What if you died today?

For Nadine Curry:

When I die, I want to have lived. I want people to have known me to be a courageous, creative and loving person. This week has been a paradigm shifting one for me. It seems like every single news story has been about a tragic death of some sort. The bus crash in California that impacted people I know and killed several including a beautiful, recently engaged couple. I can’t stop thinking about what their plans for the future were. How they were simply giving back to their community by serving as chaperones for a college tour and their lives were cut short. I don’t even want to think about the teenagers who were on the bus, it’s all too depressing…

Now on to another tragedy. I once worked part-time as a receptionist at a furniture design center and dealt with numerous personalities as I served, both, customers and interior designers. Anyone who’s ever worked in a retail setting knows how stressful it can be. Oftentimes salesmen get tired of dealing with customers thus making it difficult for a receptionist to establish a seamless rotation. Thankfully, there was Nadine, an interior designer whose positive attitude never faltered. Out of all my days there, I cannot recall one time when she refused to take a new customer because she was too tired. She worked diligently and her clients loved her for that. 

Nadine didn’t work on Sundays, those were reserved for church. When work became stressful she talked about how she couldn’t wait until Sunday to “refill her spiritual glass” and come back to work refreshed. I admired that. As a person who is a habitual complainer, I admired Nadine. When I decided to resign from that job one of the worst parts was leaving Nadine for I knew I would miss our Saturday chats. She wished me well and gave me a necklace with a note that read “Good luck Alex! I’ll miss you.” This gift came after she pulled my name for Secret Santa a few months prior and got me the most beautiful vase ever since I had recently moved. She gave such thoughtful gifts.

Fast forward to yesterday, it’s been about three months since my last weekend at that part-time job. I don’t get out much, but a friend was in town and I wanted to show her around. Since we were near my old job I decided to stop by and say hello to everyone and check on Nadine especially, but unfortunately her car wasn’t there. I assumed she was out on a home call or maybe her husband had dropped her off at work. Three minutes after my arrival, I heard news that made me wish I’d decided not to come. 

About a month ago, Nadine went home from work early because she was having trouble breathing. Soon after she was diagnosed with lung cancer. She died last week and her funeral is tomorrow. I am in utter disbelief. I can’t stop thinking about how unfair this is. How can a person who’s light shined so bright have it dimmed so soon? Life is so short and you never know when it will end. As sad as I am about what happened to Nadine, I can honestly say that she left a mark on me. She lived a life loaded with positivity and I will never forget her. I will not only cherish the vase and necklace she gave me, but the intangible gifts as well.

Rest in Peace, Nadine. Thank you. For everything. 

What if you died today? What would people say about you? Are you living the life that you dream of? If not, what are you doing to accomplish your goals?

 

 

If you’re not married, are you SINGLE?

RCoupleelationships. No matter how long I live, I don’t think I’ll ever master them. Even in friendships, I tend to not be as attentive as I should be, and when it comes to romance it seems virtually impossible for me to catch a break. With this as the case, as opposed to giving relationship advice I’ll simply share some of my observations. I’ve witnessed the downfall of several unions as a result of issues that could have been avoided early on.

Here’s my theory:

Intentions and expectations are two concepts that must be discussed in detail and understood before a relationship comes into being. Oftentimes people rush into things simply because they like a person. Like is not enough. When that “like” evolves into “love,” things can get really complicated. Couples tend to sporadically discuss intentions throughout different stages in a relationship. Randomly mentioning your goals for the future or how many kids you’d like to have, for example. Unfortunately, it seems like a thorough explanation of intentions is quite uncommon for couples to share with one another. This can be extremely problematic.

If one party is planning a wedding in their mind while the other is just playing by ear, solutions are guaranteed to differ when issues arise. When one person is thinking for “we” and the other is focused on the “me” in the equation, it’s easy to see why so many folks are constantly blasting “break up” songs to make themselves feel better. It’s important to not only ask the cliche “Where do you see yourself in five years?” Consider finding ways to communicate with your partner about your collective plans for the future. If they keep drawing blanks, that’s a sure sign that things aren’t meant to be.

Expectations are what inspired the title of this post. What happens when you expect your partner to perform spousal duties because that’s how you operate? Is he/she supposed to split bills with you? Are they supposed to check-in when they’re out and about? Are they obligated to do anything? When expectations don’t correlate, doom is inevitable. Being committed to a monogamous  relationship with a person who acts single because they technically are not obliged to do anything is pointless.The old saying “treat people the way you want to be treated” doesn’t apply here. In relationships you need to love people the way they want to be loved. Be knowledgeable of their expectations and be certain they align with yours before you waste time.

I hope this helps someone because it will surely aid me in future endeavors. Are there any other factors you think contribute to a successful relationship? If so, share them below.

 

My new obsession…

My new obsession...

After attending a friend’s wedding last week, I’ve developed a slight obsession with designing wedding cakes. I’ve drawn several while taking notes for class. I’ve even YouTubed a tutorial for drawing them using Paint on computers… I’ve pretty much mastered the art!

This new hobby of mine sparked some thought. In the past I’ve never really imagined having a wedding and vowed to head to the courthouse when my time came. But this was before I actually attended a ceremony. I still lack the desire to pay over $20 a plate for each guest, but the idea of a wedding is lingering. Pinterest is no help either. There’s inspiration and ideas galore on the visual discovery tool!

What are your thoughts? Are weddings worth the money? Lastly, isn’t this cake fabulous?

Welcome to WhatAlexWrites.com

bland

Alexandria Bland knew she wanted to become a writer ever since she first saw her name in a byline of her high school’s newspaper. What started as a simple class assignment turned into a hobby that she’d ultimately make a career.

Today, Alexandria is a contributor to numerous publications including Kontrol Magazine and writes about her passions — lifestyle and beauty among them. In addition, Alexandria also covers current events, travel, nutrition/health, and self-help topics. She currently works in Media Relations for a university in Houston, TX and serves as the Multimedia Manager for Brownstone Magazine.

Alexandria is a graduate of California State University, Dominguez Hills and is currently pursuing a Master’s in Communication (Public Relations Studies) at the Jack J. Valenti School of Communication at the University of Houston.  She specializes in conducting interviews and telling stories using creative techniques.  She also has a knack for teaching and has taught workshops for several organizations including the Urban Media Foundation and the Girl Scouts of the USA. Alexandria also serves as a consultant to those seeking help to build their brand, gain publicity or and shape public or internal messaging.

When she’s not writing, you’ll find her watching HGTV or working on a DIY project. Alexandria grew up in Los Angeles, CA, but has been a resident of Houston for over a year.