Volunteering Can Help You Become Closer To Your Child

Every time someone asks me what I think of parenthood I think of myself before kids and now.

How I Describe Parenting

I remember having the feeling of some sort of a veil coming off from in front of my face. Suddenly, I saw the world in a very different way. It was incredible!

And to be frank, it wasn’t all that great. I’m always honest when people ask me about parenthood. I’ll tell you the good, the bad and the ugly. Parenthood is a wonderful thing, but it’s not all peaches and cream.  

There’s so much joy in knowing that you’re raising a little person to be the best human being possible.

But while you think you’re doing your best, you often wonder how you’re messing up your kids. I describe parenting as internal self-induced torment because a lot of time, parents think of the worse case scenarios that could happen to them and their kids.

We do that because we wish we could control what could happen to them and while we want them to become independent we’re a bit scared to let them slowly go off on their own.

We think of all sorts of things happening, not because we’re crazy (although sometimes parents might question their own sanity), but because we think of how we’d be able to help them avoid bad situations.

I believe this has been happening more the past decade due to public shootings, bombings, the rise in human trafficking and cyber bullying. Continue reading “Volunteering Can Help You Become Closer To Your Child”

One Of These Tests Can Help You Become Happier

I always knew I wanted to help others and I noticed how naturally it came to me.

When I’d hear people say, “make what you love doing your career” I’d wonder how the heck I’d be able to do that and how to know exactly what my strengths were.

Years later, when I applied to use my military school benefits, I was required to take a personality test to identify what types of jobs I’d be more likely to thrive in.

Then, while in college I discovered what the Myers-Briggs® test was and took it as a requirement of a leadership course I was enrolled in.

Then, when I attended Larry Broughton’s workshop as part of the Entrepreneur Bootcamp
for Veterans (EBV)
program I took another personality test called the Kolby A™ Index and again, throughout a job hiring process I was required to take yet a new personality test I’d never heard of.

Each test was very precise with identifying my personality and it allowed me to feel a sense of security about my own assessment. It confirmed my assumptions of what I thought I was very good at and it also showed me areas of weaknesses that I could work on.

Every time I took a test, I was provided with a printout or email of the results. Over the years, I’ve compared all of them. I must say, it’s amazing that they all have consistent results.

I’ve met people over the years who have taken a personality or strengths test, but they have not known how to read them or what to do with them.

The results are usually pages long. So, I’m not sure if people are discouraged from reading such long results or if it’s simply that they don’t have any interest in reading them and learning how to implement the results.

I learned to do that because Larry did an excellent explanation on the purpose of theses tests and he went over a few people’s results and broke them down.
Continue reading “One Of These Tests Can Help You Become Happier”

7 Tips For A Good Friendship

Friendship is not about how long you’ve known the person. It’s about those who have been a constant in your life. It’s about those who were there for you in good and bad times and about the ones who remain true to you behind your back. Friendship is loyalty and honesty, even when you don’t want to hear the truth. That’s real friendship.

In my early 20s I had a couple of friends who were always around when they’d break up with their boyfriends or when something rough was going on in their lives. But as soon as there was a new love interest or things would improve in their lives, they’d grow distant again.

I wouldn’t hear from them unless I’d call to check up on them, and I did this for quite a few years.

I’m sure some of you have had a friend like this at one point or another. You know, that friend who only comes around when they’re feeling lonely or when things aren’t going so well for them.

Years later, I realized I was giving more to the relationship than I was receiving and it was kind of hard to accept that because I felt that my friends had taken a advantage of my willingness to always be there for them.

The day I decided to start setting my worth was when one of my two friends called me after almost a year of no communication. She sounded excited to speak to me and just as I’d expected, she was going through a break up and wanted to talk to me about it.

She had asked to meet up and I declined. I remember telling her that I wasn’t a seasonal friend for her convenient times and I expressed how hurt I was that she hadn’t taken the time to call to simply check up on me or to ask to spend time together without any of her drama attached to it. Continue reading “7 Tips For A Good Friendship”

Travel: The School of Culture

When I was a kid, I’d watch shows that depicted families taking long trips during their spring breaks or summer vacations. They’d travel to different parts of the country or to foreign lands. Most of the families were middle class white people who’d get into their minivan or RV and explore amazing places.

The first time I traveled was when I was 12. I went to Florida because my parents were calling it quits and my mother and us kids were supposed to make Miami our new permanent home. After I was there for about a month, they reconciled.

But having flown on a plane was an amazing experience for me because for the first time EVER, I saw people that looked like me and that was eye-opening.

I used to think that people who could afford to get on a plane were super
rich. When I took that flight, I didn’t fly first class, but I was upgraded because the flight attendants knew I was flying alone and they took caring for an unaccompanied minor very seriously.

I remember they kept a close eye on me and I got to eat a HUGE piece of chocolate cake with a glass of milk (1st class perks!). I was stoked!

You see, traveling to nearby places from my home was a challenge for my family of eight (six kids, mom and dad). My parents worked a lot and we didn’t have much money. We couldn’t afford to stay at hotels and we couldn’t afford an RV.

Camping was not something Nicaraguans did. I don’t even know if my parents knew what that was when I was a kid.

Our vehicles were also not reliable, so the summer we traveled from Chino to Silverwood Lake was the highlight of our year…. actually, it was the highlight of our decade.

Then, right after high school, I joined the Army. I ended up at Fort Jackson, S.C. with people with all sorts of dialects, shades and backgrounds.

A few months after I had graduated from training, I was put on an enormous three aisle airplane bound for South Korea (my first duty station) never giving it a second thought about what a big deal it was for an 18 year old who had hardly traveled to go so far from home. Continue reading “Travel: The School of Culture”