Balancing the Roles We Play In Life

Welcome to the thunder-dome! Oh, wait…it’s just Life. You can enter here:

There are some requirements to accomplish before you can leave, that is to love as much as you can, create as much as you can, grow as much as you can, and experience as much as you can, if you can fulfill all four areas, then you have lived a full and grand life.

What are your thoughts on that?

For me, I get incredibly overwhelmed, but also incredibly excited at the thought of having to play multiple roles in my life. I am a daughter, sister, niece, cousin, blogger, digital marketer, student, philosopher, and most importantly a child of God. Those are the roles I play now, not including the roles that I’ll hopefully play in the future: wife, mother, godmother, aunt, grandmother, activist, innovator, and entrepreneur.

With all these roles to play, isn’t it easy to lose sight of ourselves? I mean, I am 23 here (I’m not the beacon of all wisdom!). So, I’m asking you, the intelligent and thoughtful readers, how do you handle the roles you must play in life? Do you have a lot? Do you only have a couple? How do you balance it all?

While, this may sound strange that I’m asking you these questions, it all started yesterday, when I hung out my with my cousin. We asked each other the usual, you know, “How are you doing? How’s your job search? How’s school?” and then we got to this question,” How’s your love life?”

I couldn’t answer.

I literally couldn’t answer whether I liked it or disliked it. I had no answer, because I just haven’t been thinking about it. At ALL! That moment made me realise that my life has been very narrow focused as of lately. I wake up and think about my career. I go to bed and think about my career, and so the cycle continues.

I don’t know whether this is a good thing, or if I’m missing out on something. But, when I really sit with myself and go deep into the my heart’s center, I feel as if there is more. More to what I am just experiencing right now.

Life, in my opinion, is a delicate dance of balancing. I feel most off-kiltered when I’m missing out on certain aspects of myself, because I’ve only been focusing on one. I think it’s an act of having faith and learning to trust that what is for me will find me, I just have to be prepared for it. I don’t have to search under every rock, run around madly, and demand the heavens for my due share. It’s here. I just have to accept it.

There so much to be offered in this lifetime and we do a great disservice to ourselves when we focus squarely on one aspect, all the while, ignoring the other aspects. We don’t have to put in so much effort to the roles that we play in life, since they are already ours. For the mother’s out there, you are a great mother, stop beating yourself up for every “mistake. The career women out there, you are talented and have gifts and strengths that other people don’t have, capitalize on those strengths, and stop trying so hard to please other people. For my fellow young 20-somethings who have no clue what is next, trust, trust that everything is going to work out as it should and that these moments of “What the heck!?” are going to happen A LOT! (I should know all my 30+ friends warned me.) Remember, none of us are going to make it out alive, so we might as well enjoy the journey.

I think I need to just be blunt: I have literally fallen head-over-heels with my career path, and that is why I think I got stumped by the love life question.

Like the Lady Gaga quote goes:

lady gaga, inspiration quotes


While I am deeply in love with my dreams and I will NEVER drop them for anyone, I have realised that I need to pause and live out my other roles as well. I want to live a full and grand life chock full of experiences, that includes love and spiritual paths too. When I sit with my future grand-children and tell them about my life, I want them to be inspired to live a multi-faceted and bright life of their own. Balance is the key.

Best of Love!


Post Secret Live at Southern Connecticut State University

I walk into the auditorium with a freshly torn ticket stub in my hand, my roommate, Kaitlyn walking to the left of me, and two ushers in front of us holding a stack of blank pieces of paper. At first I thought we were going to be handed a program, but instead we were given a blank postcard, and not just any blank postcard…one that was asking for our secrets!  Little did I know how integral this card was to the Post Secret world and to Suicide Prevention.

This past friday I had the wonderful opportunity to hear Frank Warren, the creator behind Postsecret.com speak in front of an audience at Southern Connecticut State University. I’ll admit before this event what little I knew about Post Secret was the All American Rejects video and the couple of postsecrets that my roommate, Kaitlyn would show me at random. I had no idea how much of an impact it was really making on so many people’s lives. This site has been an outlet and a safe haven for those who are experiencing extreme lows and even joyous highs. The human spirit has been interwoven into the secrets of the Post Secret Archive. Frank rightfully describes this human spirit by saying, “Our secrets are bridges that connect us to others, our humanity.”

The lecture truly brought me through those highs and lows of the human spirit. There were moments that brought me to tears and moments that made me laugh and smile. The lecture featured Frank Warren affectionately talking about his memories in Washington, his favorite post secrets, and his message of hope to the world. You have to respect a man who can stand in the heart of the most dangerous streets of Washington, handing out blank post cards and asking for people’s secrets (kind of like the ones we received when we walked into the auditorium…starting to see a pattern here!). This man has been dubbed the world’s most trusted stranger in America and he who knows the most secrets. Over 7 million people visit the site, and post secret has raised over 1 million dollars for HopeLine (suicide hotline).

I could never re-create the Post Secret experience in this one blog post but I can talk about some moments within the lecture that truly touched me just so you can get a taste of the evening I experienced this past friday.

