Muddy Waters

Trying to figure this thing out and how to go about it and coming up empty handed.

Feeling like I’m on the right path only to realize I have no idea where I have landed.

Looking back at the past thinking I have treaded muddy waters before and certainly came out clean.

Recognizing the present and hoping that my triumphant past will mirror my present and failure isn’t what my life will mean.

Glimpsing towards the future and imagining that things are better than they seem and this nightmare isn’t reality and simply a dream.

Thinking of the time I felt like a hamster on a wheel cause no matter how hard I ran I just couldn’t gain traction.

Then remembering how now I have noticed I’ve most certainly moved forward and it was not in vain that I gave action.

And yet here I am in muddy waters hoping it will all come out clean in the wash.

Here I am trying to calculate the damage and wondering what will be the final cost.

Will I breathe when this is over or will I expire?

I mean it feels like life or death cause the life I had before has certainly retired.

It’s something about a setback that makes you set back and think.

What am I, who am I, where am I, why am I, how am I ……

I am at the brink….

The brink of something new, something foreign, something unknown, unseen yet necessary.

Perhaps the bump in the road wasn’t sent to my by my adversary.

Maybe I called it forth knowing it was needed.

Perchance in the recesses of my soul I knew this task must be completed.

Could it be that stumbling block is the very thing I need in order to get to where I am going to?

Huh…

If I am honest had I known the valleys necessary for this journey I doubt I would really have agreed to go through.

I had to get thrown off course to be put on the right path.

I had to cry those tears and relearn how to laugh.

That collapsed ego, that frustration, that heartbreak, that loss, that grief……

Eww don’t you dare mention that grief that made me ache from the crown of my head to the soles of my feet

That grief – you know that grief that left me paralyzed….

Paralyzed in the pain that was of colossal size.

I had to hypnotize my mind, and numb the pain before I could even begin to realize….

Realize that my expansion could not come forth and I could not increase in size without what appeared to me as my demise.

My heart’s truth is that even with tears in my eyes I recognize the pain was mandatory for me to achieve my prize.

Battle fatigue from fighting in war after war.

Crying out “No, please don’t send me back to chaos no more!”.

That’s the thought echoing until a new thought forms.

In the time when they tell you, you got to fight once more.

You start crying but you realize you got arsenal in store.

So you start saying okay I’m going to make it out of here or die trying,

Cause last time I fell I spent way too much time crying.

Nah this time I’m retracing my steps and my lessons learned I’ll be applying.

Cause I ain’t spending more time than necessary to go from falling to flying.

All I know is what I know.

And I’m going to take that knowledge and from here I will go.

I will go to a place previously unknown.

Yet granted to me by past seeds I have sown.

This is my story, line by line.

Every period, apostrophe, grammatical error and broken rhyme.

Yeah them muddy waters are going to be treaded and where I’m headed I promise you I’ll come out clean destination unknown except in my dreams.

Love,

Renata Nicole

© Renata Pittman Smith and RenataNicole, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Renata Pittman Smith and RenataNicole with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Her Spark of Hope

img_2548He was to her fresh energy born from a place she knew not of, experienced in a way she had no understanding.

He made her feel a spark of hope where she had become hopeless and so she genuinely adored him for that.
It was hope that maybe she would find shelter in that of someone else. An extension of peace beyond herself.
She sighed at the thought that when she was weary she might be able to lean on someone outside of herself.
To be able to rest in the arms of someone else and not have to solely rely on oneself.
He felt to her as comfortable as a recliner after a hard days work. Overtime she allowed herself to ease into him and she would like to think that he eased into her.
He gave her hope.
Hope that masculine could provide for her feminine and that her feminine could nurture masculine.
She liked that hope.
No, he was not her shelter, he was the one to spark the hope of its existence and his purpose was as sweet as the scent of honeysuckle.
He bore her no ill will.
He simply was.
Him not being the one to stay didn’t make him wrong but it did make her strong.
Strong in the faith that she didn’t have to face this world by herself.
He made her laugh til her belly ached.
And when he held her she simply felt safe.
She remembered the time he clutched her extra tight. It was the moment of thinking he needed her comfort as much as she needed his and it felt right.
She took her time in getting to know him and wasn’t in a hurry to give him her heart.
She waited for him to endear himself to her, before she allowed her love for him to start.
In the time of getting to know him she learned to enjoy their time together for what it was.
She simply wanted to enjoy the interaction so she could see where it would go.
That’s when he decided it wouldn’t work out, she didn’t take it as a blow.
Recognizing it for what it was she was able to move forward from it.
She would miss him but she carried him in her memories and took forth the gift of hope that he gave her.
The day he came to tell her she was not his match, she had a bruised ego and tears streaming down her face. And yet her heart stayed intact.
Her ego took a bruising as she thought on all the things not right with her that made him make his decision.
She thought of all the others who she cared for where the interaction ended in division.
But she quickly realized this situation was different.
Because as she replayed their interaction wondering what she said or did to make him lose his attraction.
She soon surmised it didn’t matter, for in retracing her steps she realized the entire time with him, she was authentic.
She was free with him and she was genuine.
And that in and of itself was the difference.
It was the first relationship where she allowed herself to be truly comfortable in being herself.
And while on one end she felt pain in the thought that she was rejected for being who she was as well as fear that she was unlovable.
She decided to embrace the hope that she was simply redirected to the one who would love her for who she was and that the man who would intertwine with her heart was not intangible.
The relationship did not end in heartbreak.
He was kind enough to pause the episode before allowing her to continue forward and since only gave what she truly desired to give there was no harm felt from her.
She practiced balanced giving. She allowed him to take the lead so that she could follow. So when he ended the dance with her she took her bow with a new-found hope that she would find her true dance partner on the morrow..
It worked because he was honest in his intentions and his heart was true.
It didn’t work because his desire was for something she could not bring through.
It worked because she waited for him to prove himself before giving him her heart.
It didn’t work because they simply weren’t meant to be he was not the one to play the part.
He simply wanted to know her and that was the purpose of his pursuit.
He wanted to know if she was his match.
And once he knew her he realized his heart could not be attached.
Neither one of them were wrong.
It simply meant they tried.
With the realization that she wasn’t the one he informed her before she ever fell in love that she should refrain. He was completely honest about his interest and provided her no pain.
He did not bruise her ego, the way she chose to understand his words did. And once she licked her wounds she realized if she was not his then he could not possibly be hers.
Upon acceptance of his foresight she expressed gratitude that he could see clearly where she saw dimly.
She wasn’t who he was searching for and so he could not possibly be who she was in search of.
She was grateful for his 20/20 vision recognizing that had they continued to move forth it would have caused a great collision.
Her acceptance of his release of her was key.
It gave her the ability to see that had she tried to convince him otherwise he would have resented her for it.
And so she let him go.
But she held on to the hope.
As well as the memories of how he tickled her and how he played in her hair. As well as how he looked at her and how he showed her care.
She realized the relationship’s lack of continuance wasn’t a bearing on who she was.
Like him it simply was.
A good book doesn’t become bad simply because you reach the final page.
And like all good books their interaction ended. It was a part of her story that had to be accepted for her to move on to her next stage.
He sprung forth in her hope and she was thoroughly captivated by it.
For prior to him she had let that hope die in her youth and yet with wrinkles setting forth on her face through him it was reborn.
She was relinquishing her fear of letting herself love outside of herself and her strong held belief that vulnerability was a catalyst for pain.
She had been told it takes great strength to truly be herself.
And that she understood.
But she also had a deeper knowing that it takes greater strength to trust herself with someone else.
She understood that he was not her missed opportunity.
He was her ability, to hope for love.
She recognized the success of their interaction wasn’t in the amount of time he stayed but in the hope he gave as her ability to behave authentically.
It wasn’t hope in him, it was hope in love and she needed that.
She needed to believe in love outside of herself.
She needed to have comfort in the idea of loving someone else.
There was no requirement for him to stay for her to achieve this hope.
Simply the understanding that he like many before him were simply the one on the way to the one.
He looked at her and he was pleased with her for a while, until he wasn’t.
Initially she had thoughts that perhaps that meant she was insufficient.
And that the separation between where she was and the loved she craved was far too distant.
But those thoughts were drowned out by the knowing that life was sending signals that he simply wasn’t the one.
And yet it was safe to believe in the one’s existence.
She was herself and he rejected her and yet he somehow embedded the hope that if she stayed true to who she was she would be accepted.
She could hold on to the memories but she had to let go of him to find love authentically.
Love,

