One Year. No Heat.

Blackness, Natural Hair

My Story

This all began mid-December of 2015 when I went to a local hair salon in my college town for a wash, blow dry, trim, and straighten. I was less than a week away from going home for Christmas, which meant I could go to my favorite hair stylist in Atlanta, but for some reason, I just couldn’t wait. My ends were dead and somehow I convinced myself that I couldn’t live another week with them.

One of my teammates often got her hair straightened by a woman in the salon I booked an appointment, so naturally, I requested her as my stylist. This is where the nightmare began. Prior to this, my hair was in great shape. It was growing longer than it ever had, was healthy, and was just overdue for a trim.

For this appointment, I booked the same things that I would if I was at home with my favorite stylist. I got a wash, deep conditioning treatment, blow dry, trim and straighten. Everything was great! My hair looked good for as long as I could keep it straight, but as soon as I washed it I realized my curls weren’t reverting. Yes, every natural girl’s biggest nightmare.

In denial, I thought I’d just wash it again in a few days and everything would go back to normal. Wrong! My curls were stringy and in some places, they were gone. Right then and there, and mainly out of spite, I made the decision to not straighten my hair for a year.

What I Learned

I know every natural hair guru will tell you that heat is not your friend, but what works for you doesn’t always work for everyone. After a year of no heat, I guarantee you that I will not commit to that again. My hair needs heat. Maybe not every day or month, but at least 2-3 times a year. Let me explain, the health of my hair was restored as soon as I cut the dead ends and heat damage off, but other than that, it was already in great shape. While on my heat hiatus, my hair grew, but no more than it would have if I was putting heat on it 2-3 times a year like I usually do.

On the other hand, one benefit of not using heat was that I learned what products my hair truly likes. In its most natural state, I realized that less is more and that my hair responds well to fewer products. The less I used the better my hair responded, and my wallet appreciated it. I also learned that the bun was the hair style for me. For those of you who know me well, the bun is my go to. As a college student-athlete who generally has practice or a game every day, I don’t really care to wear my hair down, so finding different ways to style my hair into up-dos was fun.

Biggest Take Away

Do everything in moderation. Too much heat isn’t great for your hair, but I don’t think no heat is all that wonderful either. While this is true for me, it is on you to find out what works for you. Ultimately, I encourage you to try a year of no heat for yourself. It’s definitely a learning experience, but I think it’s worth trying. From learning what products and hairstyles you like, to figuring out if heat is really your hair’s biggest enemy, one year of no heat will keep you on your toes and in tuned to what works best for you. Try it and feel free to comment about your natural hair journey below.

Farewell Address, 2017 Inauguration, and Sentiments on Democracy

Elections, Leadership, Politics

The end of 2016 came at us hard and fast as we the people elected a new President into office. With the inauguration of our 45th president coming up on January 20th, I thought I would get ahead of the political articles, whether positive or negative, that will soon flood your timelines. But instead of focusing on the inauguration, I want to highlight a few points Barack Obama made during his Farewell Address.

In case you missed it, last Tuesday, January 10th, Barack Obama gave his Farewell Address to the American people in Chicago where his political career began. He touched on many topics, some of which were all that America has accomplished in the last eight years, race, healthcare, and finding common ground as American people. In my opinion, his speech was powerful and there were so many wonderful points made, but I cannot cover them all in just one blog post. With that being said, I do want to echo his sentiments on democracy using his own words from the address, my thoughts, and the thoughts of Viola Davis, an American producer and actress.

My first time able to practice voting rights as an American citizen was during the 2016 Presidential Election. What an initiation to politics, am I right? With the election’s outcome, I am now more tuned into politics than ever. But more importantly, I am committed to spreading the truth about democracy.

Democracy (n.) – a system of government by the whole population or all the eligible members of a state, typically through elected representatives.

