I recently had a conversation with a friend.
It simply started with the question:
"Do you think you are walking in your purpose?"
After she answered, she turned the question to me and my first response - "I don't know".
I'm happy with my life presently and like anyone, I think there are things that can improve, areas I would like to see change, etc.
But the foundation of my daily life is happiness and contentment.
But does that mean I am walking in my purpose?
Are passion & purpose the same thing?
Am I walking in my purpose and not my passion? Vice versa?
These two words have many similarities yet the underlying principles don't change. You can walk in your purpose no matter the situation you find yourself in. Your passion is that one thing that you love - that you can't stop thinking of, that would give you such joy no matter what!
So I've decided - in my life currently - I am walking in my purpose but I have not yet started the walk into my passion.
It's a two-step process, that in itself has many steps. It took me a while to create a foundation. One sturdy enough to support my walk. One filled with self-love, happiness, confidence, discipline, and joy! now what........
I have a good job, a good side-hustle, family, friends, hobbies, etc. And within everything I do, I fulfill my purpose. I walk proud, I spread love, and try to make others happy. Has the time come to focus on my passion?
I've know since I was a little girl exactly what I was placed on this earth to do. Maybe it's time to see it come to life.....
I recently stepped out of my shell and did something "against the societal norm" - I asked a guy out on a date. It didn't lead to anything but I must say that I felt good for stepping up and putting myself out there. Of course after the moment of pride subsided, and I never heard back from him - the typical over analytical, think too much on every word I said, what could he be thinking, did I come off as a "groupie", OMG - what did I do, what is wrong with me - started to sink in.
Although all those questions were just crazy talk and fear - one thing that came up did stick with me - I asked myself: "What about me, would make him say yes?"
And I thought...and thought some more......and thought some more........
Yes, I am well traveled, cultured, smart, and my daddy calls me beautiful - but is that enough. I asked a man who I have seen turn dreams into reality - who has, successfully I might add, have a concept, create a platform, and execute a plan.
What have I done with my dreams, my goals, my plans?
My moment of pride - which turned into a smaller moment of self-pity, then turned itself into a kick in the pants moment; a take things of the back burner moment and light a fire once again under the dreams that I put on hold.
My dreams are in no way going to come to fruition overnight but I have one and it's about time to start making it a reality once again.
It's funny when you look back and see what got you back on track...for me, it was a weird moment of somewhat rejection. For you - hopefully it's just reading this post!
Whatever it is - Trust The Journey!
My dream - owning my own Hospitality Conglomerate - coming soon!
Your dream - coming soon too!!!!
I'm traveling to far, far away lands next week. I have the passport, the ticket, appropriate travel documents, etc. and I have one burning question as the date approaches -
CARRY-ON or CHECKED BAGGAGE?
The beauty of a carry-on - it's always with you! Your bag is handled with the utmost care and respect, because you handle it. The hassle with a carry-on - it's always with you. One hand is always occupied with a load, not to big, but not small either. The price of a carry-on - FREE!! Depending on travel status/rewards/membership - a checked bag can be up to $50. The space is a carry-on - LIMITED. IT's full of numerous , oddly shaped - 4oz bottles; where socks are stuffed in shoes, that are then wrapped in t-shirts - which are vacuum packed to maximize space.
Not saying your checked bag isn't delicately packed the same but the likelihood is less. There is definitely more room for "EXTRA" in a checked bag - whether it be extra clothes, shoes, room for souvenirs & gifts, etc.
BUT with layovers and days of travel - are the airlines reliable enough to get my bag safely from one country to the other without loss, mishap, or misdirection?
Brooding questions run through my brain and only time will tell. Halfway across the world for 9 days is a long time for a carryover but I'm challenged by the idea. Will I rise? Or will I choose the easier way?
Sometimes life is rough - sometimes it is hard - sometimes it is mean....
but then there are those times where life has so much beauty, so much love, & so much kindness....
Well, Life blessed me on Tuesday to have 2 of those moments in one day!!!
During my lunch the other day, I was running errands and as I was on my way to the bank, a woman approached me asking me for change. I had my wallet in my hand but I had no change ( I save all my change for travel) and no cash. I regretfully told her that I had nothing to give. She genuinely thanked me for trying and wished me a great day. I instantly responded, "Let me buy you lunch."
