Monday Motivation: My First Book

Actually I’m not quite shore if this is Monday motivation or a personal post, but I hope it motivates someone just the same. This weekend I announce the release of my first book of poetry Passion & Turmoil a collection of love poems. I am so excited because this is not only a book release but it is also the official launch of Red Butterfly Publishing and this is just the beginning. I am amazed at how much you can accomplish if you just believe in yourself. I know have full understanding now when people say “God isn’t going to bless you until your ready.” During time it took me to get the nerve to write this book and publish I admit I have grown so much as a woman, writer, business owner, and individual. We all get to a point in our lives when we realize that we must do what we were meant to do in order to be happy. So just as a moment of reflection I want you to think about what are things that make you happy or what is the career that you want that you keep putting on the back burner? Those still small voices are inside of us for a reason and we have to take the time to stop and listen.

Lou Hargrove

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Living Single Life: Taking Good with the Bad

Well it’s Friday I have had a rough week at work and i run out of the office like I’m being chased by lightening. I come home and walk in the house longing for that hug or kiss on the forehead that says, “It’s ok” or “I’t will get better”, but as a stick my key in the door and slam my purse in the kitchen counter the only noises that echoes inside my home are that of my own. So I turned around and reached into fridge for that emergency bottle of wine and then into the cabinet for a glass. With wine in hand I sit on the couch and sigh. This is the moment I hate the most about the single life, those moments that crave to be held and protected when the world around me seems too much. A few glasses of white merlot later an plans of earlier morning shoe shopping all is right in the world I remember what I love about the single life is that I am only accountable to me. There are no raised eyebrows in judgement when I have a few glasses of wine before dark or the fact that I may get a little to excited over the plan of early morning shopping.
Being single has its pros and cons just like anything else in life. There are those moments we may despise about being a single girl but if we take the time to be complete honest with ourselves there are certain things that we are comfortable with that we never want to give up. Now I am recently single and prior to my last relationship I had been single for years and we that complete freedom of being single was gone I had to admit I wasn’t thrilled. I was used to coming and going as I pleased and wasn’t used to sharing that time with a person that didn’t always want to do what I wanted to do. Now don’t get me wrong it was nice not to hear those questions from family member like, “Why don’t you want a boyfriend?” Or that famous reminder “You know your not getting any younger?” I know we heard this all before, and for me every year over thirty it seemed to get worse. Of course there are special occasions and life accomplishments that I would love to share with a significant other, but one one must admit that there is a feeling of liberation when we are able to make some of these accomplishments on our own, like the purchase of a first home for example. For me personally I especially dislike spending my birthdays alone even more so after the age reminders I usually get every year since I turned 30. Then there is also that quiet me time when I able to sit alone and gather my thoughts and catch my breath that I find harder to get when in a serious relationship (for some reason I’ve needed more since age 30). Life and financial responsibilities can feel overwhelming and cumbersome when I look around and realize that I am the only one, but again the feeling of accomplish after the burden is over has a certain special satisfaction. Being single does have its set of pressures and inconveniences as well as its moments and advantages, but the beauty of it is that it is a constant opportunity for self evaluation. I have been able to learn so much about what I want and don’t want, what I can tolerate and what I cannot. Even in those lonely times there is a huge opportunity for self reflection and learning what our need and wants truly are.

Lou Hargrove
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Learn to Live for You and Allow Yourself to Be Yourself!

Often I come across certain messages on Instagram or Tumblr that really stick with me. This one particularly stuckĀ  with me personally because it a subject that I had struggled with for years after I graduated from college. I was too busy try to do what I thought was right than to really sit down and listen to my own inner voice and figure out what I wanted to do with my life. It took me a number of unnecessary struggles and unhappy years to begin to live the life that I wanted, enter the career field that fit me and began to breath knowing that at the end of the day that my spirit is the one that needed to be satisfied. However, recently I have noticed that I am doing the same thing in my dating life. I have been dating a guy over the last few months that really has no idea of who I really am and I had no idea why I am perpetrating this fraud. Somehow I allowed him to draw his own conclusion of who I was and let him just roll with that. Now I am fully aware that this has the tendency to turn into an absolute disaster because I have realized that the me that he thinks that I am is nothing more than a watered down version of my true self. I have not had this problem since my younger years. Even then I realized very early on that the individual I was dating wasn’t fully equipped to deal with certain aspects of me or I was conscious that I was trying to be something that I wasn’t because thats what I thought he wanted. But this time was very different, at this point in my life I am very aware of who I am as a women and what I have to offer in a relationship. So when I first realized what I was doing I was confused about why I was doing it. After a lot of thought I realized that I was slipping back into my post college years of being what I thought I was supposed to be.

See when your single over 30 people feel the need to tell you all of the qualities about yourself that you have that doesn’t make you “wifey material”. So I remained quiet and let him draw his own conclusions about me, and not because I feel like he wouldn’t like the real me because it may just make him a little more comfortable to know that I am not on the pedestal that he put me on. I just me! Now please don’t get me wrong as a woman I do want to be viewed a certain way by the man I am dating but I mainly want to be involved long term with a man that I comfortable being myself around and still be treated accordingly. I’m not saying that I am not willing to listen to solid dating advice but the whole theory of what types of women get married and what types don’t just based on their personality and not on reputation of lack of self-respect are not flying with me anymore. When it comes down to pretending to be something that I am not. This is not to say that I do not have somethings that I need to work on but I am human and no one that I date will be perfect either. However, the lesson that I learned is to live for myself and allow myself to be me. Changing just to be in relationship not being true to who you are and it is not fair to the other person. Now the guy I’m seeing is really cool but I don’t think that we can even become serious at this point because for the last few months he has been dating someone that I don’t even know and she looks just like me, so how do I establish trust like that?

–Lou Hargrove