Still here

Anybody that knows me, knows that I am notoriously private (well, I try to be). Sometimes, I’m pretty easy to talk to and other times I’m not (at least that’s what I’ve been told). As I’ve gotten older and wiser, I’ve let my guard down (just a little) and try to be transparent, because I never know who I may help along the way.

It’s no secret that I share a lot of my personal hardships and life experiences on this forum. What’s simply a “post” to you, is more than words; it’s my life! As discreet as I try to be, it’s no secret my battle with depression and anxiety, amongst other things. However, one of the biggest things I’ve struggled with, is whether or not I deserved to “still be here”.

Last year, one of the biggest and bravest things I decided to do, was want more for myself. I decided that I was no longer going to be held captive to my past, my mistakes and most important, the negative thoughts I had of myself. Besides, I couldn’t fault people for not feeling or thinking positive of me, when I didn’t require it from myself.

NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) is one of many organizations that I support (for “obvious” reasons). During one of my many days of online shopping (lol), I came across this jewelry maker on Etsy, and one of the most popular items she sold, was “still here” necklaces, that were followed by the semi-colon sign.

Well, if you are a stranger to the MI (Mental Illness) world, the semi-colon represents a “pause in one’s story, but not the end”. Depression and anxiety was not the end of me (although it tried to destroy me), so I was eager to purchase a necklace, support the cause and allow others to see how brave I was.

My bravery and transparency has allowed others to come forth and share their story. One of my students came to me yesterday, after months of being absent, stating to me why she hadn’t been as active as she needs to be. She shared with me that she is struggling very bad with depression and anxiety, so much, that she literally had to force herself out of bed, and even she doesn’t know how she was able to do it.

Immediately, I felt her anguish, pain and most of all, I felt for her, because not too long ago, I was “trying to get up out of that bed”. I knew then, why I was “still here”….

I don’t care what you are going through or have been through. Never question why you are “still here”…just be thankful that you are!

Until next time my Note takers!

Writefully yours,

Deetra La’Rue

Get comfortable

Never change yourself to fit the description of what someone else says you should be, because in the end, you might not like the person you’ve become! I’ve always had people against me, particularly women, who stopped at nothing to tear me down. No matter what I did….it wasn’t good enough! No matter what the issue was….I was to blame. But, no matter what they did to sabotage me….I was never destroyed!

Time and time again, my strength is tested, and regardless of how hard the battles or bullsh*t gets, I still win! My enemies are strategic in their plans to bring about my demise, but I’m still standing, leaving them baffled as to why I haven’t fallen yet. After many failed attempts, they try to break me with their words. They talk about me to no end, and when they do…..I let them.

They judge me based upon someone else’s feelings of me, and when they do…..I let them. They try to make me out to be the bad guy, and when they do……I let them. I “let them” do a lot of things, but one thing I won’t, is let them get comfortable! Haters, enemies and jealous individuals have no place in my life, nor will I lower myself to their level, just so they can be seated.

Despite how bad things get, I just keep getting better. I’m no longer hurt by the things that used to hurt me, and when people invite me to a fight, I don’t RSVP to their games. I’m a self-respecting businesswoman, entrepreneur and millionaire (it’s coming) and I’ve got too much to lose! I’m being elevated higher and higher, so the more I go up, the less I’m able to see down (I don’t need to see my haters anyway).

Don’t allow anyone to get comfortable with misery in your life, just because they are uncomfortable in theirs!

Until next time my Note takers!

Writefully yours,

Deetra La’Rue

When your feelings are tender, and the truth is hard

As much as I like to think I’m tougher than nails, sometimes I’m softer than Downy. For the most part, I’m one tough cookie, but there are moments I feel like I didn’t bake long enough, because I can be “soft to the touch”. Having said that, I am often guilty of having “tender” feelings.

We’ve all heard the expression, “The truth hurts”, and although there are times we don’t necessarily want to hear it, it’s what we need. I used to consider myself a know-it-all, but truth be told, I don’t know how to handle the truth sometimes. If someone offers me constructive criticism, I don’t perceive it as that, but take it as judgement.

I’m clearly aware that this is not the best approach or attitude to have, but I’m working on that. Besides, if I went the rest of my life thinking that everybody was out to get me, or allow what people have to say about me negatively impact me, then I wouldn’t be living at all.

My perspective on people’s “truth” has completely changed, and I now see that they weren’t intentionally trying to hurt my feelings, but help me. Their help has allowed me to grow, evolve into a better person, and “toughen up”. Although I still have my softer side and am “tender” when I need to be, I’m so grateful for the “tough love”, because it has increased my strength.

