Your Tribe: Outgrowing Friendships in 2018

I was talking to a good friend of mine the other day and he is having a tough go at things. In fact, he’s always had a tough go at things. You know those instances where, whatever you do, something always goes wrong? Well, that happens to him more than most. And it can be disheartening. We chatted about friends and having people that are in your corner, through tears of joy and moments of sorrow (with the “ugly cry, as Oprah would say). And as we get older, that pool of people dwindles and/or changes.

We both admitted that our pool of people has definitely changed in the last 10 years, even more so in the last 5 years and as you get older. Why is that? Here are a few theories: jobs, marriage, children, relocation, selfishness, etc. But the one reason that stuck out was – we’ve simply outgrown each other.

Some friendships will expire their time… instead of pretending to be cool, learn to let go and move on.

-Toni Payne

You’ve outgrown the late night drinking and partying on the weekends. You’ve outgrown those that never have a positive thing to say anything. You’ve outgrown people that put no effort into bettering themselves spiritually, emotionally, and mentally. You’ve outgrown people that are content living an average life. You’ve outgrown what you didn’t realize was never a friendship, just two people that kept in touch but never really enhanced each other as people. But while navigating all of this, you’ve continued to grow yourself. And this, ladies and gentlemen, is adulting (The practice of behaving in a way characteristic of a responsible adult).

As we get older, good friendships seem to be as hard to find as a good soul food spot in D.C. (and I’ve been searching for four years). But more so, it’s about people that genuinely care about you and your well-being and want to help you achieve your potential. There are friends I have that I don’t talk to often, but when we do connect, it’s like we never stopped talking. We laid a strong foundation and we have an understanding that it’s not personal if we don’t talk every day (or realistic), but it’s important that we both “check on each other” because that’s what friends do. They hold each other accountable. And if they are truly your friend, they want to see you reach your dreams and do what they can within their power to make that happen.

friendship-pictures-best-friendshipI tease my significant other because, for someone our age, he has the best group of friends that genuinely care for each other and look out for each other. Never in my life have I seen a group of men (men!) that have a bond like him and his friends. It’s extremely fascinating! I have about a handful of people I know, if I called tomorrow and said I need your help, they would drop everything to make sure I was okay. And this includes men and women – which is rare but it works.

The world can be a very tough place to navigate and it is important to stay grounded. Surround yourself with like-minded people so you can continue to learn, grow and progress in life. Find people that you have an authentic connection with, that do NOT bring drama into your life and that lift you up. You also need those that challenge you to be better. I miss that sometimes but those I consider good, close friends always know how to make me smile.

So go and check on your people, because I guarantee, if they don’t need a friend right this moment, they will be happy to hear from you and glad that you’re checking on them. So, do you know who’s your tribe?

Peace & Love,


Song of the Week: “Real Friends” by Kanye West, The Life of Pablo 




New Year, New Me? Nope, Just a Work in Progress

IMG_8108Happy New Year! It’s been awhile since I’ve shared my thoughts on here and I decided that this year, I wanted to write more for myself. For most people, including me, 2017 was a rough year. Given the challenges and heartache of the world, it was enough to paralyze even the strongest people. Personally, I didn’t get from point A to point B as quickly or in the way that I hoped. In fact, I am still working toward point B and it’s been a tough pill to swallow.

I’ve been blessed to do everything I’ve ever set my heart out to do. How many people can say that? I didn’t set out to change the world or create something that would change the way we live, but me just wanting to be better and do things that I felt would better my opportunities in life. And now that I’ve checked a lot of boxes, I feel this need to find the next big thing. I’ve made a life out of being a mover and a shaker but I always wanted to just…”be.” Now that I’ve reached that pinnacle of just “being”, I miss moving and shaking!

But I refuse to give up. The Lord has surrounded me with amazing people that challenge me and help me to live a fulfilling life. I feel like I left 2017 only slightly better than I left 2016, which isn’t a bad thing but it’s not what I’m used to. Self-reflection was major for me last year and talking to trusted individuals about what I could do to figure out my next move was critical. I want my next chapter to be strategic, impactful and to continue to grow for myself and my significant other.

So to kick-off this year, not as a new me, but someone who is evolving toward her destiny, I have three areas that I’d like to focus on. I won’t call them resolutions because if we are all honest with ourselves, it’s work in progress:

  1. Side Hustle: I need something that I can look forward to, and I don’t mean my everyday work. That will always be there. But something outside of the day-to-day. Reclaiming my time! Doing things that I want to do, just for me – volunteering, writing, cooking, etc. I love mentoring young people and helping them navigate the world. I would love to get back to sports in some capacity as a referee or basketball meetup to enjoy the sport every once and in awhile (and blow off some steam).
  2. Health & Wellness: Speaking of blowing off steam…For a host of reasons, I wasn’t 6eacc4aeec423644287b1d075193c149focused on my health as much in 2017. I used to workout 3-4 times a week and I found myself too tired, with little energy to even get up and go to the gym. I need to find something that makes working out less of a task and more engaging. I owe it to my past life, the athlete of 15 years, and my future self – wife, mom, caregiver – to take care of myself physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. I need to do better at nourishing my soul and prioritizing my health. It’s hard to do when your time is demanding but its essential.
  3. Dollars & Sense: Money talks, and as someone close to me always says, “its a means to do the things that I want to do.” In order to grow and attain the future I see for myself, I want to continue to build a strong financial platform. I really want to focus on where my money is going, do I need it and will this help with my greater financial goals. I am not without, but I want financial wealth one day, with (say it with me)… multiple avenues of income. That’s where the side hustle comes in!

I hope that you take the time to reflect or write down a few areas that you want to continue to grow and be better. One thing I have in my corner is that I know what I want and I know what I won’t stand for. Be brave, be courageous and go after what you want. It may not happen when you want it, but if you lay down a strong foundation, when the opportunity presents itself you will be ready.

Words for 2018: be ready. *we ready, we ready!* (for those of you who know)

Peace & Love,