Renata Nicole

© Renata Pittman Smith and RenataNicole, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Renata Pittman Smith and RenataNicole with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Fitting Into Yourself

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Photo Courtesy of Lorena Gonzalez

We watch people go for their dreams and think to ourselves, I’d be too afraid to take that leap.

Fear has an amazing way of keeping so many of us stuck in relationships we don’t like, in cities we want to move away from, in jobs we can’t stand, not having conversations that need to be spoken, and ultimately not living the lives that we would like to live.

If I am honest, the truth is that there are many things that I would like to do that I am too afraid venture out into.

Don’t get me wrong, personally I’ve dared to take leaps on more than one occasion and each time I landed in financial ruin and left my loved ones scratching their heads trying to figure out my brand of crazy.

As a 35-year-old single mother it is not socially acceptable for me to take career risks that would be acceptable of a young single 18-year-old man.

For some reason it is more acceptable for young people to want to find themselves but if a forty-five year old man who is a husband and father of two wakes up one day and decides he wants to quit his job and sell everything he owns and has his family travel the world most people would call him crazy.

People who don’t want to work a nine to five, for forty hours a week at a job that doesn’t fulfill them are deemed by many as lazy.

Most of us never stop to think about why we get up everyday and go to a place that we hate.

Who decided that was to be our source of income and why did we accept it as truth?

It’s deemed easier to get up and work a job you hate for income, than it is to search for your purpose and earn an income from your talent to the world.

Far too many of us accept it as truth that it isn’t possible to have a job you love that pays well.

When people say they want to start writing books, start growing a crop for sell, painting, singing, designing clothing, opening their own exercise gym or anything that takes them out of the traditional nine to five they are deemed as abnormal.

We even scoff and say things like “you must have money to make money”.

Some of even take steps to make sure they know there isn’t enough resources, and that they can never do it.

Many of us our quick to recommend they take a “normal job”.

But there was a time when people had a craft of their own and a trade of their own that they brought to the table and that was a “normal job”.

They did more than file documents or sell products that most people don’t need or work in a system that ties their hands from doing a job the way they feel that they should do it.

Many of us dream of being entrepreneurs but we are afraid of not having a regular paycheck.

Our fear of not having money is used as a way of keeping us on the treadmill of the nine to five workforce because we don’t know how we will earn money if we dare to start our journey and be a trailblazer into uncharted territory.

Most learning institutions teach us how to work for someone else, not how to work for ourselves.

So week after week, we go to a job we don’t like and many of us go there for income that doesn’t cover our bills and moreover we go into debt, all out of fear.

We think anyone who is making it big must have done something illegal, immoral or unethical to get there.

Because here we are working 40 hours a week and all we got was a dollar raise.

When our friends try to start a small business of their own many of us don’t support them.

We are afraid to trust them with our money so we give it to the “professionals”. Better to lose our money to a big conglomerate than to invest it in someone we know personally.

In America the number of people with degrees surpasses the number of positions that require a degree and no one wants to talk about it.

Because we were told by universities who were in the business of selling us a degree that we need a degree in order to make it and now when their isn’t enough fruit in the way of jobs we are still telling our kids to go to university to get the degree so that they can at least have a chance at being underemployed.

Don’t get me wrong I’m not opposed to higher learning, nor am I opposed to working a traditional nine to five. However, I do think we should question why we judge people who choose to live their dreams instead of living their the way society tells them they should and not because they want to.

Some people are happy working a nine to five for someone else and there is nothing wrong with that.

But then there are other people who want to have their own construction company even if it means they have to work 70 hours a week to do it and to that I say they are not wrong for that either.

I posit many of us have been conditioned to believe that living out our dreams is for someone else, but not ourselves. We have been ingrained to believe this so much so, that when someone we know personally tries to break out of that mold they make us uncomfortable.

This is because the people who we know personally are most like us. And if they can make it then what is keeping us from doing the same?

Sadly, dream crushing has become so normal it’s hard to share a dream out loud.

Voiced dreams are often met with great resistance. Share a dream and the naysayers will swiftly speak up and smack it down.