Until next time my Note takers!

Writefully yours,

Deetra La’Rue

I feel good when I “feel good” about me

Everyday I try to give myself positive affirmations, because if I relied on others to do it for me, my self-esteem would be pretty much non-existent. I make sure I reassure myself that I am beautiful, good enough and more than worth the wait! To be totally honest, I don’t feel good, when I don’t “feel good” about me.

I’ve probably mentioned this a few times in past posts, but I used to look to others for validation or to reaffirm what I thought, I thought (no typo) about myself. However, when the validations weren’t pouring in, I started bleeding out. I felt hurt and offended almost, that nobody seemed to feel the way about me, the way I felt about me.  Am I making sense or causing confusion?

Whichever the case, I thought what I needed from them (whoever they were) was what I needed for me. Essentially speaking, no matter how many compliments I got, praises or “Amen”, it didn’t make me feel good, because I didn’t feel good about me. I know deep down inside, I have a lot of attributes and plenty to offer, but I had a hard time believing and seeing it.

Rather than throw another pity party for myself, my positive affirmations got stronger and so did I. I had to learn that I couldn’t rely on anyone to make me feel good about myself…..that’s my job! I couldn’t expect anyone to love me “for me” (not speaking in the context of who I am)……that’s my job! I couldn’t expect anyone to do anything for me, that I knew I needed to be doing for myself……again, that’s my job!

When I started to feel good about myself, overall, I felt good! When I let go of what I thought I needed from people or to hear from them, I felt even better! When I let go of the thought of letting go and “JUST LET GO”, I felt my absolute BEST! A handful of regrets later, I STILL feel good! I was so inspired to transfer what I had done for me to help others, that I created a “Positive Affirmation (I AM MORE THAN….) Board for my students.

On the board, there are blank balloons, and anytime they are feeling weighed down with something or someone, they are to write it on the balloon and thumb tack it on the board. In essence, they are releasing the balloon/s (the negatives) and giving themselves positive affirmation/reassurance that they are enough and “more than” whatever they write inside the balloons.

Have you “released” any balloons lately?

Until next time my Note takers!

Writefully yours,

Deetra La’Rue

Best player, but never picked

Recess during my elementary days were pretty rough! Every time it came time to play dodgeball, I cringed, because I knew one of two things were bound to happen: either I would be picked last or not at all! Both were a hard pill to swallow, because I couldn’t figure out for the life of me, why I was the best player, but never picked?

A little over a month ago, I submitted my book to Books-A-Million, to have it distributed and carried world-wide in their stores. I was so excited as I submitted my pitch (letter) and gave them what I thought to be the best reasons as to why they should “pick me”. With my book enclosed, I sealed up my letter, mailed them off, and anxiously waited (and prayed) to hear a favorable response.

Weeks had passed, and still no response, but I kept saying to myself, “Any day now, you are going to have your books sold in Books-A-Million”. That not only kept the suspense going, but it made me feel good about the wait. Besides, “good things come to those who wait”. Although I have “patience” issues, I still held out, because I just knew I was about to scratch a goal off of my goals list.

However, the only thing I ended up scratching off, was BAM as a distributor of my book. Sad to say, they sent me an email composed in what seemed to be a 200 font (I guess to make sure I read it), indicating they had decided not to accept my book. As the blood left my face, I said to myself, “What? Do you not know who I am? Do you know you have decided not to ‘pick the best player’ on the team”?

For the first couple of hours, I sat in disbelief, had a conversation with God, and then placed the rejection email in my “Their Loss” folder. Although I wanted to, I couldn’t get upset at them for passing on the opportunity of a lifetime. It was their decision to make and obviously they went with what they thought was best. Needless to say, I know God has my best interest at heart, and I’m confident BAM was not the “best” thing He has for me!

There are going to be times you are the best player on the team, and no matter how bad you want to play, you just aren’t going to get picked. However, you have to know that you are worthy of the starting position, and although one team might bench you, there’s going to be another one that puts you in their starting lineup! Whatever you do, keep playing…..one day you’re going to get picked!

Until next time my note takers!

Writefully yours,

Deetra La’Rue

Because they said I couldn’t

People love to tell you who you are, when they’re still trying to figure themselves out. Crazy as it is, I LOVE when people try to fit me in a box or set limitations on me, because I “Houdini” them every time! I always escape their traps and leave them wondering how I managed to break free of something they were for certain would “hold me back or down”.