We walked a few steps to Ray's Pizza and after making sure that they accepted credit cards, I told her to order whatever she liked. Hesitantly she ordered a small fry - and after persuasion from the cashier and myself - she ended up getting a chicken meal with a drink. The cashier, noticing that I was treating someone less fortunate than myself, gave me a discount on the meal and made the woman feel great - telling her to pick any seat in the house and they would serve her. After signing my receipt, I began to walk out and the woman said - "Wait, you can't join me?" My heart was beyond happy at this moment but regretfully I told her that I had to go back to work. At that moment, a police officer who was on line behind us jumped in and said "We can eat with you - we would love the company". I smiled and said thank you and walked out - not before saying goodbye to the woman and thanking the cashier.
I left that Pizzeria - with such a warm feeling - one that no amount of food or money could give....One that satisfied an intangible appetite in life. My faith in humanity was restored that afternoon.....and little did I know, it was about to happen again that evening.
After ending the day with my coworkers at The Milling Room (check this restaurant out - GREAT SPOT), I traveled on the train back to Brooklyn. As usual, I pulled out my headphones, plugged in my music, and opened my book. At the next stop, a young man (about 19/20) got my attention and asked to see my book. "Ummmmm - sure." I said hesitantly. In my mind, I'm thinking - "If he runs off with a book - that would be a great thing, right?!" After intently, reading the back cover and taking a picture of the cover - he gives it back to me and proceeds to ask me questions about it.
The book being reviewed on the Subway: "Just Mercy" by Bryan Stephenson
At first, I thought I was back in school with the common book report questions being asked of me. But I got comfortable and he did too, as he now sat next to me, and for the next few minutes we talked about a book that I THOROUGHLY enjoy and recommend to EVERYONE. Our conversation then turned to life goals and past reads. For the next 30-40 minutes - a stranger & I realized that we had so much in common from cars to books, to education, to life goals, to cultural viewpoints, etc. It ended with me missing my stop, not making the grocery store, giving a young man a book for him to read, learn from, and add to his library collection; and me leaving with a sense of fulfillment. Not only was I able to impart some knowledge into this young mans life but he did the same for me. There are truly genuine people in the world and God had it that I came across 2 - in 1 day.
My prayer that night:
-Thank you Father God for allowing me to be the vessel in which you showed your love to your children.
-Father, if it be your will - let me run across both people again in the future. To see how far we all have come since that Tuesday.
There are so many ways to be a light and blessing to others, sometimes it's money, sometimes it's lunch, sometimes it's time spent, sometimes it is a conversation with a stranger, sometimes it's in a book.
Whatever way it is - ALWAYS be open.
"Let your light shine, so that all the world can see - and praise your father who is in Heaven" Matthew 5:16
Guess whose back......
WOW - it has been WAY too long. I just spent the past hour re-reading all of my blogs from last year and I got the kick in the pants that I need to start writing again.
TIP: You are only ever to busy for the things that you don't make time for. (hope that makes sense - lol)
Well, with that said - Hello World! I have missed you and I have so much to share and write about. But for now, I will keep it short and sweet.
Personally & Professionally - life has been good.
Don't get me wrong - it has definitely not been a crystal stair. Life has a way of just bringing out your everything in the midst of hard times and struggles. And just when you think - that's it, I'm done, something happens and you get a reboot - a fresh perspective, new life, an opportunity, a break!
At the beginning of the year, I planned to quit my job by July - I was tired, upset, and unhappy. But God & life would have it that in late April, I received a great promotion and the happiness in my professional life has been restored.
Most importantly, and personally, I feel that I have grown tremendously. Both my inner & outer confidence have skyrocketed. I am so much more comfortable in who I am. It is truly a liberating experience to be ok with yourself. It took 28 years but I have come to a place where I am truly confident in ME.
Anyway lovies - that is all for now, I promised you quick, short, sweet, and to the point.
You will definitely be hearing from me soon - I have plenty of travel pics to share (Abu Dhabi/Dubai, Miami, Dallas, Poconos), food pics (NYC Restaurant week has begun), cars (I had some amazing vehicles so far) & general life pics (my best friend got married this year!!)
Hugs & Love,
P.S. - follow me on Instagram (datewithdestinee)
It's the most wonderful time of the year!!!!!!
Truly - it is. I absolutely LOVE this time of the year. From Thanksgiving to New Years, I just have this never ending ecstatic joy in my heart! I don't know if it's the food, or the smell of pine trees, or the snow, or family, or my birthday, or the sparkliness of new years, and the warmth of random people because it's the holidays - WHATEVER it is - I JUST LOVE IT!!!!!!
I hope everyone thoroughly enjoyed their Thanksgiving - I know I did. My family played host and that allowed my hospitality alter ego to go wild!!! All my purchases from Home Goods & TJ Maxx, and Pottery Barn for the year - came off of the shelves and onto the tables.
