All My Love

I am so proud to say this week I am celebrating 1 year of my blog being alive! Since Sunday April 26, 2015, I have managed to write a new post every Sunday and what a year it has been. It feels great to have arrived at this blogiversary.

Just this weekend I hit another milestone while achieving another goal on my 2016 vision board. I was interviewed for the Right to R.E.A.L. Love podcast. It was so fun and such a step in the right direction away from my comfort zone.

My podcast topic was “How to make a relationship last.” It was such a fun conversation and not an intimidating interview at all. Host, Jay Mayo really made me feel comfortable and we had such a great discussion on the topic. The episode will be aired in May so I’ll be sure to let you know when you can check it out.

I wanted to write about this topic today though because it is always relevant to discuss love and relationships. It is a topic that affects us all in one way or another.

All of this love stuff can get messy on occasion and might need some untangling.

If you spent anytime this weekend watching Beyoncé’s visual album Lemonade, you know what I mean.

People want love and relationship so bad but what does it take to make it work? To really make it last?

Jay asked me some brilliant questions during our dialogue together like, “How can couples survive the tough times and remain together?”

Well as I heard Queen Bey say she learned from her grandmother, “Nothing real can be threatened.”

Now even after the recording has been completed, there are more things I wish I would have said. Love is so deep and intricate and needs more time to unpack the layers of what it takes to develop in relationship with another person.

You’ll hear everything I shared when my podcast episode is released but today I wanted to drop a few nuggets we talked about. I would also love to chat further with anyone interested in this topic. We can connect on Skype, Twitter (@dilaunwhite), over a cup of tea or whatever works.

I hate small talk but I could chat for hours about meaningful topics like this. I also fall to pieces with delight at any chance to peek into someone else’s brain about things like this.

Anyhow, to get back to the meat of our discussion, we landed on 4 big things it takes to keep balance in a relationship and make sure it stays strong enough to last.

1. Foundation
2. Communication
3. Fun
4. Space

Many people lack these things and waste a lot of time with the wrong people or building relationships with the right people but in the wrong time.

When the podcast comes out, I will do a follow up post and share even more about the conversation I had with Jay as we took a deep dive into this topic.

I will also explain more about what I mean for each of the four requirements as well as add a few more to the list.

For now, Happy First Birthday Life Untangled! Thanks for transforming my Sundays and getting me energized for a new week, every week. It’s amazing what we can do when we stop saying ‘we can’t’ and actually start making moves.

To wrap up with a Beyoncé quote because I can, “Imma keep running cuz a winner don’t quit on themselves.” This year I am keeping my running shoes at the ready.

What goal are you determined to accomplish this year? I want to hear about it.

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Where Everybody Knows Your Name

In my adult life I always wished for a place to settle in. A neighborhood to know long-term that would in turn know me and fit well.

As a kid, I moved around a bit. It was for a variety of reasons but I never took root in one place for too long. When I started going to school with kids who had been in the same house their whole life, I wanted that. I don’t know why but having a local place to go where people recognize you always seemed fun to me.

Don’t get me wrong I don’t hate that I moved a lot. In fact with age I have appreciated it more and more. It taught me how to adapt quickly to new environments and new people which I feel quite comfortable with these days. I adjust to change quickly and I love that.

I also learned in a variety of new environments the constant is me. The variables are the people and things around me. That mentality has taught me self-confidence, self-awareness and contentment. It has also taught me to accept others. I am so grateful for who I am and what I have learned from where I came from.

The not so fab thing about it is I am fairly comfortable detaching when I feel like the season has run its course and come to an end. I wrote about this last week if you want some context.

So fast forward to…I moved to Chicago a few years ago and for two and a half years I have been here. I always lived near Chicago, in the suburbs, outside city limits but never quite in the city since I was a baby.

I have been doing my best to enjoy and explore the city especially my neighborhood since moving here. Even if it is something small, usually not more than a couple weeks will pass without me having a city adventure someplace.

One of my goals was to become familiar as a local. When family and friends come visit, I can have the best spots to take them for food, drinks, dessert and entertainment.

My boyfriend has actually managed to master a lot of this already. He goes in some of our favorite places and everyone is thrilled to have him there. People call him out by name, share all the details of their life and really enjoy keeping connected with him. We have had a good share of free perks because of his mayor-like personality.

I actually have found a local bar less than a block from home that feels so much like the show, Cheers to me, it’s crazy. In the past couple years I have invested in learning about the people who work here so I could have a cool place to call my own as a local.

It has been around so long that you can always catch some of the same people on a weekly basis. They serve free food occasionally and always have free popcorn. When you come in, the custom is greeting everyone. I made this place a stop following my last birthday celebration. It’s like family here and once you’re in, you’re in. I love that.

Really it’s about building relationships and friendship with people. I believe we are all much more connected than we act like in our day-to-day life. When we have meaningful encounters and connections with people that are undeniable, that is how we change the world. We change the world by getting to know people and allowing them to know us in return.

