Falling Off The Path

Falling Off The Path

 

At the end of last week, I had sort of a melt down. By Friday, I felt I had accomplished very little and what I had accomplished, I still didn’t feel somehow that it was enough.

I pre-plan, typically every Sunday before the week starts.

Some how last week things were just off.

I like my house to be a certain way so I typically clean up everyday in some form or fashion. Although I have a horrible habit of washing clothes and then throwing them in a pile in my bedroom until they can be folded (Ladies, if you have any suggestions on how to tackle this problem, let me know).

I could easily blame my disorganization and lack of ability to stay on track, on my 4-year old son and my dog. But, I won’t even go there because I am a great multi-tasker!

I can typically have a load of clothes washing or drying, be cooking breakfast, planning for dinner and answering emails or messages at the same time. However, last week I just felt tired mentally.

I mean I only worked on Novel #2, twice last week. (Once, really because the second time I just opened it and looked at the screen for 5 minutes and determined that I wasn’t going to write anything today anyway).

Later, Friday morning after a good 5 attempts to just get something done work wise, I message my husband in frustration and told him that I was feeling overwhelmed and tired.

Because he is the good man that he is, he offered to take care of everything for me this weekend so I could regroup. That evening I ended up with a headache so bad, I went to bed around 7:30 p.m. that night and didn’t get up until nearly 8 a.m. Saturday morning (talk about I wasn’t listening to my body).

I think I was just really mentally exhausted!

I think sometimes, we as women try to do any and everything and in the end, we end up exhausted.

It’s Sunday again, and now that I’ve had a few child-free hours to regroup, I feel ready to conquer whatever life throws me this week.

Have you ever just needed a break?

Let me know down in the comments!

Until next time…

Nicole Alicia sig

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What’s Your Story?

What's Your Story_

Everyone has a story.

Some people have many.

Some, not so many depending on how long they have been on this earth and the things they’ve experienced. By now you know I love writing (obviously), but I also enjoy history.

I love listening to other people (who have something interesting to share) and history in general.

No one person’s story is the same as another’s.

As I begin to really dig deep into doing research for my second novel, I am beginning to ask family members and other elders about their stories and lives.

I love reading about history, but it’s something to hear how it really was…not the text book version, and listen to it from a person first hand.

A lot of heritage and stories of our families history is often either left out or untold. A lot of truths are dying and being sent to the grave with those who pass who really have so much to tell.

Usually the fun part about it is, older people have many many stories to tell. If you ask. (Sometimes…)

If you’re around someone 70,80 plus just ask them “what was life like when you were my age..” Most the time they are more than willing to share.

If you have the time that is…you may just learn a few things.

Until next time…

Nicole Alicia sig

Graduation Season: Decisions

Graduation Season_ Decisions

This comes around every year…

Well twice a year, if you graduate in December from College (like I did).

I have a little cousin who is about to graduate from College in May,  we’ve had several different discussions on post grad life. I thought I’d share with you what I shared with her about my experience and some things I wished I had done differently.

So here I am, a post grad 12 years out of the academic game with my undergraduate degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in Marketing.

When I graduated from College and while I was in College, I had a through or what I thought was a very solid plan. Marketing was interesting yes and so was Business (I originally started out in IT/Programming, but that’s another story in it’s self) had my mind set that I was going to graduate and BOOM get a job.

Well, it didn’t quite happen that way….

I had worked for a small credit union as a paid intern most of my College life on breaks and worked in the administrative office of the school district downtown in St. Joseph, MO in the city I attended College. I also worked on campus in various offices so I thought I had some pretty good administrative experience and tie that with the degree, I thought I was guaranteed employment.

Let me tell you I had been searching for a job since the September before I graduated December 16th, 2006 and didn’t end up finding a job until late January 2007.

Let me tell you the struggle was very, very REAL!

Moral of this story is not really about work. Well it is, but it isn’t.

It’s about going for you dream(s)! And I say dreams, because I feel like it’s okay to have more than one!

I know we here this a lot of time in graduation speeches, but IT IS REAL.

I was groomed that going to College and getting a degree, in a high paying field was what you did.