Now, I hate to state the obvious but, nothing about democracy says people do not have a voice. It actually states that the “whole population” does. So, while I wasn’t thrilled about our nation’s selection for president on Tuesday, November 8th, 2016, we, as the American people, did elect Trump. I think Viola Davis said it best when she was asked about Donald Trump backstage at the Golden Globes.  She said, I think that America in and of itself has been an affirmation, but I think we’ve fallen short a lot because there is no way that we can have anyone in office that is not an extension of our own belief system. So then, what does that say about us? And I think that, if you answer that question, I think that that says it all.” 

Oftentimes, we feel as though we don’t have a say in our governance. But what you might not know is that “voting rates in America are some of the lowest among advanced democracy.” How embarrassing! It’s not that we don’t have a say, it’s that we don’t use our say. You can’t be upset about the outcome of the election if you didn’t vote because you willingly gave up your voice. It shows a lack of maturity and ownership to simply blame the elected for circumstances that took a nation to create. Put simply, “We weaken those ties (democracy)… When we write off the whole system as inevitably corrupt, and when we sit back and blame the leaders we elect without examining our own role in electing them.” As American citizens, we all played and continue to play a role in how we are governed, who is elected, and much more. We must accept “… the responsibility of citizenship, regardless of which way the pendulum of power happens to be swinging.” We must always be involved and in tune with what is going on so that we can speak up on all issues, not just the ones that seem to directly affect us.

Being involved and in tune is necessary because every time we give up our power to speak through voting, writing to an elected official, protesting, or petitioning, we weaken our countries democracy. “George Washington wrote that self-government is the underpinning of our safety, prosperity, and liberty, but ‘from different causes and from different quarters much pains will be taken… to weaken in your minds the conviction of this truth’.” George Washington was right. Whenever we feel as though we have no say in our governance, in our minds the conviction of the truth about democracy, the fact that democracy includes and encourages the voices of everyone, is weakened.

With that being said, when things in politics are not going your way instead of giving up on the system and calling it corrupt, it is important to realize that “democracy does not require uniformity. Democracy does require a basic sense of solidarity.” This means that if you want to see change the opportunity is there. Find a group of people who feel the same way about issues you’re passionate about, and take those concerns known to your elected officials. Better yet, if you feel so compelled, take steps to become an elected official, but do not mistake lack of action for freedom of expression. When it comes to democracy, action is the only way to express oneself. Silence does nothing.

I’ll end with my favorite quote from the night. “Change only happens when ordinary people get involved, and they get engaged and they come together to demand it.”

For eight years Barack Obama has led our nation in change, and if the inauguration on January 20th, 2017, sparks anything in you, I urge you to demand the change you want to see, because democracy is a powerful thing if used correctly.

“It’s Time To Get ‘Right’ With God”

Faith

As a Christian, I cannot tell you how many times I hear people say, “It’s time to get right with God”. I hear it in church, I hear it in the locker room, and I hear it talking with friends. But most of all, I have heard it recently because of the new year. Everyone feels that 2017 is the year that they need to “get right with God”. Now you might think I’m crazy when I say this, but the concept of “getting right with God” is so misunderstood. Don’t get me wrong, as a child of God, I also want to intentionally live a life that glorifies Him. I want to do that better in 2017 than I did in 2016, but I don’t think “getting right with God,” is the way to do so.

Oftentimes, I hear this phrase being used by college kids that are displeased with their actions from the prior semester. (Granted, I am a college kid and so are many of my friends, so that’s the perspective I’m coming from.) Maybe you went out too much, drank too much alcohol, participated in immoral and lustful actions, etc. Whatever the case may be, “getting right with God” won’t cure or take away your prior sins.

Let me clarify, repentance is always necessary and important for our walk with the Lord, but if you are saved there will never be a day that you won’t be saved. To put it plainly, if you have accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior, and have asked Him into your heart, but also believe that you can lose your salvation, then you are ultimately saying that it is your performance on this Earth that is keeping you in line with God.

Salvation, unlike other things, does not need to be earned. I think because we live in a time where we are striving to earn everything: our jobs, money, affirmation, a sense of worthiness and even solid relationships, we also believe that our relationship with God has to be earned. That is false! Our salvation was already earned through the sinless life, death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

So, when you say that you want to “get right with God,” you are putting the faith you have in your salvation in yourself, not God. We will always sin, and we will always need Jesus, but that is exactly why He came. If you have accepted Him into your heart, you can’t lose your salvation, so there is never a reason to “get right with God”. You are right with God. It’s all or nothing, not a sometimes thing.