I have seen firsthand where adults go into elementary schools and tell kids they should give up their dreams of making it big and have more conventional dreams.

We steal dreams from youth because we have been conditioned to believe that dreams are for the Bill Gates of the world, but not for us.

But dream crushing doesn’t stop in the workforce.

Additionally, we are afraid of being alone so we settle in unloving relationships. Many people are convinced to stay in painful relationships because “a good partner is hard to find”.

The idea of someone choosing to either be in a healthy relationship or no relationship at all is strange to many people.

Far too many people think that surely a man or woman must have something wrong with them if they love themselves enough to only tolerate a healthy partnership.

And another crippling fear that keeps us from our dreams is that many of us stay in a place we don’t like because we are so afraid that if we move that perhaps we won’t like the new place.

Ultimately, we stay in the known we don’t like out of fear of the unknown.

There are people who have never left their hometowns out of fear.

Their only point of reference to the outer world is the stereotypical depictions they see portrayed by the media.

And thus we live our lives afraid to quit our job and start our own business because we might go broke, all while disregarding the fact that everyday that we go to work we feel broken.

We are afraid to tell our kids its okay to want to be an author or a painter because we’ve been told those jobs don’t pay much money.

Sadly, I think many of us secretly hope the people in our lives fail when they try to buck the system and do what makes them happy.

I think that many of us hope they fail because deep down we know that if they succeed, it means that the only thing that keeps us from our happiness is our fear of failure. And if they can make it that means that we could have made it and our unhappiness is self-made.

If our friend loses the weight by persistently making healthy choices and we didn’t it means it was possible for us to lose the weight also, and thus perhaps the excuses we have been spouting aren’t valid.

We secretly want them to fail so we can keep lying to ourselves and remain uncomfortably uncomfortable.

When our friends business starts turning a profit we put a fake smile on our face while secretly wondering “how can someone do what makes their soul happy and succeed while everyone else plays by the rules and works at a job they hate”.

It really sticks in our craw for someone to start a small business and succeed when we tried selling Mary Kay that one time and no one in our family would even place an order.

But what we don’t see is the times when that person sleep on their friends couch or in their car in an attempt to fulfill their dreams.

We don’t see the times they bathed in the bathroom of a gas station.

We don’t see when no one would help them because they felt they should have known better than to quit that job.

We don’t see all the times they were rejected, their silent hustle, their tears, the times they doubted and their sweat.

Those people earned their success, they worked for it.

They believed in their dreams enough to walk them out while everyone else laid in the bed only dreaming.

For some reason we don’t cheer until they make it big, but even then as I previously mentioned we secretly resent them for showing us that if only we had toiled to break free the way they did we too could be in a position that we love also.

If only we weren’t too afraid to sell everything and move to Africa like our soul told us to.

If only we had the strength to leave that abusive relationship with the knowledge that we don’t have a wide variety of job skills and may not be able to afford to make ends meet without the help of our partner.

And if only we weren’t afraid to keep trying to make a business work even if it meant we saw it go down in flames.

It would be nice if society applauded those who march by the beat of a different drummer. But in our world most of us possess the herd mentality. We don’t like to think outside of societal traditions, instead we do what we believe most people do and never question why any of us are doing it.

Anyone who goes outside of the norm and chooses to do what makes them comfortable often makes us uncomfortable.

How dare they act on their dream of moving to the country and owning a farm and not eating food grown commercially!

No one else is doing it!

Most of us do not live in a society where being an individual is cheered upon, therefore for many of us individuality isn’t easy. But I say be an individual any way.

The majority of parents hope that their children will be normal and fit in with everyone else. I hope my kids fit in to themselves.

Love,

 

Renata Nicole

© Renata Pittman Smith and RenataNicole, 2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Renata Pittman Smith and RenataNicole with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

 

 

 

The Blessing of Failure

“Rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.” – J.K. Rowling

 

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Photo Courtesy of Crystal Thomas Ashford

 

I can attest to the aforementioned quote by J.K. Rowling, that rock bottom is a solid foundation like no other.

Having life strip away everything that is unnecessary and leave you with the bare minimum puts you in a place where you can start afresh far better than you can from any other station in life.

I know without a shadow of a doubt that it wasn’t until life humbled me and allowed me to fail time and time again that I ironically gained traction in my journey on the road to success.

With each loss I discovered unnecessary parts of me that I had not realized were present until they were removed from me.

I had toyed with the idea of being an entrepreneur for several years.

But I was always too afraid to take the risk.

I mean what if I failed?

What would people say?

How would I recover?

So I never did it.

I allowed my fear to prevent me from venturing out on my own.

That was until I decided to do it – afraid.

I decided to invest all I had into myself and my business venture.

So I didn’t talk about my plans with anyone unless they were an expert on the subject. Because, I didn’t want to risk people who lived in fear to sow negative thoughts in my mind or talk me out of it. So I did my research, talked to experts in the field, studied the market and I took the risk.

I pulled all my resources together in attempt to start a business of my own and guess what?

– I failed.

The result of my six month business venture was $58.00 in income which was easily overshadowed by overhead costs. Six months of hard work, six months of trying, six months of being told no, six months of putting more in financially then I ever received out and I was blessed with $58.00.

So with relatively no income outside of child support and three teenage kids looking to me for provision I had a decision to make.

I had to determine how I was going to provide in a job market where I was told I was overqualified. So when I was turned down for the positions that I was fully qualified for, I did the only thing I knew to do. I took three low wage paying part-time jobs and I put them together.

With the help of my friends and family, child support and my three part-time jobs I was able to make ends meet. There were times when I would go to bed at night not knowing how I would provide food for my kids the next day but every single day I woke up and God made provision for us.

I can honestly say I know what it is to trust God for provision of my daily bread.

Prior to that time no one could have told me that I had the physical ability to stand on my feet for 12 hour days.

I suffer from chronic pain that makes it hard for me to go about my day.

But there is something about knowing that I am responsible for three kids that made me push through the pain.

And no one could have told me that I could work 16 hours in a day at two different jobs. Moreover, the concept that I would have to run to the bathroom and vomit due to exhaustion was inconceivable prior to me living that reality. But there is something about knowing that your kids need to have food to eat and not knowing any other way that isn’t illegal , immoral or unethical that some how miraculously gives you the strength to stand.

