Archive for November, 2012

November 27, 2012

How to Accept the Apology You Never Got

I remember the day exactly. The moment I knew I’d never look at her the same way again. It was the same day she managed to

Image courtesy of Ambro / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

shoot me down to size, rip my heart out, and remove any remaining faith I had left in humanity or myself. It didn’t take much. Just a simple phrase related to the one thing in my life that I shield from the world. I’ll never know how she found out, but she zeroed in on my Achilles heel and shot fire like a pro.

On that day, my entire world changed. I didn’t trust her and our relationship forever changed. But most importantly, I didn’t trust myself. For as long as I could remember, I was the girl with a shield. Harsh words came my way and they rolled off my back. Suddenly, this lady not only made me question her, but it made me question myself. I considered myself a fraud. After all, how can I let someone break me down so easily after professing my strength and ability to ignore insignificant voices for years? How could I continue to call myself a lover over a fighter if all I wanted to do was duck for cover only after I made her feel the pain she put me through? Everything I thought I was turned out to be a lie. I was lying to myself for years and I was just starting to learn the truth about myself. There was no way that I was such an optimistic and resilient person if I let the harsh words of another woman bring me down.

For days and weeks later, I continued to replay the moment in my head – the moment the inflicted pain and harsh words changed my life forever. I lived in constant vision of what my life would have been had I not been wronged. Would I be happier? Would we have a better relationship? Would I still be the vibrant person I knew myself to be? Would I still be living the lie of a tough chick? They were all questions I may never know the answers to. So why bother dwelling in it?

It came to me that I would only be living a lie if I continued to let this heartless person unknowingly run my run my life. Despite that fact that she took my heart and put it in a blender with her cold comments, it was time for me to forgive her. It wasn’t an easy feat considering I never got an apology, but it was something I had to do. I didn’t want to accept that I lied about who am for so long and wanted to be the hero of my story. After weeks of struggling to accept her non-existing apology, it all become easier when I did just one thing. I remembered the acceptance of this “apology” and ability to forgive her wasn’t a favor to her. It was a favor to me so I could live my life once again. So I could have peace of mind. And once I recognized that I should actually be thanking this poor soul for showing me that she was lying about herself all those years, my ability to forgive grew. Once I realized what she said was more about her and not me, accepting that apology became so much easier.

There will always be callous people, hurtful words, and disappointing moments. The important thing to remember is that those moments won’t change who you are unless you allow it to. And not allowing them to change you and live your life becomes that much easier once you learn to accept the apology you never got.

How have you learned to accept apologies you didn’t receive? 

TERRIfic Quip: Give up on all hope of a better past. Instead, invest in the hope of a better future. 

November 20, 2012

When it’s Time to Reinvent Yourself…

…go all the way.

I’m convinced that no matter how much we love something and we feel fulfilled, sometimes you just need a change. Not because we don’t like it anymore, but because we need to make sure we stay on our toes. We need to channel our ability to stay resourceful and challenge our creativity. Most importantly, we need to eliminate the possibilities of settling so that we give ourselves the opportunity to be better than we were yesterday.

Despite my best efforts to always chase my dreams, and take risks I must admit I have been settling. Not with my job or my personal needs, but with my business. Yes, I’ve taken the leap to become a full-time freelance writer but I was still playing it safe. From my business name, “Writing by Terri”, to the small businesses and local magazines I would chase for a shot at the dream, I wasn’t going all the way. That’s why I decided to change my business name from Writing by Terri to Terrific Words (something I’ve always wanted to do.) I know what you’re thinking. “But Terri, this blog has been named Terrific Words forever!” The truth is, I’ve been scared. I’ve been meaning to change everything to “Terrific Words” but I got nervous half way.

It wasn’t until I was reminded of my favorite phrase, “Don’t do anything half way unless you are willing to be half happy,” that it was time for a change. I needed to take that plunge. Otherwise, I wasn’t doing any favors to myself other than merely selling myself short.

So on that note, I present you with my new business site, http://www.TerrificWords.com and my new “self.”

It was hard to take the leap, but so worth it. Sometimes the worst thing you could ever do is stop yourself from going all the way. Don’t waste another moment of time. The time is now.

In what ways, have you reinvented yourself? Also visit my new site and let me know what you think! While you’re at it check out my ebook and write a review if you feel so inclined! 

