Thursday, March 29, 2012


I think we all know somebody who is always up to something; always with a scheme or a plan or some kind of hustle. They work really hard at working really hard, yet they never seem to get anywhere. Oddly enough, they rarely stop to ask themselves why. And when they do? They assume that they aren’t doing enough or that they are doing the “wrong” thing, so they change direction and throw their energy into yet another venture. Always on the move. Always looking for a way to make it happen.

As much as I admire enthusiasm and drive, I am exhausted just by watching these folks in action. Doing way too much, with no real commitment to anything except winning or coming out on top. Their energy is not one of adventure and a willingness to try new things-purely for the fun of it all. They aren’t simply experimenting or trying to find the career that best suits them. There is no joy in the work that they do. Their sole focus is on “being successful” and their energy reflects just that-forced, desperate and demanding. They are willing to try just about anything, except maybe the one thing that might actually get them to goal: sitting down.

I get it, though. From an early age, many of us are taught that we have to pick a career and work as hard as we can in order to make it to the top. So we get caught in an endless cycle of doing, doing, doing. Anything less is for deadbeats and loafers. And if we don’t go the traditional route- the “right” college, the “right” degree, the “right” social organizations, and the “right” jobs, we take our hustler spirit and apply it to whatever plan we create to make our mark on the world. But some of us take it a step further. We look around, compare ourselves to others, and if we feel less successful or less accomplished, we kick our ambition into overdrive. We have to make it. We have to win. We have to succeed. By any means necessary. For others, it isn’t about the competition. It’s about fear; the fear of failing or not having enough that is the motivation. Some might argue that it doesn’t matter what motivates us or how we make it, as long as we make it. I can’t say that I agree with that, but to each his own. Good luck and let me know.

There is nothing wrong with wanting success, but if our desire to be successful is motivated solely by fear or competition, is it really worth it? Perhaps it’s time for us to reevaluate what it means to be successful and what it takes to get there. Maybe the perfect plan for us is not the one that is conjured or forced, but the one that unfolds naturally when we are willing to sit down, if only for a moment, and listen to what’s in our hearts. What’s in your heart?

-Angie G.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012


As we grow, some longstanding friendships will fall by the wayside. When they do, many of us feel the familiar guilt that comes along with the story that we have somehow “abandoned” our friends; even when we know that these relationships no longer serve us-the “us” that we have become and are becoming. And so, we find ourselves stuck in the “how do I end this relationship?” quagmire; so completely over it, yet feeling some strange sort of obligation to hang on in there. Now, I’m not talking petty differences or throwing away perfectly good friendships over a simple misunderstanding. I’m talking about the relationships that drain us emotionally, mentally and physically (and sometimes financially!); the friends who leave us feeling diminished whenever we are in their presence.

Now I’m just as guilty as the next girl when it comes to this, but after a recent conversation with a close friend about this very subject, I realized that there comes a time when we all have to man or woman up. Nobody ever said that every friendship is meant to last forever. The energy that we bring to these stagnant and sometimes toxic relationships is heavy and uncomfortable at best, and extremely strained at worst. So, why do we choose to torture ourselves? Out of loyalty? Because we are good people? Or is it because we are holding on to memories of a time that has long since passed? Then again, it could just be that we are more concerned with how other people will judge us for walking away than we are with our own comfort and well-being.

At a certain age, we are very clear about our likes and dislikes. We know exactly who and what works for us; and when we know, we owe it to ourselves to honor that. When the quality of our relationship with ourselves improves, so does the quality of the relationships that we choose to have with others. And on our journey towards better defining the types of relationships we wish to have, sometimes the best thing for us to do is to lovingly say, “Goodbye” to those who no longer fit.

Admittedly, I have never been one to have a lot of “friends.” But now more than ever, as I go through my own process of weeding out relationships that no longer fit, I cherish that small number of people in my inner circle. Those beautiful women (and men!) who inspire me; who lift me up, but who are also willing to shut me down; who love me at my most unlovable, and always see me as being the wonderful possibility that I am; who don’t need labels or grand gestures or pretense; who seek to enhance, and not diminish, every life they touch. My intention is to be and do the same.

-Angie G.