“Woman up,” “Boss up,” “Man up…” are one in the same. Take a look at your life and reflect on all of the challenges that life has thrown your way–I mean really think about them. Crazy, right? You’re also probably saying to yourself, “I didn’t know how I was going to get through that.” But you did–am I right? No matter what the consequences were of the choices you had to make to get through that obstacle, here you are today. At the end of it all, the consequences were either good, or bad–depending on your choice. No matter what, you came out of it a much stronger and wiser person. “Woman up” is an important lesson that I learned throughout all ten years in my 20’s.
A key element to “woman-ing up”–making choices. Put your complete thought into every choice that you have to make, and when you face obstacles along the way, remember how tough you are because you’ve been through tough times before. If there’s something you want out of life, chase it.
I just celebrated my first year moving to Dallas. I pretty much knew that moving away from San Antonio was going to happen at some point and it finally happened through perfect timing and patience. When the opportunity finally presented itself, I sprung at the chance–I didn’t care that I JUST signed a new lease at an apartment in San Antonio. I had a good job where I had the opportunity to grow as much as I wanted, but for some reason I felt like the universe wanted me to take this risk because everything just felt… right.
This move meant that OJ and I were going to have to do the dreaded LDR (long distance relationship) for a little bit. We weren’t even positive on how long, which to me was scary (I have not lived separately, let alone 4 hours away from him since 2010!). While I headed to Dallas to get everything ready for us, he had to stay behind and make some moves to get us out of our current lease, finalize his work transfer and just WAIT.
The first thing I had to do was book a room at an extended stay because this all happened so quickly that we didn’t even have an apartment yet! I drove myself and a bag with enough clothing to last me a week. As soon as I walked into the room, my heart sank. I was anxious, sad and I felt alone because I missed my man! The first thing I did was call him and as soon as I heard his voice, I just cried. Like always, he gave me great words of affirmation and essentially, told me to boss up.
After a week, I finally found an apartment and OJ and his family were all there to help with our move. I drove to San Antonio one last time and we packed all of our stuff into a U-Haul. OJ came to the extended stay room that I had been staying in and he couldn’t believe I did that on my own (it was pretty sketchy). I’ll never forget that my room number was 143, which is how young rookie kids used to say “I love you” back in the day. After a weekend of moving, OJ and I still had to say goodbye to each other because we were still WAITING. We continued on with driving back and forth to see each other on weekends for about another two months and trust me–it was not easy! Everything ended up working out the way it needed to and like every other tough situation we’ve been in, we got through it.
Another part of woman-ing up is “don’t be a victim.” Understand that for every choice we make, the consequences will vary. Don’t make excuses for why things aren’t going your way. Don’t blame others for why you didn’t get what you want. With a little planning and persistence, you can shift the way things go however you need them to. I like to think of something I read that Kris Jenner once said, “If someone tells you no, you are talking to the wrong person.” Also, don’t blame the way your life is going on why you make poor choices.
On an extremely serious note, I have a person in my life who I love very much that struggles with addiction. I know first hand how addiction has a ripple affect on everything in a persons life, and spills into the lives of everyone who cares for that person. I also understand that addiction is an illness and like all illnesses, there is help. Everything we ever do starts with a choice. If we’ve made bad choices, we can choose to find ways to correct them. Continuing down toxic, unhealthy paths is an absolutely soul-sucking experience. One bad choice leads to bad consequences and when you think about the negative things that happen in your life, think about the choices you made that lead up to that point. Own the choices you’ve made, own the entire situation and choose healthy ways to fix it.
Maybe your issues aren’t as serious as addiction. Maybe you’ve been hoping for a promotion and you didn’t get it. Get to the bottom of it! Find out what you can do better, find out what needs to be done so that you can get what you want. Maybe you need to make your own moves and chase what you’re seeking. The key here is- don’t blame anyone else because they aren’t going to help you.
Finally, woman-ing up means to be confident and don’t let anyone make you lose your composure. Confidence is something that has taken me quite some time to grasp. I’m not talking the “comfortable in my skin” type of confidence–I’m talking the confidence in my eloquence when I speak. I have a silly example that actually happened recently. OJ and I were out eating and he was missing one of his dipping sauces (honey BBQ to be exact). When the waiter brought out our meal, I noticed that the sauce was missing and when I told the waiter I said, “I think he’s missing one of his sauces.” The waiter then said, “Okay, which sauce was it?” Then, for some odd reason, I look over at OJ as if I’m confused about which sauce he didn’t get and then the words, “I think honey BBQ” came spewing out of my mouth. The entire ordeal just felt awkward and OJ actually called me out on it. I sat there and just played it back in my head thinking, “Why in the hell did I say it like that? I knew the sauce was missing AND I knew which sauce it was!” Be sure about what you are saying and be confident in what you are asking for.
Being confident and not letting anyone lose your composure goes hand-in-hand. Some people will say things and do things to you that just makes you want to lose your religion, and slip all the way out of your character. I’ve said this before and I will say it again–people do things and act in certain ways for their own personal reasons and they disguise it in a way that makes it look like it’s your fault (so you can’t take things personal). We all carry our own truths and beliefs that nobody else can possess and these truths are based on our environment. Do not let the negative actions of others cause you to lose your composure. If you’re confident in your own truths, nobody should be able to make you feel otherwise. Let those miserable people sit there and have conversations with themselves and move forward.
In closing–be brave, make healthy choices, don’t be a victim, speak with confidence, and keep your cool.