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Casting expectations suck! We do it in the smallest ways even when we don’t think we are doing it. For example, when you send bae a thoughtful text and he or she doesn’t respond in the way you were expecting or they might not respond at all. The moral of the story is that expecting someone to do something for you just because you did it for them is setting yourself up for heartbreak, unhappiness, and a stank attitude.

I’ll never forget my father taking my brother and I to church every Friday for soup kitchen. After a long week of school or work, church members would get together and help feed the homeless. My first few weeks I was annoyed because I didn’t want to be there and I wasn’t getting paid. I was surrounded by old church folks who talked about retreats that I couldn’t go on, my brother was only there to talk to girls and my job was being the dishwasher. After being a nuisance to my father and begging not to return, he told me that I should stop complaining and realize that “the more you give, the more you receive” (Luke 6: 38). I had no idea what he was talking about, but he suggested I start making brownies and handing them out at the soup kitchen. Since I was a chubby kid who loved to bake, I told myself to do it and have fun doing it.

The following week, I outdid myself and I made five dozen brownies for the homeless soup kitchen. I marched into my church with my blue tupperware ready to serve and not wash dishes. I stood proud at the end of the food table eager to give out my brownies and the people receiving it were even more eager to see me. Many of the homeless men and women enjoyed getting a substantial meal but they enjoyed my brownies more. In a short period of time, I began to create conversations and relationships with these men and women. Some starting coming just because they really loved my brownies and the smile they were given. I became the topic of discussion when those church folks started talking because I went from dishwasher girl to the brownie girl. I felt so blessed and overwhelmed that I could have this affect on people solely by giving them something good to eat. I quickly realized what my father meant about giving and receiving.

When it comes down to giving, give because you want to and because its coming from the goodness of your heart. Don’t give to make others happy, give to make you happy. It made me happy to see those men and women smile just because they had something sweet to eat. It made me so happy that I continued to make brownies all the way up to high school. I grew out of thinking that just because I did something kind for someone that a kind gesture would be returned. I remember getting a few eye rolls, nose flares and stank faces when giving out my brownies, but that didn’t stop me from going back every week. I knew that a majority of people craved my baked goods and I accepted that my brownies were the bomb.com for a large group people but not everyone.

Accept that no one owes you anything in this world. Accept that you are good enough and that the ones who value you will show you. Accept that not everyone is not on the same page as you or has the same train of thought as you. Accept that everyone is cut from a different cloth. Accept that nothing good or bad goes unnoticed. Accept that your happiness stems from you being your best self. Accept that expectations will have you waiting around a long time and you don’t have time for that. Don’t exaggerate yourself in someone life as a priority because you are your own priority. Expectations might suck but you don’t!

-ICM

 

 

 

Photo by @photo__mark

If you don’t know me by now, I am a full born and bred Cali girl. I’m hardly home, but I am always reppin’ Los Angeles City. I grew up learning how to roller skate on Santa Monica beach, playing basketball at Pan Pacific Park and spending my weekends at The Grove. Los Angeles will always be home but most importantly, it will always have my heart. Many people make the assumption that Los Angeles is the city of sink or city (it definitely can be), but when you are surrounded by people who truly care about your growth and success the journey is worth it.

People have often told me “if you’re not losing friends, you’re not growing up”, which was true for me but it doesn’t have to be true for every one. Some people are in your life for a reason or a season but that also relates to your environment. After I graduated  high school, I began my college journey upstate New York. Many of my friends stayed local or went to college and universities a few hours away from home, but that was not my route. Spending my college years in Syracuse, NY, then moving to New York City after graduation, taught me that it’s important to live in an environment that makes you happy. I could of easily returned home to Los Angeles after graduating, but I wanted to challenge myself. I currently live in New York City, but every time I return home to Los Angeles, it’s like I am pressing a restart button.

Los Angeles has taught me that I ALWAYS HAVE OPTIONS. Not everyday is a surf on the beach, but it’s okay to watch the waves. The L.A. city life is definitely laid back, which has taught me that you can only control situations that you have control over. It’s annoying to sit in traffic, but you can’t control that, so find an alternate route because there is always a way. Home has also taught me that FAMILY IS EVERYTHING. When living at home, I became used to a routine which consisted of me spending time with my family. Los Angeles is a city full of adventure and when you have family to share those adventures with, it’s very rewarding. My family and I consistently tried new restaurants, worked out, and even went to concerts together. Success can always be accomplished when you are surrounded by individuals who feel rewarded witnessing your growth. Lastly, home has taught me that LIFE IS ABOUT BALANCE. Los Angeles has given me different outlets to find my happy place. I am the type of individual who needs a getaway when they are upset or off balance. L.A. is full of scenic views and each one I go to, I’m able to find peace and balance. I’ve been so blessed to grow up in this amazing city and gain knowledge of my surroundings, but the best thing of all is that I’ve gained knowledge about myself.

XOXO,

IVY COCO

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