No one could have told me that I would see all of my needs met in ways that seemed to signal that divine intervention had certainly played a hand in taking care of me, but I lived through it. I have seen things occur in my life that definitely boggle my human mind and I can’t settle with viewing them as simply a small thing, when I know that if the money would have come one day later I would have been in a deeper hole.

Things definitely arrived for me just in the nick of time on more than one occasion.

As I was working part-time I would submit application after application and go on interview after interview just to be told, “no”.

I began to question if I was going the wrong way. I wondered if all the nos where life’s way of telling me to give up.

But I don’t think that was it at all.

The failure of my business, the failure to secure a job that would provide adequate pay, the struggle of working three low paying jobs in an attempt to make ends meet, the feeling I got when all I could afford to give my kids for their birthday was a cake, not being able to afford to provide the life my kids were accustomed to when their father and I were married, were the times that shaped and made me into a stronger version of myself.

Due to my knowledge that I have failed and survived before, I have become brave enough to try again.

I’ve leaped only to hit the ground hard and ultimately learn that while it is indeed very hard that it cannot break me.

So I’ve decided to use the lessons of my failures to help me to take the leap of faith to try again.

Because ironically the greatest lesson that my failure taught me is that I cannot fail.

Even when it seems, I’m going the wrong way I will ultimately end up exactly where I’m supposed to be.

Indeed I am my own limit!

Nothing can come between me and my destiny but me!

I recognize that by taking another leap that I could fall even lower than I did the last time, but whether I fall again or soar, I have decided to leap nonetheless.

I can’t say that I despise failure because I love the lessons she teaches me.

Just because I haven’t mastered how to win doesn’t mean I’m going to stop playing. I’m still in the game all the way up until the time the final buzzer sounds.

The way I see it is that I still have breath in my body and my dream has yet to come into fruition, so that means it’s my responsibility to keep on going.

Am I afraid? – ABSOLUTELY!

But I’ve decided to do it afraid.

I’m reading books on all types of topics to expand my mind. I’m sitting at the feet of people who have gotten to where I want to go and consider myself blessed just to be able to have direct access to them and for their willingness to give me advice. I’m stealing whatever time I can from the act of being lazy and diverting it to the action of honing my craft.

I have a vision in my head of what I will achieve and like a dog with a bone I’m not willing to let it go.

But there are some things that I will let go of.

I will let go of bad habits so new ones can unfold.

I will let go of negative thoughts so new ones can take hold.

I’m allowing myself to be comfortably uncomfortable trying new things.

And the result is that I’m hearing no’s again but I have the courage to keep asking.

I’m being told close but no cigar, so I’m determined to get closer.

I’m having the phone hung up on me, so I keep dialing.

I’ve ended the day without achieving my daily business goals and I used the sting of that failure to light a fire under me to overachieve for the next day.

I look at my check register and wonder do I have what it takes to make it or will I fail like I did the time before. Then I tell myself that my destiny lies beyond those numbers.

I have to tell myself to stop worrying about the people who are betting against me and to remember that what I think of me is all that matters.

I remind myself that as long as I don’t give up that I will achieve the results that I hope to achieve.

I am taking the lessons of my yesterday and I am applying them to my today.

For I have a choice, I can give this my all or I can not do it at all. There is no half stepping, no partial effort, it’s all or nothing and I want it all.

It is possible that I may fall all the way to the bottom. But we already discussed the benefits of being at the bottom at the top of this blog entry.

If I hit rock bottom I’ll still be breathing and that means I’m still in the game.

Yes, when you’re at the bottom people will judge you, but guess what they’ll judge you no matter what your station is in life.

Also you can’t learn how to truly appreciate what you have until you experience not having.

For almost three years I felt like a hamster on a wheel. I was running at top speed exerting a bunch of energy and I never seemed to get any traction.

And now I stand with the glimmer of hope that this time I can make it. I’m gaining ground and I like it.

It is my firm belief that this time I can achieve my goal but I am going to have to put in the work to earn it.

When it comes to our dreams in life no one is going to give us anything we haven’t worked for.

With that said I am going to keep trying to achieve my dreams and keep reaching for my goals.

I’m investing in me.

Before my failure I thought that obstacles were meant to destroy me.

It wasn’t until someone explained to me that life doesn’t put obstacles before us in the hope that we would fail but to the contrary, it does it in the hopes that we will succeed.

Because, much like a trainer sets up exercises for an athlete to enhance their ability, so does life set up exercises to advance us.

Life gives us hindrances and obstacles with the hopes that we will become stronger.

We need that strength for where we are going.

For that reason I am thankful for kids who ask why we live in an apartment when their friends live in a house.

And I give thanks for the guy who told me he didn’t want to continue seeing me because I was struggling financially.

Not because it made me want more money or because I’m some sort of glutton for punishment, but rather because I knew I was trying my best and from those comments I learned that only I know when I am doing my best and even if those I care about see me as a failure I have to know who I am for myself.

I have grown to value the eye rolls, scoffs, rejection and judgment as much as the love, kindness, support and care that I received from those around me.

I tell this story not as someone who has achieved my dream.

No I’m telling my story in the face of everyone and I’m saying it may not happen this year or even this decade but I have a dream in my heart and if I die before it manifests I want the world to know that I died trying.

Far too many of us become paralyzed by our fear of failure. But I’m here to say I failed and yet I am still in the game. I encourage you to try even if it results in failure because failure is indeed it’s own blessing.

© Renata Pittman Smith and RenataNicole, 2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Renata Pittman Smith and RenataNicole with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

When You’re Just “Too Proficient”

I was working as a teacher’s assistant  when I first heard the comment.

“Renata, you’re just too proficient.”

I smiled when the lead teacher said it.

I was so proud that I was good at my job and was being acknowledged for my abilities.

While working as his assistant I had the uncanny ability to provide him with whatever he needed and have it in place before he even realized he needed it.

At the time I didn’t have an inkling that being too proficient would be my downfall.

I would hear “Renata, can you hand me the….”

And before he could finish the sentence whatever he was asking for was placed in his hand.

He would smile and say, “You’re just too proficient.”

It made me feel good knowing that I was able to make his job easier.