I didn’t really discover what I truly loved to do, until I was a Junior in College and it was a bit late to change majors because I would have added a year of schooling to my plan, which sadly at the time I didn’t have the patience nor the money to do.

I’m not preaching to go ALL in…

Please don’t do that, unless you have a backup plan to your backup plan, by any means! Or unless you have a good safety net (i.e. parents with deep pockets or you’re a trust fund baby).

You here these success stories about people who just decide to drop all that they are doing and jump off the cliff….not wise to do, but if you think you can by all means!

Graduation is often a step into the “Real World”….

Maybe you’ve been taking care of yourself since you graduated High School, I’m not sure what you’re circumstances are. But, if you don’t already have a job and you’re about to graduate this is a good time to really, really go for what you love.

Often in conversation with about to be grads or fresh grads I hear a common tone….”I am going to apply here and get a job and life is going to be GREAT!” (to which I snicker and try to hold my laughter in)

Money is great…I’m actually a big fan of it, it allows me to do a lot of different things. However, if you’re not happy at that corporate 9-5, the first few years will be tolerable and then you’ll become miserable.

Who likes to be miserable?

Hopefully, you’ve done some serious soul searching prior to your graduation date. Really I hope you started before you went into the degree program you chose, but it’s not too late if you haven’t. It’s hard, believe me I’ve been there.

Decisions, Decisions I know.

Just like I told my cousin…take from someone who had to learn the hard way!

Until next time….

Nicole Alicia sig

 

3 Tips To Survive Networking Events For Writers

3 Tips To Survive Networking Events For Writers

If you’re a writer like me, you’re most likely and introvert.

I know all of us aren’t, but for the most part we are.

We were kids who liked playing make believe, writing stories about non-existent worlds or characters who only existed in our minds. Then we became adults and that same thing carried over. Now were fiction writers, writing about complex characters who sometimes exist in made up worlds.

Cool, right?!

Most of us writers would rather sit at home with a glass of wine, and our laptop than go explain to a group of people what it is that we do and what that book we wrote is about.

Coming up this month, I have two different opportunities to  attend networking events. I am not only a writer/author, I am also an entrepreneur. In addition to being an author, I also sell handmade goods and vintage items on Etsy.

However, I usually avoid networking events like the plague.

I mean it’s not that I don’t like people…it’s just I really hate being put on the spot!

I get all twitchy, figit-y and uncomfortable in large social scenes as it is. I am getting better at it, but to have to speak or be put on the spot I get sweaty and sometime my mind goes blank honestly.

My husband is the total opposite…he is a social kind of guy. So I went to him and told him about my slight social anxiety problem and he gave me the following tips that I thought I’d share with you all…

Don’t think about it so much- My husband tells me that I often overthink stuff. But he gets my personality. I’m just naturally shy. But getting out amongst actual people is a great way to meet others that do the same thing you do. If you don’t think about it so much and mull over it and (try to find silly excuses like I did) you’ll just “Do It” like Nike.

Put on your heels or flats and give it a go- dress up, make it fun! Be yourself! If some ask a difficult or annoying question try to be personable and just answer to the best of your ability, then laugh about it later. You can never beat yourself up for being YOU! 

Try and relax…enjoy some good ‘ol real human interaction – It’s difficult for some of us. Online is easy! But there’s nothing like seeing a persons actual reaction on their face when you tell them what you do.

Do you like networking? Social settings?  How do you handle it? Comment!

Until next time…

Nicole Alicia sig

 

 

 

I Gave Up On Love…More Than Once

I Gave Up On Love...More Than Once

 

In life we have choices…

I mean isn’t that somewhat the point of it all?

Some choices we make are good…others bad.

Sometimes, we end up regretting a choice do we?

Some of us ladies, have decided before to stay in a crappy relationship when you knew it wasn’t going anywhere. On the other hand we may have passed up a really good guy for this crappy relationship.

Sound familiar?

Love is a choice.

Can I say that I have been in that place I’ve just described before, but I’ve also been in a place that after a really bad relationship I didn’t think that I’d ever find anyone to love or love me.