These are the top three moments within the lecture that touched me on a soul level.

  1. When he talked about the last voicemail and showcased a montage of last voicemail calls
  2. The young man who discovered that he had a terminal illness and could never see the world how he originally planned
  3. The end of the lecture where brave individuals from the audience got up and shared their secrets.

Those moments brought me to tears, literally bawling my eyes out, but it didn’t touch me on the soul level because it made me cry, it touched me, because it also gave me hope. Hope for humanity, Hope for future generations, and even Hope for myself.

  1. The voicemail was brought up when Frank shares this story of this young woman who still has the last voicemail of her departed Grandmother. In the voicemail it was her grandmother singing happy birthday to her. Have you ever saved a voicemail, video, or picture of a loved one  just on the off-chance that something will happen to that relative? That at least you have something tangible of that person to remind you or their presence even when its hard to feel it? The voicemail, surprisingly, is a secret of many. Many of us have something “tangible/audible” of a loved one who passed away to remind us (even just a sliver) of their essence and being.
  2. Frank also told us a story about a young man using the Post Secret app. This young man posted a post about how he was just diagnosed with a terminal illness and he was looking out his window realizing that he will never get the opportunity to see the world how he originally planned. His life would be cut short, before he could even see the world. So in response to his post the community of Post Secret started posting images from their neighborhoods and cities from around the world, so even if this young man couldn’t physically see the world he could virtually see the world through the kindness of strangeness. I can’t even imagine the wave of emotion that could flood someone who just discovered that time was pushing against them. How can you come to terms with the fact that you are going to die much sooner than you planned? That’s life altering. I can only assume that the kindness of those strangers brought comfort in some way,shape, or form.
  3. God be with all the brave souls who shared their secrets with the group. I will not share them on this post out of respect for their courage, but I can say that the secrets of few are the secrets of many. There is a quote out there that says you should treat everyone you encounter with kindness, because you never know what battles they are fighting on a daily basis. Frank made a wonderful analogy during the presentation when describing his childhood abuse and his dark moments of mental health issues poetically saying, ” The children most broken by the world become the adults who change it.”There are a lot of broken children out there but I also believe that a floodgate of changes are on the horizon.

Franks favorite secret is “We are all part of something bigger, but we are all part of it together.”



Package I received this evening!
So while I’m reading, “Women Will Save The World” by Caroline Shearer for my internship, (Excellent book by the way I feel as if I’m on a spiritual journey learning about majestic women through the ages!) I get a little facebook message from my friend asking if I picked up the package from the front desk.I wasn’t expecting any package today. Especially, not past midnight.So I go down to the front desk and go up to the night shift guy and ask him if I received a package…and I did.
I start to open it as I’m walking back to my apartment and lo-and-behold its a cd series on how to manifest financial abundance in your life! There’s a little pamphlet inside that reads: “You are either a) attracting wealth, or b) pushing wealth away THERE IS NO OPTION C.”

Besides, being kind of startled by the intense use of CAPS LOCKS, I was more startled and literally had chills running up my spine by the coincidence and serendipity of the moment. Before, I opened that package, a couple of hours prior I had a conversation with my friend, Brittany about financial abundance and prosperity.  Crazy, huh?So I’m sitting down for a moment looking at the CD series and reading the back cover of the case, when it really hits me: This was not a coincidence. Let me start from the beginning of this week, just to explain my deductions. So on Monday, I pull my car up to the front of the building and start unloading some freshly cleaned clothes into one of my building’s carriages to bring up to my apartment. I had just did my laundry (I’ll be blunt, if my laundry bag was a child, DCF would have been involved). So after loading A LOT of clean clothes I walk past my good maintenance worker friend a.k.a Floppy Haired Dude and my friend, Bob who works front desk during the day. We start joking and Floppy Haired dude asks me if I have any Goldfish crackers (He’s the guy who I usually give a bowl of Goldfish crackers to whenever he fixes stuff in our apartment, check out this blog post for more details.) I tell him no that I didn’t have any at the current moment.

So I go outside to close my trunk, and when I walk back into the building Floppy Haired dude is holding something behind his back, he walks up to me and hands me two small bags of Goldfish crackers! He told me that because I am always giving him goldfish, he wanted to give some back. I almost cried right then and there. I wasn’t sure how to respond, but I felt completely humbled to have been a recipient of such a thoughtful gift. So I thank him profusely and out of shear joy, I end up finishing both snack bags in one sitting. Goldfish +Self-control=GONE!

So that was the beginning of this week, let me explain today. So today I dropped off my brother at home in New Haven and hung out with my best friend, Brittany. We were window shopping at TJ Maxx and I spot this really cute pair of nude and gold heels for my friend. She tries them on, loves them, and then I try on these really cute nude BCBG heels. They fit JUST right! We both are laughing in the heels walking around in TJ Maxx in the shoe department when she asks me if I’m going to buy the heels I was wearing. I take them off and look at them and tell her that I’m going to hold off on them. She looks at me grabs them and says,” Well I’m buying them for you for your birthday, it’s an early birthday present (mind you my birthday isn’t for another two months!).” She then goes to say that they would go great with the business skirt she was going to give me.

