Wake-Up Call: Here's How To Make Your Dreams A Reality

If you truly desire to make your dreams a reality, there is no time like the present.


Although a lot of these types of articles tend to creep around a week before the turn of a new year, I've always been the type of person who found resolutions to be a bit strange. It's not that I'm not an advocate for goal-setting and, to a large extent, even risk-taking—but who said that you had to wait until January 1? More than that, what makes so many people think that there is something supernatural that happens at the stroke of midnight on New Year's Day? Making the decision to change your life, right here and right now, is just as powerful, significant and life-altering as waiting until next year. More so in fact, because, by moving now, you're choosing not to make excuses or procrastinate.

And girl, why would you want to with stats floating around claiming things like only eight percent of people ever achieve their goals or 98 percent of individuals leave this earth without ever fulfilling their dreams? Geeze. Talk about a seriously gut-wrenching wake-up call, right? The good news is, whether or not you become a part of these statistics, that is totally up to you. If you truly desire to make your dreams a reality, there is no time like the present—and by that, I mean right at this very moment—to stop talking about what you want and actually start putting the steps in place to make your goals, dreams and desires happen. You ready?

1. Go on a “Negativity Fast”


OK. Before doing anything else, make sure that you put yourself on a negativity fast. Yeah, I know this isn't typically the kind of thing that you see whenever you read articles on this topic; however, because negative energy can lead to things like emotional instability, constant complaining, being super self-critical, having a fear of networking or all sorts of health issues—between your unhappy co-workers, what you see on the news, all of the constant drama on social media and whoever's in your life that's negative, you need to make sure that you are approaching the sacredness of your dreams from a loving, whole and positive space. You also need to make sure that you're not looking at them with a jaded perspective.

So yes, before doing anything else, whether it's for a weekend, a week or a solid 30 days, take some time out to detox from all things negative. If that means not eating with your co-workers, so be it. If it requires a social media fast, do it. If you need to temporarily get ghost on a friend or family member, don't hesitate. You need some time to get quiet and unlearn some of the negative habits that may have been taking a hold of you, perhaps without you even realizing it.

I promise you, once you take a break from what's draining you in this area, you will feel totally recharged and ready to take on the other steps that I'm about to share.

2. Know What Your Dream Is

Not too long ago, I was having a "random" (although I personally believe there is no such thing) conversation with two attractive young men. We were all in a mall and we'd never met before. But the natural journalist in me tends to ask a lot of questions so, before long, we all were sitting in the food court, chopping it up. As these early-twenty-something fellas were talking about some of their ridiculous patterns, I said to one of them, "You know you're doing all of this because you are bored with your life, right? You need to put that energy into your purpose." He replied with something that I think causes a lot of us to have unhealthy life habits. "I don't even know what my purpose is. That is a part of the problem." He's right. That is a part of the problem. And you know what? A lot of other people are walking around here miserable because, while they know that there is more to life than what they are currently doing, they are irritated and restless because they're not able to articulate what their dreams actually are. So, they do dumb ish to fill up time and mind space.

Saying "I just want to be happy" isn't good enough. Who doesn't? In order to achieve what you truly want, you really need to be more specific. Whatever it is that you desire to do or accomplish, write it down. Not just on a paper towel or the notepad on your smartphone either. Honor your dreams enough to purchase a journal that is totally devoted to them. The more you respect them, the more they will respect you. Remember, thoughts are seeds and, as a writer by the name of Eric Micha'el Leventhal once said, "Thoughts don't become things; thoughts ARE things."

Oh, and when it comes to initially jotting the dreams down, try and be as concise as possible. I know from personal experience that, the less words you use, the clearer you'll be about what you want and how to go about achieving it.

3. Get Your Personal Life in Order


I'm a quotes girl. Unapologetically so. Recently, while checking out The Roommates Podcast, I must admit that a quote that was shared, right out the gate, was so "BAM!" to me that I didn't even finish listening to the episode yet. What the brotha said was, "You've got to be the CEO of your life before you can ever be the CEO of a company." I mean and I'm sayin'. Have you ever had a hard time getting a good night's rest because your bedroom is a mess? Or found it impossible to save money because you keep staying in debt thanks (but no thanks) to that credit card of yours?

