Just wanted to stop in and share my new personal mission statement. After spending a couple of days writing down my values, evaluating how much I honor those, and writing down actions I am or should be employing to live up to them, I came up with my mission statement.
Part of my quest, I know, is to re-discover and/or re-accept who I am outside of motherhood. I’ve spent most of my energy in the last year and a half, pouring myself into being a good mother and trying to build bridges that evidently weren’t supposed to be built. I ignored myself (my emotions, my needs, my healing) a lot over this time, thinking that if I put myself last, I would be encouraging others to want to be around me and help me. But all I was doing was dishonoring myself and not allowing myself to fully reach 100%, and that’s never okay. Especially since now I know that there’s no amount of niceness and humility that will get anyone else do anything they’re not going to do anyway. I should be focusing on me and my own personal dreams instead of being upset when someone won’t help me or when I feel like I don’t have any allies besides my mom. I need to be my own ally. So I used this exercise partially to charge myself to start back believing in the powerful supergirl I’ve pretty much always pictured in my brain up until my mini mid quarter-life crisis. I’m headed back to my yellow brick road.
My purpose in life is to improve communities worldwide, starting with my own. I am a devoted mother, an intelligent community advocate, a savvy connector of resources, an honest idealist, and strong, resilient warrior who protects and provides for my family. In my life, personal and career, I value economic empowerment, education, and exposure. My goal is to maximize my influence to create change in the black community. My dream is to leave a legacy that lasts for generations through my inspirational and transformational work. I would like to give a voice to the voiceless—which requires that I tap into my confidence, boldness, and self-love. I will be true to myself and honor my feelings, instincts, and dreams. In my journey to transform and improve lives, I will not allow my own life to be rerouted to neglect myself, my health, my happiness, my moral compass, my family, my spirituality, my truth, my love for travel and adventure, my affinity for style and beauty, or my finances. I will strive not to feel guilty for making choices that align with my goals but may not align with other people’s ideas of what is right for me. I will step carefully yet confidently into my destiny as a leader and stay open to life’s wonders and miracles, striving to maintain a healthy home life and reserve time and energy for my village.
“It’s your place in the world; it’s your life. Go on and do all you can with it, and make it the life you want to live.” – Mae Jemison
“Too many of us are not living our dreams because we are living our fears.” – Les Brown
“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson
Today, I read this post, which was a result of a blogger stumbling across this list. Every leader should know how to be a good follower, right? Well, I’m following suit and sharing what I’ve done in this list (by bold type). To all you single gals (and guys) out there, how much of this list have you conquered? **I think it’s important to note that at some point, you have to consciously enjoy/bask in/take advantage of being single. Time and place for everything. Don’t look back one day and wish you had seen the benefits of being single.** Now that that is said, do you think anything is missing from this list?
36 Things Every Single Girl Must Do Before She Settles Down
**To Build Your Confidence**
1. Go to a movie alone. [I am a movie fanatic. I’ll probably always do this from time to time!]
2. Lift weights. [Now ask me when the last time I lifted weights was, and you may think I need to unbold this one.]
3. Try surfing, water-skiing, orsome activity you don’t already know how to do. Could be riding a bicycle. [Wouldn’t everyone logically be able to bold this one? I mean, the first time you did any activity, you didn’t know what you were doing yet, right?]
4. Take out the trash, set a mousetrap, do your taxes, build a bookcase. [I’m good on the mousetrap…]
5. Live alone, or at least move apartments in NYC without the help of family.
6. Train for (and finish) a huge physical test like a half-marathon. [Does playing coed softball count?]
7. Go to a scary doctor’s appointment by yourself. [I’ve done this, and it was because I was too proud to ask someone to come with me and hold my hand. Luckily, one of my friends had the graciousness to surprise me and be there when I got back to the lobby leaking tears. I wouldn’t recommend anyone doing this just for the sake of it. There’s nothing wrong with single folk asking their friends or family for support.]
8. Quit your job.
9. Fly to a foreign country by yourself. [I wasn’t by myself technically, but I was with a group of people I didn’t know, so I’m counting this one.]
10. Learn to stand up for yourself.
**To Be Able to Look Back and Say “I Had Fun”**
11. Witness something once-in-a-lifetime, like Jokulsarlon, a lake next to a melting glacier in Iceland. [errr… I mean, I don’t really remember so I’ll go with no?]