Our theme: "Bountiful". According to Webster's it means: "given or provided abundantly ". This year my mom stated it best, my family realized how much we have been given and in turn, we realized how much we have to give!
Our flowers, table settings, and décor all reflected our theme - you can see the pictures below!
And then my other FAVORITE Thanksgiving tradition - CHRISTMAS TREE SHOPPING! I lived in New Jersey when I was younger and every year, for about 6 years, my parents made sure we had a beautiful, fresh, live Christmas Tree! Then due to some changes, and after we moved, we stopped with the Christmas trees (sadly); and though Christmas was still filled with love and laughter - it was different. So when I was finally in a position to change and help out with Christmas - we reinstated the Christmas Tree shopping! AND I WOULDN'T HAVE IT ANY OTHER WAY!!!! And let me add, I WILL NEVER GO BACK!!! (mom & dad - you are stuck with live Christmas Trees for the rest of my life).
Luckily, my parents have very tall ceilings - so this year we have gone as tall as we possibly can (a little over 10ft) - and I will tell you this, I hug the tree every morning and every night! I love it!
More than ever, during this time of year, I surround myself with family and friends. I try to express to them, more than normal, how much I love them and care for them. My grandmother, thank the Lord, just celebrated 90 years of life. My cousin and I both have birthdays coming up, and life is just all around more beautiful (excuse the bad English) when there is love, laughter, family, and friends!
Enjoy the pictures, feel free to tell me how you are spending your holidays, and most importantly - let your loved ones know how much you love and care. It doesn't have to be in the form of a tangible gift under the tree - but in your actions, your time, and hugs are great too!
Hugs & Love,
Without going into detail, these last couple of weeks have been pretty rough and tumultuous - causing me to step back, reexamine, and go about things a little differently.
There have been two deaths recently in my life, affecting both my personal and professional worlds. Both lives that were taken were taken too young and taken from two people whose lives had such stories to tell. Both deaths were unexpected. Both deaths could have been prevented.
It's a shame that we don't treasure in life the very thing we long for in death.
Over the past few days, after attending two funerals, I took some time to just think. and as cliché as it might sound - I decided to enjoy every moment. Maybe this comes with maturity or maybe it changes as you get older - but I find that the more I dedicate myself to my life, the more I find more in my life that I love!
On my last trip to Atlanta, about a month ago, two of my friends decided to make a list of everything I said that I loved. I have to admit it was a bit long and at first I was bashful but now I treasure that there is so much in life that I have experienced and that I love. Some are crazy - some are
So for the next few weeks, I'll talk about my List - all in hopes that you not only start to create your own, but begin to live your list!!!
1.) I love that I'm single.
-yes this has it's obvious disadvantages - however the obvious advantages far outweigh, at this moment, the few disadvantages.
-I get to go anywhere I want - whenever I want - doing whatever I want. I can pack my bags tonight, hop in a car and drive to the Poconos for the weekend. Or get on a plane and go to Paris.
2.)I love cars
-I know I have mentioned this in previous posts but let me stress how much I love them! I LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVE cars!
-I love the freedom that is associated with it!
-Let's not talk about if my hair is done - WHAT! I love being fly in a good looking car and most importantly I LOVE seeing other women look good in cars. A black women in a black bmw - AWESOMENESS!!! ( a little vain - yes - but we all have that in us somewhere)
3.) I love food!!!
-ummmm, who doesn't - right?! But with me - food is so much more than sustenance - it's joy on a plate! It's not just a meal - it's excitement in your tummy. A good, juicy cheeseburger and a milkshake - a bowl of fresh pasta a la Bolognese and shaved parmesan cheese!!
I know this might sound weird but newsflash - I'm a little different!
Next week - I'll talk about more (hotels, travel, shoes, flowers, magazines) but in the meantime - let me know somethings on your list! What do you just love about your life - or even better what are some things that you want to start enjoying about your life!
Remember, life is meant to be lived - EVERY DAY!!!!
Pics of some things that made my life beautiful over the past few weeks.....
Hello beautiful people!!!
I've been away too long - life has been hectic and busy and jam packed but all in a good way - so no complaints. But it feels GREAT to just sit down, listen to music, and write. Sometimes in my want to do everything and be everywhere (especially before the cold sets in), I forget how much joy there is in just being still.