It's going to be very difficult to make your dreams a reality if you've got a lot of personal upheaval going on. Now, I'm not saying that you should start on your dreams until everything is perfect (that will probably never happen). But what I am saying is if you need a clean house in order to think straight, clean it. If you're in a counterproductive relationship, even if you don't have the courage to end it (yet), at least take a break from it. You're probably going to need some coins in order to get some of what you're trying to do off of the ground, so the new shoes or that girls' trip is going to have to wait. Dreams like order. The more you have, the easier it will be to embrace yours.

4. Start to Visualize Your Dreams

If you're a TED Talk kind of person, make the time to watch fitness CEO Ashanti Johnson's message entitled "The Power Of Visualization". In her 15-minute presentation, she talks about how, back in 2009, during a recession, the word "fitness" kept coming to her mind. So much in fact that she quit her job in the pursuit of starting her own fitness company with nothing but $400. I'll let you watch the video so that you can see how it all played out for her (spoil alert—quite well). But the bottom line is visualization is so important. It's about more than just writing things down; it's about being able to bring full mental images of your dreams to your mind, whenever you need to.

Some people visualize with vision boards. Some use create boxes. Others literally daydream (which has scientific benefits, by the way). Whatever route you decide to take, just make sure that you set aside some time, on a consistent basis, to visualize what you desire. The more you can bring it to your remembrance, the realer it will become to you.

5. Protect Your “Dream Pregnancy”


I'm a doula. So, I speak in pregnancy analogies and metaphors quite a bit. Whenever someone tells me that they have a dream, goal or idea, a piece of advice that I oftentimes give them is, "Make sure to 'protect your pregnancy'. Telling the wrong people will have you out here aborting or miscarrying your 'creative baby'."

Think about it. It's not uncommon for a woman to not announce that she is pregnant until she is well into her second trimester. Even then, while the general public may have overall knowledge of what's going on, only the few that she trusts know the day-to-day details. And with good reason. The last things that she needs are pressure, stress and a ton of unsolicited opinions and advice.

Same goes for the dreams that you are carrying. When I was in doula training, I took some Hypnobabies classes. Something we learned about is called "the bubble of peace". Basically, it's learning the art of how to tune out the noise around you so that you and your baby can remain peace-filled. Pregnancies, of any kind, are precious and fragile. There's no need to be out here announcing everything or taking in all of the stuff people have to say. It is perfectly fine to be silent until "the baby" arrives; to only let a few into what is going on in the developmental stages. This brings me to my next point.

6. Get a “Dream Midwife” and a “Dream Doula”

If you are pregnant with dreams, you need someone to support you in your pregnancy and someone to help you birth them. Basically, you need a strong support person (doula) and a mentor (midwife). Both of these individuals need to be respectful of your dreams, totally envy-free, committed to assisting you along the way and prepared for good and bad days that come while your dreams are growing and while you are sometimes uncomfortable during the process. They also need to be kind, patient and able to discern when you need advice and when you just need a listening ear.

Some people are afraid to go through the process of conquering their dreams because they feel like no one truly believes in them and what they are trying to accomplish. Or, the people who claimed to be there in the beginning, they end up falling off. But when you've got a true dream midwife and dream doula by your side, it always makes the "birthing process" so much easier. They can offer insight, tips and comfort that you need to get you through all that comes with carrying your dreams and manifesting them.

7. Invest in Your Dreams on a Daily Basis


It's kind of unfortunate that a lot of people only think of investing as it directly relates to finances. If you ever check out the definitions of the word, you'll see that it is far more multifaceted than that. One definition of invest is "to use (money), as in accumulating something", but two others are "to use, give, or devote (time, talent, etc.), as for a purpose or to achieve something" and "to furnish with power, authority, rank, etc." You know what this means, right? If you've been telling yourself that the reason why you're not able to make your dreams come true is because you don't enough money, that's more of an excuse than anything else. There are other ways to invest. Networking is investing. Research is investing. "Baby steps" are investing. Making sacrifices are investing. Turning off your notifications and television so that you can put new ideas together are investing.