Fast forward to a few years later when my supervisor pulled me to the side and said, “You know what you do? – You intimidate people. You are simply too good at what you do and it intimidates people, so they don’t want to work with you. There is absolutely nothing you can do about it, just be aware that when you are too good at what you do it makes other people intimidated.”

I didn’t know at the time that those comments carried as much weight as they do until now.

This blog post is for all the people who are too proficient at their craft(s).

This is for the people who excel at what they do, but instead of being told congratulations they are told, sorry we don’t have a place for you.

I don’t know how many people can relate to this, but I am certain I am not the only one.

So I am going to continue to tap my keyboard until I have finished expressing my thoughts on this matter.

It has been two years since I came to the realization that my problem was in fact that I am too good for many of the things that I seek in life.

If that statement sounds arrogant then to you I say with the utmost respect – this blog post is not for you.

No, this blog post is for the people who know what it is to be one of the best, if not the best, only to have people tell you time after time that you that you are not what they are looking for.

Hearing those words can make you doubt your abilities but something inside of you keeps saying “I know I’m good at what I do”.

For almost a year I had been toying with the notion of diminishing myself so that other people would feel more comfortable around me and I would be viewed as less  intimidating.

I actually tried to “dumb myself down” the way that I had been advised to do.

-It didn’t work.

It didn’t work because I cannot pretend to be someone who I am not.

Interviewers saw through my facade and kindly rejected me.

– “You’re overqualified”.

That is what I was told.

I think I could have handled it better if I only heard it in my professional life.

But when I heard it in my romantic life it just compounded the problem.

– “You’re just too good for me.”

I wanted to believe that it was just their kind way of saying that I wasn’t the one, but no, I knew that it meant far more than that.

Yes, sometimes people lie and say that to protect your feelings when they aren’t interested in you, but I knew deep down in my core being that their words were true.

I was, “too good” for them in the same way I was “too proficient” for certain positions.

I have a tendency to settle for people, places, situations and things that I know I can do better than because I am afraid to try to go where my soul cries and says I belong. And yet, I wanted to be accepted by someone, somewhere.

I feared rejection from what I really wanted so I tried to fit in where I didn’t belong.

But life doesn’t work that way!

You have to get in where you fit in.

In attempting to escape rejection from where I felt drawn, I experienced rejection from where I settled.

When you don’t resonate with people, they will reject you.

It doesn’t mean that there is anything wrong with you. But it does mean you are not the right fit.

Sure you can go about fitting square pegs into round holes, but it is far simplier to fit the round peg in the round hole and the square peg in the square hole.

And yet far too many of us get caught up wondering why are we round instead of square or not appreciating that we are square instead of round or God forbid feeling distraught that we are rectangular, triangular or oval!

We wonder why we aren’t something instead of embracing what we are and connecting to that which we are designed for.

Round pegs look around and all they claim to see is a world full of square holes.

Never mind the fact that it is uncomfortable trying to jam themselves into the lives of square holes – they just want to fit in no matter the magnitude of discomfort!

Sure the round pegs might see a couple of round holes here or there but from their point of view it seems like they are too far away and perhaps they wouldn’t even want to get know said round peg, so round pegs decide you know maybe good ole square hole will do.

After jamming their way in and filling totally uncomfortable eventually round hole looks over at the square peg or perhaps the square peg looks over at round hole and says “look this here isn’t working for me”.

And this leads to the painful process of the round peg being removed from the square hole where they both end up with scars.

We fail to recognize that if we are not the right fit for them then logically they are not the right fit for us.

When a round hole is rejected by a square peg, the round hole has a tendency to think there isn’t a place for them in this world.

For example in my case, I remember getting mad when I heard I deserved better because as I saw it better never came.

I was tired of waiting for better and I tried time and time again to settle.

But as I stated earlier what I settled for eventually rejected me.

I knew the entire time I deserved better than what didn’t fit me and that which did not fit knew it as well.

Thankfully, I have finally arrived at a place where I recognize that if someone doesn’t want my services because I am “too proficient” then I should go where my services are wanted, needed and desired.

I used to cry when I didn’t get a position I thought I wanted.

Now I thank God for redirecting me.

I have faith that the reason things didn’t work out the way I hoped is because there is something better coming.

I sincerely don’t get upset any more.

Those people know their work environment far better than I do. They know whether or not I am a good institutional fit.

Them telling me no isn’t a signal for me to give up and think that there is something wrong with me. No it is a signal to keep refining myself, honing my craft and becoming my best self.

I have spent far too much time out of my life trying to get people who don’t accept me, to accept me.

And so it goes with my dating life.

If someone doesn’t want to date me because they don’t think they have what it takes to make me happy, I will no longer try to convince them that they can.

Those people know themselves better than I do.

So I will take their word for it.

If they say I am too good, it’s because I am.

I will not wait for them to rise up to my standard because all it will do is bring me down to their low level.

No, I will seek people, places, situations and things of my caliber.

No more trying in vain to tone myself down so I can be accepted.

Like others who are deemed as “too proficient” I shine far too bright to sink into a crowd.

When you are too proficient there is just something about you that informs people of your greatness without you even uttering a word.

I used to think my shine was only valid if others gave it a nod or congratulated me on it.

No, I shine because I have no other choice but to shine.

I will be honest tonight I was thinking about billing myself as less than what I am because I was tired of being rejected.

I thought perhaps I will just try one more time to downplay myself so I can fit in somewhere.

I held that moment up until I watched Eleanor Powell dance.

Watching her dance made me realize I will not hide my light under a bushel in an attempt to make someone else accept me.

Nope, I’m going to live my life, like Eleanor Powell danced.

For those of you asking yourself who is Eleanor Powell, I am more than happy to introduce her story to you.

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Eleanor Powell has been credited as one of the best American dancers to ever grace the silver screen

She may not be a household name like that of Fred Astaire but it isn’t because she wasn’t as good as him.

Truth be told, the reason she isn’t as recognized as Fred Astaire is because she was “too proficient”.

You see Eleanor was dancing at a time when it was thought that the role of a woman dancing was to make her male partner look good.

Back then women weren’t supposed to dance as good a man, they were supposed to make the man’s performance shine.

But when it came to dancing, Eleanor Powell made herself shine, because she could dance equal to and better than a man.

When watching her dance with the great Fred Astaire many people couldn’t take their eyes off of her because her skill, grace and precision were so dynamic.