12. Revel in being able to watch all the TV you want.
13. Get drunk during the day, just because you can. Attend Santacon, the convention for santas, or similar. [I’ve never gotten drunk in the daytime, but how ladylike is that? I’ve had drinks during the day, though.]
14. Go on a date with someone who actually makes you nervous. [:)]
15. Go out with an older man who takes you somewhere nice and makes you feel like a million bucks.
16. Go out with a guy who makes you laugh ‘til it hurts.
**To Get Perspective**
17. Be a good wingwoman. It’s not always about you.
18. Chill with your widowed and single grandma. She knows “alone”! [Since my grandfather passed last year, this one isn’t so lighthearted for me as it comes across in the wording. Don’t know how I feel about this one, but yes, I’ve spent quality time with her since then.]
19. Volunteer. [Y’all know I do plenty of this. But lemme tell you why I think giving your time to someone who needs it is a huge one. It’s good for you and your soul, and it’s good practice in sacrifice (which I hear is, in moderation, necessary for healthy, long-lasting relationship).]
**To Make You Appreciate the Next Guy**
20. Do at least one Valentine’s Day alone. […I mean, ok. I can’t say this was necessarily on purpose, but I’m pretty comfortable with giving myself, my family, and my friends love on Love Day.]
21. Attend a wedding (or 15) alone.
22. Date the creeps. You’ll really value the nice guys afterward. [This was not by choice though. Again, wouldn’t recommend anyone do this on purpose… C’mon now.]
**To Make You Feel Sexy and Attractive**
23. Buy yourself some flowers.
24. Invest in a LBD (little black dress) and some sexy stilettos.
25. Sit at a bar by yourself and drink a martini. Cool. [I have a sneaking suspicion that I have done this. But since I can’t recall a specific time, I’ll leave it.]
26. Buy something frivolous and expensive that you LOVE wearing.
**To Make the Most of Your Free Time**
27. Finish all your schooling if you can. [I’m bolding this, not because I’m “finished” but because I already have 4 degrees so if I decided I were done, who would question me? I’m not convinced I’m done though. I absolutely love learning.]
28. Throw yourself into something time-consuming, like learning a foreign language. You may not have time to do this again until you retire and the kids are off to college. [I could write a whole blog post about all the time-consuming stuff I’ve delved into. Anything that’s worth doing probably isn’t all that quick, right?]
**To Make Yourself a Better Partner in the Future**
29. Make a list of all your faults. [I’d like to refer to them as my areas for improvement. I also listed my assets. Focus on positivity.]
30. Learn to cook well. [And bake too.]
31. Get some hobbies. Something’s gotta keep you occupied—plus it’ll make you seem interesting. [Reading, playing softball, going to the movies, crocheting, blogging, etc.]
32. Let your married friends edit your online dating profile. [If I had an online dating profile, I’d probably do this.]
33. Get your finances in order. [This isn’t a concrete thing. They’ve been in order before. Headed back in that direction now.]
**To Appreciate Being Single**
34.Babysit someone’s baby for an hour. [Hey, I have 2 nieces and 7 nephews, so…]
35. Help a friend through her divorce or a bad break-up.
36. Host a girls-only night. I think some coupled-up women forget how much we need each other. [I’ve done girls-only nights, days, trips–who doesn’t like hanging with the homies?]
**Things not on this list but on Nada Dee’s list**
37. Road-trip alone. I think this is a true test of how comfy you are with yourself. I’ve taken myself places just because I wanted to be unencumbered by anyone else’s schedules, timelines, and desires. Great way to sort out thoughts too.
38. Maintain a roster. I know several people who believe that once they meet someone, they must devote all their time and attention to that person, even before any semblance of a conversation about exclusivity occurs. To each her own, but as my mom told me as a youngin learning the dating ropes, until you’re married, you’re single. So without established boundaries, I never assumed that I should behave like I’m in a committed relationship. Have some fun, meet new people, enjoy getting to know them, and really make an educated decision about who you want to pursue something deeper with.
39. Create a vision board. Where are you going in life? What do you want? Can you really merge your life with someone else’s if you don’t really know the value of yours? Sit down, write down all your dreams and short-term and long-term goals, then make it plain by creating a board that you can hang up and look at regularly, reminding you of what you need to be working on to achieve your heart’s desires.
40. Romance yourself. I dunno what your idea of romance is, but whatever it is, do it for yourself. Go get a massage, make yourself bubble baths, light candles during a self-prepared dinner, sleep in something that makes you feel good about yourself, etc.
What else should singles do before they settle down? Any other ideas?