Although some days will require bigger investments than others, when it comes to making your dreams a reality, it is absolutely critical that you do some sort of investing on a daily basis; that you put power into your talents and time so that you are able to push your dreams along further today than they were yesterday.

8. But Make Sure to Take a Day Off Too

Earlier this year, I wrote an article entitled "How To Handle 'Purpose Fatigue'". Pretty much, it was a shout out to all of the people who are out here in their purpose, making things happen, but still have moments when they are worn all the way out. As for me, I've been a traditional Sabbath observer all of my life. This means that Friday sunset thru Saturday sunset is my non-negotiable time to go totally off of the grid. I'm telling you, to have a full 24-hour timeframe to do nothing but rest is one of life's greatest gifts.

You're not doing your mind, your health or your dreams a lick of good if you are constantly burning candles at both ends because all you do is "go, go, go" all of the time. While you're out here making things happen, make sure that you put chilling out one day a week on your list too. You won't do your goals and desires any true or lasting good if all you're doing is running on fumes seven days a week.

9. Do Your Best. All of the Time.


Wanna know another reason why some people's dreams never come true? It's because they half-ass their way through the process. Their business plan is sloppy. The story pitch is full of typos. Their demo sounds like they recorded it in a tunnel. Their website layout is dated. They make appointments and then break them or schedule auditions and show up late for them. No one who is already out here living their dreams owes you their time, connects or resources. Not only that, but why should someone else help you with your dreams if you don't esteem them enough by presenting them properly—and consistently?

I can't tell you how many times I've done something and, in my mind I'm like, "I already know that I'm going above and beyond; that all of this 'extra' isn't even necessary", only to get an opportunity or promotion out of the blue. When you give your best, you're giving your highest quality and what truly stands out. If you do that constantly, the right people will take notice. Maybe not immediately but eventually. Right when you need them to the most.

10. Be LOVINGLY Patient with Your Dreams (with Yourself Too)

If I've said it once, I've said it a billion times before. Whenever I go to a wedding and the bride and groom are all googly-eyed as they say, "Love is patient and I'll be patient with you", I'm usually thinking, "I bet they have no clue what they are saying." To be patient isn't just to wait. It is also "bearing provocation, annoyance, misfortune, delay, hardship, pain, etc., with fortitude and calm and without complaint, anger, or the like". Love does this. Love does this. Not only does it "do" this; true love is this.

Committed relationships aren't the only things that require patience. Dreams need patience. You need patience. While you're out here in the process of making your dreams a reality, know that what's worth having truly is worth fighting for and the more you're able to master patience, the more you'll be able to endure until you reach your goals.

My last bit of advice? Don't just like your dreams. Choose to be all the way in love with them. It will make being patient a whole lot easier to do. It will make celebrating them once they manifest so much richer for you too.

Want more stories like this? Sign up for our newsletter here and check out the related reads below:

6 Books To Read When Discovering Your Purpose

The Most Common Mistakes That Keep Us From Reaching Business Goals

Exit Strategy: 5 Steps To Quit Your Job The Right Way

Ciara Spoke The Life Of Her Dreams Into Existence At The Age Of 17

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ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Over the past four years, we grew accustomed to a regular barrage of blatant, segregationist-style racism from the White House. Donald Trump tweeted that “the Squad," four Democratic Congresswomen who are Black, Latinx, and South Asian, should “go back" to the “corrupt" countries they came from; that same year, he called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas," mocking her belief that she might be descended from Native American ancestors.

But as outrageous as the racist comments Trump regularly spewed were, the racially unjust governmental actions his administration took and, in the case of COVID-19, didn't take, impacted millions more — especially Black and Brown people.

To begin to heal and move toward real racial justice, we must address not only the harms of the past four years, but also the harms tracing back to this country's origins. Racism has played an active role in the creation of our systems of education, health care, ownership, and employment, and virtually every other facet of life since this nation's founding.

