Dear ART at 26

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Dear Art at 26,

Whew, Chil-lay! 25 did NOT go as planned in more ways than one. But, you made it here and you DESERVE to be here. You deserve to be happy. You deserve to smile. You deserve to thrive. Why? Because with all that life has thrown you this past year, you’ve still managed to find the silver lining in a lot of crazy experiences. Also, you deserve everything just for simply existing. That’s one new lesson that you’ve definitely learned this past year. Surviving IS doing something. It takes courage to just make it through the day when everything and everyone seems to just not get it. You survived 25 and I’m so proud of you for that because at times it did not seem like the easiest thing to do.

I don’t know if we would call this stage “getting old” or “shit happens”, but a lot of all that has happened, and it was A. Lot! Life will life. Don’t forget that. Also, don’t forget that Art will make Art out of the materials she is given. It wasn’t and won’t always be easy but it’s necessary. It is essential that you don’t forget who you are because of what has happened in your life. It is important to remember that while you will change in the coming years, your core essence still remains the same and always get back to her when you feel like you have lost your way.

So, yeah, as much as we thought we grew from 24 to 25, 25 to 26 kind of took the cake. We’re not in competition or nothing, but 25 showed out with the tests and lessons thrown our way. But, made it from the bottom, now we’re halfway there! Whatever there is… So with all that growing, please, please, please find ways to document, document, document! Because you WILL need reference materials as you continue to go through life. Think of it as your personal life cheat sheet J.

Oh, yeah, that thing you do where you find little pockets of time and space to be selfish, even in the times of storm, continue to do that. You’ll need that. You’ll need those moments of clarity and solace to be able to operate effectively. This year has been a little more bearable because of those moments of selfishness. You can’t take care of everyone else if you’re not taking care of yourself.

That brings of a very great point… Trust. Your. Growth. You’ve come very far. You have to trust who you are now. You’ve worked hard to get here and it’s important not to revert back because you continue to look back. I know it’s easier said than done, but while we appreciate who you once were, it’s time to celebrate who you are now and where you are going. Just because you may go through a period where you aren’t actively moving forward (Because of life), doesn’t mean you are going backward. You have to trust your growth more than that.

Give yourself space to think AND listen. Sometimes your body is simply trying to talk to you, but if you don’t have the ear to hear, you can miss out on some important information. That also brings me to an important point that you should never forget. Your peace of mind is PRICELESS. If something doesn’t feel right, it is better to be safe than sorry. You know when something is not right. Always be your strongest advocate and make sure you keep records of everything. You never know when you may need them.

Don’t forget that there are people waiting for you to let them in. You don’t always have to be the strong one. You have more support than you know if you’d allow yourself to be open enough to accept. I know you and I know you won’t even go overboard (It’s not our style).

This year has been crazy, but it’s felt good in a lot of ways. I want you to know that God has you, your family has you, your friends have you and most importantly, you have you. You are on a winning team. You are the winning team. I can’t tell you what to expect this next ART year, but I can tell you that I have full confidence in your ability to make it through and doing a great fucking job because I believe in you.

Remember just how much you rose to the occasion this year. Honestly, you showed out. The growth jumped out! It wasn’t easy, but you found a way and made it work. A resourceful queen! I’m so very proud of you for everything you’ve done.

Also knowing when to ask for help and when to make it on your own. That’s a gift to know yourself that well. It’s a blessing. Keep on using your wisdom in those situations.

Just because this year wasn’t the easiest, doesn’t mean you have to have a tainted idea of this next year. Instead, I want you to be hopeful. Careful, but hopeful. This year will manifest greatly.

One big takeaway I can’t Thank God enough for you going into a new ART year is the vision! You found out what it feels like to really want something and that’s a beautiful thing. This year Will Be the year a lot of your hard work pays off. The vision is clear and what is yours, is yours. You know this all feels different and it’s a blessing to be able to pass the baton to someone so ready for all these blessings ready to rain on you.

So, go into this new ART year with great expectations, an open mind, determination, graciousness, faith and love.

I love you soo much.

P.S. Back-up EVERYTHING!

Love,

Art at 25

Experience Needed.

Instagram Post – Experience Needed.

I’ve realized that no matter how much you practice scenarios in your mind and no matter how many books you read, it won’t mean crap unless you put it to the test. Woulda, Coulda & Shoulda doesn’t mean anything until you prove it. How do you prove your theories? Experience. You have to practice what you preach. You have to put it to the test. You can think you know what you are going to do and how you are going to react, but none of that matters until you actually put it to the test.

