5 Things I'm Really (REALLY) Bad At

Five Things I’m Really (REALLY) Bad At

Every once in a while, someone hits me up online and says something to the effect of “you have your whole life together, I want to be just like you”! Now I promise this isn’t a humble brag, because my response almost always is this: “thank you sis, but I’m actually a hot mess”! Though I endeavor to be honest and transparent at all times, there is sometimes a perception that I’ve “got it together” or that everything is perfect.

As bloggers or influencers grow their audiences, it can become easy to just stay on the surface and post only the good: the most recent campaign you booked, the vacation you just took, the new boyfriend, wedding, baby life event posts that perform so well. Even when bloggers do share their struggles, they’re often revealed after the fact: I was in a bad relationship but I got out, I had a miscarriage but now I have twins, a year ago I was fired from my job but look, now I have 100,000 followers!

It’s obvious that social media is more of a highlight reel than an accurate representation of the ups and downs of everyday life. The truth is that nobody’s life is perfect. People struggle with different things at different times. And rather than tell you about all the ways I’ve struggled in the past, I wanted to share what I’m struggling with currently. The last thing I want is for someone to look at me and feel poorly about themselves, so here are five things I’m really bad at.

Sidebar, this whole post was inspired by this sheer, transparent dress. Shout out to Liana for styling this look and putting me onto the sheer trend, it JUST got warm enough to rock it outdoors! The post continues after this brief slay interlude.

red sheer dress over black treasure & bond jeans, topshop leather jacket, red franco sarto slingback flats

red sheer dress over black treasure & bond jeans, topshop leather jacket, red franco sarto slingback flats
red sheer dress over black treasure & bond jeans, topshop leather jacket, red franco sarto slingback flats

red sheer dress over black treasure & bond jeans, topshop leather jacket, red franco sarto slingback flats

Sheer Dress | Jeans | Similar Faux Leather Jacket | Bra | Earrings | Flats

I’m Really Bad At Keeping the House Clean

I’ve never been the tidiest person, and I think being raised in a patriarchal culture where women are expected to take on the majority of household tasks set me up for domestic failure. Even though my dad was way more involved in cooking and cleaning than the fathers of other kids I knew, I still felt like my parents were harsher on me when my room wasn’t clean than on my brothers. I also had to do the dishes for what seemed like the entirety of my childhood, despite having two brothers whose hands were just as adept.

Whether I’m naturally messy or just rebelled against my upbringing, I can’t keep a space clean for anything. I don’t mind dishes left in the sink overnight… or for a week. As long as it doesn’t smell, I’m good! I rarely made my bed before getting married, and now on days when Jonathan leaves the house before me, the bed often stays unmade. Even though I aspire for our home to be Pinterest-obsession worthy (like these ones on my Home pinterest board, ps follow me!), I can’t bring myself to keep it clean. Maybe when we’re ready to start a family I’ll start to care? Idk. This might be one of those things that I never get good at, but I’ll keep you posted!

I’m Really Bad At Replying Text Messages

You would think for the amount of time I spend on my phone, I would be great at texting right? WRONG. I currently have 16 unread text messages and 7 missed calls/voicemails on my phone. I’ve replied texts four months later (yes, months. I told you I’m the worst), and I do it so often, my friends are surprised when I respond to their texts on the same day. I have a friend who now DMs me to get my attention, instead of shooting me a text. At this rate, I’m surprised I have any friends left. I think they stick around for the free beauty products lol!

Honestly, there’s no reason for this kind of behavior and I’m embarrassed to share it. It shows that I value the words of random people I’ve never met (social media strangers) over people I know in real life (real life friends). People who have literally let me cry on their shoulders, and who gassed me up to do the blogging thing in the first place. I definitely want to start prioritizing texts over social media, because again, these are conversations with people I actually know and love, versus people who I’m trying to convince to know and love (and follow) me online. So homies, if you have my number, try me. Imma hit you back… same day!

I’m Really Bad At Meeting Deadlines

I must have shared this at some point in a post about grad school, but I once submitted a term paper a full year late. Like three hundred and sixty five days late. I took an incomplete for the semester and didn’t actually get to working on the paper until my options were to submit or get an F. Just last week I was supposed to get a brand back some content and missed my deadline by a whole week. I sent it this morning. Mind you, I’d already created the content. But to actually send it was the issue. Same thing with the paper – the research was done. But the writing just never happened. Let’s just say procrastination is my (third) middle name.

First of all, I need to stop setting unrealistic goals of what I can accomplish in a day. My productivity strategies are helpful, but if I pretend I can do 15 things in one day, I’ve set myself up for failure. I am actively looking to outsource tasks both in my personal and professional life – which is why I’m looking for interns! Secondly, I need to just stop taking on things that I don’t want to do! When I overcommit – to meeting up with people, to brand work that I’m not excited about in the first place (not that this was the case for this example), to a whole darn degree that I’m probably not gonna use (argh!) – I’m less likely to meet deadlines and do the things I’m supposed to do with excellence.