Now that’s a pretty low place to be in.

giphy-downsized (8)

I’m not going to re-write my heartbreak stories, because I have already given you a taste of that on the posts I wrote “Heartbreak Sucks Pt.1 & Heartbreak Sucks Pt.2” last year…so check those out so you can get a better understanding of where I’m coming from.

I have a friend who hasn’t even really tried to play “The Game”, but has totally given up on love due to a couple of bad relationships. I mean completely given up at the age of 34. She said she was D-O-N-E.

I have had way more heartbreaks than her and even a few when I got married (I know you want more on this, but it’s a post for another day).

I have been in that exact frame of mind so many times before though.

I am not one of those women who believe that love (particularly, love from a significant other) is the answer to it all.

We all know that it isn’t.

But, even after having my heart broken repetitively, something won’t let me quit!

I just somehow am not one of those that has been broken to the point of ever giving up. Now give up on that person or particular relationship…YES…I’m not cray cray. I mean just give up on love…

No that’s not me!

I believe even if you have been broken to that point, there is a way to repair your heart. Yes, I will say though that time is often the answer and NOT another person.

But, I personally don’t believe in ever giving up on finding true love.

I once gave up…

But, it was when I was least thinking about finding someone, when I was least wanting some companionship that I found someone (well, actually he found me…read Married at 24 series for that story.)

Point being, I CHOSE…although very reluctantly to let go of all those insecurities, other crappy relationships, stigmas other guys had put on me about my weight and personality…

It’s scary to put yourself in a place of vulnerability, to place your heart as well is scary…believe me it is…

Does it take time if you’re not there right now…yes but honey

It’s possible.

Love, is possible.

 

Until next time…

Nicole Alicia sig

Writer-Momprenuer Struggles

Writer-Momprenuer Struggles

Being a momprenuer is a fun-struggle!

I know most of you are saying “fun-struggle”? What are you talking about Nicole Alicia?

giphy-downsized

Let me paint a picture for you…

I didn’t just step into being a writer, I have been writing stories since I was in elementary school. I have loved reading and just prose in general ever since I can remember. I started blogging way back in 2007 over at nicolealiciaonline.com and started freelancing in 2012 I think it was.

So, when I was laid off from my corporate job back in October of 2015, I had already decided months prior to that, that I was really going to kick up my writing career and start freelancing part-time on the side.

I had been working on my debut novel, “Drama University” for about 8 years already. Because, I had started and stopped writing due to life circumstances (miscarriages, deaths, depression) and just plain personal doubt, I had dropped writing and picked it up more times than I care to count within those 8 years!

With this layoff though, instead of looking for other employment immediately. My husband and I sat down and talked. He knew my passion wasn’t really working outside the home anymore.

We came to a mutual agreement that instead of paying almost $300 in childcare a week, me being stressed out and tired all the time, that I could just become a work-at-home mommy. My son was about 18 months at the time and I was very apprehensive at first. I mean I hadn’t been at home with him all day consistently, since he was nearly 3 months old!

My son is almost 4 now and will soon be in Kindergarten (I can’t believe it! Wasn’t he just born?)

At first I took a week to get together my game plan and what our schedule was going to be. Can I tell you this was a major adjustment for me! I was used to just getting up in the morning getting ready, rushing to drop him off at daycare, rushing to grab breakfast and rushing to work.

The first week was rough!

I was trying to figure out what to do business wise and then what to do as a mom. It was a mess!

giphy-downsized (1)

My game plan I had put together, somewhat went out the window at first. It has since improved, but is ever changing!

Some nights mommy doesn’t get to bed on time and I wake up late which throws our entire day off. (I hate when this happens!!!)

Some days, my son has a rough day and has several minor breakdowns (lots of crying and whining) because he wants to do something I don’t want him to do or simply because I can’t understand what he’s trying to tell me.

Some days our day flows good. My house is in order, I get up get some work done before my son wakes up and then we go into our daily routine (Potty, wash our face, brush our teeth, eat breakfast, play, do our daily lesson and then watch TV)

My main objective had always been to find balance between working from home and being here with my son.