It’s like thinking you want to be a meteorologist but have never been in front of a green screen. You’ve read all the books on what it takes to be one and you feel like that’s what you want to do. You can see it. However, until you actually experience it and test it out, nothing is concrete. Why? FEELINGS. You can’t predict how you will feel about something until you actually experience it. That’s the only way to truly know if that’s really what you want. So you know what that means? You have to take risks. Risks you don’t normally take that may end in failure. You can only know if you will succeed or fail if you try. That’s it.

I’ve found myself in a predicament that I didn’t think I would be in. And it’s making me realize that what I thought I would do, I’m not. Why? FEELINGS! Since going through this process, I’ve realized I need to be more open to listening to my feelings as I’m going through new experiences that I’ve only played in my head. It’s not the same. Experience is needed to know how I feel about certain situations, as well as how I will react with new information. I can’t be so hard on myself for things I’ve never experienced before.

Signed,

ART Undone

Dear ART at 25

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Dear ART at 25,

Hey Girl! I can’t believe I just typed 25! Woah, it’s crazy how time flies when you’re living life. I feel like we just turned 24! Anywho, here we are, live and in color.

So, ART at 25, I wish this that your 25th year is one of the best years of your life. This past year has definitely been one for the books. It’s been a fun ride that had its twists and turns. You thought you were done learning about yourself, but every day there seems to be more layers to this work of ART.

As you continue to live life, I hope you continue to learn and love yourself a little more every day. Also, don’t be so hard on me and your past. While we have made mistakes, we’ve always tried to do the best we can. It’s a learning process. You’ll make mistakes this year and possibly let yourself down in a few areas, but the good news is that if you stay true to yourself, you’ll make a way through.

Even better news, I’ve set you up for the ultimate come up! You know what you have to do, you just have to do it. Don’t spend so much time pondering what needs to be done. JUST. DO. IT. Yes, get up and do it and stop talking yourself out of your greatness. I may not have made every layup, but I have the ball in the air; All you have to do is catch it.

Side note: you know that one thing you ridiculously afraid of failing at? Do it anyways.

This year, I hope you surprise yourself. I hope you exceed every expectation you once had of yourself. I hope you get out of that comfort zone and rise to the occasion. You are gathering all the tools you need for your journey, the only thing that is missing is you putting your all into it. I hope you decide that you deserve to give life your full court press.

It’s important to remember that you’re not always going to be at 100%. Sometimes, you’ll be operating at a much lower level. That’s completely okay. It’s okay to do something, instead of nothing at all. Stop holding yourself back. Progression over Perfection.

Let’s not forget: No matter how strong you are, you didn’t get here on your own. You have been blessed with an amazing support group that shows up and shows out for you constantly. Don’t take them for granted. They have helped you grow exponentially. It still takes a team. Nurture those relationships.

Also, don’t forget to make yourself smile. I see some new things entering your life. Remember that the essence of ART is ART. Don’t forget about ART. Love her. Cherish her. Appreciate her and all her forms.

Remember, instant gratification is a sham. Save your coins so you can take even more trips.

Finally, just do the best you can with what you have. Cherish your family. Save your coins. Read more. Please read more. I can feel that this upcoming ART year is going to everything you could ever want in the best possible way. Get ready girl, because your future is BRIGHT and ready to shine.

I love you girl, don’t you ever forget it.

Love,

ART at 24

P.S. This year was LIT! Don’t let anyone tell you different. You lived your best life as ART at 24. Doors have opened that you have never even thought of and more great surprises are on their way!

P.S…. Every day the world is changing more than we ever thought it would. In some ways, it can be very terrifying. Please don’t forget that there are good people out there. Remember that you are one of them. Don’t compromise your truth for temporary gain or satisfaction.

Fun Gone Wrong | I Got Stuck In The Pits of Hell!

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I got stuck in the pits of hell. Don’t be me.

I don’t think I’ve ever been claustrophobic, but I can tell you I was close to the edge. *Cues Lil Uzi ‘XO Tour Life. I’d been in the freaking foam pit for approximately 30 seconds, but it seemed like an hour. Without even thinking, I jumped into the foam pit at Sky Zone. Immediately surrounded by an insane amount of foam squares, I couldn’t feel my feet. Well, I could feel them, but standing was an issue. I instantly regretted my spare of the moment “brilliant” idea to jump into the foam pit. Also, forgetting to realize that I’m a big ting that wouldn’t just float on foam!

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Immediately deciding I didn’t like my predicament, I tried to walk to the to the edge of the trampoline where I could climb out. Nothing moved but my roots, which started to sweat out my silk press. So, I started to panic. I tried to step on the form squares and push myself upwards. NOTHING. At this point, I’m completely freaking out. I see the trifling worker looking at me like, “I don’t get paid enough to have those problems”.