I’m Really Bad At Sticking to One Thing

This may or may not be a bad thing, but I’m pretty flighty. I pick and drop interests and passion projects faster than rappers can get cancelled (buh bye Nas). First it was viola (taking it back to middle school). I dropped that because I met people who were better at it. Then it was soccer. Then it was volunteering with teenagers (I “got too busy”). And then I dropped pre-med. Then it was DIY interior decor. I stopped learning web design. Then I gave up on my blog coaching course. I can’t even stick to one hair color!

One of the reasons I’m so committed to finishing my PhD program, despite losing almost all interest years ago, is that I want to be able to say I finished something. I don’t want to give up on another dream I’ve had, even if the dream was ill-advised and undertaken out of naivety. Call me foolish, but I need to be able to see something to completion other than all the episodes ever made of Law and Order: SVU.

I’m Really Bad At Sticking Up for Myself

Last but certainly not least, I have so much bark when it comes to injustices that happen to other people, but when something happens to me, I am quiet. My school sent out a well-being survey recently, and some of the questions asked how you would respond if you witnessed either sexual assault or harassment. I quickly and unequivocally checked the box for “I would definitely intervene”. And I would for sure. At least I think I would.

That same week as the survey, an older man on the PATH train continually called me baby, offered me the seat beside him, and suggestively eyed me as I stood above him. I didn’t tell him to stop calling me baby, and I didn’t tell him to stop harassing me. I didn’t even move to stand in another spot, I just tried to keep my eyes averted and said “no thanks” three different times. If it had happened to a friend, I would have given the man a tongue lashing and moved her away. But for myself, I just endured the harassment.

I’m not sure if in this situation I was gripped by fear, uncertainty, or just fatigue in not wanting to move or cause a scene, but I regretted not doing or saying anything. I regretted not sticking up for myself. I wish I could say it won’t happen again, but how can I know for sure? I’ve been followed by security in a clothing store and I tried to explain it away. I’ve been severely lowballed by companies – knowing full well they pay other (read, white and white passing) influencers double and triple the amount – and I have not pushed back to negotiate rates that I deserve.

Hopefully by naming this problem – which was the toughest one to confront, and is in some ways to most difficult to overcome – I can be more aware of situations where I’m being treated unfairly or taken advantage of, and have the confidence to speak up for myself the way I would do if it was happening to a friend.

Alright, I’ve shared a bunch of my flaws. Don’t leave me hanging! What’s something you’re bad at, and how are you planning to work on it (if you are!)?

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Comments

  1. Little wonder I picked interest in you. finally found my other half!….lol. You described me black and white. I will arrange my room and closet in the morning and everything is upside down by evening. I even keep dishes in the room until ancestors tells me it’s time to take it to the kitchen. So I will finish my minutes in the week but won’t share it till the next meeting day. I just don’t send timesheet on due days. I’m always the last to do any registration so I’m used to paying penalty fee. I’m such a cool hot mess. First, I should go on mountain praying on procrastination…I try everyday to be better, I even try to watch youtube videos but #sigh, about a year ago, I came across something like “babe just accept you are clumsy”QED. You are still an inspiration though, if you can put all that we see together, I should keep striving.

    1. LOL at the ancestors! I feel like I’ve read something that said people who are always late are smarter or more creative or something, we’re just going to go with it!

  2. Ijeoma, thank you for being so vulnerable and relatable! I read where you talked about a degree you will probably never use and am I in the same place?! I am getting my PhD now and it is such a drag…but I think we will all be okay!

  3. You basically described me! Especially the procrastination thing. I also fail to see things to completion. I dropped out of med school, failed to finish a master’s thesis even though all the research was done and I just had 2 chapters to write. Thankfully last year I graduated with masters in Chinese so I managed to see that to completion. I also sabotage myself by missing deadlines. Sigh. Girl you are me and I am you ??? let’s hope we can turn this ship around because we no go carry last! Mission may seem impossible but we can do it!

  4. Gurl!!!! I might also need a whole blog post for this one!!!
    In the midst of soo much perfection, honesty becomes soo beautiful!!!
    Thanks for sharing!!!

    Becomingyeva.com

  5. Thanks for your transparency…I have a ton of things I need to do better at..procrastination…negative thoughts about myself…tellin folks no..the list is endless .. just the fact u r getting your phd is something to celebrate..I always enjoy your content. Enjoy your day

    1. I appreciate it!! Negative thoughts about yourself is a tough one to overcome but I’ve found that prayer, a strong support system, and if necessary, therapy can all go a long way.

  6. Hey girl <3 Thank you for sharing things that people are generally afraid to reveal about themselves.

    I am on a SM sabbatical now because I realized I was getitng caught up in people's (seemingly) perfect lives, relationships, pictures, etc…some people are perfect at editing their lives.

    I am the opposite of you when it comes to the tidiness lol, and the texting–in college, I got an award for fastest texter ever 😛 .

    However, I share the same struggles with seeing things to completion, and sticking up for myself. Being an ER nurse has allowed me to grow a lot in the sticking up for myself thing tho because I can't have crazy patients walking all over me lol.

    But let me say, you have stuck to something–your blogging and SM presence! This is commendable.

