When You Can’t Take Your Own Advice

I am often asked for advice by loved ones; whether it’s concerning bickering besties, boy drama, or some minor incident. In most cases I am well-equipped with a quick response or a listening ear. That’s just my personality; I love to help. I suppose that’s why I’m depriving myself of sleep in graduate school to become a counselor.

Though it can be effortless at times to speak hope into the lives of others, I find that it can be difficult to do the same for myself. No self-pep talk will help. No “Happy” song will do. Encouraging yourself proves not to be an easy task.

So what happens whejessie quoten you can’t take the same advice that you give? Is it all hoopla? Some may argue that it’s not practicing what you preach, but I have a different perspective.

One word pops into my head: community. We were never created to go through life alone. We just can’t do it. Great music throughout the ages extol the virtues of two, as well as remind us that one is the loneliest number that you’ll ever do.

My sister Jessie said it best:

“No matter how introverted and independent we are, God made us long for meaningful relationships with each other. That’s why we can’t do everything on our own. We need help from time to time. We’re freakin’ human.”

Even the strongest of people need someone to confide in. For years I have prided myself in being the one people turn to when in need of a good venting session or piece of advice. I would often pour out so much of myself to those who are distraught and emotionally drained that I neglected to in turn ask someone to pour into me.

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Got My Monthly MetroCard So I Know It’s Real

MetroCard

In the weeks leading up to my move to New York, I was repeatedly asked the same questions,

“Are you excited?”

“You ready?”

“Has it hit you yet?”

To be honest, it hadn’t. I tried to hype myself with Pinterest Boards and Sex in the City reruns, but it just did not work. For years I have been known by family and friends to not emote very well, and it perhaps caused some to believe I was apprehensive about leaving.
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Here’s to a New Season

New Season

“It’s a new season, it’s a new day…”

Chris Brown was right- it’s never a right time to say goodbye. Though I’m moving back to the first place I called home, leaving my second home is not easy. New York made me, but Florida raised me.

Crazy for a native New Yorker to say, huh?

I learned some important (yet difficult) life lessons, fell in love a time or two, and gained some amazing friends here. It saddens me to leave, but I understand that it’s a new season for me. And with that comes tough decisions for a greater purpose.

Florida, it’s been real, but I have a dream that needs to become a reality. New York, here I come.

 

—Tara Pook

Introducing | The Pook Shop

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you… The Pook Shop. My new line of tees are inspired by some of my favorite posts such as “Dreamers, Be Patient” and “Thank God for Growth.”

Pook Shop

I love how we can all make a statement with just a graphic tee. Some are thought-provoking, and some are humorous. My goal is to inspire you, as well as those who may read your tee in passing.

I’m excited to share this new venture with you all. More shirts and designs are on the way, so be on the look-out!

—Tara Pook

Break the Rules

My sister Jessie loves listening to Christmas music all year long. Some would give her the side-eye for jamming to “Silver Bells” in the middle of summer, but I just think it’s one of those things that make her the great quirky person that she is. And to be honest, her nonstop holiday cheer inspired me to press play on one of my favorite songs, “Put One Foot In Front of the Other” from the classic animation Santa Claus is Coming to Town. In the scene, Kris Kringle encourages the Winter Warlock to change his mean ways through song. Being the quote-hoarder that I am, I especially took to the lyric: “Don’t be the rule, be the exception.”Don't Be The Rule

Fitting in is so easy these days. There’s no emphasis on creativity or invention, just imitation. Don’t be afraid to go against the grain. Some may laugh or question you, but those same people will soon be following you. There’s no room for growth in your comfort zone. It’s snug and too tight. Break free from the rules and how other’s feel you should live your life. Rules were made to be broken, weren’t they?

—Tara Pook

Three Words I Hate: “You’re Too Nice”

You're Too Nice

If I had a dollar for each time someone told me that I’m too nice, I’d be a thousandaire.

Some would consider this to be a compliment, but I have a bit of an issue with it. It’s often been said that too much of a good thing is a bad thing. Therefore I’d be justified in believing that when someone tells me I’m too nice, it actually means “Umm, fix that.”

I recall a time when my friends and I were watching The Bad Girls Club. If you’ve never watched show, it showcases the tomfoolery committed by a group of hot-tempered women thrown under one roof. The end result is a whole lot of hair pulling as a once lovely mansion is turned into something a pig would turn its snout away from.