She said she was looking through her closet the other day and noticed some items that still had their tag on them, that she had never wore and were a size or two too big for her now. Brittany and I used to be the same size until she dropped down to a size 3–I am no size 3!

What’s crazy about all this, is that the day before I was looking through my closet wishing I had more business appropriate clothes and shoes. Now I know some would say, well she’s your friend, and friends give each other stuff. Which is true we do give each other stuff. In fact,  Brittany is one of the most altruistic and giving people I know, but what I am trying to say is that the very exact thing I desired yesterday (in detail) came true. I’ve been looking for business appropriate nude pointed heels for quite some time.


How to Inspire others and Get Noticed with–YOUR Online Dating Profile!

So I was online trying to find a way to make some cash while I’m in-between jobs, and I found this site called Fiverr. Pretty much you offer a service that you would do for 5 dollars. Simple enough, right?

So being someone who always finds even the small stuff as an opportunity, I decided to create my very own “gig” on Fiverr. In my gig, I wrote that I would enhance someone’s Internet dating profile for 5 dollars. Check it out: http://fiverr.com/users/riveraa2607/manage_gigs

I remember when I first started online dating as a freshman in college, I used to edit random people’s profiles or give unsolicited advice on how they could improve their site to get “the ladies” or “the fellas.” It was a lot of fun being that bossy! I truly enjoy editing something that is okay, and turning it into something magnificent. It’s kind of a strange vice of mine!

Anyways, I really am hoping I can get some offers with this. Just another thing I can add to my résumé: matchmaker and online dating consultant!

In the meantime, I thought it would be poignant to help those who really need it, and are lacking the 5 dollars with a few free tips. Finding love is possible for anyone. It doesn’t matter what shape, race, gender, or creed you are, there is always someone out there that vibes with what you are showing off. The one bit of advice I will give in speeding up the process, is to show off your best self.

  1. Speak in the Positive, Not the Negative: Have you ever noticed that A LOT of on-line dating profiles ask for what they don’t want, rather than what they do want? There is always someone mentioning that they don’t want cheaters, liars, or people who play games. You know what you are asking for? Cheaters, liars, and people who play games. Those who will treat you properly will think that you are still harboring some ill-will and negativity towards your past (another bit of advice, NOBODY finds negative people attractive), and those who will be glad to disrespect you will think you are an easy fool! If they can be fooled once, they can be fooled again. So instead of saying, “I don’t want a guy/girl who plays games,” why don’t you turn it into a postive and say, “I would love the opportunity to meet someone who values monogamy and treats others with kindness.” More Examples:“I can’t stand liars.” > “Honesty, is something that I find very attractive in a partner.”“No broke dudes/chicks.”>“I take great care of my finances, and I am looking for someone who shares that quality.” 
  2. Stop it with the Mirror and Myspace pictures already!: This is not the early 2000s, this is 2013! I think as a community we need to all agree to let go of the mirror pics with “fake abs” and the cell-phone shots with the “duck faces.” It is a great disservice to our nation and it ages us. It makes you look like a pre-teen instead of an adult! So unless, you are looking for a fellow “duck face” or a fellow “fake abber”, get up the courage to get a nice photo of yourself. Take a picture outside. Do you see green grass outside? Go to it right now, and ask your best friend, neighbor, or even a complete stranger to take a picture of you. The best times to take an outside picture would be around sunrise or sunset, you get natural soft lighting, which will make you look super gorgeous by the way. Think soft romantic lighting, and the romance in your life will really amp up. Don’t forget to smile!  More examples:Take a picture of yourself doing a hobby that you love.Do you have some great candid photos of you from your best friends wedding? Post them!At least post one photo of you where you are being either goofy or silly. It shows that you are approachable and down-to-earth.
  3. Turn Your Facts into a Story, Don’t let Your Facts be the Story: “I’m 5ft, I have brown hair, brown eyes. I’m working on school. I’m funny, nice, and I enjoy going to the movies .” Well, that’s nice, you and everyone else. It’s hard to think of how to describe yourself in an authentic way when you are on a dating site. The words you choose can highlight your awesome personality, or can make you seem like a boring dud. There’s this tool, however, that I learned in a creative writing course in high school: show don’t tell. Anyone can say they are funny. However, not just anyone can prove it. This is how you decipher between those who are really funny and ingeneous and those who just think they are. So instead of saying, “I’m funny” you could say, “On a typical friday night, I am faking a british accent at a party with my friends, or finding nemo, or defying gravity.” Everyone’s sense of humor is different. Saying your funny is too general of a term. So show off what YOU think is funny, and let those who vibe with it message you. Show off your creativity and vernacular!

So I would add more tips, BUT I really need $5 dollars for gas (have you seen the price of gas, lately?) so if you would like me to help you find true love and to highlight your best self on your online dating site then feel free to buy my service!