This means while you may plan to party less, drink less, and surround yourself with better people, that alone will not alter your standing with the Lord or make you holier in His eyes. That does not mean you shouldn’t do it, it just means that your worth to Him does not change based on your actions. There is no amount of good deeds that will “get you right with God”. As mentioned before, you either are right with the Lord, which means you are saved, or you are not because God’s standard is perfection, and we will always fall short.

Ultimately, if God sent His son to save us as sinners, what makes you think He won’t keep us as sinners? We do not serve a fickle God. He will always stand firm on His promises. So maybe instead of looking to “get right with God,” we should walk in repentance, work toward becoming more like Christ, and intentionally glorify Him to the best of our abilities in all things we do every day. Our salvation has taken care of the rest.

Happy Sunday everyone! Stay blessed!

5 Reflections from 2016

New Year

As we ring in the new year I always find it beneficial to look back and reflect on the one that has past. These are a few of my reflections. Hopefully you can identify with at least one and continue to reflect on how 2016 went for you.

 Set Your Mind To It

I have accomplished a number of things in 2016, all of which I am very proud of, but nothing quite beats graduating from the University of Virginia with my bachelor’s degree. To say the least my road to graduation was not easy or conventional. As a varsity student athlete, time was never really on my side and taking 27 credits in one semester was not exactly the typical work load. If I ever doubted my abilities, accomplishing my goal to graduate from the University of Virginia in 2016 was a great reminder that I am a lot tougher than I think I am, but more importantly that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. There were many days that I thought it would not be possible. Many nights of writing papers at 3am that brought my sanity into question, but in the end I could see that things were working for my benefit.

Change Is Good

I have a love hate relationship with change. When it first happens I usually cannot stand it, especially if it wasn’t planned by me, but somewhere in between I realize just how amazing it is. Through the many changes I have encountered this year (graduating, moving across the country, traveling to Europe, going to graduate school, joining a new team, etc.) I have realized how each experience has shaped me as a person. With each change came an opportunity to grow and further my knowledge of myself and the people around me. Sometimes you have to let go of good to get to great. Change has helped me see that.

Family Is Valuable

I feel like I mention this every year and for good reason. Nothing beats family! After four years of varsity athletics and internships that have both granted me great opportunities but plenty of valuable time away from my family, I realize more-and-more each year how important they are to me. They are the people who know me best, have my best interest in mind, and will be there for me during good and bad times. They keep me grounded and I could not be more thankful for all that they have done for me over the years.

Struggles Are Necessary

While 2016 was a year of growth for me I have to say that growing, like change, isn’t always easy. There were so many times that I felt like I was struggling. Many things did not come easy and hard lessons were learned along the way. But I’m a firm believer in the fact that sometimes you need the struggle or hard lesson to toughen you up and truly get a point across. I feel that every obstacle thrown my way this past year was and is still preparing me for what God has planned for my future. For that I am thankful.

Know Your Worth & Boundaries

I feel like every year there is at least one defining moment that causes me to re-discover my self-worth. This year there were a couple and without getting into great detail, I advise that you listen to your gut. Just like knowing right from wrong, you know when you are going outside of your own boundaries or when people are crossing lines that you have put in place. Don’t be afraid to speak up for yourself and to remove yourself from situations that others participate in. Ultimately, no one is going to look out for you like you will. Putting yourself first, understanding your own self-worth, and creating boundaries are key to maintaining a healthy relationship with yourself.

2016 was quite the year to say the least. With all the lessons learned, I welcome 2017 with open arms and with hopes that I can build on this past year.

 

One Viral Tweet

Elections

We’ve all seen things go viral on the Internet, from the TZ anthem to the mannequin challenge to even the “Damn Daniel” videos. But what happens when you go viral? On November 1st, 2016 I found out. “Go viral” was never on my bucket list, but let’s just say I wrote it down and checked it off all in the same day.

