Photo by Jeffery Erhunse on Unsplash


We get so caught up in the idea that for some reason that these major milestones in life are supposed to happen sequentially, and within every 3-5 business days.


If you’ve been hiding under a rock or if you’re a billionaire, then time has basically stood still since March. I feel like these next few (or several) blog posts that I write will have some level of me grappling with the idea of time. So, brace yourselves beloved. We’re in this together. With that being said, I was thinking to myself yesternight, as I was washing dishes and preparing for the week ahead, that I’ve basically been, “last off the bench” most of life, or so I thought. Meaning, that in almost every area of my life at some point, I have felt as though things do not either work as quickly or go as smoothly as I would’ve hoped for and I was the “last” to experience certain societal “milestones”. In my younger mind (literally 5 months ago), I used to think I was the “last” to get a boyfriend, have my first kiss, get my own place, get married, start my career and get a job, get a car, get funding for school and so forth. Yes, I know what you’re thinking, “Loy how can you possibly say that, when you got a whole PhD?” Sounds like “First World” problems, right?

For one thing, my value is not based on my PhD, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t think that it did in the past. I’ve compared myself to myself most of my life, but every now and again, I would scroll through social media or even look through LinkedIn to see where my peers and colleagues were in their careers (judge yo mama, don’t judge me). A good number of us have all looked to our peers and other people to see how they have progressed in life, in relation to our own progression. I don’t do it often, but I’ve done it enough times, whereby I start questioning my own accomplishments and achievements. Let me also say, I was more prone to do this when I was more mentally and emotionally vulnerable and sensitive.

In some respects, there was a slight stall and delay in my professional and personal life. Whether that’s on my part on the professional side of things, for not “properly” and efficiently navigating the workspace, or more of the issues surrounding structural and institutional racism—most likely both. Like I’ve said before, having a PhD doesn’t guarantee you professional success, whatsoever.  However, a lot of my “last off the bench” reflections revolve around the most relatable human needs—love and partnering and then money and jobs. As human people, we want to feel loved, be loved, and if you are not a selfish mofo, you want to give love, but in the same breadth we also want and need income that allows us to meet our basic human necessities and also plan for the future.

What I’ve now come to realize is that I was never actually the last off the bench. Matter of a fact, there is no actual bench. My time to experience certain things in life, just did not happen yet. We get so caught up in the idea that for some reason that these major milestones in life are supposed to happen sequentially and within every 3-5 business days. A lot of it has to do with how the internet and social media has added to the pressure and the idea that struggle and challenge should be minimal as you journey through life, when in all actuality, it simply ebbs and flows. Good and great things will happen to you, and not-so-good and bad things will happen as well. Your goal is to ride the wave as best you can and enjoy the scenery during the journey.

Here are 4 things that you should keep in my mind if ever you feel like you were once like me in thinking that you were the “last off the bench”:


What’s yours is yours

In my time on this Earth, I’ve come to the conclusion that everything that was ever for me, was and is for me. Nothing of mine belongs to anyone else and whatever someone else has, is not for me. You want to have your own things and your own stuff, that way you will treat it well and appreciate it more.

Time is irrelevant

Wheew! This right here is a sermon. Time is generally a social construct that capitalistic ideals and entities have manipulated for us to believe that we are bound to it. When you let go of the idea of timelines and that everything needs to work a certain way, during a particular time, you really begin to live. That does not mean to not be conscious of time, but rather to be mindful of it and don’t let it control you.

Preparation is KEY

If you don’t prepare yourself for what you want in life, then you’re doing yourself a disservice. If this simply means being more disciplined in reading up on your interests, passions and career, then do it. At minimum it can only enhance your knowledge on the subject. You won’t know everything and you will never be 100% prepared, but you will have more confidence in what you bring to the table and in yourself. You will also be more ready for your time to shine, than you would’ve been if you didn’t prepare yourself for those opportunities. 

You hold the Power

I can’t stress this enough. We are living in a time where so many of us feel powerless and hopeless, but one thing that remains, is that we each hold our own individual power and agency, and at any given time,  we can do better for ourselves, our families, and our communities. Power does not lie solely in the material. The most impactful type of power is your inner peace, resilience and ability to commit to wanting to be a better version of yourself in all aspects of life. That’s real power.



Photo by  Kaylee Brayneon Unsplash


 …if we don’t find the sweetness in life, then we run the risk of living a very unfulfilled and unhappy existence. The thing about affirmations is that you have to believe what you are saying or rather, you repeat it enough times until you believe it.

It has been such a tough several weeks for all of us. I’m not sure if I have ever felt this uncertain about the future for me and my loved ones, and also the future of world. Everything is so up in the air because of COVID-19. Last week was up and down for me. I struggled to stay motivated and productive as news of the Coronavirus hit closer to home. I spent much of my time watching, reading and listening to news about the disease, while also trying to figure out how to get my family members who are abroad back to the States or making sure they’re taking the necessary precautions to keep them safe, all while fighting to keep my own sanity. Trust, this week I will not be doing that. It was a lot. Luckily, I had several virtual happy hours with my friends that really cheered me up.