In getting to know what else my neighborhood has to offer and keeping up with my Alderman newsletters, I have been setting roots like never before. I’m invested in my future here and overall as a Chicago resident even if I don’t live in this particular neighborhood forever.

I actually just registered for my first Chicago Public Library card on Friday. I just voted in my first Chicago Primary election a few weeks ago. I am shaping a future where I get to know more people and they get to know me. I simply cannot wait until I walk into many more places and everybody knows my name. 

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Distance Makes the Heart Grow Fonder

I went to the same junior high and high school with a small group of the same people. A few of us went to the same college together too.

We graduated, entered our career fields, lived our lives. Some got married. Some had kids. Some worked and traveled and played.

Nowadays unless you already do everything to keep in touch with old school friends, we tend to catch up for birthdays, funerals, babies being born and weddings.

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The twins sharing their brother/sister dance

It is a personal shortcoming of mine to not keep in touch with people. With age, my circle keeps pretty small. I have good intentions and mean people well but without a whole lot of action to reach out regularly, I really do a poor job of staying up to date with old friends and loved ones. I am always constantly working on that one.

One of my dear friends got married this weekend and boy I got so many blasts from the past. It was so fun to see, laugh and catch up with old friends. It has honestly been several years since I have seen most of them.

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Laura & Dilaun

We re-lived school memories, talked about all the pieces in our lives that are new and changed. A beautiful day full of flashbacks and yet celebrating my sister friend who looked stunning and blissful on her day of marriage. Another new beginning to keep in touch about.

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With the Beautiful Bride

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I was so glad to be in the same place with her family who I consider my family too. I spent so many nights in their house. We grew up learning from each other. There was a lot of fun and love there. I was overcome with such joy being close to them again, sharing hugs and stories, introducing them to my significant other. Everything felt familiar like the old days and with the exception of a little passed time, we fell back into the same routines.

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Love them! Bride's family

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Distance makes the heart grow fonder but if you can keep the distance from growing, you’ll be better off.

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Congratulations to my loving friend, Diana, and her new husband Joel. I wish  you two all the love and happiness in the world. Enjoy Hawaii and let’s see each other before the next wedding, birthday or funeral to come.

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The Happy Couple

To Thine Own Self Be True

For several days last week I attended personal and professional development seminars. One seminar was actually to gain training in preparation for the kick-off of a major project for a partner company I work with.

Over the course of 3 days I spent in Predictive Index (PI) training, it became clear the training would not only help my coaching techniques for the pending project but also could prove beneficial with my own staff.

“The Predictive Index® leverages a simple methodology that empowers you to understand the true behaviors of your workforce so they can take you where you want to go.”

Their sites states, “People are super complex. Decode the complexities and realize what drives workplace behaviors so you can ensure alignment, reach your team’s true potential, and achieve your business objectives faster than you ever thought possible.”

I won’t dive into what I learned about the other 3 motivators but will focus on what I learned about myself for this post. Many of these things I already knew to some degree but it is always interesting to hear more about what motivates you.

What motivates me impacts how I see and interact with the world. I learned I talk through things to be sure I have learned it which I was a bit surprised about. I am really motivated by personal, positive (sometimes public) feedback. I enjoy influencing people for a postive response according to my PI profile.

The profile analyzes drives and predicts behaviors. I took a quick assessment and PI gathered all this data and information. I was definitely skeptical at first but the more I learned, it seemed far more accurate than expected.

The behaviors you might see from me because of my drive is good communication, influence, empathy, enthusiasm, fun. I am a natural motivator, persuasive and adaptable to lots of different situations and environments. I also like clear expectations, fairness and performance feedback. If you want stuff to be done right, give it to me. I’ll be careful and accurate even though I like variety, am comfortable multi-tasking and don’t mind pressure.

The reverse side is I am not competitive, don’t like conflict and am not driven solely by winning or losing. I am in the business of people over tasks.

I mean think about learning the ins and outs of yourself. I also learned more about those around me and what drives them to display the behaviors I see.

I know statements like that make people nervous they’ll be analyzed and judged but I think the more we know about ourselves, the better we can stay true to who we are while also being empathetic to others. We can help people learn what we want and need in friendships and relationships of all levels.

The other day of professional development training I had to break up PI training was around the topic, “Making the Transition from Staff to Supervisor.”

It was training around transitioning from player to coach, building a team, managing the team and action plans for growth. The cool part was that there were some major themes that popped over from the other training I had been part of. It was really an opportunity to establish myself in learning what I want out of my recent promotion and where I can make the most impact at work and outside of it as I make more career strides.

I’m grateful for the things I learned. I already have action plans and goals to begin putting some of my knowlege into play. Being true to myself is a matter of principal. I mean if I can’t be real with me, how could I be real with you?

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