Every election year it’s the same thing. You love one candidate and hate the other. It’s not uncommon to hear flamboyant, radical, and sometimes even violent comments about each party and candidate that people do not agree with. This year has been no different. But considering I am not one for violence and I enjoy a solid laugh from time-to-time, I decided to use passive aggressive comedy instead of vulgar.

Here’s how the story goes… I was out to dinner with my teammates, tweeted my soon to be viral tweet, went home, went to bed and woke up to 6K likes and retweets. Mind you I only had 700, maybe 750 followers at the time. Today that tweet sits at 140K retweets and 200K likes. It’s safe to say I gave a lot more than just my closest friends a good laugh on Twitter.

But while I have received, tweets, texts and messages congratulating me on my viral tweet, I will be the first one to say that, what I tweeted has been around for years. It was around last election and clearly it has not gone away. I simply thought that it was extremely fitting for this election.

While the tweet was quite passive aggressive towards the election on whichever candidate you think I’m not voting for, ultimately my message was to VOTE… and of course set your clocks back. While I have my opinion on who should be president and what candidate might set our country back, I believe everyone else should as well. At the end of the day, this election will affect all of our futures and I think you’d be crazy to not have an opinion about your own future. We can agree to disagree on who is best, but nothing bothers me more than a passionate citizen who isn’t even registered.

I don’t know how many people I have talked to that have such strong opinions on which candidate should win, or their plans to flee the country if the “wrong” candidate does, but when asked a simple question, “Are you registered,” they answer “No”. This includes the registered voter who has no intention of actually making it to the polls during early voting or on Tuesday, November 8th. How can you be so passionate about a topic that you don’t even have a say in?

During a time when many people are questioning their “rights” as Americans and if they’re voices will ever be heard, I’m here to tell you that Tuesday is the first step to letting your voice be heard. It is your right, to vote for what you believe is just and who you feel is best fit to lead, and by choosing not to, you are willingly giving up your right and your voice. No one is stopping you from voting this Tuesday but yourself; therefore, no one is silencing you but yourself.

If you’re not registered, that’s unfortunate, and I’m sorry you can’t participate in one of our countries greatest traditions, but for those of you who can, please do!

Vote because it is our duty as Americans, vote because you want your voice to be heard, vote because that can be the start of change, and if you feel so strongly, vote because you don’t want to set your country back 50 years.

Vote, because if you don’t you can’t complain.

21 Things To Be Grateful For On My 21st

Gratitude

1. My Parents

I thought I’d start with them because without them I would not be here… obviously. But more importantly, without them I wouldn’t be the person I am today. The only people who have truly watched me grow from day one and continue to support me through the highs and lows. For them I am grateful, not only to be called their daughter, but also to call them my parents, who consistently show me love even when I don’t deserve it.

2. Quality Friends

This year has been a big year for me in terms of learning about friendships. Ultimately, you cannot rush into a friendship and hope it lasts. I have come across my best friends organically and I am so thankful to have each and every one of them. From the weekly calls and occasional texts, its good to know that despite not always being in the same area, we never skip a beat when we get back together. Thanks for growing with me; I’m a better person because of you guys. (You know who you are.)

3. My Health

Health is one of those things that you rarely remember until you don’t have it or someone around you doesn’t. As an athlete, any health issues you may have are magnified when trying to maintain a hectic schedule and perform at a high level. I am thankful for my health and the health of those closest to me because it is truly a blessing.

4. A Great Education

Recently I was asked what my biggest accomplishment was to date and without hesitation, I said graduating from the University of Virginia. They say education is the great equalizer and with that statement I can agree. Fortunately for me, I have been able to get a degree from one of the top universities in the country and I didn’t stop there. As I pursue my masters at the University of Kansas I am thankful that I have had the opportunity to farther my education.

5. Second Chances

With Late Night at the Phog taking place last night, I am extremely thankful to get another opportunity to play college basketball. Joining a new program with only one year of eligibility left isn’t always the most ideal situation for coaches and programs, but I’m so fortunate that my coaching staff took a chance on me and brought me to Kansas. Rock Chalk!

