Lifestyle

You Have a Voice, Use it!

Happy Wednesday everyone,

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My vacation was amazinggggggg, I honestly could stay on the beach in the Bahamas forever! I would be hella tanned, ankles swollen, and probably dehydrated but man would I be living the life. I felt a smudge of guilt for not posting a blog post last week. It’s a natural part of my routine now. But boy was I getting my entire life while on vacation.

This week I want to focus on using our voices and finding the strength to set boundaries for yourself and others.

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Personalย boundariesย are guidelines, rules or limits that a person creates to identify reasonable, safe and permissible ways for other people to behave towards them and how they will respond when someone passes those limits.

Ladies AND gentlemen do not be afraid to say how you feel. Communication really does work. Setting boundaries doesn’t have to be a negative thing. When someone set a boundary it isn’t meant to offend others. Voicing how we feel and setting boundaries can actually help us have a better understanding of the situation. If both parties understand and respect each other’s space then setting a boundary shouldn’t be an issue. The more you learn someone the better you become at understanding their personal boundaries. Getting there may take a lot of uncomfortable conversations and maybe a bruised ego but clarity will help bring change.

Before I left for vaca, I was having major issues at my current job. I’ve been experiencing so much mistreatment and dealing with situations of miscommunication at work. I mentioned the situation I experienced at work on my Instagram story and received a big response from other women experiencing the same thing or worst!

Most of us don’t speak up at work out of fear of losing our jobs. Stop that. We have rights. Employers cannot get away with treating their employees anyway they want. I am an advocate for speaking up and making your personal boundaries clear at work. Within reasons of course, I’m definitely not telling you all to just walk into work and cause problems but don’t settle for anything. Speak up about your boundaries. Draw those lines. In the beginning before even starting the job during the interview process be clear about your values and your pay expectations. I cannot stress this to my peers enough: Negotiate! Negotiate! NEGOTIATE! I’ve been fed lies so many lies by companies who claim they give raises after performance reviews that never even happen. Start strong and get the pay you deserve in the beginning. Do not let these jobs play you, make them pay your worth.

giphyAs I have said before my blog space isn’t used for negativity or airing out dirty laundry so I will not get into the specifics or gossip about my personal work related drama. Instead I will continue to use my platform as a tool to work through issues and find better solutions.

I wholeheartedly believe that you teach people how to treat you. That sentiment translates in romantic relationships, friendships, partnerships, family relations, and work dynamics. Set clear boundaries. Make room for that dialogue to take place. Using your voice does not make you confrontational, hard to work with, unreasonable, or a bad person. My entire life these labels has been placed on me simply because I’m not afraid to use my voice when something doesn’t sit well with me. I am not afraid to speak up for myself even if that means rocking the boat.

While on vacation we met so many new people of all different ages, from all different backgrounds, from all over the world. We all know once the alcohol starts flowing people love to talk. I’ve lost count of how many people I’ve met who are unhappy in their marriages/ relationships and feel they cannot talk to their significant other. We met a young man who was married with two kids and just wanted to talk. We sat at the bar with him for hours while he told us his life story. lol He’s a state trooper back home and was dealing with multiple forms of discrimination on the job and relationship stress. Unfortunately, there wasn’t any kind of open dialogue in his marriage due to their cultural differences. He was so excited that my mom, sister, and I were just there to listen to what he had been going through. But ironically he did not believe in therapy.

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We ALL could benefit from therapy. We are all evolving, growing, and learning. A big part of communication is listening to understand. The problem I find with most people when it comes to communicating is their need to control the situation. If we are so stuck in our ways that we aren’t open to listening to how other people feel, we will never get anywhere. Listening to both sides and considering different perspectives can go a long way. Using your voice while also listening to the other person, opens up the gates for better communication.

In relationships it could get a little more complicated but if both parties are given the space to express themselves it may result in a healthier relationship. It’s important to feel safe and comfortable with the person you are with. It’s vital that both parties feel free to share and open up to one another. If you can’t talk to the person you lay down with every night, who can you talk to? Personally when I am in a committed relationship, I need someone to decompress with after a long day. I want to be able to tell my partner about everything I’m going through. Most times he’s able to calm me down and help me see things from another perspective. Being with the person you love should feel worthwhile not miserable and not being able to say how I really feel sounds miserable.

Family gets tricky because they’ve known you your whole life. It’s hard for them to view you as anything but their baby. I am a 27 year old woman now who lives with her partner. My family is still trying to wrap their heads around that. My mom and grandma tell me all the time that they have to get used to me being grown. I should have recorded how funny they were when I first moved in with Aaron. They both were like ‘well since you live with your boyfriend now I guess I’ll stop calling you so much.’ LOL We are clearly still trying to figure out our communication styles and boundaries. Adjusting to changes are hard especially when there’s no communication. Aaron and I have both had to tell our families, this is our relationship allow us to figure it out please. Do not rush us or pressure us. Weย have a lives now that exists outside of my parents and that is insane. I no longer do a lot of the things I used to do as a teenager or even when I was in my early 20s. I’ve matured so much in the past 3 years, sometimes I can’t even believe it. We’re trying our best to figure things out and communicating these changes to our loved ones along the way.

I’m going to wrap it up, I’ll go more into our vacation next week. The topic of speaking up and using our voices was placed on my heart to write about today. Too often we allow ourselves to fade into the background. We allow ourselves to accept things for what they are. We even fall into the narrative of “that’s just how it is”. I’m here to say F%@k that! You have a voice. It matters.

Thanks for reading & we’ll talk more next week!

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After graduating with my BA in Communications specializing in Public Relations, I gained experience in fashion merchandising, wardrobe styling, event planning, branding, office administration, and marketing. When I'm not working, I am active in the art and fashion community in the Bay Area and throughout California. Working behind the scenes at events like LA Fashion Week, Sacramento Fashion Week, SFA Student Showcase and accompanying costume designers like Michael Costello has helped build my knowledge and business relationships in the fashion world. I am just a fashionista and creative writer, who loves thrifting. I absolutely love all things Beyonce as well. I grew up a book worm so if I'm not binge watching TV shows or listening to podcasts, most likely I have my nose in a book. I started this blog after college as a first generation graduate learning, growing, and struggling to figure life out. In hopes of aligning others on a similar quest, I blog about my journey through career obstacles, the ends and outs of love, surviving gentrification in the Bay Area, the fashion & art community, mental hygiene in the black community, and pop culture. I also give lifestyle tips on natural wellness, natural hair, being a plant mom, and DIY projects. I write as a form of healing and self care, I pray that sharing my journey will help motivate community healing, therapy and growth for black creatives & entrepreneurs.

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