Out of pure curiosity, I asked my friends how long they thought I’d last in The Bad Girls Club. I was given a day. Yes, 24 hours. Their reason? You guessed it: I’m too nice.
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Keep Your Dreams to Yourself

KEEP YOUR DREAMS TO YOURSELF

As children we were told to keep our hands to ourselves, but did you know the same applies to our dreams? If you’re not careful, your goals and aspirations can spoil before they have the chance to become a reality. Prevent this from happening with a few tips I’ve gathered through my own continuing journey:

1. BITTER PEOPLE CAN SERVE AS ROADBLOCKS

When it comes to your dreams, it’s especially important to keep them from people who are bitter about their own. There are many individuals wasting their potential, but this does not mean you have to waste yours. This type of person comes in many forms: a professor, a friend, or even a parent. Unfortunately, someone discouraged them from following their dreams and they succumbed. It’s vital to watch out for what appears to be advice from them. They may see it as constructive criticism when in actuality it’s deconstructive criticism.

“Are you sure you want to apply for that job? You may want to wait until you have more experience. Just don’t want you to get rejected, that’s all.”

“That sounds like something you can accomplish in 10 years instead of 5…”

“More school? I think you’re fine with just a bachelors degree.”

Rather than let them walk with you on your journey, it’s best to let them watch.
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Love & Relationships | Does Your Future Lie in Your Past?

I was at work reviewing a report with my supervisor when a coworker stopped by to say good morning. She had some news to share with us.

“I just wanted to tell you all that I got married over the weekend,” she said.

“Wait, what?” I replied, though not exactly the right response.

Immediately I looked at her ring finger and lo and behold there was a silver wedding band. My supervisor and I looked at each other in shock because she had never announced an engagement to our office.

“He was someone from myPOST WALE LYRIC past,” she explained, “We reunited a few months ago, and then we decided to get married.”

In between our countless WOW’s, we congratulated her and she went on her way. Still shocked, my supervisor said to me, “Geez, can I think of someone from my past?”

We both seemed to stare off into the paneled ceiling and ponder about the exes we’ve left behind, or at least tried to. Could it be that our soul mates are somewhere in our memories?

I believe that sometimes in love, second chances can be deserved. After all, unconditional love is like perfection on earth and we are quite flawed beings. Expecting us to handle relationships flawlessly would almost be equivalent to expecting a three-year-old to guard the Mona Lisa. We are bound to make a mistake or two; it’s inevitable.

I’m sure that for many of you, a certain someone is crossing your mind. They may have been a high school sweetheart, a summer fling, or perhaps a friend-turned-lover. Despite its ending, the bitterness of the breakup did not ruin the sweetness of your time together. This causes us to think of rom-com like scenarios where you both reunite on a crowded street or maybe on the train. Throw in a few plot twists, some laughs, and then the two of you live happily ever after.
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Are You Who You Were a Year Ago? | The Importance of Rebranding Yourself

A Year Ago

I was at the mall the other day debating a trip to the food court, when a huge advertisement caught my eye. The Aeropostale ad read “ARE YOU WHO YOU WERE A YEAR AGO?” Though meant to be a campaign for the store’s rebranding, it served a greater purpose as I reflected on the person I was only 365 days ago.

For starters, I was in the midst of what I thought was the worst summer ever. At the age of 22, I felt I was supposed to be on track to becoming the editor-in-chief of my own magazine. You see, I had it all planned out: I would have an amazing internship at my favorite magazine, they would of course love me, and from there I’d work my way to the top while squeezing in a 2-year stint in graduate school. It made sense and I didn’t see how it wouldn’t happen.

Until well, it didn’t. I didn’t get that dream internship. I didn’t get any internship to be honest. Instead I lived at home and worked 10-hour sweaty days at my local water park. For someone used having her plans work out, it was rather sobering. I began to feel bad for myself as I saw countless peers starting to live out their dreams on social media. They were interning, traveling, and hustling- all while making time for happy hour specials.

I was beginning to chug the haterade, until I realized I didn’t even know myself anymore. My limited thinking caused me to question if I was really destined for the fabulous life that I planned. I had once believed I was perseverant and ambitious, but in the mirror I saw someone who was bitter and filled with self-pity. Where was the Tara who never fretted, but instead exclaimed in her best George Lopez impression, “I got this“?

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