6. My Brother

I’m thankful for my brother because life was pretty boring before he showed up. After six years of being an only child I told mom and dad I’d had enough. Justin, thanks for being my polar opposite and helping me to put things in perspective with your type B personality. You’re quite the character. Thanks for being you!

7. Seasons

Last Monday I left my apartment wearing what I usually wear, running shorts, a t-shirt and running shoes. But that day was different. Instead of walking outside and immediately sweating I actually felt cold. So thankful for the seasons, particularly fall, and the crisp, cool, air it brings. Not to mention, how much more fashionable you can be when it’s a little colder.

8. Times of Struggle

Honestly, it would be a shame not to mention this, because Sydney Sundays came to be during a time of struggle for me. It is during these times that I have learned my hardest lessons and become a better person because of them. Despite the pain at the time, I’m thankful for my struggles because through them I have had to seek God instead of my own strengths and allow Him to be glorified by getting me through.

9. Church/Community

After moving around a lot this past year I am very thankful for my local church and finding a community of people who love the Lord and each other. Where two or more are gathered God is present, and I am thankful that on Sundays I am able to be with the Lord and my brothers and sisters in Christ.

10. Netflix

Because who needs cable when you can get this on your computer? I’m thankful for Gilmore Girls, High School Musical, and Last Chance U.

11. My Gift of Writing

In high school I hated writing but sometime between then and now God has let me develop this skill and use it to touch the lives of those who care to read my work. I’m thankful that I can use this platform as a personal journal and an inspirational blog that can hopefully help someone else.

12. Treating-yo-self

As I’ve gotten older, “me” time has become a greater priority. So thankful for facemasks, pedicures, hot oil treatments, a good book and Netflix.

13. Good Music

We’ve all had a time where only your favorite artists could get you through the day. Most recently, I’m thankful for Beyoncé, Chance the Rapper, Kendrick Lamar and Bryson Tiller. Good music isn’t hard to find but great music is.

14. Childhood

As a 21-year-old I am no longer a child, but definitely a kid at heart. I remember wanting to grow up so badly and after getting a little taste of what it’s like to be an adult, I would gladly choose childhood again. With that being said, I am thankful for every moment as it comes and not wishing it away.

15. Basketball

Grateful for the round ball that has given me so many opportunities and taken me to so many places. So thankful for my ability to play the sport that I have loved since I was seven. To the sport that continues to teach me things every day and tests my determination, will power, and physical toughness consistently.

16. My Ethnicity

In a time when black is simply a skin color and nothing else, let me bring back the beauty of what that word means to me. I am black, but more specifically I am Nigerian and Kenyan. I am so thankful to be a mix of both East and West Africa. To have grown up in a home of two different cultures while still learning the culture that is my own, American.

17. My Work Ethic

You’re not guaranteed anything with it. But you definitely cannot do anything without it. I’m so thankful to my parents who instilled a strong work ethic in me.

18. Holidays

I like to think of these days as national days of gratitude. Often we take time during to holidays to enjoy family, appreciate what we have, and give thanks. If only we would do that everyday.

19. Sleep

Because I pray that those days of getting 4 or less hours of sleep (specifically during undergrad) are far behind me. Whoever tells you, “You can sleep when you’re dead” clearly doesn’t understand the magic of what 8+ hours of sleep can do for you.

20. Alcohol

I mean I feel that this list wouldn’t really be complete if I didn’t put this in. Not really a drinker, but in the future I’ll be thankful for the occasional wine tastings and being able to get into places without any problems.

21. The Lord

I’d be nowhere without Him. The older I get the more I realize that in ALL things must be done to glorify God. I am living through Him, for Him, and to glorify Him. If it’s not advancing his kingdom, it’s not worth it.

A Letter of Hope

Black Lives Matter, Blackness

To those who tirelessly pour their efforts into promoting Black Lives Matter, I hope you continue.

I hope you hashtag, make videos, and speak of your experiences.