Our history has shown us that it's not enough to take racist policies off the books if we are going to achieve true justice. Those past policies have structured our society and created deeply-rooted patterns and practices that can only be disrupted and reformed with new policies of similar strength and efficacy. In short, a systemic problem requires a systemic solution. To combat systemic racism, we must pursue systemic equality.

What is Systemic Racism?

A system is a collection of elements that are organized for a common purpose. Racism in America is a system that combines economic, political, and social components. That system specifically disempowers and disenfranchises Black people, while maintaining and expanding implicit and explicit advantages for white people, leading to better opportunities in jobs, education, and housing, and discrimination in the criminal legal system. For example, the country's voting systems empower white voters at the expense of voters of color, resulting in an unequal system of governance in which those communities have little voice and representation, even in policies that directly impact them.

Systemic Equality is a Systemic Solution

In the years ahead, the ACLU will pursue administrative and legislative campaigns targeting the Biden-Harris administration and Congress. We will leverage legal advocacy to dismantle systemic barriers, and will work with our affiliates to change policies nearer to the communities most harmed by these legacies. The goal is to build a nation where every person can achieve their highest potential, unhampered by structural and institutional racism.

To begin, in 2021, we believe the Biden administration and Congress should take the following crucial steps to advance systemic equality:

Voting Rights

The administration must issue an executive order creating a Justice Department lead staff position on voting rights violations in every U.S. Attorney office. We are seeing a flood of unlawful restrictions on voting across the country, and at every level of state and local government. This nationwide problem requires nationwide investigatory and enforcement resources. Even if it requires new training and approval protocols, a new voting rights enforcement program with the participation of all 93 U.S. Attorney offices is the best way to help ensure nationwide enforcement of voting rights laws.

These assistant U.S. attorneys should begin by ensuring that every American in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons who is eligible to vote can vote, and monitor the Census and redistricting process to fight the dilution of voting power in communities of color.

We are also calling on Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to finally create a fair and equal national voting system, the cause for which John Lewis devoted his life.

Student Debt

Black borrowers pay more than other students for the same degrees, and graduate with an average of $7,400 more in debt than their white peers. In the years following graduation, the debt gap more than triples. Nearly half of Black borrowers will default within 12 years. In other words, for Black Americans, the American dream costs more. Last week, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, along with House Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters, and others, called on President Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower.

We couldn't agree more. By forgiving $50,000 of student debt, President Biden can unleash pent up economic potential in Black communities, while relieving them of a burden that forestalls so many hopes and dreams. Black women in particular will benefit from this executive action, as they are proportionately the most indebted group of all Americans.

Postal Banking

In both low and high income majority-Black communities, traditional bank branches are 50 percent more likely to close than in white communities. The result is that nearly 50 percent of Black Americans are unbanked or underbanked, and many pay more than $2,000 in fees associated with subprime financial institutions. Over their lifetime, those fees can add up to as much as two years of annual income for the average Black family.

The U.S. Postal Service can and should meet this crisis by providing competitive, low-cost financial services to help advance economic equality. We call on President Biden to appoint new members to the Postal Board of Governors so that the Post Office can do the work of providing essential services to every American.

Fair Housing

Across the country, millions of people are living in communities of concentrated poverty, including 26 percent of all Black children. The Biden administration should again implement the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which required localities that receive federal funds for housing to investigate and address barriers to fair housing and patterns or practices that promote bias. In 1980, the average Black person lived in a neighborhood that was 62 percent Black and 31 percent white. By 2010, the average Black person's neighborhood was 48 percent Black and 34 percent white. Reinstating the Obama-era Fair Housing Rule will combat this ongoing segregation and set us on a path to true integration.

Congress should also pass the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, or a similar measure, to finally redress the legacy of redlining and break down the walls of segregation once and for all.

Broadband Access

To realize broadband's potential to benefit our democracy and connect us to one another, all people in the United States must have equal access and broadband must be made affordable for the most vulnerable. Yet today, 15 percent of American households with school-age children do not have subscriptions to any form of broadband, including one-quarter of Black households (an additional 23 percent of African Americans are “smartphone-only" internet users, meaning they lack traditional home broadband service but do own a smartphone, which is insufficient to attend class, do homework, or apply for a job). The Biden administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Congress must develop and implement plans to increase funding for broadband to expand universal access.