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Ugh! All, I was thinking at this point is that I need to get the hell out of here and right now. I tried a couple different techniques in a rush to free myself from the pits of hell and…NOTHING. Your girl was shooketh to the core. I felt hopeless. So, how am I here today…

By the grace of God and whatever angels may have been looking out for me, I told myself to calm down. Breath in. Breath Out. Now, think. And that’s exactly what I did, I calmed down and thought about the most feasible way to get out the pits of hell. About 30 seconds (or more, who’s counting?), I was freed from the pits of hell and I never ever looked back or jumped into another foam pit. I swear, I’ve never felt so relieved in my life.

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Moral of my horrific story? When life throws you into the pits of hell and all hope seems to be lost, you need to calm tf down and think. While we are trying to better our situations as soon as possible, the urgency to change our predicament causes us to act without thinking. With no time to think, we usually make mistakes we normally wouldn’t make with a little pre-planning and quick thinking. No, I didn’t stay in the pits of hell for 10 minutes whining and thinking, I took a second to gather myself and thought of an efficient exit plan.

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So, don’t be like me. Instead of panicking and simmering in the pits of hell, keep calm and plan your exit.

Signed,

ART never jumping in a Foam Pit

Lessons I’ve Learned from Playing Tetris

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I’ve recently re-discovered Tetris while trying to get away from Social Media… Here are some lessons I’ve learned while playing this classic game…

• Sometimes you get so in your groove, you don’t see when things are starting to speed up. Don’t panic. Keep your momentum up and focus on the task at hand.

• Not every mistake comes with a big lesson. If you can catch it soon enough, some things are easy fixes if you can identify them.

• It’s easy to stay on the same level once you’ve done it soo many times. No matter what level you achieve, if you continue to play the game, it becomes second-nature.

• If you want to grow, you might have to sit up and put in some work. Incremental change can seem easy, but once you gain some momentum, stay focused, it’s critical.

• Stay calm when things get hectic. When life is coming at you fast, this is the most critical time to stay calm and find your plan of action.  The more frantic you get, the less you can focus on the task at hand. Once you’ve leveled out, take time to decompress and reflect.

• Pay attention to the patterns. Do you find yourself falling into the same traps? Consistently making the same mistakes? Identify the patterns or even the set up that makes you act a certain way.

• Sometimes you just need to hit reset. If you see yourself heading towards destruction or failure and the foundation you laid is rocky, know when it’s time to reset and start over. Sometimes you can fight your way through the mess, but sometimes you need a moment to get yourself together to weather the storm.

• Sometimes you need a timeout. It’s better to disconnect than have to completely disappear.

• Everything and everyone isn’t going to fit into your life. Sometimes you try to make them fit and it backfires. The quicker you can jump over that hurdle, the better.

• Take time to think. If you aren’t present, you aren’t going to go far. When you’re in the game, make sure you’re present or you may lose your opportunity.

• Have fun! Life is a game with real consequences. Play it as best you can, but don’t take it too seriously.

Signed,

ART simply Undone

Why Now?

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Why decide to start a blog now? Glad you asked! Here are a couple of reasons:

Honestly, I need it. 

While I want to think of this blog as a place where people can learn from me, I’m still learning about myself. I think this is great platform to self-reflect, analyze and think. I don’t have all the answers and that’s okay. However, I find that I work best when I feel like I’m helping others, even if I’m actually helping myself.

What is discipline?

Something Alena has yet to master. I’ve been thinking about creating this blog for a while and I’m more than ready to hold myself accountable. I need to be in the studio cultivating my art. Whether it comes to  my marketing job, personal fitness or my mental and emotional awareness, it is important to put myself on the spot and rise to the occasion.

Writing soothes my soul.

At the heart of it all, no matter how much I try to fight it, I love writing. It’s so therapeutic to get everything I’m thinking off of my chest. I love connecting with people through simplistic, conversational writing. I’m not trying to impress you with big words, I’m trying to reach your soul. I want ART Undone to be a place that you feel at peace, while also being able to think. Release all expectations and simply enjoy.

It is time!

I have a lot to say in many different ways so now is the time to speak up!

Because why the heck not?

I refuse to be anything but myself. I want to start a blog so that is exactly what I’m going to do. I’m going to do it to the best of my ability because it makes ME feel good. At the end of the day, so much is going on in the world, you should do what makes you happy. ART Undone makes me happy. I feel alive, so why would I ever take it away? If that ever changes, we shall talk about it later :-).

So, here we go!