glass of milk or you clean it up and move on.

 

Simple as that!

 

Live. Learn and make mistakes!  Some calculated, some not.  Get out and do it. Fail, learn and grow.

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The Golden Rule and Integrity

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

A simple rule, yet many choose to abuse the power they have over others and hurt others out of their own pain.  I try my best to treat those as I’d like to be treated.  From my parents, to my boyfriend to strangers on the street.  This leads to a lot of eyebrow raising.  I don’t care though.

Maya Angelou once said,

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

I internalize this as much as possible.  I always try analyze how every interaction with another person will go.  Typically when someone meets me, I am quiet.  A lot of people get offended and think that I’m “snobby” or “a b!tch” because of this.  In actuality I watch the way people behave and try to figure out how they wanted to be treated.

Here’s where we bring the term integrity into this equation.  Integrity means doing whats right no matter what.  No matter how cruel people are to me, I try my hardest to be the bigger person and not retaliate.  It’s difficult. Sometimes I fail, but I keep trying and I make sure that at the end of the day I’ve done more good than bad for everyone.  I make sure that

Click here for more  on the Golden Rule.

Respect and be respected. Do what is right. Always.

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Hats Off To: Michelle Obama

Michelle LaVaughn Robinson Obama

Michelle LaVaughn Robinson Obama

This is sort of a rant, but it will end on a good note!

We live in a world where Celebrities dictate social norms… and that’s not good. Kim Kardashian’s claim to fame was a big butt, a sex tape and two botched marriages. Amber Rose and other young celebrities are leaking naked pictures of themselves just about every other week. Young girls are being filmed performing lewd sex acts on WorldStarHipHop (trust me, don’t go) and other “classy” websites.

That’s why I welcome Michelle Obama- a black woman with an education family and sense of purpose- with open arms.

Education, stability, self-confidence, marriage, children. This is the way life should go. Unfortunately, the young girls of our time are not getting this message. If you watch any Disney channel show right now, there is a girl who is chasing after a boy (or boys in general) and desperatley trying to fit in. last time I checked people arent graduating and getting hired based on their popularity or relationship status. We are teaching our young girls to focus on the wrong things. Just because being a part of the crowd is what our teens focus on doesnt mean we should make shows that aggravate and really drive home this fact!

….gah I’m getting off topic! Back to Michelle.

Michelle Obama is a dynamic woman who stands where she is today by her own accord (mostly). She shows us an alternative path to success and fame- education and respect.

Women of all races should pay attention to what Michelle’s accomplishments for inspiration. She is a well respected woman known to run her household and career with poise and intellect. She is also a fashion icon and obviously in love with her husband and children! Michelle is also an activist for a number of amazing causes including Lets Move! a government organization that encourages children to get up and get active- she even managed to get Beyonce to participate (Have you see the Move Your Body Video, yet?).

Michelle is a stunning example of what kind of woman I want to be when I grow up. She embodies the quote “behind every strong man is a strong woman”. She makes it OK for a girl to spend her Friday night studying instead of partying hard.

Success is sexy! Ladies, it’s OK to be smart!! Men like intelligent conversation! The men who don’t like intelligent conversation are monkeys who aren’t worth your time.

Hats off to Michelle LaVaughn Robinson Obama. She’s got beauty and brains- a force to be reckoned with.

I hope that young women everywhere use her as an example of how to gain success.

Now it’s your turn to speak up. What are your favorite things about Michelle Obama? What other dynamic women do you look up to?


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My Dream Book and How You Can Make Yours

All men of action are dreamers.

My iPhone and my Dream Book are my dream allys and the worst enemy for apathy and laziness.

I have a Dream Book where I write all my dreams

A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes

and wishes for a better life.  In this book, I write the all of my elaborate and simple dreams and the plans for how I want my life to be.  From losing weight, to Grad School to owning property, I write it down.

One thing I do differently from many others who choose keep a similar jorunal is that I write an action plan for each dream that I want.  If I want to lose weight, I write it in my book and write at least 5 steps I need to take (or should stop taking) to attain that dream.  Here’s something you don’t know about me- I’m a list junkie.  I have to make lists and I even have to-do lists that refer to other to-do lists. In a world where technology is taking over and making it easier to type than to actually write with pens or pencils,  I see taking the time to write out my dreams as the first effort in my self-improvement projects.  If you’re interested in starting a Dream Book as well here are the steps:

  1. Find a small notebook, or a notebook that you can carry around with you
  2. Start Dreaming
  3. List reasonable and detailed action steps to begin your goals.  It’s also helpful to incorporate small victories and rewards for your goals so that it becomes a fun and manageable journey rather than an arduous task.  An entry would like this:
Goal: Lose Weight
  • no more soda
  • fast food reduced to once a week (gradually ween off)
  • go out for a walk/run every morning
  • start couch to 5k
  • join boxing class or Zumba
  • eat more fruit vegetables and fiber
  • remove fatty and unhealthy food from cookbook replace with vegetable rich food
  • no meat Monday

My Goals. My Action Plans. My Chicken Scratch.

There is no right or wrong way to dream. This is my method.  The trick is finding the balance between dream and action and staying there.  Dreaming can only take you so far- it is up to you to put in the work to make that dream come true.  All things are possible and remember that you deserve to live your dreams.

Side note: Today is the Second day of the November 2011 edition of the 31 Days to Reset Your Life Challenge courtesy of the Happy Black Woman blog.  If you’d like to join me, simply follow the links above!

Stay well, everyone.

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Sometimes, It’s OK not to be OK

I never thought I’d be quoting Pamela Anderson on my blog, especially in my second post. But I ran across this quote which actually inspired my post:

A little bit of pain is good for you. I feel alive. Everybody needs struggle. Once you overcome an obstacle, you springboard into the future. Life is interesting and short and it’s not supposed to be easy, and if it is, you’re probably just in denial and you’re existing here like a zombie.

PAMELA ANDERSON

We all have a past. In that past there is pain. There are thousands of quotes about letting go of your past, but we all know that it’s easier

Everybody Hurts

said than done. To know where you’re going, you must know where you’re from. To know what’s funny, you need to remember what’s sad.

I admit, sometimes things from my past will creep up on me in the most inconvenient places at the most inconvenient times. Sometimes, I let these thoughts consume me, let the pain run it’s course, have a good cry and move on (or maybe sulk for a day or two). Other times, I laugh. Why do I laugh?

Because I remember how sad I felt and I think to myself- “It hurt and I felt low, but I made it and look at all the smiles I’ve had since then.”

We all go through thunderstorms and we all have our bad days, but it will get better!

We all have a past. In that past there is pain. In that past we also have happiness. Sometimes tears are necessary. Sometimes looking back is necessary. Sometimes it’s OK not to be OK, as long as we pick ourselves up and keep pushing forward. Push! Push! Push! You are more than your past. You are more than the pain.

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What Are You Waiting For?

My name is Kiki. I am a blogger (bloguera). I don’t plan on this making me rich and famous. I want this to be a beacon of hope to anyone who finds it. I believe in hope and the power of determination. You can do all that you imagined and more! It’s just a matter of getting on your feet and going!

The time is now. What are you waiting for? Success will not find you, you must find it. You must make it.

Tonight I dare you to dream. Dream and start taking steps toward you dreams.

In the words of the inspiring actress Meryl Streep, “Start by starting”

It’s that simple.

Greet the Sunset with at Least One Accomplishment from Your Day

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