As you can view in the clip provided, she was able to dance as good as, if not better than the great Fred Astaire.

And that was the problem.

After working with her in Broadway Melody Fred Astaire decided to never work with her again.

His reasoning, he stated was that “Eleanor Powell, one of our greatest talents, is a bit too powerful for me,” he said. “I love Eleanor Powell, but she dances like a man. She’s a remarkable dancer, but she has a mannish style, and she’s a little big for me.”

Her great dancing ability made it hard for her to find work.

Because she was just “too proficient”.

But that didn’t stop her from dancing.

While she was only featured in 14 films there was no denying her ability.

In his autobiography Steps in Time, Astaire remarked, “She ‘put’ em down like a man’, no ricky-ticky-sissy stuff with Ellie. She really knocked out a tap dance in a class by herself.”

So after some reflection I have purposed to live my life like Eleanor danced.

No more “ricky-ticky-sissy” stuff even if it means I have to shine solo, I’m going to shine.

 

Thank you Eleanor!

Love,

 

Renata Nicole

© Renata Pittman Smith, Renata Nicole and RenataNicole, 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Renata Pittman Smith and RenataNicole with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

A Leap of Faith

imageI am one of those people who believe that our dreams often hold significant meaning.

And with that said one of my ongoing childhood dreams is that I am going up a flight of stairs when suddenly I go to take the next step only to find that the next step is missing.

I am able to see more steps ahead of me, however in order for me to reach the steps I would have to take an enormous leap that for all intents and purposes seems impossible.

In my dream I would turn around and look behind me only to notice that the steps behind me have enormous gap as well.

Realizing that I was too afraid to leap forward and too afraid to leap backwards I would be paralyzed with fear.

As a child whenever I would have this reoccurring dream I would often just dream that I stayed there on that step crying, afraid and traumatized until I woke up.

I always hated that dream.

It was something about being stuck, too afraid to go back and too afraid to go forward that just made me feel trapped. In my dream I would be so afraid of falling that I couldn’t move.

I think what made that dream particularly bothersome is because in both my waking and sleeping life I have a fear of heights.

While in my waking life I work to overcome my fear of heights in the dream world the fear is exaggerated. I often dream of strangers pushing me off cliffs and other mishaps involving heights.

But if you know me I am all about overcoming my fears.

So in reality while I will always have a reverential fear of heights, I have flown on planes, experienced my fair share of roller coaster rides (despite suffering from motion sickness), visited the Grand Canyon and driven across high bridges in the state of Texas which is known for having enormously high structures as well as looked into taking a hot air balloon ride so I can challenge myself to live fearlessly.

However, despite my willingness to overcome my fears in my waking life in the dream world heights are something I dread.

Nevertheless, I had the dream the other night and for the first time that I can ever recall I dared to leap.

Not only did I leap, I did the impossible…. I landed.

I took a leap of faith forward and I landed!

As someone who believes that dreams have deeper meaning I instantly knew that not only was I going to have an opportunity come my way but that I was going to have to overcome my fear and take it. And when I did I would be successful.

So of course I woke up from the dream knowing to that surely transition was coming.

I was afraid of the idea of change and assured that I would be okay all at the same time.

I didn’t really know what the transition was but I knew transition was coming.

The dream occurred about a week ago but it wasn’t until about two days ago that I identified a leap that I need to make.

It’s time for me to go back to actively pursuing a career that I truly find fulfilling.

I have previously blogged about how my change in my professional life affected me but I don’t really go into much detail.

I could easily argue that it is because my website is public and that I don’t want that part of my life made available to potential employers.

But that couldn’t be the reason because for over a year now I have been sharing intimate details of my life story with the world.

I have been making myself vulnerable before anyone who cares to research me.

So I may as well put it out there.

I may as well address my real fear now.

My real fear is that I am going to apply for yet another position only to be rejected yet again.

My real fear is that I am going to go on another job interview just to be told that I am overly qualified, or alternatively that I don’t have enough qualifications yet again.

I find it very interesting how I allowed hearing no to prevent me from even trying to look for something that would truly satisfy me.

I settled in a job position that I know that I am overly qualified for because I no longer felt like hearing sorry but your application has been rejected.

A while ago I noticed a similarity in my dating life and my professional life.

I noticed that every time I would go out on a date with someone new I would be told that I wasn’t the person they were seeking, in the same way that I would be turned down after a job interview or application.

I mistakenly thought no one wanted me.

Which I now can clearly see was an exaggeration.

For example I am able to find employment and at times I work three different jobs to make ends meet.

But I am having a hard time finding employment in my chosen field.

Previously, I started a business only to watch it fail.

I am glad I heard no and I am glad the business failed.

Because that rejection and failure made me a better person.

I now know that I can survive failure and that hearing no will not break me.

Also, it caused me to identify opportunities for growth that I didn’t know existed.

It humbled me in areas that I needed to be humbled.

It was most certainly a blow to my ego when I came to the realization that in a years time I had applied to over a thousand jobs only to find myself in an entry level position.

As the mother of three I took whatever work I could find as long as it wasn’t illegal, unethical or immoral.

That led to me eventually settling in a position where I absolutely love my coworkers however I am not using my education, skills and abilities to my fullest potential.

Everyone asks “what are you doing here?” and I simply shrug my shoulders.

I shrug my shoulders or give some lame excuse all because I am too afraid to say the truth.

I am here because I don’t think anyone else will have me.

I have decided that I no longer what to live my life afraid.

I want to live my life boldly and victoriously.

So I have decided to take the leap of faith much like I did in my dream.

Prior to blogging tonight I put in an application for a position that I know that I am fully qualified for that would be both challenging and rewarding. I plan to continue applying for more jobs that fit that specification.

I have a renewed sense of belief in myself.

I decided that sense I am not willing to settle in my love life I can no longer settle in my work life.

I have to be okay with having employers reject me the same way I have to be okay with having men tell me that I am not the woman they are seeking.

Also, I have to be okay with declining job offers that I know are not going to fulfill me the same way I have to be okay declining relationships that are not going to fulfill me.

I recognize that my love life and my work life are not the same thing but they do parallel in many ways to include the fact that my low self-esteem allowed me to settle for less than I deserve in both areas.