Enhanced, Refundable Child Tax Credits

The United States faces a crisis of child poverty. Seventeen percent of all American children are impoverished — a rate higher than not just peer nations like Canada and the U.K., but Mexico and Russia as well. Currently, more than 50 percent of Black and Latinx children in the U.S. do not qualify for the full benefit, compared to 23 percent of white children, and nearly one in five Black children do not receive any credit at all.

To combat this crisis, President Biden and Congress should enhance the child tax credit and make it fully refundable. If we enhance the child tax credit, we can cut child poverty by 40 percent and instantly lift over 50 percent of Black children out of poverty.


We cannot repair harms that we have not fully diagnosed. We must commit to a thorough examination of the impact of the legacy of chattel slavery on racial inequality today. In 2021, Congress must pass H.R. 40, which would establish a commission to study reparations and make recommendations for Black Americans.

The Long View

For the past century, the ACLU has fought for racial justice in legislatures and in courts, including through several landmark Supreme Court cases. While the court has not always ruled in favor of racial justice, incremental wins throughout history have helped to chip away at different forms of racism such as school segregation ( Brown v. Board), racial bias in the criminal legal system (Powell v. Alabama, i.e. the Scottsboro Boys), and marriage inequality (Loving v. Virginia). While these landmark victories initiated necessary reforms, they were only a starting point.

Systemic racism continues to pervade the lives of Black people through voter suppression, lack of financial services, housing discrimination, and other areas. More than anything, doing this work has taught the ACLU that we must fight on every front in order to overcome our country's legacies of racism. That is what our Systemic Equality agenda is all about.

In the weeks ahead, we will both expand on our views of why these campaigns are crucial to systemic equality and signal the path this country must take. We will also dive into our work to build organizing, advocacy, and legal power in the South — a region with a unique history of racial oppression and violence alongside a rich history of antiracist organizing and advocacy. We are committed to four principles throughout this campaign: reconciliation, access, prosperity, and empowerment. We hope that our actions can meet our ambition to, as Dr. King said, lead this nation to live out the true meaning of its creed.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
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In xoNecole's Our First Year series, we take an in-depth look at love and relationships between couples with an emphasis on what their first year of marriage was like.

It was a cold winter night in Chicago, more than a year ago. Your girl was scrolling through the fifty-eleven million options on Netflix to find something interesting to watch. I spotted this new show, The Circle, and have not looked away since. Produced by Studio Lambert and Motion Content Group, it premiered in January 2020 and has become my new favorite type of game show. Hosted by Michelle Buteau, The Circle is about contestants who are isolated in their own apartments and can only communicate with others via an online social media platform.

On season 2 of The Circle, the world fell in love with DeLeesa, the contestant who would eventually be crowned winner of the cash prize. She won the game by playing as a single dad named Trevor, who is actually her husband. As a true fan of the series, I figured it was only right to sit down with DeLeesa and Trevor to get the deets on how marriage has been for them IRL. So, let me take y'all back into time real quick, to the beginning of their love story.

It was 2007, and DeLeesa was starting her first day of school as a college freshman. She was getting adjusted to her new dorm and was introduced to her new resident assistant, *drum roll please* Trevor St. Agathe. They quickly became friends and Trevor helped DeLeesa find different activities around campus. After a year, they decided to take things to the next level.

Now, 14 years and two beautiful children later, the married couple have been focusing on doing whatever it takes to create the best life for their children. Since college, the power of commitment and open communication is what has kept DeLeesa and Trevor by each other's side.

One thing that we can all learn from The Circle and social media in general is that everything is not what it seems. When I connected with the couple, DeLeesa wanted to get the story straight about her and Trevor's love story. "I feel like people look at couples on social media and they think that things are perfect when that's not true. We went through stuff, too. We just figured out how to overcome it and move together as a unit."

