3 Personal Improvements.

Lent season is over and I'm sure 96% of your tax refund is gone, yet here we are... trying to be Tyrone Hankersons in a world full of MC Hammers.

Each year for Lent, I give up a bad habit that I have grown a little too close to. This year, I gave up eating junk foods such as chips, cookies, and candy. It may seem like an easy sacrifice, but picture this: my office receives a shipment of new snacks every Monday. You know how many times I've had to say "no thanks" or walk past a package of Twizzlers?!! The two pound bag, btw. Anyway, I'm glad that I stuck with my decision, because it taught me a few things that bring me a step closer to being a responsible adult, which is the goal...right? No? Whatever... However, I succeeded and improved in a few different areas just from one sacrifice, so I figured I'd share with those who support the movement.

1. Budgeting- If you know me, I am the absolute worst when it comes to money, spending way more than I save, and not thinking twice about it. During the 40 days, I tried not to spend as much money on eating out everyday because that shit adds up and who am I fooling, Sallie Mae always has her damn hand out. I managed to spend only $50 per week on groceries, rather than the $120 per week that I was easily swiping out my debit card for lunch and dinner at some of my favorite spots to hit up in NYC. Buying groceries also comes with cooking, and even taking my lunch to work. If you follow me on any other social media sites, you've seen me upload pictures of different meals at least twice a week. (I'll be sure to update my recipe page periodically over the next few weeks as well.) I also budgeted for a few music festivals and plane tickets, because I was gonna do that regardless of what was in my bank accounts.

2. Enjoying personal space- The only downfall of New York living is sharing your personal space. When you go home at the end of the day, you'd expect peace and quietness to wind down for the night....guess again. This is the city that never sleeps, so there is always something going on, which means people are aways up and out. Six months of being in New York, I have rented out three different furnished apartments to get acquainted with the city, which have all come with roommates. I lucked up in January because a roommate moved to Paris, which left me an entire apartment to myself for three weeks, it was amazing! I'm currently renting a room in a four bedroom Harlem apartment that overlooks the Hudson River with a view of New Jersey. Two weeks into Lent, all of my roommates went on vacation, which left me an entire apartment to myself for a week yet again. That week was filled with loud music, walking around half naked, cooking everyday, and hour long showers. It's safe to say that I should start looking for my own apartment this summer!

3. Self distractions- I like to agree that I do a pretty good job of remaining nonchalant. I've mastered tuning things out that do not matter, or cannot be simply changed. Overall, I'm just a naturally calm person. Giving up the main resource that provides me sugar, I thought my body would have a negative impact or get random cravings. It happened, but not to an extent of not being able to control it, I simply wanted to eat chips and cookies. Do you know how hard it is to avoid these things when you walk into a bodega almost every other day?! In hopes of keeping my mind distracted from thinking about junk food, I started to read more books, taking naps, and listening to calming music. (Follow me on Apple Music to check out my playlists.) Time goes by so much faster when you are in a calm mindset and not anxious or irritated easily.

Sure, most people recognize these types of things everyday, but when you life an "on the go" type of lifestyle, you don't get to appreciate the small joys. I'm glad that my sacrifice helped me find balance, and even getting the opportunity to reshape my focus right before the seasons change. I have a few ideas in line for the summer.

Stay tuned.