I’m no Leo (Libra’s RULE), but folks gotta understand, you can’t cage a lion and expect it to remain captive, when it’s used to being “wild and free”. Besides, I’m extremely claustrophobic and don’t do well in closed spaces, so there’s no way I’m going to be confined to someone else’s ideas of me, and what I should be (or doing). #haveseveralseats #anentirestadiumfull

Sometimes I have to laugh to keep from crying (for them), because there’s nothing more sad, pitiful and pathetic, for someone to try and extinguish your “fire”, because they can’t seem to keep their flame burning. I’ve had many naysayers in my life and people who didn’t believe in me, because they thought that I wasn’t capable.

Rather than retaliate, I just used the negative energy they projected towards me as ammunition to do everything they said I couldn’t! As a Pastor once said, “Although the battle is raging, the war is already won”. Even though the fight has yet to end, I am a victor, because I keep fighting for what “they” told me I couldn’t have……and that’s the right to be who I am, without people trying to conform me into who they want me to be.

A lot of people are hurting! They can’t take their foot off the break and excel, because they’ve allowed someone to “stop” them from doing what they want to do. I consider myself a bit of a show off at times, so I fully encourage (and welcome) people to try and put a stop sign in front of me, because I RUN right through that sh…..EVERY time! #sorrynotsorry

Listen, give your critics the BEST seat in the house, and let them watch your success! I guarantee you, they’ll leave wondering how you managed to escape, when they failed to do all they could to trap you!

Until next time my Note takers!

Writefully yours,

Deetra La’Rue

What are you waiting for?

As one year ends and another begins, I look forward to new beginnings and more blessings, but dread hearing from the people who are “waiting for January 01”, to do x, y and z. I’ve never understood why people need the start of a new year to make a change, eliminate people/things or set and accomplish goals, when there is no time like NOW!

I’m not sure if they think that something magical is supposed to miraculously happen in the new year, that can’t take place in the year that their in or not, but I just wish people wouldn’t prolong their goals, dreams and lives even, because they are waiting to enter into a new year, that they might not be fortunate enough to “make it in”.

That’s not to say they won’t live to see the new year, but as the saying goes, “Why put off tomorrow the things you can do today”? As I’ve mentioned before, I’m the type of person who knows exactly what I want, and will stop at nothing until I get it. Besides, my impatience is not going to allow me to wait until the new year or the right moment to start pursuing the things I want.

I don’t believe in sitting on opportunities, because I feel as though I may get another chance at them later. Then too, the way my “luck” used to be set up, later may never come, so I have to act now! You’ll never do what you want to do, be who you want to be or accomplish what you set out to do, because you keep waiting on the right time…..when the only thing you’re doing is wasting it!

If you want to live your best life…….DO IT NOW!

If you want to pursue the career of your dreams…….DO IT NOW!

If you want to reach for the stars……….DO IT NOW!

Quit waiting on tomorrow, when there’s nothing on your calendar TODAY!

Until next time my Note takers!

Writefully yours,

Deetra La’Rue

Can’t hardly wait

Sometimes I can’t stand the fact that I’m so “impulsive”, as one of my students so kindly (insert sarcasm) put it. “Mrs. B., sometimes I feel like you don’t have any patience with us, because you seem to be in a hurry a lot”, was the words my student boldly said to me. For once, I didn’t argue, because I know how I can be in a bit of a “rush” at times.

I’m not sure why though, because it’s not like I’m racing with someone, in hopes of beating them across the finish line. I’m the type of person who knows exactly what I want and will stop at nothing to get it, but it’s the waiting to get it that makes me antsy. If I don’t get what I want when I want it, then I start to take matters into my own hands, and try to speed up the process.

However, it’s sometimes what we go through in the “process” that prepares us for what we’re waiting for. I have a lot of goals, dreams and aspirations that I have yet to fulfill, and I find myself sitting wondering why they haven’t been attained. It’s not that I’m lazy or don’t put in the work to get what I want, but maybe God doesn’t think I’m ready to be where I want to be……just yet!

Hence, enduring the process to get to the outcome, which sometimes means waiting. It sucks, but at the same time, I know it’ll be worth it in the end. I’ve learned a big lesson out of this all, and it’s when I can’t hardly wait for something and try to rush my way through, I often end up not getting the outcome I desperately wanted. It pays to just keep still and be patient!

Until next time my Note takers!