When I am down in the dumps there are a few things I commit to doing despite how I may be feeling inside. Two of them being meditation and repeating my daily affirmations. I can’t tell you how much incorporating meditation and daily affirmations changed my life. For today’s blog post, I’m going to talk about affirmations; what they are, how I use them and why you should consider adding them to your arsenal of personal wellness tools.

Affirmations are not something new that sprouted out of nowhere. In various cultures there are oral traditions, sayings, scriptures, writings, stories, songs etc. that are used to encourage and guide people through life. Affirmations are a specific set of phrases and statements that are supposed to help you combat self-deprecating and negative self-talk and thoughts, that we are all guilty of. It is absolutely too easy to say and think negative things about yourself, especially with the way the world is set-up. The messages that we absorb from mainstream culture, as well as the historical periods that reinforced race, class, gender and other social forms of discrimination, have ultimately left us with obscured images of ourselves. Affirmations are meant to challenge all that mess, because it surely is a mess.

Before I even knew that there was an American term for what I called positive thinking and speaking life into myself and the situations I found myself in, I was exposed to my Luo cultural fables, stories and proverbs though my mother.  Just like any African or Black parent, she would use these proverbial expressions when I didn’t complete a chore, got bad grades, but specifically when I was sad or disappointed about something. In high school I started writing in my journals about how intelligent, beautiful and capable I was. I would either printout the words and phrases in big font or write them out on manilla paper and tape them on my closet door. Growing up as a taller, bigger, dark brown girl in an area where it wasn’t appreciated, you had to make sure to protect yourself the best you could.

The power of affirmations and why so many people stand by using them, is in the ability to change your perspective.

When I got my first job after college working at a call center on the non-profit side at a clinical research organization, processing applications for patients who could not afford medication for aggressive illnesses, I would take Post-It notes and tape them all over my computer with affirmations. The job was stressful because I had to reach daily metrics for processing applications and if we did not meet them, we would get reprimanded. I remember my favorite Post-It being, “Positive thinking, gets positive results”.


Photo by joah brown on Unsplash


The power of affirmations and why so many people stand by using them, is in the ability to change your perspective. A lot of things in life are out of our control, but the few things we actually do have control over are how we treat, think and feel about ourselves. Changing your perspective from a lack and deficit mindset, to a positive and abundance mindset will literally shift the way you see the world. We’ve all heard the adage, “Is the glass half-full or half-empty?” and it is the same exact concept. People’s perceptions shape how they see and view the world. This doesn’t mean that you live in la-la land and avoid reality, but it does mean that regardless of the outcome of whatever situation, you are committing to see the lesson and the positive aspects in everything you encounter. 

Life can absolutely suck sometimes, and we might be currently living in one of those very sucky moments, and finding sweetness when everything tastes sour is hard. However, if we don’t find the sweetness in life, then we run the risk of living a very unfulfilled and unhappy existence. The thing about affirmations is that you have to believe what you are saying or rather, you repeat it enough times until you believe it. It will take some time for you to get to a point whereby you actually believe what you are saying, but it feels so good when the words you repeat actually become powerful to you.

Here are some ways to start practicing and incorporating affirmations in your wellness routine and also some examples of affirmations I have used.

How to start using Affirmations:

  • Take some self-inventory about how much negative talk you say to yourself throughout the day. Jot it down each time you catch yourself talking down on yourself. Do this for one day or a few days. At the end of each day, count up the number of times and begin to reflect on why you say those things to yourself.
  • Write out and reflect on all the positive things that make you feel good about yourself and what you accomplished at the end of each day. This can be that you folded your laundry right away and didn’t wait to do it a week later, or you consistently drank more water throughout the week. Starting with these small things will help you see just how amazing you are. Not every accomplishment has to be big, but those smaller ones are some of the most important. 
  • Start formulating your affirmations with “I am…” and “I will…” statements, in areas of your life that you want to change for the better. This can be wanting to be a kinder person to yourself and others, or wanting to perform better at work or school.
  • Place your affirmations where you have easy access to them and you can see them daily and you can pull them out whenever you want.
  • Repeat them in the morning, during lunch, heading to work, before a meeting, during your workout, while washing dishes, before a date etc. Say them throughout the day, especially when you find yourself feeling low and thinking negatively.
  • Be patient and be kind to yourself. Commit to saying and repeating your affirmations daily, weekly, and monthly.



Examples of Affirmations:

“I am where I am supposed to be and I am learning valuable lessons and skills.”

“My body is beautiful as it is and everyday I do little things that contribute to my total wellness.”

“I am enough and I deserve to be here.”

“Everything that is meant for me is mine and is coming towards me and everything that is not, was not meant to be.

“I am not the things of my past because I am ever-evolving and growing.”

“Challenges are temporary and are designed to make me stronger and wiser.”

“I am prepared to give the best of myself in everything I do.”

“I let go of all the thoughts, things, and people that cause me pain and I am whole as I am.