Someday there is balance and someday there isn’t!

Some say, “Oh my goodness Nicole you do a lot!” I say sometimes, I’m not doing enough…but that’s the perfectionist in me.

Being a mom, running businesses, being a wife…it can be a total struggle sometimes. Often it is, but is the struggle worth it…MOST DEF!

The “fun” part of the struggle is seeing that smiling baby’s face everyday, getting to figure out what works best for YOU and getting to pursue my passions!

Every day ain’t gonna be perfect…don’t tell me that though ’cause I still try!

Until next time…

 

Nicole Alicia sig

 

 

I chose this life, it didn’t choose me! All Struggles lead to better, right? RIGHT!

What 2017 Taught Me

Blog post #46

Were nearly done with the this year.

2017 came and went so quickly. But they say time flies when you’re having fun!

This year was one of the best years I have had probably since my son was born in 2014. Last year was one of the worst years ever.

I was so lost.

I had so much difficulty getting pregnant and carrying my son whose 3 years old. It was just one mountain after another. But, in 2016 my husband and I suffered our 4th & 5th loss when we lost twin baby boy’s. I suffered a serious bout of depression and was advised that any other pregnancy was out of the question. On top of that, I was diagnosed with stage 4 Kidney Disease.  Talk about thinking my life was over!

So, 2017 was a breath of fresh air for me!

With a lot of prayer last year, I was able to discover my purpose. I got back to writing, blogging and was able to publish my very first novel. Considering, I had been working on this same body of work for nearly 10 years, it felt good to finally complete it and be able to share it.

Here’s What 2017 Taught Me:

When you plan and set goals things can go a lot better. At the end of 2016, I sat down and said to myself, “What do I want to get done in 2017” then I made a web of what I wanted to accomplish in 2017. It worked! I did end up accomplishing about 80% of what’s on this sheet. I taped it to my office wall and looked at almost everyday. This also helped me to hone in on two things instead of 10 others I had wanted to do (I’m a creative individual and a bit squirrel brain. I want to do it ALL!)

web2017

If you can get out your own way, you’ll  be amazed at what can happen. I started really doubting myself after blogging and working on “Drama University” for so long. I also had this idea for another Etsy store after my first had failed miserably after being online for 5 year. I kept thinking maybe this isn’t for me. Maybe, I’m not a writer. Maybe I should be doing something else and blah, blah, blah. If I would have went ahead believed all those negative thoughts, I wouldn’t have Dear Alice Co. (my online vintage shop where I sell handmade goods I made as well) or have my first published novel.

Fear can be stifling. I admit that I was scared to self-publish my own novel. I kept thinking, what if no one reads it? What if I start selling vintage items and these notebooks I’ve made and no one buys? Self-doubt and fear are dangerous. Sometimes we just need to see what happens. I let go of all the negative thoughts and pushed to finish what I had passion to do. Guess what? It worked. I have had over 15 book sales and sold over 40 items from Dear Alice Co. my vintage/handmade shop on Etsy. Talk about winning!

Running two businesses is hard, but it can be done. Becoming a self-published author, is a business all in itself. Becoming an entrepreneur with my vintage/handmade business is a definitely a business! There have been some very stressful points this year. It hasn’t been all gravy! I AM the marketing team, the shipping department, the writer, the graphic artist and janitor for right now. Some days, I literally fell asleep when my head hit the pillow at 1 am. When you find your passion and purpose, it’s hard. But it’s do able. I have learned so much about being a #girlboss this year. So for 2018, my goal is to pace myself better.

The world is a mess right now! But God has, is and will be the same no. Racists are in office, young black males are being targeted and killed by police at an alarm rate, and gun violence is at an all time high. I don’t know about you, but I know that we are living in some crazy, crazy times! Man can’t fix it, only God can. The murder rate in Kansas City, Missouri has sky rocketed this year. It’s all so scary to me. But, because I have faith and trust in the Lord, I know that I’ll be alright.

What did you learn this year? Was it a good one or did this year suck? Are you ready for 2018?

Share with me below!

Until next time…

-Nicole Alicia