Writefully yours,

Deetra La’Rue

When you’re interested and he’s NOT….available

“Hey, do me a favor. Ask the guy in the “Communications Department” (not his true office…I don’t know if he reads here or not) if he has a girlfriend”, were the words I stated to my friend, Jeri. “Why can’t you do it, she said”? “Because, I don’t want him to know it’s me”! “Okay Dee, but I just hope he doesn’t think it’s me either”! I laughed as I hung up the phone, because I thought it to be so silly to have someone ask someone that I like, if they have a girlfriend, when I could’ve just done it myself!

I am probably one of the most boldest, confident and in-your-face people you’ll ever meet. I have no qualms approaching or asking a man for his number (sorry my old-fashioners), because the worst he can do is not give it to me. Either way, I’m not losing! However, I just could not bring myself to ask the guy in the Comm. Dept. for his number, let alone if he has a girlfriend. I kept running the scenarios in my head of what he would say to my question, or to me, once he found out it was I who was admiring him.

Whenever I would see or talk to him, my face would like up as bright as Times Square, I’m for certain my eyes “twinkled” and I felt like I was in 7th grade again, because I was crushing BAD! Not wanting him “see me sweat”, I tried to straighten up when I was around him, but I felt myself bending outta shape every time. I’m not sure if it’s because he is an AWESOME listener, extremely attentive, kind, shy (total turn-on) charismatic or plain ole good-looking, but I do know, it’s just “something” about him!

He and I continued to friendly converse with one another, and I no longer entertained the idea of the “unknown” that was plaguing me. Lo and behold, after my friend was done digging in the dirt for me, she delicately placed the shovel in my lap and said, “He’s in a relationship”. Well, d*mn! That sucked! Come to find out, that “unknown” that I was feeling, was that “this” (meaning him) was just too good to be true. Clearly not happy, I still accepted the response and remained respectful of his relationship.

By now, he knows it’s me and as suspected, whenever I’m in his company or pass him in the halls, I feel so awkward. I don’t know if it’s due to the fact that he knows it’s me, or because I like someone who’s in a relationship. Whichever the case, I’d NEVER cross the line or put someone in a position where they could not (or won’t, I should say) tell me NO! Yes, I understand that people cross the line all the time at their choosing, but I wouldn’t present them with the option to do so with me. Make sense?

Having said that, you have probably found yourself (or know of someone) in a similar situation. You feel so strongly about this person and they about you, so quite naturally you want to make the connection. Don’t! It’s not worth it, and although there are some people lying and waiting to “risk it all”, don’t let them do it at your expense. Just think, would you want your significant other to treat you in such a way? My sentiments exactly!

He and I had the opportunity to converse about the situation, and although it didn’t pan out the way I wanted it to, I’m very fortunate that he has been completely upfront and honest with me, respectful of his relationship and still wants to keep our work relationship and open line of communication with one another in tact. Honestly, I’m not mad at the situation, and I even joked and told my friend Jeri to give me 72 hours and I’ll have him out of my system!

It’s okay to like people, just as long as you like them from behind “the line”!

Until next time my Note takers!

Writefully yours,

Deetra La’Rue

Are you really “living your best life”?

Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you’ve imagined. ~Thoreau

I get so tired of the overused expression, “I’m living my best life”, when what I see is anything but “best”. People have a tendency of putting on a façade, to give others the impression that they are having the time of their lives, when they wish they lived the life they pretend to lead.

Monthly trips, new “fits” (clothes) and a different MCM or WCW (Man Crush Monday or Woman Crush Wednesday), and none of it can still make you happy or probably ever will, because you’re too busy living your life for others or to appease them, to say the least.

But, what for? What do you owe them, and why do you to pay them back with your “happiness”? You shouldn’t compromise who you are or your joy, just so someone can click “like”, “share” or label you as “goals”. The sad thing is, they’re striving to be like you, when even you don’ t know who the hell you are. How can you, when you’ve put on a façade for so long?

Are you really “living your best life”? “The life you’ve imagined”? Or, the one others imagined you to have? You’re still trying to please people and keep your “image” going, when you’re falling apart at the d*mn seams. You can’t even stitch yourself together, because you’ve got to upload the next “lie” (insert emoji eye roll). #byefelicia

When you finally decide to establish the life you want for yourself and go after your dreams, only then will you be “living your best life”. However, you’ve got to be prepared that your “real life” will probably be ridiculed, go “unliked” and may even be deemed boring, but who cares? It’s yours! Don’t waste another minute trying to be someone else’s “goals” when you haven’t even accomplished yours!

Don’t misconstrue your truth to keep up with the demands of your lie! Be who you are, do what you want to do, and only then, will you be “living your best life”!

Until next time my Note takers!

Writefully yours,

Deetra La’Rue