Fortunately, I have been working on my self-esteem and I am ready to take the next step.

I decided that I deserve better than the life I have been settling for.

I will admit that a part of me is afraid that I will leave my current job only to realize I don’t like my new coworkers or that I am not intelligent enough to do the work.

To that fear I recite the quote “everything you want is on the other side of fear” and find strength and a sense of inner peace.

I have to believe that the reason I didn’t get those jobs is because they are not the job for me and that God has something out there better for me.

I shouldn’t have given up aggressively pursuing a better career.

Somewhere along the line I went from actively pursuing employment on a daily basis to sporadically looking once a month.

At one point I would look at the jobs and just break down crying because I felt like no one would ever hire me.

I reached that place after driving 5 hours one way for job interviews and job fairs only to be told I had too much education and too much experience.

It was upsetting because as I have previously blogged, in my romantic life I was simultaneously hearing from men that I deserved better, I was too good for them or I came to the realization that the terms for a relationship that they were laying down wasn’t ones I was willing to pick up.

The thing is both the men and the potential employers were right.

I was too good for those jobs and I was better than the type of relationship that those gentleman were offering.

But in both instances I didn’t accurately interpret what they were saying to me.

I took it to mean something was wrong with me.

I didn’t realize it meant to keep looking.

The higher your education and experience the less jobs there are available in the job market for you.

Also the hiring process for higher paying positions tend to take longer as potential employers work hard to vet potential candidates to ensure that the money they invest in a candidate doesn’t go to waste.

And when you want a relationship partner that is going to treat you well you have to accept the fact that everyone doesn’t have the time, energy or capacity to do give you the type of relationship that you seek.

If you are willing to settle for just any type of treatment it is easier to find a relationship partner but the quality people require a good vetting process and while there are many qualified candidates the majority of people you come across will not be in a place to give you a healthy relationship.

When potential employers tell me I am overqualified it is because they feel as though they cannot afford to pay me what I am worth.

And when men tell me that I am too good for them it isn’t that they are bad men it is that they are not in a place to give me the emotional investment that I am seeking.

Previously I thought it meant no one of substance wanted me at their company.

I was internalizing things when I should have been thanking them for the redirection.

I was being so negative about my career search that despite having employers call me back after rejecting me just to assure me that I did nothing wrong in the interview process and encouraging me to keep doing what I was doing, I simply gave up.

I didn’t like being told no.

Because, I had falsely perceived no to mean I wasn’t good enough.

But I have come to a place where I firmly believe that there is an employer out there with a position that would benefit both them an myself fully.

Just like there is man out there who would benefit from interacting with me as much as I would benefit from interacting with him.

I love my current job but I am most certain that not only am I settling I have also grown quite complacent.

While I have learned so much from my current place of employment I know in my soul that it is time for me to take a leap of faith and start looking elsewhere.

God  blessed me with an amazing supervisor and a positive work environment but I know it is time to go.

Most certainly there is a part of me that thinks no one will ever hire me outside of my current employer which I assure you isn’t true.

It may take some time but I know that it is time for me to go.

Because just like I wouldn’t feel right settling in a romantic relationship I can no longer settle in my professional one.

It doesn’t really matter how long it takes for me to find a new position.

What matters is that I keep looking, I keep believing and that I get off my current step and take a leap of faith.

Sometimes we get stuck emotionally and we are afraid to go backwards or forwards and we just sit there. We can do like I did and make excuses for why we are there but the truth is it’s often fear. I have fears just like everyone else but the thing is that I have learned that I would rather try and fail then to fail to try.

I am taking a leap of faith and I hope you do too.

Renata Nicole

© Renata Pittman Smith, Renata Nicole and RenataNicole, 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Renata Pittman Smith and RenataNicole with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

I’ve Gotta Plan

imageFour days ago I accepted my truth that I have been wasting time.

Getting out of the bed to face the day was an ongoing battle.

If I had nothing planned to do for the day I could easily lay in the bed for a good 10 to 14 hours. Not necessarily sleeping but definitely not working to achieve anything purposeful.

I am not sure if it was simply laziness, depression or a combination thereof, but I can tell you that the fire in me was most certainly out.

I mean I went to work, spoke with friends and did things with my kids but the sense of purpose was gone.

I was waiting on a break.

To be honest I was cynical about a break coming.

I talk and write about a break coming but somewhere in myself I wasn’t believing it.

Truthfully, when someone would tell me they thought things would get better for me – I cringed.

I would cringe because it seemed like every time I had an inkling of hope it would get dashed.

So for the most part I had given up hope.

Career and relationship expert Mel Robbins explains that the major reason that we don’t get what we want is because we have accepted where we are.

I can not speak for anyone else but I know that for me I had given up and started to go beyond being content with the scraps that I was receiving to actually being complacent.

Sadly, just getting by and having just enough was being accepted by me as normal.

To make matters worse I married that complacency with self-doubt and blamed God for my results.

As I have written before I have a bad habit of believing for other people but when it comes to believing for myself there is a disconnect.

But don’t fret I am working on it.

Thankfully, I have been blessed that my entire life I have been surrounded by positive teachers. Life has found a way of sending some of the best motivational teachers and speakers into my life.

For example, I went to school with Les Brown’s nephews. So at the age of 14 I had the opportunity to listen to him speak for free because he had come to speak at his nephew’s graduation who happened to be graduating the same year as my sister.

At the time I didn’t know who he was, but he impressed upon me that I could achieve greatness.

This is just one example of how I cut my teeth and was nursed on some of the most positive teachings out there, without even consciously trying.

But despite all of the teachings flowing through my mind, there I was laying in bed feeling broke, busted and disgusted and I realized that I was literally wasting my life.

I had allowed myself to believe that the reason that things were not working out the way I wanted was because God didn’t want them to.

I figured I tried and door after door had closed upon me.

I tried doing right and treating people right and I still had received what felt very wrong.

My line of thinking was I tried, so clearly the failure wasn’t on my part.

I was lying to myself.

God, the universe, life wasn’t failing me.

I was failing me.

I was sitting there waiting for life to happen to me.

I had forgotten the words of Henley that “I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul”.

And I had forgotten that “I have dominion on this earth”.

I had effectively given my power away and was laying in bed waiting to die.