I hope that you don’t get discouraged as setbacks come our way, and that you keep the end goal in mind. Stay strong in your pursuits. No change ever came easy. Even Martin Luther King Jr. was told he was crazy for having a dream a time or two.

But with that, I hope you have the courage to develop your own dream. Fight to be different than the generations before you, and for a better future ahead of you. Think up your own destiny and work tirelessly towards making that your reality. And then share it…

I hope you include other races in your dialogues on change. Inspire them to fight for justice with you. In return fight for justice regarding their inequalities as well.

I hope that others join the movement to change a country whose history is less than perfect.

Take lessons from the history books and apply them, staying peaceful and patient as God works on the heart of our nation and the hands of our policy makers. Continue to see the worth that lies in all of God’s children.

Burn the candle of change with the spark of revolution inside you so that the aroma of equality and understanding can fill the air.

Continue because each day you chip away at our dream is one day we are closer to living it.

Bounce Back

Perseverance

Yesterday I sat on my couch for the majority of the day. With my weekly chores and to-dos complete, my only goal was to finish season six of Gilmore Girls and watch college football. Occasionally, I would scroll through Pinterest looking for inspiration because honestly that’s what I felt I was lacking.

Mainly inspiration to write, but to be honest I had been living uninspired for quite some time.

Until yesterday, I had not attempted to write a Sydney Sunday since February… That’s over six months. I continued to tell myself that I just needed some more time. Time to gather my thoughts, heal from past hurt, adjust to my new life, the list goes on. I continued to make excuses, knowing that the golden hour I was waiting for would never come.

Like I have said many times before on this blog, there is never a perfect time for anything. It’s truly about where your priorities lie. But with that being said, teaching the lesson “there is no time better than the present,” is not the reason I broke my six-month hiatus to write this post. The reason I broke my silence is to talk about bouncing back.

While all to familiar to me at this point, being able to bounce back from tough situations in your life is the only way to truly grow. To go through the pain of the lesson is one thing, but to rise above it, that is where true maturity and growth happens.

There were many factors that caused me to stop writing, one of which was the 27 credits I took during my spring semester, while playing college basketball, to graduate from the University of Virginia in three years. To say the least I didn’t have a lot of time on my hands, and there were many other barriers that kept me away from my craft.

But then there were a lot of excuses that kept me from writing after graduation. First, I needed to decompress from a long semester. Then I moved to Beaverton, Oregon for the summer to intern at Nike. Then I started to take grad school classes and train for my final basketball season. Then I went to Europe for 10 days, the school year started, and… well as you can see life happened.

But is that really an excuse? Isn’t life always going to happen?

I knew I would need a break from writing because as the saying goes, “you cannot pour from an empty cup.” Where I went wrong was letting that continue to be my excuse for why I could not move forward with my life

Looking back on it, I acted quite “soft” playing victim, refusing opportunities, and lacking motivation, enthusiasm and will power. With that being said, I still fight many of these feelings today. But I am glad to say I’m finally moving in the right direction.

Sometimes the challenges that life throws your way end up getting the best of you. That’s okay, but make sure that the climax of your novel isn’t about how you got knocked down.

I get it, life is tricky and we’re all trying to figure it out, but if I can share one piece of advice with you on this Sunday morning, it is to bounce back from whatever might be holding you down. There are many other chapters to write in your story, but you can’t do that sitting on the ground. Get up, dust yourself off, and bounce back!

Happy Sunday!

Adversity + Perseverance = Success

Perseverance, Sports

As I sit and watch Super Bowl 50 in my living room, I can’t help but think about the amazing narrative on perseverance that Cam Newton has brought to the attention of all who watch him.

At first glance, his football story seems like the classic comeback narrative. He goes the University of Florida and makes a couple of mistakes, heads to junior college in Texas where he seems to reinvent himself, and then emerges as dominant as soon as he hits the scene at Auburn. Now five years later he finds himself at the Super Bowl 50 and the leagues MVP.

While I can sit here and rave about him, there is one quality that I can’t help but respect about him.  Perseverance!