TERRIfic Quip: I know I already mentioned it in the post, but I think it’s so good that it’s worth repeating. Don’t do anything half way unless you’re willing to be half happy. 

November 13, 2012

5 Life Lessons I Learned from Sharing an Office with a Recent College Grad

“I just graduated in May.” They’re the last words you want to hear upon learning your new business quarters consists of sharing Five Life lessons I learned from sharing an office with a recent college gradan office; especially when you consider yourself a well-respected mid-level professional years out of college. I thought “Is this what I’ve been reduced to?” Bumping heads with the clueless but quirky college grad eager to dive head first into the business world with no idea of how to do it wasn’t exactly in my life plan. But somehow, it was the situation I fell into and had no choice but to deal with. Much to my surprise I learned more than the newest flavor of beers and the latest dance craze to break out at frat parties. I learned a few life lessons as well. Here are six facts of life I managed to stumble upon while maintaining my sanity in office space shared with the recent grad.

1. Have a support system

I never knew how awesome it was to have a support system within the office. Whenever I was unsure of something, facing computer issues, etc. there was no need to bother the higher-ups. She was right there to offer some help if needed. And the same applied to her. We had each others back whether we were running late, made a slight mistake or just plain confused. It made the work environment so much more pleasurable and less stressful. It turns out having a support system in all facets of life including the professional world is much needed but much less appreciated by most.

2. Live a little

While sitting opposite of this young and fiery person, I had the pleasure of vicariously living through her. I heard stories of musings with homeless people, parties during homecoming and alumni weekend, and spontaneous but whimsical dates with her equally young and entertaining boyfriend. While I sat there in awe of every intriguing detail of her care free life I couldn’t help but feel a bit jealous that I couldn’t live a life as exciting and spontaneous as hers. After all, I was no longer a “recent” college graduate. I was a young woman well into the business world trying to make a name for herself. Then I realized she was in the process of building her name as well. Why should she be able to have a life while I slaved away for the sake of making a living and carrying myself as a professional? There was no reason why I couldn’t continue to live a life worth getting excited about while maintaining a professional edge. After all, I was still young and living in the moment is what life is all about.

3. Worry only about yourself

In an economy such as this you always hear about all the competition out there, how your career isn’t secure and a million people want your job. Well, sharing an office with a young and vibrant recent grad made me well aware of that job insecurity and competition. I was in awe of her quick mindedness and ability to teach herself tasks in a matter of minutes. And of course, sharing an office with her made my shortcomings even more apparent. It was like I was in high school all over again vying for the coveted seat at the popular table with all the cool girls who batted their eyelashes at the football players better than me. Then I remembered those girls in high school didn’t care and that bright eyed recent grad sitting across the desk didn’t care about me either. As long as I completed my work in a timely manner and exceeded expectation there was no problem. Competition will always be there, but the only competition that mattered at the moment was the one within myself. I could only be better than I was yesterday. There was no reason for me to try to beat out her.

4. Dress the part of you

I admit it. I was a little too afraid to be myself in fear of not fitting in to the cookie cutter mold of the professional world. So instead I was overly nervous about my big afro-like hair taking over the work space and toned down my personality when picking out my wardrobe. But every morning when I saw my carefree office mate roll into  work with her funky, artsy but office appropriate work attire I realized I was worried for nothing. Sure I couldn’t roll out of bed and head out in my pajamas anymore like the college days. But I still had the option to be me, and let me personality shine whether it be through my wardrobe, hairstyle or demeanor. As long as it was office appropriate I was in the clear.

5. Have a little sense of entitlement

For some reason, when leaving college, those young grads have this idea that the world is owed to them because they’re equipped with a new and freshly embossed degree. Never mind the other millions of people who also have a degree and more experience. A shiny new office space, with an amazing salary and two months paid vacation should just be handed to them because they’re equipped with newfound knowledge from an accredited institution. *You may roll your eyes here*   It seems as though they forget about working their way up and gaining experience. As annoying as this way of thinking is, (when being around it all the time it does get annoying) that sense of entitlement isn’t always a bad thing. You may be young. You may be less experienced, but that doesn’t mean you can forget about your worth. This poor economy has scared many people into settling for less. However, I had the pleasure of re-learning from my less-experienced office mate that the job climate does not take away from your knowledge and accomplishments. It does not diminish your value. Nor does it mean you hide all that makes you awesome. If anything, she reaffirmed the need to continue have big goals and an even bigger will to succeed and get what you deserve. Make your credentials known and expect to be recognized for it.

