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Inspiration

Daily Reminders, Inspiration

Daily Reminders to Myself

We lose touch so easily.  There’s always so much going on.  That one conversation, text, email, intent to hang out…gets pushed further and further back.  Priorities get shifted and the span between you and your friend, has now become quite a distance.  Maintaining our relationships takes a lot of effort but it’s worthwhile.  Don’t let your relationships fade.  That bond is hard to get back.

We lose track of time so easily.  One day turns into weeks that turns into a couple of months and suddenly…a year has gone by.  Time flies!  We all know that.  Our time is extremely valuable.  So we must make the most of it.  Carpe Diem right?  Don’t let the lack of time be your excuse.  Make the time!

We lose opportunities so easily.  There are open doors all around us.  Everywhere.  It’s not just when one door closes, another door opens.  Our short-sightedness doesn’t allow us to see all the open doors and golden opportunities.  So take a look around.  Push a little harder on that door…maybe it’s ajar…it could just be a stubborn door.  Don’t lose sight of the present.  That life-changing opportunity might be right in front of you.

We lose too much too easily.  On a day to day basis.  And we lose a part of ourselves during the process.  Not everyday is a good day but as long as you’re having more good days than bad, you are doing okay.  If you aren’t there yet, no worries…you will get there when the time is right.  Don’t let your current circumstance define what your future holds.  It’s just a phase.  Hold on and be strong.  It can last a long time but it’s something that, once you rise above it, will fuel you for the rest of your life.

These are words I always have to remind myself of.  Daily.  I need to make the effort to nurture my relationships.  I need to make the time.  I need to stay in the present moment.  I remind myself that circumstances do change.  If I didn’t go through my own rough period, my life would not be the same.  That empowerment came from rising from my struggles.  I am grateful for this life.  Everyday.

—-

This post is dedicated to my old friend Chris.  He had a contagious smile and a good heart.  His authenticity will forever stay in my heart.  You will be missed and never forgotten.  R.I.P Chris

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.”  -Maya Angelou

R.I.P Maya Angelou

 

photo credit: By Dustin Scarpitti

empowerment, Inspiration

My Journey Continues…

It’s been such a long time since I’ve written.  But that doesn’t mean I haven’t been thinking about ways of using my blog to help others.  The last couple of months of my pregnancy had made it difficult for me to find time to sit down and write…or do much of anything to be quite honest.  (Just as the first trimester did, the third trimester wiped me out!)  Then I had my beautiful baby boy…so there was absolutely no free time, as I wanted to bond with this amazing bundle of joy.

Now that I am back to work and getting into more of a normal routine, I want to put pen to paper and continue what I set out to do.  In fact, I had what was undoubtedly a big sign, that my journey of helping others was not yet over.

I had taken 3 months of maternity leave upon having Baby Brandon.  Since I was returning to work the following week, my husband and I wanted to go out to lunch with our son for a “last horrah” before I had to be away from Brandon for most of the day.  If you’re a parent or a pet owner, you know how difficult it is to be away from your loved one for so long.  I commute to work between 3-4 hours a day roundtrip (due to LA traffic) so I would be gone from 7am to 7:30pm.  🙁

While I was waiting inside the restaurant to be seated, I noticed a young lady who walked in to give her name to the hostess. There was nothing about her that set her apart from the others in the crowd, but I could read it in her face.  There was some sort of aura that connected with me and seemed familiar.  But she didn’t look familiar so I dismissed it because I thought maybe I was crazy with all these pregnancy-related emotions.

Well the wait at this restaurant was too long so we decided to try a different place.  My husband went to the car to get the stroller and I waited outside briefly.

You know when you’re in a public place and you’re so close to the person next to you that you can’t avoid overhearing what they are talking about?  I was trying not to eavesdrop in on the conversation going on next to me but I could hear everything whether I wanted to or not.

Two female voices were speaking and one of the girls was telling the other about how difficult it was to wake up every morning…to want to do anything…how hard it was to even roll out of bed and be there, at a restaurant that day…that she was still depressed and not ok.  She was stuck feeling this lethargic feeling and she couldn’t pull herself out of it…that nothing anyone did could help her…

As my husband brought the stroller and we loaded up Brandon, I looked up at the girls and realized that it was the familiarly unfamiliar young lady who was having this conversation.  I had chills…it was a sign…definitely not coincidence.  I was meant to hear that conversation.

I wanted to talk to her and tell her I knew her pain and I had been there…I wanted to hear her story and see if there was something she wanted to ask to someone who had been through some “wreckage” and now led a complete 180 lifestyle…a life in which happily ever after did exist.  I wanted to tell her it would be ok, that it was temporary and that she was stronger than she thought…that her journey had just begun.  But I didn’t want to be that creepy person.  It was not my place to chime in.

And so my journey continues…I have a lot going on in my life.  But so do millions of others.  That incident was a moment of clarity for me.  It revitalized my drive to continue my blog in pursuit of helping others find their happily ever after.  It’s not enough for me to be happy.  I want this for everyone because if they felt as empowered, whole, and truly happy as I do, I believe the world would be a better place.  My mission has a purpose and  if sharing my experiences and thoughts might help at least one individual who has lost their way, then I know I have put my best out there.

I want to be able to answer any questions or give insight to those who truly are struggling.  So tell me…what’s on your mind?  How can I help YOU?  Questions?  Concerns?   Please comment here or email me directly at nvokechangenow (at) gmail (dot) com.

