Self Improvement

11 Things I’ve learned Dealing with Con Artists


If you live in Baltimore, you have to be street smart (or any other urban city for that matter). People are constantly testing you, so you have to watch yourself. And in my opinion, I think you have to apply this type good judgement to your life anywhere you live. It’s a form of social protection.


A lot of people ask, “Well, what is street smart? Well, according to the webster’s dictionary, Streetsmart simply means, having the shrewd awareness, experience, and resourcefulness needed for survival in a difficult, often dangerous urban environment. You can learn how to be book smart, but being street smart is a different kind of intelligence. No one learns how to be street smart in the classroom. You won’t become street savvy while sitting at your computer and reading this article. Going through certain situations, and being confronted by different kinds of people, all make you street smart.


“Living in the city requires just as much survivals skills (if not more) as living in the jungle.”


23 Things I’ve Learned Being Broke

Let’s Start this off with the quote……

“There is a difference between being broke and being poor. Being broke is a temporary economic situation, but being poor is disabling frame of mind, and a depressed condition of one’s spirit, and we must all vow to never, ever be poor again.”

John Hope Bryant


 I am not poor, I am broke. Especially when it comes to achieving my goals, and helping others. The trials and tribulations I’ve been through has only made me stronger. It has built my character, and made me who I am today.


What I’m going to tell you comes from my own humbling experience.


23 Things I’ve Learned Being Broke…….

1.  Gratitude

My favorite word is “Thank You”

The attitude of the steward is gratitude. Being broke has made me more appreciative of the generosity of others. I tell people all the time, do not underestimate the value, and the impact that loving friends & family have on your life. I’ve never had problems accepting gifts and money from friends and family who are inspired to do so because I love them, I trust them, and I look at it as a blessing. But, when someone you hardly know is generous with you, while you’re in a precarious situation, sometimes you want to refuse such generosity. If you’re smart, and it’s the right situation, you’ll take it, and be thankful for it.


“Grandmothers Make You Fat”

Many people believe they could improve their lives if only they had more of that mysterious thing called willpower. With more self-control we would all eat better, exercise regularly, avoid drugs and alcohol, stop procrastinating, and achieve all sorts of noble goals.

But To Tell The Truth, Will power is a Weak Mental Force.

Will power might sound like the super hero of resolve, but it’s actually a fallible contender. “When you’re trying to stick to a New Year’s Resolution, you can forget about relying on willpower,” says Alex Lickerman, assistant vice president for Student Health and Counseling Services at the University of Chicago, and author of The Undefeated Mind (HCI, 2012).       “The more you use it, the more fatigued it becomes.”

Take my life for example…….. I had a deep conversation with my doctor regarding my lack of self control.


“Are You The Leader of Your Family?”

I have been taking care of my ill grandmother since 2011. I always found myself becoming angry at my family because they weren’t there for her as often as me. At times, I would get jealous when I heard family members were traveling and doing what they wanted, when they wanted. It caused me to have some type of resentment towards them, and view them as selfish beings.


Now that I look at it, it wasn’t even worth getting mad over. I used to ask the same questions over and over again; “Why can’t they don’t do this?” and “Why can’t they don’t do that?” My mother would always say, “Well, you weren’t obligated to take on this responsibility Tiearra!”   And I would respond, “If not me, then who?”


I had to do some deep meditation and I’ve come to the realization of things; I’m not in this by myself. My other grandmother has been right there next to me, helping me take care of my ill grandmother. She used to say, “Just let me help you! You can’t do all of this by yourself!” and I would say, “It’s not your responsibility! It’s mines!” I would say to myself “What does it look like having my grandmother take care of my other grandmother? I’m the granddaughter! That’s my job!” But I thought about it and said to myself, “Let her help.” Immediately after I granted her the permission to help, she took over her position a little bit too much. Every 5 minutes, “Did you feed your grandmother?” “Did you wash your grandmother’s clothes?” It’s like Gosh! You would’ve thought she had one eyeball and one leg!

At times, I was so stressed. One night I was at the red light, and I just broke down emotionally. My grandmother and my uncle, who happens to have asperger’s,  were getting kicked out of their apartment the next day, and I had to find them a place to stay immediately. I did not want to see them on the streets.


I said to myself,” I can’t do this! This is overwhelming.” I started to cry uncontrollably. This homeless man walked up to my window at the red light begging for change. I just looked at him and shook my head. Everything he was saying seemed like a foreign language to me. I had tears flowing down my face, and was just looking at him with this blank stare. I wasn’t in the mood to be bothered. The light turned green, and I pulled off. I drove about 2 blocks, then something told me to pull over. I looked in my rear view mirror and noticed the old man limping down the street towards my car. He finally came to the passenger window. I rolled the window  halfway down, and put my face in my hand. I didn’t want him to ask me what was wrong. He didn’t even bother to ask (LOL). He saw me with my face in my hand, but began to beg anyway. All I heard were words; I wasn’t even looking at him.


[Homeless Man] Ms. Can you help me out please? I’m trying to get something to eat. I haven’t eaten in four days. All I need is like $1 so I can buy some packs of noodles until I get my disability check. I live around the corner. I’ll pay you back! Ms. Please! I have a cell phone see! (more…)

“Jesus Didn’t Work At Walmart!”

jesus walmart

Growing up in Baltimore, I was a witness to poverty and hopelessness, which gave me the drive to succeed and be above the norm. I never understood poverty. It literally scared the shit out of me as a child. Even at five years old, I knew it wasn’t normal.  I would ask myself “People actually like to live like this? Living in a neighborhood full of abandoned homes, trash, roaches, and rats?” I grew up in the city, but we lived in a fairly decent neighborhood. Other areas of Baltimore was the true definition of Hell On Earth.  I always thought I would be shot.

       You should’ve seen my poor little face whenever we went to visit family members in the projects. I was always terrified. We would get on that pissy elevator to the 15th floor. It  shook the entire time, and the lights would blink on and off; Kind of like a haunted building. On the weekends, my mother would say, “Ok we’re going downtown to Lexington Market!” If you lived in Baltimore in the 90’s, then you knew Lexington Market was junkie central. I used to beg my mother to NOT take me with her, but she insisted anyway. I wouldn’t get off the bus. She had to literally pull me off the bus! And I cried my little heart out the entire time we were down there. I was scared every time we walked past a junkie. It was like The Walking Dead, and they were the real life zombies. It was dirty, and the smell was horrific.   (more…)

“6 Ways To Find Happiness Through Simplicity”

I have been living a more simpler life, and It’s been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made…


       What does a simplified life look like? There’s no one answer. There are many ways, but to most a simpler life probably means fewer possessions, or fewer commitments. While some might go to the extremes of living peacefully on a tropical island, others find simplicity in a small city, driving a small car, living in a small home.

     The key is to find what matters most to you, and to eliminate as much of the rest as possible.


I must admit; I’m into jewelry, luxury cars, nice clothes, and nice places, but (more…)

Why Comparing Is Not Always A Bad Thing.


Yesterday, my grandmother and I got into a big debate about comparing yourself to others. I honestly told her, “Yes, I compare!” and she looked at me with this crazy look and said, “I don’t compare myself to others! I’m in comparison with myself.”  I responded, “You don’t compare yourself to others? Of course you do. We all do. It’s part of human nature. We are called “the comparing creatures.” And even though you can’t admit to doing it, you still do it, without even being aware.

I went on to say, (more…)