Who knew the beer pong champion, 5 star excuse maker, and expert drunk dialer could be so insightful…
What valuable life lessons have you taken from the office?
TERRIfic Quip: If you judge people you have no time to love them.
November 6, 2012

5 Types of People You’ll Encounter on Your Way to the Top

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

For the last few weeks, I’ve given you several reasons why you should stop everything and just follow your dreams. I’ve also let you in on ways to stay happy. But what I haven’t told you about are the types of people you’ll run into while chasing your dreams and leading that happy life. Some of them are good people. Some of them are bad people. And some of those people are just there. Regardless of what role they play, you should be aware of them. That way when you do cross paths you’ll be prepared. Here are the five types of people you will encounter on the way to your top…

  • The Parent – Ok, so you know the song “Parents Just Don’t Understand”?  Well, the same concept applies when you are in the process of dream catching. Parents mean well and most of them support you in whatever you set your heart on (as long as it’s legal.)  But when you tell them you are taking a leap of faith to pursue your passion, the amount of support you expected may not be there. It’s not because they don’t believe in you. It’s just because they are scared for you and their natural instinct is to protect you from the unknown. They only want what’s best for you. The best way to deal is to reassure them of your skill and drive. Otherwise, it may be best to ignore the “words of concern” to keep your insanity. You may also want to keep some major hardships to yourself. After all, you wouldn’t want to put your loved ones in a coma caused by an unnecessary overload of worry.

* This person isn’t always an actual parent. It may be someone who is like a parental figure.

  • The Clueless One – So this person is clueless but doesn’t know it. They’re the ones that keep pulling facts out of their butt’s in regards to your new endeavor and spewing them at you whether they’re welcomed or not. No one knows where these statistics are coming from but it doesn’t stop you from hearing it. Sometimes these tidbits of advice, statistics, and facts of life are completely baseless and sometimes theres some truth to them. Take it with a grain of salt and/or take it upon yourself to do a little fact checking just to save face. I’m going to assume that this one means well. They just happen to be well, umm… clueless.
  • The Naysayer – Whether or not you’re a dream catcher on the way to your top or an average Joe just doing what he can to get by we’ve all run into this one before. It’s the never have anything good to say, down on life, can’t catch a break, poor soul that always has something negative to say. You could have just landed the tv role of your dreams or won the lottery and this person will still find a way to rain on your parade. My guess is this person saw their dreams crash and burn in a horrific death and wants to spare you the pain. The other possibility is that they’re afraid you’ll actually do what you say you’ll do. So how do you deal with them? You know what they say… Never get talked out of your dreams by someone who gave up on their own. 
  • The Impatient – They stand by your side, and scrimp and save with you when you explain you can’t afford to do something. They are completely supportive of you but now they are tired. Tired of the skipped dates, tired of the sacrifices and tired of staying in all the time. Chances are they support your ambition, but don’t understand the time and sacrifice it takes to accomplish your goals. As long as your dreams don’t cut in to their social time and their selfish needs they’ve got your back. Otherwise, beware of the whiner. The truth is most people don’t understand how demanding dream catching is. The probably never well unless they are doing it themselves. I say make new friends with similar goals. But that doesn’t mean you have to let go of the ones you already have. After all, it could get pretty lonely at the top so make sure you keep your support system close.
  • Miss Done it All – This girl is absolutely amazing. She’s been there. Done that. Got the t-shirts and the awards to prove it. She’s been where you are and is a wealth of knowledge. More specifically, she IS who you want to be.  When you get near her, you go into a shock. Not because she’s scary, but because you can’t believe you have actually come this close to royalty. So what do you do? Don’t let the moment slip away. It’s the perfect time to channel her genius. Flatter her and find out what steps she took to make it to the promise land.  But don’t be overly intrusive and remember to say thank you!

What other types of people have you encountered on your way to the top and  how did you deal with them?

TERRIfic Quips:  The more you love your decisions, the less you need other people to love them.