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 Clay Banks on Unsplash


Being present can be challenging and you are not required to do it 24/7 and it’s unrealistic and humanly impossible to be present all the time and to require someone to do so. Giving to your people should be a bilateral relationship, that can be mutually beneficial to whoever is involved, but giving of yourself requires you to be okay with doing it, but also be okay with the fact that you may not get the same back in return.

I titled this blog post “Giving to Your People” because I realized a lot of us don’t understand what that actually means. The act of giving in my opinion is a fundamental part of human interaction and engagement. In some ways it’s almost part of our payment to live life on Earth. Last week I wrote about needing, finding and choosing your people, but this week I want to focus on giving to your people, which to me is not only being present with your peeps, but also to be able to fulfill those friendship needs.

Different people need and require different things from you and vice versa. Most of us don’t communicate exactly what we need well enough, which in actuality is really because we don’t even know what it is, we need from people. Being present can be challenging and you are not required to do it 24/7 and it’s unrealistic and humanly impossible to be present all the time and to require someone to do so. Giving to your people should be a bilateral relationship, that can be mutually beneficial to whoever is involved, but giving of yourself requires you to be okay with doing it, but also be okay with the fact that you may not get the same back in return. Yeah, that part definitely sounds janky, but it’s the truth. You have to look at it as personally pouring into someone’s overall wellness, and positive energy you’re giving out and at some point you will get back.

There are several ways that we all give to one another. It’s a little reminiscent of the very popular book by Gary Chapman, “5 Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate”. In the book Chapman describes the 5 love languages as, words of affirmation, acts of service, receiving gifts, quality time, and physical touch. Just like romantic partnerships, friendships and relationships in your social groups can fall into these categories. Personally, I believe that most of us like a little bit of everything and it is not a black and white thing. For example, some people in your social group might just like a simple text message, a phone call, getting dinner together, while someone else may like small gifts or sitting with them on the couch watching tv (couch-lounging is definitely showing up a lot in this series, huh?). It all depends on the person.

In all of this, it is vital to be present, but not to your detriment. I often do mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical check-ins with myself because what I realized is that if one of those four things are out-of-balance, I tend to suffer the consequences. I typically do check-ins daily and weekly, to make sure your girl is good. I am the queen of texting, “Hey guys, I’ll be offline for a couple days, to get balanced,” and I do this to be transparent but also to let my friends know that I’m okay but need to step back a little bit. You have to make sure you draw your boundaries and monitor your wellness.

As humans we desire and to some degree need validation from our loved ones in our social and familial circles. Giving to your people is a great way to show you care and also show support to your loved ones. Below are some elements of giving to your people that I believe can be helpful to the think about in order for you to be more present in your friend and social groups.


Giving to your people should not feel like a chore

When you give to your people and it feels like it’s a struggle, invokes some level of negative emotions, or you just simply don’t want to, then don’t. If it’s like pulling teeth for you to be present and give of yourself to your people, then please my friend, abort mission. The flipside to this, however, is that the more you give the more you get used to it, but also it makes you feel good.


Giving to your people should come from your heart

The act of giving should come from a place of honest and earnest human compassion, thoughtfulness and care for someone else. It makes it easier for you, when giving comes from your heart but also it connects you differently to the human experience.


Giving to your people means you give when or if you can

Sometimes you may not have anything to give, both literally and figuratively, hence why it is so important to check-in on yourself regularly. Don’t feel pressured to give and be present. I’ve had moments when I had to completely step away from my loved ones for weeks at time because I was emotionally and mentally drained from other things.  Other times I wanted so desperately to do more for them by sending a small gift of something I know they would need and like, but I didn’t have the money and had to prioritize other financial obligations.


Giving to your people is an act of selflessness

We all have had selfish moments and if you say you haven’t then you’re probably lying to yourself. Giving of yourself at any capacity should 9 out of 10 times be an act of selflessness, meaning your more concerned with the needs of other people, than your own. Selflessness increases your ability to love and show love to yourself and to people. I do believe it takes a particularly self-aware, strong, and kind person to be completely selfless, but certainly something we should all strive towards.


Giving to your people means you pay attention to their needs

Life requires and demands a lot from us on a continuous basis and sometimes you find yourself running on fumes, forgetting to take a break. That is where paying attention to the needs of your people is essential to be able to be there for them. This also means that a conversation needs to happen, asking what they need from you and what you need from them as a friend, as well.


Giving to your people should not be one sided

This is probably the one point that you were waiting to read. Yes, giving to your people should not be one sided, but sometimes it will be. There are times that someone might need you more than you need them because life has hit them so hard, that they can’t even be there for themselves properly. If your relationship is built on a solid and honest foundation, then in most cases that same friend will return the love and support to you eventually.


Giving to your people means you don’t keep track of how much you’ve given

One thing that many of us do, is we keep tabs of how much we have been there for someone else verses how much they have been there for us. This is a very human thing, but also can lead to an unhealthy level of comparison. If you get to a point that you feel you are there for someone more than they have been there for you, then most likely you might need to have a serious conversation with that person. However, when you give to others, you generally should not expect something in return because you are giving from the heart and showing that you honestly care for that person.


Giving to your people can help you with your own personal growth

Being there for people is an essential part of your personal growth because it stretches your capacity to care and love others. I believe one of the goals of this life is to be able to expand the level in which we connect with one another. This in turn can positively impact other areas of our lives, such as at work, school, and in our other relationships, making you more efficient and in-tune with those around you.


Giving to your people is a way to show that you care

A lot of people walk this planet, not knowing that someone out there actually cares about them, so for someone to show you that you matter and are loved in all your imperfect glory, is truly something beautiful.