In this installment of xoNecole's Our First Year, Deleesa and Trevor share how marriage is about work, navigating through the ups and downs, and prioritizing family. Here's their story:

How We Met

DeLeesa: I got to school early because I was starting [college] a semester late. I met him, we became friends, and I developed a little crush on him. One day, we were hanging out in his room and he just didn't want me to leave (laughs). So we were messing around for about a year. Exactly one year later, I told Trevor that I am not going to keep doing this unless he becomes my man. If he didn't make me his girl, then we were done. (Laughs)

Trevor: I tried to ride it out as long as I could (laughs). At the time, I was thinking, since I'm still in college, I shouldn't be tied down. But I knew that if I didn't make it official, she was going to leave. So, she was right, and we took it to the next level.

First Impressions

Trevor: I thought she was absolutely beautiful. She was pretty and the new girl on campus. So I knew she was going to get lots of attention. But I didn't want to be on that with her, so I continued to just be a stand-up guy. At first, it was the normal student-and-RA relationship. She would ask me what activities she could do on campus and I gave her a few suggestions. For a few days, we continued to hang out and I started to realize the chemistry we had between us.

DeLeesa: When I first met Trevor, I wasn't even thinking about going that [relationship] route with him. I was new to the school and I just wanted to be his friend. But because we shared bathrooms in the dorm, this man would just walk around in his towel sometimes. I couldn't help but notice him more after that. I just thought 'He is fine!' (Laughs) He was so nice and he never pressured me into anything, but, he knew what he was doing.

Favorite Things

DeLeesa: I love that he has unconditional love for me. I feel like that no matter what I do or no matter how mad he gets, he is still always going to be by my side for anything that I need. We have been together for a long time. Even though we had breaks in between, he has always been there for me.

Trevor: It's not just one thing for me, but I can sum it up: DeLeesa is everything that I wish I was. She is very much not afraid of what other people think and she is very determined to go after what she wants. She has that go-getter mentality and it is so attractive to me.

"DeLeesa is everything that I wish I was. She is very much not afraid of what other people think and she is very determined to go after what she wants. She has that go-getter mentality and it is so attractive to me."

Wedding Day

Trevor: On our wedding day, I was crying like a baby when I finally saw her. That is my fondest memory of that day: seeing my wife-to-be from a distance and instant water works. (Laughs)

DeLeesa: I really enjoyed our first dance. Our wedding was pretty big, and I planned the whole thing. I was very hands-on and it was hard for me to just have a moment and be present. But when we had our first dance, that was our time to just be with each other and not worry about anything else. It really hit me that we were married at that point.

The One

DeLeesa: Well, the thing with Trevor and I is that we broke up a lot. We reached nine years of being on and off. By that time, we said to each other that this would be the last time we were going to break up. We were going to try our best to do everything that we could to stay together. And if we didn't work out, we were going to go our separate ways. For me, I really wanted us to work because I did see him as my future husband and my children's father. So it was the conversation we had to not break up that was my "you are the one for me" moment.

Trevor: It was something that I always knew. Young Trevor would say, "If I had to get married, this is who I want to marry." When I knew it was time to take things more seriously with her, it was after we had that conversation. Another confirmation that DeLeesa was the one was when we had to move to Canada from New York. I thought to myself that this woman must really love me to pack up and move to another country for me. This woman trusts me so much and she is my forever.

"The thing with Trevor and I is that we broke up a lot. We reached 9 years of being on and off. By that time, we said to each other that this would be the last time we were going to break up. We were going to try our best to do everything that we could to stay together."

Biggest Fears

Trevor: The questions that popped into my head were, "Can I do it?"; "Can I be a good husband to her?"; or "Was I truly husband material?" You can't take a test for that or study to get those answers. You have to just do it, apply your morals and values, and do the best you can. What has helped me with this is continuing to reaffirm how we feel about one another—affirmations that let me know that she is happy and I am doing a good job. Marriage isn't that much different from what we have already been doing this entire time. We just wear rings.

DeLeesa: My biggest fear [is related to the fact that] I am a very independent person, [so] if I do not like something, I can be out, quick! So with me, I questioned if I could stay put and fight through the bad times within a marriage. I would question if it is worth sticking it out since this is a lifelong commitment. What has helped me get through that is reminding myself that I can still be independent within my own marriage. I can still do things on my own and still share my life with someone I really care about.