    1. Seeing other social media people present inauthentic versions of themselves – overly edited and curated – REALLY bothered me and inspired me to do the complete opposite. So I totally get needing to step away from it sometimes! Thank you for the perspective and good for you for sticking up for yourself!!!

  7. Love you lots! I think we’re all guilty of the texting/procrastination thing at some point or another. Priorities and interests change and it’s a part of life. Me? I’m a poor communicator. I think of things in my head and haven’t found the best way to keep my team on the same page as me and it jacks things all the way up sometimes. I’m guilty of thinking I have more time than I actually do. I pay tickets super late, renewed my registration late, filed taxes on the last day, I had to pay an ungodly amount in late fees for my car note even though I always have the money. Proud to say I’ve since signed up for auto pay!…Just overall poor adulting! Whew, that was cathartic!

  8. LOL wow it’s almost like you’re me! You’re now the only person I know (other than me) who actually does work and then procrastinates sending it in. I don’t know why I do it, I really don’t! About the cleaning- one day, my dad asked me why I can’t keep my room as tidy as my kitchen. It was such a face palm moment (and I’m trying) but at least, I can do one. Work in progress, please! This also- I’m extremely disorganised but I put in SO much effort into being organised that people think I am organised. It’s a scam. Sometimes I wonder if I’m more interested in the process of organising things/life than actually BEING organised.

    I understand people hiding the bad stuff until they’ve worked through it. On the one hand, as the articulate Aubrey Graham put it, people would rather hear about “how you found yourself, than how you lost you”. Even when I try to be honest and write through a difficult time, I always end up not sharing it because it sounds too whiny, or I feel like I’m not being objective because I’m speaking from the pain. Still, I think you do a great job at keeping it real with your captions and blog posts.

    1. Haha yes you should be proud you can keep something clean! Also ?? at “it’s a scam”!! Same!!!
      And I think it’s possible to share your hardship without whining. @lisaalamode (on IG) shared a few months ago about a miscarriage shortly after it happened, and her strength and vulnerability empowered me – even though I’ve never experienced one! But it takes a certain level of strength to be able to be that vulnerable

  9. So why did you listed my things?
    I’m like: Yes!! i’m not the only African girl who does’nt like cleaning. Thank’s miss.

  10. Are you and I the same person? The pick up passion projects idea is ME! It’s why it 5ook me so long to finish my graduate degree (part time took y years for NOOOOOOOO reason- just wasting money to stay enrolled when I wasnt doing any work). But GOD! I finished!

    The good thing is, once we recognize our flaws, we can [attempt] to do better!

    Thanks for sharing this post!

  11. I think for me, I struggle with confrontation. And because I never speak up to people who hurt me, I carry a great deal of resentment, so technically I’m cool with them but then I’m just really pissed off. Then I specifically say I’m not angry, but I am. Haha. I also just need to extend grace towards people more. I also wish I were more bold and just slightly arrogant haha. I allow fear talk me into cowering all the time. Anyway, just a few. haha

    1. Thanks for being vulnerable and sharing! Hopefully identifying those issues is the first step in working to overcome them. I can’t bottle up my feelings because they sometimes consume me to the point of paralysis, so I HAVE to say what’s on my mind!

  12. I struggle with procrastination too. Who doesn’t? I think it’s a pretty common problem. Another thing I struggle with is letting go. I would know that I’m someone or something is not good for me but I’ll still have such a hard time cutting off the person. Lastly, I struggle with taking phone calls except it’s work. I find phone calls nervous wrscwrac and ilI rather text.

    1. There really are people who don’t procrastinate. I know some! I prefer texts too, there are only a handful of few people I can be on the phone with for a long time.

  13. Hi Ijeoma! What a great article! So raw and honest. I definitely relate with procrastination. I also struggle with domestic work, like cooking and cleaning. I hate it, especially the dishes, bathroom and laundry. I’m not a bad cook, I just don’t like cooking. Also I’m really bad at staying in touch with friends. If I don’t see you on a regular basis (like church or work) then I won’t talk or hang out with you. Sometimes I struggle with speaking out against ignorance or injustice. I’ll just let it slide, and then feel all kinda of regret later. That was hard to admit. Man this article really got me reflecting! Well done sis ?❤️

  14. Keeping my place tidy…I so relate.
    And deadlines…lol. Guess I’ve found someone who also has procrastination as her third middle name …lol…thought I was the only one

  15. Procrastination is a problem with me. I feel like I work better under pressure. They say cleanliness is next to godliness. I do clean but I can definitely improve in that area. I glad that’s not one of the qualifications of getting into heaven. Injustice is another one I seem to have a issue with because I tend to voice my opinion and sometimes I go off into the deep end. I don’t like seeing my people get treated unfairly because we have been looked over, abused, killed, raped and being taken advantage of way to long. I were bad about being complacent about my health but I’m taking control of that now. I think all of us have flaws and social media give us the fake us and this is why I look for genuinely from a few people everyday.

    1. I’m glad a lot of things aren’t qualifications of getting into heaven, cuz I’d be all the way left out! And glad to hear that you’re taking control of your health!

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