For the past week, I have had two aunts staying with me until their home renovations are complete. These are two people whose hearts are bigger than their bodies and whose love can be felt from miles away. And though life has been crazy (I just finished a 5 week continuing education course on top of working full time) I realized I couldn't wait to get home and be with them - no matter how long the day was or when I would end up going to bed. Starting each day with hugs and coming home to the same hugs and family dinners - I have realized even more just how much family is a vital part of my life. So I say to those of you who have this on a daily basis - DON'T TAKE THIS FOR GRANTED! Yes, there are PLENTY of times when I want my own place more than anything - but there are some days where I am late to work just because I want to be in my moms arms for just five extra minutes or have my dad be there to say hello to me when I walk in the door.
I was recently rejected for a lottery entry into a new development for an apartment. I had started selecting my furniture and planning my interior design layout and then I got the letter: "...after further review, your income exceeds the maximum allowance for this building." Disappointed - totally! Crushed - not really. Lately, I have discovered to focus on the positive when I go through a setback. So no, I won't be having my own place just yet but in the meantime - everyday I am surrounded morning and night by the people that love me the most - and that's something I'm not ready to give up just yet!
The past month has been an eventful one - full of weekend trips, family outings, weddings, concerts, events, scrumptious food, and beautiful cars. As always - there are pictures for your enjoyment (and mine too - lol).
I have so much coming up that I CAN'T WAIT to share with you all - so stay tuned!
And remember - do one thing every day that helps to discover your destiny and bring you happiness!
My happiness: family, food, cars, and travel
What makes you happy?!
With summer being so short, I find myself trying to pack everything into this short season - trying to travel here, see these people, hop on this plane, take a train here, rent a car and drive there, brunch with this friend, go out dancing with that friend, stay up late nights, and JAM PACK every moment of every weekend!
Though this is great - I AM TIRED!!!! And as I write this on my very first weekend not having any plans, I must say it feels good to just do nothing. So before I go and take a nap (more important than doing laundry), I'll leave you with this:
Enjoy life but don't forget there is so much enjoyment in just being still.
As usual here are some pictures of my latest and greatest food escapades (Brooklyn to Harlem to Washington DC). Disclaimer to rich food pictures: I have recently begun a clean eating diet, only drinking water (infused with cucumber, lime, and mint), meat serving once/day (small portion) and I feel great. The exercise portion of this routine will begin next week - progress to be detailed soon! If you have any suggestions, let me know. I want to lose weight (about 12-15lbs) and just create a habit of incorporating more healthy items into my everyday diet. Though, I will not give up my love of burgers and/or pizza!!!!
There are so many things on my mind these days, and life is busy - I'm taking a continuing education course (I'll let you know about it, once I'm done) - that there is soooooooo much to write about. And I will. But for now - enjoy the rest of the weekend - and remember, take some time to just enjoy yourself!!!!
You will be hearing back from me soon!
Look at the captions for each picture to find out where I ate!
I'm back in the states, wishing I was still writing to you from Italy.
What an experience the past two weeks were. I HIGHLY recommend Italy to everyone. It has become my favorite country by far. I was surprised by how comfortable and "at home" I felt in Rome.
Other than being embarrassed by the fact that majority of the people spoke English & Italian and I knew nothing but hello and how much, this trip has made me want to learn a second language and see how I can escape back there again for about 4-6 months.
I cant even begin to describe the food, the wine, the GELATO!!! I took the advice of a colleague and ate gelato EVERY DAY that I was there. It was all so delectable and fresh and yummy! With my favorite cuisine already being Italian, you can imagine my delight when it was time for dinner everyday. The richness of the olive oil, the homemade pasta, the sauce - THE CHEESE!!!!!!! I was in a deep food coma just about every night! (despite the fact that I caught an awful cold and dairy is the last thing I should have been putting in my system). YOLO!!!!
I say this in hopes that you are inspired to SEE THE WORLD! Traveling is such an enriching experience - opening your eyes to so many new and great things. More than just the sightseeing, I felt like I was walking back into time - seeing the beauty and intelligence of mankind from thousands of years ago. I honestly believe that as far as humanity as come that is also how far we have gone backwards. Every time I travel to Europe, I have this urge to throw away my phone, and thoroughly disconnect from life; to live in the moment and enjoy the people and things around me; to learn a new language and immerse myself in a new yet deep culture. A culture built on faith, family, and food.
One of these days, I might just do that......
Until then, I will travel, take pictures, live in the moment, and create memories! And I hope you do the same!
Enjoy some more pictures from my trip and be sure to comment (sorry if they come out sideways). Let me know your thoughts and opinions. What does traveling mean to you?
Hugs & Love!