Inspiration

Walk on

Today I leave you with two quotes from Nelson Mandela that really resonate with me.

No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.”

I have walked that long road to freedom. I have tried not to falter; I have made missteps along the way. But I have discovered the secret that after climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb. I have taken a moment here to rest, to steal a view of the glorious vista that surrounds me, to look back on the distance I have come. But I can only rest for a moment, for with freedom come responsibilities, and I dare not linger, for my long walk is not ended.”

– Nelson Mandela –

It is a long journey so don’t stop.  Walk on…

domestic violence, empowerment, Inspiration, PTSD

Pulling Myself Out of a Deep, Dark Abyss

I remember as a child, I used to think that victims of domestic violence were homeless and poor with raggedy clothes and funky body odor because they literally were running away for their lives.  I had no idea that they came in the form of everyday people with what seemed to be a normal life.  People who would actually fake the funk.  Put on a front that they had the perfect life with the perfect family and perfect job.  Or they had to make everything appear to be perfect.  Isn’t it crazy that I did not fall apart until I was 27?  I was one of those people without even knowing it.  Somehow, I had suppressed my childhood in the back of my mind and was not truly living my life.

My whole world came crumbling down on that day.  I remember it clearly and can replay every second of my downward, dark spiral.  I was at work (a job I had had for almost 5 years) and I was having a breakdown.  I called my friends and they told me that I needed to go home.  I called my boss and for some reason, held back no discretion, and I straight up told him that I needed to go home because something was not right and I wanted to “kill myself”.  It was a bizarre, unwanted feeling.  Suicide had rolled off my lips in the past but I only contemplated it during two phases of my life.  I never had acted.  This time it came at me in full force and there was no running away.

Leave me alone

I went into the deepest, darkest, black abyss I had ever experienced and NO ONE COULD UNDERSTAND.  Only I felt it and I could not sit and listen to anyone nor cared to.  A person who once was the most caring individual, suddenly did not care for anyone or anything.  I couldn’t hear anything or pay attention to anything.  I WAS JUST GONE.  I didn’t want to see anyone or for them to see me.  I didn’t want to do anything but lay in bed in the dark in my pjs.  I guess I was just hoping I would never wake up.  Friends tried and I lost touch with my brother because of our differences in opinion.  No one could pull me back to reality.  Thank god they make you take these therapy sessions in order for you to stay out of work.  I hated them but they helped me.  Sort of.  Many therapy sessions, and a couple of misdiagnosed prescriptions later, I wasn’t miraculously healed.  I went through the worst inner struggle of my life.  Thoughts of what the purpose of my life was and it’s meaning.

depression

The whole time, I thought I was so stressed out at work that I had broken finally.  One 10-minute session with the MD…changed my life.  Within 5 minutes of talking to me and reading my file while she was writing my prescription, she told me I was suffering from PTSD.  I thought there was no way and she was delirious.  I told her “I haven’t been through a war or anything…how could I have PTSD?” Baffled, I went home…and upon thinking about it for hours and days, I realized that she was right.  All that time I had therapy and group sessions and they had no idea what was wrong with me…they said it was depression…and all it took this doctor was 5 minutes.  I knew it had to be something deeper.  And it explained so much.  Needless to say, I stopped going to therapy once I fulfilled my required amount.  I was no longer in denial.

Slowly and with caution, I started picking up the pieces now that I had an answer for why I was feeling the way I was.  It was as if I was reborn…as if I had shed my old skin and was born anew.  Baby skin.  Starting all over from scratch.  Rebuilding a new life with a different path for myself.  I realized how this epiphany would change my life forever.

The first phase was over and I faced it head on.  The next phase was about what I would do with this new-found awareness.  Would I get back into the same depressing cycle (which was my fear) or would I be able to move on?  Could I really leave all the trauma behind and live a life free of my past…the tormenting flashbacks…the negativity?  To my own amazement, the whole experience made me stronger.  I didn’t have therapists telling me what to do or how I should be able to move on.  I did it at my own pace and I truly believe that was what strengthened me mentally.  I did it because I WANTED TO and because I could do it on my own.  A sense of overwhelming empowerment had taken over and I had no idea what I was capable of.   And that is what continues to drive me.

I found love…and he is the one who helped me through my broken time of healing.   His love and support meant the world to me.  It’s true what they say…timing IS everything.  He came at a time when I needed the support the most and for him, I will always be truly grateful.

The happy, expectant parents

The happy, expectant parents

When I tell people a little about my past, most can’t imagine and I can tell they feel bad for me.  But I started talking about my past, not for pity, but to share the strength in my story…where I came from to where I am now.  I don’t feel bad for myself.  I appreciate my experience, as awful as it was, because it has helped mold me to be a better person.  I was able to tell wrong from right and I broke the cycle.

I will be raising my kids in a loving environment.  I used to say I would never bring kids into this ugly world, but I realized that we all can teach goodness and pay it forward by being an example.  My goal in life is to share the goodness and share my story so those currently suffering know that they too can get there eventually.  By no means is it easy, but it IS possible to move on.  I still think about things and cry at times, but I am no longer weak.  My tears are those in mourning of my past life.  I know who I am and what direction I am headed.  And it feels amazing.  I want to help everyone to feel this way…this positivity…this happiness.  Because that is what every single person deserves…a chance to live a full and happy life.