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” – James 1: 2-4

“Not only so, but we also glorify in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.” – Romans 5:3-5

From the days of watching Michael Jordan… I was born in 1995 when he first retired… so from the days of hearing about Jordan and watching his old games, I always wondered how he was able to be so great. It seemed like every time he stepped on the court he knew he was going to score, and that is what he did. But what really blew me away is the fact that he made it look so easy. Watching him was like doing elementary math

Jordan + will to score/win = instant buckets/wins

But anyone who believes that it was that easy is foolish. Jordan had his fair share of setbacks. Most notably not making his high school varsity team. Who would have thought one of the best in the game suffered such a great setback.

The same can be said for Cam. This man went to the University of Florida where he found himself sitting behind the school’s best and most popular player, Tim Tebow. Tim was the Heisman winner at the time, so what was Cam supposed to say? “Put me in coach! Leave your Heisman winner on the bench.” Um… no. He never really got playing time and on top of that he got in trouble with the law.

In a situation where it seemed like there was no light at the end of the tunnel, Cam found himself going even deeper into the tunnel before he could get out.

Lesson #1: Sometimes it has to get worse before it gets better

I guess Cam would call that deep part of the tunnel Blinn College. From the interviews I watched, Cam’s time at in Brenham, Texas was the most humbling of his career. It was there that he was able to revamp himself. He was reconstructing his identity and shedding the mistakes of his past.

I would say he did a pretty good job, because the next year he was at Auburn as the starting quarterback who led their team to a national title and was the Heisman winner.

With all of this being said, I think Cam showed tremendous perseverance. While things did not go his way earlier on in his career, he had the will power and the fight to turn it around. Michael Jordan did too.

Lesson #2: If you don’t like where you are, what you’re doing, etc., you have the power to change it!

I’m sure you could ask every person that you consider to be successful their story on how they got to where they are now, and there will be at least one if not many examples of adversity that they had to overcome to become the successful people they are today.

Lesson #3: Change takes time.

Cam didn’t go from nobody to somebody overnight, and neither did Jordan. Think about it, Jordan was cut from his high school team, and is most known for his performance in the NBA. Think about all the time that had passed in between those two parts of his life. On the other had, Cam had to spend a year in the middle of nowhere (sorry if you’re from Brenham, Texas) getting better to be the player he was at Auburn.

What I’m trying to say is that many of the greats that I admire experienced setbacks that did not break them, and for that they were and are successful. Micheal Jordan once said, “… I’ve failed over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeeded.”

Lesson #4: Have a vision.

As long as you have a vision of where you are going and where you want to be, if you hold that vision close to you for long enough, that is exactly where you will go. Think, speak, and write your success into existence and watch yourself slowly move towards your goals. It has worked for the most successful people in the world, and I’m sure it can work for you.

Bloom Where You’re Planted

Right Time

We all have goals of where we want to be in the future. In two days, two weeks, and even two years, we don’t want to say that we are the same person today. But don’t let your vision of where you want to be, hinder you from making the most of where you are right now.

Sometimes we find ourselves thinking that we are one step away from our ultimate goal; one zip code away from whatever might be important to you.

Maybe your ultimate goal is to be happy. Maybe it is to be confident. Whatever your goal might be, what is really stopping you from reaching it right now?

Granted where you are right now in your life might not be the most ideal. There might be a few things setting you back from attaining your goal, but keep in mind that you still, despite the setbacks, have an opportunity to reach your goals during times of adversity.

Often times, we look around and think, “If I just had ______ then things would be better”. That is you looking and thinking the grass is greener on the other side. But in reality, the grass is greener where you water it.

Nothing great ever came out of a smooth ride. When things run smoothly, it doesn’t push you as a person and cause you to grow. With that being said, adversity is the cornerstone to all things wonderful.

Make it your mission to water your own grass and bloom where you are planted. Know that adversity is a set back, it’s not a closed door. Your goals can still be attained if you can find the drive within yourself to make the your reality.

Finally, know that where you are planted right now is exactly where God wants you to be. You have everything you need to be successful, but you just have to have the willingness to water your own grass and bloom where you are planted, despite the thorns that will try to stunt your growth.