When the phone rang or the email came and it didn’t carry the break through that I was looking for I thought to myself that God didn’t want me to have it.

Never mind the fact that I am not trying my best.

Never mind the fact that I am allowing fear to paralyze me.

Never mind the fact that I am sitting there in a bed of pity.

Joyce Meyer says “you can be pitiful or you can be powerful but you can’t be both”.

Joyce Meyer is right.

Sure I have had setbacks, hang up, bang ups, let downs and break downs.

But who hasn’t.

I have had people betray me deeply, I have lost loved ones to death in tragic ways, I have experienced a major health crisis and financial ruin and am still going, this is proof to me that I am made out of the stuff of champions.

So what was a champion doing laying in the bed waiting on life to happen to her?

I was waiting on life to pick me up.

I was playing the role of victim instead of a victor.

In my past doing a good job, treating people right and doing what I thought was right got me very far.

And so of course I thought that the same things that had brought me blessings would work again.

My line of reasoning was quite simple – I am a good person, so good things are supposed to happen to me.

But I have reached a new level.

While I do receive miraculous blessings which I am confident are stemmed from the goodness that I have I sown; I have also accepted that for me to get to where I am going it is going to require me to put in the work.

Because like my children – my dreams, my purpose, my destiny aren’t going to come easy. No they are going to be brought forth through labor pains.

Here I am spiritually pregnant and dreading labor.

I have to do the work to break her forth, because if I don’t nourish this dream inside of me I will miscarry.

Life isn’t going to hand me anything without me doing the work to get it.

For I know too much to continue to be treated with kid gloves.

Life has knocked me down and I waited for someone to pick me up.

I gave half-hearted attempts.

And when I couldn’t stand to my feet I blamed it on God’s timing.

Don’t get me wrong I do believe that for everything there is a season, but I can assure you that I have not given this thing called life my all.

I have been wasting time.

I was literally laying there as time continued to move.

That’s when I decided it was time I go back to basics because clearly what I was doing wasn’t working.

I started back listening to motivational teachings the way I used to in my past and while listening to motivational videos I ran into a theme.

Every teacher I would listen to would continually echo the same thing.

They all reminded me that I was wasting time.

24 hours – 1440 minutes – 86,400 seconds. That is how much time we all are given each day.

I believe time is relative. When I enjoy what I am doing, it speeds by and if I don’t, it drags by.

For the most part I had been living my life on cruise control. I let things happen to me and I sat idly by. I decided that it was time that I discipline myself when it comes to my time and how I am going to spend it. Every second – of every minute – of every hour – of every day counts. And I am going to count on myself to make sure that my life happens for me rather than to me.

I just figured it was about that time!

I am pretty familiar with the whole concept of having goals. When I was a teenager my uncle drilled into my head the importance of having goals and plans for my life.

But something was missing.

I had a goal but no real plan.

Thankfully, while I was laying in bed waiting for life to happen to me I was also reading a copy of Napoleon’s Hill’s Think and Grow Rich that a friend had sent to me.

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Napoleon Hill is big on writing out a plan.

This echoed teachings that I had learned from Earl Nightingale to dedicate a period of each day writing down ideas. His thought is that if you write down your ideas that eventually your mind will become conditioned to become an idea making machine. He explains it doesn’t matter if most of the ideas are bad it is about becoming an idea maker.

And when you think about it as Napole0n Hill says, “one sound idea is all that one needs to achieve success”.

So I proceeded to devise a way to achieve my goal, for the Bible says “to write the vision down and make it plain.”.

It was as if everything came together and I knew what I had to do.

The funny thing about planning on what I am going to do is that I don’t have much time to think about my bad habits.

When I execute my plan to exercise, there is no time to eat the bag of chips.

When I read positive literature as planned, there is no time to think about negative experiences from my past.

When I plan on how I am going to achieve my goals there is no time to lay in the bed thinking about how my life is a mess.

And I think it was the combination of the motivational videos, the feeling of something has got to change, feeling accountable to those around me and reading Napoleon Hill’s book among other experiences that lead me to become a daily planner.

I know for people who plan their day regularly this doesn’t seem like much but for me it was monumental.

I was a go with the flow kind of girl.

Sure, I planned things out in my career life but not for my personal life.

I was disciplined at work but lackadaisical when it came to myself.

And I was going to have to start caring more about myself.

I had things that I need to get done but for the most part I hadn’t really planned the execution.

So earlier this week I pulled out a planner that my daughter bought me last year that unfortunately I had never used. I immediately realized it was a monthly and weekly planner which is okay for jotting down things to do.

But my laziness was going to require a daily planner.

I had gone so far into the doldrums that it took quite a bit for me to muster up the willpower to spend a few moments of my day doing the simple task of planning the next day.

It was a sad place to be but it was where I was.

On the top of my list was planning my spiritual time.

For me that consisted of 30 minutes listening to motivational teachings, 30 minutes reading something positive and 20 minutes meditating.

I chipped out how much time I will spend sleeping, working, relaxing, socializing, driving, grooming myself, cleaning and cooking.

For some this may seem excessive.

But the excessive amount of sleep that was taking place in my household by me was getting me nowhere.

I mean sure I had some excuses – I am a single mom, I have chronic pain and I am a bit depressed.

But I decided forget the excuses!

There is no way in the world I came to this earth to lay in a bed and watch life go by and only engage here and there.

I had laid there in that bed long enough.

It hasn’t been long since I made the change but that one change of planning out my day did something inside of me that makes me proud to be me.

It caused me to live on purpose.

I have a list of things to do.

And I hate leaving anything undone when I have agreed to do it (even if I am the one doing the asking) because its my goal to “let my yes mean yes and my no mean no”.

Sure no one else sees the list, but I do and my conscience won’t let me consciously let myself down.

So I got a plan that I have got to plan.

Love yourself enough to know that if there is anything you want in this world you are going to have to work for it and believe it is yours for the taking. If you don’t know what your dream is think back to your childhood and remember what you wanted to be before people told you that you couldn’t or that you had to be something else and start there.  Write your dream down and start making a plan on how you are going to get there. Everyday work with definite purpose that you will achieve it. And know that ironically while you have a plan that life doesn’t go as planned. That is why I took my dream, vision, goal and plan and handed it over to God. I do my part and rest in the faith that the Father will do His.

Renata Nicole

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