Early Challenges

DeLeesa: I feel like I have been really good at keeping my relationship with my friends balanced with my partnership with Trevor. So when we first got married, my personal challenge was me trying to juggle between being a good wife and still making time for my girls. I really didn't want to lose sight of who I was in the process of marriage.

Trevor: My work at the time forced me to travel a lot. So when you are in that honeymoon phase, it's important to have quality time together. It was hard with my job to enjoy life together as a married couple in the beginning. Yes, we have been together for a long time. But this was different. Not being around my wife as much as I wanted to was really hard for me and the both of us. Our communication started slacking and we definitely struggled during that time.

Love Lessons

Trevor: There's two lessons that I have. One lesson is that I am a husband first. I have spent a lot of time not being a husband so it can be easy for me or anyone to continue to behave that way. But my wife always has to come first, no matter what is going on in life. When you're married, you have to reinforce that. My second lesson that has helped in our marriage is making sure I do things in order to make her life easier. It can be the simplest thing, but for me, it is a huge priority.

DeLeesa: My biggest lesson is being able to learn from each other. For example, if he is doing simple things to make life easier for me, I am learning from him how to show up for him to make him happy. It can be easy to just receive everything he is putting forth, but it has to be give and take for us.

"I am a husband first. I have spent a lot of time not being a husband so it can be easy for me or anyone to continue to behave that way. But my wife always has to come first, no matter what is going on in life. When you're married, you have to reinforce that."

Common Goal

Trevor: To do everything in our power to ensure that our girls have the best possible life. Everything that we do at this point is for them. Before children, I may have moved slower working toward certain things, but there is definitely an added fire on how we approach things because of them.

DeLeesa: I agree. The number one goal is to be the best parents we can be. We want to set up generational wealth and we want them to be culturally aware. We want them to grow up and be proud of everything we have done for them.

Best Advice

DeLeesa: My advice would be don't go looking for advice, honestly. A lot of people are going to have an opinion about your life and sometimes that may not be the best for you. People can have different intentions and may give you the wrong advice. So I feel that if you need to vent, then yes, have someone to confide in. But don't take their word as facts. Try to figure out your marriage for yourself. Stick to your intuition and what you want to do, no matter if you are being judged for it.

Trevor: The things that matter are to be patient, listen close, choose to be happy, and love hard. I also think when people come to terms with the fact that marriage is work, then it is more possible for people. There are honestly more things to be happy about with the person that you marry. You have to keep all the things that you love about that person at the forefront to get you through. Once you do that, you will be fine.

Follow Deleesa and Trevor on Instagram @leesaunique and @trev_saint and their family page @itsthesaints.

Featured image via Instagram/Leesaunique

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Since 2000, Black buying power has increased a whopping 114 percent. According to Business of Fashion, we brandish $1.3 trillion in annual spending power. It's also no secret that Black women move culture like no other, making us one of the largest assets to the U.S. economy. However, for some odd but obvious reason, society tends to question Black women when they level up and revel in luxury.

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This article is in partnership with Staples.

As a Black woman slaying in business, you're more than likely focused on the bottom line: Serving your customers and making sure the bag doesn't stop coming in. Well, there's obviously more to running a business than just making boss moves, but as the CEO or founder, you might not have the time, energy, or resources to fill in the blanks.

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The legendary, and somehow 50-year-old Regina Hall has been on her press rounds to promote her latest project, new TV series Nine Perfect Strangers. The show is based on the New York Times best-selling book of the same name by Liane Moriarty and filmed in Byron Bay. "We shot it in Australia, which is gorgeous. It's so pretty I thought it was CGI," Hall explained.

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Here at xoNecole our "summer body" goals consist of two things: confidence and strength. The physical perks that come along with those are just added bonuses, but still, it feels good to look in the mirror and have those reflected. If you feel like you need to get on track to finding your inner and outer hot girl as Megan Thee Stallion would say, we've got the workout for you. We promise you'll be rapping, "Handle me? Who gon' handle me?" in the mirror before you know it.

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